Wednesday, April 28, 2010

WDW Wednesday: Here's To 37 Magical Years!

Today is my parent's 37th wedding anniversary and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank them for everything they have ever done for me. They are so loving, supporting and beyond generous to not only my sister and myself, but also to both of our husbands. I'm so lucky to have such wonderful parents and I'm so thankful for them. 

 It was 37 years ago that my parents started started our family's life-long obsession with Disney World when they visited the Magic Kingdom on their honeymoon. Dad had been to Disneyland in California (I think) once before, but their honeymoon was their first visit to Walt Disney World in Florida.  They loved it so much and, once they had kids, decided to start what is now a 23-year long tradition of going to Disney World.

 1973/old school Mickey Mouse.

This above picture, along with one brochure and a half-used ticket book, was all I could ever find from Mom and Dad's first trip to Disney World. I think Mom is holding back on me!!!  

Naturally, when it came time for me to choose a honeymoon destination, I only had one choice and that was Disney World!!!
 The Goog and my wedding ears from June 2009.
Happy 37th Anniversary, Mom and Dad!! Here's to many, many more magical years!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Watch out! Baby fever is gonna getcha!

Baby fever has seemed to infect almost every women I know recently.  It started out mostly around my office about a year ago.. We've had 4 women pregnant in our office, and that is a significant number of women considering we only have about 30 women in the office.  Then, the baby fever struck closer to home when my sister-in-law, Amy, announced in early March that she too would be having a baby this upcoming November.

When Sis came to visit in late March, we were discussing how exciting it was for Amy and her baby, and Sis is all "We decided...that babies are not obnoxious and that I want to eat their fat little baby cheeks, sooo...we are having a baby too!"


WOAH! WHAT? Who we talkin' about? I'm going to be an aunt...times 2!! All within a 2 week timespan! My parents are retired and this is their first grandbaby AND it is my only sister's first child, so I guarantee Sis's baby will be spoiled rotten!

I've already forbid Sis from buying anything from because Auntie Sarah is going to hook that baby up with some high quality Disney merch! I will be buying ALL the Minnie Mouse/Princess/Fairy stuff I can find for my little niece or ALL the Mickey Mouse/Pirate stuff for my little nephew.  Uncle Goog will take care of all the baby Cincinnati Reds merchandise, as long as he doesn't eat that little baby up first! Sis made the mistake of calling it a Turkey Baby, since it is due right around Thanksgiving, now Goog keeps asking "How is that baby turkey?" and "How is she doing cooking that baby turkey in her oven." Good thing she didn't call it a mashed potato baby, or it would be dooooomed!

 Look how nice my little niece/nephew is! Left me a little love note on my message board.

Also in the works is my mixed CD of songs for that baby, which I'm calling "Aunt Sarah's Dance Mix...for Babies!" It will include all kinds of diaper-shaking songs, such as"Shake Your Groove Thing," "Hey Ya!" "ABC," the Carnival cruise line commercial song, "Let's Groove" and some classic late-90s pop.  Under no circumstances will the mixed CD include "Boom Boom Pow" even though a baby could probably really dance to that one!

What songs would you like to make a baby dance to? Leave your comments below!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

What happens when your husband coaches baseball

The beginning of spring brings the beginning of baseball season and the beginning of baseball season means the Goog spends lots of time away from the house. He is helping coach a high school baseball team this year and has also joined a softball league. If there is any time left after the coaching and the playing, he is probably watching the Cincinnati Reds. Goog LOVES himself some baseball. As we were watching the Reds game tonight, he pointed out how the manager and some assistant coach in the dugout both had on the shirt he bought. There were even modeling it the same way as Goog and B-i-L, with one guy rocking the short sleeves and the other guy with the long sleeves. In the SAME dugout. CRAZINESS!!

With all the baseball-ness going on, I needed to find something to occupy the time that I wasn't watching TV or blogging or reading people's blogs. Lucky for me, FarmVille had this new thing they were calling a Co-Op where you and a bunch of your farmer friends plant the same fruit or veggie or flower all at the same time. Then if you grow them fast enough, you get a GOLD medal. Its kind of like the Olympics of virtual farming.

When I was still in college, I was part of the co-op program at the University of Cincinnati, where you work for a quarter then take classes for a quarter. You rotate between work and school for a couple years, giving you valuable work experience and college credit hours all at the same time. I was so good at my co-op job that I was named "Accounting Co-Op of the YEAR" after I graduated. I just knew I was going to be awesome at this whole Co-Op thing!!

This certificate gives me all the qualifications I need to because the world's greatest virtual farm co-op manager. 

It turns out that I pretty much rock at being a co-op manager. My mom and sister, my second cousin, and my great aunt all started coordinating these co-ops so that we were guaranteed gold, and I'm always the leader of these coordination.  Under my management, we've already gotten 6 gold medals and are on our way to another. I'm pretty sure I'll be able to include "Virtual Farm manager" on my resume to demonstrate my killer management skills.

The problem with these co-ops is that I usually have to wait a full 24 hours before I can start the next co-op.  In my quest to find something fun to do/play while my co-op crops were growing, I decided to give the new Treasure Isle a shot. I'd seen a couple of my friends asking for fruits and gemstones and hey! I like fruit! I like gemstones! So I'm going through the tutorial thinking how stupid and lame the game is and how I don't get the purpose. THEN! Look what pops up:

 OMG! How can I NOT play a game that has baby panthers in it? Do you see how it is about to cry? Is that not completely heartbreaking? I am a sucker for sad animals. But wait! There are even more really sad, tear-y eyed animals including a margay, BABY SEAL, toucan and sloth. I want to take a tiny little tissue and wipe away their little tears and make them feel all better.

So any time one of these super sad animals appear on my Facebook homepage, I have to adopt them! I'm the Angelina Jolie of virtual jungle animals.  Here's what my own little tropical island looks like.

The thing I like the best about this game is it is preparing me for the cruise my family is going on starting June 13th! One of our stops on the cruise is to a private island, and I might just decide to stay on the island since I'll be an expert Islander by then!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

WDW Wednesday: Legend of the Giant Chicken Finger

Funny story. I wrote this blog during my lunch hour at work. Then I go to check the latest news this afternoon and see that my dear sister has written a blog about her favorite guilty pleasure foods. That's the sister-wister frequency working it's magic.

So my guilty pleasure? Chicken fingers. I love chicken fingers and the best chicken fingers in the world are the old school chicken fingers from Disney World.  Every time I begin planning a trip down to Disney World, it also includes when, where, and how many times I can get a chicken finger basket. The fingers WERE big strips of chicken with plenty of breading on them.  Unfortunately, the fingers have changed recently to "nuggets". Not like the McNuggets that have really questionable chicken in them, but smaller versions of the fingers, with even more breading and less chicken. Actually, they are called chicken BREAST nuggets because that is far classier than just a regular chicken nugget.

Don't get me wrong. I still would not turn down the chicken nuggets there. In fact, just talking about them is making me want to pack my bag and drive all night and part of a day tomorrow just to go get some of that chickeny deliciousness. Still, the new chicken nuggets don't measure up to the Disney World Chicken Finger of years past.

The most legendary of these chicken fingers was from May of 2007. The Goog and I were at MGM Studios and we wanted to have a nice dinner there, but all the nice restaurants had over an hour wait for each of them. So instead we went to the Backlot Express, a quick service restaurant which isn't one of our typical places that we frequent when we are at the parks. The menu happened to have chicken finger baskets on it and since I hadn't had a chicken finger fix in at least 24 hours, that is what I ordered.

I'm chowing down on my fingers when I discover this:

THE WORLD'S LARGEST CHICKEN FINGER. Goog and I are wondering how big a chicken had to be in order to make a chicken finger THIS BIG. ;-) Oh, it was sooo delicious!

The next time I went to Disney World they had switch to the nuggets, but I will always remember that magical day when I feasted on that giant chicken finger.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Reds Opening Day: It’s like a “National” Holiday for Cincinnati

The first day of professional baseball is a BIG deal in the city of Cincinnati every year.  It is near impossible to get a ticket to the Reds Opening Day unless you are a season ticket holder. You have to camp out for days if you want a single-day Opening Day ticket.  Do you know how big a deal it is? There is an entire PARADE dedicated to the day, in which half of downtown Cincinnati is blocked off and there are about 3 parking lots opened for those of us who actually work downtown.

The festivities aren’t limited there.  Our building management had an Opening Day Breakfast this year including everybody’s favorite breakfast items- popcorn, Cracker Jacks, and Cincinnati Reds cookies. It’s the breakfast of champions!! Then my office gave everyone a bag of peanuts and let us wear our jeans and Reds t-shirts. 

My office also happened to score 4 tickets to the company’s suite- which it shares with 3 other companies. I guess the executives didn’t want to go to Opening Day this year, so instead they held a raffle for the rest of our office. I debated on if I should put my name in the raffle. Did I really want to use my luck on something sports related? I can never resist entering for free stuff, and I really do like going to the suite to watch baseball games, so I went ahead and put my name.  Then that night I confess to the Goog that I put my name in but am all convinced that there is no way that I will win this particular raffle and that the Universe does not like me that much since I haven't been winning recently.

But of course the drawing comes around and I WIN. As excited as I was to win, I also was a little nervous about tell the Goog that I won because:
  • FACT: the Goog is the biggest Reds fan I know
  • FACT: the Goog is the biggest baseball fan I know
  • FACT: the Goog has never been to Opening Day
  • FACT: Opening Day coincided with mine and Goog's 9th anniversary together
Yet, I would be going to Opening Day on our anniversary without Goog. Sorry Goog!! But I'm sure he would be sadder if I won a ticket and then didn't go.

 I wasn't going to know most of the people in the suite, but luckily, one of the people going from my office was a very nice intern. I'll just call her Miss Intern. So Miss Intern and I buddied around for the whole game, because it turned out that most of the other people in the suite were from a law firm and a public accounting firm and kept making comments about how the baseball players born in 1980 were "such babies" even though Miss Intern and myself were born in the 80s as well.

The weather was beautiful for the whole game. Low 80s and very sunny. Miss Intern and I sat outside for most of the game, except for the few times we went inside to stuff our faces with delicious chicken fingers, mac'n'cheese, coney dogs, pizza, cheesecake and chocolate covered everything. Our conversations drifted between baseball (Miss Intern: "Who is your favorite player?" Me: thinking really hard "I met Brandon Phillips once" even though that wasn't really the question) and more serious subjects like weddings/engagements/boyfriend and husbands.

  In front: Me, acting all fancy up in the suite. Behind me: Albert Pujols practicing hitting the ball very, very far.

 Around the 8th inning, Miss Intern decided she was ready to leave and I decided that would be a good time to track down another one of my co-workers that actually had to PAY for tickets to the game. But first, I wanted to go to the Suite-level Merchandise Shoppe to see if I can find any Opening Day merch for poor Goog to commemorate the day that I betrayed him and went to Opening Day by myself.  There happened to be one souvenir Opening Day baseball left in the shop, and it also just so happens that the Goog collects souvenir baseballs. PERFECT! The cashier is ringing up my baseball and her jaw about hits the counter when she sees this guy walk past the shop:

For those of you who are not Bengals fans/native Cincinnatians, that is former Bengals player/ current Furniture Fair pitchman Anthony Muñoz. The following conversation ensues:

Cashier: That is Anthony Muñoz! He is NOT very good looking but he is so nice. He is really good with kids.

Store attendant: Down girl.

Me: pulls tissue of out pocket to wipe the Cashier’s drool off my credit card.

I was so distracted by seeing the local celebrity that I forgot all about going to see my co-worker and instead went back to the suite, stuffed my face with some more delicious food and watch the Cardinals hit a grand slam in the top of the 9th. It was a great day, but I hope next year I'll be able to go to Opening Day with the Goog.

If it makes the Goog feel any better, the Universe might like me but the Sun does not. I am now rockin' my first farmer's tan (more like burn) of the year. I don't think I'll ever be able to live this one down.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Tale of the Ghost Easter Cats

Let's just get one thing straight. We aren't one of those crazy pet families that have the Easter Bunny hop by for our pets. That would be completely ridiculous and weird. Nope, instead, our cats are visited by the ghosts of our dead cats.

I had 2 18-year old cats that past away over the last year and a half.  I always say that Willie and Kimmie think that their Aunts Katy and Smokey were super rich and left them all these toys. So now, apparently, they are also sending them new toys from the great beyond. At least we don't have some creepy bunny sneaking into our house in the middle of the night.

Willie's toy was  a "Las Vegas Showgull." It LOOKS like a seagull, except if a seagull was to quit life on the sea and instead become a Las Vegas Showgirl and dress up in lots of feathers. Oh, and of course it is filled with cat nip. Kimmie's toy, which Willie took a big interest in as soon as he saw she had a toy too, was a fish with a really feathery tail and a bungee cord- also filled with catnip. By the way, the bungee cord snapped in about an hour because Willie was playing so hard with it. The Goog claims the cats will be pooping feathers for weeks. Lets hope not!


Kimmie played with her feathery fish all of about 2 seconds before she gave up on it and Willie snatch it from her. She then took an interest in the ribbon tied to their baskets. She looks totally crazy in these pictures. Maybe it was the catnip talking.


While the cats enjoyed their new toys, I cooked a delicious Easter dinner for the second year in a row. We had ham, mac 'n' cheese, and my famous "this-is-why-I-married-you" mashed potatoes. The guests to my dinner included the Goog, my parents, and Seasonal Mickey Mouse, and his basket full of bunny & flowers.

Mickey says: "Oh golly, I think I'll eat all these mashed potatoes out of this duck bowl."

For dessert, I made a baseball cake, in an attempt to make up for the fact that I will be attending Reds Opening Day while the Goog will be at work. The Goog just happens to be the worlds biggest Reds fan and he has never been to an Opening Day and I won a ticket to sit in a suite for Opening Day. Ooopsie!!

Hope everyone had a great Easter!!