Friday, January 28, 2011

lunch meet-ups and other things that make me smile

Back when Steve and I set the date for our wedding I stumbled upon the wedding date message boards on a popular wedding planning website. There was a whole board just for people who were planning to get married in July of 2009. These women helped me plan our wedding and quickly became my friends. I've known them for three years now and today I got to meet up with one of them!

Rebecca was in town for a conference for her job and we met up for lunch before she had to be at the airport for her flight home. We ended up talking for hours at Quiznos. It was awesome! She's just as fun as she is when we chat online and it was great to finally meet her in person.

When I got home from lunch, I discovered that my free Zoya nail polish had arrived! I'm so excited! This means that after getting our taxes done tomorrow Steve and I can go get mani/pedis and I can rock the adorable new colors I chose. The only question is, do I do the same color for both the toes and fingers, or do I rock the yellow on my toes and the green on my fingers?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

a new normal

This week has been insane. It's my first week of classes since the regularly scheduled first week was cancelled due to snow. It's also my first week of work and my first experience trying to juggle school, work, and some semblance of a life at home. It isn't even over yet and I am super tired. Last night Steve and I started getting ready for bed at 9:00pm and still overslept! (mind you, the alarm was set for 5:00am so it was a flawed plan to begin with.)

By the way, I got a job as a nanny for those who didn't hear about it on facebook. I get to take care of a three year old and a five year old after school each day. I take them to their activities, get dinner going, and help with things like unloading the dish washer until their mom and dad get home. Nothing too crazy.

When I list out the things I'm doing or try to map out my day I am astounded by the sheer amount I am getting done. I compare it to what I did on a daily basis in Savannah and am shocked at the difference in how I feel. All of these committments and tasks that I do now seem to energize me and make me feel productive, while my job and committments in Savannah weighed me down like a cement kimono.

Granted, it's been a week and I have been living in Atlanta for less than a month. This is still the honeymoon phase. In 6 months I could be ready to pull my hair out and require more internal organ removals.

For right now though, I'm enjoying the differences and thankful for the opportunity to experience them.

Proof that this change of location and circumstance is awesome:
- this morning I watched the sun rise while riding the train and walking from the station to class.
- the discussions in my classes today made me laugh so hard I cried. (a guy in my women's studies class didn't realize that we were discussing the medical proceedure called an embroidery and thought we were talking about the hobby of needlepoint)
- the most exciting part of my day is no longer passing a starbucks or other widely known chain store.
- I have time to take Finn out for a walk or run each day.

Friday, January 14, 2011

new adventures

Today was my frist day of class for the spring semester and it felt so good to be back!

I actually took MARTA (Atlanta's public transit system) to class which was an interesting experience in and of itself. Although I knew where the train station was, I have never ridden it before and was essentially lost from the get go. I got a round trip pass and hopped on the train bound for downtown.

Once I got there I ended up having to walk a few blocks to get to the building my class was in and ended up being really late to class. It was okay though because I talked with my professor and got it all straightened out. Today was my spanish class and I think it is going to be really fun! The entire class is conducted in Spanish although it is an entry level class so one way or another, I'm going to learn something. :)

After class I stopped by the student center and got my student ID, my monthly student pass for MARTA, and checked to see if my book order was ready at the book store. Then headed back to the train to head home.

It made me really happy to get back into school and get the semester started, not to mention the fact that the whole experience made me feel super cool. I've never really lived in a real city before and just the idea of taking a train downtown, and measuring distances in blocks, and going to class in buildings surrounded by corporate high rises really drove in the point that I'm not in Kansas Savannah anymore. I love it!

The more experiences I have here in Atlanta, the more I'm convinced that this is where I was meant to be. Steve and I are already millions of times happier here than we ever were in Savannah. With any luck, my job interview today will go well and the last piece of the puzzle will be complete. We'll be able to really settle in and enjoy what we have.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snow days and Mexican Hot Chocolate

Today is day two of crazy winter weather in Atlanta. There is still about 3 inches of snow on the ground in some places and all of the roads are covered in at least an inch of ice.

At first it was pretty and fun. We ran around outside and even made a snowman!

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This is Paco. He sort of looks like a cyborg/ robot with his beady red eyes, but we still like him.

Shortly after bringing Paco into our back yard and letting Finn run around a bit it started sleeting. Then, later that night, there was freezing rain sleet and flurries. We woke up this morning to ice everywhere and another snow day. So far it hasn't been fixed or cleaned up and Georgia State has closed campus for another day.

One of these days I'll actually get to start the semester. :)

To battle the cold, I decided to test out a new hot cocoa recipe called Mexican Hot Chocolate. I'm seriously in love with it! It is kind of rich, but much more flavorful than regular hot chocolate. I'll never drink regular again. Here is the recipe:
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(photo courtesy of Google images)

2 packets milk chocolate hot cocoa mix
enough milk to fill your mug
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnimon
1/4 tsp chilli powder

place the milk in a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat. Add the vanilla extract and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, place the hot cocoa mix, cinnimon, and chilli powder into your mug and combine.

When milk boils allow the foam on top to boil up (this is why you need a medium sauce pan for such a tiny amount of liquid. It boils up quite a bit) and continue to stir. Once the foam settles down again, skim the top of the hot milk to remove the thin layer that has formed on top. Once the top layer is gone pour the milk into your mug and mix together. At this point you can top it with whipped cream or drink it plain.

I know the chilli powder sounds crazy, but I promise, it really just adds a tiny kick to the drink and you will love it!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A-L-P-H-A-O-M-I-C-R-O-N Pi!

About a week ago I got an email from the alum relations chair of my sorority inviting me to this year's Founder's Day celebration. This celebration takes place the first Sunday of the new semester and as close to our actual founding date, January 2nd, as possible. It is an opportunity to celebrate the four women who founded our organization and what the organization has become.

I've been unable to attend for the last two years due to being in Savannah and being broke.

This year I finally had the opportunity and resources to go and I jumped at it!

The fact that I wasn't sure if I would actually know any of the current members was a little daunting and had me a bit nervous, but there was no way I was missing an opportunity to meet my new sisters and see what the chapter I helped found had grown into during my absence.

I was not disappointed. The new members are wonderful and incredibly welcoming. There were a few familiar faces as well and the whole thing turned out to be completely worth the two hour drive.

Now I'm home, relaxing with a beer and waiting for *snowmageddon 2011* to start. The Atlanta area, our area specifically, is expected to get between 3 and 6 inches tonight. The jury is still out on whether or not I'll have class tomorrow.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

I like free stuff... especially when it sparkles

Thanks to my wonderful friends and the discount code they passed along, I managed to score three bottles of Zoya nail polish for FREE!

I admit, I still had to pay shipping. However, each bottle is usually $7 and I got three for only $6.95. That is a steal my friends!

Check out my loot:
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described by one reviewer as "pink with an edge". I need a less frilly pink in my collection.

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described as mossy with some shimmer. This will be great for St. Patty's Day! I love green.

and finally...
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because it's spelled with two "K"s like me and combines two of my favorite colors with glitter. This is going to be awesome on my toes this summer!

I'm so excited about these colors! Check out the Zoya facebook page for all the details and then go browse their site. These are just a tiny sample of the colors they have available and I garauntee you will find at least three you want to try (or maybe 20 if you're like me).

The promotion is good through tomorrow so you've got plenty of time! 

goodbye Savannah... hello Atlanta!

After weeks of preparation, stress, and a not so tiny bit of faith that we were making the right choice, Steve and I are finally settled in Atlanta!

We hired movers to get all of our stuff from the third floor walk up apartment we had to our beautiful townhome in the city. It was definitely money well spent, even if they did take forever to load and unload.

The actual move was a bit crazy. The morning of the 28th we took Finn down to daycare so he wouldn't be in the way of the movers and confined Mimi to the bathroom (which she was NOT happy about) so she wouldn't run out the door. We packed my car and Steve's trunk full of the things we woudl need immediate access to like our clothes, toiletries, and the pet bag. We also put our firesafe box and other valuables in my car just because I'm paranoid like that.

The movers got to the apartment at 10am and started moving everything down to the truck. This was a very long process due to the stairs and the fact that it was just the two guys.

While they took things down, we did last minute cleaning (oven, bathroom, etc.).

At least, we did until we got a call from our new leasing company saying the townhouse we were supposed to move into had an electrical problem that they couldn't fix in time for us to move in so they were going to have us move in to another unit instead. This would have been fine if it didn't mean we had a new address and had already set up the utilities and maol to go to the other address!

Poor Steve spent about 5 hours on the phone that day with each utility company explaining the situation and pleading with the technicians to still come out on Wednesday to turn things on.

Around 5pm the movers finished loading the truck and took off. That gave us about 45 minutes to do the last of the cleaning, get the cat to take the tranquilizers from the vet for the 5 hour car ride, do our final sweep, and turn in all keys to the leasing office.

My car ended up also holding the cleaning supplies (including mop and broom), Finn's crate, some artwork, and a garbage bag of random things we forgot about. It was a tight squeeze, but my car earned a name! The little orange car is now lovingly known as mighty mouse for the sheer amount of stuff we were able to fit in the back. I swear, a family of four could live in there if necessary. It also managed to still get 34 MPG on the highway even toting all that crap. I will forever be loyal to Toyota for that reason. This car is insane!

After five and a half hours on the road, me with no heat because SUPRISE! Mr. Clean magic erasers and bleach heat up and release bad fumes in a warm car, we arrived at my parent's house. It was seriously after midnight and we had to be across town at the new place by 8am. Not suprisingly, we grabbed dinner and crashed for the night.

The epic adventure isn't over yet! I'll post part 2 of the craziness soon.