Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Just Add Salt

Well Christmas is over, my muffin-top has expanded, and the credit card is breathing laboriously from the bottom of my tres-chic pink Coach purse (which will make its very own appearance on the blog shortly). We just returned from a Christmas day excursion to Chicago (which got about 14 inches of snow the day after we arrived...fortunately for us, Chicago has mastered the fine art of snow removal. Kentucky? Not so much.) Queen Elizabeth's daughter turned 1 on Christmas Eve so we ventured up for the party. For those of you unfamiliar with the south central and midwest states (and really, who can blame you when CNN only refers to us as the Ohio River Valley? It takes an epic ice storm and the Kentucky Derby to get a proper mention on anything except a local media station...and even then it's not always accurate. Last year, a Weather Channel anchor suggested the UK fans really bundle up in their red for the football game. Um..it's blue...that's why we are called Big Blue Country. It is not a nickname earned from excessive in-breeding...although...)....where the hell was I?? Oh right...for those of you unfamiliar, it is exactly a 7-hour drive from our house to Queen Elizabeth's in the northwest suburbs. That's 7 hours without being complicated by snow, ice, construction or garden-variety idiots with driver's licenses from Santa. So, sometimes it takes 8 and sometimes it takes 10. Never less than 7, though. Weather-folk all over were predicting a major storm for the midwest states, set to settle in around 5 pm on Christmas Day. So, we left early enough to be cozied in, wine glass in hand by 5 pm. For the most part, we were. Fearing a cataclysmic weather event, we opted to take Peter the Pathfinder as opposed to Patsy the Prius. Just as you would assume, Peter is more brawny and aggressive than his sister, the delicate and quiet Patsy. Patsy is so quiet that sometimes she's mistaken for a golf cart. But when you only have to feed her once every 2 weeks or so, you tend to forgive her meekness. Patsy, though, was not woman enough for the job. Peter, on the other hand, has 4WD, loads of testosterone, and the need to prove himself. Perfect for the fight that Chicago was planning to pick. Unfortunately, like any other aging boy, Peter needs to be fed more often...which means we have to stop more (sometimes in God-forbidden places...like Gary, Indiana). But we arrived in about 7 1/2 hours. The snow started about 2 hours later. And it snowed. And snowed. And froze. And snowed some more.

The party for Princess Mary was planned for 4:30 on the 26th. By 4:30, Queen Elizabeth's husband, King George, had snow-plowed the driveway 3 times and the sidewalk twice. But their sucker-neighbor across the street had only managed to shovel his driveway once. PSA: if you are going to move to the North Pole, equip yourself appropriately. Do not waste your time on the Home Depot special...buy yourself something that runs on gas and will do the job with the effort equivalent to getting a beer from the fridge. By 7, it had snowed over a foot and I was drenched in wine with a dusting of rum punch. By midnight, I was ready for a bed, a Snuggie, and a very tall drink of water. Happy Birthday to Princess Mary...now give me a soft place to pass out.

Sunday brought excellent shopping at The Container Store, Ikea (and in that order. All budget-savy shoppers know that you collect your ideas from the first and purchase from the second. Otherwise, you waste a lot of money that could have gone towards other necessities like sweater-boots...or milk), HomeGoods (which gets a post all of its own because we met Captain Crazy and his elfin family here), and Swoozies. By the way, if you're a girlie-girl (read: totally digs on pink, polka-dots, and snarky sayings) you need to check this last one out. I am the new proud owner of 6 Merry Christmas Y'all plastic cups. What else does one need in life?? And it brought more snow. And freezing temperatures. And lots and lots of salt. I only fit into about 4 pairs of jeans, post-baby, and so that means that sometimes I wear the same pair for several days. My new love? White House Black Market jeans that have been clearanced. I have one pair. I wore them 4 days. Coupled with body stank and street salt, they now walk on their own. I knew this day would come. They skipped crawling altogether. By the time we left yesterday, the entire hem was lined with salt. That's only sexy if you paid an extra $85 for that look. Otherwise it just looks like you need a laundry mat. So, we're home sweet home now and while I miss the Royalty, I do not miss the snow. Or the salt. And speaking of which....

I got this FANTASTIC award from Salt Says before Christmas. I have been extremely lazy in picking it up, but sometimes mulled wine and Wii and eggnog cookies just have to take priority. If you aren't familiar with Salt, I suggest you go visit her. She's getting married in less than 2 months (breathe, Salt, BREATHE) and she has the most precious fur-babies ever. And she's familiar with snow. I have received so many awards in the past couple months and although they are mixing and mingling very well, one is passed out on the couch, one is doing experiments with pickle juice and cat urine and the other two are naked in my bed. It's time to pass them on...which I will do very soon.

I hope everyone had a happy and safe Christmas. I love wine..but I love my DD even more!! And if anyone wants to leave a killer fondue recipe in the comments section, I would be excessively appreciative. The Miller New Year's Eve party is T-48 hours!


  1. Okay, I've never even been around that much snow and ice and I'm pretty sure I'd suck at dealing with it. Remember I got footy pjs because I'm cold all the time? That cold would be mindnumbing and awful for me. But the wine helps, I'm sure.

    It sounds like you had a pretty fantastic time. I'm pretty sure my jeans were the same after our Christmas trip too. Hey - they're just WAY TOO TIGHT after they're washed and dried - and they make me feel fat and uncomfortable all over again. I happen to like the 'worn' feeling, even if they do stink a little. ;)

  2. I don't even know where to begin. Let's start with the pink encrusted Swoozie's website. Excuse me, how did I not know of this? It's glamorous and sparkly and polka dotted and wonderful and I somehow missed the L stop for this beauty. Thank you for throwing this out there.

    I'm waiting with baited breath for the Coach purse post. I just drooled all over the site looking at their new collection of pink patent leather, I swear there's a built in vibrator on that site. *sigh*

    Chicago does have some wonderful shopping though, doesn't it? I'll be there in a week and I am already salivating over Michigan Avenue and the sure-to-be Julius Meinl pit stop. So very excited. And yes, the North does have quite the parade of slow plows and sandy salt trucks. I can safely add this to my thank you list. Not great on the jeans, but Peanut sure does enjoy being able to stop in the snow. (or at least have half a chance)

    As for the fondue... grab a block of fondue cheese from the store, melt with brandy and a splash of dry white wine. Sprinkle in a very small pinch of nutmeg and you're good to go. Serves one. (or you may share, if you must.)

  3. Alright. How are you making us wait for the Coach purse picture?! Not cool. And thank you for the lessons on geography and their winters. I am not familiar with your neck of the woods or snow so for that lesson, I thank you.

  4. I loved reading your account of Christmas in Chi-town. I used to go there for a conference in mid-December every year. Many times there would be, say, 14 inches of snow just before we were supposed to leave. But it's a great town....I loved the white lights in the trees on North Michigan Avenue....Hmm, I need to look into cheap airline tickets to Midway!

  5. We had 28 inches of snow the Sunday before Christmas. It was HEINOUS. It snarled all the Christmas shopping traffic and plowed drifts stole parking spaces from all the shopping centers. Unlike Chicago, Long Island removes snow slowly and inefficiently. If not for the mercy of a good soaking rain and temps in the high forties, I'd still be snowed in!

  6. Oooo fondue is a GREAT idea for a New Years party! Damn look at Kallay with the quick and easy recipe! I'm impressed as usual.

    It's nice to see you back in blogland! I'm glad you guys had what sounds like a great trip (and thank goodness you weren't driving when all that snow actually happened). Isn't that so funny about the Prius? I used to be friends with a girl that had one and the first time she turned it on and got moving, I almost had a heart attack because I didn't hear it actually start.

    I'm assuming you haven't posted any Coach pics yet, but I will be anxiously awaiting those. Thank you for the lovely blog award acceptance! And for reminding me to breathe. You're the best. :)

  7. Can't wait to see your cute new bag! Glad you survived the salt and snow! Oh and thanks so much for mentioning my cookies! :D

    Congrats on the fun award!

  8. Sounds like you had an awesome time!
    I wish there was something like it coming for me! :(

  9. shopping -- snow -- SWOOZIES? i love this post! i had never heard of swoozies before and now i'm addicted (and i totally want some of those "merry christmas, y'all!" cups for next year! haha


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