How I Skipped 67% of My 27th Year.

30 November 2009 | 7 Comments
Now before you judge, just remember you love me and come read me regularly and normally I totally have my shit together{ish} except that one time, but anyway I really did skip 67% of my 27th year and I've decided that I want it back.  I think I deserve it back.  Don't you?  Oh, and also, I swear in this post.  Kind of a lot.  It is pretty necessary when you see what I did.

Let me start from the beginning.  A few years ago, we're sitting at my Meme's house for Christmas and my Aunt Sue asks me something about my age and I tell her something about how I was ok with turning thirty in two years.  How I'm ok with 28 and being in the twilight of my twenties.  Here is {my best recollection of} the conversation that followed:

Dave:  You're not 28.

Michelle:  Yes, I am.

Dave:  No, you're not.

Michelle:  Dumbass, I'm pretty sure I know how old I am!

Dave:  Well, you don't.  You're 27.

Michelle:  Dave, I know how old I am.  I am 28.

Dave:  Yeah, well, except you're 27.

Michelle:  You are fucking crazy!  I am 28! 

Dave:  No, you're not.  You're 27.

Michelle:  Meme!  Where is your calculator so I can show him.

Dave:  Yeah, go get the calculator. 

Michelle:  I will!  *Runs in the kitchen and furiously punches in 2003 - 1976*  27 Crap.  I had to have typed it in wrong.  *Punch punch punch 2003 - 1976*  Still 27.  Fuck.  I am 27.

Dave:  You're 27, aren't you?

Michelle:  Yeah.  But, I've been telling people I'm 28 since my birthday!  EIGHT MONTHS, I've been telling people I am 28.  That's like the whole year!

Dave:  But now you can tell people that you're 27.

So that's what I did.  Just told everyone for the rest of the year, the whole 4 months I had left, that I was 27.  But, I had to punch the date into the calculator tonight because I thought, oh crap, am I turning 35 next year?  {I'm not, I'm turning 34.}  Typing the date in reminded me that I still missed EIGHT months of my 27th year.  So, here is what I propose... I think I should be able to tell people for the next eight months that I am 27.  I mean, ok, so I am not a spring chicken and I'm not getting any younger, if I am going to take it back, now is the time.  After all, a 27 year old who is fifty is just pathetic.

Think about it, for eight months, my husband could have a younger woman.  I could be younger than all most of my friends.  I would be in my TWENTIES!  Plus, plus, aaaaaand plus!  What do you think of my master plan?

Happy Monday!  Oh, and if you haven't done so, get your butt over to my little giveaway and ENTER!  The drawing is tomorrow.

Thanksgiving Tablescape

25 November 2009 | 6 Comments
If you don't already know my love of Thanksgiving, please catch up here or here.  I love Thanksgiving.  Looooove Thanksgiving.  My yearly job {with copious amounts of help from my sister Lyndsey} is the tables, plus the gravy making, plus something else.  This year the something else is cranberry relish, but the tables are the big thing.  I plan, I think about it, I spend half a day washing and ironing and putting tables up and deciding who is going to sit where.  It's my thing.  Yes, I know it's quite the mental problem I have, but I'm ok with the crazy.

I look for inspiration everywhere.  I was really leaning toward a yellow/grey or orange/grey color combo this year just because I am tremendously enamoured with both right now.  I didn't have a clear pic in my head though, of how I wanted it to look.  Then, a couple weeks ago Black Eiffel posted a giveaway for this insane ring from Stella & Dot.  Go on and take a minute to sit mouth agape at its beauty.  I sure did.

I immediately knew what I'd be doing for Thanksgiving when I came across this ring.  I love the combo of the dark plum beads with the pops of brass, taupes, steel greys, the different textures, all done with a shimmer.  Love it. 

The first thing I did was take this pic over to Big Huge Labs Palette Generator to get a rough color scheme.  Then I printed the colors (and the pic) from my trusty Epson so when I was out shopping I would have an idea of what colors would work. 

{When I told you I was a freak, I meant it! I also do this for parties.}

Then, Lyndsey & I got to work on the three tables we would need for the eighteen people at Thanksgiving dinner.  I used charcoal grey flat sheets from Ikea for the table cloths which is a great {and inexpensive!} alternative to searching for tablecloths in the color and sizes you might need.  Ikea has just about every color and size you can imagine.  Then we used a roll of burlap, cut in half lengthwise to make a runner for each table.  The flower arrangements {bulk flowers picked up at Costco} were put together by my mom, made up of off white roses, a brownish mustardy yellow colored mum, plum carnations, and this feathery brown filler that I picked up at Fresh Market, plus shimmery berries from Michaels.  Other ingrediants to the table include gold chargers, clear glass plates, votive holders in clear, amber, and plum, & napkins tied with either dark brown ribbon or a natural almost burlap feeling ribbon.  I made the place cards using Microsoft Word.

Well, there you go... all set up and ready for full bellies tomorrow.  What are your Thanksgiving plans?  Do you have a small group or a large group?

Four Hundred & A Giveaway.

24 November 2009 | 7 Comments
So this is what 400 posts looks like, eh?  I know it should have been sooner, but let's face it there were months this year that I had just lost my bloggy mojo.  I blame Facebook.  So in honor of this momentous occassion, I have gathered for you, a few of my favorite {So Wonderful, So Marvelous} posts over the last two years.  I wish this were going to be an insightful, lovely post for you to enjoy, but why start now?

In honor of the upcoming Christmas season, compliments of the lovely Miss Amy... How To Make A Tampon Angel

The hilarious package that arrived in my mail one day from the fun one.

This beauty about my mother that explains the warped-ness that is where I come from.

A love note for my husband.

Dave's outdoor movie party was so much fun, I want to do this one over again.

Man did this make me feel good!

Just thinking about vanilla lime iced tea makes me want some.

Finnegan's Dr Seuss party... already thinking about how to top it next year.

And just in time for Thanksgiving, Thankful thoughts from last year.

So, in the spirit of giving, I'm offering a teeny little giveaway to celebrate. 

These cute little frames {there are tons more colors and styles} will be on sale at a Holiday Bazaar in our area along with my irreverent {& highly amusing} note & greeting cards.  So, one of you will win one of the frames.  Another will win a pack of these saucy little note cards {to delight and annoy your friends!} and maybe a pack of the sassy note cards {a little less overt} to go with it.  And because I hate to half ass anything, there may be a few other little surprises in there too.


Here is the nitty gritty... to win you need to leave a comment telling me what you would like to see more of on {So Wonderful, So Marvelous}, a question you've always wanted to ask, OR what your favorite post has been... there are 400 to choose from!  For an extra entry {or two or three}, you can blog and/or tweet this and leave me another comment with the link OR you can become a follower and leave me a comment saying that.  I will choose the winners on Tuesday, December 1. 

Ta Daaaaaa!  400 posts! *You can totally imagine me doing the Mary Catherine Gallagher SUPERSTAR pose here.*

Best Hotel in Santa Barbara and Possibly Anywhere.

Allow me to introduce you to the Inn of the Spanish Garden in Santa Barbara, California. Get comfy and prepare to cry when you have to leave. It was, by leaps and bounds, the best hotel we stayed in on our California adventure.  Just looking at the pics is making me more than a little wistful.   Sigh.  Onward...

The room was gorgeous.  Expansive.  Beautiful.  Immaculate.  Frette linens on the king size bed, fire in the fireplace at the flip of a switch, largeish balcony overlooking a beautiful courtyard with a tinkling fountain.  Serene.  Giant garden tub and a separate shower with Molton Brown toiletries.  Blissful.  The architecture is spanish inspired like everything in Santa Barbara, but it wasn't overdone or cheesy in any way.

The staff were amazing.  Attentive.  Completely friendly and always said hello, asked how we were enjoying Santa Barbara, it seemed that everyone from the front desk staff to the waitstaff had a smile on their face and a friendly demeanor.  There are only 23 rooms, so it seemed as if there were a staff member for each guest.  We borrowed Bee Movie from the front desk to watch in our room and five minutes later a fresh popped popcorn was sent up to the room at no charge.  Dave also called down to see if they had Motrin and it arrived within a minute.

The absolute best thing about this hotel is the focus on details.  From the warm cookies in the lobby to the turndown service that leaves chocolates and a weather forecast for the following day on your nightstand, there is no detail that is left undone. The mini bar was stocked with anything you could want including local wine & a rubber duckie for the garden tub... and get this, the prices in the mini bar aren't insane.  Nor are the room prices for the amount of luxury you get.  I know.  It shocked me too.  There was a Bodum french press for coffee in the morning, a corkscrew & glasses to enjoy wine, electric tea kettle, and really anything you'd need is there in the room.  In lieu of mini toiletries, there are full size bottles of Molton Brown products {also available for purchase in the lobby} in the bath along with cotton balls, q-tips, make up remover, and all kinds of other wonderful touches.  Even the bath linens were plush and the towels were giant bath sheets.

Kudos to the owners of the hotel for a wonderful stay and amazing hotel, you should be proud.  And in the interest of full disclosure, we didn't tell them we would be blogging this nor did we get anything for this review.  It was just that good.  I'm really hoping to go back for another visit soon!

9 Things that make me wonder what the world is coming to.

23 November 2009 | 4 Comments
So first, yay it's Monday.  For those of you at work, including my poor husband who is back in the office after almost two weeks of vacation & his conference, {hi honey!} at least it's a short week.  For those of you at home, ummm... you don't get a Thanksgiving break from your job.  But, you DO get turkey, so you've got that going for you.

Now that the niceties are over, can I ask what the hell the world is coming to?  Specifically, the following annoyances:
  1. Taylor Swift won artist of the year for the AMAs this year.  Really?  Over Kings of Leon, Michael Jackson, Eminem, & Lady Gaga?  I can't deal.  I mean ok, she's popular, the whole Kanye thing even amped up the publicity, but dude, she's not the best singer in the world.  For realsies.
  2. Speidi.  What the?  I want to kick anyone in the shins that gives them an ounce of publicity. {Yes, I see the irony of that statement, since I am blogging this.}  Because really, the 15 minutes?  It's up.  And thank heaven above I don't have cable because I can remain semi-ignorant of those ass clowns. {Plus, people like Jon & Kate, the OctoMom, the real housewives of *insert city here*, and lots of other reality tv trashy crap.}
  3. Levi Johnston & Sarah Palin.  Jesus, Mary, & Joseph... both of you should concentrate on parenting your respective children and shut the hell up.  Sarah darling, I'm pretty sure you are not a regular old hockey mom if you live in a multimillion dollar home on a lake and own a plane.  Levi, clearly you have issues with keeping your pants on, in Playgirl and with your teenage girlfriend.
  4. Timezones.  It really screws me up to be awake at 1:44 am after being home 5 days already and still not re-adjusted.  {I am, however, enjoying the sleeping in till 9... thanks Finn!}
  5. Cleaning.  Laundry.  Dishes.  I don't like you.  If I didn't want a new car shortly, I would sooo still be having Lori come clean the house regularly.  My bloggy BFF feels the same way.  And add putting all my furniture back after cleaning the carpets.
  6. The crappy water department of the city I live in who forgot to bill me for the second quarter AND can't effing mail something on time.  I kid you not, they sent my bill {plus the second quarter bill} and the due date was the next day because it took them 10 days to drop the thing in the mail.  No wonder my idiot effing mayor is having issues balancing the budget, they don't have money coming in.
  7. Shitty, awful things happening to good people.  Anissa is someone who has touched so many people through her writing and her ability to be hilarious and touching all in one post.  It's a rare combo and one I hope we get to have back as soon as humanly possible.  Please say a prayer.
  8. Teenage girls.  I know I am a former one, but hey there is only so much high pitched screaming my ear drums can take and waiting in line for hours to see a sparkly vampire?  I just don't get it.  Add to it the self absorbed attitude and we've got a trifecta of crazy.  Wow, I'm glad we have a boy. 
  9. My {fruitless} quest to find cute black sneakers {the fashion kind that are more like shoes} that are not totally expensive, are crazy comfortable for walking around town, and also look cute.  If you can point me in the direction of these mythical creatures, please do!
 Well, this sure counteracted the nice happy Friday post, no?  Happy Monday!  Feel free to leave a comment about what is annoying you this morning!

Today Rocks. Why? I'll Tell Ya.

20 November 2009 | 6 Comments
Despite being T-I-R-E-D and still thinking it's 6 am even when it's really 9 am, today is already off to a fab start.  I wanted to share all of my Miss Mary Sunshiney-ness with you this morning, so get ready.  Have you had your morning cup of coffee?  No?  Well get one because the cheeryness is going to possibly make you want to vomit.
  1. My husband is home from LA.  He came home this morning and let me tell ya, just the pure relief of having another responisble adult in the house makes me happy.  AND he has the day off to spend with us.  Plus, I missed his cute butt and his winning personality.  Plus, this last comment *may* get me a sleeping in tomorrow.  So yeah.
  2. He also came home with a fancy new laptop, tablet writing Acer crazy thing with all kinds of developer {aka geeky stuff} tools on it that is making him extremely happy... compliments of Microsoft.  {Oh and in the interest of full disclosure, Microsoft didn't pay me to say that and his getting the laptop had zero to do with my blog.}  Hi Microsoft, you fucking rock and my husband loves you... in a totally manly way, of course.
  3. Um... greatest rivlary in history, this weekend.  GO BUCKS!!
  4. I know everyone is all geeked about the sparkly vampire, but I get to see The Blind Side today with my mom and my sis and I can not wait!
  5. I have lots of craftiness going on & can't wait to share it with all of you.
  6. My little sis is coming home on Tuesday!
  7. Black Friday is a week from today!
  8. A turkey coma is coming... mmmm.... tuuuuurkey.
  9. I got to cross off more stuff on my 101 Things list!
Tell me why your day is awesome in the comments!


18 November 2009 | 3 Comments
First, I'd like to thank Lisa, Jackie, Steph, Bunny, Ash, Amy, & Elise for their incredible guest posts while I was gone.  I just this very moment realized that I want to give y'all {Ash, that's for you} a big hug and none of you are in town!  Damn it.  Remind me the next time I see you because each of you deserve one... well except Bunny because hugs make her uncomfortable, but I'm going to hug her anyway.  And I really had a touching sister moment Miss Elise, your post about DanceBlue was poignant, selfless, and not at all what I was expecting.  I'm so very proud of you, Dave and I will give you a check toward your goal when you're home for Thanksgiving.

Now that little piece of business is out of the way, the trip was AMAZING.  We had a fantastic time and despite a few little snags like this one, oh and Finnegan projectile vomiting on ME and himself as we landed in Detroit this morning at 6 am, it was a great time.  I have lots of posts upcoming including the best hotel in Santa Barbara, a fantastic Peruvian dinner at Limon {and the hilarious dinner companions plus the wine we're now obsessed with}, the PCH drive, and another amazing dinner from a fab personal chef {who happens to be a pretty awesome friend as well} in Los Angeles. 

Couple all of that bloggy yumminess with my 400th post, tips on travel with a toddler, and a Thanksgiving tablescape!  Looks like I'm going to be a little busy around here.

Ta Daaaa, I'm back.  Hope you had as good a week as I did!

Heartless, Selfish College Students? I Think Not.


For those of you who do not know me, I am Elise. You may think of me as Michelle's sweet, innocent, adoring baby sister...who tends to be a little messy, and make less than perfect decisions. If you only knew the abuse I have endured at the hand of my older sisters, (being paid pennies to drink pickle juice or being rolled up like a burrito in blankets until I could not breathe, a "fun game" as my sisters would refer to it) you would understand why I am the way I am...mind you this was before I towered over the both of them.

Bear with me, I'm going to try my very best but I have never blogged before.

This fall, I began my freshman year at the University of Kentucky. The campus is beautiful and I hear the basketball team is pretty good, though I am the rare student on campus that adores the William T. Young library more than I adore Coach Cal. As I was anxiously searching my brain for a topic to blog about I started to think about the rep that college students get as being selfish, impatient, rude, and self serving. Though this is very true in some cases, I for one can atest that I have not begun to thank my parents enough for working their tails off and sending me to to this amazing school, 5 hours away from that I read that over I'm thinking maybe they've gotten more out of it than I first realized. But really, I'll have you know that we are not all party animals who care about nothing more than cheap beer and our social calendars. I introduce to you, DanceBlue.

On my life list currently is the ever so vague "put others first". Now let me explain how I plan to do that this year. First of all, the week I came to UK we watched some sort of promotional video for danceblue that made me tear up. Tearing up for me is not exactly a rare occurance, this is a trait I share with my sister Michelle, but the emotion this video portrayed made me tear up a little more than the everyday Romantic Comedy. I was moved. I knew that day that I wanted to participate in one of the two largest events on campus, DanceBlue. What is it? a 24 hour, no sit, no sleep dance marathon that raises money for the pediatric oncology clinic on UK's campus. Each dancer raises three hundred dollars to participate. Yes, we pay three hundred dollars to dance for 24 hours..straight. Why would I do this you may ask? Because I can, and I'll do it with a smile on my face for 24 hours for those who can't.

My first attempt at fundraising was the UK vs. Florida football game. One of my older sorority sisters handed me a can and instructed me to politely badger people to fill it. Now if you knew me this would be humorous because I am not the type to be extremely outgoing, especially when it comes to outright asking people for money. I took a deep breath, smiled awkwardly and hoped to God that drunk people would stumble by and their money would just happen to jump into my can. I grew a little more comfortable and actually started speaking instead of standing there looking like a mute with a can.

This past year, with the help of 500 dancers and countless donors, DanceBlue raised $600,888.82. Not including the fundraising that has already occured this year, DanceBlue has raised over $1,300,000 since its inception in 2005. SO, the point that has taken me 4 paragraphs to prove is this: It is not the basketball team that is ranked 5th in the nation nor is it the gorgeous library that makes me proud to be one of those "selfish and lazy college students" at the University of Kentucky. It is that number, along with the devotion, compassion, hard work and selflessness that has made it possible. So wish me luck March 5-6, as I will be dancing my behind off, raising money for Delta Zeta's adopted family, which inclues a sweet little 6 year old fighter named Leah. I will not sit or sleep and it will most definately be the most rewarding experience I have yet to experience.

Peace and love,

Follow DanceBlue on twitter!

F Martha, Here's Bunny's Favorite Things!

17 November 2009 | 2 Comments
Hi! My name is Nikki, but please call me Bunny. I have a house renovation blog called 86'n It, currently live in Asheville, NC with a cat named Tuna and am pretty sure I have my husband convinced to name our first child (due in 3 months) Kitty. Then, we will get a fish and name it Baby and the circle will be complete!

I am proud to say that I no longer feel the need to call Michelle "My internet Friend". We e-meet online 4 years ago while planning our Ohio weddings and e-hit it off! She has been a daily positive presence in my life thru message board postings, emails, and snail mail cards. We even met in real life once! I think all the "internet friends" were REALLY surprised to finally find out that I was not a bald, creepy 60 year old man. :)

Anybunny, on to the post! I know that everyone else has done lists, but dang it, that is what I wanted to do too! I have a collection of random items that I love that I have been dying to share with other people, so here goes:

Bunny's Favorite Things:

ZuZu Mascara
Usually, I'm not very observant. I'll wear a shirt with toothpaste on it not only all day, but then again another day. I will walk around with a stone in my shoe. Whatever is one of my favorite words. For some reason about a year ago, my eyes got really sensitive. I only wear mascara about 3 times a month, but every time I did, my eyes would burn and itch and just about drive me nuts. I lived with this for about 6 months until I decided I need to get some better, sensitive mascara.

I ventured over to one of the many, many natural stores in Asheville (where the hippies run shoeless and the patchouli wafts freely thru the air) and plunked down $15 for a tube of ZuZu Mascara. This stuff ROCKS. It stays on, lengthens and defines the lashes, and is so good to my eyes that I wear it for days at a time (ok, I'm sure that is not recommended, I'm just too lazy to wash my face.) But seriously. It is great.

Flash Dancing Your Tshirts
This one I just discovered. I would venture to bet that you have a drawer full of free t-shirts that you got at that BBQ Fest, AIDS walk, or radio station give away. If you are like me, you can't stand those big, bulky t-shirts, but can't bear to throw them away (I need to watch MORE Clean Sweep). And honestly, how many painting shirts can you have?

Here is the solution: cut the neck off flash dance style. So easy. Now that Team Building Exercise '99 shirt looks just plain sexy skimming that left shoulder! If you are especially feeling it, you can rock some leggings and truely channel Sarah Jessica Parker in Girls Just Wanna Have fun.

Citrus Magic
My husband has eczema and other petroleum allergy issues, so we can't have too many fake-y chemical smells in our house. Problem is, our house was built in 1922 with no bathroom exhaust fans and we currently only have one bathroom. Citrus Magic to the rescue!

This stuff is made with real orange extract and smells amazing! Granted, I love oranges. (As a kid, I would eat up to 6 oranges a day and got acid burns on my mouth!)
I am a huge cheapskate. My mother raised me to not only appreciate a good bargain, but to expend massive amounts of energy to get them. Once, my husband got a terrific deal on a Calvin Klein sport jacket. He was so excited he exclaimed: "I want to call and tell your mom!"

I don't remember who told me about, but it is my go-to website before I buy anything online. Using "promo codes" and coupons online can be frustrating, but I've found that this site's codes actually work. Try it because nothing feels better than saving an extra 10% just by hitting one copy & paste!

Letting Shit Go
Here is where I prove that Asheville is making me a hippie. One of my most favorite non-thing things lately is learning to let shit go.

It might be that I'm getting old, but it also might be the mountain vibe around here. We moved here from NYC, which I loved, but honestly, was bad for my "Zen". Sure, it is funny when the characters on Seinfeld get all worked up about every little thing, but living your life that way is truly exhausting.

Not that I'm advocating apathy, but do I really need to honk if the light is green for more than 2 secs? Does it really matter to me if that lady bumped my shopping cart? Or if your coworker wants to homeschool? If your wife always forgets to hang up her towel? :)

I've been really surprised at the freedom I feel by not letting stuff weigh me down.

That being said, I'm gonna end this post now because I need to write my husband an email letting him know that I am sorry; he can put the Christmas tree where ever he would like.

Really? You Say Ya'll?

16 November 2009 | 2 Comments
I live in the middle of nowhere folks.

60 miles from a liquor store.

96 miles from a Starbucks.

No Old Navy, or Target, or Kohl's to be seen.

Only the Wal-Marts. (But hey, I saw Marlboro Man in the Wal-Marts so no complaints)

We drink sweet tea and eat chicken fried steak.

Our kids chase stray dogs off with BB guns (country kids, I tell ya).

And we do our

Presenting SugarBritches Christmas 2009 Gift List. It's almost perfect.

Kitchen goodies. Anything from Williams Sonoma will suffice.

When in doubt or as is the case with most of my family, the gift of alcohol is widely accepted with heartfelt thanks. Seriously, just give me a bottle of liquor and you've made my year.

How cute is Francine by Cozy Blue? I'm sure you could find a little darling to give this doll too.

And I totally want one of these cause a girl can just never have too many calendars. Dozi 2012 Pocket Planner.

These exaggerated cupcakes give me the munchies. This Sandra Juto Cupcake Print is too cool.

We've had our Radio Flyer Horse for nearly 4 years and it has held up to so much abuse. Great quality toy that kids actually play with. For. A. Long. Damn. Time.

Cranium Cariboo is the only game I don't have to play with my children. There is nothing I would rather do than sit and play board games for hours and hours with a 6 year old and a 4 year old who bicker constantly, throw in a 18 month old tornado and all game playing pretty much sucks. But this one....magic.

Being Michelle's Bloggy BFF means I'm put under a lot of pressure to be entertaining. Cause she is fucking funny and its hard to compete keep up be as witty as our darling Michelle is. But I try and you can find me here, where I can't seem to shut the hell up about my kids or living in the middle of Deliverance. And I swear I don't say ya'll all the time.
Later ya'll.

I Double Dog Dare Ya

15 November 2009 | 0 Comments
Oh hai! First, a quick introduction (and shameless self-promotion). The name's Stephanie. I hold the title of 'Crazy Dog Lady' amongst my circle of friends. And I, too, have a blog (though not as spiffy as Michelle's): Come over and visit sometime.

Phew, now that that is out of the way we can get to some serious blogging. I am going to be honest. I had a difficult time coming up with a topic for today's entry, what with all the pressure Ms. Michelle put on my guest blogging shoulders. Do I share a recipe? What about a simple craft? Do I get all philosophical with my post? Oh, the possibilities!

Ultimately, I decided on a list-centric post. But I can't do it without YOUR help. Here's today's question:

What is the absolute craziest -> scariest -> toughest -> daring -> heart-pounding thing you have ever done?

Me first? Okay.

Packing up this...
And moving here...

Despite the (many) voices of reason that said otherwise, I quit my job, packed up my car and headed west to The Windy City. The job of my dreams was offered to me completely out of the blue. For six months, my husband and I lived apart. It hasn't been an easy transition (there is a whole slue of circumstances that I'll save for another post - thank you economy!) but regardless of all that, the husband and I still believe we made the right decision.

Now it's your turn. Fill up the comments section for Michelle and let her know just how freakin' amazing and diverse her audience is. We'll provide her with plenty of reading material to digest for when she returns from her vacation in California!

26 miles of winding roads on the side of a cliff in the dark. Let's do it TWICE.

My husband is a saint.  I am a dumbass and he is a saint.  I had the brilliant fucking stupid horrible idea to cancel our hotel reservation in Monterey for the evening and just head to Big Sur to get a hotel room.  At 5 pm.  On a Saturday night.  When it gets dark at approximately 5:34 pm.  And oh, pretty well every hotel on a Saturday night ever is booked ummmm totally SOLID for ages in Big Sur.  And it's kind of extremely remote so ummm there isn't cell service or internet via my hubby's fancy phone or I would have known there was no room at the inn.  And it's cool to camp in your car when you're like 19 and adventurous, notsomuch when you have a two year old and an aching back.  Yep.  Did I mention that I am an idiot?  Did I also mention that PCH {Pacific Coast Highway for you non-Cali peeps} is a winding fucking death trap scenic route of crazy cliffs and gorgeous {when it's not dark and you can see them} ocean views?  But he drove it twice.  In the dark.  And we laughed.  Hard.  Mostly from the nervousness of maybe driving off a cliff in the dark, but it was laughter nonetheless. 

We'll be making that trip for the third time in the morning, for now we're enjoying the Clarion in Monterey mostly because the hotel we were supposed to enjoy tonight was booked solid within like 20 seconds of me cancelling our reservation.

Really, nothing screams "Wish you were here!" like dumb ass decisions.  And now back to the awesomeness of guest posters! 

Hosting My First Family Holiday

14 November 2009 | 2 Comments
For those of you that don't know me I am quite a bit of a nomad when I am not being Kung Fu Girl extraordinaire. My job requires me to move every year to somewhere new and exciting, like Youngstown, OH and Victoria, TX. I know, I know hold all the oohs and aahs to the end of the post. And although my "stuff" (read furniture, books I have yet to read, clothes in at least 3 different sizes and endless kitchen supplies) follows me on a moving truck normally each December, I rarely have a home and have not even been able to decorate for Christmas in over 7 years! Mostly I hang my hat in apartments and occasionally I get lucky and snag a condo on the top of a mountain (thanks Marvin for hooking me up!) Needless to say the glamorous places I usually find myself attached to do not attract many visitors nor is there usually room to host anything more than a taco night or poker game.

But the pity party can now come to a screeching halt. I have found myself stationed in Lexington, KY (aka land of horses and bourbon) until June and living in what can only be dubbed as a kick-ass house! Loaded with 3 bedrooms (2 of which are master bedrooms with garden tubs)

3 1/2 baths, a kitchen almost large enough to hold all my small kitchen appliances and a bonus room that currently is called the "man cave" because that is where the man of the house has his movie theater-ready TV room. If I only I could figure out how to get my popcorn to taste like the delicious heart-stopping buttery goodness of movie theater popcorn we would be all set!

Sorry I digress.

The point is that I now have suitable home in a lovely new suburb to host my very first family holiday. So come Thanksgiving weekend all the Perrys, big and small, will descend upon Lexington and it's my job to make sure it is a memorable experience. No stress right?

Don't get me wrong folks, my family is extremely laid back and would be happy with anything I put together for them. But I want it to be different, stand out, make them feel special. It is my first time and doesn't everyone want their first time to be special??? Get your mind out of the gutter people I meant the food!
The turkey dinner portion will be fairly traditional. I tried to suggest switching up a few of our heavy, Midwestern dishes for some lighter fare but that idea was squashed quicker than I could open one the 200 cookbooks I own for new recipes. By the way, I am not at all exaggerating about the cookbooks people.

The movers just love me when I box these bad boys up.

Everyone has offered to bring things but I want to have some awesome snacks and another meal or so to even it out. And then there is breakfast....OK now I am starting to freak out a bit. What started as an innocent post about Thanksgiving has hiked up my blood pressure.

So I am begging all of you faithful So Wonderful, So Marvelous readers out there for your stories about your first holiday hosting experience and any tips or strategies to make it through alive and eager to do it again next year.

Thanks allowing me to guest post and I might someday forgive you for ever bringing up the 8th grade prayer!!!!

Fun things* to do in New York. Not the city.

12 November 2009 | 4 Comments

Hi! My name is Amy. I used to blog, but I’ve decided I’m too lazy to really keep up with it, plus I don’t live in Ohio anymore, which maybe defeats the purpose of said blog. While I still believe there are fun things to do in Ohio, mostly it just depresses me to think about them. I’m now the better part of a day’s drive away from home, in a new state, in a new condo-ish thing, with new friends (maybe?) and a new job…. My job is nothing to write home about, since we came out here for the husband’s new exciting job, and I took what I could get, so I wouldn’t be home sitting on the couch with the dogs watching Lifetime movies and eating ice cream.

I have never been one to transition well.
Luckily, my husband, B, and I have landed ourselves on the banks of heaven. And by that I mean we are in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State… home to a bunch of lakes and a shitload of wineries. Turns out there is a cure for homesickness after all!


Now, I am by no means a wine snob**, but I do enjoy learning about it, especially since the learning goes hand in hand with the drink – er.. tasting. As it turns out, the climate here in Western? Upstate? NY is perfect for growing certain types of grapes. Most of these happen to be white varieties, but there are some pretty awesome reds grown here as well.

If I would have prepared more, there would be better pictures than the ones of my Labor Day Adventure and other ones found on google images, but I’ve had important things to drink/do lately instead.

Let me introduce you to my friend, Cabernet Franc.
Hello, lover

Fox Run is one of my favorite wineries out here, and I could drink this all day long. It tastes like fantastic.

Before coming to NY, I was never much into whites, but my new favorite white is:
Eclipse White, by Heron Hill. It's a delicious white blend, and no, it has nothing to do with vampires. It does come in a pretty bottle, is fairly cheap, and I really want to say it tastes ‘bitey’, but that is just way too much with the vampire stuff, so let’s call it ‘crisp’ instead, shall we?

I feel like I should also mention Riesling. This is one of the NYS big guns. Basically, I like them all if they are accompanied by the word “dry”, some of them if they are of the “semi-dry” persuasion, and none of them that call themselves “sweet”, although B really likes them.
Actual, riesling grapes! Growing!

Anyway, hopefully you have learned something, or at least guessed what our entire families are getting from us for Christmas, but either wa
y, ask your favorite wine shop if they carry NYS wines so you can sample some yourself! Or you could come visit us for the Brent and Amy Wine Tour special. There's always room in the trunk.***
That's enough for one day, right?

*It’s really only one thing, but “things” made for a better title.

**I have actually drank Boone’s Farm in recent memory. A memory which also included dancing midgets and a Tim McGraw concert, but that’s another story.

***If you hold yours on your lap.

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