{30 in 30} a twofer

I am combining #17 and #26 in this post. I’ve also posted this picture before so if you’ve seen it, I apologize. I have a case of the lazies and a case of the I don’t really have a lot of pictures of my childhood so you work with what you can….

Collage of hair over the years

So the bottom left two pictures is me ten-ish years ago. Technically it’s more like 9 11-12 (don’t do math on no sleep my friends) since i just turned 36 and I am 14-15 in those pics but that’s as close as I have.

and my worst hair moment actually happened when I was 11 and got my hair all chopped off the first time, i had feathered short hair and looked EXACTLY like my little brother, but there is no photographic evidence of that so we’ll go with the orange roots and brown hair up there at the top as the second worst.

NOTE: So it was brought to my attention that 10 years ago I would’ve been TWENTY SIX not SIXTEEN, hello. I meant it when I said I shouldn’t do math on a lack of sleep. OY. Anyway. Here is a picture of me at 26 and another at 24.

There are like NO pics of me when Sprog was young so this is all I could come up with until I was like 27 and older.

Jess Princess Party age 26
26 years old. I had a PRINCESS POWER PUFF GIRLS PARTY. It was my birthday and I absolutely didn’t want a party because that meant I would be cooking and cleaning and I was super sick with the endometriosis then but my son’s father (we were married at the time) told people we were having one so I decided to have the foofiest girliest party I could come up with and wore a tiara, a feather boa and everything was pink and purple. It was my “6th” birthday (a friend I combined it with was turning 25 so it was her 5th) and we got toys as gifts. I got a pink hula hoop. Yes, my hair is auburn in this pic.

Jess Tractor after Mardi Gras age 24
This is me at 24 after Mardi Gras in Baton Rouge where I was actually on a float in a parade. We were in the Moo Krewe.

Please to notice the fake ass smile in both pics.

{30 in 30} most recently purchased

Sarah wanted to see the thing I had bought most recently. Thanks to a VERY generous gift card to Bed Bath and Beyond from my family for my birthday, I just came back with the following items

cookie sheets

a mandoline


I am so excited about the cookie sheets. I have had ONE cookie sheet for YEARS and let me tell you friends, that is a sad, sad state of affairs.

{30 in 30} chicks dig scars

Today I am going to tell you the story of one of my scars, as per Kristie’s request. I have A LOT of scars. I have what I would consider to be a “dude” level of scars. I was a tomboy growing up, I kept up with my brother and all his friends, I worked on cars with my father, I climbed trees, and can be quite a klutz…plus I have had multiple surgeries, have broken up multiple dog fights. These things make for MANY scars, but not necessarily exciting or unusual stories.

So let’s talk about my wuss test. In junior high, I had a lot to prove. Like I said, I was a tomboy but I was starting to have more girls as friends and it was awkward for me. My guy friends were giving me a hard time for suddenly turning into a girl and I was easily baited. Especially easily baited if my toughness was ever in question.

I can’t remember now what class I was in, or what boy it was that brought the wuss test to my attention but it was said that I wouldn’t/couldn’t do it and so it was on. I laid my hand down on his desk and told him to do his worst, that I wouldn’t pull away no matter what. Essentially what happens is that they take one of those large pink erasers and ERASE YOUR SKIN as fast and as hard as they can. It’s like getting the worst rug burn of your life. The faster you pull your hand away, the bigger wuss you are.
Needless to say, I have a scar on my right hand, because I AM NOT A WUSS. It was a bloody mess when the teacher busted us both and snatched me out of there to the nurses office. He got quite a lot of detention, I got my ass beat by my father (for making him have to come to my school-this was the last year he actually could come to my school before the restraining order) and had my hand bandaged for quite some time (slow healer) but the boys never questioned my toughness again (or my pain tolerance, which was the stuff of legends after that).

{30 in 30} something I refuse to do

I wish I was the sort of person who had such a small list of things I won’t do that this choice would be really easy but I can admit to having QUITE A FEW things I refuse to do.

Most of the things I won’t do are things that I have done at least once and had such a bad experience with that I won’t do it in the future.

Like mowing the grass, in Houston, for example. Back home in Arizona it was one of my regular chores and is something I would do all the time but here, I have mowed the grass twice I think (once at the rent house, once at this house) and almost died both times. My allergies are so horrible here that I almost instantly have an asthma attack, it sucks.

Or running, as in serious runner, see the above reaction.

I think most people wouldn’t scoff at things like that, but I sometimes get quite a bit of flack for the fact that I don’t speak to either of my parents (and won’t barring some incredible life change) and haven’t for some 13 years (longer in the case of my father) both of my parents are drug addicts/alcoholics and when I had my son, I decided that he wasn’t going to suffer EVER because of their illnesses.

My father was never an option of being in his life, but my mother…I gave her chances. I gave her access to him and regretted it. She was removed from his life before he ever really knew who she was or she had an actual effect on him.

Most people understand my decision once they know the whole story…but in the beginning I always get the boggled eyes, the shocked face and the inevitable “But it’s your FAMILY” comment.

you know I love a bandwagon

Have you heard about the 30 in 30 thing?

Essentially it’s a list of writing prompts that you would do in 30 days.

Here are the topics for the 30 blogs posts:

1. Your work space.
2. The best part of your day.
3. Something you refuse to do.
4. Last book you read.
5. Meaning behind your blog name.
6. Talent y0u wish you had.
7. A photo of you without makeup.
8. Last item you purchased.
9. Something that makes you sad.
10. 15 Facts about you.
11. Your favorite thing right now.
12. Best Christmas present you ever got.
13. Your favorite teacher.
14. Something you’re thankful for.
15. A photo from your childhood.
16. Something you crave.
17. Your worst hair moment (if you skip this one, it’s totally cool).
18. Favorite smells.
19. Last time you cried.
20. Last time you had to apologize to someone.
21. Something that scares you.
22. Something that really bugs you.
23. What you dislike most about your appearance.
24. Celebrity crush.
25. A trait you deplore in others.
26. A photo taken 10 years ago.
27. First book/movie/song that moved you.
28. What turns you off?
29. The story behind one of your scars.
30. This one was left blank so I will have to think of it when I get to it, unless anyone has a suggestion.

Sensibly Sassy is the person that turned me on to this, and I have been enjoying her posts as well as Maura’s and Home Sweet Sarah’s so I figured I would join in the fun.

I’ll be starting this tomorrow!

Is there one that you’d like to see first?

this year I intend to

Here’s a list of various things that I really want to do this year. That I intend to do this year.

I only accomplished a paltry amount of last year’s list. I shall do better this year. I am so committed, in fact that I will be printing this out and putting it in a place where I can see it, last year was a little too out of sight out of mind.

I’m also committed to loving my smaller house for it’s uniqueness instead of being unhappy about it’s lack of space. We honestly shouldn’t need a huge amount of space and we have a lot of crap that we don’t need that should be culled, a lot of crap that should be stored better/smarter and some really cute outdoor entertaining spaces that are crying out to be used.

In The Kitchen
1. Cook more from my cookbooks
2. Try a new vegetable or a dish I have never made, tasted or heard of at least once a month
3. Actually cook all those things that I have bookmarked from tastespotting
4. Re-paint the cabinets (they are starting to show wear) and properly seal them this time
5. Cabinet hardware (to prevent the wear)

In The Office
6. Re-arrange the tables and storage situations
7. Keep the desk clear
8. Get all the shop stuff organized and keep it that way

In The Bedroom
9. Keep the damn window seat free of clothes so it can be used as designed for a change
10. Paint the bathroom
11. Tile the floor
12. Clear out old clothes and clutter in the closet
13. Figure out vanity situation
14. Figure out necklace storage situation
15. Your counters. Nuff said
16. Real curtains for the window seat area

Life In General
17. Get back into habit of walking dogs and stick with it
18. Ride your bicycle
19. Teach Sprog to drive
20. Get Sprog to do volunteer work at least once, preferably more than once.
21. Hopefully continue to grow the Etsy shop
22. Host a brunch
23. Host a family game night with my family
24. Have more parties in general
25. Do more fun things around town, not just our normal
26. Travel with friends
27. Get another stamp in my passport, get Sprog a passport and get him a stamp too
28. See Hogwarts (Universal Studios Orlando)
29. Get and learn to type on an Iphone (I still have a qwerty phone)
30. Get a hot stone massage at least once
31. Read at least 10 books (I used to be such a reader, I don’t know what happened to me)
32. Go camping again
33. Get a canvas of Sprog in Monterrey from last year
34. Decide what to do with the family photo wall in the hallway
35. Get my Steve Madden boots fixed (both pairs)
36. Get another tattoo
37. Find a new make-up that I love
38. Actually do what I always say I am going to and buy something I want when I see it instead of waiting and being sad when it’s gone
40. New curtains in the living room
41. Get sewing machine fixed
42. Paint the bench on the porch
43. Get the table from Ikea for the back porch
44. Host an outdoor party/bbq and play bocce/ladder ball/horseshoes or washers
45. Raised garden beds on the kitchen side yard
46. Compost bin
47. Chickens?
48. Add a new city to our visited list….Seattle, Portland?
49. Show the boys New York
50. Send people random gifts just because I love them
51. Get to Arizona to see Jamie and her baby (who won’t be a baby by then *sigh*)
52. Ditto for Maglet and Katie
53. Attend a blathering
54. Do something about the blank space between the bricks and the house on kitchen side patio
55. See live music somewhere
56. Attend a Central Market or Sur la Table cooking class
57. Get to the Farmer’s Market
58. Tackle the garage
59. Dentist, colonscopy, ENT…all appts that scare the piss out of me
60. Replace cookware in the kitchen that is falling apart and is frankly unhealthy
61. In addition to the scarf swap, host another swap of some item later in the year. (ideas?)
62. Get back into the habit of weekly family game nights (the three of us)
63. Smile more
64. Let certain people get to me less
65. Hopefully build new friendships? Making friends at this age is harder than I ever thought imaginable.
66. Replace the light fixtures: guest bathroom, master closet, master bath-toilet area

I’m sure I’ll add to this list as I think of/do things because there are few things that a Capricorn enjoys more than crossing things off a list.

the year wrap-up meme thingo

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?
Saw a place so beautiful IRL that it looked like a storybook
Big Sur

Got a stamp in my passport
Biggest sun hat in all the land

Went to New York
Style Lush Girls in NYC

Opened my Etsy shop

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I kept 6 of them. I actually completed a 7th (get and fill out an address book but then discovered I apparently lost it when I went to fill out Christmas cards this year, calling that a FAIL) and yes, I really want to get my ass away from the tv and off my couch more this year, so expect a resolution/goal list this week.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes! New nephew, BFF since 3rd grade, Maglet, Katie and many online peeps (it’s a banner year for babies!)

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No thankfully

5. What countries did you visit?


6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
Answers to my health issues. (same answer as last year)

More fun with friends

Less tension

7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I have a few: my Etsy shop doing so well, Style Lush and Food Lush also doing so well and not going postal on anyone when I really, really wanted to.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Getting Sprog to care about grades, again.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Yes. Same sinus/migraine/tum trifecta

11. What was the best thing you bought?
I am unable to qualify things in this way.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
I celebrate anyone’s behavior at the moment it’s merited (or at least I always try, people need it) I want to do this more, do this bigger.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

The same one(s) as usual. I wonder why it continues to appall me when I know there is zero chance they are ever going to change? Oh and my ex-BIL who left his family to go be a rock-stah in Europe. HOW DO YOU ABANDON YOUR CHILD? YOU EFFING DOUCHEBAG!

14. Where did most of your money go?
According to our budget wizard? Groceries. That is mainly because it incorporates gas and prescription medications into that bucket because we get them at the same store.

15. What did you get really excited about?
That I was able to travel more this year than last, that I was able to get a stamp in my passport, every sale in my shop (yes, still. giddy)

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?
Mumford and Sons

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

(a) happier or sadder?
(b) thinner or fatter?
(c) richer or poorer?

(a) Neutral

(b) I think fatter, I ate HORRIBLY this Christmas and I feel like an overstuffed sausage right now

(c) Slightly richer. We have some money in savings again, we didn’t strap ourselves for Christmas…

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Let things roll off my back more. Done more fun stuff as a family, I am really starting to feel the panic of my baby running off and leaving me soon. Had more parties. Tried more new things

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Being upset, hurt, angry, in pain/sick.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
Christmas Eve with my fam. Christmas in Pasadena with Willy’s family.

21. Did you fall in love in 2010?

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Gah! Too Many! Big Bang Theory is consistently quotable and I watch an alarming about of reality TV

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Same suspects.

24. What was the best book you read?

I need to read more. I read a couple.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Mumford and Sons, IAMX,

26. What did you want and get?

Kate Spade purse

27. What did you want and not get?

An underwater digital camera, an upgrade for my Canon, A NEW COMFORTABLE BED (I hate our bed so much) my gray boots with the purple zipper etc…

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
Again. I don’t like qualifying things this way but movies I loved: Black Swan, Scott Pilgrim vs The World, Harry Potter, (and more I’m sure I am forgetting)

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
35 and we went to see a Burlesque show

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

People not being selfish assholes

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?

I wish all year had semi cool weather, I love layers

32. What kept you sane?

Y’all and the hubs.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

Gay/Lesbian rights

35. Who did you miss?

So many of my friends are so far flung. I miss so many people on a daily basis.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

My Style Lush girls. Plus I love that Kristie and I got so much bonding time in New York.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.

Parenting a teenager is the hardest thing I have ever done

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Um. I don’t have one off the top of my head…my year was too all over the place. (again)

christmas at the movies

I mentioned this on twitter, but I realized the other day that somehow Better Off Dead hadn’t made it onto my required Christmas viewing list. I’m not sure how this is possible given the whole grabbing the face and saying the word “CHRIST-MASS” scene, so it’s since been added, but I wonder what other movies I am neglecting.

My Required Christmas Viewing List:
Christmas Vacation
A Christmas Story
Love Actually
Harry Potter (all of them say Christmas time to me until they jacked the whole schedule and started with that release in July, effing Twilight)
Better Off Dead
The Grinch Who Stole Christmas

This last one is a variable. Sometimes I read the book, sometimes I watch the movie
Little Women

Yes, I realize that Elf is not on that list. Did you know I can’t stand Will Ferrel? The ONLY movie he’s in that I have ever liked is Talledega Nighs: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.

This year we also watched the new A Christmas Carol with Jim Carrey. (I also can barely tolerate him) I liked most of this adaptation, except for the ghost who is Father Christmas, that bit was annoying.

Do you have any required Christmas movies? Any that I should add to my list? Want to tell me off for my haterade when it comes to Elf? (my husband does all the time, it’s okay, I can take it)

and there I stood

Apparently it’s meme week at Just Expressive, this one is ganked from Sensibly Sassy.

*By my “dad’s” side when we disconnected him from life support and he took his last breaths
*At 14,110 feet, in the snow, with a cup of hot chocolate and a gorgeous view
Me and Sprog @ Pike's Peak
*Saying wedding vows under live oak trees that are hundreds of years old
The ceremony under the live oaks
*On a train looking 1053ft up in the air, in the Royal Gorge
On the train in the Royal Gorge
*Next to a few famous people
Hi Ted

Me with Sen Kerry

Me with Lit
Me with Kinky
*Where people fought for something and lost their lives
Windy at the Alamo
*On a path that made me giggle like a 12 year old boy
Hehe Blue balls
*With thousands of other people to walk against breast cancer
Jess sammich
*Hoisting a sail on Danger Charter in Key West
Hoisting a sail 2006
*Overlooking one of the most gorgeous scenes in Big Sur with my two favorite boys
Us on our hike in Big Sur
*Seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time, the same time as my son, even though I had lived there from birth to eighteen
2006 Grand Canyon
*Before a church full of people, at a funeral, saying the things I wanted to say to my step-father that I didn’t get the chance to while he was alive

*On a bar in a giant foam cowboy hat, dancing on a pole, in New Orleans.

*In the sand with my roommates, at BlogHer 2008
Roommate feet

bandwagon results #2

First: “I hope I am not too late, I want to see your closet!” from Sensibly Sassy (never too late!)
Closet for Sarah
Okay so there is my closet in all its glory. The notes are probably hard to read at this size so you can head over to my flickr feed to see a larger version. Anyway, straight back is the costume section of the closet, what, you don’t have one? This is where all of our ren-fest garb and accoutrements live. Oh, I should mention our closet measures 6 feet across by 11 feet deep so that should give you a basis of just how much crap we have going on in here. To the left you see our shallow hanging area: top is Willy and bottom is me (mine are arranged by color). To the right is the long hanging area which is all me except for the space where Willy has crammed in his hideous old dresser (the thing is decrepit and seriously needs to go). Tucked into the underneath spaces and wherever else I can find room are shoes. Eventually this room will be painted apple green, the floors will be tile and that whole wire system will be replaced with a much better one from Ikea. My husband and I both dream of a better closet system.

Next: “Shoot! I am so late on this…but I would love to see a Raven hair montage” from thecoconutdiaries
Collage of hair over the years
I hope this is what you were going for, I wasn’t quite sure. A collage of my hair through the years, all the way back to JUNIOR HIGH! Oh my god. The center photo is pretty much what it looks like now. Enjoy.

This wasn’t on the list, but I actually left the house yesterday and I dressed. I felt wicked cute and have been a big braggart about it so here is that pic.
I actually went somewhere!
Maryann, I think this might qualify for something that made me happy yesterday.

I am struggling with the shoes. I have SO MANY! I haven’t figured out how to get them all in one pic. I think it will be multiples in a collage.

Also, Tuesdays are Style Lush days (regularly scheduled, I might post other times too but I am always on Tuesday) so here is the direct link for today’s post http://www.stylelushblog.com/2010/07/summer-staple-serrano-compound-butter.html
Remember you can always click the Style Lush link up top and be taken directly to the list of all of my posts whenever you feel like it :)