Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Blogger Award!

I see all these little blogger award badges on the different blogs I visit and thought I would never get one, but the day has come...I got my very first blogger award from the lovely Ginspaghetti at Good Morning World, Welcome to My Thoughts! She is a great blogger with a very cute little puppy Nola and a big, giving heart. (She has also been posting a lot of her craft projects lately which is fueling my obsession with getting a sewing machine even more!) So go check her out.

I am supposed to name 7 things I love and then pass this award on to 7 of my faves. I've already done some of my favorites on here before so I am going to mix it up and list you some of my more random loves:

1. Summertime! I hate the long cold winter months. Sometimes I think I have that Seasonal Depression people talk about. But once the time changes and I can turn my heat off I start to get excited about all the fun things planned for summer. From beach weekends to big trips to just hanging out at the pool, I love it all!

2. Honey Mustard- I have an obsession with Honey Mustard. I could eat on just about anything. I even dip my potato chips in it sometimes. When I go to a new place I always look forward to trying their honey mustard because almost every one is different.

3. My Crackberry- I can check my email, get on Facebook, search Google, get directions from my GPS, text, call, take pictures and video and send them, and much more. The only thing more cool might be an Iphone, but then I might never put it down!

4. Stuff on Sale- My favorite is at Target when I see something with that little red clearance sticker on it! But it extends to everything. Like the time I got 4 pairs of pants from the Limited last month for $60 or this weekend when I got 2 new OPI nail polish colors for only $4.50 or when I saved $26 at the grocery store yesterday with my Greenpoints card! I love sale shopping!

5. Trailmix- I love a mix of chocolate, peanuts, and raisins. The more you add to that the better. Target has this Monster Mix stuff I love. It includes: peanuts, raisins, M&Ms, chocolate chips and peanut butter chips. A handful of that is like heaven.

6. Sweetwater Blue Beer- My friend Kelly introduced this beer to me when we were in the mountains. It is soooo good! I can't find it anywhere around here, but they will be at the Raleigh Beer Fest in a few weeks, so maybe I'll be able to pick up some there!

7. Winning at card or board games- I can get pretty competitive when it comes to these things. I try not to be a sore loser and pout on the rare occasion I don't win, but when I do win, I LOVE it. And I might rub it in just a little :)

Now I pass this award on to-

Jane at Diary of Jane

Heather at Colormehazel

Single Girl at (yes) iM Single

Angela at My Quiet Testimony

Morgan at Mo's Blog

Heidi at The Heidi Diaries

Wani at Wani's World

There are many more that I love but I saw that some of my other loves already had this award on their sidebar! Apparently other people love them just as much as me! Just know that if you are reading this blog, I love you too!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Oh Baby!

Well, I had a baby themed weekend and got to mark something off my list!

It all started on Friday when I went shopping for a baby shower and my friend’s little boy’s birthday. Witty Guy came with me and it was quite hilarious. I kept asking his opinion of all the outfits and we spent a lot of time in the baby department trying to figure out what babies need. He was such a sport! He helped me with everything and even carried around the diapers and stuff. I meanwhile was obsessed with this little elephant blanket-rattle-stuffed-toy thingy I picked out. It was so soft and cute. I almost wanted to keep it for myself!

On Saturday I drove down to Greenville for a baby shower for an old friend. (I was Maid of Honor in her wedding 2 ½ years ago and have not seen her since then and had only heard through the grapevine that she was pregnant so I was kind of shocked when I got the invite, but that’s a whole other post.)

Anyway, I got to see a lot of old friends and catch up with them which was nice. Ok, so it was a little weird too and quite frankly after almost 10 years of showers for everyone and their momma, I am getting kind of tired of hearing about weddings and babies. Well, babies not so much, but weddings for sure. And somehow even though this was a baby shower, the topic of weddings was discussed at length. I’m not bitter, really, just tired. I’m trying to have endurance at this whole supporting all my friends thing, but it feels like a freaking marathon and if it is ever my turn they will have all lost touch with me or be too wrapped up in their own lives to support me. Eloping is looking better and better everyday.

Ok, sorry for the rant.

Anyway, after the shower I went over to my friend Megan’s house to meet her kids. She has a little girl, Lucy, who is 3, and a 10-month-old little boy, Bobby. I get a little nervous around kids just because I am never, ever around them. But I need to overcome that if I am ever going to have kids of my own!

It was crazy to see how much work 2 kids are too. I always thought I wanted like 4, but I’m now reconsidering. There is always someone needing something or wanting your attention but it is just like second nature to Megan. She just did it all with ease.

Little Lucy is so stinking cute and she knows it. And little Bobby crawling around was the most adorable thing ever. I was hesitant to hold Bobby at first, because like I said kids kind of scare me. But I did and it wasn’t bad. He is quite the wiggle worm and he even spit up on my leg, but it didn’t bother me much because I just found him so cute and fascinating. I mean what is going on in that little head of his?

Anyway, they had me stay for dinner and her husband JR cooked for us. After dinner I remembered my list and told Megan she could help me mark something off if I could just get Bobby to laugh. It wasn’t as simple as it sounds. He wasn’t having it with the tickling but then she suggested peek-a-boo and that got a little chuckle out of him and even a little snort! Make a baby laugh: check!

(Please excuse the poor picture quality. It was with my camera phone and I apparently can't get a clear shot with that!)

I’m saving the diaper change for little Avery who will be here in June. I’ve heard girls are easier than boys with that anyway!

The fact that so many of my friends are starting to become known as “mom” makes ME feel old!

But, any of you moms out there, please invite me over to hang out with the kids. Heck, I’ll even babysit…maybe…I’ll have to think about it. But I do need to get more comfortable around kids and learn how all this works because if I don’t, I may have a nervous breakdown when it comes to having one of my own!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Great New Discovery for Book Lovers

I found a great new online book club! I am pumped to start reading their next pick American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld!


Go check out my Bookshelf Blog for the details of my excitement!

Friday, March 27, 2009

L.I.F.E.- List Idea Friday Everyone

Every Friday I will feature a new idea from the book Dream it. List it. Do it! that you can add to your life’s to do list.

Today I picked one from the chapter called “Reconnect with Loved Ones”-

Meet Family Members in Ireland

This sounds cool, and if I had family members in another country I would definitely want to go visit. But I don’t even know what my ancestry is. I’d just classify myself as American. But if I found out I had a strong Irish heritage, I would make a point to go to Ireland someday.

I do need to get in touch with some family members though. I have a small family. Really, right now it is just my mom and my uncle. But before my dad married my mom, he had 2 sons in his previous marriage. So I have 2 half-brothers. They are way older than me and I never lived with them. The youngest one was in college when I was born and the older one has a daughter my age. I have 3 half-nieces and 1 half-nephew. I used to see them about once a year or so, but I don’t think I have seen any of them since my dad died almost 10 years ago.

This week I got a flyer in the mail from Calvary Christian School. It was from my nephew asking for a donation for some Helping Hands program. I feel bad because I have never met this nephew and didn’t even know how old he is. Judging from the info on the flyer he is in 4K, so I am guessing he is 4. I will send in a donation, but really I need to go meet him. They live right outside Winston-Salem, so I have no excuse.

I guess it is just hard because I feel like such an outsider with them, especially now that my dad is gone. And why don’t they try to get in touch with me? I guess I’ll just have to get over that and reach out to them first huh?

Have you ever gotten in touch with long-lost family members? Is there someone in your family you haven’t been in touch with for a while?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Not Domestically Inclined but Creatively Frustrated

I only took one Home Ec class in high school and the only thing I remember from it is that you are supposed to flip the pancakes when the little bubbles start to form and burst in the batter.

I am not very “domestic”.

I don’t really cook very often. If I ever needed something that requires minor sewing attention, such as a pair of pants that need to be hemmed or a button that need to be sewn back on, I would take it to my mom. She has since given me numerous “iron-on” hemming products. I think she is trying to tell me something, but the joke is on her because I don’t know how to iron either! In college I used to get my roommate to iron stuff for me since she was obsessed with it. (She would even iron her t-shirt and shorts before going to the gym!) Now I just throw things back in the dryer on the "wrinkle release" setting.

I know that I am officially getting old because this is starting to bother me. I want to be able to cook scrumptious meals every night. I want to be able to hem my own pants. I want to be a domestic goddess...or at least an apprentice.

But even weirder, I want to make stuff. I want to buy a sewing machine that also does monogramming. Then, not only will I be able to hem my own pants, make cute homemade dog dollars, sew my own reusable grocery bags, and maybe even make my next Halloween costume from scratch, but I will be able to monogram cute gifts for my friends…and for me!

I mean I could see myself getting obsessed with it and sewing cute little things every chance I got. (I could also see myself getting frustrated with it if it doesn’t work the way I want it to.)

The only problem is sewing machines that do monogramming are not cheap. And they seem kind of complicated.

I think I need to determine how important this is to me and then maybe save up for a sewing machine and sign up for a beginner’s class.

You see I think there is a frustrated artist inside of me wanting to get out. Every year of high school, and even in college, I took some kind of art class. I wasn’t a genius at it, but I enjoyed it. I loved my pottery, calligraphy, and color & design courses. Sewing could be a new outlet for my creativity.

Either that or photography…or pottery…or painting…hmm what do I want to do?

Sewing would be the most “practical” and “domestic” thing to do...or cooking or baking, but all that food for just little ol' me would not be good for my waist. And I don't think you want to see me getting "creative" in the kitchen.

Maybe I should wait and add something like this to my 40 Before 40 list (gosh that sounds so old!) and concentrate on marking off the things I already have on my list now. Like the dance lessons?

I don't know. What do you think?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

This cracked me up!

I saw this commercial on TV last night and it actually made me stop to watch it instead of fast forwarding. Creepy and H-I-larious at the same time!

Quick Favor

I usually don't ask for favors. But I saw today on our new campus pastor Danny Frank's blog (he's H-I-larious by the way) that our church's lead pastor JD Greear is in the running for some kind of blog award. It looks like he is getting his butt kicked by the front runner, but right now he is in second place so there is hope.

If you have a few seconds today, go here and click on his name to give him a vote. He is a great pastor and it would probably make his week if he won something...doesn't everybody like winning every once in a while? Even if it is a blog contest!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sharing a Room for a Work Function

I am going to San Francisco at the end of June for a work function (that is if I still have a job by then- damn you economy). I will be there a total of 6 nights for work. The hotel room is not cheap. So in an effort to cut costs my boss informs me that I will have to share a room with my co-worker.

At first I am like “ugh, that sucks.” Then the more I think about it I start to flip out.

I have shared a room with a co-worker for a work function before at my last job, but there were some major differences:

1) We had the option of paying for a single room
2) I got to choose my roommate
3) I choose a girl that I was friends with and hung out with outside of work
4) It was a fun trip filled with fun events not really work
5) It was only for 2 nights
6) There was also the option of not going to the event at all

This time it is completely different.

1) I was not given the choice of roommate
2) I am not “friends” with this co-worker (no non-work interaction)
3) The stress from my job has caused me to develop insomnia and I can’t even fall asleep at home alone in my own bed
4) This show last year almost caused me to have a nervous breakdown because it is VERY stressful and VERY long hours and that was when I had the refuge of my own room
5) This roommate informed me that she snores and I can’t even sleep in the same room with a boyfriend (someone I love and tolerate a lot from) who snores

I can’t do this and it feels totally unfair to be asked to do this. I’m already giving up a weekend and working on Saturday and Sunday and super long 14-hour days. Now I also am being asked to deal with the awkwardness of sharing a room for a week with someone I barely know.

I understand these are tough economic times and cost cutting is important, but how far can an employer ask you to go? And couldn’t we at least discuss this before telling me I will have to share all my personal space with someone and I have no choice or say in the matter?

Also, I was informed of this by email. I think this warrants a face-to-face conversation at least.

After a few hours of freak-out time I did email my boss to inform him I have insomnia and have to take Ambien every night and I really didn't think I could do this. He emailed back and said he understood my concerns and he would see what they could work out. That was almost a week ago and still nothing.

On top of all of this I had planned to go out there a day early and one of my friends was going to come too so we could explore San Francisco. We were going to get our own room on Friday and then move into the company room on Saturday. But now with this roommate situation I don’t know what to do. I’ve already booked my flight leaving Friday AM and booked our own hotel room for Friday night, but now my friend and I would have to share a room on the other nights with this co-worker. That is more awkwardness than I can handle and probably way more than my friend could handle.

I also think about what would happen if I got laid off before then. What if my friend booked her flight? The hotel rooms are both on my personal credit card. Would I be able to get out of that? All this uncertainty is killing me!

I feel screwed. Any suggestions?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Christian Dating Ain't Easy

I know I said I wasn’t going to talk about dating on here again, but I need to get this off my chest. Dating as a Christian is not easy. There are so many issues I never thought much about before. If you have truly made God #1 in your life, it will affect your dating life. You’ll try to not let it impede on your relationships, but once you have a relationship with God, you can’t keep it totally separate from this part of your life.

Nor should you.

The main purpose of dating is to find a life-partner for marriage. In the past I didn’t always treat it this way. It was more about spending time with someone I enjoyed and was attracted to. It was about having fun and feeling loved. But now if I am being really honest with myself, I just don’t want to waste any more time like that.

I’m not saying I am in a rush to get married. Yes, I want to find a partner for my life. Yes, I want to be in love. Yes, I want to shower someone with all my affection and silliness. But I am at a point where I don’t NEED that like I used to.

I already feel loved by God. I already can take care of myself and have a direction in my life. I don’t need a boyfriend to make me feel whole.

So this time I am taking my time and trying to find what I really want and what fits well with me and where I am headed in my life.

The shape this has taken for me, doesn't line up with society’s rules for dating. Most of the time people just fall into a committed relationship before they even know each other. It is normal to have sex within the first few months. It is normal to even live with your significant other before marriage.

All of those things I do not want to do.

I felt bad for trying to do things differently this time. I felt bad about asking so much out of a guy and doubted for a while that I would be able to find a guy that would put up with all of this. But I am sure of my decisions. I know this is the right way for me to find what I am looking for. If someone I date doesn’t want to put up with that, then I guess it wasn’t meant to be.

Please realize that I am not saying this should be everyone’s path. Just take the time to figure out your own. Some of it may be “learn as you go”, but once you make a decision, stick to it. Set some guidelines for yourself. As an example here are some of mine:

1. Be open-minded. Sure there may be red-flags about someone, but those one or two things don’t define the whole person. Take time to get to know the person.

2. Keep things light in the beginning. There will be enough seriousness stuff later down the road. Just have fun on those first few dates.

3. Don’t jump into a relationship. It is so easy to just fall in to a boyfriend/girlfriend role with someone you like. But as soon as you make that commitment to one person, you are shutting yourself off from all the other possibilities out there. Take your time and make sure it is what you really want before falling head over heels.

4. Watch the physical stuff. For me, it is VERY difficult to separate my mind, body, and heart. Physical closeness can intensify a relationship, but often times it is a false intensity. Don’t get me wrong, sex is awesome- one of the best things in a relationship. And I know…it is crazy and probably won’t go over well with some guys, but I really believe waiting is the right thing to do. Last year our pastor did a whole series on sex and it totally clicked with me. One of the best analogies he used went something like this: If someone asked you if you would like to have a nice fire in your fireplace, you would love it, but would you want that fire on your furniture, drapes, and/or anywhere outside of the fireplace in your house? Well, that is how God intended sex to be- best enjoyed within the confines of marriage. Outside of marriage it can be dangerous and destructive to the relationship. You can listen to the whole series of sermons on sex here: Exposed

I write about what I am going through in my life on here, so I am sure dating will come up again. And I can’t not write. Writing helps me sort out my thoughts. It lets me get other viewpoints and opinions on here. But I will promise to stick to broad topics and not make it too personal from now on.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Out there for ALL to see

This isn’t a private or anonymous blog. I made that decision early on because a) I wanted to share and connect with people I may have never met in person and b) I wanted to be as authentic as possible. I never wanted to feel like I was a different person here on this blog than I was in real life. I didn’t want this to be a platform for me to be someone I was too afraid to be in real life. There is just one me and I wanted to keep it that way.

I have struggled with censorship on here before. Some things that happen in your life may just be too personal to share with everyone. I try to be as open and honest on here as I can because I thought maybe someone out there can relate to what I write, maybe it would help them to know they aren’t alone, maybe my stories would put a smile on someone’s face today, or maybe they would inspire someone to do something in their own life. You see readers, I love you guys. I write this just as much for you as I do for me.

What I write is just a quick snapshot of what is going on in my life and in my head. And just like with a snapshot, you aren’t getting the whole picture. You can’t see what is going on outside the frame of my post. And you can’t get the whole picture from just a few paragraphs.

It reminds me of the story about the blind men and the elephant. The poem talks about how each man touches a part of the elephant and from just the small part he feels tries to decide what the elephant is like. One feeling a tusk thinks it is like a spear. One touching the trunk thinks it is like a snake. One touching the ear thinks it is like a big fan and so on. But all of them are wrong because not one of them has the complete picture. And that is the unfortunate part about the blog. You will never, no matter how much I write, have a complete picture.

I think I have realized that some things may be too personal to write about here. Especially if they are about more than just me. You see every time someone reads written words, they read them differently than the next person. What my words mean to me could mean something totally different to someone else.

Whoever said “Sticks and stone can break my bones, but words can never hurt me” was gravely mistaken. Words can hurt, sometimes much worse than any kind of physical wound. I have been hurt many more times and much more deeply with words than by any kind of physical pain in my life. I don’t want my words to hurt anyone. So to anyone who has been hurt by my words, I am very, very sorry.

See, that’s why I like your comments. I like your feedback to know how my words are affecting you. I enjoy blogging, but if no one else enjoys my words, I would rather just keep an old fashioned journal. Because a blog is not private. The internet is a world wide forum and you never know who is going to read what you wrote and how it will effect them. If you like what you read let me know. If you are bored by it, let me know. If I’m not really as funny as I think I am, let me know.

I don’t know. I just feel down today. I feel hurt and confused and just really wish I could have stayed in bed. I might need to take a break from blogging for a while.

(Yes, I know you probably guessed witty guy read my blog and didn’t really like what he read. He is a really nice guy and I have a lot of fun hanging out with him so it makes me upset that he was upset. I'm sorry witty guy.)

Right now I am thinking I might never blog about dating on here again. Because dating is about two people, not just me.

Friday, March 13, 2009

L.I.F.E.- List Idea Friday Everyone

Every Friday I will feature a new idea from the book Dream it. List it. Do it! that you can add to your life’s to do list.

This week's selection comes from the chapter "Live in the Moment":

Race downhill on my bike and feel the wind in my hair

Man, I miss being a kid. I miss having carefree days and making up fun games with my friends. I miss spending all summer in the pool. I miss Popsicles melting all over my fingers. I miss being outside more.

I don't have a bike anymore. I really have no where to put one. If I had a garage though, I just might go buy a bike. I miss riding my bike around the neighborhood until the streetlights came on.

I would also love to go biking in Umstead State Park which is right up the road from my house. Earlier this week when the weather was nice I could see bikers on a trail that runs through the park on my drive home. I was enjoying the wind blowing through my hair because I had the top down on my bug, but there is just something about biking that a convertible cannot capture.

I think I will add some kind of biking adventure to my 40 before 40 list.

How about you? Do you still know how to ride a bike?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Sex as a Commodity?

Earlier today I got kind of hot and bothered by a post I saw over at Brazen Careerist called: What's wrong with sleeping your way to the top? In it, the author compares trading sex for career favors to networking in order to get ahead. Call me old fashioned, but that thought creeps me out.

Here is a quote from the article that I would hope never comes out of my future husband's mouth:

"I have zero problem with any consenting adult who transacts sex for opportunity. For me, sex isn’t a sacred thing that can’t be traded for."

WTF? Basically he must be totally fine with prostitution. And not to mention sex isn't a sacred thing or anything so I would be willing to guess he isn't the most "faithful" guy out there either.

I dated a guy I worked with for almost a year. It was in no way, shape, or form to get ahead. In fact, I almost didn't date him at all BECAUSE I worked with him. And I would have to think long and hard about ever doing that again.

Look, in my opinion relationships and dating are complicated enough WITHOUT the sex. When you throw sex in the mix then that at least doubles the complexity. On top of all of that, he is suggesting to add another layer by being in a relationship with someone and then having sex with them in hopes to advance your career?

No thank you.

I'm not saying that networking and helping people you know personally get an opportunity or boost their career somehow is not a good thing. I think it is a good thing to try to help a friend out. But even there, things could get tricky if you are their manager or something.

A commenter on the original post also went on to say that all stay at home moms are essentially trading sex to be able to stay at home and not earn a living outside of the home. I do not see this as being the case. A marriage to me is a partnership and if it makes more financial sense for one person to stay at home with the kids and take care of the house, then that is joint decision. Have you ever seen day care rates? I seriously doubt any wife ever thought "Gee, if I keep having sex with my husband, maybe he will let me stay at home all day and not have to work." (well, maybe some wives, but not the good ones hopefully.)

I just never thought of sex as a commodity- something to be traded for like milk or eggs. To me sex IS sacred. It's not something that can be traded for.

Is this how all men think? No wonder I hate dating!

What do you guys think?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Spending Diet

I am more than half-way through my 2 week spending diet. So far so good! I did have to spend money out of my Flexible Spending Account for a dentist appointment last Wednesday, but that doesn't count because I have to use that money before the end of the year anyway. My good friend Steph said she was surprised I didn't reschedule it (I considered it) because I am so committed to this.

The rules are I can't spend any money Monday- Friday. It hasn't been easy though.

Last week I ran out of contact solution and had to go digging through my travel bag to find a half empty travel sized bottle of contact solution in there. I also have been running a little late to work because I can't leave the house without something to eat for lunch or else I'll starve.

Also I went on a date to the Canes game on Friday. The guy asked me if I wanted anything and I kept saying no, but he wasn't letting me off the hook. I told him about my spending diet and even though he picked on me about it, he bought me a beer and a pretzel. I still felt bad about it though because stuff at the RBC Center is expensive!

Over the weekend I filled up my gas tank and I went to Target to get some contact solution and some Diet Coke and yogurt and chips for the week. I didn't go to the grocery store because I think with my Target supplies and what's in my pantry I have enough for the week.

The one thing I forgot was cat food. Bailey is almost out and probably won't make it through the week on what's left. So I had to call Steph to see if she had some I could borrow. Luckily she does!

I also ended up not going to my Bible Study dinner (because I was so exhausted from staying up until 2 am on Sunday). But I had a plan for that too. It was really cheating though, so I'm glad I didn't have to use it. You see, I owed Steph $10, so I got $20 cash back from Target this weekend and was going to give that to her and then she was going to buy my dinner for me! Totally cheating huh?

Anyway, this exercise has made me much more aware of mindless things I spend money on, so I am glad I am doing it.

Oh and I had a mess up on the giving up fast food for Lent thing. Saturday morning I really wanted to go get something for breakfast since I had been eating in all week. I got in my car and went to Chic-fil-a because they have such yummy breakfast items! After I had driven home and got done eating and was taking my dog out, I freaked out! I had just eaten fast food!! I didn't even think about it. I had been doing so good and I just didn't even think about Chic-fil-a being fast food that morning.

I looked up the "rules" for Lent and apparently the Sabbath is not included in the 40 days of lent before Easter. And since my mom said Saturday is really the Sabbath, I am going with that and saying I didn't actually cheat. Since it was "the Sabbath" fast food wasn't really off limits that day anyway. At least that is what I am telling myself!

Next week I think I am going to start with the working out everyday thing!

Monday, March 9, 2009

And the winner is...


Congratulations and thanks for playing everyone! Email me your address Heidi and I'll get that gift certificate in the mail to you!

I used this nifty thing called random number generator to pick the winner:
Random Number Generator
Min: 1
Max: 5
Result: 3

So to other news...Mondays are supposed to be Match.com Mondays, but I am scared to continue writing about my match.com experiences. Dating is tricky ya'll. People's feelings are involved and in the beginning of getting to know someone it is kind of hard for me to know exactly how I feel.

I could crack you up with stories about my adventures in dating, but it would probably be at someone else's expense (the poor guys, because ya'll know I am close to perfect on dates!) And since I can't guarantee that these guys will never read this blog (they could be cyber-stalking me as we speak) I am hesitant to put this stuff out there.

It would help because I could really use the advice on some situations, but is it better just to keep this part of my life private until there is something stable to share?

I felt like I was censoring myself so much anyway, that the Match.com Mondays posts were getting really boring. Should I just give them up all together?

Friday, March 6, 2009

First Ever Giveaway!

Last week I promised my first ever giveaway on my blog. I had planned to do my review of "The List" (another book about things to add to your life list). But I was running late this morning and forgot to grab the book and my notes off the kitchen counter. I can't do the review without my notes because my memory is bad and it wouldn't come out right. And I can't give the book away without doing a review.


I'm giving something else away!

I'm a member of BzzAgent.com (go check them out! You get to test new things from all kinds of companies and then create buzz around those products.) One of the campaigns I am involved in is for the new items on Chili's Guiltless Grill menu.

They sent me some coupons for a free item from the Guiltless Grill menu (no purchase necessary!) If you have never tried Chili's Guiltless Grill menu, you should. It is REALLY good. Whenever I am trying to watch what I eat, I always pick Chili's for an outing with friends because you can't go wrong with their Guiltless Grill items.

They have great items like: Guiltless Carne Asada Steak, Honey Mustard Glazed Salmon, Black Bean Burgers, Cedar Plank Talapia, Buffalo Chicken sandwich and more!

Check out the complete menu here!

So leave me a comment over the weekend and I will pick a random winner on Monday morning to receive a coupon for a FREE item from the Chili's Guiltless Grill menu!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Doggie Dreams

If you have a dog, you have probably seen him or her dreaming before. You know, where they twitch their paws and maybe even bark or whine a little bit. I think it is so cute when Cam does this, and I always wonder what he could be dreaming about (probably the B-A-L-L!)

But I have NEVER seen anything like this!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Inspired by The Bachelor himself…

Top ten signs that it might not work out with your new boyfriend…

10. When he met you, he was dating 24 other women.

9. Your first date was with him and 4 other girls who he may or may not have kissed in front of you.

8. He was paid to go out with you.

7. Even though you pour your heart out to him, he never tells you how he really feels.

6. Ten minutes after your first kiss, you see him kissing another girl.

5. The night after your first “overnight” date with him, he goes home with another girl.

4. The same day he dumps you, he turns around and proposes to another girl.

3. You get to see the hot tub scene of his soft-core-porn video from the comfort of your living room and realize that the girl he is with isn’t you.

2. He was engaged to his last girlfriend for approximately 4.5 seconds before dumping her on national TV.

1. Five minutes after dumping said ex, he asks you out and then proceeds to suck your face in front of everyone.

I can not even express how upset I am with the Bachelor Jason Mesnick. I was so freaking mad when that “After the Rose” show started. They took me from the highest of highs because my favorite girl, Melissa had won! They looked so happy! Then they smacked me in the face with a bunch of bullcrap.

It was like watching a train wreck. I was screaming at my TV. I was so hoping Molly would tell him he could forget about it. What a jerk!

So let me get this straight, after PROPOSING to poor Melissa, you date her long-distance for a few weeks and then decide to dump her because you can’t stop thinking about this other girl and her mesmerizing eyes? Seriously? Jason, you did what you thought you HAD to do, but just for the record, I would never, ever date you after seeing that.

And to Molly, come on, doesn’t this guy seem a little fickle to you? Sure, he dumped this other girl because he just could not stop thinking about you, but he PROPOSED to that other girl! And he only gave it a few weeks before he decided it just wasn’t going to work out. If I were you, I would think long and hard about committing to a guy like that.

But good luck to you guys. Just know that I do NOT see a Trista and Ryan like happy ending in your future.

BTW, there are a lot of rumors going around on the internet about this all being a set-up. The producers planned the whole thing, etc. You can read more about that here. If that stuff is true, it makes it even more disgusting.

What did you guys think about the whole thing?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Defining Character: Self-Discipline

"In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves ... self-discipline with all of them came first." — Harry S. Truman

How many times a day do I do one thing when I know I should be doing something else? A lot. I know self-discipline is one of my weak areas. Before picking this topic for my character development, I thought to myself “Do I really want to be known as self-disciplined?” “Aren’t those people boring?” “I don’t want to be boring.”

In the end though, everyone needs self-discipline. There are just things in life you are not going to want to do. I don’t want to get out of bed every morning and go to work, but I have to do it. I don’t want to sit down to pay all my bills each month, but I have to do it. I don’t want to clean up my dog’s poop or clean out the litter box, but I have to do it.

Lately I feel like the life is being sucked out of me. This constant struggle with feeling uninspired, frustrated, and just basically checked out has been making things hard. I struggle with everything else in my life because one or two BIG areas are just draining me. Cleaning my house and my car, cooking and eating healthy, exercising, saving money, doing my taxes, and even reading the Bible feel like they would take a Herculean effort on my part to accomplish.

It has never gotten this bad. I never had to “work-on” the self-discipline this much. But something has to change. I have to motivate and inspire myself somehow.

Self-Discipline isn’t fun. It doesn’t come naturally. It is something I think everyone has to work on and develop. It can be overwhelming if you try to do too much at once.

It all started when I decided I was going to give up fast food for Lent. (even though I don't really practice Lent, but my mom does so I jumped on the bandwagon) #1- it would save money and #2- It might help me shed some lbs! (BTW, I am having a crisis because my team at work wants to take advantage of FREE milkshakes at Chic-fil-a for our company's employees next Tuesday. I REALLY want to go, but that counts as fast food right?)

Then I decided I was going to take on more of a challenge. I was going to focus on specific things to eliminate or add to my life. Once, I read that there are two types of people when it comes to this type of thing:

The first type is the “all or nothing” type. These are the types of people who must give up something completely, or practice it every single day to get it under control. You either do it or you don’t. Period.

The second type of people are the moderators. These are the type of people who if you tell them they can’t have something or can’t do something, it makes them indulge. They would do better with having just one cookie a week to hold the edge off, rather than giving up cookies for a week and then eating an entire box.

You always hear “moderation is key”, but I think I am more of an “all or nothing” kind of girl. When I try to practice moderation, it never works out. I make too many excuses when I try to moderate. Instead I am going to try to make a goal to either eliminate or add something to my life, practice it religiously for 2 weeks then pick something else to work on. Hopefully after 2 weeks whatever I have been working on will become second nature and I won’t have to think about it as much, I’ll just do it naturally.

This week I started with a spending diet. Monday- Friday I am not spending any money. I have to make sure to fill up my car with gas on the weekend and get any essentials I may need. I pack my lunch everyday and eat whatever I have in my pantry instead of going out. So far it is going good. The only thing I am worried about is my Bible Study group is going out to dinner for a birthday next Monday. Would it be rude to not eat? I want to stick to my spending diet…no exceptions. But I don’t want to be rude? How do I handle this?

Other things I plan on giving up/adding in the coming weeks:

- 2 weeks of working out every single day
- 2 weeks of keeping my house clean every single day
- 2 weeks with no internet
- 2 weeks with no TV

I feel like these exercises will help me live more simply and get a better control on my most precious resources: time and money. And hopefully exercising all this Self-Discipline along the way will permanently ingrain that in my character.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Match.com Mondays- Week 5

So this week I had 2 dates with the same guy- witty guy. I liked this guy because of his witty emails and when we moved to phone conversations he kept me laughing.

Our first date was on Tuesday. We planned to meet at a place right up the road from me and we were both excited because they have the best fish tacos ever! We were supposed to meet at “7:30ish” and I was really worried when I hadn’t heard anything from him at 7:25! I called and he was already there (apparently I didn’t get his text! Remember last week’s miscommunication that made me go on a date at 10 pm? Yeah, that was a missed text too! I think AT&T is trying to sabotage my dating life!)

When I got there it was way crowded. Apparently Tuesday night was trivia night and there weren’t going to be any tables available anytime soon. We stood around going ummm for a little bit and then decided to try a place up the street.

The conversation was pretty good and overall the date went well. One kind of crazy moment was as I was drinking my Blue Moon, he asked me what was in a Blue Moon. Like he thought it was a mixed drink! I said “Ummm, well it’s a beer.” He must have felt pretty stupid because he brought that comment up on our second date. Apparently he isn’t a drinker.

For our second date we went to see Slumdog Millionaire on Saturday. (Finally a non-week night date! WooHoo!) The movie was EXCELLENT! This time the hype was right- you should definitely put that movie on your must see list.

As far as the date, I would describe as awkward at best. He even admitted when he called last night, that he thought I was never going to talk to him again after that. It was just weird. There were lots of weird moments and the worst part was we had no plan for after the movie. We ended up going to Starbucks. The conversation was just weird. We seem to be compatible sometimes, and then at other times I’m like “What? Who is this guy?”

But he’s nice and he likes me so we tentatively have something set up for Friday.

It’s been a month on match and the winks etc. have slowed down. I decided to reset my “who’s viewed me count” to zero and update my profile with some new pictures to mix it up a bit.

Overall, I would not say I enjoy internet dating. It is a lot of work. The guys I’ve met haven’t impressed me very much. They all seem very lazy about this whole thing. Maybe I have been spoiled, but I feel like some effort should be put into a date on the guy’s part, other than whipping out his credit card. I want sparks. I want romance. I want to go on a date with someone I know I like.

Oh well, for now I guess I’ll just keep on trucking.