Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Thirty Days of Me: Day Thirty

The challenge for day thirty.... A photograph of yourself today and three good things that happened in the last thirty days.

The best thing that happened in the last thirty days was my birthday party. As a member of the Cornerstone Group, which handles all the fundraising for Girls Inc., I participated in a challenge to host a mini-fundraising event in July. I chose to host a charity birthday party.

Several of my friends donated items from their businesses, including:

Stella & Dot
Madison Handbags
Thirty One
Ambiance Florals & Events
Mr. Subb

A lot of my friends joined together and helped me celebrate by coming to my party, and/or making a donation to Girls Inc. as their gift to me. Baking Suit helped me a ton, and deserves a lot of thanks, and credit, as does my friend who helped me get a food donation (She's got an in with the food broker).

What else happened this month?

I freaking love these shoes. Thanks again, Baking Suit.
Well, there was the actual birthday, which I spent with wonderful company. We went on a boat ride, had a wonderful dinner, and I got a nice surprise. I also got some fabulous presents from friends and family, in addition to the donations.

I went on vacation. I spent my vacation raising a bunch of money for Girls Inc. ($588 thankyouverymuch!), attending smAlbany (and being interviewed about the experience), and waking up to a play-doh breakfast prepared by my favorite two-year-old. I spent some time with my Little, and visited the Vanderbuilt Mansion in Hyde Park. I even had a milkshake from Dairy Queen!

It wasn't a romantic vacation on a beach in Mexico - and I wouldn't trade it for the world.
In the last 35 years, science has given us things like cell phones, digital music, and cloning.
But this stuff still smells as bad as it did in 1977. What the hell?
I'm skipping the photograph of myself. You've gotten plenty of those over the last 30 days, and the pictures from my vacation are much more fun to look at, anyway.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Thirty Days of Me: Day Twenty Nine

The challenge for day twenty nine.... Something you never get tired of doing.

You know where I was going with this, don't you? But this is a family blog (sorta). So....

This. Blogging is something I never get tired of doing. I love to write, I love to share, and even though I'm not terribly successful - I'm satisfied with what I've done so far.

This is also not the only blog I author. So when you notice a lag in posts here - it's usually because my attention is focused elsewhere. It never means I've stopped writing.

I don't expect that will ever be the case.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Thirty Days of Me: Day Twenty Eight

The challenge for day twenty eight.... Your favorite movie.

No man is a failure, who has friends.
This isn't easy. I love a lot of movies, for a lot of reasons.

I love anything by Kevin Smith because his dialogue is smart, funny, and relatable.

I love Sex and the City (the first movie) because it really helped me through a difficult time, by teaching me that friends really can help you get through anything.

But the movie I love the most? Probably It's a Wonderful Life. It doesn't seem to matter how many times I watch it, or with how many different people; on the big screen, or on my teeny, tiny television at home. Every time I see the movie, it brings back fond memories, of decorating my tree, while the dog slept in the corner.

It reminds me that no matter how bad things seem, you never really know when life will turn around and get better. The catch is - you have to hold on.

And it reminds me that no matter what - if you have friends who love you, you really are as rich as you'll ever need to be.

     And literally every time I watch the end....I cry happy tears.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Thirty Days of Me: Day Twenty Seven

The challenge for day twenty seven.... Put your iPod on shuffle and list the first 10 songs.

I don't have an iPod anymore; I never bothered to replace the one that was stolen three years ago. I don't really listen to music that often.

When I do - it's usually Pandora. So when I put my homemade Pandora station on, these are the first 10 songs that played:

You Don't Belong - Daughtry
The Way I Are - Timbaland
By the Way - Hinder
Piece of Me - Britney Spears
I'll Be - Edwin McCain
Chicken Fried - Zac Brown Band
Pop - NSync
L.O.V.E - Ashlee Simpson
Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season - Jimmy Buffet
Boulevard of Broken Dreams - Green Day


Friday, July 27, 2012

Thirty Days of Me: Day Twenty Six

The challenge for day twenty six.... How have you changed in the last five years.

Let's see.... Five years ago was July, 2007. I had just turned 33 years old. I was still married - and happily. I thought my biggest problem was the ant infestation found when we replaced the sliding glass door in my kitchen. I had no idea how to handle the situation, and completely freaked out.

I worked for an insurance carrier, and thought I wanted a different job, but wasn't doing anything about it. I was the primary earner and we had a mortgage. We had a mortgage, which means we had a house. I took care of the inside; I had no idea how to care for the outside, how to use a tool, and I had no inclination to learn.

I believed I'd never need to know, because that was why I got married in the first place.

I was quiet, and shy. I wouldn't even walk into a restaurant first, let alone solo. I didn't have a lot of friends, and spent most of my time with my husband. I thought that was normal.

Five years later.... I'm not married. As it turned out, July 2007 was the last July I would be.

I no longer work for that insurance carrier. My job was eliminated as part of a corporate buyout. I still have the job that replaced it, which is largely the same. I'm more okay with it now than I was then. That doesn't stop me from trying to branch out and do a little for myself - something I wouldn't have done five years ago.

Most of the friends I have, I've made in the last five years. In fact, some of my closest friends are people I've met in the last two years. I regularly walk into situations solo, where I don't know anyone, and I don't think very many people would describe me as shy anymore.

I'm still introverted....but I think most people don't realize that's not the same thing as shy. Basically, being outgoing and extroverted is an effort for me, and it isn't my comfort zone. Something I've learned in the last five years is that sometimes, we have to step out of our comfort zone to survive.

I hang pictures, wall paper border, build furniture, mow the lawn, shovel the driveway. I've learned what I can do, what I can't, and what I just want to hire out.

The ants are gone - and five years later, I'm much better at dealing with my own problems.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thirty Days of Me: Day Twenty Five

The challenge for day twenty five.... Something that you miss.

I thought and thought about this challenge. The truth is....as much as I like my things, I don't miss things. In life, I think things come and go, and are easily replaced.

Sure, some things carry a sentimental value, which is irreplaceable. But even if you lose a sentimental item, those feelings and memories aren't lost. Eventually, I think you find you don't really need the item to hold onto the memory.

So what do I miss? People. I have a terrible time letting go of people in my life.

They say people come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime. I do believe that...and I know there are people who've come into my life who weren't meant to stay forever. But that doesn't make them any less important.

In fact, sometimes those "reason or season" people are the most important, and bring the most good and the most happiness. Then suddenly - they're gone.

I never take it well. Eventually, I come to terms with what is, and accept that these weren't "forever" people. I accept it - but sometimes, I still miss them.

I've never been good at goodbye.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Thirty Days of Me: Day Twenty Four

The challenge for day twenty four.... What's in your purse.

We talked about this last year, too. The only thing that's really changed is the purse itself.

  • Makeup bag
  • Wallet
  • Phone
  • Lip gloss
  • Cuticle oil
  • Perfume
  • Nook
  • Eyeglasses 
  • Sunglasses
  • and maybe a pen

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Thirty Days of Me: Day Twenty Three

The challenge for day twenty three.... 20 facts about you.

Oh good grief....
  • I have two cats
  • I always wear makeup - even on Saturdays
  • I played the flute from the time I was 9 til I was 18
  • My first real job was in a cookie store - where I learned to decorate cakes, but not actually bake
  • Nuns have always hated me
  • My natural hair color is dark brown
  • I found my first gray hair when I was 18, and haven't seen my natural color since I turned 30
  • I own at least two-dozen purses
  • I own at least fifty pairs of shoes
  • On my 21st birthday, I went to Yankee Stadium, and was almost denied the 21-and-over giveaway
  • I got engaged on that same visit to Yankee Stadium
  • The year X and I filed for separation was the last year the Yankees played in that stadium
  • The year we filed for divorce is the year they knocked it down - how 'bout that?
  • Every time I think I know how to handle a broken heart - someone breaks it more
  • I've never worn white shoes after Labor Day or before Memorial Day
  • My favorite cartoon character is Winnie the Pooh
  • When I was 5 years old, I wanted to be Wonder Woman
  • I've been known to have panic attacks; thankfully, none recently
  • I suffer from depression, and I'm not embarrassed to talk about it
  • These narcissistic posts are my least favorite of the "thirty days of me" project

Monday, July 23, 2012

Thirty Days of Me: Day Twenty Two

The challenge for day twenty two.... Bullet your whole day.

Since I'm on vacation, today wasn't my normal Monday.
  • Wake up (way too early, and not at home)
  • Long drive home
  • Breakfast
  • Shower
  • Nap (much-needed)
  • Work on thank-you cards
  • Computer work (including blog catch-up)
  • Gym
  • Dinner
  • TV/Reading
  • Bed
Not a bad Monday. 

Thirty Days of Me: Day Twenty One

The challenge for day twenty one.... A photo of something that makes you happy.

Well, this should have gone up Sunday, July 22. Shucks. I got distracted.

Kitties make me happy. My kitties in particular. When they're sleeping, they really make me happy. It means they're happy and content - and not throwing up on my quilt.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Thirty Days of Me: Day Twenty

The challenge for day twenty.... The meaning behind your blog name.

This was actually a part of last year's challenge. It obviously hasn't changed.

Like I said:
I used to think I had it all figured out....everything was happening according to plan. I treated life as though it was one giant to-do list, checking items off in order.
Then....My whole world, and everything I'd come to trust and believe in, was gone. I was devastated; depressed, scared, anxious.
Slowly, I came to realize.....There was a lot of good coming out of my pain - good that might not have happened if things hadn't changed.
Turns out, the life I was meant to have is not the one I thought I wanted; it's not the life I ordered. But it's still the right life for me. 
The only thing constant in life is change.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thirty Days of Me: Day Eighteen

The challenge for day eighteen.... Something you crave a lot.

Well, that's a loaded question.

In no particular order...

New Shoes
Mexican (ummm...food)
Peanut Butter

....and occasionally, now I crave exercise. I blame Baking Suit.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Thirty Days of Me: Day Sixteen

The challenge for day sixteen.... A photo of you and your family.

Last year, I showed three photos, all of me with my closest family members in various combinations.

My family hasn't really changed. I still believe that family is what you make it. No, we can't change blood ties. But the truth is, family is about more than just shared DNA. It's about who you turn to when you need something; who you can depend on; who you trust; who you love.

I have a lot of family that I've chosen. Here are a few of them.

She's my cousin - but not really. Long story.
She's also one of my absolute favorite people on this planet.
When my heart was broken, and all I could do was cry, she was right there for me.
That's family.

He's her son. He's the light in my eye. Always.
He's her younger son.
OK - I'm not in this photo. But I took it.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Thirty Days of Me: Day Fifteen

The challenge for day fifteen.... Something you don't leave your house without.

I don't ever leave my house without my phone. If I accidentally did - I'd turn around and go back for her. Seriously. I've been late to work for that very reason.

Everything is on my phone. My contacts, including mailing addresses; my shopping list; my journal; notes to myself; my to-do list; facebook and twitter (not just for me, but for clients as well); my calorie counter; my camera; pictures; videos.

I access my bank account, various email accounts, and my favorite web sites. I use the phone to find directions, pay bills, calculate tips, and find movies (and buy tickets). I've used the phone to shop for shoes, and look at online dating sites - so, I've also shopped for men. You can probably guess which works out better for me.

As I understand it - I can even use this little thing to make phone calls!

Why would I ever leave home without all that in the palm of my hand?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Thirty Days of Me: Day Fourteen

The challenge for day fourteen.... A TV show you're to which you're currently addicted.

There are several. I love Criminal Minds, Bones, Rizzoli & Isles. I can't get enough of a good crime drama.

My classic favorites are Friends, Charmed, and of course - Sex and the City.

But the one show I love, and can't get enough of, past or present?


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Thirty Days of Me: Day Thirteen

The challenge for day thirteen.... Your favorite musician and why.

I basically listen to whatever is on the radio. My CD "collection" is a handful of CDs that were in my car when the rest moved in with X, and a few mixed CDs given to me by friends (which are mostly what I listen to when the radio isn't cooperating). I don't have a music player.

But if I look at my collection, I guess I'd have to say my favorite is Bon Jovi. I know, I know, people don't like them that much, and I'm dating myself. Whatever.

I've liked their music for over twenty years a long time. Older songs bring back (mostly) happy memories; newer songs are uplifting and meaningful to me and my life now. Unlike other bands of their time, Bon Jovi has grown (musically, at least). They don't just keep releasing live CDs, or greatest hits - they write new music, and lyrics that matter to an aging generation of fans.

Plus, Jon Bon Jovi has been with the same woman since he was in high school. If that's not worth some loyalty, I don't know what is.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Thirty Days of Me: Day Eleven

The challenge for day eleven... What's in your makeup bag?

"There is no such thing as natural beauty."
Truvie, Steel Magnolias
First, it's important to note: I don't only have one makeup bag. How much makeup I'll need depends on how long I think I'm going to be away from the house. For the purposes of this post, I'm focusing on what is in the makeup bag I take with me everyday.

  • Eyeliner (2 colors)
  • Eye Primer
  • Eye Shadow (for touchups only, not my base colors)
  • Blush
  • Finishing Powder
  • Brushes to apply it all

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Monday, July 9, 2012

Thirty Days of Me: Day Eight

The challenge for day eight.... A song and photo to match your mood.

The song is... Stronger by Kelly Clarkson. Because that's how I feel - stronger, happier, and hopeful.

As for a picture....

What's stronger, happier, or more hopeful than rainbows and fireworks? Not a thing.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Thirty Days of Me: Day Seven

The challenge for day seven.... Your dream wedding.


It's as likely as any other wedding in my future.
If you're gonna dream - I say, dream big.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Friday, July 6, 2012

Thirty Days of Me: Day Five

The challenge for day five.... A photo of you two years ago.

According to facebook, this was taken July 30, 2010.
I really loved that top, too, and it got a tear in the sleeve. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Thirty Days of Me: Day Four

The challenge for day four.... Your favorite photograph of you and your best friend.

Look to your right. No - your other right.

See the box that says "About the Blogger?" The blonde I'm describing - is my best friend. You know her as Chrissy.

Taken on Chrissy's most recent 29th birthday.

Here are more photos of me with friends, from last year's post.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Thirty Days of Me: Day Three

The challenge for day three.... Your favorite store.

I love to shop. Love.

So choosing one favorite store is a touch difficult. If I'm shopping for clothes, I'd have to say Macy's, because they have the designers I like, and they have a petite section for my jeans, and a plus-sized section for my tops. They have a lovely selection of both, and I rarely leave disappointed - or as rich as when I arrived.

If I'm shopping for home stuff, I truly love Bed, Bath, and Beyond. As my cousin says, this store is "orgasmic." If you need a household gadget, they probably have it. Plus, they're always sending me coupons. Even better? They own Christmas Tree Shops, and I can use my gift cards at either store. Don't you just love a bargain?

Of course, the store I'm in the most often is Target. Why? Because they have everything. Where else can you get frozen veggies, fresh fruit, shampoo, nail polish, a Yankee shirt, and underwear all in the same place?

Of course - I like me some shoes. My new favorite place to shop for those is DSW. I like the prices at Famous Footwear better, but the selection at DSW is phenomenal. I told Baking Suit the other day that if I ever get married again, I'm going to register at DSW. "Can you do that?" she asked. I don't see where you can, and I really think they need to work on that.

But my absolute favorite store? The place to which I refer as "heaven on earth?" 

Yup, totally girlie, frivolous, indulgent, and (some might say) unnecessary. 

Sorta like me. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Thirty Days of Me: Day Two

The challenge for day two.... A picture of something I ate today.

Money can't buy happiness.
But it can buy ice cream - which is practically the same thing.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Thirty Days of Me: Day One

The challenge for day one.... A photo of myself and a description of my day

May 2012
I've decided to describe yesterday, because Sundays are more fun to describe than Mondays.

I don't like to make plans for Sunday. I like to leave the day free, in case I want to go to church, or the gym, or just sit in my yard and soak up some sun. 

I read books, watch movies, go grocery shopping, or go to the mall. I might go to the movies at the mall if there's something worth seeing. Sometimes I get a manicure; sometimes I get a pedicure. Sometimes I get both. 

Sometimes I take myself out to lunch. Sometimes I spend time with family, or my friends. 

It happens that this Sunday is two weeks before my birthday, and I'm planning a party for myself (because that's what you do when you're single). So, today I ran party errands.

I love Sundays.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Another thirty days

Last year, I did a Thirty Days of Me challenge for July (my birth month). I sorta liked the idea - so I started searching for a new thirty day challenge, for July 2012.

Of those I found, this was my favorite. So for the next thirty days, I'll discuss:

Day 1 - A photo of yourself and a description of how your day was
Day 2 - A photo of something you ate today
Day 3 - Your favorite store
Day 4 - Your favorite photograph of your best friend
Day 5 - A photo of yourself two years ago
Day 6 - A photo of an animal you'd love to keep as a pet
Day 7 - Your dream wedding
Day 8 - A song and a photo to match your mood
Day 9 - A photo of the item you last purchased
Day 10 - A photo of your favorite place to eat
Day 11 - What's in your makeup bag
Day 12 - A photograph of the town where you live
Day 13 - Your favorite musician and why
Day 14 - A TV show to which you're currently addicted
Day 15 - Something you don't leave your house without
Day 16 - A photo of you and your family
Day 17 - Your celebrity crush
Day 18 - Something you crave a lot
Day 19 - Another picture of yourself
Day 20 - The meaning of your blog name
Day 21 - A photo of something that makes you happy
Day 22 - Bullet your whole day
Day 23 - 20 facts about you
Day 24 - What's in your purse
Day 25 - Something that you miss
Day 26 - How you have changed in the last five years
Day 27 - Put your iPod on shuffle and list the first ten songs
Day 28 - Your favorite movie
Day 29 - Something you could never get tired of doing
Day 30 - A photograph of yourself today, and three good things that have happened in the last thirty days

How excited are you!?!? Kidding.