Sunday, January 30, 2011

Long Time Gone

Tonight I just wanted to mention how happy I am for my friend, Kara (Oeffling ) Murren. She is 5 weeks (or less) away from becoming a new mom and this weekend I was able to throw her a baby shower brunch. She is such a dear and wonderful friend, I am thrilled for her and her hubby Jason...and let's just say I can't wait to meet her little "monkey."

Monday, June 21, 2010

Deal Central

Everyone knows I love deals and finding ways to save money and today was no exception. I snagged the Sobe Life Water deal at Target, 10 for $10 with a $5 Target gift card - which I got down to 10 for $2 with a $5 Target gift card by using coupons AND I was in and out of the store in 10 minutes!

Oh, and since it is baby season for seemingly a million of our friends I was able to build my newest project - my baby gift stock pile with some great deals on Huggies wipes and diapers. A giant box of Huggies diapers for $19.99 with $10 extra bucks back from CVS, my net price on the diapers after EBs and coupons was $4.99. I then rolled my EBs into some bandaids since we were out and a Ben Gay pain gel which I will send in for a rebate of $8.99.

Finally I stopped by Walgreens and was able to pick up two large tubs of Huggies wipes at 2/$3 after coupons. I am not well versed in these baby deals, since I don't have any kids, but I think I did pretty good!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Europe Got to be Kidding Me! The Final Installment

InCosmetics is rapping up, it's the third and final day of the show (Thursday) and the long days, time change and a general sense of fatigue is starting to set in. At this point, though, I can power through anything, since we are leaving the very next day (Friday)...or so I thought! Someone visiting our booth mentions something about a volcano errupting in Iceland, "Crazy," I think to myself. But, you know I have never much considered myself a weather buff and Lord knows I am not Mother Nature's biggest fan, so I really didn't think anything of it. All this is coupled with the fact that, I was a little out of touch with the world around me due to a lack of digestible news in Paris. Our hotel had no English TV and I had only been able to snag an English newspaper once and that was much earlier in a week. All I can figure is that at the same moment I was informed of Eyjafjallajokull a massive and invisible cloud of ash and particles desended over my head, much like the one that follows Pig-Pen around in Peanuts.

Thursday evening, we pack up from the show, hit up the hotel bar for a much deserved cocktail and learn that our flights on Friday were cancelled. Inconvienced, yes, but who would scoff at a little bit of extra time to take in Paris? Even if was dirty and slightly urined stained, it was Paris! I was rebooked for Saturday, so Jim and I would be going Toyko Joe on Friday.

By end of day Friday, things were not looking good. Our new flights were cancelled and we were basically done with the city. With a little urging from our friends at ROVI Cosmetics (outside Frankfurt) we formulated a plan to rent a car (with a GPS!) and drive to Frankfurt and hole up there with our German buds. We needed a friendly face and to walk a few miles without the fear of stepping in dog poo. Jim and I had a great last night in Paris, we found a place that actually had a semi attentive waiter, a HAPPY HOUR and great people watching. Food, conversations and a bit of drinking ensued and we had a great last night in Paris. What maybe was not so great for me was the next morning. Either it was my "while in Paris" attitude that allowed me to order the cassoulette for dinner or it was the beers but I was feeling green.

Bless Jim's little heart for driving from Paris to Gelnhausen with me, our French speaking GPS and a manual Renault that wouldn't shift into reverse unless you body slammed the gear shift. It was quite an adventure full of classy highlights, like when I ralphed in the parking lot of a McDonalds...and later in the only thing I could grab as we sped down the highway with no place to pull over, which was my 3-1-1 bag for liquids from my purse. (Maybe the 1st time the TSA has come in handy.) It was not one of my finer moments. I would officially like to take this opportunity to thank France for removing all toilet seats from the roadside rest stops on their highways, because that really made it all so much better.

The drive through the French and German countryside was beautiful. The weather couldn't have been nicer. Germany was like a breath of fresh air, it's much more American friendly and just hearing American music on the radio was awesome. Arriving in Gelnhausen we spent the next 5 days at our "American Outpost" at ROVI's office. I have always considered the business associates at ROVI nice people but now I count them as dear friends and life savers. Jim and I couldn't have been treated better. We enjoyed wonderful company in a quaint country setting which at sometimes felt like living in a fairytale. All I can say is that being from the urban sprall of the NW Chicago suburbs, the charm of a stripmall is lost on me!

Taking stock of our little adventure, we spent a week in Paris and 6 days in Germany for a total of 13 days of Planes, Trains and Automobiles. On Thursday, the day I finally got a flight out I cried a little at the airport. I was so (overtired, yes) but so overwhelmed by the touching kindess of our friends at ROVI. I can't wait to visit Europe again soon, but this time with Jon and on my own terms, volcanos be damned!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Europe Got to be Kidding Me! Part 2

Sunday, April 11th: I land in Paris and meet my coworker, Jim, at Charles Degaulle to embark on my maiden international business trip for RITA Corp. The plan for the next 5 days is to set up our booth, (which we share with a truly wonderful company we distributor for in North America, ROVI Cosmetics) exhibit for 3 days and then depart Gay Paree on Friday morning.

Overall, the show was a great success. I had worked with ROVI's Marketing Manager to design a new booth for the show which more than exceeded my expectations once I arrived at the venue in Paris to check it out.(Side view of the RITA side of the booth)

(Straight shot looking into our booth)

(Jim and I inspecting the booth)

Tuesday through Thursday our booth was packed with activity, customer meetings and new contacts. Being that RITA only sent Jim and I to the show, he was mainly engaged in meetings ALL DAY and I was basically the Cruise Director so to speak, meeting new people, answering questions, distributing information and seating appointments. We were both very busy. Over the course of the show, I was lucky enough to see and do several memorable things. Firstly, I was able to meet many of my colleagues from ROVI Cosmetics, which was wonderful. It is always nice to put a face with a name, or in this case a far off voice that I call or email in Germany. Secondly, ROVI included me, their American friend, in a very special experience. I attended an evening at a French cooking school with them, where we experienced a wine tasting with the Frenchest of French wine gurus (apparently something above even a Sommelier) who to us, sounded like Steve Martin's Pink Panther character and boy was he passionate about wine. He had us evaluating it with every sense, taste, smell, sight...we even had to gargle it for what seemed to me an uncomfortably long period of time before spitting it out! We also worked under the guidance of a French chef (who only spoke French) to help prepare the meal we would eat that true European fashion at about 11:30pm! I never thought I would be hacking apart a naked little quail and ultimately harvesting and cooking its breasts and legs. American Emily doesn't even like to eat meat off the bone and only purchased boneless, skinless chicken breast for this reason....but French Emily, gargled wine with the best of them, hacked up and even ate a surprisingly delicious quail among other delicacies.(Channeling my inner Julia a maybe 11pm!)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Europe Got to be Kidding Me! Part I

Monday, April 5th: Work asks me to attend a tradeshow in Paris. I would need to depart on SATURDAY, APRIL 10TH. A little shocked, I agree only to remember, I don't have my passport. Efficient as ever, I sent it out to get my last name changed. I call the US Department of State to see what can be done. For $75 they will "expedite" my passport and I will have it, without guarentee, on FRIDAY, APRIL 9th (read: the day before I need to leave.) Meanwhile, I am negotiating last minute flight options and their fares with our travel agent.

Wednesday, April 7th: I arrive home from work to be greeted by a Fed Ex door tag. Could it be, my passport has arrived and early? I head to Fed Ex, pick up my passport (with the worst picture ever, I might add) and get on the phone with the travel agent, book my ticket!

Saturday, April 10th: Wheels up, I am headed to Paris for InCosmetics for the next 6 days....

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Control Freak & The Husband...Bathroom Tile Job Complete!

He demo-ed. I gridded, measured, glued and grouted. Now my little project is in Jon's (capable) hands as he caulks, trim nails and reattaches the toilet. It is SOOOO hard for me not to hoover over his shoulder while he works - he certainly doesn't do that to me. I am trying to stay out of his way, mainly out of respect but also because home improvements seem to make him a little pissed off. Regardless, this team effort, not basketball style but maybe more track and field relay style (the hand off) is complete...or it will be tonight, sometime, once he gets a hold of the right coupling for the trim nailer...

The grouting & featuring my fav working Havaianas (my version of a steel toed boot, don't call OSHA):
The finished product! Now to find a new chic shower curtain & accessories. Target does Hawaiian is so gone!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Part Time Tile Job

Sunday, March 21st Jon demo'ed the second bathroom's floor so I could begin my FINAL tile this house anyway. Working evenings, after work, between Davis Speed Center sessions, social events and my fav night of TV (Thursday) I finally finished laying the tile tonight (after working a tradeshow no less!) But my steadfast efforts are for the greater carpet and I can't wait! I plan on grouting this weekend, especially since RITA is closed on Friday. My next OCD comtemplation is whether or not to repaint some higher traffic areas of the house's the smart thing to do...but do they need it? I hate painting, maybe I will get some quotes?!

*A special thank you to my friend Kathy for helping with all my pre-cuts! She is the best!*