Friday, October 29, 2010

I've been a lazy blogger.

I'm sorry. I've been so bad this week, and once again I'm blaming it on school. My new round of classes started this week, and being in class makes me lazy about everything else.

Last weekend, I had a free lunch, courtesy of California Pizza Kitchen! They just opened the first one in our area, and I got to sample their menu for free. My parents and I stopped there, hoping it was open for lunch. They weren't officially opened, but they said we could come in and have lunch for free since they were training! How exciting, right?!

Everyone could have a free drink, so I had a mojito. Mmmm.




We had chicken lettuce wraps as an appetizer. They weren't quite as good as PF Changs (I think their chicken is seasoned better), but still good.




Their Greek pizza was a total win though. Delicious!




I've been to CPK before, and they never disappoint. Especially when it's free, right?!

In an unrelated story, yesterday, I took my cats to the vet. Olive did NOT want to go. Exhibit A:




Owwww. Sad face. Well, at least my hand can be a Halloween prop for tomorrow!

Speaking of Halloween, as Jessica correctly guessed, I'm going as Sookie from True Blood! I can't even say what K is going as... It's ridiculous yet hilarious, but I don't know if he's going to let me post pictures online!

Anyone else dressing up for Halloween? I love dressing up; it's such a fun holiday!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Autumnfest

One of the nice things about living in Western PA is our beautiful Fall foliage.  K and I decided to make a trip up to Seven Springs for Autumnfest today, to take advantage of the beautiful weather and pretty leaves.




If you're unfamiliar, Seven Springs is a mountain resort known best for winter activities like skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing.  I used to snowboard in high school (yeah, me.  The one who doesn't do physical activity. Amazing right?!), so I've been up here multiple times in the winter, but only once before in the Fall. 




It was a really fun day!  K and I had a really nice brunch with my parents (the crab pumpkin bisque was amazing), and then we walked around the resort.  They had a craft fair, food vendors, and of course, scenic chairlift rides.





K is not a fan of heights.  He went on the lift because he knew I wanted to go.  Isn't he nice?





The ride home was really enjoyable; I just love fall foliage!




Speaking of how much I love Fall foliage; our favorite part of the day was purchasing a piece of Fall.



At the craft show, a vendor was selling clay leaf replicas.  They make beautiful centerpieces.


Each one is made from the likeness of an actual leaf, so no two are alike.  It's so pretty!  Can't wait to light my pumpkin candle on it for Thanksgiving.


So that was our day!  We spent the rest of the evening watching football.  Well, I spent the rest evening napping on the couch, while K watched football. 

Speaking of football, I can't WAIT for the Halloween Sunday night game next week: Steelers vs. Saints! I also can't wait for the Halloween party that K and I are going to next Saturday.  We're going as characters from a hit HBO show that we LOVE.  Can you guess who we're going as?  Here's a hint... my character is a waitress.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

More Brussels!

Did you know that in Brussels, gratuity for most cab rides is included in the fare?  Yeah, me neither, until about 3 days into the trip.  That explains the HUGE grin I got for tipping the cab driver 5 Euro once we arrived at my hotel.  Oops. 

I loved my hotel room.  So cute and cozy.  I wish I could have that room and bathroom in our house.



I am in love with this bathroom.  Bright, clean, modern... it even had a towel warming rack and magnifying mirror.  I want.


To make me even happier, the complimentary toiletries were L'Occitane.  I loooove this stuff, it smells like lavender and spice. Pretty sure I've been mispronouncing it wrong for like a week though.  Gah, I never fail to sound like an idiot.  I was pronouncing it lok-taine.  As I typed out the name, I realized I was reading it wrong.  It's pronounced "lox- ee- tahn," according to the website.  Whoops.  I'm dumb.


Anywho, after I was done unpacking, I decided to take a picture of myself; the only picture of myself I have from this entire trip.  I needed to show what I looked like after a whole night of travel, and 24 hours without sleep.  Don't look directly into the picture; your eyeballs may rupture.


AHHHH.  Ok, it doesn't look thaaaat bad in this small size, but honestly, I am so tired in this picture, my eyes are actually somewhat crossed.

Would you like some more sightseeing type pictures from my trip?  Well, of course you do.  

You can always tell where a pharmacy is by the bright green cross.


 Hey brides to be... need a wedding dress?  This is blurry, but I couldn't resist snapping a picture.  Hmmm... that green one is different.



Since Blogger hates when I upload pictures, that's all I've got for now!  Jersey Shore finale tonight, and I can't wait!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Little Video

Well, since Blogger is being a selfish brat; disabling photo uploads for 2 hours... here's a little video clip I took while walking near La Grand Place in Brussels.  It's poor quality because I literally held my camera up and walked... but I think it's fun to see how lively the area is.  

video

Cobblestone streets, sidewalk cafes, musicians, and tons of shopping... this is why I love Brussels and Europe in general.

When I walk downtown at home, I usually see bird poop, buses, a guy screaming about the apocalypse, and McDonald's.  So, this was nice for a change of pace. 

Speaking of McDonald's, I only saw two my entire trip (and I covered a lot of ground).  I never saw one Starbucks, except for in the airport.  Kind of nice!  I love me some Starbucks, but it's just nice to see a bunch of smaller coffee shops, versus a Starbucks on every corner.

Time for the Teen Mom finale special!  I missed it last night because I was catching up on Glee.  All of my favorite crap TV shows are coming to an end.  Sad.  I really want to get into 30 Rock (I watched a few episodes on the plane).  I feel like I need to start from the beginning though, because I'm kinda confused.  What shows are you guys watching now?  Care to recommend any to me?  My DVR will thank you.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I'm back!

So, I'm officially back home.  Hi everyone!  It took awhile to get re-acclimated due to jet lag and my overall Slurpee-like state of mind, but here I am.  Europe was, in a word, fabulous.  I had an amazing time, and I'm rather proud to say I had a pretty sweet experience, despite being on my own!

Let's talk about the flight, shall we?  The flight to Brussels was 8.5 hours long.  Business class was amazing, and it was a definite once in a lifetime experience, as I could never fork out the money for this kind of a ticket on my own.  Sorry, K... when we eventually make the trip over on our own, we'll be crammed in economy. Le sigh.

The seats were amazing.  They convert into a bed with a push of a button, and were actually comfortable.  The 15" personal screen was my favorite part.


I called Kenny while other people boarded, and got a little emotional.  It was the first time I left him since we were married, and I was sad.  I downed some champagne, picked out my dinner from the in-flight menu, and eventually got over it (the champagne helped).


I tried watching Eclipse for the third time, but the Bella/Edward making out scenes in the beginning were making me feel a little weird, since I was sitting next to an older man.  Awkward.  So, I watched some on-demand TV episodes, and before I knew it, dinner was served.  Appetizer and salad were first.


Yes, I took pictures of my food.  They guy next to me looked at me at one point and was like "is it that good?"  Ha.  It was good, but honestly, I just tend to over share everything (if you haven't noticed). Also, I'm  easily impressed and amused, especially since I've never had more than a crappy sandwich or bag of peanuts when flying, so this was exciting for me.


I chose lasagna for dinner.  Really good, actually!  After dinner, I tried to sleep.  Really I did, but sleeping on a plane is difficult.  It's kind of loud, and I was excited!  I kept flipping the TV to the map to see where we were.


Cool, huh?  Eventually, after 5 or so hours of dozing in and out, I was flying over Europe.  The sun slowly rose, and for the first time, I got to see another continent. 


We landed, I grabbed my bags, and I was off.  As I was headed outside of the Brussels airport to grab a taxi, a lady ran up to me and started hurriedly asking me something in French.  Uhhh.... I guess I looked like I was from Brussels.  That's good , I guess.  What wasn't good was that I had noooo idea what the heck she was saying!  I told her (in French) that I didn't understand, and she nodded and walked away.  I so wish I spoke more French, but at least I was able to say that much!

How amazing is it that the majority of the people I spoke with could speak fluently in no less than three different languages?  I had a cab driver (who was obsessed with Shania Twain and Nashville, go figure!), that spoke six languages.  SIX.  I really wish I had been taught a different language at a young age.  I'm older now, so it's so much harder to learn. 

The hotel was only a 20 minute cab ride away, which wasn't so bad.  I snapped pictures with my phone along the way.



Tomorrow I'll show you guys my cute little hotel room.  I miss it, actually!  I think I miss the room service and the constantly cleaned bathroom the most.  Hotel living really isn't that bad, even when you're by yourself!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Well Hello USA

I'm back in the US!  Currently waiting in the United business travelers lounge... where they at least have free Wi-Fi!  Thank God, because I am sick of paying for internet access.  I take Pittsburgh International's free internet for granted, I suppose. 

I have plenty of pictures and European trip recaps to share.  However, my brain is fried from the 9 hour flight, so I figured that I would answer some of the questions I've been tagged in!

First up, I'll answer questions from the awesome Emily at A Leap Begins

1. Who would be your partner on The Amazing Race? Why?

Hmmm.  Well, I've honestly never watched The Amazing Race.  I'm obviously too busy getting cultured by shows like Teen Mom and Jersey Shore.  If I had to be in a challenging race (I hope there's not any running involved, because I don't really do the whole "physical activity" thing well), I'd probably choose Christy.  We'd be so ready to kill each other halfway through, that'd we'd do anything just to win and get it over with.  Haha, love you C.
2. What actress would play you in a movie about your life?

Someone awkward.  Maybe Kristen Stewart.  She's either a terrible actress, or she portrays Bella's awkwardness really well.  I can't decide which.

3. What is your favorite spice or herb? Or both!

I really like basil and lavender.  I bought some basil infused olive oil by O&CO while in Brussels. I'm kinda stoked about that.  A supervisor at my company in Brussels gave me some lavender infused chocolate.  Sounds odd, but it's really good!

4. What is the one outfit you can put on and immediately feel your prettiest/sexiest/sassiest/most beautiful?

I can wear pretty much anything and feel good, so long as I'm wearing a fab pair of shoes.  Especially heels.  The higher the better!

5. Growing up, what was your most awkward age/year?

5th and 6th grade were definitely my most awkward years. I moved to a rich school district without nice clothes or a big house.  Combine that with being painfully shy and awkward, and you have a girl who was picked on a lot.  Now, I'm pretty outspoken, I've made a hobby of putting rude people in their place, and I have a nice wardrobe. C'est la vie. 

6. If you could choose to be born in any era, which one would you pick?

Probably the 70's.  I would've liked to travel and explore the world when there wasn't as much of a threat of danger as there is today.  The European travel warnings kept me from going to Paris to explore.  I still enjoyed my time in Brussels, but I would have loved to have seen Paris.  Next time!

7. What is your go-to drink at the bar? And if you don't drink...booo. Jk I'm sure you're way fun :)
 
Beer!  I'm such a beer girl.  When I'm out, I usually drink Miller Lite.  I love Blue Moon, but if I have too many I get heartburn :(
 
Next up, questions from Maria at Procrastination Station
 
1. Tell me something new you learned this week (For instance, I’ve recently learned that the health food chia seeds, are what chia pets are grown from)
I learned tons of stuff this week!  I learned how to say a bunch of new stuff in French, I learned that gratuity is included in Brussels cab fare, I learned that jet lag is terrible, I learned how to use a towel warmer, oh, and I learned a new job ;)

2. What what your first concert and/or musical purchase?

How amazing is it that I actually remember these?  Ok, well my first concert was Barenaked Ladies with C and her dad when we were in 8th grade.  The first CD I ever got was a gift from my grandma: Cracked Rear View by Hootie and the Blowfish.  The first CD I ever bought was a SINGLE (remember buying those?!) of One Sweet Day by Mariah Carey and Boys II Men!

3. Describe your favorite pair of shoes. (I don’t care if they’re high heels or flip flops)

Too hard of a question.  That's like asking which of your children you love the most.  I love them all equally.  I'm partial to any of my high, strappy heels. My flats and I have become friends on this trip though, they're much better suited for walking!

4. What book series were you obsessed with as a kid? (Hello! Goosebumps!)

Oh my God, all I did was read when I was young.  I loved Goosebumps (I follow R.L. Stine on Twitter!) and The Babysitters Club!  I also read those American Girl books.  Speaking of the BSC, I wanted to be a babysitter so bad because of them.  I've only babysat once, when I was 13 or 14, and I accidentally called one of the children (a little boy) a she.  He had long hair and was wearing pink shoes, OK?!  Yeah, I'm awesome with children.  Never babysat again!

5. Think back to Instant Messenger. Can you remember any goofy screennames you had? (Who WASN’T a tommygrl, tommygrrl, ToMiGiRl, hahaha)

Hahaha Tommy Girl crap was sooo popular when I was in 7th/8th grade.  I had a Tommy Girl dress that I was so proud of.  I don't remember any goofy screennames!  I think I used the same basic one forever.

6. Name your least favorite food that everyone else in your family seems to love!

 BROCCOLI.  YUCK.  I can't stand it.  Even coated in 3 pounds of cheese, I still gag.

7. What’s your favorite quote?

Some people dream of all the exciting things they want to do in life, while others stay awake and do them. 

or

"Argghhh It's soo hot.  Milk was a bad choice" 

8. Fizzy water or still water?

Still please!
 
 
Now boarding! Xoxo

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

All I Do In Europe is Eat Carbs and Drink Coca Light.

I'm totally not kidding about the title.  Carbs and I are good friends here in Brussels.  In the morning, I usually have pastries, followed by lunch with bread and dinner with bread.

And then there's Coca Light... otherwise known in the US as: Diet Coke.



It's so much more appealing out of a tiny glass bottle, poured into a glass full of ice and lemon.  Europe knows what's up.

I went to a mall today for lunch, and ended up in a French restaurant.  Nobody really spoke English, so I was forced to speak in French the whole time.  Amazing part is... I did it!  I ordered, ate, asked for the bill (l'addition, s'il vous plait), and said thanks.  I was proud of myself!  Yes, I am lame.

Oh and speaking of carbs, let's talk waffles.


So, I had a little bit of a waffle fail.  Well, you can't fail too hard when delicious waffles are involved... but it was a slight fail.  I really wanted a waffle, and I jumped the gun.  I bought a waffle from the first place I saw, which happened to be the above waffle van in a less populated area.

I ordered a waffle with chocolate, but they were out of chocolate.  LAME.

I ended up with a waffle covered in coffee sauce.  It was really good, but I knew I could do better if I looked in the more touristy areas of Brussels.


Seriously, I couldn't even wait to take a bite before taking a picture.  I am carb-o-saurus, raaarrrrr.

Anyways, I found the gold mine of waffles today.  Things got real serious.



UM, I'LL TAKE ONE OF EACH, PLS.

Ok, I just had one.


Seriously, this thing tasted like heaven.  Words fail me.


I was going to take a picture of the empty, chocolate stained plate it was on, but I housed this thing so quickly, I was actually ashamed of what a hungry snack monster I was being.  You think I kid, but I can eat a Big Mac in under a minute. What do you think I did with this thing? Waffle CARNAGE.

So, I threw away the evidence.  I'm going to dream of this waffle tonight.  Mmmm....

When I don't fit in my jeggings for the flight back to the US, you can find me crying in a corner of the airport, stained in chocolate and tears.

Anyhoo, time for a shower and BBC 3.  Have I mentioned that I love this channel?  I'm going to miss it once I leave.  British reality shows are a win!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Parle Francais?

I knew that French and Dutch were Belgium's two official languages, but I guess I didn't expect pretty much EVERYONE I encountered to speak French!  I'm definitely not complaining; I love the French language.  I could listen to people speak in French all day.  Je parle un peu de Francais... I can speak enough to order in a restaurant and ask directions, but I get confused rather quickly.  I prefer to read and listen.

Anyway, I had a lovely breakfast in my hotel room this morning.  Poached Eggs on toast and lots of bacon.


I also had some oranges and orange juice.  The oranges were so vibrant, but slightly bitter, not very sweet.


After a productive day at the office, I decided to go for a big excursion.  I had a waffle FAIL, that I will explain tomorrow... but I got to see two things that were on my list of sights to see!

First, La Grand Place.  The actual square.  It is SO amazing.






Next, of course, I had to see Mannekin Pis.  If you've never heard of it before, allow Wikipedia to explain:

     "(literally little man pee in Dutch, also known in French as le Petit Julien), is a famous Brussels landmark. It is a small bronze fountain sculpture depicting a naked little boy urinating into the fountain's basin. It was designed by Jerome Duquesnoy and put in place in 1618 or 1619.[1] It bears a similar cultural significance as Copenhagen's Little Mermaid."

Yes, it is a statue of a boy.  He "pees" water.  It's probably the most famous thing in Brussels, amazingly.


So odd, but so funny.  Of course, there are lots of souvenirs in his likeness.

 
Yes, those are WINE OPENERS.  HA.  Brussels has a sense of humor, that's for sure!


Like I said, I failed with waffles today, but I'll make up for it tomorrow!  Promise.  You don't want to miss these things.  They look crazy delicious.