Monthly Archives: September 2011

Baby Steps

Garrett has been nagging me lately like an old, crotchety housewife to get a replacement light bulb for my book light. Though I don’t have kids so I can’t say this with any authority, (BUT THIS IS THE INTERNET! WHO NEEDS AUTHORITY TO SAY THINGS?) for me, a book light is akin to one of those fancy white noise machines that seem to lull newborn babies to sleep. I can’t live without it. And since Garrett knows this and is a fan of that “Always Be Prepared” boy scout motto, he has been nervous the past few months because I am out of replacement light bulbs. I, on the other hand, like to live on the edge. Action! Intrigue! No Replacement Book Light Light Bulbs!

It was all fun and games until this morning when it was dark out and I was sleepy-eyed and enjoying slowly waking up with my completely page turning new thriller, and during a particularly juicy passage, it burned out.

As you do, I took to twitter to discuss…

And it made me laugh, because you guys, I PROMISE MY LIFE WAS EXCITING ONCE! But now I am someone who tweets about dying book-lights and sometimes I feel I am one step away from owning an inappropriate amount of cats and spending my evenings knitting them tiny, wooly sweaters. But I am also incredibly happy with this little life, so at least that’s a consolation, right?

Other things you would have seen me do this morning if some hip TV network got its act together and offered me a Reality TV Show because the pace is my life is so lightning quick:

*bought an Americano at Peet’s
*paid my gas bill
*walked into a public bathroom at my place of employment where only ADULTS congregate and found a giant unflushed turd
*shook my head at humanity
*discussed with my friend Shelby how the only Friday night plans Garrett and I have involve a Jersey Shore marathon since we have 3 episodes on the DVR which is causing anxiety

WHERE ARE YOU WITH MY CONTRACT, MTV????

Tangentially related, Garrett and I have been talking a lot about our Kid-Having Plan lately (which will most definitely be preceded by our Wedding-Having Plan, but that one isn’t quite as fun to talk about since party planning stresses me OUT!)  As we were laying on our bed last night rehashing how tired we were after both of our particularly long days Garrett said, “I don’t even know how we will do it once we have kids.  Like, how will we function when we can’t just come home and sit on the couch and drink wine and tell silly stories and have that be All That Is Required?”  And I have to admit, this is the part that makes me nervous. I know that kids bring you joy and all of that, but they also bring a larger Poop to Romantic Evening ratio than I’m used to, and mentally this causes a  bit of trepidation.  I think this only natural.

But then I thought back to just a few years ago and the pace of our life then compared to now, and it is about as different as the party you throw for your 21st birthday vs. the party you throw your parents for their 50th wedding anniversary.  Assuming your parents don’t like Midori Sours as much as my 21 year old self did, of course. (HORK!)  And even though we do SO! MUCH! LESS! swinging from the chandeliers now, the last few years have felt totally natural and not dramatic at all so I tried to comfort Garrett with that fact last night as he was looking for a bag to hyperventilate into.

I know we will grow and change. Our priorities will evolve and it will be a natural process if we stay true to our intentions and do the best we can to focus on what’s important in the moment.  Right now we know how good we have it   but I am looking forward to preparing for the good times ahead.  I woke up this morning with a very strong feeling that the future is going to be bright!  You know, assuming I get some replacement book light bulbs to illuminate the path of course.  I guess I’ll be adding  “Stop By Barnes & Noble” to my Friday Night Agenda.

Reality TV, here I come!


30 Days of Denim – Day Twenty Two

I put on this outfit this morning not thinking too much about it, and was greeted by a gentleman waiting for the same elevator who said to me, “WOW! YOU’RE A GIANT.”

To which I responded, “You must be single.”

Well, at least I said that in my head anyway. I’m only 6’1 in these shoes, and I hardly think that qualifies as GIANT status, now does it.

Just to make sure, let’s consult Andre:

Just what I thought: he says NO. But then again he said that from the dead, so I don’t know how reliable that whole conversation was in the first place.

Here’s What I Wore:
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Earrings: Target
Shirt: Banana Republic
Jeans: Ross
Shoes: Merona for Target

Some people just don’t know when to hold their tongue.

*****

What did you wear today?

Join the group and play a little show and tell.


Fight Gone Bad VI

When I was 18 a group of my friends and I got together for a girls night out and headed to some seedy piercing parlor in Oakland where we promptly needled ourselves into some fabulous new face accessories. For me it was my eyebrow, tongue and that weird little tab on the inside of my ear. What’s that called again? I don’t know but it hurt like CAH-RAZY and I did both sides.

Look it was 1996, don’t judge me alright. This was not the stupidest thing I did at age 18.

What I remember most about that experience — aside from how bad it hurt the next day when my dad used his needle nose pliers from the garage to “help me” remove the damage I had done to my face (he let me keep the tongue piercing because he couldn’t see it – HA!), and how stupid it was to spend almost $200 on jewelry only to be forced to remove it all the following day (that’s what you get for still living at home!) — was the expression on the business card that the piercing lady gave us as we all departed.

“It hurts to be beautiful.”

Despite the fact that I have grown out of my desire for facial piercings (let me be clear: I’m not judging YOU, I just don’t like them for ME) I still use that phrase every so often because it gives me a little chuckle. Mostly I say it when Garrett shakes his head at me on a 100 degree day when I am standing under a hot blow dryer or when I am staring myself down in the mirror plucking my eyebrows. But I thought of this expression again this morning as I watched the recap video of last weekend’s Fight Gone Bad festivities over at my CrossFit box.

Here are all of these people push themselves to their limits — doing things they didn’t think they could do, lifting things they didn’t think they could lift. Pushing themselves for 17 minutes of anxiety and pain. I spent those 17 minutes stressing about jumping on a box that I wasn’t sure I could jump on (20 inches! That is HIGH for me!) and had never successfully done for an entire WOD.

But you know what, I did it! And so did they! We all set out to have a good time, make some goals and GIT’R DONE! (Ha! I hate that expression but sometimes it’s so appropriate.)

And in the end, it HURT. LIKE. HELL.

But when I watched this video and relived that afternoon in my mind, all I could think of was — Hot Damn! It does hurt to be beautiful, and there are a lot of beautiful people at this gym. Inside and Out.

(And then I secretly thanked my dad for making me take out my eyebrow ring, because…really? It was not a good look.)

Notables:
My very advanced strategy – :28
The Pain Begins – 2:18
How it felt (the visual) – 2:32
What we looked like when done – 3:37

Oh just go watch it already!

ARCFit does FGB VI- 09/17/2011 from American River CrossFit on Vimeo.

Totally perfect song, right????


Skintervention

Alternate Title: Way Too Many Words About My Skin Care Struggles

So. I have a long and sordid history with my skin that I don’t really like to think about. But now that I’m in my 30s, it’s really just time to bite the bullet and get things in order.

In my teenage years my skin was pretty flawless. I barely wore makeup, I’m sure I broke out, but I don’t even remember if I had a “skin care ritual.” I did go to the dermatologist though, and I can’t even really remember why. Probably because everyone else was going, so I made my parents drag me — I had good parents like that. Copays for non-existent problems! Certainly! I wouldn’t even remember those appointments I’m sure, except that these days my high school dermatologist is pretty damn famous.

One day during one of my office visits we started talking about things, life and the soap opera that is high school and I mentioned that I was a cheerleader. She then launched into this long story about how she and a colleague were making a product, and they wanted to film an infomercial with an “All-American group of kids” who would use it and talk about their results. So she gave me all of this information and I was to take it to my squad and talk it over. I did, and in my memory no one was really interested. It was like — yeah, MEH — is that going to cut into our cheerleading/boy-chasing/studying time? Then probably not. So we never did it. But my dermatologist’s product?

So yeah, 15 years later I can’t decide if that was a good decision or a bad decision. I mean, on the one hand it would be a fun story. But on the other, I’m not sure I want my legacy of fame to be a role in an acne lotion commercial you know?

Anyway — THAT was a sidebar.

So. Fast forward to my 20th birthday and all of a sudden my skin is taking the most mysterious and spiteful revenge on me. I try all sorts of dramatic interventions and nothing works. (Of course I’ve tried Proactiv. Unfortunately it did not work for me AT ALL.) Years later I would look back and think of all the drinking and eating take-out I did and it would seem a little less mysterious, but finally I threw my hands up and gave in to taking Accutane at the recommendation of the dermatologist I was seeing then.

Have you heard of Accutane? (I can’t wait to see the spam comments I get on this post.) The side effects are intense. From a warning:

[Accutane]must not be taken by patients who are pregnant or who may become pregnant. There is a high risk that isotretinoin will cause loss of the pregnancy, or will cause the baby to be born too early, to die shortly after birth, or to be born with birth defects (physical problems that are present at birth).

NBD. I may just have kids with webbed-feet (you know, if they survive at all) but I’m sure it’s not doing anything TO ME while I’m taking it. OHMYGOD. I can’t even believe I took it when I look at those (very abbreviated) side effects. There were so many more! I had to sign all sorts of stuff that said I would use 3 types of birth control, had to come in for monthly pregnancy tests for a year (at my dermatologist’s office!) and agree to seek therapy if I felt the early twinges of anxiety and depression. Also, I couldn’t eat carrots.

Sounds healthy, right?

But let me tell you, for about 6 years I had the best skin of my life. I mean, I also spent two years on anti-anxiety medication that I’m now SURE was a side effect of all that, but you know — no pimples and all that! (CRIMONY)

My skin began breaking out pretty badly again about 7 years ago (in my mid-20s — hello, bitter) but at the same time I got back on The Pill and that helped tremendously. But fast forward to about 6 months ago when Garrett and I agreed we would kick The Pill in preparation for our upcoming *Make A Baby Sometime* Project and no joke, not 30 days into all that business, my awful skin came back.

You guys it is like PTSD up in here.

I have quit eating dairy, I have tried new face wash (Older Lady Naturals, obvs), I have been incredibly diligent and to no avail. I’m convinced it is totally hormonal since my skin is ok (not great, but not awful) for about 2 weeks out of the month and then REVENGE OF THE PISSED OFF CHIN ZITS (for about 2 weeks out of the month) and it is just the most awful thing. Garrett could not care any less and every time I bring it up he tells me not to worry and that it’s kind of all in my head. But emotionally it is difficult because it takes me right back to all those years ago when I felt that my skin was so awful that I would rather take medicine that could KILL A BABY than have zits.

I am no longer that person though. I don’t even take Advil when I have a headache. Mostly because I don’t get headaches because I’m super anal-retentive about everything that goes in my body. I turn to holistic solutions before I take ANY kind of medication, so obviously Baby Killing Drugs are not what I’m looking for. I’m also not looking to sound like a total douche, so if that paragraph above sounded that way — please know I’m not a total freak about everything that goes in my body. I’m just more mindful, I guess now. But I’m also at a loss. So this is where you come in. The internet always has advice, and I WOULD REALLY LIKE SOME!

Have you had experience with adult acne? Have you tried something that worked? Tell me about your skin care regimen because I am curious, even if you don’t have crazy skin? When I posed this question on Facebook I got a lot of Clarisonic/Obagi love…have you invested in either. (And I do mean Inve$$$$ted?) Is it worth it?

Talk to me girls. Let’s pretend like we work for Cosmo, only let’s come up with more helpful stuff than the same 50 recycled tips to have the BEST! SEX! EVER!


30 Days of Denim – Day Twenty One

Everyone prepare yourself, I’m about to do something CRAZY! Ok, not really crazy, just crazy FOR ME. I’m going to mix patterns. Well, um sort of.

Boy all of this build up for something so ridiculous. You see, I saw this photo on pinterest the other day and I thought — hey, that doesn’t looks so bad. Maybe I could try that.

And because it was stripes on stripes, we all know my closet was clearly fueled with some ammunition.

Now my version was not quite as fashion-y, but surprisingly I feel pretty comfortable in it even though it is (OMG) two! different! patterns!

Here’s What I Wore:
P1030934.JPG

Sweater: Gap Outlet
Shirt: Banana Republic Factory Store
Jeans: Gap Slim Boyfriend
Necklace: Banana Republic
Pewter Flats: Target
Bracelet: You’ve seen this one a million times. I like it, I guess.

I asked Garrett to take a detail shot so you could see the stripes-on-stripes effect and this is what he took — the boy is many things but detailed-fashion-shots for the blog are not his area of expertise…

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Not a detail of my face, babe! A detail of the shirts!

P1030942.JPG

“But a detail of your face is cuter.”

And then I did of the obnoxious adorableness. Feel free to barf. I might actually miss taking silly outfit photos in the morning when this little project is over.

We have absolutely no idea what we are doing, but hey at least we are having fun pretending!
*****

What did you wear today?

Join the group and play a little show and tell.


30 Days of Denim – Day Twenty

Well internet, Garrett is glad to know that you all agree with him that my fake Danskos are hideous. He’s been running around the house with his arms up like he is Rocky shouting “Vindication!” You can’t win ’em all, I guess. But damn, they are comfy!

Today I had the day off but still had to get up early to go get a “Health Screening” at work. Yeah, it was about as fun as it sounds. Then I ran a boat load of errands! WOOT! Adulthood, for the win. I remember when my days off included sleeping late and doing whatever I felt like. Ah memories.

Speaking of memory, I almost forgot to take a picture of this outfit because I was so busy today! I probably shouldn’t admit this but my internet usage definitely changes when I have a day off work. 😉 I just had a little panic attack about it, but we were able to grab a photo right before it got too dark!

Here’s What I Wore:

P1030925

Necklace: Target
Sweater: Banana Republic Factory Store
Jeans: Gap 1969 Perfect Bootcut (another hand me down from my fairy godmother AndreAnna)
Tank: Old Navy
Sandals: Target
Bracelet: Target

The flyaway hair is courtesy of the fact that my car has no air conditioning. Oh, the perks!

*****

What did you wear today?

Join the group and play a little show and tell.


30 Days of Denim – Day Nineteen

Today’s outfit is a hot mess. For a number of reasons. I’ll give you the cliffs notes:

* I may have mentioned I am VERY tired. This affected my outfit choice today.
*The shoes are apparently very polarizing.

Oh the shoes.

Here’s What I Wore:

P1030920

Necklace: Target
Cardigan: Merona for Target
Tank: Old Navy
Jeans: Gap Slim Boyfriend, which are now too big and sort of making me have a weird spare tire
Shoes: DSW – some off brand that wants to be Danskos, obvs.

They are my (fake) Danskos and even though I have mad love for them, Garrett HATES these shoes. He thinks they look like frumpy, orthopedic shoes and can’t understand my desire to wear them ever. In fact I would tell you what he calls them but this is a family friendly website.

*BAHAHAHAHA*

But here’s the thing, like a good pair of Chuck Taylors, I feel anxious when I don’t have a pair of Danskos in my closet. (Or the $39 knock of pair I got from DSW.) I understand they can not be worn in every situation, but sometimes they are necessary. Like today.

However when I got to work my friend Katie (Hi Katie!) was like “Dude, what’s with the clogs?” And when I told her the story I just told you she said, “Well, hey, at least they aren’t crocs.”

AT LEAST THEY AREN’T CROCS

And that pretty much sums up how I feel about this outfit. Is it time to go to bed yet?

*****

What did you wear today? Hopefully not Crocs.

Join the group and play a little show and tell.

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The Difference Between Men and Women: Home Security Edition

I picked Garrett up from the airport last night after 4 days away and I was so sleep deprived by the time we got home that I practically crawled into bed immediately. You would think he would be the tired one — 3 nights out, bachelor-party-style, with all of his high school buddies — and certainly he was, but it was me that was actually doing the bulk of the lamenting on exhaustion.

The truth is, I sleep terribly when he is gone. And no I’m not going to make you sick with stories of the strength of our love, and how I just don’t feel whole without him there, and all of that sappy bologna. Not for a minute. I had a lovely weekend in my house all alone for 4 days — of course, until it was time to go to sleep at night.

After three years of living with Garrett, now when I sleep alone I hear EVERY. SINGLE. CREAK that my house makes (and built in 1952, my house creaks A LOT.) Each time, whether I was just falling into a light slumber or dead asleep, I’m absolutely certain that the source of this creak is some knock-off Criminal Minds Serial Killer crawling down from my attic. And there is no rational reason for this.

It’s not like I’ve never slept alone before. In my pre-Garrett life, long ago as it seems, I was a swinging 20-something with roommates, and you know, as swinging 20-somethings do *ahem* everyone doesn’t always come home every night, right? I understand sleeping alone! I used to enjoy it. Hell, I even lived alone for a period of time and totally survived fearlessly. But now, not so much. Thursday and Friday night I was up multiple times wishing for a bedazzled pair of night vision goggles. And by Saturday night I had had enough of this sleep deprivation to take matters into my own hands. The plan was to have a few glasses of red wine as the evening wound down thus ensuring I would have no problem falling and staying asleep. And this plan’s brilliance was FLAWLESS (even if I did end up using “a few” loosely) until at 4:30 am when my cell phone rang. LOUDLY. Obviously startling me from my boozy slumber.

My first thoughts were totally disorienting. Then I thought Garrett was drunk dialing me, so I looked at the number. It didn’t end up being Garrett but it was a local number. I’m having all of these thoughts, of course, while the phone is still ringing because being startled out of boozy slumber doesn’t allow you EVER to hit the silence button on your cell or send the call to voicemail in a timely manner. So now I’m awake. And pissed. And waiting to see if this asshat leaves a voicemail, and of course he doesn’t. Apparently he was just calling to check in, nothing important here! Then he has the audacity to call back again. 2 Calls! In 2 Minutes! At 4am! A determined personality for sure.

Now the question, in my opinion, that separates the men from the women is this: WHAT WOULD YOU DO NEXT?

I relayed this story to Garrett after picking him up at the airport and he looks at me and says, “Well did you call it back? Weren’t you worried it was one of my friends not in your phonebook calling to say something happened to me?” And then I died laughing.

After 2 mornings of waking up to 4am Four Square check-ins at White Castle and the like, I was not worried it was a friend of Garrett’s calling to tell me something had happened. I was pretty sure they were probably still out and about at the point, what with the pace they had been keeping that weekend, so HELL NO I did not call that number back! And if you are also a Criminal Minds Serial Killer fearing woman I think you know why.

Had I picked up my cell and redialed that missed call, I most certainly would have then immediately heard the sound of a cell phone ringing from up inside my closet or up in my attic. And at this point it was still before 5am and I was NOT ready to go ninja on some attic lurking serial killer’s ass just yet.

The only option was to get up. And after turning on all the lights in every room of the house, I made a pot of coffee and then took to twitter to bitch about it.

OBVIOUSLY.


What’s For Dinner?

I have no idea who David is, but he can certainly join us for dinner this week!

source

After two weeks with no menu plan, I am dying for a little structure. Last night I almost had a meltdown over how much work it was to chop up a salad. This is what happens to me when I don’t have a plan.

Garrett was in the bay area last weekend, and for half of this week has been in Nashville, TN for a bachelor party. I’m always less inclined to cook just for one, but Garrett comes back tonight! It will be so nice to get back to business as usual next week, and I’m basically positive Garrett has put nothing nutritionally redeeming in his mouth all weekend so I’m excited to craft a delicious menu that we will both enjoy.

Plus it will just be nice to sit down for dinner together this week. Oh routine! I want to kiss you on the mouth! (Ok maybe Garrett too a little bit.) I’m experimenting with some fall recipes and perhaps using my oven a little more than I have in the past few months. It should be nice!

Monday
Lunch: Grilled Fiesta Chicken Salad
Dinner: Spaghetti Squash Bolognese + Salad — I recently bought Trader Joe’s Pear Champagne Vinaigrette with Gorgonzola and CRIMONY I want to bathe in it.

Tuesday
Lunch: Hearty Vegetable Chili (YUM VEGETABLES!)
Dinner: Pumpkin Sausage Soup

Wednesday
Lunch: Leftover Soup
Dinner: Southwest Turkey Burgers + Garlic Sauteed Brussels Sprouts

Thursday
Lunch: Leftover Chili or Turkey Burgers + Salad
Dinner: Shepherd’s Pie (I use this recipe and substitute cauliflower for potatoes) Super easy and SO DELISH!

Friday
Lunch: Leftover Shepherd’s Pie
Dinner: Chorizo Mini Meatloaves + Sauteed Green Beans + Cauli Mash

Saturday
Lunch: Birthday Party for my cutie cousin Chelsea!
Dinner: Play it by ear. Maybe we will go out.

Sunday
Shop!

What’s cooking in your neck of the woods this week?

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30 Days of Denim – Day Eighteen

Hey, remember this outfit?
30 Days of Denim - Day Eight

Well I’m using the same inspiration but remixing the patterns. SWAP! I’m sorry, but I’m ready for sweaters and I’m basically in love with anything mustard colored and stripey. SHOCKER.

Indulge me, will you?

Here’s What I’m Wearing:

30 Days of Denim - Day Eighteen

Crappy photo quality probably makes it hard to tell but those jeans are black. And so are the stripes.

Sweater: Gap Outlet
Shirt: Merona for Target
Jeans: Gap Premium Flare
Shoes: Payless
Earrings: Another mom hand me down. My mom rules!

Another thing this photo doesn’t tell you? Those jeans are in a size that I haven’t worn since junior high. WRAP YOUR BRAIN AROUND THAT, because I’m still trying. Seeing as I’m right about to be 33 (yep, that’s 20 years when you do the math!) the concept may take me a while.

I mentioned when I started this project that the purpose was to get a little more comfortable with my body since it has changed so dramatically over the last year. (I’m so close to 100 lbs lost I can taste it!) There are super awesome things about losing weight,yes. But as counter intuitive as it sounds, body confidence can be a bit of a struggle when you go through that much change this quickly. I’ve been trying to find an eloquent way to explain that for week, but AndreAnna nailed this feeling in a post this week and I would highly suggest checking it out.

Getting back in touch with who I am, how I look, what I love and how I want the world to perceive me were major goals of this little project. 2/3 of the way there I am starting to feel like it has been worth it. So thank you for letting me experiment here. For your positive feedback. For your suggestions. For your support.

They help a girl out you know, and it is appreciated!

*****

What did you wear today?

Join the group and play a little show and tell.

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