Friday, December 31, 2010

And a Happy New Year to you too!

So who is excited about 2011??
*side note: for those wondering, yes we got internet access finally*
Moving on...
In my previous post, I made a comment in regards to New Years Resolutions.  Allow me to explain why I've never been a big fan.  It's simple, really.  I've never understood why people needed the new year to begin to make changes in their lives.  Zig Ziglar (love him!) made a comment about New Years resolutions and how it was silly to wait for the new year when every day was a new day to change.  So why wait?
Technically, I haven't waited for the new year to make my "changes" or start my "goals" for the new year.  I've been thinking about them for the last few weeks and slowly started them up.  Granted, 2011 will be a big year as I am pregnant with my first child.  And since every pregnancy is different for every woman, there's no real way for me to know what the next six months will bring for me, my body and our baby.  Plus, the last six months of the year will be filled with new parenting experiences with our first newborn.  So I'm not focusing on making monumental goals and/or changes (find a cure for cancer, paint a mural on a building, and build a car from scraps will have to wait until 2012).  Rather, baby steps is the way I'm looking at it.
So, without further ado, here are my goals for 2011:
  • finish writing my novel
  • pick up my clothes every day (yes I still throw them on the floor)
  • knock 10 items off of my bucket list (when January 11 hits, I will be able to scratch the blog off of the list...but never fear, I'll continue writing the blog)
  • write hand-written letters once a month (if you'd like to receive letters from me, let me know!)
  • finish my child development class by March ('s ridiculous that it's not done yet)
And that's pretty much it.  I'll probably start a gratitude posting on here once a week as well because I can appreciate how focusing on gratitude can certainly alter perception.  And who can't use a little pick-me-up every now and then?
That being said, I wish you all a safe, happy and joyous New Years Eve!  Stay safe and will someone please drink a glass of champagne for me?!

The end of 2010

Please excuse this post if it lacks depth or creativity. As we struggle to start up a new Internet account, my only access to cyberspace is through my iPhone. So I'll write this post to the best of my limited ability.

So 2010 is wrapping up this evening with the standard big bang, falling ball in NYC and fireworks, champagne and midnight kisses. Mi marido y yo will spend it as we typically do: in bed by 9:30 (although last night was a rare night where I was awake at 10:30, shocking I know). My thoughts on 2010 are as follows:
-personally, this year was the best by far. I had a beautiful wedding with my husband that was as intimate as it was personally flavored. We moved across the country for our grand adventure, and in the process, found ourselves expecting our first child.

Well I guess that actually sums it up. I could go on about my opinions politically (really?), religiously (anybody else follow how many trials have been going on with religious leaders?), agriculturally (farm raised bison? Seriously?! And GMO apples?! No thank you), etc. Alas, that's not really the reason why you read my little nugget on the net. Perhaps one day it will evolve into something that has more substance. Maybe it'll join the ranks with some of the other blogs that I follow (all 267 of them).

But for now, it will continue to be what it is.

I welcome 2011 as a year of firsts again. Another year for us to laugh and cry together. A year of more memories than what we can comprehend. And another year to grow in our capacity to love one another.

*and if I get Internet today, I will attempt to post my new years resolutions before bedtime. Even though, I dont really agree with the whole new years resolution thing.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Queen Bee

I realize that I've been MIA for a little while.  There really isn't much of an update to give about life right now other than I'm really looking forward to having energy again.  I'm exhausted every day when I get home from work so if I even get around to responding to emails, it's a feat of sheer will and sweat.

moving on...
I had a thought while I was driving home today through the winter rain.  I thought back to those queen bees in school, the mean girls, the bullies.  I'm not referring to just females although I realize the words I previously used may seem to suggest otherwise.  My experience in life was with both male and female bullies; those experiences are definitely not ones that I look back on and laugh at now.  Not because I'm a pansy or because I don't know how to stand up for myself.  But because looking back at those memories makes me sad.  I'm sad for the child that I was that endured the teasing and whatnot but I'm also sad for the other child, the bully in the situation.

Obviously, this frame of thought leads me to thinking about the next 18 years or so of raising our first child.  Pregnancy sort of grabs hold of your conscious (all levels, sub and un included) and I've found that everything directly relates to my pregnancy now (and I'm fairly certain that others around me find it obnoxious and I can't blame them...really how does office paper relate to my pregnancy?).  So of course, as I was thinking about this "bully" topic, I began to wonder about my own child.  
I realized something in college about bullies (sad it took me that long).  I realized that bullying is a form of displaying insecurity.  I suddenly had this thought about the "mean girls" and "bullies" that I knew: what is it about you that makes you want to hate me? (or something to that effect).  I finally realized that the issue really wasn't about me all along but it was really about the bully themselves.  I'm fairly certain I remember my parents telling me that when I would complain about mean people and I really wish I had understood then what they meant.  

As well as with the bully though, catty gossip is typically encouraged with a dash of insecurity in the gossiping parties.  Looking back on all of the friends I've had, the nicest ones were the least likely to gossip.  I, unfortunately, did not have the sense to be closer to those girls and wound up spending way too much time on people who didn't really want to be close to me.  
Alright so what does all of this dribble boil down to?  My question is: how do you raise a child with a strong sense of self and confidence?  I know that my parents were encouraging and supportive.  But I also know that I struggled with self-esteem/confidence issues for years.  It wasn't until my early 20s did I really start to have a strong sense of self-confidence.  Was that an issue brought on by an environment outside of the home?  I would be lying if I didn't say I worry about the struggles my child will face.  Will he/she be picked on in school and tormented?  Or (worse) will they be the one tormenting others?  I'd like to think that we would raise a child to be loving, compassionate, and open minded about people but isn't that what every parent wants for their child?  So isn't that likely what the parents of the bullies wanted?  


Friday, December 3, 2010

Colorado vs. Louisiana

After living in Colorado for three months, I feel like I can now make a somewhat educated comparison of Colorado and Louisiana.  So without further adieu: 
Dry Winter vs. Wet Winter
Although I'm sure there are some benefits to humidity (but for the life of me, I can't think of them right now), there is nothing fun about high humidity when it's cold outside.  Why?  Because it can quickly make 50 degrees feel like 30.  Dry winters rock because let's face it, I like snow and there's nothing better than being able to play in it without a heavy coat on.  I like that I don't need thirty layers before I step foot outside even if it is 30 degrees outside. 
(Note: I do realize that we've barely made it into "winter" here so I assure you I realize that my opinion can change on this shortly).
Mountains vs. ...
Sorry but there's really no comparison.  Having mountains as your scenery every day is absolutely amazing!  The sunsets look like they have about 15 more colors in them and I love driving to work and being able to check out all of the mountains.  It's amazing!
Moving Traffic vs. Sitting on the interstate
I don't miss BR traffic at all.  AT ALL.  There's nothing worse than being stuck on the interstate and cars NOT moving an inch and then an hour later finally passing up the blockage and realizing it's just a bunch of idiots slowing down to get a view of the wreckage!  STARING AT IT WILL NOT MAKE IT BETTER AND BY SLOWING DOWN SO YOU CAN STARE COULD POTENTIALLY CAUSE ANOTHER CAR CRASH!  (I obviously have not gotten over this).  In Colorado, there is a lot of traffic but at least it MOVES!
speaking of interstates:
Construction work being done vs. ten years in the making of one covered pothole
I have yet to pass a construction site here where there aren't people working on the project at hand.  However, in BR, I can remember countless times driving on I-10 and wondering why the hell there hasn't been any progress in one year?  ONE YEAR!!!  GET ON YOUR TRUCKS AND DO SOMETHING!

Courteous drivers vs. assholes
PerBear used to get SO angry with people in BR (and I'm certain he still is) because so many times he'd let people into the line of traffic and he'd get no wave or recognition for being courteous.  I'm happy to report that every person that I have allowed to merge into my lane of traffic or go ahead of me, they always wave!  It's so pleasant!  So instead of second guessing my choice of letting them in, I wave back and smile!
Outdoors vs. Indoors
Let's face it.  In Louisiana, the list of things to do outdoors is short.  Now, I know there are some of you who want to argue (I agree...crabbing is tons of fun and I'm sad that I haven't done it in years) however, the REASON the list is so short is because the MISERABLE heat and humidity makes it difficult to truly enjoy the outdoors in Louisiana (unless there is an ice chest with beer).  I love that in Colorado it's still pleasant enough to do things outside even in the beginning of December.  For instance, Eric went on a hike today.  There's also the long list of winter sports to do.  And we all remember my post about going rafting earlier in the fall.  
Vineyards and Breweries vs. One Brewery (?)
Colorado is littered with Vineyards and Breweries.  We've only been able to visit the Coors Brewery so far (back in February) however, I know that there are multiple all over this great state.  Louisiana has Abita (there may be others but I don't know of them and I'm too lazy to do the research).  
Don't get me wrong.  I miss some things about Louisiana that I know Colorado cannot compete with (i.e. food, best friends, family).

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Pregnancy what?

So I don't really discuss how I'm feeling during the pregnancy on here for a few reasons:
  1. People ask me every time they talk to me "How are you?  how are you feeling?" (not hating on anyone...just saying that's why I don't talk about it on here)
  2. Many of my readers (the few of you) have already been through pregnancy
  3. Many of my readers (the few of you) haven't experienced pregnancy 
  4. There isn't really too much to tell
The one "symptom" of pregnancy that I am struggling with are these stupid raging hormones.
I am not a person who gets angry.  Seriously.  There are about three people in my life who have learned how to truly make me angry and I only still speak to one of them.  I could give you some silly explanation like "anger is such a waste of energy" (which I do actually believe) but that's not the REASON I don't get angry.  There isn't a reason.  My feelings get hurt but I'm not very familiar with the emotion of anger.
Until now...
Now, I struggle to bite my tongue over the most mundane things.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


So in keeping with the Thanksgiving spirit (yes I realize it was two days ago), here's what I'm thankful for:
  • my husband and our growing family (including Kaya)
  • good friends and new friends
  • delicious cookies
  • that I still have enough freedom in this country to make choices regarding my health and well-being
  • that I have a friend in Australia, just in case things in the US go to shit
  • my thirst for knowledge which constantly keeps me amused and entertained
  • my job which keeps me entertained and makes me think
  • my extended family
  • my ability to crochet, draw, paint, knit, etc; or really the general ability to make "something out of nothing"
  • my ability to laugh at almost anything

Mommy Vitamins

So I have a question.  Why is it that when a woman is pregnant, one of the first questions is:

Are you taking prenatal vitamins?

Research has shown that taking enough of certain vitamins has helped to ward off conditions such as spina bifida.  And as a mommy-to-be (or mommy in training), making sure that our bundle of joy gets everything s/he needs while they are growing is uber important to me. 

After watching Food Matters, however, I'm starting to wonder why for pretty much everyone involved or affected by a pregnancy (be it a sister of the expectant mother or the doctor in charge of her care) this vitamin intake is so important during this time but not as much so at every other point in a person's life?

For instance, we know that Vitamin C boosts the immune system but how many people do you know that actually make the effort to get CLOSE to what they "should" take in one day?  And why is it that when someone gets sick, rather than ask about their diet and environment, many doctors just try to determine which category of illness do they fall into?  And for the doctors that may stumble across this and read it (although I doubt there are any) and feel that their toes are being stepped on, might I ask that you please forgive me for not being your patient and having your wonderful care? After having mishaps and misdiagnoses with doctors (and having family and friends undergo the same type of trauma), you have to understand why I may have a bit of cynicism. 

Moving on...

After watching the continuous climb of cancer, diabetes, and a slew of other diseases and conditions, doesn't it make you wonder where the change will come from?  There are numerous miracle drugs on the market already.  Personally, I wonder how much the medical industry has really been affected by capitalism.  I could get on a rant about pharmaceutical companies but I'm certain that you have all heard it before somewhere else.  But the capitalism effect is one worth thinking about. 

And of course, with the thought that I'm bringing a child into the world, my instant reaction is to protect this child from any form of harm, whether it's some kind of accident (God forbid) or diabetes or cancer.  I am doubtful of medications most of the time when I have found in my personal experience and others' experiences that eating lots of vitamins and nutrients can actually change the situation.  For instance, there are plenty of women who have been diagnosed with PCOS who have found that by just adjusting their diet, eating more fruits and vegetables in their natural form and doing some exercise their symptoms dissipate.  Or how about diabetes?

I feel like I'm getting side tracked though (stupid pregnancy mind scramble).

I'm not certain what the whole point of this ramble is.  But I know that for me, I think a change is coming very soon.  I'm proud to say that my diet is very good right now (except when I get cravings for french fries) but I feel as though there is definite room for improvement.  The change isn't just for me though; the change is for my baby, and for the future of our family. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Gobble Day!

For Thanksgiving, we were invited over to Ms. M, J, and S's beautiful home for Thanksgiving lunch.
For those of you that wonder why I don't use real names, it's because I respect the fact that I haven't asked these people if I can mention them on my blog and so I give them nicknames/aliases/abbreviations in order to keep track of characters.
Of course we watched the Saints game.
What the hell happened in the third quarter?!?
And had DELICIOUS foods:
green bean casserole (SO good)
sweet potato casserole
butternut squash mash 
that was one of my dishes and for some reason I kept saying "banana nut"
vegetable medley casserole
I don't know the actual name of it but all you need to know was it had feta and mozzarella on top.
mashed potatoes
And then for dessert:
pecan pie
pumpkin cheesecake
root beer floats
With A&W which is the only way they should be made

The best part was the new faces and the TONS of laughs.  I haven't laughed that hard in a while.
I was worried that I would be really homesick today but after video chatting with the family (yes, all of the aunts, uncles and cousins gathered round to look at me and tell me that I look pregnant) and being with such an entertaining group of people, I didn't even think about it once.
Today was just a great Thanksgiving!

Hope everyone had a lovely Gobble Day!           

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanksgiving is a-coming!

Sorry for the delay in posting.
There's no excuse.
Just sorry.
Here's a quick rundown of what's new:
  • I've started prenatal yoga classes.  The ladies in the class are great and I'm hoping to establish some good friendships through our meetings.
  • We bought a Jeep Grand Cherokee for Eric.  Unfortunately, it's spent more time in the dealer's shop than in our parking lot (don't get me started).
  • We had our first ultrasound (yay!) on Friday and found out that the baby is only 8 weeks along and not 12 like originally thought.  The corrected due date is July 2.
  • Work is going well and I'm enjoying it.  I kind of have a groove set up but still going through a lot of training because there's still a ton to learn.
  • Started reading "The Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy" and have found it to be so funny that I have to put it down every couple of pages to wipe the tears out of my eyes.
  • I've decided that I'm going to be singing to this baby a lot.  I spend the majority of my commute to and from work belting out showtunes or whatever happens to be playing.  The baby will probably be born performing dance sequences from "A Chorus Line" or singing "He Plays the Violin" from 1776.  And then on Sundays in the fall, Eric will hold the baby and attempt to teach it quarterback strategies before the baby can even say "dada".  This will be a very well rounded child.  
I'm anxious for our trip home to Louisiana.  It's going to be so great to see family and friends and do some catching up.
Now, I'm off to work on my independent study class (finally) and possibly a sewing project.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Victoria Victoria

I love Victoria's Secret.
That being said, if you are already uncomfortable with this topic, just skip this post.  It's not an update of sorts nor does it contain vital information about my well-being or mi marido or bebe.
Moving on...
So I love Victoria's Secret.  Most teenage girls end up buying something from them by the time they are 20.
Note that I said MOST, not all, because I realize that there are some women who don't want to spend that much on a bra.
So why do I love VS and all she has to offer?
I like color.  Lots of it.  I like good quality and I've always been satisfied by the quality of VS products.  
It's the clothes that really do it for me though.
I love that the pants come in a variety of lengths so I don't have to worry about hemming every single pair of pants that I own or worry about ruining the ends of my pants by walking all over them.  I love the way the fabric feels and that the majority of the styles come in a variety of colors.  I love that there is free return shipping.  Their sales are FANTASTIC!  And as a card bearing VIP member (yes I have a black card and no, I'm not proud of how much debt I got into to get that stupid card...NOTE I AM DEBT FREE NOW AND LESSON IS LEARNED THOUGH...stupid college aged thought that building credit with a VS store card was a good idea...who knew it could add up so FAST?!), I love the rewards program.  No I can't trade it in for miles but as a lady, I'm happy to use it to buy more clothes, shoes, makeup, body products, etc.  I love their festive clothing lines that go with the holidays.  I love their dresses (the dress from the night of my wedding is from VS) and their tops are so flattering on me!  I have a weird body type so sometimes, it's difficult for me to find things that aren't too short on top or too long on the bottom.
So...umm...long story short, I love VS.
My main gripe right now:
they don't have a maternity line.

Queenie says it's probably because they don't think pregnancy is sexy.


And that would be the end of my thoughts.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Tsk tsk Amazon (hot topic and you may want to skip if you are under 18)

Have you read about this?

I just read about this on one of the pregnancy forum's that I follow.
I'm disappointed that the owners of Amazon didn't think this through.
Although I understand that some say it would be considered censorship for Amazon to not sell the book, their guidelines state that they will not sell a book if it breaks guidelines for digital publication, including titles that lead to illegal activity.

If that is the case, doesn't it seem that encouraging a pedophile to not "penetrate" a child but stick to fondling and kissing is encouraging illegal activity?
I'm fairly certain that it is still considered carnal knowledge of a minor if a pedophile fondles a child.
Tsk Tsk Amazon.
Tsk tsk.
*Author's note: Amazon has removed the title from sale at this point.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Dim Sum

I had my first book club meeting today.  It went pretty well.  The group seems nice enough although in a packed dim sum restaurant, it's hard to always hear everything that's said.  The book we read was "The Drink and Dream Teahouse" which was...okay.  I don't know if I would actually recommend it.  It moves in a jagged way and there are a lot of unanswered questions left at the end of the novel.  But it was nice to sit and share food and conversation with some new people.  We meet again in a couple of weeks when we will discuss "The Room".  

Other than that, tomorrow is my first day at work.  I'm excited and nervous at the same time.  It will be nice if it makes the days go by faster.  

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Yum Tum

In an attempt to keep track of what I'm eating, and to make sure that I'm eating as I should for me and the baby, I made these handy dandy checklists.

 For a bit of a closeup...
If you, or someone you know, would like the pdf of the document above, just leave a comment and let me know!



For the very detail oriented or very aware reader, you may have noticed a new tab above.


(that's my sad attempt at an arrow)
"Books Galore!" is my list of books that I've read.
Please realize that it's not a comprehensive list because I can't remember how I feel about all 76 Babysitter Club Books that I've read and I also don't have roughly 250 books here for me to glance at to jog my memory of reading them.
(although, let's face it, with my memory, looking at them probably won't help remind me of what I thought.  I'd probably have to read half of it again to realize I'd already read it.)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

And then there were three...

I laughed.

That was my natural reaction to the situation.

I stood in the bathroom staring at the little stick on the counter and just laughed.
Something between a giggle and a belly laugh.

When I glanced in the mirror, I looked like a six year old who heard their first real joke and got it.  My hands were covering my mouth and my eyes and cheeks were already hurting from laughing so much.
And I couldn't stop.

I didn't stop for a long time.
Even after I came out of the bathroom and told Eric that no, I wasn't sick but pregnant, I still couldn't stop laughing.

And even when I talk about it now, I tend to laugh.
A big belly-with-a-baby laugh.

It's been an amazing week.
Here's the rundown: 
  • I'm pregnant!
  • I got hired today for a full time administrative assistant position!
  • I got asked if my tips on handling travel arrangements could be posted in a newsletter for an Admin Assistant newsletter (obviously with credit given)
  • I was chosen to be a baking blogger for an online blog community (it's a paid freelance gig)!
  • Eric picked up some work through a legal temp agency (yay!!!)
  • I'm pregnant!...oh I mentioned that already...

So I don't know if it's the baby or from all of the excitement of this week, but I'm exhausted.  It's 7:23 and I have to go pick Eric up from his job in a few minutes and I'm exhausted.

Life is sweet.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Chewy, gooey, messy and yummy

I'm going to attempt to update this blog.  I've been having REAL issues with Blogger lately and am trying not to regret choosing it.  So, let's try this again.

A few nights ago, we decided that we were craving sugar and something unhealthy.  While Candace was visiting last weekend, she bought me a desserts cookbook for my birthday.  

Eric picked the "Gooey Caramel Butter Bars"and to the right, you can see the beginning ingredients to the right.  These, plus four cups of flour, some vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt, make up the crust of the bars.  Essentially, these bars are a layer of crust, topped with pecans and a caramel layer.  All of this is topped off with crumbled crust and baked.

And in celebration of Halloween, I picked up a bottle of Vampire Cabernet.  This bottle DEFINITELY needs to breathe before the first sip, or you will get a really strong slightly bitter sip.  After it has some time to breathe, it smooths out and has more of a creamy consistency.

Back to baking...

So here's the crust in process.  I've never made it before, but I'm fairly certain it's just a shortbread crust.  Not too fancy but if you are a fan of shortbread like me, it's addictive and very dangerous to the middle figure.  Oi.

Have I mentioned how much I love my mixer?  Mi Marido had doubts about getting the mixer and how often I would use it.  Now, I'm fairly certain he is as grateful as I am that we have it.

Above, you will see the first layer of crust in the pan and baked at about 350 for 20 minutes.

And to the right, you will see sin in a bowl; in other words, it's caramel candies, heavy cream, vanilla and a pinch of salt. 
Put that in the microwave and heat for 1 minute.  If it doesn't melt, than continue to heat it for 30 second intervals.  WARNING: as the caramel melts, it will stick to whatever you are using to stir it.  

So here we are with the crust, pecans and caramel gooiness.
And the final touches...slide it in the oven.  And you are all set to go!

Don't worry.  For those of you who are concerned with weight gain, we each had two and then cut up the rest and brought them to the apartment front office.

I'm fairly certain they are all gone now.  :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Design Love

Jen-jen-jen once designed the bedroom that she thought suited me.
It was lovely.
The color palette involved about 10 different colors and shades.
It was just me.
Tonight, I stumbled across ROCOCO and feel as thought I've found my true aesthetic
(although I'm fairly certain mi marido would argue against almost every piece).

Here are select favorites (of mine, not mi marido):

 The last one is my favorite.  Go check out their site!  Lovely!

So much to do...

Sorry for the week long departure.  Candace was in town this past weekend and so it was kind of nonstop around here.  Now, it's back to the routine.

Sidenote: Netflix put seasons 1-4 of "Bones" on Instant Queue.  Love you Netflix!

So here's a recount of what's been going on:
  • Eric was sworn into the Colorado Bar on Monday (yay!)
  • Candace bought me a new cookbook as a birthday present and it is filled with delicious things that will surely add on five pounds with just one serving.  I'm looking forward to every moment of it (don't worry...I'll share).
  • I've had three interviews in the last two days.  I got two of the jobs (nanny position and part time job at Borders) and the third one I won't know about for a while.  I haven't accepted either position yet as I'm still trying to figure out what to do (neither of them will make enough money to completely hold us over).
  • I have another interview today with an advertising agency.
  • I applied for a freelance blogging job; the blog would be about baking (that sounds about right).  FINGERS CROSSED!
  • I've started working on my child psych class.
  • Hoping to dabble in graphic design.
And as usual, I have about 1800 projects going on at once.  :)

I'll post again soon, dear reader.  Don't worry.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Something out of Nothing

*Note to readers: this post may be a bit jumbled so try to hang on as I attempt to make sense.

Considering how much I want to say tonight, I'm at a loss for words.  So, I'll just start with the book and attempt to weave the rest of the story and thoughts into that.

I picked up the book at a Barnes and Noble about four weeks ago.  Such a Pretty Face by Cathy Lamb.  The cover art and the title caught my eye and after reading the synopsis on the inside of the jacket, I thought it would be a good read.  I bought it off of for about 30% less than I what I would have paid for it at B&N.  I waited patiently for it.

It arrived about 10 days ago.  I put it on the shelf though because, well, that's what I do with most of the books I buy.  I put them on the shelf until I'm ready to read them.  I have a thing about books, if you don't know that by now.  Some artists say that the canvas talks to them; a sculptor will say that he just shapes the clay as it tells him to; a composer sits at a piano and he writes down the song that the piano sings to him.  My books do that for me.  Sort of.  Obviously, I don't write them but every now and then, I can feel which one is supposed to be read.  People wonder why I'm a little anal about them...okay fine...VERY anal about them.  There's a treasure in all books.  I have an aunt who shares this same thought about them.  But I'm digressing as usual...
The other night I asked Queenie to pick the book that I would be reading next.  I gave her four choices, one of them including the book this post is about.  What she didn't know (sorry!) is that normally, when I ask this question, I already know the answer.  Nine times out of ten, the person picks the wrong answer.  There's no way for them to know that it's wrong though; nor is there anyway for them to know that the book is talking to me (I swear I'm not insane).  So, when she chose the wrong book, I informed her that I was overriding her choice and going with mine.

And so, the ramble truly begins.  

I'm not going to tell you the story held in this book.  What I'll tell you is this: the woman in this book is broken, shattered, and completely changes in this book.  When I started this book, I fell in love with her character immediately because I could understand the hard part of her journey: learning about herself.   It is not easy to spend hours wondering who you really are, what are you doing, etc.  The questions that can pierce a person's soul and keep them up for hours at night.  Although I've learned much of myself in the last four years, I'm finally coming to those questions that are more career oriented but still have so much to do with the self: what am I going to do with my life?  Why do I want to become a therapist?  Why am I always starting some project, whether it's baking, knitting, sewing, painting, wood carving, etc?  So it was easy to relate to Stevie, the main character.  I can remember struggling with some of the same issues that she faces (although if you read the book, I can assure you the issues were not caused by the same events).  

As the story continued to unfold today, I couldn't put it down.  When I went to the gym to workout, I read the book on the treadmill.  Even at an interview today, I thought about the book and couldn't wait to get back home to continue reading about Stevie.  And it was in the 100 pages or so that I felt like answers were pouring out of the pages.

I always thought I did artsy things because I like art.  Don't get me wrong, I do like art so I like creating art.  I've always liked talking to people and listening to people's problems so I thought (and was told) I'd be a good therapist.  And around page 400 I took a minute in the kitchen (sitting on the counter has become my new favorite spot to read) to think about these things and Stevie and where my life is right now and where it's headed and it kind of hit me:

I like making something out of nothing.  

That's what I'm really passionate about.  It's why I even love making Excel spreadsheets.  It's starting with that clean slate, the clear canvas, with just a ball of yarn or a cup of flour and then taking what you have and making something amazing out of it.
Whether it's pineapple brulee, a painting for a friend, or a database that runs as smoothly as an oiled chain...

it's just something out of nothing. 

And I find that's the way I see everything.  Hiking up to Gem Lake was doing something out of nothing to me.  Walking is just nothing.  It's just natural.  But walking up a 1000 foot incline to reach some pond that had a breathtaking view of the mountains around us...that's something out of nothing.
So that's what being a therapist to me is really about.  About working with a client who sees themselves as absolutely nothing, and taking their hand and walking with them as they find that, truly, they are something, and that something is amazing and special.  

I had to catch my breath after this realization and stare into the rice and water on the stove so I wouldn't start crying and freak out Eric.  After I had a moment and finished fixing our dinner (leftover beef stew), I got in bed with my stew and my book.  A short while later, I got to the line.

"I had made something out of nothing."

Stevie's words.  Not mine.  Well, mine as well but also Stevie's.  

From that point on, I cried on almost every page.

Needless to say, Such a Pretty Face is now in my top five.  And I'll continue to get to know myself.  I'll continue to grow and figure out the rest of the pieces.  

And I'll probably read this book again and again and again... 

Red: Review (no spoilers)

dun dun dun

First off, there are many reasons why we love Cinnebarre, the theater about two miles from our apartment; here are the top two:
1) $5 movies Monday through Thursday. Again, that's FIVE DOLLAR movies.  Right.
2) Alcohol and food.  And not just any ole alcohol like your run of the mill beer.  Not for this snazzy lady.  I love to sip my Chateau St. Michelle Riesling while enjoying the latest cinematic event. 
But I'm not here to review Cinnebarre.
Last night, for funsies, we decided to see the movie Red.  Now, in all honesty, I wasn't really amped up to see this movie because I was certain it was going to be just another shoot em up movie that has little to no plot.  I really love a good plot (even one as zany as Burn After Reading which is misunderstood by some and unappreciated by most).  So let's bring everyone up to speed about this film.
Main Characters/Actors:
Francis/Frank: played by Bruce Willis
Sarah: played by Mary-Louise Parker
William Cooper: played by Karl Urban
Joe: played by Morgan Freeman
Marvin: played by John Malkovich
Ivan: played by Brian Cox
Victoria: played by Helen Mirren

I'm going to stick with these folks.  Richard Dreyfus is also in this movie and he plays a psycho asshole very well.  That's about all I'm going to say because I don't want to ruin it.

Quick plot breakdown (don't worry, there are no spoilers here).  
Frank is a retired CIA agent who has an over-the-phone friendship with Sarah, who works for the pension office.  After an attempt is made on Frank's life, he and Sarah go on the lamb to find out exactly who is trying to have him killed and why.  He gets his gang together of old CIA buddies and they try to help him figure out what's going on before...dun dun's too late.

and that's all you get because you should really see this movie.

So here are the reasons why I LOVED this movie:
  1. Let's talk about the cast first off because the casting can always make or break a movie (except for movies like Bug and Birth...great casting....TERRIBLE movies...amazing that you can go wrong with people with Ashley Judd and Harry Connick Jr...although the fact that Harry was topless 75% of the time should have been a big tip off but I digress).  In Red, we, needless to say, have an all-star cast.  Bruce Willis is always a good choice because the men love him for his fighting ability and have for the last 800 years and the ladies love him because there's a softer side, he has a knee-buckling smile, and the man just looks good.  Mary-Louise Parker is always great at playing a kind run-of-the-mill broad and her character in this movie is somewhat similar to her character in the hit TV show "Weeds" (without all the drug dealing and the kids and the weird brother in law who is always getting into trouble...digression again).  Morgan Freeman...he could talk a dead man back to life.  I don't know what it is about his voice but it's like a cello solo in a symphony at Carnegie hall.  Besides, he is REALLY good at playing a bad ass as well.  John Malkovich...there is something about this man that makes me laugh.  And I mean, side splitting, I can't get any air, I'm not even making noise hysterical laughter.  Especially when he drops an F-bomb (which he doesn't say once during this movie)...I have no rational explanation for that at all.  He plays his character flawlessly and it made me love him even more.  Especially when he brought out piggy.  Wanna know what that is?  GO SEE IT.  Dame Helen Mirren.  First off, I want to be Helen Mirren in 40 years.  Seriously.  She has taken such good care of herself or has super power genes or something.  She's sporting the blonde/silverish hair in this film and she looks DYNOMITE.  And who knew that she could play a CIA Badass turned Martha Stewart so well?!  BRILLIANT!  And of course the rest of the cast is great.  Sorry, but those were the only people I wanted to mention.  JOHN MALKOVICH RULES!!! WHOOOOOO 
Alright now that I have that out of my system...Moving on...
  • Plot of course is super important as well.  This plot is beautifully well written.  You get everything you could want: a little bit of humor, action, romance, suspense, there's a twist at the end, good CGI, etc.  I don't have any complaints about the plot and loved that I was riveted by this movie.
 Seriously, it was an amazing movie and I'm having a REALLY hard time not telling you all of the details about the movie because I've been warned NOT TO SPOIL THE MOVIE.  SO FINE!

My one complaint (and this doesn't spoil anything).  In the first ten minutes of the movie, there is a scene where the camera pans across the street as Frank is standing in his driveway.  All the way across the street and back in a circular motion.  I get the point of this type of filming but good grief, this was one of the worst filming sequences that I've seen in a while (I am reminded of the Dawn of the Dead remake).  Seriously, I kept lifting my glasses to see if the blurriness or the oh-my-gosh-we're-spinning effect was caused by my weakening eyes or wearing glasses to the movies; to my relief, Eric leaned over and said "Think they could've done a better job with that filming?"  To which I let out the air I was holding in my lungs from fear that my eyes were getting worse.  But then I thought about it.  They had to have spent a TON of money on this movie.  Seriously.  A TON.  How did that pan around the street get missed?  "Oh don't worry about it, Frank.  It's really not that bad."  Believe me, you could have spent the extra thousands to fix that sequence.  It hurt to watch it.

So...long story short.  Go see the movie!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Side Note

Quick side note:
Thanks for all the emails about your concern for Kaya.  She's fine.  The biopsy came back and there were no cancer cells (yay!).  The swelling has completely gone away.  Here's to quick recoveries!

Etsy visit

I took a walk through Etsy this evening and here's what I found:
There's something Victorian about these ruffles in the back.
Oh come on!  Who doesn't want to look like Audrey!?

It's just so pretty!

Why I'm like This: Review

I recently picked up Why I'm like This by Cynthia Kaplan (purchase from  The first question that comes to mind is: "Why didn't I pick this up sooner?!"  

So quick overview:
This book is a collection of stories from Kaplan's life.  I'm a big fan of memoir-like books, especially if they are funny (i.e. anything by David Sedaris).  She includes stories over the course of her entire life thus far so you get a wide range of topics.  From her dad's obsession with gadgets to her therapist that pops pills (including Kaplan's) and falls asleep during sessions, you definitely get up close and personal with the author.  

And for a giggle whore like me, this book was a riot!  

Seriously, I laugh at almost anything.  It's a strange compulsion and doctors have yet to figure out how to control it.

Part of what made it so funny to me was that Kaplan utilizes metaphors in some of the most ridiculous ways, which are my favorites.  The utter exaggeration she uses to describe scenarios brings everything to life as if she may have slipped a little LSD into the pages of the book that is slowly seeping into your skin.  Psychedelic. 

But I think what made it really HI-larious to me was that I could completely relate to her life situations and her thought processes.  The best evidence of this was in her admittance about her grotesque imagination that makes her fear the most ridiculous things.  She freaks out at moths (okay that's not too ridiculous...their powdery wings are freakish), avalanches, and Legionnaire's disease.  Although these may seem like rational fears, she DWELLS on these.  Allows them to chew on her cortex for hours on end.  

She also fears Mountain Men:
"Mountain Men are men who live in the mountains and occasionally come down and kidnap female hikers.  At least that is my understanding of them...They look like a countrified ZZ Top.  They go too long without the company of womenfolk and litt'luns, which is what makes them so dangerous."

For those that don't know (and that's most of you save for Queenie), I have an imagination that rivals Kaplan's even in her most anxious of situations.  For instance:
-I fear the car sliding off the road and down the mountain every time we drive up or down from Fraser.  Seriously.  My knuckles are white the whole time and I don't take a full breath until we are off the side of the mountain (that's an hour long ride, folks).
-Last night, when we were awakened in the middle of the night by a very loud THUMP, it took me about 10-15 minutes to fall back to sleep because I kept thinking the dead body upstairs that had fallen to the ground was going to start leaking blood through the ceiling.
-Driving on the Atchafalaya bridge (ESPECIALLY at night) could always drive me into a tizzy.  You never know when one of those 18-wheeler gangs are going to gang up on you and force you to the side of the road so that they can rob and kill you (and for those of you that think that's crazy, I read an article about that very thing about 10 years ago and it's been imprinted into my sub-conscious).

It gets much worse than that (Queenie can attest to that) but I'd rather save some of my dignity to be washed away in another post.

Long story short: if you enjoy a good read and a good laugh, this may be the book for you! 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Stevie's Cake

Sunday was Stevie's birthday.  In celebration of the big day, I decided to bake him a cake.  When I asked him what his favorite kind of cake was, his response was a yellow cake with chocolate icing.  Same as mi marido.  Now, I'm not the biggest cake fan.  It's not that I think it's gross.  It's most likely some psychosomatic issue because of the multitudes of times that I've lost control and devoured much more than my fair share and my neighbor next to me.  However, the cakes that I do foam at the mouth for (let's face it...if you have a sweet tooth, you don't just drool.  You FOAM for sweets.) are cakes like triple chocolate mousse cakes and a chocolate ganache cake with hazelnut rum glaze.  Take my wedding cake for instance.  White chocolate truffle ganache (or something to that effect).  Really.  It can't be just white chocolate.  (Thanks, Mom, for that brilliant suggestion.  KILLER).  

Moving on.

So, as I am prone to do, I had to "dress up" Stevie's cake.

So rather than having just a yellow cake with chocolate icing, I made a caramel icing as well.  
 Ahh...the sweet smell of fresh baked cake.
 Lesson number one: when making icing, if you need to sweeten it, used powdered sugar.  Regular white sugar makes it a bit gritty.
 Top that caramel icing off with pecans.
 Place second layer on top of caramel, Put a nice layer of chocolate icing and then decorated with caramel icing.  Yay!

One last thing!

I know Tuesday is over but I found this just now:
At Ann Taylor Loft
And I think I'll be purchasing that skirt this afternoon.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

For Now!

"Nothing lasts
Life goes on
Full of surprises.
You'll be faced with problems of all shapes and sizes.
You're going to have to make a few compromises.
For now.
For now.
But only for now!"
-For Now from Avenue Q

One of my all-time favorite blogs was Stuff Under Twenty.
I looked forward to receiving their updated blog roughly at 5 pm every day.
And then, the unthinkable.
They went on a break.
Alright, a break.
I can handle that.
However, that break never seemed to end.

In honor of Stuff Under Twenty, I decided to do a little research tonight and find some items that I'd love to have for under $20.
Presenting, the Under 20 Tuesday.

A top that can go from day to night!  What is not to love?

Side note: my dear friend, Queenie, is assisting me with the finds for tonight's posting. 
Moving on...

Who doesn't love a Handkerchief Dress?  They flatter all bodies and that hemline is a modest tease.
And for $19.99?  Yes please!
And did anyone else notice it in animal print?  Mreow!
(that was my strange attempt to meow with attitude)
I have a slight obsession with belts right now, along with the rest of the fashion world.
How cute is that bow though?
And for $11.00?  I want three!
And last, but certainly not least, are these great jersey skirts from Old Navy.
Love jersey!  It's great for any time of year.
For the upcoming winter, add tights and boots and you're styling and profiling!
And can we talk about how BEAUTIFUL jewel tones are??
$12.99 from Old Navy

That's all for tonight, folks.
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