Sunday, December 20, 2009

NYC, Jersey Shore, Snowed In: The Start to a Perfect Break!

I cannot even believe that I've been home for a whole week and a half! Grades finally came in, so now I can breathe a little bit more. AND, I finally got my student teaching placement...which is not even close to the district where I wanted to be, but the teacher I'm going to be with seems really sweet so far, so I'm still a mix of nerves/excitement.

Another thing I absolutely cannot believe is that Christmas is right around the corner... less than a week away! This is ridiculously stressful, considering I have like 0 shopping done. And, I'm a little without a car right now because last Sunday there was a ridiculous ice storm here... which I guess I didn't get the memo about because my smart self thought it was just rain... so anyway, there was a bittt of a slip and my car completely spun out, I hit into a huge rock on someone's property...so my cute little car is now at the shop so I've been attempting to drive my mom's huge SUV, which is NOT easy, and somehow I don't think I'm mall-ready yet! (And it's so high off the ground - I don't know how she does it!).

And of course, last night there was a HUGE snowstorm here, with like, 10 inches of snow, maybe more! So there went a totally different shopping day. It ended up being super fun though - J came and slept over, and then we went to my aunt's house today for Christmas on my side of the family. I swear, I'm becoming the laziest person alive, because seriously, all we did was watch movies and TV, and play Wii (which I guess counts as exercise, right?...Is it really saying terrible things about my fitness level when my arm is really sore from Wii baseball and tennis?).

When my brother got up this morning to head out to his car, he found that it was completely iced shut. Crazyyy! I think he was so frustrated he was about to cut a hole in the roof and hop in through that, but luckily he got it all straightened out =)

I think the worst part was that Pat goes to school in South Carolina, so he's just not used to this weather anymore!
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It took a good 35 minutes of battling with the doors before he got in. J and I were standing by one of the front windows just watching. I know, what a life.
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So since I haven't been able to really go to the mall, would it be completely disgusting to admit that I've been watching Jersey Shore like a fiend? Because really, what says Christmas more than a bunch of guidos* living down in Seaside. (Hopefully I am living proof that not all Jersey girls are trashy hoes with fake Chanel earrings the size of my fist.) But still, the self proclaimed "The Situation", the Jersey shore drinking game (my brother says he almost died playing it with his friends down at school), and all the fake tans.... It's perfect, perfect. Okay, not perfect, more like the trashiest thing I have ever seen in my life, but I love it, and I promise you, the shore is actually like that, especially Seaside, which is where they all stay.
My dad came home from work the other day and actually got pissed with me, because he did not understand how I could watch a show that is just beyond trashy and then asked "What is a Snooki anyway and why did it get punched in the face? I got an update on it today on my homepage."
[* I do not mean guido in a derogatory sense, which I'm sure you all know. My Papa Tony (grandfather) FREAKED out when my brother said that in front of him today.]

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Dear dad,
This is a Snooki.
Love, Ally:
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My big and super fun news was that on Thursday, J and I headed to the city for his Christmas present, which was dinner out at a really fun restaurant, cupcakes at Magnolia Bakery (because really, is it possible for me to go to the city and not gorge on cupcakes?), and I bought tickets to see Mary Poppins on Broadway! The fabulous Tracy told me how absolutely perfect Mary Poppins was, and she was completely right (she went to see it with her hubby and said it was just fabulous!). It was amazing, and the perfect first Broadway show for J to ever see!

Of course, Thursday was probably the coldest day I could have picked to go into the city (seriously, it was 10 degrees during the day, and it had to be 0 degrees at night! Freezingg!), but still, it was so much fun (and gave me such an excuse to pop into Starbucks three times for coffee - I told you guys, those red cups make me so happy! And the Caramel Brulee latte is beyond delicious).

When the show got out at 10:30 it was so unbearable to walk (even though we only needed to go four blocks away), so we hopped in a cab, and I crossed my fingers the entire time hoping we'd get the Cash Cab, but no such luck. I hold out hope every time I go into the city that I'll get picked up by the Cash Cab. Wishful thinking, much?

Dinner at Cinema, this super fun restaurant on E. 45th, where they show silent movies on the wall!

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Yummy pomme frites...I could have eaten pounds of these.
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I always eat the bottom of these babies first so I can completely enjoy the PERFECT frosting =)
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Apparently J likes Mary Poppins more than he likes me =)
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Now tomorrow, J has his big Christmas surprise for me! So fun. I'm like itching with anticipation though because I have absolutely NO ideas what is going on, which drives me crazyyy!

How is everyone else doing with the snow? And holiday shopping? And fun holiday parties? I want to hear it ALL! I miss and love you all =)

And please, do any of you watch Jersey Shore? I swear, I will feel 1 million times less trashy if one of you who I love so dearly watches trashy tv like moi ;)

Currently: Watching Clueless. I guess in memory of Brittany Murphy. So, so sad.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Home for the Holidays.

So, I'm officially done - I am done with finals and classes FOREVER (or, until I go to grad school, but I'm not even thinking of that!). Next semester all I'll have is student teaching (I say that like it's super easy), so I'm doneee with college classes! Seriously, I'm still in a weird place - I guess because I can't believe that it's all over, and all my stress definitely (hopefully) paid off, but for now I can shelve the stress until January 12th!

I drove home today and entered into a winter wonderland - my mom's decorating is always perfect, and it makes me so happy =) She does everything really simple, but I think it's still super pretty.

Holiday decorations make me like, beyond happy (though I'm not too excited about the 12 - seriously 12 - of those blow up things that look like Spongebob or Bart Simpson that are in my neighbors yard....tack-yyyy! And seriously, if I had $3,000 to blow, it would not be on blow up crap for my front yard).

I'm excited to bake cookies (my mom made the cutest little ones that look like mittens last night!), to relax, to go to the city with J on Thursday to see Mary Poppins =) , and of COURSE, catching up on all of your wonderful blogs! I mean it from the bottom of my heart when I say I've missed you all during my blogging absences.

So, welcome to my home for the holidays...and I can't wait to see all your pretty decorations from your homes!

My mom seriously decorates almost every room of the house - she goes all out!

I am 21 years old, and my mom still keeps the little piano I played on when I was little in our basement. And she decorates it. Every year.

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I know it's not the best detail, but the plants to the right of me that are by the kitchen windows (one in front of each window) are changed every season - like, with fun colored flowers for summer, or neutral colors for fall. It's pretty cute. Right now they're white, with these big (fake) red berries inside the planters. It's just a cute touch, since a kitchen is pretty difficult to decorate!

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These branches make the whole living room smell SO good! =) I would highlyyy recommend it!
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Do you/your families go all out for the holidays, or do they keep it on the simpler side? Is everyone getting into the holiday spirit, or are finals and work making it difficult to be super excited about it all?

I've missed you all so much - let me know how you've been!

P.S. I have an upcoming product review coming up sponsored by the lovely Living Room Furniture! I'm really excited about it! Definitely check out their website for some fabulous (and way discounted) products for your home =)

Currently listening to: Rachael Yamagata - Faster.
Currently anticipating: An unbelievably relaxing day/night spent with J, catching up on all our favorite shows...and of course, reading all your blogs and finding out what you've been up to!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Not Letting the Stress Get to Me.

Holy moly...I cannot even tell you how stressed I am right now! This week has absolutely been hell week, and then I can promise that after finals week is over next week, I will be back to my normal, regular commenting self - promise!
Being an education major, rather than have finals, we just have these massive final projects, usually that are worth up to 60% of our grade...and I had three huge projects due this week, and two tests on other days. It was super exhausting, and right now, all I want to do is curl up and sleep for days and days.
Rather than just be stressed, rip my hair out and cry for days, and eat until I gain 50 pounds and then have something else to cry about, I've decided to do another inspiration/favorite things post. That always cheers me up, and de-stresses me for a bit!

Starbucks Holiday cups.
I can't explain it...when I see those red cups, I am just beyond happy. And their holidays drinks are pretty freaking perfect too...I had my first gingerbread latte the other day and I'm hooked!

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Christmas shopping.
So far, I've got J's present DONE...well, for the most part! I bought us two tickets to see Mary Poppins on Broadway, since he's never been to a show, and my parents (who go see shows a bagillion times a year) gave it rave reviews. We'll also most definitely be hitting up Magnolia Bakery, and then going out to eat at this really fun restaurant in Midtown!

Cupcakes.
I love them and think they are so beautiful. I crave them 24/7. Over Thanksgiving Break, my dad went to one of my favorite places and bought EIGHT cupcakes in all different flavors (but, the smart man that he is, he got 4 red velvet). Best part - they were all for me =)
I want to be one of those mom's that can make cupcakes that look like characters from books or TV shows. Of course, it's a win win for me!

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Yummo...I can spot a Magnolia Bakery cupcake from a mileee away:
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Up.
I watched that movie with my family over Thanksgiving break, and I am so in love with it. This summer, J and I saw it twice in the theater, and I took the kids I babysat to see it too. If you haven't seen it yet, I promiseeee you will not be disappointed. It is just perfect (and I think it's more for adults than for children....and P.S. I cried like, three times).

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Paris.
Seeing my girl Carol's pictures from her trip to Europe makes me so unbelievably jealous, and makes me absolutely want to be over in Paris right now! I'm hopingggg maybe my parents will be surprising me with a trip there after graduation, but we'll see =)

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Braids.
I love braids. I wish I was more creative, and could do super fun and creative braids - I just learned how to do a side French braid and I have been rocking that constantly...who knows what's next for me now ;) But really, I think they're super chic and very trendy, without looking like you put a ton of effort into it.

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Petit Macarons.
This is like my favorite dessert ever. Ever, ever. They serve them for dessert at some of my favorite French restaurants...I swear, they are perfection. Apparently they're a pain to make, so I will be trying to spend some of my winter break perfecting them! Yummo. Plus, they're just so freaking cute!

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This theater that they converted into a massive library....
I swoon.

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Where the Wild Things Are.
I just finished up a Juvenile Lit class, where over the course of the semester we had to read 110 children's books, and write reviews on them. The illustrations just blew me away - I forgot how much I absolutely adored this story as a child, and the lines like,
"Please don't go. We'll eat you up. We love you so."

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Watching perfect movies from the 80's/90's/early 2000's that I haven't seen in years.
Like a little You've Got Mail....or When Harry Met Sally, or maybe a little Overboard with Goldie Hawn (to switch up the Meg Ryan thing)... aka the perfectttt way to unwind.

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Red Wine Sangria.

'Nuff said. Perfect.

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The Hangover.

I have not laughed this hard in so long. I saw it for the first time a few months ago, and just watched it with J and my brother over Thanksgiving break. Favorite part? "Tigers love pepper... they hate cinnamon." Per-fect.

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Skins.
This show is per-fect. (I prefer seasons 1&2 - after the second season, the entire cast with the exception of one character was scrapped...I miss the first generation cast!). It is just the greatest show and makes me so happy to watch it... I plan on rewatching seasons 1&2 over winter break (which does not make me a huge loser...each season only has 9 episodes).

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Kate Moss.
I love her, I really do. I know she's had her issues, but I think she's beautiful, and fabulous, and so unbelievably stylish - always. And, I love that she's short, and still so amazing!

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Fun and pretty headbands.
I wish I had more headbands. Or, that I could somehow be more creative in how I wear headbands...kind of like these girls. I'm loving the woven flowers....so hippie chic!

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Ed Westwick.
De-lic-ious. I can't get enough of this hottie.

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Street vendors selling flowers.
I can't explain it...it's just one of those things. Probably since once, a woman handed me a rose and said, "Pretty girls deserve flowers."

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So, these are just a few of my little pick-me-ups...and guys, great news! I am officially done with ALL college classes - ever. Ever. I have two finals next week, and then I start student teaching in the spring! Sooo crazy that I'm so close to being done! =)

And this Sunday, J and I are headed to one of my favorite restaurants in Philly called Pod to celebrate 7 months! Yayyy for relaxing =) What are you all up to this weekend? I can't wait to get into a regular routine and keep reading/commenting!

Currently: Watching Friends, Season 7. I love relaxing. Love, love, love. And I just adore Ross.