A House Divided

James and I have never been able to agree on sports teams.

Me James

Ohio State Michigan
Browns Bengals
Indians Reds
Cavs Any team but the Cavs

However this changed when we united over our dislike of the Gators... we became Georgia fans. Last year was our first year attending the World's Largest Cocktail Party and this year we plan on attending again.

This year is even more exciting because Becky is coming for Halloween and the game!!!! <-- Notice "the game" wasn't capitalized? That's because there is only one "The Game".

I was looking for a great picture of the Landing to show Becky what to expect, but I came across this great story from two years ago instead: The World's Largest Cocktail... Wedding?

All I could think is "I need a shirt like that to wear to The Game next year."


What Have I Gotten Myself Into?!?!

To be fair to team pie, I decided to do a quick double post tonight.

I studied abroad in college with a Miss Whitney from the fabulous food blog Amuse Bouche. Everyone needs to go over there and marvel at the amazing dishes she creates (and also vote for her blog on Project Food Blog at Food Buzz). It's ok... I'll wait while you go ahead.

Now that I have shamelessly promoted her blog, I have to give a big thanks to Miss Whitney for helping a girl out. I am not a baker. At all. Pillsbury slice and bake cookies are about my level (if they make it into the oven and not my mouth first). I can cook, but just like the chefs on Top Chef, I am hopeless at desserts. So I decided to make James's favorite dessert, pumpkin pie, from scratch for his birthday this weekend. Logic... it fails me... I know. Whitney gave me a great recipe (and devoted a post to helping me) so I am determined to see this through. My Sunday is now devoted to pie making.

I'm sure embarrassing photos and stories will follow.

Also this is no longer a surprise for James, b/c last night he decided to tell me not to bring cake or pie to the office. I, already having planned this, decided to wait a night and then tell James "too bad I'm doing it anyways." He changed his mind and is excited. <--- makings of a good husband :)

Team Cake or Team Pie?

James and I have been engaged for over a year now, but haven't really begun wedding planning.
We've visited a few venues and discussed different things, but no date has been set and no deposit made on a venue. Some women might be freaking out, but James and I always focused more on being in the same state than planning a wedding. We had too many variables to worry about that were much more important than wedding favors.

But now we are in the same state, in the same apartment even, and I'm starting to look at the wedding blogs again. I can't do any real planning until James is done with elections, but I can start growing the inspiration folder again.

Throughout the interwebs, the never-ending battle of team cake vs team pie is everywhere. I, however, am only team cake if it is ice cream cake and will eat fruit pies, but don't crave them. So when it comes to wedding cake, I could completely do without. But the darling James actually wants cake, so cake there will be (even though you are looking at $300+ for bad tasting dessert). I didn't even like the look of wedding cakes, until now.

I am in love with this cake. le sigh. If only I had a $100,000 budget.

Cake on the left via The Inspired Bride


Disclaimer: This Post is Kind of Bloody

Just like the post title says, this post might not be good for someone squeamish.

So last night was "an adventure". I don't mean adventure as in "wow this trip white water rafting in Colorado brought us all so much closer together", but more in the "wow this really sucks. Hopefully by calling it an adventure, I'll eventually laugh at this story" way. So back to last night.

As the movers weren't bringing my stuff till today (Friday), we weren't able to get rid of some of James's items until last night. This included the worst TV ever since I had to watch my Thursday night line up of shows. The worst TV ever is ginormous. It is this really old non-flat monster that is around 3 ft deep and 3 ft across. It also weighs about 200 lbs with the weight all centered around the front screen area. I might be slightly exaggerating on the weight, but I will post photos later. So anyways we needed to move the TV off the stand and move it out of the way so the movers could bring in my beautiful 40" LCD TV that isn't heavy. Long story short (sorry and the story isn't even over) the worst TV ever landed on the floor on my right hand's middle finger. It hurt a lot.

Just thinking my finger got smashed, I did a dance of pain all over the living room, waving my hand, chanting an "F" word that wasn't my last name. Finally James yells at me that I need to run my finger under the faucet. He brings me, still waving my hand, into the kitchen and puts my hand under the faucet. At this point I realize my finger is bleeding, and weirdly, there are blood splatters all. over. everything. in the kitchen. "Hmm" my brain wonders, "was that there earlier?" No. No it wasn't. And then I realize that was my blood. So I do what my body does in any situation where I see blood not connected to a body, I started to faint. Thankfully I end up in the hallway with my finger wrapped in paper towel (thank you James) and I don't completely pass out.

Now James is a bit of a clean freak... and I am not. So James leaves his poor fiancee sprawled out in the hallway and starts cleaning up blood off of everywhere. Under the counter bar top, off the floor, off the walls... because apparently my pain dance amounted to me showering everything in blood. I'm still shocked that a small wound like mine that wasn't that much of a bleeder caused that much splatter.

After I know I am really not going to pass out anytime soon, James examines my finger since I refuse to look at it. Because I'm between my previous employer's insurance and COBRA coverage and the bleeding was under control, I decided I wasn't going to go to the emergency room. I wasn't going to pay $2000 for a band-aid. So my finger gets wrapped up and we go to bed.

Now you probably think I'm the world's biggest wuss. But you would be wrong. I am awesome at pain tolerance. I walked on a broken foot for two months in 6th grade (from a skiing accident) before my Mom's nurse friend made us go to the doctor for an x-ray. I can do pain... I just think blood needs to stay in the body. Whether it's mine or someone else's.

But there is a real upside to this whole story. Two actually. The first is that most likely I will have a cool scar. I'm already thinking the scar story will be about me shark wrestling. Other story suggestions are welcome though. The second upside is that I'm 99% sure everything I cook in the kitchen will turn out perfectly and I'm going to be unbeatable in Wii. Why do I think this, you ask? Well I made a blood sacrifice in my kitchen and living room and unless I've been lied to my whole life by tv shows and movies, blood sacrifices are the ultimate in getting what you want. So I'm really looking forward to that.


I Thought Moving in Together Would Be Easier...

This will be a quick update.

I'm not sure how I thought this would be easy considering I am trying to move my stuff into a full apartment that is 100 sq ft smaller than the apartment I moved from in Indy. Also this place has two full bathrooms so that cuts into the space even more. And my kitchen is basically non-existent.

We need a house.


The Sunshine State

As of 4:00 a.m. this Sunday morning, I am now a Florida resident.


Voicemail From My Dad

My dad and I get along really well and have an interesting relationship. I didn't start getting close to my dad until high school when my mom and I couldn't be in the room without making the other person scream or cry. It was a tough period of time. Anyways when all a teenager wants is someone to treat them like an adult, my dad was great at holding conversations about history, current events, and politics and listening to my point of view. I think that was the point where my dad stopped being a "dad" and became a friend. I should also mention my dad has a twisted sense of humor.

So here is what my dad left on my voicemail tonight:

"Hi. Congratulations. You're officially out of work and unemployed, at least for a little while. Talk to you later, bye."

Yes, Dad. I'm unemployed for a whole week. Which I am being paid for by my old company (yay 4.5 vacation days!) I'll make sure I think of you when I'm on the beach.


An Awesome Evening of Shopping

Added to list of things I'm going to miss about Indy: shopping and hibachi with Carol. Not sure how I'm going to function without her once I'm in Jax. I assume large cell phone bills from texting and calling are in my future.

One of my favorite things about shopping with Carol is that she has an amazing eye for deals. That girl can find the most adorable stuff at Kohl's and Old Navy and then mix it with high end labels. We have pretty different taste in clothing (her- bright prints and color, me - neutrals/ east coast preppy) but we always agree on shoes and handbags. Anyways at H&M, Carol found me the most adorable black dress for $5!!!! on the sale rack. Love love love this girl :)

Also, Lands End Canvas had some awesome items, but the shirts aren't long enough for me and they run out of sizes quickly. The sales girl mentioned they've only been around since Nov. 09 and that they are still growing. I'm excited to see if they work that out in the future. I did, however, find some fab skirts for work that I can't wait to rock.

Photo from http://treasures-inthecloset.blogspot.com/ . The belt is not part of the dress.


Sleepless Nights Equals Two Posts

I'm having trouble falling asleep tonight. Sleep issues aren't new to me, but tonight's issues are related to:
  1. "Working Out" right before bed. I am completely claiming packing as working out because of the heavy lifting... well just give it to me because I had an elevated heart rate. I am about as far from a gym rat as can be right now, because of how hard is it to make yourself go to the gym when you are working on your lap top from your bed. I guess I'l actually have to go when I live in Florida. Anyways packing up to 30 min from bedtime didn't help falling asleep.
  2. My type A-ness is freaking out because they (the movers) didn't give me a window of time of when the movers will arrive. All I got was "it will probably be in the AM. The driver will call you." I want a window of time even if it is a cable company window of 10 am - 6 pm! So I'll be anxious until I get the phone call even though I have nowhere to be tomorrow except here.
  3. I read a really moving blog today and I can't stop thinking about it. CNN had an article back in April I just now read about terminally ill bloggers blogging about death. One of the highlighted writers was Eva Markvoort who blogged for almost 4 years about her struggles with Cystic Fibrosis, her double lung transplant, life after the transplant, and then her body's rejection of the lungs. She died March 27 of this year at age 25. I can't even put into words how heartbreaking it was to see her get well after her transplant and then see her decline, already knowing the outcome. What grabbed me the most was what she accomplished in her 25 years. She became an advocate for organ donation (are you a registered organ donor?), was the subject of a documentary, and pushed herself to competing in dragonboating and charity walkathons. This woman was the same age I am now and that, of course, resonated with me and lead me to think about the goals I want to set for myself.
So... here is the beginning of my list of goals I want to achieve in the next 4.5 yrs (by my 30th birthday).

Liz's Awesome List of Awesome Things to do Before Thirty (which is not old)
  1. Get married. - Basically I just have to plan the sucker. James already committed and now it is up to me to get the ball rolling again.
  2. Buy a house.
  3. Get a puppy. - James talked me into waiting until we have a house or this would be off the list, like, tomorrow.
  4. Be in a career that makes me happy. - Hopefully this new job/company allows me to cross this off the list!
  5. Run a 5k. - See above about what an accomplishment this would be.
  6. Travel to another continent that isn't Europe.
  7. Knit a full sweater... that I can actually wear out of the house.
  8. Really learn how to cook.
  9. Become conversational again in German or French.
  10. Become handy. - My grandfather was amazing at woodworking and had his own workshop in the basement that was bigger than any bedroom I've ever had. I really want to learn how to build and fix things since my first instinct has always been to call someone. Maybe not to my grandfather's level, but I at least want to be able to do simple projects.
  11. Become a skilled photographer. - Meaning I know the technical theory behind all manual settings. I can't guarantee I'll be a good photographer.
  12. See the Northeast during peak fall foliage time. - Yes, I know that makes me old, but I bet New England would be perfect for wearing that sweater I plan on knitting. :)
  13. Driving all of Route 66. - Preferably with a female friend. Sarah, you in?
  14. Not have kids. - I don't want to start having kids until I'm 30. I want time to enjoy being young and being married (see #1) before my life changes that dramatically. So goal is to stay childless.
  15. Start donating more time and money to worthy charities. -I have been so blessed to be healthy and able to focus on dreams like travel that I want to make sure I don't take it for granted.
  16. Floss every day.
Obviously this list will have more items added in the future, but it's a start.

I hope that everyone who visits this post checks out her blog. Sometimes we need a reminder to stay strong during our own battles and to keep fighting. But even if you don't read it, please become organ donors.


Does anyone know how to fix it in html so the numbers aren't cut off?

Moving in Pictures

Picture post of why I haven't been updating.

Goodwill Pile (including cd/dvd tower are shoe rack)

My closet. You can't tell well from the photo, but there is another stack of blue medium boxes behind the front ones

Movers come tomorrow and I still have about two more boxes worth to pack. Thank goodness the movers come tomorrow and get this stuff out of here!


Packing is Evil

Yesterday I booked the movers and they are coming Wednesday. I'm kind of in shock. How can it be time to move already? Am I really giving up my apartment that I love with an amazing view and a huge kitchen? Even though I started (and stopped) packing a month ago, I have so much to pack. I've completely underestimated the amount of stuff I have, even with my slowly moving stuff down to Florida. I've used up all my free craigslist boxes and I have to go to stores begging for boxes tomorrow and most likely buy boxes from Home Depot. I already know I have to buy a special box for my floor lamp and I'm hoping to avoid buying more.

I am really proud of my Goodwill pile. I know I could have sold some of the items on Craigslist, but I was just really uncomfortable with the idea of a stranger coming to my apartment since I live alone. So I'm forgoing $100? for personal safety. Plus yay tax write offs! I know the hardest part of the drop off will be not shopping since my addiction to Goodwill is insane.

I am making one stop to shop before I leave Indianapolis. I learned about Lands End Canvas stores from a friend from Middle School on her blog today. I don't know how I didn't know about this store, but they have one in Indy and not Jacksonville! It's hidden inside Sears and I will make a trip there this week. I know I could shop online, but I really want to see the sales rack for summer clothes suitable for Florida Fall. Well that's my excuse and I'm sticking by it.


Sometimes We Forget

Today I was having one of those days where nothing was going right. During every phone call I was on I'd receive two more beeping in, I got none of the things on my to do list accomplished, and had several really un-fun phone calls with a customer about money... Did I mention that there was also a language barrier with that customer? I also spent two really unproductive phone calls with my insurance company getting information that I could have just have gotten from my dad. Basically, it was just a day that frustrates and tires someone out.

It's easy to get in a downward spiral when we have these type of days. You let these bad moments cloud your overall perception of life and view every additional event in a negative light. I know this a really bad habit of mine, so I've decided to take a minute and remember how really lucky I am.

I have a family that is really close (my bro and me at my college graduation)

I'm alive and healthy even after two serious car accidents (my first Acura after a semi ran me off the road)

I've been given the opportunity to travel and see parts of the world others don't (The Chateau where I studied abroad in Lux)

I've had amazing friendships that have lasted the post college-out of state trials (me and Sarah NYE '07; Miss Becky looking HOTT...me not)

Aaaand I get to marry this:

And lastly, I've matured greatly since my freshman year of college. I know this should be a given, but I don't think everyone does. So I'll end this post with a whiney Freshman year Xanga post. Present day edits in green.

Ok guys I know it's been awhile but it has been crazy busy here. You are a freshman, taking easy classes... doubtful. I spent 9-4 doing nothing but sitting in class or in Shriver doing homework.. Oh my poor dear, my 60 hr work week heart bleeds for you. You had to sit in class?? I think my head is gonna explode.. kinda like my car's engine.. make that my first car.. as in ex-car . Actually that does suck. SOOO I am currently carless. Yay b/c am I finally going to get a cooler car? nope. I'm getting another POS that I have to share with my brother. Actually I think my dad just ended up buying a new engine, so I didn't have to pay for an engine or car which is cool. Well I have to go finish my napoleon research, read 20 pg's for my calc theory paper, and read 50 pages in MBI. Gotta love school. Actually that sounds like an easy day, can I have that work?


Six Years Ago I Was a Huge Dork

My dad sent me an email earlier this week asking me if I knew my old Xanga account was still active. No I did not. I'm not sure how he found it, because through the job searching phase I repeatedly googled myself and never came across it. This was also distressing because my dad probably shouldn't be reading the posts on there. College Freshman-Juniors are idiots and say stupid things. If you are in college, I apologize, but in 6 years you will be horrified/very amused at the things you thought/did (I'm sure this will still be the case in another 6 years). Also, never start what amounts to be a public diary. No one needs to know about the fight you had with your roommate/boyfriend. Get a notebook or at least a word doc and write in there.

Anyways, I was looking through it today and I found a post from 6 years ago, Labor Day, Monday, September 6, 2004. Besides the fact I was excited that the dates lined up, I thought I'd share it because the post is relatively tame and relates a moment in time that I will always look back fondly on.

So I leave you with a post from my college sophomore year, visiting my parents at their boat on Lake Erie. Names have been changed and my edits are in green.

Monday, 06 September 2004

definition: Labor Day weekend- noun- The first three day weekend of the school year when you spend every minute drunk off your a** remembering why summer is soo awesome. Yeah, Labor Day wasn't the only time you spent drunk in college.

Went to the lake for the weekend and had an amazing time. Saw my lake friend Bobby who I haven;t seen in like (count the 'likes' in the post. It's sad) 2 yrs and too much time had gone by. Had an amazing dinner Saturday at the Sandusky Yacht Club as usual with their all you can eat seafood buffet. Then went back to the boat and watched tv with my brother who I really haven't hung out with enough lately. Sunday my godparents came up to the lake and we had a fabulous 4 hr sail and came back to our dock party that was a pirate themed with a huge table of food. Sally my roommate came to visit me because we had gone 48-hrs without seeing each other and as pathetic as it was.. we really wanted to hang out again. Most of the semester we didn't speak, so enjoy that while it lasts Past Liz. So we ran some errands and then Sally, Bobby and I went to get some beer and went and sat on the pier and talk. We sat out there forever and just had a great time catching up. Then Sally got really tired so we decided to drop Sally off and then Bobby and I would stay up and talk some more. Well I stop off to use the bathroom and I left the magnetic swipe card in the bathroom. The marina had everything locked and only accessible by this swipe card. It was 1 am and no one was around. We needed a swip card to get into the marina and we needed a swipe to get back into the restroom. Soo being my fault i decided that I would get us out of trouble. Sally and Bobby hoisted my drunk ass over the d*** 6 1/2 ft fence with spikes on top and I like killed myself on the way down. I left (or let) them in and drop(ped) Sally off at my boat and then Bobby and I finished off the 12 pack, talked, and called it a night. This morning I woke up with a huge a** bruise on my arm and my leg. Plus I have a sunburn and sun poisoning!! But all in all the weekend was sweet and I had a great time. Past Liz apparently didn't believe in editing.

I'm thinking about keeping up Xanga, at least for now, until I take the time to copy the whole thing to a word document or back it up somehow. I want to save it to embarrass my future kids, but also reading the other posts reminded me that every stage of life has its problems and this too shall pass.


It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Fall

One of my favorite times of year is the beginning of fall. The air smells amazing, cute fall sweaters start appearing in the stores, Saturdays are spent watching OSU football, and pumpkin spice lattes arrive at Starbucks. This week made fall seem suddenly here. OSU football game on Thursday. Check. (Off to a great start with the slaughter of Marshall.) New cute sweater. Check. Pumpkin Spice Latte. Check. Even the leaves are starting to turning even if it is from the lack of rain. So why is Mother Nature taking the weather from low 70's to 90????? Not cool Momma N... not cool. So I guess this is my practice for Florida heat till November.

Normally this is when I'd start knitting again, but I'm coming up against the truth that I won't need scarves, hats, or bulky sweaters. So I have decided that I am going to tackle sweater vests. You can wear a cute sweater vest over a t-shirt with jeans and boots in Florida... or you can't but I will anyways. I am a sweater girl... it's just who I am and Florida won't take that away from me. So... new project.

I thought I'd even change things up and not go with a neutral color like I normally would. So, I'm going with KnitPicks.com Shine Worsted Yarn in Reef.
Not only will I think the color Floridify the look, but I have the yarn already and I can't justify buying new yarn with all the craft projects I have on my to do list.

Also added to my things I'll miss about Indy... the Goodwill stores here. Almost every visit have I walked out with amazing finds. Today was no different and I walked out with a shopping cart full of things for under $20. Sarah found a skirt that was almost exactly like the one from Anthropologie that she has been coveting. $90 for a skirt or $3.99? I don't get why more people don't shop there un-ironically. Anyways I'll share my finds once I'm down in FL and can start my first house project... Halloween Decorations! Halloween is my favorite holiday and I can't wait to start some tasteful decorations :)


I Might Not Hate Indiana...

Anyone who has been friends for me for the last few years knows my level of distaste of Indiana almost rivals my hatred of Missouri. Mainly because I live in the burbs and am kind of a bitch. But anyways, I actually discovered some things I will actually miss about Indiana after I move.

People Watching

One of the best people watching experiences I ever had here was attending the Indiana State Fair. I'm not a stranger to the awesomeness of state/county fairs having grown up in Ohio... but this was different.

Carol and I found great cheap tickets to go see Kelli Pickler and Rascal Flatts (yeah Ohio) at the fair. While the concert was great, the people watching was better.

Exhibit A

That is what the radio host from the local state fair decided to wear while interviewing people for front tickets. Cut off. Plaid. Can you buy this? Did he make it? I couldn't stop staring.

Exhibit B

Sorry for the blurriness of the second photo. But... cut offs... plaid... and cowboy boots!!! This was real! Also I saw more short sundresses and cowboy boots than a 1995 Seventeen magazine.


A John Deere pulling a trolley around the fair



Because I live so far north, I never really explored downtown. I have done the whole Circle Center thing for work functions and bar hopping during conventions, but I never really explored the Mass Ave area till recently. If I had known how amazing the area was and the normal people there, I would have moved/lived there a long time ago... but then maybe I wouldn't have wanted to move to Florida. So everything happens for a reason.

Today Sarah and I had brunch and coffee in Mass Ave and it was the perfect fall day... crisp... sunny... perfect sweater weather :)

Cool Art

Mass Ave Starbucks

LED Dancing Lady... Drunk Liz is endlessly entertained by this

Cheap Champagne

Sarah and I decided after a long day of eating, drinking coffee, and shopping that what we needed was more food and drinks. So I decided to start checking off my champagne to do list.

Sarah with a bellini (total lie... it was a mimosa)

Terrible photo of me (look how pale I am!)... but look at my awesome hibiscus champagne. There was even a hibiscus flower in it, which was not as gross as it sounds.

Not pictured were the blackberry (Sarah) and Lavender (mine). Add sandwiches and duck fat fries and we are still stuffed.

So all in all, Indiana has it's moments... but I can't wait for the beach!

Also sorry for the world's longest post. I promise the next one won't be so long.


And So It Begins

You know the old saying, "This is the first day of the rest of your life"? Well today was more like the last day of my old life. I finally gave my company my two weeks notice. I have been thinking about this day for the last two and a half years, it finally happened... and like many things in life it wasn't as big of a deal as I thought it would be. For one thing, I still have to work for 9 more days (yay Labor Day!) But secondly, now I actually have to pack and move.

But in the meantime, Miss Sarah is coming to visit this weekend and I can't wait to take her to Petite Chou in Carmel. I can't believe it has taken me my entire time in Indy to find this place but I am obsessed. Seriously my goal in the next two weeks is drink my way through the entire champagne cocktail menu. Classy goal, eh?