Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Ten on Tuesday, Vol. 15

1. What television character do you identify with?

I don't watch a lot of tv sitcoms, only reality shows and Glee.  Reality show people are picked because they are really out there and the Glee kids are in high school. 

2. Describe your morning routine.
Alarm goes off, hit snooze 5 thousand times (a bad, bad habit I'm trying to break), go to the bathroom, immediately jump in the shower, with my hair in a towel and robe on I check facebook (update all my ridiculous ongoing games like Farmville, Petville, Cafe World, I play a lot of them), check work email and mentally organize my work day, head back upstairs and get dressed, head to bathroom and do my hair and put on a bit of makeup if I have a meeting or am feeling ambitious, head out the door. This all happens in less than an hour.
3. How do you do lunch? Bring from home or dine out? Same thing every day or mix it up?
Sometimes I take leftovers. Sometimes I go to the overpriced deli next door. When I get my organized act together I have my office stocked with food so I don't have to leave.
4. What is one moment that, although seemingly trivial at the time, changed your life?
Deciding that even though I had never done it before, I was going to- just once- meet a guy from the internet (myspace to boot) for dinner. In a public place, of course. Something seemed different about him. 2.5 years later, we've been married for nearly 6 months. I actually almost wussed out and cancelled faking illness. So glad I didn't!

Sad fact: We actually lived down the street from each other, maybe a half mile apart. We likely would have never met any other way, we just would have seen each other around places and never spoke.  Or if he tried to talk to me (he's friendly) he would have just thought I was a biatch because I'm incredibly unfriendly to  men I don't know.  Like near mean unfriendly.

5. Name your top three beauty products.
1) Oil of Olay complete: great moisturizer that contains SPF.
2) Retken Spray Foam mouse: sprays straight on so your hands don't need to get involved.
3) St. Ives Medicated Apricot Scrub. Only thing that keeps my skin clear.
6. What do you do when you’re alone in the car?
I talk on the phone. I know, I know but it's the only time I really have to keep in touch with people... but hey! I use speaker phone.

7. What is the ideal city for you to live in? If you can, take this survey (< that’s a link) and tell us the results. Do you agree with them?
A small town feel where we can buy a house with a decent sized lot without breaking the bank but still has job opportunities. Somewhere where the people are nice, because where we live now is quite possibly one of the least friendly locations on earth. A place where the words "work/life balance" are not akin to cursing. I'd like to be near a lake or beach. Bill would love to never see snow unless we vacation TO snow ever again.

Definitely. Good job survey!

8. Are you waiting for something?
Nope, nothing.

9. What was the last shocking news you heard?
I can't think of anything, but then again I'm pretty darn hard to shock.

10. What are three things you wouldn’t do for a million dollars?
1) Murder
2) Prostitution
3) Abuse a child

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Age and clothing

I made it a goal this year to sort through my ridiculous amounts of clothing and weed out everything that doesn't fit and/or is not flattering. Quick backstory on this- 5 years ago I was a size 4. I was always tiny, so skinny that people constantly thought I was anorexic. You know how this story goes... I hit 25 and that amazing metabolism that kept me in the skinny clothes slowed down and I gained 40 lbs in 5 years. Actually I gained 35 lbs in about 3 and have been trying to lose (some) of it since, a feat that caused me to gain about 5 more. That means that I have a ton of stuff that I was holding onto in vain that is a size 4. Then there are the shirts that fit my considerably smaller boobage that won't even dream of buttoning now.

The second group of problem clothes is that, like many who were skinny skinny their whole life and then all of a sudden had a belly, and fat pockets, etc. I bought a ton of stuff that fit like sacks. I know people who have seen pictures of me are shaking their heads in disbelief (and trust me people who know me think I'm crazy as well because I'm not fat) but it's a mentality thing. I think carrying around 40 extra lbs no matter what size you started at and ended at takes adjustment. I was self conscious of every body area so I bought clothes that were the opposite of fitted, not realizing that in actuality it all just made me look fatter. Looking at pictures of myself in some of these clothes I look like I gained 80 lbs, at least, instead of just 40. Those need to go also.

The first part of it all was admitting that I will likely never be a size 4 again, my frame just isn't built for it. I'm too curvy. Also the amount of work required for me to be that size would be completely time and energy consuming. So all those clothes needed to go. The second part was realizing that though I am heavier than I used to be, I don't look bad. Embrace the curves, wear clothes that flatter your body type at the time and stop hiding behind the baggy clothes.

These are a few things that I have bought recently:

I love the cute sleeves on this top as well as the pink color- so summery! Plus it has a longer length, which is key since I have a really long body.

I own one pair of shorts. One. They are not flattering, which I only realized once our honeymoon pictures came back. Problem- they hit right in the middle of my knees which makes my legs look stumpy and they are so baggy that I look large (paired with an empire waist top I look 5 months pregnant). I am donating those so a middle aged mom can wear them and replaced them with these and a pair of shorts that *gasp* actually hit mid thigh. I couldn't find a picture because they sold out already, but they are incredibly cute and I think my husband wanted to jump up and down in joy when I tried them on because I was actually showing some leg.

The ones pictured hit above the knee- much more flattering length then mid knee no matter what length your legs are- and are form fitting so they won't make you look anything but what your body normally looks like.

I bought this as a neutral bottom that I could pair with just about anything. The skirt is a longer length (knee) and has great pockets. Warning though- the waist band is elastic in the back so if you have a phobia of elastic you may want to stay away from it, but its really comfortable to wear.

I am actually wearing this today. Open weave sweaters are great for that annoying period of time between seasons when the weather changes by the day. They breathe so you can adjust to the warmer afternoons but also provide a bit of warmth. The sleeves are a bell style 3/4 length and I'm just wearing a basic tank top underneath. One thing I have definitely learned is that if you are wearing a looser fit top, wear a fitted bottom. If you wear loose fitting on top and bottom- not attractive. Yes, seems simple but don't tell that to the numerous pictures of me from the past couple of years ignoring that idea.

Since oversharing is the theme of this post, I will admit to you that I sweat. A lot. While on men this may look manly and people don't pay attention, girls always have a different set of rules when it comes to bodily functions. If we sweat, we arent supposed to show it (cept when we work out). I live in the DC area and if you've never been here during August, don't come. The humidity and heat is off the charts. I can't stop the sweat, so the only way to hide it is to wear a lot of tank tops since sleeved shirts show sweat stains. Half of my wardrobe is tank tops and the lightweight material this one has is key.

All clothes from Old Navy. They have some great deals right now.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Ten on Tuesday, Vol. 14

1. When you were a senior in high school, what career did you think you’d choose? Did you? Why or why not?
Pediatrician. I went to college as Pre-Med but then decided that I was not the right type for medical school. For one, I was never going to be willing to study 20 hours a day and two, I didn't want to have to give up/delay having a family until I was through med school and residency and everything. Ironically I'm nearly the same age and have not started a family.

2. What one thing about the “real world” did you find most surprising once you were on your own?
The hardest adjustment for me was bill paying/organization. I am a bit naturally scatterbrained so I'd write out checks and forget to mail them, or not keep track of things well enough to realize that I never paid such and such bill that month. I'm just now pulling out of the bad credit hole that my first few years caused.

3. Name 3 things you think your closest friends DON’T like about you.
1. I'm habitually late. I try not to be but I just can't ever seem to make it places on time. "Kim time" is about 15 minutes after the designated time.
2. I have a hard time making standing commitments. Like if you want to do something every Thursday or meet at the gym every day at a particular time, I'll last a week and then stop doing it.

That's pretty much it, I think if there was a whole list of things they didn't like about me (or anything major) then we wouldn't be friends.

4. In order to sleep, do you need background noise or absolute quiet?
Background noise.

5. Why do you choose to reside in your current city? Yes, you have a choice
Since Bill's job is based around a specific building that is only here and my work is pretty much only based here, that's why. We really would love to move somewhere with a better cost of living and less urban, but anything we are interested in job wise tends to be major cities. Out of the options DC is the best, I would cut out my own eye before ever living in NYC.

6. Are you close to your parents?
No. My dad and I do not speak and though I call my mom once a day our relationship is essentially my feeling that I should do things rather then me wanting to spend time with her or talk to her. We just have never gotten along, nor do we have anything at all in common.

7. What is your favorite fiction book? Poem? Blog?
I don't have a favorite book per se, but I love Jodi Pinoult and Mary Higgins Clark. The Lady of Shallot. This Fish Needs a Bicycle.

8. Do you enjoy cooking or is it a chore?
I enjoy it.

9. Be honest. What one thing would (the majority of) your blog readers be shocked to find out about you?
One day about 6 months ago I decided that I was going to start cooking. Up until that point, except for rare occasions, the extent of my cooking was heating up water to make ramen. Oh, and I didn't eat red meat or pork for 10 years. You however, would not be surprised that bacon was my gateway to being a meat eater again.

10. If you were given your own national holiday, what would you require people to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner on the Day of You? Would there be a parade? Greeting cards?
Sunny side up eggs, bacon, home fries. A turkey sandwich with horseradish and avocado. For dinner you could pick between steak and mashed potatoes or steamed crab legs and spiced shrimp. Vegetarians would not like my holiday, they'd have to fast.
No parade or greeting cards, eating is much more important.

Read more Ten on Tuesdays here.

Photo Break

This past weekend I went with my friend Alaina to Richmond to see Wicked (for the first time).

The stage setup. Obviously we couldn't take pictures during, but I had to get a pic of the dragon.

The two of us. I wont even tell you how many pics we had to take to get one that was at all usable.

I had seen some awesome things people have done using Tiltshift Generator on iPhone, but this was the best I could do. Anyone have any tips?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday, Vol. 14

1. While making Shepherd's Pie for St. Patty's Day dinner, I grated my pinky finger. By grated I mean that I was grating carrots and then I grated my finger exactly as you would grate food. In other words, it was not a nick. I know this sounds awesome, but you don't need to try it out I can tell you that it hurts. It hurts (and bleeds) like a motherf*cker. I don't use that word often, but if there was an occasion for it it's this one. Trust me.

2. You can actually see where the hole is and look down into the hole to see 3 different layers down to the whitish layer. Also, when you just have a hole in the side of your finger, it's really hard to get it to stop bleeding. We were just wrapping band-aids around as tight as we could and then redoing it when I bled all the way through that band-aid. I will not show you a picture because that's probably TMI nor do I want to destroy your friday like that.

3. Oh, last thing- it's quite unfortunate when you have a hole in your finger at the exact spot that your hand rests against the surface while writing. I am writing with this awkward pinky out angle which makes me look like a delusional dame who thinks she's at tea. All the time.

4. We watched the Hurt Locker last night and I have to say, I expected it to be a lot better. It was alright, I guess. Not Best Picture worthy, though it didn't have a whole lot of competition (see also: Avatar).

5. The weather has been beautiful lately! Spring has definitely sprung. My allergies are completely out of control, Claritin is barely keeping me breathing but can only do so much.

6. I am heading to Richmond, VA on Saturday to see Wicked. I'm really excited :-) This is the first of two weekends in a row I'll be in Richmond (next week Alaina and I are doing the 10K), so instead of staying overnight both times we are just driving down and back up in the same day this time around.

7. I spent a pretty penny on clothes a couple days ago but I really needed some summer wear that is slightly more attractive then my norm. I never realized quite how bad it all looked on me until I looked at my honeymoon pictures. Now I will own a real pair of shorts that doesn't look like I'm swimming in them, plus a few more warm weather staples. In the same shopping vein, I was invited to a baby shower and because I hate Babies R Us (ick! too many babies and their crying!) I ordered it online. Does that make me a baby grinch? ;-)

Read more Quick Takes here.

Cleaning Schedules

In an attempt to be more organized I have gone through several versions of a cleaning schedule that

  • breaks it down into easier to tackle pieces so that I am not running around cleaning like a crazy person anytime I find out someone is coming over

  • is in an easy, detailed checklist format because I love being able to cross things off, it makes me feel accomplished

  • gets the house clean enough even for anal retentive me

    Now, in the interest of full disclosure I have not yet had a full week of success with this but I'm moving in the correct direction. Also, the beauty of it is that it's so detailed that if you miss a week or two of a particular room it's not going to be so bad.

    Things about me that you will see reflected in this list are:

    1) I hate cleaning cat boxes, I hate scooping them. Plus, we've stuck them downstairs in the basement so out of sight, out of mind. To help the cat's deal with the fact that their boxes will never be scooped once a day they each have their own. You will see that I clean their boxes twice a week. On Mondays I change the litter/wash the boxes and on Thursdays I scoop.

    2) I hate laundry. I am incapable of doing more than (at max) 2 or 3 loads at a time or I stop folding everything and just leave it in a basket in the middle of the floor to wrinkle. Due to this fact, I've split laundry up into pieces. I also cannot do that put a load in before you leave for work, dry when you get home every day and it doesn't stack up thing. Why? See above comment about out of sight, out of mind. We'd just end up with moldy clothes.

    3) Our trash and recyclables pickup is on Tuesday so you will see stuff stacked on Sunday and Monday that make sense keeping in mind the pickup schedule (minimizes the really stinky stuff sitting in the trash can for prolonged periods of time). This is extremely important during summers in DC when it's extremely hot and humid and our outdoor trash can is near our front door.

    4) We do not have kids. Thus we don't have as much laundry as someone with kids (especially infants and potty training kids), our house doesn't get as dirty, I have a ton more free time, etc.

    5) I have to put go through mail on every single day (may seem like a no brainer to most everyone else) because we have a horrible habit of just leaving it in a stack on the floor where it falls through the mail slot and then is shoved by the opening door at night. Then we sort through it anxiously when we think "hey, it's been awhile since we've paid such and such bill, it's probably time for it to be due again!"

    6) The Tidy-up line item will be used in the future but as of yet is not. We haven't reached a level of cleanliness yet that going around picking up errant messes (i.e. dishes left in random rooms, socks in corners, etc.) once a day is even feasible. Too hard to see, especially on our second floor which I've affectionately retitled the trash dump.

    7) I hate cleaning on weekends, it just seems like a waste of a perfectly good weekend. I prefer to just get all that annoying stuff out of the way during the week but I know many people feel differently.

    8) The abbreviations up top are what rooms I'm working on that day. Some of the abbrevations only make sense to me so I'll explain- on Monday I am covering the Kitchen (K), Basement (B), Trash (T) and Bathroom (BA). This does not mean I fully clean every one of those rooms that day. For the Basement I Clean Cat Boxes, Sweep, and Mop. For the Kitchen I wipe countertops, wipe cabinets, clean stove/oven, wash sink, sweep, and mop. Since I already have the mop bucket filled and the mop out I head upstairs and mop the Bathroom floor as well, but that's the only thing I clean in the bathroom that day. For trash, I change all the trash bags which includes the basement, bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, etc.

    9) Essentially it works out to focusing on one room each day plus doing a few extras that make sense based on what else you are doing (like not having to fill the mop bucket twice a week). Monday is Basement and Kitchen, Tuesday is Living Room and Dining Room, Wednesday is the Bedroom, Thursday is the Bathroom and Saturday is the Office. I put the Office on the weekend because Bill's home then and I'm not sorting through his stuff and half the office is his.

    If you are looking for a cleaning schedule, feel free to steal and modify according to your own idiosyncrasies and habits. I also have it in Word for easier modifications, you can just move everything around. Just email me and I'll send it to you. Click on the images to make them bigger.

  • Tuesday, March 16, 2010

    Ten on Tuesday, Vol. 13

    1. Quick! Zombies are coming!! What do you do?
    Barricade myself at home and find my husband's gun. Aim for the head! :-P

    2. Whew, that was a close one. …I think your phone is ringing. Oh, it’s your best friend! She thinks she’s been bitten by a zombie. What advice do you give her?
    Stay at home, hide and I'll come to you! Then I'll go and observe her from afar. If she's okay she'll come with me. If she was infected I'll run because I don't want to have to shoot her.

    3. You realize it’s time to leave your current location because it’s clearly not safe anymore. Are you going to move at night or day? Defend your reasoning.
    Day. Easier to see what's coming at you. Plus, I don't think zombies sleep so there's zero reason to move at night. Do they sleep?

    4. During your relocation, you come across a weapon superstore. My, that’s convenient. What kind of weaponry do you choose?
    Shotguns. They'll do more damage. Bigger shells.

    5. As you leave, an old lady on the side of the street begs you to help her. Do you? Why or why not?
    No. She may have been bitten. When zombies attack it's everyone for themselves to survive!

    6. Good choice, you’re clearly a good person to have around in a zombie apocalypse. Oh hey, there’s a wifi signal here! You can’t stay long but this is your chance to gather some intel on the current situation. What’s the first website you check?
    cnn.com to see if there's zombie free areas and/or safe zones set up and if they know what caused it. If so, I'll head there- if they at least have a cause I'll be able to plan better.

    7. SHH! What was that noise?!
    Eeek! Zombie tried to sneak up on me. Pesky little buggers.

    8. I think it’s time to get out of here. I hope you have a plan. Where are you going now?
    To find food and then to head for a safe zone.

    9. Wait a minute, that looks like a bite mark on your arm… You may be infected too! Will you tell other people?
    No. We'll wait and see what happens. For the record I would not have a bite mark on my arm because I'm wiley and skilled and no zombie will better me!

    10. How does this story end?
    I find a zombie free area and survive until all the zombies are gone. One person always has to survive.

    Read more Ten on Tuesdays here.

    Monday, March 15, 2010

    March Birthdays!

    Only picture I ended up getting of Bill, ignore Melanie's crazy facial expression ;-)

    Much better, Mel.

    Me, Alaina and Linds. As usual, I'm ruining the picture with a strange facial expression.

    Alaina and I.

    We were smart and wrote everyone's names on the cups since they all looked alike.

    We had a great time! Bonus: both Bill and I took today (his actual birthday)off and got a three day weekend. Hope everyone had a good weekend too!

    Friday, March 12, 2010

    7 Quick Takes, Vol. 13

    1. I am a little neurotic. I know some of you who either read this blog constantly and/or know me in real life are like "no... really?" and shaking your heads asking why I would think this was news. I regress, I'm a little neurotic. This manifests itself in different ways such as my thinking constantly that I never work hard enough, am going to get awful evaluations and then fired. As of yet, that has never occurred and in actuality get incredibly good evaluations. This was the year though that my neurosis went off the charts because I've had what you could call a hard year at work (that's putting it mildly). Once again though, I was completely off base and got a great eval.
    *sigh of relief*

    2. Speaking of neurosis, on Wed night I climbed up onto the dining room table to fully reach the dining room chandelier to dust it. I'm so glad nothing broke (me included). I just didn't trust the jump/swipe method to get it clean enough.

    3. I bite my nails. I tend to think that it's a genetic thing because my dad also bit his nails plus I started at a very young age and have never had any other oral fixation symptoms. Never sucked my thumb, hated bottles, etc. I've tried every method under the sun to quit; bad tasting gels, bright nail polish, having a mother pull my hand out of my mouth constantly while growing up, having a husband telling me to stop it in disgust. Nothing works... except for acrylics. Simple reason: I can't bite through them. I wore acrylics constantly for years but then got tired of them and haven't for awhile.

    ... my past couple of weeks have led me to get them again. Kim's fingernails= stubby, bloody stumps.

    TMI? Eh, that's why we read blogs, isn't it?

    4. Speaking of bottles, true story: when I was a little over a year I looked directly at my mom, she swears I smiled while doing it, unscrewed the top of the bottle and dumped it on her bed. That was the last time I ever drank out of a bottle and actually a perfect illustration of the type of child I was. Kharma is going to be a biatch.

    5. I have become a rather proficient cook but am an awful baker. So bad, in fact, that I once made a batch of chocolate chip cookies that had such a bad spongey texture that my husband wouldn't even eat them. I'm determined to work on this, because it just makes no sense. Why can I do one and not the other? This weekend I'm attempting chocolate souffle cupcakes with white chocolate mint cream for a double bday party thing we are having. Wish me luck, and cross your fingers and toes. I'll need it.

    6. Interesting fact about my group of friends. Not one of us has a birthday in our own month. Not even the guys we brought in later because we dated/married them. We have 2 in March, 3 in April, 3 in June and 2 in September. With the bunching issue it makes little sense to celebrate each one individually because
    1) we'd be going out every weekend of the month
    2) it would get incredibly expensive

    so instead we just celebrate once each month and group everyone together trying to do an activity everyone approves of. First on tap-for the two guys of March- dinner and bowling.

    And my awesomely good cupcakes! (Banking on the power of positive thinking)

    7. I think I'm losing weight. I'm not really actively trying to, and of course that's when it happens. My attendance at Weight Watchers has been spotty so I'm not sure of my exact weight, but my pants aren't fitting anymore in the waist and my belly is getting flatter. I'm not complaining, it's just... odd.

    Read more here.

    Tuesday, March 9, 2010

    Ten on Tuesday, Vol. 12

    1. Of your current hobbies, which would you choose to spend more time, money, and effort on? Why?

    2. List the two other hobbies/habitual activities (not chores) besides the one listed above that you regularly do now and didn’t choose in question one.
    Television watching, reading.

    3. Why are you spending time on the above two hobbies/habitual activities at all if you really wanted to spend your time on the first one you chose? …or to put it another way, what are these two hobbies/habitual activities fullfilling that the first one doesn’t if you don’t want to put all your effort into the first hobby?
    TV watching is a stress reliever to me, sometimes you just have to sit and do nothing. Reading is a form of escapism. I understand the purpose of this question but it's unrealistic, I think, to say that people should concentrate solely on the one thing that makes them happiest. It's kind of like when you like a song and then you listen to it on repeat for a week straight. You wouldn't like it so much anymore.

    4. Read John 3:16 in the bible… In what way does this passage affect you? What are your feelings towards these words, positively or negatively?
    It gives me hope that this world isn't the best it gets. It's also the core of my belief system and the reason I have zero fear of death.

    5. M&M’s: nuts, no nuts, or peanut butter?
    I don't like M&Ms, but the only ones I'll stick in my mouth at all are the peanut butter ones.

    6. Putting away the feeling of pride being a bad thing; what secretly/openly are you proud about yourself?
    My self-sufficiency.

    7. Given one room in the house to do with what you want, not changing the actual size of the room and with all the money you would need, what would you do, and be specific? (this can range from bouncy floor,walls & ceilings; to hard wood floor with wood paneling and purple ceiling with a chair; to nothing)
    My house has tiny rooms, so you can't really do much more then each room has in it already. I'd love a dream bathroom but there no room in the current space. So I'll focus on the kitchen. I'd replace the appliances, and install a dishwasher.

    8. What’s the next movie you’re going to see? Not what you’d LIKE to GO see, but the next movie you realistically are going to watch.
    We just went to a movie this past weekend and we don't go that often (they are expensive!) so nothing for a little bit. Unless you count Netflix.

    9. Use the keyboard only and make your best smiley/funny/cool face –> like this! 8^)

    10. What makes you cry? What makes you pray? What makes you laugh?
    Stress and frustration make me cry, the safety and health of my family makes me pray and my husband and cats make me laugh.

    Read more here.

    Monday, March 8, 2010

    Sundresses and wedges, oh my!

    We have finally started to enter a prolonged thaw period and all these warmer temps are making me start thinking of spring. With spring comes thoughts of dresses and sandals and other warm weather clothes that make me happy.

    Here's a few dresses I love right now:

    From Modcloth. Confession, I love Modcloth's clothes however I have never, and probably will never buy anything from them. I look. I covet. However, I never pay $50+ for any item of clothing that isn't 1) boots or 2) coats. I love this dress though, both the pattern and the simplicity of it. It exudes the casual feeling of warm weather dressing that I love.

    I buy 95% of my work clothes from Chadwicks. They have a killer clearance section and it isn't a long wait from when you notice something that you love but is too expensive full price until it ends up in the sale/clearance section at a more affordable price. This has a vintage feel with a bright spring color. Plus it gives me the coverage I want at work without having to put a sweater over top of it or a tank top underneath.

    I love this entire outfit from Old Navy. From the dress to the shrug sweater to the necklace. Probably the only thing I would change is that I'd wear flats with it. These long dresses are so comfortable that if I could I would live in them 100% of the time in the summer. I already have two. I hope this trend doesn't leave anytime soon.

    For shoes, I never buy shoes from anywhere but Payless (unless they are on a deep, deep discount rack but those usually aren't available online), so that's where both these images are from. Honestly, I get many compliments on my shoes and they are always comfortable so I see no reason to pay more.

    I'm loving the wedge fad right now. Wedges are like the best of both worlds, comfortable like flats but add the height and the leg muscle definition of heels. Add a bright color and it's perfect for spring. Just a warning though, do not pair bright colored shoes with bright colored clothes. You'll look like a bridesmaid with those dyed to match your ugly dress shoes. Wear neutral colored clothes, pop with accessories. Wear bright clothes, pair with neutral accessories.


    Last, I discovered an Iphone app called Stylebook where you put in the clothes you have in your closet and you can pair them together in outfits. The uber organizer in me thinks it may be a handy tool to plan out my work outfits for the whole week on Sundays so it streamlines my morning routine. Plus, I'm hoping it will eliminate my being out and saying "I think I need a black sweater" and then realizing in 2 months that actually I have 5 black sweaters that are almost identical.

    Friday, March 5, 2010

    7 Quick Takes Friday, Vol. 12 (the Iphone addition)

    1. During the Olympics I watched both of the USA vs. Canada games and I really enjoyed them both. Normally I'm more of a love hockey in person not so much on tv type of person, but they really played for the jugular. You could TELL each team wanted it and wanted it bad and that is just intoxicating to watch. I wish they both could have won... though technically they did. I mean USA won one and Canada won one- isn't that kind of a tie? They should play again! ;-) Interesting tidbit that you may have missed: every single player on both teams plays for the NHL. In the Olympics that generally isn't true.

    2. I have really been struggling with friendship lately. It has occurred to me that friendship defined is different to different people and I'm wondering if due to my experiences my idea of it is kind of warped. For example, I have a lot of guilt when I realize that there are people I just don't like, but that's allowed isn't it? I mean not allowed to be rude to them but isn't it allowed to just realize once in awhile that there are people you just don't have enough in common with to pursue a true friendship with (vs. an acquaintanceship)? Also, when someone asks you your opinion about someone else are you supposed to just be vague or is it okay to say this is my experience, not saying it will be yours but just something I've noticed? Or should you just let them come to conclusions on their own? Last, I have a habit of never really liking to make waves. So unless bothering me is huge, I don't see the point in even mentioning it. According to someone I was speaking to, you are supposed to mention it if it's a (minor) frustration. I just don't know if I agree with that.

    3. If you have been paying any attention lately you know that I just got a new iPhone. I was kind of reluctant because they are just so trendy and I definitely thought about getting a Blackberry instead. But there was a good deal, so we ended up with two. It's amazing, I'm not going to lie. I have lists, lists for my lists and then lists for my lists for my lists. And there's an app for it all. Most importantly- I can keep my calender on me any time I have my phone, thus I can write down everything immediately so I'll never forget anything again. (I have a horrible memory, causing a lot of frustration to all those involved)

    4. One of my favorite apps is Grocery IQ- which gives you the ability to make shopping lists for each different store you go to. Now, anytime I realize we are running low or I need something (or want something) I can just add it to the store it would be from. When I get enough items, I run to that store and am focused. There's no more of that "I know I'm forgetting something..." nor fumbling with a piece of paper and a pen that keeps either falling to the bottom of your purse or falling through the cart rungs.

    5. I have Evernote, Awesome Note (for to-do lists), CalenGoo, and Mint for organization apps. Does anyone have any other productivity/organization apps that they recommend. Organizational systems are a bit like crack to me.

    6. Does anyone else listen to The Dana Show? I discovered it lately and actually really enjoy it. I generally vote democrat so she leans a bit conservative for me, however I think that most of us are fed up with big businesses and lobbyists having so much say up on the hill. So, for that reason, her show is enjoyable for me. I've been working really long hours this week and listening to talk radio is actually better than music because it's kind of like you can pretend that you have someone to talk to. Does that sound pathetic? Yeah... I thought so.

    7. As someone who was really reluctant to try Pioneer Woman's recipes, consider me a convert. They are easy to make, use ingredients anyone has sitting around which is great and most importantly- tasty! Since you all were right about that site, maybe I'll give Smitten Kitchen another chance (it's also been highly recommended).

    More Quick Takes here.

    Thursday, March 4, 2010

    Bravo Wrap-Up

    My new feature in which I blog about of the Bravo TV shows in the past week in a free thought format. I watch all of them, pretty much, so the featured show will rotate.

    Millionaire Matchmaker:
    There were two I hadn't seen, both the 9 and the 10.

    Patti has a radio show with advice people couldn't do without- like every 3 times he initiates, you do to keep him on his toes. Nothing says spontaneous like following a schedule. Oh and give good BJs.

    Jason Davis (aka Gummy Bear)- Wow, he's only almost 25 years old? Patti is concerned no one will be sexually attracted to him, which is true because he's nasty. Anyone who has seen a tabloid in the last 5 years knows that. Patti thinks her assistant's hair spikes have attacked his brain for letting Gummi Bear sign up for their club.

    Jason has the most annoying grating high voice in the world. He's also crazy.

    Ideal girl: doesn't give two shits what anyone thinks of them like him. Clearly- since he has teddy bears that he used to talk for him. Patti thinks the crazy is from walls he's put up to protect himself. I think the crazy is just from the crazy... and years of drug use with a dose of growing up in Hollywood thrown in.

    He has that idealized idea that everyone should love you for whatever you are even when they first meet you, even when you have nasty dirty fingernails and look like a smelly homeless person.

    Oh I'm blind! Naked Jason Davis only wearing tighty whities. My eyes! My eyes! I hate you Bravo for doing this to me.

    Question: Does he use a cane because he has to or because he thinks it's awesome? I really truthfully cannot tell.

    First off, he insults a girls necklace, which probably means that now she likes him.

    Next a girl tells a p**** joke, which is uber classy. Jason remarks that at least she has a mild sense of humor, so picks her for one of his mini dates. I'm not surprised. Surprisingly she turns out to be a nurse who works nights. And actually isn't funny at all, he declares her boring.

    He asks girl #2 what she likes to do and tells her not to BS him. She's like okay, I like shopping and gambling. She has Gummy Bear at the word gamble but covers it up and claims that it's because she's kind.

    On the date:

    Stephanie says that she doesn't take too many things seriously and just laughs everything off. She may actually be the only person possible for him. Surprisingly he pulled out all the stops for the date...except there's a monkey. He claims it's because monkeys are smart and can tell if a girl is good or not and implies that he can't. So he's less smart then a monkey on a leash. The monkey likes Stephanie and Jason does too.

    Now they are farting because that's what we all do on first dates.

    Ew! She kissed him. Multiple times. If anything, this proves there's someone out there for everyone. No matter what.

    *right about now Lea sat on my hand making it incredibly difficult to type, sigh!*

    Post date:
    Jason tells Patti that he asked Stephanie out again for a second date but oh surprise! she has a boyfriend! Wait, what? Patti wants to start over and really wants to meet the monkey, who apparently was wrong with it's girl good-dar.

    David- Wants a girl with a Meg Ryan personality, smiley eyes. He quotes Sleepless in Seattle which Patti interprets as "bells and whistles." Early 30s-early 40s but wants kids. Declares he seems perfect but can't be or he wouldn't be signing up with Patti. He's 50, but quite hot. then reveals he originally was an actor and model, not surprising. He runs 8 miles 5 days a week. He reveals what's wrong- he doesn't approach people. Patti is giving him a "hunter, fisher" life coach.

    The life coach doesn't believe that David really has no idea what to do or how to approach people, he says that's just not possible. They do "trial by fire" in which they discover that all he does is talk about himself and about stuff in general. He doesn't allow for ebb and flow or ask them anything. The girls interject "just pretend you care, even if you don't- we can't tell the difference" which is actually really true.

    Patti is super sneaky and put in an older millionairess for David- of course they hit it off immediately. He ends up picking a 25 year old and the millionairess, then picks the 25 year old. Patti is pissed off and tells him off. David follows her lead but I have to wonder what Leslie is going to think when she watches this show, which makes me sad for her.

    On the date:
    Leslie has 3 sons (wow! she looks great!) and is happy that Patti told David already that she is a millionairess. I'm glad that he told her that. They seemed to hit it off and she wants to go out with him again but my hunch is he'll claim there's no chemistry and wants the 25 year old. We'll see if I'm right.

    Post date:
    I'm right! He has a problem with her age and that she has 3 kids. Patti declares he just wants a baby maker and writes him off.

    Patti has a wedding planner that she liked. She wants a funkified wedding that's kosher for 300 people. I will be amazed if the wedding planner makes it to the end without being replaced. She also throws Chelsea a birthday party and gets her a stripper who is a "detective." I find all cop and detective stripper characters hilarious because some people *cough* get that every day. Booyah.

    Jimmy D is back! but he's changed because he's a year older and got his head bashed in in a fight. He HAS changed, now he goes everywhere with two massive bodyguards, probably to avoid getting his head bashed in again. I may be alone, but I find him absolutely hilarious and he's cute. He apparently also stopped drinking, comes across as calmer and stopped talking about himself in the third person. That makes him much less entertaining.

    Patti is throwing in the curve ball test of the girl old Jimmy D picked before, the girl that she thought was either a porn star or a hooker.

    Jimmy D's bodyguards hate him, which is amusing.

    He picks Angel, who was Patti's trap. Patti is annoyed. Angel is happy because she gets to go to Vegas on her date.


    Woah, she gets to play poker with Phil Hellmuth. It's like my dream date (not really, but I'd at least appreciate it, a lot). She's never played before, so it's completely lost on her but she just happens to win the first hand, probably because the big poker guys were in shock that they actually had to play with that. Also, she apparently smells like alcohol and Jimmy D thinks she's drunk. I dunno if she's drunk but she isn't very smart.

    The suspense escalates because Angel goes up to change and disappears. She claims that she threw up and now is asking for money, and also will not let him into her room. That he paid for. Jimmy D has learned that instead of insulting her he'd just cut his losses and go do something else. He gets permission from Patti to call Whitney who lives in Vegas who shows up even though she hates to be second choice because apparently "everyone knows" Jimmy D and how outrageous he is so she's curious.

    Post Date:

    Angel won't pick up her phone, shocker. Whitney says she liked seeing another side of him and wants to go out with him again. Jimmy D now understands that it's his fault he picked the wrong person and its not just them being crazy.

    Mateo is 42 and christian who wants a beautiful, hot, petite, not divorced, christian mother of his children... oh, and who's positive. He actually has a list.

    Within 3 minutes he's mentioned that he was one of the original Microsoft millionaires 3 times. I think he's proud of that fact.

    Patti is trying to bring up sex and he's avoiding it because he doesn't think it's appropriate. Ooo, now she's making the penis gesture and talking about it. Maybe his head will explode out of embarrassment. His last girlfriend left him for his friend, that's harsh. Poor guy.

    He reiterates that he must have a christian girl...

    ...then he ends up picking Angela, who is Jewish.


    They went to a horse track, which is a date I'd never enjoy because I think horse racing is cruel and inhumane. /step off soapbox

    Patti knows that religion is a dealbreaker but bites her tongue, but then of course right off the bat they realize that they are incompatible due to religion not even halfway through dinner.

    Post Date:

    Mateo is very cute and upbeat about the whole thing and is just like well I tried something new and it didn't work out. Oh well! Patti will get him someone else.

    Tuesday, March 2, 2010

    Ten on Tuesday, Vol. 11

    1. If you were given an hour to use a $200 Amazon gift card, what would you buy?
    A kindle. (I'd have to throw in some of my own money too, though)

    2. Are there any fairly common foods that you’ve never had?
    I doubt it. If you asked me that even 3 years ago there would be more, but I'm willing to try pretty much anything. And have tried pretty much anything I've had the chance to which includes most common foods.

    3. What was your favorite way to use your imagination as a kid?
    I imagined that all my stuffed animals were real and they all lived with me. So my stuffed monkey had a cage and I had an inflatable alligator in a kiddy pool in my bedroom (no water, that's where my mom drew the line).

    4. What’s your favorite state? Why?
    That's an odd question... I don't know that many states but I like things about each that I've been to. The sunny climate in Southern California, the numerous gorgeous trees and forests in Virginia and the Rockies in Utah.

    5. If it was our culture to have our parents choose our spouses, do you think yours would make a good choice?
    No. One, my mom doesn't really know anything about me or who I am. Two, she really has no clue what makes people compatible with each other. Not to be mean, just a fact- she's relationship retarded.

    6. What’s your favorite herb?

    7. If you could have dinner with one celebrity, who would you choose?
    Neil Patrick Harris.

    8. What’s your favorite Disney movie?
    Finding Nemo

    9. If you had to listen to the same song over and over for 24 hours, what song would you choose?
    Currently- Viva la vida and All Summer Long. Yeah, I have horrible taste in music. I embrace that fact.

    10. How do you order your steak?
    Medium Well.

    Read more Ten on Tuesday here.

    Monday, March 1, 2010

    March Resolution Check In

    1) Organize our office and basement
    I'd love to say I've started on this, but I haven't.

    2) Go to bed earlier/get up for work on time
    My new work schedule seems to be 9-5 instead of 8-4. But it's consistent so that's progress, now I'll concentrate on waking up earlier.

    3) Create and follow a regular cleaning schedule
    I've been through a couple that just haven't worked for me. I have a new one starting this week that may be better.

    4) Sew one item of clothing from scratch
    Not yet. I haven't even figured out how to work my sewing machine yet. Soon though!

    5) Settle into a workout schedule where I work out consistantly (at least) three days a week
    I've been going back and forth with this. I got into working out then it snowed... a lot. Then I wasn't feeling well. And then today I had everything to go but then realized I forgot shoes. *sigh*

    6) Run two 10Ks
    One coming up at the end of the month! Not sure how much of it Alaina and I will run, but we'll finish it. We're determined like that.

    7) Purge and create a workable wardrobe
    Definitely making progress. A ton of disliked, old and ill-fitting stuff has left the house. Was replaced with a few better pieces, but not so much that I end up back in the same pickle. Work in progress.

    8) Make the kitchen window curtains
    See above about not even figuring out how to work my machine yet.

    9) Stop drinking soda

    10) Finish the quilt I've been working on for years

    11) Start a monthly dinner potluck club with the girls
    First meeting happened, but I missed it because I was sick :-( March was scrapped due to scheduling issues so tbd in April!

    12) Get my clothes altered so they fit correctly
    Have 2 pairs of pants there now. Yay me!

    13) Find a job in a smaller city
    After the couple weeks I've had this seems even more pressing. Sigh!

    14) Take more photos
    So far so good.

    15) Eradicate 25% of my debt this year (including student loans)
    Making great progress. I also have an emergency fund started and have raised my credit scores more than 100 points since I last checked (like 8 months or so ago).

    16) Build up a savings account
    Check! Will keep going. It's kind of addictive.

    17) To keep up with my email inbox so I don't blink and end up with 900 plus email messages
    Have realized that the key to this is my brand new iPhone. When you can constantly check your email it keeps things under wraps, right now I'm working on getting my email cleaned out and properly filed and keep finding things from months ago that I totally never saw.

    18) To concentrate on work at work, concentrate on home at home
    Small steps. It's hard to create a hard divide, I've realized.

    19) Eat better portion sizes, better balanced meals
    My portion sizes are definitely getting more under control and as long as I stick to my meal plans and cook dinner instead of grabbing fast food, they are better balanced. I just need to stick to the meal plans better.

    20) Start eating breakfast
    Not at all. This requires me to get up earlier than the minimum amount of time for me to get ready and get to work.

    21) Be better organized and on top of things at work
    Definitely getting better about this. When I get frazzled I get stressed out and then everything goes to hell in a handbasket but I'm working on that too.

    22) Take the time to read a book a month