Sick and tired

... of being sick and tired.

I've been sick since last Wednesday night.  I managed to power through Thanksgiving... and then Black Friday madness (I know I know... I should have stayed home and rested, but I couldn't miss Black Friday).  So here I am a full week later... still sick.  Bleh.

I have been coming home from work and sleeping almost all day... and night.  And definitely haven't kept up with my blog.

Anyway... today, I was browsing around one of my favorite Bump boards and found this post from the lovely maxsom (also the author of this delicious blog: For The Love Of Cuppiecakes)  I cracked up and couldn't help but share it.  (although I had to change it from 23 to 22, because #8 was MIA).  Anyway, it is so very true... enjoy!

22 Truths
1 Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is. 

2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

5. How on earth are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

6. Was learning cursive really necessary?

7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on # 5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood. 

8. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind-of tired.

9. Bad decisions make good stories.

10. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

11. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection...again.

12. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to.

13. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

14. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

15. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Light than Kay.

16. I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.

17. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

18. How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear or understand a word they said?

19. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!

20. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

21. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I'd bet everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time.

22. The first testicular guard, the "Cup," was used in Hockey in 1874 and the first helmet was used in 1974. That means it only took 100 years for men to realize that their brain is also important.

Now that I've got you laughing...  :)  I promise to pick up my posting regimen once I start feeling a little better.  Until then, it's orange juice, hot baths, hot tea, Vicks and lots of sleep.


Y3W: Black Friday Review

We went, we bought, we didn't exactly conquer.

My BFF and I continued our Thanksgiving tradition of midnight madness at the outlets.  Last year, we scored some incredible deals so we were super excited to hit the Waterloo Outlets again this year.  Well.... we ended up leaving fairly disappointed.  We found deals, true.  And we bought things, true.  But it wasn't nearly the incredible savings that it has been in the past.  We did end up coming back to Syracuse around 5am to continue our shopping spree.  Even if the deals weren't fantastic, we were able to find some great gifts and, most importantly, share an awesome night of coffee and girl talk together.

The recap:  I didn't get everything on my Christmas list, but I did snag a few things... and lots of cute clothes for me which I will probably wrap and put "Love, Santa" on the tag.  lol.  My BFF has two small LOs, so I mostly go to help her out.  She drops the kiddos off with her mom, then we hit the road with an ample supply of snacks, water bottle and coffee (although only a cup for me this year... it was tough!).  I stand in line while she shops around at places like The Childrens Place, Osh Kosh, Toys R Us, etc.  Then she'll wait in line for me at GAP, Banana Republic, etc while I shop.  It works out great for both of us and it's always a fun night of shopping and girl talk... Love it!

We got to the outlets just before midnight and had no problem parking.  It was crowded, but not ridiculous.  I think half of the people there were waiting in line for the Coach store.  Seriously.  There must have been 500 people in that line.... pure insanity.  First up was The Children's Place... it was crowded, but not too bad.  I went straight to the line and BFF shopped around.  By the time I was at the front (about an hour later), she was ready to go... worked out perfectly.  We wandered around several more stores and repeated our process.  I think the best deals belonged to Eddie Bauer, although we had a tough time finding clothes we liked there.  Bummer.  We did pretty good at GAP... a few sweaters and pants although I didn't feel that the prices were any better than a normal weekend sale.  Old Navy had some steals like $5 fleeces and we both grabbed a pair of moccasins to rest our feet while we ditched our boots.  Best $12 I ever spent.  After that, more stores, more deals, but sadly nothing really blog worthy.

TBH, overall this year I wasn't super impressed with a lot of the deals.  Last year, I swear almost every single store was 50% off- the WHOLE store.  And you could use email coupons or rewards or AAA or military discount or "give us your email and you get an extra 10% off" type stuff... combined.  This year, many of the stores were only offering 20 or 30% off... (heck, that's like an average weekend sale at the outlets)... and you could only use one "extra" coupon or code.  Needless to say, we didn't do as well as we did last year.  Oh well.

TRU looked like a war zone and there wasn't much left by the time we got there (5am... they opened at 9pm Thursday), so that was kind of a bust for her.  Target and Walmart weren't crowded at all (got there around 6-7am), but same thing... the deals weren't super awesome.  I guess they had a lot of great deals on electronics, but not much else.  And Walmart does their deals in small batches.  (A,B,C on sale from midnight til 2am then D,E,F on sale from 2am-4pm... etc)... that's crazy... what do you do... just stay there all night and keep checking out every 2 hours?  Weird.  I did manage to score a fabulous sheet set from Target (550 thread count) for $35 and a duvet cover for $25.  That made my day.

Kohl's was ok, but I really think they mark their prices up a bit so when you get to use your "15% off" you think you're getting a great deal... but it's really bringing the price down to the same price it was last week.  If one good thing came out of this, though, it's that the annoying Kohl's commercial with the black Friday song is no longer being played.  Small victory.

Kevin and I ended up going to Carousel Mall later in the evening and it was surprisingly slow.  I was dying to go to Verizon and investigate the free phone deal they had advertised.  Turns out I was eligible for it with my early upgrade, so I went for it.  I am so pleased to announce that I now FINALLY have a smart phone (does happy dance).  Oh.  And it was FREE (does more enthusiastic happy dance).  Well, technically $50 with a $50 mail in rebate... which I already have in the mailbox... so free.  This also made my day.

Anyway... that was it in a nutshell (whew, that got long).  Still good prices, but definitely not as awesome as last year.


Give thanks!

I am so truly blessed.  I have an amazing husband who would do anything to make me smile.  We have the cutest and sweetest puppy in the world (this is not up for debate) and together, we are living the American dream in our first home.  We both have wonderful, solid jobs with bright futures.  I am surrounded by a strong, supportive family (although many are states away... but close at heart) and the best friends I could ever imagine.  I am blessed.

Today, we pause to reflect on all of life's blessings, big and small as we celebrate with our loved ones.

Today is a day to give thanks.

Thanksgiving with my family is a day full of laughs, food and fun.  Turkey day with Kevin's family starts off with the annual "Turkey Bowl" (backyard football game) followed by a full day of feasting and visiting.

This year, we will celebrate on a smaller scale- just Kevin and Lucy and I.  Kevin had to work this morning, so I slaved away in the kitchen preparing our feast for two.  Ok ok... I didn't "slave away"... I actually love cooking and entertaining and I kind of wish that I was cooking for a crowd today.  Oh well... maybe next year.  Anyway, we didn't spare any traditions even though it's just us.  Turkey, sausage stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, pumpkin pie... the works.

Tonight, my BFF and I will celebrate our annual tradition.  She will come over and we will enjoy desert #2 while we scour the newspaper ads.  Then we will embark on our annual epic Black Friday madness... midnight at the Waterloo Outlets.  I can't wait!!!  I will update tomorrow (after a nice, long nap) with all of my awesome deals and bargains.

I hope everyone enjoys a wonderful Thanksgiving full of food and fun with their loved ones.

"If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, 'thank you,' that would suffice." 
- Meister Eckhart


My first 30 x 30 check!!!

I am super excited that I finally get to officially check something off my list.  Our half anniversary is coming up this weekend and we FINALLY got our wedding pictures framed and hung.  I wanted to hang them in a gallery style pattern, which is a DIY project I believe I have mastered, so I thought I would post instructions.

First we took a laid a piece of wrapping paper out on the floor about the size of the wall space we intended to use.  I like to use the wrapping paper that has grid lines on the back (great for wrapping pretty presents, but also great to use as a template for hanging lots of pictures).  We laid out the picture frames on top of the paper in the design we wanted them to be on the wall, then we were able to use the grid lines to make sure the frames were level and evenly spaced.  We also grabbed some letters from Hobby Lobby that spelled "LOVE" and painted them to coordinate with the wall color and frames.
Next I used a marker to trace the outline of the frames.  Then I measured the back of the frames to find out where the hooks should go.  I used a marker to place dots on the wrapping paper as a guide.  Finally I removed all of the pictures and used thumb tacks to pin the wrapping paper onto the wall.
Using the dots I had marked on the paper as a guide, we drilled/hammered in the photo hangers (through the paper).  Once we had all of the holes drilled and photo hangers in place, we tore the paper off gently, leaving the photo hangers perfectly placed.  : )  Then we started from the center out and top down, hanging the pictures and letters up.  Here we are about 1/2 way done...
And the finished product... a perfectly placed, spaced, level gallery style photo spread... Voila!!!

I can't wait to check something else off my list.


Its time...

for the wife chop.

I am desperately in need of a new 'do.  Seriously

My hair is insanely long... down to the middle of my back at least... and very fine/thin/limp.

My daily style routine involves getting out of the shower, towel drying for about 30 seconds and throwing my sopping wet hair up into a messy bun/ponytail sort of glob.  It is so long and fine that it won't hold a curl... and even trying to curl it is a nightmare.  I don't really like products that try to add body, because I think it makes it feel sticky and gross.

So I am getting it cut.  Chopped, actually.

I am thinking about going with a shoulder length bob... and hoping that a style like one of these two (below) won't require an enormous amount of styling time/products in the morning.


My goal today...

... is to shop less, bake more.

Kevin has to work this weekend, which normally means I spend the majority of Saturday and Sunday wandering aimlessly around several nearby stores and spending ridiculous amounts of money on things I don't need.  Sounds like fun, doesn't it?  It is.

Since we are trying to save some money (and since I am planning to do some epic Black Friday shopping later this week)... I decided to try to take a break from my retail therapy habit.  Since I have to do something (and studying just doesn't sound like fun)... I thought I would bake instead.... and bake I did.

I enjoyed some delicious cookie brownies and pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.  Oooh yes.  I would post recipes, but I cheated and used boxed mixes... no fun.  Tomorrow I might try my hand at some *real* baking... you know, the kind you actually have to measure stuff for.  We'll see how that goes.

For dinner, I made one of our favorites... Garbage Soup.  Yes, that's really what we call it.  Why?  Well, because it looks a lot like garbage.  But it tastes delicious.  It actually tastes a lot like Zuppa Toscana from Olive Garden.

Garbage Soup
  • 1 lb hot sausage, browned and crumbled
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 1 large container of chicken stock
  • 2-3 large potatoes, diced and boiled until knife-tender (not too soft)
  • 4-6 large kale leaves roughly chopped
Brown the sausage and onion together.  I use a potato masher to break the sausage down into little pieces.  Meanwhile, in a stockpot on med-low heat, add the chicken stock, boiled potatoes and chopped kale.  Once the kale is wilted, turn heat to low.  Add brown sausage to soup and let simmer on low until ready to serve.

I like to serve this with a loaf of crusty Italian bread.


Y3W: Lucy's First Snow

We knew it was coming… the weather man said it was… but still, we weren’t ready.  And neither was Lucy.  Well… last night, it came.
The white stuff
The cold, wet white stuff
On one hand, today marks the beginning of the most enjoyable yet aggravating season of the year.  Winter provokes anxiety about driving conditions and delayed travel times.  It means adding another 3 layers to every outfit and always trying to find that darn mysterious matching glove.  And here, in Upstate NY… it means the typical overabundance of white stuff is on the way, and once it starts, it seems as if the end isn’t even in sight.  In Syracuse, we average easily above a hundred inches of snow per year.  That’s kind of a lot.  As a matter of fact, according to City Top Lists, Syracuse is #1 for average annual snowfall.  I’m not exactly sure if that is something to brag about or make me pack my bags and head south.  Our winter usually lasts from Halloween to Easter (and sometimes until Mother’s Day… yeah… 2 years ago, we had snow on Mother’s Day… lots of snow).  At first, the snow is usually very pretty on the ground and a welcome sight.  After a month or two of hunting for your car in the grocery store parking lot every time you do your weekly shopping (because all car-size white blobs of snow look the same) and shoveling yourself out of your own house every morning when you are already running late for work… it gets old.  Very… very old. 
On the other hand, I do think that snow covered lawns and icicles on the bare tree branches are a beautiful sight.  Growing up in Florida, we strung lights from palm trees and spent Christmas at the beach, anything below 55 degrees was considered “freezing” and people panicked at the thought of frost.  I didn’t have a clue what I was missing.  When I moved up to New York, I learned to truly appreciate the seasons… all of them… even winter.  Having experienced a few “white” Christmases, I know I can never turn back.  Winter just isn’t winter and Christmas just isn’t Christmas without the white fluffy stuff.  I had an oncology patient tell me once that he enjoyed the snow because it “covered up all of the ugly in the world for a little while.”  That sentiment really resounded with me and I try to think of that every time I want to gripe about shoveling and ice scraping.
Anyway… so today was the first noticeable snow fall… stick to the ground kind of snow fall.  Our puppy, Lucy,
is only 6 months old, so she has never had the pleasure of playing in the snow.  This morning, when Kevin let her out to do her business, we both watched from the door giggling as she tried to figure out what the heck was all over the ground.  She walked very gingerly across the snow covered deck and paused for a minute or two before she went down the stairs.  Then she paused again at the bottom of the stairs and investigated the strange white grass before prancing over to her favorite spot.  She was hysterical to watch.  I wish I would have caught it on video.  Perhaps, when I get home, I will snap some pictures of my silly puppy in the snow.
I wonder what was going through her head.    



Over the weekend, I browsed around Old Navy and grabbed some really cute summer-y shirts.  They were on sale for about $5.  Woot woot!  Score.  The plan was to put them away in my bin of summer clothes and pull them out next spring.  However... I just loved the bright coral color in this shirt and I couldn't help but wear it today.  I didn't care if it was only 50 degress... it made me a little extra cheery to wear it.
 Top:  Double V-neck dolman sleeve top from Old Navy
Bottom:  Navy blue sateen dress pants from Target
Shoes:  Nude pumps from Steve Madden
 Of course Lucy had to get in the picture.  She is such a ham.

This may come in handy in the near future.  :)


I'm in the mood

no... sicko... not THAT kind of mood.

I'm in the mood to cook up a storm and do something productive (as opposed to yesterday.  Yikes.  I was pretty much a waste of space yesterday... slug).  Anywho... I scored some killer deals at Wegmans yesterday (oh... I guess I did accomplish something... shopping!  I know... shocker, right?) on all sorts of meat, so I bought in bulk and stored everything in our deep freezer.  This way when we are buried under 5 feet of snow, I won't have to worry about grocery shopping.  Makes sense to me.

Last night I threw together a beef stew.  It wasn't exactly my best work, but Kev was starving so he gobbled it right up.  It worked.

Tonight, however, I am cooking an awesome Sunday family dinner for our family of two.  I am doing a whole chicken stuffed with sausage and pepper stuffing... yummy!!  And for desert... this amazing sweet potato pecan pie
Sweet Potato Pecan Pie
(borrowed the idea from my fav Dinosaur BBQ... found the recipe here:  Closet Cooking's Sweet Potato Pecan Pie

Here is my picture... not too bad, eh? 

So for the chicken, I use just a small roasting chicken (usually around $5).  For the stuffing (this is the same recipe I use for my Thanksgiving stuffing... if you have never tried sausage stuffing, you better get to it!!  There is no turning back, though, I have to warn you... once you have had sausage stuffing, plain stuffing will never do):
  • 1 box stuffing mix (sometimes I do it the hard way, like for Thanksgiving I make my own stuffing with sort of stale bread and some seasonings... but not tonight)
  • 1/2 to 1 lb ground sausage (I use hot sausage)... you can also use a flavored sausage... Wegman's makes an apple smoked one that is yummy
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of diced peppers (I have leftover red, yellow and orange, so pretty)
  • Sometimes I also use onion and celery, diced
  • Chicken broth
I cook the sausage then add in the peppers/onion/celery to soften them.  I use the chicken broth to moisten the stuffing mix.  Then combine the sausage and pepper mix with the stuffing mix.  Stuff the bird and bake (time and temp varies depending on size).  I usually start out with the bird covered in foil, then remove the foil for the last 30 minutes to brown the skin.

Here's my yummy chicken...

I also like to inject my chicken or turkey.  There is an awesome injectable marinade (can't think of the brand right now)... but it is butter jalapeno flavor... it's AMAZING!!!  Injecting the bird gives it so much more flavor as opposed to just seasoning the skin... every single bite is bursting with flavor.  If you haven't tried injecting your turkey before, give it a shot this year... your guests will be wowed.



I am bursting with excitement and trying to find a way to keep my trap shut.  It's hard.  I need distractions.

Normally, I would blog about it here, but I likely  have a handful of people reading this (ahem, spies from work... you know who you are...) that are not in the know... and won't be for a while.

Kevin is at work, I have the weekend off.  I SHOULD be studying, I WANT to be shopping (or relaxing on a tropical beach somewhere with an umbrella drink, but who doesn't want to be doing that?)... and I AM doing nothing.  Nothing productive at least.

It snowed yesterday for the first time this year, but didn't stick (thank goodness... I am not ready to shovel yet).  It has gotten considerably colder up here which makes me miss the south even more.  I am a tropical person, darnit.  What am I doing in upstate NY???

Well... I guess that's about enough whining out of me.  I think I might wake the Lucy monster up and take her for a run.

There was absolutely no point to this post... you may carry on.  :)


Y3W: Thank You Veterans!!!

This is my very first Y3W post and I am super excited.

Today, is veteran's day and I want to send my deepest gratitude to America's brave men and women and their families.  It takes an enormous amount of courage, strength and self sacrifice to serve our country... and it takes patience, love and understanding to be a military spouse/family.

I have had the honor and privilege of doing both.  My husband and I are both proud Marines.  My brother is a Marine, my grandfather is retired Navy and my brother-in-law and two cousins are in the Army.  Most of my close friends serve in some branch of the military. 

Patriotism runs deep in my blood and not a day goes by where I do not feel truly blessed to call myself an American.  Today is a day to understand and appreciate that the freedoms we enjoy are possible only through the sacrifices of our brave men and women in uniform.

"This nation will remain the land of the free, only so long as it  is the home of the brave."  - Elmer Davis

To our brave military men and women and veterans... serving here in the United States or on foreign soil, during peace time or war, active duty or reserve, currently serving or retired... THANK YOU.


Happy Birthday, Marine Corps!!!

Yes... I get to celebrate 2 birthdays a year.  One of them celebrates the day I was born... and the second celebrates the birth of the world's most fiercely amazing fighting force, The United States Marine Corps.  I was so truly blessed to be a part of this brotherhood for 8 crazy years and, even though I have been out for 2 years now, I still celebrate the Marine Corps birthday with all of my fellow Marines.

I did not end up going to a birthday ball this year... and that breaks my heart.   The ball is a wonderful celebration of tradition and honor where old Marines and new get together, eat together, drink together and party together.  You will hear brand new boots telling their "This one time... at boot camp" stories and Korean War vets telling their battle tales.  If you ever have the opportunity to go... I highly encourage it.  There are time honored traditions like the cake cutting and toasting as well as the reading of the very first birthday address and the current year's birthday address.  It is an amazing thing.

Tonight, DH (also a Marine) and I are celebrating together.  The Marine Corps is what made us who we are as individuals and what actually brought us together as a couple.  We are both Marines down to the core and this day always brings us bittersweet memories as we both miss being a part of the Marine Corps family.

I will close this with a few motivating pictures of Marine Monica and the Commandant's Birthday Address for the 236th Birthday of the United States Marine Corps... Semper Fidelis.

That's me... all the way on the left, leading a mud run during a Corporal's Course that I instructed.

I'm in the middle with fellow Marines, Kat and Tiffany.  This was during my second tour in Iraq.  Kat was an awesome mechanic, Tiffany and I were gunners.

For ten years now, our Corps has been engaged in continuous combat operations
against those who threaten the security of America and our allies. We turned the tide in
the Anbar province of Iraq and continue to see success today in southwest Afghanistan.
While it has come at a cost. .. we have much to be proud of.

This past year in operations around the world including humanitarian disaster
relief, counter-piracy, theater security cooperation, special operations, counter-insurgency
and many more, you continued to solidify our place as America's Expeditionary Force in
Readiness. Since the Continental Congress created two battalions of Marines 236 years
ago, our legacy as an ever-ready, ever capable, victory producing organization remains

Our rich heritage of selfless service and fidelity to Nation and to one another lives
on in all who currently wear the Eagle, Globe and Anchor - those who have answered the
clarion call to duty with remarkable courage, dedication and unshakable resolve that
Marines are so well known for. To all Marines - past and present - and especially to our
families ... I extend my deep gratitude for all you have done and all you continue to do.
As we celebrate our 236th birthday, let us look forward to future challengeswhatever
they may be - and reaffirm our pledge to be America's premier crisis response
force; to be the first to fight... Always ready for the toughest and most challenging

Happy 236th Birthday, Marines!
Semper Fidelis,
James Amos
General, US Marine Corps


Thursday is the new Friday

... well for this week at least.  Friday (Veteran's Day) is a federal holiday and our office will be closed.  Yay!!  At one point, I was hoping to be out of my office job and working as a nurse by now, but... the office job does have its perks... holidays being the biggest one!

So... tomorrow is my Friday.  :) 

Oh... and tomorrow is also the Marine Corps birthday!!  I will likely be posting again tomorrow and/or Friday... but just in case, wish any Marines you know (current or retired) a HAPPY 236th BIRTHDAY!!  And on Friday, thank a veteran.


Happy Half Birthday to Lucy!!!

Our little furbaby is 6 months old today!!

I have always had a special place in my heart for animals, and we were so very excited to add a pet to our family, but I never imagined the amount of love and joy that Lucy would bring into our lives.  Happy half birthday, pumpkin butt!!

We started off our Sunday with a trip to Petsmart (Lucy's favorite store, of course) then dropped her off at home while we ran some errands.  We decided it would be wise to stock up on wood pellets while A. they were on sale and B. the weather was still nice enough to make loading/unloading them not too much of a pain.  So we loaded up with a full ton of pellets (50 bags!!) and headed home to unload.  Just in case you were wondering what a ton of pellets looks like (you were... weren't you?)... it looks like this...

Yeah... that's huge.

The rest of the day will be spent enjoying some football games while Kevin makes his famous-in-our-house wings.  I love Sundays!


Trash The Dress!!!

I finally got up the nerve (and found the time off from work) to do my Trash The Dress photo shoot.  My absolutely amazing wedding photographer, Tess Moran (Tess' website), suggested we do the shoot in Buffalo as she knows the area well and knows some great spots.  I am always up for a trip to Buffalo (they have GREAT shopping.  Seriously... Walden Galleria Mall is heaven) so I hit the road!  Tess recommended Stacey from Studio 2000 to do my hair, and she was awesome (although in the wind and cold, my cute curls didn't stand a chance).  Next I went to Sephora to have my makeup airbrushed (LOVE their Temptu system).  I had my wedding makeup done at Sephora in May and just love the look (in person and on camera) of airbrush makeup... plus they do it for free!!  Hel-lo awesome!!
I met up with Tess at her studio and we did  a special shoot (I would post details, but it's a surprise for Kevin for our anniversary... maybe I'll post a review after that). 
Then we headed out to downtown Buffalo.  Tess knows the area well and has a phenomenal eye for creative locations and poses.  We ended up going to the old first ward, not exactly the nicest part of the city.  The area was full of abandoned buildings, factories and mills which made the perfect backdrop for the shoot.  It was a little bit rustic, a little bit grungy and a lot of fun.  A colleague of Tess, Andy Buscemi, joined us for the shoot so he could build his portfolio.  So I had 2 photographers... I felt like a rock star and it was an absolute blast.  I felt totally confident, comfortable and relaxed.  It was great to just goof round in my wedding dress (and some wicked cute rain boots) and snap some laid back pictures.

You can't tell from this picture, but there was a building next to this bridge... it was some sort of barracks (fire? maybe?) anyway... it was full of young guys, so they got quite a show, lol.  They were shouting out the window the whole time we were there, like hecklers at a football game.  As I was walking up, one of them shouted "I like your Boo?s"... I heard "I like your boobs" so I turned around and gave them the death stare.  He then yelled "I said BooTs"... and I cracked up.  Oops.

Another one of them shouted "It's not too late"... and I said "I'm already married."  He fired back "It IS too late."  I laughed so hard.  Those guys kept me laughing throughout the first half of the photo shoot.

Tess spotted this window from the top of the walkway.  She said "It looks like a heart, we HAVE to take some shots by it."  So... I climbed through some bushes and voila... heart window pictures!!  Isn't that cool?

By the end of the shoot, I was absolutely freezing (it was a brisk 40ish degrees outside), my dress was a mess and my veil was in shreds (thanks to the spikey bushes I climbed through), but that's what a Trash The Dress is for.  I loved every minute of it and am thrilled with how the pictures turned out.
Hope you enjoy!


My First Airbrush Tan

A few weeks ago, I scored a really sweet deal on Groupon.com.  It was 3 organic airbrush tans for $40 at Vie de Bella Salon near the SU campus.  I'm all for a good deal and these Syracuse winters can be brutal on my awesome Floridian tan. So, naturally, I grabbed the 3 pack!

I didn't really plan to use the tans until the middle of winter when I am at my whitest white... but with my photo shoot tomorrow (Rock the Dress... will detail and post pics after the shoots) I thought it might be a good idea to use one of the tans now.  So... on a whim, I called yesterday to see if the could squeeze me in.  The receptionist was great and found room for me, then proceeded to educate me on the do's and dont's of spray tanning prep.  Holy instruction manual.  I might as well have been preparing for the SAT's... lol!  She said to shave if I want to, because I shouldn't shave right after, yes exfoliate, no lotion, no cream, no oil.  I will have to remove my makeup and deodorant when I get there.  (Yikes!  I am really self conscious about some discoloration on my face and never go anywhere without makeup).  I should bring loose, baggy clothing to wear after and I will not be able to shower sweat or wear makeup for 8 hours after.  Uh oh!!  I have some shopping to do after... how bad is this going to be?

So... how was it??  Well... it was interesting, to say the least.  The girl at the salon who did the airbrushing, Leigh, was fabulous and talked me through the whole process.  She made me feel totally comfortable and only slightly ridiculous when she had me stuff cotton balls up my nose (seriously.).  The two of us were in this teeny tiny closet size room for about 30 minutes while she sprayed me from head to toe.  She was totally professional and seriously made me feel comfortable (I know I already said that, but I have to reiterate... I was standing there in a thong in this teeny room with just her.  Lol.)  She filled me in on what to do and not to do to help my tan look the best and last the longest.   She also warned me, multiple times, that I would look splotchy, speckled, crazy, ridiculous until my first shower... at 8 hours.

I left bra-less in a t-shirt and yoga pants, and about 15 different shades of tan/brown/red/orange.  I look like a total whacko.  Oh... and did I mention it was like 40 degrees out?  So... can we say tid bit nippley?  Yeah.  Anyway... I was hell bent on finding the perfect pair of super cute rain boots for my Rock the Dress session tomorrow.  Needless to say this spotted leopard bra-less wonder ended up stopping at 4 different stores and the mall to try to find said boots.  Mission fail.  I did, however, manage to get some pretty interesting looks during my shopping spree.

I am excited to shower in the morning and see how the tan really looks, since the first 8 hours are a little... well... fugly.  I am hoping it will be as even and gorgeous as I am imagining.

Tomorrow is the big day.  A trip to Buffalo, hair and makeup, meeting with the best photographer ever and doing a crazy, sexy and fun Rock the Dress photo shoot... and maybe a few other pics.  Wish me luck!