Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Recap, October - December

You know what, the best part about waiting until the very last day to recap a year means that you get every last bit of  yearly goodness out before you write a post. #notlateitsastrategy

I hope everyone is gearing up for a happy and safe New Years Eve! I'm pretty sure we'll be sending folks home early today but the CEO is in the office and I'm not sure how festive he's feeling today. Regardless, we have party plans and I have a bottle of bubbly chilling in the fridge. I should probably make some sort of app to share as well. Crap, should have thought about that earlier. Thankfully I always have something on hand. Any who...

On to the recap!

October - Kev and I took a much needed northern trip to NYC and Atlantic City. It was during that trip that a company I interviewed with back in May started blowing up my phone. I think the Director of Sales called me 8 times one day when I had crap reception in the casino.

Kev went to his happy place.

I ran the Monster Dash 5k dressed as Darth Vader and realized you should never chug a protein shake before an unseasonably hot race. 

I went to the Junior League Shopping Spree, which is one of my favorite events. Picked up a lot of goodies there. :) I called off from work that day because I'd accepted the position at the other company and I felt guilty going in and looking at my team knowing I was giving my notice the following Monday.

November - I gave my notice at the bank and they told me I could go home. Since I gave a 2 weeks notice and they chose not to accept it, they had to pay me. :) I got a week off and started my new job a week early. Yay for working on job and being paid twice.

I voted because you should.

Kev got me an early Birthday present which may go down as the BEST PRESENT EVER. Drinking a cup of Breugger's coffee right now. #gonnamakebackmymoneybyfebruary

This isn't particularly interesting but I have to re post the worst picture ever taken of my dog. She looks like she's mentally challenged but I swear she isn't. Even dogs take bad pictures.

I started (another) new job! BTW, my Skittles bowl is empty.

I told a tale of the horrible injustice committed against me. The story of the mincemeat cookies.

UPDATE -  After the story posted one of my cousins messaged me and said he remembered his mom, (my Grandma's sister) making mincemeat cookies! I told my mom and she admitted that she remembered eating and not liking them. WHAT?!? I made a batch of mincemeat cookies and took them home over Thanksgiving for my mom and Grandma to eat. They won't tell me if the delicious taste jogged their memory but now I've been vindicated. The cookies DID exist and we ate them. HA!

Happy Birthday to me!

Kev and I drove up to Pittsburgh for Thanksgiving and we did a little Black Friday shopping. He bought a machete.

We also had tickets to the Steelers game and watched them get beat by the Saints. Sigh.... One of the 5 losses this season and that was the one we saw.

Did a lot of nostalgic things, had dinner with the family, met up with my brother and reconnected with an old friend. It was a good trip.

We got home from the trip to a giant box from my mother in law. She sent me Birthday Skittles. I'm set for a while. Yay!

December - The cookie baking extravaganza started and I discovered that when you use Sunbutter instead off peanut butter, your cookies turn green on the inside. 

I took some time off from blogging and everything else and finally got my decorations up 10 days before Christmas.

We celebrated Hanukkah.

I didn't talk about it but I participated in an annual 12 baker / 12 dozen cookie exchange. Unfortunately I was sick and had to send Kev in my place. Every year I tell the story of the mincemeat cookies and Kev teased them with an update. He told them that I tell the story better and they have to wait until next year to get the scoop.

We had a wonderful Christmas and shared dinner with some friends.

And that concluded my 2014 recap! Wishing everyone a happy and healthy 2015! See you in the new year!

Linky Linky!

#Hashtaghumpday @ Genuinely Lauren
Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 Recap, July - September

I swear I will recap 2014 by the end of the year! The good thing is that I have a whole blog's worth of posts to remind me of what the heck I did. 

Before I get started I have to share my yesterday morning. Do you ever have one of those days when you couldn't even begin to predict what would happen that day? 

At about 8am I heard meowing outside my office. I assumed someone was watching a cat video or had some sort of phone app. About an hour later I see 2 of my employees trying to corner something under a shelf. I asked what they were doing and they said,
"We're trying to catch the cat. It escaped".
Why is there a cat in to office?
"Well, Michelle's cat died over the weekend and Stanley had an extra one so he brought it in as a surprise.
Why is it running around the office?
"We took it out of the crate because someone wanted to see it and it escaped.

There are a multitude of things that when you have extra, are acceptable to bring to work and leave in the break room. A delicious cake, left over cookies, even plant clippings but not a cat. Never a cat. 

Eventually someone in the office decided to adopt the cat which does nothing to keep people from bringing in more cats in the future. 

Alright, on to the recap.

July - I started my new job as Manager of Telephone Sales at First Citizen's Bank. I was super excited not to be in training any longer and to have my own team again. 

When I got there I had this strange tall desk. That didn't take long to change.

I also got my first Influenster box of goodies to try out. Getting free stuff is always fun but I'm realizing that I'm really picky about stuff and just because it's free doesn't meant that I'm going to say it's awesome. I actually have another unopened box from them that I need to dig into.  

I went to a bunch of Body Pump classes and kept running into this guy who drops his weights like he's deadlifting. He creeps me out in general and I see him ALL THE TIME.

Keeping my with my tradition of posing with anything in a costume, I ran into some furries at the Farmer's Market and had to take a picture.

Kev's sister and her family came to visit in July and we took an overnight trip to the beach!

We stopped at the NC Aquarium on the way back home and I finally got to see some jellyfish. It wasn't the squid I was hoping for but I'll take a jellyfish.

Kev and I also went to the Kiss / Def Leppard concert. It made me wish I'd seen Def Leppard 15 years ago when I had the chance. They didn't age well....

August - We went to the beer and bourbon festival in and I spent a LOT of time at the moonshine sample. Butterscotch moonshine is stupid amazing.

We also saw Chicago and REO Speedwagon which was one of the best concerts I've seen in YEARS. Seriously, REO Speedwagon was so much better than I thought they'd be and Chicago was amazing.

In August I wrote a post that's very important to me, 20 years of KD. I can't believe I've been in a sorority for more than half of my life and I had no idea what a life changing experience it would be.

Unbelievably the editor of the Angelos (our magazine) saw the post and asked me to re-tool it for an article! My story is going to appear in the Winter edition of the Magazine where I'll be a featured sister. I still can't believe it and I can't wait to see it in print! 

September - More running, it finally started to cool off a little bit and I was able to get in a few decent runs.

I wrote a few review and pretty much spent most of my time getting acclimated to my new job.

September was apparently pretty anti-climatic.

That's it for my recap! I'm bound and determined to get the last 3 months up tomorrow!

Linking up!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Merry Christmas!

How is everyone? I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas /Hanukkah / Kwanza. I took a little blogging break over the last week while I got caught up on a few tings but don't fret, I have PLENTY to talk about.

Let's chat a bit about last week. Since I just started a new job a few weeks ago, we didn't have plans to go any where, it was going to be a nice relaxing time here with the two of us.

A few thoughts about working over the holidays, it's the least productive time of the year. I manage sales people and lets be honest, you aren't selling anything this last week. You'd best have made your quota on December 19th because nothing is happening right now.

They did some work on Monday and Tuesday and on Christmas Day they sat around wondering when they'd get to go home. I had one lady pitch a fit about having to work. Look honey, if you wanted to be off, you should have saved some PTO and planned accordingly. mkay?

I got tired of listening to them complain and let them go around 1:30.  Instead of going home I made a quick trip to Target. Target on Christmas Eve, shoot me. It's nothing but dads and over-stimulated kids wandering around aimlessly. The kids know what's coming tomorrow, they can't control themselves. I navigated though the mess, grabbed a few last minute things and headed home to wrap Kev's presents.

After wrapping we decided to go to Flemming's for some $6 appetizers. 5 for 6 til 7 is a glorious thing. It also started about 36 hours of gluttony for me. I had the calamari app and the fried food didn't give me a stomach ache. It was a Christmas miracle. I'm sure all the Christmas cookies soaked up the fried goodness in my belly.

Before we knew it, Christmas morning! Kev did a great job with my gifts. I might have done a little returning but I really love all my presents.

So, this kinda started as a HP Chromebook. I'd been asking for a white on white Chromebook for a while, so I could do all my blogging and KD stuff instead of using Kev's. Well, since I started my new job I can really use my laptop for whatever I want and it doesn't make any sense to have another laptop device. I just didn't decide that until 2 days before Christmas. Ooops.

Over the weekend we returned the Chromebook and went to the outlet mall to scope out the Coach and Michael Kors stores. Michael pulled through AND I got a 20% off coupon from the Tanger Outlet Customer Service. It brought it down to less than the laptop we returned so it's a win win for me. 

Kev also got me 2 ten pound kettle bells. I actually needed something a little heavier and I traded them in for one 25 pounder and some snazzy weight gloves. Now I need to search Pinterest for kettle bell exercises. I know I can squat with it and that's about it. 

He also hooked me up with some gold ball earrings. I've been a strictly white gold gal for YEARS, I mean YEARS. These might actually be the first piece of yellow gold he's ever bought me in 10+ years together. I seriously love them though. I love ball stud earrings and I didn't have anything gold.

I am soooo in love with this apple cider tea from Tevana and I was really nervous about what was going to happen when they discontinued it in the Spring. Thankfully Kev got me more than enough to tide me over.

Fun fact. If you go to Tevana the day after Christmas ALL the seasonal teas are 50% off. Don't tell you husband who paid full price a few days prior. Next year we're going to get a gift card and buy 2x as much tea. 

After opening presents we watched 50 years of WWE on Netflix. Why? Because nothing says Christmas like men wrestling in tights. It was a really good documentary, I highly recommend it!

Then it was time for brunch. We had 1pm reservations at Herrons, which is the restaurant at the Umstead hotel. It's uber fancy so we got dressed up.

I ordered the omelet of the day and Kev had the french toast. I would have taken a picture but it was a little too fancy to pull out my phone. The food was amazing, really fantastic. The service, surprisingly, not so much. It was just a few little things that threw it off. They didn't bring cream for the coffee and never came back with the butter for my biscuits. Usually in fancy places they're a lot better on the service side of things. It was just kinda odd. We'll probably go back one day but there are a lot of other places I'd eat at before going back. 

After brunch we went home and took Cleo for a walk before heading over to a friend's house for Christmas dinner.

I contributed a cookie tray.

We had a great time with some friends and their family. We're so fortunate to have friends who would invite us into their home for Christmas dinner. It was a great evening and over far too soon.

Before we knew it, time to head home and get ready for work! Christmas Day was fantastic and I was sad to see it end.

Linking up!

How was your Christmas Day??

Monday, December 22, 2014

2014 Recap - April - June

Hi all, I hope you had a fantastic weekend! My Saturday was spent laying on the couch napping, watching trash TV, then napping more, then going to my company's Holiday party. There was a lot of drink tickets, food and an ugly sweater contest.

Sunday there was more napping, my first ever trip to Publix and even more cookie baking. I have to say, after all the hype, I was pretty impressed with the Publix. A young lad did forcibly take my groceries to the car, but it was all in the name of customer service, so it was all good.

Alright, on to the 2014 recap. As I was looking through my pictures I realized that I didn't save very many pictures from that time and I had a heck of a time remembering what we did. Slowly I started to piece everything together..

April - Kev sent me an edible arrangement and which came with this creepy balloon. I was driving home and it kept creeping closer and closer to my head until it was looming over my shoulder.

In April Kev and I took a mini vacation and went even further South. We drove all the way down to Savannah GA then up to Charleston SC. 

We absolutely loved Savannah. The hotel we stayed in was withing walking distance from a ton of restaurants and shops. I was also really impressed by the lack of open container laws. You can just walk around and drink to your heart's content in Savannah. 

We also went on a tour of a haunted house which wasn't terribly haunted at all.

On the way to Charleston we stopped at Tybee Island which was absolutely beautiful.

I will never again take such a perfect beach picture but Kev hates his squinty eyes. I'll get him some sunglasses the next time.

This was also the trip where I completely underestimated the temperature. I packed for 65-70 and it was more like 80. Sadly that wasn't the first time I've done that. 

This was also the trip when both of our debit cards were compromised. Thankfully BBT is really good about taking care of you when that happens and we got all of our money back but we both had to get new debit cards which was a pain. 

 May -  I started this blog! And the world rejoiced... :) 

May was pretty low key. It was the month I decided it was time to start looking for a new job. I'd been at Netsertive for almost a year and knew that the opportunities just weren't there for me. I wanted to be a Sales manager and it wasn't going to happen. I started submitting resumes in late April and interviewing in May. FYI, you have to be really creative when it comes to getting time off for interviews. I think I had "contractors" at the house and Kev might have gotten "sick". 

I did the Running of the Bulls 8K at the end of the month and  had a pretty decent time. Every year I think about doing it and this year I did, unfortunately it was the year of the neon yellow shirt. I'd really like it if it wasn't so obnoxious.

Also in May my parents came to visit for a few days and we took them on a day trip to Wrightsville Beach. I have a picture of it on my Instagram but it wouldn't copy over here. Oh well. Pretend you see me at the beach

 June - In June I ran the Susan Komen 5k for the 4th time. The Komen was my very first 5k back in 2011 so it's always a special race for me.

We also had the annual Choir Brunch at the house, It's when I make a crap-ton of brunch food for the members of Kev's choir to celebrate their year. 

At the end of the month we headed up to NY for Kev's high school reunion. He drove up and I flew. While we were there we got to stop at some of his home town favorites, like Spragues. Nom...

On the way back we stopped in DC and took a trip to the zoo. The zoo was lovely but I'm still a little bitter that they closed the invertebrate room the DAY before we got there. I still haven't seen a squid.

At the end of the month I celebrated my last day at Netsertive. It had been a great year but I was off to a new adventure! 

Linking Up! BLoved Boston

How was your weekend??

Friday, December 19, 2014

Five Thing Friday - Christmas Ornament Edition

We finally put up the tree and decorated last night FINALLY. After we got the tree up I realized that my decision to take the next to the last tree in that price point at Home Depot may not have been the best decision. Any time you say, "F it, this tree is fine", there's probably a better option. Regardless, even though it's a little small, it's still going to be festive, dammit.

After we put the lights on Kev said, "Let's do the ornaments first then fill in with the balls." I looked at him with horror ad said "the balls go on first, the balls go on first." He then said, "Don't you get all Rain Man on me, let's try something different because the tree is smaller."

No no no. The tree is decorated in an order. Lights go on first, then the garland. But my garland died last year and I forgot to get new. Next are the balls, small balls on top and bigger balls on the bottom. Then comes the ornaments. Last (if you're my mother) are the icicles. There's an order to the tree and yes it's the way we did it growing up put it makes sense.

There is nothing I hate more in the Christmas world than icicles. They're a pain in the a$$ to put on the tree, they stick on your clothes, you find them months later and the WORST WORST is when the cat eats them and you find a strand coming out their butt. Nope nope nope. 

Every year I begged my mom to not put the dang icicles on the tree. She said that when I grew up I could not have icicles on my own tree and I don't.

HOWEVER, every year Kev asks for icicles. He says they're beautiful and festive. I think he wants them because he knows I hate them. And he's Jewish, it's not like he grew up with icicle covered trees and wants to reminisce. I offered to hang icicles off the menorah but that -ish is super flammable. 

I thought for my 5 things it would be cool to show you my 5 favorite Christmas ornaments. When I moved out my mom gave me all the ornaments that I'd accumulated over the years. I have almost a tree's worth of ornaments on my own and every year I get Kev the new Hallmark Star Trek ornament. So, here are my favs!

1. Kev got me this KD ornament last year and I love it. My favorite part is the crest. I love that the designers gave it a go even though it's not really accurate. I know what it's supposed to be and it's awesome.

2. I'm pretty sure I got this sheep ornament from my aunt who used to sell Avon. She passed away some time ago and I always think of her when I put this one on the tree. He's a little bell and the sheepy feet are the clapper. Love it.

3. This one is a crocheted bell from another aunt who has also since passed away. It's so delicate and beautiful. I keep it in a special box stuffed with tissue paper so it keeps its shape. 

4. I'm continuing on a sappy thread but I think one of the great things about the Holidays is how you can look back on the past ones and remember all the great times you had and think about the people you had them with. 

Over the years my mom has made me a lot of ornaments but this one is my favorite. She made it out of shrinky dinks and painted a picture of the cat I had growing up. She passed away a long time ago but I'll always have her on my tree. 

5. On a lighter note, this cow is one of my all time favorite ornaments. He moos Deck the Halls but it might be the most bored Moo I've ever heard. It makes me laugh every time I hear it and I'm going to be so sad when the battery finally dies.

I asked Kev what his favorite ornament was and he said the star. It's glittery and every year it's his job to put it on the tree,

 Have a happy Friday everyone! Linking up with Meet at the Barre! and

Which ornament is your favorite??