Monday, May 31, 2010

Week 16, Day 7: Shroom Fest

Week 16, Day 7 Outfit: Black Sleeveless Ann Taylor Loft dress, Ann Taylor strappy kitten heels

Having just come back from a trip to Amsterdam, I'm sure that many of you are interpreting the "shroom" in a certain way...sorry to disappoint, but Shroom Fest refers to a 5 course dinner (paired with wines) I had with fellow wine club members at a restaurant called Shiraz up in Detroit. Morel Mushrooms are all the rage right now as it is the season, so this restaurant served up 5 courses in honor of this delightful fungi. We began with a mushroom bisque which was heavenly, followed by a pickerel wellington, then a salad with big morels (yummy!), salmon for me (with no hint of mushroom...kind of disappointing), and a coffee semifredo (kind of like ice cream) with a merangue shaped like a morel mushroom. By the end of the dinner, all of us were undoubtedly full and buzzed. We ended the night back at my co-worker's house and ate some mushroom shaped chocolates that I brought back from Belgium.

Our Country Club's pool opened on Saturday, so Mike and I spent about an hour soaking up some rays. I was pelted by a runaway ball that some kids were tossing around and got rather angry when upon being assaulted by the object, none of the kids bothered to apologize! Geez, kids these days! I was hoping that it would happen again so I could grab the ball and hold it hostage until one of the kids showed any form of manners and apologized...but apparently wanting to be hit by a ball is the same as watching water boil - it won't happen until you stop thinking about it.

On the clothing front, I continually am depleting my closet, though still have many options left - especially since the temperature has risen and I can now dig into my summer-wear prepared for seeing more skin (hopefully progressively tanner skin with each week!).

Friday, May 28, 2010

Week 16, Day 6: Back to Reality

Week 16, Day 6: Green Ann Taylor Loft Cap-sleeved button down, Anthropologie trousers, originally rolled up for my pedicure this afternoon, but then realized that it was kind of fashionable with my shoes, Aldo espadrilles (yay, it's finally summer!)

Okay, so back to reality today...phooey! The flight back was pretty brutal...I'm guessing flights back from vacation feel a lot longer than the ones to your vacation spot because you lack the anticipation and excitement of being on vacation and are instead confronted with hours of dreadful realization that your vacation is over. Not even the large selection of free movies could ease the ride back...but regardless, we made it back, and pulled into our driveway around 7pm local time...not too shabby. Mike and I both vowed to stay up as late as we could to fight the jet lag, both popped a melatonin, and dozed off of to domesticated dreamland. I made it a point to get back into the swing of things by attending a 6AM cycle class - which I did (yay me!) and then came home to confront work. Luckily, I made it a point to sort through my emails last night (which also helped to keep me awake long enough). Speaking of emails, I am proud to say that I resisted checking them for nearly the entire trip. I did sneak a peek while Mike and I were waiting for our dinner reservation time to roll around on Wednesday evening (the day before we left). I was amazed at how few emails I had in my inbox (only 178!) and how few fires flared up this past week. Either I chose the perfect week to be gone or I'm really not that important! I'm hoping for the latter - yes, that's right, the latter...because that means I can take more vacations like this and the world will not end (btw, I know I'm not that important, but some clients just make you feel like a week vacation without you responding to your emails is a cardinal sin).

One thing I have learned about taking a week vacation with no access to email is, like shopping, after getting through the withdrawal for the first day or so, you really don't think about it again until you have to. I'm sure being in another country makes it a bit easier, but still, what a release from being email, cell phone, and computer free! Also, I'm am SO planning all of my vacations around a 3-day was so nice having my first full day back being one that most other people were taking off. Email traffic was light, my phone was not ringing off the hook, and people generally just seemed happier today than they normally do. Yay, 3 day weekends...speaking of which, I should begin enjoying as I have now spent about 2 hours blogging about my vacation!

Off to bed...or, trying to not sleep for another hour or so...but sleep sounds so good right nowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

Week 16, Days 3 - 5: Amsterdam, and (sigh) return home

Week 16, Day 3 - at the train station in Brussels on way to Amsterdam: Black Ann Taylor Loft short-sleeved button down with ruffled detailing down the middle, striped BR jeans, flip flops!!

Week 16, Day 4 - in front of the Van Gogh Museum, which was AMAZING: BR pink wool cardigan (it was chilly!), BR 3/4 length sleeve black tee (same shirt I traveled in...hey, how else did you think I'd be able to carry on for a week-long European trip?), striped BR jeans (yes, I know, I've pretty much worn them every day), Brooks running shoes (I really could've just worn the flip flops, but I packed the darned things because I thought I'd actually get in some exercise, but since I didn't, decided to wear them so I could justify the space it took up in my suitcase)

Week 16, Day 5: Gap White Jacket with Embroidered Flowers, (unseen) BR black scoopneck sleeveless tee, my favorite shoes on the trip, Reef Flip Flops (don't know what I would have done without them!) Yes, that's me frowning at the fact that I am in the presence of the most amazing clothing boutiques and cannot spend a dime on a single article of clothing!
Okay, so even though we had visited Belgium and Germany, Amsterdam, Holland (aka the Netherlands, which, btw, I didn't know until this trip - call me ignorant!) was hands down the most amazing stop during our trip. The city has got to be the most difficult to navigate around (probably impossible for a tourist in a car, but pretty damn hard on foot), but who cares - you are surrounded by canals, picturesque old brick buildings, amazing eateries and cafes, and coffeehouses (yes, there is a difference between a cafe and a coffeehouse in Amsterdam, but for fear of revocation of the 1st amendment, I will refrain from explaining to those of you who do not know the difference what that difference is...let's just say that brownies and vanilla cakes in an Amsterdam coffeehouse will leave you feeling a little "different"). We spent the first day in this amazing city *trying* to get our bearings straight. We had lunch at an Italian restaurant that served "whatever" was fresh - which was all amazing, took a nap at our hotel, and then met up with Scott and Maggie to paint the town red (well, whatever part of it wasn't already red, if you get what I mean...uh hem, ever heard of the red light district?).
Our night out in Amsterdam ended up being pretty *mellow* (again, code for however you want to interpret this blog) and involved at least 8 different stops throughout the night. I'm not sure how we did it, but we still managed to be back at the hotel by 9pm. We had a night cap there (and probably a handful too many of cookies, hint, hint), and then called it a night. The next morning, we set out for what seemed like mission impossible - to find a cafe that actually served eggs and bacon - together - for breakfast. You could attain the two items separately at most places, but hardly ever on the same plate, and certainly not for we circled back to the hotel to enjoy our overpriced "English Breakfast." Scott and Maggie headed back to Brussels while Mike and spent the rest of the day hitting up just a couple of the numerous museums in Amsterdam. Our first stop was the Van Gogh museum...which was absolutely amazing. To have so many breathtaking pieces of art under one roof is beyond words (well, almost, since I am putting this in the form of words). We then set out to find a cafe where we could have a glass of wine or a cup of coffee and instead stumbled upon the Bols Liqueur Museum. Bols, though I had never heard of it, apparently is one of the first originators of flavored liqueurs, their original libation being what they refer to as Genevre. The museum appealed to all senses and in each little corridor you encountered, you were encouraged to use a different favorite being the sniff room where you could take a whiff of the 32 different liqueur flavors that Bols produces and guess what you were smelling...can you say Yogurt flavored liqueur...sounds gross but was amazing! The tour ended with a cocktail of your choosing - which gave Mike and I just the right buzz to move onto the Reich museum - never have we seen so many Vermeers and Rembrandts!
After grabbing lunch at a cafe, we headed back for a nap and then did a little more city exploration, passing through the shopping district of Amsterdam. I must say, this was the first time I was tempted to set foot in a store and unleash the repressed shopaholic within me...but, amazingly, I resisted and instead just hit up another couple of bars with Mike before heading off to a 4 course dinner at a restaurant that has been around since 1650!!! Crazy! After dinner, we embarked on the night scene...and I'll just leave it at that as I think it might be best to plead the 5th.
Ahhh...Amsterdam...probably one of my most favorite places in the much that I think I'm experiencing withdrawal...or perhaps it's jet lag. Either way, it's not pleasant. I must go back someday!!

Week 16, Days 1 - 2: Koln, Germany

Week 16, Day 1: BR shirt dress (see previous pic for what the top looks like), North Face zip-up (good for the brisk windy nights in Koln) - guest star, in picture 1, Christine (our host), and in picture 2, the hubby

Week 16, Day 2 (daytime): White Ann Taylor sleeveless cotton top, Brown BR trousers, FLIP FLOPS! Is it me or are European smart cars even smaller?

Week 16, Day 2 (evening attire): Lavender BCBG long cardigan, Zara stripped dress, Reef flip flops!

On Sunday, we took a 3 hour train ride to meet up with Mike's acquiantance from Facebook (he actually owns her as a 'pet'). We spent yesterday touring the city center, had beer and dinner at a couple of outdoor restaurants on the Rhine river, and kept it relatively low-key. Monday, we climbed 533 steps up the famous Koln dome (which is massive and what I'm pictured with Mike in front of on Day 2), went on a boat ride down the Rhine, and then ended our afternoon at the Chocolate Museum (yes, I bought many goodies for those of you back home - about 50 lbs. worth of chocolate!). That evening, we headed out to dinner at a recommended German restaurant, and I on the most severe form of flexing on my Flexitarian diet, ate a sausage...and it was damn good! Luckily, all during my trip in Koln (as we walked down the shopping district in the city), all the stores were closed due to a Catholic holiday that's well celebrated in Europe - 40 days after Christ's death and resurrection...hmmm, not sure why it isn't celebrated in the U.S.! Oh, and just in case you didn't know, Koln is the shopping capitol of Germany...just my luck!
Onto Amsterdam!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Week 15, Days 4 - 7: Belgium

Note to readers: Since originally posting this on May 24th, I have updated this blog (with pictures, obviously) in order to better account for my adventures on these days and to split out the trip by Country. Here's Belgium! Week 15, Days 4 - 5: Gap white spring coat with embroidered flowers (one of those items that has received more compliments to money spent on it than any other article of clothing - winner!), BR black 3/4 sleeve tee, Express Jeans, Lovely Day Shoes (travel clothes for the overnight flight!) - notice the carry-on suitcase for the European trip...yes, thank you, thank can now crown me expert packer
Week 15, Day 6 (guest appearance from Mikey): Lavender BCBG long cardigan (which can be worn 5 ways and will make repeat appearances throughout the trip, white BR A-line skirt, Black sleeveless Ann Taylor chiffon/lace top (which you can't see, but to be true to this challenge, I won't re-wear it!)
Week 15, Day 7 - guest appearance, Maggie as we pose in front of the sign of our demise, Delirium Tremens! (evening attire as I recycle my day attire for another day of the trip): Magenta BR ruched scoopneck long-sleeve tee (it was cold that day, especially on the boat ride!), stripped BR jeans, Northface zip up windbreaker (also came in very handy during the trip!)
I'm sitting at the laptop of our very gracious German hostess, trying my best to type on her German oriented keyboard to provide an update for my blog readers. These past few days have been nothing short of amazing - beginning with a mini-conference in Ghent, Belgium. We spent a couple days in Belgium at the Marriott which faced a canal in the city center. The beer was delicious and extremely dangerous as many of the offerings were over 5% alcohol. One beer, appropriately titled Delirium Tremens was 9% alcohol. It had pink elephants on it - and when we asked the bartender why, she matter of frankly told us it was because you see pink elephants when you drink too much of it. We had a bit of a Hangover the movie experience where after about 5 hours of drinking these high octane beers, we ate a curried chicken pizza at Pizza Hut back at our hotel room, and then passed out. The next day, we retraced our experience by reviewing my camera pictures to figure out what transpired the previous night (including needing to figure out where one of our fellow travelers left his camera) and were astounded by all the activities we engaged in the evening before...let's just say that none of us had any recollection of Mike playing the drums at the last bar we were at...and, no, he has never taken lessons.
The last evening in Belgium ended with a boat ride on a canal down the Ghent river...and more ingestion of the over-the-top beers. We also did a little bar bar was appropriately titled the Bicycle Club as there were a number of bicycle tires hanging from the ceilings of a dimly lit bar and what would best be described as an indoor junk yard, complete with Jesus head figures and random paraphinilia. At one point, a well know ex-SIOP president got up from the table, staggered a bit, and ran into a stack of "artistically" (or shall we say haphazardly) arranged panels of wood knocking them over. The owner of the bar simply came back into the "garage," and re-arranged the slats of wood in almost exactly the same way they were before our fellow partier knocked them over. The SIOP president shall remain un-named, though I must say that he was "encouraged" by the high alcohol content of the beers to let loose a bit.
The last day in Ghent was spent packing up and departing the Marriott, and heading to our next adventure...Koln (the place where this post originated, but note that the two dots above the "o" are no longer appearing when I type "Koln" due to my americanized key-board...onto the next post!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Week 15, Days 1-4 - Gearing up for Europe & Detox

Week 15, Day 1: Chillin' nothing to report

Week 15, Day 2: Ditto

Week 15, Day 3: Work attire: Ann Taylor beige v-neck short-sleeved tee, Ann Taylor loft wide black belt, Ann Taylor patterned skirt
Week 15, Day 4: Nine West Spring Jacket, BR Black Long-sleeve Tee, Express Jeans, Lovely People black patent leather wedges

So, Sunday was a chill day after a pretty eventful Saturday...I went back to my favorite massage therapist, Adam, to get a rub down (hee, hee) in hopes that he could loosen up my...
quads, of course...what else did you think I'd say?

Monday was a work from home day and pretty uneventful...just trying to clear out my task list from work to ready myself for vacation. There is such a sense of satisfaction that you derive from seeing NO emails in your inbox (after sorting them into the appropriate folders, of course). Was emailing back and forth with a colleague who told me that I should let loose and spend a little on clothing while in Europe. I told her that I might try spending the $44 that I got back from taking in some clothes to a consignment shop...but I'm pretty dead set against buying any clothes. I'd rather spend the money on chocolate souvenirs to bring back home :) Oh, and awesome Belgian Beer...which brings me to a funny story another co-worker told me about being in Belgium...he said to watch out for the beer, because it tastes so good, and is so high in alcohol content, that a colleague of his during a team get together out there fell off his barstool, got up, and then puked all over a team of rugby players. Up stand the rugby players (all likely over 6 feet tall) and my colleague and his posse all cower waiting for the fight to ensue. Instead, the rugby players scream aloud "you puked on Americans are so fun!" How's that for a "WTF" moment?

Yesterday was an office day - wanted to get in a little face time before being gone for 1.5 weeks. I also partook in Happy Hour with some colleagues. I was actually twiddling my thumbs at some point in the afternoon because I had done such a good job readying myself for a week vacation but ended up paying for it today as I was back to back in phone calls and "to do's." Luckily, I finished things up by 4pm and have agreed with my husband that my PDA and my computer are not coming with us to Europe. Though I kind of slacked in April, a week without email or my computer is going to be my "give something up for a week to do myself some good" challenge for May! I cannot remember the last time I was without email for a week...Maybe when I was in high school...before email was even a normally occurring event? Geez...I think this is going to be way harder than giving up clothes for a year...but I think I can do it!!!

I will, however, try to get access to a computer from time to time to blog...and I have to, have to have to try to resist checking the email! Wish me luck!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Week 14, Day 6 & 7 - Business Trip, First 5k of the Year, and Celebration Dinner

Week 14, Day 6 Outfit: BR black sleeveless shell (had to throw on a sweater, pictured in the previous day as I was client facing - bare arms does not equal professional dress, so I've been told), BR ruched high-waisted skirt, same shoes as all week!

Week 14, Day 7 Outfit: First pic: Race gear - old navy white racerback top, old navy blue capri yoga pants; Night out: Ann Taylor loft black sleeveless dress with empire waist (yes, I have a lot of little black dresses - at least six of them!)
Friday was spent at a client site in Cleveland...not much to report on there except that I churned through another day's worth of work clothes. I pushed the limit a bit on what I typically consider to be proper client-facing work attire. I almost never wear open-toed shoes, moreover slides like I did...but given how laid back this client has been in the past, I figured I could throw tradition to the wind and also only pack one pair of shoes. Mike and I are both planning on bringing carry-ons for our trip to Europe given how much we'll be switching locations, so, I consider all this traveling I've been doing as practice for packing light. I'm sure more avid European frequenters have got international packing down to a science and can live off of a 10 lb. suitcase worths of clothes...but not me...I'll likely re-cycle some stuff, but to stay true to this challenge, will continue to wear something different each day.
Yesterday, Linnelle and Dennis (the couple we met in Santa Barbara back in 2007) came down as Linnelle had made a commitment to her sister to run the Toledo Zoo 5k race with her. That certainly didn't stop us for imbibing in a few bottles of wine the night before...running on a slight hangover, not the best idea in the world...but we survived. The weather was perfect for the run and the event was a great way to kick-start our Saturday morning. Linnelle and I also ran the 1k fun run with her niece and nephew...that was interesting. It's funny to see kids who are still trying to figure out how to use their extremeties make a mad dash for the finish line during these races. You have some kids tripping over themselves and going down while others are pushing everyone in their way to the side, darting in front of the adults or taller competitors, thereby tripping the competition. I felt silly running it, as I really wasn't doing it for any kid I was associated with but rather wanted the extra workout and would be otherwise bored. At the finish line, one of the volunteers was about to hand me a ribbon for completing the race, and then realized, though child-size, that I wasn't actually a contender. Hmmm...getting confused with a young child...not necessarily what I'm going for.
Last night, Mike and I had dinner with Scott and Maggie at our favorite restaurant in the area - Revolver. Our waiter was off his game and kept us waiting for quite some time between courses, so to entertain ourselves, we took somewhere upwards of 50 pictures amongst the four of us...self portraits, pictures of our spouses (from our point of view), pictures of the way cool bathroom in the get the point. We began the meal with a bottle of Belgian beer to gear ourselves up for our upcoming was a great night and whetted our appetites for more memorable outings to take place in Europe. I CAN'T WAIT!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Week 14, Day 5 - Driving Day

Week 14, Day 5 Outfit: Ann Taylor Loft Black sweater w/ chiffon ruffles going down the middle(though you can't see the ruffles), Yellow BCBG sleeveless shell (too cute to not take a picture w/o sweater to show), BR trouser-style jeans (which, I might add, are fraying at the hems and probably need to be thrown out soon), my new favorite shoes (as seen in the posts from this past week)

Today was spent mostly driving - a 7A departure from Pittsburgh for a 2 hour drive to Western PA for a day of planning, lunch, and a tour of the place that our company's annual conference will be held in November. It's surreal to see the place without company-people swirling around - can be quite overwhelming for an extrovert like me who feels the need to greet each person I know, catch up with him/her, or introduce myself to the people I don't know. The resort was actually somewhat ghost townly and serene. As I described in my earlier blog, it's kind of a mish-mashed motif and could be described as "tacky," but in the areas that aren't hunting-lodge-ish or faux Chateau, it's actually a really nice resort. They have a killer spa, one that my boss and I have started a tradition of visiting before the conference starts to get massages and lounge about in terry cloth robes.

After our meeting, scrumptious lunch, and tour, we headed back for the 2 hour drive...and when deposited back at the hotel where we met up, I jumped in my car to make another 2 hour drive to Cleveland. It could be worse...I could have been forced to drive all the way back at least I have a client-required stop in Cleveland to break up the trip. Regardless, I am pooped.

Nothing new to report on the clothing challenge front except for the fact that the gals that I'll be meeting up with in NYC in July started an email chain to get the excitement going...and one person suggested some window shopping after a leisurely brunch on Saturday. That prompted a few responses back about whether or not I'd still be on my "hiatus," which, might I brag, I replied with "yup...but I can channel my energies into really tactful critique of anything you other ladies are trying on." After my promotion, my boss did mention to me that a development area of mine is to be more assertive...well, what better way to exercise this skill than by giving honest feedback to some of my best gal friends as they try on couture clothing in New York City? Think of the money I'll save them as they contemplate purchasing a designer sun dress that they'll only be able to wear half the year. Okay, perhaps I may thwart their purchases because I'm trying to convert them to my non-shopping ways...but, regardless, I'll be honest! I'll consider it training ground for being more outspoken and direct!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Week 14, Day 4 - Back in the Burgh

Week 14, Day 4 Outfit: BR Pink Ruffled Short-Sleeved Tee, Silver Jeans, Ann Taylor Kitten Heels (yes, the ones I have been wearing for several days now...I refuse to succumb to the rainy, cold weather)

Today I spent the day mostly working from home, and then making the drive to Pittsburgh for a 7A departure tomorrow morning to a resort area in Western Pennsylvania. I am on the planning committee for our company's yearly internal conference which takes place at a resort that can best be described as a hodgepodge of themes...almost like a Disneyworld. There's an awesome zen-like spa, an ornate chateau like hotel which then turns into a hunting lodge as you walk further into the hotel. There's a golf course, ski lodge, shooting range, car museum, and an art gallery. The resort is near Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Waters house - which is absolutely breathtaking...Brad and Anjolina have posed in front of it! Anyhow, I made the trip a little earlier this afternoon to meet up with a previous graduate student from BGSU (hi Trish...if you're reading this!) and we had dinner at a Mexican place that Mike and I used to frequent when I was interning in Pittsburgh. It's scary how that was over 6 years ago, though seems just like a couple years ago. Trish is in the internship program I was it was nice hearing her stories of things that she's learning, experiences that she's having, etc. Reminds me of my fledgling days!

Trish and I were discussing my challenge to not buy clothes...and I remarked on how not hard, still, this challenge has been. I found a couple Banana Republic coupons on my desk from the mail today and amazed myself with how quickly I put them through the shredder. Funny, now that I am making a bit more money, one would think that I'd be prone to spend more...but quite the contrary. I find myself thinking of investing, saving up, and actually being fiscally responsible. What's happening to me? Is it called the mid 30's? Do people right about the age of 33.5 start to reflect on how they need to stop being such hedonists and act more responsibly? Nah, I'm sure it's just a phase. Put me in an Ikea store and see me go wild!

Where in the world is the freakin' sun? Why is it in the 50's still...this is the month of May isn't it? In protest, I have packed skirts and sleeveless tops. Ha...that's what I say to Mother Nature. Stay tuned for pictures of me shivering in my weather inappropriate attire!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Week 13 & Week 14, Days 1-3: I haven't fallen off the wagon!

Week 13, Day 1: Lounging picture
Week 13, Day 2: BR brown ruched waist short-sleeved button down, BR stripped jeans

Week 13, Day 3: BR black short-sleeved linen button down, Gap Jeans, J Crew pink ribbon sash

Week 13, Day 4: Ann Taylor Loft white ruffled short-sleeved button down, BR grey seersucker pants, Lovely People Shoes (of course, my favorite!)

Week 13, Day 5: Forever 21 grey cardigan, BR black silk sleeveless top (what you can't see is the cute "pearl necklace" graphic with the grey ribbon tie at the neck in the back), BR Green A-line sateen skirt, Lovely People Shoes (of course, my favorite!)

Week 13, Day 6: BCBG lavendar cardigan (which can be worn 5 ways, I might add), Ann Taylor Loft Grey short sleeved tee with chiffon flower detailing at the neck, BR white trousers, Gianni Bini heeled loafers

Week 13, Day 7: Max Studio black 3/4 sleeve tee, BR stripped jeans, (not pictured) beige & off-white sketchers (for a day's worth of walking in Ann Arbor!)

Week 14, Day 1: Charlotte Rousse Pink sleeveless tee (with cute little pink faux leather ties at the shoulders), Silver Jeans, was wearing Ann Taylor kitten-heeled strappy sandals (see the next day)

Week 14, Day 2: Ann Taylor Loft black short sleeved tee with ruching at the neckline, BR Beige cropped seersucker pants, Ann Taylor kitten-heeled strappy sandals

Week 14, Day 3: Target grey sheath dress, Ann Taylor Pink cropped cardigan, Ann Taylor kitten-heeled strappy sandals

Dear Readers,

My sincerest apologies for slacking for so long on this blog. It's not because I have waned in enthusiasm for this challenge, nor because I fell off the wagon, but purely because there's been a lot going on these past couple of weeks!

Instead of going through my daily events, I'm instead going to outline the key events that have taken place in the past couple of weeks.

Tuesday, May 4th: Clothes Mentor - so, I took in a few suits and other clothing that no longer "float my boat" and got $44 whoopin' dollars for 2 suits and a Coach Bag. Geez...someone is making a ton of money on these items, and it's not me. So my question is whether I can now use that money to buy something during my trip to Europe. I say "yes," but am interested in hearing what my readers say. My friend Maya thinks it's cheating...what do you think?

Wednesday, May 5th: I got promoted! Unfortunately, I had to jump on a plane right away after receiving the news from my boss...a plane that was delayed by 1.5 hours, which resulted in me celebrating myself with a couple of glasses of chardonnay at the Ruby Tuesday's in the airport. During that time, I also befriended a fellow traveler who is now my Chicago BFF.

Oddly enough, before this challenge, I had always promised myself that when I got promoted, I would buy some ridiculously priced item to commemorate the occassion - like a Louis Vuitton bag or a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes...but now that I'm on this challenge, it just seems wrong to do that. So, on Sunday, I actually went to a Best Buy to check out the iPad - thinking maybe that will be my item. The sales guy spent all this time getting me hyped up for the gadget, and then when I was ready to buy the Cadillac version (32 GB, WiFi and 3G enabled), he tells me "Oh, we don't have any of those in stock, nor do any of the stores in the surrounding area). WTF? Why in the world would he spend so much time getting me excited for something that he wouldn't even be able to sell me? WEIRD! So, I may end up buying my bag or shoes...not sure yet...part of me just wants to keep saving up for a better car...or start playing the stock market. Readers, what should I do?

Thursday, May 6 - Sunday, May 9: We had some out of town guests over from Thursday to Sunday for a graduation celebration - so much of the weekend after my trip to Chicago was spent with them, eating, drinking, and doing some I/O stuff. We had an awesome dinner at a local restaurant called Rose & Thistle where I partook of monkfish in a Lobster Newburg sauce...YUMMY! On Saturday, May, Maya and I headed up to Ann Arbor to shop at Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and Zingerman's in order to cook a scrumptious dinner for 10 people on Saturday. We also stopped into the store of which I last purchased clothing! I bought a luggage tag while May and Maya shopped. I discovered that shopping for other people can be almost as fulfilling as shopping for myself - almost a way to channel my energies for others and saving myself some money in the process!

Monday, May 10 - Tuesday, May 11: Back to the daily grind after all the activity and buzz...I've got another full week...some of the days in which I'll be traveling (via car). So, I will be continuing on with my daily blog (hopefully)...although being on the road does make it hard. I do, however, try to take pictures whenever I can to upload my daily attire...stay tuned!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Week 12, Day 6 - Relaxed Weekend

Week 12, Day 6 Outfit: BR v-neck short sleeved black tee, Express cropped grey plaid pants with sage ribbon tie, BR black denim wedges (Squirt the cat making an appearance)

I've spent most of the day today trying to catch up on zzz's I was unable to catch last night due to a cup of coffee I drank yesterday morning. Now that I've given up coffee, just even a cup makes me so wired! So, I've now taken about 3 naps - drifting in and out of sleep, only to be disturbed to eat...ahhh, nice day!

Tonight we head up north to hang out with our friends Dennis and Linnelle, a couple we fortuitously met in Santa Barbara about 3 summers ago. Mike and I were wine tasting and kept running into this couple. We all ended up at a wine tasting bar and recognized each other, so we started talking and discovered that Den & Lin live in Livonia MI - only about an hour away from us in Toledo. So we exchanged information, were invited to their Memorial Day party, and the rest is history! We now meet up with them on at least a bi-monthly basis (once in Vegas, once in Chicago), and have a great deal of fun with them each time! So, my attire today is casual since we're just grilling out at their place. I also wanted to take advantage of the spring weather, so I'm showing a little more skin :)

In yoga this morning, I let another person in on the fact that I've given up shopping for a year, and got the same "wow, I don't think I could do that...but I wonder if I too have that many clothes where I could go a year without repeating my wardrobe" reaction. So I encouraged her to just try not shopping for a month and see where it goes. It's kind of nice to empower others to do the same thing. We'll see if I can even last a year!