Friday, January 29, 2010

F you Teach for America!

Image via Google

So I wanted to write a little about the excruciating stress and drama that has been job searching.  I believe I have mentioned before that I am trying to do a career change to teaching.  I can explain another day about why I wanted to make this particular switch...especially considering I have my Master's degree in social work.  But I'm not going to get into that now.  Thinking back to last...February? was January.  I decided to apply to Teach for America.  At the time, I saw many benefits to getting into TFA.  Before this I had done extensive research on lateral entry programs for non-certified teachers.  TFA just seemed to streamline the process and it was almost a guaranteed way to get a job in a school system.  It seemed like it would be way harder on my own.  Through all my research, I decided to pursue special education due to the high need of teachers in this area.  So in January 2009,  I applied to TFA.  At the time I submitted a resume, letter of intent, and an essay about an obstacle I had overcome.  I had this shit finished way back in December, had friends proofread, edit, and give advice.  Either by February or March, I would get an answer about whether or not I would move on to the next round of a phone interview.  Well to my disappointment, I was not chosen to move on to a phone interview.

I still wanted to pursue teaching in special education.  I scheduled and dished out the $200 to take the Praxis II exams.  If I wanted to try and find a special education position on my own, I had to pass these exams before even being considering for a position (Teach for America requires this of you as well).  I took the 2 special education/exceptional children exams in March.  I was pretty nervous considering I had no formal education about teaching...especially not teaching children with special needs!  One test was an essay test (i despise essay tests plus I'm a super slow writer) and the other was multiple choice.  I think I received my scores about a month later...and I PASSED!  This was encouraging at least...

Moving along, I was anticipating to quit my current job before our Europe trip and go ahead and move to North Carolina.  I had no such luck finding a job in NC, but hadn't diligently looked.  My job ended up giving me paid leave for almost our entire trip, so I ended up staying.  Well...I still wasn't going to give up on the teaching thing.  I decided to give Teach for America another shot.  This time I applied to the first deadline...I really didn't do much.  I tweaked my resume and letter of intent just a bit and submitted on a whim.  I believe it was August 27 I found out that I was going to get a phone interview!  Ok...moving along...after the phone interview I got accepted for a face-to-face day long interview.  The process is intense.  You have to present a five minute lesson plan to the "class," which is other interviewees.  You have to do some critical thinking stuff and small group discussions.  Finally is the one on one with the interviewer.  Fast forward through lots of planning, preparing, and materials for my lesson, and stress....I didn't get accepted.  Mainly it was frustrating to get so far in the process only to be denied.  I won't rail too bad on TFA, but I think they have the wrong thought process behind who they choose as candidates.  Now I believe everything works out the way it is supposed to and I'll probably be glad I wasn't chosen.  TFA still should probably reevaluate their candidate choosing system.  They focus on just graduated students with "leadership" qualities.  They don't consider whether or not a candidate has any experience working with kids.  Whatever.  I may be a tiny bit bitter...but I also think I'm right.  Anyway...following fail #2 of epic proportions...I finally moved on.

I started googling jobs everywhere.  Since TFA fell through, D and I were back at square one.  We were no closer to figuring out where we were going to live or what the hell I was going to do with the rest of my life.  I had been majorly pressuring D for a decision from his company as to where he could be placed (as far as sales repping another state).  Since the TFA is stupid and makes you pick your potential placement areas (if you're actually picked), I had to get an idea of potential placements from D.  Then when I didn't get TFA, the pressure was on me.  To make myself feel better and be closer to some answer for D, I started applying to social work jobs, teaching jobs, everything all over the east coast (ok...well just as far as New Jersey).  I was still hating on NC even though D was pushing for it.  Over time and months, I had barely heard back from anything.  I heard from a school in NC, but it turns out it was too far away than D wanted to live in wasn't close enough to the Triangle area.  I was still sending out hard copy resumes and cover letters like crazy.

Finally in December, I got a hopeful phone call.  A principal in a county right outside of Raleigh, NC called and wanted to schedule an interview with me.  It was a special education position, and I was so excited.  I had two Skype interviews, one with the principal, the other with the vice principals.  At this point, D was still antsy to know something and tell his company an answer.  It accepted the (seemingly) inevitable...we would move to NC.  I told D that it seemed like answers were just pointing to NC.  The only real job prospects I had gotten were in NC.  I also had a real possibility of getting this other position.  We decided on NC.  D was happy.  I figure things work out.  Realistically living somewhere where the cost of living is lower makes more sense for us.  In the mean time, I've come to be really excited about our decision and moving to Raleigh.  I mean at least this way we know we can afford to travel back for holidays with our families :)  After weeks of waiting on an answer from that job, I finally heard.  I didn't get it.  Fail.  I was up against, what the principal told me, was a candidate who was almost exactly like me (as far as qualifications and experience go).  Unfortunately for me, the other candidate lived in the area already.  The principal had so many nice things to say and actually referred me for another position at a different school within the county.  Unfortunately, I only heard back from him right before the school had their winter holidays.  Since I know at this point that NOTHING is guaranteed, I continued to send out resumes and cover letters throughout the holidays.  My point about this experience helped me learn.  I told multiple people that I wanted to tell TFA to go fuck themselves.  Why?  Because schools did think that I was a good candidate for teaching...regardless of my lack of "leadership experience."  I had been picked out of a group of people to be a top candidate for a teaching position.  Self-confidence booster!  I knew I was better than TFA.  They can go fuck themselves.  I guarantee I'll stick to teaching a lot longer that three quarters of their candidates. forward because this post is getting super long.  Anyway, I got the teaching position that the other principal recommended me for.  It is a super long waiting system to find out of you're officially hired by the school.  I'd love to tell more about my interviewing experiences in another post.  I think I'm going to like this school better.  I have the benefit of the teacher whom I replacing to "train" me.  I'm nervous about starting this new career path (and it's at a middle school!).  I definitely have increased self confidence that these experienced professionals feel that I can succeed at this job...I hope I can prove them right.  Yay 2010...on to bigger and better things :)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Have I mentioned... much I love the Kardashian family?  Seriously, I would love to live with them for a week.  Now I love them all.  They crack me up.  But my favorite is Khloe.

Perez Hilton

You may wonder why Khloe is my favorite.  Well I like to think that Khloe and I are alike.  We probably have similar bodies and body types.  Now...I was SHOCKED by the shotgun wedding to Lamar Odom.  But I do LOVE them together.  Plus I am a huge fan of Khloe's style.  If I had the money, I'd totally rip off all her outfits (well...maybe not all).  But I adore the Kardashian family.  I think they are hilarious, down to earth (well as much as rich celebs can be), and I think we'd be friends in real life.

More reasons why I love the Kardashians:

Perez Hilton

And they have the same morals and values as me.

Awesome tattoos

Khloe's ridiculous bling that I could never even fathom seeing in real life (although I hate how she always poses with that pout)

Again...similar body types

Ok...starting to sound like a crazy, weird stalker.

It's about time.

I finally got offered a job in North Carolina!!!!! I'm ecstatic! This
means I could be moving within the next two months (still waiting on
an official start date). More on the actual job and job search I have to go celebrate with Mexican and Margs with my
ladies :D

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wednesday blues...

Honestly, I'm sort of confused as to how today is Wednesday.  On the positive side, it's hump day which means the week is half way over.  On the negative side, it's still only fucking Wednesday.  It certainly feels like it should at least be Thursday.  I think the week is passing depressingly slow because I've been anxiously anticipating a phone call (more details later) for almost two weeks now.  It's getting extremely frustrating.  Along with trying to focus my mind on work and documenting and social work and balancing my life with work, I just can't get my mind off obsessively checking my phone for a call.  As I'm always saying, I've got a million things going on in my life right now.  I'll be happy when May is here.  Hopefully, I'll be in a much more solid position in my life.  I will be married by then ;)

I finally picked a bouquet.  I decided on this one:

From perfectlypaper on Etsy.  I have to say she has been awesome to work with so far.  She obliged my need for the exact colors and flowers from the above pictured centerpiece.  She obliged my need to have the flowers sent to me unbundled so I can layer them in a flat box to be stashed in my carry on for the flight to Aruba.  She's awesome.  I'm making the official purchase on Friday (can we say payday?!).  Exciting!  Speaking of wedding party stuff, I previously mentioned that I sent out save the dates last week.  Everyone is getting them and giving rave reviews (which makes me sooooooooo happy), but no one is RSVP'ing.  I'm a little bummed (but not that much).  Maybe I just have a different RSVP mentality.  If I know I'm going, I'll RSVP like the day I get the invite.  If I don't I'll forget!  Maybe others prefer to RSVP closer to the date of the event.  We requested RSVPs by March 6 (assuming that some people wouldn't meet that deadline).  They better start coming in quicker!  I'm getting anxious.

I got the pleasure and joy of working from home yesterday.  I definitely enjoy a day where I don't have to get dressed and come into the office.  The office has seriously been making me stir crazy lately anyhow.  I needed a day away from this place.  Since documentation takes over part of my work life, I had the joys of doing it while having Jersey Shore in the background.  Now, my guilty pleasure (well probably more of just a pleasure because I watch so much of it) is trashy reality tv.  I can not even get enough of it.  Jersey Shore just goes beyond that.  The basis is a reality show of 6 strangers being filmed while living together in a house at the Jersey Shore for the summer.  Oh...the people are from a different world.  It is interesting, intriguing, and hilarious all the same.   Seriously, if you are from the south originally and mostly only lived in the south, watch it.  You will be introduced to a new world.  Here is Snooki, probably the most memorable character:

Separated at birth:

Sunday, January 24, 2010

STD's, tissue paper, and taxes.

That's right...we FINALLY sent out the save the dates.  A little later than I had hoped (since they are save the dates and invites in one), but it was worth the wait.  D and I were both so pleased with them.  Pics from my iPhone tend to be terrible...but here they are...

The front.  Love it.  My inspiration came from this awesome save the date I found:

Image found at

I loved the tree.  I loved the hand-drawn aspect of it all.  We were going more for postcard style so we could save on stamps (although it didn't end up working out like that).  We snagged the calendar aspect of it too.  After showing Megan my inspiration and ideas (I had a few more STD's for inspiration), she created some awesome ideas to throw at D & I.    The colors we were going for were green and brown (obv tree-esque colors but the party will be green themed as well).  Anyhow, that's how we cam up with the simple, wonderful front of our STD.  On to the back...


Due to the terrible iPhone picture, you can't really see it well.  We incorporated the hand drawn knot on there since there are a couple mentions of us "tying the knot."  Then we have basic details stating that we're having a private ceremony in Aruba but planning to celebrate with friends and family on March 27.  To make it an invite, but save money, time, paper, and stamps on RSVP cards, we just requested guests RSVP on our website.  Most family we know has internet access, so I don't anticipate that will be a problem.  One of my favorite parts is the little turtles in the bottom right hand corner.  Also drawn by Megan, we're going to incorporate those into the theme of the party.  Since the main color will be green and Terrapin has been a big part of our relationship, I wanted turtles to be a part of the party.  I love that these are also hand drawn and will be incorporated in the party.  Love, love, love the STD's. 

The elopement/honeymoon is quickly approaching!  I'm busy with so many other things right's hard to balance it all.  My bachelorette weekend is coming up at the end of February.  I can't wait for that!  It'll be nice to get away, drink, and have fun with my girlfriends for a weekend.  Plus my friend RR is coming in town from NYC (yay! yay! yay!), and I haven't seen her in forever.  Filed my tax return yesterday...certainly could have used a little more help towards the wedding festivities, but it'll work out.  I'm trying to cut some corners.

I talked about bouquets a little bit ago.  For the flowers I liked (although not pictured on that post but similar), my Aruba wedding planner quoted $400!  Wtf?!  No fucking thank you.  The base price for a "bridal bouquet" is $250, which really is more than I'd like to pay anyway.  Talking to some friends about it the other night, I was reminded that I have other options.  I really want a bouquet mainly to add some color and pop in our pictures.  Well, you know me, I try to go against the grain.  I don't need REAL flowers to add that pop.  So I started checking out Etsy for all kinds of ideas.  I probably should try making them myself.  But this is my thought process...1) I'm not super creative, 2) I don't feel like I have time to invest in a project like that, and 3) I don't want to invest time and money in the materials and then be unhappy with the outcome.  So I figured a seller on etsy would be my best bet.  Now I did find this:

Image via

Um...seriously this is hand made!  Wtf.  I just honestly don't think I could ever create something that beautiful.  MS did used to sell a tissue paper flower bouquet kit, but I can not find it sold anywhere anymore.  I'd totally be willing to try it, but I can only find a couple on ebay.  I'm watching them but they already have a decent amount of bidders.  Anyway, here are most ideas I found from etsy:


Check out creativityporterjen on Etsy

This has to be one of my favs.  Martha also has a demonstration for how to do this, but I just can't picture myself doing it well.  I would totally purchase this one (in different colors), but they are asking for a total price of $195 + shipping.  I'm just not sure if I can shake that high price for something handmade.  I definitely get the time and effort going into it, but I may as well dish out the $250 for some real ones at that point.  Here is Martha's:


Actually I adore this one more than the previous

Check out reallybadkitty on Etsy

I like this but with different colors.  It is a much more reasonable $80.  It's fabric and would definitely be easy to travel with.  My problem is it's hard to picture with different colors.  And what colors would I chose?!


I actually also like this (but I think in a different color also) from reallybadkitty on Etsy (see above link).  The listing includes a boutonniere, which I am not interested in, for $ I imagine it's be in the $80 range as well.


Check out perfectlypaper on Etsy

When I saw this, I sort of fell in love a little.  Now, this isn't a bouquet.  There are bouquets listed on the Etsy page but they don't look like this.  I actually really loves these colors for the beach ceremony.  The bouquets look like this:


...and are listed at $40.  Now that is totally do-able.  What I don't like about that bouquet (aside from the colors) is the curly ribbon things and the lack of the style of certain flowers that I liked from the one above.  I've convo-ed the seller on Etsy to see if I can get something custom looking more like the centerpiece above.  Even if she'll do me something custom for $60, I'll be content.  Now one other qualm with the tissue paper flowers is travel ability.  Realistically, I think I would have to have the tissue paper flowers solo (not tied together) and stacked in a box that I could stash in my carry on.  Then I could assemble them before the ceremony in Aruba.  I also inquired if this would be possible.  We'll see what I hear back...

Thoughts, suggestions, ideas on the flowers?


Tonight I made some African sweet potato stew (recipe found from Spark
Recipes). I've had the ingredients for weeks now, but since it is
best made in the's more of a weekend dish. It's super
simple...spices that we had around the house, sweet potato, onion (I
subbed shallot), jalepeno, chick peas, canned tomatoes, and peanut butter. We added some more
stuff to make it spicier and also added some Terrapin Hop Karma Brown
IPA. We ate it over some cous cous. Yum :). Super filling and a nice
vegetarian dish switch up. Currently watching Step Brothers with D to
round out our weekend.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Lady Gaga helps others.

Last Friday Gaga was on Oprah.  Best interview I have ever seen.  I adore her more and more everytime I see her.  I think the interview really sheds light on how amazingly talented she is.  Go here and here to watch both parts of her interview.  If you don't have time to watch the interviews, well you should.  Bookmark them and watch when you can.  Even if you're not a Gaga fan, watch them.  Anyway, what I wanted to mention was that on January 24, Gaga is taking all proceeds from her NYC concert, schwag (spelling??) sold, etc. and giving the $$ to Haiti.  Also, anything you buy from her shop on January 24, those proceeds will also go to Haiti.  I'm definitely going to make a point to buy something.  One because I love Gaga and want some schwag and two because it's a way I can help Haiti.  I'm not really the best at donating my money to good causes.  Thanks Gaga for encouraging me to support a good cause.

All proceeds from this shirt go to assist Haiti; $25

Gaga gave Oprah a pair of these awesome headphones.  I was set.  I knew I wanted to buy them...that was until I saw the price....only $99.95!  Wtf?? I love Gaga but I have no clue what she or the Haus of Gaga is thinking with that pricetag.  Needless to say, I will not be purchasing those on the 24th.

Sweet!  These are only $10 and we all know I love some wayfarers.

My friend, KD, loves this shirt.  It makes me laugh but I'm not a huge fan.  Probably couldn't wear in it public...even though I'm totally a fan of the gays.  Maybe if I lived in San Fran?

I'm considering this shirt for $27, although currently they only have XX-Large :(

Check out the shop!

What a dummy.

Ok...So I really don't like to give Heidi that much more attention than she deserves/is famewhoring for, but I couldn't help but make mention of this.  Check out this article Perez Hilton posted.  Go's super short.  Ok, now that you've read it.  This is the quote that gets me...

"Heidi revealed that she opted for plastic surgery after being teased as a kid and being insecure about her looks. 'It always kinda held be back from a certain inner light and an inner happiness.'"
 I get that being teased about certain things can stick with you forever.  Totally and completely get that.  But isn't Heidi all Jesus loving?  Shouldn't Jesus or god or whomever deity be giving her that "inner light and inner happiness??" Sounds a little hypocritical to me Heidi.  Or maybe it just supports what I said before.  Don't get me wrong...I get that you can be unhappy with yourself even if you ARE getting your inner light from Jesus or something.  I would just like to think that getting big, nasty, fake boobs doesn't give anyone an inner light or happiness.  Heidi...she's delusional.  More and more she says things that support what a dummy I think she is.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


This here Bailey decided to help us get our save the dates ready.  That's right; they're finally ready!  D is getting addresses in the background there.  They were supposed to be ready early January, so I've been stressing a little.  Then I was stressing about the silver ink I wrote the adresses on half of them.  Let's hope that doesn't delay the delivery.  Things are pretty stressed all around on my end....elopement, party planning, money, still job searching, current job, eventually moving, everything.  Watching some SVU to relax :)

**Had to add the actual text.  Still getting used to blogging from the iPhone with pics.**

Friday, January 15, 2010

I hate roses.

Yes, I will admit I often actively try to go against the grain.  But I will also admit I often go along with mindless traditions (case in point, Christmas?  I'm not religious and have no reason to buy people gifts at this time.  Anyway....)  Part of me is probably subconsciously going against the grain in my hatred of roses, but the other part of me thinks there are such prettier flowers out there!  I don't know what is is about roses.  The fact that they are overrated in being considered "romantic" and meaningful.  I'd much rather have any other flower, or plant for that matter, than roses.

Well we just put our down payment on our elopement ceremony in Aruba for March :)  So exciting!  This means I get to start planning the few details that I care about.  One of those details is a bouquet.  I have no clue where to begin.  I don't even really know a particular color flower I would want to go with.  Here are some possibilities I'm considering:

Image courtesy of Eric Hegwer Photography 


Image found at Our Aruba Wedding Blog 


Number 1) this is a terrible picture and I think it's fake flowers, number 2) I would do less long green leaves if I chose this.
Image courtesy of this link 

Although this may be a little too much red for me, especially for a March wedding

Image found here 

Ok...then seriously I found one on my wedding planning website, but I just can not figure out how to copy/save/etc. the pic because it's in a slide show.  It's very simple with white and purple flowers.  Decisions. Decisions.  No roses though. 

Can we say trashy.

Not even kidding...this is disgusting.

I mean ew times a million.  And this is why I was always a Lauren Conrad fan...not Heidi.  Ick.  I don't think Jesus would approve of that.  Why can't we be content with our own bodies?  I'm working hard to get my body in better health and at a weight that I should be closer to for my height.  Yeah...I could probably use a little boost in the chest area, but I guarantee you no one cares about that but me (and we all know the wonders of a good bra).  I understand some people want to fix things to feel better about themselves.  I also understand that a boost in self-confidence can do wonders for girls and guys alike.  But I think most of us will agree Heidi has always been trashy since being with Spencer.  And a plastic surgery addiction (I mean geez, we all know how much it costs to get procedures!) is something to be concerned with...not flaunted.

Picture and article courtesy of Perez Hilton 

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Image courtesy of Perez Hilton

I adore Gaga and all things she does.  This picture of her is just so strikingly beautiful to me.  The black and white probably helps, but gah, she is so pretty!  She's my gym motivation these days.  After seeing her tight ass/abs/legs/everything at the concert...I'm dying for her body (although trust, I totally accept that is not realistic for me).  Love her.  Ps. check this out to see how Lady Gaga supports gay rights :)

I try not to talk much about my religious/politcal/otherwise views.

But it is my blog and I figure I can.  These are things I am passionate about.  Obv it's not like I'm trying to push my thoughts on anyone else because I could care less if you read or leave.  I'm not one to get into long winded, no-win conversations about my views because I'm not very good at defending myself.  I feel strongly about somethings but that's just the way I feel.  I don't always have good justification for them.  I was reading one of my new fav blogs Blackberries to Apples, and one thing stuck out to me.  I was reading this post and love this little nugget of wisdom:

"There's a reason I've always had a problem with Christianity, and my reason is this: I've never been able to marry myself to the idea that what I need to achieve true personal happiness is anything separate and outside of myself. And the more I live, the more I think I'm probably right."
I like to agree with that.  I had an experience when D and I were in Europe.   We met a couple who had been on a mission trip for a while.  They were wrapping up the trip and had taken a weekend off to go to Switzerland.  They were extremely friendly and we had some good conversation.  Then you knew it was coming...their life changing experience with Christianity.  Ok.  No problem with them sharing their experience.  Of course the question was pondered, "what about you guys?"  D always has his typical "I was raised Southern Baptist" blah blah story.  Then...heads turn.  I guess I felt on the spot, but I let it right out.  I don't believe in that [in God].  Now, like I said...I'm not good at defending my position.  I agree with everything I read in books, hear, etc., but I just can't retain it.  Ok, ok...I'm getting to the point of the entire story.  Of course discussion of our back home professions happened.  After talking about how I work with foster children but really want to be a teacher, the couple twists it all around.  They decide that I obviously have a god-like heart (or some bullshit of this nature) because of my desire to work with and help children.  WTF?  Just because I want to work with kids does not mean I am like a god or Jesus or whatever.  It infuriates me to no end that people think you can only do "good things" if you are motivated or pushed by religion.  My morals and values and desires are based on me.  What makes me feel good, what I want to do for others, what I think it right.  People do not have to be motivated by religion or some outside deity to do good things.  Again, I'm probably not defending my stance enough.  I'm sure I'll talk again on my views on organized religion and my qualms with it.  For now...I'm just giving a little bit of my two cents.

Go to this post and read more of the great and insightful thoughts.  Ps. I couldn't agree more about trust and cheese.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Bear with me.

I keep changing the layout of my blog.  I've been trying to find something that is not too busy and strikes my fancy.  I found a good site with free layouts.  I just can't figure out how to change around some of the colors.  I'm not into the pink.  But I can't get over the cute little birdie on the side.  Anyhow...if I can't figure out a way to change the pink, I may change the layout again.  One day I'll figure out something that really fits me and the blog :)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Information Overload.

I've got a lot going on in this blog.  I haven't had much free time to update with included pictures and links.  I'll try to be as organized as possible with my thoughts.


I knew the weekend would be the toughest part.  Breakfast (especially out) just isn't as delicious or fun without bacon.  Again, I've enjoyed the way it makes me feel getting in more fruits and veggies.  I won't lie though...veggies go bad so quickly!  We went shopping last Saturday and had some sweet potatoes (shocking because starches usually last) and avocados go bad as of Thursday!  But here are some pics and updates as to meals we've been making...

Spaghetti Casserole (recipe can be found at this link from Spark Recipes)

This would be the dish in the oven.  I forgot to take a pic of the cooked dish.  This one was a HUGE hit with D.  I made a few tweeks to the recipe.   I ended up using some Morningstar Grillers, but they were meant to be a substitute for Italian Sausage.  You could definitely taste that.  I don't like bell pepper, so I substituted zucchini.  D said he thought the zucchini was better than bell peppers would be.  That's it.  I cut the recipe in half for D and I, but we're still eating on it.  Definitely a hit.  We'll continue with this one even after our vegetarian days are over.


Obviously from the picture, the one we did was not crustless.  We had some extra pie crusts in the fridge from the holidays.  D wasn't feeling a crustless quiche, and we needed to use up our broccoli.  The only tweek I made in this one was adding the crust and switching out one egg white for a whole egg.  It was ok...I wasn't super impressed.  Maybe it didn't blend well?  I love a good quiche though.  I'm sure we'll experiment with quiches again.

We went to North Carolina for Friday night.  That was tough.  We ended up eating only fried foods.  It is definitely a challenge to eat out on a vegetarian diet...especially if you are at a beer pub of sorts.  Neither of us were wildly impressed with our meatless breakfast meals either.  We stopped at Cracker Barrel on the way home and both had "veggie" platters, which of course consist mostly of starches.  Even the green beans are probably made with some sort of meat based broth.  That's the good thing about vegetarianism though...we end up eating better and cooking more.  I enjoy cooking with D. 


I'm starting to get mildly overwhelmed with elopement/party planning stuff.  I keep making a mental to do list, but barely checking anything off of it.  We did finally send off our down payment to our photographer in Aruba.  We are still trying to get the money together to send out the down payment for the actual ceremony in Aruba.  Once we get that taken care of, I feel like I'll be able to focus more on the actual party.  I mentioned before that I took my dress to be hemmed on Tuesday.  They were super quick.  I got a call on Friday that they were done, and it's going to cost $40.  I am a little worried that they finished so quickly.  I shouldn't be though!  It was only hemmed.  I'm supposed to be getting our save the dates on Sunday.  I can't wait to see them!  I keep having to get on D's case about getting me addresses and such.  That's been frustrating.  One thing I was thinking about this styles.  Since my dress is one shouldered, I was envisioning a side bun or pony tail.  Here are a couple ideas I've found so far:

 (Pictures via Project Wedding)

I love the dishevled but polished look.  I certainly don't want anything too slicked back and fancy looking.  I like a little bit of wave since my hair is so thin and flat.  I envision something probably more like the first, Michelle Williams, look since my hair fits that more.  It is not likely to hold the waves of the second photo for very long.  And I don't want a limp looking pony tail.  I'm going to keep searching.

Happy Weekend!  

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


(Image via Google image search)

I weighed myself this morning.  I have kind of a ritual about weighing myself typically.  When I'm working on losing weight, I try to only weigh once per week.  I can't deal with the daily fluctuation.  I try to do it every Monday or every Friday.  Typically Mondays don't work for me because I tend to lay off my diligent healthy eating plan over the weekends (and don't work out).  Anyway, off on a tangent.  My weigh in routine goes as so:  prior to shower and before any eating or drinking is done...I strip down before I get in the shower (hey, I can't have even one ounce of clothing putting me off!)...and it can't be done on a day that I work out (because I would have drank water).  Anyhow, point being that I lost 1 pound!  Yay!  Success!  After I realized (sometime last week) that I was up about 4 pounds, I weighed again and had lost like .6.  From that weight, I'm down 1 whole pound within like 3 or 4 days!  I figure it can be attributed to incorporating a healthier diet (eating more fruits and veggies as a result of the vegetarianism), keeping up with my intake and calories, and the whole finally working out again thing.  I feel really proud and motivated.  I don't really want to put a number on things, but I would like to average 2 pound per week.  I've been using my Lose It iPhone app and I adore it.  I'll admit, it can be time consuming to enter foods.  I tend to eat the same foods over and over though, so once they're in the app I can easily find them.  Plus it's super handy since I always have my phone with me.  Don't let me get all preemptively excited though!  I haven't even gotten through one whole week of working out, one whole week of vegetarianism, or the weekend!  But one pound (for someone who is not overweight) is a lot to lose in that small span of time...water weight??  There's my motivation.  If I keep it up, I'll be much closer to my goal weight by our elopement/honeymoon at the beginning of March.  Let's do this body!

In other news, I finally took my elopement dress to be hemmed yesterday.  I wasn't super happy when trying it on.  It doesn't help that I have been looking a mess lately...pale, desperately needing a hair cut, and my makeup just will not work with me lately.  I need some fine tuning before March!

A good start to a new year.  I'm looking forward to the coming weeks.  Hopefully, there are some big changes coming!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Day one: Back to reality.

I called it day 1 since it's my first day back at work after the long
marathon of holidays. Well work was terrible in that we started off
the day with all the things "we" are doing wrong as an agency.
Unfortunately 85+% of the negative examples they used were from one of
MY cases. Fail. I don't think I've ever felt worse about my job.
But the skewed perspectives in the world of public social services is
not something I want to get into now.

I finally returned to the doctor after 6+ weeks of trying to recover
(unsuccessfully) from bronchitis. I ended up spending a total of $90
to be told that I probably still have bronchitis. Let's hope this
clears it up? But since I have the best fiancé ever, D gave me $45
towards the visit :)

On the positive side, I did work out today! And made a delish
vegetarian dinner that D loved. It's funny how the appreciation of a
cooked meal can boost the self esteem. I'll post about the dish
later. I'm pretty happy with the vegetarianism so far. I feel that
overall I've stayed full and felt satisfied for good periods of time.
I'm not really craving anything as of yet... I am hoping that my body
gets a good cleansing too (TMI...but hey, it's my blog).

Monday can die. At least I know how to focus on positive and
negatives (unlike way higher ups at my job).

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, January 3, 2010

That boy is a monster.

I was going to post about our vegetarian meal yesterday.  Since I want to document our month of vegetarianism, I figured it may just easier to post by the week.  Although as I am writing that, I am remember how long it takes to upload pictures on here.  So I'll just play it by ear.  During the week, I typically don't have time to post (with pictures daily), so I'll go ahead and show you what we did last night.  In preparation, we hit up Kroger (unfortunately not Earthfare to save on some funds).  We stocked up on strawberries, blueberries, a fresh pineapple, and apples.  We purchased spinach, sweet potatoes, lots of cheese, and pasta.  We were out of a lot of spices we use regularly, so we had to replinish those as well.  Our tab came out to $140, which I was happy to come in under $150.  Yesterday morning we had basic poached eggs and toast.  That was pre-grocery; we didn't have any fresh fruit or anything to supplement the meal.  Suprisingly, it kept me feeling full for most of the morning.  This morning we had french toast with fresh fruit.  I've been obsessing over my iPhone apps: SparkRecipes and Whole Foods Recipes.  They are really convenient to have on my iPhone because I can just look in my favorites for ingredients when at the grocery store.  The Whole Foods app is nice because it gives the option to add the ingredients on a specific recipe to your "shopping list" within the app.  And as I mentioned yesterday, all the recipes have calorie counts.  Anyway, last night we tried:

Whole Foods' Vegetable Lo Mein

This is what the website showed it to look like:

And this is what we got:


We couldn't find  lo mein noodles at Kroger, so we opted for Thai rice noodles instead.  I think they worked, but they probably aren't meant for sauteing either.  We also added some different veggies and left out the onions and celery (forgot the celery and I don't like onions).  Overall a delicious dish.  The portions are doubled on our plates, so I didn't finish mine.  It'll probably make for a delicious lunch on Monday.  And here's a pic of the work in progress.


I really love cooking with Dustin.  It's nice to have a partner and someone to help everything come together.  I'm so terrible at multitasking when cooking.  I'll keep posted on dishes to follow!

I also wanted to update that KD and I went to the Lady Gaga concert last Tuesday.  Amazing and wonderful.  She is such an amazing performer.  I don't really have GOOD pictures to post.  Our seats were so far away.  But I adore Lady Gaga.  We would totally be friends in real life.  I think we have the same morals and values.  I love how she is utilizing her fame to do great things for the LGBT community. to do the laundry that has been piling up in our room for months!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

No-Meat January.

Happy 2010!  I was lucky enough to be able to spend Wendesday and Thursday night hanging out with some friends who moved away to Florida last year.  In my opinion, I would much rather spend New Years Eve staying in somewhere and drinking as opposed to bar hopping.  Here are some pics of our weekend:

Every chilling out at the cabin watching football


Rousing game of spades which D and I lost miserably in...we're down for a rematch


Snow!  Or...a "wintry mix"


Wine tasting at Tiger Mountain Winery


B&BWatts after lots of wine

I didn't really get any good pictures of us ringing in the new year (plus it takes blogger forever to upload pics).  But all in all a good weekend with friends we don't get to see enough.  Plus, it was nice to get back on Friday and still have Saturday and Sunday to relax.  

On to New Years resolutions...I know.  I hear more and more that people don't believe in resolutions.  I can't say that I haven't had success with my resolutions.  I lost a lot of weight last year from resolving to eat better and work out.  Unfortunately, our Europe trip threw us all off track.  I want to write down my resolutions so that I can hold myself accountable and don't lose track of them in time.

  1. No meat January/eat healthier:  Combo goal with D.  We're actively going vegetarian for January for a couple of reasons.  First, we want to experiment and see if we lose more weight by not eating meat.  Second, we want to kickstart healthy eating (by hopefully incorporating more fruits and veggies into our diet and eliminating meat) to get in better shape/health for our wedding.  I do agree that this plan could totally back eating way more bread and cheese and not incorporating the veggies.  I'm also going to try tracking my calories again to go along with the healthy eating plan.  We've looked up vegetarian recipes on SparkPeople and Whole Foods which handily have calories.  I think we're going to go all or nothing with NO MEAT in January and possibly incorporate fish in February.  Oh, the exceptions for meat are beer dinners.  
  2. Work out 5 days/week:  I may have mentioned this in another post.  I'm going balls to the wall and saying 5 days a week.  I don't want to say 3 because I don't want to be content with just 3 days.  I'm going to try and follow a six week work out plan in my Women's Health mag.  It's as simple as 30 minutes for 5 days/week.  Totally do-able.  I hope to be able to do a longer amount of time or add in a class here and there.  I don't have a lot of time to get in shape for our elopement and trip to the beach.  I want to make the most of the 2 months I have.
  3. Censored:  This is censored resolution.  It's regarding D and I.  I figure some relationship stuff I should just leave to myself :)
  4. Take better care of our pets:  We got ourselves into the situation of 4 pets.  Unfortunately, we don't take the best care of them.  It can be pricey to get the regular vet check-ups.  I mean I feel like I can barely afford to go to the doctor and dentist myself!  The pets deserve it though.  We feed them the highest quality foods, but that's not enough.  We need to take the dogs for more walks, get them all to regular vet check-ups, and treat them regularly for fleas.  I'm resolving to at least take one pet to the vet per month and then after we have more money (post elopement/wedding party) to resume flea treatment (which is so expensive for 4 pets).
We all know we could go on all day with resolutions.  I had some others in mind, but I don't want to overwhelm myself.  4 is good.  Although there are some definitely things that must/have to/better happen in 2010 that I have to look forward to:  getting married, moving, finding a new job (which hopefully I'm happier at).  I won't go overboard on that list either.  I hope this year is a stepping stone to the beginning of what we want our lives to be.  Once we can get settled in a more permanent place, we can hopefully have more stable incomes.  Hopefully more stable incomes leads to more big ticket items we want/need: a car, a home, more travelling.  But I won't get carried away with those things.  2010 should just be the start of our adult lives together :)


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