Thursday, July 28, 2011

Happy Day & NYC Photos

It's Thursday. Which is basically Friday because I only work 4 days a week!

One of my new fave bloggers (plus a few others) is hosting a blog swap and I'm going to copy her. =)

Basically, FREE ADVERTISING, yaysies!

So, if you want your button featured on my blog for the WHOLE MONTH OF AUGUST (and probably after that because I'm lazy), send me an email with your name, blog url, and button! First come first serve - only 9 slots available (for now).

annalouphotography@gmail.com

All you have to do is put my button (over in the right sidebar) on your blog, too.  (That's where the swap part comes in...)

More pics from my trip to NYC- because it's Thursday and my brain is made of SLUDGE.
 Reminds me of You've Got Mail - TOM HANKS IS MY SOULMATE <3 <3 <3
 Is it Christmas yet????
 We didn't get to ice skate. The wait was over an hour and the rink is WAY smaller than it looks.
 Can this be my wedding?
Central Park w/ skyline.
Ran into The Other Guys movie set! Sadly, did not see Will Ferrel =(
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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Hindsight

Don't freak out if the blog looks wonky when you stop by. There might be some redesigning in the works.

I think my post on Saturday was a bit over the top and melodramatic. I'm blaming it on a belly full of wine and the fact that I'm missing my Phi Mu family more than ever.



That's a pic of Taylor and Me last spring. That's also the same white shirt I wore on my first date with Mike. 
I've always been a firm believer in the "what's meant to be will always find a way" school of thought. And after several pep-talks from my friends and family, and lots of reassurance from the Feef, I've settled my thoughts down and come to the realization that nothing has ever been truer. I can't thank those of you who read and commented on Saturday enough for your kind words of affirmation.

It is our wedding. Just us - me and Mike. Yes, we'd love for our families to be a part of it. We'd love for our friends to be a part of it. We want to share our happiness with whoever wants a piece of it. But when all is said and done, it is our wedding and nobody else's. I think I was just too caught up in having a perfect ceremony and reception to realize that the perfection would come the second we say "I do," and that after that, none of it will matter.

We picked out my wedding band several weeks ago and I wanted to share it.

So we've decided to cancel the Partridge Inn and start hunting for a new venue. We're making appointments and keeping an open mind. I don't know if I'm going to fall in love with another place quite the way I'd fallen in love with the Partridge, but that doesn't matter. I also don't know if I'm going to fall in love with a place that's already booked for our date. Nothing is set in stone, and nothing says we can't get married earlier or later than March 31st.

We've decided to not make any other decisions as far as decor goes until we know what kind of space we're going to be working with. So much of me is going to miss that lovely veranda and unique charm that the Partridge offered, but I know as long as we both show up sober and in love, it's going to be a wonderful day.


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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

This might resemble an outfit post

but it's not.

Friday night we went to see Captain America. It did not disappoint. Mike even said the ending could not have been more perfect, and he's QUITE the comic book movie critic. Ladies, if your man wants to go see it, oblige him. It's not exactly difficult to stare at Chris Evans for two hours. Obvi you'll need to feign interest - Captain America WAS the first Avenger, after all. But seriously - I really liked it. Tommy Lee Jones was awesome - I hope I am as snarky and non-sh*t-taking as he is when I'm older...except with female qualities and less wrinkles.

POINT IS, I spent a few minutes on Friday afternoon turning a dress into a skirt. I bought it at Forever 21, and if you're 5'9+ and have ever shopped there, you know they don't exactly make dresses for the tall ladies. Unless, of course, you have normal sized hips and don't mind your hoo-ha hanging out. So I bought this dress last summer, and it actually fit me pretty nicely. I'm a solid medium, and didn't even need to get a large to accomodate my long legs (like I sometimes do). Then I washed it. And it shrank. And was more like a doll's napkin than anything else. So I made it a skirt.

Evidence:



Deets: Skirt-Forever 21 (dress), Tank-Old Navy, Jean Jacket-Hollister circa 2006, Belt-Papaya...so maybe this is an outfit post.
Claps for the Feef for taking these pictures of me! I didn't want to set up the tripod and prance around with my remote control because it's literally 2 billion degrees in Aiken with 256% humidity. NO I'M NOT EXAGGERATING. I cut the back yard with the PUSH MOWER so I should know.

FYI - to see what the dress looked like BEFORE I introduced it to my sewing machine, GO HERE. And yes, I'm aware that I didn't really make any drastic changes to it.
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Monday, July 25, 2011

The best burger Mike ever had

We made THE best dinner last night. Like...seriously. The best. We were sitting on the couch like vegetables, as per usual, when Mike decided to watch Man vs. Food. The guy went to Amarillo and ate this burger called the "Burger from Hell." It looked SO delicious. Mike was like, "we could totally make that for dinner tonight." So we did. Along with a side of cheese fries.

I grated the cheese (1/2 white cheddar and 1/2 monterey jack)
He chopped up some bacon for the fries we were going to make 
We put fresh pan seared jalapenos on the burger AND on the fries
(sliced for the burger, diced for the fries)
We cooked the burgers on the stove - Mike used a bowl to put over them so they could get steamy and evenly cooked. We added some serious seasoning (Slap Ya Mama cajun spice from NOLA, plus some special hot sauce for extra spice. He also cut the potato to make the fries.
 We put the cheese on top of the burgers and let it melt. Then we put it on a toasted & buttery bun.
Seriously. SO GOOD. We were so anxious to dig in we didn't even plop down in front of Netflix like we usually do at dinner time. Mike said it was the best burger he ever remembers eating. I'm not even a very big burger person (I didn't have my first burger until I was 19 years old), and I loved it. (Read: devoured it like my last meal on death row).

We're going to make them again when my mom comes to town in August. I think Mike might have put a little bit of Mayo on his, but these were seriously so tasty on their own. And just the right amount of spicy, not the kind of spicy where you want to go dunk your face in a bucket of ice. You could actually taste the pepper and not just the burn.
The home made fries were pretty bangin', too. We chopped up some chives to put on top with the bacon and cheeeeeze.
I made a cookie brownie dessert and we ate it with vanilla ice cream. Sure, it came out of a box but it was the perfect amount of sweet after our super savory din din.
Then I poured a glass of wine and we watched a rom-com. Best Sunday night ever? Affirmative.

Probably the most successful dinner we've ever made. 
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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Our House [vol. XIV]

We officially painted the bedroom (a full week after I said we were going to start...woops)!

 "Cutting in" the edges. I guess yelling, "BABY TAKE MY PICTURE" is a little counter productive...

We primed all the walls and have now got the first coat of the light color on three of them! YAY. If things go my way, we'll get carpet installed this week and be all cozy and moved in next weekend!

Finished product - we need a new baseboard.

And now, here's a picture of Buffalo in a home-made astronaut helmet:
Clearly she is enjoying her space flight preparations! Til next time, y'all!
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Saturday, July 23, 2011

On the verge

This might be my only post that isn't saturated with pictures.

Saturdays tend to be slow blog days for whatever reason. So, I'm taking this opportunity to whine my little heart out.

I will preface this by saying that I am prone to over-reaction, especially after I've downed three glasses of consolation riesling.

The Partridge Inn is in foreclosure. It will be auctioned off to the highest bidder on September 9th. That's right. My wedding venue, the place that promised me that the happiest day of my life would be March 31st, 2012, has officially catapulted my wedding into a new level of purgatory that I'd never imagined. The Partridge Inn has been around for more than 100 years, and now - after we finally made a decision, booked the venue, settled on a date, and began planning the small details around the layout of the hotel - is going under.

I am beyond upset. I am feeling a sense of bafflement (is that a word?) that I have never before encountered. I want to crawl into a ball of raw emotion and never uncurl - I want to hit something or someone, I want to sob, I want to set the Partridge Inn on fire. I want a hug, and most of all I want to know that everything will work out, because no matter how frequently I am told that it will, I just don't know.

If it was up to me, I'd have a beautiful dress, a small ceremony, and a party afterwards with the people I actually want to be there and know will show up. None of this, let's invite 200 people to the wedding, even though we KNOW a lot of them won't come, because if we don't send them an invitation their feelings will be hurt. 

I absolutely hate this line of evil, but necessary, logic. HATE IT.

I hate that this wedding is so expensive. I'm torn between having everything beautifully done and keeping things simple - the way I like them. But I want magnificent and whimsical pictures. I want a stylish, southern shin-dig that people will envy. I don't want over exposed pictures with shine-enhancing flash or plain, wooden pews - because I'm selfish, vain, and would be ashamed to blog about it afterwards. And yet I do not want to plan a single aspect of ANYTHING. When it comes down to it, I really don't care what kind of flowers we use. I don't care if the bridesmaids dresses are short or long. I don't care. I cared about MY dress, and now that's been taken care of.

So why am I so upset about the venue? Because I DO care about this constant feeling of transition that I seem to be battling lately. If there is one thing I don't enjoy, it's not knowing. I want to know where the wedding is going to be. I want to know what the colors, flowers, and bridesmaids dresses are going to look like. I want the decisions to be made and finalized, whether I have anything to do with making them or not. Does that put me in the Bridezilla category? I don't know. But I do know why weddings turn seemingly normal ladies into crazed brides out for blood.

They're saying that my plans should be fine, and that ownership is the only thing that will be changing. But now that this has come to light, we've found out from other people that the Partridge might not be the place I want to have my wedding anyway. I'm going to try to take this in stride, but the spoiled only-child in me is reeling that things are not going my way.


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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thursday Vlog

Not anticipating any comments on THIS post. lol
Ok, this is seriously the lamest excuse for a VLOG on the planet, but the chipmunk voices crack me up, and it's a pretty good glimpse into my make-up and hair regimen (because clearly I have make-up and hair worth envying, HOW DRY ARE MY ENDS?)...except this takes place at my office and I usually do my hair and make-up BEFORE work. We were about to leave to go to Columbia for a casting call so I was just getting re-ready.

This is how I imagine I sound to Mike 24/7.
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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A DIY Project

Exactly 3 months ago, we got engaged. =)

Side note: Gena started a blog - if you have any input at all on your previous or current employment, go leave her a comment HERE.

Mike was working last night for some LAME reason, so I decided, instead of planting my happy rear-end on the couch and watching Netflix all night, that I'd be CRAFTY. I started with a trip to Hobby Lobby to scope out some possible wedding supplies. That was a bust. Then I remembered a mason jar project I'd seen on Pinterest many months ago. I decided to give it a try so I wandered over to the mason jar aisle. HOLY MOLY - they were 50% off! This just reaffirmed my undying love for Hobby Lobby. I scooped up 5 of them and headed for the wood-craft section. I snatched 5 wooden panels for 99 cents each. Then I picked out some nice flowers for 6 bucks. Those ended up being half-off, too. I found some wire picture hanger and lastly a can of white spray paint (which ended up being the most pricey parts of my purchase).

This is the end result -


That's what it ended up looking like. I added some peach colored glass beads that I had lying around the house. They're not really brown. I don't know why it looks like that, =(.

Step 1: Lay out your stuff!

 Step 2: Drill your hole. This is how you will secure the mason jar to the panel using the hanging wire.

 Step 3: PAINT. I only did one coat. I say because I wanted an antique/weathered look, but mainly because I'm lazy and impatient.

 Step 4: Throw away the lid that comes with the mason jar. Or keep it to use as a miniature frisby. Your choice. Wrap a piece of hanging wire around the bottom lip of the jar. Then, thread the two ends through your hole. Secure in the back with an ugly, wannabe, wire bow.

 Step 5: Cut a piece of ribbon for hanging purposes. I cut 5 pieces because I made 5 hanging jars.

Step 6: YOU'RE DONE! (Well, after you hang it, obvi).

TA-DA. I hung one of mine on our ever-growing frame wall. Adds dimension. (P.S. I hate that I can never get a decently lit photo of the frame wall. Cryfest.)

Anyway, moral of the story is HOBBY LOBBY ROCKS. I never would have done this project had they not been having one of their awesome sales. Normal price, for all of my supplies, would have been about $40. I spent less than $20! And I made 5 super cute hanging mason jars! YAY.
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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Dinner & Dessert at the Boll Weevil Cafe

Mike's big sister Gena turned 21 *see footnote* on Saturday, so we celebrated with the family in Augusta that evening. We ate dinner at the Boll Weevil Cafe - apparently one of Paula Dean's faves. My salad was sub-par and the fried green tomatoes didn't exactly throw a party in my mouth, although Gena said her shrimp and grits were scrumptious and the spinach dip got good reviews from the table. I'm glad I didn't show up with a hearty appetite. I also didn't appreciate the typo on their menu.

What's a chocolate chipe?

 It was good company, though, and the dessert was definitely the high point. OH MY GOSH Y'ALL. Cake slices the size of your torso! NOM NOM NOM.

 I love Jamison. Seriously. He's like the only child in the history of children that I haven't been afraid of.

 *swoon*  I hope our kids look like the Feef.


I'd definitely go back to the Boll Weevil for dessert if nothing else.

*A real lady never reveals her age. Or is it weight? Either way. NOT TELLING.
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Monday, July 18, 2011

The time I spent my Friday at the DMV

Everyone knows the DMV is the most revolting place in the world. Seriously. It's worse than The Doctor's. It's worse than traveling. In South Carolina, you only have 90 days to get your SC driver's license after you move to the state until they start hunting you down and threatening you with jail time. And since I live with a lawman, I kind of have to follow the rules.

So Friday, I finally decided to haul my lazy butt to the DMV. I checked online to see what kind of documents I'd need in order to get approved - I also figured it'd spare me any more unnecessary grief and anguish. Because experiencing at least one homicidal moment of rage is unavoidable at the DMV, and not having the papers you need only magnifies it.

I couldn't find my proof of social security number. Fortunately Aiken has a social security office, and it's literally two miles away from our house ON THE WAY to the DMV. Hooray! So far, so good.

I get to the SSO, take a number, and sit down to start filling out the form to request a replacement social security card. I didn't even finish filling in my address before my number was called. I told the man I needed proof of my social security number to take to the DMV and he was like OKAY WHATEVER YOU DESIRE, PRINCESS!

He didn't even make me fill out the whole form! He gave me my temporary SSN card and ordered me a new one. Then he offered to give me a million dollars and put me up in a sweet condo on Ischia. I politely declined. I love my Feef.

Bing bang boom I was outta there! SUHWEET! I was hoping my DMV experience would be equally as delightful. How painfully optimistic of me.

I drove to the Aiken DMV on the other side of town. The parking lot was suspiciously empty, but I'm a glass half full type of person. I just thought there was a lull in business. Merrrrrr....wrong. I walked in right behind an obnoxiously stereotypical hipster with one too many piercings for me to avoid passing judgement. We were greeted (read: yelled at) immediately, and presented with signs (printed from a computer) that read "COMPUTERS DOWN. NO TRANSACTIONS. NONE." They were kind enough to redirect us to the North Augusta office (a convenient 30 minute jaunt down the road).

I contemplated surrender, but opted to practice perseverance. If I quit now, I'll be a quitter forever! So, to North Augusta I drove. And when I pulled into the parking lot, the obnoxious hipster from Aiken was pulling out. I should have taken it as a sign. If the hipster can't even stay long enough to mock the common folk, how on earth am I going to make it?

And this is what I was met with -
OMFGsh are you serious. See how the line is out the door to check in? Yep, I waited in that. I was so happy that my paperwork was all good to go (the check in lady told me so!), because I was NOT about to turn around to go home and get something else. They had THREE people working behind the counter for this volume of customers...UN-BUH-LEEEEEE-VABLE.

I waited. I texted my mom and the Feef in an effort to stifle my desolation.
And then they announced that the Aiken DMV's computers were back up.


...


I imagined what would have happened had I been carrying a gun in my purse. You'd be reading about me in the newspaper instead of on my blog. So I made the executive decision to say F THAT to the North Augusta DMV and drove back to Aiken. If everyone is at the N. Augusta DMV, then surely the Aiken one will be less crowded...right?

MERRRRRR....wrong again.

I guess it was technically less crowded, but it's a smaller office, so even with fewer people it seemed impossible for me to EVER get my new license. Then I had my second moment of homicidal rage. The dragonlady at the check in desk said my proof of address wasn't acceptable.

...


"WHAT? THEY SAID IT WAS FINE AT THE NORTH AUGUSTA OFFICE..."
"Well..........I don't think they're going to take it. You're more than welcome to try." (AKA...I don't care if you sit in there for an hour only to find out that you don't have the right paper work. It's not my problem. They give me free donuts to be here and ACT like a real employee.)

I decided to chance it. She gave me my number ticket. D317. I took a seat. I called the Feef (who was on his way to lunch with some of his sheriffy friends) and asked him to swing by the house and bring me some more mail that might prove my address, just in case.

And then I waited. They called number after number. E223. E224. B415. B416. etc. They never called a D number. I was starting to think the dragonlady had played a cruel trick on me and was on the verge of walking back to the front door to rip out her weave. But then they called me.

And what do you know, the clerk didn't want to accept my proof of address!  THANK GOODNESS THEY HAVE THIS SIGN UP-
WTF? Those DMV people think they're sooooo clever. HOW DARE YOU.

I stared at her in disbelief for a few seconds. "BUT THEY SAID THEY'D ACCEPT IT AT THE NORTH AUGSUTA OFFICE WHAT KIND OF SHOW ARE YOU RUNNING HERE????"
"Sorry ma'am. This is your health insurance..."
"Yes. It is. It's an official piece of mail from a real life insurance company proving that I do, in fact, live in Aiken."
"Maybe if it was your car insurance."
--Blank stare--

I started digging through my purse and managed to find a pay stub with my address on it. I cautiously handed it over to her. Because apparently my passport, old Florida driver's license, temporary social security card and car registration is NOT ENOUGH to get a license in South Carolina.
It worked. So I called Mike and told him not to bother. He'd already missed lunch with THA BOYS, and promised me a swift kick in the Va-jay-jay later on for making him drive all the way to the house for no reason. So I told him I loved him and to have a good afternoon.

Anyway, I got my license more than TWO HOURS after I'd set out to do so. And you can see the day's pain written all over my face.
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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Our House [vol. XIII]

Probably the last post about the shed.  YAY. It's FINISHED!
 So proud of my handy man.
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