Archive | May, 2010

mia for a bit

28 May

taking a week off for vacation. be back before you know it.


top chef master review

26 May

i throughly enjoy visiting chicago. i love staying in the loop and even feel like a bona fide city girl taking the “el.”

just don’t watch the news in chicago. it’s disturbing. like scary disturbing.

but i did enjoy rick bayless’ xoco.  tried a prosciutto torta with a fried egg, avocado, and manchego. heaven on a plate. put prosciutto on anything and i’m sold. even bell peppers.

see that yummy deliciousness at the bottom of the picture? that is one of their famous churros and mexican hot chocolate.

thumbs down? the massive wait and inability to make reservations.

gym etiqutte

25 May

okay, i’m going to throw this out there. maybe it’s because i’ve never been an offical member of a gym. maybe it’s because i’m aparantly prudishly conservative, but gym nudity freaks me out.

yup, you read that right. i will never undertand standing buck neked blow drying your hair in front of a mirror in a locker room. in front of 50 or so of perfect strangers. it’s just the most odd thing to me. i’ve also noticed (because my jaw drops each and every time i walk into the locker room) that it’s not young folks, either. did my generation miss out on this gym tradition?

i’ve now got my locker room visits down to a science. eyes down. don’t look up. don’t look up. walk super fast and grab a towel. avoid eye contact. and i’m free. phew.

ps – anyone catch glee? best episode ever. my class told me that i look like lea michelle (aka rachel barry). outright compliment or backhanded i’m not so sure . . .

before & after

24 May

sometimes being a homeowner means spending money on things that make you angry. like a new breaker box. or re-wiring the ac. but this one takes the cake.

one of the reasons we chose our house was because we loved the trees and the shade they provided. but we were a little worried about a few of them and had them checked out. they were labeled “threats to the house.” i figured we’d just live with them.

but after a while we realized we didn’t want to live with them. besides from the obvious danger of them falling on our house these two giants shed the most pinecones/gum balls in the history or pinecones/gum balls. that and if we ever hoped to plant any type of flower in our front yard these bad boys had to go.

alex surprised me while i was in chicago last week with the removal. the giant tree service sign in our front yard was my first clue. and i’m pleased. could a think of a better way to spend that money? most certainly. like a new summer wardrobe and week of spa treatments in barbados. but c’est la vie i’m happy they’re gone.

i only have before shots of the double pine tree but i promise the gum ball machine was a doozy, too. but the removal only reminds me how badly we need to spend a weekend full of yardwork.



and the full house view:

the second tree was directly to the right of my car

the butler cup

22 May

okay so there’s not a “for-real” butler cup but that’s what i’ve coined last weekend’s triathlon. i’m going to make a macaroni necklace for the winner and present it on fourth of july at the beach.

and don’t even think about it. i’m still not interested in competing in triathlons. nope, not happening.

i was even lucky enough to see a few clemson locals on this trip. made the trip especially enjoyable.

and sorry for the lack of posting this week. i got sick. i feel asleep during last nights season finale of CSI. BOOO!

so here’s the race recap — i tried to catch everyone on their transitions from swim/bike but i only capture alex crossing the finish line.

also mixed in are uncle thomson’s birthday, audrey the lounge singer, and mom with her hanging basket. check out the photo of the fella in a bow-tie and not much else. This couple participated in the tri in the morning and got married later that day. Talk about a way to relieve pre-wedding jitters.

her name was lola

13 May

but she was not a showgirl.

in fact, she was a restaurant in cleveland. don’t be jealous, you know you wish that you were in balmy (50 degree) cleveland, ohio.

alright, so maybe cleveland is not in my top 5 places to visit. or maybe not my top 50 but alas, work travel ain’t for the kiddies.

but what was amazing was iron chef michael symon’s gem of a restaurant, lola. yum-o.

i was feeling adventurous and tried the veal sweetbreads as a starter. these were FANTASTIC! he diced small pieces of bacon in the sauces and i tell you what — heaven on a plate. the scallops were pretty good as well but texture became an issue with the two mushy courses and i couldn’t eat but two. it makes me incredibly sad to leave scallops on a plate uneaten.

biggest regret? not ordering the french toast with maple bacon ice cream. what was i thinking? oh yeah, i’m going to chicago next week. home of my beloved vosges and the miracle mile.

on a happier note, the new luggage made it through her maiden voyage. it’s noticealby small once i started packing but it was easy peasy to navigate through the airport and on the plane. go team delsey!

RIP Samsonite

7 May

Dear Samsonite,

Upon receiving a job offer for a traveling position, I researched luggage and decided that you were the brand that I trusted most to carry my gear. Your lifetime warranty, wide selection of options, and though a bit expensive, price tag was quite fair in comparison with your competition.

Well, four years into said traveling job and you are being retired. Why? About a year into traveling all my zipper pulls broke. I could live with that. The outer zipper that hides the collapsible handle? Gone beyond repair. And speaking of that collapsible handle; you only collapse about one out of every five times. Not a good thing in the hurry-up pace of boarding a plane. But the last straw? The top handle went kaput. As in I’m lifting the bag on the shuttle and the pieces fly all over the Philadelphia Airport. I may, or may not have, exclaimed expletives.

So Samsonite I’m done with you. I tried to take you to a repair store but they told me that it would be less expensive than purchasing a brand new carry on.

Luggage search begins. I had a few basic criteria: Smaller than my current 22″, spinner wheels, and lots of compartments. I received a tip from a friend to try ebags. I would highly recommend checking out their site because they truly do have fantastic prices. But when I went to try the bags in person I nixed one of my criteria immediately — spinner wheels = smaller room inside carry on. I’m already downsizing inches, I don’t want to lose any more for silly wheels.

Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Mori Luggage, even Belk. We tried them all. Macy’s had a ridiculous sale on luggage and I scored this new beauty. Say hello to my Delsey Helium Pro H Lite 21″.

Isn’t she pretty? Well, at least for a business suitcase.


And of course I needed a new luggage tag. I mean come on, what luggage is complete without a Lilly Pulitzer alligator luggage tag? Professional Smeshinal. At least it’s black.