Archive for December, 2007

End of the Year Wedding Dress Shopping


Today my mom, dad, and I went out to run a few errands. Well really just my mom and I were running errands (dress shopping) while my dad was next door at Best Buy.

I first went to the store with an exact dress in mind that I found online. However after trying it on I realized that that dress was NOT for me. The dress I was thinking of at first is pictured above. I realized that a strapless gown was not the way to go, I know I would be pulling it up and readjusting constantly! So I decided to take the store clerk’s advice and try on some more traditional wedding dresses instead of the bridesmaid dresses that I thought I would get in the first place.

Glad I listened, I found two dresses that I LOVE. they’re defnitely a lot longer than I had planned before, which is ok as long as I hike them up as I walk through the dirty streets of Florence on my way to Palazzo Vecchio! I must have tried on the same two dresses at least 6 times each as I couldn’t make my mind (I still haven’t). And for my mom’s sake I tried on a vail so she could see me with it on. I may even decide to get the vail as it looked really sweet.

Another bride that was trying on dresses did me a huge favor of taking my picture in both gowns. I’ll attach those later for opinions!

December 31, 2007 at 8:38 pm 2 comments

last Date Night before New Year


Last night Alex and I partook in our regular Friday night ritual……date night! We choose either a new or favorite restaurant in Austin, dress up, and go out to enjoy eachother’s company!

Usually our trend is to try a different place in Austin on date night but last night we wanted to go somewhere where we knew the food would be delicioso! So I suggested ClayPit in Central Austin. It’s a contemporary Indian restaurant with a very modern yet cozy atmosphere and the place is HHUUUGGEEE! It has three stories of dining space!

To drink I had their mango lemonade for the first time which was perfectly tart and sweet. For an appetizer we tried their curry crabcakes for the first time with their house Indian-esque tartar sauce (so good). And for the main entree we both ordered the Coconut Curry…..Alex got his with chicken and I got mine with Paneer (Indian cheese dumplings). As always the food was fantastic and I stuffed myself. But not too much, I made sure to have dessert when we got home…..vanilla pudding and fresh strawberries drizzled with nutella (what other chocolate drizzle is more appropriate?)

Upon returning to our apartment complex we found the cutest little kitten in our parking lot. We could tell it was well fed and very people friendly and couldn’t bare to leave it in the cold especially since it was probably hungry and thirsty. However, we were weary of bringing it up to the apartment as Saci (the best dog ever) would probably FREAK it out. We were very surprised though with how well they got along. At first we had them in separate rooms and allowed Saci to get used to the meowing, then we brought them together and Saci couldn’t have behaved more beautifully. I was definitely a proud mother.

We ended up feeding the cat chicken cold cuts and it grabbed a few mouthfuls of Saci’s dog food. It also drank A LOT of water. Since our apartment isn’t cat friendly (no litter box) we tried calling every friend nearby that is. Unfortunately we came up with nothing and had to put the kitten back where we found her just in case her family was looking for her. We gave her more food once she was outside and hoped for the best.

This morning while taking out Saci I called for her and did my best to look around the area we found and returned her to. She was nowhere in sight, hopefully she’s warm and safe!

Also yesterday after work I was able to finally get my hair done. My hairdresser is super talented and super affordable which also means she has a TON of clients. I had to wait a month after calling for an appointment to even see her. It was well worth the wait as always. She colored, washed, cut, and styled my hair all for $60…….best deal in town, well as far as I know anyway!

more later…..

December 29, 2007 at 3:17 pm 2 comments

a Trail of Paperwork


I got a phonecall a few hours ago from a concerned Alex saying that since the New Year is upon us and there are only 4 months (give or take) to our wedding that we have a lot of paperwork ahead of us. Paperwork that included items like having both our birth certificates translated to Italian and getting a special stamp for them. Traveling to the Italian consulate in Houston (4 hrs away) with at least two non-related friends EACH and completing a series of paperwork there. Visiting the American Consulate in Florence once we arrive and getting a marriage certificate, etc. Stuff like this makes me anxious BUT one of my resolutions is to take everything as it comes and to not overreact as we do have a fair amount of time leading up to the day.

Also on the list…..find the perfect wedding dress. I hope to have that done by mid February!

Here’s to setting realistic goals and to not working myself up over the small stuff (hee • hee • hoo, hee • hee • hoo)

December 28, 2007 at 5:31 pm 2 comments

It’s the day after Christmas and a New Year is almost here!


Is it just me or does it already feel like 2008? Maybe it’s because I’ve been writing that date a lot since I’m getting married in April 2008 or maybe it’s because we’ve been having plenty of team meetings lately discussing where our company is heading in 2008…whatever it is I’m sure I won’t have a lot of problems making the leap from ’07 to ’08….it’s always a pain the first few weeks remembering to write the correct year on checks, etc!

I had a great Christmas. Did all the things one does on Christmas, spent A LOT of time with the fam, listened to Christmas carols, watched Christmas movies, baked breads, ate cookies, delivered gifts to family friends, etc. Alex got me FOUR Le Crueset pots that I have been obsessing over for the past few months. I’m proud of him also for not visiting Sur La Table (which is SOOO overpriced) but bargain shopping and finding them a lot cheaper and in the same condition at Marshalls:-)

I decided to work from home today and was really proud of myself with how productive and organized with the work flow…seriously! I don’t do it often so why not every once in awhile! P.S. I’m a list maker and it’s what helped get me through the day!

Alex and I saw Juno at the theatre two days before Christmas. I was really looking forward to seeing this movie and I am happy to say that I wasn’t let down. It was really funny, sweet, and very touching. Since it doesn’t take hardly anything at all to make me cry….cry I did. Alex noted that it was the most he’s seen me cry in a movie. But no worries, they were happy tears….very happy!

I have a few New Years Resolutions that I’m excited to lay down for myself come the New Year but I’ll dedicate a post to them as the 1st draws nearer!

Lastly, I can tell I made a lot of breads (my new thing) this past holiday as I just made my last loaf of banana walnut chocolate chip bread and didn’t even have to glance at the recipe…..not even for measurements! yikes!

December 26, 2007 at 10:08 pm 2 comments

Oh Holiday time…


…how i love thee! This has been a very busy month. So many little holiday get togethers and outings, so many of the things I love. This month is my excuse to eat a few more cookies a day and a few more glasses of wine every now and then.

Last weekend Alex and I went to his company’s Holiday Party at the Crowne Plaza Hotel here in Austin. My company party was the week before in Longview, Texas (5 hours north)……no thanks!

The party was nice. You could tell a lot of thought was put into making it a special night. The buffet food was fine…nothing too fantastic and I was able to meet a handful of people that Alex interacts with on a daily basis…always nice to put a face to a name. The real fun of the evening started with the casino section that was set up. Guests were able to play Texas Hold ‘Em (poker), craps, roullette, and BlackJack (my game of choice). The both of us spent the entire night at just one of the BlackJack tables. I normally have pretty good luck but it was in full swing this night. I started with $10,000 in chips and ended with over $300,000. I made our dealer go bankrupt and had to trade out lots of smaller chips for the big daddy yellow chips ($50,000 each). Too bad it wasn’t real money, although that would never happen with real money since the idea of gambling with the money I work so hard for SCARES THE CRAP OUT OF ME! Everybody kept mentioning to Alex that, “he should take me to Vegas!” Um, no thanks. If we do ever go there (which definitely isn’t on the top of my “to do” list) I would probably only hit up the nickel slots for 5.8 minutes and then hit a Cirque de Sole show!

Anyway, the reason I kept winning so much dough was bc Alex wanted to go home so he kept on convincing me to just “bet it all” on a single hand…..each time I did I would get a BlackJack, no joke! It was definitely exciting. We did leave after I bet it all one last time and lost……oh well, wasn’t my money! Then later we found out that Alex’s name was drawn for the grandprize of the night……a 20” flatscreen, too bad we left 15 minutes before the drawing. *puts palm to forehead and utters “doh!”

The EXACT same thing happened to me at a highschool event…only it wasn’t a flatscreen but a computer. I have great luck with those types of things….just bad luck in that I’m usually not there to collect the prize! SOOOO FRUSTRATING. but oh well, we already have a flatscreen and you can’t miss what you never had!

Yesterda was my last day of work before Christmas “break.” I was a little bitter and bummed out that our company didn’t give us Christmas Eve off…..bah humbug (seriously!!!) so I had to use one of my personal days instead! I did receive a $100 gift certificate to Williams-Sonoma though and was taken out to Manuel’s Spanish restaurant with the rest of my coworkers so I guess I won’t complain TOO much :-)

Today we’re going to go iceskating on top of the Wholefoods downtown and then walk the Trail of Lights, a very “Austin” tradition!

EEEEEE…..I heart the Holidays!

December 22, 2007 at 5:07 pm 3 comments

We have a birthday in the house…




…Saci is officially 2 years old as of today! We had a family party for her on Sunday where my parents, my brother and his girlfriend came over and we watched football and had a meal. Saci feasted on broiled chicken breasts…..mmmmmm!

This morning we sang Happy Birthday to her and gave her wet dog food mixed in with her kibble. And today on my lunch break I’m making the extra effort to come home and spend time with her for 45 min. instead of going out to lunch!

Attached are some very cute pics that Alex took of her on Sunday at her little partay :-) some of them are extra cute! My mom got her the Christmas reindeer ears as a present, but really it was a present for us!

December 18, 2007 at 4:32 pm Leave a comment

Ever been to a burlesque show?


I have…….twice now:-) This past Thursday Alex, myself, and 6 friends went to the quaint and eclectic Hyde Park Theatre in central Austin to see a Holiday Burlesque show Alex had found out about.

The company that put it on is called Shrewd Productions. The theatre was incredibly modest but as soon as you walked in you knew a good time was going to be had. I was a little nervous at first…the other burlesque show I had been to was very racey (which don’t get me wrong…was so fun) but this time I had 6 unexpecting people with me who I wanted to show a good time….esp. since we recommended it.

The show started at 10pm so we all met at the Theatre at 9:30 and waited until the box office opened. Once it did things got a little rocky in that they reserved the 8 of us tickets for the NEXT night (friday). UGH, so frustrating…stuff like this always happens to me and Alex! But to no avail they got us in….we didn’t get to sit right next to one another, we were kind of clustered together in a group which actually worked out better since we weren’t just in one straight line. Rather a cluster where we were able to talk to one another comfortably.

We were all prewarned that pasties and suggestive dancing was involved…..we were not let down :-) In one dance a girl even lost a pastie :-0 After about every two dances the show would stop for about 5 min. while sexy elves and santa’s helpers would walk around with spiked hot chocolate and jell-o shots….um FUN :-)

The host was hilarious and audience members were pulled on the stage throughout the night. The show was fun and unpretentious and I would definitely go back next year…I mean c’mon who doesn’t enjoy holiday songs, costumes, and dozens of pasties???

December 16, 2007 at 2:17 pm Leave a comment

Rachel Ray book signing




More than a month ago I was in Sur la Table (one of my new fav stores) probably buying overpriced, brightly colored cooking utensils that I didn’t need and noticed Rachel Ray was coming December 9th for her book signing. I blew it off and thought,”maybe later.”

My mom called me a few weeks later letting me know that she bought me Rachel Ray’s new cookbook and a ticket so I could get it signed that day. Yay….excitement persisted as I’ve enjoyed RR* ever since she hit the food scene.

I’m a Food Network junkie. Giada de Laurentiis from Everyday Italian is my fav though.

So this past Sunday Alex and I ventured to The Domain 3 HOURS before the signing began and found an already overwhelming line awaiting us. There were no less than 200 people in front of us. And most of them with 3 or more books (with one ticket you’re allowed to get up to 5 published works of Rachel’s signed) waiting to be signed.

We failed to bring folding chairs or even reading material to keep ourselves busy. I did however remember an umbrella to shield either sun or rain……it was relatively cloudy the entire time and not a drop of rain. Oh well, at least I was prepared in that department. What we were not prepared for was the cold front that blew in in 10 seconds, taking the curent temp of 80 degrees to a chilly 45-50 degrees (depending on sunshine). We had two hours of waiting left at this point and were completely miserable up until it was our turn to enter the store and snake around the merchandise until we came to the signing table.

Rachel had a huge list of rules that we had to follow (who knew she was a diva):

1. no more than 5 books per ticket (no signing whatsoever of memorbilia)
2. no camera phones……hmmm maybe she has a secret phobia
3. no flash on regular cameras
4. no posed pictures
5. and finally no taking pictures of her when you’re standing in front of her

phew….whatever. Attached are a few pics from our long, cold wait and a few blurry (bc of no flash) or Rachel herself.

*Once it was our turn we were so tired and uncomfortable that we didn’t have enough strength to come up with witty small talk with her. Just said stuff like, “So nice to meet you” and “Thank you!”…..blah blah blah.

It was really neat to see her though, Alex thought she was much hotter in person…of course :-)

in my book she wrote:

“Eryn, YUM-O :-)

Rachel Ray”

December 11, 2007 at 5:41 pm 3 comments

Christmas at our Apartment



It’s the holidays and besides summer this is my absolute favorite time of year. I love all the holiday parties, decorating, baking, and of course gift giving!

Attached is a picture of our “Christmas nook” this year. It’s Alex’s and my first Christmas together. In years past we always had to mail eachother gifts because of the handful of states that used to be between us during this time. It’s just so nice to not have to do that long distance thing anymore…it was a bear to get past that!

My mom gave me some of her gargantuan antique ornament collection for our tree. I love the antique glass ornaments…so classic:-) The oldest ornament I have is pink and is from the 1800s…we were extra careful with that one!

Saci is the best and leaves it all alone, because she’s the best behaved dog EVER.

Last night we took her to a coworker’s apartment where we had an amazing meal and we introduced her to their Welsch Corgi puppy. For the 1st 20 minutes she was the biggest wuss and ran away from the puppy that was sooo much smaller than her. But after awhile she began to play with it, after realizing that she could use her size and speed to her advantage. They both fell asleep right after we left, having played for 2 and a half hours!

Yesterday I met Rachel Ray…..I have pics. so details and photos will follow!

December 10, 2007 at 7:33 pm 5 comments

More progress with Honeymoon plans…





Besides making plans for the wedding (April 24th, 2008 at 12pm), Alex and I have also been making small plans here and there for the two weeks after our week in Florence that is to be our honeymoon. The main places we plan to hit during those two weeks are the Amalfi cost for a week, and then a shared week in both Naples and Rome. I’m especially excited for the week along the Amalfi coast since I’ve always always wanted to go there….well at least since I first saw Under the Tuscan Sun.

We’ve since booked the apartment we’re going to stay at in Positano. We’ve decided to base ourselves there and then take daytrips to surrounding towns like Amalfi, Sorrento, Ravello, Ischia, and so on. Attached to this post are pictures of the apartment we made the deposit on a few days ago! EEEE! I can’t wait to have breakfast on that balcony. And I think it’s fun that we have a blue bathroom since the bathroom I had in Florence for 4 months was entirely blue as well. Anybody else out there have a blue bathroom experience in Italy???

Funny coincidence also, the apartment website we’ve been booking ALL of our apartments through for this trip has been http://www.homeaway.com. It’s based here in Austin and we’re interviewing a woman today at the office who used to be their interactive designer…craazzzyyy! Maybe if the interview goes on a tangent I can ask her about her experiences there, we’ll see!

December 3, 2007 at 6:16 pm 4 comments

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