So I applied for this reality show…

It’s called “Wipeout.” You may have seen it – it’s basically the American version of Most Extreme Elimination Challenge. I think I’d be really good on the show. Here are some of my answers to the application questions:

Q: WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MOST INTERESTING JOBS YOU’VE HAD?

A: My current position – I am in charge of a running program for the homeless 🙂 Past interesting jobs include bartender and child and adolescent therapist. I also work as a secret shopper from time to time. It’s fun because I can live out my spy dreams without getting caught and interrogated.

Q: WHAT WERE YOU VOTED “MOST LIKELY TO”…IN YOUR HIGH SCHOOL YEARBOOK?

A: I wasn’t voted anything, although I’m certain they intended to vote me “most likely to start a business wherein I embroider unicorns on…things”

Q: WHAT ARE YOUR WORST QUALITIES?

A: I struggle with timeliness. I procrastinate. I have been known to be a little on the stubborn side. I have a bad habit of hitting things (mainly other cars) with my car.

Q: WHAT ARE YOUR HOBBIES?

A:  Running, blogging, podcasting, starting craft projects and not finishing them

Q: GIVE AN EXAMPLE OF WHEN YOU HAVE RISEN TO A CHALLENGE IN COMPETITION.

A: I began running 6 years ago and struggled to complete my first 5K. After getting beat by Mena Suvari, who was 10 seconds ahead of me in a 5K, I then vowed to exact my revenge on her. Though she has no clue who I am, one day she will rue the day she beat Tiffany Brennaman by 10 seconds. Over the past two years I have begun placing in my age groups and have actually won overall female in two races.

Q: DO YOU HAVE ANY FEARS? IF SO, HOW DID THEY COME ABOUT?

A: Nothing really major – I just HATE snakes. I think that comes from the fact that they’re, well, really creepy.

Q: WHAT IS YOUR UNIQUE AND PERSONAL MOTIVATION FOR WANTING TO COMPETE ON THE SHOW?

A: I came across the show while flipping through the channels and immediately KNEW that I needed to be on it. I have worked really hard to get into the best shape of my life and I am sort of on the nutty, crazy side. I have gone bungee jumping and sky diving so heights are not a problem for me. I really love Most Extreme Elimination Challenge and got super excited when I saw that there was something similar to that in the US. Also – I really want to have a training montage.

Q: WHAT IS THE MOST DARING AND DANGEROUS THING YOU’VE EVER DONE?

A: I went skydiving for my 30th birthday and finagled my friends into doing it with me. I was getting some pretty ugly looks when “Let the Bodies Hit the Floor” was playing over the loudspeaker in the shaky Cessna at 14,000 feet. Oh, and weather conditions weren’t terribly optimal that day.

Q: WHAT FAMOUS PERSON DO PEOPLE SAY YOU RESEMBLE?

A: I hear Orson Welles sometimes but I believe I’m more of a Natalie Wood (when she was 33). I’ve also been mistaken for Jennifer Love Hewitt (they were a little drunk but hell, I’ll take it).
Q: IF YOU COULD BE ANYONE LIVING OR DEAD, REAL OR FICTION, WHO WOULD YOU BE?
A: I would be a dinosaur. No explanation needed.
Q: DESCRIBE YOUR MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT EVER.
A: I used to work for United Way. At a national conference a few years back, they had a luau with an open bar and a karaoke machine. After I lost count of the number of drinks I’d had, I found myself grinding the floor, singing “Like a Virgin” with a bunch of folks gathered around (thank GOD iPhones hadn’t yet been invented). Needless to say, we left early the next morning (let me also mention that somehow I put my keys in the toilet the night before) and didn’t say goodbye.
Q: IS THERE ANYTHING INTERESTING OR UNUSUAL THAT WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOU?
A: I am obsessed with unicorns, I’m a nostalgia freak (love anything mid-late 80’s/early90’s), and I have a cat named Dirt McGrit. I think airbrush is a lost art and that makes me sad.
Q: IF YOU WERE GRANTED ONE WISH, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
A: I would end homelessness forever. And I would make unicorns real.

On pillows and hormonal days….

So just a little while ago, after a good cry over an episode of Supernatural and a country song (don’t even like country music), I consoled myself by ordering bird, red panda, and unicorn pillows.

A little background: we are completely redoing our living room and despite buying a sofa, chair and rug, I was MOST excited about picking out throw pillows. And I’ve spent quite a lot of time perusing the Society 6 website looking for some awesome finds. And boy howdy, did I find them! These are a couple the ones I decided on:

Source: http://society6.com/product/Hello-VPU_Pillow
Source: http://society6.com/product/RED-PANDA-by-Jamie-Mitchell-and-Kris-Tate_Pillow

So being SUPER inspired, I think I’m going to make some custom pillows via cafe press. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

What is that, you ask? Well, it’s a design my husband commissioned for me for our 11 year wedding anniversary (just this past weekend!). And it couldn’t be more perfect.

Want a better view? I thought so:

The BEST oatmeal you will ever try – I dare you to fight me on this one.

So I *may* have left a candle burning too close to my laptop and now it’s all melty. THIS IS WHY WE DON’T HAVE NICE THINGS. That was a bad decision on my part.

So let’s talk about good decisions – for instance, eating breakfast. If you’ve ever had a conversation with me and admitted to skipping breakfast, chances are you’ve gotten a good (and well-deserved) scolding. I believe in a thing called breakfast (just listen to the rhythm of my heart). And because I believe so strongly in the power of that first magical meal of the day, I’m going to share my secret recipe for the most BOSS oatmeal EVER known to woman (or man, or goat). I’m serious you guys. This stuff is so good I’ve eaten it every morning for over a year. It’s a little high in calories but it gives you a ton of fuel to get through your morning.

Lady’s Magical Unicorn Oatmeal

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup almond milk
A little less than 1/2 cup water
1-2 tablespoons vanilla brown rice protein powder (great for thickening the oatmeal if it comes out too watery) – Note: DON’T use whey protein, I tried it and it’s no good with this.
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 large teaspoon nutella
sprinkling of chopped hazelnuts (or slivered almonds)
dash of salt
1/2 banana (if you’re feeling froggy)

Mix the oats, almond milk and water. Microwave for 3 minutes. Take that bitch out of the microwave. Mix in everything else listed above. Enjoy. A lot.

P.S. – I would post a picture of this but it actually doesn’t look very appetizing. But really, does any oatmeal look appetizing?

On mindfulness and the creeper at the bank…

I freak out whenever I see a cat (in a good way). I will spend more than a few minutes smelling candles in a TJ Maxx store. I have known to shop at 6 different grocery stores in 1 day, just to find the best deal on kale. My car is horrendously cluttered, and I like it that way.

And I’m super duper confused when it comes to metaphysical stuff.

I think it’s normal to be “searching” for an answer, especially when you hit the early-mid 30’s, as you’ve spent your 20’s trying to figure out who the heck you WANT to be, then you spend your 30’s making it happen (or something like that), with of course quite a few hiccups along the way, and oftentimes you end up doing something on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. (Let me just say that I’m not trying to teach some great lesson or anything, I’m just speaking purely from my uber-limited life experience).

I’ve said in a past post that I believe quite strongly that a lot of our purpose here in this life is to make connections – with each other, with other living beings, with whatever higher being you may choose (if that is your path), with that creeper at the bank (just be nice to him, he *probably* isn’t actually stalking you). The connections will oftentimes give you signs to point you in the right direction, if you open your mind up to it. I really think I may be on to something here.

So in case you don’t already know, my day job is program director for an organization that works with the homeless. There’s a man in the program with whom I’ve become quite connected. He’s struggled with alcoholism for quite some time and has a pretty colorful history (much of which is attributed to a rough childhood, which seems to be the case with many of the men in our program). He recommended that I read a book called The Four Agreements, which I read and thoroughly enjoyed (and frequently go back to when I need a reminder that I’m being ridiculous). So I went to him and asked for another recommendation, and he recommended The Alchemist. Later on that week, after I purchased it from the Kindle store, a friend and I were riding in my car and she out of the blue mentioned that The Alchemist is her favorite book ever (not knowing that it had been recommended to me and I had just the day before downloaded it).

During the course of all of these occurrences, I had a conversation with my mom on the phone and she told me to “stop and smell the roses.” Not joking, the minute she said this, I was playing with a new listing app on my iPhone and the sample list on the app said “stop and smell the roses.” WEIRD.

So of course, I read The Alchemist and loved it. Much of what I got from it was right in line with the iPhone app/mom message. During the course of all of THESE occurrences, I happen to be taking a course on a form of therapy that is based on the zen technique of mindfulness. Not sure if any of this means anything in particular but my dreamy, super optimistic and metaphysical-obsessed side thinks perhaps it could.

So what DOES all of this mean? The connections to others and the universe around us are super important. Coincidences can be just that, but I think if we notice them happening a lot, it could mean something a little more. Also, stop and smell the damn roses (or pet the kitten as I would do, unless of course it’s feral, then it may not be a well-thought-out decision). Just a thought.

Anywho, if you haven’t seen the screaming goats video, you totally should.

On screaming like a banshee (among other things)…

After seeing several references to goats over the past week, I feel compelled to write a post about them. I just love them so much. They bleat and sometimes even scream like humans.

But alas there’s little I can say on that topic.

So things have been…interesting over the past few weeks. I have discovered a few new loves that I’d really like to share:

1) Trampoline fitness – this is mind-blowing and life-changing. You can burn like 1000 calories an hour AND it gives people like me an excuse to jump on trampolines for an hour. I even bought a monthly membership to this local gym so I can go as much as I want. I know what you’re thinking – trampolines are for kids, don’t you have little kids jumping around all the time? The answer is…yes…BUT the fitness classes are good because I can just start doing sky-jacks and tucks (screaming like a banshee) and the kids will go away. Kind of like vampires and crosses.

2) The Sir Mix-A-Lot station on Pandora. I found myself rapping “Buttermilk Biscuits” with an autistic fellow and just got inspired. I have a secret dream of being a rapper (I sometimes send raps to my husband via autorap – an iPhone app that you NEED).

3) Juicing has, once again, entered my world. I haven’t been giving my juicer NEARLY the amount of TLC it deserves, mainly because I hate cleaning it after only making one or two glasses of juice. My paranoia kept from from trying to do a whole pitcher because I fear the juice will rot after a day. BUT I took the plunge, did a pitcher and guess what? Three days in, it has yet to rot and still tastes yummy. Celery, cucumbers, carrots, kale and apples ALMOST taste like a bloody mary. Almost.

Yes, that is a butterfly fairy in the background. There’s also a picture of Seal (the artist). I deem that my corner of magical things.

4) WE’RE GOING TO EUROPE FOR OUR 11 YEAR ANNIVERSARY!!! I am so excited I can barely stand it. This is such a huge deal for me because I’ve never been outside of the country. Truthfully, we don’t have a ton of money for the trip so we’re doing it as cheaply as possible (and being the Queen of Cheap, I am working it quite well). So our plan is to stay in London and take the train to Edinburgh for a day and hit Paris for at least one day. I really hope we can go up in a balloon. Please, any suggestions as to things to do are certainly welcome!!

5) Guess what? Today is Caturday! I’ve realized over the past few weeks that my Spike is not only incredibly scuzzy but also has severe separation anxiety. He’s been following me around constantly and sleeps right up on me every single night. When I come home, he actually jumps up on the table and climbs onto my shoulder and it’s nearly impossible to put him down. Poor little kitler.

 

Where are the fashion police when I need them most?

Have you ever just worn the absolute wrong thing? You know when you’ve done it because it’s pretty fricckin’ obvious the moment you arrive all decked out in what you may have thought was your most brilliant fashion choice EVER. What a massive mountain of regret it can be.

Well, as you may (or may not) have guessed, I have a terrible habit and a LONG history of doing just this. As a child I always wanted so badly to dress myself, and having a mother who was having absolutely none of that, I think as an adult I developed this “you (meaning society) don’t tell me how to live my life” attitude about clothes. I am ashamed to say this “mom dressing me” thing lasted through high school so by the time I got to college I didn’t really know the first thing about developing a style of my own. I remember even my senior year, mom taking out the LL Bean catalogue and telling me to pick out the colors of the boxy, oversized polos (she always ordered me a size or 2 too big) I would get to wear for the next 9 months.  Shopping at the Gap or American Eagle was not much of an option for me unless I wanted to buy my own clothes. Which I did manage to do from time to time, but really had no idea what I was doing. Case in point: the first clothing items I bought with my own money were a long-sleeved tie-dye shirt with a giant heart on the front of it, a purple leather jacket (which got stolen, thank God – I’m pretty sure said thieves were the fashion police), and a pair of bright orange Asics (for style, not because I ran because I didn’t); all of which I would wear TOGETHER. That was my favorite outfit for longer than I’d like to admit.

I admire the crap out of people who just put it all out there and can be completely confident in whatever they wear, and I think my rationale behind some of my fashion choices has been, “well, even if I end up looking ridiculous, my sparkling personality will SURELY outweigh the fact that my outfit sucks.”  I remember, at the age of 12, I went through confirmation at my church. Let me start by saying that the day before confirmation Sunday, I had spent the whole day at a pool party with no sunscreen. So I show up for the ceremony and ALL of the other little girls are wearing white dresses. But me? I’m wearing a black dress with hot pink and purple flowers all over it, puffy sleeves, AND my skin is a brilliant Carrie-esque blood red sunburn. I FULLY blame my mom for this fashion choice as I know she was humiliated when she realized she didn’t get the memo about everyone wearing white, but guess who ended up looking like the resident dumbass (hint – it wasn’t her). I’m pretty sure the whole congregation, along with God, were embarrassed for me.

So all of this leads me to my adult life. I can honestly say that at 32, I still have no idea what I’m doing in terms of fashion half the time. And I still make the mistake of showing up in jeans at the absolute wrong time AT LEAST once a month. Wouldn’t it be nice if a dress code were sent out for every occasion, from a work meeting to a bachelorette party to a wedding shower? I’ve gone to showers where everyone was dressed in their Sunday best, and others where folks wore jeans and sneakers, and I showed up in just the opposite thing everyone else was wearing. Why can’t there be a general code of conduct for things that states something to the effect of: “Everyone can wear whatever they want whenever they want, so long as it is pleasing to the eye.” Why are we as society so bound by dress codes? And why don’t I ever seem to get the memos?

If I could have it my way, I wouldn’t wear jeans anyway. I’d wear yoga pants, tank tops, hoodies and fuzzy boots everywhere. Suck it, fashion police!

The Milkman, She-Ra and, of course, goats…

So if you’ve ever had a conversation with me, you’ve likely learned that one of my ultimate goals in life is to own a huge home and decorate each room with a different theme. Not only will it make my home the most interesting one to visit; it will also force my creative juices to flow into overdrive (which could very well result in something fantastically bizarre). I’ve been gathering ideas for the past few years.

1) Master Bedroom: This would be the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon room (sans swords and fights and, you know, killing). Simplicity. Neutral colors. A yoga space. A bamboo tree. Perhaps a panda in said tree. Or a family of pandas. Could be a little distracting when we’re trying to sleep but, well, who do you know who has pandas in their bedroom? And most importantly, and to keep in line with said theme, in this room people can glide/float when they jump.

2) Master Bath: Same thing, just to keep in line with the Crouching Tiger theme. Simplicity – candles, neutrals, maybe a zen garden. Spike would be stationed here, just to maintain some consistency with the panda piece. The bedroom/bathroom themes are going to be the calm spots in a house full of chaos.

3) Kitchen: Definitely 1950’s. Black and white checkered floor. Tiffany blue and red EVERYWHERE. I’d even pay someone to deliver milk every day in old-fashioned milkman garb. Because, you know, I can.

source: http://gigabiting.com/the-milkman-cometh

4) Guest Bedroom 1: The Room of Magical Creatures. You guessed it – unicorns, coupled with the musical stylings of Seal. I needn’t go into detail on this as I’d like for you to use your imagination.

source: http://musichurricane.com/tag/seal/

5) Guest Bedroom 2: The Moroccan style, Super Sexy Room. No furniture – just pillows everywhere. And drapes, lanterns, dark jewel tones everywhere. Incense would be burning. This is the place to go for business time.

6) Guest Bedroom 3: The ADHD Room. Lava lamps everywhere. A disco ball. One of those laser show projection things. Perhaps a goat. An endless supply of candy. Slinkys. One of those moving water pictures on the wall, with the sound of water and dolphins clicking every few minutes.

7) Guest Bedroom 4: The Child of the 80’s Room. I think this will be my most cherished (and yours, too). A full-sized, working version of the Rockafire Explosion (with the curtain to pull when it’s time to go to sleep, as I know how creepy Fats the Gorilla can be, and frankly, I don’t want him watching my guests sleep). Shelves with ALL of the cool toys we used to play with: Teddy Ruxpin, the California Raisins, Rainbow Bright, Transformers, G.I. Joe, He-Man and She-Ra. The bed would be covered with old school stuffed animals including but not limited to E.T., a Glo Worm and the Care Bears (NOT the new versions). There would be a Hello Kitty corner that smells like cherries and is set up like the Hello Kitty Store from my childhood (Macon Mall – many allowances were spent on pencil cases and stickers here). A record player with multiple records including Madonna, George Michael, Prince, Cyndi Lauper and the soundtrack to Flashdance. The party would start and end in this room.

source: http://cyprustoday.net/news/index.php/its-she-ra-2-0/

8) Outside: There would be a miniature animal farm, of course, with goats, pigs and sheep. And a trampoline.

source:http://mydandelionwine.wordpress.com/2012/09/10/meh-meh-mehniature/

On antiquing, haunted teddy bears and Tiffany blue

As I’ve gotten older and somewhat more mature, I’ve found this unbelievably strong urge to antique the shit out of my life. So while you and yours are out shopping at the mall on a day off, I love nothing more than to hit the antique stores. There are quite a few within a five mile radius of mi casa that I enjoy visiting.

It’s not so much the urge to buy things. It’s really the spirit of adventure that makes me want to antique. There’s something just intoxicating about walking through a really cool antique store. Dead peoples’ things rock. (That being said, I do need to clarify that I AM aware of haunted objects and know better than to buy anything that’s especially creepy looking (like dolls and stuffed bears that coo and cover their eyes*), and if I do take something home I suspect may be haunted, I know what to do – burn it. Or call Sam and Dean. God I’m such a nerd).

So there’s this AMAZING antique store in Decatur called Kudzu. If you haven’t been and live anywhere within, oh, the entire planet, YOU NEED TO VISIT KUDZU. I honestly think this is my most favorite store in the entire world. AND as if this isn’t enough, they recently opened a new store in Sandy Springs, on Roswell Rd. Mind = Blown. A dear friend drunkenly said to me once, “I love you so much I want to throw up.” Well, that’s how I feel about this store.

Which brings me to the point of this post: robins egg/AKA Tiffany blue. Where has this color been all my life? It is gloriously magnificent and makes me swoon with adoration (and not just because it’s associated with my name). I realized just how much I love this color while walking through Kudzu. It seems to adorn so many of the never-ending, beautifully arranged booths. It’s such a whimsical color, and I am a great lover of whimsy. But I digress.

So I was walking through Kudzu and found this (coat).

It fit like a glove and was just the perfect color and at a mere $28, was completely worth every penny. It even says “wear in good health” in place of a tag. Ever found that one item that you’re pretty certain you were born to wear? Well, this was it for me. And it was solidified when I got complimented by TWO gay men at Lenox Mall while wearing said jacket. WHAT??!!

So in searching for more of this color to light up my life, I ended up creating a Pinterest board for it.

LOVE THIS COLOR SO MUCH!!!!

*We were in another local antique store yesterday and Chris pointed to this creepy looking teddy bear sitting on a shelf. I looked over at it and it started moving and cooing. Chris and I both just about peed in our pants we were so freaked out. Upon closer inspection, when it moved its arms it looked like it was covering its eyes. I tried to get a video of this later but the thing wouldn’t move again. We thought about buying it for a friend’s little kid but our damn heart strings got in the way so we did not move forward with the purchase. How much you want to bet if I go back to the store, not only will the bear not be there anymore, but the employees will know nothing about a cooing teddy bear having ever been in the store?

On 2012…

So this has been a pretty interesting year for yours truly (but really, aren’t all years interesting?). Much has happened – I have moved, completely immersed myself in a new job (that I’d actually started at the end of 2011), and discovered a new appreciation for kale. I’ve had quite a few over-the-top rants and many fun, magical moments. Here are some of the more meaningful things I’ve learned this year:

1) Kale is the best vegetable ever. Nobody can argue this. It is delicious when cooked with brown sugar and apple cider vinegar and also amazing in a salad, with lots of avocado. This wonderful veggie has LOADS of health benefits and is jam packed with calcium, potassium and other super-awesome things.
2) I can rock fur. Not real fur, fake fur of course. But I can rock it. Especially furry legwarmer boot things. Didn’t buy any yet but I have tried them on at the stripper store. Yes, the stripper store. (Let me note that this revelation came far earlier than 2012 but it was so incredibly meaningful I could not resist sharing in this post).
3) Immersion experiences are awesome, but don’t push it too hard when it comes to work. Taking care of oneself should always come first. This is, of course, much easier said than done. Yoga helps A LOT (unfortunately, discovered this at the END of 2012 – should have started much earlier). That said, my job rocks and I’ve met some of the greatest people EVER through my work!
4) It’s okay to put up lights year round, as long as it is done in a tasteful way (the extent of “tasteful” being defined by said decorator, of course. For example, if you live in a camper – go nuts). Lights are sparkly, therefore ALWAYS acceptable. In my sparkly world, one of the first things I did in when we moved into our condo was to string white lights around our curtain rod in the living room, globe lights around our hutch, and starry lights around our bedroom curtains. It really makes for a fun atmosphere!
5) Reading for pleasure definitely pleases and sparkles. I read, like, 5 books this year for pure pleasure!!! And not one of them was 50 Shades of Grey (although I hear it is, um, quite pleasurable). After spending 5 years reading for educational purposes, it was nice to actually enjoy books for the sake of enjoyment.
6) It’s important to reward oneself on a daily basis with little treats. SO important. You want the cupcake? Eat the cupcake. And quit your bitching about it sitting on your hips and ass (this is really relevant to yours truly) – I GUARANTEE you one cupcake will not expand your waistline.
7) Don’t exercise because you have to, do it because you want to, and not to excess. For much of this year I obsessed over logging at least 30 miles of running a week. Not really sure why – I only ran one half marathon and a bunch of 5K’s, but for whatever reason felt it was an absolute necessity that I logged a certain number of weekly miles (and if I didn’t log some weeks would beat myself up over it and then try to log extra miles the following week). There’s some real awesome self-care, Lady. Well, guess what ended up happening? I sprained my ankle twice this year AND ran through a stress fracture in my shin. RAN THROUGH IT. So because of my awesome decisions I ended up doing PT and NOT running for the last 2 months of the year. And ya know what, it wasn’t that bad. As mentioned in #3, yoga helps. A lot.
8) I don’t care what you say, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is amazing. I watched every episode and LOVED each one. Anyone who plays games like “guess who’s breath” and is creative enough to make spaghetti sauce using butter, ketchup and road kill is cool in my book. Calling lady parts “biscuits”? Wish I’d thought of it first. And shopping at the dump? Hey, it’s smart AND economical. Haters gonna hate.
(Source: http://dailybleach.com/5-reasons-why-here-comes-honey-boo-boo-may-be-the-most-important-new-series-on-american-television/)
That’s all I got – stay tuned for more sparkly things in 2013. Happy New Year!!!

Do it yo’self – Make something old kinda funky!

So this old hutch is one that has been in my family for 3 generations. My mom began to stain it several years back but never finished, so basically Chris and I have had a crappy, unfinished hutch in our apartments for 10 years. Can you believe it took me 10 YEARS to do ANYTHING to this old thing? I’d had every intention of staining it but just kept coming up with excuses. Well I finally made a move!

This was the before (completed the sanding – just as I was starting the first coat of paint). See how crappy it looks? There’s even a knob missing.

This was the midpoint (first color done – a pale pink)

After the pale pink, I tried using a “weathering” glaze, but when I painted on the top coat (a chocolate brown), the weathering didn’t really show up (boo!!!!) so I gave it a weathered look by beating it up a bit with a screwdriver (quite cathartic) and sanding a lot of the edges. I also got some super cute crystal knobs from Hobby Lobby that worked out pretty well 🙂 and YES, that is Gizmo.

AND to boot, I reupholstered the dining room chairs (also very old) in a pink and chocolate damask fabric that sorta matches the hutch!!

How fun was this??!!