And They Lived Happily Ever After

It is 4:13 am.  While most people are still happily sleeping, I am happily sitting on top of my television (the volume is low because for the first time ever, I’m up before Aaron on a weekday…he’ll be up in about 15 minutes).  I’m also sitting like a goon with my camera ready to capture the moments as they unfold on my TV, as if I’m really a guest taking pictures of my friends.
 

After having to endure the longest walk down the aisle EVER (no poor girl should ever have to walk 5 minutes just to get across the church), Kate looks STUNNING.  The girl is becoming a Princess, yet she looks very elegant and understated with a short train (relatively speaking), and a dress she can actually sit in designed by the house of Alexander McQueen (a very un-princess brand).  She channeled Grace Kelly and looked beautifully vintage.

As Kate was walking down the aisle, William and Harry had their backs turned to her.  Harry turned around, as she got closer, snickered, and turned and said something to William.  I am DYING to know what he said, because it didn’t look like he said, “WOW, she is beautiful.”

Good boy Prince William did tell her she looked beautiful, but I’m wondering how much coaching they got on how to act.  Getting married is nerve wreaking enough without having cameras broadcasting your every move to a judgmental world.  I’m wondering if their wedding rehearsal included a PR person telling them when they could smile, when they could talk to each other, and when they  had to look at the officiate. They are acting rather solemn and serious (a little nervous perhaps), but I imagine the sheer scope of Westminster Abbey and the Boy’s Choir would make anyone take the matter rather seriously. 

Meanwhile, I must say that I feel the intense need to go hat shopping.   Kate and William may get the prize for having the most fashionable friends (even though I have yet to see miss Posh Spice).  The women in the audience (congregation?) are wearing some outrageous hats, and of course Sir. Elton is looking dapper. 

Princess Beatrice wins the Hat Award!

 

It’s a little bit funny, this feeling inside…

 

Other noteworthy details….

1)      The wedding register is being signed in a private room where a king who died in the 1000’s is buried.  How romantic.

2)      The royal couple are riding off into the sunset (well, overcast morning) in the same carriage used by Charles and Diana (hopefully not a sign of things to come). 

3)      Kate’s something borrowed was a Cartier tiara, on loan from the Queen whose mother gave it to her for her 18th birthday.

4)       One of the flower girls is the daughter of Prince William’s childhood nanny.  HOW SWEET!

5)      Not all of the Middletons were invited to the reception, so they are having their own back at the hotel.  I’m guessing that party will be more fun unless you like stately dinners.

It is now 5:12.  (Aaron is up and looking at me like I’m a crazy person because I am taking pictures of the TV).  The Prince and Princess are riding off into the overcast, crowded London streets to Buckingham Palace.  Fulfilling the fantasies of young girls everywhere, the literal fairy tale princess wedding did not disappoint.  I couldn’t be happier for Princess Kate, and if any couple deserved the attention and the pageantry of today, it was absolutely this kind, generous, beautiful couple.

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Happy Surprises!

This has been a come early, leave late type of week, and I got home from work today wanting nothing more than to just face plant into bed and stay there until 3:30am when I will wake up to watch the Royal Wedding (oh yes, I will be up!).  If you can’t be invited to the wedding of the century, then watching it on broadcast television in pj’s with a cup of coffee across the world is a close second!

So, despite my drained disposition and my intense cupcake and wine craving, I came home to some happy surprises.  First, we got new puppy pictures! Giuseppe is now 3 weeks old, his eyes are open, and he does a lot of sleeping and eating!

 

Perhaps he knows that he has a grandma prepared Easter basket waiting for him!

I also came home to find…my passport! I was worried for a few days with talks of government shut-downs, but I got it back in about 3 weeks with plenty of time to spare! I can officially get out of the country and into Jamaica (and (more importantly) back in again)  I’m a little sad that the new passport doesn’t have my old stamps and visas (though they added a bunch of computer generated pictures since I got the last one), but I guess I’ll just have to go more places and get new ones!

Tomorrow…a royal wedding recap! For now, cupcakes and wine!

British (wedding) Invasion

 

So, for those of you who didn’t know (or live under a rock), this Friday my boyfriend, Prince William, will be marrying Kate Middleton.  Naturally I’m pretty excited not only because Prince William is my boyfriend, but because Kate Middleton, just a regular millionaire commoner, will live out every girl’s fantasy of a Princess wedding…except at the end she really will be a princess. 

I am a little obsessed with Kate Middleton.  She has flawless style, she always looks amazing, and, when she finally got around to an interview post engagement, it turns out that she has a pleasant and witty personality.  Can I just be her please?

Anyway, in celebration of the upcoming nuptials, I am in a very British mindset, and thought I’d share my favorite British things to help spread the wedding joy!

1)  Kiera Knightley as a Bridesmaid: Although she isn’t my favorite British thing,  I’m kind of happy that even she can’t get out of tragic bridesmaid dresses (she was a bridesmaid in her brother’s wedding this weekend).

 

2) Amy Winehouse: I love the soul of British pop singers.  Adele and Duffy are always blasting in my house.  But Amy Winehouse is beyond favorite.  Her voice, her lyrics, her 60’s vibe.  I’m cheering for her sober recovery because I need another Amy album.

 

3) Burberry: If I could embody any brand, it would be Burberry.  Plaid, Preppy, and fresh off a horse ride (or polo game), just in for High Tea.  If Hermonine approves, you know it is a sure thing.

4) Harry Potter:  I once read books 1-5 in 6 days and really thought I was in their world, mumbling about “stupid muggles.”  I also have been to midnight movie releases and midnight book releases…dressed as a Hogwarts student.  And I may have had a Harry Potter party complete with Sorting Hat cake and themed snacks in 2007…

5) Jane Austen is my literary soulmate.  She gets me.  If we had lived in the same century, I may have stalked her.  I think if people talked the way she wrote, the world would be a much better place.  If all men acted like Mr. Darcy, then we wouldn’t need to dream about princess weddings…we’d dream about being Elizabeth Bennett. 

 

6) Love Actually:  I’m not sure if there is a good British actor out there who isn’t in this movie.  Great story, great cast, Christmastime, what more can you ask for?  I know I saw it 5 times in theaters (it did come out during Finals Week in my freshman year of college), and contributed to a “Love Actually Day” celebration.

 

7) And, from Love Actually, Thomas Sangster and Hugh Grant.  Thomas Sangster is just so amazingly precious in Love Actually, and he will be the perfect age when I am a Cougar (Aaron may have to step aside!).  And even though I know the real Hugh Grant is yucky and hangs out with yucky prostitutes, his movie persona makes me love him.  Colin Firth is just slightly behind these two in the dreaminess factor (PLUS he was Mr. Darcy)

 

Cheers to England, and Happy Royal Wedding Week!

Countdown to Jamaica…Lots of Weeks Out

 

So, as if I needed another reason to be obsessive over our upcoming Jamaica vacation (and by obsessive I mean I can tell you how many hours it’ll be til we land, weeks out) , we received a little surprise package on our doorstep yesterday morning, and in a perfectly packaged leather (faux leather?) portfolio, we found our vacation itinerary!

Ooooo! Luggage Tags!

 

Even though we still have quite a bit of time before we get to relax on the beach enjoying our all inclusive drinks/water sports/amenities, we are kind of already on vacation mode, and we’ve absolutely started preparing.

Our treadmill has seen much more usage in recent weeks as we try and get our bikini/Speedo bodies into shape.  We are going with 4 other couples, meaning there will be lots of pictures posted on facebook, and I’d rather look like Audrina Patridge than a beach “don’t” in those pictures.  If anyone sees me eating a donut, please, just knock the sucker out of my hand.  

 

The bikini is also hanging up reminding me of the upcoming vacation.  This really doesn’t provide much inspiration for weight loss, but for whatever reason I collect bikinis that I don’t wear.  I have about 15 and I wear maybe 1 a year.  I live in a desert and I don’t know anyone with a pool.  We don’t have much use for bikinis, yet I buy them compulsively.  As hard as I try, there is a good chance I will have acquired 2 more by the time we go on vacation.

 

I bought new flip flops.  I am a littler person than average.  I require slightly elevated shoes just to reach mid-level shelves and cabinets.  For whatever reason, flip flops are not typically made to accommodate this need.  Almost every year I have to order Roxy sandals online because finding elevated flip flops in stores is next to impossible.  Meanwhile Aaron is slowly breaking in the Rainbows I bought him two years ago.

 

I did find this new dress at a kiosk at the mall and thought it might be appropriate…but I don’t know how well received I would be walking around Jamaica with their flag as my halter dress.  Plus, I’m not too much of a mall kiosk shopper…

 

Unfortunately I decided to wait until the last minute to change my name on my passport, so while I may have the itinerary, and the body, and the shoes, and the bikini(s), I have yet to receive the one thing I need to actually make it out of the country.  At least the Government Shut-Down was avoided, so it should be arriving in the mail soon.  And then I can go back to dreaming about paradise…

My Journey to the Masters

ph: Rodrigo Vega: flicker.com

I’ve decided to become a pro golfer!  Out of all the sports, it seems to be the easiest option, plus, it can’t be all that bad if I can wear knee high tights and yellow heels while playing!

Like Easter...but with no chocolate.

Before yesterday, I had never stepped foot on a real golf course.  I’ve been to country clubs and I’ve used golf course trails for my walking/running pleasure.   I’ve even played Putt Putt with high school boyfriends, but even then it’s been about 10 years (yikes).  I suppose it is safe to say that I’m not going to be pulling a Masters upset anytime soon, but a girl can dream!

Umm...which is which?

 

Meanwhile, even though he hasn’t played in years, Aaron lived in Phoenix  for 2 years where golf is a part of life, dated a girl whose father designed golf courses, and played every weekend with his WASPy Civil Engineering coworkers.  Basically, golf is yet another sport where he looks good without even trying.

He shoots, he scores!

 

We’ve lived across from a golf course for over a year now.  This spring we’ve been doing a lot of walking around the perimeter, and we started making a hobby out of finding and collecting golf balls along the path.  Now that we have a collection of balls, we decided to take advantage of the driving range next door and start taking up some golf.  Now that we are getting up there in years, we need to start practicing for our retirement!

Hopefully with the range this empty, I won't injure anyone!

 

Wait...where'd it go?

So for not playing for years, Aaron is actually kind of a golf stud.  I managed to hit the ball. Turns out that in itself is an accomplishment.   I have high hopes of one day hitting it and having it go in the direction I want it to.  

We only ventured as far as the driving range and putting green, but I wouldn’t mind putting on my best plaid shorts and pink polo, grabbing hold of a golf cart, and hitting some balls on a warm afternoon in the future!  I probably wouldn’t turn down  a tee time cocktail either.

This brings back high school memories! Where's the windmill?

 

I got distracted and stalked this little guy until I got a good picture!

Helicopter Puppy Parents

Weve got to teach him about his heritage!

We are going to be Helicopter Puppy Parents.  The term, often used to describe the parents of my millennial generation, means that they “hover” over their children and spend a lot of time and money to make sure their children succeed in life.

Even though Giuseppe probably won’t open his eyes for another day or two,  I have been searching this last week for all the best in puppy products.  Aaron has been researching the proper way to raise Westies, and even though he pretends he will be an easy going dad,  he’s already trying to find ways to hawk proof the backyard (and the neighborhood).  BUT, even though they are readily available in our neighborhood, I think I will draw the line at feeding the puppy its preferred dinner of choice…raw rabbit.  YUCK. 

We scoped out PetsMart the other day, and of course I was excited by their Martha Stewart line! But I think Etsy.com will be my one stop puppy shopping  website! Giuseppe will be one stylin little puppy!

Burberry Inspired Collar

I checked…Burberry doesn’t have a pet line, so this is a good fake!

I LOVE this toy! Too bad it will be destroyed

 

I want stuff that matches my house as much as possible.  Nothing too cutesy or crafty.  I found the perfect pillow bed at Pottery Barn, even though it might be a little out of a reasonable price range.

Of course, Mom needs a gift after all this too!  I’m thinking this nice Louis dog carrier will tote little Giuseppe around quite nicely!  Well… maybe AFTER he’s potty trained!

Happy Sunday!

A & A 

Puppy Lavender

Google Images

Aaron and I have now been married for almost a year and a half.  At this point, most couples start discussing the “C” possibility, but we are not there yet.  Quite frankly, the thought of having babies sort of causes me to have an anxiety attack, so I figure I should probably get over that before we start seriously thinking about taking on the responsibility of growing a human who won’t leave for 18 years.   

If kids are on hold, the obvious next step in our marriage journey is of course the puppy.     It seems like a puppy is kind of an intermediate step.  Like, if we can keep the puppy alive and out of trouble, then maybe we have a chance of not completely sucking as parents (NOTE: I get that a puppy is a living creature, not a baby test run). 

Google Images

Last year we ran into a Friend at Flying Star, and she had her little white fur ball of a puppy with her.  The dog wouldn’t stop smiling at us.  I decided I loved him, and that is how the Lavender West Highland Terrier obsession was started.  Turns out Westies aren’t easy to come by.  They are show quality, pure bred super models commonly used in advertising (both the Juicy Couture dogs and the Cesar Dog Food dogs are Westies). 

We also got set on the idea of getting a newborn so we could raise it from birth without worrying about emotional issues from previous owners.  With that in mind, we did decide to go through a breeder.  I feel kind of bad admitting this since it seems like such a politically incorrect thing to do, but I have every confidence that our breeder doesn’t run a puppy mill, and I know that the many dogs in Animal Humane and in shelters have a much better chance of being adopted than the millions of foster children and orphans who will spend their entire childhood being passed around the system.  

ANYWAY, our puppy was born last week on April 4th!  As of Monday he is a 13 ounce palm-sized little thing who won’t open his eyes until he is about 14 days old.  In 8 weeks we will be able to bring him home where he will be the most spoiled little puppy that ever lived.

Sent to us by our breeder

He will most likely be named Giuseppe, but Boddington is also an option.  Boddington is the name of a very tasty beer, but he wouldn’t necessarily be named after the beer as much as we think Boddington is a cute puppy name, slightly reminiscent of Paddington the Bear.  Aaron thinks a British beer name is more appropriate than an Italian name for a Scottish breed, but we will probably wait until we get to meet him before we decide for sure.

Thanks to Google Images!

Until then, I’ve already picked out his puppy accessories (he will be a very preppy dog I’ve decided), and we are getting excited to welcome the new little guy into our home!

Cheers to ABQ Beer Week!

 

Albuquerque has organized itself a beer week!  We are actually in the midst of it right now, though there isn’t too much going on aside from drink specials around town.  The main event will be the Blues and Brews festival at Sandia Resort and Casino on Saturday (of course we’re going).  Last weekend (which wasn’t actually part of Beer Week), we did the Will Run For Beer and then proceeded to go out to La Cumbre Brewing Company for their NM Brewers Guild Cask Ale Festival.  If not part of Beer Week, these two events certainly got us into the spirit!

La Cumbre is a fairly new microbrewery… only a few months old at this point.  It is run by the brew master who made Chama River Brewing Company into one of the best in town,  and his wife who carries their newborn around in a front pack.  It is in kind of an interesting neighborhood on Girard and Candelaria, surrounded by industrial shops and slightly sketchy apartment buildings.  But once you get inside, it is definitely a laid back, beer lover’s candy store.  Also, every time I’ve gone (unless we had friends with us), guys (mostly middle aged) outnumbered females about 5 to 1, so definitely not a great place to score a date unless you are in the middle aged man market (I’m guessing most of them have wives).

Notice the owner with the front pack baby

Last Saturday they hosted a cask festival with 16 different beers from breweries around the state.  Unfortunately more than half of these were IPA, which I think taste too much like household cleaners for me to drink.  But I probably wouldn’t have been able to test my way through the whole list anyway, so it worked out.

Notice most of the IPAs aren't crossed off

My favorite still goes to the Sleeping Dog Stout from Chama River, but La Cumbre has a mighty tasty Malpais Stout.  They have a strict three beer limit, which is good because these brews are a little more potent (and better tasting obviously) than your average Bud Light. 

Me, getting handed my pint of Sleeping Dog Stout

 

So, here’s to Albuquerque Beer Week! Make sure and support your local breweries and have a pint!

Yes, this was taken from inside the bathroom...

Mojito Sunday (aka It Should Be Warmer)

For the most part, I love spring.  After a long cold winter (especially this last one where we had record breaking low temperatures), I love warmness, dining el fresco, blooming flowers, walking outside without 5 layers of clothes, and extended sunshine.

Unfortunately, with spring comes other, less enticing traits including wind, allergies, and temperature inconsistencies.  Today was one of those not so great spring days.  After a couple of weeks of warm weather to get us excited, I woke up to my heater going off and the wind howling away.  I opted to wear a sundress to lunch with my parents anyway, but I realized it was a major mistake during the walk from the car to the restaurant (apologies to the nice people who had to see more of Amy than they wanted to).

Despite the wind, cold, and miserableness, Aaron still spent two hours outside creating what will become our veggie garden (meanwhile I stayed warmly inside catching up on Real Housewives of Orange County).  He came in, went to grab dinner and came back with all the fixings for a “It should be warmer outside” mojito celebration.

Even though we couldn’t actually enjoy our mojitos on the patio, the summery taste of mint and lime helped us  at least  pretend that the weather was more favorable, AND that we were sipping our drinks poolside in Jamaica….(soon enough!).

We also got the chance to debut the bounty of our Mojito mint which is starting to grow uncontrollably!

First, we crushed about 10 mint leaves per glass (we have neither high ball glasses nor a muddler, so we used water glasses and the end of a spatula… and planned for a trip to Williams Sonoma ).

Then we squeezed the juice of one lime into each glass.

Next we added 2 and a half tablespoons of simple syrup to each glass.  This actually works better than sugar which tends to not dissolve fast enough.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a mojito without the rum, so we added a little less than 3 shots of  Cruzan each. 

In his surprise quest for mojito fixings, Aaron forgot the club soda.  We substituted our stash of San Pellegrino, and this worked out perfectly! We added enough to each glass to fill it up, then garnished with a mint sprig and lime wedge.

We had our perfect mojito!

NOTE: On our second round we used the cocktail shaker to mix up the uncarbonated ingredients together before pouring them in the glass….actually we tried mixing all the ingredients but the San Pellegrino caused an explosion, so it is not recommended!

Cheers to warmer weather in our near future!

A & A

Will Run For Beer

Courtesy of Divine Proportion (you can see both of us if you look close)

When I first started dating Aaron, we were having the “what are we?” talk,  and he asked me to be his girlfriend, and without skipping a beat, also asked if I would run a half marathon with him…in the same sentence.  Was that my price to pay for the privilege of being his girlfriend? I agreed in a “sure….that’ll happen” kind of way.  Aaron competes in Ironman Triathlons.  For him, a half marathon is a Sunday morning workout.

Well, that was almost three years ago, and I figured this couch potato could safely forget about the half-marathon condition, especially since we were now married and he couldn’t back out so easily if I refused! I guess I was not so lucky. 

We are planning on running a half marathon in September.  To get ready, we are obviously running a lot, buying really cute athletic clothes (well, me anyway), and doing some shorter distance races.  When I saw the Will Run for Beer 5-K advertised, I knew this was a race after my own heart.  Low pressure, and an after party at my favorite microbrewery, Chama River Brewing Company. 

The race was great.  It was hosted by Divine Proportion and capped at 400 runner/walkers, so much smaller than Run for the Zoo.  Despite the pleasant temperatures all week, Saturday hit a rather warm 85 degrees making the very unshaded course a little hot.  Times were taken manually as opposed to having a chip timer, so it really wasn’t a serious race as much as an excuse to have some beers at Chama afterward!

The finish line area

Photo courtesy of Divine Proportions

Photo courtesy of Divine Proportions

The Lavenders made out pretty well.  Aaron ran the course in 19.55, coming in 6th overall and 2nd in his age group, which won him a snazzy beer cup.  I ran the course in my best time ever, 24.10!  I finished 36th overall and 6th in my age group! 

Snazzy Beer Cup Trophy

He's so happy that he won his Beer Cup! (photo courtesy of Divine Proportions)

 

We ran, and we got Chama beer!

 

Chama was packed with runner people!

Despite my best efforts, I am kind of enjoying running and racing.  I plan on doing the 10-K at Run for the Zoo in a month.  Aaron might make a runner of this girl yet!

Aaron crossing the finish line! 19.55 (photo courtesy of Divine Proportions)

A lady on the sidelines is yelling at the guy behind me to catch me... he didn't! (photo courtesy of Divine Proportions)