Archive for August, 2008

South Carolina

August 25, 2008

This past weekend I accompanied Stephanie for her friend’s engagement session in South Carolina. It was pretty last minute and I had no idea what to expect, but a road trip with Steph is always fun and I knew at the very least we’d have some fun conversation on the drive. The weekend was pretty exhausting but a lot of fun! The couple, Tracy and David, were just adorable and so in love. Stephanie came up with some really fun ideas for their shoot. If we had more time we could have worked with them forever. They are extremely photogenic and I think they had no problem at all getting close and cuddly in front of the camera!

Thanks Steph for letting me come along! It’s always a blast shooting with you! :)

Back To School

August 19, 2008

I start my last class for my Masters a week from today and I’m so excited! I guess I should say I am excited and nervous because not since I was 19 have I been out of school for so long (one year). Now that I’m back and finishing another degree, I’ve started thinking about the next step. Maybe I’m crazy and Matt may want to kill me, but… I want to get another degree! Might as well pick up where I left off the last time I was in school. I had begun to take classes toward my Graduate Certificate in NonProfit Management, but withdrew from my first class due to my “change in priorities” (new job, wedding planning) and my frustration with my program for letting me down in my final semester of graduation. I’m trying to put hard feelings behind me and move forward because other than my capstone committee letting me down I had a great experience at my University in both undergrad and graduate classes.

I’m one of those sick people who loves to learn. I don’t always love classes, but I love being in an environment which fosters active learning. I actually enjoy lectures (when they are from an inspired “professor” who is actually professing their knowledge and love of a particular subject. But what I also love and perhaps miss most is the interaction between students and professors, those who seek knowledge and those who have it. That exchange is something that you don’t usually find during the 8-5 daily grind in the confines of a cubicle. Well, maybe you do and you’re lucky, but at my job this occurrence is seldom, if it happens at all.

Since leaving school, I have been primarily focused on work and family. Between my job and getting married over the past year I’ve had little free time to do much else. I’m finally getting involved with music and serving the community again and I am much happier. Even at work I’ve pursued continuous learning. Over the past year and a half I have taken 17 classes through my company’s “university,” not to mention all of the increased responsibilities I’ve sought here.

After getting my certificate, perhaps I will pursue my Masters of Nonprofit Management, if some of the classes will transfer. If not, then maybe I will pursue something beyond a Master’s as long as I can afford it.

Tunderbrau Brew Haus

August 17, 2008

I’m so excited! Matt bottled up his latest batch of Tunderbrau. This time is a raspberry wheat using his new equipment! We have another 4 weeks before the process is complete and the new brew is ready for tasting.

I had to snap a couple of pics of Matt making his latest masterpiece:

Maybe one of these days I will be adventurous enough to make my own wine! Too many hobbies right now to start another one. For now, I will just enjoy letting Matt enjoy being Baron Von Bier.

And I will happily be the Bier Frau! LOL! What do you think? Yeah, that outfit would be sooooooooo me! :)

During the SCM Tailgate party last weekend, FSN and KDKA both came by (several times) to interview members, “infiltrators” like Matt, and our special guest, Louis Lipps.

This is one of the spots that aired on KDKA. Matt was definitely a target wearing his McNabb jersey. I love what Louis Lipps had to say about the “other side” of Steeler football. What an incredible experience to tailgate with one of the Steeler greats!

If you pay attention at the beginning you’ll see me in my Polamalu jersey. Yep, the back of my head is almost famous! : p

Click here for the SCM coverage on KDKA including my hubby and Louis Lipps!

Also, I just found another interview, this time of the Dons responsible for bringing together so many Steeler fans, Boss Hertzog and Boss Kennedy. These guys (and their awesome wives) give so much to make this organization happen. I love my SCM Family!! Sigh… I wish everyone weekend could be like this one. Can’t wait to see everyone again!!

Click here for Shawn and Jeff’s interview!

All Hail The Bargain Babe!

August 13, 2008

I sooooooooo rock! I love a good deal, but today I think I even impressed Matt with my thrifty-ness!

I went out to a store earlier and saw that they had several natural, organic, and vegetarian items on clearance. Yes, clearance at a grocery store! I’ve died and gone to bargain heaven!

Since I carpooled today, I had to call Matt to meet me at work before anyone else discovered my treasure chest of food deals (not like it was going to happen, but I was so anxious!). I told Matt a little about what to expect but I think it still blew his mind when he got to the store.

We filled up the shopping cart with all kinds of goodies from entrees to juices. The total came to $71 with a savings of $194!!!!!!!!!!! Oh… my… God, how cool is that? It’s almost as cool as when I bought 40 articles of clothing at Ross for around $100. :)

We actually wiped the shelves clean. I have a bunch of Boca chicken patties and nuggets (which I LOVE) and eggplant cutlets but I can always stock up on more. I just wish I had a bigger freezeer! And we got a bunch of single-serve juices (all natural and 100% juice) for around $0.37 each, so we’ll try to stock up on those, too.

Before I put everything away I had to snap a shot of my mound of treasure! Hehehe!

Our SCM Family Weekend ended today with a beautiful brunch at DiSalvo’s and a trip to St. Vincent’s to watch our boys practice. The brunch was definitely a nice addition to the Family Weekend. Saturday night just isn’t enough to talk to everyone. After brunch we headed to training camp (my first time). The weather was beautiful and breezy but the sun still managed to get us. We ended up under some trees really close to the field. Sadly my battery wasn’t charged, but I still got a few pics:

Some of the Family sitting up on the hill:

Coach Tomlin

Hines Ward

Willie Parker

Jeff Reed

Ben Roethlisberger and my man Carey Davis

Our black and gold DEFENSE!!

Last night was the highlight of our Pittsburgh trip, the annual SCM Sit Down. Last year was a fabulous time, and this year was even better. I definitely missed some of my friends that couldn’t make it, but we were able to make some new friends this year! DiSalvo’s is such an amazing restaurant. I just fell in love with it last year. The only way to understand what I mean is to go there yourself. The restaurant is a converted train station with a car with “Prima Classe” dining inside. It’s an elegant and charming place and the food definitely lives up to the atmosphere.

Here are a couple pics of the restaurant. They don’t even come close to doing it justice, though.

The front entrance to DiSalvo’s. Trains still pass by on the tracks directly over the restaurant.

When you enter, there is a long corridor that leads to the main dining area.

Me and bebe in front of the dining car.

Our guest speaker for the evening was Steeler great Andy Russell. He told a lot of stories about football then and now, even talking about the guys who played before he did. He also talked about Steelers Nation and how it’s really more than just a nation. There are Steelers fans worldwide! It was amazing to hear about the Steelers experience through him, but what I found really touching was that he said as much as Steeler fans love the players, the players also love the fans.

The evening’s proceeds were raised to benefit the Andy Russell Foundation. As much as I love getting together with all my SCM Family, it’s great that what we are doing will also benefit others. It’s no secret that I love SCM as much as I love the black and gold!

Here is a picture of Mr. Russell with the guys who really make SCM happen, the Bosses. The shirt was designed by my buddy and very talented graphic artist David Fair and proceeds from its sales will also go to the Andy Russell Foundation.

After the dinner, we had a VIP (Very Important Philanthropist) party downstairs in the cigar lounge. This place is something you would expect to see straight out of a Godfather movie or something, especially with all the fellas in their suits (don’t worry, the dolls were also dressed to impress). Even though we were down there for two hours, I feel like I didn’t get enough time to talk to everyone!

Here’s a pic we took with our friends Matt and Katie, whom we met last year.

I love this pic of the fellas. They have too much fun dressing up like gangstas!

We are already looking forward to next year. I want to bring my mom out so she can see why I love my SCM Family so much! I think she would really enjoy it. I didn’t realize that they were going to pin us again this year. That was awesome! It’s such an honor to be fully recognized in the organization. Hopefully we will be able to help continue make this organization stronger!

Well, we need to be off to brunch and training camp! I’ll post more later! :)

Tailgating in Pittsburgh

August 8, 2008

I’m watching the game with my very loud family so I’ll have to keep this kinda short.

Our Pittsburgh trip is off to a great start! We went down to the stadium to tailgate with the Steel City Mafia. It was great to see The Family again! We literally had members from coast to coast and a special appearance by former Steeler Louis Lipps. Extremely nice guy and his wife was just a doll! Matt was wearing his Eagles jersey and Lipps gave him crap about it. It was priceless! What an awesome opportunity to have one of the black and gold greats hang out and tailgate with the fans. Once a Steeler, always a Steeler.

I had the honor of getting a pic with him. Check it out:

Still a hottie!

Matt got heckled by a few people, but he was a good sport about it. He knows to expect it. He loves the Eagles but he also supports the Steelers, so it’s all good.

Here’s Matt getting interviewed by KDKA:

We had fun as always. As we were leaving we ran into our usual tailgate buddies. Wish we had seen them sooner! Hopefully we’ll make it back up for another game this season. We love tailgating with them.

Had to get a pic of me and my hubby with our opposing jerseys on. Good times! I am going to get some much-needed sleep. We still have a big weekend ahead of us!

Pittsburgh at last!

August 8, 2008

We made it in a little after 7am today. If you subtract all the stops we made for the dogs it probably took us about 12 hours driving. It feels great to be home! The weather is just gorgeous! I don’t know what the temperature is but I think it’s around perfect degrees.

I’ve already made some of the necessary stops today. I went to the old grocery store to get Mancini’s bread and hard salami. So for breakfast Matt and I had sandwiches. Mmmmm!!! It’s kinda tradition for me to have a salami sandwich as soon as I get here.

After a short nap I went to pick up my mom from work and we grabbed some pizza and beer for the game. Gonna take a quick nap before we go tailgate!

#1 Fan

August 7, 2008

My hubby is a closet Pittsburgher. We are getting ready to leave for our Pittsburgh trip. The Steelers are playing the Eagles tomorrow night. Matt still insists he is an Eagles fan, but I think he is in denial. Here’s why:

– Matt has seen numerous games at Heinz Field but has yet to go a game at Lincoln. In fact, the Steelers play IN Philly this year and he doesn’t want to go.

– Matt has been to the fan appreciation day at Heinz but when I tried to convince him to go to the Eagles fan appreciation day he declined. I even insisted and told him he could meet McNabb guaranteed and he said no.

– This morning when I said how excited I was about our trip, he said he can’t wait to have some Primanti Bros. and pierogies!!

– Matt loves tailgating with Steeler fans. He basically thinks Eagle fans are assholes (and he’s right).

– Does Matt belong to an Eagles fan club? Nope! However, he is a paid member of the Steel City Mafia and even will be one of its staff members. He also goes to games every week with my local club, the Jacksonville Black and Gold (JAXBAG).

– He has more Steelers clothes than any other team.

Matt can wear an Eagles jersey all he wants and even say that he is an Eagles fan when people ask, but underneath that #5 jersey is the heart of a Steeler fan!!