In the Calm of a Snowy Morning...

When the snow falls, I am such a big fan.  That continuous fluffy blanket of white hasn't been corrupted by dirty footprints or plows and shovels.  The millions of tiny flakes just fall into a perfect sea of white.  This morning, I woke up early to that dull before-sunrise glow of the reflecting snow.  As a young child, I always could count on at least a delay whenever I saw that orangey glow in the early morning sky. (Since in Salem, a day off was never a guarantee).

So this morning, I came downstairs, made myself a few cups of coffee and perfectly crafted omelet, in which none of my cheese fell out into the hot pan and the creation folded perfectly (always a good sign to a good day).  I opened my kitchen blinds so that I could see out.  Nowhere to be, no sense of urgency... just me, my dogs and the snow.

I feel very relaxed today.  This snow is a nice exclamation mark on the sentence of completion of all my work I have done this semester.  I am done and I am at peace... until I start Mr. Thesis, but let's not go there today.

Because today, I am calm.



Tis The Season To Be Jolly!

Well hello there, blog friends!  Long time, no post.  Between getting sick, student teaching, a DMB concert and watching the Hokies kick some FSU arse, I have not been blogging the way I used to blog.  And this was brought to my attention that I needed to blog again! (Thanks K and M! :-) )

I can't believe Christmas is in 15 days.  I definitely have not started Christmas shopping.  M and I are planning an excursion today.  For the first time in a longggg time, I have gift-giving block for a few people on my list.  Some people are so hard to shop for!  I can't detail the specifics here because, gosh, they could be readers! :)  But it has definitely been a frustrating start to shopping for the Osbornes.  M and I went to the mall a couple weeks ago and literally just did the walk in circles.  Great exercise, no gifts bought.  I wasn't in the mood yet...too much stress.

Now that hopefully the stress is on the decline, today, I am in the mood to be merry.  I just watched figure skating on the Today show, which omg I have missed so much... now that I am done with school, I am not waking up at 5AM every day and having to endure local news every day... I have been listening to my favorite Christmas songs (see new playlist to the right).  My favorite carol isn't on there (The First Noel) because I did not see a version on there that I was in love with.  But I am definitely in awe of all the beautiful music which surrounds us this time of year.  I have done a good job of resisting 99.1 and 93.5 so that I don't get tired of it too quickly.

Speaking of beautiful music, my brother has a Christmas choral concert tonight at St. Andrew's.  And if it is anything like the last one, it will probably make me cry.  Seeing my hippie wannabe, festival-attending, laid back to a fault brother in a tux singing beautiful ensemble music is funny on some level.  Then on another level it hits me right in the heart.

Our tree has been up, but I cannot wait to get some gifts for my family underneath.  Must get showered and get a move on... well unless Matt sleeps in, in which case, I will watch The Holiday in our subzero basement.



I'm a Believer... Neti Pot In the House!

We bought a Neti Pot... don't worry... we cleaned it vigorously between uses...

Feeling colds/sinus distress coming on, we decided to give it a whirl.  Being immature, we laughed as we used the Neti Pot and the stream of saline and snot flowed freely from our opposite nostril as we performed our first sinus washes.  But we're feeling a little relief!



Your Fitness Evolved

We got a Kinect for our Xbox this past weekend.  For those non-gaming geeks out there, it's the device in that annoying commercial for Dance Central with the Evacuate the Dancefloor song playing... it's not that annoying since I kind of love that song... just gets in the head all too easy.

Anyway, the point is... the Kinect Your Fitness Evolved game officially kicked my ass yesterday.  One of my kids spilled all her pencils and crayons today and I was cursing my fake trainer as I squatted to assist her.  Seriously though, soreness aside, it's pretty cool.  If you're thinking about this system, it might be worth a go.

There are training programs, gym games and "classes" you can select.  The gym games are great.  There is a virtual punching game that makes me feel pretty good, since I don't punch in real life but definitely have enough stress and angst to punch fake things.  Those uppercut punches really hurt today.  I feel that this system is less inhibited than Wii Fit because you don't have to hold anything or stand on the little platform.  All you have to do is stay inside this green box on the screen.  Also, it will call you out if you don't do the full range of motion.  My fake trainer is kind of a bitch...but I still like her.

I look like a total tool doing the exercises on the screen.  Major tool status.. but I feel that good burn.  I have missed that!  My exercise life has been on pause for the past few weeks.  I have made it to the gym on occasion, but not consistently enough.  I am hoping this will help motivate me... and I don't have to go anywhere to do it!



Nothin' Worse Than a Bad Salon Blow Out.

Oh my Lawd friends.  Homegirl got a haircut.  Lost a couple inches, got some bangin' edgy side bangs...

But I left the salon looking like a Beatle with my ends groomed too much with a round brush and turned under in a bob.  And Matt made little comments and faces when I got home.  I felt like making faces, too.  I went to bed at eight oclock feeling like I made a hugeeee mistake.

How in the hell do people give good haircuts and such crappy blowouts?  If you cut it right, the fundamentals are there.  The next day when I did my hair myself, it was fine.  Not my favorite ever, but definitely not terrible.

Does anyone else leave the hair salon looking like a fool, but when they do their own 'do it looks ok?



A few thangs

Hi friends.

Long time, no blog!  So I knew this, among other life necessities and pleasures, would fall by the wayside during student teaching and it's because I literally eat, breathe and sleep school.  I miss writing, so I am making myself take the time tonight.

Here are a few thangs I am not-so-secretly wanting from a distance, in case you happen to care to see:

1.  Gap Wrap Sweater Vest

2. Bare Minerals Double Ended Lip Gloss and Lip Color in Biscotti

3.  Prime Time

4. Gingerbread scent Yankee Candle

5.  Blackberry Wine on my wine rack

6. one to two pairs of wide leg cords from Old Navy

7.  A new haircut makes a new woman and I need one.

8.  ACC Championship tickets

9. Naturalizer Boots

10.  More time in a day

I have decided fall is my new favorite season, and it is here in full swing.  There is something about it that I am digging more than normal this year.  I can't put my finger on it exactly, but it's definitely a nice time of year outside.

Maybe it's because I have some share-worthy songs and bands that are making reappearances in Pandora and iTunes after long hibernations...  Collective Soul, Jimmy Eat World, Dashboard Confessional, Third Eye Blind...  kind of melancholy-ish songs that make me smile.  I don't think I am fully depressed per se, but enjoying these songs, yes.

But I am straight up exhausted.  There is no sugar-coating it or saying it another way.  I'm run down.  School is consuming life.  Saturdays are my only day to do anything I might want to and really, those days have been reserved for others a lot here lately.  I am looking forward to a weekend with my husband and family and some revitalization.  As I excel in school, I feel control on other parts of my life slowwwly slipping away.  As a control freak, that's not okay!  Any suggestions for staying on track, both mentally and physically, in the throws of a crunched schedule? P.S. Waking up earlier to work out is not an option...




I feel so fortunate to have a few minutes tonight to update my blog.  I feel like it's been dropped like a bad habit ever since I got busy with school and being a professional wedding attendee!  So tonight I am saying a quick hi to you all.

My life is nuts right now and feels slightly OOC.  I am waiting on a day to catch up, but that day just doesn't look to be in sight.  Brightest side of the hustle bustle are the kids.  My students are so amazing and I am loving being in the classroom.  I have become quite the profesh at laminating, cutting, gluing and creating props for lessons.  It's time-consuming, but a lot of fun.  My decision to become a teacher feels completely validated.  I am not looking forward to the day when I have to leave that classroom!  I will truly miss each smiling face.

We had double header wedding weekends and even had to RSVP no to a wedding this past weekend because I was in a different one.  October is totally the new June.  Everyone and their brother has been rocking the fall wedding and I can see why.  Its gorgeous, moderate weather is the perfect backdrop to a big day.  I have thoroughly enjoyed the weddings we attended this month...and they wouldn't have been the same in a different season.  Attending a wedding as a married couple is a wonderful feeling.  Hearing two loved ones commit themselves to each other serves as such a gentle reminder about the beauty of marriage.  It makes me lovey-er and dovey-er than normal!  You just get to feeling so blessed.

I have been doing fair with exercise... I guess.  Literally, unless I wake up at 4AM, there aren't enough hours in some days.  At times, I don't leave school until 4 and I have to come home to let the dogs out, do work for my online class and get dinner on the table for hubs and my lesson plans ready for the next day or I'm heading to the restaurant...  This transition to being a full blown adult who works 40+ hours a week has frustrated me.  I have come pretty far in my weight loss and want to keep progressing.  Celebration is I have been at least 2x each week since school started.  I feel pretty blahhh that I consider that a celebration, given that I was working out 5x/week when I was really losing quickly, but with everything considered, it is a celebration.  I have my gym bag packed for tomorrow and now that the 2010 weddings are behind us, my alcohol intake can go down to almost non-existent..with the exception of the VT/Duke game, which btw, I scored tickets to with a couple girlfriends!  Everyone needs to let their hair down from time to time...especially when you feel slammed all the time.



Snippets That Makes Me Smile

(trying to get response "compass rose"): What tells us what direction to go in?

Student: A GPS?


Carrying out a conversation about recycling and caring for our planet

Student: "Mrs. Osborne, this is our only Earth and I think we should take care of it.  I don't want to live on Mars because I think spacesuits look awfully uncomfortable."


Student: "Mrs. Osborne, can you come to my house for Christmas?"

Me: "That's really kind of you, but I will probably be spending time with my family over the holidays."

Student (thinks for a few seconds): "Well they can come, too!"


Another Kind of Playlist

I got an email request today from my friend Amy who is in law school in Charleston.  Of course she sent it to others as well, but being proud of my playlist making abilities, I will respond to it here for the world to see and share in my lovely tunes of choice.

Amy is looking for new music to study to.  You might say, what's up with that?  Isn't it better to have silence?  The answer for me, and apparently Amy as well, is NO.  I really love having a little background melody when I am planning and/or studying.  So here are some of my favorites.

1. Sundowning Aqualung and Kelly Sweet
2. Parachute Ingrid Michaelson
3. Paper Dolls Corinne Bailey Rae
4. Perfectly Lonely John Mayer
5. Conspiracy Paramore
6. Good Intentions Toad the Wet Sprocket
7. California Waiting Kings of Leon
8. Little Secrets Passion Pit
9. Flake Jack Johnson
10. The Sporting Life The Decemberists
11. Lost! Coldplay
12. Paranoia in B Major The Avett Brothers
13. Losing Lisa Ben Folds Five
14. What If It All Means Something Chantal Kreviazuk
15. One Fine Wire Colibie Caillat
16. Up All Night Counting Crows
17. Smile Lily Allen
18. Sinkin' Soon Norah Jones
19. Black Pete Yorn
20. Light in Your Eyes Sheryl Crow

Enjoy friends!



A Most Necessary Shopping Splurge

I finally ended my internal argument of are they or aren't they ugly and bought some Danskos after school today.

These are my first pair and they appear to be comfortable.  Definitely an expensive shoe purchase for me, but one I am hoping will pay off.  Everyone always talks about how fab they are and it's no wonder why!  Below is the color I snagged from Wanda at Because Girls Will Be Girls in Salem (figured she deserves a small business shout out... and if you're a teacher, you get 10% off)

For months, I couldn't decide if I liked the principle of wearing a bulky clog in a professional capacity enough to own a pair.  But after a few weeks on my feet, there is practically no choice.  Even my flats are leaving my blistered and I have even noticed puffiness in my feet that didn't use to be there.  And I feel more tired from the feet up consequently.  And whiny.

I thought at least these reflect my style in the upper material.  They are a nice shiny patent leather, so they're easy to clean and pretty versatile with any color.  At first glance, I wasn't wild about thinking of wearing them with brown, but in person they kind of pick up the color they are beside more than you might think.

Reviews of the comfort factor to come.



The Calm of The Morning

So I get up at five o'clock in the morning now.  It's crazy early and way earlier than I need to wake up, but I am learning to love it and have a leisurely calm morning.

I take the dogs out first thing.  It's still cool from the night and dark.  The air feels clean and is starting to smell fall-y.  We come upstairs for breakfast and I make my daily omelet, making sure to drop a few shreds of cheese of the floor for my little loves... They eat their dog food and I watch the news.  It's nice starting the day somewhat informed. I pack my lunch and get my water bottle full for the day.  It's a slow, quiet morning, but I like it.  I never usually take any time to appreciate the small things that comprise life, so I wanted to document these simple feelings about my mundane early morning.



Hokie Humbling

I have spent the last few hours nursing my wounds.  As one of my sorority sisters put it yesterday, the Hokies "broke my little football heart."  Virginia Tech football is one of my favorite pastimes.  And we're not used to losing.  And with some of the talent we possess, we shouldn't have to be losing... Now we know how the Hoos feel every year.  But it's so much worse than that.

photo credit: Boston Globe

When you start your season with such national title buzz, it's harder.  If I had a dime for how many times I heard "this could be THE year" I would be a rich lady! "We've got Evans and Williams (sidenote: does anyone think that's funny?? like Evan Williams, or as Matt calls it Evil Williams) we're going to be unstoppable."  Well I don't care who we have in the backfield, folks.  Because until our O Line can nut up and do their job and a competent offensive coordinator is in place, Evans and Williams can't shine.

This week has been humiliating if you're a Hokie.  And humbling.  I am coming to terms with the fact, and suggesting that you do, too, that we just may not be that good this year.  This notion totally sucks.  We're used to winning and succeeding.  Monday night, we should have beaten Boise State, but we made too many mistakes.  Everyone thought JMU was a mark in the W column as soon as it was scheduled.  And we absolutely were humiliated.  At home. In the rain.  See Boston College game.  You know which one I'm talkin' about...

We as fans need to acclimate to the fact that we cannot discount anyone this year.  Unless we get our s together and quick, we will lose to GT and Miami... and could lose to people we assume we will beat (e.g. Duke and UVA).  If UVA beats us at home on November 27th, I will lose my shit.  But it's a possibility we have to entertain this year.

People threatening to sell their season tix are simply grieving.  You know they won't do that jank.  When you're a Hokie, you're a Hokie for life.  I will bleed maroon and orange until the day I die and they will too.  So let's get back up and cheer for a redemptive rest of the season.  GO TECH GO!!


P.S: ESPN ACC reporter Heather Denich (or something like that) wrote a blog about the Hokies in which she referred to the Lunch Pail as a Garbage Pail.  I say let's find her house and roll it with tp.


Tiiiiime, why you punish me?

Everyone loves a little Hootie lyric as a post title...

So I am without a doubt dropping the blog ball.  It's been nine days since my last post and I am not surprised that this is starting to happen.  With school starting up, my schedule has been flipped around and changed a whole lot.

The first week was amazing and I love it, just like I knew I would.  I have already started a notebook just for recording the funny things kids say... I've almost filled a page so far and it's only been four days.

As a poor manager of time, this week is showing me  (or trying to show me) how to maximize my time.  I went to the gym 2/4 days after school this week (one of those misses I had to go straight to the restaurant, so I am calling that an excused absence).  I did manage to go on Labor Day during the morning, so that was three times this week.  I don't feel awesome about this, but I think it's going to get better.  The other day I missed after school this week, I didn't even take a bag.  Our pantry and fridge were damn near empty and that's historically been my job to grocery shop.  So I did.  And went to the bank to deposit my paycheck and the post office to mail a bill.

I never thought about how much time I had to run errands before until school started.  I've been staying pretty late in the afternoons, too..The kids leave around 2:20ish and I have been leaving around 4 or so every day.  But after the kids go, it's like time is on speed.  It always feels like 15 minutes has passed before I actually stop planning/conferencing and leave.

My new life goal is to learn to use Saturdays wisely.  This is tough during football season, but Saturday mornings are now my best time for errands and keeping house.  Except for today that is... I am currently supposed to be studying for my last endorsement course and have to take the test by 12:30 today at VWCC long distance learning center...   I also have to write my weekly student teaching journals which are due by tomorrow evening... but I have still committed myself to two days at the restaurant (Friday and Sunday).. today's the day those journals have to get done.

On a positive time management note, I have started planning my unit and don't even have to teach it until November.  I am very happy about getting jump on this.

Let's cross our fingers for getting on a feasible schedule and quick!



4 Ps: Plateau, Portions, Pumpin' It Up + Playlist

Hey y'allll!  I'm checking in tonight as I passively absorb some of the first plays of college football this season.  What a wonderful time of year...really wanting it to be Monday night.

The purpose of tonight's post is this: I had a not-so-great weigh in earlier this week with a 2lb. gain.  Ugh.  I have been faithful gyming it up, but had started straying on the whole no drinking thing and no eating when you get stressed out thing.  Honestly, straying.. but not that much.  Not two pounds much. So I am speculating that I might be hitting my first plateau in my loss.  Or maybe it just feels better to call my lapses in progress a plateau.

And what a better time to hit a plateau than when I am about to kick my life into the highest gear (sarcasm)?  Student teaching officially starts Tuesday.  What does that mean for me and my fluffy badonkadonk?  My thoughts are this:  the routine of school will help the diet portion.  I control my packed lunch and do not have spare time in which to inhale too many whole grain crackers dunked in hummus as a "snack".  That's my thing.. it's not that I don't eat what I should, but if I have too much time of my hands, portions become the issue.  I know I am not alone in this struggle.  I think portion control is one of the hardest aspects of healthy eating.  Now,  I am taking a moment to remind myself that this is an area I need to focus on.  And although this sounds insane, but just typing that out does something special to keep me accountable to myself.

Secondly,  I cannot let myself pass over Brambleton on my way back from Salem in the afternoons without next taking the next left to roll into Gold's.  I plan to pack my gym bag every night in order to make this happen.  If I go home, it's over and my ass is on facebook and scheming over some trial run recipe for dinner, likely pantless and lifeless.  This is the perfect time to pump it up!  It's time to up the ante of my exercise routine.  Typically, I do 50-60 minutes of cardio + 10-20 minutes of weights/abs, depending on my time...  I think the cardio times are okay.  I can't see any sense in more than an hour of cardio.  My attention span could not hang and my cardio is ass-bustin' cardio and sometimes most efficient kept to 50 minutes, if I have pushed myself hard enough.  It's the weight routine I plan to keep extended.  I have been trying to focus on abs more, incorporating the ab machine into each workout.  However, I have been neglecting my lower abs.  This area has plagued me, possibly more than any other body part, pretty much since I can remember being pubescent and probably before that if I had any thought of body image.  It's not that that I don't work the lower abdominals, but that I am not doing it every time I go. That is about to change.  On a lighter note, I have fallen back in <3 with the hip adduction/abduction machine.

What's pumpin' it up without a positively perfect playlist?!

Bossy by Kelis
Buttons by the Pussycat Dolls
Naughty Girl by Beyonce
Girlfight by Brooke Valentine
Enter Sandman by Metallica
My Prerogative by Bobby Brown
Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes
Get Low by Lil Jon and the Eastside Boyz
Like a G6 by Far East Movement
Break My Bank by New Boyz
Back that Ass Up by Juvenile, etc.
Another Night by Real McCoy
Don't Stop Til You Get Enough by Michael Jackson
Shake me Like a Monkey by Dave Matthews Band
Opposites Attract by Paula Abdul



August Faves

So one of my adoring fans/awesome friends posted a demand on my facebook wall for a post!  Who knew anyone was reading these religiously?  Thanks KC! :)

So I'll start with my favorite things list for the month of August

1. Paul Mitchell Extra Body Root Lifter
My surprise bob haircut from earlier this month resurrected this old bottle of product from my beauty junk drawers.  Thank the Lord I have had this stuff.  I seriously would be hatin' my flat lifeless hair in a corner somewhere without body products and this is truly a fave.  Planning a repurchase soon!
2.  Bare Minerals Eye Shadow in Soiree,default,pd.html?start=7&cgid=BM_SUB_COLOR
Amazing fall purchase for this brown-eyed girl.  Looks great for night using the BE foiling method (aka wetting your brush and applying wet for highest shine).

3. Reebok Shorts My Mom Got Me From Dick's
Cannot locate a good photo or link of the style, but these got me through several gym trips and moving Lance into Radford.  Comfortable, cool breathable fabric and cute light blue color.. still searching for a good picture.  Actually I am sort of thinking it's the shorts in this link but the color I have is not there... Hmmm.

4.  Glade 2 in 1 Creamy Custard and Blushing Apple Candles
Dear Kroger,
Thank you for having these on sale for $2.50/each so I can further daydream about the upcoming autumn season.  I plan to buy out your inventory in all 12,000 of your Roanoke locations.

5. Dawson's Creek
Some of you may know that I have been reliving a teen passion via my Netflix cue.  I have been turning over Dawson's Creek DVDs like mad.  I started at the beginning- the pilot when Jen Lindley hopes off the taxi  So far, I am awaiting Season Two Disc 2- Spoiler: Pacey and Crazy Andie are about to start their relationship and Joey and Dawson make it all too complicated (I think Joey draws Jack soon!!) while Jen gets on my nerves for a few more eppys and the Learys pursue the big D... (divorce, you perverts)...This show was awesome and I am so glad M is giving me full reign of the queue for awhile (we are cheap and only pay to get one DVD in the mail at a time).

Things to watch for in upcoming posts:

Closet Clean Out

September Gym Playlist

Plateau Pulverization




Burn, Baby, Burn...

The past couple times I have exerted any effort in the kitchen, it has been enough effort to turn my stove on.  And I shall be darned if I have not burned myself on two separate occasions this week.

First, the inflicter of my pain was hot tomato sauce, as I was pouring leftovers from a hot pot into a Lock & Lock container (which are amazing for housing leftovers, by the way- see photo) and the sauce splattered on the area of my hand between my thumb and pointer.  Who knows how it happened, but the pain definitely brought tears to my eyes.  Matthew told me to run cold water over it.  So I did.  And it barely blistered...

So y'all I just burned my arm tonight.  On the stove... I alarmed the dogs with expletives.  And my healthy creation in the 400 degree oven (whole wheat muffins made with sugar substitute) ended up sucking and I am throwing them all away... so this burn was all for naught.  So here I am.. arm is burning... hence the name "burn". I have been trying to run cold water over it... and it hurts like Hades.  

So I got inspired to look for some home remedies and I am inviting your feedback.  Here is a list of what "they" say helps with stove burns.  Holler at me.

  • Cold Water Theory
  • Cold Tea Bag Theory- Tannin chemicals in tea bags draw out the heat?
  • Raw White Potato Theory- Starches sooth injury (I hope this is bullshit, as we do not stock white potatoes in this house)
  • Aloe Vera Theory- Soothes- Def test-driving this tonight
  • Mustard Theory
  • Honey Theory
  • Whole Milk Soak Theory (Also never readily available here)
  • Take Me Higher Theory (Elevation alleviates stinging?)
  • Ass Cream Theory (Preparation H lessens healing period?
What do you guys think??  Your counsel might not help me for tonight's snafu, but Lord know I'm gonna burn myself again in my life.



Aud's Easy Peasy Pollo Pesto Penne

I made this one up without aid, so I reserve the right to give it a ridiculous alliteration and rhyme-filled name.  And yes I said "pollo" instead of "chicken" to keep the P trend going.  And yes, I am aware that the names "pollo" and "penne" are from two different cultural styles of cooking... but it's actually just an Italian dish...

Now on to the food...

Tonight I made penne pasta tossed in pesto and topped with cubed chicken breast which was sauteed in white wine.  And it didn't suck!  So here is the recipe I made up for those who may be in the same cooking rut that I am in...


  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • McCormick's Pesto spice pouch (and accompanying ingredients which were 1/2c. water and 3 tbsp. olive oil)
  • 1/2 c. white wine (I used Chateau Morrisette's Our Dog Blue, which is probably sweeter than it should have been, but way tasty, and I recommend.)
  • Olive oil to coat the skillet
  • Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Flour (a sprinkling... PS: So obsessed with this healthy alternative to white flour...)
  • Whole Wheat Penne Pasta (as much as you want.. I used like half a box so Matthew had plenty of leftovers to pack in his lunch)
  • Black Pepper
  • Garlic Powder

The Steps
1. Cook pasta per box directions.

2. Prep pesto "sauce" per pouch directions, adding cooking pasta once it's combined well and heated throughout.  Simmer, stirring occasionally.

3.  Cube two chicken breasts into small bite size pieces.

4. Meanwhile, we cook the chicken in a separate pan.  Coat pan in olive oil, add chicken.  Sprinkle generously with garlic powder and black pepper.

5.  Once outsides are starting to whiten and cook a bit, add white wine. Then sprinkle a little bit of whole wheat flour over the chicken (not too much- I added this step just to thicken things up a bit).

6.  Cook chicken until done (I let mine brown a little on the outside).

7.  Add cooked chicken to pesto pasta.  Stir and heat throughout.  Serve with an oversized glass of white wine and enjoy!



Nostalgic Late Night w/ Husband

Last night after work, I was hyper and wound-up.  I was so energetic, in fact, that before I knew it, it was 11 o'clock and Matt and I were just hanging out in the kitchen watching the top 100 songs of the nineties re-run on VH1.  That was so fun. We were laughing at the comedians' commentary of the songs and critiquing the order of the list.

Before I knew it, M slipped downstairs and returned with a large black binder case.  Enclosed in the case were all of his old cds.  He asked me if I wanted to laugh at him and placed a stack of strategically pulled mix cds in front of me to listen to.  I love nothing more than a good mix.  In fact, playlist crafting is an art of mine. I enthusiastically accepted his offering of cds.

One by one, we popped the cds into my computer and laughed and bonded over all the old tunes.  The best part was when a song reminded me of fun times I had during my junior year of high school and he simply responded, "I was in the middle of college...think about how much fun I had with that song."  Guess that's a fair response to get as I was trying to play the "you're-older-than-me" card.

We sat around in our pajamas for hours listening to these mix cds...until 2AM, to be exact.  I got to interject some of my old music into the conversation, as well.  It was so fun, and to top it all off, I now have some new old tunes to import today.

I know you're dying to hear some titles we came across.  Maybe they will make you smile, too.
They included but were not limited to:

Chemicals Between Us Bush
What's My Age Again Blink 182
Show Me Love Robyn
Da Rain Missy Misdemeanor Elliot (Remember this crazy video?)
Goodies Ciara
Seven Days Craig David
Mr. Jones Counting Crows
Deep Inside of You Third Eye Blind
Inside Out Eve 6
Butterfly Crazy Town
Beautiful Snoop and Pharell (sp?)
You Give Love a Bad Name Bon Jovi
Groove is in the Heart Dee-Lite
Ruff Ryders' Anthem DMX (Worth mentioning here that M says this was his "main jam".  I have never heard him use the term "jam" to describe anything before...)
Get F*&^ed Up Iconz
Informer Snow
All Mixed Up 311
Slide Goo Goo Dolls
It's Gonna Be Me N Sync
Jerk It Out Caesars
Turn Off Light Nelly Furtado
Hear it From You Gin Blossoms
Change Clothes Jay Z
Put It On Me Ja Rule (Who in fact, I forgot existed)
Hey Pretty Poe
Everywhere Michelle Branch (in my husband's collection, not mine!)
Shine Collective Soul
Tom's Diner Suzanne Vega (I like Luka better personally)
Shake it Like a Salt Shaker Ying Yang Twins
Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover Sophie B. Hawkins
Weapon of Choice Moby
Clint Eastwood Gorillaz
Fat Lip Sum 41
Ride Wit Me Nelly
Rearrange Limp Bizkit
Days Go By Dirty Vegas



Six Best Foods for Healthy Skin

I read an article from Yahoo's front page yesterday that detailed six foods that are good for giving you that healthy, glowing complexion that so many strive for.  Luckily, I like all of these foods.  Maybe you do, too!

1. Salmon
Yum!  The article also interjects that a good way to achieve a standard salmon intake is through the ever-lovely choice of salmon sushi. Double yum!  Omega 3 fatty acids in salmon protect skin from looking dry and also battle sun-related damage.

2. Carrots
If I had a dime for every time my Grandma Frances told me carrots were good for my eyesight, I would be a rich lady.  But I never knew that carrots were also good for my skin. Betacarotene in carrots can even out skin giving a healthy glow and also has been studied as a preventative for premature aging due to sun damage.  Sign. me. up.

3. Avocado
I don't typically eat avocados plain, but I would definitely eat the heck out of some guacamole.  The author of this list says avocado trumps olive oil because of its added B vitamins.

4. Beans/Legumes
Of all varieties from chickpea to peanut, according to this article, are beneficial to skin.  My favorite is edamame, but I have to be careful not to overload it with too much sea salt, which is all too easy to do!

5. Grapes
Polyphenol antioxidants in grapes are proven to keep skin tight and sag-free because it improves skin elasticity.  Not that that's a huge concern in your 20s, but I am sure as we approach 30, this becomes increasingly important.

6. Water
Oh water...our friend and our foe.  It's so difficult for me to get enough water.  But from my own experiences, when I do get enough, my skin typically looks a lot better because it is hydrated.  That's just common sense!



A few new tunes...

Updated my playlist to the right by adding a few songs to it.




So I cried during "Up" this week and...

... now I have this greater sense of gratefulness about the mundane activities of my life.  I know that sounds so stupid because Up is a Disney Pixar film, a cartoon, created for children... but I have been thinking about life and have kept thinking about life since watching it this week... For those of you who have not seen it, it's a must-Netflix cartoon, but bring your box of Kleenexes to the couch.  Sobbing tears in the first ten minutes for me... but let's keep in mind my incredibly sensitive empathy when watching movies. Matt tried to calmly reminded me, "it's just a movie, sweetheart."  I think I cried harder.

So, for awhile now, I have been transitioning from this barfly of a freshly-turned legal drinking age young lady into this woman, no longer thinking for myself alone, planning for a shared future with Matt and enjoying being home so much more.  

Tonight, I got off work earlier than normal and left the restaurant a little after eight.  Instead of scheming up Saturday night plans out, I could hardly wait to get home.  Home to my doggies and to wait on Matt to get home from his friend's house.  I did pit stop by said friend's house to meet their big white Great Pyrenees puppy, Winter.  And meeting her was great because she's absolutely precious and full of energy, but it made me think about my little loves at home and all I wanted was to watch Ivory roll around on her back for a couple hours and watch Tassel curl up at my feet and fall asleep.  As absolutely eventless as this sounds, it's all I wanted to do on my early night off.

Matt and my Dad worked together on our sliding glass door today, which, by the way, has been jacked up far before I lived here.  This is sappy, too.. but it was nice seeing my two favorite men work together in such a cooperative manner.  They both analyze and problem-solve well and have a really nice dynamic and it makes me feel blessed.

I don't want y'all to think I never want to leave home or have fun ever again, because hello, I'm not becoming boring here.  I have a lot on the horizon this fall- weddings, bachelorette parties, Hokie football and student teaching. It's just that I am learning to see the beauty in the smaller things that make our life what it is, the moments between the momentous count, too.  And I think this self-reflective epiphany is worth a moment of documentation.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend.



Reluctantly Bobbed

My typical visit to the hair salon involves careful planning.  It's not that I am hard to please, I just like to be prepared.  I show up early for my appointment, a magazine in hand with a few pages dog-earred and marked strategically for discussion with my stylist.

After weeks of not being promptly attended to and responded to by my former hairstylist as I was seeking to make an appointment with her, I decided to try a new salon/stylist closer to my house.  Besides, does driving to Salem for a haircut every 6 weeks really make sense?  Anyway, because of this lack of visit to my former stylist plus an at-home coloring (which I am getting ready to do again tomorrow- this time Loreal Feria in French Roast = permanent), my hair had gotten into a rough state.  The ends were dry and split and it just needed some love.  My last haircut was almost three months ago and my longest layers were a little longer than shoulder length.

After dealing with car troubles yet again this AM and retrieving my ghetto-ass loaner car from my grandfather's office with my Dad, I impulsively decided to stop for a walk-in appt. at a reputable, large salon about 5 minutes from the house on my way home.  Besides, I needed a haircut and maybe it would be just the pick-me-up I needed...

When today's stylist asked me what I wanted, my response was simple... "Just a trim, only enough to give it a body boost and get rid of some of the split ends.  I'm in a wedding in October, so I definitely don't want to lose a lot of length."  She nodded in understanding and proceeded.

Friends, I now am the ashamed owner of a Katie Holmes bob BEFORE she got the cute bangs.  I never thought I would be so upset I had a bob.  Don't get me wrong; I love a good bob.  It's just that I had really been trying to grow my hair out for Meghann's wedding, and now I am finding myself googling "clip-on chignon hair pieces." (Now accepting suggestions for clip/wrap extensions for a faking a formal 'do or cute non-prommy alternatives to updos for short-haired bridesmaids.)

It's not that I can't rock the bob, it's that I didn't want to right now.

Has this happened to anybody else in blogland?  Have you ever had a snip-happy hairdresser cut too much off?

It just shows sometimes that when you think it's a good time to switch something up in life, it can bite you in the ass.  Needless to say, I didn't book my next appointment when I paid.

On another note, my car has now acted perfectly normal the day it goes to the mechanic twice in the past two weeks.  Meanwhile, the day before it sees the mechanic, it barely starts or runs.  Oh life...

Here's to a glass (or three) of vino.



Tuesday Morning Ramblings

I dropped the ball on my typical all-across-the-board Monday AM post.  I had several little errands to run yesterday morning and just didn't get it done. Not to mention we had a killer weekend at the restaurant and I have been stowing myself away in recovery.

1.  Fab Fall Findings
I went back to school shopping Friday with my Mom and bro.  That was way too fun.  We got Lance hooked up with nearly everything he is going to need for his freshman year of college and first run-in with dorm living.  I ended up coming away with 5 button down shirts (of different styles and varieties), 3 cardigans, 2 tops, 2 pairs of slacks and a pair of flats to jump start my professional wardrobe.  It was a great day and I didn't feel flustered trying things on because I wasn't fixating on size numbers, just the progress I've made.  I do need to get my pants tailored, but that shouldn't be too big of a deal.  I feel ready to start.

2. Reason #451928 Matt Osborne Rocks
Last night, we went bowling with Matt's work friends.  Typically, I lack skill in a big way in the bowling department.  Then my performance anxieties soared when my husband's colleagues were whipping out their own personal bowling shoes and their own balls, I thought for sure I was going to be making a huge a out of myself in front of his friends. And I did, but not at first. 
We had a few beers and lo and behold, the first game, I kicked Matt's ass!  I got several 9s (victories) and even a spare or two.  I beat some of the other owners of balls and shoes with which we were playing.  I was unashamedly overly excited about my mediocre play.  However, game two was not as fruitful, friends.  Consistency is not a strong point for me.  I went up to bowl bound and determined to get a strike and powerfully released the ball...into the gutter... and THEN... it spun out of the gutter and into the neighboring lane.  Then it proceeded to roll down that gutter, affecting one of the hardcores we were with's score (which was not easily fixed, btw).  Mortified doesn't begin to cover the emotion I felt.  Completely and totally.  Thank God my husband loves to laugh at me!  Reason #451928 Matt Osborne rocks?  His laughing at my idiocy, giving others permission to laugh as well, thus alleviating the competitive nature of it all.  If he hadn't laughed at me, I'm pretty sure some people would be pissed his lush wife gave that guy a 0, which his awesome bowling skills would NOT have afforded him.

3.  Time to Re-focus
I have two and a half weeks until I weigh in next, and I need to recapture my hardcoreness.  I feel like I am in the same place as I was last time when I went to weigh in.  I may have spent too much time being overly confident about that last weigh-in, that I let myself lose focus.  The workouts haven't been a problem in the least.  I am still hooked on how working out makes me feel and I have remained consistent and faithful.  However in my dieting life, I am starting to let myself do a few forbidden things here and there, which is a huge red flag for me.  For example, I had a Diet Coke yesterday.  I had lots of beer last night, which at the time, I rationalized was okay because I didn't have dinner (which is a stupid, novice way of rationalizing that, given that the lack of dinner hugely impacted my already record-low tolerance).  I need to re-focus.  Okay now that I have typed it out, I think I can!

4. Dentist Dilemmas
I hate the dentist.  So much in fact, that I haven't been in...wellllll, let's just say a little longer than the recommended time.  I now am the proud owner of  Delta Dental individual dental insurance policy... meaning I am running out of excuses to put off going to the dentist.  But guys this anxiety is way worse than I can illustrate to you.  Thinking about the sounds in the dentist office make me nauseous.  I could literally vom right now.  The drill... I hate.  That suck-all-the-water-out-of-your-mouth thingy is awful.  I wish I could be completely sedated during a dentist visit, even a check-up.  One of the waitresses at the restaurant recommended this place in Salem. (See below as to why)

5. "Emotional Hoarding"
The Today Show is currently talking about something called "emotional hoarding" which is a psyched out term for professional grudge holder.  I think I probably am one.



Advertising Inaccuracies

Okay, so I almost hate to say something about this after my amazing Ann Taylor Loft spy/employee friend Shelley snagged some trouser jeans for me for seven bucks last night ( I know! I'm still reeling at the deal), but I can't keep my trap shut about a recent debacle Ann Taylor is having.

I saw this news story late last night that spurred some thoughts in my brain about body image and advertising on yahoo and then I visited the initial blog where it was exposed (

Ann Taylor has quite the PR crisis of her hands, as this is not the first time the company has been called out
for retouching images in their ads.  This crisis is all the more delicate and tricky, as an apology and promise to do better has also been previously issued...and clearly not heeded

Okay so let's get down to the nitty gritty here.  Which of these images do you prefer?

Not that I ever will be or ever want to be in this realm of skinny, but I have to go with the image on the left.  The product is accurately represented by the tops gentle creasing naturally against the "curves" of the model, while on the right she has been vectored, liquified and generally over-doctored in Photoshop to have her unnaturally thin figure.  Her waist might be a grand total of ten inches, if she was a real life person.  And the top isn't even shaped like it seems in the left photo.

So first off, can you guys tell me who the hell looks like this doctored image in your waking life?  I literally maybe know one or two people and it's because they are extremely tall and thin naturally.  You can tell the damn difference between natural skinniness and an image that makes you want to tackle a graphic designer.  Do these companies think the general public is completely inept? Perhaps they are right... but not this girl.

I have to wonder how the marketing team at AT has been misled to think this product representation is the best channel to selling clothing.  According to a March 2009 LA Times article, the average American woman weighs 162.9 pounds and wears a size 14.  And with the way America eats, you know that size and poundage has only increased over time.  So why then, are size 14 women, the supposed average size American woman, treated as freaks in these retailers' ads and windows?  Houston, we have a problem.

This "high fashion" concept of boniness/European chic/starving model/sallow sourness bullshit has been bleeding into the marketing teams of American designers who make career and casual wear for audiences of slightly below average to above average income American women, like you or me.  I don't know about you, but some things in high fashion makes me want to barf or just laugh my ass off.  No one in small town USA can pull off some of the shit you see during fashion week.  So why do we get marketed to like we can?

If you wore this to a cocktail party, would your friends giggle and possibly talk about you behind your back?
That's all I felt like saying really.  As a former student of public relations, I don't understand the strategic choices in aligning products with unattainable lifestyles of the market.  Let's just remember as unattainable skinniness continues to be shoved down our throats, that most of us look more like this... (Thanks Dove).


Why Am I Still Tired?

For the past three days, I have been tired.  Not just a little sleepy, but just generally energy-less.

And I was thinking working out would be my salvation Tuesday (As has been the norm for the past few weeks, I skipped Monday's gym trip because I was a little sore from being on my feet all weekend at work).  So I woke up yesterday in this same sleepy fog that plagued me Monday and this morning.  I dressed for the gym and went about my routine, just knowing beyond the shadow of a doubt that working out would give me that amazing boost I needed like it normally does.  So it turned out that I actually yawned during my cardio workout and did not feel one lick revitalized after I left.
This could have been me:

That was supposed to be kind of funny...but it could have happened (not really).

Anyway, I even had a second workout later that day power-walking with girlfriends.  While it was enjoyable,  I was still feeling blah when I got home.  I did have a bad day yesterday, but I'm not having one today and Monday was great.

I've been eating my fruits and veggies.  What's wrong with me?  Has anyone else ever had this happen?



Monday Morning Ramblings...(Plus August Cardio Playlist!)

Monday morning ramblings brought to by Tired Audrey. Because when the sun doesn't shine neither can I.

1. Chelsea Outshines Her Former Awkward Self
Chelsea Clinton was probably among some of the more unfortunately looking adolescents in the world.  However, she looked amazing and radiant in her wedding photos.  What a transformation she has made!  I really respect the degree of privacy the Clintons were able to maintain during the planning process.  I also respect that they did not bombard Chelsea's guest list with their movers and shaker pals.  Kudos Bill and Hil.

2. I Got Cold at Work
Y'all know I have been jonesing in a major wall for fall (see last post).  Well yesterday at work in my tiny little cash register alcove by the door, I got cold!  I wore jeans and a teeshirt to work and ended up having to borrow/claim a Homeplace hoodie (coming soon for purchase, btw) to keep myself warm!  Once I changed clothes, I felt fabulous.  Didn't sweat or thinking of sweating at all. But I heard that the humidity isn't peacing out for long...thanks Patrick McKee... what a buzz kill.

3. Closet Inventory
I've mentioned my need for professional, good fitting clothes for student teaching.  After ransacking through my closet this weekend, I found a few things that will work, but more that will not.  In this particular case, it is kind of a good thing I am a huge pack rat and still own some of my older, smaller clothes from years past or I would be screwed.  So after my inventory, I made a list (who's surprised?) of what I need to keep in mind during my back to school shopping.
I think this will be my unofficial mental checklist.  I am not going to be a total stickler about it, but at least it gives me a little direction.

2 pairs of trousers
1 skirt I can sit on a floor in without showing my a
1 pair of jeans (I'll get some casual Fridays probably and I really just need these at this point in the game anyway.  I have a black pair of jeans that fit great, but I need a regular dark wash jean)
2-3 cardigans
3+ dress shirts of some kind (whether they are collared oxfords or otherwise)
1 versatile comfortable pair of gray or black flats (I have some fab brown ones from last fall)

4. August Cardio Playlist
Cardio Rut!  Here is some revitalization:
1. Welcome to the Jungle Guns and Roses
2. Rock That Body Black Eyed Peas
3. Wannabe The Spice Girls
4. I Like It Enrique Iglesias ft. Pitbull
5. Boom Boom Pow Black Eyed Peas
6. I'm Your Baby Tonight (Dronez Mix) Whitney Houston
7. Unstoppable Kat DeLuna ft. Lil Wayne
8. Highway to Hell ACDC
9. Don't Stop Believin' Journey
10. Temperature Sean Paul
11. Helter Skelter Dana Fuchs
12. Hell and High Water Black Stone Cherry
13. Yeah/Toxic (Blades Blend Remix) Britney Spears ft. Usher
14. Hella Good No Doubt
15. Wrong Way Sublime
16. Walk it Out Unk

5. The Nature of the General Public
Working with the public since age 15 has been an experience, but something that I am grateful for.  I got to thinking that most people you encounter are really no different than me or my family and friends.  I think keeping this in mind is important as we go out in public places.  It helps me to keep empathy for others to know that most people are good. I think it's something to think about.