a little piece of history

Posted: September 30th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: family, misc | Tags: , , | No Comments »

My Step Dad* sent me this beautiful video this morning that the National Park Service made in honor of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam, or “the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, with 23,000 casualties on both sides.” I am no Civil War buff, but I have a great appreciation for all the men and women who spend their time preserving history and educating the public about this important time in our country’s history. Especially because my Dad is one of them! He is not in this video, but he is one of the many that take part in the frequent living histories that take place in the area. I feel lucky to have grown up in a place that is so rich in history and I think it’s really cool that he does this.

I also think the video is gorgeous and love the music. Hope ya enjoy it too!

My Dad IS in these photos, however. Pretty cool, huh?

*I say ‘Step’ here for clarification’s sake, for anyone reading whodoesn’t know I have four parents, but my Step parents are every bit my parents as my biological parents! They are the best!!

Ask Me Anything (Ugh, Not Another Formspring)

Posted: March 3rd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: misc | Tags: | No Comments »

Confession time: I made a formspring. Normally, I wouldn’t take part in something as narcissistic and transparent as formspring (at least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it), but I just can’t help myself. I’ll admit it, It sounds like fun.

You can ask me anything, anonymously, or identified. I won’t guarantee I will answer everything, especially rude or disgusting questions, but I’ll do my best to answer as much as I can. That is, if any of you even care enough to ask me. Watch, I’ll put up this post and then I’ll get maybe 1 or 2 questions. Hah! Oh, Sarah.

So – what do you want to ask me?

Picture 5

Bits & Pieces: March 2, 2010

Posted: March 2nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: art, beauty, books, cats, fashion, food, funny, LA, misc, money | Tags: | 2 Comments »


- Stripes and Tulle. Two very wonderful things, usually separate, together!



- Honda Wins Best All-Around Vehicle By Consumer Reports for the 4th year in a row! Subaru was also up there. l’m feeling thankful I decided to buy a Civic in 08.

- Los Angeles Swaps 21 Billboards For Art – great! We could use less billboards in this ugly, cluttered city.

- Unhappy Hipsters. Need a break from your day? Read it & laugh. Or cry.

- What’s Your Excuse for Not Saving? Great post by my girl FB about the lame justifications people make for spending frivilously instead of investing in their future. Just FYI: you do not NEED a mansion, a gardener, a luxury car, a weekly french manicure or a $500 pair of shoes. Especially if you are in debt.

- The cutest thing I’ve seen from/about ChatRoulette.

- If I had a son, I would totally help him make these little boy Valentine’s. Gummy spiders + chocolate rocks = tasty and masculine!


- I’ve been a fan of these KittyWigs for a couple years now, but I had no idea they had A BOOK! Superb.

- These Commander Skype Headphones make headphones look just a liiiittle bit less Burger King-ish.

- Not that I surf (in the water) or anything, but this is the cutest wetsuit I’ve ever seen.

- Pantone Makeup & Nail Polish – strictly conceptual designs, but how clean and fresh is this?!

- LA Tech vs SF Tech – My favorite line has to be: “However, while both crowds love to love the city of San Francisco, San Franciscans love to loathe Los Angeles, which is understandable in some regards. Traffic here is tragic, and this IS where buttock implants were invented.”

- Also relevant… Why You Should Start A Company In LA, the latest in Fast Company’s look into startup appeal in cities other than Silicon Valley.

- Six Word Memoirs by famous authors. My personal favorite is Frank McCourt (author of Angela’s Ashes, Tis, etc): “The miserable childhood leads to royalties.”

- Award-winning cookies – perfect for Oscar parties, which I am hoping to partake in this coming weekend! Check out the Best Actress selection below. Wonder if they taste as good as those women can act? Also adorable, Oscar statue cookies!



- Empty bellies do not beget genius. – Brilliant piece by the bold and beautiful Gala Darling on female body image and why you should say “screw you” to the pressure to be stick thin.

- I Want That Hoodie So Bad. I really do. It has nothing to do with the fact that my fiance designed it and that it’s modeled after his latest sketch, which you can see below.

Bits ‘n Pieces: February 24, 2010

Posted: February 24th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: art, cats, fashion, food, friends, funny, misc | Tags: | No Comments »

Ready to take a trip down Random Lane? All aboard!


-The most incredible postcard on Etsy – it’s sold out, but I want it so very badly as a poster! It is just so “me.”

- I’m mildly obsessed with the website OnlineSchools.org, which features fun, easy-to-read educational illustrations and graphs about everything from the History of LEGOs to The Global Financial Crisis to 15 Things You Should Know About Breasts (hey smokers – check out #15! Saggy boobs!) Take a second to check it out and learn something!

- Gummy Worm Chromosomes – if learning about DNA was this delicious, I might have taken a more passionate interest in biology in middle school. Imagine me as a biologist. Solving medical mysteries. Mixing things in a lab. Not wearing makeup. All jokes aside, I did briefly consider a career as a veterinarian – until I realized it’s harder to get into vet school than it is to get into med school. And that my heart would break everyday watching animals suffer.


- Top 10 Books Perfect For The iPad. Haha…. this one is for Julian, who thought he was doing me a favor by suggesting I get an iPad instead of a laptop. PLEASE.

- The wedding invitation of our friends Kayla and Tyler, who are getting married just a couple months after Julian and I. It’s the sweetest and most creative wedding invite I’ve ever seen – plus I got to watch Julian and Tyler making it while they were in LA!

- Babies with laser eyes. An entire site devoted to the meme. Anatomy of a laser baby brain – cute.

- Kitchen of the Year. I’d say! That place is making me salivate, it’s so gorgeous.

- ChatRoulette is all the rage these days. Even Ashton Kutcher is on it, and one math student in Calgary took a screenshot of the convo he was having with Mr. Aplusk. I can see the appeal of the site, that randomly connects you via videochat to people around the world, but I don’t see why I would use it. It would have provided hours of fun in college, though.

- Book Cover Purses – perfect for the literary nerd like myself.


- Butch Cupcakes – this bakery in NY designs cupcakes with men in mind, because everyone deserves to enjoy a nice cupcake, but how masculine is it to eat a pink cupcake with heart sprinkles? Camo or wood-grain patterns are so much more macho.

Picture 5
Shown: The B-52

- How the new credit card laws will affect your account.

- Twitter strikes a deal to bring free SMS tweets to Haiti.

- Coffee splash Flickr pool is pretty awesome – the photos look amazing, but my OCD side is tensing up at the thought of the aftermath (can you imagine the stains?)


- Study shows cat owners are more educated than dog owners. I’m feeling a bit of justice to all women who have unfairly been called “cat ladies” now. By the way, I love dogs too. Just not as much as kitties.

- Why I’ll Never Live in a Rich Neighborhood. That Neil Patel – he’s got a good head on his little shoulders!

- Another new study about how awesome Boulder, CO is. This particular one states it is the happiest city in all the US. Apparently Boulder knows how intellectual, healthy, bicycle-friendly and clean their city is, because I found a hefty list of credentials on their website. Proud, maybe. But I’d still move there in a heartbeat.


- Speaking of awesome places to live, check out this little house on a cliff in Iceland. Talk about breathtaking!


- Austrian millionaire gives away his millions, claims they are making him “miserable.” Great story!

- Depths of the Ocean, Scaled to Human Size – this is both crazy and terrifying, especially for people like me who get the heebie jeebies about deep, dark water. What’s DOWN there?!

- New species of dinosaur discovered in a quarry in Utah.

- Oh the cuteness! Bunny ring from Fred Flare. Hop hop! Only $12 and available in silver and gold!


Lauren, who is in Hawaii this week, requested we play this loudly in our office on repeat. For the record, this is on the wall of our office:


I thought this video of two koalas bickering was super cute at first, until one of them provokes the other and it breaks out into a nasty fight. My maternal/animal-lover instinct kicked in and I wanted to scoop up the babies to protect and calm them down. Then I realized, they’re just like kids… fighting and picking on the other for no good reason.

My Little Ponies performing musicals – LIVE! MLP hold a special place in my heart, even if this is extremely strange.

things i love thursday

Posted: February 11th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: food, LA, life, love, misc | Tags: | 2 Comments »

This evening, I’m having a realization. And that realization is that I cannot watch my fiance’s live web casts without getting super distracted by his super chatty fans. I’m not sure what it is that is so interesting to me, but the fact that hundreds of people come to watch him and hear him take calls and talk about the weather and filmmaking is super entertaining to me. That being said, I am cutting myself off from watching his current web cast and focusing on writing this little diddy we like to call Things I Love Thursday. Because there are plenty of things to love about this week so far!


Among the greatness….

meeting Kristin Davis. And having her post our photo on her Fan page. I am fully willing to admit my geeky fandom!; frozen candy bars (why did I ever stop eating you? Anyone else remember frozen Snickers?!); finalizing our wedding guest list and rehearsal date/time (HALLELUJAH AGAIN!); baby mooses playing in a sprinkler. I die!! How could you ever kill one of these? They’re like puppies!; really, really hot showers on really, really cold mornings; maple & brown sugar oatmeal; the way Pepper sleeps on the pillow above my head like my guardian angel; speaking of bed, really crisp, clean sheets – I have a thing about bedding. I’m working on it.; “Look! A solar-powered garden!”; discovering my neighbor has a bunny hutch and feeding those cute buns carrots last night; my pink planner that Julian’s aunt Susan got me for Christmas, without it, I would be totally lost; strawberry soft-serve ice cream sundaes; weekends full of DVD marathons (Glee!); rainbows; friends who don’t make me feel like a Queeny bride, even if I kind of am acting like one; being really productive even when the internet goes down at work; starting the week off with an early morning teeth cleaning, having the dentist tell me my teeth are “picture perfect”; good talks with my guy; making lists of rules for a healthy marriage; driving an hour to get donuts only to go get cheese fries instead; apple-scented lotion my Momma made me at Thanksgiving, which makes my whole office smell like Candyland; neighbors who bring up fresh baked brownies, just for the heck of it; the way Julian makes coffee for me (perfect); turning lemons into lemonade; thinking about all the fun stuff my friends and family and I will get to do while we’re in Nashville for my wedding (Grand Ole Opry!); having a clean house (which is rare); finding out that the purple & gold rug I fell in love with months ago is still available in the store; listening to girls hyperventilating and crying while calling into Julian’s live web show (I’m evil); updating my Netflix queue to include all the Best Picture nominees; dreaming about chocolate frosted donuts, which for some reason I cannot stop thinking about lately!

And last but not least – this picture of a black squirrel chowing on a humongous pizza crust. I sent this to Julian and said “who does this remind you of?” Immediately he knew who I was talking about – Pepper, my black cat. She has the fluffiest tail and I always call her a black squirrel, despite having never seen one. So the fact that this exists makes me very excited. She even has the same MC Hammer/genie pants that Pepper has. I love this! Thank you, FB!


Three cheers for it being almost Friday! Here’s to an awesome weekend ahead of us!

How Do You Like My Makeover?

Posted: February 5th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: misc, news | Tags: , , | 3 Comments »

Last night, I made a spur of the moment decision to switch this blog’s layout. Even though I adored the images that I had on the banners and sidebar, it felt way too cluttered. So I scaled back. Way back. This way, you can focus on what’s really important: my riveting, entertaining, seam-splitting and soul-shaking content.

This is much easier to navigate, anyways. It’s so clean. So fresh. It’s like my blog just took a really hot shower – a good shower, the kind you take before a hot date, where you deep condition your hair, exfoliate and shave your legs ALL the way. All wrapped up in a pretty pink bow.

I have really been meaning to do this for a while now, ever since Julian made me a cute new logo – which I didn’t even end up using, by the way. The original logo looked like this:


Kind of Love Actually-esque, no? The new one (also by Julian), as you can see, is more like this:


Which logo do you like better? Not like your answers are going to convince me to change my mind, but I figured it’s always polite to ask.

And of course, I want to know what you think of the overall change, so answer me this:

What do you think of my new, more simplistic layout?

View Results

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Knowing me, I’ll probably keep tweaking it. I get it from my Mom, who redecorates her house approximately six times a year.

Bits ‘n Pieces: January 9, 2010

Posted: January 9th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: beauty, cats, family, fashion, food, green, home, misc, social media | 1 Comment »

I wrote 2009 in the title of this, I still can’t believe it’s 2010. Where’s my flying car? So, I haven’t done one of my ‘Bits ‘n Pieces’ thingamajigs since before Christmas, therefore many of these items are old, but – who cares. Many of them warrant their very own blog posts, but I don’t have time for that right now, so you get a list. Love ya!

One of the images in my ‘Wedding Inspiration’ folder. From 100 Layer Cake.
Seriously cute wedding pics from a NYE eloping!

  • Up The Lacquer: I want these limited-edition Chanel nailpolishes. Can you imagine the hours of painting-and-picking fun I could have with them?! What cute colors.


  • The Blogosphere 2.0: Veteran blogger 11D writes about how the blogging community has changed/evolved in her six years of blogging. Among her findings are the demise of the A-list, a dwindling sense of community except among niche blogs, a lack of crediting and reciprocity with links, and burnout by reader and blogger due to over-saturation of content. The Zeray Gazette has a great follow-up, calling out the blogging industry and claiming it has become too commercialized.
  • FINALLY! The Oatmeal’s comic-style guide to Ten Words You Need To Stop Misspelling (is it coincidence that I misspelled “misspelling” just now?) Among them: lose vs. loose, your vs. you’re, to vs. two vs. too, its vs. it’s and of course… effect vs. affect. Amazing.
  • The Decade In Culture: A fun, quick look at the major events of the last decade. Yeah, this is one of those things I found before the end of the year but am just now posting… sorry! Also interesting: The decade in 7 minutes. That one was wildly popular on the SocialVibe blog.

  • VintageWhere.com: Want to start shopping vintage so you can keep up with the more green/fashionable trends? The chick from What I Wore created this searchable map/list of vintage/thrift shops across the country.
  • Happy New Year – With Turquoise!: Photos of chandeliers with turquoise in them. Mmm, I love turquoise. And chandeliers! House of Turquoise (all about the use of turquoise in home decor, delish) is awesome, btw.
  • What Is Yoga, Really?: A piece from a GOOD community member. Pretty interesting background on yoga… he also references a book, The Yoga of Jesus that I want to check out. Man, I really need to start doing yoga again. Just thinking about it makes me more aware of my tense upper back.


  • New Uses for Old Things: I love Real Simple! It’s like Martha Stewart for the realistic housewife. I also love recycling and refurbishing. Lots of cool ideas on how to take things around the house and make them new again.
  • The Knife is releasing an Opera soundtrack, apparently. Could be kind of awesome.
  • An “UnFit” Kitchen Fit For Christmas: I want this to be my kitchen. So homey, so cozy, so warm!


  • What Is The Monkeysphere? – This article is more than two years old, but is filled with priceless information about society, human nature, and our lack of compassion for people who are outside of our “inner circle,” or as they refer to it, the Monkeysphere. The author explains how the same reasoning applies to individuals and larger corporations (and government). It’s worth a read. For me, it emphasizes the importance of “loving thy neighbor,” even if there seems to be nothing in it for you (P.S. there is always something in it for you).
      “If a man doesn’t feel sympathy for his fellow man at $6.00 an hour, he won’t feel anything more at $600,000 a year.
  • Is College Worth It?: This diagram contains stats about the study and lifestyle habits of America’s undergrads and how their finances and worth stack up after the fact. As a college dropout, I can see their point, I’ve managed to become successful by hard work, paying attention to my employers, and taking advantage of opportunities to gain hands-on experience. Same goes for Julian, who never went to film school, yet knows more about filmmaking than most aspiring directors. In his case, he was blessed with a homeschooling environment that allowed him to concentrate on his passion. That being said… I still want my kids to go to college. (via 11d)
  • Tweet Notebook. It’s like the moleskin for narcissists.
  • The Poetry Clock: I don’t know how it works (I guess it lights up certain words to let you know what time it is), and it really doesn’t seem efficient, but this poetry clock sure is purdy!


  • Vaccinating Our Son: Our Approach: I don’t have kids, so I won’t be doing any vaccinating anytime soon, but it’s never too soon to start researching I suppose. Plus, I totally trust Chris and Kelly as I agree with many of their stances on diet, health and eco-responsibility. My instincts tell me to do your own research on vaccinations versus following “doctors orders” which sadly aren’t always the smartest approach. If you’ve got a bun in the oven or a freshly baked bun, could be worth taking a look.
  • Non-toxic nail polish: I don’t even want to think about the amount of chemicals I’ve ingested over the years while using my teeth to peel nail polish off my fingernails. This is a great idea. Thanks to my friend Sarah, who is aware of my issues with nail polish peeling, for sending this my way!

    le love

  • Julie Powell’s blog: I love, love, loved Julie & Julia. Not only is Meryl Streep basically my theatrical idol, but this is a very cool story (and true!) If you aren’t familiar, you’ll have to check out the movie. I’m kind of jealous of Julie Powell, who began blogging her way through Julia Child’s French cookbook LOONG before blogging was the “in” thing to do. If only I were a few years older. Sidenote: why are we always trying to be the “first” to like something? Is there some secret prize you get for being the first person to discover a band or start a trend?
  • Simmer Down! Green Is Sexy is Rachel McAdam’s blog with two friends that is filled with daily tips on how to live a more sustainable lifestyle. This post is all about how to give yourself a facial at home with nothing but herbs, oils, hot water and a towel… I can’t wait to try it.
  • The Real Life Simpson’s House:


  • The History of the Chocolate Chip Cookie: Mmmm… cookies. If you’re a baker, cook or trivia buff – read up! It’s pretty cool.

    This is kind of awesome:

    An (obviously) fake trailer for SATC 2. Bunny MacDougal returns!! Only hardcore fans of the show will appreciate this.

    Michael Pollan (of In Defense of Food and The Omnivore’s Dilemma) has a new book out, a small handbook called Food Rules with easy rules to follow for healthy eating and smart grocery shopping. He talks about them here:

    The funniest thing about this “how to wrap a cat for Christmas” video are the clever annotation speech bubbles from the cat.

    Hahaha, aww… this high school theatrical performance of Peter Pan is quite possibly the most hilarious thing I’ve ever seen. I feel for the kids though – producing serious theatre in a public high school is seriously tough. It takes me back to my days as an “Osbourn Player.”

  • a photo booth trip down memory lane

    Posted: December 22nd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: misc | Tags: | 1 Comment »

    I don’t use Photo Booth a lot, but when I do, I tend to go a bit nuts, taking up to 20 shots at once. (One could pin me as a narcissist, and well, they might be partially right – after all, aren’t all bloggers self-lovers?) Last night, I had Photo Booth open to take a picture of myself wearing a face mask (because, what else are you supposed to do?) and started looking back through the pictures. It gave me some tingly feelings inside as I remembered funny days at work, lazy days in the dead heat of LA summer, and even earlier in the year when Julian and I were long distance and spent hours on Skype.

    Here is a random selection, just for fun:

    Photo 504
    Excited about my blinged out ethernet cable (thanks, Josh!) – check out cutie Charlotte in the background!
    ♥ ♥ ♥

    Photo 566
    We were meant for each other. June 2009

    Photo 585
    Team Spirit. Team SocialVibe.

    Photo 611
    A hot summer day with nothing else better to do than make funny faces. I’m just me.

    Photo 623
    With the precious Cookie. Can’t get over how short my hair is!!

    Photo 648
    Proud of my purple nails.

    Photo 666
    The day I decided to use Daily Booth. I only took 3 pictures and quit. (Cute Scoutie on the couch behind me)

    Photo 672
    SocialVibe in Seventeen magazine! (Please note my nails were painted in this picture…. later in the day below)

    Photo 674
    The only one of my enormous Crumbs birthday cupcakes that I ate… out of about 30. (See? Further proof of my love-hate relationship with nail polish.)

    Photo 678
    I lub dogs!!! Anna ♥

    Photo 683
    Sitting at our booth at Social Media Strategies in SF. Later, my buddy Brian Solis came to sit with me and I told everyone he was my intern.

    Photo 685
    Another shot with me and Miss Cookie! Her wardrobe is better than mine. This was her tennis outfit.

    Photo 695
    Anticipating Christmas in October.

    Photo 697
    Halloween at work. Wearing Julian’s bunny costume (yes, really).

    Photo 723
    Incapable of not making a goofball face.

    Photo 708

    Once again… this time trying out my Halloween wig.

    Photo 725
    I’ll end with the original purpose of the Photo Booth… face masks (Clinique Deep Cleansing Emergency Mask, btw) are always better when paired with Boyfriend Hoodies.

    Fun :)

    Things I Love Thursday

    Posted: December 10th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: art, food, friends, funny, holidays, home, LA, life, love, misc, things i love thursday, travel | Tags: | 2 Comments »

    Has it really only been a week since my last Things I Love Thursday? And yet it feels like Christmas is approaching with rapid speed. I’d like to reverse, that, please – slow down the holiday cheer express and speed up the workday. Yeah, that sounds perfect.


    Here’s a little list of things that are making me grin from ear to ear this week.


    - First things first, planning our Spring trip to Paris and Berlin. I’m not sure how much detail I’m allowed to give, so I’ll keep it brief: WE’RE GOING TO PARIS AND BERLIN IN MAY. We = me and Julian. If you know me, you know that I have a mild obsession with France and all things Parisian, so the thought of frolicking through the city in the Spring while the gardens are in bloom and the sidewalk cafes are ripe for sitting on sipping coffee and eating crepes is UNBELIEVABLY EXHILARATING. This will be my first time in both cities. I dusted off my French language books last night and have already begun making a list of things I want to see/eat/feel/hear/experience. If you have any recommendations, share them please! Warning: this might be all I talk about for the next six months.

    Picture 9
    image: lucy_sweetrepeats

    - Living on a budget. Saving money is very important, children. Duh. It’s also very addicting. I won’t get ahead of myself because I’ve only just begun on my most recent dolla-saving journey, but every time I’ve become a tightwad in the past, I’ve found myself strangely obsessed with frugality. There is something exciting about watching every penny and seeing how much you are saving. It’s almost like a game – “can I live off of $20 in groceries this week?” I love the feeling you get when you transfer a big chunk of money into the savings account, or the statements when you see how much it is growing, or even find a super-saving coupon. Am I the only weird one, here? I find comfort in community.

    - Making sweet & sour chicken from scratch. And not screwing it up! This is one of Julian’s favorite dishes, so I knew that it would make him super happy if I made it, and even happier if I made it well. I used this recipe and have made it twice since we got back into town. He loves it and I love it! Though I can feel myself reverting back into vegetarianism a little at a time (I was vegetarian/sometimes-vegan for three years until I met him, and even still don’t eat beef or pork.) For now, I’m just choosing more and more vegetarian options. It’s tough though, when your boyfriend is a meat-lover. At least I can take comfort in buying organic, free-range chicken.

    - Flickr’s favorite button. I’m a retard (in the most politically correct use of the word, I promise) for only getting into Flickr now instead of years ago like everyone else. My account has been pretty dead for, well, since I created it over three years ago, but recently I discovered the “favorite” button and now I’m just having the best time ever collecting the most beautiful photos in the pool.

    This is what my room looks like, but with a bigger bed. Yeah, I wish.

    - Adding an extra layer to my bed. Sometime over the last week, it got cold in LA. Like, really cold. For LA, at least. It was in the 30s a few nights ago, and despite having heat in my apartment (which I am blessed to have), I was frozen solid. My heater is in the living room at the opposite end of my apartment, so hardly any heat makes it to my bedroom. I found a solution, though – adding more blankets to my bed. Blankets are heaven sent, for real. I have a super-soft ivory quilted blanket I bought at Target a few years back for like, $20, and the fact that it has remained soft to this day is a miracle. I layered it in between my sheets and duvet and my toes are no longer blue in the mornings. HALLELUJAH! I love bedding.

    - Having a clean car. With all my preaching about consumerism and giving back/helping others, I’m ashamed to admit I have a brand new car. Well, it’s a year and a half old, but I bought it new, and it’s the first new car I’ve ever owned (my parents are firm believers in “drive it ’til it dies.” I only bought it new because I plan on having it for a very long time (like, when I have kids), which is why I bought a Honda, because those suckas last forever and a day and are VERY cheap to fix if broken. Moving on, my pretty new car is filthy dirty 95% of the time. Despite having a garage in the great-garageless town of LA, I usually park behind my house (I’m lazy) underneath some evil trees that drop leaves on my car every night. As a result, my car is very, very dirty. And then there’s the inside. Full of empty Starbucks cups, old bulletins from church, half-full bags of cashews, bobby pins, granola crumbs, bottles of lotion that are on the verge of exploding from the heat, receipts, more receipts, cat litter (don’t ask), at least twenty SocialVibe Pink Balls, etc. etc. etc. At least there isn’t (much) old food in there. Saturday I decided enough was enough and I hauled my darling car down to the car wash at the end of my block (which makes having this dirty a car even more of a disgrace) and washed it myself in one of those little bays (far too embarrassed to take it to be washed by someone else). I spent about $6 when it should have been $3 because apparently I am slow. Then I vacuumed the inside…. wow. I even refilled my windshield wiper fluid, which had been empty for about two months (you could barely see out of the window). At the end of the day, my car was clean, I was a mess, and all were happy. Driving is much more enjoyable now. Good thing I’m getting a bicycle for Christmas.

    - Christmas baking. This past Saturday, I decided it was time to begin the baking of the Christmas treats. Now that I have someone wonderful to eat all my sugary snacks (someone who doesn’t gain weight, nonetheless), baking is so much more fun! I borrowed recipes from Amy and made peppermint bark and peanut butter balls. They turned out fabulous and weren’t hard to make at all (the bark is truly foolproof), the only sad thing is that they were entirely gone 24 hours later. I took the first batch to a holiday party with coworkers that night and the rest to church on Sunday where they were having a ‘world market’ type fair to help charitable organizations. I put the treats with the free coffee and they were gone in the blink of an eye. I have a few more recipes up my sleeve, and hopefully this time I’ll remember to take pictures!

    Not my picture.

    - Making gifts rather than buying gifts. Not only is it eco-friendly, but it’s FUN. Sure I’ve only made one so far, and I’m almost positive that I WILL be resorting to buying some gifts this year (there are only 15 days left until Christmas, after all), but I’m going to be as crafty as possible. And for those gifts that I DO have to buy, there are always gifts that give back.

    Other random things that are awesome:

    pretty notebooks (with Paris on the cover, of course, given to me by my girl Cesca) full of all kinds of lists, doodles and creative ideas; free lunch at work on Wednesdays; drinking warm water (not cold water); USAA’s annual dividend deposit (I love waking up $73 richer than I was the night before); watching Julian roll around on the floor like a toddler; “Never park drunk, that’s my advice.”; hearing great GREAT GREAT news from one of my best friends; looking down at the cat food bowls to find that Julian put a leftover bowl of broccoli next to their food dish (he doesn’t know cats); having an abnormally large excess of creative energy; RSVPing for orientation to tutor homeless kids downtown (more on this later, hopefully); “Won’t you guide mein sleigh tonight? Rudy…”; sweater boots; white Christmas lights; Blissfully Domestic; Craigslist; Jay-Z’s new album; MOM: “What’s going on over there?” JULIAN: “Oh, those are fountains.”; Tuesday phone dates with Katie; “I love ramen noodles. I want to get endorsed by ramen noodles. Do they have a website?”; Christmas trees in the lobby at work; heavy rain in LA, followed by very clear days; when people find my accidental wittiness, loudmouth and ill-timed remarks charming and funny; even better, when people actually like reading my blog and leave me awesome comments. What a reward.

    What do YOU love today?!

    what keeps you up at night?

    Posted: November 6th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: health, life, misc | Tags: , | 3 Comments »

    Back in my early blogging days when I was an uber geek posting on LiveJournal daily and modding communities, I was a survey/list fiend. Whatever I was “tagged” in, you could be sure I was reposting. I guess I’m feeling like reliving those days, because I can’t help myself from participating in this little “10 Things That Keep Me Up At Night” meme that Amy (who I conveniently met on LJ) just posted on her blog, Rainy Saturday.

    photo: coso_blues

    Lord knows there is plenty that can keep me up at night, though not many things that can get me out of bed in the morning. What can I say, I like to sleep. Just hope you’re never the one that has to wake me up… I give Oscar the Grouch a run for his money.

    Onto the evil things that prohibit me from catching zzzzs:

    1. Nightmares. You know, I don’t really have that many nightmares (though I do dream a LOT, and really like to tell people “I had a dream last night ____” – people usually don’t care, can’t really understand why, I think my dreams are pretty interesting) – hello run on sentence! K so, I don’t have that many nightmares but when I do, I’m up. For example, when I saw the horror flick Saw for the first time, I couldn’t sleep for a month, I was convinced Jigsaw was on my balcony ready to come at me with a pighead and a drill. I did have a pretty terrifying dream the other night and it was awful. I also have a problem with that half-awake half-asleep still-dreaming thing.

    2. Scout. This should really be number one because she is by far the one thing that keeps me up more than anything else (reference this post, for example.) She can be cute as pie but is a real terror when you’re trying to sleep and she is hungry/bored/lonely/wants the faucet turned on/breathing. She is very smart, she’ll knock things off my bedside table to wake me up, too, which is why I have about 3 water glasses left unbroken. She also knows that by pushing it with her paw a little, I’ll jump up and then she’ll stop pushing, jump off, and run the direction she wants me to go. Scout also really enjoys pawing at the windows, clawing at my dresser, or if I lock her out of the bedroom, clawing at the bottom of my bedroom door. I frequently find wood chips and paint flecks on the ground. Let’s just take this moment to appreciate having hardwood floors, because when I lived in homes with carpet, the little brat would fully tear a hole through the carpet if I locked her out. But seriously – if you met her, you’d love her. She’s evil like that.


    3. Prayers. I really don’t pray enough, mostly when I’m in the shower in the morning or when I’m walking down the long hallway at work, praying for patience with something or energy to get through the day, or today or example when I was praying for that poor kid who was set on fire down in Florida over a stolen bicycle. I happen to remember to pray as I’m falling asleep, when I run down my list of “things” that I want or need… mostly other people who I’m praying protection for. Anyway, this isn’t a bad thing, but it does keep me up at night. I’ve also been known to wake up in the middle of the night and start praying.

    4. Work. Is this on everyone’s list? Give me the name and number of the person who isn’t kept up by work problems at night, because I’d like to hire them as my life counselor. I would pay money to be able to flip the switch and forget about things happening at the office, but alas, I am usually up too early or too late thinking of story ideas or projects that we should be focusing more on.

    5. Money. Do I have enough this month? Am I saving enough for the future? Crap, I just remembered I need to order new contact lenses this month. Will I have enough to buy ____ a birthday present? That reminds me, ____’s birthday is next month so I should budget for that. I wonder what kind of a hit my 401k took this month. I really should get rid of my cable to save some money. I could just sell my car. Should I ask for a raise? Do I deserve the money I make? These are all questions/thoughts that I have, really any time of day, but quite often when I’m laying in bed at night.

    6. Reading. Ok, if you know me at all you know reading is pretty much my favorite thing to do, aside from talking that is (and if you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting me IRL, well let’s just say – I LOVE TO TALK.) I have a stack of books the size of my car that I still need to read, but between work, errands, cooking, cleaning and spending time with the BF, I hardly have any time to read. So the only time I read is on the weekends or in bed before sleeping. Most of the time, reading can help me fall asleep, but if I’m really into the book, it is not uncommon for me to stay up until midnight, 1am or even 2am reading. This is kind of embarrassing to admit but the night I read Twilight I stayed up ALL NIGHT reading it. Yes, teen vampires. I should be publicly shamed for that.


    7. TV. I hardly have time to do things I enjoy (reading) much less “filler” activities like TV. I have a DVR so I usually watch episodes of shows I like weeks after they’ve aired, all in a row, marathon-style. This sometimes stretches into the wee hours of the night. Plus, if I can’t fall asleep at night I sometimes come out and watch shows because I refuse to lay in bed awake for more than 30 minutes… it’s not healthy!

    8. Family & Friends. It’s super hard being so far away from my family, who live in Virginia, plus I have a GINORMOUS family (four parents, five siblings, six grandparents, countless aunts, uncles & cousins) and then of course, there are my friends, both in LA and back home. I always feel like I’m not keeping well enough in touch and that because I’m so busy out here with my own life I’m being a really crummy sister/daughter/granddaughter/friend. This is why I texted my brother at the crack of dawn the other morning, because I felt so much time had gone by without talking that I just couldn’t waste another moment having him thinking I don’t care. Still haven’t figured out how to manage having a life, a relationship, a job, and a big family all at once.

    9. Twitter/Internet. Ah yes, really this should be higher on the list. I, like many, use my iPhone as an alarm in the morning (I really do enjoy that Belltower ring… so lovely), so the phone is right next to me as I’m falling asleep. This makes it WAY too easy to make a last minute check on my e-mail or on Twitter to see if anyone @ replied me. Because you know, that is oh-so-important. I mean, it’s Twitter! They wouldn’t possibly call me if they had an urgent message to deliver. I’ve spent way too many hours scrolling through my follow list to see what everyone is doing/reading etc. What a true waste of time.

    10. Julian. Once again, not a complaint… as there is nothing else I’d rather be doing than spending time with the person I love more than anything else in the world. But this is a man who needs very little sleep and frequently stays up very late and wakes up very early with no problem at all. I, on the other hand, need at least 8 hours of sleep at night or I’m a wreck. Me = infant. Him = teenager.

    Now that I’ve whined enough to last me an entire week, I think I’ll stop. I really shouldn’t complain, as I usually haven’t got that much of a problem staying awake. If I ever do have problems getting sleepy, my Traditional Medicinals Organic Lavender Chamomile Tea usually does the trick. That stuff is redonkulous, you just have to try it!

    What keeps you up at night? Repost on your own blog and leave a link in the comments, suckers!