Sunday, December 23, 2012

Love Actually

Can we please talk about how much I love the movie Love Actually?  Our love affair in pretty intense!  Somehow, I managed to merge the last 9 years into just a few short ones and didn't realize that I was still in college when this movie came out.  I remember being dying to see it, and finally going with my Mom (in a packed theater, I might add), but I swear it was just a few years ago.  Obviously not. 

Anyway, I love all of the separate love stories and the way they're all connected, even in the smallest way. I also love that not each one is happy.  The viewer remembers the happiest stories, but there is a sense of reality in the movie; there are bumps in relationships and they aren't always stronger in the end .

I would have to say that my favorite story is that of Liam Neeson's character and his stepson.  Oh, but I adore Liam Neeson and I could just eat that kid up!  His agony over his first love and how I'm convinced it saves his step-father from dwelling on his wife's death is wonderfully done.  It warms my heart.  I do have to mention that it doesn't hurt that I have a bit of a crush on Liam Neeson.
A close second woud be Colin Firth's love story.  As with Liam Neeson, I'm biased due my crush on Colin Firth when he played Mr. Darcy, but even with that aside, I think it's hard to deny the romance of his vignette.  Falling in love despite a language barrier and hopping on a plane to profess your love is pretty ballsy!  The story is sweet, and speaks to holiday magic, which those of us who are romantics at heart find to be irrestible.
And, I cannot forget to mention Hugh Grant's dance's fantastic!  Love Actually is the ultimate holiday movie in my mind...truly one of my

Thursday, November 15, 2012

There will be better days

I am having one hell of a week.  One of those weeks that involves too many hormones, endless frustrations, stress up to your eyeballs, unnecessary cursing, and crying in public.  Yea, it hasn't been too pretty.  I'm in desperate need of a safe haven right now, but until I can find that I'll work on rediscovering some of my favorite memories.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Why do we so often relinquish control to those we love?


We all have the potential to fall in love a thousand times in our lifetime. It’s easy. They all count. But there are certain people you love who do something else; they define how you classify what love is supposed to feel like. These are the most important people in your life, and you’ll meet maybe four or five of these people over the span of 80 years. But there’s still one more tier to all this; there is always one person you love who becomes that definition. It usually happens retrospectively, but it happens eventually. This is the person who unknowingly sets the template for what you will always love about other people, even if some of these loveable qualities are self-destructive and unreasonable. The person who defines your understanding of love is not inherently different than anyone else, and they’re often just the person you happen to meet the first time you really, really, want to love someone. But that person still wins. They win, and you lose. Because for the rest of your life, they will control how you feel about everyone else.”
-Cluck Klosterman-

Monday, November 12, 2012

Jogging for beginners


I had a great treadmill workout tonight!  Now, don't get too excited because I am not a runner, nor a jogger, by any stretch of the imagination.  I lack the endurance to be more than a fast walker with jogging spurts, but I'm working on it.  I see little point in forcing yourself to do something that doesn't give you pleasure, but luckily I've decided I enjoy jogging.  I like trying to push myself a little more each time, so I figured I'd run with it (lame pun intended) for now.  Tonight I really pushed myself, and it felt so, so good.    

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day 2012

Happy Election Day to all of my fellow Americans! 

I know I said in my last post that I wouldn't say anything more about politics, but I cannot pass up the opportunity to urge everyone to vote.  No matter how flawed our system may be, we do have a voice and it can be heard!  In a perfect world we would all agree on the best way to run our country, but since that isn't the case take the time to do what you can: cast your vote and share your opinion.  If you don't vote, you don't get to complain. 

Election Day always makes me think of going with my mom to our neighborhood elementary school to vote.  It meant leaving for school that much earlier, but it also meant I got an "I VOTED" sticker.  When you're young a sticker makes everything better, right?  The neighborhood school was on the way to my own elementary school, so it was easiest for Mom to take me along with her before dropping me off.  Looking back, this little thing had a huge impact on me: it taught me to respect and value my vote.  I was lucky enough to be part of each Election Day growing up; and even when I was too young to understand what it meant, I was still experiencing how important it is.  I will always be grateful to my parents for showing me the importance of voting, and for allowing me to form my own opinions. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

An issue of humanity

This will be my one and only political post...well, heck, it could be my one and only post for this month at the rate I'm going, but that is beside the point.  This post is not about the candidates and their issues, not about how I voted, and it's neither pro-Democrat, nor pro-Republican; it is pro-human.

On October 22nd after a presidential debate, Ann Coulter, an outspoken conservative, tweeted the following: "I highly approve of Romney's decision to be kind and gentle to the retard."  Obviously by "retard", Coulter meant President Obama, and this statement caused quite a stirring.  In this single tweet Coulter managed to degrade and dehumanize all persons with any kind of mental limitation.  People have expressed their opinions on Twitter for the past 2 weeks, but I think the best response came from this open letter written by John Franklin Stevens, a Special Olympics athlete and global messenger:

"Dear Ann Coulter,
Come on Ms. Coulter, you aren’t dumb and you aren’t shallow. So why are you continually using a word like the R-word as an insult?

I’m a 30 year old man with Down syndrome who has struggled with the public’s perception that an intellectual disability means that I am dumb and shallow. I am not either of those things, but I do process information more slowly than the rest of you. In fact it has taken me all day to figure out how to respond to your use of the R-word last night.

I thought first of asking whether you meant to describe the President as someone who was bullied as a child by people like you, but rose above it to find a way to succeed in life as many of my fellow Special Olympians have.

Then I wondered if you meant to describe him as someone who has to struggle to be thoughtful about everything he says, as everyone else races from one snarkey sound bite to the next.

Finally, I wondered if you meant to degrade him as someone who is likely to receive bad health care, live in low grade housing with very little income and still manages to see life as a wonderful gift.

Because, Ms. Coulter, that is who we are – and much, much more.

After I saw your tweet, I realized you just wanted to belittle the President by linking him to people like me. You assumed that people would understand and accept that being linked to someone like me is an insult and you assumed you could get away with it and still appear on TV.

I have to wonder if you considered other hateful words but recoiled from the backlash.

Well, Ms. Coulter, you, and society, need to learn that being compared to people like me should be considered a badge of honor.

No one overcomes more than we do and still loves life so much.

Come join us someday at Special Olympics. See if you can walk away with your heart unchanged.

A friend you haven’t made yet,
John Franklin Stephens
Global Messenger
Special Olympics Virginia"

Regardless of political belief, I think this letter should be applauded.  This is not a political issue, it is an issue of humanity.  Throwing the word "retard" around as an insult is the same thing as saying that individuals with mental disabilities are second class citizens. In no situation is that ok.  People are people, and our differences are what make us unique; they are to be embraced, not ridiculed.

If you haven't already, please remember to VOTE. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Morning Light

I'm starting to wonder if I shouldn't change the title of this blog to For Love of Mornings, because let's be honest, I gush about mornings more often than not.  But, how can you not love this morning light?  The world takes on a magical glow and everything seems to exude peacefulness.  It's calm and beautiful.  This little backyard world is a piece of country surrounded by busy streets and blaring sirens, and this city girl has learned to embrace (and love) the charm.  

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Recent Goods

I'm officially a week into this sinus junk, and even though it is slowly getting better, it's still wearing me out.  So, rather than dwell on the amount of phlegm currently residing in my throat (you're welcome for that lovely image), I thought I'd throw together a little happy list:
1. Running a work errand on campus.  I'm a sucker for a college campus, but when you add changing leaves and cooler temperatures, I'm a total goner.
2. On the subject: Coffee from campus.  This sounds strange, but CSU's coffee shop, Sweet Sinsations, has the best and cheapest coffee.  I miss having daily access to Sweets.
3. Finally getting a phone at work with caller ID.  It's the little things, right?
4. Text messages from Tony, checking in to make sure I feel ok...even when he's away on a boys only fishing trip he still takes the time to check in.
5. Spicy thai lunch with my Mama.
6. Evening rain...I love falling asleep to the sound of rain.
7. Felicity on Netflix instant streaming.  I loved this show when it was on, but never managed to catch all of the episodes.
8. Trees whose leaves have only partially started to turn gold.  I love contrast between shades of green and bright yellow.  And don't even get me started on the purple ash trees around town...they are nature's proof that ombre truly is the hottest trend of the season.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sick Day


I'm home sick...blah.  That first cold of the changing seasons was inevitable, especially for me and my poor excuse for sinuses.  They get all flustered when the temps start to fluctuate, and rather than embrace the cooler days, they fight it.  So, today I get to pay the price for my unhappy sinuses.  It's just me, hot tea, Netflix, and a little bit of work to keep the guilt away.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Words

The Words opens this weekend, and I know it will be on my mind until I see it. This movie sounds like the kind of book I would want to spend an afternoon getting lost in, and honestly, that is the highest compliment for a movie. Each time I watch the preview I get chills. I love that!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Fill in the Blank Friday: school edition

 1. My favorite grade in school was either 9th or 12th. Both years I felt on top of the world, and loved everything about school. I've always loved school, but those 2 years stick out the most in my memory.

2. My favorite teacher was Mr. Michoski. He was my high school history teacher and he was incredible. Safe to say, he is probably the smartest person I have ever met, and he came off as a little strict, but all he wanted was for his students to succeed.

3. The highest level of education I have completed is a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice.

4. School lunches for me were usually a combination of homemade or bought. My parents gave me a specific amount of money each week for lunches and it was up to me to use it as I wanted. Sometimes it stretched all week, other times it didn't. Once I got to high school, we had an open campus, so sometimes we'd eat at a friend's house, which was kind of like eating homemade.

5. The amount of money you'd have to pay me to go back to high school would be non-existent. I enjoyed high school, and still love school, but I have no need to go back. Been there, done that!

6. A few things that will always remind me of going back to school are: new notebooks, fresh day planners, August, jeans and cardigan shopping, textbooks, and cooler temperatures.

7. The first day of school was always exciting and sometimes a little nerve-wracking.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

How you whisper "more"

I want to see you.
Know your voice.
Recognize you when you
first come 'round the corner.
Sense your scent when I come
into a room you've just left.
Know the lift of your heel,
the glide of your foot.
Become familiar with the way
you purse your lips
then let them part,
just the slightest bit,
when I lean into your space
and kiss you.
I want to know the joy
of how you whisper

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tonight I believe


... that coffee tastes best when made in a french press

... that sitting on the front porch steps and catching up with an old friend is one of the best ways to spend an hour of your evening.

... that the color of the sun behind a haze of wildfire smoke is indescribably beautiful.

... that having the kind of friend whom you can spend multiple evenings in a row with and still feel like the conversation isn't over is both a privilege and a necessity in life.  It does the soul good to have this kind of friendship.

... that my relationship with my mother is one of the things I am most proud of in my life.

... there is nothing wrong with vegging out in front of the television before bedtime.

... that I will never outgrow that first-day-of-class excitement, even if class is entirely online.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Embracing morning


I've spoken before of my love for mornings and today's is no different.  The sun in shining, finally the temps are cooler, and the world outside of my windows is calm.  My window AC unit has been a lifesaver this summer, but being able to turn it to fan and open up my window and balcony door to let in the cool breeze has been wonderful.  My entire room smells like fresh, wants-to-be-Fall air with a  hint of mango from my lit candle.  Summer isn't ready to let go yet, but in the cool of the morning, I can feel it slowly loosening its hold.  There's laundry in the dryer, a steaming mug of strong coffee on the nightstand, and season 2 of Damages is continuing to boggle my mind. 

There's no better start to the day than by embracing the peacefulness of morning. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The vitality of travel


I love that Tony believes in the power of just getting away as much as I do.  He and I see eye-to-eye on the value of time.  Yes, a week down in Florida is warm and relaxing and far removed from everyday life, but sometimes all it really takes to get back into a good space is a day or three away.  A day spent reading by the lake while Tony fishes does wonders for my attitude after an especially long week.  And at the height of a busy summer, sometimes an extended weekend is the key to sanity. 

So, near or far, for 1 day or 2 weeks, travel is vital.  And being with someone who feels the same way has proven to be more important to me than I realized.    

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

If you really knew me...

Well, I'm jumping on the "if you really knew me" bandwagon.  I actually think these little prompts are quite entertaining to blog on, and it's been fun to read other bloggers' posts.  There are so many facets that make up a person, and highlighting just a handful here and there is fun.  I say we all do this post periodically as a way to contiually share parts of ourselves that we may not feature in our blogging.

Anyway, without further ado, if you really knew me...

- you'd know my bookshelf is a revolving door; I voluntarily visit the Library at least once a week, and I love it.

- you'd know I hate eating cubed meat...for whatever reason it freaks me out!

- you'd know I value rational and realistic decisions.  I'm an emotional person, but I'm also far more Type A than B, so emotions or not, a decision had better be well-planned if you want kudos from me.

- you'd know that despite my love for Elizabeth Bennett's bewitchment of Mr. Darcy, Persuasion is actually my favorite Jane Austen novel.

- you'd know morning is my favorite time of day.  I love everything about it from the way the sunrise turns the mountains pink to the smell of freshly brewed coffee.  I love lazy, indulgent breakfasts, and being able to enjoy the peaceful quiet of a city just waking up.

- you'd know I can drink caffeine before bedtime and not have any issues sleeping...addiction tolerance at its finest!

- you'd know I was never an animal person until I started dating Tony.  His dogs won me over and now I'm mildly obsessed with them.

- you'd know my Mom is my best friend and walks with her are my favorite form of therapy.

- you'd know I talk in my sleep nearly every night, and walk in my sleep when I'm really stressed.  I've done this ever since I was little.

- you'd know I hate public speaking.  My chest gets blotchy, my voice loses its strength, and I appear uncomfortable.  I'm a natural introvert and it's so apparent in large crowds.  But, you'd also know I'm known for my laugh, my babbling, and my long as I'm around people I'm comfortable with.

- you'd know I enjoy a good rainstorm, especially if I'm snuggled up on a covered porch with a mug of tea (or a glass of red) and a book in hand.

- you'd know I love Fall.  Period.  End of Story.  It's the season I live for.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Due for a flogging?'s August. 
Yes, you read that correctly.  Which officially means I went the entire month of July without blogging. 
*head hung in shame*

I feel like I've just left confession and need to repent with 10 Hail Marys and 10 Our Fathers. 
Or perhaps a good flogging is in order? 
Don't ask me why, but typing that phrase just now made me think of the scene in A Knight's Tale when Heath Ledger's character is in that contraption (all I can think of is "gallows", but that's not right) on public display where the peasants throw food at him. 

Well, that little tangent is proof-positive that I'm still a babbling fool...I know you're all excited for me to return to this blog. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Medicine for the soul

It's hot here.  Like really, really hot.  And smokey.  In fact, when I look East out of the kitchen windows, I can clearly see the smoke is trying to pass itself off as a low-lying, morning fog covering the sidewalks.  But, I am not so easily fooled.  When I look out of my bedroom windows, where there once stood tree-covered foothills, there is nothing but dense, brownish smoke.

The heat and the smoke are taking their toll on me...I haven't managed to get a good night's sleep in too many days and my exhaustion levels have hit their max: I'm tired, cranky and have hit that point where a good cry seems like it would solve everything.  It wont, by the way, but it would feel damn good!

Rather than sit and wallow in my exhaustion, I've poured myself a giant cup of coffee, grabbed a yogurt from the fridge, and put The Lake House on.  I need a little dose of Chicago (and Keanu Reeves) to combat my bad mood, and it's working.  Being able to recognize the statue in the Daily Plaza where Sandra Bullock wtinesses Keanu's accident, and the building on Michigan Avenue where Keanu's father works makes me smile.


Sometimes a little Hollywood romance combined with memory lane wandering is just what the doctor ordered.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

We've got no money, but we've got heart...

I present to you Anna Sun by Walk the Moon.
Folks, I am obsessed with this song. 
No joke, the National Guard guy* commented this morning that he always hears this song playing in my car when I come through the check-in station.
Please hop on the obsession bandwagon.

*Due to the High Park fire's Incident Command Base being located across the street from my office, traffic is currently restricted to Fire and Business personnel only, so I have to say hello to the National Guard on my way into the office.

Happy Birthday to Me!

I would say the title of this post pretty much says it all. 
Today is my 26th birthday! 

Mother Nature has decided to gift me with temperatures in the 70's, which is a much-needed reprieve from the nearly 100 degree days we've been having.  A little breeze and some clouds and suddenly we have perfect driving-with-the-sun-roof-open weather. 

We're full on into highly destructive fire season around here, so the office is pretty quiet today, but my coworkers have still managed to make me feel extra special.  My boss brought in a beautiful, decadent cake and those few people who are in the office today gathered around for a little singing, some cake eating and lots of laughing. 

Tony is coming up after work to join in a family dinner celebration.  My mom is making one of my favorite meals and has whipped up an angel food cake with whipped cream and berries for dessert.  I have every intention of going to the gym after work so I can indulge in dinner tonight without feeling disgusting afterwards.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Midwest Adventures

This evening Tony and I are hopping on a plane to Chicago!!  I am beside myself with excitement...focusing on work is hit or miss this morning, which is fine by me.  I've wanted to visit Chicago for as long as I can remember, and after a few failed attempts with friends over the years, my little Midwest dream is finally coming true.  Thank you, handsome boyfriend!  Tony has a work conference to attend next week, so we'll have a little him + me + Chicago time this weekend and then I'll be let loose on the city Monday and Tuesday while Tony's holed up in a conference room.  But, we get our evenings...and Tuesday evening is shaping up to be phenomenal: Chicago (the band!) will be performing in the Navy Pier area (I do believe) along with unlimited food and drink for the conference attendees and their guests.  Thank goodness my parents passed along their love of Classic Rock to me.  Come Wednesday morning, I will hop on a train to Ann Arbor, MI where my mother will be anxiously awaiting my arrival so we can spend the remainder of the week with my Grammy and Uncle.  I'm looking forward to used book shopping with my Mom and Grammy, evening walks around the neighborhood, and catching up with family.  

I am unbelievably excited for this vacation! 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

It'll do for tonight

There was a fierce storm brewing when I left work this evening.  The sky to the east was full of monstrous, white, gorgeous thunder heads.  I wanted them to be behind me, over the mountains, ready to roll over Fort Collins...I love a good summer storm...but, sadly, those thunder heads continued east and have opened up over the plains.

We could use the rain; our forests and our firefighters could use the rain.  But, my want for that storm isn't to be interpreted as anything other than selfish tonight: I want my summer storm.  I want to watch the lightening streak across the sky.  I want the air to smell like rain.  And I want fall asleep to the sound of rain drops hitting the pavement.

There is the smell of rain in the breeze coming in through my open windows.  I hear rumbling thunder and every so often, for a split second, the sky turns purple and the foothills are illuminated by lightening.  It's not quite the summer storm I'm craving, but it'll do for tonight.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Little smiles

Wow, it's been 2 weeks (weeks!) since I last posted...hmmm, can we all say bad blogger?  That probably rolls right off the tongue when you think of me these days, doesn't it?  Rather than making a possibly empty promise to get back on the frequent blogging wagon, I'll leave you all with a picture of the handsome little fella that I spent this past weekend with: Mr. Mason Reid (he's a serious cutie).

my apologies for the poor cell photo quality

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Thankful for him

I just have to tell you how thankful I am to have this man in my life.  There's been a lot of turmoil in my life since the end of March and he has taken my sarcastic, and often times nasty anger, my tears, and my need for reassuring hugs like a champ.  When I ask him to fight his urge to try and fix the situation for me and just listen, he does.  When I'm starting to cross the line between sarcasm and just plain, unnecessary snarkiness, he tells me and attempts to reel me back in.  And when I call him with tears in my voice and tell him that I feel like everything from the past couple of months may have finally broken my spirit, he refuses to believe me because he knows I'm stronger than that.  He is one of the very few people I've fully let into all that is happening, one of the few people I'll talk in depth to about it all, and I am so glad that I have.  I don't know what these past couple months would've been like without him. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

If we were sitting across from each other at a coffee shop...


I would love to do a little soul bearing over a green chai latte, and I would love for you to do the same.  There is nothing quite like just talking things out with a good friend:

...I would tell you how scared and worried and angry I am about the current legistative changes happening in the world of Colorado wildfire and its direct effect on my job.  If this week is any indicator, I would probably get teary-eyed and eventually need a change of subject.

...I would probably vent to you my frustrations of dividing out an agency that is like a family simply to appease the public.  I would also admit that there is more going on than just public appeasement, but that I have doubts about the legitimacy of all of the motivating factors behind the decision.

...I would tell you how obsessed I currently am with Jason Aldean's Fly Over States.  It's my go-to song for my morning drive into work.

...I would tell you that I never realized what a strain differing core values can have on a relationship (of any kind), and how it feels nearly impossible to fully reconcile the feelings in order to ease the strain.  I wake up each morning wondering if this combination of disappointment and guilt that periodically hits me is supposed to be my new normal.  Needless to say, I don't "just get over" things well and being a dweller isn't playing out in my favor.

...I would tell you how absolutely gorgeous this Colorado Spring has been, but how badly we could use some rain storms...fingers crossed we get a couple this weekend!

...I would tell you how excited I am to go to the 1st birthday party for the son of one of my best friends.  I cannot believe Landon is already 1, and I just want to squeeze him on Saturday.

...and I would tell you how nice it is to talk about some of these things.  And, how comforting it is to just type some of these statements.  I feel a little better already.  

Friday, April 20, 2012

Fill in the blank Friday


1. Today is a great day because, it's Friday and I got to have lunch with my Mama downtown...and do a little earrings on a lunch break never hurt anyone.

2. Tomorrow I will most likely help Tony lay compost in the gardens and then we're going on a brunch date!

3. My favorite time of day is early morning because everything is calm and quiet and it feels like the world is still waking up.  I actually love driving through town nice and early when the only people out are the really early risers stopping for coffee on their way into work.  I only sometimes fall into this crowd, but when I do I love it!

4. Sometimes you just have to pour yourself a glass of red wine, turn on the music and tackle your ever-growing and entirely over-crowded least I do.

5. A song that I just can't get enough of lately is Feel So Close by Calvin Harris.  I love blasting it while I drive down the highway with my sunroof open.

6. My favorite accessory is a pair of unique earrings and my claddagh ring.

7. My favorite thing about this week was meeting Chelsae after work for fish tacos and then heading to The Lyric to see Friends with Kids while enjoying New Belgium's summer brew, Dig. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

He's a smart one

The problem with two members of the same household* having identical travel mugs is that they can be easily confused.  Rumor has it this is really only problematic for the only-child member of said household. 
(I've heard she doesn't share well). 
The youngest-of-4 member could care less whose mug he's using so long as it keeps coffee from spilling on him on the way into work. 

Thank goodness that man I fell in love with knows not to argue when he reaches for a mug and, without even looking up from where I'm loving on the doggies, I say, "nope, that one's mine"; he simply grabs the other mug and continues on his merry way. 

Yep, he's a smart one, that man of mine. 

*disclaimer: Tony & I don't live together, but I spend a lot of time at his house*

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Let's talk movies

I love movies...always have...always will.  I'm probably always going to be that person who likes, if not loves, most movies that I see.  I know what I'm getting into when I select my viewing pleasure.  You want a movie that will make you think?  Don't see a romantic comedy.  You want a movie that will make you laugh?  I recommend staying away from most dramas.  You want someone to bash out a movie with you?  Don't take me. 


That being said, I am not always 100% thrilled with the movies that I see.  Case in point: The Hunger Games.  Now, before everyone out there starts egging this post, let me just say that I enjoyed the movie, thought the casting was spot on, and am no where near as disappointed with it as I was with Twilight, but I did leave the theater a bit disappointed and rather underwhelmed.  I thought they did a phenomenal job with the actual games, but where was the character development?  Where was the depth?  The background?  Part of what made the book so engrossing was the attachments the reader made with the characters, and I just didn't get any of that from the movie.  Especially the lack of information on Gale.  I know he doesn't have a huge role in the first part of the story, but his friendship is a part of Katniss' background and plays a vital role in her struggle with who she's supposed to be: who she was with Peeta during the games, or who she was with Gale away from the games?  The movie should've touched on this more because if you haven't read the book, you're probably going to walk away from the movie without a good understanding of her internal struggle.  So, The Hunger Games was enjoyable and had superb casting, but left me wanting more.


A movie that didn't disappoint was Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.  Most of the time, I'm of the opinion that Emily Blunt can do no wrong, and when paired with sexy Ewan McGregor, Kristin Scott Thomas and a quirky, romantic story line I would say this theory proved true.  On the surface, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is about an improbable desire to bring fishing to the desert, but more than that it's a story about relationships and about love.  There's the relationship between a husband and a wife who have drifted apart; a budding relationship put to the test in the face of deployment; a political relationship between differing countries; a relationship between government and human desire; and what was to be a purely work-related relationship heavy with annoyance and disagreement that turned into something more.  I'm a romantic sap at heart and I was blown away by this movie's focus on friendship and perseverance.  The characters took the improbable and made it probable.  Obviously, I recommend you all rush out and see this one...but only if you like the slightly off-beat movies.  Yes, this is a romantic comedy, but it still has a slightly British-indie vibe to it, which I adore. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Keep the man

Keep the man who,
when you're standing in the kitchen,
eyes still glossy from sleep,
his old t-shirt that you've slept in still rumpled,
hair still going every which way,
holding your coffee cup like it's a life line,
smiles and tells you,
"You're cute".

Keep that man.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Fill in the blank Friday


1. My favorite color is green.

2. My home decor color palette includes a lot of tans, blues and pops of other colors...these days my home decor is limited solely to my room, so I can only speak of that, but color is always a factor.

3. Other people always tell me I look good in the color green. My eyes are green and they really pop when I wear bright greens. I get compliments when I wear fuschia and corals, too.

4. The color I detest is bright, lemon yellow.

5. If you were to look in my closet most of the colors you'd see would be neutrals (greys and black), greens, blues and purples.

6. A color that I simply cannot pull off no matter how hard I try is most yellows, hence why I detest the bright ones most. Yellows tend to make me look jaundiced when near my face, so unless it's a nice dark mustard or gold shade I shy away from yellow. Although, I will do it if it's small pops of color or accessories.

7. The color of my favorite dress is fuschia; it's the perfect jewel tone.

Monday, March 19, 2012

An ode to green bean selection


One of my favorite things to do is to hand-select green beans at the grocery store. Is that weird? Probably...maybe even definitely. I love walking into the store to be greeted by a giant pile of bright green beans. No joke, I get visibly excited and usually make a bee line straight for my favorite veggie. I'm not one of those shoppers who haphazardly grab handfuls of green beans and call it good. Oh no, I'm that obnoxious shopper who hovers over the bin, sifting through each and every bean on the hunt for perfection. These wonderfully crisp veggies must be selected with care: bright green wins over washed-out olive; long is far superior to short and shriveled; and heaven forbid you get stuck with a limp green bean when firm ones are to be had! So you see hand-selecting is necessary. I know when I walk out of the grocery I have a bag full of the best-of-the-best green beans and a smile on my face. Definitely odd...but so very Erin.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

A little heart sigh


"This morning, with her, having coffee"

Johnny Cash on his definition of paradise.

*found via Meg Fee

Friday, March 9, 2012

Date Night: 03.08.12

I didn't take any pictures; sometimes pulling out the camera is an unnecessary disruption, even in the name of documentation. It was just a normal Thursday night, but it was a lovely one: Tony came up after work for a simple date night.

The evening was laid back and entirely perfect. It sounds strange to say this, but Tony and I rarely have just an old-fashioned date night. From date #1 we've been so at ease and comfortable with one another that we've fallen into a natural rhythm. I love this, and I'm certainly not complaining, but these few hours together in the middle of the week were just what we both needed.

He picked me up at my apartment and off we went to Old Town for fish 'n cips. My parking karma came in handy when we snagged a parking spot directly in front of the restaurant, and even though it was just a few quick steps to the door, he still reached for my hand. We ate our pub grub, he sipped on a glass of pinot grigio and I indulged in a citrusy microbrew, and we talked about our days. We both got distracted by the talking around us and laughed at our inability to solely focus on our own conversation. So normal, so nice. After dinner, we stuck around Old Town for a bit longer and then drove back to my place where we sat in the car just talking and kissing before calling it a night.

It seems like such a cliched evening, but it felt like anything but. It's nice to steal a few hours out of the week to just be with each other. And, those of you who know me in real life know that Tony and I spend far more than just a few hours together every week, but it feels different when it's an evening out of the norm. It just feels right.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Kiss Me Slowly

I tend to pass time at work by catching up on my shows on Hulu, but every once in a while the day and/or the task at hand calls for background music over entertaining is that kind of day. The Fray's new album Scars & Stories is my current go-to, but I cannot help but throw a little Parachute into the mix:

Friday, March 2, 2012

Fill in the blank Friday


1. The highlight of my week was being a social butterfly. Monday was a movie with my Mama, Wednesday was Mexican food and margaritas for a coworker's retirement, and last night was a cocktail (a cranberry old fashioned...yum!) and bacon-wrapped dates with Chelsae.

2. If I had to classify my interior design aesthetic it would be feminine eclectic. I tend to like specific pieces, rather than specific styles, but I do have a love for floral and chevron patterns.

3. My first vehicle was a white, '99 Pontiac Grand Am. I loved that car, and was heartbroken when she was totaled in an accident.

4. An item I need to have in my day in order to function is coffee or tea, which sounds like what I'm saying is caffeine, but really it's the comfort that comes from enjoying a warm cuppa while working or reading or sitting through a meeting.

5. My favorite way to waste time is by pinning pretty photos, tasty recipes, and clever DIYs (that, let's be honest, I'll probably never do) on Pinterest. I love Pinterest.

6. Right now I could really go for a nonfat cafe au lait and a scone.

7. This weekend I will be finally, finally, finally getting to see Corey (formally known as the Baltimore bestie, but no longer lives in Baltimore) and her handsome little boy, Landon for a shopping adventure. I haven't seen Corey and the little man since December and I need some bestie time in my life.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

On my bookshelf: February

In the grand scheme of things these are all fairly easy reads that I would recommend to anyone:

Sweet Jiminy deals with race issues in the South and is written in an easy-to-read style, which makes the subject matter less upsetting (plus the author is Al Gore's daughter, and I kind of think that's cool).

Beautiful Days is the 2nd in a YA series that takes places in the 1920's at the height of Prohibition. It's a world full of wealth, glamour, drama and speakeasies that I would die to have a drink in.

Karen Robards and Carly Phillips are a couple of my go-to authors when I'm in a book-slump. I love the suspense that Robards weaves into each of her stories from the very first sentence, which never fails to hook me, and Phillips' light-hearted romances are always entertaining.

In terms of Crossed, I'm anxiously awaiting the next installment in Condie's series (book #1 was Matched)Crossed left me absolutely itching to pick up the next book to save from any delay in the story line, but alas, I will have to wait until it is published. As with most YA stories, there's a well-formed love triangle, and to be honest, I am not sure which team I'm rooting for most...Ky or Xander?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

An evening for me

I had the greatest of intentions to edit and post some of the (sadly few) photos I took up in Cody, but instead I opted to put that on hold and had a much-needed Erin evening. It was lovely!

I took advantage of having a free evening and did some of my favorite things: I wandered through Sunflower Market, admiring the pretty produce and sampling the fresh sushi. I swung by the Library to pick up a book on hold and ended up walking out with 2 others. I finally got around to doing a couple loads of laundry...I'll be sleeping on freshly-washed sheets tonight! I enjoyed steel cut oatmeal with brown sugar and strawberries for dinner. I spent an hour at the gym, where it was surprisingly quiet. And, now, I'm sipping on a glass of Chianti and watching Downtown Abbey...I'm nearly done with Season 1 on Netflix and I'm desperate for more! Reading a couple of chapters before switching off my light will perfectly complete this evening.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Forgive the anger...forgive yourself


Meg Fee has a way with words. Anyone who's ever read her lovely blog the wild and wily ways of a brunette bombshell can attest to this.

Yesterday, Meg wrote a lovely post about forgiveness, and a few of her lines struck a chord with me:

"forgive the anger you feel. feel it and then look again with kinder eyes. forgive yourself for not handling it all better, for feeling like you let others down. the path is not done, the road is not finished, why are you trying so hard to rush the whole thing? celebrate the fact that your story has some major departures."

I'm angry about some things in my life. The anger has been there for a while, and will probably remain for a while yet. The process of analyzing, coping, coming to terms, and moving on is slow. That's ok. The anger doesn't rear its ugly head as often as it used to, but it's certainly still close enough to the surface that it cannot be denied. I truly feel that the anger itself is valid. I have a right to be angry, and I'm not ashamed of that. But, how I've handled it all has been sub par at times, and that has made the whole thing worse than it is. Not being able to handle the anger how I know I should, or how I wish I could, or how others think I should has been awful. I'm ok with this being a slow process, but I don't like it being an internally ugly one; it's too painful. So, acknowledgement can be my first step towards forgiveness. I'm human. Shit happens. Life changes in an instant, but that doesn't mean acceptance and forgiveness are also instantaneous.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Happy Lately List


Today, I find myself rather frustrated with things that are completely out of my control. Some of it is a spill over from some massive venting last night, and some of it is a new challenge for a new day. Regardless, you all know how much I love dealing with things that I have no control's not pretty as you can imagine.

So, I thought I would work on changing my mental focus a bit with a Happy Lately List!

Here's what's making me smile these days:

1. Chocolate chip, pecan cookies
2. Treating my cheetah print flats as a neutral
(read: wearing them daily)
3. The rowing machine at the gym
4. A fro-yo date with my roomie
5. "Good morning, beautiful girlfriend" texts from Tony
6. A dog that gets so excited to see me she wedges herself between my legs the minute I walk in the door so I can't get away until she's had her fill
7. Celestial Seasoning's Morning Thunder tea + vanilla almond milk
8. Re-reading Valentine's Day cards
9. Thursday dinner dates with Chelsae
10. Fun new earrings from my Mama

What's making you all happy lately?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

On Valentine's Day

Just popping in to wish everyone a
Happy Valentine's Day!

Tony and I were up in Cody, Wyoming this past weekend, which was our Valentine's Day (big) celebration.  Tonight we're planning on staying in, cozying up in front of the fire (snow flurries have started here), eating copious amounts of cheese and fruit, drinking wine and just enjoying each other's company.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

For the love of mussels

I have always been a texture eater, meaning if the texture was odd, I probably wasn't going to eat it. This used to severely limit some of the things that I would and would not eat.
Mushrooms? Nope, too slimy.
Sushi? Nope, not a normal texture.
Mussels, clams, scallops? Nope, nope and nope...slimy, chewy, strange.

Well, I am happy to say my taste buds have slowly started to mature. I'm definitely still a texture eater, but now I have a better appreciation (and love) for foods I used to avoid.

Happy Hour Mussels with Chelsae

Mussels have become my latest obsession. Those little slimy, alien-looking things from the ocean terrified me until last April when Jamie talked me into giving them a try. I am so glad I was feeling adventurous and listened to my bestie! Mussels are phenomenal...seriously. And, everytime I enjoy them I remember eating them for the first time with my bestie in Sydney, Australia...and enjoying them by candlelight with Tony and good friends on New Year's Eve 2011 when a windstorm cut-off power. 
Good times.

Mussels at Manly Beach, AUS

Happy Gal!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Safe and Sound

I may be a little late to the game on this one, but I just listened to Taylor Swift's single Safe and Sound, which was written for The Hunger Games movie and features The Civil Wars, whom I love!

Not only does it give me little chills when I listen to it, but it fits the story so well. The lyrics are kind of eerie, with a sad and dark undertone, and yet there is hope in them, too. In my opinion, this combination perfectly encompasses the essence of the story and the characters' relationships.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Apparently all I did after Christmas was read

In fact, just last night Tony told me I was bound to hurt myself if I continued to read so voraciously. I'm not sure how reading is detrimental to my health, but he's cute, so I just went with it...and continued reading.

Thank goodness for Goodreads or I'd never be able to remember what I'd read and what I wanted to read.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Weekend Recap


Weekends are such wonderful things!

+ Friday happy hour with my friend Chelsae...gin and club soda for me, vodka cranberry for her, mussels, artichoke and sundried tomatoe flatbread, and pommes frites.

+ My first experience taking one of Tony's dogs to the vet...Ringo is not a fan, but he did well.

+ Target wandering and used bookstore browsing.

+ Dinner and drinks for Tony's sister's birthday at my favorite Greek restaurant.

+ Cuddling, playing ball and wrestling with the dogs.

+ Started off Sunday with coffee and homemade blueberry pancakes.

+ Taco salad and a (spicy) bloody mary...I like being able to take Tony out on little dates since he's always cooking for me.

+ We made a beef and veggie soup, and I baked this fabulously easy, and seriously tasty, bread.

+ Tony and I finished off the weekend with a nice, albeit windy, lakeside walk that offered up some more gorgeous views of Long's Peak.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Fill in the blank Friday


1. My favorite place i've ever traveled to is Sydney, Australia. I did not, in a million years, think I would fall as hard as I did for that city. It stole my heart, took me 6 months to get over not being there anymore, and is a city I know I will visit again.

2. Ireland is somewhere I'd love to go someday.

3. I pass the time on a plane (or bus, or car ride or train) by reading and day dreaming. I'm not a huge fan of chit-chatting with the people around me, so I tend to sit in my seat, pull out my book and immediately get lost in whatever I'm currently reading.

4. My three must-haves when I travel are a couple of books/my Nook, my cell phone, and snacks.

5. My favorite travel companion is my Mom, although Tony and I are planning our first real trip together in June, so it should be fun to see how we do. So far we travel well together on quick weekend road trip adventures, but we'll see how we do when there are airports, hotels and getting around a city involved.

6. The craziest thing that ever happened to me while traveling was getting to see a political protest take over the streets surrounding the hotel I was staying at in Vienna, Austria.

7. The most exotic food I've ever tried while traveling is kangaroo while in Australia.
(ps- it's quite good if you like red meat)

8. If I could live anywhere else, I'd live in the New England area, preferably near Providence, RI or Boston, MA. I'd happily live in Germany or Austria, as well.

9. I have been to twenty-three (plus D.C.) states in the U.S. not counting states where I've only been in an airport.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Weekend Recap

+ Pizza date with Tony at Ragazzi's, complete with salad, a glass of chianti, and hand holding while chatting about our day.

+ While Tony went off to play golf Saturday morning, I read my book and lounged with the dogs.

+ Found a new walking route and enjoyed the gorgeous view of Longs Peak.

+ Lunch, a little shopping, and wandering through an open house with my Mama...lots of laughter!

+ Tony and I had a drink with a bunch of his friends to celebrate the birthday of a mutual friend.

+ After a drink and lots of birthday wishes, we made our way to a barn dance! We ate, had a few beers and danced...I'm horribly uncoordinated, but Tony stuck with me and my simplistic dancing.

+ We ushered Sunday in by meeting Tony's dad and cousin for breakfast.

+ I took my cranky-pants self for a long walk, texted with Jamie, and indulged in a much needed nonfat latte.

+ Went shopping with Tony (all for him!).

+ Ate wonderful homemade fish man can cook!

Despite being cranky on Sunday, it was a fabulous weekend overall.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Frosty Mango

When I was in Australia, Jamie and I ventured north of Townsville on a waterfall quest. Unfortunately, our quest was thwarted by flooded roads, but we were lucky enough to indulge in a sweet treat at Frosty Mango. I honestly do not believe I've ever had better gelato in my life, and I'm sure it had to do with the use of fresh, locally grown fruit.


I had a coupon to a local gelato place that expired last night, so on my way to Tony's I stopped to pick some up for us. The mango gelato was calling my name, and the minute the sample hit my tongue I was transported back to the Frosty Mango. It was absolutely divine...creamy, bold, slightly tart, and tasted as though it had come straight from the mango groves.  I was rather blissed out!  Plus, the added bonus of a trip down my Australia memory lane wasn't half bad either.