Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday Weekly Goals

It's sunny here this morning, which I'm so grateful for, but whenever it's sunny in the dead of winter, I just crave spring that much more. If you just look at the sky (and not the inches of dirty snow on the ground) it almost looks like it could be late March. But then you realize that it's 15 degrees outside. At least tomorrow is February and then I can say "next month is spring". Never mind the fact that we usually get major snowstorms in March. It sounds like spring.

I have officially completed one whole month of eating better, being more active and drinking less. I am SO happy I did this, and I think I've finally hit the point where it's now a habit and not a struggle. I made my end of the month goal weight and I'm so excited at the prospect of getting down another five pounds next month. I'm scared that I'm going to plateau at some point in there, but until then, I'll just keep doing what I'm doing.

So here are my goals for this week:
1. Stick to the diet with only one cheat meal this week.
2. Go to the gym five times.
3. Start my new weight training routine.
4. Drink 3 full bottles of water daily (I think it's a 24 oz bottle)
5. Get up early to work every day.
6. Stress less--set aside ten minutes each day to "meditate" aka sit quietly with no tv, phone, computer.
7. Keep the house clean--it stresses me too much when it's messy.

What are your goals for this week?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Update on my butt and boobs

I thought the title might get some additional hits from pervs?

I'm updating on the status of my ass, the progress of my pooch, the betterment of my boobs.
Well remember how the last time I posted about weight, I was a little leery about making it to my midpoint weight goal by the end of the month? (January 31st was my goal date ). Well the next day, I weighed myself and I was at my goal number, on the dot. I swear I was beaming. I thought maybe it was a fluke, but sure enough it stuck, and by the end of this week I was another .6 pounds down. I feel pretty fantastic about that.

As I keep losing weight, I realize that I might need to go below my initial goal weight. I know that sounds like I'm a crazy person, so I should explain. I talked to my mom about this and she's a pretty straight shooter. Even though I'm an average height, 5'5", I have a very small build. Like narrow shoulders and just small-boned. So my weight in pounds looks more on me than it would on someone with a more substantial build. I bet if someone were to guess my weight, they would think that I weigh a lot more than I do. I have fat on my stomach that I want to get rid of and some love handle issues.

I rely heavily on the numbers on the scale. It's not that there's really an ideal number that I think is "skinny", its just that I'm more successful if I have a concrete goal in mind. If I see the number on the scale go down a little each day, I feel like I'm making progress. This is why I have been avoiding weight training. I know how important weight training is for fat loss and for generally looking better. Muscle mass burns calories more efficiently. However, because I rely so heavily on the weight numbers going down, I worry that I will get discouraged if the muscle mass causes the scale numbers to stall. But I realized I was being stupid and decided to go ahead and start lifting. I'll have to rely more on the fit of my clothes and how I look in the mirror to be a judge of where I'm at with my goals.

Guys, I'm so happy I did this. I feel so much better about myself. I've always wanted to feel like a "healthy person", someone who eats good nutritious foods and has an active lifestyle. I think I'm getting there. My love for junk food will never die, but as I become more conscious of my health, the junk food is holding less value.

Now, with all that said, the thing that keeps me sane is that I allow myself to cheat every once in a while (on weekends, usually). On Friday, I went out to dinner with my best friend, to celebrate her birthday. We both have an obsession with crab legs. They have built a new casino in my city and we had heard great things about their buffet, which has a seafood night on Fridays. So we went and it did not disappoint. I'm usually against buffets, the gross me out, but this one was super clean, the food was out on clean white platters, not those stainless steel cafeteria-style warming trays. The best part, by far, was the dessert section. Gourmet cupcakes, tiny little carmel apple mouse martinis, creme brulee, baklava, plus a million other things. I had a bite of each and was satisfied.

Are any of you doing this, trying to lose some weight, or eat healthier, change your body or your lifestyle? I'd love to read your blog! I'm constantly trying to find blogs about people in the same boat, for motivation. Just comment with a link to your last post about it. Thanks!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Tax Time Adventures

So have you ever had one of those experiences where you think, "Holy shit, I need to blog about this"?  And I actually said it out loud, and God bless my husband, he didn't call me a nerd. So here's our Friday adventures, in pictures. We were going to get our taxes done. Usually we do them ourselves, but my taxes are complicated since I'm technically a small business owner. We wanted to make sure that we got all the possible deductions. Enter Bob. Bob came recommended to us by a work friend of Frank's. Frank had been to his office one other time, and when I told him that I would join him this morning, he said "Um, just be prepared. His office is different than you might image." Ok . . . his office was in a yuppy fancy suburb of our city, so I kind of expected it to be nice. But, ok maybe it's not so nice.

We parked on the street and walked to the entrance of a residential apartment building. The door didn't open, so we had to ring the doorbell. A sweaty guy in basketball shorts ran to let us in. Then we descended the steps into the basement of the building. Here's the view looking into the tax guy's office:

That bark-patterned thing? It's a couch. It was epic and I wanted to make an offer for it on the spot. And behold the brown/orange shag carpeting. They had us sit in the "waiting area" until they were done with a client. These are our views from the waiting area:
This is looking to the right.

This is looking to the floor.

Finally, Bob was done with his client and invited us into the office. Awkward, semi-obvious cell phone picture taking ensued. 
This is the best picture I could get of the couch. I'm sad its not a better picture, but you win some, you lose some. I couldn't tell if it was supposed to be representational of tree bark or some kind of black, brown and gold batik/tie die deal.

This guy got a little more credibility when I saw the vintage typewriter. I mean I would love to have a vintage typewriter in my office as a home decor prop. I was in love with it. And I thought, maybe he's going for a vintage look for the office? Maybe this is all part of the plan. But then I realized it wasn't.

The typewriter was this guy's computer. Because he didn't have one. The whole time we were sitting there, this guy was drinking coffee from a plastic cup and cutting out pictures from postcards with safety scissors. Also, you can't really tell in this picture, but there were random Virgin Mary's all over the place. That's a calendar to the right of him. The calendar was a typical picture of a tropical beach scene, but it had an image of the virgin mother just randomly Photoshopped in.

The floor was tasty.

The tasteful rust-colored velvet chair cushion.

Okay, I feel like this post was sort of mean-spirited. I'm really not like that. The office was just SO shocking that I wanted to document it. But there is a moral to this story. Don't judge a book by the cover. If this guy hadn't been recommended, I would have run out the door so fast. But this guy did a kick-ass job on our taxes and saved us a bunch of money. Not like H&R Block where they would have Turbo Taxed it in five minutes. This guy really took his time and thought of EVERYTHING that we could deduct (and legally, I might add) to get the best possible return. There is definitely something to be said for "the little guy". The end.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Day 1: A picture of yourself with ten facts

Day 1: A picture of yourself with ten facts.

1. I am the middle of three girls, my mom was the middle of three girls, my grandma was the middle of three girls and it might go back even further.
2. My husband is the only person I've seriously dated, not counting high school. Didn't mean for it to happen that way, but it did, and I don't regret it.
3. I want to be a paranormal investigator but I'm too scared.
4. I can draw portraits, pretty well actually.
5. I tested in the top 100th percentile for my musical abilities but never ended up doing anything with music. I'd like to learn to play the piano though.
6. I've always been strictly a cat person, until I got a dog.
7. I was an accountant for two years until I got so fed up that I quit with two days notice. When my boss asked me why, I said I got another job as a babysitter.
8. I started my own business, doing copywriting for marketing companies. It actually worked.
9. I have anxiety disorder and panic attacks, but I've become pretty good at managing it.
10. I'm never satisfied.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

30 Days of Pictures

I borrowed stole this idea from Shelly's blog I think this is going to be so much fun! And just as she prefaced it, I'll probably never finish this. But it's fun to pretend. Here are the rules:

Day 01 – A picture of yourself with ten facts
Day 02 – A picture of you and the person you have been closest with the longest
Day 03 – A picture of the cast from your favorite show
Day 04 – A picture of your night
Day 05 – A picture of your favorite memory
Day 06 – A picture of a person you’d love to trade places with for a day
Day 07 – A picture of your most treasured item
Day 08 – A picture that makes you laugh
Day 09 – A picture of the person who has gotten you through the most
Day 10 – A picture of the person you do the most ****** up things with
Day 11 – A picture of something you hate
Day 12 – A picture of something you love
Day 13 – A picture of your favorite band or artist
Day 14 – A picture of someone you could never imagine your life without
Day 15 – A picture of something you want to do before you die
Day 16 – A picture of someone who inspires you
Day 17 – A picture of something that has made a huge impact on your life recently
Day 18 – A picture of your biggest insecurity
Day 19 – A picture and a letter
Day 20 – A picture of somewhere you’d love to travel
Day 21 – A picture of something you wish you could forget
Day 22 – A picture of something you wish you were better at
Day 23 – A picture of your favorite book
Day 24 – A picture of something you wish you could change
Day 25 – A picture of your day
Day 26 – A picture of something that means a lot to you
Day 27 – A picture of yourself and a family member
Day 28 – A picture of something you’re afraid of
Day 29 – A picture that can always make you smile
Day 30 – A picture of someone you miss

I'll do Day 1 tomorrow cuz I'm super sleepy. See, the excuses start already.


Sometimes I think that I have a decent handle on this whole "being a grown up" thing, and then the hand of God comes down and bitch slaps me.

We've been going through our finances lately because we're having a professional do our taxes this year. Since I'm finally making more than $200 per year freelancing, my taxes have gotten a little more complicated. We want to make sure that we're paying out as little as possible, so we're basically paying someone to tell the IRS how much i spend on toilet paper each year. (Really, you can deduct a certain percent of your toilet paper if you work from home).

My husband started going through a year's worth of our bank statements online. Because, you know, when they come in the mail we just throw them out without looking at them. Turns out we are complete F-ing idiots. Guess how much we spent in the year of 2010? Well I guess that wouldn't be appropriate to say here, but lets just say there were six digits in the number. SIX. When Frank told me, I thought that HAS to be wrong. I was thinking of the big ticket items that we bought this year: down payment on a car, our roadtrip to CA, my MacBook, new flooring. UM NOT WORTH SIX DIGITS.  Luckily we remembered that some of it was explainable, like the fact that we paid off a lot of school loans, some of the $ accounted for funds that we switched back and forth between checking and savings. But still. OUT OF CONTROL. Sorry for all these caps but they are necessary. You know what's really sad, also? We live in a city with a very low cost of living.

We spend an average of $500 a month on groceries. For two people. And we hardly ever cook. Eating out was the biggest shocker of all. We should own 40% of the Starbucks company. It's not like I'm going out buying expensive clothes and stuff.  I wear clearance rack Target and Forever 21 most of the time. Don't even get me started on Target. It was disgusting. We decided we needed to have an intervention with ourselves and SERIOUSLY get a hold of our finances and start budgeting.

But. It gets worse. As Frank was going through the lines on the account statements, we realized that we had a lot of unexplained charges in our account. It turns out that we are being scammed by two separate companies to the tune of $30 per month! Yep, apparently when I bought my grandma a bouquet of flowers from, I checked a box for free shipping, which signed me up for some club that charges you $15 per month for a membership fee. When I Googled the vague description of the charge, millions of search result including the word "scam" came up. The sad part is, I think I bought those flowers like two years ago, so they ended up costing me hundreds of dollars. When you go to the website, of COURSE there is no phone number. But we will be calling the back tomorrow to cancel any payments from these companies. The other company that's charging us is doing the same thing.

Let me leave you with this little gem: $50/month on pizza. No wonder I gained like 20 pounds.

Anyone have any budgetting tips or know of any good websites/books that will help us get our act together?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Wish List

We'll be getting my husband's bonus as well as our tax returns soon, so I thought, what a perfect time to make a wish list. Frank, are you reading? :)

1. Wells Standing Floor Mirror
from Crate and Barrel
Ever since they put a Crate and Barrel at a mall near us, I've been in love. Sometimes I'll just drive there and walk around for fun. The first time I went in there, it's like the stars aligned and I found my perfect home decor soulmate. 

Let me tell you the story abou the mirror. We have a full length mirror hanging on the back of the closet door. It's the only full length one we have. I use it every day. One day, I was feeling particularly depressed about what I saw in the mirror and I just felt fat. My husband walked over to look in the mirror and as I was looking at his reflection, I realized that he looked distorted. The mirror made him look shorter and wider. Then I realized something amazing. The mirror was warped. Yeah, it buckles out in the middle and is kind of C shaped. So it makes you look squatter than you are. 

We saw this bad boy and Crate and Barrel and realized we needed to invest in a REAL mirror. One made out of real glass, with a thick sturdy frame. This will greatly help me to avoid some major self esteem melt downs.

2. Glass lamp with Drum Shade

I want new lamps with drum shades. Not this exact style but something similar. Our lamps just have the typical cone shaped lamp shades and they are kind of ugly. I think we could score some at Marshalls' or TJMaxx for a decent price though. I want two for the living room and two for the bedroom. 

3. Trellis Linen Drum Shade Pendant

While we're on the subject, I really want to replace the chandelier above our dining room table. It's just not my style, it's too ornate. This would be the perfect replacement. Actually, I want this EXACT one. And at $150, I think that's a good price. Plus, the one we have is in perfect shape and we could definitely sell it on Ebay or Craigslist. 

4. Fabric, in one of these patterns, to make throw pillows with. Something gray with a bold graphic print. 

5. A pair of Hunter boots, in Gray

Can you tell I like gray?

6. I would also like to remove, refinish and paint our kitchen cabinets white.

This is definitely NOT our kitchen (I wish). Maybe a summer project?
I've been putting off writing a real blog post for the last few days because I have so many different posts I want to write and can't seem to just pick one and go with it. I'm not good at making decisions. But here goes.

I am so glad last week is over. I started the week with some weird illness that was either a stomach virus or food poisoning. Being sick always sets off my anxiety, which if you don't know about, you can read about it in this post. Anxiety disorder sucks sometimes (all the time). I don't really feel like explaining it, but this post from the Bloggess really nails it: "I get bouts of depression and anxiety attacks the way other people get summer cold."  That's really what it's like.  It comes out of nowhere, I feel like crap for a few days, and then it just goes away. It's completely exhausting. Anyway. I don't feel like dwelling on it right now.

The point is, today I feel great and I'm trying to make the most of this week. I basically got nothing done last week, ate like crap, and didn't go to the gym very much. I'm making up for it this week by going strong. I planned out all of my meals for the week, went to the grocery store to buy fresh ingredients for salads, as well as all the ingredients to make really healthy chili. I went to the gym today and stayed on the treadmill for 45 minutes, upping the intensity of my intervals. Now I feel like I've been hit by a truck, but in a good way. I'm making myself go to the gym every day this week. My plan to lose ten pounds and be down to 120 is actually working. I have January 31st marked on my calendar as the goal for the halfway point of my weight loss. Which means I'm supposed to be 125 on Monday. Right now, I'm 126.2. It's going to be a challenge to get there. Especially since I usually weigh a little bit more on Mondays, after the weekend. My plan is to only have one cheat meal, which will be on Friday. I'll explain that in a minute.

Thinking about work stuff still makes me a little anxious. But I really have to step it up this week and get a lot of work done. The thing is, I just don't always feel like I'm that good at what I'm doing and I don't really have anyone to guide me. Working for yourself has many perks (sweats all day, a puppy on your lap, making your own schedule) but it comes with major challenges. I'm my own boss, so I have no one telling me how to fix things when things aren't going well. I have to totally figure out everything for myself. I just keep telling myself, if I wasn't doing a good job, they wouldn't be paying me.

I was thinking, it might be fun to do a weekly post on Mondays with my goals for the week. I'm much better with short term goals than I am with long term ones, like New Year's resolutions. So here are this week's goals:

1. Go to the gym 5 times and do 45 minutes of cardio each time.
2. Stay under my daily calorie limit each day (possibly with the exception of Friday) and record everything I eat. Keep eating low carb.
3. Be less of an asshole. My anxiety and PMS brought out the worst in me last week and I was basically a jerk to my husband. I'm making a dedicated effort to be nicer.
4. Get all my work done.

And now here are some things that I have to look forward to in the near future:
This is how much I'm going to eat on Friday. 
1. My husband is off work this Friday.
2. I'm going out to dinner with my best friend for her birthday. We're both obsessed with crab legs and we're going to the all you can eat seafood buffet at the casino. It's going to look like an underwater murder scene when we're done.
3. Husband's bonus $ and tax returns. He gets an amazing bonus every year. It's how we paid for our wedding upfront, put a large down payment on our house and bought a car.
4. Pittsburgh is going to the Super Bowl. I'm not really a big sports fan, but I'll take any excuse for a party.
5. I will weigh 125 pounds soon, and then I will lose another 5. I will.

What are you plans for the week?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Friday, January 21, 2011

Guess where I'm going?

I have some exciting news. I'm going somewhere. Want to know where? Here are some hints:

Come on . . . Italian stallion, Italian greyhound, Italian . . . hoagie? I'm going to ITALY!

In three agonizingly long months I will be saying Adios (I don't know any italian) to America and spending 11 amazing days in Europe. Which is pretty special because I've never been off of my lovely continent before. 

Why Italy and not another country?  Well, I knew I had to make it to Europe before I settled down and had kids and everything. Because I hear they suck the life out of you and make you not able to do fun things. 

I took a class on Italian Renaissance Art History in college and it was probably my favorite class ever. It was hardcore too, we had to memorize the name, date, location and artist of seriously hundreds of works of art. But I loved it. And I promised myself I would go see this stuff in person some day.

Because we probably won't get a chance to do something like this again anytime soon, we thought about the possibility of doing several European countries in the trip. But because we only have 11 days, a trip that hits, say, Rome, London and Paris would leave us traveling most of the trip. We'd rather totally experience one region instead of being rushed through a bunch of cities just to say we did it. As it is, the trip we're taking is going to be pretty intense, as we're exploring a bunch of different areas.

We also decided we were definitely going to do a tour. It seems much more romantic to fly by the seat of our pants, explore on our own, etc. But let's face it, we're as "tourist" as it gets. I don't understand things like exchange rates and Frank thinks we're going to get kidnapped or extorted everywhere we go. We simply would not survive without a tour guide. 

We went with Insight Vacations, which is one of three tour guides that AAA works with. Contiki is their low range, Trafalgar is mid range, and Insight is the priciest. We're definitely not trying to break the bank on this trip, but we both have problems when it comes to hotels. That is to say, we're hotel snobs. I'm not the kind of girl who likes to rough it and thank God my husband isn't either. The AAA lady said that she recommends Insight because their hotels are nicer and more centrally located. A cheaper tour group might save money by booking a hotel in the suburbs of a city rather than right in the middle of the action. This becomes a problem when you have free time during the day and its not so easy to just walk outside your hotel and explore. With this tour group, we'll be able to do that. Has anyone ever gone on one of these tours?

Here's the itinerary. Let me know if you've been to any of these places or any travel advice you have! 
Board your overnight flight

Welcome to Rome, a glorious city filled with Classical antiquities, medieval buildings, Renaissance palaces & baroque churches. On arrival at Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport, your airport shuttle service leaves for the tour hotel at 09:30, 12:30 & 15:30. Tonight meet your Tour Director for a Welcome Drink.
Hotel: La Griffe/Cicerone
Enjoy an in-depth sightseeing tour with a local guide who will take you inside the Vatican Museums to gaze upon the treasures of the Popes. Enjoy clear commentary via your audio headset as you admire Michelangelo's famous ceiling inside the Sistine Chapel. Now enter St Peter's Basilica to wonder at another of his works, the emotive 'Pieta'. Then cross the Tiber to visit the Colosseum, scene of many gladiatorial contests. After seeing the Roman Forum, the rest of the day is yours to sightsee or shop. (BB)
Leave Rome & follow the valley of the River Tiber to the hills of Umbria, which form part of the Apennines. Your destination is the peaceful hill-top town of Assisi, the home of St Francis. Visit the Basilica of St Mary of the Angels, then continue up Mount Subasio to the town. Step inside the huge Basilica, built in the 13C after St. Francis' death, where the frescoes by Giotto heralded a new era in Italian art.
Hotel: Giotto/Roseo (BB,D)
A pleasant drive leads to the romantic city of Venice, & what better way to see it than from a private launch? Cruise past Palladian churches & 13C palaces to St Mark's Square. See the Doges' Palace, connected to the prisons by the Bridge of Sighs. It was from here that Casanova made his daring escape. Now admire the mosaics of the Basilica & watch one of the few remaining masters blow molten glass into a unique creation at a Venetian glass-blowing factory. Relax & enjoy the atmosphere as you cruise along the Venetian canals by gondola.
Continental/Principe/Amadeus (BB,D)
Back on the mainland, drive along the scenic Brenta Canal with its magnificent Palladian villas, once the summer residences of Venetian nobility. Cross the plain of the Po River & traverse the Apennines to reach the Arno valley. Then follow the river to the coastal town of Pisa to see the famous Leaning Tower. Time also to admire the marble cathedral and Baptistery before continuing to Renaissance Florence for a two-night stay.
Hotel: NH Firenze (BB,D)
Join a local guide for a walking tour of the historic city centre. A highlight is the visit to the Academy Gallery to see Michelangelo's monumental figure of David. Continue to the multi-coloured marble Cathedral to see Giotto's bell tower & 'Gates of Paradise' before visiting the Piazza della Signoria, still the political heart of Florence. The area around Santa Croce Basilica is famous for the quality of its luxury goods; see a demonstration of leather work in the very place this craft first established itself. Then, there's free time to shop for Florence's finest or continue sightseeing. (BB)
Hear an informative tutorial about the famous Chianti wines that make this region so famous as you take the smooth motorway south. Continue through the rich volcanic hills of Frascati to Cassino where you visit the Commonwealth Cemetery, overlooked by the austere monastery of Montecassino. Now follow the scenic cliff top road towards the picturesque resort of Sorrento.
Hotel: La Favorita/Grand Hotel La Pace (BB)
Investigate the art of 'intarsio' or marquetry wood inlaying before cruising to the sun-drenched island of dreams, Capri - a rock rising from the Mediterranean. Take the funicular train up to Capri Town, where you can explore the narrow alleyways, browse in the exclusive boutiques & enjoy the views over the Mediterranean Sea. Perhaps join an optional tour to Anacapri to visit Villa San Michele before returning to your hotel for some relaxation time. Why not immerse yourself in the Italian culture & work up an appetite on a traditional evening stroll (passeggiata) - it's a time to 'see & be seen'. Later you are offered a selection of local restaurants for your dining pleasure. (BB,DA)
Only a short drive from the hotel lies Pompeii, the opulent Roman town which was preserved by layers of ash from the disastrous eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD79. A walking tour with a local guide through the cobbled streets & extensive excavations reveals the daily life of ancient Roman civilisation. Afterwards, the smooth motorway leads back to the 'Eternal City' of Rome. Tonight, join your fellow passengers for a last night celebration Highlight Dinner of local cuisine, complete with wine & entertainment.
Hotel: Sheraton (BB,HD)
Arrivederci Roma! Sadly, your tour comes to an end after breakfast. Departure transfers arrive at Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport at 07:00 & 09:30. (BB)

Sorry for the longest post ever! I will be spending the rest of winter staring at gorgeous pictures of Italy in springtime and learning some key Italian phrases. I'm sure I'll have a million questions, if any of you have experience traveling to Italy. Let me know!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sorry I'm being lazy.

I spent the day in bed puking and doing other gross things. Well not in bed, I made it to the bathroom. Now I still feel like garbage and have a headache on top of it. And I'm stressed out because I should have been doing work all day but I hardly did any.  I don't feel like thinking, so I'm going to do this survey that I found on someone's blog. Sorry, I don't remember where it's from.  I copied it, got distracted by like ten other blogs and then remembered to paste it.

1. What’s your favorite color to paint your nails?
It changes all the time. I'm really glad that crazy nail polish colors are cool again.  Right now I'm hooked on a dove gray color from Urban Outfitters.

2. Do you like to sneeze?
I love to sneeze and I know how to make myself do it on command.

3. How often do you fill up your car with gas? Honestly, maybe once a month. My Altima has a huge gas tank and decent gas milage and we don't drive my car that much. I also like to try to time it so that I need gas when I'm with my husband and he can fill it :)

4. Were you named after anyone?
Yes! I'm named after my grandmother, also Emily. She's a sassy 91 yr old lady from southern Georgia, still very active and has lived all around the world. I'm proud to share her name :)

5. Have you made any good recipes lately?
I don't cook that much really. When I do, it's pretty simple stuff. But I'm a decent cook.

6. What’s an easy money-saving tip that you use regularly?

Pshh I'm not the right person to ask. 

7. Would you rather have a sore throat or an ear ache?
An ear ache. I HATE sore throats. I have giant scarred tonsils from too many episodes of strep. 

8. Do you have any scars? What are they from?
I have a scar on my knee from kneeling on a pair of very sharp sewing scissors. The cut was really deep and I fainted. I also have a scar from recently falling and skinning my knee while walking the dog. And another from a massive mosquito bite that I got on my honeymoon. 

9. What are you “known for” in your circle of friends/family?

I'm known for being artistic and a writer. I'm also known for being neurotic and a worrier. I think my friends think I'm funny. I'm also known for having big boobs :( 

10. How do you like to eat your pancakes?
With butter and REAL maple syrup. 


Monday, January 17, 2011

That time I partied with Colin Firth.

Way back in November, I started a post about a big night I had. I never published it because I couldn't get out what I needed to say without sounding overly gushy, starstruck and lame. I still don't think I can do it. Here's a bulleted list of how the events unfolded. It's hard to be gushy in a bulleted list. 

  • College roommate/good friend called me and said she had an extra ticket for the premier of a Colin Firth movie in New York. 
  • I packed my bags and drove to Philadelphia, by myself.
  • We drove to NYC and checked into a hotel.
  • Taxi dropped us off at the Ziegfeld Theater for the premiere. 
  • I accidentally walked in front of Colin Firth's limo, resulting in being yelled at by a paparazzi and a security guard.
  • We got our seats in the theater (which were in the main area and NOT on the balcony, where the riff raff sat)
  • Decided to run to the lobby for a quick pee break.
  • Inadvertently ran into Colin Firth and his wife Livia in the lobby. Did I mention that our tickets came directly from Colin's wife? She is friends with my friend's uncle. 
  • They stopped talking to the adoring fans and HAD A CONVERSATION with us. I babbled and fidgeted and I think I said "thank you" ten times. Particularly in cases where the phrase "thank you" had no place. 
  • Colin introduced us to his friend, Helena Bonham Carter. HELENA BONHAM CARTER. 
  • Shit was real.
  • They asked us if we were going to the after party. We were invited to the after party.

  • Watched movie. Standing ovation. Amazing.
  • Caught a cab to Royalton Hotel lounge called 44 Lounge
  • Tons of people were begging bouncers to let them into the party, but it was invite only. We were invited. 
  • Beautiful people, beautiful food, abundant alcohol everywhere.
  • The people we recognized (besides the stars of the movie) were Christine Baranski, Valentino, and Moby. Very random.
  • Drank and people-watched for a couple hours.
  • As Colin and his wife left the party, surrounded by a throng of people, they came over TO US and thanked us for coming and said goodbye. My friend talked to Livia about her uncle while I had an awkward conversation with Colin Firth, in which he touched my back. My friend got her picture taken with them but I froze up and didn't ask. Ah, well. 
     *   We went back to the hotel and freaked out.
  • The end.
  • I hope I managed to give you an unbiased account of the night. Sorry for some all-caps. I'd be really embarrassed if Colin read this, but I'm pretty sure he's not subscribing to my blog. Maybe he's lurking.

    Anyway, the reason that I chose this moment to finally come clean about the fact that I am in fact best friends with a Hollywood A-Lister  met Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter is because he just won the Golden Globe for best Actor! Oscars are next . . . 

    If you haven't seen the movie, go see it!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Skinny Jeans Debate

Actual conversation between my husband and I as were trying to leave the house.

Frank: do you have your keys?

Me: No, I thought you were driving?

Frank: I am but you have to carry the keys because I can't fit them in my new skinny jeans.

They are NOT skinny jeans, they are just straight. But ill let him continue to believe he's a hipster. He drives me nuts.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Regarding the last post.

I had pizza for lunch. I had a dairy queen sundae for dinner. Ah well, what's done is done. Weekends really just KILL it every time. But I'm not going to give up because of one day of crappy eating. Back to the grind tomorrow.


Working on editing some photos for a post about our family sled-riding party. Get ready for the cuteness :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

This is why you're fat.

I just read a post on one of the blogs I follow and the post was entitled "Stop being fat." You can check it out here  . All I have to say is "hell yes".  She lost 50 pounds in one year just by not being dumb. She also didn't work out. Losing weight is one of the easiest things you can do. You're probably gasping right now, oh no she didn't. Let me explain myself. It's not EASY by any means, but it's obvious. A five year old could tell you how to lose weight. By the time we learn how to tie our shoes, we know that vegetables=healthy, cake=not. Seriously, you KNOW what you need to do. Eat things that are good for you. Don't eat things that are not. Stop eating when you're not hungry any more. The end.

I'm not saying that I've mastered this by any means. I have the willpower of . . . someone with no willpower. But if I gain five pounds, I know WHY.  It's most likely because I got drunk, ate an entire pizza, and then nursed my hangover the next day with McDonalds. Like five weeks in a row. (Okay, more like 8 years in a row) I'm doing my best to stop doing that. (So far so good.)

You don't need a magic pill, special prepackaged nutrition bars, protein powders, points, etc. You just need to be smart and eat what humans are supposed to eat.

With that said, here are some amazeballs pictures from

Most of this stuff looks horrific to me:

donut pizza with a side of PBR
A philly cheese steak wrapped inside a slice of pizza (Frank would be all over this one)

Burger, pANcake, and suSHI rolls: cheeseburger sushi deepfried in pancake batter, with burger meat, deli style american cheese, red onion, and chipotle mayo.

Grease Lightning: A layer of seasoned curly fries topped with chicken nuggets, chicken fried steak, fish sticks, pizza rolls, and a slice of corndog then smothered in melted mozzarella cheese topped with a mixture of chili, bacon, and sliced hot dogs topped with a sprinkling of cheddar.

Now we'll move on to the next category entitled "Sadly, this looks delicious" also known as "I'd hit it"

CChocolate covered bacon, sounds like something you should indulge in once in your life. 
In my defense, it says 25% less sugar.

Do you have any guilty pleasure gross food combinations?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow Day - Part 2

It snowed even more today, so I took that as an opportunity to practice with my camera. Same subject as usual.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snow Day!

I can't help it, I still get excited about snow storms. I hate winter, I get seasonal depression, and the lack of sunlight can drive me crazy, but if I hear that they are predicting a snow storm, I check the radar every hour and get more excited about each inch that piles up.

They have been predicting a "storm" of 3"- 6", which is not a very big deal here in the northeast. For some reason though, news reporters always hype it up to be apocalyptic. Most people here will mock the weathermen and act like a few inches of snow is no big thing, but I have to admit that I'm one of "those people" who freak out about driving in an inch of snow. I get it from my momma. She won't leave the house if there are flurries predicted.

Anyway, we DID get our storm, and there's about four (additional) inches out there so far. It's supposed to snow on and off all night and day tomorrow as well. I put on my big girl pants and went out to shovel the driveway around 4:00 and my neighbors asked if I wanted to take a walk into the woods with them and their dog. (Sounds creepy huh? Don't worry, we're good friends with them ha.) They also volunteered to take another neighbor's dogs with them, who happen to be two 7 month old puppies. These "puppies" weigh around 200lb and 120lb each. YEAH. So it was the three of us, a beagle, a Labradoodle, and two Mastiff/St.Bernard/Rottweiler mixes. Insanity. We walked through the woods on a trail they like to take and let me tell you, these two are much more athletic than I am. We live on a mountain (okay . . . huge hill) and this path went straight up for about 100 yards. I. Almost. Died.

But it was great that I went because I ended up skipping the gym today due to work overload and icy conditions.  It was really beautiful in the woods and once you got to the top of the hill, the view was gorgeous. It had just started to get dark by the time we made it to the top, so everything was all snow covered and blue and glowy. And I didn't get a picture of it haha. Here are some terribly blurry cell phone pics of the pups, though.

Poor Wilbur can't run free like the big dogs. Because of their strong prey drive, it's almost impossible to train beagles to be off leash. 
The "puppies" wrestling. Have you ever been jumped by a 200 lb baby? I have. 
Wilbur was a trooper and held his own with the big dogs. Even if he was wearing a puffy coat with a faux fur collar. The didn't even make fun of him. 

Now I need a hot bath because my legs feel like icicles. Carry on. 

Friday, January 7, 2011

My Love

There are a lot of things in this life that I'm not sure I've done right.

I'm not always sure that I made the right career decision. I'm not sure what I want to be when I grow up. I'm smart, but I'm not the smartest. I can't run a race, I can't lose the last five pounds. I'm not sure that I have what it takes to be a good mother.

But when I'm feeling insecure about my decisions that I've made in my life, I know one thing absolutely for sure: I married the person that I am meant to be with.  Too often, I'm a cynical and pessimistic person, so when I say that I found my "soulmate", don't take it lightly, because I'm not the person who goes around using that word.

It's not the "finding my soulmate" thing that makes my mind spin sometimes. What really leaves me in disbelief at certain moments isn't the fact that I've found the best person for me, it's that I've found the best person, period. I have never come across another person that is as genuine, kind-hearted and full of love as my husband.

I'm not just seeing him through rose-colored glasses because I'm in love with him.  I'm not the only one.  People reflexively smile when he walks into a room.  Everyone wants to be on his team. Everyone wants to be his best friend. He wants to be everyone's best friend.

But somehow, inexplicably, I got to be his best friend, and that's an honor that means almost as much to me as being his wife.