Oh, Dreamweaver, I believe you can get me through the nighttttt

Ever since I was a little girl, I have always had extremely vivid dreams.  When I wake up in the morning, I'm kind of p.o.ed if I can't remember my dream from the night before, because I also feel that dreams hold key meaning into self-understanding.

Lately, my dreams have been somewhat odder than usual.  I prefer not go into them in too much detail, but I will say the characters in my dreams, relationships between them, and symbols have really flown in from left field.  When I wake up I kind of have this creepy, consuming premonition-ish feeling...

I'm not saying that I think I am a psychic!  Don't call the nut house yet.  I'm just saying, in my past experiences, my vibes have always been spot-on...99.9% of the time.  I think some people are innately more intuitive than others and I have considered these vibes and feelings I tend to get as blessings in a life full of many decisions and scenarios.

Another thing-  in one of my recent dreams involving my family, which I shared with my mom, one of the events, which happened in my dream, had actually happened in a different setting in real life before I was born. That gave me about 5011 goosebumps.  You know, a lot of people in the world believe time is not linear.  I'm not sure whether I jive with that school of thought or not, but it certainly gets you thinking.

Speaking of my mother, her dreams are equally vivid.  It makes me wonder if some of these feelings I get are passed down through her.  I know my Dad makes decisions based on more figuring and practical facts, so his intuition is likely lower than my mother's.

So all of this led me to a great site for deciphering dreams,

After discovering the site, I found tons of information about different people with "abilities".  Some people can perform "lucid dreaming,"  Basically this is just the ability to control your dreams.  Have you ever been in a dream and known you were dreaming in the dream or picked back up where you left off in a dream because you wanted to know the ending?  These are both beginning steps of lucid dreaming.

I've done both of those things before, so I am kind of interested in exploring this idea on the next level.  What do you guys think?




Worst Fashion Faux Pas Ever!

Since my sore throat/congestion/assumed allergies have me running half speed, I am currently sitting on my butt watching a rerun from one of my fave shows ever, What Not to Wear, and updating my blog.

Right now Stacy and Clinton are ransacking this lady's wardrobe and she definitely wore one of my top ten worst fashion faux pas into the 360 degree mirror... and thought it was completely okay.  Before I tell you what it was (I know, the suspense is killing you), I have a background story.

One of my BFFs, Jackie Kuntz detests jean shorts.  She detests them so much in fact that she has a blog dedicated to stealthy photography of jorts offenders.  Read it here!!  It's hilarious. Well, not that I am a jorts lover, by any means, but jorts have to be superior to...


As if going into the 360 isn't intimidating enough, having to analyze the fit of your clothing from every angle, this lady chose to model her jean overalls... They were Dickies.  Pretty sure grown women should never own these.  The only exception might be a farmer...maybe.

Her explanation was even better than her poor choice, as she rationalized wearing them because they were her fat pants.  Come on, lady...  Get some better fat pants.  Or better yet, wear a dress!  That's what I wear if I'm feeling fatter than usual!  You're a freaking hairstylist for goodness sakes--step it the hell up!

I'm not claiming to be an expert, but let my impart my thoughts:

Aud's Top Ten Annoying Faux Pas Committed by Everyday People (in no particular order) 
(everyday people, because celebrities don't count.)

1. Joveralls over age 3 (see above)

2. Dressing Age Inappropriately: It's called the juniors department for a reason... and even for that age demographic, I'm totally not wild about it.  Nothing worse than a 50 y/o wardrobing herself in the hot spots for teenagers.

3. Over-accessorizing: Big earrings, big purse, matching shoes, big necklace... too much is too much.

4. Jorts (in particular on men, some skinny biotches can pull it off)

5. Overly Matchy Matchy Outfits: Example: Printed top with pants that are the exact same color as one of the colors in the print... with a shoe that is another color in the print..with a purse that matches the pants... you get the picture. Example 2: When older married couples dress alike on vacations.

6. Pajamas in Public (whether the wearer is aware the outfit is sleepwear or not): I might have done this in college.  Never again.

7. 3-4 Inch Heels When they aren't practical: I used to do this alllll the time.  Then my feet would hurt and I ended up barefoot and stumpy-looking.  Then I found/placed more stock in my faithful friends, pointy toe flats and flip flops.

8. Poor hygiene It affects the fashionable-ness of whatever you have on.

9. D on D (Denim on Denim): Refers to a denim top and denim bottom being worn simultaneously- can be same wash or different washes. Ex: jean jacket paired with jeans.

10. Choosing Trend over Fit: Example: Just because skinny jeans are in does not mean I can wear them.

OMG this girl on WNTW just got her hair and makeup done and she looks amazing. No more joveralls for her!




Why People Bitch 101

Today I was doing weights/abs in the lady's part of the gym after my cardio workout.  It was glorious.

Until, that is, some backwards-ass, disheveled lady came up to me whilst I was on the ab machine (you're so vulnerable on the ab machine) and said "Do you smell that awful smell?" Resisting the urge to check my underarms (which were fresh, I later confirmed), I sat up and took in a deep whiff.  I might have smelled a faint smell of something chemical-ly.  So I responded (annoyed) telling her I did smell something that reminded me of lawn chemicals, but that it didn't bother me.

I laid back down to resume my crunching in peace and she says, "well good, if I'm not the only one who smells it, I'm going to say something."  The first thought coming to my head was UGH.  Just deal with it.  Clearly it isn't some poisonous gas that the owners of the gym are trying to off us (their paying customers) with.  She leaves the room, comes back in and says, as I still long to do nothing but crunch in peace, "they say it aint gonna hurt us. YEAH RIGHT!" Paranoid much, lady? Geez, Louise!

It got me thinking about what causes people to bitch so much.  And I can be guilty of it, too.  I came up with these quick reasons/situations I think inspire people to bitch, from my past experiences.

1.  When the bitcher is a representative of more than one person's views (see above incident):  The bitcher becomes the heroine of the gym.  She stands up for all who want to bitch, but are not bitching.  Even though I was truly not bothered by the smell, my perspective matters not.  Bitching is all about the perspective of the bitcher.

2. When the bitcher desires conflict in an otherwise peaceful, amicable situation aka somebody wants  to start some drama where it is not necessary.  In my experiences, the women in my life who I tend to genuinely dislike the most enjoy this method of bitching best.  When there is no reason for getting their panties in a bunch, these bitchers find a way to wad 'em up.

3. When the bitcher is tattling Another situation overheard at the gym's front desk... "I just want to let you know that the lady up there in the booty shorts and red sports bra didn't clean the fourth eliptical from the right side after she used it."  Okay, so maybe I exaggerated this one a little.  But it's another instance of the bitcher becoming the do-gooder.

4. The bitcher feels better venting through complaint This is my personal favorite method of bitching.  I resort to this one in my own life probably too often.  Sometimes nothing compares to a conversation with a close friend or your spouse of straight-up unashamed bitching.  It feels so good when you're done, even if you did completely unload on an innocent party.

5. The bitcher is tired/had a bad day/ is taking out some negative circumstance on her bitchee All women are guilty of this, and if you say you aren't, then I think you are full of shit.

Can you think of any more?




Great Dinner + Funny Movie= Awesome "Date Night" on a Weeknight

And when I say "great dinner," you must be assuming we went out to eat, with my previous track record as a chef, but we actually had a great meal in!  Yesterday I called my friend Shelley in a half tizzy and asked her for some ideas for something different to make for dinner to pull me out of my same-foods rut.  She recommended this Mediterranean Chicken recipe.  She said she made it with chicken breasts instead of thighs and no olives and it was a huge hit at her house.  We don't like olives, but love Mediterranean food, and Kroger has fresh chicken breasts on sale this week, so it was a perfect fit.  Matt doesn't like asparagus, so I made artichoke hearts (which it turned out he tended to hate only slightly less than he hates asparagus) and Near East whole grain roasted garlic/pine nut cous cous for sides.

This recipe calls for actually placing your skillet in the oven.  I have never done this before for any recipe and saying I was uber-anxious might be an understatement.  Minus the burns on my hand and arm which resulted from my forgetting that the handle on the skillet was not cool like it normally would be, I had no reason for anxiety. But leave it to me to forget the entire skillet was in a 450 degree oven...twice.

Another first for me was cooking with wine.  It's a bizarre first, something I feel like I should have already conquered, but I'm never too fancy pants in the kitchen and I just never have had the need to use it.

After dinner, we went to see "Date Night" with Tina Fey and Steve Carell and it was hilarious.  If you like the humor styles of these two jokesters, this film is a must-see.  There were four total people in the theater, which to me, is like unspoken permission to spread yourself out as much as you want in the seats and laugh as loudly of as you feel like laughing.  And we did, which was quite enjoyable.  Not to mention the other two people in the theater were necking and petting on the back row.  We later came to realize that they were super young, as they awkwardly embraced goodbye and went home in their separate little high schooler cars.  So, given the circumstances...partial forgiveness for excessive PDA.

Anyway, so this movie is really funny.  Today, I am thinking back on some of the lines and laughing.  The plot, without spoiling, is about a married couple (Fey and Carell) with two kids.  They have transformed from that lovey dovey, newly married couple into the comfortable team of parents who are constantly going in separate directions, but getting everything done for their kids that they need to get done.  After hearing the news of two of their friends making the decision to split up, Carell decides to take Fey to think swanky restaurant in the city, instead of their typical date of steak and baked potatoes at a local joint.  They get all dressed up, arrive at the restaurant, only to find that they can't get a table.  They move to the bar to wait for something to possibly come open, and hear a hostess calling for a party of two and notice no one is responding.  They spontaneously decide to take the other couple's reservation in order to get a table.  Little do they know that doing this will make for one incredibly interesting night...

Even though this was a really typical "date night" for the Osbornes, we had a blast.




Baby, Baby, Baby...

I strongly dislike Justin Beiber, even though he is merely 10 years old and he has done nothing to me.




My Fave Songs of the Moment...

1. Your Love is My Drug- Kesha
       I really didn't think I would everrrr have a Kesha song among my favorites after that annoying song about brushing her teeth with a bottle of Jack, but this one is damn catchy.  It's been getting in my head and it makes me want to bop around happily 24-7.
      The only part I don't particularly dig is the very last line, in which Kesha speaks, "I like your beard." What the hell...

2.  You and Your Heart- Jack Johnson
      I love Jack Johnson.  Always and forever.  Mostly, I like the guitar in this song a lot.  And if you love him lots, he'll be at the Verizon Amphitheater in VA Beach in mid July.  My mom and Darrell are taking Lance and his friend Michael.  I'm going to hang behind.  I really like Jack Johnson, but I kind of feel like seeing him live would mellow me out way too much.
      P.S: Have you seen a pic of Jack lately? His hair is long!

3.  Say Aah (aka It's Your Birthday)-  Trey Songz ft. Fabolous
     I never would have thought that this song was called "Say Aah."  So when I searched for it on iTunes, I assumed it had to have the word "birthday" in it.  Well it doesn't.  But I found it and still love it. "Go girl, it's your birthday, open wide, i know you're thirsty, say aah, say aah...." Now do you know what song I'm talking about?  It hugely appeals to my partying side.  You can just imagine dancing, drink in hand, to this one.

4.  Nothin' on You- B.o.B ft. Bruno Mars
     Okay so when this song starts, it's straight up vocally gorgeous--think John Legend.  Then you hear that "N-N-N-Nothin' on you, babe" and you know it's about to get a hell of a lot rappier up in here.  And it does, but still employs good control.  This is a great windows down, summer song. Thumbs way up!




Green Thumbs?

Today was a great day in the home improvement area of our lives.  We decided, somewhat spur of the moment (always the best way), to do a little landscaping.  And while we haven't done all we need to do this spring, we had a really good time and planted several new plants that hopefully we (and by we, I mean I) won't kill.

Well first of all, let me say this-- last week our yard was weed-free.  This week, it looked like we had purposefully planted about a million gazillion weeds and dandelions of both the white and yellow variety randomly in our grass and plant beds.  Grossssss.  How can you make something colorful and beautiful with those poison ivy poser weeds (we're such novices that we seriously thought it was PI for like thirty minutes before I decided to take the plunge and start yanking shit up...I guess we'll see if my suspicions that it indeed was not PI are confirmed by tomorrow morning.  So far I am itch-free.) Reading stories on this site, I have become paranoid in the past five minutes

So that was my main job- weed puller extraordinaire.  I got my hands dirty.  Knowing me, you may think that this is the antithesis of my definition of a good time. However, given that Matt enjoys being outside in the yard, it was really an awesome bonding experience for us to work on our house together.  He was the digger in our duo and worked a lot harder than I did with a big shovel.  We planted a lily, a yellow rose bush (super duper excited about that one) some daisies, lavender, and a spreading blue plant out front.  We also planted a fig tree out back and I am hoping it's fruitful (get it?)  We need to re-mulch soon and we will call it a season in the yard.

Here's to hoping I don't kill our little sprouts!

And now, on to cleaning the deck!  I am thinking that's probably long overdue since I slipped in some wet algae a couple weeks ago, don'tcha think?




Baked Spaghetti

So we all know how hard I try in the kitch.  The following was one of my few successes that occurred over the weekend.

I decided to try to put a few twists on a classic comfort food over the weekend and make small changes to a baked spaghetti recipe.  You may be thinking, "Audrey, it's impossible to have a low glycemic index spaghetti dish..." I know I was skeptical about whether or not it could really be done. The key to keeping this legal on the low sugar diet is to portion because all the elements in the dish are okay in moderation!

1 package of whole grain fusilli (because I didn't have whole grain spaghetti!  But the key is whole grain)
1 pound Laura's Lean Ground Beef (you could use ground turkey instead)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 jar meatless spaghetti sauce (I used Muir Glen Organic, because it is low sugar and diet-approved)
2 eggs
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
5 tbsp butter, melted
Sharp Cheddar Cheese (would be best to use 2%)
Pam (to grease your dish)

1.  Cook pasta according to package instructions.  Meanwhile, brown beef and onion until no longer pink.  Drain.  Stir in spaghetti sauce with the meat and onion.  Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, Parmesan and melted butter.  Drain cooked pasta and add to egg mixture, tossing to coat.

3. Place half the pasta mixture in a greased 13x9 baking dish (I used the long Pyrex glass dish).  Top with meat and sauce and cheddar cheese.  Repeat layers with second half of pasta, meat, sauce and cheddar.

4. Cover and bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes.  Uncover and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until top cheese is melted.

This was really easy, provides many meals, reheats well and tossing the pasta in the egg/parm/butter mixture really makes it cheesy.

Matt came home to it Saturday night after he was off work while I was at the restaurant.  You know you did something right when you get the "best wife ever" text.

Happy cooking!




Virginia Tech 4-16-07

Every time a stranger or new acquaintance finds out I am a 2007 Virginia Tech grad, the next sentence out of their mouth is a slow, somber and predictable one that I hate to hear, but always comes out.  "Were you there on April 16th for the shootings?"

I always get a lump in my throat.  As someone who normally likes to hide negative emotions away in a little box and throw away the key, this topic is not among my top choices of conversation about a place that holds such a large piece of my heart. 

Was I a student? Yes.  Was I affected? More than I realized at the time.  Was I lucky that all of my closest friends were safe?  With unwavering certainty.

Next Friday, a week from tomorrow, marks the three year anniversary of April 16th.  I can't believe it's been three whole years since such a tragedy wreaked havoc on my school.  This year feels harder to me than any other...  Perhaps I have grown more self-aware.

Since I have never actually done this and I believe in the therapeutic nature of writing, I wanted to take a minute to write a few distinct memories surrounding that day.

On April 16, 2007 I woke up, skipped an optional Persuasion exam review session near Norris Hall and drove to Salem to work out at the Y.  On my way home, I feel like I either heard what was happening in AJ on the radio or Ashley or my mom called me checking in.. Those initial details are a blur now.

However the part that I won't ever forget is running on a treadmill in Salem that morning and seeing breaking news of shootings in Norris Hall.  When I saw 7 people were dead I went into shock.  I could not fathom this had happened in such a safe place.  There must have been some sort of mistake.  I promptly ceased my workout and drove to my Dad's house on Broad in a zombie like state.  I think my Mom met me there.  My phone rang off the hook all day- texts and calls from loved ones.  My fingers texted furiously making sure my sisters and friends were accounted for.  I was so edgy.  I probably could have heard pins dropping and have completely lost it.  Meanwhile the number dead grew and grew from beginning to end, something like 1 to 2 to 7 to 15 to 21 to 27 to 32?

I feel like I must have returned to Blacksburg the day after 4-16.. maybe to get some things from my apartment to take home?  I'll never forget watching CNN that day in my bedroom while I was gathering my things.  This of course was before all the names of the deceased were released.

My roommate Ashley and a few friends were frantically calling hospitals and everywhere they could think of searching for her friend Erin Petersen, who had not been accounted for since the shootings.  Meanwhile a room over, Erin's name flashed on my television among those who were gone.  I felt this distinct heaviness on my chest, like someone was standing on it.  I knew what I had to do.

I walked over to her room and did one of the hardest things I think I have ever done; I told my friend that her friend was gone.

And from there, all I remember is being glued to CNN for the next few days regardless of where I was.  All these reporters and media outlets were in Blacksburg.  That part was wild to me.  I could not wrap my mind around the scope of what had happened.  The TV became an obsession in those next few days and I think eventually my Mom tried to veer me away from the media, as images of the shooter and the glock were plastered on every major network by then. I took the rest of the semester off, as that was one of the options given to us.  In the next few weeks, I was sad a lot.  I can remember crying at night in my bed.  I felt blessed to be okay and have all my closest friends be safe, but I was devastated for my fallen Hokies.  In the weeks following the tragedy, I learned about them and felt like I could have known each of them.

That day in 2007 was devastating to the university community.  But the Hokies did what Hokies do- handled the situation with grace, sorrow and a strong sense of unity.  Now the Hokies remember the lives of those lost with a strong reverence and live for 32.

I love Virginia Tech more than ever.  I have never felt more proud of my affiliation with any place and I know I never will.

Oh and I know I've been blogging serious things a lot lately.  Sorry.  I know they aren't nearly as fun or funny as other topics, but still worth a share.  Promise to be more lighthearted next time!



P.S. I think these photos were taken by my friend Lauren in the days following 4-16.  I know I didn't take them and I feel like she was the one who had them.  I wanted to credit her.


It's Me or the Dog...

This morning I was awoken from my deep slumber by Matt huffing and puffing through our bedroom about Tassel having chewed up his precious, albeit inferior to maroon and orange, blue and orange UVA hat.  I knew he was frustrated, but then...

Matt emailed me from work this morning: one more strike and Tassel's gone.  The entire message wasn't that curt, but that was the main idea.  He doesn't want to have another destructive dog in the house.  And who could blame him?  I don't want that either.

After sobbing for several minutes, clutching my little 4 pound shih-tzu/maltese as he licked my salty tears, I realized there is no way in hell we can have another strike!  Tassel is my dog.  And he really is a sweet companion.  He curls up with me on the couch, is very playful, and is great with Ivory, our other dog.  He is not a little terror 24-7.  Now I will admit, he may be a little spoiled, but he certainly is not a mean-spirited dog.  The thought of surrendering him to another family made the tears flow faster.

So I decided it's time to take steps to keep Tass from striking out.  I had to identify his main issues and ways to fix them.

1.  Occasional Destructive Behavior- I feel like it happens when he is unsupervised and bored.  And really, he doesn't tear things up all that often...  One thing I have already done months ago is sprayed a bitter barrier on the legs of his favorite furniture.  This has helped Ivory stay away as well.  I think something we also need to do is "baby proof" the house in a sense.  Why was Matt's hat anywhere in Tassel's path of travel?  Maybe we should make sure our shoes are put up and toys are the main attraction for chewing.  The fact that he resorts to this behavior when he is bored tells me two things: he needs to be in a more restrictive space when I can't fully watch him (i.e. baby gated in the kitchen perhaps?)  Also, he needs more exercise.

2.  Barking- Whenever he sees a person walk past our house, whenever a doorbell rings on tv, whenever a car door shuts outside, whenever Ivory starts grumbling her low pre-bark, whenever he hears someone on the stoop... this small dog likes to bark and does not stop, even when we are firm with him.  Aside from my opinion that there has to be a better way, shock anti bark collars are too powerful for a dog of Tassel's size, having the ability to make their heart stop, which almost stops mine at the thought of it.  I have also read that these shocks can burn the dogs.  One option is a citronella collar... I just don't see it working.  Tassel is pretty relentless...  So I am thinking of investing in a ultrasonic bark sensor that releases a high pitch sound inaudible to humans whenever it senses the sound of a dog bark.  That type of noise, I believe will at least pause his barking.  When he stops barking, we can praise him.

3.  Some indoor peeing-  The dog is house-trained.  I swear on my life.  He lets me know most times when he has to pee.  He knows peeing inside is not okay.  I think the biggest mistake I have made here is also the lack of supervision and not taking them out often enough.  I am going to take them out hourly when we're here, rather than ever couple hours like we have been doing.  Tassel is small and his little bladder can't be that big.  I think having him being contained in a smaller area should help with the peeing.  Our carpets have been cleaned within the past month, so he should not have an abundance of fave spots to go.


I think we're going to be okay here.  Just the thought of having to give this little guy up is too much for me to think about.  Do you guys think these modifications will work?




Hey, Teacher, Leave Tiger Alone...

At this point, I feel so freakin' sorry for Tiger Woods.  I don't think I have ever seen anyone have to apologize for their mistakes on more occasions than this man.  I'm not saying I think he's really a recovering sex addict, not that it matters.  I'm not saying he didn't sleep with a countless number of women.  I do think he made several indiscretions along the way, like any human being is capable of doing.  And not only are we capable, but inevitably we will all make mistakes, something easily forgotten by our relentless news media.

So to add to this Tiger craze, on Friday, Maureen Decker, Tiger Woods' Kindergarten teacher holds this highly publicized press conference with her lawyer.  In this splashy public denial of an incident Tiger claims happened to him on his first day of Kindergarten, this teacher's lawyer reads a carefully crafted statement claiming slander from Woods' 2005 book that outlines a racial incident on the first day of school.   Decker says Tiger did not experience such an incident and his book saying the teacher "didn't do much of anything" is a lie.  She also groans and moans about never having been so mistreated by any of her pupils until this lie. The duo demands private and public apology.

If you watch this conference, it becomes clear what Ms. Decker really wants.  A little slice of the Tiger Woods' wealth pie and public recognition. What an opportunist... Why else would she have waited five years to come forward with this, saying "she could not get through to Tiger prior to now?"  She is clearly trying to capitalize of his currently shaky reputation and life in the media spotlight.  Is anyone else's B.S.omoter going off?  She clearly could have taken legal action upon the publication of the book, had this been so important to her.

To me, it matters not whether or not this racial incident actually happened.  It's the timing of it all that makes me disapprove of her actions.  Had she held this press conference five years ago, I bet I would have been a whole lot less skeptical.

But not only are her motivations transparent, but a lot about her behavior is simply unprofessional.  The teacher's lawyer shows a picture of Tiger Woods from Kindergarten on what appears to be the class' picture page from the yearbook.  How in the heck is that relevant? Additionally, Decker herself shows a little 'tude when she talks about his 12 step program for a "so-called sex addiction".  I'm sorry, but you are a teacher.  This is not your place to be throwing accusations at a man who has had so many of them coming at him.  And she only knew him well when he was five years old.

I wish everyone would let Tiger do what Tiger does.  Play golf and handle his private affairs just as they should be held: privately!

Can you imagine being under a microscope 24-7?