Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday Favorites

image source
These boots that I picked up last week at Target! They have a stacked heel so they give me a little boost and they are so comfy! There is also a camel version too and it is on sale for $19.99 right now at our local Target.

The Mint Cabana Bangle from Bauble Bar. I have never purchased anything from Bauble Bar, but I love getting their emails everyday. 

Taco Friday with the ladies at work! 

This beautiful cat! 

College Football! OHIO vs. Penn State tomorrow afternoon! Aaron and I are going to watch the game and represent with our fellow Raleigh area Bobcats at Tobacco Road Sports Bar on Glenwood South. OU Oh Yeah! Suck it Penn State!

Hope you have a good weekend!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wedding Wednesday: The Beginning

The photo above is a beautiful (but rainy and overcast) picture of my uncle and aunts house in Annapolis, aka, the site where Aaron asked me to marry him! I touched on this for a quick bit in my weekend recap post, but I wanted to devote a full post to this milestone in our lives. I know that these are all repeat photos from the album that I posted on Facebook, and I don't have anyone else really different reading my blog, but I wanted to write up a dedicated post. If anything, it is for my happiness when I look back at these blog posts, and that's really what it's all about, right?

We were standing out on the dock after dinner being silly and taking photos and I called Dana down to join us. Aaron took a few sister shots and then I asked Dana to take a few of me and Aaron. Once they switched and I started posing, Aaron pulled out the ring from his pocket and got down on one knee. 

I was 100% surprised! After he placed the ring on my finger we ran back up to the house to tell everyone the good news. I will always remember getting the best surprise of my life on my birthday!

My ring is a custom designed piece (by Aaron, way to go baby!). It's a green amethyst with a halo of diamonds set in an "antique style" split shank white gold setting. It is exactly what I wanted! I knew that I definitely didn't want a solitaire setting and earlier this year I discovered how beautiful the green amethyst is. I was never hooked on wearing a "traditional" diamond anyway. The stone is light green/blueish and changes shades in the light. I love it!

I am going to try to post every Wednesday with a different category relating to our wedding. I will post inspiration photos and keep everyone up-to-date from now until our October 2013 wedding!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Alma Mater, Forever

My younger sister, Dana, started her senior year of college yesterday. As I thought about her setting up her apartment and about what she will experience in the upcoming year, I thought about my senior year and what it meant to me. 

My senior year was the first time that I really felt like an adult. I was outside of the underclassman bubble and for the first time I really had to think about what I wanted to do with my life. I had to make some big decisions about my relationships and my future career. I took on bigger responsibilities in my classes as I went through student teaching and I also took on a leadership role as the President of the Jewish Women of Ohio. I soaked in the wonderful culture of Athens, OH and I went a little (okay, a lot, see the Domo face below) crazy in the winter.

Inspired by Elizabeth's post about her little brother setting off for his freshman year of college, Dana, I have decided to write a few tips and things for you to keep in mind for your senior year.

Take as many pictures as you can! Take pictures of your friends, your favorite restaurant, your room, your favorite lecture hall, the street you walk down every day, parties you attend, and adventures you go on. Don't worry so much about sharing them on social media streams, just keep them organized and backed up in a safe place. After you graduate you will be happy to have these memories captured as photos. I often look through my folders of photos from my senior year and it always puts a smile on my face. Keeping a daily journal will also be nice when June rolls around.

Experience everything you have been putting off for the past 3 years. I'm not sure what those things are or what that means to you, but you do. Spend the extra dollar to dine at a restaurant that has always been a little out of your price range, walk into a school building that you have never been in or go to a club meeting just for fun. I'm sure I will hear about these experiences on your blog (and I can't wait!)

Speak up in class! I was not good at this when I was in college, especially in big lecture hall classes. I didn't gain my confidence until I was in my senior level education classes and in front of a class of 30 or so 6th graders every day. Ask questions and answer questions. You have spent the past three years studying and you are so smart! Drop some knowledge and show that you are on your way to becoming an expert in your field. Impress your classmates and professors and fluff your ego!

Make the best use of the resources you have available on campus. Talk to career advisers, academic advisers, collect recommendation letters and advice from your professors and stock up on PDF articles from the library. Once you graduate it all disappears! All of the resources available to you at Penn State are like a cushy safety blanket that does not exist in post-grad life. Seriously, this was one of the things I struggled with the most.

Show your school spirit! Make the most of being around your fellow lions while. After you graduate you will meet many other people who went to Penn State and it will be an instant bond. You will have friends wherever you go.

Oh yea, and keep in touch with your sister! 

I know you will have an amazing senior year. I love you!!!

Monday, August 27, 2012

My Weekend, in Snapshots

To see my weekend, on instagram (follow me @eeelishalynn)

Left to right, top to bottom:

1) Catching up with friends over a free birthday Boh at the Second Chance Saloon in Columbia, MD on Friday night.

2) Visit with my grandparents on Saturday afternoon in Bowie, MD. What a good picture!

3) Crab feast!!! My aunt and uncle hosted a crab feast at their beautiful home in Annapolis, MD for my 25th birthday. We picked and ate our way through 2 bushels of steaming hot, fresh Maryland blue crabs. Yum!

4) While we were being goofy and taking photos out on the dock, Aaron popped the question! I will write a longer post about this, but it was a HUGE part of our weekend. I was so surprised and overjoyed!

5) Birthday cake! I am so lucky that I had so many things to celebrate this weekend with my family and friends.

6) After the crab feast and celebration, Aaron, Dana, and I went on a ghost tour pub crawl in downtown Annapolis. It was the perfect night for it, cool and warm. We loved it! It was a guided walking tour to a few of the most haunted pubs in Annapolis. At each pub the group would order a drink and gather to listen to ghost stories and learn about the rich history of Annapolis.

7) Our first stop was the Maryland Inn, which houses a ghost in almost every room!

8) Our last stop was at an Irish Pub called Galloway Bay, where we ordered a pint of Guinness to share. It was magical.

So, this weekend was so amazing and I had a really hard time picking only 8 photos, but it just had to be done. I will write another post this week with the story of our engagement and more photos.

Hope you enjoyed your weekend!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Simply Saturday

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday Favorites

Birthday meals! I have been treated to two meals this week in honor of my 25th birthday! Tuesday night was dinner with the Maslow ladies (they co-wrote and performed a birthday rap for me on the spot!) at Poole's Diner, and yesterday my boss, Julie, treated me to lunch at PieBird! Scrumptious food, even better company, and as always, a growing love for Raleigh.

The return of my bangs. I heard Oprah once say that women should change their hair style every year to look updated and trendy. Not me, I need my bangs, forever and always. I let them grow out since my last haircut in May, just out of sheer laziness and it got a little crazy. Finally on Tuesday before work I stopped into the salon for a trim, and now the bangs are back! Happiness.

This Konica C35 Camera Lamp  handmade by Texas based designer, Milan Bender. You can find more of these awesome lamps in his Etsy shop, Retro Bender.

Catching up on season 8 of Weeds. Aaron and I sat down and watched the past 5 episodes that we missed, and we were pleasantly surprised. We have been big fans of the show from the beginning, but it was taken many different plot paths and questionable turns. The opening credits for Season 8 pay homage to that, and the writers have brought it back to being a compelling show. Also, hot Rabbi this season? Yes please.

My amazingly talented, kindhearted, and beautiful friend, Dana L. has created a smartphone app called Ramah365. Now, I never went to Camp Ramah (my heart belongs to Camp Louise and 21719) so I personally can't connect with anyone through this app, but it doesn't matter. I am so proud of her! Click here to read more information about the app and a bio about Dana. 

Aaron and I are packing up and getting ready to drive up to MD for the weekend, I can't wait! Hope you have a good one!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hammock Pack Review: August

Some of you may know that I spent six months working for a surprise package company, but never saw the fruits of that labor. After reading reviews of many different surprise package companies on blogs, I finally decided to purchase subscription to Hammock Pack starting in August since it is my birthmonth! What better time to treat yourself?

I chose Hammock Pack because each box is filled with not just food or beauty products, but a variety of artisan items, many of which can be found on Etsy. Each box fits under the umbrella on a monthly theme. Their website states,
 "Every month, you'll receive a surprise pack filled with everything you need to take a much needed getaway without even leaving your home. Whether it’s as simple as a movie night or mementos from that exotic vacation you can’t find the time to take. So relax and let a little “me time” come to you."
The theme of the August box is Bed & Breakfast. The box was beautifully wrapped in starry night tissue paper with a craft paper coffee cup cut out label tied on with raffia. Also included was a well designed card with a note from Hammock Pack owner, Erin and a listing of each item with a description, a photo, and a web link. The box included a Paradise Bath Boutique travel-size Summer Peach bath collection, two Mamas Baby Love handmade washcloths, two Keep It Sweet Desserts chocolate chip cookies, a Ferris Wheels eye pillow, 2oz. of Apropos Roasters small-batch coffee, and two Folktory granola bars.

I am so happy that Bed & Breakfast was my first box! I adore this theme. The washcloths and eye pillow are my favorite items in the box so far. They are so soft! Originally I was only going to subscribe for 1 month, but I am so happy with this box, I am going to keep my subscription going.

Have you ever signed up for a surprise subscription service?

P.S. Did you spot my curious kitten?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Currently I Am...

Aaron taking in culture at the NC Museum of Art*

Loving - Work! Crazy, right? I enjoy every aspect of my job from working with clients, to website coding, to design work, and My work atmosphere is really good and the women that I work with are so knowledgeable and talented! I truly look forward to going to work every morning, which is something that is rare in our society.

Reading - SEO: An Hour a Day written by Jennifer Grappone and Gradiva Couzin. I have taken on a few new SEO clients at work, so I am studying and reading up so that I have the knowledge and skills to serve them best.

Watching - True Blood, season 5, episode 11. I wish there was a LaLa show. He is my favorite character by far and the most interesting, in my opinion. So far this season has been strong and compelling even though it has come so far from the first season.

Thinking about - Writing reviews on Yelp. I have written 33 so far. It's like blogging about you experiences at restaurants and businesses in your town, which I do anyway!

Anticipating - Driving to Maryland on Friday to spend the weekend with friends and family! I haven't been home since April, so I am looking forward to our visit, especially the crabfeast and pub crawl in Annapolis on Saturday! More photos and details to appear on the blog in the future, I'm sure.

Enjoying - Soy milk! I like to have milk in my breakfast cereal and for making sauces, but Aaron and I have a hard time getting through an entire half gallon before it goes bad. This week we decided to switch to soy milk. I'm not sure how well it will go down when I make sauce (it's vanilla flavored) but it is so yummy in my cereal!

Wishing for - Our apartment to clean itself! It's not a very big apartment, but we do seem to make messes here and there. After work playing with Skwisgaar always takes priority over cleaning. It would be nice to be able to charm the broom, trash, and laundry machine to run on their own just like the Weasley house. Nice dreams...

*Okay, I know this is a post about me and what I currently have going on, and the photo of Aaron doesn't really connect to the content, but 1) this is my blog, I do what I want   2) I am bad about taking photos of myself   3) I am always currently loving this guy   4) see #1.

Monday, August 20, 2012

My Weekend, in Snapshots

 To see my weekend, on instagram (follow me @eeelishalynn)

Left to right, top to bottom:
1) Our weekend really started on Thursday evening. We met our friends at the downtown city plaza for dinner and we then we went to see Avenue Q at the Fletcher Theater in the Center for Performing Arts. The show was very well done and really funny!

2) A shot of the set for Avenue Q.

3) Skwisgaar had an appointment very early on Saturday morning. He had to go in for his 4 month rabies shot and feline distemper shot. He was a rockstar! He didn't cry or freak out at all, even when the vet was giving him the shots. He was happy to be out and about and he even got a new mouse toy (like he needs more!).

4) After the vet Aaron and I stopped by Starbucks for breakfast. I pinned up a 90 Degree Design postcard on their bulletin board. The greater good!

5) Later on Saturday afternoon we went to see Safety Not Guaranteed at the Rialto Theater in Five Points. After the movie we walked around the shops for a bit and ended up at Lily's counter ordering a huge calzone! Seriously, this calzone was the size of my torso, and it was gooooood!

6) After the movie and dinner we went to Cameron Village and I found these cute earrings. I really liked both, so I didn't buy any... that's just how my brain works sometimes. We tried to go to The Cheshire Cat Gallery, but we got there right after it closed. After that we made our way to Rita's to enjoy a refreshing gelati before we headed home for cuddle time with Skwisgaar.

7) Skwisgaar helping us do laundry on Sunday morning.

8) After venturing out into the rain to go grocery shopping we spent the rest of the day relaxing. I made steamed veggies and Crescent Turkey Dogs for dinner. Yum!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Simply Saturday

Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday Favorites

This print that I found on Etsy by searching "Raleigh Art" needs to find a spot on one of our many (still) empty walls. It was created by Dapper Paper Co., a graphic design shop here in Raleigh. Not only does this spiffy company create typographically handsome art prints, they also create logos and packaging designs for local businesses like Slingshot Coffee Co. and Kindred Boutique.

Our new Vintage 1970's nightstands from Circa Furniture. I bought the pair this week for our guest bedroom. I wrote about my experience in finding these pieces in my review on Yelp. Skwisgaar has already discovered that they make very good hiding spots.

This beautiful 8x10 Farmers Market Print created by Katie Daisy. You can find it in her Etsy shop, The Wheatfield. There are so many other beautiful prints in her shop, but I think this one would look perfect hanging in our kitchen.

Hope you had a good week!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

She Said

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Taste Test: A 21st Birthday Celebration

I can't believe it has taken me this long to put this post together. My sister, Dana, was in Raleigh two weekends ago and we celebrated her 21st birthday. She is a fan of beer and sometimes wine, but has not had time to try that many different types of liquor. I decided to remedy that and throw her a taste testing party! 

We went to our local ABC liquor parlor and bought 18 airplane bottles covering most of the liquor categories (rum, vodka, whiskey, gin, tequila, etc.). Apparently they don't sell these little gems in every state, so I guess we are lucky that we were able to find a wide selection. 

Okay, so maybe it got a little silly. There was a lot of photo posing after each pour, hesitation before taking each mini shot, and giggling at the resulting faces. We made it through most of the bottles, but gave up after tasting the Malibu Rum. Dana sorted the bottles into like and dislike piles. We realized that she doesn't like most clear liquors and she really likes Bailey's and Kahlua. She is planning on using the empty bottles to make a recycled Menorah this year for Hanukkah.

A liquor taste testing is a great idea for a 21st birthday celebration. It was inexpensive, laid back, and fun! You could even jazz this party up with custom printables, a scorecard and some decorations. We decided to keep it a simple celebration. Happy Birthday, Dana!

What is your favorite liquor?

Monday, August 13, 2012

My Weekend, in Snapshots

 To see my weekend, on instagram (follow me @eeelishalynn)

Left to right, top to bottom:

1) Fried Green Tomatoes at The Pit on Friday night! Aaron's parents drove down from Akron, OH to visit us this weekend so we had to show them Southern hospitality. What is a better way to do so than enjoying BBQ in Downtown Raleigh? It was delicious!

2) On Saturday morning we woke up early and went to the Downtown Durham Farmers Market. We bought cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, peaches, and gnarly garlic.

3) Local beer from Fullstream Brewery. After we tried their Carver Sweet Potato Ale at the Remedy Diner on the 4th of July, we knew that we had to try more. We bought a growler of the Summer Basil Ale and we can't wait to try it!

4) Aaron's parents admiring the aquarium at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences. We decided to visit the museum on Saturday afternoon. There are two buildings and admission is free every day. There is so much to see there!

5) The terror of the South! After the museum we drove to Cary to see Beasts of the Southern Wild and then went across the street form dinner at Tom Yum Tai. It was my first time trying Tai food!

6) Celebrating Brittany's 25th birthday on Saturday night!

7) Judaica gallery at the NC Museum of Art on Sunday morning. The art museum is beautiful! Like the Museum of Natural Sciences there are multiple buildings, beautiful galleries,  and it is free!

8) Yum! A brie, raspberry preserves and ham grilled cheese at Relish on Sunday evening. After dinner we said farewell to Aaron's parents and came home to cuddle with Skwisgaar and watch the amazing closing ceremonies to the 2012 London Olympics. I am sad that the Olympics is over, but there is so much to look forward to in the next 4 years until the 2016 games in Rio!

What did you do this weekend?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Cinema Sunday

As the result of a childhood wish, John Bennett's teddy bear, Ted, came to life and has been by John's side ever since - a friendship that's tested when Lori, John's girlfriend of four years, wants more from their relationship. Plot summary from IMDB

A few of my friends saw Ted early in the summer and recommended going to see it, so that is exactly what we decided to do a few Saturdays ago. Overall it was not as funny as I was expecting and I was bored with the characters and the story about halfway through. My favorite part, which is no secret to anyone since it was included in the theatrical trailer, is when John and Ted sing the thunder buddies song in bed.

Folk rock and bluegrass musicians Mumford & Sons, Old Crow Medicine Show and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes travel together by train from San Francisco to New Orleans in the spring of 2011.  Plot summary from IMDB

What is not to love about this film? Amazing folk bands, living together on a beautiful train, bringing their music to hundreds of fans. My main interest in this movie was that Mumford & Sons was part or the tour, but I also discovered that I like the music of the other bands on board as well.

I do wish there was more story to go along with the performances. There were a few short one-on-one interviews speckled throughout the film, but I didn't feel that they really came together to tell a driving story. 

With that said, the music really was the heart of this movie and that is perfectly fine with me. I will probably watch it a few more times this summer to get pumped up for the new Mumford & Sons album!

Faced with her father's fading health and environmental changes that release an army of prehistoric creatures called aurochs, six-year-old Hushpuppy leaves her Delta-community home in search of her mother.  Plot summary from IMDB

I first watched the preview for this whimsical movie last month when we went to see Moonrise Kingdom in Cary. Aaron's parents are in town visiting us this weekend so we decided to spend Saturday afternoon at the movie theater and we picked Beasts of the Southern Wild. The little girl who played Hushpuppy did a good job. Her character was a child of tough love in a tough environment, but she had a fierce spirit and love for life. 

I really enjoyed the beginning of the film when we were first being introduced to the Bathtub. I also liked the symbolic connection that Hushpuppy made to the aurochs through her prehistoric drawings about the story she was telling, but I didn't really connect with the characters well enough. 

Have you seen any good movies recently?