Sunday, June 27, 2010

Tag, You're It!

My aunt and fabulous blogger/photographer/person over at Tempo and Speed tagged me in this little blog game so I will be answering the questions and tagging some people as well. Here we go...1.What’s your staple meal (ie. what meal do you cook most often when you can’t be bothered to be adventurous)? I cook pasta. I pretty much always have noodles on hand as well as a tomato or two and an onion that I just saute/reduce on the stove with some olive oil and garlic. Add some Parmesan cheese, basil if I have any, and that's about it.

2. What do you want to be when you grow up? Tough one.... as far as my ideal job goes I'm still figuring that out. Possibilities: creative event design, travel writer/blogger. I do know that one day I want to be a wife and a mother.

3. What book are you reading at the moment (if any)? I am actually looking for a new book to start. Any suggestions? Also I am most likely going to re-read all the Harry Potter books before the 7th movie comes out in November. yep.

4. How do you relax? Quiet time with a journal. I fill tons of diaries with all the thoughts I've got running around and it clears my head. A book and a good itunes playlist also helps me unwind.

5. What color are the interior walls of your home? I am not allowed to paint my apartment so they are all boring and white.

6. What is your guiltiest pleasure? That's a tricky one. I don't really feel guilty about this but I really enjoy Wendy's french fries with a chocolate frosty. You dip the fries in the frosty and it's salty and sweet all at once and so yummy. Don't knock it till you try it. I might have to stop on my way home from work and get some. (oh yeah blogging at work is also a guilty pleasure of mine...happens to be what I am doing right now. Shh don't tell.)

7.What time is bedtime and getting up time? I've been going to bed earlier now since I have to get up for work around 7am. I remember freshmen year of college I stayed up super late (like 2am+) all the time hanging out with friends going to the movies or Walmart? or Jack-in-the-Box just because I could. Now I'm pretty much in bed and tired by 11:30. Two episodes of Friends comes on tv at that time followed by an episode of According to Jim and I like to watch that in bed. I'm lame I know.

8. How long do you spend reading blogs (per day or per week)? It varies. I'll get on my laptop while I'm watching tv and catch up on the ones I like to follow. And I get on pretty much everyday to check and see if my mom has posted something new.

Ok so now it's time to tag some people. Can't wait to learn more about these two bloggers:
My dear friend Whitney at The Curtis Casa and Katie at Katie Bird Calling- you two are it! Be sure to visit them.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I Need A Sweater

I have been a busy bee! I started working last week and it actually feels good to be productive and earn a paycheck at the same time. It's been some early mornings and long days but this is what I get to see on my way to work everyday...not too shabby for Shannon!
So, like the rest of the South, it has been ridionkulously hot here! I'm talking high 90's people!! I break a sweat just from walking between my car and my apartment. I have second degree burns on my hands from my getting in my hot car and grabbing the steering wheel.

However, the other night around 11 pm I was walking outside around my apartment complex going to visit some friends. I thought to myself, wow it's kind of chilly out, I kind of need my sweater. I looked at my handy dandy iPhone to see what the temperature was and you'll never guess! It was 83 degrees! And I was chilly! Yep I have become completely desensitized. I have no concept of what is hot or cold anymore because it is just soooooo dang hot. Anything less than 90 degrees feels cool to me!

In other, better news my mom is coming this weekend!!!!! I cannot wait for some face time with her. Shopping and lunches and long talks and we get to watch the bachelorette and Jersey housewives together!! hehe...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tuesday Tunes: As Heard on TV

One of the best ways to learn about new music is through soundtracks to TV shows or in commercials. Nowadays so many commercials and previews tell you what song and artist they are using, but if they don't I just type in some of the lyrics to google. Here are a few that I recently downloaded:

Kings and Queens- by 30 Seconds to Mars, as heard on a commercial for orange Sunkist.
Broken- by Lifehouse, as heard on intense/dramatic (aren't they all) rerun of Grey's Anatomy.
Secrets- by One Republic, as heard in a preview for ABC Family's Pretty Little Liars.
Animal-by Neon Trees, as heard in a commercial for Las Vegas.
From The Morning- by Nick Drake, as heard in the ATT commercial where they are draping all the orange fabric over everything.
Uprising- by Muse, as heard in the Tom Cruise movie preview Knight and Day

Shoes That Love You

Check out this adorable brand of shoes that I'm currently in love with.
(pronounced: oak-uh- bee)
They are a brand of sandals with all kinds of different styles and colors. And they are so comfortable and reasonably priced! When I first saw them I was like "what's the big deal, they're just rubber flip flops," but they are so much more. Here are some of the ones I am craving.


(The following sandals' ribbons are interchangeable and there are so many options.)
(I think giraffe is a cute animal print that often gets over looked, don't you?)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I Love You Dad!

Daddy,
I wish I was with you today to celebrate Father's Day! You deserve to be celebrated so I'm dedicating today's post to you!
I love your humor your smile and your confidence!
I love trying new things with you!

I so admire your work ethic and the way the people look up to you. I look up to!
I love how we have multiple pictures of just the two of us bundled up in the cold like this. Thanks for being my ski partner.
You are my favorite person to travel with! You have been so many places and I love getting all your texts of exotic food and places and hearing all your stories.
And you make friends everywhere you go! I hope I can be more like that.
I don't think I'm too old to hold your hand.
I could hunt shells on the beach in Marco Island all day with you.
A hug from you takes away all my worries.
I loved all our time in England. Thank you so much for taking us there, for all the fun adventures we had.
I remember the first time we went into London and the first time at Bawarchis and all the new experiences we had over there and I know I would have missed out on so much if it hadn't been for you.
I know I can come to you with anything and turn to you for advice. And I know you support me and love me no matter what. Thank you for your faith in me.
I am a lot like you and I love that. There is so much I can learn from you.
You are the best dad in the world and I love you and wish we were together today! Please know that sister and I are missing you terribly!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Updated: Starbucks is Better Over There

Important Update: Good news everyone! I was quickly informed that I am mistaken about Starbucks in the US! I am excited to report that there are Starbucks on this side of the pond that serve more food options. Sadly it seems there are none by me. If you have them in your area I am oh so jealous and I am sorry if I offended your local Starbucks! Thank you bride4life for pointing that out. I will now make it my goal to bring it to my town.

Original Post...
This is not an attack on the USA. And despite what the title says this post is not meant to suggest that England is better than the States; they both have their positives and negatives. In many instances the US is ahead of England. Most movies are released in the US first, they don't have Pandora radio in England, the value of deodorant is not shared by all, and wonderful icy cold coca cola is served luke-warm in England.

However, there are some things that England has figured out that I'm quite surprised the US hasn't picked up on. Starbucks is one of them.

I love Starbucks! I got a $25 dollar gift card for my birthday and it made me so happy. I love iced vanilla lates and frappucinos. They have yummy coffee cakes and muffins and sweets. However... did you know that in England, you can also get delicious paninis and wraps and sandwiches and salads and sometimes even soup at Starbucks. My personal favorite:
What's up with that America? Why do you only serve sweet treats with sweet drinks? I want something savory. I want a real snack. Or I want to be able to go to Starbucks for a little light lunch or supper. This just absolutely baffles me. And it's not just England. In fact, every Starbucks outside of the US that I have been to has these other options. Didn't Starbucks start in the US? Let's step it up, please!

(Visit this website and click on the Fresh Food link to view all the delicious options that we're missing out on.)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Running in Heels

Now I'm sure we've all found ourselves in situations that require us to hurry quickly in a pair of heels before, maybe we've even had to actually run. But here is something I've never seen before...
Yes, what you are seeing is real. A High Heel-a-Thon in New York. Kelly Ripa is the host of this event and a participant. It is a race in high heels. Contestants had to wear a minimum 3 inch heel. Now that is impressive.
Kelly Ripa says: "Marathon Schmarathon! Completing 26.2 miles in running shoes is nothing (*not sure I agree with her on that point)-- try spending a full day running errands, taking the kids to school and shopping, all in 4 inch heels," Ripa declared. "That's what I call a marathon! So our High Heel-a-thon is a way of showcasing a unique unsung talent for which most women are never recognized."Last year: The winner won $25,000 dollars. But more importantly the event was sponsored by Dr. Scholls and all the proceeds went to The March of Dimes charity. You can still register for the 2010 race which is in September. This year it's sponsored by Zappos and will benefit The Heart Truth campaign. Plus the winner gets a car! What a great cause and a fun girly way to show your strength and support.

Tuesday Tunes: Karaoke

I used to be in all the school musicals and I was in show choir too. Now let me tell you... our show choir is nothing like the Glee. Although I would really like to be able to sing like Rachel. So I was driving home from Target the other day and that Martina McBride song Wrong Baby Wrong came on the radio. I was alone in my car so I belted it (Probably would've done that even if I hadn't been alone).

There is a karaoke bar near where I live called The Barn. It's usually really crowded with townies and always smokey. The one time I went the regulars completely hogged the mic. My friend and I signed up to sing a Dixie Chicks song and every time I thought it was our turn to go the same two women were called up instead. By the time our name was called I was totally not into it anymore but we got up anyway. I quickly realized that I didn't know the song as well as I thought and I was a lot more nervous! Let's just say it did not go well and we'll just leave it a that.

So here is the conclusion I've made- the next time I am in a karaoke bar or have the opportunity to sing karaoke I am going to rock Wrong Baby Wrong!

Do any of you like karaoke bars? What song would you sing?

Monday, June 14, 2010

I Want to Be Her

If you could be one celebrity who would you be? I could never answer this question in the past but I know now I would be Giada de Laurentis, hands down. (Heidi Klum is a very close second).
-She makes absolutely yummylicious food!
-She is adorable.
-She has an exclusive product line at Target. (My happy place...)
-She dresses so cute- which I've discovered is because her husband works for Anthropologie!! (Anthropologie my dream happy place. Anthropologie and Target would make beautiful babies- aka I would love to see Anthropologie's stuff with Target price tags).
-Speaking of babies...she has an adorable daughter.
-She's Italian so I bet she gets to travel to Italy all the time and that's always nice.
-She wears OPI Bubble Bath nail polish. I love OPI Bubble Bath nail polish. (I am not a stalker, I found this info on the world wide web).
-Doesn't she just seem like the sweetest? Like she would gladly welcome you into her home?
Oh and did I mention she can cook?

Goal: Own all her books and try all/most of her recipes...

Saturday, June 12, 2010

New Header (and World Cup Update)

This will be a quick post. I just wanted to point out my new header! I thought it was time for a change. It's very shabby chic don't you think? Anyway I'd be happy to make headers for some of my blog friends. I can do any kind of style with your own personal photos or favorite images and backgrounds, really whatever you want. If you're interested let's talk!
In other news...
I told you all yesterday that the England vs. USA world cup match is this afternoon. I have an updated time for you all. The match is at 1:30 not 2:30. My game day plan is to go to a friends house. I'm going to be making some snacks- my mom's yummy cheese ball and crackers and maybe some brownies or cookies. I think I'm also going to sneak in my English flag... shh.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Loyalties

The World Cup is upon us. Opening ceremonies and the first matches are today. What I am most excited for is tomorrow-because tomorrow England plays the US! What a game this will be! Peter and all his friends are gearing up to watch it and so am I. They asked me which team I will be cheering for. Here my loyalties were called into question. Am I a patriot or a redcoat, Peter wants to know? This should have been difficult, I should have been torn but to be honest I knew all along that I want England to win. I want England to go all the way.

My first World Cup experiences were in England. I honestly didn't know anything about it until I moved to England. So while a lot of my friends are excited about it this year I know that it is nothing compared to the excitement that is going on in England and around Europe right now. It's an absolute frenzy I tell you. Flags everywhere. Party food discounts at Sainsburys, Waitrose, and Tescos.* Jerseys and face-paint on everyone. The matches will be on in every restaurant and pub (that doesn't close for the games- yes people actually take off work).
*Mom those references are for you.

It would be really nice to see USA make it out of group play... but not at the expense of England. See there are 8 groups consisting of 4 teams each (32 teams total). England and the US are in the same group. The 4 teams play each other and based on goal differences only 2 teams advance from the group to the quarter finals. England will definitely advance and USA will have to play really well against Slovenia to secure second.
My hopeful predictions: 1. England 2. USA 3. Slovenia 4. Algeria.

At the risk of offending everyone in America I will say this: the World Cup is bigger than the Superbowl because the entire country is cheering for one team! It is awesome!

USA plays England tomorrow at 2:30 pm on ABC !
For more stats and history visit the FIFA website.

Brown Paper Bags

I was staring at my fridge yesterday and rummaging through my pantry looking for something to put together for lunch. I ended up making peanut butter and jelly on crackers (pb and j on saltines instead of bread). I used to have this for lunch all the time when I was younger. It made me think back to a time when my wonderful mother packed my lunch every single day of school, from kindergarten to 12th grade. That is a lot of lunches. A lot of thermoses of milk and juice boxes, sandwiches with the crusts cut off, mini dole peach cups, egg salad, carrot sticks, cookies and jello.

And a lot of brown paper bags with my name written on every single one of them.

One day I hope to do this for my kids. Thank you mom!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Stuff

Chick-FIl-A has done it! They now have a new Spicy Chicken Sandwich and lunch is officially complete! I was not the only one excited about this. The sandwiches were "launched" yesterday. They were giving them out for free and you had to actually reserve your spicy chicken sandwich. People were selling their coupons for the free sandwiches on ebay! Madness I tell you! I actually was completely out of the loop- didn't know any of this was going on- so I had to wait and be normal and try the sandwich today. The verdict is in and Chick-Fil-A's position as the best fast food restaurant is solidified! Sonic is a close second.

I got a really beautiful necklace in the mail from my parents yesterday. You should visit the store: The Chocolate Goat. They have all kinds of cute gifts as well as chocolates! I wore it out to dinner with Peter last night. The beads are really cool clay, delicate and summery colors and I love it!
Today is my first yoga class. I am excited and a little nervous because I am not feeling very flexible or zen. But I already used my Target gift cards to get some clothes and a yoga mat so I'm committed. Wish me luck!

So my friend Whitney, who graduated a year ahead of me and was on my young life team, has just started a blog! Check it out: The Curtis Casa.

This is my 60th post by the way. Sorry it's been a post about a lot of random stuff.

Tuesday Tunes: Worship Mix

It's been two weeks since the last Tuesday Tunes. For a while my blogging was kind of scarce so it was all I was posting and I worried people would get sick of it. But it's back! And I have some great worship songs to share with you all!

We sang the following song in church two Sunday's ago and I loved it, but for the life of me I can't find anywhere to buy or download it but if you click on the title below you can go to a website to listen to it.


You’re all I need Apart from You, I can’t breathe

You’re all I need, Apart from You, I can’t see that…


I’m broken, and bent to sin

I’m desperate, and dirty within


You are my joy! You are my reason for living


You’re worthy, You’re worthy, so great and rich in mercy.


Some other great worship songs that are available on iTunes are:

Song of Hope (Heaven Come Down)- Robert Seay Band.

Show You Love- Jars of Clay

Love Song For a Savior- Jars of Clay

Getting Into You- Relient K

The Valley- Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors.


Enjoy!

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Big 22

Today is my 22nd birthday! I don't have too many plans but I know it's going to be a really nice day!
Here are 22 things about me and my birthday, it is going to be a long post, but it's my birthday so I don't care.
1. I got ABC for lunch with my sister and Peter.
2. My sister got me the third season of the Tudors on dvd.
3. My mom and dad sent me this beautiful cake. It's Pink Lemonade flavor, lemony cake with strawberries in between the layers. Doesn't that sound so yummy?
4. My roommate got me this adorable picnic basket that came with a matching blanket! I cannot wait to use it.
5. Peter is going to take me out for a delicious dinner somewhere that I pick. I'm thinking this place downtown called The Cazbah (yes like "rock the casbah"). It's a yummy tapas restaurant that we haven't been to in a while with delicious lobster ravioli and baked brie and white sangria. But I might want indian food instead. I don't know.
6. I am really indecisive. Can you tell?
7. This is my first birthday not with my parents.
8. My favorite birthday cake that I always ask for is Angel Food Cake with strawberries and whipped cream on top.
9. My 16th birthday was my first birthday in England.
10. I didn't get my drivers license until after my 20th birthday. Yep junior year of college.
11. In 7th grade my birthday was on the last day of classes-it was awesome!
12. My mom threw awesome theme parties when we were kids! I had a cooking sleepover and we made english muffin pizzas, everyone got an apron with their name on it and the invitations were written on wooden spoons.
13. For my 12th birthday I wanted to see the new Star Wars movie (The Phantom Menace). The invitations read: "In a neighborhood far far away, Shannon is turning 12."
14. For my 19th birthday I went to Amsterdam with my dad and my good friend Elizabeth.
15. American Girl dolls and accessories were always favorite presents. That's Molly's trunk in case you were wondering.
16. My one older cousin's birthday is May 30th. We've celebrated our birthdays together a few times.
17. I love getting on facebook on my birthday and feeling all the love from my friends.
18. My dad took me to lunch for my birthday when we lived in Maryland and we would go to McGarveys in downtown Annapolis and I would eat my weight in mussels.
19. Last year for my birthday I got the macbook pro that I am writing this post on!
20. I don't feel 22.
21. I am going to have a lot of thank you notes to write.
22. Here's the first birthday.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

What I'm cooking

Peter and I have decided to try to save money and eat out less. Plus one of my new years resolutions that became a post graduation goal was to cook more. I love cooking and I love wearing my cute anthropologie apron and feeling like a housewife. Our plan is to not eat dinner out on the week days. Here's how this week went...

Monday- went to Chicora Alley, one of our favorite restaurants that we hadn't been to in ages.
Tuesday- started slow cooking a brisket, but instead went out to dinner for a friends 21st birthday. Birthday dinners are an ok exception to the eating out rule. I put the brisket in the fridge to save it for the next day.
Wednesday- Peter, sister and I had a delicious brisket, mashed potatoes, and asparagus with parmesan cheese (not really a summery meal but still delicious!)
Tonight- I am going to try a new recipe that I saw on Giada At Home and thought it looked so good: Trenette with Eggplant and Basil Pesto. Trenette is a pasta tube like penne so I'll probably just use that.
Friday- Tuna and Avocado Salad. This is probably our favorite thing to make, and Peter actually does help me make it, he sears the tuna. It's so fresh and light and a perfect summer dish-I highly recommend this recipe!

I'll let you know how the recipe goes tonight and maybe post pictures!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Headboard Happiness

My 22nd birthday is on Monday!!
We will discuss that craziness in another post...

So for my birthday I asked my parents for a headboard and it was delivered yesterday! I got to pick out the one I wanted and it is so pretty! It's from Urban Outfitters and they have some of the cutest furniture, I could decorate my entire apartment from there!

I knew I wanted an upholstered headboard, something girly and romantic and something that would compliment my shabby chic bedding. What do you think?
I LOVE it! Thank you mom and dad!
I think I'll do a home tour sometime soon so I can share the rest of my apartment with you all and get some decorating tips!