Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Cost of Traveling...

So this is not beautiful at all, but it is quite funny.  And yes, I did mail this to the CEO of United Airlines.  At the very least whoever at UA reads this is certain to smile.

Dear Mr. Smisek,

On Saturday, June 4, 2011, I traveled to Milwaukee, Wisconsin with a layover in Chicago, Illinois.  I travel frequently on business and when possible I always fly United Airlines.  Also because I travel frequently, I rarely check luggage in an effort to prevent delay and inconvenience.  This trip was no exception.  As I was boarding my flight (United flight 942), a United employee at the plane instructed me to check my carry-on bag.  I politely asked if there was a possibility to store it somewhere on the plane since it was not large and its arrival with me to my final destination was vital.  He became angry and refused.  In an effort to avoid making a scene, I handed my carry-on bag over to the United employee and confirmed that I would be able to pick it up in Chicago at the gate.  He refused stating that he was sending it straight to Milwaukee.  Despite my protest, the United employee walked away.  Interestingly, when the United employee instructed a man a few people behind me in line to also check his bag, he withdrew his instruction when the man became agitated and raised his voice.  Apparently had I created a scene, I would have been able to keep my luggage and would have prevented the entire inconvenience that was about to ensue.

Without reason my connecting flight from Chicago to Milwaukee was cancelled (United flight 7012).  Thankfully United was able to get me on the last flight out that evening (United flight 6745).  I inquired with the gate as to my bag and was assured that it would be on the next flight, the only flight that evening with me to Milwaukee.

However, as I approached the baggage claim, my carry-on bag did not make it to Milwaukee.  I was assured by United personnel in Milwaukee that my bag would arrive late in the afternoon the following day.  Unfortunately, because of my cancelled flight to Milwaukee and the subsequent delay on the next flight, I arrived in Milwaukee in the late evening hours without any necessities for my 7:30am deposition the next morning.  As a result, I incurred a $114.80 expense in an effort to purchase toiletries and the most professional clothes available for my early morning deposition.  Indeed, during my attempt to obtain these replacement items, I was subjected to the unmistakable sounds of someone having sexual relations in the dressing room adjacent to mine in the only retail store open at that late hour - Kohls.  Additionally, as I was leaving Wal-Mart in an attempt to purchase a few necessities, including contact lens solution, I was followed out of the store by a large man who commented on the size and sparkle of my diamond wedding ring.  I don’t think I need to further detail the anxiety and stress that this caused.

I am also sure that I do not need to remind you that your United Customer Commitment sets forth “We work hard to get your checked bags to you on time. If your checked bags are delayed or misplaced, we will make every reasonable effort to deliver your bags within 24 hours. If you have expenses because of baggage delay and are eligible to receive compensation, we will compensate you for reasonable and necessary out-of-pocket expenses.”

As a result of this extreme inconvenience and added expense that I attempted to prevent by carrying on my luggage, I was forced to incur $114.80 as a result of your airline’s negligent operations.  Copies of my boarding passes are enclosed. 

With kind regards,


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Worknight Smore Brownies

Hubbs is a lover of all things sweet.  Obviously that is why he married me.  Okay, I admit that I am ridiculous.

Baking mid-week is pretty much a huge hassle for a lazy workaholic like myself.  But, this recipe is an exception.  And we all know that I cannot refuse anything smores related, remember this creation?

Start out with boxed brownie mix (shhhh don't tell that it isn't from scratch), add some eggs, butter, marshmallows and a cookies n' creme Hershey's bar.
 Mix and throw it in the oven.
Sadly, I was in such a sugar wonderland that I failed to take any "after" photos.  The marshmallows disappeared but I think they made the brownies more fluffy.  Overall, my mid-workweek smores brownies were pretty tasty!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Tropical Paradise, I Like to Call Home

I adore nature but since I work a million hours a week I rarely get to enjoy it.  Three years into my stint as an attorney, I had the opportunity to visit Hawai'i for work.  It was a quick 24 hour trip but even though it was so rushed, I still felt so calm and relaxed because of the majestic environment.  It was at this moment that I had an epiphany for my landscape in my yard: tropical.

What do you think?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Celebrating New Life

New life is such a joyous occasion, particularly if it occurs in your front yard!

Last year a bird built a little nest in one of our hanging planters and even though I have since changed out the plant, the little bird returned for this year's baby love.

Look at their little eyes and open mouth!

The mama or papa birdie is always nearby, just to make sure we don't get too close to their baby.

 Happy Monday!


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Big, Big Birthday Loving

What do you get the person who has everything? Obviously a GIGANTIC heart felt card.  For my bestie's bday this week, I made her the biggest, best birthday card ever. Or at least I thought it was the biggest and best.

I began by writing a note on a regular piece of paper (8.5 x 11 sized paper).
 I took the paper to a Fed Ex/Kinkos store and had them enlarge it on one of their large scale printers.  I folded it into smaller squares.
 I made a cute pink envelope out of a pink office folder found at any office supply store.
 Bestie was so happy that she hung it at the bar where we celebrated.  Hooray for birthdays!

credits: Oh Happy Day

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Happy Summer!

Today marks {drum roll please} the first day of summer!

I love summer because of the warm weather, summer break, backyard bbqs, the beach, swimming, vacations, popsicles, extra sunlight, the smell of sunscreen, slip and slides, staying up late, and most importantly my birthday!
Happy summer my lovelies!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Creative Save the Dates

The wedding invite or save the date is the first glimpse people get at the big party.  Thus, it is tremendously important to set the stage for what is to come.

For a fun wedding, set the mood with a whimsical theme.

Wonderful Graffiti Wedding
Everybody loves a gift and these clever invitations serve as both a fun lollipop gift and a unique wedding invite. Keep in mind that the black and white colors with the cursive font keep it classy.  Be sure to package it in a beautiful box.  This idea would also work well as a save the date. To keep the theme going, have a candy bar available at the wedding.

Some other fresh ideas:
 Can't forget my love for owls in magnet form.
Delightfully Engaged
But for my bestie who is planning a wedding in festive Cabo San Lucas, these ideas may be better served:

Loving this festive color.
Invitation Consultants
So festive and fun, these would definitely find a permanent place on my refrigerator.
Dot Blue Productions

Loving this vintage feel.  And, I think this might be a really affordable way to go.

This one is my absolute favorite.  It is so personal and creative.
Jennifer Lane

Friday, June 17, 2011

Tribute to Big Wheels

Remember those warm summer days when all the neighborhood kids would congregate in one central location with their big wheels (super cool) and barbies (stupid)?  I can still feel the warmth and almost taste the cherry slurpees when I think back at those barefoot summer days. 

Please have a smashing good time this weekend and try to squeeze in some valuable Big Wheels time with your friends and/or colleagues.
Laughing Squid

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Beautiful Bouquets

Flowers make the world a better place.  Seriously.  Can you imagine how dull life would be without flowers?  I'd rather not imagine such a place.  Flowers play such an important part in everything, including weddings.  In coming up with ideas for my cuz' wedding, here are a few images of inspiration:

Simple, whimsical, earthy and natural. Perfect for a carefree wedding.
Audrey O'Brien
 So dramatic and romantic, I would style my entire wedding around these flowers.
Audrey O'Brien

Feminine and romantic.
 Style Me Pretty
For the DIY bride, this bouquet would be a breeze.
The Sweetest Occasion
 Loving the touch of Tuscany in this bouquet.
My Wedding Blooms
Gorgeous colors.
Rex & Regina

 Perfectly white.

Studio 28 Photography via JL Designs

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Fun Hostess Gifts

I hate showing up to a friend's home empty handed.  With so much planning and preparation going into parties, I feel like a hostess gift is a must.  And, there is nothing worse than receiving a bouquet of flowers during a party and having to rummage through your cabinets in search for a vase that fits.  Thus, here are you a few inexpensive ideas that are sure to sparkle.

All you need for an exquisite breakfast.  You can either buy this pre-made from Stonewall Kitchen or you can easily make it with just a quick stop at Trader Joes or World Market.  If you are clever, include all of the mixings for your fav breakfast and you just might get an additional invite out of it!
Stonewall Kitchen

3 in 1 game: checkers, chess and backgammon. Let the games begin!
Clever salt and pepper shakers.
Potted herbs.
The Ivory Dahlia
 Do you have a simple go-to hostess gift?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Ode to the City of Churches

I have never seen a cityscape as littered with steeples as in Milwaukee.  It is so beautiful and unique. 

There is probably a church for every 3 people living in the city.  It is truly amazing!