30 December 2011

2011 blanks!

1.   new years is  totally overated, but a clean slate. a chance to do things over - or try again.

2.   one of my new year's resolutions will be  i don't do new year's resolutions. i do these things called 'balanced goals & objectives' that i'll post more on later.  but one of them is going to be to finish school with all a's & b's!

3.  a new year's resolution i've made in the past was to  work out. doesn't everyone do that? it lasted like two months.

4. the most time consuming resolution i ever made was  see above.

5.  this year i will be spending new year's eve  sipping champagne on my couch while watching the twilight zone marathon with philip. love it.

6.  if i could wish one thing for my new year it would be  to finally be done with school.

7.  2012 is going to be  there's no use in making predictions - the way i thought 2011 was going to go was the complete opposite of how it went. so i can't wait to see the surprises and start our new year adventure :)

21 December 2011

high high #12

what a day for christmas spirit.

it started out great, with secret santas at work - yay!  i got my whole staff custom mugs with the pictures on them, which everyone seemed to really enjoy.  we were really all in the holiday spirit, and to top it off - winter storm warning for denver!  we are getting dumped on right now and should see about 8-10 inches before it lets up tomorrow afternoon.  SO, unexpected snow day for me tomorrow, which means my christmas vacation starts half a day early - RIGHT NOW!  whooo!

but then the day took a turn for the worst...  when i hear customers of mine who have fallen on hard times, i want to help them.  and in my line of work, that's not always possible.  i have made a solemn vow (to myself) to never be the woman who cries at work, so i held it in all day long until philip picked me up.

we were on our way home when philip reminded me that mom was doing a gift exchange with a single mother of three who we 'adopted' in our community this year.  philip and i bought toys for the kids while mom bought clothes for the whole family.  she was meeting the woman for  coffee and to give her the gifts.  we thought it might lift my spirits to go - so we went.  and WOW.  what a wonderful reminder of how blessed i am.  the mother  cried when we gave her the gift cards for groceries, and of course the rest of us teared up too.  just to see how grateful someone really was for groceries really put my holiday stress in perspective.

and i realized that while i wasn't able to help people out the way i wanted to at work, i still did something good for a family in need.  and i didn't feel so helpless anymore.  and that, along with the awesome winter storm we are having, was my high high.

friends, let's all remember what this season is really about.  friends, family and sharing what we have.  i hope everyone who reads this is able to pay it forward and do something nice and unexpected for someone who needs it this holiday season.

here's a few pics of the snow - and due to this we are headed up to keystone early!  huzzah!  i'm not sure i'll be blogging while on vacation, so we'll see.

outside tree

running inside! 
and one last thing...

i want to say a very special merry christmas to my pop pop.  he loved this time of year more than anyone else i've ever met in my life.  for the longest time i really believed he was one of santa's elves - he always knew just what i wanted, even when i swore i'd never told anyone (but my letter to santa).  he would be the one up at 5am in line at any store possible to get exactly what his grandkids wanted.  he's been gone for 5 years now, but i still miss him like crazy at christmas.  there's a line from the christmas carol 'wintersong' that always makes me think of him...

and this is how i see you
in the snow on christmas morning
love & happiness surround you
i'll throw my arms up to the sky
and keep this moment by and by
oh i miss you so

what a time to be thankful.

merry christmas to all and to all a good night.


20 December 2011

high high #11

my gift wrapping.  LOVE the paper from ikea and my fancy gift tags.  it's a joy wrapping each gift and i can't wait til everyone sees what i've picked out!

19 December 2011

holiday update 2!

what a whirlwind weekend!  between buying and wrapping presents and planning (and having) our christmas party there has been zero time for blog updates!  but there’s always a bit of time to share photos ;)

after a week of running around like a crazy woman (well, moreso than usual at least), we had a wonderful christmas party saturday night!  the turnout was wonderful, the cocktails were perfect, the food wasn’t too bad (even my experimental spinach-artichoke dip was a hit!) and the company was perfect.  the highlight of the evening was a surprise guest – my brother AJ showed up, having just flown in from boston.  it was a great night with all the people i love around here :)

me & rach
my bestest girlfriends :)
SURPRISE! AJ showed up! 
my adorable husband, the bartender.

decorated tree - in the front yard :)

with the help of my awesome girlfriend W who showed up early, we got the house totally decked out.  we were even able to make sure of the christmas tree from hell, which now looks pretty cute.
so besides all the christmas trimming and shopping, i have spent a lot of time wasting my life away on pinterest (my sister bianca sent me an invite and i can’t stop pinning things!) and paperless post (thanks to the little things we do).  i am still trying to figure out exactly how pinterest works, so i don’t know if i can link to my boards or not but i’ll give it a shot here.  the best one are the baby shower ideas i have for my soon-to-be little niece!  i literally can’t wait until christmas when the cat’s out of the bag and i can blog 24/7 about how excited i am for baby to come :) anyone who knows me knows that i hate and am awful at keeping secrets!!! anyway, back to my holiday card.  last year i totally slacked and didn’t send out a holiday card.  when things started getting busy this year, i decided to do something easy and green by sending a fancy holiday card online.  sometimes online cards look really tacky – but i think the one philip picked out is super cute!  check it out:
the next few days are going to be just as busy – my mother-in-law and sister-in-law & her bf are coming in for christmas.  we are driving up to the mountains on thursday afternoon to spend the holiday snowed in, watching christmas movies and drinking.  now that’s what you call the perfect colorado christmas :)

13 December 2011

holiday update

hi friends!  sorry for the absence… i’ve been out of school (which is sooo wonderful) for nearly two weeks now, but things haven’t slowed down a bit.  i guess that’s just how it is this time of year.  there are just SO many things to update on!  where to start, where to start…

well, i finally have all our decorations up (pics coming soon, i promise!)!  our big annual christmas cocktail bash is saturday night, so we have been working hard all week on getting the house in tip-top shape for all our friends.  as i mentioned before we had to get a fake tree… but it’s actually looking quite lovely. philip was finally able to install this gorgeous exterior light fixture we bought months ago – and it has the perfect holiday look, right in front of the wreath with the snow on it!  i also have a gift-wrapping station set up in the sunroom (but it’s sooo cold since it’s right next to the windows), where we have all the gifts laid out (don’t look too close!).

i wish i could post pics of the upstairs bathroom and show off how it’s totally done.  but you know what?  still not done.  however we are VERY, VERY close… just had one mishap with a cracked pipe that needed replacing.  but since it’s an IKEA part, we had to get it specifically from IKEA, and then they shipped us the wrong one… it’s been a whole big mess.  so we have just one sink out of order.  the rest of the decorations should be done by this weekend, but here’s pretty much the finished product!
i also wish i could tell you the downstairs bathroom has been fixed and is also close to done… but also not the case.  our contractor will be out tomorrow night to check it out and hopefully we’ll start construction next week – there will be LOTS of pictures to come.
so, since we haven’t done much to the house you might ask… what have i been doing to not be updating you all? 

christmas shopping, mostly! i have most people done with a few exceptions… my mom is very hard to buy for this year (would it kill you to drop some hints once in a while, lady?!?).  last weekend we really kicked off the season right, since it was my first school-free weekend!  we treated ourselves to an awesome dinner at our new favorite place (we’ve been dying for a reason to go back after philip’s birthday), followed by the denver ballet’s performance of the nutcracker.  it’s our tradition; we go every year.  it’s so much fun.  sunday we got up for a lovely holiday brunch with the family to hear all about rich & beth’s honeymoon.  then philip and i headed off to one of my favorite stores and then the mall for christmas shopping.  it would be great if i were one of those people who could holiday-shop all year long, but it just doesn’t work like that for me.  besides, we kind of love going to the crowded mall.  they have carolers to make it so much merrier :)

also, i’m going to be an auntie again!!!  the cat isn’t out of the bag yet so that’s all i am going to say for now.  but i can’t even describe how blissfully happy i am… and there will be MUCH more on this to come!!!

i also attended christmas high tea at the brown palace yesterday – something that you usually have to book like a year in advance!  but my husband is amazing, and he called a few weeks ago to see if they had any cancellations, and secured a tea time (haha) for mom and i for yesterday.  it was so lovely – we sipped kir royales, had pots of tea and little sandwiches and cookies.  if you haven’t ever done this before, check it out!  it’s a fun, girlie thing to do with people you love during the holidays. of course it’s also fun during the year, too.

AND (there’s more!) my dad is here this week!  he doesn’t come to visit that often so i get totally stoked when i have the chance to show off our home and our neighborhood to him.  so all evenings this week have been spent hanging with my dad and getting ready for the party rather than blogging, i am [not really] sorry to say.  i hardly ever take pictures at the party – but this year i am determined to change that tradition!

how’s your holiday season going??


05 December 2011

i hate christmas trees.

well, i seem to have survived my first semester of school!  it wasn’t always easy and it wasn’t always fun, but i’m really glad to be back.  and i’m even more glad to have a nice loooong break ahead of me :)
so, i believe i would post some pictures of christmas decorations today, correct?  well, funny story. only at the time it REALLY WASN’T FUNNY…
sunday was my last day of school. we were supposed to get out early as soon as each group’s presentation was done – but that didn’t happen.  the computer system had a complete breakdown, so power point slideshows were out of the question.  luckily everyone in class had brought goodies for a pot luck, so we sat around, ate and talked.  not too bad.  but by the time we finally left it was after 4pm, which is the latest we had ever gotten out of class!  i was hoping to get home in the afternoon and have plenty of time to take my last final, an online exam for my macroeconomics class.  but by the time i got home, i didn’t have enough time for the exam and decorations. so naturally, we decided my exam would wait.
philip & i went out, grabbed dinner, went to the market (i hadn’t grocery shopped since way before thanksgiving – shhhhh!) and then went to pick out our tree.  the first lot didn’t have any good ones, but the second lot had a picture perfect tree. so we strapped her to the roof and drive her home!  philip got out the christmas boxes out of the basement, i put on the carpenter’s christmas portrait (we always listen to it as we decorate!) and we started decking the halls.  we saved the best – the tree – for last. 
well, as it turned out, our tree stand was broken.  of course it took as a good sap-and-profanity-filled half hour to figure this out.  determined to not let this ruin the evening, philip went out and bought another tree stand.  even though it was past my sunday-evening bedtime (8:30pm) we decided to definitely finish the tree before heading to bed.  the new stand was bigger and better (i.e. not broken) than the last, so as soon as we got the tree up we filled the bottom with water and started decorating.  i love taking out ornaments out of their boxes – we have so many cool ones i always forget about from year to year.  once the tree was decorated and the star was on top, we sat down to admire our handiwork. 
but the tree was leaning a bit.  so up we got, again, to adjust the tree.  loosen the screws one way, tighten the other way – philip managed the tree stand as i steadied the frozen trunk, then we switched.  when i knelt down to screw in the tree, i saw a huge puddle – the tree stand was leaking.  so here we were, with a fully decorated tree in its second tree stand of the night which was now leaking.  not cool.  we were a bit unhappy.  our best course of action, we decided, was to pull the tree OUT of the stand, lean it against the wall, and exchange the 2nd crappy tree stand of the night for a new one. 
well, as philip tried to get the stand out the tree tipped over – i had to jump off the couch to catch it.  a bunch of our ornaments fell, some broke.  so when we finally went to bed, around midnight, it was with a half-decorated tree leaning against the wall, pine needles everywhere. 
so, no pics of the tree today friends.  we are buying a fake tree and i will never deal with a real tree again.  but hey, it wouldn’t be the holidays without some tears of frustration and scarring.  the rest of the house looks pretty nice though, if i may say so. can’t wait for you to see it! :)

02 December 2011

holiday blanks!

i know i said i wouldn't blog til after finals, but how could i miss the first holiday fill in the blanks of the season???

1.   the holiday season is  absolutely the best.  philip and i have lists of the movies we are going to watch and all the events we check out.  it's the time of year that philip and i really started our relationship too so it is always a little nostalgic.  it's also a time to spend with family and friends and remember what's really important during all the gift-buying of the year.  plus i giggle like a little girl at all the awesome christmas decorations people have!

2.   snow makes me happy as long as i don't have to drive in it.  but when it's snowing, that 30 minute drive to work isn't my favorite.  but if i'm home, i love it.  snow is so peaceful.

3.  the best comfort food to eat when it's cold out is  i know it isn't food, but hot cocoa obvi.

4. winter is the best time for  cuddling inside with a fire and people you love.

5.  i can hardly wait for  THE CABIN!  this year we are spending christmas up in a cabin in keystone with my mom, my brother and some of philip's family.  we head up a few days before christmas to be snowed in for the holiday :)

6.  when it comes to holiday gifts i prefer to  give, for sure.  i love christmas present shopping or making.  watching someone's face light up when you really put time and effort into their present is the best.  hands down, best gift ever was last year - for christmas, philip & i collected my old home movies on decaying tapes and turned them into DVDs.  but philip edited them with music and effects, and they turned out amazing.  so amazing.   i only got to see my mom open hers - but we put it in a huge box, and then smaller boxes all the way to the unmarked DVD in it's case that said 'play me.'  so she put it on and we all watched it... best gift ever, i think :)

7.  if i were to rate my excitement about the holiday season on a scale from 1-10, i would say i am at about a  after my finals this weekend, i'll be a 9 or 10.  but right now i'm a 6.  just gotta get through school first... 

ok friends, wish me luck... see you late sunday or monday! 


29 November 2011

NY recap: high highs #5 - #10

ohh, that bittersweet feeling when vacation is over. 80% disappointment that it’s back to reality and 20% looking forward to sleeping in your own bed, using your own shower, cuddling with your kitties :)

i thought i'd share a few high highs of the trip - i'll try to do one a day because there is just no way that i could do one high high for the whole trip.  over a week of family time, city time, time with good friends, and of course some wonderful meals from my godmother and nanny.  

high high #5 - tuesday the 22nd 

seeing this guy.  

friends since praha, 2006

one of our best friends from prague and a groomsman in our wedding, mr. s.  it was so great to see him, catch up, and meet his lovely new girlfriend. plus we ate at an awesome restaurant, one mario batali's otto pizzeria!  side note - the food is super affordable, so if you're in the area check it out.  but a big play of comfort food (pasta) was just icing on the cake of the evening. 

high high #6 - thursday the 24th

me & em, the bride-to-be at our station and bar!

time with our favorite soon-to-be-married couple!  it's kind of a tradition in our family to head out for drinks after holiday meals - so we walked up to a local bar after thanksgiving dinner (and dessert).  we shared a few pitchers of winter seasonals with the bride and groom.  i felt SO blessed - it was just two days before their big day and we got to spend the entire evening with them.  i totally believe that these two are meant for each other.  they are just the complete embodiment of two genuinely good people meant to be together.  so over-the-moon happy for them! 

thanksgiving was all around a lovely day.  i really needed that family time, especially with some family members i hadn't seen in quite a while.  it was almost perfect.  and when your godmother, who is aa trained chef, is making thanksgiving dinner well then it's even better.

high highs #7 and #8 - saturday the 26th

me, aj and my two cousins who are like sisters to me

i really hate to say it because this defeats the purpose of high highs, but i have two!  the ceremony went off without a hitch and the cocktail hour was amazing.  when the reception began and the band started playing, it was the biggest party you've ever seen.  one of the first songs they played - just as most people were sitting down to eat - was 'that thing you do.'  yes, the 50s song from the tom hanks movie.  well i'm not proud to admit this, but my two cousins, my brother and i made up a dance to this song back in the day when the movie came out.  we would dance around in my godmother's apartment and may have even performed our routine for family (yes, we were super cool).  so when the song came in, immediately my brother, the my cousin the bride, my other cousin the maid of honor and i were out there dancing our dance like you've never seen.  it was a fantastic memory of my childhood i was able to relive and a reminder that no matter what happens, we will still have that special bond the four of us have always had.

my favorite couple ever!
but a very close second would have to be the last dance of the night - shout.  typical song played at all weddings, right?  well when the groom has a cowbell and is in the middle of the dance floor, it livens it up a bit.  especially after 'a little bit softer now,' when everyone is starting to stand back up and get a little louder, and the bride dances onto the floor with a tambourine.  EVERYONE was dancing and was pretty tipsy at this point - and it was just the most fun moment of the night.  a perfect example of how much fun these two are.  pretty hilarious :) 

high high #9 - sunday the 27th 

me & dad at the wedding :)
brunch with my dad, his wife and aj.  i miss my dad so much and it was great to spend some time with him.

high high #10 - monday the 28th

part of my home, my childhood - astoria park
catching the N train back to astoria after a lovely dinner with my incredible godmother and her equally amazing husband in the village at one of our favorite places.  i had my headphones on and was standing on the platform at union square when the train rushed by me, blowing my hat off my head and my hair back off my shoulders.  and in that moment i realized how much i miss the city.  

don't be fooled - the rest of the trip was just as much of a high as these moments.  but these were just the best of the best.  i can't wait to get back out there soon - so many exciting thigns are going on with my family that i want to be a part of!  

but in the meantime, i have a few more days of hell school until it's break.  just five more days... 

until after school!  i can't wait to post bathroom updates for the upstairs, bathroom design ideas for the downstairs, and HOLIDAY decorations! 

24 November 2011

what i'm thankful for

hi friends.  i've made it to new york and it's been a wonderful trip so far.  in the weeks leading up to this trip, i was a little worried... 10 days is a long time to be away from home when we have SO much to do.  but it's been great, because we have TIME.  time to see old friends, time to laugh, time to sit and talk with family, time to reminisce.

i have a lot of things to be thankful for thankful for this year.  i thought i'd share the 10 things i am most grateful for from last thanksgiving to this one.  i'll try to keep it semi-brief, because i have mashed potatoes with truffle oil waiting for me... that's right.

1.  that i'm surviving school.  i was so worried going into this semester that i wouldn't be able to handle it all.  but i've done decently well in school and have been able to have some remnants of a social life.  some remnants.  but i've also had time to volunteer and spend time on things that are important to me, which has been a real gift.  i will have to juggle more going in to 2012, so this was a good test of just how much i can handle.

2. it's been a good year for friends, both old and new.  i'm thankful that i've met so many new people through school, the campaign, blogging, and other avenues.  i'm also very thankful that i've been able to rekindle some long lost friendships that had fallen by the wayside throughout the last few years.  i love the people in my life and i'm happy to be adding new ones every day.

3.  i'm so, so, so very thankful for our home.  sure, the roof over our heads has been leaky at times (not literally) but when so many people have lost their homes in the last few years, we are lucky that we own such a beautiful house that we are able to make improvements to.  it's our home, and i can't wait to spend the holiday seasons there for years to come.

4.  it's been a rough year for my family.  but i am so thankful for my ever-changing family that is so wonderful in so many different ways.  we lost someone very special to all of us back in february and it's taken my family a while to re-adjust itself to what it means to exist without her.  but we've made some strides, and i hope that we are on our way to a new definition of family.  she was a great woman, a true matriarch that held us together.  we've fallen apart a little without you nanny, but we'll get it together.  we've had some great additions to our family this year - my new aunt beth, my first and most-loved nephew little man, and my cousin's soon-to-be-husband patrick (wedding is tomorrow!).  i'm thankful that i have such loving and supportive parents and in-laws.  i don't know what i'd do without this support system.

5. we have had a few ups and downs health-wise this year, but everyone in my family is strong and healthy.  i'm very, very thankful for that.

6.  i'm blogging while on vacation.  i'm thankful that i have a job that allows me to take this time off to spend with my family during the holidays and my cousin's wedding.  i'm thankful that i'm able to semi-relax on this vacation, too :)

7.  one miracle of this year is the celebration of love during the holidays we get to experience tomorrow.  i can't think of two people more in love than my cousin and her fiance and i just can't wait for the wedding tomorrow.  no black friday shopping for me, just manicures with the bride and my fellow bridesmaids before it's off to the rehearsal.  it's the perfect reminder of what this time of year should really be about - family and love.

8.  our kitties.  they just make me happy.  :)

9.  my husband, the love of my life, philip.  i couldn't do half of anything i do without him.  he's my everything.  a quick story: five years ago it was our first thanksgiving together (or rather our first holiday together) and i remember almost every moment.  holding his hand before dinner, kissing in the kitchen, choking up at the dinner table with our friends in prague talking about how thankful we all were for one another in our lives.  i was convinced it would be the only holiday i'd get to spend with him.  and every thanksgiving, i remember that feeling and i'm thankful that he's the person i spend all my holidays with.

10.  it's been a year for personal growth.  i've kind of figured out what i want to do, i've gone back to school, and my life has a direction.  and i love the direction it's going in.

happy thanksgiving friends.  what are you thankful for today?


19 November 2011

breaking point.

me, very unhappy.
but not as unhappy as i was today.
wow.  i guess it was my own fault, really.  i went on and on yesterday about how it was a rough week, and i was so looking forward to vacay, but friday was a bad last day at work...

today was worse.  much worse, actually.

while i was at school (and really just not feelin it, by the way), i got a text from philip.  see, we have been using the downstairs shower for a few weeks now while we finish the upstairs bathroom makeover.  it's a pretty small space, but i repainted it last summer and we did a few little updates to make it useable.  another thing you need to know about this story is that our basement is uber-gross.  i refuse to go down there (i think that's where hostel was filmed), so it's just philip that goes down there every once in a while to retrieve or store something we don't use often.  today, it was his bicycle.  we put them away about a month or so ago, knowing it was too cold to go bike-drinking anymore.  but today he needed to get a part at the hardware store while i was at school, so he was going to bike.

but as he walked down the stairs into the basement, he noticed something curious.  the wall, along the right side of the staircase, was black.  so he touched it.  and when he touched it - not only was it soaking wet to the touch - but the wall caved in when he touched it.  apparently, whoever installed the bathroom shower with it's fancy greek-blue tiles installed it right to the drywall.  which doesn't hold up to moisture well.  so there was a giant puddle in the basement, and so far it seems to just be dumb luck that we have been using the bathroom shower and it hasn't fallen in to the basement.  there could be mold growing, but we haven't been able to find out just yet so that's another post for another awesome day.

so as of today at, say, 3pm, the downstairs bathroom is strictly off-limits.  it's upstairs bathroom only for us, which of course isn't finished yet, so that's not really as great as it sounds.  but i found out about this at exactly the wrong moment (would there ever be a right moment to hear this news?), as i was feeling totally overwhelmed with school.  and it's worth mentioning that instead of eating lunch on our noon break today, i got in a fight with my dad.  so i was feeling especially awesome.

what i guess i'm trying to say is, lesson learned.  i will never again post that i'm so stressed and it can't get worse.  because it can and it did.  but it's kind of funny, because this was my longest streak yet- i haven't had a day off since columbus day weekend and i won't be done until monday.  so i don't know how many days total that is but it's quite a bit.  i thought i was handling it all well - lots of stuff going on at work, increased responsibilities with the campaign, the home stretch with school - but it all just came crashing down today.  i did some serious therapy-crying on my way home from class.

but to make it all better - my mom was waiting at our house for me when i got home :) we had wine and brainstormed ideas for the fancy new downstairs bathroom we'll have to renovate now.  and then we all went out for moules frites at indulge.

the bright side?  our next house project will be remodeling the bathroom... downstairs.  suggestions anyone?  also - moms make it all better.

til tomorrow when i update you on the UPSTAIRS bathroom...


18 November 2011

fill in the blank stressful-friday

guys.  it's been a rough day.  for real.  it was one of those days where nothing really went my way, and just when i felt like i couldn't possibly handle ONE MORE THING something else happens.  when everyone needs me to solve all their problems but i can't seem to solve my own.  it was a long one.  but finally, i am done with my last day of work before vacation.  


just some blanks tonight, school tomorrow and sunday, then it's vacation time.  i'll have most of the day monday to sleep in, clean the house, pack and prepare.  i love those kind of days.  now if only i would wake up tomorrow and it would be monday... 

1.   a nervous habit i have is   just one habit? picking at my cuticles.  twirling my hair.  fidgeting.  shaking my leg.

2.   something that makes me sad is  well, there is something, but i'm not going to make it public.  but it makes me sad from time to time.

3.  today i am thankful for  my upcoming vacation!  it is crazy stressful right now getting ready for the trip - but once that moment, my favorite moment, arrives it will all be worth it.  and i get to see my loving family, some amazing friends, and watch one of my favorite couples tie the knot.  nothing could be better.

4. my favorite room in my house is    my living room. it's the only room that's actually done - no paint, no decorations, nothing missing.  so i love hanging out there because it is what the rest of my house will feel like someday... 

5.  i can't stand  intolerance, racism or stereotyping of any kind.

6.  if i had an extra $100 to spend on whatever i wanted today i would  look for christmas presents!  i have picked out a few so far and can't wait to do more holiday shopping!  that being said i might also be a little selfish and spend this fake $100 on something for my house for the christmas cocktail party :)

7.  the last person i hung out with was  my girlfriend walker, who came over on wednesday night to drink wine, eat thai food and help me dye my hair.  high school style.  it rocked.

14 November 2011


nothing like some good italian comfort food. 
hi.  my name is alaina, and i stress eat.

it's true.  i think i've known this about myself for a while, but this semester it has become painfully obvious.  let's rewind a bit to january 2011.  just about 11 months ago, i decided rather than making any new years resolutions, i would set a few measurable (and reasonable) goals for myself.  one such goal was to cook a new recipe at least once a week.  not that hard.  and i'd say i stuck to it - at least until the summer.  in a 100+ year old house with no a/c, it's absolute hell to stand over a stove or turn on the oven.  so that kind of stopped.

but... then i started school.  and so the whole i'm-not-cooking-because-it's-hot thing turned into i'm not cooking.  because i'm too busy.  so now, when i cook, it's things that are kind of big, so we have leftovers and i don't have to do it again in another few days.  nice, right?  good wife right there.  and, being so busy and all, i've been skipping breakfast since this summer, which i know is a huge no-no.  and now life has just gotten busier and busier, so it's grabbing dinner on the way home and ordering in chinese when i'm way too exhausted to cook.  it's getting bad.  i mean, i ate a vegetarian egg roll at 10:30am today.

i should have known over the summer when i got my bridesmaid dress for em's wedding and when it came it was a little too... tight.  so i exchanged it and got the next size, and in the process saved $100 because the dress was then on sale.  so i figured it was a good thing.  well, when philip looked at me earlier this week and said, 'hey babe, have you tried on your bridesmaid dress?' well, that was a new low. between this stress eating thing and the holiday season... i need to practice some self control.  i think i'll go for my mom's suggestion of having a glass of wine instead of dinner when not too hungry.

to be honest, i've always had a fairly healthy body image.  i am not a big girl, but i have a few curves.  sure, my behind is big for a little white girl (but smaller than j.lo's).  but there are parts of my body that i like.  i never allowed a scale in our house, because i believe that if you like what you see, then why attach a number to it?  either you are happy or you aren't.  and since i am approaching the 'i am not happy' end of the spectrum, some changes will need to be adjusted to that theory here in the january 2012.

but here's hoping that if i keep stress eating, i could look like this:

'she wore her sexuality with an older woman’s ease, and not like an awkward purse, never knowing how to hold it, where to hang it, or when to just put it down.'
— zadie smith, white teeth
ps - this is from slaughterhouse 90210

and yes, the bridesmaid dress still fits. for now  :)

13 November 2011

the bathroom vol. 2: update iii

it's just that time of year.

it's hard to get out of bed in the morning.  it's cold.  it's dark.  you just don't want to do too much besides cuddle under the blanket.  that's how i feel lately (and apparently so does the mous, my cat).  so there hasn't been much going on house-wise for me.

but philip, on the other hand, is a MACHINE.  i know i married him, so i might be a bit biased, but he is so amazing.  he has made leaps and bounds on the bathroom project and i tell you what friends it is looking amazing.  here's a glimpse of what's been going on.

putting together our new vanity today!

instructions, piping, new tile... 

new wall color.

getting the sink on just right.

TWO sinks!  count 'em! 
we got started early today with the paint.  philip had already painted the walls but the trim still needed some help.  so i put on a few coats of killz to get rid any mold or mildew.  while letting that dry before the trim paint i was anticipating on painting, we ran to ikea!  whoooo!  i didn't get the legs for the vanity and it turns out we needed them, so off we went on a little trip.  and, of course, we picked up a few other goodies while we were there...

our new lamp in the living room! 
actually that was it.  or at least that is all i can show you now.  but once we got home, i made an awful discovery: we don't have any trim paint left from our paint party!  what the hell!  so now i have to figure out the shade we used and see if i can match it so we can have some consistency in this house.  so instead i did a little bit of fun decorating.  hooray!

new mantle arrangement.
other side of the mantle.

finally hung the frame philip got for his birthday! 

a GIFT WRAPPING station for the holidays! 

there's already some presents up there :)

picked up this gem yesterday - in our bedroom
from my favorite shop around!
so all in all, it was a strange weekend.  off friday, worked saturday, impromptu sleepover @ mom's saturday night, and bathroom/ikea all day today.  we expected the bathroom to be done tonight... but with an old house like this, when you start one project, three or four more pop up.  so we have to get ourselves some different pipes.  of course.  hopefully it will be done soon - our big new york trip is coming up!

hope you had as great a weekend as i did :)

til next time...

12 November 2011


whoa. super awesome day yesterday.  the magic of 11/11, right?

i had my first one-on-one yesterday morning (at 11am!).  i'm certain most of you don't know what that is, so i'll clue you in.  1:1s are something the obama campaign are trying to do with past supporters.  it's basically team leader or volunteer from the campaign sitting down with a supporter - or someone who isn't a supporter yet - and talking with them about their concerns, the issues that are important to them, and their ideas for how we can make 2012 a success.  at my phone bank on tuesday i scheduled my first 1:1, and so today i actually went out and hosted my first 1:1 as a co-team leader.  i was very, very excited.

i won't bore you with the whole details - they aren't important to the story anyway.  but when the man i was meeting was asked what his motivation was for coming out and meeting with someone, he said it was me.  he told me i had a great energy over the phone and i made it sound like it was something important to do, so he thought he'd come check it out.

now, that was awesome.  and it wasn't the 1:1 that necessarily made me feel so great, but the fact that i had empowered someone to feel like they could come out and make a difference in their community.  and i totally felt like i had finally found my calling.  i have been close for a while, but i think i'm really into this community organizing thing.  the feeling i had while sitting and talking about issues with two people in my community, about how we can make a difference, really got me going.  i've posted it before, but the thought of the world is run by those who show up once again came into my mind.  i want to be the person who shows up.  i want to be one of those people who helps other people get involved and turn their community, their state, their country into the kind of place they want it to be.  the ideas of helping our brothers and sisters in our communities is something that we talked a lot about - and, sure, some of it may have to do with our own political perspective - but the volunteer i met was talking about this ideology of helping people.  some people can be democrats, some can be republicans, some are independents or other parties, and a lot of those people feel like they can pick and choose.  fiscally conservative, socially liberal.  i hear it all the time.  but as this man spoke, he said that he feels that there are some candidates - in this case, conservatives - that just don't have the same worldview.  it's not an option to 'pick a side,' or just vote for certain issues.  for him, it was about finding someone who saw the world the way he did.  and i felt like i saw the world the same way this man did.  and i can't wait to have that feeling again.

i'll get off my soapbox now and go clean my house.  just had to share :)

11 November 2011

another friday off!

friends!  sorry the blog has taken a quite pathetic turn lately.  i'm in the last push - just 10 days until i'm on a plane to new york for my 10 day vacation.  thanksgiving, my family, miss emily's wedding... it doesn't get much better than that.  of course to enjoy all that i first have to survive one more work week and one more school-filled weekend (next weekend).  i have a midterm to take in the meantime, and when i come back from this trip it will effectively be december!  what the heck people!  at least i have today off to do some work and clean my house, before a big fancy chamber dinner tomorrow night.  this is my weekend to get caught up.  let's see if that actually happens :)

1.   my favorite new blog of the moment is  hello giggles! consistently hilarious.

2.   something i am thankful for is no school this sunday!  sleeping in!  

3.  something that made me laugh this week was me trying to stand up after bending down to grab something but stepping on my dress, so instead falling over on the ground.  in front of my staff.

4. an item that is currently on my wish list is someone to come paint my f*@$(%^ entryway.

5.  i am excited about five more days of work/school before a MUCH-NEEDED vacation to see some of the world's greatest people and my beautiful cousin's thanksgiving wedding!  i' got excited just typing that sentence!

6.  if i were a color i would be blue maybe, or yellow.  lately probably a deep, golden yellow... because it's bright and happy but not in an obnoxious way : )

7.  my favorite way to spend a chilly fall day is by drinking something warm and laughing with my husband. but lately i have been just doing homework.  lame.  

side note: HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my friend brooke today!