Dinner Date

I survived two whole days of work without getting my skirt stuck in my panties, so I think all will be well. Despite being 25 minutes away from home, working near the city certainly has its advantages. For example:

- Cardio Sculpt taught by Sergeant Roy at the Dowd YMCA at 6:15am
- Potential lunches with AB
- Target, Marshalls, and Trader Joe’s in Metropolitan Charlotte ($1.99 organic hummus, $1 socks, and $20 dresses … yes please)
- A ten minute, two or three turn drive to and from Ryan’s place
- Spontaneous dinner meetings at Brixx with this cutie (and his mom):

My date’s chubby cheeks are yummier than your date’s. I win. Plus do you see what his paper says? Yep, it says “Alekzander loves ATB”.  I know you're totally jealous.


Mermaid Boots

Yesterday I got a card in the mail from my mother. Since yesterday was Sunday and the mail doesn’t come on Sundays, I probably didn’t really get it yesterday. It could have landed there anytime in the past three weeks, because, basically, I’m a failure at checking my mailbox. If I wait long enough, surely I’ll have something fun mixed in with all those bills. Right? Yes! Exhibit A:

If you were a mermaid wouldn’t you catch a ride on a seahorse and wear starfish in your hair? I would wear an octopus on my head and tie two of its tentacles in a bow under my chin. How would we wear boots? Nevermind. I don’t want to be a mermaid anymore. Do you? Circle yes or no.

Your Mother

I circled no. Did you? Because if I were a mermaid I wouldn’t be able to wear tights or boots or paint my toesies. And even though I would have long long wavy hair, I just don’t think it would be worth it. Nevermind. Maybe it would.  Do you love my mother? Me too.  Mermaids are everywhere.  You just have to know where to look.



I retired. Did you know? It was short lived and not really as spectacular as I had imagined, but it was wonderful to have an extra four days to do … well … to do not so much, actually. As I exit my retirement week and start a new workplace adventure, I basically have gained: two dresses, a tan, some stacks of folded laundry, a new favorite mascara, and tummy troubles. (None of which are even remotely related.)

So here I am, enjoying my final Sunday before my first day at my new job. It feels a lot like the first day of school (maybe 9th grade). What am I going to wear? Will everyone like me? What if my skirt gets stuck in my panties and everyone sees my bum and they make fun of me for the rest of forever? Will I make the cheerleading team? And so on. Plus, I don’t even have a lunch box yet. Super embarrassing that I might have to pack my snacks in a Target bag. Actually, I don’t even have any snacks yet. So much to do!

Here is what I did in retirement: spent some time at Ryan’s pool, read half of Water for Elephants (which I love), watched a million episodes of Law & Order, ate at Panera about five times, celebrated with my old co-workers, returned my cat bitten shoes to TJ Maxx, spent the day with Krista (we always have a lot to talk about and “getting a bagel” is code for hanging out for six hours straight), snuggled with Rex, ate two pounds of grapes, a lot of string cheese, a container of organic hummus, and some Asian rice crackers, accompanied Chris (who still looks smoking hot in a Victoria’s Secret bikini when she is 9 months pregnant) and Jason on Lake Norman, went to the mall with Ashley, and watched the first two episodes of this season of Weeds.  Here is a picture of me and Ashley on date night (without our dates ... they weren't in pretty dresses):

So what else? I’ve missed you. Are you ready for me to come back now? Okay! Me too!


TJ Shoes

My mom is in town! She has to come at least once every two months to get her fix of Alekzander, and I don’t blame her. He’s almost 9 months now and is starting to do too many cute things for her to miss out on. I took Friday off so I could see her, and of course we spent our time doing our most favorite activity: shopping at TJ Maxx. When it comes to spending money, we are terrible influences on each other. “Yes. You absolutely need that pair of shoes.” And also, “Does that come in my size? I probably should get one too.” It’s just how it goes. And that pair of shoes she got, I’ve been dreaming about them, so I might have to go back and see if they have another 6.5. And that pair of shoes that I got, well, there’s a little imperfection on them that may or may not have been caused by my cat’s teeth, so I’m going to return them. Do you think I am going to h-e-double-hockey-sticks for something like that? Circle no, because that would stink.

Other weekend events included: a poolside baby shower, a country casual bridal shower, and a Ballantyne engagement party. And do you think I took a single picture at any of them? N-o.



Last night, six people in a row asked if we were twins.  I told them it was just the eight pounds of mascara we were both wearing.  I've always wanted a twinsie ... she even lets me karate chop her XL cat (he loves it).


Cat Snacks

Remember this kid? Have you missed him? Rex would do anything – anything – for a snack. One time, he opened the kitchen cupboard where his food is kept in a big plastic bin, grabbed his food scoop (which is kept about three feet up on the second shelf) between his teeth and brought it to me in my bathroom while I was getting ready. I do feed him. I promise. But he will probably tell you otherwise.

This morning, I got some extra snuggle (and snack) time with Rex as I was waiting for the plumber to come. Apparently my downstairs neighbors thought I was leaking on them. They thought wrong, which I am thankful for. I’m also thankful for my super un-photogenic shiny black cat – doesn’t he make you laugh?


7 in 7

This morning I was listening to the radio, and KISS has a segment that they like to call “Stupid News”. Today’s story was about two Ninjas who stole around $65k in cash and jewelry from a diamond store in Manhattan at 2:00pm this past Sunday. A couple things:

1) We were in Manhattan at 2:00pm this past Sunday!
2) As we were leaving the city – around that time – there was lots of police action and a few new roadblocks.
3) Maybe we saw the ninjas! Can you see ninjas? Or are they too super fast and slick?
4) If I were going to rob a diamond store, I would get WAY more than $65k worth of goods. Just saying … that’s only like a handful of items.

Today Ryan is touring a factory in Wisconsin. I wonder if it is a cheese factory. (Ryan: Is it a cheese factory?)  He comes home tonight, and I know he is very excited to be home for a couple of weeks. He has visited seven states in less than seven days. See:

Yuck. I like home a lot – did you know?  And remember when we hated Newark and promised each other that we'd never go back?  Well, I think we're going back. In three weeks.  (Ryan: Are we going back?)  It'll be for a very exciting reason though.  I'll keep you posted.


FAO Favorites

Since you asked, here are my favorite things from FAO Schwarz. I’ve had the night to sleep on it, but I still can’t decide. It’s a toss up between Ugly Dolls and the Sylvanian hedgehog family. I hope my children love monsters and animals as much as I do.

Also, my sister and I used to have the Sylvanian brown bear and gray bunny families (as well as a custom built house with real linoleum floors), but we called them “Maple Town Critters” or something like that?  Personally, I think the hedgehogs are simply hilarious.


Doing New York

Today we did New York. We woke up, went to Hot Bagels (really, that’s what it was called), and headed to the Newark train station to utilize the public transportation system into the city. This didn’t really work out. Newark is maybe the saddest, scariest, most run-down, dirty place we had ever seen. Considering that we didn’t even want to leave our rental car there, let alone get out of the car to get onto a train, I do not recommend visiting. Newark needs a lot of work – it was simultaneously heartbreaking and sickening – and definitely about two decades behind the rest of the modern United States. And so we drove ourselves into Manhattan. (I say “we” like I had something to do with it. All I did was observe. Ryan is an excellent no-stress navigator.)

Once we arrived, we parked the car and took the streets by foot. We walked around in Central Park, down Madison Avenue, spent a curious amount of time in FAO Schwarz, stepped through Times Square, dropped into Banana Republic and Anthropologie, bought a bottle of water from a street vendor, and saw lots and lots of interesting people.

Oh, Ryan was there too:

We both decided we were thankful for the experience, but also glad to be home. There’s no place like home – especially when home is Charlotte, North Carolina. Clean. Friendly. Small. Green. New. Lovely.


New Jersey Chronicles

3:30a: Wake up. Shower. Take a nap while I blow-dry my hair.

4:40a: Panic. My GPS won’t work and even though I’ve driven there 37 times, I can’t think of how to get to the airport.

5:03a: Arrive at airport, park in Long Term O5, chase down bus.

5:37a: Chug a grande non-fat chai.

5:47a: Board plane, tell someone they are in my seat. That someone has to tell someone else he is in his seat. Everyone has to move, but it really doesn’t matter. We’re all going to the same place.

6:02a: Land in Newark.

9:17a: Eat a bagel and chug a hazelnut coffee at Panera.

9:59a: Spend a significant amount of time wandering around CVS.

11:00a: Arrive at hotel. Talk to some people. Attempt to go on a walk. Decide we are hungry again.

12:18p: Eat at a yummy place called Brick Oven Pizza in Morristown. (By the way, the weather is phenomenal, so we sit outside under a big red umbrella.)

1:30p: Start getting ready. Shower. Blow-dry. Curl. Hairspray. Curl. Hairspray. Make-up.

2:45p: Head to the church for the wedding.

3:00p:  Wedding!

5:00p: Pre-dinner chat, drinks, food.

7:00p: Dancing. Dinner. Dancing. Dessert. Dancing.

11:00p: Sleep.


On Flying

I don’t hate it. Especially since it gets me places really fast and safe I have fabulous giraffe luggage to drag behind me. I’ve flown more in the last year than I have in my entire life. Mainly because my boyfriend loves me and wants me to get places fast and safe (with him). Tomorrow I’ll go fast and safe to The New Jersey/New York area. My mom says that the last time she flew, she had to flap her wings. I promise we’ll take lots of pictures this weekend – after all, you only get one first experience in the Big Apple. Also, Ryan has promised not to lose me while we try out the public transportation systems. The end.



Today we are 200. “We” meaning: me and my B. What do you do when your B turns 200 – have a party? Panic? This is how a conversation between my sister and I went yesterday:

I've had a lot of words on my B lately. Tomorrow is my 200th post. What should I do? Panic?
don't panic. that would be silly. i'd ignore it/let it pass.. unless you come up with something genius while you sleep tonight. or look through photos and find the 200th one and post it.
You're right. I'm already suffering from eye twitches, so panic wouldn't help. Okay I'll see if my mind does good things tonight in my sleep.
Or ... you can show off your math skills and add up each # of posts per month since you've started and see if they equal 200. use paper and pencil first and then double check your work with a calculator. B might lie. You can't trust anyone these days.
The B doesn't lie, Ashley. But my math skills often fail me.

This is the 200th picture that I am tagged in on FB (since that is where this conversation took place). Hooray for Stacey (a fresh 26 year old) and Siobhan (a fresh California resident). This picture is not fresh.  It is from 2006, when I had long long super straight hair, a curiously white forehead, fantastic housemates, and a Nokia cell phone.

Happy 200, B.  Oh, you wanted an ice-cream cake?  I'll see what I can do.


Wishiest Wishes for Stacey

Today is Stacey’s birthday. Stacey and I go way back and I love her. We have been through the ups and down the downs together – that’s just what friends do. Once upon a time, we were forced to live together, and even though it was the best thing that ever happened, we were not the happiest of campers at the time. So I drove us to the mountains and we screamed a loud scream together inside the car. Really. We just screamed. As loud as we could. And then I got stuck at the top of the mountain and woke up someone’s very scary dogs when I had to use their driveway to turn my car around. And then we listened to Dashboard Confessionals and got some crafting supplies from the Lynchburg Wal-Mart. All of this happened during our junior year, which was simultaneously my favorite and least favorite year of college.

During our senior year, our rooms shared a wall, and we shared bathroom and a snack cupboard in the kitchen of our six bedroom townhouse. Sometimes we’d cry, but mostly we’d laugh – Stacey is the silliest (and sweetest) person I know. Did you know that? We made up all kinds of songs and raps and even the word athawithadolthbe. Say it, its fun. Atha - witha - dolthbe. Stacey was my morning coffee partner and four mile walking friend. We listened to Dave Matthews Band and gangster music really loud in her mini-cooper and co-knit a really long scarf. And then I graduated a semester early and it felt like my heart was ripping out of my chest when I left her.

Post graduation, Stacey and I kept in touch and remained fantastic friends. Even when I moved to North Carolina, we still chatted often and left each other rhyming voicemails that wouldn’t make any sense to the rest of the world. Now Stacey has a new last name and a beautiful baby girl and is building a house on a big piece of land in Virginia. To celebrate her birthday today, Stacey is taking a trip to IKEA and checking her mailbox because there might be something fun inside. I love you, Stace! I hope you are having a happy, happy day – may your wishiest wishes come true (as I think many of them already have!).


Bargains Here, Cubs There

Last night, Ryan sent me a text message telling me that he was on his way to San Francisco. I replied: “Do they make rice there?” … and this was a serious question. Something in my head was telling me that rice was the San Francisco treat. And yes, it’s true, Rice-A-Roni is just that! Sometimes my mom calls my cat Rex-A-Roni, and he is okay with it since he is the Cornelius, NC treat.

Ryan flies a lot and it makes me nervous – time passes slowly while you are waiting for a loved one to let you know that they are safe, you know? This time, he was traveling from somewhere in California to see a Cubs game in San Francisco (he is really hard to keep track of). Before he left, he told me that he was going to be sitting in the first or third row (not the second though). As it turns out, he was in the first row right behind home plate. It also turns out that he disobeyed very clear Batter’s Box Seat instructions to refrain from using his cell phone. Ooooo! I’m telling!

While Ryan was busy jetting from place to place on the West Coast, I was bargain shopping in Charlotte. Remember this $40 scarf that I fell in love with in February? I found it tossed in a milk crate on the top shelf in the back sale room of Anthropologie, marked down to $10. An older lady watched me as I excitedly took the entire crate down and uncovered my dream-come-true. I put it on immediately and I knew she was waiting for me to change my mind so that she could scoop it up. Not going to happen, ma’am! This is my find! And then I found a pair of jeans for $12. Can you believe it? I couldn’t either. What luck!

And then I went to the grocery store and collected a basket full of goodies and a gallon of milk. The gallon of milk didn’t fit in the basket, which is why it must be listed separately, okay? So I haven’t been to the grocery store in about 2 weeks, and I was thinking this was going to be a big trip. Big like at least $40, which is big for a little person who lives alone and doesn’t cook. My groceries are rung up, and my grand total is … $13. My response was:“WHAT?!”.  And the poor awkward cashier kid didn’t know what to say to me. Because I should have been very pleased with my bargains and his impressive bagging skills. But I was so disappointed that I could only come up with $13 worth of items that interested my tummy.

My sister is writing me a book that is going to be called “Everyone Eats”, and I’d like her to include a “WHAT?!” page. It will have a list of what everyone eats. And where they eat it. And how much it costs them. Like: do they eat a $5 soft pretzel in the mall? And are they embarrassed?  Are they interested in learning how to live off of $13 worth of food?  Maybe I should be the one writing the book.



I almost always have a pack of oatmeal in my purse. This is not a good emergency snack, considering that fact that hot water is kind of hard to come by when you’re driving or walking around TJ Maxx, but I carry it around anyway. (Ryan puts milk and butter in his oatmeal. Do you know about my repulsion towards butter? I’ll tell you all about it one day.) Usually, I eat my oatmeal at work around 10 in the morning, but lately I’ve had to find a different snack because I bought Target’s brand of instant apple cinnamon oatmeal and it is disgusting. Everything about it – especially the consistency – reminds me of vomit. Too much information? Sorry. I just really don’t want you to have to experience it ... ever.  It really isn’t worth saving a few quarters. Quaker is where it’s at when it comes to my morning oatmeal. And I just found my favorite new flavor: Apple Cranberry Almond Hearty Medley. It isn’t the “lower sugar” variety that I usually get, but there are big chunks of almonds and multigrains which make it super yum. Plus, there was a coupon attached to the front of the box for $1 off. Absolutely!

How do you make your oatmeal? And what’s your brand and flavor? I had a friend who made steel cut oats and she had to start preparing them 12 hours in advance. That’s some oatmeal dedication. I like mine to happen in 30 seconds. You?


Seventeenth Seventh

Yesterday was our seventeenth 7th. I love things that involve numbers ending in 1, 3, 7, and sometimes 9 – did you know that I don’t do even numbers or the number 5? It’s true. I hate them. I especially hate 5. I’d take a 4 over a 5 any day.

Anywho, to celebrate our day, we spent eight hours at Ryan’s pool. We had gorgeous Charlotte weather – breezy with a high of only 86 (funny that 86 feels cool to us now). Heather and Phil came over for the lunch time shift (12:30 to 3:00) and Ashley, Andrew, and Alekzander came to play for the evening shift (3:30-7:30). We had a fantastic time swimming, playing cornhole, eating Alekzander’s peach puffs, and catching each other up on our most recent adventures.  Alekzander is scooting and crawling and pulling up and swimming and splashing and taking steps and giving high fives and mimicking funny noises and eating melon and ... oh man, I love that little one.

At the end of the day, we were too tired to go to dinner at BLT like we had planned, so I laid in bed and watched Bethenny Getting Married? while Ryan went out to hunt for food. On his hunt, he encountered numerous cyclist riding back and forth, back and forth, for some long distance in a short distance race. Roads were closed, causing his hunt to last a little longer than expected. He came back with a burger and fries for him and a caprese salad for me. Apparently he hunts and gathers. Aren’t I lucky?

This morning Ryan went to California. And this is the view from his room:

Well la-de-da. And he dined a table away from David Spade. Yes, I am slightly jealous. BUT! Only 5 days til New York!


Friday Night in Pictures


Baby Wolfe is going to LOVE Simplified!



I finally got to see Ryan. And tonight, too. And even tomorrow. Oh boy! Yesterday evening, we dined at Blackfinn, the same place that we met once upon a time. Do you know this story? Ryan tells it best.

Dear Ryan,

Would you like to have a guest appearance on my blog? Did I tell you about one of my new favorite blogs by a girl named Reagan (not your sister) who calls her blog a “blob”, which I think is super cute? That wasn’t a question mark for if I think it is super cute or not, because I do – it was a question of “Did I tell you?” So, did I? And do you? Circle yes or no.

Little Tiger

Last night I had a pineapple upside-down cake martini because Ryan decided that I should and because he ordered it without consulting me. This is okay to do when you have been dating someone for one year, four months, and twenty-nine days – you just know what the other person likes. And I do like pineapple upside-down cake with a cherry on top. It started raining the minute we left the Epicenter, so we hid inside Phil’s for a bit. He knew the answer to the trivia question we walked in on because it was about football. Also, I think he is pretty smart.

Tonight, Ryan is hosting some games at his place before we walk over to see Simplified play acoustic at RiRa’s. A lot of people I love will be there, and I’m excited. Even Heather and Philip will be coming. Come back for photographs, okay?

PS: This is what I looked like the night we met (officially).  (For the second time.)  Just in case you forgot.  Also, I'm sorry my hair was so flat.  Now you HAVE to tell the story since I posted this awful picture.


My Life as a Mermaid

Ryan comes home from Connecticut today, and this pleases me. (I have a love/hate relationship with the word “Connecticut” because I have to say “Connect – i – cut” in my head whenever I write it, which is super annoying, but also very neat.) He was only gone for one night, but it feels like forever since I was away for four days and then only got to see him for a bit on Monday. A bit is approximately three hours, which isn’t nearly enough. And then he’s here for a bit (approximately three days) and then off to California, and then off to New York and then New Jersey and then New York again (with me!).

But, about my life as a mermaid: it doesn’t exist. I just want it too. I want to have a slimy, scaly tail and long long hair that is perfectly wavy even under the deep blue sea. I want my skin to sparkle and I want to snuggle a pet lobster named Rex. My friends are dolphins and starfish and of course my dad has a trident and my mom raises seahorses on her seahorse farm. And then one day, I’ll wish I was human, and I’ll trade my long long wavy hair for a pair of not so long legs so that I don't have to flop around like a dying fish when I hang out with my boyfriend who slays dragons for a living. Am I getting my stories confused?  And they lived happily ever after?

Maybe I just want to go back to the beach, get a tan, play all day, and spend my evenings coloring with Crayola crayons. I still haven’t gotten over my coloring craving.



I’m currently obsessing over Urban Outfitters' home d├ęcor items. I picked a really bad time to start liking ruffles, but its okay to day dream a little bit.

Thank you, UO.

Sometimes it is fun to be a girl. Like when you have pretty pillows, wear eight coats of mascara, or make up your own cookie recipes that turn out to be not so bad but a little too buttery.


Sad Proud Cookies

Tonight I had a craving for homemade cookies. I didn’t really care what kind, I just felt like baking and eating them. But. My cupboards and refrigerator are sad. Empty sad. No eggs, no milk, no shortening, applesauce, pumpkin, bananas, or any other appropriate substitutes. So I did some Google searching, replacing, modifying, and these guys are currently baking in my oven:

Almost 1 cup flour
½ cup sugar
½ cup oatmeal
Some tbsp margarine
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Bake at 375 til I think they are done? I’m not sure what they’ll taste like, but they sure do smell yum. I’ll let you know how it goes.  I think it is going to be a semi-success.  You might be really proud of me.  Just wait.


30 Years of Love

Today is my parents’ 30th wedding anniversary. In case you don’t know, thirty is a lot of years. Thirty years means 360 months, which is almost as many months as there are days in a year. Wow. That’s a lot of love.

I asked my dad if they were:
a) going to dinner
b) cooking dinner
c) going dancing at the club

He said: “Yes, probably all of that.”  Happy anniversary, Mom and Dad! I love your love and I think you are both the cat’s pajamas. And also super cute.

You can read their love story here. My mom loves happy endings. Don’t you?


Pink, Black, White, and Dancing

The bachelorette activities were: pink, black, white, and dancing.

Woah, did we dance.

And dance.

And dance some more.