Tuesday, July 31, 2012

2012 London Olympics:

Have you been glued to the television since the opening ceremonies on Friday? We sure have. I'm not really sure why I love the Olympics so much, but I can't seem to stop watching. So, I gave into my extremely obsessive-compulsive tendencies and made a Olympic even viewing schedule. *Nerd Alert*

The times listed in the table above the actual times that these events will be taking place. Broadcast times will probably differ. That's the crappy thing about overseas games -- the time difference. If you'd like to be surprised about the outcomes of these events, I suggest staying away from any social media or news outlet until the games are over.

To celebrate the games being in London this year, we are planning on eating British themed meals in front of the television for the next 2 weeks. Some items on the menu include: tea and chocolate biscuits (our favorite nightly staple), bangers and mash (minus the bangers), fish and chips (minus the fish), Yorkshire pudding, Shepherd's pie (vegetarian), Bubble & Squeak, and Jaffa Cakes (fingers crossed we can find some).

I hope your Olympic experience is as glorious as mine!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Beach Trip Recap:

As promised, here are the photos from our week in Gulf Shores. So, on this Monday morning, grab a drink that you can pretend is somewhat tropical (orange juice, coconut water), prop your feet up at your desk, and   live vicariously through these images:

check out more photos after the jump!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Happy Weekend:

Happy weekend, everyone! I am so thankful that I get a few days to recharge after a busy couple of weeks. I'm planning on catching up on my sleep, spending some quality time with Andrew and Tillie, watching the mess out of the Olympics (!), being extremely lazy, and not feeling guilty about it.

Hope your weekend is just as relaxing!

Happy Olympics, everyone! Be sure to catch the opening ceremonies tonight!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

We love:

One of my goals for the year was to update our camera. I've had my eye on the Nikon D3100 for about a year now. I sometimes fantasize about owning it, about taking pictures with it. Don't get me wrong, I love our little point and shoot Samsung because it's tiny, super portable, and takes pretty good quality pictures and video. But I've been unhappy with the picture quality in low-light settings and with the lack of personalization (Blogger is trying to tell me that this isn't a word, btw) of settings. I had been wanting the D3100 for a while now but couldn't justify purchasing it because we didn't really need it. Not really. Want, sure. But not need. So cut to three weeks before our beach trip (and right after the Steve Martin concert) when the camera is dropped lens first onto ceramic tile and breaks. The retractable lens jammed when it hit the floor and now it won't shut off or take a picture or anything. We debated getting it repaired but it cost about $200 in 2009 when we bought it and the cost of getting it fixed would probably be more than it's worth now. So, our only other option was to get a new camera. We could have gotten a newer point and shoot but we figured now was as good a time as any, and we finally made up our minds to purchase the D3100. It came in the mail just in time for our trip and we have been taking photos with it like crazy ever since. I, of course, am completely obsessed. It's simple to use, lightweight, and the picture quality is outrageous. And it takes HD video. It came with a simple kit lens which is fine for now, but eventually I want to upgrade to the 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX lens for even better performance in low-light settings. 

We are very happy with our new camera and are insanely excited to learn more as we play around with it.
I'll try to share more photos soon!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

New Reads:

This week, I am reading Back When We Were Grownups by Anne Tyler. This is another one of those books that I picked up at the last library sale for a $1. I've only now just gotten around to reading these as I had a lot of other books lined up before them. But here it is.

From GoodReads.com:

"Once upon a time, there was a woman who discovered that she had turned into the wrong person." So Anne Tyler opens this irresistible new novel.

The woman is Rebecca Davitch, a fifty-three-year-old grandmother. Is she an impostor in her own life? she asks herself. Is it indeed her own life? Or is it someone else’s?

On the surface, Beck, as she is known to the Davitch clan, is outgoing, joyous, a natural celebrator. Giving parties is, after all, her vocation—something she slipped into even before finishing college, when Joe Davitch spotted her at an engagement party in his family’s crumbling nineteenth-century Baltimore row house, where giving parties was the family business. What caught his fancy was that she seemed to be having such a wonderful time. Soon this large-spirited older man, a divorcĂ© with three little girls, swept her into his orbit, and before she knew it she was embracing his extended family plus a child of their own, and hosting endless parties in the ornate, high-ceilinged rooms of The Open Arms. 

Now, some thirty years later, after presiding over a disastrous family picnic, Rebecca is caught un-awares by the question of who she really is. How she answers it—how she tries to recover her girlhood self, that dignified grownup she had once been—is the story told in this beguiling, funny, and deeply moving novel.

As always with Anne Tyler’s novels, once we enter her world it is hard to leave. But in Back When We Were Grownups she so sharpens our perceptions and awakens so many untapped feelings that we come away not only refreshed and delighted, but also infinitely wiser."

It's pretty good so far. Interesting and short. Perfect for summer. You should read it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

New Shoes:

Check out the new shoes I got before my St. Louis trip:

They are actually really comfortable and easy to walk in. And they look cute with everything. I especially like them with my jade green No. 2 Pencil Skirt from J.Crew. It looks a little something like this:

Monday, July 23, 2012

Good Morning, Monday:

We're back from the beach! It was crazy relaxing, fun, and relaxing -- everything a beach vacation should be. I've got some great photos to share but I'm in St. Louis the first part of this week for work, so I probably won't get around to posting them until later this week. But in the meantime, here's a sneak peak:

Monday, July 16, 2012

Beach Week:

We're spending the week at the beach on a much needed vacation. Here's what we'll most likely be up to this week:
  • Enjoying the sunrise during morning runs on the beach
  • Taking naps under giant hats
  • Eating plenty of fresh fruit (preferably in a hammock)
  • Catching up on our reading under an umbrella
  • Jamming to some summer tunes poolside
  • Doing a little retail therapy with the girls
  • Slurping back countless smoothies
  • Drinking Mexican Coke while burying our feet in the sand
  • Enjoying mixed drinks while in the company of friends
  • Eating all my meals outside (my favorite)
  • Trying new restaurants every night
  • Jaunting through the waves
  • Laughing. A lot.
Have a great week. We'll be back here on Monday with all the details from our trip!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Happy Weekend:


The weekend is here. Finally. Seriously, you have no idea how long this week has felt.
It's Friday now and we are headed off to Jonesboro to stay with some friends and catch up and then tomorrow morning, we are headed to the beach. The beach! I'm so pumped. I'm in desperate need of a vacation; of having nothing to do for a week but sit around and dig my toes into the sand.

We'll be absent from this space for the next week. Feel free to be a little envious.

Have a great weekend, everyone! XO.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


It's our last day before we leave for our trip, everything is packed and ready to go, and I plan on spending the evening doing exactly this: relaxing with a good book and a warm cup of tea. 

And since tomorrow's going to be something of a whirlwind, here's our top 5 from this week:

  1. Getting our new camera (!)
  2. Finding the perfect piece of luggage at the last minute
  3. Finishing the quilt I've been working on
  4. Rain. Finally.
  5. Surviving another week of early morning runs

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Summer Playlist:


We're getting ready for the big beach vacation this week. Of the things that we have been preparing, one of the biggest is our Summer 2012 playlist. We've packed it full of fun, summery music to jam to all week long. And now we present it here, for your listening pleasure:

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Let's Shop:

This week, we're shopping Madewell, J.Crew's hipper little sister. I spend a lot of time looking at stuff on Madewell. I really love their beautiful clothes so I was surprised that most of the things I chose this week were accessories. I am kind of obsessed with those green shoes and that pig necklace. And all the rest of it, really.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Mixing drinks:

For our last journey into drink-making before our trip (we leave this weekend!), we decided to try our hand at my favorite drink of all time: the margarita. In the past, we've made these from mixes but in an effort to cut down on artificial flavors and added sugar, we've decided to make them from scratch. Thus, we bring you the Real Margarita:

Our verdict: Not so good. I know you're probably thinking "how in the world can you screw up margaritas?" but trust me, I did. I should get some kind of award or something. It was really bitter and did not resemble my favorite drink in the slightest. So Andrew added a little simple syrup to sweeten things up. But then it just tasted too sweet with not enough of that citrus twist. And then the ice started to melt so it tasted watered down. So I didn't like it. How in the world can I be 0 for 4? They all seemed like such good ideas. 

So, what has this process taught me? To definitely try out new drinks before talking them up or serving them to others. It's been fun, but for our trip, I'll probably just stick to rum and coke.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Happy Weekend:


Happy weekend, everyone. That extra day off in the middle of the week sure helped this week go by quickly, huh?

How are you using your two well-deserved days off? We are wrapping up last minute things for our beach trip because we leave in one week. One week! How exciting! I've also got to get ready to leave for a work trip to St. Louis the day after we get back. 

Here's our top-five from this week:
  1. Mexican Coke
  2. New running shorts
  3. An awesome J.Crew sale
  4. Discovering that early morning runs won't kill us
  5. Summer school finals are over!
Have a great weekend! Here's hoping the heat doesn't trap us inside for two whole days!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

New Reads:

This week's book is All He Ever Wanted by Anita Shreve. I've heard a lot of positive things about this book, mostly from reader reviews on Amazon. And I've read one other book by Ms. Shreve, one that I stumbled upon on my parents' bookshelf one summer when I was home from college. I like how her writing is sort of emo. So, when I saw this book at the library used book sale, I snatched it up for $1. 

It goes like this:

"Etna Bliss has just moved to the New England town where her uncle teaches college when her life is transformed in a single stroke. She is dining in a hotel downtown when a fire forces her to escape to the snowy streets outside. Amid the smoke and chaos of that night she is glimpsed, standing under a streetlight, by a man who was dining in the same room - a man who is so overwhelmed by the sight of her that he rebuilds his life around a single goal: to marry Etna Bliss. That man is Nicholas Van Tassel, and All He Ever Wanted is his account of how two lives changed from that tumultuous night forward. A proud and orderly man, Van Tassel is ill equipped to deal with the ferocity of love. But he is determined to have Etna, no matter what the cost."

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th:


Happy Independence Day, everyone! Here's what my to-do list looks like on this holiday:

  1. Firecracker 5K @ 7:30a
  2. an extra long mid-morning nap
  3. ice cold watermelon to eat
  4. homemade guacamole to devour 
  5. making the best cookies in the world (again)
  6. knock out my last t-shirt quilt
  7. fireworks
  8. maybe some telescope action
  9. berry smoothies
  10. more cookies
It's a little sad how much my life revolves around food. But it's also delicious so I don't mind.
Happy 4th!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Mixing drinks:

Our last two adventures in mixology did not have the desired result. I'm supposed to be coming up with delicious drinks for our beach trip, not striking out with every new recipe. So, with Friday's drink, we thought we'd play it safe with the Girlish Figure:

The verdict: Not bad. I really did like it. It did have a little bit of a bitter aftertaste because of the cranberry juice. And even though I'm not a fan of cranberries, I think I could drink this again although I'm not sure it'll make the beach trip cut.

We tried just mixing the diet lemon lime soda with the coconut rum and I liked that much better. It was light and refreshing. I'm sure a squeeze of fresh lime would only improve things.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Olympic Trials:

Does anyone else already have Olympic fever? Because it's bad at our house. We usually watch every event of the Olympics, even the ones that no one really cares about (Olympic walking, anyone?) But this year, I'm even really into watching all of the Olympic trials. Last weekend, we literally spent two whole days on the couch watching the diving and track and field trials. And every day last week, I ran home from running to stuff my face while watching the swimming trials. The gymnastics trials were this past weekend, and oh my, were they exciting. Both the men's and women's teams looked amazing and I am so excited to see how they perform in London.

I absolutely cannot wait for the Olympics!