Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Oh for crying out loud.

Oh for crying out loud.

No this is not my first post-baby post- where I talk about how much babies cry, out loud. I'll try to refrain from obvious-masked-as-*epipharyngeal-blogging when the time comes.
*Yes it's 4:30 in the morning and I just looked up the adjective for "epiphany." 

Nausea has interrupted my slumber and here we are.  Downstairs and writing in front of the new Heat Dish, a fantastic alternative to having the fireplace going. Did you know I live in Idaho and the current temperature is 4 degrees?  Of course you did.

Why on Earth (you ask) does this woman have nausea when she's been pregnant for like a year.  Or maybe you don't ask...but if you are or are observing one of the gazillion other expectant ladies right now, you could be confused. I too thought I was past the vomiting and feeling like I should be vomiting phase months ago. Falso (that's Spanish for False). It turns out my clockwork pregnancy got a bit off somewhere along the line and while I still have all the normal third trimester symptoms one "might be experiencing" according to Pregnancy apps/the worldwide web, I have a little something else too...

If and when I feel into getting all MOM Blog-y on here (you thought we already crossed that bridge? Trust me we could go deeper...like way deeper), I will go into the details. Long story short, what's going on makes it highly probable that my sweet Charlotte Grace will be here before we know it...and before her expected due date...more like any date. On a serious note, I am thanking God EVERY day that she is happy and active as can be in there and my body is the one struggling in these final crucial weeks. I think when she gets on the scene she'll be like, "Chill out I was doing fine...and do me a favor- swaddle me up would ya? I'm freezing out here."

What I'm "crying out loud" about (more for effect, than literally crying) is how annoying perspective can be. Let me give you a For Example (I hate when people say that but am feeling feisty- I prefer to get out of bed around 9) One of my typical preg-issues was a constant numbness + random fire-like feeling in my left leg. Before we moved out of San Diego I had a weekly, sometimes semiweekly Chiropractic appointments and was attempting to do stretches for the issue about 1,000x/day, per that Chiropractor. See Show 'em who's Boss post Guess what I think about non-stretched leg now? What leg?  I have a left leg? Maybe I'd notice the awesome sensations that leg promotes if I weren't so peeved that my entire body itches and I'm back to sleeping in 3 hour intervals. I know, I know, I should get used to it. I've heard.

Then I think about what my days were like pre-move/end of 2nd trimester...FILLED. I was working, packing, socializing, and being my general crazy self.  Wanna know what I did yesterday? I ate a breakfast burrito, finished reading the dog-earred articles of my Parents magazine, then sat in bed and glued stuff onto burlap Christmas stockings. What the....?!  Yea, this is my life and I have people reminding me to relax. Perspective. How can I even be mad about getting up early today?  What have I got to do?  After this morning's Doctor appointment... I got nothin'. I'll probably nap and then dive into the next chapter of my What to Expect: The First Year reference. Which I am LOVING by the way.



If it's not painfully obvious, I am unwisely (some would say) anxious for my baby to come.  While I should be loving every minute of nothing-to-do-ness, I am actually anticipating the excitement of her delivery and getting up at 4 in the morning to see her little face (instead of to eat an untoasted bagel in my robe and whine to the world)

Still smiling.

Happy Tuesday!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Phase One

Well guess who made a friend today?



You guessed it...I'm guessing.

I'm not all that concerned that this is going to be problematic since I might live in the friendliest town in America.  I do put a big emphasis, probably too big, on making friends as quickly as possible- in my head. I try not to make this too obvious in social settings when these opportunities actually come up, since that could get awkward. Seriously though, friendships are very important to me. Leaving San Diego after college didn't even enter my mind since my buddies there had become like family. They made staying for another 8 years the easiest thing in the world!

Naturally those initial relationships are going to be a bit different now, here in the City of Trees.  I'm not 17 and here to go to college, I'm 30 and just arrived with my husband and almost-baby... to go for the American Dream (dramatic enough?)

I have spent the majority of the last month (our total time here) staying home, mostly due to unpacking very slowly and being super pregnant. I haven't totally thrown myself out there but have future plans to use my child for some strategic friend-making. She'll be here soon enough. Just six more weeks to fold and refold all her little clothes like a crazy lady.  Sometimes I just stand in her room, look around and grin for a while.  What else am I supposed to do on a rainy afternoon?

I engaged phase one of this plan today with the very sneaky Hey-you're-gonna-have-a-baby-too-let's-totally-be-friends approach. She had no idea what hit her. I like to start out this sort of "nonchalant" interaction with a question, followed by some "subtle humor."

After eye contact was made I asked my appropriate question. 
"How far along are you?"
She politely responded then asked me the same.
"Almost 34 weeks, just about 8 1/2 months...I like to say whichever one sounds further."
(Chuckles)
*Ladies can appreciate the concept of NOT wanting to look bigger than you actually are pregnant.
Do you see what I just did there?

Yada yada yada she suggested we exchange numbers. Done. I'm in no position to decline potential friends...I happen to know one other person in the great state of Idaho- and he has to be my friend because he married me. We happen to be best friends in fact #alrightweallgetityouloooooooveyourhusband

Then I went home and needed a nap. My telltale that it was a good day.
Or a Tuesday.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

35 Miles per Hour

We have made the move and are now Idahoans. Although I haven't spent too much time out and about (you can generally find me home unpacking, cleaning, cooking and engaged in other "nesting" activities) I have noted, sometimes dually, that there are things here that can only be explained with:

HASHTAG IDAHO.



On the evening of Sunday October 5th (just over 2 weeks ago) we got into town and made a quick stop to fuel up the car, the final stop on the 1,000 mile trip before getting to our new home.  Since Meridian totally has a Costco (so mod) it only made sense to stop at our favorite warehouse's station. Expectant to find the usual line 5-8 cars deep, we rolled right up to get our cost-efficient gas.  The only way I could express how pleased I was..."How cute!"

Idaho happens to be a RED state. No commentary. One mere example of how this is different than anything I've ever seen (#Idaho)... There is one Planned Parenthood in town (I can think of two in PB alone) that happens to be on one of the streets I drive down- more on my quest to learn new directions later. Outside their one and only last Friday was none other than the Grim Reaper, scythe and all. Sure Halloween is coming up, but he was really there to make his opinion on abortion known. Just another day.

Since I may have just offended some, it seems like the right time to bring up Hobos. When you live somewhere that everyone else wants to live (namely any beach in Southern California) you find many homeless and transient teenagers that also want to live there. Idaho happens to be known for potatoes, so you see a lot less of this population. The few we have encountered (one time- and they happened to be in a group) were quite lively. On the streets of OB, one of my favorite little communities and former neighborhoods, this is not usually the case unless it's Farmers Market day and a drum circle has ensued. Here, the hobos had various instruments including a cowbell, were ALL smiles and even stood (not sat) to dance to their musical stylings. Where am I? #Idaho

Lastly for now, I couldn't have felt COOLER (not because of the weather being in the 50's) when the checker at Albertson's loaded up my Trader Joe's reusable totes and threw a "Cool bags!" my way.  I had to quietly mention the sentiment as we approached the exit...."Did ya hear that Honey? Cool bags."

Did I mention the speed limit here is 35 miles per hour? Life is slowing down in a number of ways...until December 18th!


Monday, September 22, 2014

No Small Potatoes...

Sometimes life happens all at once.  In fact most of the time it happens this way.  My husband and I think it's best (apparently) to not just have a baby- have I mentioned I'll be doing that soon?- but to also alter our life completely by MOVING it all to...

IDAHO.

Yup, I'm moving to Idaho. We bought a house, today starts my last full week of work,  and just about everything in life is changing.

Let me tell you, moving away from the state you've spent all your life in...is no small potatoes. Aside from only having lived in two cities thus far *Azusa and San Diego, moving out of California is pretty significant.  I'm not going to hate on this beautiful state, but I will say it is clear that the next chapter for us and our family is meant to be outside of this place.
*Okay I usually claim to be from Covina, (Glendora if I'm feeling fancy & San Dimas if "Raging Waters" is someone's only point of reference) but the reality is living on Citrus Ave means I'm from Azusa.  So there.

The easiest part of moving to focus on and even write about, for me, is the logistical piece. I could probably dedicate a daily post to the minutia! The first one might be on how annoying selling your car is, and maybe the second about fitting in all the dental and optometrist appointments you can before leaving your comprehensive and familiar health insurance.  Who's to say? The purpose of this post however- NOT logistical.  Emotional.

Unfortunately (or conveniently?) I can't be too emotional since I'm writing it from my office and don't care to have coworkers catch me crying...again.

It's hard for me to tell people things they don't want to hear.  I find it hard to tell them things they don't LOVE hearing (an even deeper level of wanting to please). Obviously moving away is not personal- except maybe to my current stoop-smokin' neighbor. Gross. But somehow it feels like telling people we're leaving is the equivalent of offending their mother or kicking their dog. The 20 year old inside me is used to doing things that people really like, and approve of.  I don't think I ever went as far as making decisions based on hopes of that approval, but you better believe when I got it I LIKED it. I've grown accustomed to how warm and fuzzy it feels to know everyone gets what you're doing and thinks it's A-OK!. Thinking and acting outside the (approved and standard) box- that gets tough.

It's safe to say the things worth doing, are hard to do.  In this case, more uncomfortable than difficult. What I feel beyond happy about: I have a great partner to make these things happen with, a baby on the way that will have a big home and full-time mom to join,
and all of YOU to support us on our new adventure...and host when you find yourself in the Pacific Northwest. Stay tuned for more on our road to becoming Idahoans...




Monday, September 8, 2014

Show 'em who's Boss

During my work day I find myself getting up to go to the restroom, stopping to do something productive on the way back to my office (check my mail box, tell a colleague something, things of that nature) then deciding since I'm up I might as well just go to the bathroom again.  Lord knows it'll only be a matter of minutes anyway.

I could literally spend all day just being pregnant.
There was probably (okay definitely) a time when I would have responded to someone saying something like this with some cynicism like... I dunno..."Oh BOOHOO."  If that's your response right now...just wait. You'll find the Third Tri is a real kick in the pants.

I tend to put a decent amount of pressure on myself to be good at life; send Thank you cards in a timely manner, take vitamins, stuff like that. What I want more than anything right now is to be good at being pregnant.  My Doctor (and husband too) would probably say I'm doing aight, but I could REALLY *show 'em who's boss if I literally spent ALL day devoted to being pregnant.


Here is how the WHOLE day would go...
  • First things first- Pool work out in the morning. Sciatica makes taking walks, elipticals and any other low intensity cardio I might do pretty miserable.  The pool though...what a treat! It also helps that it's the only cool place to be in San Diego these days. 80 degrees and muggy?  Really? None of us came here for this!  Yesterday morning (it was a Sunday) I had my water workout alongside a 61 year old who was enjoying her own speed walk/jog in the shallow end. #poolfriends
  • 7 deadly stretches- Chiropractors LOVE stretches.  Every time I go see the man (once a week, twice if he had his way) he has a new ground breaking stretch for me to do "on my own."  We are at 7 total and he insists I do them each 3-4 times a day. I can get in one set during pool work out but other than that...activities like the  "Clam stretch" aren't exactly work appropriate. Maybe if I had an entire day to devote to stretches, I could really get into it. 
  • Actually Sleeping- I could fall asleep at any point throughout the day (I've blogged about car naps before) It's that nighttime sleeping that's really tough. Perhaps I need ALL day to sleep whenever the mood strikes, so that I could be REALLY good at getting sufficient rest, for the baby's sake of course.
  • Moisturizing and preventing stretch marks- Yea we're goin' there. Thanks to a dear friend and pro mom I have the glory of all glory when it comes to Oiling up. What I would love to have along with it? Lots and lots of time to use it properly, 2x a day.  Who knows, maybe I'd even shower twice if I had all day to be pregnant- nothing is better than some "Weleda" massage oil after a cold summer shower. 
  • Dr's appointments- and more Dr's appointments.  Thank Goodness I work for an amazing place and don't have to freak out about missing time for these.  I have been blessed by my job time and time again. When I leave them in less than a month, it will be a very bitter sweet day. More on that SOON. I could spend hours not only attending my regular check ups, but going in for lab work, switching back and forth between gmail calendar screens to ensure no conflicts (I'm crazy), reading the literature they give out, I mean the list goes on!
  • Food Prep & Grocery Shopping- I happen to have married the most helpful man in the entire world (that was no accident) but even still, having all day to prep meals that all include green leafy's and Protein- come on.
  • Prenatal Vitamins- Why do I always run out of prenatals during super busy weeks? ORRRR maybe I just really hate going to Rite Aid. Imagine having all day to leisurely walk to Rite Aid, it's that close to home! And don't underestimate how long that walk would take.  Taking breaks for numb, fire legs are required (I don't think I can swim there).
  • Staring, rubbing and reflecting- literally I could do this for 20 minutes at a time multiple times a day (kinda like my stretches?) At almost 7 months, this little love can sense and sometimes respond to touch. My app told me...and I've experienced it in the last couple of weeks. I love staring at this big "bump", and just giving her love and attention each day. Nothing is better (or sometimes weirder) than feeling her headbutt my palm.  We're also at the point of being able to see her moving. Crazy.
  • Writing in Charlotte's Journal- with all that's happening in our family's lives, this babe is going to need to know the details of her 9 months!
  • Registering- Don't get me started.
  • Figuring out what to wear.  Seriously.
  • Doing things slowly and picking up all the things I drop.  Even more seriously.
  • Last but not least, blogging MORE. It's taken over a week to actually make progress on this post alone.  And I love writing...especially about my favorite little girl! Lately, when I finally sit down to do it, exhaustion kicks in and watching an episode of The Sopranos is much more the level of effort I'm looking to contribute to life at that moment. 
In no way is this a complaint post. While I don't consider myself one of those women that claim they love being pregnant (I mean, really?) I am so enjoying this time in the midst of all the let's just say "stuff" pregnancy entails. I really would love to take MORE time to do everything listed above EVERY day.  What I'll do instead (for next 23 days but who's counting?) is...
as much as I can.

Day 24...watch out!

*I can't tell you how badly I wanted to write "Kick some pregnancy a$$" ...but it just seems wrong to use profantiy as I talk about caring of my unborn child- I couldn't even bring myself to type it with real S's. Internal conflict (or just hormones?)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Clockwork

While the element of surprise can be exciting…I’m a big fan of knowing what to expect when it comes to pregnancy (and life in general, let’s be honest).
So far my body (saying “my womb” makes me feel like a total creep) has proven to be running like clockwork.  The clocks I go by:  My OBGYN/NP and my apps.  I have two apps (not like Buffalo wings, apps on my phone.  Mmmm buffalo wings…) One is meant to be read daily and the other on the weekly.  *It’s amazing to me that the minute you become pregnant your brain’s frame of reference regarding time transforms and instead of thinking “4 and 1/2 months” you say “18 weeks.”  Based on observation, the minute the kid comes out, you're supposed to go back to talking in “months” and say things like “20 months” instead of ”A year and 8 months” or something normal like “almost 2.” So much to take in.

They (my medical staff and applications) said nausea would be wrapping up around fourteen weeks.  This means for about ten weeks total, you feel like barfing or you in fact do barf daily- no prob. They were right and this predictable bod did in fact quit it by end of week 14 (Equivalent to 3.5 months).

They also said that during Week 17 (I’m not doing any more math for you) my joints would start to feel “wobbly and unstable” and whadoyaknow that was the week I gave up the wedges and heels after nearly falling in a parking lot.  I’m not a huge fan of “flats," they make me feel like I'm standing in a puddle...but any excuse to hit up DSW.

Weeks 16-18 all suggest buying new clothes.  I finally went Maternity shopping .  My mother has been doing it for months and blessed me with an entire bin of new clothes when we finally saw each other last weekend. Halleluiah. Imagine actually wearing comfortable clothes and feeling sorta cute.  Amazing.  I held off on my own shopping since I found the whole thing overwhelming.  What exactly do you buy? And if you don’t want to shop online (who KNOWS how these things fit) where do you go?  And don’t you dare say “PEA in a POD.”  I don’t throw down $300 on jeans and I’m certainly not going to start on a pair that have an expandable waist band. Right on track, and fiscally helpful, my body made regular clothing possible until week 18. By now I have elastic bottoms and loooong tops and am loving life.  I think accessorizing is a key piece to this whole thing…for another post.

Certain weeks are characterized by cold-like symptoms and bloody noses…I got those too. And if you think it’s all in my head- MAYBE it is.  Actually it’s not.  I tend to read my daily dose of app then respond aloud “I have that!” as opposed to reading first then “experiencing” what I've read, like other hypochondriacs.

Before I make all the moms that had unpredictable pregnancies totally hate my guts, I’m going to quit while I’m ahead.  Do me a favor and knock on wood so that week 19 doesn't prove me wrong!

PS Week 19= Finding out if it's Boy OR Girl.  We have a 50/50 shot.










Sunday, June 22, 2014

Telling Grandma

Of course "posting" big news for the world to see is exciting.  Even if you're not completely obsessed with Facebook, all the "likes" and "comments" can be a fantastic distraction from work for as long as 48 hours. But...

there is just nothing like telling Grandma you're pregnant.



I've written about my Grandma here and there, mostly early on in my blog. She played a huge role in my childhood and while I want to be intentional about taking nothing away from my incredible parents, I have to say that I spent the majority of my time growing up with my Grandma. When all after-school days and most summers are spent at Grandma and Grandpa's house, the hours quickly add up. I find that there are ways I behave in my adult life that just have to be a product of being so close and so influenced by my Grandmother. One example: my devout belief in the idea that "neatness counts."

Since I'm just about 30 now, that unfortunately means that my grandparents have aged as well.  Grandma is now in her late 80's and living in a convalescent home, with pretty advanced dementia. While I can't visit as often as I'd like, every time I make the trip to San Dimas, I am overwhelmed with how connected I still feel to her.  Of course my mom, a loyal and daily visitor to Grandma, meets me at the home each time I go.  On my most recent trip, I shared with Mom that the three of us in the same room just feels right although it's been over ten years since that was the norm.

It's standard that there is confusion upon my arrival. Once we tell Grandma who I am, my mom quickly tells her that I'm pregnant. She just can't wait a minute longer and I can't blame her. It's as if there is a moment of clarity and this new great grandchild on the way makes perfect sense. My grandma smiles during the entire visit. I felt her genuine interest and excitement, since she asked the same three questions over and over. She really wanted to know:

How I had been feeling.
If my husband was excited.
How far along I was...although after answering "3 months" just three times, this question evolved into "So you're 3 months?"

As a former Kindergarten teacher and current mom to teenagers, I'm a pro at repeating myself.  But never have I enjoyed it as much as this. One of my favorite observations from Grandma went something like, "Well, you sure aren't very big."  Could I love this woman any more?  (Answer- No, I love her so, so much) We used to get off the phone by repeating we loved each other a bushel and a peck, and a hug around the neck.

My mom asked what Gram thought I was having and for a moment, Grandma's smile went away and she very seriously said, "Well, she's having a boy."

Stay tuned...

And if you have the ability to reach your grandma by phone or better yet, give her a hug in person soon...DO IT!  PS You don't have to be pregnant.

Friday, June 6, 2014

HE is not all that's Risen- Morning Sickness begins

They say all pregnancies are different.  I don't know who "they" are.  But if "they" are Doctors, I believe it. If not, I'll be asking my OBGYN at my next visit.  I listen to everything my OBGYN says.  What other source would I trust?  Some sort of online forum?  I don't think so.

As far as this pregnancy is concerned, "morning sickness,"  translates to day-long-nausea, and reared its ugly head on Easter Sunday (5.5 weeks along).  From that sacred day on, I have felt sick every day at various times throughout the day.  Ironically enough, evenings are the worst. When my breathing starts to slow and a look of utter seriousness appears, it's pretty clear we're "workin' through some things."  My household knows what this means.  If uncertain sometimes the husband will ask, "You okay honey?  Just working through some things?"  Yep.

I pride myself on having limited the use of official "Sick days" to a mere one...thus far. Since that one was used pretty early on (before a girl had strategies for getting from gagging in office to spewing in staff bathroom in sub 10 seconds), I had no choice but to play out the "In bed with a Migraine" act.  I don't condone lying to your colleagues (who also moonlight as great friends!) but that cat was just not quite ready to be outta the bag.

In addition to day-long-nausea being inconvenient, I'm not thrilled with the persona (if you will) it tends to bring out in me, literally and figuratively. I can only describe it as...Crazy.

I want to say that I have yet to really flip out.  However, the crazy definitely rises up in me, among other things, when I'm alone. In most cases I am alone in my office or car. I should probably get even better at hiding the crazy because pretty soon I won't be alone EVER.  No baby deserves to hear Mommy call a man wearing a stupid hat a "stupid driver, in a stupid car."  In my defense, calling everything surrounding the man that cut me off "stupid" was way less harsh than the other English and even Spanish possibilities I know of.

Instead of going into the ugly details of those scenes in my life (I think the "stupid" story is picturesque enough), I thought a more positive spin might be sharing those little things throughout the day that get me OUT of Crazy:

Nothing puts a smile on my green face quicker than taking off my belt (that's right) and flipping over my recycle bin to create an ottoman under my desk.  Yes, the heels also come off. Go big or go home.

The drawer or center console o' munchies: Trail mix, crackers, banana, oatmeal, club soda, mint tea...if it's non perishable and remotely nutritious, it's probably lived in my office or car at some point in the last 60 days. Ya know what else lives there?  A big knit scarf, that is NOT for keeping me warm (I ran hot pre-pregnant, you better believe I'm a furnace now!). It is utilized as the amazing pillow that I believe it is made to be. When it comes to 15 minute breaks, I'm no fool.  That cool, dark office I have right at my disposal is not going to go to waste. My formula: Lights off, office locked, quick email to neighboring colleague that says something like "Hey, see ya in 15," and fetal position on the floor. Looking through the vertical window (right above my body) will only show you a dark room and an empty desk.  What's not being seen? An enrollment counselor shimmied up against that window...possibly snoring.  Work Naps 2014. What's up.

 I used to swear tea was for wimps.  I like coffee.  Guess what?  Tea is awesome.


There's no better cool down from an enraged driving situation (it really doesn't happen all that often) than the two B's...a Bagel and Billy Joel. I literally went from 60 to 0 immediately upon "Piano Man" hitting the air and a plain wheat bagel hitting my lips.  Satisfaction.


So many nausea filled stories to tell...for now I'll leave you with those positive highlights.

I would love to be in the bloggy habit of telling you what post is coming next...but I'm pretty indecisive these days and well...we'll just have to see what comes out of me (no pun intended)

Okay fine, pun intended.

Monday, June 2, 2014

I am PREGNANT

3 months:  The amount of time it takes to grow out a bad bang trim.  The amount of time it takes some of us to finish a book.  AND the amount of time one should wait to announce she is PREGNANT.




I am pregnant.




I didn't anticipate my big announcement being one that took place via social media/the blogosphere...but let's get real- I either spend the time calling everyone I know or the postage sending them all some sort of clever photo (with vintage font overlay). Unfortunately I'm just very tired, and not that clever.

I AM absolutely thrilled.  As is the man responsible, my husband.  There are so many things that we are finding incredible, shocking and even hilarious about this process (for lack of a better word).  Now I can finally start posting!

Coming soon: 
"HE is not all that's risen- morning sickness begins on Easter Sunday"





Friday, May 16, 2014

I might be the worst

Well there is no doubt it is wedding season.  It's of course typical for weddings to take place in the Spring and Summer, and when you're between 25 and 35, it's even more typical.  I actually had the weddings-every-month-streak in my early 20's (if I were one of those people that "hashtag" I might include a little #ChristianPeopleProblems).

This Spring has a different focus for me these days. I seemed to have skipped some steps somewhere and here I am in....PROM season.

I've referenced my love for prom dress shopping before, so in no way am I looking for sympathy.  However, don't underestimate how terrible it is to think about your kid going to a Post-Prom party. But hey ya gotta let 'em live...and trust that they won't drink any Zima or Mike's Hard Lemonade.

What is actually the most terrible thing about Prom season....this:



Teen’s Tan For $10 



Yep.  If you're under 17, we'd like to get you HOOKED on tanning!  We'll even give you a pack of Virginia Slims on the way out just to make sure you're really on the right track!

So...here's my big, terrible, bloggy confession: Last year I let Kid #1 get a spray tan for Prom.  That's right, SPRAY tan, no cancer-causing UV's like we all did in High School, just good 'ol orange dye. Kid #2 also suffers with the repercussions of "track tan" so how could a Mommo say no? I figure spending $35 on such a luxury would be a crime....So I'm gonna go ahead and humor this inappropriate deal (and "Naked" tanning salon) and pay a mere $10 instead.  Of course I'll slip Kid #2 the cash to hand over, since she'll be the one whose ID says 1996 under birth year. 

I may or may not have printed this online deal out (at work) and stuck it in my purse to ensure this deal goes through. God forbid more than just ten of my hard earned dollars support such a thing.  

I might be the worst.

Friday, May 2, 2014

What seems to work



Never (ever) would I post something about parenting that was titled "How to..." or "The best way..."  I know better than to make such claims, and I know that I really don't know anything at all. Instead, today I'll share what seems to me, to be working (not even Haters can hate on that).

Relatively recently I became a "Mommo" to two teenagers. I really should say I grew into being their Mommo, since it surely didn't happen over night (it was more like a week. JK) Odd to "become" a parent to teens, especially as a spry sub-30 year old. It's a long story and one that not even this blonde could make short. What I will say is that my two girls were made to end up mine and over time God has taught me how to properly be theirs. Always a work in progress...

With the killer insights of my patient and thoughtful husband, and just a dash of female instinct, some house rules have been established, that seem to be working for us in raising our teenies.

In no particular order...
When your teenage daughter brings around a boyfriend- make sure to mess his name up just slightly. Go ahead and throw a "Hey Mick" out there when Mike enters your living room. Let him sweat a little, it's good for them both to stay humble about their "Love's" place in your home. It will eventfully make sense to Mick (why you call him by a different name, that is) and he'll respect you for it. If your Mick can't handle a little humor and humility...well I don't know if Mick should be hangin' around.

Play it off. Tonight I started writing this post on our iPad, before breaking for dinner. Youngest dot picked it up to embark on some college stuff afterward and low and behold my first paragraph was exposed. She quickly handed it to me to save, or log off, or something...with a smirk on her little face.  That's what smart little teens do- they smirk. I could make it a big deal or even say nothing at all while logging out and her curiosity would absolutely lead her to the "web history" later in the evening.  Instead I casually say, "Oh I don't care if you read my blog." And...scene. She has no interest in my blog at all. Sinchy right?

Remember that awesome thing your mom used to do? Do that! One of my very favorite things I did with my mom throughout high school was going dress shopping before dances. She made it a huge deal. We would bypass West Covina Plaza (Respect to those of you that can respect that shout out) and drive out to Brea Mall, now that's big time. We certainly weren't above malls off the 10 West, but Mom knew heading into a different county meant finding a unique dress and having a special day together.  She loved the process of finding the dress, the shoes, the clutch and the jewelry just as much as I did. So OF COURSE some 10 (maybe 15) years later my girls get dance-shopping-and-lunch-marathon-day too! Duh. And I completely get why it was something my mom looked forward to and saved up for- Because it's awesome, that's why! *Our tradition differs slightly as I've implemented a rule that they have to try something on that I chose...and it's usually something ridiculous and hilarious.  I like it.

Gently make fun of other kids with them. What? Yea we do that. And our kids like it. It's probably not nice but we keep it harmless... Like calling those Indian brothers that our girls run track with "The Twindians."  Nobody is getting hurt by that right? And our kids know that somebody is paying attention. (I told you, I only claim what works for us)

Just listen to their stories. All teenage girls want to do is TALK and from my very hands-on research, that just about covers most of their emotional needs on a daily basis. Do I want to know how every single one of their friends got asked to Prom? Not necessarily. But I know now! Better than not knowing, I'm sure. Side note: that whole scene has gotten way out of control. We try to remind our girls of this and help them keep some perspective (for crying out-loud). Being asked to a dance does not need to be on the same level as being proposed to.  I dunno...maybe have something in life you're looking forward to, instead of trying to make a production. of. everything! That's my rant to all teenagers around the world.  Okay maybe just American teenagers. I guess us adults fall into this trap sometimes too...I won't share examples, that would be offensive.

I have just a couple more (okay, a lot more but too many on the list and I start to sound like a know-it-all). I'll leave one more, short and sweet:

Affirm affirm affirm. I need it.  You need it.  Teenagers need it.  Even if yours are acting like little jerks, find something to affirm. "Hey there...nice job hanging up your towel." If you're like me your natural response to a towel hanging is OF COURSE you are expected to and should hang up your towel.  How else should one live?!  Then you remember what seems to work...affirm.

Love to you and all the teens you know.  And Bless your HEART if you're raising some right now.

XO

Monday, April 21, 2014

A TV Review from 1995

My husband and I try not to be an annoying couple that brags about not watching TV, but for the most part, we don't watch TV...Excluding (obviously) that sweet, sweet Bachelory time of year when NOT watching means missing out on fantastic break room conversation and numerous opportunities to make fun of foolish women.

After weekends upon weekends of back to back plans, dressing up, packing bags, "crafting" and everything else that busy weekends entail... I got my TV on (you can take that as 1. I am trying to sound "ghetto" and "cool" or 2. I literally turned my TV on to watch it.

Much like my taste in music, I prefer the 90's hits much more than what is on the tube these days. I do give present shows a shot.  Just last week I tried to get into some Law & Order SVU (being that it's all the rage).  Man, could that show get any Rape-ier?  Ugh. I lasted about 2 minutes.

So, with a comfortable fort built in the living room, I embarked on a season and a half of PARTY OF FIVE.  Anybody?

From left to right: Neve Campbell, Matthew Fox, Scott Wolf,
11 year old Gretchen Weiners and baby actor who plays Owen

And if you thought I was bragging before, get a load of this- I didn't have to look up any of those names! Whoa.  Here is my very official review of this 90's gem:

***** (those are 5 stars) for Cast.
I mean really, who better to play the complicated, lady killer Charlie?  Not only can Matt Fox get off a mysterious island in 2010, he can also raise his brothers and sisters (that range from baby to 16) at the spry age of 24. I wish Neve Cambell wasn't out of breath at the end of every sentence but I'm learning to deal with it. Obviously "Bailey" just needs a little love and guidance, and he'll be just fine. Gretchen Weiners, what a sweet little violinist you were. I'm guessing (more like hoping) we're the same age now, but I still want to give you a big hug in those little overalls!

***** for Setting
Since it's based in the Bay Area, my husband is remotely interested and that's good enough for me. He could also have a secret crush on "Kirsten."  

At least she's blonde


I don't pretend to be Roger Ebert (now you've got two 90's references on this lovely Monday) so that's all I have to say in my review.

I think you should go watch Party of Five now. 
Good Night.











Tuesday, April 1, 2014

It's Raining It's Pouring...

If ONLY I was snoring!

Though I have completely faked energy and enthusiasm thus far this week...I am exhausted! My recent crafting at home and project-taking-on at work would lead you to believe otherwise.  So tricky.

Monday started out alright. For some strange reason I woke up with Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine's "Rhythm is gonna get you" in my head.  I know...what on earth? Gloria is the first artist I ever danced (on stage) to...that's another story, and one that still doesn't explain how her collaborated 1987 hit found its way into my subconscious.


Things improved on the way to work- in my own car. I did love the extra A.M. time with the Hub, but I have to say having my ride back is just a real treat. Channel surfing (radio frequencies) is one of my favorite things about driving alone.  I also like talking to myself.

A rhythm that really "got me" hit the airwaves just in time for my 8 East merge...


Is there anything better than Freddie Mercury?  I would say NO.  There isn't. 
One of my favorite Wedding day memories is entering our reception to You're my Best Friend. 
(Girl tangent)

I have a sneaking suspicion that this rainy week is going to wiz by, like the last 13 have- That's right, Christmas was over 3 months ago. We're allowed to wear white pants in just a matter of weeks, for crying out loud! I really think the older we get, the faster time goes by.  Can you tell I'm actually starting to understand some of the stuff old people say. I'm also starting to SAY old people things (case in point- "For crying out loud" utilized 2 sentences ago.  EEK).  Truly though, the days of feeling like something was soooooo far away or far behind  are long gone. This perspective makes for a more patient outlook I think. Knowing that time is positively flying by makes me just a little less anxious for all that comes in the future.  If I could paint you a picture...I'm at my desk, stroking my own shoulder, understandingly nodding my head and repeating "in due time" over and over again.

That just took a turn.

So what can you take from this post? Any of the following:
-The 80's had better music
-It's raining in San Diego
-Maybe I need to slow down and chill out
-Perhaps the rhythm really IS going to get me
-Life is passing by at a rapid speed
-If I'm the same age as this Blonde, I too am getting old
-I'm also very tired.  Is it 5:00 yet?

Happy Almost-Hump-day
(That's not really a thing)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Makin' it Work

One of my mottos in life ("mantras" if your verbiage is cooler than mine) is Make it Work. I attribute this one to my mother, who is the ultimate make-it-worker. As a single mom she did just this! I spent a lot of time, especially in high school, doing a LOT of stuff.  Most if not all of my activities made my mom's time, money and "rides" a must. Side note: Now that I have teens, it is very apparent to me that they never say "Can you drive me..." they always say "Can I get a ride..."  "Heidi needs a ride..." "Can we give Nick a ride...." (profound observation from yours truly.  Another quasi obvious one: they say "I was all like" every time they quote themselves) More on teenagers later...and I used to think I wanted to write a book on being a bridesmaid. This material grows by the day!

Making it work means being flexible and staying positive. If you went to PLNU or perhaps another institution that focused on "the whole student," you just might know your Top 5 Strengths.  Well, my #2 Strength (in descending order naturally) is Positivity.  Positivity is not actually a word, though its meaning is probably pretty clear, even to the virgin-Strengths-Quester.

Things just do not work (not well at least) if attitude falls apart the minute things become inconvenient, out of the ordinary or just simply unplanned. Positivity and flexibility in these situations makes things much easier...especially for those around you (and maybe even your husband as just a random example).  See what I just did there?  I pointed out that my awesome attitude improves my husband's life.  We'll see if he agrees when he gives me his feedback on this post later.  

Lately things have been just a bit hectic.  Every evening necessitates a planning pow-wow of sorts for the following day.  Who is going where?  Making dinner? Getting a "ride?"  I am the one needing rides here recently.  I could be bothered daily by this short period of time that I'm without my own ride or I can just make it work. Aside from the semi-weekly, casual check-in on the situation (always subtle), I think I'm doing a decent job. I'll probably get some feedback on that later too.  I choose to be flexible and in this situation, focus on the following:

Even though I'm forced to get up earlier when my early bird leaves in the morning- I make it advantageous by either:
1. Using the time to workout buildingside before I get ready and enter my office (see This is how we do it and ridiculous photo below) or
2. Minimizing the morning tasks at home (ultimate goal always being to sleep a little longer) by doing my makeup in the car and preparing my oatmeal on the clock, without a secret crock pot.


7:15 stretching on the stairs before circuit/work day.  The 8 fwy is underneath those capris

Preparation is of course another key component in making things work (My #1 Strength, since you're wondering, is Strategic. Quick reminder that these are not self-appointed). Leaving the house in workout gear means the day's pencil skirt, blouse, cami, heels and bra are ready to go and in my backpack.  Did I mention that I really love my backpack?  It's from Costco.  I really love Costco. Naturally the makeup bag and a couple bobby pins for taming my beastly mane already live inside the backpack.


More preparedness (or strategery, if you will) for this particular lesson in Makin' it work...
Sure I can thank the staff lounge for the paper goods, spork and individual creamer,
But the Honey Bear and cinnamon from my desk drawer...that was no accident.


And speaking of hair...what?  It's a no brainer that being flexible, positive, and prepared are all vital when it comes to a gal's hair.  Makin' it work in regards to the hair today meant finding a way to get it professionally under control for under 50 bucks! Ladies you know what a mountain this is to climb. I won't go into all the details but let's just say taking advantage of a "Refer a Friend" coupon and a captive email audience saved this blonde some dough.  I have kiddos that need all sorts of things these days, leaving an overdue cut and colour off the list of priorities by just a smidge.  So maybe a little creativity is also necessary for makin' it work?

(insert life lesson music from "Full House" here)
I think one of life's biggest tricks is making you think that everyone else's (or maybe just your perfect facebook friend's) life is easier and better than yours.  I am realistic enough to know that my life will pretty much only be smooth sailing on Sunday afternoons...and days when I pretend to be sick (then return to work with a sunburn. oops).  There will always be more wants than haves and less time than there are tasks to accomplish. Do what you can. Make the best of it and make it work. Attitude is everything (this is a real quote).  You can "Google image" it and come up with this modern gem...


And just a few footnotes before I hit Publish:
I should make it known that I believe there are times and places when you should NOT make it work. If you find yourself in a relationship with a total jabrone, stop trying so hard...and get outta there, fast.  If you just served your family a turkey and black bean "burrito" with cherry tomatoes on the side (obligatory dinner vegetable), stop trying to make what's in the fridge "work" and go grocery shopping.  This just got personal.

Final and somewhat related quote: 
"Who's got it better than us??? 
Nobody!!!!"
Can you name the hunk who said it?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Besitos- A Bachelor Final Rose Recap

Awwwwwwwwwkward 
It is a challenge to really structure this "recap" post, so instead I turn to bullet points- let's call them Besitos.
  • If I had to use one word over and over again, and I did from 8-11pm last night, it would be Awkward! Awkward scenes with Claire, Awkward Venezuelan family scenes, Awkward that Nikki isn't loved...just so awkward.

  • Did anyone else feel I don't know, NOT surprised at all, when Claire shared that she had never "told off" a man before? Yea...we could tell.  We like you for the most part...but that move needs some work.  The worst thing you can ever do while telling someone off is stumble over your (awkward) words.  Truly the only part I could get behind was her Stand-Back-Buddy! pose when he immediately went in for a hug after dumping her (in lieu of proposing). 
Where it all began...the big TELLING Off, that is


  • Hey Nikki, stop pretending you DON'T care if this man says he loves you or not.  It's okay to be a human being and want to be loved...mostly by the person you claimed YOU loved in front of the entire county. Get real. I'm reminded of a scene from my early 20's... I was out in PB with a group of friends, one being an extremely bright friend from college (she's now a Doctor, normal things). Two of us (at the time) had pritty, pritty large chests *This is why "Boobs" is an official Label on this blog, for another time... From inside a cab, the Dr. yelled out the window to some rif raf, "HEY!  YOU WANNA SEE SOME DOUBLE D's!?"  Naturally the entire purpose was to make us Double D'ers squirm. It worked.  The group (of rif raf) surprisingly ignored her.  The Dr's response, "NO?!?....You're a LIAR!"  Case in point. *To take this parallel a bit deeper: Wanting to see big boobs (males) = wanting to be loved (females).  If you say you don't want either, well you're just not telling the truth.  And also, males like love too. 

  • I haven't been a big fan of Sharleen (the Opera lady) this season but I thought she did an amazing job articulating how Juan Pablo's family "warned" the girls about him, then how he completely patronized Claire leading her to ignore her intuition.  I mean literally, his mother said that he was rude and made her cry. His primo (I speak spanish, did you know that?) asked BOTH girls how good at NOT running away they were.  Hmmmm.  Also, I'm beginning to think Sharleen gets prettier and prettier as the time after her dramatic exit goes on.  But last night...that lipstick! I found it a little big terrifying.       
  • bachelor-finale-sharleen-eyelashes
    If her lips were red I'd probably want to be her.  Instead, they're purple.



  • Back to Nikki...She deserves some attention for crying out loud...even if it's just from bloggers! In case you didn't watch, JP (silent J- not to be confused with Bachelorette Ashley's season) wants everything, including whether or not he loves his final rose recipient, to be "private." Poor girl went on the Bachelor for at least a little fame.  Sheesh.  Nikki has a super hot bod. I have to admit if my stomach were that flat, I'd probably dress a little on the provocative side too.  Just being honest.  However, there is a time and definitely a place!  Exposing your entire back and back tat is one thing on a beach in Saint Lucia, maybe even atop a horse.  Heading to meet your future in-laws (OR possibly to your engagement) in such attire is quite another. I'm pretty sure everyone will remember how impressive Nikki's body is even if it's slightly covered up a few times...
Heading to the final rose and romantic "I like you aLOT!" 

  • I absolutely love the way Chris Harrison handled everything on the very awkward (told you I'd keep saying it) After the Final Rose show.  I think I may have said (to the TV) "Good for HIM!" a couple of times. Way to say exactly what "Bachelor Nation" is thinking and handle your own in the midst of such pride and arrogance. Chris really has this gig down.

  • So.  Many.  More. Comments.  But only so many besitos to go around.

  • I close the door on this season with one very important lesson:  Don't marry (or date) the guy that all of America despises.  Don't even marry or date the guy that any of your friends or family despise.  

How about that?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

This is how we do it

Alright this just got real. It's March.

As of last week I skied for the last time this season and Winter is officially over. So is not being in shape because it's cold outside.  Between you and me it's really only been cold like twice.

I will readily admit that the only way I work out regularly (which I should do every month, not just March through November) is if I can get it done in the morning before work.  After work I have this total distraction called a family that I want to spend every possible moment with...plus it's dark and scary outside! Even though 2014 is the year I become a "Morning Person," I still struggle to get out of bed an hour early to exercise. We're only a quarter way through the year right?

This morning I got to work at 7:15 to get in a pre-work-work-out. Much like I've confessed that I'm not a style blogger, before taking this any further I'd like to also say that I don't think I'm a fitness blogger.  Trust me, I'd love to be both, but instead I'm kind of a wannabe...not to the extent that I was in junior high when I wrote Nirvana and "NIN" on my backpack, but definitely to some extent.

I figure there are plenty of others out there who also have a full time job, family, commitments and so on, that might need to think outside the box for the sake of fitting it all in. And so, I contribute what I can on this topic.

"Outside the box" exercise plan...
Note the paperclip at the top.  Get it? I'm at work.
Photo Collage Clockwise:  Selfie of me being impressed with myself (and my puffy vest)
Walkway from the "15 minuter" route to the top level of our parking structure
Handicap bathroom "get ready" photo opp.
The mirrored building next door- likely where people point and laugh from
Calf raises on the stairs

I work in a pretty industrial area right off one of the busiest freeways in San Diego.  Of all the beautiful options in this town, it's probably one of the least appealing outdoor workout spots.  Why not go to the gym, you ask?  Because going to an entirely different location takes even more time in an already harsh morning- baby steps. Here is my weird little routine I did today, that got me totally sweating and pumped before 8 hours of sitting at a desk.

  • I started out with The 15 minuter- On "15 minute breaks" (this is what you look forward to when you're office bound) some gals and I take little walks. This morning I did the normal route-speed walk style. Since I was wearing my vest and 2011 Nikes, I really owned the whole kinda-cool-Mom look. Fitness people/foot enthusiasts please don't be concerned, I haven't actually been wearing these sneakers since 2011...I've had them since 2012 but got them from Nordstrom Rack where they ended up after being unsuccessful in the 2011 athletic shoe market.
  • My speed walk route ended on the side of my building (I don't own the building, I just work in it...and apparently work out beside it).  See interesting walkway/planter photo above.  Here I proceeded to do a made-up circuit-ish workout. Pinterest has done wonders for getting circuit training ideas out there. Lord knows I won't go to Crossfit at 5am (or pay for that kinda thing) so I take advantage of this free service. I pretend I'm an expert and pick and choose from the many available circuits, to create my own. I'm not sure if the combination of things I do is as great as some of the established "Pinned" ones, but I figure they can't hurt!  
  • Starting at the bottom of the stairs/top of the walkway, I did 25 Jumping Jacks.  Every 5 jacks I did the kind of jack you do to a punching sound in Turbo Kick Boxing classes...or for the cheerleaders out there- an "X Jump" or "Spread Eagle." Those burned some extra calories (I think).
  • Then I skipped steps up the stairs (sort of like lunging up the stairs) to the top and for another 25 Jacks. I did this until I had completed two sets of up-the-stairs-lunges (do I know my exercise terms or what?) and 100 Jumping Jacks, 20 total of them being X Jumps.
  • I ran from the top of the stairs to the bottom of the walkway and back up (can you tell it's an incline in the photo?...'cuz it is) and did lunges in place-24 total on each leg, jumping to switch sides after each 8 *I think those in the biz call all the jumping stuff Plyometrics. I'm sure doing things in increments of 8 is improper in "rep" world , but I can't seem to get away from it (this habit is from taking dance classes in my adolescence! Note:  I really want to write that it's from "being a dancer" but that's a bit of a stretch...and sounds a little uppity). I did this part of the "circuit" twice, running back down and up in between Plyometric lunge things.
  • On the third and fourth time running up and down the little hill (now calling it a hill instead of a walkway) I stopped in between for calf raises.  Not sure how many...I just did it until it burned real bad.   
Then I stretched and got excited that the top of my shirt was soaked (the vest added some insulation I'm sure).

I HIGHLY doubt anyone is jotting down this super innovative Building-side workout but maaaaaybe it presents some ideas and inspiration for getting a little physical before or even during work.  There's no reason this can't be accomplished mid-day during an hour lunch too.  I just happen to take 30 minute lunches (and use them for gossiping in the break room).

And of course I could write an entire additional post on the quick and dirty get-ready in the work bathroom...the one thing I will say for now is this:  It would be impossible without a trusty backpack full of tricks.

And now I leave you with some real inspiration...













Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Secret Crock Pot

As I've mentioned recently, I've been doing a little "labeling" around Blonde Story Short.  The funnest part about it (funnest not being a real word) is being reminded of what life was like up to six years ago and seeing the patterns throughout my stories.  One label that I couldn't help but create was titled "WHY?"

The WHY? posts typically centered around something ridiculous...spilling coffee directly onto the boobs on my way to tutor junior high boys, falling in the middle of a "dance circle" (while doing the "shopping cart"), things of that nature...feel free to check out the 12ish posts labeled WHY?  I have no idea how you do that, but I'm sure Blog spot has a tool for it.

Today, as I prepped my 10am morning snack, I like structure okay?, I asked myself this very broad question.  I cut up a half banana and already sliced apples (into now cubed apples) and wondered WHY eating these two half fruits together on a plate with a fork, made this snack taste better and feel even healthier. Hmmm.  Because I'm crazy.  That's why. My clever coworker asked if I cut that up for her 3-year old.

If doing something a little adolescent to your food makes you happy (and healthy), I say go for it.

The not-sliced-enough apples were in the mini gladware shown and the other
half of that banana is in a medium sized gladware in our staff refrigerator. Note: husbands
don't like half-bananas in the fridge at home.
Also pictured: Tall Iced Americano in a Grande cup
with extra ice and room for non-fat milk and 1/2 a packet of Raw Sugar.
I don't smoke cigarettes but I imagine the satisfaction of a couple puffs
pars 2-3 sips of espresso. It's go time.

Sometimes a good WHY? labeled post can overlap quite nicely with a "Tangent" post. Back in the day when blogging meant a school issued Netbook on my lap in the back of my Special Ed kids' Science class, I posted some pretty consistent "Tangent Tuesdays." Liking structure isn't a new thing for me.  Today the two definitely overlap.  The theme of this tangent...

MAN, I'M THANKFUL FOR MY JOB.

Last night I had the honor of hosting a little dinner party with my gals. We celebrated one gal in particular and in respect of her humble approach to life, I won't mention her name and all the details (How are we friends? Kidding).  Although it was Presidents' Day, I still had to go into the office. Since I'm being thankful right now I won't go into how badly I wished I had the day off like everyone else in Education world. I definitely could have used one more night in the beautiful Glorietta Bay, eating barbecued chicken, grilled asparagus and macaroni & cheese (we call it Romantic Boat food). Neither here nor there. Being at work all day meant only one thing in regards to the evening's event:  Slow cooking dinner in a crock pot...in the graduate student lounge/kitchen.

Except for checking on my creation every couple of hours (and telling the girls in the lunch room about it) no one knew a thing- except the 3rd floor cleaning lady.  Good thing we're cool. I've included the recipe below. Don't say I didn't warn you I had a tangent.



Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers:
Wash, seed and cut the top off of each pepper Get to work at 7am for this part
Fill peppers with doctored up rice and onion . You didn't think I'd prep at home did you?Sprinkle cheddar shred in the middle of the rice and on top This will need to brought to work in a mini gladware
Pour a little marinara on top and finish with more cheddar Homemade marinara is a new skill that makes me feel like I'm good at being a wife. My Sort-of-Recipe below.
Pour a little water in the bottom of the crock *My grandmother's crockpot is pictured, I always imagine a pot roast in there. That wasn't going to work for Monday night's crowd...some other time.
"Crock" on Low for 6 hours.  Then carry it down to the car at 5:00. I turned it back on when I got home for another two hours. You gotta give talking over wine and cheese the time it deserves!
Heat up remaining marinara and spread on a plate, place pepper on top, adding mixture of black beans and corn over the top and sides.
Cover with more marinara and grated fresh mozzarella. Doing this lastly, and with a handheld grater makes you look cool.  
Make sure you have your awesome friends bring over the bread, salad and 2nd (or 3rd?) bottle of wine.

Marinara: 2 Tbsp of Regular Tomato Paste, 1 Tbsp of Garlic Tomato Paste and water 
until the consistency is what you want.  It'll thicken as you stir over low heat.
Add all kinds of the following to taste- I don't do measurements of these things:
onion powder, garlic salt, cayenne, italian seasoning, oregano, black pepper, 
just enough sugar to cut down on tomatoey-ness. I don't consider myself a "cook" because I say "tomatoeyness."
*I made this batch rather spicy because this was a vegetarian dish and I didn't have the option of seasoning meat. Typically I would use ground turkey.

ALL THAT to say, if I worked somewhere weird, I'd probably get into some kind of trouble for taking over the kitchen, plugging in the old crock and goin to town. 

I'm thankful. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Valentine's Day

I'm really torn about where to go on this one.

HAPPY, CRAFTY Valentine's post? 

Super cute FREE Valentine Printables and Heart Candy Jar Tutorial at the36thavenue.com Pin it now and make them later! #valentines
I DIDN'T MAKE HEART SHAPED pancakes either Valentine's post?

Let's just see where we end up.

There is so much one could do to celebrate Valentine's Day, every other holiday, milestones, friendships, pretty much anything... One word sufficiently explains exactly what I'm talking about- Pinterest.  

I dare you to go on Pinterest, especially around a holiday, and not end up feeling like a total shmuck when you eventually "X" out of the page. I'm sort of kidding, but not really.  I usually start off totally pumped and pretending that I have time to go to "Michael's" for project materials. Is that where people go for project materials?  I honestly have NO idea. 
Please don't misunderstand my opinion of Pinterest.  I literally go on every other day and love it. I use it mostly for inspiration since I likely won't do exactly what it says, for example if I don't already have twine at home, a twine substitution will be made. I'm SO down with Pinterest, but, like anything, perspective is key...and not feeling too shmucky is also imperative.

I've been carrying around a mason jar, pink ribbon and scraps of old cards for about a week now (these things don't hang out in my purse or anything, I have a Hawaiian Trader Joes bag for them). My current To-Do's include a Valentine's Day care package for College kid, a sweet gift for High School kid, and something small yet creative for work friends. Luckily husband isn't a real craft enthusiast so not a lot of pressure there. Of course I had hopes of doing something ultra cute with my re-gifted mason jar *When I received it, it had every ingredient needed for a vat of vegetarian chilli, obviously. The millions of creative minds on Pinterest tell me that a mason jar styled Valentines gift would be just right! All I need is some material, new ribbon (mine's not checkered or striped), some kind of paint?, and a clever printable. If I did do something with this jar, it would be as easy as filling it up with on-sale candy and tying on a reused ribbon, Ta Daaaa! I pride myself, perhaps inappropriately, on coming up with inexpensive and resourceful ideas for gifts and even cards. In the interest of keeping some perspective, I think to myself:

-College kid's package is being sent, not paying extra to ship something "fragile."
-High School kid doesn't care about what the candy comes in.  Just give her the candy.  Also, she doesn't like M & M's. 
-I don't have material lying around and don't really want to figure out how to paint that (amazing) heart on the jar.
-There's no way I'm giving that jar to someone outside of my immediate family.  That would mean there's NO chance of the jar being used again and...it's not even Christmas! A simple valentine for everyone else should be sufficient.

What college kid really wants....is exactly what I mailed her this afternoon.  It was NOT Pinterest-worthy, but I know she'll love it.
Body wash, her favorite candy that was ALREADY in the shape of a heart,
a new pink tank, a girly CD, a Valentine's kitchen towel
and a store bought card from her fam. Credits to Postal
Annex in Mission Valley for the hip envelope.


Work friends love me and I love them. We literally write each other emails that say "I love us." Ridiculous. They will be just fine with a printed out "printable" attached to an Almond Roca (so good and .99 at Vons). Having a color printer and a decent paper cutter available on your "Morning 15" is quite nice.

I know what you're thinking, Man does she have her finger on the pulse or what?  "Woodland" is so IN. I actually have a very IN friend who themed her son's nursery "woodland." He's almost 2 now.  Keeping it current over here. 

For those of you that aren't preoccupied with mediocre crafts, perhaps the pressure you are feeling is related to your LOVE life instead. You're married and feeling like you have to do something elaborate and therefore expensive, you're not married/in a relationship and think if you were you would be doing something elaborate and therefore expensive, whatever the case may be, it's just another day. I've spent many a February 14th's at home, without a "valentine" and to be quite honest, I don't really remember the ones with a valentine much more.  They're all sort of a big pink fog. Long story short, enjoy the day like you would any other Friday- looking forward to 5:00 and a glass of wine. 

Happy Valentine's Day...and just do what you can!

XO

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Boobs

I'm pretty good at labeling things. I particularly enjoy the kind of labels that explain where things go, like on a stack of plastic drawers maybe...

I tend to feel like everything should be labeled or loosely fit into a category. Socks and sports bras in the same drawer?! Whaaat?! They both are worn under things. And I just created a category. In all seriousness how do my husband and kids put up with this? It's a true miracle.

One of the many things I love about blogging is that I don't have to fit all that I want to share into just one category.  I can pretend one day that Blonde Story Short is a (fill in your favorite type of blog) blog and the next week it's a (fill in your second favorite type of blog) blog.  I can write whatever I want!  Thank you Blog Spot.  What a contribution you have made to my life, and hopefully others'.

Since the beginning of the new year, I've been setting aside time to write, because I really LOVE writing. Since I found myself poking around B.S.S, I began reading old posts...throwing down some edits...and eventually labeling!  As usual I do whatever cool people do, 2-5 years after they do it. I finished The Hunger Games series like a week ago. I mean, why read it when it comes out in 2008 when you can wait until 2014? I'm also just getting into the whole mis-matching thing (see my recent post with a yellow top and turquoise necklace- It's pretty WILD) Everyone who blogs uses the labeling or categories feature. I however am just discovering it..and I like it.

So far, I've gone through almost half of my 238 posts (that began in 2008- when my new favorite Adventure/Science Fiction book came out). It's amazing what labeling does for finding patterns. Here's the list so far:

Boobs
Books
Boys
Busy
Chocolate
Clothes
Coffee
Dance
Decorating
Doing dumb things
ESFP
Family
Fashion
Friends
Girl Stuff
God
Hair
Hobos
Holidays
Job
Lessons
Life
Love
Mid-20's
Moms
Music
Over-thinking
Pizza
Politics
Shopping
Struggles
Tact
Tangent
Teaching
Therapy
Traveling Adventures
TV
Updates
Why?
William Shatner
Workin' out
Writing
Yellow

If these labels prove anything, it's that from 22 to approximately 25, I was a little off.
I still over-think, struggle at times, and use William Shatner as a curse word- you have to yell it or else it doesn't work.

If you've had a blog for more than a couple of years, I highly recommend going through old posts.  It is a trip.

I labeled the Christmas cupcakes I made for work last month. It's important to know whether you are
enjoying the "North Pole cupcake" or the "Naughty cupcake" (which includes a Hershey's
kiss posing as a lump of coal). Labeling treats has likely been in since '06.
I took it up this holiday
season.


Thursday, January 23, 2014

What I just learned from bloggin' around

1.  Tartan is cool.  I have a tartan dress that isn't that cool.  Why don't I wear that tartan dress with something over the top (like my BR white button up) and a skinny black belt...and my black hand-me-down booties...and a feminine jeweled necklace?  DUR! #AnythingWithStuds.

2.  I really should spend more time in second-hand/discount stores.  I like designer things.  I don't like designer prices.  Bingo! #LoveCheria

3. Even hardcore people wear the same workout gear over and over and over again. Alright! #HelloDay

4.  I don't have many blogs that I follow.  Bloggateers..."comment" me suggestions if you have them!  Anything from simple great writing, to health/fitness and girly stuff!  Please & Thank you.

5.  Finishing a sentence with just one word that best translates to "But of COURSE!" is my favorite way to show genuine enthusiasm.




Friday, January 17, 2014

In the bathroom at work

I've mentioned before that I'm just not that creative...not even close to some women I know (in person or in blog). Maybe someday I'll be really good at arranging flowers and using a sewing machine, without hurting myself...or getting bored.  Today isn't that day.

I do seem to be getting a little more creative (even getting better perhaps) with putting together an outfit.  Most of my creations happen Monday through Friday for work. Being a non-teacher these days has definitely helped this area of my life. Don't get me wrong there are plenty of stylish and adorable teachers. But when I taught, I scanned the scene and quickly realized putting in a mere 10-20% effort into my style met all necessary expectations. I think we were all just really tired most of the time. 

I also attribute motivation in this area of my life to my teeny-boppers at home. I want my girls to see that the way a woman presents herself is important....and I really like it when I wear something cute and they compliment me (motivation much?).

With age (I'm allowed to say that at 29 right?) I've gotten more comfortable with taking risks. We don't each have to have one particular look. Sure, when I lived in OB, bo-ho dresses seemed like the end-all-be-all, but why? I do still love that hippie style and you better believe I'll own my deep-v-paisley-maxi until the day I die. But I also obsess over just about anything from JCrew, feminine & cute outerwear and most of Gwen Stefani's wardrobe...why not try bits of it all (except parachute pants, I just won't wear parachute pants). 

What's most important to me is to be able to do A LOT of things within the confines of my closet, and with a few new pieces here and there.  "Here and there" is best for everyone. Lucky for my husband I don't see shopping as a high enough priority to fit it into my schedule very often. So, creativity is a must. Of course being "creative" is completely relative.  For me, it can be as simple as NOT matching. "But I'm an 80's baby and we always match! It all started with our coordinated slouchy socks and LA gear shoelaces!" This is what goes through my head.  I fight it.  I fight it hard.

Below isn't my ultimate favorite combo, but is one that reminds me it's okay to get "creative." Secret:  I think my "Fall bangs" may have liberated me to some degree.

I bought this silk yellow shirt at Banana Republic's summer sale.  Since it's been almost 80 degrees in San Diego, I don't feel weird about wearing it in January. Everything in me wants to limit this shirt to being worn with jeans and silver hoops.
Truthfully I feel a little too much like Batman when I wear it with black but again, I fight... and throw on a colored necklace.  Batman would never do that.

Since blogging is not my full time job, I quickly took these pictures in the bathroom at work (I should probably be embarrassed by this). You can't see my black capris but I am holding up just one of my pointy black pumps (I stood like a flamingo and did not touch the ground with my bare foot, let's just get that out of the way). If I were a "style blogger" I might say having a pair of pointy toed black shoes should be some type of rule or something (I might also be cooler).  I am so due for a new pair...but still wear these because they're black and no one is looking that closely. Quick note: In two years I've gone through two nude pointy toed's...they go with EVERYTHING. Anything that goes with everything = good in my opinion.

Most of you are WAY more in tune with fashion than I, but perhaps there are some that also struggle with playing it too safe. I say, take a peek in your closet and your jewelry box and see what kind of funky combo you can come up with.  *A stylist would never write "funky combo."  I give up.

Speaking of closets...check out how far I've come! My closet is now on land & much bigger.