Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Sometimes I just don’t even know where to start with this list… or how to finish… every since I started doing gratitude journaling, I feel like I could just go ON and ON and ON about the things in my life that give me the warm n’ fuzzies. I’m not always obnoxiously happy or anything like that, but being tuned into the good stuff has just given me an overall general sense of calmness and peace in my life. In other words: gratitude journaling = good. Off the top of my head, today, in this moment I am feeling blessed by…

  • my hubby and 1,328 happy days of marriage. (yes, I calculated that today. For kicks.)

  • waking up to doggy breath in my face and sweet brown eyes wondering why on Earth anyone would want to sleep past 5:30 am (to be clear: this is Buddy, not Matt)

  • my Uncle’s incredible recovery (still a ways to go, but progressing amazingly)

  • my mom & my aunt, who have been through a stressful last few weeks btwn my Uncle’s accident and my Grandpa’s on-going health challenges. They’re becoming way too familiar with the halls of Strong Hospital, and if I shared a zip code with them, I’d show up tomorrow with Starbucks and a hug, but since I don’t I’ll just tell ‘em (again) how amazing they are.

  • free books in my mailbox and sending my books to someone else who wants them.

  • Glee Cast Volume 4 on Grooveshark. (Maybe one of these days I’ll suck it up & pay for the album)

  • Afternoon naps on the couch.

  • Long overdue phone calls with far-flung friends – I’ve had 3 this week (Hi Jen! Hi Jared! Hi Mallie!) and it makes me thankful the days of paying for long-distance calls or waiting for letters are over. Instant gratification.

  • A job I : enjoy, am quite good at, have flexibility with, and an opportunity to talk to and help people from all walks of life, all over the country, all ages. And all sorts of… philosophies about life. (It's never boring.)

  • Making an entire meal out of roasted asparagus.

  • All my friends who are pregnant right now are healthy (6! Babies coming in June, July, Aug, Sept, Oct & Nov!)

  • In-laws that I love & get along with so well.

  • Tuesday night dance trance classes. I’m not by any means a great dancer, but 9 years of cheerleading dies hard. I missed dancing.

  • The strength and depth that someone can tap into when called to their limits. Moved & inspired by a powerful blog post I read yesterday, and adding a too-young-for-this amazing woman to my prayer list.

  • Cooking dinner for a friend I hadn’t seen in awhile & chatting into the wee hours of the night (10 pm, in case you’re wondering what “wee hours” is these days.)

  • Planning 2012’s vacations with my hubby. We looooove vacations.

  • The teensy hint of bleach smell that lingers after a load of whites towels have been washed.

  • Prayers.

  • Best friends.

What’s on your list?


A little blurry but Buzzcut-Buddy always makes the list.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Happiness is...

Hot chai on a rainy day in a mug your friend gave you just because.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Out Like a Lion

It's snowing here. During the last week of March. When it was just 80 a mere 9 days ago.
I am surprisingly okay with this. Just in case Mother Nature was going to ask my permission or something. When we had our 80 degree week the 3rd week in March, I knew it was to good to be true. I could feel in my bones that we had one more cold snap coming and I almost couldn't allow myself to fully enjoy it, knowing it wouldn't last. I didn't dare pack up my sweaters yet. Now it's here, and I'm hoping after this blustery cold week that's predicted we can welcome in Spring and trust that it is here to stay.
Sound like a plan, Mama Nature? A few days of March appropriate weather, then let's get back to this:

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Friday Night





There is nothing that makes me happier than a house full of happy friends and yummy foods.  Yay for Fridays.

Friday, March 25, 2011

An Extra Day

Heather asked me if I felt like I had so much more free time now that I have an extra day off from work every week with my new schedule.  The answer is actually, no… I don’t.  But I feel like I can use my time better and I have more meaningful time, and I think that’s a fair trade.

With the 10-hour day plus a 40-minute commute, I’m basically gone from either 7-7 or 9-9 depending on which of my 2 shifts I have (8:00-6:30 or 9:30-8:00).  I don’t really have time to do many of the things I did after work before: cook dinners, run errands, make social dates.  I sometimes squeeze a workout in on either side of one of those shifts, but that tends to be about it.  But that’s okay: I’ve always believed that doing things in batches in more efficient (thank you, GapKids) and I find that having an extra off day gives me one day to knock out errands, clean house, or visit people I’d have a hard time fitting into a regular week day.  For example, last weekend I drove up to DC which I probably wouldn’t have attempted doing after work on a Friday and in two weeks, I’m making a day trip to Raleigh to photograph my sweet wino niece, Claire. 

My extra day off feels like a freebie: a life maintenance day.  I tend to schedule it to the hilt if I’m in town, but so far the trade off has been that it feels like I’m getting to relax a little bit more on the weekends.  My weeks alternate: one week I have a Thursday off, the next a Friday.

This week was a Thursday, and I had my day planned out to the hour.  That may sound not fun and a little AR, but it makes me happy to be organized and productive.  This was my schedule I wrote out at work the night before.  Please don’t judge, I am one of those people who likes to write things down for the sake of crossing them off.  So yes, “relax” and “wake up” are on my to do list.

2do 1

You’re judging aren’t you?

I didn’t quite follow this to a T: namely, I started working on the website copy the night before and was feeling total writer’s block and decided that some wine would help things along.  A, ahem, few glasses later I finished it (yes, it requires editing) along with the emails so when I ignored the alarm at 7:00 and didn’t get out of bed til Matt strode in at 7:30 I didn’t feel too bad. 

There’s something liberating, though, about being free on a “work day” that even though I’m doing mostly productive things, it still feels fun.  Like when your Mom would sign you out of school to go to a doctor’s appointment.

I got to go running in the middle of the day, when the sun was shining and hit up the grocery store when the lines were short, and not feel the least bit annoyed that my doctor was running 45 minutes and I was getting docked at work for it.  So there’s that.  (By the way, I love my doc and I try never to gripe about his lateness, because as soon as he gets to my appointment, he sits there as if he has all the time in the world for me and answers every question I come in with, before taking a few minutes to ask about Matt and my running and my work.  I’ll take some extra waiting room time for that kind of bedside manner, thanks.  Unrelated, but I wanted to be clear that I wasn’t really griping about him.)  Anywho, I digress…

I haven’t quite mastered my full day of cooking yet like I had intended to, but Matt has been working evenings this last week in the PICU so our eating schedule has been so off anyways.  I did do a little bit of cooking ahead this weekend, including this lasagna from friend Kathryn and marinating & grilling a whole mess of chicken breasts to throw on top of salads, pasta or sandwiches.  So you know, a few less Lean Cuisines, a few more real cuisine this week. 

All in all, despite the trade off of the extra long days… and they do feel long, but I know lots of people work a 10 hour day without the extra day off, I’m pretty pleased with how this new schedule of mine is working out.

oh da spuds

And this guy?  Doesn’t mind me being home an extra day, either. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Return Trip

My trip to DC was a bit of a whirlwind. A friend of mine was having a wedding shower and since I'm in the wedding and unable to attend her bachelorette party, I decided to make a quick trip up 95 to be at her shower. I love me a good road trip. There was a lot I wanted to see in DC, including my 5 year old cousin and my favorite Eastern Market cheese vendor, and with some careful planning and a newly loaded up Metro card I managed to make it happen.

Friday I arrived, white knuckled after having come through the can of worms that is 495 meets 395 meets 95, at my Aunt Jennifer & Uncle Jon's house. Walking into their house is as comforting to me as walking into my parent's house in NY. This was my escape from grad school stress, my home base during coach training. It feels like only yesterday that I would get off the orange line at Ballston, see my uncle waiting for me, walk the quarter mile home to their house and be greeted with a chilled glass of white, my Aunt’s hospitable smile and a sweet newborn to hold.  The wine and my Aunt’s warm welcome remain the same, but that sweet baby is now a smart, chatty adorable 5 year old.  I can't get over it.  Our time together was wonderful – dinner was scrumptious, the company even better and the time with my little cousin was priceless.

Saturday morning, I met my friend Jen for coffee.  Jen and I went to high school together, and while we probably have not seen each other in real life since then, our shared love for all things interwebz means we've been following each other's LiveJournals, then Facebook statuses, then blogs and now Twitter feeds for the better part of the last decade.  Despite the fact that we were in different graduating classes and share only a handful of mutual friends, I feel like I know Jen better than 75% of the people who were at my 10 year reunion this summer.  So to sit down for our first IRL date was literally like picking up a conversation trail we had just left off that morning.  And of course, the first thing she asked me was “Did you check in yet?”  And of course, I had not, because I was waiting for her to get there so our check-ins would sync.  See?  We know each other.  (Check in to FourSquare, for those of you who actually have a good real life/online life balance and don't use every social media app out there.)

After our coffee date, I headed over to Arlington for Sarah's shower.  The shower was lovely and a nice chance to catch up with some Wake friends, including of course the bride and my college roomie, Britta.  I hadn’t seen either of them for awhile, so we filled in the gaps that our emails and phone calls and texts hadn’t covered as best we could in between the gift exchanges and the shower games.  Although I am sure I did this at my own showers, it always makes me chuckle how brides exclaim over their gifts as if they are delighted with the gift giver's taste.  "This bowl is  so cute!" "Oh my gosh, I LOVE these!"  Well of course - you picked them out!  But I know I did this too, if only for the awkwardness of having a roomful of people staring at you as you open presents and not knowing WHAT to say.

Although in my defense, since my husband took over our Pottery Barn registry, many of the items WERE a delightful surprise to me.  Including the candleholders that I thought (hoped) were margarita glasses.


The bridey & gifts, and me with apologies for only bring my phone as a camera to such an event.  Oof.

Back to the hotel (repeating the white knuckled traffic grip again and getting lost TWICE even with my GPS... did I really live here once?), I cracked open a bottle of wine to have my own little happy hour while making plans to meet my friends Karl & Sarah out for dinner.  They chose a place and sent me directions, and I crossed my fingers that I still knew how to ride the Metro.


My Happy Hour.  Relaxing before diving back into the city life..

I did, and dinner with K&S was wonderful.  The place they picked - Ceiba - had a great lounge area that we ate dinner in, the food was delicious and the mojtios top notch.  I have known Karl for literally half my life, and I don't think the universe could have found a better match for him than Sarah.  They are two of my favorite people to hang out with, and I hate that it only happens for weddings and the rare occasions that we both end up in Pittsford for holidays.  So it was great to spend time with them that didn't involve yelling at each other over the music at Pittsford Pub.  They took me out after dinner to a bar where their friends were converging, and I had total non-city-girl culture shock when I had to pay $3 for a PBR and was yawning my face off by 11:00 pm.  I am so not cut out for city life anymore.

After my night life adventure, I was so ready to get home and see my boys that I thought about just getting up at the crack of dawn and hitting the road.  But Matt had to go to work and Buddy was at daycare, so I stuck with my original plan of going and exploring my old neighborhood before I left.  When I lived in Capitol Hill / Eastern Market, I had always wished I had a fun camera to walk around and play with.  So I owed it to my 22 year old self to backtrack.  Eastern Market looked like I remembered it (even though it has been rebuilt since the fire), and most important, my cheese vendor was still there.




*Currently enjoying my hunk of sage cheddar as I write this.  So good.


I snapped some pics, admired some produce, petted a dog, longed for some coffee (it was cold, but my hands were full with my camera and I'd have to dump it before the Metro), and found myself out of things to do after about 10 minutes.  I walked down the street and found myself standing in front of our old house.  It was a bit surreal to look up at it, and feel that weird time-space warp where it somehow felt like forever ago that the 3rd floor front window had been where the sun streamed in on me each morning and yet so recent that I could walk up to the door right now and step in.  After lingering there just long enough to look like a creepy stalker, I headed towards the Metro - realizing before long I was tracing the steps of my every day commute.


I always get twinges of nostalgia about places I've lived in the past - I take it to be an indication that those experiences were positive ones in my life and I miss the cities provide the context for those experiences.  As I headed down the escalator at Capitol South, I picked up a stray copy of the free metro newspaper that I used to read every day and settled into the familiar orange seats.  Besides the nostalgia though, there had been some other emotion nagging at me throughout my entire trip.  It took me reading the first page of the metro paper - an update on the goings-on of the government events which immediately caused my heart to start pounding with (real or imagined?) the stress and bustle of this city- before I could identify it.  It was: relief.


Relief that I was visiting this busy city, and that I no longer lived here.  No offense DC and residents of it - because trust me, I liked it too and I know it’s a wonderful place to live.  In fact, I greatly miss having easy access to public transportation, the networking opportunities, and the plethora of restaurants and bars to choose from.  But I'm simply not a big city girl.  I'm happy that I lived there, on my own, for 2 years.  I learned so much then, and I could feel that "heck yea I can do anything" attitude an d independence permeate me as I power walked to dinner through the busy Penn Quarter on Saturday night.  But along with the independence, when I lived here, there was a certain feeling of being unsettled, transient and temporary that colored my life.  Today, I feel so rooted and so nestled in my  cozy life that waves of contentment wash over me as often as waves of loneliness or stress did then. Is it just the difference in zip code?  Of course not.  I know this. Of course a major difference is that I am married to the person who I was then dating, but had 500 miles of distance between us and I have had 2 jobs here that I greatly loved that have allowed me to make wonderful career connections, and an incredibly supportive and wonderful network of friends. But I think it's more than that – I’m a person who is influenced by my environment. I love my "small town city" that I live in.  I drive around Winston, and it just feels like home.  I think I've always known that I'm not a big city girl, but it took revisiting it to confirm that.  I was happy to visit - overjoyed to see my lovely friends & family - but ever so happy to come back home.

This was supposed to be a post about my trip, but somehow it turned into a post about my home.  Funny how that happens.

Friday, March 18, 2011


Sad to say that I did not have my act together enough to make corned beef & cabbage this year for St. Patrick’s Day.  I don’t think Matt was too disappointed… but I was.  I was en route from picking Buddy up at daycare and meeting girlfriends for a fro yo date, trying to figure out what I could grab for dinner, when I saw Mozelle’s tweet that their feature of the day was corned beef & cabbage.

Done. Deal.


It’s a little sad that this one meal cost about the same as an entire brisket would, but that’s okay.  It brought me great joy.  I’m guessing that this is one of those meals that taste so good because it has nostalgia attached to it – I picture my mom in the kitchen, lading out the potatoes and cooked carrots out of the crockpot.  And when we were really little – serving it with milk dyed green from food dye.  So creative, that Sharebear.

What do you think?  If you didn’t grow up having cb&c as a family meal, does it appeal to you?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Today I am grateful for:

- a number of small miracles that occurred after my uncle sustained severe injuries from an accident while cutting wood: that he woke up after being unconscious in the snow, had a cell phone on him to call someone, that his ATV tracks were fresh enough to be found, and for the doctors who have overseen his care. Thanking God a hundred times over, and praying for his ongoing recovery.

That's the big one. And my heart is overwhelmed when I stop just to think about it.

But I am thankful for small things today too. Things like:
- free music download of Adele from Starbucks this am that is making my ear drums happy
- library books
- doggy daycare webcam
- that my baby Sis is getting married in 92 days
- my precious wino niece Claire
- 90s bands
- that I enjoy what I do and have the flexibility to work 4 10s and have an extra day off each week
- my car's mpg
- my happy marriage
- that I get to see my family (at the beach!) in 30 days
- clean water to drink whenever I want
- being Irish on St Patty's Day (although I failed to make my fave, corned beef and cabbage. Wah!)
- Spring. Warm air. Green grass.
- Trader Joe's hummus
- prednisone
- a peaceful heart and a quiet mind
- girlfriends, moms, sisters and aunts
- skinny vanilla lattes
- Pandora music

It's a good day.

What's on your list today?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Signs of Spring


Open sun roof driving.


Blooming Magnolias.


Longer walks.


Rainy Days.

(While not the most celebrated part of spring, it does make our lawn oh so green later on.)

I am so ready for this lovely season.  Hello, hello, hello Spring!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Shower the People You Love With Love

Yesterday was my little sister’s first wedding shower.

(For the record, it’s not really sinking in that my baby sister is getting married in just 97 days…)

The shower was hosted by Katie’s two college roommates, Meredith & KP, and her 2 closest friends from teaching, Drew and Shannon. Drew’s sister-in-law, Jackie, has a party planning business and coordinated all the amazingly cute details of the shower. I kept walking around ooh-ing and ahh-ing because every corner of the house had something adorable related to the theme of the shower.






After a delicious brunch, we did what you of course do at showers: watched the bride open gifts, and slowly see the pieces of the bride & groom's future home come together. Despite the fact that I’m having a hard time wrapping my brain around baby girl being grown up enough to get married, her excitement level over things like spice racks and pyrex dishes confirms that maybe she is indeed ready to be a Mrs.



Self timer coffee makers: the stuff dreams are made of.


I do believe our bridey had fun at her shower, and can now officially say her wedding season has kicked off. Katie’s friends did an incredible job putting her shower together, and it makes me happy to know she has such sweet and loving friends to support her. Because that’s almost as important as having the right silverware when it comes to the things you need to start off a marriage on the right foot.

IMG_7881 Katie with 2 of her shower hostesses/bridesmaids/Wake roomies Meredith & KP

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Dinner at the Goat Lady Dairy

A lot of my dinners start off with chicken.

But never have I had a dinner that started off with… meeting chickens.


My friend Kate found about the dinner at Goat Lady Dairy, and told us about it. As soon as I read about it on the website, I was in. Actually, all I had to read was “goat cheese truffles” and I was in. So last night, Kate and Charlie, Anne and I (husbands were working, sadly) and Anne & Kate’s parents, Linda and Eddie, packed ourselves into the car and made the 50 minute drive out into the country (and it was indeed) to have dinner at the Goat Lady Dairy.


Our evening started off, as I mentioned, in the chicken coop. Steve Tate, one of the owners of the 15-year old goat farm, assured us that we would be better off not looking down at our feet while he chatted. We happily complied. Steve gave us a little history of how Goat Lady Dairy came to be, but more near and dear to my heart, he waxed poetic about sustainable farming.

If you’ve seen Food Inc, you know we’re in a tad bit of trouble – food wise – in this country. And I’m not just talking about the stuff that I usually talk about – weight loss, obesity, health. We're totally disconnected from where our food comes from… and what our food is – and what that's doing to all of us. There’s a whole heckuva lotta stuff in the grocery store that your great-grandma wouldn’t even know how to identify, and I don’t think that’s a good thing. Cheap food comes at a great cost.

Oops, guess who else can wax poetic about sustainable farming? Sorry, I’ll try to keep myself in check here… Anyways, the point I was going to make is – I liked Food, Inc. I thought it was informative and important. But it was also a little bit IN YOUR FACE, YO and I know a lot of people had a hard time stomaching the film... or even finishing it. Steve had pretty much the opposite approach, but with the same message. He spoke from a place of passion and purpose. Here we all were to have a delicious farm fresh meal and he had recognized an opportunity to minister to a captive audience about a simple idea: “Food is the problem, but food can be the solution.” (His direct quote, but I loved it.) And we were a captive audience indeed, as we were locked in the chicken coop. See if a bunch of us city folks can figure out how to work a pen latch!

Genius. But genius delivered with a side of earnest, heartfelt truth about our food.

Oh and the food! The food we had for dinner last night was one of the best meals I’ve ever had in my life. Everything served came from the farm we were on, or a nearby local one. Considering March isn’t exactly known to be the most generous garden month of the year, I was a little curious as to what we would be served up. Here’s the blow by blow:


A cheese tasting platter, all the cheese coming from the goats on the farm. (They are, after all, a goat dairy. Their cheeses can be found at Reynolda Farm Market year round, as well as I think the Krankies market in the summer.)

The top cheese was a chevre mixed with carrots and a little bit of, I think dill? It was called the “spring garden goat cheese.” Amazing. And then the next one was called “Farmer’s Cheese” – a bit similar to feta. The bottom one was called the “Smoked Round” which I will be buying in mass quantities to dollop generously on top of a tomato-basil-salad. I bit into that piece of cheese and my mind went “mmmm, summer.” The fourth one was a sweet chevre with honey and fig, and could pretty much have been dessert.


Course two was a roasted sweet potato soup with a hint of thyme. I hadn’t had enough wine to throw my manners out the window yet, or I’m certain I would have tipped the entire ramekin up and slurped it clean.


The third course was a cold kale (previously sautéed?) salad with a sundried tomato lemon vinaigrette. This wasn’t my all time favorite, but that’s because I’m still learning to like greens. Not being a natural born Southerner, my palate still doesn’t quite know what to make of collards, kale and turnips. But I want to like them – hello, nutritional powerhouse – and this was certainly a step in the right direction. Fortunately Anne, Southern born and bred, finished off my plate for me. I informed her that she had gotten her fair share of vitamin K and her blood would be clotting well. “Uh huh, okay, but did you try the flower? It tastes like PURPLE!” was her response.

It did, surprisingly, taste like purple. (And yes, we checked. It was okay to eat them.)


The main event was venison and pork ragu served over a bed of polenta. Growing up, we\e often had venison at my family Thanksgivings, thanks to uncles who were handy with a shotgun and had a few too many Bambis in their backyard. It amuses me that I now see venison on some nicer restaurant menus as a “delicacy.” But, you can’t argue with good tasting meat right? Right.


The next course (I know, right?!) was the infamous goat cheese truffles. Oh my souls. Goat cheese and chocolate? Amazing.

And then finally….


Pound cake with dark chocolate sauce and an orange whipped cream. I was too full at this point to actually eat much of the dessert, but I do love me some real whipped cream. I now pledge this: I shall forever add orange zest to my whipped cream.

The food was amazing. I wish I could go back weekly, because the menu changes each week with whatever is in season. The setting was perfection – simple, rustic and wholesome. It’s obvious that everyone who works there believes in what they’re doing and why they are there and it shows.


And the goats!


How could I forget to tell you about the goats? Well, for starters, they were all pregnant. As in, due any day now preggars. After our session in the chicken coop, we were introduced to the goats. They were sweet and curious, putting front feet on the fence to snuffle hands like a puppy dog.


I am quite certain Locke is going to have to buy his wife a goat this summer or else she is just not going to ever be happy again.

Although, I believe she said she’d be okay with a few chickens, too.

SO! If you live in Winston-Salem or Greensboro, make yourself a date with some goats and chickens and a truly amazing meal. Gather up some friends, bring a couple bottles of wine (it’s BYOW) and don’t wear your favorite shoes.

If you don’t live here, read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Watch Food, Inc. Find a Farmer’s Market. Cook seasonal. Heck, get a goat. Do whatever you feel like you can do. I think a lot of people get stuck because they feel like if they’re not going to go 100% organic, local, or whatever, then they shouldn’t bother doing it at all. I’m a far cry from eating “ideally” all the time (I’m certain the “Pirate’s Booty” I’m eating as I write this is neither local nor organic nor…gasp… nutritious…) but whatever small steps you can make towards eating in a way that supports your health and yup, the planet’s health, count.

And I mean, if eating sustainably means eating goat cheese truffles for dessert from time to time, well I’m sorry, but that’s just the price you’ll have to pay.


Happy diners – Kate, me, Anne.

Friday, March 4, 2011

One Week


This week started off so lovely.  70s!  Sun!  I am so desperate for Spring to be here.  I had some extra work to do this week – some projects bubbling with BetterNumbers (the nutrition tracking website that’s been brewing for years and is now *live!*) and was not looking forward to spending a good chunk of Sunday buckled down working, but this was suddenly much more tolerable when give the prospect of an outdoor office.


Buddy and I also took 2 long walks this weekend at a new-to-me greenway path near my house.  It’s a 1.7 mile trail between 2 parking lots, so roundtrip it’s a nice 5k.  It’s way back behind some neighborhoods so the scenery is mostly fields – some horses! – and woods, but both days I was there it was populated with runners, bikers, and family walking.  I liked having the change of scene, and I’m certain Buddy wasn’t sad about the extra mileage either.

Matt worked a lot of afternoon/evening shifts this week, which meant I was up to my own devices most evening.  While this usually means I have popcorn and wine for dinner, I decided to embark on a culinary gift to myself and make…. risotto!  I love risotto.  But it’s so much work!  And Matt doesn’t care for it, so I always talk myself out of making it when it’s just me.  I’m so glad I finally did though.  Oh my word, it is delicious.


A few sautéed mushrooms mixed in, and it was heaven.  I think risotto is always going to remind me of being at our wine country house in Sonoma with the winos, since Pam cooked it up for us one night and it was the first time I had had it homemade.  If that doesn’t spell a recipe for comfort food – delicious food AND nostalgia – I don’t know what does.  Good thing it takes almost 45 minutes to make. 

I also got crafty one night while Matt was working, and made/repaired some necklaces I’ve had lying around.  The first one was an idea I had gotten MONTHS ago – to use up a whole mish mosh of chains that I had by twisting them all around and weaving a ribbon through them.   I saw something like it at Ann Taylor and felt certain I could do better than their $38 price tag.  When I was home for my Grandma’s funeral in January, I came across the little bauble in a collection of my other Grandma’s jewelry that my mom had at home.  It was the perfect finishing touch.  The owl in the middle also came from my Grandma’s jewelry (my mom’s mom) – she loved owls.  I stole that little guy as soon as I saw him, and he’s been riding around in my purse ever since.  I had been picturing him on a long chain necklace, and that’s right where he ended up.  I adore everything about his ugly beaded eyes, and I think of my Grandma every time I wear it.  The last one was a collection of little charms that I had been gathering for awhile, and looped around another long chain necklace.  I had it on a shorter chain for awhile, but I knew I wanted it to be a long one and finally amended it.  The funny thing is, doing all this only took me about 2 hours, but I’ve had these projects “waiting” for months. 

I do that often.


Then, because I was on a roll – fueled by risotto and craftiness – I decided to clean out my jewelry box.  I feel like every time I open it, I pull the same things out because they’re right on top and the rest were kind of cluttered.  I actually don’t have a lot of jewelry, and most of it of the costume/Forever 21 type – but I always feel like I never accessorize because I forget about what I have.  I was on a roll, so I dumped everything out, decided what items I really loved and would wear, and put them back into the jewelry box in such a way that I could actually see them.

What a difference.




I find jewelry to be one of the hardest words in the English language to spell.  Second to desperately.  Both of these words are underlined in red right now as I draft this.   Thank goodness for spell check.

It was a long work week for me.  Not a bad one, but a long one… Friday got here just in the nick of time.


Thank goodness the steroids are working too, because I needed this little lovey on Thursday. 

Next week I start working 4 10 hour days.  I am so excited about the prospect of the extra day off, although I am truthfully a tad bit nervous about the extra 2 hours at work.  2 more hours means between 2-4 more phone calls a day, and that my friends is a whole lot more coaching in one day.  I’m hoping all the “work hard” will be well balanced out by the extra bit of “play hard” that I will get.


Otherwise, I’m doomed to look like this every Friday at 8 pm.

How was your week?