Saturday, August 17, 2013

That time we all got laid off

Somehow, summertime for me the last 5 or so years has always equaled job hunting. Always. Moving back to Maine, moving back to Springy. Repeat x2. Move to Charlotte. Find a job, but the company is so unethical that there's no way you can continue working for them. So last summer when I was offered the job I held up until Wednesday, I was pumped. Up and coming company, laid back, benefits, awesome people. Football always being thrown in the office ("SKILLZ!!!!"), Beer Fridays, all the Otis Spunkmeyer cookies you could ever want in your life. And while we all didn't necessarily get along 100% of the time, we were a family. And we got shit DONE. Work hard, play hard.

I came back from vacation on Monday (more on that in a bit) and things were...weird. The rumor mill was churning, whispers of "shit's going down this week" being lobbed back and forth. We hadn't been busy in a long time, but we were told we were switching into different markets and all would be well. Tuesday, and the word on the street was "tomorrow is D-Day." I hadn't been told anything directly, but I still cleaned my desk off Tuesday afternoon of any personal items. Sometimes, you just know. Wednesday, "noon time. HR is coming." Managers who didn't come in until 9am were there at 750. Some who come in at 11am were there at 840. You know things are about to happen. Around 10, all of our access was shut down and about 20 minutes later they started pulling us in to offices in groups of 3 and that was it.

Around 20 of us were let go, and I have to tell you that I am so thankful that I was in that group and not one of the 4 of us that were able to keep their jobs. I can't imagine the guilt that I would feel if I had to walk into that office after seeing that mass exodus the day before. Plus the fact that none of us were let go because of bad performance or anything like that, makes me feel a lot better. The 20 of us went to a bar across the street that had yet to open but management let us sit on the patio and said they'd be with us soon. "No big deal, we ALL just got laid off so we're here to hang out." We all ordered a round, management brought us complimentary tray of "you all just got laid off Jello Shots", and one of our contractors showed up and bought us a round. We hung out for about 4 hours and all went our separate ways. Much love to this whole group of people, there were a lot of smiles and a LOT of laughs that day, which is odd to think of a group of people who just lost their jobs, but I think there's something to be said about going through that with people who are like your family.

I got home, had a snack and the boy texted me to say "I'm on my way, start drinking." 10-4, I am good at following directions. Now listen. I don't drink that much anymore. First off, I live alone so I don't drink much anyway, because I just feel like that's a social activity, and secondly the calories are just not worth it to me. Not to mention the sometimes 2-day hangover I experience (because at 27, I am old) and generally feeling like shit. I barely keep alcohol in the house because it just sits there, but I did have some vodka and, thank god, some Crystal Lite mix.

Fast forward a few hours (vodka vodka at home, margarita nachos margarita vodka vodka at Birkdale) and an episode of Duck Dynasty and I was feelin REAL GOOD WITH LIFE. When was the last time I had 8 cocktails on the day without absolutely vomiting my brains out? I was probably 17.

I'm not stressing about this job situation. I've been there before. I am really good at being unemployed, according to Katrina. I have a great support network, and lots of skillzzz, so I really think everything is going to work out. I've got grand plans of NOT getting up at 430am to go to the gym (lets try like, 830) and hanging by the pool since this summer has pretty much sucked for that. A funemployment, if you will. So if any of you have any connections in Charlotte that are hiring, you just let me know!

What else what else. OH YAH. So I went to Maine for our annual camping trip at Hermit Island, and hoo boy it was nice to be home. I love my crazy ass framily, and I am not sure that I know any other group of people that can talk about poop as much as we do. Beach every day, amazing food (yup. Ate whatever the fuck I wanted and it was GLORIOUS. First day back at the gym was NOT, because you can't out-train a bad diet. You feel slow, fat and gross? It's because you're eating like crap.) and lots of laughs. The HKGCCJ contingent peaced out a day early because it was going to rain for the next two days - Katrina and I were dozing in tent. Curtis "y'all sleeping?" "sort of" "its gonna rain all night tonight and all night tomorrow. you guys wanna go?" "YUP" We had all tents down and the car packed in 40 minutes.

Really hoping that BEHS 2004 reunion next summer (WTF old) coincides with Hermit, because I totes wanna do both!

I got a lot of "plan on moving back?" while I was in Maine. Honestly? No fucking way. As much as I love my people there, I have no desire to move back. I moved down here to get away, get a fresh start and do my own thing. So unless I absolutely cannot find anything to do for work here and I am broke, I'm staying in NC. Great to visit your hometown, but there is something to be said about coming home to your own space that you have made all on your own. I am fiercely independent. I grew up with 4 of us in the house, lived at home through college and then immediately moved in with a boyfriend. This adventure in NC is my first experience living out of my comfort zone, and living alone, and I love it.

Enough rambling from me - since I'm SUPER FREAKIN BUSY these days, please give me your book recommendations!! I've read Silver Linings Playbook and Forbidden Places - Penny Vincenzi in the last couple weeks and I highly recommend them.

Til next time, bloggies!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

All The Things: Stream of Consciousness

Album of the week: Taylor Swift's "Red"
Book of the week: The Homecoming of Samuel Lake -Jenny Wingfield
If you guys have any book suggestions for me, please leave it in the comments - I'm going to the library this week to stock up on books for my VAY-CAY-SHUN!

Holy HELL she's got another blog post up and its only been like, A WEEK SINCE THE LAST ONE. This is just... insanity.

First things first, I have to give a huge THANK YOU to Ashley for featuring me on her #fridayfitstagram post - this girl is my main bitch on Instagram, who comes to Charlotte ON THE REGULAR so we're getting together ASAP. She also has the same sassmouth/vulgar vocabulary as I do (actually I see this as a trend in our FitGirls group. This may be A Thing.), and, get this y'all - we're ROAD TRIPPIN' to Chicago November 1-3 for a huge-mongous Instagram SassMouth FitGirls Meetup. (I think I just made up the slogan for the tshirts that we OBVIOUSLY need to have made. In pink. And glitter.)

I have "met" so many great girls even in the span of the last week thanks to our planning this trip. We're all from all over the country (Wendy is such a peach and is coordinating this bonanza) and all seem to be of the same mindset - get fit, have fun, and make friends doing it. Everyone is SO supportive and quick to give suggestions if anyone asks for help - no Judgey McJudgersons up in heah!

I know people in my "real life" don't realllllly "get" it, this Instagram business. Or meeting people on the INTERWEBZ in general. But I am That Girl, and I always will be. I met Katrina online in 8th grade (AIM FTW) and have basically never stopped. 2/3 of the Serious Boyfriends I've had I met online, so this is old hat to me. "WHAT ABOUT STRANGER DANGER?" Buhhhh. Anyone been keeping up with my online dating chronicles? Public place, everyone knows where you're going and what time, and has the contact information for the person that you're meeting. THAT'S HOW YA DO IT. How else do you make friends as an adult? Pretty much everyone I work with is married with children, or on the verge of that ledge, and the gym is Shutty No Talky Zone for me. (plus. 5am? No. Nobody speak to me.)

I realize there's a lot of exclamations and CAPITALS going on in this post. Work with me people, I've been home alone all day and Bailey is not much of a conversationalist.

What next what next. Oh. Okay so Google Reader has been retired (RIP) so I've switched all my blogs over to Feedly. Which blows BlogLovin out of the WATER - the app is slick like Rick and you can filter different blogs into different groups. For example, I have Hilarity, News (hockey & football, mostly), and Workin' It. The newest additions to my Workin' It group are Darci at Strongly Feminine, Heather at Pretty Strong Medicine and Miss MAHCY at The Mustache Diaries (I MEAN. the MUSTACHE diaries. we were destined to be friends, because we all know how much I love a good mustache. Plus this bish loves Brussels sprouts abouttttt as much as I do I think.)

So clearly we're all in this for the motivation and support we all get from one another, right? The friendships are just a (sweet-ass) bonus. But something I wanted to talk about is people who say to me "You've got to MAKE me go to the gym!" or "You've got to MAKE me eat better!" Listen here, and I'm not repeating myself: I cannot MAKE you do anything, just as I cannot make Bailey stop sleeping with her Fart Cannon pointed at my face every night. I will help guide you and make suggestions (as best I can, since I'm learning as I go here - I am NOT a personal trainer, clearly, nor am I a nutritionist but I will share what works for me). This decision has to be all on your own, for whatever reason that might be - whatever makes you decide "I'm getting off my ass and I'm not going to eat absolute shit anymore." I am going to be straight with you guys and fully admit that the reason I even started this journey was for a GUY (because I was living in full-blown Delusion Land and wanted to be hot-ass shit the next time I saw him - that delusion has since been smashed, thanks to a little thing I like to call Facebook Stalking - very useful, try it sometime) but a few months ago I made the decision to exit that Emotional Rollercoaster, thanks much for the ride but you can keep it. So now this journey is MINE and it is about ME and how I feel and making myself the best I can be - not for anyone else.

I'm geeking out a little lot about the fact that people look to me for motivation and inspiration, because I feed off that and it makes me want to do that much better. Do I like the attention? Of course, have we met? I love me some attention. But having a full blown community of girls who all have the same goal is a big thing for me. Moving a thousand miles away from home and not knowing anyone was absolutely terrifying, and while I have the absolute best BFFs a girl could ask for, it does help to have the extra support. A Net, if you will. A Sassmouth FitGirls Net, where we'll all catch each other if we need it. (Okay Helen, move on from the sap. What's wrong with you. Actually no, you know what it is? That bitch Aunt Flo is in town and I have been SUPER emotional the past two weeks. I mean full-on crying over songs on the radio. Do what? This doesn't happen to me.)

Can we just talk about something disgusting for a second? I fully admit that I am all about The Gross - give me a good zit with a whitehead on it and I'm your girl, I'll take care of it for you. A good talk about poop with your best friends? Bring it on. But is there ANYTHING more disgusting than snaking the shower drain? I cannot. I admit I let it get bad - when I'm in an inch and a half of standing water during my shower I know it's time. I do have a hair trap, but some of those refugee hairs (and hair pins! What fresh hell is this? Why is a rogue hair pin getting through my hair trap?!) escape. I snaked it today and legit dry-heaved. Husband requirement numero uno: Must Snake Shower Drain.

Speaking of The Men Species, I'm not going to get too gushy and detaily here but I've had some great dates with a guy recently (dates. that would be PLURAL DATES, over MULTIPLE WEEKS. Close your mouth, I'm shocked too) including Bonefish Grille (hieee you win already sir), the WhiteWater Center (any date that I get to wear workout clothes to and no makeup is an automatic thumbs up from me), and a dirt-track race (me. At a dirt track. And a race. At the same time. And I didn't want to die until the very end when it was 1am and we were still there. AND I WAS COVERED IN DIRT AND DIDN'T HATE IT.) So if all of you could cross all your digits and/or pray to Buddha or baby Jesus in a tuxedo tshirt, or whatever it is that you do, I'd really appreciate it. Love you, mean it!

I leave for MAINEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!111111 on Friday and get to spend a whole 8 days with My People, so there will probably not be another post in HelenTheFabulous Land until I get back. Because really the fact that I posted twice in 2 weeks is a miracle in itself. Peace out betches!!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Life update.

Huh. My last post was May 7th. I cannot say that I am surprised - and I'm not even going to attempt to make a "oh I'm going to try harder to blog!" promise. Because we all know how that works (it doesn't).

What's been going on in North Carolina, you ask? WELL LET ME TELL YOU.

Not a whole lot. Work, gym, home, basically. I'm reading a lot, which is great. But. It's summer, it's hot as balls, and it has been a 40-70% chance of rain every day for basically the last month. Which means it rains. A lot. So I haven't been able to get to the pool, which means Katrina is going to win the Tan-Off 2013. Womp womp. HOWEVER I am heading to Maine in two, COUNT 'EM TWO, weeks to spend a week at Hermit Island with my crazy ass Framily and I could not be more excited about it. Hermit Island is my Christmas - I don't go home for the holidays because a) its expensive as fuck to fly home, 2) its 19 hours by car and I will NOT be driving that route by myself, ever, and C) snow. And I also get to do a wedding with my Studio 25 homegirls Maria and Shannon which MAKES ME VERY EXCITED!

I just did another brief stint of online dating - if you're new to the blog, the short and sweet version of my online dating history is that I've been out with 85ish guys since I've been living in NC (2 years in October). Yes I realize this is crazypants, but I am The Girl Who Meets People On The Internet. Always have been, probably always will be.

If you follow me on any other social media outlet, you have probably realized that I am a bit of a fitness freak now. (If you haven't noticed, either you don't actually use that social media outlet or you have me hidden from your newsfeed. CAUGHT YA! Busted.) And I have to say, I have never felt better. In my life. Ever. I'm only down about 10ish pounds, but I am up every weekday at 430am, at the gym by 5, and work out for an hour. I'm tracking all my food, and I've embraced that formerly scary place known as the Meathead Weight Room at the gym - its not as scary as you think. It's actually not scary at all. I just walk in like I own the place, wait for the "psh there's a girl in here" looks, and then proceed to turn Beastmode ON. I'm fully dedicated to this and I'm seeing results, and I cannot wait to see what the next year brings as far as progress goes.

I also realize that going from "meh, I workout sometimes" to being at the gym 6-7 days a week and posting about it constantly on Instagram has some people doing a double take. Trust me, it has me doing a double take sometimes too. I considered separating it from my personal posts, and setting up a Fitness Only IG account... but you know what? No. I'm not going to do that. If you don't like what I'm posting because it makes you feel bad about yourself because you make shitty choices, I'm not sorry about it. I've decided to turn my life around and get in shape, and all it took was me deciding I was worth it. For years I would work out a few days a week (I use "working out" loosely here), "not really caring" that I was the "fat girl" of the group. Of course I CARED, but I have always been an extremely confident person - basically taking the "if you don't like how I look, don't look at me" attitude.

I'm totally learning as I go, but I have got the kick-assest support group! So motivational. I've got the BFFs in real life and a huge group of girls on Instagram from all over the dang country who I get so much inspiration from. So I have to give a shoutout to all y'all, because I couldn't do it without you. Our daily accountability check-ins are the BEST. I fear some people think of them as arrogance or bragging like, "this is what *I* did today, so ha ha in your face!" - could not be further from the truth. I've had so many people say to me, "you've inspired me to start riding my bike to work" or "I'm starting to run, because I love seeing your posts and they are so motivational!" which makes it totally worth the haters that I get from this.

Thanks for reading this extra-wordy, lacking-in-pictures post. See ya in September, bloggies.


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

I am blogging, because I have Things To Say.

Okay okay okay, I know. Two posts in less than 2 weeks? What gives? Yeah I don't know who I am lately, either. Working out all the time, wearing Real Clothes to work (I haven't worn yoga pants to work in AT LEAST 8 weeks. What the what!), and blogging somewhat regularly? Yeesh.

A little housecleaning - Katrina has a new blog over here at Capital K, go follow her. I debut in post four, so make sure you read that one first. I also added Nat The Fat Rat to the sidebar over there, she's one of my new favorite mommy bloggers. My what? Yes. I know we've been over the whole kid thing before? But Mommy Blogs are my guilty pleasure. More specifically, Mormon Mommy Blogs. I don't know. But they are fabulous.

The whole reason I'm blogging tonight is because I feel like I have Things To Say but none of them relate to each other in any way AT ALL. So perhaps a list is the best way to go about this:

- I'm in my third week of working out at 5am before work. (I know. "Ellipses." That's what I thought originally too.) I like it SO MUCH BETTER. (I'm in a mood, can you tell?) There's no one there - because people who are right in the head are STILL SLEEPING - but it feels so great to get it done in the morning, and out of the way. So after work I'm not rushing home, rushing to the gym, rushing home, swallow a protein shake and then eat dinner at 830pm. Now, I'm in bed at 830pm. (Which. At first I was like GOOD LORD NANA GET A LIFE. Now? I'm focusing on me and it just feels right. So I can go to bed whenever the hell I please. I haven't been on a dang date in SIX WEEKS. Six! Huhwha? The girl who averaged one a week for 18 months? I know! I'm proud too!)

    •  Unrelated to much of the above but when I get home in the morning I always make a shake and then shower. Today I came home from work and realized I had left my shake cup in the bathroom. Immediately I thought "OH MY GOD I'VE BECOME MY MOTHER." (Love ya Mom!) Because growing up, every single day, there was a coffee mug left in the bathroom with just a ring of creamer in the bottom. When I think of the bathroom at my parents' house (because I do that, often. No?) I think: coffee mug, CoverGirl mascara and pink blush.

- Speaking of makeup, I have a New Favorite Thing that Mama Laughlin posted about - it is L'Oreal True Match foundation. It looks like zis:

I think I use Nude Beige? I could be making that up.
 And there's a True Match app you can download to get the right tone. And I love it, because it covers better than the Mary Kay stuff I was using - thank you baby Jesus and amen.

- Can we talk about Target dressing rooms for a second? Lawd Jeevus I don't know what man decided on the lighting in those dressing rooms, but can we start a petition or something to get them changed? I mean, it starts innocently enough. Darrah texts you to say "THERE'S FLAG BIKINIS AT TARGET." So you text Katrina, "THERE'S FLAG BIKINIS AT TARGET. I'M GOING." And you get in the car, in your threadbare Winthrop Ramblers football hoodie and leggings-as-pants, and you scoot on over to the Target. On your Jack Shit Sunday, where you aren't supposed to be doing ANYTHING but for some reason you are struggling with this. (Again. What is happening to my life?)

You frolic down to the fitting room - you take  in two sizes because you aren't really sure, and really, Target sizing Sucks with a capital S. You lock the door and immediately cringe. WHEN DID I GET THIS PALE? You get undressed and put on the bikini. Keep in mind there is a mirror in front of you, AND a mirror behind you, because every woman NEEDS to be seeing 3 of every angle of her body, At All Times, when trying on bathing suits. (no.) WHAT IS THAT LUMPY BIT RIGHT HERE? AND THIS? I DON'T LOOK LIKE THIS AT HOME! No, you don't look like that at home, because the lighting in your bedroom is soft, and flattering, and lovely. Like an Instagram filter on your life.

Anyway. I bought the bikini (the top is REVERSIBLE. Stripes on one side and stars on the other! Hieeeeeee!!!) because Katrina said, upon receiving Fitting Room Picture of Deathly Pale Sister Wife, "you look like Wonder Woman!! Can I get the same one?!" Katrina wins Sunday.

- I booked my flight home for Hermit Island today, which excites me to no end - that means IT IS REAL AND IT IS HAPPENING. I mean obviously its happening, I'd drive the damn 19 hours to get there if I had to (with much grumbling unless I happened to land upon some stud of a copilot). So. YAY. 86 Days until HERMITS UNITE.

- I have this Foreman grill. That I actually quite like, she cooks things quite efficiently, but she is a Bitch To Clean. Such a bitch, in fact, that she has been perched atop the cupboards in my kitchen since the Bacon Extravaganza of Labor Day Weekend 2012, because I just cannot be bothered. Plus I have to climb on a chair to even get her down. (Found out I was actually 5'6 when I went to the doctors a few weeks ago? All this time. Thought I was 5'5. Has totally changed my outlook on life.) Well, lo and behold, Pinterest comes through again SOLVING LIFE'S PROBLEMS. When you're done cooking, unplug that sucker and put a wet paper towel between the plates - it'll just steam off all that gunk and you can quickly wipe it away. Instead of having to get out the useless scraping tool that never works, or if you live with a useless man like I once did, who is supposed to do the cleaning after you do the cooking, leaves it on the counter for-ev-er and you end up scraping that shit off the next day anyway. Lesson learned? Always trust The Pinterest, Never trust a Useless Man.

- I seem to have taken on the role of Life Coach to a few of my friends lately. I am always known as the No Bullshit BFF. The One With the Answers. Decision Maker. The One Who Doesn't Sugarcoat. So I guess it fits. Gabby said "you should do a column on your blog!" So if I have actual people who want my advice (which, really, who DOESN'T?) I am totally willing to start a "Help me, Helen!" column here. (She came up with a way wittier name than that but of course I cannot remember it.) Obviously I will keep everything anonymous and you can ask me basically anything - I mean, lets keep it rated less than NC-17, but I'm open to topics. So if you want to be a part of this, you can email me at helen the fabulous @ gmail . com - if no one emails me I may just start making topics up on my own. Because opinion.

- My friends and I, who text All The Livelong Day, have a system for checking in with each other regarding our Current Emotional State (CES - invented by NICOLE). Because let's face it - we are all late twenties and there are Things To Be Concerned About.

We gauge ourselves on the color scale below - yes, it does resemble the Terrorism Scale. And also rainbow. Purple means you are basically comatose, and have no thoughts or feelings regarding your current situation. It escalates until you hit Red, which means anyone and everyone get the hell out of the way because she's gonna blow.

Coma Purple Blue Green Yellow Orange Rage Blackout Red 

"Excuse me, helenthefabulous? Magenta sparkle isn't on the Terrorism Scale." No, you are correct, it is not. However. Magenta Sparkle is like, THE BEST OF THE BEST MOOD EVER. Pink and glitter and fairy dust. This mood is saved solely for Hearing From Crushes (we are 27, do we even have CRUSHES anymore? How does that work?), Getting A Raise At Work, and other such Big Events that otherwise are not given any justice on the regular CES scale.

Today my mood is clearly Tie-Dye since I am all over the place, so I hope you enjoyed this. Closing it out with a little Macklemore (Katrina, "Macklemore is white!" "Yes.") - enjoy your week bloggies!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Slammin' By Summer.

Holla back, bloggies! Where ya crazies been all my life? Or really, where have I been for the past month?

Working my fucking ass off, quite literally.

Remember we talked about that whole going to the gym thing, New Year's resolutions, blah blah? Yeah. I wasn't really thinking it was going to work this time, because I go through those phases of going all the time, and then mehhh... I have other things to do. No. This time? This time is different. Other than my 3-week hiatus from having the flu, I have been at the gym 4-5 days a week, EVERY. WEEK. What is happening to my life.

I will tell you what happened. My friends, god love them, decided a few months ago they would start tracking. "Tracking. Pfft. I don't do that." I scoffed. Weekly weigh-ins. "Pfft. I don't even own a scale. That number? Means nothing to me." Yeah. About that. You know when everyone starts doing something and it seems kinda silly and you don't really want to be involved, and then one day, it just hits you that it's a good idea and you should probably do it? Because now it's your idea? (No? Am I the only one this happens to? It's not a good idea unless it's my idea.) Well. That happened. And #SlamminBySummer was born. (That's our hashtag on Instagram - @helenthefabulous if you want to follow me there!)

So I decided I'd give it a shot, not really expecting this time to be any different, because I eat pretty healthy for the most part and I'm... "moderately" active. And?

I. Love. It.

So much so that I've been going to the friggin gym at 5:10am, 3 days a week. That's AM, people.

 I'm tracking calories using MyFitnessPal (Helenthefabulous if you use MFP!) which is a really great little app - they literally have close to every food, ever, and you can "friend" your friends and it helps keep you accountable. Thankfully, most of my girls right now are on a fitness kick, so we are all using each other as competition  motivation. "Oh, those bitches are working out twice today? Psh, then I'M working out twice today!"

I have also found this great little "fit community" on Instagram - I've got some new friends that I've "met" via Mama Laughlin's IG feed, and they all blog and are seriously motivating, plus it's cool to see what works for other people, and what kind of fun toys they buy to go along with their workout gear.

Speaking of, I bought my first heart rate monitor last week. (I also bought a scale.) (And protein powder.) (Who. Am I.) I originally went with the Fitbit Zip, which was adorable, but after doing some research (yeah, after I bought it, genius) I realized it was mostly just guessing how many calories I was burning because it doesn't come with a chest strap. A lot of the girls I follow use a Polar HRM, so I went with the FT4 model - I really just want the calorie count, and I'm not enough of a runner that I need a GPS/distance counter. 

I was a little iffy about wearing the chest strap, but once it's on you don't even notice it. And that's really the only way you're going to get an accurate calorie count - the Stairmaster is always anywhere from 30-50 calories under what the Polar says. The instructions say you're supposed to wet the rubber part of the band before you put it on - um. I'm not sure why, and actually remembering to do that has been a bitch, but it seems to work fine without doing that. However. If you are a sweaty beast like me ("I have sweaty! I'm not teasing!") you will need to wash this band every few times you use it. I rinse it after every gym sesh, but it needs to be legit WASHED probably every three. Because gross.

Next on my wishlist is new sneakers but I'm not in dire need yet, but I'm going to go get legit fitted, because in the off-chance I do decide to go running (which DOES happen, sometimes) I'd prefer my knee to not be all fucky when I'm done. I love my baller Pumas but they are NOT running shoes.

So, I mentioned in my last post about before-bikini pictures? I am going to bite the bullet and put a picture of me in a bikini, on the INTERWEBZ. Technically, two pictures.

There is a noticeable, but not huge, difference in these two - first was in January, just for shits, and the second one was about 2-3 weeks ago - I had barely started tracking though, so I'm about 5 pounds down from that. And I think closer to 9 or 10 since I started working out this year, but since I didn't own a scale until recently, I'm not really sure. But let me tell you, I feel fan-fucking-tastic lately. "Working out will make you feel so much better, about everything!" I used to roll my eyes. No sir, it is true.

Also true.  

So if you want to start feeling better, get thee ass to a gym. Or a greenway. Or whatever. And find some friends to do it with you, because those wenches WILL hold you accountable - even if they don't come right out and say it. My friends and I are KILLING it for the month of April, as far as workouts go. 

Also, I know I did a whole post here on this - but another way to make yourself feel better? Go get your damn boobs fitted. This has nothing to do with my working out, but I have never been more in love with my boobs than I have been the past few months. BECAUSE MY DANG BRA FITS. You are welcome.

This week's manicure:
Essie's Bachelorette Bash, Ulta's Snow White

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Life Recap

Hey guys? Remember me? Yeah. Terrible blogger, I know. And the weather is getting nicer so I can pretty much guarantee that these entries won't be coming any more frequently than they are right now. So sorry. Patio drinks to be drank and pools to be tanned by. You know how it is.

Topics At The Random: aaaaaand go!

So March flew by. I was spoiled by all of my friends/family as far as birthday gifts go - including these amazing Prabal Gurung For Target shoes from Nicole:

I have embraced color into my wardrobe, finally:

Top: Gap, final sale, $12.97. Jeggings: Gap, final sale, $14.97
Oh yeah. Speaking of Gap. Gave my notice, so I'm done working there - need my weekends for aforementioned patio drinking and pool days. Plus it got to the point where I was spending more than I was making, at a store I wouldn't normally shop at, but since I was working there, I could justify it. No. No more.

Katrina came to visit over our birthday weekend, and we did a whole hell of a lot of nothing. I am slowly teaching my Sister Wives the Art of Being Lazy - they're sort of getting it. We ate a lot, shopped a little bit, but mostly just hung out. (This is what you should be prepared for if you ever come visit me: Eating. That's it. "What do you do when people come to visit you?" "Eat and shop." And don't leave my Birkdale Bubble, if we can help it.)

We also went and got tattoos to celebrate turning 27 (TWENTY. SEVEN. What.):

Sureeeeee did!
I'll probably end up incorporating this into a 1/4 sleeve on that arm but only once I can afford to plan a trip to Florida to visit Leon & Court at Brave Soul Cocoa Beach - trying out anyone new for actual art makes me sweaty with anxiety.

After our weekend, I came down with the flu. And I'm not talking that 24-hour, sleep it off flu. I woke up on Sunday, thought I had a hangover (after 4 drinks spanning 5 hours? no.) - then realized I've never had a hangover where my hair and my skin hurt. I proceeded to sleep pretty consistently through Wednesday, sweating my fever out at night, all the while seriously thinking I was on Death's Doorstep. Sore throat, skin that ached constantly, no appetite, tired, headache, cough. The kicker came when I finally convinced myself to go to the kitchen to make a smoothie, since I hadn't really eaten anything - and woke up, flat on the floor, with my knee gushing blood since I cut it on the edge of the dishwasher on the way down. OH HAY KITCHEN FLOOR, YOU FEEL SO GOOD AGAINST MY FLU-RIDDEN BODAYYYY. Very, very thankful for my person, Alexis, coming to save me from myself and take me to UrgentCare where the doctor put me on house arrest through the weekend. Hey built up PTO at work? SEE YA.

So. I'll be getting a flu shot next year, and every year after that, because I have literally never been sicker in my entire life. Ever.

Somehow, I've become addicted to going to the gym. And I'm slowly but surely noticing results. Katrina Gabby and I are on a Slammin' By Summer campaign, so I'm doing two Group Power classes (its sort of a bootcamp class but its all done with the step and a bar with different weights on it for different exercises) and 3-4 days a week of cardio. Mostly the Stairmaster - I'm up to 50 minutes at level 5-6 (the flu derailed me for a few weeks but I'm almost back to normal on that). After the first few weeks of normal gym-going, I was ravenous. I mean, Hungry Horrors every damn day. So I've been supplementing with a protein shake after my workouts, which really seems to be helping. (Optimum Nutrition Double Chocolate? Hi. I have to remind myself on the days that I don't work out, that I don't need to make one. Because it's delicious. Also, invest in a Magic Bullet if you don't have one. Katrina sent me one and holy MOLY it's my new favorite appliance.)

Not showing before/afters yet, but here's a sneak!
Also. No More Dating. I just cannot do it. The last one tried to explain to me what halftime was:

Me: Oh yeah I'm way into football and hockey, but not big on basketball.
Him: Well they play two halves, and right now is halftime. So they'll take a break, and come back out and play another half.

Uhhh. Yeah. I just explained to you that I DO follow sports, just not basketball. I know what halftime is, dick.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

When it's over.

Bloggies, I usually like to keep this place happy, funny, and silly, but today I need to talk about something serious. There is something happening to female 20-somethings, and I'm not sure that anyone has an answer why. 

You're going along in your long-term relationship, making plans for the future, envisioning what you imagine is going to be a (mostly) happily ever after. Until one day...


He leaves.
With no explanation.

It hits you like a sack of bricks to the face, because you thought everything was fine. I personally know 4 women this has happened to in the last 5 months. These are normal women, in normal relationships, with no indication that there was an issue. 

Imagine, you've been with a guy for over 4 years and you are planning your wedding. (Legit planning your wedding, not Pinterest planning your wedding like the rest of us.) You come home from work some random Tuesday to find him packing his stuff and moving out of your house. Obviously you are willing to do whatever needs to be done, to compromise, to put forth some greater effort to show you are willing to make this work and that it's worth it for him to stay. He leaves.

Girls, I know what this feels like. I've been there. I've had the plans of moving across the country to follow a man, who at the time, I thought was IT. Hell, I'd moved every 6 months like a nomad for the past 2 years to follow his "dream career" because I believed he was the man for me. We were moving to Texas at the end of the summer, until one day, he came home and told me that he was going and I was no longer invited. I was the "love of his life", but he was going without me.

I thought I was going to die. Kill me now, because I cannot survive this heartbreak. And not only that, I now have zero Life Plans - and you all know exactly how you feel when you have no plan. (Or perhaps that's just me and my crazy-ass friends. Always planning. Always have to know what's going to happen in a month, in 6 months, next year. What's next? What's coming? Prepare. Always prepare. This is a disease for which there is no cure.)

And you know what? I survived. Holy HELL, did I survive. Kicked ass and took some names on my way through. But it wasn't easy. It was really, really hard. And on top of your relationship being over, you are about to be bitch-slapped by the fact that for the most part, your "friends" are probably terrible and run at the first sight of tears, so you have even fewer people to count on in your life.

I had a friend from college who I had been there for through numerous breakups, always ready to drop whatever I was doing to go to dinner and talk, or just hang out and not talk. Whatever she needed. When my breakup happened, she was planning her wedding to a great guy, and basically could not be bothered to meet up with me. "Hey lets do dinner on Monday, like 8ish?" "Ooh, that's too late for me." I'm...sorry? You are 25 years old and 8pm is too late to have dinner? Needless to say, she showed me ZERO support and the end of our friendship came when I told her I would not be attending her wedding. If you can't be bothered to go to dinner with me ONE TIME when I need you, I am not wasting my time coming to your wedding.

So here's my advice to you, if you ever have the unfortunate luck to have to go through this. Lean on your friends. Call them out if they aren't giving you what you need. (Some people just don't know what to do or how to react, and a LOT of people assume that after a few weeks you are fine. You're not fine, and you won't be fine for a long time.) Cry it out. You're allowed. You're going to go through the Stages of Grief - I moved swiftly from sad to really-fucking-pissed-off about the entire situation, and then saw the silver lining - there is someone out there better for me, and he's really done me a favor so I don't waste any more of my life with the wrong person. (He does not get Brownie Points for this.) You may also be pleasantly surprised at who ends up being a really good friend for you to have - people you would never expect, and they end up becoming one of your best friends. I was lucky enough for this to happen to me.

Eventually, he will realize his mistake of leaving - I'd say within 3-6 months, because let's be honest - men are not the quickest creatures when it comes to things like this. (Six months later, I got a text that said "This is when I was planning on proposing to you." Well THAT'S REALLY NICE. Thanks for cluing me in to ONE MORE thing that I won't be getting from you, and driving that knife in just a LITTLE FURTHER. You're now realizing your mistake, and I'm not taking you back.)

And my advice to you, if you DON'T go through this, and you have a friend who does? Check in on them. A lot. If they turn you away because they want to be alone, force them to let you in. Make plans with them. (And not as a third wheel. Ain't nobody got time fo' dat.) Keep those plans with them. Don't get pissed if they aren't excited about your engagement/bridal shower/wedding, and certainly do not call them out on being a "shitty friend" because of said lack of excitement. Their entire life is upside down. Let them cry when they need to cry, because you never know if this could happen to you.

Huge shoutout to my Net of Friends - y'all are just as crazy as I am, and I love you every day for it.


Sunday, January 6, 2013

All The Things Manicure

Okay recessionistas, I've gotten a lot of "who does your nails!?" and "teach me how to do that!" Your wishes have been granted. I apologize ahead of time for the blurry-ish pictures (I am upgrading to a new iPhone for my birthday. Which is in 61 days, so you can start shopping now).

We all know that I am the least patient person when it comes to, well, basically everything. Except painting my nails. This is a weekly ritual, strictly for me (and my IG followers), so I take the time to do it. It will take anywhere from 30-60 minutes, depending how elaborate you go with your polish. If you don't have the patience, turn back now! If you do, keep reading.

A few prep steps to get started:

1) flat, clean space devoid of any pet/human hair (the most frustrating thing is HAIR in your WET NAILS)

2) feed your dog or give them a chew toy so they aren't pawing at you during this process.
yes, that is my dog chewing on a Christmas reindeer.
thanks to Courtney. this dog has never chewed a toy in her life.
she has successfully removed the antlers.

3) go to the bathroom.

You will need All The Following Things (all of which can be purchased at your neighborhood salon. support small business, especially if you aren't going to get your nails done there - every bit helps):

1: QUALITY nail polish remover. none of that crap from Walmart, because it won't touch glitter. preferably acetone.
2: cotton balls (big ones)
3: orangewood stick
4: nail polish thinner
1: fine grain nail file
2: cuticle pusher
3: buffing block
4: cuticle nippers

1: quick dry topcoat. I prefer Seche Vite but I'm out.
2: OPI base coat. THIS. IS. A. MUST.
You can pick whatever color you want.
1: Essie's Bachelorette Bash
2: OPI Lincoln Park After Dark
I prefer Essie over OPI (I find it lasts longer)

I know. Right now you're thinking, "holy shit. This is a long process and we haven't even started the Painting of Nails yet!" Bear with me. Worth it.

Remove any existing polish with your acetone and cotton balls.

We'll call this Dry Prep. Shape nails with nail file, push cuticles back (GENTLY! Don't go all cray. Your cuticles may be out of control if you don't do your nails regularly, but once you get into the habit of pushing them back, they'll recede enough that you don't have to do much), and then use the cuticle nippers to take off any excess cuticle. (Note: I did not say "CUT YOUR CUTICLES OFF" Do not do this. Ever. Ever ever ever. For one, you need them, and for two, polish and acetone hurts like a mother when it gets into cuts. So don't do it. Just snip any hangnail-ish pieces.) Final prep step is to use the buffing block on the surface of your nails (GENTLY) - it roughs the surface up just enough for the polish to stick to it.

After Dry prep

 Here's the trick to your polish lasting longer than 2 days. You Must Paint Your Free Edges. Every coat of polish, from base coat to topcoat.

"What's a free edge?"

The free edge is the end of your fingernail that hangs over your fingertip. Essentially, the one that is coming into contact with your keyboard at work, etc. Every. Coat. On. The. Free. Edge. (Also. Your fingernails are NOT TOOLS. So do not type WITH them. Use your fingers, so you don't chip your polish.)

Base coat makes the surface of your nail sticky so the polish sticks to it. If you skip this step I guarantee you are cutting the time your manicure lasts in half.

Take your polish color of choice, open the cover and see how thick the polish is. If it doesn't drip off the brush easily, it's too thick. You can add 3-4 drops of polish thinner, shake well, and it should be good to go. (You should always store your polish tightly closed and in a cool, dry place.)

Paint your free edge. This takes practice, and if your nails are shorter, it will be a little messy. There is a clean-up section at the end of this lesson. I do this one hand at a time, because I find if you do all 10 fingers at once, by the time you get back to your second hand with a full coat of polish, the free edge can get a little gloopy.

Next step is two coats of polish, painting your free edge with every coat. Once you've done two coats, you can stop here, and just add topcoat.

Or, the optional step, is to add some flair before your topcoat:

Glitter is Essie's Beyond Cozy (winter 2012 collection)
Glitter, or a French tip, or both. Doing a French tip freehand takes A LOT OF PRACTICE. The first few times, you will probably be unhappy with the results, but stick with it, because you'll find what works for you. I do one thin coat to make an outline and make sure its covering enough of the tip, and then go back with a thin second coat to make sure you can't see the color underneath.

Let your French or glitter dry for a few minutes before you put your topcoat on - the last thing you want to do is smudge all your hard work (or ruin your topcoat by getting a bunch of glitter in it. Glitter is my thing but I don't want it in my topcoat.)

If you have any polish on your skin around your fingernail, take your orangewood stick and wrap the tip with some acetone soaked cotton. You don't need much, but just enough to be saturated and wipe the polish off.

And voila! You are done! Now it's time to post to Instagram/Facebook, because that's just what we do. Tag me in your photos, because I want to see them! And let me know if you have any questions.

Some photos from the last week or so:


Miss Alexis went to a Fancy Hootenanny last weekend
so I got to bust out my updo skillz!

Pink Flamingo Martini from EEZ Sushi

Blinged out Steelers coffee mug from Courtney. That girl gets me.