Define Necessity

When I saw the image below posted on my friend's facebook page, it really struck a cord with me. The image is so powerful that I don't feel like I even need to type a post about this, a picture says 1,000 words, but I feel compelled to share my own personal thoughts.

In this nation, even the poorest person is richer than those who are moderately poor in other countries. As Americans, we put too much importance on material goods and take things, like drinking water, for granted. I am guilty of it too, but can you imagine a world where, food, shelter, and water are your number one concerns? Have you ever even seen an American homeless person's rib-cages like that?

The image on the right kind of disgusts me... I like buying presents and getting presents too, but defining your child's happiness based on what gift they get at Christmas is the wrong lesson in life to give.  If one's happiness is based on what they own, then they will never be happy. Plus, you will have to store, insure, clean, care for all this stuff... who has the time?

While my parents were here for Thanksgiving, my mom and I were having this very same conversation. I told her that I would be fine if she never bought my future children a single thing. I would rather her save all the money she would buy material goods with and use it to come visit more often or give it to them for college or a car one day. She seemed to agree.

My family of 5 were by no means poor growing up, but for Christmas I remember getting one main gift, a few supplementary smaller gifts, and some clothes and stocking stuffers for Christmas. We opened presents for about 20 minutes on Christmas morning and that was it.

No fault to them or their parents, but some of my nieces and nephews got so tired of opening gifts one year that they actually had to take a break... and I contributed to that. This year I am hopefully giving them stuff that they need or can use to learn something or at least not be staring at a screen to use it.

I can't wait until Christmas, mostly because we will all be together in Colorado spending family time together that is so precious, but also because it is a break from the daily grind of working full time and a great opportunity to relax and realize why we ARE working so hard - to enjoy life with our loved ones!


Colin Pahs | 2/96 - 11/21/12

My kitty Colin was laid to rest on this day - November 21, 2012 at 10:30am. He was the best feline companion anyone could ask for. He never nipped or scratched, never clawed the furniture, always greeted everyone with purrs and rubs, he consoled me when I was sad, kept me company when I was lonely, cuddled with me every chance he could and never asked for a thing – I am really going to miss him.

Colin joined our family when I was only 14. He was my first pet that could live outside of an aquarium and I loved him as best as I knew how for being a teenager, then a college student, grad, and now into my 30s. We took care of each other for many years and he will be a part of my life and memories forever. He was with me for more than half of my life up to this point and truly became part of our family.

I will never forget how he would make me laugh with how big he was – his biggest being 25 lbs. He was overweight most of his life and didn’t seem to mind a bit! It never failed, when I would make a sandwich he would always beg for a little morsel of chicken cold-cuts, his favorite, and me being kind of a pushover would always give it to him. It tasted much better than his diet food I'm sure!

When most people met him they would say things like “I usually don’t like cats, but Colin is cool.” He always wanted to be a part of the action and would hang out, not run and hide. He was gentle and would only put up a fight when he would get a bath or get his nails cut. He loved to be brushed and sit in the sun and occasionally he would join me outside in the hammock.

Colin was more than just a cat, he was my little buddy. Rest in peace kee-kee. I love you.

HIMYM - Season 8 | appearance!

My cousin, Brian Shortall, represented the "Lusty Leopard" on How I Met Your Mother's Season 8 episode called The Stamp Tramp this week! Even though he has been on a couple of shows it is still exciting to see him on TV every time - especially when they are representing an establishment called The Lusty Leopard - haha!

I think he did a great job and would love to see him on TV more! Congrats Brian. :)


Architect Seal!

happened today.

I'm all like official and crap. ;)


Humanscale & Ergonomics - my new chair has arrived!

Here is a current shot of my office and I am already in LOVE with my new chair and monitor arm that I just got today. I bought the Humanscale Diffrient World Chair in white, with pewter sensuade seat, and a white pinstripe mesh back... it is so comfortable!

The monitor arm is a must. I have a long torso and try to sit up straight so even if my chair was all the way lowered down, my monitor would still be too low without a mount. Mounts just make sense if you don't mind shelling out the cash for them. They are easily adjustable and you can store so much more underneath them when compared to being propped on their provided stand.

Having the right tools to do your job is so important. I am a firm believer in having the right mattress (a Temperpedic for us), the right shoes, and the right office chair. These are the items that we spend the most time with and can literally add to the quality and shape of our lives and bodies.

Here is a quick lesson on ergonomics from Humanscale's website:

  • Your monitor should be an arm's-length away and your eyesight should be about 1/3 down from the top of your monitor at a perpendicular (90 degree) angle.
  • Resting your palms while you type and moving your whole arm to use your mouse is a good idea and gives your wrists a break.
  • You want your thighs parallel to the floor and your feet resting on the ground. Move your feet around often or get a footrest.
  • All frequently used items should be centered around you to avoid constantly twisting your core to make up for it (your neck and shoulders will thank you)!
  • Although I don't currently have a keyboard tray I would highly recommend one! This allows you to keep your keyboard closer to your thighs which is preferable.
  • Remember to stretch your body in a counteractive motion (backbend-ish) a few times a day. An exercise ball can help with that for a longer stretch at night or practicing your yoga "camel pose" will also do the trick. Core strength is key.

 Camel Pose


The Saga is Over | Breaking Dawn Part 2

Grade: A-
Date: November 18, 2012
Location: Citadel Stadium 16
Notes: Bittersweet - loved to see it, but sad that it is the last one!

The movie was just great. Since I had a little mini-marathon this weekend (watched Twilight and then Breaking Dawn Part 1) it was nice to see that this series has come a long way since the beginning. I really enjoyed this movie and even had an "oh shit" moment during the ending where they give you a twist - but I don't want to give anything away...

I would recommend watching Part 1 again if you can before you see this one as I had to fill in my friends on why something happened (and I only knew because I had just seen the first one), but all in all I am happy with the way the story was told.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the K.Stew and R.Patt breakup... it was kind of distracting at certain points and I was having a hard time differentiating between real life and movie life. When they would kiss as Bella and Edward I kept thinking "I wonder if she knew at this moment she would cheat on him." Or when she tells him that it is a "forever love" and that "no one will ever love him and much as she does." I couldn't stop myself from thinking "yeah right" but I did try to stop!

I am hoping they come out with a box set of all the movies into one. I will add that to my box set of books and put it away for a daughter one day... or a niece, whichever happens first. :)


Minnie is 1!

She got some chicken treats, a new bone, custom harness, and some plastic bowls (her favorite toy ever). Colin the Kitty even joined in on the fun. Looking forward to many more years with our darling girl!

P.S. I am fully aware that this may be a little crazy - I never thought I would be like this either. ;)


Spelling Bee Champ

What else is there to do before a wedding starts besides proofread the program? DOH!


My Design Style | comfortable modern

I have been thinking a lot about my personal interior design style recently. Normally I just go by what my clients like to see (or what their budgets can afford), but as I design my future house in my head (and a little on paper), the best word that can describe my style would be "Comfortable Modern."

I love clean lines and minimalist style with pops of color. I wouldn't say I am full modern or "cold modern" because I do like a space to feel comfortable and welcoming, but you put me in a dark room full of clutter and I may start to hyperventilate. I love wood tones with lots of light and whimsical decorations that can make you laugh or think.

 This is too stark and cold for my taste.

Minimalist style doesn’t mean I don’t like stuff. I love stuff, in fact I have a lot of it and am prepared for almost any kind of situation you can think of, but I just don’t want to SEE my stuff. “A place for everything and everything in its place” would be a good description of how I like to live. I love me some Tupperware and I would actually like to live in The Container Store.

With this post, I was also wondering if I could come up with what would be the antithesis of my design style and I came up with “Country Victorian.” Curiously, I googled the phrase and it turns out there is an ACTUAL magazine with the name! Gross. Well, I should have said “to each their own” instead of "gross," but I would have a seriously hard time with a client that described their needs as such.

Froo-froo, fake flowers, ornate frames and and ceramics are not my thing..

From Charleston, South Carolina to your computer. I hope you enjoy. :)