Tag Archives: HSC

An Excuse, an Accident, and a Great Listener

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I hate being away from le blogge for such an extended period of time (i.e. only writing once a week), mostly because I miss sharing my life with you guys! Every time I have a topic to write about and I don’t write, it feels like I held in a sneeze. It’s like I’m waiting to feel the sweet relief that is a published post, tied up neatly with the metaphorical bow of a catchy title and ten thousand tags. I can’t blame anyone but myself, though, for choosing alternative activities. C’est la vie sometimes.

In much more exciting, non sneeze-related news, Ian and I just spent an incredible weekend with two of our favorite people, Lauren and R.D. Lauren and I have been friends since we were freshmen at Longwood, and Ian and R.D. became friends when Ian pledged the same fraternity, Alpha Chi Sigma, at Hampden-Sydney. They live in Virginia Beach, and we finally had a free weekend to go and visit them in their beautiful new apartment!

I’ll start at the beginning.

I picked Ian up straight from work on Friday, hangry (the term he dubbed for hunger + anger, during which I morph quickly into a bear and then back again as soon as my blood sugar is stabilized) and ready to get on the road. It should have been less than 90 minutes between downtown Richmond and where Lauren and R.D. live in Virginia Beach, but we knew we’d hit horrendous beach-goer traffic on Interstate 64. And we were exactly right. Somewhere between Yorktown and Williamsburg, we got into a fender-bender. The other driver wasn’t paying attention and let her foot off the brake between bouts of stand-still traffic, so she only caused the tiniest of dents in my bumper. What should’ve been a 90-minute trip became a 3.5-hour journey between bumper-to-bumper, waiting for the police to come, and battling the Bay Bridge Tunnel.

Nevertheless, we arrived at our friends’ apartment just before 7:30, hungry and ready to get our Mexican on. They took us to a local favorite hotspot, El Tapatio. I didn’t waste any time drowning my sorrows (dramatic much? ;-)) in a jumbo marg!

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As soon as I was properly *hydrated*, I buried my face in some grub.

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I know that I need to lay off the processed carbs, but there’s just something about bottomless chips and salsa that does a weary soul good. (Okay, I’ve milked it enough. I guess we can move on now.)

As soon as we were back at the apartment, Lauren broke out the Angry Orchard, and Ian and R.D. dove headfirst into rum and Coke. Five hours and many ciders later, Lauren and I were still having one of our heart-to-hearts on her bed, while our significant others…

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…were down for the count.

[Bear with me, as I’ve noticed that one of the recurring themes of this weekend was covering the lens of my iPhone slightly with my finger…]

Thankfully, my OCD and my over-planning had led me to blow up Ian’s and my air mattresses before we went out to dinner, so our beds were waiting, and more than inviting. Lauren and R.D. graciously offered us their guest room/office and their second full bath for the weekend for our living and sleeping quarters. Within minutes, we were both sleeping like babies.

Saturday had much more of a lazy start. I awoke at 9:45 after about 5 hours of sleep, and after a short conversation with Ian, I fell asleep again until noon. Lauren had a strong cup of black coffee waiting for me when I finally emerged. We went to this quaint little diner for brunch, where I had the most excellent Eggs Benedict and fresh fruit. Lauren had a mimosa that smelled to die for, but I thought water would better suit my recovery 😉

After brunch, we spent an hour or so wandering around Harris Teeter. I’m a huge fan of Whole Foods, but I could easily see myself becoming HT-loyal if there was one near Ian or me. After all, I found my splurge drink: grape Synergy Kombucha with chia seeds!

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I took mine for a dip in the pool as soon as the groceries were unloaded. It wasn’t hot or humid, but the water was calling our names. We had planned to hit the beach, but the forecast of thunderstorms for the rest of the evening put a stop to that in a hurry. We all agreed we’d try the pool for as long as we could, and then begin dinner preparations.

Can I just say that Lauren and R.D. are so fortunate to be able to live in such a beautiful and lavish apartment complex? I don’t mean to expose their business to the world, but I am incredibly jealous of their new digs and all that their rent includes. I mean, look at this pool!

Lauren, please don't be mad at me... but you are so freaking cute!

Lauren, please don’t be mad at me… but you are so freaking cute!

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As can be seen behind R.D., there was also a spacious hot tub we tried out for about five minutes before we decided it was just too hot for hot tubbin’. Poor Ian tried to get in a few minutes of study time…

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…but the storm put a damper on our pool visit after about 30 minutes.

No matter! Lauren got right to work on dishes of chips and salsa, and we enjoyed watching the storm from the porch.

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Not many people would allow me to unload multiple times in one weekend, but Lauren is one incredible friend and one patient listener. She’s also a good advice-giver without being judgmental or condescending. In my opinion, not many people achieve that balance! Thanks again, girl! 🙂

As soon as we were all cleaned up, Ian got to work studying a bit, R.D. got to work on some video games,

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and Lauren got to work on dinner: shrimp, steak and veggie kabobs.

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She swore I could not do a thing to help her — and she was probably right, judging by the beauty of our dinner — and that I should relax and enjoy being her guest.

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I was pretty full between the kabobs and the couscous, but we decided that a trip to Coldstone was in order, anyway. I cannot thank Lauren enough times for driving all weekend and for truly treating Ian and me like guests.

My absolute favorite flavor: That's How I Roll

My absolute favorite flavor: That’s How I Roll

After we got back from Coldstone, there was a surprise waiting for us: Lauren and R.D. threw us a party! There were only seven of us total, but we rabble-roused enough for about 20 people. We even dug out ye olde HSC game table and played pong and flip cup.

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Not only did I rock at flip cup and help carry our three-man team to victory, I rocked this hilarious koozie of Lauren’s:

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We partied undergrad-style, complete with a rousing game of Kings, until the very late hour of 11:00, when everybody crashed in front of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Our party guests bid us adieu around midnight, and we called it a day. I was all too happy to crash on my double-sized air mattress again.

Ian and I got up at 9:30 this morning, got ready, packed up, and hit the road. I cringe when I think about our McDonald’s breakfast, because my eating habits have been pretty abysmal lately. Spruce it up however you like and title it whatever you want; an egg white sandwich from McDonald’s is still egg, cheese, meat, and bread. My iced coffee kept me going through a few small bouts of low blood sugar, but I was determined to make it to Richmond without stopping for lunch. Ian and I have become unabashed experts at being cheap-asses.

I dropped him off at his apartment shortly after 1:00, and I got gas quickly before heading home. Even though I was desperate for a nap and a shot (or five) of caffeine, I somehow managed to study for more than two hours for the CPCE I am taking August 24.

As of right now, I’m not long out of bed. I just couldn’t wait to share this magnificent weekend with my blends! Hopefully, I’ll be back before another week passes… Ta ta!

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Scenes from the Weekend

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Okay, not scenes from the weekend so much as anecdotes. I’ve been terrible about taking photographs recently – partially because I simply forget, and partially because I’ve been busy beyond belief. This past weekend was the perfect combination of productivity and time spent with friends.

Friday, I spent the morning reading for my toughest class – the source of a good bit of my academic-related stress. In the afternoon, I focused on kicking ass at the gym by bumping up my strength-training regimen. Friday evening, I grabbed dinner with a friend and her boyfriend. I gotta tell y’all, my resolution of making healthier choices at restaurants is not going as swimmingly as I anticipated. I reasoned with myself that because I had eaten a massive veggie-heavy salad for lunch and pumped some serious iron, that I should order the spicy-Cajun-Alfredo-pasta-shrimp thing. C’mon, A.K. The best part of my day was sipping on a few beers with Amy and Adam, with Wedding Crashers playing in the background, and laughing until I couldn’t breathe. (Side note: I’ve become completely obsessed with ciders. Original Sin, Angry Orchard, Woodchuck, Crispin, Michelob Ultra Apple… you name it. If I’m craving beer, I’m craving cider.) Maybe I’m just getting old, but this is what I’ve come to think of as “raging” these days. In fact, I’m 97% sure I am getting old, because we called it a night at 12:00 on the button.

Saturday morning, I was rarin’ to go. I hit the road for Hampden-Sydney earlier than I’d planned because I was just too excited. Ian met me there around 1:00, and we walked around campus and visited some of his former professors before heading to the basketball game. HSC blew Bridgewater’s ass out of the water, nearly doubling their score! We bummed around campus a bit more and hung out with some friends before heading to dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings. I nearly did myself in munching on a bag of Bugles when my blood sugar got low, but I still managed to put away the spiciest chicken sandwich I’ve ever had in my life. My taste buds are pathetic.

As disappointed as I was, I knew Ian needed to leave right after dinner. Technically, it was supposed to be one of his designated “study weekends,” but this was the only spring HSC basketball game we were able to fit in our busy schedules. A few hours with him were better than none at all 😉

Yesterday, my Internet was MIA. All. Day. Long. I considered calling the company, but I knew no one would come out to remedy the problem on a Sunday. Plus, it was kind of nice to be forced to take a break from compulsively checking my email, preparing blog posts, updating Twitter, conducting wedding business, etc. I unexpectedly had more free time than I normally do on Sundays to get ahead on some reading, fit in a nice sweat sesh on the elliptical, eat three square meals at home, and even catch part of the Honey Boo Boo marathon and the Grammys.

All in all, a fantastic weekend, with a perfect balance of work and play. I hope your weekend was good!

Question: Did you catch the Grammys? Some of those celebs were looking trife…

Sat(h)ur(s)day Thrills #4

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Guess I’m a couple days late for a “Thursday Thrills” post, but there are a few things I have been loving as of late. Better late than never, hmm?

Number one: the sock bun. I realize I’m way late on the style timeline, but I just discovered a few weeks ago how great a sock bun works in my long, not-so-straight-but-not-quite-curly hair, thanks to this awesome tutorial:

I bummed a tube sock from my dad, cut off the toe, and I’ve been sock-bun-stylin’ ever since. I’m (kind of) trying not to over-utilize the style, but I’m obsessed. It works great for class, my Practicum site in a school setting, formal occasions for Ian’s med school events, and an all-around comfortable, classy way to keep my (desperately in need of a trim) locks out of my face. [All of my photos of evidence are embarrassing “duck face” selfies. Pass on sharing.]

Number two: “couple friends” dates. Ian and I recently discovered that no matter where we are — Hampden-Sydney, the ‘Burg, Richmond, even Roanoke — we have couple friends to make Date Night plans with us. For example, one of Ian’s best friends and his girlfriend were supposed to be celebrating his birthday with us in RVA, but the “blizzard” caused travel difficulties for everybody’s small cars. We were bummed that we’d have to cancel our reservation at Capital Ale House… until Ian suggested that we try one of his closest med school friends and his lady! They were amped to go out to dinner, and the restaurant and bar crowds were surprisingly light. There’s little else that I enjoy more than good food, free-flowing good beer, and conversation with good friends.

Number three: my traveling jewelry case. I discovered this gem one day while I was out shopping post-Christmas with my mom. It is ahh-may-zing.

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Perhaps what I love best about it is that it’s double-sided. And that the pouches are clear. And that it folds nearly flat in my weekend bags. As well as the (unpictured) wooden hanger feature at the top. Alright, so there are quite a few things I love about it. Full disclosure — I picked this baby up at Cato. As much as I love the jewelry tree I bought a few weeks ago, its primary function is aesthetics rather than organization.

I hope your weekend is excellent, blends! I’m off to start beautifying for the formal Ian’s class is sponsoring tonight. Should be an interesting adventure traversing the icy streets in heels 😉

Question — Have you tried the sock bun look? What do you think of it in general?

Anniversary Weekend Treats

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Sometimes, it’s really hard to believe Ian and I have been together for three years. It seems much shorter some days, but often I feel as though I’ve known him all my life. Three years have absolutely flown by and so much has happened in the interim, so it was extra exciting to celebrate in Richmond this weekend.

We accidentally dressed exactly the same — down to brown leather footwear.

As it turns out, P.F. Chang’s makes special arrangements for couples celebrating their anniversary. The second we walked in the door, two hostesses and two waitresses wished us a happy anniversary and asked us how many years. They seated us in a special part of the restaurant, and they even brought us a complimentary bottle of champagne to toast.

I know I always say I would have taken pictures, but… but on Friday, I just wanted to soak in every moment.

We ordered my favorite appetizer — vegetarian spring rolls — and Ian’s favorite appetizer, lettuce wraps. I got my absolute Chang’s favorite entrée: the Ma Po Tofu. It’s crispy silken tofu surrounded by fresh steamed broccoli and served with white rice. I can’t even explain the perfection. Plus, most people don’t swoon over tofu. I really wanted to order my favorite dessert, the Chocolate Dome, but we were just too stuffed!

Because we had a 5:30 reservation, we got back to my house around 7:00. We decided to rent The Campaign, which was absolutely hilarious. Obscene and ridiculous, of course, but just what we needed to top off our evening. Accompanied by some Strawberry Cheesecake Skinny Cow 😉

At 7 a.m. on Saturday, I was rudely awakened by my alarm. Yes, Ian had us up at the crack of dawn (or so it felt) to head to Hampden-Sydney with some of our couple friends and his med school buddies.

Armed with secret-ingredient brownies which I borrowed from Colleen, camp chairs, buffalo chicken dip, and enough beer for a small army, we set out while there was still frost on the grass. I always love a road trip 😉

Even though my parents couldn’t make it, Ian’s parents set up one of the most fun and well-attended tailgates we’ve had in 4 seasons of Tiger Ball. HSC was playing their top rival, Randolph-Macon College. Unfortunately, they lost at home yesterday, which was a tough loss to watch. In fact, my sister and some of our friends and I didn’t return to the stadium after halftime. We checked the live stats from the Tiger Athletics website, which is something I don’t normally care about, but the Macon game is a big deal at Hampden-Sydney.

After the game, we tailgated for a few more hours before finally packing it up. Some of us even shared dance moves…

We were supposed to attend VCU’s Med Ball ’12 with some of the friends we’d brought to the game, but frankly, we were exhausted. I was disappointed that I didn’t get to wear the beautiful dress I had spent weeks picking out, but there will be other opportunities. Actually, I enjoyed watching Parks and Recreation with Ian at his apartment, simply talking and spending time together, and hitting the hay before midnight.

Today, after brunch and a little more R & R, I’m headed back to my apartment. Guess it’s time to get my head back into Work Mode. T-minus 24 days until my much-needed Christmas break!

I hope you had a fantastic weekend!

Loofah Lovin’

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I may have mentioned obsessively a few times over the past few weeks that I have been ridiculously excited to finally wear my Halloween costume: a loofah! My boyfriend, Ian, and I bought the materials for the costume and actually created it two weeks ago. I showed pictures to anyone who would stand still long enough, and even accidentally had the picture on my phone passed around my Wednesday night class… But I was determined not to ruin the surprise on The Blog.

The boy and I headed to Farmville around 3:00 yesterday. We went to the science building to visit some of his old professors and check out the new equipment the department purchased shortly after he graduated. Then we headed to a Farmville favorite, Macado’s, for dinner and drinks with friends. Finally, it was time for me to don my costume.

I learned a few things about dressing up as a loofah.

Namely, when the weather is predicted to be in the mid-30s and windy, you should heed your Weatherbug app. It might as well have screamed at me, You’re going to be freezing your bubbles off tonight! but I still would have ignored it amidst my excitement. I did think far enough ahead to purchase a long-sleeved shirt to attach the tulle, and I wore matching opaque tights. Nevertheless… nearly every part of my body was numb when we finally called it a night.

As it turns out, when you attend a themed party at an all-male college, many of the party-goers won’t be familiar with a female-related bath item (i.e. “…what are you?”). I should have anticipated as much. I did, however, enjoy many of my friends’ and acquaintances’ facial expressions as they twisted their bodies around and mimed showering while they searched for the word loofah.

Ian was supposed to match me in a soap costume. We had even planned to plaster “We found Dove in a soapless place” on the front of his bar-of-soap costume. He farted around until the last minute, and as a result, he bought a reduced-price costume from Party City. I called him the Khaki Crusader because of his oversight that the costume did not include the black pants pictured. Next to someone in a completely unrelated costume, even fewer people will be able to identify a loofah.

We saw all manner of costumes last night: Kung Fu Panda, Indiana Jones, Michael Vick walking a “dog” (his girlfriend), the old man from Up, several very convincing white guys as Rastafarians, Mr. Gangnam Style, and even The Human Centipede. We also snuck in our tradition of snapping a few photos with one of Ian’s undergrad professors, who is also the fraternity’s advisor:

All in all, it was a fantastic night, even though we ended up forgoing our plans of staying in a friend’s room and driving back to Richmond at 2 a.m. On the way home, Ian and I reminisced about the night we met at his fraternity house, and all of the memories we created at each other’s schools. I decided that we are not too old to still dress up for themed parties, or to visit Hampden-Sydney and old friends. The time is rapidly approaching when we won’t know anyone there anymore, and we’ll be too busy with our adult lives to drop everything. We might as well soak it up now, right? 😉

P.S. What were you for Halloween? Did you attend or host a party?

Thursday Thrills

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I literally cannot believe it’s November. Thanksgiving month! This semester has felt like it’s been dragging itself out for years, and yet somehow, it’s almost time for Christmas…

One of my favorite things about blogging is sharing with you things I’m loving right now. I thought, for the day-after-Halloween blues, what better way to liven things up?

1. Kashi Heart to Heart Warm Cinnamon cereal topped with still-green banana slices. I’m one of those people who buys the “now and later” bananas (some green and some yellow-ish) and eats them all in the “now” phase. My family makes fun of me, and my mom tells people that I eat bananas while they’re still “crunchy.” For me, this is already too ripe.

2. Pumpkin ev-er-y-thing. I’m not proud of stuffing my face with a pumpkin doughnut from Sheetz last Sunday, but it was damn good. I’ve been burning my B&BW Pumpkin Cupcake candle, using my Halloween-themed hand sanitizers, and soaking up every pumpkin-flavored and -scented item possible. Can’t. Get. Enough.

3. Ugg season. All I ever think about is how warm and toasty my tootsies are on the windy commute to class… and then I remember that I’m roasting for 2-1/2 hours inside. Knit boots were not made for sedentary indoor use.

4. There are 34 days and counting down until the end of the semester. I will have earned just over half of my Master’s degree! Doesn’t that sound seasoned? 😉

5. The abundance of scary movies that have been on TV as of late. I know they’re corny, but some of my favorites are Urban Legend, Final Destination, Paranormal Activity (1 and 3), and Disturbia. Of course, there’s Halloween (Jamie Lee is the original Scream Queen) and Friday the 13th and Psycho, but I’m not as much into the classics. I just get beyond excited when I see that a different scary movie is being featured on each of 5 or 6 channels 😉

6. My old faithful VHS tapes. Laugh all you want; I have some of my favorites on tape, and I shout it from the mountaintops loud and proud that I watch them in bed on my 13-inch VHS-inclusive TV that I bought the summer after 7th grade with baby-sitting money. It’s a monster to lug around, but I will cry real tears when that thing finally bites the dust.

And lastly, my Halloween costume, which I’ll finally get to wear tomorrow!! I’m absolutely bursting with excitement to show you, but I’m forcing myself to wait until I have party pictures to post. Ian and I will be attending his fraternity’s annual “Freak & Geek” party as alumni. We are both taking a well-deserved weekend away from schoolwork.

I hope you have a fabulous Thursday! The weekend is right around the corner!

“Frankenstorm” Weekend

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I can’t say I’ve done a lot to prepare for the dreaded Hurricane Sandy. Maybe I’m taking a laissez-faire approach, but I’m not one of these Doomsdayers who feels it necessary to literally run through the grocery store as though the last gallon of water or the last ten boxes of saltines will evaporate in nanoseconds. I did stock up on some essentials — non-perishable sandwich-making materials, bottled water, non-dairy milk, TP — though I seriously regret my decision to try Kroger at 5 p.m.

In other news… Friday was pretty dull around these parts. The most exciting part of my day included a glass of moscato and tucking into bed at 11:00 after reading a chapter of a new book.

Saturday was a different story…

I met my sister and two of her sorority sisters in Farmville to grab some lunch before the Hampden-Sydney football game. I am truly ashamed of the amount of fast-food I consumed this weekend. It may not appear that way…

…but Sheetz, McDonald’s (where I found a literal fly in an ice cube), and Taco Bell don’t sit as well with me anymore. It’s not that fast-food joints don’t offer healthy-ish alternatives; it’s that I eat fast-food so rarely, I don’t usually choose a salad with light dressing over a crispy chicken club. Ya dig?

The game was an absolute blowout against Guilford, with the final score being 68-24. We celebrated heartily, my blends.

“What the hell is a ‘sorority squat’?!”

This morning, after little more than 5 hours of sleep, I was reminded that perhaps graduating from college should include not returning to your pseudo-alma mater in order to partake in fraternal activities. Alas, it seems I may never learn 😉

As soon as I stuffed a pumpkin doughnut and a Shmuffin in my face and drove home, my agenda read like this:
1. Nap
2. End of agenda

The rest of my afternoon pretty much consisted of sipping tea, sucking on cough drops, and half-heartedly watching a movie. As Sandy approaches, I guess it’s time to put my Big Girl Pants back on and act like a grown-up.

I hope your weekend was spectacular! I’d love your suggestions, comments, and questions about the new site! I’m still adjusting the layout and some of the content, so please feel free.

P.S. Have you done any hurricane prep? I’ve gathered my flashlights and my candles, which is about as prepared as I can be in an apartment building.