Friday, July 31, 2009

Always keep that happy attitude.
Pretend that you are holding a beautiful fragrant bouquet.

Earl Nightengale

Today I'm participating in Kelly's Korner with "Show Us Your Life." This week's topic is wedding party and flowers.

First the wedding party. With Nick living 2,000 miles away at the time leading up to our wedding, we knew we wanted to keep things as a simple as possible. So we each selected one wedding party member, a matron of honor (or my "best woman" as she preferred!) and a best man. This really did make things so much easier with attire, travel and other details.

My best woman, Casey, is my oldest friend. I was the maid of honor in her wedding. Casey's dress is from Aria. I selected the color and fabric and she picked out the style of dress. She is like this.big.around so she looks fabulous in anything! 

Fun fact: if you look in the album section of Aria's website featuring real brides who used Aria dresses we're on page 1, ninth row, first on the left.

With Casey during photos before the wedding at my childhood home

Nick's best man was his childhood friend, Chad, who came from Iowa with his wife to celebrate with us. All the men wore the exact same classic tuxedo from Men's Wearhouse. The only difference was Nick's boutonniere was a little different than the rest (and should have been wrapped in black, instead of cream as below. Oh well, it's the little things the bride notices!).

Me and Nick with Casey and Chad, our wedding party!

You can see the wedding flowers in the photos above and a close up of my bouquet below. I loved my flowers and my florist. It was so easy to express what I was going for and they really nailed the look I wanted. I love the textured look that the variety of flowers, colors and sizes created.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Iowa? I could have sworn this was heaven. 
John Kinsella, Field of Dreams

I'm so excited because after a half day of work tomorrow morning, Nick and I are headed to Iowa for a long weekend. We'll be staying with his parents, going to a close friend's wedding on Saturday and just enjoying our time. His parents live on acreage in a tiny town, not a farm, but just lots of land. I think I like it so much because it reminds me a bit of home in Florida.

I'm looking forward to meeting their new dog, Milo, and all of the cattle his mom is raising now. With both of us having Monday off from work it will be a lovely little getaway!

View from Nick's parent's back porch

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

You don't save a pitcher for tomorrow. Tomorrow it may rain.
Leo Durocher

Last night Nick and I headed to Busch Stadium to see the St. Louis Cardinals take on the Los Angeles Dodgers. The tickets were courtesy of my boss (again!) and were great seats in the third base field box.

There was about an hour rain delay (thank goodness our seats were under the upper deck) but they got started quickly and played a great game!  The Dodgers are great this year so it was a good match up. I've never heard a stadium erupt in "BOOOO" so loudly as when Manny Ramirez stepped up to bat. Goodness, they really don't like him!

Even with the rain it was a fun time!

View from our seats - rain, rain go away!

Wet, covered field

Hooray - get that thing off of there!

It was neat to watch them fold and roll it up - almost done!

The actor who will be playing Edna Turnblad in Hairspray at The Muny threw the first pitch - he skipped all around the field and was so funny!

Turned into a beautiful night for a game

On our way out, first base entrance of Busch Stadium

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

No two gardens are the same. No two days are the same in one garden.
Hugh Johnson

Time for a garden update!

When my mom was here in July we put together a hanging planter with two sweet potato vines and some less than prime petunias from my clay pots that I was going to replant.  Well, one vine died and the petunias went to flower-heaven so it was in much need of some new additions.

A local nursery had a 50% off all annuals sale so I picked up three daisy plants (I actually think they are a type of Zinnia). They are a little rough around the edges but for half price I can make it work!

I added two to the hanging planter:

I've also been on the hunt for a small table to put out on the back porch in between the rocking chairs. The table that matches the chairs from Lowe's was about $40 which is more than I wanted to spend. I looked everywhere, even Goodwill and garage sales, but couldn't find anything that would work.

This weekend I snagged the table below from Marshall's for $20. It was originally priced at $40 when I first spied it this summer.

Although it really doesn't match exactly I think it fits the style and look out there well! I potted another half price daisy to finish it off.

And lastly, along the side of our house near the driveway is just grass, some hostas and the garden hose. I noticed a stalk shoot up and then just the other day it bloomed into bright pink flowers. A gladiolus, I believe. Isn't she a lovely surprise?

Monday, July 27, 2009

At every party there are two kinds of people - those who want to go home and those who don't. The trouble is, they are usually married to each other.
Ann Landers

Yesterday afternoon Nick and I attended a pool party and BBQ for my office. It was held at one of the partner's homes in the Central West End which was beyond gorgeous. For you locals, it is right off of Lindell across the street from Forest Park. It was one of those houses. The home was built in the late 1800s, was three stories and so neat inside with all of the old light switches, built-ins and antique fixtures.

It really was a lovely time, the weather wasn't too hot so we were able to sit outside and enjoy each other's company. It was also nice to meet co-worker's families that I had seen pictures of and heard so much about.  A great way to end a busy weekend!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

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

Sunday gratitude:
  • Sausage, egg and cheese biscuits from this site.
  • a very productive 18-hour Saturday.
  • again proving the fact that the book is always better than the movie.
  • new bag of catnip for Bella.
  • audio books for a long drive.

Friday, July 24, 2009

A woman is never sexier than when she is comfortable in her clothes. 
Vera Wang
This week I'm participating in Kelly's Korner "Show Us Your Life" post. The theme today is your wedding dress.

I was recently married in November 2008. The original plan was to wear my grandmother's wedding dress circa 1934. It is gorgeous, classic and stunning. It was not only worn by my grandmother but also my aunt in the 1960s. 

With our seamstress, my grandmother's dress and an original photo from when by aunt wore it. We put in our best efforts to make it work!

But as the alterations progress, it was looking less and less likely that it was going to work. The lace was literally ripping with each touch. 

So after a minor panic attack that I now had no dress (less than 2 months before the wedding!) my mother and I headed for David's Bridal which worked out beautifully! I was able to find a wonderful dress that was just what I was looking for and in my budget. I walked out with the dress that day.

My veil was handmade by my mother.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ere fancy you consult, consult your purse.
Benjamin Franklin

My mother always called me the "bag lady" because I literally would haul around all of this stuff to and from home in Sarasota or back and forth to Nick's house. My general baggage included my Vera Bradley duffle (in Pink Pansy for Tri Delta, of course), various LL Bean totes and my big Coach work bag.

Thankfully now I do less schlepping but do still carry what Nick refers to as my "luggage." I just keep everything in my big Coach bag and then have a wristlet or smaller bag to use if I'm running around. I don't actually haul my big bag around all day, it's just with me. You never know when you might need something like a Tide-To-Go pen or a nail file. Right?

JGIWC gave us a peek inside her bag on Tuesday and I thought it was fun. It's true that you can tell a lot about a woman by what is in her handbag!

What's in yours?

She's looking a little worse for wear but considering
I haul her around everyday, not so bad!

It's amazing how much you can cram in there!

I have all the standard stuff from lipgloss to gum and then I have mail to go out, books and a magazine, coupon organizer, wallet, wrislet, business card holder, a small case with hair spray, asprin, etc. I always have my comfy shoes. Some women put on sneakers, I put on sandals so I don't have to walk around in work shoes at the grocery store or on my lunch.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My dad believed in two things: That Greeks should educate non Greeks about being Greek and every ailment from psoriasis to poison ivy can be cured with Windex.
Toula Portokalos, My Big Fat Greek Wedding

My mom and I laughed during My Big Fat Greek Wedding when Toula's father proclaimed that everything could be cured with Windex.

My father used to say the same thing about Pepto-Bismol. If you had a headache, your foot hurt, or you were just tired, "take a swig of Pepto." Didn't even matter if it wasn't your stomach that was upset, Pepto was what would help. And you know, it usually worked!

I've learned that Nick is the exact same way with aloe gel. No matter the ailment, "put some aloe on it Randall!" usually works.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Enjoy swimming for swimmings sake. We have to spend far too much time in the water to not enjoy the process challenging yourself of moving through the water. 
Jeff Rouse

This morning I was up at 4:30 a.m. for the first time other than having to catch an early flight!

I was excited because it was my first day of practice with the US Masters Swimming here in St. Louis! I swam on the varsity team all four years of high school but haven't been involved in the last eight years. I had been looking for a new way to get moving and my mother had the revelation to look up the local US Masters club.

Everything went really well this morning and all though I'm really out of shape it felt so good to swim again. The practice was structured and organized but no overwhelming. I was able to keep up and take a break when I needed it.

They work out Monday through Saturday with each day having a different theme (distance, sprints, a certain stroke or team building). My goal is to attend at least three days a week and then go from there. 

Hooray for swimming, once again!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful;
they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.
Luther Burbank

Hope you all had a nice weekend. I was so thankful for the beautiful weather, unlike the cloudy and drizzly we had last weekend. The warm sun allowed me three glorious hours at the pool catching up on my magazines and putting a big dent in Revolutionary Road (so good!).

Now that the summer is progessing, so are my plants. My once beautiful white petunias became legging and gross so I replaced them with cheerful orange Zinnias. They are on the back porch and match my rocking chair cushions perfectly!

On Saturday my landlord stopped by to ask if I would water a few of their large potted plants while they were out of town for the week (they live next door). I asked him to show me where the hose was and he said he'd just bring them over to me! So now I have three huge terracotta pots and a window box beautifully adorning the area below my back porch. It's like rent-a-plant! 

And, of course, hooray for Trader Joe's flowers. The bouquet special this week for only $4.99 included cherry daisies and sunflowers. A great way to brighten my kitchen!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

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

Sunday gratitude:
  • dinner with my husband at Citizen Kane's.
  • new high score on Bejeweled!
  • a break from the summer heat yesterday with a cool day in the 70s.
  • plans to go see Mary Poppins when my mom is town in August.
  • having that good-sore feeling from a challenging yoga.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Our whole life is solving puzzles.
Erno Rubik

I have a confession. Something has been occupying my time way too much.

Its name is Bejeweled.

Beware. It is dangerous.

What's worse is that you can now play it on Facebook and compare scores against other friends who are playing too. And when girls from my sorority are beating my score, well,

I recently surpassed a score of competitor and squealed with glee.

My only consolation is that it really works my brain, so while I may be sitting on the couch while Nick watches baseball I am increasing my brain function.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

No entertainment is so cheap as reading,
nor any pleasure so lasting.

Mary Wortley Montagu

Edit at 5:28 p.m.: For those of you who have read the book below you'll understand - I went out to clip my basil plant and propped right on top was a baby praying mantis. It made me smile.

First, I had a wonderful weekend with Melissa while she was in town. Unfortunately my camera didn't really cooperate, so I'll have to share some pictures when I get them from her.

With an enjoyable Sunday of reading by the pool I was able to finish The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb. As I noted in my previous post, I love this author and couldn't wait to read the book. Of course, it was great as I expected.

I loved how the author tied in a character, Dominick Birdsey, from one of his other books, I Know This Much is True. It was like getting a glimpse at how Dominick was doing today which was a neat tie-in. The writing is flawless and so engaging. I do have to say I found myself skimming over parts where family letters were incorporated. That one storyline of the book felt like a little much, as if I just wanted to get back to the present day story and not ready letters by his great-great grandmother from the 1800s.

Other than that, I'd highly recommend not only this book but the other two Wally Lamb books currently out. I was excited to learn a fourth fiction novel is expected to be released in the late fall. Hooray!

I've just started reading Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. I promised myself I'd read the book before I saw the movie adaptation. So far, so good.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

There is magic in long-distance friendships. They let you relate to other human beings in a way that goes beyond being physically together and is often more profound.
Diana Cortes

I'm so excited because tomorrow morning, my friend Melissa arrives from Florida! I've known Melissa since my sophomore year of college when she pledged Tri Delta. We weren't close until we lived just feet from each other for three years in Florida while I was in grad school and then working. During that time we became dear friends and I count her as one of loyalist and closest (there aren't many of those!).

I cannot wait to catch up on everything with her all weekend and of course show her St. Louis!

At my wedding, November 2008

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling.
Margaret Lee Runbeck

Things I am happy about today on a Tuesday:

  • warm Einstein Bagels in the office from one of our sales reps.
  • Melissa arrives in three days.
  • Nick took all the left over moving boxes and cardboard from the garage to the recycling center. FINALLY.
  • my mom booked her ticket for her August visit.
  • freshly highlighted hair - no more gray for now!
  • my coffee mug matches my outfit.
  • Bunco tomorrow night at Sarah's house.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The photograph itself doesn't interest me.
I want only to capture a minute part of reality.
Henri Cartier Bresson

On Thursday I joyfully left work early when our office closed at 2:30 p.m. Hooray! We headed to dinner with Fabulous in the STL and Mr. Fab. It was a lovely time and delicious! Of course, I had my camera in my bag but forget to get a picture of the four of us.

I did, however, get one of me and Nick before we left. We definitely have our share of arms-length self taken photos so it's nice to have a good picture of the two of us. I found the perfect height porch railing and balanced the camera with the timer on... voila!

The rest of the weekend was pretty low key but nice to have the time off. Hope you all had a happy long weekend and Fourth of July!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

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

Sunday gratitude:
  • homemade french fries.
  • when the police tell my neighbors to stop shotting off fireworks!
  • "rooing" Greyhounds.
  • the smell of sausage cooking.
  • watching The Break-Up on cable on a rainy morning.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Fireworks are an art form that uses the night sky as the canvas.
Larry Crump

As my grandfather used to say, "How's your ass for shootin' firecrackers?!"

Although it is pouring rain here this morning, I hope it clears up by this evening. Have a wonderful Fourth of July!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Summer afternoon, summer afternoon.
The two most beautiful words in the English language.
Henry James

I'm a fan of Thursday. They are like a regular weekday but feel a little more special because you know when Thursday is over, it is Friday!

Today, this Thursday, is way better than usual because it really is a Friday. Woohoo! Hooray for the upcoming three day weekend.

I don't have anything really exciting planned but summer fun just the same:
  • dinner tonight with Nick, Fabulous in the STL and Mr. Fab.
  • some pool time with my latest Wally Lamb book that I've nearly finished (really good, I'll post about it soon!).
  • joining the local greyhound rescue on Saturday for their monthly fundraiser (an excuse to snuggle with more greys!)
  • grilling out on Fourth of July and then walking to the neighborhood fireworks display (no fighting downtown St. Louis traffic for us!).
  • replanting some pots and my hanging basket (my white petunias are officially past their prime).
  • ...and get other random stuff done around the house because my dear friend Melissa arrives a week from tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I would be the most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.
Anna Quindlen

I've been putting off hanging things on the walls in our living room because I just couldn't find what I wanted.

Finally, I amassed a few pieces to combine with what I already had in boxes in the basement to create a nice little collection over a table on a living room wall. It may not be perfect but it kind of gets to the point where you just need to put something up! If we weren't renting, I really think I would have built bookshelves from floor to ceiling along this side wall.

This also doubles as our "entry" because it's the spot right near the front door.

Here's the blank wall over the console table in the living room.

And here's what I hung last night.
(Left to right) Magazine monogram idea borrowed from Kristal who borrowed it from This Young House; random brass thing that was my uncle's and a print I had in my Florida condo.

(Left to right) an old photo of my grandmother in a ballet tutu; a family pocket watch that my mother gave to my father on their wedding day and that I gave to Nick on ours; and another coordinating print I already had.

And in the middle is really the only big wedding photo I've hung (I have a few small ones here and there). I didn't want to do a big head on portrait because after seeing a friend's home that was literally "decorated in wedding photos" I promised myself I wouldn't do that! I like this more artistic shot.

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