May 2009 Archives

My first spa experience

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So yesterday was the big spa day.  All went well.  Overall it was a great experience. 

I started off with the full body swedish massage first.  I was embarrassed because I had to ask one of my friends if I needed to take off my undergarments when I changed into the robe.  The consensus was underwear on, bra off.  I go back for the massage and the woman tells me to take the robe off, and lay down on the bed under the sheets and she would be back in a moment.  I got on the table and that alone felt wonderful.  It was heated so it felt warm and was very nice.  She turned on some relax yoga-type music and started with my face.  Ahhhhh..... relaxing already.  She used an almond based lotion which I wasn't a huge fan of.  I just don't really like greasy/lotiony type things on my body in general, but it was fine.  She also gave me a hot towel to put behind my neck while laying on my back and a hot towel on my back while laying on my stomach.  They also had a little bump to rest the back of your knees on to make it more comfortable.  Parts of it did her a tiny bit, but that's only because my muscles are always so tight (hence the need for the massage).   I had a female masseuse and one of the other girls mentioned that she prefers to have men because they do a better job (because of the generally larger hands).  I can see that, but I'm not sure I'd be as confortable having a strange male massage me like that.

The mani and pedi were good.  The biggest stresser of the event was choosing a nail polish color!  I felt lots of pressure.  One of the other girls and I had them done at the same time and she picked her color out in about 2 seconds.  Then everyone was staring, waiting on me.  I managed to do well though, I think.  The girl said the color was perfect for my skin tone.  At first I wasn't sure about it, but now I really like it.  I ended up going with the same color on my toes.  I didn't have any trouble with the woman picking at my hands or toes but I can see how someone might. 

My total bill, including the $20 tip, was $170.  A bit expensive for a cheapskate like me, but not outrageous.  I am undecided about how soon or how frequently I may go back.  I'm pretty sure not more than once a year.    If I kept up on a few things myself throughout the year (using cuticle oil, pushing back my cuticles, keeping them painted) I think I could keep my hands and feet looking almost as nice as what they did today.  I think mid-to-late spring is a great time to get a pedicure though.  Start off the summer right.  Now I won't be quite as embarrassed to wear my flip flops or other cute open-toed sandals. :)

More than anything, I think this experience motivated me to take more time for myself.  I tend to let the stressed of life consume me, and don't take the small amount of time required to do simple things like paint my nails. Even if you don't go to a spa and have a massage, I think it's important to just pause life for a moment (or an hour) and just sit and relax.  Play some relaxing music, clear your mind, and then refocus.  


I could not for the life of me get an acceptable picture of my feet, so you are stuck with two of my hands.

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Little Miss Scatterbrain

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I have had my garbage bin sitting out at the end of the driveway for two days now.  Let me explain why.

I have not being doing well in the mornings lately.  I've been having some sleep inertia issues.  It takes me a long time to get my wits about me in the mornings.  It really takes about three hours.  Anyway, Wednesday morning I somehow thought it was Thursday morning (my garbage pick-day).  I thought I had forgotten to bring the garbage to the street and so I did it before I sped off to work.  Before I even arrived at work I realized my stupidity. 

Then Wednesday night, when I usually take the garbage out, I was all excited that the chore was already done.  Yay! 

Then when I came home from work tonight I noticed it had not been picked up.  That's when it hit me.  Memorial Day was Monday.  My garbage company considers that one of their few holiday days and therefore my pick-up would be delayed one day.  So my garbage is currenly still sitting on the curb. 

And that is my Little Miss Scatterbrain story of the week.  Share one of yours in the comments!

UPDATE!  I just tried to take money out of an ATM with my credit card.  I sure am on a roll this week.

Spa Day

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While on my mini-vacation this past weekend, a friend asked if I wanted to join her and a few others at a spa for a little pampering and TLC this coming Saturday.  On impulse I said yes, not entirely sure if I wanted to go.  I am a little nervous.  And also have a hard time justifying that much money just to be pampered, which is obviously not a necessity. 

Here is what I have to look forward to come Saturday:

  • swedish massage
  • mini manicure
  • mini pedicure

Two of my sisters have been telling me for a long time that I should get a manicure and a pedicure. I figure every woman should have all the above experiences at least once in her life. It's almost summertime so that's obviously a great time to make your feet look nice in your flip flops and cute sandals. I have been extremely tense and stressed at work lately so this would also be the perfect time to try a massage.  It just sort of feel into my lap and I didn't want to let the opportunity go to waste.  


Are these three things every woman should experience at least once? Is it worth the money or is it a waste?  Am I the only woman that has made it to thirty without once experincing a mani/pedi or a massage?

Memorial Day Weekend Highlights

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I had a great long weekend.  I took Friday off and my boyfriend and I made a small little vacation of it.  We took a small trip to visit a whole bunch of my boyfriend's friends, who are slowly becoming my good friends as well.  There were several that we only get to see once or twice a year. 

Here are some of the highlights:

Our friends just bought a new house earlier this year and they had some really beautiful irises in bloom.  I was a little jealous.  The previous owners of my house had one little patch but it didn't bloom last year and didn't bloom this year either.  I just planted some last week so we'll see what happens.

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We played hours and hours of this game called Ladder Ball.  I had never heard of it before but it was really fun.  Highly recommended if you're throwing an outdoor party.

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We made an "adult watermelon" which was filled with rum and left to sit overnight.  Delicious.


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How did you spend this lovely holiday weekend?

Hodgepodge

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Shopping

After work today my boyfriend wanted to go to Kohls to buy some new shorts. I said I'd like to go with him to take a quick look and see if they had anything I liked. I had never been and was curious.  Well, they definitely did. I ended up spending almost $125. I found a pair of pants, a pair of capris, a pair of shorts, and two cute short-sleeved tops (really pretty blue and purple colors). Awesome. Because of the way I am built (short, odd proportions) and body image issues, shopping is usually a nightmare and I end up leaving 2 hours later very discouraged and with empty hands. I was pleasantly surprised this time.  :)   We also headed over to Walmart to grab an air mattress to take with us on a trip this weekend.


Annual Performance Appraisal

Today was my annual performance appraisal. Man, I hate those. I have never had a remotely negative one but I am always scared to death of them. I just hate it. Just give me a write-up of my performance and I'll read it. I'll come to you if I have issues with it.  I hate the one-on-one to discuss it. In today's case it was two-on-one since I switched managers half way through the year.


The Garden

I've almost got everything planted now. Just a few things left. I'm starting to get paranoid that I'm doing it all wrong. I don't think I like the way the flower bed turned out. And I'm afraid I did a terrible job of spacing all the veggies. I need to just relax about it. This is supposed to be fun, right?


Long Weekend

I took Friday off as a vacation day, as did The Boy. We are heading downstate to a huge Memorial Day/Birthday party. It is an annual thing and always lots of fun. So excited about 4 days with no work!! I made another rhubarb crisp (I have more rhubarb than I can keep up with and the crisp I brought into work this week was a huge success) to take with us to the party. I hope people will enjoy it.


Picture of the week

And finally, a pretty picture to tide you over until Tuesday. Happy Memorial Day!

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Weekend in pictures

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A rhubarb crisp was made to surprise The Boy with upon his return:

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Lots of flowers and veggie plants were purchased:
IMG_3046.JPGLots and lots of flowers and plants:
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Clothes were sorted through and made ready for donation:
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What did you do this weekend?


Time Apart

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My boyfriend has been away all of this past week.  He left in the very early hours of Sunday morning to go to California for a business trip.  This is the second time we've been apart for more than a day or two.  The first time was when I went to Florida for a week and it was only about 2 months into our relationship, I think.  I have missed him terribly.  I long to see him after this time apart, and I think that is healthy.  It is similar  to only being able to really appreciate how wonderful a beautiful sunny day is once you've experienced the alternative, a gloomy cloudy day.

He is coming home tomorrow night so tonight I have been busy trying to make the yard look nice and the inside of the house sparkle.  I stopped at the garden store to get some more flowers for landscaping, and the grocery store to stock up on some food, and to get a couple of things for a rhubarb crisp that I am going to attempt to make for him tomorrow morning.  A friend of ours made it last year and he loved it so I thought it would be a nice gesture.  And, there is a ton of ripe rhubarb out in the backyard that needs to be used.  It is a different [easier] recipe than the one our friend used last year and I have never made it before so it could be a huge flop.  I figure there is no harm in trying though.

I do actually think it is good to have a little time apart.  I think sometimes we take our significant other always being there for granted.  Being away helps us appreciate them a little more.  Also, it gives you a little reminder that you can in fact survive without your significant other and you are your own independent and confident individual.  Once you are deep into a relationship and spend so much time together you may begin to forget you still exists as your own person, not just as part of a couple.


So what do you think, does distance make the heart grow fonder?  Is time apart healthy for your relationship?  What do you do when you are a sans your significant other?

Vegetable gardener

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Last Spring was the first Spring that I owned my own property.  As such, it was the first opportunity I had to plant my own vegetable garden. 

I... FAILED... MISERABLY.  

To give you an idea just how miserably I failed, I ate one tomato from the garden.  The squash, zucchini, and cucumbers never bared any fruit.  The deer got at the small number of tomatoes that did come to fruition before they were ripe enough for me to pick. 

I had no idea what I was doing.  My back yard has lots of trees so it's pretty shady.  I was too lazy (apparently) to put up any sort of fencing. I also didn't do a very good job of weeding.

This year I... still really don't know what I'm doing, but at least I'm ahead of where I was last year. I've done some research and erected a fence around a 5' x 5' area. I've bought some plants and put together a plan.

A friend from work introduced me to the following web site: Gardener's Supply Company. One of the really cool features is Kitchen Garden Designer where you can drag and drop different vegetables into a grid divided into 1' x 1' squares.  So far I have bought (but not yet planted due to frost warnings) the following plants/seeds: tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers, leaf lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, green peppers, red peppers, and zucchini. Once you're finished, you click the GO button and it will print out all kinds of information about each of the veggies you selected for your garden.  The picture below is what I've got planned so far.



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I am not letting last year's failure deter me!  Wish me luck  :)


Book Nerd

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Yesterday, I was a book nerd.  The Boy sent me a text yesterday afternoon asking if I wanted to go to the bookstore.  I didn't really need to go but he always humors me and goes wherever I want to go so I said yes.  He wanted to buy a book or two for his mom, and then one for himself to take with him on an upcoming work trip to California. 

I thought I might buy something since I don't have any books lined up in the queue right now.  At first I had a hard time finding anything.  Then, I apparently was on a roll and found 3 in the span of 2 minutes.  Literally.  They are all books that sounded interesting and they were all books written by authors I had previously enjoyed. I am really excited to start reading.

The three books I ended up buying were:

  • little earthquakes, by Jennifer Weiner
  • American Wife, by Curtis Sittenfeld
  • Joy in the Morning, by Betty Smith

little earthquakes

  Jennifer Weiner's rich, witty, true-to-life New York Times bestselling novel tells the story of three very different women as they navigate one of life's most wonderful and perilous transitions: the journey of new motherhood.
Becky is a plump, sexy chef who has a wonderful husband and baby girl, a restaurant that's received citywide acclaim -- and the mother-in-law from hell. Kelly is an event planner who's struggling to balance work and motherhood while dealing with an unemployed husband who seems content to channel-surf for eight hours a day. And Ayinde's basketball superstar husband breaks her trust at her most vulnerable moment, putting their new family even more in the public eye. Then there's Lia, a Philadelphia native who has left her Hollywood career behind, along with her husband and a tragic secret, to start her life all over again.
From prenatal yoga to postbirth sex, Little Earthquakes is a frank, funny, fiercely perceptive take on the comedies and tragedies of love and marriage.



American Wife

  A kind, bookish only child born in the 1940s, Alice Lindgren has no idea that she will one day end up in the White House, married to the president. In her small Wisconsin hometown, she learns the virtues of politeness, but a tragic accident when she is seventeen shatters her identity and changes the trajectory of her life. More than a decade later, when the charismatic son of a powerful Republican family sweeps her off her feet, she is surprised to find herself admitted into a world of privilege. And when her husband unexpectedly becomes governor and then president, she discovers that she is married to a man she both loves and fundamentally disagrees with-and that her private beliefs increasingly run against her public persona. As her husband's presidency enters its second term, Alice must confront contradictions years in the making and face questions nearly impossible to answer.



Joy in the Morning

  In Brooklyn, New York, in 1927, Carl Brown and Annie McGairy meet and fall in love. Though only eighteen, Annie travels alone to the Midwestern university where Carl is studying law to marry him. Little did they know how difficult their first year of marriage would be, in a faraway place with little money and few friends. But Carl and Annie come to realize that the struggles and uncertainty of poverty and hardship can be overcome by the strength of a loving, loyal relationship. An unsentimental yet uplifting story, Joy in the Morning is a timeless and radiant novel of marriage and young love.


The books that I had previously read by these authors (all of which I highly recommend) are Good in Bed and In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner, Prep and The Man of My Dreams by Curtis Sittenfeld, and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith.


What is the last book you bought or read?  What book(s) would you recommend?

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Related Posts:
eat, pray, love - a novel by Elizabeth Gilbert about a woman who travels to three different countries for three months each in an effort to find herself after a divorce.
the condition - a novel by Jennifer Haigh about a dysfunctional New England family.  Each family member has their own personal issues and struggles.  The youngest child has a medical conditional called Turner Syndrome.

Mother's Day Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

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I plan on heading home to spend some time with my mom on Sunday.  I wasn't able to come up with a spectacular mother's day gift so I am going to attempt to bake one of her favorite pies.  The rhubarb in the garden is just now ready to be picked.  Last year I made a strawberry-rhubarb pie and she absolutely loved it.  She is not big on desserts (an understatement) but this is one of the few desserts she enjoys and will eat.  I'm a bit nervous because my oven is on its last leg, and I'm afraid the pie won't turn out well because of it. 

Here is the strawberry-rhubarb pie recipe that I used to make several (9-inch) pies last year and got lots of rave reviews:

Ingredients:

Pastry for 9-inch two-crust pie
1 1/3 to 12/3 cups sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel (optional)
2 cups cut-up rhubarb (1 1/2 inch pieces)
2 cups sliced strawberries
3 tablespoons margarine or butter

Directions:

Heat oven to 425. Prepare pasty. Mix sugar, flour, and orange peel. Turn half of the rhubarb into pastry-lined pie plate; sprinkle with half of the sugar mixture. Repeat with remaining rhubarb and sugar mixture; dot with margarine. Cover with top crust that has slits cut in it; seal and flute. Sprinkle with sugar if desired. Cover edge with 2-3 inch strip of aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning; remove foil during last 15 minutes of baking.

Bake until crust is brown and juice begins to buble through slits in crust, 40-50 minutes.


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On getting engaged

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Getting engaged is an exciting thing.  It is one of those few special moments you'll remember forever.  I admit that I have actually thought more about the proposal than about the wedding itself.

I was asked twice, just today, when I was going to get engaged/married.

When is the ring coming?!

Honestly, I have no idea.  And I am not in any rush.  Maybe I should be since I'm definitely not getting any younger, but I'm not. My boyfriend and I have have been dating a little shy of three years now, and we are not yet engaged.  I probably started getting the question frequently after about 2 years.

My feeling about it at the moment is I am very happy with my relationship, and since I am happy I am in no rush to change anything . What difference, really, will it make if I have a ring on my finger or not. I have a significant other whom I love dearly and we have a nice life together. I know that he is fully committed to me, and I am fully committed to him.

Maybe in another year or two I will change my tune.  For now, I am perfectly content with a bare ring finger on my left hand (and my boy holding the right one).   


If you are married, how long did you date before getting engaged? Is there a certain amount of time of dating where you should either tie the knot or call it quits?


A Beautiful Day

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Today was a beautiful day here in Upstate NY.  In fact, it was a beautiful weekend.  And I took full advantage of it by spending many hours outdoors in my yard doing various gardening and landscaping activities.  It really was a nice two days, minus the ridiculous amount of bug bites I got. 

I love the feeling of spring where everything comes alive again.  I love being out in the fresh air where the temperature is just right -- not too hot, not too cold. Generally this greatly improves my mood.  It tends to shift with the weather.  I am happier and more energetic during this time of year.

I hope that you had a beautiful weekend as well.


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Apple tree that lies on the border between my yard and my neighbors

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.

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

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