April 30, 2010

fixation friday: galric


Let's talk about todays fixation. It's a good one as far as things I obsess about. *BURP* Excuse me. Sorry, I thought of this fixation because of my burps today. Seriously they're delicious! I had left overs from dinner last night. I made my own version of Rachel Ray's Roasted Caprese Spaghetti. I make mine with chicken added (M has to have meat) and bow-tie pasta but it's SO delicious and makes for great left overs. The reason I'm telling you all this is that I went heavy on the garlic, I always do. Rachel says use 2 cloves, I think I cut up 6 last night and used one to rub on the garlic bread after it came out of the oven. And now as a result I have the most delicious garlic burps ever. Sexy right?

via bing

My obsession with garlic started really only about five years ago. When I first started learning to cook. I've always loved the flavor in people's dishes but, this was the first time I had ever encountered fresh garlic. Usually I would just use a dried garlic salt, pepper or powder. I still keep these staples in my kitchen. They are great for putting on hamburgers and sometimes for extra zing to sauces. Now however, I want the fresh stuff. The more the better. I'm not lying when I say if a recipe calls for 2-3 garlic cloves I will usually use no less than 5-6. So if you don't like garlic and you come to my house for dinner - warn me ahead of time. Otherwise you'll probably not be pleased. Or maybe you'll turn over a new leaf and love it as much as I do.

I love the smell of garlic. LOVE IT. Be it when I'm chopping it up for a dish or when it hits the hot olive oil in a pan. HEAVEN! Pair that with onions and I drool the minute I smell it. I'm also guilty of loving how my hands smell after chopping garlic. Even after washing my hands the smell will linger for a while. I totally do my best Mary Katherine Gallgher impression and smelly my fingers like THISSSSS. 


via bing

Strange side note: Onions don't make me cry, I wear contacts so it doesn't bug me, however I sneeze like crazy when I cut them, it sucks.

Back to the good stuff, GARLIC! I've tried to eat garlic raw but I'm not that powerful of a woman. WOW talk about bite! I love roasted garlic spread on warm bread and I love it when it's been cooked but I can't deal with raw garlic unless it's been grated into small bits and put into say a salad dressing, ground in hamburger meat or something like that.

I always have at least 3 heads of garlic on hand. Not sure why three is the lucky number, but it seems like most meals I make call for garlic and if they don't I find a way to work the ingredient into them. I'm thankful that M enjoys garlic as much as I do, otherwise I'd be sunk.

With all this garlic love, I often wonder if I'd be safe from vampires. As much as I eat this stuff I would think they'd smell me from a mile away. Oddly I've never had a friend tell me I smell like garlic - unless I burp of course. If I continued to consume garlic would I be able to be BFFFFFFF's with Buffy? Because I'm pretty positive that would rock - aside from the morbid part.

via bing • I love this comic by the way!

Other than the fact that I'm a tough cookie I think my garlic breathe would be a great weapon to help Buffy, Willow, Xander and the rest of the remaining Scoobies fight evil. I can read tarot cards, I'm sure Willow could teach me some magic - or better yet if Xander can go all commando without super powers, why can't I? Yes, I'm a huge dork and I think about these things - you're just now realizing this? Welcome to my world!

Then I thought about it and realized... OH CRAP. If I eat all this garlic I might even push away the good vampires like Angel and Spike. (Sorry to my Twilight loving friends - I could care less about Edward. It's just not my thing, but I have a question does garlic even effect the vampires of Twilight?) I would hate to send Spike into a tizzy that's for sure. Sorry Angel fans I've always been on Team Spike. I get a lot of shizz from my friend D because of this. She's all Team Angel - and I'm all Angel is 'the P' word! (think cat).


via bing • The scene that made me fall hard for Spike.

Now,  if only garlic would have made these guys run for the hills I'd be set!!! HOW CREEPY ARE THEY!?!?!?

via bing • The Gentlemen from Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Seriously people, I watched this episode of Buffy in college and I still had nightmares over these creepy ass, floating, heart and voice stealing monsters. Nightmares that were only out shinned by nightmares I had about Freddy after watching Nightmare on Elm Street for the first time in middle school. However it is my favorite all time Buffy episode, ever!

This is turning into a Buffy Fixation now, sorry... back to garlic. From what I can gather my serious fixation with garlic and my constant digestion of it is actually a good thing. It's good for your heart and gives plenty of flavor with minimal calories - so for me it's a win win. I have a long history of heart disease, high cholesterol and high blood pressure in my family so anything that helps my ticker and tastes this good is a bonus for me!

So I ask you - do you like garlic? Am I off my rocker because I'm so obsessed with it?

*BURP* Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to finish up my work day enjoying the delightful flavor that each burp brings me. Just so you know. I brushed my teeth after lunch, and I've chewed gum. I'm a total dragon lady bringing the garlic up from within right now. I probably bleed red and garlic scent, I'm convinced. Will I test it no. Will I continue to eat garlic and kill other with my breathe, yes. Thank you.

HAPPY WEEKEND EVERYONE!!! ox

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April 27, 2010

tickled tuesday: important women's health announcement


Today's Tickled Tuesday post comes to us via the seriously amazing, Melaine at My Sweet Savannah. She took a break from her regularly scheduled blogs about home decor to share this gem with her readers and I wanted to pass it on to you. Check out her original post here - and while you're at it, oogle over all the beautiful things she's posted. She rocks! Thank you again Melaine for tickling my funny bone.

Please ask yourself the following questions.
y/n ~Do you have feelings of inadequacy?
y/n~ Do you suffer from shyness?
y/n~ Do you sometimes wish you were more assertive?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, 
ask your doctor or pharmacist about Margaritas.

via bing

Margaritas are the safe, natural way to feel better and more confident about yourself and your actions.

Margaritas can help ease you out of your shyness and let you tell the world that you're ready and willing to do just about anything.

You will notice the benefits of Margaritas almost immediately and with a regimen of regular doses you can overcome any obstacles that prevent you from living the life you want to live.

Shyness and awkwardness will be a thing of the past and you will discover many talents you never knew you had.

Stop hiding and start living, with Margaritas.

YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Margaritas may not be right for everyone.
Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use Margaritas.
However, women who wouldn't mind nursing or becoming pregnant are encouraged to try it.

SIDE EFFECTS MAY INCLUDE:
Dizziness, Nausea, Vomiting, Incarceration, Erotic lustfulness, Loss of motor control, Loss of clothing, Loss of money, Loss of virginity {phew, no danger of that for me}, Table dancing, Headache, Dehydration,  Dry mouth, And a desire to sing Karaoke

WARNINGS:
The consumption of Margaritas may make you think you are whispering when you are not.

The consumption of Margaritas may cause you to tell your friends over and over again that you love them.

The consumption of Margaritas may cause you to think you can sing.

The consumption of Margaritas may make you think you can logically converse with members of the opposite sex without spitting.

Please share this with other women who may need Margaritas.

Note: If drinking makes you look as horrible as the following please limit your consumption of Margaritas to three or less. Thank you.

via bing

Who's ready for happy hour?!?!? 
Happy Tickled MARGARITA Tuesday, Ya'll!

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April 23, 2010

fixation friday: peanut better oreos



Todays Fixation Friday is a new obsession of mine. Last week M and I were grocery shopping and I got the huge urge for cookies. Needless to say I should have known that this urge meant one thing - Aunt Flo was on her way and I was not prepared. All the signs were there... I had pizza face, mood swings and a huge craving for chocolate. Needless to say the cookie isle is where I concentrated my focus and my dumb ass should have thought to grab tampons. This led to me heading home after the shopping trip, having to pee and promptly realizing that I had started my period. FML! I had just enough tampons to get me through the night, which meant I had to go to the store AGAIN and purchase more the next day. That really and truly grinds my gears! But I digress, this is a story about Peanut Butter Oreo fixation, NOT tampons, sorry to disappoint those of you waiting for the next tampon post.

Looking through the cookie isle took quite some time. M and I don't shop that department very often. Once in a blue moon actually. Well today folks the blue moon was on the rise and I was needing some serious chocolate satisfaction. I noticed that the cookie isle seems less stocked than it was when I was a teenager and could eat 10 lbs. of sweets without gaining a single pound. Less selection and less that seemed tasty to me. I used to be in love with Soft Batch cookies, but honestly once I read that you can have like 2 and it's over 100 calories I gave up on them. In all seriousness I'm not a big fan of Oreos - they always get stuck in your teeth and they aren't the right kind of chocolate to quench my cravings but, that changed last week. In the middle of the bajillion different Oreos to choose from sat a pack that read peanut butter filled. My heart raced. I haven't had a good chocolate cookie with peanut butter filling since the Keebler Elves got lazy and stopped making them. And let's be realistic none of them can compare to the ones the Girls Scouts sell - now those make me want to cry they are so good.


via bing • NOTE: The ones I purchased are NOT double stuffed


I grabbed the bag and declared that THESE were the cookies we would get. M looked at me disappointed and said something like "I really like regular Oreos better." My brain said "Tough shit, I'm buying these!"... but then I reasoned with my evil, inner only child and said to myself "Bitch don't be so rude, you love this guy, he pays half the rent and you should share." so instead I said to him in my outward voice "Well, if you really want those we can get them but I bet these will be good. How do you know if you don't like them, if you don't try them?" he agreed and all was well in the universe.

The rest of the trip was spent getting produce and other HEALTHY items for the house. Once we made it through the hell that is Wally World's check out and horrible driver parking lot USA we rushed home to enjoy the evening. I'd be lying if I said I waited until after dinner to try my new cookies. I actually opened them and ate a few while I put away the groceries. I have this horrible habit that when we come home with a bunch of great snacks or food - be it healthy or otherwise, I feel like I have to have one of everything, it's a horrible sickness. Thankfully I don't actually DO this, but it's a hard, hard urge to fight.

So there I am opening the package - which rocks because it reseals and you don't get gross cookies after 2 days. As I peeled back the wrapper I took a whiff of the cookies and I was immediately happy. One bite and ZOMG - HEAVEN! At least for me, the girl that really doesn't love Oreos was smitten with these. A sip of milk later and I had the perfect combo for a sweet snack.

Warning: 2 cookies is like 140 calories so if you're on a diet, watching your weight or strict on yourself with such things... DON'T purchase them unless you want to be a BFFFFF with your treadmill for a long time. This moment of weakness will lead to me taking my hips and buddah belly over to my elliptical and unleashing hell on myself for the next few weeks. Seriously.

Thankfully M loves these cookies too. I was worried that evil bag would only get eaten by me. We bought one more package on Wednesday but after this one is finished I'm going to have to STOP the insanity. Especially if I ever truly want to lose weight. I can't bring this stuff into the house if I'm serious about weight loss. Moderation sort of goes out the window with me when I have PMS. It's a known issue and I'm working on it.

But... if you love sweets and have the best metabolism on earth (and I will begin hating you, now!), then go for it.. eat up! They aren't Reese's Cups PB&Chocolate, but they are pretty damn good, IMO!

So there's my Friday Fixation - I'm ready to get home to my cookies and have a treat already and it's not even lunchtime yet! Actually it will probably be more like rush home for a tasty vodka beverage and relax on the front porch kind of night. I'm such a Southern Belle wanna be!

What's your favorite guilty snack pleasure?
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April 22, 2010

go planet it's yo earth day!

Today is Earth Day - YAY! And if you already didn't feel I was hippie enough from my 4.20 post earlier this week, then maybe this will seal the deal for you. To be honest I'm not a hippie in any sense of the word. OK maybe that's a lie. I own a pair of birks (yep, birth control shoes) that I've been rocking since I was a sophomore in high school (circa 1992 - it was my surfer boy crush phase that I never really grew out of, Monique you will appreciate that), and I have owned at least two different tie-dyed shirts in my life, maybe even 4? And yes, one was a Grateful Dead shirt. I still wish I had that GD shirt (the other was a $5.00 DMB shirt purchased after a show in Florida - I currently use it as the t-shirt I wear while dying my hair at home). Don't judge me DMB fans, I gave up on him after he got married. It had nothing to do with his bride, I think I just out grew his music - when he went all electric a part of me died. I still love his first three albums and listen to them from time to time.

via bing • We miss you Jerry! ox

Anydoobie, let's see, what else makes me 'hippie-ish' in others eyes... AH! I only wash my hair about twice a week. True story. I usually air dry it at night and curl it later, or I take time to blow it dry straight and that will last me quite a few days. I'm tempted to go for the whole "no poo" method but I haven't braved that yet. What else... hmmm, I love granola and have started to think about making my own and lately I've been trying this new way of thinking to eat as little pre-packaged food as possible.

via bing • NOM! These make me hungry!

Bottom line is I don't really think of myself as a hippie, maybe a neo-hippie. And for the record I don't have an issue with earth loving, do good people who love nature and the like - I guess you might call them tree huggers. LOVE them! As a joke I always say I could never be a hippie, first off, I absolutely hate the smell of patchouli and if I brought it into the house M would die, he hates it too. It's too over powering for me, however I do like most scents that smell of wood, earthy scents, who knows. (That being said I'm not prejudice - I know all hippie folks don't smell like patchouli or like it - just making jokes here, please don't take offense). I think M can tolerate my hair not being washed all the time, but I doubt he'd take kindly to me not bathing or being opposed to deodorant. We would probably have issues if it came to that. No worries here... hair is one thing... B.O. is quite a different thing.

Lately I've been doing my best to reduce the amount of products we bring into our house. I have restricted myself from purchasing new shampoos or lotions just because I think I need it, or the commercials on TV tell me I do. I can now confidently say I have only one set of shampoo and conditioner in the shower stall, 1 body wash, 1 bar of soap, a razor and some conditioner (coconut for shaving), a bottle of Head and Shoulders (for flaky days) and 2 type of face wash. One for exfoliation and one for dry days/zit days. Seriously for me, that is great. I used to rock at least 3 different combos of shampoo and conditioner. We never had a shower caddy big enough to hold it all. Now everything M and I use fits on one nice shower caddy. I've decided that once my shampoo and condition are finished I can buy new, not before then. I stopped being the Girl Scout girl (always be prepared) that always had to buy stuff before the bottle was finished, or in bulk - this usually led to a whole closet full of half used shampoo, conditioner, shower gels etc. This same method applies to my face lotion and eye creams. I have to scrap the jar empty before moving on. This has helped keep our closets and medicine cabinets clutter free and more money in my pocket. (read: to pay bills).

This thought process also flows over into the kitchen and with cleaning supplies. We currently have about 4-5 different bottles of Frebreeze air fresheners in our house. I can honestly say two of them are for holiday scents and I will save them until Thanksgiving and Christmas come again. I will not however purchase any more until the other 2 have been finished. Hey, poop smells we all know this... you must deal with it, at least in my house.

That being said same goes for the pantry. Each week I try really hard to raid the pantry to look for items I can use up to make not only my grocery bill cheaper but make sure to use up all that I can without waste. M and I used to be really horrible about wasting left overs. I've been trying to get better about that lately. Instead of eating out all week for lunch we eat at home - usually sandwiches but when we can we try to get the most out of each meal eating the left overs for lunch.

We took it upon ourselves this year to plant some vegetables, herbs and flowers in our yard. I'm happy to say that our pumpkin seeds are going nuts, we have a tomato plant with blooms on it and a pepper plant that is thriving. Add to that all our sprouts of wild flowers and our herb garden that's growing I'd have to say that's pretty green of us. I hate purchasing herbs at the grocery store. Either they give you too much in a bundle and you never use it all, leading to waste - HATE! Or you don't get enough and have to purchase 2 packages, thus leading to waste again - I HATE IT! So now it's nice to go outside, snip off some cilantro, basil or rosemary, just enough for my meal and know that I'm not wasting a single bit of expensive store purchased herbs. It feels good.

via bing • lil' herb garden of my dreams

I've tried to take on this mentality with my clothing as well. I know I don't need to purchase the latest trend, it's fun but in the end I am wasting money. I try to buy accordingly, classic items I know I will use for a few years that are timeless - and every once in a while I will splurg on shoes or something fun that brightens up my wardrobe, without going crazy. (I had my 20's to do that).  I'm an avid donator to places like the Salvation Army and Goodwill. When I get tired of something or I know it won't fit - I take it there to help out someone else, instead of tossing it and filling up landfills. Currently I have 3 bags full of clothing, some items still with tags that I will probably never need again. NEED being the key word. I'm sure the trend will sprout again and I'll wish I still had that glittered t-shirt with handcuffs on it (don't ask) but the bottom line is I won't NEED it. Need and want are two very different things - I've had to learn this through my 20's and now finally enforce it through my 30's.

Lastly, remember my long winded blog about aluminum water bottles? Well I still haven't found a new replacement for the current 2 that I have but I've been using them all day, everyday at work. M and I haven't purchased any bottled water at home in over 3 weeks. After reusing the last batch we bought a few times we disposed of them, but instead of buying more we just filled up a regular pitcher full of tap water and set it in the fridge. This has eliminated us from using a ton of ice for ice water and stopped us from creating more waste for the city dump. The water stays cool and while it's not as convenient for on the go as our old plastic bottle habit was - I really haven't noticed the issue. I have a sports bottle to fill up for working out and otherwise a glass works just as well.  I thought about buying a filtered water pitcher and then realized that it was SO expensive and I drink tap water everyday anyway - why bother filtering it right now, right? I've been drinking tap water for 33 years and I'm still kicking.

I got thinking about all this after reading Lora's great blog, Fever, about Earth Day. If you get a chance stop by and see her. She has some GREAT tips and homemade beauty ideas that I am really ready to try. 5 CENTS FOR ACNE CREAM - I'LL TAKE IT! Thank you for that girl!

What are you doing to celebrate earth day and to better this planet?

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April 20, 2010

tickled tuesday: it's 4.20 duuuudddee!


In honor of today, 4.20.2010, the day of all days for professional stoners. I'd like to take some time to recognize my favorite stoners of all time, from a few of my favorite movies/shows of all time. *I'd like to note that I am not a stoner, nor do I do drugs. I'm not saying I never have in my life, I'm just saying I don't currently take part in drug usage and don't plan to again anytime soon. That being said, it doesn't mean that stoners don't entertain me.  They do... a lot.

It took me about 10 minutes to form this list, and some help from M as well. But here goes. In no particular order my favorite cinematic pot heads of all time. (10 minutes and about 3 different additions since I started typing - there are a lot of great dope smoking funny peeps - I had to limit my list to cinema - otherwise I'd be here all day naming great people like Willie Nelson and such).

Let's start with the Godfathers of Movie Stoners
Cheech and Chong
I can't tell you how many times I've seen some of their
movies but seriously, I always giggle.
via bing

You can't have a stoner 'best of' without The Dude.
He's smoother than smooth and loves CCR - I can't hate that, not one bit.
via bing

Where would stoner movies be without the guys of Half Baked?
Brian, Thurgood & Scarface
They're the shit, B!

I also love the appearance of my fave funny girl Sarah Silverman's sister Laura Silverman in this movie too. P.S. Anyone that is clever enough to name their bongs is ace with me.
I name everything - my car, my phone, my plants (Usually the plants are named Robert. I'm not that original people, I mean really - I think stoners are entertaining - you see what you're working with right? two brain cells at best probably.)

via bing

Up next, everyone's favorite stoner from
Ridgemont High School, you guessed it...
Spicoli "Whoaaaa, gnarly!"
I still giggle when I think of Sean then and now.
(Note: I'm completely smitten with Judge's
aka Brad Hamilton's Boss shirt in this scene of the movie)
via bing

Let's hear it for the new stoners on the block
Dale Denton and Saul Silver 

Two of the cutest stoners around from Pineapple Express. This movie made me laugh my ass off - A special place in my heart also goes to Red their dealing buddy in this. I'm obsessed with Danny McBride, dude cracks me up!
via bing

Everyone's favorite misfit wanna be dealer and his BFFFFFFFF
Smokey and Craig from Friday
via bing
"Dayyyyyymmmmmmmmmnnnnnnn"

These next guys seriously hold a very special place in my heart. If you're not a Kevin Smith fan you might not get why I love them so much but seriously, a Kevin Smith movie without Jay and Silent Bob to me might as well be a movie with J. Lo... oh wait he already did that. Jersey Girl aside, I did enjoy that movie but there was no Jay or Bob which made it less Smith for me.

These are two of my favorite stoners. Jay and Silent Bob
via bing
"The whole world is against is Silent Bob, I swear to God!"

Just a few repeat offenders listed in here when they were bitty kiddies!
This show was canceled way too soon!
(Awww mini Dalton and Saul from Pineapple)
HUGE PUFFY HEARTS FOR JASON SEGEL.
*stickers n' ponies n' myspace.com*
The stoners of the cast of Freaks and Geeks
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Last but never, ever least in my heart are my two favorite stoners of all time. ALL TIME!!!! Many say this movie launched a ton of careers and I for one can't argue with that statement. Ladies n' Gents n' Stoners I present to you...

Slater and Wooderson, the two coolest stoners, IMO of all time!
via bing

It doesn't hurt that I absolutely love Dazed and Confused. But seriously Matthew makes one fine looking stoner, minus the lazy eye (sort of reminds me of Paris Hilton and she claims to be straight edge, whatever girl). And I love Slater. "Check you later!" Don't get me started on them killing off Rory Cochrane's (Slater of DandC) character on CSI Miami. I gave up on that show the minute that happened.

I hope you all have enjoyed my 4.20 presentation for the day. Whether you do drugs or not, these guys are pretty darn funny. If you don't get their humor, you might want to try lighting one up, just once. But **I'm not a pusher... I don't push people!

Happy 4.20 Everyone!!! TZZAOUUUU!


*Disclaimer: This post is not meant to endorse drug usage it's merely a fun way to discuss the day at hand. If you have an issue with this, please feel free to move on to the next post. Thank you!

** Seriously drugs are bad, mmmkay?
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April 16, 2010

fixation friday: the troops


Today's Fixation Friday is brought to you by Facebook. Today's fixation is a bit less fun and more serious. This morning I was greeted with a great message on facebook from my cousin. As you know he is in the military and is serving our country over seas. He has arrived to his base camp destination and is safe and sound and that makes me extremely happy. He seems to be in good spirits and turned all his focus to me and how I was doing, and what I was up to in his email. He even took time to ask me my opinions about the whole 'Big Ben' scandal.  Don't get me started on that... I'm still a bit disappointed in him and angry about the whole thing. Ben if you're reading this, get your ass out of the club and back to the gym and work off that extra weight - get your head in the game. We don't pay you to pick up chicks in bars and what not! {Salt, thank you for not ribbing me on this, seriously, thank you!} Both of my cousins as well as my aunt, uncle and my cousin's husband are all Steelers fans, this is where I get my Steeler Fever from, the Pennsylvania part of my blood. Oddly my father was born and raised in P.A. and yet he's a Redskins fan. I wasn't into football growing up so the Redskin burgundy and gold never transfered to me, much to my dad's displeasure I'm sure. I didn't get into football until I was probably a sophomore in high school. Funny side note: my cousin R and her husband (mentioned above) like the Steelers so much their cat's names are Pittsburgh and Steeler. Not what I'd choose for my cats but still, die hard. Anyfooseballdebil, Back to the topic at hand, it's too early for Football fixation.

I happily emailed my cousin, L back thanking him for all his services and for taking time to contact me to see how I was doing. I reminded him that I'm praying for him daily and that he's always on my mind. I thought of him last night while watching the SNL 2000's special on NBC. I cried during the 9/11 coverage. I'm so sad it happened but I'm glad that after all this time I'm still passionate about what happened, what people did to help and my heart aches for all the men and women lost in those tragic events and their families. I then started thinking about L, and how selfless he is. A father with two young daughters who are growing everyday. A husband with a wife left to forge ahead on her own in this time when he's away. Surrounded by friends and family she takes comfort in his messages and his phone calls and prays for him to return home safely to her, his girls, his family, his friends and his community. Not a day goes by that I don't fixate on his well being. I can only do as his wife and my family does and pray, and hope, and keep the faith that he will be home soon again, safely and sound.

I asked him in my replay message if he could tell a difference since the last times he had been where he is now (sorry for the lack of info, it's a safety issue, you understand right?) . I look forward to his reply. I'm interested to see how he feel things have changed from his point of view. I won't get into the politics of all of this, with the war etc., that would take ages. All I can do is hope that soon, my cousin can come home and all of our troops can do the same.

His wife recently gave me the mailing address to send him and his crew items and care packages. I was so happy so many of you expressed interest in being able to show you care. If you are still interested please email me at the address listed below my contact information and I'll send you that information. Please note that if I do not know you or talk to you on a regular basis I may not forward this information back to you. It's nothing personal but this is the troops' safety I'm concerned about.

Take some time today to reflect and think about our men and women in service. Not just the troops but the other's who help us everyday - Firefighters, Police Officers, Soldiers and all the other men and women that risk their lives everyday to make the world a little better for us. And while you're at it, say a little prayer for L and his family and for his safe return.

And when you're finished all that - remember it's FRIDAY! And you are blessed with the freedom to celebrate that. And when you raise your glass tonight at happy hour - stop for a moment, reflect again and toast to the men and women in the armed forces, their family support systems and your country and relish the delicious sip of your cocktail in their honor. *CHEERS*

via google

Happy Friday Everyone!!! 
AND GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!!
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April 14, 2010

ye ole store of the south.

It's a busy, busy day for me today but I wanted to take two minutes to recognize a small town wonder here where I live. My town is small but mighty. Every day the artistic culture is growing here and across the river. I think that having a large music history and a big name in the fashion industry from here and currently running his home office here helps. Billy Reid our hometown designer, was interviewed recently by GQ Magazine. I was just alerted on facebook by a fan page for our Main Street community here of this great little tid bit. The interview/article is about The 25 Best Vintage Stores In America on that list was The Ye Ole General Store.


Billy's mention's our little diamond in the rough store as a place he likes to visit to pull inspiration from in his fashion designs. I am pretty darn excited about this. This town is small, everyone knows everyone. I will be honest since I moved here I haven't visited this store. I used to work right next to it and passed by it everyday on my way back to my apartment. Now that we don't live downtown, we make it a point to try to get out to the local stores and show our support, as often as possible. This only happens maybe once every two months. We really would love to be a part of the 3/50 project, but sometimes it's just not in the budget so we do what we can to keep our local downtown buzzing with excitement when we can. I'm happy to say that a few people we've chatted with who own businesses downtown have nothing but great things to say. Our good friend owns a bar downtown and he says business is booming (everyone needs a fix right?) But many local clothing stores and places like that have been doing really well. We are starting to see an uplifting of the community and the whole downtown full of historic buildings is starting to get a facelift. This makes me happier than I could describe. No one wants to see a small community fail, or any community for that matter, but we all have to do our part to ensure failure doesn't happen. I have made a mental note to make a visit to this store soon. The store has been there since the 40's, it's about time right? I love vintage clothing finds and this is apparently just the spot to get them in my own backyard. I just hope they have women's clothing? Most of the items I see in the window seem like they would be for men. Then again I have been in the market for some overalls for gardening.

I hope you all are having a Wonderful Wednesday!!! It's pay day for me - and not a moment too soon!

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April 09, 2010

fixation friday: spf-a-holic




"Suntan lotion is good for me. You protect me tee-hee-hee. Oh the sun tries to burn me but you won't let it. Ultra violet rays bad. Lotion goooood!" - Billy Madison

via google

Today in this installment of Fixation Friday, I want to talk about my obsession with SPF protection. Spring is upon us. For most that means getting out in the sun, tanning, and getting a bronze glow. I used to be one of those people. I worked on my tan, like it was my job through most of my preteen and teen years, well into my 20's. My junior year of college I was an employee at a local tanning salon and I was dark! I was completely tanorexic. I never thought I looked that dark and I would tan at least twice a week once I got my all over glow. Stand-up booth? Used it. 15 Minute deep tan through layers of skin - rocked it hardcore. I mean come on, 15 mins, or less in a bed with air conditioning - HELL YES! I'm seriously shocked that one year didn't ruin my skin for life. (And maybe it has, not sure). All the years before that I used tanning beds before prom, or a big trip somewhere. I also worked at a beauty salon with a bed and used that puppy as often as I legally could. As far as natural sunlight goes, while at the beach I was a sun worshiper and a half. Add to that all my preteen and teen years sunning myself by our pool and you've got a person that was completely fixated with having brown skin.

Once I turned 21, I often used the tanning bed as a way to sleep off a good night of partying. I'd go into work hung over (don't practice this at home, I was a trained professional, or at least I thought I was), I would boot n' rally in the women's toilet a few times before lunch, head to the tanning salon sleep it off, grab a really, super greasy lunch and return to work refreshed and ready to finish my day. THIS was a pretty typical Thursday for me at my job. I'm shocked I never got fired. Thankfully most of the time I came in like that it was due to 25 cent draft night at the local bar and most of my co-workers were the ones buying me rounds - needless to say we all came in on Thursday mornings looking death warmed over. A lot of times, my boss was also involved in these nights out, so what could he say at that point, right? Once I started going to school 2 days a week and working 3 jobs that partying was a bit less but I still used the tanning beds to their full potential. I mean come on - that dolphin on my hip from the neat-o stickers wasn't going to refresh itself right?

Fast forward to now, it's been over 5 years since I've been anywhere near a tanning bed. The last time I recall going was before my trip to Costa Rica in 2005. I didn't want to look like a pale ghost while there so I went in for a few visits to get an all over glow. Something different happened while in Costa Rica though. I brought sunblock with me. Yes I said BLOCK. It was October at the time and I wanted to get a tan but I didn't want a burn to ruin my week in paradise. My bestie T and I spent every single day at the pool. Soaking up the sun and the frozen cocktails. I noticed that I was still getting a nice even color without the burn and I then and there became hooked on sunblock protection.  I know I was still damaging my skin by allowing the all over tanning to happen, but I was happy to not be in pain. Once home I realized just how dark I was. T and I went out for drinks with the rest of the girls and the pictures spoke for themselves. It was odd to be THAT tan, in the winter.  That next weekend was when M and I officially started dating - thankfully for me it wasn't the tan that sealed the deal with him, ha!

I moved to Alabama about 6 years ago and tanning is definitely IN here. Between pageants, proms, and girls wanting to look amazingly perfect all year long (it is the Southern Belle way) - tanning is a huge staple in most women's beauty routine in these parts. After all a string of pearls looks better with a tan neck to wear it upon, am I right? When summer comes most girls look amazingly bronzed and beautiful, well before the calendar actually reads, SUMMER. It's funny that in our country tanning is what means beauty, where others thing pale skin is beautiful, because it means you haven't been out in the fields working, and instead have been relaxing indoors. Although here a tan means you have been probably vacationing at the beach - a life of luxury or outdoors for fun.  Being in the land of bronze beauties I have felt the desire to go to the tanning bed a few times when I feel most pale, but I haven't ever gone. Shockingly, I've been afraid to go... read on.

When my mother was diagnosed with cancer many years ago I went into full freak out mode. Not only was I worried about lung cancer (which is what she was diagnosed with), I became worried about all kinds of cancer. Especially skin cancer. It's the one seriously bad habit that would lead to skin cancer and  I knew was an easy change I could make to protect myself. In the past my father had moles and sketchy areas of his skin taken off by laser for the sake of safety and possible cancer. My skin is a mix between my mothers, which tanned perfectly and rarely burned and my father's skin which will turn into a lobster shell if he would let it. I have moles and spots all over me, I always have, and freckles and other sun spots that quite frankly freak me out, and worry me. In the past I got them checked regularly and it's something that's on my long TO DO list of health check-ups I need to make.

Like I said I went into full freak out mode when I moved here. My mother started doing worse with her treatment and it seemed down hill - this really kicked me into high gear with how I was approaching things in my life in regards to preventing cancer. I have never smoked. (Ok, I tried it once as a joke and I hated it). Smoking wasn't an issue, I figured if I was going to get lung cancer it wouldn't be from that, it might be from second hand smoke or inhaling harmful chemicals. At that time I was a manicurist and from then on refused to do fake nails on people. There are too many chemicals and dust. Eventually I let my manicurist license expire - I still kick myself for this it was great money and it was REALLY stupid of me to let it go. I often think about getting it back - but I would hate to spend all that money to take the test again, and possibly a refresher course in manicuring. I started to fear anything I was doing while being a manicurist might hurt me. Like I said full freak out! 

Looking back I probably should have really started thinking about my health in terms of what I shoved in my mouth that could be harmful and cancer causing if over done but honestly that wasn't were my head was. Besides - I probably wouldn't be able to eat anything if I did that.

My mom started to feel better and eventually went into full remission. We were so happy! I kept up with my LACK of sun worshipping. If I went to visit her in North Carolina and wanted to hit the beach I loaded up with sunblock. Usually SPF 15-30. And I stopped going to the tanning bed.

I still practice this sunblock ritual today. M and I do a lot of canoeing and that leaves us out in the sun all day long. I reapply often, and make sure I'm not getting red. He's also gotten in on the action. His skin burns very easily so it wasn't hard to convince him. In over 5 years I have had only one real sunburn that I can remember (my first time at the beach in forever and I forgot to reapply) and I haven't returned to the tanning bed, at all. I can actually see a difference in my skin. Which is awesome. Most of the sunspots have faded off my shoulders and while I hate that my freckles are fading, I realize it's also my skins way of telling me I'm doing something right.

Since I was in middle school I've been using Oil of Olay face lotion. I truly think this has helped me prevent premature wrinkles and fine lines for so many years. I have started to notice the fine lines around my eyes that come with age, recently, BUT they aren't as deep as some people that I've seen that are the same age as me, so that makes me feel like I've been doing something right. Like the old Olay ads always said... "Grow old gracefully? No way, I'm going to fight aging every step of the way!"

I love that I'm in my 30's and still don't get told I look that age. It feels great. It took a while to be OK with being in my 30's but now I am embracing it. Every single time I get carded it makes me smile with glee. Do I miss tanning? Yes, sometimes. Like I said before, it was an excellent hang over cure when I was in my 20's and sick as a dog all AM at work. 20 minutes in the bed and taco bell for lunch and I was back like a champ working my ass off by 1:00 pm! I also enjoyed the benefits it gave my mood on a rainy day or during a long, cold winter in Maryland. But I know I'm better off without it.

I'm not trying to convert all my tanning bed loving peeps that read this blog. I have my own personal reason for fearing tanning, smoking and other things. My mother died from lung cancer, not skin cancer, but it took her diagnosis to make me re-thinking everything I've done in the past. My father is currently having his own battle with cancer, so it runs in my family and the reality is the fear for me will always be there. I figured the little changes I can make, to better my chances in the future and to ensure I won't have to go through this, can't hurt and can only help me personally.

Just the other weekend I received three bottles of FREE tanning bed lotion. I didn't have the heart to tell my friend's mother that I don't tan. Honestly if I went to the beach tomorrow the first thing I would do is park my ass in the sand w/ a drink in my hand and lots of SPF all over my body. I know that I'm still getting damage, because I allow my skin to turn a bit brown, but I know it's not as horrible as it used to be when I would put on tan amplifying gel and soak up the rays all. day. long. I miss the days of lovely brown skin, I always felt more healthy with a tan, how funny is that? I still get a tint of brown these days I just try to be as smart as I can about it. If I looked like the lovely Dita Von Tease, I'd never step foot in the sun and always wear ZINKA from head to toe, but I don't have her lovely skintone.

For me and the sake of my own peace of mind that's what I do. Everyday I have sunblock on my face and bronzer powder in my make-up bag and so far, it works for me. Do you have any fun SPF tips? Favorite brands? Share with us. We all want to look younger and youthful and I've found for me the best way to do that is to take these steps to protect myself, my skin and my future. I've thought about hitting up a spray tan booth, but I have a feeling I'd have an Ross Episode and that wouldn't be fun!

HAPPY CATCHING RAYS LADIES n' GENTS - safely that is! ox


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April 08, 2010

salt! salt! where's the freaking salt?

Sure, I wish I was wasting away again in Margaritaville, but that isn't my reason for this blog.

The fabulous Salt is having a giveaway over at her blog to celebrate 100 followers and thanking you all for being a friend. Don't get me started on how jealous I am she got to hang with the GG's. I love those betches! As one of my friends, Salt is near and dear to my heart and I wanted to help get the word out! {nevermind that this is worth 3 entries in my name - I really do wanna help my girl out}.

The prize you ask? What, you think I'm just going to tell you? That's not how this works, get your butt over to see Salt, she'll tell you alllll about it! {hint: I want to wear items like this for pops of color this spring and already obsessed about items similar to the prize in a blog previously} So head on over and enter now!

Much love to you my Salty Girl!!! Thank you for being one of my favorite friends!!! oxox

D2BD & SALT circa 2005ish - Not-So-Margaritaville but just as fun! ox

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April 05, 2010

facebook fan club & easter

I'll be the first to admit I have no clue what I'm doing with this thing but I figured I would start a facebook fan club for Dare to be Domestic. Check it out and add me if you like, I promise to try to figure it out soon!


I hope you all had a lovely Easter weekend. I did! I kept myself busy most of the day but paused when I felt the need for reflection and taking time outs during the weekend to myself. My mother passed away 2 years ago on Saturday. All too often I tend to keep myself busy to get away from pain or facing things, this is something I'm trying to stop doing. M and I did some yard work Saturday afternoon and that made me feel good inside and out - unless you count today. Between bending over to pull weeds, and also taking time to wash my Jeep (squatting to scrub the rims/wheels) & all of the stand-up, sit down moves we did at church on Easter Sunday, my thighs are KILLING ME. Although it's a good feeling - I know I've been working my muscles and off my butt. Both are a big plus in my book!

Easter was wonderful filled with family time with M's family - I'm so thankful to have them in my life.

Happy Monday Everyone - or at least let's pretend it's happy! The sun is shining and I didn't need a jacket this morning so I'm HAPPY about that!

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April 02, 2010

fixation friday: aziz


I can't believe it's Friday already!!! I think this great weather has been going to my head. The high here today is going to be in the lower 80's! Ok I think I just used up all my exclamation points in two sentences.

Today's Fixation Friday came to me via reading the awesome Mrs. 'Vicki Smalls' blog about her hubby's birthday. It appears her hubby is a big fan of Aziz Ansari, as am I. I've recently become seriously obsessed with him. Last night was a huge disappointment, all of my Thursday night shows were reruns, this meant no more new Aziz jokes or giggles and that gave me a case of the sads, which only cure was to watch Billy Madison for the bajillionth time. Billy Madison is another fixation for another time - seriously I watched this movie almost EVERY night my junior year in college with my roomies - OBSESSED! Anyweirdo - here goes....

So, show of hands, how many of you have ANY idea who I'm talking about right now? Aziz Ansari. AZIZ ANSARI?!?!?! I guess yelling it doesn't make you understand it anymore than me saying it with an inside voice, does it? You ever wonder why people do that? Like yelling will make it all come clear to the person you're speaking to? My ex used to work at a pawn shop and when Hispanic people would come in and they only spoke broken English he would get impatient and start explaining to them what he had to say in a louder voice. One day I finally said to him while there... "They speak Spanish, they aren't deaf!" This only made him more angry at the time, but his Spanish speaking co-workers got a good chuckle out of it. Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah AZIZ!


For those of you not in the know - he's a extremely funny comedian. He's been lighting up my life and M's on one of our new favorite shows, Parks and Rec on NBC's Thursday night line up. Seriously if you haven't seen this show you're missing out. It takes a lot for me to want to see anything on Thursday night other than 30 Rock or The Office but honestly, Parks and Rec is quickly stealing my heart - sorry 30 and Office, it's true. Aziz plays Tom Haverford - he's a club loving guy just trying to have a good time, and find a girl in the small town of Pawnee. But his real charm/comedy shows in how he treats his co-workers in the local city government's parks and recreation department. His character is in stiff competition for my heart next to Ron 'F-cking' Swanson (played by Nick Offerman) and April Ludgate (played by Aubrey Plaza) - she seriously makes my heart sing. Crap, maybe I should have made this a fixation on Parks and Rec not Aziz - BACK TO BUSINESS!

You may also remember Aziz in Funny People, with Adam Sandler, Seth Rogan (love), Jonah Hill (love) and Aubrey Plaza mentioned above. Or maybe Observe and Report, again with Seth Rogan or even I Love You, Man! - stay tuned for my fixation with Jason Segal, it's bound to happen soon enough - and/or Paul Rudd. 

I wish I could explain Aziz's comedy but it's better left for you to discover on your own. So google him, he's f-ckin' delicious!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! I can't believe it's Easter already! Remember the reason for this holiday and cherish the time with your family and friends. And while you're at it, eat some peeps for me. I'm trying to be good, I'm in full watching-what-i-eat mode right now! Attempting to go with more natural items and less prepackaged things. And besides, I already devoured half a package of them yesterday, I had a weak moment!

PEEPS OUT!

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