Home…Again

I made it home on Friday afternoon after hitting some traffic on I-75. I came home to a super clean (and slightly redecorated) apartment that afternoon, where my husband and best friend were waiting for me. After unpacking and doing some online shopping the 3 of us went to get some dinner and drinks.

First we went to a restaurant call Polaris located at the top of the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Its a revolving restaurant, like the Sundial, and what I liked about it was that it was more of a lounge as well. There were long couches and coffee tables in addition to regular dinner tables. It has a very upscale ambiance that I liked. We ordered drinks and appetizers, Vietnamese Spring Rolls and the Cheese Platter, but Lorenzo and Tia thought the dinner menu was limited so we decided to go somewhere else for dinner.

Me, Lorenzo, Tia
Me, Lorenzo, Tia

After Polaris, we went to another restaurant called Time. This restaurant was more casual and the dinner menu was a bit more extensive than Polaris. The only thing I didn’t like about this place was that the music was kind of loud so it made it hard for the 3 of us to converse. The food was prepared well. I had scallops, Tia had salmon, and Lorenzo had shrimp tacos.

Tia had to leave for a military school on Saturday morning, so Lorenzo and I stayed at home for most of the day. We wanted to go the the car and bike show at the Congress center, but my stomach was bothering me almost the entire day (it still is to be honest). But just to get out of the house we went to the Uptown Comedy Corner for the late show and then to Landmark Diner in Buckhead afterwards. To me there is nothing special about diners- I’m from New Jersey- I used to go to diners all of the time.

We’ve been going out a lot this weekend and today I get to just do my hair and get ready to go back to work tomorrow *rolls eyes*.

August is going to be a good month for me though. I’m getting to to back home to New Jersey, we are going on vacation, and my birthday is coming up. Yes, I’m almost in my mid-thirties and I still look forward to birthdays. I hope its something I never get tired of.

Oh, Savannah!

I’m back at it again with some military training. It was kind of last minute so I had about zero time to write about it beforehand.

This training event is in Georgia, but this time and I’m about 45 minutes away from Savannah. This was very convenient because I’ve wanted to visit Savannah since I moved here. Lorenzo has been here before, but he was okay with driving out here to visit so that we could see it together.

Since Lorenzo arrived Friday evening, we slept in, then went to get some breakfast before heading out. We did some shopping first (well, I did some shopping) then we went downtown and took one of the tour buses around the downtown area. We took a quick tour because we caught the last bus. Lorenzo was telling me that Savannah has a lot of history (the town was established 43 years before the United States declared its independence) and we learned a lot on the tour as well.

Bus

Bus Tour
Bus Tour

We also had dinner at a place called The Shrimp Factory on River Street. I got the Shrimp & Grits (as usual) and Lorenzo got the stuffed shrimp. We also ordered a popular drink called the Chatham Artillery Punch which also has a 200+ year old history in Savannah. I wasn’t super thrilled about the drink but they give you a complimentary glass when you purchase it. The food was great but I think I’ll try another drink next time.

Shrimp and Grits
Shrimp and Grits
Chatham Artillery Punch
Chatham Artillery Punch

Me always eating Shrimp and Grits is going to be the death of me. I’ve gained 20lbs within the first 6 months of me living in Georgia and I partially blame it on the fact that almost every restaurant here has it on the menu. I think I’ve only had it at one place and didn’t think it was great- but that didn’t stop me from eating it. And don’t worry about the 20lbs, I was always underweight so I could stand to gain a few pounds.

I have another week to go before I head back to Atlanta. Lorenzo and I don’t have any plans for the weekend just yet but that is quite alright with me. I think I want to rest up before I head back to work.  Laters!

Book Review: Gone Girl

Warning: This post will have spoilers from the movie and the book Gone Girl. It will also have some use of the word “bitch” and I know this can seem offensive. If you’re easily or even slightly offended by that word, you should just skip this post altogether. 

While I was on my military training last month one of the Captain’s that was sharing a suite with me was reading the book Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Now, I’d already saw the movie a few months ago with Lorenzo when we were hanging out with some friends in Snellville. I’d never heard of the book (or the movie) at that point so the only reaction to Amy’s behavior is “bitches be crazy”. Seriously.

I usually like to read the book before I watch a movie so that I could have a full understanding of what is going on and I’m able to fill in the blanks when I have questions that the movie can’t answer. Since I had some downtime while I was away I decided to give the book a try. I needed to get in Amy’s head.

The book started off a little slow, it took a while for the book to include Amy’s fake journal and then even longer for the real Amy to surface. Now, while I wanted to punch Nick in the head throughout the entire movie for being so stupid, the book made me hate him even more. Nick wasn’t my concern though it was really Amy. She took so much time and effort and planning to set Nick up for her murder, just to turn around and go back to him in the end. It all just seemed like a whole lot of effort just to get Nick to…wait…I’m not exactly sure what she was trying to get out of him. To love her? See the error of his ways? All because you didn’t want to give him the satisfaction of getting a divorce- that would be too easy for him. Okay then, I guess.

When Nick started gathering some background info on his wife, they show a scene in the movie where an ex of Amy’s was telling him how she accused him of rape after they had consensual sex. He explained how she’d completely set him up and ruined his life. What the movie doesn’t mention is how after Amy called the police on the guy she sent him a creepy note stating something along the lines of “Next time you’ll know”. What was the guy’s crime? He started dating someone else.

There was a story of another girl that Amy went to school with when she was younger. According to Amy’s parents the girl (Hannah?? My memory is crappy) became obsessed with Amy and told Amy’s mother that she was going to kill Amy and replace her. When Nick went to finally speak with adult Hannah she told the real story of how she was new to the boarding school, Amy befriended her, and when Hannah started to become more popular than Amy, she became weird. Amy offered to dye Hannah’s hair the same color as hers and told her to play a joke on her mom by saying that she would replace Amy. Then Amy threw herself down a flight of stairs and blamed Hannah for it. When Hanna moved back home because of the embarrassment (and restraining order) she also got a note from Amy with the same creepy message that she sent the guy. Crazy bitch.

Amy liked to teach people a lesson, apparently. There was a short period of time when I wanted to feel sorry for her. She expressed her disdain for her husband by talking about women having to play the role of the “Cool Girl” in order to please a guy. While I could agree with her to an extent she turned around and started acting crazy again so I went back to hating her. While Amy was a very intelligent woman, she was very manipulative, conniving, and vengeful. She made people love her and then used them like she was a puppet master. I kind of felt that she and Nick deserved each other.

Anyway, while I think the book and the movie were definitely entertaining they are not items I would put on my top 10 list. I was just happy to be able to make time to read an actual paper book. Amy’s still a bitch though. I’m just saying.

Product Review: Bliss, Facial in a Box

So I found this little gem while wandering around an Ulta store one day when I was supposed to be looking for something to put in my hair.

Since I haven’t had a chance to go see my esthetician in about 2 months I thought it would be a cute thing to use in the mean time. The kit was only $12, which was awesome, and it comes with 3 components: the oxygen mask, peel, and moisturizer.

Step 1 is the “triple oxygen instant energizing mask”. What’s cool about the mask is that when you put it on it begins to foam, the more your rub it in the frothier it gets. I think you are supposed to put it on then wait for it to foam up, but I’m hardheaded and I like the way it feels.

Next step is the “that’s incredi-‘peel'” which is just a wipe that you put all over your face after your rinse off the masks. There is a slight tingling, nothing to worry about, but I like to have an indication that something I’m putting on my face actually works.

Lastly, is the “triple oxygen ex-‘glow’-sion moisturizer which you are supposed to massage on your face and neck for 30 seconds. Since moisturizer is my best friend I automatically liked it and loved the way it smelled.

The kit says that it comes with 2 applications but you can definitely stretch it out further than that and probably get 4 uses out of it. The peel would have to be put in plastic so that it doesn’t dry out.

On a scale of 1-10 I would give this product a 7.5. I like the price, the packaging, and how it left my skin feeling over all. It wouldn’t replace a regular facial, but I think this is something that can be used “in the mean time” until I can get to see my regular esthetician.

Has anyone else used this? What did you think?

Lorenzo’s Birthday

I’m back…with photos! This is what I was trying to share last week:

Last weekend was Lorenzo’s birthday. It was the first time we were actually able to spend it together in about 2 years. We both seem to always have training scheduled on his birthday, so I was pleased that we were able to spend this one together.

We both were home before Saturday, but because we were both exhausted, he didn’t want to go anywhere that was too far away (maybe for another time?).  I reserved a hotel room in downtown Atlanta at the Westin. I also made us reservations to eat at the Sundial– the revolving restaurant.

Our room was on the 63rd floor of the hotel so we already had an awesome view; we were able to see the Braves Stadium from where we were facing. We arrived in the middle of the day so we walked around, and took a ride on the Sky View Ferris Wheel. We finally found out that the tall, pointy, brass, pencil looking building belongs to Bank of America.

View

On the Sky View Ferris Wheel
On the Sky View Ferris Wheel

When I lived in New Jersey and worked in New York, I never really took the time to learn about the city I was in. I read somewhere that every now and again you should “be a tourist” in your own city. One, it’ll give you something to do, and two it’ll help you learn more about your city’s history…you get to view it from a tourist’s perspective.

So, anyway, from the restaurant we were able to get a full circle view of all of downtown Atlanta. It was a beautiful view…even at night. It takes about 35 minutes for it to rotate one full time. So by the time you are done with your meal you’ve already went around the city once and then maybe a little more. Lorenzo had eaten there before, but I never have so it was a new experience for me. The funny thing was that our waitress turned out to be the same waitress we had when we stayed at the Intercontinental last November. You just never forget a personality like hers. Her name is Anne and she is a retired school teacher who is now waiting at both locations. She’s been with the Sundial for almost 30 years. I thought she was amazing because you can just tell that she loves what she does.

Lorenzo and I with Anne.
Lorenzo and I with Anne.
Sundial Restaurant
Sundial Restaurant

Lorenzo said that he had a good time, which was my ultimate goal anyway. I did get him some tangible gifts as well. He showed me an Emporio Armani watch that he liked; the band looks like a standard leather band with a buckle but is all medal. I also got him a bracelet from a company called Vitaly Design Ltd; he found the company on Instagram and showed me one of the pieces that he liked. The company specializes in men’s jewelry, so I’m sure I’ll be shopping there again.

All in all, a good weekend :)

No Photos, No Post

I’ve been trying to post about my weekend for the past two days and either I haven’t had time or I can’t upload any photos :(

I’m not sure if WordPress is the issue or I’m doing something wrong, but I’ll figure it out. And when I do I’ll tell you guys all about my return from upstate New York and Lorenzo’s birthday weekend.

I also have other product reviews that I wanted to post. I found some new products in Ulta (my new favorite store) and Sephora (my old favorite store).

But it makes me feel better about writing about it when I have photos to show.

So, until then!

Staying In Your (Financial) Lane

Whenever a junior enlisted soldier tries to step too far above or outside of the realm of their pay grade, their Sergeant might tell them to “stay in their lane”. This term can be used for other times as well, like when someone is getting a little too comfortable with telling you their opinions about how you should: run your life, raise your kids, spend your money, etc.

It’s easy to tell other people to stay in their lane but I realize that some people have a hard time staying in their own lane, especially when it comes to finances.

A few of the things I love about Lorenzo is that he is ambitious, realistic, and responsible when it comes to his job and his finances. We are always, and I mean always, talking about what we are going to do to make more money, ways to save money and how we plan to capitalize on the money that we make and save.

He tells me stories about people he knows who complain about their financial situations, their spouse not working or wanting to work, how they want to do things that they feel they can’t and so on. His question is always the same, “What do they talk about in their relationship?”

My response is always the same, “Not their finances, obviously.” I always wonder why they just don’t sit down, work out a plan, and stick to it to meet their goals.

I try to a imagine a relationship where we don’t talk about the important things, and I just can’t do it. Even if we disagree on how to get there, at least there is a dialog and sooner or later someone will have to compromise for the greater good of the relationship.

Lorenzo and I don’t jump on the bandwagon either. People have tried to convince him to buy a house, buy season tickets for the Hawks games, and even have a baby all because it was something they did.

www.thenation.com
http://www.thenation.com

Now, while the other stuff didn’t bother me, the baby comment did. Excuse me, dude, Lorenzo having a baby is a decision that he has to make with ME, not you. What’s crazy is that I’ve never met the guy, so its not like he’s a close friend and our kids would grow up together…so what was he expecting to gain from that?

Ugh…I digress.

We do things on our own time, and even though we take small steps, we are at least taking steps instead of complaining about what we don’t have. We cut back when we have to, and spend when we want to.

Lorenzo likes to write things down; it completely helps when making major decisions- especially when it comes to money.

What do you do to improve your financial situation? Any tips for saving money, making more money? How do you talk to your significant other when it comes to important topics like money, goals, and plans for the relationship?