Thursday, March 29, 2012

read my lips

I thought I'd take a minute to share my latest favorite thing.

That's right, I'm writing about chap stick. But seriously, Neutrogena has figured this out. A few year ago I got hooked on this stuff which at the time came in a shiny silver lip-stick type tube. Honestly, I loved it so much that I picked up a tube for each of my sisters and my sweet mama for Christmas.

I'm not a lip-stick kind of gal but this stuff is creamy and moisturizing while adding just enough color. The new tube that I just picked up has the most delicious sent - think roses and melon, I feel like I've walked in on a brunch in the rose garden.

And as an added bonus, it's got SPF 30 to keep your lips from getting all sun damaged and wrinkly.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

cruisin together

A friend, very kindly, offered me a ride home last night. And as we were making our way through twisty turvy roads, dead ends and one way streets, my friend pointed out the bad driving habits of nearly every car that got in our way. I tired to commiserate but honestly I wouldn't have noticed let alone been bothered by any of it. And I couldn't help think that I'm exactly the kind of driver that drives my dear friend mad.

I'm generally not in a terrible hurry when I get behind the wheel. Even when I'm running late, I figure that I'll get there when I get there. I go with the flow. Sometimes I'm inclined to coast when I really ought to keep up with traffic (hypermiling ftw!). I get lost easily and I think we all know when we are following someone who is lost. And because I've a tendency towards absent mindedness, I allow other cars on the road the same courtesy. I'm unfazed when someone honks at me as I'm sure that I deserved it. When somebody gives me that look and throws their hands in the air, I smile sheepishly, wave and mouth "sorry". And while I can certainly recognize when a driver is rude I don't really let it get to me unless they're reckless.

Does all of  this make me a bad driver? Maybe. But I haven't been in an accident or received any sort of ticket in almost a decade, so I must be doing something right. Though I think I ought to be a bit more aggressive, if only to stop being that annoying driver that causes people to throw their hands in the air.  

* title inspired by this little ditty, Cruisin by Smokey Robinson. Performed here by Gweneth Palthrow and Huey Lewis. My driving anthem.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Happy Endings

You know how I watch way too much TV? Well, I do. And I'm here to tell you about a brilliant show that never fails to make me laugh.

I didn't watch the first season and rumor has it, it was total crap but the second season has been fabulously funny. It's sort of like Friends meets Scrubs - it's wacky, it's witty, it's quick and a general joy to watch.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

on being one of THOSE people

On Saturday night I met up with lil' sister and some of her roommates for dinner. While we were talking I mentioned that our Mom had said that our cat Zoe has been sick and they had to take her to the vet. We were talking about poor Zoe's plight with our niece (she only hates two things in life, kids and being ignored - two things she's endured quite a lot of lately) when Abbey's roommate started laughing hysterically. Apparently we were being ridiculous pet people who fuss and fawn all over their animals. But I just can't help it, how can you not fall instantly and madly in love with these little guys.

Not my pic - found it on the evil Pinterest where people post stuff without naming their sources.

They're so fluffy, I'm going to die! Gosh, I want a kitten.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

taking care

On Sunday, I sat down in Sacrament meeting and sighed. It had been a busy weekend following a busy week and my mind was full of all the things that I still needed to do. Silly things really, I worried about the cupcakes in the back of my car, "would they get too hot?" "what if the frosting starts to melt?" "what if no one signs up for the potluck next week?" "what if I'm forgetting something?" And then I just cleared it all out of my head - I surrendered to the moment, and checked in with my body. I was beat. My insomnia and to-do lists had caught up with me and I was exhausted.

I said a little prayer right there. I asked God to help be better about taking care of myself. I asked Him to help me balance my obligations with my needs; to help me to relish the things that bring me joy and avoid the things that bring me down. Sometimes I forget that it's up to me to take care of myself. No one else is going to do it.

So when I finally got home from all my meetings, I fed myself and tucked myself into bed.

I bucked my night-owly ways and was asleep before mid-night.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Good news, my new passport photo is a thousand times better than my last. I know you were all worried.

And while I'm sharing good news, I'm proud to announce that I spotted peas sprouting up on my garden this morning. Yes, it's a proud proud day when you peer into your raised bed and spot not one, but three little leafy bits pushing their way up. I thought they might like this crazy warm weather so I gave them a drink yesterday morning, hoping to get things moving and today they appeared!

Honestly I've developed a bit of a botanical mania. My house is filling up with plant and seedlings and sprouts and flowers. The other day I saw that someone had sprouted lentils (I admit, it may have been on Pinterest) and I just had to try it. Well, I'm here to report that they are adorable and apparently a tradition for Persian New Years, and I was thinking about Easter, guess they could go either way. 

photo from What have we got here?
Okay, this isn't my picture but you get the idea. I have mine in four little bowls that I picked up from Target. Away, they are awful cute and an inexpensive easy way to bring a little spring indoors. I'd imagine it'd be a great activity to do with kids as I got a real kick out of watching their daily progress.

I put some crumpled up paper napkin a bowl  (less is more, just need enough to cover the bottom of the bowl) and soaked it with water. Then I sprinkled enough lentils to finely cover the surface - and that's it. Check on them every day to make sure they're damp and within a few days you'll see them start to sprout.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

say cheese!

It's so nice outside, it's a shame to be cooped up indoors. As I haven't a window, I like to imagine that it's miserable and grey outside. But I know that it's actually a sunny 75 degrees, the birds are singing and the flowers are a blooming. Such is life.

I'm getting excited about my summer travels and my goal for this week is to renew my passport. That means it's time to get a new passport photo - hallelujah! - my last one was horrendous. It's so bad that I can't believe that I didn't just pony up another $15 for another. But then again, $15 was sort of a lot of money to a college student in 2001 and we didn't have luxury of digital cameras - it was a 1 shot kinda deal. (Is it weird that I remember the exact cost of my passport photo 11 years ago? Guess it just shows how conflicted I was over it at the time.)

But if I could go back in time, I'd tell that frugal young thing that it'll be worth the splurge. Maybe a waste of time travel, but we're talking about quality of life.

Monday, March 12, 2012

liberty and priveleges

A few weeks ago I was reading Sister Bonnie D. Parkin's General Conference talk from Spring 2007 and I came across this quote by Eliza R. Snow. Sister Snow posed this question to the sisters of the Church in 1870:

“Do you know of any place on the face of the earth, where [a] woman has more liberty, and where she enjoys such high and glorious privileges as she does here, as a Latter-day Saint?”

While Sister Parkin went on to testify of the great privileges held by women of the church*, I couldn't get past Sister Snow's question. Because, while it may have rung true to the women of 1870, in my experience, it is within the church that I feel most constrained. In every other aspect of my life I see endless opportunities, and while we still may have a ways to go, the world has opened itself up for women while the church has remained stuck in positions that haven't been progressive since Sister Snow's time.

I morn that the Church that I was raised in, the Church that I tithe to and serve, was once so progressive and has in the last 100 years become so fixed, so adverse to change. We have a heritage of boldness, a heritage challenging social norms, reexamining ideas about family, opposing slavery, sharing our wealth and promoting true christian principles. Ours is a heritage of strong industrious independent women, supported by a Church that sent them to medical schools, encouraged their involvement in national women's groups and gave them the vote long before the passing of the 19th amendment. 

What has happened to my church? Although, I feel that in some ways we as a Church and a culture have faltered, our doctrine is one of eternal progression and I find hope and am encouraged by our heritage.

* I mean in no way to belittle message of Sister Parkin's talk. Her message is really insightful and maybe she sees the church differently, I respect her views and hope to one day share them.

Friday, March 9, 2012

tossing and turning

So if it's not solar flares, it's something else. Maybe it's spring? Longer days? Warmer temperatures? Too many Girl Scout cookies? Alas, I think it was my hair that was keeping me up.

Last night, before going to bed, I decided that I really should trim my bangs (see chart above) - I was starting to look like one of those dogs whose eyes are completely hidden behind their shaggy mane. So I took scissors to my hair - a hobby or sorts, I really should be better at this by now but I made a huge mess, tiny pieces hair completely covering the bathroom and myself. And upon inspection by the light of day, I pinned them back and hope that round 2 produces better results. 

The Shaggy Dog

Trouble was all those little pieces of hair are mighty itchy and I just could NOT get comfortable. I tossed and turned and changed my shirt but I just couldn't sleep. So I queued up another episode of Psych and was asleep before the first commercial break. It's a miracle, I tell ya.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

in the middle of the night

Last night I couldn't sleep. It's nothing new, I'm find that I just don't need as much sleep as I used to. But last night as I lay awake, I felt gripped with anxiety and I wasn't sure why. Was it the emails that I hadn't gotten around to replying to? Was is the ward potluck I've been charged with organizing? Was it the tv show I'd just watched? Was there something I had forgotten, something that my subconscious was trying to resolve?

I still don't know. So after dismissing my anxiety, I turned to my old stand by. My trusted treatment for insomnia, episodic television. There is a certain kind of tv show that never fails to put me soundly to sleep. It can't be too funny, too sentimental or too thought provoking. Short plot lines and new characters help. The trick is that you don't want to get to involved in the show but it must be interesting enough to take my mind off of whatever is keeping it awake at night. My go to show? Psych. It's silly, trivial (even though it's usually dealing with murder), the characters are likable enough but I don't really relate to them and all that just lulls me to sleep. And most importantly it's available online.

But this morning*, I learned that at that very moment when I couldn't figure out why I couldn't sleep, I could have been checking out the night sky for auroras**.
The sun ejected two huge solar flares Tuesday, and NASA says that we here on Earth may notice the effects of magnetic fields and ionized gases that it estimates will arrive around 1:25 a.m. ET Thursday. So, if you detect some electronic interference — say, your GPS doesn't work right — blame it on the sun. -NPR News Blog
Well, my laptop kept working like a champ but I'd like to think that maybe it was the solar flares keeping me up.

Cuz, I'm so connected to the universe and stuff.

* Hey NPR, how about putting news about predicted cosmic events in my news feed before they actually happen?

** The first time I ever saw the aurora was in Moab, Utah on a field trip while I was in college.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

we'll just have to wait and see

I've been neglecting this space, for which I appologize. But while I was away, I've been keeping busy with birthday celebrations, cleaning my room, filing my taxes and working for a paycheck.

While I was getting ready for work this morning, pandora queued this up.

First Day of My Life, by Bright Eyes

And though I've heard it before, I sort of fell in love with this part here at the end:

So if you wanna be with me
With these things there's no telling
We'll just have to wait and see
But I'd rather be working for a paycheck
Than waiting to win the lottery

Because isn't that how life is, we can work for what we want or wait for it to fall into our laps. And like the song implies, nothing is for certain but it's nice to have a hand in it, to know that you put in the work. There are things that are out of my control but when given the opportunity to do something great, to work really hard knowing I may still come up short, those are risks worth taking. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

It's so fluffy, I'm going to DIE!

I'm really feeling the birthday love. Many, many thanks!

Last night my sister, Abbey, came over and we did some serious baking - we did our best to recreate this beaut from my latest favorite food blog, Always With Butter.

And this frosting  - well, it's so FLUFFY! Who would have thought to put marshmallow creme in frosting? Well, it's genius and I'm guessing next to idiot proof. Frosting always makes me nervous, so I'm going to remember this one. Did I mention it's fluffiness?

Despicable Me, also genius. Don't argue with me, it's my birthday.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

small and simple things

It doesn't take much. In fact it's rather amazing how something so small, so inconsequential, can unintentionally turn my day around. No sooner had I written that last post than I started feeling better. Life is good, the sun is shining, the birds are singing and the daffodils are blooming.

And I hope hope hope that I can get off work early tonight so that I can go home and get to work on my birthday cake.