Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hola Mexico

FINALLY! John and I have been needing a vacation. In just 110 not so short days, we will be at the Valentin Riviera Maya in Mexico! It's an adults only resort on the Playa del Secreto. I researched all-inclusive resorts for months. Months, I tell you! After awhile, they all start to look the same. I also put a lot of stock in reviews of the resort. Probably too much stock really. A place could have 20 good reviews and then 1 bad one would spoil it for me. So, I stopped reading and made a decision. We actually used a travel agent to book the trip, which I have never done before. It was a very pleasant experience and her price beat any other I found online, which was super exciting. So, for 4 nights in October, you can think of me sippnig margaritas by the pool, hoping I don't burn.

P.S. I was trying to post a beautiful picture of this resort for you faithful readers but then a virus attacked my computer and I got yelled at.....even though it wasn't my fault. :( Pictures in 4 months months when we return. Pinky swear.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Dress - take two

I love wearing dresses in the summer. Well, I like dresses all year but in the summer, I don't have to pull on tights to stay warm. This is the second time I've used Little Red Roost's tutorial. I forgot how simple this was to sew up. The most difficult part is attaching the skirt to the tank top with the elastic already within its casing. I had to go back and re-stitch a wonky seam.

Nice full body shot, photographer.

This yellow tank top is OLD! But, it was still in good shape and because of the shoulder width, I don't have to wear a strapless bra with it. A win everyday in my book.

At the risk of this fabric being slightly Prairie Home Companion, I used it for the skirt anyway.

I've had it in my stash for years. No joke. I know it came from Joann's and I love a good paisley but I also know that sometimes the longer fabric stays in my stash, the less enamored with it I become. Does this happen to you, fellow fabric hoarders? When I go shopping, everything I purchase is immediately labeled "MUST OWN." And then as months and years go by the fabric remains unsewn and I'm wishing for the receipt so that I might return it. Anyway, I hope I'll be happy wearing this. I even upgraded the original apptern slightly and added pockets! This was super simple and can be done even after the side seams of the skirt are sewn. You have no idea how happy these pockets make m. A spot for my cell phone and credit card, two things most needed in life.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Recipe Re-blog #25

Big week in the kitchen! I must have been feeling ambitious because I tried three new recipes. We also brought back Super Summer Sunday Salad Supper! Eating a salad for dinner is very exciting for me. I always feel like I'm being super healthy.

BBQ Chicken Salad with Creamy BBQ Cilantro Lime Dressing: Oh my stars, this was a hit! I wanted to bathe in this dressing. Just because it has creamy in the name doesn't mean you can't lighten in up with fat free or low fast sour cream and mayo. I was able to use a lot of fresh cilantro from the garden too. My cilantro plant is going gangbusters so I find myself searching for uses while it's growing...and free! The BBQ chicken part of it was just simple grilled chicken but there was also a corn succotash mixed in that had a lot of flavor. Please try this!

Rosemary Cornbread: I already had this recipe printed out for a future baking but decided at the last minute, like before I ran my 5 miles on Sunday, that it would pair nicely with the salad listed above. And so, Super Summer Sunday Salad Supper becomes SSSSS with bread! For some reason, I have always wanted to make my own cornbread but always seem to reach for the Jiffy (good ol' Jiffy). Because my garden's rosemary is also going gangbusters I thought this would be a good use for my first foray. I had all ingredients on hand and it mixed up quickly. It was tasty although a touch dry. I may or may not have cut the oil amount down which is probably where my lack of moisture came from. Next time, full allotment of oil. We ate half the loaf and were good little fitness freaks and froze the other half.

Renaissance of Tuna Casserole: My friend Rachael Ray comes through again! My sister turned me onto this recipe when I visited earlier this month. Instead of my typical Wendy's drive-thru run immediately upon landing in Austin, she had leftovers of this waiting. How nice! I guess that's what happens when you arrive at a normal hour. This came together lightning fast. I even sprung for the sun-dried tomatoes which I normally wouldn't do. $4 a jar! They really added a nice layer of flavor. Not a very saucy dish but that's okay, the taste makes up for it. I substituted shells for fettucine because that's what I had. I also realized far too late that I was out of peas. Blast! But, this was a good little pasta dish.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Truth be told, our master bathroom is not very masterful. Though it has space for a double sink, there is but one to wash in. It boasts an extra large shower complete with seating (for what?) but no tub. One day, we'd like to do a complete tear out and make it nicer. For now, the bank account would only allow for a $4.00 upgrade.

I purchased a half yard of this geometrically patterned canvas from JoAnn's recently. That's where the $4.00 comes in. Though the picture is a bit blown out, it's black and white. In the interim, we'd like to paint the cabinet under the sink black until we can start with a blank slate. I'm also trying to talk John into letting me paint the door on the inside of the bathroom black. The outside in the bedroom would stay white. Not making much headway in that discussion.

The bathroom has a single garden window. It's not very large but does let in some much appreciated natural light. If only you could open it to let the steam out post shower......

With said fabric and about 15 minutes time, I sewed up a sleek valance. The hardware was already mounted from the previous owners.

Ta-da! Not a vast improvement but at least it's something, right? Little by little, more home-y things are being accomplished. I have a feeling this is a never-ending process.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Hoppy Beer Tasting

This past Saturday night John and I had a dinner and movie date. The movie was Green Lantern. As much as I love Ryan Reynolds, you can pass on this one. Dinner however, was at The Pub, a semi-local chain that has since worked its way back into our good graces. On a previous visit (back in 2008 probably), we had terrible service and there was really only one thing on the menu we liked (fish & chips!). The only reason we decided to give this another go a couple months ago was because they serve Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale on tap. YUM! So much better than in the bottle, even for a non-bourbon fan like me. Luckily, sincen that first trip they've also expanded their menu a bit. That doesn't stop me from ordering the the fried fish though. Gets me every time!

This time, the exact same fish sandwich I had ordered last time came on rye bread. Why? And I had to pay extra for cole slaw. I should have known. But, the Pub is still on my OK to Eat There list for the following reasons: Crispin and this delightful paddle full of beer samples! If you like apple cider and can find Crispin, you must try it. Its distribution, though brought to us by Sam Adams, is extremely limited. The Pub happens to have this on tap too. Two points for the Pub. But, we also branched out and tried the following four beers in 5 oz. samples for just over $5.00. Very reasonable, eh?

Tasting notes from Left to Right. Is this not the cutest thing you've ever seen? Maybe you can't tell from the picture but the glasses are mini!

Belhaven Stout: This Scottish beer was sort of Guinness-y. Very smoky and dark, obviously. My least favorite of the bunch but would be good had I been in a dark beer mood which, in the summer, I'm usually not.

Belhaven Twisted Thistle: This was simply delightful! Not only is it brought to us by my people but it was very floral with hints of jasmine. Even John liked it. Light and sippably summer.

Hoegaarden: The clove in this one is insane! The orange slice reminded my of Blue Moon but otherwise, nothing like that at all. This was my fave with the Thistle coming in a close second. Must seek out in stores.

Breckenridge Vanilla Porter: Dark yes but very smooth. And you definitely taste the vanilla, which I appreciated. I hate when a beer tastes nothing like it's advertised.

Can wait to go back and try more? What have you been sampling lately?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pinwheel, Pinwheel Spinning Around

Do you people remember that show Pinwheel on Nickelodeon? I'm going to put it somewhere in the mid to late 80's. Good times. Anyway, I sewed this Pinwheel skirt weeks ago but was too lazy to iron and photograph myself in it. Sorry. I had this Pinwheel Skirt from Elle Apparel bookmarked for a really long time before I actually put Lipstick Linen to sewing machine. Really, that's what it was called at JoAnn's, $7/yard with a coupon. I have never worked with linen before. All I knew was that it has a tendency to wrinkle. This is a very thorough tutorial but I still prefer to sew with a pattern. I ran into trouble right from the start when I was cutting out my fabric pieces. I purchase exactly two yards, which is technically all you need, however, it took some fancy layout work to be able to cut all the pieces to size. I spent a long time trying to figure this out and doing the math involved with my measurements which are nowhere near as tiny as the designer's. At one point, John came into the living room and said, "It's never good when I come in here in the middle of a project and you have your head in your hands." I had been that way for a good 15 minutes trying to sort things through. Eventually, I got it.

The sewing went okay except either I missed a step or I sorely miscalculated two of the panel measurements. I ended up having to put an extra pleat in the back. The pleats that create the pinwheel were easier than I thought they'd be. One of the most difficult parts was the placement of the trim along the pleats. And I thought that would be easy. I'm still not sure I got it right. They don't really meet up where they shoud. And I don't know that I'm super happy with the end product.

It's too big in the waist and needs to be taken in. Also, my pinwheel waves in the front don't sit flat. And I think it makes me look hippy, as in big in the hips, not like a hippie. I guess I'm just disappointed that I worked so hard and the skirt from the tutorial looks so nice on her. I'm glad I tackled this project because it gave me the opportunity to attempt a custom fit, something I'm not great at, I learned. I'm hoping I can alter it to where it's wearable. Otherwise, it was a lot of toil for nothing.

Side Note: I need a better camera. And a better photographer.

Monday, June 20, 2011

6 Week Six-Pack

Do you have Time Warner Cable and get the Exercise On Demand channel (426 in Ohio)? If so, and you're looking for a good ab and really all muscle groups, you must give this a try.

It's Jillian Michael's 6 Week 6 Pack. If you don't have On Demand, you can also buy it here for $10. If you have never seen The Biggest Loser, Jillian is one of the trainers on there and also brings her workouts to the home viewer on TV and DVD. I'm no stranger to her by any means. I think I've tried all of them: 30 Day Shred, No More Trouble Zones, Yoga, one with a kettlebell. Though her "motivation" can sometimes be annoying, I always feel like I worked hard afterwards which is key for me when doing strength. Any time I have ever lifted weights at the gym, I always left feeling like I should have done more. I can honestly say, that Level 2 of this workout is the first time I've ever wanted to throw up after strength. Don't worry, I didn't.

Admittedly, my abs are not my trouble area (that would be my thighs) but, I am nowhere close to a 6 pack so I figure I've got some work to do. Jillian explains that working all muscles and throwing a little cardio in there also all harkens back to having a strong core. This comes with two different 30 minute workouts, Level 1 and Level 2. I really like both of them and even got John to do them with me the other day (he loathes strength).

If you're looking to mix it up in the circuit workouts, give this one a try.

In other news, I'm REALLY trying not to weigh myself until July 1st. I didn't make John hide the scale this time. I'm just working on my will power. I'm also back to food journaling with the Lose It app on my iphone. I fell off the journaling wagon for a bit there and didn't like the scale's repercussions. But, I know if I start weighing right away I'll only get discouraged. Here's something shameful. The other day I forgot to bring my banana to work. Instead, I ate 3 pieces of hard candy (mmm butterscotch) because it had the same amount of calories. Terrible, just terrible. This is like on Fridays when I skip the milk I normally drink with dinner so I can have an extra glass of wine. Yes, I'm aware that I'm depriving myself of necessary nutrients by doing this however, if you stay within your calorie range Lose It doesn't move the bar over to the scary red area and stays within the happy green line. Lose It doesn't seem to care about the added sugar consumption so I guess, for now, I don't either.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Recipe Re-blog #24

Almost made it halfway through the year already. That seems crazy! Can you believe nearly half of 2011 is in the books? Me neither.

Warm Macaroni and Mozzarella Salad: While I was in Texas, my sister and I were watching the Food Network. This is only interesting because she hates the Food Network and I love it. How can two people so similar feel so strongly about something like TV? Anyhoo, good old Paula Deen made this pasta salad and it doesn't have a stitch of butter in it. It accompanied steaks on our grill this past week and it was delicious! It was a nice alternative to regular mayo mac salad. I loved that it was warm and the dressing was flavorful. I even got to use fresh basil from the garden. Extra Bonus, I had all the ingredients on hand so you can likely put this together from your pantry. Give this a shot if you're looking for a fancier side salad that comes together in a flash!

Happy Father's Day to all you Dads out there including my own, and John, who is just a dog father but a dog father nonetheless!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Green Thumb

I have been remiss in blogging about my garden! Since we are now in our house, this is the first year my garden can be planted in the ground and not in random containers and pots strewn about my balcony. The garden also gets full sun all day long instead of partial sun for a few hours each afternoon. I'm sure to produce a bumper crop this year, right?

A few weeks ago, John and I hit up Lowe's to acquire all of my herb and veggie babies for planting. We marked off an area in the backyard by the fence because it was already dug up and I wouldn't have to disturb the grass. Plus, Sadie's lead doesn't go out that far so she can't eat any of the plants. Ha! I had kind of a hard time narrowing down my selections for planting. I nearly had multiple pepper plants in my cart before John reminded me that I'm not really a pepper fan. Oh, right. Last year my poor tomato plant bit the dust and I didn't get to harvest a single fruit from it. This year, with reckless abandon, I purchased two different varieties, Jet Star - a hybrid tomato and Sweet 100, which are grape tomatoes. These babies are well on their way to producing lots of fruit for consumption I can tell. I've already had to cage them for support because they're growing so fast!


In addition to the tomatoes, I also latched onto a spinach plant. We eat a spinach salad every night with dinner so I thought even if it didn't produce many leaves, it would be neat to eat my own. Well, only a few weeks into my gardening endeavors and the spinach has already completely shriveled up.

I'm probably going to remove it and put something else in its place. I wanted to grow some kind of melon or pumpkin until John pointed out that the vines grow to be many feet long. OK, pass on that.

As for herbs, I have two kinds of basil, cilantro, lemon balm and rosemary. My parsley didn't fare so well either but John is trying to nurse it back to health. I must have one green thumb and one black thumb.

Poor parsley.

But the basil, oh the basil! It's already so luscious that we used it in a pasta salad the other day. I think this may finally be the year that I'll have enough leaves to make my own pesto. I have been aspiring to homemade pesto ever since I started my burgeoning garden a few years ago. Can you imagine jarring up pesto to use all winter? Me neither! So stoked!

Basil times two!

And last but not least, I planted strawberries! This is a total experiment but I have really high hopes for them. John even transplanted them from a pot to the ground the other day.

This is going to sound really stupid but, there are worms in the ground. I completely forgot this fact when I planted the garden back in May. Potting soil and containers have no worms. So, imagine my surprise when I dug my first little hole and one squirmy guy crawled out. I don't get grossed out by worms, I just plum forgot about them! These are things you don't know when you don't have a yard for 5 years. I guess maybe I wouldn't make the best farmer. But, I know they're good for my soil so they can stay. John and I have been religiously watering and even giving everyone a little plant food to get them started.

And check this out! Since we moved into our house in October, we had no idea what kind of foliage would be growing in the backyard. Much to our surprise, we have what I think are calla lilies! Growing right in our very own backyard!

This is also going to sound stupid but I had no idea calla lilies came from the ground. How dumb am I? I only ever think of them in bouquets! Hey knowledgeable garden people, if I cut these blooms, will more grow in their place? We also have a rose bush that has already bloomed but I think it may bloom again. I don't know why I think this but I do, so it must be true!

Lemony lemon balm!

Stay tuned to see how my garden grows!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

TV Time

Slowly but surely we are replacing some of our not so nice pieces of furniture that have run their course with newer items that are more grown up. For months I've been searching for a new TV console. I wanted something taller and thinner with a closed back. There's nothing worse than seeing a whole bunch of cables behind the cable box. Am I right? Well, I looked high and low. I think I have a distorted idea of how much furniture should cost. OK, I know I have a distorted idea of pricing, let's be honest. My previous TV stand was from Target and probably cost me $100. It was purchased many years and homes ago so I really can't remember. It looks like this.
Sorry about the flash.

After all that searching I didn't exactly end up with real wood like I wanted. But, this piece from of all places had the look and style I was going for. Also, I don't think you would necessarily think it was MDF. At least I hope you wouldn't. It was as heavy as real wood, that's for dang sure.

Don't mind the bald guy on the screen. Just a little DVR catch up on Next Food Network Star. The lamp on the right is not a permanent fixture. I'm trying to decide what kind of lighting to put there. Likely another floor lamp in a different style or at least a more interesting shade. Also, you can't see it but the walls above the TV lead up to a vaulted ceiling. I can't decide what to put up there. A painting? Ledge shelves with stuff on them? Big clock? Tough choices. Oh, and that's a candle on the bottom shelf, for lack of a better decor item on quick timing. It's also not permanent.

Anyway......we're getting there. And, that old stand now holds the XBox in the basement which was previously held by a desk that will now go in my new sewing room. YEA!

Monday, June 13, 2011

For the first time in many, many years, John and I don't have a single graduation party to attend. Yea hooray! And also, boo hiss! I'm pretty stoked about not having to fork over my hard-earned cash to someone who may or may not be savvy enough to save it to spend on things for school or their dorm room. However, I love a good graduation party because that = PLENTY of food. And also CAKE! My fave.

The other day, John posed the following question: Would I give up my pinky finger if it meant that I could eat frosting for the rest of my life with no caloric repercussions? I had some follow up questions for him. Left or right pinky? Left. Down to the hand or is there a stump? Stump, but I think I'd prefer no stump. And so, I said yes, I would give up my left pinky finger for guilt-free frosting. Don't judge. You don't know how much I love frosting. I digress.

No graduation presents also = no graduation party food and subsequently, no cake. We were driving through our neighborhood the other day noticing many balloons tied to mail boxes were calling to party guests. We may or may not have had a serious conversation about how to successfully crash a grad party. In a moment of greediness, I thought we could snatch a couple pieces of fried chicken in addition to cake before exiting unscathed. John told me to keep my eyes on the prize. I'll let you know if we do end up executing some sort of grad party crashing plan. Sure to be a good time! Or, if you rather invite me over for cake, well then I can write about that too.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Recipe Re-blog #23

I am always looking for new recipes in which to use ground turkey. While I like ground beef and only purchase the 96/4 kind (yes, it's dry), it's just not as healthy for you as ground turkey. I read a statistic the other day that people who consume less than 18 ounces of ground beef a week drastically reduce their chances of contracting cancer in the future. Yea, I fit that bill! Anyway, I typically use beef and turkey interchangeably in tacos, pasta dishes, etc. So, thank you to Rachael Ray for this recipe in her most recent issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray. It uses turkey from the get go.

Cincinnati Sloppy Sliders: Can you believe that since I moved to Dayton, in very close proximity to Cincinnati, that I have yet to consume any Cincinnati chili? Neither can I. I ate more when I lived near Cleveland. Go figure. Sloppy Joes had been on John's ban list for awhile. I'm still not sure why but I wasn't allowed to make them......until now. These were delicious! I even cut the recipe in half and it still made a ton. I just used regular sized buns because I didn't feel like buying slider buns. These Joes had beans and a lot of seasonings to make them a bit fancier than Manwich. Give these a shot! Just know going in that you were be using your pantry on this one. Also, I left out the chili pepper because I forgot to put it on the grocery list. I didn't miss it.

Also last week I tried a new cookie recipe while in Texas that I can't find the recipe for online. It was a Pillsbury recipe for Cranberry cookies. They were dry and not very good so I suppose it doesn't matter if I can't link to it. I'm not a proponent of you making them, even if my sister and I did polish off 18 of them in approx. 3 days.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Two Kisses for Maddy

Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss and Love by Matt Logelin has been making its way around the blog world for awhile now. This is probably due to the fact that Logelin is, himself, a blogger as well. While I have never read or followed his blog, I knew of his story and wanted to read his book. So, here we are.

In 2008 after having been together for 12 years, Matt and Liz were expecting their first child. A relatively difficult pregnancy that ended with Liz on extended bed rest in the hospital fortunately resulted in a beautiful baby girl, Madeline. The day after Maddy's birth, Liz suffers a pulmonary embolism and dies. Matt is left behind to grieve and raise his daughter on his own. The book chronicles the year following Liz's death, also the first year of Maddy's life. Logelin discusses his grieving process and his attempts to hold his broken life together for the sake of his daughter.

I knew going in that this would be an incredibly sad memoir. How could it not be? I am not am overly emotional person so I did not expect to cry through this entire book. How wrong I was. No, I wasn't sobbing while reading and I didn't cry at everything but I probably cried through at least a portion of it every time I picked it up. It's a terribly devastating story. If you are feeling low, you should not pick this as an uplifting read.

Rating: * * * *

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Batteries Recharged

I had a wonderful time in Texas visiting my family. I really wished they lived closer. Texas is a far piece! It's hardly driveable for someone who isn't interested in spending more than 4 hours in a car. (i.e. ME) The flights are expensive and indirect to Austin. But the cost of the ticket and the whole day of return traveling were well worth it. I miss my sister all the time and only get to see her a few times a year since she moved there 5+ years ago. We didn't even have any special plans but you forget how nice it is just to go to a store together. I don't have a good shopping buddy at home besides John and he gets increasingly more exacerbated the longer I spend in the dressing room. I also had a nice lunch out with just my bro-in-law. He graciously spent 90 minutes in the middle of the work day to dine with me. How kind!

Once again, I was using this trip as a baby-o-meter. At Thanksgiving, my nephew Ben was 4 months old. I had never spent an extended amount of time around a baby and that trip was super eye-opening. It was clear that John and I were not yet ready for children, although we already knew that. Our baby timeline has a ways to go still. However, now that Ben is 10 months and a bit more mobile (crawling!) I wanted to see if I felt differently. Babies are a lot of effort, yo! It definitely didn't start any biological clock ticking but now I miss him even more! I think for now I like being the helpful aunt.

Unfortunately, I felt like all I did was eat while I was there. Yes, vacation tends to be a calorie-fest. I only ran one day. It was bloody hot outside! We went out to eat for nearly every meal. I'm trying not to stress about this too much. There are many restaurants in Austin that Dayton just doesn't provide....obviously. We tried some new-to-me places and hit up all my faves too (Chuy's!) So, as soon as I got off the plane and got home yesterday, I hit the weights. I'm renewing my fitness fanaticism. I am not going to weigh myself for a few weeks because I know it won't be pretty. I would have John hide the scale again but we all know how that went last time. So I'm going to have to muster up some will power.

I'm really sad my trip is already over but I'm looking forward to planning fun summery things to do for the next few months!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Recipe Re-blog #22

Over the holiday weekend I did just what I wanted to do in the kitchen, make a whole bunch of sides and just grill meat for each meal. Mostly I made the sides that I know and love but my new recipe for the week was a new side.

Wagon Wheel Taco Pasta Salad: I love a good pasta salad. I love a good taco salad. Why not put the two together? This is from Christine's Cuisine but there are many different variations out there. I liked it a lot but next time I will stick to the recipe. I didn't feel like buying avocado or fresh tomato so I just left them out. I think they'd really help punch things up. Fair warning, this makes a TON of food. It would be good to take to a potluck. As it stands, it will feed the two of us as a side for 6+ meals.

P.S. Anonymous commenter on last week's recipe post........if your skillet's handle is not oven safe (squishy covering or something) you'd want to wrap it in foil to protect it. I learned this on Food Network at some point. I'm pretty sure my Calphalon handles would be fine but I don't want to risk it.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Gone to Texas

My trip is here! I get to see my sister, brother-in-law and most importantly, my nephew! I'll only be there for 3 full days but it will be worth it. See y'all when I get back next week!

Oh, burrrrrrn!

My neighborhood pool opened this weekend. This is something I've been looking forward to since we moved in just over 6 months ago. Nothing says summer like laying out by a pool. I patiently read the community newsletter every month just waiting for them to announce when the pool would open. Finally, that fated day arrived a few weeks ago, along with the hours and rules for the pool. At the condo we lived in prior to buying our home, the pool was swim at your own risk and open all the time. It was small but glorious. I could get there around 9:00 am on a weekend and be gone before any screaming kids arrived. Heaven. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on whom you ask), our current community is chock full of children. Now, a portion of my HOA fees pays multiple life guards (all very young looking teenagers, mind you) and the pool has hours. Terrible hours. It doesn't open until 11:00 am and it closes at 9:00 pm at night. Horror! No peaceful early morning hours. No refreshing late night swimming, the only time I could actually get John to go to the pool with me.

On Sunday afternoon, I ventured to this new pool for the very first time as it had opened only the day before. I had to circle for awhile before I spotted an empty lounge chair. It was packed. Already off to a bad start. I only stayed about 90 minutes while John was at the driving range. Not really wanting to walk home, I had him pick me up on the way through. Here is another affront to my pool-loving self, guests are $3.00. THREE DOLLARS! This means, my pool buddy - a friend from work who does not live in my neighborhood, has to dole out a trio of ones any time she wants to join me in the sun. What does all this complaining mean? You ask. Get over yourself, why don't you? Well, I'll tell you.

Today, I am in pain. Physical agony. I am fair-skinned. OK, let's not mince words. I am one pale ghosty. Parts of my skin have not seen the light of day since our cruise last September. That's a long time for a pasty girl. To be fair, I did apply sunscreen. When will I learn that I need something higher than SPF 15? My mom would be so disappointed in me. But, that's what I bought and that's what I used. I think I was thwarted by the pool's inconvenient hours. I was there from noon until 2:00 pm. Maybe you didn't know, but that is within the window of the sun's rays being at their peak. And I didn't re-apply in that time span. Shame on me. Had I been able to start my pool day at 9:00 am, I think I would have been well on my way to a gradual tan today.

I am quite accustomed to sunburns having had a number of extremely painful ones growing up and typically having about one medium to slightly bad one each year in my adulthood. I know how to handle them (ALOE!) but that doesn't really make it any easier. It certainly isn't scaring away the skin cancer cells. So, of course in Texas this weekend I'll be using my nephew's SPF55. And I might just purchase my own bottle when I return. For now, the backs of my sunburned thighs will just stick to the toilet seat (yes, that hurts as much as it sounds like it does). And my face will be hot. Somehow my arms, the one body part that is out for the world to see on a daily basis (save for my face, with is pink) didn't burn at all. AND! I applied the lotion to them first before I even left for the pool. Curses! Anyway, the point is, thanks to the pool's lousy hours, I am a lobster.