That's how I feel about going back home today. Sure I miss my bed but that's about all. The good news is only three more weeks until another break! I don't know what I'm going to do after the holidays are over and I have to work for months with no vacation in sight ... that makes me sad so let's change the subject. Today is the last day of NaBloPoMo and looking back over my posts this month I realize it's been a very busy month (thank goodness because otherwise all of this posting would have been a lot harder). We went to see NKOTB (best concert EVER),took a trip to Hilton Head, Savannah & Charleston, celebrated my birthday with the best cake ever, visited my great-grandmother Lulu, and conquered on Black Friday. There were some other things that happened that didn't make it to the blog but I'll save those for another day when I have nothing to write about :) I'll be back tomorrow but for now I must go get in the car for a nice long (7 hour) drive home. Boo. Thanks for sticking with me through NaBloPoMo, it's been a challenge but I'm glad I got in the habit of regular posting again.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
I spent the day yesterday helping my mom decorate her house for Christmas and it looks wonderful if I might say so myself. Now that everyone is in the spirit and starting to decorate I thought I would remind you of my Christmas lighting rules so you might avoid ending up on my blog (I'm thnking of doing a tour of offending homes this year). Originally posted on December 3, 2007:
The Christmas Lighting Rules (according to me)
We went to the local Christmas parade Saturday night (have I mentioned I LOVE parades?) with our neighbors. It was fun but the parade was kind of lame. Lots of children dressed up like candy canes and such. It seemed like anyone with a group of more than 10 kids and some antlers was granted a spot in the procession. On the way home we had an impromptu session of handing out Christmas light violations. (don't worry, we criticized from the comfort of the car so no one's feelings got hurt) I'm all about holiday cheer but I do believe that people need to think before throwing up the lights thus, I have decided to post:
The Christmas Lighting Rules (according to me)
1. Your plastic Santa does not belong thrown up into a tree, he is not a Keebler elf. (if I'm being honest, you might want to re-think the whole 20 year-old yellowed plastic Santa in the first place).
2. Before putting up the lights, make a plan. Throwing different colors haphazardly into the shrubs does not look cheerful, it looks tacky. As a general rule, you should not combine colored lights, white lights and blue lights - again, tacky.
3. If you use blinking lights, make sure the whole strand(s) blinks together. When the palm tree blinks, the house glitters and the shrubs are still, it makes me want to drive my car into the whole thing just to make it stop.
4. Try to limit your inflatables to 1 or 2. They're cute but have you ever driven by a yard filled with them and oohed & ahhed? Snoopy, Tigger and the carousel do not all belong within 5 feet of each other. Seriously.
5. Less is usually more. You are not Clark W. Griswald or the guy below. There are few people who pull this off well.
I promise I'm not a Grinch. I'm just trying to give a few tips because it seems like enthusiasm gets the best of people ...
Friday, November 28, 2008
I joined the ranks of crazy people who shop on Black Friday at 6 am. This morning my sisters and I got to Target at 5:45. There was already a line across the front of the building and after we got in line it seemed to double behind us. When the doors opened we split off into two directions, we got both items we set out for so the morning was a big success (although I almost died in the electronics department trying to see if Tiger Woods '09 for Wii was on sale - it wasn't). We were home by 7 and everyone went back to bed. Tomorrow is our real shopping day where we try to knock out as much as possible. Now I have a confession to make, I got a little caught up in the frenzy this morning. I had one item to buy but I left with four. There was a group of crazy people grabbing $3 dvds and not to be left out I had to buy this one and this one (apparently they are on sale on Amazon as well - and you don't have to get up at 4:30 for those). I also ended up with a $10 Shark hand vac ... I have no idea what came over me.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Tonight's post will be short and sweet because like everyone else in America, I am ready to go to sleep in a pecan-pie induced coma. However, I must also join the ranks of other bloggers today posting about how thankful I am. I have so many blessings in my life - my family, my friends, a job I like, a comfortable home, the list goes on and on. I often feel a little guilty for having so many great things going on in my life when there are people with very little but I know that guilt is not the right response. So instead, I will be grateful and try to be a good steward of what I have. That said, my sister has me talked into going to Target tomorrow at 6 am. Nothing like a day to reflect on all that we have in life to make the country put on their armour and join in on some combat shopping. We are thankful ... now let's go buy some more stuff! I just hope I make it out alive :)
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
So it's the day before Thanksgiving and tomorrow means we officially get to start watching Christmas movies without feeling silly. I LOVE this time of year! My favorite Christmas movie of all time is Elf - I can quote so many scenes it borders on obnoxious. Actually I can't wait until tomorrow, let's just get right to the good stuff. If this doesn't make you smile maybe you should go watch the Grinch :)
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I have realized this week that I am my own worst enemy. I came on vacation with all of these expectations of myself - exercise every day, projects to complete, things to cook, etc. I have been feeling a little under the weather for the last couple of days and instead of letting myself rest, I have been feeling disappointed in myself over what I'm not getting done. I know it sounds crazy but it's true. I am the epitome of the first-born Type A overachiever. (hey, it's not all bad) I came to the realization last night that I am really hard on myself and I need to give myself a break. So, while I have witty things to write and fun stories to share- tonight I want to go to bed and I am giving myself permission to do just that (yes, it's early I know). The only reason I am even posting this is because of NaBloPoMo ... I can't deal with another disappointment by missing a day - it might send me over the edge ;)
Monday, November 24, 2008
I was standing in line at the deli this afternoon and overheard this woman telling one of the employees about something she'd seen on the news - "And then she went to this disgusting place where they slaughter the turkeys and pardoned the turkey. Can you believe it? Right in front of one of the grinders ... it was sick. I guess people have to have their meat but I was grossed out."
After hearing her story, I figured she was a vegetarian and I can certainly respect that. But then the deli employee handed her a giant bag of sliced pastrami. Did she not get the memo that pastrami is cow ... and the way it got to her bag probably ain't pretty either. People are weird (myself included).
Sunday, November 23, 2008
We traveled to Alabama today to visit my great grandmother LuLu. She turned 102 earlier this month and she is amazing! She entertained us with stories and her sweet spirit and seriously cracked us up several times with how cute she was. She stopped every other person who walked by to introduce us. She would say, "These are my granddaughters, they are lovely, charming and educated." It was very sweet that she is so proud of her family. The part that really cracked us up was when she told a couple of ladies, "This is my family - they should be admired and respected by all." To which the lady responded "Well, she tells us what she really thinks doesn't she?"
We also drove through her hometown of Samson, Alabama on our way home and had talked about lots of happy memories. I took the photo above in Samson - it's one of many farming companies that LuLu's brother started and is still in the family (Brooks is also my middle name). It was a special day because we never know how many more days we'll have with LuLu but we all have so many fond memories of her. My cousin Katelyn's memories posted here are identical to my own! Now I am off to soak up more admiration and respect ... lol, I'm going to get a lot of mileage out of that one.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
We arrived at my parent's house last night and will be here for the next week. There is something in the water here that makes me incredibly relaxed and sleepy. I feel like I have lead in my body. All I want to do is eat and sleep when I am here ... it's a dangerous combo - if I don't watch it I might actually start to unwind a little bit. I am working on an exciting project this week though, I'll show you as soon as I'm finished! For now, I'm going to find something else to eat and curl up on the couch, and listen to my mom play the piano. Bliss!
Friday, November 21, 2008
Rachel Ray, Paula Dean and Nigella Lawson better watch out ... Uncommon Blonde is fierce in the kitchen. Well, not really but I am cooking a lot more and having a lot of fun with it. Pioneer Woman has a fabulous site with lots of recipes and ideas. If you have not been to the cooking section of her blog you are missing out. I think I like her because she's a photographer too so there are great pics everywhere. Delicious recipes and loads of pictures, it's a cooking dream! Many of the recipes have a little more butter than I would prefer but she's married to a real life cowboy so I guess she's allowed. I love how she posts step-by-step instructions with pictures - it's sooo helpful when you're doing something new and unsure what it's supposed to look like. Last night I found the link to these Chedder Biscuits that I can't wait to make. Yumm!
Other things I have made from her site are these steak sandwiches (guaranteed to make your husband love you forever except he probably won't liVe that long because his arteries will be clogged in no time). Chicken spaghetti is also one of my husband's very favorite casseroles (I use whole wheat pasta to make it a little healthier).
The other night I was watching Jon & Kate plus 8 and I was reminded of one of their favorite snacks - monkey munch. I made it last night and I forgot one minor detail, I do not have 8 kids to help me eat it. I can't stop eating it. Someone make me stop!
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
The little red light was blinking on my voicemail this afternoon. I started listening to the message and realized it was someone who obviously thought she was on hold and not recording. I almost hung up but it was like a train wreck and I could not stop listening. Just a few lines from this wacko message (I'm not kidding, this was real)
Caller (female): "I smell reefer ... is that you?"
Caller: Lots of jumbled yelling, then "don't make me get out of this m*f$%@ chair, how was your day?"
Small child in the background: "fine"
Someone else in the background: "What did you do today"
Caller: "Just sat around drinking beer, waiting for you to get home so you can go shopping"
Caller then started singing off-key about her new computer, lots of cussing and screaming while she says "I'm going to cuss you out, you $%#^# &^&%^ %&%$@!%&%@%^%#*!" (I think you just did but I could be wrong)
About 5 minutes into the recording I almost hung up thinking surely this person was not calling for me, maybe she thought she was holding for her drug dealer - but then she said my name a couple of times softly under her breath before letting off another rant to someone in the beackground. That freaks my freak. I might need to go into the witness protection program ...
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I am participating in the Squall Line today, basically a blog linky that gives me full permission to rant about something. Although I am going to say that my rants are never about someone that reads this blog, I still need to say it again - none of my rants refer to any of you. If you get offended by my pet peeves (apparently my post about cleavage hit a never with several people) I sincerely apologize and please feel comforted that I know I probably do plenty of things you would disapprove of as well. With all that said here we go ...
First of all, can anyone tell my why people walk into the grocery store and then just stop? They get through the process of getting a cart quickly, we're moving right along and then it's like they hit a wall. Whether they are looking around like they've never seen the inside of a store or they are digging out a list, it drives me crazy! Usually when I go in there I have my green bags and my list out before I walk in and I am ready to go, only to be blockaded by people who are clueless to the jam behind them. I am usually pretty patient but it seems like this has happened every time I go into a store lately. One of these days I'm just going to start running people over :) Remember - just walk
Monday, November 17, 2008
It's almost Christmas time, in my opinion, it's the most wonderful time of the year! Several posts I read today got me thinking about Christmas planning and shopping and I have an important question for you. What do you buy for those hard to shop for people on your list? Or better yet, what are some of your favorite gifts you've ever received? I always think a great gift is something from the heart and something that you would probably like to receive yourself. Don't get me wrong, there is so much more to this season than presents but the Type A in me is coming out this week and I am starting to make my lists. I'd love your gift ideas ...
Sunday, November 16, 2008
My FABULOUS friends Lindsay and Amy got this cake for me for my birthday. In case you don't fully appreciate all of this cake's glory at first glance, it is a perfect replica of a Louis Vuitton bag in Damier print. It almost broke my heart to cut it. until I tasted it. I can't even express in writing how much I love this cake. Laugh if you want, it's true.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
This week was incredible in so many ways. I have never had such a special birthday and I don't know if it can ever be topped. Today rounded our the celebration with more love from my amazing friends and a cake that you will not even believe (pictures to come tomorrow I hope, I'm waiting on someone to email them to me). Tonight was a girl's night at the theatre to see opening night of Barnum and it was a lot of fun. Here are a few picks that I snagged from my friend Matt who runs this site. Now I'm off to bed ...
Friday, November 14, 2008
Today I am going to share some fabulous giveaways I have found on the blogs because who doesn't like free stuff?!? I love freebies and I have been on a kick lately ordering every free sample I find online (whether I like the product or not). There are so many blogs about frugal finds that link to free chocolate, razors, food ... you name it! In 4-6 weeks I should have a mailbox full of random stuff. LOL
If you like giveaways, you should visit these blogs. You know I love you because if you enter, my odds of winning are a bit little lower. Good luck!
Sephora Gift Card from Betty Beguiles
Wii console and Wii Fit from La Petite Chic (I really want to win this!)
Free digital scrapbook from Simple Mom
If you have any other giveaways to share let me know! I'm a sucker for freebies!
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I know I said I was done blogging about Betty for awhile and I promise after today I am. As much as I have blogged about how crazy Betty can be, I must say I am most definitely my grandmother's daughter. Today we (Betty, me and my aunt) were in a fashion show together for a fundraising luncheon. It reminded me of one of the things I love most about my grandmother. She has always been such a glamorous and ladylike woman. She's the one who has influenced my love of etiquette and fine china. She was a huge reason I joined a sorority, and I find myself quoting her often. I love that she grew up in a time where they wore hats and gloves and dresses for the most mundane tasks.
When I was little I loved her fur coat. In fact, one year I asked her point blank if I could have it when she died (I think I was 4). That year I got a faux fur coat for Christmas and apparently I told her "You don't have to die now, I got my own."
A few of my favorite pictures, isn't she glam?
For all of you here in Sarasota, this was taken in front of the Lido Beach Casino (it's not even there anymore) I love this picture!
You know what? When I grow up I still want to be just like her ...
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I have been feeling the birthday love all day! All of my wonderful friends have been calling, emailing and sending me messages on Facebook today and I truly feel loved :) I got cupcakes delivered to my office this morning by this fabulous friend, followed by a delicious lunch out and presents! My husband got me a shootsac, which I am soooo excited about. Now I can shoot in style (I'll post pics as soon as I get the covers that my parents ordered for me). Now it's off to dinner with more great friends. It's been a great day in sooo many ways. Here are a few pics of birthday loot ...
This glam apron from TV Gold, I can't wait to cook in fashion!
Betty made me a gorgeous (and super soft) cashmere & wool throw. I love her!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I deleted my Twitter account today. I'm having anxiety about it already but here's why I did it. I was starting to feel overloaded by technology and if you look at how many accounts and profiles I have you'll understand - first it was MySpace, then Facebook, then blogging, Ning, Technorati, Twitter, a local site, LinkedIn ... when does it stop? I'm keeping all of the above except for the local site & Twitter. I got a request to join LinkedIn this weekend but seriously? The person who requested that I join emails and sees me on a regular basis so it's not like she's going to lose track of me if I'm not on there. It's too much to keep track of and because I stopped using some of these on a regular basis (like MySpace and Twitter) I forget what I have put out there in the first place. Maybe I'll regret it and add it back later but for now I feel better, I might even delete my MySpace but I'm taking baby steps for now. What are your feelings on the issue?
Monday, November 10, 2008
My last Betty story for awhile ...
On the drive back from Charleston last week we had a brief moment of tension in the car while trying to find our way back to Hilton Head. You know how it goes, one person with a GPS, one with a map and a whole bunch of confusion. After we figured it out and everyone was feeling better, Betty leaned over to me and said in a very loud whisper "She was about to explode" and she started clashing her fingers together to simulate the conflict. I just smiled and nodded, hoping that she would drop it before we had more tension erupt because everyone in the car could hear her.
After that moment passed, Betty started watching the gps and backseat driving. She also kept tapping L on the shoulder and asking loudly "Are you asleep?" To which L (who was asleep) patiently replied "no, just resting"
But she was really on fire on Friday night at dinner. There was a family with 5 well-behaved children at the table next to ours. Betty looked over and said in a loud whisper "They have 5 children ... if I were them I would find out what was causing that." I nearly went under the table. However, she did not take my cue and stop there, then she said "They don't all look alike, maybe a couple of them are adopted." Then to top it all off, she goes over to their table and picks up the baby and tells them how beautiful their children are. Oh Betty!
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Because I love you, I am sharing this clip from the Today Show's Halloween special. I saw it on The Soup and I almost died laughing. Poor kid, he's probably scarred for life. He's going to be known as Captain Underpants forever and ever ...
Saturday, November 8, 2008
We drove home today (tear). Actually it's nice to be home and have a day left to prepare for the week. The vacation was wonderful, very relaxing, and helped me get some much needed perspective. I have more Betty stories to share over the coming week (she was on fire when we went out last night) but I am tired from being in the car all day so for now, I'm going to just post a few photos. I have a GREAT blog photo of Betty but she informed me last night if I put it on the Internet, she would disown me and cut me out of her will. I'm not too worried about that since she tells me every other day that everything she has belongs to my mother and my aunt, and if they chose to share it that's up to them. So I guess I have nothing to lose right? Hmmm... I need to think carefully about this one.
Friday, November 7, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Today we took a day trip to Charleston, my favorite city of the south so far. Savannah was pretty and interesting, but Charleston was charming and absolutely dahling! I will post pictures and such at a later time because I know what you really want to know is "what did Betty do this time?" So many things to tell, where do I begin? When we arrived in Charleston, we decided to take a carriage tour (Betty gets tired easily so we try to take do things with minimal walking whenever possible). We got into a carriage that had several rows of benches, three of us on one row and my mom and Betty behind us. The guide informed us that two more ladies would be joining us and would be sharing the bench Betty was sitting on. "I hope they are small!" she exclaimed loudly. I cringed. Then the ladies came out and they were not exactly small. Betty did not hesitate to raise her eyebrows at me and give me a look. As they attempted to squeeze in, she kept saying "I can't get any closer to the edge, I'm sorry." That would have been fine except that there was in fact a little bit of room to move over and she said it so many times that it was obvious that she was making a big deal out of it. Regardless, it was to tight for them to fit and they opted for the next carriage - let's just say I was relieved that we would not have any stage whispers about big butts coming from Betty during the tour. Oh Betty!
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Yesterday we went to Savannah, Georgia and what a lovely city it is! I loved the beautiful squares surrounded by historical homes and trees. There is so much history in that city - it was fascinating! It was kind of rainy so we took a trolley tour so we could see it all and stay dry. During part of the tour I sat next to Crazy Betty and she did not disappoint. Every time the guide would point out a memorial or statue she would nudge me a say "You're going to need to get a picture of this one." To which I would reply "Do you want a picture of that?" (I personally don't want pictures of boring stuff with no people in them) Then she'd look at me funny and say "Well, no" I think it might have been that she didn't want to miss out when all of the other old people were falling out the windows to take a shot of the back of a bronze statue. Or maybe she wanted me to show them up with my big honkin camera ;)
The funniest part of the afternoon came when the tour guide made a joke about lawyers and then said "I'm sorry, are there any lawyers in this group?" I looked over and Betty raised her hand and gave me a little smirk! She was not a lawyer, she was a teacher! I think she has a major competitive streak - she wants everyone to know that she's seen it all. Every time I tell a story about my job she has to trump it with a story from her days as a teacher. According to her, she used digital cameras and the internet in her teaching days ... never mind the fact that she retired in 1990. Now I can add lawyer to her list of skills. Oh Betty!
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
We have arrived on Hilton Head Island! I spent the entire day in the car yesterday but it was worth it because this place is great. Sadly, Crazy Betty hasn't done anything crazy yet so I have no reports on that front but have no fear - the week has only just begun. We have banned political talk from today because our condo (me & my mom) are supporting one candidate and in their condo they support the other side. However, I did bring my t-shirt and that's not considered "talk" right? LOL
Yesterday we drove through many small towns in Georgia - Homerville, Hoboken, Quitman, all of which were very pretty but I did see something that I just had to take a picture of. Remember last year when I posted this picture? Well, the shop owner's brother must live in Georgia because we saw this gem of a store ...
And once again, we were shut down. The Bargain Depot was closed ... so sad. I was hoping to get Christmas presents for you all in there.
My mom will also be posting about our trip this week. This morning we're off to take a ferry ride to Defuskie Island ... oh, and by the way, go vote!
Monday, November 3, 2008
Last night was even more fun than I thought it would be! The NKOTB concert was great! They sang all of the old hits and you would not believe the crowd in that place. Thousands of women wearing themed outfits and singing their hearts out. I thought it was great that so many people could take a few hours out of being moms, wives, and just plain "grown ups" and act like crazy concert fans. My throat is sore this morning from singing and screaming so much. Judge me if you want to but I bet I had more fun than you did last night ;) Donnie was always my favorite and he looks very much the same except in Francesca's words "it looks like someone gave him a Bedazzler for Christmas." Every outfit he wore had some kind of bling on it, it was funny. Honestly, I would pay to go again tomorrow if they were having another show - it was that much fun. I know I will be singing Cover Girl, Tonight, and Step by Step all day today ...
By the way Nursehand, I was totally thinking of you the whole time!! We were original NKOTB fanatics together a long time ago :)
Groupies (notice Francesca and Daniela in their $40 t-shirts - it was robbery!)
The Right Stuff!
Sunday, November 2, 2008
So I had an interesting discussion with a friend the other night. She mentioned that instead of doing all of the usual gift exchanges with her friends this year, she might adopt a family in need instead, and give to them in honor of her friends or even do it with her friends. Being in the nonprofit world, I have a unique opportunity to see the need in my community firsthand and let me tell you, it makes me SO thankful for the blessings in my life. I organized a Halloween party for the children from our shelter on Friday at our administrative office and seeing the deep issues these children face has stayed with me all weekend. I am not posting about this to be a downer, just to give you something to think about. I know some people are facing job losses and other huge life changes due to the current economic situation but when you look around and realize that there are people with nothing at all, it makes my current worries seem a little more manageable. I am feeling very thankful this weekend and I want to do something this holiday season to make someone else's life a little bit brighter even if only for a moment.
Now onto silly things - I'm off to the NKOTB concert. I am way more excited than I should be about singing at the top of my lungs to bad pop music!
Saturday, November 1, 2008
NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) begins today and I'm going to try to do it again this year. Basically, it's a bunch of crazy people who vow to post every day during the month of November. I did it last year and I won't pretend it was easy but it was fun! It's a great way to get creative and to find other cool new blogs to read. You might consider giving it a try.
As for the fact that I have been MIA for another week, well let's just say that all of my posts would have said the same thing this week - "I'm busy, I'm stressed, I can't wait for vacation, feel sorry for me right now." That's why I just chose to sleep if I had even a moment to spare because hey, we're all busy and who wants to read blogs about that? So I am back, I had a presentation this morning for work and after that I was home free. I am on vacation for a week and I feel like a different person already. I can home, put on my ipod and literally danced like a fool all over my house. This week should provide plenty og blog material - the NKOTB concert, a trip to Hilton Head, Savannah and Charleston and of course, Crazy Betty! See you tomorrow