Friday, July 31, 2009

It's the weekend yo!

Finally! Whew! It's Friday!
So, I walked out of my office in Columbus on Tuesday and have not been back in it since. Spent the rest of the week working at another site out of town, which I did not expect. After logging many hours driving this week, I really, really feel the need for an Ipod touch and the handy dandy little device which will allow me to play the Ipod through my car. Especially as it looks as if I will now be driving to Missouri next weekend to visit Jordan. Hmmm.... will I make it through the weekend without making the big purchase? I'm wavering here people....
Want a bit of a recap of my week? Sure you do. I'll just give you the highlights:
Wednesday morning: Met the person I want to be. Vicki Bowen, the director of the Columbus affiliate for Dress for Success. Vicki and I share a background in property management, which was nice but she is just above and beyond anything else an amazing person with a vision for the Dress for Success program. I spent the rest of my day thinking about how lucky I was to have encountered her and how I can find a way to be a part of her program.
Friday night- Date night with Tessa. Went to go see The Ugly Truth. Mothers and daughters may not always see eye to eye but Tessa and I were able to agree that Gerard Butler is a very, very good looking man.
Saturday- I am very lucky, and very much looking forward to attending my friend Ashley's baby shower. I met Ashley through work and just adore her. She is witty and self deprecating, both qualities I admire in a person. As I've mentioned before, I get to meet many people in my job and get to share many fun events in their lives. It is always an honor to me to be included in the exciting events of people's lives, and Ashley's baby shower and friendship is just one of the perks of my job.
Next week brings more travel, both for work and pleasure. It also brings one of my favorite things: RECIPE CLUB! And it's my turn to be the hostess. As hostess we get to pick the theme. We have SEVERAL pregnant girls in recipe club so I thought it might be fun to have a "frozen meal" theme. You know, meals you can make in advance and freeze for later? Perfect for a girl with a new family and little time. So if you have any recipe ideas, pass them along.

It's funny how summer is rolling right along and school is getting closer and closer. My babies are growing up!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Katie and Joe take on Beyonce, PCD and Britney











Sometimes, the kindness of other people just amazes me. When Joe and I went to see Pussycat Dolls and Britney Spears we were SO disappointed that we had not taken a camera. It was especially disappointing as we were four rows back from the stage. There were two people next to us that we asked to please email us their pictures if they didn't mind, and they said they would. Joe gave them his card, as it had his email address on it. And guess what? They took it one step further and mailed a cd with hundreds of awesome pics from the show. It made it all the more fun to see all of the amazing pictures they sent us! Thank you Patrick and Rodney!!! When we got to Beyonce, we were not about to make the same mistake twice. We did get nervous because on the day of the show I got a call telling me that the Detroit venue was hardcore about cameras and not to expect to get one in. We decided that we would take our chances and Joe was able to get his camera in. The bad news: My aerosol hairspray got confiscated. Don't ask why I took my ginormous can of aerosol hairspray to a concert. I just did. What did they think I was going to do? Ask Beyonce if I could do her hair?
Anyway, here are some of the amazing pics we got from the two shows. Awesome, right?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

it's not me, it's you


I think I noticed this book when I was scrolling through the Barnes and Noble website looking for something to read. I'm usually drawn to books about slightly unhinged people. Not sure why... Moving right along, let me tell you this book was almost/just this close to being as funny as Chelsea Handlers books. Chelsea's books are a touch more raunchy but I have to say, it's not me, it's you by Stefanie Wilder-Taylor was right up there for me. Funny, funny, witty stuff.


*Karen W- I would suggest this book for sure. But in absolutely no way would I suggest sharing it with your mother! But it will make you giggle out loud a few times!
Next up: Shanghai Girls by Lisa See. So far I am really enjoying it.
*If anyone wants to borrow a copy of either of these let me know. I do realize I still need to mail your book to you Shop Kim. I have been a wee bit delinquent! I'll get it out by the weekend, I promise!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

What do Dick Clark and I have in common?


Right now I feel like we are both on the countdown. Only I don't have Ryan Seacrest as a partner.


What am I counting down to?


August 24th- Caroline starts kindergarten

August 25th- Tessa starts her senior year of high school

August 26th- I will find a great happy hour somewhere and cry by myself in a corner

September 1st- Tessa can turn in her first college application

September 2nd- Repeat August 26th

October 03- The Swap N Shop I have been working on for MONTHS and am SO LOOKING FORWARD TO!

*Update on the college search: Pitt is out.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Etiquette

If you actually know me, or have the slightest inkling of my true personality from reading my blog, you will know that I am very....effusive. I truly think that may be one of the best ways to describe myself. I am not very self contained or very good at "playing it cool." I tend to gush with enthusiasm and trip over myself with questions and answers in quick succession. Which has landed me in a bit of a quandary as of late.
To "poke" or not to "poke"
To "chat" or not to "chat"
I logon to my email or facebook and there you are staring me in the face as "available." It is VERY hard for a girl like me to pass up that temptation. OF COURSE I want to barge in on your online time to say "hello" Oh, I'm sorry, we don't really know one another? But of course we do. I've emailed you at some point, or have been accepted by you as a friend on facebook. So why can't I? Or can I? What are the freaking rules? I could not just show up at your door and step into your living room uninvited so can I really just pop up on your screen? And the problem is I CAN SEE YOU. I know you are there. I am DYING to say hello. I feel like a kid at a middle school dance watching you watching me waiting for one of us to make the first move.
For real, what's a social girl to do?

This weeks read...


This one took me a few days, but it was well worth it.


It is the tale of how lives can be altered by a simple event such as a car crash. Explanations are needed for why people were on the wrong road at the wrong time with unexplained passengers in their car. Lives are changed by the series of events played out both before and after the crash. New friendships are formed, old ones are ruined. A very, very intriguing read. A definite break from the typical summer beach read.

*Sara- This is one of the books I'm giving you Sunday when I see you. You'll enjoy it!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Technology. Gotta love it.

So, during my travels with Joe, he introduced me to THE MOST AMAZING INVENTION EVER. Besides the credit card. And online shopping.
Here is the back story leading up to this AMAZING FIND:
Volvo drama: No working cd player
Katie's new job: Travel via car
Gotta keep it poppin at all times to keep myself entertained.
And I'm never good at keeping my shame a secret, so I let it out to Joe in the car.
Since I can't listen to cd's in my car I've been driving around with my laptop playing music on it. Kind of like a reverse boom box situation. I told Joe I was pretty ghetto. He corrected me and told me that was just crazy! Gotta love Joe for keepin' it real!
Back to the Katie and Joe road trip experience, Joe mentioned that he had brought his iPod for the car. In my unsuspecting world whenever I heard people mention using their iPods in the car I thought they were all driving around with their little ear buds in their ears listening to music. Which is illegal, but hey, I drive around with a laptop playing music in my car so who am I to judge? But OH NO.... Joe has an iPod adaptor thing-y that allows him to play his iPod music through my car stereo! I had no idea such a thing even existed! I am SO GETTING ONE! And you know what, it might even be more convenient than using my laptop as my car stereo. Who knew?
Oh, and one last tidbit about my Cup O Joe which runneth over with fun and technology:
Girl Talk. My new fave thing to listen to, from the Night Ripper cd! If you want something fun and new to listen to check it out! Joe was able to accomplish teaching me about all of this while having bronchitis. Poor guy. Luckily, he is on the mend and can hopefully teach me about the Brother P Touch or some other technology next.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

For real, how much do I want this?


Love at first sight. And you can bet that I've already put in a call to my friend Trinette's husband Nate who CAN MAKE ANYTHING.

*Tessa actually found this in the PB Teen catalog. Maybe we can talk Nate into making two.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Beyonce and The Wedding Crashers

So.... Beyonce with my friend Joe who is a true trooper. A day/night in review:
1) Any person willing to spend several hours in a car with me is good people.
2) Any person willing to travel in the Volvo is really, really good people. (If you're new and have missed the saga/drama of the Volvo, I can't even begin to tell you, trust me, it's bad.)
3) Columbus-Detroit. Should be three hours. Right? Wrong. An entire section of 75 is closed and since Detroit is broke/shut-down/disorganized/depressing there is no proper signage re-routing you. You do, however get a nice trip along 8 Mile Road.
4) Joe had never been to Detroit. I knew things were bad when we get re-routed down 8 Mile. Nothing good happens on 8 Mile.
5) Need proof that nothing good happens on 8 Mile? Have you ever known Eminem to rap about good stuff? 'Nuff said yo.
6) Four hours into it thanks to traffic and craptastic re-routing we get to our final destination.
7) Beyonce was good. Loved the butt bow outfit from the opening of the show. Need a butt bow.
8) After the concert it was hard finding something to do. Katie + Joe in what equates to Pontiac Michigan on a Saturday night= Not a good or very safe idea to go rolling around in uncharted territory.
9) Got back to the hotel and discovered what appeared to be a very kickin' wedding reception.
10) Debated for about two minutes before we decided to crash the reception.
11) Got to hang out (ok- crash the dance floor) for about two songs before the bride herself approached us and asked "I'm sorry, do I know you?"
12) Answered honestly "No"
13) Left when asked to.

Thank you Beyonce and Joe for a good time.

Friday, July 17, 2009

I am... Katie Fierce.


Oh yeah. I am totally going to "bring it" to Detroit and the Beyonce show. As always, have good seats, willing to travel, have a partner in crime, my friend Joe who is agreeing to let me call him Boyonce for the evening. Gotta love a friend like that!!!!

A few samples of the treasures in store for me:



Ack! I can't wait!

I wonder if she knows I am coming?

Five After Five Friday's at Whole Foods

My neighbor Nikki introduced me to the AMAZING Five After Five Friday's at Whole Foods.
As I told Nikki, I felt a little silly that I can walk to Whole Foods from my house and that I never knew about this event.
Here's how it works:
Go to Whole Foods on Friday's between 5-7 p.m. Take $5.00.
You will get a punch card and a wine glass.
You will get to sample (a generous sample) five different wines along with five samplings of complimentary foods to go along with each kind of wine.
If you save your wine glass and take it back the following week you only pay $4.00.
Guess who has their wineglass in the kitchen cabinet???

You be the judge...


You're doing the laundry for your family.

You wash, dry, fold.

You find a $20.00 bill.

Keep it? Check to see who it might belong to?

Is there an over/under for ownership? Say, if I find $20.00, I'm keeping it but if it's over $20.00 I'll ask around?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A book I would gladly pass along- The Castaways


What a great, great read. A complex tale of a group of four couples and how their lives are interwoven together. In the book these four couples, completely different in their lifestyle and temperament forge some of the closest friendships you will read about. After tragedy strikes their group it is interesting to see how some of the friendships realign themselves before all roads lead back to home. A must read for sure!


*If anyone would like to read it let me know and I will gladly send it on to you.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water...


Early last year I got caught with my pants down. Or rather, a lot of pants in my closet. And a lot of shoes in my closet. OK, and some expensive handbags as well. I had amassed a wee bit of credit card debt, much to my husbands chagrin. And when I say wee bit, I am being sarcastic. And not a wee bit, a lotta bit. And the problem was, I was not exactly forthcoming about my secret stash o'credit cards. And like many things you don't want out in the open, this one did not successfully stay in the closet. So my husband bailed me out, and I learned to live within my means. Which has felt downright mean at times. This year for Lent I gave up SHOPPING. Although temptress Wendy Brandes did manage to get the best of me, but I had allowed myself a hall pass while on vacation for some shopping which was when I made my purchases, so it kind of didn't count. Moving right along, my Lenten sacrifices stayed with me. Yes, I have done some shopping, but NOTHING compared to the days of Katie in her heyday. (Cue wistful daydreaming sequence) But, true confession: I did buy several new dresses to take on girl trip. So I'm getting ready to go out this past weekend and Brian says "Is that a new dress?" Damn. That guy NEVER notices stuff like that. Fortunately I was able to answer honestly that no, the dress was not new. Which it wasn't. I had already worn it once. So there.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Mail call! (And why I am loving the US Postal Service)


Lately, I LOVE getting our mail. Love it! In addition to my new-found love of Hey It's Free! and all of the fun free samples I get in the mail we have been getting...

LETTERS FROM SCHOOLS!

I just knew when we got Tessa's AMAZING ACT scores we would start getting some good mail and I was right! Yippee!

We got the breakdown of her scores, and I have to say once again how impressed I am by my daughter. She scored in the top 1% of kids in the state of Ohio AND the US. 1% That's MY daughter folks!

Whew! Hopefully this will help take some of the sting out of tuition, as some of the schools she is interested in are a bit on the pricey side.

So far, the front runners are:

Michigan State

University of Dayton

Miami of Ohio

I think Kentucky is so-so on her list. (Sorry Kentucky ladies, I thought this would be a stronger sell for her. Not sure why it isn't.)

Still need to go see Indiana (Special shout out to my Hoosiers!) Mizzou (Possibly one of my biggest regrets in life- not looking at Mizzou seriously) Pitt and the latest addition to her list, Notre Dame. Um, I was a little thrown for a loop when Notre Dame got thrown into the mix the other day. It's up there with Michigan State on the sticker shock factor.) She also surprised me a bit when she casually mentioned having started an application to Hanover.

Man, this all makes me want to go to college all over again! Too fun!



Thursday, July 9, 2009

This should have been my childhood...


I saw this today and loved it! For all of my talk about wanting to be in a dance-off with Justin Timberlake or some kind of break dancer, don't you agree that this should have been me?

Or you can enjoy this clip that may provide insight as to my childhood. The funny thing is that sometimes, this is really like what it is like to collect the rent!


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I'm coming Jordan, I'm coming!!!!!

Ah...... In less than one month I will be reunited with Jordan and fam. I can breathe a sigh of relief. Yes, this is the same Jordan who caused me many, many tears and sleepless nights as I cried myself to sleep with the thought of missing her when she moved away and left me!
Reunited and it feels so good! OK, maybe not the appropriate song choice.... But anyway....

I GET TO SEE JORDAN!!! I GET TO SEE JORDAN!!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

So cheesy!




One thing I love is getting together with "the girls." I am very lucky and have quite the diverse group of friends and amazingly enough everyone seems to enjoy one anothers company, no matter how different our lives may be. So I try at least once a month or every other month to find an activity we can all enjoy. This month I decided it would be fun to host a "cheese" party. The thought was that each person brought a different type of cheese to share so we could each sample something new. It was so fun to catch up with everyone and do a little munching at the same time! So thanks to all of the ladies who came. It was nice seeing everyone! And just for fun I thought I would share yet another idea from Real Simple. Take a paint sample from your local hardware store (You know, the ones that come in a long strip with seven shades of blue on the strip.) Fold it in half and write your information on the "tent" you have made. I did this and we each wrote which kind of cheese we brought. Colorful, fun and free! *You can see them, they are the little cards behind the platters.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Lesson learned...

It is a KNOWN FACT that I am TERRIBLE about listening to voice mail. TERRIBLE. A few years ago we decided not to have a home phone anymore (my entire family hates talking on the phone and we never answered it) as well all have cell phones. At home, it is difficult to get time without interruption to talk on the phone, so most of my phone conversations happen in the car, but again, I do not travel alone very often and therefore really, really enjoy my quiet time, which is really time spent listening to Boom Boom Pow as loudly as you can in a 2001 Volvo with no working CD player.
Well, in addition to ruling out a home phone, I also made a "rule" at work that cell phones were not for the office. Call me crazy, but I am in a customer service oriented business and listening to crazy ring tones blaring from desk drawers while helping someone makes me NUTS IN MY HEAD. And if I make a rule, I try to follow the rule.
Which brings me to the fact that unless you call me at work, good luck Chuck getting a hold of me or finding me around a phone which will get answered.
Guess who learned their lesson today? THIS GIRL.
Did you by any chance catch the last post where I mentioned that my neighbor found my car keys and brought them over to the babysitter? Yeah, that would be my truly great neighbor Bob. Only Bob did not actually LEAVE the keys with the sitter. He does not know her or feel comfortable leaving keys with her even though she is inside of a home with my child on a daily basis. No, it appears he LEFT A MESSAGE on my phone that he came over to TELL the sitter he had my keys and I should come over for them. Just in case someone else lost their keys in front of his house and also had a VOLVO key stamped VOLVO right in front of the house 100 feet away from my house where my VOLVO is usually parked. And apparently Bob has a time frame (which equates to less than 6 hours) to get a return call before he takes action. As I did not return the call within the 6 hour time span Bob started to doubt that those were my keys after all so he drove them over to the US Post Office and mailed them to the Kroger headquarters. Why the Kroger headquarters? Because I had my Kroger shoppers tag on the keyring and after calling Kroger they told Bob to mail the keys to them and they would find the customer and mail the keys directly to them.
How long until I get my keys you might ask? Two to five weeks. This is the same set of keys I left at Krogers a few weeks ago and had to go back for!
Moral(s) of the story:
*Return your calls within 6 hours
*Be thankful for thorough neighbors
*Have a backup set of keys handy at all times
*Shop at Kroger
*Don't drink in your yard and lose your keys

You know it was a good weekend when:

1) You don't know where your car keys are but you know they are outside somewhere because even though you were only sitting outside of your own home it seemed like a good idea to make sure not to lock yourself out
2) Your babysitter gets to your house on Monday and you preface the day by saying "If any of my neighbors bring my shoes back I left them at one of their homes this weekend. Two pair of shoes, not just two shoes."
3) Your neighbor calls you to tell you she found your wineglass outside of her home and will bring it over for you.
*Apparently my neighbor brought the keys to my babysitter today. Neighbor one in this scenario is not the same neighbor as neighbor three. Great.....
**I lost one pair of shoes, went home to put on another pair and lost those as well. Came home barefoot.
***Is it a bad sign when someone offers to bring something to you versus have you get it from them? Does that translate into "Stay away from my property you silly drunken girl"

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Gazpacho Salsa- Real Simple!


I got this recipe from my new favorite magazine, Real Simple. I "discovered" this magazine while getting my hair done one night and I have to fess up that I swiped it from the salon. I did, however, sign up for a subscription. I've made several recipes I've found in the magazine and loved them all.


Gazpacho Salsa

2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced (I used 4)
1 small yellow bell pepper, diced
1 Kirby cucumber, diced (I don't know what a Kirby cucumber is, I used a seedless one)
1/2 red onion, diced
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
I used Tostitos scoops for dipping. This recipe is SO GOOD and EASY!
Enjoy!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July!


A co-worker had something on facebook that I thought was pretty cool. Show your pride and post a comment with the name of someone you know who has served in the military for our country. I thought it was kind of cool and a nice way to show support for our troops and the men and women who help keep us safe.

So I'm going to kick things off with my father, Robert Ronquest, US Navy, Vietnam

Go ahead and post your reply of who you'd like to honor!

Happy 4th!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

My favorite Upper Arlington tradition!







For some reason, the 4th of July is HUGE in our neighborhood. The festivities start about a week early, when people start lining their chairs up along the parade route. And anyone who knows Upper Arlington can vouch for me in that I am not making this up. It works like this:



Starting around a week before the parade, people pick their spots to watch the festivities. There is a main road the parade runs along, and you will see people pull their cars up along the road, put their hazard lights on and start unloading chairs. And it doesn't have to be in front of a house you own, any house along the parade route will do. If you are REALLY festive, you rope it off. Yellow caution tape will do, maybe even some red white and blue streamers. I'm not making this stuff up people. You will see plastic chairs, folding chairs, benches, roped off areas, you name it. And if you get there and the spot is "reserved" you don't mess with it. It's kind of an honor system deal. Don't have your chairs out by July 02nd? Good luck Chuck. Standing room only, two people deep at that point. And these people mean business. Someone beat you to the punch and put their chairs in front of your house? So sad, too bad. Keep walking my friend. It's an Upper Arlington tradition and not to be messed with. I was a little bummed, because we just got our chairs out tonight and I didn't get the spot I wanted. My fault for waiting until two days before parade time. I've said for years that someday I'm going to haul a sofa out there eventually. I'm just waiting until Caroline is old enough to help carry it...



Atlantic City- The recap and why I'll never go back...
















Call me crazy but I am not a big fan of dirt, crime, humidity or New Jersey accents. Unfortunately I got heavy doses of all three in Atlantic City.





I do have to say that as always, Marriott never lets me down. We stayed at Marriott's Fairway Villas, a timeshare property and it was lovely. The grounds were great, our room was excellent and there was a Red Door Spa right across the walkway from our building. It had an amazing adults only mineral pool and we had full use of the spa facilities, including poolside service complete with drinks. How can you go wrong with service like that, right? We had a two bedroom, two bath condo with a screened in porch, full kitchen, washer dryer and hardwood floors. So nice! And the lush green grass was perfect for running around barefoot after dark to sneak back into the lovely infinity pool....





We pretty much laid low until the last day when we checked out of the Marriott and went to stay at the Trump Marina Casino. That was the decision that sealed my fate. We walked out of the casino for an 8:15 dinner reservation at Cuba Libre, which just HAPPENED to be located by a bunch of clubs in the same casino. By 9:15 I was four (yes, 4) blueberry mojitos down and ready to bounce. By 11:00 we were dancing at some club, and by the time we walked out of there it was 6 a.m. and the sun was coming up. My legs are still sore today. I am too old for this kind of fun! I was in full panic mode at that point wondering when, WHEN was I going to sleep???? I accosted some poor bartender for a Pepsi STAT!! When I woke up later that afternoon the Pepsi was next to my bed. Whew!



I'm glad I satisfied my curiosity about Atlantic City. I'm equally glad I won't be going back. I'm still trying to catch up on my sleep!

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