Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Stop Hunger Now

This weekend my church participated in a Stop Hunger Now event where we packaged meals to go to schools in Haiti.  The church is temporarily transformed into multiple meal packaging stations where high protein dehydrated meals are packaged for use at a later time.  Our crew manned the weighing/sealing team. So once the meals were in their bag, we would double check the weight and seal them to be boxed up for distribution.  It was great fun.  Lila, Patrick, CJ, Kristi, Mike, Jessica, and myself were all a part, in addition to about another 200+ volunteers on the morning shift.  In just about 3 hours, we were able to get 80,000 meals packaged (the afternoon shift did about 60,000).

It was great fun and a great opportunity to be part of something bigger than ourselves.  Afterward, of course, we all did our part to end local hunger by grabbing lunch together (only a joke, please know, I don't actually think we are going hunger by any means) at the local Mexican joint.  It was great to spend some time with friends and be in community with each other!

SEAL TEAM: CJ and Lila sporting the browns and hair nets!

WEIGH TEAM: Patrick and myself sporting our green!


Lila creeping around
How have you been giving of your time and funds lately?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Snow Days

Now that I am an adult and have to still continue to work and drive in the snow, I do not appreciate or enjoy snow days.  But I guess if I could stay instead and not be forced to venture out, I could love them a lot more.  After leaving work early on Friday because the roads were horrible (my normal 20 minute commute took 45 minutes), I headed over to CJ's house.  I figured if I was going to be holed up inside, I should do it with company.  So we relaxed for a bit, caught up on Downton Abbey from the week before and then I made her get snow clothes on to go out and make snow angels!

CJ was very cold!

Making a snow angel!

Our two angels!

CJ making a snow angel!

After a frolic through the snow, we came in, got warmed up and started thinking about dinner.  Since we were pretty much already in our PJ's, we thought breakfast for dinner would be appropriate.  Our friend, Elizabeth, came down to join us.  We had eggs, bacon, and CJ and I whipped up these cinnamon rolls from scratch! 

All in all, it was a fun snow day, you just wont find me wishing for too many of them!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Snow White inspired Nails

I was at my mom's house last night and was flipping through her magazine and I came across the most amazing nails ever:

Oh my goodness, SNOW WHITE THEMED NAILS...does it get any better than that?  I think not!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Big Apple

New York City 2013:

It all started with a birthday, Erica's 30th birthday to be exact.  A little planning, a little fun, 4 girls and there you have it--a full weekend in New York City!

Sara and I started the weekend as we left Richmond Friday night and drove up to the DC area to spend the night with Erica.  We grabbed dinner and got in bed relatively early.  

Saturday morning, we left at 7:30 to go catch the Megabus from DC to NYC, after about 5 hours on the bus, we had arrived.  We meet up with Amanda at our hotel, stored our luggage and got right to it.  For lunch, we headed over to Katz's Deli (home of the famous scene in When Harry Met Sally)

They give out tickets to place your order so we grabbed a seat, placed our order and went to town being tourists!  We got our lunches--we eat spilt meals and ordered extra pickles (homemade--YUM) and enjoyed taking in the scene.

After lunch, we went directly across the street where the girls all got some gelato, which they claimed was amazing.  I resisted the urge, since I had just started counting points on Weight Watchers!

We walked a fair bit after lunch, hitting up Erica's cousin's house, then through Chinatown and Little Italy into SoHo for some shopping.  After hitting up quite a few stores, we finally headed back to the hotel to officially check in and get ready for dinner.  In true New York Style, we hit up John's Pizza--this adorable Pizza joint inside an old Church--it is the largest Pizzeria in country!  And the Pizza was good too (although my picture does not do it justice).

One thing I love about New York is the architecture everyone:

Sunday Morning, we were up early again to get showered, dressed, and enjoy breakfast before venturing out to the 9/11 memorial.  It was really impressive to see.  They have these two reflective pools (this picture does not even begin to capture it), in the footprints of where the two towers stood.  Etched around the side of the pools are the names of all the victims.  Each pool is an acre in size and they are the largest man-made waterfalls in America (see told you the picture could not capture it all).  It was pretty profound.

We also saw the survivor tree, this tree sustained damage during the 9/11 attacks but managed to survive the attacks, It was found under the piles of rubble and now stands at the memorial.

After the memorial, we took the metro to Harold's Square and went to the 10 floor Macy's store.  It is actually only 9 floors, but then there is a bottom level with a cafe and stuff, so that makes 10!  I couldn't resist taking a picture of the old wooden escalator while we were there.  Erica and Amanda did some shopping, Sara and I hung out in the cafe, then proceeded to at least make an appearance on every single floor (just to say we had!)

After Macy's we hit the streets for some more walking and shopping and made our way to the Flatiron building, where we popped in at Eataly and then grabbed lunch at a cute little Deli where we ate at the counter :)

My HUGE sandwich--obviously could not finish this sucker!

More architecture pictures:

After lunch, we decided we would head over to The Natural History Museum.  I mentioned that it would be fun to walk THROUGH Central Park to get there (Note: Do NOT ever listen to my silly requests again!)  Walk through Central Park we did, this took a lot longer than little Laura anticipated and we were all quite tired by the time we arrived at the Museum.  We got our tickets and proceeded to check it out:



More Dinos!

Obviously there are Buffalo in NYC!

After the Museum, we were all worn out.  So we went back to the hotel for about an hour before dinner to change and rest a little bit.  Then it was off to dinner and this cute TINY restaurant in the East Village called The Brindle Room--it was super cute and yummy--a great way to end our trip to NYC!  

Back at the hotel!

On the bus ride home

Needless to say we packed a lot into a few days, I came home tired but full of fun memories!

Happy 30th Birthday, Erica!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow....

...but not anymore, kay?  I think the one time a year thing is great.  I can enjoy it, it can melt, and I can be on my merry way!  Richmond got some snow last night, and it was pretty!  Since we were going to be holed up anyway, CJ came over to 'weather' (haha pun intended) out the snow with me.  We had fun watching TV and chatting over dinner and watching the snow fall!  It was pretty, I must admit!  But I am glad the sun is FINALLY out today and I am excited about the warmer, dry temperatures, especially as I head up to NYC tomorrow!  And just in case you thought I was off of pictures since my last TWO post have not had any.....here are a few to 'wet' (hehehe) your appetite.

About 8-9pm last night when it was still falling!

Morning commute--see it is melting already...LOVE IT!
All in all, we decided we got about 3-5 inches (I think it was on the higher end cause there was a lot of dense ice falling too).

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The weekend in review

Maybe my New Year's Resolution should have been to update my blog, as I have fallen behind.  The combination of work and life both being busy, means I have not had a moment to catch my breath and write.  But alas, here is my weekend update, just a few days late!

Friday night, I left work and headed to the Southside, my mom and I had made a shopping/sleepover date.  Since my little Brutus is currently living with her, I like to stop by from time to time to check in.  Also, I was in the market for walking/flat boots and she had a 30% off coupon at Kohl's.  We grabbed a quick dinner and started on our shopping excursion.  I was in luck, Kohl's had a ton of boots and most were on sale!  I found a few pair I like, but the ones I settled on were Black flat boots and super warm and comfortable, they were also...wait for it...only $25 after the 30% discount, so that within my budget and actually at the low end, so it was nice!  I was also able to grab a cute decorative silver owl (on sale for about $5), so look for that next time you come visit me!  After hitting up a few more stores, we went home and went to bed!  

Saturday morning, I was up by 8 and we had a leisurely time getting ready before heading out to Lake Anna.  My parents have a house out there that they are putting on the market come Spring, so we went down to do some cleaning out of the place.  4 giant trash bags to goodwill, 1 giant trash bag to the dump, and a backseat full of stuff we wanted to bring back to Richmond and we were on our way back home, but not before we grabbed lunch and hit up Peebles in Lousia!

Saturday night, my friend, Aubrey, was having a party at her house.  My good friend, Anna, and I decided we would meet up for a quick bev beforehand.  So we headed to a local bar with our twin bangs and downed a few cocktails before heading over to Aubrey's fashionably late.  It was a great time, Anna and I had both agreed that we wanted to leave at 10:30 but in true 'us' fashion, we stayed until at least 11:30.  We met some fun people and got to catch up with some old friends.  It was great!

Sunday morning, I was off to church and then I came home and did a few chores around the house (went to Kroger, cooked meals for the week, cleaned up a bit, did some laundry) and was finally able to RELAX for a solid two hours before youth group---IT WAS FABULOUS!

After youth group, I of course, scurried home to watch Downton Abbey.  What will this coming weekend hold?  Who knows, as I am going to New York City with 4 friends from college.  It will be a great time of fun and exploring!  Stay tuned....

Friday, January 11, 2013

Week in Review

So I have been bad about posting lately, so here is an update about my week:

Monday: Work as usual, then meet up with Mom and Andy for a quick dinner at PF Chang's before heading to Small group.  After small group, I rushed over to Trader Joe's with CJ to grocery shop for the week ahead.

Tuesday: Work then went to dinner with Mom and Dad at Brio (mom had a coupon from her birthday).  I snuck away just eating off of both of their plates--HUGE portions.  I was working with a migraine so after dinner, despite plans to go Boot shopping, I went home and laid down with some Advil and heat to dismiss the headache.
* Started back on Weight Watchers--back on the points plan to make that goal weight by August *

Wednesday: Work again (what a routine), then it was our first Wednesday night supper club.  Since it is supposed to be about 7-8 of us girls, I had planned to cook a bigger meal, but only 3 of us could make it for dinner and another one joined us for dessert, so we just went with a Trader Joe's pizza (not very great) and salad.  It was a great time to come together as friends and just discuss life!  This will be a fun monthly tradition.  I also FINALLY took down my Christmas tree with CJ's help and was able to move around some furniture.  It really is starting to feel like home!

Thursday: Work then home to cook dinner.  I had planned to go to Life group, but I was just in such a blah blah mood last night, I instead stayed in and got some things done around the house ---two loads of laundry, cleaned up.  Rearranged my room (since I had moved the trunk out to the living room), watched some TV and worked a little more on the craft room (it is coming together).

Friday: Alast!  The weekend is almost here.  Tonight, I am having a mother/daughter night.  Mom has a 30% off Kohl's coupon so we are going in search of boots (something flat that i can wear while walking around NYC next weekend), then tomorrow, I think we are going to clean out the house at Lake Anna in preparation for it to go on the market.  Nothing too exciting but after the start of the year and a crazy work schedule, it has been lovely to have a little bit of down time.

Report back next week for a hopefully, more exciting update!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Live music, Good friends, and Fun times!

This past weekend was a good one!  

Did I get stuff done at the house?  
Nope, in fact my Christmas Tree is still up with lights on (I may still turn it on from time to time when I am sitting in my living room)
Did I catch up on sleep?
Yeah, nope, not at all.  In fact, I probably still need to do some of that!

But I did have fun and got to spend some quality time with my relatives!  So over Christmas when I was in Fredricksburg visiting the family, my cousin Meagan said she was going to come through Richmond on her way back to college. Since I have been begging her to stop in town for years, I was excited.  Her brother, Matthew, and my brother, Andy, both live in Richmond.  So we decided--let's make this a family affair and include all our friends.  That we did!  Matt's buddy was working at a local bar/restaurant, Pie.  So we gathered the masses for a "Pie Bar takeover."  Which we actually accomplished...ALMOST....at one point, the whole upstairs was full with all our friends and just two random lonely strangers that did not get the hint that we had our own little Cheers thing going on!  All in all, it was a great night, I got to meet a few friends of friends that I did not know, and catch up with some friends I had not seen in awhile!  Plus, of course, got the quality time with the relatives!

Well on Saturday, Meagan headed back to college and I had promised my friend, Emily, I would go look at wedding dresses with her!  She just got engaged over Christmas and wants to have a March 16th wedding, so she was on a time line!  But we headed to David's Bridal and she tried on 5 dresses, all of which were beautiful but one of which stood out among the others.  After a long lunch at Chick Fil A (cause that is where all important decisions are made), she decided one THE dress and went back to buy it!  Since we cannot show the dress here, I made her pose for this cute picture:

Saturday night came around again and one of my favorite bands was coming through Richmond, Folk Soul Revival was going to be playing at The Camel that night.  So once again we gathered the masses and planned an outing to see the boys perform.  I had mentioned it to Andy the night before, but did not actually think he would show up, but him and Matty surprised me by coming along (I am not so sure it was their type of music though).
Matty (not be confused by cousin Matt mentioned above), Me, and Andy

If only we could get one good picture!

I promise we are not drunk!

The Band!

Folk Soul Revival

My friend, Kristi, got me into the group probably about a year ago by introudcing me to THIS SONG!  It is still one of my favorites to date!  It is called Old 13, and I only recorded a bit of it cause I wanted to be able to enjoy it :)

Just a little glimpse into my weekend, which ended every so nicely with a youth group Bonfire at church and then the Downton Abbey premiere on Sunday night!  The countdown is on, I leave for NYC in 10 days!!!  Stay Tuned for more adventures!

Monday, January 7, 2013

New Year....new challenges!

So 2013 is upon us (well for about a week now!  I am a little behind the game)!  So there are a few things I want to accomplish in 2013 and to help me stay accountable, I am putting them out for the whole world to see (or just the 5-6 of y'all that actually read my blog)

* Get back to my goal weight by my birthday!
* Study and take my Series 65 exam
* Get out of debt!  I am getting there, I hope to have my car paid off in April so hopefully this goal will get accomplished earlier in the year, rather than later!
* Plan and take our 8 states in 7 days trip (or 10 states in 9 days, whatever it turns into) --JUST DO IT!
* Commit to LESS, I always try to do this and last year I actually felt a little bit better, but there is still room for improvement!
* Cook a meal for a friend/family member at least twice a month at my house!

There you have it, a list of 6---not too intimidating but enough things to have to actually stick with! Feel free to check in from time to time and see how I am doing!

Friday, January 4, 2013

New Year's Fun

Well another year has come and gone and what better way to celebrate the end of a year than with a party with friends, games, and food!  My twin friend, Kristi, and her husband Mike had a few of us over for a little party to bring in the new year.  We played some games and then watched the ball drop, followed fairly swiftly with all of us heading home to get in bed (come on we are getting old).  Now I have never been too keen on the idea of resolutions, but I have been thinking about areas I want to focus on in 2013 (think last year's goal of reading 26 books in a year), so as I continue to ponder that for a later post, please feel free to check out some photos from our night of FUN!

We look just like sisters...NOT!

Rob and Jessica

Mike and Kristi--our hosteests with the mostest!

Kathryn and me

Me, Elaine, and CJ

Thursday, January 3, 2013

King Family Christmas

Much like the Williams-side Christmas breakfast celebration.  It has been a long-standing tradition to get together with my dad's sister, Julia and her family around the holidays.  Sometimes they come to Richmond, sometimes we go to their house.  But every year we have fun!  My cousin Max married Amanda a few years back and they now have two A D O R A B L E little boys.  So I enjoyed the time with the two of them while the adults chatted.  Little Caden is just about a year older than Corbin, so it is fun to see what I can look forward to in a year with little Corbin.  It was great to see how creative and fun they are at that age.  And of course, little Rowan was a cutie-pie too!  He is just as happy as can be!  Now for family introductions....

Aunt Julia and little Rowan

Uncle Coy and Dad

Mom and Max

Me, Amanda, and Caden (look at that smile!)

Caden and Auntie Meagan
Alas the day was not complete without some shopping and a run to Wegman's (my favorite every grocery store).  Who does not love the time with family and friends around the holidays!?!?!

Williams Family Christmas Breakfast

It has been a long standing tradition in our family to have Christmas breakfast together with my mom's whole side of the family.  So we did just that.  It is the one big meal I have during the Christmas holidays.  I know most people spend weeks with their family and eat, eat, eat.  Nope, we do a one and done.  Christmas morning and then that is it.  It is quite great actually.  Breakfast casseroles, coffee cakes, ham biscuits, and MIMOSAs!!!  YUM!  What's that?  Your family does not have to start drinking at breakfast to make it through the holidays?  WEIRD! :)

This year, breakfast was at my mom's house (the last few years it has been at my house, but since I moved, Bons picked up the hosting duties).  Enjoy the collection of pictures of this good looking bunch!

Uncle B and Nannie

Nannie and Cassie!

Dylan, Tammy, Mike, and Cody (aka The Bryants)

Nannie loves presents!

Like mother, like daughter!

Uncle B, Dallas, and Uncle Jerry

The Williams Clan: Keith, Nana (Aunt Gloria), Cassie, and Boppa (Uncle Jerry)

Up next....Christmas with SOME of the King Family!

***And just in case you were wondering...nope, I did not finish the book and still have not, so 31 books in 2012 it is.  This year will not present such a challenge, I love to read but want it to be for fun and not to meet some goal.****