Guest Post #1: Finding the Balance Pam101 Style

Today’s guest post to kick things off is from blogger, photographer, Pittsburgher and all around awesome person, Pam101. She has an incredible outlook on life, and truly seizes every opportunity that comes her way. Not to mention she goes out of her way to be an great friend to everyone, which sort of explains why I want to be an honorary member of her Pittsburgh circle of awesomeness. 

A mission I accept:

I have been given an assignment by McHot’s, to write about “how I balance my life.” See, I am hoping as you read this…she is off running around NYC with her husband, going back to their engagement rock in Central Park and then making out in the backseat of a cab. Here is hoping we don’t see them on Taxicab Confessions.

Anyway, back to the assignment.

I’ll be honest, my life isn’t that complicated. I am a single girl. No kids, no lover, no pets. Just me. A strong, independent woman.

Just a girl, with a home in Pittsburgh (and a condo in DC), a job that I love, a lot of time spent in a car, a reader of trashy books, an awesome party planner and hostess and a super awesome Aunt to my niece and nephew.

So, how do I balance that?

I make time. I make time for everything that matters to me. That is the secret to my success. If a friend is sad, I call them, I make the time. If my niece needs me to get her at the bus stop, I go. If my boss needs me to work late, I am there. And the thing is…I love all of those things.

So, maybe that is the secret. If you love what you do, who you are and where YOU are in your life…then Life is already balanced.

Pam101 note: I am sure all the moms and ladies out there who are pulled in a million directions just rolled their eyes at my footloose and fancy free post. Don’t roll your eyes…Christian Grey is watching.

Pam101 note 2: I adore McHottie, the creator of The D Spot. She is one of my loveliest and awesome friends; I am honored to pinch-hit for her.

Pam101 note 3: Please read my blog. It’s full of fun nonsense for all of you busy bees out there.

DSpot Note: I love this post because I think it reminds us to stop comparing our lives to everyone elses. Like Pam101 said, love what YOU do and where YOU are. And if you don’t love it, then make some moves people. Life’s too short not too. Thanks for playing along, Pam!

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Pam’s “Gnome Sweet Gnome” Housewarming Party

It’s a long known fact that Pam101 knows how to throw a party like the best of them. So when the invite showed up in my mailbox, I knew the only place I was going to be on May 12 was Pittsburgh to celebrate this fabulous lady and her next big adventure.

The Gnome themed decor did not disappoint, the food was delicious and I’m pretty sure Pam101 is the only person on this planet who stocks her buffet line with vintage china plates.

Throw in some champagne and bloody marys for the adults, and some gnome themed tattoos for the kiddos (who am I kidding, I left rocking two of them) and I’d say the party was a raging success.

Really though, the best part was spending time with Pam’s amazing circle of friends and getting to meet Mom101, Dad101, Niece101 and Nephew101.

Congratulations again!

Check out more pictures of Pam’s Party here, and some pictures of her amazing home here.

One of These Things Is Not Like the Other

My array of birthday cards makes me laugh. Oh Twilight, you will never not make me feel like a total nerd. And by total nerd I mean completely awesome.

I also got the most amazing birthday package in the mail from the same culprit who sent me the Twi-Card. Click here if you don’t already know exactly who I’m talking about. It’s the tote bag made from a recycled sailboat sail that I blogged about being obsessed with A YEAR AGO, and I totally freaked out at its awesomeness. Not to mention it will be the perfect accessory for this weekend’s trip to North Carolina!

Feeling like the spoiled Birthday Brat that I get to be this week!

Sunday Happiness

This little mug makes me so happy. The kind of happy where I’m somehow able to completely ignore all the clutter on the desk and just focus on the gorgeous colors in the glaze. Thank you Pam101 for the sweet surprise “thank you” gift. You see, I made Pam101 this video from her amazing cross country Road Trip, and she surprised me with this mug that I was coveting in Annapolis Pottery the day we drank the 6lb Milkshake (round two). Awesome friend, I tell you. Anyone else need a video? Will Work for Pottery.

Quotes make me happy. This quote on my yogi tea bag makes me really happy. My mom tells me that when I was little my grandmother used to say,  “Don’t crush their spirit,” whenever someone would try to correct any of the grandkids. I think it’s a great philosophy.

This big lug makes me happy. I love when he hangs out under my chair when I’m on the computer. Sometimes he even fools ME into believing he’s a well behaved lab.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Wait a Minute Mr. Postman

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I’ve made it no secret that I’m not so good about keeping on top of the laundry, but what I haven’t told you is that the other chore I slack on is getting the mail. We live in a townhouse so the mailbox is at the end of the street, and whoever designed the neighborhood was an idiot because our mailbox isn’t really at the end of our street, it’s at the end of the street one block over. So basically we get the mail maybe once a week because we are the laziest people in the entire world  simply testing how skilled our postman is at cramming as much mail as humanly possible into a small mailbox. It’s possible that our mailman might have actually knocked on our door once with an entire mail crate filled with our mail because he couldn’t fit anymore into the mailbox. I think I told him something about being out of the country for a few weeks unexpectedly. I swear that only happened once though.

All of this is to say that I’m an idiot and should have KNOWN that Pam101, who is on her amazing USA Road Trip, would be sending postcards to her friends and family along the way. I mean remember this, that girl is thoughtful to the max. A delayed THANK YOU to Pam101 for sending me postcards from Iowa, Forks Washington and Redwoods California. It was fun getting them all at once and seeing how much ground you’ve covered 🙂 Travel on my friend.

Pam101 Does America

If there’s one thing I think everyone should do at some point in their life, it’s drive across the USA. It’s beautiful, eye-opening, amazing, life-changing and pretty much just about the most awesome thing you could do for yourself. Which is why I’m so excited that that’s exactly what D-Spot fan favorite Pam101 is doing right now! I highly suggest you follow her adventures on her blog — she’s currently on Day 5 so make sure to go back and start at the beginning.

And if you need more inspiration, check out a video I never get sick of 🙂

Say It Ain’t So

I’m so so sad to officially announce that the fabulous, amazing and super fun Pam101 is leaving Washington, D.C. to move back home to Pittsburgh. Now, I’ve known for a while that Pam101 was ready to make the leap, return to her roots and be back home with her awesome family that includes a too-cute-for-words niece and future-heartbreakin’ nephew, but now that the time is actually here…I’m super bummed.

I’m so aware that friends like Pam101 don’t come around often. She’s the type of girl who is always up for a dinner date or movie night, she goes above and beyond to throw fantastic dinner parties (hello, royal wedding watch party), and when you call her desk 911-style because you’re crying in the work bathroom and need your makeup, she comes to your rescue in record time (true story). From ballet dates, to NYC adventures, to twilight movie marathons, to the infamous 6lb milkshake challenge…and there’s more, just search Pam101 on this blog…I’m sad to see Pam go because of all the fun things that go with her. But hey, the only thing constant is change, right?

When I stop being selfish, I truly am happy for this new chapter in her life. And I know it’s not a goodbye, but rather a see you later, and hopefully one that will see us eating Primanti sandwiches and shopping the strip district. Tonight we’ll celebrate with champagne, mussels and frites at the always delightful Bistro du Coin in Dupont. I can’t promise there won’t be tears 😉

Oh life, you are so darned transient.

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!

Best. News. Ever.

Thank you Pam101 for breaking the news that…wait for it…EATALY is coming to Washington, DC! (cue the angels singing)

Pam101 introduced me to Eataly on our Big Apple Excursion last December, and Joey and I revisited the spot for a little post-engagement celebration in March. From the Huffington Post:

Eataly is big. The 40,000-square-foot Italian food-and-drink emporium already comprises a wine store, a beer garden, a bakery, a grocery store and six restaurants, all on 23rd Street in Manhattan. Eataly is so big that Little Italy’s merchants have been complaining that it’s stealing business from Mulberry Street. But by the end of 2012, if all goes according to plan, it will get bigger.

That’s when Joe Bastianich says he and Eataly’s co-owners (who include superstar chef Mario Batali) hope to have opened their second of three American branches of Eataly they currently have planned—in Los Angeles and Washington, DC.

Bastianich says the two new locations will be at least as big as the first, and that they, too, will include both restaurant and market components.

More details are hard to come by in terms of where exactly Eatly DC would be located, and if you read the entire HuffPost article, you’ll see that everything is very hush-hush, but my fingers and toes are crossed!

Joey and I ate at the pizza/pasta restaurant and both agreed that the fresh mozzarella (pictured above) was the best cheese we’ve ever eaten, and possible the best thing we’ve ever eaten, period. Oh, and don’t even get me started on the gelato! Ok, now I’m hungry…

Shut the Front Door

The Royal Wedding is in T-minus 2 days, and prep for the biggest, baddest watch party this side of the pond is well underway. Exhibit A above. Yes, Pam101 made a Royal Wedding Wreath for her front door. Talk about going all out! To see what else this hostess-with-the-mostess has been up to, check out her blog here.  Lets just say Royal Wedding inspired Georgetown Cupcakes have been ordered.