December 09, 2013

A Very Vinyl Christmas

It's hard to imagine I haven't said anything since the Halloween season here on my little blog. November came and went in a hurry. Thanksgiving was great. Seeing my in-laws from Colorado (Mike's sister, brother-in-law and two nephews) is always a blast and getting together with the family, well, let's just say there is never a dull moment.

I can't believe it's already the second week of December. My birthday came in like a lion and went out like a lamb, oh wait that's March - but yeah it was crazy. Mike opted for a more laid back birthday night out on the town, to which I am pretty damn grateful. For those new here, our birthdays are exactly one week apart.

Both of us cleaned up for our birthdays. Between receiving new shirts (mine was a Dalek Dr. Who graphic T I wanted) and Mike's was a new flannel, we also got each other vinyl.

FOR ME: 
A gift from Mike
Wasting Light by the Foo Fighters
(I thought the CD sounded amazing, NOTHING compares to vinyl, NOTHING!)
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FOR HIM: 
A gift from Me
Mudhoney's Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge
via subpop.com
FOR HIM x 2: 
Our dear friend AK also scored Mike this vinyl for his birthday.
Which is sort of a score for me as well - I mean I get to listen to it too!
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That being said I titled this a "VERY VINYL CHRISTMAS" because both of us have a ton of vinyl on our Christmas wish lists. (In no particular order)

FOR HER WISHLIST:
Pure Cult - Best of The Cult
Them Crooked Vultures
Jane's Addiction "Nothing's Shocking"
Queens of the Stone Age "Era Vulgaris"
No Doubt "Tragic Kingdom"
The Beatles "Abbey Road"

FOR HIM WISHLIST:
The Clash "London Calling"
REM "Green"
The White Stripes "Elephant" and 2 other titles.
Nirvana "Nevermind"
Nirvana "Unplugged"
Stone Temple Pilots "Purple"

We've been overly active in purchasing vinyl whenever we can. On Black Friday / RECORD STORE DAY we both scored quite a few great records. I got the ONLY version of Queens of the Stone Age's "Clockwork Black Friday Special Edition on Black Vinyl"- and the word black was probably in the title of the edition like 4 more times, available at our local store. I also scored the Red Hot Chili Peppers "I'm Beside You", Black Friday / Record Store Day vinyl.  Mike scored a Rush's "The Garden" 10" Picture Disc, Nirvana's 2013 Reissue of In Utero and Stone Temple Pilot's "Core". We were pretty stoked that both the RHCP and STP's albums were numbered as well. Getting there early and being third in line that morning was totally worth it.

Before that on a random day stopping in our local record store I purchased a haul of Blondie, B-52's, Tears for Fears and Fleetwood Mac - all for under $8.00 each. Shout out to our local record store Pegasus, I love you!

Mike also recently purchased HAIM's new album, Days Are Gone for his birthday.
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If you haven't heard of these ladies they are pretty awesome. We were made aware of them when they performed a few weeks ago on SNL. Their sound to me is very nostalgic of late 80's pop music. Almost like Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie and various top producers of that time coached these girls to make an album. It's very catchy and I like that it's three chicks, playing all their own instruments and singing their hearts out. It's hard not to move to the beat of every song while listening to it.

Needless to say I've always been music obsessed. It's nice to have a hobby like collecting vinyl, and while the new found popularity has made it a little harder to come by "scores" or finding great deals, I'm happy to see the great medium making a resurgence. Thanks hipster kids, it's not often I will thank you but right now, I will.

Next on our list is getting another new turntable eventually. We love our current one but Mike wants better sound, and I still want another cabinet player that works for our living room. Ours has finally bit the dust.

Any other music fans out there? Vinyl collectors? What was your best haul? I frankly can't wait to get home for the holidays for a weekend and dig through the local vinyl stores.
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October 31, 2013

it's halloween, don't depress me.

I've seen many posts today through the blog-verse stating that so many of you aren't really into Halloween. To which I actually said out loud "Are you serious?" It makes me sad. Don't depress me on this fun day people. (Not really depressed just being over dramatic). I'm not really fearful of anything in the supernatural world, well minus aliens, I don't mess with that shizz. And I totally get people that aren't into the scary stuff (if you're legit freaked out, I get it), or dressing up, but I guess in the end I have to agree to disagree because frankly I think that's crazy.  Clearly this girl loves Halloween. It's literally my favorite holiday, right up there with New Years Even, Christmas and July 4th.

via google
So yeah... Halloween. Dude, I love it. Candy, costumes, fun times, spooky movies! I love having a chance every year, when we make plans to dress up as someone other than myself.  

This year we aren't going out, I sort of hate when Halloween happens on a weekday and local bars aren't open on a weekend to celebrate but, I have to think about it this way. I live in a college town, Thursday night is usually the big night out for college kids - and it seems only fitting for all the bars to hold parties tonight, instead of last weekend or this weekend. So my older, non-college attending booty will be staying home because, in my mid 30's it's not really forgivable or smart to come to work hungover. Trust me I did it on St. Paddy's day and it wasn't attractive, smart or professional. Lesson learned.

via google
While Mike and I are simply going to hang at the house, probably watch some scary movies (or Arrow), make dinner, do laundry and HOPEFULLY hand out the candy I purchased again, for the third time, to neighborhood kiddos. It will be a good night, to me. It will be the true meaning of Halloween, in my opinion.

I love all things supernatural. Ghost stories, vampire stories, witches, warlocks, stories about monsters made in basements, black cats, scary movies about backwoods people hunting folks down. I like, to be genuinely scared. It's not just exciting, but it also makes me thankful that these demons and things aren't in my everyday life. I've got a husband and family that loves me and honestly, life is good.

This morning to celebrate, I listened to Thriller on vinyl. It was my parents copy that I always coveted as a kid for years. It always gets me in the mood for the haunted holiday at hand. I've eaten enough halloween candy, and I've watched a few scary movies. It's almost time for Thanksgiving and Christmas so I will make one more feverish attempt to celebrate Halloween, before it's gone again, until next year.

What are your plans for Halloween??? 
Are you dressing up???

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!
I hope you get more treats than tricks!

P.S. A black cat totally crossed my path this morning on my way to work. Did I freak, no, I smiled, got excited, put an "X" with my finger on my windshield and told the little fella to run on home.

P.P.S. Superstitions fascinate me. And frankly I own a black cat so one crosses my path EVERY, SINGLE, DAY. No worries. That being said, you won't catch me walking under ladders, and I always lift my feet when going over train tracks.

via google
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October 09, 2013

damn you candy...

Everyone says it's the holidays that kill you in a diet or getting fit routine. I beg to differ. It's Halloween, and all it's glorious candy that gets me. Every. Single. Year. I can't say no... sorry WON'T say no. Candy owns me.

nom candy photo tumblr_mnpjw192Bs1s8l4eao2_500_zps124cb2b8.gif

sick candy photo tumblr_mnpjw192Bs1s8l4eao3_500_zpse822cf1f.gif
Dean's candy binge • via tumblr

Does anyone else have this problem? Come Thanksgiving I'm fine. One meal, no problem. Christmas, sure I might over indulge in some cookies, but I'm telling you, this Halloween Snickers binge, is bad. And yes, before you suggest it, I know... Don't bring it into your home, well tough shit, I did and now I am probably about 3 full bags of demolished Snickers in this season. Thankfully my In-Laws came over Sunday and ate most of the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups... Whew!
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July 26, 2013

Confessional Friday: A Questionare

I confess, I love when the lovely Leslie over at A Blonde Ambition does her Confessional Fridays. Not only does it make it easy for me to think of stuff to blog about but it's also so fun to see the other blogs in her link-up and what they have been up to.

This week is a Q + A theme, talk about making even EASIER on me! Thanks Leslie! Without further stalling, let's get this shizz started, shall we?




1. My worst fashion offense of all time...
Much like Leslie I'm going to have to go with "Butterfly Clips" She has the perfect image of SMG sporting them. I wore my hair pulled back like this all the time when I was going out clubbing. Yeah, I said it, clubbing. [I tried to find another photo, but literally the one that Leslie found was the PERFECT and only one so head over to her blog!]

A close second would have to be Cross Colour clothing. You know sort of like TLC on steroids. I had the BIGGEST, REDDEST, BAGGIEST Cross Colour pants. I think I wore them twice. I even had to make my mom hem them they were so damn long! I'd be lying if I didn't say TLC were indeed some of my heroes at the time.

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2. The most embarrassing song on my iPod is probably...
The album Great Milenko by ICP. Yes you read that right. I own music from ICP. Judge away. But let's be honest, it's comedy driven for me, and it's way better than Nicklecrap.

3. The last white lie I told was...
"I'm not hungry." Knowing full well I was starving.

4. The celebrity I most wish would disappear is...
All of the Kardashians, And Kanye West. No one gives a crap anymore.

5. Sometimes, I wish I could...
Travel in time. I would love to go back in time to witness concerts I was too young for, of artists in their hay day and beyond. Too many of my favorites aren't on earth anymore. I'd also spend probably 2 years in Seattle witnessing history unfolding during the grudge movement. And maybe, just maybe, bump into Eddie Vedder. Don't worry I'd take my husband with me. This is a dream of his too.

6. My childhood crush was...
Are you ready for this? The Fonz. Henry Freaking Winkler. I loved him. And I'm beyond excited that he's going to be at the Nashville ComicCon this year! I hope to meet him.

Ayyyyyyy! // via google
7. I've never turned down...
Chocolate. Yes I will turn down dessert when I'm stuffed, but, I always have a hard time saying no to chocolate at any other time in my life.

8. Balloons make me...
Happy. I really wish I got balloons for special occasions more often.

9. I'd rather watch paint dry than listen to...
Nickleback. Almost anything that's on the radio these days. People talk about celebrities I don't give two turds about.

10. Much like a train wreck, I can't turn away from watching...
Make-up tutorials on youtube. I have become obsessed. Most are not train wrecks but truly informative but literally I think I've watched it almost every night for the past two weeks. I have so much to learn.

Head on over to Leslie's blog and link-up too! I can't wait to read your answers!!!

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June 21, 2013

Earning my Southern Citizenship

In my email today I received a cute article from Bourbon and Boots. It was a "completely fabricated test to find out how Southern someone's roots were so I figured I'd take it. Below are my answers.

As some of you may, or may not know I'm a northern transplant. I am originally from the great state of Maryland (most Southerners call me a Yankee, which to be 100% honest, I love it even though technically Maryland is SOUTH of the Mason Dixon line). Bottom line I moved here over eight years ago, and frankly I've adapted myself quite well. My brother-in-law calls me "Southern Yankee" and I've often had friends remark that they are shocked how well I fit in. I guess all those years of reading my mother's Southern Living magazines really paid off, huh?

Bourbon and Boots ARE YOU A TRUE SOUTHERN CITIZEN QUIZ 
We’ve had a lot of border states claiming the South lately, and we’ll admit, Southern-ness is largely a state of mind. So how can you know for sure if you’re a Southerner? Take our completely fabricated Southern citizenship test, and see if you make the cut.

You’re a bona fide Southerner if you answer yes all of the following statements. 

If you answer “yes” to all but two or three, don’t worry, we’ll still let you on the porch.

1. Buying alcohol on Sunday is a royal pain in the ass.
YES! It really and truly is. If your religious beliefs make you feel like you can't purchase on a Sunday then by all means DON'T. Let the rest of us sinners have our fun, ok? There's nothing more annoying then drinking a bit too much on a Saturday night and then realizing you left yourself two beers to enjoy on the creek on Sunday.

2. I once parked a car in the backyard for a week, and it was nearly overtaken by kudzu.
No. However I bet if I did, it totally would. Kudzu is no joke, but man is it pretty. [See below one of our engagement shots we are thick in the kudzu.]

I'm really glad I wore boots for our engagement sessions!
3. When it comes to real estate, a pecan tree in the yard is a valuable selling point.
Yes, I can see this being SO true. Either a pecan tree or a magnolia. I'd go for the Magnolia, personally.

4. If everyone is driving very slowly, it must be Sunday.
YES! Or frankly every, single, day of the year! Life is much slower here.

5. My state has a team in the SEC.
ROLL MUTHA' EFF-IN TIDE!!! (That's a yes).
You literally feel the need to join a side when you move to the state of Alabama. I'm just happy I went with my gut and chose according to color and my favorite movie of all time (Forrest Gump). I chose a winner, FO-SHO! And yes, I just admitted how I became loyal to The University of Alabama... I love red, and Forrest Gump played for the Tide. Yes, a fictional character. Hey at least I can name most of the starting line-up in real life people!

6. Gambling. We all do it, we just don’t talk about it.
No. I frankly think gambling is really stupid, but that's probably because I don't have a ton of disposable income and I have no clue how to bet on anything other than the usually "I bet you a dollar I can do this....".

7. If you’re over the age of 7, sugar does not belong on grits.
YES! I agree with this. I like my grits salty and with butter or cheese (or shrimp). Now I'm hungry, great.

8. At least once in my life, I have been the deserving victim of a “whipping” with a “switch” of my own choosing.
No. My mother always used a wooden spoon, must be a "Northern Thing"

9. That fizzy sweet drink is pronounced “coke.” And so is that one.
No. I will stick strong to my northern roots here. When I want something fizzy, I will say "I need a soda." However, if I am wanting a specific soda I will say "I want a Coke." or "Man I could go for a Ginger Ale." Soda is my go to word.

10. At least one member of my household regularly hunts.
No. Now my extended family has a few hunters in the group, [Three brother-in-laws and a father-in-law] but no one in our immediate home does.

11. I have ridden in the back of a pickup truck … as a young child.
YES! But actually I was probably about 22 or 23. The bouncers of a local Country Bar offered to give myself and a few friends a ride back to our hotel after our cab didn't show up. Gotta love it! (And this was in Maryland, thank you very much).

12. There’s unsweet tea, and then there’s regular tea.
Sort of yes. I grew up on sun tea which is not really sweet unless you make it that way which my mother didn't. Sweet Tea was reserved for summers spent in North Carolina. Now you can get it everywhere and it sort of makes it less special. But no one makes sweet tea as well as my Mother-in-Law.

13. I do not live in Oklahoma.
True. And my Northern roots have no idea what this implies.

14. I have seen numerous episodes of “Hee Haw.”
Yes, does it count that I watched them in Pennsylvania? It was always on TV at my grandmother's house and that is the only place I watched it. I was also an avid fan of The Duke Boys.

15. At least one thing in my home is monogrammed.
Yes. However none of these items are ones I purchased for myself. Most were gifts and one I requested that my husband get me for Christmas (my necklace). I truly only love monograms on jewelry, so yeah, you can revoke my "Southern Belle in Training" card for that comment right there.

16. Banana pudding is a requirement at any potluck dinner.
YES! Love the stuff, I would learn to make it but my southern husband hates it so... no need. Again my MIL makes a mean banana pudding.

17. St. Louis-style barbecue does not count.
No. I think all BBQ counts. I'm not BBQ-prejudice in the least, however I'm a "Yankee" what do I know. We make pit beef which is amazing and you have no idea now much it knocks your socks off. I will say though I've learned a ton about BBQ living in the South. Carolina Tangy BBQ Sauce is still my favorite though. Sorry, it's true.

18. The car in front of me has its blinker on. It probably won’t turn any time soon.
Yes! That is if they even use a flipping blinker. Seriously.. it's like one of the FIRST things you learn in drivers ed. Why is it SO hard to use it people?

19. There’s a very important difference between cornbread and hush puppies.
Yes! Both are amazing but totally different.

20. I have seen Graceland, and it was good.
No. I have never been to Graceland. I hear it's amazing but while I appreciate Elvis I can't say I'm gaga over him. I know, Strike 2 with the "Southern Belle Training Card" thing.

SO there you have it... 13 YES's out of 20 Questions - I'm fitting in well but not losing my roots too much. Just ask my husband when I say "Crayon" it comes out as "CROWN" he loves to tease me about it but I beg him to let me keep some of my Maryland roots and how I say things. It's who I am dammit!

 
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June 20, 2013

Our Wedding: A Link-up

I wanted to link up today with Holly and Melanie they are hosting a link-up party since it's wedding season and have asked everyone to share their special days! And let's be honest, what former bride doesn't want to talk about the wonder of their wedding day (or the horror) right? So here goes, follow the link and link-up if you have some great wedding wisdom you'd love to share with newly engaged girlies!

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I've shared a lot of my wedding details and photos on here (if you're interested click on the OUR WEDDING tab or go here). My husband, Mike and I had dated for quite a while before we got engaged. We didn't mean to necessarily plan a quick wedding, I always thought I'd plan for a full year, instead we planned it and made it happen just six short months after he proposed. I figured we'd been together this long, we're not getting any younger AND I wanted a fall wedding so engagement in April meant having a October wedding.



DETAILS //
We were married on October 22, 2011. Ten. Twenty Two. Eleven. The date really wasn't significant other than wanting a fall wedding, in October, and it was the only week available at the venue we chose. We later discovered that in fact the date 10/22 is actually Pearl Jam's anniversary of their first official show. Being HUGE Pearl Jam fans, we were floored when we found this out while watching their PJ20 documentary. It was meant to be. [We spent our first wedding anniversary celebrating at a Pearl Jam show, obsess much?]

LOCATION //
We wanted an outdoor ceremony, from the moment we discussed a marriage and wedding that was our plan. I had always wanted a beach wedding but quickly realize that due to the nature of our outdoorsyness (totally a word) we were much more suited for the wilderness vs. an ocean front wedding. We settled on a great Lake lodge in Alabama with water front views and foliage as our back drop.

BRIDAL PARTY //
Um, it was huge. Way larger than I would have thought I'd originally want in my wedding party. That being said, Mike has a huge family so most of them are his siblings and our friends sprinkled in. I was very happy to have so many friends from so many phases in my life. I had my oldest and closest friend from 7th grade until graduation and beyond, another dear high school friend, my maid of honor and I didn't get a long in high school and becomes the best of friends in our 20's, a dear friend I met in my late 20's and became close to, my future sister-in-law, my hubby's best friend and my dear friend, and my junior bridesmaids both daughters of two of my maids. The party is filled out on my husband's side by three brothers, a brother-in-law, and two best friends. His father also jumped in this photo, which makes me chuckle. Our flower girl is my youngest sister-in-law and our ring bearers were Mike's nephews. Did you get all that? It was huge but I'm really happy to have so many dear friends from all the different parts of my journey in life to find my husband.


COLORS//
Olive or Fern Green and Chocolate Brown were the main colors but we also went with lots of oranges and golds for the flowers. I simply wanted as many fall colors present as possible. As you can see the girls all wore green dresses, junior bridesmaids wore brown and I allowed them all to pick a dress they loved on their body. Oddly enough four of them in different locations picked the same dress. This concept BLEW their minds. None of our shoes match either. The girls all got gold heels, different styles. I also told all the dudes to simply pick a pair of shoes they loved, as long as they were brown, they were good by me. We had cowboy like boots worn and torn, we had Vans (worn by my husband), nice loafers and even TOMS on the little boys. I loved it. I wanted each person to be able to express themselves. My husband purchased special ties in green for the guys with a tree screen printed on them, and he got a brown one with a gold tree on his. The little boys had brown too and I nearly died when they little clip ons came in, SO cute!

FIRST DANCE //
We had our first dance to GnR's "Patience" The song has special meaning for our relationship because for me, I knew from the moment I met him I wanted to be with him. And while he was really fond of me too, he wasn't sure if he wanted to start a long distance relationship (for new people to my blog I am originally from Maryland and he lived here in Alabama where we currently live. Yes, after 5 months of dating I hauled my cookies to AL from MD and never regretted it for a single minute). If we hadn't chosen Patience and if the song "Longing To Belong" by Eddie Vedder had been released in time for our wedding THAT would have been our first dance song. Our videographer knew Mike's love for PJ and when he did our "teaser video" for the wedding he used that song in the beginning so I still feel like it was a special impact to our day. I can't listen to the song without picturing our wedding video so it's a great compromise.

HONEYMOON//
We went to Cozumel, Mexico. It was poised to be an epic vacation but was dampened by Hurricane Rina. Dampened as in... we had to leave our resort and travel inland to safety and stay at a $45/night hotel with a few of the other hotel patrons we befriended while there. It wasn't horrible but a bit scary. Needless to say we spent maybe 2 days in our 5+ day trip relaxing total, and that was only in bouts of 2 hours at a time. The rest of our honeymoon was spent flooded with text messages, emails and panic from our parents. We plan to have a do-over eventually. We made it safely home and we have an exciting tale to tell to everyone. However, I would have traded having a boring story about eating until we popped, drinking until we passed out and woes of sunburn instead.

WHAT WOULD I CHANGE? //
I really wouldn't change much about my wedding. I might have gone with a different dress. While I loved mine, it didn't have the free flowing bohemian vibe I thought about having. I also would have said eff the padding for my boobs - I didn't need padding I looked REALLY top heavy. It was a bit crazy. I thin the dress was a bit of my biggest issue. I ate, I drank, I was merry and we partied well into the night.  And I would definitely change the fact that we rented chairs for the event. The resort supplied chairs but I didn't love them, so I rented chairs for the ceremony, half of them were busted, and dirty and Mike and my father spent the AM stressing over that to get it right without me having ANY knowledge of this. It was a waste of money, and I should have gotten over my "has to be perfect" moment because the chairs the resort had were just fine. I got pretty much everything I wanted for my wedding day, and all within reasonable prices. My biggest splurge was photography and it was worth EVERY penny. They are the memories I have the most.

We forgot one item so a checklist is vital. I forgot to purchase things to cut the cake and serve it with and the hotel didn't have any available by the time we cut the cake (9PM) so I would have cut the cake sooner but I guess I saved myself embarrassment right?

Everything else went well. We had signature cocktails, we purchased our own booze for the event so we got to keep all the left overs and had a blast with all our friends and family. I might have changed one thing and that's the honeymoon destination - I'm usually really in the know about hurricanes and I'm not sure why it slipped my mind that it was still PRIME hurricane season over there. OOPS! Live and learn!

HEAD OVER AND LINK UP!!!! I want to hear everyone's stories!!!


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June 11, 2013

Let's Hit The Creek!

Summer has finally reared it's brutal head here in the South. I guess I shouldn't say finally, that makes it sound like I wanted it here. Those that know me well know I get really excited for warmer weather, in the past that meant beach trips, and being outdoors. Now that I'm living in North Alabama, summer weather means extremely hot temperatures, and lots of sweat. I'm all for a good sweat session when I workout, but when I'm dressed up, my make-up is fixed and it's 104+ degrees outside, I'm miserable. Give me a kayak, and a cold beverage and let me float, otherwise I will be a beeotch to deal with.

One of my favorite bloggers, Miss Erin over at Living in Yellow shared what she called "The Best and Worst Day of her Life" to me, it looked like an amazing weekend on the lake with 40 of her friends. They do an annual canoe run. They even made commemorative koozies. How cute is that? Her post made me think a lot about how many times I've been out on the creek in my canoe, or kayak with my husband and friends and how even when you're wanting to have a great time, you must always put safety first.

I thought I'd take a moment and feature some safety tips, and items that are must haves for a float down the river or creek. Be it for 2 hours or a full day. So here are my personal must haves for a fun creek run!





1 // SUNBLOCK
I can't stress this enough. If you burn easily, or are a bit like me (OCD about burning and causing damage to my skin for cancer and vanity reasons) you must bring sunblock. I usually put some lotion on 20 minutes before I head out the door. Asking Mike to get it all over my shoulders and back. I recently started bringing spray sunblock with me for re-application. Just because it says SPF 120+ doesn't mean you don't have to reapply. Say it with me people, REAPPLY. If you aren't a freak about SPF, then by all means bring your tanning oil, I like to smell you as you float down the creek and pretend I'm at the beach.

2 // HAT
This one isn't a NEED, but more of a suggestion. Again if you worry about your face burning, or the sun in your face, or just want to sport a fun accessory, the hat is the way to go. Be it a cowboy hat made of straw, a fun trucker cap, or just your favorite old ball cap. Rock it out. I'd suggest bringing one you aren't head over heels in love with. Better yet don't wear anything you couldn't bare to lose. Mike still has regrets of losing a Pearl Jam tour shirt he can't replace once while canoeing. Hats are very handy incase you encounter a storm as well. They make it easier to see through the rain. Trust me on this one.

3 // SUNGLASSES
Who doesn't want to keep the sun out of their eyes. Bonus, when you can't wear full make-up on the creek they hide your tired eyes. If you wear full make-up on the creek, I have to ask, what's wrong with you? Ain't no body got time for dat! [I usually put on some cover up for my dark circles and some mascara, otherwise, it's SPF and sweat baby!]

4 // CHAPSTICK WITH SPF
Are you sensing a trend? The sun is brutal people, and your lips are fragile. Pucker up those puppies and coat them with some protection. If you must wear lip gloss fine, but don't cry to me when your canoe tips and you lose your most favorite shade that cost you $7.00! Get some cheap lip shit, and if you lose it, no big - get some more at the gas station next time you get ice for your next trip down the creek.

5 // GOOD WATER SHOES
I can't stress this enough. If you are going on a big lake, or gentle waters while kayaking or canoeing then by all means sport some flip flops, or cure sandals that show off your pedicure. If you are however going on a creek that is often times rough, ever changing and there's a good chance you will either have to walk through the creek bed, pick yourself up after falling out of a canoe, or do some moving IN the water with rocks - get some good shoes with a closed toe, preferably with a reenforced toe. Keen's are great. The pair shown above are just like mine and I've had them for 3 years now. I literally only want new ones because mine have become so old, and dirty (love you creek water). You'll pay a lot up front but they will last. Other sandals will work, most will stay on your feet but some will slip, and it's hard to walk in the water when your feet are slipping. There is also the fear of stubbing your toe on rocks mid flip, no one wants that. Just a safety tip from me to you.

6 // BUG SPRAY
No one wants ticks, or bites from other random bugs while kayaking. So if you are one of those people that bugs seem to LOVE, get yourself some spray for the trip. Take it with you (put it in the dry storage bag - see below).

IMPORTANT ADDITION: LIFE JACKETS My husband, Mike added in the comments the importance of having a life preserver / vest in the canoe / kayak at all times. And he's SO right, and I'm sorry I forgot to mention that. You don't always have to wear it but most state laws will insist you have one in the boat. Better to be safe, than sorry OR finned for not having one. Mike and I usually strap our vests to the back of our kayaks (with the cords on the boat), when we canoed we would strap and clip the vests to our seats and have them within arms reach to show cops on the creek, or incase the water got too rough. Side note, ladies if you get a chance to lay back and relax in the canoe while your partner steers (or gents) the vest makes a really comfy butt cushion for the bottom of the boat.  Also, one more note - if you leave these in your car after a long trip on the creek your vehicle will smell to high heaven the next day. Always remove them, and let them air out!



You've got your cooler, and your hands full of all the crap you want to take with you. So let's load up the cooler with beer, food and ice. If you're kayaking it will be a small cooler, think lunch box or 6 pack size. If you're canoeing, you can bring a HUGE cooler and carry more stuff for yourself and your friends. Don't be rude, carry stuff for your friends, seriously. Besides they might even share some beer and snacks with you. You might also want to bring one of the canoe straps you used to tie your canoe to your vehicle. If you rented a canoe, maybe invest in a strap or two to bring with you. Belting the cooler to the canoe center seat will ensure you keep most of your drinks and snacks if you should flip. (You can strap the lid shut if you get close to rough water). No one wants to lose precious brews on the water.

7 // DRY STORAGE BAG
These are great and come in a ton of different sizes. There are some big enough for you to bring a dry tshirt, some towels etc. Usually we haven't had a need for that, but these bags will double as a great way to take along all the items listed above and keep them dry PLUS if you get smaller versions you can put your cell phone and wallet inside. I URGE you to invest in a hook that will attach your car keys to your belt loop, or your partners. That way that if you flip the canoe you don't lost your keys to the car you are supposed to be riding home in.  If you have a small cooler, feel free to put some snacks in the dry bag that don't need to be kept cold. This is also a great place to store your toilet paper. You never know when you're going to need to pee. (Or you could just hang your booty in the water, just saying.)

8 // WATER and or HYDRATION DRINKS
Depending on how long you are out on the water it's always a good idea to carry a few bottles of water or hydrating drinks. Beer is great but when it's very hot, and you're sweating a lot you're only making your situation worse by dehydrating yourself further with alcohol. It's great to party. I've been there - 3 beer bongs deep and countless numbers of vodka shots on the creek - no problem. Thankfully I always carried some water too, and had a husband to care for me. Come to think about it he was my boyfriend at the time and I'm really lucky to be married to him now.

9 // REFRESHMENT
To drink or not to drink on the creek, that is the question. The answer is only if you can hold your liquor and don't put others in danger. It's hard to make a canoe with one person, it can be done but it's sort of a dick move to leave one person piloting the boat while you sleep it off. Drink responsibly. My other suggestion is try to find drinks that come in cans vs. bottles. Bottles can shatter, and also take up a lot of space in a cooler, and in a bag when you are finished drinking them. Cans can be smooched, and won't break. Ladies, I have the best thing for you. Bonus points if you pick small brewery made Craft Beers.  If you love frozen drinks, go a head and get some of the pirate bay or whatever brand the make now (Mike's Hard Lemonade) frozen pouches. Put them in the cooler and get some LONG STRAWS. You can treat them as your adult Capri Sun's going down the creek. Cool and refreshing. Just make sure they don't melt too much.

ONLY YOU CAN PREVENT WATER POLLUTION:
**** PLEASE PLAN TO BRING A TRASH BAG OR USE YOUR COOLER FOR EMPTIES. SO HELP ME IF YOU LITER WHILE CANOEING I WILL HUNT YOU DOWN AND BEAT YOU WITH YOUR OWN ARMS *****  You've been warned.

10 // SNACKS
For short trips, or folks that are always hungry (like me) bringing some snacks on the trip are a must. Try to pick snacks that don't need to be chilled, and that are sturdy. Think Pretzels vs. chips. Chips will get all broken if they get shoved in dry storage and bounced around. Granola bars or Clif Bars are great snacks to take. Both are dense, keep you full and are really, really good when they have the suns heat baking them, trust me, so good. You could also bring beef jerky or anything else your heart desires that won't perish outside of the cooler.

11 // MEALS
If you're going on a longer trip, think 3-4 or more hours, you may want to think of a meal. Your meal could be as simple as a sandwich with your pretzels or as extravagant as hamburgers. Yes, I said hamburgers. Let's start with the sandwiches. Pick a sturdy bread, you don't have to do this, plain old white bread / wheat bread is fine but keep in mind the longer it sits the longer your condiments are going to soak into the bread. Again be sure to keep your sandwiches cold, especially if you are using mayo. Nothing ruins a float more than a rancid sandwich except maybe a drunken boat buddy.

Now I say hamburgers because once Mike and I went canoeing for an entire day and he made a makeshift grill using the grate from our grill and some charcoal and branches. I pre made the patties with all the ingredients we needed and we kept it chilled in our cooler. They turned out amazing but it was one hell of a thing to do. Mike is a grill master. If you are a bit nervous brats and hot dogs work well too. Easy to tote a long and the hot dogs cook up in NO time. Just remember to keep your charcoal dry during the trip.

12 // KOOZIE
While this isn't a necessity, it makes for a fun addition to your snacks and refreshment. Mike figured out a way to use a kooz as a drink holder on our kayaks and I love it. Besides keeping your drink cold, it helps you to grip your drink if you have to set it between your legs while you paddle. Even better are the koozies that go around your neck, but I always feel silly wearing those. If you're a mixed drink kind of person a drink around the neck jug with a straw is perfect! Just try to remember to search for a plastic bottle for your booze and your mixers!





So you survived the creek/lake/river. Your muscles are screaming, you're head might be aching and for some reason eating 4 Clif Bars suddenly has you feeling a bit queasy. No worries, once you've loaded up your boats, tossed away your trash in the PROPER place you can climb into your vehicle and head home. Hopefully you'll remember when I say this, stash some towels in the pick-up car, or your car if you rented a boat. Your car seats will thank you. I always forget to bring them and I'm sure my leather seats hate me for it. Sometimes you get off the creek and you're burning up, other times you're freezing. Having a nice, car warmed towel after a long trip is heavenly. And they make your car smell fresh if they were just washed and dried.

So what to do now? You can go home and pass out (like a bitch), or you can invite your friends over for some grilled food and drinks. Usually this is exactly what Mike and I do. We are usually planning our dinner as we float down the creek. I don't know about most people but after a long day out in the sun, paddling left and right, I crave one thing - CARBS! Usually in the form of mac n' cheese or mashed potatoes.

13 // ALOE VERA
After you shower you'll realize how much sun your skin has taken on. For the reddest spots you might want to dab on some Aloe. It helps hydrate your parched skin and sometimes even helps from having too much peeling happen later down the line. I swear by this stuff.

14 // BBQ "AFTER FLOAT" ATTIRE
COMFORT IS KEY! You've been on the water all day, taking in the sun, the water and the elements. You've been suck in a swim suit that's been tied around your neck, or your manly jewels and you just want to feel relaxed. I always toss on my favorite comfortable pants, or shorts, a loose flowing tank-top or long sleeved t shirt (depending on how much sun I've had) and a pair of super easy flip flops. Doing your hair and make-up at this point is truly optional. I mean these people have seen you all day sweating and they still love you, forgetaboutit.

Now all you have left to do is bring a side dish to the hosts house, sit back relax, chat some more, laugh a lot, stuff your face with grilled goodness and give those muscles in your body a rest.


CAN'T FLOAT? NO ACCESS TO A KAYAK OR CANOE? NO WORRIES!
You can still enjoy the water, just swap the kayak/canoe for a beach chair. Gather your friends, their kids, your dogs and head to the nearest creek, or water way. Set up a day picnic and bring all the stuff I mentioned above. You don't have to float to enjoy the water, although some floats to put in the water, with cup holders would be excellent. Relax and enjoy the rays and your FREE Stay-cation afternoon.

BEWARE ON LAND OR WATER:
Be mindful of Snakes, Turtles, other wildlife - RESPECT NATURE!!!! They are everywhere. Study up on your poisonous varieties and also double check your knowledge on poisonous plants.

All in all, be safe, have fun and keep your skin protected! I hope this helps anyone wanting to try kayaking or canoeing. I think my next write up should be about camping, what do you think?
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May 10, 2013

today was a good day... already.

It's Friday!!! YES!

I've been waiting all week for this moment.

I've been waiting all my blogging life for a moment like this.

Yesterday I received a super sweet email from Lindsay King from InReads. I wasn't sure if it was spam, or possibly just someone trying to pull a fast one on me. So I let the letter sit in my inbox. At the end of this really complimentary letter she asked me a few questions about love, and marriage and relationship details. She had found a lot of herself in my words and that touched me. I wish I would have had some type of blog or person to listen to when I was in the dating seas. When I was in my teens, or twenties, making the same mistakes over and over again until my mascara was running down my cheeks. You know, other than books like The Rules and other self help stuff that essentially I would read and not listen to at all. I'm a bit bullheaded, but I digress.

Lindsay had stated that she was going to do a write up about my blog. That's what she does. She reads blogs and she writes about said blogs that catch her attention. I was a bit nervous at first so I waited for today to come. She gave me a link, to read my article at the end of the email. This morning, I got to work, checked my emails and went back to hers. I decided it was now or never,  I clicked on the link. Let's just say I was floored, and for a non-super-girlie-girl I got weepy eyed. What she wrote about me, about my blog, made me feel amazing. She got me, she gets me and she's sharing it with the world on the internet. SCORE!



This came at a time when I wasn't sure about blogging anymore. I've been lazy lately, not sure what to write about. Not sure if my voice was one people wanted to hear. Do I start advertising to get more follows? Do I even care about how many people follow? I love my followers, but did I need more?  I've always been a quality over quantity type of girl, in all parts of my life, and really didn't want to lose that. Not saying that sponsorship means that, I think it's a great way to also promote other writers in our ranks and ourselves. Add to that the fact that blogging is no my job, if I was getting paid for this, I'd work it, trust! Blogging for me has never been a passion, but more so, a way to vent. The bonus side effect is making LOTS of new friends.

Lindsay's write up has not only boosted my confidence but made me really thankful for this community, and for my ability to express myself fully, even though I wasn't sure if I was on the right track.

So please excuse me while I beam with pride and have a big head today. This morning has already started off on the right foot, and I'm not even finished my first cup of coffee yet.

Thank you Lindsay!

P.S. I am a huge Steelers fan, but my second favorite team is the Redskins. I still love my home team girl. No worries there.

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May 01, 2013

the future you.

VIA
I'd like to think that each day I try do to a little to make the world a better place. I saw this image and I thought, that is such a right on concept. (Wow, I just sounded a bit hippie-ish saying that, eek!) It's true, we should do something everyday that our future self will thank us for. Below is a list of things, I'm doing today, that I think I will be very happy I did, in the future.

"No regrets, that's my motto... 
that and everyone Wang Chung Tonight!"
 – Luke (Out Cold)

THE FUTURE ME WOULD BE PROUD....

ONE // RECYCLING
Mike and I have started recycling. I realized in just one short month of starting our recycling mission, just how much waste the two of us produce. Wait, that sounded gross, RECYCLABLE waste. Paper, aluminum, plastic. We were totally doing our fair share of destroying the earth and filling landfills with crap we could easily give to someone else to recycle.

We Mike used to take the trash out at least 2-3 times a week to our larger outdoor can. Now, he only takes it out about 1 time, right before trash day. Unless we have a lot of people over, and have a party, there is not a lot of trash that goes into the can. I love this.  One of our best friends recycles too and she says she often just has to empty her can because it smells, not because it's full. Win/Win! Less trash.

Oddly enough our recycle bin is always overflowing. A lot of it is due to boxes that items are wrapped in. We break them down but they still multiply quickly. Beer cases, pizza boxes, boxes holding cat food, add to that cat food cans, and soda/beer cans, plastic bottles, plastic containers, etc. Our recycle box is always full on Thursday. Thankfully, our pick-up people WILL take other items stacked next to the box if needed, incase we have overflow. I often wish the bin had a lid on it, but that might make it hard to pick-up and toss in the truck. My only issue is that I wish our town recycled glass bottles/jars.

BOTTOM LINE: The future me should be happy we're starting to think about the world's future. Where we will live and our kids will live, and even more important our grandkids will live. Wait, holy shit I haven't even had a kid and I'm talking about grandkids - PUMP THE BREAKS!


TWO // NOT COMPROMISING WHO I AM
Mike and I had a big discussion yesterday about where we are in our lives. We've been getting the usual comments, when are you going to have kids? When are you going to buy a house? When are you going to essentially "grow up". My gut reaction, NEVER. I never want to grow up. I will grow old, yes, but I will never grow up.  Kids? I am sure we will need to get serious about them soon, I'm not getting any younger but I'm also not in a rush. A home, we are looking, but not actively. I'm much more worried about bringing down my debt than I am about creating more of it.

BOTTOM LINE: I will hope my future self will remember me now, and think I was a good person for not compromising who I am, who I want to be and who I enjoy being. I hope that my future self won't look back regretting that I didn't take the corporate route, that I followed my creative heart and that it's a good thing, not a bad thing. I hope that the future me will be happy I didn't grow up, and that my children will be happy that Mom and Dad both have a child side to them, at least until they are 14 and we embarrass the shit out of them on a regular basis.


THREE // CONTROLLING MY DEBT
Currently Mike and I both are trying to bring down our debt. To help plan for the future. It's not a quick fix, we both have bills we need to pay and want to pay down before adding more to the pot. While we'd love to have a house, right this second it's something we're both unsure of. Who knows, next month we might change our minds.

BOTTOM LINE: We'll get there when we get there.


FOUR // TAKING TIME TO BE A MARRIED COUPLE (CHILD FREE)
I hope that the future me will enjoy the fact that we took our time to have kids. I know some people love them and have wanted them from day one of marriage or since they were old enough to desire kids. I am not one of those people. I LOVE KIDS, but currently I also love sleep. Eventually I will have to learn to love kids more than sleep. This isn't that moment. I'm still selfish, and I hope that the future me will respect my wishes at this time when she's knee deep in dirty diapers at 2, 3, and 4 am!

I hope that the future me in my 40's, 50's and 60's will look back at my 20 something and 30 something lifestyle and think "I lived, loved and enjoyed myself. I made a shit ton of mistakes but I learned from them all." I hope that she will also think "P.S. Thanks for using eye cream so early in life, I really appreciate that."

I hope that our future selves will be happy we took time to grow as a couple, first. And then a family second. 

BOTTOM LINE: I was happy I spent my 20's partying and making new friends. I'm happy even though I was in serious relationships that I didn't settle down too early. It worked for a lot of my friends, most are celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary! That's awesome! I also think they found the one they were meant to be with back then. I didn't. I found Mike later than most of my friends and I'm happy I never settled when people thought I should have, just for the sake of being married, or following the "proposed plan". Mike and I both are thankful we had this time to not only live our lives but find each other when we were both ready. I'm also happy we've taken these years as a couple to really get to know each there, to travel and to enjoy the fun of not having too many responsibilities. We are responsible adults, but currently just responsible for each other.

VIA

FIVE // WORKING OUT
While I've hopped on and off the wagon of fitness I'm happy I'm still giving it a try. I hope to start making better choices for my health. Working out, eating better and just trying to mentally and physically make myself a better person I believe will pay off when I'm older.

BOTTOM LINE: I hope that when I'm 70 I'm still able to be up and around and have energy like some of these older, healthy folks I've seen. I don't want a rocking chair lifestyle before the age of 80.


I could probably go ON and ON about this, and I'm sure I'll think of about 20 other things once I post this but these were the big ones. I'm still growing as a person even in my mid/late 30's and I still think I have a lot of work to do for myself, this earth and the community. So here's to still growing, and growing old, not up!

So what do you want to do today, that will make your future self proud?
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April 29, 2013

strange trip.

I had a really strange dream last night. It involved Eddie Vedder, whales, an atomic like bomb and a phone call to my husband.

Cliff Notes Version: My husband and I were working on different sides of town when the warning went off that people needed to seek shelter that our home would be under attack. As I was walking I ran into someone trying to get rid of an original drawing, of Eddie Vedder. I was shocked and quickly took the deal. Nevermind the world was about to possibly explode. I wanted the drawing for my husband.

As I was rushing toward the house the warnings got more rushed, and I was shoved onto what seemed like a lead boat and I was side by side with Eddie Vedder. He commented on my drawing that he liked it. I told him the story behind it and before I knew it we were shoved into a cabin room together, the doors were locked and as the shades (metal windows) went down we could see a bright blast. Anyone on the beach out the window was killed, and huge killer whales started to roll in the violent waves, belly up.

I turned to Eddie Vedder and started to cry, that I needed to find my husband to see if he was alright. Eddie handed me his cell phone and as I dialed Mike's number I hoped he would pick up. He did - I was so thankful. I told him where I was, that I was safe, he said he was too, and then I told him to hold on and handed him the phone. He had a 20 minute conversation with Eddie. All I can remember is smiling, he was talking to his hero, and although I have a huge crush on Eddie, in my dream at that moment all I wanted was for my husband to be there, with Eddie and me.

Told you, super strange? I should probably lay off the gelatto before bed, right?

VIA // Eddie Vedder's Hall Pass // Tumblr

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April 19, 2013

Confessional Friday

Here it is, Friday at last. I'm very, very happy about this. It's been a long week.

To make it easy on myself and because I love confessing I wanted to link-up with the lovely Leslie at A Blonde Ambition for her Confessional Friday!!! Join in the fun and visit her blog!

I CONFESS //
I started my day off with a bang riding to work. I decided to flip through radio stations to find some music. My current pre-sets didn't have jack to offer so I scanned. I came to the local R&B / Hip Hop station and was SO excited when they started playing a "club mix" of Busta Rhymes "If You Really Wanna Party With Me" mixed with JT's "Suit and Tie" it was great! It got me moving and smiling and bouncing in my Jeep seats on the way to work. Older rap make she very nostalgic. Reminds me of high school and college.

I CONFESS // 
We brought up Zima today at work, and I thought to myself do they still make this? I'd really love to try a bottle again to remind myself how horrible but delightful it was back in the day. (Again, nostalgia).

I CONFESS //
I am completely obsessed with the show WEEDS. I know, I know not long ago it was Supernatural (still obsessed) and Mad Men (still obsessed) The Walking Dead (still obsessed) and Game of Thrones (still obsessed). But Weeds is SO entertaining. I had NO idea I'd like it as much as I do. We're on season 8 through Netflix right now and I really, really will be upset when we are finished with episodes offered. I am having a hard time picking a favorite character. One minute it's Doug, then it's Andy, then it's Silas, then it's back to Doug again. Let's just say the show doesn't work without all of them. I miss Celia, a lot. And Nancy has me wanting ice coffee all. the. time!

VIA

I CONFESS //
I want Nancy Botwin's shoe collection (Weeds), and most of her closet. Although I'd really love to teach her the fine art of cami's under her see thru blouses. I'm tired of looking at her bras. I know why she dresses that way and why wardrobe does it, she's sexy, sure but I'm truly tired of seeing her bras.

I CONFESS //
While I'm not a pot smoker, and probably could count the number of times I've tried it on one hand, I'm overly curious about it. And I honestly have no problem with mary jane being legalized. To me it's less dangerous than alcohol or smoking combined (or on their own). Just my 2 cents.

I CONFESS //
Mike and I just purchased tickets to hit up the Nashville Comic Con and I'm really excited. I've never been to a Comic Con but I bet it's going to be fun and interesting. And I'd be lying if I didn't say I wasn't excited about the fact that Norman Reedus, aka Daryl Dixon from The Walking Dead will be there. As well as Billy D. Williams... and many, many more. (Can we say James Marsters aka SPIKE from Buffy!!!) I'm pretty excited for October.

I CONFESS //
I've been purchasing Abita's Strawberry Beer like it's going out of style. It will probably never go out of style but it will go out of season soon. Once it's gone for the year, it's gone. It's always a limited release. So lately, even if I'm fully stocked at home with drinks for the weekend, I will snag a 6 pack. It's SO good. If you've never had it, and even if you hate beer, try this, I bet you won't be disappointed. A close 2nd for me is their Purple Haze (with hints of raspberry). YUM!
VIA

I CONFESS //
After watching the documentary Beer Wars on Netflix (I'm obsessed with documentaries too), I am rethinking the way I purchase and consume the beverage of the gods. It really opened my eyes to how much more I dislike Anheuser Busch, and all they stand for. Yes, even my beloved Michelob Ultra is a part of this company... and it will be tough to give up my favorite light beer. I'm trying hard to find a replacement, from an independently brewed company, or otherwise. I will still probably consume it in small doses. Needless to say, Anheuser Busch is sneaky, crafty, and all about making money and taking out the competition (and the little man/woman). Which I get, we all want to be rich, but for me I don't want to be rich at the risk of putting mom and pop businesses OUT of business. It talks about shady practices, and also how there are many brands of brew you have NO idea that are part of the AB family.  (Did you know they purchased the Rolling Rock factory AND recipe. And instead of keeping the original brewery open, they shut it down, and moved the production to their normal brewery to save money, thus forcing people out of jobs and taking away the one thing that made the beer unique, the special water used from local waterways. Locals were pissed, and rightfully so).

Needless to say AB is #1, with Miller a close 2nd and Coors in 3rd. So after watching this I'm doing my part to go with local brewers, smaller brewers and places that aren't a part of the AB family. Sam Adam's is a huge, private, brewery. I love their beer. As well as Flying Dog Ales which is brewed in my home state in Frederick, MD (my old stomping grounds). Add to that a few others like Abita, brewed in Louisiana. And many other local, independent brews (another huge one that is independent and family owned is Dogfish Beer - this brewery is highlighted in the documentary, and located in Delaware, MD).

A lot of beer that AB brews and distributes is not labeled as AB beer. That kind of practice is what I feel is shady. In order to get a consumer like myself that is trying to avoid them, they hide this info. A brand such as Shocktop is viewed as a small brewery, but in fact is brewed by AB. This type of mass production, and secrecy makes it really hard for John Smith to brew his craft beer and market it because he can't compete with AB's numbers. Craft beer is an art, not a mass production thing. AB doesn't seem to give 2 rats asses about that.

OK, enough soap box. Drink what you like just remember... where it came from.

HAPPY WEEKEND EVERYONE!!!!
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April 15, 2013

day trippin'

A few of my close friends from Maryland headed South this past weekend to vacation and enjoy the great state of Tennessee. My friend P has family in Knoxville, so they dropped off her mother to visit her Aunt and she and her hubby M headed to Nashville. I would be a total crap friend if I missed a chance to hang with them, when Nashville is only like 2 hours from my home. We made plans to meet up on Sunday for lunch and to go tooling around town.

Mike and I hit the road at about 10:00 am and headed toward Tennessee.  It's so funny to me that I can stay awake for most of a ride to Maryland, but the 2 hours it takes to Tennessee I always feel like I'm going to fall asleep (and/or do fall asleep). Mike is a trooper!

The weather this weekend was pretty great. Mid 70's, overcast with a bit of wind (it picked up a bit too much while we were downtown but still the weather right now was more mild/chilly than it was when we went in December to see The Who).

MIDTOWN / NASHVILLE
For years Mike has raved about Mojo's in Midtown. I've been there with him twice and can honestly say it's never disappointed. It's a great little local place, with a great patio, tons of brews on tap and the best mix of Cajun and Mexican inspired food. As someone who truly loves both of these type of cuisines, I highly recommend stopping by Brewhouse / Mojo's in Midtown if you are out that way. Not only were Mike and I excited to get our favorite food but the bartender let us know it was 2 for 1 on all draft beers - SCORE! He settled on an IPA, my friend P and split some Abita Purple Hazes and her hubby M got something the bartender recommended to him. No visit to Mojo's is complete without ordering the Cajun Burrito, that will be Mike's message to you.

via Mike's Instagram
Tell me that doesn't look amazing. It's literally a burrito filled with Cajun amazingness. Cajun sausage, chicken, beans, rice and even Crawfish Étouffée. (It's also topped with the étouffée). It's filling and amazing all in one. Don't let the paper plates fool you, it might seem "low rent" but it's anything but. Very casual atmosphere. While we dined and caught up with our old friends the bar filled with Sunday afternoon patrons. Some were chatting and eating others were throwing darts and drinking the 2 for 1 special on beers. The weather was perfect. And trust me, if Cajun/Mexican isn't your taste, there are about 6 different patio bars right there together in Midtown to choose from. I truly can't wait to go back and try them - I'm hoping sometime soon Mike and I can take an overnight trip and just hop from patio to patio!

While in Midtown, and the West End we hit up Grimey's Record Store in search of vinyl. Mike wasn't going to make a trip to Nashville without hitting up at least once store. We've been on a mission lately to expand our record collection. M and P were perfectly happy to tag along and see more of the city than just a tourist would see. Mike hit his own personal mother load at Grimey's. Finding two Mudhoney records and finally getting a hold of Pearl Jam's Backspacer on Vinyl.  I was in search of some Red Hot Chili Peppers, but their selection was small for RHCP, instead Mike pointed out a Pixies section and I was sold. I snagged "Surfer Rosa". Which actually just celebrated it's 25th year since being released. Wow, typing that just made me feel really old. I would love to post a picture for you of the cover but it's a bit PG-13 (bewbies n' junk on the cover). M got himself 2 albums as well and decided he should take up vinyl collecting as a hobby. He settled on Nirvana's Unplugged (really wish I would have seen that first and snagged it) and a record that was recorded LIVE at the record store, by Metallica. Talk about a sweet souvenir! (See Mike's loot below)

Pearl Jam // Backspacer // via Mike's Instagram
Mudhoney // via Mike's Instagram
Mudhoney // via Mike's Instagram
I probably could have stayed in Grimey's all day. If we didn't have two friends in town that had never truly been there - I would have. I'm pretty sure Mike would have too. It was well organized, it smelled nice (you know how some old record stores smell stuffy? Sometimes that's a plus, others not so much). This place was really well organized and there was SO much to look at. We instead decided to haul our cookies downtown to walk them around.

Once we parked downtown the wind picked up, but I was semi thankful, nothing spoils sight seeing more than sweat, and let's just say, I'm not quite a lady when it comes to getting overheated. I sweat like a man. So the breeze, was a blessing.

We walked up and down Broadway and down to the river. Mike and I have never walked that far so it was nice to see the city from that angle.

Downtown Nashville // Batman Building, no that's not it's real name // via My Instagram
We dipped in and out of a few local stores. I was really disappointed to find out that The Hatch Print Shop is closed on Sundays - I was really hoping to go in there and rummage through old and new screen printed posters. I've become a bit obsessed with screen printing lately (I purchased a Grimey's tshirt, just because it looked cool, and it was screen printed).

We headed down the street on the off chance a bar Mike's been dying to show me, might be open. The last time we were in Nashville it was also a Sunday and said bar was closed. Thankfully we must have shown up at the right time and the Beer Sellar was open. It's tucked away on a side street, a bit hard to find, especially because it's underground. We walked down the cool, brick stairs into the dark, semi seedy looking bar and sat down to order a round. Again I went with Abita, this time Strawberry was the flavor of choice. SO good when it hits your lips. Although I was disappointed to see that they had Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy on tap. That stuff is amazing!!! (beer and lemonade mixed).

The Beer Sellar // via My Instagram
We hung out a bit longer and soon returned P and M to their hotel. Time passes so quickly but we knew we had a 2 hour ride to get home ahead of us. Once home, we hit up a favorite local place for some reubens and then went home to crash on the couch. It was a day well spent and a fun trip, one I hope to make again sometime soon so we can explore more of Midtown.

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April 10, 2013

day drinking.

via Pinterest
The weather is amazing outside right now. All I want to do is leave my office and soak up the rays. Spring Fever is in full effect now. Weeks ago, that was just a teaser. Today the sun is out, it's rocking about 84 degrees and the breeze is gentle. PERFECT day drinking weather.

Give me a patio, and a cold beverage and I'm set. And make sure you give me about 10 lbs. of allergy medication too, because the pollen is so thick in the air, I think I could cut it with a knife.

Day Dreaming Drinking, is where it's at!
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First Timers

For lack of feeling up for coming up with a brilliant blog post I thought I'd follow the lovely Carolyn over at Life, Love and Puppy Prints' lead by answering this survey of FIRSTS! [Thanks for the inspiration Carolyn!]

FIRSTS!

FIRST thing I do in the morning //
I hit snooze, and or request that my cat get off my hip so I can get out of bed.

FIRST thing I do when I get home from work //
Nine times out of ten, it's strip off my work clothing and put on either workout gear (it's been too long) or yoga pants with a tshirt.

FIRST kiss //
It's a shame that BOTH of my first kisses were so terrible. Yes, I said BOTH. I consider a small peck during a game of spin the bottle to be my first kiss. I was in middle school. I consider my second first kiss (french kiss) to be absolutely horrible. The dude that kissed me sort of forced himself on me, and it was as though he was trying to swallow my soul out of my throat. Awful, just awful.

FIRST home //
I'm going with most memorable. My parents and I lived in a haunted house when I was first born but as a newborn I have no memory of this house.

Our second home was what I considered my home. We lived there from me being the age of 3 until I was 19. Big home, lots of wooded land surrounding it that I played in regularly, and a pool. It was heaven. A small slice of the good life. When my parents divorced they split the home. I was pretty upset to leave, I truly wanted to be able to bring my kids there to play where I played for so many years. A former high school friend's mom purchased the home. She's made a ton of changes to it, most of which neither my father (the designer and builder of the home) and myself don't agree with. I can't bring myself to even go down the 1000 foot driveway to view it.

FIRST car //
1986 Mercury Topaz. I named him "Merky" after one of the villains from Rainbow Brite. And because well Mercury could be shortened to "Merky" At the time my boyfriend's name was Mark and everyone called him Markie, so I guess that works too. I loved the shit out of that car. It was like a tank. It was probably the BEST first car ever. My friends weren't too pleased about it. I often got told they would drive when we'd go down to the local drive spot. They would rather been seen in their brand new 1994 Escorts (my dream car at the time), than my Mercury beater. Whatever, I didn't care, I loved that car. Non-factory sunroof and all.

FIRST accident traffic violation //
Speeding tickets. Loads of them. I was probably 18 when I got my first one. I was racing home after spending the night at my boyfriend's home. I got pulled over by a state trooper that was totally rude to me. Asking me if my parents knew where I had been etc. I got many more tickets after that but that one was the most memorable.

FIRST drink of choice //
Depends, what time is it? What are we doing? Where are we going? What am I eating?
Bottom line - if I'm thirsty, water. If it's hot and I'm on a patio chilling, beer of some form.
Favorit liquor, Spiced Rum. Most often Captain Morgan but I've been known to step out a time or two with Sailor Jerry.

FIRST dessert of choice //
Hands down, cheesecake.

FIRST choice restaurant //
The Flamming Pit in Gaithersburg, Maryland. I've been going there since I was a wee kiddo. I used to request hamburgers when I got there, much to the disappointment of my parents. Now I get the same two things every time. It's always a toss up between their Crab cakes, or their trademark Prime Rib. Always medium rare, emphasis on the rare. And trust me, if you have the chance to go there, you should try the cream of crab soup if it's available. Trust me. Heaven. Also, anywhere that serves Steamed Crabs. And trust me, only get crab cakes in Maryland. Ya heard?

As far as locally here the biggest choice place I like to go for a good meal is hands down our friends bar, On the Rocks. Best Burgers in the area.

FIRST song that comes to mind //
Currently I can't get the Weeds theme song out of my head. "Little boxes, on the hill side. Little boxes made of tickie tacky." I've been singing it for weeks now that we're obsessed with the show. I'm sad the theme song stops after like season 3.

FIRST major purchase //
I will say it was my second car. It was a 1996 Eclipse. All the bells a whistles a girl could ask for. Silver, sunroof. Power windows, fog lights. I thought I was the shit. I loved that car. His name was Duke. And yes, all my cars are male. [After Duke was Beastie Jeepie my 1989 Grand Cherokee Jeep, after him was Whitey - my BMW 325i, I love him too and now Snowman my 2003? Grand Jeep Cherokee) All men.

FIRST job // 
Sales associate at Afterthoughts jewelry. It was such a BS job but it paid for fun items and clothing. I was 15 years old. My second job was at Lerner, now New York and Company. Then Express, then Bath and Body Works. Then odd jobs Tanning salons / etc.

FIRST time I flew //
I was ten years old. My mother and I flew to Florida to visit Disney World. Funny story, it was also the same week I became a woman. There's literally nothing more magical than your mother telling you to slap on a pad, we're going to visit Mickey. Oh, youth.

FIRST "big girl" job //
I guess you could say when I became a manicurist. Any job that requires you to take a state board exam in my book is a "big girl job".

 
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