Saturday, February 27, 2010


I marked something off my list this week! I finally went to that Zumba class!

At first I was thinking does this count as a dance class? But oh my, yes I think it does. I was doing the samba, the cha cha, and there was a lot of hip and booty shakin'.

I drug a friend along with me because like I mentioned before I have this thing about showing up somewhere by myself. She really did not want to go, but agreed. You see her texting boyfriend (yes, I swear they have a whole relationship almost completely via text) was coming to stay with her the next day and she did not want to be so sore she couldn't walk and had heard Zumba was kind of hard. She was giving me sighs of dread which was making me loose my never a little.

We got there super early to scope out the place. We parked and watched the place for a good 15-20 minutes before getting out of the car. It was hilarious. We kept worrying. What if there are only 5 people in the class? What if we have to do solos? Oh my, there are screens in the lobby so you can see what is going on in the classroom! What if everyone is super skinny and coordinated? We kept trying to talk ourselves out of it.

Finally there seemed to be a lot of people in the lobby and they didn't look too intimidating so we decided to go in. The girl from my bible study group that had invited me was there with 2 friends. We chatted and signed in and paid (only $7!) and then made our way to the classroom.

The class was great! I'm not saying I was great, but I did enjoy the class. There were songs that I recognized and the moves were challenging, but not impossible. And by the end of class, I had worked up a good sweat. My friend and I left feeling good and very glad we went!

It was really a lot of fun. My only problem with dancing is I think I have developed a complex over the years. I am a people watcher and I have watched a lot of bad dancers and thought to I look like that? This has made me very self conscious about dancing which in turn has actually made my dancing kind of bad.

You have to let go when you dance and really get into it for it to look good. I have no problem doing this in the privacy of my own home, but put me in a room with other people (and in this case a huge mirrored wall) and I do everything as if I am doubting myself.

I didn't have this problem when I was younger. I was a cheerleader in high school and had no problem dancing in front of the whole school. Even my first few years of college, I didn't mind getting out there on the dance floor with all my girls. But years of watching other people dance has made me self conscious about it, and I now avoid it unless I have some liquid courage or am completely alone. (You should have seen me last night rocking out in my living room with my new Zumba moves.)

Maybe this Zumba stuff can help me get my confidence back! I ordered a DVD so I can get used to doing it full force alone for a little while and I plan on going back to the class (not every week because you know- money is tight, but I think I'd rather use $7 to go to that class than go to a movie! So it will be like my treat every once in a while).

This is totally not the type of dancing I had in mind when I put "Take a Dance Class" on my list, but I think it's just what I needed!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Thank You!

Thank you all so much for your kind responses to my post yesterday. It was like a huge sigh of relief to know that everyone doesn't view me as frivolous and materialistic. I just hate that it took all those good comments to undo the damage of one bad one. Isn't it that way in life most of the time? One bad thing undoes a lot of the good things and you just can't seem to focus on anything but that one bad thing?

I have so much I want to share, but just don't have the time. I HAVE to tell you all about the tragedy that turned in to a comedy last night.

For now, go check out the pics of my mom's dog Ginger HERE.

She just might have Cam beat on the cuteness factor!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Money Money Money

It is my biggest worry every single day. (Well, that and food choices/excise time battle for top place sometimes). I love money and I hate it. It has almost become a dirty word though. It is the root of all evil. I wish it would just go away sometimes, but it is like air, water or food- you need it to survive. And people can be so judgemental about it sometimes! A wise Jewish woman once told me "Don't look in other people's pockets"- meaning don't be concerned about other people's money situation, just focus on your own. I think that is good advice.

But I just got an annoymous comment on my last post and I felt I should address it. This person expressed that I was materialistic and frivilous with my money and that is why they would not be contributing to my mission trip fund.

Dear Anonymous-I'm sorry if you feel I am materialistic in my posts. The reason for this is probably because I don't get to shop anymore, so I have to dream. I will address your specific concerns though:

a) my dog- I spent $46 on a photo shoot for my dog. This also included shooting my mom's dog which will be part of her mother's day and maybe even birthday presents. In my opinion it is better than blowing $30 on something she may never use.

b) yes I want to remodel my kitchen but I have had to modify my plans. Instead of getting new appliances and hardwood floors, I bought about $20 in accessories and some knobs and drawer pulls for about $20. I want to get a new faucet for the sink and new light fixture, but have not found a good deal on those yet. But I estimate this will be less than most people spend on their monthly cable bills.

c) I have not been on an online dating site in a year. That was pre-layoff and I would never spend money on that now.

d) As far as what would happen to the money people donate should I not raise enough- this money goes directly to the church. The checks are made out to "The Summit Church" and online donations are sent directly to the church. None of this money goes to me personally. Should I be unable to raise enough funds to go, this money will be used to fund other people on mission trips through the church. They have a scholarship you can apply for as soon as you cover the cost of your airfare (in my case that is $2000). If I were unable to go or didn't raise enough funds, the money I raised would be put into that fund.

Mr. or Miss Anonymous, I am sorry you find such faults with me as a person and feel that I am materialistic and frivolous. I may post about what I am lusting after or good deals I get when I go shopping every so often- I spent about $50 this month trying to get more organized and make my house feel more homey, but I can asure you 80-90% of my money goes to just living and bills. I do not feel frivolous when I have no home interenet and approximately 3 channels on my TV. I do not feel frivolous wearing the same 3 pairs of pants and 2 pairs of jeans each week (not even enough for a whole week!). I do not feel frivolous when I am driving and scared to death of getting in an accident because I do not have health insurance right now. I do not feel frivolous rotating the same 2 pairs of shoes (one black, one brown) each week. I do not feel frivolous when I am freezing in my house because I have to keep the thermostat on 66. I do not feel frivolous when I get down to less than $10 in my checking account each month, but still manage to not carry a balance on my credit card.

If you would like to give me some finacial advice, I invite you to email me. I am always looking for where I can cut more from my budget. But please keep in mind that you only see a snippet of my life on this blog. And since I spend money so infrequently on anything out of the ordinary, I want to share it. It is a HUGE deal.

I do realize a lot of things on this list require money to do. I will admit I did not think much about that when I made the list and had no idea I would be laid off in the middle of trying to complete it.

It may seem strange to try to go on a mission trip when money is so tight for me, but God has lead me to this mission trip at this time and I am trusting Him to provide for me through people who are able and willing to contribute.

I appreciate your comment and respect your decision to not contribute. However I would appreciate if you have concerns with me to not just annonymously jab at me. If you care enough about me to continue to read my blog, you should know I would welcome an email from you with constructive criticism and love to discuss how you think I could do better. I however do not appreciate jabs at me made annoymously.

I am thankful for what I have and I hate even having to write a post to try to defend myself. Could I cut more from my budget? Sure, but I am doing the best I can to try to adjust my lifestyle to my new salary. And I think I have done a pretty good job so far. I don't write about the sacrifices I make like missing out on the annual ski trip with my best friends or not being able to make a trip to Charlotte to celebrate my old roommate's 30th birthday.

Because I know I have it good. I am not sleeping in a tent everynight. I do not have to ride the bus to and from work everyday. I have food in my cabinents. I have indoor plumbing. But that doesn't mean I haven't had to go without a lot of things I had become used to and with each one I see go, I am mourning the loss, and it take some getting used to.

You should know your comment really did effect me though. I am very hurt by your words and I am constantly beating myself up over how I could do better in life, be a better person, and help others more. I hate asking for help in anything. I mean hate it! This fundraising thing was the biggest hurdle for me to accept when deciding to go on this trip because I did not want to ask for help. And that one little comment just reinforced all of that. I never cry and just that one little comment brought tears to my eyes.

So yeah...I couldn't just respond with a comment back, it required a whole post. That's all I have to say.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Update on the List

I am less than 6 months away from my 30th Birthday so it is time to see where we are on the list progress...

Get in the best shape of my life- I doubt this one is going to happen. Just because getting in the best shape of your life takes consistent time and effort over a long time period and I have not kept up with it. I am going to start doing a boot camp for 3 months as soon as the time changes and it is light outside after 5:30 pm. I plan I running another race in April, but I am no where near the best shape of my life.

Get a job I love- I am so close to marking this one off. This deserves a whole post and it is coming soon. The only thing that has been holding me back is the low pay I am having to deal with.

Pay all my own bills (with no help from mom)- I still need to get off the gas card and pay my own car insurance. I need a raise!

Ask out a crush- I don't have any crushes right now. But if I ran into Ryan Renolds on the street, I would ask him out (even if he is married!) just so I could mark this one off.

Go to a water park and not feel self-conscious- I doubt this one is going to happen.

kayak- I plan on doing this in the spring.

Catch a fish- an old co-worker and friend offered to help me with this one, so it should be marked off soon!

Open my heart to someone- I'm deciding if I should mark this off. Over the last few years I have become so much less closed off and share a lot of my heart with others. The only thing that is holding me back is I hoped this one meant I would have found movie love, but maybe I worded it this way for a reason.

Go on a mission trip- I just got the approval and I am going to Dubai in July! Now I just need to raise the funds. I'll let you all know next week how you can help me with this if you like!

Upgrade one room in my house- I am doing the kitchen. I am bound and determined. I'm not going to do everything I wanted like hardwood floors and all stainless steel appliances, but I think I am going to do some upgrades hopefully in the next couple weekends. I also plan on updating my master bath and 1/2 bath downstairs while I'm at it.

Travel abroad- Dubai in July!

Go skinny dipping- This one is going to be tricky. Maybe I will go skinny dipping in the ocean one night while I am at the beach this summer.

Take a dance lesson- A girl from my Bible Study offered to help me with this one. She does a Zumba class on Thursdays. Unfortunately I have ended up working late the last 2 Thursdays and missed it. But I hope to make it next week. And I will be adding to my 40 before 40 list to learn a couples dance Like the Cha Cha or Waltz.

Invest in the stock market- Haven't even looked in to this one yet. I need a raise!

Kiss in the rain- I don't think this one will happen, but I still have my fingers crossed for a movie love moment like this someday!

Read the Bible all the way through- working on this. It's a long book! I hope I make it through before the deadline!

Attempt Surfing- Hoping to mark this one off this summer!

So that's where I am. One thing I am really thankful for is friends who have been offering to help me mark things off. I have been concentrating so much on the Dubai Trip that I barely have time to think about the rest of the list. So I am so thankful for those who are helping me with the list!! And whatever I don't mark off, will just get added to the 40 Before 40 List!

Happy Friday Everyone!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What are you giving up?

Today is Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent. What is Lent you ask? It is a traditional 40 day period of fasting, praying, and penitence before Easter. I didn’t know much about Lent growing up, and the church I go to now does not observe Lent, but I am. The reason I am observing it is because:

a) I think it is good to give up something important to you sometimes. It helps you see how dependent you are on that thing and that despite that you can live without it.
b) It helps me get ready for Easter. Normally Easter just kind of sneaks up on me because it is different every year. Observing Lent helps me remember how big of a deal Easter is. It helps me remember the suffering Jesus endured. It helps me remember God’s gift to me.

Side Note: Funny story about Ash Wednesday- A few years ago I was working in Greenville and had a meeting with my boss one Wednesday. When I walked into her office, I noticed she had a black smudge on her forehead. It looked like she had wiped her forehead after getting ink from a printer on her hand. As she sat there talking to me, I could not think about anything but that smudge. I kept wondering if I should say something. Finally before I left her office I said “I think you have something on your forehead.” She responded “Is nobody in the South Catholic?!” I was so confused. She explained to me that it was Ash Wednesday. (I later found out Catholics burn the palm leaves from last year’s Palm Sunday and the priest makes a cross on their forehead with the ash.) This is still to this day the second most embarrassing moment I have had with a boss. (Maybe one day I will tell you the first.)

Last year I gave up fast food. This year I decided to give up sweets. I had it in my mind because I love sweets. It is one of my weaknesses. I had some peanut M&Ms yesterday to try to get my last sweet tooth fix. Today when I come into the office there are 3 huge apples from The Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. If you had never had these heavenly things, you need to. I LOVE them. They are like caramel apples, but they have all these different flavors like Apple Pie, Butterfinger, Smores, Monster Mix, etc. They are seriously so good. I tried for about an hour to resist, but I failed. I ate a slice and decided I was not ready to give up sweets. I hate failures, but at least they always teach you something. I seriously have issues with me relationship with food and need to get that worked out.

Anyway, now I had to come up with something else to give up. I thought about giving up TV, but I have already cut back to only like 5 hours of TV a week and that was a big decrease and I didn’t want to give it up completely. I read on a blog somewhere that this guy gave up CDs and radio in his car. Just complete silence. I thought that was a good idea. I tried it out at lunch and seriously it makes a huge difference. Even just on that short trip I reached to turn up the volume on the radio after I got off the phone and then realized I had it turned off. Without that distraction, your mind has to do something. I am going to use that time to think and pray.

The only exception is I might buy an educational book on CD. As much as I love to read, I have so many fiction books on my to-read list that I never have time for the educational books. Now my driving time will be devoted to thinking, praying, and learning instead of just being wasted time.

I will also be suffering because I love music. (Part of the whole point of Lent is to remember the suffering Jesus had to endure for us.) Music gets me pumped up or calms me down depending on the song. I love listening to my favorite radio show in the mornings because they are hilarious and I get a chance to catch up on my Hollywood gossip. I am hoping missing my music will motivate me to run more because that is the only other time I get to listen to music.

Do you celebrate Lent? If so what are you giving up? If not, have you ever given up something important to you or that had become a part of your daily routine?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Cam's a Model!

Some of Cam's pictures from his photo shoot this weekend are up on the photographer's blog.

Go check them out here!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Materialistic Monday

One of the blogs I have been reading forever - Life in Pink - has brought back Materialistic Mondays (one of my favorite things about her blog!) and has asked her readers to join in. This week I am posting some cool things I have recently purchased:

I got this whiteboard weekly planner at Staples. I'm hoping it will help me better organize my life and take things one week at a time. I put my weekly activities on there and also cleaning tasks to get done. Hopefully when I start planning out my dinners for the week, those will go on there too.

I got the pears and basket at Marshalls for $8 each. The pears will keep me from just throwing all my junk in that bowl every week and to give my kitchen some decoration. The basket gives me a place to put all the papers I need to sort through each week (mail, bills, things I need to fill out, receipts, etc.) without it looking like an overwhelming mess.

I got these pretty notecards and planner from Marshalls for $5 each. The planner gives me something to write in and keep track of activities when I am not at home and the notecards are to remind me to send more personal snail mail notes because everyone loves that!

This is what the inside of the planner looks like. I like it because it has lots of sticky notes, an envelope to put things in, and a place to write my to-dos!

Hope you like! The best thing about these is they were fairly cheap. But they are already making such a big difference! What recent purchases have you made to keep you more organized?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Fill in the Blank Friday...again

Over at Lauren's blog she has been doing this Fill in the blank Friday thing. I did it last week and liked it, so here it goes again...

1. I am hoping my Valentine's day this year includes, some downtime to get some stuff done around the house and maybe going to see the movie Valentine's Day.

2. My biggest guilty pleasure are sweets! I'm thinking about giving them up for Lent.

3. I am most proud of my dog...he's smart!

4. If I could choose one outfit to live in it would be jeans, a cute comfy cotton top, and my rainbows.

5. People are annoying somtimes.

6. I would rather take a yearly vacation, than waste my money on stuff here at home.

7. I love possibilities more than reality.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

40 Before 40

I only have 6 months to finish my 30 Before 30 List. I don't know if I will get everything done. I really don't. But I guess I am okay with that because I will just add them to my ever growing 40 Before 40 list.

That's right. I have slowly been making my next list. This one will be much better because I am giving myself 10 years instead of 2 to accomplish the things on the list. Do you know that if I make a list for every decade of my life from 30-70 and only accomplish 50% of the things on the list, I will have accomplished 125 things before I am 70. I think that is pretty good.

I mean if I didn't make this 30 Before 30 list I probably wouldn't have swam with a dolphin. I know I wouldn't have ever sang kareoke. I would have never bought a designer purse or the diamond earings I wear everyday (by the way, I think these purchases have actually saved me money!). I would still be avioding babies like the plauge.

I like the list concept. It makes you always keep your goals in mind and keeps you from just wasting your life away.

Here are the things I have on my next list already:
-Take a cooking class
-Learn to play golf
-Get a house with a garage and a front porch
-Host a dinner party
-Take a hot air balloon ride
-Visit all 50 states
-Ride a mortorcycle
-Visit all the NC lighthouses
-Get laser eye surgery
-Get married
-Have kids
-Get a facial
-Get a pair of Louboutins
-Learn the Thriller dance
-See a UNC/Duke men's basketball game live

That's all I've got so far. What do you think?

Have you done any of these?

Any suggestions to add to the list?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What are you reading?

So today you should head over to my Bookshelf Blog to read my latest reviews of the things I've been reading.

In case you're too lazy for that, here is the Twitter version:

Dear John: still heart Nicholas Sparks...true love ain't always easy

Flashbang: Hilarious! and I learned something!

The Story of Edgar Swatelle: made me cuddle Cam a little more each night, but the ending was not what I was hoping for.

Have you read any of these? What are your thoughts?

What are you reading?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Materialistic Monday

One of the blogs I have been reading forever - Life in Pink - has brought back Materialistic Mondays (one of my favorite things about her blog!) and has asked her readers to join in, so I thought I'd share some of my Wish List wants today. My Wish List has grown to over 50 items so needless to say I am "wanting" a lot of stuff. Here are just a few items on the list...

Eureka71b Hand Held Vacuum- $39 on

This is supposedly great for dog hair (which has taken over my house!

Miss Dior Che'rie Perfume- $75 at

I need a new signature scent and this just might be it!

Rachel Ray 6 piece tool set- $30 at

I've seen the spoonula in action and it is a must have now!

Waverly Damask Curtains- out of stock at Target

These would look great in my living room.

Wii Fit

I played this at a friends house and loved it. Of course this would require getting a Wii, the Balance Board, and the game. But seriously lots of fun. The Hula Hoop game is Freaking Hilarious!!

What are your Materialistic Monday wants?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Fill in the Blank Friday

Over at Lauren's blog she has been doing this Fill in the blank Friday thing and today I thought...why not?...I've got a little time.

1. If I had two hours to myself today, I'd sleep or go see Dear John.

2. If I could travel anywhere today, I would go to St. Thomas.

3. Getting my first car is my happiest memory.

4. Sometimes you're reaching for the stars other times you're just surviving.

5. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder .

6. I would be embarrassed if anyone knew how much I weigh .

7. Love at first sight is possible.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Shine your SINK!

I’m so glad you guys are so interested in the cleaning post! I’m going to try to write about all the topics next week, but for now let’s talk clean…

At the beginning of January I discovered and since I am always in a constant battle with the clutter, dust, and dog hair in my house, I figured I would give this a try. I SUCK at cleaning. I have wanted a maid for the past five years and if I ever get rich, it would be the first thing I splurge on. But that is not going to happen anytime soon, so I have to figure out a way to keep my house under control on my own. It is important because I find that when my house is out of control I am miserable thinking about the task of getting it clean and frustrated with the state it is in.

When I first discovered FlyLady, I just signed up for her emails. I will warn you, it is a lot of email! But I would read through the testimonials and missions and just doing that everyday started to get her system ingrained in me.

Last month’s mission was to Shine you SINK! People really raved about how much of a difference this one step made for them so after putting it off a few weeks, I finally did it. It is really easy…

1.Fill your sink (one side at a time) with hot water to the brim and add a cup of bleach. Let this sit for 2 hours.

2. Use a pair of tongs to pull the stopper and drain the sink and rinse.

3. Repeat on the other side of your sink (if you have 2 sides)

4. Use an abrasive cleaner like Comet to scrub your sink. Make sure to get around the faucet and the grimy build-up where your dish soap and sponge sits.

5. Take a sharp object or a toothbrush and clean out the crevices like where your sink meets the counter and in between the corners of the faucet. (kind of like cleaning under your fingernails)

6. Rinse the Comet from your sink REALLY well.

7. Finally spray some Windex in your sink and wipe it down dry.

It really made a huge difference and my sink has stayed shiny ever since! Keeping your sink shiny almost forces you to keep your whole kitchen clean. You can’t leave dirty dishes around…they must go right in the dishwasher and since you have to have room for new dishes, you must put away the clean ones right away. The key to keeping your sink shiny though is to wipe it dry with a dish towel every time you use it. It really isn’t hard to do and does make a big difference throughout the entire kitchen.

The other habit I have adopted is the Swish and Swipe. She has this as one of the morning habits, but mornings are too crazy for me so I do it before bed each night. The Swish and Swipe just consists of Swiping down your counters and mirrors in your bathroom everyday and Swishing your toilet clean. First I had to clean off my counters. I couldn’t even get to all the toothpaste splashes on the mirror because I had so many lotions, hair products, and other bottles on my sink. So I cleaned off everything except my toothpaste, mouthwash, contact solution, face moisturizer, and one hair product. I got rid of any knick knacks. I put my make-up bag, glasses case, deodorant and hair brushes in a drawer. Everything else went under the sink. But my staightner and hair dryer still took up a lot of room. So I left them plugged in but hid the cords along the wall and put them in a drawer. Now I can actually see my counter tops! I keep a container of antibacterial wipes under the sink and every night after I get ready for bed I wipe everything down. For the toilet swish, I got a brush that came with a container and a lid. I put soap in the bottom of the container so the brush is just touching it. Each night I pull out the brush and swish the toilet bowl whether it needs it or not! It’s really easy and keeps the bathroom looking neat and clean.

I’m slow with this. I should have more habits down, but some of them like doing laundry everyday just don’t make sense for me. But just those 2 changes have made a big difference. I hope to get in the habit of making my bed everyday and de-cluttering for 15 minutes each day. I also want to get into her ZONE cleaning routines, but to keep from getting overwhelmed I am keeping the pace slow.

Go check out her site and let me know what you think. Start with the Beginner Baby Steps. She also has some good products for sale on her site. I bought the feather duster and I LOVE it! I always thought feather dusters just push the dust around and had used Swiffer dusters. But those things are expensive and sometimes can’t handle all the dust in my house. This feather duster sucks up the dust into the feathers and is so easy. When you are done dusting you just take it outside and shake the dust out of it.

What cleaning routines help you keep your house in order?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

What should I write about?

I have a lot of post ideas floating around in my head, but I can't seem to sit down and get them all out on paper. I am going to commit to writing one good post this week though. But I need your help deciding the topic:

1. DREAMS: I've been having really weird dreams lately...I could tell you all some of them and try to look up what they mean.

2. CLEANING: I found this FlyLady website through a blog and she has this program to get you on track with keeping your home clean and your life in order. I have been trying to follow it for a month and I could tell you about some new tips and tricks that have worked for me.

3. DATING: I have been DYING to write about the dilemmas in my on again off again relationship, but this blog is not private and I know it would make witty guy mad, but gosh I want to write about it so bad. Should I just do it anyway or stick to my "keep relationship things private" policy?

4. WANTS: I have been compiling a list of things I want. A wish list that just keeps getting bigger and bigger. I could share some of that.

5. STYLE: Lately I have been wishing I was trendy...just a rant about how I stick to comfy and easy instead of bringing out the creative like I want to in my wardrobe.

6. WEDDINGS: I spent a lot of time watching the WE channel this weekend. I am convinced WE stands for Wedding Entertainment. This would just be a post about how we have become a wedding obsessed culture and how I have even fallen into that trap.

So what is your vote?