28 March 2010

Life Work Balance

Sigh...another Sunday night.

Back in the day, Sunday night's used to be all about a furious rush of homework, getting ready for another week in school. I'd think, "Not another Monday already!"

I might be thinking, "Not another Monday already!" right now, but I take solace in the fact that the weeks have been flying by just as quickly as the weekends. Another Friday/weekend is closer than I can imagine!

Adult me tries very hard to balance work life and the rest of my life. And I also try very hard to enjoy each and every day, work day or weekend day! I have been working a bit on the weekend to get a jump on busy weeks lately, but I tend to go in only for a couple hours mid-to-late morning on Sunday so it doesn't take up my whole day. Then I can shove it away and enjoy the rest of my Sunday without having it take up space in my brain on Sunday night. Seems to work pretty well!

When I had my own business, I actually told my business partner very early on not to call me evenings or weekends unless the building was burning down or the IRS was going to audit us. Might have been an extreme measure, but it was what I felt I needed to do at that point. My operating system is not all work/no play. I'd burn out and be a complete crab all the time. For me, it's about knowing what I can and cannot tolerate and at the same time being flexible enough to go with the flow, but not drown in it.

Another thing I do to maintain life/work balance is to not take work home. I try really hard to leave work at work, unless I'm taking it home. Wait, that probably doesn't sound quite right! Let's say this, I'm very purposeful about taking work home. One day a week I actually take work home on purpose, because my job allows for a work at home day. When you know you can count on that day, it actually adds to the life/work balance.

Speaking of life balance, it's almost time for bed. If I don't get enough sleep, the whole balance equation is way thrown off! Happy Sunday night, Monday morning! Here's to a great balanced week!

25 March 2010

Rule of Three

Odd things happen in threes, right? As it applies to the two distinctly related oddities happening within one hour today, I don't want to know what the third thing will be.

Just saying.


23 March 2010

Spring Thinking

Spring is a time for cleaning, renewal, and new growth. It's also got me thinking about:

Peeps. I find these marshmallow treats to be strangely fascinating. I love the sugary texture on the outside and the squishy marshmallow middles.

Running. When am I not thinking about running though? HA! Saturday was the official start of spring. I ran my long run in the snow with my running buddy A and a bunch of folks from the Grand Rapids Running Club. Did not mind the temperature at all, it was the pelty snow hitting my face as the wind blew that I found fault with. It could have been rain, which would have been worse! There will be plenty of runs in the rain, I'm sure. There's been talk about keeping our running base up after Riverbank Run and training for our first marathon. This just might be the year for such a challenge.

Getting outta Dodge. Wanderlust. In my brain, this topic is so often thought of, but not nearly often enough taken up. I feel like the girl who cries "vacation!" In the past, I've struggled making solid use of my vacation time. I've got time booked this summer. But need to get crack a lacking on taking a quick trip to help keep my spirit fresh. I really want to go somewhere sunny/warmer than here! I'd even "settle" for a city trip.

Prom. Spring is the time for prom. My time for prom is not this spring! LOL. Yeah, I wouldn't want to go back to my own prom. It would be cool though to have a dressy occasion to look forward to. Perhaps a fancy girl's night dinner is in order?

Tulips. A bunch of spring tulips is such a simple way to brighten up a dinner table or a night table. They're so cheery and not fussy at all. They're hearty and beautiful.

Sandals. Looking forward to the weather being warm enough to have bare toes exposed in some cutie sandals.

What spring things are you thinking about?

17 March 2010

Snooze Update

This morning was lovely. No snooze AT ALL! I got out of bed at 6:00 a.m.! Had plenty of time to do my morning thing without stress and strife. Even changed my outfit several times before deciding what to wear (side not, how are you supposed to get dressed for a day that starts out at 30 degrees and ends in the 60's?!) and curled my hair! Got to work when I planned to.

I love it when a plan comes together! Here's to keeping it up for the long haul!

16 March 2010

Snooze Abuser

If you snooze you lose. Count me as a loser!

I've somehow become a snooze button addict and it's not a good thing for my morning routine. My first alarm goes off at 6:00 a.m. and there are mornings I won't get out of bed until close to 7:00 a.m. Seriously? Who am I? An angsty teen who stays up too late every night? When I finally do get out of bed, I'm groggy and crabby. I could actually be reverting to my teen self. Just need to bust out my collection of The Cure and Depeche Mode! And can we talk about the whole Daylight Savings Time debacle? It has completely thrown me for a loop, making things even worse!

The thing is, I'll get up knowing full well that I'm pretty much going to be late for work. I use the word "late" loosly, since my workplace is quite relaxed about starting times. Stopping times are equally blurred - most often not in the worker's favor. So I just go about my morning routine, not really in a rush. I have no sense of urgency at all. Something's got to give, because this just isn't working out.

This morning I thought about setting up a reward for myself if I get up when I'm supposed to for five days in a row. A non-snooze star chart. Once I get five stars, I'll get to pick out a prize for myself! There are a couple cheapo clearance items I've been eyeing on Forever 21's site that I haven't purchased since I don't actually NEED them. Perhaps those could serve as the reward?

I can't believe I'm considering resorting to a star chart! I'm not happy with the current state of affairs though. I think I just need to set one alarm and get up. Not feeling the crap guilt for getting to work later and later each day should be reward enough!

Now that I've outted myself as a snooze abuser, I'm going to work to get my a** out of bed each morning for my prize and so I can hold my head up high.

14 March 2010

Spring (Cleaning) Ahead

Lest I become someone that gets featured on that awful show about hoarding, I got the bug to clean out some junk from my basement. I love quality packaging and I have a hard time getting rid of the original boxes stuff comes in. I do, but I'll have you know I still have a few kicking around. I'll think "well, when I move, I'll want this box." Um, hello, I've lived in my house for quite some time now and I don't see a move coming on the horizon. Bring the lolz! I do see the hilarity, which is why every so often I have to break down a few boxes and haul them to recycling! Besides, when I do move, I'm so getting movers who will provide the boxes and pack everything!

I also came across a few of my old Swatch watches - in the original packaging. Perhaps I shall sell them on the ebay. Will have to check on Swatch demand. I've been hanging on them since I moved back from NYC. I don't wear (and haven't) any of them I'd consider selling.

Oh, I found a mold of my teeth from 2001 when I was considering getting some dental work done for a couple of my top teeth. I took out my top expander to compare and holy cow! It won't even fit. It's remarkable how much wider my bite has become with the expander! I'm really happy I waited until now to get braces and didn't go the other route I considered for half a minute.

Also down there, hundreds of plastic clown noses from my days with the circus, a couple old violins that need restoration, a couple old area rugs I'm not sure what to do with, gear from my beauty school days (I actually have a bag full of mannequin heads for hair cutting and coloring!) and so many other artifacts of days gone by.

This has to be the most random post ever...hey, kids here's what I found in my basement today! What's the oddest thing in your basement?

Hope you had a super productive or simply lazy Day Light Savings Sunday - whichever made you happy! Now I'm off to find some food. All that spring cleaning has made me so very hungry!

11 March 2010

Agent 99 Details

K asked for a few more details about my Agent 99 post, so here you go:

54. Gone to a drive-in theater. I have fuzzy memories of this one and it's not because of any unsavory behavior on my part. I was probably five or six years old and that was a loong time ago, kids! I was with my older cousins, I think. A bunch of us were piled into the car's back seat like puppies in a box. I cannot remember specifically which movie it was that we saw. Maybe it was Superman? That would have made me about 4 years old. Hmm...it's all very fuzzy. I wish I remembered more!

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy. I did not have a ton of Barbies when I was younger, so I cherished them and treated them very well - no hair cuts or anything like that. I have a few of them in a shoe box somewhere in my basement! Golden Dream Barbie had golden wire-y hair mixed in with her blond that you could "style" in pretty waves! She also had some fab gold disco nightclub clothes with arm warmers! I also have Pink & Pretty Barbie.

84. Had your picture in the newspaper. That's me on the left as a high school freshman, watching the finish of the guy's mile race at a City League track meet. I was a runner in HS, but just barely. For me, track meets were more about socializing and being with my friends than anything else.

91. Met someone famous. When I worked in New York, I worked for an entertainment public relations firm, so I've had plenty of sightings. I have a list that's kind of ridiculous. I should dig it up and do a post. Through my job though, I spent a significant amount of one day with Carrot Top before he got all roided out. He was doing an appearance on one of the late night shows and I was his PR chaperone for the taping. He was nice. Nothing too out of the oridinary happened.

The best though, wasn't through work. It was completely by chance and a little luck. I had extreme pleasure of meeting Gwen Stefani when No Doubt played Grand Rapids on their Tragic Kingdom tour. I actually won tickets via the radio, "be caller number nine right now and you'll get to go see No Doubt!" I was and I did! I brought my brother D because this band CIV was the opener and we had just spent some time at the first ever Warped Tour (1995) hanging with a couple friends in Orange 9mm and Quicksand who happened to be friends CIV. We're out front waiting for doors and we see CIV's bass player Arthur and this guy Izzy that we also knew. We all chat. They ask where our seats are and say they'll come get us so we can hang out backstage. The show was amazing and sure enough, we get to go back stage. We're just kicking it with everyone and in walks Gwen. She was super nice. I remember she was wearing a white wife beater, a long army-green skirt and geisha sandals. I don't remember being introduced formally, but of course I knew who she was. This was just at the beginning of her superstardom. We had a chat about going to Catholic school and singing in church. She said she loved to sing in church and I said I did too and then felt all dorky, because of course she loves to sing in church, she's a famous singer!

Agent 99 (updated May 2014)

Today, we have the blog meme de rigueur. I saw it here and she saw it here. If you post it on your blog, know you're in very good company! Red=I have done it. *= I have yet to and want to.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii*
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris* (Made the trip November 2012)
13. Watched a lightening storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty*
18. Grown your own vegetables*
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France* (Trip to Paris November 2012)
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a marathon (three halfs!)
28. Ridden in a gondola
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagra Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied*
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo's David
41. Sung Karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant*
44. Visited Africa*
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been inside an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person*
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris*
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling* (Snorkeling on trip to Turks  & Caicos, December 2013)
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie*
56. Visited the Great Wall of China*
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching*
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving*
66. Visited a Nazi concentration camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter*
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London*
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book*
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalum
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (only if a fish counts!)
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone's life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby*
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

10 March 2010


Hello Internetz,

Yesterday was a day full of wonderment. What I thought would be an ordinary trip to the orthodontist, where I'd get my trap looked at and he'd say, "meh, come back in a month," turned into the application of actual braces!

Yes y'all, I finally got some braces! Right now it's just six brackets on my lower front teeth. All those times when I was little when I'd form my gum into a small strip that would fit in front of my teeth like "braces" has finally paid off. And that's about what it feels like, extra baggage. It's a little pinchy and scratchy, but doesn't feel entirely ridiculous like the expanders felt. It took me a good solid week before I got used to that heap of metal. My teeth do feel somewhat tender though. Tendertooth can be my new code name. Apple eating will be kept to a minimum!

I'd post a picture, really I would. Oh, I tried to capture them in all their glory, but it's not pretty. Nobody should take pictures of just their teeth - unless, of course, you're a tooth model or something. My goodness, people. The pics were scary and cannot be shared. I'd hate to be responsible for seared retnas. Funny thing is, I clearly knew my teeth needed a little straightening up, but it wasn't until I started taking pictures of them in order to document the braces process that I realized just how jacked up they were. I guess a macro lens will do that! Perhaps once everything all straight and pretty, I'll share a before and after. Perhaps.

That is all for now.

Sincerely yours,

08 March 2010

Oscar Recap!

I stayed up way past my bedtime to watch all of the Academy Awards. Began watching red carpet coverage and grazing the snack buffet at A's house. Then on to my mom's for the rest of the Awards. Was not overly impressed with any of the dresses. It seemed like people were playing it safe. I saw minimal jewelry, hair that wasn't overly fussy - many down 'dos and a few fuzzy updos that I cannot, as a stylist, support. Yes, Jennifer Lopez, I'm talking about your hair. Several of the ladies rocked a complete, well thought out, well styled look though. I may not have been 100% in support of every detail, but here are the ladies who did it right.

Demi Moore in Atelier Versace
So Demi was a presenter and I think this ensemble is spot on for the job, nothing over the top. It's just pretty. I like the little bit of asymmetry happening in the skirt. Simple hair, a drop earring, matching clutch and fake tanner and she's in business. It seems summery and warm to me. Maybe that's why I like it so much. I'm longing for summer!

Sandra Bullock in Marchesa
Classic Hollywood glamour. I read somewhere online today that Sandra came dressed to win. I would have to agree. She's just classy. The dress with its intricate detail photographed much more gold than I think it actually is. You can see in the two pictures just what a difference there is. It looked more like the top picture in HD. Loved her hair, the red lip and the simple drop earrings. And I also loved her acceptance speech. It was funny and touching all at the same time. Loved that Jesse James looked a little teary-eyed too when she alluded to him.

Kate Winslet in Yves Saint Laurent
Not a very risk-taking ensemble, but overall the look is classically beautiful. Maybe she went more understated because she was only a presenter and not actually nominated this year. Last year was her big win year. I like the top of the dress and think as a whole it would have looked better with more of a full skirt. There were certain photos where the skirt looked like pants because of the way it's draped.

Mo'nique in unknown designer
Her hair and make up were beautiful. During a backstage interview Mo'nique said she wore the royal blue dress and the gardenia in her hair because Hattie McDaniel wore royal blue and a gardenia when she accepted her Oscar in 1940 for her role in Gone With the Wind. Cool.

Rachel McAdams in Elie Saab
This one will surprise A & K because as we were watching the red carpet coverage, I said the dress looked like throw up or a puddle with oil in it. Upon further inspection, I will amend my comment to the following: The cut and drape of the dress are beautiful. The choice in fabric/color seemed too washed out, not vibrant enough for the Academy Awards. I do think the dress would look much more Academy Award worthy if Rachel were rocking some serious jewels and/or had more dramatic make up.

Did you stay up for the whole show? Who wore your favorite dress? Any favorite moments from the telecast? I want to go see Crazy Heart and The Blind Side now while they're both still in the theater. Okay, for real, need to wrap this up since it's officially past my bed time again! Thanks for keeping me up, Oscar!

05 March 2010

Plans for the Bath

I've been thinking about redoing my tiny Barbie-sized bathroom for a couple years now, but after reading a recent post on The Good Life for Less about a savvy kitchen redo in phases, I'm feeling inspired to get moving. I'm feeling the "do it in phases" approach will allow me to do everything I want without breaking the bank. Need to call a friend of mine in for some estimates. New tile floor is in order. Perhaps with heat. Still trying to decide if I should reglaze the tub/re-tile the walls or just take the whole thing out and have a walk in shower built from the ground up. Somthing like this:

The shower/bath part of the redo would likely be one of the last items tackled in the plan since it would involve removing a window and replacing it with another size/shape window. Did I mention that I have a window in my shower? Clearly the house was built prior to an actual shower being installed, it's a regular window, people! A little more involved than just laying new tile. I do know that window's got to go! We shall see.

My current sink/vanity has got to go. It's a tiny one-door cabinet that makes the room look even smaller than it is. So that's got to go. I want to replace with a pedestal sink like this one from Kohler:

Then there's the medicine cabinet situation. There are currently two that hardly provide enough space for all the lotions and potions a gal needs. One appears to be an original standard old-school medicine cabinet which even has a slot where you can deposit used razors. Yeah, because everyone uses straight razors, right? The other appears to be an IKEA addition by the last owner, an attempt at gaining a bit more space. It reminds me of a safety deposit box though. Not huge at all! I want to take out both and do a custom deal where that entire wall would be mirror with built in medicine cabinets. Think secret door like any mystery movie worth its salt or Scooby Do episode would have. Basically I want the doors to blend in. When you press the door it would open. Sadly, there won't be any rotating doors leading you to a secret room. I wish!

That bathroom doesn't know it yet, but I have big plans! Hoping to get started soon! Tile and new sink are first in my mind. Depends entirely what expert friend says makes sense to tackle first. Excited to get going!

01 March 2010

Teenage Me

At the Downtown GR Rail Jam this weekend standing among throngs of teenage boys decked in snowboard gear, I noticed I had something in common with many of them.


I came this close (-----) to asking the kid who stood next to me for about an hour watching the pee wee kids ride the course who his orthodontist was and what kind of brackets he had. Yeah. Kind of nerdy, yes. I didn't do it. The brackets weren't that noticable and I'm hoping I can score the same kind! Braces are coming soon, people! My fingers are crossed that it happens this month. As much as I'm used to life with expanders, I'm ready to move it along.

Besides realizing how much in common I have with the teens, the weekend was a mixed bag per se. After being totally moody, seasonal affective disorder-y most of the day Saturday, Sunday was a world of difference in terms of my overall attitude. Pancakes, good company, watching some snowboard action in my own downtown, a tasty latte and seeing my book club girls had a lot to do with a better day. Oh, and deciding not to go into work. I did what I wanted to do instead of what I felt I "should" do and amazingly the day was a great one!

So besides having orthodontia, here's to having more in common with the teens - doing more of what I want to do. Having more fun!

Oh, it's 11:11 p.m., make a wish! Don't tell me exactly what your wish was, but tell me what you want more of in your life.