Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween?

Ok, ok. I must admit that I do not love Halloween. While it was a fun excuse in high school and college to dress ridiculously, drink odd combinations (anything + apple cider), and run around high on life and candy, I have become a bit disillusioned with the holiday. Let's face it, people, post-grads are at a Halloween crossroads - we're too old to be slutty nurses, but too young to sit at home and hand out candy in our pajamas (maybe). Suddenly, Halloween has become a lot of work, and my non-creative self is still trying to work it out.

I was also in Oregon for "Halloween Weekend", but I digress. And Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year, so who gets to decide which is Halloween weekend? Again, I digress.

Despite my lack of enthusiasm for the holiday this year, my friend, and fellow blogger Samantha Curtis inspired me with her post today to reflect on the glory of Halloweens past.

Here are some of the recent highlights...

Halloween 2007 (Costume 1): Cowgirl

Halloween 2007 (Costume 2): Doublemint Twin - Double the Fun

Halloween 2008 (Costume 1): Greek Goddess

Halloween 2008 (Costume 2): Legends of the Hidden Temple - Team Blue Baracudas

Halloween 2009: Tribe Slap-A-Ho (I'm sorry... long story)

Halloween 2012: Water-logged Oregon Ducks fan

So there they are - memories of Halloweens past. Maybe they will get me re-energized in time for next year!

Happy Halloween!


Monday, October 29, 2012

Pay It Forward

If you read my post outlining my hectic schedule over the next few weeks (or actually know me), you'd know that this weekend was my trip to Oregon to visit my brother with my parents. I'll gush about what an amazing weekend it was later, but first, and at top of mind today, is the story of how I almost didn't make it.

For the record - I am a notoriously horrific traveler when it comes to flying. No, I don't get motion sickness, or lose my bags, but any and everything that could possibly happen to my flights (delays, cancellations, reroutes, etc) happens to me consistently. Thus, it was no surprise that my flight from Denver to Portland was delayed over an hour on Friday night, giving me a whopping 5 minutes from wheels down until I was supposed to be boarding my flight to Eugene - the last one of the night. After hauling across the airport, I found myself just in time - hooray!

But wait. How could this be? That was far too easy, right? Wrong - upon getting to the gate I was informed that the plane was under weight restriction (baby planes, sigh), and barring some Good Samaritan giving up his or her seat, I was destined to stay in Portland until late the next morning. After adequately (but calmly) berating the gate agents and the airline in general, I stood tearfully at the window and watched as everyone else boarded my flight. No football game. Less than 24 hours with my family. All of these hours of travel wasted.

Suddenly, I heard the gate agent say (snobbishly) "What are they doing? They can't do that." Wondering what the fuss was about, I looked out onto the open-air runway to see a wife leading her husband as they charged off the plane. Upon re-entering the boarding area, all she said was, "She deserves to see her brother, she came all this way. Let her go, we'll stay behind."

Cue waterworks.

Major waterworks.

Needless to say I started sobbing and hugged the two of them (who were also in tears), and flew out the door onto the plane after thanking them profusely.

Spoiler alert - the weight restriction was a false alarm and my two saviors actually got on the plane as well. Good Karma.

Sitting on the plane to Eugene, I reflected back on the events at the gate. Why did they do that for me? They don't know me. They certainly don't know my family. Why would they put themselves out for a complete stranger? And then, suddenly, I understood why I had been crying so hard - because I hadn't experience that kind of pure and simple kindness from a stranger in a very long time. I was crying from a real place - the same place that their good deed had come from.

Needless to say I had a wonderful weekend with my family (details to come later), and the whole time I couldn't help but feel grateful to this anonymous couple who did me one gigantic kindess.

Ok, ok, I can squeeze in one picture!

Why share this story instead of all of the details about my trip today? Well, because with Sandy taking aim to terrorize over a quarter of the country, I can think of no better time to inspire others with this story, and to encourage everyone who has been touched by an act of kindess to pay it forward to those in need.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Think Pink

Given that it's October, I felt there was no better time to dedicate a post to Breast Cancer Awareness. It's time to Think Pink, everyone!

Breast Cancer Awareness has had a special place in my heart for years now. It all started when I was living in Chicago and my mom began volunteering for, and walking in what was then the Avon 3-Day Walk for Breast Cancer. Partnered with Susan G. Komen, Avon hosted the walk every summer in downtown Chicago, drawing thousands. I was officially hooked on the magic of these women and men, and this cause when I stood along the finish line and watched the walkers finish the last mile... in complete silence. I may have only been 13, but I was moved to tears at the power of that moment.

Since then, my mom has completed the walk numerous times, many of which were Avon's 2-Day Walk after Susan G. Komen took over the 3-Day, and the support shown by her husband, friends, family and community over the years has been inspiring.

The next chapter of my commitment to Thinking Pink began when I joined Zeta Tau Alpha in 2007. Rushing was an insanely overwhelming process and I'd be lying if I said I could remember most of it, but one experience that stands out to this day was listening to my soon-to-be sisters talk about their dedication to Breast Cancer Awareness. I instantly knew that I'd found a home.

Why do I have Pink on the brain? Well, for the second consecutive day my blog was inspired by another's words:

Photo Courtesy of CNN

This simple idea by an 11-year-old as officially adopted by the NFL for this weekend's games. Further proof that no idea, or person is too small to make a difference.

Below are some of my adventures in Thinking Pink...

If you've done this walk, you know that laughter is key! - Avon Walk 2007

Celebrating at the end of the walk. Not a dry eye in the house. And look at all the pink!!

Race For the Cure with two of my favorites in 2008 #ZLAM

Why yes, that is real! Got the symbol from the Avon Walk on my ankle during the summer of 2009!
(I was feeling rebellious)

How are you Thinking Pink this October?


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Let's Get Political

With the Presidential Election approaching rapidly in November, everywhere I go I'm bombarded with op-eds, propaganda, ads, articles, polls... My head is spinning. With my views in check, I consider myself to be fully prepared for the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to politics, and to take it all in stride. I respect the views of others, and my own, which is why you will never see this blog used as a political forum. We get enough of it everywhere else, so this will continue to be sacred ground.

I had a full blog post planned out in my still-tired mind this morning (oh, it was good), but after reading a particularly striking article, I decided to postpone that to share the words of someone else. These words caught me off guard, and truly made me think about what we condone in this society - and I hope they'll do the same for you.

An Open Letter to Ann Coulter
Posted on Oct. 23, 2012 by Tim Shriver

The following is a guest post in the form of an open letter from Special Olympics athlete and global messenger John Franklin Stephens to Ann Coulter after this tweet during last night’s Presidential debate

Dear Ann Coulter,

Come on Ms. Coulter, you aren’t dumb and you aren’t shallow.  So why are you continually using a word like the R-word as an insult?

I’m a 30 year old man with Down syndrome who has struggled with the public’s perception that an intellectual disability means that I am dumb and shallow.  I am not either of those things, but I do process information more slowly than the rest of you.  In fact it has taken me all day to figure out how to respond to your use of the R-word last night.

I thought first of asking whether you meant to describe the President as someone who was bullied as a child by people like you, but rose above it to find a way to succeed in life as many of my fellow Special Olympians have.

Then I wondered if you meant to describe him as someone who has to struggle to be thoughtful about everything he says, as everyone else races from one snarkey sound bite to the next.

Finally, I wondered if you meant to degrade him as someone who is likely to receive bad health care, live in low grade housing with very little income and still manages to see life as a wonderful gift.

Because, Ms. Coulter, that is who we are – and much, much more.

After I saw your tweet, I realized you just wanted to belittle the President by linking him to people like me.  You assumed that people would understand and accept that being linked to someone like me is an insult and you assumed you could get away with it and still appear on TV.

I have to wonder if you considered other hateful words but recoiled from the backlash.

Well, Ms. Coulter, you, and society, need to learn that being compared to people like me should be considered a badge of honor.

No one overcomes more than we do and still loves life so much.

Come join us someday at Special Olympics.  See if you can walk away with your heart unchanged.

A friend you haven’t made yet,   John Franklin Stephens
Global Messenger
Special Olympics Virginia

Article Courtesy of

Well said, John.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Moving On My Mind

I'm moving again!

Scare you? Scared myself there for a second to be honest. No, I am not leaving The Pitts, but lately I have had moving on the brain. Or, more specifically, moving to a new apartment. Now that I have been in The Pitts for a solid six months (where does the time go, honestly), I've had the chance to familiarize myself with the different neighborhoods, thus giving me the opportunity to lust after my friends' apartments, locations, amenities and the like.

Now that I'm half way through my lease, I've begun the unpleasant stage in a lease cycle where I find myself in "fight or flight" mode. Do I like it here? Will I like it more if I move to a different unit in the building? What if I can't find another apartment? Where do I want to be living? WHAT WILL MY COMMUTE BE LIKE??? Sigh. So exhausting.

As all 20-somethings know, moving in the "real world" is a hell of a lot harder than picking out your house for your senior year with a few girlfriends. Why? Well, for starters, there's a lot more to it now than location in relation to classes and bars (though that still comes into play if you sub in "work" for "classes"). Now we have things like job stability, relationships, cost of living, commutes, and life plans that all factor into the equation.

You said it, baby!

Here are a few thoughts currently starting to work themselves into my equation:
  • Number of Bedrooms: As much as I love the affordability of a one-bedroom (thankfully I never had to suffer through a studio), it's time to to upgrade I think. Let's be honest, letting friends/family crash on your couch when they visit was fun for awhile, but I think that I should treat my loved ones to.. oh, I don't know.. a bed, or a little privacy maybe. 2+ here I come.
  • Storage, Storage and More Storage: Alright, I get it, I'm a pack rat, and shoving things into one small storage space just isn't cutting it. I'm thinking a basement. Yes, a basement would be nice.
  • What's Mine is Mine: No more shared laundry. Enough said.
  • Room to Roam: My favorite part about my current location is that I can walk to anything and everything that I need - groceries, restaurants, sports venues, church, etc - and I'm just not ready to give that up yet.

I'll keep you posted as these thought-starters crystallize into must-haves that I'll actually have to act upon. Yikes. Stay tuned!


Monday, October 22, 2012


With the state of the music industry right now - music available whenever you want it, how ever you want it - I honestly can't remember the last time I've been excited about an album release. Usually I will check out the buzz, download a single or two, and move on to the next one.

AU CONTRAIRE, mes amis. Today is a special day.. that's right, Taylor Swift's new album "Red" came out today, and I was lucky enough to get hooked up with a free copy which I could not be more excited about.

How have I celebrated this special day? Well, instead of my usual button-pushing, and traffic-report-scouring that I normally do every morning, I decided to kick off my day by listening to the title track "Red" on repeat... for all 25 minutes of my commute. And it didn't even get old.

Why am I so excited? Well, mostly because I have been tragically disappointed in her latest over-played works, namely "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together". I love you T. Swift, but even you can't pull off a speaking role in your own song, no matter how brief and melodramatic. The root of my utter disappointment? The fact that her music always seems to perfectly coincide with my life - and endless nights on the front porch with the girls. I was worried that these memories of bouncing around and screaming "Love Story" at the top of my lungs would be replaced by annoyance in sub-par material.

"I'm Only Me When I'm With You" was playing somewhere for sure

But fear not! Ms. Swift absolutely redeemed herself with this album, and so far I can't get enough.

Here's a sample of the song writing that I love so much:

"Loving him is like driving a new Maserati down a dead end street
Faster than the wind, passionate as sin, ending so suddenly
Loving him is like trying to change your mind once you're already flying
through the free fall
Like the colors in autumn so bright just before they lose it all

Losing him was blue, like I’d never known
Missing him was dark gray, all alone
Forgetting him was like trying to know somebody you've never met
But loving him was red
Loving him was red"
Come on. I dare any 20-something girl to say that these words don't ring true for some chapter of her life. I'm a lyrics fanatic, and lyrics are what she does best!
My one complaint: not enough pure country (think "Tim McGraw"). Come on girl, stick to your roots!
So today, as I roll down (or sit in the parking lot that is) 376 at about 5pm, have no fear, I won't be honking restlessly at people today!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Football in The Pitts

Per my previous post, watching football has become more of a social activity than I initially anticipated when I moved here. Despite not being a Steelers fan (at all), I'll admit that living close to Heinz Field gives me the kick in the butt I need on Sundays to get up, put on something other than sweats, and enjoy the electric atmosphere that is Football Sunday. Today, I break down the anatomy of what makes a great day of watching football (Saturday or Sunday.. or both).

Alright ladies, hang up the heels and put away the curling iron. If you're wanting to meet a man in Pittsburgh, you better throw on a pair of jeans and study up on your football facts, because there is no room for a diva at the bar when there's a game on, and Pittsburgh men love their football. My go-to for football days: jeans, boots and a casual top/sweater. If my team is on, I will gladly sport fan gear. Be comfortable, wear good walking shoes (in cases of tailgating and accidental bar crawls), and get into it Pittsburgh gals and guys.

Places to Go
The atmosphere on Football Saturdays and Sundays is not only electric by the stadiums, but in the plethora of local bars and restaurants as well. Both the "I'm going to scream in your face when we score" fans and "please shut up and let me drink my beer" fans can find places to go to enjoy the games their way. For a quieter fan experience, head to Industry Public House, SoHo, or Piper's Pub. Want to get rowdy? Check out the selection of bars on Shore Drive between PNC Park and Heinz Field, or head over towards Pitt's campus in Oakland (Peter's is a personal favorite). Go to Fridays, for all I care - just get out and enjoy!

Rules and Regs
As a Patriots fan living in Steeler Country, I've had to learn how to conduct myself rather quickly. I don't want to get beaten down by an angry fan mob, but I also don't want to cower in my apartment and watch the game in silence. So here's the deal - it turns out that Steelers fans aren't as bad as others (cough Jets), and seem to have a respect for football in general, on top of their love for the Steelers (unless you're a Browns fan). While they may not like the Patriots, they atleast respect them, which is good enough for me. Oh, and both groups of fans are dealing with an.. umm.. interesting start to the season, so we are currently sharing this confusing pain. As the saying goes - treat others how you would like to be treated.

Why can't we be friends?

The fun begins tonight with Thursday Night Football! How do you spend your Football Saturdays and Sundays?


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Updates From The Pitts

Sorry all, I didn't win anything last night, so this post won't contain a witty rendition of a much over-played, but classic victory song (see last post). I will, however, be providing an update on all things Pitts today.

Highlights are as follows...

Ok, it's worth mentioning again - my team (Charcoal) won the PSL Kickball Championship last night. Well, we won the Monday Night Championship... on our half of the bracket. But still! Even in the rain and freezing temperatures we got it done and had a blast. As I've said in other posts, joining things has really helped me to get settled in Pittsburgh, and I highly recommend that recent relocators do the same.

What a crew

I've recently added some awesome fitness classes to my schedule that have helped me not only to get my "but it's winter"-butt into gear, but to spend a little extra time (and have a few laughs) with my coworkers. I'm lucky enough to work for a company that emphasizes maintaining good fitness and nutrition habits, and has an awesome roster of fitness classes at the gym! My new favorite: Total Body Drum Beat. I couldn't possibly adequately describe it here, but just imagine a bunch of girls jumping around beating the crap out of fitness balls with drum sticks and you've pretty much got the jist.

These kids have the right idea

I now have four ways to get to and from work. Not a big deal, right? Wrong. My commute to work lives and dies on 376, which, you should know, is not always a safe bet. Take last week for example, twice my 25-minute commute took me over 90 minutes... What?! So now, not only do I have three different ways to get on 376 depending on morning traffic, but I also have one way that takes me parallel to 376 should it be a total disaster. Great success!

Football has proven to be more of a catalyst to my social activity on the weekends than initially anticipated. The last few weekends have found me out and about for NCAA Football on Saturdays, and recovering with a select group on Sundays for NFL. While I've been exposed to teams that I wouldn't necessarily watch on my own accord (The Browns..), I much prefer these gatherings to sitting on my couch desperately hoping my Fantasy Football week will end well.

The busy season is upon me! While I love The Pitts, I'll be bidding it adieu quite a few times over the next few months - and I can't wait for all that my trips have in store! First up - University of Oregon.

Work is good. Love is good. Stop being so nosey people! :)

That's all for now!


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

We Are the Champions

Given my brief hiatus from blogging due to weekend, activities, life, and so on, I have lots and lots that I should be writing about today.

But all I can manage to write today is this... This one is for you, Charcoal:

I've paid my dues (to Harrington) Time after time
I've done my sentence
But committed no crime
And bad mistakes
I've made a few (2 Dumb Things to be exact)
I've had my share of sand kicked in my face  (and mud)
But I've come through

We are the champions - my friends
And we'll keep on fighting - till the end
We are the champions -
We are the champions
No time for losers (Grey Team)
'Cause we are the champions - of the world 

I've taken my bows
And my curtain calls (or PBR showers - thanks Dank) 
You brought me fame and fortuen and everything that goes with it (and whatever prize we get from PSL)
I thank you all 

But it's been no bed of roses (still can't feel my toes)
No pleasure cruise 
I consider it a challenge before the whole human race (or all other PSL teams) 
And I ain't gonna lose

We are the champions - my friends
And we'll keep on fighting - till the end 
We are the champions 
We are the champions
No time for losers (Grey Team)
'Cause we are the champions - of the world (PSL Kickball League!)

Charcoal. Champs. PBRs in hand.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Brotherly Love

Some people struggle with the question "What is most important in life?". I, however, do not. Through all of my trials and tribulations, goodbyes and hellos, new jobs and new places, I have carried with me what is most important to me - the people in my life.

Cheesy? Yes. Corny? Absolutely. True? Couldn't be more.

While I've always been lucky in family, I haven't always been so lucky in friends and love - but, hey, who gets everything right on the first try? But, through thick and thin (very thin if I reflect back on my JT days), they have always been there for me.

So, why am I writing about this today? Well, by sending off his first care package it finally hit me - my little brother is in college. And not just any college, a college that it will take me three plane rides to get to in a few weeks.

It also finally hit me how spread out our tight-knit family now is. Going home to Kansas used to mean one-stop-shopping in the family department. Everyone was there when I arrived, and everyone waved goodbye when I left. It was like a little safety net that I could fall into whenever I needed to get away. Now we're all packing up and heading to Oregon to visit the little one. Different, but still great.

Look out, Oregon, we're coming for you!

Oh, and he's not just easing into his college experience, he's already fully immersed in his new fraternity, new friends, new life - but he's the same old CJ.

Being a freshman in college - now that brings me back. Maybe that's another reason I'm struggling with him being "all grown up" - because I'm terrified that he'll repeat ANY (please, not all) of the mistakes that I made during my four years at MU. But hey, I turned out just fine... I think.

Ok, maybe not...

Now, it's time to get down to business. A few things that I would have liked to know when I was a freshman. Little brother, this is for you.

Dear College Freshman Sarah,

Hello! It's you, but much, much older (like mid-20's older... yikes). You've got four wonderful years ahead of you, and no, people aren't exaggerating when they say it flies by, so treasure every second. Having already gone through everything that you're about to experience, I wanted to pass along some words of wisdom that I wish someone would've told me when I was that age. First of all, never put vodka in a water bottle and leave it in your refrigerator unmarked. You will wake up dying for water, and take a swig. If you choose to go down this road, keep a bucket nearby. Don't procrastinate. Please. You will find out that, after college, procrastinating is not an option (unless you're doing laundry) - you're on your own kiddo. Take that class you're too scared to take because it's absolutely out of your comfort zone. It will be one of the best classes you ever have. Don't think you're smarter than the bouncers at bars - you're not. They know you're not 6' and blonde, and, yes, they can still see the Xs on your hands. You'll have plenty of opportunity to actually be 21, so don't rush it. Don't worry about finding a boyfriend. College isn't about finding someone, it's about finding yourself. And, the odds are, if you can pull that off, then you'll meet someone great when you least expect it. Don't get mad when your friends try to drag you out in the middle of the week - you'll be amazed by how many Tuesdays and Wednesdays you'll remember years from now. And, finally, don't be anyone but yourself. College isn't high school. You're a little fish in a much bigger pond, so be different, and, hell, be a little crazy, but be yourself, and the friends you come out with four years later will be ones you'll have with you for life.

Good luck, and God bless.

Monday, October 8, 2012


Well, ladies and gentlemen, the cold weather is officially upon us. As this occurs unceremoniously every year, I have picked up on a few trends that rear their heads after the first frost:
  1. Boots are now worn with everything - I even see people wearing UGGs into work, who change into a different, more work-appropriate pair of boots once they are safely inside. This is fine by me.
  2. Legging become pants - I love a good pair of leggings, but, when at work, take care to cover the deriere please ladies.
  3. Some people just can't let go - I know you love the cute cotton dress you bought this year, but it's time to put it away.
  4. The gym empties - I don't know what it is about the cold weather, but something about it makes everyone's desire to work out just go away. Maybe it's because they know beach season is over, or maybe it's because they're mentally preparing for that New Year's resolution they're going to make (because THIS will finally be the year).
I'd like to dedicate today's blog post to the fourth, and most troubling of the nasty weather trends, as well as what I'm doing to combat it.

I'll be honest - I've fallen victim to it as well. Let's take today for example: The sky is completely grey, there's a chance of rain all day, and there is no way that the temperate will creep above 50 degrees. Now it's 5 o'clock, you're free from work, and you have a choice to make - do you go workout, or go home, turn the heat on, curl up under a blanket and find something good on TV? Come on, even writing that was painful for me. I know we've all been there.

So how am I keeping my butt from permanently molding to my couch over the next few months? I'm going to get ahead of the curve, and jumpstart my Fall workouts the same way I did my Summer workouts - with two-a-days.

Sounds drastic right? Not so. It will just take some variety to keep it going. Luckily, I've found some classes at my gym that I love, and, over lunch, I'll get my cardio or muscle toning in, depending on which class I'm taking that morning/evening. For example, I'm doing a Kettlebell-centered weight training class tonight, so, over lunch I ran and did the eliptical. Not only does this break up my day, but it helps me to fall into an easy-to-maintain routine that won't be ruined by the months of cold weather that lie ahead (tear). This should also prevent the inevitable drama that comes with wanting to wear a crazy New Year's dress when you feel like you'd just look better in a potato sack.

Dancing counts as one workout... right? Anyone?

Week 1 was great, now time to kick off Week 2!


Friday, October 5, 2012

The Art of Doing Nothing

What do I want most in life? That's a lofty, lofty question with (at this point) no sort of solid answer.

What do I want right now? A lazy weekend. I swore that once the summer was over I would find myself inundated with free weekends with which to do what I please. Only, come the end of August I was looking out over a vast expanse of cold weather and nothing fun to look forward to - so I started to plan. Now, at the beginning of October I can confidently say that I have two free weekends until December. Did I go a little overboard? Just a little.

Here is how it happened...

Ahh, look at that. So much free time, with the only exception being the holidays.

Oh shoot, forgot about Homecoming, so I had to add that in there.

Oh yeah, I should probably spend some time with that man of mine.

Wait a sec - little brother is in college now, must go visit with my parents.

Done? Not quite yet.

Wouldn't be Fall without heading to a few football games.

Now, with family friends coming into town in November (yey!), I'm grasping at straws when it comes to free time... but I love it. I can't wait for every single activity I have planned, and for the ones that will just pop up along the way!

As for my totally free weekend lying ahead of me... well, I'm sure I'll find some way to fill it up!


Thursday, October 4, 2012

In Good Company

To set the record straight - yes, I'm currently on my third job in the two years that I've been out of school. Job hopper, you ask? Not quite.

My first venture into the real world was as a Media Trainee with the Rookie A affiliate of an MLB team. It was the perfect first job - when I wasn't working (which was only about four hours in a 24 hour period some days), I was being a crazy post-grad with my two fellow trainees and running amuck in the small, rural town we found ourselves calling home. Once the trainee period was over, I packed my bags and took off, destined for bigger and better things. Little did I know that "bigger and better" would be preceeded by three months of "waitressing and job hunting". Oh well, c'est la vie for a recent grad these days.

Next up? A one-and-a-half-year stint on the Media Team at an advertising agency in Cincinnati. Oh, so this is what the real world is like? Professional attire, meetings, shmoozing with sales reps, travel, important pitches and insane hours overtook my life, but it was exciting and I loved every second. Well, maybe not the seconds frequently spent in the office after midnight, but I worked my booty off, and made friends and professional connections that will stay with me for a long, long time.

Come the spring of '12, however, times they were a-changing, both personally and professionally, so when I got the opportunity here in The Pitts, I just couldn't say no.

Why am I writing about this today? Well, over the past few weeks I have really learned the value of working for a company that appreciates, and invests in you. Take yesterday, for example - At noon the entire Media Team shut off computers, threw on jeans, and headed to Dave & Busters for a little friendly (supposedly) competition. After mingling and preparing ourselves for battle with a hearty meal, we got down to business. We laughed, we jeered, we boo'd the winning team, and we had an all-around great day. Still relatively new to the company, it was great to be able to kick back with my coworkers, and to know that I work for a company that truly values the Team.

Here's a highlight... Enjoy, at my expense :)


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

That's Who I Am

The problem I often run into when reading a blog is as follows - I don't know who this blogger is. I know what they write about, I know what they're interested in, and I've even seen a few choice photos that they've posted along the way. While the occasional personal post grants the reader insight into the person's mind, those posts can also border on seeming like you're peaking into thoughts that you shouldn't be allowed to dig up on the internet. Yet, somewhere along the way you connect with the blogger, and the blogmance (new word) begins.

Well, today I would like to provide a brief snapshot into who I am. If you've been paying attention, you should have picked up on the following tid bits by now..
- I live in Pittsburgh... hello.
- I'm an experimental cook and baker
- I'm in the midst of a rather large adventure
- I'm determined to see, try and eat it all in this new city of mine
- I like to shop, but am not a fashionista in any way
- I'm a sports nut of the Boston/New England variety

While I'm not going to write lines upon lines detailing out my life story, along with my hopes, dreams and ambitions (maybe on a rainy day), I'm going to share a few things that you haven't learned quite yet.

I hate chocolate. I'd rather starve. No joke.

Will Ferrell is my favorite comedian of all time.

I cry at the end of this movie.. every single time.

My brother and I are almost 6 years apart, but have been confused for twins multiple times.

I would live in a teeshirt and jeans forever if I could.

Being a part of this sorority, and pledge class, changed my life. ZLAM.

My grandma ("Nanny") is my hero.
Insert shoutout to amazing brother and boyfriend here

If I can love like my parents love, my life will be complete.

That's it for now! Just a brief glimpse, but a glimpse nonetheless. Stay tuned for more snapshots to come!


Monday, October 1, 2012

Sweet Tooth

On my "big girl" quest to actually learn how to cook, there is yet another road that I have yet to cross - baking. As my friends and family know, and as I am sharing now, I in no way have any sort of sweet tooth (unless you count Diet Coke). I even dislike - hold the gasps please - chocolate. No, I do not know why. It started at a young age, and my waistline has never complained so I'm in no rush to change a thing!
I am, however, surrounding by people who love love love sweets, so I decided to give it a go. As a thank you for the hospitality while I was visiting over Homecoming, I decided to bake PG and company Funfetti Cake Pops. Jumping into the deep end? Oh, absolutely. Not only did I have to bake a cake for this feat, but I had to then break it down and turn it into something completely different. Who makes this stuff up, honestly? When did bringing someone a simple cake go out of style? Sigh. But, I decided to give it a go..
  1. 1 box of Funfetti cake mix (or buy regular cake mix and mix in your own sprinkles)
  2. 3 eggs
  3. 1 tbsp of vegetable oil
  4. 1 cup of water
  5. 1 can of frosting
  6. Chocolate to melt down (1 package of chocolate squares should suffice)

Cheated and got a microwaveable cup of chocolate squares made for coating goodies

  • Coat cake pan with grease or cooking spray
  • Preheat oven to 350
  • In a large bowl, add cake mix, eggs, oil and water
  • Mix on medium for 2-3 minutes, or until all lumps in the badder are gone
  • Spread evenly in cake pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, depending on pan size
  • Pull cake out of oven and let it cool
  • Once cool, crumble cake into large mixing bowl
  • Add can of frosting to mixing bowl
  • Mix until the frosting has been spread evenly, and you have a seriously gooey mixture
  • Using a spoon (or by hand) scoop out balls of mixture and place on wax paper
  • Place cake balls in fridge for 30-45 minutes, or in freezer for 5-10 minutes
  • Melt chocolate
  • Using toothpick, dip cake balls into chocolate, covering completely, and set back on wax paper
  • Refrigerate until the chocolate has hardened
  • EAT!
Next up - cookies for little CJ (who is now officially a Duck)!