Monday, May 30, 2011

ChiTown Adventures for Amanda's Bachelorette Party

**Warning: this post contains an abundance of sensory overload.

This past weekend I spent a little time in the Windy City celebrating my future sister-in-law's last few weeks of being a single lady. You'll see from the dynamite pics and lovely video footage that a good time was had by all. We certainly know how to cheers to a new family member ;)

Bride to be glass


Wine glass charms

She is ready to be the bachelorette :)

Bree, her matron of honor, scouted out a rental home on the Lake de Michigan across the tollway from the city. Think loft meets new-age designer. The views were spectacular from the 3rd floor common area, complete with a top deck for laying out and an old-school fire place for keeping warm.

Ready for the Bride!

Deck view

Open space kitchen & dining table

Living room space

Game prizes!

Friday night we enjoyed a Mexican themed dinner with a variety of cocktails to garnish our meal. We also played a drinking game. Correction, Amanda played a drinking game. We were instructed to bring the ingredients for a cocktail and write the recipe on a drink card for Amanda to keep. I chose to mimmic a recipe off my Lolita Flirtini glass courtesy of Amanda a few Christmases ago.

Cheers to Champagne

Do I have to drink all of these?

Let's see how she handled the taste testing shall we...

Who could forget TP Bride?

Saturday, we managed some outdoor activity despite the overcast weather. The neighborhood had the typical beach feel as we strolled through the streets up to the sand dunes, through the grassy hills, and onto the beachfront. We walked along the lake for an hour before heading back to the house to get ready for the evening. Late afternoon, all dolled up & yearning for the big city lights, we caught the train into the city. Dinner at Fiorintino's was beyond delicious. To-die-for bread topped with parm cheese. Seafood apps of calamari and crab cakes. Perfection in a mini-caesar salad. My all time fave of stuffed gnocchi with vodka sauce. Chilled bottle of Kendall-Jackson chard. Heaven on a plate.

Mom, is this what your vision looked like already?


Apres din-din, we cabbed it to Zebra Lounge on State & Division, a cozy piano bar fit for a group of 9 ladies lookin' for a good time. Our table sat just across from the live performer who we bombarded with song after song and he adored us for it. We traded buying rounds of drinks and fruity shots. Before we knew it, the place was hopping with a mixed crowd of party-goers. As the night wound down, we headed back to catch our train home.

Amanda and another party-goer

Haha we faked this picture and sent it to my brother...he was not pleased

Play us a song piano man

Mom & Tay

Tay & I

Sunday morning was time for a big pancake breakfast and many waters for hydration. No bachelorette party would be complete without a little lingerie to sexify the bride for her wedding night and honeymoon vaca. Her gifts were pretty PG-rated. The thought of getting my brother's future wife handcuffs just didn't quite sit well with me!

Lots of fun panties for the honeymoon

Polka dot lingerie, so cute!

Just Married tank top

Love these!

Such a fabulous & fun girls' weekend!! Looking forward to my own bachelorette party in Vegas in t-minus 3 weeks :)

Music Mondays

Getting pumped for Vegas baby!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Delilah, Made Memories Tonight

One of my favorite things about Wednesday nights is the solitude of my hour drive home from Los Gatos. At nighttime, there are fewer travelers and the traffic runs smoothly. The lights illuminate the city skyline and gleam off the water. But perhaps the best part of my drive is 106.9 and Delilah's calming tunes. 

Dad and I used to go on road trips every weekend, traveling to all of the southern states for tennis tournaments. Inevitably we would drive through the nighttime in order to get to most locations, and without doubt, every state had a radio station with her (Delilah) sweet voice and her story-telling listeners confessing their deepest loves and regrets. 

I learned a lot about my dad through these trips. It was on one that I would first see him shed a tear as we listened to (fittingly) Butterfly Kisses on Delilah half-way to Macon, GA. I also learned how much he reveled in Sinatra, Elton John, Billy Joel, and the Goo Goo Dolls on such said trips and radio nights. He knew the words to almost every song played. He has an extremely amazing talent when it comes to whistling songs and his voice is pretty darn good. He can carry a tune and he's got rhythm. Amazing in itself...particularly if you are familiar with my lack-of talent in the musical department.

So it is on these Wednesday night drives home that I remember our father/daughter road trips. And just for a moment, I feel like a kid again.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Following the footsteps of some of my fellow bloggers...

  • The Laughing Cow light creamy swiss cheese paired with garden herb Triscuits
makes for a fabulous app while making dinner

  • oodles of family time in recent months
Between Christmas, my Mama Collins passing away, Collins' birth/Easter, My Bridal Shower, and now Amanda's bachelorette party this weekend, I am seeing all sorts of my family ;)
  • Cream of Mushroom as a base for chicken dishes
with a little roasted almond topping

  • wearing my Mama Comley's old scarfs as belts
There is something so sweet and sentimental about spicing up my outfit with one of her vintage scarfs. She loved to dress up her attire by tying them around her neck or using them as pocket squares in a casual jacket. 
  • colored nail polish on my hands
a rare sighting for me to have actual color on my hands

  • using keepsake boxes as decoration
from Z Gallerie in Louisville

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

More Team Tennis

the walkway

yes I was actually able to wear shorts and a short sleeve shirt!!

about to cheer on the CATS

With a lot of convincing, I was able to round up Ryan and head down to Stanford on Saturday afternoon for more NCAA Tennis. UK took on the #2 seeded USC Trojans. While the outcome was not what we had hoped, it was so refreshing to be watching tennis in the sun and cheering obnoxiously. I do miss those days. The days of being ever consumed by tennis. The thrill of the competition. The anxiety of each shot. The sitting on the edge of your seat for hours until it ends.

#1 doubles

#2 doubles

Despite a loss of 4-1, I was incredibly proud to be a Kentucky Wildcat Saturday. The boys worked hard, never gave up, and carried themselves with professionalism. They had an amazing season, and that is something to keep your head held high about.

avid fan

proud to be Wildcats :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Weekend of Dates

In normal weekly fashion, Ryan received his usual gift from me:

Over the past year and a half, I have learned that gifts do not actually have to be things. Rather they can be experiences, dates, events, activities, etc. So since my mentality in gift giving has changed and the pressure of gift giving has been alleviated a bit (mostly in part thanks to groupon), I planned a little date night Friday evening to Serra Bowl. A hidden spot in the heart of Daly City which gives the exact vibe of The Big Lebowski's movie setting. Perfect and just what I was hoping for.

nutrients via Chipotle pre-bowl

lacing up the bowling shoes


let's do this!

I've been bowling most of my life courtesy of my mother who apparently was a stellar bowler in high school. Anywho, I am generally not bad once I have a few beers to ease my sports-like and ubber competitive mind. Ryan won the first game. See exhibit A of how he flippin' bowled a strike on the first try. Can you say beginner's luck?

He also won the second game which put me to silence. We opted for one more round as we had a few drops of beer left in the ole' pitcher. I finally got my groove back and successfully dominated him. Pay no attention to the rumors that he let me win. Men are so typical.

Whi vs Bal

I let him win obvi

the champ

Saturday night we had dinner plans with Jules & Stan. They are my our favorite couple in the city. Their warmth and generosity is unmatched, and their energy and story-telling abilities are unlike anything I have ever seen. Jules is basically an SF native, full of wisdom & knowledge and Stan hales from Scotland, full of wise-tales & humor. They make a great match!

We headed over to their hood around 6:30 for a pre-dinner drink. Their building in Mission is fabulous and their decorating skills are contemporary meets modern art. Love it. Jules & I popped the champagne to celebrate her latest closing (real estate) and Stan introduced Ryan to tequila aged in bourbon barrels. Folks, I might actually be able to stomach tequila after all these years post tasting this gem.

Just a block away, we swayed down to Universal Cafe, an organic joint with an ever-changing menu daily. The atmosphere was cozy and the food beyond delicious. We shared french fries seasoned to perfection as well as flatbread topped with cherry tomatoes, bacon, and fresh mozzarella. For the main course, I dined on the filet mignon (shocking I know given my love of all things steak) paired with potatoes au gratin and lightly covered with thinly sliced mushrooms. Ryan enjoyed the lamb so much that he asked how inappropriate it would be to lick his plate clean. **Happy to report he did NOT do that. We rounded out the meal by splitting the cobbler meets ice cream heaven amongst the four of us. So amazing.

Not quite ready for the night to end, we stopped in the sushi place across from their house for one last nightcap. The boys talked man stuff like golf, motor-cross, biking, and Vegas. Jules & I discussed all things girly including movies (particularly our desire to see Bridesmaids), swingers, our relationship annoyances, and wedding plans.

A great weekend full of dates :)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

My Bridal Shower

This past Friday, the 13th to be exact, the Underhill girls threw me a bridal shower. As always, Colleen, Jordan, Chan, & Natalie were wonderful hostesses. The house was beautiful with the front doors wide open to greet guests. It was a luncheon-theme with delightful treats such as veggie pizza wraps, mini sandwiches, fresh fruits, mixed green salads, out of this world chocolate cake, and initialed petit fours.

I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with all of my family and friends who attended. Mom, Kendahl, Taylor, & Amanda were present as well as Mommy T, Kara, Kinlee, & Grandma Lee. Aunt Sandra & Aunt Shirley made the drive from Lexington, and Judy, Lindsey, Marybeth, K.K., Debbie, & Grace were also in attendance. Meeting and greeting. Mixing and mingling. Storytelling.

Shocking to me, Colleen emailed Ryan to ask him a few questions for a "how well do you know your future spouse" game. The look on my face seemed to be priceless as I was told. Happy to report, we faired very well on our answers. I think there were only 2 or 3 that we were out of sync on. One being "what attribute of Ryan's does Whitney find most attractive?" I doted on his butt, but he went PG and guessed his smile. You can't win them all huh?

Thanks again to all who hosted and came to the shower! I greatly appreciate your thoughtfulness and generosity!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Team Tennis

For most, tennis is a quiet spectator sport where you wear all white clothing with sweaters wrapped around your shoulders and sip lemonade while oohhing and ahhhing as your head moves from side to side in conjunction with the yellow tennis ball. Cheers are only permitted after points and consist of light clapping in a very sophisticated manner. 

But in collegiate tennis, people get rowdy. And I love it. There is something to be said about playing as a team. Most of my life was spent playing single, on the court, alone. Just my opponent and I. A loss meant a loss for me; not for a plethora of other people. In many ways, the burden of only causing yourself to lose is somewhat refreshing. To not have the weight of a team and how your performance affects them is something that I was always happy to not have to worry about. On the other hand, to be a part of a team and compete in that environment is an amazing experience.

For the first time since 2006, the NCAA Men & Women Tennis Championships are being held co-hesively at Stanford. The last time this happened, I was here cheering for UK and UM as my brother played. I remember the weekend vividly as Shane & I created fond memories touring Palo Alto and SanFran. Who knew 5 years later I would be living here and working very closely with Stanford tennis?

Yesterday I drove on down to campus to cheer on the Kentucky Wildcats Men's team. They are seeded #10 and defeated UL in the Regional Final to make it out here to Cali. They drew #8 UF in the Round of 16. UF is always a good team. Tied 1-1 for this season, I knew it would be a nail biter.

UK won the doubles point taking a 1-0 lead. But singles was going to be a fight, evident from the get-go. Alberto quickly dominated on court 4 pushing UK to a 2-0 lead, but Quigley lost on court 1 putting UF on the board. Within minutes, Brad lost tying it up at 2-2. Rossi closed out his match in two sets to put UK back on top 3-2. On court 2, Alex lost the first set and was down 2-3 in the second. Jomby, on court 6, lost the first set 0-6, crept up to win the second 6-3, and was ahead 3-0 in the third. Things were looking pretty. 

Then UF called a medical timeout on court 6 causing Jomby to get cold. He lost three straight games to put the score at 3-3 in the third. I was literally clenching my jaw and tapping my leg nervously. For a freshman to basically have the weight of the team on his shoulders is unnerving. Jomby broke UF to go up 4-3 and then held for a 5-3 lead. He ended up winning the match 6-3 in the third. 

The celebration brought chills to my skin. I remember being part of UK's women's team years ago. I loved the rush of the court and the fast heartbeat it brings.

Cheers to a W over UF and a great match against USC on Saturday!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Bachelorette Party

No, not mine. That will come in June. The book. The raunchy, laugh-out-loud-on-the-plane, ever so true book. It is similar in writing style to the Shopaholic series as well as the Emily Griffin in-love-with Something series, only it is a bit more risque. Think penis blow-up doll named Hans and advice on how to give better BJs. All critical parts of a bachelorette party you see.

I saw the book resting on my mom's nightstand. It looked familiar but after reading the back summary, I couldn't quite recall if I had read it before. I've indulged in the other charming & witty bride-esque books so I figured this would be a good fit. (My past few reads have been a bit dark & heavy so something light was in order). 

Turns out (a coined phrase stolen from Tay Tay), I have read it and I still cracked up laughing on the plane ride home Sunday. Literally, I was laughing so hard I almost pee'd my pants. I started it in Cleveland and finished it at the gym Tuesday. A 300+ page novel downed in a matter of 5 hours time.

The basic premise:
Zadie gets left at the alter. Her best friend Gray is now marrying her too-perfect-goodie-two shoes cousin Helen after only dating for 5 months. Her only positives in life are the fact that she has a teaching hot high school male models in Beverly Hills whom she fantasizes about due to her lack of sexual practices post non-wedding. Forced to go to Helen's prissy bachelorette party, she dreads the whole Hollywood meets June Cleaver itinerary. But somewhere along the way, the party gets started and the bride's true wild colors shine through.

Karen McCullah Lutz does a fabulous job of keeping it light while keeping it real. I suggest the read, especially if you are into sarcasm, narcissism, marital bliss & ignorance, and the great psyche of the female mind.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Where's Whitney?

My trip home to Kentucky this past weekend marks the beginning of a travel frenzy for the next 5 months.

Please see exhibit A: my calendar
May Highlights: Kentucky Bridal Shower & Amanda's Bachelorette Party in Chicago

June Highlights: Alaskan Cruise, My Bachelorette Party in Vegas, & Michigan for Shane & Amanda's Wedding

July Highlights: Shane & Amanda's Wedding, Kim's Bachelorette Party in Chicago, & temporarily living in Palo Alto for 2 weeks for work's Bank of the West Classic

August Highlights: Couples Shower in Kentucky & Jordan & Clark's Wedding in Kentucky

September Highlights: Liz & Win's Wedding & Kim & Jerrad's Wedding in Paducah

By the end of the year, I will have traveled 13 times (not including our day trips to Tahoe, LA, & Santa Barbara)! Let the SkyMiles begin :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Becoming Giant Fans

Unexpectedly on Tuesday, Kimmie called me at work to say that Jerrad scored some tickets to the Giants vs. Diamondbacks game that evening and would Ryan & I like to join. Of course I exclaimed! I love impromptu date nights. I love get-togethers with friends even more :)

We enjoyed great seats equipped with hot dogs and beers. Just under the overhang so we were shielded from the wind and a warmer night than most. So far, since baseball season began, we have been able to score tickets to one game per month. We're all thinking we like this little trend...

grey hat club


Bottom of the 9th line drive past 3rd base gave the Giants a W and made us lucky charms!