Friday, November 30, 2012

The (sort-of) Dilemma

So Wednesday night something both amazing and kind of awful occurred.  Of course it was only those two adjectives to me, my husband, and maybe a handful of other people in the country.  I'm also being a bit dramatic for the effect.  So here it is:

ACC-BIG 10 Challenge - Clemson vs. Purdue-DLP-6899

Okay, maybe it isn't obvious from that picture, but MY TWO TEAMS, Purdue and Clemson, met in the Big Ten/ACC Basketball Challenge.  Since I became a Clemson fan, this has only happened one other time which was during my first semester working at Clemson.  At that time, although I cheered for Clemson, I wasn't really a fan so there wasn't much of a tug at my conscience when I cheered against them.  That Purdue team included the four "baby boilers", and it was their first true road test.  We lost by (I think) 3 points, but as a Purdue fan I was really encouraged by the play of those freshmen.  I knew things were going to be good for the next few years, and I wasn't wrong.

Flash forward 5 years later.  I live in a different state now so I couldn't actually attend the game (boo.)  I am a true Clemson fan now, although as I said earlier, I do pay more attention to football.  So what's a girl to do???

I'll tell you-- 
Boiler up!

Yep, you BOILER UP!

I felt like a bit of a traitor wanting Clemson to lose, but my loyalty is and always will be with my Boilers.

(But I do want Clemson to win the rest of their games, unless they were to meet Purdue again in the tourney.)

Hail Purdue!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Ben and I were fortunate enough to take a two week trip to Italy and Nice, France following his graduation.  It was pretty much amazing as was expected.  I feel truly grateful that this trip happened, but as usual, it also sparked my MUST TRAVEL gene.  Unfortunately that's not always possible, especially with new jobs.  However, I will always have incredible memories of our trip, and I want to document it here.  We arrived in Florence and stayed for three nights.  We then stayed in Siena for two nights and took a day trip to Montalcino while there.  After that it was 2 nights in Venice, two nights in Cinque Terre, two nights in Nice, and one more night in Florence before taking off.  The only unfortunate thing (besides a migraine in Cinque Terre) was that it was a lot colder than the weather reports had predicted.  My one pair of jeans was worn everyday, and the majority of my pictures will have my trusty sweatshirt and often either my jean jacket or green jacket on over it.  Thanks heavens I brought those 4 items and a bunch of v-neck t-shirts.  My poor, cute, summer dresses didn't really get the showcase I thought they would.  I don't think I have ever wished I had packed my boots as much as those two weeks.  In the long run, it doesn't matter though.

So this blog post is dedicated to the great city of Firenze, our first stop.

We stayed at the Hotel Dei Mori which was a wonderful B&B.  Peter and Danny were incredible and made us feel so welcome.  Here was our room:

It was right by the Piazza della Signoria which was a great location.  Once we arrived, jet-lagged of course, we just went for a walk.  We stumbled to a random pizzeria for our first meal and had some wine on the Piazza della Signoria.

The next day we visited the famous Uffizi Museum in the morning and stopped by local shops to pick up our lunch which we ate on the terrace at our B&B.  

In the afternoon, we took a tour into Tuscany to visit some vineyards.  We really loved the wine at the first one and the olive oil at the second.  It was beautiful out in the countryside, and I'm so happy we were able to go for at least an afternoon.
That night we were able to meet up with my second cousin, Jessica, and her boyfriend, Nicco, and eat at Quattro Leoni which was across the Arno.  It was great to be able to see some family and get some advice from people who live in Florence!

It was a long but amazing day.

The next day we were up bright and early to visit the Accademia.  We were awed by the David.  I had seen the David when I was only 12 and visited Italy with my family, but age definitely adds a lot to the experience.  We also walked up to the Piazza Michelangeo across the Arno to see some absolutely incredible views. This was the one recommendation from Jessica and Nicco that they insisted we do, and it will be my major recommendation from now on as well. 

We did a lot of walking around, eating gelato, and drinking good Italian wine.  Here are some more pictures of our time in Florence.

So there were more pictures than anyone other than our parents need to see, but trust me, it's only a tiny little bit compared to the actual amount we took.  Next up on my Italy journal--Siena and Montalcino!!  Arrivederci!

Monday, November 26, 2012

More style than me

Over Thanksgiving, my family went out to dinner to celebrate my sister's birthday.  My nephew and I wore the same shirt.  My little Teddy is one stylin' guy, and I sure do love that little man.  I also love his old man sweater with elbow patches.  Is it weird that I want the same sweater as my 8 month old nephew?  Oh well, I told you he has style.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

It's Thanksgiving, and I'm thankful

It's Thanksgiving, and I really am thankful for so much.
  • My adorable, healthy nieces and nephew
  • My family.  I wish we lived closer, but it makes me that much more grateful for the time we are together.
  • My faith
  • Oliver, my faithful, fluffy buddy
  • Purdue
  • Old friends
  • Sports
  • A good historical fiction novel set in England (quite specific, but my favorites)
  • TV that makes me laugh
  • DVR
  • A job
  • Buffalo Wild Wings (What?  It's true.)
  • Wine, french bread, and brie
  • Pasta
  • Blogs
  • Memories from wonderful vacations (Ah, Italy)
  • The dream that I could someday have a beach home
  • My mom's mashed potatoes
  • Music and the ability to keep a tune
  • The Avett Brothers
  • My random, new found love for baths and french dip sandwiches (not at the same time)
  • My favorites Anthropologie mug
  • Rivalry games.  (Go Clemson--Beat the Gamecocks!  Go Purdue--Crush the Hoosiers!)
  • My health
  • Ben.  Last, but never least.
*Picture of Ben and Ollie watching a Clemson game.  All things for which I'm grateful. :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I'm a FAN (a sports fan that is)

So if you want to know me, you should know that I'm a sports fan.  Most importantly, I'm a college sports fan.  I do love my Colts, but other than some NFL, I follow no professional teams.  However, when it comes to college, I start the seasons with my teams and by the end I'll watch about anyone.  And don't get me started on March Madness.  It is the all-time best sporting event.  As an adult, no time makes me feel like a kid at Christmas as much as the first weekend of March Madness.  I get excited just thinking about it.

So I'm a Purdue fan first and foremost.  They are my first love and my true love.  Nothing makes my heart proud like Hail Purdue and Boiler Up!

Purdue has been having a rough couple football years, but basketball season has been so much fun.  The players from the last few years (Robbie Hummel, JaJuan Johnson, E'Twaun Moore, Chris Kramer, and Lewis Jackson) will probably be some of my all-time favorites.  I'm expecting some heartache this season with the team and the amount of freshmen, but I also see so much potential for the next couple years and that makes it bearable.

After Purdue comes Clemson.

Go Clemson!
Look at the sea of orange.  There's no stadium like Death Valley.

I worked at Clemson for five years, and Ben has two degrees bearing their name.  There's something about the amount of sports pride and the sea of orange that truly gets in your blood.  Their football team has been so much fun to watch this year.  They lost a tough one to Florida State, and I really wish there could be a re-match.  I don't follow them as much during basketball season because Purdue takes up my time. Besides, it's really a football school.

I normally want Northwestern to do well (except when they play Purdue) because I do have a master's degree with both our names on it, but I don't typically go out of my way to watch their games or get to know their players.

Finally, we just moved to Columbia, and I imagine that over the next few years, we will become Mizzou fans.  We did go to one football game this year, but the fourth quarter made it kind of rough.

Miz-zou. Had fun at the game last night if we can forget the 4th quarter. :)

So there you go. A little introduction into my sports loving heart (which unfortunately breaks quite often.) That's just the way it goes.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

It tastes better in red

Tastes better in red

I'll admit it.  I'm a Starbucks fan.  However, I don't vary my routine with my drink.  It's a Grande Skinny Vanilla Cappuccino all the time.  Well unless it's in the evening, and I just want a hot beverage but no caffeine.  Then I get a Tall Skinny Vanilla Steamer.  Why do I capitalize the Starbucks drinks?  I have no idea.  It just seems like they should be capitalized.  Anyway, my question--why are those drinks so much better in the holiday cups???  Why does that simple piece of marketing work so well?  Even Ben, who likes to claim he has a caffeine allergy (he doesn't), wants Starbucks in the red cups.  (By the way, he's a Tall Americano, unless he's doing the ordering in which case he's a SMALL Americano.  Rebel.)

I don't have an answer to this query.  I'll just continue to enjoy my drink in the red cup that much more than the classic white.