Thursday, January 31, 2008

New idea... A clothing swap!

OK so it only took one night's good sleep to realize hosting a party - any kind of party - in the middle of busy season was a BAD idea. And with my gpa's situation in the mix, it's just a doubly bad idea. No worries - it'll remain on my to-do list. I've been just itching to plan something though. I always like to be planning something - even if it's way off in the future by normal people's standards. I mean I started thinking about my 30th birthday party when I was like 27. Anyway, another idea I had been throwing around for a party was to have a clothing swap. I like to go through my closet every 6 months or so and get rid of stuff I'm not wearing anymore (or can't wear anymore). We just dumped off a huge load to Goodwill right before year-end. But I still have a nice stack of stuff I was planning to take to Plato's Closet. But instead, I've decided to host a clothing swap this Spring! And I am soooo excited about it!

There's actually a ton of information online about planning and hosting a clothing swap. Have y'all ever been to one? You basically have everyone bring their old stuff that they want to get rid of, have some cocktails, set up shop and it's pretty much a free-for-all. Any leftover items will go to Goodwill or a women's shelter. I am *super* excited about this. I'm going to hold it in late April - after the tax season mess, and just in time for a good Spring cleaning! I already emailed some of my girlfriends to save the date - so it's officially on. If you've ever hosted one before, I'm open to advice. Several sites I've read said to set a minimum number of pieces that each girl needs to bring. I mean we don't want freeloaders here... I'm going to work on rounding up some clothing racks. If I can't find any second-hand ones, I saw that IKEA has rolling racks for like $14.95 - sweet! That involves a trip to IKEA though.. ugh. That will definitely have to be a lunch run one day because I refuse to set foot in that place on the weekends. It's a zoo. Anyway... I'm all pumped now that I have something to plan. If it goes really well, I think it's something I'll want to do a couple of times a year. Too fun! Yay - I'm so glad to have a party on the calendar to think about while crunching numbers...

In other news... our small group is meeting back up again tonight after an extended holiday hiatus. We're starting a new study that I think will be really good. The boys are reading this version. Should be interesting! And of course I took a peek at the boys' book to see what the heck they were saying about us girls - and inside they had a "warning" to women looking through the men's book. Funny there was no warning to men in the women's book.... hmm... because the men do well enough to read their own book - like they have the time or care to go snooping through ours! Hehehehe....

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

To party or not to party? That is the question.

So I've had this idea in my head for a while to host a party where everyone brings in old bridesmaid and/or prom dresses to donate for the upcoming prom season. OK well actually I had no real intentions of doing anything for this prom season given the fact that I'm currently diving into my busiest time at work. But after seeing 27 Dresses last weekend with a couple of my girlfriends (which was totally cute by the way - go see it!), I'm even more inspired to do it. There are some great organizations locally that accept gently used formal dresses and accessories, so I thought - what better way to get rid of all those old bridesmaid dresses cluttering up your closet? And what a fun reason to get together with a bunch of girlfriends. And with that movie being out, it'd be fun to do it as a "27 Dresses" theme... and maybe have a drawing for free movie passes or something.

I'd have to keep it really simple... maybe have everyone bring a dish or something and just provide a few munchies and drinks. Something good and girly of course... cosmos or something. Trouble is I never do anything simply. So I think I'm absolutely nuts for even considering doing this at this time of year. Plus, we're broke. Plus... my gpa is not doing well and we just never know when we're going to need to run up there suddenly. So all that makes me think this is a bad idea. Now if I did it, I'd enlist the help of some of my girlfriends as co-hosts. But I'm a party control-freak and would end up doing 80% of the work. OK 90%. But omg doesn't it sound fun? I'm thinking about it... Enchanted Closet looks like a good organization to work with if I decide to do it. If I don't do it this year, it's definitely on my to-do list for the future.

I mentioned my gpa... thank you to all of your sweet comments from earlier. The news on him is not great. He definitely has cancer and they have begun radiation treatments this week. I don't think they've pinpointed what type of cancer it is, but I'm not sure that really matters at this point. His prognosis is 3-6 months. It's terribly sad and scary, but his spirits are actually really good. My dad has really made sure he understands everything that is going on and my gpa seems to get what's going on. He's of course mostly concerned with quality of life at this point and being comfortable. My dad asked him this weekend if there was anything special that he wanted to see or do in the time that he has left and my gpa says, "Well I'd like to go to California to see Judy. But I'm not sure I can do that." He's too funny... Judy's my aunt out in California. She's of course making her way over here for the first of several visits (I'm sure) in the upcoming months.

It's really weird - knowing someone is going to die. My other grandparents died either suddenly or quickly. You know, they got sick and went downhill really fast - that sort of thing. But this is the first time I've ever had a "timeline" per se. So it's very strange - knowing I only have a little time with him left. And of course you get those feelings... I haven't visited enough, called enough, written enough... but I can't beat myself up over that. I just want to make the most of the time we do have left. And who knows - a prognosis is a guess anyway. But more than anything, it warms my heart that he seems to be at peace with everything. I really think he misses my gma terribly. She died a few years ago and I've never seen him so vulnerable as he was during that time. They had been married 65 years when she passed. He loved her with everything he had. And I also know he loves the Lord with everything he has too. In many ways, I think he's just *ready*. But gosh are we gonna miss him...

Well geez, Debbie Downer.... like I'm in a party mood now! ;-)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Another weekend, another wedding.

We're being a bit lazy this morning, but tonight we're going to a wedding. It will actually be really interesting because the bride and groom are a couple of the hub's old co-workers. So a lot of people from his old office will be there, as well as some of his new co-workers. Not sure if I mentioned it, but the company the hub just moved over to was started by people from his old company. So I hope there is no awkwardness or anything... I don't think there were any major hard feelings with him leaving his old job, but he says they take it very personally. Oh well... nothin' a couple of glasses of wine won't help.

So here's what I'm wearing tonight. I absolutely am IN LOVE with how this dress fits. It's so fun, flirty, and care-free. My legs will be freezing... but beauty is pain. And I'll top it off with my garnet red long coat from J. Crew. It's a few years old, so I don't have a pic. But it's fabulous! And I have a quilted gold clutch from Saks that will complete the look. I may freeze, but I'll be cute doing it.

Alright... back to work. I'm trying to get my QuickBooks updated for my invitation biz so we can hurry up and file our own return before I get bogged down at work. Then I'm off to get a pedi so my peeping toes are looking fine. Gonna see if the hub will join me. He goes with me sometimes. Have a good weekend all!

Oh P.S. - say a little prayer for my gpa please... he is up in Chattanooga in the hospital. He was complaining of dizziness and not feeling well, so my dad took him in. After running some tests, they discovered spots in his brain where there was some bleeding. They are 99% sure this is a sign of cancer somewhere in the body. So they are running more and more tests to see if they can find it. He is 92 years young, so there is not much they can or would do to treat whatever it is. It's really more about making him comfortable for as long as we can. He has lived such a wonderfully long life so far, and we only hope we can hold on to him a little longer. I'll let y'all know once we find out more. He is my last living grandparent, so it's definitely scary and certainly very sad.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Invest in Someone.

My MIL gave me this great little book by Joyce Meyer for Christmas that I've really been enjoying. It has a little message and verse for each day of the year to get your day started right. They're really quick little reads - seriously takes less than 30 seconds. I keep the book on my bathroom counter and usually read them while I'm drying my hair. I like to multitask. Anyway, they all have a great message, but today's really spoke to me so I wanted to share it...

Take chances today and invest in someone else's life, especially if God tells you to do so. You may give them something of value only to learn they waste it as they have always done in the past. But remember that God made an investment in you, and he wants you to be willing to make an investment in somebody else.

Jesus died to give everybody a chance. Not everyone takes advantage of his provision, but we all have an equal opportunity to enjoy abundant life. If you help someone, and they end up not doing what is right with it, that is between them and God. Give thanks that you are able to give, and then do whatever God tells you to do.

This immediately made me think of my SIL. She's dealt with depression the last 5 or 6 years - maybe longer. For that and other reasons, our relationship has often been strained, to say the least, but I have always felt God tugging at my heart to keep after her. We're always inviting her to church and trying to get her involved - in life in general, not just God stuff. And no matter our efforts, we're repeatedly disappointed. And as soon as I'm about to say "screw it" and go about my business, I hear God telling me to try again. And the reading this morning only confirmed all those feelings. And I can see this situation in so many relationships. Stacy, this totally made me think of your post about your mother and her relationship with her late mother. How wonderful that she invested everything she could, even if she got nothing in return. So OK God, I hear you loud and clear. I'll keep on keepin' on.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

5 things I love right now.

1. Hanky Panky thongs. I'm sure most of you are familiar with these, but if not, get with the program! These are absolutely the best thongs ever. You don't get that lovely I've-got-something-stuck-up-my-ass-crack feeling with these. I had a drawer full of various thongs - probably 30 or 40 pair - and once I discovered these, I tossed ALL of my old ones. I'm not really a fan of wearing thongs, but sometimes you just gotta. And when you gotta, it's Hanky Panky all the way. They are one-size-fits-all, so they make a great gift. And they come in a huge rainbow of solids and also some fun and funky patterns. There are regular and low-rise varieties. The solids retail for $18 and the patterns are usually about $20. Lots of places carry them... Nordstrom, Bloomies, and any other nice department store... Anthropologie... lots of gift shops carry them... I've seen them everywhere. I'm cheap when it comes to undies, but these are worth every penny. Plus you can find them at discount stores for around $12. I've found them at Loehman's and Last Call Neiman Marcus. Give them a try - you'll see what I mean.

2. E.l.f. Body Butter. I've always been a fan of body butters, but I don't like paying a lot for beauty products in general. So like $16 a tub at The Body Shop always made me cringe even though I love their product. But then I saw that Elf had come out with a line of bath products, including their own body butter... for $4. Y'all know I love me some Elf, so I gave it a try. I have the peony petal flavor sitting on my nightstand and it is just awesome. Same size tub as The Body Shop's too... So let's see, $16 or $4? Sorry, Body Shop.

3. Birds Eye Steamfresh Singles. What better way to look good in your Hanky Panky's then getting your daily veggie servings? Hehehe... Well actually I am a little OCD lately about monitoring how many fruit and veggies I get each day and I am loving these new Singles steamfresh packs from Birds Eye. If you can't do fresh, frozen is the way to go with veggies because they don't have all the preservatives that canned ones do. We're big on frozen veggies at our house because our schedules are so crazy... it's hard to plan out meals to where I can buy a lot of stuff fresh. Half the time we end up throwing stuff out because it spoils before we get to it. I keep a big bag of these in the freezer at work and usually add one to my lunch. They're only about 50 calories each and hello - it's a vegetable. I'm all about quick and easy, so these get an A+ from me. I just want to see more varieties come out soon! They're sold in packs of 4 and can be found next to all the other frozen veggies in your grocery freezer.

4. Bertolli Complete Skillet Dinners. The hub and I keep a few of these in our freezer at all times. We do actually cook, I promise. But we like to have these on hand for a quick meal at home - and especially so we can't use the "Oh we have nothing to cook - let's go out" excuse. There are a ton of different varieties and we've tried many of them. They've all been really good - I'd say exceptionally good for a pre-packaged grocery store freezer item. And I'm not usually a fan of prepared stuff like this. Some varieties are definitely more fattening and higher in calories than others, but they generally range between 350 and 600 calories a serving. Now I could easily throw down the entire package myself, but the portions are sensible. I usually add a green salad or some veggies on the side to complete the meal. Yum-o!

5. My new iPod touch. This is a toy I never would've picked out for myself. I'm just not a gadget person like the hub is. I never even had an MP3 player till now. So, bestest, you were not the last one to get one - I was! I actually won this randomly at our office Christmas party. Which was a fun surprise given that I walked away with a $25 Starbucks card last year. So I got all into itunes and learned how to download music and stuff. You know - stuff everyone else knows how to do but me, apparently. But this particular iPod is so fun because it has a touch screen, internet access, plays videos, has games, and all kinds of other stuff I've yet to discover. The hub also got one for Christmas from my parents - so we both have one. Mine has a pink case though - so we don't get them mixed up, you know. I keep it by my bed and every night I log on to my banking site and check my accounts one last time (this is part of my control freakness - and I'm loving that I can do this all cozy in bed instead of running down the hall to the 'puter). And then I play a game of solitaire on it before drifting off to sleep...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Just wanted to say how sad and shocked I was to hear about Heath Ledger's death yesterday afternoon. I've always really liked him. And though it's *probably* not his most critically acclaimed film, here's my personal fave...

My heart goes out to his family. Especially little Matilda. :-(

Sounds a little silly, but he also had a special place in our hearts because our Aussie mix, Charlie, was originally named after the actor by his foster momma. We kept "Heath Ledger" as his middle name. So Charlie's a little heartbroken too.

Spring, let's talk.

Dear Spring,

After getting not one, but TWO fabulous snows this past week, I believe I have really lived up the winter weather to the point where I'm ready to move on. I've decided I'm ready for you to get here. All my favorite stores have their spring lines out and I'm drooling here in my wool sweater. You know I love fall and winter, but I'm ready to hang 'em up and break out the open-toed shoes, flip flops, skirts, and of course - my capris. I think I may even buy a new bathing suit this year (for the first time since my honeymoon 5+ years ago). If you could just come extra early, that'd be super cool. Just to give you an idea, here's an item on my wish-list that I hope to break out pretty soon here...

I know - fabulous, right? Looks like you are really loving yellow this year, so I plan to also. OK so come soon, then!


Buford Betty

Monday, January 21, 2008

Winter Wonderland.

I can't believe we got another fun snow this weekend. The dogs actually got out in it once the flurries stopped falling. I'm not sure why the flurries are so scary... they look pretty harmless to me. But they had a ball running around in our backyard. Our street was lined with snowmen by Saturday afternoon. Too fun!

Well the weekend was great... I got SO much stuff done. I was a total domestic diva all weekend - non-stop. I'm actually caught up on laundry (a miracle in itself) and I started my first ever sewing project. I'm making drapes out of an old duvet cover we have. I've got one panel cut and marked and ready to sew. I'm sure this is like the simplest of sewing projects, but for me it's a super big deal. I really hope they turn out well. I will post some pics once we get them up (assuming they're OK to use!).

Oh and another thing that made my weekend fabulous... we found out at work on Friday that Saturday hours during busy season are no longer required!!! This is my 9th tax season and I've had to work Saturdays every year for those 3 months. It just really wears you out and puts a damper on your whole weekend (er - one day off). So to get that news on Friday was HUGE. It just makes my outlook on busy season so much brighter and more positive. I still have to get my hours in, but we just have the flexibility to work them in during the week and enjoy our FULL weekends now. I'm beyond excited.

I'm meeting one of my girlfriends tonight at Houston's.... I can't wait. That's one of my favorite restaurants and I don't get to go as much since moving up to the 'burbs. Seared ahi tuna salad, here I come! Mmm...

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Fun with pink and green.

Wow - this is my 100th post! That's a lot! Anyway... I've gotta hop in the shower, but wanted to show my fellow preppy readers these fun pink and green wedding invite samples I did for a summer bride. I was SO excited when she told me their colors were pink and green! And she loves polka dots, so I tried to work those in too. These pics are not great... they are so much cuter in person! Have a good weekend, all! :-)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Put me in shopping jail - pronto!

I just can't help myself. I mean, seriously.

But for real, for real, for REAL, I am cutting myself off for a good while. The hub is moving to a new job - as of today, actually - so we've (translation - I've) got to put the kibosh on frivilous spending. He is super excited about the move and his potential at the new place, but of course the transition can be a little stressful (especially in his industry). So say a lil prayer that all goes as well as it can! He's turning in his notice today.

Update (1/19/08): Thanks so much for the well wishes for the hub's job. His resignation went pretty smoothly. As smoothly as it can go I guess. He starts his new job Monday!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Snow Storm 2008!

It totally snowed here last night! Bestest, I know you're laughing cuz this is like an everyday occurence in your Antarctic town, but for us down here it's a big deal! So much so that the entire city freaks out. It was all over the 6 o'clock news last night. They had reporters in different cities all over town reporting live at the scene of the snow! We sometimes will get flurries in winter, but they don't often stick. Well while I was at my Yoga class last night, my car got nearly covered it white powder in the one hour I was in the gym. So fun! When I got home, our yard was completely white. I was excited to see what the dogs thought of it, but none of them wanted anything to do with it. Too funny! Belly doesn't like any form of precipitation. She was under the bed and wouldn't come out. Charlie isn't a big fan of rain either, so snow didn't excite him. He took one look at it and ran the other way. And Gertie is Charlie's shadow, so if Charlie's not into it, neither is she. A lot of schools are closed today, but I saw the county school bus picking up the high schoolers this morning - you know they were hating it. Hahahhaha... I think I might just go into work a little late, but it seems like conditions are OK to drive. I'm sure it will all be gone by lunchtime, but it was super fun to get a little snow this winter. :-)

P.S. - I added this pic of my street taken from my camera phone as I was leaving our driveway this morning. So purty!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Mineral Makeup.

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed this surge in popularity of mineral makeup? Maybe it's been around forever and I'm just now catching on, but it seems like it's everywhere lately. I first really learned about it on those Sheer Cover infomercials (I totally got sucked into one of those one morning). I thought it sounded pretty great, but they make you join this stupid club where they automatically ship you new makeup every couple of months. God knows I don't need another monthly payment of any kind - no thanks. But the idea of it I liked. And recently I saw on one of my favorite sites, Elf, that they have come out with their own brand of mineral makeup. For $4. Much more budget friendly! So I ordered some (along with a bunch of other goodies of course) and I'm trying it out today for the first time. I've always worn liquid makeup, so this is definitely new for me. I keep checking the mirror to see if it has all faded off - but no it's still there. I mean, it's just a fine powder - how the heck does it stay on all day? So I shall report back tomorrow and let you know if I was able to keep a pretty face all day long.

They (Elf) actually have several different mineral varieties - the foundation, a concealer, and a bronzer. I bought the foundation and concealer. I'm not so sure about the concealer. It didn't seem to do so much for me. I actually used my normal Almay concealer first to cover up blemishes and such. I have this (what feels like a) big ass red bump on the tip of my chin that makes me feel like Jay Leno. So anyway - I covered up fun stuff like that. Then I applied the foundation powder with a brush. I must say it looks pretty darn good. But again - I'll give my full review tomorrow. Anyone else use mineral makeup? Any tips are appreciated as I am very new to it! :-)

On an entirely different subject... I still have not detected an LH surge this cycle. My doctor said being on Clomid could make ovulation occur later. But geez.... it's like 4 days late or so. Anyone else that has been on Clomid before have this happen? I've gone through a whole damn box of tests this cycle already.

Update (1/16/08): Well I think I'm liking this mineral stuff. It stayed on all day yesterday - as far as I could tell. I'm still learning how to use it all, but I think I just may be tossing the liquid makeup!

Update (1/19/08): After a few days with the stuff and more and less figuring out what I'm doing with it, I'm officially SOLD on mineral makeup. The liquid makeup is going in the trash (or probably just the back of my under-sink cabinet with the rest of my junk).

Friday, January 11, 2008

OK, one more.

For realz, this is it. I got a $50 J. Crew giftcard from my SIL at Christmas and I've been holding onto it for that *perfect* item. Well I totally found it like 10 minutes ago!

They marked this lovely down from $225 to $89.99, so with my giftcard it was only $39.99! I've actually had my eye on this dress for a while, though I had no real plans to buy it. When I saw that it was marked down even further, I had to snag it! We're going to a wedding later this month, so I think this will be perfect! I just love the print.

Well have a great weekend, all! The hub and I are hoping to have a really "productive" weekend. Wink wink. ;-)

A little morning shopping.

Work is really gearing up already for tax season... *groan*. So I'm sure my blogging will be rather sporadic (does anyone else ALWAYS think of Clueless when you hear that word?) over the next few months. But I'll be sure to pop in as much as possible with updates and potential rants over working long hours. Anyway, as much as I DON'T need to be spending money right now, I justified these two morning purchases in record time. How flippin' cute are these shoes? I love all things Pucci and these are totally Pucci-esque.
Steve Madden - $34.99 at (50% off) - a great shoe site with free shipping (on returns too) and no sales tax for most states. Not always the best sale prices, but they do match - though it's like a pain in the ass to do it.

Paige Denim capris - marked down to $77.90 on Nordstrom (reg $198). Plus I had a $21 store credit, so it was like meant-to-be. And don't worry - I'm not wearing those shoes with them - ew!

Once again, today's shop-it-to-me email must be blamed. Anyway, I'm ready for spring weather and clothes! This is getting me excited. Alright, well I better do some real work. This silly job thing keeps getting in the way of my fun!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Here's to 2008!

Happy New Year, everybody! I hope you all had a fun and safe New Year's Eve and I hope 2008 brings good things to you all. I'm very excited about 2008! The hub and I had quite a 2007, so we were ready to put it behind us. And thank you so much for all the sweet comments on my last post. I'm feeling much better about it all...

I think we've decided to step back for a few months and try on our own - through tax season actually. My busy season at work is gearing up, so from about mid-January to mid-April, I will live and breathe tax returns. I'll be working six days a week, long hours, with little energy left for much else (not to mention the stress that goes along with all that). It really doesn't allow much time for going to the doctor's office ALL the stinkin' time. With this whole IUI thing, I have to go in like 3 or 4 times during my cycle. I could of course make it work if I really wanted to, but given my busy work season, the cost, and the fact that we really only have tried on our own once since getting the green light, we think it makes sense to ease up and give it a go on our own for a few months. I know our doctor wants to be aggressive about it, and sure, I do too - but at the same time I'm thinking, what if we can get the job done on our own? So for now, that's the plan. We're calling my doctor tomorrow to let him know what we're feeling/thinking.

So Happy, Happy 2008! I think it's gonna be fabu! :-)