They say some questions are best left unanswered...

A moment ago I was looking at the calendar calculating Christmas shipping schedules for a gift I purchased and I realized that today is the 21st. That means that if my father were still alive today, he would be turning 50. How does one process that information? What would he be like? Would he still like the same things like Nascar and Coors Light? Would he still curse like a sailor? Listen to Rock 92? Drive everywhere like a bat out of Hell? Be a meat and potatoes dinner kind of guy? Would the ending be different?
"I wish you could have been there for the sun & the rain & the long, hard hills. For the sound of a thousand conversations scattered along the road. For the people laughing & crying & remembering at the end. But, mainly, I wish you could have been there." - Brian Andreas


Because I don't have any kids...

here's a cute picture of Layla I took the other day.

Good times.

And I'm almost done with the Christmas shopping, thank goodness. It's always easy to do the shopping for my mom and sister but the gifts for the guys kill me. I never know! Just lucky guesses most of the time...

Can't wait for the Utopia Christmas party this weekend. Sure to be a blast!

Have a fantastic weekend. :) I know I will.


Just a few samples...

Still trying to get good enough to quit the day job to take pictures and scrapbook all day. What do you think?


More Pictures of the Season

Because a picture is worth 1,000 words -- I thought I would let them do the narrating for a change. Just a little glimpse of what we've been up to lately. Happy Holidays!


Secret Admirer?

I don't really get the mail every day.

In fact, I pretty much get it whenever I remember to get it. Usually it's just junk mail because I pay most of my bills online these days so I don't really care about getting my junk mail and ads on time.

One evening a couple of weeks ago, I checked the mail when I was taking out the dogs, and there's an US Weekly magazine in the box. I thought, "Ooh! US Weekly! Wonder how that got in there? Must've been the neighbors or something. Maybe I'll browse through it tonight and then deliver it to them tomorrow. They'll never know the difference."

Nope. It was addressed to me.

Obviously, I did not sign myself up for US Weekly. Neither did Tim. (That's not really something he would do anyway.) I called my mom when I was driving home from work the next day and asked her if it was like an early Christmas present or something. She said no. Did Gabrielle do it? No.

Who did it?

Then, last week after work, I walked in the door from work and Tim says, "You got another magazine." At this point I've already received three weeks worth of US Weekly and I was really liking it.

"Oh, cool!" I said.

It was actually Rolling Stone magazine. Literally, he meant another magazine. Score! Love Rolling Stone.

So, I don't know who you are magazine fairy, but I like your taste in picking out my magazines. And if you're on a roll and I haven't met the magazine quote yet, I'd like to put in a request for any of these: In Style, Yoga Journal, Scrapbooks Etc., or Real Simple. (And if you'd like to reveal yourself, I'd like to thank you as well.)

PS - I'm much better about checking the mail now, too.


He still...

Curls his tongue when he thinks hard about something.
Has the best laugh ever.
Charms you with his bright blue eyes.
Gives the best hugs and kisses.
Lives 6,000 miles away.

Brings tears to my eyes when I have to say goodbye.

He still...

Remembers me.

And I hope that never changes.


Adventures in Neti Pot-ing and other interesting things this week

My sinuses and I ... we don't get along. Twice a year, they like to act up and give me sinusitis and put me out of work for almost a week. The past few days I felt a little sickly and I decided ... this time I have to take matters into my own hands. Ladies and gentlemen, I purchased a neti pot this evening.

I think it really just gives me one more reason to put off going to the doctor. But I've heard raves reviews of neti pots from coworkers and friends so I figured why not? And, hey, I've done ear candles with the best of 'em... why not try this too?
Well, for one thing, I kinda felt like I needed adult supervision. (And you might be thinking, Olivia, you are an adult. And, yes, you're right, but I felt like I needed a Mom there or something. You know. It was just strange.)
I read the directions three times and still I think I did it wrong. It says you're supposed to tilt your head and then breathe through your mouth, but everytime I ended up swallowing water somehow. No bueno. I got a little better each time (I did it twice on each side) but it still didn't feel right.
So if anyone out there has experience in this sort of thing, please email or comment and maybe give me some tips so I don't feel like I'm drowining in the ocean the next time I do this. On the upside, the little bit that I managed to do correctly, has improved my breathing... so I'm actually feeling good about it overall.

In other news, I have time off from work starting on Saturday! Hallelujah! Tim and I are going to visit his family and have an early Thanksgiving dinner with them. Should be lots of fun up in PA. However, the trip up there will probably not be lots of fun.

Nine hours ...

in the Mustang ...

with two dogs.*

What are we thinking!??!

Food is a strong motivator I tell ya. I'll let ya know how it turns out.

*Feel free to leave comments or suggestions about this as well. :) We need all the help we can get!


My Favorite Kind of Fall Pictures...

Spent some quality with the dogs earlier this week. Given their expressions I think they truly enjoyed it all.


A Quote about Life....

This is a quote dedicated to my grandmother "Mamaw Kit" who passed away earlier this evening. May she rest in peace.

"Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.

Life is beauty, admire it.

Life is bliss, taste it.

Life is a dream, realize it.

Life is a challenge, meet it.

Life is a duty, complete it.

Life is a game, play it.

Life is a promise, fulfill it.

Life is sorrow, overcome it.

Life is a song, sing it.

Life is a struggle, accept it.

Life is a tragedy, confront it.

Life is an adventure, dare it.

Life is luck, make it.

Life is too precious, do not destroy it.

Life is life, fight for it."

- Mother Teresa


Maybe I should have just gone to Winston...

Last Saturday night after I got off work I was contemplating whether or not to drive to Winston to see my family. I was tired and it was close to dinner time and I hadn't even packed anything, so I decided not to go and I called Shannon to see if she wanted to have dinner with me.

"Have you had dinner yet?"


"Do you wanna go to the Pineville OG to have dinner with me?"

"Sure. I need to get ready though."

"Okay. How about 8 o'clock?"

"That sounds good. I'll see ya then."

So I go back to the house and change out of work clothes, let the dogs out and give them dinner, and kill a little time on iTunes. I was getting ready to make an awesome old school 90's rap/pop cd when I realized what time it was -- 8:00. "Oh crap! I need to call Shannon and tell her I'm just now leaving."

I hop into my car and back down the driveway, hit the garage door button and then think, "Oh crap! Did I lock the front door after I took out the dogs?" (Since we go out through the garage instead of the front door, I always have to ask myself this question.) I take my keys out of the ignition, run up to the front door, and TGIL (<=--thank goodness it's locked!). I turn the car back on and then it cuts back off. I think, "REALLY? Seriously? This is happening right now?" (I don't like to be messed with when I'm hungry y'all. Elliott* starts yelling at me.) I turn it over again, still nothing. I call Shannon.

"Um... have you left yet?"

"Not quite yet, why?"

"My car won't start. Well, actually it will start but then it cuts off again. Like, the engine goes and everything and then.... no more."

"Hmm... hold on-- my mom's on the other line. I'll ask her to ask Dad."

(Five minutes later and still no resolution about my car problem but somehow it magically starts!)

"Hey! It started! I think I'm just gonna take my chances and drive down there instead of you going out of your way to get me."

"Ok. Well, it'll still take me a little longer because I need to stop for gas."

"That's ok. I'll go ahead and put our name in for a table so you won't have to wait as long."

"Ok. I'll see ya in a little bit. Bye."

Fifteen minutes later I pull into Carolina Place Mall. Turn left to go into Olive Garden's parking lot and then


Not an Emeril kind of BAM! a baaad kind of bam!

The kind that results in a police report.

So I sit in the car for like 30 seconds and then I'm like, "Ok. I'm okay. But my car is soooo not okay. That felt really bad." Do I really want to get out and look at the damage? No. Not yet. I need to call someone. And then I burst into tears. (I don't know why because I've been in wrecks far worse than this. I think it was more frustration than anything. Anyway, I'm digressing.)
I look for the OG Pineville number in my cell phone and call it. (And I'm still crying.)

"Thank you for calling Pineville Olive Garden. This is Tiffany. How may I help you?"

"Is Tim there? This is Olivia."

30 seconds later...

in his professional voice: "Hi, this is Tim."

"Hey. (pause) I've been in a wreck." (still crying)

"Oh my God! Where are you? Are you OK?!"

"Yes, I'm outside in the parking lot-- just come out the back door!"

The police come, some witnesses stay behind to say that it wasn't my fault and then twenty minutes later Shannon gets there, and I finally get to eat** and have a glass of wine.


*Elliott is my tapeworm. Don't ask and don't hate.

**Try the shrimp carbonara -- it's new and it's soooooo good. I also highly recommend the pumpkin cheesecake. But not on the same night because you'll be so full you'll be sick. Seriously. Or maybe that's just me...

And now the door won't open and the window won't go up or down.

I think this means I have to get a new door. :(



I'm a little bit late posting these since Festival In The Park was, oh, about a month ago. (And besides the fact that I keep wanting to call it Art In The Park and people don't know what i'm talking about....) But I must say it is one of my favorite Charlotte things-to-do thus far. It's pretty much an arts and crafts fair combined with festival food. Well, there are kiddie rides, too, but those don't really pertain here. I mean, festival food + arts and crafts + live music = me never wanting to leave. It's a good thing Heidi was there to keep me on track.

In other news, I had a nice trip up to Winston last weekend to see family. I spent lots of time with them Saturday evening and Sunday. My grandmother on my dad's side has been at the Kate B. Reynolds Hospice Home for about two weeks now. I saw all these people from my dad's side that I haven't seen in years. My brother, sister and I went to visit her last Saturday night and I think that's the first time the three of us had been together with her in maybe a good ten years. It was emotional... but in a good way. Lots of hugs and kisses, holding hands and getting her the things she needs to be comfortable. I know that it won't be much longer before she passes so we'll all cherish that hour that we had together then. And it's so great to reconnect with family that you rarely see or hear from. A bittersweet time for sure. I'm hoping to go up there again this weekend and spend some more time with everyone. I think we all need it.

And here's a cute picture of Layla and Bella curled up on the couch thrown in for good measure.


just stuff

Well, it hasn't been a terribly exciting week but it moved right along I guess. Let's see...

Did a couple of interviews at work this week for front desk. Not too happy with the results, lots of "Don't call us, we'll call you" going on there. I guess that's how it goes sometimes... Hopefully the ones for next week will turn out a little better.

This weekend I'm going up to Winston to see my family. I'm pretty excited about that. It's been a while since I last saw them. I hate that I wasn't there for my mom's birthday but you know how moms are... she wanted me to save my gas and just come when it was convenient. Then I found out that my grandma on my dad's side is in Hospice (and not expected to get any better) so I figured this weekend was as good as any to visit the family.
And this is totally random, but I found out yesterday that one of our clients at work is going to be on Nip/Tuck this season! How cool is that? He is a totally cool, nice guy too.

And can VH1 please retire the Jason Mraz "I'm Yours" video already? Everytime I see that darn thing it makes me homesick for Kauai....

OK -- Can we tell that I'm tired and need to go to bed? :) I'll spare you guys the rest! Have a great weekend!


Pure Genius.

You have got to try the new iTunes add-on program Genius.

The name says it all.

It reads my mind people.

No, really! I'm serious!

How did I discover new music before this existed?

And how can I become their spokesperson?

Forreals, my friends. Try it and you'll be hooked too.

Don't say I didn't warn you!

And PS -- I hear they're making new iPod nanos that will have Genius too! Brilliant!



You've Got Aloha Mail!

It's so nice to come home after a long day of work and find that you have mail from some of your favorite people in the world from the other side of the world! :)

I got a wonderful note from Val today with pictures included (and already up on the fridge as you can see. Sorry about the picture quality -- I just snapped them really quick with my phone). Anyway, it was just talking about different stuff like their ongoing house project, Grant and Griffin -- how Grant is a terrific big brother and Mommy's little helper, and Dave's latest Navy news. They are my little bit of home away from Aloha. I miss them a LOT.

But best of all........ I can't wait to see them in November!


And I thought I was crazy about Aveda...

I've been in this mood lately where I've felt the need for some Aveda accessories to wear to work. I was talking to my co-worker Paige about this earlier today (she graduated from the Aveda Institute here in Charlotte) and she says, "Oh! They have all kinds of neat things like that at school!" So we decided to have a look after we got off work today.

It was my first time to the CLT institute but it's a lot bigger than it looks from the outside. The retail area did have all kinds of Aveda-wear though. I ended up buying an Aveda zippered hoodie (black of course) and then a pair of cropped gray lounge pants.

So I continued my search on Ebay when I got home. I was looking for people to be selling their old Earth Months shirts that they possibly didn't want anymore...or something along those lines. And then I ran across this. Those in the Aveda community will understand this.
(This is a copy of my screen from the "My Ebay" section where I was watching the two items.)

That's brand loyalty people. That's brand loyalty.


I don't like Ike!

Like many other people who were afraid of the gas shortage pending Ike's arrival to the Texas oil refinaries on Friday night... I was the victim of price gouging. If you can't see the picture below, I paid $4.29 per gallon of regular gas. Ouch!

Saturday morning on my way to work I called my longtime friend Yolanda who currently resides in the Houston area. I tried three or four times and the call wouldn't go through. Finally, later that evening around 6 or 7 after I had gotten off work I was able to leave her a message to see if she was okay. She called me back around 10 last night to tell me that she was okay but she definitely does not want to have to go through that again in her lifetime.

Amen, sister. I'm just glad you're alive and well. :)


Some pictures from the Dog Days of Summer...

Layla enjoying her car ride.

Layla and I doing our "Blue Steel" look.

Bella waiting on Tim to come home.

Niko doing his "Jaws" imitation.

I love 'em all! :)


Weekend Update

He came. He did hair. He got rave reviews.

David Glover gave an outstanding class at the salon on Friday. Awesome techniques for doing more avante garde hairstyles for the runway, fashion shows, etc. Great, great experience. I'll have pictures later when my co-worker sends me some.

Tim has been the chef extraodinaire this weekend -- making all kinds of tasty treats! Banana ice cream (which I really didn't think I'd like but it's gooooood), shrimp and sundried tomato risotto (yum!), mashed potato cakes (similar to crab cakes but with mashed potatoes obviously) and then lots of other good things. Hence, a trip to the gym was in order today! It wasn't pretty people. It wasn't pretty.

My favorite quote from this weekend (Tim and I were watching a COPS 20th Anniversary special episode on Saturday night)....

"I don't sell drugs -- I'm a prostitute!"

It doesn't get much better than that.

And now it's time for our Labor Day picnic on Lake Wylie. More yumminess. Oh yeah.


"David who?"

I have come to realize that when you work the front desk of a nice salon, you happen to meet interesting people. Sometimes you meet people that are NFL players' wives, some are top executives and other people just obviously have money for no apparent reason (to me) which is why it's always important to be courteous, nice and bring your "A" game at all times.

Such was the case yesterday.

I'm standing up at the front desk, checking people in and out, getting drinks, doing makeup... as I normally do on any given day and in walks this guy with a British accent.

Me: "Hi. Do you have an appointment today?"

British Dude: "No thanks. Is Max here?"

Me: "I'm not sure if he's still here. What's your name please?"

BD (with authority): "Mett."

Me (I sense some importance with this guy): "Hi, Mett. I'm Olivia. Nice to meet you." (We all shake hands.) "I'll see if Max is available. Can I get you anything to drink while you wait?"

Mett: "No thanks."

I check around and Max is already gone but Heidi our manager comes out to the front desk.

Heidi: "Hi Mett. Max just left but I can help you."

They step aside where I can't hear the convo but then she gives Mett and his guest (handsome Australian dude) a tour of V2 (our nickname for the salon). She comes back about 10 min later and makes an appointment for our handsome Australian friend later and the two guys leave.

Heidi: "I think he'll be back around 6 or 6:30. Just make sure that you comp his services and are especially accommodating."

Me: "Okay. Why?"

H: "That's David Glover."

Me (asking earnestly) : "David Glover? Who's that? Is he related to Danny Glover??" After I said that I was thinking, "Self, why did you ask that? We're talking about a white Australian dude here." But you never know I guess....

H (laughing at my ignorance) : "No silly! David Glover is a well-known editorial stylist. He's from Australia but he travels all over to do editorial work for big magazines like Vogue and stuff like that."

Me: "Shut up!!"

H: "Yeah, go in the back and check out his website."

Sure enough, I go on David Glover.com and that's him! There's some AWESOME stuff going on there. We're talking Tyra Banks and Heidi Klum's stylist here people. He has a very impressive list of references. Okay. So maybe that isn't exciting for you, but I'm excited.

And I think he's coming back to teach a class tomorrow afternoon. I'll let you know.

I'm such a nerd.


In the last week I ...

  • Joined the rest of the country and finally watched The Dark Knight but I saw it at the IMAX Dome which makes me ten times cooler than everyone else... just kidding...only five times cooler.
  • Completed some scrapbook pages! Here's a little sneaky peek of my favorite one. A picture of Gabby and I that Dad took when we were little. Awwwwwww.... :)

  • Got misdirected (coughcough NOT lost) in downtown Charlotte.... twice. Don't ask. Just don't ask.
  • Was inspired to clean out my closet because of all my "What Not To Wear" watching. Whew. There are gonna be some fashionable Goodwill patrons. And what's left will be Ebay'ed. Email me or leave comments if you want dibs on some Kate Spade purses and other cool things.
  • Finally stepped foot inside Southpark Mall for the first time since moving to Charlotte. And it was actually work-related... so there.
  • Managed to make it to work in under fifteen minutes. Don't ask me how. I think the Green Light Goddess was with me or something. :)

How was your week?



Do NOT go to Target right now if you're not trying to spend any money because they have lots of cute stuff right now. (Especially some hot shoes for Fall!) I'm just sayin' it was hard to restrain myself today.

Anyway, in other news, I have been lovin' the Olympics coverage. Tim and I stay up as late as we can to get the updates on all the gold medals the USA has won. We are kickin' bootie! I gotta say my favorite so far has been the Women's Gymnastics. Those girls are fierce. They have thighs that could put a hurtin' on somebody I swear...

And other shows that I am currently addicted to are What Not To Wear, Project Runway and Rock the Reception. I might need an intervention with the first one. It's getting a little unhealthy. But the third one is totally cute and you should check it out. It's only a half-hour and gets you all inspired to get off the couch and bust a move.

So I know this was a bunch of randomness but I'm kinda all over the place today. Maybe I should go center myself and scrapbook...

Oh, and one more thing, I'm kind of in the mood to change my hair color. (It's been the same thing since May, gasp!) If you guys see anything cool and you're like, "Olivia could totally pull that off" then pleeeeeease send me a link or a picture. :) mahalos!!


Sold Out.

What a spectacular evening with Jack and friends. He never disappoints. Fortunately, Tim and I bought our tickets on pre-sale so we had some good seats in the pavilion area instead of the lawn. Not quite the same feel as the Kokua Festival but still very eco-friendly and full of aloha. Awesome all the way around.


"They say Taylor was a good girl...."

never one to be late,

complain, express ideas in her brain."

In other words,


(Insert a Mary Murphy scream here.)

*FYI - Jack Johnson is the "baby daddy" ... in my ideal world. :)


A Day In Pompeii

If you haven't had a chance to see this exhibit at Discovery Place, go check it out. It's $20 but I think it's well worth it. Tim and I went to see it Sunday afternoon and I loved the entire thing.

After the exhibit we walked around downtown a little bit and had lunch at Rock Bottom Restaurant. Loved the food! We will definitely be back there.

I'll post the rest of the pictures to my shutterfly account so you guys can check it out. I'm also finally gonna upload all the pictures from July (Utopia farewell party, Sarah's wedding, etc.) because it's about time I did that.

One last thing: Happy Birthday, Shannon!!


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