Saturday, May 29, 2010

We have arrived!

As of tonight, the whole family is in Watercolor! We are so happy to be here together celebrating mom and dad's 30th wedding anniversary and enjoying a vacation before the new baby comes.

I left Lexington on Friday afternoon and drove to Owensboro to visit my college roomate, Lynsie, and her family. I adore the Wilson/Williams family and it was so fun to visit with them. Robert and Lynsie have a 14 month old little girl named Emmie Kate and she is absolutely precious! Talk about personality! She was so sweet and fun.

Emmie Kate playing in her tunnel.
Look at those cheeks! She has the sweetest little smile.
I am so excited because they are actually headed to the panhandle on vacation next Saturday, so I will get to see them again sometime next weekend. I don't get to see them nearly enough, so twice in a week is a real treat!

I was in Owensboro overnight and got on the road to Watercolor this morning. When I got here I immediately jumped in the shower and headed to Seaside for a concert. One of my favorite artists, Dave Barnes, just happened to be playing a concert in Seaside tonight. I have really been looking forward it it. I look SO tired in these pictures, I think driving a 10 hour trip alone made me delirious by the time I arrived :) But walking in the door and seeing my little buddy made me so happy. He was excited to see me too!

Breck and Aunt J
I have posted about this before, but Breck really LOVES to dance! Mom and dad bought him a glow stick and he was even using it as a drum stick. So stinking cute!
I managed to get some good video of the little dancer. He was loving it!

Kristin, Lee and Breck
Dad and Breck (he is holding the glow stick I was just talking about)
My cute little momma and me.
I LOVE this next picture. I just think it is really sweet. Apparently Breck has really started to love doing puzzles. Kristin bought him a new one tonight in Seaside and he took it over to dad to work with him. Breck sure does love his Grandaddy!
Here is the view of the stage from our seats. He played for about an hour and a half to a filled up amphitheater. We were so thankful that the rain held off. It was such a perfect night!

Ok, I am off to bed. I can barely keep my eyes open! I probably will not post every day like I did on the Savannah trip. But I will try and check in every couple of days. Have a great Memorial day!

Friday, May 28, 2010

It's Ladies Night!

I have had such a fun 2 days! Last night I went with Kerry to see the midnight showing of Sex and the City 2. I got hooked on the tv series a few years ago and now love the movies! I thought the 2nd one was good, but I didn't like it quite as much as the first one. Either way, I laughed a lot and am glad I went!
Tonight I met up with the girls at Thursday Night Live. Emily is home for the week and I LOVED seeing her! I miss her so much, and it was an added bonus to see her cute little belly! She is pregnant with a baby girl (Amelia) and this is likely the last time I will see her sweet belly before Amelia arrives in September. So needless to say, I did a lot of belly rubbing tonight :) It is so fun that my friends are starting to have babies! I love it!

Me and Emily
Maria, Emily and baby Amelia (look at that bump!)
We left Thursday Night Live a little early tonight because it looked like a storm was rolling in. We decided to go to Joe Bolognas for dinner. Yum! It is some of the best pizza in Lexington. In addition to their pizza, they have these huge and delicious breadsticks with garlic butter. They only cost $1.97 and they are ridiculously tasty. Maria had not eaten anything since 10:45 that morning, so she immediately ordered a monster breadstick. Of course it would be rude for her to eat alone, so we all ordered one too. They did not disappoint!

Maria and her loaf of bread breadstick.
Ami also joined us for Thursday Night Live and dinner! It was a mini BLC reunion (we missed you Mary and Jineanne!)

Ami and Maria
Me and Emily at Joe B's
After dinner we met up with some of my Williams Sonoma coworkers and saw Sex and the City 2. Yes, I saw it two nights in a row! Ha!

It was such a great girls night out!

Oh, and one more thing...This is a PSA brought to you by Jen:

The garment bag is officially the easiest and fastest way to pack for a vacation. I bought a cute one at the Pomegranate sale a few weeks back (and naturally had a huge hot pink monogram put on it). So tonight when I came home to pack for Watercolor, I literally just went through my closet and grabbed 9 dresses (for 9 days of vacation) and I was pretty much packed! I threw one pair of shorts, a tshirt, bathing suit and pj's into a duffel and I am good to go. I think it took me all of 10 minutes to pack because I didn't have to get everything off the hangers and fold them. Not to mention trying to fit everything into my bags. Ha, just thought I would share. :)

Have a great long weekend! I will try to post Saturday night after I get into Watercolor!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Wonderbar Update #2

I added a thing to my blog that you can see what town people are in when they click on your blog. It also tells me if they used google to reach the blog and what they typed in to get to me! I just added it a few weeks ago but it has been really interesting to see where my readers are from and what they searching for. So, over the past 2 weeks the majority of the people have gotten to the blog by searching for the Paula Deen event OR searching for something related to the wonderbar. Some people have just typed in "wonderbar" but other people have typed in "wonderbar healing crisis". Either way, I have gotten a lot of hits related to the wonderbar, so I thought I would give a short little update! I am on week 4 on using it. I have used it every day without fail, and am really LOVING it! They say you cannot fully see the results of the bar until you have used it for at least 6 weeks so I am not going to post any pictures yet. I want to be sure my skin is completely through the healing crisis before I post them. I am so happy with the way things are looking so far. My pores are smaller, the redness is fading and my skin gets smoother and softer every day. I am still having some little breakouts on my chin, and I am sure some of that is hormonal, but I really feel like I am almost completely through the healing crisis! Yay! I went into using the bar a little skepitcal, but I figured I didn't have anything to lose. I don't ever remember my skin looking the way it does now, I am so thrilled! I may or may not post the before and after pictures on the blog. The before picture is without makeup and in natural light and I just dont know that I want it floating around the internet. To be honest, I was nearly in tears the day we took it. My skin looked horrible! If you would like to see the before and after pictures email me and I will send them out when I get through the 6 weeks.
My mom is also still using the bar and is a believer as well! She actually ordered us both the larger sized bar last week.
One other thing I want to the literature you recieve with the wonderbar it indicated that it can also be used to treat other skin conditions. A few weeks ago I developed a type of eczema on my finger. I researched and found that this particular type of eczema is brought on by stress, go figure! I started putting wonderbar on it at night and within a week it was gone! I wish I had taken before and after pictures of it but I really didn't even think about it. Moral of the story, there are a lot of healing things in that tiny bar!
So there you have it! So far so good! I have a sneaking suspicion that I will be a wonderbar user for life.
Feel free to send me an email or comment if you have any questions. And if you are just getting started, don't get discouraged! Consistency is the key. I am so glad I stuck with it through the healing crisis. You will be so happy if you keep using it!

Another Paula Deen Post...

I promise I will eventually quit posting things about the Paula dinner, but she posted this video on facebook today and I just had to share. Here is a little glimpse into our night...

Paula Deen Bethesda Event from Paula Deen on Vimeo.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday, Monday

Today has been a good Monday! I spent the day at home and worked on laundry and trying to think about packing for the Florida trip next week.

I don't know if I have ever mentioned it on the blog, but I love church softball! Crossroads men's softball team plays on Monday nights during the summer against other local churches and I love going out to watch. I have several friends that play on the team and there is usually a good sized crowd that comes out to watch. And on top of that, the team is really good!

Me and Maria
Darlene and Laurette (Maria's mom)
Constance and Tara
Maria's husband Mark is our pitcher. Here he is up to bat! He hit an in the park home run on this one :)
The man, they myth, the legend...Doug Durick. Doug is Maria's dad and holds a very special place in my heart. He is probably one of the kindest and Godly men you will ever meet. Doug is the coach of the team and had a rocky start to the season when he came down with a nasty case of pneumonia that landed him in the hospital. It was very scary for all of us to see him so sick. Needless to say, he missed the first few games. I am happy to report that Doug is on the mend and has been able to come to the games lately! Tonight he was even doing a little 3rd base coaching. We are all so thankful he is getting back to his normal, hysterical, loving, caring and wonderful self!
After the game I sent Kristin a text message and asked if I could stop by and see Breck. I went over there to spend some time with my buddy. He is so funny! I got out my camera and quickly discovered that he was open to some picture taking if you showed him the picture on the camera screen after you took it. I kept putting the camera away and he would get it out of my bag, hand it to me and say "cheese".
We are all going to the beach next week to celebrate Mom and Dads wedding anniversary. Kristin went to Target today and bought Breck a new hat and sunglasses for the beach. I asked him to go find his new hat and he went right into the kitchen to put it on. So stinking cute!

After Kristin's I stopped by to see Kerry. When I pulled up I found her outside with a bag of mulch working on her garden. I was pretty impressed with her flowers! I took this picture as sort of a before photo. Bets are on as to how long she can keep all the flowers alive. I will take the after photo at the end of the summer. Should be interesting!
Here she is working the leopard print and watering the flowers with trusty miracle grow.
Earlier tonight I sent Kerry a text that said "are you going to watch the bachelorette?" she promptly responded with "NO. you don't reward the quitter, abc." She sounded serious! I immediately called her and said that I was wanting to come over and watch the show with her. She went on to explain that she was NOT going to watch this season, blah, blah, blah. I knew that if I went over there she would be sucked right in. Turns out, I was right! We watched the 2 hour premier together and I think it's safe to say that she will be watching the whole season. You just can't pass up good trashy tv! We laughed until we cried at times and both agreed that so far none of the men are impressive. Do you have a favorite?

I am looking forward to the rest of the week...going to see Sex & the City 2, EMILY COMES HOME, blc trip to Thursday Night Live, going to Owensboro to see Lynsie and then heading to the beach!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Show Us Your Life- Hometown

Today over at Kelly's Korner show us your life Friday, everyone is blogging about their hometown and what makes it so special!

I live in Lexington, KY the horse capital of the world! It is a beautiful city and I really do love living here. As much as I love the beach, I would never want to live there because I would miss having all 4 seasons. Living in Lexington we get a true spring, summer, fall and winter. Fall is my favorite season in Kentucky, you just can't beat it. The crisp temps, the beautiful trees and UK football! It's the best!

This is a picture of our downtown. The downtown Lexington corporation is in the process of really sprucing up the downtown in preparation for the World Equestrian Games that are coming later this year. I am loving all the improvements! They are repaving roads, adding some really neat outdoor spaces and just doing some much needed maintenance.

I also love that Lexington has Keeneland! It is so much fun to get dressed up and go to the races for the spring and fall meets. Keeneland is absolutely beautiful. They actually filmed the movie Seabiscuit there.

Lexington's downtown is a great spot to get out and walk around too. We have lots of cute restaurants to eat at and some funky little shops. If you dont want to walk you can swing by and pick up a yellow bike. The yellow bike program was started in 2007 and is the coolest idea! You pay a $10 one time fee and get access to the yellow bikes that are located in various spots downtown. You unlock the bike, take it for a spin (up to 3 hours) and just return it to the location you picked it up at. How cool is that?!

Ahhh, triangle park sits right in the heart of downtown and is a great spot to sit and people watch on a summer night. And although I'm pretty sure you arent supposed to play in the fountains, it's almost like a Lexington rite of passage. If you grew up in Lexington, odds are you played in the fountains at some point.

Lexington is also the location of the Henry Clay Estate. I wont sit here and pretend I am a huge history buff, but I did want to add this because I think its pretty neat. The estate also sits in the middle of a really neat part of town called Chevy Chase. The neighborhood boasts beautiful historic homes on tree lined streets that are within walking distance to a grocery, ice cream shop and restaurants. Chevy Chase is also home to Christ the King church that holds one of my favorite fall events, Oktoberfest!

Oh yes, and did I mention we have a castle? The story goes that the castle was built about 25 years ago by a man named Rex Martin. Apparently Rex was building the castle for his wife but they divorced before it was completed. The castle actually caught on fire several years ago but was purchased and restored recently. It can now be rented out for wedding receptions. Talk about a fairy tail wedding!

There is no way I could do a post on Lexington without talking about the University of Kentucky and more specifically, UK sports! If you grew up in Lexington the blue is in your blood! My family always had tickets to basketball and football games so they started me young! I look forward to the first football game of the season every year. The SEC take their sports VERY seriously. There is not much better on a sunny October day then heading down to Commonwealth stadium to tailgate and watch those Cats! Ok, I need to quit talking about this, I don't want to wish my summer away.
It is also fun that UK is here because it makes Lexington a college town. There are a lot of fun bars to go to downtown and they are always filled with students. I rarely go out anymore, but when I do, you can bet that I will run into people I know. That's what makes it fun!

I saved the best reason for last! I love Lexington because all these people also live here. I don't ever see myself leaving because I would have such a hard time being away from my family. I want to watch Breck grow up and can't imagine only seeing him a few times a year. And on top of that, I have such an amazing circle of friendships here. I love that the majority of the people I love live in this city. I am proud to call it home.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Thursday Night Live & Happy Anniversary

One of my favorite things about summer in Lexington is Thursday Night Live. I found out about it last year and love it! It is a free concert in Cheapside Park every Thursday night from May-October. There are great bands, a ton of food vendors and even a little tent selling wine. What more could you ask for? :) Kristin, Lee and Breck met us down there and we had a great time!

I brought Tallulah with me! She was so funny. I think at first she was scared to death, but by the end of the night I think she had warmed up to the idea of being there.
Me and my sweet Breck. Oh how I love that boy! I cannot wait to spend an entire week with him in Florida. He started saying my name within the past few months. I knew I wanted to be called Aunt J and Breck has mastered the J part of my name. Although I am pretty sure I heard him add the word Aunt in front of the J the other night. I am going to try to get it on video soon.
Breck, Mom, Kristin and baby girl Tatem in her belly :)
Kristin and Lee. Today is there 4 year anniversary! 4 years ago tonight we were all dancing up a storm on the dance floor in Watercolor!
Mom, Kristin and Lee
I took some video of Breck tonight and thought I would share. He is quite the little dancer and his grandaddy is showing him how to keep a beat in the second video. Enjoy!

On another note, I just had to share this. Do you remember in this post about the Savannah trip when I mentioned that a couple got engaged at the dinner? Well, the girl that got engaged came across my blog this week! I love how blogging seems to make the world a little bit smaller :) Anywho, she commented on my last post and we both have a mutual obsession love for Paula Deen. So fun! Check out her blog, it's super cute!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bethesda Event News Report

Paula posted this link on facebook to a news report about the benefit dinner. There is also some video footage of the evening so I thought I would share!

Things are good around here. I am headed to Watercolor next Friday with the fam! We are all going to celebrate mom and dads anniversary. I will try to blog a lot on the trip :)

Have a great week!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Best Day

I have always loved this song by Taylor Swift and thought it would be perfect to use for a slideshow of our mother daughter trip. I wanted to have all the pictures in one place. Enjoy!

The Best Day from Jennifer Cochran on Vimeo.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Southern Spring Evening With Paula Deen & Savannah Day #4

Sorry this post is up a day late. We got back from the party late last night and I was so tired. Warning in advance, this is a long post!

Saturday was by far my favorite day of the entire trip. Of course I was excited about the dinner at Paula's, but we also did a lot of other fun things!

We started off the day by renting one of the babies!
We had a blast! It was so much easier to see downtown on this, rather than try to drive or walk in 80 degree temps plus humidity. They were brave enough to let me drive, and I am proud to say we all returned in one piece! Our first stop was a pub for lunch. The food was great and you couldn't beat the location. We were on a quaint little tree lined street and it was just perfect!
I loved this phone booth outside the pub :-)
After lunch we rode our little car over to Forsyth Park to look around. Forsyth is probably one of the most popular spots in the historic district, and for good reason. It is so beautiful! If you look close in this first picture, you can see white chairs that were set up for a wedding. Talk about a dream wedding! Not to mention the perfect weather.

Brittany has been my best friend since the 6th grade and I really do consider myself an honorary member of the Fink family. I love Michelle and call her my "mama Fink" so we thought it would be cute to take a picture of the 3 of us together. It's Michelle with her 2nd and 5th daughter :) The joke is that when I get into a serious relationship, my boyfriend will have to not only ask my dad for my hand in marriage, but he will also have to ask Mike Fink. I am blessed by their friendship!
After Forsyth we headed over to Polk's produce market. I first learned about Polk's when I was in Savannah 2 summers ago and took the Paula Deen tour. When Paula was first starting her business and didn't have very much money at all, she would go to Polk's in the morning to pick up her fresh produce and then would pay them at the end of the day.

Britt, mom and me outside of Polk's.
After Polk's we stopped into the Cupcake Emporium for a cupcake! We initially thought that we would go in and get one cupcake to split 4 ways. Ha! That is laughable. We walked in and saw all those yummy cupcakes lined up in the case and each decided that we didn't want to share.

Britt with her chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting.
I got a chocolate cupcake with a raspberry creme frosting.
After we had our cupcakes we returned our little scooter/car and drove out to Bonaventure Cemetery. We had heard several people throughout the weekend talk about how beautiful it is, so we thought we should drive out and see it. This is also where they filmed the movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. What made the cemetery pretty were those big live oaks with the spanish moss. It really was neat to see!
After the cemetery we drove out to the Bethesda Home for the Boys. Bethesda is Paula's favorite charity and all the proceeds from the dinner were going to Bethesda.

This is the entrance to Bethesda. It is gorgeous!
Bethesda is also where Paula and Michael got married.
We were lucky that the door to the Whitefield Chapel was open and we were able to go inside. It is really the perfect wedding chapel, and it's easy to see why Paula chose it. It is simplistic and quaint.
Britt and me up in the balcony
After Bethesda it was time to go back to the hotel and get ready for the BIG night! Obviously they didnt want (or have the room for) 200+ cars to park at Paula's home, so they had 2 pickup locations and shuttled people via trolleys out to the island.

Michelle and mom on the trolley.
Britt and me on the trolley. I was just trying not to hyperventilate at this point! I was beyond excited!
Paula and Michael recently moved into a new home, but this is the home that she still does all her filming in and is the one that is on tv. I was excited that the dinner was at the house because it is the one that I see on her cooking shows.

This is the front of the house.
Fun fact, the couple that is walking in front of us got engaged at the party. Paula called them up on the porch in front of everyone and he proposed to her. It was so wonderfully romantic!
This was the point that I really started to feel like I was in a dream. The party was out back, but we got to walk through the house and see the kitchen! I was shaking with excitement. It really did feel surreal to be standing behind that stove. And to be honest, I still don't know that it has set in that it really DID happen.

I look like a deer in headlights in this picture. I think my body was in shock.
My mom was having "house envy" and saying it was the most beautiful home she has ever seen. I would have to agree with her! This is a picture of the back.
Britt and me enjoying our mimosas complete with a strawberry garnish.

I was so excited to meet Brandon Branch! Brandon is Paula's assistant amongst other things. He is also decorator and party planner extraordinaire! I follow him on twitter and he was tweeting all week about setting up and decorating for the party. He really did an amazing job. The centerpieces were made out of cauliflower and asparagus! So neat!
This picture was taken when Paula first made her entrance. She came out onto the back porch to greet everyone and present Bethesda with a check for $100,000. Wow! I kept telling my mom that the dinner was really a win win situation for everyone. We got to have an amazing night, I got to meet someone I admire so immensely and a great charity got a huge check!
This is Uncle Bubba, Paula's brother! He was so nice and personable. He owns Uncle Bubba's Oyster House, who catered the event. The food was great!
This is a picture from Paula's dock, looking back at the house. This picture doesn't even begin to capture the atmosphere. There was a band playing great music, perfect weather, perfect lighting and perfect company. I was in heaven! I know I keep saying this, but it really didn't even feel real.

The 4 of us sitting by the water. Look at that view!
Meet Michael Groover! Michael is Paula's husband and is an absolute riot! He is so funny. I read his book a few months ago when Maria gave it to me for Christmas. It was wonderful and his sense of humor is all throughout the book.
I don't know why, but I think this picture of Michael and Michelle is so funny. They look like best buddies!
We found an open table on the back porch, this was another one of those "is this really happening??" moments.
When we first arrived to the house, they gave us a ticket with a group letter on it. Paula was inside and when they called your group letter, you could go in and get your picture taken with her in the kitchen. They had a professional photographer there taking all the pictures and will mail us our pictures in the next few weeks. I will be sure to post it when it arrives. I just hope it's a good one, because when I first walked up there I did get a little teary. I got to hug her and was overwhelmed. If you have ever read her story then you would probably agree that Paula is one of the most inspirational people you will ever hear about. Her story of overcoming tragedy and taking control of her own life is incredible. She is such a role model for me! I kept saying that I would move to Savannah in a heartbeat if I could just work for her ;-) And on top of her persevering spirit that got her to where she is today, I love that she hasn't forgotten her roots. She is so kind and loving. A lot of people in her situation could let the success go to their heads. So the fact that she has remained grounded makes her that much more inspirational. I strongly recommend reading her memoir, I promise you will not be disappointed!

I took this picture of Jamie and Bobby while I was in line waiting to get my picture with Paula. I did get a picture with them, but it is on Britt's camera because mine died right after I took this picture. I will upload it and the picture with Paula when I get ahold of them.
Words cannot begin to sum up what an amazing time I had. I am BEYOND blessed to have had the opportunity to attend an event like this. It was absolutely a dream come true.

And not only the Paula Deen event, but just spending the weekend in Savannah with 3 of the most important people in my life. I am so blessed to have a mom who loves me like she does, a best friend that I could call day or night and a Mama Fink that considers me a daughter.

Goodnight from Lexington