Thursday, June 13, 2013

Weather the Weather

Hunker down, friends! We've been hearing threats of a derecho all week. If you've never heard of this type of monstrous storm, and you’re currently thinking “I think I remember that word from Spanish class,” then let me explain. A derecho is a patch of thunderstorms with relentless damaging winds. Unlike your typical storm, this one leaves a wide path of damage that can be up to several hundred miles long. Derecho means “straight” en espanol, so all the damage is a result of these straight line winds that come rolling through, get up in everybody’s business, and just generally cause trouble for everyone.

For the most part, the weather has danced around our neck of the woods. However, things got bad for a hot second this afternoon, and everyone in the office had to head to the basement for a tornado warning. The storm quickly moved on; we were only in the basement for about fifteen minutes. However, it did manage to knock out power for a lot of people, and there were downed branches and debris everywhere.
Not my car!
In the spirit of things, I thought I would type up a little list of things NOT to do in a severe weather emergency. For legit advice from professionals (well, it’s from the government, so take it as you will), visit this website.

Katie’s List of What Not to Do in an Emergency:
  1. Stock up on perishables—chicken, eggs, and milk are all excellent choices.
  2. Charge your phone to the max, play candy crush until your battery power is nonexistent.
  3. Tie up the phone lines as you attempt to call every Papa John in the state to see if they are available for delivery.
  4. Some guides suggest filling a bathtub with water—this is a great idea. Make sure you add bubble bath, and then you will be able to take a relaxing bath when you’re stressed about the power going out.
  5. Go fly a kite. No, seriously.
  6. Panic and run for the hills. You'll have an energizing workout session AND you'll be on high ground. 
In all seriousness, have an emergency plan. The weather service doesn't issue warnings for the fun of it. Take it seriously and be ready for it--don't be a dumdum about it. 

That's all I have to say friends--don't be a dumdum. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: Signature Drink

Happy humpday friends! It’s Wednesday, so I hope you all remembered to wear pink. I didn't, so you know what that means:

Although our wedding was six months ago, Wedding Wednesday will continue to be a regular feature on the blog. I’ll update you all on the details of our wedding (which I know you've been on the edge of your seat for six months, just waiting to hear about it), as well as share other wedding tidbits I think you might enjoy. After all, weddings are like puppies—they’re beautiful and everybody loves them.
This puppy is ESPECIALLY beautiful and lovable. 
Today’s post is about our signature drink. If you are totally oblivious to wedding trends, let me lay it out for you: a signature drink is basically a special beverage that the bride and groom have requested to be served at the wedding. Typically, the drink either reflects their personality as a couple, or it may be something that matches the theme of the wedding. Some will serve the signature drink in place of an open bar, and some will do the open bar as well and just advertise the signature drink as another fun element in the reception.

Matt and I decided that we wanted—nay NEEDED a signature drink. We made this decision only because Matt came up with the cleverest name for our drink. Now, here is where I pause for dramatic effect…

A play on words using my maiden name.
Once Matt dreamed this up I knew it had to happen. So, the next step was picking the actual drink. My mom wanted us to serve a purple drink, to match our wedding colors, and she wanted it to be fruity. We eventually settled on a drink recipe I found called “Purple Rain.” It's basically vodka, cranberry juice, and blue curacao.  

I gave very detailed instructions for the bartender to play around with the cranberry and blue curacao, to make sure the drink turned purple, but the drinks ended up being bright blue. However, I thought it was quite tasty, and everyone got a kick out of it.

The bartender missed the memo on the signature drink. I had to point it out.
Any of you ladies and gents out there planning on a sig drink? I really do think it’s a great way to show off your personality—it doesn't even have to be alcoholic, if that’s your thing. Here are some other ideas for signature drinks around the interwebs:

  • Betsy’s signature drink sounds so delicious, I think I might have to give it a go myself for a little humpday treat.

  • Megan from Fried Green Pickles made the cutest straws for their SD.

  • PopChart Lab created this handy dandy guide showcasing the drinks of notable characters in pop culture. I think an art deco themed wedding definitely calls for a gin rickey.

  • Still feeling stumped over a sig drink? Martha will help.

Only two more days until the weekend; make your own SD and cruise on through.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Moving 101

Let me tell you what has been on my mind lately--MOVING. It has been consuming my life. I have a moving checklist I review daily; when I'm not looking at the checklist, I am picturing the apartment in my mind, thinking of what else needs to be packed, and where those things will be unpacked in the new house. And, when I’m not thinking of those things, I’m probably yelling “LEAVE IT” to Miss Millicent because she is trying to chew a hole through one of our cardboard boxes.

We move in a little less than three weeks. For two of those weeks, I will be out of town for work. Naturally, I'm a little concerned about the massive amount of STUFF in our apartment that has yet to make its way into a box. Clearly, moving is a stressful process. Therefore, I thought I would put together a little list of moving tips to help alleviate the stress and hassle. At first, I had planned to pull together some expert resources from around the web, but then I thought to myself, “Katie. You have moved six times in the past four years. You ARE the expert.” Well, duh!

So here you are dear Reader, my seven tips for packing your life into a box.

1. Start a Cleanse
No, I’m not talking about buying some kale in bulk and spending $500 on a juicer—I’m talking about cleaning out the clutter in your life. Go through your closets, your drawers, your kitchen cabinets—if you haven’t worn or used something in a year, get rid of it. That bottle of lotion you bought in college and used once? Throw it in the trash. Found an old blouse in your closet that makes you avert your eyes and shudder with revulsion? Burn it. You will have less junk you have to deal with as you pack and unpack your things.

2. Make a Checklist
You might want to do this first, to get your mind organized. Moving brings with it a whole host of tedious but necessary tasks, such as setting up utilities, hiring movers, and ordering a custom calligraphy stamp for your new address. Writing it all down can help organize your thoughts, and it is oh so satisfying to mark something off your To-Do List.

3. Pack Early
Don’t be like my oldest brother and pack nothing but your clothes the night before a big move. You can start packing several months in advance; just pick out items you know you won't need to use, and get to work! I usually start with books and DVDs, then I move on to decorative items. After that, once we're about three weeks away from moving, I pack up excess items (sheets, towels, dishes), leaving just the exact amount that I need for the next few weeks. 

4. Label Your Boxes
Label your boxes according to what is in the box, and the room where it will be unpacked. Perhaps you have your own complicated system for the boxes you packed, but whoever is helping you move (be that professional movers or selfless friends) probably has no clue that the brown box with the slight indentation is full of trinkets that go in the guest room. This will save you some time, and you’ll be thankful you can easily find that cupcake tin you need for baking your feelings away.

5. Get Help
Don’t try to go at alone, because nobody likes a martyr (well, some martyrs are okay). Hire movers, and if you can’t afford movers do whatever it takes to get your friends or family to help. It shouldn't be too hard to enlist the help of your friends. Why? Because there’s always the promise of “I’ll totally help when you have to move.” (Whether or not you come through with that promise is totally up to you and your own sense of honor.) Or, you can take my route and pay them in baked goods or a home cooked meal. Sometimes, all a person wants is a decent brownie.

This is our helper. She sleeps a lot and tries to eat the boxes.

6. Make it a Party
Turn up your iTunes, pour yourself a glass of wine, and have at it. Sure, your boxes may get mislabeled the more wine you drink, but you sure will have fun! And, you can always reward yourself with ice cream when you are finished.

7. Don’t Panic
I have to agree with Douglas Adams’ timeless piece of advice. Moving is a big ‘ole pain in the buttocks, but it can be very easy to manage when you break it down into small steps. It will help you avoid a nervous breakdown, and the next time you have to move you will be a pro! (Except, not a really big pro, because I can’t have anyone knocking me down as the moving expert.)

I sure hope you find these helpful if you're moving. Do you have any tips to add? If it's an AMAHZING tip, let me know before we complete this move. If not, keep it to yourself.

Have a great Monday!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Six Months Later

Happy six month anniversary to myself and Matty! I just asked Matt if it feels like six months--he responded, "feels like a lifetime." I have to agree.

Feels like a lifetime since this happened.
Honestly, it feels like a lifetime because so much has happened to us in these past six months. And, since I've mostly been absent from blogging, you know NOTHING, Jon Snow. So, here is a recap of the first six months of our marriage:

1. Our family grew
Our family grew by three! In January, my brother and his wife welcomed Eleanor Valentina (Nora). Our first niece! YAY! She is a beautiful little baby with a full head of hair.

Can't get enough of this picture.

Next, in February, Matt and I welcomed Millicent Abigail Thomas into our household. She is a sassy goldendoodle who loves to cause us trouble. But, she is our sun and stars and we couldn't have asked for a better puppy. That's all I have to say about Millie, but better believe you'll be seeing Millie-centric posts in the future.

This was the day we brought her home. She was deceivingly calm.
Lastly, in April, Matt's sister and her husband had their first baby--Miss Charlotte Ashby! We were over the moon to have another adorable little niece to spoil, and we are also her godparents!

Barely two months old and she's already a model.

That's all the growing that this family will be doing for now. Trust me, we have our hands full with our impish little doodle.

2. We bought a house
Obviously, HUGE news. It's a condo-style townhouse that is still currently in the process of being built. If all goes well, we will be moving in three weeks!
Power couple takes a break from building their home with their bare hands

3. We suffered a heartbreaking loss
This was probably the defining moment of our six months of marriage: my grandma passed away at the end of March, seven years to the day that we lost Grandpa. It was completely unexpected; I will never forget the Friday afternoon when it happened and my world turned bleak. It is still hard to process, and we feel her loss every day--I am sobbing as I write this. Even though she lived a good distance away, she always made sure to be part of our lives. She had a difficult childhood, but you would never have known it by her strength, grace, and the love and dedication she showed for her family. Matt met my grandma about a month after we started dating, and the moment she saw us together she knew he was The One. In fact, after I told her the news of our engagement, her first words were, "I knew it!" I know that she is with Grandpa and Uncle Greg, watching over us with a gin and juice in hand. 

Grandma's reaction when she saw me in my wedding dress

We are so thankful Grandma was able to be there for our special day.

As you can see, we've encountered at least three years' worth of experiences into one six month period. Despite the stress and sorrow of the past few months, I feel that life with my best friend (and our baby doodle!) has been absolutely amazing, and I wouldn't trade it in for anything. We love and stand by each other through our best and our worst, and I think that's the most any marriage could hope for. 

Happy six months, Matty.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Food Coma Friday

What did I eat for lunch? Carbs, carbs, and more carbs. It’s a wonder I managed to get any work done past lunchtime. I made the mistake of going to Panera on an empty stomach. The line was super long, which gave me plenty of time to question my previous decision to just get a cup of tomato soup and a baguette. I could not help myself—those loaves of freshly baked bread were staring me down, and every time I glanced at the menu my eyes immediately found the words “creamy mac n cheese.” I tried to distract myself with my phone, but I quickly ran out of lives on Candy Crush, and ran out of people to stalk on Facebook. Before I knew it, it was my turn to order and all I could utter was, “Carbs. OHMYGOD. Carbs. Let’s get some carbs!”

And that, dear reader is why I spent the majority of the afternoon wishing I could wear sweats to the office.
Here’s some mindless entertainment to help you make it through your very own Food Coma Friday:
  • “The mantis shrimp is the harbinger of blood-soaked rainbows.”
  • Here is a fantastic piece from the A.V. Club about the recent Game of Thrones episode that had its viewers gettin’ real rick.
  • Music for your weekend: Tessa Rose Jackson, “Lost and Found.” 

Happy Friday, friends!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Hiatus Days are Over

Look who has finally made her way back to the world of blogging! I know it’s been a while (4 months!), and I know it probably seemed like the world would never again here my priceless thoughts, but here I am! There has been quite a lot going on during my absence. Some if it I will write about on here, some of it I may keep to myself. Regardless, this blog is about to get LEGIT. I mean, did you notice the sleek new look and brand new name?!?!

Okay, so the “new look” is nothing more than changing some fonts and colors around, but we put a lot of thought into the new name. Okay. Maybe not A LOT of thought, but there was a thought process behind the change that went something like this:

Me: “I think I am going to change the name of the blog to Thoroughly Modern.”
Matty: “Sounds good, honey.”

And thus it was written. Once a power couple makes a decision, no further discussion is needed.*

So here we are--band’s gettin’ back together! Now that my life is no longer consumed by wedding planning, you can expect a wide variety of posts, including recipes, new music, and of course, my very own valuable opinions.

Lastly, I don’t know about you, but I found this post to be incredibly BO-RING. So, I leave you with a picture of a puppy. This is not your average puppy, this is our sun and stars, Millicent Abigail Thomas (Millie).

*I am only going to say this one time. We do not actually believe we are some kind of bonafide power couple. We don’t own 10 different cars and we can’t afford someone to follow us around with an umbrella when it rains. But, we both own a pair of aviators, so that’s got to count for something.
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