Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Man Guesses Exact Showcase Amount on The Price is Right

So I was watching The Price is Right this morning and saw the unexpected. The man guessed the exact amount of the showcase - $23,743. As a former math geek (I say former because I've forgotten most of the good stuff), I'd love to know what the odds are for someone to guess an unusual number like that and be right. In other words, I'm waiting to find out that he cheated in some way.

Then again, I haven't watched The Price is Right in a while, and yet I happen to watch the day that this occurs. But still....

I've seen a few places around the 'net talking about this, including this blog entry from Best Week Ever (with video).

What do you think?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Adopt a Wild Koala



The Koala Hospital in Port Macquarie, Australia, allows people both in Australia and internationally to adopt a sick or injured wild koala. When the koalas are rehabilitated, they are returned to the wild when possible. When you adopt a koala, you'll get a picture of him or her and a story about him or her, among other things.

Kind of a nice idea for a gift!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Subaru Share the Love Event

I saw an ad on TV last night for a program I thought was really cool. Subaru is doing a Share the Love event where you can choose a charity for Subaru to donate to with the purchase or lease of a new Subaru:

For every Subaru vehicle sold from November 24, 2008 through January 2, 2009, Subaru will donate $250 to one of the following five charities: Habitat for Humanity, ASPCA, National Wildlife Federation, Meals On Wheels, Boys & Girls Clubs, with a minimum guaranteed donation of $250,000 to each.


Of course, I would choose to donate to the ASPCA, but it seems like a nice idea no matter who you chose.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

looking together



Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction.
-Antoine de Saint Exupéry

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Rescue Ink


Image from rescueink.org's cafepress shop

A friend of mine sent me a link to this organization that I think is awesome. Rescue Ink is a group of guys who look like they'll beat the crap out of you. They're actually a group of guys who love animals and try to help and find homes for abused animals. I love it because they could probably step into any situation to help an animal, where I might be a little more hesitant. ;P I also love that they speak out against puppy mills. Be sure you check out their About Us page to see the profiles of everyone from Johnny "O" to Des "the Cat Man". :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Ninja Cat

We saw this video on Leno the other night. Cats can be so awesome, funny, and a bit creepy, all at the same time.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

ISS Tosses Out the Garbage


Image from spaceweather.com

Spaceweather.com has an interesting news item. Over a year ago, an obsolete ammonia reservoir the size of a refrigerator was tossed out from the ISS. It has been circling the Earth ever since and is due to reenter the Earth's atmosphere soon.

From their email newsletter:
If predictions are correct, the "Early Ammonia Servicer" (EAS for short) will turn into a brilliant fireball as it disintegrates in Earth's atmosphere during the early hours of Monday, Nov. 3rd. Uncertainties in the exact reentry time are so great (plus or minus 15 hours at the time of this alert) that it is impossible to pinpoint where the fireball will appear. At the moment, every continent except Antarctica has some favorable ground tracks.

Go to spaceweather.com for updates and check out their Satellite Tracker to see when a flyby might occur in your area (worldwide). Pretty cool!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Dreaded Glucose Tolerance Test

Recently I had to do the glucose tolerance test to test for gestational diabetes. My blood sugar was too high for the 1 hour screening test, so unfortunately I had to do the 3 hour tolerance test. :( I thought I'd share my experience with the glucose tolerance test because when I was preparing for it, I was searching all over the net for personal experiences. I read all the generic descriptions of what it was and how "most women feel more queasy from the 3 hour test than the 1 hour test", but I wanted a little more than that.

Preparing for the Test
You're supposed to carb-load before the test; some people have to eat extra bread or pasta, I had to eat a king sized candy bar each day for three days prior to the test. King sized candy bars never sounded so unappetizing. I don't think I will ever eat a Milky Way again. After some searching, I finally found out that the theory behind carb-loading for the test is (I'm paraphrasing here) to get your insulin really working so when you DO go in for the test, your body is ready. A study showed that low-carb diets prior to the test led to a greater number of false positives because their bodies were slower to produce the insulin needed to metabolize the sugar. Or some junk. It finally made sense to me - until then I kept thinking it seemed counter-intuitive to load up on sugar before you get tested on your blood sugar level!

Then I had to fast overnight...something like 10 or 12 hours...I can't remember which. Now, whoever thought it would be a good idea to load up a preggo on sugar and then starve her has another thing coming. Good thing the test was early so I could just be half-asleep through the start of it. ;P The night before, I prepared my bag of something to eat right after, water, and stuff to do. My husband was kind enough to come with me and keep me company, so he loaded up the laptop so we could watch a movie in the waiting room.

Test Day
I hardly slept during the night because when I was awake, I was worried that I would do something wrong and have to test again, and when I was asleep, I was having nightmares about screwing up and having to take the test again. :/ Finally, it was time to get up, so we got up, got ready, and got going.

I was the first one in the lab, so she got me going right away. She took a fasting draw (a baseline I guess), then gave me the lemon-lime drink. It was 100 g of glucose rather than the 50 g for the hour test. I had the orange flavor for the hour test, which I actually enjoyed. The lemon-lime wasn't too bad, but I could tell it was much sweeter and left a weird taste in my mouth. I suppose that's what kept me from feeling too hungry for the first couple hours, but within 45 minutes I wasn't feeling too crash hot. She took a draw 1 hour after drinking the glucose drink, then after 2 hours, and finally after 3 hours. We watched Baby Mama to pass the time - I thought that would be a fitting movie under the circumstances!

Hubby and I sat in the waiting room for the entire test; I could have gone in a back room to lie down if I wasn't feeling well. I much preferred stepping outside into the cold morning air and taking some deep cleansing breaths. The first time I went outside, I told myself throwing up was NOT an option, no matter how bad I felt, because I was not doing this again. Luckily, I didn't feel too close to vomiting at all - mostly I felt hot, like my heart was beating a little too fast, and a bit queasy. I think it would have been a bit easier to handle if the waiting room was cooler. She told me I could drink as much water as I wanted, too, so I think that helped.

By about 2 hours, I was feeling more normal, and by 2.5 hours, I was getting hungry. My poor husband was starving (he fasted with me). When she did the final draw, I asked what she recommended I eat to break my fast, and she said protein. We decided to stop at a breakfast place, where I had a cup of tea and loaded up on eggs, sausage, and bacon (my apologies to any vegetarian readers ;) ). I felt much better! I did not spend the rest of the day feeling sick or groggy, though I've seen other say they did. I think any fatigue I felt was due to my lack of sleep the night before.

The Results
I passed with flying colors! I called the doctor's office within a week to get my results because I couldn't wait to find out. I was truly more worried about the baby than myself because sweets are NOT what I'm craving and I would have no problem working on diet/exercise/whatever to control my sugar. I just didn't want to be doing anything that could affect the baby either in the womb or later on in life. I've read that there's a very small percentage of women who actually have GD, so I had statistics on my side.

So...I survived. I crossed another bridge in this pregnancy. I'm ok with it because this is the best I've felt during my pregnancy! I get lots of back pain, swollen and aching feet, leg pain, etc., but for me, that's all a piece of cake compared to the emotional side effects I've experienced. Don't get me wrong - I can still cry at the drop of a hat over the most benign things - but at least now I can see the humor in it, even while I'm crying. ;)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pre-Order a Book and Get a Chance to Win

One of my favorite bloggers, The Well-Heeled Society, has written a book called How to Stylishly Fall From Grace that looks interesting. If it's as well written and well thought out as her blog, I think it will be a fantastic read.

From her blog:

The book's main character Zoe is a fashion-forward, independent gal with a penchant for Broadway plays. It's at one of her Broadway play excursions that she meets a charming guy. Bald and child-free makes him an instant candidate for Zoe, and a year-long, long-distance relationship blossoms. He woos her with weekend “play dates” and whirlwind reservations for two, which eventually sweeps Zoe her off her feet. Or so she thinks, until she relocates her life, wardrobe and shoes to New York City to live with him...


For more information and how to pre-order, visit her post here.

As an added benefit, if you pre-order, you'll receive a signed copy AND be entered to win this awesome package, including a Marshall's gift card, some lovely body treatments, cute high heel cookies :D, and a bracelet supporting Domestic Violence Awareness. Good luck!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

It's been pretty widely discussed on news programs and talk shows that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month (which is a good thing), but there is another cause going on in October - Domestic Violence Awareness month.

One way you can help is buying shoes at Marshall's. They're giving $1 to Safe Horizon for every pair of shoes bought between now and October 16.

This cause was brought to my attention by this post from the Well-Heeeled Society. Keep an eye on the Well-Heeled Society for more information throughout the month.

Monday, September 29, 2008

My Beloved TV Is Back!

Apparently, the pregnancy depression I mentioned earlier can still rear its ugly head even when I think I've adjusted and been done with it. I suppose during pregnancy, any of these symptoms can pop back up at any time. I stopped posting, stopped attending yoga, and pretty much tried to just hide out and get through the days. I have since "recovered", I guess you could say, and have regained an interest in posting (and pretty much everything else). I have been doing more baking lately, which I may post about, but more importantly - new TV seasons are starting again!

Heroes
I thought the premiere was fantastic - probably better than the whole previous season. I love the gray (pardon the pun) area they're bringing up in this whole good vs. evil storyline. It's similar to one of the things I like about Lost - not knowing who's really supposed to be "good" or "bad" and deciding for myself.

Fringe
This is a pretty good new show - very X-Files and Lost, which makes sense knowing who's behind it. By the way, if the music reminds you a bit too much of Lost (which it does us), it's because it's the same music guy. Guess we can tell what he likes. ;P I love stories that go into both the paranormal and science, so I find this show really interesting. And Joshua Jackson has surprised me with a fairly interesting character - I was not a fan of Dawson's Creek and was afraid I wouldn't like this show because of him.

Criminal Minds
The season premiere was a little blah...mostly just resolving the end of the last season. I'm looking forward to new stuff. I love the show enough that I'll forgive them.

Bones
Bones has been so good this season! I think the addition of Dr. Sweets as part of the gang was a good one. I hope we don't spend the whole season trying to replace Zach, though. And as much as I liked Zach, I'm not sure I would be as friendly to him as the rest of the gang still is. ;P On a side note, I finally read a Temperance Brennan novel by Kathy Reichs, and I have to say, I much prefer Bones to the novel character. I don't think I'll bother reading anymore of them.

House
Same ol', same ol', but still entertaining to watch.

Law and Order SVU
Are they just going to be trying for Emmys each season? I want more crime, less personal drama with the cops themselves. But that's just me. The new ADA seems interesting.

Survivor
It's in HD now! That's pretty much why we're watching. Or at least why I am. No one grabs me as someone to cheer for, yet.

The Amazing Race
I love this show. If only they'd decide to go HD. The team of dating NYers is going to be funny/annoying - I loved the part in the preview for next week when he's complaining about another team's ethics and she pipes in "and they didn't even say hi!" hahaha

Dancing With the Stars
This would have been a big one for me, if I wasn't completely sick of the filler crap. I think 3 episodes in one week was major overkill and caused a burnout even in devoted dance lovers like myself. I didn't even bother watching - I saw a few bits here and there, looked up who was kicked off, and deleted the taped episodes.

This week, I'm looking forward to the premieres of Chuck and Numb3rs. Oh, and the Vice Presidential Debate. :)

What are YOU watching?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Harvest Moon

Are you ready for the Harvest Moon?


Picture from wikipedia

It's supposed to be the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox. I've heard it's called the Harvest Moon because it's a bright full moon that allows farmers to work late by the light of the moon. It should be a beautiful sight!

Check out this article from space.com for information about all the full moon names and dates for 2008.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tori Amos Live at Montreux 1991-1992

Let me just get this out of the way - yes, I first read about this at perezhilton.com. :/ hehe

Ok, now for the good stuff. A new DVD called Tori Amos Live at Montreux 1991-1992 is coming out of early Tori Amos performances. It's supposed to feature two performances she did at the Montreux Jazz Festival.

There's nothing at her website about it (that I could find), so I'm guessing she doesn't have much to do with the release. However, being a big Tori Amos fan, I'll still want it so I can see her perform her early stuff! (When it was new!)

While we wait for it to come out on September 30 here in the States, please enjoy this performance of Winter:



(or go to the video at YouTube here)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Sure, I'd love a vacation!

I did not intend to make this a pregnancy blog, but when that's what you think about 95% of the time, what can you do?

I signed up for a few of those pregnancy e-newsletters that tell you everything about your body and the baby at X weeks. Well, they're a bit frustrating right now because they all seem to be saying that now's the time to have a getaway with your partner because you're still somewhat mobile and you won't have as much time for trips once the baby's born.

Fun little getaways, however, require 2 things: time off from work and money.

What are we trying to save up? Time off from work and money.

I'd like to take as much time off as I can after the birth yet still get paid, so I'm saving up all my available time to go towards that (same with hubby). Also, between all the money spent on preparing for the birth and buying supplies for the new baby, it's not like we have a lot of cash sitting around saying 'spend me!'

So yes, I'd love to take a vacation. Thanks for reminding me. :/

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Having a baby? Let me tell you how!

I have discovered another facet of human nature that I find fascinating. It seems as though once people find out you (or your partner) is pregnant, the flood gates open and they feel the need to bestow upon you all of their pregnancy and child-rearing intelligence.

I'm not talking things like "Make sure you get a Boppy! They're great!" or "Prenatal yoga sure helped me" - I'm talking about the comments like "You're crazy if you think you're having anything but pizza deliveries for dinner for the first year" once you've told them about your meal preparation plans or "I give it 2 weeks" when you mention plans for a cloth diaper service. The comments are usually accompanied by a sneer, eye roll, or some other charming and attractive facial expression. Everything from judgement calls about what sort of provider you choose for your birth to how you want to give birth to how you manage your day afterwards. We have choices in these matters for a reason.

Granted, not everybody does this, and I have yet to personally receive these comments (my husband and various friends have been the lucky ones). I just find it interesting and peculiar how free people feel to dictate to expectant parents exactly how their pregnancies and lives are going to turn out. Just because one person couldn't manage meals without delivery doesn't mean we can't. And if we find something we can't manage without shortcuts or choose a different option for, it wouldn't make me turn around and assume that the next expectant parent I know should or would do the exact same thing I did (or didn't do).

So what is it that makes people so openly opinionated when it comes to babies? These aren't comments that are made out of concern for health or safety. They're comments that are made out of a I-know-better-than-you, scoffing mentality. You don't normally hear this kind of stuff regarding marriage, job choices, housing choices, etc., so what makes babies fair game?

I don't mean to sound too negative - just honestly curious. I've just never experienced such free-flowing commentary about a subject when people should really just be saying "good for you!" most of the time, unless you're actually asking for advice. People are interesting.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

More MacGruber!

Once again, the internet proves to be awesome. On my one other MacGruber post, I mentioned how hard it is to find MacGruber lyrics. The lack of MacGruber lyrics seems to continue to plague the internet....

Enter Swamp Thing. This kind blogger left a comment on the aforementioned MacGruber post with some lyrics to one of the theme songs. I keep thinking one of these days I should just watch a few episodes just to take down the theme song lyrics. At least then all the googlers would finally have some payoff!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Olympics Likes and Dislikes

This is just off the top of my head type stuff, avoiding any political discussion.... I figured I've been watching so much of the Olympics, I might as well add my 2 cents!

Likes

Power Walking - The only thing I could find about this on the NBC Olympics site was this article. Watching power walking is the most amused I've been during the Olympics. As my husband said, they can walk faster than I can run. But it's still funny to watch. :D

Nastia Liukin - I know Shawn Johnson is the sweetheart, but I really like Nastia's style. She was also very classy about the whole uneven bars tiebreak.

Funky Sports - I love seeing all the sports that you don't commonly see on TV, or even realize people compete in, such as Trampoline, Individual Pursuit, or Handball (which is totally different from what I thought).

Bela Karolyi - His commentary is always entertaining and GOOD!

Dislikes

NBC's coverage - They could be showing more events live, or at least on the same day that they're contested. And I could stand to see a few less seconds of their flashy graphics every 5 minutes. We could easily fast forward through that garbage, by why make me do all the work? :/

Rowdy Gaines (I can't bring myself to link to his ACTUAL page) - His commentary during the swimming was so annoying. He spent half the time congratulating himself anytime he made a correct prediction and the other half talking about how Dara Torres was the fastest swimmer in the pool...even after she didn't win. I like her, but I think it just takes away from what she has accomplished by trying to make her something she's not.

NBC again - How many videos are they going to sell of the opening ceremony and Michael Phelps? Who buys that stuff? After hearing some of the backstory to the opening ceremony, I was a little less enchanted by it. I suppose Phelps won't be hurting even if he doesn't see any of the money NBC will be making off him.

Not seeing many medal ceremonies - This is probably more of a dislike to my husband who hasn't been able to hear Australia's national anthem played. I just think we should see more medal ceremonies and fewer shots of Bob Costas and NBC graphics.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Lunar Eclipse Right Now (Except for North America)

A lunar eclipse will be visible today from all continents except North America. From spaceweather.com:

At maximum, around 2110 UT (5:10 pm EDT) on Saturday, Aug. 16th, more than 81% of the Moon will be inside Earth's shadow, producing a vivid red orb visible to the naked eye even from light-polluted cities.


More info at SpaceWeather.com.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Garden Update with Photos

How's that for a catchy title? I should have had the hubby take photos, but here are some anyway!









As you can see, the beans are doing a little too well. One mental note I'm making is that I probably don't need to plant as many, as much as I love beans. The green onion and carrots (bottom left) seem to be coming along nicely. The watermelon has a few melons on it. The tomatoes and peppers are doing well. I've got 1 lonely cucumber. Haven't seen any cantaloupe yet (unless they're hiding). Some pics....













Isn't that the cutest little watermelon?? I planted Sugar Baby, and I can't wait to see how the melons turn out.













My lonely cucumber - it's a pretty good size though!













Chili peppers










Bell peppers are also kind of cute when they're small. Maybe I just have baby on the brain.










I will enjoy consuming these beans.










Willamette tomatoes













Roma tomatoes


One funny thing about me - I don't like tomatoes (neither does the husband - these will be used in cooking or salsas or something), but I LOVE the smell of a tomato plant.

I think things are coming along nicely for our first garden. It certainly wouldn't have done as well if my husband didn't water it almost every day for me. What would I do without him?

I think next time I will do a little rearranging. I'll probably also do 1 bell pepper plant instead of 2. Lettuce will be somewhere else (probably a planter) just so I have more room. (Side note: the lettuce did really well - Red Leaf lettuce is mighty tasty!) I may choose 1 variety of tomato as well.

Hope all your gardens are doing well!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Must Be Patient for Doctor Who

Well it looks like the fifth season of Doctor Who won't arrive until 2010 while David Tennant does a few shows in a little-known play called Hamlet. I've read from various sources that there will be a few Doctor Who specials with David Tennant in the meantime, but I have no idea how soon the US might get them after they air in the UK.

But who cares about all that! How awesome was this last season??

***STOP READING if you watch this show and haven't seen the end of Season 4.***

Catherine Tate was a great companion. I really liked the pair of them because there were no doe eyes or doting or any of that. She was snarky and hilarious. I was almost sad at the end of the finale because I really wanted her to be the companion again...I wonder if they'll get around it somehow or if he'll have a new companion. I liked Rose a lot better too since she was a little more serious and a little less trashy and obnoxious. :/ I thought the ending with Rose was weird but perfect I guess. She gets her "Doctor" without breaking any of their rules of parallel universes.

I also loved how the different characters from Torchwood and the Sarah Jane Adventures came together for the finale(s). It was a bit cheesy, I know, but that's pretty much Doctor Who for you. I loved the flirtation with Donna and Captain Jack! I think Captain Jack finally met someone he might not have been able to handle. ;)

I think the show did a good job of wrapping things up, yet still leaving me excited for the next season. There was no major cliffhanger, but I'm still eager to see what direction the show goes next. If only we didn't have to wait so long!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Take a Deep Cleansing Breath

One of my favorite phrases lately is "deep cleansing breath". It's funny how the phrase itself can almost be as calming as the action it describes. I was speaking to my friend Persephone's Gate about the subject recently, and we had an interesting discussion about easy it is to NOT breathe deeply. She pointed out that many of us probably breathe very shallow through most of the day. Just think of how much better we'd all feel if we breathed more fully each day.

Taking deep cleansing breaths has also been an important part of my yoga practice, especially since becoming pregnant. As my yoga instructor says, deep breaths are going to be an important factor throughout pregnancy, birth, and being a parent. Focused breathing is helpful in becoming more relaxed, and I'm hoping that by starting my practice now, it will be second nature to me to focus on deep breathing when labor comes.

In everyday life, taking a few moments to breathe deeply can do wonders for your attitude. It's relaxing, yet it also recharges your brain and blood with fresh oxygen, making you more alert. Taking deep cleansing breaths is an easy way to bring a little calm into your life.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Bourjois Product Review: Stuff J'Adore

I know it's been forever since I got this stuff from Bourjois, and they sent it to me without asking anything in return, so I've really been wanting to return the favor by raving over the products that I love. Therefore, I'm starting with my FAVS of what I got (plus one thing I already had).

One thing I have to point out about all Bourjois products, that I think is one of the nicest touches - they all smell so lovely! It's always a subtle, beautiful scent, but it just makes the products seem so much more elegant and nice to put on, in my humble opinion. I just think Bourjois is brilliant. ;)

Let's start with the basic face. I already mentioned the concealer, but I'll do it again here.


Image from Bourjois

Brush Concealer

I love love love love love this concealer. I've never had a concealer provide such a nice finish. The brush is easy and convenient to use, and the color blends really well. It's the first time I've used a concealer and actually thought it looked like I didn't have concealer on when I was done blending. Most of the time I feel like I can tell but decide 'concealer' is a better look than 'dark circle'. It also holds up pretty well for me throughout the day...as long as I can keep my hands away from my face.


Image from Ulta

Brush Foundation

I also love love love love this foundation. I normally don't wear foundation because my skin tends to be dry. It seems like foundation only makes my skin look more dry. But not anymore! This brush allows me to put on just enough and easily add more if I want - I usually use too much or hardly any when I use the other ones. It also leaves a really nice, smooth finish. I used it today because, thanks to my pregnancy, I am again dealing with breakouts. Why must reverting back to high school be one of the side effects? But anyway...I used it today to even out my skin a bit and it lasted all day. (And made me feel a bit better!)

Mademoiselle Bourjois has an instructional video for these two products here.

Now for some eyes


Image from Bourjois

Volume Glamour Ultra Black Mascara

This is my favorite mascara on the planet. They didn't send me this one - they sent me a couple others, but they're a bit flashier, so I don't use them for everyday. (I'll review them later.) One weird thing for me - I love how long the wand is. I don't know why, but that seems to make it easier for me to apply it. I love how it makes my lashes look more fluffy and black, rather than painted, thicker, and black. I just had to include it because I love it so much. :)


Image from Ulta

Shimmering Shine Liquid Eyeshadow

This stuff is so neat! I have beige metallique. You can paint on a nice opaque layer like Mademoiselle Bourjois in this instructional video, or sometimes I just dab a few dots on and blend by tapping my finger. It adds the nicest shimmer to my eyes, making me look more awake and put together in a matter of seconds. Great when you are short on time. The shimmer is nice too; rather than being too young or sugary, it's very elegant.


Image from Bourjois

Effet Metallise

This metallic waterproof eyeliner is the smoothest eyeliner I've ever used. You have the ability to just draw it right on like a liquid eyeliner without the precision required with liquid eyeliner. It goes on like a pencil liner without the tugging. I have Feuille de Cuivre (copper), and I use it to add a nice warm glow around the eyes. I bet the tourquoise and green shades would look absolutely lovely!


Image from Bourjois

Vibrant Duochrome Liners

These liners are so much fun! They're like a normal pencil, but Bourjois has managed to blend two colors in one pencil, giving the line a lot of depth and 'wow'. I have Vert Dore (greenish gold), Noir Bluete (bluish black), and brun mordore (brownish gold). I LOVE the green and blue pencils, haven't tried the brown yet. The blue one gave me the perfect "Parisienne" eye I was looking for, and the green was just added a nice little pop. I HIGHLY recommend these if you enjoy playing with color!

Mademoiselle Bourjois has a few videos with this product, here's the most recent.

Let's finish off with lips


Image from Bourjois

Eau de Gloss

I have pamplemousse givre, a color not mentioned on the site, but regardless of the color you chose, I think you'd be happy. It says "non sticky" on the tube, and it's true. It's a very nice texture with a bit of that plumping-feeling some glosses have. It lasts me a while, and smells and tastes nice. It's one of the few things I kept using when I wasn't feeling so good during the early months of the pregnancy because it made me feel instantly nicer.

Finalement

I hope you enjoyed my long and involved review. I just love this brand. They don't test on animals, and they do such a thorough job of making a wonderful product. For more instructional videos, check out Mademoiselle Bourjois' channel on YouTube. You can also meet Mademoiselle Bourjois on her MySpace or Facebook profiles.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

minority vs majority

The test of courage comes when we are in the minority.
The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority.


-Ralph W. Sockman


This is the first time in a while that I've seen a quote that made me think 'now that's a great quote'.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

French Dressing, Where Art Thou?

What's the deal with French dressing? I had no idea it was such a commodity. We had to visit 2 stores over the weekend to get some because the first store didn't even carry it. The second store had ONE brand of it, if I remember correctly, and I think it was even more expensive than the other flavors. When did French dressing go out of style?

After thinking about it, I realized that you don't always hear it as an option at restaurants either. If it's the French thing, we can just be really cool and defiant and call it Freedom dressing. Because that makes the kind of statement that will be taken seriously. It can't be the flavor because it always seems to be the chosen dressing if we offer options when having people over for dinner.

So what happened, French dressing? What did you do that was so wrong?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

This Pregnancy Roller Coaster

Being pregnant has certainly been an wild experience. It's nothing like I thought. I know of a few other women in my circle who are pregnant right now, and I find it fascinating how different our pregnancies are. They weren't kidding when they said every pregnancy is different.

The especially trying part of mine has been the emotional or depression side of it. I've heard about all the "I hate you for doing this to me!" type emotions, but that's not what I've been experiencing. For me, it has been the struggle against the "glowing pregnancy" stigma, or the idea that if you don't love being pregnant, you must not be a good mother or want your child or whatever else bad thought that comes to mind. :/

I have been taking the Vitamin B6 and Unisom combination for morning sickness. The odd thing is when I try to stop taking the Unisom, these emotions really flare up, along with a feeling that I thought was indigestion but am now wondering if it's more like a panic attack or stress. I'm back to taking the Unisom; the theory is the better sleep I get, the better I can manage my physical and emotional issues. I've always had sleep issues, so maybe it's just aggravated by the pregnancy.

I hope other women out there who have the same issues with emotions and depression make an effort to get help, or that people who know women in this situation try to help them. It is such a miserable feeling, and I know I had trouble coming to terms with it because I didn't want to admit having negative feelings about being pregnant. That was part of me reaching a solution, however. I had to admit what I was feeling and decide that I didn't want to feel that way anymore.

One of the things that helped me was what I call "giving in to my hormones" - I've realized (with help) that hormones affect us in different ways, whether it's terrible morning sickness or depression, and this just happened to be the way my hormones really affected me. Every time I felt down, the rational (and optimistic) side of me knew deep DEEP down that if I had a choice, I would NOT dislike the pregnancy, the situation, or anything else, but I kind of don't have a choice at the moment. My hormones are affecting everything from my stomach to my memory to my emotions - it's normal and OK. Just because I don't want to be pregnant every once in a while doesn't make me a jerk.

Another thing that has helped is that my husband takes it seriously. He doesn't think I'm just being emotional or whiny or silly, and he doesn't discard how I'm feeling. I hope other partners out there have the patience and understanding to deal with all the fluctuating emotions because, trust me on this, she's not enjoying it any more than you are. ;P In fact, it's likely there's a part of her inside that's whispering "I don't want to feel like this!" while the outside of her is turning into a crying or angry mess.

It's not all bad, though! We've had another appointment where we got to listen to the heartbeat again. Getting those little moments of real feedback - that there REALLY IS a baby in there - are nice and too infrequent at this point. I would probably be much happier if I could listen to the heartbeat all day. Or maybe that would annoy me after a while with these emotions. ;) But I keep being told that I may feel better once I start feeling movement. It may give me the reward I need to know that I ain't feeling like crap for nothing!

Friday, July 4, 2008

we all must work

We all must work to make the world worthy of its children.

-Pablo Casals

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Sky Show July 4th and 5th (Not Fireworks!)

The planets Saturn and Mars, and the star Regulus (Harry Potter!* w00t!) will converge on Friday, July 4th. There's an awesome skymap of it here.

Then on Saturday, July 5th, the crescent Moon joins in. Check out that skymap here.

Find out more about these convergences and the probes orbiting or inhabiting the two planets and the moon here.

*A shout out to the mysterious Regulus Black from the Harry Potter books.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Sweet Peas and My Garden

I finally have blooming sweet peas!



I've already cut a small bouquet, and there are tons of buds, so I'm expecting some good results! Next year I'll spread them out much more. I kept them in a small group because I didn't expect all the seeds to develop. I could have thinned them out, too, but oh well! I'm just going to enjoy them. :)

Also, here's an updated picture of my garden.



Everything seems to be doing ok! I added green onion, sweet onions, and carrots in the bottom left. I only used some of the seeds; I'll plant more later for a staggered harvest.

Friday, June 27, 2008

My 100th Post

For my 100th post, I thought I'd do a nice little sappy number dedicated to my husband. Being pregnant, I'm entitled to be as emotional as I want to be, good or bad, right? Right.

I was thinking about how I've been doing the Cat-Cow yoga pose combination regularly because it helps with stretching and moving the core, something that can be slightly inhibited during pregnancy, and it helps with digestion. Then I began thinking about all the times my husband has been around, not minding (or ignoring? or enjoying?) the weird yoga poses I do at random times, depending on what needs stretching or flexing or bending or relaxing. He's always been fine with my unusual spiritual inclinations or emotional whims, Goddess depictions, Venus obsessions, and superficial interests. That's not something I can say for guys (or girls) I've known in the past, friends or otherwise.

Perhaps it's because he's Australian, where a "No Worries" attitude seems to apply to pretty much anything. They also generally tell it like it is most of the time, so I know if he DID have an opinion, I'd hear about it. Whatever the reason, it's nice to know that I can explore all kinds of cultures and interests without any nay-saying. That seems to be one of those things that makes for a healthy marriage - letting each other have our own individual interests that keep us excited about life. It also gives us new things to talk about with each other! Even if those new things aren't always interesting to the other person. ;)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Some of My Roses

A lot of my roses are in full bloom right now, so I felt like sharing some photos I took. I have over 30, I think, so this is only a few. Most of them are English roses, whose names I always forget. I'll just go ahead and blame the black spot on my pregnancy because I haven't had the energy to go out and care for them like I normally would. :(


Here are a couple of climbing roses on a trellis right by our patio. I think the hubby could do without them right there, but I love eating with roses right over my shoulder. ;)


This is Hot Cocoa, one of the more interesting roses I've seen. I got a wimpy little plant from a going-out-of-business sale, so I've only had the one bloom so far. I'm hoping to bring a little life into it.


Awww. The Love rose. :)


The Diana, Princess of Wales rose. Perfect name for it because it's a beautiful rose with a lovely scent.


The Iceberg rose is one of my favorites. It's hard to see in the photo, but it's full of the prettiest little buds. The rose itself seems pretty hardy because it has some of the nicest green leaves of all the roses, and I haven't done anything to it.


No idea what this is. Previous owners put it back in the middle of nothing in a shady spot. Terrible location - I just haven't moved it yet. It didn't bloom at all last year, but I cleaned up around it and pruned it with all the others in the winter. What a nice surprise!


Joseph's Coat is a neat rose. The buds and blooms go through many colors - no wonder it's called Joseph's Coat.


One of my favorites of the English roses. I think this one is called Pat Austen. I'm so glad I inherited all of these English roses with the house because they are so beautiful and smell DIVINE.


Finally, a quick (bad) photo of my garden. The back left wet spot is lettuce, the next long wet row is bush beans, the two tomato cages on the left are tomatoes, while the one on the right is for cucumbers, the plants in front of the tomatoes are bell peppers and chili peppers, and the two mounds in front of the cucumbers are cantaloupe and watermelon. The little bush against the fence is sweet peas. There are also blueberries and raspberries to the left of the lettuce, out of view. In front of the lettuce, I'll be adding my root crops: carrots, green onions, and Walla Walla sweet onions.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Don't Miss Tonight's Full Moon (Then Plant Your Root Crops)

Tonight (Wednesday, June 18) around sunset, you should see a pretty spectacular full moon. It'll look enormous due to the "Moon Illusion". According to this article from Nasa it's related to the Summer Solstice happening in just a couple days. When the sun is high (as it will be during the solstice), the moon is low. Also in that article are some neat images to illustrate the concept. Enjoy the full moon before ringing in summer with the Summer Solstice.

I've heard that you should plant crops that produce above ground between the new and full moon, and then plant your root crops between the full moon and the new moon. You're also supposed to use the new and full moon days as days of rest and celebration, so no need to do your gardening today! I finally got my garden started by putting in cucumber, cantaloupe, watermelon, tomatoes, bell peppers, chili peppers, beans, and lettuce. After the full moon, I'll put in the onions and carrots.

I did the garden in stages with the help of my husband because I get exhausted so easily now. We started by adding a layer of compost (compost bins are so awesome!), then I prepped all the holes and mounds I would need. A few days later :| I put in those above-ground producers.

Happy Rose/Strawberry Moon, Summer Solstice, and Planting!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Where I've Been

Since I'm starting to feel a bit better, perhaps now is a good time to explain my absence and hope that anyone who was reading my blog will continue to do so! I have lots of hits from people searching for MacGruber lyrics (to whom I apologize - I, too, have searched for lyrics and have never found any!), so I'm hoping I also have regular readers mixed up in there and haven't lost you due to my lack of posting.

Anyway! I'll give you a hint:



Yes, the stork will be visiting our house. The past few months have been filled with all the ups and downs - mostly downs - of early pregnancy. I say mostly downs because on top of the normal pregnancy symptoms you hear about, I also had one of the lesser-known symptoms (at least lesser-known to me!) - depression. I wasn't depressed to the point of needing medication or anything like that, but 'the blues' that I had were just enough to exacerbate every other symptom I had and make the whole experience less than 'glowing'.

Twice before I thought I was coming out of the fog, only to dip right back into it again a few days later, so I hesitate to say I'm done with it now. I'm feeling better though, and coming to the end of that time statistically, so here's hoping! I'm also starting prenatal yoga, so I'm hoping to get both physical and emotional benefits from that.

And can I just complain that I'm sick of my pants not fitting? :/

I haven't been wearing much makeup lately, even though the Bourjois goodies couldn't have come at a better time to cheer me up, so I hope to get back on that horse and get some reviews out to you soon.

I've also been taking lots of photos of the roses in my garden, so I hope to post some of those as well! I really need to take care of them, but I've been feeling too yucky and exhausted to do much lately. Bummer.

So there you have it. My somewhat valid excuse for not being around. Feel free to share your experiences if you like; I know mothers like to do that. ;) I probably won't discuss my own too much except for things that I discover that might help others (like asking your doctor about taking Vitamin B6 and Unisom for morning sickness or how papaya helps with digestion).

I hope we all have a good day today!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Vaccinate a Shelter Cat With Your $25 Order














Shop at the Animal Rescue Site through Thursday, June 5, 11:59pm Pacific, and your order of $25 or more will vaccinate a shelter cat.

Additional details at the Animal Rescue Site's Customer Service page.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Bourjois, pardonnez-moi s'il vous plaît!

Alas, my neglected blog. One of these days I will make it up to you. Probably next week. Until then, I just wanted to give you all a heads-up as to what I plan on writing about soon.

After my last Bourjois post, the beautiful Mademoiselle Bourjois and the wonderful people at Bourjois sent me the most incredible package of Bourjois goodies. I was FLOORED. I mean, I don't post expecting anything in response, and I will continue to express my amour for Bourjois as long as I wear makeup, so this was just a happy surprise (when I really needed a beauty boost). I can easily rave about everything I've tried so far, from the Brush Concealer and Brush Foundation to the Shimmering Shine Liquid Eyeshadow and Intense Metallic Waterproof Eyeliner, and I will give each product I received the detailed review it deserves in future posts. Well, as detailed as an amateur makeup fan can!

In addition to these products, I also received other eye and lip products, so keep checking back! I hope to get some rave reviews up soon because this stuff really deserves it.

If you want to take anything away with you NOW, I'd say go grab the Brush Concealer. It's the best concealer I've tried to date - it doesn't 'wipe off' when you blend it in (which it does so perfectly), and it matches my skin tone impeccably. More about that soon!

One more final juicy tidbit...Ulta is currently doing a sale on a few Bourjois goodies where you can buy 5 products for $25 on select products. All 3 choices are great products. Not sure how long the sale lasts, so get to it!

Bourjois, je t'adore!

Friday, May 23, 2008

being green in early spring

We have forgotten our former states, except in early spring when we slightly recall being green again.
-Rumi

Another great quote, as seen in a Mutts comic strip here. Hope everyone's having an enjoyable spring so far.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Keeping Up With Yoga, If Not With My Blog

My 'online presence' has been lacking lately, due to some 'real life' factors, and I apologize for that. My blogging will pick up soon, I hope. In the meantime, I've been doing a new series of yoga poses and stretching that I thought I'd share. I try to do it in the morning and before bed, as well as whenever I need a quick mental break.

As always, look into this stuff yourself to learn the proper way to do it and whether or not it's right for you...this is just what *I* do....


I start in a Seated Forward Fold to get myself focus and centered. I loop my index and middle finger around my big toes to hold the pose and breathe. Sometimes I use my fingertips to push my toes towards my body, one at a time. I started doing this because I once had a massage that included some stretching of my toes, and I was shocked how good it felt just to stretch the toes around. I think it must help with circulation or something. Perhaps someone knows about reflexology and can fill us in?



Next I do the Bound Angle Pose. I do the variation where I also fold forward from the hips for a deeper stretch.



From there, I ease my body back into the Reclining Bound Angle Pose (I've also heard it called the Goddess Pose), using my hands and arms to get into this position, not my ab/back muscles. I like this pose because it makes me feel very grounded, and when I think of it as the Goddess Pose, I feel like I can relax into the pose in a more spiritual sense. I just find it really calming.


Here I do a couple stretches that aren't exactly yoga (I don't think), but they just feel good. Still lying on my back, I keep one foot on the ground with my knee bent, while stretching the other leg straight up. I hold the back of my thigh and pause for a few moments for a hamstring stretch, then switch legs. Then, with both feet on the floor and knees bent, I let my knees fall to one side while I look to the other side, then switch.



Then I sit back up and move forward onto all fours so I can get into the One-Legged Pigeon Pose. I do it slightly different from the image, with my lower leg at an angle behind my hand, rather than in front. I've always liked this pose because it just plain feels good to stretch out the hips.



Finally, I sit back into the Easy Pose to become centered, focused, and relaxed.

Namaste~

All images from www.yogajournal.com, a great source for all things Yoga.

Friday, May 16, 2008

strength in what remains behind

What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind

-William Wordsworth

This verse from the poem "Ode on Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood" by William Wordsworth was featured in Criminal Minds this week. It's always been one of my favorite verses from any poem, particularly the last 4 lines, because it's something I've always felt I need to keep in mind.

Monday, May 12, 2008

understand through nature

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
-Albert Einstein

This was featured in the Mutts comic strip for April 24, 2008. I love that comic strip and thought this quote was great, especially considering who said it.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

More Bourjois Goodies

Bourjois has some new stuff out! I haven't had a chance to try it out yet but thought I'd share anyway.

**Update**
I just saw links for the new Brush Foundation and new Brush Concealer on Ulta's website.

Image from Ulta.com
Brush Concealer


Image from Ulta.com
Brush Foundation

Yay! :)


The Shimmering Shine Liquid Eyeshadow looks like all kinds of fun. I have no idea what color I'd get. The Gris Platine is probably my favorite:


Image from Ulta.com

but I have no idea if it would look good on me. If I was getting any, I'd probably go safe and get the brun magnetique, beige metallique, or blanc chrome. ;)

They also have a new foundation brush and concealer brush - the product is in the handle and comes out directly into the brush at the end. I haven't found them online yet, though Ulta is advertising it in the latest ad I just received in the mail. The lovely Mademoiselle Bourjois demonstrates how to use the foundation brush and concealer brush in the following video:



You can see other instructional videos and Bourjois commercials at the Mademoiselle Bourjois Channel on YouTube.

Monday, May 5, 2008

My Veggie Garden May Soon Be Underway

Had some more help from my personal gardening expert (aka Mom) this weekend. I've finally figured out what will go in my garden:

  • bell peppers

  • tomatoes

  • lettuce

  • carrots

  • green onions

  • cucumbers

  • green beans

  • spinach

  • watermelon

  • cherry tomatoes

  • chili peppers


and where. I'll post a picture after it's all planted.

Some of those things are for fun (watermelon), some are requests from my chef/hubby (chili peppers), and most are to enjoy our own homegrown goodness. I've always wanted to see if I could have a successful garden, so here's hoping!

My parents also gave me a couple of hanging baskets (fuchsias) for my birthday. I love them! I think they look so nice hanging up. One is called "Pink Marshmallow", not sure what the other is (white base with a purple center). I'll post pics soon I hope!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Charity Table

We went out for lunch over the weekend, and the restaurant had such a great idea for charity that I had to share.

We were about to be seated when I asked if there was a window seat available. She said there is one table open by the window, but it's the charity table.

The what?

The charity table is a 6 person table by the window. It costs the party $5 to sit there, with the $5 (tax deductible, of course) going towards a local kids' charity. It's also the only window seat they'll take reservations for. We said we'd be quite happy with that, so we got a nice view, a semi-private table (it's slightly walled off, decorated with pictures of the kids it benefits), and gave a little extra. Not bad!

I thought this was such a brilliant idea. $5 sounds like such a small add-on when you're going out to a restaurant, especially if you're at a table with 4-6 people. What an easy, quick way to raise money for charity!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Quick Update on the Oprah Puppy Mill Show

You've caught me watching Oprah again, but it's OK because this time there was a short update on the Puppy Mill Show.

A shelter or rescue (not sure which) in Richmond, VA, reported 330+ spay/neuter appointments were made immediately following the Oprah show. They also adopted out 30+ animals. Oprah said that show got the most feedback of any show in the past 2 years.

Good news! :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Being Happier at Work (and In General)

I watched another Oprah show last week. The episode was about people who hate their jobs, and Marcus Buckingham, a guy who's considered a job guru. This one just happened to catch my eye because it was supposed to help people feel more happy and satisfied with their jobs. I don't hate my job, but I'm always open to finding out how to improve any situation.

Doesn't it always seem like the secrets to all these things are just common sense? And yet we still don't seem to figure it out? A lot of what Marcus Buckingham seemed to talk about was finding your strengths...not just what you're good at, but what makes you feel good when you're doing it. I hope I got that right, anyway. An example he gave was when your kid comes home with a report card with 2 As and 2 Fs, what do you focus on? The answer is the As. You shouldn't ignore the Fs, but you should encourage and focus on the subjects that received As.

So what do you do when you're one of the majority of people who hates their job? Marcus Buckingham had these little notebooks where on each page you wrote what you loathed or what you loved about things that were within your control, not things that you couldn't do anything about. People were able to see ways to take control of their jobs, when they should change jobs, and how to prioritize.

You can participate in Marcus Buckingham's online workshop for free and at your own pace here. Apparently it's also available on iTunes.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

heaven under our feet

Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.
-Henry David Thoreau


I hope everyone had a lovely Earth Day!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Of Course I Did Gardening This Weekend

Due to a cold I was fighting and some weird weather, I didn't do much gardening this weekend, but I still did some. The hubby finished the paver patio we'd be working on with the help of a friend. It looks quite nice! The reason I mention it is because I put some magenta, blue, and white petunias in a nice new planter to frame one side of it. ;P I also added some soil, fertilizer, and grass seed in front of the patio area to fill in some empty patches. I also added some more grass seed to that big empty bed (from moving the roses)...we'd already put some down but I want it to be nice and thick with lawn rather than weeds. ;P Hubby mowed the lawn too! What a nice guy! Now I think 99% of my focus will be that veggie garden. Oh! And my sweet peas are sprouting! :)

I also got another kangaroo paw - this time it's a yellow one. It didn't have a tag, so I'm not sure of the variety. I think there's one called "Bush Gold" - that may be it. They're pretty cool looking plants!

Today we saw a blue jay attacking a squirrel. I don't know what that squirrel did to deserve that! Got to close to a nest, I assume.

How's everybody else's gardening going?

Doctor Who Extravaganza!

This was a Doctor Who weekend! The season finale on BBC America was on Saturday, yet I didn't bother watching it. Why? Because it was on the Sci-Fi channel the week before. What was the Sci-Fi channel airing this week? THE NEW SEASON!! :) Friday night's episode was the Christmas episode for the most recent season (already aired in the UK). The episode was bad, to be honest, but it starred Kylie Minogue in a cute but dorky role and IS THE START OF THE NEW SEASON!! :) For all you Doctor Who fans, it's on Sci-Fi on Friday nights at 9pm Eastern. This Friday, the 25th, is the first "real" episode of the season, and we'll be seeing the return of Donna (Catherine Tate) from the previous Christmas special. I'm really looking forward to this season.

Not only did we have all kinds of Doctor Who goodness, but The Doctor himself, David Tennant, was on The Graham Norton Show on Saturday. He and Jo Brand were hilarious.

But it doesn't end there!

The Sci-Fi channel has also started airing The Sarah Jane Adventures, a spin off of Doctor Who. This is the first season of the show, and it has already aired in the UK. Sarah Jane Smith was an accomplice of The Doctor in the 70s. She's now an adult and looking after a teenage boy whom she adopted. I missed the first episode, so I don't know much background other than that. After watching Friday's episode, I'll definitely keep watching. The show is pretty tame without being TOO cheesy, focused more on the teenage characters and fighting aliens, so I think it could easily be a family show (though don't hold me to that! ;P). I guess it's a nice break from all the crime dramas and shows like Torchwood that I watch.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Lost Ramblings Just Because

I've been blanking a bit when trying to decide what to write about next. I have a few topics in mind, but they would take some effort to write about and I'm sick AGAIN and feeling very meh AGAIN. Just sick enough to be annoying and make me grumpy.

So today I thought I'd just ramble on a bit about Lost. Less than a week till its return! Yay! I've seen some spoilage, and I have to say, I think the next episode will be really good and really exciting. I won't spoil anything for anyone else except to say that there's a SNOW GLOBE involved. Kidding!

I'm dying to learn more about Daniel Faraday, like why he has a caretaker and what his job is for this whole freighter mission. If the people behind the freighter have bad intentions for the island, I think it's interesting that they bring someone along who seems to see what's 'weird' about the island right away - and he doesn't seem to be entirely lacking morally, so who knows what he'll decide to do with what he learns.

Let's see...what else...I'm also looking forward to learning who was in the coffin. It's funny because other mysteries on Lost make me curious and exciting, but for some reason I've been DYING to know who was in the coffin. That's one mystery that just really gets me. I hope we learn more about Libby too - she's way to involved between the sailboat stuff and the mental institution - there's got to be more to her.

I really couldn't care less who Kate chooses. That love triangle is the least interesting thing on the show for me. Not because it's a romance - I like other pairings and romances on the show - but Kate's character annoys me and it seems like all she cares about is Jack or Sawyer, Jack or Sawyer.

I'm curious how much Penny and her father know about each other's searches...and how much Widmore knows about Desmond's whereabouts. (Or if he made that happen!)

Anybody else have anything they're looking forward to or hoping to see?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Roasting in Hell's Kitchen: Done.

I read Gordon Ramsay's autobiography, Roasting in Hell's Kitchen: Temper Tantrums, F Words, and the Pursuit of Perfection over the weekend. It's a fairly quick read (I don't read fast) and, well, I wanted to finish it so I could take some books back to the library.

What an interesting life! He's nothing if not 100% committed to hard work and a drive to succeed. He certainly wasn't dealt the easiest hand in life. The comparison between him and his brother is an interesting one. You have two sons from the same family with the same horribly abusive father - one spends his life driven (almost compulsively) to succeed, while the other becomes a heroin addict. Of the two daughters, one (luckily?) gets sent off to a foster family around 16 after being kicked out by their father and seems to come out the better for it, the other ends up pregnant and out of the house at a young age. The girls weren't discussed as much, so I can't remember what else there was to their story. Still, it makes you wonder what it takes to overcome adversity - they all came from the same stock with very different outcomes.

I can't say I really identify with Ramsay, not just because of his family life, but also because I'm just not that driven, type A, aggressive personality. Perhaps that's what made him so fascinating to me though - I love learning about how other people tick. I like how frank he is, too. I know he isn't loved by everyone, but I think his book shows that he's not quite the self-important jerk some people think he is. It seems like one of those instances where the passion and confidence are interpreted as arrogance. He can be pretty funny and self-deprecating at times in his book, though, and I found that endearing. And who doesn't love when he calls people "YOU DONUT!" on TV? :)

My only complaint was that chapters are arranged more by subject matter, so time sometimes jumped around a bit. I'd still recommend the book, though. I don't read many (any) autobiographies, so I don't know how good it is compared to others, but it's a quick read and very interesting.

The Weekend: Torchwood and Gardening

Torchwood was really cool this weekend. It was sort of a flashback episode explaining how Captain Jack Harkness collected or hired the current members of Torchwood (aside from Gwen, whose beginning we saw with the beginning of the show). Owen's background was particularly touching and interesting. I'm excited for the finale! It should be good.

This weekend the hubby gave me a lot of help with the lawn (mowing, spreading fertilizer, seeding). My sweet peas are starting to sprout! :) I cleaned off the patio furniture to get ready for any future warm days. I'll see how the seeding goes with the lawn, but aside from that, I think my last major project is the veggie patch I'm trying to plan. It's exciting when things are coming together! My hubby will soon be doing a lot of work on the patio extension, and I think it'll look great when it's done. Maybe one day we'll be able to just hang out and enjoy it all. ;)

Oh...I still would like to get a mason bee house. I had a bird house hanging in a tree but the twine broke, so I need to get that back up, too. I'd love to have a little bird family in the yard!

Criminal Minds & A Quote

The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering.
-Ben Okri

I heard this quote at the end of Criminal Minds and was really touched by it. When I looked it up, I discovered a wiki of Criminal Minds Quotes - a pretty cool link if you're a fan of the show like I am!

Friday, April 11, 2008

how do you make others feel?

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
-Maya Angelou

I really like this...keeps us a bit more aware of how we treat others.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Wear Orange on April 10 for ASPCA Day

Tomorrow, April 10, is the day to wear orange if you want to show your support for the ASPCA!

Favorite Day of the Week Poll

I need to start keeping track of these little polls I do because now I'm wondering if I already did this one. :/

I've always liked Thursdays because I like the anticipation of the weekend! :D The fact that Lost is on Thursdays only makes me like it more. ;)

Connect and Laugh

Longevity seems to be a hot topic right now - it's all over Martha Stewart, 20/20, the Internet, and I'm sure many other news/talk shows. The qualities that always stand out to me for increasing longevity are connections, humor, and positive outlook. If you don't care about living a longer life, then you probably don't care about these things either! But I think those are all things to live a more fulfilling life, not just a longer life.

I don't think people were meant to live solitary lives. Some people may be more solitary than others, but I don't think that means they should deprive themselves of any connections with others. Staying connected with others (and nature) makes us feel more like we have a place - our place that only WE could occupy. We also need others for support, feedback, enhancing experiences, as well as returning all those favors and giving back.

Mental outlooks greatly affect us physically, and having a positive outlook and the ability to laugh and enjoy life makes it that much easier for our bodies physically. Stress and negativity can manifest itself in aches, pains, illnesses, etc. Laughing just plain makes you feel good (unless your abs are sore from working out as mine have been, in which case it's quite painful to laugh ;P).

What do you think? Does this stuff matter? What else contributes to a long, fulfilling life?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Weekend TV

Just a few tidbits from the Idiot Box this weekend.

Hello! Topless guys making out on Torchwood! God I love that show. The episode was kind of lacking though.

The Graham Norton show was hilarious with Dustin and Lisa Hoffman. They're pretty cute together. I'll admit - that Mika song "Love Me" is like a train wreck to me - I can't look away! He was pretty funny on the show too. The hidden camera in the men's bathroom bit was funny AND gross. ;P

Numb3rs is back!! I love that show. And not just because I'm a geek. I love the cheesy little endings it always has and I love Colby.

Hell's Kitchen also returned this week. I like Gordon Ramsay so much more after watching The F Word (not that I didn't like him before). I've also started reading his autobiography Roasting in Hell's Kitchen (more about that later). After reading the first chapter about his dad, I'm quite impressed by what he has accomplished.

Ocean's Twelve was on tv so I caught a few snippets. I like all the Ocean's movies. (Shout out to FB!) This one is pretty funny with Julia Roberts' character pretending to pass as Julia Roberts. I love Matt Damon too. (MATT DAMON!)

Well this was certainly a lame post! Oh well! The weekend's a time to be lazy, right? heh

500 Visits to My Little Corner of the Web

Some one of my visits—one of the reasons I'm visiting here is to ask the question, you know, to people, because if there's moving too slow or people are saying one thing and the other thing is not happening, now's the time to find out.
-President Bush

Thanks for visiting. ;)

Friday, April 4, 2008

Thoughts After Oprah

Armed with a hanky, I watched Oprah's show on puppy mills. The first thing I did when it was over was give my dogs a treat. ;P It was good how it showed not only puppy mills, but also the effect down the road on overpopulation. I'm glad they pointed out towards the end that puppy mills are not just in PA - they're everywhere.

It's easy to help the cause even if you are not interested in getting a pet for yourself. If anyone you know wants to buy a pet, warmly suggest that they go to a shelter or rescue. They were right on the show - I've seen MANY purebred puppies available from rescue groups. To find one, simply google the breed name and "rescue." You can also donate money and/or food to shelters and rescue groups. Or simply show your support by signing the pledge with the HSUS not to support pet stores that sell puppies (by purchasing other supplies as well) or internet breeders.

The AKC made a comment on the show about finding responsible breeders. I agree that responsible breeders are doing it out of care and love of a breed, but people who are looking for breeders must be extremely cautious - forged AKC papers, fake "Kennel Clubs", and false health guarantees are used by irresponsible breeders to promote their puppies. One way to find a reputable breeder is through a rescue group that deals with that breed. Also, like it was said on Oprah, be sure to check out the breeder in person. One person from a local rescue group once told me that reputable breeders don't need to advertise through websites. They often have waiting lists for future litters because they have built a reputation for being quality breeders.

From a newsletter sent out by the HSUS immediately following the show:

  1. If you are thinking of bringing a new dog into the family, or know someone who is, request a free copy of our puppy buyer's guide for information on how to find reputable breeders, shelters, and rescue groups.

  2. Ask your federal legislators to crack down on puppy mills.

  3. Get the word out about puppy mills: write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. Visit StopPuppyMills.org to educate yourself.

  4. Download one of our Stop Puppy Mills campaign badges or banners to your own MySpace or Facebook page, blog, or website.

  5. Did you adopt your canine companion from a rescue group or shelter? Then order our Proud to Adopt care package.

  6. Download Puppy Mill Cruelty flyers and post them or give them out at your neighborhood dog park, to engage fellow dog owners and help spread the word.

  7. Help us place advertisements and billboards to spread the word about puppy mill cruelty.


For more information:
HSUS site on puppy mills
ASPCA site on puppy mills
Info and links from Oprah about puppy mills

...and I'm spent.

Toilet Drops

Speaking of e.l.f., I just got a newsletter from them. Some of the items in it were topics that were being discussed over at the website. This one struck me as particularly funny:

"Ok this may be a little TMI (too much information) but have you ever had to go #2 in a public place or boyfriends apartment but been mortified about the smell? Well fret no more because I found the perfect solution! Kobayashi toiled deodorizer drops www.mybathroomninja.com are the perfect purse size tool. Just a few drops in the toilet and your #2 will smell no more! So relax and go when you gotta go! So ladies, what do you think, a must have or a must not?"

If you went to the website and read the description, you'd see that it works like a ninja! :D

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Oprah Show on Puppy Mills

I just received this email from the Humane Society of the United States describing an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show that will be airing tomorrow, Friday the 4th, in which Lisa Ling exposes puppy mills. Wayne Pacelle, the President and CEO of the HSUS will also be making an appearance.

I would not recommend watching this with small children, but if you can handle it, I urge everyone to watch it. It's going to be disgusting and horrific, and I'm sure I will be crying my way through it :/ but it worries me that people don't realize how far these despicable people go to produce animals SOLELY TO MAKE MONEY. I find it an absolute shame to the human race that people can treat an animal like a reproduction machine, allowing the animals to exist in a cramped world of nothing but pain and filth. If you are purchasing a pet from a pet store, it likely came from a puppy mill. "Puppy mills" are also not restricted to puppies - I would hesitate before purchasing any species or breed from a pet store.

I once tried contacting a local news station to do a story on puppy mills after seeing some puppies in very poor health conditions at a pet store. Working with a local rescue group, I exchanged numerous emails with a reporter, even giving her directions to a rumored puppy mill, but nothing ever came from it. I am so happy that Oprah, with her fame and influence, is giving a platform to an issue that seems to be "out of sight, out of mind." It is such a needless, pointless, inhumane crime committed by greedy, cruel people.

(see my Thoughts After Oprah post for more info)