Friday, June 26, 2009

Planes, trains, buses and automobiles...

Boy, the things a girl will go through to arrive at a getaway destination. The ORIGINAL plan was to FLY to Philadelphia and take a TRAIN to Atlantic City. Um, not so much so.
We got off the plane, took a cab to the train found out the train was not running on part of the tracks due to repairs, took a Greyhound Bus to a DIFFERENT train station, got on THAT train, got off the train and had people debating the merits of taking yet another train, another bus or a cab to get us to our final destination. Our heads were spinning by this point. We opted for the cab, but the cab driver didn't know where we were going it turned out. One wrong resort later and viola! WE HAVE ARRIVED! Whew! Three tired girls in need of some relaxation and a drink. Which we proceeded to do. Which was followed up with a late night swim session (courtesy of the staff who discreetly left the pool gate open for us) in the mineral pool at the spa on the grounds and three tipsy girls and several bottles of beer. We ended the night with a little golf cart ride around the grounds, again, courtesy of a very kind member of the staff who understood that sometimes, girls just want to have fun.
*I have to admit to being HIGHLY disappointed by my bus ride. I had visions of everyone bonding a-la the scene from College Road Trip where we would all do a singalong to Double Dutch Bus and no one wanted to do it. Bummer, right?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Bragging rights!

Can I just interrupt our regular programming for a minute to brag?
Tessa got her ACT test results today. Drumroll please...
She scored a 33! Let me spell that out for you:
T-H-I-R-T-Y T-H-R-E-E
Again, that is a 33. Highest score possible is a 36.
She gets that from my side of the family.
For real- How proud am I???

Monday, June 22, 2009

Customer service 101...

Sometimes, a girl just needs to change things up a little bit, you know? So I decided to go sniff around a little bit and see what other scents I might find out there at the perfume counter. Normally, I shop online with few exceptions, and when I do go to stores I try to keep it local as often as possible. My main reasons:
1) The convenience of shopping at home on my own schedule versus a retail stores hours
2) The excitement of the box coming to my home, usually with free samples if cosmetics are involved
3) Free shipping, sometimes no sales tax
4) NO PEOPLE, NO HASSLES
5) Whenever possible, keeping my money in my neighborhood. I'm friendly with many small business owners in my area and admire them for being gutsy enough to start their own businesses. And let me tell you, many business owners in my area have taken a chance on me and supported me in my efforts to create a fun ladies event, but that's another blog, and another story...
P.S. Anyone ladies reading the Swap N Shop blog are invited, email me/post a comment if you want details or are interested in setting up a Swap N Shop event in your city.

I decided to give my local Macy's store a go and pop on in. Now, the Macy's by my house is in a failing shopping center which is slotted for major renovations. If you go to this store, it is pretty much you, some senior citizens and crickets chirping. So I approach the counter and there is a gaggle of women who work there sitting on stools chatting. I get that, there are no customers. But when a customer approaches you should at least stand and fan out a bit. Right? One of the women was able to tear herself away from her shift of coffee talk and meander over to half heartedly help me. There was a perfume I liked, and I asked her what was in it, as I have allergies. She was just kind enough to tell me the information was on the back of the bottle. Oh-kay...... So she offered nothing further. Again, I could hear the crickets in the store chirping. I asked if she had a sample. She spritzed a bit onto the paper with the name of the perfume on it. Again, real helpful. I clarified that I meant "sample" not "spritz." Now, at most make-up counters this would prompt the salesperson to either give the sample, or if not available offer suggestions on other products to try. I got none of the above. Feeling frustrated I thought to myself "screw this" and asked for a pen so I could write down the perfume I was interested in. I was given the pen and she walked away. Walked away. Like, back to the tea party with the same people she had spent the majority of her shift with. Um, how fast can I say "Sephora?"
I left so frustrated. And my beef is this:
In a troubled economy, wouldn't you want to earn a sale or customer? Retain the ones you have? Keep business in your area versus send it right back out the door? Why encourage people to shop elsewhere when you already have them right in front of you? And I have to admit that I called the store manager to convey these thoughts. I mean, really, I don't want to see businesses in my own zip code fail. The very area where I pay taxes. Why do I want to see more people unemployed, or not earning enough money to pay their bills each month? And while my $50-$80 purchase may not have paid the electric bill at Macy's, wouldn't it have been better than no sale?
The Macy's episode really reminded me of why when I go out to eat, I prefer small, locally owned businesses. Why when I shop for certain items, I like to shop small and local. (Other than my online shopping...) Support YOUR small business owners. Keep your money in your community. Or, spend it with someone who appreciates it.
If you haven't already heard about it, check out the 3/50 Project. Pretty interesting.

Walk of Shame...


So, yesterday I walked out of Kroger and left my keys behind. And I have no idea why, but I was too embarrassed to go back in and get them. I kept on walking, KNOWING my keys were at the check out lane, but also knowing I had a spare key in my purse. I walked out of there KNOWING I was going to call them from the parking lot to take them to the front desk and KNOWING I would have to go back inside to get them. WHY did I do this? I have no idea. So, just as I KNEW I would I called FROM THE PARKING LOT (got the number from my receipt) and told them I would come back in for my keys. (After they confirmed that yes, my keys were there.)

As planned, I went to the service desk to get my keys thinking they would just hand them over. Oh no, they got out an ENTIRE container filled with key chains. Really? How the heck did all of us get home? Didn't people get to their cars and wonder where their keys were? Didn't their ice cream melt? Were they all as ashamed as I was?

Oh well. No use crying over spoiled milk.

This one goes out to all of us who may have some organizational concerns...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The things we do for love...







Man, I'll tell you what. I think bunnies are becoming one of the most oft-talked about items on my blog.



First, we had the Good Friday Gang Bang- A bit tacky, I know but really, when blogging don't you need a good attention getter to differentiate yourself from the rest? Or maybe I really am just that tasteless.



Then, we had my Easter Bunny costume- You know. The one I slept in as a part of my wild plan to be the BEST MOM EVER.



Well, tonight I ate a carrot off of the ground in yet again, another one of my "Let's make memories to last a lifetime" efforts. Earlier today we spotted one of the new bunnies hovering around our yard. Quite possibly a result of the Good Friday Gang Bang. Our yard has been ripe with baby bunnies lately. Scads of them. So cute. Anyway, today Brian comes in from mowing the yard to tell us to come on out and see the baby bunny in our yard. And no joke, that bunny only has three legs! (Did you hear the one about the three legged bunny? No? I'm still working on that one...) That poor baby bunny had our entire family chasing it around the yard to get a closer look at it and pen it in so I could take a picture of it. (This was after I made Brian promise the bunny was not three legged because he ran over it with the lawn mower.) Later in the day Caroline went to the grocery to buy some carrots to entice the bunny to come back into our yard (Sure, after the four of us chased it around with no mercy like a freak show) and sleep here. Before she went to bed she wanted to check and see if the bunny had come back to eat the carrot. Sigh. Being the good mom that I am, guess who went out into the mulch bed and took a bite of the carrot. All I can tell you is that this better have helped my eyesight because I really took one for the team this time.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A good week for reading!




I read two books I really enjoyed this week, and I would recommend both of them.

Queen Takes King by Gigi Levangie Grazer- This is a fun, great poolside or vacation read. Gigi also wrote The Starter Wife. I've read all of her books now and have enjoyed all of them!
April and Oliver by Tess Callahan- Now this book I loved! This was a really intriguing read with great characters and relationships. I had a hard time putting this one down to come back to later. I just wanted to keep reading it! This was the first novel for Tess but I am already looking forward to her next one!

Me N Biz Markie...

Oh, can I just TELL you how excited I am? So, next weekend I'm off for a little Atlantic City weekend. And I've been excited, but kind of a laid back excited. Like, I'll get excited when I get there. Up until today. Excitement in full bloom.
Guess where this girl is going???
THE LEGENDS OF HIP HOP TOUR.
I'll be the girl hanging with Slick Rick and Biz Markie.
It is on.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I guess I'll be keeping the top up...

I lasted four days before I caved and went to drive the Volkswagen Eos. And trust me, I have made it my intent not to look at cars and get myself all hyped up because at stated over and over and over again, I am going to drive the Volvo until the BITTER END. But since seeing the Volkswagen, I can't stop thinking about how maybe this is the car for me. Amazingly enough, even Brian was excited to go see it so tonight we decided to head over and check things out.
So, on the way there Caroline was a bit bummed out because she has been holding out for a mini-van, a-la her friend Gwynneth. After a bit of negotiating, she reconciled herself with the idea of a traditional car, not a mini-van. (Caroline thinks topless cars are cool.)
And I have to admit, the Volkswagen Eos is a pretty sweet ride. I let my banker (Brian) have first crack at driving it and he was VERY impressed by it. It is gorgeous. Here is what I did not bank on. I was a nervous wreck. All I could think of was a bunch of "What ifs?"
What if I am driving and a random piece of debris his my child in the open car?
What if I am driving and my child undoes her seat belt and winds up on the road?
What if my child decides to stand up in the backseat and winds up on the road?
Moral of the story: Convertibles are not for me. I will keep my top up thank you very much.
Back to the drawing board. Looks like the Volvo and I are still in it for the long haul.

Monday, June 15, 2009

It's the little things...


So, I've taken more than a little heat for my bad habit of not listening to voice mail. Which is more than I can say for the absolutely fantastic Allison. A while back Allison did a Monday post devoted to men who were not exactly unattractive. Some may have found these men to be um... hot. The post was called Manjoyment Monday. I for one, was a big fan of this. I found it to be Mantastic. Mantabulous. Manriffic. I'm sure you get what I mean. And after a few conversations Allison was kicking around the idea of bringing Manjoyment Monday back. And me being me, OF COURSE I had a suggestion, which I left on her voice mail, which apparently she listens to. (I'm working on my nasty habit, I swear I am!) Allison, being the sweet Southern girl that she is listened to my message and gave all of us ladies the pleasure of bringing Manjoyment Monday back, a la Bradley Cooper. Step off ladies. He was MY request. Make your own requests for the Man O' Your choice at cuteonthecheap@gmail.com

Now if you'll excuse me it's time for Bradley's bath. NO diggity. No doubt.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Love at first sight.....


I've resigned myself to the fact that I am going to drive the bleeping Volvo until the bottom drops off of it. I'm not kidding. I'm just stubborn enough to do it. And usually, I don't let myself get excited by new cars even though on occasion Brian wants to talk about them. But I saw THE CAR. The car that I want to replace the (again, bleeping) Volvo with. Let me tell you, she is SO PRETTY. The Volkswagen Eos. Can't you just picture me driving this car? I can.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Brian!


Usually I snap a photo of Brian on his birthday but haven't done that yet today. I did however, make sure to remind him that at the ripe old age of 39 he is the oldest man I have ever been married to.

Happy Birthday Big Money!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Shrinkage...


If you know me, it is common knowledge that I really, really dislike talking on the phone. Guess what I dislike even more? Listening to messages. Caller ID? Love it. I see that you called me, and I will call you back. Listen to your message? Doubtful. I'll most likely just call you back based on my missed calls.

I do have to say that today I actually listened to my messages, and I got a message that really got me thinking. And I won't say who the message was from, unless she wants to shout from the rooftops "It was me!" but I'll tell you the gist of it and how it got me to thinking...

Condensed version of the message:

Do you ever notice that you start out your day with good, straight posture only to notice that when you get in your car to drive home you have to adjust your rear view mirror down because you are sitting with a slump after the day beat you down?

Damn. I never thought about that but how perceptive.... And you know what, absolutely I have days like that but not today. Today was yet another tearjerker. But in a good way. As I have transitioned myself out of my old job and into the new I have been so fortunate to have so many well wishers come to my office to tell me they will miss me. Thanking me for years of kindness. And all I can say to them is Thank You for letting me be a part of your lives. Really. I mean, how lucky am I to be able to go to work every day and see people accomplish feats like graduating from college, potty training a child or getting their first paycheck after months of being unemployed? Getting a sofa or set of dishes that they saved up for? Opening their first checking account? Those are the days that make me sit up proud and tall on my drive home.

To my friend who had the not so great slump in your seat day: I hope tomorrow is better. I hope you can leave your mirror in the exact same position in the a.m. as well as the p.m. And on the bad days remember- There is an end to pool seasons everywhere!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Evolution and elimination

As I started blogging (both writing and reading OPB- again, Other People's Blogs) it became very clear to me. I'm supposed to have a theme. My blog is supposed to be ABOUT something. Some of my favorite early blogs were about fashion. I was amazed to find out that people chronicle their clothes, day by day. Shocked. People look good enough to take their picture daily? And share it? Holy mother. I get photographed about once a year, and that needs photo shopped. My first blog I followed was Kasmira. No joke, she photographs daily. And opens herself up to the kudos and criticism of others. Ballsy. Admirable. Then I found Kimberly, and the Slightly Southern gang at Cute on the Cheap. But as time passed I found myself admiring the stylings of other bloggers. Real "life" bloggers. Sharers of wares and witticisms. Purveyors of Pucci and Prada. You name it, I found it. And loved it. Still do. And even though I am aware that my blog should be about something, I don't quite think it has a recurring theme. And at this point, I don't think it will. But I'm OK with that, and I hope you are too. I've shared my house drama, husband drama, kid drama and my life as a momma. I tried the outfit deal, but it's not quite for me. (I lose my camera cords on a regular basis, don't know how to use a self timer on a regular basis and kind of look like hell on a regular basis.) I am, however a big fan of sharing is caring so while I have eliminated myself from the photographing portion of blogging I think I've evolved into accepting that my blog may be a bit like Seinfeld. It's not really about anything. But you know what? I think I'm going to go along with this flow.... Come along for the ride, won't you?

Monday, June 8, 2009

To Beyonce or not to Beyonce?


THAT is the question. Has anyone seen her in concert? I don't know anyone who has but I can't imagine being disappointed but I'm not 100% sold on the idea of driving a few hours for the show yet. But I need to decide soon....

Saturday, June 6, 2009

And the award goes to....


Me! I always get a kick out of getting a blog award because I still get tickled that people read my complete and total random-ness. And when I look at my blog stats it appears that a good number of people are reading, just not necessarily commenting. I can respect that. But really, WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE? Just cause I'm curious....

Any-who, here goes my latest and greatest:


The One Lovely Blog Award


This was given to me by Loving Life. What's not to love, right?


Here are the rules:1) Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link.2) Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered (or just really like).Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

1. Step Inside

2. No Sex and the City

3. It's the Little Things That Make Me Smile

4. What I Wear When I'm Not in Pajamas

5. Just My Style


7. The Housewife Diaries

8. Just a Girl

9. Greedy Girl

10. Katie Did


*I have to fess up to cutting the list a bit short. I feel like I pick the same bloggers for these things and wanted to "spice things up a bit" but fell short at ten!


Friday, June 5, 2009

I'm feeling like a Nationwide ad

Wow. What a week. The good news is that I am all cried out. So, here is a wrap-up of the week.
1) Jeremy finished med school.
2) Jordan moved. Which is appropriate I suppose, as she is married to Jeremy and he is going to be working at a hospital in Missouri.
3) I swear, I keep waiting on them to tell me "Ha Ha" and not really move except for the fact that I just confirmed with them that they are driving through Illinois. So if this is a joke, they are taking it a bit too far.
4) Tessa is a senior now. A SENIOR. Who would have imagined that when I gave birth 16 years ago this would happen???
5) Caroline's last day at daycare was today. She is ready to be a big Kindergarten girl in the fall. She is spending the summer at home with her "friend" Tiff as she calls her (Short for Tiffany, but I think Caroline is starting some kind of sorority) watching her.

Man. This momma sure could use a pedicure or something...
*As noted previously, do not turn to me for advice on family planning. How I wound up with one kid finishing high school as one kid starts Kindergarten is mind boggling. Truly. Nationwide's advertising campaign totally sums it all up for me.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sisterhood of the Traveling Scarf


I botched it. My scandalous tears struck again. Read all about it on Kimberly's blog. I'm going down in a blaze of glory on this one... My little guest post of shame.

So, tonight was the ceremony for the medical school graduates. And I didn't cry. I enjoyed myself. Until the end when the cameras came out along with the goodbyes. That didn't go so well. Without further ado, here goes me after crying for a week. Not good. She's gone.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Confessions of a drama queen, take two

I thought I had it all planned out.

  • A day without tears. Boy was I wrong. Cried in the shower. If you cry in the shower where you are already getting wet does it count as crying?
  • Got to work. Needed to deliver notices to residents. Had a carefully crafted plan to have the new girl deliver the notices to the area where Jordan lives so I could avoid the moving van (what I don't know can't hurt me) and pretend nothing was amiss in my little world. Took the neutral half of the property for myself. Which turned out to be not so neutral. Jordan's garage is on that side of the property. As was Jordan's moving van which was being loaded up with their belongings. Crap crap crap.
  • Managed to avoid contact with said moving van and owners of said belongings. Was walking safely back to my office when in front of my very eyes was Jordan's OH SO AMAZINGLY KIND mother in law Diane. Crap crap crap. Thank GOD for the fact that I had my paper towels in my hand. Because I have to tell you, I have been crying so much I need paper towels. I am crying too much for Kleenex. Boy, I saw Diane and the tears started. (Even though Jordan popped into my office AGAINST STRICT ORDERS TO STAY AWAY OR ELSE I WOULD CRY which MADE MY CRY for the second time of the day, both before 11 a.m.) The poor new girl. She came walking up to the two of us hugging and crying. Oops. But, at least Diane cried with me. That made me feel better. Everyone knows, misery loves company. And after that good cry, I am proud to say that I didn't cry again until 5 p.m. And again at 7 p.m. OK, and maybe around 5:30 or 6:00 when I emailed Jordan.
Tomorrow is a new day. I'd bet money I'll cry again.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Occupational hazards


In my job as a property manager you meet a lot of people. A lot. And after doing this for 17 years or so, you meet a WHOLE LOT of people. And like any industry where you work with people, or even just in life, working with people can be challenging. But also very rewarding. In my job I have met some of the nicest people. Funny people. Interesting people. People who sneak in dogs. People who bring me their new babies to hold or fabric swatches to pick a new sofa. And sometimes, you meet someone really special. Someone who becomes a part of your life. This is what I have decided can be listed under the "occupational hazard" category.

Four years ago a young married couple from Utah moved into my apartment community. Young as in very early twenties. By this time, I was already an old jaded lady in my thirties. What on earth could I have in common with a girl barely 20 years old moving to Ohio from Utah? I will never, ever forget the day Jordan came into my office with her husband Jeremy to ask for some advice about getting settled in Columbus and where to look for jobs. There was just something about Jordan that exuded "goodness." She had an innate goodness about her. If you ever ask me to describe her, that is the word I would pick. (Goodness, not innate.) If I am jaded, she is my polar opposite. In a crazy stroke of luck, I wound up hiring Jordan. She got pregnant that year and decided to be a stay at home mom, but still remained a large part of my life. I have been so spoiled in the fact that Jordan lives where I work and I have taken it for granted that she is always there when I want her to be. She can bring her little girl Adalynn to visit anytime. And I have known for four years that Jordan is not FROM Columbus, would not STAY in Columbus and would MOVE from Columbus when her husband Jeremy finished medical school. And while I am a smart enough girl and operate by the same calendar that Jordan does I am still not sure how the four years is gone and it is time for her to move. I'm not going to lie to you. I am a complete mess over this. I have been crying pretty much non-stop. Brian keeps reminding me that this is what Jordan and Jeremy wanted and I should be happy for them. I keep reminding him that I am sad for me. Sad that this amazingly kind girl who sometimes makes me ask myself "What would Jordan do?" is leaving. As of today I am mad at the state of Missouri for taking my friend, and mad at the moving truck people for providing them with a way to get their belongings out of the state of Ohio. But I am thankful. Thankful for the chance to meet someone that in a million years I would have never met otherwise, or had as a part of my life. Thankful for Jordan, Jeremy and their family (because I love his parents and want to be part of their family) for letting me be a part of their lives for four years. Excited for Jeremy to be a "real" doctor, even though he assures me he can't write me a prescription. And excited for the trip I will be taking this summer to visit them in their new home, as well as the one I hope to be taking this fall/winter...
But, just in case Missouri is reading. I am still mad at you for taking my friends. My loss is 100% your gain. Free tuition for Tessa at the Mizzou would be a nice payback.

Blog Design by JudithShakes Designs.