January 2010 Archives


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Yesterday I felt very guilty, and a bit disappointed in myself.  I still feel the same way today, but to a lesser extent.

During the week I normally eat lunch at my desk.  I have been very good about eating according to my diet.  Over the last 4 months I went out to lunch on September 28th (Olive Garden, for my birthday lunch), and then on December 3rd (Olive Garden again, taking a prospective employee out to lunch as part of the interview process).  And that's it.  Anyway, yesterday I went out to lunch again.  I wasn't really that bad, but I had my sub on white bread.  This will sound strange but I was "afraid" of the wheat bread that I normally eat.  I recall the last time I was at the sub place when I got my sub I was unpleasently surprised by tthe fact they had changed their bread.  At it was some sort of multi-grain with all kinds of seeds and nuts.  So I got the white, but figured that was ok since I have had next to know white bread since the beginning of November.  I "cheated", but only felt a slight twinge of guilt for going out and not eating my usual lunch that I make myself.

Then last night I was really bad.  We planned to go to Friday's for dinner.  We usually go out with some friends on Friday or Saturday night, and I've been able to find something at a few particular restaurants that actually sort of fit with my diet.  At Fridays that particular meal is the Key West Shrimp.  I think it is pretty much the only low carb thing on the menu.  When we got there though, they had a special deal going.  3 courses for $12.99.  And my shrimp dish was listed as one of the entrees available under the deal.  At the bottom of the special menu insert there was a beautiful picture of a chocolate peanut butter pie with a mini reeses on top.  Ugh.  Then I looked at the list of available appetizers and knew I was screwed.  Mozzarella sticks.  I absolutely love mozzarella sticks.  Now there was some major inner turmoil going on.  Do I just get that entree dish with a nice salad with low-fat balsamic dressing and be unhappy about what I am missing out on, or do I go ahead and get what I want but then feel terribly guilty about it?  Well, as you can tell from the title of the post I went ahead and ordered exactly what I wanted, and then felt terribly guilty about it.

I know it isn't really a bit deal, but I have to keep telling mysefl that in order to really convince myself.  I know I need to allow myself to occassionally have something bad if I enjoy it, I just can't have it too often.  I know I will get right back on track today. 



it looks awesome, doesn't it?


Ingrid Michaelson's Everybody

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I was introduced to Ingrid Michaelson quite a while ago.  The first song I heard was called The Way I Am.  I liked the song quite a bit and downloaded it on iTunes.  I listened to some of her others songs and thought they were good but I only ended up downloading the one song. 

She released another album called Everybody last August but I never heard it until last December.  I checked it out after talking with a friend and really loved it.  About a month ago I went and bought the album.  I have been listening to it a ton at work ever since.  I find her music very happy and calming so it helps to destress me while I'm working on something. 

Overall, I think this is a great album with a lot of great songs.  There are a lot of pop-y catchy tunes but it still has an indie feel.  There are also a few other slower, softer, sweeter songs (Are We There Yet, Sort Of, Chain) that are also really nice.  I love the variety of instruments on the album -- acoustic guitar, piano, accordian, horns, organ, etc.  There's even ukulele.

Favorite Song: Everybody  --  I had a very hard time choosing a favorite.  At the moment it happens to be this one.  The song is very upbeat and uplifting.  Very catchy chorus.  And I love the clapping.  Love, the clapping.

Also love:
Maybe --  I think this was the first song I heard off the album.  Lovely song about letting someone you love go, and hoping that maybe one day they will return to you if it was meant to be. 
Locked-Up  --  Another catchy tune.  I find the following lyric really amusing, "Like an angry apple tree I throw my apples if you get too close to me".  The lyrics in the song are maybe my favorite on the entire album.
Mountain and The Sea  --   I love the opening bit with the ukulele.  And there's more clapping!


Least Favorite Song:  Men Of Snow  --  I actually quite like the beginning of this song, the piano background and the lovely little story in the lyrics.  But then I sort of lose interest and zone out.  It fades into the background a bit.







Sidenote: I originally thought that ingrid was maybe 20 years old.  Turns out she just turned thirty in December. 


What do you listen to when you need to calm down, relax, improve your mood, destress, etc.?


Related Posts:

Things I Love: Music Edition

Come On Eileen


The Glass Passenger

I Wish I Could Knit

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I really wish I knew how to knit.  Mostly so that I could make myself one of these:


photo credit: http://whatkarenknits.blogspot.com


I have a very small head, and almost every hat I try on in the store is far to large.  Being able to make my own would solve this problem.  There is also just something I really like about being able to make your own things.

Maybe one of these days I will finally learn.  Or maybe I will email my sister and see if she wants to make one for me  :)

Pattern: Amanda Hat by Gina House


Hoarders, on A&E

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My latest tv discovery, about a month or so ago, is a show called Hoarders that airs on A&E on Monday nights at 10:00pm. I must confess I am a little bit addicted.  If you don't already know, each episode profiles two individuals that are compulsive hoarders.  Most times the person is on the verge of losing their home, their children, or both.  Psychologists, professional organizers, and professional cleaners are all called in to help.


Whenever I watch an episode it makes me feel 2 things:


1.  sad and sorry for the people the show is about

2.  the urge to hop up off the couch and clean and declutter


I can't help but feel sympathy/empathy for these people.  Some people may not understand the mentality of hoarding and just yell at the tv screen, Just throw it out already!  It's trash!  What's the problem?!  But I am able to put myself in their shoes.  I think about what it must feel like to live like that.  I think it's a psychological issue and the person isn't exactly living that way by choice.  I feel very bad that the person may lose their home or their family may be split apart.


I also can't help but want to completely declutter every counter top, table, closet, etc. in my entire house.  Even if my house is currently in a pretty decent state.  There's usually something that could be put away or organized or scrubbed down.  The show really speaks to my perfectionist side.


I would be remiss if I wrote a post about Hoarders and didn't come clean and admit that I definitely have some hoarding tendencies.  I think this is part of the reason why i am fascinated with the show.  I have it well under control, but it takes a conscious effort, and sometimes I need reminders from those around me.  Through nature or nuture, I blame my mom.  :) 


Have you seen Hoarders?  What do you think?  Are you a hoarder yourself, or maybe the exact opposite?

Positively Positive

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I am extremely happy with the way 2010 is starting out. 

I was damn near skipping down the aisles at the grocery store the other night because I was in that good of a mood.  I kid you not.  My diet is quickly turning into less of a diet and more of a lifestyle change that I can live with long term.  I was happy to be able to walk by certain sections of the grocery store and barely miss some of the bad stuff I used to eat.  I no longer get upset about not going out to dinner on a Friday or Saturday night.  And when I do go out, there are plenty of place and entrees that I can enjoy without feeling guilty.

I was happy and thankful that I didn't have to do all the meal planning and shopping alone.  I had one of my favorite people in the world right there next to me.

This past Saturday afternoon I got a call from my parents who wanted to come up for an short impromptu visit.  My boyfriend and I were able to get the house up to parent standards in no time (one of my "initiatives" for 2010 was to keep my house in a clean/decluttered state where people could just pop over and I wouldn't be embarrassed).

I've been doing the things I enjoy (another 2010 "initiative") -- watching movies, reading, hanging out with friends and family.  I have really been enjoying the Netflix and new tv.

Even the weather has been cooperating with me, at least this last week or so.  The temps have been in mid to upper thirties, there's been some sun, and almost all the snow has melted.

It's been less than three weeks, but we're certainly off to a great start.  :)

First Large Purchase of 2010

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I can hardly believe we purchased a large and somewhat fun and exciting item 2.5 weeks ago (on Jan. 1) and I didn't think to post about it until yesterday.  Large meaning expensive, but also meaning large in size.

Over a year ago my boyfriend started talking about buying a new tv.  He started doing all kinds of research on them.  Talking with friends, reading reviews, learning about the different aspects of tvs in general.  This went on for months and months and months.  Fast forward to about a year later and I was starting to get slightly impatient that will still didn't have a tv!  We were still using the tv I purchased for about $300 when I first moved out of my parents house and into my own apartment nearly ten years ago.  We had a few chats about it and he finally decided what he wanted -- a 50" plasma made by Panasonic.  The thing is BIG.  Also, I love it.


new tv.JPGThe next thing we needed to decide on, preferably before purchasing the tv, was a tv stand.  We did some shopping online and went to several stores but couldn't really find anything we really loved.  We ended up stopping at Best Buy and finally found something we both liked and in our price range.  So we picked that up at the same time we picked up the tv.

Now, there's actually a little story behind this tv stand.  We read a few reviews on it and one particular review was from a woman who said she and her 72 or 73 year old father put it together in about an hour and a half.  So we figured we could do it in that amount of time or maybe less.  We started putting it together at around 7:40 pm.  Probably around 9 or 9:30 it was all assembled and we were ready to mount it on the pole on the back of the stand.  I was very nervous because the tv was quite heavy and it was a struggle for me to lift it high enough to mount.  I was so afraid of dropping the thing.  Had that happened, I think I would have been killed on the spot.  On the second try we got it up.  I went to the loveseat to admire the new stand with the super huge tv and... kind of cocked my head to the side.  "I think it's crooked," I said timidly.  My boyfriend came over next to me and agreed that it was indeed crooked.  Very crooked.  I wasn't sure I had it in me to move the tv again but it had to be done.  We took it off the mount (oh so carefully) and then proceeded to see if we could figure out why the heck the thing was so off.  We un-did and re-did the approximately 1000 screws with the stupid little allen wrenches.  We used a level at every stage of the process checking out the various different locations to see what wasn't level.  After an hour or two I gave up.  But my boyfriend was still determined.  He kept at it for another while longer but ultimatly decided that whatever was wrong with it was a manfucturing problem.  We eventually removed the tall mounting pole from the back and replaced it with the shorter ron and just placed the tv on the top shelf of the stand instead of mounting it.  It must have been around 2 am when all was said and done and the new tv was safely resting in its new home.  We may eventually mount it on the wall, but for now it is staying put. 

Thank You Notes

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I am a big believer in the traditional hand-written thank you note.  I am pretty behind this year, but did finally write my notes today.  I was struggling a little bit with what to write so I kept putting it off.  To get over the hump and get it done, I did two things.  1.  I consulted google.  2.  I typed them up on the computer first.

I did a generic search on google for "how to write a thank you note".  I was pleasantly surprised to find that what my mom and dad taught me on this subject when I was younger seems to hold up in terms of thank-you note etiquette.  In case you are curious, here is a link to one of the articles I found that I liked best: How to Write a Thank-You Note

I think typing them up in Word first really helped with the mental block.  There is just somthing about writing something in ink with pen and paper that instills a little fear in me.  I think that's part of the perfectionist inside of me.  I feel like I have one and only one shot to get it right so I need to know exactly what I'm going to say and how much space it will take up, etc before I write the real deal.  Anyway, here is a sampling what I wrote:


Dear Uncle Dan,

Thank you very much for your generous Christmas gift. It is much appreciated. It will most likely go towards a nice winter outfit that I can wear to work. My wardrobe is currently too heavily skewed towards the spring/summer side!

I hope that you have an enjoyable visit and birthday down in Florida next week.

Thanks again for your gift.



Dear Joan and Tom,

Thank you very much for your generous Christmas gift. It is much appreciated. I have recently gotten into running and using an elliptical machine so the Dick's gift card will be put to good use purchasing a new exercise outfit or perhaps a new pair of sneakers.

I hope that you both, and both of the girls, are all doing well. Many congratulations to Cathryn on her engagement!

Thanks again for your gift.



Do you still write traditional thank-you notes?  If so, what types of rules/guidelines do you use when writing them? 


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Last night my boyfriend and I, along with a few other friends, went and saw Avatar.  If I am completely honest, I didn't really have a ton of interest in watching this movie.  I decided to go just because everyone else was and I figured it was something to do.  I didn't really know anything about it other than there were some odd looking creatures that were blue and like 8 or 10 feet tall.  Seemed a little weird and maybe a little too out there for my liking.

But, I am SO glad that I went.  Yes, the movie was long, but it wasn't too long.  It kept me captivated and interested from the very first minute to the very last.  I was in awe with all the stunning visual effects.  In fact, I am still in awe thinking about it a day later. 

If I had to do it all over again I would have gotten popcorn and I would have arrived at the theater earlier in order to get better seats. 

If you don't already know about the plot you can read more about the movie here: http://www.avatarmovie.com/index.html.  I am not going to say anything more about what the movie is about though because I thought going in knowing next to nothing about the storyline enhanced my experience that much more.

In my opinion, it was worth every penny of the $12.25 it cost to see it.  I think this is one movie you defintely do not want to miss out on.


Have you seen Avatar yet?  If you have, what are your thoughts on it?  If you haven't seen it, are you planning to? 

Looking Forward

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I really like New Year's.  I love how it feels like the beginning of each new year is a fresh start with a clean slate.  I feel so motivated and inspired.  I do have a few smaller things I'd like so do and see happen during the next 12 months, but nothing crazy. 


Things I am looking forward to:

  • A nice vacation somewhere with my boyfriend.  I think Mexico is currently topping the list of possible destinations.  It doesn't really matter to me where we go.
  • Netflix.  I got a subscription for Christmas.  So far I am LOVING it. So far I have watched Funny People, Milk, Seven Pounds, Series 1 and 2 of The IT Crowd.
  • Doing more baking and cooking.  I want to try at least 2 new dishes a month. 


Things I hope to accomplish:

  • Continue losing weight and turn my diet into a lifestyle.  I started out the year at 126.  I'd like to be under 120.
  • Read more.  Over the last 6 months or so I started getting back into reading.  I really enjoy it, and want to keep it up.  I particularly love reading before bed.
  • Improve myself as an employee.  I am aiming for a small promotion.  I want to be more of a leader.  Someone that others look up to and come to for knowledge and guidance.
  • Keep the house clean and uncluttered.  I don't like having a disorganized home, but somehow I always seem to be just a little too tired/lazy to keep it the way I really want it.  Ideally it would almost always be in a state where I wouldn't be embarrassed if people just stopped by at a moments notice. 
  • Make more time for my blog, and improve its quality.  The second half is a bit subjective and hard to measure but it is a goal nonetheless.
  • Become a rock star.  Just kidding.  Just seeing if you were paying attention.  :)


For 2010 I think my biggest goal is to just enjoy life to the fullest.  To me this simply means doing more of the things I enjoy and doing less of the things I don't.  For maybe the first year ever I am mostly content with just seeing where life takes me.  I am very optimistic that good things lie ahead.  I am filled with giddy suspense like a kid on Christmas morning waiting for permission to tear open the enticing packages, only with much more patience.  I want to savor each and every gift.  

Looking Back

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2009.  It wasn't fantastic, it wasn't horrible.



Being given a medication that dramatically improved how I feel on a daily basis after being diagnosed with a sleeping disorder, Periodic Limb Movement Disorder.

Feeling even more sure that my boyfriend is the one after seeing how he dealt with me as I was struggling for months on end with sleep deprivation and had a horrible allergic reaction to a medication.  The love and care he showed me could only have come from someone who truly loves me.

Trying my hand at gardening.

A trip to New York City.

I started running and eating better and lost 15 pounds.

A trip to Rhode Island, Cape Cod, and Boston with my significant other.

I learned new things in the kitchen including how to make a rhubarb crisp, tilapia, christmas sugar cookies, and buckeyes.


In Pictures:


Apr.JPG  May.JPG  June.JPG

July.JPG Aug.JPG Sept.JPG


(click on thumbnails for larger versions)

January - Fleece backet I made for a friend who had a baby in March

February - Cupcakes I made for my boyfriend on Valentine's Day.

March - First signs of spring. 

April - Easter Lily given to me by my boyfriend's parents as a get well gift.

May - Bleeding heart in the backyard.

June - Iris in the backyard.

July - View of Boston, MA from the 50th floor of the Prudential building.

August - At my parents house on the lake Where I like to spend a handful of summer weekends.

September - 31st birthday.

October - Fall foliage along the Erie Canal.

November - Friend's wedding cake.

December - Christmas tree.


At the end of each year I like to sum it all up in one short phrase.  2009 will be known as the year of the doctors appointments.  There were more appointments than I could have ever imagined, but I am optimistic that is all behind me now.  And I am looking forward to what new and exciting things 2010 has in store for me.


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 January 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

December 2009 is the previous archive.

February 2010 is the next archive.

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