Friday, May 24, 2013

Friday Favorites

This week has been crazy.  A good crazy, but crazy nonetheless.  I'm so grateful for the upcoming holiday weekend and (hopefully) having three glorious days off work so I can enjoy some of my new favorite things.

The Voice

It always makes me sad in the spring when another season of tv shows have come and gone.  There's nothing new and exciting on, so we're stuck watching reruns or experiments until our favorites come back in the fall.  We aren't big reality tv watchers, and we generally dislike shows that are talent competitions, but we've recently fallen in love with The Voice.  The contestants are talented, the coaches are invested, and the setup is interesting.  Plus, I think my husband (and every other guy out there) has a man crush on Blake Shelton.  He's basically makes the show with his witty banter and jokes.

Banana Bunker

You know what's the worst?  Bruised bananas.  The. Worst.  Enter the Banana Bunker.  This device keeps your bananas safe from bumps and bruises that can turn a delicious banana brown and nasty.  Unfortunately, this is one of those items I would never pay shipping for, even if I could totally see myself using it.

Summer Movies

Brian and I don't go to the theater very often.  We'd much rather enjoy movies from our Netflix queue in the comfort of our own home.  We really have to want to see the movie to actually go out.  There are quite a few movies out this summer though that we really want to see including Ironman 3, Man of Steel, and Star Trek Into Darkness (Benedict Cumberbatch seems great for this role).  A nice summer blockbuster seems like the perfect way to spend a hot, humid day this weekend.

How are you spending your Memorial Day weekend?

Friday, May 17, 2013

Farewell to my Favorite

Last night was the end of one of my favorite tv shows of all time, The Office.  My love for the show has permeated so many areas of my life, including my everyday vernacular and even our wedding day (in more than one way).

Although I agree with much of the viewing audience that the show has certainly gone down hill since Steve Carell left, I've remained a loyal and faithful fan until the end, tuning in every Thursday for more.

Since I couldn't sit down for a giant Office marathon and watch all eight seasons before tonight's finale (as much I would love to do just that, stupid work), I will settle for sharing my top 11 favorite Office moments with you ( I couldn't narrow it down anymore).

Dwight and Jim's Alliance

This was the exact moment I fell in love with The Office.  Jim agrees to be in an alliance with Dwight only to use it against him.  It was hilarious and brilliant and I knew in that moment that I was hooked.  Nine years later, this is still one of my favorite moments of the series.

Jim impersonating Dwight

The pranks that Jim plays on Dwight are one of the absolute best part of The Office.  There are so many wonderful ones to choose from, but this one will always be my favorite.  Jim says one of the most famous line from the show (which also inspired my blog tagline), "Bears. Beets. Battlestar Galactica."

Michael Hating Toby

I love how much Michael hates Toby.  The hate seems unwarranted given that Toby is seems like such a nice, timid guy.  I love that Michael always seems to come up with new ways to insult him.

Ben Franklin

If I was forced to pick my favorite episode, Ben Franklin would be it.  After Jim hires a Ben Franklin impersonator instead of a male stripper for Phyllis's bachelorette party, Dwight questions him for authenticity.  The best part of the episode  is when Dwight says, "I don't care what Jim says, that is not the real Ben Franklin.  I am 99% sure....98."

Michael Hitting Meredith with his Car

Watch on repeat.  Always funny.

Kelly Kapoor Claiming to Be Pregnant

The best part of this moment is not that Kelly flat out lies to Ryan about being pregnant, it is when it cuts to Kelly shaking her head.  It's so simple, yet so funny.

Angela in Product Recall

Angela is that high strung, judgmental character everyone loves to hate.  She has a sweet side and she loves cats, so she'll always be good in my book.  In Product Recall, she is forced to work with Kelly, who is basically complete opposite.  While Kelly is overly excited about this prospect, Angela is seen shaking out medicine from a giant bottle as she says, "I don't have a headache, I'm just preparing."  I love using this line when I know I'm about to do something I'm dreading.

The Dundies

The Dundies are where Michael Scott shines his brightest.  It's at Chilis, full of inappropriate remarks, and was one of the first times we see the characters outside of work.  This is also when Pam teaches us of the very important concept of second drink.

Pam Sketches the Flasher as Dwight

After Phyllis gets flashed coming into work, Dwight takes it upon himself to find out who is responsible.  In order to find the perp, Dwight asks Pam to sketch him off Phyllis' description.  Since Phyllis didn't get a good look, Pam takes it upon herself to create a sketch, except Dwight doesn't realize it looks exactly like him until the end of the episode when he sees himself in the mirror with a drawn on mustache.  Comedic genius.

Casino Night

There are a lot of beautiful moments throughout Jim and Pam's relationship, but this was the turning point in the entire series for me.  Fans had waited years for Jim to finally share his true feelings for Pam.  He bares his heart and soul even though he knew it won't not change anything.  It's heartbreaking and touching and it always makes me cry, in a good way.

This list is far from exhaustive, as I have an infinite number of moments I could list as favorites.

Thanks for nine years of laughs, love, and 'that's what she said jokes'.  You will be missed, The Office.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Half Marathon Memories

So, we didn't just go to the Outer Banks to take in the tourist sites, we also went so that I could finish something I'd been working on for a very long time.  It involved training and a lot of miles.  A half marathon.

Here's a photo at the finish so that you know there's a happy ending to this story.  

I'll start by explaining that this was my first race.  No, not my first half marathon, my first organized race ever.  When I commit, I go all out.  

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Getting Out-er Banks

After being stuck indoors for months this winter, Brian and I were both feeling a little antsy to get out of the house and see something new.  There's no shortage of places on the East Coast we are have on our list of places to visit, so we opted to take a short-ish drive to North Carolina's Outer Banks.

Besides the miles of beautiful beaches, the area is most famous for being the site of the first flight.

The Wright brothers picked the Outer Banks because of its ideal conditions; it has a nearly constant wind and, maybe most importantly, the sandy ground would provide a soft landing.  This was an important consideration for them given that anything could happen.

The grounds of the first flight contain a memorial to the Wright Brothers, along with and information center with the history of flight and a life sized reproduction of the aircraft used by the Wright brothers.

It's like we're there.

The memorial was on top of a large hill, but it was worth it for the amazing views of the shoreline below.

After we got our fill over Orville and Wilbur trivia, we decided to explore the coastline further.  We didn't have a set agenda, we just set out on the highway to see what was out there.  Just so you know, there's a lot of sand.  It felt like we were driving in the desert even though the ocean was on either side of us.

We decided to stop at Cape Hatteras where we saw one of the famous lighthouses in the area.  Normally, you can climb the lighthouse (all 248 of them!), but it wasn't yet open for the season when we were visiting so we just had to enjoy it from the outside.

It is nicknamed the Barber Pole for obvious reasons

Quintessential East Coast

We went down by the water, hoping we could walk in the ocean for a while, but we quickly gave that idea up when we realize it was freezing.

We saw a lot in our first day, but we had other, bigger things to do while in the Outer Banks.  Which I'll share next!

What do you do when you have cabin fever?

Friday, May 10, 2013

West Virginia Weekend Extravaganza(TM*)

 A little while ago, Brian and I packed up the Beetle and headed to West Virginia.  We weren't going alone though, we were going to meet up with some of our favorite people ever.

W is for winners

Our friends E and N live in Indy, making our visits far less frequent than we would like.  West Virginia is roughly the midpoint for us, so we thought it would be an easy trip for a weekend meet up.

We wanted a 'real' West Virginia experience, so we opted to rent a cabin in the mountains.

I won't bore you with all the interior pictures I took of the cabin, but here's what we were living with for the weekend.

We used the crap out of that fireplace

The best part of the cabin was on the back porch:

Sadly, this hot tub was not made to comfortably fit two adults, three max, but the four of us managed to squeeze into it and enjoy its relaxing benefits for a short time.

Our cabin's view

We didn't make any grand plans for the weekend, wanting to spend our time catching up on very important topics such as discussing the major flaws of the final  Twilight Saga movie and how to survive in the woods.  We did manage to see a couple of local attractions.

First we hiked around and enjoyed the woods near our cabin.

Serious nature walks require hats.  Now you know.

Canifex Ferry battle site from the Civil War

I trees were still brown, I bet they are much prettier now

We made the short drive to check out the New River Gorge bridge, which is the longest steel arch bridge in the US, and is also incredibly tall.  Although we passed on the opportunity, you can actually tour the bridge on a walkway underneath the road.

And with that, our wild weekend was over.  It was a short, but much needed visit with friends.

Have you visited Wild and Wonderful West Virginia?  Or gone on a short vacation with friends?  Happy Weekend!

*We totally want to trademark this

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Sandal Search

Now that summer is almost here, I've begun my yearly ritual of looking for the perfect sandal.  Yes, yearly.  The search would probably be easier if I didn't already know exactly what I want.  In my shopping experience, the easiest way to to be unproductive while shopping is to know what you want.  Bonus if you are ready to spend the money.

You see, I had the perfect sandal once and I'm obsessed with finding a similar pair again.  They were brown leather slide sandals that crossed in an x over the foot.  They had plenty of cushion to make them comfortable without making them too tall.   I wore them everyday.  I even wore them into the fall with ridiculous socks because I have no shame (or fashion sense, apparently.  in my defense, I was in high school, so I didn't know any better).  I wore them until they fell apart and my mom made me throw them away.

So, I've been searching in vain for many years, but unable to find a suitable replacement.  Here are a few of the contenders from my online searching of this year's stock:

Born Gayla from Zappos

These are probably the closest sandals I could find to my elusive perfect pair.  The buckle is its ultimate ruin.   In my experience, a buckle that serves no function only serves to cause discomfort.

These look adorable, but I have my doubts about their comfort.  These look as though they have zero arch support, which is a must for my feet.

Kork Ease Corine from Nordstrom

The front of these look similar to my old shoes, but I still don't love them.  I think the two tone leather is throwing me off.

I think Anthropologie is out to bankrupt me.  These are seriously cute and I want them regardless of the fact that they look as though they would cut into every inch of my feet.

Timberland Earthkeepers Whittier Jute Sandal from Nordstrom

I am intrigued by the eco conscious nature of these sandals, but the heel is an obvious turn off for me.  I don't want height, but it seems like all the cute shoes have heels.  It's a vicious cycle.

These don't cross across the foot like my old pair, but they look oh so comfortable, albeit a little matronly.  I've tried on Born shoes before and they feel like pillows for your feet, but I'm not sure how much style I'm willing to sacrifice for comfort just yet.

Do you have a favorite sandal?  Have you ever tried to replace an item you once loved with winning results?

Friday, May 3, 2013

Friday Favorites

This week marked the end of the month of April, which always makes me a little sad because it is my favorite month.  As sad as I was to see April go, May is

Jeni's Ice Cream

It probably does not come as much of a surprise for me to admit that I love ice cream, but I'm going to say it anyway; I love ice cream.  It's a magical food.  Luckily for me, one of my best friends works for Jeni's, a Columbus based ice creamery that specializes in unique and delicious flavors.  Last week, I came home to a package of frozen treats just for me.  And Brian, if he's nice.  Best. Friend. Ever.  Brian and I tore into this pint of Brambleberry Crisp and I was instantly hooked.  Good thing, cause we have four more flavors waiting in the fridge!

Silver Linings Playbook

I knew that Silver Linings Playbook was going to be good based on the awards and accolades that it received, but I didn't realize how good it was until I saw it this week.  It's a little sweet, a little raunchy, incredibly funny, and real.  The acting is phenomenal.  If you want a(nother) reason to fall in love with Jennifer Lawrence, see this movie.

String Cheese

Serious Eats - This is my dream

Apparently, I'm really into food this week.  Not surprising.  Anyway, I have been in need of  some healthy, portable snacks when I came across the cheese section while grocery shopping.  I probably haven't eaten string cheese since grade school, but something told me I should buy it.  It has been the best thing in my lunches all week and I have to keep myself from eating all of it when I get home from work.

This Card for All My Pregnant Friends...

It seems like everyone and their brother (sister?) are announcing pregnancies on social media.  And, as I learned recently when searching for a card for our friends that just had a baby, funny cards for the occasion just don't exist.  Luckily, etsy has everything, so I may need to stock up on some of the funny cards for the future.

What are you loving this week?  Happy Weekend!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Surprising Reads

I love surprise gifts, but I am a very difficult person to surprise.  I just know what people are going to buy for me, probably because I am very specific about things I want.  When someone does manage to surprise me, I always end up loving the result.

So, when I got a mystery package last week, I knew I would love it.

The note on the inside says, "Jess--I found this book at a antique mall after Christmas--it made me think of you!!!  It's not only quotations but it is pretty and green.  Love you, Dad."  My Dad gets me.

This book is full of so many things I love:  it's old, pretty, green, and full of quotes!

Three thousand quotes!

It also has these lovely gilded edges

"No man is at all times wise"

I'm loving flipping through these pages and finding some familiar quotes and some I've never heard before.  This is organized by category although some of them are a little strange (penetration? really?), this is full of gems.

Do you love surprises?  Or old books?
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