February 23, 2009

sweet young love

My friend Alison posted on her blog about her little boy's first "date" with an adorable little classmate who wrote him a love note. Coincidentally, they are both missing the same front tooth. Seriously, it couldn't get any cuter if you tried.

Check out the original post and a super sweet slideshow here.

February 22, 2009

colorful and new

I treated myself to a pretty new wallet in NY this weekend. I have been so good about not spending unnecessarily since Nick's layoff, but I've also been earning a little extra $$ doing some freelance projects for friends, and I felt like I earned myself a little sumpthin' sumpthin'. It certainly wasn't outrageous — $58 — but that's actually the most I've ever spent on a wallet!

It's a pretty little number from Fossil, one of my favorite brands. (I just discovered this weekend that Fossil is a byproduct of Coach. Did anyone else know that?) I always find some great clothing staples at Fossil (they have a great store at the King of Prussia mall), and drool aplenty over their accessories. I love the combination of patterns on this wallet. It makes me happy.

If ever I have a spare $385 lying around, I'd also like to buy this, please:

Number 97

I have a HUGE crush on Matt Lauer. I wake up to him every morning on the Today show, and I have always secretly wanted to be one of those people who stands outside on the Plaza, waving to the camera and holding a nerdy sign. So, I added this mission to my 101 in 1001 list, and while in NYC this past weekend, I did it.

97. Stand outside of the Today show on a weekday morning (and meet Matt Lauer)

Okay... so I didn't get to meet Matt Lauer. BUT — I did stand outside of the Today studio on Rockefeller Plaza, and I got on tv! Look!

Yup. That's me. In the middle with the gray hat. Holding a sign that says "Meeting Matt is on my life's to-do list." (I was obviously trying to bribe him to come talk to me. It didn't work.) That's my mom in the black hat on the right. At approximately 8:35 am on Friday, February 20, we were famous for about 1.5 seconds. No autographs, please.

And although I did not meet the real Matt, I did meet his two-dimensional twin, thanks to the NBC Store.

Someday, maybe I will meet the real Matt Lauer. (Perhaps next time I need a better sign that wasn't quickly scribbled with markers at 7:10 am.) For now, I'm still going to consider number 97 checked off of my list, because it was too awesomely fun and funny to not acknowledge.

Number 22

What a fantastic weekend I had in New York. I go several times a year, but sometimes it's fun to really be a tourist in the city, which is not something I always do. My tourist-status allowed me to check a few more things off of my 101 in 1001 list. First up:

22. See a Tony Award winning musical on Broadway

My mom and I got tickets to see In the Heights, winner of the 2008 Tony Award for Best Musical. It was absolutely wonderful. Great story, great music, great characters, great dancing, great set, great talent. I have seen my fair share of Broadway shows, and no matter the cost, I truly believe that the experience of attending live theatre is worth every penny. I'm always blown away by the immense talent that fits onto one stage, and I'm so lucky to live close enough to New York to take advantage.

On our way to the show on Thursday night, my mom and I decided to stop by the theatre next door where Billy Elliot was playing to see if they had any tickets available for Friday night. We're rarely in the city long enough to see more than one show, so why not take advantage of our long-weekend trip? We had both heard a bit of buzz surrounding Billy, and I am such a fan of the movie, so I was really curious to see the musical adaptation.

Lo and behold, they had just had a cancellation for Friday night — two seats, third row orchestra. Um, yes please, we'll take 'em.

As much as I loved ITH, I have to say that Billy Elliot was, perhaps, the most amazing show I have ever seen. Maybe it's the third row seats talking (I mean, come on.... third. freaking. row!), but it was honestly flawless in my eyes. The actors were spectacular, the story was hilarious and tear-inducing all at the same time, and the young boy who played Billy (Kiril Kulish at this particular performance) was ridiculously talented. (Mark my words: that kid is going to be a huge star.) I was absolutely blown away by the dancing. I would not be surprised if this show sweeps the 2009 Tonys. If you have the opportunity — go see it!!!

February 19, 2009

New York, New York

I'm currently on a little mother-daughter getaway in the Big Apple. We're having a great time and have plenty of exciting plans to keep us busy through Sunday. It's nice to have a few days off from work and there's something charming about New York in the chilly winter (even though I hate the cold!). I'll be sure to write more when I'm back home next week.

Photo found here

February 14, 2009


Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours. I'm enjoying a low-key day with my hubby, and we're looking forward to a yummy dinner out tonight at a neighborhood steakhouse. (They have the best wedge salad that we've both been talking about for a few weeks in anticipation of our night out! Obviously, we don't get out much...)

Photo from our rehearsal dinner, September 19, 2008, by Alison Conkin

I love this photo of Nick. It has a vintage quality to it, which I think captures his old-soul personality. (He'll also remind you that he looks extremely handsome here. I can't disagree.)

Happy Valentine's Day, honey. I felt a little giddy finally being able to buy a "for my husband" card at the store the other day. I'm looking forward to a lifetime of purchases like that.

February 11, 2009

Number 17

Going along with my 101 in 1001 list in my last post, I wanted to post AFI's top 100 movies (the 2007 list) so you can follow along with my progress (or if you just want to count how many of these flix you've seen!). Any movie that I have already seen is shown in bold/italics. Any movie I see moving forward will be marked the same way, but with the addition of date that I saw it.

1. Citizen Kane
2. The Godfather
3. Casablanca

4. Raging Bull
5. Singin’ in the Rain
6. Gone with the Wind

7. Lawrence of Arabia
8. Schindler’s List
9. Vertigo
10. The Wizard of Oz
11. City Lights
12. The Searchers
13. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
14. Psycho
15. 2001: A Space Odyssey
16. Sunset Boulevard
17. The Graduate
18. The General
19. On the Waterfront
20. It’s a Wonderful Life
21. Chinatown
22. Some Like it Hot
23. The Grapes of Wrath
24. ET The Extra-Terrestrial
25. To Kill a Mockingbird

26. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

27. High Noon
28. All About Eve
29. Double Indemnity
30. Apocalypse Now
31. The Maltese Falcon
32. The Godfather Part II
33. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
34. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

35. Annie Hall
36. The Bridge on the River Kwai
37. The Best Years of Our Lifes
38. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
39. Dr. Strangelove
40. The Sound of Music
41. King Kong
42. Bonnie and Clyde
43. Midnight Cowboy
44. The Philadelphia Story
45. Shane
46. It Happened One Night
47. A Streetcar Named Desire
48. Rear Window
49. Intolerance
50. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
51. West Side Story
52. Taxi Driver
53. The Deer Hunger
54. MASH
55. North by Northwest
56. Jaws
57. Rocky

58. The Gold Rush
59. Nashville
60. Duck Soup
61. Sullivan’s Travels
62. American Graffiti
63. Cabaret
64. Network
65. The African Queen
66. Raiders of the Lost Ark
67. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
68. Unforgiven
69. Tootsie
70. A Clockwork Orange
71. Saving Private Ryan
72. The Shawshank Redemption

73. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
74. The Silence of the Lambs
75. In the Heat of the Night
76. Forrest Gump
77. All the President’s Men
78. Modern Times
79. The Wild Bunch
80. The Apartment
81. Spartacus
82. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
83. Titanic
84. Easy Rider
85. A Night at the Opera
86. Platoon
87. 12 Angry Men
88. Bringing Up Baby
89. The Sixth Sense
90. Swing Time
91. Sophie’s Choice
92. Goodfellas
93. The French Connection
94. Pulp Fiction
95. The Last Picture Show
96. Do the Right Thing
97. Blade Runner
98. Yankee Doodle Dandy
99. Toy Story
100. Ben Hur

My 101 in 1001

I mentioned this challenge back in December, and I finally {FINALLY!} finished creating my 101 in 1001. I'm really excited about this, because I am the type of person who functions very well when I'm following a "to do" list. When I don't have a list, I don't know where to begin, no matter how much I want/have to do. Hopefully this list will keep me motivated to keep doing and learning and growing. I'll continue to update this post as I complete tasks (and I'll link to it in a sidebar for easy reference, if you're interested in keeping up with my progress!).

I'm back-tracking a bit on my start date, since I had many items in place weeks ago, and I completed a few tasks while I was working to finish the list. Here's the lowdown, taken from the lovely Kate at Pretty Damn Fabulous, who first brought my attention to this great idea... you can also learn about the project here.

The Mission:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on my part).

Why 1001 Days?
Many people have created lists in the past - frequently simple goals such as New Year's resolutions. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organising and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities.

Start Date:
January 1, 2009
End Date: September 28, 2011

Bold/italicized - Completed Item

Strikethrough - Replaced Item (see end of post for replacements)

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Get Artsy
1. Take a Sewing Class
2. Sew a pillow
3. Design a Gocco wall print, just for fun (September 18, 2009)
4. Create/buy art for above the bed (January, 2010)
5. Paint mirror frames in the stairway (May 5, 2009)
6. Make a new scarf with the yarn I already have
7. Set up an Etsy store (April 18, 2009)
8. Sell something on Etsy (May 2, 2009)
9. Create rehearsal dinner albums for parents
10. Create wedding albums for parents (December, 2009)
11. Create Blurb album of Weddingbee posts
12. Create a shadowbox of wedding mementos
13. Create a scrapbook of RSVP cards, well wishes, postcards, etc.

Get Cultured
14. Read 5 non-fiction books (1/5)
15. Read 10 books of my own choosing (3/10)
16. Organize or participate in a book group
17. Watch all of AFI's top 100 movies (2007 list) (31/100)
18. Go to the ballet
19. Go to the orchestra
20. Attend a live music performance of someone I don't know who is not famous
21. Attend a play in the city (Philadelphia) (The Lion King, April 13, 2010)
22. See a Tony Award winning musical on Broadway (In The Heights, Feb. 19, 2009)
23. Attend a play at the local theatre (Media, PA)
24. Attend a concert of someone famous whom I’ve never seen before (June 12, 2009 - Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood)

Get Deep
25. Go to a movie alone
26. Identify 100 things that make me happy (0/100)
27. Identify 25 things I like about myself (0/25)
28. Go to a coffee shop with a book and enjoy the afternoon solo

Get Domestic
29. Take a cooking class (September 9, 2009)
30. Make dinner at least 3 nights a week, two weeks in a row
31. Make pizelles with Nana's recipe
32. Make home made ice cream
33. Host a party for friends
34. Take a cake decorating class
35. Decorate a cake (or cupcakes) for a loved one's birthday (October 4, 2009)
36. Take lunch to work everyday for two weeks (Jan. 2009)
37. Try 30 new recipes (6/30)
38. Have fresh flowers at home for 4 weeks (4/4)

Get Geeky
39. Set up personal blog with modified template to my specifications (Jan. 2009)
40. Finish wedding recaps on Weddingbee (September 15, 2009)
41. Take an Illustrator brush-up class/seminar
42. Create a project completely in InDesign (was trained in Quark!) (December, 2009)

Get Healthy
43. Lose 7 pounds (1.5/7)
44. Take a dance class
45. Try two new classes at the gym
46. Drink 8 glasses of water daily for 3 weeks (0/21)
47. Try three new OnDemand fitness routines (2/3)
48. Wear a bikini on a NJ beach (July 2010)
49. Floss every day for a month (30/30)
50. Eat fruit every day for a week (0/7)
51. Work out three times a week, two weeks in a row (February 2010)

Get Organized
52. Sell wedding items that are no longer needed (Jan. 2009)
53. Clean and vacuum inside of car and get storage systems for items in car
54. Organize family and friend's birthdays in one place
55. Buy/make birthday cards and greeting cards to have on-hand and send
56. Organize jewelry with a new storage system (September 27, 2009)
57. Clean tarnished jewelry
58. De-clutter the bedroom (January, 2010)
59. Solve MacMail alias problem (March, 2009)
60. Finish HTAC photo album
61. Legally change my name (June 12, 2009)
62. Change name on credit cards, etc. (June, 2009)
63. Get a new passport
64. Back up all digital images from 2008 and earlier onto disc (Feb. 6, 2009)

Get Covered

65. get AAA membership (Jan. 2009)
66. get life insurance
67. write a will (and make husband write one, too)

Get Rich (or at least get my finances in better order)
68. have checks printed under joint account
69. have portion of direct deposit automatically entered into joint account
70. set up BillPayer under joint account
71. get free credit report — cancel any dormant accounts
72. set up 401K
73. transfer old 401K into new one
74. Create a financial plan with the hubby
75. Set up PayPal to be able to receive payments (April 2, 2009)
76. Put money in savings each month (at least $50) (13/32)
77. Put $5 in savings for each completed task and $10 for every uncompleted one

Get Generous
78. Pay 10 strangers compliments (0/10)
79. Purge and donate old clothes from closets at least three times (3/3)
80. Volunteer for the MAC (Media Arts Council)
81. Pay for the person behind me at a toll or drive thru
82. Serve food at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter
83. Send 12 cards or letters for no reason at all (0/12)

Get Social

84. Mail Christmas Cards out before Christmas
85. Make plans with a new friend (March 4, 2009)
86. Call one faraway friend a week for 6 weeks (0/6)
87. Have a girl's night once every other month (8/16)
88. Plan a surprise birthday party
89. Have a dinner date with my husband once a month (16/32)
90. Have a double-date with friends once every other month (8/16)

Get Stuff
91. Buy a digital SLR camera
92. Buy a home

Get Adventurous
93. go to Chicago (May 12-15, 2009)
94. Go to a taping of Oprah
95. Go to Las Vegas (March 4-7, 2010)
96. Take a vacation outside of the US
97. Stand outside of the Today show on a weekday morning (and meet Matt Lauer) (Feb. 20, 2009)
98. Go to NJ to take glass-blowing class (wedding gift) (September 5, 2009)
99. Take a Mother Daughter Trip (NYC, Feb. 18-21, 2009)

100. Take a girls only trip (Las Vegas, March 4-7, 2010)
101. Take a completely impulsive, spur of the moment road trip with husband

Additions/replacements - 2010
6. start a business (April 2010)
45. run a 5K race
53. write a manuscript (and submit to publishers)
77. attend Altitude Design Summit
81. attend a Making Things Happen seminar with Lara Casey

February 10, 2009

On the Turntable: Sondre Lerche/Dan in Real Life Soundtrack

Have you seen Dan in Real Life? It is absolutely charming. I love Steve Carell, and I think he plays the vulnerable character of Dan so well (and it's such a 180 from his unbearable-but-awesomely-politically-incorrect character on The Office). Throughout most of the movie I just want to jump through the screen and give him a big hug.

We recently watched this movie for the third time, and amidst the sweet and funny story, I was reminded of how wonderful the music is.... so I used an Amazon gift card I had lying around and promptly bought the soundtrack. All but one of the songs are performed by Norwegian musician Sondre Lerche, and I love his pure, unique voice and the simple guitar melodies. I have been listening on repeat since I got the CD. (I tend to do that with music I really like!) It's fabulous.

One of my favorite songs is My Hands are Shaking. Have a listen. (Oh yeah, and he ain't so bad looking, either.)

Me like. You like?

February 8, 2009

an uncluttered life

One of the "adventures in adulthood" that I've been really working on has been de-cluttering my life. I have always, always been a pack-rat. For as long as I can remember, I have saved ticket stubs, notes from friends, birthday cards, clothes that I associate with a particular day, etc. More often than not, these things get buried away for years, behind more clutter, and become all but forgotten.

When I went away to college, I brought way more stuff than I needed, even though I was only a 45-minute drive from home (or a UPS package away from anything I may have suddenly needed). Photo albums, all four high school yearbooks, nick-nacks from friends, clothes I'd never wear, etc. I probably barely even glanced at half of the photo albums I brought, but I was so attached to my memories that I needed them there with me, even in a 10' x 10' cinderblock cell that they got away with calling a "dorm room" that I shared with another person.

When my mom sold my childhood home five years ago, there was an overwhelming amount of stuff that had to be cleared out of my old bedroom. I threw out a lot, but eventually I was so overwhelmed (and emotional) that I just boxed up whatever was left and moved it to her new basement. Over the last few years, I've tried to slowly go through those plastic bins filled with my youth and weed out the things that just aren't important anymore. Some things, I don't even remember why I saved them; other things I still associate a memory with, but then I have to ask myself if throwing out whatever token I have kept all these years will help me remember the memory any more clearly? The majority of the time, the answer is no.

I have really learned to reevaluate why I save things, and I've learned to get rid of clutter before it consumes my space (and my life). Nick has helped me with this; he often gets frustrated, but I try to remind him of how far I've come, and he reminds me when something isn't worth keeping. The apartment that we have now shared for two and a half years was solely mine for two years before he moved in. I had more clutter filling up this apartment during that time than two of us have now, so I think that proves that I've come a long way.

Instead of once or twice a year, I now go through my closet every few months to get rid of any clothes that I don't wear anymore (we donate old clothes to the Salvation Army). Recently I finally got rid of the pants that I wore on my first date with Nick. I probably hadn't worn them since the fall we met five years ago. Isn't that ridiculous? It's as if for the last five years, those pants signified to me how far our relationship has come. Well, my husband is sitting right next to me now, so I think that's a pretty good symbol of how far we've come. Bye bye, pants. (However, I do still have the Violet Beauregard Halloween costume I was wearing the night we met. There are some things I will always be attached to!)

I buy a lot fewer magazines these days than I used to, but now the only ones I save are Real Simple (and if there are interesting articles in other magazines, I'm starting a binder with items I'd like to keep for reference). Any books that I have already read (or haven't read and I have realized that I never will) get donated to the used book store down the street. (Unfortunately, this just closed last week, which I'm really sad about. They only accepted books in excellent condition, and every book was $2 to purchase. They were in such condition that you always felt like you were getting a brand new book for $2.) When my birthday or Christmas is coming up, I ask for things I need or really, really want so I won't end up with a bunch of stuff that just sits around taking up space (and was a waste of someone's money.... I hate knowing that someone spent their money on something that I'll never use).

Last weekend, we spent a good amount of time cleaning/purging, and I finished packing up the last of some wedding items that I sold through the Weddingbee Classifieds. Since last weekend, I have been in a noticeably more upbeat mood when I am at home at night and on the weekends. I feel more relaxed and a lot less overwhelmed. I feel more inspired to start little projects because I have a tidy space in which to work on them. It really makes a huge difference to live in an uncluttered space. Today I discovered Unclutterer.com, a great blog with daily tips on organizing your home and work space, which I'm going to bookmark to help me stay uncluttered.

Do you struggle with being a pack-rat, or do you live a minimalistic lifestyle? How do you decide when something is worth keeping and when it is just taking up space?

February 5, 2009

lovely necklaces

I am loving these La Punta necklaces from Lizzie Fortunato Jewels.

The twin sisters behind this company "draw on the principle that high-end jewelry is not limited to diamonds, and features industrial, found, and reclaimed materials, in exceptionally fashion-forward designs." (via their website)

Check out some of their amazing work.

February 2, 2009

Nothing says I love you...

... quite like toast.

i love you toast stamper from fredflare.com, found via jars of cute

happy Groundhog Day (from 9-year-old me)

When I was in fourth grade, my teacher, Mrs. Armstrong, gave my class the assignment to write a story about Groundhog Day. I don't remember if the story was supposed to be from the point of view of the groundhog, but mine was (and she was female). It was later entered into a writing competition in my county, and I ended up winning for my school (along with ten other fourth-graders in the county). I still have the book that was given to me that day that includes all of the winning stories, and I thought it would be fun to share my story with you on this Groundhog Day (extraneous exclamation points and all). I think I had a pretty good sense of humor (and imagination) for a 9-year-old. Enjoy! (Story below image)

"Today is My Lucky Day!"
by Brooke C., grade 4

February 2, 1990
Ding! Ding! Ding! What? Oh my! I almost forgot! Today is my lucky day! I've got to look my best for all of those reporters! I've got to brush my teeth, brush my hair, pick out an outfit, polish my finger-nails, polish my toe-nails, pick out a.... wait a second! It's 1:00 AM! I wonder why my alarm went off so early? Oh yeah, I set it to! Well, no use in going to sleep again! Let's see how I look in the mirror this morning. EEAAAK!!!! Look at these bags under my eyes! They look like shopping bags! Come to think of it, I have gotten 3 hours of sleep every night this week!!!!!!!!!

I need some of that brown skin lotion! Oh wait. Thank God! I found it! Uh oh! It's all gone! I will just have to do with these Macy's bags! I think I should paint my finger nails with my shocking pink now. At least there is enough of that left! La! La! La! La! There! Beautiful! Now I should do my toe nails! La! La! La! La! There we have it! Why not pick out an outfit now? Hmmmm......... nope. Not glamorouse enough. Uhhhhh....... nope. Too fancy. Ah ha! This is perfect! My pink robe with the fancy pink feathers! Now let's see. This goes here, this goes here, and this goes here! There! Let's see.........

Now, I should brush all of the fur that can be seen. Boop, boopy doo.... DOOOO! O.K! Now I should brush my teeth. Gull, gull, gull... Pa-toooo!!! Hmmmm..... I need makeup! A little blush maybe. A little here, and a little here! Ah! I just need some of my shocking pink lipstick. Uh huh.... Uh huh.... there we go! Hmmmm..... Let's think..... of course! My purple eye-shadow! Rub here, rub there, rub everywhere! I think that is it! Wait!! I need jewelry! Let's see, a ruby ring, a diamond ring, a gold ring, gold earrings, a pearl necklace and a pearl bracelet! There!

Oh my! It's 9:00 AM already! The reporters will be here any minute! O.K. Be calm, be calm. OH! I can't be calm! O.K. I think I can, I think I can. I can! I know I can! Oh my! I hear the reporters outside! They are here? Now? Why?! They are calling me! What can I do?!?! Well, I've spent eight and a half hours getting ready so I've mine as well do it! Well, here it goes!

EEAAAK!!!! Oh my God! What was that black thing?!?!? Wait, I'm just imagining it! O.K. EEAAAK!!!! I saw it again! Well I don't care. I am not going out there again!!......

Ding! Ding! Ding! What? Oh my! What a nightmare I had last night. Oh, well. It's all overwith now! I think I will just brush my fur....... La! La! La! La! There we go! I am so excited! Oh, but wait! I must brush my teeth! Gull, gull, gull! Pa-tooooo! Got it? Good! Well, it sounds like the reporters are outside! Should I do it?! Ya! Why not! Here it goes!....... EEAAAK! I saw it for real this time! Well, the legend says it stays out there for six more weeks! Well, at least I have enough food and drinks to last me six weeks! Well, T.T.F.N! Ta-ta for now!

So.... I liked exclamation points. A LOT. And even at the young age of nine, I enjoyed an ellipsis now and then. And I thought it necessary to end my story with "Ta-ta for now!" Despite those little quirks, though, I think I was a pretty creative writer (with quite the attention to detail). It's actually been a few years since I got this out and read it, and it always makes me laugh.

Hope you enjoyed it :-) And in case you weren't sure, it's.....

February 1, 2009

some winter color

I'd like to think that I don't need to spend money on material things to feel fulfilled... but sometimes, buying pretty things just makes me feel good. I have been SO good about not spending frivolously since Nick got laid off (are you tired of hearing about that yet?), but today I saw this happy, lovely bag and it was calling my name.

My warmest winter coat is black, I have a black scarf that I wear most days, and my knit hat is gray, so I was feeling the need for some color to brighten up my winter wardrobe. I am really, really picky about my handbags, so finding something that was a good size (not too big/not too small) AND wasn't a boring color made it a no-brainer. It is the first non-necessity that I have purchased for myself in a month and a half, so I didn't feel guilty.

The best part? This kelly green beauty was only $24.99 at Target, one of my favorite stores ever. Thank you, Target. You have redeemed yourself from the gold lamé leggings debacle, and you made my day (and my wardrobe) sunnier without emptying my wallet.

25 random things

I know that this is mostly a Facebook thing, but since I spent way too long writing mine (I don't know why I waste my time on this stuff), I figured I might as well post it here, too, so I don't feel so guilty. A Sunday morning well-spent!

1. I hate moving. I moved every year in college and despised it. I have lived in our current apartment for 4.5 years and I don't want to move until we buy a house. And when that happens you'll be sure to hear me bitching about moving.

2. Debbie Gibson was my first (and second) concert. I thought she was way cooler than Tiffany (because Debbie actually wrote her own songs and stupid Tiffany just ripped off old songs in her stupid denim jacket and mall hair).

3. Jill and Denise were my childhood best friends since I was like 3. They were both at my wedding. I think that is awesome.

4. Since December of 2007 I have been writing for Weddingbee.com and I love it. I only recently started telling people about it because I didn't want our wedding guests to know all about our plans beforehand.

5. I met my husband in costume at a Halloween party (that I almost didn't go to because it was a Friday night and I was really exhausted, but my mom told me that if I had RSVP-ed yes that I really should go). He was dressed as white trash and I was Violet Beauregard from "Willy Wonka" and we started chatting while in line for the bathroom. He later bought me a beer at Flatrock and was impressed that I asked for a Newcastle. He was the first person I dated that I was totally relaxed about.... I let him call me and I just let things happen at their own pace without rushing things. Only now do I realize that before him, I was always that annoying pushy girl in relationships. With him, I just somehow knew it would work out.

6. I have always wanted to write (and publish) a book. I just need to figure out what to write about. Any ideas?

7. I wish I had a screenprinting studio. I LOVE screenprinting. It relaxes me and it's a good outlet for my perfectionism. For now, my Gocco will have to do.

8. I was 15+ pounds heavier throughout most of college and I hate photos of me from that time. I call them "the ugly years." (Once I got mono the summer before senior year, that helped with the weight, though!)

9. Co-choreographing "Cabaret" my senior year at Delaware was one of the best and one of the absolute worst experiences of my life, all rolled into one. I wouldn't take it back in a second, though; I learned a lot about myself and other people at that time. I learned who I could trust and who wasn't worth my time.

10. I am excited to have kids some day and i think we'll be really cool parents, but I am NOT ready anytime soon.

11. I hate mornings and if I could stay up until 2 am every day, I would. I feel most productive late at night.

12. I love to sing (but can't very well). I don't really care. It makes me happy even if you don't like it.

13. My mom is my best friend and we have the exact same mannerisms. She always laughs at my jokes and tells me I look beautiful even if I am overweight (see #8). She'll read this and yell at me for thinking I looked ugly in college.

14. I have one older brother and I look up to him a lot. He is successful, talented, and extremely generous and kind. I love to brag about him (did you know that he is the Vice President of Marketing and Design for Marc Ecko's Cut & Sew line, and he designed the new jackets for all of the Iron Chefs?).

15. My feet and hands are always cold in the winter, even if I have really thick gloves on or wool socks. Nick finally understands that when I say I'm cold, I'm really not kidding or trying to complain. I'm just actually that cold.

16. My grandmother died the day before my bachelorette party and two days before one of my bridal showers. It was the saddest and happiest weekend all rolled into one and I was exhausted by the time it was over. I don't have any grandparents left.

17. I hate the phone. I never call my friends and I know that's bad. I am trying to get better about that.

18. I am emotionally attached to "stuff." I have always been a packrat and I've come a long way, but I still have a long way to go. Nick has been really patient about that.

19. High school was pretty awful sometimes because I didn't drink and most of the people I knew did, so I didn't have anyone to hang out with on the weekends (except my best friend Nicole, but she was often busy with theatre endeavors). I spent a lot of Friday and Saturday nights crying at home, until junior year when I met the friends that made me feel like I belonged somewhere (thanks, Amy and Chrissy!). Even though my way of thinking changed and I drank once I got to college, I'm glad I didn't compromise my beliefs in high school.

20. I love to dance and always will. Sometimes I dance in the car. It drives Nick crazy.

21. Good music makes my soul happy.

22. My last job made me unhappy and cranky and stole my soul.... but I love my new job/co-workers and I feel like I can be myself without anyone criticizing me.

23. I have a hard time dealing with people with negative attitudes and wish everyone could be optimistic (which had a lot to do with why my last job in #22 sucked so much).

24. I want to travel the world. So far I have been to London, Paris, Rome, Antigua, Salzburg, Vienna, and Munich, as well as some cool places in the US. I want to go to Chicago, San Francisco, Hawaii, Tuscany, Australia, Alaska, Seattle, Dominican Republic, and somewhere in Asia, to name a few.

25. I am eternally clumsy and I'm constantly hurting myself, but I have managed to never need to be admitted to the hospital (knock on wood). The closest I came was two years ago when I was rushing to get out of the apartment (shocking) to go to work, and had my hands full and the heel of my shoe got caught on my pant leg. I fell down half a flight of stairs in our apartment and broke my middle toe, but no one knew it was even broken for months. Now I hold onto the railing when I go down the stairs. (Stop laughing.)

a small victory.

I hate doing the dishes. I mean, despise. We don't have a dishwasher and there is nothing I hate more than seeing a sink full of dishes to deal with. I don't know what it is, but I just. hate. them.

Since Nick lost his job, he has been cooking dinner most nights (which is amazing), and he even volunteers to do the dishes after dinner each night while I relax after a long day at work. I'm not going to lie — it's pretty incredible. However, I know I'm being completely spoiled and when he goes back to work (hopefully soon), we'll go back to splitting the chores a bit more equally. That means I'm going to have to do the dishes again sometimes. Blech.

Yesterday, Nick had a mountain of laundry to do (for some reason we each still do our own laundry). He mentioned how much he hates laundry. I equated his hatred for laundry to my disdain for doing the dishes. I mentioned that if he ever wanted to take full responsibility for the dishes all the time, I'd start doing his laundry.

Ladies and gentlemen, he actually agreed to this. We even shook on it. I know that laundry is not all that fun, but to me, it is a freakin' PARTY compared to the dishes. I don't think I have ever felt so excited to do a chore as I do now!

It's a small victory, but a momentous one. I think this whole marriage thing is really working out for us.