Thursday, September 20, 2012

Shout Out To a Local Celeb!

The other day I was having a conversation with a friend about the path's that people walk down after high school and college. You always imagine the pretty, popular girls growing up and getting everything they could ever dream of. You always imagine the cute, popular guys getting full rides to college because they either play sports or are just that really good looking.

Well, it's funny how life plays out sometimes. 

You grow up and see that most of the time, those who get everything handed to them just settle for contentment of where they are in life. And those who have had to work for everything (friendships, weight loss, education, etc.), well, they're living pretty damn good lives. Maybe not financially, no, not yet, but maybe eventually. Everything they have had to work for, they have more appreciation for. And for everything they have more appreciation for, they gain more humbled confidence. They are moved out of that white fenced, picture perfect, little old suburban town and pursuing their careers, dreams and passions in big cities. 

Where have we seen this before? It all sounds so familiar. Your right, this sums up every Taylor Swift song ever written. 

Let me just show you what I am talking about:

I am sure you can tell who this is just by the big ears and the crooked smile. If you could hear his lisp, you would know for sure who it was. Exactly the characteristics people made fun of him for in high school. 

Michael Phelps now?

 BAM! Girls on girls on girls touchin those abs. 
In yo face high school.

Ok next...

Who in the hell is this four-eyed, chubby McChubster with braces?

Ooooh ya know. 

Just this sexy piece of man meat who is only worth $75 million.

Ryan Seacrest. Marry me?

Ok now wait for it... 

O.M.G. Megan Fox????... nerd alert.

But ya know... Nothing a pair of tweezers and braces can't fix. 

Damn. Wish I looked like that after a good tweez job and braces. 

Anyways... you catch my drift. Never judge a book by it's cover because chances are that book is going to sell lots of copies. 

So where am I getting with all of this? Well, I wanted to do a local shout out to show support and appreciation for a friend who is working hard to reach her dream despite the criticism and hardships along the way....

Who is this gem? 

Taylor Dukes ladies and gentlemen!!
Bah hahahahaha!
(Sorry Tay. It was on Facebook so it's fair game!)

But in all reality. This talented, genuine, beautiful woman has come so far to be where she is today.

Begin Taylor Dukes shrine now. 

Taylor's voice, talent and passion for music keeps my coming back to her website and listening to her songs. If you are wondering, they are work friendly too. 

Take a listen: Without Me - an original. - My fave of all your originals by the way. 

There are more here: Taylor Dukes the Talented!

Girl you have such a uniqueness to you. I love it! 

But for real though. There are lots of other people I see from high school pursuing their careers and making it big and I couldn't be more happy and proud for them. I admire you all.

So Taylor... Jo(W)anna know what? WHEN you make it big, remember that I was the first person you ran into the law with (hehe), remember that we used to record songs on our super little speakers in our huge Mac computers together, remember that you attended my wedding, and MOST importantly, always remember how hard we used to laugh at this.... 

(Remind me why we thought this was so funny? Watching it now, it kinda creeps me out.)

Anyways... remember all of these sweet, sweet memories of ours because someday, I want those effing front row tickets when you open for Justin Bieber. To support you of course...

Keep up the amazing work, Taylor (and all you other dream chasers from high school) and see you in November!!!!

Gonna end the work day with your rendition of Pumped Up Kicks. Word.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fall is Officially Here!

Har. Har. Har.

The forecast for this week means that Fall is OFFICIALLY here! I couldn't be more excited for my favorite season. 

I've always been a huge fan of Fall; the clothes (absolutely LOVE the clothes), the baking, the apple cider, the colors of the leaves, the crisp air, football (particularly the Steelers), the smell of pumpkin scented candles, my birthday, the holidays, the list goes on and on. I have no idea why, but all of it brings me such joy.  

Ahhh yes. [sigh of happiness] - Fall is officially here.
Scarf, terrible towel, fall decor and all.

This Fall, however, has more in store for me than the usual perks of this lovely season. For one instance, I get married in less than 2 months. 58 days, 11 hours, and 22 minutes to be exact. But who's counting? Ok, I am. 

Another perk is that once I become a wife, I will become an Aunt either automatically or shortly after. Tony's sister, Rachel, is due just around our wedding and I couldn't be more excited to take on the roles of becoming a wife and an aunt all at the same time!

So many exciting things to look forward to!!! 

There is, however, one aspect of Fall that gets me down in the dumps; Tony's traveling season for work. As an Admissions Counselor for BGSU, Fall is his busiest time of the year with traveling to different high schools around Ohio, and its surrounding states, recruiting students to come to college. Starting last week, Tony is pretty much gone every day, of every week, up until November 3 (just 2 weeks before our wedding)! Although he absolutely loves doing what he does, I get a little bitter towards all the high school kids that get to see his face more than I do.

BUT! On the bright side, I am so busy with work and wedding planning that the weeks are just flying by and before ya know it, our wedding will be here. 

Ok, and I have to admit... Tony and I received a new down comforter along with a beautiful duvet set at our bridal shower and I've been anxiously waiting for the weather to cool so I could put it on the bed! With Tony being gone, I can't wait to use it, hog it all to myself and report back to him how amazingly comfortable it is and how we'll quickly become best friends; the down comforter and I that is.

For some reason, Fall makes me want to craft more. I don't know if it's the cooler temperatures or what, but there is something about this season that I somehow always wind up in Hobby Lobby after work. This upcoming weekend is Rachel's baby shower and I have been a crazy crafty woman preparing for it. For spoiling purposes, I will refrain from sharing my crafts until after the shower!

But let's just say, when Rachel has that baby, I will have an outfit ready for that precious little girl... 
Baby's doin' time.

So Jo(W)anna know what? I think Lauren DeStefano said it best, "Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale". Ain't that the truth! I have a feeling that this Fall will be my grand finale of all the good and beautiful things headed my way. I am so excited for all that is to come but please don't fly by too fast, Fall. Winter and I DO NOT get along. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Columbus Bound

Yeah, yeah, I know it has been QUITE some time since my last post, BUT, I have legit reasons... like planning a wedding.


Tomorrow (Friday) after work I am heading to Columbus to visit two of my best friends from high school and I absolutely cannot wait!!!!

Reason number 845962 why I love that they are my friends:
"Mimosas are a must" - DUHHHHHH

So to show my appreciation for their hospitality, I have baked some treats! Some fall treats to be more specific. 

Fall is my favorite season to bake. The smell of pumpkin and the warmth of freshly baked goods makes me want to curl up on the couch with a blanket, a glass of wine, a movie and of course, a sweet sweet snack. 

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bars!!!

Yum yum yum. 

First, stir together all the ingredients: All-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, granulated sugar, pecans (if using), baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, egg whites, pumpkin, canola oil, milk and 1/3 cup of chocolate pieces.

Secondly, spread the batter very evenly in the prepared pan. 

Third: sprinkle top with 2 tablespoons chocolate pieces.

Finally, bake about 25 minutes.

DING! Done! :o) 

The verdict? Well, I am always biased towards my baking so I guess I will find out this weekend when I let the girls taste them! 

Time to pack them up and pack my things to be ready to leave tomorrow! 

What to pack my chocolate chip brownie goodies in? Oh I know...

My new casserole traveling dish that two beautiful women gave to me for my bridal shower cough cough:: Katrina Heilmeier and Erin Heilmeier:: cough cough

If you can't read it... it has "The Giannells" engraved on the bottom of it. So when I bring goodies to other people's homes/parties, no one can steal my dish! :o) Seriously so thoughtful of them! 

So Jo(W)anna know what? Mimosas, something sweet, and life-long friends are bound to  make this weekend an unforgettable one. Can't wait to share pictures!

Have a great weekend!