Monday, June 30, 2008

*Sniff Sniff*

Well, we found out this morning that our buyer backed out of the deal on our townhouse. What a kick in the stomach on a Monday morning! As if Mondays aren't cruel enough on their own! Oh well... what can you do?! We're trying to take the positive spin on this and believe that there must be a better offer out there for us. So we'll go with that. Meanwhile, I'll just bug y'all for some more prayers and for someone out there to pimp our property! We knew not to get *too* excited till it was a done deal, but it still sucks ass. So keep those prayers coming!

Other than that icky news this morning, the weekend was a good one. We survived the late night out Saturday - and even stayed out for pizza after the party - CRAZY! Then Sunday afternoon we had an engagement party to attend for one of the hub's childhood friends. I wore one of my "new" Lilly's and got compliments to boot!

And the party was very fun - very low key and just a lot of fun. The bride comes from a BIG family and one of her brothers is in a band - a band that I happen to LOVE. And so when I found this bit of info out (when she and the hub's friend first started dating last year), I was like OMG. I am the most star-struck fool for celebrity types - it's seriously ridiculous. Bestest appreciates this quality in me as I will name every geographic movie reference I can possibly think of in any given location. Anyway, so this particular brother and his wife hosted the shower. He *just* flew in the night before from a show. It was a small party and for privacy's sake I best not reveal who it is, but do you KNOW how excited I was to sneak my camera into one particular room and get a shot of these babies!?!?!??!

I'm an awards show junkie so that was particularly thrilling! Anyway, fun weekend... you know - me hangin' with the celebs... the usual. Hahaha! ;-)

Hope y'all had a good one. And hopefully I'll be back soon with some good news on the townhouse.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Old married farts we are.

You know you're old when the idea of going down to the Highlands to a birthday shindig that doesn't start till 9 o'clock triggers an eye-roll and a big yawn. That's fine - call me old - but I'm typically a let's-get-in-bed-at-10-o'clock kinda girl. Though after celebrating one of my HS girl's 30th over "cake and cocktails" and driving back up to suburbia, I'll be rolling into bed tonight at God knows when. We go into town a lot but it's usually for dinner and most times I can come close to meeting my "curfew." Even the hub was like, "9 o'clock - seriously?!" It'll be fun I'm sure, I just wish it started a little earlier for this old fart. How boring are we?! Hahahhaha.... Oh well. I may be yawnin', but I'll be lookin' damn cute in this little number...

Maybe we better hit a Starbucks on the way out... :-)

Friday, June 27, 2008

It's not just YOUR day.

Obviously I'm making up for lost time here since I keep coming up with "must post!" topics every few seconds... geez. Well I can't help it. I was just in the break room refilling my water bottle and had the typical Friday afternoon convo with a fellow co-worker. You know, any big weekend plans? That sort of thing. So I was telling him about the two parties we're attending and then he mentioned a wedding he and his wife are going to tomorrow. He explains that the bride wanted a 6 o'clock reception, but the 4 o'clock ceremony slot at her church was booked. So she took the 2 o'clock ceremony slot, but - oh yes - kept the 6 o'clock reception time. OH wow. Now had this been a convo between me and bestest, I'm pretty sure it would've turned into a 3 hour discussion on the topic. But I just said, "Oh no.... well I hope she knows she's gonna lose people." He said they're having a 2.5 hour cocktail reception immediately after the ceremony - I have no idea where but I'm assuming a 3rd location. And then a second cocktail hour at the actual reception site before a seated dinner at 7 o'clock. FIVE hours from ceremony start till ya feed me? Oh heavens no.

All I can say is I hope this isn't some swanky plated meal at 7 o'clock because she can surely expect some no-shows. I'm not saying that's "right" on the guests' part, but 5 hours - seriously? People are going to bail! Especially if you're serving wine earlier that afternoon. And what about the older people - I know for a fact my parents would be like, to hell with this! If they saw on the invite that a reception didn't begin till four hours later, they'd probably attend the ceremony and bid adieu. I'm never a fan of lag time between ceremony and reception. It's just a bad idea and you will lose people. So, bride, I know this is your big day and all, but if you can't get the 4 o'clock slot at the church, either find a different church or do an earlier reception! It'll just be you, your groom, your heavy-eyed wedding party and the DJ left there to see you cut your cake, for crying out loud.

Here's the thing... my bridal consultant gave me lots of advice back when the hub and I were planning our wedding, but the thing she said to me from day one that has always stuck with me is this: "If you want to have your wedding day be ALL about you, then go off somewhere, just the two of you, and get married. Otherwise, it's about your guests." She had me sold right then and there because that's exactly how I think a bride should look at wedding planning. So when I hear about these crack-head shenanigans couples pull to have the wedding they want - no matter the inconvenience to others - it just urks the hell out of me. And don't get me wrong - I am in no way and never was the "anti-bride." I LOVE weddings and everything to do with weddings, but that also makes me very passionate about certain things regarding weddings. And this just happens to be one of them - hence this post triggered by a random water cooler convo!

And it of course reminded me of one particular wedding my parents were invited to that is a prime example of what I'm talking about... A couple of years ago my parents got invited to a Friday night wedding at the Fox. Well already right there you'd be on my shit list. The Fox is a lovely site, but on a Friday night in Atlanta? Do you KNOW the mess that people have to go through just to get to the Fox on a Friday night? Atlanta traffic is some of the worst in the nation and Friday nights are like the grand finale in a week of traffic hell. So already this is just asking for people to be late or even very likely miss your ceremony altogether. Oh but did I tell you? The bride not only chose a Friday night, but also decided to do this on the weekend of Music Midtown. Where is the Fox? Oh yes, in midtown! WTF. So not only are we talking about normal Friday traffic, let's throw in a huge ass music festival! As you can imagine, my mother was pissed about this whole wedding from the moment she opened the invite. The bride was the daughter of a friend though, so she felt the need to go and accepted the invitation.

Well the wedding approaches and my mom decides to go log on to the couple's site to see about their registry. While looking, she stumbled upon some event info they had posted and happened to catch this little tidbit (keep in mind this is a 7 o'clock wedding)...

"Don't fill up on dinner because we're having an array of desserts after the wedding!"

My mom immediately called me. She went from pissy to down right angry. "They expect us to drive all the way back into town on a Friday night for a 7 o'clock wedding and they're not going to feed us dinner?!" Ohhhh yes. So I'm sure you can put two and two together... this couple obviously was hell bent on having a reception at the Fox, but couldn't really afford it. So their solution was to pick an off night and not serve real food. All so they could say that got married at the Fox. Well come the day of the wedding, my mom actually got into a fender bender on her way home (from downtown by the way) and used that excuse - or a "sign" as she chose to call it - not to go to the wedding. She of course later called the MOB and apologized, but that's my point. Pull shit like this and you're going to lose people. If you can't afford a reception at the Fox, do it somewhere else for crying out loud! Who cares?!?!?! No one is ooohing and aaahing over your posh locale when they just sat in 2 hours of traffic trying to get there - and oh yeah - paying $10+ to park so they can show up late and have a slice of cake.

Wow. See what happens when you get me going? Sorry... just one of my huge pet peeves with weddings. I get tired of the bridezilla attitude where they think they can do or have whatever they want because it's "their day" and it's all about them. It's not! Yes, you're the guest of honor and everyone's looking at you, but you are catering to your guests - don't forget that. Y'all should be bending over backwards for them, not the reverse. A guest is there to celebrate your special day, so don't turn it into a chore. They should be able to enjoy themselves and not have to drop a dime - not a dime - from the minute they arrive till the minute they leave. I know some would argue with me on that one, but that's my own personal opinion. I don't mean to sound like I'm coming down on all the brides out there, I'm just asking that you remember to consider your guests and not *just* you. Because believe it or not, it's their day too. And I'll be stepping off my soapbox now back to level ground... ;-)

Oldie but goodie.

I've been lazy about switching out bags lately, but I decided to mix it up today. I have this fabu ginormous Kate Spade metallic gold hobo that I carry all the time. And because it goes with everything, I do tend to get lazy and all my other bags stay shelved. But hey, it's Friday, and I'm feeling crazy!

Well actually, if you must know, I was on a mad hunt for a tampon this morning (as my giganto Costco box full is out suddenly!). When there's no sign of one under the sink or in my bag, I start rummaging through the shelved bags for ones that have been left in there. I keep 'em on me all the time so it's not at all uncommon to have 2 or 3 still in the zipper pocket of random bags I've changed out of. Well as I'm searching this morning, I pulled open a dust bag to find this cute Kate tote and decided it was so happy and fun and it needed to come out and play. I don't carry it much because it's a little on the small side for me (I'm a big bag girl - I like 'em BIG), but today she was beggin' to come out! Isn't she so happy?!

Never did find a tampon though. Doh.

A Lilly Makeover.

As promised, I've got before and after photos of my old Lilly dress makeover. I picked them up Wednesday (it's two of the same dress in different patterns) and am SO happy with the results! I mentioned taking these to my alteration lady last week. I *think* this style is called Sabrina (from several years ago), but don't hold me to that - I could totally be making that name up. It's strapless with a tie in the back (though please ignore how I have it tied in these pics because I was just throwing the dress on really quickly for a photo opp.) and it hits a little below the knee. I've actually never been super crazy about the length on it, but never did anything about it. And the hip region on the dress seemed to run a bit large, but it looked fine - until I lost some weight over the last year. So now the dress just looked ridiculous on me. So instead of letting the two like dresses hang there and collect dust, I finally decided to make them over (er... tell the alteration lady how to make them over).

So here are the BEFORE shots, both front and back. The camera angle here is bad and I'm not sure you can appreciate how truly *frumpy* it looked. But overall it just felt very frumpy on me. And Lilly should never feel frumpy!

And then a week and $74 later (for both dresses)... the AFTER! You can tell I feel much cuter by my fabulous posing here...

I totally feel like I scored two brand new dresses since these are totally wearable again. Here's the other pattern I have (you know what - I don't think I've ever worn this one actually!)...

We've got an engagement party to attend Sunday afternoon and I think I will wear the orange one. It's a backyard BBQ - so this should be perfect. Although that tan-line from my scorchfest in Charleston looks awful in these pics... hmmm... Oh well. So is $74 total reasonable? I rarely have things altered. I'm short, but I wear heels with my slacks at work, so I don't usually have to get things hemmed... but I always go to the same lady near my parents' house everytime I need to go. I mean she basically reconstructed the entire bottom half of the dress, so it seems fairly reasonable to me. What do y'all think? Either way, I'm totally happy with the results and can't wait to sport my *new* Lilly this weekend!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A minute to breathe...

Let me take one, just one! Oh man this week has been crazy. The past few have been off the charts, but it's been especially kurraazay this week. I'm only hopping on for a sec to give a quick update. I promise I'll hop back on later with deets from last weekend's whirlwind of activities - we had a blast. I give Dinner A'Fare an A++ (more on that later).

But really quickly, just wanted to let y'all know it looks like we'll have a contract on the townhouse today. We've been going back and forth with one buyer that I briefly mentioned and I think we're finally at a point all parties are happy with. As in any case, it ain't over till it's over, but things are sure looking good. So keep those prayers coming! We should be closing at the end of next month, assuming all goes according to plan. And if so, 'ritas on me on July 31!

This whole thing has been a total emotional roller coaster for me this past week. I've been a complete basket case and not at all happy-go-bloggy (hence my absence till now). All this mess and a bad case of the baby blues as of late has had me in a total funk. I don't really know what an anxiety attack looks like, but I could almost see one coming on! I even took a mental health day on Tuesday to try and get it together. My house was a mess from us being out ALL weekend. Do you ever feel like everything around you is just caving in and you're gonna lose it? Yeah that was me. But fear not, dear readers... I'm doing much better. Still stressed somewhat, but much much better. And no matter how stressed I let myself get, I am *always* aware of the bigger picture and I know God won't throw anything at me that the two of us can't handle together. But sometimes you just gotta throw a hissy fit and let it out, right?! Hehehe....

OK ladies, I gotta get some hours in. I'll come back with more soon (including my before and after Lilly dress shots.... aren't you SO excited?!)...

Oh and P.S. - I did get in that other sample sale site I mentioned earlier - Top Secret. I'll send invites out to those I already have email addresses for. Just delete the email if you don't want in. Leave a comment with your email address if you want me to add you.

P.P.S. - one of my dearest girls is having surgery today. She is a surgery pro like me, but she was particularly nervous about this one, so please add a lil prayer for her while you're praying for the townhouse! ;-)

Over and out!

(I'm a little behind!)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Fingers crossed applesauce!

So we had a showing at our townhouse this morning and per our realtor, it went REALLY well. The other agent said they'd be coming back again tomorrow for another look and some indication was made of a *possible* offer coming in a day or two. Would that be amazing or would that be AMAZING? Good offer or not, any prospect is encouraging. So whisper a little prayer for our little gem tonight.

First impressions do mean a lot, so it's a good thing we all went down to the house last night to do some last minute touch-ups. We discovered the painter had left without finishing one major thing and we had to do it ourselves. He didn't bother to call and tell us, so we never would've known if we hadn't gone by. At one point I was sitting on top of the fridge, painting trim. But we got it all done and looking fabulous. Hopefully it will all pay off very soon! I can't even tell you what a relief it would be to be rid of that place. Though all things considered, I will be a little sad to see it go since it was our very first house. I really hope we find someone who will love it as much as we did.

In other news, I'm still obsessing over these online private sample sales. I've found some more. I got into one - Editor's Closet. And I found another one that looks rather tasty... Top Secret. I'm awaiting an invite for that one and I'll let you know once I get in. I can't stand the idea of fabulous sales going on inside there that I can't get to! If anyone already has access, please share the love as the wait is killing me! It's funny because it's not like I can afford half the stuff in these sales, but I just love looking and seeing the deals. And I must admit the implied exclusivity of it all is so intriguing.

If you want to check out Editor's Closet (Moschino boutique is open right now), just put my email in as the "referrer email" and it'll let you register (see my profile). I also found one other that just started sample sales today actually... My Overstock Boutique. I think you just have to initially register with this one to get in - I don't think you need a 3rd party invitation. Hahaha... party... invitation... (Oh, I'm glad it's Friday.) They have several Lilly items on sale right now. Just looks like random overstocks - no one particular designer.

Changing subjects yet again... do y'all have any exciting weekend plans? I'm hoping to just chill tonight because our weekend is literally packed solid from start to finish. We're running a 5k down in Candler Park in the morning. This will be my 3rd! My goal is to break 40 minutes this time. I *almost* did at the last one, but surely I can pull through on this one. Lucky is also running it - she's a big runner and lives down in that area. So after the race, I'm going home with Lucky to shower and change and then we're immediately heading out to meet up with kuntry bride and the rest of her crew for a girly day of fun to celebrate her 30th birthday (which is today - Happy Birthday, kb!). We'll be lunching, shopping, and spa-ing together tomorrow afternoon. Then we're heading back to her friend's place to grill out and celebrate. The boys will join us there (someone has to grill, after all). So that wipes out my entire Saturday.

Then Sunday we're going to the 11 o'clock and having lunch with some friends afterward. And THEN at 3:30 we're meeting up with another couple at Dinner A'fare - one of those Super Supper type places where you put together a bunch of meals to freeze. I'm so excited about it! I've always wanted to do it and my friend (who we're meeting) totally raves about it! Should be fun! The whole weekend sounds fun, but I know I will be dog-tired come Sunday night. Oh and I've gotta set my tivo to record the Olympic trials....... ooooh.... note to self.

Happy Friday, all! Enjoy the weekend... :-)

Update: Found another good one... Smashbox sale going on right now at Haute Look. It's "private" like the others, but you can register currently without a referral. This one looks good! Also FYI... Top Secret's site appears to be down right now, so keep checking back on that one.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

30 going on 17.

So I ran to Target over my lunch break to finish up kuntry bride's birthday gift. I will have to take photos of it all once I get it assembled because it's pretty darn cute. I got a little gift representing each of her little quirks that we all love. Well not all - that'd be impossible. I picked five. Anyway - I'll come back to that later. So I left Target and ran through the Starbucks drive-thru for an afternoon pick-me-up. I get up to the window and the girl hands me my tall-non-fat-iced-latte-with-one-splenda and says the normal "hey, how are you," etc, etc. Then she asks me if I'm working today. "Oh yeah, sure am," I said, implying I rather not be. And then she says, "Oh! Cool, where do you work?!" This seems normal I suppose, but the way she asked me with such enthusiasm translated to something more like, "Oh that's so cute that you have a little summer job! Where do you work?!" She looked a little baffled when I told her I worked at a CPA firm just down the street. I thought she was about to ask me what a CPA was but then she just smiled a funny smile and that was the end of it.

Ha! She may've been confused, but it sure made *my* day. It's one thing when older people think I'm a spring chicken, but when people obviously several plus years my junior (I'm assuming she was like college age) think I'm younger than they are, well that's even better. I suppose what she could see of my outfit sure didn't help... I have on a bright blue jumper with an orange and white striped tee underneath. You know, something a toddler would wear. But really I've had this happen all my life. I think I just must have a really young looking face or something. I used to hate it, but now I revel in it. Hehehe...

OK, so like anyway, I totally gotta go crunch some numbers and stuff. This summer job is killer. Text me later, OK? TTFN.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Almost gone...

..but I managed to snag these two!

The prices are awesome. I was on the hunt for the boy shorts and they had several pair for just $14 and $15... regular $34-38 each! They also had the regular thongs as low as $9 and change (set of 3 for $28) - they normally retail for $18 each. The lowest I've seen them for is around $11 or $12 - at Last Call NM or Loehmann's - so Rue La La definitely made my morning!

Well I'm going to shove down a Lean Cuisine and then run over to my alteration place to have two of my old Lilly dresses taken in. I'm so excited! I took a *before* pic this morning of the dress (it's the same dress in two different patterns) and I'll take an *after* when they're done. I'm taking them in and also chopping the length off. It will be like getting two brand new dresses! How fun is that?! I'm going to wear one to an engagement party next weekend.

Oh and while we're talking about shopping and clothes, I must share my belt bargain from yesterday. I was in Last Call yesterday looking for a birthday gift for kuntry bride (which I did find part of, btw). And I saw a tasty sign on the belt rack: Additional 75% off lowest ticket price. Oh but wait, above that sign read another: Additional 20% off. Well of course I had to look!!! Most of them were not cute - at least not for me, but I did find this fabulous studded belt - the big honkin' huge kind you wear at your natural waist with dresses and such. OK so original price on this puppy (which I would NEVER pay - ha!) - $250. After two markdowns and then the additional savings, I got it for... drumroll, please... $22! I was over-the-moon. I love it and am totally sporting it today with a cute espresso cotton dress.

And I also must mention, Saks Off 5th has a killer Lilly collection right now and many pieces have been put on clearance. Current styles too... not like old stuff. And if that's not enough, they have a coupon for 30% off your entire purchase that's good from today through Sunday, the 22nd. Leave your email if you want a coupon! I shall refrain as my budget is strapping me down, but I shan't deny any of you the preppy pleasure!

Update: OK my apologies - after forwarding the Saks coupon to an eager shopper, I realized it only passes on a 25% coupon instead of the 30% (you have to be on their original mailing list to get the full blown 30%). But hey, that's still a great coupon, so shop away!

Time for some hanky panky!

Is anyone else totally stoked about the hanky panky boutique opening up this morning on Rue La La? Credit card in one hand, mouse in the other... get ready! Boutique opens at 11am and no doubt the goods will be flying! Leave me your email if you still need in...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Holy crap.

A Kate Spade outlet is opening up at my outlet mall (North GA Premium Outlets, y'all) next month!!! Holy hell - someone better put my wallet on lockdown like right now. OMG. Heaven help me!

She's up.

OK my dears, the townhouse is officially up for the taking. No fighting! Let's be civil about this, ladies. I've mentioned a little bit about it before, but this lovely was our first house together. We loved everything about it - especially the location - but our furry kids needed a yard and we wanted more space (hence the move to the 'burbs). Otherwise I might've been "Dunwoody Diva. "

We're shamelessly forwarding the listing info to all our friends, so I wouldn't dare leave blogworld out. Peaches, if y'all know of anyone looking, this little gem is in a killer spot right at the corner of Abernathy and Mt. Vernon (behind Perimeter Mall). You can walk to Marta (not that I ever did), you can walk to LA Fitness (yeah right) and you can walk to Starbucks (now that I did do). And sad for us, good for you - it's way underpriced. As in bend over and take it up the...

May real estate fairy dust come raining down upon us!!! :-) Say a lil prayer for us!

Monday, June 16, 2008

I wanna play!

I'm taking the liberty of tagging myself via bestest since everyone seems to be playing this game!

1. What were you doing ten years ago?
I was... a junior in college. Probably in summer school. Probably wishing I wasn't in summer school.

2. What are five things on your to-do list today?
-Get documents/info to my realtor.
-Try the BodyAttack class at my gym (which I've been scared to do).
-Hopefully survive yoga after the above class.
-Finish yesterday's unfinished laundry (yeah right).
-Run at the park with the hub if I haven't keeled over from #2 and 3.

3. Snacks you enjoy
I'm a big snacker... there are many...
-fruit - esp apples, strawberries, blackberries
-100 calorie packs
-Del Monte 100 calorie canned sliced peaches
-Luna bars
-a Starbucks (usually a tall NF capp, or a tall NF iced latte)
-Tutti Frutti!!!!!!

4. Places you’ve lived
-Montgomery, AL
-Tucker, GA
-Duluth, GA
-Athens, GA
-Dunwoody, GA
-Buford, GA

5. What are 5 things you would do if you were a billionaire?
-pay off debt, and of course have a lil shopping spree!
-quit my day job and save cash for my dream job plans
-give to friends and fam
-meet with a good CFP to see how much we need to put away to be comfy and how
-give the rest away (and fast!) to my church and other charities. I honestly have no desire to be "rich" nor do I want the responsibility that comes with it. As long as I can pay my bills and have a little fun from time to time, I'm happy.

Tag, you're it - if you wanna play too. :-)
Back to work... stop distracting me!

In case you missed it... gotta take a few to watch this video of Luke Russert remembering his dad on the Today show this morning. It's a good 15 minutes long, but at least watch the first couple to see the photo taken of Luke on the set of Meet the Press after Sunday's special airing. Heartbreaking - but such an amazing photo. I can't imagine how hard it was to do that interview this morning. My heart goes out to Luke, his mom, and of course Big Russ! :-(

H&M, anyone?

Did any of my peaches happen to hit the newest H&M store at Atlantic Station that officially opened Friday? I didn't get over there - nor did I really have the desire to subject myself to club music and big crowds - but I plan to sometime soon. Perhaps a long lunch break on a random Tuesday or something. I snapped a pic with my phone while we were down there early last week. We could peek in at the racks but a big ole cop kept us from getting too close.

I will actually get to see the Northpoint store finally this weekend. Kuntry bride is turning the big 3-0 and we're celebrating with a girly shopping and spa day in Alpharetta. Can't wait! I could definitely use a massage...

Happy Monday, all!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

I hope you all enjoy a wonderful Father's Day and take time to celebrate the *dads* in your lives! This one is bitter sweet for me as we're missing our Gran. His legacy as a father and grandfather is one we'll never forget. He loved his wife and family more than life itself. Nothing gave him more pride than being a father. My grandparents were so great about journaling their life together. We have so many amazing videos and pictures, and here are a few oldies...

Gran and Mimi with their first son (my dad was #2). This was taken sometime in the early 40's.

Gran with his little sailor (my uncle again).

How cute that my Mimi dressed him up to match his daddy?!

And here's one of his last photos... and one of his last great inventions. He got a scooter and hitched the garbage can to it so he could get it out to the curb on garbage day. His neighbor always volunteered to do it, but Gran never wanted to "trouble" anyone else.

And of course I've had Tim Russert on my mind ALL weekend. Just can't seem to get him out of my head. Probably doesn't help that I've tivo'd the Friday night special, the special editions of the Today show both Saturday and today, and of course - Meet the Press, which is airing right now. Such a sad loss...

But today is also *sweet* of course! My parents are coming over for dinner tonight. I've got to get my booty to the grocery. We're doing shrimp kabobs on the grill. I ended up getting this great outdoor lantern for him - but I'm going to "embellish" it a little. I'll take pics. I hope it comes out as cute as it is in my head right now.

I believe the pups have a little something for their daddy too... Enjoy the day! :-)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Tim Russert

I was driving home when my mom called me to tell me the news about Tim Russert's sudden death today. Now I am not way into politics or a news junkie by any means, but boy do I love me some Tim Russert. So this news just breaks my heart several times over. I'm a big Today show fan - he often drops in there as NBC's political correspondent, and of course he has hosted Meet the Press on Sunday for the last 17 years or so. He was apparently in studio doing voiceovers for this Sunday's show when he collapsed today. He was only 58.

What I liked about Tim was that he just seemed so very genuine. Everyone talked about what a family man he was. It's kind of ironic that he passed this Father's Day weekend because I actually gave his book to my dad for Father's Day last year. There's a gift idea for ya... it's a wonderful compilation of letters and stories about dads. Inside the cover I added my own letter for my dad and he loved it.

I know I never met or knew Tim Russert but I will truly miss hearing his voice on Sunday mornings... "If it's Sunday, it's Meet the Press." And I surely will miss him during the election this year. He was always my go-to person for election news. It just won't be the same without him. NBC is airing a special on Tim and his legacy tonight at 10 o'clock. I'm running to set my Tivo now...

Lots of love and prayers to the Russert family. My heart breaks with yours.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

It's my Bloggaversary!!!

I can't believe it's been a whole year, blog world! I have to credit bestest for dragging me into this dazzling online society - a world that was totally foreign to me until she grabbed my hand and pulled me in head first. I have "met" so many amazing blog buddies - all over the world - and have just had such a fun time taking a peek into their everyday lives. I mean what other reason would I ever have to know the goings-on of a teenager in Ireland? Or live vicariously through a newly married southern girl living in Manhattan? It's too cool and I have had a ball sharing in all your experiences and of course sharing my own with you!

So on this special, special day, I shall take a minute to see how far I've come in the last 365 days. Or I guess it's 366... we did have a leap year this year, ya know. This could turn into a book if I get carried away, so I'll just hit a few highlights and call it a night!

  • This time last year I was getting ready to have my first surgery. I have to say I thought I'd be knocked up by now, but we're still trucking along. I try not to let that disappoint me. Hub and I have had a great time together this last year. And although the wait only gets harder as each month passes, I'm still full of hope. We'll get there. God is whispering, "just wait, you'll see."

  • The hub is with a different company now. It was not the smoothest transition in the end. He's in sales and effectively had to *start over* even being in the same exact industry due to (still) pending legal issues with his former company. So it's been a true uphill battle for him to get going at work again and get back in his "groove." But he is really starting to shine and is feeling great about it all. I'm so proud of him... He says leaving his old job when he did was the best thing he could've done.

  • I turned 30... yikes! We had a smashing party and I turned the big 3-0 in style. I have to say my 30's totally rock so far. Around my birthday I think I had a sort of 1/3-life crisis and decided to become a health nut. Well I don't think I'd call myself a *nut* but I definitely did a complete overhaul of my eating habits and got into yoga big time and now, as y'all know, I've even starting running! I feel the best I have in years. And while making those changes I managed to slim down almost back to my size in HS. Same size, but uh... things aren't exactly as *tight* and firm and... young as they used to be! ;-) Guess I'll just have to get over that, huh? I still shock strangers when I tell them I'm 30 and I have to say that feels DAMN good.

  • And lastly, we managed to add another family member. I should've known that whole "fostering" thing would've never worked. Gertie stole our hearts.

What a year... and how fun to think of where we'll be in another! Thank you all for taking a few minutes out of your busy days to get a little dose of Buford Betty. And many thanks for sharing your lives with me, too.

And now that I've hit the one-year mark, I think I'll steal a little something from MMM that I think is so fun...

:: One year ago today ::

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Parking woes.

So last night I met two of my favorite girls out - kuntry bride and our mutual friend, whom I need to just go ahead and come up with a name for here... she's Irish so I'll go with *Lucky* OK? You know, she's the one who ventured down south with me to visit kuntry bride's hometown last year. Anyway - dinner and a movie with kuntry bride and Lucky last night. It was a whirlwind afternoon actually. I left work early to meet with our realtor (our townhouse is officially going back on the market this week - more on that later) and then I ran into town for a wax appointment which I nearly missed because of Buckhead traffic (and was quickly reminded of why I normally go at lunch time or on weekends instead of 4-freaking-30 p.m. on a weekday). And then after leaving the vagina barber (her words, not mine), I hopped on over to Atlantic Station to meet up with the girls.

We grabbed a quick dinner at Moe's and went to a 7 o'clock showing of SATC. Kuntry bride hadn't seen it yet, and Lucky and I were all for a second viewing. It was actually much more enjoyable the second time around because I had to pee like mad during the first showing but refused to get up and trample over 14 other girls to get to the aisle. I was about ready to be catherized by the end. OK so anyway, good dinner, great movie, good girly fun, yada yada yada... and then we go to leave. Well my local blog buddies probably know this, but at Atlantic Station, most of the parking is underneath the streets - so it's a huge ass underground parking deck. People often get lost in it. And it's one where you get a ticket on the way in and then stop at a little automated booth to pay your parking tab before you head back to your car and leave. Well Lucky and I parked near each other but kuntry bride was on the complete opposite side. So we all walked down together, paid our tickets, and found our cars. I drove kuntry bride over to her car, parked in the handicap spot next to her car, got out and said goodbye to her and then got back in my car to leave. She pulls off and I am about to back out when I realize... I don't have my parking ticket. Shit.

You have to have the actual ticket to stick in the machine thingee to get out of the lot. Even though you've already paid, you still have to have that ticket which somehow tells the machine thingee at the gate that you've paid. OK so where the hell has my ticket gone? I had it in my hands mere minutes ago and now it is nowhere to be found. So I'm in park with the car running digging through my bag, starting to really panic. And then some dude is walking to my car (keep in mind I'm alone in a parking deck at like 10 o'clock at night). He's looking at me and pointing towards something. I thought he was just making sure I knew how to get out of there - like motioning toward an exit or something. I made some kind of flustered gesture to say yeah, I know where the exit is, but he kept getting closer and continued to point at something. So I cracked my window and he says, "Do you have a handicap tag?" Oh... he's a parking attendant person. Didn't even notice his little security buggy while tearing my car apart looking for this damn ticket. In a surely frustrated tone I replied, "I'm just getting my ticket and leaving." Which I'm sure came out as "Leave me ALONE!" He said OK and went on his way. Not wanting to be harassed any further for occupying a handicap space, I backed out and moved to another spot to continue the ticket search.

After rummaging through my car three times over and seeing 20+ minutes pass, I just said screw it. I *just* want to go home. I don't care how much it costs to get out of this freaking deck. I'm so tired and I'm about in tears at this point because I really just want to go home. I'm not hurting anybody here, just let me out of this damn deck!!!! So I head over to my normal exit because I knew there would be an attendant there. I told him I lost my ticket and asked what I needed to do. "You lost your ticket?" Yes, dude, that's what I just said. "It's $14." OK, so... can I pay you? "No, you have to go to the central cashier and get another ticket." Central cashier? What the hell is that? So I have to do a u-turn to get out of the exit while he holds off the other exiting cars while I turn around (sure, not at all embarrassing). I'm roaming through the deck trying to find this mysterious "central cashier" and I'm seeing nothing. I called Lucky at this point, who was no doubt home and changing into her pj's by now, and told her I was still in the damn parking deck and she's of course laughing at me. I would laugh at me too. I accidentally hung up on her when I came across another security guard passing by. I rolled down my window and asked her how to find this cashier and she proceeded to tell me how to get there in seriously like 18 steps. Turn left here, then right at the stop sign, left here and then you'll see signs for no entry, but go in there anyway... and on and on. Are you kidding me? I just said yeah, yeah and retained virtually nothing she just told me. Did I mention this deck is huge? As in acres.

I finally find this central cashier station but of course - of course - it is sitting in the middle of the valet section and VIP parking (what the hell is that?) so I had to park like 500 yards away from this damn cashier and walk up. Not frustrating at all! I get up to the window and tell the dude I lost my ticket. On any other occassion, I probably would've tried to argue out of it somehow or explain my situation, but I seriously just wanted to pay my stupid $14 and get the hell out. "I lost my ticket." "You lost your ticket?" YES, I LOST MY TICKET!!!! Why do you people need me to repeat it? Yes I know I'm mental and stupid for losing my ticket but I just want to go home and if you keep talking to me I'm going to burst into tears and I do NOT like crying in public so please don't make me do it. Just give me my damn ticket!!!

I got my ticket, $14 later. Let's just keep in mind here that I had already paid $2 for the original ticket, so we're at a $16 tab now. Just so you know, my dinner and a movie was a mere $16 and change. So I've now doubled the cost of my evening out. I get back to my car and as I'm getting in, Lucky calls me back to see if I made it out OK. I'm explaining to her what all happened and as I'm talking to her I realize... where the hell is the $14 ticket I just bought?! SHIT. I told her I had to go. Once again... throwing things all around my car trying to find damn ticket #2. Are you kidding me? Are you freaking kidding me?! I should not be allowed out of the house - this is ridiculous. Well, 5 minutes later in a sweaty panic, I found *a* ticket that had fallen down between my seats. Who knows if it was my original one or the stupid $14 one, but who the hell cares - it was my ticket outta there. Finally, I hightailed it out of there (35 minutes after walking down to my car).

So the lesson here ladies, don't lose your stinking parking ticket. I suppose I will be sticking mine to my forehead from now on. I think the older I get, the more frequently I do dumb shit like this. Am I going to be an absolute basket case when I become a momma? Yikes...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Oh dear... slack on blog-reading has gotten the best of me.

Pinot & Pacifiers, I need an invite - like right now! Please, please!!

Buford Betty

Monday, June 9, 2008

Flip flop.

I know a lot of y'all have fabulous businesses and side gigs of your own - whether it's handmade bags or monogramming or children's clothes or whatever! Well y'all know I have my paper biz on the side that serves as my creative outlet for my non-creative day job counting beans. Thing is, one day I am ALL about my business, and get excited about expanding it and drumming up new ideas and thinking of fun ways to market myself... and then the next day I am like totally ho-hum about it all and completely unmotivated. I flip-flop like this constantly. So my question, fellow entrepreneurs, is this normal? I purposely don't over-market myself for this reason... my business really just comes from word-of-mouth and I like to keep it that way - small and simple... you know, fun projects to do when they pop up. People often ask if I plan to eventually quit my "real" job and do the paper gig full-time, but I totally have no desire to do that. It's fun and I like it a lot - but it's not what I'm ultimately meant to do forever. It's just fun for me for now. Now I am rambling... but really I'm just wondering if these up-and-down feelings are normal or if I'm just weird and can't seem to make up my mind... thoughts, ladies?

On another note, I did get my dad's gift figured out this weekend but I'm still working on FIL's. More on that later... thanks for the suggestions! Oh and P.S. - I survived my second 5k and shaved a couple of minutes off my time!! Who knew?!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Gifter's Block.

So I'm determined to get Father's Day gifts taken care of this weekend. I just have my dad and my FIL on the list, but still - I'm at a total loss here. I can think of fun gifts for girls a million times over, but boys? I'm sorry boys, but your *stuff* is so boring. Total snooze. I often find myself struggling with gifts for the hub for birthdays and such, but he at least will come up with some ideas for me. Sometimes. But my dad has like everything and if he doesn't have it, he'll go get it. So what's a girl to do?

Now we are not big spenders on gifts, so don't go suggesting some $300 gadget here... I'm looking in the $30-50 range. I'm telling you this because the first question I ask people who look to me for gift ideas is how much do you want to spend? And I don't like to buy crap just to buy crap. I'm very big on gifts being personal or at least you know - well thought out and meaningful. We're actually making dinner for my dad on Father's Day, so that's certainly a gift in itself. I'm going to come up with a fun summery menu and really make it fun. But I also want to get him a little something to open... I did find this book on last names (you buy the one specific to your last name) and thought at first that might be kind of cool - only because my maiden name is very unusual. I was surprised they even had a version with our last name. But then I decided that fell under the category of crap... one review I read said it wasn't any good, so that settled that. Plus what would he do with that anyway? Look at it maybe once, say oh that's neat, and then let it collect dust for 10 years before deciding to pitch it while doing 2018 spring cleaning? This is why I can't decide on anything - because I think about it entirely too much.

So anyway... any fabulous gift ideas for the dads in my life? My dad is a techie and always has been. He's not into any particular sports. He has golfed, but I would not call him a golfer - so definitely not golf stuff. No cigar stuff (I'm thinking of all the typical "man" gifts retailers suggest...). He likes yardwork. OK well gardening I suppose... he has people that come and do the *actual* yardwork. He also loves to grill out. He has a gas grill and also a green egg. I've seen those monogram grill whatever things... branders? What are they called? I don't know... yeah I thought about that but I think he might think that's dumb. I mean I think it's kind of dumb. Why do I want your initials on my steak? Anyway... he's pretty preppy. Always very well dressed. Loves to travel. Auburn fan. He's 60. I don't know... geez, he's just my dad, y'all! Help me! And I don't do giftcards.

As for my FIL - he is actually the hub's stepfather but he thinks of him as a dad. He is great. He's older... pushing 70 I think. He has gotten into golf some in the last year. Big Bama fan. Likes margaritas. Does stuff with spaceships. You know, NASA type stuff or whatever. Also likes to grill but I must say if he and my dad had a grill-off, my dad would totally win. I may be partial, but I'm just sayin'. So are y'all gonna help me or what? What all are you guys getting your dads and hubbies? Our pups will be scrounging up some cards for the hub, I'm sure. They are all about it.

Alright, y'all put your thinking caps on and hook me up. We're staying in tonight, so I expect to see some good ideas when I check back this evening! As for other weekend plans, we've got another 5k in the morning and it's not going to be pretty. We haven't been out running since last week, so once again the goal is to just live through it. I did come up with a brilliant idea though... this past Wednesday at Yoga there was this nasty spider that kept crawling around (and several times ON) my mat during class. He'd run off but then come crawling right back! I guess he liked my pink mat?! I mean it does stand out a little amidst all the black and grey ones... but seriously he wouldn't leave me alone. So of course while in these awkward yoga positions, I'm fully focused on this spider. Having to lift my leg here and there to let him pass. Now if at home, I would've been screaming, but geez - I can't lose my cool in yoga class! Anway - the point here - because I was so zeroed in on this spider and whether or not he was gonna *get* me, I managed to completely forget the pain I was in while holding my warrior II. So that got me thinking, if I could have someone dangle a spider right behind me during my 5k - I would run like hell! I bet I'd finish that thing in 20 minutes easy. Good idea, yes?!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

It's all about fun (and getting it for less).

So yesterday I was walking down to the copy room and one of my co-workers goes, "Wow, there's another great outfit. Your clothes are just so... FUN!" And my immediate response was, hey... it's all about fun, right?!

I mean isn't it? To me fashion really is all about fun. If FASHION were an acronym for something, the *F* would surely stand for Fun. I know people wear whatever they wear for different reasons, but for me it really is about looking and feeling great and having FUN. Like a lot of the stuff Carrie dons in SATC is kooky, but I gotta say the girl is having fun. I mean who wears thigh-high argyle socks and heels in Central Park? Seriously. I'm sure my friends have thought the same of some of the ensembles I've come up with, but that's OK. Again, I'm just havin' fun. ;-)

So in honor of my fashion-is-fun mindset this morning, I must tell you all about more awesome sites I've discovered this week. Had I known Rue La La was going to be such a hit with you all, I would've posted about it sooner! I don't think I even realized or remembered it was invite-only till I started spreading the word. My apologies for keeping such a tasty little secret all to myself for so long! And really - what a genius concept this is... it got me thinking, there must be more sites like this. And why didn't I think of this? I mean anytime I see the words "exclusive" or "limited time" or "exceptional discount," I'm like ooooh, must go!!! Must buy now!!! And while I thought the whole "invite only" thing was a little on the oh, puhleez side, I get it now. These sites have these exclusive sales with limited inventory, so they like to keep their audience on the smaller side to ensure that everyone really has a fair chance at the goods. Yet they obviously revel in new members since all these sites give some sort of perk to the spreader of the good word. So here are the new sites I found after doing a little digging (and totally managing to score invites to all three!)...

  • Ideeli - All of these sites generally have the same concept as Rue La La, but this particular one only showcases one item at a time (displayed under "The Latest" tab). Also, this site only offers accessories - which works for me, because I'm a total accessories girl! And if you're a big-spender, you may want to sign up for their "1st Row" membership which, for $7.99/month (billed through your cell phone bill - weird, but whatev), you get instant sale notifications and access to new bargains before regular members. I'm interested to see the discounts on future features, because the current bag they have up isn't discounted so much - though it's gorgeous (and already sold out)! This one did mention that they sometimes stop accepting new members, so girls you better jump on this ride while it's hot!

  • Gilt Groupe - Now this one and I are sure to have a hot love affair once I come off my shopping hiatus! I am way excited about this one. They currently have a Kate Spade shoe boutique open (swoon!) and Dolce and Gabbana just opened up today too. Some really gorgeous gowns on there for insane prices if you have Dolce and Gabbana type dollas.

  • Regents Secret - This one is totally fun - in addition to their current boutiques, they have a "Warehouse Sale" open with final sale items leftover from previous designer boutiques. There are a lot of great party dresses in their by ABS right now for ridiculous prices. I was just drooling over this great dress on sale for $46.99 (orig $290). And also worth mentioning on this one - their reward system for spreading the word is pretty awesome. All the others I've mentioned give you a store credit ($10-25) once one of your invitees makes an initial purchase. But with Regents, you actually earn 5% of your invited friends' purchases in merchandise OR cash - for LIFE! That's pretty stellar - especially if you got some high falootin' friends. Hehehe...

I think Rue La La's site is still my favorite of all these - the site design is so fun and they've had some killer sales so far. And though this hardly matters to most, their packaging is oh-so fun - that kind of stuff totally gets me. Like I love how Bluefly sends you a shopping bag with your order - makes me feel like I really went to a boutique! I'm a TOTAL sucker for that kind of crap.

Now here's what I'm gonna do, ladies - since I love you so much - I'm going to go ahead and work on sending invites out to all those who responded already to my La La post. There were a lot of you and I assume if you were eager to get into that site, you'd also love these others. It's gonna take me a while to send all those out, so if you're not interested, just leave me a quick comment and I won't add you if I get the message in time. Or, you know, just ignore the invite emails if and when you receive them. (You should only get one initial invite, but if for some reason any of these sites continue to pester you, just let me know and I'll see about deleting your invite.) And anybody else that would like an invite to any or all of these, leave a comment with your email address and I'll add you as well. Then do your part, and spread the love!!!

And speaking of spreading said love, are there any other sites like these lurking out there that y'all know about and I don't?! Do tell, do tell.

Happy Shopping! And have some fun...

Update: Alrighty I've sent out the invites for all but Regents Secret. Sending them out via their site is much more tedious than the others, but they have another way of doing it...

Log on to Regents Secret and click on the link, "Not a Member? Register Here". You'll need to enter my e-mail address as the sponsor's e-mail address inviting you (aaz106 @, and then it will allow you to join!

Again, leave me a comment if you want in to the others! And if any of you haven't received your invites yet, let me know and I'll resend.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Doo doo brown.

Um, in case you were wondering if it were possible to get chocolate stains all over you (i.e. a dribble on your lap, a smear on your butt, and a dab on your boob) while eating one (yes, just one) Ghirardelli dark chocolate square after lunch (a daily must for some)... yes, dear readers, it is possible. How I manage to do this time and time again, I have no effing clue. Especially when I'm trying to be uber careful since I'm meeting girlfriends for fish tacos and 'ritas after work. I really need to start keeping emergency wardrobe changes in the car.