Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I need help with cleaning

photo courtesy of thisislavergne.files.wordpress.com
Who doesn't? I'd love to have a cleaning lady, but to be honest...that's just not in the cards for me right now. And probably never will be.
So, here is my question for you lovely ladies: do you have a cleaning schedule? Like, bathrooms on Mondays, vacuum on Tuesdays, laundry on Wednesdays, etc.? I never know what to do, when. And then all of a sudden, I need to do everything all at once...and that's a bit daunting to me.
Can you help? What works for you? I need to get on a regular cleaning/laundry/sheet-and-towel-changing schedule and I'd love some guidance from those of you who are perhaps more domestically-abled than I.

I would appreciate any insight you can provide! Thanks, lovelies!


Never one to give up on a book (that's a lie - I've been reading 1776 for 3 years...), I sat down last night to give American Wife another shot. Three hours later, I had flown through 300 juicy pages. People, this book is not boring!!! I am totally loving it. I did not expect it to be so...graphic?! It reads like a part-memoir, part-politico novel, part-Harlequin romance. And I am totally loving it!
For those of you unfamiliar with the book, it is by Curtis Sittenfeld (who also wrote Prep, which you should run out and buy immediately because it is amazing) and is apparently loosely based on the life of Laura Bush. I don't want to give anything away, so I won't bring up any major details. But let's just say that there are some parts of her life that surprised me - upon checking with Mr. Smith (who knows a bit about the Bush family), I have learned that so far, they are mostly all true.

Did you know that I've seen Laura Bush in the flesh twice? When I worked at George Washington University Hospital in DC, she walked right by me. On two different occasions! I may not always have agreed with her husband's politics, but I think that she did a lot of good. She spent time at our hospital promoting women's cardiac health and, well, who can argue with that?

Anyway! A few of you also inquired about the bloggy book club I'm reading this for. First of all, I must say that I am jumping the gun. The book club is currently reading a different book - but I have already read that book, so I skipped ahead to the second book. :) Please click here to join La Belle Vie Bookclub!

Monday, March 30, 2009

And also...

Imagine my surprise when I went outside this morning and discovered that my car was covered in frost...? And that I had to get out my scraper even though it was in the 60s just a few days ago? And it's supposed to be in the 60s today? And I then had to sit in my car for several more minutes as the car warmed up, and all the other frost melted, because I was too lazy to scrape the whole damn car off???

Is it summer yet???

Monday Funday

This title is clearly a lie, because Mondays are never fun. Are they?

I did something to my back yesterday or Saturday overnight...because it is excruciatingly painful every time I move. Mr. Smith had the fabulous idea to sit in bed with the heating pad last night and read, which felt amazing. And I slept wonderfully. And this morning, woke up to the same damn pain. I'm trying to avoid a trip to the chiropractor (I'm tired of paying $20 copays!), so I'm going to give it another day. Fingers crossed.

Last night, I started reading American Wife. I keep hearing good things about this book...but so far, I have found it pretty boring. I only made it through about 10 or so pages before setting it down in favor of this week's issue of Time. Have you read American Wife? Does it get more interesting? Book reviews appreciated.

Update: just spoke to Lisa, who coincidentally also started reading American Wife this weekend (possibly because we're in the same bloggy book club). And also stopped after 10 pages because she thought it was boring. Hmmmm.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Gym nastiness

Mr. Smith and I run at our apartment gym on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (we've been running on the treadmill 100% because the weather has been kind of unpredictable lately!). The last few times we've been in there, there has been a very, very sweaty person (male) using one of the treadmills.

Let me paint you a picture of what our apartment "gym" is like: It is a tiny, tiny room. There are three treadmills, side by side. There is one TV on the wall. There is one remote control.

Mr. Smith and I have both made the mistake of picking up the remote after the sweaty person had left the gym. This experience has scarred me for life. That remote control...was so slick and greasy that I'm surprised it didn't fly out of my grasp, break through the window, and sail across the parking lot. Seriously. I think I threw up a little in my mouth when it happened to me. Which was Wednesday, by the way. I then proceeded to completely spray down the entire treadmill, remote, and half of the whole freaking room. And scrub my hands with bleach. Okay, not really. But you get the point.

Said sweaty guy always watches the stupidest shit on TV. When it's just the two of us, we like to watch MSNBC. Okay, wait, that was a lie. If I'm alone, I like to watch anything on Bravo. When it's the two of us, "we" like to watch MSNBC while I listen to my iPod. What can I say? MSNBC just isn't a big motivator for me.

Anyway, back to Sweaty Guy (SG from here on out). On Wednesday, SG was watching some stupid show on MTV (yes, yes, I know, I watch the Hills, but this was so much worse, trust me). It was so stupid that it necessitated me picking up the remote to change it when he was done, prompting the above incident.

Today, he was watching a special on cavemen on the History channel. Also, not something I find super motivating. The best part? The subtitles that described the music. He was clearly pretty into the show, but when it said "*exotic flute and percussive music*" I busted out laughing. How could I not?

After dripping sweat EVERYWHERE, SG got off the treadmill and started walking out the door. That's when Mr. Smith yelled at him. "HEY. CAN YOU CLEAN OFF YOUR STUFF? YEAH. THANKS." SG looked a bit surprised and shellshocked...and then proceeded to spray one spray of special gym cleaner on a paper towel and half-heartedly pat down the treadmill. Not the remote, of course.

We turned the TV off manually when we were done.

Grossness, part two

photo courtesy of www.posh24.com

I wasn't planning on ever talking about Paris and Doug again, but...now I am reading that they are talking about HAVING BABIES. Ew, ew, ew.

According to Perez Hilton, Doug said "I'd love to have some mini Parises one day."

Doug, if you're reading this...I'm pretty sure that the LAST thing the world needs is more Paris Hiltons. I'm just saying.

Friday quick post

Hello friends!

This is just a quickie because, sadly, I have a TON of work to do today. A gazillion kids to see.

But here is the pertinent info: I had my orientation for Big Brothers Big Sisters last night - it was great fun! On my way out, one of the caseworkers told me that my file is complete, and I should be receiving a match within a week or so! To say that I'm excited would be an understatement. I'll be sure to keep you posted!

The governor's luncheon yesterday was lovely. My coworkers and I actually got a few moments to speak with him about the work that we do - and the struggle we have to try and decrease the high school dropout rate. I am not necessarily a fan of the governor or his politics, but it was a great opportunity all the same. Plus...I looked fab, clearly. :)

Gotta go get some files in order...ciao! Happy Friday!!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Love this!

Saw this today on Design for Mankind...and yesterday, not sure what blog (probably Design*Sponge). How many times have we looked at a piece of art and thought (or said out loud)...I could do that???!!!!

But guess what? We didn't. And I'm loving this piece of artwork - called New Math by Craig Damrauer. Some other favorites:

All photos courtesy of www.morenewmath.com.

Too funny not to repost

Good morning lovelies! Happy Thursday! It's almost the weekend!!! Does anyone have any fun weekend plans? I, for one, will be attending Mr. Smith's grandmother's 90th birthday party. And that's about it!

I have recently introduced Mr. Smith into the blogland. I taught him how to use Google Reader, how to star things, and all sorts of other fun stuff. Now...he is knee-deep in posts and appears to be as addicted to Reader as I am! He showed me this post from the Freakonomics blog that was just TOO FUNNY not to repost. You can read the whole post here - it is a very brief blurb about some crazy Japanese products that are currently on the market. This is clearly my favorite:

Okay...part of me is completely creeped out by this. The other part...thinks I'd probably love it. Is that not the funniest thing you've ever seen??

*photo courtesy of Freakonomics*

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wednesday randoms

Oops...I decided to wear my hair curly today, which I haven't done in PUBLIC since I cut off all my hair. In the privacy of my own home, I started thinking it looked cute. So I left the house today without drying my hair. It was pouring rain. I now think it looks like a frizzy pile of crap on my head. Good thing it's a paperwork day. OH WAIT...I have an advisory committee meeting. Damn it.

After following John Mayer on Twitter for the last 12 hours or so...I reverse yesterday's viewpoint and now completely see why Jennifer Aniston cut things off. He is crazy, and he really does seem to be on Twitter ALL. THE. TIME.

Tomorrow night I have my orientation for Big Brothers Big Sisters. I'm so excited! I got word from the office yesterday that my background checks/reference checks are complete, and my case will now be transferred to a case worker who will start the matching process!!!! I'm super excited - I can't wait to get my Little!

Tomorrow during the day, I get to go to the Governor's Luncheon here in Bloomington and meet the governor of Indiana. I have a super duper outfit planned - almost all new clothes, of course! From the J.Crew outlet, I got the perfect navy pencil skirt with a couple of gorgeous navy and gold buttons on it. I will wear a crisp new white button down tucked in, some gold earrings, and my yellow Kate Spade pumps. That seems...governor-like enough, right?

Oops again...just noticed that the manicure I got last Thursday now looks like shit. I've been trying to drag it out as long as possible...but I may have to get rid of it tonight. Sigh.

Remember how good I was, before spring break, about getting up early and working out? Well, that time has passed, ladies, and I don't know how to get it back. I could barely get out of bed this morning - after sleeping more than 7 hours! It took enough effort just to drag myself into the shower, let alone attempt any Jillian Michaels. My plan has been to do Jillian in the morning Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, since Mr. Smith and I run MWF. But...I can't wake up. Yesterday morning...I felt so crappy, tired, and just generally blech that I slept in an extra hour. Any advice for how to, you know, get my groove back?

Okay, time to run and work on this blasted work spreadsheet. Send me some love. Happy hump day!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I keep hearing on the gossip blogs today that Jennifer Aniston and John Mayer reportedly broke up because he was on Twitter too much.

I'm sorry, but...this sounds absolutely ridiculous.

That being said...I'm off to Twitter, to start following John Mayer.

Bad run!

Well...I had a royally crappy run yesterday afternoon. I felt terrible...but I did my two miles. And the second I stepped off the treadmill, I got a massive migraine. And then I threw up. And then my migraine continued for several hours.

And...well, that was pretty much my entire evening. I'm pretty bummed out about my run, but...I read enough other runners' blogs to know that a crappy run isn't that atypical.

But I wonder why? Why are some runs great, and feel incredible...and others are the exact opposite? This is my first bad run and I'm just interested in why that happens. I didn't even feel good afterwards - like I had just completed a great workout.

Thoughts? Advice? Opinions?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Last post for the day...I promise

OMG! I just saw here that they are making a movie of Where the Wild Things Are. Is anyone as excited about this as I am? This was one of my favorite childhood books - and these stills from the movie look fab!


Well, I have finally made it through my Google Reader. I now officially have ZERO unread posts! I am sooo super impressed with myself. And...I read almost everything! Well, okay, I skimmed. I read my faves (i.e. any of you who are reading this...I likely read your blog!)...and deleted Perez and some other stuff.

So! I discovered that I have received two bloggie awards! I'm so excited! Meagan from The Life of Me awarded me with the Cute Blogger Award!

Sooo...to accurately follow the rules for this award, I have to list ten not-so-cute things about myself. Hmm. Perhaps I should let my husband write this post? Ha! Instead, I'll list 10 not-so-cute things I imagine he'd say about me:

1. I can never get comfortable - especially while sitting on the couch watching a movie. I move around and change positions constantly. This annoys both of us...but...I JUST CAN'T GET COMFY!

2. I giggle incessently when it's bedtime. I'm not sure if he thinks this is cute or not...but he definitely thinks it's a little weird. Say something not even remotely funny...and I die from hysterics. It's weird, I have to admit.

3. I'm messy. I leave my shoes all over the apartment. Periodically, I come home to find that they have all been placed in a pile in the bedroom. I wish I could put all my things away...but...I seem to be completely physically unable to do so.

4. I hate wearing bras. And...well...yeah. Usually undies too. As soon as I get home from work, I strip down and put on my pjs...no bra/panties. I feel awkward telling you this...but, what can I say. It's the truth.

5. I'm obsessed with pulling and poking at my belly fat. I keep thinking that one day, I'll just wake up and be super-skinny. When does this happen??? Anyone know?

6. I don't listen to voicemails. If you call me, don't bother leaving a message. Because I won't listen to it. Of course, if you call and DON'T leave a message, I won't call you back. So, leave a message. I guess. Or not. Your call, I suppose. I like to wait until I have 10 or 11 voicemails before I listen to them - it seems like I'm simplifying matters. You agree with me, right? Right???

7. I love my short hair, but desperately wish that I could still pull it back in a ponytail. Because then I could get away with not prettifying myself every. freaking. day. of. the. week.

8. I hate shaving my legs...it seems to take forever and it grows back so quickly. What's the point? Oh, right, I remember. Hairy legs = gross legs. I desperately wish that laser hair removal was cheaper.

9. I love to cook...but I hate doing the dishes. So, they'll likely sit there. Overnight. Which I hate, because I love having a clean kitchen. Oh well...you can't have it both ways, right?

10. I am totally, completely, 100% addicted to my Blackberry. LOVE IT.

Whew! That was hard. And embarrassing. Sigh. Oh well, get over it!

My next award is the Kreativ Blogger Award, which I received from my blog twin (and recent giveaway winner!) Jenn from Jeans Friday. Thanks, Jenn!

The rules for this bloggie award are MUCH simpler, thank goodness! I'm supposed to list seven things I love, and then pass this award on to seven bloggers. So! Here are seven things I absolutely love, adore, cherish, etc.:

1. Saying "my husband" seems cliche, so instead I'll say - date night with my husband. We don't have many going-out-to-eat date nights anymore, but when we do - I absolutely cherish them. And I will make pretty much ANYTHING a date night - a quick trip to Starbucks, a walk through the mall, etc. As long as we are going out and doing something together - I love it!

2. Walking my dog. Taking Oscar on a long walk is such a true, simple pleasure. There is just something about that human-animal bond that I find very real and very special. Sometimes, I really feel like he understand what I'm saying and feeling. Other times, he burps, farts, and licks his privates.

3. The perfect budget find. You know what I'm talking about, girls! When you find the perfect item at the perfect price. It just feels so good!

4. Being at the beach. I'm not a sun person - on the contrary, I burn the second I walk outside. But there is something about the ocean I find so calming. I'd love to live by water someday...

5. Starbucks. The perfect treat!

6. Sharpies. I LOVE extra fine point Sharpies, and have them in a variety of colors. They are the perfect writing utensil!

7. Kate Spade. This shouldn't surprise you! I love anything and everything Kate Spade. I own...shoes, paper products (thanks Lisa!), vases, china, sunglasses, toasting flutes, a small clutch...hmm. I think that's all. I can't wait to watch my collection grow!

WOW! Posting about these awards was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. So, now to pick some award recipients - I know that probably a lot of you have already received some of these awards. And that's okay! Here they are again, anyway!

I am sending both awards on to some fab bloggers I don't believe I've awarded before:

1. Casey at The Ever Changing Life of a Military Wife

2. Bianca at Isn't She Pretty in Pink

3. Taryn at The Colorado Desert

4. Jenny at Lucky in Love

5. Julie at Wearing Mascara



I just saw that Lauren Conrad's clothing line has come to a finish.

Hmmm. Now, you know that I love LC, but...I know I'm not the only one who was completely underwhelmed by her clothing line. In fact, I kind of thought it sucked...and was completely overpriced.

What's next...perhaps an album?

Some random thoughts as I get back into blogging

I think it's really sad about Natasha Richardson...really really sad. I know it's old news already, but...still. So sad.

I'm totally digging "Just Dance" by Lady GaGa. Why??? Why why why???????? It's just...so...catchy.

I'm having a hard time getting back into the work swing of things. Yes, I know I said I was totally ready to go back...but that all ended the moment my alarm went off this morning.

I'm excited to run 2 miles again this afternoon with Mr. Smith!!!!

I'd really love to go on a vacation somewhere warm.

I love my dog.

Well...I'm clearly reaching here, so I'll end this. Please tell me that someone else's life is interesting right now?

In other news...got some killer new clothes this past week at the Edinburgh outlets! Thanks, Mom! Can't wait to wear them. Now I'm just searching for the perfect spring coat/jacket. Any suggestions? My only stipulation is that I DO NOT want 3/4 length sleeves. I want full-length sleeves. Help?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I just can't wait any longer

I was planning on waiting to post the winner of my giveaway until tomorrow...but then I saw that Lisa posted HER winner tonight and, well...I just couldn't wait until tomorrow!!!

So, here is the deal. This giveaway is NOT just limited to the four items we listed in the initial post! The winner is getting so, SO much more than a few Midwest-themed sweet things. The winner will be receiving a box CHOCK FULL (is that how you spell "chock"???) of goodies! I'd go into some of the fun details, but...I'd rather they be a good surprise.

SO without any further ado, here are the nitty gritty details: I had 30 wonderful bloggers enter this giveaway with a total of 96 entries. Using the random number generator, I came up with #82.

Who is #82, you may ask?

IT'S JENN FROM JEANS FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MY BLOG TWIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am so super excited - Jenn has been a loyal reader/follower/commenter from the beginning, and I'm thrilled that she will be receiving this little (huge) goody box!

Jenn - drop me an email/comment/facebook message!

Thanks to all who entered my very first giveaway - and my very first joint giveaway at that! Lisa and I had so much fun putting this all together, and - for my brand-new readers out there, hello! I know I've been pretty absent this week, but I'm back now! Thanks for stopping by, and keep reading!

I'm back!

Hi everyone!  Oh my gosh, I missed you.  And I missed my Google Reader.  I haven't felt this disconnected in awhile!  I currently have 820 unread posts on my Reader.  I'd have way more...but I've been trying to catch up here and there on my Blackberry.  Whew!  

So, tell me - what's going on?  How are you?  Did I miss anything?  Did I win any great giveaways?  :)  One can only hope...

Speaking of giveaways, I have picked one for my half of the Best of the Midwest Giveaway!  I won't release the name until tomorrow, but I WILL tell you that I am THRILLED with the winner!  This particular bloggie friend is one of my most dedicated readers and commenters.  I can't wait to tell you who it is tomorrow!

In other news...my vacation has truly been fabulous.  I am even ready to go back to work tomorrow!  I think it will feel good to get back in the swing of things.  Anyone else ever feel like that?  

Mr. Smith and I are currently in the basement of the IU Library, using the internet.  Looking forward to getting back to my work computer!  

I hope that everyone has had a great week - I'll start reading and commenting again asap!

Missed you!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The last day

Have you entered my giveaway yet? What about Lisa's?

If not, you'd better hurry...it stops at noon tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Mid-vacation post

I know, I know. I'm not very good at taking a blog vacation. Because here I am, on Wednesday, with just a quick post. I just miss you guys! :)

I hope by now you've entered my giveaway...if not, CLICK HERE and enter immediately! You won't want to pass this one up...I wish that I could win! Seriously! I would gladly just keep all these goodies...but instead, I'm GIVING THEM AWAY. Can you believe it?

Anyway...my spring break has been fabulous so far! Lisa, her boyfriend Randy, and our friend Jeff came for the weekend and we had a great time. You can read a little about our weekend here. Plus you get to see a really, really fabulous photo of me.

Just kidding. It's a little scary, actually.

In other news, Mr. Smith and I have been running! We missed our Friday run due to our visitors, but rallied on Monday with a 1.5 mile run. Before Monday, I could never run more than a mile without stopping for a rest.

Well...are you ready for this big news? Guess what we did today? We ran TWO MILES! I cannot believe that I actually ran two whole miles without stopping. Yes, I wanted to die and was pretty sure that at one point, I'd pass out. But I didn't! And I have to admit that I'm really proud of myself. Now, I know I can do it! Yippee!

This post is pretty boring...because that's all I have to say. We're getting ready for my mom's visit - she's coming in tomorrow and will be staying until Sunday. The next time you hear from me...I'll be picking the WINNER for my GIVEAWAY!!!!!

Enter here!
Enter here!
Enter here!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Best. Giveaway. Ever.

Everyone ready for my VERY FIRST GIVEAWAY??? 

This is a JOINT GIVEAWAY with Lisa from Like A Valentine.  We have put together a "Best of the Midwest" gift basket showcasing some of our favorite tasty food items!  Lisa and I grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan.  We went to high school together in Ferndale, Michigan.  Then, we both attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  After graduation, Lisa moved to Chicago and, eventually, I ended up in Bloomington, Indiana.

We decided to put together this joint giveaway so that you can experience some of our favorite local midwestern things!  We have items from Michigan, Chicago, and Bloomington.  Here's what you'll get:

From Michigan:  A bottle of Sander's Milk Chocolate Hot Fudge from Mrs. Smith.  This is the best hot fudge I have ever tasted!  And Sanders is a Michigan owned and operated company.  

From Lisa, you will receive a magic brownie (no, not THAT kind of magic brownie!) from Zingerman's.  Zingerman's is a world-famous deli in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  They have some of the best baked goods, corned beef, and cheese!  If you ever pass through Ann Arbor, Zingerman's is a must-stop deli.    

From Chicago:  A box of Vosges organic peanut butter bonbons.  Vosges is Chicago-based.  Have you ever had any Vosges chocolate?  If not...run out and buy a chocolate bar asap.  

From Bloomington:  A package of locally made artisan marshmallows.  After one bite, you'll be hooked!  Trust me.  This is a relatively new local company, and they have been selling their marshmallows at the farmer's market every Saturday.  Check out their website - I'd love to give them some new business!

PLUS a whole host of other exciting treats and surprises!  All packaged in a lovely photo storage box.

SO!  How can you enter?  You'll get...

-One entry for commenting on my blog
-One entry for commenting on Lisa's blog
-Two entries for following my blog AND Lisa's - you must be a follower of BOTH blogs in order to get two entries!
-Three entries for posting about this giveaway and referencing BOTH blogs.

SO, you have a total of seven possible entries!  

We will be choosing TWO WINNERS, one on each blog.  Lisa and I will each choose a winner on SUNDAY, MARCH 22nd at NOON.  


Friday, March 13, 2009

Blog vacation

Hi everyone!

Just a quick message to let you know that - I'm on spring break! And, due to limited internet access at home, I'll be taking a blog vacation. I'll be back full-time on March 23rd.

Lisa got here last night, along with her boyfriend Randy and our friend Jeff. We are headed to Indianapolis this afternoon for some March Madness basketball! The boys will be going to see the Michigan game while Lisa and I will be doing...something else.

And - tomorrow or Sunday, watch out for my BIG ANNOUNCEMENT! Trust me. You won't want to miss this one!

Have a great week - I'll miss you!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Small successes

This morning, I was really craving Starbucks. Instead, I had half an english muffin with some peanut butter and jam.

For some crazy reason...for lunch I was craving McDonald's. A chicken sandwich. Instead, I had a Smart Ones meal.

And yesterday, when I got home from work and was ready to crash for the evening...Mr. Smith and I went running. I made it 1.5 miles on the treadmill - success!

So I'll try not to give myself too hard of a time for not waking up this morning to work out, even though I'm still disappointed. But I wasn't feeling very well last night (my tummy hurt), and to be honest...the thought of waking up early to bounce around with Jillian just didn't sound too attractive.

I go to WW tonight for my weigh-in...and even though I feel like I've done everything right (since last week's weigh-in, I worked out Friday, Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday), I don't feel like I lost any weight. And that's a total bummer. But you never can tell til you get on that scale. I'll keep you posted.


Any Hills fans out there as disgusted with Paris Hilton and Doug as I am?

I mean...seriously. Gross. Paris clearly didn't watch the last season of The Hills. If she did...she'd know to STAY AWAY from sleazy, slimy Doug!

Every time I see this photo...I throw up a little bit in my mouth. N-A-S-T-Y.

*photo courtesy of perezhilton.com*

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

On a happier note...

This is the end of my rapid-fire posting, I promise.

Lots of happy things are happening!

Today: I'm having lunch with Savannah in Indiana!!! I'm so excited. If you haven't already, head over to her blog! She has some gorgeous rooms of the day posted. Plus, she's getting married this weekend! Very, very exciting.

Tomorrow: Lisa, her boyfriend Randy, and our friend Jeff are all coming to visit for a long weekend! I'm super excited. We will be heading to Indianapolis on Friday for some March Madness! And by the way - have you checked out Lisa's new blog yet? It's called Fantabulous and Frugal, and it's full of amazing bargains, coupons, and free stuff!

Next Thursday: My mom is coming to visit for a couple of days! We will be lunching, manicure-ing, shopping, and hiking. Can't wait!

Oh, did I mention that I'm on spring break next week? So pumped! I will likely be taking a blog vacation for next week, but - look for a BIG BLOG ANNOUNCEMENT/GIVEAWAY this weekend!!! Lisa and I have something brewing that I think you're going to be very, very pleased with!


Sorry everyone, this will be a work post. And a venting post.

I know I've talked about my job a little before...just to recap, I'm a grant-funded high school social worker/counselor who specifically works with students who are failing 3+ classes, are significantly behind in credits, have habitual truancy issues, are on probation, and/or have discipline issues. Mainly, the kids I see have a combination of academic and truancy problems.

My job is to be a support for them. Many of these kids have never had anyone truly believe in them. I honestly think that about 98% of the kids on my caseload can succeed and graduate from high school...they just don't. They don't have the support at home - many of their parents are high school dropouts, and they don't care if their kids get their diplomas or not. Many of these parents rely on their kids to work several hours a week in order to help support the household (I have students who work 40+ hours a week! In high school! Can you imagine?). Many are just, well, lazy...they don't live up to their potential because they just plain don't know how. A lot have troubled pasts...a few of my girls have been raped, abused, etc., and have never received the counseling/therapy they need. It goes on and on.

Do I feel like I can actually do this job, keep kids in school? I don't know. I have a good relationship with 99% of my kids. They trust me, and some even drop in to see me and just say hi. I have one or two who are very suspicious of me - they've never had an actual relationship with their counselor and assume I have an ulterior motive.

I strive every day to show my kids that I care about them. That I believe in them. That I want nothing more than to see them walk across that stage and get their high school diplomas. Because it's true.

But...so many of my kids are so far gone. They are "seniors" with freshman credits. They don't see a reason to stay in school, and maybe if we had met 4 years ago it would have been different.

Since I started this job in October - only five months ago - 20 of my students have withdrawn. This. kills. me. Some of them I barely knew - I had several withdraw during the three weeks I was gone for my wedding in November. But others, I've been very close with.

One girl (we'll call her A) initially ended up in my office because she was caught in the library making a report card. Why? Because she was too scared of her father to show him her actual report card. A is a sweet girl. She has been moved around a lot by her family (which doesn't do a child any favors, FYI) and is uncomfortable in Bloomington. Last week, she came into my office in a panic, asking for a ride home because her bus had left without her. She was busy talking to her assistant principal because she had gotten in trouble that day.

She didn't know what to do or how to get home. Her dad has been in the hospital since January - now with a trach - due to end-stage emphysema. Her mom was with her dad in the hospital - about an hour away from Bloomington. Her mom didn't know how to get to the high school. I told her I would drive her home, and then discovered that she lived 45 minutes away in the middle of Nowhere, Indiana. During the drive, I quickly discovered that she didn't know how to get to her trailer park. We took several wrong turns before she realized we were in the wrong place. When we finally got to the park, she informed me that basically no one lives there except her family right now, because it is a summer trailer park. Which leads me to believe that the trailers aren't winterized. It was about 20 degrees that day.

Driving back to the school after dropping her off, I felt like shit. I felt like shit because it seems like she has everything against her. Parents who either don't care, are physically intimidating, or aren't physically there - depending on the day/month. Both A and her mother have mental health issues. A has never been engaged with school - she has never seen a reason to go. Yet she had been going, regularly, and checking in with me regularly.

This morning, I saw her walking through the guidance office out of the corner of my eye. She was with a friend I hadn't seen before. I heard her say to her friend, "I just f***ing hate this f***ing school." I decided to send a pass for her later this afternoon to check in. But before I had the chance...she dropped by to see me, saying that she had already met with her counselor. Tomorrow is her last day - she is withdrawing.

Why? Why in the middle of the semester, when she'll lose all the work she's done since January? She told me that her dad is being discharged from the hospital on Friday, and her mom needs her at home to help take care of him. She is attending an alternative high school in the fall.

Clearly, I'm bummed out. I gave her a hug, wished her the best. And now I wonder if I can ever truly succeed at trying to keep these kids in school.

Quote of the Day

Female high school student outside of my office:

"I want to go into nursing. But not, like, watching surgery or anything like that. Because that's disgusting and I'd totally, like, pass out. Ugh. But yeah, I want to, like, work with the babies. You know, like, help with labor and delivery. Like, wash them off after they're born, and take their vitals, and count their toes and stuff."


Only in the midwest can it be 77 degrees one day...and 37 the next.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Analytics Help

Can somebody please help me figure out how to get Google Analytics on my blog? I have stared at the instructions for, well, awhile...and I am still completely stumped. I don't know html and am surprisingly computer illiterate.

Please...take pity on me and help. Pretty please. :)

I just purged...

...my Google Reader. I had no idea that I was up to 231 subscriptions...???!!! I went through and got rid of all the blogs I don't read, are annoyed by, etc.

And...now I'm down to 200. Until tomorrow, of course, when I find 31 new blogs that I ABSOLUTELY MUST ADD to my Reader.

Running, workouts, interview, etc.

I've been wanting to post all day...but haven't really felt like creating an interesting post. So, this is probably not interesting. Sorry.

Mr. Smith and I went for our Monday run yesterday! Which makes it sound so routine...when in fact this is the first Monday we have ran together. :) Our running schedule is now MWF (did I already tell you this? Hmmm, maybe. Hey, I said I wasn't interesting today.). We ran outside yesterday for a mile, and then went to the apartment gym and ran another mile. Ha! Just kidding. Mr. Smith ran another mile. I ran another 1/3 of a mile, walked 2/10 of a mile, and then ran ANOTHER 1/3 of a mile. Which means that I ran for a total of 1.66 miles...which I think is pretty darn good.

Mr. Smith thinks that we should try to run outside on Mondays and Fridays, and then run inside on the treadmill on Wednesdays. Treadmill runs are easier (no testy inclines to worry about - at least until I set them myself!), so Wednesdays shall be an "easy" day. Of course, he expects me to run a longer distance on Wednesdays. Sigh.

Anyway - running the first mile definitely felt easier yesterday. Running on the treadmill...well, let's just say I was about ready to finish as soon as we got there. But I perservered! Mostly because I was getting kind of into a Katie Couric news story about how young people today are losing their faith (no pun intended) in organized religion. Fascinating stuff!

This morning, I woke up early to do the Jillian Michaels Level 2 workout. This is only the second time I've done Level 2, and it is. so. freaking. hard. But I got through it without stopping! Go me! I now have all sorts of sore arm muscles I didn't previously know existed. My arm could barely hold the hair dryer this morning. :)

In other news...yes, this is a long, boring post...I had my Big Brothers Big Sisters interview yesterday! It went really well, and I'm super excited about it. They have started all my background checks, and they said to expect about a four week turnaround until I'm matched with a Little. I'll keep you posted!

Well, that's about it. Boring.

Monday, March 9, 2009


Just wondering why the toilet seat was up in the (women's) staff bathroom?

Hmmm. Awkward.

Weekend, etc.

You know what I don't like about the time change?

The fact that on Friday, I drove to work in sunny warmth. This morning, it was pitch black. Oh well...I know it will change soon. It just sucks right now!

How was your weekend? I cannot lie...mine was fabulous! Very low-key, nothing exciting happened. But the weather was fantastic and we definitely took advantage of it!

I already blogged Friday about my afternoon run with Mr. Smith. A few of you asked how he can motivate me without pissing me off...and I think the answer is just that he's very patient with me. We only ran a mile, but...hey, we ran a mile! Without stopping! This is (sadly) a pretty big deal for me. I am never successful when I run by myself - I realize that I run too quickly, and then I run out of steam after only a couple of minutes. Mr. Smith makes me run SLOWLY so that I can complete the full run.

Also...I can't stop when I'm with him! When I run by myself, I stop when I'm tired. I never have the willpower to just. keep. on. going. I don't feel like I can stop when I'm with Mr. Smith...plus, he gives me little goals. "It's just around the corner! We just have to go over this last hill! We're almost there - but you better not stop til we reach the front door!"

So, that's that. I'm looking forward (!) to our run this afternoon...I'll let you know how it goes!

On Saturday, we woke up to absolutely GORGEOUS summer weather! It was 75 degrees here, sunny, breezy and beautiful. We decided to explore a new hiking trail, and ended up taking Oscar for a five mile hike. Well, walk. But it was a brisk walk. And I prefer to call it a hike. :) Afterwards, we rewarded ourselves with some frozen yogurt! Yum. We went back home, sat on the porch with the dog, ate ice cream and read for much of the afternoon. It really was fabulous. I have a feeling that we'll be using the porch quite a bit this summer!

Anyway, that was the highlight of my weekend. What about you?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Three Years Ago...

Three years ago today, Mr. Smith and I met on a blind date.

One year ago today, we got engaged.

We may have a new anniversary now, but March 7th will always be an important day for us.

Happy three year date-a-versary, Mr. Smith! I love you!

Friday, March 6, 2009

A Perfect Friday!

Don't you just love Fridays? I know I do. I love the anticipation of the weekend...just knowing that I can relax and enjoy myself!

Yesterday I mentioned coming home and going for a run. No, it didn't happen, and I was a little disappointed in myself. But even more disappointed when I decided to shut off my alarm this morning and choose to sleep in, in lieu of Jillian Michaels.

Fridays are relatively slow for me at work - the students on my caseload pretty much all have issues with habitual truancy. And none of them come to school on Fridays; much like myself, they enjoy a nice 3 day weekend. I usually leave a bit early on Fridays because of this lack of activity.

I walked out of the school and discovered that it was almost 70 degrees! Wow. Absolutely gorgeous. After some quick errands (Target and Kroger, natch), I came home and told Mr. Smith that I wanted to go for a run.

Remember how I've been wanting a running partner? Well, it turns out that I've got one! My husband. He is a pretty big runner - he enjoys it and he runs about three miles, three days a week. Despite having already run today, he decided to go with me. We ran a loop around our neighborhood together - something I could have never done by myself. He really does a great job of pushing me without pissing me off. :).

So - I told him that I want to find a 5K to run in a few months, and I want him to train me. Of course he agreed, and I'm so happy to have my running partner!

After our run, we had dinner, watched some NCIS on dvd, and then went out to sit on the porch for a few hours. What's not to love about a balmy March evening?

Mr. Smith enjoyed a cigar while I drank a split of champagne. From the bottle. Because I'm classy like that. And also because I didn't want to dirty a glass I'd have to handwash. :)

So, that's that. All in all, a great Friday! I hope that all of you dear readerss have the most fabulous of weekends!

Also - Julie from Wearing Mascara gave me a Sexy Award!!!! I am thrilled! Will write more about this when I'm not blogging from my bberry. Thanks, Julie!

Happy Friday night, everyone!

Things I love

You know what's great about working at a different school every day?

I can totally rock the same outfit two days in a row.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Bathtub blogging, second edition

Yes, I'm blogging from the bathtub again. You gotta problem with that? Yeah...I didn't think so.

Lisa tagged me about...um, two weeks ago share 7 things about me that you probably don't know. Unless you're Lisa, because...at this point, 13 years into our friendship, there isn't much she doesn't know about me!

So, here goes:

1. I have been playing violin and piano since I was three years old. When I got to high school, I didn't have the time to play both instruments seriously, so I stuck with the violin. I was a competative violinist throughout high school, but never wanted to pursue music as a career. In college I played in the campus orchestra and even won a concerto competition, which allowed me to play a concerto with the orchestra at Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor. Since grad school, I haven't played violin hardly at all, but I plan on taking it up again and auditioning for the Bloomington Symphony.

2. I went to private school from kindergarten through eighth grade. At that point, I realized more than ever that I didn't fit in with the other kids, thanks to lifestyle differences, etc - nor did I really want to fit in. I made the decision to go to public school for high school, where I didn't know anyone. Thanks to the reputation of my private school, I had some difficulty naking friends especially in the beginning of high school, and it wasn't a very fun time for me. Thankfully, I had Lisa, and I truly don't know how I could have gotten through high school without her.

3. I still don't know what I want to do "when I grow up.". Yes, I'm 27 and have a masters degree. But what if I want to do something different? I have passions for art and would love to work in a museum. I am extremely interested in graphic design and want to start taking some classes at our local community college. I've always been interested in photography. And - I really want to write a book. I have so many stories from my life as a social worker...from incredibly funny to incredibly tragic, I feel like I've seen almost everything and would love to record it. I'm just worried that only other social workers would read and enjoy it...us social workers end up with kind of a twisted sense of humor and, sometimes, a relatively upside-down way of looking at life.

4. I'm lazy. I hate working out and I never have the motivation. I'm currently amazed with myself for sticking with a consistent morning workout schedule...for two weeks. I desperately want a workout buddy - someone who sucks at running just as much as me so I don't feel embarrassed - but I don't know anyone in Bloomington. It's a total bummer.

5. I got engaged last year on March 7th (almost exactly a year ago!) and I still can't stop staring at my ring. I think it is the most beautiful piece of jewelry I have ever seen, and knowing that Mr. Smith - world's cheapest person - picked out something so perfect and special just for me constantly brings tears to my eyes.

6. I have an irrational fear of alligators/crocodiles. No particular reason...I just. Hate. Them.

7. I have trouble relaxing. I especially notice this when I go and get a massage (which happens once every blue moon). I can't let go and relax...my mind is constantly going. This happens a lot when I go to bed, too. And sometimes when I'm at work, I notice that I am clenching my shoulder muscles and furrowing my brow...for no reason. This drives me crazy.

So! There you have it. Seven weird and random things about me!

Well, my bath is getting cold and my thumbs are getting tired, so I guess I should hurry up and tag a couple girlies for this...

Jenn! At Jeans Friday! And...
Casey! From the Ever Changing Life of a Military Wife. If you ladies want to do this, go for it!

Weight Watchers Wednesday on Thursday: Part Two

Mobile blogging from my WW meeting to tell you that I lost 1.6 pounds this week! Whew. I feel good and recharged. I know I'm on the right track now!

Time Machine

I must have gotten stuck in a time machine the other day, because today I heard, not one, but TWO songs by Eminem on the radio.


Awkward food reviews: Weight Watchers Smart Ones

Subtitle: Weight Watchers Wednesday on Thursday, Part One.

Now, most of y'all know that I've been doing Weight Watchers since the beginning of January. Since that time, I have primarily been eating SmartOnes frozen meals for lunch every day at work. I've never been one for frozen meals, but some of these...I find downright tasty. And, more importantly, they help me stick to my daily points without thinking too much about it. While I haven't by any means tried all of the meal options, I have tried quite a few, and have some set favorites in place. Whether you're doing WW yourself or just want a good, healthy lunch/dinner option...here are some of my faves!

Broccoli and Cheddar Roasted Potatoes

So, this was the meal that sat in my freezer for forever, as I picked it up in the morning, looked at the contents (just broccoli? and potatoes??), and carefully placed it back in the freezer in lieu of something more tasty. I also continously wondered why I had even bought this one in the first place (oh yeah, it was on sale for $2 at Target!). Lisa kept saying..."you should try it, I bet it's good. I love potatoes!" Finally, on Monday, I gave it a shot. People, this is TASTY! The broccoli is actually relatively crisp and not all...you know, frozen-broccoli-like. The potatoes are good, and there is a really light non-nacho-cheesey cheddar sauce (I know that most of the world's population loves nacho cheese, but I find it totally disgusting).

Fiesta Quesadilla
This is a really great "anytime" meal - sometimes, if I've had a light-in-points day, I'll eat one of these quesadillas when I get home from work. It is vegetarian - only black beans, cheese, and a bit of pico. I like to heat it up in the microwave (in it's special little crisping sleeve) and then top it off with some Newman's Own chunky salsa (0 points!). It is surprisingly tasty! I highly recommend.
Cranberry Turkey Medallions
I originally picked this meal up because it sounded like Thanksgiving dinner. And who doesn't love Thanksgiving dinner? Granted, I knew that it would likely taste a little less home-made, but...I decided to give it a shot. The result: tasty! The cranberry sauce lacks that rich consistency that homemade sauce has, and it tastes a little watered-down. However, the turkey itself tastes great, and the veggies and stuffing are pretty darn good. I like to mush it all around after I take it out of the microwave, so the cranberry sauce covers the veggies, too. Otherwise, they are a little bland.
Thai Style Chicken and Rice Noodles
Not sure why this photo came out all giant. But I guess it gives you a better look at the goods...? This was another meal that sat at the bottom of my freezer for awhile...not sure why. I usually LOVE Asian-inspired meals, but it took awhile for me to feel this one. When I finally did...wow! I was really surprised at how tasty it was. There was a definite Pad Thai vibe going on, and I was really surprised at how tasty the chicken was. Yummy! I definitely picked up some more of this the other day.
Sante Fe Style Rice and Beans
Clearly, I saved the best for last. I still CANNOT GET OVER how tasty this meal is! The only reason I ever bought it in the first place is because the photo on the front was very reminiscent of one of my very favorite meals from our Costa Rican honeymoon. Obviously, it doesn't taste that good (and lacks the caramelized plantains) BUT...wow. This is THE BEST frozen meal I have ever had, people! And yeah, it's just rice and beans and some corn and other various undetermined veggies. But - the sauce, ladies. It's a sour cream sauce with cheddar cheese, and it is DELISH. There is a sweetness to it as well, and it is just too tasty. Lately I've been thinking of heating up two boxes and using them as a sidedish to a mexican meal...
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Sundae
This is a great WW dessert - definitely my favorite. I also got the brownie one, and it left quite a bit to be desired. From now on...I'm a cookie dough sundae type of girl! There are two servings in each box - double the fun! Not surprisingly, it doesn't look anything like the photo above. But: there is vanilla ice cream on top of a chocolate chip cookie (very soft, not at all hard and crunchy) covered in little bites of chocolate chip cookie dough! This is really tasty, ladies. If you want to indulge and/or have a chocolate craving, go for it.

Well, there you have it. Blogger was being kind of crazy, so I apologize for some of the layout issues. If you have any more Smart Ones questions, send them my way!

Blah morning.

This morning was blah. You know what I mean? Just, a blah morning. Yesterday morning, I woke up early...and made a pot roast instead of working out. Mr. Smith, Oscar and I took a nice long walk in the afternoon before dinner, though, and that was great.

But...it wasn't a workout. So I was extra diligent about setting my alarm nice and early this morning to work out. And when the alarm went off...there was no way I could get up. I felt exhausted. And I didn't feel like I had the motivation to pop out of bed and throw in Jillian Michaels. Of course...after resetting my alarm and then laying in bed awake (of course) for about 5 minutes...I knew I would be really disappointed in myself if I didn't work out.

So, I got up. Put on Jillian Michaels. Did approximately 1/3 of the warmup. And after about 3 jumping jacks, I was done. I turned it off, curled up on the couch under my favorite blanket, and contemplated napping. And yes, it was 5:50am.

But of course...I started feeling guilty again, so I decided to do pushups and crunches. I half-heartedly started the 100 Pushup Challenge a few weeks ago, but never got past week one. So, this morning I started it for real. Oh, and because that wasn't that much of a workout, I also started the 200 Situps Challenge. And that was my morning workout.

Totally pathetic, I know. But I hope to get a run in this afternoon. I have also half-heartedly started the Couch to 5K program approximately 5 times via podcast...and have never made it past Week 4, just because I lose steam. Now that I'm super motivated, I want to finish this program, become a Real Runner, and run a 5K!

We'll see if that happens. Any/all motivation from you appreciated. :)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

More talk about glasses

Thanks so much for all of your happy, kind, encouraging comments about me slowly going blind again. :) I'm happy to report that I headed back to Lens Crafters last night while Mr. Smith was at work. I took an agonizing amount of time picking out the perfect frames (which is hard when you're alone!), and finally settled on some totally rad (did I just say rad?) bright red plastic frames by Ray-Ban. I can't lie...they are FUN! I can't seem to take a good photo of myself with my bberry, so you'll have to make due with the above photo of just the glasses.

A note to those who have had/are considering lasik: I apologize for scaring people yesterday! For those of you who speak nearsightedness, my prescription presurgery was -10.25 in one eye, -9.75 in the other. Seriously, seriously blind. With astigmatism in both eyes. Looking back on it (now that I've had the chance to sleep on it and can talk with some rationality), I am not super surprised that I already need glasses. And my new prescription is SO weak...-.75 and -1. I can see JUST FINE without my glasses, but notice a huge difference in sharpness when I do put them on. What I'm concerned about is that I feel extra blind when I first take the glasses off.

I'm a little worried that my eyes will start depending on them if I wear them too much, and therefore I am going to wear them hardly at all! I did wear them while driving home last night, and the difference was amazing. It has been a long time since I've felt really confident while driving at night...and now I do again! So, maybe glasses aren't so bad after all.

So, that's that.

Things I don't understand

High School Musical.

Can anyone enlighten me?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Something you should know about me: I used to be really, really blind. So nearsighted that I couldn't see my hand if it were two inches in front of my face. I never knew what it was like to wake up and be able to see in the middle of the night...or the morning...or ever, really. I started wearing glasses when I was five, and switched to contacts in eighth grade.

And then, a miracle! In April of 2005, I had lasik surgery. It has been truly amazing - I mean, I can see! After the surgery, I was 20/20 in one eye and 20/15 in the other. For a long time after my surgery, I would be amazed every time I would wake up in the morning...and be able to see. Now that the years have passed, I have started taking my eyesight for granted.

Bad, bad Mrs. Smith. Over the last few months, I've had a lot of difficulty seeing at night while I'm driving - issues with auras around streetlights/headlights, depth perception issues, etc. When someone brakes in front of me...I can't exactly tell where they are. Not good! I'm also getting a lot of tension headaches behind my eyes during the day as I stare at the computer. Also, not good.

This afternoon after work, I went to the eye doctor. What she told me made me cry a little bit (don't worry...it was in my car, afterwards, not in front of her!). I need glasses again. Not all the time, but for driving at night, and probably some reading during the day. I am slightly nearsighted (again) and show signs of having astigmatism in both eyes (again).

Needless to say...I am crushed. When I had my surgery, my opthamologist told me that I shouldn't need reading glasses until I'm in my 40s. I just turned 27.

Blindness is something that has always scared me - especially having eyesight as bad as mine. I can't help but wonder if, in a few years, I'll be back at square one again, blind as a bat?

Until then...I'm off to figure out how much of my glasses my vision insurance will cover.

WEDDING ALBUM!!!!!!!!!!!

Imagine my surprise when I received a phone call from my photographer saying that our wedding album pages are already done and ready for review! I immediately ran to the computer and checked them out. Everything looks so fabulous! I know I am kind of heavy on wedding photo posts lately, but...here are my favorite pages!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Quote(s) of the day

The pass runners who sit outside my office are talking about shopping for new cars.

Boy #1: "I went car shopping this weekend. I couldn't find what I wanted."
Boy #2: "I want, like, a really really huge SUV."
Boy #1: "They're not going to make SUVs anymore because of gas prices."
Girl: "No, they're gonna make them. They're not just gonna...stop...making them."
Boy #1: "Yeah, I guess you're right."
Boy #2: "I just want a really, really big car."


So, I noticed that when Blogger changed the little "Followers" box thing, all the blogs I'm following disappeared from my profile. Even though I am still following about a gazillion blogs.

Did this happen to anyone else? It's weird.

Giveaways galore

I wanted to take a quick moment to post about two awesome giveaways!

The first you can find here at the Sweet Tea Diaries. It's kind of the most amazing giveaway ever...and is completely cupcake-themed! The highlights include:
  • A cupcake cookbook
  • Super cute cupcake stand
  • Potholder/oven mitt set
  • Kitchen towels AND kitchen towel hooks
  • Sprinkles
  • Cupcake notecards
  • AND a tin full of chocolate!

It's pretty extreme. You only have until 11:59pm tonight to enter...so DON'T! Because I want to win.

The second giveaway is Lisa's first ever giveaway!!!! So exciting!!! She is giving away some awesome stuff, including:

  • Banana nut cheerios! I haven't seen these in the stores but would love to try them!!!
  • Super cute fruit basket with banana stand! I mean...who doesn't need a banana stand???
  • A really nice loaf pan (I need this...mine is pretty nasty!)
  • Some plastic bowls, good for kitchen prep!

So - head on over to her blog and check it out!

It's a good...Monday?

Happy Monday everyone! I'm not sure why, but...so far, Monday is going pretty well.

I was really dreading waking up this morning for Jillian Michaels...but I woke up ten minutes early, at 5:40! Very weird. I had an okay workout...I hadn't done the workout since Thursday and I felt it a little bit (Friday I did pilates, Saturday I took the day off, and Sunday I did pilates again).

Question for those of you who have completed - or are working on - the 30 Day Shred: at what point should I go on to Level Two? When it gets easy? Or when I get bored? It's not easy yet, and I still struggle with a couple of the strength training exercises. But I'm also getting a little bored. Thoughts? Comments? Advice?

I showered and was ready to go to work early - like, fifteen minutes early! So, I packed up some oatmeal to go - complete with strawberries - and headed to work early. I got here at 7:15! I am so proud of myself. I feel so good when I get to work early...plenty of time to write out my passes and get some letters ready before the school day starts.

Now, all that's left is to just wait til I crash...and I'm betting it will happen soon, and hard.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

I'm in love with Target

So yesterday morning, I wandered around Target while waiting for the rest of the mall to open.  They have some SERIOUSLY cute clothes for spring!!!  I wanted to post about the stuff I loved the most.  I'm sorry that the photos on the Target website are so ghetto...but, that's life.

Sidenote:  I absolutely love the clothes at Target.  Now that I live in a "small town," the shopping is extremely limited.  All of the clothing items I have purchased since moving here (which aren't very many) were purchased at Target.  In fact, if I need something - primarily for work - I head right to Target.  I love it!  And, I also have a love affair with anything navy.  I fell in love with navy last spring/summer, and I must say that it's still going strong.  Here are my Target picks.  And can I just add that all of these items will look great with the kate spades I gave myself as a birthday present???

Photo fun tag!

Lucky in Love tagged me for the fun photo activity.

Here are the rules:  go to wherever you keep your photos on the computer...open up the 6th folder and then the 6th photo.  Post and explain!

So, here is my photo (and this is kind of difficult to do on iPhoto, so to be honest...I just closed my eyes and picked a photo at random):

Oh my gosh!  I love that this was my random photo.  This is a photo of Mr. Smith when he was in the Army.  His facial expression pretty much sums up his thoughts about being the Army...and this photo makes me laugh every time!  I also love it because I have virtually no photos of him in any of his uniforms - and let's face it, men in uniforms just look hot.  I never once saw him in his Class As (something that still upsets me) and I only saw him in his ACUs if I woke up early enough to see him leaving for work.  Which wasn't super often.  

For some background info, especially because I know I have some military wife readers out there...Mr. Smith enlisted after he graduated college.  He was EOD (explosives ordnance disposal) and enlisted solely because he wanted to be deployed.  Four years later...he never got deployed and spent the majority of his time in Washington DC (he was stationed first at Fort McNair, in SE DC, and then Fort Belvoir, in Virginia).  He did a lot of VIP missions and spent a lot of time with politicians.  He was NOT happy...he wanted very much to be deployed and be able to do what he was trained for.  

Let's just say...I didn't mind much that he wasn't ever deployed, but at the same time...seeing him so unhappy with his job wasn't very much fun, either.  When his four years were up, he got out...and of course, we still have four more years he can be called back up.  And I pretty much have weekly nightmares that he IS called up and sent on a 15 month deployment.  Oh well...such is life!

Mr. Smith disliked his time in the Army so much that, to be honest, he got in trouble here and there.  He often felt that he was surrounded by idiots...and ran his mouth a bit here and there.  EOD units are typically a bit different than what they call "big Army," and they tend to disregard some of the rules.  I am laughing just looking at his haircut in this photo...it is SO LONG!  I have some other photos when we started dating, and his hair is super short.  Over the years...he stopped caring more and more about regs like that.  Once the uniforms changed over to ACUs, he never attached his EOD badge either...just because he didn't feel like it.  I don't think he would have ever survived as part of a non-EOD unit!

So - there ya go!  For this fun activity, I tag anyone who hasn't done this yet...and anyone who wants to!