Friday, January 29, 2010

On Apartment Living: Part Deux

After I blogged last night about my neighbor issues, things got kicked up a notch. I took Oscar out before bed, and he made a bee-line straight to this weird wet spot on my patio. And then to another one. And another spot. I thought ... what on earth?! He was excited like he gets when he smells other dogs. Then I remembered earlier in the day, when I ran home to let Oscar out at lunch. The upstairs neighbors had shut their puppy out on their balcony.

Suddenly, ding ding ding! I realized that their puppy is peeing out on the balcony. Their balcony has wooden slats. Wooden slats that are open ... to my patio. See the issue here?

I was (and still am) appalled. Despite the fact that our neighbors moved into the apartment in August, I have never actually seen them. I have no idea who they are or what they look like. I've never heard a dog up there until last week ... and yesterday was the first time I saw the dog. It appears to be a golden retriever puppy. Another weird thing ... I'm outside with Oscar a lot. I also live on the first floor and our apartment faces the parking lot. The long and short of it is ... I end up seeing most everyone walk in and out. I've never seen this dog outside before! Weird, right?

Anyway. I ended up going to the management office today and making a complaint about the neighbor. The noise isn't the main issue anymore ... it's obviously the pee on the patio. Thankfully, they were just as appalled as I am ... and added that the upstairs neighbors shouldn't even HAVE a dog in that apartment.

I hated to complain ... I have never complained about a neighbor, EVER. But I mean ... this is too much, right?! What if it were summer? I have patio furniture out there, you know? Anyway. I came home and inspected the patio in daylight...and found a huge puddle of pee on my table. When I looked up, I could see what appeared to be a puppy pad through the slats. NOT COOL, NEIGHBORS. Not cool.

To be continued ... :)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

On Apartment Living

As I'm sure many of you know, there are both pros and cons of apartment living.

Pro: On Tuesday morning, I came home from a frolic in the dog park with Oscar to hear a weird sound coming from the guest bathroom. When I turned on the light, I discovered that it was raining from the ceiling vent, which was ... fabulous. I called maintenance, and they sent someone over to take care of it. Apparently, my upstairs neighbors had a leak issue with their water main that connects to their toilet. It flooded their bathroom, and leaked down through my vent. Luckily, there was no damage and the lovely maintenance man brought in a wet vac to take care of everything. This is a definite pro of apartment living: not having to handle messy situations like leaks myself! Having easy, free maintenance whenever there is an emergency is really fantastic...especially when said emergency happens mere days after your husband leaves for a year!

Con: Last night, I planned to go to bed early, around 9:30. Yet as soon as I got into bed, I realized my upstairs neighbors (ugh...they are extremely bothersome lately!) started BLASTING opera. I mean, it was loud. Now, I actually enjoy opera quite a bit, but ... it was so loud that it sounded as if it was playing in my living room. I could hear each and every note clearly and easily. I buried my head in the pillows and the blankets and, eventually, fell asleep. Obvious apartment con: having neighbors whose homes are attached to yours. Upstairs neighbors are the worst. Matt and I are really great neighbors...we are quiet, especially during the nighttime hours. We don't play loud music and we rarely have people over...and when we do, they aren't loud either. When I go outside to warm up my car in the morning, I turn my lights off so that they don't shine into anyone's bedroom windows. I keep them off until I pull out of my parking spot. I live in an apartment, and respecting your neighbors is a huge part of apartment living. Needless to say ... this morning when I woke up, I blared my music just out of spite. And when I warmed up my car? The lights stayed on. Just this once, just today.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Birthday Wish List!

Sorry I haven't gotten back into the swing of blogging yet. Don't worry, it will happen soon. I am almost positive. In the meantime...let's look at fun pretty shiny things! My 28th birthday is coming up soon, on February 9. Yay birthday! I thought I would post a fun birthday wish list. And yes, part of it is a fantasy wish list. But part of it is real. :)

Okay, this picture didn't work out exactly how I was hoping, but ... I'd really love to have a month of yoga classes at Bloomington Power Yoga. I've been wanting to start yoga classes since LAST January, and I think it's finally time. Plus it's a good way to round out my running, pilates, and Zumba! :)

Sephora gift card! Who can't use one of those? I heart makeup. :)
Okay, can't find a good photo - or item - online, but I really want a covered casserole dish. Large-ish and small-ish. I don't have anything oven-safe with a cover. And I need one!

Yes, these were on my Christmas list. Still love them, still want them.
I AM IN LOVE WITH THESE SHOES. They are soooooo gorgeous. And also sooooo above my price range. Sigh. Tory, can you please make cheaper shoes???? (size 9, by the way!)
When Matt left, he took his camera. Which also happened to be OUR camera. Which means I am camera-less. Which is bad. I really really really want a DSLR...but I don't really know much about them. So I picked this one because it's Nikon and it's expensive, you I must be good, right?!
But that's not really a realistic birthday wish list item. So since the DSLR is mostly on my fantasy list, I'd love to have this cute little point and shoot. Plus, it's PINK! How fun is that??! I loooooooooove it!
Well, that's about it. I especially want that fun pink camera! Isn't it pretty? FYI ... I received my birthday present from Matt before he left. I am now the proud and happy owner of a beautiful "new" (to me) antique dresser. Our old dresser was in pretty bad shape, and this one is beautiful and perfect! Sad to say I don't have a photo. Because, you know, ... no camera.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Overheard at Work

I saw a new student this afternoon, a 15 year old girl. I have a few standard questions I always ask new students, in an effort to get to know them a little better. These questions are usually along the lines do you feel about school? What's your favorite class? What's your least favorite class? Do you know what you want to do after high school?

And then, my favorite...What do you like to do outside of school?

The intended answer is something like...I like to play basketball with my friends, or something like that. But nine times out of ten, kids respond with "Um, hang out."

Anyway! I asked my new girl today what she likes to do outside of school. Her response?

"Ummm...hang out with my friends, and my boyfriends (yes, she said boyfriendS), and text."

TEXT. She listed TEXTING as an ACTIVITY. Gah. What is happening to today's youth???

Monday, January 18, 2010

Made it through the first night!

Well...Matt's gone. And it sucked. End of story. I thought I was doing a pretty good job of holding everything together, but the closer we got to the airport...the more I started to lose it. When we pulled up to drop him off, I just full-out started sobbing. Gah. It is never fun to say goodbye to the person you love more than anything...and even less fun when you have no idea when you'll see them again.

BUT. My mother-in-law drove to the airport, and then we engaged in some good healthy retail therapy plus Cheesecake Factory, and that was nice. Going to bed last night was hard...I felt really exhausted. d.a.r. told me I should take some Tylenol PM but to be honest, I was so tired I just didn't think that I would need it. Then I got in bed...and was wide awake. For awhile. I ended up popping one Tylenol PM and had a great night of sleep.

The good news? Today is a new day! And, like d.a.r. told me, yesterday was the hardest, and I'll never have to do that again. Thank goodness! I talked to Matt last night when he was getting settled in his barracks room (joy) at Benning, and we've texted a bit today. It is a good transition to be able to still talk to him!

Anyway. For some reason I haven't felt much like blogging or reading blogs, which is silly and I'm sure I'll snap out of that quickly. So in the meantime, I just wanted to say THANK YOU. I received so many emails/texts/tweets/calls yesterday from so many people - the majority of which were blog friends. I can't tell you how much all of that means to me. It feels so good to have such a strong support network of friends! So thank you, so so much. I wish we all lived in the same place so we could go out for happy hour tonight! :)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Misguided Youth

First of all, I just wanted to say thanks for all of the great comments on yesterday's post! You have convinced me that I am not as crazy as I thought...OR we are all equally crazy...since lots of you take pregnancy tests religiously as well. :)

Anyway, on to today's fun...

Every once in awhile, I spend time over at our teen learning center - kind of an alternative school where kids go when they are expelled/suspended/super duper behind on credits. They take some classes online, and then some students do another class that works on study skills, mood management, drugs/alcohol, etc. There is an internship component to this class, and sometimes the teacher has to go off to visit the kids during their internships while those NOT in internships remain at the center. That's when I head over and hang out with them until their teacher comes back.

I know I have talked before about how much I like my job...and every day, something funny/interesting/wacky happens to reinforce how much fun I have at work. I spent some time with a couple of kids over there yesterday, and the conversations were AMAZING. Below are some of the highlights...names have been changed to protect the innocent. :)

Ashley: "Did y'all know that chocolate turns guys on?"
Me: "Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's an old wives' tale."
Michael: "Cherry pie turns girls on."
Ashley: "Whiskey turns me on!"

Ashley: "That girl looks just like my mom - but my mom has no teeth!"

Michael: "If they just legalize drugs, there wouldn't be any crime or murders in this country, I swear."
Me: "You think so?"
Michael: "I KNOW so. Because think about it, how many murders are drug-related? Like almost all of them!"
Me: "So you don't think that anyone would do anything stupid if they could just go to the pharmacy and buy drugs?"
Michael: "Exactly."
Me: "So when you get fucked up, you don't do anything stupid?"
Michael: "....."
Me: "Exactly."

Ashley: "I'm just over 4 weeks pregnant. I gave up everything but drinking."

Me: "So, why are y'all over here at the teen learning center?"
Ashley: "I got expelled for pulling a knife on this bitch. I NEVER go to school without a knife in my purse."
Michael: "You know, drugs really aren't bad for you."
Me: "Well actually, they really are. All illegal drugs are bad for you in some way."
Michael: "Pot isn't!"
Me: "Umm yes, it is. It kills brain cells."
Michael: "Well, coke really isn't bad for you."
Me: "Umm yes, it is. Coke is really bad for you."
Michael: "Well, not really. It's only bad for your heart."
Me: "Well that's a pretty big part of you, don't you think?"

Good times. Eventually they got bored with talking to me and that was that. Who says being a social worker isn't any fun??!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

On Reproduction

My dear friend Lisa has been the first to point out lately how much I've been talking about babies. And it's true - it seems like babies are always on my mind. I'm blaming it on the fact that I have a huge amount of pregnant friends right now, along with several more who have just had their little ones. At first, I blamed my age (soon-to-be-28), but the more I thought about pregnant friends range in age from 23-37, so I guess I can't exactly blame the seemingly contagious pregnancies on my life stage. I don't know what it is,'s just that time for me. The time where everything yells "baby!" and "biological clock!" and "tick tick tick" or something like that. With my husband leaving for a year on Sunday, this is obviously not an ideal time to try and have a baby. So don't get your hopes up...this post does not end in a big surprise or anything like that. :)

I'm not sure how much I've touched on this, if any, but I'll go ahead and risk a little TMI to let you know that there's a good chance I am fertility-challenged. I have endometriosis, and as a treatment, my doctor has me taking round-the-clock birth control. I haven't had a period in almost two years (so I guess it's not all bad!). But guess what happens when you don't get a period? In my case...I constantly think that/wonder if I'm pregnant.

I know. Ridiculous, right? If there is a 3 day stretch where I'm tired, nauseous, and craving avocado sandwiches (yes, this really happened), I run to Kroger for a pregnancy test. It's a little ridiculous, and at this point I know that I'm completely neurotic about it. But as I always say to would I ever know, if I don't just take a test every once in awhile??! I'd hate to be on one of those terrible "I didn't know I was pregnant" shows. So embarrassing. I'm taking a pregnancy test tomorrow, JUST to make sure I'm not pregnant before Matt leaves. Because on the (.01%) chance I AM pregnant, I want to tell Matt before he leaves.


Anyway. Not having a period (which is, for most ladies, a tell-tale sign of NOT being pregnant) has led me to spend a lot of time Googling things. I don't know about you, but I prefer to Google things in the form of a question. Such as..."Is cramping an early sign of pregnancy?" Well let me just tell you something...searching for something along these lines is bound to provide you with HOURS of free entertainment.

Below is the number one most amazing pregnancy-related question/answer I have found on the internets, courtesy of (I think) Yahoo Answers. I seriously cannot stop laughing...every time I think about it again, I start giggling to myself. All I have to say is...sometimes, sarcasm is king.

Q: If I have sex when I'm pregnant, can my baby get pregnant too?
A: The baby can get pregnant only if it's a female. If you suspect that your baby is pregnant, try not to have sex again. You run the risk of getting your baby's baby pregnant and that can lead to complications like an infinite loop.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Just Checking In...

Hello friends. Just checking in to say hi, and to let you know that I won't be around much this week. Matt leaves on Sunday for the Big D(eployment) and I'm trying to spend every waking minute with him until then. Can't believe my D-day countdown is at 6 started at 158! How did that happen? Sigh.

Not much else to say at this point. The emotions are running high and I'm trying to keep things under control and not freak. At least not while he's around! So far, so good. Any helpful hints or tips for handling this would be much appreciated. At this point, going to sleep has been the hardest part for me. Not sure why...I feel fine during the day but have been getting upset at night. At the risk of sounding cheesy, there's just something so comforting about curling up in a warm bed with the person you love. Something that makes everything else just melt away. Know what I mean?

Anyway...that's what's going on here. Be back soon.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Roasted Veggie and Pesto Pasta

Happy weekend, friends! I spent yesterday watching the movie Julie and Julia (so cute!), and afterwards I was inspired to blog about my cooking. I made one of my favorite, easy, go-to meals and I thought I would share it with all of you! So, without further ado...Roasted Veggie and Pesto Pasta!

The players:
1 sweet onion
1-2 peppers of your choice (I sometimes use red, last night I used orange and yellow)
1 head of garlic
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil

For the can use any veggies you feel like using. These are just my favorite!

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Line a cookie sheet with foil. Chop the onion and peppers and put them on the cookie sheet. Add spinach and mushrooms. Peel each clove of garlic and place on top of other vegetables. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. It will look like this:

Set timer for around 30 minutes and stick the veggies in the oven. Check every 5-10 minutes and smoosh around with a wooden spoon to make sure the veggies are roasted evenly. Meanwhile, boil water and make the pasta.

When the veggies are ready to come out (usually between 30-40 minutes), they should look all shriveled and blackened, like this:

A close-up:

When the pasta is cooked, drain and mix in a few tablespoons of pesto sauce. I used 3 tbsp last night, and it was perfect. I forgot to take a photo of this step...oops! Sorry. Anyway, then add the roasted veggies to the pasta, stir, and enjoy! See how easy that is?!

It's pretty, too. YUM!!!!
Delish! Isn't it pretty and colorful?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I know someone famous!

I work with this really awesome lady named Marti, who teaches the teen GED class over at our teen leaning/adult ed center. Her daughter works as a buyer for Urban Outfitters, and Marti is always wearing something new and cool and hip and fun. She also has a whole closet full of new Urban Outfitters samples that she gives away to the kids in her class, who usually don't have a ton of money to buy clothes. So in addition to always being fashionable, Marti is a really, really sweet person.

When I went to see her yesterday, she told me the exciting news that she designed a t-shirt for Urban Outfitters! And that they are currently in stores! When she told me what it was, I laughed hysterically. I then immediately went to look up a photo online. What do you think?

Bahahaha. Pretty darn funny, right?! If you're interested in picking one up, you can find it here. Marti isn't getting any money for the shirts that sell, so this isn't a master plan to make her a millionaire. :) She said that, had she drawn the picture of the tiger, she would have received some cash. But she mostly just did it for the fun of it!

So, it's official. Marti is the most famous designer I've ever met!

Rue La La Love

I haven't blogged about Rue La La in awhile, but ... I just can't resist today. The Lela Rose boutique is soooo beautiful! Albeit expensive. Here is a little sampling of what you could find - if you act fast! I may not be able to afford the prices, but lots of other people clearly can so HEAD THERE QUICK! Need an invite? Click here!

This one is my absolute favorite! It is so gorgeous, but at $599...yikes!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Mascara Help?

I have been on a quest for the right mascara for YEARS, yet I never seem to find something I've liked 100%. I read all of your mascara review, and I've gotten some great recommendations, but here's my issue: I wear waterproof mascara. My eyes water a lot, especially in the winter, and if I didn't use waterproof...I'd look mighty scary.

I end up getting the waterproof versions of some great, nice mascaras - but they just aren't as good. So, here's my big question to all of you lovely readers:

Can anyone give me a recommendation for a really great WATERPROOF mascara? Pretty please?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Florida and Savannah

The day after Christmas, Matt and I flew down to Florida where we celebrated my granddad's 80th birthday. We had a wonderful family dinner at The Addison in Boca Raton, followed by a larger party the next day at my granddad's girlfriend's son's house. Did you follow that?! :)

I don't have any photos of the first dinner you may have read here, that day was a little hectic and I ended up leaving my camera in the car. However, my mom took lots of photos so I will hopefully get those from her soon.

The next day, we went down to look at the beach on the way to Miami for the second party. The weather was BEAUTIFUL and I seriously considered becoming a Snowbird...but can you do that when you're not retired? Hmmm...

Family photo
Matt and me...and ocean.

Granddad at the party, cutting his birthday cake
Todd (my granddad's girlfriend's son) is really into animals, and has a standard poodle, an African parrot, and several neat iguanas/chameleons. The house he and his wife recently moved into was already equipped with a special room, completely with waterfall. Also, it rains in there. Very hard to describe, but we all went a little crazy in there. Here is Todd with my cousin Alexa, and one of the neat iguanas.
Todd with some sort of three-horned thingy. Really neat looking!
And I made friends with the parrot, Chester. I have never been a bird person, but this one was super cool. He was really interested in me...possibly because I was wearing bright colors? Not sure. Whatever the reason, Todd said that he is usually pretty antisocial and never takes to new people. However, he became my new BFF and frequently tried to kiss my cheek. He stayed on my shoulder for quite some time...and it was fun! Until he started eating my sweater. Then he went back into the special room.

Self portrait. I held the camera out and said "Smile, Chester!" and somehow he peered around my head for the photo. Hilarious.
Poodle love. The poodle's name is Forrester. I like that.
Here's the special animal room. How weird is that? Really neat, though.
Cousins...these are my first cousins Hanna and Alexa. With me, of course, in the middle.
Aaaaaaand...then we left Florida and went to Savannah. It was NOT warm there...not sure what happened there. Savannah weather FAIL! But it was beautiful, as always, and dressed up for Christmas. I could live here.
Matt and me at Forsyth Park, in front of the fountain. Love.
Orleans Square
Matt checking out some old graves at Bonaventure Cemetery

And that's it! I didn't take any photos in Nashville...but we were only there for one night. We naturally went to Pancake Pantry (yummmmmmmmmmy), which made me very happy!

All in all, a very fun trip, although there was way too much time in the car and not enough warm weather. But, what can you do. We rang in 2010 with bbq, and then we went to see Up in the Air - very good movie! And's back to work. Vacation time flies by, doesn't it?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Christmas Recap!

I realize that y'all have already read everyone's Christmas recaps...but I'm behind the game and just posting mine now. We started off by heading to my SIL Meleah's for Christmas Eve, and ended up spending most of the day playing on my BIL's Wii. Also, I really want one. With a Wii Fit. I haven't had that much fun in a long time...which is probably pretty sad! But man...that's a good workout!

I had my camera on the wrong setting, but ended up getting this funny action shot of my nephew Cooper. Love it!
The boys paying BIL David, Cooper, and my BIL Kelley.
Their dog Macy brought a special Christmas treat to the entire deer leg. GROSS, but extremely funny.
That night at my MIL's house...Santa came to visit Cooper!
Here's a shot of the adult tree. My MIL always does two trees - one in the front for the adults, and one in the back for the kids. I forgot to get a shot of the kid tree but it looked pretty ridiculous, just like this one. Presents everywhere! Here's Oscar, trying to find his presents.
Christmas day: Cooper's t-shirt. Love it!
This is my niece Jessie. How fun is her hair??! I love it!
The kids opening presents...Jessie got an Elmo bathrobe that she was pretty darn excited about!
Older sister Jaylanne got a monkey bathrobe. They are too cute.
Jessie opening the gift of the year: an Elmo sleeping bag! I had never seen her so excited...there was a lot of jumping up and down and screaming involved, but it's hard to catch that on camera.
Jaylanne also got a good one - a new bike!

My MIL spoiled me as usual with lots of new clothes...and a U of M snuggie!!!!!
Oscar ended up with a new kitty. This one is called "Awful Mad Kitty."
His favorite toys, side by side. Please note the amount of wear that "Big Mean Kitty" has on the right.
We had a wonderful Christmas, and got up early the next morning to go to Florida! I have a few photos from the trip that I will probably post tomorrow.

ALSO: How could I forget to mention the amazing Christmas gift that Matt gave me???! Remember a long time ago, I posted that I wanted this necklace? Well...imagine my surprise when it was under our tree! And he even remembered to put the initials as "M&S" so I didn't have to wear a necklace that said "S&M." Now, that's love! :)