No Shopping Month: Can I Do It?

This morning, Kate's post on Every Mile a Memory got my gears turning.

Kate recently went for an entire month with no shopping.  No clothes, no accessories, no shoes.  Necessities were okay if they were just that -- necessities.
not a necessity

not a necessity

not a necessity
So, do you think I can do it?  I am certainly going to give it a try.  It's time to flex my self-restraint muscle and show a little discipline. 

I know I'll be purchasing a few more elements of my Halloween costume (Kate gave me the green light on that one) and I also know of a certain boy with a birthday coming up mid-month.  But the jaunts to the mall and TJ Maxx during my lunch breaks is going to take a backseat for the 31 days in October.

Might I fail?  Absolutely.  But I promise I'll be completely honest every step of the way.


Thursday Tidbits: Mascara, Babies, Jewelry!

First things first, let's talk mascara.
I am a mascara lover, and when I find a new great tube of mascara, I get giddy.

For the past few years, I've sworn by L'Oreal Volume Shocking mascara.  It is truly amazing.  Sadly, they discontinued it (whyyyyyyyyyyyy???) and I've been resorting to buying tubes from eBay.  Not kidding!  New in package, of course.  But still.  I knew that the day would come that I would see the complete disappearance of this, and I've been looking for a suitable substitute.

Enter L'Oreal Extra-Volume Collagen.  With claims to Grab Each And Every Lash and deliver 12x More Impact Instantly, how could I not give it a go?

I'm loving it so far, and I think this love will continue to grow since I think mascara in its first few days of use is too runny and weak.  I like it after some air has gotten into the tube and it gets thicker.  See, I'm nuts over it!

Last year I splurged on Diorshow mascara and it was too weak for me.  Then I used Maybelline's The Falsies for a while, but fell out of love with it when it became too flaky towards the end of the day.  Let's hope L'Oreal keeps this one around for a while!

Next order of business - you may have seen on Twitter last night (come follow! @alizadventures) that I cooked Crockpot applesauce for us last night.  We had it with Italian chicken sausage and sauerkraut.  I had a few requests for the recipe, and I posted it last year in this post.  The 4 apples I used cooked down to serve just us two, so if you want leftovers, try doubling the recipe.  Also -- just a note: although the recipe doesn't contain a lot of sugar, I tried once subbing it with the baking form of Splenda and it didn't turn out right.  The sugar must help break down the apples or ... something.  I was no science major but I do know what tastes right.  :)

I'm also happy to be shipping off two necklaces today for a bride who wanted to deck her two bridesmaids out in jewelry that was fun, unique, and different from the "traditional" bridesmaids jewelry.  The girls will be wearing navy chiffon J. Crew dresses with sweetheart necklines, and I made these necklaces with a layered look and a leaf pendant to match her overall fall/leafy theme.  What do you think?  They slightly differ from each other, so the bride is going to match the necklace to each girl's personality.

And finally, one of my fellow Recessionistas had her baby on Monday (you met Allison and saw her baby bump in this post) and I've been introduced to the most amazing site, Take Them a Meal.  You can sign up to bring people meals through this site.  The best part is, you can see when other people are bringing food and even what they are bringing ... so mama and daddy don't end up with 6 lasagnas on a Tuesday night!  Ingenious, right?! 

So here's what I'm wondering -- all of you moms out there, what did you like for people to bring?  Anyone have ideas for a dish I could prepare for them that is tasty, pretty simple to put together, and easy to transport?  Most importantly, easy for the new parents to heat up (if needed) and enjoy?


iPhone Help?

Remember way back when (okay, in June) when I made my Summer Bucket List?

Well.  I said something about getting an iPhone.

And I still haven't.

I know ... what is wrong with me?!

I think it's because I have the "if it ain't broke" philosophy.

My Blackberry works okay right now (although that spinning hourglass makes an appearance way too often and often prompts me to reset my phone, or else I just pull the battery out before even waiting for the prompt and reset it).  It has a cute pink cover I like.  It has pictures stored on it and I'm not sure if I'll be able to transfer them over to a new phone?  I don't really know the "card" people are talking about.  I nod & pretend like I do in discussions.

But then I see cute Instagram pictures.  And it was all over when I saw KAG's post at Monograms and Martinis post yesterday with the 8mm video camera app.  UGH.  MUST. GET. IPHONE.

Can you help me get one?
  • Which version should I get?
  • I'll be purchasing thru Verizon - does that change your answer?
  • About how much should I expect to pay?  (I am month-to-month now, not under contract)
  • Anything else I should know before purchasing?
Please.  Help a sister out.


Indians, Rock & Roll, and Browns, OH MY!

If you are wanting to view a slew of pictures from our Cleveland trip this past weekend, you are in luck!

We began our trek to Ohio by grabbing a beer at the Charlotte airport bar.  My brave, manly husband doesn't like the bumps and creaks of the plane (and can you blame him?) so getting to the airport early and relaxing with a beverage is a help.  :)

Once we arrived in Cleveland, we went right down to the Indians game, and they played a heck of a game and won!

We celebrated afterwards on East 4th Street, a recommendation from Glitterista that was right on target with what I love.  This street is packed with fun bars with outside seating and big cafe lights strung above the road. 

On the walk home we stopped in at a hole-in-the-wall bar that was one of our favorite parts of the weekend.

After the boys cooked breakfast the next morning, I went with Ian and his best friend Scott to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and we spent a good part of the afternoon looking at those exhibits.

After getting the recommendations from both Sara of The Fat Hydrangea and Gretchen of Seemingly Trivial Matters about eating at Melt Bar & Grilled, I checked the reviews of this place and was SOLD.  Ya'll ... it is a grilled cheese RESTAURANT.  No lie. 

I had the Purple Parma which is like a grilled cheese sandwich with Eggplant Parmesan in the middle ... insane.

The decor was awesome, the service prompt, and the portions were (as you can see) HUGE.  We all left with boxes and ate only half of what they gave us.

Next we went to Chagrin Falls, a picturesque area with waterfalls and the cutest stores. 

We had an afternoon drink on the patio of Jeckyll's Kitchen which overlooked the falls. 

The next day we attended the Cleveland Browns game against the Miami Dolphins.  We did some pre-game "tailgating" at one of the bars near the stadium.

I got a scratch-off ticket from the Miller Lite girls...

... and I won!  Wow, have you ever seen someone so excited over a t-shirt?!  I need to calm down.

On the way to the game we grabbed a bite to eat and then made our way into the stadium.  Anyone else annoyed about the pat-downs they have to do now?!

The game was a blast.

What a game - they came back in the last few minutes of the game and won.

And know why I was really happy?  Because I got to break out the cowboy boots for the first time this year.  Happiness!


Back From Ohio

What. A. Weekend.
We had a blast in Ohio!

Indians game Friday night - quite rainy (hence the curls) but a great time!  And yes, that is my new ball cap that Ian bought me!  :)

After a major flight delay last night, we didn't end up getting home until 1:15am.  We were lights out and snoozing by 1:30.  I did manage to sleep on the entire flight from Cleveland to Charlotte, so that kept me from being too exhausted.  Still -- I took the first half off of the workday today.

Yep, I slept in until 8:30 this morning, which is when I'm typically starting up the work computer and sitting at my desk.  Sleeping in was glorious.  Since then, I've caught up on some blogs & have been sipping on coffee.  Oh, and I'm running a load of laundry too as we speak -- that's about as industrious as I'm planning to get.  It's grey and dreary out here in Charlotte and I can't think of a better way to start the day.

So, in a nutshell, we had a fantastic time with lots of adventures.  Expect a longer post with lots of pictures to come, but for now I'm going to go work on a big jewelry project I've got going and then start getting ready for work.

All of you Cleveland-area readers, thank you so much for the tips ... all I have to say is that Melt is one of the most fabulous restaurants I've ever been to!  You guys are the best!


Off We Go!

Today Ian and I are boarding a plane to head to Cleveland, Ohio!  We've got our bags packed, our minibottles stashed for the flight, our game faces on, and our high-tech alarm system set (ahem, scary blog stalkers, thats for you).

Ian grew up in a town right outside of Cleveland and some of his very best buddies still live there.  A lot of them have their own families now and we are excited about catching up with all of them.

Tonight we're headed to an Indians baseball game, where we'll cheer on the Tribe.  Ian said he is going to treat me to a new baseball cap.  :)  Really, he's just trying to replace the Red Sox cap I currently wear that he knows was bought for me by an ex.  Can ya blame him?  I will happily sub it out.

Saturday we'll head to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum which is just beautiful.

Sunday we'll catch a Cleveland Browns game before heading home!

So yes, between baseball, rock & roll, and football, I think Ian totally needs to go see The Help with me this coming week.  Agreed?  :)

I'm excited to see where my main man grew up.  Have a great weekend yourself!

PS - This morning I treated myself to my first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season ... bliss!  Have you had yours yet?


Shaggin' On The Boulevard

All my Southern readers, ya'll know what shagging is, right?

For anyone needing a definition, or even just a refresher, let's turn to trusty ol' Wikipedia:

Carolina Shag is a six-count partner dance done mostly to moderate tempo music (100-150 bpm). During the dance the upper body and hips hardly move as the legs do convoluted kicks and fancy footwork. The lead is the center of attention, and the follow's steps either mirror the lead's or mark time while the lead shows off with spins and other gyrations. Carolina Shag is the state dance of North Carolina and South Carolina, and is still popular amongst residents of both states.

So, although this image may have come to your mind, now you know:

1989 brought us the movie "Shag" starring Phoebe Cates and Bridget Fonda. 

What?!  You've never seen it?!  Well then, buy it here immediately!  With a synopsis like this, how could you not love it?!  "Summer of 1963. Carson is getting married to her boyfriend so her friends Melaina, Pudge and Luanne take her to Myrtle Beach for one last irresponsible weekend."  It is such a fun movie and I bought it for Ian and I to watch a few summers ago before we made our way down to Myrtle Beach for a 10-day long shagging festival they have called S.O.S.

My parents are huge shaggers.  They love it.  They never miss an S.O.S.!  I like shagging but am nowhere NEAR as talented as they are.  My Ohioan husband, not a shagger.  That's okay.  He doesn't mind when I dance with other people.  :)

In 2009 we joined Mom & Dad at S.O.S. and had a really good time.

The entire beach is taken over by people who just LIVE for shagging and beach music.  It is definitely a unique scene.  And a lot of fun!

And as you may remember, Dad and I shagged for part of our father/daughter dance at my wedding.

Shagging is also a big part of the trips to our favorite horse races, the Carolina Cup in Camden, SC. 


Well, my parents are back down at S.O.S. now, day drinking and dancing to their heart's content.  So jealous.  I got a text from my Dad yesterday afternoon telling me to tune in at 4:30 to a webcam that was set up at one of the beach clubs they were visiting.

Can you spot them?  This is like the shagging version of Where's Waldo?

Give up?  Okay, I'll help you out here.

So, if you find yourself bored at work today and intrigued by this Carolina dance, hit up YouTube!  You may even see these guys on there, who will shag to anything and everything, even techno tunes at fraternity tents:

Yep.  Those are my parents!
(edit: seems as if my YouTube video isn't coming up; anyone having any luck with it?)
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