Monday, January 23, 2012

tag! you're it!

My friends, Cara & Lindsay, tagged me in a little blogger game. And because I'm "it" you get to find out 11 fun facts about me (actually 22 -- since they both tagged me, I will answer them all!)

the rules to tagging:
1. You must post these rules.
2. Each person must post 11 things about themselves on their blog.
3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
4. You have to choose 11 people to tag and link them on the post.
5. Go to their page and tell them you have linked him or her.
Cara's Questions:

1. If you could have someone do one chore for you for the rest of your life, 
what chore would it be?
 Easy.  Mop the floor.  I hate mopping.  Like really hate it.  Vacuuming?  Easy breezy.  Too bad for me that we have a lot of hardwoods.  That sounds super-complainy.  I love our house.  Just not mopping.
2. Which song do you always sing at-the-top-of-your-lungs-super-loud-yelling style in your car?
Adele - Someone Like You.  I can't help but belt it out every time it comes on the radio.  Which is a lot.  This is most unfortunate to anyone who happens to be in the car with me.  To say that I cannot carry a tune is an understatement.  That does not stop me with this song.  It's just too soulful to not be shared at full volume.
3. Publix or Kroger?
Publix.  Hands down.  My husband and I frequently debate this with friends.  Publix has a MUCH better bakery, meat/seafood selection, and better produce.  Pair that with the super-friendly staff, zero wait time, being walked out to my car, and the fact that my Publix is a Publix Greenwise Market (aka, competes with FreshMarket and Whole Foods at Publix prices).  How can Kroger compete?  
**Note: I am also a huge fan of Costco and do half of our weekly shopping there**

4. What instrument do you wish you could play?
Piano.  I am not cool enough for guitar, but I think that I could pull off the piano.
5. What did you eat for breakfast?
We had a fun coffee/breakfast date at The Library with our small group friends Tim and Ashley before work today.  I devoured a bowl of oatmeal with dried cranberries and a little brown sugar.  Yum.
6. If you had to buy your clothes from one store for the rest of your life, 
what store would you choose?
Tough.  I would probably say J.Crew.  Classic, yet stylish with lots of fun, bright colors.  I would like to say Anthro -- but I don't think that I can carry that look off all of the time.
7. What is one quirky thing you do that others may find strange?
Eeek.  I don't know?   Maybe that I let my coffee get lukewarm before actually drinking it?  Or that for every party I host I type up a 5+ page "party plan" complete with menu, decor, "to do", responsibilities delegated?  I don't know...
8. What TV show is your guilt pleasure?
The Bachelor.  I don't really watch reality TV -- but the ridiculousness of this show (and the awesome destinations) has me hooked.  I know that it's over-produced and so many fake surprises -- but all the drama sucks me in.  It's all about love ;)
9. What is your favorite season of the year?
Spring.  I like that everything is new and green and like a fresh beginning.  Plus, it holds all of the anticipation of summer.  It's like how Christmas Eve is actually better than Christmas due to the anticipation.
10. When was the last time you felt homesick?
Not in a very long time.  Maybe when I interned in NYC after my junior year of college?  I loved New York and the experience -- but I missed the South.
11. If you could be best-friends with a celebrity, who would he/she be?
My celebrity best friends club is getting pretty long these days.  I think I would have to say Carrie Underwood, probably.  First of all, we are both excellent singers (see #2).  And second, she just seems really nice and down-to-earth.  We went to a Predators hockey game in Nashville over Christmas, but Carrie was nowhere to be seen.  She probably didn't realize that I would be there ;)
 Lindsay's Questions:
1. When you were 5 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A CEO.  I don't even think I knew what this meant -- except that you got to be boss.  I liked that.
2. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I love traveling and have been very fortunate to visit so many places.  If funds were no object, I would probably say Bora Bora.  (Just in case you want to take me on a second honeymoon, Ryan!)
3. If you could go back to high school and revive one fashion trend, what would it be?
Goodness.  None of them.  So terrible.  My husband would say those stretchy black Express pants circa 2001.  They are now called yoga pants and more appropriately worn to the gym.  Not parties.
4. What is the weirdest food you have ever tried?
I get to travel to Asia frequently for work -- so this list is pretty long.  I would probably go with Sea Cucumber though.  It was fresh.  Very fresh.  As in, an old woman in Korea dove down into the sea and brought it up...and I ate it.  It's a tradition.  Check it out on CNN(And, yes, it was very rubbery.)  I also had cow tongue in China -- but that was a complete accident.  That dish was NOT Mongolian beef.
5. If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you buy?
Vacation house on the coast.  I love the beach.
6. A picture is worth 1,000 words... what's your favorite?
 Our amazing wedding photographer, Renee Brock, took this during our first dance back in 2009.  Best day of my life.
7. If you could eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Yogurt.  I love it and never get tired of it.  Maybe that should have been my quirk?
8. What's the one thing you wish your parents would have let you do when you were a kid?
When I was a kid, I really wish that they let me eat white bread, potato chips, pop tarts, and sugar cereal.  Now that I am an adult -- thank Goodness they didn't!  Smart decision, guys.
9. NSYNC or Backstreet Boys?
NSYNC.  Is that even really a question?
10. Favorite thing that happened in 2011?
What I should say: Finishing grad school. 
The truth: Our anniversary trip to Italy.
Seriously, my MBA was an invaluable experience, and I gained so much from the program -- a wider breadth of business knowledge, a business plan for a new venture, a large professional network, and some great friends.  Vacation is vacation though, and I love travel.

11. And what are you hoping for in 2012?

Cheesy-- but to enjoy every moment. 
Now for my questions:
1. What is your favorite kitchen tool?
 2.  Of the places you've traveled, which destination would you recommend most?  (This is self-serving, as I am trying to plan a vacay.)
3.  What is the best beauty tool/secret that you've discovered?
4.  What is your go-to dinner recipe?
5.  How much time do you spend on Pinterest?  Really.
6.  Favorite blog?  (Other than mine, of course.)
7.  What is the first website you visit every morning?
8.  What is your guilty pleasure?
9.  Favorite meal of the day?
10.  What exercise do you dread the most?
11.  What is the best deal you've ever found?
And who I'm tagging...
Jennifer @ Lopez Family
Meredith @ Face Painting

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Cookie Party

Happy New Year!  Our holidays turned pretty hectic with the combination of travel, out-of-town guests, and a nasty cold -- so I am just getting back to the blog.  I am working on a couple of posts and hope to be less sporadic in the new year.  For today, however, my mom prepared a guest post about our recent return visit to DC (this time WITH husbands) for my Aunt Lynne's annual cookie party.  Enjoy!

In Wendy's Words...

Each year, my sister hosts a Christmas Cookie Open House for family, friends, neighbors and work associates. After hearing rumors that this might be the last year for the extravaganza, Ashley and I (along with Ken and Ryan) decided to make the journey to Alexandria to attend this year’s festivities.

After several days of sightseeing in D.C.,

Operation Cookie Party Preparation began!

Cookies were unloaded from two freezers at the house and an overflow freezer at the school where Lynne teaches. She stopped counting at 350 dozen!

Last minute touches were added to varieties that didn’t freeze well.


Saturday morning, arranging all the cookies on serving pieces was a major undertaking. Lynne has a huge collection of milk glass that she uses every year to display the cookies.

Ashley carefully arranges the ribbon cookies with all the stripes lined up in the same order.

We had to stop Grandma Britt from prying apart the cookies that were stuck together; Lynne had carefully sandwiched the chocolate stars together with raspberry preserves.

With everyone dressed in their festive attire, we began removing the saran wrap at 12:30 in anticipation of the 1:00 start time

Party Time!

The green and red color scheme of their home makes for very festive Christmas décor.

While the dining room held the most cookies, they were everywhere throughout the house.

On the desk and bookshelves in the office

On every available surface in the living room.

Even the upstairs landing had cookies.

I love how she has included her children’s early artwork in her holiday décor.

Jared’s masterpiece: “Santa in the Blender”

Clyde got into the festive spirit of the party!

Dixie was just hoping for dropped cookies.

Another Successful Cookie Party!