Monday, June 29, 2009

The Bluest Eye

Sorry for the crappy picture. It's the cover of Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye. This is an old book. It was an Oprah pick and it may have won the Pulitzer at some point, I'm too lazy to look it up. Anyway, it's a pretty depressing story about two black families living in Lorain of all places. I'm also too lazy for a full review. This was just OK. I've read one other Morrison and I did like it, but I couldn't get into this book. So, it just gets added to the tally, not the must read recommendations.

In other news........all last week I was starving by 9:00 am at work even though I had been eating the same cereal (Fiber One for life yo!) and packing the same snacks. I thought maybe I should switch up the breakfast or add more fruit or something. Then, I thought, Oatmeal! Now, I'm not the biggest fan of oatmeal, mostly because of the consistency and it's pretty bland unless you doctor it up good but I'm giving it a shot anyway. So, this morning was my first adult foray into the hot cereal world. A bonus on oatmeal's side is that it's WAY cheaper than the F1. I pay top dollar for that and oatmeal was less then $2 for a big ol' tub. I thought it would take too long to make with my rushed morning routine but it was only 2 minutes in the microwave. I put in some maple syrup. Alas, we were out of brown sugar. A couple bites -- which burned my tongue (advantage F1) and I decided it needed more help. I added a little sugar and honey, which did the trick. So, I had measured out a normal serving, 1/2 cup. Holy cow that's a LOT of oatmeal. I was only halfway through the bowl, which I had to eat slowly due to its temperature and it was almost time for me to leave. I didn't even have my makeup on yet. Cripe! I took the oatmeal in the bathroom and ate while I made myself glamorous (ha!) 6:30 and I'm still not finished plus I'm super full. I pawned the rest of the bowl off on John, an oatmeal afficionado, and headed out the door. I didn't find myself as hungry throughout the morning but I also packed double fruit as snacks. So, today's results from the oatmeal experiment were inconclusive. Stay tuned......

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Jiminy Christmas

I done twisted my foot. I think it happened at zumba tonight. My nemesis was there. I haven't seen her in over a month and boy was she tan. I think we now know why her skin looks like pleather. Too much sun. Back to my foot. I'm pretty sure it hurts because I need new shoes. I've had the Shox I've been wearing to zumba for nearly 2 years, for 4 years now. WAY too long. And before zumba, they were my only running shoes too. I think when you can press on the sole of the shoe and feel it on the bottom of your feet, it's probably time to bite the bullet. I think, instead of getting fitted for running shoes, that I'll just pray for a good deal at the Nike outlet next weekend. If I can get a good pair of kicks to wear to both zumba and run in, 2 birds.

Other items to buy -- I heard through the shopping grapevine that almost all jeans at the Gap will be 19.99 starting tomorrow until 6/2. And since I found my new favorite cut (Curvy!) I'm going to see if the rumors are true. I also need a dress for an August wedding. I have something I could wear, but I want something new. :) And I'm debuting my maxi dress at the shower for said wedding on Sunday. I'll let you know how it goes. Last summer when maxis were all the rage (I'm hoping I haven't completely missed the boat), I thought, "there's no way I can pull that off." But, just for shits, I tried one on at the mall. Then I went to another store and tried on about 15 more. I really found them flattering on me. Sweet! I got a good deal which is key when purchasing a trendy item since it's not going to be around long probably. I'm going to wear my metallic silver sandals with it. Perhaps I'll report back with pics! I'm also still in need of that yellow pebble leather bag. Someone come through for me at the outlets, PLEASE! It could be Kate or Coach. Hell, it could even be Fossil. I just need it!

Saturday is my long-awaited hair appointment. I'm def. getting a cut, just don't know what style. I haven't decided on color. I'm torn. Do I save some money and skip the highlights until I can't stand it (my roots are OK right now) or, do I brighten things up with a little color? Feel free to vote in comments!

Now some sad news....rough week in Hollywood. I'm going to listen to my favorite Michael Jackson song, "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough" in honor of MJ.

Monday, June 22, 2009


I have vacation fever. It has been one month since we went to Florida and because I don't have another one on the books yet, I'm getting antsy. I really enjoy looking forward to things, namely, trips. OK, going out for dinner too but that's beside the point. I have convinced my husband to take a romantic trip to Niagara Falls/Niagara on the Lake in August or September but only if we buy a house first. He's nutty.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


I moved up the hold list for Mommywood by Tori Spelling pretty quickly. This was exciting for two reasons: 1) I didn't have to wait a long time, 2) It meant that I got it for 3 weeks instead of just 1 had I gotten it from the express shelf. Turns out, I didn't need 3 weeks, just 3 hours, to read Spelling's sophomore effort. Since Johnny was at the wheel, I read the entire book on the way up to Cleveland this weekend. It was a fast read, obvi. I enjoyed her first memoir sTori Telling so I had pretty decent hopes for this one. There's something I find fascinating about Tori Spelling's life and I'm not sure what it is. I'm a fan of her show on Oxygen but other than that, her acting work has never struck a chord with me. Anyway, Mommywood is comprised of various tales of being a mother in Hollywood (hence the title). Spelling's style is comical and entertaining. You're not going to break a sweat reading this one but it's worth the brief period of time you'll need to devote to it. See for yourself!

P.S. I think (I have to double check) that this is my 22nd book read in 2009! That puts me far ahead of schedule for my 35 book goal. I thought about upping the ante but I don't want to set myself up for failure.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Master Your Metabolism

I decided to try out another health book so I got Master Your Metabolism by Jillian Michaels from the library. This is not a book that outlines a workout plan but rather focuses on hormones and removing the bad from your diet and life in general. I am a fan of Jillian's work on Biggest Loser so I thought I would enjoy this book. It's written very conversationally. If Jillian irks you on TV, you will not be able to handle this book. It's also extremely repetitive. She spends the entire first chapter reiterating the 3 main points covered throughout the rest of the book. Not necessary. But, she gives a lot of good information on how hormones, diet, pesticides, etc. can be the main cause of a lot of human deficiencies with thyroid, insulin, etc. All things that are tied back to metabolism. I actually did find a lot of good information in Master Your Metabolism. She presents a 2 week diet plan that should give you the building blocks for healthy eating lifestyles. Now, I'm not one for diet plans. I have NEVER gone on a strictly prescribed diet. All of my food choices are dictated by what I think is healthy, or sometimes not so healthy. I can see how her plan would help you lose weight as it's a drastic reduction in calories. However, the amount of food she is allowing in her meals would leave me gnawing my arm off. Also, she doesn't really advocate carbs in the evening. This doesn't really jive with the low fat butter pecan ice cream John just brought home. She spends a good amount of time preaching organics too. That's all well and good but I can't afford a cart full of organics. Sorry, Jillian. I'd like to master my metabolism but not at the cost of butter pecan. It's worth a read if you're interested in how hormones affect your weight. Lots of good informaiton throughout and a lot of good recipes at the end that I should have copied down before I returned it. DRAT!

Happy Homemaking!

I have been a lax blogger but I've got a lot going on. My babies are growing! I have 8 little tomatoes sprouting. Check it out. They are going to make some damn fine salsa and bruschetta. I just know it! They still have a ways to go but they're on their way. :)

I also finished my quilt square! I was asked (read: forced) to make a quilt square for an in-law. Now, I love sewing but I've never quilted before so I was a little nervous. I asked to see an example of such a quilt compiled of these squares. It was not what I thought at all. There was little to no actual quilting and a lot of painted squares. Huh? I don't paint. Anyway, I racked my brain about what I could do for a square. As it's a wedding gift (a surprise, don't tell!), I think I came up with a good compromise. I made a square in a traditional quilt pattern using their wedding colors, eggplant and sage. The colors don't come across right in the pic but check out my handiwork! I think it's pretty good for my first attempt at quilting which is much less forgiving in the seams than sewing clothes and placemats. Anyway, I hope they all like it but I worked pretty hard on it. If they don't want to use it, I want it back. I would make a pillow out of it! Check it out.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Look Me in the Eye

I picked up Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's by John Elder Robison a couple weeks ago and just got around to reading it. It's another in my line of some non-fiction lately and it's on a topic I know nothing about. Asperger's is an autism spectrum disorder that many live with, including Robison. He shares his experiences as a child with Asperger's at a time when no one could diagnose this "problem." Until 40, he didn't understand his social dysfunction and sometimes strange behavior. However, Robison overcame this obstacle by becoming a successful sound technician for KISS. This memoir was really interesting. Much like those of his brother, Augusten Burroughs of Running with Scissors and Possible Side Effects fame. It's definitely worth a read if you're looking for a departure from your normal fare as I was.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

My how the garden does grow!

This is the garden on my balcony! In a 6'x9' space, also shared with an unusable grill and some chairs, I have a hanging bacopa (not pictured), hanging basil (also not pictured), dahlias (they're in the painted pots waiting for their time to bloom. And the piece de resistance! My tomatoes and herb babies! I don't like tomatoes but I do like things with tomatoes in them. Namely bruschetta and salsa. So come mid-July, I'm hoping to harvest a bumper crop of Celebrity heirlooms for some homegrown culinary creations. And, John likes tomatoes so he can eat the ones I don't use in things. I'm also tempted to try my hand at spaghetti sauce. Stay tuned! In addition to my tomato plant is the return of my herb babies! This year I chose only 4 varieties thinking that giving them a little more room in their beds might help them prosper. I was right! From left to right there's: sage, thyme, spearmint, and rosemary. Tonight was the first time I used the thyme (ha!) on some chicken. This week I have plans for sage in two recipes and this weekend we're having guests so I'm going to use the mint in mojitos. Watch out now! I'm also serving my white sangria but I don't have any homegrown ingredients in that. It's just tasty. I'll post the recipe later this week. It's super refreshing in the summer.

Also a big success was week two of Super Summer Salad Suppers! I did a Southwestern Salad with lettuce (obvi), corn, black beans, chicken, cheese and a homemade Lime Cilantro Vinaigrette that I was pretty proud of. Next week I think we're doing a Steak Salad with a bleu cheese dressing, homemade of course.

Facing down a LONG week ahead but really looking forward to our guests this weekend!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Dog Park Adventures

Yesterday we had our second attempt at the dog park. The first one we were a little apprehensive and when we got there, the small doggies were all tired and laying down. Not knowing what Sadie would do, we took a long walk around the park and then let her loose in the fenced in area. She loved it! But, because of the long walk, she tired out pretty quickly. So this time, we skipped the walk and went straight to making doggie friends.

There were TONS of small dogs this time, at least 20. They were all having a great time. Sadie was a little timid and started playing with a larger version of herself named, Shimmer (no joke). We moved further into the grassy area. Sadie normally goes nuts when she sees another dog. I think the amount of dogs threw her. We threw the frisbee for her to try to get her interested in running around. She got the hang of it eventually. She played a lot with a little Italian Greyhound and some other white doggies. We've also learned that she really enjoys a good butt sniffing. Giving, not receiving. She also likes to sniff the butts of boy dogs while they're peeing on trees. They don't really care for this invasion of privacy. It's really quite an intrusion. So much so that one little Jack Russelly looking dog kicked dirt in her face after his pee while Sadie was sniffing him. No matter. She didn't seem phased.

All in all we were there about an hour. Little Miss Sadie loves the dog park. We're hoping it could be a good Friday evening ritual when the weather is nice and also, may lead to some new human friends too. Wheee!!!!

Some randomness

I finally got around to watching the season finale of the Hills on DVR earlier this week. Can I just say, where is Heidi's newfound love for Jesus coming from? I got no beef with Jesus. Love him till the cows come home. What I find troubling is Heidi's constant, "God Bless"-ing when for the past 4 years, we've hear neither hide nor hair of this business. Is she trying to reinvent herself to pull a different demographic? That's what irritates me.

In zumba news, on Thursday, the instructor called to say she was going to be late so I taught the warm up! It was very scary and the song I had was not very good but, everyone clapped graciously which made me feel good. And, she gave me a zumba t-shirt. Score! I know what you're wondering. No, my nemesis wasn't there. Thank God! I would have been scared of what she would have done had she been there, already steamed up that class was starting late.

And here's a little tidbit that a very small sections of readers will enjoy. Nevertheless:

For Your Viewing Pleasure

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Things I Would Rather...

...spend my money on instead of new tires for my car.
  1. Slouchy, large, yellow, pebbled leather bag
  2. New running shoes
  3. A massage
  4. My hair
  5. Jeans
  6. A cruise
I probably shouldn't complain because I'm inching closer and closer to 70,000 miles and they haven't blown out yet. Hope I didn't just jinx myself! I just feel like it's a large expense for something I care nothing about. I understand that I need a car to get to work to buy the other items on my list but really? $500 could buy so many more exciting things other than tires.

You know what irritates me lately? These crazy budgets on HGTV's First Time Home Buyers. Where are these people getting this money? We have been in saving mode (remember my Underwear Challenge? Still none purchased!) since we got married and unfortunately, we just won't be buying these $300K homes. Pfft.

I have decided that since John and I don't currently have any vacations planned, we will take a day trip later this month. I'm trying to keep the drive under 2 hours. I was looking at horse races in Lexington and touring a bourbon distillery. I thought it would be fun and inexpensive. However, I can't tell if there are regular races during the summer at Keeneland. How does one know this? Their calendar online looks blank but certainly horses run in the summer, right? If not, what other day trip suggestions could there be for us?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

I started The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz on vacation. This was mistake #1. TBWLOW is not a beach read by any stretch of the imagination. Mistake #2 was, apparently, taking French in high school as a good percentage of this book was in Spanish. Not whole paragraphs but enough interjected sentences that I had no clue what was being said. Backing up, this is the story of Oscar de Leon, a sad nerdy boy and his struggles. It also paints the story of his sister, Lola, mother Beli, and various other family members throughout history and their life under the curse of Trujillo. This book was recommended by someone I can't remember and since it was on the front shelves of my library, I picked it up. How Diaz won the Pulitzer for this is beyond me. I suppose the writing was lyrical but with the Spanish and the disjointed storylines and all of the characters and their names.....ENOUGH ALREADY! I can't, in good conscience, recommend this book to you. Sorry. It's one of those books I should have put down around page 100 but I kept reading, just hoping it would pick up. Not so much.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Monday, Monday

Goodness me what a Monday! It started out poorly with a crappy night of sleep. Sunday nights are always crappy sleeping. Your mind is still on the weekend but shades of the workweek ahead start seeping in. You have successfully reprogrammed your inner clock from 2 weekend nights of going to sleep past your bedtime and awarding yourself with some much needed NOT 5:30 AM wake up calls. So every Sunday when I see the clock every 15 minutes for more than an hour and wake up multiple times during the night, it’s very irritating. Throw in climate control issues and a dog who insists on sleeping in a pile and you’ve got a recipe for a sleepless night.

Knowing that I had two meetings I wasn’t interested in kind of put a damper on my Monday anyway. To add insult to injury, my June weigh in was nothing to write home about. I was UP! Up from 4 days earlier when I was down. Curses! Even after super summer salad supper too (this is my new plan to have a salad meal one night a week each week this summer. I even made my own dressing!) After a sleepy drive to the office, I finally start my day. Then, at work, I heard a snag rip on my way to get my coffee (still on just one cup a day, thank you very much). I look down and see that my right pant leg hem is ripping out. These are my favorite gray pants so I was more than slightly dismayed. Not having a needle or thread on hand, I paper clipped my hem and went about my day. Later on in the morning, I realize the other side of that pant leg is dragging. The stitching around the bottom of the whole right hem has now ripped out. Another paper clip added and I spend the rest of my day with paper clips holding up my hems. Now I am faced with somewhat of a dilemma. Pay to have the pants fixed. Not sure how much this will cost (probably not much but it’s the principal), and how long it will put them out of my rotation. Or, fix them myself. I don’t have a serger so I can’t sew them up the way they were intended but I think if I purchase grey (I prefer the English spelling) thread, that it will be disguised enough. I will probably take the latter solution as fixing them myself will only cost me about $2.00 and 15 minutes. Plus, I’ve rekindled my sewing kick after finishing a valance for my sister yesterday. Another summer goal of mine is to sew all of those project I have fabric and patterns for. Gee, these summer goals would be much more easily accomplished if I were a teacher, or a student, or someone who didn’t work in the summer. Oh well.