Monday, December 31, 2007

Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.
Oprah Winfrey

Well, I can never say that 2007 wasn't an exciting year! In 2007, it was the first time that I...

...was the maid of honor in a wedding.

...received a gift from Tiffany & Co. Little blue box and all. on a horserace (and I won!).

...stood on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. my own office at work.

...played a full 18 holes of golf without cheating, taking a shortcut or picking up my ball.

...lived on my own without a roommate.

...visited NASA.

...became engaged! WOOHOO!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Grow old with me! The best is yet to be.
Robert Browning

I'm engaged! Nick proposed this evening at my 25th birthday party... how exciting! It was wonderful to be surrounded by my closest family and friends and then called my momma.

So happy. That's it. Just happy.
There are three hundred and sixty-four days when you might
get un-birthday presents ... and only one for birthday presents, you know.
Lewis Carroll


Friday, December 28, 2007

With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.
Eleanor Roosevelt

In the movie, The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio, Juliette Moore's character, Evelyn Ryan, said a line that I have always remebered since.

"I'm done with this day. I'm ready for a new one."

Well, yesterday was just one of those days. Not that anything tragic happened and in the overall grand scheme of things I was fine. But it was just one thing after another. It was just one of those days when all you want to do is get home to your PJ's and a bowl of Peppermint Stick ice cream.

The final straw was stepping in a pile of gooey gum with my pretty patent leather heels in the parking lot of Sam's Club.

I had a good cry on the way home from work but once I was back to my place in my comfy clothes playing with my iPod and new camera I had calmed down. And my iPod now plays the happy birthday song (only two more days!). How could that not make you smile?

After a good night's sleep, I am certainly ready for this new and lovely day.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Never too old to learn.
Latin Proverb

I'm officially old. No, really, it is true.

I received an iPod for Christmas which was a wonderful surprise! It was pretty, and black and very fun to play with it's touch screen and snazzy pictures. Can you tell how much I really know about it? I like it because it is pretty and lets me watch Sex and the City episodes off of YouTube.

So I went to Best Buy today to get some sort of adapter so I could listen to it in my car. I poked around at the selection and found a few that were wireless and then another that was an old school tape to insert with a cord.

I found one of the smart-techy guys in a blue shirt and asked him a few questions about it. Does this work with the iPod Touch? Would you buy this one versus this one? Is it worth it to spend more money?

He quickly answered by questions.

Yes. That one. Yes.

And moved on to the next customer leaving me there juggling a few akward boxes and still sort of confused. I turn to my left and this young kid (he was not a day over 14, so that is young in my world) looks at me and shakes his head. He pulls his ear phones, oh excuse me,"ear buds" out and says, "Ya want help?"

Um, yes please?

He turned around to the display, took what I have out of my hands, puts them all back on the shelf and then hands me two additional boxes. He pulls his iPod out of his pocket (oooo... he has the same one has me!) and says with one of the ear buds still contected to his head, "Get this and this. We have a bad ass iPod. Do it justice."

He said I needed to get the wireless car adapter that also has the charger (and he found me one that was opened and returned so it was discounted $30) because it doesn't distort the sound, charges when you don't have your computer and you don't have a bunch of wires everywhere.

He also handed me a clear protector case because of the sensitive touch screen and the shiny metal back that gets "scrapped up all to hell" if you don't cover it. And it has to be clear so you can show off your unscraped shiny metal back.

I nodded my head in agreement as he rattled through the features of each.

He pulled his hair out of his face, smiled, shoved his ear buds back in and shuffled off in his Rainbow flip flops leaving me standing there an official old woman with a Coach bag and a sweater tied around my shoulders.

Hey, at least this old lady has a bad ass iPod.
Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind.
Mary Ellen Chase

Here are some pictures from our lovely Christmas long weekend!

Nick's sister Leah came into town for Christmas and met us along with my old friend Britt for dinner on Sunday night.

My mom and I took Nick and Leah out to St. Armand's Circle in Sarasota for
lunch on Christmas Eve.

On pretty St. Armand's Circle.

Before church on Christmas Eve.

Before church with Nick and Leah

Our lovely Christmas tree.

Funny boxer shorts and hat from Nick's mom.

Bill in his new Navy hat.

Putting the angel on the tree.

Taking pictures by the water before Christmas dinner.

With Nick at Christmas dinner.

Pretty Christmas table.

Brendan's new PJ's courtsey of my mom!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Have yourself a merry little Christmas.
Judy Garland
I hope you all a wonderful Christmas! Here is my very favorite Christmas piece that my mother reads each year. Enjoy!

From the Editorial Page of The New York Sun, written by Francis P. Church, September 21, 1897.

Dear Editor--I am 8 years old."Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus."Papa says, 'If you see it in The Sun, it's so.'"Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?
Virginia O'Hanlon,115 West Ninety-fifth Street

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the scepticism of a sceptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no child-like faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Friday, December 21, 2007

When in doubt, wear red.
Bill Blass

I'm not much of a bright nail polish girl. French manicure, please. But the rush of Christmas came over me yesterday thanks to watching Clash of the Choirs, Sparkling Cinnamon Yankee Candles and gift wrap with Santas all over it. So I went with RED on my mani and pedi to put me in the festive holiday spirit.

If now is not the time to have red nails and toes then when is?!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck, it must be a duck.

My office, and it's parking lot, are located right next to a large lake. When I started working here I noticed there were a lot of ducks hanging out by the lakes edge. They were cute, they quacked and I always said hello to them on the way to my car. What can I say, I love animals, especially when they waddle.

As the months passed I noticed, as well as everyone else in my office, that the ducks were getting closer toward the building and now spending their days in the parking lot. At first, it was funny to watching the waddle through the parking lot. You know, maybe they were going to Publix to pick up a few things.

Well, now, not so cute. They are not just in the parking lot, they are on the sidewalks around the building. Not just four or five ducks - we're talking ten to fifteen ducks. All.the.time. People have to slow down and stop in while pulling in to let the ducks get out of the way. And not to hurt their feelings but they aren't even pretty ducks, like Mallards or something, they are those funky looking Muscogees.

The other day I caught a lady who works in my building red handed, feeding them. Now I'm all for taking care of animals, leaving food out for a stray cat or whatever. But there is just no need to feed a group of wild animals that have a perfectly good food source in the lake right next store. Especially now that they think any human has food and proceed to rush, more like quickly waddle, up to you every morning and every night.

So when you hesitate to walk to your car alone at night, feel lucky that you aren't going to be accosted by a gang of fast-waddling ducks.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

It's the most wonderful time of the year!
Andy Williams

When I walk into my office each morning I can smell fresh coffee brewing and the crisp, sweet aroma of the fresh Christmas tree in the lobby. Makes me smile every time.

I love, love, love Christmas. Not just the day but the whole season. From the day after Thanksgiving until we ring in the new year on December 31. With Christmas and my birthday in between it all!

All of my shopping is done and my stocking stuffers are ready to be wrapped up and stored away until one week from today (hooray!). I'm heading home to my mom on Saturday with howling Bella and lots of presents in tow. Nick and his sister, Leah, will be joining us on Sunday.

Even here in Florida it is supposed to be cool - highs in the 60's with lows in the 40's. Hey, that's cold for us! I am just taking it all in. Singing Christmas carols at the top of my lungs, dragging Bella away from the Poinsettias and enjoying my very favorite time of the year.

You know, it is wonderful.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Random: lacking any definite plan or order or purpose
  • Working, working, working. Hmmm, that about sums up the last week.
  • I finished my very last masters course on Sunday night with the mother of all literature reviews - just my capstone/thesis next semester and I'm done!
  • My mom is coming into to town on Saturday to attend my sorority alumnae Christmas Tea - I'm so excited to have her here!
  • I started wrapping a few of the Christmas presents I already purchased. Then Bella proceded to knaw off the cute red raffia on each one. "Merry Christmas. Here's some dried cat spit."
  • I received by Christmas bonus at - it very, very jolly and a much appreciated.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Well, when I get it the only thing that does any good is to jump in a cab and go to Tiffany's. Calms me down right away. The quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there.
Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly, Breakfast at Tiffany's

A crisp blue Tiffany's box with its soft white satin ribbon will make any girl swoon.

Imagine walking to the back of your office to see stacks and stacks are large robins egg colored boxes against the wall.

Holly Golightly would have been in heaven.

It is Christmas time at work and our entire order of client gifts has just arrived. It is a beautiful sight. Too bad none of the boxes are going home with me.

After a quick inspection of the gift by opening one of the boxes it was handed off to me to "retie" the bow. Yes, I may be the token craft coworker, but, hmmm... now just how does Tiffany do it so perfectly?

Well now I know.

Thanks to this web site I have a brand new talent to add to my craftiness hat:

Hold box so that Tiffany & Co. appears vertically.

Cover the logo with ribbon and hold in center with thumb. Leave approximately a box length of ribbon at bottom of box.

Wrap the top half or “working end” of the ribbon around the box to your thumb. Hold both ribbons with your thumb.

Fold back top of ribbon at a 45 degree angle and wrap around side and back to thumb.

Tuck working end under and around both ribbons.

Tighten ends and center on box.

Make a loop with working end.

Wrap short end around loop and push through opening to form the second loop of the bow.
Tighten and adjust bow. Clip ribbon ends at a diagonal. Ribbon should not extend beyond the edge of the box

I hope everyone in my family will enjoy their Tiffany bow-tied gifts!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Getting to know you, Getting to know all about you.
Oscar Hammerstein, The King and I

From Natalie... a little fun thing because I don't really have much else to write about!

I give you money and send you into the grocery store to pick up 5 items. You can only pick one thing from the following departments.. what is it?

1. Produce: Gala apples
2. Bakery: vanilla cupcakes
3. Meat: filet mignon
4. Frozen: Edy's Nestle Tollhouse Swirl ice cream
5. Dairy: blue cheese crumbles

Let's say we're heading out for a weekend getaway. You're only allowed to bring 3 articles of clothing with you. So, what's in your bag?

1. my dark denim jacket
2. my black American Apperal polo dress
3. my Vera backpack

If I was to listen in on your conversations throughout the day, what 5 phrases or words would I be most likely to hear?

1. "Good morning, this is Randall..." (at work)
2. "Good afternoon, this is Randall..." (at work)
3. "Hi darlin'!" (to Nick)
4. "BELLA! GET OFF THE COUNTER!" (at least twenty times a day)
5. "Get out of the left lane - you are going 30 miles an hour!" (to and from work)

So, what 3 things do you find yourself doing every single day, and if you didn't get to do, you probably wouldn't be in the best mood?

1. Warm shower in the morning
2. Read the paper, especially letters to the editor (online or hard copy)
3. Drive with my sunroof open

We're talking a 3 hour block with nobody around. What 5 activities might we find you doing?

1. Reading
2. Watching my Netflix discs- currently on "Rescue Me" season three
3. Recreational shopping
4. Scrapbook
5. Cook something - pancakes, soup, muffins, whatever

We are going to the zoo. But, it looks like it could start storming, so it'll have to be a quick visit. What 3 exhibits do we have to get to?

1. Dolphins (if they have them)
2. Apes
3. Children's petting zoo

You just scored tickets to the taping of any show that comes on t.v. of your choice. You can pick between 4, so what are you deciding between?

1. The Rachael Ray Show
2. Oprah
3. Finale show of Top Chef
4. Martha

You're hungry for ice cream. I'll give you a triple dipper ice cream cone. What 3 flavors can I pile on for ya?

1. Vanilla - the real kind with Vanilla bean
2. Edy's Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Swirl
3. Peanut butter cup

Somebody stole your purse/wallet…in order to get it back, you have to name 5 things you know are inside to claim it. So, what's in there?

1. Digital camera
2. Tide To Go pen
3. Vera Bradley Pink Pansy mini cosmetic case
4. my Palm
5. Lip gloss

You are at a job fair, and asked what areas you are interested in pursuing a career in. Let's pretend you have every talent and ability to be whatever you wanted, so what 4 careers would be fun for you?

1. Public Relations - well, I hope that's a talent, it is what I get paid for.
2. Homemaker
3. Chef
4. Philanthropist

If you could go back and talk to the old you, when you were in high school, and inform yourself of 4 things, what would you say?

1. You are in the best shape of your life (at least from your future 25 year old point of view) so enjoy and try better to keep it!
2. The uniforms in high school are a blessing - you'll wish you could wear one instead of trying to get ready for work each day.
3. The nasty girls in high school will just turn into the nasty girls in college and the nasty girls in your professional life. They'll always be nasty and you don't have to be around them or pretend to like them.
4. Spend more time with your father.

Monday, November 26, 2007

TURKEY, n. A large bird whose flesh when eaten on certain religious anniversaries has the peculiar property of attesting piety and gratitude. Incidentally, it is pretty good eating.
Ambrose Bierce

I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving. Mine was very nice and a wonderful break from work and general life stuff. I spent four days at my mom's house and Nick joined us for Thanksgiving.

It was also fun because I did the entire dinner by myself! Thankyouverymuch.

I didn't want to stuff the turkey and this was the first year we didn't. It was delicious. I followed Rachael Ray's recipe that was so easy. Salt, pepper, two springs of rosemary and a halved lemon in the cavity and then rubbed the outside with salt, pepper, olive oil and thyme.

The rest of the dinner included homemade sausage stuffing, sweet potatoes, peas with pearl onions in a cream sauce, French cut green beans with melted butter and slivered almonds, mashed potatoes, cranberry relish and rolls. Yum!

With my very own Turkey!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving, man! Not a good day to be my pants.
Kevin James

In this season of gratitude today I am grateful for this Thanksgiving eve and the fact that our office is closing at 3 p.m. Woot!

I'll then be on my way to my mom's house until Sunday with a howling cat in the backseat (she's not much of a traveller). It should be a nice day on Thursday, Nick will be coming up after work, and then lots 'o shopping/movies/lunches with mom this weekend.

I hope you all enjoy your Thanksgiving celebrations. And if I had dog I could put her in a festive sweater and take Thanksgiving themed pictures. But I have an eleven year old tabby cat so this is as good as it gets.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The best way to fill time is to waste it.
Marguerite Duras

Things I am doing today to completely avoid writing my public policy literature review (okay, not completely avoid... I have 7 out of 15 pages done):
  • Baked two dozen cranberry orange muffins
  • Washed and changed all the linens in the house
  • Plucked my eyebrows
  • Finally got the drawer underneath my oven unstuck
  • Have a pot of homemade stew simmering on the stove
  • Cut coupons

And... actually took the time to post this.

Oh, goodness I really need to focus!

Friday, November 16, 2007

A baby is God's opinion that the world should go on.
Carl Sandburg

Congrats to Kelly, Jerry and Toby on the newest addition to their family - Allison Grace!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

You can't help that. We're all mad here.
The Cheshire Cat, Alice in Wonderland

We always joke that my cat Bella has baggage. I adopted her from The Humane Society about 2 and a half years ago. She had been there for three years. So living in a cage for that long period of time would give anyone issues. She isn't mean or anything just quirky. And kind of weird.

Last night I was trying to find her - she will sometimes wedge herself in between towels in the linen closet or behind the shower curtain in the guest bathroom and I will inadvertently lock her in somewhere. So I'm calling and calling... then I found her new spot.

Okay, find Bella:

Try cooking dinner and having this looking down on you:

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Let us found a society that shall be kind alike to all and think more of a girl's inner self and character than of her personal appearance.
Sarah Ida Shaw, Founder of Tri Delta

My sorority, Delta Delta Delta, was founded on Thanksgiving Eve in 1888 so each year as alumnae we celebrate Founder's Day in November. Really, it's an excuse to have lunch at a country club, sing some songs and have a raffle for cute gift baskets. Our keynote speaker was Dr. Fay Biles who is truly a woman of inspiration. She was the Vice President at Kent State in 1970 after the shootings, the first woman university VP ever, and turned around the fundraising and development support of the struggling university. Great educator, speaker and advocate. I am so lucky to call her my "sister" and know her personally. She is fabulous and is known to wear pansies (our flower) from head to toe just so everyone who would notice knows she is a Tri Delta!

Founder's Day is always a lovely afternoon and something I look forward to each year.

With my friend Jena, fellow alum and also from my collegiate chapter

With Dr. Fay Biles

Monday, November 12, 2007

Every time we love, every time we give, it's Christmas.
Dale Evans

I'm jumping in on the Holiday Shopping Carnival!

For Christmas gift shopping (and receiving for that matter) I'm a sucker for anything personalized. I think it adds that little extra something to any gift.

My top five gifts to give this year are special because they are the things that you may see in a store or catalog and love, but never actually buy for yourself (and I love any stationary). That's what makes them special for Christmas!

1. Swoozie's Personalized Notecards
High quality and with great style - use them all the time and give as gifts with plenty of compliments.

2. Cooper's Classic Monagrammed Kitchen Towels
Can't beat handmade items - this specific item shown has sold but you can contact Natalie if you'd like to purchase.

3. Design-Her Gals Personlized Stationary
I gave this to my roommate for graduation and they turned out beautifully - a little pricey but so cute.

4. Pic Pads
Never personally ordered but they combine my two favorites - photos and stationary - they're on my list as a gift for someone this year.

5. Clay Design Personalized Grill Platter
I gave Nick this for Christmas last year and it was a hit! Very sturdy and useful, he uses it all the time.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone.
G.B. Stern

Today I'm grateful for:
  • Watching Nigella Lawson on TV making potato pancakes.
  • Buying Tide on sale with a coupon.
  • A fresh new bottle of Ralph Lauren Romance on my dresser.
  • Opening all the doors and windows to let to cool Florida November air flow through my home.
  • Bright orange and yellow mums in a clay pot in my front step.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Golf is a game that is played on a five-inch course -
the distance between your ears.
Bobby Jones

I just have to post something that about my sweetie Nick. A little, YIPEE, would be in order.

Last weekend Nick passed the final level of the Professional Golf Management program through the PGA of America. He is now a fullfledged member of the PGA! This has taken years to complete and I'm so proud of all the work, time and energy he has put into this certification. It is the highest level of education a golf professional can have. It opens a lot of doors in the job market and now he gets to use that snazzy crest on everything he owns!

So, HORRAY for my favorite golfer and new PGA Member!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Witch and ghost make merry on this last of dear October’s days.
Author Unknown

I know Halloween is over (so sad). The witches and pumpkins in my home have been traded for turkeys and a cornucopia. But it is coming into simply my favorite time of year. Thanksgiving, the whole Christmas season and then my birthday!

So farewell, Halloween, it was fun. Even though my super cute pumpkin only lasted two days before rotting through in the Florida heat. Ew.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.
Omar Khayyam

I don't know where I first heard this quote but I always repeat it to myself to remind me that it is the little things, the everyday things that make my life. The smell of fresh laundry warm out of the dryer, the way Nick's face turns red when he laughs and how my hair right now just never, ever looks like it did this morning.

Each and every moment. It's my life... and that is pretty neat.

I've had my blog on Xanga since April 2005 and thought it was time to change it up a bit.

So welcome to my cozy new home.

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