Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Case of the Winter Blues

I don't know whether it's this cold weather, depression or hell, I've even considered mono, that's making me feel this way. Regardless of the reason I am so tired and despondent these days. I think people have started noticing that I'm "off" at work. I've tried to play it off as due to the stomach bug from earlier this week, or just allergies getting me down. The truth is, I'm highly sensitive, easily emotional and exhausted all of the time.

I've been going to bed two hours earlier than normal and still I wake up feeling barely rested. I have an internal struggle to get out of bed and go to work. Once there I feel mostly good but if something goes wrong, as it usually does, it bugs me even more than normal. I'm a secretary so I put up with a lot of crap during the day, however, for some reason I'm so much more an easy target lately. It's pathetic.

The thing is, how do I fix it if I don't know what's causing it? I've considered seeing my therapist. I haven't seen him in over 3 months, at least. Even then I saw him maybe once a month or so for a very small amount of time. And it's not that I don't want to see him again, he's a great guy, I just don't think that my exhaustion warrants a visit. Taking a day of work to see a doctor because you're tired seems pathetic too. Especially if this is just caused by "winter blues." So I'm going to hold off for a little bit again. I figure if Christmas, my favorite holiday ever, can't cheer me up then we have a problem. However, a little cider and mistletoe may be just the trick.

My only worry is that what if it isn't? I begin school in less than a month. Full time school and full time work. I will have no space for extra exhaustion and sadness. Best I can do is just force myself out of bed every day and cheer the heck up.

Is anybody else feeling this way lately? Please tell me it's only the weather...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Book Talk Tuesday: The Last Lecture

In 2007, Carnegie Mellon University Professor Randy Pausch began giving his final speech "Really Living Your Childhood Dreams." If his lecture was a tale meant to inspire, teach and give courage to his students, then his book "The Last Lecture" is a humerus heart-wrenching love letter to his relatives, wife and children. In his book, co-written by Jeffrey Zaslow, Randy Pausch takes time from living life while dying of terminal cancer to share insight on how he got to where he is, all of the dreams for where his children might one day go and heart-warming advice and antidotes to help them achieve their dreams long after he's gone.

It should come as no surprise to you that I cried. Of course I cried. Written in his own voice it was not hard to see why Randy Pausch was so loved in life. Knowing though, that in 2008 Mr. Pausch was too pass away, well that was just too much to take at times. Especially when I thought of all those loved ones he would be leaving behind.

What should come as a surprise to you is how often I laughed. Pausch is incredibly clever. I couldn't help but sincerely listen to his advice as he gave it a very frank non-sentimental manner. He wasn't trying to make me cry, gosh darn it he was trying to make his readers laugh, reflect and most of all live.

If you haven't read it already, I highly recommend you check out Randy Pausch and Jeffrey Zaslow's "The Last Lecture."No matter what your age, religious beliefs and personal aspirations are, this will surely give you something to think about.

See the below video for the original lecture that inspired the book:

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Giving It All Free for All

Dee from One Foot out of the Box was kind enough to ask me a very timely question for this week's Free for All Friday: What are my goals for the upcoming year?

I'm so glad Dee phrased it as goals and not resolutions. Because seriously, in the 25 years of my life I have not once made a resolution. However, I am chock full of goals. Here are my big ones for this year:
  1. Head back to college so that I may obtain my teaching certification. While I have my bachelor's in English: Professional Writing, I haven't done too much writing since graduating in 2007. In fact, the closest I've gotten is blogging, a little television reviewing and a year's worth of editing. The rest of the time I've been working as a secretary. Which is not to say I haven't loved being a secretary. I seriously do. I'm a talker and getting to know a ton of new people has been fabulous. However, what I really want to do with my life is act as a Reading Specialist. Becoming a secondary English Teacher takes me one step closer to achieving my Reading Specialist goal.
  2. My second goal is to grow up a little. I'm married now. I've been paying my own bills for the past four years. I'm the mommy to an adorable puppy full of spunk. I'm responsible, reasonable and kind-hearted (not too brag, but I think I sincerely am). However, I still rely on my parents for a lot. I turn to them for approval when I absolutely should be able to instead be more self-accepting and independent. My reliance on them ends up causing me a lot of pain. My mom and I have a rocky relationship at times which has a trickle effect on everyone else in my life. I firmly believe that if I finally convinced her that I'm an adult and no longer in need of unrequested advice, approval or financial help I'd be in a much happier place in my life. So, here's to that! 
Ok, so now it's Dee's turn. Please visit her blog One Foot out of the Box for her answers. I'm sure they'll be posted shortly :). Thanks again for the awesome question Dee. And to all readers, please feel free to play along again next Friday.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Free for all Friday

Alright, it's the end of the week and Saturday is so close I can feel it in my bones. Which means, I'm feeling both charitable and creative. That's why, from here forth, I shall christen today, "Free for all Friday."

Here are the rules:

  1. You can each ask me one question. (Please leave your question in a comment below.)
  2.  I will pick the winner based on what I deem the best question asked. As a reward the chosen one will have their blog featured on this site all weekend. If you have a button please do share.
  3. However, the winner will also have to answer their question and link their entry back to mine on their blog as well. I mean really, if I didn't keep it even I could only imagine how wickedly clever you all might get haha ;). In any case, please be kind and keep your own response in mind.

Peace out lovelies! And remember, I've got stories!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Next Time, Just Go Back to Bed

When I woke up this morning I had an ominous feeling that something was wrong. Stupid girl. Instead of crawling right back into bed with the husband and begging off work with a "stomach bug" I told myself there were only two work days left and to shake it off. Stupid, stupid girl.

First, about five miles from work I realized that I was completely out of gas. I have like an obsessive compulsive disorder when it comes to my gas tank nearing empty. I never let it get to E- ever. Call it a cautious habit from having lived alone in a different state from friends and family for a year.

Second, as I waited for a gas pump to open up I decided to step inside Turkey Hill and pick up a peanut butter and chocolate cappuccino. One step out of the car my left leg slid far behind me causing me to land hard on my knee. My instant reaction was to curse loudly, as is my response to all self-injuries. Apparently somebody had spilled their drink in the parking lot causing it to freeze into a nice size puddle of ice. I mean really, how dare they be so clumsy! Ok, I know, that could've been me on any other day.

Finally, as I was typing up a blogging comment I seriously tried to spell sophisticated "safisticated." It looked perfectly fine to me. The red squiggle line told me it was wrong but I couldn't get my mind wrapped around how to correct it. Ok, this may seem like no big deal to most, but to me this is huge. I'm an ENGLISH major for crying out loud! How will I ever teach the leaders of tomorrow if I can't get through an elementary school vocab word. Oh lord! Class starts up again in January. It will be my first time back in over three years. How will I ever cope?

Thirsty Thursday

We're not in college anymore, but can't we still have some fun?

Raise your glasses to this rum-spiked cider. It'll keep you warm inside. Warm outside. You won't be able to feel a thing. Well, you get the point...


  • 1 quart water
  • 3 orange spice tea bags
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 1 1/2 cups light rum
  • 8 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 teaspoons butter


  1.   Boil water in large sauce pan. Remove from heat and toss in the orange spice tea bags. Cover and let steep 5 minutes. Remove tea bags and stir in sugar, apple cider, rum, and 2 of the cinnamon sticks. Heat just to steaming -- do not boil.
  2. Ladle hot cider into 6 mugs and drop 1/2 teaspoon butter into each. Garnish with a cinnamon "swizzle" stick. 
Recipe originally from 
Now tell me pretties, what drink helps keep you warm inside during these cold winter months? 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Today's the Office Christmas Party

...thrilled to death it won't end with me looking like this guy. I have to say though, he's rocking that hat.

Stop by Java's site and hop onward towards more wordless Wednesday's. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Book Talk Tuesday

Book Talk Tuesday: The Hunger Games Trilogy

As I'm an avid reader, each Tuesday going forward I've decided to share a few of my most loved and most detested books with you guys. I invite you all to read them yourselves and be the judge. Let me know if you love them, hate them or think I'm off my rocker.

First up is "The Hunger Game Trilogy" consisting of "The Hunger Games," "Catching Fire," and "Mockingjay" written by Suzanne Collins. The trilogy falls into the genre of young adult science fiction adventure. Though, don't be fooled by the YA categorization, this book is a far leap from the books of my tween years. Filled with social satire involving our addiction to reality television, violence among children and a "lottery" system of pulling children from their homes and throwing them into the depths of any individuals picture of  hell which even Shirley Jackson could find appalling.

The main character Katniss lives in one of twelves districts that were once involved in a thirteen district uprising against "the Capitol," an elitist country where the rich go to flaunt themselves and remind the rest of the poorer districts what happens when you screw with leadership. Having blown district thirteen to smithereens and leaving the other twelves districts in poverty, the capital holds an annual "Hunger Games." Every boy and girl between the ages of 12 to 18 in the twelve poor districts must enter and then be randomly chosen in pairs to represent their district in a reality show themed fight to the death match much adored by those in the Capitol but mandatory nightmare viewing for those twelves nations whose children are dying before their eyes.

It's incredibly intense, I'm not going to lie. To be honest, when the husband first told me I should read it I turned him down flat on the basis of two things. 1)I don't read YA, I'm an adult and unless you're flashing Harry Potter before my eyes, I'm not interested. 2) Children forced to kill children? Are you kidding me?! What a sicko my husband was turning out to be.

Give it a chance though. Like reading true stories about the Holocaust or dark fictional novels like "The Road," at the heart of it, these books offer a lesson in humanity and the individual spirit's strength to survive. It's an incredible, awe-inspiring tale. One soon to be turned into a PG-13 rated movie by Lionsgate Entertainment. How they'll swing such a teen friendly rating without losing credibility to the book's fans, I have no idea. Though I'm dying to find out.

So what do you think folks, have I lost my bloody mind?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Getting My Milk Mustache On

I bought milk in a bag today. Do you know how incredibly excited I was to buy milk in a bag? This milk, produced and sold, at a local dairy has had so much hype surrounding it. All of the women at work talk about the dairy it comes from with reverence. They comment about how lucky we are to have it so close to us though it's a good 4 miles away from where we work and farther from where we live. And good Lord, don't even get me started on the ice cream. You see, I love ice cream. And I never adhere to seasonal standards. I'll drink cocoa in the summer and enjoy a frosty in the winter, thank you very much. So when they started to talk about the newly featured homemade pumpkin ice cream, I was sold.

So today I drove in the dark up a hillside road in search for what turned out to be little more than a roadside stand which sold milk, ice cream, juice, baked goods, candy and those small plastic containers of baking paraphernalia which in PA are synonyms with the Amish. This was not my first trip. Oh no, I had tried a week earlier to make the out-of-my-way trek only to be stopped by a police car blocking the road. Great. I was detoured into a big loop back where I came from only to quit and head home. This time though, I was victorious! I almost bought a pretty blue shirt advertising the dairy to celebrate my victory. First thing's first though, how does one drink milk out of a bag? Out of a pitcher of course ;).

Now excuse me while I go have a large drink of that white frothy liquid which is good for my bones and yours.

Tell me, what type of things do you buy locally? Because they're worth it of course.

Meet Me on Monday Blog Hop

Through Hilary from Feeling Beachie, I discovered a great Monday Meme called "Meet Me on Monday" created by Never Growing Old, a fellow Pennsylvania gal like me :). Feel free to check out Never Growing Old's blog and participate as well. Just be sure to link back to the originator so that we can all feel the post love.

1. What is your favorite type of cheese?
Portwine Cheese Spread- For this being my favorite type of cheese it is a very rare treat for me. I suppose that's why I find it so delicious when I do have it spread over crackers as a treat.

2. What size is your bed?
It's a cozy double bed. Long gone are our days of cramming into a college dorm supplied single. Now we're living the good life haha.

3. What is your most overused phrase?
Can you seriously believe that I use the word seriously all the time? Well, I do. It's horrible, I know. I'm such a stereotype of my generation right now.

4. Green or purple grapes?
Green all the way. Enough said.

5. Shower, morning or night?
For the past five years I've been going with night showers because I like cram as much sleep into my mornings as is absolutely possible. It's not even that I'd mind the shower part, as I can be fast if need be, but my hair takes FOREVER to dry. However, when school starts and I'm not getting home until 10pm I just may need to suck it up and wake up. We'll see...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Gifts that Give Hope

A few weekend ago the husband and I ventured out to attend an alternative gift fair. Basically what it was is a gymnasium filled with tables hosted by non-profit organizations, food and charities. Each table had some sort of display and/or literature which gave a description of what their mission was, how they were helping and why they did what they did. In addition to that they each had a cards up that said for a certain amount of money specified your money could be used to provide a certain service or product (i.e. mosquito nets). In most cases it was astonishing to see just how much could be done to help others for a small sum of money.

This was our first alternative gift fair and I have to say at first I was overwhelmed. I wanted to help everyone. At every single table I approached a kind-hearted smiling face was eager to answer my questions and offer a little bit of information about their group. While I didn't feel that anybody "pushed" their needs upon me, it was intense all the same. The amount of need out there is incredible. Now of course I realized this before hand but seeing it displayed so readily in one place really drove home the sentiment.

When I expressed this to the husband he put it quite simply, "you can't give your time and money to everyone so at least give to someone because at least you're giving at all." Good point, hubby, good point. So we made another round of the tables, taking in the aromas of the food made by resturaunts and organizations willing to give their profits to charities. We purchased an ornament from 10,000 villages a local fair trade shop and I ogled the vibrant bracelets made by struggling women in foreign villages. Again we took in exactly what was being offered by each group, asking our final questions before picking out where we could best place the money and time      that we had to offer.                                                                                                                Image Found Here

Before leaving we picked out our organization and the exact priced "gift" we wanted to give them and under who's name the donation would be made. We were then given an equal amount of cards with a brief description of what an alternative gift fair is and exactly what was donated and to who. Now this year, my two best friends, who are some of the most generous people I know will be presented with the knowledge that they are helping to stop sex-trafficking and giving aid to a struggling third-world community. I have a feeling that the warmth and comfort that this "paying it forward" movement gave to us will be passed on to them as well.

So please keep alternative gift giving in mind. If you're low on cash, looking to buy something with meaning and wishing that everyone was able to have a little something extra this year, it just may be the best option for you as it was for us.

For more information check out Gifts that Gift Hope.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sweet, Sweet Savings

Okay, so I have to share this. Apparently through this fantastic Friends and Family discount if you buy on-line supposedly you also stand to save an additional 10% to 25% more. If you spend over $99 you get free shipping. Sweet!

New TV stand here I come...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Craigslist is To Die For

While living on my own in Maryland I became acquainted with a man who owned hipster apartment in Fellspoint. If you're not familiar with the area, which I was not, it is apparently the place to be if you're a young brilliant quarter-lifer whose hot stuff. Let's just say my job wasn't pulling in the type of cash to grace this trendy place with my presence on a daily basis.

Now, I knew this guy was making a good amount of dough. Our company paid well and he was treated like royalty by all the editors - enough said. So when he admitted that nearly ever piece of furniture and stylish decoration was bought off of Craigslist, I was shocked. Seriously, I thought, you bought someone else's trash? In my mind, Craigslist was a giant yard sale. Fine on a rainy day, but you were bound to regret that purchase when you realized a month later you too wanted to sell it. However, after noting how incredibly perfect every single mismatched item went together I knew he was onto something.

Yea, I know Craigslist isn't all fun and games, what with the Craigslist Killer and all that. But seriously people, follow the unspoken rules and you won't be in nearly as much of a risk of dying young:

  1. If it seems shady - it is. 
  2. Never meet at your own home, especially if you're home alone. 
  3. Preferrably, meet in a public place which you are familiar with. 
  4. I hate to sound sexist here, but send your husband, brother, boyfriend or father to do your bidding. Men don't get taken advantage of nearly as often as women. This may not be a written fact, but it is my whole-hearted opinion. 
  5. Only accept cash- trust me. 
 Now, I'm one of Craigslist's biggest fans. This month alone we bought a full-size portable dishwasher with counter top ($20), washer and dryer ($40), basket full of collectible glassware which I and the hubby are obsessed with ($10 and worth so much more) and are now in search of a new flat screen TV stand for our big Black Friday purchase.

So tell me lovelies, what is your favorite Craigslist purchase? Don't be afraid to brag.