Thursday, February 26, 2009

Etiquette Revisited

You might remember my thoughts on Bathroom Etiquette back from December. Some of the comments suggested that what I deemed questionably unacceptable is actually just unacceptable. I’ve been swayed to the other side and want to concede. It is in fact unacceptable to talk on the phone in a public restroom.

It was another work incident that made me realize my wrongful judgment. A woman was in a stall on her cell phone having a rather serious conversation with a friend. It seemed to be a call that this person didn’t want to take from her cube as she was giving relationship advice to the person on the phone. I totally understand that this isn’t an appropriate cube phone call, but that doesn’t make it an appropriate bathroom stall phone call. I felt awkward when it came time to flush the toilet as they discussed whether some guy was worth the time and investment or not. But of course, I flushed and quickly washed my hands and left after feeling I had unintentionally eavesdropped on a private conversation. How awkward!

Another etiquette note: in Knoxville men go way out of their way to make sure women go in and out of doors first and in and out of elevators first. I notice this every day as I take two elevators in and out of work. Men will shuffle around the elevator just to let the women out first even though it’d be much easier if they just exited. It’s actually kind of nice. I’ve grown accustom to it and don’t mind letting men open doors and touch the germy doorknobs instead of me! Plus, not a bad idea from a man’s perspective…they constantly get to watch women’s backsides as they exit meanwhile they come off looking polite! Well played.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Name Game

Since Matt and I are such well known celebrities, we decided we need a combined name (like Tom-Kat). Okay, so nix the celebrity is just fun to make up a name. After we got engaged we chose "Hoagish" since we have the "g" in common and actually, we could even do "Gishoag" with the "h" in common but Hoagish rolls off the tongue better.

Today I stumbled upon "The Name Game" on the Wedding Channel website. You get to enter in your name and your spouse-to-be's name to generate all your combined name options. Here are ours:

First names
  • Camatt
  • Caramatt
  • Caratt
  • Catt
  • Macara
  • Mara
  • Matta
  • Mattara
Last names
  • Gihoag
  • Gishag
  • Gishoag
  • Goag
  • Hish
  • Hoagish
  • Hoash
  • Hogish
  • Hosh

In my own opinion, our last names make some pretty ridiculous and kind of ugly sounding names.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Mac N Cheese : Month 1

Well, we tried our first Mac N Cheese recipe. The verdict? Matt just called it "middle of the road." I call that a failure!

We went for the Martha Stewart recipe that Megan recommended. The recipe calls for pecorino Romano cheese OR Gruyere. I bought the Romano simply because I couldn't pronounce the other one. I should have asked Mark and Megan because they would have recommended the gruyere. The Romano was good, but it didn't cut the sharpness enough. We think the gruyere would have been a better contrast to the sharp white cheddar.

Rating: 6.5

But it sure looks like a 10!!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Wedding Inspiration

If you are like I was six months ago, you have no idea what an inspiration board is. I quickly learned what they are as I started planning our wedding. Wedding blogs are all the rage and are an endless supply of inspiration, ideas and DIY instructions. I'm loving it. I have a few that I read on a daily basis. I see inspiration boards all the time and figured it is about time I do it! Essentially an inspiration board is a collection of pictures that shape the theme and details of the wedding.

Here is a sampling of what inspires us for our planning:

We are going with a vintage theme with orange and blue as our colors. My grandma offered us the cake topper from her and my grandpa's wedding and we gladly accepted. This became the main inspiration for the vintage theme. The colors were an easy pick: Orange for our wedding season (Fall)...which we both love. And blue because it happens to be both of our favorite color. Plus the beautiful stained glass windows in the chapel (pictured in the inspiration board) are blue.

Carpet Makeover: Before and After

In January Matt and I replaced the carpet in most of the house --everything except the kitchen, bathrooms and dining room. We went from one shade of beige to another but you can tell from the pictures that it still made a drastic change! The stair pictures show the drastic upgrade the best.



We quickly learned that new carpet "sheds" and we are finding an increase in fuzz and feeling the need to vacuum more. A small price to pay for the wonderful results of clean, soft carpet! And here are pics of some of the other rooms complete with new carpets:

The Office/Guest Bedroom

The Living Room (notice the half-sanded coffee table - our next project!!)

The "Master" Bedroom

The "Master" Bedroom/Hallway

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


On the drive from Knoxville to Nashville I can’t help but notice an obscene amount of “villes.” And if you’re from the South, you know it isn’t pronounced “ville” but instead more like “vulle.”

So on the drive we passed exits for and/or drove through:

  • Pikeville
  • Lawnville Road
  • Cookeville
  • Smithville
  • McMinnville (Oregon has one too!)
  • Hartsville
  • Gordonville
  • Leeville
  • Clarksville
  • Nolensville

And it’s only a three hour drive! Some other noteworthy villes: Huntsville, Alabama where the Stephanie the widow from the Bachelor is from. And Hendersonville where Taylor Swift lives.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Mmmm, Mmmm Good

I get daily emails of cool, unique trendy things through Daily Candy. I feel like it keeps me hip and I learn about the coolest things. For example, today's "Weekend Guide" recommended the Mac N' Cheese of the month club. Yum! What a good idea! It sounds so so so good. BUT I am not going to pay $500 for 12 meals. At least, not until Matt and I become DINKs. For now, we are implementing our own Mac N' Cheese of the Month Club. It should be fun, we'll research recipes (suggestions welcome!) and try one out each month. And don't worry, I'll keep you in the loop by posting our reviews of each recipe. MMMM.

Cooking is so much more fun when there are two people. When it was just me I ate cereal, PB & J and out a lot. But Matt and I are having fun planning out meals for the week and eating at home to be healthier and save money for the wedding. We are always open to new recipes. If you have a favorite (and it is relatively easy) pass it on! I'm already inspired to try a recipe -not Mac N' Cheese but it does happen to have the same essential ingredients: pasta and cheese that was featured in Megan's blog.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

"It's a great day to be alive"

Matt and I both feel that this week was wonderful. There wasn't one thing that made it a good week, but mostly we just felt better after being active, from tennis on Sunday to morning workouts and basketball. Plus I learned a lot at work which boosted my energy and enthusiasm. And now it is Saturday and its sunny outside. This all leads up to feeling inspired. So I decided to document the energy I am feeling today and the ways that I want to channel this energy.

  • Continue morning work outs and set one day a week as my long cardio work out
  • Get back into yoga
  • Do abs every day
  • Stretch regularly
  • Eat more fruits and veggies
  • Learn how to do calligraphy (and apply said skill to my wedding invitations)
  • Keep checking things off the wedding To Do list!
  • Read about current trends and apply to marketing my schools
  • Learn something every week about graphic design and online marketing

Seriously, this all started from a really good workout--an hour and twenty minutes of cardio! I’m so glad that I actually enjoy working out and it isn’t a chore. Feel free to join me in documenting some aspirations, I’d love to hear them and then you’re accountable to something!


Friday, February 6, 2009

Oh Nordstrom, How I love thee.

I ordered my shoes for the wedding a few days ago from I’m so excited to get them and try them on in hopes that they fit my requirement of cute and comfy.

Turns out, I’ll be waiting a little longer than normal for my shoes to arrive so I can put them to the cute and comfy test. I got the confirmation email that the shoes had been sent. And immediately realized…CRAP! I used the quick purchase option that used my saved information. Only, it still had my Pullman, WA address. Ugh!

And here’s why I love Nordstrom so much. I called right away and didn’t have any wait time and got a super polite woman. She was so calm and quick to help me solve this problem. It was a stupid mistake on my part but she didn’t make me feel that way at all and happily helped. She put me on hold while she called UPS to see what they could do. A few minutes later she came back to the line and explained that the shoes will have to go all the way to Pullman where they can get intercepted and then re-routed to Knoxville. PHEW!

Then she says, “I’m going to go ahead and take off the $8 shipping charge since its going to take longer than the promised 4-8 days.” I gratefully accepted while thinking “What? It’s totally my fault that it will take longer…but if you want to waive that fee, please do!”

Another good customer service experience with one of my favorite stores! If only there was one in Knoxville!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

High fives of one of my top my pet peeves: Know It Alls

There is no way one person knows it all. Accept it and quit trying to act like you’re the one person who actually does know it all.

Learn to value other people’s opinions –you might be surprised to learn from other perspectives and sometimes, you might actually like their perspective more than your own.

It’s just annoying. It makes you less likeable if you are a Know It All…and don’t you want to be liked?

Two heads are better than one… It’s true! A collective group really can bring more to the table than one person.

My biggest peeve about Know It Alls is the way they take time to remind people that they were right when it is completely not necessary. And when they take that to another level and correct people just to correct people.

I’m in a meeting and currently annoyed with a Know It All. Can you tell?