Friday, December 31, 2010

A Taste of NYC!

I promise to fill you all in on my recent trip to NYC very, very soon... but for now, enjoy these amazing pictures I took from the observation deck of the 'Top Of The Rock'!

Facing North w/Stunning Views of Central Park!
♥ I couldn't resist! ♥

Facing South w/views of The Empire State Building, Statue Of Liberty, & Times Square!
Notice the 2011 New Years' Ball in the bottom pic?

I hope everyone has a safe, Happy New Year!

See you in 2011!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I hope you and yours have had a wonderful Christmas! I know that I have. SO much to share and catch you all up on!

May the rest of the holiday season bring you cheer, laughter and happiness!

♥ My nephew Gage & Harley ♥
♥ My hubby & our cutie pie niece! ♥

I promise to fill you all in on my whirlwind trip to New York and all that my Christmas had to offer very, very soon!

Happy Holidays!

xoxo

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Day After Tomorrow...

I'll be in the same state the movie "The Day After Tomorrow" took place! *SQUEE* AND, on Saturday the 18th I'll actually be sitting on the very same steps that led the main characters to safe shelter! How's that for awesome?! Now, let's hope no natural disasters happen while I'm there, PUUULEASE!

I've wanted to visit NYC for soooo long now, I can't believe the time is finally here! I'll only be in NYC for a day, but I'll take it with the utmost gratitude from my bestie, Danielle! She's letting me tag along to her cousin's wedding in Long Island, her hometown. We'll be spending Wednesday night through Friday (the wedding is Friday night!) in Long Island, and then on Saturday... we're bound for NEW YORK CITY on board the Long Island Rail Road. Wowee! We're back on Sunday :(

I have such a HUGE "itinerary" planned. Call it the event planner in me, but truly, there's so much I want to see and do and only being there one day and never having stepped foot there before, I had to get organized! I've been going crazy!

For example, I have actually printed the map route to the NYC subway system! No getting lost here, no sir! No ma'am! I printed the timetable of the train in & out of Penn Station, the main hub we'll be using to/from Long Island. I printed a coupon for the Top Of The Rock Observatory (I ♥ coupons!), and in doing so I found out about an awesome tour that I think we'll do! It's called the NBC Studio Tour and it starts at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, the very same building that hosts SNL, Late Night w/ Jimmy Fallon, The Nightly News w/Brian Williams, The Today Show, and more! For only $35 you can enjoy the majestic views from the top of the observation deck (70+ floors up!) AND the tour! Not bad. We plan to enjoy the tour, then the observation deck, THEN do the quintessential activity people do when they visit NYC... ICE SKATE at ROCKEFELLER PLAZA! (I hope I come back in one piece!) We'll be there right after sunset so the lights we'll be illuminating all around us. CAN'T wait! I feel like I know the city already but yet have never seen it with my own eyes; Only through the movies and TV, just like everyone else.



Here's a quick summary of what our day looks like and what we plan to see: 
  • World Trade Center Site (to pay my respects to lives lost)
  • Battery Park (for long distance pics of the Statue of Liberty)
  • Macy's @ Herald Square (gotta get my picture with THE Santa!)
  • New York Public Library @ Bryant Park
  • Grand Central Station
  • Times Square (to see EVERYTHING!)
  • Rockefeller Center (Observation Deck, NBC Tour, AND Skating!)
  • Radio City Music Hall
  • Trump International Hotel & Tower (What? I love Donald Trump!)
  • Late Show w/Dave Letterman
  • FAO Schwarz (BIG Piano, of course!)
Think we can manage it all? Most of it, minus ALL of Rockefeller Center will be a quick "Stop here, take a picture, OK, moving on..." I think we can do it! We'll be tired, yes, BUT, at least I can say I saw a good portion of the city in one marvelous day! 

I am ALSO very much looking forward to hanging out with my bestie's family, AND attending what is sure to be a gorgeous wedding. Danielle's adorable daughter is a flower girl. Cute! Danielle plans to get me to try a "Dirty Water Dog", apparently a known NY tradition. We shall see!

I'm all packed and ready to go! I even have my NYC furry boots out ready to go! You like?
SUPER comfy, and on sale at JCPenny!
Only a little while longer... me & my "chatterbox" will be annoying Danielle in NO time! *wink*

Talk with you all soon!


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Pics From My Office Holiday Party!

My firm's holiday party was last night and it was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! We rented the front patio of Solas Restaurant in Downtown Raleigh, NC. What a sight! This is a "patio" and it's ultimately opened to the outside most nights, but in the winter they convert it to a usable space and I must say, it was beautiful! I had been to Solas before back in April of this year for my hubby's 32nd birthday. I posted a little something about my amazement then too, check it out HERE!

The set up was truly beautiful, the menu was divine, and the service was fantastic. The Executive Chef even came out to greet us after dinner to ask us if we had enjoyed our meal! Top notch in my book! With a menu like this, who could go wrong?

FIRST COURSE
Caesar Salad
White Anchovies, Crunchy Croutons
She Crab Soup
Lump Crab, Sherry, Chives

SECOND COURSE
Center Cut Filet
8oz., Cabernet Goat Cheese Butter
Shrimp Aristotle
Feta, Asparagus, Tomatoes, Capellini
Stuffed Chicken
Arugula, Goat Cheese, Sun Dried Tomatoes

ACCOMPANIMENTS
Steamed Asparagus with Lemon Butter
Creamy Lobster Risotto

FINISHING COURSE
Flourless Chocolate Torte

Everything, and I mean everything was stellar. I thoroughly recommend you dine at Solas if you haven't already. They aren't your typical restaurant. They're 3 floors of dining, mingling, drinking, and people watching greatness. Check them out: SOLAS RALEIGH

The party/dinner was alot of fun. Personally, I think it was one of our best. I hope to come back here next year!

Here are some photos from last night. I was a little iffy on my outfit. What do you think? Do you like it? Hate it? I don't get all dressed up that often...

Enjoy the pics!




Random Cool Vids from Thanksgiving!




Fun times! Watching the kids getting "winded up" by Leslie was hilarious. They just kept wanting more and more and more. It made me sick just watching them!


Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Holidays are near & I'm feeling festive!

I can't believe how time flies! Christmas is in less than 3 weeks! Gasp! Where does time go? Honestly. Well, I'm starting to feel festive and felt the blog needed a little holiday pick-me-up, so thanks to the awesome folks over at Cutest Blog On The Block, voila! Their site never disappoints! Now the blog accurately demonstrates how I feel most days: JOY.

Another site that I stalked tonight that really helped get me in the holiday mood is, VanCityAllie.com. It's a great blog from a gal who lives in Vancouver and thrives on the thrills of anything and everything West Coast. Her blog is amazing! I happened to come across a recipe for chocolate chip cookies on her blog that she claims (we'll soon see!) are the best ever! I'm up for testing that! No problem! I also have a Cookie Exchange at work next week and I could sure use a new recipe over the same 'ole same 'ole stuff I make. Here's the baking nightmare saving recipe from her blog: Allie's Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe.

Don't they look scrumptious?

Thanks Allie! If you haven't checked out her blog yet, GO! It's a good place to sit and stay awhile.

Well, that's it for now... I gotta start packing for my trip to NY! I can't wait. I feel like I've waited soooooo long for this trip. I know I'm only going to be there for a few days, and mostly in Long Island, but still, I can't wait!

JOY to everyone!

Monday, December 6, 2010

A little catch up?

OK, OK.. I know... long time no post. Sorry! Call me lazy. I have been busy, but not too busy to post. Not sure what my problem is, but anywho.. here I am!

Let's see... what's the latest? Where do I start? ;)

About 3 weeks ago I had to rush my chocolate lab, Murphy to the vet for surgery to fix his left ear. He's highly prone to ear infections and well, after a really, really bad one that caused him to apparently shake his head so vigorously and rub his ear/head (hard) on EVERYTHING, that he actually burst the blood vessels in his ear causing blood to fill up his ear flap (pinna). It got so swollen that it eventually (within 2 days) grew to the size of a golf ball! Crazy, right? Well, after a vet visit and $500+ later, it was fixed. Or so we thought - more on that in a sec... we picked him up from the vet and boy did he look funny! Can't help it, he did!

Before surgery:

 


Pitiful, right?
He wasn't in any pain, thankfully. But, if we had left the "hematoma" alone, the blood would have eventually absorbed back into his body, but not without leaving him with a wrinkly, dead deformed ear. Couldn't have that! Not my big boy! 

After surgery: 

Supposedly, a "Doggie Hematoma" is fairly common. Who'd a thunk it?! Murphy didn't seemed phased at all that he just had major surgery. They basically had to slice his ear open, drain it, lance it, and sew it back together. Ouch! He did look pretty goofy though! He hated the extra weight of the bandage, BIGTIME!
3 weeks after surgery and wouldn't you know... the dang ear flap is FILLING UP WITH BLOOD...AGAIN! Why me? It's not filling up as quickly as it did originally so I think I'll hold off on "rushing" him to the vet. For now. Why in the world do our furry kids cost so darn much!? WHY? I don't have kids yet, but I swear it seems like they cost MORE! Do you agree?

Well, that's the doggie news...

I had a wonderful, amazing Thanksgiving, thanks to awesome family who came down from Richmond, VA! Thanks you guys! I'm still feeling the extra weight from the awesome food! And I'm STILL laughing from the best rummy night E-V-E-R! You know what I'm talking about! ;) (Rich will never get away with that again!) 

There are some changes in the air... for the better. I hope. I have my trip to NY with my bestie next week to look forward to, and the holidays after that... so much excitement! 

Stay tuned! 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Katy Perry's 'Firework' Music Video

Official music video for Katy Perry's "Firework" off her album 'Teenage Dream' 

I'm just seeing this video for the first time and I must say... Nicely done, Katy! What an inspirational video. A must-see!

What are your thoughts?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Final Day of our Camping Adventure!

Well, I made it to sunlight of our final day of camping! No maulings. No animal encounters. Honestly, I feel jipped! lol!

We woke up early on our final day to start packing up our campsite. No easy task, I assure you! It took a little over 2.5 hours to get everything packed up and in the car. I think Harley was the most excited about going home! We had a couple of pit stops to make though...

We were told about Kilwin's in Blowing Rock, NC and that we just HAD to check it out. Kilwin's is a chocolatier and fudge shop set in this darling, lively little town called Blowing Rock. After putting the address of the shop in our navigation system, we were shocked out the route it gave us! It had us going up the mountain on a dirt, gravel road. I should mention that I was driving for the first time on our trip and I was nervous! Why? Well, when am I not nervous?! ;) We thought at first I took a wrong turn but noticed the navigation appeared to be on target. Amazingly, after a few turns we were happy at the route it took us on. It was a beautiful 2.5 mile drive through back roads that had amazing views of the area around us. We kept noticing signs that read "No Hunting. No Trapping", so of course, the first thing that entered my mind was that we might actually see wild animals in a natural setting! I mean, if you were an animal, wouldn't you want to hang out in an area where it's pretty desolate where you wouldn't be hunted and/or trapped? But, again I was jipped! About 2.7 miles in we saw the turn-off for the Blue Ridge Parkway. What an odd but very beautiful route!

The route literally took us right to the Blowing Rock exit which was right around the corner from Kilwin's. We, I mean I, was so excited to get me some fudge! I had been thinking about it the entire trip! No kidding! We parked right in front and in we went. I knew what I wanted! FUDGE! Rich on the other hand went directly to the ice cream section. Ice Cream! It was cold out and he wanted ice cream. Hey, I can't blame him though... the ice cream was amazing, and homemade! I left with over 3lbs of fudge and a couple peanut butter cups and wanted to eat everything right then and there! Patience is a virtue...

We were now ready to head back to Raleigh. We set out for US 421 and hit the open pavement with the gorgeous Pisgah National Forest in our rear view mirror. Sad. I was now sad! I had a great time and it was SO relaxing (even with the anxiety attacks). I didn't want to get back to reality. But it was time.

I had heard about this wonderful vineyard in the Yadkin Valley off I-40 from a friend and after being unexpectedly surprised by the sign on the interstate I had to go! It's called Raffaldini Vineyards. After driving a few miles through the countryside, with the mountains still within our view, we came up to the most gorgeous piece of property I've ever seen... the vineyards themselves. Wow. The main house looked like something you'd see in Tuscany, Italy! Not that I've ever been to Tuscany, but if I had I swear this is what it'd look like! We had the doggies with us so they couldn't get out. Rich stayed in the car while I went in to take a look-see. I entered the main house where they were doing wine tastings and waited patiently for my turn. I was greeted very graciously by one of their staff and was offered a few different wines to try. I'm not much a red wine lover, more a white wine (chilled). I was almost immediately recommended to try one of their exclusives... Vermentino 2009. Exquisite! They mentioned that the grape that makes this particular wine is exclusive to their vineyard and they are the only vineyard on the east coast that grows it! I had to buy it! Then, they offered up their specialty and the wine behind their trademark, "Chianti in the Carolinas". Apparently this wine is only made/grown every other year so it's quite a rare wine... Sangiovese 2008. This is a red wine, but it can be served slightly chilled, thus the reason it was recommended to me. I loved it! And yes, I bought this one too! I also picked up some of their homemade marinara sauce and pesto. YUM! I couldn't wait to get home and make some spaghetti!

Now, we were really ready to get home. The car was packed and had NO more room for ANYTHING else! :)


Well, that's it... we're home. Safe. Warm. Relaxed. Happy. It really was a great vacation. I did really enjoy myself. I didn't get hurt like I (and so many others) thought I would! Harley is truly happy to be home and I think Murphy misses the mountains. No worries, we'll ALL be back! Soon!

I hope you enjoyed reading about our trip! I sure enjoyed retelling it!

In case you missed them, here are ALL the pics from our trip again! Enjoy!




Friday, November 12, 2010

Camping Trip - Day & Night #3

I had a great nights sleep the 2nd night... THANK YOU HEADPHONES! It's kind of sad that I didn't/couldn't take advantage of the "good" night sounds, i.e.: crickets, owls, etc., but hey... I was actually able to sleep without going completely crazy, so I'll take it! ;)

After quickly (still cold!) dressing and making some much needed coffee, we prepared for our final day at Grandfather Campground. I surprised Rich by telling him I wanted to try to start a fire on my own. This somewhat surprised him because, in addition to being a scarety cat of wild animals, I am deathly afraid of fire. I have been since I was a kid. I won't start a gas stove. I won't light a propane grill. I won't even flip a burger on a charcoal grill. Yup. I'm a BIG wuss. But, this was my time to "man up", so that's exactly what I did! I had gathered a pile of dry twigs and I was ready to go! After arranging the firewood the way my ex-boy scout hubby suggested, I had it lit! It even stayed lit! Yay! I had to pat myself on the back for this one!

After eating a quick breakfast and warming up near the campfire, we were ready to set out for our day. All we had left to do in the area was check out Linville Falls & Gorge, which was about 20 minutes away from the campground (20 miles south of Banner Elk). It was a beautiful drive through the mountain countryside that was LOADED with Frasier fir Christmas trees. I had never seen so many Christmas trees in my life! Curious to know where your fir tree comes from? More than likely from Boone, Banner Elk, or Spruce Pine! No kidding! I have a few pictures depicting the enormity of trees in the slideshow of my Day #1 post. Check it out!

If you haven't heard of or been to Linville Falls & Gorge you should definitely think of visiting! We both thought it was amazing. The waterfall isn't the biggest or most grand that I've seen, but when you couple it with the actual gorge and the surrounding landscape, it's stunning. The gorge is referred to as the "Grand Canyon of the East", and after seeing it in person we could see why. We were pretty worn out from our hike at Grandfather Mountain the day before, so we weren't looking for the hard or strenuous trails. The easy/moderate ones were just fine by us! Plus, Harley had just about had it with physical exertion! She's such a priss. We arrived around noon and set out for the trails that would take us to see several views of the lower and upper falls and the gorge itself. I'd say the whole trail, including the walk back, was about 2.5 miles of uphill, downhill, rocks, tree roots, etc. Not too bad. There were alot of stairs to get to the overlooks of certain areas, but again, not too bad. We took a ton of pics! I took this picture of Rich at 'Erwin's View', an area on the trail, and I feel it deserves a special post in addition to the slideshow simply because I LOVE THE PICTURE! You?

'Erwin's View' - Linville Falls & Gorge, NC
I'm a sucker for waterfalls so this place was especially rewarding for me. Very beautiful. Very serene. Next time we visit, we'll try the harder trail that runs alongside the river and gorge to see even better views! After about 2.5 hours we were ready to call it quits. We were ALL tired, Harley & Murphy included!

We got back to the campsite and did the usual... made dinner, cleaned up, and got ready for our last night of camping. I was alot more relaxed than I had been on night #1 & #2! The way I saw it was, if something did come after us, we could take it. Right? I mean, how bad could it possibly be?! Don't answer that! ;)

I did notice towards the end of the night that Harley was shivering alot. Poor thing. We really should have bought her a doggie sweater or coat. Pits don't have a second coat like labs do, and their hair is short. She spent the majority of the night curled up right beside me on a towel. I went into the tent and grabbed our fleece blanket that we had with us on the trails and then wrapped her up in it. She didn't even try to shake it off. She was quite happy I was helping her! She stopped shivering immediately. Thank goodness! It didn't feel that cold to us, but I guess she was more susceptible to the cold? Word to the wise... If it's under 40 degrees outside, put a coat or sweater on your furry child! Pits especially! I know I will next time.

We made smores and hot chocolate again and relaxed the night away. We talked for hours and just stared at the entrancing fire. The night slipped right on by us and before we knew it, it was almost midnight. We hadn't stayed up this late since we had arrived! We had to get an early start packing up the next morning so we prepared to call it a night.

Once again Murphy and Harley knew exactly where to go in the tent. Once Harley had laid down I covered her up with a blanket to keep her warm. Headphones went IN, lantern ON, and in the sleeping bag we went. I was starting to get used to this! But, I was really looking forward to getting home to my warm, cozy, SAFE home! I think Harley was too. Murphy? He was in his element. Big time. I don't think he wanted to leave. ;)

T69, I think I'll see you again. Maybe not for awhile, but soon.

One more day... stay tuned!


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Camping Trip - Day & Night #2

OK... onto Day # 2...

After surviving night #1, I was much more confident about night #2 & 3, especially knowing that I would most certainly be using the headphones Rich suggested!

We woke up around 9AM to a beautiful COLD day. It was in the low 30's and I don't think I've EVER gotten dressed as quickly as I did on Day 2! Rich immediately went to start a fire while I took care of Murphy and Harley. We then started with making the all important, must-have camping breakfast: bacon, eggs, and toast! I had the eggs in a very nifty "egg holder" especially for this purpose, and yeah, OK... so they didn't get crushed. ;) I gotta tell you though... making scrambled eggs and bacon outside does lend credence to the suggestions and comments we were told! Breakfast was awesome! The toast? Not so much. Because we had plans to be away from the campsite during lunch, we heated up the chili I made prior to leaving home and packed it up in the very nifty thermos Rich bought. I'll hand it to him, the thermos was a great idea!

Shortly after breakfast we set out for our day.... Grandfather Mountain!

We arrived at the entrance to the mountain and payed our $15 EACH. Yes, $15 each! I know, it's a lot and yes, we moaned and groaned, but I do believe it was very much worth it. The admission included an audio CD that we listened to while driving up the mountain. I don't think it was completely necessary if I do say, but anywho... moving on.

The dogs seemed to be getting a little car sick with all the hairpin turns up and through the mountain. Yup. Carsick. About 1/2 way up to the Cliffside Overlook we smelled it. Doggie puke. Nasty. Good thing we had rolls and rolls of paper towels in the car. Did I mention that our dogs are complete goofballs when it comes to traveling in the car? Murphy specifically, just can't ever seem to be sure footed. It was kind of hilarious. Doggie puke cleaned up... time to get going!

We got out of the car at Sphnix/Split Rock to look around. What beauty! Due to it being a completely clear and beautiful day, you could see rolls and rolls of hills and valleys. Simply breathtaking. We then drove a little farther up to Cliffside Overlook. It seemed to keep getting better and better. We let the dogs out to explore and they were spellbound. They had no idea what to do or think! We took a TON of pictures (see previous post for slideshow).

After a few more hairpin turns, we were on our way to the very top of the mountain, The Top Shop to be exact.  This is where they had the store, info center, restrooms, and of course, the Mile High Swinging Bridge. THIS, I was excited to see! Murphy and Harley in tow, we proceeded with climbing the awkward 50 stairs. (yes, 50!) Once up the stairs you could immediately see the bridge and let me tell you, it was a sight to see. I had to stop to soak it in. Did I really want to cross it? Could I? Hell yes I could, and DID, with Murphy right beside me. Rich was behind me with Harley. We stopped midway on the bridge for a few pictures and then proceeded to finish crossing the bridge. It creaked, it swayed, it hummed. None of that bothered me, but I think it would for some. I'm also not that afraid of heights, but if YOU are, just DON'T LOOK DOWN! Seriously! Once we crossed to the other side, something very, very strangely frightening happened...

We cleared the bridge and made our way to the far right corner to get out of others' way and stopped. I had Murphy on my left and Rich was to my right with Harley. I glanced over to Rich to acknowledge the beauty we were both a part of and then, *tug*. I had instinctively pulled down on Murphy's head collar because I felt him jolt ahead rather quickly and in that split second I realized that Murphy's hind legs were OFF the ground and damn near OVER the rock wall separating the bridge path from the thousands of feet of mountainous terrain below us.... MY HEART ALMOST JUMPED OUT OF MY CHEST! Because he started to "jump" while my head was turned looking at Rich, I didn't see it, but the other people in the area said he was almost OVER the wall before I had pulled him back. My dog almost committed doggie suicide! Everyone was panicking, sighing over the fact that I had "saved my dogs life". It happened so quickly. I couldn't believe it. We had just finished crossing the bridge, moved over to the side, and then I look at Rich, and TUG. It was that quick. We think that Murphy was just excited to "keep going" and he thought we were getting ready to "climb another stair". What a goofy, LUCKY dog! I don't even want to think of what would've happened if I hadn't pulled back on his leash. OK... enough about that.

With TWO dogs safely with us, we went slightly down the hill to the Black Rock Nature Trail entrance. Rich had read about it online and thought we should give it a try. It said 'Moderate', but honestly, we had no real idea what that meant. This was a great time to break out the good 'ole thermos and eat our chili. Wouldn't you know that it was STILL piping hot! Yup. My hubby's a genius! Now full of proteins, we were ready for it!

About .2 miles into the 1 mile (2 miles r/t) trail I wanted to turn around. Honestly. Not because I was tired, but because I didn't think the dogs could do it, or would do it safely with ME, and not kill klutzy me! It was rocky, hilly, had tons of large boulders, HUGE tree roots, and it was through the woods... Moderate? I guess so, but for me it was HARD! But you know what? I DID IT! And so did the dogs, well, Murphy more than Harley; poor thing held Rich back. However, with her following "the pack" (Murphy and Me!) she did A-OK! A little banged and bruised, but OK. Murphy was outstanding! I had never seen him like his, so in his element! He guided me up and down and through like he had done this before. He knew the short and easy ways, he knew when to be slow and when to speed up... he was my miracle! After what felt like forever, we made it to the end only to find that the "destination" was a huge rock/boulder we had to climb up and on to get the views, but with the dogs we couldn't do it, so turn around and go back we did. At this point, yes... I was getting tired. But, once again, Murphy pulled me through. You should all know that I didn't once think about a wild animal encounter while on the trail. Not once. And let me tell you, they WERE out there! ;)

It was closing time, so back to the campsite we went for night # 2. We got back a little too late to make our full dinner we had planned, so we just snacked and drank beer. Not a bad combo, right? We were a little colder on night # 2, so we prepped some hot chocolate! YUM! Hot chocolate, snacks, TWO healthy dogs, the toasty campfire, SMORES, and my wonderful husband by my side keeping all the critters away... life was good! 

After having an eventful day we decided to turn in early and this time, I had my headphones! With Murphy and Harley in their doggie corner, LED lantern on low, and all bundled and cuddled up in the double sleeping bag with headphones in TIGHT, it was time to sleep the night away without a care in the world...

ZZZzzz....

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Camping Trip - Day & Night #1

OK, I survived. Barely! I might be exaggerating a little bit *wink*

After spending just about three weeks gearing up and buying anything and everything camping related, and turning our living room into a Mecca of sporting goods, we were ready! Around 8am on Sunday, October 31st we set out for the beautiful area of Boone, NC. (notice the date we left?) We packed up Murphy & Harley and off we went...

After a couple of stops here and there, we had arrived around noon to the very welcoming Grandfather Campground. We checked in and received the map to our site. So far so good...

We took a couple of pictures to capture our excitement of how impressed we were so far and then made our way to our campsite. After driving up the gravel road and seeing the campsite markers we finally found ours. At first sight we were like "Whaaaaaat? Is this IT?" It seemed to be just a flat area and nothing special. We were told many, many times campsite T69 was the BEST site and the most recommended, but really? We weren't convinced. That is until we actually got out of the car and walked around. WOW. What we had seen was just the parking space for T69! *facepalm* The entire campsite, including the fire ring, picnic table, and creek (yes, a creek!) was actually down a small hill past the parking area. It was beautiful! We knew now why this particular site was a favorite! It's a three-tier campsite with the tent area being in the middle area, and the picnic table and fire ring being on the bottom running along the Granny Branch Creek. It was truly stunning! The creek was dried up but that didn't matter at all. We knew this was our site!

We let the dogs out to explore and they loved it! We then proceeded to "set up camp" and boy, I did NOT expect it to be this hard! It was like I was at home doing yard work! I had to clear the area around the fire ring with the small rake we brought and then clear a path down the incline area for us and the dogs, because it was loaded with leaves! It is Autumn after all! Rich started with the tent while I did "yard work". We had arrived at the campsite around noon and it took us until around 4PM to just get camp set up! Wow, this day was blown. Nah... we hadn't really planned on going anywhere the first day anyway.

Rich thought since we were losing daylight (sunset was around 6:30) I better head to the store to get the essential groceries we would need for the next few days. I wasn't too thrilled to head out on my own in an area I wasn't familiar with, but hey... this was a trip about NOT being a wuss, right? ;) I went to the local Lowe's Foods store about 3 miles away and got everything we needed. What beautiful sights I saw on the way there! You could really see Grandfather Mountain in all it's glory from NC Hwy 105. I made it back to the campsite around 5'ish and Rich already had the campfire going. Toasty! The dogs had somewhat settled in and we proceeded with making night #1's dinner: Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, and pork & beans! Yum!

We cleaned up and did our dishes and put everything away right before sunset. It got dark fast! It was becoming obvious that it was going to be a clear night for star gazing. As soon as it was really, really dark we set out to the main field of the campground to look up... and OH MY GAH! It was the most stunning thing I've ever seen... my science loving husband pointed out that you could actually see the Milky Way! Beautiful. You don't see things like this in the city. No way. It was then that it really set in that we were really far away from home, in the woods, on Halloween, in an area with wild animals. *shiver*

I should mention again that up until this trip, I had NEVER been camping before. I had NEVER even slept outside. NEVER. I was nervous to say the least. What was I nervous about? Well... Critters! Not so much bugs because I knew with it being colder they wouldn't really be a problem, same for snakes. What I WAS nervous about was bears, mountain lions, coyotes, raccoons, opossums, and the like. OK... really anything and everything that could creep up on me and maul me. Yup. I'm a wuss. I can't help it. This brings me to what my first night camping was like...

Once we got back from stargazing it really hit me:  we were in the woods. We sat by the campfire and kept warm. We had beer of course, yay! The dogs started to calm down and relax, more Murphy than Harley. I don't think she knew what to do. We sat around the campfire and just talked. There would be several minutes that would go by that there was no talk at all. Just silence. I was kinda too nervous to talk. I wanted to be able to hear anything, other than the sound of my own voice. Call me crazy. Rich knew I was nervous/scared and kept trying to reassure me we were fine, but this was new for me and I had to soak it all in. We decided to call it an early night since we were up so early, and due to being tired from the long drive and the exhausting set up of camp... this is where it gets crazy.

We changed into our PJ's in the tent, set up the doggie blanket in the corner, and invited the dogs in. They went to their area immediately like they knew exactly what to do... so far a-OK. That is until we zipped up the tent, turned down the LED lantern light, and were all snug-as-a-bug in our double sleeping bag. As soon as everything was quiet out in the campsite and we were in our tent, I heard what I didn't want to hear... the sound of leaves crackling under a critter's footsteps! I WAS SCARED SHITLESS. I couldn't see it. I didn't know what it was. I didn't want to. The dogs weren't even making a peep, which freaked me out even more! Weren't they supposed to protect us!? Weren't they supposed to have a sense for stuff like this? Rich kept telling me it was something small based on the sound of the footsteps... what was he? Daniel Boone? I didn't care, it was something and that was enough to freak me the hell out! I was shaking profusely. I couldn't stop. I tried. Rich tried. The more Rich tried to help me, the more I freaked out. Deep breath in... slowly exhale out. I never found out what it was, but I don't think I slept more than 2 hours all night. Rich told me to put in my headphones to block out the noise but I couldn't get up and I didn't want him to get up. I was frozen.

I was overwhelmingly excited to see daylight in the morning, puffy eyes and all!

We had a big day planned... Grandfather Mountain and the Mile High Swinging Bridge!

Day/Night #2 coming up...

For now, here are all the pics from our trip! I hope you enjoy seeing them just as much as we enjoyed taking them!




Monday, October 25, 2010

The Love For My Husband

As I sit here alone getting ready for bed, alone, I can't help but think of how lucky I am.

First, I should mention that I'm alone tonight only because my husband is on an overnight volunteer shift with a local EMS Dept. He's completed his EMT-I course but maintains a volunteer schedule that, at times, has him away from the home some nights and most weekends. He stays pretty busy. I should also mention how very proud I am of him. These last 5 months have been pretty taxing, for him and for me. He's managed to work (we work at the same place) 35+ hours M-F, attend a 9 hour EMT-I class every Wednesday, pull 200+ hours of clinical hours in less than 5 months, AND maintain his volunteer commitment with the EMS Dept. Again, proud.

This brings me to why I feel so lucky.

For those who know me, you know that I've been a happily married woman for (this month!) 8 years. You also know that I have actually been with my gorgeous husband for over 15 years. Yes, 15 years. I met my husband in high school. You know, the tumultuous high school years where every new guy you see and meet is a conquest to be your next boyfriend? Well, after meeting him it was love at first sight and a true bond was forged from the very first minute we met. I'll have to explain exactly how me met in another post, but for now I thought I would share my joy for my marriage, and the ever growing admiration I have for the love of my life.

My husband has been my dearest best friend since day one. I know this has been the foundation of our relationship. I honestly believe you have to be "friends" before you can be happy lovers, maybe not necessarily first, but you have to be friends. You have to actually like your husband, like you would like your friends. You can't love unless you can like, right? I not only like my husband a whole lot, I am truly, madly, deeply in love with him. Still. Notice the reference to the song, "Truly Madly Deeply"? It was our song. I still get emotional when I hear it today, 13 years after it was released.

Next, is respect. I wholeheartedly respect my husband with everything in me. Sometimes I may not always show it, but I respect him. I respect who he is and what he stands for. He's never wavered on changing himself for anything or anyone and that is something to be said for the times we live in today. People seem to change and adapt for reasons unknown to me. Not my husband. I love that about him. He's exceptionally smart and impeccably capable of anything and everything he sets out to do. For that alone, I respect his innate ability to strive to be not only his very best, but the best for both of us.

Something that is a huge part of what makes us work is our ability to just be ourselves. We don't change to suit the other. We never have. We love each other for what we are. We are comfortable enough in ourselves to not have to be something we're not, and we don't feel the need to hide anything from each other. Nothing. We are very open to one another. We hold nothing back. There are no secrets. There is no reason to ever feel any level of uneasiness.

We share everything. Thoughts, hopes, money, clothes, razors, socks... everything. Isn't that what marriage is about? The joining of two into one? We love knowing that what his is mine and what's mine is his. We wouldn't have it any other way.

We don't hold grudges. We don't regret anything. We don't argue unnecessarily. We don't go to sleep angry. We don't call each other names. We say "I love you" 489 times a day. We never hang up the phone without an "I love you". We always kiss each other goodbye. We hold hands as much as possible. We actually like hanging out with one another. We aren't jealous types. These are key elements in our happiness and success. For us anyway.

So why am I lucky? Well, I'm lucky to be in a happy, loving, caring marriage. Some can't say they have that and that makes me sad. I honestly believe there's someone out there for everyone. Everyone wants to find their soulmate and truly be happy for the rest of their lives - I really am lucky to not only have found my soulmate a long time ago, but still be wonderfully happy and insanely in-love all these years later.

It's been exactly 9 minutes since I started typing this. I knew this wouldn't take very long at all to type as I had my husband on my mind before bedtime and I knew my thoughts would just pour out.

I will leave you with this...

You too can be happy. You can be loved. No matter who you are, you too deserve to have peace in your life. You are someone's soulmate. Marriage is work, but has a huge payout if you work at it and appreciate it for what it is.

And with that, I bid you all a pleasant goodnight.

To my wonderful husband,

I love you. These three small words have such a huge meaning and I am truly grateful to have such a wonderful husband to tell them to every day. I look forward to our continued life together and I'll be there to hold your hand along the way. You are my shining light

Friday, October 22, 2010

Paranormal Activity 2 - Seen It Yet?


Anybody seen Paranormal Activity 2 yet? I’m a little hesitant to see it… I couldn’t sleep for like 3 days after the first one… EEEEK!

Let me know! Was it even scarier than the first one? 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Going Camping!

If you were going camping for the very first time in less than two weeks what would be some key items you'd be sure NOT to forget?

Yup, I'm going camping in w/my superduperawesome hubby for the very first time on November 1st for 3-4 nights and I'm sooooo nervous! I'm excited, yes.... very! BUT, I'm nervous too! What if I get eaten by bears?! Or mauled by a rabid raccoon? Yikes! Nah.... I'll be alright, right?


We're going to the gorgeous Grandfather Mountain in Banner Elk, NC, and I've even reserved the actual campsite I want! (that's the planner in me!)

Have you been camping? Did you enjoy it? Any tips for me? 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"Spa Day" at the Umstead Hotel & Spa

I'm a lucky woman...

My hubby surprised me for my birthday with a "spa day", a day I'd always dreamed of; however, prior to 10/2 I had never even had a professional spa massage, much less a spa day! So, when he told me he was sending me to a spa for over 4 hours at the most elite spa in the area, I was elated! After filling me in on his surprise, he affectionately told me that he had put alot of thought into this, and in fact recruited the advice of his co-workers! They all suggested the Umstead Hotel & Spa in Cary, NC, and boy am I glad he listened! I've lived in the Raleigh area for going on 8 years and since the Umstead opened in 2004, it's maintained a reputation for being one of the best hotels & spas to visit in the world. I would have never thought I'd be going there anytime soon. The Umstead Hotel & Spa is rated 5 Stars & it's listed as a member of "The Leading Hotels of the World". Wow. Upon walking into this place I could easily see why...

My appointment was for 9 a.m. last Tuesday. I was the first appointment, which meant I was doted on 100%. A great first impression indeed! I was greeted with chamomile tea and comfy slippers. Ahhhh....

My "services" for the day were a 80 minute Swedish Hot Stone Massage & a 50 minute Pomegranate Spa Pedicure. My husband set it up where I could get my massage and then have time in-between to relax before getting my pedicure. I'm a bit spastic, so it was actually hard to relax, BUT, I managed to! In this place, it wasn't hard!

After a quick tour before my 9a.m. massage I had a few minutes to relax in the lounge. Lemon/Honey water, banana chips, macadamia nuts, and fresh fruit awaited me. I sat in front of the fireplace in my robe ready to embark on the relaxing day to come. I was already in heaven and I hadn't even had my massage yet!


I honestly could have stayed in this room forever and been a-OK! After a few minutes I was greeted by my masseuse, Tamika. She escorted me upstairs to the therapy areas and showed me the zen garden and other relaxing areas to enjoy after the massage. I wish I had stayed longer to enjoy those areas. Ah well, next time. After a quick q&a, I was ready...


My "spa" look... Not necessarily my best look! :)
This was the after effect...
See the grin? Ear to ear! Even though I know I look a hot mess!
It was without a doubt the best 80 minutes of my life. Truly. The hot stones. Tamika. The setting. Everything. Just absolutely wonderful. It was now time to relax some more before my pedicure. Oh what to do...

Patrons of the Umstead Spa are able to enjoy a slew of amenities including, a steam room, sauna, whirlpool, zen garden, meditation room, pool, hotel restaurant, just to name a few. I decided on the sauna to start, but after about 6 minutes and feeling a little faint, I tried something else. I was so darn relaxed from my massage, I guess my blood pressure dropped so low I just couldn't handle the heat. I went back to my favorite room, the lounge. The banana chips were calling! ;)

It was pedicure time!
I should mention that in addition to being a virgin to spa massages, I have also never been lucky enough to receive a spa pedicure. I've only had the Walmart type of pedicures. Sad, right? This was sure to be a treat for me! I fell in love with this color immediately.
Essie's "Merino Cool"
I mentioned above it was a "Pomegranate" pedicure.. well, they actually rubbed fresh pomegranate all over my lower legs and feet. Can you say, AWESOME! What a natural exfoliant! Not to mention it smelled incredible. See the look on my face?

Again, "spa" look... not my best look! ;)
I'm actually rather ticklish, OK, really, really ticklish, but this I could stand! I was in footsie heaven. For my first spa pedicure, how amazing!

Bubbles, Pomegranate, and Chamomile... oh my!

I knew after my pedicure my spa day would be almost over, but not until after I got to enjoy their showers. And let it be known, these weren't your average, run of the mill showers... oh no... they were outstanding! Rain heads, natural lighting, frosted doors, spa quality toiletries, and terry cloth towels... again, heaven.

Was it really time to go? It was so hard to leave. I finally had started to relax! ;)

I don't know what my husband will do to top himself next time, but I'm sure it'll be something as special as my spa day. I honestly had a wonderful time there and I couldn't have been happier with my gift. I am a lucky woman to have such a thoughtful husband who would think of something like this, and it ended up being exactly what I needed!

If you live near the Raleigh, NC area and you haven't been to the Umstead Hotel & Spa, I sincerely recommend it! Wholeheartedly! You can check out their site HERE. Be sure to check out their great specials!

What a great birthday! Thank you hubby!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The "Leave-It" Trick - Dog Training

It's doggie video day! :-)



I taught my lab this in under 15 minutes. He's known "paw" since he was very, very young, but I wanted to see if I could actually get him to lift his paw higher for "high five". I should note that I had just finished watching 'Borat' for the umpteenth time with my hubby so I did it "Borat Style". Thus the Borat inspired tone... Enjoy!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Life As We Know It - My Review

With my husband's crazy chaotic schedule these past few months, having quality time with him is rare. Very rare. So when I found out that he was "off" on Saturday, October 2nd I JUMPED at the chance to plan our day to the fullest! PLUS, this was when we both decided to celebrate my 31st birthday. Perfect!

While trying to find something for us to do, or somewhere for us to go, I figured why not just go see a movie. We LOVE movies, and it's been awhile since we've seen one together, so why not? While on my favorite site, Fandango.com I found out that a local theater was doing a 7:30 p.m. advance screening of 'Life As We Know It'. I had already planned on seeing it when it came out on Friday, October 8th... I even posted the trailer here. Now I was going to be able to see it a week early?! Awesome! I bought my tickets pronto! (BTW, I love, love, love Fandango! If you haven't done movies the Fandango way, you're missing out!)

After eating delicious wings and getting a few beers at Buffalo Brothers we made our way to the theater. I thought it was going to be packed, being 7:30 p.m. on a Saturday night after all, but it really wasn't that bad. Hey, no complaints here! I was quickly disappointed only because there were NO previews! I love previews! I guess they don't do them during advance screenings? I dunno. Anywho... onto the review.

I really, really enjoyed the movie. Why? Why not. I thought Katherine Heigl was very vibrant in her role. In her "real life" she's a new mother to an adopted daughter, and I believe I'm correct in saying that she became a new mother during filming of this very movie... a perfect blend of art imitating life.

Let me just say, I  will not spoil the movie to anyone. The previews already give you an idea of what the film's about. What I will say is, it's so true so you don't have to give birth to a child to be a parent. You don't have to be pregnant for 9-10 months to form a bond with a child. A child will bring joy to your life no matter what stage of life you enter it. And vice versa. I thought the movie portrayed that. It also showed the very fine balance that is life in general, and what you must do to appreciate the fact that it may not always work out exactly as you so meticulously planned it. And, that's OK. Life is meant to be a ride. Life is meant to throw you curve balls. It's how you deal with those curve balls that define you. As a person and as a parent.

I thought Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel had amazing chemistry. They were beautiful together. I was really pleased to see this softer side to Josh Duhamel, more so than other movies he's been in recently, i.e. 'Transformers'.

I commend Katherine Heigl to leave Grey's Anatomy to focus on her film career. I truly loved her role as Dr. Izzy Stevens, and I honestly miss her, but I think she is a great actress, and romantic comedy suits her very well. I loved 27 Dresses, Knocked Up, The Killers, and The Ugly Truth, so I had a suspicion I would love this movie as well.

I'm thrilled I wasn't disappointed. I don't think you will be either.

'Life As We Know It' opens nationwide on Friday, October 8th!



Saturday, October 2, 2010

Birthday Lunch w/my Bestie!

My bestie, Dani took me to Piola in Raleigh, NC for my birthday yesterday. It was awesome! Very authentic! Piola is located in NYC; Miami; D.C; Atlanta; Naples, FL; & Chapel Hill, NC. & many international locales! If you’re near these areas, I thoroughly recommend it!

Check out their site HERE!

*Photo edited w/ the iPhone app “Color Splash” - I’m addicted to it!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Movie that made you cry :)

Anything and everything made by Nicholas Sparks.

Ask me anything!

The Social Network & Life As We Know It

I know where I'll be the next two weekends!

This Friday, 'The Social Network' opens. I'm sure you heard about it, right? Well, if not, it's a movie about the creators of Facebook and the battle over its' rights after it became something to bargain with. The tagline says it all: "You don't get to 500 Million Friends without making a few enemies". So true. Check out the film's website HERE. Did I mention it stars Jesse Eisenberg & Justin Timberlake? I'm hearing Oscar buzz about this movie, no joke! The Social Network opens nationwide this Friday, October 1st.

Then, next Friday, October 8th 'Life As We Know It' opens. It stars Katherine Heigl, Josh Duhamel, & Josh Lucas. It seems like it's going to be a sweet, sappy movie. I'm a sucker for a sappy story. I cry during random commercials for petes sake! Not to mention that I, unlike some, actually like Katherine Heigl. I think she's a great actress and her natural comedic timing is spot on. I'm happy she left Grey's Anatomy to focus on her movie career. The fact that is has smexy Josh Duhamel doesn't hurt either! The film's website is HERE.

I suppose it's a good thing I'm doing well on my diet that, ehhmm.. doesn't allow MOVIE THEATER POPCORN! Because if it did, well, let's just say I'd need a new wardrobe. ;)


 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Christina Perri's "Jar of Hearts" Music Video


Remember back in July I posted my excitement over Christina Perri's amazing success after having her song featured in a dance routine on So You Think You Can Dance? No? See HERE. OK, now that you're with me... she's now a signed artist with Atlantic Records working on her debut album! She has come a long, long way... and it's so deserving! I love a true, happy, success story.

Congrats on all the success, Christina! I LOVED the video - it was perfect.

p.s. Recognize any of the dancers in her video? They're from SYTYCD! And, Stacey Tookey choreographed the video, the very same choreographer that fell in love with her song in the first place and opted to feature it on the show back in July!

Check out her updated bio on her WEBSITE after the jump:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

True Blood: I miss you...


~ Jace Everett - Bad Things (True Blood Theme)

My True Blood withdrawal has initiated a yearning to watch it AGAIN from the very beginning. So, that’s exactly what I’m gonna do.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fall T.V. Lineup - Too much of a good thing?

Too much NEW T.V. this week! What to do? I know... DVR it all! Dunno about you guys, but I'm really excited about 'The Event' which airs tonight at 9 p.m./EST on NBC - will you be watching?

What shows are you looking forward to this season?

The Line-Up of what I'll be watching:

"New" Fall TV:

CBS - Hawaii 5.0 - Mondays at 10pm, (9/20)
NBC - The Event - Mondays at 9pm,  (9/20)
CBS - The Defenders - Wednesdays at 10pm, (9/22)
NBC - The Apprentice (w/real people) - Thursdays at 10pm (9/16)
CBS - Blue Bloods - Fridays at 10pm (9/24)
~ series premiere dates are in () ~

Non "New" Shows:


ABC - Modern Family - Mondays at 9pm
ABC - Greys Anatomy - Thursdays at 9pm (9/23)
CBS - How I Met Your Mother - Mondays at 8pm
ABC - Dancing with the Stars - Mondays & Tuesdays

Am I missing out on any other cool shows that you watch? 

p.s. I'm really, really, really trying to losing weight... all this T.V. watching won't help my cause ONE bit! ;)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pink @ the Grammys 2010 - a look back

Just recently Pink's song, "Glitter In The Air" hit the radio. Why it took so long, I haven't a clue, but I'm glad it did. I don't listen to the Top40 cookie cutter radio stations, no way... I heard it on Mix 101.5 in Raleigh, it's radio name matching very true to what they play, a mix. In y humble opinion, it's the best station in Raleigh. Anywho... I'm getting off topic.

After hearing this beautiful song on the radio recently it reminded me of the wonderful, awe-inspiring performance Pink gave at this year's Grammys. Do you remember? I know I do - it was the moment of the night and it resonated with me for many days to follow. It wasn't a typical performance and I LOVED that! I've always loved Pink, always. And after this I loved her more. I had "Glitter in the Air" on my iPod the day her album 'Funhouse' came out.

If you didn't watch the Grammys this past February, or didn't watch it online, and you have no idea what performance I'm talking about it, I've added it just for you. I watched it 3x just tonight! Mesmerizing every time.


The lyrics to the song are just as beautiful as her performance. I've added them below:

Have you ever fed a lover with just your hands?
Close your eyes and trust it, just trust it
Have you ever thrown a fist full of glitter in the air?
Have you ever looked fear in the face
And said I just don't care?

It's only half past the point of no return
The tip of the iceberg, the sun before the burn
The thunder before lightning, the breath before the phrase
Have you ever felt this way?

Have you ever hated yourself for staring at the phone?
Your whole life waiting on the ring to prove you're not alone
Have you ever been touched so gently you had to cry?
Have you ever invited a stranger to come inside?

It's only half past the point of oblivion
The hourglass on the table, the walk before the run
The breath before the kiss and the fear before the flames
Have you ever felt this way?

La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la

There you are, sitting in the garden
Clutching my coffee, calling me sugar
You called me sugar

Have you ever wished for an endless night?
Lassoed the moon and the stars and pulled that rope tight
Have you ever held your breath and asked yourself
Will it ever get better than tonight? Tonight


If only I were a cat...

Just chillin'!
Life would be so much simpler If I were a cat. Ahhhh.. the peace I would get!

This is my Munchkin kitty, Nugget. Yes, Munchkins are a real breed. Per my love Edward Cullen, "You can Google it". You'll be happy you did! :-)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

What is your earliest known memory?

I was asked this earlier tonight on "Ask Me Anything" and I thought I'd share my answer... it's a good one.


"Falling out of a moving vehicle when I was 3. I wanted more room in the front seat of the car, so being a kid, I thought I’d just open the door, ya know… to make room. I went tumbling out of the car which was going over 40mph at the time, and ended up breaking my right collar bone and had rocks permanently embedded in my forehead! I think I learned my lesson. STAY PUT!"

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Newly Addicted to TRUE BLOOD!

I feel like I am always late to the party!

For the past couple of years, I have heard how great True Blood is, how everyone is obsessed with it, how hot Eric is, how sexy the show is, etc, but I never watched it for myself. Maybe it was because I never cared to subscribe to HBO, maybe it was because the show started and I never got on board, I dunno... but I have a thing about not getting into a show after it has started, UNLESS I decide to do a "catching-up-on-a-show-a-thon". So, that's exactly what I did!

With the hubby being so incredibly busy lately, and basically having the weekends to myself, I figured why the hell not. Right?

I should tell everyone though that, my sister in law graciously and gleefully offered up her DVD set of True Blood season 1 to me over a year ago and I had it for well, months, but NEVER even opened it. I was sooooo stupid.

Anywho, moving on...

After work this past Friday afternoon I headed to my local Blockbuster store to exchange my Blockbuster Online movies for the first two discs of season one on Bluray. (only way to watch!) I was very, very pleased that they had it in stock. Not because I had any idea what to expect, but more so because I had a plan and I didn't want it to be ruined. I set out on a mission. I brought the DVD's home and started watching. And I watched some more. I started to develop butt sores. ;)

By Saturday afternoon, and two more trips to Blockbuster, I had nearly watched all of season one. I guess you could say that I was more than hooked. I was vested. I was a True Blood whore. I was ready to move onto season two by Sunday morning. I was getting sick and tired and going back and forth to Blockbuster and relying on them to actually have the next disc in the series, so after season two's episode three I placed a call into my local cable company. I had to know if HBO had the HBO OnDemand feature where I could watch it at my pace, and hopefully be ALOT more efficient! My first question to the cable company was, did they even have True Blood season two on HBO OnDemand? Oh by golly was I pleased to hear the answer to that question was, YES! Of course it also included season three, the current season. After hearing they would offer HBO to me for only $7 a month(that's 1/2 off!) for 12 months, I was SOLD! No more trips to Blockbuster for me! (for True Blood anyhow)

The remote was my friend all the way though the long Labor Day holiday. After last night, Tuesday, I can officially say that I am caught up to the current season, season three. But wouldn't you know that only AFTER I become engrossed in a new show, the damn season finale is this Sunday!? What?! That is so not fair. Why are the seasons so short? Most shows have a line-up of 20+ shows. Why is this different?

Maybe it's a good thing it only lasts for 12 episodes. Maybe. I don't know if I could take it if it were any longer, and I mean that in a good way! It's so fricking intoxicating! Wait... what the hell am I saying?! I DO want it to be longer. I don't want it to end. WHY?!

OK... so my thoughts on the show...

First of all, I am "Team Bill", not "Team Eric". He's not my type. At all. Edward Cullen, eat your heart out!


I think the show is fresh. Sexy. Gripping. Quirky. Erotic. Scary. Sad. Funny. It's awesome. I was honestly not expecting all the sex scenes, so THAT was a surprise! Not that I minded it one bit! The "man asses" on the show are some of the best "man asses" I've ever, ever seen! Lots and lots of nakedness!

Why the hell did I not start watching this show back in '08?! Oh, I know...

'Cause I'm always late to the damn party! ;)

You know where I'll be this Sunday at 9 p.m... ON MY FAVORITE CHAIR WITH MY EYES GLUED TO A CERTAIN 47" PIECE OF PLASTIC.

I'll be watching with all of y'all!


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The New DWTS Cast, Season 11

It was announced last night who the new Dancing With The Stars cast would be via a press conference on ABC. I was actually watching another show on TV, and for that I'm very thankful, because If I had heard the cast being revealed live, I might have just vomited. Reading it online was a much more easier, more tolerable way to take in such crappy news.

I've been an avid fan of DWTS for damn near all 10 seasons the show has been on, but this is just outrageous! It's Dancing With The STARS, for petes sake! Since when are Bristol Palin & Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino stars? Wow. I really think ABC is grabbing for ratings here, which I don't quite understand it because the show has become more and more popular by a-list & b-list STARS! It's really become a who's-who type of show! Until now. I didn't think ABC needed to stoop so low. I know people enjoy the smut that is Jersey Shore, but c'mon already! Haven't we had enough seedy reality TV?! I know I have. I DO enjoy certain reality TV shows like Big Brother, American Idol, & SYTYCD, but I think it's gotten way out of hand. How many Bachelor(ette) shows can they possibly do? But, I digress...

Anywho... the cast of Dancing With The Stars:
fyi: "The Situation" was *ehmm* filming Jersey Shore and couldn't make the photo op.
Not sure where Michael Bolton was?


The Women:
  1. Brandy, Singer
  2. Audrina Partridge, (another) Reality show(s)
  3. Florence Henderson, Actress
  4. Margaret Cho, Comedian
  5. Jennifer Grey, Actress
  6. Bristol Palin, Politicians' Daughter (odd, I know!)
The Men:
  1. David Hasselhoff, Actor
  2. Kurt Warner, NFL player
  3. Kyle Massey, Actor
  4. Michael Bolton, Singer
  5. Rick Fox, NBA player
  6. Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino, Reality Show (ugh!)
I am looking forward to seeing how Jennifer Grey does, though. If I watch it!


What are your thoughts? Will you watch it? Or, will you sulk, moan, and cry like I plan on doing? *wink*

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Have you met iJustine?

If not, you're clearly missing out. I swear, sometimes I think she's my long lost (prettier) twin! She's insanely goofy, witty, and has a "I just don't give a damn" philosophy (in a respectful way). I can honestly say that I'm slightly addicted to her. *wink* 

If you don't know who iJustine is, first off... SHAME ON YOU! Just kidding! Check out her site, follow her on Twitter, or check out her GOOFY pics on Dailybooth, just check her out!

She's pretty darn amazing. See for yourself!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Trip to VA & Our Nations' Cap-i-tal!

Immediately after my NACE test this past Thursday I headed to Richmond, VA to visit family. This is a trip I've done many, many times. This particular trip was a little surreal as the whole 3 hour trip I couldn't stop being excited for myself that I successfully finishes my C.N.A. program. It had been a long, exhausting past 5 months, so the solo trip gave me time to reflect and appreciate what I had accomplished. It was quickly realized that this was the first real class, course, etc. that I've ever done, much less completed. So... me and my happy self drove gleefully up to VA with Harley in tow. She's a GREAT driving companion and I wouldn't travel without her!

She loved her view!



Seeing my niece & nephew immediately upon my arrival was awesome! They came running out the door to greet me. It was always so nice to see them! I just love them to bits!

I got to see my sisters' new apartment - it was great! I'm so proud of her. To accomplish what she has with the struggles she faces on a daily basis... I truly admire her and I couldn't love her more.

My sister, sister-in-law and I were supposed to go see 'Eat Pray Love' on Friday night, but my sister fell ill. Next time Brit! I love movies, you know that! :) Saturday was to be a BIG day! Paying homage to the great Forest Gump, we were going to visit our nations' cap-i-tal!

Bright and early we set out for the 1.5 hour road trip to D.C. I was so excited! I get excited to go anywhere, but I really love D.C! I had only been there once before back in 1999 with my husband so I had a feeling it would seem like visiting for the first time. I'm like a kid when it comes to doing and seeing new things. I make NO apologies for that!

I thought wearing my Sketchers Shape-Ups would be a good thing, but don't buy into the hype people... they are great for day-to-day wear, but NOT long exhausting walking trips! No sir! No ma'am! Ouch! And not to mention trying to balance myself properly on the cobblestone walkways and sidewalks. It's a blessing I didn't hurt myself! OK, moving on...

I had a blast! We ALL had a blast! I took sooooo many pictures! I've attached most of them in a Flickr slideshow below. I hope you enjoy the pics!


In-between walking through the A-M-A-Z-I-N-G museums, we all decided to make fools of ourselves on the National Mall. Check it our for yourself! ;)