Thursday, March 31, 2011

March Goals Update

I did NOT want to post an update to my March goals because I failed (most of) them miserably. Honestly, I almost didn't post, but I should hold myself accountable.
 
I'm not sure why, but March just felt like a bear of a month.. and it was LOOOOOONG... and I didn't print out my goals.... and I barely remembered that I made goals.
 
Anyways, enough about excuses, lets outline my failure.
 
1) Spend no more than 200 dollars per month on Entertainment (i.e. movies, alcohol and dinners out).
Okay, we actually did do this one.  We may have hit 199, but we did it!

2) Put an extra $250.00 towards my debt payment.
I put an extra 150 dollars towards my debt and I did put an extra 100 dollars in my savings account simply because mid month I decided that savings is better than paying off debt quicker.  I am proud of myself for this.. this is the first time I've put any money in savings recently. Ha.

3) Lose 4 pounds and continue to strength train (at least) 3x per week and to do cardio 3x per week.
Ha. no.  I have worked out RELIGIOUSLY since last June but it all went to hell in March.  I think I ran last Sunday. I think I'm down two pounds though. It changes every time I weigh myself. 

4) Use our envelope system for groceries and for household goods. No ifs, &, or buts.
No. I half assed it and kept receipts and logged most of our debit purchases (at the grocery store) to keep track of spending.  I did not get cash out at the beginning of the month and I started slacking and didn't write down the last two trips to the grocery store. 

5) Spend no more than $80 dollars on clothing, shoes, and accessories this month.
This is so sad, but I'm not even sure what the answer to this question is.  If I remember correctly I spent less than 50 on clothing, shoes, accessories this month but I'd be lying if I told you that I was positive about that figure.  I simply can't remember. Oops!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday

I don't have many outfits this week because I wasn't feeling creative and I reused most of the outfits I've worn before. I can't wait for spring-- I'm over my winter wardrobe!

THURSDAY- WORK

Yellow Sweater- AT Loft
Gray Pants- AT Loft
Scarf- Old Navy

FRIDAY- WORK


Blue Sweatshirt- Old Navy
Jeans- Gap

SATURDAY- DINNER OUT (I'll probably reuse this outfit again on Friday). See how nice it is when I don't have to take pictures at 6:50am?!? There's light!!


Striped Shirt- AT Loft
Jean Skirt- Old Navy
Necklace- NY & Co
Boots- Anthropologie

MONDAY- WORK
White Cardigan- AT Loft
Blue Tunic- NY & Co
Khakis- AT Loft
Red Shoes- Marshalls

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Go HINES!


I know I'm biased -- being a Steelers fan and all-- but Hines Ward is a MONEY dancer.

Not only is he an awesome dancer, but he's my favorite football player and we will be naming our first male dog after him. Without a doubt.

I'd wager a bet that he's in the top three of all of the dancers on Dancing with the Stars this season.

Are you watching? Who's your favorite?

Ten on Tuesday

Link up if you want to play! 10 on Tuesday

1. What is a food that you never thought you would try, but then tried and liked?
Feta cheese. I thought it was gross in high school. Now i'm obsessed.

2. Do you subscribe to any foodie publications? If so, which ones?
Rachael Ray's Magazine- Everyday with Rachael Ray.  It's not that awesome if I'm being honest.  I also get Martha Stewart's Everyday Living cooking magazine.  I like that one. 

3. What ingredient do you find yourself reaching for the most when you cook?
Garlic

4. Are there any foods that you hated as a child, but then learned to like as an adult?
Hmm-- Mayo.  I still don't love it and I'd never eat it on a sandwich, but I'll eat it in potato salad and other salads.  I would never eat sweet potatoes when I was a kid but now I like them too!

5. What do you like to eat that others may consider weird?
I don't like breakfast foods much so I eat pretzels and string cheese for breakfast.  I guess that that is pretty strange.

6. What is the weirdest ingredient you've ever cooked with?
Fish sauce. Sounds nasty doesn't it?

7. Do you have any major food allergies?
Thank the Lord, no.

8. Is there an ingredient that you would like to cook with, but are intimidated to try?
Ginger. I'm afraid to use fresh ginger for some reason. I've done it, but I can never get it right.

9. Do you bake?
I love baking but I try not to do it often.  If I baked as much as I wanted to my ass would be a foot wider than it is.

10. If you could go on any "foodie" show to compete, which one would it be, and why?
Let's be honest-- I am no professional but I think Top Chef could be fun!
 
 
 
 
 

 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Cat vs. Dog

I was never a cat person. I used to think that cats were spawns of satan (after an unfortunate event with our family cat 20 some odd years ago-- it involved puncture wounds and a cat that would not remove itself from my calf). 
 
I shocked myself when I walked into the SPCA almost 4 years ago for a dog and came home with 2 cats.  What can I say, kittens are pretty damn cute.  Mine were cuter than all the dogs in sight.
 
I love my cats.  I think that cats are totally trainable.  Most cats are trained to be asses because their owners don't pay much attention to them.  I made sure that I spent time holding and loving on them (so they like to be touched and held now) and touching their teeth and paws (so I can care for them easily without any problems whatsoever). 
 
Our new puppy has given me a whole new appreciation for my cats.
 
Holy crap cats are easy. 
 
Lets look at potty training-- CAT vs DOG
I took my palm sized kittens into the room where their litter box is the moment I took them out of their crate for the first time, showed them it and they have been potty trained ever since.
 
My dog loves to pee like fifty million times a day. She's a girl so when she sits it looks like she's peeing and when she's peeing it looks like she's sitting. It's pretty hard to monitor.
 
Now lets look at cuddling. It's hard to cuddle a wriggling, energetic, rapidly growing puppy. 
Cuddling with a cat is amazing.  They can curl up into balls and their purrs seriously warm your heart.  Did you know that research shows that cuddling with a kitty can save lives, turn around a bad day and lower blood pressure? It's true. 
 
Come to think of it, my cats don't cry when I leave the room and they've never eaten the leg off of my coffee table either.
 
Yes, I love my new puppy but cats have a bad rep.  I'd take 10 more cats over another puppy ANYDAY. 
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday

Here's what I wore this past week!

THURSDAY- St. Patrick's Day


Green Dress- AT Loft
Cardigan- Marshalls
Leggings- Target
Shoes- Lands End Canvas


FRIDAY- How bipolar is the weather in Maryland?


Black Artist Dress- Target
Cardigan- Target
Shoes- Target


TUESDAY- We hit 70 degrees.


Blue Utility Dress- Target
Gray Boots- Old Navy


WEDNESDAY- Freezing again!


Purple Caridgan- AT Loft
White Blouse- Macys
Silver/Gray Pants- AT Loft
Shoes- Lands End Canvas

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. What condiments are always, always in your fridge?

Ketchup, soy sauce, sesame oil, sriracha chili sauce, deli mustard, dijon mustard, hot sauce

2. How do you like your steak cooked? Your burgers?

I like my steak medium and my burgers well done.

3. What’s your favorite use for fresh tomatoes?

I don't like fresh tomatoes (only cooked). So sue me.

4. What’s your go-to dinner when you haven’t planned anything in advance and you don’t feel like going out?

Tacos, Grilled Chicken Salads, or Spaghetti

5. What’s your favorite snack food lately?

Pretzels and string cheese

6. What’s your favorite weekend breakfast to make at home?

I never make breakfast. I don't like any breakfast food enough to make it. I'll eat eggs, bacon, pancakes and waffles if you make them for me, but I don't like them enough to make them for myself.

7. What’s your favorite thing to grill? How do you do it?

Burgers. I love burgers.

8. What’s your favorite wine for under $10? If you’re not a wine person, what brand of beer is your favorite?

Most of the wines I drink are under 10 dollars. I really like cupcake sauvingnon blanc. My favorite beer is Miller Lite or Bud Light Lime.

9. Give us your most delicious cocktail recipe.

White rum, mint, simple syrup, lime, fresh peach puree and soda water.

10. How do you like your eggs?

I could take or leave eggs. If I eat them they either have to be hardboiled or sauteed with a ton of veggies like onions, peppers, & mushrooms and they must be covered in cheese and salsa

Busy, Busy!

I'm still kicking, I've just been super busy at work.
 
March-April = hell time for a school psychologist.
 
In March, all the teachers realize that the school year is almost over and that they need to fix their problem children before sending them to the next grade. Like yesterday.
 
Today was fun, I tested a 10 year old that was decently intelligent.  I got to read questions I haven't read in years as I'm usually testing the 8 and under crowd.  It's the little things that keep me going at work.
 
Happy Spring ya'll! This weather is keeping me going.  Thank the lord for Vitamin D.
 
 

Monday, March 21, 2011

If you can, please help!

One of my friends asked me to pass along a link about her neighbors (who have turned into her friends). Both the husband and the wife were recently diagnosed with cancer within one, two week period in February 2011.

www.friendsofnathanandelisa.com

I don't usually ask you guys for help, but please visit their website and help in anyway that you can.

I can't even imagine what life must be like for them and their small daughter.

This is their story:

Elisa and Nathan Bond, two artists both full of charm, humor, talent, zeal, love for each other and their families, are a couple one feels lucky to have in their life. Together for more than six years, Elisa (36) and Nathan (38) currently reside in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn with their 18 month old daughter, Sadie, and their dog Griffin.

Sadly, both were diagnosed with aggressive cancer within just days of each other. Elisa is combating stage 4 metastic breast cancer and Nathan is fighting stage 3 rectal cancer. This young couple - so young and energetic, committed and passionate, dedicated to family and community - has given so much to so many in such a short time. And now, as they face their biggest challenge in life, they need your help and support.


The road ahead for both Elisa and Nathan is long, difficult and complicated. Between a year of multiple rounds of chemotherapy for Elisa, and months of chemotherapy and radiation followed by surgery for Nathan, all while caring for their young daughter, their fight is going to take energy, commitment and a tremendous amount of support.


Please join us, Elisa and Nathan's family and friends, and friend of friends, in supporting their journey in the coming months.


From Goodreads.com: When teenager Allison Glenn is sent to prison for a heinous crime, she leaves behind her reputation as Linden Falls' golden girl forever. Her parents deny the existence of their once-perfect child. Her former friends exult her downfall. Her sister, Brynn, faces whispered rumors every day in the hallways of their small Iowa high school. It's Brynn—shy, quiet Brynn—who carries the burden of what really happened that night. All she wants is to forget Allison and the past that haunts her.

But then Allison is released to a halfway house, and is more determined than ever to speak with her estranged sister.

Now their legacy of secrets is focused on one little boy. And if the truth is revealed, the consequences will be unimaginable for the adoptive mother who loves him, the girl who tried to protect him and the two sisters who hold the key to all that is hidden.

This book was interesting. I do recommend it, but I think that the plot was a little far-fetched. I don't want to say too much in fear of giving too much away. If you've read this, comment and let me know what you thought of the ending.

I was NOT expecting it, but it didn't seem all that realistic either.

Share your thoughts!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday

What I Wore Wednesday no shoes edition! My shoes are almost all in a storage ottoman by the front door and my mirror is upstairs. Talk about lazy right? I do have an excuse though-- The dog hates it when I'm out of her sight line so it's easier to appease her.

I bought two striped tshirts at old navy this week (for five dollars!!!!!) and you'll see that I wore the heck out of them. Talk about repeat outfits this week. =)

Thursday- WORK, WORK, WORK



Houndstooth Cardigan- Target
Black Dress- Macys
Necklace- AT Loft
Leggings- Target
Red Flats- Marshalls


FRIDAY- WORK, WORK, WORK. Someone told me that the yellow necklace didn't go and they thought that I should have worn my purple one. Whatever, I think that it rocked together.

Purple Striped Tee- Old Navy
Purple Cardigan- Lands End Canvas
Jeans- Gap
Necklace- Handmade


SATURDAY- Wine and Food pairings class & lunch out with Brook and Laurie.


Sorry about the dirty mirror. Yuck.
Gray Cardigan- Target
Striped Tee- Old Navy
Jeans-Gap
Necklace- Handmade


SUNDAY- Chinese food & puppy play date with Noelle, Alli & Kristin.
Yellow Striped Tee- Old Navy
Gray Cardigan- Target
Jeans- Gap
Necklace- Handmade
Floral Shoes- Target



MONDAY- WORK, WORK, WORK

Pink Cardigan- Lands End Canvas
Floral Shirt- AT Loft
Tank- Target
Gray Pants- Target


TUESDAY- WORK, WORK, WORK. I wouldn't normally wear jeans on a Tuesday but my Tues/Fri school told me that jeans were appropriate during MSA.


White Ruffled Cardigan- Old Navy
Pink Polka Dot Top- Old Navy
Jeans- Gap


WEDNESDAY- WORK, WORK, WORK. Sorry about the lighting. It was super dark this morning.
Turquoise Cardigan- Gap
Gray Dress Slacks- Gap
Black Ruffled Tank- Old Navy


If you want to see hundreds of other girls and the clothes they wore this week, check out our What I Wore Wednesday host, The Pleated Poppy

Bachelor Finale

Inquiring minds want to know (seriously) about my thoughts on the bachelor finale.

Well, I thought that it was VERY romantic. 

I've loved Emily from the start.  What I wouldn't give to be as pretty as she is? The girl is gorgeous.

I know that reality Steve promised that Brad picked Chantal at first, but lets be honest. What guy wouldn't pick Emily? Plus, Brad would look like a pretty big d-bag if he didn't pick the girl with the deceased fiance and child (and just strung her along for 12 episodes). 

I think it was pretty obvious from the start of the finale episode that Chantal was out the door. There was a connection in previous episodes, but Brad was ALL ABOUT Emily in the last one.

Do I think Chantal is fun? Sure.  But I also think that she is desperate.  I don't think Chantal & Brad would have worked out.  Yes, I know she said that she was in love with him -- many, many times-- even the first week in fact-- but I don't think it was love. I think it was desperation.

Rumor has it that Chantal was only divorced for TWO months before she fell in "love" with Brad.  The season stopped taping 6 weeks ago and she's already in love with a new man and announced it on the After the Final Rose show.  I think someone is in love with the idea of being love.  No one falls in love three times, with three different men in a manner of 4 months.  Sorry. You may think she's cool. I think she's desperate.




Now, on to the proposal.  So romantic.  Reminded me of my own husband up there. =)

I truly hope they work out.  I want to believe that more than 3 out of 15 couples can make it simply because I love this show.

After watching the After the Final Rose show I'm skeptical.

I have a feeling that the sweet, innocent Emily that was portrayed on TV isn't nearly the same girl that she is with the cameras off and the doors closed.  No one can be that perfect in real life.  Plus, she's obviously feisty if she has already canceled and wedding and broken up with him once post taping.

Emily is upset about the relationships that Brad formed with the other ladies and expressed a lot of jealousy surrounding it.  I see her point. It has to be hard to see Brad with Chantal and Ashley.... HOWEVER.... she has seen the bachelor.  Anyone that has seen the bachelor should know to expect that the man is forced to date 25 other women.  That's just part of the process. I do think Emily is taking it a tad bit too far.  It's what you signed up for.

About the "Don't poke the bear comment."  What do you ladies think of that? Do you think that Brad is physically abusive or just yells a lot? I'm intrigued by the comment and would love to learn more about what that means.  I believe that Brad has problems.  He's cute. I'm sure girls have wanted to date/marry him in the past.  To be 38 without a single proposal or prior marriage is interesting to me.... it leads me to believe that he must be hard to live/deal/share a life with or that he has a big dark secret.

Only time will tell.


I for one and totally team Emily and Brad. I have my fingers crossed that they can stay together. Gosh, can you imagine what their babies will look like?


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

Here's another batch of questions from the lovely Chelsea of Roots and Rings!

1. What is your cleaning style like?
I try to clean a bit every single day and I often take a few hours every weekend to clean the hello-operator out of everything.  I can't stand a mess and I can't stand when things are out of place.

2. What is your favorite thing to add to an outfit to take it from casual to classy?
Heels

3. Do you like stormy weather?
I like a random stormy day-- but I prefer them once every two weeks.  Not every day.

4. What is your favorite cold treat on a hot day?
Ritas Italian Ice-- Green Apple

5. What is your favorite warm treat on a cold day?
Taco soup. I love taco soup or soup in general with hot sourdough bread.

6. Who is your favorite animated character?
When I was a kid I had a thing for Aladdin.
 
7. What do you keep your jewelry in?
One of those large hanging jewelry organizers.

8. Do any of the rooms in your house have a theme?
Our living room as a nautical, beach cottage-ish theme

9. Do you watch any interior design TV shows – if so, what is your favorite?
Daily. I'm obsessed with HGTV. I watch it every day Mon/Wed/Fri when I'm on the treadmill and every other day of the week while I'm cooking.
 
10. When was the last time you did something risk-taking?
When I started the couch to 5k program 7 weeks ago.  I couldn't run for 5 seconds and now i'm running for 25 minutes. Go me!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Tonights the Night

The suspense isn't really killing me (because I like to ruin things for myself) and I'm totally sad that another good season is ending...

BUT...


I have a feeling that this one is going to be super romantical.

What do you think?

OMG

Depression is getting in your car at 7:20 when it should really only be 6:20 am. 
 
Daylight savings fail.
 
Happiness is hearing a group of third graders outside my door saying,
"Hey, whats a phi-cawl-a-gist?" 
"I think it's pronounced sy-cool-a-hist"
 
Kids rule. 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Book 32


From GOOREADS.COM:
America's Cheapest Family shows readers how to save up to $3,000 annually on groceries with their proven strategies, tips, tools, and tricks. The average American family spends 10 to 15 percent of its take-home pay on groceries. Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half gives them a sure-fire opportunity to reduce that number forever. With the proven plan in this book, the average family can save more than $3,000 a year on its grocery bill. "Can cutting coupons do that?" a consumer might ask. Of course, these money-saving experts teach coupon-clipping strategies, but they don't stop there. Readers learn how to plan their shopping to save big bucks, effectively store food and save cash, identify products that save time and money, beat the grocer at pricing games, and more!The Economides learned to deliver healthy, tasty food to their family of seven on $350 a month. In this authoritative manual, the average family can follow their lead and fill its grocery cart without emptying its wallet.

This book was decently okay and it's worth checking out if you want to save some money on groceries. It had some good strategies, but nothing earth shattering. They tell you to cut coupons (I do), to meal plan (well duh) and what kind of kitchenware to buy. Between us, these people remind me of the Duggars (I wouldn't be surprised to find out that they are related to them in some way). If you're Duggar-esque, you'll love using all of their tips. If you're in the real world, not all of the tips relate to todays modern family.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Do you remember Polamalu?

{also known as Polly, Polly Lu, Polls, Poll ball etc.}


She's growing up too fast. We've had her for approximately 14 days now and I swear she's doubled in size.

We still don't know what she is. The vet has no clue either. She says that she's probably a bit shepherd, a bit lab, and she thinks that she has a bit of fox-jack russell-or rat terrier in her.

We still don't know how big she will get. The vet guesses between 45-55 pounds.

As of Tuesday she was 12 lbs-- she was 8-9 pounds when we brought her home.

We still don't know how old she is. The vet guesses that she's 11 weeks now.


Here's Polly Princess last week. So small. So sweet.


The little munchkin was barely taller than the warmer part of our stove.


And here's Polls now-- 7-10 days later.


She's a giant. She's also losing her cute little ears which makes me sad. I loved her ears. I hope that this is just a phase and that they will remained folded over but it's highly doubtful.



Adjustment wise, she's doing great. She's a quick learner and she does better and better every single day. We rarely have accidents (knock on wood) anymore and she's doing okay in her crate and when she's left during the day.

Sleeping in the crate at night is another story- she currently refuses to do so and prefers to be right between John and I in the king sized bed.

The cats are still weary, but they have FINALLY come within 10 feet of her and stare at her like she's some type of circus freak.

On Tuesday I cried with happiness because my normally cuddly kitty Sage finally forgave me and snuggled with me on the couch-- while Polly was in the room-- for like fifteen minutes. It was amazeballs (and the first time she's wanted to cuddle since we brought Polly home).

Stressing the cats out was the #1 reason why I didn't want a dog (the dog is totally 100% the hubs' idea) and I'm so thrilled that they seem to like me again after I ruined their world.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Wedding Redo

Was your dinner served buffet-style or sit down and why did you choose to do it that way?

We decided to go with passed hors doeuvres, a plated first course and then stations for the main course.



The hors doeuvres we chose were grilled baby lamb chops with chipotle aioli, mini kobe beef burgers with caramelized onions, corn and crab pudding, rosemary skewered scallops, and shrimp with marscarpone polenta and pancetta crust.

Our plated salad course included boston bibb lettuce salad with bulls blood microgreens, maytag blue cheese triangle, citrus and champagne dressing accompanied by shots of vidalia onion soup, consomme, and butternet squash soup.



Our stations served Maryland style crab cakes with different sauces such as mango chutney, fennel slaw, grain mustard sauce and roasted red pepper tapenade. Additionally, we had a carving station with carved beef strip loin with mushroom etoufee (SO GOOD). Our last station was a sweet pea and saffron risotto station (they made it right in front of you). Our side dishes were whipped sweet potatoes, griddled potato cakes, and grilled vegetables.



The food was TO DIE FOR. I would do anything to have that food again tonight (and every night).



Our wedding cake was a total cheat. We bought it at Costco and cut it in the back. It was vanilla cake with cheesecake frosting.



Did you hire a coordinator to work with you throughout the weekend?

We did hire a day of coordinator, simply to help us with the church portion of the ceremony. She really helped keep things organized and she helped to keep my mom sane on the day of the wedding. I didn't want/need a wedding coordinator to help with any more than the day of simply because I knew what I wanted and didn't need much help choosing ideas/designs/etc.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

How We Torture Public School Children in Maryland

We like to torture public school children in Maryland by administering the MSA every spring.

Reading was Tuesday/Wednesday of this week and Math is next week.



This video rules because it's shot in Baltimore Public Schools using a Pittsburgh Steelers Song. Smart teachers and smart students support the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Obvi.

It's hilarious. I want to work at this school.

What I Wore Wednesday

This is What I Wore Wednesday you're lucky I got dressed because I'm trying to raise a puppy edition.

{disclaimer: puppy is well behaved, but she's a puppy and it's an adjustment}

This is what I wore Wednesday you're lucky I'm dressed because of Polly..

-------also known as------

the why don't I clean my mirror

and-------

why is it still 3 degrees in Maryland edition


THURSDAY- WORK, WORK, WORK


Black Tank- Target
Black Pants- AT Loft
Sweater- Lands End Canvas
Shoes- Lands End Canvas
Necklace- Old Navy


FRIDAY- WORK, WORK, WORK-- REPEAT OUTFIT


Gray Sweater- Target
Purple Cords- Marshalls
White Tank- Target
Floral Shoes- Target
Belt- Anthropologie


SUNDAY- DINNER WITH FAMILY


Purple Shirt- Tommy Hilfiger
Jeans- Gap
Shoes- Can't remember!


MONDAY- WORK, WORK, WORK


Purple Dress- Target
Gray Sweater- Ann Taylor
Gray Boots- Old Navy


TUESDAY- WORK, WORK, WORK


Sweaterdress- Marshalls
Leggings- Lands End Canvas
Shoes- Lands End Canvas


WEDNESDAY- WORK, WORK, WORK (but at a satellite office where I don't see kids/teachers/parents.


Gray Sweatshirt- Old Navy
Green Tank- AT Loft
Jeans- Gap
Shoes- Somewhere downstairs.

If you want to see hundreds of other girls and the clothes they wore this week, check out our What I Wore Wednesday host, The Pleated Poppy

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

O'Snap

Yes, in case you were wondering...

O'Snap is very Irish.

Ten on Tuesday

It's time for Ten on Tuesday!

1. How did your parents decide on your name?
I'm pretty sure that my godmother chose my name.  My dad wanted me to be Allison or Rebecca and my mom didn't.  My aunt suggested Ashley Nicole and my parents went with it. 

2. Do your initials (First, Middle, Last) spell out anything fun/funny?
No-- but before I was married my initials were ANA.

3. Did you take your middle name from childhood or did you take your maiden name as your middle name? (If unmarried, what do you plan to do?)
I kept Nicole and ditched my maiden name for two reasons.  1. My maiden name and my current last name sounds like a gas station when you say them together.  2. I like the name Nicole so why not keep it?

4. Are you or will you name your children thematically (ie. same first letter, all of same origin…)
Not purposely.

5. Did you decide on baby names as a little girl? Did you stick to them or change your mind?
I did, but I don't still like them.  For the last 20 years my all time favorite name was Kayleigh.  I doubt I would ever use that in real life nowadays.

6. Does your family have any names that have been passed down through generations?
Nope.  We are originals.

7. Do you look at the meaning of the name or just the name itself?
I look at the name itself but I may briefly check the meaning.  I wouldn't name my kids anything that stands for idiot, hobag, jerk, etc.

8. Do you name pets with human names (Sally, Henry) or with pet names (Fluffy, Mr. Bo Bo)?
My cats are Sage and O'Snap.  I doubt anyone would name their kid O'Snap.  If you are an earthy crunchy hippy you may name your child Sage.  Our dog is Polly, short for Polamalu.
 
9. Are there any names that you have an affinity or dislike for based on a childhood experience/someone you once knew?
I really dislike Missy and Katie thanks to my childhood.

10. What are some of your favorite names? Why?
Well, my favorite girls names are: Reagan, Madelyn, Ella, Reese, Riley
My favorite boys nams are: Zachary, Brayden, Jacob
Don't steal them.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Book 31

{I started counting how many books I could/was reading in June 2010}



To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough...not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son's bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, ROOM is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another (from Goodreads.com)



I liked this book. It was entertaining but it wasn't an easy read for me. The entire book is written as though it is written by a five year old (purposely). Certain words don't make sense and grammar is out the window. I found myself stopping every page or so to ensure that I really understood what I was reading. The actual meat of the story was great. I only wish they had shared more about life outside of the room and Ma's recovery.

Did you read this one?

Friday, March 4, 2011

Adios February

Goodbye February. Here's what I was up to this month.....


On my nightstand: Room by Emma Donoghue. People are raving about this book. I'm almost done and I'll post what I thought soon.




Movie I've seen (in or out of the theater): The Lovely Bones. I read the book so I wanted to see the movie. The movie was decently entertaining but it sorta made me feel like I had just dropped acid or something.



TV show worth watching- After 15 (maybe 16) some odd seasons I'm still addicted to the Bachelor. I love it.




In my kitchen- I'm loving these oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookies. I brought them to girls night and everyone loved them.


In my ears: Country music! I get on kicks and I'm loving country music right now.


What I'm looking forwards to: Spring, BBQs and Tulips!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Wedding Redo Part 5

How did you decide who would make the wedding guest list cut?

Well, my parents paid for our wedding so they determined how many people we could invite. They set the cut off at 150 guests-- we invited about 170, because of the rule that 10-20% generally cannot attend. After that, we gave my family 1/3 of the invites (to include my side of family and my parent's friends) to my parents, 1/3 of the invites (including his side of the family and his parent's friends) to his parents, and the remaining we were allowed to use for our friends from high school, college, coworkers, present day etc. It worked out very well for us.

{of course we invited all of our friends that knew how to party}

What are some of your best money saving tips? What aspects of your wedding did you feel were worth splurging on and what areas did you feel were good areas to save money?

Well the most important focus for us was the party itself. We knew that we wanted a fully stocked open bar, great food, and great music.

Our DJ was our biggest splurge. In fact, it's crazy how big of a splurge he was but it was my mom's idea and her treat. That being said, he was incredible and probably the best wedding DJ I've ever seen. There was a DJ and an Emcee and he really worked the crowd and got everyone moving. Despite the splurge, it was totally worth it and they were my favorite vendor of the evening.

{Here's our awesome emcee, Ice}



To help save money we made our own invitations and save the dates out of a starter kit from Michaels. The invitations turned out beautifully and no one guessed that they cost about 45 dollars for all of them after 40% off coupons from Michaels.

We also saved money on our videographer. Even though we were married in Washington DC, Baltimore is only 45 minutes away so I visited this website: http://www.baltimorevideographers.com/ and requested vidography services. Tons of videographers responded to me and we found one guy that went ABOVE AND BEYOND for a fraction of the price of a professional videographer. He did all that in exchange for using us as one of his sample videos as he was trying to start his own company.

We also saved a lot of money on our floral bill. Because our church was so lovely we didn't get any flowers for the ceremony. We didn't think it was worth spending a lot of money on a space that would only be occupied for 30 minutes. For our centerpieces, we wanted a fall theme so my mother and I bought all of the centerpiece pumpkins for 50 cents each at an after Halloween sale in 2008 and we supplemented what the florist did with our own berries, twigs etc. to help fill our pumpkins for less cash. Lastly, we didn't use a traditional wedding florist and instead sought services from a garden center. Garden centers can do everything a wedding florist can do, and usually for a lot cheaper.

{Our wedding was not one of those awkward ones where no one dances}



How stressful was it to make the seating chart/plan?

Not stressful at all. I was worried about this because people are always complaining about this task, but it wasn't difficult for us at all. Basically, we tried to sit our friends with at least 2-3 other friends. Then, we told our parents that they had 4 tables each and to arrange them as they wish. It made it much easier because my parents know their siblings and friends best.

{All the single ladies}


What's your best tip for keeping balance in your life and staying calm during the process?

Just remember that a wedding is one day, but a marriage is a lifetime. I tried to stay as relaxed as possible through the process and I didn't subscribe to one idea too greatly/powerfully. In my ideal world, we picked the fall so that we could take pictures outside amidst the leaves and trees. Well, it poured on our wedding day and it was freakishly cold. It didn't bring me down at all. In fact, I barely noticed. I think it helped that I didn't get wrapped up in how things should be, because I always remembered that something wouldn't come out as expected/planned.

{Party, Party, Party}