Monday, July 30, 2012

Mingle Monday

It's another Mingle Monday over at Life of Meg

Mingle 240

Her question this week - what's your favorite Olympic event?

This is pretty fitting since I watched about 12 hours of DVR'd Olympics yesterday.  I was TOTALLY taken by the US Archery team who, after ousting the defending Gold Medalists (South Korea), were CENTIMETERS from an Olympic gold.  Here's to the team that got the first US medal of the Olympics!

I think my favorite event, one of the only ones I watch from the start of the Olympics to the Gold, is beach volleyball.  I love Misty May and Kerri Walsh (yes, I know they each have another last name).  They are amazing... they are a great team... and the genuinely look excited to be there, which I love even more because of the fact that they have NEVER lost an Olympic set and they are STILL excited!

I know they weren't supposed to be there together this year, but I am so excited to see them out on the sand, one last time!!

I'm not completely caught up with all of my DVR'd stuff, but hopefully I can get caught up soon so I'll be on the same page as everyone else  :)

Happy Monday!!!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Anniversary Trip Recap: Part 2

We got up on Saturday morning to a special delivery outside our door...

What a great service the hotel provides!!!  It makes sense to me... it's cheaper to brew coffee in bulk, it's easier than having to re-stock a mini coffee pot station that they also have to make sure is functioning!  It takes a little extra "man power", but what a great personal touch!

I really wished I could take this with me
So, after a quick breakfast, we hopped on the Red Line and headed up to Wrigley!  I was so excited about my first Cubs game, and we met J's old boss and he gave us the grand tour of Wrigleyville (he grew up not too far from there).  We bought some water, peanuts and a scorecard before heading in to the game, and we sat down just in time for the Cubs to take the field!

The famous marquee

Our seats - they were awesome!

Jay Cutler (Bears QB) - 7th Inning Stretch
Singing Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Cubs Win, Cubs Win

The "real" W flag - during a downpour

My completed scorecard

After the game, we made our way to Gino's East for some pizza and my cousin met us there.  We ate, and made plans for later with her and with one of my friends who lives in Chicago.  We spent the night hanging out on my friend's roof top patio, drinking beer and chatting.  It was a great night!

We slept in on Sunday and got packed up.  We walked down to the Millennial Park area and grabbed some breakfast and then got back on the South Shore Line to go home.

It was a really great weekend, and a great anniversary celebration!!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

An Award??? For Me?!?!? "I'd like to thank"...

I'll be honest... I had never heard of a Liebster Award until the mention of one showed up in my blog's comments.  When I went to the link, I felt a little choked up by the fact that someone like my blog!  Kim @ Kimberley's Quest... YOU MADE MY DAY!!!

OK, so a Liebster Award is for upcoming blogger who has less than 200 followers, and there are a few rules attached:

1. Each person must post eleven things about themselves
2. You must answer the questions the tagger sets for you plus create eleven questions for the people you've tagged to answer.
3. Choose eleven upcoming bloggers and link them in your post.
4. Go to their blog and let them know you've nominated them! 
5. No tag backs! 

Well... here goes nothing!!!

11 Things About ME

1.  I'm an only kid, but I have a bunch of cousins that I grew up with.  I give them a lot of credit when someone says "Really?  You don't seem like an only child".

2.  I am very competitive, have high expectations, very little patience, and care much more about results than process.

3.  Since receiving my Kindle in May 2010, I have probably read at least 5x as many books as I did B.K. (Before Kindle).  Why, you ask??  Because when I read a regular book, the second page distracts me... I either start to read ahead or look back, thinking I missed something.  Yep, I'm serious.

4.  I was born in Indiana, I went to grad school in Indiana and I live in Indiana now, but I consider myself a Texan - 15 of my 29 years were lived there, so I'm still 51.7% Texan.
5.  I bleed Burnt Orange!  Not literally, of course, but I love ALL THINGS Longhorn 

6.  I crossed 2 things off my bucket list this year... (1) Attend an Indiana basketball game at Assembly Hall and (2) Go to a Cub's game at Wrigley Field... both awesome!

7.  I'm a fan of ALL major sporting events.  I don't follow golf, but I always watch the Masters... I'll never understand the cult following of car racing, but I never miss the Indy 500, and I will record and watch as much of the Olympics as I can find on TV... only a few more days!!!

8.  I collect tea pots - this is part of the reason we used tea pots as our wedding centerpieces, although we just bought a bunch at Goodwill instead of using any from my collection.
9.  I have a burning desire to be in a musical - no matter how far off Broadway

10.  When things click, or rattle or continuously clang, it DRIVE ME UP THE WALL!!!  I have literally pulled my car over to stop two hangers from touching each other.  It's like it's all I can hear and it takes over my brain!

11.  I've developed a really great poker face that is displayed at work when things get stressful.  But when I'm at home I let go of my emotions, and sometimes I have no idea why I'm crying.

OK, so that was surprisingly hard... now on to Kim's questions...

If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Tough question to answer... I've read a lot of books lately that I really loved!  I would say that I'd have to choose one of the Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich

What is your favorite color?
Burnt orange - yep... I'm serious

Spring or Fall?
Fall, no doubt... I love the colors, the smells, and the relief from summer heat

Best Birthday memory
That's a tough one... I would definitely prefer a relaxed day with my family to a wild night of partying.  I have great memories of all of the Birthday's I have spent that way.

Would you rather bake cookies or cook steak?
Cook steak - there's too much accuracy required in baking, and remember that whole "no patience" thing?

What was the name of your first pet?
The first pet I remember having was my parents' cat Dinky.  He was around for 10 years before me, but lived to be 19 so he was around for a good part of my young life.

What is your favorite board game?
Hmmm... my family plays a lot of cards and dominoes, but not many board games.  I'd have to say Sorry! is one of my favorites from childhood.

What movie do you most relate to?
I have no idea - there are some movies that I will always watch when they're on TV, though... The Wedding Planner, Legally Blonde, American Treasure, and The Holiday, to name a few.

On vacation, do you go camping or stay in a hotel?
HOTEL - I've never been camping and don't have a desire to because I hate bugs... specifically the biting ones!!!

What's your favorite burger topping?
Sauteed mushrooms!!

One word to describe my day...

And now - let's honor the ladies whose blogs I love reading... 
CONFESSION - I don't have 11... most of the bloggers I read have too many followers, BUT this has motivated me to get out there more.

You are getting the cream of the crop with this list...

Shana @ Classic Whimsy
Laura @ Saying I Do
Stephanie @ Vintage Modern Wife
Amanda @ Two-nine-nine & Ever After
Amanda @ From Thee to We

A sidenote... if you don't have time or this doesn't fit your blog plan right now, no worries!  If it will take you a week to get around to fitting it in, that's fine!  I just wanted to recognize you and your blogs that I love reading!! 

Ladies - here are your questions to answer:

  1. Do you prefer painting or coloring?
  2. If you were choosing your last meal ever, what would be on the menu?
  3. What is your guilty pleasure TV show?
  4. If you could trade places with one reality TV star, who would it be?
  5. What would you do with ten million dollars?
  6. What is your biggest pet peeve?
  7. Favorite place on the planet?
  8. Favorite food that you never make for yourself?
  9. Cake or Pie?
  10. Sweet or Salty?
  11. What would your Super Power be?
Thanks again to Kim... it really does mean a lot to me!!!  Anniversary Trip Recap: Part 2 on Friday!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wedding Wednesday

The one thing that I wish I would have changed about our wedding day was the amount of time we spent having fun on the dance floor... it wasn't enough.  We felt like we had to go to every table and talk to every person, even though none of those interactions were very long or meaningful.

These aren't going to get you out of writing thank you notes, but it's a great way to show a little bit of gratitude to your guests on your wedding day!


You can check out all of my Wedding Wednesday pins on my Wedding Wednesday Pinterest Board!

Happy Hump Day!!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Anniversary Trip Recap: Part 1

After quite a Thursday night (I don't even want to get into the hotel issues we came across - I'll just get mad again) J and I made it up to the train in Michigan City and took the South Shore Line in to Chicago.  I love the South Shore - it makes travel to and from Chicago stress free, and you can drink on the trains - we didn't this time, but I have before  :)

We got there and checked in to our hotel.  We stayed at the ACME Boutique Hotel and it was AMAZING!  When we were booking the hotel, we looked at the reviews and literally the ONLY negative comments were about how small the rooms were and how there were no closets - HELLO, IT'S A BOUTIQUE HOTEL.  It was so modern, but still so comfortable, and I thought we had plenty of room!!

LOVE this bathroom!

This robe was awesome and I used it daily!

What a great night light!

Loved the cool stickers on the elevators
Once we got all settled in at the hotel, we went around the corner to one of my most favorite Chicago restaurants - Portillo's.  I have seriously NEVER had a better hot dog!  The fries and onion rings are both good, and it's so reasonably priced.  I was really hungry and forgot to take a picture of my hot dog before I basically inhaled it... but do have something to remember the meal by  :)

After lunch we stopped at Garret's popcorn and then walked down to the Navy Pier.  I'd never been there before, so I was excited to see everything!

We're almost there!
Coming from the west, we walked through a park (Navy Pier park?) and I loved the green, and the art there.  It was definitely not something I expected right there in the middle of the city!

We got to Navy Pier, and walked up and down so that we were able to see everything!

We also stopped in the building where the Chicago Children's museum is... which I actually knew better as a place that I saw on Four Weddings on TLC.

We got to the end of The Pier and had some amazing views to take in.

Sailing competition

We decided to take a water taxi back to Michigan Ave, so we hopped on and were treated to some more great views on our way back.

We went back to the hotel for a while and took a nap before we headed to Hub 51 for our dinner reservations.  My cousin later told me that Hub 51 is a place where people go to be seen... well, we didn't see anyone, but I did have an amazing arugula caesar with my Kung Fu Girl riesling.

It was a great Friday, and we had even more to look forward to on Saturday!!!

[to be continued...]

Monday, July 23, 2012

Bridal Shower Fun

It just occurred to me that I haven't done a recap from my cousin's bridal shower yet... OOPS!

Well, let's set the stage.  My mom called me on Friday and said that they didn't have power.  A wind storm had gone through and taken some trees down.  I didn't really ask many questions, and figured that they would have the power on by that night... WRONG!

We had to make a couple of stops before we got to my parents' house so it was night by the time we got there.  J missed the exit because the sign had been chopped in half by the wind, and the whole area, which consists of a fairly large shopping area, was COMPLETELY dark.  Uh oh...

We got to my parents' house around 11 pm and decided we would just go to bed and hope that the power came back on over night - well it didn't.  I woke up at 5:30 am on Saturday, really starting to worry about the fact that I didn't know if the hotel had power.  J got up and went to the only grocery store in the area that had power, got some breakfast food that didn't require cooking, and got one of the last bags of ice in the city.  He also stopped by the hotel and they did not have power.  They asked us to call at 7:00 am when the manager arrived, and he would have more information for us.

So, we called at 7 am and it was busy.  I called about 10 more times before I figured out that they are probably on an internet based phone, which means no power = no phone.  J, my dad and I hopped in the car and drove over.  I talked with the manager and he said they would make it work!  They could get us all of the major food, they were ordering coffee from a local coffee shop, and that he would find something that could replace the toast that they wouldn't be able to make.  He also said they would put candles on the table for extra light, and provide extra pitchers of ice water.

Luckily my cousin had power, so I went to her house to get ready.  My mom and aunt put the centerpieces together and we met at the hotel to decorate and get ready...

Centerpieces, courtesy of my mom and aunt

Centerpieces, courtesy of my mom and aunt

The towel cake that I made

I thought donuts were more appropriate for a brunch shower
The table cloths were wrinkled (no iron) and it was pretty dark in the room because we kept having to close the curtains further to keep the sun's heat out, but the food was great, and I'm so glad we were able to make it work!  We played Bridal Scatgories which was a free print out that I found here and Name that Spice, even though it wasn't a "kitchen" shower per say.  Then it was time for the bride to open her gifts!

My other creation - Pinterest inspired, of course  :)
A few quick shots before we were all covered with sweat all went back home, and the bridal shower was a success!!

The bride between the Maid of Honor and a high school friend

Mother of the Bride, Grandmother of the Bride & Bride

Future Mother in Law and Grandmother in Law

Cousins - the funny picture (always a must have)

The bride with her aunts

Hannah and me!
I can't wait for her wedding... it's going to be such a fun day!  Only a couple more weeks until her bachelorette party, sure to be a great time as well!!!