Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Cripes.

Also: YAY!

Cripes because I've not yet posted our Budapest photos and I've now run out of time because....

YAY! Catherine arrives tomorrow! I'm so excited to have a visitor!!

But I'm warning you all now. It's going to be rather slow-going at the Nutshell over the next couple of weeks because right after Cat leaves, my brother-in-law and his wife arrive. So while there will be lots actually going on in vita de Heather, there will likely be very little posting to prove it.

But just you wait till things quiet back down over here. Ohhhh just you wait. Oh the stories I'll tell and the pictures I'll post...

Sunday, February 25, 2007

I'm your venus.

I'm your fi-yer.


Your desi-yer.


Saturday night, Jason and I had the pleasure of attending an 80's themed birthday party. I'm ashamed to say that niether of us had to go out and purchase anything to make our costumes. It was all in our closet. Even the jelly bracelets.



But I have a defense for each and every piece:
Pink bandana - I wear this as a do-rag at the beach.
White bead necklace - This actually looks really good with a certain outfit I have.
White plastic bracelet - Same defense as above.
Black plastic hoop earrings - See above.
Jelly bracelets - Purchased for halloween one year. The black ones also came in handy the year I dressed as Avril Lavigne.
Pink and white striped top - Oh screw it. I've got nothing. This was simply a bad fashion choice.

And Jason's:
The tie - This is actually just a regular tie turned around. How clever!
The jacket - This is an excellent jacket when the sleeves aren't pushed up.

I think Jason got off way easier than I did.

How could this night have gotten any better? I'll tell you. Upon leaving the party, we tried to pop into a pub across the street because we had to use "the facilities". I was turned away by the doorman because I didn't have my ID. May I remind everyone that drinking age here is 18. EIGHTEEN. The week after I turn 30, I'm turned away from a pub because I don't look old enough to get in. Score.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

When cultures collide

Last night, we went to the Royal Albert Hall to see Pucinni's tragic opera Madam Butterfly. Italian opera, set in Japan, performed in English. This is a much anticipated event at the Hall every year so I was pretty excited to see what the fuss-a-muss was all about.


And when we got to our box and saw the stage, I knew. It's so cool how they set it up. You can't really see in the picture but that's a Japanese water garden and they bring in real water. It just makes for such an interesting impact.


Jason's on champers duty.


And I'm on a different type of champers duty. This is one of the best things about the Hall. You can buy a bottle of champagne and take it to your box and sip on it all night!


We took this one at halftime (that's interval or intermission to you snobby types) when they had drained the water to make it a rock garden.


One of my other favorite things about shows at RAH is that many times, they have chorus characters come out and start milling about the set for a few minutes before it starts to sort of set the mood.


Props to Jason's mom and stepdad for my birthday gift - a freshwater pearls necklace and bracelet. It was the piece de resistance of my outfit.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

And armageddon came down upon us...

Ok, so I don't know what's going on in London today but I'm convinced we'll be punished for it later. It's February. It's very sunny outside. It's actually relatively warm outside. Warm enough that I ate my lunch on a bench in the park and watched kids play football. Warm enough that I only wore a long-sleeve shirt and light jacket (no scarf, no gloves) today. Warm enough that some people are walking around in short-sleeves. Maybe those people are a tad chilly, but nonetheless...

If you compare this to the very same week in February last year, you would seriously not believe how f-ing cold it was. Am I right Melanie?? It was record-breaking cold.

I don't know what kind of sick joke this is but I'll take it. I'll pay for it later when the wind rips through my bones and the rain pelts down on my back, but for now, I'll take it.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Of all the books in all the world

I suppose after 11 years together, it was bound to happen sooner or later. Jason and I bought each other the same Valentine's Day gift. A book of photos of Richmond throughout the four seasons. Luckily, we kept our receipts and both had picked up the book as a "companion gift" to our "main gift" so we both had other gifts to exchange.


Since we were traveling on Valentine's Day, we decided to save our other gifts for when we got to our hotel that night. I got him some cozy, luxurious pajamas from Harrods and he got me Stella McCartney perfume which I had been coveting for some weeks now (thanks to Andrea, the best smellin' gal I know).

So this is how an old married couple spends Valentine's Day:


Looks pretty lame but... Not bad when you consider we were having a room service dinner in a five star hotel in Budapest.

And in totally unrelated news but in a "this just in" capacity...

Bonus round - Jason just casually dropped this bomb on me:

Jason: I couldn't sleep last night and I was looking at my AA frequent flier miles and did you know that I have 16 upgrades available to me and a guest as a gold-level member?
Me: Do you mean to tell me that we have been flying coach back and forth to NC for the past year and a half for no reason whatsoever?
Jason: That's pretty much what I'm telling you.
Me: Well that's great.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Birthday Roundup Recap

Since it's been almost a week since my birthday, I figured it's about time to post about it. We just got back from Budapest last night so rest assured there will be much more to come.

My birthday started with breakfast in bed (including home made hashbrowns because they don't really have hashbrowns in my country) and this:


so I knew right away that it would be a great day.

And it was.

At the school where I volunteer, I was telling my kids that I wouldn't be there on Thursday because I was going on a trip for my birthday. Then when I left, they were out at recess and a big group of them was standing at the bottom of the stairs and yelled "Happy birthday!" when I walked out. I just wanted to eat them right up.

I got loads of cards and e-cards and email birthday wishes and blog shout-outs and that made me think about how lucky I am to have so many people who care enough about me to wish me well.

That evening, we had tickets to see the Mary Poppins musical which was sooooo great and the evening out was made even better by a pit-stop at an American-style diner for some pre-theatre chili cheese fries and onion rings. I may be high-maintenance in some ways but food is not one of them. Nothing could have made me happier than American junk food.


If you look closely, you can see the contents of my Tiffany bag around my neck. It was a gold Tiffany bean necklace. I know you may be thinking "Gold?" and Jason thought the same thing but I had mentioned recently that gold necklaces were back in style and I would like a nice simple, classic one. What's more classic than a Tiffany bean? Not much.

All in all, an absolutely fantastic 30th birthday. And I still had my Budapest trip to look forward to...

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Shout out from Budapest

Sooooooo, I sort of forgot to post that Jason was taking me to Budapest for my birthday trip. So I just kind of dropped off the face of the blogger planet without notice. But, here I am in the Executive Lounge at the Corinthia Grand Hotel Royal in Budapest so expect some excellent photos after we get back next week. I have to go now because some of the keys are in different places here on this Budapestian keyboard so it's taking me ages to type this. Peace.

Monday, February 12, 2007

'Sofficial!


Well, Jason and I rang in my 30th the best way we knew how. At midnight, I was sitting on the couch in my jammies, drinking champagne, and watching Sex and the City. And not just any episode. It was likely the perfect episode. Miranda and Steve are finally married and Samantha is diagnosed with breast cancer. Sort of serves as a reminder for all the things I'm grateful for: I've found my one true love, I've got the best girlfriends in the world, spanning not one, but two continents, and I've got my health. What more could a "twirty" girl ask for?

The end of an era

Despite an agreement with my Dad to not acknowledge our birthdays this year, I have come to terms with the fact that today is the last day I'll be able to say (truthfully anyway) that I'm "in my twenties". Sorry Dad, but I realized that not acknowledging my birthday meant no one else acknowledging my birthday which meant no presents and no special treats. And I'm just not willing to give that up.

Tomorrow, I am 30. 30. THIRTY. Thirty years OLD. I suppose that means I have to be mature now and do adult type things like washing my face before falling into bed and start thinking about having babies and hanging my clothes up at the end of the day and all that crap. (One of these things is not like the other. One of these things just doesn't belong.) Cheese and rice. I'm not ready for this.

Shenanigans in a Nutshell

Beth already pretty much covered this over at Shenanigans but if there's anybody who reads my blog and doesn't read hers (shame on you! you don't know what you're missing...), here is my photo diary of Beth's visit to London. Which is almost exactly the same as her photo diary of her visit to London.

After she finally made it here (with, surprisingly, very little delay considering a couple of centimetres of snow crippled London two weeks ago) we cut right to the chase and got down to business. Doing what every girl comes to London to do. Shop. So after we exhausted ourselves picking out hairbrushes (don't ask), we sat down to afternoon tea at Laduree.

The adorable menus


The adorable table


The adorable Beth


The ridiculously delicious and indulgent food


We couldn't stop looking at the "wall o' treats and sweets". It was so perfectly arranged in a rainbow of pastels.


After stuffing ourselves silly, we rolled into a cab and arrived at the theatre. The production was great and as an added bonus, we got to see them hand out some awards that weren't going to be announced till the next day. Of course, Idina Menzel won for her role of Elpheba. I just feel fortunate to have been able to see her when we went to Wicked back in the fall. I've never heard a powerhouse voice like hers. She's just unreal.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Snow! Holler!

We got more snow!!! Wheeeee! I can officially be excited about it now that Beth is in the country and not stuck on a tarmac in Dublin. I went out for a walk this morning to take some pictures of the park and the river from the top of Richmond Hill.








The gorgeous (and very expensive) Petersham Hotel







I have the best friends ever.

Last night I had Monique and Andrea over for a little Girl's Night In. We sat, we talked, we ate, we drank. They brought wine. I made food and "Valentinis". That's just a little something I do. I totally make up cocktails and serve them up. No recipe. Hmmm, always start with Vodka. Can't go wrong there. Now, what's my favorite mixer that's pink or red? Cranberry juice! And for the final piece de resistance, top it off with every girl's favorite. Champagne! Now you have yourself a Valentini.

Now the best part... Andrea knows how much I luuurrrrvvvvve diet Mountain Dew. Which is pretty much impossible to get here unless you want to A) Pay a month's wages and sign over your first born and 2) Schlep a case of soda cans on the tube. Well, she sees an off-license near her school and they're advertising that they have American soft drinks. And lo and behold, there they are! Two shiny green cans of energy. So she bought them for me. How much do I love her right now? Not to mention she provided me with my very first birthday card last night. (Well, at least the first one I'm allowed to OPEN. I'm talking to you, Aunt Sandy.)

And Monique... Well, I'm starting to think that Monique may be trying to fatten me up so she can serve me up for Christmas dinner or something. Between the cake they brought over for dinner, the second helping of dessert she tried to serve me when I went over to her place last Friday night, and the knock-your-socks-off box of chocolates she brought last night, I'm convinced of it. And just as I'm sure she intended, I ate another chocolate after they left. Maybe two. So while I may gain a stone being friends with her, she's totally worth it.

Then those bitches walked up on outta here and ain't even help me clean up.






Just joshin' girls ;-)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I want my husband back now please.

Since Jason doesn't travel all that much, I have to be honest and say that the first few days he's on a trip are usually somewhat of a novelty.

"Oooooh, I can eat cereal and M&M's for dinner if I want!!!"

"Eeeee, I get to watch America's Next Top Model in real time instead of recording it for later!!"

"Aaahhhh, I can read an entire issue of Vogue cover to cover without anyone poking me in the shoulder and asking me what I'm reading and why won't I pay attention to them."

"Ohhhhhh, I could spend all night on Net-a-Porter and Style.com looking at the New York Fashion Week coverage and all the designers' new collections without anyone telling me I have an unhealthy relationship with Marc Jacobs."

"I could watch an entire season of Felicity in bed if I so desired!"

"I could listen to Justin Timberlake on the Bose Dock non-stop!"

You see my point.

Those feelings last for all of about 2 to 3 days. Now that I've cultivated meaningful relationships with the staff at Hidden Dragon Chinese Delivery, the night manager at Papa John's, the lovely old man at the Lebanese deli, and the guy at Love Food (purveyor of one of the finest cups of Americano I've had outside of Italy), I would like to have my husband back please.

I've read till my brain can't read no more. I can tell you anything you want to know about Diane Von Furstenberg's spring dress collection or the new range of Chloe bags. I've listened to Futuresex/Lovesounds more times than I care to mention.

You see my point.

I would like Jason to come home at the end of the day and play a song on his guitar that goes something like "I wish my wife Heather would put down her magazine and tell me where she wants to go for dinnerrrrrr" and when I cut my eyes at him he'll say something like "What!?! I'm just playing a song. You've never heard that one before? Gosh, not everything's about YOU YOU YOU."

Then he'll play and sing along another line that goes something like "My wife is Heather Sanger and she's sitting here on the brown leather couch with me at our flat in Richmond just outside of Londoooonnnn. But she won't stop reading her Vogue January 2007 magazine and help me decide what movie to watch toniiiiiiight." And when I tell him to can it he'll say something like "Geez! I can't believe I'm not allowed to play songs on my guitar just because you've never heard them. It made the Billboard Hot 100 in like 2001 you know."

Then I'll roll my eyes but smile a little and say something like "Shut up. Let's go get Thai, you freak." And we'll go. And we'll eat Thai. And we'll talk about our days. And we'll come home and lay on the couch together until it's time to go upstairs and lay on the bed together. And we'll fall asleep with full tummies and warm feet and start all over again the next day.

So, yeah. I want my husband back now please.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Prepare to have your minds blown

On Thursday of this week, two blog worlds shall collide and who knows what may happen. (Make sure you say all that in your best "movie-trailer-narrarater-guy" voice.)

Ok, well... we've made a plan for the day so I guess we know what may happen. Pretty much we're going to meet up in Covent Garden for lunch, then to the National Portrait Gallery, then to Harrods for a bit of a shop and tea at Laduree, and see Wicked that evening.

But... WHAT will we eat??? WHICH exhibit will we see at the gallery???? WHAT will we buy at Harrods?????? WHICH tea and biscuits will we have?????? HOW MUCH will we love Wicked????????

Umm, well... I guess everybody knows how much we'll love Wicked because it's pretty much impossible not to love it and I saw it back in October and already loved it to bits.

BUT... stay tuned for answers to the other exciting questions and much much more!!!!

Oh yeah, it's Beth at Shenanigans by the way :) London awaits you, oh Goddess of Dublin.

Monday, February 05, 2007

The moment you've all been holding your breath for

So, I've terribly neglected my sidebar content as of late. But I got motivated enough to update my I'm Crushing section. If you're into geeky singer-songwriters, this one's for you!

The problem with my I'm Wearing section is that, over the winter, my style has been pretty steadfast. I'm still loving round-toe boots. Still dragging Edith with me everywhere I go. Still rocking the preppy-chic look in the form of sweaters and button down shirts. Still raking my hair back in headbands. I'll see if I can't dig something new up though.

The I'm TiVo-ing section is about to get a facelift because we finally have our SkyTV at the new flat and American Idol has started and America's Next Top Model begins tonight. However, our resolution to watch less TV still sticks because we've cut out pretty much all our other shows. I even deleted the old episodes off the Sky box.

Anyway, hopefully I'll get my rear in gear and keep on top of it now. I love how I talk about all this like anyone cares. I'm sure everyone's all "Oh dear! I shall simply perish if Heather doesn't tell me who she's crushing right now."

Sunday, February 04, 2007

How do I love thee? Let me count the bags.

Oh Chloe, you little minx. You've done it again. I never thought I could love another as I have loved Edith but sweet candy corn this is a stroke of design genius.

I introduce.... the Chloe Bay Bag.



Ain't it a beaut? What's more is they have one sitting right in the window of Matches which I have to walk by every single day. Mocking me. Haunting me.

I don't know if this is a holdover from Phoebe Philo's reign as Chloe chief designer or if this is the work of Paolo Melim Andersson, the new head honcho. As Philo departed in January 2006, I'm inclined to say that Andersson is responsible for this delicious piece. Either way, I salute you. Bravo. Bravo.