Saturday, June 25, 2011

And It's Saturday!

Yassas, my friends!

I hope that you all have had a wonderful weekend so far.  Mine’s been nice and relaxing, the weather’s been great (a little humid), and of course, full of missing Knox!  I think you all will hear me continue to whine for the next few days until his return, so for everyone else’s sake, Knox, get back!  :p

Our annual Company wide meeting was held, yesterday, at the MidAmerica Center in Council Bluffs.  It was a rather eye opening moment to see all of the volunteers that were filling sandbags to protect Omaha and our surrounding communities as I drove through the parking lot to attend the event.  So much work that goes into filling just one sand bag, and hundred of sandbags are needed just to protect one small building.  I commend all of the volunteers who have taken to assist in this effort, as I am afraid the battle continues.  Below is a photo of Building 11 on the ConAgra campus.  The area on the left that appears to be dirt was once a parking area, and the sandbags have been stacked to create a four-foot wide by four foot high barrier in hopes to protect the building from future flooding.

After the meeting, my team decided to head over to the Company Store, which is located at the Council Bluffs Manufacturing plant.  I think this was the same idea that everyone else that had attended the meeting had as well.  I waited half an hour in line, but was able to purchase many of our famous brands at super discounted prices for myself, my parents and Knox.  My favorite thing that I walked away with was the Banquet Chicken Pot Pies and the Banquet Peach Fruit Pies.  While these are intended to be individual servings sizes, Knox and I always split them and pair with a salad to reduce the calorie count.  I love them, they are delicious, but they aren’t exactly the healthiest meal in the world.  And the best part is you can microwave them, so it’s a quick and easy meal if you don’t have a ton of time to cook, which happens to us during the evenings we play softball and volleyball.

I then was forced to go to my least favorite place in the world, the DMV!  Each year I am cognizant to mail my check and insurance the minute the card shows up in the mail informing me that my plates are due (I hear you can do this online now).  This enables you to avoid the lines (and headache) associated with actually making the trip to the DMV.  Well for some reason I did not get the notification card in the mail and had to actually go to the DMV.  40 minutes in line and A LOT of strange looking people, I was ready to run out of there.  Just saying.  After my time waiting in line at the Company Store and DMV, I don’t think that I have ever looked forward to pool time as I was at that moment!

This is where Knox spoils me.  As most of you know he has a gorgeous in ground pool, and that is where we have spent our pool time this summer.  With him being out of town, I decided to venture back to the country club pool where I had spent so many summers of my life.  I always enjoy thinking about all of the good times that I have had at the country club over the years, including when my parents threw me a Sweet 16 birthday party there, had the pool shut down for the private party, and pretty much invited all of Central High School’s Junior Class of 1999.  It was pretty freaking awesome.

Sadly, I can officially say that I am not heartbroken that I haven’t been there this summer, and am pretty thankful to have to use it as an alternative only when necessary.   Throughout all of the years that my parent’s have belonged to the country club, I always have selected the same spot at the pool to sprawl out and soak up the sun, which is right next to the diving board.  I love watching the little ones go off the board, and don’t mind the occasional splash that I get when the older kids jump over the board as it’s a perfect way to cool down.

Yesterday, however, as I was lying in my usual spot, I hear a group of 10-year-old boys bickering over how much to raise the diving board (the board there can be manually raised up and down).  One boy wanted it higher, one boy lower.  The boy who wanted it higher turned to the other boy and asked, “Do you even belong here”?  The other boy, head down, sheepishly said, “No, I do not”, and went on to say he was a guest of another boy.   Boy #1 then went on to say to him “Well then since you don’t belong here, you don’t get a choice, now do you”?  I couldn’t believe it!   My heart felt so sad for the boy who had just been delivered that nasty message.  That was the moment when I thought to myself, I am so glad I don’t have to come here frequently anymore and witness this kind of behavior.  Shame on the parents who have raised their ten-year-old son to be so exclusive and self centered.  I really enjoy that my parents belong to the country club, but I swear to you, it’s like the monster in everyone comes out during the summers there at the pool.  The exclusivity and feeling of being better then others festers each summer in the waters of that pool.  I don’t know how it ever got that way, but it makes me sad when people forget that money or not, we’re all the same.

Don’t get me wrong; I love that pool.  The trendy, fun, music, the children, and being able to have a glass or two of Pinot Grigio delivered to you by a pool boy aren’t anything to complain about!  And I was able to walk a way a shade darker than when I arrived, goal accomplished!

This morning I woke up and drove downtown to pamper myself a little and get my hair done.  I LOVE the Icon.  If you’ve never heard of it, it’s an amazing boutique salon on about 40th and Farnam.  I’ve been going there for years and it would take a real act of God for me to change where I go.  There are four stylists, I go to Bonnie, but would trust any of them with my long locks.  Check them out at

As we speak my mother is off to get her hair done as well, and then I’m off to meet her for a little shopping excursion.   Yes, it’s what we do best!  I might squeeze a little pool time in, and then off to Archiver’s for a 6 hour scrap booking session with my lady, Dani Hampton.

We’ll see how much I get done through all of our catching up, I can’t wait!


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Happy Thursday!
I have to say I’m stoked and flattered at the number of people who are viewing my blog and even more excited that I actually have some followers.  Yes, I think this means I have the best friends and family, EVER.  Hopefully I don’t disappoint the masses and am able to provide some sort entertainment value, whether through my sometimes outrageous views on things or my commentary on simple, yet meaningful, life events.
I am officially out of touch until with Knox until Monday (sad, I know!).  He’s in Canada fishing Aikens Lake, which is pretty cool if you ask me (  He has been instructed to catch every fish in my honor, haha!  He was super sweet and called this morning to bid a final adieu until Monday.  I sent him this picture text of Skeelo, my oldest dog, in bed with Gus’s giraffe.  Awww, I love my puppies!

I must admit, this separation will be the longest that I’ve had from Knox since we’ve started dating, and to top that off, there’s no contact due to his pilgrimage into the wilderness where cell phone towers do not exist.  Normally a few calls or emails are exchanged when we are apart, but I am deprived, this time, the luxury of the nightly phone call!
Let’s just say Monday can’t come soon enough, but I hope he has a fantastically relaxing trip!  I already miss him!
Today is my parent’s 32nd wedding anniversary!  WOOHOO!  My parents are the, and I’m so thankful to have them.  My dad gifted my mom with something super fancy and nice…a NEW CAR!  I think that woman will be in the garage for the next few weeks trying to figure out how the darn thing works (maybe he did that on purpose!).  CONGRATULATIONS to my Mom and Dad!  I love them and am so happy for them!  They plan to go to Crave, at Midtown Crossing, tomorrow evening to celebrate.
Last night…last night I had a wonderful time at Bonefish Grill with my friends James and Amy.  Holy smokes though, watch out for Wednesday evenings at Bonefish.  Apparently the Bang Bang Shrimp appetizer (which is my absolute favorite) is on special for just $5!  It’s amazing what people will do for a $3 discount on shrimp at a higher end restaurant where $3 really isn’t going to make too much of a difference on your total bill!!  I mean really, people.  I think for myself, after ordering two glasses of wine and the Bang Bang Shrimp dinner, my total came to around $43 with tip and tax, which is about what I had budgeted for the evening.  It was super delicious and I’m excited to eat the leftovers soon!
Speaking of eating…I am currently in the process of consuming a HUGE piece of leftover cake from Pete’s birthday celebration on Sunday. 

White cake with vanilla frosting from the Cake Gallery…I couldn’t believe it when I set eyes on it this morning!  Shocked, I told my Dad I couldn’t believe there was still left over cake in their house and no one had told me!  Had I been living in the same house as that cake, it would have been gone and I would have been doing two a days at the gym!  Thank goodness it was a late discovery.  Cake and hotdogs = my favorite food = yummo!

I will be partaking in happy hour here in just a few short hours with my best friend Michelle, YIPPEE!  I feel like I never get one on one time with her anymore due to our busy, busy schedules!  I am fortunate enough to get to see her once a week at volleyball on Monday night’s, but it’s just not the same as true girl time.
Be sure to sign up at the right side of this page for my Google Group “FollowAnastasia” which will allow you to receive email updates each time I post!
Anastasia Ephtyhia

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A New Beginning!

Yassas (that’s hello in Greek to all of you)!
Oh my, goodness…let me start by saying I’m so excited to start this blog! 
I’ve been reading a few of the blogs that my best girlfriends have started over the last year or so, and found myself thinking it’s time!  Most of you know that I am an avid journal-er (is that even a word?), and indeed, do still keep a diary.   And those books (yes, there are volumes) contain everything.  And when I say everything, I mean everything.  I know you all know what I’m talking about!  I think that my first diary entry was in 1993!  What is an 11 year old thinking, anyway, that’s significant enough to write in a book!?  Well, it’s continued on ever since.  In taking a step back and thinking about where I am today in my life, I thought to myself that it’s time to hang up the old diary and try something new.  So while this selfishly is for me, a new place to keep my diary and another way for me to document my life (in addition to my crazy scrapbooking addiction), I hope you enjoy it and please participate!  Parakalo (please!), post your thoughts and commentary, too!
You might be thinking, what’s up with the Cocktails, Party Dresses…and Snacks?!  Well, I thought it the perfect title to describe my life, as I know it today.  I think that every time I would get my girlfriends together, I’d say “Get your party dresses on ladies, and let’s go have some cocktails”.  Well the truth holds the same for today, but the Snacks part has become a pivotal part of the equation.  Life, today, is different.  We’re all grown up, in relationships, buying homes, getting married, having babies, and so while I still am totally about the cocktails and party dresses, my invites have now turned into “Get your fanciest pants on party people,  come over and let’s have some cocktails and snacks”!  We’re getting together at each other’s homes, going out for dinners, conversing over cocktails, and finally learning to live and relax.  And it’s great.  There’s nothing better than having a few people over and enjoying a little food, a little drink and little camaraderie.
And because this is MY blog, I get to be cheesy (I’m normally the one gagging over people’s curdling Facebook posts).  Yes, I do apologize, but it’s mine and I can do and say what I want, so here it goes!  I am completely blessed to have the most amazing boyfriend any girl could ever ask for. Now I know, ladies, that you all think that your husband/boyfriend/significant other is the bee’s knees, but I’m telling you, mines the best!!! ;)  He’s handsome, funny, gracious, witty, too smart for his own good and a real ham.  Ahhhh, Knox (smiling, smiling, smiling at the thought of him). 
Knox was generous enough to let me have a few of my favorite people over for to his beautiful home last weekend for a little pool and barbeque.  We had an awesome time.  My godson Jackson came over but could not get in the pool due to the thunderstorms that were surrounding us.    The adults (Knox and I, Jackson’s parent’s Liz and Jon Mehuron - Liz and I have been besties our whole lives - and Liz’s brother Zach and his girlfriend Kelli) had refreshing cocktails (I made my usual poolade of beer, vodka and lemonade) and some awesome snacks (which you’ll learn that for us has become synonymous with dinner).
The weekend ensued with a Saturday morning massage (Knox and I get a couples massage once a month), lunch, and an afternoon walk.  We walk, A LOT.   Knox left for Lincoln to pack for his Canada trip and I went to my cousin Tonya’s wedding (Congrats!).  Sunday we celebrated my little brother Theo’s 22nd birthday and father’s day at Champion’s Club with a little lunch/brunch, and then headed home for some pool time (I’m determined to figure out this water aerobics thing).  Sunday evening we had dinner with Knox’s family at Parker’s Smokehouse in Ashland.  If you’ve never been, it’s delicious!  Happily stuffed, we headed home for a walk and prepped for the upcoming work week, which brings us to today!
More to come, but it’s a start 
It’s almost time for cocktails (and a work dress) as I’m headed to dinner at Bonefish Grill with two of my favorite friends, James and Amy.  James and Amy were two of my co-workers in my old Chanel make up artistry days, and we’ve remained close ever since.
Bang, bang shrimp, here I come!
With love,