June 27, 2014

My Week on the Road

I am sitting in my hotel near the airport feeling extremely lucky for the week I've had, but ready to go home and see my husband and my pups.  I've been extremely busy this week so I'm recapping by sharing the good, the bad and the classy moments of my week traveling through Indiana and Ohio.

The Bad:

My first night I decided to walk to Applebee's for a solo dinner.  It was sunny and warm.  As soon as my food arrived, the rain started along with the heavy winds and flash flood warnings.  Such perfect timing.  OK, it wasn't that bad.  I just had a beer for dessert and waited out the rain.

The threat of a tornado while stuck in our little Indianapolis office with 4 grown men.  I really didn't want to hide in a bathroom with everyone for the afternoon.  We survived.

The Mississippi River is flooding my hometown including my grandma's basement.  It might be a blessing in disguise because her basement was stuck in 1964, but she shouldn't have to be stressed out about ANYTHING EVER.  This is a picture from Kare11's Instagram account.

Missing lunch on Wednesday.  Not sure how that happens, but I must make sure it never happens again.

And the worst news of all, getting a picture from my husband of our beloved private pier at the apartments that burned down.  They are investigating the cause, but it will be out of commission while they rebuild it and I will miss spending warm summer nights out there.

The Good:

I was reminded this week that I'm really good at my job.  Some weeks, I don't feel like that, but this week was re-energizing and I'm so excited about the busy few months ahead of me.

I got to celebrate Gwensday with the real life Gwen.  I had so much fun hanging out in their neighborhood and meeting her husband and her neighbors.  I'm so glad Columbus was on my path.  If they aren't careful, I'll be showing up for one of their parties soon.  They are seriously the most welcoming people and I had so much fun.

I saw a double rainbow.

I got to spend an evening laughing and eating Mexican food with Erin.  Our dinner quickly became 2.5 hours long and our server kind of wanted to join us.  I just love her.  She's a great person and I hope our paths cross again soon.

I drank a Sangria that was $2.99.  I love the Midwest... or is Covington, KY in the South?  Well, either way, I love a giant glass of tasty Sangria for under $3.

I had a full 1/2 hour of alone time to check out the North Market in Columbus which was highly recommended.  I tried Jeni's splendid ice cream and it was splendid indeed.

The Classy:

I had at least 2 semi truck drivers witness a full Jerry McGuire style rendition of Free Fallin' while driving my mini van rental from Indy to Columbus.

I followed up Tom Petty with Bruce Springsteen and felt super American.

I walked to Walmart from my hotel and purchased mini wine bottles, a People magazine and a Hershey's candy bar.  When I got to the cashier, I waited while a young man bought a super size pack of condoms.  The woman working remained quiet and sincerely wished him a lovely evening.  When she saw my purchases and then asked for my ID, she started laughing and told me my purchase was "so Jersey."  I don't even know what that means.  I think she was calling me "classy."  So, thank you to the lovely woman at Walmart.  You're a real Indiana Peach.

Signing off from Kentucky - where you can still smoke in bars.  Have a great weekend!

June 23, 2014

Mermaid Parade: A Kick Off to Summer

Summer has officially arrived according to calendars across the country.  We decided to kick off summer by participating in a New York City tradition that started in 1983, the Mermaid Parade on Coney Island.  I had read about it a few different places and was intrigued, but we really didn't know what to expect.

The parade starts at 1 PM.  There are tons of vintage cars (and any car that wants to play along) on Surf Ave.  We enjoyed a frozen pina colada at Margarita Island before finding a spot right on the fence on the boardwalk.  Half of our group rode the Thunderbolt while we waited for the walking part of the parade to begin.

This is one of the largest art parades in the country and people really take their costumes seriously.  There were so many colors and different kinds of mermaids.  The amount of children at the event made me a little uncomfortable because it's definitely not PG13 (I'm talking boobs, butts and maybe a few other mysteries).  Here are a few of my "appropriate" pictures, but if you are interested in the crazy that really goes on - comment below and I'll email you some of my favorites that I'll keep off the blog... for now.

Also, if none of you comment that you want to see pictures, I'll be extremely disappointed.  We had a great time watching the colorful crazy stroll by.  The weather was perfection.  We followed up our daydrinking party day with a nice little Sunday picking strawberries in Hudson Valley and watching the final 3 episodes of Breaking Bad - not ready to talk about that yet... or maybe ever.  

If you live in NYC, go to the Mermaid Parade at least once.  If you don't live here, do it anyways.  It's quite the experience.  Hope you are all enjoying what seems to be the favorite season of everyone... until fall is near.

June 20, 2014

Daydrinking, Dancing and Summertime

Starting today, I'm turning this shitty, sick, cranky mood around.  My fever has gone away and I feel like I finally have energy this morning.  I finished one big work project last night and will be wrapping up some other loose ends today.  I'm focusing on the positive.  That's something I'm usually really good at, but not the last couple weeks.  I'm jumping on the #100happydays bus - so you should follow me on Instagram @stephgregerson.  I miss my daily gratitude posts, so I'm going to try this out for the summer.

Tomorrow is the very first day of summer (according to the calendar) and I'm going to be celebrating by watching the Mermaid Parade on Coney Island.  I see frozen drinks, lots of crazy costumes and tons of sunscreen in my weekend forecast.

To kick off this happy streak I'm about to start, I'm going to link up with Amanda for Friday Favorites.

Favorite Photo:

That was taken the last time we were at Coney Island a few weeks ago.  I love that guy.

Favorite Links:

This list of America's Best Beach Towns - how do I get myself to at least a few of those this summer?

21 Things you have to explain to out-of-towners but I would add the pronunciation of Houston Street.   Some day I'll write a list of the things we tell our visitors over and over again.

I was surprised by a few of these TV characters you didn't know were married.  I did know about Ron Swanson though.

And then my favorite of the week is 2 100 year old BFF's talking about today's popular culture.  Go see it on my Facebook page by clicking here.

Favorite Song:

Favorite Things:

The Nashville trip we are planning for the end of July.

The things planned for this first weekend of summer.

The wines I got in my Wine Awesomeness Box this month.  Click here for 30% off (plus they have an awesome referral program.)

Favorite Video:

I watched this yesterday and laughed so hard.  

Which kind of dancer are you?  I'm sure you fit into one of those categories.  I either have a bottle in hand or I'm awkward... or let's face it, sometimes a little clumsy.

Happy Friday!!!

June 18, 2014

Why the Name?

There are a few new faces around here and I'm so happy you're here.  I figured it might be time to explain why the title of my blog is Insert Classy Here.  Well, let's start with this:

Yes, I even disgust 4 year old me with an awesome sweater on.  I have a little work to do on the classy business.  But, the way I see it, I'm walking a fine line between being classy and being ridiculous all the time and I LIKE that about myself.

I notice when some people describe a lady that they respect, they use the word classy.  Not like saying that a girl is a "classy broad" when she just got done belching loudly in a nice restaurant.  I'm talking about a woman that is described as classy because she's funny, but not totally inappropriate.  One of the girls and one of the guys.  Like Audrey Hepburn with a secret Lindsey Lohan side that only comes out once in a blue moon.  Maybe LiLo is a bad example, but you kind of see what I'm going for?

Maybe eat less pizza rolls and more sushi...
Wear less of my grungy sweat pants and more high heels...
Listen to less Ke$ha and more Beethoven...
Drink less $3 champagne out of the bottle and more tasteful champagne from a normal glass...

You know, expose myself to the finer things in life.

My 2012 resolutions were to become most classy and eat more vegetables.  I wasn't sure where to start, so I thought if I started this blog about the things I did, I could look back and find those not so classy moments and learn from them.

I might not have learned too much yet, but I'm a work in progress.

Classy means being open minded to learn new things and accept differences in people.  Classy means being high quality - not material things, but just being a real and genuine person.  Most importantly is the definition from Urban Dictionary, classy is a deeper, more meaningful word for cool.

Cheers to all of you that read this ridiculousness.  I love you all.

June 16, 2014

Life is like a Tornado

I have been a bad blogger lately.  Life has kind of turned into a tornado lately.  There are great things and there are bad things flying around my world and I'm just working on staying planted on the ground.  I love this blog and I miss it when I'm away, so I'll be back to normal here again soon.  But for at least the rest of today, I'll be holed up in my storm cellar (not literally of course.)  I'll leave you with a picture from this weekend and an awesome link up to join tomorrow.

I'd like to introduce you to Erica Jacquline.  She is the queen of lists and hosts a weekly link up on Tuesdays called "Listed Tuesdays."  That instantly won me over because I love reading lists.  Here we have 5 short lists to share with you to help you get to know Erica better.

List 3 things on your bucket list.

1. Travel to everywhere in the world.
2. Be a full time writer.
3. Get married to someone kind that makes me laugh.

List 3 of your favorite books.

1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
2. Of Mice and Men by Steinbeck
3. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling

List 3 songs that always make you want to dance.

1. Shot through the Heart - Bon Jovi
2. Roar - Katy Perry
3. Party in the USA - Miley Cyrus

List 3 breeds of puppies you dream about.

1. Cavapoos (you have to see her pup, Penny and read this post about the 12 things she's afraid to tell you about Penny)
2. Golden Retrievers
3. Huskies

Isn't she adorable???
List your guilty pleasures.

1. The Bachelor
2. Cheez-Its

Now, you should probably go and participate in her link up tomorrow and share your favorite list (past or present).  Also, she's a fantastic blogger to sponsor and has an awesome section of her blog that is dedicated to posts about blogging!!!

June 12, 2014

Coliseum - Home of the Oakland A's

When MLB players step up to the plate, they are usually blasting some new hip hop song or their favorite country anthem.  Josh Reddick of the Oakland A's decided to do something a little different.  

He uses Careless Whisper.  It's becoming a favorite of the A's fans who sway back and forth anytime the song comes on.  I giggled when I first saw it.  We went to the Coliseum for a game last fall and it was an interesting stadium to visit.

We went to a noon game on a weekday so there weren't too many people at the park, but the fans that were there kept us very entertained.  Lots of shirtless men, lots of drunk men and a few ladies that drank white wine and stayed in the shade cheering loudly.  We were on vacation, so we enjoyed some sunshine beers and a good game.  The beer choices were great at the Coliseum, the food choices were horrible.  The stadium location wasn't the greatest, but the BART does lead you right to the concrete tunnel of love walkway that leads you to the stadium.

We are happy to have another park checked off our list.  I don't think we'll be rushing back to this ballpark anytime soon.  The A's have the same colors as the Green Bay Packers, so it just doesn't make me feel very welcome.

Check another one off the list for us.

Tell me - which MLB stadium is your favorite?

June 11, 2014

Irrational Anger

I am one of the most optimistic people that I know, but not these last few days.  I have been a real pain in the ass.  Good thing only my dogs have had to deal with me.  Justin has been working 16 hour days, so I have been able to pout and stomp around the apartment without too much judgment.

Aviva on Real Housewives of NY.  She makes me completely insane.  I had to listen to her talk about her dad's sexcapades on last night's episode and it makes me want to throw up.

Middle fingers.  I have seen too many of these lately, especially around our apartment.  These are your neighbors and there is no need to flick off the person that is dropping off my elderly neighbor.  Her hazard lights are on and there is plenty of room to go around her.

Cream Cheese Wontons.  I know these are trash food, but I love them and I can't find them anywhere.  I love cupcakes, pizza and some kinds of candy, but they just aren't the same.  I've never met a wonton I didn't like.  Two weeks ago, I ordered some and they came stuffed with meat and no cheese... what?  Then last night, I found a restaurant on GrubHub that listed these as an appetizer (and specified cheese) and I clicked order with some sushi on the side.  I was so excited that the 70 minute delivery time didn't phase me.  I turned on Scandal and sat on the couch so excited about my solo dinner plans. 10 minutes before my delivery time, I get an email that my order has been cancelled due to distance.  I've never been so angry about food before.  My awesome husband picked up some sushi on his way home, but no fried apps accompanied this lovely gesture so I was still pissed.

The Stanley Cup.  I JUST WANT THE RANGERS TO WIN.  Monday's game sucked to watch.  I refuse to give up hope, but tonight needs to be a Rangers win to move forward.  I could cry just thinking about it.

My work inbox.  Just when I get things caught up, I get completely slammed again.  I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to that beast.  Plus, I have Friday off so I'll probably be crying come Monday.

My desk.  It's gotten out of hand.  It needs to be purged, cleaned and organized, but I'm writing this instead of taking time to get it under control.

Things that I'm angry about that are totally justified = ALMOST EVERYTHING ON THE NEWS.  But that's a topic for a totally different day.

Now that I've gotten all of that off my chest, I'm going to try to pull it together, get some shit caught up today and enjoy a good hockey game tonight.  Oh and watch this at least 5 times...

I'll probably also check out some other confessions on Kathy's link up today.  Happy hump day.

June 6, 2014

Requirements for my Summer

Today's weather is perfection.  I'm kicking some serious ass at work to try and enjoy a little time outside later this afternoon.  Summer has officially arrived and I kind of love how much people are talking about it.  I decided to make a list of the requirements I have for this summer.

Cowboy boots & hats while exploring Nashville

Watching the Mermaids parade by at Coney Island on June 21st

Exercising in fun ways like hiking and kayaking instead of treadmills and weights

Days with no social media, emojis or selfies

Exploring Connecticut and Massachusetts with a few small road trips

Movies in the Park - for sure Ghostbusters, Back to the Future and Big

Reading... so much reading

Pitching a tent and drinking cold beer by the fire somewhere in the wilderness

Beach days complete with umbrella rentals

Game nights on the rooftop deck or the pier with neighbors

Outdoor baseball

Daydrinking... just kidding, that's all year round


Practicing my Icelandic and getting our fall trip planned and paid for

Lake time in Upstate and hopefully in Minnesota

Eating, drinking and strolling our way around the city when it has been deserted on the weekends

Hammocks and picnics

Running barefoot in the grass

Finding a friend with a porch that I can sit on

But, my first mission is to get rid of the tan line on my feet from my Toms.  

If you love reading lists like this, go check out the link ups that Erin from Living in Yellow and/or Kym from Travel Babbles are hosting.  Just go show Kym some love anyways because she shared some happy news today and my heart is happy.

Happy weekend!

June 5, 2014

The Brooklyn Bridge

Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge was one of the things on our NYC bucket list that I was most excited about.  We emailed the friends that were coming out for Memorial Day weekend to see what they wanted to do and that was on their list too.

Friday turned out to be a beautiful day that started with brunch on the Upper West Side and then a walk through Central Park.  We wanted to keep playing outside so we decided to head to the bridge.  The subway stop at City Hall brings you right up to the walkway for the bridge.

Now for the pictures...

Once we crossed to the Brooklyn side, we found the Brooklyn Bridge park and a nice spot to stop and have a drink before taking the ferry back across the East River.

I would absolutely do this over and over again.  We love to get out and walk and the views from the bridge are gorgeous... except that Verizon logo in the picture above - that's just annoying.  You have to be prepared for it to be busy on a nice day and be careful for the bike lane, but it's definitely worth doing if you are in the NYC area.

Also, you should always try and get a good photobomb in.  Justin saw Kelsey getting her picture taken and did this:

Hope you jump high and reach for your dreams today.

June 4, 2014

Time to Confess

Let's have some real talk about some things that I'd like to get off my chest.

Most importantly, it's the first game of the Stanley Cup this evening.  I've been successful at getting my husband to enjoy the NY Rangers this year, but the truth is, he has a different number one team.  He grew up in Southern California and has been true to the LA Kings since day one.  If you ever read this post from last year, then you'll see that even I've worn a Kings hat before.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think that his favorite team would end up playing against the Rangers for the Stanley Cup.  So wish us luck.  One of us is going to end up really sad when this is over and I think it's going to be Justin.  Until then, I'm going to make sure he doesn't show his face in public with his Kings gear on.

Quick side note - did you know it's cheaper to fly to LA and get tickets for a game at the Staples Center than just crossing the river and going to Madison Square Garden?  I know New Yorkers have money, but I think it totally sucks that my chance of going to a game have completely gone away.  Don't worry, I'll be entering any contest that involves possibly winning tickets (and I won't take my husband unless he wears his Rangers shirt.)

I'm annoyed that Kimye got married on my birthday.  Of all the days in a year, why did they have to pick my birthday?  Now I'm going to know their anniversary date all 72 weeks that they are married.

I caught myself watching that stupid show about the girls that think that are falling in love with Prince Harry last night.  I actually watched it for 10 minutes before turning it off.

I own 7 maxi skirts.  I think I need to stop.  It's becoming a problem.  I did get 2 as birthday gifts, so those shouldn't count.  Maybe I'll get just one more.

I also just counted the number of sunglasses I own and it's disgusting.  I love cheap Target sunglasses.  And you can tell if I've had a little to drink because I put them on.  I'm that girl.

I'm super awkward at hellos, goodbyes and receiving any sort of gifts.  Those things happened a lot in the last week, so I apologize to any friends/family because I just always feel weird participating in any of those things.

I watched 5 episodes of Real Housewives that I was behind on last night and loved every second of it.

I feel better getting all of that out.  Now go visit Kathy and read some more.  Happy Hump Day (and yes, I still think that commercial is funny.)

Vodka and Soda

June 3, 2014

Our First Real Minnesota Trip

I spent the last week crashing at my parents house in St. Paul.  I worked at our Minneapolis office for the week and had some great face to face time with some of my coworkers.  Justin flew in on Friday to meet me and we had a whirlwind weekend of time scheduled with family & friends all over the Twin Cities.

Here were a few favorite moments from the last week:

Mosquito bites and a glass of wine in my parent's backyard.  It is one of the most beautiful places to hang out... also where we got married so it has some amazing memories.

Wednesday night, my mom and I had dinner with my Grandma.  She is one of my favorite people and always has a couple great one liners.  We found some old pictures at her house and the one on the left was one of my favorites.

I got a happy hour in with a few girlfriends.  There was guacamole, Cards Against Humanity and so many laughs.

Getting to celebrate with Brian & Kristi on their wedding day.  It was an awesome night at a beautiful venue with some awesome people.

Sunday morning champagne breakfast with my family.  We can't seem to ever just get a normal picture together, so I'm sharing that one anyways.  Yep, Justin's eyes are closed and my dad is hiding behind our champagne bottle.  Those are my people... even my brother with his long red beard.

The birthday trio getting to celebrate the end of birthday week.  I'm so happy Caroline remembered to get a picture :)

And since I didn't bring a camera and used my phone a few times and stole pictures from others for some of the pics above, here are the moments that made our hearts happy even if there isn't proof it happened:

Dinner at PF Changs with one of my favorite sister pairs.

Surprising our nieces with our visit home and getting to see their dance recital.

Dinner with J's parents and his cousin Lauren.

Beers with our sisters after the recital to catch up and spend some much needed uninterrupted time together.

Getting to meet our friend's 6 month old, Will.  He's such a stud.

Seeing so many of our awesome friends throughout the weekend.

The week flew by and was extremely busy, but we are so grateful for everyone that was able to stop by and say hi.  We are excited for our next trip back that can include a little more time with family, I might actually bring a camera and hopefully we will spend a day on the lake.  See you again soon Minnesota.