Last night official signaled the start of the outdoor sand volleyball season.  I know what you're all thinking...really Nicole?  Volleyball?  Outdoors?  In April?  In CLEVELAND?

Hardy har har.  No it wasn't 30 degrees and snowing (although knowing Ohio, there was a 50% chance of this).  Actually, it was a balmy 40 degrees and moonsooning.  Yes, moonsooning is not a verb, but I made it one.  Sue me for being creative.

So, thescene is set.  Lots of cold, lots of rain, lots of complaints from the peanut gallery.

And now enter: swampball.

Lovingly named so because upon arriving at the hole-in-the-wall bar we call home in the summer, the court looked like this:

But ten times worse and complete with a full lake on the side of it.  It was more like an obstacle course.  Or a game of land mines.  At any moment, without warning, you could fall and land up to the middle of your shins in sand.

Which happened to me about 50 times.  I'd be running to get the ball and POOF!  Stuck in the sand, arms flailing, local drunkards chuckling.  And then I'd do something stupidly brilliant like try to get unstuck without help.  By grunting and attempting to lift out one foot at a time until I fell over into the swamp.  Cue local drunkards again.

No worries, we won all three games.  But only because the girls on the other team were terrified of the swampy conditions.  I should have listened to them, my legs are indeed out of order today.  Apparently sand stomping is not my forte.  I should have just stuck to indoor.

sprinkles and cake crumbs

I have a secret.

My husband can bake.  Seriously.

Unbeknownst to me (and anyone else who has ever made contact with him) he has been harboring this secret superpower.  Denying that he's capable of any baking activity other than stirring.  Not convinced?

The proof my friends, is in my birthday cake.

Yes, that delicious two-tier cake was made especially for me by my super-secret-baker-of-a-husband.  Chocolately devil's food cake filled and topped with my favorite chocolate-cool-whip topping.  And sprinkles to boot.

And I would've eaten every bite but we had guests over and that would just be rude.  But don't think the thought didn't cross my mind.

Also, he bought those weird candles made in China, I feared for my life as I leaned over to blow them out.  There were too many and I feared a malfunction.  Or lead poisoning.


easter and three boxes

I did not take any photos this weekend ::shocker::

I know, I'm lame.  But I was having too much fun being lazy to pick up my camera.  Plus I'm not sure how blog-worthy the photos of me scrounging in my mismatched tshirt and yoga pants would be.  And unbrushed hair, let's not forget that important piece.

After flying home from Nashville on Thursday, we started out our weekend with a feast at our favorite hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant.  Where the margaritas keep flowing and the company is always top-notch.

I told myself this weekend would be for packing.  Since we move on Thursday.  But Friday just felt lazy.  So we went to the mall instead, to walk around and sight-see.  And shop, because ya know, that's what malls are for.  Adam was successful: a new bathing suit for volleyball (yes that makes sense) and sandals.  I was left pouting at the door of H&M since Adam wouldn't go in.  Apparently there's no 'organizational paradigm'.  Funny, I thought everything was sorted by 'want,' 'love,' 'NEED!'

We celebrated Easter on Saturday with Adam's family, a large dinner of steak and carblegs and snap peas, I was in heaven.  Not to mention the homemade chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches that Adam/I concocted.  Heaven, pure heaven.  Klondike can eat it.  After eating her ice cream, Adam's three year old cousin touched my cheek and told me she liked me.  I just about melted on the spot.  And then promptly went to wash the cookie crumbs off my face.

Yesterday the box count was at three.  I swore I was going to get things done.  But that NCIS marathon was on and who am I to refuse a day of Tony DiNozzo.

So that leaves me with tomorrow since outdoor volleyball starts tonight.  Oh yes friends, volleyball in CLEVELAND in April.  I need to go locate my snowpants.


pizza of the gods

It's Good Friday - I should have at least one religious post right?

Might I turn your attention to this:

Sorry for the cell phone photo but I just couldn't stop to find my camera.

This my friends, is what I would request as my last meal.  Along with wine and garlic roasted brussel sprouts.  Yes, brussel sprouts, you judge but they're my favorite.

This, is spinach tomato garlic pizza.  Not only made with that amazing combination of ingredients, but made with fresh spinach, fresh tomatoes and actual slices of garlic.  And comes from a mom&pop restaurant to boot.

It's heaven.  But pizza.

I love this pizza so much I'm eating it cold.  At 9pm.  On a Friday.  While perusing the latest yachting issue.  I sound elite don't I?  Ha, they hand out subscriptions for free at the boat show, we couldn't resist.

Back to food.  I know it doesn't look like much in this photo because it's 3 days old and cold and oh I don't care because it's oh so good, but I must recreate this masterpiece.  Like tomorrow.  Or Sunday since we're celebrating Easter tomorrow.  With crab legs and jello shots, which I hear is quite the traditional meal.  Not, but hey, we know what we like.

back home ya'll

It's 45 degrees and raining, why Nashville, why did I ever leave you to come back to this?

Just kidding, Cleveland may have dismal weather at best, but being away from home just makes me love it even more.  That and hotel beds are sometimes just terrible.  No sleep this week resulted in a five hour nap for me today.  Thank you Good Friday and your no-work rules.

My trip started out with delayed flights and chatty seat neighbors.  Are you a plane chatter?  I can be but I never initiate the conversation.  But apparently I attract all sorts of chatters, including one aspiring country singer who insisted I purchase a ten-gallon hat upon my arrival.  He was my favorite, his accent made me swoon, his inability to stop talking made me annoyed.

Note: no such hat was purchased.  Have you seen me in hats?  I have the world's smallest head, so really, the hat is wearing me as an accessory.

But I digress.

Nashville was everything I expected and more.  I'm not a country music fan by any means but the atmosphere of a town obsessed with it suits me just fine.  We spent one day walking around in little side streets, popping into boutiques and paperies.
And then headed to what is deemed 'downtown' although to be honest, it's really only one street of happening stops.  The Lady Gaga concert was that night, so needless to say, the people-watching was incredible.  I'm at a loss of words to describe the outfits, but the the phrase 'no pants' comes to mind.  That and a blatant disregard for clothing suitable for certain body types.  I'll leave the rest to your imagination, I'm sure you're right on track.

We headed to the world famous 'tootsies' for drinks and to take in some aspiring country singers.  Walls covered in photos of famous singers, feet sticking to floor from years of beer spills, cowboy hats, everywhere.  I LOVED IT.  Even the country music wasn't bad - they threw in some mainstream songs so at least I could pretend to sing along with everyone.  It was like Cheers, but country.  With smoke.  So much smoke.

Seriously Ohio, thank you for your smoke free law, my hair, my lungs, my clothes, thank you.

The rest of my time there was spent working - so no real stories to tell.  And sorry for the mediocre photos, forgot my camera so the cell phone had to step it up.

Nashville, you're alright.  You're more than alright.  I think if I liked country music I could live there.  But I love me some Adele, and your warm weather won't change that.


tour de l'appartement

Okay, since I couldn't bear to walk around with the Flip and not trip (unintentional rhyme) in order to showcase our [hopefully last] apartment, I figured I'd at least throw some photos your way.  We've lived here for a year, and in nine days will be packing up and leaving it behind.  [sob?]  I'm not unhappy about that.  A year of white walls has done me in.  I'm ready to actually decorate, since right now we have random candles and frames thrown in places to make it appear that we have some style.

Here's a gist of the layout:
So, you come knocking on our front door, we let you in and here's what you see:

From there you can stroll into the kitchen, and see our fridge, COVERED in love.  (note a postcard from this lovely lady on there!)  Also my second love is on the counter, sorry cheapo-microwave, it's my Cuisinart Coffee Brewer.
Now I'll get all MTV Cribs for ya.  You want to know what's in there, don't you?  Oh yes.  To be able to look back at what we ate way back when...we probably don't want our future kids to ever see this.

Why yes, our main categories are beer and yogurt.  Michael Weston anyone?  I took this photo on a non-grocery week, so we're snacking on leftovers, eating up remaining produce and getting rid of containers.  Normally the fridge looks a bit healthier, but hey, we don't want to move everything do we?  We'll be practical and eat like frat boys these last few weeks.

Onwards and forwards, to the living room, which I somehow forgot a wide shot of (d'oh) but here's what the corner looks like:

We're unofficially sponsored by IKEA and leftover furniture updated with slipcovers.  I love, love, LOVE the color combination in this room other than the dreadful white walls.  Give me turquoise and red any day.  Or turquoise and coral.  Or turquoise and yellow.  Or really, turquoise and any color.  It's the universal color for me.

I also love the [frame the date] on top of our bookcase (that is not used for books).  I'm thinking a gallery wall is a must in the new house, this will definitely be a player in that.

Oh, here's a view back to the kitchen from the living room:

Not that exciting.  We have a pretty sweet wine rack, which is almost empty, because packing makes me crave red wine.  Fact.

And then onto the master bedroom, I spared photos of the bathrooms since, well, I just didn't want to clean.  And didn't think I'd subject you to views of my makeup spread all over the counter.  I swear I don't live like that :)

Note Ricki's awesome pet stairs which THUD every time the little monster runs up and down them in the middle of the night.  But at least he's saving his knees for when he needs to jump up on the chair for important business like begging for food.  Also I love our comforter and our insanely large mirror leaning against the wall.  It makes me look skinny.  I'd hug it if I could.

I will miss this the most.
Not the mess, but the gigantic walk in closet that is the only acceptable substitute for not having Eva Longoria's closet.  We're back to two smaller closets.  Le sigh.  But at least I won't have Adam's coat collection hogging up my valuable shoe space.

Note, we keep things like volleyballs and stuffed animals in our closet, along with a small arsenal of Nerf guns.  So don't try to break in, we're armed with very powerful foam weaponry.

Also, I adore that the font on the photos crosses their 'z's like I do.  I cross my 7s too.  Does anyone else do that...
And that about wraps up our tour...well, except for the second bedroom which could appropriately be named boxland and our two bathrooms.  And the garage.  And patio.  Oh crud, I guess I left a lot out.  Forgive me, I'm not going to capture more of our mess, you'll see enough in our new house to last you a lifetime.

So there you have it, our first Cleveland home...and now onto our second.  In nine days.  Must pack.  Must stop blogging and pack.

heading south ya'll

...to Nashville for the next few days!  I've never been, any suggestions?  Things to do, places to see, eat?  Any bloggers in the area? I love getting to experience a new city, especially one with so much culture contained in one area.


recent obsessions

Jennifer Aniston's new perfume:
Divine.  Summer in a bottle.  Floral but light.  Clean.  Lovely.

Braided Hair:

Braided hair.  It's a phase I got through every few months, but right now = LOVE.

Flowy, light, summery.


orange just isn't my color

I was dreading turning 26.  Go ahead and laugh.  But I don't want to be old.  I look like I'm 16 and I'm still young at heart, so why do the numbers keep going up every year?

But it's never too late to have a first.

On Thursday, I called 9-1-1 for the first time EVER.

Don't panic ya'll, it wasn't an emergency.  Well, it was but kind of not.  Make sense?  Adam and I were on our way to our volleyball game (followed by a birthday drinks with my amazing friends!), just driving down the highway.  In the median a van was pulled over and these two guys were full-out brawling.  Punches, punches galore.  I of course, gawked as every car driver does.  Adam quite simply handed the phone to me and said, call 9-1-1.


Gulp.  So I did, hands shaking, those stories of people getting in trouble for calling in non-emergencies floating through my head.  I'm too young to go to jail!  I don't look good in orange!  Of course my first thought goes to the jail fashion, sheesh. I didn't think it really warranted a call, but Adam made some  rather decent points that either a) everyone will slow down to watch and get in an accident or b) the fumbling idiots would end up in the highway at some point and cause an accident.

Fineeee.  So I called, and somehow managed to articulate the situation.  And I'm assuming it was taken care of since by this point we were almost three miles away from the location and had no idea if it was still happening.

So if you're reading the police blotter about an anonymous birthday girl tipster, you know you were in the loop first.  The moral of this story?  You're never too young for firsts.  That and there's no good way to accessorize that bright orange jumpsuit.


what 26 looks like

Free starbucks, wonderful gift from my husband and now off to celebrate with our friends :)

Not a bad start to my twenty-sixth year!


birthday's eve

I turn twenty-six tomorrow.  Twenty-six.  I'm officially entering my upper-twenties.  ::cue mid-twenties crisis here::  Except I already had that at twenty-five.  I'm a crisis-repeater.

So getting older is no fun, but all fun at the same time.  Life only gets better with age :)  As does wine.  That is not a coincidence.

And so, as my last twenty-five year old post, I leave you with no words of wisdom from my twenty-fifth year, but instead with this happy puppy...just making his bean bag bed a little more comfortable for his afternoon snooze.

I love how two-toned he looks here...like his legs and head don't match.  What a dye job :)

laying out

In anticipation of moving [read: in anticipation of picking paint colors cause it's my favorite activity], I threw together a quick floor plan of the new house!  It's a split level, HUGE, well, huge for us since there's two and half people living in it.  Yes we count the dog as half a person, only because he's too short to be a full one.

There are three levels, the lower level is about halfway underground, the main level sits on the ground and then the third level is about eight stairs up.

Bonus features?  Well, on top of everything else we were looking for...there's a patio that is both covered and uncovered in portions...I see many more dinner parties in our future :)  A sunroom where I can enjoy my morning coffee with a good book.  Vaulted ceilings (I'm a lofty gal).  Here's the lower and main level:
You can stand in any of the rooms and see all the other ones...well except the bathroom of course because that would be just, odd.  The whole house is open and airy, it will be a dream to decorate with all the rooms flowing into each other.  And the living room has a huge bay window - perfect for squirrel watching.  I swear Ricki's eyes glaze over when he watches them, it's kind of like a Gossip Girl addiction for dogs.

And the upper level:
The master with obviously be: the master.  The currently purple bedroom will be converted into a guest room for when our dinner parties last long into the night.  I'm hoping to turn the yellow bedroom into and office/library with a little nook for reading.  Maybe a daybed for dual function in case we have more guests?  Those rooms will of course become rooms for the future kiddos down the line, so I'd really like to keep them useful but neutral so we don't have to scramble to redo rooms.

And you know me, I'm already thinking ahead to paint colors...Hubby is shaking his head right now...even though we need to paint the outside of the house first.  Have you ever seen the color pee yellow?  Yeah.  That's our house.  Can't miss it.  Just turn right on our street, we're the twelfth house on the right.  Pee Yellow.  That's right.  Feel free to park in the driveway.

Plans are to remedy that with a softer, much prettier blueish-grey that might not be as easy to find but will be easier on the eyes.  As for the inside, well, plans are still in the works (insert eye roll from Adam), but I would like all the rooms to flow into one another with a soft grey color as the basis.  Why am I so obsessed with grey lately?  I'm thinking something along the lines of this color pallete, but maybe going a bit bolder? 

Our design style is mostly modern Scandinavian with rustic comfort infused.  Yeah, that totally makes sense.  Basically modern with the main palette being very neutral but bright, bold accessories.  Better?  First things first, tackle the outside, then...Adam will be spending hours in the paint section looking at samples.  Oh joy!

dog days.

Doggie got his hairs cut.  It was time for the lion to get his summer do'.  Isn't he looking all handsome now?
I love how he changes colors with haircuts.  From the red to blonde...he's like that spoon from the Trix cereal that changed from pink to purple when you put milk in.  Except we don't dip our dog in milk, we just take him to the groomers.

Same difference.



Without a doubt this is my favorite portrait type photo from our wedding:

I love the sunset peeking through!  But our photographer featured us a few days ago on his blog with one of his favorites from our special day, be sure to check it out!

house hunters

I had been planning on documenting our house hunting adventures for our extended family and anyone else who wants to know how a plain jack-and-jane couple get things done, but the whole process was too nerve racking.  Finding that diamond-in-the-rough with a great floor plan and lots of potential was the priority right now.  Being mildly affordable (accounting for any renovation/updating expenses) wouldn't be too bad either.

First step:  accept that we might be living with white walls for another year ::shudder::  I can't stand it.  But it could have been the end result.

Next step: hash out our must-haves.
  • Built between 1960 and the 1980s.  While we're anxious to get our hands dirty, a solidly built house from that time period isn't likely to spring any large construction projects on us (fingers crossed).  Shooting for the outdated will keep us within our capabilities (and budget!)
  • Open floor plan.  Without a doubt the most important piece.  Although we can deal with a floor plan that just needs some TLC in the form of widening doorways.
  • At least three bedrooms.  While no little bambinos are on the way anytime soon, plans are to have one or two at some point.  While the second and third bedroom would retain use as an office and guest room for now, it's nice to have them on hand for when kiddos join our family.
  • Two full baths.  Consider that a nice to have.  While one and a half would do, having a guest bathroom and master bathroom would greatly reduce the amount of times I'm scrambling to clean up our toothbrushes because we have company.
  • Semi-private yard.  I think it goes without saying that a yard is a must considering we have our little four-legged friend to contend with.
  • Attached garage.  TWO car garage.  We're spoiled and we know it.  This is a dealbreaker for us.
It goes without saying that location and price trump all.  My vision is to have this house for quite a few years (read: good school system needed) so it has to be in a great location.  And to be honest, I was down to a specific subdivision by the time I was done.

And while this whole process obviously ended well, it wasn't easy.  We actually put in an offer on another house a few months ago only to be denied in lieu of a cash offer.  Can't blame them but still, it's hard to have liked and lost.

Everything happens for a reason though and we stumbled upon our house a few months later.  Just in time too since our lease is up and we're anxious to get out.  AND not only does our new house fit all of our criteria, it's in my favorite neighborhood!

Sold, we were so sold.  I know that photo makes it look like I sold off my husband and dog but I assure you this is not the case.  They will be packed and shipped off to the new house with the rest of my clothes and dearest possessions.  Along with our extensive collection of mismatched kitchenware.

got my hairs cut.

Finally went to get my hair cut last week.  It's a little shorter (sob) but my layers have made another appearance so my hair doesn't look shalacked to my head.  Seriously, I have shalacking hair.  It's super thin and has a mind of its own.  A mind that dictates that it hug itself as close to my oddly shaped head as possible so that my already round face looks rounder.  Fail.

But my layers are back and ready for action.  Volume, ooh lala!

I'm obsessed with getting my hair cut.  Really I just like having my hair played with.  It's not really a massage, it just kind of tickles and relaxes me and oh I wish I could go every week.  Wouldn't it be nice?  Or maybe I could just go in and say 'for $5 will you just mess around with my hair and not cut it'?  Right, they'd throw me out, you know they would.

So I have to settle for my actual hair cut every few months.  Which is still a relief considering my hair looks like hair again.  Now if only I could find the time to dye it so it doesn't look so red.  Also, thinking of getting bangs again...thoughts?


spring into happiness.

66 degrees outside?  Does it get any better than this?  It actually snowed this week, snowed.  And here we are, sitting outside in shorts enjoying the recent issue of Popular Science.

Did I mention hubby and I are complete dorks?

I'm so happy it's finally springtime in Cleveland, it makes me giddy with excitement.  Excitement for trips and barbecues and endless summer bonfires.  Why must we live somewhere with seasons?  I'd be so perfectly happy down south.

But I am perfectly happy.  To finally have a weekend to relax.  With no plans, no obligations.  Something we won't have the next month with the whole pack-up-our-lives-and-move-again-cause-that's-what-we-do-thing.  Boxes.  Such a stress creator.  Maybe I'll just use them to build the doggie a fort.  He'd be thrilled.

As he's been all weekend, since we've actually been home.  With the exception of Friday night, when we pretended to be snooty wine drinkers.  Which we ended up being around glass #6, or was it glass #10 that did us in?  Regardless, wine tastes better ten glasses in, it's a proven fact. (Note, glasses are really half glasses at tasting, but still of substantial size resulting in similar tipsy conversations).

I swear, wine tasting brings out the oddest characters, people watching was at an all-time high on the entertainment scale.  And I don't think it was the wine.  I'm actually thoroughly convinced these are real life people just magnified.  Fascinating.  It's like one giant anthropology project rolled into one room.  The group of 'Just-21-or-pretending-they-are' huddled in the corner, loudly laughing at their ability to sneak in.  An elderly lady quietly swaying side to side as listens in on conversations.  The single 40-something crowd, obviously looking to meet someone new.  The married 30-somethings, intently listening to the wine guru, pretending to have higher knowledge of grape characteristics.  And then people like us.  Just out to try new varieties, to enjoy the company we've got and observe the scene unfolding around us.

I swear it's an alternate interpretation of 'Piano Man'.  Only better.  Because there's wine.  And lots of it.

Good picks this week?  The Mambo and Mercer Merlot.  Give it go if you will.  I'm off to grill up some dinner with the husband and watch the Indians game, cause that's what we do when it's warm in Cleveland.


vloggin' around.

Okay, out of my comfort zone here, but I love you all enough to put it out there.

I vlogged.  Insane, right?  And there's some big news in it.  Along with a guest appearance from Ricki of course :)

Please ignore my weird facial expressions, squeaky voice and inability to pronounce words correctly.

rosette headband winner!

Winner winner, chicken dinner.  I know you all are dying to know who won...  I hold you in suspense no further.

Or maybe just a little further.

I kid.  I kid.

The winner is...
Congrats!  I will be sending a love note email your way for the approporiate details.  And surprise!  The headband you're receiving will be in the colors you suggested: purple, yellow and gray :)  Just cause I like you.  And comments.  And love notes.


dear husband of mine.

I just wanted you to know that I love the silly things you do.

How you make up songs about everything from dirty dishes, to Sunday morning to puppy snores.

How you call me pants.  Which is short for lovey pants.  Which is short for pants of love.  And how I have no idea why you started calling me that.  But I find it endearing.

How you build the doggie forts so he'll be comfy while we're away.

How you never make the bed.  I don't love that, but sometimes it makes me smile.

How you tell me every day that you love your doggie.  And about the adventures you had on your afternoon walk.

How your face breaks into a BIG smile when I bring your dinner to the coffee table at night.  And how you consider the coffee table to be our 'fine dining' table.

How you leave me sweet little notes in my car from you and the dog.  It makes me miss you both terribly during the day.

How sometimes I'll come to bed only to find that you and the puppy have 'pirated' my spot.

How you make a day of nothing turn into something.  And dub every moment of pure laziness 'family time'.

You're pretty and I love you.

your wife

my new baby, uh, camera bag.

Okay, so not a baby.  More like a purse.  Or a camera bag.  Or both.  It's a hybrid and it's fabulous!

While I love my SlingShot 202 AW, it definitely isn't an everyday camera bag.  Actually it kind of screams 'I have an expensive camera and lots of stuff in here'.  Which is not what I want people to know when I'm out and about.  So sadly, my camera stays at home for most of our adventures, which definitely does not sit well with me.

But I did it.  I finally saved up to buy a Jo Totes bag.  And even though I debated a bit between the Epiphanie Clover and the Jo Totes Rose, I had to go back to my original love, the Rose.  So meet, the newest member of my purse collection - my Jo Totes Rose camera bag in Pewter!

LOVE.  Absolutely love.  And it wasn't outrageously expensive - only $102 total with the cost/tax/shipping.
So let's talk more about this beaut, shall we?

First of all, it's huge, but not all that bulky - see? I can easily haul it around.

It easily fits a DSLR, external flash and another lens, but I usually just have my camera and external flash with me, so there's room for other items such as my wallet, notebook, etc.  It's made of water-resistant faux leather that has a vintage feel.  And it comes in nine different colors- but I went with the pewter grey since it would basically go with anything I wear.  Maybe my next bag will be colorful? (My husband is shaking his head at me as he reads this).  There are five adjustable 1/2 inch foam pads that you can move around to suit your needs.  And the entire bag is lined with foam for safe storage.  It even comes with a matching crossbody strap!

And did I mention the dog loves it too?  He's either impressed that he's the same size or jealous that I'm taking photos of the bag instead of him because he wouldn't move away.

So there's my new love.  I toted it around this entire weekend at my brother's wedding and was thrilled to have my camera with me to capture the rehearsal dinner and our pampering appointments.

Want to read about a few other bags I considered?  Hop on over here!

how about a pretty giveaway?

***For those of you coming from my old Typepad Blog, your entries on there are still counted!  New readers of this giveaway, feel free to enter below!***

Do you remember this headband of yore that I made one snowy afternoon while I was supposed to be organizing and purging my fabric stash?

Well, I've made a dozen different ones since then, but this color combination is still my favorite.  And so I took some time away from my bad reality TV watching self, to make a duplicate one to give away to one of you!  Yes you.  Because you're all lovely and I have a blog crush on at least twelve of you and counting :)
So, to enter for a chance to win this navy, grey and mustard rosette headband please leave a comment for each item below that you complete (note: must have valid email address to enter!):

1. tell me, if you could pick any three colors for a rosette headband, what would you pick?
2. follow http://www.busygirlblog.com/ via a method of your choosing!
3. follow me on twitter, leave your handle in the comment (I'm @busygirlnicole)
4. blog or tweet about this giveaway!

Winner to be picked and announced at 12pm EST on Friday, April 6th!  Hurry and enter :)  Also, while I have you here, check out my blog crush Sarah's travel photography giveaway!


the little tow motor that could.

I'm refusing to believe that spring isn't here yet.  It's April, isn't that close enough?  Why the forty degree weather and hushed talk of snow flurries?  I just can't take the cold and cloudy anymore, I need thoughts of summer to be here.

We're one step closer though.  On Saturday, we put Adam's parent's boat in the water.  And luckily, Adam and I got to experience the whole thing for the first time.  Walking up and down the marina full of looming tarped figures.   Every few there would be one that was free of the tarp, getting painted and ready for a summer on the lake.

And of course, their boat was prepped and ready to be the first one in.

And finally it was time.  The marina staff carefully placed the boat on the trailer that was to be pulled by this mighty little tow motor.

 Apparently this little guy has more strength than it appears, considering he pulled a 14,000lb boat around with ease.  So off we went down the street over to the sling.  And the best part?  We got to ride on the boat!  I can't even begin to tell you how weird it is to be riding a boat down a street.  Here's my semi-interview of Adam on the boat, since a full video of just the boat moving seems a bit dull.  We apparently get excited over the little things.

And finally they backed the boat into the loading area, attaching two slings under the hull of the boat, lifting it into the air.  And then the two slings are moved backwards over the water, and lowered until the boat floats in the water.   Again, being suspended midair in a boat?  Weird feeling.  Kind of reminded me of when they used the slings to get the whale back in the ocean in Free Willy.   At this point Adam was probably annoyed with me because I asked eight gazillion questions about this entire process, including about six regarding whales and boat slings.  I'm very fun to be around on a cold, blustery morning.

A quick engine check and off we went for a quick ride around the freezing, choppy lake.  So cold, but so worth it (note: obnoxiously red nose)

I can't wait for summer.


dog vs. helicopter

What do you give your groomsmen as a thank you for wearing monkey suits in front of a bunch of people?  Remote control helicopters of course.

Can you only imagine what my life has been like the last week?  'Duck Nicole!' 'Stand still, I'm going to land it on your head!'

Sigh.  Although I'll admit, it's fun to attempt to fly.  The dog however, isn't sold on the idea.  I don't think he's really figured it out yet.
***please excuse the absolute disaster our apartment is right now and my annoyingly squeaky voice***


pampering and practice.

The best part of every wedding?  The day before.  What can I say, I'm a sucker for a good mani/pedi.

After a quick and productive rehearsal at Windows on the River we headed a few streets over for my other favorite pastime: great food with good friends.  Megan and Chris held their rehearsal dinner at Mallorca in downtown Cleveland.  The food was amazing - a blend of Spanish and Portuguese influence.  And the sheer amount of food that was served was unbelievable, you would have thought we were feeding a small army.

After a wonderful meal, we retired to the 1890 Lounge for some drinks with friends, before I ushered Megan off to bed for a good night sleep.

In the morning we were greeted with room service for breakfast including a much needed pot of coffee.  And then off to hair and makeup we went at the Ladies and Gentlemen Salon in Beachwood.

The junior bridesmaid, too cute!

I cannot get over her stylist's face in the photo, she was adorable!

And off we went to get dressed and ready for the big day!
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