Thursday, December 30, 2010

Resolutions: Part 2

My second resolution on the list is to learn how to use my camera.  I got a Canon EOS Rebel Xsi for my birthday (thanks dear!) almost 8 months ago. It's been great and I've loved experimenting with it. Even if you keep it on the "auto" setting, anyone can take a better photo with it than with a point and shoot. It's just better equipment. But I want to really understand exposure, aperture, white balance, shutter speed, etc.  I got the 50 mm 1/8/f lens for Christmas (thanks again, dear!) and am loving it so far. It's totally frustrating though, when I see the AMAZING photos people are taking with the exact same equipment. I usually get a few awesome photos for ever 100 crappy ones I take. I'd really like to improve that ratio.

I have a few photography books laying around the house that I should really get around to reading.  I'm also thinking about taking a class when it warms up in the spring. Either way, I'll use this blog as a way to record my progress. Hopefully I'll notice some improvements by the end of the year! Here are a few shots that I've taken with the new lens. They are mainly unedited . . . I think I just added some boost and messed with levels a bit.

Know of any good photography/instructional blogs I should check out?

Resolutions: Part 1

Tomorrow is the last day of the year, and before stuffing myself with jello shots, cookies, and bacon-wrapped things, I think I should take a good hard look at my life and make some resolutions. I know, people rarely keep resolutions, especially me. But I like the idea of writing them down here, in this blog. Maybe I'll have a better chance at actually keeping them.

I have a lot of them. A lot, a lot. So I'm going to break this down into several posts.

1. Blogging. I'm going to make an honest attempt to blog every weekday. Even if its two words.  Even if its just a picture uploaded from my phone. The thing is, I REALLY love reading your blogs. My google reader has about 100 different blogs in it, and i probably read at least 30 of them on a regular basis. Like, obsessively. And I check for updates three times a day. I'm not kidding. I need to channel that energy into actually writing. My thing is, I sit here and think "no one wants to read this". But I want to do this for myself. Yes, of course its important for me to have others entertained by my writing, but I really want it so that I can look back and see what was going on in my life at different times of the year. It's scary to me how bad my memory is. I don't remember anything. I think this will help.

Stay tuned for my next New Year's resolution, which I'm sure will be just as riveting as this one ;)

This is me. I'm not making a duck face. I'm just pouting because I gave myself bangs and I think I might have made a mistake. It's NOT a duck face. This is duck face.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

This is how it goes.

Working at home on the internet can open you up to a world of distraction. Here's how this morning went so far:

  • Opened up my computer. Oooh. My google reader is up. Read thirty blogs.
  • Stop reading blogs. Time to do work. Start typing in "" but my unconscious mind takes over and somehow I have typed in "". Has this ever happened to you? It happens to me all the time. 
  • Check my newsfeed on the Book. Read the comments from the picture I posted last night of my husband, at the movies. I kid you not, this pose and outfit (including shoes) was unintentional:

  • Realize that I'm totally procrastinating because I'm totally in a work-rut right now and hate what I'm doing. 
  • Google "existential crisis".
  • Forward wikipedia existential crisis link to my husband. 
  • In my Gmail for real this time. There's an email from my mom. 
  • Respond to my mom's email, which takes about 20 minutes. I spill my guts about hating my job, the job I have worked so hard to create for myself. Other things too. 
  • Sign into Hootsuite to start working some social media magic. Look on the stream for MY twitter and click on a link for an updated blog I follow. End up reading about 30 more blogs.
  • Sign into Blogger to waste even more time and tell you about it. 
Now it's noon and I haven't done any work today FML. 

Friday, December 10, 2010

Losing it.

In the good way! 

I started my diet on monday and I have lost something to the tune of six pounds. I know its not "real" weight, it's not fat. It's all water weight. Especially since I started the diet weighing about five more pounds than my normal weight after a weekend full of bloat-inducing pizza, beer and other goodies. But I'm kind of glad I did that. Because those few pounds just slipped right off and made me feel like I was actually accomplishing something.

I'm an instant gratification kind of girl, long term goals are hard for me to stick to. I know a lot of people don't recommend weighing yourself every day, but having only ONE day at a time to think about is good. I know that I have to get on the scale the next morning, so that motivates me to be good today. If I only weighed myself once a week I would start thinking things like "oh, I have a whole week to make up for this pizza I'm about to eat". 

Anyway, I'm kind of in the honeymoon phase of this diet. I think the hardest part of a diet is getting started. You keep putting it off and you feel totally restricted for a few days. But then after a while you start getting excited and it feels like a game. I feel so accomplished after I choose to eat something healthy. It's like one point for me. 

So what am I doing? It's not really a diet, I guess, I'm just trying to make healthier choices. I'm eating whole foods like eggs, nuts, vegetables, lean meats. Cooking meals at home rather than going out and grabbing something. Planning meals ahead of time so I don't succumb to cravings. I'm also watching my carb intake (much less sugar, bread, pasta) and trying to keep sodium down. The sodium thing is mainly accomplished by not eating prepackaged or takeout foods. 

But if I feel totally restricted by what I'm eating, I'll fail. Which is why I keep a bag of Dove chocolate in one of the cupboards. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Decking the Halls

We got a real tree this year, actually went out and chopped it down ourselves. This feels like our first "grown up tree".  I also got some new ornaments (from Target, of course).  I love the antiquey mercury glass trend that they have caught onto. These giants aren't for the tree, they're up on the mantle. However, we did get a big pack of bulbs from target that are different shades of brown and subtle gold. Those coppery/brown icicles are from Walmart, who knew?  We still put up our little woodland creatures (my favorite). Oh, and the reindeer/deer (?) are from TJMaxx or Marshalls. Post links to your holiday decorating photos!

Monday, December 6, 2010


You would think that Mondays would be significantly more tolerable when you work from home and are your own boss. But it doesn't work that way. Not having someone breathing down my neck, telling me what to do only means that I have to breathe down my own neck.  And finding the motivation to motivate yourself when its 20 degrees outside and there is a perfectly cozy king size bed just in the next room, is excruciating.

I know that I have to dedicate 4 solid hours to one of my projects today, plus another hour for a different one. But I keep procrastinating. And now it's 11:15 and I still haven't done anything, so that just pushes back my day another hour.

We put up our FIRST REAL LIVE christmas tree yesterday and I love it.  Its all light gold, champagne-colored and sparkly chocolate brown bulbs with some woodland creatures mixed in. I plan on doing a post of pictures once I can fix some pics up in Photoshop.  One day we'll have a tree filled with tacky painted macaroni and awkward school photos, but for now I'm enjoying our pristine color-coordinated tree.

In other news, I hit rock bottom this morning. Yep, its back to dieting. Frank started a hard-core diet the other day and I told him that I was not totally mentally ready to join him. I still needed to hit my rock bottom.  Enter massive amounts of chinese food, mashed potatoes and binge drinking and now I'm ready to go. I weighed myself this morning and the number was 132.6. This is officially the most I have ever weighed. I swore to myself that I would never be over 129 lbs, except during pregnancy. FAIL. I know that 130 lbs is not a lot or fat, but its a lot for me. I am small-boned and have a small frame, so 130 lbs looks on me like 150 lbs might look on someone else. I just don't feel comfortable at this weight and I know that I'm not being healthy.

So I'm going to start with 14 days on phase 1 of the South Beach diet. I know, that was popular like five years ago. But it works. I did it once before and was able to lose a lot of weight. I'm hoping that losing a little in the beginning will help motivate me to keep that weight off. After phase 2, I'll just focus on eating healthier in general. More cooking at home, less eating out. Less drinking. Less 10 pm trips to the gas station for a treat. Did I say that out loud? My goal is to not be totally embarrassed in pictures and bathing suits. And to lose a cup size. And my double chin.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Rant/Anti-Bullying PSA

Just a word of warning, if you're ever planning on getting pregnant, planning on saying the word "baby" or planning on breathing ever  . . . don't go onto "The Bump" community boards. Please.

"The Bump" is a pregnancy and baby-related website that is the sister site of "The Nest", a website all about being homey and housewifey.  They are both related to "The Knot", the wedding site which most people have heard of.

I thought I'd check out The Bump for information about pregnancy etc., since I'm curious right now. That's when I found "The Boards" ::cue scary haunted house music::

I thought message boards were a place where people go to ask questions, get support and meet people going through similar situations.  Instead, it is a virtual "Mean Girls" that promotes online bullying, so that sad and discouraged women can take out their own insecurities on poor, defenseless posters.

There are a core group of women that sort of run the "Trying to Conceive" board, women that have been on this particular board for seven years or more, post at least once every three minutes, and sit at their cubicles with the window minimized, pretending to do work.  Or maybe they're sitting at home in their pajamas, not having enough self-respect to hide the fact that they are sitting on an online message board that has become their life for 24 hours a day. For every useful post they put up, there will be ten other posts that "flame" a poor person.  "Flaming" is when you directly insult someone for not knowing any better.  If you have not posted at least 30 times a day and have not been trying to get pregnant for 9 years, then you are considered a "newbie" which is the equivalent of a sorority pledge. Or garbage.  Be prepared to be hazed and humiliated.

For instance, a newbie will come in and post something like "Hey guys, I have a question. How do I know when I'm ovulating?" Her question will be met with a barrage of "flaming", telling her to get off the board, read a book, etc.  Many of the regulars will ask "where is your chart?" because if you do not use and chart your body temperature every day, along with every bodily sensation and weird fluid that seeps from your body, you're a waste of their time.

Similarly, if a "regular bumpie"(one who has logged at least 30 hours a day on the site) posts this:  "Hey all, I just wanted to let you know that my nipples are inverted and there is glowing green sludge coming out of my vajayjay" she will get a standing ovation and  comments like "omg I love you, you're my hero thats so exciting!"

The WORST offense that a newbie can commit is to announce her BFP on the board.  What is a BFP?  Go look it up on the TTC (trying to conceive) board glossary.  That's right, they speak in a different language so that people who don't have a printout of the glossary with them can't understand what they are saying.  Anyway a BFP is the ultimate goal, its a "big fat positive" pregnancy test. If a newbie posts "omg you guys, i got a bfp!" instead of "Congratulations, that's what we're all here for!", she'll basically get a chorus of bitter women "flaming" her and making her feel bad and guilty about getting pregnant.  Its almost like these hardcore "bumpies" think that their fertility is actually related to how often they post on the boards. Like, the more you post, the more likely it is that you'll get pregnant.

Just so you know, most of the women on these boards are supportive, friendly and informative.  There are just a select few that rule the roost and are WAY too into it.  And no, I was never personally "flamed", I never actually posted. I just learned this from observation.  And sadly, I keep going back to the boards just to hope to see one of these "newbies" flame back and tell these ladies where to stick their pee sticks.

Here's an example:
Note the sarcasm and snarkiness.

Here's a hint ladies, you're probably not getting pregnant, because your on the internet 24hrs/day.  Creeping online is not sexy. Go do your husband.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

I have been waiting for the right moment to come back to blogging, with some kind of excuse why I haven't been on here in months and why you should believe that I won't do it again. But all I can chalk it up to is a summer vacation.  I'd like to say that I was doing yoga in the park and generally taking a break from screens and technology, but no, I was pretty much still in front of my laptop all summer, just doing other nonsense.

My main issue when it comes to blogging is lack of focus. I think that the best blogs are ones that stick with a theme and have a distinct style and voice. But sometimes I am struck with the desire to write in different styles. I think this comes from the types of blogs I read.  There are mainly two types:

1. The hilarious, hold nothing back blog with lots of fart jokes, silliness and ridiculous Paint illustrations:
     Hyperbole and a Half
     Maybe if you just relax

2.  Beautiful blogs that make the writer seem like all they do is bake apple pies, buy throw pillows and do crafts.  They focus on the domestic and family:
     Young House Love 
     Bower Power 
     The Pioneer Woman

Even as I'm listing these blogs, I can see that some of them cross over and fit both categories, so maybe I can too.  So now that means I have to decide whether to create a second blog for all the "pretty things" I like or try to meld it all into one. Thoughts? If anyone accidentally saw this on their google reader and said "who the F is this?"

One thing is for sure, I need a redesign.  The current look just doesn't work.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Nature, yo

I took these in my backyard and then had some fun in Photoshop. I'm still just messing around with my camera in the automatic mode, but i'm looking for a class to take that will make me do more manual stuff.

Oh, and there were also two big turkeys and a bunch of baby turkeys in my yard but the pics turned out terrible. I would really love a nice telephoto lens, hint hint husband. Without further ado . . .

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

My Invention

As a child, I was a pretty docile, painfully shy girl. Then after high school I magically transformed into the outgoing and silly person that I am. I still get shy sometimes, but my confidence has gotten much better. I credit my husband, new friends and basement kegs of Natural Light.

Sometimes, I still have trouble speaking my mind or letting someone know when I am upset. Behind the wheel of my car is NOT one of these places. I morph into a 250 lb man with a shaved head and an anchor tattooed on his thigh. I'm not an aggressive driver--I'm very courteous about letting people in front of me, waving to people who let me in, etc. But if someone tries to tailgate me, or God forbid, cut me off, I start to feel the anger rise up. 

When someone does something to offend me while driving, three things happen. First, I lay my entire body into the horn and give it all I have. Second, I use my choice hand gesture. Which is NOT the middle finger. No, that's overdone. It's lost its power.  Instead I just kind of flick my hand at them, as though I am just dismissing them.  I think it is infinitely more offensive.  Then the third step is to think of the meanest thing I can possibly say to them.  I rarely throw out the standard, "Learn how to drive a**hole!" No, I'm an English Major and a Professional Writer.  Those are cliche.  Instead, I think of the meanest possible thing that I could say to them.  I study them. I observe context clues, like bumper stickers, other passengers and clothing choice.  What could I say to this person that could totally defeat them, make them curl into a ball and want to die, leave them feeling insecure for the rest of the week. I take note of disproportionate facial features. Is their child tragically plain looking?  Bad dye job?  Hit them where it hurts.

Only, on one rare occasion have I actually said any of these things out loud. Some beastly woman almost backed her car into my parked car, I gave her a little warning beep before she hit me and she proceeded to start flipping on me. It was a perfect moment when the stars aligned and I thought up the perfect insult and timed it just right. But I only reserve those kind of comments for very special people.  I think I actually wrote about that in this blog before . . .

Anyway, when these situations occur, I always think about my invention.  I want to invent an electronic marquee that sits atop your car and broadcasts messages to fellow drivers:

I think I'm sitting on top of a gold mine. This may be the next Sham Wow.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Survey Says

Oh, I have been a sloppy blogger. I kind of fell off the wagon. I hope to get back into it so i'll ease back into blogging with something fun and easy, a survey!

1. The strangest thing I've ever eaten was ranch flavored crickets! My best friend bought them and made me try one, but I didn't swallow it so I guess that doesn't count.

2. My best friends are completely drama-free. After high school, I decided not to maintain friendships with people who were dramatic or too dependent.  People who are strong and independent make the best friends.

3. If I could live in a different era it would be the 70's! I would love to experience the hippy  lifestyle.  Almost Famous is one of my favorite movies

4. If you should only know one thing about me it should be that I am determined to live an extraordinary life

5. My favorite book of all time is There are just way too many to list, but I know my favorite childhood book was "Mandy" by Julie Andrews. I must have read that book a dozen times

6. The one beauty product I cannot live without is my bare minerals foundation

7. Blogging is something i do professionally, so its hard for me to take the time to do it personally. But i'm working on it!

8. If I could star in a movie with one actor/actress, it would be Robert Pattinson . . . don't judge me

9. One of the best feelings in the world is being in love!

10. My current obsession is roasted red pepper hummus

11. What's for dinner tonight ? grilled flank steak and fresh broccoli

12. The last thing I bought was  a loaf of bread

13. I am currently listening to no music, Bethenny Getting Married on tv

14. If I could have a home, totally paid for, totally furnished anywhere in the world, it would be I guess Pittsburgh, where I live now. But if I could have all of my family and friends move too, Sausalito!

15. The one thing I would change about myself  is my self-doubt

16. If you could go anywhere in the world in the next hour, where would you go? St. Bart's, watching the honeymoon episode of Bethenny getting Married and it looks amazing

17. The languages I would love to learn are Italian, so I can speak it when we go to Florence next year

18. My favorite quote is:
"All any man can do, is add his fragment to the whole. No man can be final, but he can record his progress. What he leaves is so much for others to use as stones to step on, or stones to avoid. After all, the goal is not making art, it is living a life. Those who live their lives will leave the stuff that is really art." - Robert Henri

19. I am most afraid of death of loved ones

20. My favorite colour is gray! I have to restrain myself from buying too much gray clothes
21. My dream job is the one I'm working at, a professional freelance writer

22. The one thing that brings a smile to my face instantaneously is babies and puppies!

23. The one word I use a lot is F*** and all its variations. . . i'm trying to tone it down, its so tacky
24. When I'm feeling blue I go shopping or eat something bad

25. What inspires me is nature, particularly water like the beach or a lake, other people's art, a good book

26. My favorite season is, summer because of all the traveling I do then, but weather-wise it would be spring. Fall would be my favorite if winter didn't come after it :(

27. My favorite dessert has to be I'm currently o-b-s-e-s-s-e-d with those self-serve frozen yogurt places. The tart yogurt that actually tastes like real yogurt. Load a bunch of fruit, chocolate and graham cracker crumbs on top and HEAVEN

28. How many tabs are open on your browser right now? 7, and thats pretty low for me.

29. What was the first thought that crossed your mind this morning when you looked in the mirror?  need to wash my hair

30. The best piece of advice I was ever given was Most of the stuff you worry about won't actually happen

31. If I had a millions dollars to give to one charity, I would give it to maybe the literacy council

32. If at first you don't succeed, your eventual success will be that much sweeter

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Let's Hear it for New York

Despite the sub par weather, lack of vineyards and towering ocean bluffs, the east coast does have one main advantage to the west: its proximity to this place:

Cleveland. J/K its New York City, silly. I have been to NYC maybe a half a dozen times. Its a leisurely six hour drive from where I live, depending on traffic. Just the perfect distance to feel like a trip but still doable for a long weekend. I have been lucky enough to have a couple friends who live in or near the city, so going there has always been feasible for me.

I have been to a few major cities, and in my limited opinion, NY is by far the greatest US city. I have never been in any other urban setting that inspires so much awe. To me, NY feels like another planet. When you're walking down the streets of Manhattan, you may be outside but it feels like you are enclosed by the mammoth buildings. Its the strangest feeling.

One of the best kinds of friends to have in New York is a rich friend. And that's what we have. Even when we were in college, before this guy started climbing his career ladder, he always had a taste for the extravagant and luxurious. He drank mojitos before they were cool, while we were choking back cans of Natty Light. He showed us that wine doesn't just come in boxes. He taught me what bottle service was.

Now that he is all grown up and living in an apartment in New York, we have the greatest NY experiences. He knows the ins and outs, so we can avoid the tourist traps and have an authentic experience. The last time we were there, we went to swanky and super-expensive trendy restaurants. Dinner reservations at 10 pm? In my normal life, that's almost time for 4th meal at Taco Bell. Fancy!

So we're going back this weekend, as he is having his birthday party at this place:

Lets make something clear: I'm past my prime. "Going Out" on a Saturday night means driving to the local dive bar on 25 cent wing night and dropping $5 on the TouchTunes cuz I'm rich like that. And making it into bed by 10 pm. I don't care. I had plenty of crazy times in my early twenties and I don't miss the clubs and the drunk texts and the hangovers. But I guess for this weekend I'm going to have to resurrect my inner party girl because this shit doesn't start until 11:30 pm. 


I'm going to need a nap before hand. And I'm also going to need to wear something other than a standard jean skirt, flip flops and t shirt. So I bought this from Express:

Shhhh. Don't tell my rich friend it was $30.  Just add twenty pounds and take away 6 inches from that model and that's what I'll look like in it! 

I'm also doing very well on my 5k101 program. I started week 3 (of 8) yesterday and I felt great. I really like this program so far. Its so gradual that you barely notice how much your lung capacity, endurance and pace is improving, until you realize that only three weeks ago you couldn't run 30 seconds without passing out. Im very excited that I'll be in NY on Friday, so I'll be able to run there! I'm thinking about running the Brooklyn bridge, I'll have to look into it. 

Anyone else doing 5k101 or couch 2 5k?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Rough Morning

This morning, a beautiful thing happened. I stepped on the scale and I was down four pounds since I started the 5k101 podcast a week and a half ago. It could have been water weight loss, it could have been the fact that i replaced the batteries in the scale and maybe it wasn't working right before, or it could be the fact that I was slightly hungover this morning and had no fluids in my body. But I'll take it.

Then a not so beautiful thing happened. I went downstairs to make some coffee. I was walking from the fridge to the coffee maker, container of folgers in hand, when GAHHHHH! Something bit my foot! Then I realized something had not bit my foot, but there was a shard of glass in my baby toe. I yanked it out and blood spurted (not really, the thing was the size of a splinter, but don't tell my husband that).  I vaguely remembered hearing a glass crash on the floor last night when i was already in bed and my husband was still downstairs. Then I opened up the garbage can and saw the remains of one of our bowls. But apparently, he only picked up the large pieces because I swept the floor and there was little splinters of glass everywhere. It just pisses me off because he's not stupid. At some point, he had to go through the following thought process, "Wow, that's glass on the floor. Glass can hurt you. Should I sweep it up? But the broom is all the way in the closet, like ten feet away. That would be very hard. Maybe if I leave it there, Emily will clean it up in the morning." Here's the kicker. When I called him at work this morning to yell at him, I said "Why didn't you clean up the broken glass on the kitchen floor?" He said, "The cat did it."

(This is funny, I JUST got a text from him that said "Please don't put this whole broken glass thing on Facebook" and I had to tell him that it wasn't going on the book but it would be on the blog, hahaha)

PS. The image? That's what I got when I did a google image search for "idiot husband".

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

People of Walmart.

I had to share this. How could I not.

You know news stories you hear about someone finding a potato that looks like the Virgin Mary? And then they sell it on ebay to some weirdo for $5000?  This is sort of like that but BETTER.

I was at the evil Wal-Mart yesterday getting groceries with my husband. We usually go to the fancy new grocery store they opened by our house, but we had a big list and no money so we had to suck it up and get our grub from Wally world this time.

As we were standing in line, I noticed that the cashier kept wiping sweat off his face with a paper towel. I dry heaved a little bit, but I wasn't about to give up my position in the line just to find another non-sweaty cashier. As we moved up closer in line, I noticed that his blue t-shirt had some kind of design on it. Oh how cute, it is the Walmart smiley face.

Upon further inspection, I realized that it was NOT a design in the t-shirt. It was a full-blown sweat stain in the shape of the Wal Mart smiley face. This poor guy has been working at Walmart for so long that it has overtaken his soul and his sweat glands. What's that? Of COURSE I got a picture.

Wait for it . . .

Yes, I plan on submitting this picture to .  I apologize in advance if this offends anyone, but it was too good not to post. Plus I cut the guy's head off so he remains completely anonymous. I'll let you know if People of Walmart accepts it, but how could they not?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

This dog isn't cute at all.

Just thought I'd brighten your day with Wilbur being cute.

You're welcome.

This is how he was sleeping until i so rudely woke him up with the sound of my cell camera flash.

No Pain, No Gain.

Oh hey guys.

Pardon my bitching, but I woke up this morning feeling like my muscles had been placed in a meat grinder and then stuffed back into my body.

My husband's reaction to this? "Pain is weakness leaving the body." Whatever, d-bag.

I have been on one of my exercise binges, probably the most hardcore I have ever been on. Right now I am training for a 5k (yes, I said 5k, not marathon or half marathon, I'm lame), practicing yoga a couple times a week and weight training. On the weekends, my husband takes me to his gym and submits me to all types of cruel torture, like hang cleans, dead lifts and squats. It has really kick-started my fitness.

On Saturday, I finished week 1 of my 8 week 5k training. According to the guy that narrates the "5K101" podcast that I downloaded, I will be able to run a 5k by the end of the program. We'll see. I'm confident though (don't I sound confident?) If you want to do it with me, search "5k101" on itunes. Week 1 was very easy for me, but i'm a bit scared of week 2.

The challenge now is to get my eating under control. Since I have been working out more, I have been as hungry as Chris Farley (RIP) and have felt entitled to eat whatever I want. As I was stuffing my face with a $2 Red Baron pizza yesterday, I realized that I had eaten pizza FOUR times that week. WTF? My husband told me that if you do hang-cleans, you can eat whatever you want that day. I don't think he expected me to take his words as a promise and a challenge. Because I took it to the house on some pizza, ice cream and potato chips yesterday. Gross.

So now that I'm getting into the exercising, I have to work on phase 2: the diet. I'll try to record what I eat here as much as possible. I think that actually owning up to every little thing I eat will help me get a hold of myself. Reading about other people's health quest on their blogs is what really motivates me to get healthy. So if you write about healthy eating/exercise, send me a link so that I can stalk you!

I needed a picture for this post and was lazy, totally appropriate right?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Breaking News!

Check out the NPR story for more details

Sweet baby Jesus, the time has come. Starting on July 1, 2010, Startbucks stores in the US will be offering FREE UNLIMITED WIFI. Previously, customers had to pay to log on via AT&T. Then they started offering the first two hours free, as long as you signed up with a Starbucks account. I guess the coffee giant finally realized that no one is going to pay $3.99 for an hour of internet in addition to their $3.99 for a cup of coffee.

 In the community of freelance writers, this is big news. Well at least it is to me. I spend a lot of time working out of coffee shops and book stores in order to focus. If the house is messy, the dog is whiny, there are just too many distractions at home. So I seek quite, good coffee and free wifi at various places. I don't understand why it took Starbucks so long to join the ranks of Panera, Barnes and Noble, Borders and all the other small independently-owned coffee shops.

As far as I'm concerned, Starbucks is a little too late to convert me. I have searched my town and found a great, independently owned coffee shop that purchases their beans from a local roaster. I feel good about giving my money to them. Starbucks . . .eh. But i'm sure I will end up there sometimes. Starbucks does have great coffee.  It's another great location to add to my list of office spaces.
(Image from Flickr user EdYourdon, creative commons licensing)

Oh, Baby.

I'm still alive. I had to take a little break from blogging because it was starting to feel like a chore and I don't ever want it to be a chore. Actually I was blogging like crazy, but it was for a client, so I was kind of burnt out on it.

But inspiration to blog has struck, as it usually does when I'm distressed.

Right now, I have a four year old boy who is pretending everything is a gun, a 2 year old girl who refuses to wear anything but a tutu and a beagle furiously humping a pillow. That's right, I'm babysitting my niece and nephew.

Babysitting gets increasingly harder the older they get. I liked it a lot better when one was immobile and the other could be corralled with a baby gate. True, they can now feed themselves and go to the potty (sometimes) and tell me what they need, but its still harder.

It seems like babies are physically harder to take care of because you're constantly making bottles, changing diapers, soothing, getting no sleep etc. Kids are mentally exhausting because they have so many questions, constantly want you to "watch this!" and you constantly have to referee when there are more than one.

I LOVE these kids and have been a big part of their lives since they were born. I have rocked them to sleep, taken them to the doctor when they were sick, helped them walk, witnessed first words and I am very attached to them. Plus, they are adorable! You just want to eat them up. But watching them for more than a few hours makes me wonder if I'll EVER be ready for kids. I want to want kids. I know I will have them some day. But I'm worried that I will never feel fully ready.

So I'm asking anyone who has kids (or anyone who doesn't!), how do you feel about this? Is it different when it's your own kids? Will I feel differently when it's my own? Will the alarm on my biological clock eventually go off, without me hitting the snooze button every time? I really hope so. When you had kids, did you feel totally ready? I'm so worried that I'll never feel completely ready, but I guess I'm still young and it could still happen.

(picture from flickr user therapycatguardian, creative commons)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

That Time I Tried to Not be Fat

Let's talk about being fat, and how I'm attempting to avoid it.

I have to admit, I've been seriously slacking in the diet and exercise department since California. But I'm happy to report that I have gotten back on the horse. I'm in a really good groove right now with working out and eating healthy.

Let's get one thing straight, I HATE exercising. It takes me more mental perseverance than it takes Fergie to not pee her pants. I think about it for a couple of days. Then I might put on a pair of tennis shoes and a sports bra and take a nap in them, just to feel them out. On a few occasions, I may have driven to the gym and ended up in the grocery store instead.

But lately? Lately I have actually been semi-looking forward to working out. I have kind of gotten into a groove with my lifting routine and my cardio. I get SO FREAKING BORED when I'm doing cardio, even though I have an ipod loaded with podcasts, and each piece of cardio equipment has its own tv screen. I can attribute my new devotion to fitness to the fact that they recently added channels to the gym cable and . . .

I can watch Real Housewives and Keeping Up with the Kardashians while I work out. Whatever works.

I find that eating healthy and working out all seem to fall into place once you have one of them down. So since I have been working on my fitness, I have been having less cravings for junk and have been more motivated to fuel my body with healthy foods, particularly vegetables. Once you start turning down junk food, it becomes addicting, like some sort of game. Last night, while out at dinner with my friends, I turned down dessert. Do you know how hard that is for me? I felt so bad ass afterward.

I have found that blogging has been a huge motivation for me when it comes to getting healthy. Of course I am held accountable by my own blog, but more so, I like reading other people's blogs about their attempts to get healthy.  I'm more likely to be motivated by a real person making an attempt to be healthy than someone like Jillian Michaels. Jillian, you are a demon robot sent to Earth to make me feel ashamed and weak. You have no relevance in my life.

So I'm asking you, do you have any kick ass fitness, health or eating blogs that you read that help you stay motivated?  I would definitely like to add a few to my reader. Thanks!

(photos from Flickr: timtak,, jesse757)

Monday, May 31, 2010

Sunburns and Mosquito Bites

Memorial day weekend, the first unofficial weekend of summer was just perfect. It started out warm and sunny and ended with a great summer thunderstorm. Plus Frank had Friday off, so it was a nice long four day weekend for him.

Saturday was spent laying out at the pool at our friend's country club. We pretended to be rich and charged a bunch of drinks to his account, haha. I ended up with quite a sunburn on half of my body. No, not the front of back half, but the right side of my body. It looks awesome. On the drive home we were all a little buzzed, except for my husband who was driving and except for our friend who had been drinking scotch and was d-r-u-n-k. We wanted to pick up some groceries, but decided it would be an awesome idea to go to walmart and buy a pool instead. So this ended up in our back yard:

By the time the thing was completely filled with water, we were asleep and the thing never was used. Oh well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

On Sunday, we had a cookout at my sister in law's house. It was for memorial day, and also a sendoff for my brother in law who is being deployed to Afghanistan in a couple of days. I got a ton of mosquito bites.

When we were leaving, my 2 year old niece started telling everyone that she was going home with us. We didn't realize how serious she was until she started sobbing and clinging to my husband like a spider monkey. Hiccuping, snot running down her nose, screaming "I want to go live with uncle frank and aunt em!!"  And the funny thing is, a lot of kids would say they wanted to spend the night somewhere and then would get upset and miss their parents and want to go home, but she has been having sleepovers with us since she was one. Even though my sister in law was probably a little miffed to see her 2 yr old daughter wanting to leave home, at least she knows she is raising well-adjusted kids! At that age, I was so shy that I never would have slept over someone else's house!

And today? Today was Wilbur's birthday! We're not sure when his actual birthday is, but this is the day we adopted him last year so we say its his birthday.  The day started with a trip to the dog park. Its a huge fenced in park with double gates, so there is no way he can escape. Because if there was, he would find it. Then we went to Bruster's ice cream for a doggy ice cream sundae. After a long nap, our niece and nephew came over to play for a bit. Then we went out to Petsmart and bought a bunch of expensive toys that will probably be destroyed by tomorrow.

I'll update this post with pictures tomorrow, but for now, Real Housewives of NJ!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Summer Challenge!

As promised, this is the first installment of my Summer Time Challenge. I wanted to pick a simple, attainable goal that I could work on throughout the summer. Posting about my progress every Friday will help keep me on the ball.

My Goal: Submit 50 magazine article queries by the end of the summer

Update:  First query has been submitted! I proposed an article idea for First for Women magazine. I can't find any information about how long it takes them to respond to queries, so I guess its just a waiting game.

What's your goal for the summer? To participate, leave a comment with a link to your Summer Time Challenge post.  Don't forget to steal the graphic!

Thursday, May 27, 2010


So far, today has been one of those days. You know, one of those days where you wake up all bright-eyed and ready to greet the morning and then God bitch slaps you. It has just been one thing after the other.

So the first thing that happens (and this one is the most major, so yes I'm totally overreacting) is I go down to the kitchen to make breakfast and I realize the floor of the pantry is black. Black and . . . moving. Ants, ants everywhere. In my new, clean house. I grabbed the first available weapon, Windex, and crop-dusted their whole little conga line. They were instantly paralyzed. (My husband makes fun of me, because I use Windex for EVERYTHING. I was raised on Windex.) I wiped up their lifeless bodies, closed the pantry door and hoped I would never see them again. Wishful thinking.

Creative commons: Flickr-Neilsphotography

I went upstairs to put some laundry away, and ended up having one of those "I hate everything in my closet" fits. I ripped half of my clothing out of my closet and sorted it into piles. Winter clothes that need stored and stuff that can be donated. I put all the donated stuff in a bag and loaded it in my car.

A half hour later I opened the pantry door to see more of the little F'ers.

So I called my mom like I do in any emergency situation and she told me a certain type of ant traps that work really well. They sell them at Walmart. Walmart was not really on my list of things I wanted to do today, but when something happens like this, I have to solve it IMMEDIATELY.

The plan for the day was to work ALL day, so this trip really cut into my time. I drove out to Walmart, found the ant traps and started to read the package. Keep away from kids and pets. Of course my derranged animals would be more than happy to gobble up an ant trap and create a much bigger problem. I debated and debated and ended up not buying the traps. I did buy some space bags though. I planned on going to the gym on the way home but I was struck with cramps, a surprise and realized i forgot my ipod anyway. No gym.

I got home, opened the pantry and realized that I would HAVE to buy ant traps, it was getting out of control. So I got back into the car and drove to a DIFFERENT walmart (one that was closer to my house, but doesn't sell groceries) and bought the ant traps. By this time it was noon and I was hungry and cranky. I stopped and got a sub and a coke.

When I got home, I set up the ant traps, made sure the cat and dog had no way to access it and then plopped down on the couch to eat my lunch and go through the mail. I felt something stab me when I sat down. It was my favorite lip gloss/lipstick. Which the dog had thoroughly mangled and was now on the couch, may shorts and . . . . yep. All over the dog. After I got that all cleaned up I flipped through the mail, only to find the Victoria's Secret swimsuit catalog. I don't need to see this while i'm guzzling down soda and a ham sandwich.

This is how it ended:

I think I will now take a nap and start the day over.

PS. The space bags were the best part of my day and are actually AMAZING.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Don't Say I Didn't Worm You

Wilbur. Has. Worms.

Not even cute little earthworms that you can put in a farm or go fishing with. He has hookworms. Here's some advice, if your pet ever gets diagnosed with hookworm, don't look it up on Google image search. Because this image will haunt your dreams:

Even thought they are tiny tiny, I picture them to be roughly six foot tall with blood dripping from their fangs.

I took Wilbur for his 2 year checkup like a good doggy mom. I got all the recommended vaccines. The vet ooh'd and ahh'd and went on and on about he is so fit, especially for a beagle (who tend to get overweight easily) how beautiful his coat is, etc. She recommended that I start him on HeartGuard and Frontline to prevent fleas and worms and other fun things. The grand total of the vet bill was $370, ouch. But whatever it takes to keep my puppy healthy. Then I got a call a day later, saying that his stool sample came back positive for hookworm and that I needed to pick up medication for him.

When I went to pick up the meds, the receptionist was actually kind of bitchy and blunt, like "you're a bad dog mom, you let you dog get hookworm". Here's what I don't understand, if HeartGuard prevents this, then why oh why did they not suggest that I put him on it at his 1 year checkup? Maybe this is something I should know, but I have never owned a dog before and I think its my vets responsibility to keep me educated about this stuff. That's why I have a vet.

Now I'm about to get sort of graphic.  When I brought Wilbur to the vet, I took him to a little grassy area to see if he had to go to the bathroom. I wasn't expecting anything because I took him out before we left the house. But of course he took a massive dump. And I didn't have a plastic bag and there was no garbage can in sight. So I left it. I know I know . . . judge me. I NEVER leave it, and this was an isolated event. I made sure that no one saw my crime and I went into the vet's office. Of course, they asked me for a stool sample, which of course, I forgot to bring in. So I said, "I'll take him out now, maybe he'll go." And I slyly went over to the poo he had left ten minutes ago and put it into the little bag they gave me. So essentially, I cleared myself of guilt.

Wilbur, wanting to get the F out of the vet's office

So, do you think its possible, that in the ten minutes the poo was laying there by its lonesome, some homeless hookworms could have come in and made themselves at home? I'm guessing this is pretty doubtful, just wondering. Because I don't let my dog eat other dog's poo and he has no symptoms of ill-health.

The zinger of this whole ordeal is that hookworms are contagious to humans. And I have definitely walked barefoot in my back yard (they can burrow into your feet, climb up the veins in your legs and make themselves at home in your internal organs, fun I know). So far, no symptoms and I'm not taking any chances. Although, when my husband so RUDELY asked if I would pack him a lunch for work, I told him I would go in the backyard and make him a hookworm sandwich :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Summer Challenge!

So I was reading Cassie's post (check it out here) about her summer reading goals. I think it is a great idea to have one attainable (yet challenging goal) that you can finish in the semi-near future. Something that won't stress you out, but will make you feel accomplished. So I decided to set a summer goal and it would be great if you set one as well and shared it with me. I'll have an update post every Friday. If you want to participate with me, copy the banner for the project and post your updates. Then post a link to your post on my Friday update. I think the most challenging part of this goal will be actually remembering to do the Friday posts! (Inserts reminder into Google Calendar).

I know its not Friday yet, but I'm going to post an intro to my goal.

I was listening to a podcast interview with a prominent pro-blogger the other day, and he said something that really stuck with me. He suffers from "analysis paralysis". Its when you think about something and analyze it for so long that you never end up actually doing it. For me, this definitely holds true in my career. I'm trying to make it as a freelance writer. However, I'm a somewhat shy, introverted person and I'm constantly doubting myself. I write for businesses, but I'd also like to write for magazines as we. I already write for a couple local ones, but obviously I would like to go bigger someday. I KNOW that the only way to write for a major magazines is to write query letters (explanation to non-magazine writers: a letter to a magazine in which you try to pitch them a story idea and hope they will assign you to write it). But the fact remains that these editors get thousands of query letters a week and 99% of them are rejected. And I. Fear. Rejection.

Analysis Paralysis has prevented me from sucking it up, writing the letters and sending them out. So I present my summer goal: sending out query letters. My goal is going to be to send out 50 query letters by the end of summer (which I will deem as August 31). It doesn't matter how large or small the publication is, it doesn't matter whether I actually get any assignments. I just have to suck it up and do it. So that's my goal.

Tell me your goal! Then when we do our updates on Fridays (or whatever day you do yours) I'll post links to your updates.

Getting Un-fat, and Lemonade

Well I'm sort of "back on the horse" in terms of dieting and exercise. Although, I'm not calling it a diet. Its more of an attempt to not totally sabotage my body and health by eating the crap that I normally indulge in. Our ten-day trip was a free-for-all in terms of eating.  Every single meal was eaten out.  It is hard to get out of the habit of eating like that. Summer is a great time to do this though because I love fresh fruit and vegetables and there is so much to choose from.  I hate winter, when the only good stuff you can are apples, oranges and bananas. Gross. Plus anything grilled tastes awesome.

We're probably going to the beach at the end of June, and I'd like to be able to face the idea of getting into a bathing suit. I tried to convince my husband that one piece bathing suits are cool now (they ARE) but he, along with 99% of men I'm sure, is not buying it. I checked my membership profile online for LAFitness and they show your work out history. It turns out that all those times that I thought about going to the gym did not count as actually going. Luckily, one of my best friends is joining my gym soon so I'll have some new motivation. She is one of those people who can do the elliptical for two hours straight. I might have to chain myself to her to prevent me from leaving.

So today, rather than doing something  . . . you know . . . productive, I made lemonade. It's sunny, it's warm, I just spent $370 on my dog for vaccinations and meds. Why not? Plus its kind of healthy, which is what I'm going for these days. All I did was juice a big lemon (I also used the pulp, because I like it), add in a couple handfuls of frozen raspberries and some ice cubes. I used a packet of Sweet-n-low to sweeten it, but also supplemented with a little sugar because I can't stand too much sugar substitute, I'm very sensitive to the taste. It's not as super sweet as lemonade, and is more refreshing. I made it in a sealable glass jar so I  just filled that with water and shook it up. It looks pretty and tastes delish and will help me get my water for the day.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Zoloft: My love/hate affair

It is sunny out. And its going to be warm. It hasn't been like this in a while and I am so relieved. It is amazing how much influence the weather can have on your mood. You just feel lighter and happier on sunny days. Its kind of sad that I live in a city that doesn't see much sunlight. Right now I'm laying in bed with my puppy, with sunshine pouring through the window and a light breeze is blowing the curtains. Heaven.

Speaking of sunshine and happiness. You might have noticed in my last post that I'm on antidepressants. I have been for eight years now, Zoloft to be exact. I have always been a "worrier", but in college, stress started getting to me and I began having panic attacks, seemingly out of nowhere. One minute I'd be happily watching a movie with my boyfriend (now husband) and the next I'd be hyperventilating, curled up in a ball and thinking that I was about to die. Things started to get really bad when I went home to visit my parents for a weekend and I ended up having a full blown panic attack.  I pulled myself together and was able to go back to my dorm the next day. But then it started again. I remember my roommate helping me walk to student health, and I couldn't even stand up straight. I couldn't breath, my heart was pounding out of my chest and I was nauseated. The geniuses at student health diagnosed me with dehydration and pumped me with three liters of saline fluid. When that seemed to do nothing, they ordered blood tests and asked if I had been tested for cancer. (???!!!) Not something you say to someone during a panic attack.

After the fiasco at student health, my parents brought me home. I stayed there for a week or two, luckily it was winter break. If you don't have panic disorder, it is impossible to understand this. It seems like a mental thing but it is SO PHYSICAL. I was sickeningly dizzy, could barely get off the couch to go to the bathroom, had ringing in my ears and couldn't eat. We were able to find a psychiatrist that could fit me in for an emergency appointment and I was diagnosed with panic disorder and put on Zoloft.

I have a love/hate relationship with Zoloft. I believe it is what really pulled me out of this random breakdown, which I still don't know the reasons and trigger for. It acted as a band aid while I went to therapy and learned why the panic attacks happened and how to cope with them.

But I'm not the same person as I was before I started the medicine. I'm tired all the time and it really gets in the way of my life. I often take daily naps and will sometimes just fall asleep when I'm trying to work on something. I have trouble concentrating on a task. I have become EXTREMELY forgetful and scatter-brained. I can't remember certain long-term things and I do stupid shit all the time. I forget appointments, I forget to pay bills, I forget to look in the rear view mirror when I back out of the driveway and I hit my sister's car. Oops. Then last night, I realized I couldn't find my NEW $700 camera and after 20 minutes of sobbing and calling around, I found out that I had left it at my cousin's wedding shower and that my aunt had it. It has become sort of a joke among my family and friends about how scatterbrained I am, but it bothers me because I wasn't always like this.

Then there is physical stuff. I have gained about 30 pounds since I started taking Zoloft. I'm sure some of it had to do with college life, dorm food, and massive consumption of PBR light. But still. I'm hungry all the time, and I wasn't like that before.

In the past couple years, I have managed to go down from 150 mg to 50 mg, which is pretty huge. Many people have TERRIBLE withdrawal effects from trying to go off their medicine and many people relapse and have to go back on. Luckily, I have not had trouble going down, I think because I have done it so gradually. In a few weeks, I plan on going down to 25. I want to get off of it this year. I hardly ever have panic attacks and when I feel one starting, I know how to bring myself back down from it. But it still scares me a bit, the idea of not taking that pill every night. But I can't wait to be free of it.

So I'm kind of coming out with this because I want to know about other people's experiences. I want to know if people have gone off the antidepressants and whether the weight has come off, sex drive returned, etc.  Or any kind of experience with it. One thing I realized after going on the meds is that MUCH more people are on antidepressants than you think. I was so secretive about it until I realized that I was definitely not the only one. Anyway, I love having discussions about this topic, so fire away! :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Survey Says . . .

I'm super sleepy but I wanted to make sure I got a blog post in for today.  So I stole this survey from Philly Girl .
 If you decide to do the survey, leave me a comment and link to your post, because I really like reading peoples' answers to these things.

Nine things you wish you could say to nine different people:
1)  Propose to her already!
2)  I wish I had gotten to know you a lot better.
3)  Sometime you talk about moving away, and that scares me to death.
4)  You're too good for me, but I hope you never realize it.
5)  You were much more fun before the eating disorder.
6)  I would rather be depressed than see you depressed.
7)  Move home.
8)  I hope we can can be friends when your a grown up
9)  You better turn out to be a girl, or I won't know what to do with you.

Eight things about yourself:
1)  I have terrible time-management skills and it is something I need to improve on.
2)  I am so afraid of failure that sometimes I just freeze up and don't make an attempt at success.
3)  I was a total cat person until I got a dog. I am so much more attached than I thought I could be.
4)  I have panic disorder, which is JUST as fun as it sounds. But I taught myself how to manage it by reading books about it and now I'm in a much better place.
5)  I am such a control freak that it is part of the reason why I went into business for myself. Knowing that someone has control over when I can come and go makes me panic, literally. (see number 4).
6)  In my family, I was always known as the one who can't cook. It turns out I'm actually a pretty good cook, I just don't want to be EXPECTED to do it every night.
7)  I was painfully shy until college. Its like something switched in me and I wasn't shy anymore. Anytime I tell someone that I was shy before, they can't believe it, but i'm still shy in certain situations.
8)  My default face is sad. People always think I'm unhappy or about to cry, but I'm not. I'm usually happy or content. My whole life, people have always come up to me and said "Smile!" and it bugs the shit out of me.

Seven things that cross your mind a lot:
1) Whether I will ever achieve my definition of success.
2)  There is not enough time in the day, and I waste so much of it.
3)  My family.
4)  If I will ever be ready for kids.
5)  Money.
6)  Food, and trying to eat less of it.
7)  I need a nap.

Six things you wish you never did:
1) Spent 2 years in an accounting job (BUT it was valuable because it made me realize I'm not cut out for a 9-5 typical office job and motivated me to find something better).
2) Went on antidepressants (mixed feelings about this)
3) Gained weight in college!
4) Spent $600 on a chocolate fountain at my wedding. I never even SAW it.
5) Wish I hadn't been so painfully shy in high school

 6) Worried so much.

Five Things You Always Have With You:
1) Cell phone
2) ID
3) Debit Card
4) Keys
5) Thats it, i'm pretty low maintenance. HA yeah right.

Four Bad Habits:
1) I chew the side of my tongue when i'm nervous (yeah i know, its gross)
2) Procrastinating
3) I'm a perfectionist to a fault. If I can't do something perfectly the first time, I either won't try at all or I'll get pissed off.
4) I have a bad temper sometimes.

Three Favorite Memories:
1) Meeting my husband, that rush
2) My wedding day, particularly late that night, when we were exhausted but happy and totally relieved that we could just relax and be married.
3) Summer beach vacations of my childhood

Two things you want to do before you die:

1) Go to Florence (next year hopefully)
2) Have a daughter.

One Confession:
1) I was an incredibly late bloomer and very skinny and would literally pray for boobs. Now I have them and I wish I hadn't prayed for them so much.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

NorCal > SoCal

You can argue if you'd like, but judging from from 10 day escapade in California, the northern regions are simply the most gorgeous. So here we go, onto Day 2, in Napa.

Day 2
Because we went to bed before ten pm, I woke up at 5:30 am . . . naturally. This has never happened to me before. So we decided to take a walk and pack up our things before breakfast was served at the Inn. We were moving to a new (cheaper) hotel for the next night and had to leave directly after breakfast in order to catch the shuttle for our winery tour at the Fairfield Inn. We were walking around the garden on the grounds and we noticed one of the cooks picking oranges off the tree. Real oranges. Picking real oranges and turning them directly into orange juice. I was so excited.

Breakfast consisted of fresh local fruit, fresh-squeezed OJ and these yumtastic egg souflee things. Oh and blueberry muffins. It was the perfect starter meal for a day full of boozing.

After breakfast we drove to the Fairfield, begged them to let us check in early, threw our stuff in our room and then got down to the lobby just as our shuttle arrived to pick us up for the winery tour. Sharing the tour with us were two older women, a group of girlfriends that had just graduated med school and a couple that made out the whole time. We had fun making fun of the last couple with the group of girls.

I won't go into detail about every single winery we visited, but here's the run down:
 Black Stallion 


 V. Sattui 

Rutherford Estates
Grgich Hills
Domaine Chandon

With 5 or 6 wine samples at each winery, we were feeling great by the end of the trip. We had a picnic lunch at V. Sattui which was the most amazing thing I have ever eaten. It was a big hunk of toasted chewy bread, fresh mozzarella, sun dried tomatoes, basil, balsamic vinegar truffle oil.

We got home around 5 and it was unseasonably warm out so we threw on our bathing suits and jumped in the pool. Then we went to dinner at a little cafe and stopped by Trader Joe's to pick up a $2 bottle of wine to add to our growing collection. Then of course, bed by ten. It was a lovely day.