Thursday, August 25, 2011


Back in April, my mom, sister and I each purchased a Sips N Strokes groupon. It has pretty specific terms: must be used Thursday through Sunday, at the 280 location, by October 26. We have been on their web site constantly, trying to pick a weekend with a nice painting that coincides with when I am home (or could come home) to participate in this fun activity together!

Today I got an e-mail from the company announcing that the September paintings were finally online! Hooray! Since I'll be home at least three weekends in September, I was hopeful there would be a bevy of awesome paintings for us to choose from. I immediately went online to check them out.

Apparently September 23rd is teen night, or juvenile delinquent night, or both. I wouldn't care if this young lady was wearing Cam's jersey, in Jordan-Hare, with the eagle perched on her shoulder. THIS. IS. NOT. APPROPRIATE.

This painting, appropriately titled Bamalicious, is so incredibly awful and ridiculous, that we are tempted to sign up and go JUST to see what other type of people would come paint this atrocity. I'm sure the only people that would pay money to paint this girl are the same type of people that are paid money to pose like this, so really, we're just going in circles. Also, where would you hang that? I can't imagine finding just the perfect spot in the house for that painting to go. Nursery? Not so much. Kitchen? Hardly. And furthermore, if you've ever been to a Sips N Strokes class, you've seen the... artistic interpretation... to which these paintings are subjected. I would DIE to see what her butt would look like interpreted, drunkenly, on 25 different canvases.

Really, Sips N Strokes. Really? This is the best you can come up with just one month away from your Groupon expiration? If I weren't laughing so hard, I would call to complain.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I am getting some great practice towards my Aunt of the Year campaign. Baby girls seem to be en vogue right now. I am hoping they are en vogue for at least 5 more weeks!

While I was in Birmingham, I got to visit with an old friend and a new friend! Tap-dancing, NKTOB-loving Allison and her husband live in Birmingham now and just welcomed a gorgeous little bundle of joy named Harper! She is so beautiful!

In July, we welcomed our second bunko legacy. First Ellie, now Miss Madelyn! I took her mom and dad some dinner this past Monday and got to visit with the little angel. As you can see, we bonded right away.

Baby G, your aunt is ready to love on you too! But since I have to wait until February, can you do me a small favor in the mean time? Don't be shy in five weeks when your mom and dad go to find out what kind of little baby you are!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


When I decided to come home this past weekend, I knew Jennie and I would have some time to kill on Saturday. One conversation led to another and before too long, it was decided that Jennie would teach Anne Heaton and me how to make homemade bread!

Anne Heaton is our 11-year-old cousin who lives in Birmingham but I hardly ever get to see. She was born in March of my junior year of high school and I was OBSESSED. I could not get enough of her. But now I only see her at holidays since that I live in Tennessee so it was a treat to spend a full day without tons of wound-up family around, just us girls. She's grown into such a beautiful, kind and incredibly artistic girl, so we thought bread-making would be up her alley. Turns out, we were correct!

Back in January, to distract herself from the sorrow from not getting to go to the BCS Championship game, my sister spent the day making this delicious homemade bread. The recipe is from a cookbook that I received in high school, but the recipe itself belongs to a dear family friend of ours. I don't think he would mind me sharing it! I was careful to document the whole process from start to finish. Enjoy!

All ready to go, with the bread hook and sack of flour!
After getting our dough mixed, Jennie and Anne Heaton get it ready for kneading:
For a tiny girl, she could knead really well!
Kneaded dough, ready to rise:
Ninety minutes and one lunch break later, look how much it had risen!
Everyone got dough to make her own loaf (the recipe says to make two loaves but we made three and could have probably gotten away with four or five):
The artist carving a design in the top of her loaf:
After letting it rise another hour:
Egg white and water mixture, to get the loaves brown and crispy:
Finished products!
Bon appetite!
The bread was delicious! I plan to make it again very soon!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


There has been some major attention recently surrounding a really awful video filmed to promote Panhellenic Recruitment at UAT. Watch the video here.

All I have to say is this: ADPi's rendition of "Hey Y'all!" would put this crap to shame. You've never seen white girls rapping like we did.

To my knowledge, this never got properly documented on video (PS - do they still do this song during rush recruitment?), but maybe the lyrics will paint the picture for you:

"ADPi don't mess around because we love you so and this we know for suuuuuure...
Oh yes, we really want ya, we can't stand to see you walk out the dooooor...
Don't try to fight the feelin' because the thought alone is killing us right noowwww...
Thank God you finally got here so that we can show you how we get dowwwwwwn

Heeeyyy Yaaaaaa'lllllll,
Heeyy Yaaaaaaaa'll!!
Heeeyyy Yaaaaaa'lllllll,
Heeyy Yaaaaaaaa'll!!

Ohhh you think you've got it? Oh you think you've got it? But got it just don't get it til there's nothing at AaaaAAAAaaaaaAAAaaaAAAAAaaalll...
We get together, oh we get together, ADPi's do it better cause we're all invoooOOOoooOOOoooooOOOOooollved...
If what we say is "we live for each other" then what makes, what makes, what makes, what makes us the exception?
So why you, why you, why you, why you, why you so in denial when we know you're so happy heeeerrreeee..."

Don't roll your eyes, it was awesome. Just ask the handful readers who bore witness to this amazement as they came down the steps with a twinkle in their eye and a calling card in their hand and made their into the basement of Berta Dunn to be dazzled by what SOME people (us) called the best skit on campus that year?

SISTERS! Anyone got this on video?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Friday afternoon, I threw some clothes in a bag, met Evan in Decatur and headed to Smith Lake to spend a weekend with former Nashvillians, the Waldrons! It was the perfect vacation. We had great weather, great food, and great FUN! Since pictures are worth a thousand words, and I took about a thousand pictures (or less... right Evan?), I'll just let the pictures tell the story. It was a blast. I hope we are invited back!

But first, a few quick humblebrags: You should know that the last time I went tubing, I was 11 years old and shattered my ear drum when I was flung out of the tube. So to say I was a little... skittish?... would be a huge understatement. Would you be eager to hop on something that required surgery the last time you were on it? In the words of Kevin McCallister: I don't think so.

You should ALSO know that I have never skied on real skis. First of all, our youth skis had the rope tied to them, hence the skis beared the initial pull of the boat, leaving me void of that that painful "hey look, there went my arms!" feeling that I became accustomed to this weekend. Additionally, the skis were tied to each other, so you had a lot more stability when trying to get up out of the water. Let me just say that having to hold onto a rope and finagle both of those large, awkward skis to go in the proper direction is MUCH harder than I thought. It only took six tries for me to get it right, but eventually I did. Quite a feat, considering it had been 17 years since I'd even attempted!

Friday, August 05, 2011


Several months ago, my sister excitedly asked me to put them down for a visit on last weekend in July. When I asked why, she told me that her husband, my dear brother-in-law, had found out there was a Star Trek convention in Nashville that weekend and he wanted to attend. Not one to question any excuse for visitors, I marked the weekend off.

They rolled into town late Friday, which was the perfect time to go get some of that delicious Jeni's ice cream I have raved about before. We hit the hay afterward, gearing up for a big day the next day!

After a quick trip to find some maternity pants for the mommy-to-be, we grabbed lunch and headed east of town to visit the Hermitage, former home of President Andrew Jackson. I had been touting this attraction to Jennie and Jamie for a while. They are both huge history nerds (in the most endearing way), and I knew that this is something they wouldn't want to miss as they have gone out of their way to visit many other former Presidents' homes. And since I, too, had never been to the Hermitage (something most Nashvillians do in elementary school), I was more than happy to check this one off the list with them.

We paid admission and watched a short film about "Old Hickory" himself before getting our complimentary audio guides and moseying off toward the mansion. The landscaping is gorgeous all across the plantation, so the walking part was actually a treat. We had contemplated squeezing this in during their visit this past December, but I am so glad we waited until this time of year because it meant all the gardens were in bloom! Exhibit A:
The audio guides told us all we could want to know about what the property was like in Jackson's day, from how people arrived in their horse and buggy, to how food was prepared and what time it was served (dinner at 3 pm, anyone?). We enjoyed seeing the mansion with original decor as well as the tomb and the gardens. I also learned lots about our seventh President. I was so "learned" out in fact, that I sat out while they hit the last few stops on the property (the well, etc.).
We were exhausted so after some Chick-Fil-A lemonades and a quick nap, we freshened up and headed off to dinner and a movie. Dinner: Germantown Café, one of my sister's favorite places to eat in Nashville. Movie: Crazy, Stupid, Love which was crazy, stupid GOOD. I loved it. Go see it!

We ate breakfast together Sunday morning before shipping Jamie off to the convention and heading off on all of our girly errands. We got pedicures, went to the mall, looked at baby stuff... fun sister things! Mom rolled into town around 3:30, we ate dinner with some friends and then it was back home for Jennie and Jamie and to the Ryman for Mom and me.

Thanks for coming to see me, darlings! Let's do it again soon!

Thursday, August 04, 2011


Before I tell you about my fun visit with Jennie, Jamie and Fetus G., I have to tell you about what happened after they left on Sunday!

The Temptations and Four Tops were in concert at the Ryman Auditorium. When I saw this concert announcement earlier this year, I e-mailed my mom who immediately made plans to come up. The only person that loves Motown music more than I do is my mom. I got hooked on it as a child because my parents would play it nonstop at the lake each summer. I knew most Motown standards by heart before I probably knew most of the popular hymns by heart.

It was so much fun! The Temptations performed first, and delivered a KNOCKOUT performance. Their performance alone may have cracked my Top 5 concerts ever. There is only one "original" Temptation still in the group but the four additional members were amazing! They sang all of their hits complete with their famous choreography and even on the ballads, the momentum never stopped. Think of how many classics they had: "Papa Was A Rollin' Stone," "Get Ready," "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me," "I Wish It Would Rain," "I Can't Get Next To You," "The Way You Do The Things You Do," "Just My Imagination," "Ain't Too Proud To Beg," and of course "My Girl." Original member Otis Williams is second from the right and to the far right in the pictures below, respectively.
The Four Tops were... a little less amazing. They did a great job, but the three song and very dialogue-heavy tribute to the fallen Tops really was a buzzkill. But they brought the house down with their hits: "Bernadette," "It's the Same Old Song," "Reach Out I'll Be There," "Baby, I Need Your Loving," "Ain't No Woman Like the One I've Got." They closed the show with "Standing in the Shadows of Love" followed by - you guessed it! - "Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)." Original Top Duke Fakir is on the far right.

It was a very fun show and one I will never forget. If you're a Motown fan and have not seen these acts perform live, you better do it fast!
Thanks Mom!

Monday, August 01, 2011


Today, something really bad happened. I know "bad" is in the eye of the beholder, and really bad things are happening to really good people all around me - my best friends included - but today, something bad happened that was bad enough to ALMOST ruin my day.

Someone. Ate. My. Grapes.

I'll wait and let the magnitude of that statement sink in. Watch this while it does. You know what video that is. Or you should. Here's a hint: MY SANDWICH?!

I bought enough grapes on Thursday at Publix to last me throughout this week for lunch. I must have stuffed half of them in a Ziploc bag, planning to nibble my way through them over a few days time. I brought the bag of grapes and a sandwich for lunch on Friday but didn't eat them due to a last-minute lunch date, so I left both the grapes and MY SANDWICH in the fridge to eat today.

But today when I got to the fridge, MY SANDWICH was there but the grapes were gone. The whole bag stuffed full of grapes. They didn't even leave me a single one.

I was so bothered someone ate my grapes, I stewed over it almost the entire day. At some point I realized I was more upset by Grand Theft Grape than I ever was about the four-time automobile thief. You don't expect much from bums or delinquents or thieves without morals. But this is a PROFESSIONAL environment. We are all adults. You expect a certain decorum from grownups. You expect everyone to be decent. You expect to go to the fridge and your Ziploc baggie full of delicious NEW grapes from Publix to be sitting there waiting on you. But no. They were gone.

Confession: I was so mad, I threw MY SANDWICH down the hall.

Then I went back to my desk and sent a building-wide e-mail.

I don't know when my thing about not sharing food started but it is UGLY and it is real. I saw a side of me today I did not like, but I could not control the rage, yes RAGE!, burning inside me! How did I get this way? Was it from always being the kid with a fruit break, having to share hers with the kids without one? Was it from having food eaten off my plate by a friend trying to be funny in high school? Was it from living in the dorm for four years?

I need therapy. And more grapes.

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