The Shower

Heather had a beautiful bridal shower this morning. The Virginia Beach bridesmaids did an amazing job of pulling everything together to shower our favorite bride-to-be with love. Jessie has an adorable house that was perfect for entertaining, the food was yum, Lauren’s homemade “Happily Ever After” cake was precious, the teal decorations were very Heathery, and everyone laughed and cried and ate and hugged and had a fantastic time.

Here is our favorite picture ever:

Doesn’t it capture our similarities, opposites, and entire best friendship just perfectly? I think so too. Heather is wearing her new super sassy housewife apron, and had just opened the scrapbook style cookbook and cards that I made her. She had a lot of happy tears today (more to come during the bachelorette celebrations tonight, I’m sure).


Baby Bugs and Kidnappings

Today I traveled to Virginia. I woke up at 4:30, threw my 20 pairs of shoes and 18 dresses in the trunk of my car, and hit the highway. Driving in the early early morning – before the sun has even heard its alarm clock – made me really happy. I hada full tank of gas, lots to think about, six hours by myself, some coffee to drink, and many Dave Matthews songs to hear.

I got to Newport News a little after 11:30 this morning and spent the day with Stacey and her new little. Gracelyn is precious and just as sweet and floppy and sleepy and chubby as a baby could get. Plus, Stacey calls her Baby Bug, and I do love a bug.

Stacey is happy and radiant and lovely, driving around town in her ginormous SUV with baby safe and sound in back. We dined on fresh salads at Panera, and visited and chatted it up like two best friends do when it has been almost a year since they’ve seen each other.

I got through the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel around 4:30, which meant I was almost back to my home of 22 years. The street signs and smell of the ocean reminded me of being sixteen and driving around with my windows down, music up, to and from, from and to, with Katie buckled up next to me in the front seat. I arrived to Heather’s place – adorable and beachy – and met her fiancé Phil. We quickly made plans to hop on beach cruisers and grab dinner and orange crushes at the oceanfront.

I’m in love with all of Heather’s friends, bicycles, and home décor. That’s that. I’ve already tried to kidnap Courtney, but I think I’ll go ahead and just take them all. Heather and Phil, and Stacey and family, too. Charlotte needs them.



I don’t like to do anything while I eat – I mean besides chew, swallow, have a glass of water, and talk. Ryan likes to multi-task. He would, eat, talk, watch TV, read Chicago sports, fight off bad guys, and play football all at the same time if he could. Last night, we finished the first season of Friday Night Lights (don’t you hate when good things have to end?), and Ryan asked if I would mind if he ate his sandwich while we watched. Since he asked so nicely, I allowed it. (Really though, we were at his house, so it wouldn’t have mattered what I said. He is the king of his castle and I am the queen-bee of mine. Don’t worry, I would never deprive a man of his sandwich.) Anyhow, I was in a different room while Ryan was fixing his dinner, and he said something like: “I just like to dooblockyoupie my time.”  From the other room, I laugh/yelled, “What!? Did you just say DOO-BLOCK-YOU-PIE?” Because what in the world is dooblockyoupie? Have you heard of it? Tell me.

Really, Ryan had said “double occupy,” but it is much more fun to say dooblockyoupie. Try it. And how did you like it? So then I decided that I wanted to dooblockyoupie my time by eating ice-cream cake for dinner – in bed – while watching Friday Night Lights, and when I returned, I announced that I was partaking in "dooblay e-fishensay", because the word dooblockyoupie had slipped my mind. Ryan said that dooblay e-fishensay (double efficiency) is the fancy French version. Do you know about dooblay e-fishesay? Try it. And how do you like it?

So then I had dreams that I had to study French and I was failing because it made me nervous so I never went to class. The night before, I had hallucinations about a giant panther whose legs were the size of my entire body. I saw him walking through my living room. For real. It’s true and it could really happen because I have vaulted ceilings.

So which is your favorite? Dooblockyoupie or dooblay e-fishensay? You can circle both.


Three Bests

I went ahead and let the cat out of the bag. I have a big plan for this weekend, and there was the potential for surprise, so I was hesitant to make it national news. Oh yes – I consider this national news. Don’t you? But here goes: I’m going to see three of my best friends – none of them even remotely intertwined – this weekend!

And by the way, don’t I do a good job at surrounding myself with beautiful people? Wow. Apparently it’s a hobby of mine. So, as it turns out, I’m taking a little (four day) trip to Virginia Beach this weekend. I can’t wait to see Heather, Stacey (and her new baby Gracelyn!), and my very best Katie Bug.



I was just overcome by the urge to color. You know, Crayola crayons and coloring books? Do kids still like to do this? Please, please, please circle yes. And maybe let me borrow your child for an hour or two so I don’t have to color alone?

Once upon a time, my mom and I had a coloring contest. We both picked our favorite available (non-colored) page in our Precious Moments coloring books and colored away. It was summer, but maybe really it was late spring or early fall, because we were able to color outside without sweating our bums off. My mom colored a page that had something to do with a gumball machine and I think I colored a page that had something to do with a shoe. Or maybe it was the opposite. When we were done, we called my dad out of his shed, and asked him to be the judge. And the winner was … my mom. My dad chose my mom’s coloring over his own child’s. She was better at staying in the lines. And that was that.



My Big Fat Gray Cloud

Let’s be honest – not everything is sunshine and rainbows all the time. And here is the big fat gray cloud of my day: 100 calorie packs of cookies are stupid. I could eat 12 of them. A 1200 calorie pack of cookies is something I’d really like to get my hands on right about now. Not only are these 100 calorie cookie pack cookies ultra small and thin and wimpy (seriously, they are about as thin as a spaghetti noodle with the circumference of a quarter), but there are also only about 6 of them in a pack. Do you know what this means? This means that each “cookie” has about 16 calories, which isn’t even substantial for my thirteen pound cat to snack on.  But.  These minty fudgy mini-treats were actually pretty tasty.

But (again).  They left me unsatisfied.  And I'm kind of a little bit furious with a pinch of disappointed.  So I’m going shopping – for clothes (ooo and maybe a book), not cookies. Do you need me to pick you up anything? A new dress? Oh, I already bought one today – maybe you’d like to borrow it after our New Jersey trip? Okay! I must say, I think you’ll find that it is pretty fabulous.


Doing Nothing

This was the last weekend before September that we had nothing on our to-do list. The rest of July and August (and half of September) is filled with weddings, baby showers, bridal showers, visitors, quick trips to New York, and all kinds of other exciting adventures.

On Saturday, Ryan and I had a lazy afternoon filled with CSI and Friday Night Lights (we’re still on season one!) and took a stroll over to the grocery store. Ryan was very excited to make his first “homemade” pizza – of which, not a thing was homemade (sorry, Dad). We went the healthy route and purchased whole grain flat breads, chunky tomato sauce, green peppers, fresh tomato, and 2% mozzarella cheese. The outcome was yum. And filling! I was full after two little pieces (but I ate three … oops).

Today I spent a few hours by myself at the pool in one of my new bathing suits, which I decided is probably my new favorite. I finished reading Eat, Pray, Love, and got some sunshine on my face. And, of course, I paid one of my three weekly visits to Target. I do love sunshine on my face. Plus, I have a four day work week to look forward to!  Do you?


Wild Baby Jungle Cats on Date Night

Last night, Ryan and I had a dinner-and-a-movie kind of date. I was starving by the time I got home from work, so we headed over to Birkdale for pizza at Brixx. (Does that surprise you? It’s only my favorite place in the world.) Neither of us ate pizza, but my tomato mozzarella wrap and purple chips were as delicious as always. After dinner, we decided to see the movie Grown Ups, which we both agreed was stupid, but cute. I also ate some fruit snacks.

And, oh, by the way: this little one was hanging out in the middle of Birkdale around 7pm.

Really. I want need one. When we got home, I told Rex all about the baby tiger we saw, and he got majorly jealous and started acting all wild-baby-jungle-cat-ish so I would love him more. And I do. So I’ve decided to take him to Birkdale and charge people $10 to take their picture with the baby panther. Do you think this will work? Circle yes or no.


Creature Snuggles

Tonight I want to snuggle with my creature. He makes the best little furry spoon ever.

Rex loves his IKEA muses. But I haven’t seen this brown one in quite some time. I have a pretty good feeling he is hiding under the oven – that’s the best place for kitties to keep their favorite toys.  I love the word "creature".  Don't you?



I decided to treat my hands to a manicure during my lunch break today. I think I made the guy really nervous, and I don’t think he liked the nude/neutral color I selected. And that made me feel bad and awkward, like I should duck my head and slip out the front door. But I didn’t. I was half way in when he started giggling and skipping steps and apologizing and apologizing some more. Oh man. The people of Huntersville. Does any of that even make sense? Once upon a time, we took all of our clothes to this lady for alterations, and she always charged $6 for anything and everything. She could bustle your wedding dress or hem your pants for the flat rate of $6. I don’t think those two stories are related. Have I inhaled too many nail polish fumes?

Anywho. After my facial, pedicure, and manicure that I’ve had in the past four days, I’ve decided it is time for a haircut. I’m growing my hair long. Long like Rapunzel because I like dragons and castles and Prince Charmings (but I’m not in the market for one of those right now, thank you very much). But even long hair needs a cut once in a while. And it has been a while, so I’m ready for my once. Luckily, mysisterashley gave me a haircut for my birthday. Jesse is the guy who cuts our hairs. (And also he has a lot of tattoos and always wears black and demonstrated to me how he can flat iron his hair with a miniature flat iron). So, I’m going to call him. And make an appointment for my split ends to hit the floor.

Whenever I get haircuts, I find it necessary to buy new mascara and blush too. Add that to the makeover budget. Mysisterashley feels the same way, so I know that I’m not crazy. There’s just something about fresh lashes and rosy cheeks that compliment a new do. I’ll keep you posted. Do you have a dragon? Can I pet-sit for you?



An Epic Birthday Adventure

Twenty-five is official. I had yet another epic birthday celebration – it was everything a girl could have wanted and more. I’ve decided that I am (most likely) the luckiest little tiger around – I have an incredible boyfriend, amazing friends, and the most wonderful family.

My day started at 6:30. I woke up, showered, and slipped on the most comfortable dress I could find. The weather was cool and breezy – just what I ordered for my special day. Ryan gave me strict instructions to be well rested and at his place at 8:00, and being the over achiever that I am, I arrived even earlier. He fed me bagels and coffee and tricked me into reading my birthday post – which you already know made me into an emotional mess. I called my sister to tell her she made me cry (on my birthday!) and she laughed at me. A few minutes later, Kellie and AB walked into Ryan’s and I cried some more. Surprise! Then my sister came over. Surprise! We ate breakfast and then I learned that Ryan was sending the four of us to the spa for pedicures and a facial. Surprise!

Off we went – via foot – and yes, we had to call Ryan to ask him how to get there. ( With the four of us loose in the city without a pedestrian style GPS, I’m pretty sure we would have ended up in South Carolina. Or Tennessee maybe. ) We drank cucumber water and talked about girly things like toenail polish and babies. AB and Kellie chose blue, I chose a gray/purple color (surprise!), and Ashley chose a pinky mauve called “Love Your Mother” (because we do). During my pedicure, a beautiful bouquet of wild flowers arrived (surprise!) – there wasn’t a card, but I have a pretty good idea who sent them. And his name isn’t Rex.

When we got back to Ryan’s, a million presents were waiting for me. Really. There were gift bags and boxes and packages galore! (Surprise! I thought the early morning spa trip was more than plenty!). I changed into a (new!) bathing suit, and AB, Justin, my sister, Andrew, Alekzander, and Ryan and I spent the day relaxing in the windy sunshine. When we came up from the pool, even more presents were waiting for me (Woah! Surprise! Someone must think I’m the cat’s pajamas!). Alekzander helped me with my wrapping paper while the boys cooked dinner for the girls: steak, chicken, corn on the cob, salt potatoes, and tomato and cucumber salad. Yum!

After dinner and another outfit change, friends started trickling over. I was a little slow going while I was getting ready, and somehow I got lured out of the bathroom with unfinished eye makeup. (SURPRISE!) An ice cream cake with 25 candles, made with love by Justin’s mom. (Have I mentioned that I have the greatest friends?) After cake, we all put on our dancing shoes and hit the town.

This is how we roll. Isn’t it fun? I missed you if you weren’t there. Maybe next year you’ll join my epic adventure of a birthday? I can guarantee you a good time. Thank you to everyone who made my day so memorable – I’m still smiling about it.

Oh, you want to see more pictures?  Okay!  Why don't you visit again tomorrow?  Sounds good.  I'll see you then.


Thank You

Dear friends,

Thank you for my birthday love notes. I think all of you are the cat’s meow – or cat’s pajamas – whichever you prefer. I read the post that mysisterashley put up yesterday, and sobbed. I mean SOBBED. I looked at Ryan, tears running down my face, half hyperventilating, and whisper-cried “I’m only on number two!” You don’t believe me?  We have pictures to prove it.  Thank you all for thinking about me on my special day. And, boy was it ever special. I can’t wait to tell you about it!  Have you ever had a sun-dried tomato bagel?  YUM!



25 Birthday Scoops

Happy 25th Birthday!
Oh Tessa, we love you.  
Enjoy the birthday-love scoops.

1.  Oh Tessa, I remember when I took you to get your wisdom teeth pulled and you were writing me notes in the truck. (Dad)

2.  Oh Tessa, I remember when you got some new big girl panties when you were three.  Seven pairs.  One for each day of the week.  Later that evening you came out into the family room wearing a big blue headband with an enormous bow and new underwear. Period.  Much to the family's surprise you started pulling down your ditties...one after another, after another, after another. You were wearing all seven pairs and thought up a way to model them without a complete wardrobe change. (Mom)

3.  Oh Tessa, I remember the first night we went out and you walked up to some guy, grabbed his cigarette out of his hand and threw it on the floor. At that moment, I thought to myself "I like this girl".  (Kellie)

4.  Oh Tessa, who would have known that wonderful July day at the pool, we would have become best friends! I am glad you finally got the courage to come out with us! (AB)

5.  Oh Tessa, I remember when we were 11 and shared a bag of skittles and they kept falling on the movie theatre floor ...we found this so funny. (Heather)

6.  Oh Tessa, I love you in Charlotte, Biloxi, Las Vegas, Newport News, Chicago, Charleston, Munich, Arapahoe, Holden Beach, Wilmington and many more places to go! (Ryan)

7.  Oh Tessa, remember when dancing on bars/tables/chairs was an accomplishment for the night...now yours is writing on your blog and mine is changing diapersss... (Mandy)

8.  Oh Tessa,  I love how you love on our little man.  He is so lucky to have an ATB like you. (Andrew)

9.  Oh Tessa, you are beautiful, smart, and funny.  I know we've always been different (or maybe just not quite the same), but I'd like to be more like you as I grow up. (Ashley)

10.  Oh Tessa, I love when you "roar" with me. (Alekzander)

11.  Oh Tessa, you are so silly. (Mom)

12.  Oh Tessa, is your favorite color skuuuuuulllllll yet? (AB)

13.  Oh Tessa, I remember when we threw a fit over sharing a room our junior college year. I'm so glad we were forced to do so, because it was the best bonding experience ever! (Stacey)

14.  Oh Tessa, I love how sometimes it takes you a while to figure out just how to wear your hair! (Heather)

15.  Oh Tessa, I know I was only one month old, but I remember when you and Mama sang me "Snuggle Puppy."  Can we sing again soon? (Alekzander)

16.  Oh Tessa, I'm sorry I threw a tube of chapstick at your head and wrote with bath crayons on your back.  But I am so happy that we are friends now.  What do you think is best?  Friends or sisters?  Can we be best sisters? (Ashley)

17.  Oh Tessa, I love you because you are petite package that combines the beauty of a super model with the creativity of an artist and the joyfulness of a kindergartner. (Ryan)

18.  Oh Tessa, I will never forget chasing Bailey around in our Christmas gear the morning after staying out all night. (Kellie)

19.  Oh Tessa I will never forget the beginning of our love of "Coffee" conversations during work. I think we finally found our cupcakes. ;) (AB)

20.  Oh Tessa, I love you sense of style with a splash of personality and a whole bunch of bargain! (Heather)

21.  Oh Tessa, I remember a time after we revamped your bathroom; we had bought all new accessories: towels, soap dish, toothbrush holder.  But the bathroom still lacked a toilet paper holder.  One day after spending some time in the bathroom you came out proudly announcing to our guests that you had solved the problem of finding the perfect toilet paper holder.  A roll of toilet paper on a necklace of dental floss hung around your neck.  (Mom)

22.  Oh Tessa, you're getting OLD!  A quarter of a century OLD.  I hope you have the best year of your life.  (Andrew)

23.  Oh Tessa, you are such a wonderful, caring person and I am very lucky to have you as a friend. I can't wait to share more memories and I hope you have a wonderful birthday! (AB)

24.  Oh Tessa, I love you because you always make sure Ryan's M&M jar is filled when I come to visit. (Kellie)

25.  Oh Tessa, I love you because you are simple (Stacey), and simply adorable. (Ryan)

**This blog was hijacked by hersisterashley, and some of Tessa's closest friends and family.  Isn't she so loved?  Those scoops of love that don't appear here found their way to her via email!**


Losing Her Loaves

I like my sister a lot. I can email her things like this (since we went to kickboxing together last night):

Are you practicing your jab, cross, jab, back knee, knee, front kick, round house?

And she will email be back something like this (since she baked yesterday):

No. I'm dealing with a much more important issue. My 2 loaves of zucchini bread are ... GONE. I don't know where they went.

Today it is my birthday eve (aka “pre-birthday” according to Ryan), and I am going to eat ice cream. And then I’m going to eat a tomato mozzarella wrap from Brixx. So there. And yes – it will most likely happen in that order.

I would be eating zucchini bread with chocolate chips if Ashley didn’t lose her loaves. This situation is similar to losing your mind, but a little more pressing, since delicious delicacies are involved.


Little Glimpses of Good

The most spectacular thing happened today: I got a birthday package from my oh so sweet friend Heather. (By the way – her fiancé comes home in 5 days! And it is home home! Not just home for two weeks. Home for a long long time! I’m so excited for them!)

Including a precious card, here is what was inside:

A scent bug for a Tessa Bug and a book called Little Glimpses of Good. I can’t wait to read it – I already know it is full of happy and cute. Heather even left me a love note and bookmarked two pages with post-it notes and smiles. The pages say:

“Once there was a sad orange. It was sad because it didn’t rhyme with anything. It tried to act all sunny and happy, but deep down it knew it was alone. The one day … Hey, wait a minute. I’m juicy and sweet and full of vitamins and sunshine and rain and orangey flavor. And the moral of the story is if you’re an orange, be an orange. Don’t be a kiwi. And speaking of lemons (as we weren’t) when life hands you some, you know what to do…”

Oh my goodness, I'm going to love this! Thank you, Heather - for being you - and for bringing a little extra sunshine into my Thursday! You are really good at doing both of those things.


Four Scoops

1) Today I decided how I would propose if I were a guy. But I’m not, so … there’s that. Do you want to know the details? I don’t think I want to tell. It is too good.

2) Did you know that you can buy stamps (mailing stamps / postage / those things you stick on envelopes to make them go) at the ATM now? It’s true. And super exciting.

3) Please check out these pictures of my nephew's mohawk.  Oh my goodness, he is cute.  Also, please note the ATB (Aunt Tessa Bug) reference, if you will.

4) This is all I have to say. And I think that is just fine. It’s my birthday week and I’ll do what I want.



Peanut Butter Dr. Seuss

Today it is still my birthday week. I know so because I got two (2!) cards in the mail at work. And who doesn’t love work mail that isn’t work mail? At 24.986 years old, I do still love Dr. Seuss, birthdays, and peanut butter sandwiches.

I shared my Tuesday - of - my - birthday - week - lunch (consisting of a peanut butter sandwich, red grapes, and celery sticks) with our office dog, Swiper. In the past, Swiper and I have had zero relationship: he is too busy, too tired, or too preoccupied and I am usually the same.

He decided to change his mind a little once he realized when and where I make and eat my peanut butter sandwiches (made with whole grain bread and Simply JIF).

Swiper is polite and quiet, and he sometimes sticks out his tongue for pictures.


Pop Champagne and Toygers

This Saturday night, the zebras came out to play. Ryan and I had spent the day relaxing, looking at toyger and bengal kittens, watching “Bethenny Getting Married?”, and a movie on demand. I love a good lazy Saturday. And I love toygers and bengal cats.  You should google them.  Oh, and I love love love Bethenny. Do you know her? Even my sister knows who she is, so surely you have heard of her. I think she is laugh out loud hilarious and yes, Bethenny did get married! No question mark to it. To celebrate, Ryan and I popped a bottle of champagne while sitting on his couch in our PJs. I thought it tasted like old raisins – turns out I’m not much of a champagne drinker, but I’m totally okay with this.

Once seven o’clock rolled around, I decided I’d made Ryan starve for long enough, and we walked to the epicenter to get some of our favorite pasta dishes: penne al verde for me and lasagna for him. I’m not going to tell you where it is from, because it is kind of embarrassing. But oh so yummy. For dessert, we had ice pops from the freezer. Do you know about the frozen sugar juice that comes in a plastic tube? Well that’s what we had. It brought me back to being five, roller-skates on feet, sitting on the porch in the summer with my Katie Bug. On Sunday, I played at the pool, read a little, visited Best Buy, and sent Ryan off to Germany. I know what you are thinking: how dare he be gone on my birthday week. And I totally agree.

Dear Ryan,
You can come back now. It is, after all, my birthday week.  K, thanks.
Little T


A Kellie Birthday

First of all, today is Kellie’s birthday. I really like her. She does things like run marathons and visit Spain. Kellie was one of my two adoptive friends when I moved to North Carolina. The other one was Ashley B, and they scooped me right up and made me one of their own. I honestly don’t know if I’d still be in this city – or this state – if it wasn’t for these two. Kellie lived in the same building as me, and was attending UNCC for grad school. When I applied for grad school there, she read my entrance essay and performed a background check on me (this was her job, so I don’t really consider it stalking). AB, Kellie, and I used to tear up the town. And all of the dance floors in Charlotte. Kellie isn’t afraid to dance on Ryan’s furniture or teach total strangers the Michael Jackson leg kick. She is also really good at celebrating holidays like New Year’s Eve and St. Patricks Day, and she’ll dress up like an elf with me around Christmas time. After receiving her master’s degree, Kellie got an awesome job in Virginia, and had to move away from us and the Queen City. Boo. We miss her at every outing, every shopping trip, every time we spend a lazy day at the pool, and basically every moment in between.

But! Kellie is coming next weekend! Officially, she’ll be here on bachelorette party business, but unofficially, we’ll be celebrating our birthdays together. I can’t wait to see her – she’ll really complete my weekend, for sure. Happy birthday, Kellie! I have a good feeling about your 26ness – it is definitely going to be your year.

Second, how sweet is my sister? Sisters are people who have your blog password just in case they see any embarrassing mistakes ... and to sneak in and leave a little something on your birthday week. I don’t know about you, but getting hacked into (see below) makes me feel especially special. Thanks for the birthday love, Ashley!


One Week

 (thank you)

Let the birthday celebrations begin.
A week early?!
Everyone deserves to be celebrated.  
Especially a Tessa Bug.

In just 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 days day, she will turn 25.
I bet you can think of at least one reason why you love her for each day before her birthday.
I know I can.
Please share the love (in comments or in person!).
Join me in celebrating the sweet life of Tessa.
AKA :: Tess, Te$ha, ATB, Tessie, T



Peep Toes

I bought a pair of peep toe flats a few weeks ago and they’ve been anxiously sitting in my closet, waiting to see the world ever since. They made their debut today and they are happy. Don't you just love the word(s) “peep toe”? Together they sounds so cute and little – like you just want to have them for a snack.

And I typically have no luck finding flats – especially brown ones for some reason – so you can imagine my delight when I scooped up these guys at Target for $19. My sister has a similar pair of flats from Banana that are called something like “Tessa Bow Peep”, which I think it fantastic – for obvious reasons.

What is making you happy today? Is the simple fact that it is Friday enough to make you smile? And how do you feel about the strange bones in my feet?


Sweet 16

Yesterday was our sixteenth 7th. Although we didn’t continue our tradition of visiting a new restaurant, we ate the yummiest made-with-love pizza in town. And it isn’t always in town – it’s made only by request when my favorite chef, Gruffalo, is here. My dad came to Charlotte after spending a long weekend in Blowing Rock, and Ashley and Andrew invited us over to share him and his homemade pizzas.

We heard stories about my parents’ $1,000 seven week cross country trip that they took over thirty years ago, and we talked about all of the wild animals that they have encountered on their back porch lately (like the squirrel my mom had to dispose of yesterday, the copperhead snake that my dad recently shot, and the raccoon that their cat had chased up a tree). It was a good night, indeed. Dad didn’t eat a thing, but I think I ate enough for the two of us: margherita pizza, veggie pizza, cheese pizza, oreos, and a root beer flavored Italian ice. Woah.

Happy sweet 16, Ryan!



It is beginning to feel like home in my new office. It makes me really sad to think that I spend more time in this little room than I do in my entire condo, but you just have to make the most of things like that. Things like work. Boo.

My bulletin board is hung, my picture frames are in place, my bamboo is still growing in its vase, and black cats are strategically placed in every corner of the room. Not real black cats, but ones that make me giggle a little when I am missing Rex – you know, like black cats in red wagons and black cats sipping lemonade with a humming bird. Obsessed? Maybe. I also framed a new picture of my sweet nephew, and it is currently my favorite thing to look at – you can look at it here. I plugged in a vanilla coconut wallflower from Bath and Body Works, and now my office smells like sunscreen and oceans, which I love. I think people walk by my hallway just to smell my air, but I don’t mind sharing. I now have not one, but two (two!) light switches, with which I am able to control the intensity of the awful, terrible, no good, very bad fluorescent lights. My favorite setting is with the left one on and the right one off – it makes it look like a thunderstorm is about to pass by, and all I want to do is snuggle (with my paper black cats).

I am thankful that these little things are able to make me happy five days a week - 70some% of my calendar year. I do love simplicities.


The Color Purple

Regarding the color purple (the real color purple, not the book or movie): I like it. Woah. I know. Hold the phone, right? For nearly eighteen years, I’ve hated purple even more than I hate pink. But with this being said, I must admit that in college I slept on bright pink sheets for an entire year - by choice. So, I mean, things change – like this purple business.

It all started with a cheetah t-shirt that I got for free once upon a time while I was shopping at Gap. Is this sounding familiar? And for about a month, my toenails wore a dark gray/purple polish that I fell in love with while shopping the aisles of Target. Then, Ryan brought me back a shirt from Chicago that had purple accents and I declared: “Hey, I do like purple.” And he said that he had noticed. How sweet. Then last week, I splurged on OPI’s “Rumples Wiggin” and fell in love with yet another purple nail polish. Ryan catches me staring at my toes, admiring how fabulous they look resting on his light green pillows. He laughs and tries to block my view. I really like toes when they have a bright happy color on them. Don’t you?

So the grand finale of me liking purple is (quite obviously) owning a pair of purple running shoes. Which I will. Tomorrow. When they arrive at my office! And then I’ll wrap them in lime green wrapping paper and put a bow on the box and write: “Love, Mom and Dad” on the top. I’ll excitedly open them on July 17th (you know – my birthday – in 11 days) and wear my best surprised face. Am I totally ruining the surprise by telling you? Probably. But I’m just so dang excited about them. I’ve secretly been checking them out for months. My size comes and goes, and of course I get sad when they’re sold out, but it was such an adrenaline rush this morning when Zappos told me “Only 1 Pair Left in this Size/Color Combination!”. Absolutely! Sign me up for ownership. I love you already, my purple Nike Free Runs. Maybe I’ll name you Rumples and Wiggin and sleep with you on my feet. Did you ever do that when you were little? Circle yes, because I know that you did.

Let’s hope they fit. Please and thank you.  Also, I really love the book Harold and the Purple Crayon.


The Dwindling Fourth

The long weekend is starting to wind down. The excitement of the 4th of July, everyone’s extra day to play, and the beautiful weather is all dwindling goodbye. Back to work, too hot temperatures, and the day to day busies of our weeks. Right now I’m thinking about putting my freshly washed sheets back on my bed (is there anything better than just cleaned sheets?), going to Target to buy groceries and laundry detergent, calling my sister, and smothering my sunburned lips in Blistex Melon Medley chap-stick.

Ryan and I spent a relaxing Saturday sunbathing at his pool, headed to South Charlotte for an emergency visit to my sister’s, and then cooked corn on the cob, tomatoes, and mozzarella for dinner. Are you wondering what an emergency visit is? It goes like this: you call your sister multiple times a day for four days in a row and she doesn’t answer. Then you call both her and her husband in an alternating pattern, leaving voicemails and calling and calling again. Nobody answers. You think about all of the CSI and Criminal Minds episodes that you have wasted countless hours of your life watching, and you decide that, yes, in fact, something terrible has happened. So you talk your boyfriend into driving you to their house, just to make sure everyone’s body parts are attached and all is well. And it was. Of course. But I went over there equipped with pen and paper in my pocket, just in case I had to communicate with their kidnapper. You know, since kidnappers usually like notes instead of verbal exchanges. Somehow, this all made sense in my head at the time. Now I’m not so sure. So, like I said, all was well. We woke up their baby and passed him back and forth and examined the spots where he has started gnawing on his crib. It was a worthwhile visit for sure.

Yesterday, we hopped on board our friend Dan’s pontoon boat and went out on Lake Norman. There were maybe a zillion people on a billion boats that were tied together at the sandbar. We ate twizzlers and danced and jumped and floated in the water. I lost my headband and Ryan lost all but one stick of his sunglasses. Is that what it is called – a sunglass stick? Sunglasses don’t do you much good when all you have is a stick, and headbands don’t you much good when they are sitting in their wet, sandy grave at the bottom of Lake Norman. Other than this, the day was a success. AB and I performed Fergie’s new song on the boat ride home, Ryan wore a captain’s hat, and almost everyone was in bed before sunset.

Ryan and I played a game of Phase Ten this morning (which I unexpectedly won by five points in the last hand), and then I went to AB’s house. We took a quick trip to Pier One, TJ Maxx, and Harris Teeter, and then we watched the new Alice in Wonderland. This is something we have been talking about doing for weeks, and I’m so glad we were able to find the time. It was a magical movie (probably not for children), and we both wanted her to choose to stay in Wonderland at the end. The Mad Hatter seems to have quite the infatuation with Alice – did you know? Perhaps I’ll begin working on an alternative ending.

How was your Independence Day weekend? Did you see fireworks? And enough for me too? I didn’t see a single sparkle this year.



Happy Independence Day from Lake Norman!


What You Think

Currently, I am reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. This is a book that I never in a million years thought I would pick up, but … well, I did. And I like it. A lot. I like this (found in her India section) especially.  I like it simply because it is true.



I feel a great sense of accomplishment after I’ve cleaned out my wallet. Isn’t it the best? I did it today and I rid myself of months’ worth of grocery, gas, Target, Banana Republic, Smoothie King, and anything-else-you-can-imagine receipts. My relationship with receipts is a curious one. For the most part, I hate them. I think they are a waste of paper – especially since the invention of online banking has taken over the world. For the other most part, I love them. My mom tells me that I am the queen of returns. I go through stages with this, but I would say about 47% of the clothing/jewelry/shoes/household décor items that I have purchased in my lifetime have ended up back at the store where they came from. I have always been indecisive, basically for one of two reasons: 1) I really don’t care or 2) I care way too much. And always because of this reason: spending money makes me feel majorly guilty. Yet I am still SO darn good at it. Right now, I want to buy a new dress. Oh man, I love dresses.  What do you want to buy?