Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas isn't complete without outfits

We tried to get "the girls," Sassy and Alley, in the Christmas Spirit while decorating this season. Sassy, the older and generally more grouchy dog, really came to life and began dancing around when we placed a Santa hat upon her head. Alley, the younger and typically happier dog, acted as if having a hat placed upon her head was more painful than experiencing a visit from The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.

The real Santa's Little Helper: Sassy is just as jolly as any elf in Santa's workshop and far more cheerful than that dog from "The Simpsons."

The real Grinch: Alley is having a major tantrum about being forced to wear a Santa hat.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

10 years of thankfulness

Jeff and Dawn on their wedding day October 28, 2000.

Jeff and I celebrated our 10-year wedding anniversary in October. We celebrated this milestone by traveling to Napa Valley. We toured wineries, tasted tons of delicious wine, and had a wonderful time. Here are a few photos:

Jeff and Dawn at Michael Chiarello's Bottega in Napa Valley in October 2010. This is the best restaurant EVER.

A special anniversary dessert.

We had a delicious and elegant anniversary dinner on The Wine Train.

I wish this was my basement.

The wine-tasting process.

The wine-making process.

The Robert Mondavi winery is picture-perfect.

Vines and vines of wine.

Before you can make wine, you must grow grapes.

Wine highway in Napa Valley.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Seattle vs. Portland: Take one

After spending a week in the glorious Northwest, our friends Gabi and Michelle joked that they felt like Jeff and I were holding a Seattle vs. Portland contest. Busted!

No, just kidding. Jeff and I are just fortunate to have two sets of friends — Gabi and Michelle in Seattle and Karly and Jose in Portland — who live within driving distance from each other. With just one set of plane tickets and one rental car, Jeff and I get to visit two sets of friends in two beautiful cities. Awesome!

I kind of like the idea of this contest, though. Both Karly and Michelle made us feel welcome in their homes and their cities, and mere tourists would never have the experiences we've had. I'll explain more this week as I tally up the points for Seattle and Portland but for now, I'll let these two iconic images speak for themselves.

Cannon Beach in Oregon is a favorite destination for Oregon natives.

Yep, that's the Space Needle behind us in Seattle.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

My summer vacation

September brings change. Kids go back to school. The neighborhood pool closes. Shorts and tank tops are packed away to make space for jeans and sweaters. And for me, September marks a return to blogging. Can I go back-to-blogging shopping? Please?

It's been a crazy summer. Ben Holden, our executive editor at The Ledger-Enquirer, accepted a new job at the beginning of the summer and left Columbus for Reno. Our new editor started two weeks ago, so Jeff and I (and all our co-workers) spent the summer in that uncomfortable state of limbo. We're entering a new era now, so wish us luck!

During this "summer of change," I was named editor-in-chief of a popular women's magazine previously produced solely by a group of talented freelancers. Starting with the October issue, being designed now, we're producing the magazine in the newsroom. Learning how to work on a magazine has been a fun, stressful and challenging experience. I'm very luck that I love the work, but I must admit that sometimes I wish there was a bit less of it.

The summer hasn't been all work and no play, though. We spent some nice weekends in Atlanta hanging out with Anne and exploring the amazing dining scene. My parents came for a visit and ended up buying a house in Georgia. Jeff and I attended a music festival in Athens (home of the Georgia Bulldogs) with our friend David. We welcomed Lily and Morgan's beautiful daughter Ellie to the world. Anne and I traveled to Michigan for our great-aunt's 80th birthday. And I became a "model" for a day at a bridal fashion show.

I hope y'all had a great summer! Here are few snapshots from mine:

Jeff and Dawn at the Applause for Paws Benefit. The benefit raised money for shelter animals, obviously a subject close to our hearts. Some really cute doggies showed off their talents for the evening's entertainment. They were good. But they've got nothing on Sassy and Alley.

Jeff and Alan at the Paws benefit.

Dawn and Sonya at the Paws benefit.

Jeff and Dawn at the Livingston Lounge after seeing "Phantom of the Opera" at Fox Theatre.

The best thing about being a "model" for a day was getting my hair done. Isn't this a cute style?

I love this hot-pink, strapless, short bridesmaid dress.

I'm a bride again. It was really hard to walk on a narrow runway with a train.

Brew at the Zoo is a fundraiser for animals at the Atlanta Zoo. This new mom is holding her baby gorilla.

Sonya and Alan at Brew at the Zoo.

Dawn and Jeff at Brew at the Zoo.

Ben's farewell party. We miss you, Ben!

Jeff and Dawn at a Renaissance Festival.

Anne and Luke at a Renaissance Festival.

The cake for Lily's baby shower turned into a "welcome to the world" cake for Ellie who arrived on her baby-shower day.

Mom and Dad were in Georgia for Father's Day. Dad cleaned the attic and found that awesome shirt he's wearing and the letter jackets that Anne and I earned by running hundred of miles in high school.

The family celebrates with 80-year-old matriarch Lorraine in Michigan.

Anne and I pose with our second-cousin Val.

Poor Aunt Lorraine broke her wrist just a few weeks before her 80th birthday. Luckily, the injury didn't dampen her spirits and she was still able to indulge in her favorite cocktail, a pina colada.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Glee over TV

I'm so glad that Fox has aired a new episode of "Glee." You could almost say I'm full of glee, but that would be corny. Anyway, I'm really excited for next week's Madonna episode. The preview of Sue Sylvester playing Madonna in a remake of her "Vogue" video had me laughing myself silly. You can see the video here at Hulu as soon as Fox deems an appropriate period of time has passed since the video aired on TV. Likely, the video will pop up online as soon as it airs on TV on the West Coast. Even if you've never seen the show, I can almost guarantee you'll love the video.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

ESPN: I hate you

Well, I think it's ESPN that I hate. I'm not sure who's in charge of setting the televised game schedule. What I am sure of is that I hate whomever decided to put the NCAA women's basketball game on Tuesday night.

I'm sure some geezer sports fan (Karly) will tell me that the women's game is always played the day after the men's game. To that I say "Pooey." And gosh darn it, I wish Butler had won. Anyway, as if women's sports didn't have a hard enough time developing a following of, um, anyone, this important game must compete against some of the most popular shows on TV.

Stanford and Connecticut female athletes faced off on ESPN while the competition got hot on FOX's "American Idol." TNT aired the season finale of "Southland." CBS finally decided to show a new "The Good Wife." And ABC's "Lost," which is nearing its series finale, was on to further confuse its loyal fans (Amanda).

Seriously, can't we find a slightly less competitive time slot in which to air the NCAA women's championship game? Perhaps next year it should be played on an opposing network during the Super Bowl.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter baskets and mallets

After a morning of eating candy and watching yellow dust settle on every available surface, we ventured to the park for a picnic and croquet. This is the third year that Jeff, Anne, Luke and I have played. Our friends Andy and Stefanie joined us for the first time. We hope they return! Here are some photos:

Stefanie and Andy were dressed to win. And Andy did. Twice.

This might not look like good conditioning mere minutes before a rigorous croquet match, but the guys finished one-two-three in both games. I guess we can all learn something from this.

Anne, Stef and I put on our game faces. Note: next year, chug beer instead.

Now don't be mistaken. Anne isn't behind. Everyone is just afraid of her swing.

This is a fast-paced, action-packed game. Obviously.

Andy gets serious about his croquet stance. Jeff grabs another beer.

I have no idea what's happening in this photo.

Um, isn't this cheating? It appears Jeff is moving the ball with his foot instead of his mallet.

What? How did that wine get on the croquet court?

Anne reacts (poorly) after a particularly "interesting" shot.

Luke and Anne won't let their losses diminish their enthusiasm. Oh wait, yes they will.

Jeff and I relax after losing the grueling lawn game.

It's important to rest between rounds of croquet. It's also important to stay hydrated. Apparently Miller Lite is more effective than lemonade.

This picture will help me remember how all these pieces fit into the box.

Ew. Yellow dust was everywhere. Thank goodness I was wearing socks and taking Claritin.

Anne gave me this adorable little basket. It's like a stuffed animal and basket in one. Love it! There were also three mini vodkas inside. Chocolate + alcohol = happy Dawn.

Jeff got this Easter "basket" for me. It's a pitcher filled with candy. I'll use it for many summer gatherings. The pitcher, that is. The candy will be gone by the end of the week, of course.