Things I Learned in February

Linking up with Chatting at the Sky with What I Learned in February.

1. You know on Pinterest how they throw some “Suggested for You” pins in with the ones you actually follow?  I got this gem recently.  I honestly saw it in my feed and thought, “Who pinned that gaudy thing!?”  And then saw that Pinterest picked it out especially for me.  I learned a little something about myself, not gonna lie.  That I’m a Barbie come to life.  Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 9.56.02 PM

2. I also learned my first teensy bit of coding.  I found myself Googling how to code at work.  Watch out developers, I’m coming for you!

3. I learned that I won’t lose my soul if I follow celebrities on Instagram.

I just started following my first celebrities on Instagram.  I’m pretty anti-celeb-gossip.  I don’t watch any celebrity shows and don’t do magazines.  At all.  I’m firmly in the “it makes me feel worse about my life” camp.  If it’s not body image, its money.  I’m dangerously close to materialistic on a good day so I don’t need to go around coveting things I absolutely don’t need, like big diamonds and Hermes Birkin bags.  Also? You put back out in the world what you consume.  So I try not to let the Kardashians be the content I consume.  (However, if someone is what they consume, I’m oreos and Outlander books.  So I’m not coming at you from any high horse.)

On Instagram, I now follow Ellen and she helps me laugh and put good energy back out in the world.

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Reese Witherspoon is sweet, southern and sassy.  She has sparkle, love for her mom and great inspirational quotes for ya.  Reese

I also follow Monica Potter (aka Christina Braverman) now.  She has corny jokes on Fridays and helpful tips on Tuesdays!  This Tuesday had a zit zapper recipe.  Gotta love a celeb posting about zits.   MonicaI also follow The Kensington Royals because that is the one celeb stalking indulgence I allow.  Because I’m convinced that Kate and I are besties in another life.  But if you have to choose just one, choose Ellen and don’t look back.

4. Lastly, in yet more pink news…

I’ve been accepted into the fold at my new job.  Everyone has a nickname on their computer and I’ve received mine.  It is Blossom.  As in the pink powerpuff girl. It’s a long story.

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As for what I learned from this?  Well, I learned {again} that I am a pink cartoon character.  Need proof? At my last job, my alter ego was My Little Pony.  I think I need to go paint my nails black and trade in my sequin shirt for…something not sparkly.  Have a great weekend!!

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Oscars Thoughts

First, Julie Andrews!  Gah!  She wins all things, just like Meryl Streep.  And how funny did it sound to hear her say, “Lady Gaga.”?

Speaking of, who knew Lady Gaga could sing?  She is such a performer that I never think of her as having a beautiful voice.   She did justice to Sound of Music and I was duly impressed.  And she should play Barbara Streisand in the {inevitable} movie about her life.

I reacted verbally to the following looks.  I’m officially a magpie attracted to all things sparkle. Disclaimer: I’m not a fashionista, I just like pretty.

Jennifer Lopez – she GLOWED.

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Jennifer Aniston – The lower half of her dress was completely see through and sparkly at the same time.  It was stunning when she was on stage.

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For the red carpet, I flipped between the E coverage and the ABC coverage.  ABC was much more enjoyable to watch.  They had more actual interviews of the stars and listened to the #AskHerMore movement.  I totally support asking women about more than just the designer of their dress.  As Reese Witherspoon said, “We are more than just our dresses.”

I was disappointed in the ‘In Memorium’ section.  I would have liked to have seen snippets of the work of those lost this past year.  They blew threw the names and photos and then had a whole performance by Jennifer Hudson.  They could have had clips showing while she sang.

Neil Patrick Harris did a pretty good job.  I loved Ellen last year and she is hard to beat.  But the opening number was pretty great!

That is all.  What about you, friends?

Flashback Friday: NOLA

Airplane photos? I’m not usually a fan.  Cloud pictures always look the same to me.  But would you look at that New York City skyline?  photo 4

I couldn’t stop snapping.photo 5

She is just the prettiest.  I may have been feeling sentimental, since I was on my last trip as a working-in-New-Yorker.photo 3

While New York is the Queen, I was stoked that my farewell trip took me to New Orleans.  It’s southern, it’s irreverent, it’s got serious soul and a music culture like nowhere else on earth.  And they put dilly beans on everything!  Salad? Put a dilly bean on it.  Bloody Mary? Garnish with a dilly bean!  It’s such a special city.  Again, don’t let these photos fool you, I was working while there.  But a girl’s gotta eat! And drink sweet tea.  Lots of sweet tea.photo 5

Best oysters I’ve ever had, hands down.  At Cochon.  They were wood-fired with chili garlic butter.  After Wednesday’s post, I might be in danger of having an oyster-review blog…photo 4

Well, hello, Bourbon street!

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I love a city that wears her jewels.

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And that has not one, but two signature drinks.  I was able to sample both.  The first was the Hurricane at Pat O’Brien’s.  I’ve had them before at a bachelorette party, while touring a cemetery.  Never thought I would type that sentence.photo 5

New Orleans also boasts the Sazerac.  The Sazerac is “America’s first cocktail” and you simply must have one while sitting in a leather chair at The Roosevelt.  Key word for me being one.  That thing is strong!  It was all I could do to not make a yucky face after every sip.

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Cafe Du Monde. Need I say more?  photo 2

The beignets are the most delicious thing ever. Best served warm with plenty of dips into the bag for extra powdered sugar and a cup of chicory coffee with a generous serving of cream.photo 1 If you ever have the chance to go to New Orleans – GO!  I heard some people compare it to Vegas.  Sure, if you seek out that atmosphere on Bourbon Street.  But I don’t. I enjoy the amazing music you can find in every type of restaurant at all times of day.  And the supreme quality of the food and drink.  And how everyone there clearly loves their city and want to make sure that you leave loving it as much as they do (see: the amazing conversation I had with my cab driver on the way to the airport).  I mean – you can hire your own parade there!  I may have followed a bridal party dancing down the street with their own band!

So yes, please go.  And invite me to come with you!

A Very Full Valentine’s Day

We celebrated {love} this Valentine’s Day, that is for sure.  Love of Family.  Love of Friends. Even a little bit for each other.  Scott and I had a lovely meal at our new favorite restaurant.  It’s called Mezze Cantina – or maybe the Gas Light – depending on who you ask.  But regardless of it’s identity crisis, the food is always spot on.  These are broiled oysters with lemon, garlic and butter.  Oh, yes.

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Valentine’s started on a high note with pork roll and my favorite rook coffee.

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But quickly devolved into changing a tire in the freezing cold.  Oh well, real life marches on – even on Valentine’s Day.

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For the rest of the day we had a bit of an impromptu reunion with my mother-in-law’s family.  We had people in from Ohio and North Carolina and the local contingent, of course.  We had lunch at the same restaurant – in the same room – as my surprise bridal shower!

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It was loud, crazy and fully what I would expect from this clan.10959834_10204748175536313_5800384933182324611_n

Look at this little Valentine sweetie!  Can you even handle the awesome-ness that is his shirt?  Is my Jersey showing? Because I want one in my size.

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After lunch, a group went to a local brewery (Carton Brewing).  It has a great vibe and is only $5 for 6 beer samples.  I can’t finish that many, but enjoy my time there whenever we go.  Probably in part because we are always there with a fun group of people.

I wish we lived closer to Scott’s cousins from North Carolina.  We always have the best time with them!  Although we do have a Virginia Tech vs. NC State game in the works and I could not be more thrilled!10420424_887636894593189_3409804528201068084_n

After yet another group get-together at dinner, Scott and I snuck in a drink a local bar, where the mood was anything but romantic.  Lets just say we encountered a couple who had discovered a love for chocolate martinis who wanted to tell us ALL about it.  We couldn’t do anything but laugh.

We ended the day with dear friends.  Scott and Stu are forever friends.  You know, the kind that fight in the snow on Valentine’s Day.

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Leslie and I lucked out that we get along famously.  As Scott says, “It makes things so much easier.”  He’s right.  I love doing life with these two.  IMG_3948

I hope everyone else had a love-filled, if not quite as FULL Valentine’s day!

Disneyland Adventures and California Dreaming

I went to DIsneyland!
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This fall, I was able to bookend a work trip to Anaheim, CA with trips to Disneyland and California Adventure.  I was there with my {then} supervisor and {still} friend who is also a Disney fanatic.  It felt like we hit the jack pot.  photo 5

Since it was October, the park was all done up for Halloween.

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Even the haunted mansion had been taken over by the Nightmare Before Christmas characters.  Not just the mansion but the entire ride.
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Not everything was Halloween-themed though.  Some standbys were their usual selves, like the Tiki Room and Small World.  I wasn’t expecting big things from Small World, but I have to tell you, it might have been my favorite ride!  It’s been redone and they added the Disney movie characters into the scenes of all of the countries.  Here’s Simba and Pumba.photo 5

The Little Mermaid!  I’m not sure which country she was supposed to be in.photo 1 Aladdin!photo 3

And they added America to the ride!  There was a farm scene, mountains and cowboys and Native Americans.  I think the Native Americans were Tiger Lily and gang from Peter Pan and Woody and Jessie were the cowboy faction, obviously.photo 2

During our work time, we even got to have dinners at some of the Disney-themed restaurants.  I’d never been to a Trader Sam’s but luckily I was with a pro.photo 2

While it is a themed restaurant, it is definitely for adults only.  Completely decked out in tiki-Hawaiian-polynesian-ship wreck chic, it was a 360 degree fully interactive experience.  My friend’s seat at the bar would suddenly start to lower, there was a song to accompany every drink order, sometimes with sprays of water, live-action volcanic photos and an indoor thunderstorm.    photo 4Ordering a drink caused such a stir, that they had to come in a worthy glass.  Each drink has a corresponding glass, which you can purchase, of course.  And they were limited edition, naturally.  I bought the one on the right.  I thought it would be fun at Halloween but didn’t creep me out too much.
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Delicious food and crazy bars aside, lets focus on my favorite part of the trip.  That time we deemed plastic crowns beneath me and asked where to find real, sparkly crowns.
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At Disney, they didn’t even bat an eye at that request.  The crown display was next to the real jewelry and crystal stemware, but of course.  And it was magical.  Everyone should have the chance to try on this many crowns.photo 4

We also spent a bit of time at California Adventure.photo 3There’s more grown up fun and less of a “magical world” feel to it.photo 2

photo 1However, I would recommend that you definitely make a stop at Radiator Springs from Cars.  It was like stepping into the movie come to life!
photo 5It was actually quite amazing.photo 3And the Cars ride really takes it over the edge.  You are in a race car, racing other people on another track.  You come up close and personal with a life size animatronic ‘Mater, Lighting McQueen and Porsche.   I’m not kidding about the life-size. Definitely go, if you have a Cars fan in your life.photo 2

All in all, this princess was grateful for an unexpected chance to go to Disney again.  I didn’t think I would get the chance as an adult with no kids to use as an excuse!  photo 3

It was a real treat and renewed my wonder in all things Disney, sparkle and magic.photo 1

Descending on Blacksburg

In November some far-flung Hokies converged on Blacksburg from Jersey, Philly, Maryland and Northern Virginia.

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For Scott and I, this was our first trek to Blacksburg from The Jersey.  I’m rethinking my firm stance on all of our future children being automatic, no-choice-about-it Hokies, because the drive took for-e-ver.  Sniffle and tear.

But it was totally worth it to be back, oh my word!  Pretty Blue Ridge.

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We fit as much as we could into our weekend.  The first stop was obviously Cabo Fish Taco followed by a trip to the bookstore to buy even more Hokie gear.  You can never have enough.  The benefit of not being in college anymore is that you can afford to buy not only T-shirts nowadays, you can buy new tailgate chairs.  Or an “infrastructure” purchase.  Score.

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We couldn’t fit in every favorite bar and restaurant, sadly.

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But we did our best to pretend we were still in college, complete with dancing and shenanigans.

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Seriously, Jessie Lynn and Lauren, how many pictures like this do we have from college?  It makes my heart happy.photo 5

On Saturday, we were up and out for tailgating.  This was my mimosa, plus an uninvited ingredient.

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Besides leaf-flavored mimosas, there was much bourbon, fried chicken and biscuits.  What more could you want on a rainy, chilly game day?

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The traditional group photo (same positioning, always) with Lee Family Scarves compliments of Lauren’s momma.  We are lucky to have these friends.

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Lane Stadium, you pretty lady.

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Lets Go!

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Hokies!

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From Enter Sandman to frozen toes, there was so much goodness.

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Sadly, our beloved Hokies were not victorious. We drowned our sorrows in gumbo and jambalaya at Boudreaux’s and parked it at Champs for tunes, Hokie football trivia and dancing.  The weekend was definitely a success.   photo(5)

Which game are we going to next year, friends?photo 1(1)