February 2009 Archives

Significant Others

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Everyone has certain qualities that they look for when choosing a significant other. Below are some of the ones that are important to me, and why.


Sense of humor

It is really important to me that life not be too serious. Life should be enjoyed. It should include lots of smiles and laughter. The Boy and I went out the other night with a bunch of employees that work for a company that is a customer of the company we both work for. I was laughing so hard at one point during the night that my eyes got all watery. My significant other is a very funny guy. When you get him going he will have everyone in stitches. One of the employees from the visiting company was also particularly funny. Between the two of them we were all laughing for hours. A good laugh with friends just makes everything better. I like to smile and laugh, so having someone around that can bring that out of me frequently is a very good thing.


I really dislike dishonest people. I want to know that I can fully trust the person I am with. I need to be able to trust that my partner will not keep important things a secret from me, that they are genuine in their actions, that they won't cheat on me, etc.

Ability to communicate

I believe one of the keys to a great relationship is communication. You need to be able to communicate your needs and desires to each other. Otherwise, how can you expect those things to be met? Unfortunately human beings have not yet evolved to the point where they are capable of reading minds. Until then, we need to communicate with each other.

Patience & Understanding

I can be difficult to deal with sometimes (as hard as that may be to believe!). I, like everyone else, have my little quirks and bad habits and personal issues. Relationships tend to go much more smoothly when you have patients with each other regarding these things. Understanding where the other person is coming from goes a long way when trying to work something out. Life isn't fair, and life isn't perfect. Things will not always go the way you want them to. Patience is key in getting through these times.


This is not a terribly crucial quality for me, but it is nice to be able to have an intelligent conversation with my significant other. I myself have a thirst for knowledge and it's a great bonus to be with someone that shares that with me and that I can learn from.


This is another one that would not be at the very top of the list, but still important nonetheless. I want someone who is driven. Someone who sets goals for themselves, is driven in their career, and always striving to do better. Of course, taken to the extreme, this quality can be very, very bad. I do believe there is such a thing as overly-ambitious.


I don't like mean people. I think this stems from the fact that I have been on the receiving end too many times, and know first-hand how it feels. I don't ever want to make another person feel that way. It is important to me that my significant other is a kind and warm and caring person. When I look into my boyfriends eyes, this is the first thing that I see. Those big brown eyes show everything. He has so much compassion and sympathy for others, it's amazing.


So which of these qualities do I actually possess myself? I guess I'd have to go with honesty, patience, and kindness. I can't tell a lie to save my life, I have almost infinite patience when it comes to most things (although as I get older I notice this to be less and less true), and I have been told I am "too nice" countless time. I have a very difficult time saying no to someone or saying anything negative about someone for fear of hurting their feelings.

Which qualities do you look for in a significant other? Is one more important than the rest? Which of the important qualities do you feel you possess?


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I learned a new term this past weekend -- cyberchondriac.  I read an article in the newspaper titled, "'Cyberchondriacs' panic over Internet self-diagnosis".  Coincidentally, I happened to read this article while sick. 

I had/have a really bad cold.  Last Tuesday I felt like crap and my throat was sore.  Wednesday I had really bad sinus congestion and a sore throat.  Thursday I had a slight fever, really bad congestion and a sore throat on and off.  Friday -- same thing, minus the fever.  Saturday and Sunday and Monday and Tuesday -- lather, rinse, repeat.  I had both a sore throat and incredible congestion for eight straight days.  I've had to take Sudafed every day since last Tuesday to keep the sinus congestion under some sort of control, with varying degrees of success.  This was different from any other cold I have had, or at least remember having.  I started getting nervous when the incredible congestion did not let up at all after a few days.  On Friday I quickly contemplated going to the doctor to see if I might have a sinus infection.  I didn't want to be stuck suffering over the weekend if I could get an antibiotic and be feeling better by Monday.  I didn't go though, because I knew it wasn't a sinus infection.  I knew what signs to look for.  The incredible amount of fluid coming out of my nose was mostly all clear, and not yellow or green and thick.  I didn't look it up this weekend, but I have in the past.  Then a few days later I was getting worried that I had the sore throat for so many consecutive days.  Usually I get a sore throat for a day or two at the beginning of a cold and that's about it.  It was still sore for a few hours earlier today, but I still haven't gone to the doctor.  I know it's not strep.  I only had a slight fever that one day, the sore throat now comes and goes and only last a few hours a day, and I don't have any of those tell-tale white spots on the back of my throat. 

The article I read this past weekend said that 2 percent of all web searches are health-related, and doctors are seeing more patients that have self-diagnosed themselves with something fatal.   When someone searches on their common symptoms they read both the common causes as well as the much more rare and serious conditions. People naturally worry about and concentrate on the more serious potential causes.   

So I guess there are both positive and negative effects of the general population having so much medical information at their fingertips.  For me, it was useful in determining that in this case I did not need to go to the doctor.   I also think it can be extremely useful in looking up more information on conditions that you have already been diagnosed with -- in my case, Turner Syndrome. 

What are your thoughts?  Are you, or have you been, a cyberchondriac?

My First Guest Post

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Ben Barden over at Top Ten Blog Tips was kind enough to let me write up a guest post for his site. If you're interested in Why I Started Blogging please click over there to see what I have to say (and go ahead and answer the same question yourself in the comments while you're there!)

If you are a blogger, I am sure you will find lots of other worthwhile articles to read as well.

Vera Bradley

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One of many reasons I cannot wait for spring to come is I am dying to start using the Vera Bradley bag -- Vera Bradley Lindsay -- my youngest sister got me for Christmas.  My mom and older sister have had Vera stuff for a few years now.  They both have multiple purses and bags and last year for Mother's Day my sister bought my mom a gorgeous tea set (click the link for a pop-up pic). 

At first it seemed a little strange to get what is usually a Spring/Summer/Fall bag in winter but it appears my little sis is pretty smart.  I was checking out a few different sites and it looks like a lot of this stuff is on sale during this time of year.  Some of the bags appear to be close to 50% off at amazon. So if you've been wanting one of these or thinking about buying one, now is a great time!

Do you have anything Vera? If so, share your comments about it and link to what you have :)

Turning 30

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Today I have something a little different for you. This is a guest post about turning 30 written by Gary over at garyjones.co.uk/blog/

If you too would like to write a guest post, please e-mail me letting me know!

Let me start with an apology. It's my birthday next month, and I'll be 29. That puts me outside the usual author demography for this site, which is why this is just a guest blog post to look through someone else's eyes.

I've still got one more year to ponder it, but at this moment in time, turning 30 holds indifference for me; I'm neither looking forward to it nor dreading it. Age is just a concept developed as a measure of time that's loosely related to the motions of astronomical bodies. Instead of the default omitted unit of years, we could equally count the number of jobs we've had, the amount of time we've spent on holiday, or the number of people who love us. Sure, all of these will be different values for different people, but what does age really tell us?

Experiences is where it's at. It's this qualitative aspect of our lives that describes who we are, where we came from, and where we think we're going that shapes the impression you give, far more than any quantitative expression. It's the key that unlocks many doors.

All experiences are good. We may not enjoy some of them, and they won't all be positive, but they do benefit us; what doesn't kill us only makes us stronger, as the saying goes. Our personality is part nature, part nurture, where an infinite amount of these and other factors resolve to how that experience feels to any single individual.

I'm fortunate - I've got a decent personality for the most part, and I was well brought up. I'm laid-back, take things in my stride, am appreciative of what I've got, and try not to take things for granted. I look on past experiences as the sculptor's knife as he carves out his next work of art, chipping, smoothing, refining. The experiences I took from working as a teacher in schools helped me in teaching and managing in prisons. The experience I gained there helped me to understand how management in other companies work, and this in turn is helping me with my current work. Building upon these skills and experiences helps me to find new goals and new achievements.

When I'm thirty-something, instead of twenty-something, it will just mean I'm a few years older, nothing more. I'll have had some more experiences for sure, but I won't be making any stereotypical mid-life crisis thoughts about approaching 40 unless that's what my experiences suggest I should be doing.

For me, 2007 and 2008 were the most experiential I've had for many reasons, and 2009 may well be no different. Next month I'll be a little more experienced than I am now. How experienced will you be?


Special thanks to Gary for taking the time to contribute to my blog.

If you would like to hear my thoughts on this same topic please visit my post titled, On Turning 30.

Petite Fashion

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It can be difficult for petite women to find clothing that fits well and looks good.  At just under 5'2" tall, I know this first hand.

Here are a few fashion tips that I have learned along the way:

1.Try v-neck or scoop-neck tops.

 Anything with an open necks looks much better on me and makes me appear taller.  Turtlenecks are my enemy.  I never want to be too revealing, so a nice camisole underneath is often a good idea.

2.  Stay away from horizontal lines.

If they are very thin lines and you are stick thin you may be able to get away with it.  They look fine on 6', 110 pound models but not on your average-sized 5' woman.  Wear clothing with vertical lines, even if it's just a few lines in the seams.

3.  Stay away from large patterns.

Anything with a big print, like large flowers, will take over your small frame.  People won't see you, they'll only see the pattern on what you're wearing.

4.  Don't wear anything too bulky.

You will get lost in the material if you wear something with a lot of extra bulk to it.

5.  Stay away from long skirts.

They make your legs, and you, look shorter.  Skirts that fall at the knee or just above are best.

VNeckSweater.jpg ALineSkirt.jpg

It's the thought that counts

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This past weekend I tried to be a good little girlfriend and do something nice for the The Boy for Valentine's Day.  I wanted to surprise him with a batch of homemade, nicely-decorated cupcakes.  Somehow I managed to make it to the age of thirty without ever baking a cake of any kind, so I really had no idea how to make these cupcakes I had in mind.  If you read the title of this post, I think you have figured out where I am going with this.

Now, here's a picture of the batch that I made. 


I thought they looked pretty decent.

After we had digested our dinner Saturday night we decided to each have one of the cupcakes.  After a bite or two The Boy says to me, "They taste kind of... funny, don't they?"  And I agreed, they did.  I am still not really sure what I did wrong.  The texture of the cake part was a little off.  It felt sort of sponge-like, and kind of airy.  I was planning on taking the extras to work with me and giving some to The Boy's parents, but I don't think I can now.

Ah well.  It's the thought that counts, right?

Getting Your Hair Did

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I am leaving in a little bit to go get my hair cut and highlighted.  My hair is pretty short and grows quite fast so it starts to look like a mess after about 6 weeks.

I have terrible hair.  It's very thin and stick straight.  It used to be blond but now is an awkward brown color as it seems to get darker and darker every year.  The only saving grace is it seems to look somewhat decent with blond highlights in it.

I don't know why, but I was always afraid to dye highlight my hair until 3 or 4 years ago.  My younger sister suggested I try parting it on the side and get it highlighted.  When I did I got an amazing reaction from people.  Friends, family, people at work -- all raved over it.  I had finally found something that worked for me.  Since then I've gone a little shorter but mostly stayed the same.  It's still a constant struggle though, and rarely have what I consider a good hair day. 

I am curious to hear other people's stories regarding their hair.  Have you ever had a terrible haircut?  Do you switch it up often or have you had the same haircut for the last decade?  How did you find what works for your face and type of hair?  Do you enjoy getting your hair cut or is it more of a chore?

Photo Challenge

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fragileheart tagged me for a photo challenge. I am supposed to go to my folder with all my pictures. Find the 6th folder and then post the 6th picture.

So, I couldn't follow the rules (sorry Reg, I tried!). I went to my folder and the 6th folder under that and... no pictures. Only more folders. So then I thought I'd just go to the 6th folder there and post the 6th picture. I was foiled again. There were only 5 pictures in that folder.

So then I remembered some interesting pictures I took on almost this day last year so I thought I'd post a couple of those instead.

On February 14th last year I came home with my boyfriend after dinner and I found a heart in the snow on the top of my driveway. I asked The Boy if he put it there and he said he didn't. Turns out it was actually just two separate footprints that came together to look like a heart. But how cool is that that it was on February 14th, of all days.

True story.



Favorite quote of the day

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Paul Begala on CNN:

"Watching President Bush try to complete a sentence was like watching a drunk, fat guy crossing an icy street. You just knew he wasn't going to make it."

We were watching cnn after Obama's press conference last night and were highly amused when Paul Begala gave his response on comments that Obama was a little long-winded in his answers.

Test Results

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I heard back from the doctor today regarding the bone density test.  Actually, she called Saturday but I didn't answer the phone.  Your doctor calling a Saturday afternoon can't be good, right?  Well, in my case it actually was good.  My bone density has not changed significantly since a year and a half ago when I had the first test done.  Yay!  The doctor is recommending that I manage the osteoporosis with a drug called Evista (Raloxifene) (rather than the Bisphosphonates or the daily injections).  From what I can tell, it would also have the benefit of reduced risk of breast cancer.  Bonus!  This is actually really good because several women on my mom's side of the family have had it.

It does make me a bit nervous to read things like, "raloxifene produced significantly more strokes and blood clots than the placebo."  My uncle is an M.D. so my dad is going to ask him his thoughts on this drug.

It's still a little hard for me to wrap my head around that fact that I just turned thirty and I have osteoporosis. 

Work Hard, Play Hard

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This weekend I consulted my accountant (a.k.a. Dad) and my interior designer (a.k.a. Mom). 

They came to visit for a belated celebration of my dad's birthday.  Last night we (Mom, Dad, myself, The Boy, my sister, and sister's boyfriend) had a nice "cocktail hour" with drinks, hors d'oeuvres, and a few rounds of the game Catch Phrase before taking Dad out to a nice Italian restaurant that he had never been to.  The food was great and we all had a lovely dinner.  I think he was happy to get away from the monotony of his every day life.  The usual chores, the usual city, the usual restaurants.  At the end of dinner we all pretended like it was time to head home, but then totally surprised (and confused) the poor guy by heading over to another restaurant known for their fancy and delicious desserts.  He had no idea where we were or why we were there.  Once he was clued in though he seemed pleased.  He got a piece of Austrian Chocolate Torte at my recommendation and raved over it.  I think he thoroughly enjoyed himself and felt very loved and special by the five of us there.  That was the main goal of the day so I think we can call it a success.

While yesterday was all about fun and celebration, today was about work and getting things accomplished.  I have been doing my own taxes and then comparing numbers with my dad for the last few years.  This year I was a bit intimidated, being my first year of owning a home.  So we went through that in the morning and did a rough estimate of my federal taxes.  Looks like I might be getting a fairly large check in the mail in the near future.  :)  (It may even come close to covering the cost of the new furnace I just bought!)  After that, and after lunch, we headed over to the mall to find curtains for the spare bedroom that I recently de-wallpapered and painted.  We successfully found curtains for that room, and for the spare room I painted over the summer.   I had to order them and they should arrive later in the week.

A successful weekend all around.  What did you do this weekend?


Related Posts:

Current Home Improvement Projects

Unexpect Home Improvement Project (a.k.a. the day I almost froze to death)
Picture Time

A chef, a maid, or a chauffeur

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If you could choose between having a personal chef, maid, or chauffeur, which would you choose?  Why?

chef.jpg    maid2.jpg

For me, this is a very difficult question (see decision-making reference in previous post).  A chef would be awesome.  I can't really cook.  When I come home from work each night I am almost always so totally drained that I don't want to think about figuring out what to have or taking the time and effort to make it.  I also have it in my head that I would be nice and thin and healthy if I only had someone to prepare the delicious healthy food for me.  A maid would be awesome because, well, who wouldn't want a clean house all the time without having to do any of the work to get it that way?  Having a chauffeur would ease a lot of stress in my life.  I have issues with driving.  Particularly in the winter.  Whenever I have an appointment somewhere I almost always do a trial drive a day or two ahead to make sure I know where I am going.  I stress every day during winter when they mention the *s* word in the forecast.  I am really lucky in that my boyfriend has a really nice car and is willing to cart my butt around almost everywhere. 

I am suddenly feeling a bit snooty, or just really lazy. 

Since I am asking you to choose, it is only fair that I force myself to pick just one.  My answer at the moment would be chef.  I get kind of bored with the few meals I do know how to make.  They are all pretty quick, simple, plain dishes. 

To be honest, I can't really picture myself having any of the three choices.  It would feel really awkward to pay someone to do stuff that I am perfectly capable of doing for myself.  I remember when I hired movers to move from my apartment to my house I felt very awkward and found myself moving stuff closer to the door as stuff was brought out and asking if I could help.  I just felt really... useless. 

Name That Baby

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As I've mentioned before, I have a friend who is expecting and is due on April 1st.  She knows she is going to have a daughter and I recently asked her if she and her husband had decided on a name yet.  She said they had not.  She and her husband just couldn't agree.  He likes traditional names.  She wants a name that is substantial and not boring.  Also, the first name can not begin with A.  Why?  Because then the poor child's initials would be A.S.S.  Ha. 

This friend and I work together and earlier this week she stopped over to my desk and said she needed my opinion.  They had pretty much decided on a name and she wanted to get my thoughts on it.  The new little baby will be named Meredith.  I personally really like it.

While we were talking she told me about this really cool baby name website.  It's one of the best I've seen.  It includes surveys so that you can read what other people with the name you are considering have to say.  It also ranks them in popularity and shows you a little graph going back all the way to 1880.  Of course it also gives the usual origin and meaning.

I have had no issues with my name and actually kind of like it.  It does get confused with the male name Aaron, though.  It was quite popular the year I was born so I have met many others with the same name over the years.  I think the only negative nickname that has been derived from it is "ern" (or "urn").  I took a screenshot of the popularity graph for my name from the site. #21.  At least it wasn't top 10.


I think I would have a really horrible time trying to come up with a name for my child. I am really bad at making even the smallest decisions. I am lucky I can decide what to feed myself each day. This particular decision seems to have a lot of weight attached to it.


What do you think of your name and what has your experience been with it? If you have a child, what was your criteria when choosing a name?

Too fit. Too fit.

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I've often heard my mom tell the story of when my older sister was really little and hated wearing any clothes close to her skin.  She would always yell, "Too fit!  Too fit!" 

I feel like yelling the same thing these days.  Getting dressed in the morning has become a chore.  All of my clothes feel uncomfortable.  Anything that isn't a nice comfy t-shirt, sweatshirt or fleece is driving me nuts.  Everything is too small.  Too fit.  Also, my skin feels a bit itchier due to the winter weather.  As soon as I get home from work I immediately want to change into my gloriously warm, comfortable and oversized fleece pajamas.

Six more weeks of winter.  I think I'd like to hibernate through it along with Phil the groundhog.

About This Blog

Stories, advice, and random thoughts from a thirty-something female.

Many people in their thirties are dealing with common issues and concerns. Some of these include buying a home, establishing a career, starting a family, and dealing with aging parents. I will blog about all these things as well as other every day stuff as I make my way through this third decade of life.

You can read more about the author behind thirty-something blog on the About Me page.





About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from February 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

January 2009 is the previous archive.

March 2009 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.