29 May 2012

jamaycation + auntiehood!

well, it’s been back to the real world for me!  we got back home from jamaica late last night – what an amazing trip it was.  the trip down to montego bay was a little hellish, but luckily philip & i are so good at traveling together (read: we don’t get frustrated and we keep one another entertained, mostly like little kids) that we didn’t even let our eight hour layover in ft lauderdale get us down – not even when it was raining so hard we couldn’t go outside to get a breath of fresh air… not that it would have mattered because when i did try to walk outside the hot, humid air hit me like being slapped in the face by a hot, wet towel.  gross.
the long layover, shitty airlines (never fly spirit!), and bizarre hour and a half drive from the airport to our hotel in runaway bay all proved worth it once we finally got to the resort.  after checking into our room overlooking the ocean, we headed to the outdoor bar to sit down and finally relax.  i don’t know if any drink has ever tasted as great as that pina colada tasted.  we spent our weekend laying on the beach, talking, reading, laughing and sipping any fruit juice we could put rum in.
i should say that i am a water person.  i am totally obsessed with the water.  there are a few possible explanations for this – i grew up spending my childhood and all of my summers until recently on our family’s beach in port jefferson.  now i don’t necessarily believe everything about my zodiac sign, but i am an aquarius.  and aquarius are the water-bearers, and usually have an affinity for water.  this could not be more true in my case.  every time we’d go to the beach as kids, i spent the entire day in the water, and even now as an adult i can’t visit either coast without heading to the beach to just get my feet wet.  i’ve never been one of those women who goes to the beach to sunbathe and not swim – you’ve gotta do both!  so needless to say, we swam a lot and even rented snorkels on our last day, which was such a blast.  the best parts of the trip were the moments when it was just philip and i in the water, goofing around in the sea.  or the night we took a bottle of wine to the beach and sat in the beach chairs, in the dark, listening to the waves and drinking wine.  it was so romantic.

view from our balcony
view of the ocean from the pool with swim-up bar!
can't get enough of the ocean...
our spot for three days on the beach
me + my first love - the ocean.
courtesy of rocks on the beach and my camera timer!

saying goodbye - lobby of our lovely hotel
but the most amazing part of the weekend didn’t happen jamaica, it happened about 2000 miles north of the island up in new york.
my beautiful, amazing, strong cousin N had her baby two and a half weeks early!  little jack michael arrived early early sunday morning… while i was talking to philip, saying there was no way she’d have the baby while we were gone because she wasn’t due for almost three more weeks.  ha.  here is the picture of the little angel and my newest nephew!

i am already officially in love with him.  he's an angel.

one more week of maycation...

24 May 2012

quick travel tips

well, we are halfway there! arrived at the ft lauderdale airport at 6:30am this morning after a 3 1/2 hour flight from denver. the flight had more than two (but less than three) babies on it, which made for a loud flight. but we were able to get some shut-eye in before our big five hour layover...

i like to think of myself as somewhat of an expert traveler. i always wear comfortable clothes, pack the right toiletries in my carry on along with a change of clothes, etc. so during my long layover today, i thought i'd share what i packed today to make my red eye and subsequent five hour layover tolerable.

-change of underwear. it's just gold sense.
 -face wipes. neutrogena makes some good ones that are pre-moistened and your face doesn't need to be rinsed after. perfect in the airport bathroom or in your seat.
 -travel sized toothbrush, toothpaste and mouthwash. always necessary.
 -clean shirt. i hate bras (can't get comfortable on the plane), so tank tops with a bra built in, along with a light sweater/long-sleeved tee and a scarf are just right. layers are essential since plans go from stuffy to freezing in like .2 seconds.
 -light makeup, such as tinted moisturizer, blush and mascara. those are my basics anyways that i can handle in any plane or airport bathroom. no mess, not high myaintenance.
-body/hair powder. my hair gets sooo gross on the plane, and since showers on layover aren't an option hair powder is perfect. you can use it on your body as well, and combined with some deodorant and a quick flip of the hair i always feel much better.
-headband or bandana. sometimes the hair just has to go up and stay up.
-warm socks. i never really thought of this until i flew to prague with my cousin and she bought cute fleece socks for us to wear on the plane. you're always kicking your shoes off, and this way your feel stay clean and warm.
 -don't wear heels or boots. shoes come off at security and again on the plane, so wear cute and comfy shoes that can be slipped on and off easily.

no matter what, you'll feel gross after traveling. but a few items in your bag can bring the comforts of home to the airport. gotta run - happy thursday! enjoy that rain & hail for my friends in denver!

22 May 2012

what i'll be doing today.

i've officially checked out.  yesterday was my busiest day (work, phone bank) before vacation, so now it's all downhill from here...

i've never really been into reggae, but i took a vinyasa hot yoga class set to reggae music a few weeks ago, and i can't seem to get it out of my head.  luckily it fits will with our upcoming jamaica trip, so i thought i'd share some reggae for everyone to get a smile on their faces today.

so i'll be listening to this on repeat all day.  enjoy!

happy tuesday friends!

2 days til jamaica! 

and a huge shout out to my brother for house-sitting while we're gone!  whooooo!   
til next time...  

20 May 2012

family portraits!

for mother's day this year, we decided to do something a little different for mom.  no brunch, no spa gift cards, no flowers.  instead, we had family pictures taken for mom of the boys and i.  a good friend of mine from school and OFA is an awesome photographer, and he and his sister own their own photography company.  we did them very sneakily while aj was in town for easter - we got up early on a saturday morning (all super hungover tired) and headed over to sloan's lake a few blocks from the house.  i've been wanting to share these for a month now but didn't want to blow the surprise for mom.  anyway, he did such an awesome job, and mom absolutely loves them!  so here are a few of my favorites:

four of us in front of the lake

love philip's face here

the boys - aj, philip & clarence 

the obligatory jumping shot. no shoes for me :) 

hope you enjoyed!  as for me, it's sunday so i'm off to relax - 4 days til JAMAICA!!!


19 May 2012

tennessee: take 2!

back from tennessee!  it was such an awesome, awesome trip.  we flew in late on thursday night - arriving just in time for some wine :)  the rest of the weekend was mostly spent shopping.  friday we spent walked around in nashville, having some sushi and visiting some really fabulous stores.  the rest of the weekend was all inside (in the mall, mostly!) due to pouring rain.  highlights of the weekend included:

my new anthropologie charm necklace!
*delicious late dinner on the patio at eastland cafe
*discovering the big c with annie
*home-cooked meal of some amazing vodka cream sauce with scallops
*the first pair of jeans i've bought in years, courtesy of philanthropy  (i never buy jeans, this is now the 2nd pair i own!)
*bralets, which means i basically have stopped wearing bras when i'm not at work thanks to these *comfortable, lacy little numbers
*avocado tempura at zumi
*heat relief in the form of iced coffee from fido in hillsboro village
*getting pedicures while sipping wine at nail bar 
*obsessing over the amazing jewelry at pangea
*shopping in hillsboro village, especially posh, where i found the most adorable cocktail dress

wine @ 11:45? why not!

having a blast :)

pedicured & ready for a day of walking in hillsboro village

which cocktail at zumi should we get?

the four of us girls
there was definitely more shopping and less drinking than last year's trip, but still a fantastic trip.  can't wait for these ladies to come out and see us in the fall.

well it's a rainy and cold day here in denver, which means cocktails and twilight zone marathon with philip :)  but it can rain all it wants here in denver, because ... 

5 days til jamaica! 

til next time... xoxo

18 May 2012

friday blanks!

happy friday friends!  i don't care what day it is because jamaica is only 6 short days away, but a weekend in there is pretty good too :)  up this weekend we have drinks with friends, drinks with friends, and family day on sunday.  should be awesome.  so without further delay...

1.  something that is very near and dear to my heart is travel, learning about other cultures, and translating that into respect and equality for all people.

2.   vacation in a few days (!!!)  is good cause to celebrate .

3.  the most fun i ever had was backpacking through italy with five of the most amazing people i know, including my husband.  we went to venice, florence, rome & the cinque terre - it was definitely the best 10 days of my life.  we have so much fun when we travel.

4.  true friends are the ones that don't get upset that you haven't called in months, are always there when you need them no matter what, and you  can pick up right where you left off if you go a while without seeing each other.

5. something that makes me terribly happy is traveling with philip just about anywhere, but especially when it's just the two of us getting away somewhere.

6. a good way to spend a sunny day is on the beach with a cocktail, which is what i'll be doing a week from right now!  but tonight i'll celebrate the good weather by having happy hour with our friends outside, which is pretty damn good too.

7.  my favorite celebratory food is champagne!  not a food i know, but i guess if you pop a raspberry or two in there that's food. 

16 May 2012

jamaican me crazy!

disclaimer: there are no shortage to silly jamaican jokes and puns that i can come up with, so if those will annoy you don't read this. 

so philip and i have been trying to plan a trip for memorial day weekend.  we've been hoping to get out and visit some family, because we have a few days off work and we haven't been on a plane since january (which doesn't sound long, but is a record for us).

but while trying to decide where to go and who to visit, i jokingly said we should blow it off and go on a getaway the two of us. after joking about it for a while, we looked into it 'just for fun' and, well...

we are headed to jamaica a week from today!

well, really, it's a week from tomorrow since we don't get to jamaica til thursday :) we found some awesome fares and a pretty reasonable all-inclusive, so we are headed out.  the last time the two of us were on a trip just US was october 2010.  when we got together we decided that we would leave the country at least once a year, because travel is really important to us and we didn't want to sacrifice it just because we were getting married.  well, in 2011 we decided to put that trip money towards a newly remodeled upstairs bathroom, so we didn't get out of the country. and it's been weighing on us ever since. we've talked about doing an all-inclusive for over a year now. neither one of us has ever done the whole mexico-spring-break-all-inclusive thing. our trips tend to be a bit more cultural - morocco, spain, paris, prague, etc. but secretly i've always fantasized about laying on a beach, drinking and playing in the water with my husband. and since i'm absolutely terrified of mexico right now, we were able to find a good compromise in jamaica.

maycation just stepped up to a WHOLE new level.

oh good god - i just had the realization that i have to put on a bikini in one week. scary shit.

and NO - i haven't forgotten to update you all on my tennessee trip - i'll post some pictures soon!

10 May 2012

hospital care kit

i am not too crafty.  i don't make too many things (including dinner), but i've been known to make the occasional present.  i've made limoncello, books of my photography, and now... this!

as i've mentioned before, my cousin (who is like my sister) is pregnant - and the countdown has begun! so for her (belated) birthday and impending hospital stay, i made her a hospital care package.  it is full of things that she will need while before, during and after giving birth.  now it should be noted that i don't know what a woman needs during this time having never been through it myself - but i did enlist the help of some friends, including my b, my sister-in-law.  it's pretty cool... almost makes me wish i had one!  almost :)

items in the package include:
  • healthy snacks, such as larabars & dark chocolate covered almonds
  • burt's bees chapstick
  • all natural kiss-my-face hand and body lotion
  • no-elastic hair ties and headbands
  • neutrogena face pre-moistened face wipes that you don't need to rinse off - perfect for hospital beds!
  • hand sanitizer (i scrubbed off the label and put my own glittery letters on for fun)
  • a comfy nightgown that won't touch her belly in case of a c-section
  • four CDs of labor music - i opted for calming, soothing music
all packed into a re-sealable container that can be taken into the hospital, then brought back for baby's nursery!

i am sooo happy and excited to meet my little niece or nephew!  my cousin is such a strong woman i know she's going to do great and will make a wonderful mother.

well, thought i'd share this little crafty bit with you since this rarely happens.  i finished my last class tonight, and tomorrow's agenda includes sleeping in, getting a massage, seeing some of my favorite people and then flying out to nashville for some serious sister time!  it's going to be a GREAT weekend!

til next time!


06 May 2012

hello world!

hi friends!  yesterday was a big day... I FINISHED MY SEMESTER!  technically, i still have class this week on wednesday night, but i just have to watch the last few final presentations.  i am DONE.  i finished my last final yesterday afternoon, and as soon as i finished, all i could think about was sleep.  so i laid on the couch and slept for a few calming hours.  it was amazing. 

the most proper way to celebrate i could think of was to take my amazing husband out to dinner wherever he wanted.  i truly believe the only reason i survived 17 credits this semester was because he was there, supporting me, making me dinner and helping me whenever i needed it.  he's amazing.  so we went out for a lovely dinner at bistro vendome, one of our favorite french places.  a few martinis were enjoyed at the bar, then we waited for our table outside.  but just as soon as we were headed outside to be seated, the sky opened up and it started pouring.  the end result?

view of the patio from our table
a table right in front of the wide open back doors to the garden with a front seat to the thunderstorm.  it was lovely, so beautiful and romantic.  after we closed down the restaurant, we headed over to a cote for some french cocktails to wind the night down.  it was the perfect evening and a fantastic way to start my maycation!

today i slept in super late.  i can't even describe how amazing it felt to just sleeeeeep in with no worries or anything to do.  we hopped on our bikes this afternoon for some bike-and-beer fun. 

i can't believe the hardest part is done - and i think this was a perfect start to my maycation :)

how was your weekend?