Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I've Said Goodbye to Counting Calories...

And hello to Weight Watchers!

I’ve blogged often about my desire to lose the weight I gained shortly after Nate and I started dating. I don’t have a lot to lose ~ only ten pounds ~ but have been struggling with little to no success for over a year and a half. A week and a half ago, I decided that it was time to try a new approach, and within twenty minutes, I was all signed up for Weight Watchers Online and on my way to thinking in terms of “Points” instead of “Calories” and “Fat Grams”.

At first, I was freaked out by the idea of only getting to eat 18 points a day {plus my 35 weekly points that can be used all at once or throughout the week and any activity points I earn through exercise that can be transferred to food points}. But I’ve been surprised at how full I can feel after eating smaller {and healthier} sized portions, and I’ve actually only used a few of my weekly points so far. And I’ve found that just taking a different approach to eating ~ counting points instead of calories ~ is making a huge difference in my outlook and my hopes for success this time around. I haven’t seen much of a change on the scale yet, but I’m staying positive and feel confident that I will get the results I want with this program.

What’s even more exciting is that I’m not alone in this endeavor. I was talking to my boss yesterday about joining Weight Watchers {she has been struggling to lose a little extra weight for months also} and we decided to see if there was enough interest in our building to have Weight Watchers meetings here. She sent out an email and got an overwhelming amount of immediate response. Out of 120 employees, a whopping 25 have expressed interest so far! That’s 20%!!! We have an informational meeting scheduled for next Tuesday, and hopefully we’ll get started the week after that. I’m ecstatic that so many of my coworkers are interested in doing this together and am really looking forward to the support we can provide one another!

Have you tried Weight Watchers, or are you a current Weight Watchers member? Have you found success with this program? I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Friend Makin' Mondays ~ Survey!

It has been WAY too long since I participated in Friend Makin’ Mondays {I’ve been in a bloggy rut} but I just couldn’t pass up on today’s survey brought to us by Amber at {aefilkins}. I’m emailing my post from my work email because I can’t log onto Blogger from work, so I apologize for any weirdness in spacing and display. I'll fix it all when I get home from work. :o) Here goes…

1. Favorite website ~ Etsy. My garter business wouldn’t be nearly as successful as it’s been without it, and I love browsing through other crafters’ creations for inspiration. Although it does make me wish I could spend all my days crafting rather than stuck behind a desk at work…

2. Favorite color ~ Pink!

3. Facebook? ~ Umm yes. I’m a bit of a Facebook junkie. You can find me at hmccormick3 at gmail . com ~ I would love to be your friend!

4. Favorite Christmas song? ~ Nat King Cole’s Buon Natale (Merry Christmas to You). I discovered it in college on Napster {back before it was a pay~only site ~ yes, I illegally downloaded music back in the day. Whoops.} I’m not sure if it’s one that even gets played much, but I love it {and pretty much everything else Nat King Cole sings}. It’s about a town in Italy where Christmas is celebrated all year. Who wouldn’t want to live there?!?

5. Christmas tree: Real or fake? ~ Fake. In my experience, going with a fake tree is the only way to guarantee a decent~looking tree. My last experience with a real tree was years ago with my parents ~ they decided to cut down a dying tree from the yard and use that instead of forking out some $ for a REAL real tree. It was, by definition, a Charlie Brown tree if ever there was one. I bought my own fake tree a few years ago, complete with lights, and I love how easy it is to get the tree set up and start on the best part ~ putting on the ornaments!

6. Hottest celebrity? ~ I’ve got a bit of a Zachary Quinto crush at the moment… Even as the evil villain, Sylar, I find him completely irresistible!

7. Favorite restaurant? ~ Olive Garden. Incidentally, the O.G. is also my favorite place of employment. I worked there for three summers and two Christmas breaks during college, and it was the best, most fun job ever. Plus the pasta is absolutely delicious and the breadsticks are to die for!

8. Favorite magazine? ~ Any bridal magazine. I’m a glutton for punishment, as I’m beginning to think that I am NEVER going to get married… But they sure are fun to browse, and I like to get garter ideas from them.

9. Favorite thing to drink around the holidays? ~ I’m not a big eggnog or cider person, but I never say no to a lemon drop…

10. Favorite Christmas movie? ~ A Christmas Story. And Scrooged. And Twas the Night Before Christmas, a cartoon my dad taped for me back in the ‘80s that I still love to watch. And I do have a soft spot for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Happy FMM!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Clean the House in 30 Minutes?!?

I am 100% embarrassed and ashamed to admit that I am the world’s worst housekeeper. At present, our house gives a whole new meaning to the word “filthy.” There are 3+ days worth of dishes piled up in and around the sink {life without a dishwasher really is the worst}, pine needles from the shedding tree outside all over the floor, and puppy toys and treats scattered everywhere. A clean load of laundry sits in a basket waiting to be folded; another is still in the dryer. Our bed hasn’t been made in weeks, and I’m sure that my sewing room should be declared a national disaster area. And the only reason I can stand to bathe in our scummy shower is that I always shower sans contact lenses and thus can’t see exactly how disgusting the walls, curtain and floor of our shower really are.

I grew up in an immaculately clean house ~ my mom is borderline OCD when it comes to cleanliness {don’t get mad at me for saying so, Mom ~ you know it’s true!}, so our carpets were ALWAYS vacuumed, the floors were ALWAYS scrubbed, the toilets were ALWAYS cleaned, and so on and so forth. And to be honest, I miss being able to eat a cookie or cracker that’s fallen on the floor without a second thought about exactly how dirty the floor it fell on really was. I hate that our bathroom sink almost always has toothpaste stuck to it somewhere, and I am tired of the bottom of all of our white socks turning brown the instant we take a step on the floor. Plus it’s getting really old having to do a speed clean of the whole house so it is somewhat presentable if a family member or friend calls to let us know they’re on their way over for a quick visit. I know that I will never been the housekeeper my mom is, but I also know that I can keep a whole lot cleaner house than the one I’ve been keeping.

My new plan is to do a little bit of cleaning every day. Amanda at Imperfectly Beautiful had the same idea, based on a 30 minutes a day checklist she discovered here. It sounds AWESOME! The basic idea is that by doing maintenance cleaning in the main areas of the house on a daily basis, the mess won’t get away from you. We’ll see if I can actually stick with it, but it’s definitely worth a try!

Do you have any special tricks you use to get the house cleaned in a jiffy? I’d love to hear them!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

New Garters!

Just wanted to share a few of my new creations!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Since I've Been Gone...

I've been in a bit of a blogging funk lately. I've composed multiple posts in my head but could never find the energy to write them down. I've read many of my favorite bloggers' posts but just couldn't seem to find it in me to leave any worthwhile comments. And I've missed it. I've missed having an outlet to share my thoughts and feelings, and I've missed the interaction with my fellow bloggers. I think I'm finally ready to get back into the swing of things, and wanted to do a little recap of the things that I've been up to in the last month or so...

~ I got my first haircut in 6+ months and decided it was a fabulous idea to get bangs. It wasn’t. ~ I started growing out my bangs.
~ Daisy got her girlie parts removed and we had to deal with two weeks of sleeping with a cone~headed puppy.
~ I was a beer wench victim to Nate's vampire for Halloween. {Somehow we forgot to take pictures, but this is the costume I wore. :o)}

~ I took Mrs. Soup up on her book recommendation and FELL IN LOVE with Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander.
~ I admired the photos from Nate’s first maternity shoot.
~ I finally figured out how to make ribbon roses and started adding them to my garters.

~ I gained two pounds. :o(
~ I rejoiced with the rest of the blogging community when Stellan’s second ablation was successful.
~ I celebrated Veteran’s Day with my favorite vet. {Not sure if I’ve shared, but Nate spent a year in Iraq as Intelligence for the army. His older brother was there at the same time as a Scout. I don't know how his mom got through that time without going mad with worry.}
~ Nate and I woke up to puppy poop in bed no less than four times. After the fourth incident in seven nights, we decided to take her into the vet, who determined that she had some sort of gastrointestinal problem. After two days of antibiotics, she seems to be feeling better and we have had two poop~free nights. Hooray!
~ I discovered a fabulous new workout program. {I will share more about it later in the week.}
~ I began a quest to find new white polka dot organza ribbon. My favorite vendor stopped carrying it, and as it is a ribbon I use for many of my best~selling garters, it is a MUST HAVE for me. Fingers crossed that I can find a decent replacement!
~ But most of all, I missed all of you!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Dear Someone: To My Fifteen Year Old Self

This week for Dear Someone, ShortMama has written a letter to her ten year old self and invited us to do the same. I started writing that letter, but then decided that while there are things I really wish I had known, I would probably want to protect my ten year old self from those things, so I decided to write to my fifteen year old self instead. She would be a little better equipped to handle all the important stuff than my ten year old self would be.

Dear Fifteen Year Old Self,

It’s hard to believe that almost fifteen years have past since I was in your shoes. If I could, I would tell you everything I’ve learned in those fifteen years in the hopes of preventing my mistakes and protecting you from getting hurt, but knowing you, you wouldn’t listen to me anyway. {We sure can be stubborn, can’t we?} But I will tell you a little bit, and maybe you’ll surprise us both and for once, actually listen to someone who has more life experience than you do. It really is okay to learn from others’ mistakes and to take others’ advice.

You are beautiful, inside and out. Don’t ever forget that. I know you wish you were a little bit taller and that your thighs were smaller, but you are perfect just as you are. When you look back on pictures from your high school days, you’ll be surprised at how thin you were ~ don’t spend so much time worrying about your weight. A little word from the wise ~ step aerobics twice a day will make your thighs bigger, not smaller. {You will soon learn that you put on muscle FAST without even trying, especially in your legs.} Oh, and laxatives are evil. Don’t ever, ever use them as a weight loss tool. They’re highly addictive, and if you take them too much, you can’t even poo without them!

I know that right now, you really want to be a cheerleader for football rather than for wrestling, but know that you will have AMAZING memories from three seasons spent with the wrestling team and your fellow cheerleaders. You don’t even like football {and wrestling is actually pretty cool}. Plus wrestlers make way better high school boyfriends than football players do.

Stay away from that dark, handsome cowboy you’ll meet right before you turn 23. Yes, he’ll look amazing in his cowboy hat and Wranglers, and you may think you have great chemistry, but he’ll break your heart as many times as you let me. {And believe me, that will be A LOT.} He is not the One. You may think he is the One, you may want him to be the One, but be thankful that he isn’t. You will be a million times happier and life will be much more enjoyable without him in it. And if you do find yourself in a relationship with him, for goodness sake, don’t be silly enough to buy a house with him! Nothing good will come of that!

Enjoy life. Enjoy high school and college. Don’t be in such a hurry to grow up, and don’t spend so many hours in front of the mirror wishing your legs were a little bit thinner or that your skin wasn’t so pale. Treasure your relationships with your girlfriends, and don’t spend so much time worrying about boys. I don’t want to tell you too much about how life will turn out ~ not knowing is half the fun ~ but I will leave you with this little tidbit: you already know the boy who will turn out to be the love of your life. And he’s not that scrawny little Mexican who wrestles at 115.

Good luck, and remember to enjoy each day, each week, each year. Time flies by so fast, and before you know it, you’ll be me!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Job Update

I just wanted to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers last week regarding Nate's job interview, and thought I'd offer up a little update. The interview went well, and Nate was asked to come back for a second interview today. He thought about the position, and we discussed the impact it would have on us and our relationship, and he decided not to pursue it and ended up canceling his interview. It turns out that the available position is part-time to start, 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm five nights a week. After months as a part-time instructor, he could get bumped to full-time, which would be noon to 10:00 pm four or five nights a week. As I work 7 to 4, those hours would mean we would see each other just in passing during the week, and that's not enough for us. And it would mean we'd probably have to give up Argentine Tango (our classes are during the week), which is something neither of us want to do. Plus, the studio was really looking for someone who has a desire to be a dance instructor for a career, and while Nate enjoys dancing and teaching, he doesn't see himself doing both for years and years.

And so the search continues. We both remain thankful that Nate is eligible to collect unemployment, and that he will be able to apply for an extension if it runs out before he is able to find something more suitable. I will be sure to keep you all posted on how the search is going. :o)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Dear Someone ~ To Our Economy

It's Thursday, and time for Dear Someone with ShortMama. Stop on by her blog to read more letters and to join in the fun.

Dear Crappy Economy,

Enough is enough. You have made us all suffer for far too long, and I think it’s high time you start to make some improvements. We are all sick and tired of living in a state of fear about what the future may hold ~ sick and tired of worrying that we may lose our jobs if we are fortunate enough to still have the, sick and tired of worrying that we will never find another job if we are among those who have been laid off during these difficult times.

You are causing a strain in my relationship with Nate and are making it nearly impossible for us to move forward with our relationship and achieve our goals for the future. Because of you, he has been out of work since April. Because of you, my once~happy~go~lucky boyfriend has become somewhat withdrawn and depressed. Because of you, we can’t even think about planning a weekend away or mini~vacation. And we desperately need to get away, even for just a night or two. Because of you, my left hand remains ringless and I fear that we will never have the money to start the wedding venue that is a big part of our future dreams. In case you didn’t know, I will be turning THIRTY next year, and it is just about time for me to get married and start having babies. YOU are making it very difficult for this to happen.

That being said, I expect to see some positive changes soon. Or else.

A concerned {and suffering} citizen

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I Think I May Be the Last Person in BlogLand to Jump on the “Target is Fabulous” Train…

But I am on board now.

I have gotten some absolutely adorable sweaters and dresses at Target over the past month, and cannot believe that it took me so long to find this fabulous source for cute new clothes! I found no less than three fun summery dresses on the clearance racks for around $10 each, and have bought more sweaters than I care to admit ~ how can you not when they’re only $14?!? {I am a huge sweater junkie ~ I just always feel so snuggly and warm when I’m bundled up in a sweater. Pulling out my sweaters each fall is by far my favorite ritual of the season.} And I love that I am buying Mossimo brand clothing again ~ Mossimo was one of the “cool” brands to wear when I was in junior high and high school, and I think it’s hilarious that the line is now available at Target. {And at much cheaper prices, I might add ~ I had a pair of Mossimo jeans back in the day that I’m sure were no less than $50 or $60.}

I haven’t tried on any jeans or pants yet, but I’m about due for some new work pants and can always use new jeans, so spending some time in the dressing room trying on some different styles is definitely on the agenda for our next trip to Target. I can say that I probably won’t be buying shoes there though ~ my short, fat feet are difficult to fit, and I haven’t had much luck in the past at Target.

I’ve also found great deals on food, hair products, and workout videos there. And who doesn’t love the fun $1 bins that are right there when you walk into the store?!? The only thing the store is missing is a craft section ~ if they add that at some point, they will definitely become the most perfect store ever in my eyes!

What about you? Are you a Target shopper?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Prayer Request

I haven't said much about this, but Nate lost his job in April right before we moved and he hasn't had a lot of luck finding something new. He's going in today to apply/interview at Arthur Murray for a position as a dance instructor. I know that he would be amazing at this job, and we really need for him to find something soon, so this could be perfect. If you get a chance, please say a little prayer for him at noon that the application and interview goes well.

Thank you, and happy Tuesday!

UPDATE: It turned out that today was just an application day ~ Nate got that all taken care of and is scheduled for an interview on Thursday at noon. Fingers crossed that it goes well!

Monday, September 28, 2009

I Found the Perfect Wedding Dress!

Now I'm just waiting on Nate to propose!

I have subscriptions to multiple bridal magazines, and use the excuse that I need them for "business purposes" to justify the 3+ magazines that arrive in our mailbox every month. In truth, I like to look at them to get ideas for my own wedding that I hope and pray will happen sometime in the near~ish future.

I found this dress in the most recent arrival, Elegant Bride, and think that it is absolutely perfect. I always assumed that I would have to buy two dresses ~ one for the ceremony and another for the reception ~ so I would be able to dance comfortably {let's face it, poufy white dresses and Argentine Tango are not a fabulous mix} and then I came across this one. It's two dresses in one ~ you just remove the taffeta skirt and your fabulous wedding dress becomes a beautiful little lace number perfect for dancing! I'm in love!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Prayful Protest

I drive by our local Planned Parenthood multiple times a day on my way to and from work. {We live so close to my work that I am able to go home for lunch and spend time with Nate and Daisy.} To be honest, I don’t always pay much attention to my surroundings {other than the road, of course} while driving ~ I’m usually listening to an audiobook or talking on the phone to my mom ~ but I have taken notice of the small group of protestors that have been staked out in front of the pro-choice clinic lately.

The first protestor I noticed was a lone man holding up a sign that said “Praying to End Abortion.” Another time, I saw a group of women standing with their heads bowed in prayer facing the clinic entrance. I can’t say for sure whether the protestors are always so peaceful ~ for all I know, they heckle and harass every person who dares to enter the facility ~ but I can say that I think they are on the right track with their prayers.

I have always been pro~life. I feel that life begins at the moment of conception, and that an unborn child is just as precious and valuable as a newborn, toddler, or pre~schooler. I even volunteered at a pro~life pregnancy resource center for almost a year after graduating from college. {My work schedule and entrance into graduate school eventually made it difficult to continue the volunteer work and I had to quit.} But I feel that changing the law simply isn’t enough. Making abortion illegal won’t make it stop ~ it will just cause those who feel they have no other options to seek other methods of terminating their pregnancies.

What is needed is a change in the mindset of those who feel that abortion is okay, that no life is lost when a pregnancy is terminated. So while I may not physically join those outside the Everett, WA Planned Parenthood in their protest, I will join them in prayer ~ a prayer that all may come to value life, regardless of whether or not that life has been born.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Dear Someone ~ To the Piggies Who Use the Communal Kitchen at Work

I am so tired of being so busy ~ I haven't had any time to blog, and I barely have time to read my favorite blogs. But I did have time to join in ShortMama's Dear Someone this week ~ check out her blog to read more!

To the Piggies Who Use the Communal Kitchen at Work:

You may not realize it, but there are 28 of us who utilize the communal kitchen on the fourth floor of our building. It requires effort on the part of all of us to ensure that the kitchen remains clean and sanitary for everyone. With that in mind, here are a few points to remember about kitchen cleanliness:

~ Don’t spit in the sink.

~ If you use a paper cup for a quick drink of water, please take it back to your desk with you or throw it away. DO NOT put it back on the stack for the next person to use and share your germs.

~ If your soup spills or marinara explodes in the microwave, take a quick second to wipe up your mess so the microwave is clean and ready for the next person to use.

~ Please be sure to wash all reusable dishware after use ~ leaving it in the sink “to soak” {i.e., to be forgotten} makes it challenging for the rest of us to wash our own dishes.

~ If you happen to not eat all of your soup one day at lunch, find a Tupperware container to store the leftovers in. Don’t wrap up your bowl in a grocery store plastic bag and leave it in the fridge for days where it ultimately will spill and make a huge mess for the person who accidentally bumps it when trying to store their own leftovers.

~ If you are sick at your desk and throw up in your garbage can, rather than throwing your puke bag away in the kitchen garbage, please take it to the restroom for disposal.

~ Try to keep track of the items you have in the fridge. With 28 people storing lunches in it, space is very limited. And forgotten {and eventually rotten} items not only take up unnecessary space, but they also stink up the whole fridge.

~ If you spill water on the counter, grab a paper towel and mop it up. It’s not rocket science, people.

~ I’m not quite sure why you do this, but it really doesn’t make sense to open a packet of coffee and put it in a filter UNTIL YOU’RE ACTUALLY READY TO MAKE THE COFFEE. A coffee-filled filter has been on our small counter, taking up valuable space, for the last day and a half. I’m sure the coffee won’t taste fresh when you finally getting around to making it, and you are running the risk of one of the 27 other folks who use the kitchen spilling the loose coffee grounds everywhere. Not a fun mess to clean up, I am sure.

~ Finally, remember that your mother does not work here ~ you are responsible for cleaning up after yourself and leaving the kitchen in tip~top shape for the next user!

Please note that all of these “pointers” are based on events/behavior I have witnessed myself or heard second~hand from reliable sources. Yuck!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Favorite Thing of the Week ~ Catching Fire

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a “Favorite Thing of the Week” post, but I decided to do one this week, as I currently have a favorite thing that I just can’t get out of my head.

Months ago, I raved about the book, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Stephenie Meyer, the author of the Twilight series and The Host, recommended it on her website, and I was hooked within the first few pages. The second book of the trilogy, Catching Fire, came out on September 1st and I have pretty much been obsessed with it ever since. I’ve read the book twice and just started listening to the audiobook for the second time. I love it! I love the storyline, the characters, the suspense, the politics, and the cliffhanger that is even more frustrating this time around than with The Hunger Games. I even love the love triangle between Katniss, Peeta, and Gale {three of the main characters} that seems unlikely to ever be fully resolved. {And what’s crazy is that I’m not sure how I want it to resolve if it ever does ~ both Peeta and Gale seem perfect for Katniss, and I know that she love them both! So difficult!}

I know there are a lot of die~hard Twilight fans out there who may object to this next statement, but I truly feel that these books blow the Twilight series out of the water. There is simply no comparison. They are just SO MUCH MORE… If you haven’t checked The Hunger Games and Catching Fire out, run straight to the bookstore or log onto Amazon and buy them now. But be sure to clear your schedule before you start reading, because once you start, you won’t want to stop.

Have you read any good books lately? I love recommendations!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I Want My Body Back

More specifically, I want this body back.

I took this picture and sent it to Nate back in December 2007 while on a vacation in Maui. For the first time in years, I was happy with my body and felt 100% confident in a bikini. I even wore a WHITE BIKINI while on the trip! Nate and I officially got together a few days after I returned, and I soon discovered that loving an Italian means eating lots of pasta and participating in lots of family gatherings where food is the centerpiece of the event. The body I had in that picture quickly vanished!

The good news is that I’m only 8 to 10 pounds heavier {depending on the day} now than I was in
the picture. {And in case you’re wondering, 8 to 10 pounds on a 5’1 frame unfortunately makes a noticeable difference.} The bad news is that I’ve been trying to shed the extra pounds for the past year and a half with little to no luck. I think part of my problem is that my attempts have been half~hearted at best, but I am finally 100% fed up with being unhappy with how I look, getting frustrated when I get dressed because my clothes don’t fit as well as they used to, and wishing that I was thinner.

I have set multiple goals to lose the weight in time for a certain event ~ both of our trips to Vegas, my best friend’s wedding last October, summer, Nate’s brother’s wedding this past weekend. Apparently none of these events were motivation enough for me to completely jump on the weight loss train because I sure didn’t lose the weight in time for them. This time around, the only motivation I need is me. I’m going to lose the extra pounds because I want to, and because I will feel better about myself once I do, not because some big event is coming up.

So here are a few of the steps I’m going to take as I work to get my body back:

~ I am going to write down everything I eat. Having to acknowledge on paper what I have put in my mouth has helped keep me accountable in the past, and I am hopeful that it will work now.
~ I am committed to doing four days of cardio a week, in addition to Daisy’s daily walks. It might not always be easy to fit these workouts in with my schedule, but I won’t regret squeezing them in once I’ve reached my goals.
~ I am going to take things slow and will remain positive even if I have minor setbacks. I didn’t gain the weight in a day or a week, or even a month, and I can’t expect to lose it in that time.
~ I am going to provide weekly updates of my progress on my blog. I hope that this will keep me accountable and make it easier to stay on track.

Wish me luck!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Friend Makin’ Monday ~ Fall TV

This week for FMM, the lovely Amber has tasked us with sharing the fall TV shows we are just dying to see. As a self~professed TV junkie, I have quite a few shows I’m looking forward to…

~ House. One of our favorites. When we left House last season, he had just willingly entered a mental health facility after hallucinating that he and Cuddy finally got it on. What will happen next?!? Will a summer in the nut house have cured him of his addiction and hallucinations? Will he and Cuddy get together FOR REAL this season?

~ Dexter. Ah, America’s favorite serial killer. We don’t currently get Showtime, but I think it’s just about time to call the cable company and add it to our service. Dexter is going to be a dad! We can’t miss that!

~ Heroes. I’ll admit it ~ Heroes lost some of its previous charm last season. But I can’t help but hold out hope that the show will get back on track this season. It’s another one of our favorites, and I am not ashamed to admit that I have a bit of a crush on Sylar. He is so evil, I can’t help but love him!

~ Private Practice. I’ve found myself loving the Grey’s Anatomy spin~off a whole lot more than the original lately. The recurring dramas and ever~revolving game of musical beds has kinda gotten old. In fact, I don’t even have Grey’s Anatomy on my list ~ after being spoiled by the gossip columns and thus knowing exactly who dies and who lives after the season finale cliffhanger, I’m not really even looking forward to the new season. Especially with Ellen Pompeo’s maternity leave coming up. But I digress. I am very much looking forward to the return of Private Practice ~ I can’t wait to see what happens with Violet. That evil lady just can’t take her baby!

~ Brothers & Sisters. This is one of my shows that Nate absolutely can’t stand, especially with the Justin~Rebecca storyline. But I love it, and am anxiously awaiting its return.

~ Survivor. We have a tradition of watching Survivor with my parents ~ we usually spend Thursday nights for dinner and TV with them, and watch almost every episode of Survivor together. It’s a nice way to spend the last work night of the week, and who doesn’t love a home~cooked meal made by Mom?

~ Dollhouse. What can I say? I’m a bit of a Joss Whedon fan. Dollhouse is different {and honestly, how could a show in which the characters are rented out to the highest bidder and imprinted with the personality requested by said bidder not be?}. But I like it, and am glad to see it was renewed for a second season.

Which shows are you anxious to see?!?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Here’s to Hoping Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder…

I’ve been absent from the blogging world for awhile ~ mainly because I am no longer able to blog and leave comments during downtime at work due to our evil new WebMaster AND because I have been very busy in the evenings with garters and trying to keep Daisy entertained. I’m hoping to start blogging again on a regular basis soon, and in the meantime, thought I share some of my new garter creations.

And my absolute favorite ~

I hope everyone is having a great week!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Friend Makin' Monday ~ 20 Questions

I'm still having a bit of a bloggy brain fart, but had no problem answering the questions posed by Amber for this week's FMM! So without further ado...
{Please pardon the spacing on some of my questions ~ Blogger is being stupid and I can't seem to fix it!}

1. Do you cook every night?
Oh this is funny. I don’t cook at all. I am fortunate to live with a fabulous cook who doesn’t mind making dinner every night as long as I do the dishes. Works out pretty well for me ~ I get to eat delicious Italian cuisine almost every night and only have to spend a minimal amount of time in the kitchen.

2. What kind of laundry detergent do you use & why?
Tide powder for our regular laundry, probably because it’s what my mom used, and Woolite for the delicates, again because it’s what my mom always bought.

3. Do you do laundry every day or loads at a time?
Loads at a time. Usually two or three, depending on how ambitious I feel.

4. How often do you eat out per week?
Too much. Usually two or three times at least.

5. Where do you usually eat out?
Jack in the Box, any number of the yummy teriyaki restaurants in our area, Applebee’s, Olive Garden

6. What is your favorite retail store?
The Limited & Express

7. What’s your favorite thing to drink?
Cranberry-Pomegranate Crystal Light

8. Do you take vitamins? What kind?
Nate and I just started taking adult gummy vitamins last week!

9. What percentage of the household chores to you do?
I do all of the chores except for the cooking and the garbage (most of the time). It probably ends up being about 50-50 when you consider the time that Nate spends cooking vs. the time I spend doing everything else.

10. Do your children do chores? {Or will they, did they, etc}
No kids yet, but when I have them, they will do chores!

11. Do you go to church?
I wish. We haven’t been able to find a place we both like, but I am hopeful that we will eventually.
12. Do you have a housework schedule?

13. Do you keep a working budget?
Not really, but every payday, I divide up my paycheck to various accounts {as a bank employee, I have accounts for everything ~ bills, my student loan payments, savings, gifts, wedding fund} ~ whatever is left over when that is done is what I have to spend on food and other extras for that pay period.
14. What do you do at night as a family?
We eat dinner together every night, watch TV or a movie, take Argentine tango classes, visit other family, and walk Daisy

15. How do you prepare yourself for a new week?
Nothing really, just enjoy the weekend as much as I can.

16. What do your mornings look like?
Nothing too crazy ~ I get up between 6:05 and 6:10, take Daisy potty if she looks like she needs to go, get in the shower, do my hair and makeup, get dressed, brush my teeth, and head out the door so I’m at work by 7ish. {I’m very lucky ~ work is less than two miles from home.}
17. What time do you get up in the mornings?
The alarm goes off at 5:45 but I usually hit “snooze” until 6:05 or 6:10.

18. What time do you go to bed at night?

19. How do you manage all of the paperwork that floods into your household? {bills, school work, magazines, ads, etc}
I put the bills to be paid in a divider that we keep on the counter and try to recycle everything else as quickly as I can to cut down on the clutter.

20. How do you keep your household organized? {calendars, charts, etc}
I’m pretty good at keeping track of everything in my head. Although that will probably change once we add kids to the mix.

Happy FMM!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Few Fun Awards!

I have gotten several awards over the past few months and for whatever reason, I haven’t taken the time to “accept” them until now. I’m a horrible bloggy friend, I know! I promise to try to be better from here on out!

The first award ~ The Love Ya Award ~ is from my best bloggy friend, Mrs. Soup. We’ve bonded over our shared love of life in the Pacific Northwest, our history of dance, our love of books, and too many other similarities we’ve discovered to list here. If you haven’t visited her adorable blog yet, get on over there and say hi. She is fabulous, and she has the cutest little daughter who she posts pictures of on a daily basis!

The “Love Ya” Award states: These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.

Mrs. Soup {I know it’s cheesy to give the award back to the one who awarded it, but I can’t help it. I love Mrs. Soup!}

Vivienne @
The V Spot

Amber @ {aefilkins}

Lins @ Goodbye, Martha

Christy @ Pop Rocks for Breakfast

Tanielle @ The Polka Dot Daisy

Xazmin @ This Is The Year

Becca @ The Texas Darlings

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Mrs. Soup also gave me this award:

I’m suppose to list 5 obsessions I have and then tag 5 others.

1. My beautiful little puppy, Daisy. Yes, I know she has four legs and a tail, but I adore her just about as much as I would a child. I didn’t think it was possible to love an animal this much, especially one who can be such a handful! Last week, she actually peed on the living room floor in protest when I refused to share my ice cream cone with her!

2. Ribbon. This comes as no surprise to anyone who reads my blog regularly. I LOVE ribbon, and have a little bit of a problem when it comes to purchasing it. I can’t stop. Boxes of beautiful ribbon in new colors and patterns arrive at our house several times a week. I try to pretend that I don’t know WHY these companies keep sending me ribbon, but Nate stopped falling for that long ago. At least I have a fabulous selection for garter~making!

3. Growing my garter business. I have dreams of one day making garters and other wedding accessories full~time. I would love to be my own boss and support myself by doing something I love. Garters are almost always on my mind ~ I am constantly thinking of new ideas for garters and ways I can increase my sales as I inch closer and closer to earning a decent living from my little business.

4. My iPod. I have it with me at all times, and panic if I temporarily misplace it. Life at work is pretty lonely for me ~ I am on the opposite end of the floor as the rest of my department and don’t get a lot of human interaction throughout the day. To combat this, I listen to audiobooks while I work. I haven’t worked a day without my iPod in four years, and have even driven home to get it after discovering that it didn’t make its way back into my purse after being used at home. The idea of sitting in my quiet little office with no kind voice reading to me from my iPod makes me shutter!

5. Getting married. I am OBSESSED with tying the knot. Probably because I am rapidly approaching 30 and still have a ringless left hand. And I’m sure working on wedding garters every day and attending multiple weddings a year with Nate while he DJ’s doesn’t help. I cannot wait to make my own wedding preparations, to have my dad walk me down the aisle, and to start wedded life with the man of my dreams.

I would like to give this award to:

Tina @ Bitter Sweet Moments

JenJen @ Tatertots and Jello

Becca @ The Texas Darlings

J.J. @ I'd Rather Be Laughing

JennyKate @ JennyKate's Spot

I still have one more award {this one is from the lovely Miss Tina @ Bitter Sweet Moments} to accept and pass on, but I am holding off on that one until next week.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful week!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Did You Know My Boyfriend is a Fabulous Photographer?

Just feeling the need to brag. Nate's taken some amazing pictures lately and I'm so proud of his work. You can check out his work at Sado Photography. He also takes all of my garter pictures {without complaint!} ~ it is great having a photographer in the family!

On a side note, I miss all my bloggy friends so much. Wedding season is in full swing and I'm up to my ears in garter orders. That, combined with the fact that I can no longer log into Blogger or even visit a website with "blogspot" in the address at work, has made it hard to get caught up on my favorite blogs. I'm sorry for the neglect and hope things slow down just a little bit soon!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Getting My Butt Back in Gear

For reasons that as yet remain unknown to me, I have completely fallen off the healthy living wagon over the past few months. I have had little to no desire to work out or attempt to eat healthy, despite the moans and groans I make every time I walk past a mirror in my underwear and see that my butt has not gotten any smaller and my thighs have gained another dimple or two.

I did get back to Pilates this week and started eating salads again for lunch, but my attempt to reestablish a healthier lifestyle has been less than wholehearted. But I am pleased to announce that that is all about to change! Nate’s brother, Johnny, and his fiancĂ© are getting married in four short weeks from today, and I am determined to lose five pounds and tone up by then. Weddings have been particularly hard for me lately, probably because of my strong desire to have one of my own, and I’m anticipating that this one will be no different, especially considering that Johnny’s bride shares my first name and thus will be claiming my {potential} married name before I can. Don’t get me wrong, I love them both and am excited to participate in their upcoming nuptials, but I am not afraid to admit that jealousy is one of my faults. But I think that the day will be so much more enjoyable for me if I look and feel fabulous, and one way of ensuring that that happens is to get my butt back in gear!

No more random snacking, no more delicious, fatty poppyseed dressing on every salad {let’s be honest ~ adding fatty dressing to your salad kinda defeats the whole purpose of the salad regardless of how yummy it is}, and no more lazy nights on the couch. I have four weeks to get some definite results and I am not going to disappoint myself!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

My Embroidery Machine is Finally Out of the Box!

Just eighteen short days after its purchase, my embroidery machine made its way out of the box. I took a user’s class last week, and am pleased to announce that I can thread my machine, wind a bobbin, AND embroider words on satin ribbon! We’ve been really busy with the wedding last weekend and I’ve been working hard to get caught up on garter orders, so I haven’t had time since my class to play around with the machine since the class, but it feels great to have the machine actually out of its box and know how to use it. I think the monogramming itself is going to be pretty easy ~ once you have the ribbon or whatever it is you’re embroidering on in place and the pattern you want programmed in, all you have to do is hit the start button and the machine does the rest. That being said, I think the trickiest part is going to be getting the machine and ribbon all lined up correctly so the embroidery ends up where I want it. Hopefully that won’t be nearly as difficult as I expect and I will soon be on my way to making monogrammed garters and ring pillows!

My machine came with five rather boring fonts, but lucky for me, there are tons and tons of gorgeous monogramming designs available for download on the Internet. Here are several of my favorites ~ which do you like best?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

My Boyfriend, AKA Survivorman~in~the~Making

Nate and his brothers {he has one who’s 14 months older and another who is 7 ½ years younger} have a great relationship and love to spend time with one another. They go paintballing several times a month together, and have been known to spend hours outside in the snow building an igloo. It’s so much fun to watch the three of them together ~ they turn into little boys whenever they get together, and really have the kind of relationship that every mother dreams her children will have.

For some time now, the three brothers have been talking about doing a survival expedition, ala Survivorman or Man vs. Wild, somewhere in the forest in our area. The girlfriends {and Nate’s mom} figured {and hoped!} that the little trip our boys had planned would never come to fruition. Alas, we were wrong. The boys are leaving on their little adventure Thursday afternoon and plan to return sometime Saturday. They will be embarking with only the supplies they would have on a day hike, and plan to “live off the land.” Each boy is bringing a video camera so we will all be able to watch footage of their expedition when the return. Fingers crossed that they manage to avoid eating poisonous berries and are able to catch at least a fish or two so they don’t waste away to nothing out in the woods. I have a feeling they will be returning very hungry and very ready to sleep in a soft, warm bed…

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Trying My Hand at Wedding Ceremony Coordination

Since Nate and I started dating a year and a half ago, I have accompanied him to his disc jockey gigs, which have primarily been wedding ceremonies and receptions. I love getting to spend the extra time with Nate, but to be perfectly honest, wedding receptions can be kinda boring if you don't know the bride, groom or any of the guests AND you aren't allowed to get up and dance when the good dance music is playing. So we did a little brain~storming and came up with a way that I could potentially be kept occupied at an event ~ we started offering day~of reception coordination. The idea was that I would be on hand to make sure that the reception proceeded in a timely fashion and that everyone was where they needed to be for all the important events. We thought it was a great service to offer ~ usually a family member or friend is delegated to this task, but if we could take responsibility for it, we could ensure that all the guests were able to enjoy the event as stress~free as possible. I considered venturing into wedding planning, but decided that day~of coordination was the best way to go as I can have a short fuse sometimes and don't exactly have the patience to deal with bridezillas during the entire wedding preparation process.

Several months ago, we met with an adorable couple who happened to be the first bride and groom who wanted to use our new service. But in addition to coordinating the reception, they also wanted me to coordinate the ceremony. {Oddly enough, they didn't seem too concerned with the fact that I've never done this before! I think they really just wanted someone outside the family to take a leadership roll at the rehearsal and before the ceremony, and help make sure that everything goes smoothly.} Their wedding is this weekend and while I'm a little nervous about it, I'm also pretty excited. I've been researching the best ways to conduct a ceremony rehearsal online, and I think I'm actually ready!

The wedding should be a lot of fun ~ the bride is Canadian and the groom is American, and they're getting married at the Peace Arch, which rests on the exact U.S./Canadian border, and happens to be where the couple met for the first time. I don't know that I've been to an outdoor wedding and reception since my uncle got married in 1986 {they're somewhat rare here in Washington as the weather cannot be trusted to cooperate} but we've had beautiful, rain~free weather for weeks, so hopefully we'll all stay dry. It's been so hot though ~ I hope we don't melt!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Darn You, Stupid WebMaster

I am only slightly ashamed to admit that I do a teeny bit of blogging while at work. Or at least I did until this week. Our I.T. department has tightened up the reins on what sites are deemed inappropriate for viewing on work time, and unfortunately for me, Blogger and Yahoo Mail are among those sites that our WebMaster now blocks. {Oddly enough, Twitter and YouTube, which were previously unavailable, can now be viewed.} No more checking and responding to personal and garter~related email throughout the day. No more logging onto Blogger to check out what my favorite bloggers are saying when I have a few minutes of down time, or posting a new post that I worked on during my break. I can't even leave blog comments using my Google username! I did just figure out that I can still comment on Blogspot blogs using just my name and URL {so if my comments look different now, that's why} , which is better than nothing, but I'm still bummed out about the whole thing. Stupid, stupid WebMaster. I don't like you at all.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Feeling Like I Can Call Myself a Dancer Again

I think we all have labels that we give ourselves {or that others give us} that serve to describe or identify us ~ mother, sister, daughter, wife, friend, artist, crafter, animal lover, blogger, etc. The list goes on and on. I have always thought of myself as: daughter, friend, dancer, crafter, book worm, collecter of yarn and ribbon, cat lover; recently I've even added two "labels" I never thought would apply to me: small business owner and dog person. But for the past several years, I've questioned whether I could continue to label myself as a dancer considering that I very rarely make it out dancing despite the fact that I miss it more than anything and that I am my happiest on the dance floor.

As I mentioned a few months ago, Nate and I started taking Argentine Tango classes. Last night was the conclusion of our second four~week session; after class, we attended our second milonga {which is an all-tango dance party}. While we were dancing at the party {and feeling pretty good about ourselves and our progress, I might add ~ we're getting pretty darn good!}, it finally struck me that not only can I definitely call myself a dancer again, but I AM a dancer again {or still... whichever way you want to look at it}. And that feels fabulous. It's great to be doing something I love with someone I love, and I am happy happy happy.

I may still be missing my bloggy mojo, but my dancing mojo is definitely back! Now I just have to decide which of these pairs of gorgeous tango shoes I need to add to my dance shoe collection...

*** UPDATE *** I accidently posted two pictures of the animal print shoes with black soles, which Becca so kindly pointed out ~ I must really like those ones! I meant to include this pair in my original post. I think I may be a big fan of animal print! Not overly practical, but so fun!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Feeling Blah

I've been suffering from a case of the Bloggy Blahs lately. I have been tagged, given an award, have a book I want to write a recommendation on, and have several ideas for posts, but I just can't motivate myself to do any of it! So my blog and I have decided to take a break during which we hope to get our bloggy mojo back. With any luck, we'll be back next week!

Friday, July 17, 2009

It Must Be Wedding Season Because I am a Busy Busy Girl

Just wanted to wish everyone a fabulous weekend and offer a little explanation as to why I haven't had a Fabulous Finds Friday or Friday Confessions post the past few weeks. Wedding season is in full swing and almost every free moment I get is spent on garters. I'm excited that things are going so well ~ I've already had a record~earning month and we still have two more weeks of July! ~ but have definitely had a lot less "Heather" time lately and have yet to open up the box my new embroidery machine came in. Hopefully I can squeeze in an hour or two of play time with it this weekend and try my hand at a little monogramming.

I do want to share a little lesson I learned this week ~ if you have a puppy known for her stinky farts, you can TOTALLY pass your SBD's off on her!

Enjoy the sun this weekend!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I Think Daisy Needs a Friend...

I just discovered that both of Daisy's brothers, Ultra and Uzi, are still available. {I can only get one of their pictures to save ~ click here to view Uzi.} Wish me luck convincing Nate that we need to bring one {or both!} of them home!

Here's Ultra ~ isn't he adorable?!?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Does Jack in the Box Have the Best Commercials or What?

A few months ago, Nate fell in love with Jack in the Box's mini sirloin burger commercial. He constantly sang the little song, and would always pause the DVR while fast~forwarding through commercial breaks to watch it when it came on.

Now the folks at Jack in the Box have given us a new "mini" commercial ~ this one's for mini buffalo ranch chicken sandwiches, and I'm in love with it. The little dance moves are just fabulous!

Nate thinks the other one is better because it has a catchier tune and better backdrops, but I think the buffalo chicken moves just can't be beat! When I watch the commerical, I want to get up and do the mini buffalo ranch chicken sandwich dance too! What do you all think? Which is better ~ mini sirloin or mini buffalo ranch?

My 30 Session Pilates Challenge ~ An Update

Remember back in May when I decided to challenge myself to 30 sessions of Pilates to see what the results would be? Yeah, I barely remember it too… I was so excited about it and was sure that I would see fabulous results at the end of the 30 sessions. I got out my little yoga mat 4+ times a week and LOVED updating my little Pilates Challenge counter on my blog’s sidebar after each session. And then my Pilates momentum slowed down. My excitement started to fade. Daisy arrived at our house and decided she didn’t like Mommy laying on the floor on a rubber mat kicking her legs all about and began to attack me whenever I’d try to get a little Pilates in. Wedding season hit my business and I began to get more garter orders than I could keep up with. And yesterday, I realized that my little Pilates Challenge counter had been stuck at “19 Sessions Completed, 11 to Go” for weeks.

So I got my yoga mat out last night, stuck Daisy in her kennel with her favorite chicken jerky treats from Trader Joe’s, and got my Pilates on again. It felt great. I considered starting my 30 Session Pilates challenge over as I hadn’t been as faithful about it as I’d like to be, but decided that I didn’t want to discount the sessions I’d already completed. Instead, I’m turning it into a 50 Session Pilates Challenge {20 sessions already completed with another 30 to go} and will share my beginning and halfway results here after completing Session 25.

Here’s to hoping I can stay motivated and stick with it this time around!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I Got My Embroidery Machine!

I just want to thank everyone for their opinions and words of encouragement last week as I was contemplating buying an embroidery machine. A sewing machine store in our area was having a Christmas in July sale, and I was able to get a great deal on Brother’s LB6770 PRW.

I am so so excited to put my new machine to good use! Monogrammed garters, ring pillows, table runners ~ the possibilities are endless! Unfortunately, the machine is still in the box for the moment as I madly finish up my garter orders from last week ~ I knew if I set it up and tried to figure out all its bells and whistles, I would get way too distracted to get done what needs to get done this week. Hopefully I’ll have time over the weekend!

In other exciting news, the ladies at the sewing machine shop had tons of new garter ideas for me and they introduced me to some sewing machine feet that will make life so much easier once I learn to use them. Like the elastic foot, which will allow me to sew the elastic directly onto my fabric instead of having to make a casing which I thread the elastic through using safety pins.

And the ruffler foot.

And the best foot of all ~ the narrow hem foot. This foot does all the hemming work for you ~ no more pinning and ironing and pinning and ironing to get a nice, narrow hem. I’m really excited about this one because it means I can start using novelty fabrics instead of just ribbon for my garters. I’ve shied away from making garters out of fabric up until now because I figured it would take too darn long to do the hemming. But not anymore!

Can you tell I’m excited?!? And I would LOVE LOVE LOVE any suggestions you might have for other monogrammed wedding items I might be able to make!


Monday, July 13, 2009

Friend Makin' Mondays ~ A Few of My Favorite Things...

This week’s Friend Makin’ Monday is being hosted by Dandelion Wishes’ Mamarazzi. She has asked us to share 5-10 of our favorite things!

~ Argentine Tango. Nate and I started taking Argentine Tango classes six weeks ago and we are hooked. We LOVE it! {And apparently we’re pretty good ~ our instructor asked if she can choreograph a piece for us to perform at an upcoming show at the studio!}

~ Chocolate. I am a total chocoholic. I don’t think I’ve ever gone a day without eating at least just a little bit. Every year when Lent rolls around, I consider giving chocolate up for 40 days, but I know I just don’t have the will power to resist it for that long!

~ Big Love. This show is my all~time favorite. Seriously, it’s worth getting HBO just so you can watch it. I love the spin it puts on polygamy, and the cast is fabulous.

~ Daisy. We brought our puppy home a little over three weeks ago, and we both adore her. She is so sweet {and incredibly stubborn!}, and even though we’ve only had her a short time, I can’t imagine life without her. {The only new picture I have of her is one I took last night with my phone ~ it’s all grainy, but you can still see how cute she is!}

~ Ribbon. As I’ve mentioned before, I am a total ribbon addict. I have rolls and rolls and rolls of it {which I can easily justify because I need it for my garter business, which by the way, has been doing really well this month}. I can barely go a week without making a ribbon purchase. Good thing I have my own sewing room and plenty of storage to house all of it!

~ Cherry Pomegranate Crystal Light. It’s delicious, and makes it so much easier for me to consume my daily intake of water.

~ Saturday. My favorite day of the week. Sleeping in, no work, and Monday seems like it’s so far away. In a perfect world, every day would be Saturday!

Happy FFM!