Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Favorite Things pt. 3



DVR

Originally, my featured favorite thing this week was going to be "Live with Regis and Kelly" (which is one of my favorite shows) but then I realized that the fact that I can now DVR it and my other shows is really the topic. I absolutely don't know what we did, especially as a married couple, before we had DVR. Our television viewing is so much more enjoyable with DVR! We rarely, if ever watch anything live anymore and loathe having to sit through commericials if for some reason we are watching a program in real time. And, as I mentioned before, I'm able to enjoy daytime shows even as a working girl. Not that daytime shows are essential to my well-being, but it is nice to feel like I'm not missing everything that goes on during the work day. And the added benefit of being able to record two things at once is huge around here - if it weren't for this feature, someone would be unhappy at some point from missing a show or event, or heaven fobid, a ballgame. So thank you, tech gurus and cable genius, for developing a way to enjoy the laziest of all pastimes whenever we want.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

No Whining

Confession: I intended from the beginning to keep my blog a 'happy' place, not a place to publicly whine. (I know my own tendencies!) But the truth is, I struggle on a daily basis to fight off the enemy, to find the good in a situation, to be positive, or to simply survive some days. I retreat and hide when the going gets tough more than I would like to admit. I wallow, pout, and fret more than I should. I over-analyze and beat that poor dead horse until it exhausts me. Yep, I own up to it all.
Self-realization acheived.
But now it's time to move on.
In the spirit of keeping things 'happy' I'm writing this post to record that while life is more difficult than I ever, ever, ever expected, God's always there, even in the little things, and somehow, good can be found when it too, is least expected. I've witnessed this more times than I can count. I just don't want to forget it again. Life sends us some real blows, it's true. And it is certainly a good thing we're only given one day at a time because much more, and I'd be in a real pickle. This was one of those weeks when taking one minute at a time became the focus. I know everyone can relate. But such is life, and life goes on. And for that, and so many other things, I'm thankful.
Record-keeping acheived.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My Favorite Things pt. 2


Crescent Rolls.

Yummy, flaky, buttery crescent rolls. I loved those commercials a few years ago that talked about how home = where the crescent rolls are...so true. I love bread of all kinds, but crescent rolls are my no. 1, (followed closely by croissants.) I love the way these smell when they're baking - the house fills with deliciousness. I could make a whole cookbook of stuff to make with Crescent Rolls because they're so versatile.
Little Doughboy, you're a genius for inventing such heavenly bread.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Why Wear White?

While watching the evening gown portion of the Miss America pageant last night, one of my frustrations came rushing back to me. I have to admit it mildly drives me crazy when these women choose a white dress for their evening gown. I know, it seems ridiculous, but seriously, think about it:
First, it is widely known that white is the least flattering color in the world (not that these women need any help in the flattery department, but white can make even the most trim person look lumpy.)

 Secondly, the fact that a woman is competing in such a prestigious event (win or not) makes the event one of the most important days of her life, right? Okay, what other day is one of the biggest in a woman's life? Her WEDDING day, right? And what color will she most likely be wearing on that day? WHITE. So why would you want to be wearing the same color on two of the most memorable days of your life? And some of them even have an attached train! Add a veil and a nervous, sweaty guy in a tux, and sign the papers! It's a wedding!
And finally, what woman would want to have this conversation with her future husband: Wife - "Oh honey, remember that white dress, you know the one with the sequins?" Husband - "Of course, your wedding dress." Wife - "Uh, NO, the dress I wore in the single most important scholarship pageant in the world, with millions of people watching. How could you forget? My wedding dress had pearls, not sequins..." Now that's just asking for trouble.


Now I'm sure for all you pageant connoisseurs out there, I understand that there is some statistical evidence behind a white dress or a yellow dress being the most popular among winners (the winner last night wore white) and according to my mom, all the women used to wear white, so I suppose I'm just not very well-versed in Miss America trivia. But trust me, if I had miraculously been a Miss America contestant, this gal would have been sporting a red, pink, blue, or turquoise dress.

And for those of you that know me, I'm sure that comes as no surprise.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

My Favorite Things pt. 1


Pajama Pants.

I love pajama pants, lounge pants, yoga pants; flannel, cotton, silk; plaid, polka dot, striped, solid, printed - they're all great. Some days I really look forward to being in my pajama pants and if I don't have anything to do in the evening that requires seeing anyone other than my husband, I'm in them by dinner. I have quite a few pairs of pajama pants, some as part of pajama sets, some without a top (but I usually match them with a long-sleeve tee anyway!) There's nothing more comfortable than pajama pants! I have some I've had since college (I'm just realizing that actually is getting to be a significant amount of time ago now - yikes!) but the new ones are great too! My favorite pair of pajama pants were bold-multi-colored plaid ones from Victoria's Secret that I got for Christmas one year in high school. I'm sure I eventually couldn't wear them anymore, but I miss them! They were a perfect thinner flannel and of course, super comfy!

Anyway, thank you, pajama pants, for making the world a better place.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Streamlined, Simplified, and Stress-free

I used to think more was more. The more choices I had, the more supplies I had, the more stuff I had, the better off I was. I truly could not have been more wrong. A dear former co-worker (much older and wiser than I) once told me that you spend your first 30 years collecting junk and your next 30 years trying to get rid of it. As a new 30-something, I am well on my way to employing this theory.
When I first started this blog, I vowed to finish the many projects that had gone undone for too many years. Little did I know that this year would dish out some life-changes that would not only drain my time and energy but also add to the long 'to-do' list that is my life. I (ashamedly) packed up and moved, yet again, all the boxes of craft supplies, scrapbook garb, and almost-handmades that have been plaguing me for too long. I evidently had visions of grandeur and illusions of days ahead that would have 38 hours instead of just 24. Whatever the case, it is now crystal clear to me that I am not the multi-tasker of my twenties and I will most likely never have the time that would be required for me to enjoy and adequately finish all of these crafts. For the record, I always thought I would be a stay-at-home mom and that was primarily the driving force behind keeping all of this stuff - that one day, when the baby was napping, I would craft until my heart was content and then do crafts with the child when they were older, etc. Well, since I certainly don't know when we'll be blessed with a baby, and I have learned that I probably would drive myself and others crazy if I were to be at home 24/7 (most likely considering those closeted crafts LAST on my list with a new baby) it's best to purge. NOW.
I don't know what took so long for me to come to such a realization - it was just a year ago that I was all but justifying having all this stuff - but I do know that the combination of this last move, unexpected life turns, and this last set of holidays certainly had bearing on my mind-set that I've somehow got to get out from underneath all this stuff. (Oh how I regret going back to buy those buckets!) The holidays in particular led me through such a fall-out as I fussed and fretted over gifts. Should I make this gift or not? Will these people appreciate a handmade gift or think its hokey? Who have I not given Uppercase Living junk to yet? Who really wants a gift I just pulled out of a closet and wrapped up - doesn't that defeat gift-giving altogether? By Christmas, I was a mess of half-done cookie bouquets and a pile of miscellaneous undone gift projects and half of the people I wanted to give a gift to didn't receive anything because I was too stressed-out by my own best efforts. (I did not listen to my own Martha Stewart sermon!) What a sight I was. I knew it was time to change when the inanimate objects in my closets were causing me such trouble! I shouldn't feel like I have to give a gift just because I have this or that lying around or this or that I could make into something - a gift comes from the heart, not a closet of junk. It's time to chalk-up my handmade gift bliss to something of my singlehood, of years past. For now, it's just not as feasible to be a homemaker and a career gal and harboring all this stuff just bears an unnecessary load. While I won't just load up a truck and hock it all, I will pare down to just essentials and craft staples for when I do have the odd combination of time and desire for something crafty. And I have a sinking suspicion this will allow for a whole new level of creativity as I relish in the blank slate of sorts. Ahh, I can already feel the freedom...
But this new outline doesn't just apply to all of those undone crafts - this is an all-out overhaul of sorts. I've started re-designing the furniture layouts in our home to make for better flow and function by not only moving the furniture, but actually eliminating some peices. My closet is seeing a new life as I'm actually getting rid of unworn or unflattering items instead of just re-arranging them. The pantry, the bathroom, the kitchen - nowhere is safe. And especially targeted are those "Memory Boxes" - what a disservice to an heirloom item by shoving it in a box in the attic or a closet. I will find a way to decorate or use these "heirlooms" that are too precious to part with, and then will take photos of the others and donate or sell them. I'll make a photo book of the items and cherish their memory, honorably. I'm determined to find a better way to use what we have and only have what we use. All of this excess has become so burdensome and I have finally realized that superior organization skills don't make it okay to have so much - organizing often just hides items, severely lessening the opportunity to use them.
So it begins: 2011 is the year of streamlining and simplifying to make for a more stress-free future. It's a harsh reality, but less really is more.

The End

My incessant need for closure has led me to post a final farewell to this blog. Blogging was a whole new concept for me when I logged on l...