Monday, February 28, 2011

Bonus Footage

Nigel Barker's new hair (right)
Sabreen's and my first attempt at vlogging seemed to be a hit last week, so that's exciting.  Stay tuned for attempt #2 on Wednesday.  In the meantime, I wanted to post some footage that didn't make the cut.  I surprised Sabreen with a picture of Nigel Barker's new hair with pretty amusing results.  Although I know she hates surprises, I wanted to get a genuine reaction to his new look.

Another funny moment that resulted from our vlog was a conversation with my mom, where she told me that I reminded her of Amy Farrah Fowler (played by Mayim Bialik, also known as Blossom) from Big Bang Theory.

I can kind of see it!

Getting Discovered

I was certainly not the one getting discovered over the weekend, but a friend did!  Since I spent my weekend sleepily rushing around, I thought it'd be more exciting to talk about someone else's weekend success.

So file this one under "cool things you always wish would happen but never do but actually did!"  My sis-in-law was visiting this weekend and went out for karaoke with friend, Jane, Saturday night.  Jane is an AMAZING singer and tried out for American Idol once several years ago.  Although she is way more talented than even some of the people who made it, she was not chosen because she is the all-American-type girl, which is apparently not marketable.  Anywho, after belting out a toe-tapping, head-bobbing, fist-pumping (I can only imagine, as I was not actually present) rendition of Ceelo Green's "F--- You" (Right?  I'm totally recounting this story second hand; and remember, I'm the worst storyteller ever.), a woman approached her.  I also have to mention that my sis also has a great voice and sang a country song, and this woman was also interested in her.

As described by sis, this woman was middle age but very put together and looked like she probably had work done.  So basically, very L.A.  She told the girls that she's a stunt woman who has been in over a hundred movies and also writes songs for Capitol Records in her free time.  Ya know, no big deal, right?  The woman gave them her card, and sis encouraged her to focus her attention on Jane.  She told them that she had a little falling out with her contact at Capitol, but that she would definitely kiss some major bootay and pass on Jane's information.  It may take a little time, but her friend would be contacting Jane, said the woman. 

How cool is that!  That never happens!  I guess the moral of the story is, if you have real talent and drive, doors will open.  And Jane's karaoke song of the night can hopefully soon be dedicated to the producers of American Idol!

In other news, who watched the Oscars last night?  I was honestly kind of bored and turned it off halfway through.  I am bummed I missed Mandy Moore singing.  She looked spectacular as always from what I saw online.  I was pretty amused by this article that compared her to an Anne Hathaway wannabe.  I can kind of see it.  They're both fabulous, though.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Work it Like a Blogger

While taking pictures in my lame photo location--at least the paint color is awesome--I started to get a little creative.  There were a couple awkward outtakes where I was grasping the wall or leaning up against it, but those obviously did not make the cut.

In keeping with the fashion blogger awards from today, I tried to channel other bloggers for some pose inspiration. The picture below is me trying to be fellow Wisconsin blogger, Elena of Caffeinerd, except that I am not wearing one of her fabulous skirts from Anthropologie.  We should totally hang out sometime--I work walking distance from Anthro!  Hehe.

Cardigan, Necklace, Pants: New York & Co; Tank Top, Lace Top: Target 
My outfit felt springy to me today.  Corporate springy, I guess, with my brown dress pants.  Bus-casz springy.  Sorry, everyone's talking in the room, and I'm terrible at multitasking, so I'm just gonna call it a post and join the cribbage game starting up.  'Cause this is just getting way rambly.  Have a great weekend, everyone!

And the Award Goes to...

Still excited from Wed.'s Top Model premiere, so here's Tyra with her Fiercee Award.

Get in on the Fashion Beauty Friend Friday (FBFF) action.

1. Creative Juices (most creative): This one was hard, but I think the two birds ladies are pretty creative style-wise.  I love their Style Me feature where they find odd thrift store clothes and make them cute and fashionable.  They have serious remixing skills.  Plus, after Megan's recent hallway makeover, I know they're pretty crafty as well.

2. The Real Deal (authenticity):  I know a lot of people are going to put Kendi.  Well, so am I!

3. Spark Notes (most helpful): Let's say the academichic ladies.  Not only are there four of them (four times the knowledge), but they're all ridiculously smart and insightful.  You often find yourself learning something new while reading their blog.

4. Newbie (best blogger less than a year old): She has a fun shiny new blog, and we have the same name, so I had to put Bekah from matters of merrymaking.

Although the blog is not fashion/beauty related, I would also like to add PsychoBabble by Lindsey, who is one of my real life BFFs and shopping buddy.  She writes about mommyhood, and one of my favorite topics of hers is baby names.  Plus, I just like looking at pictures of her freakin' adorable son!

5. Can You Hear Me Now (most connected): I took this to mean who has the most/best connections to other people. Not sure if that's how it was intended or not. Anyway, I would say Jessica at What I Wore for her fashion week adventures alone, not to mention her book she has coming out this fall.

6. If I had a Hammer (best DIY): Keira from a pretty penny.  I've really been enjoying her restyle projects lately.

7. Tribe Leader (blogger who leads others and brings bloggers together): It would only make sense to our FBFF hostess with the mostest, Katy from Modly Chic since she is the reason for these awards in the first place.

8. Practically Perfect (most fashionable): How about Jentine at my edit.  That girl can get away with things most people can't.  She also can be a pretty fearless pattern mixer.

9. Paint by Numbers (best beauty blogger): I don't follow any blogs that are strictly beauty-related, so this one was the toughest.  I did check out FIERCE today and enjoyed the read, so I'll go with M.J.!

10. Renaissance Woman (best all around blogger, fashion, beauty, lifestyle): Emily from Cupcakes and Cashmere.  She can cook, decorate, shop, etc., etc.  Not to mention, she has gorgeous hair! 

Speaking of awards, have you RSVPed to the Oscar Live Chat yet? Why not??

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

ANTM Cycle 16 Episode 1 recap vlog

My friend, Sabreen, and I have been fans of America's Next Top Model pretty much since it began although I didn't start watching regularly until a few cycles in. When we used to work together, we would discuss the episodes every Thursday morning, cracking each other up with our reactions. Although we may be the only ones who think we're funny. We often joked that we should start a vlog; and now that I have a blog to put it on, I figured now was as good a time as ever! So here's our vlogging debut. Enjoy!

Family History

Jacqueline Lee Bouvier:  Photo grabbed from Ann Lauren

Jackie Kennedy Onassis (at the time, Jacqueline Lee Bouvier), maybe the greatest American style icon, babysat my husband's grandmother once.  Wow.

The fam and I were having dinner at Water Street Brewery last night, and the in-laws were telling me some really fun facts about their family history.  Hub's great grandfather played chess (Wait, was it chess? And should there be one more "great" in there?) with Jackie O's father, which, I imagine, is how Jackie came to watch Gram one time.  We're supposed to remember these stories to pass them on to future generations, so I better get the facts straight before then.  And as you can probably already tell, I'm a terrible storyteller.

From the maternal side of the family (Right?  Dangit, I should've been taking notes) comes the owner of  Ballantine Brewery (For you designer-types out there, please excuse the blinding yellow background, center-aligned text, and Comic Sans font on this web page.), which, at its peak, was the 4th largest brewer in the US, according to Wikipedia.  Apparently, Milwaukee has always known good beer because Pabst Brewing Co. acquired Ballantine Ale in 1990, and it is now brewed by Miller.  It can be found and consumed today at Yankee Stadium.

I am truly not a history buff at all.  I enjoy reading historical fiction, and that's about it.  But, I do like fashion, and I do like beer, so both these stories were fun to hear!  Totally didn't mean to rhyme that.

In my own family tree, is Betsy Ross, who was rumored to have created the first American flag. Do you have fun historical figures in your family trees?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

10 Things to Love about Hanson's "Give a Little" Video

Hanson's second single, "Give a Little," off their 2010 release, Shout It Out, premiered today on Once again, as a fan, I was not disappointed. Just like their first single, "Thinking 'Bout Somethin'," the video was fun, high-energy, and a little goofy--just like the guys themselves. Here's the video, and here are my top 10 things to love about it.

1. They all have short hair!
2. Partridge Family-esque colors
3. The cute old couple dancing
4. Giant blue boom box
5. Taylor's face when Zac is writing "<3 SOUL" on the glass
6. The blue buffalo???
7. Their cute kids
8. The fact that Hanson is doing basically the same moves they learned for the first video

9. Isaac's flip in a suit
10. And my personal favorite: the Paul Simon "You Can Call Me Al" video tribute:

Oh and a bonus one for the Taylor fans of the world...

11. The "When you move in close take your time" line when he moves in close.

What do you think of the video?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Comedy, Shoes, and Cribbage

I've posted a little bit about my weekend already, but I might as well fill in the deets.  Friday, after work, the fam (Nate, Bridget, parents-in-law, and me) headed to Waukesha to the church of some friends for a dinner and Comedy Sportz show.  The two couples did a great job with dinner, making a delicious spaghetti meal.  Bridget slept through the meal and woke up just in time for the show to start, so Nate and his mom took her to the back while the rest of us (Dad, me, and our other friend-couple) stayed at our front row table.  We were a little nervous that they would pick audience participants without anyone volunteering; but luckily, there were volunteers for each game, including our friend and one of the hosts of the night.  The show was hilarious, as Comedy Sportz shows always are, and we all had a lot of fun.

Saturday, the in-laws and Nate walked the dog while Bridge and I hung out at home and caught up on some of my shows. (By the way, how funny was Puck with his Justin Bieber hair on Glee?  I was cracking up.  And any time I get to watch Mike Chang dance, I'm a happy girl.)  After that, I met up with mom-in-law for some shoe shopping.  I usually loathe shoe shopping, but I've gotten pretty lucky lately.  We stopped at Mr. Shoe first but moved onto Kohl's after having no luck there.  I usually don't find anything shoe-wise at Kohl's that I like or that is in my size, but Mom ended up buying me two pairs for my birthday.  The flats are ridiculously comfortable with their padding and arch support, and the peep-toe shoes will be cute for work in the spring and summer.

SONOMA life + style® Elisa Flats

Simply Vera Vera Wang Pascali Peep-Toe Flats
Sunday ended up being a lazy day, and we ordered pizza and watched TV while the snow came down.  Later in the afternoon, we played some Cribbage (With my Hanson cards!  For those of you who don't already know, I'm a big Hanson fan.) while enjoying some beer, wine, snacks, and 70s/80s music.  The parents beat Nate and me 2 out of 3.  I also showed off on Dance Central on the Kinect, but I couldn't get anyone to play with me.  Sis-in-law arrived safely just in time for dinner, and we dined on a delish tilapia meal, prepared by Dad.

She was babbling to her best bud, the octopus, during dinner.  So cute!

For some reason, it took me probably an hour to fall asleep last night.  Then, at 3:30, I woke up to my dog puking, which was unpleasant.  She threw up again at 5:30, so hopefully she's OK.  I know she ate quite a bit of people food Saturday night, so maybe that had something to do with it.  At any rate, the shortage of sleep is making me very tired today.

Oscar Live Chat

Join the chat!

Join fashion bloggers for a live chat during this year's Academy Awards, Sunday, February 27.  Share your reactions to winners, losers, and (most importantly?) who's wearing what.  The link to the Tweet Chat will be ready and posted here 15 minutes before the show begins.  At that time, use your Twitter login to enter.

Red Carpet coverage begins on ABC at 6:00 CST with the main event taking place at 7:00 CST.  The chat will be open from 5:45 CST until the last award is given out.

Who's in?  RSVP and spread the word!  Feel free to enter your Twitter screen name, if you'd like, so that we can associate a name with a blog once we're in the chat.  Also, if you don't have a blog, you can enter your twitter profile URL instead (example:  See you there!

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Yup, she's a little too small for the jumperoo.
Bridget must've been showing off for her aunt while she was here because since Nate's parents got here, she's been pretty cranky.  Not consistently, but moreso in the last couple days.  It may be because her schedule is off, but other theories we've gone through are the usual suspects like constipation, gas, or maybe even teething.  Probably too early for teething yet although her drool has picked up a little lately.

Luckily, having four of us around is helping us all keep our sanity.  In the last couple hours, we've passed her from Nate, to his mom, to me, to his dad.  She would calm down for awhile but then start crying again.  She wasn't hungry or sleepy because rocking and trying to give her a bottle didn't work.  One random thing that briefly worked was holding her in front of the hutch in our dining room so she could look at our wedding frames and glassware and stuff.  From the sounds of it, Gramps calmed down his granddaughter, though, so that's good.  I think he may have turned on some music, which is a good go-to soothing move.

It'll be so nice when she can actually tell us what she wants.  Bridget's been a pretty good baby so far, though, but I'm not looking forward to when she starts teething.  That part doesn't sound fun; but on the other hand, at least we'd know what was wrong with her then.

Our last visitor in this month of family fun is coming in today.  Nate's other sister is on her way from Michigan right now, driving in this nutty snow storm we're having.  So for a few days, we'll have five people to tag in to soothe Bridge.  It's a good thing she's so freakin' cute!

View from our backyard

Friday, February 18, 2011

Front Row at Comedy Sportz

We're at some friends' church at a comedy show, hoping not to get picked as an audience participant.  Should be a fun show!

This One'll Be a Doozy

 I have to admit, I wasn't looking forward to this FBFF topic. This isn't a direction I originally wanted to go with this blog because I wanted to be all happy and show you cute pictures of my kid and talk about clothes and what's on TV.  Plus, I want to put my best foot forward for you guys.  But I just got on the FBFF bandwagon, and I didn't want to jump off, so here we go...

I always thought as you got older, you became more self-assured and not care what others think. I'm not quite there yet. I've been an adult for 10 years now, and I'm a mom, but I definitely do not have myself all figured out. Maybe someday!

1. Since you started blogging has your image of yourself changed?
I only started blogging this month, but I s'pose my image has started to change a little. Taking pictures of myself has probably only made me more critical. Hopefully in time, it'll also help me realize my progress (assuming I do lose this baby weight) and give me encouragement.

2. Are you self-conscious about any aspect of yourself? If so, do you
go out of your way to avoid it or do you post it/talk about it anyway?

I'm self-conscious about my weight and height, but I talk about both all the time. One topic I sometimes want to write about but completely avoid is my social awkwardness, which is related to my poor self image and also caring too much about what other people think.  Although people I meet probably figure it out pretty fast, I don't want to bring up the fact that I'm not good at one-on-one conversation, or that I'm absolutely rubbish at small talk (I'm hoping putting a British spin on it will make it more light-hearted). I wish I could bring games like Taboo or Pictionary and one glass of wine with me wherever I go because I feel most relaxed when I'm playing fun games with people...and/or when I have one adult beverage in me.

3. Based on how you are feeling now, what do you think the future
holds in the evolution of your body image?

Well, since I'm doing Weight Watchers, I'm hoping my body image will get better, but I've always been pretty critical of myself in that regard. When I look back at pictures of myself from years ago, I realize how decent I actually did look, but it's always retrospective. I don't think I really realized it at the time because I've always had this apparently unattainable goal weight in my mind.

4. Do you photograph yourself for your blog? If so, how do you feel
about the experience when you're having your picture taken? If you
choose not to post pictures of yourself, what prompted that decision?

Sometimes I do photograph myself for the blog. If it's to show off an outfit, I take my own pictures. Although I did ascribe to be a model once upon a time, posing for the camera is kind of awkward for me. If I were a model, I'd prefer to just walk the runway all the time.

And the reason I don't ask my husband to take the pictures is illustrated in conversation we had tonight:
Him: What are you doing?
Me: Taking pictures.
Him: Of what?
Me: Myself for my blog.
Him: Why?
Me: Because that's what people do.
Him: They're all stupid.  Don't do it.

Haha.  Lemme clarify.  He thinks I should have a blog, but he doesn't understand the outfit of the day thing.  Oh well!

5. What would you want every person who struggles with body image to take to heart?
Haha, am I supposed to give myself advice now? Someone in my situation who recently had a baby, I would remind them (and myself) that it took 9 months to put on the weight, and it'll potentially take 9 months to lose it. So chill.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Somewhat Refreshed

I don't plan on doing Awkward and Awesome Thursday every week, but I happen to have some awkward and awesome things to mention today, so I'm going for it.

  • Going to the gas station this morning and realizing that the pump hose is not attached to anything and just dangling from the nozzle.  Even more awkward, considering trying to pump it anyway.
  • Tights that don't fit.  Target tights just don't work for me, and I think I've finally learned my lesson.  My 8-minute walk from my car to work was definitely getting more and more awkward with each step.
  • Too-full coffee that spit up on my hand as I walked.
  • Not being able to hear what someone says, so just guessing and being wrong.  Pretty sure I do that almost every day, but I did it again this morning.
  • The Tom Fuller Band.  Or, a man old enough to be your father with blond hipster hair and skinny jeans.
  • New shoes!  See below for a picture.
  • Having some time to hang out and feed my daughter before work today.
  • New followers and comments from strangers on my blog yesterday--yay!  And welcome!
  • Getting to relive some pre-married days fun by going to an Ingram Hill concert (pictures below).
  • The fact that tomorrow is Friday!
  • Cooking for my in-laws for the first time.  I'm hoping this will be awesome, but that is yet to be seen.
  • Sister-in-law's birthday today!  I don't know if you read this, but happy birthday if you do!

I got a 20 oz. coffee from the gas station this morning, and I'm ready to go! After only getting 5 hours of sleep last night, I'm surprisingly chipper. Last night was definitely what I needed to recharge. Plus, I got to spend 45 minutes with my daughter this morning, so I was really happy about that.  Even though I'm physically exhausted, I'm ready to take on the day! 

Yesterday, the work day kind of dragged, so I was very happy when 5:00 came. Also around that same time, I started getting some stranger comments and followers--hi all! So that put me in a good mood.

Number 1 on my to-do list for the night was to stop at Shoo and use my groupon to buy some springy shoes.  Hubs and I are very soon going to re-establish our budget, so I wanted to get all the spending I was going to do out of the way.  I'd been to Shoo once or twice before, and the selection was really fun and unique, but the prices were always a little too rich for my blood.  So when groupon had a deal for a $100 coupon for $45, I snatched it up.  Unfortunately, the shoes I wanted ended up being $43 additional, which makes this definitely the most I've ever spent on shoes.  But then again, I'm pretty cheap.  I'm banking on them lasting for a very long time.  Anyway, admire them!  Aren't they cute?  I'm already trying to plan an Easter outfit around them.

All Black Snake Tie
After stopping at Shoo, I hurried over to Pizza Shuttle to meet some friends for dinner and a concert.  I did take a picture of the pizza (and it was very tasty pizza), but you all know what pizza looks like, and the picture is currently trapped on my camera anyway.

Once we were all sufficiently fed, we headed over to Shank Hall for the Ingram Hill show.  It was fun to let loose, listen to some good music (and some Tom Fuller Band...), and hang out with some fans and the guys from the band a little bit.  Justin, Phil, and Zach are super nice guys even though Phil does look like Luigi these days with his mustache.

Phil and Justin

(All photos taken by Katie...except for the one she's in...)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Cardigan and a Poncho

Cardigan: Old Navy; Tank: Target maternity; Pants: New York & Company; Boots: Target; Necklace: gift; Purse: Coach (gift)

Note to self: find a better background in front of which to take pictures.  The humidifier kind of ruins the mood, yes?

This outfit didn't really work for me today, which is actually why I felt compelled to take pictures of it and write about it.  The sweater is a little boxy; and even though it has a print, the whole outfit just felt a little boring and uninspired to me.  How cute is my bag, though?  It was a birthday gift.

I really like the cardigan because really, what's not to like?  It's yellow and flowery!  I think maybe I envision it with a ruffly white blouse, a skirt in any neutral color, and a belt at the waist to give the top more shape.  OR, with a T-shirt; jeans; ballet flats; and a big, bold statement necklace.  Any other ideas?

Another interesting piece of clothing I recently acquired that I like but am puzzled about is a poncho.  My father-in-law picked it out and thought it looked like something I would like, so I'm definitely willing to try it out!

I've never owned a poncho before because I just didn't believe in them.  But, I know you can pretty much belt anything and make it look good, so I gave that a shot.  And I kinda dig the look!  I thought I saw something about ponchos being on-trend, so I did a little research. And whattaya know--here's Dakota Fanning, Kim Kardashian, Christina Aguilera, and Blake Lively.

V'day Wrap-up

Yesterday turned out to be a good birthday/Valentine's Day.

  • A lot of people wished me Happy Birthday on Facebook, which made me feel loved as lame as that may sound.
  • A high school classmate reminded me of a friendly valentine I sent him in college from the days when my roommates and I would play Yahoo! Graffiti all the time, and it made me laugh.
  • The angel food cake I made was tasty, and I only had to bring home two pieces, which is pretty good.
  • I talked to someone about a possible matchmaking opportunity.  I love matchmaking!
  • After having an awkward conversation with the wine dude in the grocery store, I managed to pick out a decent Shiraz (wine dude's favorite) and Moscato.
  • Filets were sold out in three different grocery stores, so we had to buy the even more awesome, high roller steak.  It was expensive and delicious!
  • Instead of getting me flowers, hubs brought home my favorite blueberry muffins and brownies. 
  • We had a very nice dinner with hubby's sister after she spent some quality time with her niece while we were at work.
  • And last, but definitely not least, my daughter laughed for the first time!  And I got it on video!

By the way, in case anyone is wondering, I did not get to watch Mad Love last night.  It was on the same time as House, so we watched that instead.  I see that CBS posted the episode online, though, so I'll have to watch it later.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Mad Love for Judy Greer

It's kind of funny that Mad Love premieres tonight on CBS because last week, I started writing a blog post about my love of Judy Greer after seeing her How I Met Your Mother episode.  Then yesterday, I saw a preview for Mad Love and figured I should probably tune in although I really don't need another show to watch.  But I could definitely convince my hubs to watch that instead of The Bachelor, which will also be DVRing at the time.

Judy Greer always seems to play a funny supporting role, but my favorite of her characters is Katherine Heigl's slutty BFF in 27 Dresses.  I once watched 13 Going on 30 on TV where they were showing interviews with some of the cast (including Kenosha, WI's own, Mark Ruffalo), and Judy Greer was talking about how she was a big geek in high school.  Of course, that only made me like her more.  Most recently, I saw her in Love and Other Drugs, in which she was a delightfully dorky doctor's office receptionist who has a crush on Jake Gyllenhaal's character.

I'm not really a Jason Biggs fan, but I knew that Mad Love would probably be funny because of him; Sarah Chalke from Scrubs, Roseanne, and How I Met Your Mother fame; and of course, Judy Greer.  Here's the synopsis of the show from CBS:
MAD LOVE is a comedy about a quartet of New Yorkers - two who are falling in love and two who despise each other... at least for now. Ben, a lawyer, is a hopeless romantic trying to build a relationship with Kate, a beautiful, smart girl whom Ben thinks is the woman of his dreams. Larry, Ben's unrefined best friend and co-worker, is a guy who doesn't believe in love and has a long track record as the third wheel. Connie, Kate's roommate, works as a nanny and finds Larry aggravating... or does she? Larry and Connie have a lot in common, but refuse to let their guard down long enough to see it.
Here's a preview from Hulu:

And to think, 6ish months ago I had no sitcoms I watched on a regular basis.  Now I have How I Met Your Mother, Big Bang Theory, and Traffic Light if it keeps me amused.  And maybe this one--we'll see.  In fact, I read a review that compared Mad Love to How I Met Your Mother saying, "Mad Love is the kind of program that the characters on How I Met Your Mother would watch."  So there ya go.

Classy and Timeless Birthday Weekend

Today I turned 28, and I celebrated over the weekend with the girls (including my sis-in-law visiting from Maine!) by going to The August Weber Haus in Cedarburg.  Originally, I wanted to go to the Melting Pot, but when I couldn't get in there, I did a search for other fondue restaurants in the Milwaukee area.  To my surprise and delight, I found one in Cedarburg.  Not only is Cedarburg closer to home, but that town has many good memories for me.  Plus, I like trying new places, so I couldn't wait for Saturday to come.

I knew the place was going to be small, but I didn't realize how small until the seven of us piled in there.  In one room, there were four tables of four, and the room was big enough only to hold those four tables.  When we walked in, though, we saw the bar to the right and a lounge area to the left with comfy leather chairs and a fireplace.  Since there was seven of us, we sat at the bar, which luckily had an oval shape at one end so that we could all see each other.

We started off with delicious cocktails, one spinach artichoke dip appetizer, and two cheese fondues.

Spinach and artichoke dip

"The Spice" - a blend of pepper jack and cheddar cheese
"The Classic" - a combination of Swiss and Gruyere cheese
The Spice was a little on the thick side, and both cheese fondues took forever to melt.  Also, because there was only one hotplate in front of us, we could only enjoy one fondue at a time, which was fine, but also slightly inconvenient for a party of seven.  We made do.

Both fondues and the spinach dip were delicious, though, but we all wished we had a bigger variety of food to dip.  The Spice came with bread and green peppers; and The Classic came with bread, carrots, and celery.  I imagine they served it that way because those are the foods that pair best with the cheese, but I personally don't care for carrots or celery and would've loved to see some broccoli on either plate.

Next came the chocolate fondues, which I was beyond excited for after seeing other patrons enjoying them.  All five of the waitstaff that were working helped us with different things throughout the night, but this guy seemed to enjoy talking to us and entertaining us the most.  Here he is modeling our dipping accoutrements.

Strawberries, cream puffs, pretzels, ice cream cone, green apples, bananas, and pound cake for dipping

Dark Chocolate Caramel Delight and Butterscotch Pleasure (jewelry from Barnes Jewelers)
We started with the Dark Chocolate Caramel Delight, which contained chocolate, caramel, and a variety of nuts.  I usually don't like nuts in my chocolate, but I didn't really notice them when dipping all the food.  The second chocolate fondue we tried was Butterscotch Pleasure.  Butterscotch is one of my favorite things in life, so I loved this one, which also included coconut, marshmallow, and chocolate.  I have no complaints about the chocolate EXCEPT a suggestion to add rice crispy bars to the dipping options. 

So I would definitely go back again.  The waiters and waitresses were very friendly and personable, which distracted me from the somewhat slow service.  Between August Weber Haus and the Melting pot, I would say that I prefer Melting Pot slightly more, but I would like to try some of August Weber Haus's wine and cheese plate options next time I go back.

One more pic of all the girls in the lounge area
And by the way, the reason it was a "classy and timeless" night is because the birthday girl has a low liquor tolerance after having a baby and was convinced to do this by the waiter and her friends:

Classy and timeless
That would be an ice cream cone filled to the top with melted chocolate.

Sunday morning, the delicious dining continued when my sister-in-law and I met a family friend at The Eatery on Farwell, a bar/restaurant in Milwaukee's East Side known for their bloody marys. 

The bloody marys and the food were all very good.  As you can see, the skewered snacks included with the bloodies would've probably been enough to fill a person up.  But I also had eggs over medium, toast, and their American fries, and I enjoyed all of it.

To round out the rest of the fun weekend, I played lots of Dance Central on our new Kinect and also made an angel food cake to bring to work today.  Pardon the image quality--the rest of the pictures were taken by my camera phone.

For a fun fashiony twist this festive morning, I decided to try the layered tights look I read about so often from the academichic ladies.  I did these black Target textured tights over navy We Love Colors tights.  I thought it would be ridiculously uncomfortable, but it's actually not.  It was kind of a fun way to make the holey textured tights not look so scandalous and the blue tights not look so bright.
And there's the carpet at work.
Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Morning Baby

Nate and I agree that Bridget's best and cutest time of day is the first hour she's awake in the morning.  She usually just grunts, makes other little noises, and looks around until someone comes and gets her.  When she sees a familiar face appear above her crib, she gets a big smile on her face.  The cuteness continues when one of us unswaddles her, and she raises both her arms and commences her groggy stretching. 

It's easy to understand her needs in the morning, too.  Change the diaper, give her a bottle, and then entertain her until she needs to be changed again or gets cranky.

She's playing with her fists right now and trying to eat them.  It's very cute.  I better go play with her now--I just wanted to write about how my girl's a morning person.

By the way, I'm trying to post this from my phone, so we'll see how it turns out.

Friday, February 11, 2011

More about My Love of Color

Dress: E-Collectique Runway Boutique; Tank: Old Navy; Sweater: Target?; Scarf: Boston Store; Tights: We Love Colors; Boots: Target
Happy Friday from Bridget!

1. What color dominates your closet?
Purple. I have tons of purple, and it's not even my favorite color. Whenever I find a top I like, purple is usually one of the color options, and it ends up being the option that appeals to me the most. I also like how the color looks on me, whether it's more of a lavender, or if it's a rich jewel tone grape.

2. If money weren't an issue how would you change the color emphasis in your closet?

Lately, I've been trying to work more yellow into my closet since that is my favorite color. Yellow makes me happy; and if I didn't look like a kook, I'd probably wear it everyday.

I would also actually do more neutrals, especially black and gray. Most people have an abundance of black, but I'm realizing now that I work in a more corporate environment that I have very little. Tailored black pieces just have a way of giving someone extra polish, and that's something I'd like to have more of.

3. What is your mantra about mixing colors?
I go with the Stacy and Clinton view of "colors don't have to match; they have to go." For instance, today I'm wearing a printed dress that has pattern of dark brown, cream, rusty red, and dark orange. I accessorized with a bright yellow scarf and maroon We Love Colors tights. Even though there's no yellow or maroon in the dress, the colors look really good together. And I don't think it looks too schizophrenic.

4. For you, how do you incorporate color into your outfits?
It's usually with a bright colored top and neutral pants. If I'm wearing a neutral outfit, I'll add colored tights or a scarf.

5. Which blogger(s) do you think do a good job of incorporating color into their wardrobe?
Jessica from What I Wore totally inspired my outfit for today. She always looks great when she does the printed dress with colored tights look. Kendi from Kendi Everyday is also a favorite style inspiration of mine--I like how she's daring with some of her color combinations.

Get in on the Friend Friday action.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mr. Sunshine and Traffic Light

Last night, Mr. Sunshine, starring Matthew Perry, debuted on ABC.  Both hubby Nate and my mom were excited about watching it because who doesn't love Matthew Perry?  I was Facebooking during the show, so I probably wasn't paying enough attention to give it a fair assessment, but neither my mom nor Nate had anything good to say about it.  In fact, we were all having a hard time even getting through the half hour show.

From what I saw, it reminded me of a mix between Parks and Recreation and Spin City but set at an entertainment venue called The Sunshine Center.  I say Spin City because Matthew Perry's character was dealing with his uncouth and politically incorrect boss and trying to make her media-friendly like Michael J. Fox did on Spin City.  If you like the style of Parks and Rec (minus the one-on-one interview format), you have a better chance of enjoying this show except I think Amy Poehler is a more dynamic lead than Matthew Perry.  It pains me to say this because Chandler Bing is one of my favorite TV characters ever, but I'm starting to believe that it may be the FRIENDS writers alone who are to thank for that.

Anyway, here's the clip that made me think of Spin City.

The show I was excited to check out this week was Traffic Light, Tuesday nights on Fox. This show doesn't have any big names in it, but the reason the previews caught my eye is because Kris Marshall aka Colin Frissell from one of my favorite movies, Love Actually, is one of the stars. He alone would probably keep me watching an entire season, but the first 5 minutes (which is all I've seen so far--the rest is waiting for me on my DVR) had me more amused than an entire Mr. Sunshine episode.

The show follows three dudes around--one married with a child, one with a serious girlfriend, and one single guy. It's basically about their relationships with each other and their significant others...and dog in Kris Marshall's case. I look forward to watching the rest of the episode and seeing if it lives up to the first 5 minutes.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I Love Colors

I wear a lot of dresses to work because dresses are just more comfortable than pants most of the time.  Plus, right now, I only have two pairs of regular work pants that fit and two pairs of maternity pants that I could probably still get away with wearing. 
Dress: New York & Company; Tank: Old Navy; Cardigan: Wet Seal; Necklace: Old Navy?; Tights: We Love Colors; Boots: Target

This outfit was from yesterday--I got my dress wearing out of the way early because I know it's going to be frigid the rest of the week.  Today, I'm actually wearing leggings under pants and three layers on top, including a long-sleeved shirt under a sweater.  Luckily, it's been a little cooler in the office, so I don't roast during the day.  But I digress.  

The uncomfortable part about wearing dresses is wearing tights underneath.  Because I'm tall, a lot of tights aren't long enough and sag in the crotch.  Weird, but true.  And, if they are long enough, the waistband is often too tight and uncomfortable. 

Pretty much all the style bloggers I've read have mentioned We Love Colors at some point.  I love that they have over 50 colors to choose from in both standard size and plus size.  I opted for the plus size navy (shown above) and maroon (shown below) tights since they're both fun, but not scary colors to wear.  (I do have yellow tights; but when I wore those, I was asked if I was Lisa Simpson.  Men.)  The waistband actually comes all the way up to my ribs, so I don't have to worry about any potential muffin topping.  Also weird, but these are concerns girls have. 

Tights: We Love Colors; Boots: ModCloth

I didn't try them on until after work when I got home since I had just gotten them in the mail, so I don't know yet if they would be comfortable all day, but I have high hopes.  Once it warms up again, I will definitely pull them out more.  I think for Easter, I may have to buy one of the pastel colors like lilac or mint.

This was not a paid promotion by any means, but I wouldn't mind if it turned into one.  Wink wink.  I was just excited to find tights in every color imaginable that actually fit!

Besides the tights, I was also pretty psyched to try out another style blogger staple, ModCloth.  The black shoes in the second picture are called Today I Met the Perfect Boot.  I LOVE the bows on them, which you can't really see in the picture.  As for them being the "perfect boot," they're probably the cutest boots, but definitely not the most comfortable.  I think they have the potential to be comfortable on some feet, and I think I'm going to buy some inserts and see if I can improve the comfort level for me.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

All Cried Out

Our daughter, Bridget, waking up from a nap.  Go Pack!

Yesterday, Bridget was a very happy baby, which was refreshing since she had just had her 2-month shots the day before.  As usual, though, she started to get cranky around 6:30.  She was fed with a dry diaper, so our go-to theories are then overtired or gassy.  Nate, my husband, had been taking care of her for awhile, so he was ready to be done.  He suggested once again to let her cry in her crib for awhile.  I took over and rocked her to sleep.  After a few sleeping minutes, I tried to put her in her crib, and she woke right up.  A little frustrated, I picked her up again and rocked her again, and she passed out again right away.  I was able to put her in her crib this time after about 10 minutes.

It's good there's two of us.  I give single parents a ton of credit--neither hubs or I could do it on our own.  I totally understand the need to hand off to the other parent after you've  tried everything.  A crying baby is really frustrating.  I have to admit, though, I was pretty proud of myself for being able to calm her down and rock her to sleep after the handoff.  If I were a single parent, I'd have to leave her to cry for awhile, for my own sanity.  While on maternity leave, there were times when I was showering where she would start crying, and I would have to hurry to finish while she fussed for 5 minutes or so.  Since there are two of us, though, I don't think she should have to cry it out, at least not yet. 

How do you solve different opinions about parenting?  This may be a typical mom thing, but I tend to want to soothe my baby more than my husband does.  After he makes sure all her needs are met and that she's most likely overtired, hubs would prefer to let her cry it out.  I'm OK with the cry it out Ferber method, but it's too soon for that--our daughter's only 2 months old. In the long term, I'm sure it won't matter either way.  As long as we make loving decisions and take care of her needs, Bridget will grow up as a happy girl and not remember what we decided to do when she was 2 months old. 

Our families are coming over to help out with her this month while we're both back at work.  I'm a little worried about how different parenting opinions will come into play while his mom and my mom take turns taking care of our girl.  However, it's also kind of empowering that I get the last say (well, Nate and I).  So I guess the only thing I'm worried about is everyone taking Nate's side since I think his views are a little more traditional.  We'll see how it goes, and I'll have to learn to be stern about my position as Mom but also laid back because I know they want the best for her, too.

In other news, go Packers!  OK, I don't watch football, but I am a fan of this state in general, so I'll get excited about that.  Nate doesn't really watch sports either, but he would watch today's game if he wasn't forbidden--don't want to jinx anything!  He does want to see the commercials, though, so we may watch it a half hour behind, so he can't be blamed for the outcome. 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Blasts from the Past

Apparently a lot more people are on facebook these days.  A million years ago...or sometime in college...when I signed up for facebook, I remember searching for everyone I knew.  I went to two grade schools and two high schools, so I had plenty of searching to do.  I added a bunch of people at that time; but one day a couple years later, I thought someone had hacked my account because I wasn't able to log in, and things on my profile were disappearing and reappearing.  I had facebook shut down my account only to find that it had been technical difficulties on their end.  So I had to go back and rebuild my list, which ended up being a lot smaller the second time.  I didn't really want to friend people from school again and feel stupid.

Flash forward to today.  I can't remember what got me started on it, but (mostly out of boredom) I started looking around and sending friend requests to people from my past.  Eventually, I found my first crush from second grade and my first best friend from first grade, along with a handful of other friends and classmates.  It's kind of crazy how everyone still looks the same as I last remember them. 

My 10-year high school reunion is coming up this year.  Like I said earlier, I went to two high schools.  One huge one freshman and sophomore year, and then my family moved, and I started at a tiny high school junior year.  Even though my best friends were at the first high school, I really liked the second one and was able to get involved in volleyball, track, and the school play.  I got my first boyfriend there, too.  I still don't know if I want to go, though.  A lot of those classmates are on facebook, too, so I know what they're all up to.  Plus, I was only there for two years--most of them grew up together.  I don't know...we'll see.  Maybe I'll make an appearance...if I lose this baby weight.


Whenever I see a food marked "NEW" in the grocery store, I'm really excited to try it out.  For instance, my current favorite new snack food find is Chocolate Peanut Butter Bugles.  I could eat a whole bag in one sitting.  If you like chocolate, peanut butter, or bugles, you should get them--they're delish.

Anyway, this morning, I tried the new Cinnamon Burst Cheerios.  I was underwhelmed.  They tasted a little stale to me, but that could be because they're not as flavorful as their zesty cousin, Apple Cinnamon.  If I were craving cinnamon Cheerios again, I'd stick with the classic.  I will say, though, that the Cinnamon Burst Cheerios are a little better for you.  Like they say on the box, they do have more fiber--5 g compared to 1.3 g in Apple Cinnamon.  That probably also explains why they taste duller, but you can't have everything.

Not all the new Cheerios are a bust, though.  When the chocolate variety came out, I did enjoy those.  They reminded me of a slightly healthier, slightly more grown up version of Cocoa Puffs.  They would even turn your milk a little chocolaty if you left them in there long enough.