Sunday, February 28, 2010

old things are new again!

Through the years I always worked out with a friend...and then when I moved to Charleston my "workout buddies" weren't with me so I got used to working out alone.

Yesterday morning I had the privilege of working out with a gal friend again. I forgot how much I loved having a partner!

We did cardio next to each other for 40 minutes, and then we actually did not lift together (she did legs, I did arms), and then we met back up at the mat for a little stretching and ab work.

What a fun way to start my Saturday! I knew all Friday night that I had this workout "date" so there was no way I was getting out of control on Friday night.

I did have a grand 'ol time on Friday night at a Surprise Birthday party for a dear friend, but I was home by a decent time, so I got plenty of ZZZZZZ's and felt great Saturday mornin.

I wish I had her to work out with me every several times a week. My (original) OG workout partner actually lives here now, but she goes to a different gym. Oh, how I miss the good ol days when I fell in love with lifting.

If you are needing a little motivation, or are just plain bored I highly suggest you get a workout partner and you commit to each other that no matter what (kids ,too much alcohol the night before, or just tired from work) that you meet each other on the designated days and you "Just do it!". Nike was on to something with their motto! Love it! and IT's TRUE!!!

So get out there and just do it! Commit to a partner and commit to yourself!

On a side note, I know that I have not posted my DIY projects yet. I promise they are coming soon!

Aaron has been cooking collard greens and a pork roast all day and the house smells yummy! We are close to eating in another hour or so. I am off to work on my DIY'ers.

Have a great Sunday night!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I receive a daily devotional via email every morning and it offers a reading lesson and then at the end of the reading, it always offers a quote. Yesterday's quote I liked a lot so I thought I would share it with you.

"An orderly life is like an orderly closet;
it looks good and it serves its intended purpose.

Daily Devotional Day by Day with Charles Swindoll

Today's ending quote is:
"Whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant"

The reading was about serving others and how our society had gotten away from serving each other due to not wanting to "get involved".

I read this email every morning and some times, a lot of the times forward it to Aaron and he reads it and we discuss. Ironically, it always seems to be about something Aaron or I are struggling with so we always take it in and try to change our day based on the particular day's lesson. It's funny how things happen that way.

For instance, when one seems to be having a pity party for themselves, they are always reminded about how it "could be worse, and someone does have it worse". Funny how the reality check is given even when NOT asked for. I believe in those signs and embrace them to make myself a better person.

What do you do to "check yourself"?

Volunteer work is one thing I do to "check myself" and also my daily devotionals. I think it is wise to challenge yourself to be a better/wiser person. Why not? What would be the purpose of life if we aren't all trying to be better members of society?

OK, my lesson of the day is over! ;-)

Have a SPLENDIDO Friday!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

have to share this...

"Without a rich heart, wealth is an ugly beggar"- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ok, so my sister "who is older in years so she is supposed to be wiser, right?" broke it down for me tonight. In reference to my previous post asking about compassion and why we give it as humans.

She explained to me that in order to have compassion for someone, you have to of experienced an hardship of your own. The lesson learned is not about the person you are being compassionate for, but those who are feeling the compassion. I realize this is deep and believe me and my sister and I's conversation on my way home from the gym tonight was, but I needed to put this into words.

It really made sense to me when she and I were talking because it was sort of like a lightbulb turned on and made me realize why I am so emotional for others.

Aaron says I care more about strangers than I do those I know. Not literally, but he says I always assume strangers are not cutting him off in traffic intentionally or that the elderly lady who walked right in front of me in the grocery store didn't do it on purpose and I stick up for all of these people. Well, the truth is he is right, but partly.

What I am trying to say is that I am slowly, 31 years later realizing why I am "wired" the way I am. People say I am "so nice and blah blah blah", but I don't buy it. I think I am just happy to be here, living, and conversing with others.

Do you know how boring life would be if you were the only one here? Think of the movies, Armageddon or I am Legend.
So, why not embrace people and feel compassion. This is way deep, I know. And I am probably not making sense to you, but I am making sense to myself so that's all that matters, hah! Only kiddin, but seriously, thanks for reading. If I lost you in the beginning, then I'll see you tomorrow. Anyway. thank you for giving me a place to put my thoughts.

OK, so I did my usual googling of COMPASSION and this was one of the images I found.

A much lighter way to end this post. I truly have compassion for each of these gentleman especially the one in the center. :-) BIG BIG SMILE

Also, for any of you who called me today and I have not called back yet please forgive me, as I will return your call very soon. ;-) Oh and I had a little moment tonight. I have no idea why, but every time I speak to my nephew my eyes tear up and I am get a heavy heart. I think I am in denial of him being 15 and I wish he still thought I was cool. My eyes are tearing up now thinking about him. Not sure why that kid has the key to my heart, but he sure does and I need to get it back!

Night and Peace,

is it catch up or ketchup?

I have been so busy this week I haven't even had a chance to start my DIY projects. I promise by week's end, I will have a masterpiece to show you!

A few things I considered, learned, or otherwise didn't know until yesterday:

Alcohol use has been linked to Alzheimer's Disease? What, really? This made me think about family members past, present, and even myself. Am I at risk just because I consume alcohol?

This really took me by surprise. According to studies, because alcohol's effects on cognition, brain disorders, and brain chemistry share some features with AD's effects on these three areas, it is plausible that alcohol use might also increase the risk of developing AD.

I know how hard it is watching a family member with AD and/or Dementia and I definitely know that I do not want my kids/husband to have to go through that with me.

Second, Did you know that McDonald's has the "healthiest" fast-food fries in the country?
How is this possible? Not only are they the best (if I had to choose between BK, Wendy's, Chik-fil-a, etc) they are also the best for you! Well, as much as I am refraining from eating french fries this is good information to know if for some reason I was stranded and had to pick between a few fast food chains. ;-)

Finally, as I watched Joannie Rochette's performance last night and wiped away my tears. (I was so touched by her. She's such a beautiful skater and her heart was 100% in the moment.)
I wondered why it is that the world all of a sudden becomes compassionate for someone after they lose a parent? Am I not saying this is a bad thing, but if I had not known her story I would not have been rooting for her last night during her short program on the ice. I, of course can relate to this since I lost my dad when I was nine years old. I sometimes wondered if people were nice to me because they felt sorry for me and guilty because they still had their parents.

I was considering this as the skater after Joannie approached the ice, and I didn't even want to watch her because I was so touched by Joannie. This isn't fair to the next girl?
She didn't lose a parent, so we don't support her?

I know this sounds completely crazy, honest, and mean but I wonder why it is that in order to receive respect and honor you must experience some act of adversity?

Why don't we support ONE and ALL?

Life is about jumping hurdles, starting over, and experiencing the worst before you make it to the top. Maybe, just maybe there is someone who has never had a bad day ever and never had to rise from the bottom?

But then again, maybe not.

Maybe we all have our own battle and sometimes it doesn't involve losing your Mom two days before your Olympic performance.

Let's support one and all. Hero or not.
We are all heroes to my someone. At least, I hope we are.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A parallel universe

OK, I have no idea what is going on but I feel like this......

The last few days I have felt like I was somewhere other than.... "HERE"!
What's up with that?

First, I swear every driver on the road besides me is "under the influence".
Be it morning, noon, or night, every one is swerving, driving way too slow, or just not moving. Seriously, I know it's not me!

Second, I saw a woman with a 6 child stroller today! Really? Who needs this many kids? Much less, who designed this thing, it is bigger than my car. Granted, I know I am not a Mom yet and this parallel universe is true to an extent. BUT, who in their right mind has 6 kids who all fit in a stroller? This also means a lot of diapers, and everything else nice. Crazy!

Finally, I have finally figured out why I AM a Zombie.

Hello, THE OLYMPICS!!!!!!!!!!!

I have stayed up late every night for 11 nights straight now! I am obsessed and can't miss a thing.
Which means tonight, also less SLEEP! The ice dancing was beautiful and amazing last night!
Geez, I really loved the Canadians! (and the two US teams too!)

BUT, am I the only one that thinks the Russians use of rope on their costumes is a form of cheating?

I really feel like this rule should be implemented.
RULE: No ropes, chains or anything else that aids you in holding onto your partner. I am really baffled by this one.

Question: Do you feel the Russians ropes were a form of cheating?

(I really just want to know how you feel, I will not judge your response) Please share your thoughts on this, I need to understand it!

GO TEAM USA, Women's Figure Skating Tonight! Woo-Hoo!

Monday, February 22, 2010

quick tip

to add to my "bridge walk" post...

I forgot to tell y'all a quick tip I discovered yesterday. I started my walk up the bridge listening to my "NYE 11:26pm" Playlist on my ipod/iphone. For those of you who weren't there on New Year's Eve, this was a compilation of a countdown of the decades starting with the 1920's (since it was a Roaring Twenties Party) and then Auld Lang Syne and into the after midnight mix (the fun dance stuff!). So I made it through a few songs and all of a sudden the ipod would shuffle to a random song and not even on that playlist. At one point, I was listening to Jingle Bell Rock and completely irritated. Ugh!

this is where my phone almost ended up....and at the very bottom! arghh!

My love affair with my Iphone was ending and I was about to chuck it off the bridge. I think a stranger even heard me spatting out inappropriate words along with "what the heck is going on!". For those that have seen me angry before, once I lose my cool it's gone for about a week. I was so upset and as I was making my way back down the bridge I seriously had to "pull-over" and figure this thing out. I was telling myself I was going to the Apple Store STAT and they were gonna have to fix it this very minute. HAHA! Like the Apple people would care about me and my little ol' Iphone.

Anyhow, I even tried counting the seconds before a song would shuffle. It seemed like it was after 30 seconds of the song starting, then it seemed like 45 seconds, and then one time it was even 1.5 minutes. What the?

I finally decided to check out the account's the kicker! Ha ha, I am so glad I can laugh at myself now. I had it set on the "shake to shuffle" option! Meaning, if the phone is in my hand that is walking so briskly on the bridge as soon as it "shook" in my hand, the song changed!

ah ha! There you go. My arms were pumping and my ipod was shuffling. I could not help but laugh.

Check your settings next time you exercise and make sure you don't have this option checked. I was about to comitt Iphone homicide and for my own wrongdoing

I hope this tip helps y'all!

Good day!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

the perfect day...

Today, I spent the day all by myself. Sounds a little sad, but it was actually perfect! Aaron had to work so I took the opportunity to do all the things I have been meaning to do. I needed to go to Michael's (craft store), Home Depot and A.C. Moore. I have two Do-It-Yourself projects that I am working on and all for you guys! Both projects are ones that you can do yourself and are practical uses in the home. Here is a photo of everything I bought while shopping.

Can you figure out what my two projects are?

Items bought:
16.5 in. round cork board
sisal rope
tan burlap
tan fabric
striped fabric
black and white ribbon
16X20 in. shadow box

After my errands, I decided to walk the bridge. It was a beautiful day!
I love walking the bridge for two reasons:
One, I love being able to see the view of Charleston from the top
Two, Aaron proposed at the top of the bridge so it always makes me smile and makes me think about November 1, 2005!

I loved this tug boat. Not a great photo (Iphone) but for some reason it made me think of Popeye! I wanted to stand in the front of it with my arms up! I'm silly!

Almost to the top! Again, it was a glorious day! It was a bit windy at the top but not too bad!

The "spot" This is my shadow in the pic, Aaron got down on his knee in this exact very spot. ( I still can't remember a single soul walking by us, when he got down on his knee! Love him!)

I am very excited about my two DIY projects! I hope you are too!

Night night!

Friday, February 19, 2010

"A true friend stabs you in the front"

Today is a day of appreciation. Last night I got to spend a few hours with 5 of my favorite gals. Let me tell you, what a hoot!

I laughed so hard, I almost choked a few times. There is no better evening than an evening out with the girls. Especially now, since money is a little tighter and we don't get to go out as much. I have to tell ya, I was waiting for Thursday night to arrive all week! I could hardly stand it.

These girls are each amazing in their own way. The dynamics of the group are so fun because we all are so different. The stories of life that we share are sometimes funny, sometimes sad, and sometimes just downright inappropriate. That's what makes it so fun! I noticed the two ladies at the table next to us who were sitting there chatting, looking uptight and I was so glad to be in the company I was in. (I am sure they could hear what we were talking about and probably wanted to sit with us!)

The only time you can truly be yourself is around friends. Friends make such an impact in how you feel about yourself, how you look at life, and how you respond to life's unexpected turns. Friends sometimes show you the way and sometimes they just hold your hard to help get you through it. I am so thankful that my life affords me nights out with girls and I hope they enjoy it as much as I do!

"Everyone is a friend, until they prove otherwise."- Unknown
This quote is how I feel about the world. Maybe it makes me naive, but that's ok.

"My friends are my estate" -Emily Dickinson
I like this quote because it gives me a mental picture of my "life puzzle" coming together with my friends filling in the pieces.

I LOVE the quote in the title of this post because it is so true!
"A true friend stabs you in the front"
To me, this means that real friends always tell you the truth and always let you know where you stand.

Take a minute today to appreciate the friends you have in your life. Some friends are also family, even your spouse/partner. So don't forget about them!

Peace out!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Need a pick me up?

After the gym last night, Aaron and I went to the College of Charleston vs. Appalachian State basketball game. It was the last home game and it was Senior Night! I love sporting events live! The band was pumpin, the cheerleaders were tumblin, and the dance team was spinnin. Ha, and I was movin and shakin in my seat. What a fun complex!

I loved the game. I am pretty sure even more than Aaron. He watched calmly, while I on the other hand chanted "COUG-ARS! COUG-ARS!" I always forget how much I love sporting events, especially ones that are "sudden death" and the HOME TEAM WINS in the last 3 seconds! WOO-HOO GO CofC!

If you are feeling a little drab from the winter blues, I promise you: if you go to a sporting event you will feel refreshed and energized! Being around all the energy of the fans is something you cannot replace. As you can tell, I had a swell time!

You can't tell, but the entire stadium was on it's feet, the last 3 minutes of the game.

Question of the day: What sporting event do you have planned for the near future? Hockey, Basketball, etc?

(CofC's baseball starts this Friday at 5pm! So excited because this means RIVERDOGS are coming soon April 8th!)

I have passed this sign for the last couple of days and for some reason it struck a chord with me. I don't feel that I am necessarily headed in the wrong direction, but I think it is a great message for those who are. It is never too late to start over, be a better person, or dare to do what you have always dreamed of. U-turns are allowed in this road we call "Life" and so are clean slates. Starting all over is an option. If you know anyone who needs someone to hold their hand to get through a hard time, share this message with them. I think it's powerful. It was for me.

Peace and Love,

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

One little triumph at a time...

So last night I headed out to run a few errands and then find a treadmill at the gym, since it is dark and cold outside and working out outside is not an option at 6:30. I completed my errands and the headed to the gym. The parking lot was a FULL parking lot. And looking through the front windows of the gym I could see that every single cardio machine was full, ugh! For every one person leaving, it seemed like three people were entering. So I said "forget this!"

Instead of abandoning my plan to make it to the gym, I decided to head to the second location of the gym (It's actually closer to my house, so not a big deal). What IS a big deal, is the parking situation. Downtown is nuttzo!!!!! and Aaron extremely dislikes me paying to park. (Insert DISLIKE button here).

As I got to the street the gym is on, I saw one spot actually available on the street, this means. Uh oh, I have to parallel park, not good! Just the thought of Parallel Parking makes me start to sweat ;-(

So, I drove around the block hoping to find a "different" spot. No luck! As I approached "the spot", I gave myself a pep talk. You can do this, You can do this! Thank goodness my other half was not with me because it makes it worse and he stresses me out. Guess what? I parked fantastically! I was/still am so proud of my spot. And actually was thinking about my parking spot probably half of my cardio workout. So funny, I know. But, it is the little triumphs that make life so fun. I came home with the biggest grin on my face so proud to tell Aaron that I parallel parked and it was after 7pm, so no meter had to be paid. I was so proud I even took a few pictures.

HAHA! I am so funny, I laugh at myself.

What little triumphs have you done lately?

Mine was so small, but to me it was huge. I have NEVER parallel parked in Downtown Charleston! I am a proud and silly girl today!

Y'all have a good day now!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Today is a grandeoso day!

Today I feel compelled to just write how I feel. On the way in to work, yes, I know. Some of you are not at work today. The interstate was bare and I decided to play the 4 new songs Aaron and I downloaded this weekend. One being, the new version of "We are the World". So if you know me, you know exactly what happened to me. Ugh, I started boo-ooing as soon as Lil Wayne's rap rendition started. Really? I am a mess. I had a lump in my throat until then and then when I started really listening to the words, I lost it. Music makes me cry more than anything. I have always been moved by the words of music and it's impact on the world. I think it is the universal language.

Question of the day: What song makes you cry every time you hear it? One song in particular that always makes me cry is "Everybody Hurts" by REM. I am not really sure why, but it never fails.

Off to a conference for 5 hours....Tootles,

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Pit Stop for Hummus...

Wow! This weekend has been interesting to say the least...It started off with SNOW! I know I know, most of you are over the snow and not sharing in my excitement, BUT it never, ever, never ever snows in Charleston so let me be ecstatic! I actually think I am solely responsible for the snow. Let me explain, when it was time to put away all of the Christmas decorations, I decide to leave this little guy on the kitchen counter.

I plug him in every night! I think he brought Snow Prayers to us in the Lowcountry and Ta-Da the snow came. One of my best friends in the entire world gave this to me for Thanksgiving. (She gives me gifts every time she sees me, she actually comes up with reasons to buy me gifts. If you haven't figured out who I am speaking of, it is my big sister Amy!) The meaning of the PENGUIN is that my Grandmother loved them and my dad actually nicknamed her "Penguin".

OK, so Friday the snow came. Then Saturday we headed down to see how Aaron's orange trees faired in the snow down on the river. The news= not good ;-( The greenhouse collapsed, but Aaron was able to fix it a little until he has his workers with him. Not photo supplied due to sad face!

I found this awesome slow-cooker turkey chili recipe so I prepared it around 2pm and served it around 8pm. It was kind of a mexican chili loaded with Veggies and black beans! Yummy!

The peanut gallery (friends) seemed to like it and only good comments were made. It was super easy since after the prep work is complete, just turn on the crock pot and "let it do it's thang!"

Here's the link, if you would like to try it...I made a few additions: chili powder, brown sugar, and can of Rotelle (for the green chiles)

Today we went to the see "Dear John". Aaron loved seeing the College of Charleston in the movie. His face lit up when he saw it. He's too cute. It's a little dark, but this is Aaron before the movie started.

We got home (Aaron rushed home to see the Dayton 500) for us to find that the track was being repaired and I got bored sitting there so I remembered that I had Chick Peas in the fridge so I decided to venture out and make my own HUMMUS!

I love hummus and it's good for you. So here we go.

We were given this chopper/blender as a wedding present from my grandparents and I have never opened it. Shame on me, because I am in love. I can really use this and it could have come in handy so many times before today. Lesson learned: Always use gifts!

I made up my own recipe. This was a first so I was just "shootin from the hip" I added

chick peas
jalapeno slices
jalapeno juice
cummin pwder
garlic salt

It was so good. I am impressed with myself. What's even cooler, is the blender base can go in the dishwasher, even better! This thing was great. I might have to start giving this thing has gifts. It was way too easy to use and clean up. For me, this means SCORE! I'm lovin it.

I put the hummus on my favorite Carr's crackers. Delish.

I am going to make my own hummus from now on when entertaining. Sounds like a plan to me!

See y'all tomorrow!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Simplicity is a goal

The last few days I have been thinking a lot about materialistic things. Why do we need them? Why do we let society tell us what these 'oh so' needed items are?

Could I live without my iphone, sure?
Could I live without my television, of course?
Could I live without my family, no way in hell?
Do my friends make living away from family all worth it, of course?

I am by default, a deep thinker. My 'real' Dad, Chip was a funny, hilarious man who everyone always wanted to be around, but he was also the guy in the corner taking it all in, watching everyone, and observing life. I myself would observe him, observing others. Seems a little crazy, but true. I think this is where I get this from.

I have been observing other living creatures and how they take in life. My little Frau girl, is the most guilty of this in our house. I have always told Aaron that she has "mental" issues and needs a little therapy. Maybe, I'm the one who needs therapy? She is the only one who is able to sit, breathe, and allow peace into her life. She "meditates" (sleeps standing up) and as long as she is fed breakfast she is a happy camper. Can you imagine if this is all we needed?

This past weekend, Aaron and I rented Into the Wild. I was really wanting to see it, so we rented it and I swear it changed me. Then I read about this man on, who won $1,000,000 in the lottery and gave it all to charity because he said "he was raised poor" and being rich went against everything he had worked for his whole life.

I find both of these men, the lucky ones. I constantly have a battle in my head about wanting a bigger kitchen, a garage, Manolos, bigger diamond earrings. This is all ridiculous. The only thing I can't live without is Aaron and our life together. He is all I need. These two men know/knew what they wanted out of life. Sadly, as soon as one realized what he needed was human connections it was too late and he could no longer survive in the conditions he was in. And the lottery man, he is loving life as simple as can be and doesn't give a hoot who is mad that he gave it to charity. He yearned for his old life and could not handle the pressures of the money.

Oh, how I wish this was not a rarity. We would have one large planet full of love, peace, and happiness. I know this is a state of mind and not an actual state of being, but that's ok.

Take a moment and think about the last time you really just "took it all in" and there were no material distractions. If it has been too long, take a moment, close your eyes, and think of your most peaceful place. Remember the smell, taste, and sound of the air. Embrace it. Wrap it up and take it with you until the next time you find yourself caught up in the "grind" of needing and wanting more.

I want to hear about your happy place. Where is it and when was the last time you were there?

Here is Frau's "happy place" and she gets to go there at least twice a day. How lucky is she?


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Concert Etiquette

Last night the Michael Franti and Spearhead/John Mayer concert was perfect! What a great Monday night date!
A few highlights from the concert:

1. Michael Franti sang a song that he wrote at the MusicFarm in Charleston when touring a few years back, great song btw.
2. John Mayer is still amazing in concert. The last time I saw him was Summer of 2003, a lot of things have changed since then, it brought back a few memories.
3. Michael Franti's leading lady vocalist is awesome. She is pretty cool looking too.
4. John Mayer is crazy handsome. I didn't think he was anymore, but he is. ;-)

I observed a few concert goers, who perturbed me and I have to share. I do not see the sense in being "lame" if you are going to a concert.

KHAK's rules to going to concert:
-Don't leave before the Encore, what is the purpose of paying $60+ a ticket to miss the best 2-3 songs of the night? It is okay if you have to sit in 20 minutes of traffic.

-If your partner forced you to come, don't stand up and freeze like a log. You might as well sit down if you are so miserable, so short people like me, can see!

-Please don't forget that people can see your hand on your partner's A**, so wait until you get home to grab it, etc. Making out is for at home!

-Girls in the restroom lines, try not to gossip about your friends. It makes you look and appear not like a good person when complete strangers can hear you talking smack about your so-called friends.

-Dance, Dance, Dance! My legs are killing me today from all the dancing I did in my 2X2 space. So much fun though.

-Take pictures, even if they are poor quality who cares, you remember how great it was!

-Call your friends who aren't there if a song that reminds you of them is on. I get irritated when people do this to me, but I LOVE that they are thinking of me. These are fun voicemails to receive.

-Have fun and be so grateful you are there. Take it all in. I like to look all around and feel the love. I am a huge fan of concerts, so I get a little excited, but seriously if music is in your soul. Enjoy it.

I am so pumped that concert season has begun! Woo-Hoo!

Happy Concert Season!

Monday, February 8, 2010

A little puppy love

Yesterday I tried a few holidays gifts for the first time. The infamous Mrs. Stace gave me (I guess, us, but me, since I do the grooming) a new dog brush called the "Fur-minator"! What a fun name.

This thing worked wonders on Morgan (black lab), I could have brushed for 4 more hours, but I only brushed her for 30 minutes. I did not take a photo of the HUGE pile of hair because I do not think this is something you would want to see. I know most of my readers have dogs and I highly highly suggest this brush. I looked up the price and it ranges from $20-25. I think this is a pretty average price for the quality of this brush. I know I sound like an advertisement, but really this brush was amazing AND the dogs did not seem to mind the brush. Actually, Frau (english setter) was rubbing into me as if it was a massage for her. I decided to use the brush for the first time because I took Morgan down to the dog park and she decided to run through ALL of the mud puddes and even drink the muddy water. I could not keep her away so what the heck, let her enjoy it and then clean her up afterwards.

The brush also came with Fur-minator De-Shedding Dry Shampoo and Conditioner. How AMAZE-ING! It smelled good and you just spray and wipe. Perfect, I didn't have to break my back washing Morgan.

I also took a nice hot bath before the Super Bowl and opened some gourmet soap that Aaron gave me for Christmas. The scent is Creamy Coconut. Anything to make Aaron feel like he is on a surf trip in Barbados. The scent was not very strong, but my skin was so soft afterwards. I definitely recommend these soaps. We gave our "sisters" some for Christmas presents. They are great gifts. The name of the company is Charleston Soap Chef @ They have a booth at the market at Marion Square from April to December or in the off-season you can visit their website. This soap made my skin so silky smooth it was great! The only thing I didn't like was I couldn't seem to get a good lather, like I get with my Dove Soap.

My post seems a little "advertisementy" today, but that was not my intention. I wanted to share a few things I have found along the way that I enjoy. Enjoy!

Did you guys like the Super Bowl ads? Which one was your favorite? I must say, the Dodge commercial made me laugh out loud since about 8 of the things they mentioned in the ad (putting your pants in the hamper, etc) I ask Aaron to do on a daily basis. I told him he could drive a Dodge too, if he wanted too! HAHA! Too bad he is a FORD guy.

We just scored great last minute tickets to the John Meyer concert tonight so I am super excited!

OH Happy Day,

Sunday, February 7, 2010

It's Oyster Time!

Our two-person Oyster Roast last night was a huge success! Aaron set it up so we did not make a mess on the bar or the patio. The oysters were great and we combined them with saltines and HOT sauce! We had a great time together shuckin and shuckin and shuckin!

Tips to having a successful roast:
Local Cluster Oysters
Wooden Board covered with plastic (we used a trash bag) to shuck on and make a mess (newspaper topping works well too)
1 shucker per person (this way no one has to share)
Beer Beer or RDC for me!

Grill to cook them on, approximately 13 mins on the gas grill is how I like them, this a little more done than Aaron likes, he liked about 10 mins on high
Paper Towels
Saltine Crackers
HOT Sauce HOT Sauce
Good Company
Good Music, we jammed to a little Paul Simon
I prefer to wear long sleeves and clothes that I don't care about messing up
Of course, last but not least, I lit a few candles and voila perfect casual date night!

This morning I made Oyster Stew with leftover raw oysters that Aaron shucked last night. They are much harder to shuck when they are not cooked but it made it easier for me to start prepping this morning. I soaked them in their own juices over night in a air-tight tupperware container.

The stew was great with lots of veggies. The only ingredients that we were "sort of" unhealthy are the 2% milk and the butter. I added potatoes, celery, onions, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. I also used two garlic cloves, for an extra kick. It turned out great and we have some leftovers as well!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Dating on a budget-o!

Last night, Aaron set on a mission to only spend the $50 we were sent from the Staces. So, off we went. We chose Santi's knowing that Mexican would be reasonably priced. Here's the kicker, Santi's now serves liquor! Holy cow, I'm so excited! Since they only used to carry beer, margaritas, and pina coladas; I now have the option to order my usual RDC! Yippee. This made me so excited. They also have added a few signature drinks as well. Woo Woo! We managed to eat for under $23 with one adult beverage each and dinner. Pretty good if you ask me.

Next, we headed to the CRC (Charleston Rifle Club), we played a little pool and enjoyed a few spirits. Fun fun date night for the two of us! And we only spent $43 total for the entire night. We high-fived to "Team Stace"! We were so proud. The coolest part of the evening was when I saw an older couple in their late 70's shag to Billy Jean by Michael Jackson. It was awesome! Why is it that our generation does not dance. I want to dance like them and I am so mad that this pastime has been lost through the years. I am going to be bring it back!

This morning we continued our budget conscious weekend with a "made by Aaron" latte! Instead of giving Starbucks some $$$, we made our own. I must say, "not too shabby"! I am so lucky that my husband is such a wonderful cook! Splendido!

This afternoon, we did some "free' exercising and walked downtown and adored all the mansions and landscape design. This is one of my favorite activities that we do and it is FREE! Sometimes in the evening we do this, but we have a cocktail in hand and we admire all of the beautiful gardens. These are such fun dates!

We have a TON of bubbles left from NYE so to get in the spirit of the weekend, I just opened a bottle. For some reason, plain bubbly was not my cup of tea right now. So I added a little cranberry juice and OJ! This hit the spot! I chose my Heart Shaped Glass from our rehearsal dinner since it is so close the V-Day! I am glad I saved these ;-)

I am off to help Aaron with oysters. Remember, two weeks ago when he was on a mission? Well, today he made it happen. We are grilling them tonight and I am making an oyster stew for tomorrow! Yummy Yummy!

Question of the day?

Would you want shagging and other dances to come back into style? I am wanting to have a shag-party! Thoughts?

Have a good evening!

Friday, February 5, 2010

A little Friday Fun!

I came across this fun slogan-maker website and I had to share it. Just simply type in any word you feel like typing and voila! your slogan is created. Super fun if you have a catchy word to try!

Enjoy and Happy Friday!

A Khakalackin A Day Helps You Work, Rest and Play.

Enter a word for your own slogan:

Generated by the Advertising Slogan Generator. Get more Khakalackin slogans.

We Do Khakalackin Right.

Enter a word for your own slogan:

Generated by the Advertising Slogan Generator. Get more Khakalackin slogans.

Fresh from the Captain's Khakalackin.

Enter a word for your own slogan:

Generated by the Advertising Slogan Generator. Get more Khakalackin slogans.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Unexpected Friendz

Isn't life interesting how it brings people in and out of your life? Sometimes people are so present in your life that you wish they would sometimes go away, and then others leave your life as fast as they came and you think to yourself.... what was the purpose of that?

I can tell you, there definitely was a purpose. It may just take you a while to understand why? Living Downtown Charleston has afforded me a few unlikely friendships that I am so grateful for. It often takes someone not as fortunate as me to help me understand others. It is too easy in today's world to get caught up in your own world and assume you know/understand everyone's lives. On our street we have had the opportunity to help tutor two young ladies ages 11 and 12, befriend a retired neighbor who talks to me about College Football (wink,wink) and Aaron about Fishing, help an elderly neighbor in her yard, and offer work to a Disabled Deaf Man. There is always a story and always a smile.

Where else can I live and meet all of these diverse, unique, wonderful people?

I feel so lucky to have been pushed, wrestled, and squeezed out of my box of what I shall call "Khaki World". What if I stayed in my little bubble my entire life, I would never have the stories that I am going to have to tell my grandkids. Score! I will have so many stories for my grandkids to roll their eyes about, but who cares. They are MY stories and MY "unexpected friendz".

Tonight we had an unexpected visit from one of our unexpected friendz. As he signaled for me to come "chat" with him, I had no idea what he was signing so I just waved and smiled. Today is his birthday and he shares it with our "Mom" (mother-in-law) so Aaron invited him in for Celebratory Beverage. I hadn't seen him in too long and it was great to know he is doing well. He was smiling and laughing and I have no idea at what, but that's not the point. How great it is to see others smile and laugh, even if you don't have any idea why?

So I have two things for you this evening:
First, tell me about an unlikely friend you have made recently
Two, go find an unlikely friend. I promise it will enlighten you and remind you what life is all about.

Stay true to yourself and go make some new friends. You too, have something to offer the world!

Peace and Love,

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Late Lunch= Great Spot

This morning flew by and after a hour and a half conference call we (office people) were starving so we headed to The Taco Spot in West Ashley (right next to Fiery Ron's Hometeam, my fav bar b'que) I was a first timer, but no more. It was excellent. So cute and quaint. The walls were painted the same green as the LTB (Lime Tree Bar) so even better! I always love a little sweet tea, but lately have been thinking the Southern Sweet Tea is too sweet for my taste buds and too much sugar for my wasteline. I thought they did a great job of offering both with their "Semi-Sweet Tea". This is a great substitution for having to do "half and half", as my Pop likes to call it. OMG, my lunch was wonderful. I ordered the caribbean salad (you can order it as a burrito, salad, etc.) I chose a salad (since we had chicken tacos last night made by Aaron). This salad was so good. I had to go without the Jalapeno Puree' cuz I can't do spicy, but the sweet pomegranate sauce was outrageous. Yum Yum Yum!

Another great thing about this meal was three of us ate for only $21! No, alcohol of course but still a great deal. FYI: their wine distributor came in showing off his Pinot Noir that looks like a Capri Sun. How cool! "Drink and Go, but no driving" is the selling point. Seriously, red wine that looks like a Huge Capri Sun. Just give me a straw and I'm done.

Out for the count

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Happy "Only 6 more weeks of Winter" Day!

I choose to take what the Groundhog saw today and make it positive. 6 more weeks is not that bad. Heck, we will make it. It could be worse, right? BTW, February 2nd is my mother-in-laws favorite day of the year. Is it because she grew up in a town close to Punxsutawney or is it because her birthday is in 2 days? Either way, we don't care. We get Groundhog's Day Cookies every year so bring on the Ginger Snaps Mom Stace! I thought you all would enjoy a few pics of my groundhogs..mmmmm yummy!

Learned, Re-learned, and Always knew!

Wow! It has been too many days since my last post. I can tell you now, but I was out of town this weekend. (didn't want to blog it to the entire world that my doggies were home alone ;-) ) Snow storm Snow storm! So neat and beautiful! I haven't seen snow like that since that Snow Storm of '96. I know I am bringin back memories to your East Coasters! That was a fantastic storm and so was this one. Maybe it's because we were "home" and had all the love we needed surrounding the storm.

One thing I have always known is that I love my family. If you have ask me to tell you something about myself, I will always says Family, Family, Family! So, this is something I always knew. What I didn't quite know/realize is how much I love seeing and experiencing other families. I witnessed love this weekend that cannot be replaced, recreated, or ignored. The love between siblings is something I admire and have myself. Thank Goodness I am here. The chaos of everyone together in one place is something quite fantastic and extremely fun! We were there to celebrate a life and I witnessed new life and new generations.

Friends are something I have never taken for granted and also never will. A hug from a friend is the most comfortable and calming thing for me. I have a few friends that I hug that probably prefer that I don't (not the hugging type) and then I have other friends who squeeze me so tight I can't breathe (the 5'2ness doesn't help). Never underestimate the power of a hug!

You know how you spend some time with certain friends and you just automatically feel HAPPY? I felt that this weekend and I would never take it away. The even cooler thing is that Aaron (husband) felt it too! I loved that he mentioned how much he enjoyed a few certain friends before I could say my usual "I just love them so much!".

What I learned, re-learned, and always knew:

Snow is beautiful!
I love other people's families.
More than two dogs in a house is too many (no offense to anyone that does)!
It is possible to have a "political" conversation with family and still hug at the end of the night.
I love my MAC and I missed it this weekend!
It is fun to buy songs on I-tunes as you are driving down I-95! which leads to...
I LOVE my I-phone!
Mr. Bill Nixon was a stellar man and amazing father and I wish I would have had more conversations with him about life.
Virginia will always be HOME.
My mother-in-law is the Bomb-diggity.
I love these PowerBerries try them @ Trader Joes!
I am so proud of all my friends and the what great mothers they are.

For now, Home is wherever Aaron is. I love him so!

"Where ever we are, home is there too!" JJ