Sunday, October 16, 2011

New iPhone

I'm updating from my iPhone 4s and I am in love with it. I've never had a phone that was so natural and easy to use. It more than works and it's incredible. I'm an apple girl from now on. I hope Steve Jobs passed knowing what an impact he made on the world.

I'm still learning. I have no idea how to post a video but check out this link.

P.S. My new instagram name is leyladyley. Follow me! Especially if you have wedding dress shopping advice.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Holding Down the Fort

Dear B,

I'm happy for you and for your success at work. However, you've been traveling quite a bit and I miss you. We all do!

Sara's been lying in between your keyboard and your screen when I'm on your desktop (since you took the laptop and the iPad, thanks...jk), taking naps with me, and following me everywhere.

Jag comes up to me and asks for attention which is so unlike her.

No, I haven't called the cat lady about Bubbles yet. She's developed a foot fetish and now tries to ram down the door from the garage to our house. I think she wants to join our happy family. *SNEEZE**SNEEZE**SNEEZE!!!* Let's call on Saturday and say our good-byes.

I miss you a lot but I've distracted myself by working A LOT and cooking. Chicken Tortilla Soup from Eat Yourself Skinny. It is so delicious! I never boil chicken for anything but it worked very well. Tonight I'm making stuffed chicken with broccoli and swiss...since the only green thing you eat is lettuce. I worry about all the antioxidants your missing out on, MR.

Fall decorations around the house brighten my mood a bit:

Our yearly fall tabletop....with some of my crap laying around. Don't hate.

Pumpkins and decorations that you set up this year. I was probably working. Such a different story from last year around this time.

Thanks for hanging the orange lights. It definitely brightens up our living room.

I couldn't resist a trip with my mom to Bath and Body Works this year:
Pumpkin Caramel Latte is my favorite. I thought it would be homemade cookies because I love my baked goods.

The pumpkin that lights up...even though we don't have any trick or treaters! Remember when we lived in an apartment in Jax and you wanted to decorate for Christmas but I thought it was a waste of money? Glad I got over that one.

This has nothing to do with fall decor but I love our gnome. I guess you could say she kind of looks like a witch, who just happens to be a gator. It works. May she put a spell on our team soon please.

The sign says, "If packages arrive and I don't answer the door, please go next store"...wait a minute, is that next store or door? I think I just committed some kind of English langange butchery. Hopefully, the mail lady will understand.

This excites me more than anything right now. Hopefully, while I'm at work for 12 hours tomorrow a certain package will arrive. Then, we can play with our new toys when you get home.

Come home. Soon. A house full of felines and fall decorations just doesn't quite cut it without you.

Oh yeah, by the way, one year from today we will be walking down the aisle and exchanging vows. It will be just before our 10 year dating anniversary. Holy COW. Another anniversary to keep track of...; )

Love you! Have a safe trip and good luck finding a cab.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Brain Overload

So much going on at this moment that I can't even find my brain.

-We still have Bubbles. Turns out no one wants an adorable, calico kitten. It breaks my heart and I would keep her if it wasn't for my allergies. So later this week I have to call a random cat lady who B's dental hygienist tells us will take her in. At least we know she'll be safe.

-My wedding planner emailed me about two weeks ago about picking a wedding photographer. I still haven't emailed her back. Tomorrow it will be one year until the wedding exactly. Which means I get to start exercising and eating right again...which meant I spent most of day off grocery shopping.

-I still haven't written or sent any thank you cards from the engagement party.

-Our house needs to be vacuumed something awful especially with my allergies but we just ordered a new vacuum, a hoover, that I am ecstatic about because we have a 15 year old kenmore canister vacuum that I inherited from my mother-in-law. It's now missing 2 wheels and gets stuck on every corner in our little rental house. Every time I vacuum I curse repeatedly and imagine throwing it out the window. So, I might just not vacuum until it comes.

-B had to go out of town for work again! At least I'm not picking him up from the airport this time because I'll be at work.

-My MIL is taking a trip to Sanibel and we are going to join her for a long weekend (sigh of relief). However, the week after that she is having a surgery with a reputation of a difficult and painful recovery time and I will be taking care of her when I'm not working. That means driving a half hour there and back...glad I can be there for her though!

-Still working on nursing applications and I'm taking care of some transcript issues. I won't bore you with those details.

-One of my girlfriends will be in town this weekend so I might get to see her on Saturday!

-We're changing banks.

-I need to go to target for some things tonight.

There's more. I know there is more but my brain is so cobwebby right now and really I just want to pawn these chores off to a maid/personal chef/secretary right now.  I am trying remember to breath but I feel like I'm forgetting something important. Please tell me I'm not the only one that feels this way.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I Want To Be Fabulous

I love checking out fashion diaries on instagram. However, I am not very fashionable. Like, at all. I wear scrubs to work everyday and sometimes come straight home and change into soffe shorts and a t-shirt. Part of it is because I still need to lose weight. I have 4 boxes of clothes that no longer fit me in my garage. Part of it is because I don't want to spend money. However, I want to be fabulous on my way to being fabolous. Because:

I've seen girls of all different shapes and sizes looking amazing on fashion diaries. It's truly inspiring. Last night B and I got slightly more dressed up than usual and went to a bar. We also did our first fashion diaries pictures:

We have real clothes on! Btw, B seems to think he is quite fashionable. I'm the only one that goes straight to my sister when I need to pick an outfit for an event. She got all the fashion genes. Maybe...

And we were like totally vogue with our "blue steel" faces and funky angled shot. High fashion, people. We don't have iPhones yet so we have to take a picture with our camera and then upload to our iPad. The camera on our iPad sucks. But eventually we will have the iPhone 4S and I can show off these finds that I scored from the Good will. I love thrift shopping!:

$61.22 for:

-8 blouses/sweaters (that's what they called them on the receipt it just means a nice shirt)
-1 purse
-1 tank top
-1 blazer
-2 skirts
-1 pair of jeans
-1 pair of shorts

Then I went to Bealls and got 3 necklaces for $6.95.

I'm new to thrift store shopping but I do have a few tips (some are shopping tips in general):

1. Find a good blazer with a good cut  (no bulky shoulder pads) or a trench coat.  You will be amazed at what you can find at a thrift store.

2. Do not give up! Be extremely patient. The racks are so full that it makes it hard to even flip through them. Take your time. Don't get down on yourself if things don't fit or you can't find anything at first. I keep telling myself this. Give yourself 4-6 hours if you really want to score a lot of outfits.

3. Find out if they have a special promotion. Today was "blue" day at the thrift store. Everything blue was half off.

4. There will be multiple crying babies at the thrift store. Bring earplugs.

5. Don't get stuck on the brown note. This note is more for me. I don't know if it was because I was looking for fall clothes or what but I had to remind myself that there are other colors in the rainbow than just brown.

6. Try something new. Why not? A shirt is only 2-3 bucks and a purse is 4 bucks. You might as well try something out of your element.

7. Some things that look good on the rack will not look good on you and some things will look great on you that look bad on the rack.

8. Make sure nothing is torn or stain. You can always sew on new buttons though.

9. When you get home put everything in the washer. The clothes I got today were dusty.

10. Thrift store shopping is hard work but also fun.

Funky thrift store outfits coming to an instagram application (and this blog) in the near future!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Even an Old Dog Can Learn New Tricks/My Engagement Party

About two weeks ago, B and I had an engagement party at a local restaurant in Orlando. I couldn’t believe it was time when the day finally arrived. I had spent so many months emailing back and forth with a florist, a cupcake truck, the venue, and my parents who were the hosts. If that was how I felt about a small party, than I can't even imagine how it would feel to be done planning a wedding. The turn-out was mostly close friends and family and it was only about 27 people but it was perfect. The food was great, my vintage dress was great, the company was great, and oh yeah, my fiancé is pretty great too. There is one thing though that surprised me during this party. However, to understand why it was so surprising to me you need a little background information on my family.

Let’s see. How do I describe my dad? His favorite actor is Jack Nicholson and his favorite movie is “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest”. His favorite subjects are nature-related activities (hiking, biking, camping etc.), American Idol, football, computer gaming, and farting. For instance, I was at my parents’ house for my dad’s sixtieth birthday recently and they were telling me about a trip they took to some caverns. My dad is probably one of the few people in the world who would choose to drive several hours on their day off just to hang out in some hole in the ground. He told me that during the whole cavern tour that the tour guide was bombing them with SBDs (silent but deadlys) and that he thought she was sick or drank too much the night before. Don't ask me how my dad became a gastrointestinal specialist when he has always worked for an environmental protection agency. Although I guess that is somewhat related but I need to stop with the stupid fart jokes right now.  My mom fires back at him with, “You only think it was her because she went to the bathroom right after the tour!” I’m still not sure why my mom has some allegiance with the tour guide but I guess the culprit could have been anyone to be fair. Everyone loves a little flatulent dinner conversation…at least in my immediate family.

When we were little my dad would carry my sister and I to bed every night and then mom and dad would each take time to say goodnight to us separately and give us a goodnight kiss and hug. My dad was the tickle monster and if my cousins were around there would be four kids at one time climbing all over him as he tickle attacked us. Every year we would go camping around Christmas time when the weather was cool and he also took us orienteering and hiking. When we got a little older we biked, played basketball, and went roller blading together. I went on to be the wannabe jock in high school where I swam and ran cross country. As we got even older, my sister and I spent more time doing homework and my dad spent more time playing computer games on his PC. We frequently argued over who got time to do homework or play around on the family computer. As time went on, he did some biking events with a group of coworkers but eventually his social circle became pretty small.

My dad is a guy who likes to do things his way. He’s very stubborn, very (EXTREMELY) routined, and doesn’t like to try a lot of new things. He’s also antisocial but it’s not because he doesn’t know how to be social, it’s just that he finds most people annoying. He prefers cats, they don’t argue back as much. I used to try and change my parents when I was a teenager and even into my early twenties. I couldn’t understand why someone in their fifties would have to go bed at 9pm every night or do things the same way every time. Now that I’m a bit older, I have learned to accept my parents for the way they are and I’ve learned that they are not going to change. They have no reason to change because they are happy.

When my parents were 17 and 18 years old, they moved 1,000 miles away from a small town in Ohio to a moderately big city in Florida by themselves. They got married in a courthouse so they wouldn’t have to have their parents’ permission to get married and they never had a formal wedding. After they got hitched at the courthouse they simply had some cake at my grandma’s house to celebrate. I think if I were that far away from family and had to figure out how to make it out there in the cold, hard world I too would stick to what worked and not change it. I see things differently now that I’ve been thrusted into the “cold, hard” adult working world, and I see that things have actually worked out very well for them. Both have worked in the same jobs for over 25 years and have two college-educated daughters.

Since I’ve announced my engagement, my parents have felt a bit uneasy about this wedding stuff. My mom immediately ordered books on wedding etiquette from the library. She calls me and says, “This book says the groom’s parents’ responsibility to pay for this and the bride’s parents’responsibility to pay for that, and the bride’s father makes a toast at the engagement party, yadda, yadda, yadda”. Every time my mom says things like that I tell her that those books are archaic and that we can do things our own way. B and I aren’t set on being super traditional since we are a modern couple. I wash the cars, do the laundry, and B takes out the trash, and takes care of all computer techy issues. We switch around on loading the dishwasher and cooking. We do things as we see fit and don’t feel like we need to conform to anything……just like my parents. Nonconfirmists conformists cycle, yes?

 I never expected my dad to make any toasts or to even walk down the aisle with me. He’s shy about public speaking and DOES NOT like to get dressed up for anything. Plus, I’m not really fond of the idea of my dad “giving me away”. I mean, what about my mom? Or what if I’m not really being given away and I’m choosing to get married?

 He surprised me with a very short and sweet toast after a little push by way of glass clacking from my sister and I (heeheee…). Afterwards, he was sitting next to me and he says,

“Hey, I think you should have a football team of kids.”

This is weird for several reasons. One is because my parents’ have always told me to take my time with getting married and having kids. "Don't rush", they always said. Another is because he’s never really treated me like a girl….he never called me nicknames like “sugar, honey, princess, kitten, daddy’s little girl, sweetheart” etc. If he ever started doing that I think it would make me twinge and vomit in my mouth a little. He’s always been a tough, strict, man’s man kind of a guy. So I looked right at him and said,

“Who’s going to pay for that?!”

I was so surprised that I have no idea what his response was….something about moving north to this small town outside the area where I went to college. Maybe that whole conversation was just the sangria talking. Either way, I’m really glad that I won’t be moving 1,000 miles away from my parents and that they will at least be in the same state to help me raise my kids. I’m also glad that I have come to accept my crazy family and that this will make my wedding a breeze. Not THAT KIND of a breeze, dad. Yuckity yuck. Also, if you do walk me down the aisle no beans or sauerkraut the day before, alright???

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

That's One Damn Fine Kitty!

A couple of weeks ago B and I were coming home from a dinner out with my aunt and my parents. It was rainy and dark outside. Upon pulling into the driveway and getting out of the car we heard squeaky "..meow, meow, meow..." sounds. Of course we had to investigate. We have 2 cats already that we adopted when we lived in Jacksonville. We fell in love with Sara, our first "child", at a Petsmart and then picked her up from an agency in Amelia Island because we knew we had to have her. We found Jaguar trying to cross a busy highway. She was dirty and scared. I had to study for an anatomy test that night so B ended being the one to give her a flea bath, play with her, feed her, and set up a litter box.

Because she was so skittish and hissy we ended up setting up a small area with boxes and a cat carrier. She could go in the cat carrier when she needed time to hide but she could also explore her small space until she learned to trust us enough to expand her territory. This also gave us an opportunity to introduce her to Sara,  who being Miss Alpha Cat, was not real happy to meet her at first.

A couple of years ago, when we moved back to Orlando, I found out that I am allergic to cats. I take over-the-counter pills these days to control my allergies but I still sneeze quite a bit. It's not a picnic but my kitties are my feline children and we're not about to give them up. However, when they do go to meet that giant cat nip God in the sky we will consider getting a dog.
So back to the mysterious "...meow, meow, meow..." we heard upon pulling into the driveway. We looked all around until B located a small, kitten in the engine of our neighbor's large SUV. The kitten was a sweet, calico but was very hissy and defensive. B got a glove and we got her out of the engine but she ran away as fast as she could. We tried to catch her but she was an extremely elusive little thing. I told B it didn't seem like she wanted to be caught and that she was probably a wild kitty. We gave up around 12 that night.
The next day I was off work and we woke up early to a high-pitched  "...meow, meow, meow" coming from our backyard. The rest of the day was frustrating. She would meow and we would try to catch her and then she would disappear into some bushes or something.  Finally, later that afternoon, B went for a round in the backyard and came back with the sweet little kitty!
B is experienced in stray kittens by now so we started the flea bath, made her a small area with boxes, and made her a small litter box that night. It's been 2 weeks and she is fluffy ball of energy. She loves to play and she trusts us a lot more than she did initially. We started calling her "Bubbles"  (a cat-loving character from the show "Trailer Park Boys" and that is where I got the title of this post...most of you probably have no idea what I'm talking about but it makes me chuckle and that's all that matters).

We're keeping her in the garage away from the big kitties for now.
Who wants to adopt a kitten?

P.S. This is what happens to spoiled stray kittens:

She's well-fed and extremely domesticated. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sleep-Deprived Rant

I'm absolutely not in my right mind right now. This week I worked 50+ hours, covering for people with broken down cars and families in town visiting, and I doubt I got even 25 hours of sleep in the last 5 days or more. Anyways, I was listening to the radio on my way to work early this morning and I was learning about the Wall Street protesters. The media is calling them the "tea party" from "the left". Whatever. I totally agree with their "unfocused" message despite the labels. I work as a nurse and independent contractor for an agency where I do not get any overtime or any benefits AT ALL. I purchased my health insurance and set up my IRA privately. Why don't I get I new job, you say? I'm smart and capable. I graduated college summa cum laude from the University of Florida, but I want to be in a job where I love the work I do and I love caring for the elderly. I'm in the process of applying to nursing school with the hopes that I can get paid a fair wage and obtain benefits Eventually. Anywho...remember? SLEEP-DEPRIVED!

.........My point: The top 1% controls 43% of the financial wealth in America according to this article. I don't know how accurate these numbers are but what I do know is that in order to save for a house, wedding, and pay my monthly bills I have to work A LOT. Like an unreasonable amount. Like, a lot, lot. Many of you probably consider 50+ hours a week for a hourly rate a normal amount or...even a privilege. Better than no work at all, right?!

My fiance makes more money than me and gets benefits with his job but he works over forty hours a week and travels occasionally for work. This week, for instance, he got a call at the last minute, to book a flight and fly out-of-state all week leaving me with our 2 cats and the 1 stray kitten that we rescued (more on that later) for four days. But  my point is, doesn't anyone else feel like this is insane?!! Like we are working what's left of our asses off for not enough of anything?!

I stopped at ABC liquor on my way home from work today. I've worked 6 days in a row with 90% of those hours for a patient with Alzheimer's and today I was expecting to work 6 hours but worked 8 hours to cover for a coworker. So, I stopped at ABC liquor after depositing a paycheck that I almost forgot I even had, and purchased a bottle of red wine on the way home. After I got home, I was taking a bubble bath, surrounded by candles (that B had kindly arranged for me) because I was too overworked/high-strung to get the sleep that I desperately need, and a lady had stopped at my house to drop off MY WALLET!!!  I SWEAR I put my wallet on the passenger seat of my car as I was leaving the store. I remember seeing it. Well, maybe that was from before when I went to the bank. Anyways, this lady who was an attendant at ABC liquor, who probably makes only 10 bucks an hour, or whatever, at the liquor store, drove my WALLET with all my cards and contents in it to MY HOUSE and drops it off for me! The fiance says, "Thanks so very much!" which is nice, but I would love to give her $20 bucks or more and make her cookies because anyone could have taken that wallet and this lady who busts her ass all week long, just like me, decided she could go out of her way to bring my wallet back to me at my own home while I was drowning in a bubble bath with an over-sized glass of red wine. I'm patriotic because of people like her who do good deeds without expecting any type of reward, but I'm dissatisfied because caregivers of the elderly, store clerks, teachers, anyone else in the bottom 99%, does not get what they deserve.

My girlfriend is married to an Indian man. In the Indian culture, there is a caste system. If your father works in a restaurant, his child works in a restaurant, and so on and so forth for generations; there is no way to move up in the world. In America, you can move up and get that slice of American pie, but at what price? Can you ever get into that top 1% if you aren't born into it? I doubt it. Things need to change in America whether you are liberal, conservative, a member of the tea party, homosexual, a Christian, a Muslim whatever....

We deserve weekends, benefits, care for our elderly, nice houses, healthcare, and time with our families. We shouldn't be hopped up on coffee, working 40+ hours, not taking care of our own health, not sleeping, and act like THAT IS NORMAL. America, you shouldn't NEED to run on Dunkin. Life should be reasonable.

Just saying. I can't sleep.

I'm POed about it!!!

P.S. I will update more on our new car, engagement party, and stray kitten saving, either today or tomorrow depending on whether I can make my body turn off.

This is ludicrousness.

I'm still not asleep.

More wine......