Archive | November, 2010

Another Pleasant Valley Sunday

28 Nov

Weekends are typically slow, but today I managed to keep busy.

Addam didn’t have to work until 2 p.m., so we got to spend the morning together. We didn’t do much, but it was nice to wake up slow and enjoy the few hours we get to be with each other.  Last night Addam brought home The Karate Kid and The  Book of Eli, which we were up late into the night watching.  Once we were awake and moving we put on the former and rewatched it until it was time for Addam to head out.

I biked to Publix and returned the movies as soon as Addam left, then ran by this Haitian cafeteria near our apartment to get an egg and cheese sandwich.  I needed to fuel up.  Yoga and I had a very busy afternoon planned.

The little girl and I spent the day at the Urbayne Biscayne Art Show.  The event took place about three blocks from my house and was basically a big celebration of the arts.

Artists lined the streets, painting murals and selling wares. The event stretched 10 blocks, but the majority of the activity was happening around 75th and Biscayne, which is where Yoga and I spent most of our afternoon.

Yoga absolutely loved it, and everyone loved her. She, as always, was the life of the party.  There were vendors set up all over the place, and I don’t know if she spent more time running through the freshly-cut grass or begging attendees for bits of food. Either way, there were literally more people taking photos of her than of the paintings.

I didn’t have money to pick up any food, but the vendors where only a small part of the event. Bands were playing throughout the day and artists were constantly making their way in and out, so there was always something to do. Part of what made Chicago so awesome was the fact that there was always something free and fun going on in the city, no matter the day of the week.  I’m glad that I’m finally starting to find something similar in Miami.

Yoga and I spent a couple of hours at the event, but the baby demanded to stop by the park on the way home.  She was so good the entire afternoon that I could not deny the little blue some fun.  We took the long way back to the apartment, but before we left I had to get a photo of her near this giant, orange peace sign, provided by Luis Jimenez Sculptures.  She was a little scared, but the photo was so cute I died a little.

The girl got her energy out in the park, and has been lazing around for the rest of the afternoon.  I, on the other hand, have been busy cleaning the apartment and washing dishes in preparation for all the family Addam and I have coming in next week.

Now that the apartment is clean and the puppy is pooped, I plan to spend the rest of my evening watching A Muppet Christmas Carol. As soon as Addam gets home we are going to dig out the decorations and put up our litte Charlie Brown Christmas tree. It might not be a lot, but if you knew how much better it made me felt to come home after a long day at work and plug in the lights, you’d understand why I bother putting it up each year.

“Painting is just another way of keeping a diary.” — Pablo Picasso, artist (1881-1973).

Where’s the turkey, Chuck?

26 Nov

This holiday I had five things to be particularly thankful for, and their names were Vicki, Tatiana, Charles, Jaeshaun and Addam.

I have to admit, when I woke up yesterday morning I was feeling really down. This is the second Thanksgiving I’ve spent away from family, and it doesn’t get any easier the more you do it. To make matters worse, my landlord never faxed over a copy of the lease, so Addam and I couldn’t get the gas turned back on. We had absolutely no way to cook anything.

Golden Corral was having some sort of Thanksgiving special that we were going to check out, but that would have required a four-mile bike ride and two bus transfers. I wouldn’t have minded the commute in, but I didn’t want to have to worry about making it back to the apartment in the dark.  Not to mention, going to a restaurant just doesn’t feel like Thanksgiving.  I would have rather sat outside and grilled up a dinner.

Luckily, a couple of Addam and my friends were kind of in the same predicament. They had a working stove, but they were spending the holiday away from family as well. We decided to meet at Charles’s apartment for our own make-shift holiday, and I can’t think of anyone I would have rather celebrated with.  What could have been a depressing day turned into a night that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Last year Addam and I were visiting his family in Ohio and spent the entire day cooking. This year all we did was show up with some drinks.  (Honestly, as much as I hate to admit it, I’ve gotten into the baking thing and really wouldn’t have minded bringing a side or two. It was just an impossibility given the circumstances.)  But, wowza, was there a feast waiting for us!

When we got to Charles’s around 5:30 p.m. everything was ready.  Potatoes were mashed, green beans were casseroled, corn was cobbed, stuffing was…stuffed and rolls were warming in the oven. Everyone thought there was going to be a shortage of turkey.  While that obviously wouldn’t have bothered me one bit, it never became an issue.  There were a ton of left overs at the end of the night, and Addam and I brought a big pan of it home.  Vicki and Tatiana seem to have done most of the cooking, and I have to give the ladies credit, because they really outdid themselves.  Everything was absolutely fabulous.

We spent the evening playing cards and shooting the shit while our food digested.  I ate more than I think I’ve eaten in the past week combined.  (Seriously, I have no idea how I fit it all in.  I have not eaten like that since I started my diet a year ago.)  I didn’t have room for dessert, but the others enjoyed some pumpkin pie and warm brownies.  (I told you they went all out.) After everyone was good and stuffed, Jaeshaun caught a bus home and Vicki, Tatiana and Charles headed back to Addam and my apartment to watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.

We made a late night of it, so once everyone left Addam and I pretty much crawled into bed.  I had to work bright and early this morning, and when I woke up I was still full.  Being bloated didn’t make my day go by any faster, but it definitely reminded of the great night I had.  It’s nice to finally have a crew.  I’ve been missing my Chicagoans a lot lately, so it’s good to know that I have a group of people behind me again.

Speaking of people who always have my back — starting next week Addam and I will be entertaining different family members each weekend.  Addam’s mom, dad and uncle will be here on Friday, and his little sister and her boyfriend will be here the next two following.  After that is Christmas, and Addam and I are going to try to make a quick trip to Ohio to celebrate with the loved ones.  Any loneliness I had will soon be nonexistent.

Now that I am off work and have an entire weekend ahead of me, I think I may try to get into the Christmas spirit.  I plan to spend the evening decorating the tree and getting the place nice and shiny for the fam.  I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday and took a moment to realize what is truly important about the season — the love and support of family and friends.

Charlie Brown: “I can’t cook a Thanksgiving dinner. All I can make is cold cereal and maybe toast.”
Linus van Pelt: “That’s right. I’ve seen you make toast. You can’t butter it, but maybe we can help you.” — A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, 1973.

Breaking on Bayside

23 Nov

I just got home from a busy production day, and I have to tell you, it wasn’t so bad.  My articles went smoothly, I have a lot lined up for next week and everyone is preparing for the holidays.

Addam had to get a part for his bike today, and since he was already downtown he met me for lunch. It was a nice break to a long work day, and I really enjoyed seeing him for an hour in the middle of the afternoon. (Between our work schedules, this actually doesn’t happen too often.)

We went to Bayside, which is a big outdoor shopping area near the Port of Miami. Addam had already eaten, but he got me some Chinese food.  We sat outside and watched the cruise ships while I ate.  I can’t believe that in just a couple of weeks my soon-to-be sister-in-law will be driving all the way down here to catch a ride through the Caribbean. I’ve never been on a cruise, but if Addam’s descriptions do it justice then I know she’s going to have an AMAZING time.  I’d be jealous, but I’m just glad that I’m going to see her as she makes her way in and out (and in and out) of the city.

The bike shop didn’t have the piece Addam needed when he stopped by, so I had to pick it up on my way home from work. It was a short detour, but the people were so nice! Addam has told me that he’d love to work there, and I think he’d be the perfect guy for the job. Not only is he friendly, he knows a ton about bikes. That’s probably because he’s always doing something crazy that requires him to spend both time and money fixing his own.

Case in point:

Yeahhh.  He’s riding with one hand down a mountain bike trail with huge drop offs, sharp rocks and low-lying branches.  I wish this was my only example, but…

It’s called “bike surfing,” and while I have seen videos of other people who know how to do it, I definitely wouldn’t recommend trying it at home. My heart used to jump out of my chest every time he tried, but then he did it again, and again…

Addam’s actually outside fixing his bike right now and has been calling for me to join him. I got home around 7:30 tonight, so I want to enjoy as much of the night as I can with him.  I’ll talk to you guys tomorrow, but in the meantime — safe travels to everyone visiting family and friends this holiday season.  Addam and I will be staying home, even though our hearts will be in Ohio.

“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, ‘thank you,’ that would suffice. ” — Meister Eckhart, German theologian and philosopher (c. 1260 – c. 1327).

Back to business

22 Nov

Hello again, everyone!  Sorry for the hiatus.  I’m in the process of reformatting my blog and took everything down for awhile.  I know it’s still pretty empty up here, but I have to sift through three months of material, which is taking a lot longer than I expected.  I threw some of my better posts back up so that it wasn’t completely empty on my first day back. Expect some more material to appear in upcoming weeks, as well as a ton of new updates, because I’m finally back in business.

I’d like to say that tremendous things have happened since I last updated, but everything’s been pretty much the same.  I’ve been working five days a week and relaxing on the weekends.

Addam was home this past Saturday and Sunday, which, if you know anything about the restaurant industry, is as close to a miracle as you can get, especially considering he’s asked for  every weekend in December off.  We’re having family come in from Ohio next month.  His parents and uncle will be coming down the weekend after Thanksgiving, and his sister and her boyfriend, Ryan, are coming to Miami for a cruise the next week.  They’re going to stay with us the weekends before and after.  Super excited!  It’s been so long since we’ve seen any of the fam, and I’ve never gotten to meet Emily’s fella.

Saturday was the Bayside Rocks Festival, so we went downtown to see if we could catch part of the show.  We didn’t have money to get in, so we spent most of the day walking around the city and straining to hear any bits of Steel Pulse and Bunny Wailer that we could catch.  Which wasn’t too much, but we still had fun.

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“Yes” to the dress

8 Nov

I hope everyone had an amazing weekend and are enjoying their last hours of relaxation.  I’m using my extra hour to send you guys a wedding update.

Save the Dates

First and foremost — I have designed Addam and my “save the dates.”  We’re not sending them out until we’re absolutely positive that we have a location set, but we’re hoping to have all that squared away in the next couple of weeks.  So, in the meantime, a sneak peek:

I’d like to switch out the photo with something a little more formal, but I gotta work with what I have on hand, and this is what I have.

Now that we have a date and a location basically set, I need to start thinking about the more girly aspects of the wedding, a.k.a. colors and dresses.


I’ve already stated that I’m not really one to get too mushy over wedding dresses, but I think that I may have found a few options I actually like.

Number 1: The Ideal

I love this dress.  It’s playful, it’s bohemian and it’s classic.  I love the layered look of the necklaces and I love how the lace helps accentuate the simple design.  I’ve said on here before that I have no desire to feel like a princess on my big day, and I think that this dress is simple, yet elegant.  Very fitting for a beach wedding.

The only obstacle will be finding it!  This isn’t your typical pick, and I think I could very well spend more time looking for something like this than I’d ever spend wearing it.  Regardless, I have to try.  This one is perfect.

(Note that I have yet to try this on yet.  I could hate it as soon as I saw how I looked in it.  This is my preliminary, open, opinion.)

Number 2:  The Close Second

While I’m in love with the first dress, this one comes pretty close.  I hate anything strapless, so sleeves are a must.  Unfortunately, this pick takes that requirement a little too far.  If I was to go with this option I’d definitely cut out the puffy slide sleeves and go with the sheer layer that sits over the base of the shoulders.  I think this dress would be near perfect with just a few alterations.

Like the first dress, this one has a very classic, almost Shakespearian feel that I really appreciate.  It almost reminds me of something Juliet would wear — romantic but not overdone.

I also have to say, that while I was considering a very layered look in terms of jewelry, I like the simplicity shown in this photograph.  The model’s necklace carries a lot of weight and creates a nice balance with her pearl earrings.

(P.S. I just have to say, that I never knew how much I would like lace when picking out a wedding dress.  I’ve noticed that most of my picks feature the fabric, which kind of surprises me.  It seems girly, and I’ve never considered myself very feminine.)

Number 3: The Vintage Pick

Ok, ok, so this is really just an idea I’m playing with, but as it’s still early, I don’t want to rule anything out.  I really love vintage looks and old-school styles, and I love how this dress just screams 1940s.

I think it’s a combination of the hair and back.  It’s so classic.  I’m undecided on the long sleeves — I think that depending on the dress it could either look really fabulous or really ’80s, which is a thin but very important line.  I do not want anyone to think about The Wedding Singer as I make my way down the aisle.

I also have to mention that I think there may be just too much dress here, especially for a beach wedding.  Miami is freaking hot, and I don’t want anything weighing me down.

From a logistics standpoint, I don’t know how well a long train would handle the sand…I know I’m only wearing this thing once, but I’d rather not ruin it by the end of the night.  Nor would I want to look like a hot mess on my big day.

The Maids

One of my worst fears are that my maids are going to hate what they’re wearing, so I plan to involve everyone in the selection process.  In the meantime, this is what I’m thinking.  (PLEASE, maids, let me know your opinions!)

Option 1: The Trio

While I don’t want to go with any of these styles, I love the idea of having each of my bridesmaids in similar versions of the same dress.  This way there is a common tie, but everyone is unique.  It will also give the wedding party a little more say over what they walk down the aisle in.

I do have to say that I’d like Emily and Heather, my maid and matron of honors, to stand out.  In this photo the bride obviously chose to go with a shorter dress, and I’m open to that option.  I don’t really know what else I’d consider at this point, but I’m open to ideas — so please send them my way!  Maybe a bow or special flowers for the ladies?  Maybe they could wear their hair down as opposed to up?  Maybe they should wear flowers in their hair, or have a special piece of jewelry?  I have no idea, but I guess I have awhile to figure it all out.

I’ll let Addam figure out what he wants to do in terms of his groomsmen.  I don’t think he’s going to want his best man walking anyone down the aisle in shorts, but I’m sure he’ll think of something special for Ben.

Option 2: The V-Neck

Again, I need to check with my wedding party, but I really like a strong v-neck.  I love how it complements the high waist in this photo.  It just looks so classy.  I also  love the elegance of the down-do paired with the low back.

Not just that, I think this would work really well given that it’s going to be a summer wedding in a tropical location.  I don’t want my girls to be miserably hot the entire time, and this seems like a pretty light option.

My only concern with this dress is I have no idea how I could switch it up for each member of my wedding party.  It’s kind of a standard look, and I don’t know that I’d like the dress as much if it was full length.  I guess at this point I need to keep searching through photos and weighing my options.

Either way, I think the dress fits the “vintage” feel I’m going for.

The good side of this whole dilemma is — all of my maids are beautiful, so they’d look good in paper bags.  I really can’t go wrong no matter what I end up picking.  That always helps.

That’s it for tonight guys, but please, please, please leave me comments offering up any advice or opinions.  I need all the help I can get!

“A woman is never sexier than when she is comfortable in her clothes.” — Vera Wang, fashion designer.