Thursday, January 31, 2013

Movie Time #3

It's been just over a month and I have more movie reviews (done my way) in store for you!  Please let me know what you thought of these movies and if you have any recommendations.

The Outsiders
I don't usually watch old movies, but somehow I stumbled upon this one and curiosity made me watch.  It has a huge cast of famous stars and it was interesting to see them all so young and in one movie.  Despite the fact the movie is 30yrs old, and times seemed more innocent, there are still common themes challenging kids today... exclusion, labeling, bad home situations, etc.  And by the way Mandy Moore is the spitting image of a young Diane Lane, it was kind of creepy!  Is it worth watching twice?  I'll probably never watch it again, but I was glad I gave it shot.

The Lake House
I tend to watch newer films because I've seen most of the old ones, but some how this flick from 2006 managed to slip passed me.  Anyone my age loved seeing Keanu Reeves & Sandra Bullock together in Speed, and with this movie you get to see them again!  It starts out slow, but then definitely gets your attention, so please bare through the beginning.  At points in the moving I found myself hoping they would find a way to be together, it really sucked me into their ups and downs.  At times you feel you know how it's going to end but they do their best to keep you guessing.  It was an interesting romance, mostly because their situation is impossible and yet made sense.  Will I watch it again?  Sure, it's a great chick flick for once every few years.

Green Lantern
Wow, wish I had something nice to say about this movie.  I love sci-fi and movies based on comics book characters.  I like watching movies with real couples or when real-life couples fall in love.  But this movie couldn't hold my attention.  I tried, gave it an hour or so - even played a game on the iPad in the background - but I just couldn't get into it.  Maybe the character itself is flawed (hopefully no comic book fanatics are reading this), because the movie tried, they brought in Ryan Reynolds, pumped a lot of money into the graphics and costumes, but no amount of Hollywood power could save this movie.  I guess I should have listened when warned about how crappy it was.  Will I watch it again?  No way, I didn't even make it through the first round!

Dark Shadows
Apparently this movie is based on an old tv show... I never saw the show so I can't make any comparisons.  To me, it was new.  It is packed with a great quirky cast, most of them can do no wrong in my eyes.  Johnny Depp was a perfect choice for the lead.  The colors, costumes, and sets were great, and the story entertaining.  There were a few good laughs along the way, especially because he is trying to adjust to the 70's and it's confusing for all of them.  Growing up I loved The Addams Family and this definitely had that kind of feel.  Will I watch it again?  I'm sure it'll eventually end up on our tv again.

The Dictator
To enjoy this movie you have to appreciate Sacha Baron Cohen's humor.  You also had to have liked the previous movies, Borat & Bruno.  He's great at creating funny characters and really giving them his all.  Whether it's staged or not I love watching people's reactions to these over-the-top characters.  I laughed so hard during the helicopter scene of this movie, if you've seen it you will not forget the count down.  His extreme humor also makes you think about how crazy real life situations are, it's deeper than you think!  Will I watch it again?  I personally will not turn it on but if happens to be on tv, sure. 

Rock of Ages
I should have done my research before watching this movie, I had no idea it was a musical, completely caught me off guard!  I actually turned it on to get a good laugh, seeing Tom Cruise pretend to be a rock star should have been funny.  But there was little I enjoyed about this movie, and there was definitely no laughing.  I fast forwarded through most of it and didn't even bother to watch the end.  Kind of a shame because I think Julianne Hough has potential.  I loved Grease, why can't I get into modern day musicals?  Will I watch it again?  Not a chance!

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
I eventually really enjoyed watching this unlikely pair, Steve CarellKiera Knightley.  At first I considered turning the movie off but I'm glad I refrained because it turned out to be o.k.  Despite being a little slow it was an interesting role for Carell, not his usual comedy flicks.  And I don't want to spoil it for anyone, so you might want to stop reading now, but the movie actually followed through with it's title which really surprised me.  I kept waiting for things to turn around but they didn't.  Will I watch this movie again?  There's a good chance on a night with nothing better to do I could end up watching it again.

I already have another list of watched movies waiting to be posted, still not quite sure where I squeeze all of these movies into my schedule! 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wordless Wednesday #38

Link up here for Wordless Wednesday!
Our curious camera compilation can also be found here...

Sunday, January 27, 2013


Business Dinner = Bedrijfsetentje
This weekend my family's company hosted a dinner party, something they try and do at least once a year.  We've gone to an array of restaurants through the years, one of the most memorable until now was Landgoed Wolfslaar.  It's a Michelin Star restaurant located in a beautiful old villa tucked away in the woods.  This years choice was also quite unique, we dined inside an old windmill.  De Meulen is a quaint restaurant attached to a historical windmill called De Korenaar.  I wish I could say this post was about the delectable food (I'll include a couple pics thanks to a colleague Suzanne) or all of the lovely people that work at our company but it's not.  It's about my outfit (my husband is probably rolling his eyes right now).  I knew right away that I wanted to wear an unworn black dress that has been hanging in my closet for over year.  It's a great dress, skin tight yet forgiving, falls just below the knee, and has a boat neck.  I've pulled it out many times and yet it always seemed just that bit too much.  Finally I had an event to wear it to, the only problem was, it's sleeveless and it's very cold here.  This meant I was going to have to layer it up in order to wear it to the business dinner.  I'm not into fashion, and have very little understanding of clothes, so the best idea I had was to wear a cardigan and pantyhose.  (Of course I also asked around hoping someone would have a better suggestion but nothing suited me - even asked Party411.)  I made my husband watch as I tried on at least 6 different cardigans and boleros, all of which he just laughed at, saying I looked like the preachers wife.  I eventually settled on a small silvery bolero (aka shrug), it was the most flattering of all the unflattering cardigans, if that makes sense.  Once dressed for the party I realized I had completely dulled the outfit down.  The black dress, black pantyhose, and black heels all blended together.  And the bolero kept me semi warm but took away from the neckline and fit of the dress.  But no matter what, I knew I wasn't too flashy and I was more on the conservative classic side of style.  Being that I am the GM's wife and daughter-in-law of the owners it was appropriate.  Then as everyone filtered into the party I realized I was dress like all of the women about 20 yrs older than me and that all of the women my age were wearing skin tight black pants (also an option I had shown my husband)!  Arg!  People tried to be polite and say that I looked nice, but I know what they were thinking, ha-ha!  Besides the uncomfortable pantyhose which I hated from the moment I struggled to put them on, I also had to suffer through shoulder pain.  Somehow the day before the party I hurt a muscle in my shoulder, the pain slowly grew until I could barely move my right arm (and I'm right handed).  I managed to feed myself during the dinner, but my husband did have to pour my water and help me with my jacket... in the end he looked quite the gentleman.  No matter the outfit or pain, it was a lovely company dinner and I look forward to the next one... thanks to the in-laws for a great party!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Dog Diapers

For many of you this post is going to seem ridiculous, and for others, you're going to completely understand.  Our Wheaten Terrier is in heat at the moment, well the end of it, luckily.  We have full intentions of getting her spayed but here in The Netherlands they make you wait until the dog has gone through its first cycle to make sure it reached full hormonal development.  The States feel different, they encourage you to get your dog fixed before the first cycle in order to prevent certain diseases.  We aren't thrilled to have to deal with a doggy cycle.  Even though we also find it cruel to deprive her the chance of ever having puppies we know it's something we just couldn't deal with, we're barely getting through this.  I have a toddler, so obviously we survived all of her bodily functions, including diapers.  But dog diapers are completely different (I'm gagging right now).  It's a brilliant idea, as long as you're not the one dealing with it.  My husband took the easy road, because I'm a woman I supposedly have more understand around cycles and I have to deal with the diapers, thanks!  I had no idea what to expect, I checked online and apparently this can last 1-1.5 weeks, that's a lot more doggy diapers than I bought.  The dog absolutely hates the diapers, understandably.  The first day she stood for around 2 hours because she didn't want to sit or lie down wearing the diaper.  Over the past week she's grown more accustom to them, even though we haven't.  I'm not sure if I bought the wrong size or not, but these expensive diapers kept breaking and before I knew it I was almost through the pack.  Then it came to me, I had an unopened pack of diapers left over from my daughters potting training days.  I compared the sizes and it was a perfect match, all I needed to do was cut the hole out for the tail.  Last night we tried the Pampers on her, and she is much happier with them.  The Pampers are more flexible and give around the legs, they're obviously meant for active toddlers.  The dog has much more freedom now, it shows in how she lays and plays.  I wished we had used baby diapers from the beginning instead of torturing her through the stiff dog diapers.  I would say next round we'll use them again, but there will be no next round, we'll be making an appointment at the vet soon to get her fixed.  But I thought I'd at least pass the tip on to other dog owners suffering through heat. 
It wouldn't be a usual post if I didn't include pictures.  The first picture is when Maggie is bathed, brushed, and with long hair.  The other picture is when she is trimmed and stuck in a miserable dog diaper, poor dog!
If you're interested here are a couple other posts about our puppy, and there will definitely be more to come:

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Freebies (aka Monsters)

Freebies!!!  Who doesn't love getting a free sample of something???  In Dutch freebies or samples are called "monsters".  Sounds funny to an American, but so what, I love "monsters"!
Every once in a while I go in search of freebies online.  I wouldn't say they're as common here as in The States but you can still find them.  One website I use is  (I pulled it up to get the link for you and they had an offer for dog Dentastix, great!  Signed up and invited friends too!)  Now if you're not in The Netherlands this site will be of little use to you, but I am sure you can find one of your own.  My last round on this website has delivered at least 2 freebies so far:
I'm really happy with this one, it arrived a week or so ago!  It's a lid for cottage cheese.  Sounds so simple yet I didn't have it.  We often open a container of cottage cheese, eat half, and then leave it poorly sealed in the fridge.  Usually it gets tossed out because we don't trust our sealing capabilities (if we bothered at all).  Now, thanks to Danone's nifty little lid, we can rest assure that the cottage cheese will be good the next day and if we happen to tip it over (happened before) there will not be unwanted cottage cheese juice all over the fridge!  Thanks Danone!
My other freebie arrived today in the mail, it's a small mixed sample pack of labels/stickers from Avery.  Since I no longer have an office job I almost never print things out on stickers.  Even though I do occasionally feel like getting organized I can't bring myself to buy a pack of expensive labels at the store.  Again, through the freebie website I only had to give my address, wait a couple weeks, and voila, I now have stickers for my printer.  I'm just curious how long it will take me to get the hankering to actually get labels printed out and stuck on whatever the project of the month might be.  I do have some storage boxes in the shed that could use labels!!!
Hope you all find a website of your own and start signing up for freebies.  They're extra rewarding because they take so long to arrive that you tend to forget about them!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wordless Wednesday #37

Link up here for Wordless Wednesday!
Our curious camera compilation can also be found here...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Song Singles

Don't expect this to take long, but I had to get it out there.  There are two song singles out right now that I keep playing over and over, can't wait until the actual albums are released.  They're 2 completely different songs, different genres, and different feels but both are worth listening to!
Wow, wait a minute, I just did my research and apparently both albums are already out, I guess I've been living under a rock.  I can't wait to get my hands on them.  Anyway, I still love the debut singles and will continue to play them out!
The first and definitely my favorite :
Home sang by Phillip Phillips (what a name, but easy to remember, ha-ha!)  And the album I intend to listen to pronto is The World from the Side of the Moon  His style is unusual and it was obvious he was a star from his audition on American Idols.
And the second song :
Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys  Apparently from the album also titled Girl on Fire.  Now this song grew on me, at first I thought she was way off and had no interest in the song, and now I find myself belting it out around the house!

Hope you check them out!

Monday, January 21, 2013


SAHM = Stay-At-Home-Mom

I am a Stay-At-Home-Mom and it completely suits me and my family.  But I also understand being a SAHM isn't for everyone.  I hear a lot of working moms say I'd go crazy being at home all of the time or I go to work to get a break.  Luckily, I don't feel this way, it's important to be happy in your job and take pride in it.  See...
...I was a homebody before we ever decided for me to be a SAHM.  Don't get me wrong though I am not always home, there's always something to do out of the house (required or not) besides my tots schedule keeps me busy enough!
...I do get breaks, naptime and bedtime.  Sure a lot of naps are spent cleaning or exercising but I get my time in, how else would I maintain this blog?  And basically the daily duties end once my tot goes to bed for the evening, this time is for me & my husband or for whatever else floats my boat.
...I wear pajamas often.  But this isn't a new tradition since becoming a SAHM, for as long as I can remember the moment I step foot in the house the normal clothes go and I slip on my pj's.  I'm like superman stepping into a phone booth, it happens that fast.  Being a pj-wearer worked out to my benefit, because I don't feel bad about staining them with cleaning products, kids paint, or food.
...I find that being a SAHM plays right into me being frugal.  Sure we could have sent my kid to daycare while I worked part-time but at the end of the month I'd have barely any money to show for it.  Daycare is outrageously expensive!  And now I have the time to cruise for sales, saving even more money at the end of the day.
...I've also heard that becoming a SAHM means losing your social life.  This isn't true, well, it could be if you let it but that also applies to someone who goes to an office/job.  Sure I liked some of my old co-workers over the 15yrs I did go to "work" but I didn't go there to socialize, I went there to make money.  And I have plenty of adult conversations (another myth I hear).  Plus, I'm a parent whether I have a career or am a SAHM, there's no need for me to go out every week.  And to be honest, there are enough people in the family to watch my tot if I do get the urge to paint the town red.
So again, I feel very lucky to be a SAHM.  And I truly appreciate all of the hours my husband puts in at his work to make this happen.  And just so you know, I do respect women that Work-Outside-of-The-Home (there's usually a big misunderstanding between SAHM's & WOTM's).  I can't imagine doing it all, keeping the husband & kid happy, food on the table, house clean, shuffling to & from the family activities, and managing a 40hr a week job, props to you!

Here are a couple fun articles I found about being a SAHM:
5 Myths About Being a SAHM
10 SAHM Myths Debunked

I definitely feel this subject is worth coming back to, so keep your eye out for a follow-up!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Other Bloggers #2

Just like me there are many men, women, and teens sitting behind their computers typing away.  All providing something different... a heartfelt story, a journey through hard times, an exercise plan, cooking tips, decorating ideas, stories of travel, photography appreciation... the list goes on and on.  It's amazing to me at times how this world of blogging becomes so intertwined and how we cross paths with people from all over the world.  For some of you connecting and getting your blog out there is easy and for others you might be wondering if anyone is reading at all.  I found one of the best ways to get connected is through a blog with energy and full of fun ideas, like blog hops.  And I happen to know of one : Sincerely, Paula

Maybe you've stumbled across her blog in the past, maybe this is the first you've heard of it, but no matter what it's worth checking out.  There's something for everyone when it comes to finding blogs you're interested in or just promoting your own blog.  She has two main blog hops, "Wordless Wednesday Blog Party" & "No Rules Weekend Blog Party".  These blog parties attract an array of bloggers... personally I've gained quite a few new followers this way and linked up to blogs I might not have found on my own.  Who knows, maybe one will get mentioned next round!  If you enjoy my blog love, be sure to check out the first "Other Bloggers".

Friday, January 18, 2013

-6C = 21F

We had an oddly warm begin to the winter, but the last week the temperature has dropped and made up for that!  Then the snow came and the snow stayed.  For the most part I like the snow, except for when it comes to walking to swimming class.  If the hour round trip plus class wasn't enough, try pushing a stroller through snow and ice on top of it!  This week when we walked to class it was -6C, which is 21F, brrr!  My daughter had on about three layers of clothes, plus a cozy warm bag and blanket for the stroller, and don't forget the plastic cover to keep the snow off her, she was snug.  Me, well, I started out cold but after about 10 minutes I began to warm up.  After 20 min I was hot, and by the time I reached the pool 30 min later I was sweating.  I was probably the only person turning up at the pool worn out and sweating (one sure way to get myself sick)!  I pondered taking our little sled, that would have made the trip easier, but then I wouldn't have space for the bag of supplies.  There's no way I'll drive in this weather, I've only been back on the road for 1 year, I'm not up for sliding around in traffic yet.  My husband wonders why I don't take the bus, but I explained I'd still end up walking over 30 min (round trip) to get back & forth from the bus stops and it costs money, I don't really see the benefit.  I don't think I passed another stroller on our trip, they're not crazy, but this is the third winter my tot & I have been forging through winter conditions to get to a short 30 min swimming class.  But when I see how happy she is in the water and playing with her friends I know it's worth it, plus I get a workout along the way!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wordless Wednesday #36

Link up here for Wordless Wednesday!
Our curious camera compilation can also be found here...

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Power of Pilates

I am a huge fan of pilates (I've mentioned it before in other posts).  I've been practicing pilates off and on now for well over 7 yrs.  Sure sometimes I take long breaks and focus on other types of exercise but I tend to always come back to pilates.  Why?  Because it's something you can do in 10 minutes and still see results... it feels more like stretching than working... it's possible to do it without breaking a sweat (requiring a 2nd shower)... you get results fast... you can do it at home in your pj's... it's relaxing... I could go on and on.  I've tried many different pilates dvd's, Crunch - Pick Your Spot was one of my favorites and 10 Minute Solution - Pilates my least fav.  But that was all until I discovered 10 Minute Solution - Rapid Results Pilates, they're not joking about being rapid!  I still love my elliptical machine but variation is good, I don't want only to do cardio.  Plus, like I said above, I can squeeze pilates into a busy day when I don't always have time to get on the elliptical machine for 30 minutes.  Within a week of doing the "waist slimmer" and "total body blast" sections of the dvd (and not always at the same time) I started noticing results.  Now keep in mind I exercise regularly, no I'm not slim because I eat too much but I am fit.  So if you're well overweight or not used to exercising don't expect the same results.  Pilates is also something you build up to, when I started this latest dvd I struggled with a few of the exercises but now a couple weeks later I almost have them down pat.  My favorite thing about this dvd is that they combine pilates moves, working even more muscles at the same time, I guess that's why you get "rapid results".  Due to some furniture additions in our bedroom I can no longer practice pilates on the soft carpet.  So I had to do the exercises on our hard living room floor, well there is one decorative rug but it doesn't help much.  About a month ago I decided I wanted to buy a yoga/exercise mat, I started pricing around and was quite disappointed.  In the store you pay around 25 euros, I found that to be too expensive.  I could find it cheaper online but then I had to pay for shipping, still equaling roughly the same amount.  I put it on my Christmas list but Santa obviously doesn't give you everything you ask for.  I had basically given up, then yesterday while at the grocery store I found one!  "The grocery store?" you're saying.  It's not where I do my normal shopping, it's where I go for random fun items that my store doesn't carry or for things like mozzarella that happen to be half the price there.  This store, Aldi, also has random things from appliances to clothes, and in the middle of some winter supplies was one mat.  I didn't see them anywhere else in the store, I managed to buy the last one, yes!  And it was only 18 euros, jackpot!  Now I can exercise in comfort.  Of course I tried it out last night and the biggest difference I find is that the pressure on my elbows is gone, what a relief.  Now I'm set for all of my home fitness... pilates dvd, check... fitness mat, check... elliptical machine, check!  It's just a matter of making myself do it now, unlike the lap swimming I tried once, ha-ha!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

My TV Shows

Whether we like to admit to it or not, we all watch television... and some of us actually get a little attached to shows.  Take my grandmother, for example, there are actually soap operas she has watched for decades!  For me some shows come and go, like my interest in Glee and 30 Rock.  Then there was also Ringer, but they gave it all away too soon and ended after one season.  There are plenty of tv shows I watch with my husband or as a family including my daughter.  Then there are some I watch that just aren't for them.
I have been watching Grey's Anatomy for years now.  I was a season or so behind when I decided to start following but that didn't stop me from starting at season 1 episode 1 and working my way through the show.  On Friday I watched season 9 episode 10, that's a lot of Grey's Anatomy.  I've watched many people come and go from the show, I even had an old friend star in the show (wrote a post about it).  There have been times when I started to get bored with it but yet I could never completely write it off.  This show has brought me to tears so many times, just like a few days ago (have to love a show that can touch your emotions).  Sure I can't always stomach the ER gore, but luckily I can look away and press mute!
My favorite show at the moment is The Vampire Diaries.  It's another show where I have watched every episode.  To me, you can't be a true fan if you miss an episode (they're well into season 4 now), the storyline is important, and missing a show means missing details.  On occasion it seems ridiculous, vampires, witches, werewolves, hybrids, all in one show, but it also means most anything goes.  And how can a show grow boring if you can take it any direction you like.  You can kill people off and bring them back, you can put them in a coffin for most of a season and voila, there they are again.  I must say, I do wish they hadn't killed off Alaric (and Mason, but for other reasons than a good character).  And I also wished they hadn't let Elena actually go all the way with Damon, but hey, it keeps it interesting.
Then there is Pretty Little Liars.  I picked up this show because it aired in the summer, helping to tide over the long wait for my fav shows to start up again in the fall.  There are times when I make sure to watch it weekly, then there are times I'll miss a few weeks and have to catch up.  I am so curious who "A" is it keeps bringing me back. "A" has turned out to be multiple people and the plot keeps thickening (long live season 3)!  But sometimes it gets too intense for me, boarder line horror.  I often end up catching up on the show late at night, maybe I should consider watching it during the day.  There are so many twists to the plot it can be hard to keep up with, but again, I've watched every episode up until their fall break, and it'll be starting up again soon!
Then there's a new one that I'm giving a chance, Beauty & The Beast.  It seemed interesting at first, then I was convinced it would get cancelled.  But they made it through the first few shows and it's still airing.  Who knows if it will get a second season, but at least for now it's something to watch on the evenings my husband makes it home late. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Ice Skating

This post is about a week or two late, but better late than never!  Around the Christmas & NY holidays the city built a gorgeous skating rink right in the center of town on the Markt.  As I mentioned, a lot, I'm a Floridian... so maybe you can understand why I enjoyed the rink from the sidelines.  Sure I've skated in my lifetime, but probably less than I can count on both hands.  And well, it's just not my thing... the danger outweighs the pleasure.  I'm sure in winters to come I'm going to have to stop being a wimp and get out on the ice just for my kids sake.  I happened to be walking by the skating rink as they put it together, so I snapped a shot for you.  And one evening after a nice dinner out with the family we walked by just to show our daughter.  And to be honest, she barely looked at the skaters.  She was way more fascinated with the lights and water around the rink.  While admiring the beauty of it, I was sure to get a photo for you.  For those of you living in the Eindhoven area, the outdoor skating rink is finished for this season but the indoor rink at Tongelreep (Ijssportcentrum) is open.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

XP Defender Scam

The scammers are at it again, this time they hit up my mother in The States.  She was in need of a virus protector so went online to find something suitable for her computer.  She found a product called, XP Defender.  It seemed very legitimate, that's obviously how they rope people in.  She was willing to pay the $90 to protect her computer but had no idea she was walking into a trap.  By the time she realized what was going on, they had had her credit card information and charged her the money.  It took her almost a day of phone calls to various companies in order to get the issue sorted out.  What a hassle and a scare!  She also mentioned a company called Key Progressive Protection.  I couldn't find much information about them but there are plenty of warnings online about XP Defender.  So if you happen to be looking for a virus protector for your computer be sure to steer clear of these companies!  Hope this post along with the one about the Ammyy Scam help keep others out of a bad spot.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wordless Wednesday #35

Link up here for Wordless Wednesday!
Our curious camera compilation can also be found here...

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Popping Up (#2)

Just short of one year ago I wrote the post "Popping Up", it was about silly signs and dreadful trash cans the city was installing all over town.  At the end of the post I mentioned that the city was planning on installing one of these eye sores in front of out apartment.  Well, in the summer they did just that.  They eliminated a perfectly good money-making parking spot and installed a trash can in front of the apartment we're trying to sell.  Great (I wish you could feel the sarcasm)!  I included a photo of the commotion in front of our place... huge machinery, large trucks, the bikers couldn't safely get by, the cars were blocked up at the intersection, and oh yeah, they knocked out the electricity too!  And besides the fact it's a public trash can (well, for pass holders), the city didn't even bother to lay the new sidewalk out evenly.  Now every time it rains we get huge puddles in front of our steps.  Arg!  Then, just as I figured, not everyone understands or cares that they need a pass to open the trash can.  This means trash gets tossed around it, and on Tuesday mornings they still pile all of their trash bags around it for the dump truck to collect.  Since its installment, it's been marked with graffiti, had lovely looking crap smeared down the front, and seems to often be surrounded by broken glass. 
Luckily, it's winter so that keeps the smell down (and it's actually only hot enough for it to stink 1-2 months out of the year).  But with winter comes other things, like Christmas trees.  I walked out the front door to take my toddler to preschool, and lo & behold, a dead tree.  It's Tuesday, so I crossed my fingers hoping the trash man would collect it, but I knew better.  The tree is still there and the trash bags are gone.  (I'm letting out a huge sigh right now).  I'm not really sure what to do, I guess complain to the city.  But what about the mean time, you can't even see the for sale sign around the Christmas tree (which is also shedding needles all the while).  Now that evening has arrived, I'm considering sneaking out there and moving it to the otherside of the trash can, at least then no can blame us.  And to be honest it's not the first time I've had to move other peoples random things.  Occasionally on paper recycling day the boxes, magazines, etc, get strewn around on the sidewalk in front of our apartment instead of neatly in a box on the curb.  I just love cleaning up after others, as if my husband, kid, and dog weren't enough.  For those of you wondering, I did complain to the city about the eye sore and that it's going to make selling our apartment even more challenging.  They said, I received a warning about the trash can (I mentioned the letter in the "Popping Up" post, and apparently I was supposed to contest it then, now it's just too late.

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Critic

There's a fine line between being a judgmental b*tch and being a critic.

According to the dictionary this is the definition of critic :

crit·ic : \ˈkri-tik\

category 1)
a : one who expresses a reasoned opinion on any matter especially involving a judgment of its value, truth, righteousness, beauty, or technique

b : one who engages often professionally in the analysis, evaluation, or appreciation of works of art or artistic performances
category 2)
: one given to harsh or captious judgment  

I'd like to say I fall more under category 1, I like to think my opinions are reasonable and thought out.  I also like to think my opinions are respected by numerous people.  But since I'm not considered a professional critic and I tend to have an opinion about everything, I think I unfortunately fall more under category 2.
In life we're all given talents or things that come naturally.  I naturally talk (a lot) and form opinions quickly, some may say this isn't a good thing, something I should work on... I think I should use it to my advantage.  The more and more I blog, the more I see a pattern, I'm a category 1 critic, people just haven't realized it yet.  I occasionally daydream about someone stumbling upon my blog, seeing my potential, and hiring me right then and there.  Who wouldn't want to get paid for giving their opinion about something, easy-peasy.  Don't get me wrong, I am completely content being a SAHM, but to get paid for something I do everyday already, that would be incredible. 
But I also understand that in my private life not everyone appreciates the fact I'm opinionated, I tend to step on toes every now and then.  I also see the affect it has on my daughter, she is 3 yrs old and a constant-complainer.  Apparently I need to work on my timing... less random complaining, judging, and critiscizing in my private life.  More structured opinions, given when asked for or when needed.  But here, on my blog, I warn you when you first open the page (take a look at my header).  Here I can be the opinionated person I naturally am.  Well, with some restraints, I've mentioned before I want to try and keep this blog light-hearted, which excludes my opinions on politics, religion, and anything else that might stir up hateful comments (I've seen this on other blogs, and it's not pretty).

I don't want to be labeled a judgmental b*tch, it's not how I want to be remembered.  So maybe I should consider giving some positive opinions and not just the negative ones that so easily flop out.  I don't want to have a toxic personality, according to a search, being judgmental falls into 1 of 8 toxic personalities.  When I read the definition of "Judgmental Jim" I wouldn't say that's me, but maybe others do.  Like I said above there's a fine line between being a judgmental b*tch and being a critic.  Do you also walk this line?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Going Gray

Going gray, it's something some wo(men) dread.  How many of you hide your gray hair?  Last year at 30yrs old I discovered my 1st gray hair, a super long strand hidden amongst my dark brown hair.  I laughed... I was surprised... and I had no problem with it.  There was no need to dye it or pluck it, I wore it proudly.  Then this year I discovered another one (there are possibly more but not as obvious).  Again I joked, it took 3 yrs of raising my daughter to get 1 gray hair, I have a puppy for 4 months and they multiplied!  As of now, I still have no problem with it, I actually like it, it makes me different.  But how will I feel when all of the hair around my temples turns noticeably gray and I'm considered one of the women in their 30's that went gray prematurely... I guess I'll cross that bridge when it gets here.  Going gray is for the most hereditary, so of course I turned to my parents and asked when they started graying.  My Dad couldn't remember but he said it was definitely later in life and my Mom, I don't think she actually knows due to years of dying her hair.  Needless to say, it didn't help much.  I started asking around my friends, what did they think of it... the women said dye it are you crazy and the men could care less.  And the most important opinion of all is my husband's, and as of yet he doesn't care, but again it's one of those bridges we'll cross when we get there.  For the most part I forget about the two strands, but they like to remind me by sticking out every direction other than the natural flow of my hair.  Out of curiosity when did you start going gray?

Thursday, January 3, 2013


I didn't plan on my below Wordless Wednesday post to be the 1st of 2013, but it just happened that way.

Yet somehow it says so much :
- be flexible
- keep trying
- stay focused
- get in shape
- support each other
- build on relationships
- try new things
- learn new things
- work together
- experience more culture
- travel more
I could probably go on and on, but you get the point.

I'm not big on resolutions... yes I do set goals but no where is it written in stone that they have to be obtained within 1 year.  These goals are something to look forward to, to strive toward.  I have a short list off to the side of my blog with my goals for 2013, and yes half of them carried over from last year.  Why... life happens.  I always try and tell myself to control the things I can, and that makes the uncontrollable a little easier to handle.  But talk is easy.  Maybe I should work on doing more and talking less, ha-ha!
For those of you who made resolutions, bucket lists, goals, whatever you want to call them, good luck.  And for those of you who didn't, goals are a good thing, try setting at least one for yourself and build from there.
I wish you all success, happiness, and good health this 2013!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Wordless Wednesday #34

Link up here for Wordless Wednesday!
Our curious camera compilation can also be found here...