Thursday, September 30, 2010

Straight No Chaser Live at the Pageant

On Wednesday afternoon before the SLU Career Fair, a friend at work asked me if I wanted to use her extra Straight No Chaser concert ticket. The group was at the Pageant that night and she had really good tickets. After some maneuvering of how to get me there and then get me home (Husband and I shared the car that day), I was all set.

And oh boy, I was SO glad I went! These guys are AMAZING in concert. We had great seats, and I had to take some video. They even said it was ok! After all, they got their record deal from a YouTube video. So I guess it’s fitting that I can embed my own video of their “Heard it Through the Grapevine” here – complete with the Marvinettes! These guys are a hoot.

Another amusing point? They brought up the house lights at one point and took OUR picture. One of the guys came out with a camera and said they’d put the pics up on their Facebook page and if we could, when we had a moment, please go tag ourselves. We all giggled at that one. :)

Their concert was so amazing, we gave them a standing ovation before the end of their last song. We yelled and screamed and stomped our feet, and of course, they came out for an encore. They did their 12 Days of Christmas rendition. So funny! I didn’t get a video of it, but I really wish I had.

They took another bow and left the stage. But the house lights didn’t come up. So we kept yelling and clapping, clapping and yelling…

And then they sheepishly came out again. So of course, we got louder. :) Turns out they hadn’t expected or even planned on a second encore. So they had already taken off the mics. All ten guys stood on the apron of the stage, sans amplification, with the soloist in the middle and sang “In the Still of the Night.”

Let me tell you – you could hear a pin drop it was so quiet when they were singing. Some of us had to strain to hear because they weren’t amplified, but from our seats, we had no problem.

Chills went down my spine hearing that song. When you take away the mics, fancy lights, smoke effects and smooth choreography, what you are left with is ten amazing vocal artists who combined, make amazing music onstage.

If Straight No Chaser is coming to your town, please go see them. They are incredible and worth the price of admission ten times over.  (and no, I didn’t receive any compensation from this review. I just think they’re amazing. :))

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Variety is the Spice of Life that I Ain't Got

Ok, so I've already told you that I'm addicted to podcasts.

I know that I have a problem.
But I still want more!
My Disney podcasts, as wonderful as they are, are making me sad that I don't currently have a trip planned to the World. And that makes me very sad.
I need more variety in my life! Well, in my podcast-listening habits, at least. There are a few NPR podcasts in there, but other than that, it's kind of one-sided.
Does anyone have any other suggestions of fun podcasts to listen to while driving to work and answering emails at the office? I've discovered that I get much more done when I'm listening to something. :) Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Travel Plans – A Bucket List of Sorts

flickr - ru_boff

We are going to spend Christmas in London and New Year’s in Paris.

I know, right? :)

Well, there a slightly sad story as to how the whole vacation thing came about. We’re going to spend the holiday there with Husband, my mother and brother. We don’t want to be at home for Christmas, and so, it’s off to visit family members in England for the holiday! I have no idea how we convinced ourselves to do this, but now that it’s happening, I’m really happy.

Since we’re visiting London, as well as Stratford and Shakespeare’s home, that is crossing off a few items from my bucket list. I figured I should come up with a list of the rest of the things I want to do at some point in our lives…

  1. Ride a Barge in Burgandy, France
  2. Spend a night in a Scottish castle
  3. Visit New Zealand
  4. Snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef
  5. Ride a gondola in Venice
  6. Stand on the Great Wall of China
  7. Visit the Holy Land
  8. Scandinavian countries tour

This list will grow as we go on, but I’m really excited that Husband loves to travel as much as I do. He’s a great travel partner – usually he does all the work! :) Seriously, I love the idea of spending my life exploring the amazing sites with my favorite person in the world.

Photo Credit

Saturday, September 25, 2010

This Friday Just Keeps Getting Better and Better

The Fountain on Locust is one of my favorite places to eat – and drink – and then eat some ice cream. :)

Any place that has yummy sandwiches and both an alcohol and ice cream bar is ok in my book. They even have ice cream martinis! I’m there.

Husband wanted to take me on a date this week, and given our crazy schedules, Friday at lunch was the only time we could manage to get some together! So he picked me up and said I could pick anywhere I wanted. I had a hankering for the Fountain, so off we went.

Fountain 3

Aren’t these decorations cute?

Fountain 1

I really like the lamp shades.

The restaurant is in an old car dealership from the early part of the last century, as they explain on their website:

Our building was constructed in 1916 as the showroom for the Stutz Blackhawk and the Stutz Bearcat, both considered top of the line, high performance sports sedans of the time.

So it’s really a fun place to eat. Lots of things to look at! But mainly, the sandwiches and salads are just really good.

Once we’ve seen the decor and eaten our yummy sandwiches [egg salad with spinach for me, roast beef on a baguette for Husband], the time comes for the final part of the meal – the ice cream.

Fountain 4 

We ordered Three Coins in the Fountain – a HUGE bowl of ice cream with vanilla, chocolate and mint ice cream topped with an absolutely ginormous heap of whipped cream (made fresh daily at the Fountain) and a bunch of hot fudge. Of course, it’s topped with three chocolate coins – hence the name.

Fountain 5

This is what it looked like at the end of the meal. We beat it, but just barely. Husband had to take one for the team and finish it off. I wanted to eat more but I thought my stomach might just burst.

The only problem with having lunch at the Fountain is that I always want to take a nap afterward, rather than going back to work, like I usually have to do.

If you’re anywhere around St. Louis, I highly recommend this place for either lunch or maybe a drink after the Fox. The theatre is just around the corner. YUM.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Even though I totally knew the ending, I loved it anyway!


Have I mentioned how much I lurve Netflix? The idea of having thousands of movies at the touch of my XBox or Wii controller button is just, well, awesome!

When my mom was in town for my birthday a few weeks ago, we wanted something to veg out to. There wasn’t something good on my DVR, so to Netflix Mom and I went. We both love Renee Zellweger and hadn’t seen this latest movie of hers.

Ok, so even though we knew EXACTLY what was going to happen at the end of this romantic comedy, it was still really, really, cute. Renee Zellweger and Harry Connick Jr are just adorable together.

Basically, Renee is this big fancy dancy consultant from Florida. For her job, she’s sent to snowy small town Minnesota to oversee a manufacturing plant restructuring. She gets treated exactly like you’d think she’s be treated – no one wants someone coming in from out of town to redo everything about the one big business in town and who doesn’t even own a COAT. [Seriously, who moves to the frozen tundra and doesn’t bring anything heavier than a suit jacket?!]

Of course, you know what happens… she falls in love with the head of the union and manages to save the plan when the big bad company wants to shut it down. She also learns to love the back-waters-scrapbooking-dorky townspeople. So heartwarming!

We really enjoyed watching it, even if we could have written the script for them. :)

One more step towards my 101 list.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Clearing the closets…

I went through my closet and pulled some stuff that I just didn’t wear anymore. Why bother keeping them, then?

There was a clothing swap with a friend of Husband’s over the weekend and I thought this would be a perfect chance to get some new clothes while clearing out a few things from my closet.

It’s going against my 50 item cluttering challenge:

14. Three skirts, one of which used to be my “date skirt” from college. It’s time for it to go.

closet 1

15. One pair white pants that don’t fit.

closet 2

16. One dress.

closet 5

17. Six shirts.

closet 4

18. Three purses.

19. One belt.

closet 6

Sunday, September 19, 2010

You Can’t Take it With You

… but you can send it ahead.

That’s what I got from the homily at church today.

It was mostly about stewardship, but the pastor had a story at the end of the it.

There was once a rich man – he lived in a big McMansion, drove a bunch of fancy cars and had a great wardrobe. When it came to the end of his days, the angel in heaven met him at the gates to lead him into his eternal reward.

The man walked with the angel into heaven to take him where he would stay. They passed a huge house and the angel kept on walking. The rich man was confused, but kept on following. The next street was full of more modest homes, but the angel didn’t stop there.

They finally stopped on a side street in front of a very small lean-to. The rich man looked at the angel and expressed his concern – this can’t be right!

The angel looked at him and said , “This was all we could do with what you sent us.”

You can’t take any of that money or stuff or anything with you from this life. BUT if you work to send it ahead – with time, talent and treasure, given to those who are in need.

Something to think about, right?

Monday, September 13, 2010

I Wish I Could Have a Massage Every Day

flickr - o5com

I went for a massage tonight.

It was amazing.

My friend M gave me a gift card to Massage Envy for helping her out at her wedding. I had put it away and honestly forgotten about it until a few weeks ago.

After a crazy weekend of work stuff and lifting boxes and setting up booths and taking down booths, I decided that the knots in my back just had to go. Then I remembered the gift card and I was set!

They were able to get me in tonight, thank goodness. :)

I like how they sit down with you right when you get there to review your problem areas and if you have medical problems that would affect your massage.

Wow. This gal? AMAZING. I told her my problem areas and what I did all weekend and she said she wasn’t going to do a “frufu girly” massage because I need something more like what athletes get. Whatever, lady, just get these knots out!

Oh boy did she! I haven’t been this relaxed in weeks. I even took a picture of my relaxed face immediately post-massage and tweeted about it. I’m determined to keep it going!

Apparently, a massage once  a month can be submitted for reimbursement under a Flexible Spending Account (FSA). They also give you a discount on any additional massages you get if you’re signed up for the health and wellness program through them.

I have my doubts as to whether or not it’s covered, even though they said they haven’t had it declined. Sometimes they have to get a doctor to sign off, which I’m not surprised by. I think my doctor would approve it, but I’m not sure.

The damage? $49 a month – that is almost $600 a year. We definitely have other uses for the FSA money we put away, so I’m not sure. The idea of having a monthly massage to keep the stress level down really is appealing, even though the cost is kind of high.

Thoughts? Am I crazy to think about spending that kind of money on a massage?

Photo Source

*I was not compensated in any way for this review. I just like their services!*

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I Earned Some Points in Heaven Today…

I took my 81 year old grandmother car shopping.

Oh boy, was it an experience!

She has been driving the same car since I was nine. I just turned twenty seven. The 1991 Buick Century full size sedan has served my grandmother well – in all the 56K miles she put on it driving to church, the grocery store and the doctor.

At my birthday lunch at Red Lobster with Grandma and my aunt last week, we started talking about how her Buick almost died on her the last time she drove it – it was balking and to add insult to injury, the water pump was about to die. So yes, definitely time for a new car. After twenty years. :)

In the four years of college and the three years of married life while here in the same city as my grandmother, I have offered MANY times to help her out. Other than my aunt who can’t really help out around the house, I’m the only kid/grandkid in the area that Grandma has. She has only taken me up on the offer of help ONCE – after her heart attack last year and couldn’t drive herself to the follow up appointment, she allowed me to pick her up and drive her to the doctor’s office. Other than that, she always insists that she doesn’t need ANY help.

Well, at lunch, I offered that I could help her pick out a car – at least drive her to the dealership and help her figure out which one she might like. Then my uncle could negotiate and do the buying thing – which neither Grandma nor I wanted to do. :)

To my surprise – SHE SAID YES. I couldn’t believe it. We made plans for me to pick her up on Saturday and take her to the local Chevy and Nissan dealerships. We test drove two cars -


The Chevy Aveo



The Nissan Sentra

I’m leaning towards the Sentra – I think we can get it for a similar price to the Aveo and it’s so much bigger. The other positive? The gear shift is closer to the front of the car, rather than in between the two front seats. It’s a bit easier for her to maneuver. All other things being equal, that and the bigger size makes it an easy decision.

Let’s hope we can get it taken care of in the next few weeks so she can go to the grocery store again!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Five Question Friday

I wish I could be excited that it's Friday.. but this is only halfway through my work week. :( We have a booth at a local Art Fair this weekend, and since I'm the event coordinator, and it's an event, well, you know. The good news? I only have to help set up and tear down each day, rather than working a bunch of shifts during the day. That means I'll have time to work on the house and read this weekend, rather than stand outside in the probable rain at the Fair.
In any case, here's Five Question Friday!
1. Do you feel guilty spending money on yourself?

It was actually very hard for me to ask for my birthday present this year - an iPhone and day of shopping with my mom while she was in town. It's odd that I am the main breadwinner of my little family and I feel badly when I stop for a Starbucks. There's better ways to spend that money, and I know that. But it's still hard to skip my coffee fix in the morning.

2. How well do you know your neighbors?

We moved in to our new townhouse a year ago at the end of this month. We have met one next door neighbor, but don't know him very well. It's not one of those neighborhoods, I don't think.

3. What age are you looking forward to being?

I would like to be 30. It seems like an adult age, and I know by then Husband will be done with law school, hopefully with a good job that he loves, my wedding planning business would be up and running and we'd be discussing getting pregnant. All things that I'm looking forward to. :)

4. Do you get excited when the mail comes? Why?

The mail only contains bills. I do get excited when it's birthday or Christmas season. Then there might be presents!

5. What is your earliest childhood memory?

I think this is hard question because your parents contanstly tell you stories about your childhood, so after a while, you wonder if you actually remember those things happening, or if your parents just told you what you did.

The earliest thing I can remember - and KNOW that it's not just because I've heard the story a million times - is my first theatrical experience. My mom took me to a local outdoor theatre for a production of Peter Pan. It was Cathy Rigby portraying the boy who just won't go up. The production calls for lots of flying, obviously, and my mom's tickets had placed right at the front of the audience, and Ms. Rigby flew right over our heads during one scene.

I know that I was memorized - and looked at my mom and told her I wanted to do THAT. Acting. That's where it all started. :)

Too bad I can't sing like that...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I love new furniture

A few weeks ago, Husband and I were helping friends set up for their garage sale. They were moving soon and trying to get rid of a bunch of stuff.

Of course, Hubs found a bunch of books he wanted – something about languages, I think. In any case, I found a gorgeous papasan chair in the basement.  It had a sign for $15 on it and I told E that!!! It was a lighter wicker than one we have, with a white cushion that would match the cushions in the craft room! Plus, this one wasn’t falling apart like the one we currently have.

To refresh your memory, here’s what it looked like before…


And here’s what it looks like now…

Craft room with new papasan chair

Doesn’t it look so much better!  Now if I could just repaint that coffee table white to match everything else in the room…

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Remembering the milk isn’t always easy

Works For Me Wednesday

I’m a ridiculously forgetful person. I mean, I would forget my own head if it weren’t attached to my shoulders.

At least four mornings out of five during the work week, I make it all the way to my car in the parking lot before remembering something in the townhouse that I needed for the day.

So I have to turn around and walk back to the door, get my keys out again and get back in the house for whatever piece of mail, bag, or lunch item I forgot.

Remember the Milk doesn’t help me with those items, but it could if I wrote them down and checked them in the morning before leaving the house! But I never can quite seem to do that.

But RTM does other things that help – like remembering when to clean the kitchen floor or when the trash and recycling needs to be put out for pick up.


It’s got a great interface for the iPhone (a requisite for me) and a nice online interface as well. The only drawback? It’s $25 per year.

But I figure that’s a small price to pay for my sanity, I think. :) It’s really helped me keep the house in better shape and reminds me to do things on a timely basis.

And that works for me!


*I was not compensated in anyway for this review. I just like to showcase websites and products that I use, in case other people are interested in the same things.*

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Turning 27 Was Quite Lovely

My birthday was Saturday.

27th Birthday

I got to celebrate with all the wonderful people in my life – my husband, my mom and a bunch of girlfriends.

My mom came to town last week and actually got to attend one of my work events! She met a bunch of my colleagues and got to see my work close up. It was pretty awesome!

Lots of things were taken care of this weekend –

  • Watched a chick flick (New In Town with Renee Zellweger)
  • Cheered on Husband and his 2L softball team
  • Ate a TON of food – Noodles and Company, O’Charley’s, Red Lobster, Sweet Tomatoes
  • Drank a LOT – both at home at at the Chocolate Bar (see yummy martini above)
  • Bought a new iPhone. SQUEE. Love it.
  • Got a beautiful new dress, trousers and silk shirt from the Limited for my birthday from Mom.
  • Ate THREE birthday cakes – and two of them were mine. :) One was for another family member.

My actual birthday was spent at the mall and at Bailey’s Chocolate Bar. I wish I had more pictures, but I was all wrapped up in having fun and seemed to forget to document it. Here’s what I ended up with:

27th Birthday - Cheese tray

Our cheese tray. YUM.

27th Birthday - dessert

My chocolate pot de creme for dessert. To die for.

27th Birthday - me and mom

Me and my mom. People say we look alike.

27th Birthday - me and husband

Me and hubs.

27th Birthday - the gals

The gals, N, J and M who came out to celebrate.

Here’s to a better year as a 27 year old than a 26 year old!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Five Question Friday

1. What do you do when you have time to yourself?

I love to read. And watch TV. And sleep.

I'm kind of boring.

2. When you look out your kitchen window, what do you see?

Our kitchen in the townhouse doesn't actually have a window. I'm very sad about that. But the kitchen is next to the living room and it's window opens up to our front lawn and the parking lot. Not that impressive, but there you are.

3. Who/What would you want to be reincarnated as?

I don't believe that you can be reincarnated so I'll pass on this one.

4. What is your biggest pet peeve about other people's kids?

I hate it when parents don't control their children in public. If you're on a plane and the kid is kicking the seat in front of them and bugging the poor person. Or when the kid is screaming in the store and the parents completely ignore it. Drives me crazy.

5. Regular or Diet soda?

I cannot *stand* the taste of diet soda. YUCK.

By the way... I have less then 21 hours to be twenty-six. It's my birthday tomorrow!