Happy Birthday, America!

A HUGE happy birthday to my favorite country in the world!

Yes, we sang to a nation. Jealous?

As evident by this layer cake (that you can hardly see since my iPhone pictures aren’t exactly DSLR quality) that my little sister slaved over all yesterday, my family’s a bit crazy about the 4th of July. And, when I asked my mom what her favorite part of the 4th was, she thought for a moment and said, “You!”

In my opinion, Independence Day is the absolute PERFECT holiday. You get off from work, you don’t have to buy presents, there’s grilled foods involved, I look great in red/white/blue, and, most importantly, fireworks!

Oh, heck yes!

So yes, maybe I planned every single outfit of my day months in advance to assure maximum patriotic fashion…

I hit up my new gym for a little pre-beach Zumba and, though my headband did scream “AMURRICA!” something was missing…

That’s the ticket!

Of COURSE! A red belly-dancing skirt totally completed the outfit and I sweat my face off shaking those silver discs as loudly as I could.

For the beach, I had something else prepared…

I call this my Freedom suit

I’m pretty sure Ryan has never loved me more than when I texted him this picture.

Walking on the beach, I definitely wasn’t the only one rocking the stars and stripes in bathing suit form, but I didn’t see anyone else with the matching headband, so I think I won.  What, you don’t think every day is a competition? That probably means you’re not winning.

The grand finale was a little number I’d been plotting for some time, and was happy to finally show off.

Beer and Bikes: Does it get more American?

The H&M dress that’s almost too short to qualify as a dress (and only cost me $18!) and the bright red patent leather Sperry’s which ran me about 40-50 at Nordstrom Rack. The result?

Americana.

God bless the USA, and all the fun clothes I get to wear in honor of it….

Did you go red, white, and blue yesterday?

What’s your favorite holiday?

Six Pack Sunday: Fashion, Fun, and Foliage

I’m struggling to keep my eyes open.  I just spent the past 48 hours road-tripping to Asheville, NC and then enjoying the HECK out of the last few days of Asheville Beer Week (which, surprisingly, is 11 days. Asheville goes HAM.)  And I really wanna write all about that.  But I can’t begin to put into words the glory of that beautiful town and their booming craft beer community right now, so I will stick to the tried and true format of ol’ reliable Six Pack Sunday.

1. Fiercely Fashionable

I am a fashionista.  I made this abundantly clear by rocking jorts almost the ENTIRE weekend.

Craft Beer Couture?

Be on the lookout for my new fashion blog, Just Jorts, in the not-too-distant future.

2. Bathroom Intrusion

Um, excuse me, sir….

Mister Nature is pretty nosy

I don’t think I invited a TREE into the port-a-potty with me…

Rude.

3. It’s So HARDDDDDDDDD to Say Goodbyeeeeeeeeeee

Farewell, old friends.

I’ve had them for a year and a half, but I finally wore out (and stank out, pee YEW!) my pumped up kicks that my beau got me for Christmas 2010….  I will miss them dearly.  I will NOT miss their aroma.

4. All the Single Ladies (AND their Single Pancakes!)

Yummy

Courtesy of Joy the Baker’s Single Lady Pancake recipe (and a few tweaks of my own), I was able to both clean out some pantry goodies (coconut, quick oats, flour) AND create a DECADENT oat-peach-coconut pancake order for one.  Single girl living isn’t too bad if you’ve got syrup to wash it down…

5.  Lost and FOUND!

Holy. Mackerel.

Remember that bag that went missing in FEBRUARY that I assumed was gone forever and I was so upset and it was the worst?

I got an email from a restaurant, and they said it TURNED UP IN THE LOST AND FOUND!! oh my goodness. Nothing was missing. It’s back. I am the happiest purse mama of all.

YOU’RE BACK!

Thank you to whatever kind soul turned it into a lost and found. You’re an angel!

6. Pucker Up for Putt Putt

Umm.

I don’t know. I hate mini golf, but if it’s played with lemons… well maybe that’d be a little more fun.

Asheville, you’re a hell of a town.

BRB, gonna crash so hard in my bed.

Six Pack Sunday: (Belated) Spring Cleaning

Oh my goodness, y’all.

Today’s been the most productive day in recent memory.  I decided last night that Sunday was THE DAY and, low and behold, I actually stuck to my guns.

At about 10 in the morning, I put on my fancy clothes to get this cleaning party started.

Sometimes, I wear this out to the discotheque.

As the day progressed (and the apartment started to reveal itself from beyond the clutter, I realized something.  Considering I’m a lady living the single life at the moment while Ry’s learning up a storm, I have amassed a lot of stuff.  More than any lady in my life situation should.  Luckily for all of you, I pulled a few real gems to share for this week’s Six Pack Sunday.

Today’s Six Pack Sunday is a veritable “Best of the Best” from my cleaning endeavor.

1. Gumby’s Groupie

13 Tickets to Tasty Town

Oh, Gumby’s.  If you live in/around Gainesville, FL, Tallahasse, FL, Tampa, FL, Champaign, IL, Normal, IL, Iowa City, IA, East Lansing, MI, Kalamazoo, MI, Columbia, MO, Chapel Hill, NC, Raleigh, NC, Wilmington, NC, Columbus, OH, State College, PA, College Station, TX, San Marcos, TX, Blacksburg, VA, or Madison, WI, you might be familiar with Gumby’s.  It’s the home of late night snacking essentials pizza, wings and, most importantly, Pokey sticks.

Snagged this one from their Facebook page.

These cheesy, greasy, garlicy breadsticks are nature’s candy. Only not from nature, probably at all.  Anyway, the coupons came from boxes. You collected them, then turn them in for MORE POKEY STICKS! It’s a vicious cycle, and one that I was addicted to during college.  I wonder if these are still good… I heard they stopped running this special because folks were taking the boxes from the store. Oh well. Something I’ll have to look into in the near future.

2. Come on baby, light my fire.

Sweet flame-age, JP

Considering I don’t smoke or use my fireplace, I sure have a lot of methods to bring flame into this world.

3. Explanation

Oh.

Maybe it’s the 10 giant scented candles I have.

Probably.

4. Dolla Dolla Bills

Bling bling?

In my travels, I picked up some serious coinage.

$3.50 in quarters

$2 in dimes

$0.60 in nickles

$0.35 in pennies

8 Euro cents

1 Candian penny

If anyone needs a sugar mama, tweet me. I’ll be counting my $6.45 over and over again.

5. Case Race, Friends? I’ll bring the koozies.

I promise, I'm not an alcoholic.

This one actually really shocked me. I knew I’d been collecting koozies a bit, but I just stuffed them into a drawer. Well, I officially cleaned that drawer out.

24 koozies. And I’m certain there’s another one in my car or something.

EDIT: I just went to my car. Found three more. 

Literally, I could open a case of beer and put a koozie on every single one. Just in case anyone’s looking for a case race partner, I think we’d have a clear advantage.  Warm hands, cold beer. Unstoppable.

6. The Creepiest Things That Are Currently In My Possession

I’ll confess: My blogging idol is Jenny Lawson aka the Bloggess.  And I was cleaning out my shelves, I felt like I had a moment much like finding a box of monkey hands.

I'm not proud of these.... but I'm not NOT proud, either.

  • 1 old fashion-y looking jar containing a bunch of tiny pigs
  • A shot glass containing my four (bleached) wisdom teeth
If you’re ever thinking about coming over to my place and taking shots…. just be sure you check your glass.
Ok, ok. The cleaning continues.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve found in your apartment/house lately?
Do you have a ridiculous/absurd amount of any one item in your possession?  
I might be a hoarder.

Six Pack Sunday: The Calm Before the Storm

Hey there all!! Late night for this lady, but all is well considering it’s been a relaxing and lazy weekend.

I had a great time with the Lulus from Lululemon at Durham’s Salutation Nation on Saturday, and felt sore as the high dickens all day today. Luckily, there was LOTS of sleeping, lots of good foods, and I have some fun bits and pieces for this week’s Six Pack Sunday.

1.  Home = Shredding HQ

As I mentioned earlier this week, I’m Shredding for the Wedding (of my cousin). And since she just called and asked me to do a reading… I wanna look extra fierce.  I’ve been working it real hard, though maybe not the most effective as I’ve been giving into edible temptations quite a bit. The best part of working out at home, though?

Fierce sock fashion

No one there to see me sweat!! My fashion now consists of socks that don’t match, purple shorts and green shirts, and “I don’t care” dirty tank tops. No qualms with a slightly stinky shirt… no one to impress. Other than Jillian, that judgey broad. Well, she can suck it.

2. Sunshine in a Windowless World

Sometimes, no matter how much you love your job, there’s something missing. In my life, that something… is a window.  I’ve learned to make due, though, with a fancy new friend.

Baby Palm Tree!

Ok, I know it’s not a palm tree. But it’s a bamboo tree, it’s a bit of sunshine in my windowless office.

Hey! In additional green thumbery, my basil plant’s growing flowers!!

I've never seen this IRL before!!

Since most green things I own immediately die upon entering my house (some might say I have a black thumb), this is a NEW RECORD!

3. Lulu Envy

Since I’m spending most of my workouts in my home, lately, I apparently have fallen behind the fashion trends for yoga folks.

Turbo Tanks = Latest Style

These Lululemon Turbo Tanks were…. EVERYWHERE!! I have to admit, I can see why. There must’ve been over a dozen of these puppies in the park, and they look so cute. I want it… Minus the $52 price tag, that is. Yeesh. Yoga’s pricey.

4. Pie Pushers Pizza and Pickles

So maybe two reasons why I’m not making quite the progress I was hoping for?

Chicken and Local Bell Peppers Slice = Di-VINE!

I’m ashamed to say that this was my first time trying a slice of Pie Pushers pizza. Man, I’ve been missing out!!

My slice after my day of yoga was to-die-for!!

Love that chalkboard menu!

My slice featured pesto, caramelized onions, fresh mozzarella, chicken, and bell peppers. I can’t even gush about it enough.

Also on my Saturday menu (following a little trip to Aviator Brewery):

Fried Pickle Spears

Another first for me, fried pickle SPEARS, not slices, were top notch and totally juicier than their disk-like counterparts.  Who knows? Maybe one day, I’ll enjoy some sort of pickle that isn’t deep fried…. (but not likely).

Oh my goodness, I’m now so excited for the NC State Fair I can hardly think straight. Anyone wanna join me October 20th?

5. Planning Polly

It’s not too often that I do this, but I decided to plan some meals for the week.  Tonight, I whipped up three blackened Mahi Mahi filets (2 for dinner tonight, and one for tomorrow) and some delightful looking fried rice, inspired by Beth’s Veggie Fried Rice Recipe (inspired by Beth’s Journey, my newest WW Idol courtesy of her speaking panel during the Healthy Living Summit.)

This week is stacking up to be delicious

The top tupperware USED to contain Johnson’s Caramel Popcorn thanks to the wedding of my cousin, Damon, and his beautiful bride, Melissa . I’ll admit, I’d rather be eating the caramel corn, a favorite treat from Ocean City, NJ than vegggie rice but…. hey, soon enough, right?

6. The Worst Commercial on TV Right Now

Oh. my. goodness.

WHAT IS THIS?!

Chances are, if you’re not watching marathons of iCarly and Victorious like I do all the time since I live sans beau now, you might not ever see this commercial. You are a lucky, lucky human.

For all the rest of you, may God have mercy on your soul.

Kachooz Kachatz, you are tiny, furry demons and your voice is a blight on our planet.

I’m off to watch some Forrest Gump and feel so proud to be an American on this 9/11/11.

I just watched the part where he shows off his buttocks. I die.

Have you seen any truly heinous commercials, lately?

Do you have a green thumb or a black one, like me?

Six Pack Sunday

Hey hey crazy kids!  It’s been a long weekend that involved over 300 miles of driving to/from Charlotte, NC, an exciting night out with a lemon (yes, the citrus fruit) as my plus one, and a roller coaster of bodily feelings (nausea, pain, exhilaration, fatigue, and I’m sure all sorts of other stuff.)  The past week has been an odd one, and, if you have been following, you know why.  Cliff Notes Version: Started feeling a tooth infection on Sunday and Monday, diagnosed on Tuesday, couldn’t eat solid foods all those other days, until I started painkiller on Thursday. I’m still not 100%, but I’ll see an oral surgeon tomorrow and hopefully it’ll get resolved.

On Saturday morning, I wrote a pretty hilarious summary of what goes on in my head during a typical Body Pump class here, take a look if you missed it (and I guess, don’t hold it against me if you don’t think it’s funny. I laughed the whole time while writing it, but I was on painkillers so you can never be too sure…)

Six Pack Sunday, y’all

  1. On Wednesday, I went to the grocery store in hopes to find something that I could eat with a mouth that didn’t work (at least the right side of it) and also without mind-searing pain.  I grabbed ingredients for smoothies in a bowl when I saw this:

    Yes, that's the vast array of baby food offered at my local Harris Teeter

    I spent a solid 4 minutes contemplating buying baby food.  I am a 23 year old woman. This was what I was reduced to.  Please, don’t look at me.

  2. I can’t stand hotdogs if they’re cooked in a microwave or boiled.  That being said, this new product (Happy Hot Dog Man) makes them in the shape of happy men.

    So happy to be eaten!!

    Maybe I will reconsider nuking my dogs if I can dress them up like hula hooping ladies! (probably not)

  3. If you have an international market or Indian specialty food store near you, search for a box that looks like this:

    Healthy Tiffin Kofta Curry = FINGER LICKIN' TIFFIN!

    I can’t find a website for this company, but I picked up one of these Healthy Tiffin frozen meals the other day on a whim, hoping that I could get an Indian food fix without indulging quite as much (Indian food = salty, fatty, and a little pricey for this broad).  For 400 calories and 9 grams of fiber, this was FANTASTIC.  Soooo much more flavor than your standard frozen meal.  Find them, eat them all, and maybe they’ll put up a website.

  4. The following adult beverage should never be consumed.

    MD 20/20 aka Mad Dog 20/20 aka Revolting

    Apparently, MD 20/20 is bottled by the 20/20 wine company in Westfield, NY.  In Chapel Hill, it’s affectionately known as “bum wine.” I had never tried this before Friday night, when I ventured one sip of each of these flavors. Electric Watermelon and “Bling Bling” Blue Raspberry.  First off, those should never be flavors of anything. Second of all, they both just tasted like radioactive colors.  You know, like when you were little and people asked what your favorite flavor of Italian ice was, and you just responded “BLUE!” Imagine that… on crack. Avoid like the plague.

  5. If you like fashion, and also are obsessed with your University/College/Alma Mater (GO HEELS!! I BLEED CAROLINA BLUE WOOOOO!!), let me tell you about the coolest clothing company I’ve heard about in the past 2 years.  School House Clothing, based in Durham, NC, is a brand that makes the most fashionable collegiate clothing I’ve ever seen and, best part, they are fully dedicated to running business practices that allow their company to be a sustainable organization.  From the website:
    In 2007, Rachel Weeks traveled to Sri Lanka as a U.S. Fulbright Scholar on a mission to bring better collegiate apparel to her alma mater. Not just better designs, better fit, and better quality, but with a better story… she teamed up with Colleen McCann, fashion designer extraordinaire, and ALARM, a Sri Lankan coalition of labor rights organizations and trade unions, to launch a brand that brings ethical fashion to universities everywhere.

    First and foremost, School House is about people. We pay premium prices to our suppliers to ensure that living wages are being paid in the manufacturing facilities producing our brand. Why? Because School House believes that a free but fair fashion market is possible, and that when it teams up with quality design, it’s unstoppable.  Of course, we have a long way to go on the road to running a sustainable business. But we’re learning – every day, and t-shirt by t-shirt – how to build a better brand.

    My thoughts: The clothing fits pretty snug, but looks fantastic (sometimes you just have to go up a size).

    Rocking the Ole Miss shirt in honor of the beau's school: ethical and fashionable

    Check them out, buy their clothes, and be more stylish than your friends.


  6. On Saturday evening, we stopped by Brixx Pizza in Charlotte for a beer and some nibblers.  Before our food came, I stopped by the bathroom.  In the handicapped restroom, this was the scene:

    The lemon was my own personal addition...

    I know that women like to go to the bathroom in groups, but never in my entire life have I thought to myself “I wish I had a buddy here to hold my hand as I used the facilities.”  Because that’s how close we would be, if someone sat in that chair.  Silly planning, Brixx. Tasty pizza, though.

So yes, those are the thoughts that tie up the loose ends from this weekend.  If you weren’t sure about the lemon, here’s the explanation.  On my way to visit my friend, I purchased the ingredients to make a beer/lemonade shandy with a lemon garnish.  Only I never used the garnish, and just left it in my purse.  Of course, when we went out, and I had a lemon with me, I decided to show it a good time.  The lemon definitely hit the town hard.  The only awkward part?

Sorry that I'm about to drink your relatives, little lemon

Woops. Lemon drop shot, in front of a lemon? That’s like going to a steakhouse with a cow.  Shame, shame.  That sums up this week’s Six Pack Sunday, off to watch the only sure thing in my entire life:

Inevitable Sunday Night Law & Order Marathon FTW!!

How was your weekend?

Do you like hotdogs?  What if they’re in the shape of tiny people?