Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dear Book Lover...

Read a great Wall Street Journal article today entitled "Dear Book Lover: Where to Find Book Recommendations" - the article makes a great starting point which I agree with - the best place to find a book recommendation: people. I find my friends are the best place to find books that I'll love because they truly know my taste and usually share it. The article did also have some links that looked  helpful, my favorite whatshouldIreadnext.com
you enter in one of your favorite books/authors and it spits out a list of books that "the database" thinks you'll like - complete with links to amazon.com so that you can read descriptions, reviews, and even buy it!  

I'm still reading my MIL's books on her kindle and then have  a few "waiting in the wings" on my kindle but when those run out, I'll definitely be using this site! 

give it a try and let me know what you think!

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Guardian - Nicholas Sparks

This week I read The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks... man, this book was a whirlwind and a quick read [like most Nicholas Sparks novels].  The book takes place in a small town in NC [again, with references to Wilmington, which I love] and is the story of a woman Julie and her life after her husband passes... it starts with a great dane puppy that is delivered to her door on Christmas Eve [arranged by her husband before he passed].  The story then continues a few years later with a love triangle of sorts. This book is a nice mix of romance and thriller mixed into one and if you're a romantic dog lover [not like that, separately - I'm a romantic AND I love dogs... I don't love dogs romantically, you know what I mean] then this book will tug at your heartstrings. Another quick read by Nicholas Sparks that will have you laughing and crying [and if you're a baby like me clutching to your husbands arm while you read it and nervous to turn the pages].

I'm onto The Choice by Nicholas Sparks next... 
What are some good books you've read lately?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

random ramblings...

having one of those days were I can't focus on anything... maybe it's because I know there's a three day weekend very near in my future and there are only two of us in the office today... maybe it's just because I'm a spaz... either way, here are some random thoughts for you...

Did Lauren and Scotty kiss last night on American Idol? Is it weird that I googled it? I feel like a creepster being so interested in their love life. I think they should fall in love. It would make me happy.

Like the other 1438989 women that watched Idol last night, I want Carrie Underwood's legs. However, I think I like cheeseburgers a little too much for that ever to be a reality, oh well - that's life. I like cheeseburgers.

Oliver has learned how to open the bathroom door... all semblance of privacy that I had before is over... the other night I was showering and I hear him barking, so I open the curtain and he's sitting there with his head shoved in the door just barking. I tell him to shut it several times, then when I'm done he's sitting outside the door waiting for me... like this...
my dog is a pervert. gross.
[so clearly, I took a picture of him and texted it to DJ with that same caption]

if you're still reading and I haven't throughly disgusted you by showing you by pervert dog's red rocket... here's another winner, so DJ and I were driving down in Atlanta on sunday and we saw this...
In what world is this okay.... seriously? wtf. creepy.

So You Think You Can Dance starts tonight and I'm all giggly and cheery just thinking about it, Jiggggaaa get excited to watch with me [DJ doesn't know it, but he's going to love the show and watch every episode with me... if he knows what's good for him]

well, that was my spaz out blog post of the day. hope you enjoyed it. 

what random ramblings are taking over your brain today?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Last Song

here's a double whammy - book and movie review... so I saw the movie The Last Song earlier this year via netflix instant que... amaaazing. You absolutely fall in love with the cast [cute boy] and the story [cute boy] and get all sorts of wrapped up in everything [cute boy] - did I  mention there is a cute boy in it? 
Yeah, hello Liam Hemsworth.... [fun fact: he is cast in Gale in The Hunger Games movie!] - anyways, back to the movie... I thoroughly enjoyed it - I laughed, cried and here's the jist of it Ronnie (played by (s)miley cyrus) a "rebellious former piano prodigy" is sent off to Georgia to spend the summer with her dad, she's a complete asshat to her dad [and everyone around her] until she meets Will [insert dreamy sigh].. I don't want to get into to much more without giving away major plot points, but its a great flick and touches on life, love and family. 

So then, my MIL and I traded Kindles so she could read Something Borrowed and The Help [soo good] and she had the Nicholas Sparks novel "The Last Song" that the movie was based off of -- I loved it. I don't know if I enjoyed both so much because I saw the film before I read the book but I thought the movie was a great interpretation of the story.  The book was a little different on a few smaller plot lines... the one major thing that I loved about the book was that it was set in Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach [where I lived for almost four years]... such a beautiful part of the country and I could just picture every place they talked about. The book is a quick read and definitely great travel/pool material! I recommend both wholeheartedly, just get ready to shed some tears and let out a few laughs.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

why I'm awesome...

...and why my husband sometimes hates me.

I am woman. hear me roar cry.
and DJ is somewhere shaking his head and cursing under his breath.
love you honey.

come on, ladies you know it's true.
men - you definitely know it's true.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Saturday, May 21, 2011

30 before 30 - the list is complete!

get excited.
the list is complete.

some exciting, some mundane, some cost $$, some are free... just a wide variety of things that I'd like to have "notched" off my belt by the time I turn the big 3-0. I'll keep the list here permanently for you to be able to check in on my progress as I go. There are a few things on the list I've already done [travel outside the country, skydiving] but I want to experience those WITH my Danny J - he just makes everything that much better.  

To be honest, I realized as I  made the list there are a lot of things that I'm really lucky to have accomplished at a young age that are on a lot of people's bucket lists [four continents, held a baby kangaroo, spent a month in Italy, snorkeled at the Great Barrier Reef, spent time in Wine country, lived at the beach, been all over the country, and so on] and of course there are many other things that I would LOVE to have accomplished by the time I was 30, but let's be real - I'm not rich [humble state servant pleased to meet your acquaintance]. So, some of these adventures are definitely costly and I tried to keep those to a minimum.

let's just hope the "rapture" doesn't happen at 6pm tonight and I can actually work on this list for the next year and half!

well, anyways.
I know, you're on the edge of your seat...
so here it is...

Thirty before Thirty
1. Travel outside of the country with DJ
2. Make a quilt
3. Make a rainbow cake
4. Run a 5K
5. Run a 10K
6. Run a Half-Marathon
7. Take a cooking class
8. Bake a pie (from scratch)
9. Start working towards my pHd [or another degree]
10. Eat carb-free for two weeks [or longer if I can take it]
11. Sew something as a gift for someone else
12. See BNL in concert
13. Visit my father's grave in Iowa
14. Visit the Biltmore
15. Visit 101 places from the 1001 Places to See Before You Die book
16. Family Photo Shoot [DJ & Ollie]
17. Go Skydiving with DJ
18. Go to a professional baseball game
19. Go to a professional football game
20. Go to a college bowl game
21. Eat vegetarian for a month
22. Go on a honeymoon 
23. Go to Las Vegas 
24. Try 30 new recipes
25. Visit Harry Potter World at IOA
26. Visit the Atlanta Botanical Gardens
27. Visit the Coca Cola factory 
28. Visit Sweetwater Brewery 
29. Change a diaper
30. Take steps towards having a baby

I know, #30 is crazy, but don't get all excited - I don't turn 30 for almost two years and it states "take STEPS" not procreate. woof.

what's on your list?

Friday, May 20, 2011

one year ago... blogoversary.

remember that time I wrote my first blog post and then my second [oliver was SO little] - can you believe it's been a year? time flies when you're blogging fun.  282 posts later here we are... 

my one year blogoversary.

it's crazy to sit back and reflect on the past year and what has happened... it's been a whirlwind. we moved back across the country to be closer to family [literally, like in the same house as them], got married [again], I got a new job and am back in higher education and DJ is now doing his own consulting gig and isn't tied down to "the man" anymore. we're happier, maybe not healthier, I'm definitely heftier [seriously. DJ needs to stop feeding me] and Oliver is WAY bigger. I used to knock the berkshires when I was there and it definitely wasn't a great fit for me but I do miss certain aspects of our life there [aka my commute work, my dear friend jenny, and just the pace of life] but I wouldn't change a thing about the past year - I am SO happy we moved south for so many reasons and I could write a million blog posts about it but I'll just stick to this one. I'm so happy to call Georgia home and put roots down here and continuing that process that is creating myself...
it's also funny to think that DJ and I have been married for almost a year and a half, I love that silly man. some days it feels like we've been married for decades and others like our adventure just started.

anyways, enough rambling - moving on to thanks - thanks to all of you who read my daily babble, gush over my baby Oliver, comment on my random ass posts, and support me through it all. I've gained so much by not only writing on this blog for the past year but  have also gained so many new ideas on books, wedding planning, recipes, dog tips, etc.
and because a blog post isn't complete without a picture of oliver - check out homeboy trying to fit into my in-laws dog's bed [he's a pomeranian]... 
seriously oliver, you and I both need to go on a diet - it's swimsuit season after all. 
happy weekend chickens!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


we went to an amazing wedding this past weekend, we camped out in Marsheville, NC at "Idoaroo" - our friends Ashli and Justin had a music festival/bonaroo/camping outdoors wedding - it captured their personalities and love so perfectly and magically!  Ashli worked for me her last two years of college and started dating Justin [again] right around that time, so  I've seen their relationship grow tremendously over the past few years... but they have a similar tale to DJ and I [they dated in middle school, aah young love] and then had an off and on thing through high school/college and now they are maaarrried. ah, so sweet. 

we are so happy for our dear friends and their wedding was so them. complete with hippy dancing, hula hoops, flower fairies, camping [yes, I camped - be proud] and filled with love!

here are some of my favorite pictures of their beautiful wedding in Marsheville, NC....

not pictured: camping, rain, fireworks, moonshine, dance parties, late night laughs, new friends, kegstands [ahem Jigga] and yeah we'll leave it at that.

thanks to ashli & justin for an amazing weekend filled with love!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


check out this Evan Longoria catch... 
it's unknown if it's real or staged
either way. crazy.

Terrapin Beer Co. - Athens, GA

[the missing friday post - it has magically appeared??!?!]

this past weekend [aka almost two weeks ago now] DJ and I headed to Athens to visit one of my close friends and old students Tiffers and her fiance Josh - we had such a blast, almost too much fun! One of our favorite things that we did while there was visit the Terrapin Beer Co.

For $10.00 we got to each get six tickets - you can cash in 4 tickets for a full pint, or per 1 ticket you get 1/3-1/2 a pint to taste a variety of beers - that's what I went with [you'll notice in the second picture I got a little more than 1/3 of a cup and was really excited about it] and a free pint glass... considering I was a little tipsy by the time we left, well worth it. 

It was a beautiful day outside with friends and we even played a little cornhole. There were lots of families and people with dogs out there so I think we're definitely going to go back with the fam and Ollie later this summer!  If you live in the Atlanta area or anywhere somewhat near Athens - I wholeheartedly recommend this brewery! We meant to take the brewery tour, but oops - I guess we're saving it for next time. 

happy friday now wednesday pups! 
DJ and I are heading to NC today to a friend's wedding aka Idoaroo.
wedding + camping + fun with friends... it's going to be a great weekend.
what fun plans do you have this weekend?
been there done that, wedding post coming soon

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

driving through the years...

haven't gotten around to rewriting my weekend posts... come to think of, I realized last night in bed that I can't even remember what I had written to publish on friday [must have been life changing], oh well... I'll leave you with this silly and pointless post...

silly guy.
love my danny j.

must love cats...

what you liked the post I posted on thursday and that blogger deleted so much you wanted me to post it again? OKAY... if you insist...

anyone looking for a place to crash this summer? I have a great deal for you, one catch - must love cats, meow.

I know it's hard to read, but squint. it's worth it.

I can't get over what's worse all the cats or that they named the roomas.... people, special, special people.

happy thursday kittens.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


dear blogger,
I hate you for deleting my posts as well as the three posts I had drafted to post throughout the weekend/tomorrow morning.
you suck,

seriously. I can't be witty on demand. I feel like I used the wasted the good surprise on those posts [come on, someone please tell me you got that big daddy reference]. Oh well, I guess I can rewrite them tomorrow. 

fingers crossed they just magically show back up. maybe I'll get the mojo to retype them manana... for now - Go Heat! 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Help

If you haven't already read this book, please do - now. I can't even begin to do the book justice but I will tell you that you were laugh, cry and just feel for all of the women in this book [you'll even hate a few, I know I did]. 

To be honest, Sarah told me to read it MONTHS ago and I picked it up one day at the store but just didn't feel connected... I should have known to listen to Sarah - clearly, she hasn't led me astray [other than all that zombie crap].

In other news, I can't wait to see the movie and see what they do with the characters and how they change the plot... I have some ideas. The only thing that makes me sad is that I want to know more... this is one of those books that you finish and are begging for a sequel/series... oh well, on to the next book!

Here's the preview for the movie to give you an idea of the plot...

Monday, May 9, 2011

tomminator @ fox brothers bbq

tots smothered in Brunswick Stew and covered with melted cheese
...aka heaven.

come to atlanta and run to fox brothers bbq so you can enjoy the delicious treat that was the tomminator!

Our friends were in town and introduced us to fox brothers and the tomminator. we also got fried pickles/jalapeƱo chips [amaaazing] and DJ and I shared a veggie plate [four sides, yes please] - where we got a Brunswick stew, brisket chili, frito pie, and [my personal favorite] fox-a-roni [macaroni & cheese and Brunswick stew]... I know, we had a lot of Brunswick stew that day, I've become obsessed with it since my dear friend Sarah introduced it to me years ago - love those 'bama roots! Also, clearly, we scarfed our food down so fast I didn't get pictures of the rest of it, oops.

*I know what you're thinking - but don't worry, I ate it on the weekend - so calories didn't count. [yes, this is the downfall to my weightloss]

Friday, May 6, 2011


holly over at running in stilettos tagged me in a "10 favorite things" survey... get excited - because, you know, I'm really exciting. in no particular order [insert drumroll]... 


1. My Camera [Photography]
I try to always  have a camera with me, and if I don't no worries, the iPhone is always ready to snap away. Photography is a huge part of who I am and what I'm passionate about... lately, I have been slack about using my big girl Nikon lately [it just doesn't fit in my cute little clutches] but I'm vowing to get better about whipping it out [not like that you perv]. 
Here are some of my favorite "stills" that I've taken... 
I know I'm no Ansel but I would like to think I have a decent eye.

2. My Profession
I know I may never be rich, but I have gained so much from being in student affairs. The past seven years have challenged me and rewarded me in ways ways could never describe. I know that I get to make a difference, and I'll be the first to admit, I don't always get through and I have had my heart broken by students but I don't regret my career choice for one minute.  Also, I've made connections that will last me a lifetime with some of my old students. As an only child, they truly are like my little brothers and sisters. I care about all of my "babies" so much from over the years [with the exception of maybe one, but thats an embezzlement story for another day]. And yes, throwing the ZTA Crown is mandatory in pictures when you work for me... 

I mean, do I really need to explain? he's the snuggly-est, lovable-est and most amazing-est [I know those aren't real words, I have a masters degree don't judge me] puppy in the world. I never thought I could love an animal as much as I love him... in fact, sometimes I get scared that I won't love my kids as much as I love him [I know, I'm a terrible person].  Anyways, here's the latest gushy story about Ollie... so last night I was blowdrying my hair [for the first time in like eternity, I've gotten lazy] and I shut the bathroom door bc DJ was doing some work on the computer... well I thought I heard something and I stopped, opened the bathroom door and this is what I see....
could he be any cuter? he literally sat outside the bathroom the entire time I blowdried my hair and then came and cuddled with me for a bit before I went to bed. seriously. I love him.

Is it wrong that I listed my dog before my husband? Oh well, he doesn't sit outside the bathroom door and look at me adoringly while I blowdry my hair so what can I say... but seriously - no one has ever made me feel the way that my danny j has, he puts me at ease like no other, makes me laugh and smile [and get annoyed and yell] and he truly, truly is my soulmate. he is my favorite person in the entire world and I consider myself the luckiest gal out there that I get to spend the rest of my life with him.  we've been friends for over half our lives and he makes all my days sweeter. oh jigga, you maybe a gator in jean shorts but I still love you. forever and ever amen.

5. Food
Don't judge me. I really do. Particulary: sushi, pizza and french fries. I could live off of those foods alone.... and maybe strawberries. YUM. and cheeseburgers.... ahhhh cheeseburgers. I could also eat our wedding food every day for the rest of my life. so. darn. good.

6. Friends
This doesn't really need an explanation. I have the most selfless, giving, fun, unconditional loving, amazing and special friends in the world. Now if only we could all live in the same town, on the same block for the rest of our lives... okay, maybe 5 mile radius. 
Is that too much to ask? 

7. Reading [books/kindle]
There are fewer things that will relax me and just engulf me more than a good book. I LOVE to read. Feel free to peruse the books I've read so far this year now here. Right now I'm reading The Help and re-reading Something Borrowed [cannot WAIT to see the movie]. I just got a kindle too which is very quickly becoming one of my very favorite things.

8. Sweatpants
my friends are laughing as they read this because they know its true. I LOVE sweatpants, these in particular [I just might own five three pairs of those... I just gave two to goodwill, it was getting excessive]. The first thing I do when I get home [and am not leaving again] is put on sweatpants... lets be real, often I will leave the house in sweatpants. I love them so much that I gave each of my bridesmaids a pair of sweatpants for being in my wedding [and jewlery] so that I wouldn't be the only one wearing them when we went to the salon [and they were so cute].  I know what you're thinking, DJ is one LUCKY guy to have such a sexy wife. Proof of my hotness in sweats [and that I hold Ollie in my lap a lot]:

aka the other man in my life. seriously, it's like crack. I just can't put it down sometimes... also, I feel lost without it...  I really don't have too much more to say about that - I just love my iPhone. if you have one, you totally get it. [oooh that was judgey of me - ouch sorry]

oh man. I wish I didn't love dessert, it's one of my many downfalls. I particularly love chocolate chip cookies and funfetti cake.... okay and creme brulee,  chocolate pot de cremes, brownies, york peppermint patties... the list goes on. honestly, I blame Pat. Pat was the cook in the ZTA house - and we had dessert every day. so now, it's like pavlov's dog - meal over, DING - need cookie... or cupcake... or brownie... SUGGGGARR. 

hope you enjoyed that glimpse into my silly little life and beautiful mind. I know, I'm just a little nutty, I like to think it's part of my charm. and I would love to hear what YOUR favorite things are:

whitney @ cheerios & beer
krist-n @ little lady

happy friday puppies!

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