A Splash of 21 Humor

Make it fun! Life, that is.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

"Sookie Stackhouse" Books

These days off have given me lots of time to get caught up on things here at my house, but ALSO lots of time to read.

The newest addiction is the Sookie Stackhouse series... a delightful set of fast-paced, witty novels (the HBO show TrueBlood is loosely based on the series - books are way better).

Yes, vampire fiction seems to be the hot ticket lately with the whole "Twilight" thing. But I thought Twilight majorly sucked compared to these books. Namely, because Stephanie Meyer is a far inferior writer to Charlaine Harris. Where Harris' books are direct, creative, and snappy, Meyer's style drags. I left the teen angst in high school and don't want to revisit it in an unnecessary 400 pages, Stephanie.

The first 7 books of the Sookie Stackhouse series are available as a box set on Amazon for about $35 and they are WELL worth it.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

We're Getting Married!

Haven't blogged in a while because of a combination of busy-ness and laziness. But I wanted to tell the world that Dan and I are engaged!!! Sooooo very happy. :-)

Get ready for a June '09 wedding, everyone!

Friday, January 18, 2008


Now it's time for a blatant product endorsement... PROBIOTICS. They've been all over the news as of late because of their immuno-boosting properties. Maybe you've been a bit skeptical. Let me tell you, they have changed my life. After having the sickest year of my life in 2007 (MRSA, 4 sinus infections, and the flu), I jumped on the probiotic train. And I am riding healthy!!!! Besides my unavoidable allergy stuff, I've been 100% sickness free. Not even a cold.

The moral? Go out and buy some DanActive and get healthy.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


So after 10 years of having a congested head and suffering from progressing sinus/allergy conditions, I finally conceded to visiting the allergist. This was more because of losing partial vision in my right eye because of an allergy-related histamine condition (temporary and correctable). It turns out that I’m very allergic to all varieties of mold but also to dust and cats.

I started my allergy shots a month ago and am on the accelerated program (2 shots / week). Because of choosing the accelerated schedule, I’ve already started to notice a difference and am feeling improvements. My one concern, however, was that I’ve started sneezing a lot — weird because my allergies have never caused me to sneeze much. I think the mystery was solved, however, when my friend from work said, “Kristina, you’re sneezing because you can actually breathe now! And now you are breathing in the dust, too!”


Wednesday, January 09, 2008

This One's For Phil

So my brother-in-law (more or less since he married one of my best friends), Phil, told me over the holidays that I don't blog enough any more. That's a nice way for saying, "Hey, Kristina, you haven't written anything for six months, slacker, and I miss hearing what you're up to!" In actuality, I'm really just kind of over the whole blogging thing. I don't like coming across preachy/braggy/etc. and that's what these things seem like they become after a while.

Still, I owe you one, so this one's for you, Phil!

It's been an incredibly busy 6 months for me with lots of good things. In a nutshell:

--Have been coaching bball non-stop for a year. Lovely little girls, but lots of commitment. It's ok, though, because I really feel like it's a small way to give back positive impact to the community and the future.

--I'm also involved with a great organization that helps underpriviledged women get back on their feet and start a career. It's inspiring, and I'm excited to be heading up some volunteering efforts at work for this cause!

--Had a great trip to New Orleans for my birthday. I had a blast hanging with Cait, eating yummy food, and taking in the local vibe. I can't wait to go back (hopefully with Dan in tow) and get involved in some sort of project.

--Still selling pearls with Cait and Kim and doing well.

--The fairly new (as of June) full-time job is awesome... doing exactly what I want to be doing, but doing it for a lot more hours/week than I expected. I've been working some crazy hours and driving myself half insane, but I'm learning a lot and it's all helping to prepare me for the next step in my career.

--Doing some freelance work with my new friend, Jerry. Good times and good money!

--I'm moving! My lovely man, Dan, and I are renting a house together. Excited excited to be under the same roof and to actually see him again (a problem when you work a lot) and to eat hot meals (he's an excellent cook). And although he hasn't said it, I know he's excited to have someone clean his bathroom and make sure he has clean underwear at all times. A match made in heaven.

--Got to see out-of-towners Marcia, Em, Apryle, Phil, America, and Sean over Christmas. It was so nice to catch up with you all!

Hope this finds everyone well!

Monday, July 23, 2007

July Chugs On

Equally as busy... but there is light at the end of the tunnel! Basketball ends this week and I will be getting my life back. I'm so tired of constantly running and not being home - and I'm ready to have a free hour to call you all back!

I've spent the last few weekends traveling: did the beach with my fam (relaxing, fun, great food), Penn State ArtsFest (again, great time with family, friends, and food), and will be gearing up for Father Folk this weekend! This week is going to be a little bit nuts for me - I am helping at the FFF food station and have to bake a ton of cookies to sell. I'm planning on making 4 batches of cookies (2 batches choco chip and 2 batches lemon sugar). That probably comes out to about 20 dozen cookies. Yowza!

I saw the Police in Hershey last Friday with Dan, Doug and Ben. They sounded fantastic, Sting looked buff (I love the hot old men), and it was a very fun show overall. We all had a great time.

Not much more right now.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Random Stream-of-Thought Update

Yes, I know. I've been MIA. I'm sorry to all of you who have been calling without return phone calls. I really have been maxed out this month - I promise to call back very soon.

Good stuff going on here, but very very busy. Basketball is in full swing and my girls are doing well. I do love them all. However, we have three weeks until we're done and it can't come a moment too soon - I want some free time again for myself!

Besides bball and the new job (which is awesome), I have been spending a ton of time doing stuff for Black Lotus Designs. Weekends have been booked with pearls events. On the creative end, I have been working fervishly to make some big graphic design updates (coming soon) to a lot of our stuff.... It's time to really ramp things up for the busy part of the year!

I spent 5 days in State College last week with BLD. We did an event at the Village, Penn State's premier retirement community. We also had a bunch of business meetings with different area organizations / community leaders. It would be GREAT to get a strong State College connection going and we're well on our way!

Dan is good and his achilles is healing/getting stronger. Now we can go for longer walks and have an easier time of doing things. We went kayaking on the 4th of July (not that that requires your achilles, but it was fun!).

The last few weekends, overall, have been wonderful. I spent a weekend in Avalon with Cait and Kim and the family, and a weekend in State College doing the PSU thing, and now I'm getting ready to head to the beach to meet up with my family for two days. I LOVE SUMMER!

I promise I'll post those California pictures soon.


Friday, June 08, 2007

California Love!

So for Week #2, I flew to Los Angeles for vacation. My first order of business Tuesday morning (after arriving late Monday night) was finding a medical clinic… boil #1 had led to boil #2 which according to the doctor, means I had a staph infection. Fun. A few hundred dollars later, I was loaded with medicines and ointments. I swear I could’ve treat about 100 odd problems with the multitude of ointments, creams, etc. in my suitcase.

I spent Tuesday afternoon walking around Hollywood, reading my book (I read 1.5 books on this vacation!), and sleeping in sunny Runyan Canyon. On Tuesday, I took the city bus to Santa Monica and hung out on the beach. More glorious reading and sleeping.

On Wednesday, I took the train north to Santa Barbara (2 hour ride). It was a lovely trip through the fertile fields of California’s valleys and directly along the Pacific Coast (at points, the train ran along the beach). You all know how I’m totally in awe and fascination of Americana… well, that’s what I felt watching the workers in the fields this early California morning. I had one of those nostalgic, “these people are working the land just like we have been doing for hundreds of years,” moments.

Santa Barbara was amazing. After sleepily leaving the train, I got some directions to a coffee shop (needing my java fix), and from there got directions to the visitors center. The ladies there gave me a map of the town and directed me to the bicycle rental shop, where I rented a trusty mountain bike as my mode of transportation of the day. First stop = Santa Barbara Zoo.

As you all know, one of my favorite attractions, period, is the zoo. This one was no exception. I ate a corn dog and walked around for about two hours.

Then I biked back to town, down State Street (the main street), and up the foothills of the mountain range to visit the Santa Barbara Mission. It was very cool and worth the trip even though I thought I may die during the biking. I actually walked quite a bit of the final mile because my legs were so sore (not to mention trying to bike with two very badly placed boils...). A random man that passed me on the street must've seen the exhaustion in my face because he offered to trade me his lunch for my bike (I didn't accept).

I toured the mission and biked back through town and had a quick fish and chips dinner on the pier/wharf and then returned my bike. I had a nice chat with a local girl from Carpinteria on the ride back to L.A. We discussed East Coast / West Coast differences since this was my first adventure West and she had never been East. Interesting opinions and thoughts.

On Friday - Sunday, I spent the weekend in San Francisco with Emily and Marcia. We had a lovely time hanging out with Marcia's college friends, doing outdoorsy stuff, seeing the musical "Jersey Boys" (in which one of M's friends was a lead), and driving the PCH back to L.A. Since Emily wrote a hilarious, bang-up recap of this portion of my trip, I'd like to direct you to her blog entry. Please read it!

I'll post some pictures here when I get a chance... have been busy busy with the new job and getting stuff caught up at home. Big love.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Big Changes!

I’ve been a busy gal since I last checked in… the big news is that I got a new job! I’ve really known in my heart for the past 6 months that I was ready to move on to the next opportunity, but didn’t find the right fit until this past month. I’m very excited about my new job – I’m working for a regional consulting company and heading up their marketing / graphic design efforts and helping to write proposals. In a nutshell, I’m working closer to home, getting a salary increase, getting more vacation and better benefits, and re-focusing on doing what I love to do. I am so very excited.

The best decision I made during the negotiating process was to ask for two weeks off after leaving the old job and before starting the new job. I was desperately in need of recharging the mental and creative batteries and this would give me a great opportunity to start fresh.

During the first week (last week), I kept myself busy with marketing, design work, and strategizing for my pearls company, Black Lotus Designs. Cait, Kim, and I are very excited about our prospects this summer and throughout 2007. I spent a weekend with them in Philly, hanging at the farm and working on more pearl stuff. We also played homeopathic healer with a nasty boil that I am fighting which turned out to be MRSA (staph)… thanks again for your help, guys, during this nastiness.

For the second week, I flew out to Los Angeles to spend a sunny week on vacation with Marcia and Emily. More to come...

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Tragedy Without Words

I don't think any words can describe how horriffic the Virginia Tech shootings were. I am having a hard time even following the news coverage because it upsets me so much to see it and acknowledge it is real. Call me naive, but the fact that some people have so much hate in their hearts continues to confound me.

This story has connection to me through my Penn State connection - one of the graduate students killed completed his undergrad education at Penn State. His parents were on TV last night talking about their son and his happy times at Penn State. I can't even imagine what courage it took to do this.

As we head north this weekend to State College for Blue/White, let's celebrate the lives of our fallen peers by joining the effort to wear maroon and orange.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Easter for Grownups

(for those of you that are wondering...it's merlot).

Friday, March 23, 2007

Death by Beef Stroganoff?

Beef Stroganoff. A seemingly innocent dish. And yet, Dan and I unknowingly played Russian roulette (no pun intended) with our dinner on Wednesday.

I've been trying to cook more because the cook of my relationship is still a bit laid up with the achilles injury. I decided I wanted to make the classic Russian meal, beef stroganoff, for dinner this week.

I chopped the ingredients and sauted them on the stove top just like the recipe required. Then I got to the final phase, "simmer covered on the stovetop for 15 minutes." I happened to be cooking this concoction in my big wok-like pan (great wide base, tall sides, and non-stick) because it is wonderful, but I neglected to remember that I don't have a lid or any substitution lid nearly large enough to fit it. Dan's suggestion - "Honey, use your pizza pan. Just flip it over and leave a crack for the steam / heat to escape."

Sounds good in theory. In reality, when I removed the pizza pan "lid" 15 minutes later, the surface was melted and rusty-looking, and had this weird wet metallic-looking-and-tasting residue (yes, I tasted it). Was the food ruined? Would I need a tetnus shot if I ate it?

After much discussion and a call to my mom, we decided it was probably fine to eat. I'm still alive today, so hopefully I haven't done irreparable damage to me or my boyfriend.

As a side note, if you have chemistry/physics/science background and you know that I killed brain cells or will experience liver damage in a week or anything of the like, please don't mention it to me. I'd rather be living in ignorance...

The stroganoff was that good.

Wild Turkey

I almost hit these guys on the way home from the post office today. They were huge and had gobblers and were crossing the road when I rounded the bend! I had to slam on my brakes so I didn't hit them (and I think Dan was upset that I didn't bring home dinner...haha).

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

L.A. Weekend

Wow. I just finished reading Emmy's blog recap of my weekend in Los Angeles with her and Marcia and I'm rolling on the ground laughing. I think she pretty much covered it all in typical glorious Emily detail (wink, wink). I just want to add how funny my friends are... I think we basically laughed for three days straight about stupid things. I really appreciate all the time and thought they put into coordinating my mini-trip to visit them.

A few photos and comments:

- Nothing can replace quality girlfriend bonding.

- Loved loved loved San Diego and the Hotel Del Coronado (the scene of Some Like It Hot) but hate hate hate my terrible sunburn.

- Rollercoasters are meant to be ridden with the Chili Peppers blaring at your head - no other coaster experience could even come close.

- Only Marcia (who never swore until recently) would have two men in her life with names like "Coche" and "Biche."

Much love!

Partying at Shag with the girls.

Me in front of the Del. No, there were no millionaires on the beach on Saturday, nor were there many shells.

Sleeping Beauty, the resident princess of the Disneyland Castle got shafted... it's way smaller than Cinderella's Castle in DisneyWorld.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Viva Las Vegas

I spent the last week in Las Vegas on a work trip (not too shabby!). Since the company rented our condo for the entire week, a few of my co-workers and myself went out early to relax and take on the town. I left Dan on Friday and flew to Las Vegas with Vince (relatively new coworker). We met up with Scott (coworker), John (brand new coworker), and Danielle (Scott's gf) on the Strip. They're all 23-24 and fun.

They had big plans for the evening and I was in the mood to drink and dance, so I agreed to joining them. It's kind of funny... my co-workers are all nice, agreeable people, but I have very little in common with them (they're Armani - I'm thrift store. They're hip hop listeners - I'm into acoustic folk and Jimmy Buffett. etc.). Still, I had a fun time dancing till dawn with them at Jet (the club in the Mirage).

The highlight of the week was the food - five-star restaurants every night and some of the most fantastic food and fine wine (I have a totally new appreciation for Pinot Noir) I've ever tasted. Whoo hoo, business expense account! True to form, however, the best meal of my week was the $15 Cuban food Emmy and I bought in the 'hood in L.A. (see next blog entry). I think I just love real life and real living... and five-star life just doesn't seem all that real to me.

After a grueling work week, Emmy rolled into town (L.A. is only 4 hours from Vegas!!) and whisked me off in Sammy (her Suburu) through the desert to Hollywood and our next adventure.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Does this make me Helen?

"Tell Dan there's a movie about him - it's called 'Troy'," Apryle told me this past weekend.

Unfortunately it's true - Dan tore his achilles tendon, had surgery, and was kind of laid up for the past two weeks. After a few wipeouts on the crutches (not gonna lie... alcohol was involved), he's getting around ok now and has minimal pain. He'll be walking again in a few weeks and able to rejoin the F&T crew for the 2008 season.

Just thought I'd put that out there for those of you who have been asking me about his injury and recovery.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Fauschnaught Day

Today Fauschnaught Day (also known as Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday, etc.) and the last day before the Christian season of Lent. The historical basis of the day is to use up the rich foods (fats, dairy products) in your home before Lent, a 40-day period of personal reflection and fasting before Easter, begins.

My family's roots are very German / PA Dutch, so we eat doughnuts in celebration of the day. Fauschnaught Day has taken on new meaning to me in the last few years since my Grandma passed away. It was her tradition to spend the day at home making homemade doughnuts for the family (20+ people). Several of my aunts and cousins would take off work and school to help in this large and messy project. Because my extension of the family lives two hours away from everyone else, Grandma would freeze our allotment - we generally received them Easter weekend. Even when they weren't fresh, they were delicious and unlike any doughnut you could buy in the stores.

I was lucky enough to participate in the doughnut-making festivities the last year Grandma was healthy enough to do it. (I happened to be taking some entry tests at Penn State right before graduating from high school so I could justify the day off school).

As silly as it may sound, this day has become somewhat of a memorial to Grandma since her passing. I always make sure to buy some fauschnaughts for my family in her honor and generally get a little emotional in doing so. But what a sweet tradition she has passed on to us! I can't wait to do it with my own kids some day.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Snow Bummer

As great as it was to ski on fresh powder at the beginning of the storm, it was equally as bad dealing with the remnants of the snow, sleet, and ice two days later. Just wanted to complain in general about the shitty plow job in central pa (with the exception of New Cumberland - kudos to being on top of it!!) and the fact that all our major interstates in the eastern half of the state had to close down. This forced me to miss the much-anticipated weekend revelry in New York with jet-setting Marcia, Jeremy, and Marcia's posse.

Instead, I did a lot of Black Lotus work and drank heavily Saturday night with Dan, Doug, Ben, Aunt Sandy, Uncle Joe, and my 'rents. Fun night, but I really missed my friends and the free Croc pizza in NYC.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Valentine's Day

Sending Valentine's Day love to you all!

My sweetie and I decided to celebrate an untraditional Valentine's Day, brought about by the foot of fresh snow central PA just received. After work on Tuesday, Dan and I donned the ski gear, loaded ourselves into the truck, and headed out to Ski Roundtop! We had a fantastic evening even though it started to sleet mid-way through the session (we were really happy to have our new goggles!!).
We were snowed in Wednesday and both worked from home. Dan cooked me dinner.
Low key, perfect V-Day.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Girls Love Pearls

I haven't posted in a month because I've been really busy working on stuff with Cait and Kim for our new company, Black Lotus Designs. We're importing and selling high-grade pearl jewelry from China, so contact me if you're looking for something special for your Valentine's Day sweetie (guaranteed not to break the bank)!

This past weekend was the 3rd Annual Ski Weekend in the Poconos. I got to hang out with some really awesome friends and get some skiing into my winter. A wonderful time.

The biggest excitement of the day (besides the large winter storm tracking towards Southcentral PA as we speak) is the Police reunion tour!!!!!!!!!!!!! After a kick-ass performance on the Grammy Awards, they're ready to wow the world with a 2007 reunion tour. I'm actually amazed that this actually came together, knowing all the fighting that was synonomous with the band's performances in the 80s. I CAN'T WAIT to grab those tickets.