Sunday, June 26, 2011
If you thought the birthday fun ended Tuesday night, then you're wrong! And probably new around here.
It doesn't technically have anything to do with my birthday, but a gathering is a gathering and on Wednesday night, we gathered for safari bunko. It was our last bunko of the "season" and we are now planning our banquet (dinner out), deciding who we are inviting in for next "season" to fill spots that have been vacated and discussing changes we want to make to next year's plan (i.e. not actually play bunko every time). Very important discussions, clearly. Since Mary Byrne had just returned from a real live safari to Kenya*, everyone donned her best neutrals and/or animal print and the herd gathered at MB's hut.
The next night, Kate had Evan and me over for one of my favorite things in life: breakfast for dinner. She made a delicious breakfast casserole, cheese grits and cinnamon rolls, all washed down with yummy mimosas. It was fun to toast with friends and continue the celebrating.
On Friday, I toted these GORGEOUS birthday flowers home from work, so they could brighten my home like they had brightened my desk all week:
and spent the night tidying up my house because on Saturday, sweet Katie drove over from Memphis to spend the day with me! We went to the mall, got each other pedicures for our birthdays, did lots of eating out and went to see a movie. It was SO FUN just pal-ing around town with a girlfriend. I did not get a picture of us, but I did get a picture of something equally as sweet: these brown butter and sea salt chocolate chip cookies that I made for her. They were AMAZING. In a well-constructed effort not to finish them all by myself, I froze half of the dough so whoever is next to come visit me gets the pleasure as well:
And speaking of finishing things, today I finished Tina Fey's HILARIOUS book Bossypants that I expect each one of you to buy or borrow immediately. It was delightful.
I hope your weekend was equally sweet!
*Go look at her pictures. She stayed by a watering hole, just like in Madagascar or Lion King or some other animated Disney film. Unbelievable.
at 9:39 PM
Friday, June 24, 2011
Tuesday was my birthday! I LOVE my birthday more than a normal person should. I don't think I have always been this way, and it shows no sign of waning. In fact, it may be getting worse to compensate for the numbers getting higher.
So, I woke up with the barrage of Facebook and text messages coming in steadily. I headed off to work, where there were fresh Krispy Kreme donuts waiting on me! For lunch, my entire department went to eat at one of my favorite Mexican restaurants in town. I did not go hungry on my birthday, that's for sure.
The rest of the day was one long effort not to fall asleep from the building being a little warm and my tummy being pretty full. I succeeded in making it to 5 pm and went home to freshen up before my big night out with Evan.
We had dinner at Flyte, a restaurant only a handful of blocks away from me but one that I have never frequented. I was SUPER impressed both with our waiter and the food. Evan had called and made a reservation, and on his first trip to our table, our waiter brought complimentary champagne, a salmon tartar amous bouche (which I tried, thankyouverymuch) and greeted us by name! Well played, Flyte. We shared a bottle of vino, a salad, and Evan had the halibut and I had the steak. Our meal was delicious and it was such a lovely treat.
Afterward, we met up with Evan's twin and their roommate, both dear friends of mine, for some amazing karaoke. This is a tradition from last year when, on a whim, Evan and I went out for karaoke on my birthday. The karaoke bars are deserted on a random, hot Monday or Tuesday night. So we had the place more or less to ourselves.
It was such a fun night! Thanks to Evan for the birthday treat and thanks to all my friends who reached out on my big day. So far, 28's not so bad!
at 9:02 AM
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
WELL! Look who is alive! I am officially in my 28th year and made my peace with it. I just keep telling myself that all the Friends were all single at this point in life, too, and they all turned out okay, didn't they?
When I last left you, I was bragging about how exciting my life was now that I had free time again. That's pretty much still the case.
On Wednesday I added something to the 30 by 30 list (yes that's still moving along - I just haven't been updating you 100%). Kate and I channeled our inner Elizabeth Berkleys and went to pole-dancing class! It was really fun and I'm glad the groupon was for two classes because I am very excited to go back. Take this with a grain of salt, but apparently, I am really good at pole-dancing! Who knew? The instructor even asked if I was sure I'd never done it before. Yes, I'm sure! Granted, we only learned one "spin" where our feet left the floor, but I'll be sure to report back next week after Class #2 if I'm still so good. It actually was much more of a workout than I anticipated. The first 15 minutes are spent on the floor, doing ab exercises disguised with clever little names like "the Betty Boop" and "flirting" and "the Marilyn." So I was working up a sweat in no time. Then we took to the pole and learned a little routine that I'm guessing we will add on to in the next class.
The next day, I flew to Birmingham for the start of my vacation. Now let me just say that for years, I have poo-pooed the idea of flying between Nashville and Birmingham since it's only a 3-hour (or less) drive. And Lord knows I have done it a billion times. But when gas costs more than a round-trip flight, and when you're getting in the car anyway to drive 4 to 5 hours to the beach AFTER you get to Birmingham, a flight starts sounding better and better. I did not like having to get up early, but I was in Birmingham before I probably would have even left Nashville if left to my own devices. The entire trip was 45 minutes, gate to gate. It probably won't be my last time I fly betwixt the two cities.
Once I landed, Jennie picked me up and we flitted around town for a while. We made it to my aunt and uncle's house, where we got to visit with my cousin and her baby, neither of whom I had seen since Christmas. Tristan is a cute little boy, isn't he?
We got lunch and went to Mom's school to eat with her before retiring to the couch to nap before it was time to load the car and hit the road. Before we left, Jennie and Jamie gave me a birthday present, a fancy Calphalon grill pan, which I cannot wait to use!
We made it to Gulf Shores very late on Thursday. I don't have much to report or show about the beach but it was so much fun. We did a lot of relaxing. Isn't that the point of such a trip? Our condo was across the street from the beach, so each morning we'd load ourselves up like packhorses and mosey over to the sand. We'd stay until lunchtime, come in and eat, then float around the pool for the afternoon until time to shower and head to one of the five restaurants worth eating at in the Gulf Shores area. I hate seafood, so don't expect to hear too much here about how great the food was. We grabbed ice cream at Scoops a couple of nights, played Phase 10 a couple of nights, made a quick trip to the outlets, did a lot of reading collectively between us and laughed a LOT. Exhibit A:
I am hoping we will make a family vacation an annual thing now that
we aren't some of us aren't having to travel for holidays as extensively as before!
I got home Monday night after a day of driving followed by a quick flight to Nashville. Then, in the most shocking part of this post: I unpacked my suitcase completely. Happy birthday, me!
at 10:20 PM
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Question: What do Revolution, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Graduation, Teenage Dream, Play On and I Am... World Tour all have in common?
Answer: They are the only CDs I have left!
Remember when I told you that that the last time he struck, the darned thief had taken two large CD cases filled with every CD I'd bought since high school, but left my Carrie and Beyonce and Sara Barellis, etc. (the CDs I really listen to) in my console?
I was in my car Sunday, and went to change out a CD and all that I found were Bed Bath and Beyond Coupons. Somewhere, somehow, he (or she) struck again!
Those six CDs happened to be in the changer and thus unstealable. But the rest are gone.
I give up, criminal. What's next, the cloth off the seats? Paint off the bumper? Just take the whole car. And if you do, your first stop better be church, because you need Jesus.
All this is doing is making me even more uptight about my laptop, by the way. I'm considering getting a safe or something.
at 10:48 AM
Monday, June 13, 2011
Well, as my mom often calls to ensure, I am alive and more importantly, feeling SO MUCH like my normal self. I have been living at work lately. But, that block of time has passed and I am dancing in the light that once looked so, so far away at the end of the tunnel.
Let's see, what have I been up to? I fell off the wagon with the movies. I still haven't seen Pirates 4 or Hangover 2... yet. But I did watch Never Say Never and Black Swan, thanks to Netflix. BOTH of them were outstanding. Obviously very different ends of the spectrum there but they were both great. I am a "Belieber" now, and not too ashamed to admit it either. I even went and stood outside of work last week when he was due to arrive at the CMT Awards, hoping to get a glimpse of him from 200 yards away. If you know how bad my eyesight is, then you can appreciate the humor there.
On the nights I wasn't working, I have been improvising in the kitchen some more. I have mastered zucchini, so I bought some cherry tomatoes and have put those in a few meals, including this chicken dish, which, when I told my sister what I was making for dinner, prompted her to ask if I made it up. Ha.
I made it across the river for two of the CMA Fest shows at LP Field with a Nashville newbie. The first night I saw Zac Brown Band, Jason Aldean, and Brad Paisley, who brought out Alabama! The last night I saw Darius Rucker (who finally sang a Hootie song for me), Blake Shelton (who did a hilarious medley of music he heard growing up including "Play That Funky Music White Boy," "Centerfold" and "My Prerogative") and my favorite of them all, Miranda Lambert. Both nights were so much fun!
Speaking of so much fun, I get to see my mother, my sister and brother-in-law so soon! We leave for the beach Thursday and thanks so some cheap Southwest airfare, I will have some time to kill in Birmingham to kill before we head for the Gulf. I can't wait!
Then the day after I come back, it's my BIRTHDAY. You know how I feel about that. Birthday gift wish list coming up soon!
So, get excited! I'm back!
at 2:37 PM
Tuesday, June 07, 2011
Monday, June 06, 2011
Y'all know that as a rule I don't talk about my job on this blog. But guess what. My job has started a blog. And guess who has been tapped to contribute?
Before I give you the link, everyone has to take the following pledge (MOM). Please repeat out loud: "I, (insert your name here), do hereby promise I will NOT embarrass my friend with ridiculous comments on her very professional and super serious work blog. When I comment, I will not use exclamation points without abandon and certainly will refrain from mentioning her other blog (as in 'This is so much better than anything she writes on her other blog!'), so help me Grilled Cheesus. Amen."
It is public, after all, and I'd like to do my part to promote it, so feel free to share with your friends and/or leave interesting (and appropriate!) comments. If we can agree to those terms, then I look forward to finally getting to tell you more about my job! But the first person that acts up is getting voted off the island, capish?
So, without further adieu, If you've ever wondered where I spend all my time and what I do, click here!
at 12:09 PM