Friday, April 29, 2011

GONE

I need a vacation. Not a trip to Birmingham, a real vacation.

If I told you I was hopping on a plane on Sunday and heading to Las Vegas for five days, would you believe me?

Because I am. Ca-ching!
Evan invited me (orrrr maybe I invited myself, the line between the two is kind of blurry) to join him in Las Vegas for a conference. Since I had credit for an unused flight to Arizona in January (sniff sniff), I immediately put in my vacation days and started packing.

Are you jealous? I'm pretty sure we're going to have the time of our lives. We're staying here (Venetian)

and seeing this (La Reve)
and other than that, my tail will be poolside as much as possible.

And, if my car gets broken into while I'm gone, I'm going to know it was one of you!

See you in a week!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

DRAFTED

Tonight is the draft! Soon we will all hear how the Titans traded up their pick from 8 to 1 to get Cam as the QB! Then you will hear how we reunited and fell madly in love! And served Gigi's cupcakes at our wedding and had beautiful white-teethed babies and

am I getting carried away?

Don't tell me he's going to Carolina. I don't want to hear it. There is still hope for me yet. I feel like Marty McFly, in Back to the Future, watching his picture slowly fade out of existence...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

SAFE

First of all, I'm guessing the reason only one person so far has commented on yesterday's story about my Mom is because the other two to three hundred of you fell out of your chair laughing before you could click the Leave a Comment button. In the words of Mark A. (who is quoting words of Larry the Cable Guy), "I don't care who you are, that's funny!"

Now back to business. So Monday night, two more cars were broken into in my parking lot. LUCKY ME, I was not one of them. Guess the thief had seen enough of my car. Here's the deal, though: we found the common denominator. This is only happening on nights it is raining! Sneaky criminal. He knows the police can't fingerprint a wet car. So, we officially have a crime wave. We also have a rough description of the probably suspect, as one of the neighbors said he saw someone looking into one of the cars that was (later) broken into. Poor neighbors. All that was stolen from my car was CDs, my cell phone charger, my old (broken) Blackberry and my umbrella*. My neighbor had her GPS, iPod, car charger and car title stolen! I don't even want to know what kind of red tape it will take to get that worked out. Can't say they weren't warned though.

Maybe if my mom would come run around without her pants on, it would solve the problem.

*If you see someone carrying a Southern Living umbrella that looks like he probably doesn't read Southern Living, call the cops!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

POSTAL

Over the weekend I invented a new term: mOMG! Here's why:

Apparently, Mom came home from working out a few weeks ago and decided she would go check the mail. So she walked out the door and to the mailbox and only then did she realize...

SHE WASN'T WEARING ANY PANTS!

She CLAIMS she was about to get in the shower, got distracted and then decided to go get the mail. So in her tank top and underwear ONLY, she strolled out to the mailbox before she realized what she'd done. She'd shed her biking shorts somewhere in the house and didn't even realize it! mOMG!

I've heard of no shirt, no shoes, no service... but no pants? Ridiculous.

Anyone else think she did it on purpose?

Monday, April 25, 2011

EASTERY

What a fun weekend to Alabama! It was so nice having an extra day to play. I think I need to take more Fridays off. TBD on where I'll spend them.

So, as you know, I drove home on Thursday night and went straight to my sister's house. After dinner, she made some homemade chocolate-chip cookie ice cream! It was delicious (of course; as if you can screw that up) and four people knocked it back pretty fast.
Friday morning, after some homemade pancakes (it's like staying at Grandma's house I tell you), Jen, Mom and I set off for a day full of girly things like shopping, nail salons and Chick-Fil-A. While at Old Navy, we discovered some cute baby shoes in the back. We found out they we clearance and they got a whole lot cuter! Y'all- we bought all 15 remaining pair of these little Auburn Tiger baby shoes for $1.75 a pop. Claim them now while you can:They are so cute! Of course, if you don't have a baby, they do have other uses:
That evening, Mom hosted a get-together for some family and friends in honor of Jennie and Jamie's return to the Heart of Dixie. It was fun to see relatives that I hardly get to see, like my adorable cousin Anne Heaton, who gets prettier and prettier every time I see her!Saturday morning we set off for lower Alabama to see more family, more friends and have a cookout. We visited my grandmother in her new assisted living home, which has an aviary in the lobby. I spent almost as much time looking at the birds as I did talking to my grandmother. These three were making me laugh:
Next stop was the cookout! In addition to mad cooking skills, Mom's boyfriend has a host of animals... some of which I got friendly with (and some of which I did NOT). Here's me, Reid and Daffy Duck:
And the sweetest, quietest animal of them all: the cat!
Jennie, Jamie and I drove back Saturday night and went straight to the theater to see Water for Elephants. It was really good and after staring at him for 2 hours, I can see what all the Robert Pattinson hype is about (vampires - not so much).

Sunday morning, Jennie, Jamie and I went to our old church and made a few mandatory photos.


It was a lovely trip! Very fun and relaxing. Don't worry, Mom, I'll stay with you again soon!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

RELAXED

Right now I am sitting on my sister's couch at her home in Birmingham. We are watching the Judds reality show that she DVRed and saved for me to watch. Naomi my mom is here too and we are all eating homemade chocolate chip cookie ice cream. THIS is a vacation.

Spa Day 2011 was great. It was too cold and slightly overcast so I didn't get to take advantage of the facilities quite like I had planned, but hours later I am still very happy and more relaxed than Paula Abdul at a pharmaceutical convention.

The other news you don't know about this week is that the car was broken into for a third time. Items were stolen but nothing crazy like the computer or my purse. I don't feel like I'm being stalked anymore since things were taken and maybe the thief will just. move. on. I was going to have the officer fingerprint the car but it had been raining so that was not possible.

What else? It's been a busy, exhausting week. I am glad to be home for a few days to recharge my battery before ANOTHER busy week!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

GAGAD

Oh my Gaga.

What a night. I can't even begin to explain or describe. I drained my camera battery filming the kid in front of me dancing, so I have no pics or video from the ACTUAL Gaga part, but enjoy these photos of my beautiful friends!
From what I remember (!), the show was great. She talked a LOT in between songs to her "little monsters." She played the guitar and the piano. She did lots of dancing. She's really pretty talented to be only 25. It was a fun night!

Friday, April 15, 2011

DOWN

This has been such a blah week.

Believe it or not, my car was broken into AGAIN last night (pretty same situation as the first) so my apartment and I are officially on the po-po's Pay Attention To This Area list. My landlord is on top of the situation and I'm gonna do a few extra things myself to make sure it doesn't happen again!

Futhermore, my nice sunglasses have gone missing and while it is tempting to say they went missing in aforementioned break-in, that would be insurance fraud. I bought those sunglasses last fall with uttermost confidence in myself since I have never lost a pair of sunglasses. I was given a pair of Costa del Mars in 2003 and kept those for six years until I was given some new ones in 2009 (and I still have the Costas). So my track record with sunglasses was pretty good. I have a case in my purse I always put them in and somehow that system broke down on Tuesday night while enjoying a margarita and dinner with a new friend. So I made a friend, but lost some nice sunglasses.... jury is still out on how well that trade worked out but I'll let you know. I called the restaurant (twice), drove by and retraced my steps, turned my car and apartment inside out, and they are gone. Nice knowing ya, Tory Burch aviators.

I'm just in a poor mood. Don't mind me, I'm sure it will pass. In fact I know it will, because I have something really amazing coming up in May. Can you guess what it is?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

DANCED

Last Friday night, Mary Byrne and I gussied ourselves up and headed to watch her father compete in a charity ballroom dancing competition. Both her parents are competitive ballroom dancers in their spare time, which I think is adorable.

It was so much fun. MB’s mom was at my table along with three of her six sisters (one of whom happens to be my landlord). We had a delicious meal and then watched Mr. P put his best foot forward to “The Way You Make Me Feel.” He ended up winning the online favorite category, which was pretty stiff competition in itself, and also had one of the higher scores of the live competition: a 29/30! Here's all the contestants, waiting on the results (Mr. P is fourth from the left, in all black):
After the winners were announced, the dance floor was turned over to the guests, but we made our own dance space right by our table. We had a blast! Have you ever danced with your landlord?
Thanks so much for inviting me, Pigotts!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

TAZIKIED

I had a post drafted and ready to go today, until I got to work and my coworker told me this news:

NASHVILLE
IS
FINALLY
GETTING
A
TAZIKI'S
AND
IT'S
ONE
MILE
AWAY
FROM
ME

Are you kidding? Are you KIDDING!??!? I'm going to have to add a line in my budget JUST for this. I have heard they were opening one here ever since Keith (owner) told me he was looking for locations, when I called him to "rent" his restaurant for my mom's 50th birthday lunch. He told me he was looking out in Cool Springs which would be like driving from Samford to Chelsea for lunch.

"The high-profile space off West End that used to house chef Deb Paquette's Zola has been vacant for more than a year, but my Nashville Post colleague J.R. Lind reports in his Permit Patrol that it's going to be the first Nashville outpost of Taziki's, a Mediterranean chain out of Birmingham, Ala.

The chain isn't big, with less than a dozen locations, but it's getting ready to stake out Nashville and Chattanooga. A scan of the menu turns up a big assortment of Greek salads topped with various grilled meats (chicken, lamb, shrimp, tilapia), and there are gyros, familiar apps like hummus and grape leaves along with daily specials. It looks like some locations offer family dinners for takeout, including whole roasted chickens with a couple of sides.

Nashville is fairly well-supplied with locally owned spots for healthy Mediterranean fare, but not along the West End corridor. Probably due to premium rents, West End is a chain-heavy thoroughfare, with places like Which Wich and Chipotle not far from Taziki's future home."

Well I guess I know where I'm going for lunch every single day of the week for eternity! If you've never been and you live in Nashville, e-mail me and we'll go as soon as it opens!

*Update: I'm going to explain why I love this restaurant so much. The food is great but this restaurant means more to me than good food. I started working there in 2000 when it was one store on a busy part of highway 280. The owners, Keith and Amy, sponsored me in Junior Miss. My entire family - mother, father, sister, aunt, uncle and baby cousin - used to come stake out a large table outside, eat dinner and wait for me to get off work. There were three "amigos" (Chuy, Fernando and Joaquin) who helped me practice my Spanish before I went to Guatemala for a week in 2001 and 2002. "Solamente espaƱol!" they would say, and make me repeat what I needed. The first (and only) time I ever got a hicky, I made them a strawberry pie so they wouldn't tell my mother (she saw it the next day). Chuy and Joaquin have long-since moved on, but to this day when I go in the Taziki's Colonade (the best one) with my mom, Fernando still gives me extra feta and special fruit. I love eating there because the food is good, but so are the people.

Monday, April 11, 2011

BURGLARED

I am already sick of talking about this, so I'll make it quick. But just because it makes me LAUGH more than anything else at this point:

Friday night, my car was broken into. Or jimmied into, I guess, would be the more accurate term, since nary a window or door lock was broken in the process. Which makes me wonder if I didn't haul off and leave the door a jar by accident, but even if I did, what gives you the right to go through my stuff, Mr. Burglar? Huh??

Anyway, I didn't notice it until Saturday night, when I was heading to meet a girlfriend for dinner, and when I opened my door, all of the contents from my glove compartment and console were sitting in my front two seats. Panic ensued! Since I don't keep anything of terrible value in my car (learned that the hard way), he/she just dug through a pile of Beyonce CDs and Bed Bath and Beyond coupons until realizing it too.

I called the po-po and they filed an "attempted burglary" report just for posterity's sake. Not completed, mind you, but attempted, since nothing was stolen. And this way if I go missing, Mom can sue them and say they should have kept a better eye on me after this incident.

But seriously. Nothing was taken, no damage was done... I guess the joke is on you, Mr. Burglar? Seriously. Why does stuff like this happen to me?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

POLEY

Still working on that 30 by 30 list. I'm trying to give it some direction instead of just flying by the seat of my pants. So, I have added a few things to it that I want to make happen before I turn 30.

Then Groupon comes along and offers me something that I really can't resist.... pole-dancing classes. Yes, you read that right. I'm so sorry Mom!

"Forget everything you thought you knew about pole dancing, these are not classes to simply teach you to dance “sexy” for someone else. This empowering workout will gradually increase your strength, flexibility and confidence as you explore your inner beauty and sensual soul through meditative movement and exotic dance. You will find a group of vibrant women who provide a supportive, non-competitive and fun environment where you can connect with your feminine strength and radiance."

Never one to miss a chance to connect with my inner radiance, Kate and I each bought the Groupon, which is good for two 90-minute classes. Another friend of mine went to one of these recently for a bachelorette party and came back with bruises all over legs, so I'm a little nervous!

Thursday, April 07, 2011

CORKED

Someone asked me recently if I collect anything and I realized I don’t think I have shared this (in its entirety) with all of you. Yes, I collect something: wine corks! (GASP! SHOCK!)
This started in 2005, when I turned 22. I saved the wine cork from my birthday dinner at Melting Pot and held onto it. I didn’t really realize I was onto something until February of 2006, when I went to visit Katie in Memphis and saw her collection of corks. That gave me the idea to keep saving them, and so I did.

So now, anytime I am at an event where wine is being served, odds are that one of the corks is going home with me. I have them from weddings, birthday parties, bachelorette parties and baby showers. I have them from trips and random special occasions, to just a night in with friends. It’s so fun to go back and remember those fun times. Most of them also have been written about on this blog (but not all!)

I went through them recently and took some pictures of some to show you. Happy moments pictured below:
*Jen and Wes are having a baby (obviously Jen didn’t have anything from that bottle but Wes and I sure did)
*I Ggot a new job
*Stuffing my sister’s wedding invitations
*Cheese dinner
*Valentine’s Day alone (2006)
*Mary Byrne’s wedding
*Sarah and Clay’s wedding
*Bunko banquet
*Haley’s wedding
*champagne before Kathryn’s wedding

Sometimes I’ll throw a matchbook in. As illustrated above.

It PAINS me when I miss a chance to grab a cork. One time, I was ready to go dumpster diving for one. But I practiced some restraint.

This is such a fun way to keep track of the good times! Cheers!

PS: Do not start on me about keeping those vases clean – that’s impossible to do in that location. And obviously, I’m too busy drinking to take time to clean anything.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

GUNNED

Yesterday, my sweet friend Kate bequeathed me with a ticket to hear Tim Gunn speak at Vanderbilt. Admittedly, I am late to the Project Runway bandwagon, but Tim is my favorite thing about the show. So I was very happy to get to go hear him and get some nuggets of wisdom.

I expected his lecture to be about the fashion industry, and how to advance your career within. While he definitely touched on that subject, the majority of his speech was about his career in education. He was in higher education for 29 years before going to Liz Claiborne, as an administrator and faculty member. He spoke for about an hour, then did a Q&A for another thirty minutes.

Some of my favorite parts:
*He was always sent in to “fix” things – departments, relationships, curriculums, etc. He said rather than being Mr. Fix-it, he called himself a pooper-scooper. Ha!
*In all his years in the fashion industry, Christian Soriano was the first fashion prodigy he ever came across.
*His best advice: BE NICE. And always take the high road (“until you’re so high you get a nose bleed. We all have our limits. Sometimes you just need to have a ‘Listen, sister!’ moment.”)
*His “favorite” designer is Diane von Furstenberg, partly for her aesthetic but also because of her community/civic leadership and advocacy
*One of the crowning jewels of Parsons (school where he was on staff for 29 years) was the Design Critic Program… and he did away with it. He is big on taking risks. Getting rid of the senior-year program for which the school was most known was not a popular move, but the students excelled because of it, and so did the school.
*He hated hearing “that’s the way it’s always been done!” when he questioned something.

If you ever get the opportunity to hear him speak, I highly recommend it! He is pretty brilliant. I wish he would run for President. Gunn 2012: Make it Work!

Monday, April 04, 2011

VINEY

On Saturday afternoon, three of my friends and I hopped in a car and headed out for a beautiful day at one of my favorite places in Tennessee: Arrington Vineyards.
We had enough food for an army: fruit, cheese, crackers, dip, salsa, chocolate covered strawberries, trail mix, cold pizza, you name it. And plenty of wine. Mary Byrne and I bought and split a bottle of the Viognier, which was the April Wine of the Month (aka discounted).

We signed up for a free tasting when we got there...
Where I found something I wanted to take home!
We had so much fun that I was pretty sad to leave. I can't wait to go back ASAP! Meanwhile, the Getaway Gal said she is going to work on planning a trip to Napa for us!
PS: Yes, I realize that is the same shirt I was wearing for the last AV trip. I guess it is my official vineyard attire.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

REUSED

This month's bunko theme was Bunko Goes Green! The e-vite (saving paper) said to recycle old costumes, so I pulled out good ol' Phyllis for another go-round:

We also had our first visit from our first Bunko legacy! Little Ellie was more well-behaved than some of the big girls!

Friday, April 01, 2011

APRILED

Where you come from, April may mean showers. But for me, April means awesome fun things on the calendar!

Tomorrow, I am making an anniversary trip (yes, we planned it on purpose [even though we are one weekend off]) to Arrington Vineyards with several of my girlfriends that took me there for the first time last year. That was one of my favorite days of 2010. Those sweet friends knew I was not doing well and they snatched me up and took me to do two of my favorite things: nothing, while drinking wine! Win win. Here's a picture just for fun:

Then tomorrow night, Evan and I are going to the free Art Crawl downtown that I have mentioned before. I am glad he will be in town for a quick minute and that we get to play!

A few weeks later, I am going to see Lady GaGa with Kate! We've had tickets to this for months and months. I'm glad it's finally here, even though I am a little nervous about this show.

The day after that, I have a huge work event that is also one of my favorite things I do all year. I will work very hard (like always, duh) and the next day, I'm taking a SPA DAY. Glory, hallelujah. I bought a Groupon to the spa at Opryland before the flood and I'm just now using it. So I'm making a day of it. I took off the whole day so I can enjoy the pool, get a massage, the works. The next day is Good Friday and then I'll be heading home!

Happy April! It's gonna be a good month.

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