Monday, June 28, 2010

thunderstorms and progress

One interesting aspect of living in the south, especially near the coast, is that evening thunderstorms are very common in the summer. The last two weeks we have had several severe thunderstorms. Last night was no exception. We were without power for almost 5 hours!

For those of you who have experienced Coastal Georgia summers, you know what I mean when I say that we ROASTED inside that house without any air conditioning! Thank god it came back on and we didn't have to try to sleep in that heat.

The heat index around here has been right around 100 degrees for the past couple weeks as well. It pretty much makes you want to lay around and do nothing. I definitely haven't found any motivation to work out. Until this morning I hadn't worked out since before our cruise the first week of the month.

However, this weekend I had the chance to spend some time with my mother in law and she really helped me get back into a good frame of mind for making good choices. She recently had bariatric surgery at the recommendation of her doctor and seeing all the sacrifices she's having to make now for the sake of her health is sobering.

I'm happy to report that I woke up and got my butt to the gym this morning. As someone on one of the fitness boards I read has said before: "I fell off the wagon, but I've got a good hold of the bumper and I'm pulling myself back up."

Friday, June 18, 2010

what a week!

This week = FAIL. Seriously.

Even running a couple miles last night didn't get me out of my post-work funk. Between the big workshop program I'm pulling together and the creepy calls my head feels like it's going to explode. I ended up making some coffee and reading for a while in an attempt to settle my thoughts.

As if the drama at work wasn't enough of a downer, I realized I haven't weighed in since before my cruise and yeah... apparently I'm up 5 pounds. I'm not a happy camper.

Luckily, I have a wonderful husband who knows how to get me out of my wonky moods. Tonight we're going to my favorite Mexican place for dinner and drinks (read: queso dip and a strawberry margarita). Then tomorrow we are going to the day spa down the road for 1 hour massages.

Between the little treats and our normal weekend activities of cleaning and laundry, I'm hoping that come Monday I'll feel semi-normal.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Cinderella was right

A new pair of shoes can change your life.... or at least keep you from hating Tuesdays so much.

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Magenta. suede. pumps.

I saw these at Macy's on Saturday while Steve and I were out shopping and I fell in love. They're fabulous enough to make me feel special but practical enough to wear to work. That's a perfect combination.

Today I'm wearing them with a simple black dress and my irregular freshwater pearls. I feel so good I almost forgot it's Tuesday!

Bonus: Everyone... and I mean EVERYONE I have talked to today has complimented my shoes.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

little things

This morning I woke up at 7am. No alarm or anything, just waking up to the sun at 7am and feeling rested.

It's been that way for a few months now and pretty much every day on our cruise we woke up (without an alarm) around the same time.

I never in a million years thought that waking up that early would feel like sleeping in. I also never thought that I would consider taking out the trash and making sure all the laundry was done before Steve got home from a long business trip would be considered "romantic suprises".

We've been married for 11 months now and each one of those months has brought so many new things into our lives. There have been so many changes this year (none of which are ones we thought would happen) and through each one we have come out the other side with a new perspective.... a new "normal".

I'm just trying to soak it all in and remember the little things because I know that someday I'm going to be sitting with our children, telling them about these days with a big smile on my face and wanting to be able to share every detail.

Monday, June 7, 2010

So proud and excited!!!

Today is a huge day for a friend of mine. Today, my friend Andy Velo had his first single released to national radio!

This spring he signed a record deal and opened for Brad Paisley. This week he will be playing at various CMA events.

Check out this link to hear his single "Hank It Up" and see more of the promotional information on Andy:

But I would like to take a second to say how incredibly proud I am of Andy and how excited I am for him and his future. I've known him since 5th grade. I taught his little brother's vacation Bible school class. I sang in youth choir with him. Went to church and graduated high school with him. I know that he is a truly good hearted person who has put his heart and soul into his musical career. If anyone deserves to be successful, it's Andy and I am thrilled that his dreams are coming true.

If you like his song please take the time to request it on your local country radio station!

why am I just now finding out about these?

Look at the piocture below...
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See those little pasta looking things? Those are called gnocchi... or as I like to call them, incredibly delicious pieces of potato pasta heaven. Not kidding even a little bit. I am in love.

Last night, Steve took me out for my birthday dinner and I decided to try somethign new and had gnocchi with chicken, zucchini, onion and red peppers in alfredo sauce. From the first bite, I was hooked.

After a little research, I found out that these little suckers are pasta made from potatoes. I also found out that you can easily make them at home with stuff I currently own (yet another reason to be grateful for that fancy food processor wedding gift). If that wasn't awesome enough, they freeze well so I could do the hard part on the weekend, and still have fabulously fresh and yummy gnocchi 20 minutes after walking in the door.

If you get the opportunity to try them I really encourage you to do so. You will not be disappointed.

Friday, June 4, 2010

home again

Steve and I got back from our much needed vacation today. We had a really good time, but it's nice to be home again.

The first part of our trip was a drive to Miami and a night at the beautiful JW Marriott there. The drive only took about 7 hours and we rocked out to a few of our favorite Pandora radio stations on the way. Between Steve's rendition of a few Michael Buble tunes and a rousing game of "can we see the ocean from here" we had a blast. Some of the best times can be had on road trips with Steve.

The JW Marriott in Miami was so much more than I expected. For one, the room was a rich yellow color and the linnens were some of the softest I've ever felt. Add in a panoramic view of downtown Miami and I almost didn't want to leave!

However, the promise of tropical beaches won out and we made our way to the port of Miami the next morning to board our ship, the Carnival Imagination.

Overall, the trip was great. Our stateroom was bigger than I expected and the balcony was one of my favorite features. The ports of call and our shore excursions were a lot of fun too. We got to really relax and just enjoy our time together without any distractions. That being said, I was not overly impressed with Carnival or the staff onboard the ship. The staff members we dealt with were not very helpful or friendly (with the exception of our cabin steward) and most of the onboard activities seemed to center around getting drunk and gambling away all your money.

Regardless, Steve and I found a few things that we enjoyed and really made the most of our experience.

We did a pub crawl in Key West that was led by this crazy old and drunk local. Between the hawaiian shirt and deep tan he looked like a walking homage to Jimmy Buffet. He took us around the island to his favorite bars and kept us laughing as only a crazy drunk person can and got us all rather tipsy in the process.

In Cozumel we took a Mexican Cuisine class that ended up being a private course since nobody signed up but us! We worked with two chefs and a chef's assistant to create a three course meal of traditional mexican food. Steve learned how to do a fancy flip move with fish and veggies in the skillet and I learned some helpful tips for perfectly juicy chicken. When it was over we ate our creations at a table overlooking the beach. We ended up spending the rest of the afternoon on the beach since it was so beautiful and we saw a macaw and some iguanas! We ended up getting all of our souvenirs of the trip in Mexico: a jar of Mole sauce and a jar of jalapeno and green pepper jam (both from our cooking class) as well as a hand painted serving platter. You can see a picture of the platter on my facebook page if we're friends.... it's beautiful!

The remainder of the trip was just spent relaxing around the ship and going to various shows. The only crazy event was a thinder storm on the last night at sea. As a girl who doesn't like severe weather when I have two feet firmly planted on solid ground, experiencing a strong storm while on a boat in the middle of the ocean had me absolutely terrified. Somehow Steve managed to keep me from getting too worked up and we made it into port the next morning with no more issues. We had an easy drive back today and picked up Mimi (our cat) from my brother and his wife who graciously agreed to watch her for us.

I swear, she must have thought we had abandoned her or something the way she acted when we picked her up! Clearly almost 15 year old cats do not like their routine messed with.

All things considered, great vacation! I'm really glad we went and took a break from our day to day routines. Steve didn't have his cell phone on at all for four days (the longest he's ever gone without it since I met him) and neither one of us had any type of internet or phone access. It was so nice to have such peace and quiet. Now, we are relaxing the rest of the weekend and jumping back into reality first thing monday morning!