November 2010 Archives

Monday Five Countdown #4

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It's Monday again, so it's once again time to do the Monday 5 Countdown that I got from Bookish Penguin.
Five Things I'm Grateful For:
  1. Friends and family.  The people who are there for me when I need them and help make my life that much better.
  2. Apple Pie.  My favorite thing about Thanksgiving dinner!  Also, it's other-half, french vanilla!
  3. Online shopping so I don't necessarily have to battle the crowds at the mall.
  4. My elliptical.  So I can still exercise during the cold winter months without having a gym membership.
  5. Getting two consecutive nights of good, restful sleep.
Four Things I Can't Stop Thinking About:
  1. A late-winter vacation.  I'd really like to go somewhere warm for a week during February or March.  I keep brainstorming different ideas in terms of location.
  2. What to knit next!  I have a couple friends having babies soon, so been thinking about doing some newborn hats.  Or maybe some hats/scarves for Christmas gifts.  Hmmm.
  3. My family tree research.  I spent a lot of time this past week going through all the information I have and researching on  I keep thinking about where I can search next to get past a couple of brick walls.   
  4. My boyfriend and what he's doing and how much longer til he comes home...  Been without him for 6 days -- but he comes home today!

Three Things I Want To Accomplish This Week:
  1. Use the elliptical for 30 minutes at least 3 times this week
  2. Purchase the first of the Christmas gifts.
  3. Clean up my blog a bit -- update the Categories, as well as tweak the About Me and Turner Syndrome pages  
Two Things I Am Working To Be Positive About:
  1. My back, which is still hurting from a couple weeks ago.  Still hoping it's nothing serious and will eventually go away. It does seem to be improving some.
  2. Going back to work.  I only worked two days last week and it's always rough going back after extra time off.  Was really getting used to this rest and relaxation thing.
One Random Thing:
  1. My local grocery store, overall, is pretty amazing.  Great produce.  Great meat.  But lately every time I go they are always out of something I need.  Usually it's at least two things.  This week it was chicken tenderloins and frozen chopped spinach.  Last week it was Pomodoro sauce.  Grrr.  I know I could just go over to the other store that's also about 5 minutes from my house, but I don't want to have to.  That's extra work, man!


What's going on with your Monday Five?


2010 Holiday Gift Ideas

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I put together a list of 10 gift ideas for the thirty-something males or females in your life.  Some are things I own and love, and others are things that are on my personal wish list for this year.  All links provided are affiliate links to  Happy shopping!



Assassin's Creed.jpg  

Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood   ($54.44)

Most of the guys I know play video games.  I will often buy a video game for my boyfriend for his birthday or Christmas, and it's a big hit with him and his friends usually comment on how awesome a girlfriend I am.  I bought Assassin's Creed II previously and seems to be a popular game.  New version just came out so this seems like a perfect gift. 



ice cream maker.jpg

Cuisinart ICE-30BC Pure Indulgence 2-Quart Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream Maker   ($69.95)

My boyfriend and I recently had dinner of at our friends house and for dessert they made home-made ice cream.  My boyfriend went nuts over it.  I'm thinking he might enjoy getting one of these for Christmas.  One other awesome thing about giving this to him is I get to use it too! 




Apple iPad MB292LL/A Tablet (16GB, Wifi)   ($542.00 - $985.98)

My boyfriend has wanted one of these since they first came out.  I was vaguely enticed as well.  I got to use one first had a few weeks ago and it was pretty sweet.  I'm still debating whether or not to shell out the major cash for this.



Keurig B60 Special Edition Gourmet Single-Cup Home-Brewing System   ($129.99)

I am not a coffe drinker, but I certainly know a lot of people who are.  And everyone seems to love this Keurig.  I don't think you can go wrong with this if you know a coffee drinker who doesn't already have one.




Kindle Wireless Reading Device, Wi-Fi, 6" Display - with New E Ink (Pearl) Technology   ($139.00)

This is one that's on my personal wish list.  I have been resisting for a while, but a couple months ago I got the bug and now want one.   Clicking the link above will thake you to a page that has lots of reviews and videos and more details on this kindle as well as the other kindle products.



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Oneida Bakeware Rectangular Baking Stone w/Rack  ($14.99)

I love making home-made pizza.  We make a healthier version than eating pizza out or ordering in.  We use whole wheat crust and low fat mozz. cheese.  I bought this for my boyfriend's parents, they loved it, so I had to buy one for myself, too!  It works great and makes a big difference with the pizza.  Now I just need a pizza peel.


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Smartwool Women's Ultra Comfy Trio Gift Box Socks   ($49.95)

I got a couple pair of these for my birthday in September and absolutely love them.  Cute, comfortable, warm, high quality.  A little on the expensive side considering how cheap you can get a pack of Hanes for, but well worth it in my opinion.


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The Help ($12.48)

This is by far my favorite book that I have read this year.  Probably in my top 5 of all-time.  I think almost any thirty-something female would enjoy this book. 



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Travel Garment Bag for Dresses   ($11.82)

I've been to a lot of out of town weddings over the last year and and half I really could have used one of these on each of those trips. 



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Raspberry Rose Cozy Knit Womens Ugg Slippers   ($100.00)

I have hardwoods throughout my entire house and slippers are really a must (although my boyfriend disagrees).  Several of my family members have had Ugg slippers for a few years now and they've held up really well and they really like them.  I think these pair is really cute -- I love the pretty raspberry color.

If you're looking for more ideas here's what I came up with in 2009:

Gifts for Thirty-Somethings

More Gift Ideas for Thirty-Somethings


What are you asking for this Christmas?




Tip When Baking Apple Pie

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I caught an episode of Good Eats with our friend Alton Brown recently.  I don't generally watch it but happened to come across an episode where he was making an applie pie.  He had lots of tips and tricks but the one I really picked up on, and decided to try on my Thanksgiving apple pie was to let the apples "drop" before baking.  You core, peel, and slice the apples and then mix them with 1/4 cup of sugar.  Put the apples in a colendar, put the colendar in a bowl, and let them sit in the fridge for an hour and a half.  The aples will drain and lose some of their juice.  After the hour and a half take the juice and reduce it in a saucepan until there are about 2 tablespoons.  Take this reduction sauce and brush it onto the top crust before putting it in the oven.  This worked great for me.  It avoided the usual problem of the apples dropping while in the oven and you have a huge air pocket between the baked apples and the crust.

Here's a link to the original Alton Brown Recipe: Super Apple Pie Recipe 


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Knitting Pattern: Child's Watermelon Hat

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I made this hat over the last few days for a 1 1/2 year old daughter of a friend of mine.  I kind of made up the pattern as I went and wrote it down to share (and possibly repeat myself).  Let me know if you end up trying it!

watermelon hat.JPG

1 size 9 circular needle
5 size 9 double pointed needles
1 stitch marker
4 balls of yarn (I used the following Vanna's Choice brand)
1 ball white yarn (100)
1 ball kelly green yarn (172)
1 ball black yarn (153)
1 ball pink yarn (101)
16 sts = 4"
Children ~2 years of age
Circumference = 18"
Color Chart:
G = Green
W = White
P = Pink
B = Black
cast on 72 stitches
Rows 1-13: knit in G
Rows 14-16: knit in W
Rows 17-20: knit in P
Row 21: k7 in P, k1 in B; rep around
Row 22-24: k in P
Row 25: k3 in P, k1 in B, k4 in P; rep around
Row 26-28: k in P
Row 29: repeat row 21
Row 30-32: k in P
Row 33: repeat row 25
Row 34-36: k in P
start decreasing
Row 37: k6 in P, k2tog in B; rep around
Row 38: k in P
Row 39: k5 in P; k2tog in P; rep around
Row 40: k in P
Row 41: k3 in P, k1 in B, k2tog in P; rep around
Row 42: k in P 
Row 43: k3 in P, k2tog in P; rep around
switch to double pointed needles on this next row, 9 stitches on each of 4 dpns
Row 44: k in P
Row 45: k2 in P, k2tog in P; rep around
Row 46: k in P
Row 47: k1 in P, k2tog in P; rep around
Row 48: k in P
Row 49: k1 in P, k2tog in P; rep around
thread the yarn through the remaining 9 stitches and pull through the middle of the top of the hat to finish.

Thankful For...

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second chances

all the the little things




The Bad Thing About Facebook

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I joined Facebook pretty late in the game compared to most people.  But I did join earlier this year (or maybe last year?), and am now fairly addicted.  Some of it is rather useless, but it's also pretty good for keeping in touch with people.  My boyfriend doesn't have a facebook account so I am often updating him on what's going on in the lives of his friends that he doesn't get to see very often.  And I have one friend in particular from college that I wish would join so that we could keep in better touch. 

But, there is one decidedly negative thing about facebook.  Someone recently posted some fairly horrific and embarrassing pictures of me from approximately 1997.  YIKES.  If I'm being completely honest, there wasn't anything all that bad about them besides my hair and clothes, but it still made me cringe when I saw them.  I really didn't need that little reminder of how terrible I used to look!  And no, I will not post them here for you here so you can get a good chuckle.  Sorry, I'm not that nice.  :-p


What are your thoughts on facebook?  Have you had someone post a picture or write something about you that you would rather they hadn't?

Monday Five Countdown #3

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Five Things I'm Grateful For:
  1. Pandora/Music.  I've had a very mind-numbing task at work lately and listening to music via Pandora has helped me keep my sanity. 
  2. Any night I get a good night's sleep.  Not getting enough sleep makes me incredibly crabby.
  3. The Internet.  Online shopping, finding recipes, learning how to do a DIY project.  All the information you could possibly want (and then some) right at your fingertips.
  4. The fact that I don't have to worry about money, or losing my job.  I know this is causing a lot of stress and anxiety for so many people in the current economy and I am glad it's one thing I don't currently have to worry about.
  5. "Healthy" chocolate milkshakes made in my bender with ice, 1% milk, unsweetened cocoa powder, and splenda.  
Four Things I Can't Stop Thinking About:
  1. Starting an Etsy shop.  There's some really great handmade stuff on Etsy and I really wish I had the time/energy/talent required to open my own Etsy shop.  The only thing I can think of that I could sell would be my knitting, but I'm still a novice.
  2. My hurting back. Been hurting like crazy for the last four days or so. I think I hurt my tailbone somehow  :-(
  3. Two doctors appointments coming up soon.  Always on the back of my mind.
  4. The girl scout cookies I'm trying not to binge on (thin mints and tagalongs).  Luckily I only bought one box of each from my co-worker.

Three Things I Want To Accomplish This Week:
  1. Start and finish a knit watermelon hat for my friend's one and half year old daughter
  2. Cook/bake something I've never made before. 
  3. Rest and relax and enjoy the holiday.
Two Things I Am Working To Be Positive About:
  1. Being away from my significant other for close to a week while he goes and visits with his family in Boston.
  2. Being able to keep up with posting more frequently after this month is over.
One Random Thing:
  1. I spent several hours in the yard on Saturday cleaning up yet even more leaves (5 or 6 more very large tarp-fulls), digging up/cutting back the old flowers, and planting crocus bulbs for next spring.  I also noticed that the garlic bulbs I planted several weeks ago have actually sprouted! 

If I could choose to change three things about my physical appearance they would be the following:


1.  My height.  I wish I were taller.  I am basically 5' nothing and have desperately wanted to be taller ever since I were really young.  I was constantly teased about my height from a very early age.  For some reason I seem to attribute height with importance or significance.  Logically I know that's completely ludicrous, but being short really does make me feel insignificant or less of a person than others that are taller than I am.  I feel very intimidated and want to cower when standing in close proximity to someone much bigger/taller.  Sometimes I feel like a little annoying bug that you would like to squish with shoe.  I actually don't wish to be tall, per se, just tall-ER.  5'5" or so would be nice. 


2.  My hair.  I wish I had hair with more body.  My hair is incredibly fine.  Because of that it looks terrible any longer than shoulder-length.  I am very envious of those with long, luxurious, thick hair.


3.  My boobs.  I wish I had smaller breasts.  I am fairly well-endowed and it just doesn't work for my smaller frame.  They are a nuisance.  They are in the way.  They make me top-heavy and look very disproportionate. 


So those are my top three physical attributes I would love to change about myself.  What are your top three and why?

How To Wear a Puffer Vest

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I posted last year about buying a puffer vest.  Since then, a lot of people seem to have hit that entry through google asking "how to wear a puffer vest" or "what to wear with a puffer vest".  So I thought I'd give my answer to this question (just my opinion, I'm no fashionista).

I would wear a light-weight, long-sleeve shirt (I am not a fan of the vest with a short-sleeve shirt).  Long sleeve t-shirts are perfect.  I love the yellow and gray combination below (although I would never buy this particular vest in this color because I look hiddeous in yellow). 

puffer vest 1.jpg 

You can also wear it with a turtle neck:

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Or a light-weight sweater (this is my favorite one):

puffer vest 3.jpg


I'm not sure how much I personally like this one, but apparently you can wear them with a belt, too:

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And you can even get a puffer vest for your pup (so cute)!

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Would you wear a puffer vest?  What would you wear it with?  What do you think of wearing one with a belt?  Would you buy one for you pet?

I Answer Questions

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Debbie over at Starting My Life at 35... tagged me to answer a few questions.  Even though the questions were a bit tough for me, I thought I would oblige.


1.  What is the biggest change you've made in your life that you never thought you'd really be able to do?

Taking the step to buy a house on my own after renting an apartment for 7 years.  I was extremely intimidated by the financial and other responsibilities of being the sole owner of a house.  My parents were the ones that encouraged me to take that step and I'm actually really glad they did.  This is what I consider to be my biggest accomplishment to-date -- the thing I'm most proud of. 

2.  What's your one guilty pleasure you cannot live without?

Hmm... chocolate?  Hot chocolate, chocolate milk, dark chocolate, chocolate with peanut butter, chocolate cake, chocolate ice cream, hot fudge.  I could probably live without it, I just really wouldn't want to!  Quite simply, chocolate is delicious.

3.  What is your dream vacation?  Money is not an issue.  Time off of work is not an issue.  Where do you go?  Why?

Tough one.  I haven't done much traveling over the years so I don't have much experience to go on.  One thing I do know though, is I like going to the beach.  It's so peaceful, serene, and relaxing.  My sister went to St. Lucia at the beginning of the year and I'd kind of like to go there.  I'd also like to check out Ireland, where my ancestors are from.  I'd love to travel around a large part of Europe for a large chunk of time to immerse myself in the languages and cultures.  My dream vacation would probably include myself and my boyfriend, an ocean, and 75-80 degree weather with lots of sunshine.  Oh, and plenty of good food.  A nice balance between relaxing and doing activities is always good. 

4.  If you could pack up your things and move anywhere and you'd be provided with a job, house, etc where would you live?

Again, tough to answer since I haven't traveled much.  I'm not a big city girl (I get stressed out too easily) and I'm also not a country girl.  I'd live in the 'burbs somewhere.  My parents have a house on Lake Ontario and it's pretty wonderful.  Somewhere near a beach/water would be ideal.  I'm kind of partial to the East Coast/New England -- minus the snow!


Instead of tagging anyone, I'd like to leave it open.  Anyone who would like to answer the above questions, feel free to do so and leave a comment with a link to your answers.  Also, if there's anything you're just dying for me to answer, leave that in a comment and perhaps I'll do another post answering more questions.

Emotional Eating

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Yesterday was a very, very bad day.  When some people get upset they lose their appetite and don't eat much.  Not me.  When I get upset about something I eat.  A lot.  Not only that, but I eat a lot of junk.  You can tell that yesterday was bad based upon what I consumed after I got home from work (close to 7pm):

5 girl scout cookies (chocolate and peanut butter tagalongs)

a big bowl of pasta with meatballs

a bunch of potato chips



Yes, the girl scout cookies were inhaled first, almost immediately upon walking in the door.  I may or may not have had my shoes and jacket off yet.  Hey, at least I had a salad for lunch.

Monday Five Countdown

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Five Things I'm Grateful For:
  1. The ability to work from home.  I wasn't feeling very well on Thursday this past week so I stayed home and got my work done from there.  Much nicer than being at the office and still able to get stuff done. 
  2. Making it through the first 2.5 months of cold and flu season unscathed (knock on wood).
  3. My dad getting (and taking) a new job!
  4. DVR, and now being able to be set things to record from my computer or phone if I need to set it when I'm not home.  It's already come in handy twice in the last few weeks.
  5. My crock pot.  Quick and delicious meals ready as soon as you walk in the door.  Amazing. 
Four Things I Can't Stop Thinking About:
  1. The Tollhouse Cookie Pie I had for dessert at a local restaurant this past weekend.  I almost never get dessert out at restaurants, but this thing is too good to turn down.  I had been craving it for weeks.
  2. Ideas for Christmas gifts.  This is the time when I start getting nervous about find the perfect gifts for everyone.
  3. Skinny Jeans and tall boots.  I think these look awesome on a lot of people and I really wish I were one of those people.  I keep looking and trying them on every time I go shopping.  And every time they still look terrible on me.
  4. What kind of holiday treats I'm going to make this year.  A friend at work is already requesting the chocolate and peanut butter buckeyes I made last year and I have several new goodies to try bookmarked from Candice and Danielle last holiday season.
Three Things I Want To Accomplish This Week:
  1. Start preparing the seeds from my japanese maple tree for planting next year.
  2. Finish the scarf I started.
  3. Compile some family tree information for a cousin that requested it from me a few weeks ago.
Two Things I Am Working To Be Positive About:
  1. The looming winter weather.  I am not a fan, but am trying to remain positive that it won't be that bad, and looking on the bright side.
  2. Losing a few pounds, and not gaining over the holidays.  It's always a battle, isn't it? 
One Random Thing:
  1. I went shopping on Sunday while my boyfriend was off watching football.  I bought 2 new pair of jeans (way overdue) and two new sweaters (really didn't need) including this heather gray cardigan from the gap.  love :)

gray sweater.jpg

Guest Posting Opportunity

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I have had a few people guest post here in the past on their thoughts on turning thirty or being thirty-something.  I think it's about time to add a few more to that collection.  So, if anyone is interested, please leave a comment or send me an email and I will contact you. 

Midnight MamaTabithaMajimoCandice (Bookish Penguin)Delightfully SweetKathy (The Junk Drawer)Dawn (thoughts from along the broken road)?  I'd love to have any of you.  Anyone else?


Here's a list of some of the previous guest posts:

Turning 30, by Christina 

Thought on turning 30, by Mike

Turning 30, by Gary

and here's one that I wrote on this topic back in March of '09: On Turning 30

Full disclosure... the idea for this post was copied from Dawn over at her lovely blog.
1.  Getting lots of sleep.  Hopefully going to be early and getting up at a decent hour.
2.  Really nice weather (for this time of year) on Saturday. Sunny and 61 degrees!
3.  Hopefully installing a new door between the garage and the house.  I've been wanting to do this since last fall.
4.  Going out to dinner with my boyfriend and one of our friends.
5.  Baking and then eating... something.  TBD.
6.  Getting the house back in order.  We've been busy and the housework has slipped a bit. There's a lot more clutter around than I'd like.
7.  Hopefully finally watching the Netflix movie (1408) which arrived weeks ago.
8.  Knitting.  Making more progress on the scarf I'm currently working on.  Maybe starting a cute hat for my friend's daughter.
9.  Reading more of my current book in progress - Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult.
10.  Something else fun and exciting that is yet to be determined.  :)
What are you looking forward to this weekend?

Indoor Plants

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I love indoor plants.  They're good for the air and also look pretty and add a lot to the decor of the house.   I've had houseplants since I moved into my first apartment at the age of 21.  I've had a good track record with all excpet for one type -- african violets.  For some reason they don't seem to like me.  I did a little repotting over this past weekend and thought I would take a share some pictures of some of the plants I have.  They are all extremely easy to care for/hard to kill which is always good. 


Wandering Jew:

wandering jew.JPG


Spider Plant:

spider plant.JPG


Jade Plant:

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Golden Pothos:

golden pothos.JPG



My Most Used/Favorite FREE Android Apps

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I upgraded my phone to a Droid X (my first actual smart phone!) back in early August.  Since then I've downloaded dozens of applications.  Here's a list of some of my favorites and the ones I use the most:


  1. Facebook for Android by Facebook.  I visit facebook on a daily basis.  I love being able to update my status from my phone, and stalking others via their updates.
  2. Angry Birds by Rovio Mobile.  LOVE this game.  Awesome time-killer when you're bored or stuck waiting for someone or something.  Yes, I've been known to cheat by searching for videos on youtube.  Don't judge.
  3. RunKeeper Free.  I use this whenever I go on a run, walk, or bike ride.  I love being able to see the map from the GPS and a history of all my exercise with distance, time, and calories burned.  You can view all your past activities online and automatically post them to facebook, too.
  4. Pandora Radio by Pandora.  I use pandora at work and quickly downloaded the streaming music app on my phone.
  5. To Do List by myzu.  I love lists in general.  I like keeping them on my phone even better than on paper.  This lets you keep a grocery list, a to-do list, a "jotter" and a wish list.
  6. Spider (Free) by Odesys, LLC.  This is kind of silly, but I recently got addicted to playing Spider Solitaire on my laptop.  Now I can play on my phone too!
  7. OpenSudoku by Roman Masek.  Another good time-killer game.  Basic Sudoku with 3 different levels of difficulty.
  8. FxCamera by ymst.  Not as good as what's available for the iPhone, but it's got some pretty cool effects.
  9. Droidlight LED Flashlight by Morotola Inc.  This has come in handy on several occassions.  It uses the super bright camera LED and works really well (at least on the Droid X).  

And there you have my top 9 free android apps. 


What else should I be downloading and using that's not on this list?


I'm Knitting Again

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I taught myself how to knit at the beginning of this year and I was very excited to start knitting again this fall. I meant to start back in early September but just got around to it last week. I have no idea who this is scarf is for, but I saw this pattern in a magazine at the end of last winter and knew this would be the next project. Hopefully it will turn out well and be a nice Christmas gift for someone. It's proven much more difficult that I anticipated. I think I ended up starting over 2 or 3 times after knitting the first 12 rows or so because I kept messing up.   

knitting - gray scarf.JPG

Are you a knitter? Are you knitting gifts for anyone this Christmas?



Related Posts:

I Learned How to Knit!

Knitting Project: Scarf # 2

Knitting Hats


Monday Five Countdown

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Five Things I'm Grateful For
  1. That I am allowed to leave the leaves from my yard in a big pile at the end of the street and I don't have to bag them all.  The number of leaves in my yard is totally and utterly ridiculous. 
  2. My boyfriend's help tarping all the leaves in the yard for 4-5 hours this past Sunday.  I couldn't have done it without him.
  3. My dad getting a job interview and most likely a job offer.  It's not ideal, and he may not want to take it, but it's nice to get an offer.
  4. Lots of vacation days.  I get 4 weeks plus 3 floater holidays to use whenever I want.  I used 2 this past Thursday and Friday.  Yay for extra long weekends!
  5. A working furnace.  It's starting to get cold
Four Things I Can't Stop Thinking About
  1. The toilet that we bought a few weeks ago for the downstairs bathroom that still hasn't been installed.
  2. Upgrades to the house: new countertops, refinish the basement, install a new door from the garage to the house.
  3. Getting engaged/married.  We went to a wedding this past weekend.  Enough said, I think.
  4. Buying a new house.  I have this ridiculous idea that I need a newer, nicer house and keep searching online and looking at houses for sale.  My house is fine, I don't need a new house.  Must stop thinking about this!
Three Things I Want To Accomplish This Week
  1. Install the toilet mentioned above.
  2. Install a new door from the garage to the house (also mentioned above) on Saturday or Sunday.
  3. Eat according to my "diet" every day.
Two Things I Am Working To Be Positive About
  1. New work thing that I'll be starting this week.  I could really dislike it, but am trying to remain positive and hopeful it will enjoyable instead.
  2. That I'll be able to sleep well this week.  I almost never sleep well, unfortunately, but maybe this is my week!   
One Random Thing
  1. There are certain people I need to be better about keeping in touch with.  My friend who was married this past weekend, for one.  A good friend from college that lives nearby that I rarely see, for another.


I first got the idea for this a few weeks ago when Candice first started doing it.  You should do it too, and link to yours in the comments!

Mind Over Matter

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I believe a lot of things in life are mind over matter.  Some recent examples for me are...


Kicking my diet coke habit...

Forcing myself to get out of bed and in the shower when my alarm goes off, not several snoozes later...

Making the right eating choices...

Not letting petty things get the better of me...

Being less selfish and more patient...


These are all things I really want to do but just haven't made them a priority lately.  No time like the present!


What have you been meaning to do lately, but just haven't put your mind to it yet?

Weight-Loss: Diet vs. Exercise

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When it comes to weight-loss, which do you find more important, diet or exercise?

In my experience, the answer is most definitely diet.  I tried going to the gym and working out with a trainer-developed program several times a week for about 6 months.  I took up jogging for several months.  I did feel great, but I didn't really lose much weight at all.  And it wasn't just offset by gaining muscle, because my clothes didn't really feel all that differently either.  I do think my body composition changed a little, but by an almost negligible amount. 

Both times I've tried dieting I had pretty immediate, and relatively significant, results.  The first time I just started paying more attention to what I was eating, stopped eating out so much, and made some common sense better choices.  I lost just shy of 40 pounds, which was the amount I was overweight.  The second time I tried the South Beach diet, eliminating carbs, sugar, and alcohol for two weeks and then slowly adding the good carbs back in after that.  I lost the 20 pounds I needed to lose. 

So, based on that experience, I'm convinced it's all about what you eat.  I'm not saying exercise isn't great for you in many ways, but I don't think it's the key for weight-loss.  It's great for your heart, and stress relief, and energy levels and, especially in my case, for bone density.  The key to overall health is both diet and exercise, but the key to weight-loss is diet.


What do you think?  What has your past experience told you is most helpful in regards to losing weight? 

Matt Nathanson Concert

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I had the privilege of seeing one of my current favorite artists in concert recently.  He is a very talented thirty-something by the name of Matt Nathanson.  The concert was amazing.  It was an intimate show in a small auditorium.

My boyfriend and I went with one of our good friends, who happens to be in a wheelchair.  Because of this, we got the VIP treatment.  It was pretty crazy.  We were let in before anyone else and brought up to the very front row.  The entire front row was reserved.  For the majority of the show we were the only 3 people in the entire row.  We were maybe 6-8 feet from the stage.  Maybe.

One thing I have to mention is that Matt is hilarious.  It was almost as if the show was part stand-up comedy and part music concert.  It actually ended 45 minutes after it was scheduled to because he talked so much.  I loved it.

If you haven't heard of him yet, check out these videos from his myspace page.


Matt Nathanson "Come On Get Higher" from Matt Nathanson on Vimeo.

Matt Nathanson "Car Crash"

Matt Nathanson | Myspace Music Videos


Who are some of your current favorite artists? Who was your favorite to see live?

Hit Or Miss Shopping

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I am very hit or miss when it comes to clothes shopping.  Sometimes I will head out, walk around the mall for hours or drive from store to store trying to find something and come home empty-handed.  Other times I'll find lots of great things, all for a great price, in no time at all.  My shopping trip this past weekend was, fortunately, one of the good ones. 
I have been in need of a long wool dress coat for years but have managed to get by without one.  It's been super cold lately and I have a wedding to go to this weekend, so I figured now would be the perfect time to try and find one.  I had a gift card for Macy's that I got for my birthday so I decided to start there.  I found a really beautiful long, black, wool dress coat by Anne Klein.  It was 40% off.  And they had my size... in Petite, even.  So I ended up paying $140 for a $265 coat. 
Next stop was Banana Republic.  I went in, flew by all the super expensive stuff in the front, and went to the sale rack in the back.  I found a cute corderoy jacket that was originally $98, on sale for $36.  And then a matching tank top to go underneath, also on sale. 
After that I ran into Kohls.  I wanted to find a plain white long sleeve t-shirt to wear under other sweaters and vests, etc..  I also just wanted to look around and see if I found anything nice.  I ended up finding the white t-shirt, picked up a pink one as well, and found a nice argyle sweater (love argyle).  I think the total came to around $36 or $38. 
Not a bad shopping trip, right? 
What about you -- do you usually have trouble finding what you're looking for or do you usually find more than you need/your wallet can handle?  What's your favorite recent purchase?

Fall TV

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There are so many good shows on this Fall.  I don't really have time to watch all the ones I want to.  And thank god for the DVR on Thursday nights.  I'm really starting to think we watch way too much tv.  Shouldn't we be doing something more productive with our time?  Like cleaning the bathrooms, mopping the floors, exercising, volunteering, working on some sort of project?  I usually feel too tired to do much except prepare dinner after a long day at work and often wonder what do other couples in their 30's with no kids do after work.  I never really used to watch much tv at all.  The only show I can think of off-hand that I ever used to watch religiously and would get upset if I missed is Dawson's Creek.  Yes, I am probably too old to have been that into that show, and probably shouldn't admit that I was, but there you have it.

Anyway, here's the weekly line-up that my boyfriend and I like to watch (the ones with the asterisks are the ones my boyfriend could really care less about but I like).  

Monday Night (CBS Night)
8pm - How I Met Your Mother
9:30pm - Mike and Molly*
(We usually end up watching Rules of Engagement and Two and a Half Men too, just because they're on in between)

Tuesday Night
8p - Glee*

Wednesday Night
9p - Criminal Minds*

Thursday Night (DVR Night)
8p - Big Bang Theory
8p - Community
8:30p - $..! My Dad Says
8:30 p - 30 Rock (we've taped every episode but have yet to find time to actually watch any)
9p - The Office
9:30p - Outsourced

So what are you watching this fall?  And how much tv is too much tv?

National Blog Posting Month

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Did you know that November is National Blog Posting Month?   It's also lovingly referred to as NaBloPoMo (  I first started blogging in September of 2007 and quickly came across several blogs that participated in this.  So I decided to go ahead and try it back in November of that same year.  If I recall correctly, I believe I actually did manage to post every single day that month.  I'm not sure I'll be able to have a repeat performance of that, but I am going to make an effort to post as often as I can.  I will also do my best not to just post for the sake of posting.

nablo_typer_300px.jpgI think you should join me in this fun and challenging project.  You can sign up by clicking the link above and registering.  If you do decide to join, please leave a comment and I'll follow along with your posts throughout the month.

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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