Wednesday, September 30, 2009

note to self: wear comfortable shoes

Our little trip to see U2 gave us an excuse to go be tourists for a few hours in Manhattan. First stop: Carnegie Deli for some overpriced but huge deli sandwiches.
We decided next time we were there, we'd bring our own 8 x 10 headshots and replace Rip Taylor on the wall of every celebrity known to man.

Across the street is our us...right?

Basically, we didn't have a ton of time to hit every landmark on the island. So we decided to do a whirlwhind tour of them all via Top of the Rock. Way up high above 30 Rock is the observation deck, with some A-MAZING views of the city.

That's the ol Empire State Bldg growing out of Kelly's head.

I love this place.

So don't tell anybody I was with, but one of the highlights of my trip was spotting this place. Since I'm the quintessential suburbanite, we don't have these on our street corners. Mobile bakeries. Yum.
How cute is this truck?

I'm so lame, I got a chocolate cupcake with vanilla icing. But it was phenomenal. I will always choose cupcakes over other delicious options, but when I walked up to the truck, the woman was literally holding a hot pan of fresh-out-of-the-oven brownies. The whole block smelled incredible. It was the perfect little ending to a lovely random Thursday in the city.
Oh and seriously Shan, stop trying to wear cute shoes when you're traipsing all over the city. You'll always regret it. And your feet will hate you.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Bad News: I'm Not Knocked Up by Bono

The Good News: The show was otherwise incredible.

Here's the evidence:

The Stage: Known as the Claw. It apparently takes 2 or 3 days to set this bad boy up. And when the lights went down, it looked amazing.

The Opener: Muse. Also amazing. They played for about 45 minutes but it was so good, it flew by and felt like 5 minutes. At the start of every song, I looked over at John and said " You know this one, right?" He would smile and shake his head no. C'mon! How do you not know it?!?!

The Crowd: Me, John, Kelly & Jeff, whom I love more than life itself. Thanks to the hammered lady behind us for taking our pic.

U2: I'm a little biased because they are my most favorite band on earth but man, do they put on a good show. Bono makes my heart hurt, I love him so much. His political babble doesn't even bother me. He kept it to a minimum and really, he's yapping for a good cause, so what am I gonna do, get pissed? Nah, I love him and would listen to him read the telephone book. Anyway, last time I saw U2 in 2005, my favorite performance was "Sometimes You Can't Make it on Your Own" and I was hoping for a repeat but it didn't happen. This year's fave was "Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"...lots of crowd participation and it sounded gooood. Loved it.

Thanks Kelly, for the tix, for crying to U2 with me and for being generally awesome. And thank you Bono, for making my year.

Friday, September 25, 2009

my life is awesome = no time to blog

Got in last night from NY only to do a load of laundry, paint my toenails and pack a suitcase again. Tonight after work, my BFF Kelly and our friend Audrey are headed to North Wildwood, New Jersey for the annual Irish Festival…or Irish Weekend as we call it round these parts. It’s a weekend devoted to running into people you went to Catholic high school with, singing Catholic hymns and enjoying a delicious alcoholic beverage, or 12….or 22. This weekend is legendary but I have to admit I’m a newb. I’ve never been. So after years and years of not having the money, or not having a place to stay, we got on the stick, booked a room at one of the choice motels and are headed out for yet another weekend of debauchery. I’ll be back next week with a U2/NY/Irish Weekend recap. Wish me (and my liver) luck. Happy weekend!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hits & Misses - Urban Outfitters

Let me preface this post by saying that I've been into Urban Outfitters once. Just once. We don't have them out here in the burbs, hence the name. Therefore I always forget about them being a viable option for clothing, accessories and decor. Well I decided to saunter on over to their website and found a few thingies that peaked my interest. We've got...

the Hits

Be the Orange Sheep in the Family if Black is Already Taken print
Love this. Totally appropriate for my fam. Would this be weird in an nursery?

Waterfall Ruffle Curtains
Also love. Trying to conjure up windows that need covering in girliness.

Antoinette Fainting Sofa in Caribbean
Want to rub my face on. And faint on.

and then I clicked on the Clothing tab. Bad move. I understand designers making crazy shit for the runway but really? Who wears this stuff? Says the girl who can't get dressed without Target :)

I present

the Misses

Kimchi Colorblock Jumper

No words.

Wolf Tank

Self-explanatory. I didn't see the Twilight license on this one so I have to assume it's not aimed at Jacob-obsessed tweens. This one is for the girl who likes wolves. Like, seriously likes wolves. She likes wolves like I like honey mustard. A lot.

the Shapeless Retro Prisoner Shirt
oh, that's not what UO calls it? Doggone it, they should have. C'mon, it's terrible!

And let's comment on the fact that UO is too cheap to pay for model eyes. It's so they can't see how horrific they look in these clothes.

So the verdict? UO good for house, bad for body.

Monday, September 21, 2009

seven september staples


1. Cute Shoes on Clearance at the Gap: I think by now we all know my obsession with yellow…and gray. Well these shoesies are perfect…perfect fall color, comfy as hell and I can still rock the peep toe for another month or two before frostbite begins setting in.

2. U2: I’ll be visiting with the future father of my future children (hi Bono) this week at Giants Stadium with my BFF Kelly, her awesome husband Jeff and my understanding-about-Bono husband John. If you haven’t been to a U2 show ever, go. I don’t care if your name is Lisa Leslie and for some insane reason, you’re not a U2 fan, you will be amazed and enlightened and walk away with a gigantic smile on your face. It will be the highlight of my year. Apologies to all my 2009 nups, you guys are important too…just not Pride in the Name of Love-important.

3. New York, NY: Since the concert is up in NJ, across the way from Manhattan, the kiddies and I are touristing in NY the day after the show…I’m talking Rockefeller, Times Square, Flatiron, the whole shebang. Amazingly enough, living only 2 hours away, I still haven’t seen some of NY’s most famous landmarks. This will change, my friends.

4. Macadamia Nuts: those little delicious bastards have found their way home from Hawaii with me…in varieties such as Sea Salt and Chocolate covered. While I made it a point to have a small bag a day while in the islands, a handful a day at home is not appropriate. My mom reminds me of the little white box on the side of the can everyday….they are terrible for you. *shakes fist at Mauna Loa company*

5. How I Met Your Mother: Season premiere tonight. Enough said.

6. Gap Jeans: Remember when I won a coupon for a free pair of Gap’s new 1969 line of jeans? Well I went and redeemed it after trying about 12 pairs on during my lunch hour. I went with the Long and Lean just because of the name. And the fact that they actually looked good on me. This is my first pair of Gap jeans and I have to say that I like em. But I’m kinda cheap so there’s no way this girl will be paying $70 for another pair. Know of any other free coupons out there???

7. Thai Food: We saw a new Thai restaurant opening up around the corner from us this past weekend, and in the land of chain restaurants that I live in, this was good news. I had never tried it in my life but I was pumped nonetheless. So Saturday night, we met up with Sarah & Todd and did some dining. Todd told me if I like peanut sauce and Chinese food, I’d be cool. I happen to love both. Thai was a success. I had drunken noodles (because I’m a lush) with chicken and it was delish. John had wild boar. I think he needs a Travel Channel food show of his own so he can go eat crazy shit and I don’t have to be near it.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

pottery barn mercury pumpkin psa

Hey, see this pumpkin? You want it, don't you? I do. Too bad P-Barn is sold out of them. Luckily, Home Goods has a ton of them. They're bigger and cheaper than PB's, so go grab em while you can.

i swear a pig just flew by

The unthinkable has happened. This girl got a ring put on this guy. One of my most favorite pals in the world, who swore for years that marriage was not a-happenin, has succumbed to the dark side. The dark side being big poofy dresses and cake tastings. Oh and ya know, lifelong committment and whatnot. Lisa and Shaun's engagement has shocked and thrilled us all and I get to be part of it! As of this morning, we can add one more bridesmaid dress to my list of things to buy. November 2010 doesn't know what it's in for. Congrats LL!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I missed all of you bloggies! I missed reading your blogs and am putting off work as much as possible trying to catch up on all that has happened in the world in my absence.

So basically, Oahu was awesome. But you knew it would be. It’s just as gorgeous and laid-back as you’d expect. We were extremely lucky to know a local Honolulu-an (one of my sales reps from work) who picked us up and delivered us back to the airport, loaned us his jeep for the week and took us out for the real-deal, genuine local Hawaiian food. We managed the perfect mix of tourist-ing and relaxing. We slept late, ate ice cream for lunch and wore braids in our hair (well just me). It was the perfect vacation and perfect anniversary. Now let’s look at some pics. As per usual, I uploaded in a hurry, did no editing and picked some random faves. In no particular order...

I took a lot of pics from inside the car while we were driving up to the North Shore. It's just miles of blue ocean on one side of you and huge tree-covered mountains on the other. We did this drive twice and it was one of my favorite parts. We stopped for lunch at the Crouching Lion which sits under a rock formation that looks like a....crouching lion! The food was pretty damn good but the service kinda sucked. But I had to keep reminding myself that we were in Hawaii and the rush service I'm used to just doesn't exist there. They probably don't need stellar service there because the view from the restaurant is amazing and that alone draws the crowds. Well that and the fact that it's the only place to eat besides the 15 shrimp trucks we passed.

One of our must-sees was obviously Pearl Harbor and the Missouri. When you go to visit Pearl Harbor, you watch a 20 minute film with actual footage from the day of the attack. It was interesting and sad and really puts you in a somber sort-of mood. Everyone then files to the ferry where they take you over to the memorial that sits atop the Arizona. It was completely surreal to see parts of the ship that sunk still sticking out of the water, knowing that you were basically standing over a tomb. Later, we took the bus over to tour the still-standing Missouri, where the treaty with Japan was signed at the end of WWII. The bus takes you all over the Pearl Harbor base and you really do feel like you stepped back in time. A lot of the buildings and airplane hangars look the same as they did 70 some years ago. Overall, I found it fascinating and really emotional. I highly recommend you go. You know, if you’ve got a couple thousand bucks lying around.

We stayed in Waikiki at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, which as it’s name states, really is it’s own little town. It’s got everything you could possibly need right there, including an ABC store. If you haven’t seen an ABC store before, they are EVERYWHERE in Oahu. They are your basic convenience store/souvenir store and they kept me stocked with chocolate covered macadamia nuts. Anyway, the hotel upgraded our room to a corner lot, so we had two balconies with an oceanfront view. I literally squealed when we opened the curtains.

Hello best view ever.

The other balcony looked down on the pool, which was never too crowded and sits right next to the beach. Salt or chlorinated water...decisions decisions.

Ok, luaus are complete tourist traps. Didn’t care. Had to go. Had to sit with strangers, which I’m not a fan of but we got seated next to the cutest little Japanese couple and a couple of giggling, peace-sign-giving, single Japanese girls. We got away with conversing with universal hand-signals like pointing and the clicking-camera motion. The food was pretty good, I was all over the Dim Sum while John ate up all the raw fish he could get his hands (blechhh). The show was what we paid to see. The cute little Polynesian girls, who apparently are the only ones that long frizzy hair looks okay on, were phenomenal hip shakers. The massive dudes were all tatted-up with tiny costumes and yelled and grunted a lot. Kinda hot.

Oh, is this what I have to look at every night? Poor me.

Oh Shave Ice, how you captured my heart. You were the most delicious thing I tasted all week. Ralph, our local friend, took us to this tiny whole-in-the wall storefront that had a line halfway down the block in his neighborhood to get this deliciousness. Ok, here in Philly, we’ve got our water ice (pronounced wood-er ice) and down at the Jersey shore, we’ve got our Sno-Cones but neither stand up to Shave Ice. They shave the ice right from the block in front of you into a massive ball then pour your choice of flavored syrups on top. They had a million flavors to choose from but I had Kahlua and Vanilla Cream with Condensed Milk drizzled on top. Seriously, I have to stop typing and go back to get more. It was sooooo good.

Now say aloha to real Hawaiian food. Me? Not so much a fan. John? Happier than a pig in shite. It doesn’t help that the girl who doesn’t eat any seafood besides crab goes to the place where fish is king. So I ate the shredded pork and ribs. The purple stuff is poi, which comes from the Taro plant. It looks and tastes like purple glue. The tomato-y stew is filled with tripe. Yup, cow stomach lining. Delish. Then in the middle, you’ve got your fish product wrapped with seaweed. John wanted authentic, he got it. Oh and this restaurant happens to be Helena’s which is another hole-in-the-wall in a tiny strip of stores in a dicey Honolulu neighborhood. You’d never know that the owner was a James Beard winner and that just the other night they were featured on Man vs. Food. Maybe meals like this were why I demanded ice cream cones for lunch.

And that my friends is a little taste of Oahu. I'm sure I'll wrangle up some more good pics and bore you with those later this week.

Monday, September 14, 2009

you look like a monkey and smell like one too

Happy Birthday to my big brother Josh...

in honor of your 34th year on earth and because I have an odd fascination with list-making, I give you the top 10 reasons you're ok in my book.

10. You call me Skip, the only nickname that has ever stuck
9. You helped me lose 94 pound-a-roos
8. You introduced me to Erasure and I will be eternally grateful
7. You’re a good tenant and don’t spend your rent money on bourbon, scotch and beer. Oh and you taught me George Thorogood lyrics
6. You make us dinner
5. You’re not afraid of cut-off sweatpants
4. You’ve created a mini version of yourself called Josh 2.0 for future generations to enjoy
3. You gave me a card meant for a black man when I graduated from 8th grade
2. You were a master at the yo-yo
1. You are my biggest audience & laugh at everything I say

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Guest post: Once-Glorious Bastards: My Adventures with Granny's Cut Glass

Ok, you caught me, I am blogging from Hawaii. But I swear this is the first time I've gotten on a real computer this week, the rest of em had been scheduled ahead of time. I've asked my friend Katie to entertain you today because she's always got good stories, like getting noogied by a stranger on the subway. So without furthur ado, here she is....oh and I'm having a great time, wish you were here!
Well what an honor to be asked to guest-blog for Shannon while she's vacationing.

I'm getting married the day after Thanksgiving. Do some quick math, and you'll realize that I'm getting to that interesting zone where things get a little, uh, hairy, for the bride. Lots to do, not a lot of free time to do get the picture. So, I'd like to take you back to a time when things were still calm, and I still got to say "Oh I still have 9 months. I have plenty of time."
Being a bride on a budget, you have to pick your battles. Since it's a late Fall wedding, a way to save that instantly came to mind was centerpieces. Do I NEED elaborate floral arrangements? Not really; not for a wedding at that time of year an certainly not like I NEED a great DJ and photographer. Something had to give, and it was definitely the centerpieces. But then again, I am not the type to just slap down some votive candles and call it a day. Oh no, I needed SOMETHING, and something that looked like I at least TRIED. But what? Finally, that question was answered- A friend of a friend inspired me because she used this same concept for her wedding last September... Cut Glass. Some of you right now might be saying, "What the heck is cut glass?" The reason I am guessing this is because I've been asked that question a lot. That's why I brought visuals to today's show-n-tell.

Here are some pics of the fruits of our labor.

Basically, the idea is to use old pieces of cut glass that you can acquire from yard sales, thrift shops, and Granny's attic, and use them as decor/candle holders for the reception tables. The cut glass is ideal for giving some serious sparkle for those on a serious budget. I would use smaller pieces (wine glasses, dessert bowls, punch glasses, etc. ) for my votive candle holders, and the larger pieces, like Vases, to hold some seasonal dried flowers and grasses. And so, my journey began...

I would scour Craigslist and the local newspapers for postings for multi-family yard sales and off I would go! Between 2 trips (by "trip, I mean an entire morning of driving to various yard sales) with my Mom, one with one of my bridesmaids Heather, one trip with my future Mother-In-Law, at least one trip to every thrift store in our area, and various donations from family members who have been keeping an eye out, I have managed to garner about 150 pieces of glass that will be used as candle-holders, and another 20 or so larger pieces that can be used as the centerpiece, each piece costing no more than one dollar, and often times, much less!

Here are some lovelies taking a bath in the dishwasher. (Hey! Some of these guys have been stored away for years!)

When it's all said and done, it really wasn't that difficult. If you plan far enough ahead and start looking early, it's actually quite fun. Sort of like a yard-sale scavenger hunt. Plus I got to spend quality time with loved ones.

But, the cut glass concept appealed to me for reasons other than just budgetary.

First, I love the idea of recycling something old, and giving it a different purpose, a new lease on life. Anyone who knows me and Andy (the groom) well, knows that we hate waste. This was a pleasantly unexpected way for us to re-use old items that would otherwise just sit, dust-covered, until someone finally cleaned out their basement and tossed them away in some landfill.

Mini pitchers, how cute! Shannon loves anything miniaturized.

Which brings me to my second reason for loving this idea- History books are a constant on my bedside table. I like to browse the Colonial gravestones in Philadelphia's old churchyards, and calculate how old the person was when they died, and what life must have been like for them. I love thinking about how different the world was in 1942 when my Grandmother was the age I am now, and how in many ways we are all just the same as then. So, I LOVE to wonder where all this glass has been! What has it seen since its "birth"? I bet most of it is actually older than me! Was this someone's favorite vase 60 years ago? How many parties did this punch bowl rev up after someone spiked its contents in 1965? Where they've been is a mystery... and that's half the fun.

I've never gone to Yard Sales prior to this, and it turns out that most people are very friendly and chatty. It delighted them to hear that their grandmother's dessert cups, or a vase they decided to part with after 30 years, was taking on a new life for one day.

They will make their reincarnated debut on November 27, and then, hopefully, with my full blessing, some of our wedding guests will take home their favorite pieces from their table. Maybe these lil treasures will take a permanent place in someone's china cabinet or table.

Perhaps Shannon will invite me back to let you know how everything turned out!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

the ole ball and chain

Dear Johnny,
Today is our 3rd Anniversary.
Today we're in Hawaii.
Today could not be more perfect.
Today I love you more than every day before today.
Today I wonder how I got so freakin lucky to land you.
Now go wrangle up a colada of the non-virgin varie-tay for your sappy wife.
Love, me

Monday, September 7, 2009

i heart accessories

Somehow when I’m feeling guilty for overspending on clothes, I don’t feel bad about buying accessories. Accessories last forever! Unlike the 8 shirts I’ve bought this summer covered in ruffles, I’ll continue to wear my accessories into the next season and beyond with a variety of outfits. You know I speak the truth. Fortunately I lack the shoe & purse obsessive gene so at least my closet floor isn’t filled to the brim with bulky boxes or bags. I prefer my accessories to be small and easily stored…necklaces, earrings & belts. Also fortunate is that my preferred baubles can be bought on the cheap. Check out my newbies…

Isn’t is adorable? This one is from TheSilverDog on Etsy. I implore you to go look at her selection, it’s incredible. Every color combo you can think of…I want to order like six more. Or twelve.

The next two came from JC Penney. For some reason, I love to shop there. Wait, I know the reason. Back in college when I would run up my credit cards, I had a JCP charge card that always had room on it. So if I needed a new outfit/bag/duvet cover, I would just go charge it. Don't try this at home kids, it always ends badly. However, I still go there because their jewelry selection is awesome. And always on sale.

This last one actually garnered a compliment from the very gay boy that I buy my coffee from each morning, so apparently, mission accomplished.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

lei jokes are outlawed in my presence

The time has come my dearies. The suitcases are meticulously packed & paid for (WTF Continental!) and we’re hunkering down for our flight from Philly to Houston, then Houston to Honolulu. The Ipod is loaded…did you know that you can rent movies for like $3? I rented I Love You Man…my luck, they’ll show it on the plane. Or maybe they’ll play Snakes on a Plane. Wouldn’t that suck? Anyway, I also got Season 3 of Dexter because I am now officially obsessed with it. So thank you to John’s sister who always gives him Itunes gift cards when he doesn’t even have a pod, you have financed my entertainment. Anyway, I took all of your advice and went the comfy route in my ensemble…Old Navy Yoga Pants, the softest sweatshirt from the Gap and my trusty flips (with socks in pocket).
Have a wonderful week & if you catch me blogging from Hawaii, feel free to throw a heavy object at my head.


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