swimwear fashion

My friend Stephanie has been keeping an eye out for one-piece bathing suits. (A requirement for a camp she's going to.) She's been pretty disappointed with the selections she's been finding....until yesterday:

I can just hear the runway announcer now: "And here we have Stephanie sporting the latest in swimwear fashion! She looks sporty, yet sassy, in her urban camo print with pink accents. And this not-quite-bikini-but-not-quite-one-piece-just-a-little-fabric-on-the-front-holding-it-all-together style is going to be all the rage this season!" (available at all fine boutiques and Walmarts across the country.)


just another day at the office

I had the strangest conversation at work yesterday. For those of you who don't know, I work in the new home industry in Charlotte, NC. Most of my job consists of paperwork, scheduling, paperwork, calling homeowners, paperwork, dealing with contractors, paperwork and calling manufacturers. (Our company deals specifically with damages to bathtubs, showers, vanities and sinks.)

So, yesterday I got a call from a homeowner in Huntersville, NC that needed to schedule a time for us to come out and repair his master shower. To protect this man's identity, we'll call him "Steven".

Me: Amaya Glaze Company, this is Blair.
Steven: Yes, hello; my name is Steven and I need to have y'all come out and repair a crack in my master shower.

Me: Sure thing. I just need to get a little bit of information from you. What's your full name, address and best contact phone number?
(he gives me the info that I need.)

Me: Steven, I also need to know how the crack occurred in your shower.
Steven: I promise that I didn't have anyone else in the shower with me.

Me: (completely speechless)
Steven: Uh, are you there?

Me: (still in awkward shock) Uh...Yes....so, how exactly did the crack occur?
Steven: (voice sounding a little more macho) Well, I'm not quite sure. See, I'm 6'7" and pretty muscular.....but I promise that I've never had anyone in the shower with me.

Me: (laughing hysterically while the phone is on mute)
Steven: Anyways, do you think y'all can repair the shower?

I guess this guy could have just really needed "someone to repair his shower" but what I think he was insinuating was that he was 6'7", hot and single. I'm happily married, but does anyone out there want "Steven's" phone number?


what's that smell?????

When I walked into the house, after being away in the mountains, on Saturday evening I was met with the grossest smell. I nearly threw up on the spot. Seriously. I tried tracking the smell down and figured that the smell must be in the general kitchen/dining/living room region of the house. I didn't really want to explore any further, because lets face it: I was afraid of what I might find AND I didn't want to be responsible for cleaning up the smell (you know, the whole "who smelt it dealt it phrase" this is more like the "who finds the cause of the horrendous smell will most likely be the one to clean it up") So, like any normal/lazy person, I sprayed some air freshener and hoped the problem would somehow resolve itself.

The smell became so bad on Sunday morning that I finally caved and started looking again for the cause of the smell. I took out the trash....the smell was still there. I poured bleach in the sink disposal....the smell was still there. I cleaned out the fridge.......the smell was still there. At this point, I feel like I'm doing all the work while Josh and Rachel, who could have just as likely caused the smell, are avoiding helping like....well.....like any sane person would avoid finding the cause of this day-old-fish-that's-been-sitting-outside-in-florida-type-weather-on-top-of-a-crap-filled-diaper-type smell. Sorry for getting graphic on y'all, but I had to let you know how horrendously foul this smell had become.

I was about to give up and spray some more febreeze, when I looked a the pantry. I opened the door slowly....and the smell hit me straight in the face. I nearly keeled over right there. I starting looking for some old potatoes or onions that might have gone rancid.....and then I found it....a bag of un-frozen chicken breasts. Did I mention that we haven't turned the air-conditioning on in our house yet and that it was over 90 degrees on Saturday? Chicken Tartare anyone?

See, I buy our chicken frozen and in bulk because I'm cheap. This is usually a great thing, because we always have plenty around in case a friend stops by for dinner or we throw an impromptu party. You know when its not a great thing??? When you're running around planning a Young Life weekend in the mountains and absent-mindly throw the chicken in the pantry instead of the freezer. Yeah. I guess I'm starting to loose my mind. Who knew life started going downhill at age 26?!

I threw the bag of bag of chicken in the outside trash can, opened all the windows in our house and sprayed febereeze on anything that would stand still. I'm not sure why I used febreeze so much in this situation, but it was the first thing I saw in the cleaning closet.

Then Josh went to clean out the garage. I guess when the house is 90 degrees....the garage is what, 100 degrees? He said the smell was rediculous.....and the trash guys weren't coming until Thursday. So what's Josh's solution? To switch our trashcan out with the trashcan up at the pool. And since he couldn't push the trashcan up the hill (because of the smell) he waitied until the cover of darkness and drove the trashcan up to the pool.

I know its not a great shot, but it's all I've got. In the end: the chicken is gone, the trashcan is switched and everyone can breath through their nose. Just another adventure at my house.


girls getaway weekend

I got to spend this past weekend with some of my favorite girls up at Laura's house in Montreat, NC. We had the BEST time. A few of us were able to leave around lunch time on Friday, which meant we had nearly the whole afternoon to scope out Black Mountain and claim the best beds in the cabin. I was originally a little skeptical about the sleeping arrangements, but it turns out that we had plenty of room since three of the girls brought camping hammocks and slept outside!

After stuffing our faces at My Father's Pizza, surving an all-night dance party and engaging in a heated discussion about the appropriateness of pantylines, we all settled in for a good nights sleep. We woke up early....hello, we had to get our shopping, i mean hiking---but not really, in for the day! We also had plenty of time for:

a senior picture reenactment

a train hijacking

posing for the paparazzi

building an arch

I can't get enough of these girls!!!! I don't know what I'm going to do when they all head home for the summer....I guess I'll just have to pine away....


new car

So, we finally broke down and got Josh a new-to-us car. How did we know if was time to get a new car? Well, after I paid the rest of his car loan off when we got married ($5500) and then we had an engine repair ($2200) and its been slowly sucking oil the past year (not not not good) and then we weren't taking it outside of a 40 mile radius of our house (you know, because it was most likely going to have an issue) we decided to sell.

I mean, because this is the time to sell a 1998 SUV, with over 200k miles, that sucks oil and might die in a year, right?!

In the end, we were able to get a little bit of money for Josh's old car, use our tax returns and a little money from savings to purchase Josh's new car. He says the car is "our's", but since the thing is a 5-speed, sounds like a tank and takes up the whole road when driving I think he's just trying to be nice---after all, I did have several tantrums when I realized that I wasn't going to be able to frivolously spend some of the tax return on makeup, hair products or new jeans (because those items are necessities, or so I tried to convince Josh.)
So what kind of car did we get Josh? A Land Rover. Its actually a white 1999 Discovery. Our friend Evan at Reborn Co gave the car a whole new life! He transferred it from a V8 automatic to a 5-speed manual transmission diesel (with a new engine too!) He put a new axle on the car.....and did a bunch of other things that I can't remember right now. All I know is that since its a deisel now, it'll get a better gas mileage than my Jetta. Isn't that cool? An SUV with fabulous gas mileage! The best/strangest/messiest/green-est part about the car is that since its a diesel we can run it off part vegetable oil this summer. Isn't that strange? Evan is letting us borrow his oil-filtering system for the summer to see if we like driving a greisel. We'll get free used vegetable oil from some local restaurant/fast food places and have free fuel for our car!

**Please don't think I've gone all hippy on y'all. I'm not "green" or anything...I think Josh and I recycle about 0.4 times a year. This whole using-used-vegetable-oil-for-fuel thing is more about how cheap I am than about how Earth-friendly I am. So don't think I'm over here making hemp necklaces, dreadlocking my hair and wearing patchouli. I'm just a good old-fashioned cheapskate.


another work day, another

We've been having some trouble with the computers at work lately. We have several computers at work that are networked together....so when one computer is on the fritz, the other computers start running slower or not at all.
Yesterday my boss, Dicky, got a new computer because his old laptop (one of the computers in the network) was slowly dieing. But, he was having some trouble getting some information off of the old laptop to put on the new laptop. I went over to see if I could help (not that I have any computer type skills, besides blogging----duh, but I was bored at my desk. I can't believe I went in search of work while at work!?!)

This is Dicky trying to fix his computer:
This was his tool of choice:

Now I'm not quite sure about this, but I think that's an antenna topper from Jack in the Box. And I think he's maybe breaking the computer instead of fixing it.


giant mud puddle

The neighborhood that I live in is relatively new. The "main" section of our 'hood is about 10 years old and our phase is about 6 years old. They are adding two newer sections to our neighborhood soon. I refer to the older section as "phase 1" and our section as "phase 2." I know its a little boring but calling them"the-really-nicer-section-with-the-bigger-homes-and-beautifully-manicured-lawns-phase" and "constantly-under-construction-with-red-clay-everywhere-and-I-still-hardly-have-grass-in-my-yard-phase" was getting a little wordy. And you know me, I hate being wordy.

Anyways....back to phase 2. See, in phase 2 we have this gross silt pond. When we moved into then neighborhood (about 3 years ago) we were promised that the area would be eventually developed into a "green space" (whatever the heck that means) but the area would need to be used as a silt pond until the until the majority of construction was completed in our phase. I didn't really care since I didn't really know what the eventual green space would look like and we were in the middle of a drought so the "pond" really just looked like ever other dusty lot in our section.

But lately....its been raining....a lot. And ye old silt pond is looking pretty stanky. I was also pretty disgusted with how high the grass was getting around the pond, until I realized that it was providing a nice buffer. Have I mentioned that this "pond" is diagonally across the street from my house?

And then yesterday I saw a guy clearing out the area! I'm not sure what he was clearing out (besides the area where about 10-12 deer come every night) but it is starting to look a little nicer.

And guess who's the first to experience this new cleaned up area? Our new neighborhood ducks! That's right, our neighborhood developer, Travis, raised these couple of ducks to live in the new pond. Isn't that kind of cute/weird/great?!


best of amy poehler

I was looooooving Saturday Night Life this past weekend. It was some of the "best of Amy Poehler" series. I laughed and laughed and laughed. I think I have a crush on Amy. Just a little bit. But seriously, who doesn't?!

I think I love her character 'Kaitlin' the best. Check out Kaitlin:

kaitlin at the mall

kaitlin at the music store


show me the money

Have I mentioned that I'm going on a cruise? Really? Only 54789413 times? I could have sworn it was more. Oh well.

I just got a $60 rebate check in the mail for some contacts that I ordered about 6 months ago. Yay for surprise money! I managed to convince Josh that since I sent in the rebate forms that I should get the money for the cruise. He agreed. (I'm so glad that he didn't make me pay back our savings account with the money......you know, since my contacts cost $415.)

I was just going to cash the check and get three $20 bills, but then I realized that the smaller denominations that I got the easier the haggling would be on the cruise. I could maybe get a cool necklace for $7 instead of $10 if I was handing over $7 while I asked for the necklace. Does that make any sense?

The only problem with this plan? Josh. See, Josh is really a lets-not-make-any-kind-of-ruckus-and-just-not-cause-any-problems-for-any-anyone-in-the-customer-service-industry-ever-ever-ever kind of a guy. And I'm more of a don't-look-at-me-like-that-if-I-want-to-order-the-house-salad-with-everything-on-the-side-i-can-do-that-because-I'M-PAYING-FOR-IT kind of a girl. We pulled up to the bank and I asked Josh if we could get the check cashed into singles. He said, "Jeez. They're going to think we're going to a strip club." I laughed and told Josh that the check had my name on it and I seriously doubted that the bank teller would think that a guy was cashing a check with his wife's name on it while she's in the car so that he can go to a strip club with the money. He didn't seem convinced and still proceeded to make some kind of awkward joke when he sent the check through.

So what exactly does $60 in $1 bills look like?


how does your garden grow?

I love our neighborhood, really, I do. I love that we have a pool and clubhouse....that we are so ethnically diverse.....that we have 14 pages of rules, wait, no that's definitely one of the parts of our neighborhood that I really don't like.

According to page 13, subsection 4, part c, paragraph 1 "there will not be allowed any gardens on the for-mentioned properties...."

I was really feeling garden-y this year. I don't know if its the ridiculous prices of fresh vegetables, a desire to avoid the creepy produce guy at Ingles or just some lingering hope that I might have some skill at caring for plants (I hear you laughing at me college roommates! I swear....those plants on our porch all died because of the potsmokers below us at the Ridge! You know it!)
Whatever the reason, Josh and I decided to ring in spring with a little potted garden:

I think this one is my favorite!
I love the Trailing Jenny on the sides and the orange Dahlia has just the right pop.
This planter is our "herb garden."
It has heather, lavender and cilantro in it.
This is our "vegetable garden."
It has a tomato plant, green peppers and squash in it.
This is our "tomato garden/flamingo haven."
We got this tomato plant from our friend for free so I had to plant it.
And well, the flamingos are just there because they like tomatoes.
Also, we aren't allowed to have "yard art" in our neighborhood either, so I figured I might as well go out with a bang since I was planting the illegal garden.


a post about nothing

sorry guys....but i've got nothing today.

maybe its the fact that i'm coming off of a 4-day weekend.....or that its disgustingly winter-like outside. either way, my oh-so-witty/creative juices have come to a halt this morning.

the only things getting me through this day are:
-only 34 days until the cruise
-only 6.5 hours left in the work day
-tonight is 1/2-price night at Pleasant City
-remembering that the dress i wore to church was two sizes smaller than what i wore in the fall

sorry to be so utterly dissapointing today. i'm blaiming it on the weather.


spring in the carolinas

Ahhhhhhhh.....sweet sweet spring! I love this time of year: everything is getting greener and its not yet the miserable- i-don't-care-how-much-time-you-just-spent-on-your-hair-you-are-still-going-to-resemble-a-poodle-in-five-minutes-so-welcome-to-the-Carolinas-and-our-ridiculous-humidity type weather that we'll have in a few months.

Josh and I were sitting on our back patio, when I saw it: our first blooms on the Sarah Stokes (non)Memorial Cherry Trees!

They've come a long way since we first planted planted them this past fall. They now actually look like they aren't going to keel over and die any second....which is kind of surprising since my house has been referred to as "the place where plants go to die" by several different neighbors. (We've been asked several times what kind of cherry trees we purchased. My guess is maraschino, but I can ask Josh if you really want to know.)

By the way I HAVE TOMORROW AND MONDAY OFF FROM WORK. I mean, its not like I'm excited at all or anything. I'm not sure what I'll be doing to celebrate my freedom, I mean Easter, but I starting the vacation out right: going to get coffee with Laura and then seeing Chelsea's new cottage! Yay!


i've found it

I went home for lunch and found two surprises:

1: Josh cleaned the kitchen!!!

2: I found my planner!

*sorry that I look stoned in this picture.
I'm not...promise....I'm just really excited about finding my planner.

i've lost it

I've lost my mind. Seriously. Here's the deal: it looks kind of like a day planner, but really its my brain in paper form. So, if you see a totally worn-out spiral bound planner with all kinds of appointments, commitments and YL obligations in it please check out the first page where you fill out all the important contact information (yes, I know I'm the only person that's ever filled that out) and check and see if it belongs to me.

Until then, I'll be M.I.A.


carolina blue

Josh and I had the ultimate dilemma last night: 24 vs UNC basketball. After a short deliberation, we decided to watch the the basketball game, only because we know that Jack Bauer will be there later (he'll always be there later, that man is ridiculous.)

There was much screaming, jumping on the coffee table and foolishness going on at the house last night. I couldn't believe how well my boys were playing. It seemed like just yesterday I was watching this goofy looking kid (with a bad haircut and googly eyes) and his brown-haired-kind-of-Franklin-Graham-look-a-like that were promised to be our new hope for a national title...and four years later that promise was delivered. I'll remember a lot about last night's game:
-Tyler still just as goofing looking as he was his freshman year
-Danny's smile after a great shot
-Lawson showing some serious emotion
-Watching Tyler Hansbrough's dad get so excited about the game
-Ellington staying classy as always
-Roy letting the scrubs play in a national title game
-Marcus' excitement for the other guys getting to play
-The sound of 10,000 UNC fans screaming "na na na na, hey hey hey, good-bye" with 4.5 minutes left in the game (with 40,000 Michigan fans in the stands still!)

I love some Carolina basketball. And I'm starting to like Roy Williams a little bit more each year. Don't get me wrong, its not that I didn't like him before....its just that I was mostly scared of him! But watching him cry with Hansbrough broke the UNC all-time scoring record and seeing him jump up and down like a little kid last night after the boys won....well, he won me over. Oh yeah, this video might have helped a little.


conquering cooper

I can't believe that I'm alive today. Seriously. I am not a runner. I want to make sure that's very clear. So why exactly did I sign up for the Cooper River 10k? Probably the same reason that I wanted a perm in 4th grade.....'all the cool girls were doing it' and 'it seemed like a good idea at the time.'
The most exciting part about the race was hanging out with my friends Elizabeth and John, eating at Poe's and shopping. What's that? Those things aren't a part of a 10k? I seriously dare you to try and convince me they aren't.

Enough typing already, let the picture montage begin!!

We were lucky enough to stay at my dad's place on Sulivan's Island...which meant we only had to leave the house around 7am (unlike some folks from Charleston that left around 5:30am!) We were in the last group of runners and in front of the walkers. What can I say, I was planning on a fashionably timed run---I wanted the Arthur Ravenel Bridge to really enjoy what may be the only chance I grace it with my presence (on foot that is.) Here's view of the folks behind and in front of us. What a crowd!! Take a look at the picture on the right....that small yellow sign in the distance is the start sign!

I wasn't exactly planning on running right at the beginning, but when the 15,000 people behind you are trying to catch up with the 15,000 people in front of you----well, you kind of have to jog a little. Here's proof that Elizabeth and I ran:

There were some folks in some ridiculous outfits...there were some fairies, several Richard Simmons look-a-likes, a french maid, an army ranger and several giant fruits from Bi-Lo. I did manage to get a picture of (1) Bill Clinton and his secret servicemen, (2) Gumby and his horse Pokey and (3) two marines that ran the entire race holding these flags!

This next picture is about 1.25 miles in the race. We've all warmed up and are starting the infamous 1.5 mile climb. What's worse that a 1.5 mile 4% grade climb? Running a 1.5 mile 4% grade climb with 36,000 other people. The crowds were ridiculous!

As much as the crowd stressed me out, it was also a great source of encouragement. Everyone was high-fiving and shouting out words of encouragement along the way. Around mile 4 I realized that my cheeks hurt from smiling so much--what a feeling! I can't express what it felt like to fun this race. It was so exhilarating!

These pictures were taken just after the race. I know the first one isn't that great, but I felt like I deserved two pictures to be put up on the blog...and hey, its my blog....I can put as many pictures of myself up here as I want to. (Isn't that the whole point of a blog?!)

And yes, I did place in the race. I won 20,487th place, thank you very much.


seaweed salad

My friend Hef and I went out to lunch yesterday. We went to the new sushi place in town, Sushi Dojo. I wasn't quite sure what vegan options they would have.....after scouring over the menu I found a veggie noodle entree. I ordered the noodles and an appetizer of edamame.

Then Hef ordered seaweed salad.

After my blank stare, she explained that she'd wanted to try seaweed salad for a while and the last couple of times that she was at the restaurant her other friends wouldn't let her order it. To quote her one friend, "I can't let you eat something that, like, came from the sea." (I wonder how that same girl ate shrimp tempura??)

I vowed to be more mature, or at least pretend that I had a more mature palate than her other friend. This new vow of mine lasted approximately four minutes.....which is how long it took them to bring this spectacle to our table:

After giggling and nearly choking on my water, I watched Hef try the salad. It was priceless:

I don't know why I had to try the seaweed----she's clearly not making a good face. I guess I just needed to see what crazy was all about. And now I know. Apparently, people in Japan like to eat slimy, cucumber-ish plant life that tastes like sesame seeds. I, myself, will pass. Bring on the lo mein!

**By the way, isn't lo mein a Chinese dish? And isn't sushi a Japanese deal? Our waitress looked at me like I was an idiot when I asked if they had any fortune cookies (I guess that's just a Chinese deal.) But seriously....its not my fault.....the entire concept of the restaurant if confusing, if you ask me.


time with family

Two weekends ago Josh and I went down to visit my sister Lauren and her husband Jon. Lauren is in the last year of her residency at UAB and will be starting her fellowship there this summer. They starting looking around for houses when they decided to stick around for another three years (length of her fellowship). They found this sweet sweet bungalow:

This was our first time visiting them in their new house. And I LOVE it. The house was built in the 1930s and has some really cool architectural elements...the deep front porch, pedestal bathtub, vintage windows and doors, plaster walls and beautiful moldings. One of the things that Lauren doesn't like so much is the flower beds and the white pebbles that have overtaken the beds....which inspired our "josh-and-blair-work-weekend-extravaganza". We did a serious overhaul on this poor yard.

First we removed the 'perfect-for-a-nursing-home" white pebbles, ripped out all and plants in the front of the house and moved one of the boxwoods on the right side of the walkway to the left side to make them more even (I have no idea why exactly the previous owners put two on one side and three on the other!)

Then we planted some new bushes and plants....and mulched....and mulched....and mulched.

I think the yard turned out pretty fabulous, don't you?

We did actually do more than just work in the yard over the weekend. We ate at some of the best restaurants, met some of Lauren and Jon's friends and went out on the town. Here are some more pictures from the weekend:

These pictures are kind of random....but I had to include them:

Lauren had the coolest bouquet of flowers. They looked and smelled great!

Lauren has a pink stethoscope just like Izzy from Grey's Anatomy!

It was sad leaving Lauren and Jon (and knowing that we had a 5.5 hour drive ahead of us!) but we made plans to get together again soon. How much do I hate my sister living so far away!!!!!

Happy little family!
Images by Freepik