31 May 2011

i'll take it

I always have such good intentions of taking vitamins. In fact, I have an entire shelf full of them. I guess it's just never been a habit. Although, I don't love swallowing pills. This is a recent-ish development. And doesn't apply to ibuprofen or melatonin. I actually think it started when two pills stuck together in the back of my throat, and I thought it was the end of it. Then it happened again. I'm not sure what my deal is, but I've come to hate swallowing pills. (And if I have to take more than one with a gel coating, they go down in separate gulps).

At Target last week, I happened upon gummy vitamins. (I don't doubt that I'm way behind the curve on this one.) I decided to give them a try. Let me tell you...these are yummy! I take two every morning. No, I'm not with child. The fountain of all knowledge, Kelly Rippa, once remarked that women should take prenatal vitamins all the time. And who doesn't listen to the advice of Kelly Rippa?!

My only problem is that these don't have calcium. Although I'm a milk-drinker, I don't think it hurts to boost the calcium intake. In the spirit of taking supplements that don't require swallowing a horse pill, I decided to go with Viactiv. A little chocolate treat that delivers calcium? I'll take it! I plan to pack two of these in my lunch everyday to eat as dessert.

Another great intention is drinking water. I'm not really a fan of water. Coffee with cream, tea sweetened with stevia, and Diet Coke? Yes, please. Plain old water. I'll pass. But I know it's good for the body, so I've resolved to drink 24 ounces before I have a cup of coffee. It's great motivation to get to the coffee!

If only a workout came in a handy, tasty treat form!

29 May 2011

about owning a home

Ten days ago, we moved into our new house. As much as we love our home, the ownership part is exhausting. I confess that I would have been fine renting forever. Garbage disposal won't work? Call the landlord. Air conditioner goes out? Call the landlord. Lawn needs to be mowed? The mowing company the landlord hired will be by once a week. But now? It's just us. Working hard to figure out how to fix the disposal, refrain from jumping all over the air conditioner repairman (sent by our home warranty company) after he insults us, and weed flower beds.

Here are a few things I've learned over the past ten days:

1. I am overly ambitious when it comes to projects. Rewind to a month before we moved. (We owned the home for 30 days before moving.) In those thirty days, we painted 9 of 12 rooms. Although it's much easier to paint without furniture in the room, I think just painting the common areas would have been enough.

2. I tend to underestimate how long a project will take. Surely weeding all of the flower beds (that surround our entire house) and a bit of the yard will only take a couple of hours with both of us working! Fail. It took five hours. All we did was weed.

3. The greatest joy has been sprinkling fire ant killer. I'd sprinkle, and then watch those suckers take the bits of poison off for a meal. Little do they know! I HATE fire ants. It might sound a tad harsh, but I do hope it's  a painful death.

4. I'm not sure which is worse: packing or unpacking. At least we have an extra bedroom that houses dozens of boxes.

5. Cereal makes for a great dinner after hours in the yard. It's pretty much all we have the energy to eat!

6. We have the best neighbors! One set (who is moving soon) brought us homemade brownies the day after we moved in. Which was slightly dangerous for me since I tend to consume large and unhealthy amounts of chocolate when I'm stressed. The others are just precious. They offer advice for the yard. (You should see theirs!) Yesterday, they dropped off a housewarming gift of landscaping lights with an offer to help us install them. So, so sweet!

7. The house we moved from (where I lived for four years) didn't have a bathtub. Now that I have one, I can't get enough! And it's so big that I can almost stretch out completely in it. Ha!

Husby and I are both off tomorrow. I plan to organize our bathroom and my closet. (Yes, we have seperate sinks and closets. And I couldn't be more excited.) We're also going to a movie. Hopefully we'll get some rest beforehand. We're both so exhausted, it's possible that we could dose off!

09 May 2011

50 Things...

A few years ago, I posted some of this on facebook. Now, I've expanded the list. Fun times!

1. I'm glad I was never offered drugs as a teenager. I give into peer pressure pretty easily.

2. I was the first girl in 50 years born to my dad's side of the family.

3. I used to think it is rather unfortunate that my birthstone is a diamond. That's just crazy.

4. Although I am very fond of diamonds, I love pearls. They're so feminine. I have so many pearl earrings, and I have to talk myself out of buying more.

5. I don't mind that it took 5 1/2 years to complete my bachelor's degree. Not only did I spend 1 1/2 years taking only music courses and then change my major, I spent every summer in college with babies in a Romanian orphanage. My life is forever changed by those summers. I learned what summer sessions could never teach.

6. The friends I made in Romania 2001 are some of the most important people in my life. I love, love, love them. God knew what he was doing when he put 12 Type-A personalities together. It worked beautifully.

7. I love to plan parties. Big parties. Dinner parties. Birthday parties for two. Surprise parties. Wedding showers. Baby showers. I love them all!

8. I wish I were more confident about my artistic abilities. One day, I hope to have an income from things I create.

9. I love to decorate cakes. (Mom, this is not an offer to work on the weekends.)

10. I have knack for arranging books & stuff on bookshelves. Ask me to hang a picture, and it's sure to be off-centered and crooked with 14 nail holes behind it.

11. I love living in an old house. It's has the charm & character I knew it would. It also has cold floors in the winter and stuffy rooms in the summer. Maybe one day, I'll have a new house that looks old. For now, we're happy with our new house that is relatively new!

12. My favorite color is either red or green, depending on the day. Sometimes, it's both.

13. I love cities. San Francisco and Chicago are probably my favorites. In that order.

14. I finally figured out how my dog, Crickett, got her name. In the movie Little Women (the Winona Ryder version), Marmi refers to Beth as "Cricket." I added the second "t" on the end. I like it that way.

15. I love to make lists! It gives me such a feeling of accomplishment to check something off.

16. I hate the process of doing things to achieve a result, which is probably something I should work out with a therapist. Ha! I love a clean house, but hate cleaning house. I despise the getting ready process--both in the morning and at night. Showers? Ugh. Brushing my teeth? Do I have to? (Yes. Yes, I do.)

17. I work hard not to have an East Texan accent. Most of the time, I'm successful at it.

18. My mom owns a bakery, but I do not enjoying baking. I don't have the patience for it. It requires precision and attention that I'm not willing to give.

19. I judge books by their cover. Yep, if I like the cover, I read it. I've only been let down a couple of times.
20. I spray painted my dresser black because the paint the sales guy told me to buy wouldn't "stick." Four cans of spray paint later, I had a black dresser. Six months later, feeling returned to the tip of my pointer finger. (Seriously, I thought that I damaged the nerves so badly that I'd never be able to feel the top of my finger again.)

21. I still get carsick. My brothers don't believe me, but I do. They think it's a 31 year plot to always get the front seat. Silly boys, I'm the oldest, the only girl and the favorite child, I'd totally get the front based on those things alone.

22. I love magazines! I'm perfectly content reading magazines for hours at Barnes & Noble. I only have subscriptions to two, Real Simple & Country Living, but I read them repeatedly each month. I just donated about 250 magazines to two different charities. Hoarding much?

23. I love Hobby Lobby & Target more than the ordinary person. Hobby Lobby is like a worship experience. Seriously. The one in Tyler is huge, and they play instrumental worship music. I can be in the worst mode when I go in, but one trip around the store, looking at all of the 50% off merchandise can brighten my day. I don't even have to buy anything.

24. When I'm cooking at home with no one else in the house, I sometimes pretend to have my own cooking show. I look at the "camera" and explain step-by-step how to make something. I even have commercial breaks. :)

25. When I was 8 years old, my brother was fishing. I needed to walk behind him to the other side of the pier. I said, "Paul, don't cast. Let me walk behind you." Of course, he decided it was the perfect time to cast. The nasty fishhook caught my eyelid. I don't really remember what happened next. It didn't require stitches, though.

26. Both of our pets have middle names: Crickett Marie and Persephone Jane.

27. Sometimes I like a tuna fish sandwich for breakfast. And I'm not prego.

28. I like for the covers on my bed to be a certain weight. I like to feel that the bed is hugging me.

29. Many perfume/candle/spray scents make me nauseous. When I was in high school, I got sick almost every morning after taking a shower. We finally determined it was the Honeysuckle scented products from Bath and Body Works. I stopped using them, and I stopped getting sick. To make certain I avoid this, I stick to food flavored scents and powder scents. The perfumes I wear are Burberry Brit and Donna Karen  Cashmere Mist.

30. I also cannot stand the smell of shoe stores. I get sick if I'm in them too long. Sometimes clothing stores have the same effect.

31. I'm a coffee snob. I do not like Starbucks; they over-roast (burn) their beans. Yuck. I'm a huge fan of Distant Lands Coffee, which is roasted locally and also supplies beans to McDonald's. If you haven't had McDonald's coffee, you should try it.

32. I love to snuggle in a blanket, even in the middle of summer.

33. I love ice cream in the winter. I probably crave it more then than I do during the summer.

34. I had my tonsils out when I was 18 and had no problems. Seriously, I didn't take a single pain pill and was talking as soon as I was out of anesthesia. Not so with my wisdom teeth removal last October. Worst pain I've ever had. (And I had a friends mom tell me her experience was worse than childbirth. Here's hoping!)

35. I super love Bethenny Ever After. I like to pretend that we'd be friends in real life. Maybe eventually BFF.

36. We also huge Top Chef junkies. On our honeymoon, we ate at two restaurants owned by the top three finalists of Top Chef Masters. While en route to Fleur de Lis in San Francisco, I commented that if I met any chef of those three, I'd want to meet Huber Keller. As we were waiting to be seated, Chef Keller walked through the front door of his restaurant. I was speechless. He was so kind and gracious.

37. I have a goal to attend the Aspen Food and Wine Festival.

38. I laugh at my own jokes. Sometimes before I finish telling them. That means I'm funny, right?

39. I don't like Chick Lit. The phrase or the genre of books.

40. While we were in Czech Republic, I really enjoyed the beer.

41. While we were in Austria, I really enjoyed the homemade sausages. Amazing.

42. We're love TV...too much. Regularly recorded on our DVR: Bethenny Ever After, Top Chef, Castle, Modern Family, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, Cougar Town, Body of Proof, White Collar, Burn Notice, Psych and a couple of other shows that Husby enjoys.

43. I love to wear black.

44. I cook using recipes. Sometimes this stresses me out if I can't find a recipe for something I'd like to make. Although I can create food without a recipe, I prefer to use it as a guide.

45. I'm a planner. I like to have a plan in advance for meals, trips, weekends, going to buy groceries. You name it. I'll plan it.

46. I listen to NPR.

47. I sometimes have to act quickly when a decision must be made. I mull things over way too long, in hopes that I won't regret the decision. This could be healthy for some things, but not all. When I decided on paint colors for our new house, I was at the store getting them mixed before I could change my mind. Now, I love them!

48. I think about Christmas pretty much all year. Already, I've begun a list in my head of gift possibilities.

49. Where I used to love warm colors in a house, I've turned the corner and love cool colors. Strange.

50. I love working at a school. My brain has always thought in semesters: August-December, January-May, summer.

07 May 2011

Senses in the Spring

My favorite sound of spring: baseball.
I love baseball, especially the sound of the ball hitting a bat.
I also love the sound of a crowd at a baseball game--either little league or professional.

My favorite taste of spring: in-season asparagus.
I love pencil-thin asparagus, roasted with a little lemon, salt and pepper.

My favorite smell of spring: wisteria.
Our neighborhood is full of spring flowers, including wisteria.
To me, walking beneath wisteria smells like grapes.
Perhaps it's psychological, but even Husby agreed after smelling it before seeing it.

My favorite feel of spring: warm sun on my skin.
I love being outside in the spring; the sun is perfect.

My favorite sight: flowering trees.
I love Redbud trees, Dogwood trees and Bradford pear trees.
All of which are in our new backyard.

03 May 2011

Etsy Love

I've ordered several things from Etsy. I love handmade, non-commercial art. I love having things that few others have. Here are a few of my favorites on Etsy now. There's no time like needing to decorate a new house to buy a few prints, right?!

02 May 2011

Weekend Update

I wish I had an exciting story to tell about our weekend adventures, but I don't. On Friday, Husby and I drove to Northwest Arkansas to visit for his grandfather's 90th birthday. One of us visited; the other stayed in the hotel room in an attempt not to infect others with a sore throat-fever-achy illness. Instead of visiting with his aunt, uncle and cousin that had flown in from AUSTRALIA and his nonagenarian grandfather, I slept, watched movies and read. It sounds like a great way to spend a weekend, and it probably would have been if not for the retaliation of my body.

Illness always seems to strike at my busiest times. Remember in October when I had my wisdom teeth removed, then had four dry sockets AND a stomach virus? Yeah, that was at my busiest time in the fall. Now, I can barely speak, and I woke up with a migraine that turned into an ocular migraine with a fun blind spot in the center of my vision for about 45 minutes this morning. Fun times! It happens to be in the middle of my busiest time during the spring. From April 20-May 15, I prepared for less sleep and more stress. I guess that my body doesn't like that combo, thus the revenge. Perhaps I should file this away: get rest, eat well and have balance or my body will come up with it's own way for doing this.

During my time at the hotel, I read some of Cutting for Stone.
It's been on the best seller lists for a while, but I just can't get into it. I'm hopeful that it will pick up, by I'm about 1/3 through the book, and I'm not loving it.

I also watched plenty of television, including Extreme Couponing. I'm not sure I totally understand the concept of buying 67 bottles of mustard just because it's 30 cents, especially when no one in the family really loves mustard. And don't 200 bags of chips go stale before eating them? I'm all for a bargain, and I'm known to love a good deal, but I can't see the benefit in buying in this much excess. I clip coupons periodically and love knowing when I save $7, but spending 6 hours to prep for a grocery trip isn't a good use of my time.

I was also able to watch a one hour review of the royal wedding. I loved every minute of it and tonight I'm watching the whole thing. (Husby doesn't know this, but I think I can play the sick card and win!) I'm just a tad obsessed with this royalty! I loved her dress (of course), her simple bouquet, her smile and the love she shows her husband. Here are some of my favorite pictures from the wedding.
Seriously, these Middleton girls have great figures. I haven't seen a bad picture of Pippa in that dress!

I love that Harry turned to look at Kate before William was able to see her.

I loved their vows.

This picture makes them seem very normal. I love the smile on her face and the smirk on his.

Such poise and grace. What a beautiful princess!

Of course, the pictures of the kiss are fun, but I love that she
took the time out of her first day as a princess to talk to this sweet little girl!