Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thursday Top Three

Since this blog is normally all over the place, I have decided to try and start one consistent weekly post. Some bloggers do a Supper Sunday where they plan out their dinners for the week but, lets face it, no one wants to read which Smartones or Kroger sushi I think I may choose. Instead, I have decided to make a list of the top 3 things I am loving each week. So, without further ado, the first ever Thursday Top 3:

1. "Seriously...I'm Kidding" by Ellen Degeneres

I picked up this book on a whim at LAX, and could not be happier I did. Instead a crying baby, people on our flight were forced to tolerate random laughter from a 23 year old. Seriously, I was laughing out loud 75% of the plane ride home. It is the perfect pick me up, or relaxing Sunday read for  anyone who is in the market for a new book. And if you are still on the fence, just read the back cover and tell me that does not convince you.

(Image from
 2. Cucumber and Watermelon Juice

Our first night in LA Jon and I headed to Katsuya for dinner. We arrived a little early, so we made a pit stop at the bar on the way to our table. I had heard wonderful things about their signature drinks, and decided to try the Cucumber Watermelon Mojitio. It was love at first sip. In fact, I was so in love with this concoction that I went to The Farmer's Market the very next day and immediately found a juice stand. At this stand you could combine any number of fruits and vegetables to make your own fresh juice and I once again jumped on the Cucumber and Watermelon train. Two days in VA and I am already having withdrawals.... I will definitely be on the market for a juicer sometime soon!

3. Garden and Gun Magazine

I will admit, when I saw this magazine laying on Concetta's coffee table by initial reaction was "what in the hell is this?!" Gardens....Guns...and Concetta, somehow it did not fit. But when I picked up the magazine and began to read I realized it was more of a mini travel guide to the south, complete with interesting articles and interviews from some of the most famous southern men and women of our time. As Concetta said, "if you like Real Simple, you will love this"! In my opinion, it is a must read if you live below the Mason - Dixon line.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Celebrations Continued

We're baaack! Well actually, I am back. I left Jon in LA after he met Chuck Lorre on the WB lot and made it big, BUT we will have to save that story for another day. 

For now, I will go back a few days/weeks to my birthday. Once the work day had ended, I headed home and got ready for party complete with friends, food, drinks and games at our house. Jon even provided a carrot cake (my favorite) with the word "LUV" on it, since "LOVE" would have been too time consuming to write out. It was so much fun hanging out with everyone who made it, and of course a friendly game of Kings never hurts.

Best present ever: Zaxby's Sauce!!
Post Pizza, Kings and Cake!
That weekend, some Hokies made a pit-stop in Richmond before we all headed to Tappahannock for Reavis and Sarah's engagement party. On Friday, me, Brandy, Brad, Ryan, Gina, Emily and David headed into the Fan and celebrated every occasion we could think of... including the person who built really big Polar Bear (you Richmonders know what I am talking about). After so many shots stories and a taxi ride through Cook Out, we called it a night in order to prepare ourselves for the big party. 

A picture of us dancing...that's weird. :)
We slowly rolled out of bed on Saturday morning, and got ready for the exciting day ahead. It began with a little recovery shopping, and ended with an incredible party celebrating our friends. Seriously, it put every engagement party I've been to to shame. I could not imagine a more beautiful setting to spend time with so many great people, and I am already so excited for wedding season to roll around!! 
The Bride to Be, Gina, and me before the Bon Fire
Sunday, of course, came too quickly. I left Tappahannock, after what could have rivaled the world's biggest sleepover, and headed to Hampton for some family time. My grandparents are still in town, so not only did this mean I got to see them, but I also got to enjoy some of their amazing cooking. Shrimp, french cut potatoes, green beans, and a peach absolute favorite, and the perfect way to conclude the birthweek celebrations. 

So THANK YOU again to everyone who called, facebooked, texted, partied, or celebrated with me in any way. As you saw in the previous post, 23 is already amazing and I cant wait to see what the rest of the year has to bring. 

Stay tuned for our amazing trip to LA! 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ba Da Ba Ba Ba....

...I'm lovin' it.

(Yes, I did really just reference McDonalds. And no (concetta), it is not because I would have been a great childhood candidate for Super-size Me.)

23 has been spectacular so far, thanks to all of my amazing family and friends. Of course, I still have to tell you all about the actual birthday and wonderful weekend but unfortunately that will have to wait because....

I have some packing to do!!!
Jon and I leave for LA tomorrow night!! I cannot believe it is finally here!! We have lots on our agenda and I cannot wait to share everything with you when we return!!

Oh, and if you have any last minute suggestions for LA please comment or send me a message!! Happy hump day!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Goodbye 22, Hello 23!

Well, as they say, "another one bites the dust." I have left the just out of college age, and turned the corner to practically ancient....

Ok, ok I am kidding....kinda...

Birthdays are always special to people, but I will admit mine sometimes have a habit of turning from a birthDAY to a birthWEEK. Heck, I freak out every time the clock says 10:13, so you can imagine how much I love when the actual day is right around the corner. This year was no different and the birthweek began when Concetta and Will made their way up to Richmond last weekend.

It was such a nice relief to have my best friend in town and spend time touring Richmond with our beaus. I even pulled the birthweek card with Jon and convinced him to finally take us to the Richmond Metro Zoo. The four of us + feeding Giraffes = my birthday heaven (no, 23 did not change the fact that I am still a nerd).

Cet and I with our new friend

Last night the celebration continued when Mom and Dad drove up from Hampton to treat me to a special birthday dinner at Stellas, followed by a date with Jon to see Wicked. Now before everyone says AWWW Jon took her to Wicked, I sort of tricked him into it and llearned a very valuable lesson along the way. Whenever you want to do something out of the ordinary/"girly" plan it during your birthweek! I was so happy my parents my parents made the trip up to celebrate with me, and absolutely loved the show!

Post Stellas <3

When the curtain fell at Landmark, we headed back to Jon's house where Micheal, Casey and Amanda were all up waiting to ring in my official birthday with me. When the clock struck 12:00AM everyone jumped up and yelled "Happy Birthday!!!". Not even 10 seconds later my phone was ringing and Concetta was on the other end. Concetta and I have a midnight birthday wish tradition, and even though I know she wanted to go to bed at 9:00PM, she always pulls through :) Once I got off the phone with her I talked to Katie and Shelby, and then resumed the celebrations with everyone!! What a perfect way to ring in 23.

Ever since I woke up this morning, I have been in awe at how many people have taken the time to call/text/write and I just want to let you all know how much I truely appreciate it. Mom and Dad, this day is just as much about you as it is about me (though I don't always show it!), so thank you from the bottom of my heart for being the best parents this girl could have wished for. You both never let Katie and me feel a shortage of love, and always suppport us no matter what crazy thing we have come up with. Oh and, since I would exsist without you two - thank you for that too! :) As for the rest of my family and friends, thank you thank you thank you. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I hit the jackpot. Y'all have made today so special already and I am so very lucky. And Jon, thanks for putting up with my crazy birthday ways, and being such a huge part of my "22" (and now 23)! Love you all!

Heres to another amazing year!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

That One Little Word That Can Change So Many Lives....


Specifically for this post, two words: Pancreatic Cancer. Steve Jobs is undeniably one of the most notable business men and notorious successes of our time. He was never just the CEO of "some big company", he was a strong part of the Apple brand and a driving factor behind their continued success. He has given us access to types of technology and communication many would never have dreamed of, and was continuously raising the standard.

Unfortunately, the disease that took his life far too soon is one that is not nearly as notorious or discussed. An estimated 43,140 Americans were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2010, and of those 36,800 will not survive. How is it that numbers those significant can go unnoticed?

In addition to Steve Jobs, another famous man struggled, and eventually passed away, with this disease: Randy Pausch. I am sure many of you have read, or at least heard about, The Last Lecture. Randy was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and given a short amount of time to live. He prepared, and delivered, a "last lecture" to his students, which contained the lessons from his life that he found most valuable. Below is his original speech:

Though these to men have shown light on this disease, they are only two of the 43,000. And the number is not just limited to 43,000 a year. Each of these 43,000 people have families and friends that are helping them fight this disease with a lot of hope, determination and a little fear.

As many of you know my best friend's father was one of these fighters, who eventually lost his battle. I have written about him in previous posts like this one, and so has she: here and here. As you can see, he was an incredible man, who meant the world to so many people in his life.

A group of Concetta's friends, including myself, are once again heading to Raleigh to walk/run in the hope of raising money for a cure. We want to do everything we can to keep people from being adversely affected by this disease, and we hope you will join us. Please follow the link below and donate if you are able. No amount is too small, and they will all make a huge difference in a number of people's lives.

Click here to make a Purplestride Donation
Purplestride 2010

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Big Return

The day finally came and I got to make my long awaited return to Lane Stadium. The last time I was there I was listening to speeches about how life as we know it was over just starting, and we were entering the world as that word we had dreaded worked towards for 4 years, alumni.


Jon and I made a quick stop in Roanoke to visit/have dinner with my family, since it was family weekend for Katie. We walked around downtown Roanoke and had a wonderful dinner at Metro before reaching our final destination, Blacksburg. As soon as we arrived I threw on a little makeup and braved the line at Tots to meet up with Sarah and Reavis. Let me just say, with a line that long you would have thought Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez were still in town, buying everyone drinks, and offering various movie roles to the first 1000 people up those famous stairs. Geeze Louise was it bad. But of course, it was nothing a rail and a few Washington apples couldn't cure as soon as we made it through the crowds. We started our night with Tots, and ended it at DP Doughs...just like any first night back in Blacksburg should.

Sarah and I at Tots on Friday!
 Saturday morning, I slipped on my leggings and a vest, and prepared to visit some tailgates. Little did I know, in addition to drinks and good friends, Blacksburg had something else in mind: frostbite. I mean seriously, Friday it was 70 degrees and Saturday it is 40?! Oh Blacksburg, how I had forgotten your tricky ways. Over the course of the day I had bought: a hat, gloves, poncho, borrowed another jacket and could still hear my teeth chattering during the hopeful cries of my fellow Hokies.

Back at Harrell St!


We left the game in the fourth quarter and Jon and I headed back to Tots to regain feeling in our bodies meet up with everyone and end the night on a positive note. While the loss was disappointing, the winning combination of our friends and bburg never seem to all is well that ends well.