Friday, August 31, 2012

Keeping Up With Resolutions: August

Whew, I thought I'd have to be late with this post as we went without electricity for 4 days due to Hurricane Issac. Some people are still without electricity....I am very, VERY happy to not be one of them.
So let the breakdown of resolutions while blasting my air conditioner begin

Read a book every month:
Check! Mad props to Hurricane Issac for making this happen as I had a lot of time to sit and read due to having nothing else to do.
My main book of choice was: Everything Is Going Great Underfunded Overexposed European Grand Tour by Rachel Shukert who I now have a pretend fake friendship with. Very funny and worth a read.

Learn a new art form/technique:
Fail....I'm wondering if in December I should do a big reveal of what I was hoping to accomplish with this one as I'm starting to get concerned I may never complete this one.

If I must eat pizza, only one a month:
EPIC FAIL!!!! Well....I can basically sum this up by the saying, "Go big or go home".....and I went big. I went so freakin' overboard this month it was ridiculous. John said (probably to make me feel better) that we did alot of traveling and I wanted to show him all the amazing pizza there was to offer....but I ate AT LEAST 4 large pizzas on my own. Not excusable....but very, VERY tasty.

Eat more leafy greens:
"B++"While I blew it on pizza this month I still did a pretty decent job with my salads. It's safe to assume that if I wasn't eating a pizza I was eating some form of salad and basically shocking my body with the total extremes of food choices.

Cook/Bake 2-3 new recipes a month:
Success! I cooked a form of pigs in a blanket but with asparagus (which was a challenge but my party guest loved it), Zucchini Boats, and many, MANY grilled cheese mixtures due to the power being out and having to make new ideas up to use as much food as possible.

Keep in better contact with my Mother's friends:
FAILED! I'm pretty upset that I failed with this one as I went home to Pennsylvania and had the best intentions to call her up and surprise her with a visit. I had this whole glorious plan set out but, well, that's all it amounted to. Pretty lackluster. Sorry, y'all.

Travel to at least 2-3 new (to me) cities in the US by the end of the year:
Technically I could say I've successfully completed this one but I still want to try to go to a few more places by the end of the year.
Also, I did do alot of traveling this month but just not to new places so I think I earned some brownie points for this one.

Have you been able to keep up with your resolutions? 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

May The Odds Be In Your Favor

1) The French Quarter is basically empty making getting drinks super easy. It's been REALLY enjoyable 2) Stocking up on "watery" foods and booze 3) Jackson is loving the wind as well as all the cuddle time!

Well, it's that time of year again: Hurricane Time.
I'm sure if you've turned on the TV within the last 24 hours you've heard that the tropical storm in the gulf is officially a hurricane. The media seems to be loving it as it will land on the anniversary of Katrina (7 years). Honestly, maybe I'm just a little to mellow, but I'm not freaking out at all. I've actually had a wonderful last 2 days relaxing and enjoying my empty city with a wonderful breeze and small group of friends.
Yes, that's right....I'm staying and not evacuating. 
John and I have plenty of water and are A-OK with not have electricity for a few days so we decided to remain at home with the pets. The city of New Orleans does not have a mandatory evacuation and we have decided to stay until told to leave.
Tomorrow also marks John and my anniversary!
We went out and purchased treats at St James Cheese (our favorite), have wine that I bought while in California, and have plenty of candles....as tomorrow we will most likely ONLY be able to use candles.
So this may be my only post for the week as I don't know how long we'll be without electricy. I honestly don't think it will be that long but who knows. At least I'll be with my honey on our anniversary and not working outside the state wishing we could be together.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Hit Refresh Pt 2

Returning to Pennsylvania is always an amazing refresher for me but what makes it even better is a chance to catch up with my childhood friends. I've known most these lovely ladies since we were 10 yrs. old!
While we normally get to see each other during the holiday season, this year I missed out due to my work schedule constantly changing and being unable to book an affordable ticket.....so some of these ladies I hadn't since since my trip home last year.
 Our time spent together wasn't as long as last year but we managed to squeeze in as much time of possible (we're all working girls, y'all!). Poor John had to stand by silently as we giggled like little school girls over the smallest things. It had to make no sense to him. Heck, I don't even know if it made sense to us but we were having a blast!
And one of the best things about the trip?
Knowing that this time next year we'll all be coming home to attend Lise's wedding!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Hit Refresh Pt 1

This past week John and I went back to my home town in Pennsylvania. It's something that I knew I needed to feel fully refreshed since wrapping my last movie. Seeing my family, my favorite spots, and most of all my hardcore old-school besties.
 1) Peanut Butter Swirl/Black Raseberry Ice Cream at Rakestraw's 2) Midtown Bookstore  3) Drinks with my Big Bro
 1) Up in the mountains (note: I have to drive at least 3-4 hours away from New Orleans to find anything close to this) 2) Super proud of my friend who just opened North Gallery in Harrisburg 3) Walked around the Appalachian Trail with my Bro and John. 
 1), and 2) West Shore Farmers Market is always a must stop for me. Seriously, this place has some of the best soft pretzels which are TOTALLY nonexistent within the state of Louisiana 
 1) Smoooooothies! Oh so yummy 2) Shoo-Fly pies from Oak Groves Farms 3) It's not a trip home without a pit stop at Hershey Chocolate World 4) My Dad's new "daughter" enjoys wine as well (in the form of treats)
1) Reading by the pool 2) "Sisters" enjoying long car rides in the mountains (we totally have matching hair colors) 3) Randomly ended up at the swimming hole I used to swim at with John. It even had it's monkey swing still intact.

"I've kept my sanity in this business by trying out for a role and then going home and trying to forget about it."
-Blythe Danner
(couldn't have said it better, girl!)

Monday, August 20, 2012


John and I took a little trip home to Pennsylvania. It was a perfect little refresher. I got to catch up with some of my besties and most importantly family.

 Saturday marked the 2 year anniversary of my Mother's passing. Like last year, my father and I visited where we spread her ashes. It's truly a beautiful area and it's a nice little tradition. I don't always know when I'll be able to make a trip home to PA to visit my family but I've made it a point (no matter if I'm working on a movie or not) to always come home in August in memory of this life event.
One thing I'm grateful for is that my father, brother and I were able to talk more openly about her passing. Both seperately. It's always bothered me that we never talk about her passing and finally I was able to get a little more closure. Not a hundred percent.....I don't think that a death of a important person you'll ever get "full" closure of....but enough that I'm able to have slight sigh of relief.
It's just nice to go home sometimes and remember......

"Memory fades, memory adjusts, memory conforms to what we think we remember"
-Joan Didion

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Life Is Better With Wine Pt 2

"Once we hit forty, women only have about four taste buds left: one for vodka, one for wine, one for cheese, and one for chocolate."
-Gina Barreca
As my weekend adventure continued Kristin and I walked around the town of Solvang.....which can best be described as "Dutchie".....which funny enough reminded me of the town my Grandmother lived in.
(Basically, this run on sentence translates to I loved the little town)
1) OMG! Windmills!!!! 2) We continued wine tastings in town 3) This, my friends, is the BEST bruschetta I have ever had in my entire life. Hands down....THE BEST!
1), 2), and 3) So many cute bakeries around town. So many tasty treats that reminded me of my grandmother's baked good. I couldn't get enough!
1) Next stop: Santa Barbara! 2) A very creative way to ask for money.
1), 2), 3), and 4) I loved all the street graffiti in Santa Barbara. I have about a hundred pictures of little pieces all over the city.
1), and 2) One last stop in Santa Barbara for MORE wine and cheese before we head back to the reality that is our lives.
The weekend getaway to Solvang/Santa Barbara was a utter success. I wish I could have stayed longer but am grateful to the time I was able to be there. Even more so that I go to go with a old friend!

Where should I explore next?!?!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Life Is Better With Wine Pt 1

I think a great way to follow up my recent post about my friend's wedding is to do a few post of my recent trip to wine country in California. Why? Because this trip was taken with ANOTHER Hollins Summer Camp friend. It's crazy, I know!
Kristin and I were actually roommates during the 2 week camp and remained in contact for 7 years before seeing each other again. Now, funny enough, I've been able to see her much more due to work taking me to Los Angeles where she lives and works.
 While I was working in LA we took a little road trip up to Solvang, CA. Without knowing much about the city we didn't know what exactly to expect....
 We booked a tour with Grapeline which proved to be a excellent choice. If you are going anywhere that has their services (i.e. wine country) I highly recommend them.

1) 1st stop...and best stop: Curtis Winery 2) We had amazing wine 2) And amazingly bad wine that I drank as fast as you may a Jager shot.

 1) Our bus was filled with mostly people who a) worked in film and b) were around our age. There was lots of fist pumping and drunkenly singing to Journey....oh so much Journey. 2) Grapeline provides a wonderful lunch....full of carbs. Smart thinking when it comes to a wine tour.
1) Our last stop had a dog! And amazingly cute dog that after so many beverages became impossible to not get overly excited (like a child) to pet 2) A wine I bought for John that we are saving for our upcoming anniversary 3) The cutest old couple owned Huber Cellars. It felt like they invited us over for a little gathering in their backyard.

Repeat photo (but I love it so, SO much!)

I couldn't have asked for a better wine tour experience. When I went back to work the following Monday I couldn't stop gushing and how it was worth putting up with all the long grueling hours we had done the previous 9 months in order to have this perfect weekend.
And oh.....it got better

PS Look at the bottom of Martha's wedding post and you'll see a photo of not only Martha....but Kristin....AND Emily (who was my freshman year roommate). It's all connecting!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Going to the Chapel.....

Last weekend I had the pleasure to attend a old friend's wedding. It was simple. It was beautiful. It was everything I would ever want in a wedding for myself and I am still bursting with love for the freshly married couple.

 Martha (the lovely bride) and I met at Hollins University Summer Camp back in 2003. A simple 2 week summer program somehow formed a incredible 10 year friendship. I seriously think they should put this in the brochure for the camp.
 While Martha went to a different college we still remained in close contact. She was one of my most supportive friends after I lost my mother (my mother LOVED Martha! I am deeply saddened that I wasn't able to call her after Martha's wedding and tell her all about it). Sadly, Martha lost her mother in May. I can not even imagine how hard it was to get married so soon after her Mother's passing. I still have problems thinking about getting married without my mother. Fortunately, Martha comes from an AMAZING family with 4 lovely sisters and an awesome father (he kinda has to be cool if he's survived raising 5 daughters!). They are a family that I hope to model my future family after. Their bond can not be put into words. You just have to see it with your eyes. Sorry.

1) The summer we met 2) Our 20 year old selves 3) Our 22 year old selves 4) Date unknown but sums us up

Martha, I love you very much. I am so thankful that you included me in your special day. It was simply beautiful and incomparable to any other wedding I've been to. I can't wait to see what the future holds for you and your husband (holy shit....that sounds SO adult). MWAH!

PS Special thanks to John for remembering to buy tissues before the wedding.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Virginia Is For Lovers Pt 2

I am the queen of photo ops. I believe this is a trait my mother passed along to me as she would ALWAYS make sure that whenever there was a gathering of some kind copious amount of photographs would be taken.
So the idea of seeing a bunch of college friends AND being super close to our alumni college meant that I had to make sure we took a ridiculous amount of photos. I even had certain spots in mind that I wanted to take photos with them.
I should also blame my chosen profession as why I am so anal with planning things but that's another post for another day.....
1) "The loop" which you can walk/drive around our entire campus 2) The stairs to our dorms from senior year.....stumbled up/down those things a few to many times 3) Outside the Visual Arts Center where most of us spent our college lives due to being some form of a Art major.
 1) Three Scorpios who were known for staying up late and partying. Oh college, I miss those days 2) It became clear very quickly that it was hard for us to look at the same camera at the same time....and not talk through out all the photos being taken
Believe it or not, I LOVED going to a women's university. My father went to (what used to be) an all male's university so I grew up dreaming of going to one as well. I actually turned down a school that offered me a huge scholarship due to it turning co-ed the year I would have enrolled.

1) Emily and I met at summer camp at Hollins and roomed together freshman year. Our hetero-life partnership is 10 years strong! 2) In front of the doors of the "Main" building on campus 3) Girls....being girls.

Some people go to priests; others to poetry; I to my friends.  ~Virginia Woolf

As you can see, I milked this time as much as I could (and trust me there are plenty more photos). Who knows when I'll be able to see all these all these lovely ladies in the same place at the same time.
I'm hoping sooner rather than later .

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Virginia Is For Lovers Pt 1

This past weekend John and I flew up to Roanoke, Virginia for one of my dear friends wedding.
While in town I also got to catch up with a bunch of college (and "honorary" college friends) friends.
 1) Is there anything better than a hammock in the summer 2) The view of my college town 3) Prepping for the weekend.
 1) ICE CREAM SUNDAES! 2) College buddies + college hangout = JOY! 3) Pop's Ice Cream & Soda Bar, I missed you!
 1)  The Roanoke Star: the world's largest freestanding illuminated man-made star 2) My friend's mother baked me not one but TWO of my favorite cakes to bring me! 3) GIRLS! I love these girls!!!
 1) Popped John's Grace's Place cherry 2) Wheels of Death 3) The moment where you wonder/doubt if you should/can take another bite 4) We've been going to this pizza joint since freshman year (note: they don't take checks)
Going back to Roanoke is always awesome. I spent 4 amazingly magical years there and am so grateful I had the experiences that I did. This trip also marked the first time that John got to meet MANY Hollins ladies and truly see the town I've talked to him about a million times before........

to be continued