Friday, January 30, 2009

Cuba Libre

Wednesday night my girlfriends and I got together to go out for restaurant week. They hold this event twice a year in Philadelphia and offer a price fixed menu at various restaurants for $35 per person. Most restaurants offer a 3-course meal for this price. It’s always a good time and a great deal.

We went to a restaurant in Old City called Cuba Libre. We started our night at the bar with a Mojito and let me just say that it was by far the best I’ve have ever had. We were seated at our table and I felt like I was transported to a Latin destination. It was very ethnic and I loved the atmosphere.

Here is the breakdown of my dinner: Black Bean Soup - Traditional black bean soup with grilled white corn and Jack cheese arepitas. El Pollo Del Solar - Lime-garlic marinated chicken breast, steamed young mustard greens, black bean croqueta and mango sweet and sour gravy. Last but not least, Tres Leches De Banana - Vanilla sponge cake soaked in three banana flavored milks topped with chocolate-banana mousse and a side of banana caramel salad.

Everything was absolutely delicious and the beauty of restaurant week is getting to try new places you might not normally go to. I’m glad I went and I’ll definitely be visiting this restaurant again.

The girls

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Hubby met Jessica Simpson!

Right now I’m beyond jealous. My husband had been in Dallas for business and had to go to the airport to catch a flight to North Carolina. Long story short, he said that he was on the plane and in the long line to get off and a “cute girl” in first class was having trouble with her bags and he offered to help. She was very nice and appreciative and he realized a minute later, hey that’s Jessica Simpson! He introduced himself and told her that his wife loves her and would she mind taking a picture. She kindly let him and here it is! I so wish I was on that plane.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pink Swap!

How fitting that I signed up to do a Pink Swap in honor of Valentine’s Day over at Monograms and Manicures. I’m very lucky to have had my swap partner be Preppy 101 over at All Things Southern & Preppy. Today I received my swap package and wanted to share all of the goodies I received:

My goodies ready to unwrap with a sweet card.

Chase really likes the box. I got a cute makeup bag with my name embroidered.

Adorable stationary and my first piece of Lilly ever. I love, love this coin purse!! Pink calendar with stand (this is going on my desk at work).

Cupcake tea towel, cappuccino mix and cute pink damask frame.

Thank you All Things Southern & Preppy for everything! This was such a fun swap and it has been great getting to know you.

Here are some the goodies I sent over to Preppy 101 for the swap!

Too hard to resist these shoes!

The site Plaza Too is having a huge sale and I saw these KORS by Michael Kors – Whiley shoes that I couldn’t resist. They were originally $225 and I got them for $55! I’m normally not that daring when it comes to shoes, but these will go with a ton of things and can be carried right into spring. Hopefully they’re as cute in person as they are in the pic. A little comfort wouldn’t be bad either.

Monday, January 26, 2009

2009 U.S. Figure Skating Nationals

Alissa Czisny did it! She won the Gold Medal and the title at the 2009 United States Figure Skating Championship. I have followed her career for a few years now and it was great to see such an artistic and graceful skater win the title. She is 21 and in skating years that is fairly old. This year was definitely her chance since Kimmie Meissner and Emily Hughes dropped out of the competition due to injury.

Next year the U.S. Nationals will determine who makes the 2010 Olympic team. Alissa Czisny definitely deserves a shot and I would love to see her make Team U.S.A.

Watching skating competitions is like men watching football. I get really into it and since I love to skate and teach, it is one of my passions. This is one of the things to look forward to every winter. Hopefully the Americans will dominate at Worlds this year.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Weekend recap

On Friday, Geof and I went to dinner at Nifty Fifty’s. This place had been around for over 15 years and it is delicious! True to the name, they serve up all-American food and the best milkshakes I’ve ever had. They have a soda fountain with any flavor you can imagine, an old jukebox that play nothing but the oldies and neon signs galore. After eating way too much, we headed off to the movies to see, “The Unborn”. It was scary, but unfortunately we had someone sitting near us talking during most of the movie. If there is one thing that tops my list of pet peeves, that is it! It seems that every time we visit this one theater in particular, we have issues. We made a pact never to go there again. Overall we had a nice night though.

Tonight we had a Sixers game to go to and it was “Phillies Night” at the game. The Philly Phanatic (team mascot) was there, ball girls, players, etc. Donovan McNabb and DeShawn Jackson from the Eagles were there as well. It was a big night. They had the World Series trophy on display and we got some good pics of it. Geof’s boss and wife were at the game and we met up with them for a bite and a drink at the Cadillac Grille towards the end of the game. On our way to meet them, we saw Shane Victorino from the Phillies going back to his club box. Geof shook his hand and he was super nice.

I’m finally home relaxing and looking forward to a lazy day tomorrow. I hope everyone is having a nice weekend!

Friday, January 23, 2009

A little decorating

Our console table in the upstairs hallway was in need of some sprucing up. We have a nice painting above it with a wall sconce on each side.

Here are some before and after pics:

Before: Very plain with an old silk arrangement and 3 glass candle holders.

After: Very pink and ready for spring! The picture frame is from Michael’s and I framed one of our engagement pictures. The flower arrangement is from Target and I love it. The peonies are so pretty and look very realistic. The little white bird is from Target as well.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Are you kidding me?

Long story short, my car has been making a scary noise especially when I make left and right turns. I knew I needed to take it in to get looked at. My mom knows a guy that does good work and is fairly reasonable. It turns out I need a new power steering pump and front right axle. Total cost $742. Maybe I shouldn’t complain considering my car is going on 10 years old. I bought it brand new in August of 1999 and have taken good care of it ever since. Getting blindsided with these expensive repair bills from the mechanic is not something that makes me smile. Unfortunately, this option still works out cheaper than having a car payment every month over time. If it can last another year or two, I’ll be happy.

This is actually the perfect ending to a perfect week (sense the sarcasm here?). I have been cranky, crampy and not my usual self. I'm the girl that is usually positive and glass half full. I'm the girl where if I'm not super chipper and happy all the time, I have everyone asking me what's wrong. I feel like I can never just have a day (if you know what I mean). Sorry to be so whiney and somber, but I need to vent. This blog definitely serves as a nice outlet for me.

I'll snap out of it, I always do. It just seems that when it rains it pours. I have a lot on my plate right now and I think the stress of it all is getting the best of me.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cosmetics Class Action Lawsuit

Attention, ladies!! Apparently there was a class action lawsuit against some major cosmetic manufacturers at the following department stores:

  • Berdorf Goodman
  • Bergner’s
  • Bloomingdale’s
  • Boston Store
  • Carson Pirie Scott
  • Dillard’s
  • Gottschalks
  • Herberger’s
  • Macy’s
  • Neiman Marcus
  • Norstrom
  • Parisian
  • Saks Fifth Avenue
  • Younkers

The lawsuit alleged that department stores and cosmetics companies conspired to sell products at the manufacturers' suggested price only - never at a discount. It also alleged that special promotions were coordinated in a way that ensured there would be no competition among stores.

This is a win-win for consumers. You may claim a free product at any of the stores listed above. I did this tonight at Macy’s. I waited in one of four lines for about 5-10 minutes and got my free item. They were already down to only two Clinique products that they had to offer. I received a Clinique Moisture Surge Gel Cream. It retails for $34.00. I was happy to get anything. If it’s free – it’s for me!

Go get it while you still can!

History is made

Today was a monumental day in American History. Barack H. Obama has been sworn into office as the first African-American President of the United States of America. The 44th President at 47 years old stands as the youngest President to be elected into office. Whether you’re Republican or Democrat, young or old, black or white – today is a day of change and we as Americans should be proud and inspired.

The scene at the National Mall was overwhelming and like nothing I could have imagined. It was very emotional to witness the amount of support our new President received and to see Americans uniting as one.

“…On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord. On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics. We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness." –Barack H. Obama.

The awesome crowd on the National Mall

Sasha giving dad the thumbs up!
Melia and Sasha. I cannot get enough of these kids. They're adorable!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Bachelor drama

Wow! What an episode. The claws are definitely coming out now. Natalie was a beautiful girl, but didn’t seem to have a lot to offer Jason. I felt uncomfortable watching their dinner conversation. She definitely didn’t leave gracefully.

I am very surprised that he kept Megan. I was sure she was a goner. She seems a little mean and I’m not feeling her.

I really like Molly, Melissa, Stephanie and Naomi. They seem genuine and like they’re there for the right reasons. It was so cute when Jason took Stephanie on the one on one and then he surprised her with Sophia (her daughter). The three of them were very cute together. Unfortunately as much as I like Stephanie, I don’t see him ending up with her.

The scenes for next week look juicy!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Another giveaway!

The fabulous Shasta at Bergdorf Blondes is doing a giveaway in honor of her 200th post. It is for a Pink Clarisonic skincare system. This is a good one!

Blue Tulip finds

I went to Blue Tulip on Friday and found out that all of the stores are going out of business. (s0 sad). Everything in the store was 30%-60% off. I was lucky to find that they had some Toss Designs items still in stock. I got the following two items at 50% off:
Green & Brown Dot Cases (set of 3) - They were originally $30 and I got them for $15

Green & Brown Tote - This was originally $85 and I got it for $42. I plan to use this as a beach bag in the summer.
These deals for too good to pass up!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A lovely award!

Sandra at Preppy 101 has given me the "Friendship Award"!! Thank you so much!! Her blog is very cute and she is a wonderful soul. This is the bonus of blogging…meeting nice people from all over the country.

Getting this award means the following:

"These blogs are exceedingly charming.
These kind bloggers aim to find friends and be friends.
They are not interested in self-aggrandizement.
Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships will be propagated.
Please give more attention to these writers.
Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly- written text into the body of their award."

I want to pass this award on to the following bloggers.

1. Shasta @ Bergdorf Blondes
2. Andrea @ My Chihuahua Bites
3. Katie @ A Hokie & A Wahoo
4. Lis @ Lis Loves
5. April @ April Showers
6. Megan @ Magnolias and Mimosas
7. Nina @ Nina Knows Best
8. Jennifer @ The Pink Chick

2 great giveaways!

Maya at Old Friends New Shoes is hosting a juicy giveaway! Head over to her blog to enter!!

Miss Anne at Cupcakes & Sunshine is hosting a sweetheart giveaway! You must run right over and enter. It is pink and perfect.

Friday, January 16, 2009

I watch too much tv

After a week of being busy with work and life, I have come to the conclusion that I watch way too much tv. While I’d love to say I am going to cut back, I don’t see that happening.

The only part of this that makes me feel better is that I do watch these shows on the dvr, so I feel that I’m saving time by skipping commercials. My dvr hates me! This is definitely a winter thing and once everything goes on hiatus I am much better with my tube time.

Here is the breakdown:

Monday – How I Met Your Mother, Gossip Girl, The Bachelor
Tuesday – The Biggest Loser, Real Housewives of Orange County, The Bad Girls Club
Wednesday – American Idol
Thursday – The Office, Grey’s Anatomy
Friday – Lipstick Jungle, Friday Night Lights
Saturday – None
Sunday – Desperate Housewives, Rock of Love Bus

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I’ve been tagged!

The lovely Katie at A Hokie & A Wahoo tagged me!

Here are the rules:

1. Grab the nearest book
2. Open to page 56
3. Find the Fifth Sentence
4. Post the text of the next 2 to 5 sentences
5. Don't dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual book. Pick the CLOSEST!

“It wasn’t nearly as easy to dance with Charlie. He was no better at it than I was, so we moved safely from side to side in a tiny square formation. Edward and Esme spun around like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.”

This is from Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer and I love every book in the Twilight series. I’m hoping to devote some time over the next week to finally finishing the book.

I tag:

Leah @ Always Pretty in Pink
Jill @ Jaded Jill Speaks
Lis @ Lis Loves
Mallory @ The Laceys
Mrs. Ruby @ Ruby Red Slippers

*If I happened to re-tag you, I apologize and don't feel obligated to re-do this!

Right now I'm lovng...

...Aerie cropped fleece pants

These look very comfy and would be perfect with my Uggs.

Bobbi Brown limited-edition Lip and Eye Palette

The lip and eye colors look fantastic.

Red Envelope initial birthstone pendant necklace

This is so classic and pretty. It’s on sale right now!

Target damask beverage tub

I can see this being used every weekend in the summer.

Cole Haan Aerin black leather North/South tote

So classic!

Last but not least, I am loving the song Pokerface by Lady Gaga. I makes me want to get up and run/dance.

Ulta sale

Ulta is currently having a Friends & Family sale. Everything is 20% off until Monday 1/19/09. The promo code is 82548.

Happy shopping!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Bride Wars & Girls Night Out

Tonight my girlfriends and I went to dinner at The Cheesecake Factory and then went to the movies to see Bride Wars. Cheesecake Factory was delicious as always. We had some wine and each ordered an appetizer and shared with the table.

The movie was cute like I expected and a perfect flick to see with a group of girlfriends. Some of it was over the top, but all in all a decent movie. I love Kate Hudson and she did not disappoint. My favorite movie with her in it is How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. I could watch it again and again.

Monday, January 12, 2009


My friend and co-worker, Meghan convinced me to go with her to a workout class this evening and it was good. It is called “Zumba” and it’s described as a fitness program that is inspired by Latin dance. We did the Salsa, Samba, Cha Cha and many other Latin dance moves. I haven’t been to a class in a long time and this was perfect for me. It was a little over an hour long and we didn’t stop moving the entire time. My heart rate was definitely up for most of the class. The instructor was great and very motivating. I like taking classes like this because I don’t get bored and the time flies. We would learn about 2-4 combinations per song and then put them to work with the music. I am sure that I looked like a fool for some of it, but it was fun.

I left feeling energized and wonderful. If this class if offered at your gym, fitness studio, etc., I highly recommend it. I am going to try and go on a more regular basis.

Best (and worst) of the Golden Globes

I caught half of the Golden Globes last night after I got back from the movies. Here are my picks of the best and worst dressed ladies of the night:

Best of the night!

Kate Winslet – she was beaming and looked exquisite in her black YSL gown. She was so pulled together from the dress to her Chopard jewelry and make-up. I thought she was fantastic. I’m so happy she won Best Actress and her speech was adorable, especially at the end. Revolutionary Road looks like a great film and I look forward to seeing it.

Eva Mendes – I am not a huge Eva Mendes fan, but I thought she looked beautiful in her white Dior gown. It almost reminded me of something Marilyn Monroe would wear.

Amy Adams – She looked captivating in her black Oscar de la Renta gown. It was such a dramatic gown and looked amazing on her.

Kate Bekinsale – She is so pretty and classy. I just love her. She looked fantastic in her white J. Mendel gown.

The worst of the night: Angelina Jolie, Drew Barrymore, Black Lively (big disappointment) and Renee Zellweger.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Marley & Me

Geof and I went to see Marley & Me this evening and it was not what I expected (I didn't read the book yet). It was better and then some. The entire story really hit home for both of us because it's about a couple that is just starting out and they do not have much and then get a puppy that becomes a huge part of their life. It shows the progression of John & Jenny losing a child, having children, leaving jobs, getting promoted, moving and more importantly Marley growing into a dog and getting older. I sobbed the last 40 minutes of the movie and really had to work to keep myself from doing the dreaded “ugly cry”.
I came home and gave our dogs extra love and attention. In my life I have lost 3 dogs, two of which I was too young to remember how much sadness it caused me. The third was my dog “Topper”. He was a black lab and so wonderful. I remember when I was in high school and he started getting sick. He had problems with his hips and it got to the point that my mom would literally carry him outside to go to the bathroom. It was a heartbreaking decision (mainly for my mom) when we had to put him down and things weren’t the same in the house for awhile. I still miss him. When I was 19, we got another black lab and named him “Happy”. I’ve grown up and moved out and Happy is still going strong and my mom still has him. She brings him over to visit with my dogs and him and I still have a special bond. He always used to know when I was upset and would just sit there with his head on my lap to help me get through it. He is 11 now and I don’t even want to think about when it’s him time to go. I still remember the day that I brought his home.
I now have two dogs of my very own (Chase who is almost 2 & Mandy who is 6). I love them with all my heart and more than some people. Dogs are such loving, dependable and wonderful creatures. I am thankful to have and previously had the love of a dog.
“A dog has no use for fancy cars or big homes or designer clothes. Status symbols means nothing to him. A waterlogged stick will do just fine. A dog judges others not by their color or creed or class but by who they are inside. A dog doesn't care if you are rich or poor, educated or illiterate, clever or dull. Give him your heart and he will give you his. It was really quite simple, and yet we humans, so much wiser and more sophisticated, have always had trouble figuring out what really counts and what does not. As I wrote that farewell column to Marley, I realized it was all right there in front of us, if only we opened our eyes. Sometimes it took a dog with bad breath, worse manners, and pure intentions to help us see” –John Grogan”


Chase & Mandy

Collect call...

…from Donovan McNabb! If you didn’t see the game today, this probably doesn’t make much sense. If you did see the game, then you know why I find this hysterical. Basically, Donovan ran out of bounds on a play and into the Giants sidelines. There was a phone right there and he picked it up. The referees gave him a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct and Joe Buck and Troy Aikman were very upset by it too. We could not stop rewinding it on the DVR and had to take a pic. You don’t see Donovan do things like that very often.

In Philadelphia we have plenty of Eagles fans mixed with the occasional Giants fan. Geof’s boss is a big Giants fan. We’ve been hearing all week about how the Eagles were going to lose and I kept my mouth shut. It was so fantastic to see the Eagles pull this off.

I wish the team best of luck next week in Arizona. GO EAGLES!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

What was in my Target cart…

The sales circulars are something I like to check every week for certain stores (Target being one of them). Here are some of my finds from last weekend:

Gold Glitter Cones – I saw this on Andrealeigh’s blog and had to rush right over to Target to see if they had any left. They're so classy and sparkly. I lucked out and they had some, so I grabbed a few up. All of the Christmas decorations were 75% off. We got the large tree for $5.00 (originally $19.99) and the small tress for $3.75 (originally $14.99).

Gold Glitter Holiday Ornament Set – These were super cute and there are 14 of them in the package. I couldn’t resist. They were only $1.25!

How I Met Your Mother Season 3 – This in my opinion is one of the funniest shows on television. I can see myself watching the season over and over again. It was on sale for $14.99

Lipstick Jungle Season 1 – I love this show even though it may be getting cancelled. If you watch, you know what I’m talking about. Victory and Joe…Nico and Kirby…Wendy and Shane…ahhhh. This was on sale for $17.00

Gossip Girl Season 1 – This is a show that is definitely geared towards teens, but I cannot resist watching. This is another one of my guilty pleasures. It was on sale for $19.99

Vaseline Healthy Hand & Nail Conditioning – My friend Kelly uses this and says that she has noticed a difference in her nails. For $3.09, I figured I’d give it a try. My nails have been in bad shape since I got tips for the wedding. I starting using it this week and so far it is fab! It is non-greasy and has a nice, soft scent.

Velveeta Nacho Bake

Geof is sick and could not go to work today. They say to feed a cold, so I thought I would make some good old comfort food. This delicious recipe came from You’re Talking Gibberish. I also made some cornbread to go along with our meal.

Here it is:

Velveeta Nacho Bake
Prep Time: 15 min Total Time: 35 min Makes: 6 servings
1 pkg. (12 oz.) VELVEETA Shells & Cheese Dinner
1 lb. ground beef
1 pkg. (1-1/4 oz.) TACO BELL® HOME ORIGINALS® Taco Seasoning Mix (I used one of the many homemade recipes out there)
3/4 cup BREAKSTONE'S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream
3/4 cup KRAFT Shredded Cheddar Cheese, divided
3/4 cup TACO BELL® HOME ORIGINALS® Thick 'N Chunky Salsa
1/2 cup coarsely crushed tortilla chips

Heat oven to 400°F. Prepare Dinner as directed on package. While Macaroni is cooking, cook meat with taco seasoning as directed on package.

Stir sour cream into prepared Dinner. Spoon 1/2 of Dinner mixture into 8-inch square baking dish; top with layers of meat mixture, 1/2 of Cheddar and remaining Dinner mixture. Cover.

Bake 15 min.; top with salsa, remaining Cheddar and crushed chips. Bake, uncovered, 5 min.

I ended up using an 11x7 pan since I don’t own an 8” square baking dish. It turned out fine and we have plenty of leftovers.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Vegas, baby!

My husband has a business trip that he has to take to Las Vegas in February. He had a grand idea that I tag along, so now I am! I am very excited because I have never been to Vegas before. I’ve always wanted to go. The perk of it being a business trip is that we only had to pay for my plane ticket. You can’t beat that. He said that he should have enough free time that we can take in a show and do dinner 1 or 2 nights.
We’ll be going over Valentine’s weekend, so we’ll try to do something romantic while we’re there. We are staying at The Bellagio and I heard that it is supposed to be very nice. If anyone has any suggestions of things that I must do while I’m there, I am all ears!

MAC sale

For all you MAC Makeup lovers out there, MAC is having a 25% off sale Now-1/9/09 (Friday). It is for online orders only, but it’s a still a pretty good deal. The coupon code is MACFF9.

I’ve been eyeing some of the following: MAC Pearglide Eye Liner in Spare Change, MAC Kohl Power Eye Pencil in Orpheus and MAC Monogram Lipgloss in Identity.

Monday, January 5, 2009

New scarf

My new scarf has arrived and I absolutely love it! Here is the story; I bought a cream colored cashmere scarf from Coach last winter and realized over the holidays that I had yet to wear it. This winter, I had my eye on a new scarf and wanted it bad. The old Jules would have gone out and purchased the new scarf while keeping the old scarf. Not anymore. I was good and took the old scarf back to exchange for the new pink Tattersall scarf from Coach.
It arrived today (they were sold out in the store) and I heart it!