Monday, November 30, 2009

Cookbook Swap!

I have had cookbooks on the brain. I have been perusing my cookbooks getting ideas for our annual holiday party. I've broken out my Southern Living Christmas cookbook, the Kentucky Holiday Cookbook, my Cooking Light cookbooks as well as my collection of recipes.

I was talking to Brown Eyed Girl recently about wanting to do a cookbook swap and the sweet woman offered to co-host one! Since I could spend hours pouring over them, I thought some of you may enjoy it also.

So here are the "rules".

There is a $25 limit. Amazon has so many different ones that you can choose from that would be a good fit for your partner. There are so many out there you may find that you end up with cookbook lust afterward!

Make sure to sign up on this post by the 7th of December. When you sign up, please also include your email address that you want your partner to contact you at.

b.e.g. and I will announce the partners by the 11th of December. We'll post the pairings on both of our blogs for easy access. From there, you'll want to reach out to your partner & learn a little about them to help you decide what to send them. Do they dream of traveling to Tuscany & learning to cook? Is Paula Dean their must meet celebrity? Are they watching their weight using Weight Watchers and would love some new recipes? Dying to learn how to make perfect Asian dumplings? There are so many to choose from based on your partner!

We ask that cookbooks be mailed by the 21st of December. Many of you will be mailing off packages for family or friends, but these don't have to be under the tree by the 25th.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me - my email address is in my profile. If you want to post about this on your blog, please feel free to link back here or to b.e.g.'s post. The more the merrier!

Make sure to come back here (or to b.e.g.'s - well, preferably both!) on the 11th to see who you're paired up with.

My dream cookbook? This one from Amazon. Along with a month of cooking lessons there!

Thanksmas anyone?

I love how so many of you shared what you were thankful for in the days (and sometimes month) leading up to Thanksgiving. I always love reading what other people find important to them, because, isn't that what we're always most thankful for?

I lay wide awake in bed last night (another day of awful drivers who should not be allowed on the road. Or at least within 100 miles of me) still wired from the 10 hour drive home (which should have only taken 7. See first note about bad drivers.). As I tried to quiet my mind so I could go to sleep, I realized that I am truly thankful for the things in my life, kooky/quirky/maddening as they may be.

I'm thankful that Mr. Potts is such a rock for me. I'm also thankful that he understands my issues with bad drivers & the tendency I have to let them know they're bad drivers by giving them thumbs down. And sometimes telling them to have a super freaking fabulous day - but only where they can't see it flying.

I'm thankful for the ball of fur we call Pepe Cat. The one who howls the whole way home from my mom's & acts as our own personal siren. You know, in case people didn't see us coming, they can hear us. Yes, he is that loud. He meowed at a person in another car last night & the guy turned to look at what made that sound.

Pepe Cat was indeed on my lap, because in the carrier he hyperventilates and gets so worked up. Better on my lap (Mr. Potts was driving) where I could at least cuddle him some and keep him calm.

I'm thankful for Hayden, our yellow lab who loves to lick. She licks anything. My car interior included. I'm thankful that she doesn't have an odd tick that involves peeing a lot. Tons to be thankful for there!

I'm thankful for my mother. My mother who will send me home with a jug of plant food so that I hopefully won't kill my plant.

I'm thankful for my niece & nephew who always make me smile & definitely make me laugh. These little kids who deserve so much.

I'm thankful for Mr. Potts' niece & nephew. They make mine look like angels. I can't tell you how often this weekend I was in tears from laughing so hard watching them dig for extra "treats". And then in turn thoroughly disgusted.

I'm thankful for my Meme. And yes, she's my Meme now. She's the only grandmother I have & she's adopted me.

I'm thankful for Mr. Potts' father & step-mom. They love good food & good wine. They're also incredibly understanding of the way we are pulled whenever we go home to see everyone.

I'm thankful for Mr. Potts' mom & step-dad. Because while my mom can drive me crazy sometimes, when I leave his mom's house, I know how lucky I am. She worries & fusses over everything. No one can do anything without her having to know about it. There is no conversation she doesn't dominate.

Don't we all have quirky families? Don't we all add to the quirkiness that brings everyone together and usually causes so many laughs?

Even though it is fun to see Mr. Potts' family, the drive is unbearable. After yesterday's 10 hour debacle, I've had enough. I suggested to Mr. Potts that we see how Thanksmas would work.

We'll pick a long weekend the first part of December & go up there every year. Doing that may alleviate the cost & allow us to fly. We'll miss the holiday traffic & my nerves will be calm.

Do any of you do this - pick a weekend that may not necessarily fall over a holiday so that you can avoid the traffic & the frayed nerves?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Potts Family - A to Z

Yesterday after work Mr. Potts and I drove from Charlotte to Louisville to spend Thanksgiving with his family up here.

I wasn't thrilled to be driving after work, but I saw the point in getting it over with, not dealing with the traffic on Wednesday (today) and being able to sleep in & relax today.

The drive itself? LONG. Filled with AWFUL drivers. To be sure, there were many creative terms being used for the less fortunate drivers (those not as highly skilled as me). Words that should never, ever be uttered out loud unless you are behind the wheel of the car, cruisin down the mountain at 80 mph only to have someone sitting (may as well have been sitting with as slow as they were going) in the left lane, making you slow down & downshift (pft!). Pure, unadulterated release of foul language followed.

What can I say? I'm not patient. Never have been, never will be, but at least I'm honest about it.

And really NC?? Where did you get all your bad drivers & why did they insist on following me & sitting in the left lane???

Yes, I know I'm from NC, but I am a GOOD driver. I drive in the right lane unless I'm passing. And I don't flip you off, I give you thumbs down. Two thumbs down if it's really bad. And if you see my mouth moving when I'm passing you on the RIGHT side, you probably don't want to know what I'm saying.

Anyway, last night (or morning depending on how you count the hours) around 1am we were still driving and decided to play the A to Z game. Great way to pass a little time. We started with Mr. Potts describing me A to Z. A was obviously AMAZING. Ha!!

Once finished with me, we moved on to him. Skipping X, cause, really, that's just not fair. Unless you use Xenophile - a person attracted to foreign people, cultures or customs (according to, anyway).

And did you know that Vinophile isn't a word? It should be! You know, a person attracted to good wine, drinking good wine, buying good wine....

Once finished describing the two of us, we moved on to the Potts family. By this time we were just punchy. We got to Z and being as tired as we were, we came up with Zoolander'ish. Appropriate for the couple that loves to pose & posture, don't you think?

Mr. Potts has agreed to guest and share with you all his A to Z of me. Not sure when, but soon, I promise.

And to add to your excitement (cause I know you're excited), Brown Eyed Girl and I will be announcing a fun swap coming soon.

All this and Thanksgiving too??? What a wonderful week!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

So....what do you think?

Are you looking around thinking, "Hey! Where'd Mrs. Potts go?"? Have no fears, lovelies. I'm still here, but just new & improved!!

Jess from All-American Jess hosted a giveaway a while ago for a new blog design by the talented Krystyn of Krizzy Designs and I won! I was so excited & thrilled beyond belief that I'd have the chance to have undergo a makeover - you know, without adding in extensions or dying my hair or getting colored contacts. So thrilled!!

Then I started thinking about what I wanted to do & I'll admit, I found myself a bit overwhelmed. I mean, how do you what is going to represent you? How do you narrow it down?

So I started the process & thank God both Krystyn and Jess were so patient with my indecisiveness and my lack of time.

I think I even told Krystyn that I didn't know what to do. I do remember telling her that while I love fall, I didn't necessarily want my blog to scream, "FALL!!!" when someone came to my page.

After much work on Krystyn's part & lots of back & forth in my own head, this is the final outcome. And I love it!

Thank you Krystyn for your patience & thank you Jess for hosting such a fabulous giveaway!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Not Me! Monday or Did I really do all that in a week?

What an amazing week! I hope that you all enjoyed all of the guest posts - to Brittany, Brittany, Amber, Brown Eyed Girl, Whitney & Julie - I so appreciate you all helping me!

Whitney, I'm not sure what happened to the pictures - when I looked at it today, I saw they were missing. So sorry!

In typical vacation style Mr. Potts and I ate more than usual, drank more than usual & had a FABULOUS time!! What better way to share this with you than in Not Me, Monday fashion.

In case you haven't been introduced to Not Me Monday, here is the gist: This fun game originated with MckMama and you list a lot of things you "didn't" (read: actually did) do this weekend/past week. All in the name of admitting that we all make mistakes and aren't perfect.

Mr. Potts and I were NOT upgraded to first class for our flight to Miami. We definitely did not take advantage of the extra service & adult beverages. Uh uh - drinking & flying dehydrates you.

Mr. Potts and I did NOT enjoy some of the best Cuban food in South Beach. Oh yum...I'm drooling just thinking about it.

Mr. Potts and I did not go out in South Beach & have a wonderful time. Oh the people watching!!
We absolutely did NOT have a great time out that night & end up meeting some very nice Swedish men. Who were very emphatic that they were NOT a couple.

We did NOT love our room on the ship with a view of the ocean.
We did NOT go on our cruise with one of Mr. Potts' best friends. We did NOT meet his new girlfriend & we definitely did NOT love her to death. (Seriously though, she was so awesome!)
Mr. Potts did NOT eat sushi for the very first time & love it! He gave it two thumbs up.

Who takes cheesy pictures? NOT US!!

The Potts family most certainly did NOT enjoy their time in Grand Caymen. We most certainly did NOT get to see stingrays & hold them. Dangerous mates (Bad Steve Irwin joke there)!

We did not get to hang out with this cutie named Nemo. After hanging out with Nemo, getting kisses from him, dancing with him and petting him I certainly did NOT turn to Mr. Potts and tell him I wanted one.

We did NOT (no way, uh uh) go to Cozumel & ride ATV's through the "jungle". I didn't see how fast mine could go (37 by the way) & I definitely did NOT go through a huge puddle at full speed!

Our last night was spent at the steakhouse on board. I did NOT have a twinge of jealousy that Mr. Potts was able to order the lobster bisque. Uh uh. Not me.
Mr. Potts most definitely did NOT decide to take a snooze in the Miami airport. We spent Saturday afternoon/evening with some of our best friends here for our annual "Friends Thanksgiving". We all get together & share a Thanksgiving dinner.

I made a homemade cranberry sauce (which has apple, pear, orange, cinnamon & nutmeg in it - yum!) & a homemade pecan pie (no Caro syrup for this girl's pie!).

We all had a great time - as evidenced by the group shot.
Hope you all had a fabulous week & weekend!!

What did you not get in to?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Fabulous at 50!

Have you been to visit Whitney from That Girl & her Pug? No? You must! She's so wonderful & has the cutest little Pug named Ida Claire. She's awesomely inspirational (check her out on Good Will Grace) and incredibly honest - she's shared her struggles with her brain tumor as well as her weight loss journey.


While Mr. and Mrs. Potts are off somewhere gorgeous sipping Mai Tai's and having no cares in the world, Mrs. Potts asked me to fill in. As if I could fill her shoes, but I'm going to do my absolute best!

When she asked me (and my other esteemed guest bloggers) to fill in for her, she gave us some suggestions on what to write about. Our favorite part of our wedding, honeymoon, etc. Well, since I'm still checking the "single" box on health forms and such, I have no memories of which to share with you. What I do have, however is my most favorite vacation I've ever taken. So, today that's what you're gonna get.

A little background:
When my momma turned 50, I knew I wanted to do something special for her. She is the most important person to me and I wanted to make sure we celebrated right. So, I started saving and saving so I could give her the vacation of a lifetime. It had been almost 20 years since she'd had a vacation and it was high time she had one. She had also never been to Florida (which is still crazy for me to even fathom that she was 50 before she went to Florida) so I figured what better place to go than Miami?

It was the best. We stayed at the Fairmont Hotel Resort and Spa in Aventura, went on a day cruise to the Bahamas, took in the whole spa experience with massages and pedicures, shopped a whole lot and just relaxed and enjoyed ourselves.

So, below you will see some of my favorite pictures. We took so many, so it was hard to select (seriously, Sophie's choice people) but I did it and here's what you get.

I hadn't been on an airplane since I was about 3 months old, so this was the first one I remembered. Suffice it to say I was terrified! I probably should have taken a sedative.

We were so sleepy because we had to get up so early to be at the airport. While my mom was getting ready she tried on 2 different pairs of shoes trying to make a decision on which one to wear. When she made a decision evidently she forgot to follow through and this sight is what we saw going through security. Only my mom.

Again, we were so tired (or flight took off at 7am) but we wanted a picture of us on the plane. Well everyone that sat around us was snooty, so we did the self portrait thing, but couldn't quite seem to get it. This was the best result of at least 25 attempts.

We stayed in style. The resort was 5 stars and amazing.

We had massages and pedicures. The spa was amazing. I wish I lived there, I swear I would be there every single day.

The private beach was gorgeous.

And while we were walking we found some dentures that washed up on shore. So, we did what everyone would do - we took a picture. And then I threw up in my mouth.

One of the restaurants we ate at was called Bice. It was an Italian place recommended to us by our concierge. It was fabulous! Isn't my mom beautiful? I don't think she looks 50 at all!

Getting on the ship for our daycruise.

Don't even try and guess what number drink that is!

Welcome to Freeport! Shopping here I come!

On the way back the sun began to set and it was breathtaking. I actually have this photo blown up in a collage on my wall.

South Beach!

All in all, it couldnt' have been a better trip. We laughed til we cried, shopped til we dropped and ate til we popped. And it was a blast.

I want to thank Mrs. Potts for asking me to fill in for her while she is off! I'm jealous of her vacation but couldn't be happier for her and Mr. Potts celebrating one year of marriage! They are just about the cutest couple ever.

Thanks Mrs. Potts! And thank y'all for taking a visit to pictureland here - if you ever want more, you know where to find me!!

Whitney Johnson


Thank you Whitney for sharing this. How wonderful to be able to do this for your mom!! Perhaps I'll come back with some great pictures like this!

Thank you all for coming and visiting & for showing my guest bloggers all your love & support. Mr. Potts and I should be back by the time you're reading this & I can't wait to share our adventure with you all!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Floating on Salt

I hope that in having Julie guest blog today I am not introducing anyone new to you. If I am, you must click on over (but only after reading her post) to her blog and say hello. I guarantee you, you'll be hooked (ok, ok, you can go over there now, but you must come back to read her post!). Happy Friday Everyone!!


Hello everyone!

Thank you to Mrs. Potts for inviting me write today. I am honored to be posting on her wonderful blog! In case you don’t know me, I’m Julie from Wearing Mascara.

Since Mrs. Potts is on vacation, I wanted to share with you the most amazing, spiritual, awe-inspiring experience of my life. It was when I swam in the Dead Sea in May of 2008.

Since I had never been overseas, I took the Birthright Trip to Israel as my opportunity to take the long flight over the ocean. When I got there, it was surreal. Everywhere you go in Israel, you see something new. If I could describe the trip in one word, it would be “Surprise” because everywhere I went was surprising and different.

As I previously mentioned, swimming in the Dead Sea was so amazing. The average ocean has about 3% of salt and the Dead Sea has a whopping 33%! No wonder they call it the “Dead” Sea. Nothing lives in there! Also, you float. That was the appeal to me. I kept hearing that you float in the Dead Sea but I couldn’t believe it. How in the world could someone FLOAT in water? I obviously had to try it out for myself. It was astonishing:

That’s me reading Glamour magazine. You know how they have that column called “Where Has Your Glamour Been?” Well, I was eager to be on that page! No luck yet though!

What’s cool about the Dead Sea is that there’s a spa and beauty shop nearby that sells beauty products made from the Dead Sea. It’s called Ahava and the products rock my socks off. On that day, we picked up some body mud and lathered up! Once it dried, we washed it off in the Dead Sea. A complete natural spa day!

If you ever get a chance to go to Israel, I highly recommend visiting the Dead Sea. When I was floating, it really seemed like I could do anything. There are so many possibilities with this world of ours. The fact that I was able to defy gravity in water really says something. You can do anything you put your mind to. If that’s too deep, I hope you enjoyed the pictures anyway!

Thank you for reading! Please stop by my blog, Wearing Mascara any time! Also, please email me if you have any questions about Birthright or about my specific trip (there are a ton to choose from and I highly recommend mine!).



Thursday, November 19, 2009

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Happy Thursday!! I met Mrs. Molly Lou some months back and fell in love with her shop! I've ordered a few different sets of stationary from her (and LOVE them!!) and am planning to order some special notecards from her for Christmas for my niece. If you haven't been over to see her, you should go. But read this first!!


Hello there! I'm Mrs. Molly Lou from Molly Lou Gifts and I am super excited to be over here today. I heart Mrs. Potts and have so enjoyed getting to know her and am so thankful to call her my friend.

If you haven't stopped by my blog, I invite you to pop over and see what's going on over there. It's filled with tales and tidbits from my life with two minis and you will also find some fabulous and unique items: stationery, invitations/announcements, tableware, clothing, and more! We also have a great collection of holiday cards-perfect for your festive holiday correspondence. (Shameless plug, I know. Thanks for indulging me.) (Mrs. Potts again - Yes! You should go!!)

Let's take a moment to stop and wish Mr. and Mrs. Potts well on their anniversary cruise. Right now, they are relaxing and cruising around the Caribbean. I hope they are eating, drinking, sunning, sightseeing, swimming, and are enjoying being together celebrating their first year of marriage.

Now, let's take a trip down memory lane to my honeymoon about 5.5 years ago. Mr. and Mrs. Molly Lou got married in July of 2004 in a lovely and oh so fun ceremony and reception. We then jet-setted off to Italy for almost two weeks of fun in Rome and Venice.

Mr. Molly Lou planned our trip. We picked the destination together and then he took off. He found a castle about 60 miles outside of Rome in a small village that would be perfect for our first night there.

This is a story of planes, trains, and automobiles. We arrived in Rome in the morning and needed to get to this castle in the Italian countryside. We didn't rent a car and Mr. Molly Lou just said we could get a train from the airport to the village and then a taxi to our destination.

WRONG. WRONG. WRONG...this is where I should have smacked myself for allowing my husband to do all of the planning.

We go over to the train station and my husband tries to "discuss" with the ticket attendant on what our route will be. Mr. Molly Lou shows the paper work with the name and address.

Ticket Attendant: "No."
Mr. Molly Lou: "No. What do you mean no? I am trying to get to (as he is pointing to picture, address, confirmation number). Can you tell me what train to take?"
Ticket Attendant: "No." And he shrugs.

We try another person...nothing.

We go to a bank nearby and someone helps us. He doesn't know exactly where it is, but general vicinity. We are to take a train and then get on a bus to the village.

We purchase our tickets and haul our luggage to the train. After a lovely, short ride, we get off train and are looking for the bus needed. As we are walking through this train terminal towards the exit, there are two homeless men that are fighting with beer bottles.

(Cue:Oh lovely. This is perfect. Am I worried? Yes, but I am oh so in love and can't wait for this adventure with my new husband.)

The smell of beer and urine is just what I envisioned for the beginning of my honeymoon. We purchase our tickets and have about an hour before we depart. We purchase some pizza from a stand and then proceed to sit on the curb with our luggage enjoying the "sights" all around us.

Time to leave...yes! We are almost there. There are about 50 buses lined up at the bus depot and we have NO idea where to go. Those Italian lessons sure would have been helpful now as this small blue book isn't doing much in this small town.

I am in tears and finally by the Grace of GOD, an American man comes over...he has lived there for over 10 years and noticed that we were having some complications. He shows us which bus to get on. We get on and have one suitcase nicely perched on our laps. The bus ride is long, loud, and bumpy, but the sights are gorgeous. Finally, we can see the castle WAY UP HIGH on the small mountain come in to sight.

We wind a little up this narrow street and the excitement is on. The bus stops and the driver looks at us and tells us to get off. My husband says, "No. We are going up to the castle" and the driver says "You get off here and walk."

We get off, two suitcases and start to walk UP THE MOUNTAIN. (By this time, we have been up for over 24 hours, taken 2 planes, a train, a bus, and now we have to walk.) We walk up and around the windy DIRT streets of this small village that is empty. Turn a corner and CHICKENS are on the road and then proceed to follow us.

We finally make it and it really was gorgeous with breath taking views. We had a lovely time walking the grounds, exploring the castle, swimming, ate the best meal, and had virtually an entire castle to ourselves as there were only 6 other people staying that night. Two other couples we talked to rented cars to get there and were staying for days. (DUH!)

The next morning as it was time to leave and head to Rome, we are attempting to joke with the desk receptionist on all that it took to get there. We told our journey, laughing at the ridiculousness of planes, trains, buses, and walking with chickens to arrive and asked how to get back. She shared with us that without a car, you get back the same way we came.

WHAT?!?!?!?! She tells us to buy the bus tickets from the bar at the bottom on the hill and the bus will take us to the train. After walking our way down to the village, the bar no longer sells the tickets.

This is where I start hyperventilating and freaking out. Enter Fabio (yes, Fabio, but imagine LARGE Italian man with necklaces and spiky hair) who says he will drive us to the train station. Quick glance between Mr. Molly Lou and I and then we hop in Fabio's station wagon.

Mr. Molly Lou must have asked/confirmed at least 10 times that Fabio was indeed driving us to the train station and not taking us to a field to do away with the American tourists. He was a true lifesaver and delivered us safely to the train station.

We had an amazing trip and definitely have many stories to share with our children.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ocean City Love

Brown Eyed Girl has quickly become one of my favorite bloggers. She's honest, she's funny, she's genuine and I adore her. After talking to her for a few weeks, I decided to join Weight Watchers. So b.e.g., in a way, I have you to thank for my already 14 pound weight loss! You should definitely go & show her some love!


While Mrs. Potts is gone, enjoying fruity beverages with tiny, pink umbrellas with her Mr. Potts, I’ll try and recreate that vacation-y feel on her blog! You know, because I’m super-jealous that she’s enjoying sun and libations and I’m enjoying spending time doing schoolwork!

Back in 2004, my husband and I had just started dating. I call him Dimples, because he’s got a sweet dimple on the right-hand side of his face! We were both undergraduates at a private school in upstate New York. Dimples had gone home for the summer and was three hours south in Centre County, PA. I was working at an outpatient facility for my co-op in upstate New York. We were smitten with the puppy love bug something awful! I would drive down to see him every other weekend, and he’d be up to see me every other weekend. I got three speeding tickets during that summer…if you’ve ever driven route 15 or the NY State Thruway, you understand how it is.

So back to us. We were puppy-dog smitten, head-over-heels enamored with one another and decided to take a vacation to the beach! Dimples had a long-standing tradition with his friends of going to Ocean City, MD during the summer. So, as any level-headed, clear-thinking, puppy-dog smitten twenty-one year old in looooove would do, Dimples ditched his friends and planned a long weekend in Ocean City for the two of us!

It was our first trip together, and we totally clicked. We stayed at the Shoreham Hotel, a house converted into a hotel with an Irish restaurant on the main floor, overlooking the ocean. Our room was tiny, with two beds and a dorm-style shower. The shower was so small, it was a stand-alone, one-person stall, we referred to it as the “rocket shower” because it was in a cylinder shape and SO small! Mind you, Dimples is 6’4 and this shower was barely large enough for him to maneuver around, much less get his head under the shower head!

We spent our days lying in the sand, sunglasses on, people-watching, and pointing out interesting-looking people to one another! We had dinners at Shenanigans Irish Pub & Café, where I had, literally, a crab cake at each meal!

We walked the boardwalk every night, popping into shops and trying on the ridiculous tourist merchandise, admiring sand sculptures, and being ridiculous at the carnival! We brought a bottle of Jack Daniels with us, Dimple’s favorite, and purchased two liters of Coke. We had mini bathroom cups and took shot after shot after shot of Jack & Coke, laughing hysterically as only tipsy people can!

On the last day there, Dimples and I decided to get henna tattoos together. We had been talking about doing it all week and decided to go for it on the last day. I got a tattoo on my left hand, such beautiful, intricate design work. Dimples got his henna inked on his forearm and bicep. I drove home, not knowing that this would become a tradition: when we leave in the mornings, I drive. If we leave at night, he drives. And I drove his SUV, which is actually a small one (CR-V), but it was SOO big to me at the time.

Everything was so new, so fun, so exciting, and done on a small budget, but with big dreams. We’ve been married five months and there’s lots more memories to be made!

Happy Anniversary, Mr. & Mrs. Potts – thank you for inviting me onto your blog, hopefully your readers enjoyed this, and you had a great trip!


Thanks b.e.g. for sharing the love & your memories!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Where Should We Go Next?

Today I bring you Amber, from Life As We Know It. If you haven't been to see her yet, you need to. The lady is beautiful - plus she roots for LSU!


I love me some Mrs. Potts! She is one of the sweetest, most genuine bloggers I know and she never fails to put a smile on my face. So when she asked me to do a guest post for her I was beyond excited. Then I freaked out because I had no clue what to talk about. Then I went back to being excited because I knew I could count on her to give me some fabulous topic ideas. And fabulous ideas she gave!

Some of her suggestions included a favorite part or memory from my wedding or honeymoon, a favorite vacation, and what we did for our first anniversary. I started to go with one of those but then realized that many of you have no clue who I am and may or may not care what I did for my wedding, honeymoon or first anniversary!

So instead, I decided to keep the travel theme and put a little spin on it.

My husband and I are currently trying to plan our next vacation, which will take place this December. And by currently, I really mean we’ve been trying to decide where we want to go since our vacation LAST December. We knew we wanted to go to Seattle for our first anniversary in July but for whatever reason we CANNOT settle on a place for December.

After going around and around in circles, we’ve managed to narrow it down to three choices. At least until we decide to change our minds again.

We’ve visited each place before and enjoyed them so much we’d like to go back. Our top contenders, in no particular order, are:

San Diego

This one is appealing partly because we feel like we’d be able to divide our time between relaxing/not doing much and sightseeing/being active. We’d stay for about a week and think we could see and do what we want in a few days and then have the rest of the time to, well… rest.

New York

I’m pretty sure there’s no need for me to explain the appeal of this destination. My husband actually proposed in New York (on top of the Empire State Building, no less!) and there is no shortage of things to do there. Especially around Christmas time. One drawback of this trip would be that because of the amount of things to do in NYC, we’d feel the need to go go go the whole time and would probably not get much relaxing done. Another drawback is that I HATE being really cold. I’m from Louisiana, y’all. It’s the middle of November and I’m still wearing short sleeves. And it’s not looking like that will change any time soon. SO the New York weather would be quite a shock to my wussy self.

Tropical Paradise… Somewhere

Again, the appeal is obvious. A drawback is that “Tropical Paradise” could mean any number of destinations. Somewhere in the Caribbean, Bahamas, Hawaii… If we decide to go tropical, we’d still have a lot of decision making ahead of us. Another drawback is that we went to Jamaica for our honeymoon last year and the memories are still really fresh so maybe we should do something different for this trip.

So, my new (and maybe some old) friends, where should we go?

If you had to pick one of these three places, which would you pick?

If you weren’t held to these three choices and could go anywhere in the US, where would you go?

For your help with this decision (if you do help, a.k.a. comment), I’m going to randomly pick one of you to send a little something to! It will most likely be a gift card to Target or Starbucks or somewhere else I can get to easily because I’m crazy busy and this would be easiest for right now. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post and I’ll pick a winner on Friday! Easy “money,” right? If you don’t have a blog where I can reach you if you win, leave your email address in the comment or email me at Ber611 at aol dot com with your email.

Thanks for playing along with the random girl on Mrs. Potts’ blog!

And thank you, Mrs. Potts, for having me!


For what its worth, I'd pick San Diego!! And for all of you out there commenting today & sharing your love, I'm adding a little something special to Amber's Oh So Generous Giveaway! When you comment, if you become a follower of Amber's (or already are) make sure to say so - I'll pick a winner for an additional giveaway prize. So go! You should follow her!! You know you want to!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Honeymoon Heartache

If you all haven't been over to Brittany's blog Living in the Moment, you really should. She's been such a wonderful friend to get to know & I just love her stories. I usually feel as if I'm going to spit milk out of my nose (like I did when I was 5) when I read her posts. I give you Brittany Ann!

I am so honored that Mrs. Potts asked me to post a little something on her blog while she’s off celebrating her anniversary.

Happy Anniversary, Mr. and Mrs. Potts!

And here goes nothing…
I was supposed to blog about my favorite memory from my honeymoon.

I was supposed to give you a little PG-anecdote from the week I spent with my husband after my wedding, which took place a little over a year ago.

I was supposed to deliver a guest post that Mrs. Potts wouldn’t be embarrassed to post on her blog.

And I tried. I really did.

But the problem is, I just couldn’t pin it down.

My honeymoon was, honestly, my favorite part about my wedding. I loved it all so much.

My husband and I vacationed for a week in a tiny resort on a tiny island in the not-so-tiny Florida Keys. It was the off-season, so we basically had the resort, the island and several fine-dining establishments all to ourselves.

We road bikes through the islands; we had private dinners; we took long, romantic soaks in our own hot tub; we chartered a boat and took a private tour of the historic district of one of the Keys; and we lounged on the beach all by our lonesome, romantic selves.

It was the perfect honeymoon.


That is, until the last night.

All that vacationing and, well, honeymooning, had tuckered us right out.

We were quite tired, so we decided to stay in for the night.

Dressed in swimsuits and lounge wear, we ate dinner at the resort’s bar and grill, then lounged in the hot tub with some mojitos. We tucked in early, watching a Law & Order marathon. We dozed off soon after.

Or, rather, I dozed off soon after. Till about 1 a.m.

When I was awakened by my husband whimpering and pacing our honeymoon suite.

You’d have thought his dog died, the way he was whining.

Except his dog was fine.

No one, in fact, had died.

The reality? The reason for the whimpering? My husband had heart burn.

Bad heart burn, apparently.

He was crying, people. Literally, he was crying.

Walking up and down and around the room like he was shot in the arm and slowly bleeding out.

Now, I love my husband, and he is a strong, strong man in many ways.

But he is rendered completely and totally helpless when he gets sick. Literally, he turns into a whiny little girl. I’ve actually seen him get a head cold and act as if he’s bleeding out from the ebola virus.

He does not have a high tolerance for pain.

Heck, he doesn’t have a high tolerance for discomfort.

So, needless to say, in my tired, 1 a.m. state, I wasn’t amused by his heart-burn whining.

I became even less amused, however, when he spotted that I was awake.

Because now he had an audience. The whining escalated; the complaining grew. At one point, he actually told me he thought he might be having a heart attack and felt like he was going to die.

I remained unsympathetic.

I’d lived through the man’s heart burn before, pre-wedding. He always, always got heartburn.

He always, always got heart burn when he ate fatty foods.

And he always, always, always got heart burn when he ate fatty foods fast.

Which he’d done that very night. He’d inhaled a bleu-cheese steak burger and a plate of French fries in five minutes flat.

After I told him not to order it.

After I told him to slow down.

After I told him he was going to give himself heartburn.

My husband had officially reached his first “I told you so” married moment. I was not amused in the slightest.

So, I did what any normal newly married bride would in this situation; I glared at him, covered my head with my pillow and ignored his babyish antics, hoping and praying I could go back to sleep.

For about 45 minutes.

Until his whines escalated to wails.

And until he begged me to walk across the resort and get him a bottle of Sprite because “that was all it would take to him feel better.”

I sat up in bed; I glared some more.

He begged, pleaded.

I scowled and slowly began to rise.

He then had the audacity to tell me to hurry up because he “was dying over here!”

I swear, I almost killed him right then and there.

But instead, I rummaged through my suitcase, pulled out a pair of jeans and hoodie, threw them over my pink and black lacy negligee, and headed out the suite’s back door.

I can only imagine what a sight I was: wearing a pair of jeans, a half-zipped hoodie and a honeymoon teddy, traipsing across the windy beach at 2 a.m.

I flew into the lobby, mad as all get out, only to find the person manning the front desk sound asleep.

I am not exaggerating when I say it took me 15 minutes and several full-body shakes to wake him up, plus another five minutes for him to come out of what turned out to be a sleepy, drunken stupor, just so that he could charge our room for the bottle of Sprite I was taking from the front desk cooler.

I then began my own version of The Walk of Shame back to our suite.

I handed my whimpering husband the Sprite, but before I could even finish the sentence, “Sip it slowly,” the big galump had chugged the whole thing in one gulp.

And then promptly threw up. (Like I knew he would.)

We barely got him to the bathroom in time.

Romantic, no?

The next morning, we left.

In my husband’s defense, he did apologize. Profusely.

I also apologized (although not as profusely because I still maintain, if he’d just listened to me, we wouldn’t have been in this whole mess, and I wouldn’t have had to go traipsing through the Keys in a negligee at 2 a.m.)

Still, the story has, eventually, become funny.

In fact, when we talk about our honeymoon and how much we love it, my husband always tells this story. (I’ve tried to point out that this story doesn’t exactly sell the merits of our honeymoon to anyone, but my man’s never been one to shy away from the odd, misunderstanding looks of friends, family, or perfect strangers.)

Still, our honeymoon, complete with this one awful night, has really become synonymous for our marriage.

There are times we don’t listen to each other; there are times we don’t understand each other; there are times we are downright annoyed with the each other.

But we always, always love each other.

We always, always laugh about it in the end.

And we always, always come back to the place of remembering the good times; the positive, big picture, even when there are little bits of bad floating throughout.

Because if we had to do it all over again, we would, negligee night-walk and all.

- Brittany