Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cool Sites to Check Out

I'm still recovering from the latest episode of "Downton Abbey", so I have precious little mental ability to write anything brilliant.  One of the brief exchanges that stuck out from this week's episode was Cora instructing Mary to tell her father to sleep in the drawing room that night.  Awkward.  That has nothing to do with this post.  I just enjoy those uncomfortable moments that happen to other people.  I enjoy my own uncomfortable moments significantly less.

I'm sharing a few websites that I am currently enjoying and thought you may want to check out as well. This website has some Pinterst "Pin It" qualities to it, but revolves around shopping.  As you browse your favorite online stores, you can save the items you like/want/need in your "shelf".  The site also allows you to view the pricing history of an item and set the price you want, so you can receive an alert when that perfect spring blouse you lust over hits your wanted price point.  You can also monitor sales and deals at multiple stores and share your wish list items with friends.  (Hint, hint- SOMEONE has a birthday in August.) You have to sign up and it helps to install their "Shelf-It" button in your toolbar, but it is nice to keep all the items from numerous stores in one place.

DoneNotDone- I have tried various ways to keep up with books I'd like to read, movies to watch, etc. and haven't found a reliable system yet.  I just complained this weekend to the hubs that I wish Netflix would let you save movies you want to watch so they could go in your instant queue as soon as Netflix gets them.  This site (and phone app) lets you save movies to watch, books to read and things to do in one place, along with things you have already done.  If you share the app with your friends, you can see what your friends have done or watched and add that to your "not done" list.  I just signed up this morning and have more tooling around to do but it seems like a cool concept.

Charles Emerson Jewelry- The jewelry is unique and fresh without going too weird. Classic pieces with a modern feel? I just know I like almost every piece they make (and not just because they have a "Carrie" bracelet).  Their pieces are also well within my price point, which is a big deal since I am so cheap frugal.  Bracelets around $15?  Yes, please.

Incredibox- An mesmerizing way to make odd music and easily kill twenty minutes before you even know it.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Rockin' Friday

Here are things rocking my Friday:

Cup of deliciousness

  • Since I almost exclusively eat lunch at home (given I work from home, duh), a weekly latte is a well deserved treat. This is a skinny caramel latte in case you are the curious sort.
  • Despite dire warnings, our area received NO snow or ice: AKA school is open! A three day weekend is a joy. A four day weekend is pushing it. 
  • The Atlanta Falcons commercial voiced by Samuel L. Jackson = awesome! It culminates with Jackson's signature speaking/yelling demanding that Falcon fans "Rise Up!". The part that cracks me up is where I keep expecting his line to be "What do m$#@! f*!%ing Falcons do? Rise Up!".  I guess the Falcons didn't want a "Pulp Fiction" version of their ad, but it would really get the people going.  (Fun fact: Samuel L. Jackson sold concessions at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium when he was a student at Morehouse College.)  
  • I am taking my 11 year old shopping for a dress this weekend because she is going to her first school dance next week (sniff, sniff)! She is attending with four or five other girls and I imagine the girls and boys will rarely mingle at this dance, but is still adorable.  
  • Finally, I have Monday off, travel pay from work, and a clothing store gift card. It's the perfect storm for shopping opportunity! Have a great weekend!

    Tuesday, January 15, 2013

    Frankie Says Relax

    Accordingly to a highly scientific (or not) PBS online quiz, I am most like "Downton Abbey" character Lady Edith. Poor Lady Edith is the Jan Brady of the 1920's. Sandwiched between the bewitching temptress Mary and rebelling against the classes Sybil, Edith gets less attention than the family dog. I always perceived Edith as weak and whiny, not  headstrong like her sisters. However, watching the latest episode featuring Lady Edith and Sir Anthony reminded me how persistent Edith can be when she wants something. Back in the day, she started chasing Matthew until it was clear he was going to Mary (shocker). Then she brazenly pursued Sir Anthony until he took her for car rides and presumably fell in love with her.  She even raged against the Crawley machine when Papa told Sir Anthony to back off AND HE DID to win back her man.  Why she would want a man who wouldn't put up any sort of fight for her is beyond me, but that is a discussion for another day. Anyway, Edith is clearly taking charge of her life come hell or high water to get what she wants.

    In this way, I do see how I am somewhat like Edith. I find myself trying to control everything. I create so much stress and extra work for myself by worrying about things that may never even happen. My current obsession and cause of stress is worrying about housing prices for when we move. In three to four years.  Yes, I am currently spending time monitoring house prices and worrying about something that will not even possibly happen for close to four years. Do you know how many things can happen and change in the next four years? So ridiculous. I am so wrapped up in the future I am probably missing all kinds of things that are actually happening today.  And as we learned from Edith's cautionary tale of a life, I can push and push and push for things to go the way I want and something will still go sideways. We can't control everything. So I'll take the advice of my good friend Frankie and relax. Allow myself to enjoy the here and now. Loosen up for heavens sake and soak today in.  How about you?

    (PS-If you don't get the title reference, you seriously need to study up on classic 80's music.)

    Friday, January 11, 2013

    Happy Friday and "A Year With Jesus" book review

    Is there a better day than Friday? I think not. Fridays are the days of anticipation, the determination that I'll be really productive over the weekend. Saturdays are my days of fun with slight guilt for not doing things I planned, and Sundays have always been the depressing "the weekend is almost over" days for me. I know- weird. It is a gloomy, rainy day here which I personally love.  It is not raining too hard to be out, but just drizzly enough for my dogs to refuse to go outside. Great day for curling up and watching movies or taking a nap.  There is just one thing stopping me.  What is that word? Oh yeah, JOB.  Sigh. Maybe tomorrow.  Tomorrow is our designated power clean day so you can imagine how excited I am about it. The one thing going for me is we are big believers in rewarding ourselves for hard work. The ideas floated around are a cheese tasting (we know how to party) or a dessert buffet.  Any brilliant ideas?

    In a fortuitous blessing of my disorganization, I ran across a devotional book I requested to review, oh, six months ago.  Oops.  The blessing was I found this book in a drawer on New Year's Eve.  There is no better time to start a year long book than January 1st, no? “A Year With Jesus” by R. P. Nettelhorst is one of the first daily devotional books I have read in years.  Each day provides the actual words of Jesus through Scripture as well as the author’s words of encouragement.  If you prefer topical readings, the Table of Contents lists the readings by topics such as Arrogance and Humility or Good and Evil.  Though I only started this book with the New Year, the eleven or so readings so far have been enjoyable.  Each reading is a short (one page or less), easily digestible portion of Bible verses and reflection.  This style of devotional works for me personally as I am not easily going to stay committed to reading devotionals daily for longer than ten minutes.  (Truth: I am not going to do much of anything for more than ten minutes.)  If you like to read a quick devo to start off your day  or just before bed, I recommend you check this one out.  

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com (http://BookSneeze®.com) book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 ( “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

    Monday, January 7, 2013

    Which "Downton Abbey" Character Are You?

    Like many other people, I am OBSESSED with "Downton Abbey".  I watched seasons one and two when they aired, then again in preparation for season three.  I sat my family down Friday and said, "Mommy loves you, but "Downton Abbey" comes back Sunday night.  From 9:00-11:00 pm, I don't exist. If you need anything at all, ask Daddy."  I don't ask for a lot, so I think this was perfectly reasonable.  Besides, no one under twelve should still be up that late anyway.

    Part of the appeal of the show is the romanticism of the 1920's.  It seems insanely glamorous to wear sequined gowns and tuxes to dinner.  I don't know about you, but having a maid to do my hair, bring me tea, and clean my house doesn't sound too shabby.  I'm sure the reality of that time period's medical advancement, women's rights and questionable plumbing would not be nearly as glam as it appears on television but the fantasy is pretty fantastic.  Unless you are one of the "downstairs" people- the maids, the footmen, the valets.  Their life appears significantly less romantic.  So it was with excitement and some trepidation that I took PBS's quiz, "Which Downton Abbey Job is Right For You?".  The good news: I am part of the fabulous Crawley family- decidedly upstairs people.  The not so great news: I am Lady Edith.  Lady Edith?  She's okay, but big sister Mary's life is markedly more interesting and exciting.  Sigh.  Even my imaginary life needs more excitement.  : ) Which "Downton" character are you?

    Quick update on my selfishness project (that sounds so bad!): I bought myself Starbucks Friday morning without feeling a bit of guilt about it.  Yes, I was using a gift card, but I still usually feel a little guilty not sharing it with the whole family (you see how deep my sickness lies, right?). Saturday night, the whole family went out and I expressed an opinion on where I wanted to eat.  We went there and guess what?  The world didn't end.  Everyone had a good time! Small steps, people.

    Wednesday, January 2, 2013

    Goal #1- Be More Selfish

    Don't worry- this post isn't as bad as the title would suggest.  Unless you enjoy selfishness.  Then...rock on!  I have multiple goals for this year and thought attacking them all at once might be a pretty defeating tactic.  Instead, I am going to focus on one big item per month and hopefully build on them each month.  I don't want to brag but by the end of the year I should be pretty awesome.  : )

    I hate to follow sexist lines of thinking such as women tend to do this, or moms are this way.  One of my (many) pet peeves is advertising or heaven forbid notes from school that specifically address moms instead of parents.  It is just so insulting to fathers.  Okay, I am veering wildly off course.  My point is I am speaking only for me and my weirdo tendencies, though I do see a lot of women in the same boat.  I tend to put myself last in life.  When deciding what restaurant to go to, I ask what does everyone else want?  If there is one doughnut left, I leave it for someone else to eat.  My husband does not have this problem.  If he wanted the doughnut, he would eat it.  That isn't a criticism (and he would probably ask me if I wanted it first), but he is not shy about asking for what he wants.  I need to be more like that.

    It isn't about taking things from other people or putting myself first to the detriment of my family.  However, I do recognize a need to put a greater importance on myself and the things that are important to me, Carrie, as an individual person.  I will confess when I put this goal on my list, my first reaction was to make this a goal in February or March.  This is the problem: I would always push it to the bottom of the list if it wasn't tackled right now.  I'm thinking about the things that are important to me and carving out time to do them.  I would like to travel more for fun this year and go at least one place I have not been yet.  I'll probably start planning a long awaited trip with my sister and am planning a family trip to the beach.  I am setting aside time in my week to blog and read and just plain relax.  I may even go to that zip lining place I've been eyeing. ; )