December 21, 2012

high five for friday!

I'm so happy it's Friday. Not only is it simply Friday but, it's the last Friday before Christmas!

I thought I'd link up with Lauren over at From my Grey Desk Blog to celebrate!

So here goes, my High Fives for Friday!



ONE //
This is the last Friday I will work in 2012. I'm so excited to be off on vacation for nearly two weeks. SCORE!

TWO //
I will be heading to Colorado for Christmas to spend the holiday with Mike's father's side of the family. I'm really stoked to see familiar faces and finally get to meet one of Mike's cousins, as well as one of his other cousins' new husband. [Are you keeping up, because his family, it's huge!] And did I mention... Colorado, for Christmas! EEEE!

THREE //
Lauren has been talking and blogging about her great new scarf from Target. I saw it at the store the other day and didn't purchase it. After feeling the Alabama versions of 32 degrees this morning, I am starting to rethink my choice and going back this weekend to snag it, hopefully it's still there because it's simply perfect for 4 degree weather. YES you read that correctly, it's been 4 degrees in Dillon, Colorado at night. Can I just tell you how much I love weather apps for phones? I've been tracking the weather in CO / IL / AL / TN - just to see what it will be like when we travel.

FOUR //
My co-workers are too sweet. I feel like a total jack-hole for not having anything for them today. Normally I'm on the ball but not this year. I did get out Christmas cards, before the last minute and that was a huge win for me, let me tell you. There has been simply too much going on so I promised them that I would bring in New Years gifts for them. I cleaned up with cookies, and earrings and Egg Nog spiked with whiskey today from all of them. I love the holidays!

FIVE //
I'm getting a cold - this is not high five worthy, but I will say that Zicam is. As nasty as it tastes I think this magic placebo is actually working to help me not feel as sick. And if it's not, ignorance is bliss so leave me alone!

Happy Holidays to everyone! I hope you have a wonderful time with friends, family and loved ones. Please remember the true meanings behind this season and hug and love each other a bit closer this year. With the recent events in CT, and Sandy Hook, and other states where shootings and crime seem to be running rampant [Did you hear about the lead singer of the Alabama Shakes being held up and robbed in Nashville?] - I know most of you will. I observed the National Moment of Silence this morning for the victims of Sandy Hook Elementary. Their families are in my thoughts and prayers, and all of YOU and your families are in my thoughts and prayers as well.

Let's make this a Christmas to remember the important things in life, those that aren't things at all.

MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY HOLIDAYS, & HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

This is vintage ME • Formerly Dare to be Domestic
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December 19, 2012

the curse.

I'm really beginning to fear that my husband and I are cursed. At first it started as a joke here and there. We had an amazing dating life, we moved in together after only dating for 6 months tops, and it was smooth sailing. Almost 8 years later we got engaged it was awesome and then we got married, also awesome.

While we sat in the airport waiting to get on our flight to Cozumel, Mexico for our honeymoon getaway, the news reported about a possible hurricane developing off the coast of Mexico. I tried to just brush it off, hurricane, this is the first I've heard of it. I'm not too worried, after all this is our honeymoon. The wedding was perfect, why would this be any different.

BOY WAS I WRONG!

Upon arriving to our destination it was paradise. We had been upgraded to the nicer, more plush resort in the back of the compound and given a great suite for our week's say. Bonus, our room number was 1022 - our wedding date - FATE!  We settled in, and made our way down to the beach bar for some drinks.

A few margaritas, beers, and chips later we headed up to our room so Mike could take a shower. As he puts it, to wash many time zones worth of funk off of him. I settled in on the bed and flipped through channels, taking in how amazingly cool our room was, and the view of the ocean.  Moments later the phone rang, it was my mother-in-law, frantic. She was apologizing for calling us on our honeymoon and then scolding us for both turning off our cell phones (worried about international charges). She asked to speak with Mike.

Mike was a bit shocked when I brought him the cordless phone and said "It's your mom."

She told us about the hurricane we had already known was on it's way but totally dismissed as something that wouldn't happen. Long story short, for the next three days of our stay we spent our moments freaked out, worried about where to go, what to do, trying to get flights home, trying to reschedule flights to different locations so as to maybe finish out our honeymoon. We discussed looking into flights to New Orleans, or even flights to Nashville - ANYWHERE that might be more fun than returning home. It seemed returning home was our ONLY option and that we'd have to postpone our honeymoon.

A bit broken hearted but knowing that being safe was better than being sorry - we gave Mike's mom the reins to get us home safely. After hours upon hours (make that a full day) of calling around to change arrangements his mom came to a dead end. It was too late to get us out of Mexico. Airlines had stopped flights, and even if we could get a private jet into Mexico they wouldn't let it leave.

As we asked around the resort it seems we got a different answer from every worker, and or guest at the hotel. Some would tell you it was OK to stay, some would say you have to leave, others would say they had no idea to come back later when someone who was higher up could answer such questions.

None of the locals at the hotel seems concerned. That made me feel better, then I realized they were trained to act this way, then I got freaked out. Friends of mine from back home were freaking out. My father remained calm. He knew I knew how to handle myself, and I knew he trusted me to do the right thing. Mike said he was very worried, I think he realized this was his biggest test as a new husband. To keep us both safe and to ensure nothing happened to us.

Finally we made the choice to leave the hotel. Again all our signals were mixed. Stay or go? What happens if you stay and you're evacuated - with out reservations in town you go to the Convention Center with the rest of the locals and most likely where few if anyone speaks English. Needless to say my Spanish is very poor. I know enough on how to order a good drink, ask where a few things are (including the library) and probably be able to tell you how to properly pronounce a menu item so you don't look like a fool requesting "CAY-SA-D-I-LLAS" on the menu.

Instead of waiting to see what might happen, we instead decided to make hotel reservations in town at a local small motel that was $35.00 / night. We followed the lead of an older couple that sort of adopted us that weekend. They were from Arkansas and loads of fun to be around. The wife treated us like her kids and I really felt better having them with us in this new place.

We were instructed to not check out of our hotel, since that would make coming back easier once we returned after the storm, if there was a hotel to return to.  We hopped into a cab with our couple friends and headed into town. Half way there, the cab overheated. Thankfully we weren't left stranded, another cab was right behind us. I will be honest, it's a bit freaky when you're already on edge, to hop from one cab to another. After watching movies like Taken - you are always slightly fearful for your life and welfare in different countries. I'm a very, very cynical person so it was on full blast at this point.

We got safely to the hotel and checked in. The staff was friendly, spoke very broken English but I felt at ease once we were there. We got into our room, it was clean, not fancy, but clean. And I mean, you would feel OK walking in the bathroom barefoot clean. Again no luxury but we were better off than being at the convention center.

Mike and I locked up our valuables and headed out into the streets with our friends to find food. After eating high on the hog for 2 days in our resort, this was a bit of a challenge. We settled for the obvious, a nice authentic Mexican restaurant. We all got beers, and fajitas and some ceviche (my new obsession). We chatted, laughed, talked about what we would do, how we would handle ourselves and I was thankful that even if we didn't get the best honeymoon, we did get a great couple to spend our time in town with. I felt better, and safer with numbers surrounding us.

After our meal we headed to the local market. It was a lot like hitting up Walmart. We got everything we could for our nights ahead. Water, beer, food for sandwiches, ice, cooler, etc. Candles, lighters and batteries for flashlights.

We settled in for a long 48 hours. There was wind, rain, fear, nasty beer, peanuts that tasted like limes that were NOT tasty, gross sandwich meat, wishes of all you could buffets, and sleep. We slept fully clothed. I hate to do this but felt it was necessary incase we got evacuated due to the storm. I kept my passport and other important things in my cargo short pockets. We spent two nights in town. Most of the store fronts were closed the following day. We feared for the worst but after a long 2 nights we woke to sunshine. The water receded, and the birds were chirping.

When we finally got the news we could return to the resort we were beyond happy. Most of our honeymoon was over, but we were alive, safe and sound.

Once back in the resort we were instructed that our rooms were not ready yet, but that we could put our belongings back in our room and enjoy breakfast at the back resort. We headed over to the other resort for a breakfast buffet, mimosas and warm sun on our backs. The 4 of us were so happy to be back. I could hear other resort patrons chatting and complaining about the 2 nights they stayed at the hotel. Our hotel didn't get evacuated, instead they moved all patrons to the back part of the resort away from the ocean. Most were annoyed that they had to eat a Chinese Buffet two nights in a row and that they stopped serving alcohol at 9 PM the first night.  I had to bite my tongue from slaying them a new one... You had Chinese food? I ate nasty salami, and ham sandwiches - I had a "hamburger" in town where they literally had a burger with HAM on it... not good, trust me. And everywhere country wide stopped alcohol sales the night before the storm at 9 PM - great practice if you ask me.

Our bellies were full, and we were told we could return to our room that they had put the TVs back on the wall, refilled our bar, and put everything back in working order.  Side note: If you are ever in this position and you have a free wet bar - stock up on the beer and the coke and water in your suitcase before the storm and take it to your new hotel, it's a lifesaver!!!

Through all this mess, we finally relaxed. We sat on the beach, filled our stomachs with good food and recounted all the fun times (because there were fun times in-between panic), and what freaked us out on our trip. Our last night in the hotel we spent the evening on the hotel roof deck and watched the sunset with our friends we traveled with. We ate a nice dinner and tried to enjoy our last hours in paradise.

If I had it all to do again - I might have said we can't get on the plane at all and beg his mom to help us figure out changing the plans or rescheduling the trip. If anything we have an exciting story about our honeymoon. I would have rather had a lazy week by the pool and ocean, and or a chance to go back and do it over without a hurricane. But in the end, I'm happy we have these silly stories to tell our kids.

I'm sure you're wondering why I say we are cursed. Well ever since our honeymoon when we travel, we end up dealing with some type of natural disaster or unlucky plague.

For our July 4th vacation we headed to Maryland right after Virginia and Maryland had straight-line wind storms causing massive power outages. By the time we arrived to my father's home the power was out for about 12 hours, add to that another 12+ hours of sweating and no electricity. No fun. Add to that the totally heat wave that swept that part of the country and our trip North was far from the oasis we had hoped it would be.

While in Orange Beach, AL for the weekend Mike suffered his second strong bout of heat exhaustion putting a cramp in our weekend on the last night.

Don't get me wrong we are perfectly healthy and perfectly fine. And there are people all over with issues far worse than this, obviously. It just seems like the two of us can't take a trip together without some type of hitch messing something up.

And here we are now, for our final trip of 2012. We are heading to Colorado with Mike's father's entire family. As soon as I heard the news that Storm Draco is on it's way there, and sweeping across the US, all the way over to Chicago and beyond, I thought well, that seems about right. Our layover is in Chicago. So help me if Draco messes up our holiday plans I'm going to call 2012 a wash! Send good vibes our way if you would that we not only make it to CO safely but also back home, and preferably without a delay.

Let's hope that 2013 brings SMOOTH SAILING for us... even if we have more plans to have lots of STAY-CATIONS instead of traveling in the new year.

So tell me, was your honeymoon a dream, or a nightmare? I think ours was a bit of both.
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December 06, 2012

[wanna-be] rockstar diaries // birthday edition

Look who's 36! That's right, I said it, I admitted it, and I'm owning it! 36 and Proud! Just don't tell my newly forming wrinkles or they might get the wrong idea! My birthday weekend was epic, but so as not to bore you I've put it in bullet form, so enjoy!!! For all those that sent wishes here, on Facebook, twitter etc THANK YOU SO SO MUCH!!!

For those of you who commented "wear the glasses" I got this response after leaving for the night, so I didn't wear them. I felt strange sporting "FAKIES" when I wear real glasses.



The Wanna-Be Rockstar Diaries
SATURDAY // 12.1.12 HIGHLIGHTS
  • Birthday being on a Saturday is already a great start for a B-Day Weekend! 
  • Mike go the a hilarious card, because in our house we don't do sappy. Well we do, but not often. Card promised drinks, cover charge and a fun time in Nashville for the weekend ahead! 
  • Mike's mom called to wish me a happy birthday and sang to me over the phone! I loved it! My mom used to do the same thing for me every year. 
  • SEC Championship Football game was the day's entertainment. Georgia vs. Alabama, ROLL TIDE! 
  • Dinner was smoked pork butt, and lots of good sides made by Mike's parents.
  • Mike's mom made me a Coconut Cake for my birthday (my favorite) - my wish was one that wasn't wasted! 
  • My wish came true - Alabama beat Georgia in the SEC Championship, securing another SEC title AND moving on to the National Championship game against Notre Dame! And yes, I did make a wish on my only birthday candle for that win. Dedication, y'all! 
  • ALABAMA WINNING THE SEC CHAMPIONSHIP - made my day!
  • Cleaned up, dressed up and ready to rock Mike and I hitched a ride with some old friends to head out for a night on the town to see a few friends' bands play. 
  • Friends are so good to me, and to us, they payed our cover charge for the gig and purchased drinks for our birthdays (Mike's is on the 8th, we usually celebrate together). 
  • Awesome bands to rock the night way to for my birthday made it all the more special. An Abstract Theory (Mike's classmate from HS is the drummer), The Authority which played a ton of great 70's, 80's and 90's covers. And our dear friend [who was also one of our groomsmen] N's band Jolly Roger melted our faces with the power of METAL!
  • I have a new found respect for rockstars that play day in and day out. I used to think, it can't be THAT loud, why do they need ear plugs.... I found out why Saturday night. My ears were ringing and felt swollen, I couldn't hear and honestly felt dizzy due to the deafening sound. Ok maybe a few of the drinks and shots had something to do with it but I blame my inner ear for my side step, totally.
  • Jolly Roger's set list included METAL greats like Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Ozzy, and may others. My ears may have been bleeding but I totally enjoyed it, and was able to hear them give me a birthday shout out right before they played War Pigs, which is one of my favorite songs they play. (Set List and Lead Singer aka our pal N below - click to enlarge)

  • Rockin' night, home safe and sound due to N's wifey T giving us a ride home and in bed by 2 am. Feels like I'm 20 something again.
SUNDAY // 12.2.12 HIGHLIGHTS
  • Woke-up without a hangover. SCORE! Maybe turning 36 isn't so bad after all.
  • Realized that statement was slightly false after getting ready and hitting the road to Nashville and feeling the need for a serious nap, only 3 hours after waking.
  • Heading to Nashvegas to see THE WHO in concert for OUR birthdays - epic!
  • Dozed off half way to Nashville. I hate being the person that falls asleep on the driver, but I needed it. I woke not necessarily refreshed but felt a bit better.
  • Nashville was bumping for a Sunday afternoon when we arrived in town. I assume it was because of the concert and probably the Titans game that was in session.
  • Seeing a mob of disappointed Titan fans coming down off the bridge in downtown after the game. Sorry fans of TN, I just don't like the Titans.
  • Getting a tasty rueben at the Brewhouse downtown in Nashville and some much needed water for my dehydration issue.
  • Walking around downtown taking in all the sights - getting a much needed workout, it's been too long. Hitting up all the different parts of the city that Mike didn't frequent and did frequent when he lived there and listening to his stories from that time in his life. This is the 3rd time we've been to Nashville together. All three visits have been for something specific (visits w/ friends etc) so maybe sometime in the near future the two of us can go there, stay the night downtown and really, truly enjoy it for all it is. I have yet to really sit in a honky tonk for an evening.
  • We had tons of time to spare between lunch and the concert so we hit up the Frist Center for some art and culture. I really enjoyed the installation by Carrie Mae Weems. It was moving and a bit eye opening.
  • We had just enough time to spare before the concert to take a breather and wait outside the arena before the show started. Taking in the night sky, the Christmas lights all around the city and the sound of music bellowing out of every bar. It was a moment of peace in the city. For me at least.
  • We caught the last 5 minutes of the Steelers vs. the Ravens game while in the lobby at the arena. Surrounded by a few people in front of the TV it took me a few moments to realize I was actually surrounded by people rooting FOR the Steelers. That doesn't happen often. But I was excited. I made jokes with a few of them, and we cheered together. I didn't get to watch the whole game but being tied 20/20 at the final moments of the game and having the Steelers win it by only a field goal was pretty amazing. Cherry on top of a birthday weekend for sure!!! 
Nashville should be the City That Never Sleeps • via my instgram

THE WHO // 12.2.12 
I wanted to do this in bullet form as to not lose your interest before getting to this part. There was a lot from my birthday to take in, but I will say this. The show was AMAZING! If you've never seen The Who and want to, I say DO IT. Eat ramen noodles for weeks if you have to, in order to afford tickets, you won't be disappointed.

Mike had purchased Pearl Jam tickets for us for our anniversary so when we discovered The Who was coming to town, I knew I would have to get them for us, for our birthdays. As Mike described this concert to one of the other fans there, it was his White Whale. He's been wanting to see them for ages. As I believe I stated before, I've heard The Who live before - in 1976. My mother was pregnant at the time, and in the 2nd row and apparently I was rocking out in the womb, kicking to the beat of the music. Obviously I have no memory of this, but I like the thought of being somewhat present at The Who show in the 70's.

We walked around the arena about 2 times in circles casing out the food and the drinks. We settled on some Gatorade since we were still feeling dried out, and later some Diet Pepsi (gag, I hate Pepsi) and some "Gas Station" style pizza from one of the venders to fill us up before the show.

When they finally opened the upper level to patrons we headed up to our seats that were in Section 336. I would have loved to get closer seats but with so much happening at the end of this year that will require money, I got the closest most affordable seats that were left. The upper level, it wouldn't be great but we would be THERE!

At the top of the steps there were ushers asking us what our section was, and then directing us to a table. The man said we'd be issued new seats. Immediate panic... NEW SEATS? Better ones? Or crappier ones? WTF I paid good money for these tickets .. I deserve... OH... wait... when the woman handed us our new tickets... they read Section 104. WHAT? UPGRADE? HELL YEAH!!!!

Happy as a lark I followed Mike down the steps to our new level seats... we were in section 104, row H and we were off to the right side of the stage. SCORE!!! And other than a family that drove me absolutely bonkers because they couldn't stay in their seats the entire wait for the show, it was perfect! We were the first 2 seats in that row.

OPENING ACT: VINTAGE TROUBLE
If you have never heard of this band - google them. Trust me you will love them. If you enjoy music that sounds and feels like classic soul and early rock, you'll love them. If you miss James Brown, or Otis Redding - you will be obsessed with their lead singer. They had so much heart and great stage presence. I mean they were opening for The Who!!! And they killed it and eventually a crowd that was once sitting was standing and dancing with them by the time they got to their last 4 songs. What I thought was doubly cool was that after the show, they were going to be playing across the street at Tootsies at 12:00 midnight. If ONLY we didn't have to head home after the show I would have gone in a heartbeat to hear more by them.

THE WHO - QUADROPHENIA & MORE
Mike's favorite Who album is Quadrophenia. He was recently excited to find it on vinyl while picking at a local antique store. He'd been searching for it for some time, and this one was in great condition. He didn't hesitate to bring it home. I myself, am fan of The Who, but I don't have the history with the band like Mike does. I can recall my father listening to them from time to time, and of course thanks to CIS shows we all know their most popular tunes, but I've always been a huge fan of Tommy. Maybe it's my roots of loving all things rock-opera/musical. I was obsessed with Sgt. Peppers as a kid. Tommy's music really drew me in. I only recently watched the movie with Mike and all I could say at the end was "THE EFF?" It made no true sense to me, but I still loved the music and the imagery. And maybe much like Sgt. Peppers if I had just done some LSD it might have made it more understandable. To be fair, I watched Sgt. Peppers a while back as an adult and I thought the same thing... "THE EFF IS THIS ALL ABOUT?!?!?" The music, clearly.

The lights dimmed, and the crowd went crazy as the last surviving members of The Who and their band took the stage. I tugged on Mike's shirt sleeve and said what I always say, "They're RIGHT there!!!" I always get a rush knowing I'm in the SAME room, even though it's HUGE and I paid money to be there, with someone I idolize. I didn't cry when Pete and Roger took the stage [like I did when I saw AC/DC], but I was grinning from ear to ear.

The band was bigger than normal, with extra guitars, brass instruments, keyboards and pianos. I didn't realize until about half way through that they were playing the entire Quadrophenia album as intended. Every excerpt, every cut to, every note as you would hear it on the album was played as if you were in the middle of a broadway show, or listening to a symphony. It finally clicked for me after about the 4th song.

Each musical number was backed by graphics on three screens above their heads, and one behind them. Historical moments not just for the band but also in US and world history. It really hit me how much other countries pay attention to what happens here in the United States, and often times how little I know about what is happening over seas. I only know what the news tells me, for some reason it feels like The Who, and people involved in their stage show dug deeper.

It's hard for me to remember exactly what images, went with what songs but it was all, extremely moving. Between reliving the golden years with Keith Moon & John Entwistle through photos and video that they played during key points in songs to historical moments in our history as a country. There were great moments when they played a bass solo by John on the big screen, and moments when they would play a drum solo by Keith as well as moments when he took the mic during shows to sing. I looked down and you could see both Pete and Roger turned toward the screens to watch these moments. Smaller screens revealed footage of their faces reacting to this video and they smiled, laughed and you could tell they truly felt lucky to have done all they have, with these people.

Half way through one of the songs there was footage, ranging from the Vietnam War up until current times today, highlighting wars, and struggle the US has had like 9-11, Hurricane Katrina, and many others. At this point, I lost it. Welled up and tears were streaming down my face. I can't describe to you how moving it was to hear their voices with these images. Part way through the Union Jack flag, morphed into the US flag and the fan cheered. It was truly moving.

For the last song of the set, the lights dimmed, and slowly an image of what looked like rain on the screens started to light up [upon further focus I realized it was video of waves, turned on it's side made to look like sparkling rain]. The band started to play the opening notes of "Love Reign O'er Me" and the crowd went nuts. For most of the set, most of the crowd, ourselves included were sitting. To be fair most of the crowd was much older than me, with a mix of youth and 20 somethings but it was almost as if you were at a symphony show, as I said before. Sitting didn't seem strange at all. Once this song started though, EVERYONE was on their feet. It was the finale and you didn't want to miss a moment of it.
The Who is Magic • via my instagram
I welled up again - maybe it was all the footage I just watched, or because I've always felt moved when I heard this song but tears came quickly. It was, amazing. I couldn't believe after all these years, they still had it. And I was SO thankful!

Once finished - the band addressed the audience for the first time. I found it odd during the performance that they never said anything between songs - but then I realized it was like a play, or a show, not a concert and that was their full intention. Pete took time to talk to the crowd, and make jokes and explain Rogers vision for this show and how he wanted to present it, and how the band of talented musicians, including Pete's brother pulled it off and brought it to life.

It was so great to see their personality, to see them talking, chatting and joking with one another on stage. Roger took time to compliment Nashville on the Ryman Auditorium and how the town was so lucky to have a building with so much soul. I could have swore that they stated that the band had NEVER played Nashville, but don't quote me on that - they did however thank us for a well received welcome and appreciation for their evening.

To thank us, they started in to the set to play ... AND MORE of their evening. They played many key hits from over the years. I was so happy they decided to include Pinball Wizard, because it's one of my favorites. I would have loved to hear them also sing Tommy. The entire band ended the night with "Won't Get Fooled Again" and I"m happy to say that the entire night Roger hit EVERY note, just as he would have back in the day, it was amazing!!!!

PHOTO BY MIKE
The Who • via Mike's Instagram
The entire band gave a bow and waved goodnight leaving only Roger and Pete on the stage to talk with the audience one last night. As the screams of adoration died down Pete pulled out his acoustic guitar and Roger walked to the front of the stage with a cup of tea. Only spotlights remained at this time. There was no flash, no sparkle from the lights. Only spotlights and big screens to see them up close. Pete started in with Tea and Theatre. Just the two of them, the original members to close out the night with a moving song. I welled up again. Yes, rock makes me cry people.

TEA AND THEATRE
Will you have some tea 
At the theatre with me? 
We did it all 
Didn't we? 

Jumped every wall 
Instinctively 
Unravelled codes 
Ingeniously

Wired all the roads 
So seamlessly 
We made it work 
But one of us failed 
That makes it so sad 
A great dream derailed
 
One of us - gone 
One of us - mad 
One of us - me 
All of us sad 
All of us sad 

Lean on my shoulder now 
This story is done
 It's getting colder now 
A thousand songs
Still smoulder now 
We play them as one 
We're older now 
All of us sad 
All of us free 
Before we walk from this stage 
Two of us 

Will you have some tea 
Will you have some tea 
At the theatre with me

*** TELL ME THAT WOULDN'T MAKE YOU TEAR UP! ***

It was beautiful, perfect and epic to close with this song, just the two of them. I left with excitement, warm fuzzes and not a single ounce of disappointment.

I was so happy to have the chance to gift this to my husband, Mike for his birthday. And it was a gift to myself too. Every time we share music together, it's awesome. And I'm happy I gave him the chance to catch his musical White Whale.

So there you have it, after a long ride home, my birthday weekend was over. We went to bed at 2 am, woke up for work the next day and worked like zombies. But I wouldn't change a sleepless second for anything. 36 has started with a bag and I intend to enjoy every moment of it!
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December 03, 2012

sweet birthday hangover

Ladies n' Gents - I will be back tomorrow with a full write up about my birthday weekend and how amazingly great it was. Right now, I'm exhausted, dragging ass and not feeling 100%. I leave you with a peace offering, my favorite (crappy cell phone) picture of the night....

The Who • Nashville, TN • 12.02.12
Love Reign O'er Me
via my instagram
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November 30, 2012

high 5 for friday! weekend edition

I couldn't be more happy it's Friday!!! High FIVE for that! Lauren over at From My Grey Desk Blog is hosting her weekly High Five For Friday and I wanted to join in the fun! Head over to her blog and link up too - all the cool kids are doing it!

I have a big weekend planned, so here are my 5 high fives that I'm looking forward to!


ONE //
This weekend my favorite college team Alabama is facing the Georgia Bulldogs in the SEC Championship. Yeah, I've talked about this a million times but heck, I'm still excited about it. ROLL TIDE!

TWO //
Saturday is my birthday! (Hoping for an AL WIN and fun times with friends, and beer). I'm looking forward to celebrating - but not too hard. I have a bit weekend planned and a hangover is not part of the equation.

THREE //
You might be wondering about the Pirate flag. While I'd love to say I'm going to pillage and plunder on my birthday in true Captain Morgan fashion, the flag is actually for a few of our good friends. Their band Jolly Roger is getting together for a one night gig on my birthday and I'm so stoked! Our friend N has the best voice and our friend D, well let's just say he's amazing on guitar. I'm anxious to get to sing some of my favorite 80's rock and classic rock with these guys.

FOUR //
Sunday we are heading to Nashville for the day and I'm really, really excited. We haven't been in a while so it will be fun to walk the streets and soak up the culture.

FIVE //
Our trip to Nashvegas was sparked because Sunday evening we are going to see THE WHO live. I am so, so excited. This show is a birthday gift to Mike and I both. His birthday is on the 8th. Our anniversary was spent witnessing Pearl Jam, and our birthdays will be spent witnessing THE WHO! This will technically be both of our first times seeing The Who live. However, it will be my second time HEARING them live. You see, when my mother was pregnant with me, she went to a Who show. Second row, and I kicked to the beat of the music the entire time. Can't wait to do the same this weekend.

SO there you have it... I'm totally HIGH FIVING EVERYWHERE! I hope you all have a great weekend. WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS?
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November 29, 2012

gearing up for the weekend!

This weekend is the SEC Championship game. Those of you that know me, know that I started following the Crimson Tide when I moved here 8+ years ago to be with my then boyfriend, now husband. It's been an amazing ride. This year the championship will be between Alabama and Georgia!

We are so ready to yell for our team this weekend! I'm over at From the Sidelines today talking all about the love of my "new home" team and this VERY important game! Check it out!!!

ROLL TIDE ROLL!!!!
via Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images
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November 26, 2012

she tried it and... guts edition

A while back I wanted to start a little thing here on the blog of things I tried and my reaction to these new things. In order to keep life exciting and far from routine I figured trying new things would not only give me more writing material, but also expand my horizons. This won't just be trying new foods, but new things as well. PG rated of course.

During the Thanksgiving holiday you'll be hard pressed to find anyone trying new things. I made the comment that I thought all the Food Network specials where cooks are sharing these extra fancy recipes were completely pointless. Who tries a whole new meal on Thanksgiving? Tell me you wouldn't be disappointed to find out your mother, sister, uncle or grandmother who always brings their family famous dish, decided to change that family favorite to something fancy because Rachel Ray told them it was the bee's knees. (Honestly though if it was your uncle I'm going to guess he'd say that Giada's boobs told him to do it, am I right?).

I didn't get to try anything new while eating the traditional dinner, unless you count red wine. I tried lots of new brands of red wine. None disappointed. That either means I have the least picky pallet out there, or I'm frankly just a lush. I'll let you decide.

The choice to try something new presented itself when Mike and I decided to take his sister to our favorite Fried Chicken joint in town. This place is a death trap. Namely my death trap. I am going to be hard pressed not to want to go there every weekend. The atmosphere is awesome, it's like having a piece of the Mississippi Delta area right in our own Alabama backyard. The menu is complete with fried chicken that will make you die and go to heaven and tamales. Compete with blues on the jukebox and lots of kitchy decor it's a great place to chill and stuff your face with deep fried goodness (or badness).

While ordering Mike's sister decided to get herself a Chicken Liver snack. I have never tried liver. My experience with liver was very small. I can recall three instances where I was faced with liver.

Number 1: When Boss Hog ate Liver and Onions on The Dukes of Hazzard. Absolutely gross.

Number 2: My mother would make liver and onions for my father and her for dinner - I was able to get a free pass and eat pizza, thankfully.

Number 3: My mother used to dig out chicken, or turkey innards and she would slice, dice and fry them up in butter for our cats during the holidays or when she roasted chicken. Um, so liver is cat food - that's what I decided.

My mind has been more open since the days that I would scream YEEE HAWWWW! And jump over the foot rest of my dad's chair. Between watching Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern on the travel channel - I've started to think differently about animal bits that most people here snub their noses at.

So when Mike's older sister offered me a deep fried chicken liver I figured... when in Alabama, right? Please note, she ordered a "snack" size they brought her an entire basket full of about 10+ livers, in full breading, HUGE. She looked at me and all I could think to say was "Welcome to Alabama."

I took the offering... placed it on my plate of salad and deep fried buffalo chicken tenders and contemplated my attack. Do I just dig in? Bite into it? Do I cut it down? Is there a dipping sauce? I decided to take a fork and knife to the nugget of deep fried massiveness. As I cut it, the liver sort of fell out of the crispy shell. My stomach sank, it was gray. Dark gray, like an over cooked mushroom. Only this looked more rubbery than a mushroom. I shrugged it off, and put the liver back into the crispy covering and took a bite.

First chew... not too bad.... I kept chewing, and then it hit me - GAG REFLEX. As soon as the liver hit the back of my tongue, I thought I was going to lose the 2 bites of lettuce and chicken tender, and whatever else was still in my gut from the night before - all over the table. Yes, gag reflex. It was that bad.

First instinct - drink a huge gulp of my water to wash it down. I learned this when I was really young. Yes, kids you can swallow an entire brussel sprout like a pill if you drink enough water or milk. This also works for lima beans, asparagus and other veggies. (Note: I now love roasted brussels & asparagus, but lima beans can take a long walk off a short pier). The gulp of water did nothing... I got it down, but the taste, ugh the bitter liver flavor was still there.

I thought, KILL IT WITH FIRE... I took a bit bite of my spicy chicken tenders... but then it just tasted like Buffalo Liver. Blech! Eventually the taste went away, and thankfully my Sister-In-Law didn't see my horror ridden face after biting into the snack she enjoys.

To be fair, my brother-in-law's wife who was there felt the same way. She tried it and couldn't eat it either. I'm not a picky person, and this concerns me that I won't like other types of liver, but I will still try them. After all it gives me something funny to talk about right?

FINAL VERDICT:
I do not like Deep Fried Chicken Liver and I will not be eating it again anytime soon. I tried it, and I didn't like it. The South will deep fry anything and everything, but that doesn't mean you're going to enjoy it when you eat it.

I really thought I might enjoy it - considering I ate, and enjoyed pork pate, beef tongue and heart (and other wild foods) a few months ago.
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November 24, 2012

eight years ago.

I originally typed this draft in September of this month, but forgot to post it. Since the thoughts in this post rank so well with Thanksgiving, and being thankful for all you have... I thought I'd go ahead and post it, after all I took time out of my life one day to type it all out, right?

9.16.2012
It's hard to believe that eight years ago last month I moved away from my friends and family and settled in a small town in Alabama. Mike and I had been dating for less than a year when I made my journey down here, and we immediately moved in together. I regret nothing. From the moment I made the choice to move to the South, and move in with him I've had an overwhelming sense of knowing I was exactly where I needed to be.

Through the years we've had ups and downs, not with each other mind you, but in our day to day lives and families. Our jobs changed, jobs were lost, unemployment was a challenge, we had deaths in our families, argument in our families, but we alway had amazing times too. Weddings, birthdays, trips, laughter, birth, and new friendships. A lot can happen in eight years.

Life has been moving so quickly that I meant to write about this back when the anniversary of me moving here was actually happening, but sometimes life is a bit more important than jotting something down for the masses to read.

I paused a bit this morning thinking about how different my life might have been had I not met Mike online over 9 years ago. What if I had just went about my life as it was, where would I be, who would I be and what would I have become. I don't know the answer but I do know for a fact I wouldn't be as happy as I am right now, in this moment, in my life and with him.

It's cheesy but true - home is where your heart is. And my heart is where he is, therefore, when I am with Mike, I am home.

I miss my friends dearly, and my father and my family but I KNOW in my heart if I make time they will always be my friends, and my family.  When you are an adult, your life doesn't revolve around your friends like it used to. You focus on your significant other, your children, and your family. Your friends are the added bonus to your life. They are not afterthoughts but just aren't always right there all the time.

You make new friends, but you keep your old ones too. Every moment in your life is another thread in the quilt you're spinning every day.

When I moved here eight years ago, I had no idea how long I'd stay. We weren't sure where we'd want to be 5 years from that day, or ten. Neither of us made huge plans, we just knew we wanted to be together and I think that is what's helped us get this far, and I believe what will propel us further.

We make plans, we discuss our future and I think maybe deep down we always knew we'd get to be where we are now, one month away from our first anniversary as husband and wife. We didn't stress about this. OK well maybe I did a little bit. (please note this has been sitting in my draft box for months now, I originally wrote this in September... and never posted it - we celebrated our first year together and it was wonderful!)

I knew from the day I laid eyes on him that he was the one for me. It may have taken him a bit longer, or maybe he knew too but was playing it cool. I never admitted to him that I would follow him anywhere but now I think he knows.

I can't imagine a day in my life without him. Before meeting him I don't know that my heart was truly living. I knew love, and I new unconditional love from my parents but true love was nothing I thought it was until I met him.

Eight years ago I took a leap of faith. The main reason I moved here was because he said he was willing to move up North to be with me. There was a 50/50 choice for us and we were both willing to bend to meet the other. I chose to come here because I knew his friends were all living the same lifestyle we would be living as a new couple. Most were dating, still going out, still enjoying life before children. All of my best friends back home had settled down, found their husbands, and began families. It's a different type of fun, one that I didn't want him to feel forced into or like I was constantly wondering when it might happen for us. I wanted our relationship to unfold naturally, and moving here meant it could.

My friends have always joked and teased us about when we would get married and now we hear about kids. We will, when we are ready, and when it's time. I'm happy we've had our first year as a married couple to just be us. Who knows that the future will bring, for now we're celebrating this moment in time.

------
11.24.2012
We are gearing up for our second Christmas as a married couple. This year we will be heading to Colorado to spend time with Mike's entire family on his father's side. I'm so excited, and so blessed to be welcomed into such a huge loving family. If only I could convince my father to fly to the frozen tundra, it would be perfect. But I will pick my battles. Instead Papa Bud (aka my father) will hopefully make his way back down South for an after Christmas party with both of us.

In closing, life is good - I can't complain and I'm really, really happy. I guess you could call this my late Thanksgiving post. I am thankful for all the love in my life, from family, my husband and my friends. Without them I am nothing.

Happy Thanksgiving Hangover to us all - I hope you ate lots of turkey, gave your thanks and enjoyed all your families traditions. I think I drank enough red wine to last me until Christmas, or at least until next Saturday.  And now it's time to start decorating for Christmas, preparing for next weekend (my birthday weekend) and seeing THE WHO in concert!!! SO excited!

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November 15, 2012

new music, rocks my socks off!

It's all about the little things in life, right? For me getting a new CD is one of those little things in life that often becomes a big thing, and one I look forward too like a kid at Christmas.

Think about it - how many songs in the world remind you of a special time in your life. Or sometimes worse, a horrible time in your life? When you hear certain songs you can often trace where you were, and what you were doing to a single verse or guitar solo in a song.

Dance parties, forget about it I can tell you a certain moment in time to most of my favorite dance songs new and old. True story - every time I hear the opening to Rob Base's "It Takes Two" I'm transported back to middle school at a school dance where a dude I thought was the coolest ever (he's now married to one of my BFF's) was dancing to this song. It also transports me to my junior year in HS on the dance squad - we used the intro as a mix in for a transition in our competition routine. See what I mean, why do I remember stuff like that... it's because of music. It feeds my soul.

Seriously - I can't hear a song like "Motorcycle Drive By" by Third Eye Blind without being transported back to my early years in college - healthy relationships were not something I had at the time. I hear that song BOOM! Water works.

Pearl Jam TEN - that entire album reminds me of high school summers. Cruising in my 86' Mercury Topaz with the windows down and the AC cranked up - yeah I rolled like that.  Add to this the B-52's Cosmic Thing - same thing happens. That tape deck blasted a lot of music in HS.

AC/DC - Back in Black, totally makes me think of HS as well. It was our fight song during football season. Thunderstruck, yep, again HS it was our fight song for basketball season.

Anything and everything Weezer totally reminds me of my 20's - my best friend J and I saw the band as many times as we could live. (Add to that list Saves the Day / ... Trail of the Dead / Taking Back Sunday and many more).

The entire Velvet Revolver debut album reminds me of Mike. When we first started dating the album was brand new and we listened to it over and over every time we were together. I can't hear the opening bit of "Fall to Pieces" without thinking of him.

I could list lots of songs that remind me of him...

I've been waiting for 11.13.12 from the moment I found out that Soundgarden was releasing a new CD. True I didn't rush to the store like a music crazed teen of my earlier years the day of it's release, but it was the first thing on my list of must buys yesterday. We do a lot of our grocery shopping at Target... so it was convenient.

Once in Target, and after purchasing my other NEEDS I was ready to snag the first studio release from Soundgarden in 15 years and I have to say I'm totally obsessed with it. I'm so happy it's such a great album. 15 Years without a peep is a long build up right? Trust me when I say it was worth the wait. At first listen, I feel for this album, hard.

I can't wait to make new memories with this album.
via my instagram
SO tell me, is there a song or album that totally reminds you of a great time in your life?

Or am I the only one that thinks her life story has a soundtrack?
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November 06, 2012

stickers rock!!!

via my insta-feed
Especially stickers that state you've exercised your right and privilege as an American citizen to VOTE!
HAPPY ELECTION DAY EVERYONE!!!!

I was so please to see so many smiling and proud looks on people's faces as they exited the polls this morning. Oddly enough I couldn't get the scene from Black Sheep out of my head when Chris Farley gives his "Fight for you right to VOTE!" speech. {I love that movie}. Good times.

I don't care if we agree on the same candidate, that's our right to choose our side and make voice own opinions, thus making our own decisions. I do care that we all take time to care about this country and the people that live in it. That is what is truly important to me.

God Bless America! My home, sweet home.
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October 26, 2012

Confessional Friday: Link Up 10.26.12

I have been a bit MIA here so I thought I'd jump back in the game by confessing and joining up with the lovely Leslie over at A Blonde Ambition for her Confessional Fridays! Feel free to link-up and join in.

I CONFESS //
I had an amazing anniversary. We had a very low key evening. After celebrating while at the Pearl Jam concert last month, I was really ready for a quite night, just the two of us.

We enjoyed a bottle of wine at the house, watched some comedy to unwind after a long Monday at work. We got dolled up and headed to a place in town we had never tried before. We shared a plate of Chef's Choice Sashimi, and both had a Blue Moon. Once that was consumed we moved on to sharing a bottle of Old Vine Zin and we both ordered the Classic Reuben.

Sure, it seems a bit odd to order a "sandwich" on such a special occasion but honestly, Mike and I have been on a mission to find the perfect local Reuben ever since we tried them for the first time. We found one back home in Maryland that knocked our socks off. I'm happy to say, this one here, locally did just the same.

The red wine and corn beef went great together AND the fries were an awesome side.  Yes, I know it sounds less than glamorous, sandwich and fries with wine, but did I mention we were sitting on the top floor of the restaurant, which is open air when the open the large bay door, we practically had the area to ourselves and we had a great view. It may not seem fun to head out on a Monday night to celebrate anything, but it was PERFECT and I'm so happy we did that instead of fighting the crowds on Saturday night.
via Mike's instagram
It was a great evening. One I'm very happy we were able to enjoy together. We finished the night off with a bottle of Champagne that I had been saving from our wedding day. We sat on the couch in our PJs and watched Pearl Jam Live on DVD until Midnight. Happy Anniversary to us!
via My Instagramhttp://followgram.me/turnedup2eleven/
I CONFESS //
I'm currently obsessed with that Reuben and I've been dreaming of going back to get it again. And again. I think next weekend I will have to do just that.

I CONFESS //
I've been stir crazy lately, not sure why. I think I need to start getting back on the workout wagon. I like falling into bed feeling like I got my full days worth. Lately I've been coming home, crashing on the couch and by 9:00 PM I start to get that feeling like I haven't done enough with my time. I hate that feeling.

I CONFESS //
I ate almost an entire bag of Snickers last night. When, oh when will I learn NOT to bring candy into the house.

I CONFESS //
We have about 6 lbs. of candy that I purchased for Trick or Treaters - most of which I will shovel into my little sister-in-law's pumpkin when she stops by next week. The rest, thankfully is mostly sour candy, things that only Mike truly likes. Chocolate is my weakness. The rest of that stuff will probably last until next Halloween.

I CONFESS //
I would totally consider handing that out again next year.

I CONFESS //
I'm usually so amped for Halloween - this year... we've both just been a bit "MEH" about the whole thing. I decorated, and I purchased fall scented candles, but the thought of going out, purchasing items for a costume and then spending money at the bar just isn't appealing to me. Maybe it's because we know we need to save for our Christmas trip to Denver. Or maybe I"m just a Polly Pissy Pants right now?

I CONFESS //
I'm really excited for the Denver trip but a bit worried I'll fall in love with it there and not want to come home.  Thankfully we're going in the Winter and while I LOVE the winter, I think it will be enough to stop me from wanting to move there right this second.  Bets will probably be off if we go again in the summer. I've seen images and I've heard tails of Denver and Colorado's awesomeness... and it worries me.

I CONFESS //
It's only 4:08 PM and 5:00 can't come soon enough - everything is getting under my skin today!

If you need me... I'll be on my couch tonight sipping on some wine and making plans to be more active, next week. Wish me luck!


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October 22, 2012

happy anniversary 10.22.12

Has it really been a full year since we said "I do"? It doesn't seem like it's been that long. I swear only yesterday I was fretting about what shoes to wear - when in the end it truly didn't matter. I would have married him barefoot, in front of a million people - or the way we actually married, in a small ceremony, with family and friends at a resort set in the middle of the woods. It didn't matter, as long as I married him a hurricane could have hit our wedding and I would have remembered what was most important. For the record, the hurricane hit our honeymoon instead.

From the moment I laid eyes on Mike I knew he was the one for me... maybe I need to rephrase that from the moment I laid eyes on him in person, I knew he was the one for me. As I've shared before Mike and I met on myspace.com over 9 years ago. Next month will mark our 9th year together as a couple but today is more special to me, because it marks our first year together as husband and wife.

The night before we made our relationship official - 9 years ago
Mike, I look forward to all that we will do together in our coming years. All our adventures, and even all our evenings laid up on the couch watching movies. The front porch happy hours, the camping trips, the kayak rides and everything in-between. But most of all, our future, and what that has in store for us that we aren't even aware of yet.

When I'm with you, I know that I am home. I'm where I'm meant to be and I wouldn't change that for anything.

Happy Anniversary babe - I love you with all my heart!





Had this song below been released before our wedding, I know for a fact it would have been our first dance song. Sadly it wasn't, but it was released before our videographer put together our preview for our wedding videos. This song set to the events of our special day, on our video always make me smile and remember our special day when it plays through his phone, my Jeep disc changer or my iPod. I thank my videographer, Chris for picking this song. I told him how much Mike loved Pearl Jam and I had discussed a song from the Backspacer album - instead Chris surprised us. I think he knew this song would be 100x more perfect for our special day.

LONGING TO BELONG
by Eddie Vedder

I'm falling harder than I've
ever fell before
I'm falling fast while hoping
I'll land in your arms
'cause all my time is spent here
longing to belong
to you

I dream of circles perfect
eyes within your face
my heart's an open wound that
only you'd replace
and though the moon is rising
can't put your picture down
love can be frightening when you fall

And when the time is right,
I hope that you'll respond
like when the wind gets tired
the ocean becomes calm
I may be dreaming but I'm
longing to belong
to you

*** Side note: I also find it really funny that for the rest of our years, our anniversary will also be the third weekend of October, which in the South means, Alabama vs. Tennessee. Maybe next year we'll catch the game live.
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October 02, 2012

currently 10.2.2012

I've been itching to blog but had nothing to go on for the past few days. I hate when that happens. BLOG BLOCK! Thanks to the lovely Katie over at The Perks I got a bit of inspiration. OK, I copied, but I totally told her I was going to do this. If you'd like to join in, let Katie know, visit her great blog and post way!!!

CURRENTLY

// LISTENING
On the way into work I was blasting an acoustic/live version of "I Believe In Miracles" a Ramones cover done by Pearl Jam. Yes, I'm on a kick of PJ. After seeing them live I finally understand how Mike was able to listen to them, over and over, and over, and over without getting tired of it. Eddie's voice is magic, and this Acoustic Live Album is frankly, the tits.

Pearl Jam Live at Benaroya Hall • via google

// EATING
I haven't eaten yet - horrible I KNOW! I did however sip on some apple cider on the way into work. My throat has been super dry.

// DRINKING
Right this second, coffee. Can I count that as breakfast?

// WEARING
Plaid shirt [mens AE], skinnies [Target], and finally BOOTS [Also Target]!
Yay! [Note these pictures are tough to take!]
via my instagram feed

// FEELING
Peppy - very odd. I blame the coffee and the healthier dinner I made last night. Salmon, Wild Rice and Zucchini/Squash combo.

// WEATHER
Wet, rainy and cool. High of 68 today - SCORE!

// NEEDING
To clean the house, it's OUT OF CONTROL! My father is coming to visit next weekend so the pressure is on to get our home in order. We live like college kids, I swear we're adults.

// WANTING
This cool weather to continue AND a little something to eat.

// THINKING
I really don't have much to complain about in life and I love that.

Hope you all have a great Tuesday!!!

"I've been blessed with the power to survive. After all these years I'm still alive." - The Ramones
 
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September 28, 2012

fixation friday: wine-o

Welcome to the end of the week friends! It's that time again, time for me to think long and hard ::insert Peter Griffin Laugh:: about what I'm fixating on this week.

I've already discussed my fixation for Pearl Jam, and to be totally honest I'm still fixated on them. I can't stop thinking about the show. Add to that the fact that I've been reading a book I purchased for Mike at Christmas about the band, that I'm almost finished reading, you've got a full blown obsession going on over here. Better late than never right?  I also may or may not have dug out a ton of CDs this morning, thus fully loading my 10 disc changer with only PJ CDs (minus 3 slots left for Foo Fighters and and Eddie's solo projects - I'm a freak).

Instead of saying the same shizz over and over I'm going to talk about the other thing I've had on my mind not stop since probably last weekend and that's my beloved obsession with WINE!

Wine-O At Heart!

I'm going to blame my current craving for the lovely drink of the gods squarely on Eddie Vedder. From the moment he walked out on stage last weekend, toting his trademark bottle of wine and notebook I've been craving some red wine. If you've never been to a live PJ show, know this. Eddie drinks at least two bottles while performing on stage. I'm oblivious to how he doesn't get dehydrated doing that. I love me some red but I usually walk around after drinking it feeling like I look like Fire Marshall Bill. [Side note: I loved In Living Colour in my teens!]

obsessed with this image • via • Peace, Love, Eddie and Wine
I wasn't alone in my craving, Mike too was ready for some red wine as well. We decided to do what any sane crazies in need of a fix would do and snag a few cheap bottles of wine at Target and our local grocery store on a Wednesday night.

Truth be told Mike and I really don't drink a lot during the week. When fall rolls around we have a bit of a tradition on Thursday nights - we get a bottle of wine to share with our dinner and watch our favorite tv line up on NBC. It's a fun, date night like tradition we've tried to keep going.

This week we got a bit reckless, and bid farewell to our usual schedule. Instead of Thursday - we got our wine on Wednesday and I declared it WINE AND PIZZA NIGHT! We enjoyed our food, and great conversation and our wine on the front porch. This is a new tradition I could definitely get used to, especially after a long work day.  Front porches aren't just for happy hours folks!

 not bad for cheap wine and a store bought deli pizza right? • via turnedup2elven

After dinner I watched a movie and relaxed on the couch, and did what any normal person does and instagramed about it.

Cheap Wine and a movie - What to Expect When You're Expecting {it was cute} • via turnedup2eleven

I love most wine. Red and White alike, but I will be honest I hate sweet wine. Hate it. It gives me acid reflux and a headache and I just can't handle it. Don't ever try to serve it to me, I'll pass it up every time. I'm also not a real big fan of Chardonnay - I just don't like it. Last time I had it, hang over from hell.  I also love my wine to be crisp. I'm a big fan of Pinot G - most will say that's sweet and I have had some that I had to turn away from for being too sweet. But in the end if it's light, crisp and chilled just right and NOT overly sweet. I'll love it long time.

Reds however, are my favorite. I love a full bodied red. Zinfandel is the best. The wine we purchased on Saturday was pretty cheap, and the cheapest bottle was actually better. The first was a mixture of Zin, Chard and Merlot but was way too sweet. I don't think I've ever had a red that sweet... I will not be purchasing it again.  The wine Mike snagged was much better (pictured above).

I'm a firm believer that you don't have to buy the BEST wine. Sure there are some amazingly delicious expensive wines out there but you can find a favorite on any budget.

My go to Wine for any time is Gnarly Head's Old Vine Zin. Like I said I love my Zins. It's usually about $9.99 / bottle at our local store, often times maybe $14.99 depending on where we shop. But I love it. It might not be the best but it makes me happy. That's all that matters. We served this at our wedding, thats how much I love it. I loved the left over bottles even more! I like a wine that makes me crave steak, or pizza. Reds do that to me all the time.

via google

This time of year - I look forward to the cool weather and the holidays. Mike's sister and brother-in-law come in town from Colorado and Thanksgiving always becomes a bit of a wine tasting. We each purchase a bottle to pass around and share and it warms my heart and my cheeks to try the different brands. This winter we are supposed to head to Colorado to visit them for the first time and I hope that the same tradition will be happening again.

I. LOVE. WINE! Love it. Especially this time of year.

Do you love wine? What's your favorite type, and brand? I'm always open to suggestions!
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September 26, 2012

tuned in.

I will be the first to admit, I watch a lot of television. Maybe not as much as some people do, but by most non-tv viewers standards I watch tons of TV. That being said I'll be the first to also admit I love our DVR. Passionately, not physically though that would be sick.  I really love the idea of recording my favorite shows and having them wait for me while I go out and try to live life. Or honestly just try to complete cooking a home cooked meal.  Living in a Central Time Zone I rely on our DVR a lot in order to get the kitchen cleaned up, make a meal for us, and then get the kitchen cleaned up again. I love being able to pause a show I'm watching in order to use the restroom, answer a phone call or just stop it all together and come back to it when I have time. I also enjoy fast forwarding through commercials.  There are often times we are sitting in the living room while something we want to watch is recording and we don't watch it, just so we can have the convenience of hitting FF through those blasted commercials.

That being said, I do believe I could survive without DVR, but I frankly don't want to. Sure if times turned hard, or we had to scale back for the sake of a budget. I'd get rid of it, but I'd totally kick and scream the whole way.

Today Misty over at Handbags and Handguns gave us a list of the Fall Show line up she'll be watching and it inspired me to share the shows I'm looking forward to watching the most this season! I'm totally giving Misty credit for this - she's on the ball I'm just trying to keep up! Thanks girl!

First up, I'm dying for the new season of this show to start!

Walking Dead

I am in one word, obsessed with this show. So obsessed that the season finale kept me awake at night for 3 days straight trying to figure out what might happen this season. I love every single cast member and what they bring to the table. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this damn show!
via

Hart of Dixie

It's a bit of a cheesy show, and maybe the South isn't portrayed 100% accurately with the accents being off and some of the behavior, but for the most party it's a feel good show that gives me warm fuzzy feelings and I adore Rachel B. So it's a win/win for me. And let me just say the fashion on this show, is always awesome! I'd kill for Lemon's jewelry box!
via

Always Sunny In Philadelphia 

Mike and I are semi new to this show and are kicking ourselves for not watching it when it first started. It's amazing. I love every, single, bit of this show. I laugh my ass off and we often reference it now in our everyday lives. I'm still waiting on kitten mittens in the mail. And we really wish we could go have drinks with this cast. Maybe one day we'll make it to Philly.
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Grimm

I will be the first to admit, I had a love/hate thing going on with this show when it first started. I wanted to love it so much, but I got bored mid way through the first season. I stopped watching but my DVR kept recording. I deleted about 4 episodes and didn't watch them... I watched a few of the final episodes of season 1 and heard rumors it was being canceled. After watching the last 2 parts of season 1 I got a bit sad to hear it might get canned. When Season 2 started, I was iffy about it all. They changed the opening title sequence which I frankly think sucks now... but something was different. It was less of a rush to get you up to speed on what a Grimm was and the story and characters were starting to develop. (Note - I love Monroe, Love him!) Add to that the fact that it stopped seeming so much like a total CSI spin off with fairytale info. They finally stopped doing case after case with supernatural creatures and started to tie them all together to one HUGE case with small ones sprinkled in. The only way I can describe my rekindled love for this show is that it's a total bandaid for me and my aching heart over Buffy the Vampire Slayer being over. There are lots of similarities to Buffy in this show and I think that's what brings me back. And thankfully the special effects are getting a little better, each time it airs.
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Last but never least

Wilfred and Louie

I love both of these shows. They are a bit dark, but still funny and heartwarming. If you love dogs and you're not watching Wilfred, let's just say you're totally missing out! Their new season has already been in full swing and has not disappointed one bit! There are also lots of great cameos in both of these shows from famous actors and comedians.
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Sprinkle in my favorite Thursday shows on NBC

Community • Parks n' Rec • The Office • Up All Night

And you've got a really well rounded DVR full of entertainment for Mike and I. I am sure there are a few shows I'm completely forgetting to mention... but for the most part these are the ones I'm most excited about being able to watch again.

We also regularly record anything that Anthony Bourdain is on - the No Reservations Final Tour has us hooked as always. But let's be fair, Anthony could brush his teeth on film and I'd still be interested in what he had to say through mint paste.

So I ask you - what are you into and watching? Maybe my DVR has some more space to share? Let me know and stop by to visit Misty, tell her what your'e watching! She's always adding new shows to her DVR - I'm not sure where she finds the time, but she does! :)

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