25 September 2010


So, slight change of plans.

I know I talked up Europe around this time last year - that I was TOTALLY going to go in the next year, no matter what. And to hold me accountable for saying that.

Well, after our amazing (READ: expensive) honeymoon, and since I've gotten a full-time job, we did some number-crunching and realized that really, Europe just isn't feasible for 2011.

Although it is still a possibility. Our school takes tours of girls to various places throughout the world each summer, and this summer two of my favorite teachers are taking a group of girls to Ireland, Wales, England, and France. There are already two chaperones, and (last I heard) only ten-ish girls enrolled for the trip. For every five girls that go, a chaperone goes for free. There's already another teacher in line before us, but if 25 girls sign up for the trip, we're going for free!

So we'll see how that unfolds.

In the meantime, my office works in the summer. So Pete and I decided to not go on any trips in summer 2011, unless the Europe trip comes through, or if my family/friends of the family plan a big reunion trip back to Hilton Head Island.

So, since we aren't really planning any summer trips, we took a look at the calendar and realized that since we work at the same school, we have the same spring break. And since we have the same (ahem, paid) spring break, we should totally go on a trip!

Hence, New York City and Philadelphia.

We'll fly into NYC, hang out there for a few days, then take the Megabus to Philly and stay with some friends. Then take the bus back to NYC and fly home.

I am so excited and have been doing preliminary research of things I want to do - I've been to New York once, for like 15ish hours, so I am excited to actually see the city. See Central Park, and the Museum of Natural History, and the Magnolia Bakery.

And I have yet to set foot in Philly - that's where Megan lives, along with Pete's good friend from high school, David, AND Karen, an awesome blogger. I totally told her on twitter that we need to meet up when I'm there. And she said yes! Squeee! Commence a conversation peppered with Arrested Development, Mindy Kaling, and 30 Rock quotes. I am tres excited!

So if any of you lovely readers have suggestions of things to do in New York or Philly, please let me know! I would love to hear from you!


18 September 2010


Meet Scout, our newest addition to the family!

She isn't a dog, but she's pretty darn cute. And frankly, I am THRILLED to have her here.

She's about eight weeks old. My friend, Maggie, has a cat who escaped earlier this year. After searching and searching for her, they found her a week after she had disappeared - but she was pregnant! Five adorable kittens were born on July 13th this summer. And we picked our Scout up yesterday :)

Pete and I have had so much fun watching her play and explore our apartment. She is super adorable, and may I add - VERY photogenic. And it's like she knows to sit still when a camera is out. Which is perfect for me. I've already taken way more photos than I would like to share...

[size comparison - that is Pete's forearm. she is teensy tiny!]

17 September 2010

Bake it in a Cake

Thanks to the super-talented, uber-amazing Cakespy, I was introduced to this tumblr - Bake it in a Cake.

HELLO?! Do not all of these things look delicious? I want to eat them all. Right now. In a row.
This blog is basically about all of the awesome things that one can bake inside a cake. On the first page, Twinkies, cream puffs, s'mores pop tarts, strawberry jam, mini key lime pies, Milano cookies, and baklava all make an appearance. But the one that looks like the best to me?

A cupcake with a Cadbury Cream Egg baked into the middle.

Cadbury Cream Eggs are my FAVORITE part of Easter, hands down.

15 September 2010

Honeymoon Day 5

I loved this day. I've realized that I have been writing a LOT - so I'm going to try to keep it minimal. Also, I'm watching America's Got Talent and, well, I need to put a lot of my concentration into Prince Poppycock and Donna Summers performing together.

In short, we started the morning at Venice Beach, which is such a cool area. The beach is beautiful and the street right behind the beach is full of tourists, potheads, radicals, sunglasses shops, crappy bookstores, and snack stands. It's just the coolest mishmash of people ever. Did I mention that it's on a beach?

After spending some time by the water and eating some fish tacos from a shack, we headed down to Abbot Kinney Blvd, where there are a ton of shops/boutiques, hair salons, restaurants, architecture firms, etc. The houses all look like fairy tale houses - all different colors of pastel and teeny tiny and cute little yards. I would have moved in right there (by this time I was definitely feeling less homesick).

[um, can I please have a sign like this?]

I had read about a place called the Abbot Pizza Company - and Pete urban-spooned it (this quickly became a verb on our trip) and sure enough, it won his praises. The pizza is all kinds of crazy flavors (Pete got a slice of chicken curry and I had four cheese, which included ricotta) and baked on bagel dough. Yuuuuuum.

I dragged Pete into some stationary stores and clothing shops. We found an awesome shoe store that was way out of our price range. We then proceeded to wander around the neighborhood, gawk at the houses (and the prices OF the houses...yikes), look at murals, and gawk at the houses some more.

We then began our trip out to Disneyland. This took FOREVER. We were about an hour away from Disneyland without traffic. Add that to trying to get there around rush hour and, well...it took us awhile.

Eventually we made it, though, and jumped on a tram to get to the park. Neither of us had been to Disneyland, so it was fun to see how it was set up - it is truly just THERE, just on the street, in the middle of Anaheim. So weird, compared to the way that Disney World is set up.

We only went on one ride (oops!) but we had free passes to the park, so I didn't feel too bad. It's a Small World is just as kitschy as I remember it being. We wandered around the park, people-watching and eating. And taking pictures.

[Pete, being awesome in front of Star Tours]

[oh hey It's a Small World]

Finally, it was time for the Fantasmic! show to start. I can't really formulate it into words, but it just made me so happy. Ever since I could remember, I have loved everything Disney. I loved the princesses, but also Robin Hood and all of the Pixar movies and just...all of it. So Fantasmic! was this huge water show and there were a ton of characters and huge boats sailing through and Malificent (the dragon from Sleeping Beauty) was huge and breathed fire and tried to kill Mickey! But Mickey prevailed (obviously). And I felt like a kid again. Walt Disney tends to do that to me.

[how awesome is this?!]

[forgive the blurry picture; I just wanted to give you an idea of what it was like. This is the Steamboat Willie steamboat, and all the characters you could ever imagine were on it, like Winnie the Pooh & Co., Mickey and Friends, the princesses, Pixar people, etc.

By the end of the day, we had probably walked ten miles between the park and the Venice neighborhood and for some weird reason we chose to walk back to the parking lot, instead of taking the tram. And we had wanted to crash as soon as we got back to the hotel room, BUT I wanted to get some NyQuil from a WalMart by our hotel - since we were getting back so late, I didn't think we would have to wait long. But we stood in line for over an hour! There were hundreds and hundreds of people waiting in line with all kinds of stuff - hangers, cleaning supplies, a week's worth of groceries - at 11:30 at night. I asked the woman who checked us out (when we finally got there) if it was always so crowded, and she said that it was usually busy until 2 AM. What?!

Honeymoon Day 4

Day four was one of my favorite days. We hiked from Las Vegas to Los Angeles.

Let me start by saying that I LOVE LA. I find the "fakeness" of it comforting, somehow. I just feel home when I'm there. But really I'm probably just a California Gal at heart.

Regardless. We sort of slept in in Vegas. After waking up, we played a few lazy games of War with the sweet LAS VEGAS deck of cards we had gotten the night before. We watched a bit of a Top Chef marathon. We talked a lot about the wedding and the rest of the honeymoon, and then we got excited to actually be ON a honeymoon, so we packed up our stuff and headed out.

First stop was Trader Joe's. I just have to say - it was very comforting being in a Trader Joe's. Even if the layout is different and they have things there that they don't have in St. Louis (HELLO why are there not peant-butter stuffed pretzels here in the Midwest?!).

Then we hit the road. We drove through the desert. The temperature outside hit 112 degrees. The windows of the van were literally hot to the touch. We drove by our first In-N-Out but didn't stop until we saw the next one from the highway.

Oh. My. They were as good as I remember them being. We definitely had In-N-Out three times on the trip and just writing about it makes me miss it.

We also stopped at a Vans outlet store where Pete bought me new checkered shoes. Which was great. Someday I'll tell the famous story of my Vans.

We finally made it to LA, and of course, we sat in traffic before we even got the hotel. We stayed in Baldwin Park, which is (I think?) a suburb. LA is so spread out, it's hard to tell. But we were at least an hour away from everything that we wanted to go to, so once we checked into the room we sat and relaxed for perhaps a total of two minutes before running out to explore!

We headed down to Santa Monica right around dusk. It was beautiful. I love the ocean. I miss it. I don't know if I would want to live near it all the time, but...oh. It was just wonderful.

Pete had never seen the Pacific Ocean (except from a plane) but he enjoyed the beach. And he took an obscene amount of pictures of me.

After enjoying sunset on the beach, we headed up to the pier. We strolled hand-in-hand, did some people-watching, and played at the arcade. Pete tried to make me go on the ferris wheel but I am not a huge fan of heights. So we stayed grounded.

[Santa Monica Pier is the official end to Route 66 - which starts in Chicago. So I was pointing to St. Louis, where we began our trip. We drove the entire route, minus Chicago, on our honeymoon. And since then, we've been to Chicago and home twice.]

Because we didn't want to eat Bubba Gump's Shrimp or greasy boardwalk food, we finally decided to head out for dinner around 8:30. Thanks to the Urban Spoon app for the iPhone (if you have an iPhone you need to download this asap - it's free and amazing) we were lead to Urth Cafe. Which was amazing in every way. Organic. We sat outside. There was a heater nearby (because it was chilly, outside, in JULY. Why do I not live there?). I ate a caprese sandwich. It was perfect.

This place was also right across the street from a pizza place that my family and I went to when I was there in 2005. And the liquor store my parents stopped at to get a bottle of wine was right down the street, too. So odd. It was like I knew the neighborhood really well...but I didn't know it at all.

We walked around Santa Monica a bit - all the shops were closed, but we peeked inside. We got some Ben & Jerry's. It was a glorious first couple of hours in CA.

Also, may I mention - Pete and I went down to Cairo a few weekends ago. Maci, our niece (it's fun saying OUR nieces) had her birthday party. Mike and Bridgett and their daughters and son came, too. Bridgett was having a hard time getting her phone signal to pick up her Yelp app, so I grabbed my phone to try to help. And let me just say, when it finally did load, it was stuck in San Francisco, from when I had used it last. It was SO SAD to see that as I stood in a parking lot in Paducah, Kentucky, trying to find a coffee place that wasn't McDonald's. That is all.

14 September 2010

UP (again)

So I was looking through some happy notions archives and I watched this video again.

I'm just saying, you should too. I haven't watched UP in a long time, though Pete and I talk about it a lot.

This segment above reminds me of last Christmas at the Wissinger estate. The girls (our nieces) wanted to watch UP. Or maybe I wanted to watch UP and I tricked them into thinking that they wanted to watch it. Whatever the story - we put it on. So there were four little girls in there, along with me, Pete, Mary, Steve, Mike and Christy. During this scene I'm pretty sure we were all tearing up (I don't know about Steve, and Pete probably wouldn't want to admit it). Bridgett walked into the room and was like, "I don't know WHY you guys are watching this!" And we all sort of giggled and tried to nonchalantly wipe away tears...but it's so good. Watch it again to remember how wonderful and fleeting life can be.

Baby Cash

So my awesome friends Lindsay and Paul made a baby. His name is Cash. He is wonderful and cuddly and adorable.

Also, do you KNOW how small newborns are? He is teeny tiny! I knew that they were little. But then I saw his fingernails and how perfectly itsy bitsy they were and just...wow. So small. So perfect.

Anyway - this is Cash and two of Lindsay and Paul's pugs, Bruno and Savannah (Nana? Nannah? for short). L + P, I hope you don't mind that I totally swiped this picture from facebook.

I know, I know. Makes my ovaries ache. Kind of like how Leo made me feel last Christmas (and pretty much every time I see him).

The Most Perfectest Jacket Ever

How gorgeous is this? Le sigh. Even though I have a full-time job, I still can't afford it. Isn't that what jobs are FOR?!


My mom passed this video along to me yesterday. She watched it during a faculty meeting at her school. I was wary at first (I love my mom, but she's into those cheesy forwards sometimes, so...I wasn't really sure what to expect).

But this was SO GOOD. Pete found me at the end of the video, curled up on the couch in tears. Good tears.

If you have 16 minutes, I implore you to watch it. Pronto if possible.


It's been awhile since I wrote about some awesome commercials that make me cry/think.

The first time I saw this video I thought, "wow that's so true!" Timing is everything in some cases. Very cool perspective.

Another AT&T commercial - love the music, love the visuals.

I always love Target. The commercials are kind of hit and miss for me right now, but this reminds me of Wes Anderson's style. Also those girls are adorable.

Lastly -

Old Spice. I laughed so hard when I first saw this one.

Enjoy! Have you seen any good commercials that you like recently?

05 September 2010

Crossing it Off...

So I've been busy with all kinds of great stuff, BUT I realized the other night that I hadn't told the blogosphere about all of my recent accomplishments.

Remember this list? Well, I've been (somewhat slowly) crossing things off. I have four months left to try to get all of it done. I know I'll get some more of it finished, but other things (roller coaster? Sky diving? Surfing? ha.) will probably have to wait until some later moment of my life.

1. I graduated! I posted pictures here, and miraculously, STILL have not gotten pictures from my parents of me and them. Oops.

2. I found a job!

3. I got married!

4. I did indeed go on an amazing honeymoon! Read about days two and three. I need to continue writing about the other days. We did more than drive through the Southwest and visit Vegas.

5. I saw the sunset at the Grand Canyon.

6. I did gamble in a Las Vegas casino.

7. I did drive up Highway 1 from LA to San Francisco. Well, I drove a good amount of the way. Pete drove the most. I got a teensy bit carsick on those twisty turny roads.

8. I did visit Disneyland.

10. We didn't stop at any of the bizarre road-side attractions I thought we would see. We didn't see many. One was right outside of Amarillo. We stayed there our first night of the honeymoon and got up early to get on the road. Within ten minutes of driving, we came across these. Looked really cool, but we didn't stop, since we had JUST GOTTEN IN THE CAR. So, this one didn't really happen.

11. We did visit the beach. Pete liked it more than he thought he would, which was great.

14. We did paint one of the rooms in our apartment. It's my craft room, and it's yellow. I'm not totally finished with it yet, which is why you haven't seen pictures. We are currently working on painting our bedroom. Sea-foam spray is the color. Pretty!

15 (kinda). We are not able to adopt a dog, unfortunately. It would cost us a LOT of extra money to put a deposit down for our apartment. However, one of my dear friends' cats ran away from home. When they found her a week lady, she was carrying kittens! We'll be getting our own kitten in about a week and a half. Her name is Scout and she is gray. I'm so excited to welcome her to our place!

17. We didn't BUY a new bed, we BUILT a new bed. And when I say "we" I totally don't include myself in that - Pete and our friend Paul built it. On one of the hottest days in the summer. Again, pictures to come.

30. I have made sure that there have been fresh flowers in the house once a month, with the exception of July. Which doesn't really count because we were gone for two weeks of it.

39. I got a credit card! But I haven't used it yet (probably for the better?)

44. I did put my arms around a giant redwood tree (well, as far as I could, at least)

45. Portrait of me and Pete - DONE. Thanks, Nan Lawson!

72. I am four books away from having read 20 books this year.

73. Pete and I have cleaned out this apartment three times now and taken a ton of stuff to Goodwill. I LOVE doing that. And it was much needed after the wedding.

76. We bought cloth napkins AND used them. Blamo!

81. We visited Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. I didn't buy anything, but we did go to Sprinkles in BH and I got a cupcake. So good. I wish we had a Sprinkles here in St. Louis...

82. I have watched one more movie off of the AFI list. It was From Here to Eternity, and it wasn't that great.

89. We went to a drive-in movie in San Luis Obispo - Inception. It was amazing.

94. I learned my blood type - O+

So. That's that. I have some work ahead of me!