Memorial Day weekend

Ahhhhh. What a good Memorial Day weekend. I didn't go on a trip or do anything out of the ordinary....just did lots of little things that, put together, were a good use of a 3 day weekend. The best thing of all was having 2 days free of tomorrow-I-have-to-go-back-to-work dread instead of just 1. And even though I have to go back tomorrow, I kind of feel okay about it because I had enough weekend for once. Is there a petition somewhere out there to make weekends 3 days instead of 2? I want to sign it immediately.

1. I did something I've wanted to do for a long time now but never got around to it -- I organized my bookcase by color. I wish I could take credit for such a great idea, but I can't (I've seen it in a magazine and in a couple blogs). But I think its just such a great idea, and I'm glad I finally did it! Its such a simple change, but I think it makes a huge difference and I'm thrilled with the result.

2. I had lots of good time with my main squeeze. We had a big meal at Olive Garden on Friday for free, thanks to my Mom and Dad. Then we went to our first Smokies game of the year on Saturday, and did it up right -- peanuts, nachos, a hot dog for me, cheap beer -- the whole nine yards. We had a ball (haha), and the Smokies won! I wish I had pictures of it, but the batteries in the camera were dead so we didn't take it with us. On Sunday, we had a Lord of the Rings marathon and had a junk food buffet. I think I'll be okay to never eat another cheese puff for the rest of my life :)

3. Today I got to lounge by the pool with Stacy and read magazines, people watch, and get some sun. It was my first time at the pool this year and it felt great. Then I came home, turned on some oldies music, and cooked up one my favorite things to cook - Zucchini Ankara.

I've probably made it 10 times before, but this time I made couscous with it for the first time, and that made it extra good. Or maybe it just tasted so good because it was the first healthy thing I'd eaten all weekend.

Deeeeelish. Well, I still have about 3 hours left of my weekend, so I'm gonna get off of this computer and enjoy it. Later!

GG Farewell & Zoe

On the series finale of Gilmore Girls

I can't believe its over! I only found out that the Gilmore Girls was ending last week and now poof! its gone?! Too quick. But, if they had to end the series (which honestly CW, was that really necessary?), I think they did it in exactly the right way. The final scene with Lorelai, Rory, and Luke in the diner was perfect...I definitely didn't need to see all the townspeople of Stars Hollow right to the very end. The CW's farewell (if you can even call it that) right afterwards was lame though, don't you think? I wish it had been Scene's From Next Week's All New Episode instead. What a bummer.

Another tiny painting

This one is of a sweet little girl named Zoe who lives in Portland, Oregon with my good friend Heather. One time when I was visiting Heather in Baltimore (she used to lived there), Ruby busted through the glass of the French doors she was locked behind just to fight with poor Zoe. It was the first time I'd ever seen Ruby in a fight (aka. the first time I saw her turn into a MONSTER), so I stupidly jumped in the middle of them to stop the fight and got bitten on both of my wrists. I ran out into the street and yelled for help and no one came out of their row-homes to help me. Then magically, the fighting stopped and I went back into the house and both girls were just sitting there panting and slobbery-necked. It was definitely scary, and I had to walk around with white bandages wrapped around my wrists for the rest of the week. What an ordeal! But looking back, it was totally worth it to hang out with my pal Heather (whose birthday was yesterday - Happy Birthday!!!). I promise Ruby isn't a monster, and neither is Zoe. They were both just having a rough day :) Here she is:

I quickly discovered that its not easy to paint a jet black dog, so for this little piece she got to be purple :) Happy Thursday!

One year

I'm going through a little bit of post-luxurious vacation depression. Seth and I just celebrated our 1 year wedding anniversary, and we stayed a night at Whitestone Inn to celebrate it. What a place! We were there for a total of 22 hours, and those were some of the most peaceful hours I've ever spent. At one point, Seth and I just laid on our bed and listened to the silence...a nice change from the sirens and traffic and random crazies we hear living on our busy street.

We packed allot into our short stay at Whitestone. We played shuffleboard:
...relaxed in a hammock:
...played croquet on the coolest and biggest croquet course I've ever seen:
...saw a snake eat a fish 5x it's size:
...and saw the prettiest horse I've ever seen in my life:
It totally looked like the horse in The Science of Sleep (great movie, by the way...I highly recommend it). We also had a delicious dinner and ate our 1 year old wedding cake - surprisingly, it tasted great!
Recognize our outfits? ;) Its hard to believe that its been a whole year since we wore those clothes and said our vows each other. What a great year though! And our little rendezvous at Whitestone was a great way to celebrate that year. Now if we could just win the lottery so we could stay there forever.... :)

Glad its over

What a week this has been. Saturday I got hit hard by the bug that's been going around so I spent most of the week on the couch. I have never experienced sinus pain like that! By Wednesday though, I finally started feeling better (although I sure didn't sound like it - I completely lost my voice), and it was great to turn off the TV and be able to do things again. I spent all evening Wednesday and Thursday working on some really fun projects, and I finished another tiny painting! So exciting. I'll post a picture of it soon. You know, there's nothing like being trapped on the couch to make you appreciate how good it feels to be productive.

The top 3 things that I know are bad for me but are a constant struggle are not exercising, eating junk, and watching too much TV. I'll go through periods of making the right choices in these areas, but it never lasts long. A great example: About 6 years ago I had a revelation and decided that I had put off exercising long enough and it was time to get serious about it. So I bought a 1-year membership this gym:
Notice the huge, veiny arm holding a bar-bell sticking out of the building and the slogan "Get big" under the name, haha. Anyway, I fully intended to make a change and get healthy. Do you know how many times I went to that gym? 3 times. Yep.

Why am I rambling about all this? Because I've recently "seen the light" about watching too much television. One of my must-see shows is going off the air next week (r.i.p. Gilmore Girls, sniff sniff), and I realized today that that leaves me with only 2 shows left on my list: The Office and ER. I think that's the shortest my list has ever been, and I couldn't be happier. When I was working on my projects the past couple nights, I felt so much more content and happy than I do when I zone out in front of the box for 4 hours at a time. And I really hope that this new attitude towards TV sticks this time, because life is short and I don't want to spend it watching fake people's lives instead of living my own.

Shew. Okay enough about the perils of television. One last thing I have to mention...

I have 3 nieces and 2 nephews, and they are all really wonderful and smart and perfect ;) So today I have to brag about my niece, Hallie. She's 6 years old (almost 7) and writing a trilogy! Check out the first 2 books here. She wrote and illustrated them all by herself! I'm so proud.
Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Things I'm obsessed with these days

1. Whole wheat. I am obsessed with eating all things whole wheat and eliminating "enriched wheat flour" as much as possible. The first person I heard talk about the benefits of whole wheat was Oprah (I guess that's how she lost all that weight), and then lately there seems to be a surge of products advertising their whole wheat content. I guess Oprah and the powers of advertising finally got to me, because now my kitchen is stocked with whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, and whole wheat cereal. I know I'm more susceptible to good advertising than most, but there really are allot of health benefits to eating whole wheat! Did you know that eating whole wheat can reduce a woman's risk of breast cancer? That fact alone sold me, but here's a few more: whole wheat helps women maintain a healthy weight, it reduces the risk of diabetes, and it promotes gastrointestinal health. Pretty amazing, right? Whole Foods has a great article here if you'd like to know more.

2. Making tiny paintings. My mom turned 63 on Sunday, and she loves birds, so I thought it was a great opportunity to make another tiny painting for her.

I don't know what it is about this size of canvas, but I love it. I feel so comfortable working in this size, and there's no fear in starting a new painting. And, most importantly in this case, my sweet Mom loved it. Happy birthday, Mom!!!

3. Replacing my fake Birkenstocks with the real thing. I've had these Birkenstock knock-offs for 2 years now, and I've worn them out.

Okay, so maybe I'm not the only one who hangs on to shoes too long ;) Anyway, in the summer I wear these shoes almost every day, so I think its time to replace them with the real thing so they'll last me 8+ years like my other Birkenstocks. Problem is, I can't find any that are less than $100. This is the style I want. I guess it'd be a good investment since I'd wear them so much, but I just feel like there's some place out there that's secretly selling these shoes for half price. I've looked at every shoe website I can think of, and haven't had any luck. Any suggestions, or am I just being cheap?

4. $32 steak. Speaking of being cheap, I accidentally ordered a $32 steak when I was in Nashville and I still can't let it go :) There's nothing I can do about it now, but it still keeps popping into my head...I've never spent that much on 1 plate of food for myself before. I guess the best thing to do is focus on what a good time I had instead of the money, right? Because I did have a great time. I got to hang out with Al and Chi-Chi, and $32 is a small price to pay for some quality 3 Musketeer time for sure. Yeah, I'm definitely letting that one go and moving on.

Cheers! :)