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!