Wednesday, September 30, 2009

New Blog

In anticipation of my move, I have started going through my closet to see what items I do not want or need or can't take with me. I am going to follow Miss Sweet Tea's and Nautical by Nature's example and start a separate blog to sell some things. It is aptly titled Help Me Pay for My Move. Currently I have two things up for sale, and will have a ton more once I can take pictures and post them. I received a ton of Vera Bradley things as gifts, some items I haven't even used, so if you are a Vera fan, definitely pay attention to this one.

beverage swap update

By now, all packages for the beverage swap should have gone out. If you have not sent or received your swap yet, please contact myself and your swap partner. If you do not have a blog, please email me pictures of your goodies that you received from the swap and I will post them for you. Hope everyone enjoyed the swap!

coupons and discount codes

Bloomingdales Friends and Family Sale- 20% off your order with code FRIENDS. Valid October 1-4, excludes Cosmetics and Fragrances.
A. Tierney- Free shipping on all orders of $50 or more with code FALL09. Valid now through October 11, 2009.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

weekend recap or why MRM's digestive tract may quit on her

This past weekend, my sorority's regional leadership team had a meeting to prepare for next week's regional conference. This is a bittersweet moment for me as it will be my last one. (If any ASAs who plan on attending are reading this- it may be a good idea to bring at least 100 boxes of kleenex with you. I plan on using every single one of them. Waterproof mascara may not be a bad idea either.) I spent both Friday and Saturday night at a sister's house. I tell people that what sets ASAs apart from everyone else is our dietary habits. In such, here is a food summary of my weekend.

grilled cheese sandwich for breakfast
cup of Earl Grey tea
Twizzlers provided at meeting
mini boxes of Milk Duds provided at meeting
Lunch at meeting: grilled cheese sandwich, cheese fries, and coleslaw
Dinner at Melting Pot
Cocoa Puffs and Twizzlers for breakfast on Sunday

For anyone who was wondering what it is I do for a living, this post provides you with a big hint- I am not a nutritionist.

Are we seeing a pattern here? It may not have been such a bad thing that Yom Kippur was yesterday. It gave my body a chance to burn off some of the 80 jillion or so calories that I consumed over the weekend. It may or may not be such a bad thing that District Day may be my last event, since I'm not sure how much longer my digestive tract can tolerate me being an Alpha Sigma Alpha. (Emails regarding nourishment for this event included mention of a value-size tub of Twizzlers from BJs.)

My other big excitement of the weekend is that I was contacted by Accent Furniture to do a product review for them. Since TLS and I are starting to think about our house and what we'll need for it, I jumped at the chance to do it. It turned out that they carry one of the items that we registered for, so in a few days, this baby will be mine.

I cannot wait to try it out! (As if I needed an excuse to open a bottle of wine.)

On a totally unrelated note- Preppy Coastee and I had plans to go to the Lilly Pulitzer Warehouse Sale, which I was looking forward to immensely. Sadly, after realizing that we need to pay for a $950 marriage license, I don't think I will be able to buy anything there unless it's on like 90% off sale. I will still be planning on attending, so if there is something that you absolutely positively have to have and are willing to pay the shipping from NY, email me, and I will see if I can pick it up for you. (Since I can only carry so much, I can only make guarantees for the first three people who email me.)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

it's time for another giveaway

Since I had such an amazing time in England and Belgium with TLS, I decided to share the good vibes with all of you. After thinking about what items would make for a fun giveaway, I decided to pick two of my favorites. The lucky winner of this giveaway will receive a tin of Peach flavored loose tea from Fortnum and Mason (I bought TLS a box of their peach flavored tea bags and he cannot stop drinking it!) and a 125g box of chocolates from Leonidas. (In my opinion, Leonidas is the best chocolate in Belgium.

I'm going to keep this one simple. To enter, just leave a comment on this post. Followers get a second entry. For a third entry, post about this giveaway on your blog. You will also get one entry for every person who enters that was referred by you.

The giveaway will run until Sunday, October 4th at midnight EST, and I will announce the winner on Monday the 5th.


advertising on whaleflipflops

In the past, I have been contacted by several companies who have expressed interest in placing paid advertisements on my blog. I have declined these offers because I did not want to turn my blog into a billboard and chose to keep it about me, putting up links and buttons to stores that I support and have hosted giveaways, etc. on my blog.

After giving it some thought, I have decided to at least temporarily open my blog up to advertising. While I understand that I will not be able to get all of the money that we need for our license from advertising, being that I know I will be unemployed for at least part of the time that we are in Germany, I feel that it is my responsibility to do whatever I can to help us prepare for our future.

If you or your company/business is interested in placing a paid advertisement on this blog, please email me at whaleflipflops {@} gmail {.} com. I do not want to run more than 3-4 paid advertisements at a time, and I would want any advertising on here to be pertinent to my lifestyle and my blog.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

the joys of moving internationally- take 2

Being that the military only recognizes legal dependents, TLS and I will have to be legally married before anything can happen in terms of getting me put on his orders and having me move. The process of getting put on his orders, getting an official passport, visa, medical clearance to move, etc. can take several months, so the sooner that we get legally married and get started on all of my paperwork, the better the chances of me getting to move at the same time as him are. We are both pretty traditional and don't consider it to really be married without the religious ceremony, and will have a real Jewish wedding after things are not so hectic and we have moved. Because of all this, we have been researching our options. Here they are.

*Get married in New York- The pros of this is are easy, being that I live here and that a New York State License only costs $60 . However, there are plenty of cons- New York State has a 24 hour waiting period to get married. TLS has a very limited amount of leave that he can take, and with the time necessary for travel for him between the UK and US and the 24 hour waiting period, that really dips into his leave more than we can afford right now. The cost of an inter-continental ticket doesn't help matters either.

*Get married in Nebraska- The Nebraska marriage sounds even more appealling because there is no required waiting period and the license only costs $15. TLS's brother is getting married in Nebraska in April, so if we were to get married there, we could tack on an extra day or two of leave to that trip and get married right after. However, I am not sure that I will be attending the wedding. I too have a limited amount of vacation time left, and considering that after I leave my job I will be unemployed, it makes sense for me to save up as much of my vacation time as possible so that my job can pay out my unused days when I leave.

*Get married in Vegas- My friend JMK suggested this one, probably because she wanted to say that she knows someone other than Britney who got married in Vegas. While we would love to take a vacation there, with the cost of two flights, hotels, meals, etc., this clearly is not a feasible option for us.

*Get married in Europe- We toyed with the idea of doing this one and getting a British marriage license. However, it costs $600, and then there will be fees, forms, etc. to get it approved/recognized by the U.S. Military so it ends up being more of a hassle than anything else.

*Get married in Montana- The state of Montana is the only one that does double-proxy marriages. This means that two people who are authorized stand in for the bride and groom. You get a Montana marriage certificate which is valid and accepted by 49 out of the 50 states. Iowa does not recognize double-proxy marriages, but since there are no bases in Iowa and living there is not exactly a life-long dream for either of us, this does not pose a problem. Double-proxy marriages are common/popular in the military because they make things a lot easier, and there are ads for the service a lot of times in the Stars & Stripes (military newspaper). It takes about 3 weeks to get a marriage certificate via this option.

After discussing our options, we agreed that the double proxy marriage is our best bet. The major con of it- it costs $950!!! This includes the cost of the license, legal fees, processing fees, etc. While this saves us money and time on things like flights, it is a really big check to have to write out all at once. So the moral of this story? I need to discover an oil well in my apartment.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Changes in Lattitude, Changes in Attitude, nothing remains quite the same

This past weekend was Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Since no one wants to hear about my family dinner or my Nana's latest shenanigans courtesy of her Alzheimer's and Dementia, I will spare you.

Because this year will be full of many firsts and lasts for me, I got to making a to-do list of things that I need to do/accomplish before I move. Some of them are easy, others not so much. I figured I'd share them with my blog readers.

*Buy an I <3 NY Shirt
Totally cheesy and touristy but I do like the I <3 NY logo and I figure it will be a nice thing to have once I'm not actually living in NY any more.
*Go ice skating in Wollman Rink or Bryant Park at least once.
Off the ice, I have the grace and composure of a blind elephant on ice, so just picture what I must be like strapped to two very thin blades. For this very reason I have avoided going ice skating at all costs. However, it is a very New York thing to do and I know that I will regret it later on if I don't do this at least once in my life.
*Learn how to drive.
Don't laugh. I lived in Manhattan from ages 7-25 and never had any reason to learn how to drive. I finally got a learners' permit when I turned 20 so that I would have a legal id to go out with when I turned 21. My learners' permit expired when I turned 25. I have yet to renew it.
*Go see at least one more Broadway show that isn't Phantom of the Opera.
I would love, love, love to see Wicked, Mary Poppins, or the Little Mermaid.
*Try every cupcake flavor at Crumbs at least once.
The Urban Whisk, B is for Brown, and Preppy Coastee, want to help me with this one?
*Attend a Fashion Week show.
I have wanted to do this for years but have not been proactive at all about it or done anything to actually attend a show. I don't know anyone who works in the industry, so I don't actually know how I would do this, but I would really like to attend a show. Any show. If any one reading this can get me in to a Spring show, please take pity on me. I will give you major blog love if you do.
*Attend a Yankees game in the new stadium.
Raise your hand if you'd like to go with me.
*Learn German
I have always loved studying foreign languages and won an award in high school for being the only person in my grade to study three foreign languages (French, Italian, and Greek). (In an ironic twist of fate, my high school actually offered German and the German teacher asked if I'd be interested in taking her class and I said no because I did not see myself ever needing to know a single word of German. Who's laughing now?) One of the things that I think is really cool about me is the fact that I am bilingual, and I would love to be able to know at least some conversational German so I'm not a total fish out of water when I get there.
*Get at least one more ASA letter shirt.
(preferably with Lilly Pulitzer letters)
Who cares if I won't have any chapter meetings, recruitment events, etc. to wear it to? I can wear it around the house to play Wii and skype KMH and KMB.

**List will be updated progressively throughout the year.**

Friday, September 18, 2009

Vineyard Vines Blogger Discount

Happy Shopping!

Favorite Things Friday

KMH can breathe easy now, I'm finally blogging. Ever since TLS and I found out that we'd be moving to Germany and I would have a house to decorate, I've been nesting hard core. I signed up for every home accessories catalog available, have created wishlists on several sites, and have started flagging/clipping pictures of things I like. At the Barbara Barry sale on Rue La La a while back, we bought an adorable set of four rocks glasses with chairs on them, and are keeping them in the box so that they are the first thing that we bought together for our new house.

I have quite a lot of things on my wishlists, so this is the condensed version, in no particular order:

I absolutely love this set of tea cup hooks from Uncommon Goods. I think that they're both quirky and practical at the same time. ($28 each)
It doesn't actually get much quirkier than this "You are Here" Doormat, also from Uncommon Goods, $24. When I showed this to TLS, his response was "I don't get it- are we planning on having a round door?" Way to not have a sense of humor about things.

I realize that I have already posted this once before, but there is absolutely no way that this print will not make it into our kitchen. Everything about it screams MRM from a mile away. $26 from Etsy seller jennysbakeshop.

I love entertaining guests, and since TLS and I are both big iced green tea drinkers, this wonderful pitcher from Tiffany ($165) is on our list of things we need, not want.

My friend JMK received this beautiful Acacia Salad Bowl set from Bed, Bath, and Beyond ($30) at her bridal shower, and I loved it so much that I had to register us for one as well. I love wood salad bowls, and the picture does not do this one justice.
Since TLS knows my love of pretty, fun coffee mugs, he agreed that when we finally get our own house, we can get a full set of the Lilly Pulitzer mugs. Wee. Where else would we buy them from but my favorite store, the Preppy Princess? $14.50 each.

I'm going to end this post here to prevent myself from going overboard and clogging up anyone's screen. If you see something that you think I just need to have for our house, please email me. Have a fabulous weekend to all, and if you are Jewish, Shana Tova u Metukah!!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

the joys of moving internationally- take 1

I am a princess and am very much a type A personality. I like things to always be a certain way. I'm not big on change, and am brand loyal. When I find something that works for me, I stick with it and buy it in several different colors. In short, I am a marketer's dream. (Please take a moment to ponder the irony of a girl who's not big on change moving to another country.)

When TLS and I have first discussed applying for an overseas assignment, the very first thing I asked him was "will there be a salon for me to get my hair done?" No joke. When I was in England, he took me to the BX (Base Exchange- basically like a Target-type store for military members and their dependents) so I could see what it was like. I have been taught that if I don't have anything nice to say, to not say anything at all, so I will refrain on commenting on their womens' clothing options. Let's just say that I will not be shopping for my clothes at the BX when we're in Germany. For this, TLS is very grateful.

Before I move, I will have to buy several pairs of jeans, bras, and basically 2-3 of every makeup product I own to last me for at least a while so that I don't have to worry about buying things I use on a daily basis as soon as I get there. (Take note- sometime around February would be a good time to start buying Sephora stock.)

Also, I have started compiling a list of companies that ship via Priority Mail to APO addresses so that it doesn't take me 2-6 months to get my packages. If you are a retailer that ships via Priority Mail or know of one, please let me know so I can add it to my list. So far, the list consists of:
Vineyard Vines
The Preppy Princess
Build a Bear

Another thing that scares me about moving is my employment situation, or lack thereof. Even though the base that we will be stationed at is a large one, its website for spouses and dependents cautions that it may not be easy to find a job and can take around 6 months to get a job in your area of expertise. It is easy to find a job, but not the job that you would want. I have 5 years of finance experience. I have never worked in foodservice or retail. I have zero desire to work at the local base Subway making subs. While I appreciate the website's honesty, I have always held a job since I was 15, and the thought of being unemployed at 27 scares me. Sadly, unemployed wives are a part of the military culture, and that is something that I'm going to have to get used to. I volunteer for my sorority, and at the end of this school year, I have been told that I have to step down from my position because even though most of what I do is via email and financial databases, I need to be available to make it to meetings, conferences, and do phone calls, and that's just not possible with me so far away. I understand the reasoning behind this completely, but that doesn't mean I'm happy about it.

So, just to recap, 12 months from now, I will have really shiny hair, be unemployed, and will spend my days playing Wii and dress up with two of my teddy bears until my husband gets home from work. Fantastic.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

guess who's back? back again

MRM's back. Tell a friend.

Sadly, I am finally back in the United States from Europe. I had the most fantastic time with TLS, it was even more perfect than either of us could have imagined. Between the two of us, we took several hundred pictures and it will take me a while to upload mine and sort through them. I have a lot of fun pictures to share with my readers as well as an upcoming giveaway. All of that will take up several posts so as not to clog up anyone's screen who might be reading this from an iphone or other mobile phone. Also, Murphy who has had it in for me since the day I was born, decided to put his law into play once again, and I was just given several projects to do, all due on the same day this week, so I will be living out of my office for the next week or so.

I tweeted last night that I had a big announcement coming to the blog this week, and here goes. TLS and I talked about whether I should share this on my blog or not, and ultimately decided to go public with it. As many of you know, his tour ends in May 2010 and we were waiting to find out what his next tour would be. We recently found out that info. After England, he will have a 3-4 year tour in Germany. We talked about our options even before we got the assignment, and decided to use England as a trial run. So, sometime next summer, depending on when we can get all of my paperwork and everything else in, I will be moving to Germany to join him. :) A few bloggers have already known about this, and I thank you for your support and good wishes through the time that I was going crazy. I know that there may be people out there who do not support my decision, and I ask that you please just be respectful. This blog is my place to vent and pour my heart out, and I think that it will be good for me, as well as interesting to keep a record of my last year in New York and everything leading up to the move. Germany will be the third country that I've lived in in 20 years. The last time I moved internationally, I was 7.5 and all of the paperwork and packing and such got done for me. This time around, I will not be so lucky and will get to do it all on my own. How fun. Before anyone asks, yes there is a ring and a marriage in my upcoming future. We looked at rings and ironically enough, the styles that I have always thought I would never want to own or wear, are the ones that I seemed to gravitate towards. However, I will be keeping mum on any ring/wedding talk for now. ;-)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Au Revoir

The day that I have been waiting for is finally here. I'm leaving for London tonight!!!! I have my bags all packed and am praying that my suitcase is not over 50 lbs. Please keep your fingers crossed for me on that one as I don't know the meaning of packing light. Also please keep your fingers crossed that 6 bottles of beer do not break and leak through the 3 layers of bubble wrap, 1 layer of ziploc bags, and 1 layer of Target shopping bags that I wrapped them in. (Just to be extra safe, I also wrapped all of my clothes that are on the layer immediately next to the beers in grocery store shopping bags. You can never be too careful.)

Sadly, do to the amount of last-minute work that I got, I do not have time to do a favorite things post for today. I will resume blogging when I get back. I'm not sure how and if I will survive a whole week without Blogger, Twitter, or Facebook, so that should be an interesting experience. If you need to reach me during the week, you can try emailing me at whaleflipflops {@} gmail {.} com. I hope that everyone has a wonderful Labor Day weekend and a great week and I will talk to y'all when I get back. For anyone who signed up to receive postcards from me, I promise that I will do my best to send them out one of the days when I'm in London.

Au Revoir.

x's and o's,

Thursday, September 3, 2009

giveaway winner

Thank you to everyone who gave me travel tips and entered my British Treats giveaway. I loved reading all of your tips and must visit sites for both cities. There can only be one winner, so congratulations go to:

MG at Magnolias and Mimosas!!!

Congrats lady. Email me your info and if you prefer loose tea or tea bags.

help pick out my boy's first Lilly

I like to tease TLS about how he is a closet Lilly fan. He makes fun of the prints and some of the guy clothes (though I have to admit, some of the men's stuff is a bit much) but likes my Lilly perfume and the stationary I send him letters on.

While I was shopping with Preppy Coastee, we found a store that had the Lilly juice and of course started to take pictures. I took a really funny one that he loves and said he wanted it framed. I am going to get him Baby's First Lilly in the form of a picture frame from the Preppy Princess. I don't know which pattern to get him, so I am asking for opinions here.

Which one of these four patterns just screams "manhood" to you?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

discussion topic of the day- Wii games

TLS's birthday is on September 18th, so I am bringing his birthday present along with a lot of other presents to England with me. (After packing my suitcase, I realized that more of its contents were for him than for me. Hm.) Originally, I was going to keep his birthday present a surprise and just tease him with it, but I had to tell him because I got him a Wii and wanted his opinion on putting it in my suitcase vs. carrying it on, etc. Ever since I told him, he has been as giddy as a schoolgirl who just got winked at by a Jonas Brother. We have both spent a considerable amount of free time searching for Wii games online and he ordered some games, some cables for the Wii so that it can work in Europe, and a set of pink remote skins (for yours truly) and I am bringing those with me as well.

When I was younger, I never really got into video games and cared about them. (Being the cool kid that I was, the closest thing I ever got to a video game or console was having Tetris on my TI-83 calculator in high school.) However, I have to say that I am all about the Wii. I have played it a few times and it gets so addicting. I cannot seem to grasp the concept of standing still and just waving my arms around, so for tennis and ping pong, I actually run forward to get the ball, as if I am actually playing tennis, and this gets quite amusing for people to watch. (I did that at a sorority sister's house on Friday night, and she said she had more fun watching me play than actually playing herself.) Another thing that gets addicting is actually making the Wii Miis for the games. (No clue if I spelled that right.) The first hour or so of Friday night's Wiifest was spent with me trying out every single possible eye and hair color combination, twice, and asking such deeply thought provoking questions as "does this nose make my Mii's face look fat?" Take a moment to ponder that one folks.

Since TLS and I are still fairly new to the wonderful world of Wii ownership and mania, my discussion topic for this week is Wii games. Which ones do you love, hate, and can't live without? I have had my eye on Balloon Pop, but TLS didn't get it. Being that I, at times, have the mental capacity of a 5 year old child, especially when colorful objects are involved, I can pretty much picture myself standing at the Wii all day just popping balloons. And taking Coca-Cola breaks.

Gap is not Born to Fit

For as long as I can remember, I have always had a hard time finding jeans. I'm short and curvy, and jeans-wise, that's no fun to shop for. I have also never had much luck when it comes to shopping at the Gap. I will see a lot of cute things that I want, take like twenty things into the dressing room, and walk out with *maybe* one shirt. The fit on things just generally tends to be a bit awkward and unflattering. After several bloggers started raving about their new Born to Fit jeans, I decided to give them a chance. I walked into the dressing room with several pairs, and once again walked out disappointed. The fit was once again, as horrible as ever. I tried the Curvy jeans, which is what I normally go for in stores. These were not designed for women with actual curves, and I had to go up several sizes until it looked like I was swimming in the jeans. Needless to say I will not getting any jeans from the Gap and don't have any positive things to say about them.

While I was there, I did get to pick up two cute sweaters and these adorable ballet flats.
I got a book of ten coupons for 25% off one regularly-priced pair of jeans. Since I have no use for them, I am offering them to my blog readers. If you are interested in a coupon, leave a comment on here or email me at whaleflipflops {@} gmail {.} com.

a little stunned

I just found out last night that a sorority sister and dear friend has been diagnosed with breast cancer. She is really young, in her thirties. She was supposed to move to another country for work, but had to cancel that so that she could get chemo and on getting herself better. I would love to go to DC to be there with her for chemo, but it is on Wednesdays, and with me being so far away, I'm not sure if that can happen. I sent her a card and wanted to send her a care package to let her know that she's in my prayers, but I'm not sure what to send. If you were sick, or if you can speak from personal experience, what would you want to receive? She loves tea and hot cocoa, so I will definitely be bringing some things for her from England. I also found these great ginger candies for my mom when she was going through chemo, and she said they helped with the nausea, so I will be sending her some of that. Any other recommendations? I'm still way in shock about this.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Happy Fall everyone!

Today is officially the first day of fall. Ok, technically it may not be the official first day of fall, but it's the First Day of Pumpkin Spice Lattes at Starbucks, which is pretty darn close. Even though I have said numerous times that I get cold in anything below 73 degrees, I love fall. The colors, the foods, the clothes, all of it. Here is my list of the best and worst things about fall.

+Pumpkin Spice Lattes
-The end of the Treat Receipts at Starbucks
+Pumpkin Pie
+Cute Sweaters
-Weather getting too cold for flip flops
+Sorority Recruitment
-Sorority Recruitment (all of the advisors on here especially know what I'm talking about- nothing beats the sheer joy and rapture that is sitting in a room for 2 hours listening to 50 18-22 year olds argue oveer what shade of pink the recruitment shirts should be this year)
+Going apple picking
-I still have yet to get the zipper on my black North Face fixed
+Rosh Hashanah
-Yom Kippur
+Watching the beautiful foliage in upstate NY
-Getting dozens of emails from collegians saying "I paid dues for three years. Do I really have to pay for the fourth year too?" Yes. You do.
+Apple Cider
+The return of quality programming on tv
+School supplies even though I don't really need them
+Not feeling like I'm going to melt every time I leave the house
+Going to England in 3 days
-Missing Fashion's Night Out
-The End of Restaurant Week for those restaurants that keep it going through Labor Day

I'm sure there are more, but I can't think of them at the moment because I am too busy fantasizing about yet another Venti Pumpkin Spice Latte with Extra Whip. Nothing starts your day off right like a 10,000 calorie morning beverage.

So what are your favorite and least favorite things about fall?