Sunday, January 29, 2012

Weekend Update

This weekend has been about as busy as a weekend can be. Here's a list of some of the things I packed into this weekend:

*I watched my friends give talks on their specialities at a "Ted talks" style activity.
*I played Cranium.
*I tried Mountain Dew Voltage and have been craving it ever since.
*I drove to Grand Rapids and helped my sister move. I accused her of being a hoarder and I decided she reads too much/owns too many books. I had a pretty good time.
*I went to a masquerade party and won for most original mask!

Check out the googly eyes I put around the outside. :)

*I had an instagram competition with a friend. We both won.
*I learned that there are some pretty scary animals in the jungles of Vietnam from a friend from Vietnam. I got scared.
*I made a giant sugar cookie for my grandma for her 92nd birthday.
*I went to church. (It was awesome.)
*I went to a combined birthday dinner for my cousin and grandma.
 *I told my 5 yr old nephew a scary story after he begged to hear one. He covered his ears for most of it, but told me he could still hear through his hands, and didn't want me to stop.
*And I did something with my niece and nephew that both they and I love to do: took a ton of self takes.

 You know I love you guys if I'm willing to share those with you.
How was your weekend?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Pinterest Finds Thursday

After a four-day work week last week, this five day one is becoming a real drag. So I thought I'd share with you a few fun things I've found on Pinterest lately to take your mind off things you probably should be focusing on instead. ;)

Source (Um....somewhat relatable...)
Who doesn't love Ron Swanson!? Source
Sooooo much easier than working out! Source
Yep. Source
Neville Longbottom is hot, say what!? Source
Oops, my inner nerd is showing. Source
The one and only Mitten State! Source
Which is your favorite?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wednesday Thoughts

This morning, even though the temperatures outside are still freezing, I'm thinking a lot about spring. One of the reasons I'm thinking about spring is because of baseball! A very exciting new player is coming to Detroit this spring! I'll give you a hint: his name is Prince and he is one of the following:

If you guessed Prince Jackson, Michael Jackson's son, you'd be wrong. But you're close because this Prince is also the son of a well known person. And no, it's not Prince William either. Nor is it the artist formerly and now again currently known as Prince. It is actually Prince Fielder, the son of Cecil Fielder! Check out this adorable picture of Cecil and Prince together in 1993!


I can't wait for baseball to start. A few years ago my friend Christi and I got tickets to Opening Day and it was so much fun. She even flew out here from Utah for it! (That's dedication.) I'm thinking about going again this year....oh baseball, I miss you.

But I have another reason for looking forward to spring, and it has to do with realizing a life-time dream. If you know me well you may have already guessed! I am going to Arizona and will be seeing the Grand Canyon while I'm there! I am super excited. When I told my grandma about the trip, she said, "No, no, no. You go to Arizona to see beautiful men, not beautiful places." She also told me to save the Grand Canyon till the end of my trip (I'll be in the Phoenix area the rest of the time) so I can meet a guy and take him with me. I told her I'd think about it (but I'm not really interested in being murdered by a stranger on this trip so I'll probably pass on that suggestion).

Spring! Spring! Spring! Now if we can just get through February....

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Last night I made a huge mistake. I watched the Lifetime Original Movie, "Untouchable" about Drew Peterson (the accused wife killer), starring Rob Lowe. You would think that since it was a Lifetime movie, and Lifetime is known for encouraging trust in men and marriage*, it would be really positive and life affirming, but if you thought that you would be wrong. It was really upsetting. For one thing, Drew Peterson is straight up terrifying. For another thing, Rob Lowe should never again adopt the Drew Peterson look. It's a travesty.

The movie left me with a lot of questions: where is Drew Peterson's last wife, Stacey? Why was Drew SUCH A JERK!? And lastly, can a Lifetime movie be nominated for an Oscar, because seriously. The script was top notch** and the mid-western accents were very natural.***

Speaking of movies, the Best Picture Oscar Nominations were announced today! Usually I couldn't care less about these since I rarely see any of the nominated movies. But this year I've happened to have seen most of them. Here's the list of nominees (plus one), along with my 3-word assessment of each them (I've underlined the ones I've seen):

“War Horse” - Lots of death.
“The Artist” - Want to see!
“The Descendants” - Won't be seeing.
“The Help” - Loved it mucho!
“Hugo” - Would see again!
“Moneyball” - Different than expected.
“Midnight in Paris” - All around great!
“Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” - Still too soon.
“The Tree of Life” - Looks really pretentious!
"Untouchable: The Drew Peterson Story" - Shouldn't be nominated.

What do you think of the nominations? Have you seen any of them? Would you recommend them? Which do you think should win? Out of the ones I saw, I think "The Help" was the best, though that's not an easy decision. Luckily for those nominated, my opinion means nothing to the Oscar committee. After all the calls I made asking why Chipwrecked wasn't nominated, they're now ignoring me.

*, **, *** soooo much sarcasm in this post. I hope you caught that.

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Universe Makes it Happen

I did something pretty cheesy last week, but also pretty exciting. I made a "vision board". Have you guys heard of vision boards before? Basically, you think about the things you want out of life, such as success, love, fitness, a new bike, to read more, adopt a puppy and so on. Then you find pictures in magazines that represent your ambitions and make a collage of them on a piece of poster board.

I've been thinking about doing one of these for awhile, and finally did it! I am not going to post a picture of it though because that will reveal way too much about me. But I'm sure you can imagine some of the things on it.

I hung it up on a cork board in my bedroom, and I have to say, it really has been motivating me! I've actually made some concrete changes and plans for the year, and I think it has at least a tiny bit to do with the  board. Is that crazy? It might be. But whatever works for you, I guess. Right?

The title of this post is a joke, and comes from this video clip about vision boards from the show "Happy Endings". I don't really think that putting a bunch of pictures on a collage makes the Universe hand them to you. I just think that the board serves as a visual reminder of what you want out of life. Let's face it, it's really easy to get caught up in day to day life and forget your long term goals. It is for me, anyway. So the board is a reminder that in 2012, I want to go to the Grand Canyon, I want to exercise more, and I want some other stuff, but that's between me and the Universe.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wednesday Thoughts

Oh my goodness, it's Wednesday, isn't it? I'm off on my days this week since having Monday off.

So, this morning I made quite a spectacle of myself to any of my neighbors who may have been watching. My car door was completely frozen shut. I was running late so I didn't feel like going back inside to get hot water to pour on it, so after tugging and tugging for a long time, I ended up climbing in through the passenger side. Awesome.

I have one more winter complaint: heels and snow = no bueno.


But enough complaining about winter. I started watching Downton Abbey this week! I'm only two episodes in, but I'm definitely hooked. Do you guys watch the show? What do you think? (No spoilers, please!) So far I've noticed a few things about the show:

Moolah (I don't understand how old-timey lords kept the money coming in - does anyone?)
Scandal (cover-ups! pbs-style affairs! secret pasts!)
English words (not American-English)
Intrigue (I knew there would be intrigue in 2012! Called it!)

Anyway, thanks for your support in my post about dieting. I'm still half loca with my diet but I'm getting saner, I think. What are some healthy snack ideas that work for you? I usually try to snack on fruit or 100 calorie packs (though most of them are fiber-less and therefore not filling). I'd love to hear any tips! (Just don't say "rice cakes" - they really don't qualify as food.)

Well, since Wednesday sort of snuck up on me this week, I think those are all the thoughts I have today!

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Day in Detroit

Yesterday morning, while still lying in bed, I did a quick check of my email on my phone. One email in particular caught my eye. It was a promotional email from the scooter store telling me I might be eligible for a free or discounted scooter. Um, what!? Ok, I know I just had a birthday last week, but I am not old enough to need a scooter. Yet.

However, later in the day I went to Detroit to go to the North American International Auto Show, and in order to get to the People Mover, I had to walk through the Greektown casino (I didn't gamble). And guess what? I got carded. So I guess in the end, yesterday was a wash, age wise. 

After getting carded, my day really picked up. I went to the auto show with friends to start. Not being a car person myself, I don't know what to report to you on that. I saw a lot of cars. Most of them had four wheels, some of them had souped up dashboards, they were all in various colors. I think most of them probably had radios and CD players. Oh, and gas pedals for sure. Brake pedals too.

On the right you'll see some pictures of some cars I thought were pretty. I know nothing about them, so don't ask. I liked one of them because it reminded me of Barbie's dream car.

Another cool car was on roller coaster tracks (but we couldn't ride in it). :(

One car looked boring but a bazillion people were staring at it so I was forced to take picture.

Some cars looked like they were from the future.

Another car had tinted windows and messages went across the side. I would love to see this car driving past me on the road. I took pictures of a few of its looks:

But all the cars had one thing in common: I'll never be able to afford any of them.

After that I met up with a couple other friends and we went ice skating at Campus Martius in the heart of downtown Detroit, which is something I've been wanting to do for a long time. It was as fun as I'd imagined except there were a million kids, and they were playing tag (on the ice, in ice skates), and they weren't that awesome at ice skating. Needless to say, it's amazing they all left without severed limbs.

Skating companions!
So all in all, it was a very successful and fun Martin Luther King Jr. Day. And not only did I do some good hard thinking about civil rights yesterday, but I drove past Martin Luther King Blvd. What are the odds!?*

Also, I got to continue my tradition of doing something new in Detroit with Sarah and Sara on MLK Day. Last year we went feather bowling, this year ice skating, next year... (?) Suggestions welcome!

*pretty good, actually.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Snow Legs

The snowy, icy roads yesterday were eye opening. It's been a really mild winter here so far, so I wasn't prepared (emotionally) for the slippery ride I took to work, apparently beating the salt trucks on the road. It reminded me of this clip from Parks & Rec this week. Seriously, it was exactly like this, except for I was in a car, in the road.

The up side of snow is how cozy it makes you feel. Plus, unlike the birthday balloons, Daisy is loving it as evidenced in this picture of her rolling in the snow trying to get me to rub her belly, then later watching over the fence as I shoveled.

Ok, here's the thing about snow: it's pretty, and it's cozy, and it's sooooooo nice for Golden Retrievers to roll around in. Like, so nice. Plus, it's good for sledding, snow angel making, and probably something else but that's all I can think of. Here's the other thing: it is wet and heavy and makes the roads a straight death trap, not to mention the sidewalks which are unwalkable until you get your snow legs (like sea legs, but different).

But it's pretty, right? Let's just focus on that until May.

Friday, January 13, 2012

No "Fat Talk"

One of my favorite blogs is a blog called "Espresso and Cream". The woman who writes it is a food editor, and she posts recipes along with tidbits about her life. I have made a few of her recipes and they are some of the best I've tried. She's a very health conscious person, so she often gives tips on how to make a recipe healthier. Recently she wrote a post about her New Year's Resolutions and one of them really stood out to me: "No 'fat talk'". Meaning, no saying "I'm fat" or "my thighs look huge". She was quick to emphasize that this didn't mean she was going to stray from her fitness goals; just that she wasn't going to say mean things to herself about her body. I was surprised to hear her say this, because she's absolutely gorgeous, and I would have never thought she was insecure about her body. Why are we so hard on ourselves?

Her no "fat talk" goal really struck a cord with me. I've been dieting lately and I find that often (always) when I diet, I tend to get a bit whack-a-do in the head. As in:

(standing on scale) "Are you serious!? I've been dieting all day and I haven't lost a pound!?"

(looking in mirror) "Baby got back." or "I don't think you're ready for this jelly." or "No one is ever going to love me!"

(sitting at desk at work) "I can't believe I ate a potato chip this morning. I hate myself."

(looking at pictures people tagged of me on facebook): "How can anyone even stand looking at me!? I'm a monster!!"

Some of those might be a slight exaggeration, but only slight. It's really hard for me to be kind to myself, even when I'm not dieting and so focused on my body. I am definitely my worst critic. (As far as I know, anyway. If you're a worse critic of me than I am of myself, please stay far, far away from me. )

So, no "fat talk" for 2012 sounds like a great goal to me. I'm still working on a theme for the year, but I think I should make the ban on fat talk a general goal for me (for life). I want to keep up with my healthy eating changes and exercise without the increased negative body focus it brings.

I will need to come up with things to say that replace the negative, so that's something I will be working on. I need some mantras, and not something like, "a lot of guys like big derrieres" but instead something like, "my toes are freaking awesome."

What do you all think? Is this something you struggle with? Why is it so hard to have a positive body image?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wednesday Thoughts

Today is my birthday. In an effort to be more positive about it, I hung up some balloons last night so I'd be cheered up in the morning. Unfortunately, I'm house sitting and the dog is terrified of the balloons, which I didn't realize. She won't go anywhere near the main room where she usually spends most of her time. So the balloons were a short term decoration, but they did cheer me up!

(hating life)
Other things that are cheering me up on my birthday?

My coworkers! Look at these awesome gifts they gave me, and the hilarious card one of them made for me:

Mustaches!? Funny pen? Flowers? Parks and Rec (check it out, I'm at their party!)!? Yes, please!

Oh, and even Facebook is cheering me up today. Birthdays are the one day of the year Facebook redeems itself for all the crappy things it did to you all year (showing you pictures of fun things you weren't inviting you to, letting you know that one guy you really liked is engaged now, showing you that picture of yourself where you looked really fat, etc).

And the last thing cheering me up today is all the comments you guys are going to leave me telling me your favorite things about me. Oh, did I just manipulate you? It's my birthday! Deal with it! (Plus, I was kidding. Or was I.)

The nice thing about having a birthday at the beginning of January is that it feels like a new start all the way around. New year, new age, new nose (when the bandages come off). I have noticed that people seem to be coming up with themes for 2012. Like, "move" or "be prepared" or "create". I really like the idea of a theme, and hopefully will come up with one before December. I only have one New Year's resolution: to learn how to French braid. Hopefully I can accomplish that soon, then just take it easy the rest of the year. We'll see.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Birthday Shtuff

My birthday is later this week. I've been anticipating it since July. But not in the excited way that a seven year old does. More in the "I can't believe I'm going to be that old" way. If anyone asks how old I am, the consequences will be dire, just so you know. In fact, I'm thinking that from now on, when someone asks how old I am, I will just say, "adult." Wouldn't it be nice if after a certain age, you could just give that answer?

In case you were wondering, here's what an adult does on their birthday:

Wake up at 5:30
Sort out my pills for the day
Read the paper (obituaries)
Drink a Slimfast
Go to work
Eat dinner at 4:30 (early bird special)
Take some Boniva
Do my taxes
Call NPR with a complaint about a grammatical error
Write out a five year plan
Check my head for gray hairs
Shout at some kids to get off my lawn
Drink some Metamucil
Get really T.O.ed about politics
Go to bed by 9:00

(I'm actually about fifty years too young for that plan, don't worry. I'm having a real party - with friends, cake, and maybe some Boniva milk shakes.)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

War Horse

Before Christmas I saw an advertisement for the movie "War Horse". I remember turning to my sister and saying, "I wonder if I'm going to see that movie." There was something about it that kind of appealed to me even though it's pretty much the exact opposite of any movie I would normally see.

Well, see it, I did. Yesterday, to be precise. It was a very emotional movie. Luckily I was able to see it through a light hearted lens - literally. I bought a silly lens yesterday at the Detroit Institute of Art. My friend and I purposely sat in the back row of the movie theater so I could try it out on the movie. Don't worry, I didn't film the movie, use a flash, or have the sound on. I only occasionally took a picture that looked like this picture of the War Horse (right) and his best friend. (I added the heart later.)


War Horse was pretty good. I give it 6 neighs (out of ten). I'd give it more except it was sad. War Horse had to go through a lot, and saw a lot of things I'm sure he'd rather forget. As far as animals movies go, it was much sadder than Babe, and even sadder than Free Willy, as seen on this illustration I made (I was told my whale didn't look right, but personally I think I nailed it):

All three animals had to go through a lot, but I think War Horse definitely had it the worst.

Babe: Had to learn how to herd sheep, make friends, and get the farmer to dance (which was pretty much the most emotional scene in movie history).

Free Willy: Had to teach a boy to love, deal with kids tapping on his aquarium without totally losing it, then jump over a breakwater to freedom. And didn't he also have to go through a car wash?

War Horse: I really don't want to say what he went through because it was too awful. But suffice it to say, he'll never be the same.

Throughout the movie I just kept repeating in my head, "no animals were harmed in the filming of this movie" because it's not easy to see animals suffer in any movie. Remember when a goose made fun of Babe? Heartbreaking.*

If you want to see War Horse, see it. Just know, it's sadder than Babe as far as animal movies are concerned.

*I don't remember if that actually happened but I wouldn't be surprised if it did.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wednesday Thoughts

Welp, vacation is over. I read a tweet the other day that pretty much sums up my entire vacation:

"All I had to do today was buy sneakers and I didn't even have to do it and I didn't even do it." - Dave Horwitz

I had really high hopes for my vacation. I was going to get up early and work out every day, eat healthily, get a bunch of projects done, form meaningful relationships, and find a cure for male pattern baldness. But what did I actually do? Slept a lot, ate a lot, saw some movies (including Hugo in 3D, which was really good), hung out with friends, and cured male pattern baldness. So, it wasn't as productive as I'd hoped but it wasn't a total loss.

I did do some things I hadn't been planning on but that were pretty awesome. For example, I got to teach my niece the best scary story to tell at her first sleepover. You know the one I'm talking about - "The Call is Coming From Inside the House!!" She's seven years old, so I didn't make it too scary. I told her the story because she asked me what I did at sleepovers when I was a kid. I didn't tell her about putting people's bras in the freezer*, putting their fingers in warm water when they're sleeping to make them pee (does that actually work?), prank calling boys (pre-caller ID), or playing games like "Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board", or "Bloody Mary." All I told her was that we played games, ate junk food, and told scary stories. Did you have a favorite scary story when you were a kid?

Oh, and it finally snowed! It had snowed earlier in the month but it all melted. We had a green Christmas. It was not cool. But it snowed on New Year's day, which I think is a good sign. Here's a picture of Katherine looking out at the snow:

Also over the break, I realized I forgot a VERY important item on my best of 2011 list: going to the New Kids on the Block/ Backstreet Boys concert with my sisters! That was one of the best things I did all of last year. We danced, we sang along, we screamed till we lost our voices. And most importantly, I saw Jordan Knight for the second time in my life. Remember this?

My and Jordan's wedding picture

Here's the original post (link).

And on that note, happy Wednesday.

*I don't know if I ever actually did that or just saw Samantha do it on an episode of "Who's the Boss?"

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year's Eve

I typically find New Year's Eve a bit disappointing. Too much pressure, you know? It's gotta be AMAZING and you have to kiss someone at midnight and it sets the tone for the whole next year! That's way too much pressure for one night. I'd rather just stay in, eat some chips and dip, and watch a movie.

But this year I helped a friend throw a New Year's Eve party, and I have to say - I had a blast. It was a great way to start the new year! We played games, ate delicious food, laughed a lot, and drank some non-alcoholic bubbly at midnight. At midnight we also read our 2012 fortunes from some fortune cookies I made for the occasion.

idea and instructions here

These are the fortunes I wrote for the fortune cookies:

The funny part was that the wrong people got the wrong fortunes, generally speaking. The skinniest guy in the room got the one about going down a pants size, a manly man got the one about getting eyelash extensions, and I got to the one about everyone finding me good looking in 2012, which is like duh, I mean of course they will (I kid, I kid).

My friend also had a Magic Eight Ball out, which said without a doubt that I am going to get married this year. And those things don't lie. So things are really looking up.

Every year at midnight on New Year's Eve, my friend Jimmy texts me that it's going to be the BEST YEAR EVER. He's been doing this for I don't even know how many years, and even from a couple time zones away, he always sends me the text at midnight Eastern Standard Time. Last night was no different. This year, I am hoping he's right! And I think he is.

So far this is what 2012 has going for it:

1. Drama (cause of the whole Mayan end-of-world prediction)
2. Excitement (because it's a leap year - seriously, SO much potential there)
3. Intrigue (because of the presidential election - I'm thinking about throwing my name in the hat! Why not!?)
4. Espionage (I'm not totally clear on what that word means)
5. Romance (Oh, there will be romance - I can feel it)
6. Betrayal (I just know Snookie's going to try to pull something on Jersey Shore*)
7. Feats of Strength (summer Olympics, much?)
8. Beauty (I had a pretty good hair day today)

2012 - Best year ever? All signs point to yes!

*I've never seen that show in my life, for the record.