Friday, January 30, 2009

Winter is a Drag

Hi Bloggers!

First of all, let me just say, that in my blogosphere perusing over the last few days, I have found SO many great blogs! My mini-feed of "blogs I follow" has grown exponentially over the last 48 hours, and for that reason, I am thrilled! So, keep the comments and the love coming, and I'll do the same!


I have been in somewhat of a rut this week (except during my morning coffee/blog-reading session, clearly). This weather has really got me down! I find myself scurrying home from work and/or the gym and hibernating on my couch. Going out on the weekends is not nearly as fun, and worst of all, EVERYONE is getting sick! My poor B got sick again this week (after last month's duo of sickness), and that made this week different/challenging for the both of us. Lucky for me, I have been pumping fruit smoothies, Airborn, multi-vitamins and the gym this week, so I can press on as the "healthy" one for the moment. Knock on wood. TWICE. But, sickness does really get me down. Why is it that the winter needs to do this to us, I ask? As nice as it was to watch the snow fall on Tuesday, this sub-zero weather is not cutting it in the health department. So everyone, stay hydrated, warm and get lots of sleep! (Could I be any more of a Mom? Despite the fact that I don't have actual kids)

Let's see.

In other news! Only 35 MORE DAYS until our 2-year anniversary trip to sunny (and warm!) Florida! We will be spending a relaxing 5 days between West Palm Beach, South Beach and Key West, and we could not be more excited about it!! It may just be an excuse for a new sun dress? Yes?!

I think this weekend shall be a rest up/recuperate weekend for us. It is nice to have no plans and just stay in and relax from time to time. Hopefully, that will make for two bright-eyed and bushy-tailed young professionals, come Monday!

Have a great weekend!!

Oh! And only 14 days until Aliya & I devote a full Friday night to this ... enjoy!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Never Leave Your Partner Behind .."

Hello Blog World!

Movies are definitely a hobby of mine. My perfect girls night out often includes an over-priced trip to the nearest theater to catch the latest chick flick. I love watching movies on TV, renting them, and have been known to watch a hand full of movies over and over, and over ..


I recently added to my movie collection by purchasing Fireproof.

Now, you may or may not already have your thoughts, ideas or reviews of this movie, but see it. TRUST ME. I had been intrigued by the story, the love, the struggle, all of it, since I had seen the preview a while back. I never ended up making it to the theater to see it, but B agreed to watch it with me once it was out.

Just the preview gives me chills. I don't consider myself the world's toughest movie critic, but this movie rocked me to my core. With so many people in my life either in love, getting married, or those that have been married for more years that I've been alive, I was interested to see the point of view this movie would take. It took a great one. It is so easy to lose sight of what is most important in this life. Love and God have always been at the top of that list for me, and this was a perfect blend of these two things.

So, my recommendation of the week (and yes, I did skip a week of music recommendations, so this will do), is to go out and rent/buy/borrow my copy of this movie. Whether you are looking for love, have already fallen in love, are on your way to marriage, just starting your lives together, or have paved the way for the rest of us for quite some time now, Fireproofs "The Love Dare" will definitely teach you something about how to love yourself, how to love your partner, and about what the real meaning of love should and can be. I plan to keep a copy of this Love Dare handy for myself, my parents and my friends, because I think it's worth it.

Oh, and the song? "Love Is Not A Fight," brings tears to my eyes. It's Warren Barfield, for those of you who can't get enough, like me; I downloaded it at iTunes.

Get up. Go out. Do it. You'll thank me :o)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

S.N.O.W. Day!!

No, I was not one of the people lucky enough to work from home, or have today off, but I will say that I was excited (like, little kid excited!) to see snow on the ground this morning when I woke up!

I know snow can be SUCH a nuisance; like this morning, when my car fish-tailed at a wreckless 10 mph turn, or like the hour and 10 minutes it too me to get to the office, but all in all, there are some fun (and pretty!) things about snow!

I grew up in North Jersey, so I am used to snow. School didn't shut down, people did NOT drive like toddlers, and snow angels were a must. You see, in Virginia we don't get annual 10-inch snow storms (at least not since I've been living here), so I guess I kind of miss the "snowed-in" feeling.

Nevertheless, I got up and continued in my typical morning routine, and had a moment of reminiscing when I walked out into the 1 inch of powder on my driveway. Don't get me wrong, I will be sharing in the inevitable frustration of the 4 hour, extra long commute home, along with everyone else in the DC metro area, but maybe I can cheer myself back up at home with a cup of hot cocoa as I watch the snow turn to ice.

Safe travels, everyone! And try and remember the fun, little things about snow from when you were a kid tonight, you know, in between the break lights and honking horns :o)


Oh! I almost forgot!! Today was another surprising day at work! I was told that I am going to be moving in to my very own, grown-up office! Most likely, by the end of this week! I feel like such an adult, oh the things I will accomplish with my own, semi-private space! Stay tuned ...

Monday, January 26, 2009

A True Inspiration

My sister had the great opportunity of attending the Chris Tomlin show on Friday night in NJ. B and I thought about heading out to the show the next night in Baltimore, but unfortunately, it was too short of notice for us. After the Casting Crowns show that we attended last winter, I have every intention of trying to get another one of these shows on our calendar.

After taking a look at some of what Chris Tomlin has been up to over the past year, he has really inspired my spiritual side. He, and many of the other Christian artists that I have become very fond of, have really been making a great effort to place an imprint of faith on this country, and around the world.

One of the largest parts of my life is my faith; it is something that I am working on displaying in my every day life. The hope, truth and joy that comes out of this part of my life has been truly indescribable, and is something that I am working on sharing with the people in my life each and every day.

I thought I'd post the video from Chris' show in Manila last summer, because it truly inspired me, and was a great way to start the week!

Also check out my sister's new blog!!

Here's to your inspiration ...

Friday, January 23, 2009

For Your Friday Viewing Pleasure ...

I couldn't resist .. Enjoy!!


Short weeks have a funny way of tricking you into believing that the week will just fly by, and look nothing like a normal, five-day week. I beg to differ. This week had the illusion of being "short" with the Inauguration craziness, and having been off on Monday for the holiday, but the days started to creep by as we approached today. And let me tell you, this arctic weather we've been getting hasn't been helping the situation at all. Thank goodness we are supposed to have a high of 52 today! Woot, woot!

So, as usual, I am delighted that it is Friday, tapping into my social network to see what the plans for tonight are, and am excited to have another blissful, two days off.

What's on the agenda? Well, for a change, a whole lot of nothing that I am required to attend! My social calendar has been on the absolute fritz lately, with weddings, showers, holidays, etc etc etc. I am looking forward to a few open weekends in which I can plan whatever my little heart desires (even if that means sitting around on a Saturday in PJs watching Lifetime movies, te-hee).

So, tonight, I think I'm in the mood for some $2 pints, good friends, and maybe a little dancing! Should make for a fun night. Hope your weekend is great!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Day for the Books

Well, I have to say, for all of the complaining that I do about all the traffic here in the DC area, today, there is no other city I would rather have been in. I am sure that you have heard it time and time again; and no matter your political affiliation, whom you voted for, or where you live, there was an energy like no other in our nation today.

Despite all the planning ahead, traffic details, and not having stayed in the comfort of my own home for the past three nights (in an effort to avoid any type of crowded Arlington mayhem), I truly feel blessed today that I live in this nation's capital, and that all of these historic events took place a mere 3 miles from the place I currently call home. While watching the Inauguration coverage today, I had overwhelming feelings of pride, hope, joy and love for this country that I have been lucky enough to have been raised and educated in.

Although I didn't make it downtown over the weekend to partake in the many historic events, I have been able to witness them by the accounts, photos and emotions of the many friends that I share this city with.

Choosing a place to live post-college was a bit of a challenge for me, but I am thankful that all of the pieces fell into place for me to be able to experience this wonderful , new city; for a job I love and the many friends that are so nearby.

So, let's press on now, with these four new years ahead of us. Make them count in whatever way you make your footprint on life; measure it in love. I have faith that this journey will be a rewarding, exciting and great one, and will carry this historic memory with me to tell my kids and grand kids about, one day.

God Bless.


In other news! We found out today that they have indeed started to build B's new townhouse!! The foundation has already been completed, and I could not be more excited that the process is (finally!) underway!!!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Bloggy Interview?!

Hi Fellow-Bloggers/Those of You That Frequent Here, and Therefore, I Love!

So, in pondering what today's blog post should be about, I was given an idea by none-other than my blogger (partner) in crime, Aliya. There is a kind-of "blogger chain" going around in the form of an interview. I have the honor of being interviewed today, by Miss High-Heel Gal. The fun part is, that if you want to be interviewed, just drop me a line in my comments, and follow the instructions below, and I can interview you, too!

Here goes:

1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Here's the brief Q&A session on me, you know, so we can be all bff and stuff :o)

1) What is your most favorite blog post that you've written? Why is this your favorite?

I would have to reward A Year In Photos with this honor. I would say it's my favorite post thus far (and it hasn't been very long) because it really allowed me some time to reflect on all of the great things that can happen in one calendar year, and it allowed me to share some pics of my life with you!
2) If you could be any age again, what age would you be? Why?

Ahhh, college .. can I just use college in general as my answer?! No? I guess I would say 21. It wasn't (too) long ago, but once that (legal drinking) year hit, I felt like I had all the freedom in the world. Granted, I did have the advantage of spending four wonderful years at the greatest place on earth; came out semi-unscathed, a little smarter, richer in friends and with a boatload of great memories. Truth is, I'd turn the clock back in a heart beat.
3) What is your biggest pet-peeve?

Those who know could probably give you this answer in about 3 seconds. I am neat. OK, scratch that. I am obsessively neat/clean/organized/OCD. It does not matter where I'm living, who my roommates are, or how big the place is, I will ALWAYS be this way. So much so, that I'm that girl that can't go to bed at night if the kitchen's a mess (unless there are some adult beverages involved), hates to have company over if the bathroom isn't clean (B is excluded from this cause I can't be cleaning the bathroom 3 times a week!), and I have been known to fluff pillows and fold blankets on my way up the stairs. Ugh. So, I'd have to say that my biggest pet-peeve is a messy person. I will embrace the craziness of my nature vs. theirs, but it still gets me.
4) If you had a choice to be best friends with LC from the Hills or Blair from Gossip Girl, who would you choose?

Great question. I love both shows.

My answer would definitely be LC, though. Since the Laguna Beach days, I have wanted to be her friend. I can just imagine all of our fun nights out, the shopping sprees, the many posh lunches we'd have in Hollywood. And sharing clothes?! Ugh, I'd die.

5) Tell one thing you've learned about men that you feel every woman should know.

Never Settle: I know there are times in life when we all believe that our version of the "good guy" doesn't exist, but I am living proof that it does. So, follow your heart and your gut, he's still out there.

Note: I also DEFINITELY agree with Aliya's answer: even the right guy isn't a mind-reader, TRUST ME. :o)

Well, if you're still with me, thanks for reading along!! And thanks to High-Heel Gal again for a fun project!!

I'm off to catch up on last night's American Idol (and yes, I do think I'm going to like this new, 4th judge girl), give myself and oh-so-classy mani/pedi and try and catch Grey's and Private Practice. Busy evening, I know. Don't be jealous.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

David Cook Still Rocks My World, At least For Now ...

Oh yes, it's that time of year again folks, American Idol time!! Being that this is my first Idol season with blog support, I'm sure to be blabbing about my faves, likes, dislikes and maybe even a spoiler or two on here - so, you've been warned!

There is something about American Idol that just never gets old. It could be all the years that I put into chorus. All the tryouts, all the concerts, the CD I recorded to send to the Music program at a college that will stay nameless?! Whatever it is, Idol brings it out in me, and I find myself thinking that I've definitely got enough experience to be that 4th judge. The 4th judge?! They hired one this year? Bugger! There goes that pipe dream!


I'll be tuning in this evening, along with former roommates/Idol lovers Aliya and Melissa over at the Rinaldi's. These first few weeks will just be an excuse for us to get together and watch the hilariously horrendous auditions, but a few weeks from now, I mean business. We shall see who the favorites are .. another Michael Johns?! Daughtry/David Cook-esque rocker?! Perhaps a girl will win this year, that is where they are in the rotation, right?!

Note: Aliya and I normally choose different faves when it gets down to the Top 12, so the blogging should get interesting! Stay tuned, people!

For your viewing pleasure ...

Friday, January 9, 2009

Life's A Beach ...

Remember summer?!

I can't help but drift back to those flip-flop, sun-tanned, dress-wearing days when I step out my front door to find it a tropical 27 degrees outside!! Isn't this Virginia? If I had known that the climate here was basically a mirror image of New Jersey, I may have looked at colleges in Florida. OK, maybe not.

But seriously. I thought I liked winter when I was younger and I guess, didn't know any better? But now, I can't really deal with more than two weeks of this bitter cold. Once the first snow falls, I'll be ready for Spring, big time. Florida, here I come.

(Don't tell B I said that, he'll pick up and move down there right away.)

In better news, and speaking of the beach! Emails have started to go out for this summer's couples beach house!

Every summer (or for at least the last few), I go down to Ocean City, MD with B's family (which adds up to close to 50 people) for a week in August. I have grown rather fond of this beach week. A whole week of relaxation, sun, sand, Seacrets! and a few crazy kids - it's a great mix.

This year, the plan is to get him, his two brothers, and two of his cousins (along with all of their wives/fiances/girlfriends) together in a rental. This should prove to be a blast.

More on this as it gets closer, since I am slowly sinking back into my realization that it is still JANUARY.

Beach Week Countdown?!!? 28 weeks, ughhhh.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Whose Idea Was New Years Resolutions, Anyways?!

Hi friends.

I am still feeling badly about the lack of blogging that was me over the holiday week(s). OK, I may or may not have extended my laziness for the full duration of the two weeks that encompassed Christmas and New Years. So?!

In an effort to redeem myself, and because New Years Resolutions have been a hot topic as of late, as they always are after the "I-think-I-gained-15-pounds-and-lost-my-better-attributes-in-the-last-year" end of the year craze, I have decided that being better to my blog should be up there on my "resolutions" list.

In that effort, I have been left wondering how this whole "resolution" business started anyways?! I mean, don't get me wrong, I think it's great that everyone wants to start out the year healthier, five pounds lighter, and with new goals, but does it really happen?


I don't mean to sound like a cynic, because I do love the idea of eating more salads, cutting down on trashy TV for more reading time (like that'll happen), getting to church more and of course, being better to the (very) few followers of this here blog.

Speaking of TV - I have realized lately, thanks to the many a sarcastic comment that B makes about what I watch, and how often, that I watch a heck of a lot of TV! I am almost certain that I watch a significant amount more TV than the average person. This could be because I will watch anything from American Idol to 90210, stopping at Grey's Anatomy and Desperate Housewives in between. So, shoot me.

This week has required all of Pam's efforts to keep up with the nightly schedules, and to try and pare down what's on my "must-watch" list. Right. But, sometimes, the networks (or the viewers) make that decision for me. I have learned recently that three (3?!) of my favorite shows will be canceled as of the end of this season, and it's been a tough week, trust me. No longer will I be able to gawk over the beautifully expensive clothes and bags of Lipstick Jungle (that is, unless these next two weeks kill in the ratings), no longer will Nick George strut his stuff for the 46 commercial free minutes that are Dirty Sexy Money, and what will happen to my childhood choir buddy, Bethany Joy? Once One Tree Hill is over, what will happen to that cutie little Jamie? Surely, someone will pick up this adorable child actor, no?

Well, woe is me. I will figure out some way to get through this rough patch. No doubt by picking three new shows that will air next season, and, hopefully, be just as entertaining as their predecessors.

So, in an effort to plug may fave shows, and keep people watching, don't forget Gossip Girl, Mondays at 8PM on the CW, 90210 (also CW) Tuesdays at 8PM and Brothers and Sisters, Sunday nights at 10PM on ABC.

Oh, and, you're welcome.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Mr. & Mrs. Manzione

This weekend was a wonderful, emotional and memorable one for me.

My best friend from college, Melissa, got married. Since I was a bridesmaid, I had been involved in the planning of her special day from the beginning, but I have to say, the weekend was so beautiful and so perfect, that is blew my expectations right out of the water!

From the moment we arrived on the Eastern Shore, and saw how absolutely happy and calm Melissa was, I knew the weekend was going to be amazing. From the dresses to the centerpieces, everything was absolutely stunning, and was a spot on representation of Melissa.

One of the best things about weddings (other than celebrating the bride and groom) is how many people you can get into one room! I got to see so many of our college friends that I barely ever see, and of course, those that I see all the time, as well. Everyone had a wonderful time reuniting, drinking and dancing the night away!

My question is: after seeing how beautiful and perfect all of my friends weddings' have been, how will I mine ever compare?! At the very least, I will have a wonderful set of women with great taste and lots of experience to help with the cause!!

The beautiful bride about ready to lose her maiden name!

The handsome groom and groomsmen

Her Daddy walking her down the aisle

The new Mr & Mrs sharing their first dance

Bridesmaid lovesssss

My and Melissa's parents are old friends by now!

Best wedding date ever - all year long!

Happy New Year!

I'm not ever sure where to begin!

I guess I can begin by saying that yes, I am alive and well, and I will admit to my lack of time spent at the computer keeping things updated over these last few holiday weeks! There is so much that has happened (including a nasty flu/stomach bug that had me bed-ridden for two days, ugh!), so I'll give you the short version.

Christmas week we were in Philly, NYC, NJ and MD! The week started with Mike and Ashley's move to their new "puppy-proof" house. Ash and I let the boys do all the heavy lifting, while we focused on the important things like what color curtains to buy, and which dishes looked the best on display above the kitchen cabinets, clearly. I must say, despite the craziness that was that weekend, we accomplished quite a bit! To have almost all of your curtains hung before your boxes are all unpacked is a remarkable thing.

B joined me at mike & Ashley's after work that Sunday night, and we did a little Christmas gift exchange with them before heading off to my parents house in North Jersey.

In true "adventurous couple" fashion (haha, right), we made our way into New York City because B had never seen it decorated for Christmas! Even though I definitely do not consider myself a city girl, I grew up outside of NYC, and know that it is a must-see when it's all shiny and decorated. Needless to say, we enjoyed our short time strolling around the city, and making frequent pit stops inside the Shops at Rockefeller to warm up. I swear, it must have been the coldest day of the year! Here's a little of what we saw:

Another one of the advantages of taking a trip into the city (and probably the best thing) is that we get to visit Amber! We finally made it up there for a dinner date with the newly engaged Amber & Phil. We had a quiet and relaxing home-cooked italian meal at Amber's and just sat around and caught up. Nights like this really make me wish we lived closer!! But alas, thanks again to Amber & Phil for hosting and feeding us - we're waiting for your next trip to VA!

After our short trip into the city, we made our way back to my parents house for a little more debauchery and playtime, before all of the Christmas Eve/day festivities began.

We ventured out and met up with some of my best high school friends at a local bar conveniently located right down the street from my parents house. I absolutely love reunions with old friends, especially those you only get to see a few times a year, if that! We had a great time, and Jenn and Kyle announced that they were pregnant!!!!!! Cannot believe there will be a little addition to their family coming this year, it's so exciting!

I guess that leads us up to Christmas! This year definitely goes down in the record books for me. Not only did I get most of the things on my Top 10 list, but I got to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with my family and B. We had a wonderful, relaxing time on this visit, and everyone loved their presents! My Mom even cried when we gave her all of the pics that were taken in our photo shoot with Melissa!

Here are a few cute ones from Christmas:

Well, Christmas 2008 was a total success! I better start making a list of ideas for next year! Too soon?!

We spent the next few days celebrating Christmas with the Mellott's in Maryland, and recovering from all of the travel, oh and don't forget that nasty bug that got both B and I down last week, I do not recommend it.

New Years crept us on us, in it's typical fashion. We had plans to attend a house party at Friendship Lane, as I had mentioned before. The party was a total success, and we had so much fun ringing in 2009 with lots of our closest friends! Since this is basically a photo journal, here are some more pics:

Obviously, I had to add this pic, it is so Brandon.

I hope you all had as wonderful a Christmas and New Years as I did! Happy 2009!

lazy, lazy blogger!

Wow, talk about a LONG hiatus from blogging!! My apologies for the sheer lack of filling this site with all of the fun that the last 3 plus weeks have brought me! I promise to play catch up today (and maybe continue tomorrow), but let's just say it included great friends, lots of family, one of the most memorable Christmas' to date, a farewell, and a wonderful wedding weekend!!

Pictures and details to follow .. blogger promise!