It's Amore!

Love is in the air- it's Valentine's Day weekend! Valentine's Day was always so much fun as a kid. I loved decorating a shoe box with sequins, felt, doilies, glitter and whatever else we had laying around the house for our party at school, and going to grandma's to get a big heart shaped box of chocolates from my Grampy. It's still fun thinking back to those days!

Last year was our first Valentine's Day as a married couple, and we wanted to make it fun! With our first "married couple" Valentine's Day falling on a Saturday, I got to cross something off my bucket list when the mister came home from work and surprised me with a spur of the moment trip to New York City for the weekend.

Here is a little hint:

Sleepless in Seattle! For almost 17 years (already?!), I've wanted to go to the top of the Empire State Building on Valentine's Day. While I'll admit that I originally got the idea from "Sleepless in Seattle," it was this movie that made me really want to do it.

If you've never seen "An Affair to Remember" go rent it/Netflix queue it now! It's such a classic.

Anyway, early afternoon we got on the elevator and rode our way all the way to the top. I was so, so happy! Here's our pic. from the screen when we were waiting in line to ride up:

We spent about a half hour with hundreds of other tourists checking out Manhattan in the freezing cold, but it was amazing! Now I can say that I've done it on Valentine's Day. We spent the rest of the day walking around the city just taking it all in. We stopped by J's alma mater and the little pub in the Village where we met on our first real date.

We tried to go to Serendipity just to add to the romantic movie goodness, but there was a loooong wait, so we went shopping at Bloomingdale's instead. Fair trade, if you ask me. It was such a perfect weekend!

This year will be a little more low key, but fun. I'll, of course, be watching "Sleepless in Seattle," "An Affair to Remember," and maybe sneak in a Sunday matinee of the new flick "Valentine's Day" too. Other than that the weekend will include some of this, a little of this, and a whole lotta this because we love it! Looking forward to it all! Hope you all have something fun to do this weekend. Any special plans or traditions you'd like to share? Give me a shout out below!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Glitter in the Air

Last night, I spotted the 3D glasses that were on my coffee table from last Saturday when we saw this movie. I was watching TV and cleaning up some of the shows in our DVR at the time, and remembered that the performance of Michael Jackson's "Earth Song" on the Grammy's was in 3D! Sweet! I put on my cool Risky Business-esque 3D shades (they sadly didn't come with the cool red/blue lenses) and attempted to enjoy the show only to find that my tv is not capable of allowing me 3D viewing pleasure. I had to scratch that idea. I did watch this performance again by Pink, and I must say that it is still amazing! If you haven't already watched it, do it now! Pink has an awesome set of pipes, and does not struggle over the vocals even for a minute while being spun around in the air, dipped in water, or hung upside down. Talented performer, she is.

"I see you."

Image via
And you should see Avatar. J and I saw it last weekend in 3D, and it was just amazing. I didn't have much interest in it when it first hit theaters in December, but wanted to see what all of the hype was about. I was amazed at the level of detail in every scene. Although it has some weaknesses in the plot, I am sure it will get it's due recognition come March 7th. Visual effects? Not even a contest. I thought Zoe Saldana was great, and I cannot get over the imagination and creativity of James Cameron. Go see it if you haven't already, and you'll see just what I mean.

Super Bowl Monday

The day after the Super Bowl. The Monday when I know that everyone is just as tired as I am. Up late watching the game, and feeling the need to detox and eat light for a week. What a game it turned out to be! I am very happy for the Saints, and their fans. I have a soft spot in my heart for N'awlins. It is hard to visit that city without taking a piece of it home with you forever. I can only imagine the scene in the French Quarter this week! I've witnessed the Mardi Gras festivities in person, and can only imagine it now that they have a huge victory to celebrate! I was rooting for the Saints to win and was never nervous that they wouldn't. As a Steelers fan, I know that the black and gold always pull ahead in the end!

So, let's talk commercials. A few good ones, but in general I wasn't as impressed this year. I loved the McDonald's commercial with, LeBron James, Dwight Howard and Larry Bird- reminded me of the commercial that ran when I was a kid. J and I laughed out loud at this Dodge Charger commercial because it is so true, particularly the comment at 0:36 since J spent the morning heckling me about my Twilight obsession (Hi Edward! Love you! Call me!):

The Snickers commercial with Betty White got a laugh out of me. The Doritos commercial with the funeral was a little outrageous.'s fiddling beaver was a little too silly for me, and I like some of the other E*Trade commercials from years past a little better: this and this. "Frank it was on the cart path. Why don't you try reading the rules Shankopotamus." The Budweiser Clydesdale commercial was great as usual; I always love those. The donkey version from a few years ago was so cute! The one that I really loved was Google's ad here:

So clever and I love the sap, of course. Did I miss any good ads? What were your favorite and "not so much" ads?

Oh, and let's not overlook the fact that "Jersey Shore" was on all day yesterday too. Recognize.

Instant Gratification

Remember this lovely that I posted about some time ago? One of my favorite blogs, Creature Comforts, posted a giveaway for this very mini cam! I am entered to win one of these, and would be THRILLED to have one of these babies. I am hoping to cross off some of the 101 in 1001 list this year, and hope to do a lot of things before J and I think about starting a family. The two big things on my list are buying a home, and traveling. I think it would be awesome to do a little "mini"-series of photos of our travels and the process of buying and decorating our first house. Crossing my fingers! You can enter the giveaway yourself here. But if you win and I don't, please don't brag. :)

So long, Tai Shan!

Last summer, J and I took a last minute road trip to soak up some sun in Bethany Beach, DE, and enjoy a few days in cities in Maryland that we've often passed through but not spent much time. We drove from Bethany to Annapolis where we spent just a few hours. I've always wanted to stop there to pay a visit to my namesake establishment, Riordan's (my maiden name). Sadly, as we found our way down the street I realized that I was too late, for Riordan's was no more. It had closed some time ago, and all that was left was the tattered old sign. I couldn't even get a t-shirt! Sniff, sniff.

We left Annapolis after a great meal at a cute little tavern next door, and headed to D.C. We've been to D.C. about three times over the past couple of years. We really love it there, and find that it is always worth a visit. So much to do! On this particular trip, we decided to hit up the National Museum of American History (which I quickly added to my 101 in 1001) and the National Zoo. It was HOT that day, and very crowded but we saw some pretty cool exhibits. This guy was trying to hide from me, but I found him.

J and I wanted to make a point to visit this (prepare thyself for a really crappy photo): And the other one outside with J.
Although the pandas were feeling a bit lazy when we were there, they were still quite the sight to see.

This morning while skimming the headlines I came across this story. Turns out that after almost 40 years, the Smithsonian will close down the panda exhibit. The time has come for the pandas to go back to China. If you read the story, you'll learn that the trainers have been teaching the pandas some sign language to ease their transition from English to Chinese. Isn't that cool?! Just something you don't think about every day. Reminded me of Rosie in "Water for Elephants." Anyway, it is sad to these the pandas go, but I am thankful to have seen them while they were here.

How about you? Did anyone else get a chance to see the pandas while they were here?