Aug 16, 2011

Irish Fest and more....

Bagpipers on their way--Make a hole!

I have some extra time on my hands since DH went to play poker tonite.  So a bonus post on the Dublin Irish festival.

For anyone not familiar, Dublin is near Columbus, OH and has one of the biggest Irish fests in the country! How come me, who is very Irish, never heard of it until 2 years ago?  No idea but since I'm Irish and DH loves the culture (and obviously the people since he married in), we decided to go.  
Beer Booth!
It is absolutely HUGE compared to the one here in Pittsburgh.  There are 7 stages for musical acts alone, plus culture displays, vendors, tons of food and lots of things for the  kiddies to do.  Our trip to Dublin was our second one.

This year we decided to stay until Monday instead of Sunday because we just didn't see everything.  Not so sure this was a good idea as it was one of the hottest, most humid weekends of the year.  However, we soldiered on. 

We stayed at the Holiday Inn in Dublin, which is 2 miles from the festival.  Gottta love a new hotel AND they had a shuttle that dropped us off and picked us up!  That means Melissa could drink instead of being the driver! :)  I had planned ahead for DH and inquired about a wheelchair for him in case his leg got sore or his arms (from crutches).  They were very accommodating and DH was stubborn and only agreed to a wheelchair the last day. 

I'll spare you the complete gory details of each day but we had a blast despite the heat trying to wear us out every day.  We really enjoy the musical acts they bring each year, especially the Tartan Terrors, which are one of our fave bands ever!  They never disappoint!  If you want to see a band of fine musicians, dancers, and comedians--check them out.  Not to mention a world-class bagpiper who is very easy on the eyes!
Tartan Terrors in Action!

Another band we really enjoyed were Different Drums of Ireland. We hadn't seen them before and they were very different.  As you can see by the pic below, they were big drums and then some!  Traditional Irish music and modern Irish mixed with other cultures.  Really enjoyed these guys!
Different Drums of Ireland--BIG drum!
In between shows, DH and I shopped around at the vendors' booths.  We always seem to find great stuff here.  This year we came home with pottery, beautiful photography, jewelry (for me!), and other little trinkets.  I got my BFF a good gift (which I can't spoil because it hasn't been delivered yet!).   I have to give a shout out to our man Shay at Blarney's Celtic Jewelry.   We always look at his beautiful jewelry every time we see him but this time we finally bought something.   DH bought me a beautiful necklace and earrings in the shape of an Celtic knot.  Something pretty I can wear every day.  Shay designed the pieces and was kind enough to sign them for me after DH bought them.   I'm looking forward to seeing you guys again in Pittsburgh!

whiskey tasting
The other fun thing at the festival is the tastings!  This year there were 3: Beer, whiskey and mead.  First time for the mead which DH and I promptly signed up for.  My grandparents brought some delicious mead back from Ireland with them but we have never been able to find anything as good since.  The mead at the festival was local and it was okay.  They had all sorts of flavors from watermelon (ew) to mango (yum).  It was fun to learn a bit more about it.  DH has a friend at work who tells him he should just make it himself and I kind of agree!   I also did the whiskey tasting, since it's my fave hard liquor.  It was Bushmills (I'm a Jameson girl) but it was still pretty good.  Someone from Bushmills came in to explain how everything is made and what it was all about.  I was definitely buzzed after that tasting--it was time to hit the food booth!

The only snag in our weekend came on Sunday afternoon when it finally decided to pour down rain.  Luckily it stopped after 45 minutes.  They did shorten the festival but since DH had a wheelchair that day and we wanted to return it, one of the organizers offered to drive us over to the concert stage for closing ceremonies.  Traveling in style---yes we do.  The best part was when one of the security guards questions our driver and he said "I've got a cripple here" and pointed to DH with his leg brace!  LOL

We met some great people who we hope to see next year (waves to Rob and Jessica and Marleigh).  Even if they are Ohio State fans (WE ARE PENN STATE).  Just sayin'  :)

One of my fave quotes from DH:  "You know what.  Next year I am having a shirt made that says 'I see Pale People'.  I have never seen so many in one place!"   He was actually in the minority with that one. 

If you've read this far, thank you!  Get yourself over to the festival next year if you're close by or come to the Pittsburgh Irish Festival which will be at the beginning of September!

Aug 15, 2011

Hello everyone--

I am so sorry that I've lagged in posting.   I've just been mentally exhausted from training at work.  It feels so good to be able to say 'at work'!  :)  Anyway, I started my new job on August 3rd and have been busy learning everything.  I am very lucky that the person training me is staying on at the company and knows her stuff. She has been very helpful to me and it's greatly appreciated.  My other co-workers are nice as well, which is a refreshing change change from the standoff-y Bs I used to work with. 

One of the nice things about my job is that it's close by.  Today I left at 5:35 and was home by 5:55, a rarity for most people.  Although I enjoyed taking the bus, I'm happier to drive (since it's close). That way if I want to stop at Ulta grocery store, I can do so easily.

Now that I'm working again, I feel like I'm getting back into my routine.  And to me that means getting more motivated to work out.  I was just reading the new Oxygen and there were some great articles and recipes this month to help with that.  I love it when they have workout at home articles because I don't belong to a gym and use DVDs primarily.

I'm also forcing myself to get back to tracking my Points Plus on WW.  I know tracking works but I will admit that I hate doing it, especially on the weekends.  It's my biggest blunder.  I do eat right but when I eat treats or don't feel like measuring I just don't track.  And guess what--it leads to a gain that week usually. I just have to admit that I need to track to be really successful!   To help with that I found an app called WWScanCalc.  This app is not WW affiliated but it really makes getting the Points Plus value simple. Right now you can use an app to put in all the macros to get the Points Plus value.  This app allows you scan the barcode of a food to get the value.  It doesn't work with everything as I found out when I scanned everything in my kitchen to test it out.  It worked on Kashi bars, but not my hummus from Costco.  So it's a great tool, but don't expect it to work for everything.   It's definitely handy to have when you're grocery shopping to help you decide what to buy. 

I'm going to keep this short as I need to eat some dinner, but I'll be back soon with an update on our Ohio trip to the Irish Festival.  It was great! :)

Question for you guys---what are some of your fave free apps? 

Aug 1, 2011

Happy Happy Joy Joy!

Sorry I've been away folks!  Lots going on with DH's recovery and interviews and a bunch of other random things in life!   This post might be a bit random, so bear with me.

The happy news is some I've been waiting to tell but didn't want to jinx it!  I GOT A JOB!  Finally! 

Can I take a minute and vent about the ridiculous process of drug testing?  Not the testing itself because I could care less about that.  The stupid process of it.  I take a prescription that often shows up in tests.  The logical thing would be to allow said tester to let the testing company know up front that you take XYZ and bring the script info with you.  Well of course they are not logical.  I had a test done on July 20th and only got full results back TODAY.   Basically, they do the test.  If it comes up as positive for certain items (doesn't tell you what it is), they have to re-test it another way which takes longer.  Which is what happened to me.  I spoke with the Medical Officer and he simply took my script info and verified it.  Simple right?  So why can't they do that when you take the test so you don't have to keep re-testing?  Um, okay whatever.   I was told it is to prevent addicts from getting scripts to pass tests.  I did let my new boss know up front about my script so she wasn't taken aback by the wait but still annoying.   *rant over*

Beer tasting at Dublin Irish Festival

So anyway---we have a targeted start date of this Wednesday!  I will be there for 2.5 days since DH and I have a weekend trip to the Dublin Irish Festival!   We have been looking forward to this for months.  I will be sure to get lots of pics of all the fun bands, events and displays.  I've even called ahead for DH so we can get him a wheelchair for the day if he gets to be sore from the crutches.  I'll be wearing my green and even have a great shamrock mug to drink from all day! :)

I also ordered my Annie Sloan Chalk Paint from Classic Wall Finishes.  Hopefully it comes soon so I can start painting next weekend.  I just have to find some new drawer pulls.  Anywhere good to check out online that isn't too expensive?

On a fun note, DH and I saw Cowboys and Aliens on Sunday.  I enjoyed it a lot.  I'm a bit biased though since I love Daniel Craig.  But the movie itself was well done and entertaining and all of the actors were very good.

Jars from Thrifting

Also on Friday I went thrifting with a friend of mine to the Salvation Army store.  We haven't done that in a LONG time.  I came home with some great books (50% off), 3 skirts, a great fitting pair of jeans (for $1.50!) and mason jars to decorate with! 

I still plan on blogging once I start working so hopefully you'll keep reading!

Have a great Monday night!