A, E, I, O, U

Monday, August 30, 2010

I'm back, I'm back! It really feels like this weekend just zipped right by. I haven't been able to upload any pictures, so I'll keep the recap post for later in the week, but suffice to say it was a great time!

In the meantime I wanted to post this website I found earlier today.  It's called the Speech Accent Archive.

I'm super geeky and love all things language and accents - and basically this site lets you listen to different people, from different areas of the country speak the same phrase. I think it's so interesting to hear the slightest difference from cities that are just a couple hundred miles away.

I'm from Cincinnati and now live in Charleston and I can definitely 'hear' my hometown and new town accents in the speakers voice. So tell me, is your hometown accurate?

Whirlwind of a Weekend

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tomorrow night I'm flying back to Kentucky for the weekend. It will be a whirlwind of a few days, but I'm excited to make it back home. This will only be my second trip to NKY so far this year. Way too few. The trip was initially planned for my friend Mel's wedding, but like any weekend we make the trek home, our scheduled gets filled all too fast. Here's a mini-rundown of what my weekend will look like.

Thursday - Fly into Louisville. Adam's sister, Amy, is picking us up and taking us to NKY. We'll get home about 2AM. Sleep time.

Friday Morning: Wake up early and make a cake for a baby shower. There's a group of us throwing Amy (the sister) a baby gender reveal party/30th birthday that night. A baby gender reveal is basically a way to announce if the baby will be a boy or a girl. Really just a fun reason to get together. I think everyone is pulling for a girl, because Amy has two boys. But we shall see.

I'm excited because the cake is actually the reveal. Everyone will know whether its a boy or a girl when Amy cuts into the cake. Boy = Blue, Girl = Pink. Obviously. But this does mean, since I'm making the cake I get to find out before everyone else. ;) Haha, people want to kill me!

Friday Afternoon: Also on Friday I have plans to run over to my friend Amy's (another Amy, confusing I know) to see her newborn baby. Amy had a daughter in July and I haven't been home to meet her yet. I can't wait to see and play with baby Lucia.

Friday Night: Happy hour with the parents and baby shower!

Saturday: I've been planning an afternoon at our local swim club. I basically grew up there and spent every Summer day of my childhood by the pool. I'm hoping for a day of sun, fun, and friends! Oh, and food!

Saturday Night: Mel and Nick's Wedding!! So so so excited to celebrate with them and get to see everyone from home. I know it will be a great time.

Sunday: Drive back. Woo hoo! Not... Haha, here's the catch though - we're driving back with the bride. Say what? Well, Mel actually starts her 1 month med school rotation in Charleston on Monday. Sooo...less that 24 hours after she's married we are kidnapping her and taking her to Charleston. Crazy, right?

That exhausted me just from typing out my plans. Uh-oh, hope I survive!

Addicted to Doodle

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I've had my iPhone for awhile now, but I've never really gotten into the games. I use it mostly for calling, texting and social network stuff. But all that changed this weekend when I was introduced to the most addictive game since Snake, Doodle Jump.

Remember how awesome this game was? I would spend hours trying to beat my top score. Also, sidenote: although this phone was quite an eyesore, it never dropped calls! Get your act together AT&T, it's 2010!

Well as much of a time-killer Snake was, it's got nothing on Doodle Jump.

I mean, look at how cute Doodle is. (Yes, I call him Doodle.)

So if you're looking for a fun way to kill some time (hours...days...). Get Doodle now. But I'm warning you, be prepared to surrender your life to Doodle, Rockets, Springs, Monsters and Black Holes. Your life will never be the same!

Update: Today I deleted Doodle Jump when I saw how many hours I had logged. Sick.

Fondant Cake Beginnings

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I'm in the process of making my first ever fondant cake. It's not an easy process, but it's fun and interesting. Here's a video sneak peak of me in action.

Roasted Eggplant and Tomatoes

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Last Tuesday at the Mount Pleasant Farmer's Market I picked up the most beautiful eggplant.  

Side Note: Does anyone else refer to food as 'beautiful' 'gorgeous' or 'happy'? I love describing my food with fun words.

Fast forward to last night - I hadn't made anything with my pretty little eggplant. I was low on other ingredients, but was able to find the perfect recipe, that takes very little prep time.

The recipe I used, Herb-Roasted Eggplant with Tomatoes (fresh heirlooms also from the Farmer's Market), came from Bon Appetit.

The directions are about as simple as it gets, 1) chop tomatoes and eggplants, 2) toss with oil and vinegar, 3) season, 4) toss in oven at 450 for 30-40 minutes.

Here are some photos of the baking pan before:

 And the yummy beauty after about 30 minutes in the oven (sprinkled with Parmesan cheese, of course.)

Yum! It was so good and so easy to make. Do it! :)

My First Grown Up Business Trip

Friday, August 13, 2010

Well, I'm still a little behind on my trip updates ... but better late than never, right?

Last week I went to Atlanta with my co-worker, Amber. The visit was somewhere between a vacation and business trip - we were there for work, but fun work. One of my company's clients is located in Atlanta and we write a design and lifestyle blog for the client. We took the trip to get to know the neighborhoods better and make contacts with local shop owners.

I've only been outside of the Atlanta airport a few times, so this was a nice way to get to know the city. We explored Vinings, Sandy Springs, Buckhead (where we stayed), Atlantic Station (Ikea AND West Elm = Heaven), Little Five Points, and Midtown. I know if you're not familiar with Atlanta this could be like a foreign language - but it's very cool because each of the neighborhoods have their own distinctive flair and identity.

I didn't take too many personal photos from the trip, but if you're interested in seeing more and following the blog you can find it at aptDWELLER.

Differences between North & South College Football

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I wanted to put a post up about something that's been on my mind all Summer - COLLEGE FOOTBALL. We're only 24 days away!  I'm a Kentucky Fan, and while we're known for our basketball, I still LOVE football. There are few things that make me happier than dressing up on a Saturday morning, spending the day tailgating with your best friends and bourbon, and cheering on your college team till you lose your voice. Being in Charleston, I'm closer to SEC schools than I used to be, so it's not unlikely that I'll be attending lots of away games. Seeing how different SEC schools treat Gameday is the best. 
Below is a fun list explains the differences between football in the North and South. From my experience, it is spot on. So whether you're a football fan from the North or South, do you agree or disagree?

Differences between North & South College Football

Planning for the fall football season in the South is radically different than up North. For those who are planning a football trip South, here are some helpful hints:

Women's Accessories:
• NORTH: ChapStick in back pocket and a $20 bill in the front pocket.
• SOUTH: Louis Vuitton duffel with two lipsticks, waterproof mascara, and a fifth of bourbon. Money not necessary -that's what dates are for.

Stadium Size:
• NORTH: College football stadiums hold 20,000 people.
• SOUTH: High school football stadiums hold 20,000 people.

• NORTH: Expect their daughters to understand Sylvia Plath.
• SOUTH: Expect their daughters to understand pass interference.

Campus Decor:
• NORTH: Statues of founding fathers.
• SOUTH: Statues of Heisman trophy winners.

Homecoming Queen:
• NORTH: Also a physics major.
• SOUTH: Also Miss America.

• NORTH: Rudy Guliani
• SOUTH: Archie & Peyton Manning

Getting Tickets:
• NORTH: 5 days before the game you walk into the ticket office on campus and purchase tickets.
• SOUTH: 5 months before the game you walk into the ticket office on campus and put name on
waiting list for tickets.

Friday Classes After a Thursday Night Game:
• NORTH: Students and teachers not sure they're going to the game, because they have classes on Friday.
• SOUTH: Teachers cancel Friday classes because they don't want to see the few hung over students that might actually make it to class.

• NORTH: An hour before game time, the University opens the campus for game parking.
• SOUTH: RVs sporting their school flags begin arriving on Wednesday for the weekend festivities. The really faithful arrive on Tuesday.

Game Day:
• NORTH: A few students party in the dorm and watch ESPN on TV.
• SOUTH: Every student wakes up, has a beer for breakfast, and rushes over to where ESPN is
broadcasting "Game Day Live" to get on camera and wave to the idiots up north who wonder why "Game Day Live" is never broadcast from their campus.

• NORTH: Raw meat on a grill, beer with lime in it, listening to local radio station with truck tailgate down.
• SOUTH: 30-foot custom pig-shaped smoker fires up at dawn. Cooking accompanied by live performance by "Dave Matthews' Band," who come over during breaks and ask for a hit off bottle of bourbon.

Getting to the Stadium:
• NORTH: You ask "Where's the stadium?" When you find it, you walk right in.
• SOUTH: When you're near it, you'll hear it. On game day it becomes the state's third largest city.

• NORTH: Drinks served in a paper cup, filled to the top with soda.
• SOUTH: Drinks served in a plastic cup, with the home team's mascot on it, filled less than halfway with soda, to ensure enough room for bourbon.

When National Anthem is Played:
• NORTH : Stands are less than half full, and less than half of them stand up.
• SOUTH: 100,000 fans, all standing, sing along in perfect four-part harmony.

The Smell in the Air After the First Score:
• NORTH: Nothing changes.
• SOUTH: Fireworks, with a touch of bourbon.

Commentary (Male):
• NORTH: "Nice play."
• SOUTH: "Dammit, you slow sumbitch – tackle him and break his legs."

Commentary (Female):
• NORTH: "My, this certainly is a violent sport."
• SOUTH: "Dammit, you slow sumbitch –tackle him and break his legs."

• NORTH: Neutral and paid.
• SOUTH: Announcer harmonizes with the crowd in the fight song, with a tear in his eye because he is so proud of his team.

After the Game:
• NORTH: The stadium is empty way before the game ends.
• SOUTH: Another rack of ribs goes on the smoker, while somebody goes to the nearest package store for more bourbon, and planning begins for next week's game.

Shackleford Banks, NC Trip

Monday, August 9, 2010

A couple of weeks ago I went on one of the more amazing trips in my life. I really love traveling and have been slowly working on adding more pins of places I've been to my world map, but Shackleford Banks in North Carolina was a whole new experience.

Shackleford is located a few miles off the coast of Beaufort, NC. Beaufort is less than an hour from the Outer Banks. The island is a part of the Cape Lookout National Seashore. It's approximately 9 miles long and a few miles wide. The island is commercial-free. There are no buildings, no sidewalks, no piers, no bathrooms (!!!), nothing. But there are a few amazing things that do not fall under the 'commercial' category - WILD HORSES. Yes, Shackleford is home to approximately to wild horses. The horses are thought to be descendents of Spanish horses brought over by Columbus from Spain in the 16th Century. No lie these horses are incredible.

Our trip started out bright and early on a Saturday morning as the four of us made the drive from Charleston, SC to Beaufort, NC. Once in Beaufort we took a 15 minute ferry to the island and from there we were on our own. We spent the day roaming the island, setting up camp, and just playing. Playing in the water (super strong waves) and playing in the sand (more shells than I've seen in a long time).

Before dusk we decided to fish to see if we could catch our dinner. Things didn't go so well... Scott caught two sharks, and Emilee caught a stingray. !!!! The only things somewhat edible were two pinfish Emilee and I caught. They were tiny, but we didn't care ... we wanted to reap our reward.

Luckily, we brought back-up hot dogs, baked beans and smores. Yes, dinner of champions. Our night was topped off by a beautiful campfire and cool breeze. Speaking of breeze, we weren't hot all day, but as soon as it was time for bed things took a turn for the worse. The wind was so strong the whole night our tent spent it's time flapping our faces and feet. Not the best nights sleep, but also not awful enough to not make the trip again.

Honestly, the whole day was great. People came in and out of the island all day on the ferry, but there were few people who actually stayed the night. This meant, I felt like I was on a private island all weekend. It was great to wake up in the morning, look and see the waves, and just relax. And it didn't hurt that 1 hour before our scheduled departure we found some of the wild horses.

Pictures don't really give it justice, but here are some to give you all an idea of how great it was.


Mini Life Update

Friday, August 6, 2010

Oh goodness - I am the worst blogger ever. Sorry all for disappearing, I've just been super busy with traveling and work. I'll get back to regularly scheduled posts soon, but to tide you over here are a few pics from my last couple weeks ... Enjoy, lovelies. :)