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Drumroll, please

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Much to everyone’s surprise, I’m sure, here are the winners of the Cooking, Travel, and Paper 200th Post Giveaway Extravaganza…

Cooking – Mrs. Gallery Place (Email me your address!)

Travel – RA (I feel like I should have your address somewhere, but my address book says otherwise. Email, por favor.)

Paper – Arielle (Got it covered. Get excited!)

In completely unrelated news, I think I’m getting some sort of seasonal urge to Eat Less Science. Maybe we can blame Jamie Oliver and his Food Revolution (actually haven’t seen the show, but am definitely in favor of kids– and adults– eating Actual Food), but I think it’s the burgeoning abundance of goodness at the farmer’s market. Anyone else getting this feeling? Bueller?

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Summer adventure!

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Summer cooking is a tenuous topic in our house– GP has some sort of hereditary mandate to be constantly on top of the temperature of the apartment, and as such is pretty grumpy about some of my cooking methods. Coupled with the fact that we are not allowed to use the perfectly good grill that occupies a good quarter of our balcony (stupid county fire code!), this means that I have to be pretty crafty about our summer dinner menus. Enter an old friend– Whip It Up! You may remember that, last summer, a sizable group of bloggers began the challenge of cooking and sharing meals…and it’s coming around again! Details? I has them.

This year’s challenge will run from June 28 to August 22, and just in case you’ve slept since last year’s challenge, here’s a reminder of the rules!
  • Cook! Each week you must cook one “new to you” dish. As we did last year, we will have a theme for each week, however, the themes are a suggestion only. Feel free to run as far as your imagination will take you. The only hard and fast rule remains that you must never have cooked the dish before!
  • Post! Post your recipe, a photo and a wrap up on your blog. The post can be as short as you like, just remember the three basic questions. Was the recipe easy to follow? Did the dish taste good? Would you cook it again?
  • Email us! Email your permalink to [whippingitup at gmail dot com] so you can be included in the wrap up. Wrap ups will be on Sunday this year instead of Fridays in order to allow everyone to get their entries in.
There will be prizes again this year too! Everyone who successfully completes the challenge will be entered in a raffle to win one of 3 prizes.

So, you guys, even if you haven’t before…get in on this! Sign up by June 22 by emailing the address above, and then get to the WIU headquarters to grab a badge, join the photo pool, etc.

Interviewed by RA

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Since the Disney fun is over, the plan now is to just go back to talking about myself all the time– so get excited! Something that’s been hanging around my inbox for awhile now is an interview that I asked RA to do for/with me. Here goes nothin’…

Why did you start blogging?
This is something that I definitely have to think about, because I began blogging during my freshman year of college– a whole seven years ago, which seems like forever. I suppose I began blogging mostly as a journaling outlet for myself. I had no readers that I knew of, and just really enjoyed the idea that I was preserving those early college memories, however humiliating. I transitioned into Xanga, where there was more of a sense of community, and found that I (mostly) liked having an audience. However, I began to find Xanga kind of ridiculous (is it weird to say that it seems like the MySpace of the blogging world?), and switched back to my dear old Blogger. My reasons for blogging have definitely changed, as has my content, and I have to say that I really do enjoy blogging as a means of connecting with people that I wouldn’t otherwise know.

If I were to come to visit for a day, what would we do?
Because I want to pack as much into this Day of Fun as possible, we’d start out early with breakfast at my favorite local place (because I love to gorge myself on coffee cake, especially before 10 a.m.). Then we would struggle to find a parking place at a nearby shopping area, but it would be worth it because there is a colossal Borders, a Container Store, and even an ATL there– where we would exclaim over the deals that we would find, and convince each other to make too-large purchases. Exhausted from all the shopping, we would make our way to my favorite sushi place and eat rolls that are larger than any sushi has a right to be. All this, of course, is a precursor to the inevitable food- and shopping coma, to be recovered from while watching a zillion dvr-ed episodes of Jon and Kate Plus 8. Dinner (and wine, of course) would be prepared at The Apartment, with recipes coming out of my shamefully-not-very-organized recipe binder.

What item of clothing makes you feel great when you wear it? Why?
My favorite item of clothing is one that I don’t get to wear very often, but still love to bits. It’s this $50 (um, now $12.50!!! Go buy this dress, please!) black dress from Target that I got a couple Decembers ago for a company Monte Carlo Night, and embodies a lot of things that I love about a good dress: it’s revealing in a surprising way (via a very cool “envelope” back), it’s lined in an interesting color (red), and it has pockets! It’s fancy without looking like I’m going to a cotillion, and super-versatile.

If you could hire a personal servant, who would you choose?
I would like to hire someone who is a mix of my mom, Oprah, and Martha Stewart (not that all three ladies don’t already have a lot in common). I want someone who cares about me, who could give me a good pep talk, and could also give me a good kick in the ass. A gym buddy, someone to organize things, and someone to do all that grownup-type stuff that I just can’t be bothered to do (recycling stacks and stacks of old magazines? Yeah, she could do that).

Which occupation would you try for a week?
If it were only for a week…I would love to be a kindergarten teacher. I so enjoy being around kids, but I don’t think that I have the patience to be any kind of teacher for more than seven days. But, for that one week, I would be all about getting everyone to sit “criss-cross applesauce” and to share and be nice to others– then a real teacher would have to come and take over before I somehow irreparably damaged all the children.

This was so fun! Thanks, RA. If any of my eight (my high estimate) readers hasn’t been interviewed yet and would like to be, just leave me a comment asking me to do so.

Made

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While I was away on that one trip (whose final chapter will be told today, promise!), the lovely EP over at Stylish Handwriting (one of my guest bloggers, no less!) gifted me with this:


(Is that a proper usage of “gifted,” as a verb? Anyone? RA?) Awww, shucks. Thanks so much! In honor of my southern belle of a brain-twin, I will now pass this on (as is the tradition, no? This is so a blogger chain-letter thing, but much nicer) to the following bloggers who bring a smile to my face just about every day…

Nicole Antoinette of More is Better, of whom I am jealous because she gets to go to Vegas this weekend.
Rachel Elizabeth of Confessions of a Jersey Girl, the fabulous organizer of the recent bloggy-friend swap.
Michelle of Michelle and the City, a fellow ghetto-booty owner, to whom I have a feeling I previously gave some award, but love enough to double up.
Laurel from Sass Attack, who recently took a trip to my side of the country and had so many nice things to say about it! Also, I am in love with her blog, and jealous of her running abilities.
Molly, of These Little Moments, whose wedding plans I love to read about on a daily basis, and who is possibly even more interested in shoes than I am. (Sorry, Molly, I totally confused you with another bride-to-be! I love your Shoeru posts!)
Foxy, over at Strugglepants, who recently had a birthday. Consider this my belated gift to you– see, the celebration just goes on and on!

All right ladies, get out there and spread the good word– blogs don’t just award themselves, you know…

Hell yes.

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So, it’s official: Arielle is a better bloggy-swap partner than I, as I received all of my sweet NYC stuff on the very day that the California paraphernalia was shipped off to the East Coast (P.S. It will be there Monday! Thanks, FedEx). Among the treasures are a pair of mesh mules, which I swear I owned in college, when I was even poorer than I am now.


This is kind of a cankle-y picture, I know, but I wanted to capture the true majesty of those sequins! Since work is notoriously lax about dress code, I may just sport these puppies to the office tomorrow…

There will, of course, be a full photo showcase of all the things I received today…but you know adorable shoes are the priority.

T-minus three days!

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Oh yes…I am excited. Wednesday morning, GP and I will be on our way to Atlanta, where we will do all sorts of crazy-fun things, and then over to Charleston for a wedding, and then back to Atlanta for our departure on Sunday. Because I am a genius, and think that revisionist history is charming, I have decided that I am going to call this journey The Trip of Northern Aggression. Even though I am not technically a Yankee, I am decidedly not very southern (despite my love for beignets and iced tea and magnolias). And GP is from New York, so I will claim his Yankee-hood as my own. I am hoping that we will get to experience a ton of unique Georgia/South Carolina stuff, and I know that we will have great hosts to guide us to all the fabulous stuff we’ll be doing (GP did go to school in Atlanta, so I expect there will be less novelty for him). There will, of course, be a long rehash of all the awesome stuff we did while we were there, as long as numerous photographs of us standing in front of Important Southern Places (maybe the ADPi Executive Office? So magical!).

There will also, in the meantime, be a few awesome guest bloggers– and if you are interested in being one of the Chosen Awesome, let me know, because there are a few days on which there will be no T&CT posts, and that makes me feel itchy.

M is for Monday, and a new meme

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Well, new to me, that is… Saw this over at A Study of Schoolbooks and Shoes, and thought, Hey, I am really dragging today, but can probably manage some searches in between various Very Important Event Planning Tasks (more on this later, of course). With this in mind, I give you…

1. Go to Photobucket (don’t sign in– Flickr is also a pretty sweet picture source, which you all know because you are Masters of Technology and the Interwebs)

2. Type in your answer to the question in the “search” box

3. Use only the first page

4. Copy the html and paste for the answer.

Here goes…

1. First name?

2. Favorite color?

3. Celebrity crush?

4. Band you’re listening to now?

5. Favorite movie?

6. Favorite Disney princess?

7. Favorite alcoholic beverage?

8. Dream vacation?

9. Favorite dessert?

10. What do you want to be when you grow up?

That’s right, a Lady Who Sleeps on Books. Oh, and sorry about the pic quality…I am too impatient to fix them.

Finally, in Other News, I was awarded the Blog of Distinction honor by Maxie, who may or may not be my identical mind twin (we also have the distinction of owning the same pair of NY&Co black patent peep-toe flats…you know, like eleventy-billion other people who regularly shop at malls). I hereby pass this award on to…

EP of Stylish Handwriting, another brain-twin of mine, who is willing to discuss episodes of The Office at length with me. What’s not to love?

MissK, who previously rated T&CT “E for Excellent” (thanks again, by the way!), the authoress of Do Your Trick, Turn on the Stars, which is another of the 20sb that I am pretty much in love with.

Chris of Surviving Myself, one of the few guys in my Google Reader, for whatever reason. Perhaps because he is funny as hell, owns a cute puppy, and has a girlfriend on whom I have a mini-crush, because she posts tons of food pictures. I owe him a “thank-you” for commenting on multiple shoe-themed posts, as well– so, thanks!

Arielle of Good Things Come to Those Who Whine, and not just for the swell blog name. If you aren’t already, you need to check her out, because she is whiny in a fun way, not a way that makes you want to pinch her.

Jamie of Oh! How Lovely, another fabulous Chicago blogger, whose dog I covet and whose city has a bounty of cupcakes that she graciously writes about– much to the chagrin of my drool-covered laptop. Sorry for that image, y’all.