Friday, January 29, 2010

Week in Review: 1/29

Happy birthday sweet husband! :)

I've recently discovered Sleep Talkin' Man. Hilarious.

Pomegranate cocktail and mocktail recipes from Hostess with the Mostess.

Late night TV is usually too...well...late for me. But I did catch Coco's last Tonight Show and not only was it funny, it was inspirational.

When Lee and I got our apartment we got a nice, large one-bedroom. We decided we'd rather have one less bedroom in a nicer complex than a two-bedroom in a not-as-nice complex. This has resulted in me not having an office, or even a desk. I miss it and can't wait to set up a new office area when we find a house. These office inspirations from oh, hello friend made me pine.

My office/craft area will of course need an embroidered Tim Gunn.

Elsie makes the best playlists.

It's always tricky to find a few concise words to describe your "style". Vintage chic cottage might be mine.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

God Still Uses Fax Machines

You know how sometimes things happen in the night, and you can't remember what really happened or what was a dream? Last night was one of those nights.

I swear, for reals, at some point the printer printed out a piece of paper. I picked it up this morning (I'm sure!). It was something for Lee's class, for a class he had finished last semester. But why it printed in the middle of the night, I don't know. Lee had been having some computer problems, involving tools and taking things apart and putting them back together, but he had fixed them. I thought maybe the power went out and came back on, but nothing else showed signs of that this morning.
 funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

So once the mysterious printing occurred, I had a weird dream thing where the paper was actually a message from God, sent by fax, that came through my print-copy-scan printer. And I was not so much amazed that God made a fax come through my printer, but that he used a fax machine period. I hate fax machines. They're on their way out, technology wise, and burning bushes are so much cooler. (Actually, burning bushes are probably terrifying.)

What did I eat before I went to sleep last night?! I don't want to blame the Oreos, but I might have to. ;)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Joy Joy Joy

I remember the evening of March 4, 2009 oddly well. Lee and I had been given some tickets to go see Cirque Dreams. While it was very entertaining, I was more preoccupied with the texts my mom kept sending me: scores of the UK vs. Georgia game. We HAD to win this game. It was at Rupp (home court), Georgia was having a bad year (Sorry Jenn.), and with our less-than-stellar performance so far that season, victory here was essential to make it to the tournament. We're Kentucky Basketball. We go to the NCAA Tournament. Growing up I had never even heard of the NIT. Isn't that how you get rid of lice?

We got home in time to watch the last five minutes. It was not pretty. We could have won, but somehow we didn't, as was becoming our habit. I hadn't even bothered to turn the lights on in my rush to the TV, so as the buzzer sounded, Lee kindly left me in the dark, alone with my grief. (Umm...there may or may not have been real tears involved...don't judge!)

It wasn't so much another loss, another home loss, but the whole future of UK basketball seemed dim. We had thrown away any hopes of having a respectable season (Okay, I still had some crazy notions we could win the SEC tournament and save all.) (You should also note that UK fans have ridiculously high standards for what constitutes a "respectable season".), and even if we got rid of the current big-hott-mess of a coach, it would take years to rebuild the program.

But it's happened. Magically (Well, it's not really magic so much as hiring the best coach in the league and bringing in the best recruiting class.), in just ten months, UK is now the #1 ranked basketball team in the country!! We are the only undefeated basketball team left!! *happy John Wall dancing* (If you don't know what that is, this is exactly what I'm doing.)

(To add to my joy, UofL is doing not so well, which makes up for their unwarranted success last year. Oh that was bitter to witness!)

I can't stop beaming. My most beloved basketball team is back on top! All is right with the least as far as college sports go. Hopefully we'll be getting some new banners soon. Very soon. ;)

On an even crazier note, my awesome mom sent me another sweet care package Friday with Little Debbie Valentine Hearts and a UK2K shirt (You know, to celebrate that UK is the first program to reach 2,000 wins. Impressive, huh?) which I wore during Saturday's game and we dominated during Saturday's game. Clearly, this means that I should wear the UK2K shirt for all of the rest of our games this season, right? Unwashed of course.

Monday, January 25, 2010

My Love/Hate Relationship with Running

I have tried running off and on since 2002. At my "peak", I could do a ten-minute mile and a little over 3 miles per excursion. I currently average about 11 minutes per mile and the farthest I've ran in the past year is probably about 2.5 miles.

I get frustrated that I'm not very good at running. Then I remind myself that I've never stuck with it enough. And then I question how much does one have to stick with it because even if I get pretty good about going out 2-3 times a week for a month or more, I don't feel like I really see much improvement.

Toward the end of the summer I decided to say goodbye to running and started going to the apartment's gym. As it got colder and darker in the morning, I exchanged that for the 30 Day Shred. My hate for push-ups and my growing dislike for the sound of Jillian's voice and wretched workout video phrases like, "Abs like this don't come for free." or "That is fear leaving the body!" are making me feel like I need a new workout alternative.

And oddly enough, I find that I miss running.

I feel strong when I run. Even when old men pass me on the sidewalk (and they do), I love the feeling of the pavement passing away underneath my shoes. Feeling that I'm strong enough to carry myself this distance on my own. Sometimes there's an uncomfortable pain (at which point I start power walking and trying not to feel too ridiculous), but sometimes there's the amazing feeling of tension in my muscles, knowing that they're working and getting stronger.

Lee got up and went running with me Thursday morning. I appreciate it so much because I don't want to run alone in the dark, and Lee, being a long-time runner, could easily run MUCH faster (like a seven-minute mile). But he runs at my slow pace, extra early so I can still wash and style my hair for work, because he is awesome.

My first mile time? 12:20. But it felt amazing. 


Friday, January 22, 2010

Week in Review: 1/21

Today's the last day you can vote for Lexington Children's Theatre to win $1 million!

Adorable Valentine's Day cards from Made.

Another cute card from How About Orange.

I don't know why I bother bookmarking specific Smitten Kitchen recipes because I bookmark every. single. one. Like these ricotta muffins.

Kerri, Erin, Ashley and a bunch of other bloggers were part of the beautiful video below for Brandy and her Hot Awesome Dude, who I mentioned a couple weeks ago. There's a Love Harder fund started for fellow bloggers (or anyone really) to contribute to research for the type of cancer HAD has.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Notice what's missing?
no bowls

I use a lot of bowls. I think that's because I'm a messy eater. Things are so nicely contained in bowls.

The dishwasher is full of bowls and not enough of anything else to warrant running a load. I guess I'll have to start using plates again for a few days.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Turning Off the Lights

There was a time in my life when I could program the VCR, take Zoey out to potty at night, and sleep with the lights off. (I have a small light on in the living room all the time. This does not count.)
Ready for Avatar!
And then there was Lee. (Yes, that is us wearing our 3-D glasses in line to see Avatar. We are too cool.)

Being an IT nerd, he can easily handle my technology concerns, so why bother? Why stand outside alone in the dark where it's scary, when I can make Lee do it? (We live in a totally safe neighborhood. I'm just paranoid.) And if Lee's at an overnight LAN party (Did I mention he's a nerd?), why sleep in the dark because it's scary to be alone? I've completely forgotten about that time when I lived by myself and didn't needlessly rack up my electric bill during the night.

Sometimes, this abandoning of past "skills" is the result of having someone to share the load with. Lee has taken over our technology needs and I make sure we have things to eat and clean clothes. But I do think it's a little pathetic that when Lee's not here I sleep with the lights on. For six months I lived by myself before moving to Louisville and I always slept with the lights off, with no one but Zoey. Since Lee and I have been married though, if he's not home I sleep with the bedroom lights on. Will I ever put my big married girl panties on and sleep alone in the dark?

Yes! Last Friday Lee was playing video games all night at a friend's house and I turned the lights off and went to sleep. I feel so grown up! ;)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

It Happened


I just finished reading The Two Towers. After being only mildly amused by The Fellowship of the Ring and having heard that The Two Towers was the least of the three, I'm surprised to say I am now *gulp* a fan.

I just spent the last hour frantically reading the last few chapters, freaking out that they're practically to Mount Doom, not believing that Frodo's really dead but omg! the Orcs have him and SAM TAKE OFF THE RING THAT IS BAD NEWS BEARS!!!!!

Who knows what The Return of the King will bring (My money's on Aragorn winning the day. It's right there in the title.), but I might have been too hasty in declaring Harry Potter's superiority. I mean, I think this is something where they can each be excellent in their ways. Although Harry Potter will always be my first love. (In fantasy books only since we must leave room for Jane of course.)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Be Kind: An Update

January is already half over so I thought I should re-evaluate how my excessive New Year's Resolution-ing is going. I decided to take 2010 month-by-month (for the most part) and January's goal was to be kind.

Be kind. That's kind of vague. And huge.

But lately I have been grumpy, often over absolutely nothing. I'll remember something someone said or did, something small that happened like a week ago that doesn't affect me at all. Yet I find myself stewing over it until it affects my attitude. Or I worry about things that I really don't need to worry about. I've always been a worrier, but worse than that, I will fret over things that I know are definitely okay until I'm angry over nothing. This is all nonsense and it needs to stop.

The key to stopping my grumpy worry nonsense, that I generally take out on others and just makes me feel sour inside, is to refocus my life on God and act on that more. If you asked me at any given time on any given day, of course I would tell you that God is most important. If you looked at how I spend my time and energy, you would doubt that. There was a time in my life when I literally prayed with out ceasing. The inner monologue in my head was with God and not with grumpy self over how stupid something is. I believe if I can fix this, it will have a positive ripple effect on everything else. So far I've seen an improvement. My success rate of spending a few minutes in the morning and a few minutes in the evening in prayer is on the rise. Baby steps.

Also, I've been working on finding more volunteer opportunities. I helped a friend on a small writing project for a local non-profit and I hope to do more of that in the future. I'm also thinking about becoming a regular volunteer with another organization. I think I've pretty much decided what I want to do, now I just need to actually do it. And a couple months ago I became involved with It Starts with Us and the A-Team, a group that gets weekly missions from Nate to do good things. These are little 15-minute projects. You don't have to participate every week, but it's a great way to challenge yourself to go the extra smile. Small kindnesses can go a long way.

And in the spirit of helpfulness... Here's a post of ways you can help the people of Haiti. This next one kind of pales in comparison to the tragedy there, but if you click on the link below and vote for Lexington Children's Theatre, they could win a million dollars. It costs you no money, and I cannot image a group of people more dedicated to their jobs and more in love with the good work they do. Not only do they help little kids find a voice, give them a place to let their talents shine, and bring stories to life for them, they also do a lot of outreach in the eastern part of the state, which is an area that truly needs the extra love.

The other resolutions? Umm...well...

While they're not the central focus this month (The theory is each month I'll build a new habit. Right?) they're not far from my mind. I've read more than in 2009, but still not on track to finish 50 books this year, but not too far off track either! The Two Towers was probably not the best place to start, but I was already 60 pages in on January 1! The working out has been worse. I've told myself that I can't spend the Christmas money I've set aside for clothes shopping until I've trimmed down. That hasn't been enough motivation yet but I'm eternally optimistic. I have been watching more movies (Avatar, Inglorious Bastards and Julie and Julia were all delightful.). I have tried a new local restaurant and a few new recipes. So far, not too bad.

image: Still Thinking

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Week in Review: 1/15*

Oops...a day late.
winter sunset
sunset outside the apartment earlier this week

Notes from house hunting this week:
  • The house I mentioned crushing on from its pictures is apparently a dud. My realtor didn't even take us to see it because she had already seen it and essentially described it as a big hott mess. It looked like it had some cute elements from the pictures, but apparently needed more love (money) than we can give to it. We did see a couple good houses last night though and are generally optimistic.
  • One house, which lost points the more we looked at it, had pictures of topless women out in the basement bedroom, adding a whole new creep factor to the "basement bedroom". From what we could gather from the short period of time it was appropriate to investigate this, they were postcard sized and looked more than just printed home photos. But also didn't look a lot like classy nude art either. Really!? Do you think people will want to buy your house with naked pictures in it? I mean, that just doesn't contribute to good feelings.
  • We somehow managed (It was dark!) to look at the wrong house. The house we looked at was so horrible we didn't look at all of it. We'll see the house we were supposed to see next week, but we've joked that this will probably be the one since it has an amusing anecdote to accompany its (potential) purchase.
Moving on...

Wishcake has the cutest duplex ever (and one of my favorite blogs ever).

Up Up has the cutest Valentine's Day cards. I particularly loved the "I love you so much..." cards. (I may or may not have told Lee about the one about the farts.)

It's disturbing the ratio between the number of nursery decorating ideas I have and how long it will be before I need them. Anyway, here's another from IS*LY.

I lovelovelove John and Sherry's new vanity.

This video makes me really happy. Which is its general purpose.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

How Do I Know?

So Lee and I have looking at houses for months now. Some stay on the list, some we literally run away from throwing salt over our shoulders. But none have really floated our boats or what not. Our lease is up in April so we're thinking about this more and more seriously every day. The question that plagued me from preschool until I was 23 has returned: How do I know if a house is the one?

I keep thinking a lot about how I knew Lee was the one. Not that there was a lot to it, I just knew, but that was it. My mom had been right all that time because when I knew, I just knew. Before Lee, when I thought I might know, I questioned it. But with Lee I didn't even have to ask if I knew because I just knew and that was that and we married and are still living happily ever after. (Except we've just discovered that I'm ridiculously ticklish under my knees which means that Lee has been getting lots of retaliation clawing from my not-even-very-long fingernails and now he's whining about the scars on his hands. If he would just leave my knees alone he wouldn't have ugly scarred hands.)

So I've been telling myself that it's the same thing with the house. We'll just know. But with Lee, I made a lifelong commitment. I had to be super extra sure because there's no backing out now. With a house, that could just last ten years or so and then you get a new one, a better one. I mean, this one probably won't be my "dream home" because that would cost about double (at least ;) ) what we'll spend this time. So maybe I don't have to be so sure? Maybe this is more of an analytical choice. Does this house have what we need? Nice location? Not ugly? Sold!

Except I suspect that this is one of those "When you know, you know" situations and it's more than just a checklist but a warm gooey feeling that makes you feel better about signing the next 30 years of your life away.

We'll see more houses tomorrow. One of them we're really crushing on from it's online pictures.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Early Bird Gets the Giant Peanut Butter Ball

Interesting that this story is being told a little late. Anyways...

At Christmas my uncle always puts together a calendar with family photos. Also at Christmas, he makes tasty goodies for everyone. My favorite, most-beloved, will-not-share goodie is his chocolate-covered peanut butter balls. I have asked before to be given nothing but these. They are fabulous.

I got the e-mail request for us to send in our picture for the calendar. Apparently I was the first to respond because in a second plea for pictures my uncle announced that I was first and would get an extra bag of tasty treats. Of course, I asked for those extra treats to be peanut butter balls.

So when my holiday tasty treats arrived, what did I find? In addition to the usual cookies, fudge and peanut butter balls, there was one giant peanut butter ball!

Check out how thick the chocolate was! Yummy!
XL peanut butter ball
Later in life (like 4 years ago) I realized that peanut butter balls are generally referred to as buckeyes? Or maybe it's just a northern Kentucky/Ohio thing. But why break a 22-year-old habit of saying "peanut butter balls"?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Surviving the Cold

I hate winter. I was amused by the snow last week for a couple days, but the cold! Ahh...the cold! I can't remember the last time it was above freezing!

But I'm trying to keep my spirits up and focus on the positives:
coffee with my cream
Another excuse to drink coffee other than not being able to function without it. (Yes, I like coffee with my peppermint mocha creamer.) (Actually, I tend to drink tea because it's cold and coffee because I'm sleepy but I just have the picture of the coffee.)

The cold kills bugs and the one thing I hate more than winter (Other than war, rapists, child molesters, murder, drugs (like cocaine. Valium and Tylenol, etc., are cool.), poverty, hunger, and Nascar.) is bugs.


Wednesday the temperatures will be back above freezing and starting Thursday it's in the 40s for the rest of the 10-day forecast! I can deal with the 40s. (I say that now...)

On a side note, I couldn't think of a non-serious hate to include in my list of things that I hate more than winter, so I asked Jenn, and this was the conversation that followed, shared to show how it takes me awhile to catch on to the latest fashion trends.

me: I'm working on a blog post and need to think of something silly I hate. My hate level on Uggs is dropping at an alarming rate, which has me very concerned.
Jenn: Belts around the waist? Boots over jeans?
me: I love those now.
Jenn: Oh wait, you caved.
me: I'm wearing my boots over my jeans right now. 

Friday, January 8, 2010

Week in Review: 1/8

I am not normally passionate about bacon, but I made some Fresh Market last night and it was crazy awesome.

In an update on my camera case situation, Jamie said exactly what I needed to hear ("The fitted is nice to throw in your handbag if you are just going out for the day and know you won't need another lens or cords.") and my fitted camera case should arrive in four days. Thank you to everyone else for your wonderful input! Maybe more and better pictures will come soon since Charles and I will be hitting the road together more often.

In reading Pride and Prejudice with the sister-in-law I find that I can't help buy giggle anytime Mr. Collins says anything. But anyways, lovelovelove these prints, found via AustenBlog.

The Top 100 Tutorials of 2009 will probably keep me busy for most of 2010. 

Lee's parents always get us these special gummy bears for Christmas (see picture below) and we finished them off yesterday (Except for the gummy bear family I'm having a photo shoot with. That's totally normal, right?) and I'm feeling their lost severely. Hope springs eternal that I'll start getting my butt up and doing the 30 Day Shred that we'll have more gummy bears soon since I've found a recipe to make my own gummy bears! (Or there's the ones at Walmart, but it's hard to go back to normal gummy bears after special ones. Of course who knows what homemade gummy bears taste like Walmart or special gummy bears.)

I'm adding this bookshelf to the list of things I definitely need for the house.

I will never have to wonder what to eat again! Thank you flow charts!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Snow Day

We got some snow today.

Which meant I got to leave work a little early.

Which makes it a good snow day.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


I am not always a quick decision maker. I will go back and forth over decisions WAY more than necessary and more than most sane people can tolerate. There's been one choice I've been struggling with for about two months and I am coming to you all for help and guidance.
Charles my Nikon needs a bag.

I have selected bags in certain categories but can't select which category I should go with. The main goal is to make Charles as portable as possible because I love to have him with me. It's creepy the affection I have for him. Probably my most-loved piece of technology ever.

You should also know that I'm about as good as packing light as I am making decisions so I carry lots of things with me. (I'm that girl who always has the bobby pin, floss, hand lotion, pen, paper, etc. you need. It's an important service that I offer.) And you don't have to worry about me transporting camera accessories at this time. Once I get the handle shooting modes other than auto, I'll look into some lenses and crazy flash stuff.

Option 1: Fitted case

Pros: The camera and case would take up very little space and I could pretty much just put Charles in any bag and walk out the door.
Cons: I haven't been able to locate a case that fits my specific model, but models that are very similar to mine. While I really like the idea of the case being able to fit in my main bag, it would be nice if it could also function as a stand-alone case, which this doesn't do. I would always want to put it in another bag.

Option 2: The Three Million Dollar Home
Pros: There are several bags in this style, but Crumpler's Three Million Dollar Home had me once I saw their sweet site, excellent bag quality, and ridiculous amount of positive reviews. I think and hope that this could fit in a messenger (I might finally get that Bayan Hippo bag I've wanted for literally the past year.) or tote bag because I like to travel with one large-ish bag. It can also work as a stand-alone bag if I want it to on any given day.
Cons: There aren't really any cons, so much as there is the existence of other options that have pros. 

Option 3: The Five or Six Million Dollar Home
Pros: A camera messenger bag that could hold a camera and my wallet, lotion, floss, pen, paper, cell phone, lip gloss, iPod...
Cons: A little bulky in a way I find unattractive. Also, I was really hoping to not spend that much money on a camera bag (Yeah, yeah, Option 2 plus the new Bayan Hippo bag would be equal or greater than Option 3, but with Option 2 you get two bags instead of one!).

Option 4: Backpack
I'm just throwing this out there since real-life friend suggested it when this whole hullabaloo started, but this option just doesn't appeal to me. I rarely want to carry a backpack and those get expensive. I'd rather go messenger bag or tote route.

Now that I've written this all down and gained a bit of clarity, it seems like Option 2 is the clear winner, but feedback filled with personal anecdotes about transporting your large camera would be greatly appreciated!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

My Dream Room

After a holiday hiatus, the home hunting is back on full-steam ahead! This time, with the added excitement of potentially buying a house for reals! (Our lease isn't up until the end of April, so it would take a super special deal to make us cancel our lease early.)

As the likelihood of us being home owners approaches, I am of course frantically planning how I want to decorate. There are many eclectic things I have starred in my Google Reader over the past year: bold colors, calm colors, antiques, modern pieces, eclectic clutter, minimal displays. I've been trying to define what it is I really like, what words I want to describe my home. While all of the above can be incorporated, which gets incorporated the most?

And then I was flipping through my Real Simple and I saw it. The bedroom that epitomizes my home style.

Hardwood floors. They got cut off in the picture but they are on the other side of the bed. You can see the rug though. Hardwood floors with rugs make me really really happy.

Light wall colors. I've debated this one, but I think I like lighter -- though not pastel! -- colors on the walls. It keeps things feeling light and airy and allows you to bring in brighter, bolder colors through easily exchangeable accessories. Imagine some eggplant curtains in this room! Yum.

Modern meets less modern. I appreciate the simple clean lines of the modern pieces like the bed and dresser, but I also love older touches, like the bedside table on the right, the clock on the other bedside table, and the perfume tray on the dresser. The modern and not-so-modern come together splendidly.

The right amount of clutter. I hate clutter, but then just a little bit of stuff can add some charm. This room is very clean, but has some interesting pieces grouped about, like the perfume bottles or the books, clock and flowers on the left bedside table.

Just a little fancy. I like fancy things (I'm a bit of a Fancy Nancy fan.), but I love my jeans and bare feet. I want a home where I can put out my china or everyday dishes and either choice would make sense. This is a nice, well-put-together room, but you could imagine that the person who lives here prefers to wear jeans with her pearls.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Back to "Normal"

Now that the holidays are over, I have no idea what to say here. For so long it was all holidays, and crafting, and holidays, now I can't remember what I wrote about before there were holidays, back when things were "normal".

There is food in the fridge again since we'll be in town all week. I have to actually work five whole days this week. We are starting the house hunt again tonight after a December hiatus. My TV shows have new episodes again. The tree is coming down tomorrow night.

Even though I have no Christmas gifts to make I still have more than enough to fill my waking hours: proofreading cousin's dissertation, returning to the baby blanket project, volunteer writing for a local non-profit, crazy attempt to finish The Two Towers by the end of the week (only 237 pages to go!).

I was a little crafty this weekend. Instead of stamping I took the tech route and designed a birthday card in Photoshop Elements. One of my favorite bloggers does this and it turns out better than my stamping and is less time consuming and less messy. I might have to do this more often.
simple birthday card
I'm pretty proud of how the whole gift presentation turned out.
birthday present
There are cute Etsy hair goodies (this in brown and fuschia and this) inside.