Monday, December 27, 2010

Hot Tip of the Day

I just spent way too long thinking about this, but I thought I'd share my fabulous theory with all of you - it's the kind of person I am. Far be it for me to theorize about something without sharing.

So, everyone always complains about the excessive spam mail they get from various companies. Amazon, Zazzle, Old Nav, New York & Company, Groupon... those are just a few of the ones that flood my inbox on a daily basis. Obnoxious, right? And you are constantly tempted to unsubscribe, aren't you?

Here's an idea: instead of unsubscribing, create a rule in Gmail for those emails! Picture instructions below:

Step 1: Open the email. Under More Actions, select Filter Messages Like These.

Step 2: Choose how you want to identify the emails - I usually opt for the From field. Go on to the Next Step.

Step 3: Select Skip the Inbox, Mark as Read, and Apply the Label:. Select your label - mine was called Daily Deals, but I have now changed it to Deals/Ads.

Then Create Filter!

Why is this awesome? Because every now & then websites send you handy coupons or information about deals. For example, today I wanted to place an order from, and I searched through old emails and found out that they had a 50% off deal with an exclusive code. But, I never even saw the email, I was never tempted by their little schemes, and I still benefitted from being a subscriber! Win-win if you ask me!

So next time you're planning some online shopping, do a quick search of your inbox and see what emails you've gotten (and not even known about!) that might save you some money!

Happy Online Shopping and even Happier Clean Inboxes!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Update on Christmas

Remember how I was worrying about our Christmas plans back in March? We quickly dismissed the cruise idea for the same reason I mentioned there - we'd been to all of those places.

So what did we choose instead?

The happiest place on earth!

We walked. We rode. We stood in line. We ate giant turkey legs. And we discovered a few secrets for mastering Disney (at the holidays and any other time!)

1. 2 words: Fast. Pass. The longest line all day at Magic Kingdom was Space Mountain, followed closely by Peter Pan. It was the only ride at 1am that still had a line! At Epcot, it was definitely Soarin'. So get to the parks early and fast pass it up. You can punch your FP every 2 hours.

2. Don't buy tickets ahead of time! The day we went to Epcot, we ended up getting 3/4 tickets for free because other people had extras. 2 of the tickets were from a cast member who had 4 free passes, and the other one was from a stranger who had a no-show with their group. That's almost $300 in free passes to Disney! SCORE!
3. Take your time! You are there to enjoy the parks, not race around like crazy people through them!

4. While everyone is else is watching fireworks, go get in line for a ride or two! And, stick around until the minute the park closes! The later it gets, the less people there are.
5. Try to watch the latest parade! The parades at Disney are top notch, but they run at least twice a day. We watched the 11pm (!!!) Electrical parade, and there were seriously 1/10 of the crowds as there were at 3:30pm.

6. Bring snacks & water bottles inside the park with you, but also splurge on park snacks! The turkey legs were so freaking delicious - I had one at Epcot and Magic Kingdom. I couldn't resist! My sister & I shared an ice cream bar, and I really wanted a pickle but I didn't know if I could eat a whole one. I wouldn't make a very good Pea.

7. I mentioned this once, but stay until the park closes! We decided that we were way better suited for the late night than the early morning, although I heard from a few mom's on the monorail that 8am-10am was pretty tame, too. But I might choose shoving bamboo shoots up my fingernails over being in Magic Kingdom at 2pm again. And, on Tuesday night MK was open until 1am! 1am!!!! It was so awesome!

8. Take pictures! My sister made some snide comment about my picure taking at Epcot so I stopped, and I wish I hadn't let her ruin my fun that day!

9. Wear comfy shoes. The most comfortable ones you own. You will walk, more than you've ever walked before.

10. Have fun! Don't be a Grinch - roll with the punches and remember that you are in the happiest place on earth :)

I'm Being Needy

Remember when I bought a fancy camera? Yeah, I am really pleased to have checked something off my 101 in 1001 list, but now I'm kind of stuck on another one of the things on that list - taking good pictures. I mean, I like the pictures I've taken so far, but I'm still operating the camera on a trial & error basis.

I still haven't read the instruction manual (but I have an hour long flight in which I plan to do nothing but read my camera manual. Man that time sure is gonna fly.... HA!) However, I don't think I can learn everything I need to know from a still little manual from Canon.

This is where I come to you. I need to know basics - when to change my aperture (and really, what aperture is, exactly), when to shoot on auto, when to adjust the ISO... all of these things. I really want something that says "When you are standing on the corner of the street at 9pm trying to take a picture of a pretty building, do this." Like, that direct and straight forward.

So, start suggesting blogs for me to obsess over and pull up on my phone while people wait for me to take their picture. Anything for the perfect shot!  Or, if you have tips yourself, let me know!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas in Florida

It's 11:00pm on the Wednesday before Christmas.

I'm sitting on my parents couch 2/3 of a bottle of wine deep, wishing I was wearing my footie pajamas. See below. And yes, me & the boy pictured below are wearing matching footie pajamas, and yes, I am wearing the black ones and he is wearing the pink ones. It's how he rolls. But for the record, I owned them first.

The only tacky party I went to this year, too.

My parents dog is sitting snuggled up next to me in the chair slowly but surely taking up more than her half.

It's nice and cozy inside the house... with the air conditioning running because I'm in south Florida. Not exactly the kind of Christmas I like, but I'll take a sundress over ski bibs this year.

I'll be updating you about traveling over the holidays, how to do Disney Christmas-style, and a variety of other things. This post may just serve as a reminder to me of the things to come.
I think the PW would consider this bokeh. I call it unintentional.
 I make no promises, so if I don't talk to you before then, Merry Christmas! Feliz Navidad! Happy New Year! Happy Valentine's Day! Hoppy Easter! God Bless the USA! Etc.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

No other love, no other way, no day but today.

I'm on a MAJOR musical kick, in case you haven't noticed. I blogged a couple of weeks ago about my lucky streak, and going to see Rent last week was a part of that.

The entrance to the theater!
Yes, I saw Hairspray one night and Rent the next. And I may or may not have mad a "Musicals" playlist comprised of Rent & Hairspray songs. And I might have listened to that playlist on my way to the airport this morning, home from the airport this morning, and then on my way to the airport again this evening. Thanks, AirTran, for both of the round-trip tickets! I'll put them to good use! 
All the actors/actresses pictures on display!
Anyway - on to Rent. IT WAS AWESOME. I know Hairspray was awesome. But so was Rent. After seeing it, I realized that Rent is probably a really difficult musical to put on without the funding from a major production theater. However, Fabrefaction's performances were top notch. The music was really great, the acting was well done, and the theater was small and personalized enough that I felt like I was getting an intimate performance, just me and the actors. I loved it! And, I really have listened to the soundtrack for the last 24 hours straight.
Part of the stage, with the LIVE BAND underneath the set!

The people at Fabrefaction were SO NICE (my friend Jackie is on crutches and they were super accomodating!) and even sought us out afterwards to talk about upcoming shows and whether or not we liked it. Plus, the location rocks. For you Atlanta folks, it's behind Chow Baby off Howell Mill, over in the Westside District. My new favorite place! If you aren't an Atlanta native, based on my 2 experiences last week, I highly recommend checking out local theaters for their production schedule. You can usually get tickets for less than $25 and if you aren't socially awkward like me, you could probably stick around and meet the actors.

Hats off to you, Rent performers, because that was awesome! I'll be listening to the soundtrack approximately 525,600 times.

PS - I wrote about Hairspray & Rent because I went and becuase I was really impressed, not because anybody told me I had to. Over & out.

Friday, December 17, 2010

I wish every day was negro day.

Name that musical.

If you guessed Hairspray, you guessed right. And that may be my favorite line in the whole musical mainly because of my roommates when I lived in Spain. We might have watched that movie 17 times while I was there. We didn't have internet, but we had movies, and the Tudors.

ANYWAY - I went with my sweet friend Jackie to go see Hairspray at the MJCCA because one of her friends was in it. Her friend got knocked up and got kicked off the Corny Collins show early on... 

I'm pretty sure Lauren & Lindsay over at the Q+DD discussed this musical and also had personal connections so really that is reason enough to go, but seriously - it was afro-tastic. Dudes in drag singing better than I can, a positively perfect Penny Pingleton... I was grining from ear to ear the whole time! And, the theater was small and Jacks snagged us 2nd row seats, so all the actors and actresses could see me with my giant smile and I like to think it was encouraging to them. Jury is still out on encouraging vs. creepy. I also decided against taking pictures with the actors and actresses. I think then the jury wouldn't be out and I would have just been straight creepy.

Sometimes I wish my life was a musical. Anyone else? I'm turning it into one, because next up tonight is RENT (also with Jackie... are you sensing a theme here?) Hopefully I will not be too freaked out to take pictures, because I read somewhere that they help you gain more readers. I guess my humor and wit ain't cutting it. But, in the famous words of Tracy Turnblad... You can't stop the beat!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Top 10 Thursday -- Trader Joe's products

Mainly I wanted to tell you about item #1, and how I basically died when I ate it and then promptly ran to Trader Joe's to get 12 more packages. I cooked them, grated fresh parm cheese on top, and pronounced them my new favorite food. But, below, you'll find my favorite things to purchase from my friend Joe that likes to Trade things. He's pretty handy, that Joe.

1. Goat Cheese and Roasted Red Pepper Ravioli
2. Green Fin wine
3. Roasted Red Pepper and Artichoke Tapenade
4. Frozen Feta Cheese & Caramelized Onion puffs
5. Frozen scallops
6. Vanilla Ice cream & Brownie Bites
7. Honey infused goat cheese log
8. Mini peanut butter cups
9. Pink lemonade
10. Frozen individual packages of brown rice

I always walk out with a handful of other random things, and I could spend an hour staring at the cheeses alone. And the frozen foods make me want to never cook again. What do you love to get at Trader Joe's?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Nerd in Us All

I got all A's in Math & Science in high school (except Analysis... damn you, Analysis). Then I went to Georgia Tech. I've beaten Donkey Kong & Super Mario Brothers on Super Nintendo. And now I'm going to buy a Wii. Because I'm a giant dork.

I consider myself pretty technologically advanced. I like technology and I get it. I've been wanting one of these Wii's for a while, and even got one a few years ago, but I never had sole custody of that one. Oh well. So now I'll get my own! I mean, if my mom can rock out the Wii, then surely I should have one. And obviously I need Guitar Hero. With 2 guitars. Duh.

The biggest dilemma I am having now is my television. Right now, our tv suits me just fine. It is on the small-ish side, but I can see it, I can watch movies on it, and it fits in our living room just right. But now that this little Wii is in the picture, I'm just going to HAVE to upgrade. That's where you come in. I need a TV. A flatscreen one. That's less than $1000 (wishful thinking?). That's not going to fall off my wall. It will probably need to be >50" because I have a lot of wall space to cover.

SO HELP! What kind should I get? Where should I get it? What size should I get in order to stay within a reasonable price range? Should I really have 3D capabilities? I don't forsee myself taking advantage of that, but I mean... do I need it?! Panasonic vs. LG? (I have a strange attachment to LG. My favorite cell phone I ever had was an LG. Don't ask.) Sony vs. Apex?


Monday, December 13, 2010

Dating Squared.

In case I haven't made it abundantly clear, I'm really freaking single. Like, haven't been on a date in about 6 months single. Haven't been kissed in I-don't-even-know-how-long single. That kind of single. I'd say approximately 350/365 days a year that is just fine with me. But on those other 15 days when I'm wishing I had a person to cook dinner for or take pictures with or just curl up and watch a movie with, I start thinking about my options. One of those options is to be set up with friends of friends and hope for the best. I have not yet explored this option, mainly because I know most of my friends' friends. We tend to travel in packs, and therefore lots of inter-mingling and mixing occurs. Plus, I'm pretty sure I'm at that age where everyone has a boyfriend. Either one leftover from college or a new, post-grad grown-up relationship. Both are fine, but it doesn't leave a whole lot to be desired by me when it comes to my friends. What I'm trying to say is, everyone I know is either in the friend-only zone or is in a relationship. And so is everyone they know. Neither are particularly helpful.

I have one friend who I'm pretty sure has dated every single guy in her vicinity. If you have a single friend, she has uncovered him, arranged to meet him, possibly made out with him, gone on a few (or more) dates with him, and it hasn't gone anywhere, thus leaving the middle-man friend in an awkward I don't know who's side to take situation. Even if things end amicably, which they always have in this friend's case, you can't tell me it's not still kind of awkward and a little bit uncomfortable. I'd know you were lying if you said that. I don't like liars.

Then, on the opposite end of the spectrum, I have a friend who will ONLY date complete strangers. If you know the same people and there is even a small chance that post-dating you could run into each other, she's so totally out. I've tried to convince her to date some of my awesome friends (when they were single, because obviously now I'm in the everyone has a person but me club) and she flat out said, "They're great, but they're your friends. No thanks." It was nothing personal to me, it was just her preference. Dating one of my friends, to her, meant that I would potentially ok for sure meddle, there would be awkwardness if dating didn't go so smoothly, and she'd likely have to see this person repeatedly regardless of their dating situation. So she passed. About a thousand times. If I'm anything, I'm persistent.

So, my question is this: Do you date friends? Do you date strangers? Do you fall somewhere in between? Any horror stories or romantic tales about dating amongst friends? Even though dating my friends' friends isn't even an option because they're all snatched up, I'm interested to see how it might have worked out if it were!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Oh, college

It's Sunday. I slept in until noon (and by slept I mean alternated between napping, reading, and Tweeting). I justify it though, because I was up at 3:30 in the morning to shuttle one of my darling friends home. His drunk happy smile made it all worth it, I think. I went to 2 parties this weekend. I took a nap yesterday. I drank Dr. Pepper after 2pm. (Caffeine really messes with me, but it was the weekend so what the hell?) And now I'm sitting on my couch where I came to start cleaning my apartment and just kind of... didn't. That was 30 minutes ago.

Guess what I'm not doing today, and didn't do all weekend? Study. For finals. Georgia Tech finals, to be more specific.

I miss college with relative frequency. I had 15 hours of commitment per week that I was required to do. 15! That's it! I could pick and choose when I was committed to those 15 hours, I could make sure I spent those 15 hours with friends, and really... if I didn't want to go, I didn't have to. What about that doesn't scream, "AWESOME!"???

However, for this week, and finals week in May, I am not jealous in any way shape or form. In fact, I will happily rub it in the face of my younger friendlings (friends/siblings) that they are studying and I am not. Because it's awesome. Really, really awesome.

Wanna know what's not awesome? I think I want to go back to school and get an MBA. Balls.

Friday, December 10, 2010

#reverb 2010

December 1 – One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?
2010: Grown-up
2011: Constant

December 2 – Writing. What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?

Or maybe it contributes tremendously.
December 3 – Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).

December 4 – Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year? See here.

December 5 – Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?

December 6 – Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it? Christmas gifts for the people who are most important to me using my trusty sewing machine. I want to make a 2010 scrapbook. I have printed the pictures, I am now just waiting for Christmas to pass so I can know if I need to purchase the scrapbook and materials or if I they are being gifted to me!

December 7 - Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011? In God we trust.
December 8 – Beautifully Different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful. My true passion for life, laughter, and making others happy.

December 9 – Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans.

December 10 – Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out?

December 11 – 11 Things. What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about
eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life? Drama. Financial stress. Allergies. Bangs. Weird dating experiences. Running. Excessive commitments. Trips to the mall. Dinners out. Pimples.

December 12 – Body Integration. This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn’t mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present? When I was trying to convince myself that the airplane I was on was not, in fact, going down in flames at any moment. Possibly because we were still on the ground.

December 13 – Action. When it comes to aspirations, it’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. What’s your next step? To be the best and nothing less.

December 14 – Appreciate. What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it?

December 15 – 5 Minutes. Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010. I want to remember friendships, courage, quitting, starting over, moving on, success, frustration, family, faith, turning 24, tolerance, making the most of things, making my parents proud, and going the longest time since my first kiss without being kissed again.

December 16 – Friendship. How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst? "Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Others stay, leaving footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same."

December 17 – Lesson Learned. What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward? This, too, shall pass, and I'll be stronger because of it.

December 18 – Try. What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did / didn’t go for it? I want to work towards completing my 101 in 1001 list. I'll be updating in on Jan 1, 2011 - 365 days in!

December 19 – Healing. What healed you this year? Was it sudden, or a drip-by-drip evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2011? An impromptu phone call in the parking deck of my condo building that lasted over an hour.

December 20 – Beyond Avoidance. What should you have done this year but didn’t because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing? (Bonus: Will you do it?) I did it. I quit one job and found another one - the job of my dreams.

December 21 – Future Self. Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead? (Bonus: Write a note to yourself 10 years ago. What would you tell your younger self?) Try it, say it, do it, believe it. You don't get another chance.

December 22 – Travel. How did you travel in 2010? How and/or where would you like to travel next year? Planes, trains and automobiles. Maybe 2011 will mark the next stop on my lifelong dream.

December 23 – New Name. Let’s meet again, for the first time. If you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why?  Kate - it's short, sweet, and to the point. Plus, it's so close to my real name, and I'm not really ready to part ways with it yet!

December 24 - Everything’s OK. What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead? My big girl job dreams came true.

December 25 - Photo – a present to yourself Sift through all the photos of you from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you are, or who you strive to be. Find the shot of you that is worth a thousand words.

From November

December 26 - Soul Food. What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth & touched your soul? My favorite chef has made some memorable meals with even better stories to follow. One night also ended in Quelf.

December 27 – Ordinary Joy Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year?

December 28 – Achieve. What’s the thing you most want to achieve next year? How do you imagine you’ll feel when you get it? Free? Happy? Complete? Blissful? Write that feeling down. Then, brainstorm 10 things you can do, or 10 new thoughts you can think, in order to experience that feeling today. When this list is all said and done I'll wash my hands clean of it and start over.

December 29 – Defining Moment. Describe a defining moment or series of events that has affected your life this year. Football games. New friends, old friends, memories, non-memories, drinking, laughing, loving, sunshine, spirit, comraderie.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Top Ten Thursday -- Holiday Savings Edition

It's holiday season and seriously I feel like all I do is spend money. Go to a free seminar? $10 donation. Run to Target for black socks? Walk out with $150 worth of crap (with no possibilities for return). Attend a holiday party? $20 to create a food contribution. I mean, I know I'm not alone, right?

My computer has been out of commission all day today and part of the day yesterday, so I've really had some time to think about this - ways to save for the holidays.

1. Throw a granola bar or some trail mix in your purse. Healthy, AND you don't have to splurge for the french fries at McDonald's on your way from store to store.
2. Make a list. Even if you add to it in the store, writing everything down makes me spend less. For example, I did not write down black socks, new black flats, or pink flats on my Target list before buying them, and now they have officially moved into my closet. Case and point.
3. Only go to the stores you need to go to. Yeah, I went to Target to help out a friend on crutches. Some friend.
4. Shop with a friend. Although this could seriously backfire (see Target examples), they can also serve as a good accountability partner.
5. Set a budget! I recently re-discovered Mint and set up a gift budget by identifying how much I wanted to spend per person and totaling it up to create the budget. So far, so good!
6. Cardinal rule of life: don't go to the grocery store hungry.
7. Use what you have! Get invited to a last minute party? Don't run out and buy something at the store. Dig through the fridge and find something creative. I have a Christmas party tomorrow night and I'm recycling vegetables from a dinner earlier this week and 1/2 a goat cheese log and calling it a veggie tray. And I had it all in my fridge!
8. Utilize coupons and stack stack stack! I have a $10 Old Navy card and a store credit AND a coupon for $15 off a $50 purchase. Most grocery stores allow you to use manufacturer's AND store coupons for the same item. Double savings! And for all my Kroger shoppers, FYI, Kroger doubles all coupons less than $.50! (I also plan out coupon use so that I am using coupons on top of sales, but that requires extensive planning that I don't always have time for, especially this time of year).
9. Try to do multiple shopping trips at once. I know if I go to 3 or 4 places in a day, I get tired just thinking about it and try to make the stops as in-and-out as possible, which means less impulse purchasing.
10. Share your tips with others - a little holiday spirit and some holiday saving never hurt anyone :)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Buckhead v. Midtown.

I live in the pleasant neighborhood known as South Buckhead, Brookwood Hills, the place where they make purple drank. Or at least get the supplies for it....

I love my 'hood. I started loving it more than 2 years ago when I convinced my then-boyfriend to move from the Lenox mall area down here. Every time we went apartment hunting he refused to consider this area, so one day when he was hungover and I was driving, clearly we made the turn and looky there... 2 months later we were movin' in! Let's not forget, however, that shortly thereafter I was movin' out. Boyfriend shmoyfriend, that's what I have to say about that. And now, we're moving on.

I freaking love this area. Its like the sweet spot. 10 minutes to Buckhead, 10 minutes to Midtown, 10 minutes to the Highlands... how does it get any better? My commute pre-new job was 20 minutes into Buckhead. I passed all the places I frequented every day on my way to/from work. Running errands on my way home was ingrained in my system.

Then, my whole world was uprooted when my new job started, because my new office is in Midtown. The land of business professionals who walk around in suits like they are important. They probably are. The land of business lunches, and happy hours, and public transportation. People in Buckhead don't transport publicly. But these Midtowners... they <3 their public transportation. Some might even go so far as to say "MARTA is SMARTA." Based on what I saw the other day, I'd beg to differ, but whatevs.

The whole point of this rambling is to tell you that Buckhead is my true love. I know the streets of Buckhead like the freaking back of my hand. But Midtown, you are growing on me. Big time. I love walking to lunch. I secretly love the people watching on MARTA. I like the whole urban feeling I get every time I step outside the building. And the men in suits walking around acting all big & important? I'll take 2 please.

Sorry non-ATL friends... I just felt like I had to get this off my chest. It was weighing me down, and you wouldn't want that now would you?!

Monday, December 6, 2010

It's no secret, I love food. A lot. I love to eat it, I love to cook it, I love to talk about it. So the other day I had pomegranate seeds for a snack at work, and my coworker confessed that she had no idea how to peel a pomegranate without a)getting juice everywhere and b)wanting to throw the pom at the wall because it's such a pain in the butt. But have no fear - the pictures below will lead you on a step by step path to pomegranate success. Ready? Go.

1. Cut off the bottom.

2. Cut off the top!  

3. Slice 5-6 times around the sides.

4. Split it open. Resist temptation to stop there and eat all seeds. See the bowl of water underneath? Just submerge the chunks of pom flesh and remove the seeds from the skin. Much easier when its under water!

5. Pull the extra skin off the seeds.

6. Take a spoon and chow down. YUM.

7. Still a little mess from the initial cut, but nothing compared to if you had peeled it on the counter!

Anybody else have any top secret tips for eating/cutting/peeling tricky foods? Onions & mangoes really mess me up, too. 

Sunday, December 5, 2010


My friend sent me a link to this movement, and it's seriously right up my alley. To me, life is all about reflecting on past decisions and choices and learning from them. Sometimes it takes months, years, to really be able to look upon the past fondly. Other times, you can almost immediately draw the lesson that you were supposed to be learned. That's why I like reflective activities like this. I'll be posting some of the less personal prompts on the blog and posting the more personal ones (such as who/what did I let go this year and why) in my own journal. Just because I don't share it with you doesn't mean I don't think it's important to reflect on the things that have happened in my life! But don't worry, I'll be sure to share the one word that describes 2010!

Anyone else participating in Reverb '10? They've got a pretty great social networking support system, too! Check out the #reverb10 hashtag on Twitter to see how others are documenting their experience.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Qatar 2022

I could really give a rat's ass about soccer. I was in Spain when they won the EuroCup in 2008, and I cheered them on to victory in the World Cup in 2010, and both times my cheering was hindered heightened by the number of big, big beers I had consumed. However, I'd like to thank soccer for encouraging the number one goal on my bucket list - to travel to every single continent.


I'm not really sure when this became a lifelong dream of mine, but I've made good on it in the 24.5 years I've been around. I figure if it took me that long to get to 5/7, surely I can hit up 2 more before my time on earth is up, right?

Part of the problem with my world domination goal is that I really have vague recollection of the time I spent on the Asian continent, and the time I spent in South America barely qualifies. I think we were in Colombia for a grand total of 4 hours, seriously, and even though I spent 2 weeks being lusted after for my gorgeous blue eyes and naturally blonde hair, that was many moons ago. Too many moons ago, really. So I've decided that those kinda sorta but not really don't count. I mean, they do count, but I really really really wanna go back. Bucket list or not.

So now, I have soccer to thank because they have decided that the 2014 World Cup will be in Brazil. Be still my heart - South American AND Portuguese? When can I buy my plane ticket? In case you didn't know, Portugal is my favorite country in Europe, although followed closely by Spain & Germany, and who am I kidding...I love them all. But really, Katie = Portugal's #1 fan.

And 2022 in Qatar? Hello, it's really close to Saudi Arabia (my mom's favorite place) and it's technically an Asian country. I could probably even knock off 2 continents in one trip if I really wanted to. Spending a day in Morocco doesn't really count for Africa now that I think about it, so obviously I need to go back and invest some quality time.

Now, the bigger question is who's paying and who's coming with me? I've got Australia covered (hellooooo honeymoon), but I really need a travel companion for South America & Africa/Asia. I promise I'm a great traveler, and I don't complain and I am pretty dang go with the flow!

Some might suggest that Traveling Katie > Katie At Home. But that might just be a suggestion :)

¡Que Viva España! Força Portugal!

Adios November, Hola December

I can't believe November is over. Really, I can't believe that the last month of 2010 started earlier this week, but I'll save that post for a rainy day in January. For now, it's all about what November was. A couple of years ago I wrote in a journal the top 10 of every month, and I've decided to restart the tradition. Feel free to chime in with your own top happenings!

Top 10 November
10. It's been a month and I'm still happier at work than I ever thought possible
9.  Almost winning the GT Alumni cornhole tournament.
8. Meeting a new blog (and hopefully real life!) friend.
7. Friendsgiving & football watching
6. Spending a Sunday with one of the best friends & her family
5. Game night
4. Meeting with my prayer partner/friend to check out a new restaurant for brunch
3. Reading The Hunger Games
2. Thanksgiving with my family
1. Starting a new job that I LOVEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

2nd Friend-Face Post...

So I sent an email a minute ago to a bunch of girlfriends about a recipe swap.

My best friend from my best-friend-from-high-school's college emailed me back this:

Best Friendsies Casserole

1/2 a beer in the shower
6" of chip'n'dale twiffie
10 mile walk to the Rio for a shitty cheeseburger and a demonstration
2 nights in a row hanging out over Thanksgiving (told ya I saw her then!)
1/3 of most days spent on Gchat

Combine ingredients and bake in Atlantic City for a weekend. It works every time.

The first 3 are references to the 3 days we spent in Vegas in 2007 where our friendship blossomed and bloomed. Our Gchat conversations are generally variations of "OMG!!! WTF?!!! NO WAY!! GIRLLLL!!! YOU'LL NEVER BELIEVE IT!! Guess what I ate yesterday?" And now that she is back in Atlanta, we really do see each other as often as 2 nights in a row.

Some girls gush about their boyfriends or husbands, so don't mind me, I'll just sit here and gush about my girlfriends :)


I talk about my friends a lot. I'm well aware of this. But the week of and weekend after Thanksgiving made me realize just how lucky I am. I spent time with some of my best friends from college, my best friends from high school, and friends that we have all picked up along the way.

Seeing friends from high school wasn't like a blast from the past - it was like picking up where we left off. One friend even brought up a night that I had completely forgotten about during which we drank apparently way too much Southern Comfort. I didn't remember that part, only crying drunkenly on the floor because my boyfriend of 3 weeks wouldn't tell me he loved me. Guess what? Said boyfriend broke up with me on Valentine's Day so he could go smoke weed with his best friend, so I think I really lost in the I love you war.

But seriously, seeing these friends, being able to spend time with them even when we were cheering for opposing football teams, is what this time of year should be about. We reminisced, we talked about life, work, friends, boyfriends and lack thereof, family, and the future. We encouraged each other, we supported each other, we listened, and when the day was over, we went our separate ways. But that's okay, because I know I'll see them again, and again, and again, for the rest of my life, because they're that kind of friend. The kind that you have forever.

Some of the friends I saw last week, I probably won't see again for a really long time, and others I'll see on Friday night, but the best part of these friends is that it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter that I see my best friend from high school maybe once a year, because it's like nothing ever changed, and my mom still says, "Kate, have you been hanging out with Sydney again?" I'm not sure if it's the increased level of silliness or the addition of "-face" to every noun that tips her off, but either way, she knows. And I like it, because it just reminds me that she is my best friend, and she always will be.

I'm one of the lucky ones. While I was writing this, I kept having to erase the word "best friend" because I have so many of them. I have my best friend from high school, and my best friends from college, and my best friend from my best friend from high school's college and my best friend from here and there. And none of them are any less best friend-ly than the others.

Friends are the one thing in the world that I couldn't live without. I've turned to my friends and depended on them when I really thought I couldn't depend on anyone, and they've supported me. Don't get me wrong, they've let me down too, but 9 times out of 10 it was really me just letting myself down and blaming someone else. My friends aren't perfect and neither am I, but seriously, I hope I never complain about not having friends again, because the ones I've got are pretty damn awesome.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Reminder: Change Your Life Challenge

Finish up the turkey leftovers, because starting tomorrow you can't eat them! The Change Your Life Challenge Week #1 starts tomorrow - who's participating with me? I invited another friend to join me and he agreed, and I'm excited to have somebody else holding me accountable. We all know I can't do it myself!

If you want to receive the Change Your Life Challenge email updates, leave a comment here or email to sign up! I'm really excited, and I even have my menu already planned out!

Monday: peanut butter sandwich for lunch; tomato soup & bread for dinner
Tuesday: peanut butter sandwich & vegetable pesto soup for lunch; Veggieland for dinner
Wednesday: leftover Veggieland for lunch; roasted brussel sprouts & quinoa for dinner
Thursday: peanut butter sandwich & a small salad for lunch; cheese pizza OR slow cooker lasagna for dinner
Friday: lunch is catered at work; dinner will be out with friends
Saturday: macaroni & cheese for lunch; salad beast for dinner
Sunday: cheese pizza for lunch; dinner will be at church

Hopefully I'm able to stick to this calendar pretty closely - I plan my meals out every week anyway, so this wasn't any different or more time consuming, although I did have to get a little creative with my lunches. I don't love re-heated vegetables! I may also get some minestrone soup, depending on the weather.

Happy Vegetarian eating, and good luck! k

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Christmas Gift Woes

I posted earlier this month about my Christmas gift-giving woes. Since then, my sister has repeatedly requested a tiger cub. Am I missing out on some funny YouTube video or movie or something? Because I don't understand why in God's name she wants a tiger cub? Or is she just weird? Could be a combination of both, knowing her.

Anyway, I've had quite a few friends chime in about what they are getting their families after admitting to reading the blog. (HI FRIENDS! Please refer to this post about blog commenting etiquette, although I'll continue to accept your gchat & real life conversations regarding what I should and shouldn't write about.)

I thought I'd compile what everyone has said and include them here so you can have ideas for the special people in your life.

a homemade quilt
a homemade tote bag to carry work supplies
an e-decorating session with an interior designer
a citrus juicer (this was my own mother's contribution to my list, not mine!)
fancy olive oil or other cooking product
set of pajamas
family picture session with a local photographer (could be a double gift for mom & dad)

a boxed movie set
books on CD for the traveling pops (would also work for siblings or grandparents!)
college gear (my dad can't ever have too much GT paraphernalia)
grill tools
an 8x10 portrait of yourself
an XL remote so he can actually see the buttons

shot glasses
a nice bottle of wine
a cute pair of shoes
business professional sweater/shirt
a new wallet

nice set of playing cards
flowers (mailed or delivered)
gardening gloves (or winter gloves, depending on where they are)
a scrapbook of family pictures (if you're the crafty type and have access to pictures!) -- when I did this for my parents 25th wedding anniversary I also had friends & neighbors contribute letters and memories. Instant winner!

Other (could apply to significant other's parents, a sibling's significant other, you get the idea)
tickets to a sporting event
monogrammed bath towels
homemade cake in a jar with the recipe attached and wrapped up all cute a la ohsheglows

So those are the ideas I've gotten so far. Anybody want to contribute? It's okay if you don't want to leave a comment, we can talk about it in some other forum, and I'll come back and periodically update this post and let ya'll know it's been updated.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I'm Thankful For

I am thankful for:


best friends

a sense of humor

my faith

old friends

new friends

being silly


beautiful weather

ugly weather & pets


and freedom

There is so much more to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving.