Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker

Here is what I was given...

and here is what I am going to try to create... yeah, I am not sure yet either.

After a conversation with a metal shop fabricator, a cabinet maker, and a stained glass designer... I think we are on our way! This thing will be the coolest pendant light ever! I will post a pic when it's done. :)


Recliner Search...

My husband really wants a new recliner... if there was ever a word that designers and architects from all over dislike hearing, it is "recliner." Yes, there are great looking ones out there these days. I like several of the below minimalist style reclining chairs,


but my husband, on the other hand, would prefer something like this:

and that is a no-go for me... I would not be OK with my house looking like an episode of Frasier. This is my husband we are talking about here, not my elderly father moving in (like the show).

I know that there is a compromise out there, but we haven't found it yet. I will be sure to update you when we do! For now I think I have him convinced to wait until we move into our new home. That has bought me at least a year!


Coke, Diet Coke, and Mountain Dew Coke... It's All Coke!

Every once in a while something will happen that makes me miss the Midwest... and that happened recently to me when I was referencing a set of drawings from my Ohio based clients...


I have not heard that terms in YEARS... and I didn't know that I missed it until I saw it in this set of drawings. I am going to make a more concerted effort to start saying "pop" again. You can take the girl out of the Midwest but you can't take the Midwest out of the girl!

Sweet Tea and Pop... best of both worlds. :)


Gentlemen Only

I know, I know, I know... I am in a male dominated field... but for realz??? Not even a "Ladies and Gentlemen"? Let's be real, I am not really a lady either. ;)

Getting Stuck

Updating you on my last post, my first acupuncture appointment was a success! and like everyone has already said, the needles did not hurt. One in particular, near my wrist, was a little uncomfortable for a while (they left them in for 20-30 minutes) but nothing ever "hurt." She used about 10-15 needles? I lost track.

Everything was great about my first experience and I have other future appointments made... we shall see if anything comes from this! The most promising thing is that I told the practitioner all about one problem I was having and after her physical examination of me (before the needles) she asked me about something else that has been a problem in the past but I told her nothing about! That leads me to believe that there is some truth to all of this.

I have been skeptical in the past, but with a few positive opinions from people I trust, there is some evidence of acupuncture working, I just hope it can work for me. The practitioner said she can get my body circulating correctly again so I will be sure to let you know how it all works out!


Sticking To It...

I have my first acupuncture appointment tonight and I am really nervous!!! I hope to be smiling like the woman below but I am so deathly afraid of needles - as long as I don't look I should be OK... and my mom assures me that they are much thinner than normal needles and don't hurt...

We shall see!


Tipping Is Optional

I was listening to the radio this morning and the cast of the morning show started talking about their worst job ever. They had all been servers and began sharing their horror stories from working in the food and bev industry. Most of them had made a mistake on their customers' order, tripped, forgot something, etc. and how they had gotten treated really badly in return... but my story comes from doing nothing wrong on my part...

I worked during the summer between my sophomore and junior year of college at a small locally owned Greek restaurant in my hometown in Indiana. I actually really liked that job. You could leave with cash in hand and I worked with some really fun people, some of which were also on their college summer break. We would often go out after work, smelling like grease and all, and celebrate the good weather and worry free job we had just completed.

I am a pretty friendly person to everyone I meet. Maybe even overly friendly to strangers because at times I am afraid that someone won't like me. This was especially true of my younger days. During one particular dinner shift, I approached my next table with a big smile, welcomed the two women who were sitting in a window booth, both heavier set white women probably in their late 40s, and took their order when they were ready.

When I brought their food, everything was correct and on time, one of the ladies looked at me and said "You can stop trying so hard, tipping is optional you know."

Stunned but still smiling I said, "Yes ma'am, I know."

I then continued to refill their beverages, clear their table, put their leftovers in boxes and bag it up, plated and served them dessert, and gave them their bill... for which I was tipped NOTHING on about $40.00.

I was shocked. I have since then experienced more disappointing things in my life, but at that age you would have thought this was the worse thing that had ever happened to me. I went to the back of our restaurant to our dark empty banquet room and started to cry. Why would they do that to me? Do they know that I only make $2.15 per hour and my income depends almost solely on tips? Not even just the money, but the fact that for some reason they didn't think I deserved a tip really hurt the most.

*  *  *

To this day, I don't know why these two women would do that to a 21 year old girl who I am sure seemed nice enough and gave at least average service. I think it says more about the type of people they were than I was or am. How unhappy must they have been to say such a mean thing to a young girl just trying to make some spending money for college? I wonder what they are up to now since it is a decade later...

This experience gave me an additional lesson on why you treat people the way you want to be treated. Attitude, criticism, nastiness - they can make or break someone's day! To this day, the service has to be pretty bad for me to tip less. And even at that it is probably just lowered to 10%...

I have never stiffed anyone nor have I lowered a tip for a mistake or even several mistakes. Now, general lack of interest or rudeness, that will get your money lowered, but has only happened about 4 times in 10 years.


Compatibility Test

That plug - compatible with iPhone 5?  Methinks you are mistaken...


Walking The Dog

I never had such an eventful night of dog walking like I did the other night...

First off, I was turning the corner and walking Minnie on the sidewalk when a car going the same way that I was walking turned right in front of me into their drive way. Like 15' in front of me. As if that wasn't rude enough, they parked their car OVER the sidewalk and turned the ignition off. I had to physically step through the grass and go around their parked car because they were directly in my path.

Let me just say that I am trying to direct my anger into humor lately. I started laughing out loud at their clear act of inconsiderateness and shook my head. I would NEVER do that to someone. I feel like she could have waited the 5-10 seconds for me to get by with my dog instead of pulling in front of us making me stop and then forcing me to walk all the way around her car. Some people...

Also, when I walk Min at night I try to be more self aware. I don't listen to music and my senses are all together more heightened when it is dark outside. There was a car parked on the side of the road with its fog lights on and the engine running up ahead a little later that same night. I cautiously approached it while walking on the sidewalk and then I noticed it was two teenagers making out in the car! It was awesome.

As much as that other lady pissed me off, this genuinely made me laugh inside (so as to not disturb them) and think back to the good old high school days. The days when all you had to worry about was making good grades, being on time for practice, and not getting caught making out with your boyfriend by your parents. Love it.


Happy 4th Anniversary!

To my one and only - no one can make me laugh like you can. You have made these past 4 years of my life the best ever. I love you and am looking forward to many more!


Happy Words

I just read an article about the differences between happy and unhappy people. It was a good read, but nothing earth shattering as I am sure you have heard most of this before, but it was a great reminder!

Here are my takaways from the read:
  • savor the present
  • count your blessings
  • focus on your own progress and praise others on theirs
  • surround yourself with optimistic people who will encourage you to achieve your goals
  • it’s impossible to please everyone - never seek anyone’s approval but your own
  • talk less and listen more
  • take the time to see and talk to your family, friends, or significant other
  • eat foods that will keep your mind and body in good shape
  • exercise raises happiness levels just as much as medication
  • live minimally
  • always be truthful, and never apologize for it
  • choose your own destiny
  • accept the fact that life is not fair
I made bold the ones that I need to work on the most... so, I am thankful for my health, I am happy with what I have accomplished in my career, I need to clean out the attic, and I am OK with not getting paid for overtime - sort of. :)

Have an amazing day!


Boston Marathon Bombings

There are no words to describe the hate that some people can have even though I think that kind of hate hurts you the most - from the inside. What kind of life must you have had to set off a bomb on innocent people? Who are the unlucky ones here; the bomber who has never known joy, love, or their humanity? The members of the crowd who are now dismembered, the fatalities, or the family of those victims?

People at the finish line of the marathon were there for the following reasons; you are the media, waiting for a loved one to finish the race and/or cheer them on, had just crossed the finish line yourself, or were there as a volunteer or worker for the event. How could one expect this horrible act to occur? You can't.

This puts new meaning to my casual joking words of "See? That is why I don't run. Too dangerous." These words are meant in jest when you hear about runners nearly getting hit by cars, etc. but it all boils down to it not being very funny at all when something like the Boston bombings happen.

Running a marathon may be someone's life dream. Maybe they battled and won against cancer and this is proving just how far they have really come. Maybe they woke up that morning thinking that they REALLY didn't want to do this, but they needed to show their 8 year old son what commitment and finishing one's goal looks like, but maybe that same son also turned out to be one of the three fatalities of the bombing, what does that teach?

Throughout everything horrible that happened, there were people running towards the blasts to help those in need. It proves that there are more good guys than bad and that we have to keep fighting for our freedoms. We need to show the good that people can do so that good overshadows evil, and right now we need to show our support and uplift all those who were affected by this tragedy. I pray that they can find peace and happiness.

Although horrible things can happen, life must go on. You can't live life scared of doing something that you want to do, because that fear means the bad guys have won. I hope that twice the runners show up to next year's Boston marathon and that this can be a reminder that good will always triumph. We should help people and do positive and kind acts towards others in this life without a tragedy happening - for it might prevent the next one...

Adam Scott? Who's he? Google... YOWZA!

I googled the winner of the 2013 Masters this year... holy Aussie model, batman.


When I heard he was cute from the morning show host on the radio I had to see for myself - I tend to be a little skeptical. There are a lot of people that others think are SO cute that I am not really attracted to... Johnny Depp for example.

But she wasn't kidding about this one, here are some more!

Is that a double threat when you are incredibly good looking AND a professional athlete? Tom Brady is about the only other guy I can think of that ranks as high up there as Adam Scott... but there is just something about him being so good at an individual sport that makes him slightly ahead of Tom.

I may start watching golf again! haha :)

UPDATED: He's definitely a triple threat. I forgot he's got an Australian accent! and he's single and rich and...


Meeting Mr. Right

My post from the other day got me thinking about what advice I would give someone, especially a woman, who wants to try and meet the "one." I wrote that previous post because I thought it gave bad advice and I was critiquing it, so I think it is only fair that I give it a shot since I put that other article down so badly.*
*I am no love expert, I am just in love. :)

1. Do not boast, exaggerate, or be drama filled.

I have found that men can't stand it.

I have a particular friend that does all of these things and NOTHING gets my husband's eyes rolling like her stories. Everything is always the best, worst, craziest, funniest, etc. thing ever, and it is usually never the best, worst, craziest, funniest, etc.

What happens here is people stop listening. If you tell stories like this you are also likely a "one upper." I have problems with this and do it too because I can get excited about a story and want to relate to that person so I try to share my own experiences... proceed with caution because that can be interpreted as "you're story was great, but mine is better."

Also beware of the humble-brag. This is a fairly new term but the idea of the humble-brag is probably centuries old. For example, never say "My shoulders really hurt from that massage at my spa day this past weekend." unless you are trying to be sarcastic. If you are looking for genuine sympathy, you will not get it.

2. Be yourself, quirks and all, but maybe start with a smaller dose of what makes you "special" at first.

You can put up a ruse for a while, but after some time you will have to be exactly who you are, and all the time that you spent acting like someone else will be lost - both to them and to you.

Here are some to-dos: eat like you normally eat (vegetarian, etc.), talk about the positives of your family/friends/life, know your interests and talk about them (outdoorsy and sportsy? or like to watch movies and read books?), and last but not least - listen to them as well.  

Here are some no-nos for the first part of dating: talking about exes, passing gas, cussing like a sailor, getting wasted, talking about the negatives of your life (this guy is on a date with you, not getting paid to be your shrink), and telling him/her about what makes you really "special" - crazy family, etc.

3. Know what you want and don't settle, but most of all - know yourself.

This may sound like a sure-fire way to date less, but that is kind of the point. You want to date better, not more. "The only thing that the wrong man in your life will do for you, is keep the right one out of it." I heard this quote somewhere and have used it many times. If you are in a relationship that is going nowhere, the sooner you get out, the sooner you can meet Mr. Right!

There are certain things you should know in the back of your mind that you will not waiver on when you meet with someone. During my dating years, for me those things were smoking (I hate it), if you had children, and if you had allergies to animals. You need to know your "deal breakers" and follow them strictly.

But knowing and being honest with yourself may be the way to start with this list. Don't judge unfairly, and if you're not a 10 in the looks department, don't expect to get one, etc. Knowing yourself can only help you find the right partner.

Another example, don't say you want a guy with a six pack if you've never set foot inside a gym, on the pavement, or a bike in your life. Do you know what it takes to have an actual "six pack?" Your well built beau will probably go to the gym 4-5 times a week, and if this is not something you like to do, you will be doing other things alone at this time.

Hope this helps, he/she is out there! If you are having trouble meeting people, exploring your interests is a great way to start. There is an adults sports league in my town, and maybe there is one in yours too? Book Club? Even hanging out with the girls can work! They may know someone to introduce you to. Bottom line, you've got to do you first.


Music City, Y'all

I will be visiting my beautiful baby sister in Nashville this weekend, and I leave today! I am so excited to see her and this is my first time visiting her in Nashville. She has been there almost a year so I am hoping she has a good plan for us! I would like to check out the Grand Ole' Opry and other music venues, along with getting some grub and visiting some architecture, I think I am in for a grand ole' time! ;)

See ya soon sis!


Legless Lizard - Posing Like a Snake!

My husband and I were mowing our new lot last weekend for the first time. It was a land-mine field filled with fire ant hills and snakes! Or so we thought.

I was pushing my mower through a particularly thick patch of clover when this came slithering out...

Yes, I screamed. Like a girl even.

Steven stopped his mower and came across the lot to see me pointing to about an 18" long "snake" and he went to go get a shovel to kill it pick it up and throw it back in the marsh.

Our neighbor lady came down from her house and walked over to us to take a look and she picked it up! She said "Oh, this is a legless lizard or 'glass' lizard. I see him all the time. Oh no, the end of his tail got cut off." and started walking away with the lizard to set him free.

Found out later she is an arborist. And I am guessing an avid animal lover. Being an animal lover myself I am so glad I didn't chop off more of that lizard than the tip of its tail! In case you are wondering I think I could have talked Steven into letting that poor baby go back into the marsh, even if it was a snake.

The fire ants, however, did get the best of my right foot. And I got the best of their hill with some leftover gasoline. What? I can be a little vindictive. ;)

Side note:
This neighbor lady is on one side and the neighbor lady on the other does triathalons. I think I am going to have to step up my game to live in an area with these bad a$$ bit*&^es! :)


Moscow Mule

I was first introduced to a Moscow Mule at Tristan restaurant in Charleston, SC about 7 years ago. It was SO good, but I thought it was just a thing that they made only, because it was on their menu of other specialty cocktails. The base of the cocktail, and any good mixed drink in my opinion, is vodka served with other flavors.

Recently, I was re-introduced to the Mosow Mule again at a new restaurant in town called The Rarebit and they served it in a copper mug! After this, I had to look up the drink and found that it is a staple all over Russia.

2 oz. vodka
1/2 oz. simple syrup
4 oz. ginger beer
1/2 lime - juiced
Find more recipes here.

All served over ice in a copper mug. Now that I've had it in the copper mug, I can't help but want a few of my own! They are kind of expensive, so imagine my surprise when I see them on a website I love on clearance!

But then my sadness when I see this:

Sold out. For now. I will own you some day, copper mugs!


Women, Please Don't Give Up On Yourselves to Get Married...

My friend on facebook posted an article from eHarmony about how a "career woman" should act on a first date, and the undertone is pretty appalling. You can read the full article here, but basically it says to:
  1. Leave work at work. 
    1. Fine, I get that, it is always a good idea for both women and men to do.
    2. Talking about work will come off as "masculine and assertive" is where you've lost me.
  2. Let him pick up the tab. 
    1. OK, I understand, chivalry and all that - especially since it is a first date. I would still go for the "wallet grab" though, ladies. I wouldn't want him to think that you can't take care of yourself.
  3. Wear a dress, some heels, and perfume, and leave the power suit at home.
    1. WTF?!?
    2. This is a direct quote:
      1. "Having an attitude of “Well, he shouldn’t be paying attention to my chest; he should be listening to how I closed that deal yesterday!” also won’t help career women get to a second date, so remember that you are in fact a woman and use it to your advantage."
That last one is really screwing with me... I interpret that as it is more important for you to wear something attractive on a first date than by telling him about the big deal you just made at work, because that is masculine and assertive.

But what if you have trouble feigning enthusiastic interest in superficial bullshit for husband-snagging purposes? 

"Career women" or so this article states, would NEVER take this advice so I don't know to whom they think this article is written. This is advice to a woman who wants a more traditional female role in her marriage. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but some women now prefer a more equal say in the household, can feel accomplished in a good day's work, and have more interests in life than "pleasing her man."
I am married and I acted myself 100% of the time during our dating years and still to this day I have been steadfast with who I am and what I want out of life. I prefer an equal say in our marriage and I have a career that I am proud of and it is a big part of my life - why wouldn't I share it on a first date?

I dated a man before I met my husband in which I felt I had to change who I was around him, and that, to me, is the main issue here. It was exhausting pretending I didn't have an opinion of what we did or where we ate, to get dressed to the nines and in full makeup just to have a movie night in, to not overshadow his mediocre career because I am an architect. I swore to myself: Never Again.

Bottom line is, be who you are. If you like talking about sports, you bring in a nice living, and you want to play flag football on your weekends, do it! There are plenty of men who will not only date a girl like you, but will appreciate your independence and conversation and companionship so much, that they may even be willing to marry you too. ;)


I Dance like Elaine from Seinfeld...

I have been going to Zumba for going on three years now. I love it.

But I recently switched gyms and this particular workout area has WAY more mirrors than I was used to. All four walls have floor to ceiling mirrored panels instead of just the front and... I noticed that I dance to Pittbull with my THUMBS out. What?

Yes, I give the thumbs up while doing my Latin beat dance moves. I am sort of mortified at myself, but also happy that I have an outlet to dance even though I am so bad at it. Without vodka that is. I am an awesome dancer in the club [read: yeah right...].

This just made me even more fully aware that ALL of Seinfeld's jokes are about real life!

I also played touch football for the first time today. I am kind of obsessed! and also sure that I will be sore come tomorrow.


Do the Rich Rebate?

As I am sitting here filling out my rebate form for the $45 dollars I will get back from buying my contacts, I start to wonder why in the heck they don't just give you the money off when you order them? Why do I still have to fill out and send in a stupid form?

I think I know why... because it is a pain. Lazy people and rich people probably don't bother with the rebate shenanigans, especially since it takes 6-8 weeks to get your check back and costs you a stamp, not to mention your time. Can you imagine Donald Trump downloading and filling out a rebate form? I would also venture to guess that 75% of rebate users are women, maybe even more.

So, thus, the companies don't automatically give you the money because...

"41% of people forget to send in their rebates." - techdirt.com

This is not surprising, but I am not included in that percentage. I will not buy something ONLY because it has a rebate, but I will likely be persuaded to buy that particular brand, try a new brand, or even buy more to meet the rebate's requirements.

I don't have a ton of money to burn and I try to look at it as a little surprise for down the road. Most likely I will have forgotten that I have sent in said rebate and then one unsuspecting day, bam, a check is in the mail. I like free money!


Free French Bulldog to Good Home

A p r i l   F o o l s !
I could never give this little girl up... she even hunts for Easter eggs! haha
From Charleston, South Carolina to your computer. I hope you enjoy. :)