Ever-Changing Reflection

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding... It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self. Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility.
~ Kahlil Gibran

Monday, August 31, 2009

Life's a bitch...


Why is it that the one day you need people, they are not there? Why is it the one morning I could have slept in, I didn't know?

Let me explain. I arrived in the office a few minutes early this morning, fresh from my four-day weekend of laziness to find (ta-da!) a laptop docking station on my desk. yay! I get my laptop today allowing me to work from anywhere with WiFi! Yippee!

I walk over to the technical operations center, where these kind, helpful gentlemen are holding my laptop for me until I arrive. Uh... kind, helpful gentlemen, where are you? The room is dark, no one is there. Ugh! They don't get in for another HOUR!!! I could have slept in and arrived when I could actually start working!

I mosey around. Get some tea, eat breakfast, try to find other people working at the a$$-crack of dawn to chat with. Finally, someone arrives and hands me my brand new laptop.

I skip happily off to my desk to set it up. Well, who knew I didn't know how to use a docking station, or log into an encrypted machine? Who knew that not all of my files were transferred? Who knew my desktop would be a cluttered mess of shortcuts I will never use?

Kind B.B. helped me out with all of these issues, but the one issue he couldn't help me out with was setting up access to my team's request inbox.

Ok, simple enough. I'll just call the UK helpdesk like I did the first time to set it up. Wait... why am I getting voicemail? Maybe they are busy. Wait an hour... call back... voicemail. Ugh!

Let's catch up on e-mail while we're waiting... OH MY GOD!!!! IT'S A UK HOLIDAY????? UGH!!!!! That means no helpdesk today, and I'll have to come into the office tomorrow to CALL THE UK since my cell phone is not set up for international calls (and even if it was, I wouldn't call because I do not have an expense report)! UGH!!

Ok, so now I have to go back to working on what I started last week, not reviewing new requests since I can't access the inbox and my partner-in-crime is also off since she is in the UK. Before I do, however, I'll list some positives. Here are Monday's gratitudes...

I have my laptop. Finally! The universe does listen when I ask!

I am finally coming to grips with the end of summer. The slightly cooler weather is somewhat refreshing, and I am looking forward to longer walks with the dog (without sweating), apple picking and... and... ok, I just can't say sweaters and boots YET!

Boyfriend should be feeling better in another day or two, and we have 10 tickets for us and all of our friends to the PawSox game with our own BBQ Wednesday night! (For those who don't know, the PawSox are the Pawtucket Red Sox, the Boston Red Sox's farm team.)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Whew! She's alive!

Hello friends! Wow, it feels like it's been forever, and I've missed my channel to the world. As most of you know, I had a glorious four-day weekend planned. But, things never go as I plan them. I already posted Thursday's happenings, so allow me to fill you in on the rest...

Friday was supposed to be my one beach day this summer. Well, it was about 65 and rainy here on Friday, and Jed was horribly sick, confined to the bed and couch. So, I decided I deserved a lazy day (dual purpose of allowing my body to rest so it could fight off all the germs floating around the house). That night, plans went off as intended, and the girls and I hit up our favorite martini bar in PVD for a night of drinking, music and dancing. Almost as planned... our favorite martini bar is revamping and no longer have a menu of their 20+ unique martinis! How am I supposed to remember my "favorite"???? So, I had the one martini I could remember from the menu then switched to beer (which is much easier to drink in spastic motion anyway). Sorry, there is no photographic evidence of the debauchery!

I didn't get into be warm bed until 3am, so I slept most of Saturday away. It was also a chilly, rainy day, so a lot of it was spent in front of the TV. Jed and I ventured out to Target and Home Depot to pick up some stuff for the house (oh yes, because the toilet was clogged and we didn't have a plunger yet!). Then we ordered pizza and watched a movie (the extremely 80s The Vanishing featuring our man, Keifer Sutherland). It was kinda creepy.

Now it's Sunday... the last day of my weekend. *sadness* I am finally caught up reading all your lovely blogs (it was tough work friends), and now I'm back to posting my own. I am going to complete this survey found on Always a bridesmaid... Finally a bride about me and the boyfriend. Then I am going to get myself freshened and pretty (in a fallish outfit since I can totally feel it in the air), and I think I will take puppy Morris for a nice long walk.

Enjoy your Sunday!!!

-What are your middle names?
Ann & Eric

-How long have you been together?
Oh, that is such a trick question! We dated in high school, 10 years ago, for about 6 months until we went off to college and broke up. We did the on-and-off after college for two years, then we became official again a year and a half ago.

-How long did you know each other before you started dating?
Hmm... I knew of him, but we were good friends for about 6 months before.

-Who asked whom out?
He asked me out, then I broke up with him. Then I asked him out, and he broke up with me. Then I continually asked him out for the next eight years, until I gave up. Then he asked me out, and all I could say to myself was "FINALLY!" = )

-How old are each of you?
We're both 28, two months apart.

-Whose siblings do/did you see the most?
Well, considering he is an only child, we see my sister the most.

-Do you have any children together?
No, not unless you include our lhasa apso, Morris.

-What about pets?
See above, we have a year old lhasa.

-Did you go to the same school?
We went to the same high school, then I went to Boston University and he went to Assumption College.

-Who is the smartest?
I am book smart, but he's a CPA and way handier around everything than I am.

-Who is more sensitive?

-Where do you eat out most as a couple?
His old roommates used to tease us because we went to either Olive Garden or Gregg's (a local RI chain) at least once a week! But, we do like to try higher-end restaurants and try new things.

-Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
Probably Aruba on a cruise.

-Who has the craziest exes?
I don't think either are really crazy...

-Who has the worst temper?

-Who does the cooking?
Mostly me, but when he cooks, it's delicious.

-Who is more social?
He is. I have my tight circle of friends, and while I like to meet new people, I'm not the greatest conversationalist. He's the one who will strike up a 20-minute conversation with our cab driver in San Francisco or our waiter on the pool deck.

-Who is the neat-freak?
Me all the way. I freak out at dirt.

-Who is more stubborn?
Easily me.

-Who wakes up earlier?
Me, I've been getting up at sunrise (literally) for work, and I'll USUALLY get up earlier on weekends.

-Where was your first date?
The movie theater (we were 17!).

-Who has the bigger family?
Me, mom has 6 brothers and sisters, and dad has 3.

-Do you get flowers often?
No, it's been a tradition on Valentine's Day though. He sends flowers to my office, which I love. I also got potted flowers for my birthday this year. Which I promptly dehydrated, but they are coming back!

-How do you spend the holidays?
It is challenging because our families each have their own long-standing traditions. Last year, we split New Year's Day. I think this year, now that we're living together, we'll try to combine more holidays.

-Who is more jealous?
Me... I just can't help it!

-How long did it take to get serious?
We were real serious in high school, talking the l-word after just a week. And after 10 years, it didn't take long when we got back together either.

-Who eats more?
Um, it depends... I think it evens out.

-Who does/did the laundry?
Moi! I won't let him near my delicates!

-Who’s better with the computer?
He is. He can build them, fix them, set them up, trouble-shoot them. He originally wanted to go into computer science.

-Who drives when you are together?
Usually him, but I've been driving lately because his car is in the shop. He doesn't like my driving, and I don't like him as a passenger (he pushes every button on my dash he can reach)!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I'm falling apart, barely breathing...

By abcBrandy via

I took today off from work to rest and relax -- waking up at 5am everyday gets exhausting. And when I'm exhausted, life gets all out of sorts and I suffocate under the weight of my to-do list. So, the plan for the day included sleeping in, unpacking some boxes, taking the dog for a long walk in the park, and sitting out in the yard reading a good book.

As we all know, however, plans never unfold as desired. Sometimes it's for the better.

I slept in, woken by Jed coming into the room telling me it was time for breakfast. When I rolled over, I saw he was carrying a tray table with a tomato & cheese omelette (my fav), sausage patty, fresh blueberries and a cup of coffee. *gasp* *smile* What a surprise! It felt so nice to be appreciated and loved like that. I've never been served breakfast in bed... Well, except for 26th birthday in San Francisco when he ordered me room service.

So I enjoyed my breakfast then got up to do the dishes (breakfast in bed doesn't include dish-washing). After that, I got on a cleaning roll... and spent the next four hours cleaning the entire house from ceiling to floor. I unpacked all the boxes that were laying around the house, and I started laundry. The dehumidifier arrived yesterday (much to my excitement, along with the clothes I ordered), and Jed set it up today.

I love the feeling of being productive and crossing so much off my list. This means I can spend the rest of my four-day weekend in blissful relaxation. Tomorrow is probably going to be spent in Newport, RI, on the beach and walking the Cliff Walk, then I am going out with my girlies to Olives to see/dance to What Matters! Saturday is Jed's family reunion, so I will get up and bake cupcakes, then head to CT for that.

Sunday is wide open... suggestions on how to spend the last day of this beautiful weekend?

What do you like to do on your "unplanned" days off from work?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

To Jed...

By Cathie U.

<3 Jen

I'd like to thank the Academy...

The Premium Meme Award

I am so flattered and honored to have received my first blog award after just 51 posts (yes, 50 came and went without my notice)! Thanks to Anna at ...ponderings of a hopeless romantic... for this award!

For this, I have to list seven traits about myself and then pass the award onto seven other bloggers who deserve recognition for the personality they share through their blog.

1. I have no patience. None.
2. I'm shy with strangers, but the loudest among friends.
3. I'm a sap who cries watching chick flicks.
4. I'm a big dreamer.
5. I can be very lazy.
6. I'm a bit of a neat/organized/clean freak.
7. I am kind.

Now, I bestow this award upon:

I believe...

"I believe in pink.
I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner.
I believe in kissing - kissing a lot.
I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong.
I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls.
I believe that tomorrow is another day and
I believe in miracles."
-Audrey Hepburn
I believe in this quote,
posted by J.Dimps in Barefoot*Diaries!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I Hate Tuesdays!

By Anna Amphigorously
Sorry folks, but I am unabashedly cranky today.
I feel like I haven't slept in two days.
Jed is sick, so that probably means I will be too soon enough.
I am done with the 5am wake-up call.
Tuesdays really never were my days,
but I'm going to try to make the best of it.
First positive step...
I love this photo...
mostly because it's all I want to do today.
Smell the grass.
Feel the warm sun on my back.
And drift peacefully into the arms of sweet dreams.
Happened to stumble upon Anna's photostream on Flickr.
She is amazing, such beautiful images
and captivating photos.
My quote for today
(which hangs on my desk everyday):
Have a miserable day.
Reverse psychology...
Is it working?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Kate, Beautiful as Always

Isn't this Kate Spade for Lenox Belle Boulevard wedding invitation frame beautiful? It just exudes simple elegance. What a perfect way to save an invitation to your most special day.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Shhh... don't tell Jed... I just purchased this Danby DDR6009REE dehumidifier from Sylvane.

I chose Sylvane because I couldn't find this unit in any stores near me, and they offer free shipping!!! I save myself at least $20 right there. They sell all kinds of home stuff, and there is free shipping on all orders!

A similar unit was rated as the top large-capacity dehumidifier in the June 2008 issue of Consumer Reports (yes, I do my research for all large purchases!). This is the upgraded version of the unit reviewed, featuring automatic power-on after blackout. Of course, yours truly must have the best for our musty basement.

I'm so excited I will finally be able to sit in the basement and watch movies and FOOTBALL on the big screen!

I'm such a dweeb... I get excited over appliances now...

Friday, August 21, 2009

This Weekend...

Wow, I can't believe we only have two more weekends left in August! Let's make them count...

(As I'm typing this, it is gloriously sunny outside, but the winds of Hurricane Bill are seriously ruffling the leaves on the tree outside my window!)

Fox Searchlight Pictures
As cooky as Post-Grad looks, I am intrigued because it sounds exactly like my life. (Did Fox create a biography of my life and fail to tell me??? If so, Alexis Bledel is an acceptable portration of me, but I would have liked input.) The Gilmore Girl plays Ryden Malby (how about that for a name?!?), the girl with the perfect life plan... until it doesn't play out. Ah, haven't we all had that experience? It also sounds like there is an equally cooky moral to this story.
~LISTEN~F-Stop Music/Atlantic Records

I was going to pass this recommendation by until I saw the comparison to Matt Kearney and the Counting Crows (both loves of mine). Looks worth a listen.

5 Spot

I had heard of this book, but I think it slipped my mind and wasn't added to my reading list. *gasp* Ah, love, travel, Italy, life lessons... and you thought this was a language-learning book!

Miramax Films
This sounds like a tear-jerker, coming-of-age story with a Patriotic background. Cue the sobs. If my Netflix queue wasn't maxed out, this would be going on it.

By Netream on Flickr

Fix what's broken. For me, it's my watch. The battery died months ago, and I've been too lazy to replace it. For you, pick one thing: jewelry, something around the house, a heart, a relationship, your car... maybe it's just an attitude or outlook. But, fix something... and comment about it!

Way Outta My League, but I Want!

Ok, K Berry has style, but today she featured my kinda designer fashion! Oh my fancy pants! I love so many of these looks for either work or play!

Check out my newest (pretend) going out outfit for this winter!

This dress with opaque black tights (or maybe a bright color on a *crazy* nite),
with my black patent-leather, skinny-heel, square-toe pumps!
Ugh, she is so gorgeous in this dress!

Then add this ah-maze-ing coat for the chilly outdoors,
and of course I love how it can double for work.

I didn't even look at the prices,
so if you're curious, you can check it out.

images via Gucci

An Irish Blonde in a Casino

An attractive blonde from Cork, Ireland arrived at the Casino. She seemed a little intoxicated and bet twenty-thousand Euros on a single roll of the dice.
She said, 'I hope you don't mind, but I feel much luckier when I'm completely nude'. With that, she stripped from the neck down, rolled the dice and with an Irish brogue yelled, 'Come on, baby, Mama needs new clothes!'
As the dice came to a stop, she jumped up and down and squealed...'YES! YES! I WON, I WON!'
She hugged each of the dealers and then picked up her winnings and her clothes and quickly departed.
The dealers stared at each other dumbfounded. Finally, one of them asked, 'What did she roll?' The other answered, 'I don't know - I thought you were watching.'

Not all Irish are drunks,
Not all blondes are dumb,
But all men...are men.
One of my friends just e-mailed this to me, and I just had to share because it's too funny!

I'm... hopeful and content

So damn easy to say that life's so hard
Everybody's got their share of battle scars
As for me I'd like to thank my lucky stars that
I'm alive and well
It'd be easy to add up all the pain
And all the dreams you've sat and watch go up in flames
Dwell on the wreckage as it smolders in the rain
But not me...
I'm alive
And today you know that's good enough for me
Breathing in and out's a blessing can't you see
Today's the first day of the rest of my life
And I'm alive and well
I'm alive and well
Stars are dancin' on the water here tonight
It's good for the soul when there's not a soul in sight
This motor's caught its wind and brought me back to life
Now I'm alive and well
And today you know that's good enough for me
Breathing in and out's a blessing can't you see
Today's the first day of the rest of my life
Now I'm alive and well
Yeah I'm alive and well
"I'm Alive" by Kenny Chesney, featuring Dave Matthews

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I might be in love!

Thanks Oofa! Now my custom indi jeans aren't looking so awesome because I can't recreate these, and they don't come with my Oofa's approval for big-a$$ girls!
I want...
7 Dojo Flip-Flop

7 Dojo Flip-Flop back

I must have...
7 Dojo Cropped

7 Dojo Cropped back

I'm dying over here!

But thanks for the recommendation, my darling!

For all you shoppers out there...

I know some of you reading this post are pros and have already signed up at this site, but for those of you who aren't/haven't, check out Shop It To Me.

This site does the sale rack shopping for you (perfect for me because I love a deal, but hate scouring messy sale racks!). Set up an account, enter your sizes, choose your favorite stores, and at a recurrence set by you, items in your size from your stores on sale will be delivered to your inbox!

Unfortunately, I have forbade myself to shop until I get the house expenses squared away, so I see this e-mail come in on Mondays and Thursdays and automatically delete without opening.

Except for today... I couldn't help it! I was actually browsing for some blog inspiration (and didn't I get it?!?), and I noticed my favorite shirt on sale at Old Navy...

You can't see the detail really well, but this is a work-appropriate, multi-tasking, v-neck sleeveless ribbed sweater with a different ribbing detail on the bust. I *had* this shirt in white, which I picked up on the ON sale rack years ago as an impulse buy thinking I might wear it to work. Boy did I ever! I regretted not buying it in every color when I first saw it. This quickly became my favorite summer work shirt, going-out-to-a-nice-restaurant shirt, bring-on-vacation shirt, wear-out-with-my-girls shirt... you get the point. So, you can imagine my devastation this summer when I pulled my *everything* shirt out of the wash to see the center seam right at the bottom of the V had split into a hole. I almost cried.

Until, lucky for me, I realized ON was carrying them again this summer. So, I told my mother, who works for Gap, Inc. and therefore gets a lovely discount, to pick it up in every color they had. Well, she couldn't find it in the store! I almost cried again.

Now, lucky day today! And I didn't blow another opportunity. I promptly logged into ON and ordered my favorite shirt (albeit in black because that's all they have). For the incredible price of $12.99. I also picked up...


... for under $10 a piece!

Not exactly a top fashion house, but I love Old Navy, and I love basic T's that I can wear on their own or layer. I especially love the pink stripes... I will have fun with that.

I would have spent a lot more if not for the fact that I HATE ONLINE SHOPPING FOR CLOTHES! I love the convenience, and I will buy almost anything else online, but clothes I can't do. I'm picky about fit, color, fabric, feel, look. I need to TRY STUFF ON! Love Piperlime, but I will never shop it because I need to try shoes on. The only reason I bought the tops above are I already have them, so I know the sizing is going to work. Pants, forget it. Wasn't even going to risk having to return them.

The only thing I might buy online are a pair similiar to this from indiDenim...

... which is another fav site of mine. You can custom build your own jeans! Hence the reason I'd buy online, no need to try on, they are made to fit! And, with the price tag of $155... pricey for me to buy jeans, but no pricer than any True Religion or Seven for All Mankind pair that are not tailor-made. I'm thinking about it...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

New Scattergory: Shopping List!

Thank you, Jo, at A Cup of Jo, for this revelation. I always find shopping Web sites or items that I want... someday when I can afford them or really really need them... and then, I forget about them. So, I'm going to start blogging them as my Shopping List.

Jo's giveaway today is for a Moop bag, so I went to the site, picked out my bag, and commented as I should. But, wait! I love these bags! This is my choice for the giveaway, I think...

To Me Freedom Is...

Freedom is having my own place where I don't have to make the bed, I can eat
breakfast for dinner and ice cream for breakfast, take steamy hot showers, watch
what I want on TV, and put my feet on the coffee table. Freedom is those rare
moments when I truly don't care what anyone thinks of me. Freedom is wearing
flip-flops in the snow. Freedom is walking the dog in my PJs. Freedom is going
to a country music concert and listening to Jay-Z on the ride home. Freedom is
writing, reading, saying whatever I want, whatever I feel, whatever I need.

~ My comment on Sarah's Freedom=? post

HAPPY Wednesday!

Inspired by Rockstar Diaries, here are 10 (Summer) Things That Make Me Happy...

  1. Adorable children just being children
  2. A nice cup of tea after a long day (or before)
  3. Laying in savasana after a good Yoga practice
  4. Afternoon thunderstorms
  5. An inspired martini
  6. Cute sundresses and skirts
  7. New sandals
  8. Feeling warm sand below my feet
  9. Listening to the ocean waves
  10. Long walks at dusk

Monday, August 17, 2009

Great-Full Monday

Sorry this is so late everyone! Blogger wouldn't let me post!

This speaks to me today, as I know all I have to (can) do is trust that everything will work out and be fine.

The three things I am grateful for this Monday are...

Michelle @ Oh, Mishka for her Monday encouragement post.

An invite to my BFF's tonight for dinner and a dip in the hot tub.

LOVE!!! From my fam, from my friends, from my boyfriend, even from my boss!
It holds me and supports me.

What are you grateful for this beautiful Monday?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Tom Brady in Details

I absolutely heart this quote from Tom Brady in Details Magazine. He is not only gorgeous and sexy, but a great person as well with a good perspective.

Life is not living in the suburbs with a white picket fence. That's not life. Somehow our American culture has made it out that that's what life need to be -- and that if it's not that, it's all screwed up. It's not. You go through life and you try the best you can.
-- Tom Brady on having John outside of marriage

What did you do this weekend?

S. Caribbean cruise... somewhere in the middle of the ocean off St. Lucia

Hello friends, I am sorry I missed posting this weekend's Top 5 on Friday. I had quite the busy day at work, then it was straight to Mom and Dad's for dinner until late.

Saturday, it was up early to run errands before heading to Gillette Stadium for the Sun City Carnival country music tour with my fav, Kenny Chesney. It was unbelievable tailgating and seeing such great country artists live. My other fav of the night would have to be Sugarland -- they were so energetic and fun! I definitely would like to go back next year.

Thank you to my lovely boyfriend for getting the tickets for my birthday and for coming along and putting up with my cowgirl side! <3

On to the weekend's Top 5 (in case you were looking for something to do today or have Monday off). The last four are taken from Real Simple's Sharon Tanenbaum.

By kmstathis on Photobucket

This is my personal contribution: run through the sprinkler! This is all I wanted to do in the parking lot at the concert yesterday. It was so hot! So, return to your childhood, throw on a polka-dot two-piece with ruffles, and set yourself loose!

XL Recordings

I have not heard of this guy, but after reading about Sharon's review of him, I'm interested in checking him out. She describes his songs as "musing lyrics coupled with cheery tunes," making this album "perfect for the waning days of summer."

Image from AllPosters.com

So many of my blog friends have been blogging about this movie. I think it looks amusing and cute, but I might wait for Netflix on this one. Since my movie-going days have diminished, I prioritize what I want to see in the theater based on visual, audio and crowd impact. For instance, Harry Potter took priority over The Ugly Truth since the visual and sound effects for Harry Potter were best experienced in a theater. Although, our new "theater" in the basement might come close.

Sidetracked: This movie reminds me of my own quest to become a master chef. LOL... Like that will ever happen, but I'm going to try! I'm still afraid of raw chicken!

Image by William Morrow

I'm intrigued just by the title of this book, the sequal to Healey's The Canterbury Papers. These novels star Alais Capet, a 13th-century French princess a la Nancy Drew style. Of course, first, I am going to have to read the first book.

Ok, I admit, I have not seen a single episode of the hit TV series Mad Men, which is also very popular among my blogging friends. My good reason for that is I did not previously have cable, so no AMC. In fact, I'm not sure I even get AMC now, but I might Netflix previous seasons on DVD just to see what all the hype is about. Anyway, you fans will recognize this scene from last season, and no doubt are very much looking forward to the start of this season.

Well, since the end of the weekend is drawing near, feel free to comment with what you did this weekend. I would love to hear about your fun adventures!


Friday, August 14, 2009

7 Things About Me, Per Oofa

Me and Morris

After several dozen posts, I guess it is time for you to get to know me better. I've gotten to know a lot of you through your personal posts, and I figure I should reciprocate.
Brooke at Oofa Luffa Le posted a 7 Things About Me post a couple weeks ago and asked that her readers do the same. So, here are 7 Things About Nifer...
Degas' Little Dancer
I have been dancing since the age of three. Mom, trying to get her outdoor-and-dirty-aversed daughter into hobbies, signed me up for ballet and tab lessons at a local VFW hall. She had no idea that she was signing herself up for 15 more years of ballet slippers and tutus, tap shoes and fringe skirts, bobby pins and blue eyeshadow. Over the years, it wasn't just ballet and tap, there was jazz, acrobatics, lyrical, pointe, dance company, competitions, workshops, some ballroom... and a complete obsession. I gave up dance lessons to go to college, but I could never give up dance. I always loved school dances, and when I went to college (where we didn't have many school dances), I danced down the street to class. I danced in my dorm room. I danced in the shower. I danced down the halls. And, when I got an apartment, I danced on the coffee table. Then I was introduced to clubs, and all hell broke loose. I was a dancing machine... 4 hours on the dance floor without pause. Now, I take a dance class here and there, and I still dance on the occasional coffee table...

By moonjazz on Flickr
As you got above, I was an indoor child. I didn't like to go outside. I hated bugs (still do), and I didn't like to get dirty (still really don't). So, summer vacations meant completing my school summer reading list by my birthday in the end of June and then reading that list over in books I chose. College quelched my love of reading for a bit just because I didn't have time to read for recreation when I had 80 pages of reading for each class a night. Now that I am no longer required to read, I read everything I can get my hands on again. One of the best gifts I ever received was a book for my book list. Yes, my dear friend Superstar bought me a book with three sections: books to read, favorite books and passages, and books lent/borrowed. I love it, and I might have to get another one because it is quickly filling up with books I want to read! I'm also addicted to magazines, blogs (obviously), newspapers online (although I still prefer ink-on-my-fingers print), even the sides of cereal boxes.
It's unhealthy really, I'll do something over and over and over again until it's just perfect to me. Jed actually found me crying on the kitchen floor two weeks ago because I had just cleaned the entire house but found some stray dog hairs on the bottom of my foot as I was rinsing out the mop. I know, folks, it's not that serious, and I do try to tell myself that. I could always tell when my mother cleaned my room because she wouldn't place items back on my dresser in their EXACT spots. I would come home, realize this, thank my lucky stars I had a mother who still cleaned my room when I was 23, and rearrange everything back into their homes. Which segues into the next thing about me...

Surveying the San Diego coastline

Since everything around me has to be perfect, I am exceptionally good at noting what isn't. I went to a family friend's dance recitals every spring when I was younger, and I would critique every performance under my breath, earning stern reproach from my mother not to say anything to above-mentioned friend when she came out. In college, as a journalism major, I pondered becoming a film, dance or food critic. Occasionally you may see critiques in this blog, although I have done much yet (maybe with the exception of my debate posts). I judge people's fashion sense, their hair, their houses, their cars. I don't view myself as superficial... it's just a hobby.
Holding nutmeg in Grenada

In the past few years, I have made it a hobby to eat good food and try new restaurants. Now that I have a house, however, the budget has shrunk a bit for culinary experimenting, so I experiment at home, in my beautiful new kitchen. I never cooked. My parents always tried to encourage me to make dinner or help them around the kitchen, I quickly refused and turned back to my book. Now, I kinda wish I let Chef Dad show me the basics. I'm doing ok though. I quickly learned that you can't let oil get too hot on the stove and that my burners are extremely sensitive. I learned the wonders of having a convection oven and how to chop and slice vegetables. I'm becoming less scared of raw meat and more open to broadening the spice cabinet. I'm an avid fan of Hell's Kitchen and Todd English. I watch cooking shows, read cooking and food articles online, and collect recipes I want to try (anyone know of a cute book for collecting recipes?). I'm not where I want to be yet, but I'm on the path.
Gearing up!

Last year I found an around-the-world cruise via Princess Cruises, and if I had a year and $30k to burn, I would have been on the ship in January when it set sail for the worldwide seas. I absolutely adore cruising; I think it is the best way to introduce yourself to places you may or may not want to return to, and to truly relax on a vacation. It is also an economical way to travel as your accomodations, transport and food are all rolled into one package price. I'm not opposed to more traditional means of travel, of course, once I commit to a destination. I also love PLANNING my vacations. As soon as a trip is booked, I'm on Frommers.com looking up the destination, possible itineraries, best tips, tours and attractions. I carefully plot out our days to make sure we take advantage of every location we visit and every dollar we spend. Top on my list: cruising the Panama Canal, Italy and/or cruising the Mediterranean, and Hawaii (which is reserved for the honeymoon).
"dal basso" by Lorena on Flickr
No, I'm long out of school, but I strive to continue learning each and every day. I love meeting new people who have a different perspective to show me or a new skill to teach me. I try to always have a mentor. Life is so amazing and complex, a person simply cannot absorb it without the help of others. I used to keep a record of what I learned each day (stemmed from a requirement for my high school psych class), and you might still see that occasionally here. I think that's why I love to read, dance, travel and cook. It is the reason I read so many blogs. I see a whole new side of the world through each of those endeavors, something I would have missed if I weren't so open to learning.

I hope you enjoyed this post and that it inspires you to post seven amazing things about you! Please comment with the link if you do, so that I can visit!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

46 Hours and Counting

Ok, so I'm just a little bit country, but I am so excited!!! On Saturday, when the sun goes down, I'll be groovin' with...

Kenny Chesney
I need a hat just like Kenny's...


Lady Antebellum