Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Okay - so a few weeks ago, my sister and I took my mother to see a play called 'Christmas Catechism.' This was the second time I have seen 'Sister.' If this EVER comes to your area, buy a ticket as fast as you can. Basically the show is set in a Catholic school room and you learn a lesson. The Sister is absolutely hysterical. She is really big on 'No Gum.' It is highly suggested not to chew it, because she will find you and she will make you spit it out.  Anyways... we saw it at the City Theatre in Pittsburgh and had a great time. We laughed until we cried.

From there we went to meet the rest of the gang at Tavern 245. It's a new local establishment in downtown and it's absolutely amazing. (I have some fun pictures when someone finally decides to download the pictures.) Anyways.. I stole these from my Mom and Sister.
This might be my most favorite picture of the year. This is my mother, celebrating her birthday. I've never seen my mom like this. Ahh made me so giddy! How adorable are my parents. I mean really.
Here's the group shot... after dinner...

From there - my sister's family and Mr. Wonderful and I were going to go Ice Skating at PPG Place. Unfortunately the line was long and we had two small children with us. Soooooo we decided on other activities instead.  However, here's a picture of just the Christmas tree in PPG place with an ice rink around it.
This is Pittsburgh's way of attempting to be NYC. Close, but not really.

Here's Mr. Wonderful and I.. I was all ready to skate... my old skates and all!

Next we headed to the 'Winter Garden within PPG where they have the Santa's from around the world and the most amazing candy houses I've ever seen. They also include a train within the display. Here's the kids checkin' it out.

Seriously. Look at the houses in the background. Incredible. Absolutely incredible.
The final activity of the night was the horse carriage ride. Now. Typically a wait out in the somewhat-really-cold-weather isn't terribly bad, however, when you add in two small children... the game changes.
We worked hard to entertain them until Sammy fell and cried... That was almost the end, but she really wanted to ride with the horsey.. So the wait ended up being around 45 minutes, which wasn't horrible. We were the second to last round! Luckily we made it. While we were waiting the kids loved to look at this new Christmas tree displayed in Market Square.
It's these big balls that light up.. They do a light show every 30 minutes in Market Square. Kinda neat to check out if you are downtown at night.

So that was that. This just previous weekend Mr. Wonderful and I finally took the kids ice skating. For their first time. Surprisingly not a single tear showed up. I'll post pictures later for that.

Just in case any of you out of towners wondered, there is soooooo much more to do in Pittsburgh than Steel Mills, Football, and Hockey. I promise!

Weekly Words To Inspire!

Hello Gang!

It's the last full week before Christmas!
I was at a training yesterday (sorry for the delay!)
I wanted to send out Christmas Songs for this week... but there is one song that I just absolutely love. So I'm sending that along.
I would like to Thank my mother, for playing this for as long as I can remember. It's not Christmas without it!

Listen to it. It's by Kenny and Dolly (best duet couple ever.)

I Believe in Santa Claus
I believe in Santa Claus
I believe there's always hope when all seems lost
And I believe in Santa Claus
I believe in Santa Claus, I'll tell you why I do
'Cause I believe that dreams and plans and wishes can come true
I believe in miracles, I believe in magic too
Oh I believe in Santa Claus and I believe in you

I believe in family, in country and in smiles
I believe in turnin' negatives to positives in life
I believe in lookin' farther up the farther down we get
I believe when someone hurts us we should forgive and forget

And I believe in Santa Claus
I believe in Santa Claus
I believe love should prevail at any cost
And I believe in Santa Claus

I believe in saying what you mean and meaning what you say
I believe a better attitude can make a better way

And I believe in viewing life as a journey that we're on
And lookin' at our troubles as another stepping stone

And I believe that everything in life is what it's meant to be
I believe there is a God somewhere although he's hard to see
I believe I am so therefore I should do all that I can
To be a better piece in the puzzle of God's plan

And I believe in Santa Claus
I believe in Santa Claus
I believe there's always hope when all seems lost
And I believe in Santa Claus

(I just checked my iTunes.. that songs have over 1000 plays. I apparently REALLY enjoy it!
Have a great week everyone!!!! As we are preparing for the holidays, please be mindful of safety.


Friday, December 10, 2010

Jazz Hands Anyone?

So I have to admit an addiction I have… I’m addicted to Jazzercise. My love affair started back in July, when I got a Groupon e-mail that was for 2 months unlimited Jazzercise classes for $39. My thought at the time was it would be a nice change of pace and maybe it would help me slim down for vacation in September. I was slick enough to coax two of my good friends into it.. Well as it turns out, I absolutely fell in love with it. Jazzercise is one of the hardest and best workouts I’ve ever done. Literally. I can tell you after two months of doing no other cardio other than Jazzercise I was able to do 5 miles without much of a problem. (For those that know me, I know you are shocked, for those others… let’s just say.. I was a goalie in soccer because I didn’t want to run.. yeah.. 5 miles, big deal for this girl!)  I had to take a month off for a sickness that prevented me from going... but I started back this week.. I have gone 3 consecutive days and it feels sooooooo good.

So a little bit about it.. No we don’t wear leotards and heck no we don’t wear leg warmers! We do dance to new songs… for instance, Stuck Like Glue by Sugarland and Club Can’t Handle Me b Flo-Rida are two songs currently on the playlists. It’s fun. There are no mirrors, so I cannot see how ridiculous I look while I am doing it. Don’t worry, I know I’m ridiculous. My ‘friends’ don’t mind telling me that! The great thing about it, is you can make the workout as difficult or as easy as you want it to be. I obviously go all in and it pays off. One of my trainers always mentions how she didn’t have a behind before she started… I thought she was just trying to sell me a story… Low and behold less than two months in and I was like ‘OH MY. Too much booty in the pants!’ but in all honestly, it’s a really great workout. My class age ranges from me to people in their 70’s. The great thing, is it works.

The structure of the class starts with aerobic workout for the first 35 minutes or so (which does include stretching before and after the more aerobic songs) and then you do a brief period of strength training. Typically for the Tri’s, Bi’s, Shoulders, and back.. During this time is when you really focus on Abs. Let me state this. My abs have NEVER been stronger than when I’ve been doing this workout. It is ridiculous how strong my abs have gotten by doing these routines, I actually have muscle. It’s insane.

So basically from the dancing part you work your calves, quads, hams, inner and outer thighs, and behind.. if you are really good your abs will get a very good work out as well.

Then during the strength sessions, you focus on the upper body and abs. Everyone so often they throw in songs for the inside and outside of thighs.. Feel the burn is an understatement!

There is also an additional class that my studio has when is a Body Sculpting class. Try it. It’s challenging. This is coming from the girl who still lifts 3 times a week AND does this… Body Sculpting really focuses on different muscles and does a lot of reps with light weights… It’s a lot less aerobic than the Jazzercise class. Try it. That’s all I am saying!

Moral of the story. Find a Jazzercise class and try it. They have coupons in the Entertainment book… or at least they used too. Trust me. You are in for a great GREAT workout. There isn’t a workout that I don’t come out dripping sweat.  Don't worry if you aren't coordinated, I've always found that there are people a lot worse than I could ever imagine myself... That keeps me coming back :)

p.s. yes I’ve tried Zumba… but only AFTER I got involved with Jazzercise and I am not as big of fan as others… My perspective is Jazzercise moves are purposeful and work certain parts of the body… at Zumba I felt like I was ‘shaking it’ for 40 minutes… I didn’t feel like I really got anything out of it.. I do realize that my instructor might not be the best… but anyways – that’s my 2 cents.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Weekly Words to Inspire - Christmas Movies

Frank Cross: It's Christmas Eve! It's... it's the one night of the year when we all act a little nicer, we... we... we smile a little easier, we... w-w-we... we... we cheer a little more. For a couple of hours out of the whole year, we are the people that we always hoped we would be!

Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas
"And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more." ~ Dr. Suess

Home Alone
"You can be too old for a lot of things but you're never too old to be afraid." - Mr. Marley

The Santa Clause
"Seeing isn't believing. Believing is seeing."

Muppets Christmas Carol
Ebenezer Scrooge: [in tears] Ebenezer Scrooge! Oh please Spirit, no! Hear me, I, I am not the man I was! Why would you show me this if I am past all hope?...


Ebenezer Scrooge: I, I *will* honor Christmas, and try to keep it all the year! I will live my life in the past, the present and the future. I will not shut out the lessons the spirits have taught me! Tell me that I may sponge out the writing on this stone!

Bells of St. Mary
"If we don't fail sometimes, our successes don't mean anything. You must be strong." - Sister Mary Benedict

Miracle of 34th Street
"Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to." Doris Walker

White Christmas
"When your worried and you can't sleep. Just count your blessing instead of sheep and you will fall a sleep faster counting your blessings." - Bob Wallace

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Weekly Words To Inspire

So I've decided to start with the Christmas Quotes.. However, I've had one that I've wanted to share, but just haven't yet... so I added that in.
Have a great last week of November, and a glorious start to December!

"Holding a grudge is letting someone live rent-free in your head.' Church Sign Board


'Christmas gift suggestions:
To your enemy, forgiveness.
To an opponent, tolerance.
To a friend, your heart.
To a customer, service.
To all, charity.
To every child, a good example.
To yourself, respect.
- Oren Arnold

Until one feels the spirit of Christmas, there is no Christmas. All else is outward display - so much tinsel and decorations. For it isn't the holly, it isn't the snow. It isn't the tree not the firelight's glow. It's the warmth that comes to the heart- Unknown

Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it's Christmas.”
- Dale Evans Rogers

“Christmas is most truly Christmas when we celebrate it by giving the light of love to those who need it most.”
- Ruth Carter Stapleton

My favorite...
“Remember, if Christmas isn't found in your heart, you won't find it under the tree”
-Charlotte Carpenter

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Eates' Thanksgiving

So my family has a very different Thanksgiving tradition... It all started when I was in high school (?) maybe.. My Dad acquired a stainless steel grill.. Now, this is no ordinary grill.. This grill is massive.. We typically cooked prime rib and chicken on it. It is the absolute best prime rib you'd ever eat in your life... Well my father got the bright idea to cook turkey's.. Little did we know what we created... Ever since then, the tradition has carried on... This year we cooked 9 turkey's. No, not just for our family, but for 8 other families.. We have a morning shift and an afternoon shift. the morning shift starts around 7 in the morning.. We typically end around 1ish.  Here's a look at the morning cooking... It's okay to drool, we've all done it..

 See - I told you it was big!!! Yes - those really are the best turkey's ever.. Perfection every time.

 Num num num!

 .. and the best turkey cook ever.. My Dad!

Our Thanksgiving mornings are filled with laughter and friends... from someone once bringing over a frozen turkey to learning that only get a butterball if you like yours crispy, to the sharing of Chimay . For this reason, I believe Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I realize how lucky my family is to have this opportunity. Don't worry, my dad has already started grooming us, so that the tradition will always continue!

Here's a few more snapshots from the day!
 My Dad, Brother and I...
 My niece and I getting photobombed by my brother!
 My niece and nephew!
 Cousin Jess and I.... Sammy was rather clingy that morning..

Mr. Wonderful and I with the kids!

Thanksgiving is NEVER complete without my Aunt's Palm Tree....

I hope everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving!!!

Catch Up!

So it's been a busy week...
Last weekend I spent celebrating Sophie's Second Birthday!
She is two and is absolutely hysterical. I had a fabulous weekend with Sophie, Jamie, and Mitch.
Here's a few pictures..
Right before we go out for dinner.. and she's soooooo excited.
 Birthday Sunday.. Don't mind if I do stick my face in the whip cream..' Sophie Do, Sophie Do!'

This is what happens when you let kids finger paint with 'Aunt Sarah'....

 Here we are, looking somewhat happy, right before the bomb was dropped that I was going 'Buh-Byes'
Saddest thing I had seen for a long time.

What a fabulous weekend!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Weekly Words To Inspire - Thanksgiving Edition!

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice. ~Meister Eckhart

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. ~Thornton Wilder

Do not get tired of doing what is good. Don't get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time. Galatians 6:9

“Time goes by so fast, people go in and out of your life. You must never miss the opportunity to tell these people how much they mean to you.” - unknown

“In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.” - Albert Schweitzer

And I just had to add this.. I did... :)

May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!
~Author Unknown
Happy Thanksgiving Week!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Be My Guest...

So tonight I (we) had an impromptu dinner guest. It all started a few years ago, I, as the story goes, invited myself to dinner at a co-workers house (Ang)... Well from there grew 'Dinner Club' where once a month girls from the office would get together and try out new recipes and complain  discuss work.  Most of the girls have moved on, but Ang and I still have dinner at least once a month, when she's not traveling to some Gosh-forsaken place for work.
So I decided since Mr. Wonderful was already cooking me his Gumbo, that tonight would be a good night for Ang to visit. The menu ended up being a salad, Italian Bread, Chef's Gumbo, my Bacon Burger Pasta, followed up with apple pie and ice cream.Yummy delicious comes to mind... I even set the table. Don't worry, I've learned from past mistakes, so I just went ahead and put on the sweat pants with the elastic band PRIOR to dinner..  Good news, I have enough food to last me the rest of the week! Bad news, I have food to last me the rest of the week!

Here are some pics:
Yup. Look at that.. all burners were used! However, I noted to Mr. Wonderful that next time, let's not put the tall pot in front so that the short girl has to reach over it. Yes - I had a safety conversation with  myself regarding that!

Table all set for Ang's arrival.

Just call me Martha..

Look Mom! A real dinner!!

Roasted Garlic Potatoes and my Bacon Burger Pasta

His Gumbo.. it was so good...

and dessert...

and now i'm off to lay on the couch until I come out of my food coma... 
Hey - I'm just preparing for next thursday!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Weekly Words to Inspire

' Often people attempt to live their lives backwards; they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want, so they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then do what you need to do, in order to have what you want.' - Margaret Young

' This is my 'depressed stance.' When you're depressed, it makes a lot of difference how you stand. The worst thin you can do is straighten up and hold your head high because then you'll start to feel better. If you're going to get any joy out of being depressed, you've got to stand like this.' - Charlie Brown

'It's not about where you go,but what you do when you get there. It's about making a place more alive. It's being the person who gets the evening started. - White House/Black Market

And for a good GOOD friend, who got engaged on friday....

' When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.' Nora Ephron, When Harry Met Sally

These were submitted to me last week. I enjoyed them. A lot. They are pretty solid.

“Don’t listen or think about anything other people say about you. Just live your life and prove them wrong.”

“you may not always end up where you thought you were going, But you will always end up where you were meant to be..”

“LIFE is a GOOD thing, I suggest you get one.”

“Life is too short. Live without rules, love without fear, laugh everyday, and don’t ever forget about the ones that mean the most to you.”

“There will always be people you can’t believe you were friends with, the boys you can’t believe you kissed, and the people you can’t believe you ever lived without..”

“There are so many people out there who will tell you that you can’t. What you’ve got to do is turn around and say watch me” layne beachley

Don't worry - I don't normally post this many...
Enjoy your week!

Put One Foot In Front of the Other..

**Take a deep breathe in** annnnnd begin!

**singing... off key...Put one on foot in front of the other... and soon you'll be walking out the door.. you never will get where you are going, if you never get up on your feet, come on! there's a good tail wind blowing. A fast walking man is hard to beat**

I have decided that this would be a great way to keep everyone updated on the happenings of my life. I have realized that not everyone can spend 1.5 hours on the phone with me at 9 o’clock at night nor can they imagine all the fabulous projects that I can create. I have wanted to do this for a while, but it was finally time, I decided, to get on the bandwagon and just do it. So I am.. I can’t promise I’m going to maintain this very well. All I can say is, there will be some awesome postings. Obviously.

Some things to note about me:

• Top Gun has an always will be my number 1 all time movie. Yes – I can recite almost the entire movie….

• I love wearing silverware for jewelry (yes, I have more than 1 fork bracelet and spoon ring)

• I love refinishing wood things. The uglier the better.

• If I could marry Jennifer Nettles, I totally would. Sugarland is the soundtrack to my life (Details in the future).

• I’m a huge fan of country and 80’s… (Yes, I saw Eddie Money this year.)

• I like to wear capes. No I don’t pretend to be a superhero, but I should start…

• I am absolutely in love with Jazzercise… at the moment.

• I’m working on not eating like an American…. All the time.

• As a result of the above, I’m working on becoming Julia Child. Okay, not really, but I am trying to hone my cooking skills.

• If I don’t get pasta once a week I get the shakes. Literally.

• I still love MJ… I have the count numbers on my itunes to prove it.

• I live in the City of Steel. I’m a fan of the Black and Gold (well, the Pens and Stillerz.. I’m not sure if we still have a baseball team..)… however, I bleed old gold and blue for the Mountaineers.

• I hate Pitt.

• I have a great family and crazy incredible friends

• I am a very proud aunt (of a boy (6.5) and girl (3.5))…. And godmother (an adorable 2 yr old).

• My English is horrible and I’m sure my mom will have a heart attack after reading just one of my posts. (However, at least she can’t yell at me for sloppy hand writing! Score)

• I’m pretty amazing. For those that know me, know I am.. for the others - you will soon find out.

• About 90% of what I say or write has a sarcastic undertone. Don’t worry, you’ll catch on.

So the purpose of this little space is for me to document the amazing things I do and then share them. Don’t worry… it won’t be an Aunt and/or Godmother brag blog.. (But there will be pictures! Don’t you fret!) As I move forward, I’m sure the structure and all that will change… but for now... bare with me until I figure this whole thing out.

I will also note, that I am a HUGE HUGE quote fanatic. Each Monday I will post my ‘Weekly Words To Inspire.’ For the people on the e-mail list… relax. You’ll still get it.

**Put one foot infront of the other and soon you'll be walking out the door..**