Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Once upon a time I went to Florida, and this is the amazing condo I stayed in

I can't believe it's been a month since I went to Florida and I still haven't blogged about it.  I have so many photos and I've just been overwhelmed with the thought of making a post about it.  I always have a hard time narrowing pictures down, and like to include a lot since I plan on printing it out into a book.
So Caroline's boss has a place in Bonita Springs and it was maybe the most adorable place I've ever seen, hence all the photos.  It was absolutely flawlessly decorated.  Everything was beachy down to the tiniest detail, I couldn't help but photograph everything.  The condo was stocked with everything one could need from towels to shampoo and everything needed for the beach.  Oh yeah, did I mention all furnishings are from Pottery Barn?

Master bath

Master bath

Master bedroom where Caroline and I stayed.

Living room

Adam stayed in this little open room off the kitchen.  The couch folds out.

Spare bathroom.

Love all the little knobs.

Even the night lights match!

Spare bedroom where Janice and Tammy stayed.

The view outside taken from the screened in deck.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I want to squeeze this child

Here's the Megster sporting her outfit I gave her for her first birthday.  Love love love this girl.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Nothing like a night out with the girls

About a week and a half ago Erin had a little dinner party over at her place.  It was fab.  She made enchiladas which were delicious, and the company was great.

After dinner just the girls went out.  First we went to a bar where ANTM was supposed to be throwing a party.  Some of the Giants were supposed to be there.  We got there around 11ish so maybe we were a little early, but we ended up deciding it was a bust and taking off.  Then we went to Buddha Bar.  The decor was amazing and the guys were hilarious.  Natalie was amazing, dancing up a storm.  We had a good time but I was super tired and kinda got over screaming small talk into the ears of random strangers.  We headed out, but once we got outside got suckered into stopping by Brass Monkey.  That was fun as well, but the best time was just spending some qt with some girlfriends.

Me, Erin, Jen, and Natalie.

General Conference weekend

General Conference weekend was a pretty eventful one, so being that I try to keep up with my blogging like a journal, I want to still blog about it.
Friday night it was a double header at the movies.  First was Stop-Loss.  I swear I've been seeing previews about this movie for like four months, not to mention have been reading about it ever since Rees Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe broke up.
It would make sense that it had a political agenda, but I just didn't think a whole lot about it.  It was definitely very anti-war.  Despite the fact that it was extremely liberal I could look past it and really enjoy the movie.  I liked it.

Leatherheads is another one I've been seeing previews for forever.  I was really excited seeing as how I love George Clooney (he's in my top 5), Renee Zellweger is one of my favorite actresses, and who doesn't love John Krasinski?  That being said, this movie was laaaaame.  I mean, I was really tired and struggling to stay awake about thirty minutes in, but still, it just a total waste.  I ended up surrendering the fight and went to sleep for most of the second half.

Saturday was a super packed day.  I got up early and schlepped up to West 95th Street to meet up with my fabulous new friend Adam, who'd rented a Zip Car for a few hours to head to New Jersey to go to Costco.  Since I was having a party that night Adam let me tag along.  Costco was great.  I've never actually shopped there for myself.  I mean, I've gone with my mom millions of times, but never have I personally bought anything.  I was able to get an amazing load of delicious treats for a super low price.  Thank you Costco and thank you Adam!
That morning I'd gotten a surprising call from my aunt Terry.  She and her husband Jon were in town for the day.  They'd been on a cruise and were staying the night in New York and wanted to meet up.  They were seeing Mama Mia! and wanted to know if I'd seen it.  I hadn't and they told me they'd get me a ticket.  Sweet!  
So as soon as I got my groceries home I changed and then headed up to Times Square to see the show.  It was kind of ironic because I never knew the story line, but the night before at the movies I saw a preview for the movie Mama Mia! and then here I was, seeing the show, twelve hours later.  I absolutely loved it!  I don't know ABBA's music, other than Dancing Queen, but enjoying it anyway.  It was super upbeat and funny.  Loved it.
After the show we ate an early dinner at Cosi.  I can't believe I'd never eaten there before this.  I'm officially obsessed with the chicken caesar and am so glad we have one by my work.

After dinner I headed home to get ready for the party.  This was something I was super excited about.  About a month ago I read a post on Amanda's blog about a party that sounded so fun.  They had an Enrichment activity where they had a Favorite Things party.  Basically everyone brought something that was their favorite.  It could be anything from a favorite recipe, to a favorite mascara, to a favorite hair towel.  Amanda said the party went really well.  It helped everyone get to know each other better, plus hear about a lot of super cool things they hadn't heard of before, and leave with a new little tricket.  I thought this sounded so fun and was meaning to tell someone in our Relief Society presidency that we should do it for Enrichment.  Then I got to thinking, we don't have to do this for Enrichment, we could just have a party.  I've really been wanting to get to know the girls in my ward better so I thought this was perfect.  I mentioned the idea to my roommate in the middle of the week and she mentioned that it was perfect timing since Saturday night all the guys would be a the Priesthood Session of conference and a lot of girls had been talking about getting together to do something.  So, we sent out the evite and it was a great turnout!

It was a really great party and there were some really interesting gifts given, that really helped me get to know interesting things about the girls.  One girl gave my roommate a gift, and while I don't even remember what the actual gift was, it was what was on the outside that was neat.  There was a super cool postcard (so we thought) on the outside.  Chels mentioned that she loved the postcard and I agreed, and then the girl who gave it said, "Actually I took that picture out of my window.  Photography is one of my favorite things so I thought I would include one of my pictures."  Super cool.

And maybe towards the end of the party we ended up blaring the music and having an impromptu dance party.  AAAAAnd Chels couldn't help but bust out this umbrella during Rihanna's Umbrella.

Sunday morning I made the General Conference typical Hope breakfast, Eggs on Toast.  MMM.  Although I can never make it as good as my mom's, it still was alright.  
We spent all afternoon on the futon and got a little bit of the sleepy sillies.  And, yes, that is my Ridge 04 shirt.  I still wear in proudly.


This weekend was pretty uneventful, which was really nice considering how crazy things have been recently.  (You wouldn't really know, because since it's been crazy, I haven't been able to blog, and since I haven't been able to blog, you don't know how crazy it's been.  Vicious cycle.)
So Friday night I was supposed to go to the Mets vs Braves game with Chelsie, Jaclyn, Maria, Steve, and Mike.  Supposed to.  Didn't make it.  Long story.  But I met up with Chels and Steve to see Baby Mama.  I have to admit, even though I think Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are two of the funniest women on tv, I thought the movie looked pretty stupid.  Maybe it was my low expectations, maybe it was because it was and 11:30pm showing and I was super tired, but I thought it was hilarious.  I was rolling.  Amy is freakin hysterical.  The movie is cheesy and predictable, but perfect for a great laugh.
Saturday was super lazy, which was perfect.  I didn't get home from the movies till 2am and I can't even tell you how excited I was to be able to sleep in.  I've had to get up early every Sat for the last several weeks and there's nothing I hate doing more than setting an alarm Friday night.  I got up about 10:15am which was perfect because I'm at least old enough to now hate wasting the day.
I got up, watched 30 Rock with my roommates, chilled, and then went over to Curtis'.  We headed over to his hair cutters.  I (finally) convinced him to go shorter, although he was freaking out the whole time, driving the stylist crazy.  I thought it looked really good.  When we got back to his place and he tried to style it he realized it was uneven and got really mad.  This kills me because the guy seriously almost never gets mad, but when it comes to the hair, watch out.  It's his "thing."  Love it.  So after a big freak out, me attempting to fix it, and then me realizing he wanted me to cut a lot more than I was comfortable with (especially after seeing how seriously he takes hair cuts) I sent him back to the hair cutters, where he got it fixed.  I met back up with him and he looked like a little boy.  It was all short and just laying flat, kinda like missionary style.  He looked adorable.  Have no fear, he still sports the hawk, but it's a shorter version (for now.)  He's been meaning to get some new sunglasses so we stopped at a tourist trap.  Sunglasses for $5?  Okay.  He wanted my opinion on a particular pair.  At first I was like, ehhhh.  Then my honest opinion was, "Weeeeellllll, you have to know that when you wear those people are going to think you think you're really cool."  Him: "I do."  (Joking, mostly.)  "Okay well you have to be prepared for comments.  Like, I have some super big glasses and when I put them on people talk to me like I think I'm a movie star or something."  That didn't bother him, so I told him they did look good, so he got them.  After about five minutes I was obsessed with them.  We went to eat at Gold Street Diner and I made him wear them during lunch because suddenly with his normal hair, look-at-me shades, and 36-hour shadow he totally reminded me of Bono, who I love, in case you don't know.
A little later I was getting ready to go out for the night.  I was supposed to meet up with Taylor for dessert, and then a goodbye party for Karen, my dear friend who's moving to Arizona.  My contacts were super dry so I took them out to rewet them.  I was at Curtis', so I used his roommate's solution, or so I thought.  It turns out it was contact disinfectant.  The second I put my contact in my eye, my whole eyeball was engulfed in severe stinging.  I had this happen once before, when I used Elise's roommates "solution."  (There's a long story that explains why I made this mistake twice....I swear I checked the label before I did this.)  Note to contact wearers: Do NOT EVER make this mistake!  It is the worst pain ever.  The pain forces your eye shut so you can't get your contact out, and you can't make the pain stop without removing your contact.  (Yet another vicious cycle?) After many attempts at forcing the lids open and clawing at my poor eyeball, I got out the contact and let the faucet water gush into my beat red eye.  Needless to say, I was thrashing around and whispering angry cuss words in the boys' bathroom.  When I finally composed myself I walked out and Jason, Curtis' roommate was very confused.  I told him what had happened.  He told me sorry, because it was his disinfectant.  And I told him sorry I attempted to steal some solution.
I went home to redo my makeup and change, but by the time I got there all I wanted to do was not go out.  I called Taylor and canceled, feeling awful because the last time we had plans they fell through as well.  Luckily he's the nicest guy in the world.  
I ended up just chilling at home with a couple of roommates and Court.  I really was sad about the party, but at least I caught up on the Office, Grey's, and the Soup, and had some fabulous girl talk to boot.  And later that night and the next day I got some concerned text messages and questions at church regarding my "burned eye."  Haha, guess the news made it to the party.
Going to church was nice because I feel like I haven't been forever.  Last week was Stake Conference, the week before Jason and Elise were here and we only went to Sacrament, and the week before was General Conference, so it felt good to be back to normal.
The most exciting part of my weekend happened after church.  My friend Kellie is moving and was selling her lovesac.  I've always wanted a lovesac so I jumped on the opportunity.  The problem?  She lives on 105th Street.  Luckily my fabulous home teacher and friend Randy (Ricky-Randy to me....yes, a take off of Justin-Bobby) has a car and agreed to let me borrow it.  He was going to take me but is in the middle of studying for finals.  He goes to NYU dental school.  Amazing.  So I still needed a guy, so Curtis came.  I made Curtis drive seeing as how I've never driven in the city.  Don't worry, as we were heading up Madison Ave I was looking at the people and saw this guy carrying his little daughter, tossing her in the air.  "How cute," I thought.  Then I realize, gasp!  It's Toby McGuire with his daughter Ruby!!!  Totally legit A-list sighting.  Love it.  He was sporting a beard.  Looks like a great dad.  Thank you UES.
So we made it to 105th and got the lovesac (after quite the debacle) into the backseat of Ricky-Randy's 2door CL.  Yeah, we were cramped.  
We headed downtown and Curtis took my lovesac to my apartment while I saw in the car.  Then I took him to midtown where he was two hours late to meet up with some out of towners visiting.  I dropped him off at 5th and 42nd, and then had to brave the city behind the wheel for the very first time after living here for over a year.  I had to go to 1st and 14th.  It actually wasn't too bad.  I was really nervous, but did okay.  I kept wanting to make calls because it just seems natural to talk on the phone while you're in the car, but you can't use a handheld device while driving here.  Not like I needed the added distraction anyway.  
I finally made it back to Randy's, and the real problem was finding parking.  Ugh.  That took another twenty minutes, but luckily I found a spot, and hopefully he didn't get towed.....
I may have stopped at Baskin Robins along the way....I couldn't help myself.  
I couldn't believe it was 10pm after I got home.  Granted, I wasted an hour on the phone and eating ice cream, but that whole ordeal seriously took all afternoon and evening after church.
Since I missed my afternoon nap I was exhausted and went to bed and was asleep before 11pm.  Can't remember the last time that happened.  Heaven.

I don't even get this cartoon but I just love the fact it has my church's name on it.
PS I'm currently blogging from the comfort of my new lovesac. Love it.

Happy Administrative Professionals Day indeed!

So last Wednesday was Administrative Professionals Day, aka Secretary's Day.  I've been in the administrative field many years on this day, and every year no one has even mentioned it.  I don't really expect anyone to.
This year was quite the treat.
Rob, one of my favs, bought me lunch from Appetito Ristorante.  I got the Gnocchi al Pesto and it was DEVINE!  Seriously so good, I want it every day.  The problem?  It's $20.  I know, right?  I may have splurged and bought it for dinner tonight...
Yes, that's my lunch on my desk.  Traders don't (typically) go to lunch.  We eat at our desk.  I use the term "we" loosely, as I'm not a trader, I just support them.

John was in London but was a peach and had some amazing chocolates sent over from Three Tarts.  
They were so delish!

Love my boys.

Friday, April 25, 2008

They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway

This year I have a goal to see a Broadway show every month. I lived here for way too long without seeing very many shows and I hated having to tell disapponted friends back home when they'd ask, "Have you seen a lot of shows?" I enjoy going to them, I just am bad about putting forth the effort and paying the money, even though you can do the lottery or TKTS to get cheaper tickets. I always think, "Oh I can always go see that show, I'm going to do (other random activity) instead."
However, now that one of the shows I wanted to see has closed (The Drowsey Chaperone,) I'm trying to make more of an effort to see a show a month.
Here's the shows this year:
January: Chicago
February: Mary Poppins
April: Mamma Mia!
April: Curtains (two this month to make up for no show last month)

Last year I saw:
Jersey Boys
My First Time

And in LA in years past:
The Lion King
The Phantom of the Opera

Here's what I'd still like to see (* next to the ones with higher priority):
*Phantom (again)
The Little Mermaid
*Young Frankenstein
*A Chorus Line
Avenue Q
*Grease (bonus: seeing my new friend, the uber talented Natalie Hill!)
Blue Man Group
I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change
Naked Boys Singing! (haha, kidding)
*The Awesome 80s Prom

Guess I'd better get cracking! Lots of shows to see. Good thing I'm not leaving anytime soon!

My favorite so far is Jersey Boys. Love love LOVED it. Fell absolutely in love with the Four Seasons music. (But a strong warning: not for those sensitive to NY vernacular.) I also really loved Mamma Mia!, Mary Poppins, and Cats. They should bring that one back. Also, this is a ridiculously embarrassing Les Mis still playing? I thought I heard it wasn't, but some people told me it was, but it's not on the Broadway sites....

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Operation: Get skinny

Duck Beach is in four, count em four weeks.  I'm trying to change my eating habits (like maybe I shouldn't have a chocolate chip croissant and Diet Coke for breakfast every day?)
So, seeing as how the weather's been so beautiful I've been trying to force myself to enjoy being outside by running the bridge.
Today was day 2 (I know, such a long streak I have going, right?)  Anyway, I am absolutely LOVING having this as my exercise.  Never have I had a more inspiring view than the lower Manhattan, the New York skyline, and the Statue of Liberty.  I just can't put it into words.  And not only is the view great, but the diversity of people on the bridge is amazing.  Yesterday I saw: tourists, Brooklynites commuting back home, other people exercising, a guy walking the bridge on crutches (it's a little over a mile one way) two Hacidic Jews on a tandem bike, a musician type guy in a tie-dye purple matching pants and jacket being photographed, people walking their dogs, enless photogs, a guy going across in a wheelchair, kids who look like they were on a class trip, college kids making films, nannies pushing children in strollers, couples sitting on benches, and so on, and so on.  It was great.  I mean, I kinda would just love it if I could have the bridge all to my lonesome (wishful thinking) but if not, it's fascinating to see all different kinds of people.  Much better for people watching than the same mold of cougar I'd see running around Lake Mission Viejo.

Today I bought this little number, in hopes that not having to hold onto a big iPod will make running a little less...torturous?  
Lastly, I'm trying to get more of this down every day.

And maybe soon I'll look like Gisele?  Hm, maybe wishful thinking again.

I can't help but wish the Twin Towers were still there.  Every time I see the skyline of lower Manhattan it's just not complete.  

Don't act like you haven't been there

If it wasn't for Courtnie's post, I probably wouldn't have mustered up the courage to do my own.  So the toilets in the city are honestly the worst.  I'm not exaggerating.  Literally sometimes you do absolutely NOTHING that should clog a toilet, and it still gets clogged.  (Would I actually be writing this if that wasn't the case?) I always warn all my guests to A) Be very careful and B) Don't be embarrassed if you clog the toilet, it happens to everyone.  
So I have to say, Curtis is quite the toilet unclogger.  He always ends up getting this job because every time he comes over the first thing he always does is go to use the restroom, so he notices the loo conditions before I can even do anything to prevent it.  Actually, the very first time this happened was when he was coming to pick me up for our Valentine's Day night out.  How very romantic.  He's taught me a couple tricks, and has even walked me through two uncloggings over the phone.
This week, I couldn't help but capture the moment.