Falling Behind, Need to Get Ahead!

I am a little disgruntled this morning.  I have a crick in my neck from sleeping awkwardly and a solid 6 to 8 hours of homework to complete before doing anything I want to do today.

I feel like I am falling behind before I have even done so.  I really need to focus this week on:
1. getting our laundry done
2. getting our suitcases packed
3. getting my house cleaned
4. getting ahead on my math homework (I am missing Tuesday and Thursday nights next week, which essentially translates into missing two chapters).

I also start a new class Wednesday, which I am less than thrilled about- a science with a lab (Plant Life in VA).  I hope it's fun and informative.  I am trying to be optimistic (sort of).

Confession: I truly am behind because of my own choices.  But they were so worth it- allow me to explain.

Saturday I relaxed during the day and went to a wedding in the evening.   It was a beautiful and genuine ceremony between two people in love. Also, it was so awesome to see so many of my buds in one place and to let my hair down (in a bigggg way).  Several of us went downtown to Metro after the reception and danced off about a gazillion calories, so I didn't even feel guilty about the forbidden calories I consumed.  I could feel the soreness in my thigh muscles Sunday AM.  And it wasn't just that "I-just-got-run-over-by-a-mack-truck" feeling.  It was exercise soreness.  I thought this was pretty hilarious considering we weren't really trying to exercise.

Okay, so I should probably get my booty moving.  Rational and polynomial functions are waiting.



Smokey the Baby

You didn't think I could let this news story out of Indonesia pass without comment, did you?  Below are untampered photos of a two year old child, Ardi Rizal, in Indonesia smoking cigarettes.

Before I lay into this, a couple things:
1.  I know Joy Behar isn't for everyone, but I love her.  I think she is smart and very funny.  It was from her show on HLN in the middle of the night last night that I was apprised of this child.  A couple hilarious quotes from the show regarding this situation:

"Weren't these kids alarmed when the first words out of his mouth were 'who's got a f***ing light?'"

"He's too young to read the surgeon general's warning."

"You would think he has been doing it his whole life...And he has."

"Is he doing smoke rings?!"

(responding to a statement about the baby's father) "This guy makes Jon Gosselin look like Father of the Year."

Ahh, love to laugh first thing on a Friday.  But seriously!  Okay and one more thing before I throw my opinion out there...

2.  I always try to make a huge effort to be culturally respectful and tolerant of all cultures. And I realize that in some parts of the world this is far more accepted than in the States-- the whole children smoking thing.  That is my sensitivity to culture and acceptance statement...

But.... (okay here we go...)

Um....WHAT in the HELL are these parents thinking?!?  They say that he throws temper tantrums if he doesn't get to smoke.  Um, do you mean like any and nearly every two year old throws a temper tantrum when they don't get their way??  They call it the "Terrible Twos" for a reason, people!  This is an instance of the parents letting their kid rule them before he can even fully communicate.  And the parents being straight up negligent. I know the U.S. news media likes to make everyone paranoid about the risks of any and every risky behavior, but some facts about the damages of smoking are non-negotiable.  And I know we can't live so much in a bubble that other parts of the world remain unaware of such consequences.

What I found amazing is... This kid rocks at smoking. Don't believe me?  Check it out!   Ardi's like the old soul sitting at the corner of your favorite hole-in-the-wall bar chaining and watching the news every night.
And let's talk about the fact he smokes two packs a day.  Obviously!  Did you see how many drags he takes/minute?  About ten thousand million, if I had to guesstimate.  (Not really that many)

I worry about Ardi.  His health, thus far, does not appear wholly promising.  And if people who chain smoke from age 18 and up can run into problems by, well, let's say mid fifties if not earlier, does that mean Ardi will run into problems in his thirties?

Would love to hear your thoughts!



I love lists.

And I don't care who knows it.

Last night in class, we were allotted almost two hours to take our exam.  Well, I finished within an hour and did not have a book on my person to read to pass the time.  I did, however, have a clipboard and big sheets of paper with "TO-DO LIST" printed loudly and proudly at the top of the sheets.  I would have big sheets with "TO DO LIST" printed on them.

And so I went to town in my little high school-esque desk.  I made lists for two hours.  One list was things I need to do from 5-26 to 6-1, with the dates being the headers.  One list was the specific articles of clothing that I need to pack for New York, including my travel outfit the day of.  Another was the order I would like to fix up rooms in our house.  Making these lists makes me feel organized and prepared.  I love writing things down.

So what are you waiting for?  Go find your O.C.D today.



$10 Sewing Kit=Perfect Ass Train Case

So we all know how obsessed I have become with Bare Escentuals/Bare Minerals.  So obsessed, in fact, that I have been fretting over how to transport my precious goodies to the Big Apple without incident.  They do best when stored upright.

I found the below train case on the BE site.  Actually I have been eying it for awhile, but having an argument with my cheaper inner self about it costing $35 +shipping.  Just seems a little too much for what it is.
My mom, who I think/hope I have recently converted to BE, happened to find BIG LOTS!  Disclaimer: It's a sewing kit.  Redeeming qualities: $10, perfect for the purpose, had several colors and patterns from which to choose.
I know everyone's lovin' its background.  I needed some good light!

Great and sturdy plastic handle

Disregard the pin cushion.  I'll be taking those pins out, so as to not injure myself!  We all know how easy that could be for me to do...
This case also has a great pocket on the lid for hair ties, cottons balls, q-tips or whatever you so desire.

The dividers in the plastic lid are perfect for the size of several of my jars. I was pretty jazzed about that.  And the brushes lay very nicely in one of the sections, as well.

You can take that top tray out and there is lots of room below.  For sewers, probably originally purposed for scraps of fabric.  For me, probably going to carry shampoo, conditioner, skin care on vacays, and then any Bare Minerals jars that become less-used than others as I acquire more jars at home.  We both lined our bottoms with fabric to keep them clean.  I think my Mom used an old pillowcase and I folded a small towel in half to line the bottom of mine.

Wanted to share the love on this deal!



Creative Juices are Flowing...

Lately, I have felt more of an urgent need to be creative than normal.  So I decided to take that creativity to the bedroom.  Please hold your perverted comments.

For awhile now, I have wanted to add a nautical touch to our bedroom.  Seems fitting, right?  We both love the water and got married on the beach.

The wall color is already good to go, as it is this great muted grey color- a perfect neutral for nautical.  I have already moved a couple seashell frames in there that kind of look like this except not so over-the-top colorful (T.J Maxx $5.99)
I put my wedding bouquet in a vase on my nightstand.  For those who didn't know, it was artificial! Wanted to go ahead and quell the worries about dead flowers on my nightstand.
Lindsey and Jackie gave us a frame that is a light blue color and it's already nautical.  We have that hanging up already.  They also gave us a cute basket with seashells dangling from it.  I haven't had a use for it.. until now (see decorative balls below).  Hold your perverted comments, pleaseeee.

 I also think our comforter is a go.  This is what we currently have- Nautica Oslo, minus all those annoying pillows, gee whiz.  Have you listened to comedian Jim Gaffigan talk about pillows?  I concur with his feelings.

First off, I would like to recover our window seat.  My mother-in-law did this for Matt a long time ago with a rich colored red paisley print that matched his old comforter when he moved in.  I like the print, it's just really dark.  Recovering this will be as easy as a trip to JoAnn's.  I will also need to retrieve a couple new shams for the pillows on the sill from TJ.  I noticed the fabric is just pinned with straight pins, so I think this is even easier than I realized--something I could have done a long time ago to brighten things up.
Here are my fabric ideas so far for this project:

Pretty sure I already hate the second one.  Pretty sure it's between #1 and #3.  Andddd I'm pretty sure I like the last print the best, but fear being too theme-y... Butttttt, I think I might just say to hell with fearing that.  Clearly it's what I am after. Here are a couple other finds I would love to snag for our room:

Ship from Pier 1 Imports

Coral is from Pier 1.  Looks like it would be good on this shelved floor lamp we have.

Love these decorative balls from Target to put in a basket somewhere in the room.

I'll keep y'all posted!!



Dollars and Sense

I found this great article on (a newlywed staple):

4 Smart Spending Tips for Couples

As you all might know, Matt and I merged into the world of joint checking back in March and have been somewhat successful thus far in communicating with one another about money.  I liked this article a lot because it highlights one of our favorite ways to stop from spending money... packing a lunch instead of having meals out.  Matt and I both have individual amounts of "fun money" we are budgeted to spend each month.  Let's not talk about how I have $5 left for May and am def going to be going over my allowed amount (isn't moisturizer a grocery item??).  My point is, the majority of Matt's fun money goes toward lunches out.  Then at the end of the month, he's like "where did all my fun money go?"  Meals out are typically the culprit.  I have tried to be more conscious of having deli meats, breads, cheeses etc. and the kind of apples he will eat (only golden delicious, which I do not enjoy) on hand at all times so he can actually pack lunch.  By my estimation, this has really made a difference.

Seems like a small change, but definitely one worth making!


May- Things I Don't Want to Live Without

I saw a list like this on my friend Samara's blog and really wanted to give it a whirl here, as well.  So without further adieu, here is my list of "must-haves" for May.

1.  Bare Minerals Tropical Radiance
I am obsessed with Bare Minerals since trying the make-up line in February and am really obsessed with how tropical radiance makes skin look.  It's better than a heavy blush and can be used all over the face over foundation.  But I just use it to highlight my cheekbones.  Love this stuff for springtime.

2. Nike Comfort Fit Flip Flops
I didn't realize a flip flop could surpass the comfort of Reefs and Rainbows until my Mom bought me these.  I don't have the color above (mine are brown and blue), but the style of the sole is where it's at!  These have memory foam-ish material in them and when you put them on, it's like you're barefoot, except not.

3. Gold Bond Shea Butter Softening Lotion
I have always had a time with cracked heels in the spring and summer months, likely due to excessive flip flop wearing.  This stuff is cheap and awesome.  I have also been tighter with my money and avoiding a pedicure, so this has helped to carry me through.

4. Sunroof

I have a car with a sunroof again!  Woohoo!  Love sunroofs, especially in May before it's too hot to really enjoy one.

5.  Strawberries

'Nuff said.

6.  Chi Silk Infusion
I can't use this every day, or I'll be a greaser.  But every now and then, using Chi Silk Infusion helps combat dry summer hair.  I typically use it alone without other products.  It is the bomb.


My calculus book angers me...

Maybe the book wants me to open it and begin on the 100+ problems which are due tonight.. It cost a whopping $118 dollars for a five week course. Absolutely ridic...

This course is pretty ridic for its purpose in my life.  All material as of yet, has been review of things I desperately tried to block out and forget and is certainly not relevant in an elementary classroom setting.  The class is Tuesday and Thursday nights from six to ten... with little sympathy shown for how long that really is to do... GULP..math problems.

Now that I have gotten that obligatory gripe out of my system, I hope everyone has a lovely Thursday.  The sun appears to be shining and I think it's going to be a beautiful day!  I might lay out on the deck later, time permitting.  I haven't had a good cloudless day to do that lately.  I need to tan my reflective body, but haven't felt motivated to go tan indoors.  By the time I get to the tanning bed, I have normally worked out.. no one likes to put sweaty clothes back on after tanning.  Gross.

Speaking of sweaty clothes, I also plan to work out in a major way after doing this homework, which should be a great release after my brain conks out from mathematics overload.

Ta ta for now!



DIY: Wine Cork Trivets

Have you ever had something sitting around your house that you know you could put toward a better use?

The basket of corks below are all the wine corks consumed in this house since I have known Matt.  These are mostly from bottles I drank early in our relationship when I would come over to hang out and the boys were drinking whiskey. Some bottles Matt drank once I finally got him to try red wine.  A couple corks are from bottles of wine we received for our wedding.  I had a hard time imagining throwing all these away, because a.) I'm a pack rat and b.) They are somewhat sentimental.

While I feel like they looked okay in this little wire basket (thank you Mom/Southern Living at Home), I wanted to put them to a more practical use. 

So I decided to make them into trivets.  It's much better than tossing them and better than having them just sitting around.  And besides, I am always looking for things on which to set hot pots and bowls for dinner.  This project was cheap and simple.

Here is what I did:

1.  I went to A.C. Moore to buy extra hot glue gun sticks and two picture frames to start.  I found these awesome square shadowboxes on sale for $6.99 each.  
Side note: I also bought eight canvases, acrylic paint, brushes and a small easel, but that's a story for another time... :)

2.  I took the glass out of the shadow boxes.

3.  I plugged in the glue gun and began to try to figure out how these corks could fit inside the frame.  My plan was to fit all the pieces in there without glue first and then I could go back and glue them all in place.  It was proving to be more of a mission than I anticipated.  At first I just pulled the corks one by one from the basket and tried to lay a pattern.  Then I realized that they weren't all the same sizes.  I needed to really see what I was working with.  So I dumped all the corks out onto the table.

4.  After I dumped the corks out, making the patterns became easier to do.  I put the corks together like a puzzle.

5.  I went back and glued the corks into place, only removing and gluing them one or two at a time, so as to not compromise my hard work.  For each piece, I pressed down for maybe 5 seconds.  I love a hot glue gun- it dries so fast.

6.  Project complete.  Two new trivets!

Also, Ivory was a great helper...



New Look!

My blog was boring me to tears!  I jazzed it up today and had a blast learning the ins and outs of what you can do with these things.


Random Thoughts 5-17: Rain, Herbs, Weight, Ghosts, Choices, Immaculate House, NYC, Etc.

I get mad at myself when I don't/have a lack of inspiration to theme my blog.  Without the focus of one story or topic, I find that my re-reads of my writing tend to feel like ramblings.  If you find this is your assessment as well, feel free to stop reading and wait for my next hopefully narrowed-down post. :)

First of all, this is one of the few systems of rain that hasn't made me want to crawl under a rock and be in my pajamas listening to Coldplay.  When I woke up this morning, I took the trash around (much more successful this week, might I add, as I did not rake my foot with a stick on my way).  The drops of rain on my skin and hair felt amazing.  I pretty much just walked outside in my a tank top and shorts bra-less and flip flopped to complete this task.  Maybe the bra-less part added to my freedom.  Side note about the lack of brassiere: as a well-endowed lady, I normally always try to wear one, but isn't it somewhat liberating to not be wearing one?  And outside in front of God and everybody nonetheless.  So in summation,  I was becoming truly refreshed by the rain, just like our yard and plants.  This is a rare, but notable, occurrence for me.  Maybe it was also to do with the fact that we don't have to water the grass when it's raining!

Last week, I started a small herb garden upon my husband's urging.  His best efforts to envelope me in his hobby of growing things are working in small steps.  We have basil, oregano and rosemary seeds growing on our sill inside.  Well, I mean, I guess they're growing... So far there have been no green breakthroughs through the soil and I check them every day, maybe more than once/day. As Grandma always says, "a watch pot doesn't boil."  Maybe if I forget about checking the herbs, there will be a sprout.  But then they would die because I wouldn't be watering them!  I guess I just have to find a good balance of looking at them that isn't frequent enough to feel like the precursor to failure.

I went to the doctor Thursday to check in on my weight loss progress.  For those who don't know, I do this monthly with my OBGYN.  She is the shit and hilarious. She showed me a great triceps routine, but said she would probably "bust her ass" on her wheeled stool she was pretending was a weight bench.  What doctor says that?! Anyway, while entertaining, that demonstration wasn't the best part of the visit. Given that I don't weigh myself at home, I always go into the appt. clueless about what's going to happen.  And by clueless, I mostly mean anxious.  When you see your body every day, it's hard to know how it's changing.
Well I weighed and I lost 8 lbs last month, which brings my total weight lost almost to 25 pounds.  I am pretty stoked about this.  For the first time I feel like I have found a feasible plan that is healthy and adaptable to long-term.  I get really cranky and lethargic if I don't work out as much as I need to, which flies in the face of all the judging I would do of the workout-a-holics I used to not understand.

Do you guys believe in ghosts?  Sounds dumb, I know.  I think I believe in them.  I have seen what I believed to be apparitions before both in my Dad's old house, which I strongly held was haunted, and other locations, as well.  People I know and people I don't know or can't identify.  Do you think the people in our lives who have already passed can watch over you in both the cliche sense of "watching over" you and even visiting you?  Have you ever been in a dark room and been pretty positive you weren't alone?  I have been mulling a lot of this over lately.

Choice:  When people make a choice, they may or may not be thinking of all the short and long term effects of that choice.  Or they may choose to only attend what they want. However, choices are part of our nature as humans.  We have to make them daily.  We use our perspective at that time to weigh the pros and cons in our situations.  Some choices are highly difficult to undo after their consequences run rampant.  This really sucks.

This weekend, we went to our friends' house.  It was the cleanest house I have ever seen.  It looked staged, like a real estate agent could show it at any given moment.  Holy hell, how inspiring!  It made me want to de-clutter and clean in a major way.

I am ready for our vacation to New York City for our anniversary.  It's getting close!  I think Matt is starting to get excited, too.  He was saying he feels like he has worked hard this year (he has yet to take a single vacation day since the beginning of 2010) and he feels like he deserves a break.  Hearing him say that was nice.  Matt is a really hard worker and rarely gives himself the credit he deserves.  I think we're up for a blast.  I am already thinking about what clothes to pack!!

Okay, I think I am done.




Twins Kind of... Except Not

You know how people say they have special connections with their twins?  Well, while my brother and I weren't in the womb together, I feel such a similar connection to him. I feel like I know when something's up, when something's good, etc. etc.  I feel that despite the six year age difference we have between us, we have managed to cultivate a great friendship.

All that is to say... he's turning 18 tomorrow! Happy 18th Lance.

Can't believe it considering my 18th birthday feels like three weeks ago and considering that if that's how I feel about my 18th, it will be his 24th sooner than it seems.


23,042 lbs.

Check. this. out.

Do y'all know what that is? It's the world's biggest serving of hummus in Lebanon.  They recently beat a world record set by Israel with their whopping 23,042 pounds of hummus.  Apparently over 300 chefs were involved in this feat.  Can you imagine the teamwork required to make this happen??

See the full story here!!

I love hummus.  I didn't always, as with many foods to which I turned my nose up simply because of my unwillingness to try them. One taste of hummus and I was hooked.  Now, we have hummus is our fridge 24-7.  And there are so many delicious varieties.  Roanokers can taste the best hummus in the area at The Isaacs in the Grandin area.  It's a healthy complement to many veggies and whole grain crackers (I have to be careful not to be tempted by regular pita bread).  I didn't always love hummus, but it quickly became lumped into the category below:

Foods I wouldn't eat before I met Matthew Nicholas Osborne but now will eat
Collard Greens
Sushi of any and all varieties
Kibbe (an awesome Lebanese dish-- look it up)
Black beans
Chick Peas (in general)
Jalapeno/Habanero Peppers
Indian Food (in general)
Thai Food (in general)

But my connection with this story is not just as a hummus fiend, but goes a little deeper.

My husband's dad is Lebanese.  I have a feeling he would hold to the notion that neighboring countries and cultures try to take credit for many of the delicious dishes everyone loves--hummus included.  I think Sam would love to hear about this--  Lebanon is on top!!




A Pain in the NECK.

Good evening, friends.

First of all, let's preface this story of injury with this fact: this weekend was ridiculously busy at the restaurant.

We served over 2,300 folks Saturday + Sunday.  I thought for sure I would be dragging some seriously exhausted ass this morning when the dogs brought me out of what I consider to be the best sleep I have had in months.  However, to my surprise, I hopped out of bed without incident at my 7:45AM wake-up call.  I felt absolutely awesome and well-rested.  Not tired in the least, not sore in the small of  my back and hamstrings like I had anxiously predicted..  I could carry on with my Monday normally.

Although, I did skip my workout.  Rationale--I know I probs burned a gazillion cals yesterday and I felt like this skippage was excusable due to the fact that Sunday was clearly not my day of rest.  And I deserve one, damn it.

So all is well that ends well, right?  Everything about this slacker-esque day was exceeding my expectations. Until, that is, 4:00PM rolled around.  I could not turn my head to the right without a shooting, throbbing pain in my neck muscle.  I thought to myself, "WTH?  You mean I pulled a freaking muscle yesterday?"  Verbatim- those were my thoughts.  I'm clearly a huge wuss, so the pain almost made me cry and Matt and I retreated from being out and about.  I complained a lot, was a total biotch to my husband and proceeded to take some Advil upon our arrival home, like an arthritic senior citizen.  Maybe next week, I'll be carrying a pillbox in my purse.

Anyway, I feel better now... maybe it worked itself out.  Whatever the case, I can't believe I pulled a muscle waiting tables.

Oh and also, I cut my foot on a freaking stick in our yard today taking the trash can around to the front.  Who does that?  Just walking in my flips, gash, cut, it's done.  They just should've named me Grace.




May Cardio Playlist

1. Hard by Rihanna and Jeezy

2. My Chick Bad by Ludacris and Nicki Minaj

3. Winner by Jamie Foxx, JT and TI

4. Eenie Meenie by Sean Kingston and Justin Beiber (trust me, it's not because he's in it.)

5. Rude Boy by Rihanna

6. Telephone by Lady Gaga and Beyonce

7. Your Love is my Drug by Kesha

8. Say Aah by Trey Songz and Fabolous

9. Fergalicious by Fergie

10. Bad Romance by Lady Gaga

11. Shake It by Metro Station

12. Diva by Beyonce

The playlist is a little on the short side for time, but luckily I love most of these and am willing to have repeats.




Get Your Hair Did.

My personality is very well-defined.  I like my routine and plans and have always been a very change-resistant individual. If it ain't broke, why fix it? Change-resistant, that is, unless we're talkin' about... the 'do.

Does anything feel better to a woman than a new haircut and color? Ashley just chopped a jabillion inches off her hair and is now a new woman.  Every time I get a new coiffure, I spend a good extra 10 minutes getting ready in the mornings for at least the first three days.  You feel so good about your hair, you feel this yearning to step up the makeup, step up the outfits and accessories, etc. etc.

And as if you weren't fabulous enough before your magical trip to the salon, getting your hair did gives you that extra spring in your step--that extra twinkle in your eye.  There is something special about dedicating that time in the chair to focus on yourself.

You are moving toward your full potential when you take care of yourself.
Sidenote: The above statement is something I have recently applied to many areas of my life.  I am specializing in focusing on myself.  Not trying to sound haughty or spoiled, but it's a necessary path to be who I want to be!  From the gym and the diet to the exploration of my dreams to the focus on successfully finishing up my Masters program, it's all taking care of myself.  And it's worth it.

Can't wait to get some new color tomorrow and a trim!  A trim, because I am growing my hair back out.  I have enjoyed it, but I need a change (I must over-crave change in the hair department apparently in hopes of making up for my lack of loving change in other areas of my life.)  Also have to get ready for a fab updo for Meg's wedding in October!

Do blondes have more fun? I guess I'll find out (Again.  Like most springs and summers since 7th grade).  From what I remember, they do.  It's going to be a good summer.





Today was my birthday and it was amazing.  Days like today make me feel so fortunate to have such wonderful people in my life.  That's really all I have to say.