Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Not that many people read this, but I apologize for my lack of blogging lately. Things get hectic around the holidays. All the baking, shopping, decorating leaves time for much else. I've backed 2 batches of choc cookies (recipe off of the Nestle choc package), 1 batch of press cookies (soon to be 2 because I can't stop eating them), 1 batch of snicker doodles for Hubby, and I've still got 2 batches of butterballs left to make (my family's favorite - it will NOT be Christmas without these), and 1 batch of peanut butter for Hubby (only if he finally goes Christmas shopping tonight). I picked up the cutest cookie tins this year but I will definitely plan ahead next year because they unfortunately cost more than I really wanted to spend. The cookie list is ever expanding which this year will include an extra large tin to my brother, his gf, and her kids, plus a little one for my neighbors next door. I still have to buy one last present, wrap everything, and pick up some treats for the dog.

This has unfortunately been a very expensive month for us. My car needed some work done, and the parts for my car are more expensive than the average car. Seriously, my tires cost $200 a piece, and I've replaced them all at this point!! Last week, one of the holy sh!t lights on my dash illuminated on the drive home from work. Rather than go home, I took it straight to the dealership. My alternator apparently died and from what the tech said I was lucky I made it that far. So $730 later, I have my car back...and that's just for the alternator and labor, I didn't need a new battery or alternator pulley (whatever the he!! that is). We dropped off Hubby's car this morning. He needs new brakes...hopefully that doesn't break the bank!

I hope to have another post before Christmas but if not,

Friday, December 12, 2008

PO Box or No PO Box??

I have a PO Box. Why? It's complicated. I signed up for one yesterday...but I've come to realize how silly it is that I have one. It's only for six months and so it's not a huge investment. It started with PBS and even more recently some recipe swaps (I hope I get some good ones!!) and I just wasn't comfortable with strangers having my address even if they did live across the country...it feels like an invasion of privacy which is weird because I never had an issue giving out the same info purchasing items on ebay. Now that I have a PO Box (for a whole day) I'm realizing it's pretty pointless: if someone really wants to find out where you live, its really not very difficult in this technology driven society. I've gotten people's addresses on the internet before, for Christmas cards mind you! The internet is a scary place, with alot of personal information out there. Did I do the right thing in getting a PO Box? Well it can't do any harm. In my opinion it's better to be safe and waste a few bucks a month. So now I just have to get to the post office before 5pm to check it...good thing it's not so far away!

Where does the time go...

Either the days are getting shorter, I'm going to bed earlier, or I'm stuck in the episode of Futurama where the Planet Express crew tip off the Time/Space Continuum causing time to skip ahead. (Watch it, it's a great show!) I get home around 4:30 and it's 9pm before I know it with nothing to show for those 4 1/2 hours. The bottom line is I need more hours in a day. Maybe like 4 hours a day? Or I'd even settle for a 4 day work week. No, I'm not interested in working for 10 hour day. I want the same schedule, just one day less. Oh and I'm keeping my same pay too!

I want time for hobbies...I want enough time for hobbies and :::gasp::: cleaning. I want to bake, have time for food shopping, but still have time for video games and reading. I want to get my sewing room in tip top shape so I can finish some projects. There's just never enough time so something has to go. I'll let you know when I figure it out!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

My neighbors probably think I'm strange

Yesterday was by far the nicest day to decorate outside. Yesterday's forecast was a high of 60 degrees F and rain. 60 in December!?! I'd prefer warm and wet to cold any day! I really anticipated decorating after work but Hubby forgot to stop at Target on the way home from the daily grind to get fancy lights for the walkway and I thought it was better not to say anything about it.

Instead of decorating, I surfed the net for seriously 2 hours. Looking at what? Who knows! I'm always finding some new interesting site to stalk constantly. My growing list includes facebook, Cake Wrecks (I have seriously laughed so hard, I cried looking at some of these disasters!), other fun and interesting blogs, PaperBackSwap, Amazon, and my local news station. After my laptop started flashing the red battery dying light I knew it was now or never. Hubby was wrapped up in an online game of COD: World at War so I figured what the heck.

I put up colored icicle lights across the front of our porch, white icicle lights in our front window, and colored lights in our bush. It so looked like crap and under done so I grabbed Hubby and off to Walmart we went. Not my first choice, but it's the closest. We got little light up snowflakes for the walkway up to the house and light up candy canes for across the front of the house. The colored icicle lights looked terrible with all of the other white lights, so down they came. I replaced them with white icicle lights and it looks sooo much better. This was after our neighbor saw me putting up the colored lights and said how festive it looked. Who puts up lights and then takes them down? My neighbors must think I'm some high maintenance biotch but in actuality Hubby is the one that prefers white lights...thinks they are more elegant....I grew up in the ghetto, I want my colored lights please!

Monday, December 8, 2008

I really tried

I was supposed to get organized for Christmas this weekend. I was supposed to get the decorations out of the attic, put up the lighted garland, even attempt to put lights up outside. I went shopping for lights, but found none. I know exactly what I'm looking for (me, picky?, no!) but haven't found the right lights yet. The rest of our decorations are (still) in the attic and I am a failure.

Saturday was (supposed to be) my decorating day, only it wasn't. I spent the day with Hubby's mom and our crazy dogs and went to visit Hubby and his dad working on the Christmas tree farm in the crazy, freezing cold. I forgot my camera to capture all of the picture perfect moments of the day. I met two beautiful dogs (and one really mean, yippy dog), picked out our Christmas tree, sat around the fire trying to keep warm, and stayed out of the way of the men at work.

In preparation for my Project 365 challenge, I've been carrying my camera everywhere. For some reason, I took the camera out of my purse and left it home on Saturday. Why? The world may never know. Part of it may be that I got up at 6:30am on my day off. So instead of pictures, you'll have to settle for the promise of pictures in the future. Promise!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I am obsessed!!

No, not with True Blood!!! Although, Hubby and I started watching the first season on HBO on Demand this week. We've watched about 4 episodes and are mildly hooked. The show always ends in a crazy way, which drives me crazy but that is not my new obsession.

I'm obsessed with Paperback Swap. I had no idea what I was missing! I read fairly quickly and rarely re-read anything. I had heard of places for swapping paperbacks in my area but had no idea there was an online community. I've listed about 15 books so far that I would have no regrets never seeing again and 2 of them I've just packaged up to ship out. I'm getting rid of the book I "borrowed" from Mexico, The California Club, and Great Expectations. Yeah, it's a classic but once a book is made into a movie it really ruins the book for me.

I don't have anything on my wish list yet, but I do have a book on it's way. I was in Walmart checking out books the other night, figuring Walmart would be cheaper than Amazon (which is where I normally get books) but boy was I wrong!! That's when I decided to check out Paperback Swap (PBS). It's pretty cool! Each book costs a credit. You get 2 credits when you first start and post 10 books, and 1 credit for each book that you mail out. You have to pay shipping when a book is requested from you but it's relatively cheap via Media Mail. So I ordered the book I saw in Walmart from PBS and it's already on it's way.

I still have all these library books I need to read in the meantime!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving + Scrabble = Blah

I celebrated my first Thanksgiving as a married woman with my Hubby, his parents, my parents, my brother, his gf Rachel, and her kiddies Micky and Lawrence. Everyone came over to our house which meant I had tons of cleaning to do since Mom is allergic to my 2 kitty cats. There was overabundance of food: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, yams, green bean casserole, cranberry, peas/carrots, and deviled eggs. For dessert we had apple pie (secret recipe by Hubby's mom), pumpkin pie (secret recipe by my mom), and gingerbread (by Rachel).

Tables set for 10

It was all delish! I have a habit of overestimating the amount of food to make for a large crowd. Ten is considered a large crowd for me when I'm used to only cooking for two. I cooked a 21 pound turkey so we would have plenty of leftovers. Dinner was yummy but with so much food, I only had a small taste of everything before I ran out of room on my plate. After the dinner clean up, a game of Scrabble ensued much to my dismay. I loathe Scrabble, always have, always will. Hubby's family (i.e. mom and grandmom) like to play after dinner at family gatherings so I'm trying to get used to it. Big Step: I took over mom's spot in Scrabble when she had to leave because of her allergies.

Now we're looking forward to a 2nd Thanksgiving dinner at Hubby's grandmom's on Sunday. Yay more turkey, boo more Scrabble!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Why I Don't Read Non-Fiction:

My latest read is called Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach. The back story of this slightly odd choice of book:

My pottery teacher did a demonstration of a (HUGE) pickle jar a few Thursdays ago for another student (one of my coworkers). The pickle jar looked more like a very large urn. I'd say it was probably a foot tall by 5 inches wide. Our pottery teacher informed us it was too small to be an urn. Obviously we were curious as to how she knew this as she was very matter of fact about the whole thing. Apparently, she had submitted a piece to show that was for urns/containers for remains/whatever you want to call them. Her piece, although rather large, was too small to fit the remains of an entire body so her piece was entered into the keepsake category. Creepy! This sparked a conversation about Stiff and surprisingly someone else had read the book too!

I rarely read nonfiction...I've actually been trying to read less fiction so I thought this book would be a good start. The only problem is, I can't get through it. It's causing alot of problems which leads to me not being able to sleep at night. I'm an overly morbid person....there, I've said it. I think about death alot. Actually, I always have.

I think my obsession is partly due to the fact that I'm a catholic scientist. Kinda like an oxymoron right? I've been raised to believe the teachings of the bible which unfortunately do not jive well with the theory of evolution. It's hard to ignore scientific fact but that is a whole other topic for some other time.

Either way, I don't believe in life after death, reincarnation, etc. As a scientist I need proof to believe what really happens but for obvious reasons that's not possible. Sure, there have been people who have had near death experiences but how do you really know unless you completely cross over. I know what I'd like to believe happens but what I really think happens is frightening. I'd like to believe in heaven but the thought seems way too fantastical.

The first chapter of the book starts out with the author attending a training seminar for plastic surgeons. In the room there are about a dozen heads in metals trays on the tables. Just heads! Apparently these plastic surgeons paid a pretty penny just to be able to practice new face lift techniques on human cadavers. The book details what you can do with your body once you're done with it and what could happen to your body if you choose to donate it to science. You could end up as a crash test dummy. You could be split up and have your body parts sent to multiple destinations for multiple uses. Your foot/leg could be used to test footware for protection against landmines. You can't specify what you want to happen to your body if you're donating it. You could end up just being left outside fully intact but probably naked to help forensic scientists further study the rate/processes of human decay. How about just becoming an organ donor? The possibilities are endless. You can even be composted into your own little tree! I will say, I would prefer a medical student to practice procedures on a human cadaver rather than on me for the 1st time but I won't be donating my body to science. I'd like my body to stay whole, and in the ground!

Oh and if you donate your body to Body Worlds, you could be displayed indefinitely in museums across the world. Plastination is awesome or in my opinion Creepy!

I've only got a few chapters left, so we'll see!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Can you really get something for nothing?

Here is an offer for a free 20 page photo book ($30 value) from Snapfish which was featured during an Oprah episode (Sorry, it's no longer valid!):

This offer was posted all over the Internet, on blogs and various message boards that I frequent. I decided to take advantage of the offer and signed up for a Snapfish account. I clicked the free offer link, created an account, uploaded a million or so photos, and created my book. I tried placing my order, but like a million other people trying to take advantage of the offer, Snapfish had no record of the free photo book that was previously in my account. Alot of people had placed their orders thinking that they would be credited later. I decided to contact Snapfish before placing my order to see what the heck was going on. I used the online chat approach for the first time ever and only had to wait a 1/2 hour for someone to chat with me. It was resolved and my free photo book credit showed up in my Snapfish account in literally a minute.

To top it off, Snapfish was offering free shipping the day I ordered as well. So yes, you can get something for nothing...if you're in the right place at the right time! (Disclaimer: my book was more than 20 pages so I paid for the additional pages- $4.26 total.) I also ordered 40 4x6 prints of wedding pictures (free, of course!).

Update (12/3/08): I received the book this week. It's ok. The quality is just ok. It's not because of my pictures...it's Snapfish related and if you'd like more info feel free to email me. I'm definitely not complaining because the book was (almost) free, but I would definitely use Blurb if I was going to make another photo book. Blurbs books, from what I've seen, are high quality.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Professional Pics

Pictures from our photographer:

Check out more pics of us on his slideshow here: Ryan Estes Blog

Thursday, November 6, 2008

World Phucking Champions!!!

The victory parade was awesome! However, I have mixed feelings about Mr. Utley's choice words during his speech at CBP during the victory parade. On one hand, I think wow, that was totally awesome! On the other hand, wow, there were alot of kids there, alot of kids watching it on tv, it was LIVE on so many tv stations in the Delaware Valley, how could he be so uncaring and insensitive. But then again it was awesome so no apology necessary Chase!!! You're still my #1 crush!

So jump on the bandwagon and grab your "World Phucking Champions" t-shirt while they're hott! The good news: 26% percent of the proceeds will be donated to the PSCPA - Chase's cause of choice.

Monday, November 3, 2008

I am re-identified

A variety of changes have occurred over the last week:

I have started the lengthy process of changing my last name. Today, I am officially no longer Miss OldLastName (that I love) but I'm Mrs. NewLastName. I went to the Social Security office a week ago and updated my records there so the IRS has my tax info correct. I gave work my new social security card today so they could update my records. Now I will have a new work email address, name plate, and business cards.

I went for the second time to get my driver's license during lunch today. I originally tried on Saturday but the line nazi told me I didn't have enough information with me. Apparently a US passport, digital drivers license, certified marriage certificate, and utility bill were not enough to proved I was Miss OldLastName. I needed my birth certificate too (UGH)!

Well, today I went armed with a ridiculous amount of information including my birth certificate. Oh, did I mention the only thing I needed to get my name changed on my social security card was my passport and my old social security card....it seems like someone has their priorities backward. I showed a boat load of information to yet another line nazi (who this time was turning away a guy because his social security card was creased down the center!), filled out the form on which I put my old last name down (D'OH!), paid $11, got my picture taken, and I'm Mrs. NewLastName.

Now I just need to update my bank accounts, credit cards, mortgage....and it goes on and on.

Another change occurred this past week as well. Yesterday I chopped off my hair. I had been wanting to since a month before the wedding but held out so that I could put my hair up. Yesterday I went and had it cut to just above my shoulders. I love it! It feels so much healthier and lighter, definitely lighter. It's the first time since I started dating Hubby that I've cut my hair so drastically. The last time I got it cut really short, the lady cut it too short and I hated it! I was miserable until it started to grow in a bit. Lesson learned - now I know how short is too short for my face!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween 2008

I carved my 2nd pumpkin this year for the office pumpkin carving contest. Carving pumpkins is really a lot easier than it looks. You just need a steady hand and a little bit of patience. Hubby did the not so fun job of scooping all the slimy insides. I found a cute spider pattern online and off to work I went. The pumpkin looked awesome and I took 2nd place in the contest on Halloween.

Hubby and I ditched out of work early on Halloween, hoping to make it to the Phillies World Series Celebration parade. The city was gridlock and mass transit was at a standstill so we watched the parade from the comfort of our own home. It was much better that way! There were 100s of 1,000s of people there (more like a million or two), plus we enjoyed a bottle of champagne. I always said the best wedding present would be the phillies winning the world series!

The rest of the day consisted of a nap and going trick or treating with my brother's girlfriend and her daughter, Micky. Paige came with us too! She was so excited. I think it was the longest walk she's ever been on. We walked through town all the way to Mom's house. Paige and Micky were too tired to walk back so Mom gave us a ride. Hubby stayed home to give out candy to the trick or treaters but no one came by. A few of our neighbor's kids came by earlier in the day but that's it. We think it's because we had no decorations up, but ALL our lights were on in the house. When my brother and I were younger, we knocked on every door with lights on. Lol, maybe that wasn't the best/safest approach looking back! I already went and bought decorations on clearance for next year so hopefully more kids will come by.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

VICTORY is ours!!!

The Philadelphia Phillies won the World Series against Tampa Bay in Game 5 after a 46-HOUR rain delay. Sure the Commissioner of MLB made up the rules as he went along but, hey, we won so I won't get into that.

A few pics (taken from Philly.com and Courierpostonline.com) of the celebration following the final out:

Lidge and Ruiz celebrating.

The guys piling on Lidge and Ruiz.

Pitcher Blanton with the Trophy. Blanton got his first career home run in the World Series!
Victorino ready with goggles for the champagne celebration.

Utley celebrating in the locker room.

First World Series win for the Phillies since 1980! I wasn't even alive then!! First championship victory for the city of Philadelphia in 25 years!! It doesn't get any better than this :)

Parade in the city at noon tomorrow! Can't wait!

P.S. Suck it Mets!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Back to Reality

Happy Monday!! - if there is such a thing.

This weekend was our first non-wedding planning weekend home. It was awesome. Saturday and Sunday I slept in until 9am (wow!).

Saturday I didn't really do anything....I laid on the couch all day, took a nap, and around 6 went to a b-day party for my brother's girlfriend's son. Hubby and I stayed out and had a few drinks before calling it a night.

Sunday I woke up too late for 830 mass....ooops! I laid on the couch almost all day except to go to the gym around noon. It's been about 2 weeks since I'd been to the gym and I surprisingly didn't have any problem with my normal workout. Time to step it up I guess!

The best part about being married: I'm so done dieting. My dress fit... so now I will eat what I want, whenever I want. I will however keep going to the gym so I don't gain weight but I'm done eating salads/fish every day, skipping out on having bagels at the Monday morning work meetings, and having a salad for lunch while Hubby has a double cheeseburger.

Hubby and I watched Rambo during dinner last night and it wasn't that bad. I actually liked it. After dinner/movie, I cut out fabric for a dress for mom. I forgot how long it took to cut fabric for a pattern! All that pinning, ugh! Today after work I'll assemble it and post some pics. It's a simple dress so hopefully it'll take 2 hours or less!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Some Non-Pro Pics


~with my parents at the house

~Outside with the girls
~Waiting outside the church...so nervous

~Walk down the aisle with dad....even more nervous

~first married kiss :)

~chris and the pretty girls

~Outside in downtown Haddonfield

~Posing for more pics
~With highschool girlies

~showing off our flip flops made by Hubby's mom

~the girls

~Dancing the night away~

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

World's Worst Traveler = ME!!!!

We're back from the honeymoon : ( It was amazing! Pictures and details to follow.

The trip home was exhausting though:

3:30am - wake up call from hotel
4:00am - check out of gorgeous resort
4:00am - 5:00am - Wait for transportation to airport. We finally called a taxi because it was getting close to our flight time. Shuttle came, taxi cancelled = me left with 500 useless pesos.
5:30am - 6:30am - Wait in line to check in. Apparently, a flight attendant hit an emergency door button prior to take off yesterday so a flight was cancelled...meaning many more people waiting in line with us today than there should have been.
6:30am - throw out candle because DUH, you can't carry a candle in your carry on bag. I was really upset about this. It was a tall candle in a heart shaped glass that said Riviera Maya on it. Right on the other side of the security was a store selling the same damn candles....yes I bought one. Hubby calls it my angry candle.
7:30-10:00am - Flight to Dallas, Texas
10:00am - 11:00am - Run through immigration, pick up baggage, run through customs (I seriously had to pick up my bags to hand a chick a piece of paper!!!!), recheck bags - luckily I remembered to put my angry candle in my checked luggage this time, go through security AGAIN [So this time I set security off by a) not taking my shoes off - I didn't have to do this when leaving Mexico but whatever and by b) having my earphones in my travel pouch that I didn't take off going through the metal detector], find shuttle to other end of airport, board plane. Notice no time for food! Thank God for raiding the mini bar of peanuts and chocolate before we left.
11:30am - 2:45pm - Flight to Philadelphia!!! Arrival local time 3:45.
3:00pm - 4:00pm - Reclaim bags, wait for shuttle home.
4:45pm - Arrive home, greet kitty cats, order pizza, eat FINALLY!
7:30pm - Sleep....seriously!!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

I'm a MRS.!!!!!!

Yesterday was our big day! It was beautiful! More details later....time for the honeymoon :)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

What a weekend!! The weekend started with a trip to the hair salon to get a pre-wedding cut and get these dreaded highlights out of my hair. My hair is much darker now and from what everyone tells me, it looks good. I'm not convinced though.

Saturday was my bachelorette party!!! I was picked up by my MOH and taken to the city. We took a taxi to the restaurant. This was exciting for me! I'd NEVER done the taxi thing. We had dinner outside at La Fontana. Amazingly the weather cooperated and the food was delicious. I had their ravioli and a cannoli for dessert. After dinner and multiple glasses of wine we walked to Continental Midtown. After that the night was a blur! Just kidding, of course! The girls got me a veil with shot glasses attached, a penis crown (lovely, I know), a Bride-to-Be sash, multiple buttons, necklaces...basically I was a walking party favor. This of course caused me to get lots of attention, both good & bad, as well as my picture on an awesome website. No drink was off limits either. I think the shots of Grey Goose and Jameson did me in. Hubby took good care of me Saturday night and Sunday. It was only fair!

Oh and Philly's night life and restaurants are awesome. Can't wait to check it out with Hubby after we're married!

NL East Champs!!!

October baseball - SWEEET! The Phillies clenched the NL East title on Saturday, one day before the end of the regular season. The Phils beat the Nationals 4-3. Phil's closer Brad Lidge worked himself into a jam the top of the 9th inning, almost blowing the game. A Philly win never seems to come easy! The Phils beat the Nationals again on Sunday - more icing on the cake.

The best part - bye, bye Mets! The Marlins beat the Mets to knock them out of the Wildcard. That's karma baby! The Phils will face the Brewers in the first round of the playoffs. Unfortunately I won't be able to get to a game with the wedding and HM but will definitely try to score tix for the next round.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hooray for Warranties

I bought a pretty expensive tv last July. It is a Phillip's 42" LCD HD television (from Sears). I actually just finished paying off the tv last month. I'm never one to buy extended warranties on anything but with the way things are made these days it seemed like a good idea. The tv itself was $1800 (ouch). I figured for $300 for a three year warranty it was well worth protecting my investment.

Hubby was trying to play Rockband 2 last night but there was no sound. We checked the connections and tried again. No luck! Past experience told us our Xbox 360 was at fault considering this is our 3rd Xbox and the last one malfunctioned after less than a year. We checked the DVD player and soon found out that none of the back audio inputs on the tv were working. I had not even considered that something could be wrong with the tv; not after only a year. Things just aren't made the same anymore. Gone are the days when a tv would last for 10-20 years. Luckily, we have a warranty, which I think I have Hubby to thank for talking me into getting one :) Sears is sending someone out to look at it on Saturday. Hopefully they'll just let us get a new one and be done with it, but I doubt it!