Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Operation Break Bad Habits: Mission Report #2

You might recall reading this post... about me being a Good Girl with A LOT of habits

And if you're keeping track of my progress, here's my first recap. 

It's been a few weeks, so it's about that time for another recap of my progress, or definitely lack there of. 

Here's the abridged version of the habits that I'd like to break in 2014, along with my current progress. 

1. Stop Biting Nails : I'm disgusting.... really.. this problem has increased.. I have been 50 shades of stressed and it's literally like I dipped my fingertips in a bowl of piranhas. I tend to do better when they are painted and manicured.. but a manicure is not part of my house closing costs. 

2. Stop Procrastinating (as much - I'm going to be realistic on this one.) : Yeah...on the domestic home front, I'm still an example of procrastination at its finest. My laundry pile is probably the height of an abnormally tall 3-year-old.

3. It's okay to say "No." I've actually been doing surprisingly well at this... but sadly, more so on the stuff I need to be doing. Like, I need to do XYZ, but then internally, I'm like, "No, maybe later." #TheStruggleIsReal

4. Unhealthy Eating Habits: I'm just going to ignore this...

5. Drink More Water: I wish I could say I've been good about drinking water, but I haven't been - which partnered with my stress levels and less-than-ideal diet, I'm having an embarrassingly horrible Rosacea flare up. I effin' hate having Rosacea. Go the hell away. 

6. Work Out Regularly: uughh... can I just delete this one? It is staring me in the face. I need more time in my day and yes, I echo what you're thinking..less excuses too. 

7. Keep Up With Laundry: A miracle actually occurred... and I did in fact, do several loads of laundry - a load of towels, a load of sheets, a load of undergarments and work pants... Now is the same amount still piled up that needs to be addressed....yes...

8. Work Through Hang-Ups, Mental Baggage & Trust Issues: I'll have to ask the Boo about this one.. has any progress been made?

9. Track Finances and Budget: I've been tracking it alright.. tracking it quickly leaving...

To sum up my progress, there's no pretty much to it, I have been an epic failure these past few weeks, however, I'm encouraged with the fact that cheerleading is potentially ending tonight (if we lose, season is officially over. If we win, we go another 2 weeks), which means my available time will significantly increase. But then my Rank 1 program (it's a 2nd masters program for teachers) will start back up...and oh, it's just a never-ending cycle..

I still continue to hope those of you working towards progress are finding some - I will live vicariously through you. 

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

"Don't Gobblefunk Around with Words."

It's no surprise that I love Roald Dahl. 

It's also no surprise that I hope to infuse him into my new home in some way. I would really like to learn to sew, so I can make fun pillow covers... How cute would Dahl's words be on a pillow that actually matched my decor... I must take learning to sew on my 101 list seriously.. I have too many DIY projects I want to tackle that involve sewing... meh

I love this quote by Roald Dahl because it makes me think about how people communicate. So many times people are scared to say what they really think (believe it or not, sometimes me) or tell someone how they really feel (vulnerability can be really scary...).

Then there are those people that don't think before they speak and once the words are out there, you can't truly take them back. It's like toothpaste - once you squeeze it out, it's nearly impossible to put it back in the tube.

My challenge to you is to be more intentional with your words - Say what you mean and mean what you say.

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Sunday, February 16, 2014

Weekly Recap...I'm Impulsive..#sorrynotsorry

I apologize for being M.I.A this week.  One of my side gigs is as a Varsity Cheer Coach, and sweet Mother Nature made it so, I had 7 nights of ballgames in 9 days... and it's the repercussions of being impulsive. I can be an unproductive sloth, but sometimes when I get an idea in my head to commit to doing something, impulsiveness takes over.
Prime Example: I bought my first-home. With the exception of all the paperwork and closing, we're just talking accepted/signed offer.. we're talking like 4 days.

I know you're shocked. Trust me, I am too. I haven't been saving, nor did I have any intentions in buying a home. But, I will be the first to tell you, that my current abode is less than desirable. I love living in the Arts District downtown, but I'm more so, on the outskirts. Rent is heavenly, but the place is not. Floors are sloped, insulation sucks (The gas bill I got yesterday for last month is $165. Shoot.me.now.), I can't take a bath (there's a tub, but no faucet. Showerhead only), the overhead light in my bedroom doesn't work (the landlady said she'd fix it... 2 months ago), my place itself is pretty dark..my neighbors are less than desirable too.. Needless to say, I've been keeping my ears open for new apartments, but a problem in Paducah is that there is no inbetween.. You've got shitty $.. or hella nice $$$. 

Fast forward to the 6th (Thurs). A pal who is house hunting sends me a link for a listing and was like, "If you were a house, this would be you."  I click on it... and seriously ya'll, this place is me. I can't wait to give you the home tour.  It's amazing. Considering where I currently live, and what I've settled for in the past... Anyways...so I contact one of my cheer parents, who is a realtor, and was like "I don't even know if I would qualify for a mortgage loan, but I'm in love with this townhouse/condo.. could we look at it?" She tells me to contact my bank and start the process. So, I did. 16 hours later, I'm approved. We set up a time to view it and then the next morning I get a text that someone else had put a offer on the home, but they wanted to see if I would make an offer.. Well, I fell it love with it..so of course I did... Saturday afternoon. Back and forth all weekend... and Monday morning, my offer was accepted.. and then I signed my name about 34 times and faxed 32 different forms last week.

This past week also included Valentine's.. Check out these adorable boot warmers that I wore on V-day.

My Gramman knitted these for me. She's the best.
I scored big for Valentine's Day, which makes me feel slightly guilty since all I did for him was draw a card with a urinal on the front with the inscription "Urinal my Thoughts" and re-gifted a S'mores gift from one of my students. Some Valentine, I am.  So, My boy, I refer to him as Bombay (He plays hockey, so the reference is from The Mighty Ducks. Quack.) came into town from Memphis (It's a LDR)... For starters, he knows the way to my heart. After school, we met up at Starbucks for a coffee date. We parted ways and I met back up with him a little later at his parent's house, where I was gifted with a Starbucks card from his precious parents (they know the way to my heart too) a rose from his dad, and from him, a Starbucks card (he definitely knows the way to my heart), a NorthFace zip-up and my favorite Valentine's gift ever (which I had to share with the COT "Circle of Trust", their commentary was hilarious. I ended up FaceTiming with Christin and Kali, which made my day even better. Can't wait to reunite with them and Mama in June)... was the sweetest love letter (which was technically all I asked for).

For those of you that read this regularly, Bombay is a fan and he gets on to me for not posting..please see "C."
Such a crazy week last week.. I'm ready for life to slow down a little bit, but I don't foresee that happening any time soon. Be ready for multiple posts about all things dealing with the new home. I can't wait to blog about this journey and Bombay, I promise to "Get With It" and post regularly. Thank you for making this one of the best Valentine's - "Z" is my favorite. 

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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Meet the Fur Babies..Right Meow.

I'm a certifiable cat lady. A cat's purr is one of my favorite sounds in the world, and I love nothing more than a sweet, cuddly kitty. The cat rooms at the Humane Society are my kryptonite (I avoid them like the plague) I feed stray ones (I know I shouldn't...but they look so hungry...and sad...and hungry) and I have to fight the urge, all the time, to not be that chick from the Animaniacs cartoon that practically strangles them with her overwhelming love (and desire) to cuddle them.

So, without further adieu, I'd like to introduce you to my 17 pound  ball of fluff.

Meet Tiptoe. 

She's a Hemingway Polydactyl, which is basically a fancier name for a domestic shorthair who also happens to be a mutant. The author, Nathaniel Hemingway, has loads of these cats running around his place, hence the name preceding Polydactyl. Her birth defect results in extra toes, hers make her paws appear like mittens. She's a pretty rad cad - I mean she has thumbs. She also will sit on command for Cheese (a pretty fun trick to show-off) and her favorite toy is a little squirrel, which is funny since my sorority (Alpha Gamma Delta) mascot was the squirrel.

Up until 2 years ago, I had ZERO interest in becoming a dog owner. Times have changed - Enter Pippa the Pomeranian.

It all started with my Pomeranian owning BFF, Ashley.  A local animal shelter posted on their Facebook about an incredibly shy, abused puppy mill escapee who was found captured mangy and malnourished on the side of the road. The BFF’s Pom, Audrey, is a jealous red-headed fox and doesn’t exactly play well with others, so naturally, the BFF thought the next best home for this sweet shelter pup was my house. I remember being like, “Yeah… I don’t see that working out. I’m a cat lady. I don’t know the first thing about being a dog owner.”

Fast forward two days. BFF’s mom is now suggesting we visit this dog at the shelter. She has taken to emailing the shelter on my behalf and even puts the pup on hold so I could see her. (And to think that I thought cat ladies were crazy…) Under the ruse of a lunch date, I was practically coerced on this group shelter trip. I mean,. I was a certifiable cat lady. Cats were self-sufficient – Feed, pet, poop scoop, pet, poop scoop. Repeat. Visiting the animal shelter for a dog wasn’t exactly on my life agenda. Ever.

Arrival to the animal shelter had me more interested in the cat habitat. I had literally picked out two and named them before my transformation into dog owner began. The volunteer interrupted my kitty loving and introduced me to a mangy, honey-colored fur blob. My immediate reaction was, “Gah, does she have fleas?” followed by “Oh my, she is precious…” followed by “Sweet heavens, I must have this honey colored fox” followed by “Chyna is an awful name… She’s being renamed” and ending with “When can I take her home? I.MUST.HAVE.HER.” I agreed to foster her, which turned into adopting her and now she's obsessed with me, and I'm totally okay with that (What I'm not okay with is her considering the litter box as an All-You-Can-Eat-Buffet. She is disgusting.)

You might be wondering how the 10 year-old cat feels about the 3-year old dog... Well... This picture speaks for itself. It's a relationship of tolerance. Tiptoe is not the biggest fan.. and Pippa hasn't quite caught on to this. Ignorance is bliss.

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Drumroll, please.......

And the nomination for The Liebster Award goes to..... Me...(well, and soon to be 11 other bloggers). 

I think I echo Anne's sentiments, when I say "Wow!" What a surprise to be nominated for a blogging award, and by two different people. Thank you so much Anne and Tabitha - I am seriously blown away.

So, folks, here's the 411 on The Liebster Award. It's basically a label of sorts that shouts, "Hey this blogger has some serious potential. Recognize 'em. Check 'em out." Stealing the rules from Anne 's post (Sidenote: I'm a reader of Anne's blog. I would have nominated her, if rules allowed it. See #4)
  1. Link back to the blogger that nominated you: Cheers to you Anne and Tabitha. Thank you for thinking of me!
  2. Answer the 11 questions requested by the nominator.
  3. Choose 11 nominees with small followings (from as small as 200 or 2,000).
  4. You can not nominate the person who nominated you.
  5. You must let the bloggers know they were nominated. 
Since, both Anne and Tabitha nominated me. I'll do an infusion of questions from the two (is that even allowed? Whatever, I'm a rule breaker. Kate Spade says to "skirt the rules" anyway). 

 Anne's Questions:
  1. What was the best vacation that you have gone on? Best Vacation - Hands Down - was the three week trip to Italy in 2006 with my parents and my BFF, Ashley. As a requirement for the Honors Diploma at my University, you had to study abroad. As an out-of-state student, the cost for me was the equivalent of being able to travel independently and go with my parents. I proposed an independent project, was approved, and had the trip of a lifetime. 
  2. You have a free night...go out or stay home? Considering my first few years of college were spent going out 4 nights a week, or working 70+ hours planning and attending special events, or fulfilling my ridiculous schedule obligations now, I would probably choose to stay-home over going out. Don't get me wrong, I do like to go out, but sometimes I like to just have a relaxing night in with take-out and a rented movie or book.
  3. What is your favorite book? I have so many books that I love (I'm a big reader. Please feel free to share your suggestions!) But my classic favorites include the Bronte sisters, Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights, and Jane Austen's, Pride and Prejudice.
  4. What is your favorite store and why? TARGET, especially the ones that have Starbucks inside them. Their clothes are affordable on a teacher's salary (love their cardigans) and their prices/selection on home goods, stationary, fashion accessories, Target brand nom noms, pet supplies and cosmetics are definitely awesome. I wish Paducah had a Target (I dislike Walmart for several reasons) but my wallet sure isn't.
  5. If you could have any job what would it be? I would be an Event Planner. For several years, I planned weddings and events out in Southern California (San Diego) and I miss it more than anything. I was passionate about working with clients and bringing their visions to life, no matter how small or how grand. I love nothing more than letting a bride focus on marrying her best friend, while I handled the stress of nailing down all the details and event execution. Loved. Loved. Love Event Planning.
  6. What is your favorite holiday and why? I love Christmas. My grandparents got married on Christmas Eve, and I used to want a Christmas inspired wedding of my own. I think Christmas is my favorite because growing up as a military brat, we always lived away from my Gramman and Grandad, but every Christmas we would trek the often 13 hours to spend the holiday season with them. Some of my fondest memories are at their home during that time. My Gramman is also the most amazing holiday decorator, and her gingerbread themed kitchen is my absolute favorite. We even share some of the same homemade decorations for our individual gingerbread trees. As much as I still love Christmas and it's by far my favorite holiday, admittedly some of the joy has been taken out of the holiday for me. My sweet Grandad was diagnosed with Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer during the 2008 holiday season, and sadly, that was his last Christmas with us. Truthfully, his receiving a terminal diagnosis was the shittiest Christmas Gift I received that year, or frankly, ever.
Tabitha's Questions:

7. How long have you been blogging? Since the 18th day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand and fourteen... essentially...weeks.. but it totally sounds better when worded that way, right?

8. Do you have any pets? Tell us about them. I have a 17 lb. cat, named Tiptoe, who will be 10 this May. She's a Hemingway Polydactyl. Basically, she has a genetic defect and thus, has extra toes. In total, she has 24 and her front paws look like big mittens. I have a 3-year-old Pomeranian named Pippa. She looks like a fox, and what she says varies at times, depending on her mood.

9. If you could attempt to do something, and not fail, what would you attempt? Quit my job and open a wedding/event planning company. Event Planning is my greatest love. I miss it and yearn to plan weddings and events again. 

10. If you had to choose between makeup and hair products (shampoo, etc. not included), which would you choose? Make-up. Generally, I have okay hair and I definitely have no shame in rockin' the pony for days on end, but I suffer from Papular-Pustular Rosacea and without make-up to cover the redness and often times, bumpy flare-ups,  I would probably never want to leave the house. It has been the source of some debilitating confidence issues and something I've struggled with, and will forever struggle with,  for almost a decade.

11. Favorite animal? At the moment, I'm going to say that my favorite animal, because I want one so bad, is the Sphynx. Otherwise known as the hairless cat...yes, I'm well aware that they are inside-out cats, kind of creepy/ugly. BUT, they feel like peaches, love to cuddle, wear sweaters, and like bath time. Judge me all you want, but I want one and one day I'll own one and name it Wookie. 

My Nominees for the Liebster Award: 

1. Christin @ The Southern Wife
5. Allison @ Because I Said So
6. Kathryn @ As Told by Kathryn
7. Kailagh @ Kailagh Anne 
8. Rachael @ The Rachael Way 
9. Jess @ Being Mrs Beer
11. Sarah @ A Girl Smitten

My Questions (I'm going to try to stray from the conventional to keep things interesting):

1.What is your signature Starbucks drink?
2. What's the strangest advice that you've ever been given, yet you swear by it?
3. What non-profit organization do you support?
4. What was the reasoning behind your parent's choice for your name?
5. Are you a shower singer? If so, what songs are in your watery set list?
6. What's the worst date you've ever been on?
7. Do you have any tattoos?
8. What do you think the fox says?
9. If you were 16, what advice would you have given your future (current) self?
10. What song would be on the soundtrack of your life?
11. What is something embarrassing about yourself?

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Monday, February 3, 2014

Life is Full of Surprises

Basically since my last post to tonight life has been full of surprises. Gramman, thank you for alerting me of my 5 day absence. I fully intend to get back in the swing of things. I'm glad someone missed me in the Blogosphere.

Thursday had me traveling from Paducah to Frankfort, KY with 16 cheerleaders in tow (I'm a Varsity Cheer Coach for a local high school) for a basketball tournament that our Varsity Boys were playing in. We weren't expected to win (Surprise!), but what an exciting time for the school when they did.

These are my sweet cheer babies - they are precious and I love being their Coach.
Since we won Thursday, we ended up playing late the next night too and having a 2-night hotel stay. Needless to say, hotel stays with high schoolers are full of adventures. We ended up losing the next night (which actually wasn't a surprise...) and sadly, those precious babies from above got a "talk", at the end of the game. Coming off the high from the night before, losing wasn't being handled very well, so for the entire 4th quarter there were practically NO smiles. This is one of my biggest pet peeves (cheerleaders are supposed to smile obnoxiously, win or lose) and my yelling after game talk consisted of phrases like this:  

I love you girls, but that last quarter was painful to watch. I took some candid photos. Would you like to see yourselves NOT smiling? [pull out iPhone for show-and-tell] Your job is to SMILE, during and between cheers.

If you don't want to smile, perhaps you need to reconsider being a cheerleader, since that's a part of the job description. If you'd rather continue to be a grumpy cat, you need to head to the local humane society right meow. 

  **Disclaimer: I smiled more than they did in this "talk" than they did the entire 4th quarter**

Saturday had me to trekking to Memphis early in preparation for surprising one of my BFF's Christin for her 29th birthday celebration on Sunday. It all started two months ago, her husband started planning for her long-distance Besties (known affectionately, with her, as the COT or "Circle of Trust") to help surprise her for her 29th birthday. He sent out the most adorable invites.

He invited her family, some of her dear Memphis friends and then of course the COT. There were several times we thought Christin had caught on to what was going on, so of course we played dumb and tried to help steer her off course. IT WAS SO HARD. We would be group-texting and then Kali, Mama and I would have separate threads at random points to discuss status of the surprise, etc. You see, Kali and I live within driving distance (we're both between 3-5 hours away) but Bri (we call her Mama) lives in Minnesota. Her husband is a pilot, so she was going to fly down on standby. The morning of, literally she didn't have a seat. Like Thank God she got on that airplane because one person didn't show up and I must say, I am SUPER THANKFUL that the person whose seat she sat in didn't decide to fly to Memphis Sunday. Sidenote - I really hope this person didn't die or get into an accident.

Weeks ahead of time, I told Mama I would make her a cheesy airport sign and I DID. We also had an epic airport meet-up. 

While waiting for Kali (she was driving in some wintry weather) Mama and I hit up a party store where we bought these ginormous pink sunglasses and a leopard print party hat for Christin. We didn't to rock the glasses into the house. On the way to Christin's, she was telling us about the surprise party and mentioning that the only people that were missing was the COT. At this point, the three of us decided that if Christin didn't cry, she totally knew that we were coming. So, Did she or Didn't She?

The verdict was, she did cry and she didn't figure out that we were coming. We walked in and it took her a solid few minutes to comprehend what was happening.. the look on her face was PRICELESS. She was SURPRISED... and then the tears and the "What are you doing here?"  After the hugs, we posed for this fun picture and it totally sums up our relationship.  I love these three women and I am both thankful and blessed to have them in my life. I seriously have the most amazing women in my life as besties, COT included. BFF, Kiki La Rue, Bestest, Cookie, Kitty Kate, Heather - I don't know what I would do without any of you. #BestiesForTheRestie

The rest of the night was a blast (definitely more fun spending time with them than watching the train wreck of a Super Bowl. Although, watching Bruno Mars during half-time encouraged us to book a trip in June to Minneapolis, where Mama is, for a girls' weekend and some Bruno!)

C - I will never forget the genuine emotion you expressed in seeing us. You brought the biggest smile to my soul. Happy 29th birthday. I know this year will have so many incredible things in store for you. Blessed to be a part of your world. 

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