Sunday, April 25, 2010

My Friend, Tiffany

I have known my friend, Tiffany, for over 3 years now.. and she is a true blessing. I guess you could say "fate brought us together" (ha!) but I really believe there's no way I would have met her without the grace of God!

In January 2007, I was desperate for a South Carolina roomate, as my plans had fallen through (of course). I had finally graduated college and decided to move down south to have a normal relationship with Justin, plus I was fed up with freezing Minnesota. It all happened really fast, but a mutual friend who knew I needed a place and who also knew Tiffany needed a roomie. I remember talking on the phone with Tiff that night and we said, "Well.. Ok! Let's do it!" I gotta say, It was pretty exciting. I moved my life down to SC a month later, and walked into Tiff's home like it was a blind date. Quite a strange feeling, but it was it was a fabulous fit for both of us. On top of it all, she worked at the same mental health clinic that I was hired and still work at, and she also went to the same church Justin has been attending for the years he's lived here. Kind of a small world?

So, Tiff and I have been through quite a bit together! Living in the same city as Justin for the first time in my life was pretty insane, and she was right by my side for every moment. The first few days after I had moved in, I remembered telling her, "I'll probably spend lots of time with him at first.. ya know.. making up for all these years of long-distance-dating.." Poor Tiffany put up with Justin and me - connected at the hip - everyday I lived with her. We have so many memories of her in the "dating field" and trying to find Mr. Right.. We both just kept waiting for that day to come. All Tiff would keep saying is, "Aughh, I'm going to die single!!"

The time finally came when Justin proposed, and Tiffany kept me sane and calm during my wedding-planning insanity. She came through for me once again, helping bind all of my wholesale flowers together on my wedding day, creating all of my bouquets and corsages. I still don't know how she did it. She's an amazing friend.. more than I deserve really.

So with all that said.. Tiffany finally met a man. A REAL, good, sexy, amazing, perfect, Tiffany man. They met at Starbucks, and they couldn't be more perfect for eachother.

If you have been following this blog (or know me personally), you know that Tiff and Andy were just married on April 24th, 2010! I am just so beyond happy for them. Tiffany has quite a life story.. as well as a whoppers of a wedding-planning stories, which she has been blogging as she went. She has been such a good friend to me - and SO many others.. It has beyond floored me what she has gone through during this process, which should be excitingly stressful, not painfully stressful. I had the honor to share in all of these plannings and all of the excitement since the beginning. I also had the honor to be her personal attendant and do her makeup for her big day.. She was absolutely stunning.

Tiff & Andy were married up at the Cliff's at LaBastide which is honestly like the perfect fairytale setting for a wedding. Holy cow. Tuscan atmosphere, vineyards and rolling hills.. It was so her. It was a bummer though, because it was an outdoor wedding and it rained most of the day and night. Thankfully, it was tented and romantic, so everyone stayed perfectly dry! She used the same photographer that we used for out wedding - Denny Shortt - and it was really fun to see him again and work with him while I was getting her made up. The entire event was incredible - amazing food, good to see friends, and just a great time. Her mom topped the night off with the most priceless reception speech I have ever heard in my life.

I am so thrilled for my friend, that she is finally getting to enjoy this new excitingness in her life.. She so deserves the best!


Friday, April 23, 2010

B.O. Stank and The Shrinking Dress

I procrastinate. I admit it. It's the story of my life. Ask any of my friends I went to school with if I studied a week before the test, or if I was prepared for anything in advance. Nah. You'd think I would learn from all of the stress I have put myself through.. The billions of all-nighters I have pulled, all of the times I have waited the night before to find something to wear for the big event the next day. Well, I waited until the day before my friend Tiffany's wedding to find something to wear. No big deal.

It's 11pm, and I'm finally sitting down. I am proud to say I had a pretty successful day, even though I began shopping at 1pm this afternoon. I found a dress a few days ago, but I kept debating whether or not it's too casual or not, so I decided to trek to rhe Mall to see what it had to offer. I figured I could find a cute belt, some dressy shoes, a cute clutch, new jewelry.. etc. to dress it up some, but since I was going to the Mall, I figured I might as well check out some dresses and if I found one better, I'd get it.

I was about 3.5 hours into my shopping expedition. All I had accomplished was trying on a few pair of jeans (that didn't work) and I found a cute belt. Still no clue what exactly I was going to wear - Maybe the dress I bought a few days ago? Augh. I kept looking.

Body aching and dying of thirst, I arrived at my 3rd department store for the day: Macy's. I looked around, found some cute shoes, but threw up in my mouth when I saw how exepensive they were. Moved on to dresses. BINGO! Found the cutest dress in the INC department, my size too.

I headed for the dressing room where I was greeted by the most foul B.O. stench, that I swear I could see misting a greenish color in the air. Ohmigosh. I took a deep breath and told myself that I had to bear it because this could totally be The Dress. I waited for a room to open, and of course this scraggly-looking woman fumbles out of the dressing room and says something to me in foreign words. I think she told me she was finished and I should take her room. Oh. my. gosh. As I entered her room, I began chewing on the B.O. I had smelled and thought I might pass out. Of course I get the dressing room it was living in. I held my breath, and quickly zipped the dress on. It fit, but it was eh.. nothing great. I had to get out of there. I tried the zipper and it was stuck. Really stuck. Umm. No problem, I can do this.

I messed with the zipper (which was located on my side, and was awkward to reach) for about 10 minutes before I started to really panic. Have you ever been shopping, and you just had to try on a ring and when you try to take it off it won't come off? And the harder you try, the bigger your hand seems to get and the more you panic? Picture that, only you're suffocating in B.O. stank and you're stuffed in a dress that is somehow shrinking by the second. I grabbed my phone and texted Justin and a couple friends for comfort. All I could imagine was being buried in that wretched dress that was beginning to cut off my circulation, or finding a pair of scissors so someone could cut me out of it.

I kept thinking, "There has to be a logical way out of this". I tried the zipper for 5 more minutes before I started to cry a little. Some woman in the room next to me kept making these crunchy noises as she was trying on her items and when I thought I'd heard it all, she tooted something loud and fierce. I literally thought I was going to die right there in the dressing room. I wasn't sure if I should laugh, or cry some more, or become The Hulk and just explode out of the dress that was holding me prisoner! As all of this was happening, of course some elderly woman who was manning the dressing rooms kept knocking on my door, asking, "Hellooo, is anyone home?" Are you kidding me right now?

I'm really not sure how long it took for me to solve the puzzle, but I managed to get out of the dress. Nothing was ripped or damaged. I didn't break anything (thank goodness!). I finally left the Mall with a few accessories, which I'm pretty happy about. I really don't know if I will ever go back to Macy's to try on dresses for a while, though. I'm pretty scarred for life.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

It's About to Break, Break Like a Fever

I really haven't been writing much lately.. Mostly because I've been super busy, and also because I decided not to.

A lot has happened in the past 10 days! I have been working a lot and recently got "the call" from HR at my job. Every year, at our starting date, we have to take a mandatory, 2-week sebbatical. It's a pretty bittersweet situation. No work for 2 weeks. Nice. Unpaid? Not nice. When I got "the call" telling me whether or not I would be approved for sebbatical and a restart date (our program has been on the rocks because of the economy and budgets, blah blah). So yeah! I got the call and it was good news. I was approved, but my sebbatical had to be pushed 2 weeks earlier (April 19 through May 3) - which I was really unprepared for. When I went in to sign papers and finalize everything, I was sent down the road for my very first "drug test". Yeah, strange I know. Seeing as I'm 26 years old and never had a drug test. It was fun I guess (HA!), maybe because I have never touched a drug in my life. Justin asked me that morning if I had eaten any poppyseeds lately.. That would be my luck completely, wouldn't it? Luckily I hadn't - not that I had anything to worry about!

Last week, I basically had to quickly notify my clients and remind them several times, "That's right, we will NOT be having session for the next two weeks." Some of them had a hard time with the early news, and I honestly expected atleast 1 or 2 of them to forget, and come to our regularly scheduled session anyway. Sure enough, 1 did forget (so far) and was apparently waiting in the clinic's waiting room for 45 minutes before calling me, so I could remind them that we were NOT having session. I felt kind of bad, but I guess it's bound to happen.

It worked out pretty nice because my sister, Vanessa (nurse in IN), has been planning to come down to visit with her roomie for some time now, and my sebbatical dates fell perfectly in place. They came down last week and left yesterday. We had a fun weekend at the beach and spent time relaxing and shopping here in Greenville (read post)!

Still really missing my friends. I haven't been home since last August, and I feel like I'm dying of loneliness.

My good friend, Tiffany's wedding is this Saturday! Excited to do the makeup and be a part of her big day. Still trying to decide what to wear. Hmm.

It's been pretty exciting to do more weddings as a freelance artist (versus brides coming to the makeup counter). Aside from Tiff's, I just booked a mutual friend's wedding day for makeup, my sister's wedding is this fall, along with another good friend of mine this fall. Eeee! I haven't even spoken much about the huge opportunity to do makeup (a friend of mine was featured) for Redbook photoshoot - which should be coming out in June or July? I'll definitely be posting about that one when I'm able to talk about it.

I'll never forget the first makeover I did on a woman when I was working for Lancôme (about 7 years ago?). She came to the counter to buy some concealer for her two, very recent black eyes. Whew! I didn't ask any questions, but we ended up doing an entire consultation and makeover, which consisted of her breaking down and crying. Apparently her husband/bf and her were in a fight and he beat the crud out of her. It was pretty emotional, but a great experience. After my first makeover, I felt like I could do anything! I'm really proud to be able to be in the cosmetic world for this long (which has not, and will never include Mary Kay or any other recruiting schemes!), especially without any cosmotology school or anything. I've always wanted to take a few classes for fun, anyway. With all that said, I know for a fact that I could not have come this far without my friend, Misty, who I've had the honor to work beside. Aside from practicing and just playing around, she really did teach me everything I know.

That's pretty much my life as of now. Finally caught up on Project Runway and 1 behind on Lost. Looking forward to the rest of this week and next week work-free. I have a few things planned, so I'm excited! I've been pretty emotionally and mentally drained for a while now, so a break is exactly what I need.

p.s. You should totally check out my friend, Tiffany's (another Tiffany!) blog, In Pursuit - She and her hubby have had some insane adventures traveling to Bangladesh. Crazy stories already!!

I'm listening to: Third Eye Blind - About to Break

[Lyrics - Third Eye Blind]


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Adventures with Fig & Toots

It was so wonderful to see my younger sister, Vanessa. She drove down, once again from Indiana.. this time with her roomie/good friend - Sarah. My sweet sister has managed to come visit me here in SC more than anyone else.. 3 times, including her drive down this past December. Obviously it's a tad closer for her than all of my other friends and family, but it was nice to be visited, as we are often the visitors. Our plan for her time here was to hit the beach and relax as much as possible. They made the now familiar drive from Indie in under 11 hours (with stops, etc.) and we relaxed and shopped before heading to Charleston for the weekend. Of course my life is never lacking in department of "are you kidding me right now??", so I really did my best to get things in order before the trip, to avoid any unnecessary ugh-moments.

Last time I saw Ness was in February for MUSE with my Mom and Lanae!
Rockin' Romeo, desperate for a haircut!
Romeo has been desperate for a haircut. Justin and I have (of course) been putting it off with the idea that we were saving money. And for the record, Justin and I HAVE tried cutting his hair ourselves, and it was a far from successful task. Why in the world is a dog's haircut the same price as a human haircut? Just a thought. His hair was truly getting shabby to the point where he had literally begun to grow mini, puppy dreadlocks. We have tried to keep him pretty groomed & brushed, and the tangles often come out when we give him a bath. But whew, it was nappy.. and it was time. I finally caved and made the appointment at Petsmart with his favorite lady, Jude, who happens to look just like a current version of Kathleen Turner. We arrived at Petsmart, for Jude to give bad news: Romeo had to be shaved. What?! I thought I'd collapse crying. Aside from a buzz, the haircut was miraculously $20.00 more (Typical.). How is it more expensive to shave a dog, versus a time-consuming cut? I don't get it. Thank goodness my sister was there for comfort.. We had a "girl's day" running errands and shopping.. Of course, we had to make a stop in Dollar Tree to see what we could find, and we all nearly pee'd our pants (a common near-occurrence with my sisters & mom) while we were browsing. Over the loud speaker, a fumbly woman clicks on and slurs, "Biff to the front.. Biff to the front.." At that second, Vanessa, Sarah and I all went, "PAHHHH!!!!!!" Not sure if it was the fact she was calling for "Biff" or if it was the slurrish way she did it. Oh my gosh, I had to pretend we were laughing at something else, before embarassing ourselves.. Biff can't help his name! Romeo's hair turned out not so bad.. We call it his "summer cut". To be honest, I doubt we will go back to Petsmart for grooming. Sorry, Jude. Can anyone suggest a good groomer?

We had to drop lil Romeo off at our friend's place that night for the weekend, since we were getting up early to leave for the beach. I had to book the hotel, which was stressful and exhausting (what task of mine isn't??). I booked through, which I will most likely never do again. Since Justin and I were going with V and Sarah (better known as Fig & Toots), we decided to save a little $, and split a room with 2 queen beds. Apparently it is IMPOSSIBLE to reserve a hotel room, guaranteed with 2 queens in it. Some guy swindled me into purchasing the room via phone, as a phonecall would secure a for-sure-guarantee on a room with 2 queen beds. Liar. Once I booked it, I called the hotel, to make sure everything was set, and nothing was guaranteed. In fact, the guy who picked up the phone was kindof a weenie audit man, telling me we would be lucky to get 2 queen beds, since they were super-booked. Can't anything just go smooth? No. never. I made phone calls back and forth to the hotel and people, in which were basically screwed. The only chance of actually getting a room with 2 queens, would be to get to the hotel the second we could check-in (3pm).. which was dead in the middle of our beachtime. Augh. Of course, the girls found a fabulous hotel - the Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina for $99 for Sunday night (regularly $299-499).. and of course there were some issues getting checked in, but it all worked out.. as it always somehow does.

Saturday morning, we packed everything up the next morning and left an hour later than we wanted to. We drove to the beach, laughed our butts off while playing travel Taboo and coming up with funny ideas for Vanessa and Sarah's new blog based on their nicknames Fig & Toots. We rocked out to Dead Man's Bones, Surfer Blood, MUSE, Santigold, Jack Johnson and Elvis, and rolled into Folly Beach around 1pm. We decided to grab some Subway and take it to the beach before having to turn around and rush to our hotel.. All this in hopes that Chris, the midnight-audit-man, wrote the special note he promise to give to the morning manager, and we wouldn't have to push some innocent souls out of their room so we could have the decent night sleep we fought all night for. As we were waiting in line for our subs, I began digging in my bag for my wallet. Whattyaknow? No wallet. No wallet, meant no hotel confirmation. No wallet meant no ID. No debit. Nothing. I kept calm, right? Hmm. Luckily my calm-under-control husband didn't fail to forget his wallet, so it was OK. But no ID and no hotel info? After all that I went through, begging for the 2 queen beds?! All I wanted was a smooth, problem-free weekend with my sister. No "did that just happen" moments, no issues. I guess all these crappy details make for great stories, and add some "spice".

Regarding extra spice, I'll take it. But I MUST quote my nail lady, Tina, in one of the most bizarre things she has said to me in a while: "You marrie? I marrie! You got kee thing spice up! You need to keep in tout wit all you ex-boyfriiiend! They add spie to you steak! Spie kee tings intestiiing!" ..Thanks Tina, I'm perfectly happy with my husband's spice.. Thanks for the tip though!

In order to make my next move with my missing ID and the need to check in, I had to go through the process of calling the hotel, calling and switching the reservation under Justin's name, so he could check us in. I finally straightened everything out, in time for us to slam into some disgusting traffic just 1 mile outside of the coast. WHY???? We sat in traffic, legs out windows for a halfway decent tan, eating our soggy subs for neearly 2 hours, but continued to enjoy some more music.
Sarah getting on her "Traffic Tan"

Once we made it to the beach, we huffed through roads and roads of traffic for a parking spot, 'til we finally found one. We came all this way, we couldn't just go to the hotel now.. we had to lay on the beach for just a little while. So, we haul all of our towels, blankets, mini-cooler, magazines, cameras, beachbags, tanning oil.. everything. We layed on the sand for a while, before getting sick of the wind, literally had us covered with sand within seconds of sitting on the blanket. Not so much the ideal beach trip, so far.

Our blanket after about 5 minutes.
Despite it being the windiest, sandiest and probably most uncomfortable beach trips ever, it was really nice to get away with Justin and remember where we were married just a year and a half ago. I love him so much.

Isn't he cute?
We finally packed up and headed for the hotel. Check-in was surprising simple, almost had me paranoid that something still had to go wrong.. but it didn't. Well.. it did, but nothing major. I didn't realize until we started showering and changing for dinner, but I left my favorite belt at home (which I planned to wear that night), and Justin and I completely forgot our toothbrushes at home. Duh. The hotel should have some, right? Nope. We decided not to worry about it until on our way back from downtown. We cleaned up and decided to do some shopping in Charleston and look for a good seafood restaurant. We headed over to the Charleston Crab House - which happened to be the first seafood restaurant Justin and I ate at during our first trip to Charleston together, right after I first moved. We have eaten there a few times, and the food is fab.

Fig and Toots
Loving the Rooftop!

This time, we were able to be seated on the rooftop, which was simply wonderful as the sun was setting and we treated the girls to some fruity drinks to celebrate their little vacation from lives/jobs as nurses. Dinner was yummm. We spent forever in Black Market Minerals, which Vaness & Sarah hit the motherload of beads! The rest of the night, we walked around downtown before heading back to the hotel.

"I want them ALL!"
Took this picture right as a ghost tour walked past.. Their faces were priceless.
We finally makde it back to the hotel parking lot, before realizing we forgot to stop and find toothbrushes. The girls went up to the room, while Justin and I ventured back out to track down these simple necessities. Of course no one had any. No gas stations.. No pharmacies in sight.. Nothing. Finally at the last shabby gas station we checked, I waitied in the car listening to reggae radio station and Justin marched out, proud with toothbrushes and we got the flip outta there. Later, he told me that he saw some really wierd things in that gas long chunks of hair scattered on the floor and a hybrid crab-shrimp looking animal on the floor by the checkout counter. What country is this!? Who knows what would have happened if I had gone in there with him..

Sunday morning we checked out our of our 2-queen bed room, thankyouverymuch. The beds were SleepNumber, too.. which was good/bad for those of us who didn't really find our "correct number", ended up waking up somewhat stiff. We headed back to Folly, after the girls picked up some boogie boards. It was overcast, gloomy and extremely windy. No trouble with traffic and the beach was nice and quiet. We parked it on our blanket/sheet for about 2 minutes before being covered in sand just like the day before. I could NOT recall a time where it was so windy and miserable.

Ohh what a day!



No tan today!
Calling it a day.
We decided to pack up and as walked past some beach bums, they laughed at us, saying we "gave up easily". I just gave them a shifty look and said, "Hey dudes, we'll be back!" The girls wanted to look around the Folly shops, and grab lunch, hoping for better weather. We ate at Rita's - same burger place we went to on our 1st Anniversary - and prayed for better service than we had last time. The food was SO good, we had to go back. Finally the sun came out, and our waitress came to our table. No.. Oh nooo. It was her. Tania. The whispering, awful, disappearing, waitress that doesn't wait on you. On our anniversary, she left halfway through and never came back. We had to flag down a bartender to pay. Kindof ridiculous. This time, we relaxed and ordered.. enjoyed the sun and hoped she was having a better day. Nope. She's really that bad. We waited patiently, befor tracking down some other waiter for refills and the bill, etc. We decided that if we EVER go back to Rita's we will request to be moved out of her awful section. Good luck if you get stuck in there!
Amazing food! Horrible service.
Finally headed back to the beach for some real beach weather, and we layed down the blanket once again. Same windy problems, but we continued to just fight it. Eventually, Justin and I went up to the pier for a while to read. was was nice and sandy-free. The girls heard from some lady that the other side of the pier was somehow noticeably less windy, so they decided to move everything. When we went down to the new spot, we saw people laughing and playing, living it up, and enjoying the beach the way it should be enjoyed. How were we in beach-hell for the last several hours and never imagined it would be a world of a difference on just the other side?? It was literally like out of a movie. We all got nice and burned and joked about Adventures with Fig & Toots. Late afternoon, we packed up and headed to our next hotel (the girls booked) for our next adventure. Once we pulled in, it was pretty much amazing. A four-star resort, marina, with it's own beach. We laughed that the resort entrance was covered in construction, just for Justin and my luck. If we hadn't been there, it would have been flourishing with rare plumerias and flamingos and imported palm trees. Whatever.

After the girls checked in, we trooped up to our room, with all of our luggage, covered in tanning oil. Within seconds of being in our room, the girls inform us that the front desk checked us into a dirty room. BAH! Did that just happen? Yes. Oh yes. Justin and I stood there in the hallway, with a half-ripping brown bag, suitcases, beachbags, and our bodies covered in oil and sand while the girls went back down to find a new room. Meanwhile, Justin was desperate for a bathroom, so I was left to man the luggage and touristy bags and swimsuit attire. I wanted to shrink and die right there in that luxy hotel hall. Some houskeeping guy walked by and asked if I was OK. I told him we were put in a dirty room and my sister was sorting it out. He asked if I wanted to sit in a room while I was waiting, and all I could think was 'that would be great and all, sir, since I am dying to use a bathroom myself, I'm covered in oil and I would love to sit on something other than the hallway floor with this halfway-ripping garbage bag, but I should probably wait for everyone else... They would never find me, let alone in a dirty hotel room that hasn't been cleaned yet.' I seriously felt like flippin' John Candy in Summer Rental. Instead, I just looked at the man and said, "No..thanks." Finally Justin came back with a key, saying he found the girls, and were upgraded to a room with better view. The sweetest words I'd heard all day.

[Just so you know how comical my luck is, as I have been typing this extensive post, Romeo has managed to throw up, my laptop battery has died twice and I have broken a nail. Now I type this whilst listening to Justin and Romeo snoring in a soft sync. I will literally JUST LAUGH to myself and continue on..]

We hauled all of the luggage to to the floor where Justin said we should be, but then he hesitated which room the girls said to go to. Great. We made a guess, and luckily.. oh so luckily it was the one. A nice, 2-queen bedroom overlooking the pool and beach and downtown Charleston.

View from our room
(Other view from our room)

Ready for more Charleston!
We showered, aloe'd up, and got ready for downtown Charleston take 2. We hit the Market again, where we found some better deals than the night before.. Justin bought me some really cute Turquoise earrings, which I love and can't wait to wear. I helped Sarah bargain with my asian lady friend for some designer earrings, in which she took us to the side of her van for the transaction and mumbled the whole thing.. Gosh. I miss New York. We walked along King Street, had delish pizza for dinner and some fun trivia at Mellow Mushroom, and headed back to Market for dessert and coffee at Kaminski's. Oh what a wonderful night.

Charming King Street

We're not lost (though he looks like it)

Dinner @ Mellow Mushroom, Trivia for Team Fig & Toots!
Back at the hotel, the girls went for the hottub, and Justin and I enjoyed watching some "Buried Alive" show on TLC where people were the most insane hording, packrats we had ever seen.. Like, literally burying themselves alive in their own crap. It was unreal. We enjoyed some delicious Oliver wine, Vanessa brought all the way from Indie and went to bed.

Monday morning, Vanessa had a phone interview with Mayo Clinic (THEE Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN) - a job she interned with a while back and a job that she was given last year. The job fell through thanks to the crummy economy and she was royally crushed. She was given another chance with this phone interview, which just so happened to take place this very Monday. Justin, Sarah and I scurried out to get breakfast and came back to wait down at the resort beach. When Vanessa finished, she hollered from the balcony, giving us a 'thumbs up'.. What an exciting moment. She came down to celebrate for a minute, before finding that Sarah, too, had also been hired at Mayo, and they had both been given their original jobs back. How exciting for both of them!! We quickly checked out and headed back to Folly for one last day at the beach. We celebrated with early pina coladas and Justin and I had a nice walk on the beach. Lunch at The Drop In (another one of Justin and my favorite spots from our Anniversary). While there, I received a the call from my client's forgetting I was off work for 2 weeks. Apparently she had been waiting in my clinic's waiting room for about 45 minutes before calling me.. Felt bad, but there was nothing I could do (post).

Exhausted and covered in sun, we headed back home. We rocked out to old music from the 90's and High School days..."I Could Never Be Your Woman" by WhiteTown, "I Wanna Know" by Joe, a little Enrique, Nelly, some Ace of Base, Dr. Dre and the list went on.

Jr. High/High School Memories!

Romeo was so excited to see us when we picked the little dude up! We devoured some homemade crunchwraps and watched The Office and Vanessa and I looked at our Mom's Mother's Day present that's been in the works for some time now (wink-wink)!

Bring on the crunchwraps, baby!
The next day it rained so we did some more shopping, and I searched high and low for a dang dress for Tiffany's wedding. No luck. The girls had luck though, so that was good. They left the next day after a gigantic lunch and a billion hugs. It was a great trip overall.. So many laughs, so many pictures, so much sun. So many ridiculous moments that only happen because you're with me. Sorry, sister.. That's how it goes. I'll miss you 'til next time..
[See photos from the whole trip!]


Sunday, April 11, 2010

If You Mess With My Friends, I Might Just Punch You.

I have debated whether or not to even blog about this. To be perfectly honest, I've had quite a few "Did that seriously just happen?!" motherloads lately, and it's been hard to "just laugh" these ones off.

It really makes me angry when people hurt my friends.

One of my dear, good friends is ready to tie the knot in a couple weeks. I am so beyond happy for her and the amazing man she has found and is about to marry. What an exciting time! Wedding plans, bridal showers, friends, family, support.. That's how it should be, right? I am just completely dumfounded by how inconsiderate people have been to her during these past few months. It's shocking. As much as it sucks, I can actually relate (on a smaller scale). Of course all wedding plans are expected to be insane and stressful. But you expect your close friends/family to be the most supportive and the least dramatic. Somehow, it's not that way. Like I said, my situation was on a much smaller scale, but I quickly learned who my true friends were. No one should make the bride feel she is an inconvenience, or an obligation. No one should be bothering her or stressing her out even more with complaints or irritations or drama. No one should make her feel bad for the colors she chooses, the jewelry she picks or the venue she wants. For pete's sake, no one should be bringing friends to bridal showers or reception without invitation. The wedding is HER day (obviously the groom's too.. but you know what I mean.). It is not about accomodating everyone else, it is about her. Why is that so hard to understand? Does this make more sense to me, because I know how it feels to be hurt by others' rudeness and inconsideration? Most likely.

You know, as I was venting away, I just remembered a "Did that just happen?!" weekend that I haven't blogged about because it happened in August 2007. Mulder (one of my best friends from college) got married.

I had moved here to SC that February, and so Justin and I had to drive our 24-hour drive to MN for the weekend. Since I was one of her bridesmaids, it was important for me to get there asap. Aside from the ridiculously exhausting drive on no sleep, I had to jump in the car with Jade (another best friend, bridesmaid) to drive 2 more hours to Mulder's hometown. The next day, Wedding Day, I had a nightmare with my shoes (somehow forgot them? Then managed to spill foundation on them?). Of course it worked out (as it always seems to..).

The wedding was absolutely gorgeous. When leaving the church to head to the reception, Justin and I jumped in my car, to find that we were dragging a large piece of something.. Unsure what it was. Um. Story of my life. I began to panic, and pretty much everyone was gone by this point, including my family (my dad who booked it out of there and left us in the dust!), which left us with the only option to catch a ride with some complete strangers. How embarassing! Long story short, we made it to the reception and somehow my dad kept trying to talk to Mulder's poor brother to see if he could help fix my car so we could make it home that night. Are you kidding me? It's his sister's wedding day! I know my dad was trying to help me, he had nice intentions, and we were hours out of town, but I don't think he was thinking properly. He managed to try to talk to Mulder's dad too!! Augh, how humiliating! Luckily, her brother tracked down a friend to wire my exhaust system back up into my car (with a clothes hanger) so we could atleast make it home. There's really no way to describe the stress and frustration of that night, when all I wanted.. ALL I wanted, was to enjoy my friend's wedding day. Aside from searching for a 'mechanic' all night, some idiots crashed the reception. Not only did they crash it, but one of the flippin' a-holes spilled red wine all over Mulder's wedding gown. AUGH!!! If I remember correctly, she punched him in the face. If I had been close enough, I might have done the same.

Thankfully, our exhaust system rigged up with a hanger managed alright, as Justin and I drove through one of the most treacherous thunderstorms we have ever driven in, on our way back to my parents' home. Dodging debris and trees in the road.. I just remember crying and praying to make it out alive. Our 2-hour drive turned into 6.5 hours. We made it back to the Twin Cities around 6am and had to leave for SC (24 more hours) later that day. My gosh. Why?

Now that I look back on my sweet friend's wedding day, I just hope it wasn't poo'd on my my crappy car problems. Of all the times for my exhaust pipe to fall off, why then? Does this happen to anyone else? I doubt it. Oh, Mulder, if you're reading this.. Please forgive me again?

I feel like I have quite a few stories lately regarding people being rude or inconsiderate to my friends. This makes me wanna scream. If you can't say something nice, don't say it. Giving "constructive criticism" in a smug way on something you clearly know nothing about, will only receive 2 things in response from me.. No respect, and a new nickname: Willie.

Thanks for hearing me vent, and story-tell.

I think you catch my drift: Don't mess with my friends. It ticks me off. Bad.


Saturday, April 3, 2010

Creative Eggs & Baby Birds

I came across the April issue of the Food Network Mag at Barnes & Noble a couple weeks ago, and was remembered how Justin and I had talked about wanting to try to attempt to create the "Bird's Nest"/"Egg in a Basket"/"Nest Egg".. Justin calls it "Egg in a Hole" (Haha!!). I found the magazine again the other night and Justin was pretty excited to try it this morning.

We made 3 of them and really got the hang of it. We figured out, the trick not to use large eggs. If large is all you have (which is all we had) we just drained some of the egg white out of the shell before dropping it in it's spot. It was way easier than I thought..

Butter bother sides of the bread. Use a glass to punch out the middle of the bread. Grill one side. Once you flip it, crack the egg and drop it in the center. We tried it with the yoke broken a little bit too and it was just as delish!

We saved the middles to make little doughnuts (sorta) like the ones they always have in Chinese restaurants! It was already buttered, so I just covered it in sugar (SO healthy.) and grilled in the pan on both sides. MMM!! I was in my glory.. I love those little Chinese doughnuts..
Since I'm blogging about taking on some cooking/baking challenges, I thought I'd include pictures & recipe from some of the cutest little cupcakes I've ever seen.

A few weeks ago, I found this recipe for Martha Stewart's Baby Bird Cupcakes. I HAD to make them for my friend, Beth's baby shower. [Photo -]

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread coconut on a rimmed baking sheet; bake until light brown, 8 to 10 minutes, rotating pan once. Set aside to cool.

Lightly frost cupcakes with 1 cup chocolate buttercream; set aside. Tint 2 tablespoons reserved buttercream pale yellow; place in a pastry bag fitted with a #349 Ateco leaf tip; set aside. Tint remaining buttercream light blue; place in a pastry bag fitted with a #11 Ateco plain round tip, and pipe three bluebird heads, 3/4 inch in diameter, onto each cupcake. Using leaf tip, pipe yellow beaks. With a toothpick, add melted-chocolate eyes. Form each nest with 2 tablespoons toasted coconut.

So here's how mine turned out. I thought they turned out pretty cute, but obviously not the same. I knew I didn't have frosting bags and tips, so I decided to try a different route.

I followed the instructions to toast the coconut. It seemed to toast pretty easily, so I pulled it out before the directed time. I thought the different mixture of colors/tones are cute anyway! Since I didn't have all of the frosting bags/tips, I found a bag of milk chocolate eggs and dipped them in dyed almond bark (similar to white chocolate). The cupcakes were too small to do 3 birds on each, so I just did one. I did have trouble with their little beaks! For some reason, the frosting I used, wouldn't stay standing up, so I decided to do more of a "triangle" beak. For the eyes, I melted a few chocolate chips and used the tip of a toothpick to paint them on. I would definitely make these little dudes again!


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