If you missed Shark Tank this Friday, stop what you are doing and watch this right now. Steve is the first segment. Get ready...it's awesome.
If you missed Shark Tank this Friday, stop what you are doing and watch this right now. Steve is the first segment. Get ready...it's awesome.
You know how sometimes you find a product or make a purchase and you just love everything about it? Well, there are some things I am absolutely adoring right now, and I can't keep them to myself. I can't recommend them enough. Here are 3:
The Contigo Extreme Mug . There are many things I love about this mug. The color, the grippy handle, the carabiner on the handle, the fact that it fits in my car cup holder. Yesterday, I made coffee at home at 8:30am before I left for work. I filled it up. I only drank about half of it, and let it sit with the mouth spout open all day. When I left the office at 5:00pm, I poured out the leftover coffee and IT WAS STILL WARM. Amazing. We got ours at Target, but it's also at Amazon.
The Aladdin Aqua-to-go Tumbler. Ok ok, another coffee thing. I got a 16 ounce one of these last summer or so, and I used it so much, I had to go get a second one so that I could alternate them and always have a clean one. 99% of the time, I would prefer and iced latte or iced americano over a hot one (the exception--when I make coffee at home. I make mostly hot at home). I LOVE THIS CUP. It is a durable plastic, and double walled, so it doesn't sweat all over your desk or car, and it keeps your drinks cold! [Sidenote: we've recently determined that I like my coffee and tea either super hot or super cold--I can't handle anything in between. Warm, no way. Water, on the other hand, I need to be room temp.] I recently went and bought a 20oz version of it, and I've used it a ton, too, and we picked up some colorful swirly fun straws to go with it (I can't find them online) and that makes my coffee even more fun. We got ours at Target, but it's also on Amazon.
This Sweater Maxi Dress from Old Navy. I don't think it is available online anymore. When this dress was in all its glory, it was $46. When I saw it in clearance, it was $4. So I bought it. I figured, what the heck, if anything I could use it as a lounge dress around the house. But then, I put it on. And Oh. My. God. It is the most amazing dress ever. It is warm and toasty, it is super long (why am I just now discovering maxi dresses?), and it is soft and body hugging and glorious. And now I can't stop wearing it. And I always get complements! I love it so much, I sent Fuzzy down to get me a second one. So I have 2 of the exact same dress, and I probably wear each of them at least once (or twice) a week (this is something you can get away with, not having in-person colleagues). I am wearing it RIGHT NOW. And it was only FOUR FRICKING DOLLARS. Purrrrr..... I am going to be sad when they start to get threadbare and full of holes.
It's the little things in life that make you happy.
I just signed up for the International Distance* Chicago Triathlon!!! Guess who starts training tomorrow?!
*1 mile swim, 25 mile bike, 6 mile run.
First of all, I apologize to the delinquency of this post--I've been promising it to my mom for the last 2.5 months. Sorry for the delay!
Ok! So we all know how my favorite thing about Christmas in Chicago is the Christkindlmarket in Daley Plaza. Last year, I shared with you all the amazing and incredible glass ornaments that we purchased for our tree last year (if you are a new reader to this blog in the last year, please click that link for reference), something that brought me great joy. Well, this year, we were determined to not go hog wild again. We were also determined to get the ceramic boot filled with mulled wine that they have each year, that is usually sold out by the time we make it down. So this year, we went on opening night! We weren't going to let that boot pass us by!
So anyways, mission number one was accomplished. Last year, we only went into one of the 2 glass ornament houses, so this year we decided to start by going to the other one. If we had missed Jesus-Being-Swallowed-by-a-Dolphin (if confused, see link above) in the other one, surely it was going to be in the "animal" themed house. So in we went. And here is what happened.
A turtle! I decided that since I can't put tchotchkes on dad's grave any more due to new cemetary ownership, instead I will buy a frog or turtle ornament each year in his memory. New tradition! (pay no attention to my cuticles.) (oops, I just called attention to them.)
...or two. Look at how fancy he is!!
Last year we got a white squirrel, so this year I got him a friend.
Then we met this guy:
And we couldn't stop looking at him. Or rather, he couldn't stop looking at us. I think he might have actually possessed us and forced him to buy us. When I put them on the tree, I made sure to position it to always be looking at Fuzzy.
We also got a couple that we just thought were cool and pretty:
And of course, you know how much we love the Chicago flag.
So we sadly made it through the hut without finding our friend Jesus and the Dolphin. We were disappointed, but it was ok.
We went to pay for this year's bounty, when I spied something behind the register.
There it was! In all its glory! In a special box, even! I asked if we could see it, and we asked the cost. It wasn't terribly expensive, but it also wasn't cheap, but we decided we couldn't go another year without it. Besides, we had a bigger tree this year--we HAD to get it! They told us it was the last one, so it was really meant to be.
Feeling good about our purchases, we decided we would only waft through the other hut, but not really buy much more. On the way, we saw a booth selling glass wares, and these triangle Santas caught our eyes. They were pretty, yes, but they also looked very demonic, so we decided we had to get the gnarliest looking one:
ZOMBIE SANTA IS COMING TO GET YOU!!!
Here they all are, hanging out:
SO! Here it is! This year's tree!
Please note the skeleton tree topper.
Of course, just like last year, there were some poor choices made...one that got away, if you will. Let's take a look at the one that we passed by this year.
Why, look at all those fellas! What's going on with them?
Oh, dear...is that a penny coming out of his butt? Is that intentional?
Oh. Yes. Yes it is.
Next year, Money Shitter, you will be mine.
This is totally for real. I can't wait.
Also, Steve was listed as number 41 in Newcity's recent "Fifty People Who Really Perform in Chicago"
41 Steve Gadlin
Steve Gadlin and his Blewt! cohorts create some of the funniest, most imaginative projects anywhere, from the "Impress These Apes" show that first brought them to our attention, to his more recent "Nairobi Project" wherein he commissioned an email spammer to create plays for him which he produced. But he's on the verge of going big-time now: his "Don't Spit the Water" game show pilot recently aired on television and, later this month on January 27, he's really breaking out when he appears on ABC Television's "Shark Tank" to pitch rich investors on his project "I Want to Draw A Cat for You." Sounds Trump-worthy to us.
I'm one of those "cohorts!" WOOO!
I am happy to report that I am FINALLY feeling better, thank goodness. I hope that tomorrow I will be back to 100%, so I can start being active again (and eat a cheeseburger...)
I was writing an email to a friend today, and the sentence that came out of my head and fingers made me happy. It might be my new catchphrase:
Just trying to enjoy the now and figure out the next.
I'd say that is pretty damn accurate.
Helen Juanita Bane, 83 of Vicksburg, MS, died Monday, January 16, 2012 at Shady Lawn Nursing Home in Vicksburg, MS.
Mrs. Bane was born in Neshoba County but lived most of her life in Vicksburg. She was a member of Highland Baptist Church where she served as Organist for a number of years. Mrs. Bane taught piano and organ for many years.
The family would like to thank Hospice Advantage and Shady Lawn Nursing Home for the love and care of Mrs. Bane.
Linda Bane (Don) Antoine, Vicksburg, MS
Patricia Bane Reid, Vicksburg, MS
Christopher (Katie) Reid
Erica (Fuzzy) Gerdes
Preceded in death by:
Parents: H H Burns Sr. and Laura Mae Parker Burns
Brother: Henry H. Burns Jr.
[EDITED]- Husband: George A. Bane
Son-n-Law David Reid
services will be held at 10 a m Thursday Jan. 19,2012 at Frank J.
Fisher Funeral Home in Vicksburg, MS with Bro. Marvin Curtis
Burial will follow at Greenlawn Gardens Cemetery with Rev. Ron Burch officating.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, January 18, 2012 from 5 to 7 p m at Frank J. Fisher Funeral Home .
Pallbearers: Don Antoine, Matthew Antoine, Scott Antoine, Fuzzy Gerdes, Carl Reid, L. H. Abraham
The world lost a true treasure last night.
We'll miss you, Mike. A whole lot.
Chicago has been unseasonably warm lately, and it's been awesome. We haven't REALLY had winter yet, though it is just around the corner (heavy snow and temps in the teens are due this weekend) and I am SCARED TO DEATH about it. My brain has already skipped winter and is headed for spring, partially fueled by the weather and also by the fact that I watched a lot of MTV Hits (the one that plays videos) over the weekend. Music videos are my weakness, and in them, it is (almost) always summer and everything is colorful and you can wear fashionable looks all year round and not have to worry about frostbite. I am SO ready for tank tops and short skirts. Ahh...that is heaven to me.
Anyways, every now and again, a video comes on that makes me hit the record button on my remote control (usually to show Fuzzy, as I do most of my video watching when he is out of town. I can zone out with videos for hours.) A few months ago it was Sexy and I know It by LMFAO, which later became the theme song for December when I was with Christopher and Katie (video probably not suitable for work):
And the other night it was Crash Your Party by Karmin:I can't get enough of this song. It's my jam for summer 2012. It's my jam now for fake summer 2012, that's for sure. Look at how cute and dorky and adorable that girl is! I later found Karmin's version of Look at Me Now, which is just really impressive. Homegirl's got skillz. Stay away winter! Spring and summer, take me away!
I am VERY excited to report that, after 6 months of rest and physical therapy, I am back on my feet again--literally! Yesterday, for the first time since July, I WENT FOR A RUN! WOOOO! I can't tell you how happy this makes me! It sort of just hit me that I was ready (I've been too scared to try previously), so yesterday I took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather and put on my new cute running top, a hat, some pants, my robot knee brace, and my new running gloves Fuzzy gave me for Christmas, popped on some Soundgarden on my iPod (Down on the Upside is a GREAT running album) and went for it! I walked for 5 minutes as a warm up, then RAN FOR TWENTY!! Without stopping! I just ran around the neighborhood, up and down the streets. I probably could have done more, but I didn't want to overdo it on my knee. I then walked 5 more for a cool down. I felt like a rockstar afterwards, and still do! Today, I am a little sore and my knee is a little weak, but just a little! I feel like I am back! We've signed up for an indoor 5K in February, and now I am positive that I will be able to do it. It feels so good to be back! Look out, 2012--I'm coming to get you!
I can't even begin to tell you how refreshed I am feeling this year. 2012 is kicking ass so far. Fuzzy and I are rocking out our organization and cleaning project, and part of that is putting art on the walls. We've been in our apartment for 4.5 years, and I am just now feeling like we are settling in and the place is feeling homey and cozy. I love it.
I want to share 2 new amazing pieces of art that we have in our apartment. The first one has a little bit of a back story. My uncle Carl (my Dad's next oldest brother--Dad was the oldest of 4) used to have a rubber stamp business back in the day. We used to have Reid Rubber Stamps all over the house, and it used to be that when you would go to the bank drive through (well, when Mom would...I was a kid), you could see all the Reid Rubber Stamps that they used in the window. SO- cut to Christmas Eve, when we were hanging out in the yard at Memaw Reid's house, and Carl, Fuzzy and I went into his old shop, which is now my aunt's husband's "man cave." There on the wall was this big wooden Reid Rubber Stamp sign--the most gorgeous thing I've ever seen. I gasped, pointed and exclaimed "I want that!!!" Carl was like "Really?" and then ripped it off the wall (It was mounted in there) and said "It's yours." Turns out he's been wondering what to do with it for all these years, so he said it was meant to be mine. I love it so much! It is hand carved and hand painted by Carl, which makes it even cooler. After he gave it to me, he proceeded to then tell Fuzzy and I all sorts of stories about my dad and how he used to prank Carl, etc etc. It was awesome, and so special. We carried it on the plane, and then put it in our hallway so that I can always see it and it can be a focal point of our hallway.
The sign--that's exactly what the stamps used to look like.
Here is a photo of it for scale. It's really big! (sidenote: all of our rooms and walls in our apartment have a theme. The hallway/ entryway's theme is art about Fuzzy and I, or family photos. That's why you'll see in this photos those awesome paintings of Mustapha by Kate, a portrait of Fuzzy by his cousin, and our engagement photos.) (I am also happy to report that all those VHS tapes are not stacked up there anymore. Instead I have awesome framed photos of family and friends. Progress!)
Perhaps my favorite Christmas that I received this year is one that came a few days after Christmas. Fuzzy worked from home the week between Christmas and New Years, so on the 27th, while he was home and I was at work, he crafted up a special amazing gift--a bottle tree for our sunroom!!! I've wanted a bottle tree for YEARS. I love them so much. For those of you who don't know, a bottle tree is a Southern folk art/ folklore tradition--you put colorful bottles on a "tree" (which can be metal, wood, or an actual tree). The bottles are supposed to attract and catch any evil spirits that might be near your house--once they are trapped, they can't get out! Or they are destroyed by the sunlight in the day. Etc etc. You see bottle trees all over the South--Christopher and Katie even had one! So, I get home from work, and Fuzzy hands me a bottle of Reisling with a photo of a smiling sun on it. The bottle was blue, and the sun had a word bubble on it that said something like "I hope you enjoy drinking this wine, but when you are finished, I'd like to go live in MY room." Meaning the sun room. I froze, trying to not get too excited, but Fuzzy told me to check out the sunroom. There, in the corner, was this amazing, wall sized, bottle tree, which he carved and made by hand! He fastened all the dowels and everything! I burst into tears. It is so beautiful!
We've been filling it out right now with mainly old beer and liquor bottles that we like, but we will slowly replace some of those with more colorful bottles as we get them. I can't tell you how happy it makes me! Just more evidence that Fuzzy is the greatest man on earth, and I am so lucky to be married to him. Now all we need is some warm weather so we can really enjoy it!
I've been desperately needing Chicago to feel more like "home" lately. And I am happy to say that with these Southern touches, my new mantra of "slow down," and the organization project, I am feeling like it is again. It feels great.
The trip home for Christmas this year was really lovely. I was great being in the South--I feel like I really reconnected with my roots. It was bittersweet, of course, because of ailing old memaws and lots of goodbyes, but we had some great time together as a family, and ate lots of great food.
The next day, we had dinner with friends at Rusty's! Here is Jill and Philip, Christopher and Ian! Mom and I split a mondo seafood platter, and of course we had fried pickles. Heaven.
(photo by Katie Reid)
Later that night, we went to the Biscuit Company with some family and old friends to see my uncle Carl's band, The Chill.
Carl and Lee H. rock it out.
A bunch of friends! (photo by Chris Reid)
Here we are with Carl! Doesn't he look a lot like Dad? (photo by Chris Reid)
Alex came out!
Look out for Jamie!
Unless noted, all photos by Fuzzy Gerdes. More to come later!
On a mission
City native, wife follow 'calling' to Tanzania
Chris and Katie Reid pose in downtown Vicksburg before their move to Tanzania. (Eli Baylis)