Archive for April, 2010

31 Things To Love About Will

April 30, 2010

So, today is Will’s birthday, and a friend (thanks Sherri… & sorry for stealing your idea – you’re way more original than I am!) did one of these lists for her husband’s birthday this week, and I loved the idea.

So here goes, 31 things (for the big 3-1 birthday!) I absolutely love about Will, in no particular order. Some are cheesy, mushy and others silly… and, since I’m pretty sure he’s STILL not reading my blog, he may not ever see these. But, I like the idea of remembering all of these things that make him special, on his special day… whether he realizes I’m doing it or not!

1. I love the story of how we met, even though, on the surface it may seem like just your run-of-the-mill “we met in a bar” story. Will was working off duty at Tin Roof and apparently had seen me a couple of time. After we met, he tracked down my friend Jennifer’s phone number and asked her to bring me back to talk to him more. The rest, as they say, is history.

2. He always remembers to ask about my day. Always. Sometimes, I don’t have anything to tell him, but it’s certainly nice to be asked.

3. I always feel safe with him. Now, granted, he always carries a gun, so that could be part of it. But, more than packing heat, I just know that he would always protect me.

4. Have you seen him? He’s hott (that’s right – with two “t’s”). I know that sounds a wee bit superficial… but seriously, I’ve always wanted to date a blonde (never did until now)… and now I’m marrying one!

Celebrating last year's birthday at Lobster Bar, over oysters and Scotch!

5.  Before he asked for my phone number, at the Tin Roof, he’d stand there feeding money into the machine that plays games… to make me stay there and talk to him longer. It worked… he scored my digits and a date that same night.

6. He remembers to bring me flowers at least once a month.

7. He makes me feel beautiful & desired… This includes everything from when I’m dressed up for a black tie event to the time I had food poisoning and he said, “You look pretty,” when he brought me ginger ale & flowers in the middle of the night (perhaps he was lying on that second occasion, but it’s a nice sentiment regardless!).

8. Now, I’m not really such a big fan of tattoos… and my future husband has, um… quite a few. That being said, I think they’re kind of sexy on him. Not that I want him to get any more… but he’s artistic, and the ones he has make him unique. And I love that about him.

At the Henderson Park falls... you can see the tattoos peeking out from his tee shirt.

9. He lets me tweeze the blonde hairs on his ears. This is weird… don’t judge. And, again, since I’m pretty sure he’s NOT reading this (if you are… oops!), I hope it’s ok for me to share. But, I love to tweeze things. Since I can only tweeze my own eyebrows so much before the balance of the right arch is disturbed… Will graciously allows me to tweeze the coarse blonde hairs that grow on his earlobes. Granted, no one else would ever know they’re there… but I enjoy it so much and he lets me. Now, that’s love.

10. He’s thoughtful. I’m planning to do a whole blog post about the Valentine’s Day gift he made… but lets just say Most.Thoughtful.Gift.EVER. Seriously.

11. I love how deliberate he’s been about our relationship. He told me he loved me six weeks & one day (not that I was counting… or marked it on the calendar on my iPhone. Oh wait…) after our first date. And, the day after our first date he said, “I just want you to know, this isn’t casual for me.” It was so great to not play games and just enjoy being pursued. It was amazing – he’s my knight in shining armor, Prince Charming… you get the idea.

12. Will bought me fashion magazines (Vogue & Glamour – boy has good taste!) when I was leaving for Kenya – and left me sweet “I love you” notes in my suitcase.

13. He’s nature-y / outdoors-y – two things I’m not really (ok, while we’re being honest… I’m not at all.). And, while he teases me when I tag along to go shooting or kayaking with him… he always also lets me know that he appreciates the effort.

At the shooting range in Dial, GA, our first Thanksgiving together.

14. He took my dance class. Actually, he was pretty good at it. Now, if I could just convince him to do it again. Hrm…

15. I love that Will believes the best and that things will work out. Even on days when I’m letting my mind run circles around a problem, he has this resolute belief that everything is going to be ok. It’s a good counterbalance for my perfectionism.

16. He looks cute in hole-y jeans and tee shirts (his favorite uniform), but he’ll wear a suit if I ask him to.

17. He sings to me. We have totally different taste in music, but he’s determined to teach me about his (he’ll quiz me on what band is playing – favorites include Pearl Jam, Allman Brothers, Pink Floyd, Jimmi Hendrix, The Doors… I’m getting much better). I love it that I’m really the only one who gets to see this playful side of him, which makes it more special.

18. We go on at least one date night per week, a tradition that we’re both committed to keeping up.

19. Will designed the perfect engagement ring. And, while I wish I could say that I’d walked through the longer-than-intended time that it took us to get engaged with more grace, it was definitely worth the wait. It’s perfect – and he designed it (based on the things I’d said I liked and some covert spying in my jewelry box), which makes it even more special. *I need to do a post just about that?

20. He really is the best kisser ever. Truly – I could sit on the couch and kiss him for hours and not ever get tired of it.

21. He always opens the car door for me… even when it’s pouring down rain and I’m being slow.

22. He’s generous and puts me first most of the time. I hope that I can learn to be as selfless in our marriage.

23. He has a cute booty. Oh, that’s right. I said it. He will DIE if he reads this.

24. I’ve managed to convert him into a wine drinker. Some of my favorite moments of the week are Will & I sitting on my red couch, drinking red wine. Love it.

At the opening party of Bistro Niko. Like the tie? 🙂

25. Will always believes in me and tells me I’m smart. I think, especially as women, it’s great to be with someone who makes you feel attractive and intelligent… which Will most definitely does. It’s a blessing and so is he.

26. He’s a great daddy.

Hannah, Hayley & Will.

27. He likes to do yard work. Which works out, because I HATE it / will not do it. See? Opposites attract. 🙂

28. He’s willing to learn / change, if that makes “us” better. I love it that Will always keeps his eye on the prize, in terms of us having a strong marriage. He shows me that over & over again, and I’m so grateful for that quality.

29. He sends me sweet / silly text messages, for no reason at all. And, he never gets off the phone without saying, “I love you.” (I know that’s two, but I’m running out of numbers!)

30. He calls me “baby.” Listening to other’s pet names for each other can be annoying… but I love it.

31. He loves me. And, maybe that’s the best of all.

Happy 31st Birthday, my love!

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Posen: Right On Target

April 27, 2010

Target is the visionary retailer that pioneered the mass retailer + big time fashion designer collaborations. Just in the last year or so, they’ve brought us Rodarte, Liberty of London, Jean Paul Gaultier collection was in select (not in Atlanta that I’ve seen, sadly) stores through April 11.

Now, this week, Target is offering a spring collection from designer to the young, rich & fabulous, Zac Posen. One of the most vocal celebrity fans of his work is Natalie Portman, with his signature style of immaculate forties-inspired tailoring and teeny-tiny cocktail dresses. Other loyalists include Barbara Bush, Gwynneth Paltrow, Naiomi Campbell and Lucy Liu. He is something of a wunderkind / prodigy, having launched his eponymous line at the ripe (young) age of 21.

I love his work, especially when seen on celebs. I haven’t made it to Target to see it in person yet, but I really hope it’s as great as the lookbook photos seem. A friend and I were discussing the other day and we’ve both observed that often when runway designers make collections “for real women” something gets lost in translation (i.e, they’re designing for a sample size 2 or smaller or the proportions are really tiny or short). In any case, the collection looks great… on the models! Enjoy…

Pancake Twist

April 23, 2010

I’m always in the market for a good recipe – so much the better if it’s something a little different or out-of-the-box. My friend, Jamie Adams (Exec. Chef at Veni Vidi Vici) was kind enough to share this recipe with me and I can’t wait to try it. It sounds like such a great start to a meal – and you could leave off the smoked salmon to make vegetarian, which makes it really flexible. Let me know if you make it. If I do, I’ll try to remember to add some photos (I’m not the best at remembering… Too excited about actually tasting the finished product!). Or, better yet, perhaps I’ll just trek down to 14th Street and let the experts at VVV show me how it’s done! Enjoy!

Chickpea Pancake “Mock Pizza”
For six pizzas

 Ingredients

  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 medium red onion, finely diced
  • 1.5 cups water (approximate)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbn chopped parsley
  • 1\2 lb. robiola cheese (or an available soft cheese)
  • 1\2 lb. sliced cured or smoked salmon, sliced thin
  • 1 tbn capers
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbn extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup canola oil or olive oil blend for the pancakes

 Method

  1.  In a mixing bowl, put the two flours together and whisk in the water, a little at a time, until a smooth pancake like batter consistency is achieved. You may need a little more or little less depending on the vagaries of the flour. Add half of the diced red onion, salt and the chopped parsley. This can be done several hours before serving.
  2. With the other half of the red onion, add the extra virgin olive oil and the red wine vinegar and let it marinate for about 20 minutes.
  3. When you are ready to serve, heat a large non stick skillet, I prefer cast iron, with the canola oil or blend until the oil just begins to smoke. Use a four ounce ladle to pour the batter into the skillet and cook just like a pancake. Let it get nice and brown on the bottom, turn and brown on the other side. Transfer to an absorbent towel, pat the excess oil then slather the pancake with roughly one ounce of robiola, lay the cured salmon over the top, then garnish with the capers and the marinated red onion. Cut into four slices and serve.

Shhh! Super-Secret!

April 20, 2010

Atlanta has a rich culinary scene with some restaurants that are garnering some major national buzz (Bistro Niko, Miller Union and Abattoir are just a few). However, the city’s permitting doesn’t allow for the cultivation of practically any street food. Chicago has its hot dogs, New York its pizza… Atlanta has, well, practically nothing. Jenny Levinson, the mastermind behind the ever-popular Souper Jenny in Buckhead, is working hard to change all that.

Check out her “super-secret” (not really!) event this Thursday to raise awareness about how much a street food culture could add to Atlanta. Enjoy!

The Super-Secret Underground Food Truck Extravaganza
Thursday, April 22, 6-9p.m.

Souper Jenny
56 E. Andrews Drive, Atlanta, GA 30305
www.souperjennyatl.com

Souper Jenny & The Atlanta Street Food Coalition host a fun, family-friendly festival Thursday to support the campaign to bring safe, affordable and legal access to street food in Atlanta. More than 10 vendors – including Souper Jenny’s Incredibly Flying Soup Mobile, The Good Food Truck, Taqueria del Sol, The Pickle, Artichoke Bliss and King of Pops – will gather in the Souper Jenny parking lot at 56 E. Andrews Drive in Buckhead and offer guests a wide variety of fun, inexpensive and wholesome fare – including items with kid appeal! Complimentary wine will be served while supplies last!

Relationships in the Land of Oz

April 19, 2010

Lisa Oz shares some wisdom she obtained during 25 years of marriage to Dr. Mehmet Oz.

Lisa Oz shares some wisdom she obtained during 25 years of marriage to Dr. Mehmet Oz.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Lisa Oz, wife of Dr. Mehmet Oz, shares wisdom from 25 years of marriage
  • Spend 10 minutes each day talking about something more meaningful than chores
  • If there’s something in your marriage you want changed, do something about it yourself
  • (OPRAH.com) — Being married offers benefits beyond having a standing Saturday night date, or a regular jogging partner, or someone who will reliably take out the garbage.

    My husband, Dr. Mehmet Oz, often talks about the medical virtues of wedded bliss: It can lower your stress level, reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease, even improve cancer survival rates.

    All very well — but the operative word here is bliss. It’s been proven that it takes a happy marriage to reap the most from those benefits. And — as I can attest after nearly 25 years of marriage (some a bit bumpy) — that takes work.

    In my book, “Us: Transforming Ourselves and the Relationships That Matter Most”, I talk about the challenges Mehmet and I have faced (like when he stares at his BlackBerry instead of into my eyes during a conversation) and the strategies we use to stay connected:

    Have real conversations

    When you and your husband first got together, you didn’t spend your nights discussing the kids, the bills, or the leaky roof. And while checking off everything on the to-do list is a nice goal, it’s not nearly as valuable as staying emotionally in tune with each other.

    It’s not always easy, but make a point of taking ten minutes each day to talk about something more meaningful than cleaning out the garage. If your husband (like mine) has a hard time talking without getting distracted, try this: When I want to have a heart-to-heart with Mehmet, I get him engaged in another more appealing activity, like working out together or taking a walk. Once he’s physically occupied, it’s easier for him to hear what’s on my mind.

    Fight clean

    Because dealing with conflict is a large part of any long-term relationship, you need to know how to air your differences productively. Too often an argument devolves into proving you’re right — and as I’ve learned, being right is overrated.

    One way to tell if you’re resolving your disputes in a civilized manner is to record your argument, and then play it back later. Did you fight fair, or did you come off like the Wicked Witch of the West? I once saw a video of a family vacation that captured a fight Mehmet and I were having in the background. I was so horrified by my venomous tone, I quickly erased the tape — but seeing that fight is still having a positive impact on our relationship.

    Take responsibility

    If there’s something in your marriage you want changed, do something about it yourself. For years I wanted Mehmet to work less and play — especially with me — more. It took a long time to realize that if I wanted to be entertained in life, I needed to find the entertainment myself.

    After decades of blaming him for my boredom, I decided to make my own fun. I enrolled in continuing education classes, reconnected with friends, even took up kung fu! I still prefer having him around, but I’m no longer putting my life on hold until he’s cleared his heart surgeries and TV show tapings from his schedule each day.

    Let’s face it, as much fun as you may have with your spouse, marriage isn’t a 24/7 party. But what makes a healthy union is sharing goals and growing together as a team. Concentrate on the life you want to build together, and you’ll find that all the little stuff you think you need — whether it’s dates at fancy restaurants or lazy weekends without the kids — seems unimportant.

    Lisa Oz is a producer, entrepreneur and the author of “Us: Transforming Ourselves and the Relationships That Matter Most.”

    **I’m not always a huge fan of Oprah, but I did enjoy this post – good tips to remember in preparation to enter into a lifelong committment.

    Dancing on the Page

    April 15, 2010

    I love getting mail – as long as it’s not a bill. There’s something spectacularly special about receiving an invitation that’s been beautifully hand-calligraphied. Today at work, I received such a piece of mail and called immediately to see who had done the gorgeous lettering on the envelope.

    My research led me to Anne Elser, who is a professional calligrapher and artist in Atlanta. She also, apparently teaches art & lettering classes at Binders (www.bindersart.com). On one of the blog posts I found, she referred to what she does as “dancing on the page.” I just love that expression…

    The envelopes for the party (a spring dinner party at an art gallery – how fun!) were so stunning – all of the lettering was done in shades of green and blue. Peacock colors! I’ve never seen multiple colors used on an outer envelope like that before. Definitely something to remember when it’s time to address my wedding invitations. It’s funny – I’m not that concerned with the invitations themselves… but oddly obsessed with the idea of having them hand calligraphied.

    Wedding Attire Guide for Guys

    April 8, 2010

    I subscribe to a fun Atlanta-based newsletter called Bearings, A Southern Lifestyle Guide for Men. Clearly, I’m not their target demographic, but they have neat information on date ideas, little known restaurants, trips around the South, fetching clothing, and more. Today, their e-newsletter included a great guide to wedding attire. I’m not convinced that any men are reading my blog (in all fairness, they’re not really my demographic!), but I thought I’d repost it here. Enjoy!

    Weddings

    It’s April, so there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself staring at a wedding invitation sometime soon wondering what to wear. The etiquette for proper wedding guest attire can vary depending on the time, location and style of the wedding. Here we offer a few tips to make sure you show up with a good measure of confidence and style.
     
    The Invitation
    Often, the style of the wedding invitation itself will give you some initial attire direction. If it’s heavy paper, calligraphy script, and formal language you should assume your appearance should match a more formal affair.
     
    If you’re lucky, the invitation may spell it out for you: casual, cocktail, black tie optional, etc. If that’s still just code to you, here is what they mean:
    Casual Attire: It would be rare to see this indicated on an invitation, but we’ve seen a few along with its cousin “resort casual,” usually for beach weddings.  Men should wear slacks and a dress shirt. A light-weight sport coat and no tie is also an option.

    Cocktail Attire: Think James Bond at a casino with his martini but without his tux. A dark suit, white shirt and a classic tie.

    Black Tie Optional: This is self-explanatory, but you may wonder if you’ll be in the majority or the minority if you go suit or tux. One option is to wear your tuxedo with a regular black tie instead of the bow tie and a laydown collar instead of the winged tip shirt. If you wear a suit, make sure it’s dark, coupled with a white shirt and a smart tie.
     
    Black Tie: This makes it easy for you. No options, just your tuxedo. However, never wear any kind of colored or patterned tie or cummerbund. Black tie means black.

    Product Close Up

    Time & Place
    Daytime Indoors: In the summer, the ideal choice would be to wear a light weight suit or a sports coat, slacks and a tie. If the invitation says “formal” for an afternoon wedding, wear a dark suit. It’s not a funeral, so black suits and tuxedos are not appropriate before 6 pm. 
     
    Daytime Outdoors: Chances are you’ll be in the South and under the scorching midday sun, so opt for a light suit or a summer weight jacket with light pants and a tie. This is your best chance to wear a khaki, linen or seersucker suit. Pair it with a white shirt and simple, navy tie. 
     
    Evening Indoors: This is any wedding after 6 p.m. A good rule to follow is the later in the evening a wedding is, the more likely you should wear a tuxedo. Otherwise, a dark suit is always in good taste. A tie is not optional. Wear it. For shoes, wear well-polished black or dark brown leather lace-ups. Your belt and shoes should always match.

    Sweet Revenge – April Fools!

    April 6, 2010

    I have some amazingly smart and funny friends, who also happen to be great writers. Fortunately for me, several of them have really engaging blogs, so even when I don’t get the chance to talk to them regularly, I can read about Sherri, Elle and Angel’s exploits (just to name a few!).

    So, yesterday I read this absolutely hilarious post from Sherri’s blog… I had to repost it here for my friends. If you keep reading, promise me you’ll take note: THIS IS NOT ABOUT ME. I am NOT pregnant (nor do I hope to be ANY time soon, in case you’re wondering).

    Ok… moving on. This might be the funniest April Fool’s Day piece of revenge I’ve ever heard. To frame the story for you, Sherri & her husband John had a precious baby girl, Ally Grace, in October. So, they are still adjusting to the wonders – and challenges – of being first time parents. Enjoy – Sherri, you are a genius!

    Sweet April Fools Day Revenge from Baby D’s Debut by Sherri D

    Someone forgot to tell John that it’s really NOT cool to call your wife the morning of April Fools Day and tell her that you’ve been in a car accident.

    Let me just replay the conversation for you:

    John:  Hey babe, I got in a car accident on my way to work.  Yeah, this lady cut out in front of me, and I swerved into another car to miss her.  They’re telling me I have a broken arm and have to go to the hospital.

     

    Me:  Oh my gosh, are you okay?  Which hospital?  And how will you be able to help me with Ally Grace if you have a broken arm?  Oops, did I just say that outloud?

     

    John:  HAHAHAHAHA, APRIL FOOLS!

     

    Me:  You’d better sleep with one eye open, because I AM COMING FOR YOU WHEN YOU LEAST EXPECT IT!

    Later, as I was plotting my revenge, my friend Jenny weighed in with the brilliant idea to pretend I was pregnant.  At first, I thought “no way, he will NEVER fall for that.” Which may or may not be a result of my inability to keep a straight face, and my tendency to giggle like a schoolgirl anytime I’m trying to prank someone. 

    (It may or may not ALSO be due to the fact that I’ve tried pulling this one before.)

    Anyway, then Jenny said, why don’t you ask one of your pregnant friends to take a test FOR you? And then I said, GENIUS.  Because it enabled me to provide him with this:

    Proof. 
    (Yes, it IS a positive pregnancy test, and yes it IS laying on my kitchen counter. Oops.)

    Now here’s how THAT conversation went:

    Me:  (Shaky voice–I so deserve an Oscar) Hey babe?  Um, can you look at something?  I was feeling kinda funny so I took a pregnancy test….Is it just me, or is that a plus sign in that window? 

    John:  What?  Um, no.  I mean, those things can be wrong, right?  It’s really faint, so it probably doesn’t count.  (Grabbing keys) Let me run to the store and get a couple of those digital ones.  (This is how I KNOW he was freaked out, since Mr. Smart Saver NEVER lets me spend money on those “fancy” digital ones.  Ahem.)

    Me:  (Slightly hysterically) WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO?!?!?!? 

    John:  (Hugging me) Oh babe, it’s going to be fine….don’t worry!

    Me:  April FOOLS DAY, SUCKA!  BAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

    John:  AHHHHHHHHHHHH (Tickling me until I screamed for mercy, with Jackson bravely running over to rescue me from the obvious torture that I was experiencing).

    It. Was. Priceless.

    I would like to thank Jenny for the brilliant plan, and Betsy for allowing the use of her pregnant urine.  And I would also like to thank the Academy……

    Oh wait.