Monday, November 30, 2009

Anna's Baby Shower!

Here are some photos from the baby shower I threw for my BFF Anna two weekends ago!

Anna and me. Isn't she gorgeous? She is the most beautiful pregnant girl I have ever seen!
Baby shower cupcakes! Delish!
Half of our guests at the fun bistro
Restaurant shot. How cute is this place???!!!

Favors! We had pretty soaps and these ADORABLE cookies from Etsy seller Sugar & Flour.
Blurry close-up of another cookie. They were so cute!!!
The restaurant made these personalized menus - so cute!
We wanted to help start Baby Mae's library, so everyone brought children's books as part of their gift.
How cute is this? One of Anna's friends made this diaper cake. It's so cute! Plus she had never done it before...just looked up directions on the internet.
All the goodies afterwards!
This is the awesome diaper bag I gave Anna. She will be such a hip mom!
And back at their house...Baby Mae's bedroom, complete with shower gifts!

Anna and her husband Tim looking all cute on their front porch
New house!
It was a fabulous weekend...I cannot wait for Mae Felicity to arrive on or around February 2nd!!!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009


I really have felt lately that I've completely vacated this blog...but I think that I'm finally back! Life has been so busy lately, between hosting my BFF's baby shower in Charlotte two weekends ago, to going out of town yet again to Michigan for Thanksgiving. But now I'm back, and happy to be home!

The baby shower in Charlotte was a huge success. My friend Anna is the most beautiful pregnant woman I have ever seen! The shower was a ton of fun, and she got so much fun stuff. I will post photos in the next couple of days, as I get my life together. :)

Matt and I headed to Michigan last Wednesday for Thanksgiving, which was wonderful. We saw lots of friends and family, and we were able to attend my college friends' "Thanksgiving Part Deux" for the first time in several years. Part Deux is an additional Thanksgiving celebration that occurs the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It's a big potluck full of wine and fun and food. This is the first time in 4 years that I've been home for Thanksgiving, so it was a lot of fun to go and hang out with all the college friends!!!

We drove back to Bloomington today...a long, 6 hour, rainy drive full of spontaneous brake lights and incompetent drivers. But we're SO happy to be home (extra happy to be home in time for Sunday night TV!).

Back to the grind tomorrow! On Tuesday, my new coworker starts and I'll be training her. I'm really looking forward to that!!! I can't wait for her to start and I can't wait to settle back in at my school full-time.

In feels good to be back in the blogland! I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday, and as I'm catching up on my Reader, I can't wait to read all about yours!


Friday, November 27, 2009


Just a quick post to say how thankful I am for so many things.

My wonderful, caring, supportive, fantabulous husband.

My family, both "old" and "new."

My friends, both real-life and bloggy, who have already shown so much support for Matt's deployment, and it hasn't even started yet!'s best dog. I swear.

A stable, wonderful job that I love.

...And I am so thankful for all the joy and love in my life and my world.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Weekend Adventure

Hello friends! Just a quick post to let you know that I'm going out of town today!!!!! My mom and I are driving to Charlotte, North Carolina, to host a baby shower for my wonderful friend Anna. I am SO excited. I've put a lot of work and planning and love into this shower and I can't wait to see how it all turns out! I'm sure I'll be taking my computer, but not sure if I'll have time to blog.

So, have a fabulous weekend, and I'll be sure to post lots of fun photos and shower stuff on Tuesday!


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Overheard at Work

This is a special edition of "Overheard from my Office." I wanted to share this story to show you how sometimes, adults can be just as ridiculous as teenagers - sometimes more so.

This morning, I volunteered for an event my organization puts on several times a year at various junior highs in Bloomington. I volunteer at every one because I freaking LOVE IT. It's called Reality Store, and it's an exercise to teach students about how much stuff costs in, you know, the "real world."

Based on the kids' GPA, they are assigned a level of education, and from there, a career. For example: A student with a 4.0 has a "graduate degree" and then can choose from something like a lawyer, a doctor, an engineer, etc. (As an aside: nobody is ever a social worker. Ummmm that needs a graduate degree! What the crap?! Haha...) This is of course supposed to teach them that grades are important in the grand scheme of things...yadda yadda. They can choose if they are married or single, and then they have to roll dice to see how many kids the have. There are a gazillion tables set up around the gym/library (depending on the school) and there is a "Housing" table, then a "Utilities" table, "Transportation," "Child Care," etc. There are also tables where you can buy a vacation to Hawaii or a dog or whatever. It's always fun to see when a kid will buy a Hummer before getting a place to live and stuff like that. Gotta love it!

Anyway, the event is run/organized by my boss but everyone who works it are volunteers. There is a diagram of all the tables, and the kids have to go to every table before they're done. We mark off each table on their little diagram with a marker. And you probably didn't need to know all of these details but I wanted to set it up properly. The main thing here is that it's fun and volunteer-driven. And at the end of the shift, all the volunteers fill out a survey discussing their experiences.

Some event occurred this morning that were detailed on someone's survey:

Apparently, a lady was marking off tables on the students' papers with a smiley face. Pretty innocuous. Well shortly into the class, another lady walked over to her and said, "I see you're using a smiley face to mark off their sheets. I just want to let you know that I've been volunteering at the Reality Store for several years, and I use a smiley face. I would appreciate it if you stopped using the smiley face at your table."


Well the lady who received the talking-to naturally thought that the Smiley Face Nazi was joking around, and continued marking off papers with smiley faces. At that point, Smiley Face Nazi started sending students back to the first lady's table and asking her to remove her smiley faces!!!!

Oh gosh, I'm worried that this just came out in the most complicated way possible, and I am impressed if you actually made it to the bottom of this post. The moral of the story: even adults say the most ridiculous things. I am pretty sure that two people can share a smiley face, but....what the hell do I know??!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

True Love

I get cold in our apartment. Really, really cold. It's kind of a running joke between Matt and I, because I ALWAYS complain about being cold. He thinks that even when it's 100 degrees outside, I'm still cold.

Anyway, the temperatures are starting to drop, but we try to hold off on turning the heat on for as long as possible. We haven't turned it on yet and would LOVE to last a few more weeks. Matt has been SO busy with school/homework/studying/papers that he stays up pretty much every night doing work after I go to sleep. Thankfully, we just put our electric blanket on the bed...but I always forget to "preheat it" and the bed is always icy cold when I crawl underneath the covers.

Last night, I told Matt I was heading to bed, and then went in the bathroom to brush my teeth. When I came out and crawled into was toasty warm! Matt had preheated the blanket for me while I was getting ready for bed.

True love? I think so.

Monday, November 16, 2009


As many of you know from my blogging/tweeting/facebooking/whatever, my phone broke just over a month ago and I lost everything. INCLUDING my giant list of books, which I had saved in my Blackberry. And nowhere else. Big mistake, clearly. Thankfully, I put my list of books on the blog awhile back, so I thought I'd revisit it and update it a bit.

1. A Million Little Pieces, by James Frey (read it, loved it, made me thankful I never did drugs, got sad at the end because I knew it was fake)
2. Angels and Demons, by Dan Brown (READ!)
3. April and Oliver, by Tess Callahan (just checked out of the library)
4. Baby Proof, by Emily Giffin (read, and liked, but not as much as Something Borrowed and Something Blue)
5. Belong to Me, by Maria De Los Santos (read - very enjoyable)
6. Bitter is the New Black, by Jen Lancaster (just checked out of the library)
7. Born to Run, by Christopher McDougall (haven't read yet but REALLY NEED TO!)
8. Breaking Dawn, by Stephanie Meyer (read, FINALLY)
9. Bright Lights, Big Ass, by Jen Lancaster (just checked out of the library)
10. Can You Keep a Secret?, by Sophie Kinsella
11. City of Falling Angels, by John Berendt (started it, couldn't get into it, gave up on it)
12. City of Thieves, by David Benioff
13. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, by Mark Haddon (just read last week and LOVED IT!)
14. Eclipse (READ!)
16. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (read it, loved it, laughed out loud several times)
17. In Defense of Food, by Michael Pollan
18. Master Your Metabolism, by Jillian Michaels (ahhhh)
19. The Memory Keeper's Daughter, by Kim Edwards (read ... had very mixed emotions about this one. thoughts?)
20. Merle's Door, by Ted Kerasote (read - total sob fest if you are a dog lover)
21. Mommywood, by Tori Spelling (don't judge me)
22. My Sister's Keeper, by Jodi Picoult (read this yesterday. The whole thing. I was not ready for the sadness factor. Argh.)
23. Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro (just started this yesterday!)
24. Nudge, by Somebody Thaler and Somebody Sunstein (I guess I skipped first names with this one)
25. Outtakes From a Marriage, by Ann Leary (read, blah)
26. Perfection, by Julie Metz
27. Please Stop Laughing at Me, by Jodee Blanco (read, made me feel sad about how cruel kids are)
28. Pretty in Plaid, by Jen Lancaster (just checked out from the library)
29. Remember Me?, by Sophie Kinsella (just checked out from the library)
30. Rhett Butler's People, by Donald McCaig (read and had mixed feelings about...lots of inconsistencies with Scarlett)
31. Scarlett, by...I don't remember because it's not in front of me (READ!)
32. Shopaholic and Baby, by Sophie Kinsella (READ!)
33. Shopaholic and Sister (READ)
34. Shopaholic Takes Manhattan (READ)
35. Shopaholic Ties the Knot (READ)
36. Something Blue, by Emily Giffin (READ AND LOVED!!!!!)
37. Something Borrowed, by Emily Giffin (READ AND LOVED!!!!!)
38. Stori Telling, by Tori Spelling (listened to the audio book on the way to Charlotte...LOVED was like listening to US Weekly for 6 hours!)
39. Such a Pretty Fat, by Jen Lancaster (just read it and laughed out loud for the entire book)
40. The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho
41. The Almost Moon, by Alice Sebold (listened to the audio book on the way home from Charlotte. Wow, that was a dark one. Seriously. If you want to read a book about a woman who kills her elderly mother, this one's for you!)
42. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz
43. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Steig Larsson (don't know anything about this, but Matt pointed it out at Border's and said it's supposed to be great)
44. The Middle Place, by Kelly Corrigan
45. The Mother Tongue, by Bill Bryson
46. The Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett
47. The Reader, by Bernhard Schlink
48. The Remains of the Day, by Kazuo Ishiguro
49. The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
50. When You Are Engulfed in Flames, by David Sedaris (I LOVE him!!!)

Whew. So, there's your update. I know I've asked you before, and I'll ask you again...tell me what you're reading right now! Anything good? Anything I should be adding to my list? Please let me know!!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Shaina's Christmas List: Forget-Everything-Else-Because-These-Are-The-Only-Things-I-Really-Want Edition

I'm so sorry...I know I've been neglecting the blog lately. I'm not even sure why...just a combination of work being busy, and home being busy, and just generally know, busy. But I thought I'd throw together my LAST and FINAL Christmas list.

Okay. I know, this looks ridiculous. But I have been wanting YogaToes for awhile now. Every time I wear heels or tight shoes, I daydream about how fantastic it would feel to stretch my toes out at the end of the day. And every time I get back from a run, and my feet feel all weird and crazy, I wish I had some yoga toes to stretch them out again. I have a lot of foot issues with toes, my arch, my over-pronation...and I would just love to pamper my feet a little bit with these bad boys. :)

Now that I am working on becoming a serious runner, I would LOVE to have a Garmin Forerunner. This is the 405CX. It is SO COOL. Over the winter, my runs will become longer and longer, and I'm really going to need to have a good way to track everything. This is at the top of my list for Christmas/Birthday/whatever. I'm also so happy the Garmins started looking less like crazy wrist computers and more like watches. :)

I am dying, dying DYING to have a Nikon DSLR camera. There are so many, and I'm really not sure which one is best for me...but I would really love to get back into photography again, and I'm going to need a camera while Matt is gone (he'll be taking our digital camera with him). I have so many friends who have this amazing camera, and wow...the quality of the photos is amazing.
So, now that you know what I'll be asking Santa Claus for....what's on YOUR Christmas list this year?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day

*photo found here*

I just wanted to say how thankful I am for our veterans, those who have served and those who are currently serving. And especially to my husband. I love you, and I am so proud of you.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Happy Anniversary: The Honeymoon!

Matt and I spent just over a week in paradise, aka Costa Rica, for our amazing honeymoon. We flew to San Jose, and our amazing hotel - Gaia Hotel and Reserve - had a van pick us up and take us to the hotel. It was a three hour drive, supposedly through the mountains and along the Pacific coast. We flew from Detroit and had a layover in Miami that was supposed to be about 3 hours. Well, 3 hours quickly turned into 6 hours, when customs refused to release our plane. Apparently, it had just come from the Dominican Republic, and...they found drugs everywhere. Haha! Kind of funny, but not really when you've been up since 3am.

So, we got to Costa Rica 3 hours late, and our lovely 3 hour drive along the coast occurred in the dark. Which was a total bummer. We were exhausted yet starving, and arrived at the hotel at around 9pm. We immediately ordered a giant room service feast and ate in bed. It was amazing. But it was so dark that we had no idea what anything looked like outside our room! We had a great night of sleep, and then woke up ... beautiful blue skies...
...and the rainforest outside our windows, with the Pacific ocean in the background. Amazing!
Daily breakfast was included in our reservation. They had the most amazing breakfasts EVER! This was my favorite, and I ordered it almost every day - it was so cleverly called the Costa Rican breakfast. Scrambled eggs, Costa Rican rice and beans, with caramelized plantains and sweet Costa Rican sour cream. AMAZING.
This was Matt's favorite...vanilla pancakes I think? I can't remember anymore.
We then relaxed with some coffee...and I'm pretty sure we both fell asleep again. :)
Wedding ring!
Matt enjoying his first of approximately 5038527 pots of Costa Rican coffee.
Later that day, we finally emerged from our room and took a little hike around the nature reserve owned by the hotel.

The walk didn't last very long, though, and we quickly went back to the pool deck to enjoy some happy hour tapas.
The food there was really, really incredible!
The next day, we went to the public beach. Matt had never seen the Pacific Ocean before!

Then we returned to play in Gaia's amazing infinity pools.

We did a lot of this during our honeymoon...sitting around and reading.
View from our balcony
We also went to the Manuel Antonio National Park...which was incredible! We saw lots of stuff, like....sloths...
...and this beautiful orchid. Did you know that orchids are in the vanilla family? Or wait, vanilla is an orchid...? Ahh, I can't remember. :)
One of the beaches in the lush!
We took a big hike around the park from one beach to the other.

We made it! The other beach...

The tail end of what was possibly the world's greatest shrimp burrito
Nice dinner at the hotel - we ate there for 98% of all meals. The food was incredible.
We also went zip lining through the rainforest...I was petrified at first, but we ended up having a great time!
The hotel bar...where we enjoyed many a mojito and mango daquiri
Hotel restaurant/lounge
Hanging out in the pool on our last day. Sniffle.
Our favorite pool bartender made us some special last-day mojitos. They were STRONG. We would go float in the pool every afternoon and drink a mojito. It was so much fun!
Well...this sure was fun for me, although uploading all these damn photos took 100 years. Haha! We don't really have any big anniversary plans today - we went out to dinner on Friday to celebrate. But I am making ribs in the slowcooker, so let's hope those work out okay!