Pretty in Pink

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It's official: L has Pink Eye, or The Eye as I prefer to call it.  He woke up 3 times last night with it crusted over, so at 5:00 he got in the shower and looked up the nearest 24-hour clinic.  The doctor and nurse team that treated him told him that apparently this is an extremely common side effect from.... wait for it... SHOVELING SNOW.  Sick.  All kinds of things are on the ground- think about it, how many times have you seen people hock lugies or dogs pee on the grass?- and as you're shoveling, the snow does sometimes spray you in the face/ eyes and get all over your hands, and then you touch your face... you get the idea.  So L is at home again today in an effort to avoid spreading The Eye to his office.  I'm rocking the glasses right now so as to avoid touching my own eyes.  Some of you may remember Fall 2001 when I kept transfering The Eye back and forth between my eyes every 2 weeks or so and the resulting cornea ulcer.  Not looking for a repeat of that.  Everyone please say a little prayer for L that the next 2 days go by quickly and that he's not rocking The Eye on Christmas.

These boots were made for walking

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Not shoveling snow.  But that's just what they did.  We spent about three hours shoveling snow today, and actually, L did far more than I did.  And yes, I shoveled snow in cowboy boots because that was all I had that was even remotely close to snow boots.  In case you are wondering, they were definitely not meant for snow.  Or at least not a lengthy snow exposure when the snow is up to your knees and the bottom of it is slushy.  My feet were all kinds of disgusting and soggy after I came in* and the boots are sitting in front of the vent trying to dry out.  I have since resolved that problem by ordering a pair of cute-ish snow boots.  They are just cute-ish because super cute and snow boots don't go together when you are trying to avoid spending a ton of money since apparently it doesn't snow like this very often and even if it does you don't know if you'll be living here for more than a couple of years.  Anyway, the store I bought them from ALREADY SENT ME A SHIPPING NOTICE!  On a Sunday!!  How awesome is that??  Maybe they'll even get here before we leave for Christmas.  Who knows! 

Anyway, at around 10:30 this morning, this was the view from the front door:

This is a shot of the backyard from the kitchen.  Note that you can't even see the table and chairs anymore:

L shoveled the entire walkway by himself and part of the street prior to my emerging from the house.  Here are some more pics of what we accomplished:

My car after L cleared most of the snow off the top:

At this point, we'd cleared 99% of my car and about half the length of my car.  The snow had been piled up to the windows prior to starting the shoveling.  Check out my sweet husband, hard at work:

Apparently I missed getting a shot of our finished work.  The entire section of snow that L is digging away at in the last pic was cleared out and we were able to drive to the store in my car.  I have a newfound respect for garages and even just covered parking, neither of which we have (obvi).  Shoveling snow TOTALLY BLOWS.  Especially when it turns into this:

Sick.  The good thing is that we did meet several neighbors while we dug ourselves out today.  We also realized our snow shovel SUCKS.  L used it most of the time and I used a regular garden shovel that I found in the basement (which involved wading through the yard... the snow was definitely up to the tops of my knees in the back.  Thank goodness I still have a pair of AF windpants, circa 2001). 

*I may be completely stupid for saying this, but I did not realize that it was possible to waterlog leather. 

All I want for Christmas is yoooooooouuuuuuuuuuu

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Yes, you.  Come visit and make my day!  Kidding.  I am stuck inside today, though, which puts a damper on the plans I'd had to go check out the Eastern Market and finish our Christmas shopping.  We still need to get gifts for L's brother-in-law and aunt.  And actually L needs to buy my gifts.  Apparently he has some ideas but doesn't know for sure what he wants to pull the trigger on yet.  If any of you have seen gifts that you think are things that would be great for me, feel free to send a casual email and suggest them to him.  I've already told him I don't need sleepwear.  Several of you may remember last year's gift:

Funny?  Yes.  Something I'd use?  Mmmmm... not so much.  Backstory: he was in D.C., I was in Austin.  I made the comment a few times that I missed having him around on cold nights because we couldn't snuggle up on the couch and watch a movie together or something.  He thought since he couldn't be there that I might like to snuggle up in footed pajamas instead.  Cute and kinda sweet?  Yes.  I loved the footed pj's as a kid.  What you don't think about, though, is that as an adult, what you don't want to do is completely disrobe to go to the bathroom.  You also don't realize how much you look like a giant baby until you put one on.  If some of you find yourselves still wanting a set after all of that, check out  My favorite section is the "sexy sheer" ones.  And no, mine are not "sexy sheer"; mine are polar fleece.  Anyway, I don't expect to get more pajamas.  Clearly I've got that covered.  What are some things I wouldn't mind getting?  I thought you'd never ask.

To satisfy the cute/sweet/silly streak in me, I think these Smittens are both hilarious and fun:

On the topic of personal-wear, Anthropologie always has great finds.  Here's a sampling of current favorites:

I love fresh wreaths.  Williams-Sonoma always has such pretty ones.  I love the simplicity of the bay leaf wreath or something with a little more variety like this:

I love the following two lamps.  I'm looking for a lamp to use on what will become my personal vanity during the week between Christmas and New Year's.  In my mind I would love to have one of these on it:

I love, love, LOVE John Robshaw fabrics and bedding.  My goal is to get some graphic, blue Euro shams for our bedding:

And finally, this is Cowboy.  I think Cowboy would love to be my newest friend.

Check out more of Cowboy's friends and siblings at

The weather outside is frightful

After we got engaged and knew I would be moving to D.C., I was told by everyone I knew who was from Virginia or who'd lived in the D.C. area that it got really cold but really didn't snow too much up here.  They said I'd need at least one good, thick coat but not to worry about it.  They said it snowed a few times each winter and that it wouldn't stick for very long.  They.  The proverbial they.  Well, newsflash: apparently they, who know so much, lied.  They didn't know anything.  We are woke up this morning and found roughly 8-ish inches of snow on the ground (totally a guesstimate based on the fact that you can't see any sort of differentiation in our yard between grass and sidewalk, or where the steps at the street are) and we are currently in the middle of a blizzard watch.  The snowfall hasn't let up yet; when I woke up at 10:45 (yes, I slept til 10:45.  I took NyQuil last night because I'm trying to kick a cold before it gets to me) the snow looked like it does in Texas when it snows: tiny, tiny "flakes" falling/ swirling around, only at a MUCH faster rate than what I've ever seen in Texas.  An hour and a half later, we've seen what I can only describe as huge clouds of snow dust blow through from time to time that reduce your visibility to the point where we can't see the house across the street.  Seriously, if anyone was at that ACL festival in 2005 when it was SUPER dusty, imagine that but instead of a dirty brown color, it's white.   

This is a view out our big window in the living room (it's to the left of the fireplace in the Christmas pics):

This is the view of the front yard from the windows at the top of our front door:

View of the backyard from the kitchen window:

And to drive the point home of how much snow had fallen overnight, here's a close up of the amount of snow in the chairs:

Once I have the courage to brave bundling up and trekking out in the cold, I'll take a pic of the house from the street view.  Not looking like that will happen anytime soon, though... I'm a wimp and it's too cold! 

I do love how severe weather makes people flip out.  Back in '05 when the weathermen swore up and down that Rita was coming and that it had the potential to be just as strong as Katrina or worse, Austinites went crazy.  I remember going to HEB after work to pick up some groceries and it was a total zoo.  The water aisle was completely cleaned out- not even dust on the shelves.  The canned food aisle was in the same shape, save one lonely, dented can on the floor in the corner.  And this was in Austin, which had zero chance of facing the same fate as New Orleans.  We were hundreds of miles from the coast and well above sea level; you might even go so far as to call it the hill country... oh wait, it's commonly called that.  What happened?  Not a drop of rain fell and it was some of the pretties weather we'd had all summer.  Last night I went to Safeway to get some Duraflame logs and I should have known better.  The parking lot was a madhouse.  I walked inside and every line was halfway down the aisles of food.  There was plenty of canned food left, but no water and zero Duraflame logs.  L ended up buying some water for us (which was nice but I still think it was unnecessary) and was successful in purchasing some logs.  I wanted to him to get the multicolor kind but he just bought the boring regular kind.  (Side note: did Duraflame really need a gimmick to sell more logs?  I mean it worked for me- I totally wanted to see what "multicolor" really means- but is that really necessary?) 

I watched the weather this morning for the first hour that I was up and everyone is FREAKING OUT.  One guy in the field was saying that this is a huge natural disaster and that anyone going out in is RISKING THEIR LIVES!!!  Now, to be fair, we did just read on CNN that 3 people have died as a result of freezing in the cars and there is an area of Virginia where people don't have power.  I'm not sure that warrants elevating this to natural disaster level, though, because freezing in your car could theoretically happen anywhere that gets really cold temperatures in the winter and power outtages can happen in any kind of weather.  Also, I'm pretty sure that calling a snow storm a natural disaster when so few have died, the city is not at risk of being destroyed, etc., is an insult to New Orleans and Katrina survivors, or even Galveston/ Ike survivors.  Or to anyone who actually really has lived through any other kind of natural disaster.  Pretty much anyone who's been forced to live through something where FEMA had to come in.  Really all we need right now is more snow plows and warmer temperatures.  Not federal funding.

L is anxious to get out and play in the snow.  I'll update more throughout the weekend!

Have yourself a merry little Christmas

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Finally got our honeymoon painting on Tuesday, although much like our long-awaited hutch, it has a flaw and will need to be repaired (which will entail shipping it BACK to Hawaii and then they'll ship it back to us... I'm thinking this will take no less than 2-3 weeks).  Anyway, it's resting on the mantle right now and we'll actually hang it once it's fixed.  I decided to go ahead and snap some pics of our Christmas decorations, so scroll on to view them.

Our mantle, eagerly waiting to fulfill its Christmas destiny either by housing a roaring fire or by Santa coming down the chimney (check out our new monogrammed stockings that just came in the mail today which L has not yet noticed and maybe that's okay):

The adjoining bookcase:

Our tree (side note: I don't normally only wrap in red papers.  That was a weird coincidence today.):

And our dining room table, which is still sort of a work in progress because I'm not totally pleased with it right now:

We also have a pepperberry wreath on the front door, but that was boring so you'll just have to imagine it.

Thought for the day: I hate the awkward Target commercials that are running right now.  Horrible marketing campaign.  Not at all filled with Christmas spirit. 

 That's all from El Capital Grande today, folks.

Put your mind to, go for it. Get down and break a sweat...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Subtitle: Husband meets Jillian Michaels.

L and I had a little date night on Friday night.  L was a little under the weather last week and went to see his GP and an allergist (for totally unrelated reasons) and so he had to step on the scales twice in one week.  During our date night dinner, he mentioned that he's up 4 pounds since the last time he went to the doctor, which was sometime before the wedding.  We currently aren't members of a gym but I've been doing Jillian Michaels' 30-day Shred at home, so I told L he should try it.  I was surprised when he quickly agreed after I suggested we do it together the next morning before our already scheduled afternoon plans.

Saturday morning rolls around... the following conversation takes place:
L: "What do you want to do?" 
L turns on an episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
L: "I asked you what you wanted to do!"
L: "Seriously?  Like right now?"
Me: "Yes.  You said you'd do it last night."
L: (pause) "Uggghhhh."
Me: "Are you afraid she's going to kick your ass through the TV?  Don't be afraid."
L: "I will kick HER ass.  Later."
Me: "I thought you didn't like your new 4 pounds of fluffy."
L: "Okay FINE.  Let's do it if you'll stop trash talking."

So I hopped up and put on my running shoes and workout wear while he threw the DVD in.  I selected Level 1 since it was his first time.  It only seemed fair.  L had to stop halfway through the second circuit, right after the butt kicks started.  L played hockey in high school and college and apparently has an old knee injury and all the bouncing in the cardio parts aggrevated it.  Now, he also opted to not wear shoes for some reason, which I don't think helped matters.  I suggested that he just do the ab and strength parts but he preferred to sit and watch me and Jillian shred it out (side note: it is incredibly awkward to have someone watching you workout with a DVD.  Even when it's your husband).  He iced down and elevated his knee, took some Advil, and he was fine that afternoon.  I don't think he'll be shredding with me and Jillian again any time soon, though.  Or ever.

Jillian: 1, L: 0

By the way, if you haven't tried it, it really is a good workout.  Totally kicks your butt, in a good way.

How Bizarre

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I've been in Virginia now for about 5 1/2 weeks. First impressions? Some things are so weird here. I'm sure some of you think I'm exaggerating. I beg to differ. If you find yourself wondering, "What exactly is so different?", well, I'll tell you.

First of all, much to my annoyance grocery stores here don't sell cosmetics, medicine, or pens/ school supplies. What the heck?? I thought maybe it was just one particular store but no, it's happened to me three times. ALL I NEEDED WAS A GEL PEN FOR THANK YOU NOTES!! How does a grocery store not sell pens?? This is not communist Russia from back in the day. Pens are used WORLD-WIDE and should obviously be sold by anyone that also sells gum.

Second, people here look at me like I'm on crack when I sport my cowboy boots. We're not talking kicker-esque boots; we're talking cute and sassy ones that, when I'm Texas, almost always garner compliments (thanks for those, btw).

People here also don't bag their leaves after they rake their yards. This drove me CRA.ZY. for the first 3 weeks I was here because there were just HUGE mounds of leaves on the street next to the curb that only got bigger and bigger- at a lot of homes there was just enough room for one car to parallel park between them. Ugg-o. Then L and I saw signs around a neighborhood we have to drive through to get to most places we go (post office, grocery stores, restaurants, the Metro) and apparently the leaves get vacuumed up by a street cleaner of sorts. This fascinated me and I couldn't WAIT to see the vacuum truck in action on our street. Since I'm working from home at the moment, I knew I could make this happen. At long last, to my delight the truck came through YESTERDAY for the first time since I moved here (which was entirely too long if you ask me. Leaf piles should not sit there for 5 weeks through rain and snow. Sick.). Anyway, I was incredibly disappointed. It wasn't nearly as cool of a process as I had hoped for. This is the truck and the feet of the cleaning crew in action as the vacuum S-L-O-W-L-Y sucks up leaves:

And a close up of the feet and vacuum:

Like I said, totally anticlimatic.  I was expecting way more from a leaf vacuum.  Where's a giant composting Dyson when you need one?  By the way, if you don't have a Dyson, get one.  Totally worth the money.

Also, apparently I'm the only one that sees the flashing lights and signs for school zones. In Texas, you don't joke around in the school zones. There are cops everywhere. I got ONE ticket one time in college driving through an all-day school zone that doesn't have flashing lights and I freaking learned my lesson.  Here, people just whiz on through without even totally pausing.

In Texas, liquor stores are not open on Sundays.  Here, not only are the open 7 days a week but they stay open late on Sundays.  And apparently the state owns most or all of them? 

Lastly, people in Virginia LOOOOOOOOVE the personalized license plates.  Not even kidding.  They are everywhere.  In Texas, I hate to say it but most of the time I feel like you're kind of a d-bag if you actually get your own custom plates.  But they aren't THAT common so you just laugh when you see them because usually you can at least understand the "statement" the driver is trying to make to the world via their license plates.  For example, there's a Mormon family in the neighborhood I grew up in that has 10 kids.  What did the mom put on her car?  10 Kids.  Okay, I get it.  You're an anomally and it's kind of weird that you have 10 kids but you're turning the joke around and instead of letting people count for themselves and gawk at you, YOU'RE TELLING THE WORLD FIRST!  HA!!  Joke's on you, rude gawkers!  In Virginia, though, this is the kind of crap people pay to have on their cars:

Okay, I get it.  S/he is a massage therapist.  Who apparently doesn't mind calling him/herself a somewhat derogatory name in front of VA/DC/MD that implies that s/he gives happy endings.

This citizen is very concerned with public safety and feels the need to help spread the word: BUCKLE UP!  What I love is that apparently this driver is the 2nd person to want this on their plates.  Note the 2 at the end.

CSI-09 is on the case and ready to solve a mystery!

No idea what that means.  Maybe initials?  They also love the pretty leaf plates.

Obviously the best way to convince others for political change is through your license plate.

The next 7 pictures are a sampling of what I saw in ONE parking lot.  There were a few others that didn't turn out that well.

What the heck does that mean?

And again I'm left in the dark.  Is that like G-Nik?  Is the g silent? 

I can only assume this driver is the 8th person with these initials to request them on his or her plate.

Who's that driving that black Acura??  Oh, it's the Virginia Tech Cutie!  So clever.

Have pride in where you come from.

Apparently they have a mobile dog.

I can only guess they collect them.

The best, most devout Christians profess it on their plates.

Yes, it is winter.  Thank you.


I feel like this is either vampire or baseball related.  Just can't quite figure it out one way or the other yet.

If you looked carefully you may have noticed that they are ALL Virginia drivers.  That might not seem that weird since that's where I am, but normally when you drive in VA, you see about 60% of cars from VA, 25% from MD, and 15% from D.C.  I've yet to see custom plates for D.C. and I rarely see them for MD. 

So those are my initial impressions and thoughts.  More to come later!

UPDATE: I just got the VAC8 license plate. Had to read it out loud again.  Sometimes I'm awesome.

The best things in life are free

Saturday, December 5, 2009

FYI - Cool giveaway going on over at Fantabulously Frugal!! Go check it out.

Pretty sure winning any of those prizes would make my day!!
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