Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Somehow I always seem to attract the most curious of people and my flight up yesterday was no exception.

This time: a conservation and wildlife officer who is passionate about bats.

Yes - you read correctly - passionate about bats!

And apparently bats are the species in the most danger of extinction within North America (guess the Austin bats with the overwhelming scent is not enough to keep the species thriving).

He offered his services to assess any of my future development efforts (including tree houses) to ensure that I am not impacting a natural bat habitat area.

So . . . if you or anyone you know are wanting to build near trees, I now have a guy! That's right - I have a guy to save our bats.

Hahaha Shan - I guess Jimmy isn't the only one who has a guy for most anything!

p.s. I say it in jest because it really was an amusing surreal conversation; he even waited for me outside the ladies washroom to finish the conversation (pretending to emerge miraculously at the same time as me even though I dilly dallied extra extra long). However, I do feel sad that we are losing our bats. But, with passionate people like him looking out for them, - I am confident that they will survive. Besides - one only needs to venture to Nova Scotia to watch them flit about a plenty. I am sure that Nova Scotia along can save the bat population.

Monday, April 29, 2013

p.s.

As a slight addendum to my earlier post, I found a quote in the American Airlines magazine that rang true in my life:

"Travel is fatal to prejudice and bigotry and narrow-mindedness" Mark Twain

Travelling has really helped to open my mind and expand my world view. It has allowed me to put in context cultural differences and freedoms. It has challenged me as I 'pity' some and are 'jealous' of other cultures. It has helped me re-think about what is truly important to us.

And I know that not all of you are built as I am. I know that many of you think it's crazy that I want to see all that I can see. Many of you might look at me and wonder - "why can't that girl be happy to stay here - she has it so good". And I know that others whom have the same desires may not have the courage. There very well might be some thinking "I wish I could do what she does and just pick up to travel the world" or "I wish I had travelling partners like Juliane has found - she doesn't know how lucky she has it". I am sure there are others who think "you go girl!" and are so proud of who I have become and the adventurous spirit that was born within me (I know mom and dad can attest to that one)!

And it doesn't matter which side of the fence or which fence post you are sitting on. That is the beauty of this world - we all have different likes and dislikes. We are called to love each other, be gentle with each other and respect each other. If we were all travelers, who would stay home and look after us? If were all stayed home, who would have found this beautiful country that we live in?

But for me - travel has been fatal to my prejudices. I am much less opinionated than I was 20 years ago. It has challenged my bigotry and filled my heart so full with a love for others. As I have been the one with broken French, two Spanish words which I often forgot and blurted French out instead or have had to resort to pointing and poor hand signals - I have so appreciated another persons grace. As I am noticeably different, have endured the stares and pointing and the token pictures as the 'white girl', I realized what it is like to be different. As I struggle to ensure I am not insulting anyone by not sharing food or cleaning my plate or not cleaning my plate or bowing too low or not low enough - I pray that they recognize that I am trying my hardest not to offend and extend mercy on my ignorance.

And so the message is true for all of us - don't let our narrow world view create prejudices and bigot thinking. Let us not allow our world, whatever that might look like, to create judgement and self-righteousness. I challenge you to not be quick to judge our first nations people. I challenge you to see past the beautiful chocolate and caramel skin. I challenge you to look past the broken English. See them as they were created - in the likeness of our Father.

Yes, we may not love how our country has allowed these people to earn more money than our hard working senior citizens trying to survive on a pension but that isn't the individuals fault. We may dislike that they are serving us in our country without understanding our language but someone hired them to do a job that we have turned our noses up at. We may not understand their deep rooted religious beliefs around dress but that is all they know.

We are so fortunate to live in a culture (Canada and the US) which is such a melting pot of people. So as you run into people who look different, speak different or act different, let's get to know them for who they are. Appreciate that they too are often trying to do what's best for their family. That they, much like our ancestors, were looking for that "perfect society" in which we can find freedom, equality and an ability to live their faith.



Muchas Gracias

Here it is, another Monday, and this is a bit of an exciting Monday for me in the fact that I currently do not have another work trip booked. Life can change on a dime - and so I am prepared that tomorrow, this might be a different story but as of right now - this is my only week that I am travelling to Pittsburgh over the next few weeks.

And so for this week, I am choosing to celebrate the travelling opportunities that have been given to me.

I haven't done much exploring around Pittsburgh and area yet and so I thought that rather than rush back to the hotel every night to work, I needed to take one night to drive into the city and a second night to wander around the Canonsburg area. I am going to try really hard to fit my camera into my bag and  see what I can see.

Although travel does get me down and does wear on even the best of travelling girls, it also is an opportunity that Jimmy and I purposefully wanted to try out. We wanted to do our best to take every advantage of those opportunities that this job was affording us.

We have certainly checked out a lot of the Fort Worth and area. We went to Rangers ball games, we checked out the stockyards. We indulged in chicken fried steak and many a Mexican meal. We visited our friends in Highland Village and we wandered around downtown. We were so blessed to have my mom and dad come to visit. And we toured some more. We checked out the Cowboys stadium and ran around on the field. We went to South Fork Ranch and watched Mom and Dad relive their Dallas days from years past. We toured the country side and saw more cactus than one could imagine. We enjoyed the Christmas lights of Grapevine and the Gaylord hotel.And then my girlfriend, Brenda came for a visit and we checked out some more new things. We went shopping and we saw the water gardens. We took advantage of the local jazz and sunned ourselves to some local country.

Through this past year of work travelling, Jimmy and I ventured to New Orleans for the weekend and dabbled in much of its culture. We headed to Park City Utah with our good friends Robert and C.Ann and spent our imaginary money 20 times over. We hot tubbed. We walked. We dined on delicious food and we tried foods we may never try again (not such a fan of Alligator).

Yes - this travel has been tiring at times. But on so many other occasions it truly has been so much fun!

And since I have yet to do Pittsburgh up right - now is my chance. Looking forward to seeing all that I can see!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

We have a new piece of furniture. I am so very excited for it!! I have had my eye out for a while; I wanted a vintage piece that would compliment our pump organ and so when we came upon this one I was hoping it would work.

I think it looks just right!

Friday, April 26, 2013

We love you Kipper

Jimmy and I had the privilege to attend the last Flames home game of the season!

We knew that it very likely was Kipper's last game. And although it is still weird to not see Iggy out there and have my favorite Iggy dance replaced by some cartoon cowboy . . . the Flames played great.

But that is not the point of this post.

Instead I wanted to talk about the send off to Kipper. Throughout the game, there were a ton of signs being held up for Kipper. Everything from we love you Kipper to saying thanks. Unlike the big Flames playoff run - I did not see any "Tops off for Kippersoff" posters. At least not another one besides mine! (Just kidding mom and dad - I would never do something so foolish . . . )

The last two and a half minutes, the crowd was on their feet chanting 'Kipper . . . Kipper . . . Kipper...'! It was so loud that I could barely hear Jimmy even when he was yelling. And as I stood there taking it all in and clapping along with the crowd, I was wondering what the other team was feeling. Did the Ducks realize what a privileged moment they were standing on the sidelines for. Did the players dream that one day, when there is talk of them retiring, that they too would receive such a warm appreciation from the crowd. I wondered what Kipper was feeling. Was he fighting to keep his emotions in check. Was he standing there proud and tall to be a part of such an amazing hockey city. Did he anticipate that the city would feel the loss that sincerely. And what about his teammates? Were the other flames so very proud of him? Were they wondering how they were going to adjust next year to fill the legacy he is leaving behind?

Finally the game was over - the players flooded the ice to congratulate Kipper and to solute the crowd. Kipper was pushed out to the middle alone for a few seconds before the rest of the Flames joined him. If you thought the crowd couldn't get any louder - you were wrong. Perhaps it is because all those who silently cheered before (including myself) joined their voices with the crowd. You could feel the building tremor. It was amazing.

And as we drove home I pondered it. I most likely may never have 20,000 people chanting Jules. And I most likely will not have any signs in the crowd telling me they love me or are thankful for me. And the shy side of me is completely relieved that I won't have 40,000 eyes looking at me. In fact, the majority of the players on the ice that night will probably not elicit that reaction from a crowd when they decide to hang up the skates. But wow - what a moment to be a part of. I hope everyone took a second to appreciate that instant in time.

There is too much bullying. Too much hatred. Too much killing and violence just because in this world. Too much sadness and crushed spirits.

When you experience a slice of time - you would be a fool to not revel in that pure, encouraging, rich moment.

And with that - we do love you Kipper.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thursday's are my new favorite

It is Thursday night and Thursdays have become my new favorite day so that makes me one happy happy girl.

Why, you wonder, are Thursday's my new fave?

Because Friday's I go home and so all Thursday I find myself anticipating home! And this particular Thursday, I also happened to book our trip to Florida. Confirm our trip to Dallas. And talk about our trip to Europe.

I also started to look for things to cook on Sunday. Reviewed our weekend schedule with a dinner out with Robert, C, Blain and Arden on Friday. Our Anniversary dinner plans on Saturday.

I daydreamed about the next weekend I get to see my family - a lovely weekend in Saskatchewan. We chatted about how to get home to Jimmy's family in Nova Scotia this summer using our vacation days as wisely as possible. I made a list of those of you whose dinner invitations are long overdue. I looked into options for our backyard. AND I basked in the anticipation of getting to see Jimmy tomorrow.

With Thursday's like that, how can it not be my new favorite day?!

So good night all - time to put this tired little head to bed for an early wake up!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Happy Anniversary to You!

2 Years ago today . . .

Everyone anxiously awaited for the Bride to arrive . . . but none quite as anxious as the cutest little ring bearers ever:

 
Finally we were ready:
 

 
And before we could say "I Do", the ceremony was over. One of the happiest moments of my life - Hearing Mr. and Mrs. Farrell for the first time!
 
 

Despite the business of that morning, we managed to sneak a few seconds to ourselves; love that our photographer captured this one when we weren't looking:


And with the support of our families:



And the encouragement of our friends (just a handful of those of you who are so very special to us):





The last two years feel no longer than a blink.

Love these memories!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Muchas Gracias Mondays

I want to try a new series on this little ole blog. And I am going to call it Muchas Gracias Mondays as, well, I am taking Spanish and so should start to toss the odd phrase into my vocabulary AND the whole point of the post is to express gratitude!

You see, Jimmy called me out on something this weekend, something that I was ashamed to see in myself. Without going into the details - suffice it to say that I often judge overall success of "X" based on  an idealism that is often not met. As such, I don't stop to appreciate so much along the way. Perhaps if I purposefully take time to recognize all that there is to be grateful for, I can break this habit that I have myself in.

So here we are - enjoying Muchas Gracias Monday's.

This week marks our second wedding anniversary. Tomorrow in fact. As I was driving into the hotel in Pittsburgh tonight I was reminiscing over that day. Introducing my new family to Saskatchewan. The hotel floor that was fully booked by our guests who are still talking about the "wedding of the summer". Visiting with my girls and my brother the night before. Cruising around Regina in the wedding bus. Just being in the moment as we were surrounded by our dearest family and friends - regardless of whether they were there in spirit or person.

Ergo, this Monday I want to start the week filled with love and appreciation for my partner and  best friend. We have had a couple of crazy years in regards to my career and Jimmy has been so incredibly supportive. He always has my back regardless and isn't scared to call me out when I need to adjust on things.

I honestly could not imagine building this life we lead with anyone else by my side. A day doesn't go by that we don't laugh together. An evening doesn't come to a close without letting each other know we are thinking of the other. A morning doesn't dawn without reminding me how grateful I am that God brought him into my life.

And I know - I know - I know - we are only two years in - and it isn't always easy. There are many days ahead and we don't know when those days are going to be filled with challenges that we don't think we are going to be able to handle.

I know we are still young in this journey. I know that others who have gone this way before have been brought to their breaking point.

In those challenging moments, I hope I still have this blog. I hope I can find all those posts on marriage and be reminded of how delightful this time has been. I trust that as we work together, our relationship will continue to deepen. That we will use those iron sharpening iron moments to grow sharper in our relationship together!

So this week, regardless of what else is thrown at me, regardless of how tired I am or how the Monday to Friday schedule is taxing me, I am thankful for my marriage! My husband who is busy keeping a house for us. My best friend who checks in throughout the day to ensure I know he's there. My protector and guardian who lectures me on taking care of myself and getting enough sleep.

Now the challenge is yours. What are you thankful for this week? Take a moment to reflect and enjoy a Muchas Gracias Monday!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

There is Beauty in Every Day


Friday was the close to another week in Pittsburgh. I am not gonna lie - travelling Monday to Friday crossing over two time zones is a little more challenging. And Friday dawned with a few bumps in the road.

No worries Mom and Dad - I triple checked my headlights - I was good this time. The drive in was uneventful and I didn't get one hug from a strange man Jimmy so all was rather normal.

As I was heading into the airport, I tried to get my boarding pass online and found that it was asking me to check in again. Upon closer inspection - my flight time now displayed 1pm rather than the expected 7am.

Hmmmm - perhaps the American Airlines computer glitch is still rearing its ugly head.

Up to the American counter I went - seeing a line up that would take at least an hour if not two to get through. Please tell me that there is a Priority Customer line . . . Oh I am in luck . . . there is . . . and not a soul in that queue!

I was the next to be serviced (oh I feel bad for those people in that long line - up and how glad I am that I no longer fall into that category) and quickly discovered it wasn't a new glitch. It may have still been a lingering issue as a result of grounding all their flights on Wednesday as they had planes stranded without crews and crews stranded without planes and cities with neither planes nor crews. Regardless - they had a plane but no crew and so had no choice but to cancel the flight.

The agent was fantastic. Once I mentioned tickets in Calgary that night for an event she started clicking away and quickly found me a flight that was leaving right away through Phoenix on US Airways. Since I only had carry-on luggage and was in a line that bypassed the humble non-status travellers, I was going to make the flight. YAY!!!!

It added an hour to my commute but I certainly was not going to complain:  it still got me to Calgary mid afternoon.

I was sitting in my seat, so thankful that everything had worked out. And as I gazed out the window, we flew over a beautiful mountain range. Wow!

We really do live in a stunning world!!
So thankful for the reminder to take a moment and look around - life is often not as bleak as it feels in the moment!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

It's Springtime in Pittsburgh



Tuesday, April 16, 2013

It's a new week

And I am certainly hoping that means the issues of last week are but a faded memory.

Day 1 - wardrobe was uneventful and I only drove during the daylight.
Day 2 - wardrobe was uneventful and I only drove during the daylight

Please please let the wardrobe and driving tomorrow be as boring as this post has been thus far. I packed the most boring outfits possible so hopefully . . .

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Such a great weekend

Hockey games
Catching up on the week
Surprise visit from good friends and their littles
Girls night
Masters and wings
Sleep in
Party plans

Oh Monday I wish you were not quickly approaching.



Friday, April 12, 2013

Date night



The last half hour is a bit of a blur. After another restless sleep my alarm jars me awake at 4:15 am. I try to roll over and pretend I can snooze a little bit longer! Then it hits me - its Friday. My fly day. This alarm is getting me up for my flight!

I sleepily wander around the room getting ready. Shower - accomplished. All my toiletries packed in their appropriate bags. Wrapping up power chords and storing my laptop in the bag. "Don't forget to put on the jewelry you laid out - especially as it includes your wedding rings" I mutter to myself.

Soon I'm ready and in the car. Lights check. Windshield wipers for the spring showers check. Off I head to the airport.

The drive was fairly nondescript. The is pool of water on lower parts of the highway where I could feel the car pull. The worst of it appeared to be the erratic drivers.

Perhaps they were feeling it this day too. One more day to get me to a break. I can do this. Or perhaps they are heading on a trip somewhere fun. Saint Martin? Venice? Dubrovnik?

I am so grateful to get to the car rental return. I pull in. Fill out my return card ad am about to close the car door when someone wraps me in a big one armed hug. He tells me how I almost have him a heart attack.

Surely he must be mistaking me for someone else. It isn't anyone that I work with at the client site. He appears to be sane and having the most pure of intentions.

After a second squeeze, I am about to tell him he's mistaken when he proceeds to tell me how he almost killed me. How I caught him off guard when he was performing a last minute lane change.

Noticing the confused look on my face he explains a bit more. "Right at the off ramp for the airport", he exclaims. " I almost missed the turn off and when I slammed on my breaks to veer right, there you were! You didn't have your lights on so I had no idea you were behind me. I am so sorry. You have me a heart attack!!" As he clutches his chest.

The poor guy. I had no idea my lights were not on. Ugh!!

Perhaps the other drivers were not so erratic after all.

Dear Pittsburgh

You did me in a little this week. Not going to lie but I am extra excited to get home. However in spite of all our challenges... You do make a mean London Fog (even though you have no idea what it is)!!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

And so the wardrobe issues continue

Today's outfit:

Black shirt dress that has a very full pleated skirt
Grey Corduroy blazer
Grey booties
Charcoal grey nylons
Fantastic Accessories

Today's weather:

Windy

Consultant:

Hands full with the following:
Purse
Keys
Coffee
Oatmeal
Laptop bag

Resulting combination:

One brown haired, blue eyed Canadian Marilyn Monroe as I try to get into the office door

And

One security guard watching it all happen

What is on the outfit agenda tomorrow?

Something safe - grey pants, hot pink cardigan and black flats.

Surely this cannot result in another outfit malfunction - can it??

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Wardrobe Mistake

So I had packed a cute little outfit to wear today. As I was packing  - I was a bit nervous thinking that it may not fully go so I laid it all out - sheath dress, tights, 3/4 blazer and beautiful mary jane stilettos. Looked great!! But always one to be prepared (GG motto in case you are wondering) I brought some back up nylons just in case.

This morning dawned far too bright and early. I did my best to spring out of bed and shower. I ironed my dress. Blew dry my hair. I meticulously did my makeup. Then I looked and looked at the tight and dress combination deciding that looked perfect. Especially once I strapped on the 3" heels (don't know why I think I should wear these to the office other than they are adorable), put on these gold and peachy drop earrings with a plethora of gold, cream and peach bangles and headed out the door.

I strutted my stuff through the lobby. I ran into a colleague and he didn't give my outfit a funny look. Yes! It was cute. Besides - that is part of the issue with travelling for work - if you don't like what you brought for the day - oh well - wear it anyways cause your only other option is repeating what you wore yesterday or are going to wear tomorrow!

So wear it I did. Then I walked out into the natural sunlight. OH MY - what was I thinking . . . by this point I was not about to hold everybody up and kept thinking - but it looked so cute in the hotel room - maybe it is just my sunglasses.

Nope - it was not. However it was too late now!

I finally confessed my fashion disaster to Brenda. She assured me it worked in her head. But what should have been these beautiful coppery brown tights turned olive green (in the sunlight they were definitely an army olive green - eewww) with a patterned silk dress featuring creams, browns, navy blue and the most beautiful shade of cobalt with a beautiful peach butter cream mary jane stilettos with black trim. I think she was just being kind.

Oh well - if you act like you own it - everyone is certain you planned it that way. Besides in Canada we have a different color wheel - right??

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Confessions

We were in Utah this weekend (you can check out the pics on the travel blog if you so desire) and it was confirmed that I am a woman with fine fine tastes.

First I tried on a Wellendorff ring . . . oh my mercies they are more beautiful in real life! Hahaha there was about a month where I dreamed of one of these for my wedding band. Then I looked up the price. Not quite within our budget. Oops. Unless that was the only line item in our wedding budget. But oh my, they are gorgeous.

In case you don't want to click on the link and haven't seen a picture it is these lovely little beauties:



Then we stumbled across an art gallery of a photographer whose work takes my breath away: Michael Fatali. Here is a little shot of one of his prints:

 
 
We had first noticed his prints all over the Spa at the hotel that we were staying at. C. Ann and I were commenting to each other about how much we loved them. And then right there on main street was his gallery. What a privilege to see his art work in person. If I ever win the lottery . . .
 
 
My final confession has to do with a book I finished, the Paris Wife by Paula McLain. It caught my eye because it was about the first love and as some critics believe true love of Ernest Hemingway. I hadn't thought much about Hemingway in the past, but when we stopped in to see his favorite haunt in Havana, he was at the fore front. I was thinking that I just might need to grab a book of his from the library to check out.
 
So anyways, I picked up the book and was drawn into the artists world from the early 1900's in Europe.. Their take on marriage was so contradictory to what I believe and it left me so saddened to know how Hemingway ended up throwing away a marriage that others were marvelling at.  So sad. Leaves you with a new resolve to ensure that Jimmy and I never leave our marriage open to so much temptation. How important it is to cherish it and cultivate it during times of ease and happiness so that when we hit hard times, we have a solid foundation to help us through!
 
And of course, a good way for Jimmy to cultivate the marriage in our times of ease would be a lovely little Wellendorff or Fatali to show how true and deep his love really is . . . hahaha. . . . just kidding!

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Ways I Prefer Not to be Tortured!

I would like to add to my list of methods with which I don't want to be tortured. Number 1 is having my nails pulled out slowly. Number 2 is now anything to do with making me itchy.

I have been abnormally itchy for a week now. And not just in one spot. Oh no. That would be easy to manage!! ALL OVER!! My shins and calves. My thighs. Behind my knees. My lower arm. My upper arm. MY BELLY BUTTON!!! Really... Who gets an itchy belly button - this girl. Yes she does. So itchy that it has kept me up at night.

Of course I did what any 30 something independent girl would do. I googled. I searched. I queried. Oh and I googled. I googled causes. I googled symptoms. I googled side effects and remedies.

Dying to hear the results? Well, apparently with the lack of any other symptoms I am healthy. It's just dry skin! (Hard to believe that considering I am lathering lotion over my entire body every hour. )

So I attempt every remedy - witch hazel with aloe, baking soda bath, cold showers, skipping a day between showers, allergy pill (which I later learned is also on the list of what not to do - that and scratching!) and gold bond lotion (I thought that was for the elderly with hemorrhoids before this incident). Oh yes I try it all. The only two left are an oatmeal bath and slathering myself with heavy cream. Breakfast in the tub? Why not?!?!

And if this doesn't work - I don't know what else to try. Who knew a little itch could be so torturous!

Number 3 is freezing me to death while showing me photos of tropical islands and feeding me liver!

To date these are my top 3. Although I haven't tried liver in a really long time. But I still dislike being cold.

Monday, April 01, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday

I know it isn't Friday but since it has been a Holiday Weekend and I was travelling on Friday (plus it was a work day for us US employees), I figured you could forgive me just this once:


--- 1 ---
Happy Easter all. My first rant is about the lack of a vacation for Good Friday. I truly do not understand some of the decisions that our lovely friends to the South have made and taking away a Easter Holiday is certainly one of those. Especially Good Friday. Is this not what the foundation of their country was built on? How can you have the celebration of Sunday without the blackness of Friday? Oh well Easter is all about bunnies, painted eggs and chocolate anyways - isn't it?

In all honesty though - I really felt like I missed this Easter. No Good Friday service being reminded of the ultimate sacrifice. No delicious Easter dinner with family and friends. No painted Easter eggs.

As such, it didn't really feel like a holiday weekend at all. I was just conveniently using that as an excuse above.

--- 2 ---
Speaking of travelling on Friday, I did meet a most delightful lady on the flight. She is teaching herself Spanish using the Rosetta Stone program. This is something that Jimmy and I have had on our to do list for a while and so I was interested to hear her take on it. Long and short, she loves it! She supplements some of her learning using an IPad program called Mind Snacks. So last night we downloaded the Mind Snacks app and I have already mastered 50 words. So I can count to 20. I know the months and days. I know my colours and will surely learn more maƱana (that's tomorrow - uh huh it is!). Fun!! (p.s. for anyone whose interest is peaked, the app is free and has an initial lesson to try; if you like it you can download all 50 lessons for $4.99 and it will teach you basic conversational phrases)


--- 3 ---
So while I was looking for the Spanish Mind Snacks app, I came across the German Mind Snacks app. I might have downloaded it as well. And I just might have whizzed through the counting. Thanks gramps for prepping me!! I would love to learn German as well so this may be the perfect start. Now I might need to save up for an IPad of my own to use while I am travelling.


--- 4 ---
I have some exciting news! Well at least it is exciting to me - may not be so much exciting to all of you. I do not need to travel this week. The schedule was such that it was up in the air until 'last minute' and so it didn't make economic sense to pay the crazy fare for this week. 

I'm looking forward to making the most of my bonus week at home. Working hard during the day of course but since I am supporting Pittsburgh I am up and at it by 6:00 and then ready to relax by 4:00. Tonight is walk and a coffee with a dear friend. Tomorrow is cooking a yummy dinner for my cute hubby. We have plans to celebrate a friends new job, go visiting and enjoy having a week to catch up a little on that to do list that never seems to be fully complete.

--- 5 ---
I really miss cooking on the road. I try to get a bit of a fix on the weekend but with so much going on, it is often only one really nice meal. When I was home sick a couple of weeks ago, I hadn't eaten a home cooked meal in over 3 weeks. 3 weeks of salad without dressing wears on a girl!

As my week on the road nears the end, I find myself taking a few moments in the evening to peak at a few of my favorite cooking blogs and start to tag those recipes that I hope to try. What's up this week you ask? Butter chicken, stuffed chicken breasts, homemade pizza, sugar cookies using my new lavender vanilla sugar and a yummy couscous salad.


--- 6 ---
Another thing I miss while on the road is my blow dryer. Hotel blow dryers are dangerous and after fighting the odds for a few years I finally succumbed to having my hair caught in the blow dryer. Yes - caught. It's happened to me twice before and is not fun - ugh! The darn air intake on the back sucks in my hair and wraps it around the motor and it has only happened with crappy hotel blow dryers.

Please picture it - there I am bright and early in the morning needing to sacrifice some hair to this dangerous apparatus! It isn't funny people - it is not funny at all!


--- 7 ---
That's okay though, because I got a new pair of glasses. Hopefully that means people are staring at my face and miss the bald spot on the back of my head! It is my first new pair of glasses in 7 - 10 years I think! They are beautiful. They have yellow arms and black rims. I like them a lot! My favorite color is yellow. So they are cute brainy/funky which I hope reflects exactly who I am! Ha!