Friday, October 31, 2008

Eat, Drink, and Be Scary

These are the things that go bump in the night... Today finally marks my favorite holiday of the year... it's HALLOWEEN!! I just love being able to act like a kid all over again and play dress up with all my friends and celebrate the fun that this beloved holiday brings. Today at work, we are having our annual Chili Cook-Off celebration, and everyone has dressed up for the festivities- we've got an Elvis, a Jerry Garcia, lots of hippies, an Operation Man, Batwoman, a cowboy, "the last UT fan", and some of my friends and I are dressed as the Deal or No Deal ladies- one of the guys we work with has dressed up as Howie, complete with a Bald Wig and phone, too... I'll make sure I take pictures to post, too.

Then tonight, the real fun begins- my friend Leah is hosting an Are You Afraid of the Dark party at her house in Germantown. Tons of my friends are going, too and I can't wait to see everyone dressed in their freakish and crazy costumes... including me and Rory-- we are going as Alice in Wonderland and the Mad Hatter. He tried on his costume the other night and looks absolutely ridiculous, as he should. Although I love everything associated with the holiday, the history behind trick-or-treating and dressing-up in costumes is just as interesting... (sometimes I think I'm a bit of a nerd since I love history and Jeopardy). I found this background from the website Halloween is Here

Halloween, one of the world's oldest holidays, is still celebrated today in several countries around the globe. The autumn rite is commemorated in the United Kingdom, although with a surprising and distinctive British twist. In Mexico, Latin America, and Spain, All Souls' Day, the third day of the three-day Hallowmas observance, is the most important part of the celebration for many people. In Ireland and Canada, Halloween, which was once a frightening and superstitious time of year, is celebrated much as it is in the United States, with trick-or-treating, costume parties, and fun for all ages. The word itself, "Halloween," actually has its origins in the Catholic Church. It comes from a contracted corruption of All Hallows Eve. November 1, "All Hollows Day" (or "All Saints Day"), is a Catholic day of observance in honor of saints. But, in the 5th century BC, in Celtic Ireland, summer officially ended on October 31. The holiday was called Samhain (pronounced sow-in), which means "end of summer", the Celtic New year.


Halloween is coming, Coming in the night... So do your skeleton dance and look out for all the crazy ghosts and goblins out on the town as they cause a fright
A picture of Me and Rory from last year's festivities as a German Beer Boy and Girl! I think we have topped it, but you'll have to wait and see =)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The 28th Annual Rudolph Red Nose Run

About a year ago, Rory and I made a list about the 30 things we want to do before we turn 30, and one of my top priorities is to run AND finish a marathon. Don't get too excited, as that's not what I'm doing JUST YET, but I am starting to work my way to that goal... I am happy to announce that I will be running my very first 5K on Friday, December 5th in downtown Nashville.
It's the 28th Annual Rudolph Red Nose Run and it benefits the Big Brothers of Nashville - the money raised will help the not-so-fortunate stay warm through these cold winter months and I am glad to be able to do my part to help - I am also happy that as I get ready for the run, I can shed some of that turkey weight I am sure to gain around Thanksgiving. One of my best friends, Megan, will be joining me and I am ecstatic we'll be doing this together... she has run the Music City 1/2 Marathon and some smaller races previously so I feel better knowing I'll be with someone more experienced. I do run about 3 times a week, but I know running on the treadmill and running outside can be quite different.

And the best part is that WE GET TO DRESS UP FOR THE RACE! I assure you we'll be decked out to the nines in our festive holiday gear and hopefully I can con some friends into coming down to support us and have some hot chocolate ready for us once we reach the finish line. It's also the same night as the Nashville Christmas Parade so you can make a whole night of the festivities! If you're interested, visit Nashville Striders to learn more on how to pre-register - it's only $20. I may not win the prize for the fastest time, but I could just possibly take home that Best Costume Ribbon, which would be fine by me =).

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Going Green

In an effort to become more "environmentally conscience", I recently jumped on the bandwagon and purchased reusable grocery bags at Publix - obviously you can get these at a number of local retailers, but I love the bright colored green bags they have and they're ONLY $1 each. Needless to say, I haven't been using them EVERY time I take my weekly trip to the grocery store, but I have made the effort just the same. My Boy actually got me to buy them, and I have to admit I was surprised that he seemed so ready-to-take-action because he's not normally that kind of guy. Recent reports from Kroger showed just how bad these bags really are:
  • Every year Americans throw away 100 billion plastic grocery bags. These bags can clog drains, crowd landfills, and leave an unsightly blot on the landscape.

  • Plastic bags can take up to 1,000 years to break down.

  • Each reusable bag has the potential to eliminate an average of 1,000 plastic bags over its lifetime.

  • The production of plastic bags requires large amounts of crude oil, natural gas, or other petrochemical derivatives.

  • The production of paper bags requires large amounts of wood, petroleum, and coal.

It's obvious we are being wasteful as a society and we should EACH do our part to help protect our Earth so join in the cause and buy some bags- It doesn't matter if you buy the top of the line bags or get the rather inexpensive ones I bought, as long as we're all making small steps towards a better environment, it's all the same to me! Although I have to admit, I did find some very cute ones so I thought I'd share- you can buy these at Reusable Bags or Be Happy Bags

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Monday Night Football


How About Those Titans?? If there was a doubt in anyone's eyes about just how good the Titans really are this year, I think we won them over last night!! Talk about a great night of classic football- I have to admit, it was hard to root against my favorite quartback of all time, Peyton Manning, but the Titans come first in my book and Kerry Collins put on a show for all to see. With completed passes over-and-over again, he demonstrated that he deserves his starting QB status and Vince Young has A LOT of growing up to do if he ever plans to make it back on the field. And what about little Chris Johnson? He may be small, but that man is FAST! And then there's the Big Boy- Lyndell White - he means business, which is why Collins' repeatedly hands him the ball when trying to make it in the end zone- it's a no-brainer because he gets the job done! I think it's great that everyone in Nashville got so excited about the game and took over with CODE BLUE MADNESS- they said on the news it was the 1st time in NFL football that a team had gotten everyone attending the game to participate (much like they do in college football, where they do a WHITE-OUT or a BLACK-OUT. Thanks for standing by our team- we've had a few rough recent years, but Jeff Fisher is a great coach... Now I'm anxiously awaiting the Jets game when Mr. Boy and I get to see the Titans live in action on LP Field taking on the famous Brett Favre. GO TITANS!!

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Monday, October 27, 2008

A Family Favorite Recipe

For years, my aunt Denise has made this recipe and I finally got her to give it to me this summer. It's a favorite whenever I bring it to work or other parties with friends and it's her famous Chinese Coleslaw- I promise once you try it you'll go back for seconds.
1 8 ounce package of cole slaw
1 bunch of green onions (chopped very fine)
1/2 cup almond slivers
1/2 cup sesame seeds
2 packages of crushed Ramen noodles (leave seasoning out)
Baking directions: toast sesame seeds and almonds on a cookie sheet at 250 degrees for 15-20 minutes- mix together with slaw, green onions, and ramen noodles
Dressing: 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tsp Accent seasoning, 6 tbsp rice vinegar, 2 tsp salt, 1 cup salad oil, pepper to taste
Slowly add dressing to coleslaw mix- with this you will have more dressing than needed, so make sure you don't add too much and lose the flavor of the salad... It's so easy to make, and once you buy the ingredients you can make this over and over again- ENJOY!

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Any Good Southerner...

I am a firm believer in the Southern-way-of-life... I drink sweet tea, I say ma'am and sir when speaking to my elders, I have a southern accent, I know how to shoot a gun, I acknowledge people from the north as 'Yankees", I collect cookbooks, and I know all the words to "Sweet Home Alabama... these just being some of the generalizations that are true of most southerners, but to me- this is ESSENTIAL. This past weekend, I had a mellow two days off, on Saturday I went to the Franklin Fall Fest, watched UT get defeated against Alabama (Grrr!), and then Sunday, treated myself to a relaxing afternoon on the couch with one of my favorite movies.... Gone With the Wind. I knew I could get away with this because my roommate was at her man's and my boyfriend was traveling so I had plenty of time to relax and enjoy it alone =). With that being said, I have to admit that I have come across MANY people that claim to be from below the Mason-Dixon line, but have never watched this cinematic masterpiece - I hope you're just as shocked as I was. To this end, I ask why have they deprived themselves of this epic movie? Granted, you do have to commit 4 hours to watch it, but when you have the time, it's SO WORTH IT! It speaks of our Southern Heritage and the way the South used to be before the Civil War. To me, this is essential- not that I believe with their specific way of life, but it's an important part of history and one I believe everyone should know, even if you aren't from the South. So, if you haven't seen this and have a random afternoon to devote, please watch Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler for pete's sake- I promise you lots of dancing, beautiful dresses, guns and war to keep the boys entertained, chivalry, and lots of romance- this is one of the top 100 movies of all time- IT'S A MUST SEE!

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Back and Better Than Ever!

Being a HUGE Britney Spears' fan, I can't help but to post her new video on my blog. "Womanizer" has to be one of my favorite videos that she has done, and it is directed by the same guy who also made "Toxic" and "Stronger" (you can see the resemblances). The version I have posted is also known as the "Director's Cut" and is a bit more racey than what you might be seeing on TV- she looks amazing and you can tell she's been busting her butt in the gym! I think it's safe to say this is her official comeback, and what a way to make an entrance. From its release only a mere 3 weeks ago, the single has already jumped from #96 on the Billboard chart to #1, and has the most downloads on iTunes from a female singer EVER. I am so happy to see that she is doing well- I have always been a huge Britney supporter and it's good to see that a happy-ending can come from all of the hard struggles she's dealt with these past few years in her personal life. It just goes to show you that with support from family and friends, you can overcome the hardships you face in life- yay Britney!
Now that the 1st single is out, I am counting down the days until her brand-new CD "Circus" comes out on December 2nd, which is coincidentally her birthday...so mark your calendars now!


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fun Redecorating Project

Growing up, I always said I wanted to be an Interior Designer, but after moving away to college and learning about the career, I determined it wasn't exactly my "dream job", considering UT's curriculum called for lots of calculus mixed with engineering/architecture... needless to say, I found a new major. But to this day, I still love to decorate, bargain shop, paint, and design in my spare time.

So this past weekend, my mom asked me to help her redecorate my bathroom in our house. Since I have officially been out of the nest for 2 years, she decided it was time to revamp the space, especially since Thanksgiving will be at our house this year, and she wanted a more refined and grown-up bathroom.

I forgot to take a before picture, but I'll give you an idea of what it looked like- the walls were a champagne butter gold (we kept the wall color the same, as they may be building a new house next year), the shower curtain was cream and khaki with thick vertical stripes, and the accent colors were gold, champagne, and mint green (we also used palm tree accents, as well).

With that being said, my mom and I decided on a chocolate brown, slate blue, and gold color palette to get going on our adventure. She wanted to keep the same hardware (gold and silver) so our challenge was a way to incorporate both into everything we bought for one, cohesive look.

And here is the finished product... TADA! What do you think?

First, we bought Croscill pole top curtains and valance to hang outside the actual tub and then found a sily sheen chocolate brown shower curtain with decorative rod to make the shower area "pop". Then we got rich, chocolate brown rugs to complement the slate blue tile floor, and then finished the area with decorative art, bathroom accessories from the same Croscill collection (a rich paisley print), and a one-of-a kind table piece that is handpainted.

Needless to say, we didn't exactly stay within our pre-determined budget, but it turned out looking fabulous. I think it turned out great- and my client (my mom) was really pleased. We can't wait to do another room soon!


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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Just Maybe

A few years ago, my friend Cami gave me the great idea to start a book with my favorite quotes (actually I just stole the idea from her)- it's grown a lot in the 2 years since I started writing down quotes that I receive as daily inspirationals in email, quotes I remember from my favorite movies and songs, and just random ones I come across through Faceook and other media. But today since I am trying to avoid working at all costs, I thought that I should post this quote- it makes me realize how much we question the things that happen in our lives and always ask why, but it helps me realize that God is always in control and we don't have to ask questions, as long as we put our faith and trust in Him...
"Maybe...God wanted us to meet the wrong people before meeting the right one so that, when we finally meet the right person, we will know how to be grateful for that gift. Maybe...when the door of happiness closes, another opens; but, often times, we look so long at the closed door that we don't even see the new one which has been opened for us. Maybe...it is true that we don't know what we have got until we lose it, but it is also true that we don't know what we have been missing until it arrives. Maybe...the happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. Maybe...the brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; after all, you can't go on successfully in life until you let go of your past mistakes, failures and heartaches. Maybe...you should dream what you want to dream; go where you want to go; be what you want to be, because you have only one life and one chance to do all the things you dream of and want to do. Maybe...there are moments in life when you miss someone -- a parent, a friend-- so much that you just want to pick them from your dreams and hug them for real. Maybe...the best kind of friend is the kind you can sit on a porch and swing with, never say a word, and then walk away feeling like it was the best conversation you've ever had. Maybe...you should always try to put yourself in others' shoes. If you feel that something could hurt you, it probably will hurt the other person, too. Maybe...you should do something nice for someone every single day, even if it is simply to leave them alone. Maybe...giving someone all your love is never an assurance that they will love you back. Don't expect love in return; just wait for it to grow in their heart; but, if it doesn't, be content that it grew in yours. Maybe...happiness waits for all those who cry, all those who hurt, all those who have searched, and all those who have tried, for only they can appreciate the importance of all the people who have touched their lives. Maybe...you shouldn't go for looks; they can deceive; Don't go for wealth; even that fades away. Go for someone who makes you smile, because it takes only a smile to make a dark day seem bright. Find the one that makes your heart smile. Maybe...you should hope for enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human, and enough hope to keep building your faith. Maybe...you should try to live your life so that when you die, you are the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Movie Madness

In an effort for Roy and I to be better with our money and start saving more, we have recently resorted to spending nights at home renting movies instead of our normal bar crashing in and around Nashville. With that being said, I think I owe it to my friends to let them in on my little secret, and to rate our recent rentals so you can check them out for yourselves.

So first I'll release my little secret- I'm not sure if everyone is aware of this new invention, but it's called RedBox and it's the best thing to happen to DVD rentals. They are practically all over town (mostly at area McDonald's), but you have to be on the lookout, because they can be hard to find. You simply insert a credit/debit card, pick out the movie you wish to rent, and they give it to you just like a vending machine... but that's not all: the greatest part is that it only costs $1 dollar to rent. Of course there are stipulations just as with any other great bargain, but you can have it for up to 24 hours and return it to ANY other RedBox, not just at the one you rented it from. Another recent discovery we stumbled across last night if that you can reserve it online and pick it up from the location closest to you- the website is http://www.redbox.com/ and I highly recommend this to everyone I know!

Made of Honor: Starring the ever delightful Patrick Dempsey (Grey's Anatomy), he has always been a playboy of men, but after years of dating random women, he realizes he is in love with his best friend - only problem is she is newly engaged and she has asked him to be her MOH (maid of honor in wedding speak). Of course this creates drama, but this romantic comedy is great for a girl's night. Think of it as a modern-day "My Best Friend's Wedding." My Rating: C+


Street Kings: Roy's favorite kind of movie, "Bang-Bang-Shoot Em Up", is definitely the tone for this flick. None of that romantic mumbo-jumbo, this is action-packed and features one of our favorite all-time heroes, Keanu Reeves (Speed, The Matrix). All about the background lives of LA's finest cops, this follows his street fights, bad-guy takedowns, and leaves you with an ending you didn't see coming. My Rating: B

Good Luck Chuck: For anyone that loves a good comedyalong the same lines of Wedding Crashers, Old School, and Happy Gilmore, you're sure to love this light-hearted movie featuring Dane Cook and Jessica Alba (Into the Blue, Sin City). After a rumor is started that women marry the first guy they date after they sleep with Chuck, women are practically begging to sleep with him, but of course, he grows tired of his life, and falls for sweet penguin-loving Alba. I promise you'll be hysterically laughing and saying the punchlines over and over again for this one. My Rating: B+

Deception: Last but not least, there is the thriller movie. Starring Hugh Jackman (XMen, Australia), Ewan McGregor (Moulin Rouge, Big Fish), and Michelle Williams (Brokeback Mountain, Dawson's Creek), this intricate storyline is along the same lines as Derailed which featured Jennifer Aniston. It's a cat and mouse game with lies, murder, theft, and lots of suspense. Make sure you pay attention or you'll miss some keys to helping you solve this one, as it did seem to drag on quite a bit for me at the end. My Rating: B-



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Thursday, October 2, 2008

That War Eagle Land and My UT Ranting


Another football weekend has come and passed, with yet another loss added to the UT VOLS season this year. We're at a whopping 1-3... so sad, so sad. I do have to admit though, that last weekend in Auburn, we played a lot better than I have seen us look in recent weeks, and we would've come out with a victory if we hadn't fumbled in the endzone CROMPTON!! I get so angry when it comes to UT football, but that embodies how a true, die-hard fan should act.

I do have to give props to our football God himself, Peyton Manning, who had a bie-week in the NFL and flew to AU to watch his VOLS play. I love the fact that 10 years after he left Big Orange, he still comes back from time to time to root us on and stand-in as an honorary coach- oh if we were only lucky enough to get a new coach, which brings me to my next point.

I have to give it to Fulmer, our team has had a lot of success under his direction, but we all know it's time to pass the torch on to someone new and fresh, with innovative game plans and who has the ability to turn our football program around. We have so much talent on our team and we're just not taking advantage of that. I mean, Eric Berry is the #1 defensive player in the nation, but he can't do it all himself. And with Crompton, everyone knows the plays we're going to run- obviously we won't pass because he CAN'T COMPLETE ONE, well unless it's to the opposing team. I was one of the optimistic ones that said we'd turn our season around just like we did last year, but you have to look at this rationally and the only answer I can come up with is a new quarterbaack for the remainder of the season, and a new head coach in 2009. I will wish them luck in the new few weeks, because I will always loves the VOLS, and because we need it- our schedule is an SEC showdown for the month of October: Georgia, Mississippi State, Alabama, and South Carolina= WOW!

So I leave you with this quote: "Some say football is a matter of life and death, to me it's much more important than that"

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