bandwagon jumping results #1

I still have a few pics to get up (my closet, my shoe collection and what makes me happy in a day are tall orders, ladies :) ) but here is the other half of the requests. If you didn’t make your request yet and want to add one, feel free, I’ll keep doing them as long as someone is asking.

First up: “I want to see your favorite spot to hang out around your house” from Alyssa
Living room couch and coffee table
This is my living room couch, it is the most comfortable thing ever! It’s more comfortable than my bed and my husband and I fight over who gets that corner there, the one with the pretty pillows? (He doesn’t care about the pillows, he only cares about the chaise and stretching out his legs) We also fight over the blanket on the edge of the couch (in the picture, I stole it and put it on our bed) which is technically his woobie.

Next: “OK, You have this amazing sense for decorating your home (especially around halloween) and we all know that Sprog is a stellar kid for being a teenager and all. I’m kind of curious as to what his room looks like. Is it a catastrophe of molding dishes and wrinkled clothes? Or is it a miraculous gem in the world of teenager rooms?” from Duchess of Kickball
Sprog room from the doorway
This is the view from the doorway. Painter’s tape blue, white, silver and black are the colors of his room. Note the range of colors in the closet? He has shoes that match these shirts EXACTLY.
Sprog room from the corner
Here is his bed, note the slippers (mine btw) tied to the top? He uses these as remote and phone holders when he’s in bed watching tv. Also note the skateboard, Christmas lights, sword, keyboard and little table with money and fruit loops box? Interesting tableau, no?
Sprog room from the closet
This final view is from the closet. Points of note, the perfectly lined up shoes on the bottom of the bookcase, these are HALF of his collection. (Also note the other shoe boxes next to it? MORE SHOES they just don’t fit or have lost favor) He’s the only kid I know with an entry table and he actually puts his money, wallet and camera on it. He still plays with Legos, that blocky looking thing on one of the shelves is inspired by the Lego house he saw built on some show on BBC.

So part catastrophe, part gem, I’d say.

And finally (for today): “I want to see the collection of condiments in your fridge! (I’m sorry – I have a shamefully large condiment army in my fridge and I’m always looking for reassurance that I’m not the only one.)” from Hillary
Condiments for Hills
This is a mere portion of our condiment collection. As hot sauce is shelf stable, this doesn’t represent ANY of the hot sauces my husband has which are sprinkled all over our kitchen and out onto the dining room table. I also have a little set up by the stove of various oils and vinegars that I use while cooking.

bandwagon jumping

Owing to a severe case of insomnia, having been gone a couple of days this week, family dramz and a general case of “it’s hot as hell and raining nearly every day I don’t give a rat’s ass-itis”, I don’t have a lot to say at the moment…so I’m going to hope that you want to play a little game with me instead.

Miss Alyssa is doing one of those “ask me what you want to see in my life and I’ll run and take a pic of it for you” things and I don’t know that I ever did one (or had enough readers before) so I’d like to play along. Hit me up about what you want to see around Casa de Expressive or Life of Raven and I’ll get it knocked out over the weekend and up on Monday.

7 quick takes

1. I’m still fighting the sinus infection. Not a big fan of the med cocktail my dr has me on this go round. I either feel dizzy, pukey or exhausted all the time and obvs that makes me no fun girl. Stuff is starting to slough from the back of my sinuses (and it’s super gross) I am hopeful that means this crap is finally starting to work.

2. Saw Iron Man 2 last night. Meh. Pretty sure the guys loved it, but it’s way not my idea of a good time. Scarlett looked hot though, I want red hair again.

3. Still not eating meat. Don’t know how long it’s been. Last night I got a black bean burger at the movie theater and they had charred it so badly that it actually tasted like real meat, I spit it out instinctively. Tried a couple of faux recipes recently Fettuccine Alfredo and Sloppy Joes (made with lentils) the Alfredo was so awesome that I have made it twice, fed it to the Sprog and posted about it on Style Lush but the Sloppy Joes ended up tasting like spaghetti sauce and being a bit under-cooked even though I way upped the cooking time.

4. As of Sunday I will have a 15 year old. 15! What the hell? Where does the time go?

5. We are supposed to be going to the Blue October concert on Saturday and it looks like we are going to get soaked in the process. Bah! Stupid weather.

6. I think science needs to come up with a pill to deal with road rage. I could not be more over this issue and now Sprog is declaring that he thinks he’s going to have it too. Honestly? I’d rather he never drive then. It’s so stupid and pointless and dangerous. It makes me unbelievably angry and then I can’t sleep and toss and turn all night on the couch. Over it.

7. Speaking of things I hate, I really wish Costco wouldn’t change their stock. I need my waffles back! It is totally upsetting that I can’t get them now.

i’m going to the grocery store and i’m buying

The other day Jennie, of She Likes Purple, posed this question: “How do you not go broke feeding your family?”

Which I, of course, found fascinating. Being 1) a nerd that finds mundane information about other people’s lives interesting and 2) a person currently being eaten out of house and home by a teenager, I thought I might learn something new, or at least find some solidarity with a fellow sufferer. I was not disappointed by the comments that followed, many people shop at multiple stores, many people buy expensive but interesting ingredients and at least one person has teenagers that eat ALL THE FREAKING TIME. Seriously, ALL THE TIME.

We don’t have a set grocery budget, do you? I just pay attention to what I pay for an item at a certain store and then check it against all other stores I shop at, if I can get it cheaper, I adjust where I purchase it in the future. I shop at four stores: Target, Kroger, HEB and Costco. Say for example, the Late July Organic Sandwich Cookies. They cost $5.29 at HEB but they cost $3.99 at Kroger so obvs I will get them at Kroger instead of HEB now but my fave cereal Chocolate Chex costs $2.09 at HEB vs over $3 at Kroger (when they even carried it) and so on.

I purchase a lot of items in bulk, be it at Costco, the recently discovered Indi-Pak grocer, or the bulk bins at HEB.

I compare the per unit price on items instead of the list price because sometimes things seem like a good deal when they really aren’t.

I also cook most every day of the week and eating out (if any) for the weekends. Willy takes leftovers to work for lunches and I eat breakfast and lunches at home most every day as well.

I use coupons when I have them (and Kroger mails them to me as well as prints them when I check out).

What kind of shopper are you? Do you clearly know what you spend every month? I have no idea honestly. Our grocery chunk in our budgeting software rolls up our gas spending since we get it at Kroger, as well as all of my prescriptions since those are at Kroger as well, but I assume it’s quite a bit for a family of 3 with two bottomless pits and two fat butt dogs.

illusions of grandeur

So, I want to be a trapeze artist. I want to be one of those incredibly limber girls that float through the sky on some fabric and do wicked amazing feats of daring and skill. I want to be Pink in her see through leotard and be able to belt out a tune while doing so.

I have negative upper arm strength. I can scarcely do a push-up, let alone lift my own body mass anywhere.

I want to be a burlesque dancer. I want to have a body that is lithe and full of mysterious wiles. I want be able to shake and shimmy, teasing and captivating like Dita. I want to wear ruby red lipstick and ultra feminine clothes, with my hair neatly coiffed at all times.

My husband and son might have some words for me if I was showing my stuff all over the place and besides, I have problems with being the center of attention in large crowds. In addition, my daily attire (when i get dressed that is) is jeans and more jeans.

Because of the movie Whip-It, I want to be a Derby Girl. I want to wear cute costumes and be all edgy. I want to skate fast and party hard. I want to be part of a sister-hood. I want to have girls that have my back. I want Drew Barrymore, Ellen Page and Juliet Lewis to be my bff’s.

Derby doesn’t have such cute costumes, I have discovered in my research. I bruise like an over-ripe peach. Again with the aforementioned lack of arm strength. The only thing I have going for me on this one is the fact that I can skate, well.

I want to be a travel writer. I love seeing the world and recommending awesome places to people. There is nothing quite like putting together the perfect trip and then seeing it come to fruition. I would love to be paid to do so, even more.

Sprog is still in school, it would be problematic to be away from him. I’m not willing to give up on this one forever though. :)

What things do you wish you were sometimes?

highs and lows

High: I received so many lovely birthday cards. Thank y’all so much!

Low: My in-laws ALL forgot my birthday and still haven’t remembered.

High: The scarf swap seems to be a success.

Low: It got warm again so I haven’t been able to wear it more than once.

High: The Burlesque Tribute to Bettie Paige was amazing and super fun.

Low: Two arguments with Sprog on my birthday and being chastised by his school because of his behavior.

High: Multiple birthday cakes supplied by the sweet husband.

Low: My dog eating half of the one I baked myself.

High: The waiter at dinner last night was completely shocked at my age.

Low: I am completely shocked I AM that age.

High: Finally starting to work out again.

Low: The work-outs have mostly been lame due to headaches.

High: We have insurance again.

Low: They wanted pre-approval on my topamax, it’s been a week and I haven’t heard anything.

all aboard the meme train

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?
White water rafting. It was a total blast and I can’t wait to do it again.
Class IV rapid: 3 Rocks

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don’t remember if I made any and I am not allowing myself to look back! I made some for this year, they are around here somewhere.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes! I got a niece and of course a special blogger son is celebrating his one year b-day in a month.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Kendal and Maw-maw

In the sun

5. What countries did you visit?

Unfortunately none.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
Answers to my health issues.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
The days that we lost those beautiful ladies above.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I’m not sure what I achieved this year.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Getting Sprog to care about his Comm App class.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Yes. The mysterious stomach ailment(s) of the past 6 months or so.

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)

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?

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?
Our trip to Colorado. Our mini vaca in San Francisco. Going to see Katie but unfortunately that last one got canceled.

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?
Anything by Kings of Leon. They were HUGE this year.

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

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

(a) Sadder

(b) Probably a little thinner.

(c) Poorer. Wills took a pay cut for a happier job situation.

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

Travel more. 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.

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 morning with just us (three if it’s my year with Sprog) and then Pasadena with Wills fam.

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?
Yes, I have new niece :)

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Gah! Too Many! Big Bang Theory is consistently quotable

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?

Them Crooked Vultures

26. What did you want and get?

Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc cookbook.

27. What did you want and not get?

An underwater digital camera

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
Again. I don’t like qualifying things this way but movies I loved: Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, The Hangover, Sherlock Holmes, 500 Days of Summer…

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I don’t remember and I was 34

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

Getting a stamp in my passport.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?

Finally getting dressed? Being a SAHM it’s easy to be a schlumpadinka.

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?

Heathcare reform.

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?

I finally met Maglet.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.

Being an adult with pets means making decisions that really suck ass.

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.

i resolve to

So it’s resolution day and I am cleaning the house to prepare for game night and guests. I have a headache (STILL. GAH) so the going is slow and I figured a break might do me some good.

Here they are:

1) Use my passport. I want to travel out of the country at least once this year, hopefully more and if at all possible drag Sprog along. Ideally I want to go to this fantastic resort in Patagonia that Anthony Bourdain went to or Italy or Scotland but we’ll see what we can swing.

2) Get back to working out. My Wii has been languishing since the tummy issues and I’d like to get back to it already, I miss feeling strong in my own skin.

3) Dress like I mean it. I am so hugely excited about writing for Style Lush, y’all just don’t know and I really do take it very seriously. I would love for people to not be surprised that someone picked me for a style site when they meet me in person.

4) Go back to work. I’m not thrilled about this one, but it is what it is. Hopefully I will be able to find something that helps with our bottom line without me having to sacrifice the comfort that Sprog has in having me home every afternoon.

5) Continue to work on my photography. I really love my art and I want to improve in it. I look up to Emily and Ashley so much for pursuing their dreams in their careers and if I could get just a small bit of that? I’d be happy.

6) Find people of worth. I have a lot of people in my life that use me. They contact me when they need me for something and otherwise I don’t hear from them and it makes me sad. I would really like to foster real friendships in the future.

7) Travel to see friends that are far flung. I value my blog friends and my IRL friends that live far away, I want to see them.

8) Clear the clutter from my life. The hubs and I are both bad about holding onto crap that we don’t need. Stuff needs to go. I’d like to have a garage that can be parked in, organized closets and more pantry space in the kitchen.

9) Get Sprog to volunteer at least once. I want him to truly understand the value of helping others.

10) Be better about correspondence. I rely to heavily on e-mail and online communication. I still have a small stack of CHRISTMAS CARDS waiting to go out for Christ’s sake. GAH!

11) Take advantage of new insurance to get shit sorted That means dentist (you don’t even want to know how many years it’s been) and eye doctor (stop wearing glasses two scrips back) and get Sprog in as well.

12) Read more I watch way too much tv.

13) Play more games as a family Sprog’s behavior is so much better when we are consistent with this.

14) Institute a once monthly game night with friends. This would also be a good way to try out new dishes from my cook books.

15) Find a decent thrift store. I have been looking at some amazing fashion blogs the past couple of days and the amount of fabulous vintage floors me. The ones closest to me have nothing of the sort.

16) Meditate I have not been centered or grounded in quite some time. Things have been shaking me harder than I want them too, affecting me more deeply and hurting me more. I want to be able to shake them off or be better prepared, calmer.

17) Addendum to the above: Grow a thicker skin I have had my feelings hurt A LOT this past year and um, I don’t like it.

Edited to add:

18) Finally get a proper address book This might help with that pesky correspondence problem.

i will remain thankful *deep breath* i will remain..

I’m up way earlier than I planned for the time that I went to bed. I even took Advil PM to try and ensure that I would still be asleep this morning but lo for the bad tum that got me up anyway. Did you read that sentence? I have a BAD TUM on Thanksgiving. Um. Shouldn’t that be illegal or some shit? Not that it matters all that much given what my in-laws choose as their Thanksgiving feast but REALLY? I can’t even look forward to my deviled eggs or whipped sweet potatoes with banana and honey? I think that is unjustifiably cruel.

Before I go twist myself up into some odd shapes on the floor to try and alleviate some of this pain, I figured I should go ahead and force myself to think some positive thoughts. Today is going to be a long strained day of family and now adding the extra layer of pain to the equation? It’s just a recipe for disaster…maybe I should bring a flask today too.

* I’m thankful for my husband and our marriage. That we are easy and comfortable together and really know one another.

* I’m thankful for my friends: super old (I’m talking elementary school here), super new (months) and never met (internet friends what up?), you have always been my family.

* I’m thankful for my sprog. You are a person I enjoy hanging out with in your own right, not just because you are my spawn.

* I’m thankful for the hot messes I know as my dogs. Y’all make me crazy, but as we know, I would be a wreck without you.

* I’m thankful for skinny jeans, boots, scarves, sweaters, fitted blazers, and suede coats in unusual colors. I’m thankful for knee-high converse, fingerless gloves and cowl necks. I’m thankful for michael kors, kate spade and diane von furstenberg. I’m thankful for dresses by converse and gorgeous catalogs that I can’t get enough of.

* I’m thankful for design inspirations.

* I’m thankful for kitchen gadgets and glorious food (when I get to eat it).

* I’m thankful for Tim Gunn and Heidi Klumm.

* I’m thankful for confidence enough not to let the idiotic opines of people on the internet bring me down or rile me up.

* I’m thankful travel and having seen some of this world.

* I’m thankful for beautiful photography and people that inspire me.

* I’m thankful for experiences.

* I’m thankful this season only comes once a year.

* I’m thankful for all things Halloween.

* I’m thankful for playing dress-up and costumes of all sorts.

* I’m thankful for those that are still here reading my little blog and all those that are reading me at Style Lush now too.

wanting wednesdays

Today’s feature isn’t going to be a thing or things at all but is going to be about a dream, a dream of mine to be able to host my own Thanksgiving. My in-laws aren’t known for being adventurous either in eating or in changing routine, every year the Thanksgiving meal is exactly the same as it’s been every year before and I am soooo not that way. I salivate over new recipes and dream of fancy tablescapes.

For me, Thanksgiving isn’t about the turkey at all (gag, I really can’t stand turkey) but about all the glorious sides and desserts.

A Thanksgiving Menu if I had my way

Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin (I am seriously addicted to this stuff)
Parsnip Bread Pudding (new recipe I want to try)
Cornbread Stuffing
Vidalia Onion Gratin
Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Pea Salad
Country Style Green Beans (little bundles wrapped in bacon)
Sage Butter Sweet Potatoes
Flaky Dinner Rolls

Cherry Pie
Pumpkin Pie
Dulce de Leche Cheesecake
Some sort of Trifle

What would be on your dream Thanksgiving menu?