Friday, January 27, 2012

Disney World!

For the last part of my vacation, we went to Orlando for 4 days to watch my brother run in the Disney Marathon and to celebrate my dad's 65th birthday! The best part was that my entire family was able to be there (except for Amy and the nephews). My dad knew that Bill, Anita, Chris and I were coming, but my other brothers John and Todd (plus Melanie, Todd's wife) flew in and surprised him! He was so happy to see everyone. The last time all of us were together in one place was when Bill and Anita got married!

Before meeting up with my family, we had one last get together with Chris' side of the family. Al & Jeanie were kind enough to offer to drive us to Orlando the following day so we thought it would be a perfect opportunity for everyone to meet up and have dinner. We had a delicious Cuban meal, complete with flan homemade by Al! It was awesome!!

On Friday, we headed up to Orlando to meet with my family. I was so excited that Al & Jeanie were able to meet two of my three brothers! They'd already met my parents in Las Vegas. We met at Downtown Disney, had dinner at Earl of Sandwich (super yummy & cheap!) and then spent a couple hours just chatting.

Bill ran his marathon on Saturday and afterwards, we all went to lunch at the Wilderness Lodge, which is where my two brothers surprised my dad!

Then we went to Disney World! We were able to ride Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Pirates of the Caribbean. We even stayed for the electrical parade and the fireworks!

We were at Epcot all day Sunday where we had lunch in Germany.

On Monday morning, we all went to the Crystal Palace for breakfast! Afterwards, we rode Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear, Peter Pan, and saw Mickey's Phiharmagic show.

My brother John and his family gifted me with a Flip Ultra (thank you so much!!!!) during the vacation so I was really obsessed with making videos the entire weekend. Here is a short video I put together of lunch at Epcot and breakfast at the Crystal Palace. The Flip comes with software, but I used iMovie to do this.

This was when things got interesting. My brother Bill (that participated in the marathon) started experiencing heart attack symptoms and had to be rushed to the hospital! (Side Note: Disney staff is super nice!) He ended up staying overnight and getting tested for everything under the sun. Luckily, he doesn't have any blocked arteries or anything else, and was able to be released on Tuesday morning. It was definitely a scary time for everyone, but I'm really glad that we were all together.

That pretty much sums up my vacation!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Catching Up!

  • I know I still owe you guys a recap on my trip to Disney World. I have the post written and all of the pictures added, but I am determined to include a homemade video as well. I've put it together, but I still need to add background music. As soon as I do that it will be ready to share.
  • The Pats are going back to the Super Bowl! Sunday's game was the biggest test of the season, and while not perfect, they made enough plays to make it to the end. I have a theory - Tom Brady is in his 12th season, Bill Belichick is also in his 12th season as head coach of the Patriots, Tom wears #12, and the year is 2012.That's too many 12's to be a coincidence! It feels like it's meant to be Tom's year...
  • While we were in Key West, we ate dinner at Santiago's Bodega. One of our favorite tapas we had were the stuffed dates. I found a copycat recipe and made them over the weekend. These are a great appetizer that you can make ahead and serve room temperature.
  • Did you hear that Picnik is closing? This site has been one of my favorites to edit photos and create collages for my blog. I'm really sad that it's shutting down, but everyone will have access to regular & premium features until April 19.
  • C & I recently went to the movies and saw Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol and Haywire. I really liked both. MI was full of loud action and suspense and Haywire was more subtle but still thrilling. I think it took a few minutes to get used to the style of Haywire because it really didn't feel like an action film; it was a lot of silent moments and there wasn't added audio to the fight scenes so it felt really real. 
  • I recently signed up for MyGlam. This is a pretty new company, started by a YouTube beauty vlogger, that sends a bag of 4 to 5 deluxe size (and some full size) beauty samples to you for $10 a month. I think that they are still working out some shipping issues as I was one of many that received a bag pretty late (they are supposed to be shipped by the 10th of the month). Overall I'd say that their email notifications about such delays were sufficient and I will continue to try the service for the next couple of months. I don't really consider myself that into "beauty & makeup" but I do like trying new things. Most of the products I use are sold at the drugstore so it's nice to have samples of higher-end products to try out.
  • I received the following products in my January bag: a full size Freeman cucumber facial peel-off masque ($8), a 2 oz. sample of Wen cleansing conditioner ($36 for full size), a full size Sheer Cover duo concealer ($29), and a full size theBalm Shady Lady eyeshadow ($16). I was pleased with the products considering I only paid $10.
  • Speaking of makeup and such, I recently discovered an awesome YouTube vlogger that I just love! Jen has great tutorials on how to apply eye makeup to monolidders like me! I tried out a couple of her looks over the weekend, and was actually surprised to see that I liked the effect that eyeshadow and liner have on opening up my eyes and making them appear larger. I'll never be a beauty expert, but it has been fun experimenting with new looks. She also does reviews of all sorts of products, many coming from the drugstore.

I'm sorry that I've been absent from my blog for so long. Getting back into the swing of things after a long vacation is hard to do. I still haven't completely unpacked from my trip...which is really embarrassing to admit, and I need to do it already! And work has been very busy for me since I've returned. It seems my assignments are never-ending. But I'm not complaining, just apologizing for being MIA this month!

Next up, I promise to post my Disney World recap, with video!!!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Trip Home & Key West

I need a vacation from my vacation! From Christmas Eve until my return flight home from Orlando, it was go, go, go!

I arrived home the evening of Christmas Eve. My parents were stuck in traffic from a horrible accident on GA400 so I had an extra hour or so of sitting around before they were able to pick me up. Luckily, I was right in the middle of finally finishing up reading The Help so I didn't mind too much. We ate dinner at Buca di Beppo (a family favorite for many years!) and headed home.

On Christmas day, I slept in until around noon. I'm sure my parents were happy that I didn't wake them up at 4 am to see if Santa had visited. Once I was up, we exchanged presents and spent the rest of the day preparing for Christmas dinner, which we had the next day (my brother worked on Christmas so we postponed getting together until the day after).

I received some amazing presents, like this micro-polishing system for my face, a bareMinerals makeup kit, and the newest book by one of my favorite authors.

I have two of the best girlfriends in the world, and it makes me sad that I can't see them more often than I do. Megan & Jenny both came down to the house one day for lunch and to make cake pops!

My parents took me to their favorite restaurants while I was home so I had a lot of good food! For my friends living in Forsyth County, here are the websites for Kitani Sushi and Gasthaus. Both serve excellent food! So Me's is located in Helen, GA and is owned by friends of my brother. The food is really good as well.

(I didn't take that many pictures on the first part of my trip...oops. But don't worry, I have a ton from Disney World that I'll be sharing next.)

New Year's
I flew from Atlanta to Key West on Friday morning to reunite with Chris and his parents, Jeff & Danny. We had a jam-packed schedule from the moment I landed. We rode our bikes downtown to Duval St., watched the sunset celebration at Mallory Square, shopped, ate at a ton of good restaurants (like Seven Fish, Santiago's Bodega, and Louie's Backyard), and even did a key lime pie taste test challenge.

 1, 2, 3

Our favorite pie ended up being the one on the far right, from Kaya Island Eats. This is a fairly new restaurant located at Mile Marker 14 on Saddlebunch Keys.

The nail polish in the second photo above is really cool! It is by a company called Del Sol, and indoors the color is a shimmery blue, but once exposed to UV light, it changes to a light purple! I think it's so neat!

My favorite "cousins" (Chris' first cousin & her family) sent me Lilly Pulitzer pencils and a notepad set along with fun sprinkles for decorating cupcakes! PS - Hiiiiiiiiiii Jeanie & Mishi!

Here are a few more pictures from the trip!

Chris & I had such a great time in Key West! Even though the island is small, I still feel like I didn't really get to see everything in my short time there!

Next up, I'll share pictures from Disney World for my Dad's 65th birthday!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Top Ten of 2011

My vacation is over! I am finally back in California, and to say the last 3 weeks have been eventful would be an understatement. There was Christmas, New Year's, a trip to the hospital, a road trip to Orlando, 3 days of magic at Disney World, another trip to the hospital (for another reason entirely), and I've finally made my way home. I will do a vacation recap as soon as I can find the energy to get it together. xoxo, Angela

And just like that, another year is in the books! I thought it would be fun to compile a list of all of the great things that happened in 2011. I don't know what 2012 holds, but I'm excited to find out!

My Top Ten List of 2011 

C&A Family Get Together!

Most couples worry about the moment that they meet each other's parents and even more so, the moment the parents meet the parents. Luckily, we had a great experience in Las Vegas and made so many unforgettable memories!

My Best Friend's Wedding!
One of my very best friend's (Jenny) celebrated her engagement and wedding in 2011. It means so much to me that I was able to be a part of her wedding and stand beside her on her special day. It's something we had talked about since we were teenagers!
beautiful photo by e.Jane Photography

Chick-Fil-A Opens!
Yes, this is actually on my Top 10 List! I'm not joking about how excited I am to have a Chick-fil-A within walking/riding/driving distance of my house & work. I went no less than 3 times just in the week it opened. And it never fails, the CFA craving always hits on Sunday!

I have always wanted to visit Boston. Luckily, C & I were able to take a day trip there while visiting his parents in Rhode Island. The city is so awesome, with so much to see and experience. I especially liked seeing all of the historical monuments, C's college, and Newbury St.

Jenny's Bachelorette Party!
Jenny's wedding is already in my top ten, but Jenny's bachelorette party was a lot of fun too! I had a blast taking the redeye home, staying up all day to prep & shop for supplies, and then spend the weekend with some of my best friends! Dessert/sweet buffets are awesome, and I hope I can do another one soon!

Road Trip to San Francisco!
Our annual trip to San Francisco for the Double IPA Festival {2 years in a row makes it annual in my book} was awesome, except when it rained all of Valentine's Day and we were stuck walking around the city. My feet have never been so cold...We begin making our to-do & see list at least 6 months in advance, and this year we were able to mark quite a bit off. I've already begun a list for 2012's visit!

Amazing Television (old & new)!
We all know by now that I love me some TV! I was kind of obsessed with The Bachelor this year (Brad & Ashley's seasons) and I'll probably be watching Ben's season in January. But my favorite new shows of the year are Homeland and American Horror Story. My favorite returning shows are Hawaii Five-0 (love this show!), NCIS: LA, Castle, and Nikita (everyone should be watching this one, it's so good!).

Being in a Live Audience & Shown on TV!
I had been on the Dancing with the Stars waiting list for at least 2 seasons, and I finally got a ticket for the season premiere in September! You can read about my experience here. I somehow ended up being seated right behind Bruno and the rest of the judges so every time they would give a score, you'd see me on screen! That was my celebrity cameras freak me out!

Moco Coco's at Starbucks!
I am not a fan of coconut, but I couldn't get enough of this Mocha Coconut frappucino from Starbucks. The toasted coconut topping & mocha syrup put it over the top! I can't wait for warm weather so I can have these again.

When I was younger, I'd be the only one to keep my dad company while he watched the Miami Dolphins play on Sunday's. Granted, I was either reading or sleeping while they were playing so it wasn't so much about the game. Now, I love to watch football on Sunday, and I still cheer for the 'Fins and now also the New England Patriots because that is C's team. Football Sunday is so much fun! I'm sad the season is almost over...

As an aside, if you are one of the 1,000,000,000 Tom Brady haters, I implore you to watch this series of videos about him, The Year of the Quarterback. See the first of six videos here (and scroll through these videos to find the remaining five videos).

I hope everyone had a great Christmas & New Year! I have 1000+ posts to go through in my Google Reader, and I'm resisting the temptation to mark all as read. I will try to comment on as many as I can in the next few days! If I missed anything important (you know, engagements, babies, new jobs, etc...) leave me a comment with a link so I won't miss it.