The Vacation Bucket List

Nothing cures a case of the Funk like pending vacation, so I’m happy to report I’m counting down the minutes until I can put up that “Out of Office Reply.” Not only is it a long weekend for most people, but we’re also off to NYC on Tuesday for a four day excursion, which means starting at 5pm today I have 9 days of uninterrupted fun. Be jealous 😉

It’s hard to believe it’s already Memorial Day time, but the D-Spot household started prepping last weekend by purchasing a new Weber grill. Joey’s determined to be a Charcoal Grilling Machine when all is said and done. I’m just looking forward to some burgers! Of course I have a million things I want to accomplish over the next 9 days, so I figured we’d make a list and see how far we get. You know how I am with lists 😉

2012 Summer Kickoff Bucket List

– Grill!

– Eat watermelon

– Go to the pool

– Get to spin class (hello bathing suit season!)

– Buy something new to wear in NYC

– Take a hike with the dogs

– Get things prepared for Kacie’s Baby Shower!

– Install new closet system

– Donate old clothes

– Get travel plans together for Georgia Trip

–  Start a new book that doesn’t have the words “50 Shades” in the title

– Take lots of pictures

I think that’s enough to keep me busy for now! So what’s on your Memorial Day Weekend bucket list?

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Song for the Soul

 

This week. What to say about this week. It was a challenging week, mentally and physically. I have no idea if this makes sense, but it was a week that energized my soul but physically sucked my energy tank dry.

But today. Today I found this song. And it was just what I needed.

“Tonight we are young. So lets set the world on fire. We can burn brighter than the sun.”

Picture me slow fist pumping it at :49 in. Don’t hate on my awesomeness. In the confines of my own home I like to pretend I’m a rock star sometimes. Give me a few beers and it’s possible I’ll unleash it in public 😉

It’s funny how a song, a person, a gift, a sign, or whatever it may be, can find its way into your life at just the exact right time. Energy tank is back on full.

Sneak Peak: Kacie’s Bridal Shower

First off, can we talk about what a fabulous “Shower Bride” Kacie makes? Gorgeous, right? Right. Moving on.

After a long, fantastic day celebrating our bride-to-be, I’m wiped and don’t have the energy to post about how all the planets aligned just right to create the perfect day and the perfect shower, but I couldn’t NOT quickly post the photos of the most EPIC jumping pictures of all times — complete with bow-bouquet action shots. So without further ado, I give you Bridey’s Got Ups:

And now for the outtake reel.

I love me a good outtake reel…

(Insert bathroom humor here)

More shower goodness coming your way soon!

I’m off to the couch!

Bay Day…And a Dress

After a very busy 4th of July holiday weekend, I tried to return to the idea of Planning Nothing this weekend since “open” weekends are about to get far and few between. Long story short, I decided Friday night to head down to my mom’s Saturday and, by something not short of a miracle, the fabulous Pam101 was available to come along too! Last time Pam101 ventured into Maryland it took months to get the date on the calendar. Maybe there’s something to this Planning Nothing thing. Or maybe it was the fact that I mentioned the words “Wedding Dress.” More on that in a minute.

The weather was beautiful today which meant putting the top down on Sally and enjoying the pretty country roads of Maryland on our way to Mama’s house. And then of course we took a walk by the water (after a bottle of wine and some crab dip), and had some fun playing on the rocks.

That’s Mama modeling for the next issue of Coastal Living magazine.

OK, but onto the dress. On a bit of a whim, I ordered a wedding dress from J.Crew a few weeks ago and needed some trusted opinions on it. The dress is a classically simple J.Crew dress, which I love because it leaves the door wide open for some great statement jewlery (like this piece, which I still can’t get out of my head). With my two stylists on hand, I tried on the dress and we had our very own little Say Yes to the Dress experience in my mom’s bedroom…

Having fun with some of my grandmother’s old costume jewlery…

I haven’t actually said YES to the dress yet, and do have about a month to return the sucker, but it was fun to get some input and see how the dress photographs without any annoying sales people rushing me along. Here’s a riddle for you — What has two-thumbs and loves the thought that her potential wedding dress arrived at her front door in a small cardboard box?

This girl!!

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

Finding the Fresh

As typical in Maryland, we were graced with a few beautiful spring days and have now jumped, head first, into summer heat and humidity. The sun has been out in full force lately and I’ve found it makes it very difficult to motivate myself to get into the gym. So I’m working to find the magical balance between targeted work outs and outdoor activities that are like work outs in disguise — like the mom who bakes broccoli into brownies.

I like tennis, I love swimming and yesterday Joey and I added something new to our repertoire.

Kayaking! What can I say, it pays to have friends in high places a Mom who lives on the Bay.

Joey and I went kayaking once before. It was a double kayak, we were in Mexico, and lets just say team work is not our strong suit 😉 We were like a so-bad-it’s-good comedy skit, spinning our kayak in circles and arguing over who was paddling wrong.

Needless to say, the one-man kayak was a good look on us.

(This is one of those photos where J will say, ‘You always post pictures where I look stupid and you look good.’ To which I would say that this is the only photo we took of the two of us, and nobody made him make that stupid face ;))

We paddled around for about an hour, stopped briefly on a little beach and then made our way back to dry land.

I will totally admit that I’m sore as all hell today! Seriously, every time I get up after sitting down for awhile my legs burn and my back is stiff. There’s something to be said about finding the fresh, mixing up a routine, trying something new. It’s definitely a hurts-so-good type of feeling.

And while I’d like to blame it all on the kayaking, after looking through my pictures, I realized that my soreness could also be partially due to this…

Sick of the jumping yet?

Me neither.

Trip to Black Ankle Vineyards

Awesome friends: Check. Good wine: Check. Good food: Check. Good times: check, check, check.

Had a wonderful afternoon with a group of great friends at Black Ankle Vineyards in Mt. Airy, Maryland. The vineyard was beautiful and the wine was delicious (albeit a little on the expensive side, but definitely worth it). The only thing that would have made this day better was a little bit of sunshine, but hey, what are you gonna do?

I leave you now with the rarest of all jumping pictures, the never before seen quint-unison-jump!

 

Now for the outtake reel:

The “Jumped the Gun” Jump Shot

The "Just a Smidge Too Early" Jump Shot

The "Not Too Shabby but We Can Do Better" Jump Shot

The "So Diana Thinks She Can Dance" Jump Shot

The "My Friends are Amazing For Jumping One Last Time" Jump Shot

Thank you so much to Joey, Kat, Chris, Sara, Emily B., Kacie, Bill, Emily E. and Mike for coming out to Black Ankle for the afternoon for a little day-drinking to celebrate my birthday! You all are the best! xoxoxo


When in New York

This weekend is “Joey & Diana’s Big Apple Adventure” aka Joey’s Christmas gift coming to fruition.  We’re off to NYC Saturday morning with little on the agenda except for having a good time. We both like to plan as we go along, Joey more so than me, but I’m learning to enjoy his ‘figure it out as we go along’ style of travel.

Of course, since this will be my first time playing tour guide in New York and Joey’s first time in the city that never sleeps, I’ve had to organize myself a little so we maximize our weekend and don’t waste time doing circles. It’ll be like a Choose Your Own Adventure book – where there’s a framework built but the story is what you make of it.

Here’s my list of possible things to do and see, we’ll revisit next week to see how much we accomplished:

  • Visit Rockefeller Center (Maybe do Top of the Rock, but someone, not saying any names here, is scared of heights…so it’s a big maybe.)
  • Visit Times Square
  • Eat at one of Bobby Flay’s restaurants (Bar Americain is right near our hotel, I may or may not have made a brunch reservation that I may or may not tell Joey about.)
  • Get a slice of authentic NY pizza
  • Check out a Museum
  • Go to FAO Schwarz
  • Walk around Central Park (I may or may not be plotting a way to get Joey to agree to a carriage ride. So super touristy, but something you need to do once in your life.)
  • Eat at Eataly (Hazlenut Gelato here I come.)
  • Try and score cheap tickets to a show
  • See St. Patrick’s Cathedral
  • Visit Little Italy
  • See the Flatiron Building
  • Get a Gray’s Papaya hot dog

Should I start fasting now? Stay tuned for more!

Best. Road Trip. Ever

Daily Post Challenge: Describe the best road trip you’ve ever taken.

If you know me, then you know my heart skipped when I saw this question because I relish any opportunity to replay in my mind the three-week cross-country road trip Joey and I took when I graduated college. It was my graduation gift to myself, and 21 days we won’t ever forget. We went from Maryland to the Grand Canyon and back – stopping in major cities and exploring lots of national parks along the way.

We took HOURS worth of video and hundreds of photos, and while it took me a couple of months, ok, years, I whittled it all down into a fabulous 30 minute video that we have since shared with friends and family (basically anyone who will indulge me).

I won’t bore you with the 30 minute version, but here’s a fun, short version I put together. Enjoy!

Side note – our ‘music video’ portion of the video was done during an 8+ hour drive clear across the state of Kansas. Yeah, we went a little crazy and I have the video to prove it 😉

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

 

How Could You Not Love This Girl???

Congratulations to the super fun, funny, smart, beautiful, hard-working, no holds barred, Emily E. on her new job venture!!! Em and I used to work together at the glass-enclosed nerve center, aka WTOP radio, aka the craziest happiest place on earth 😉 and I was lucky enough to celebrate the bitter sweet occassion with her and a bazillion other former-and-fabulous co-workers last night. A great time was had by all (as evident by all the empty tequila shot glasses).

Emily, I know you’re going to kick butt in your new role! You wouldn’t have it any other way. (O, and I can’t wait for our lunch dates!)

Play: [noun] 2. exercise or activity for amusement or recreation

Found this great article on the Huffington Post about the “key to happiness” that I thought was worth sharing:

It’s a vision problem that no laser surgery can cure, a hyperopia that keeps us from seeing the central source of happiness right next to us. That problem is called adulthood. Those who are afflicted with this condition have trouble focusing on nearby objects of amusement and the realm that delivers the most enjoyment per square inch: play. Adults are oblivious to what they knew as kids — that play is where you live.

Grownups aren’t supposed to play. We have problems. We’re too busy. We have important things to do. It turns out, though, that there are few things more important to your happiness than frequent doses of play. As a study led by Princeton researcher Alan Krueger found, of all the things on the planet, we’re at our happiest when we’re involved in engaging leisure activities. Why not do more of that?

The article goes on the say we live in a culture obsessed with getting results from everything we do. The end justifies the means. And play doesn’t really bring measurable results.

What we don’t realize, though, is that it’s precisely the lack of a quantifiable result that allows play to tap a more meaningful place that satisfies core needs and reveals the authentic person behind the masks of job and society….

Studies show that play reflects more of who you are than your work. When you’re engaged in activities of “personal expressiveness,” ones that are self-chosen and that reflect intrinsic goals, you’re operating from the “true self,” says Alan Waterman of the College of New Jersey….Play brings you back to life — your life.

When a 40-year-old goes headfirst down a water slide, that person is not 40 anymore. A few decades have been knocked off, because something inside has come alive again. It should be pretty obvious that the animating spark of play is the fast track to happiness.

Definitely makes you think about your life. When was the last time you laughed so hard it hurt? (Ok, so mine was a few posts back at the spa). I hardly consider myself an “adult” and think I still do a good deal of “playing” thanks to many fun spirited friends, a boyfriend who’s “almost” 30 going on 3, and a dog who refuses to accept “go lie down” as an answer. But I think this article gives us all something to think about now, and moving forward.