Saturday, April 30, 2011

It's Only Saturday.

Seriously folks. Today has been the topper of a hellacious week.

It started as soon as I woke up to Batman and Stumpy wrestling on my chest. These cats are gaining a lot of weight and having them wrestle made me feel like one of my lungs was going to collapse.

Then I wake up to find that Jackson peed all over the bathroom floor again. He used to care and make an effort to clean it up. Usually with whatever piece of clothing Matt left on the floor. Nope. He's over it. So I stepped into a puddle of piss first thing. He also put his soaking wet pajamas in the cupboard under the sink. I don't know why, but there they were.

At breakfast time Jackson decided he was going to dump his orange juice all over the floor I mopped last night. And then slosh it around because you know- it's like a puddle then.

After breakfast we went upstairs so I could shower and get ready for the day- which was a useless effort. I look and feel exhausted so I'll not be winning any beauty awards but I might end up on What Not To Wear since hi- I refuse to iron my jeans today and it's obvious.

When I was done making an attempt with my face, I went into Olivia's room to find her pulling her pants up. Our convo went like this:

M: Olivia, what are you doing?
O: Putting fresh underwears on.
M: Why- what's wrong with what you had on.
O: I don't know.. I just wanted fresh.
M: (not buying this for a minute) Olivia- WHERE are your underwear?
O: In the hamper, MOM!
M: Let's check. (I know they aren't in there because I would have noticed her going in there)
O: (reluctantly) Where did they go?
M: I don't know, you tell me. Where are they?
O: Hmm.. maybe in the downstairs hamper!
M: Olivia- I know they aren't in there because that one is empty. You have exactly 3 seconds to get your underwear otherwise I will be taking the Barbies away. RIGHT NOW.
O: (Runs to her room, retrieves crumpled up underwear from behind a chair) Here they are.
M: OK, let me see them. (Discover they have poop in them. See the red mist behind my eyes and have to slowly count to ten before I lose my temper)
M: You are going to go directly to the bathroom and sit on the toilet until you poop. I'm serious. I don't care if you are there all stinking day- you DO NOT GET OFF until you have pooped.
*fast forward exactly 43 minutes*

I then punished her for flat out lying to me. Seriously. I'm so pissed I can't even take it. I know I'm PMS'ing and I'm not having a good day. She is almost six... what the fuck? WHAT THE FUCK, people. I'm so over her and her poop issues and just not feeling like going because hey- she's busy- it's ridiculous.

Then we go out for lunch because I was going to get gas and then stop at the library and the post office. They did SO WELL at lunch. They always do, but after this morning I'd be lying if I wasn't thinking of good punishments for crappy behavior the entire drive. They do great at the post office and while waiting for me to pump my measly $20 in gas ($3.99/gallon.... that sucks.) that I hope will get me through to next Saturday. At the library though, Jackson threw a FIT because I wouldn't let him take a chapter book home. Hi- the kid can't read. He already had 3 books and 1 movie in the stack (that's each kid's limit) and he's freaking out. It was right then that I decided that when we got home? I'm leaving them with Matt and going to the mall. Broke or not, this mom needs away from these children.

We made it home. He cried the entire way saying I was bossy. Olivia was yelling at me because we weren't doing crafts when we got home.

So I dropped them off and went to the mall with my mom. I got two summer dresses for Vegas and then I got new lotion and a free one at Bath & Body, a hilarious card for a friend as a surprise, and a shirt for my Milwaukee trip with my friend. All under $50. So that was nice.

And because I went shopping, you should too. I just put these up in my Etsy shop today: (buy them HERE)

 And I have some custom work to get done this weekend and one of them was a set of baptism invites. These actually came out just as I pictured them in my head, so that made me happy. They are going to their new home today. The cross at the top was heat embossed so they look completely professional. I really liked them. So... one project done. One to go. :)
OK. I'm finishing up a Dear Sara post that will go up probably tomorrow if I can get enough time without the kids tearing up the house. 

Friday, April 29, 2011

Busy Beaver.

Well, my beaver won't be busy, but the rest of me will be!

I have two *major* scrapbook orders to work on this weekend, I have a shit ton of Kindergarten information to go through with Matt (Olivia had roundup today.. more on that later), and I've got a migraine coming on.

With that said.... Dear Sara is postponed until I can finish my half written post and I will hopefully have it up this weekend. ;)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I'm PMS'ing so that means I'm angsty and possibly stabby.

Let's just talk about things that are pissing me off this week, mmkay?

1. If you are a customer of Petco and you are bringing your giant GoldenDoodle doggie (which is adorable, btw) to help you pick out pet products... please make your dog shit and piss before going on a car ride. Now, I know dogs piss everywhere. They are fans of pissing on everything. I get it. But do not let your dog shit all over the sidewalk that several stores share and then all over the pedestrian walk way people use and NOT PICK IT UP. You are disgusting and rude. That is so out of line it's unbelievable. You may be talking about your baby daddy and his new whore on your iPhone, but you can't tell me that you cannot see the giant piles of shit your dog is leaving.

2. If you are driving along and happen to see a bear and her cub on the side of the road chilling out? Don't stop your car. Don't get out of your car. Don't bring your fucking toddlers mere feet away from a bear cub. You know why? Because mama bears don't like people fucking with their cubs, yo. She will maul your mother fucking sorry ass and you will be laughed at because I'm sure SOMEONE will be taping this on their iPhone and put it on YouTube. Would you let a bear come up and sniff your baby? Would you? (If you answered yes, you should have your kids taken away.) If you answered no, then you  have to assume SHE doesn't want YOU checking out her baby. A) They are probably lost since hello- they are just getting around after hibernation B) They are probably looking for food and stuff. I know that they are more scared of us but still. Don't rely on that when you standing 3 feet from a baby cub. Idiots.

3. If you are going to ignore the law (as of December 2010) that you cannot text while driving, please at least pretend to care about me as you almost side swipe me. And don't give me the finger when I'm clearly in my lane and you are very clearly raping the center line and ass fucking my lane. It's not ok and when I honk like a maniac don't call me a bitch. Because you Mr. Audi driving while texting on your BlackBerry need to stay in your fucking lane asshole.

4. If you are at say... a craft store, and you are buying two items? It does not mean it's ok for you to cut in front of me and my 8 items. No. I don't really give a fuck if you have two items. I don't care if your ice cream is melting in the car. You should have thought about long lines before you went ice cream shopping, moron. Not only do I not care, but neither does the 5 people behind me, who have been waiting for the slowest cashier in the world.

5. And if you are the slowest cashier in the world? You should not be a cashier if you don't know the value of coins. Do they not teach that in school anymore? When I give you a quarter, I expect you to know that is $.25, not a $.15. Because this may surprise you, slowest cashier in the world, but the United States doesn't have a coin with a value of $.15. We also don't have a coin that's worth $.55 and I don't care what color you think that coin is. (Yes, this actually happened tonight and a manager had to explain it to her because she didn't believe me.)

6. Then after that I stopped at Wendy's for a chicken sandwich with no mayo and a small coke. Do you know what they said???? "Why don't you want mayo?" Um, DOES IT FUCKING MATTER???? I'm having a debate through a drive thru intercom with some punk. So I get to the window and the kid seems angry that I don't want mayo because "who can eat a chicken sandwich without mayo? It's kind of messed up." Seriously.

I need to just not leave my house for the rest of the night, even though I have a lot of errands to do yet today. They will all wait because I can't take any more. I'm at my max for the day. I think we'd have less serial killers if they just learned when to stop going out in public. I'm hoping that works for me. At least for today.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Not one, but TWO winners. And other random crap that might entertain you.

I have two winners to announce before I forget.

The winner of April's Box of Awesome, Random, and Meaningless Shit is...

Aw.. wasn't that nice? That was supposed to go up last night but because YouTube hates me... it's going up today. Yell at them, not me.

Next up we have the winner of the book The Peach Keeper which I'm doing via Random Number do hickey because I don't have it in me to do a vlog today and deal with YouTube's bullshit.

True Random Number Generator

Min: 1
Max: 11

(You'll notice that I couldn't get the fancy box. Sorry.)

LynC is the winner and I shall try to contact you.

Winners can also email me at sarastrand9438(at)hotmail(dot)com if you are super excited to get your stuff right now because I'm mailing on Friday and yeah. I'd like to not make multiple trips to the post office, just this week. :)

A few weeks ago I got an unexpected but awesome package from a blog reader, Danielle, and it was full of funky socks and scrapbook stuff. This girl knows the way to my heart. I realized I never shared the goodie box, so here it is. I love MAIL people.
Then at the All Time Low concert I got a lot of awesome people watching in, even if the show kind of sucked. Sadly, some of my pictures didn't come out very well so I only have two to share. First up is the guy with almost no shoe.
 Now, the white part is not his shoe- it's his sock. I recognize that the price of good shoes is insane. I know this, and I know that being a broke college student you have to make sacrifices. But to broke college students everywhere- I am begging you to just not drink for one weekend and save that money for quality foot wear. What if it rains? You may as well be barefoot. What if you have to run from a herd of buffalo? Your shoes will flap in the wind and leave you to be trampled. Living in the Midwest I know that a herd of buffalo is maybe possible. If not buffalo, surely it could be cows. Or goats.

So yes. This poor asshole wasn't the only one- there were LOTS of people with shoes falling apart. It's an epidemic.

The next message is for chunky girls everywhere. Bitches- I know you want to be hot like the skinny girls. I know it. I'm right there with you. I know even you need some loving too and often times you're trolling for a man. I get it. But you know what isn't cute? Chunky girls in stiletto heels. Stiletto heels are not made for you, chunky girl. The pick of that heel is not made to accommodate that much weight. It just can't. There is a lot of physics and math involved but to make it simple- do not wear these if you are able to shop at Lane Bryant.

Otherwise you will fall on your ass at a concert and have to sit like an asshole on the stairs with ice from the bar and have bouncers carry you out. Like this girl.
 You can't see it but she clearly has sad face. You'll notice she's alone too. She came with a few friends, we saw them while standing in line. But I think it's just human nature and certainly survival of the fittest for us to not want to associate with assholes. You might just get lumped into the stereotype because you're hanging with the person.

I knew this girl was going to be a hot mess because she was easily a size 16 (no shame in that, I can't ever speak to it because I've been in those pants. Not literally, but you know what I mean.) and she's wearing a romper. Now, this is another post coming up but I hate rompers. This particular romper was very short and I saw the edge of (what I hope) to be a full pair of panties. It's just not OK, America. It's not OK.

But yes, chunky girl fell and hurt her ankle and was forced to sit on the sidelines while her friends (who the one was definitely a butter face with unfortunate feet. Wearing flip flops to a concert. Unspeakable.) had fun and tried trolling for men. Unsuccessful but amen for effort.

Anyways. So yes. Those were things I wanted to share yesterday but forgot until I saw the pictures in my folder this morning. :)

Congratulations to the winners, wear proper shoes, and avoid rompers.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

All Time Low concert. With a not so super review.

You may remember that last Thursday I was going to the All Time Low concert with my sister in law. Oh yes, it's all coming back to you know. So here are some pictures and my honest review.

First, our drive down was pretty easy. We stopped for gas in Pine City and saw this sign. We both felt that this is what your poop would look like after eating one.
OK. So we get to the venue early and the first two things we notice are: A) we are way older than everyone around us and B) we are not emo enough. We waited in line in the cold for about two hours and once we got inside I was so numb. I wore capris and a short sleeve shirt because hello- I almost melted the last time I was at First Avenue. Anyways.

The first band to play was the Summer Set. Now, I liked their music for the most part so I was kind of excited to see them. The sad part is that they kind of suck live. I didn't get into the music at all and felt like maybe they didn't want to be there. I look over and realize I'm standing right next to a ten year old boy who is like, losing his shit, over this band. I felt kind of sad for him? Because this band was sucking. And for how young the crowd was, I was super disappointed in all of the bands for being so vulgar. Normally I don't care but the fact that this crowd was comprised of mostly under 17 year old kids and their chaperones, I felt like it wasn't really ok.
Second band to play was Hey Monday. I have their sign song EP and kind of like it, but they are the newest band to me in that night's line up. They also weren't that great. So much so that I was even debating on just leaving the show. This band hails from Florida and so clearly want to be the next Paramore. I've seen Paramore in concert before and this singer (and band) have nothing on Paramore. They need to find their own niche because what they have going isn't working for me.
 The third band to play was Yellowcard. Now, I am not a big Yellowcard fan but I do like a lot of their music. Kate (my sister in law) is a pretty big fan so she was excited to see them. Honestly though? They aren't very good live. I have seen better cover bands than this and I was pretty damn disappointed. I have a big thing that if they don't sound like they do on their record... I lose respect and interest. Which sucks because I liked their new single.
 Soon after Yellowcard started Kate wanted to go sit down. Keep in mind, by this point she had been awake for 37 hours since she didn't get much sleep two nights before, had to work overnight, got to my house at 6 am, tried fixing a hair dye job gone horribly wrong until we left around 11am. So the poor girl was a bit delirious. Obviously the few bar stools they have in there were taken so we had to settle for the filthy stairwell leading up to the balcony area. It was gross, but sitting down was nice. AND we realized we could still see everything really well.
 And the most important thing? Drinking enough water so you aren't delirious and dehydrated on the very long car ride home.
 But Yellowcard was so shitty that I spent a good portion of that set admiring my favorite concert shoes. I really love these shoes.
 OK. So then All Time Low came on and I was fully prepared for a shit set because everything else sucked and so it would only be a fitting way to cap off an extremely long day. But no.

All Time Low are AMAZING live.
They are super funny, super inappropriate and are just really talented. Of all of the bands I have ever seen.. I would say that their crowd interaction has been the best I have ever seen. Hands down. I think they told they audience nobody leaves without being fingered, then people threw bras up and they wore them on their heads or microphone stands, they were just really lively and most importantly- sounded fantastic live.

I had a really great time just watching their show, but one of the highlights was an acoustic version of Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" and then they morphed that into their song "Therapy" which is kind of an iconic song for me.

So overall, the show was really shitty until All Time Low came on. They did a really great job and made me not completely regret the money I spent on the ticket and gas to get there. :)

TOMORROW I have two giveaway winners to announce. :) Come back lovahs.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Fickle Fattie.. Weightloss Check In

I am seriously sluggish and feel like embracing the inner whale of a fat girl that so desperately wants to be free.

Some days, I feel like working my ass off is getting me nowhere and frankly? I saw an article about liposuction and something kind of like liposuction but it's non surgical and it's like vibrating do da's zapping your fat. And I seriously feel like that'd be the way to go.

If I were rich.

Anyways. So despite my wanting to be more productive, exercise wise, this week.... I have yet again failed you. No bueno. I have been doing random stuff when I had time, but let's be honest. It was far and few between.

I'm also sucking ass at my diet. I ate out a lot, I munched on everything I could get my hands on and yeah. I sucked.

BUT this weekend I really could feel how two weeks of slacker ways add up. Not only did I feel like a fat ass, the clothes that were looking good a month ago.... not so much. I could be doing better and I need to be. So last night I found some exercises I can do without equipment, and did my stairstepper. Tonight I went for a walk/run for 30 minutes and my legs are hurting for sure.

So I'm trying. Next week is the first Monday of the month so that means it's our for sure WEIGH IN (yes, even you fattie non-posters! You need to weigh in too) and I will try to get some pictures up for you too. As terrifying as that is since hey- I've been a slacker.

And so a few weeks ago I mentioned was going to start implementing vitamins into my diet because I eat like shit. I've been told by a few people that Vitamin D is awesome for all kinds of things but a side benefit is that some people experience weight loss.

So.. I started with Vitamin D. I'm only taking like 800 IU's or whatever the measurement is (each pill is 400, and I take two) daily and have been for two weeks. And let me tell you- I'm FUCKING EXHAUSTED. I have been so tired that I can barely function some days and have been for the last two weeks. It wasn't until I realized that the only thing that's changed is the Vitamin D did I start thinking that vitamins are killing me. Maybe I'm just so malnourished that any kind of progress towards being healthier is such a shock. I seriously can't tell you how awful I feel. I also am pretty sure that once again, I'm borderline anemic so I think I have to start iron supplements again. Fortunately, I'm one of the rare people who have no pooping problems with copious amounts of iron.

Because I'm sure you care about that.

But yeah. I think vitamins are killing me. I'm going to start prenatal pills again on payday because those made me feel super energetic. But then again I'm sure I would feel that way once I was knocked up and sluggish. So who knows. But it's worth a try.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

I'm not dead... just a little MIA. Kind of.

Dudes. I've had a BUSY weekend. Seriously. I know I missed Dear Sara, I know I haven't done an All Time Low concert update, I know I don't have Easter shit up yet. I KNOW.

I'm working on it.

I have winners for my Random Box of Shit giveaway happening tomorrow, Wednesday is the winner announcement for a book. I have hardly been at home and oh yeah- I think Vitamin D is killing me. More on that.. tomorrow.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Peach Keeper + GIVEAWAY

I'm going to be honest- peaches kind of freak me out. Peaches have that weird fuzzy fur on it, and in my experience you should just stay away from things covered in fuzzy fur. It's just a life lesson that has served me well.

But with that said- this is a good read. I really liked it. I have seen on a few other blogs or on Good Reads that people are pretty mixed about it, but I don't care. I think it is a good book and you should read it. It's only 288 pages so psh- that's a day of reading for me peeps.

It’s the dubious distinction of thirty-year-old Willa Jackson to hail from a fine old Southern family of means that met with financial ruin generations ago. The Blue Ridge Madam—built by Willa’s great-great-grandfather during Walls of Water’s heyday, and once the town’s grandest home—has stood for years as a lonely monument to misfortune and scandal. And Willa herself has long strived to build a life beyond the brooding Jackson family shadow. No easy task in a town shaped by years of tradition and the well-marked boundaries of the haves and have-nots. But Willa has lately learned that an old classmate—socialite do-gooder Paxton Osgood—of the very prominent Osgood family, has restored the Blue Ridge Madam to her former glory, with plans to open a top-flight inn. Maybe, at last, the troubled past can be laid to rest while something new and wonderful rises from its ashes. But what rises instead is a skeleton, found buried beneath the property’s lone peach tree, and certain to drag up dire consequences along with it.

For the bones—those of charismatic traveling salesman Tucker Devlin, who worked his dark charms on Walls of Water seventy-five years ago—are not all that lay hidden out of sight and mind. Long-kept secrets surrounding the troubling remains have also come to light, seemingly heralded by a spate of sudden strange occurrences throughout the town. Now, thrust together in an unlikely friendship, united by a full-blooded mystery, Willa and Paxton must confront the dangerous passions and tragic betrayals that once bound their families—and uncover truths of the long-dead that have transcended time and defied the grave to touch the hearts and souls of the living. Resonant with insight into the deep and lasting power of friendship, love, and tradition, The Peach Keeper is a portrait of the unshakable bonds that—in good times and bad, from one generation to the next—endure forever.

Ok so that's a rather lengthy description of the book that gives you a good idea of what it's about. Now, I feel like the title makes it sound like fluffy BFF's forever with matching bracelets type of story. And honestly? I didn't feel like it was. I mean, I kind of don't like stories like that? Where the girls end the story holding hands on a porch swing. Call me cynical but BLECH.

Anyways. The story goes quickly, I really liked the characters. Usually, there's a character I can't stand and I feel like slapping them? But I can say I actually liked them all in different ways. I was rooting for Willa and Colin and then Paxton and Sebastian. The mystery behind the bones at the Blue Ridge Madam is really interesting especially if you take in the context of what time period it would have happened it- the very beginning of The Depression. And then the sub plots of the relationships between the two couples kept me reading.

In all, I was satisfied and I would recommend this book as a good summer read.

And if you really, really want it.... COMMENT on this post to be entered to win your very own copy of The Peach Keeper. You must be a follower through GFC, though. Obviously. ;) Good luck!! Drawing will be held on Wednesday, April 27.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

So my aging well has been proven to be a lie. Proven by me, on accident.

So, the other day I was emailing a friend about random crap as usual and I decided to attach a picture of Matt and I from back in the day. And by "back in the day" I mean 2002 when we started dating.

And also from this email I decided that I will do a post about our first date which is tragic and hilarious. And proof that I am a much better person than some people think I am.


So I sent my friend this picture of Matt and I. We started dating in January and then moved into our apartment in July. I was 20 and he was almost 22.
 Look how young and fresh faced we were! And skinny. Holy man. But at the time, we were so broke. SO BROKE. If our paychecks were $500 each on pay day we were living the high life. Never mind we were barely paying our rent at $425/month which was a steal compared to how nice our apartment was. Oh man.. we were so broke. I remember a good dinner was when we could have a real sandwich versus hotdogs cubed up onto Ritz crackers. And not even brand name hotdogs and Ritz... it was the store generic. And holy shit they were disgusting. I think we ate dinner maybe 2 or 3 times a week? Yeah. So I was obviously maintaining a size 8 no problem and then went up to a size 10. Anyways. But look at how great we looked.

Then let's fast forward to.. 2010. This was the first picture I could find of us within about a year. I'm obviously not very good at taking out picture anymore. But yeah. I feel like we're looking a bit rough. Not to mention we've both gained weight. HA! This was... March 2010 when we were in Chicago for the Muse concert. This picture was actually taken in Gino's East Pizzeria in downtown Chicago-- great food if you're ever in the area.
But man. Every day I get up to look at my face and every day I think holy fuck. I'm aging. I never really thought I'd notice myself aging and now I know why women freak out. It creeps up on you and all of a sudden it's like bam- hello wrinkles. Hello weird dark circles under my eyes. And oh my fucking god-- are those crow's feet? For real?

So here's my questions for my female lambwhore readers. Because I know a lot of you are much older than me so have been down this path before.

1. How do you deal with aging? Like, do you have any advice for me not to freak out?
2. Failing that, do you know of any creams that work for dark circles under my eyes? Or laugh lines. Seriously. My makeup isn't doing it and I'm having shortness of breath from oncoming anxiety attacks in the morning.

Granted, I know a lot of people say I look younger than 29 but wow. As I've been looking at pictures the last few days I'm noticing more and more what life does to your face. And I don't tan, I stay out of the sun, I drink water, I'm probably malnourished, but man. And then I was trying to find out when it changed... but it's just slow and steady. So yeah. That's such a weird thing I really didn't think I'd have to worry about for another few years at least.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Promise Not to Tell

Ok kidlets and lambwhores- I have a good book for you, yes I do. When I saw this come up as a book tour option I jumped on it right away because I have heard a lot of good things about it and about the author, Jennifer McMahon.

Promise Not To Tell by Jennifer McMahon
Promise Not to Tell: A Novel
Forty-one-year-old school nurse Kate Cypher has returned home to rural Vermont to care for her mother who’s afflicted with Alzheimer’s. On the night she arrives, a young girl is murdered—a horrific crime that eerily mirrors another from Kate’s childhood. Three decades earlier, her dirt-poor friend Del—shunned and derided by classmates as “Potato Girl”—was brutally slain. Del’s killer was never found, while the victim has since achieved immortality in local legends and ghost stories. Now, as this new murder investigation draws Kate irresistibly in, her past and present collide in terrifying, unexpected ways. Because nothing is quite what it seems . . . and the grim specters of her youth are far from forgotten.

Now. Right off the bat I will tell you this is a murder mystery that you have no idea how or where it will end up. Clocking in at 250 pages total Jennifer does a fantastic job at getting a story to you with so much depth, so many things to think about, the suspense of a good mystery and overall enjoyment of a book done in so few pages.

If you want an example of bullying gone wrong this is for you. If you want a story about the resilience of children this book is for you. If you want a story about how past choices can lead to a future of regrets and "what ifs" this book is for you. This is probably one of the most interesting books I have read in awhile as far as characters.
Del Griswold, aka Potato Girl, is messed up. Had she lived in the real world she'd probably end up becoming a serial killer prostitute in truck stops. But it isn't towards the end when the pieces of the mystery come together that you realize why she was the way she was and it's sad but you know that in real life, it's probably all too familiar. Kate is like a lot of us, too intimidated to stand up for what is right because usually that means you'll be the recipient of the bad behavior, she's a victim of the mob mentality, but it comes at the cost of the life of her best friend.

Although the material in the book is pretty mature considering you have the murders of young women which are fairly gruesome and the other adult topics throughout.. this is one of those books that I would encourage teenagers to read. I would be really interested in what they thought about it in perspective of their own lives at school. What I really enjoyed about this book was that I could relate to both Del and Kate. I have been in both positions and neither one was a good place to be. It is such a great example of the innocence of children taken away by adults, and how their spirit is damaged by peers, often with a tragic ending.

It's just a really good book and I really encourage you to read it. The book copyright is 2007 so it should be available at your local libraries, but most certainly at any book store. You can see other reviews of this book here or check out the author's website here.

Weightloss Check In. Click here if you want to shame someone.

Seriously folksy polksy.. I have failed you.

I think I maybe only worked on one day last week? And I say maybe because I can't even remember what I did last week and I don't feel I can commit to saying I worked out for a day. I can literally come up with an amazing list of excuses.. but I won't. But I will admit to saying that the concert last week kicked my ass. I woke up the next feeling hung over just from being SO tired. And honestly? I still don't feel recovered which is bad news bears since I have another concert this Thursday.

*kicking my own ass*

So obviously my goal this week is to suck less because that's key. I can't go two weeks of sucking ass. I just can't. My morale is down, bitches and hoes. Down.

BUT last night I got on the fuckmill and it felt good to just work at it. I really need to get going on this. I realized that on my 30/30 list is "wear a bikini" and that means this summer folks. You won't catch my ass in a bikini in the winter. Ever. And if we're being honest, my body is nowhere near bikini ready. No where. Not even remotely close. *sigh*

I'm not going to end this post in Debbie Downer fashion though. I know I said I'd give you tummy pictures but yeah.. I forgot until right after supper when I'm all full from the one taco I had. Seriously. ONE taco. Six months ago this would have been 6 but the fact I can eat just one and not die is a big deal. Anyways. So.. I'll try to get those to you later this week or next Monday.

In the meantime, I have leg pictures. Which... aren't as exciting but I think I'm seeing improvement. So let's see a "before" picture of my legs... circa October 2009. When I began my whole weight loss thing in January 2010 they were a smidge bigger.
You'll notice my thighs were... substantial. And if you squint you can see my tattoo on my thigh. Anyways. So, compared to my adorable cousin Rhonda, I'm a fat ass beached whale who hadn't seen the sun in years. But I love the swimsuit, which no longer fits. But I might just buy another one in a smaller size because it was THAT great. Anyways. The important thing to note here is that when standing, my thighs touched from the very top all the way down to my knees. Like, there was no gap.

Behold... yesterday.
These look like a normal person's legs. My calves feel pretty toned/muscular enough to be sexy, not manly. But my thighs? Well hot fucking damn there is a gap! And while this is a good thing that I marvel at every time I look in the mirror, I am still pissed that at the top, they touch. It drives me nuts. In a swimsuit, besides my stomach I feel like that one little flaw is an eye sore. Granted, I'm probably the only person who notices it or cares, but it still bothers me. So while the number on the scale doesn't really move anymore it's things like this that I'm using as my guide.

So yes. I'm trying. Hard. Starting now. Again. :/

Sunday, April 17, 2011

If I don't say it now, I may ultimately kill someone.

Let me start by saying that my family is fabulous. (At least 85% of the time.) And I want it made clear that Matt is a really hard worker. He works a lot of hours, he puts up with my non stop "can we get a sheep? How about a goat? Just think of the possibilities of a llama!" questioning that he takes day in and day out. The fact that he's survived being with me for this long is a testament to either his absolute patience or lack of hearing. And maybe it's both.

And my kids are super. They are smart, they are funny, they are lively, they are imaginative. These are all good things.

Now that we've moved on from the disclaimer, let's move on to the things that are putting me on the brink of becoming an alcoholic this weekend:
  • I am currently on load 13 of laundry. I am really sick and fucking tired of doing laundry. Now, yesterday I was almost caught up. If I finish it, I'm taking a picture of the empty hampers. But right before bed Matt "cleaned out his Jeep" (more on that) and brings me seriously, two loads of super filthy sweatshirts, shirts, and things I think were pants at one point. TWO LOADS. Which is what I'm doing tomorrow. Why can't he bring them in every day??
  • His Jeep is disgusting. I know it's his vehicle and it's not the nicest thing on the block, but seriously. I won't even ride in it because the smell is awful and your feet rests on garbage. All kinds of garbage. He's like a hoarder- but in his vehicle. Even the kids complain about Daddy picking them up because it is dirty. Now, when a 5 and 3 year old complain about a mess? You know you have a problem.
  • After doing laundry, folding it, organizing it, I make Olivia put her own clothes away. She's 5 and more than capable. I go in there this morning, and I see she balled everything up and shoves it in. Doesn't even open the drawer all the way. *sigh*. So I get to refold everything. Again.
  • Then I go to put Jackson's stuff away. Matt put some away last night, so that was nice. Jackson's top drawer is his sock/underwear drawer. And if anyone remembers the tour of my house, you'll remember that I like things neat and tidy. I have systems. Easy systems. His drawer is organized as such: unmatched socks to the left, underwear in the middle, paired socks on the right. Easy. Except nobody gets this but me. NOBODY. Not even Matt, my 30 year old husband who is familiar with my crazy and my systems.
  • Matt has this annoying habit of breaking the bar of soap in half. I don't think there has ever been a time when he hasn't done this.
  • When I go grocery shopping, I often go alone. I leave Matt here with the kids and I have never been gone for more than an hour. I'm usually in and out because I hate doing it, so on average, it's about 30 minutes I'm gone. Every single fucking time I come home, Matt locks the door. WHY? Why, jeebus, why? He knows I'm going to be right back loaded with bags. He knows that our door lock sucks shit so you need to hands to use it. He always falls asleep knowing I won't even be gone for an hour. Why. Then he never understands why I'm so pissed off when I'm trying to get the door unlocked, swearing on my front porch, loaded down with bags because I have small porch and if I set them down they all knock over into the grass or sidewalk.
  • Why is when I say "stop running", my kids still run. Why is it that they think I should feel sympathetic when *surprise* they were running and either trip on something, run into each other, or slam into a wall? I'm sorry. I just can't. Especially after I've been saying the "stop running right now!!!" bit for awhile. I'm a bad mom.
  • Why is Batman chewing qtips and leaving them on the floor for me to step on and feel like I've stabbed myself each and every morning?
  • Why is it that when I ask Matt to get the stroller out of the garage for me, he gets pissy and "forgets"? It's not like I can go and get it because the garage is an episode straight out of Hoarders and even if I could get in there, there is no way I can move enough stuff to get the fucking stroller out. But instead, I will go wherever it is I'm going without the stroller, wish I had it the entire time, and then yell at Matt when I get home.
  • And then?? When I tried to sit down last night to get ideas on what he wants to do when we are in Vegas because I'm trying to plan... I get the "whatever" routine. Really? Because when I say "whatever" to something he asks, he gets pissy.
  • Pet Peeve 256476: when he stands behind me when I'm on the computer. I hate being watched, and he's just curious. I think this is his way to be interested in what I'm doing, but it's annoying as fuck. He just stands here and I have to usually say "please go away" and then he gets mad because I don't want to spend time with him. You're right. I don't really fucking feel like watching Antiques Roadshow. Or Pawn Stars. Or Holmes on Homes.
Oh help me baby jeebus. I clearly need to get back onto anti depressants or something. It's like every.single.thing this weekend is sending me over the edge. Then? This morning? I'm taking Jackson and Olivia to see the Easter Bunny and then we also have Jackson's 3 year old pictures and Olivia's 5 1/2 year pictures because I forgot to do those in September. Well, really I was too broke. But I'm going to do them now. Anyways. So I leave the kids unattended for a few minutes so I could pee and brush my teeth, and guess who has marker all over his hands and face? Jackson.


Friday, April 15, 2011

Dear Sara: Misconceptions or Motherhood?

Can you believe it's Friday already? I'm glad. I have a low key weekend planned but still... it's nice to be Friday.

Lots of questions this week, and I have a bit of a part two coming.. more on that when it happens. (That's my way of teasing your virtual nipple) But let's get to this week's questions:

1. Do you have a theme song? Um, no. OK, so that's not true. I have a lot of songs that I listen to that are "my song". But one that recently came to my attention by one of my favorite friends is a song called "Sarah Smiles" by Panic! At the Disco. I love it. I can't get enough of this cd (going to be in a top ten list of best albums this year for sure) or this song:

2. How do you read blogs? Do you use Google Reader? Do you group them? Well, I use Google Reader because it's built in and I'm essentially a pretty lazy person. I also read them in the order in which they come up. I don't always comment but please know I'm reading. I try so very hard to comment on as much as I possibly can. I do. I don't get to my blogs every night but I try to catch up. But certainly, if you have a post you really want me to read- email me a link and I'll jump to that one first. :)

3. What do you do when you're bored? I will either read, scrapbook, or watch True Blood. I have weird things that make me happy and one of those things? Reading dirty romance novels. So if all fails, I'll pull out one of my favorites, "All The Queen's Men" by Linda Howard. Um, yeah. That book makes me want a black ops agent as a boy toy. Mmmm...

4. What's your favorite pickup line? Truth- I don't know that many? Truth- I've never had one used on me. Which surprises even me because I usually have guys trying to pick me up when I go places but they've all been pretty upfront. Like, one guy was like, "I'm not interested in dating, but how do you feel about casual sex?" Well, ok then. I guess it's refreshing to have a person totally upfront and honest I suppose.

5. Have you ever had a pedicure? Yes, but only once. It's a splurge that I can't always justify. But I really loved it and I'd like to make it a regular thing if I could.

6. I'm a white girl and I'm thinking about getting extensions. If I do, will you laugh when I tell you about mah weave??? huh, Homie? First off- those look really fucking painful. I've seen enough America's Next Top Model to know that I couldn't do it. But if you get them, make sure your weave doesn't look like Britney Spears'. Because her hair looked jacked up and that's never ok. :)

7. Does your husband have a "routine' the does when he wants to have sex? Maybe it's the "we've been married almost 18 years thing" but sex is no longer spontaneous around here. I can now tell when my husband is "in the mood" when he shaves and spends more than 3 minutes in the shower. How sad is that? Part of me wants to just go run and hide when he does this. Like him being in the mood (after not really even talking to me for days) should automatically get me turned on and ready to give it up. Do you think this is messed up? What would you do? I'll start by telling you I have been married to Matt going on 7 years in June. I know that when he shaves it means he wants to have sex. This is something I learned during the second week we were dating. I don't know if sex is ever truly spontaneous. Most people try to "prep" before they have sex and that's either shaving your legs, your lady bits, showering, putting on sexy underwear, whatever. So one hand- points that he's still shaving and showering for you, right? But the problem doesn't sound so much that he's doing these things, but more that you don't really want to have sex. I'm a big believer with being upfront and open about sex. Sex is a big deal in any relationship because if it's not working there, it's not working in other areas. And vice versa. If you really don't like your partner- you aren't having good sex and everyone should be.

So here's what you have to do. You have to figure out what the issue is. It's not the sex, it sounds more like communication. If he isn't talking to you for days- that's a problem. Guys aren't very communicative as it is and women are. So you need to sit him down and tell him that you need him to talk to you more. To act like he loves you and looks forward to seeing you. Tell him you are not a sex toy, you are not a blow up doll. Let him know that what is happening (or not) right now isn't working for you. It's hard work to be honest and open but you have to otherwise it'll all go to hell and you'll be faking headaches or your period. And let's face it- you can't fake a period forever. :)

BUT you also need to ask him if there is something that you can be doing better. And make a compromise. I don't think there is anything wrong with scheduled sex. In fact, that can be hot. Knowing all week that Saturday is sex night is awesome. You have the entire week to look forward to it, to make it a game. If you don't work at a relationship it falls apart. It's hard work to keep it alive and to keep both people interested and attracted to each other.

And finally....

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Because some of you have sent demanding emails...

... I will tell you about Jackson's party. Dang folks. Today ALONE I got three emails saying things like, "Where the fuck is your post about Jackson's party? Is he still alive?"


OK. So because I did a "big" party for Olivia when she turned 3, for no reason other than the fact I got a good deal, I had to do something "big" for Jackson on his 3rd. Because I'm a bit OCD and I have a thing about being even with the kids. So I decided we'd have a party at the Duluth Children's Museum because it was $200 for 25 adults and 15 kids, the room, and the staff to do a craft with the kids.
 And I can do a lot of things, but baking a cake is not one of them. My baking skills are limited to cupcakes or 9x13 sheet cakes. Anything beyond that and it's best just to order it. So I did.
 And then you couldn't have helium balloons, so I bought regular. Which were lame ass because all they did was sit on the floor and I didn't realize how lame ass they would look. So yeah. Here's Olivia modeling her missing tooth and a lame ass balloon.
 And then I had my mom clothes, hair and makeup going on because I was being a wholesome mom that day. :) But those earrings were ones I got from a blog reader.
 Jackson really liked having a bunch of people sing Happy Birthday to him.
 Oh! And the museum staff do a craft with the kids, and you get to pick out of a huge list of projects. As soon as I saw "lick and stick" pictures I knew I had to go with that. Because my kids? Lick everything. They are compulsive lickers and I'm pretty sure they got that from me. I remember my brother used to collect baseball and football cards. Well, he had this special spot he'd stick valuable ones and I'd grab one when he wasn't looking... and yeah. I'd basically hold it saying, "I'm gonna lick it!!" until he cried. It was like a really fucked up hostage situation and he'd get SO MAD at me and I did it just to make him mad.

Anyways. So my kids licked and sticked like their life depended on it. And in case you're wondering- it tasted like postage stamps did when you had to lick them. And yes, I licked to try it out.
 We didn't have much "party" because I wanted everyone to go out into the museum and play. Which we all did and it was a ton of fun. And it worked out because as kids started having meltdowns people could just leave when they wanted to. Anyways. The bonus was that they asked me if I wanted freebie tickets for everyone to get into the train museum, and so I jumped at the chance. Normally you don't get that with the birthday parties and there was some kind of mix up and so we got them. SO everybody got to go into that museum and see all the trains and train equipment.

You can go up into some of the trains (which was really very cool, and some of the cars were TINY and the sign said in some cases you'd have 2-3 workers in there at a time. Hello, claustrophobia.) and it was just a cool experience. Jackson only sat in the conductor seat for a few seconds until he realized how high up he was.
 And then me and my boy. I was able to find a dinosaur shirt for him (since it was a dino themed party) that says "I'm not small- I'm fun size". Adorable.
But MAN ALIVE. I was so effing exhausted afterwards. I was literally running all over two museums after my kids, other people's kids, trying to find Matt, but yes. I was tired. I went to bed at 7:30 because I just couldn't stay up any longer. The party was from 1:30-4:30 and wow. We ended up having two hours in the museum and it's a lot to see and do.

But... another year down. Olivia's birthday is in September and she wants to do something fun too. It's her golden birthday so I'm not sure- do people do something special for that? I have no idea since I never had anything like that on my birthday.. so ideas? Anybody? Help a mama out! :)

The Hunchback of Neiman Marcus

If you are looking for a quick read, this is your book. I finished this baby in just around six hours and you too, can be a rock star.

Celebrated YA novelist Sonya Sones makes a HUGE splash with her first adult novel, The Hunchback of Neiman Marcus, spinning a funny, fierce, and piercingly honest coming-of-middle-age story about falling apart and putting yourself back together. Nora Ephron’s I Feel Bad About My Neck meets Elizabeth Berg—boldly original and endlessly enthralling—in Sones’s unique creation of seamless narrative written in free verse. The Hunchback of Neiman Marcus is a luminous, brilliantly told story of life, marriage, and parenthood that you will not soon forget.

Now, had I not read that description, I would not have known Sonya Sones is a YA novelist. I would have to say, for this being my first book by her, she made the jump from YA easily.

What's also interesting is that this book is not like a regular novel, it's not written in chapter form. It's a series of poems. Yes, poems. No, it's not boring or annoying. It makes it a fast read, so for those of you who are slow readers or don't like reading the same book for awhile, please check this book out.

Basically the book is about Holly, her husband, and her daughter who is about to go off to college. Holly is a writer, her husband an artist, and her daughter is a good kid with lots to look forward to in her future. Holly is also experiencing the very beginnings of menopause, writer's block, facing empty-next syndrome, worried about having to live with her husband without the daughter as a constant topic and/or companion and oh yeah- her mother (who lives far away) is having lots of health issues. It's funny, it's honest, it reads like it's a real life diary of someone you know. Maybe it's you.

"The good news is that he'll probably
be able to alleviate her pain
and maybe even reverse her symptoms

if he gives her
enough steroids
to kill an elephant.

The bad news is that taking
such megadoses of steroids might cause
my mother to experience "roid rage"."

And that's exactly how it's written. It's fast, it's to the point, but it paints a picture that most novelists take pages to describe. More people would be readers, I'm sure, if writers didn't kill us with details that don't matter.

"You are old
if before you head off
on your morning run

you find yourself
tucking your husband's
cell phone number into your pocket

so that the paramedics
will know
who to call."

I think a lot of us can relate to that! And this one? Made me think of my Weightloss Monday groupies:

To the one-pound bag of oreos I just bought:

It's so sad
to think

that just moments
from now

will be gone

and I'll
be a cow.

You get the picture. The book is funny and I feel like a lot of women especially can and will relate. AND, if you have already been through your kids leaving home then you will enjoy this, because it showcases what it's like for mothers during the senior year of high school when the day of doom is looming. It's a great read to bring on a plane, to the beach, to the park, wherever because you'll probably finish it in just a few hours. Promise.

In the meantime, see what other people said about this book HERE, check out Sonya's website HERE, or her Facebook page HERE.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Another concert in the books.

Well last night was the My Chemical Romance concert in Minneapolis and it was really good. Like... so good I still feel hung over even though I don't drink. It seriously kicked my ass and I'm feeling my age today.. let's put it that way.

But you want a review and pictures don't you lambwhores?? Well ok. I suppose.

So here is my sis in law Kate and me before everything started. With my old camera I could work it like no other, but this new one?? Yeah. It's all tricky and has fancy do hickeys and it took me 7 tries to figure out to turn the fucking flash on so it would work in say... a dark nightclub. *Genius*
 And then we had an extra ticket we couldn't get rid of. I seriously called every person I knew that might be able to go locally, then I plastered it on my Facebook for two days. Thankfully, a friend from high school *just happened* to see it on FB and said she would gladly take a free concert ticket. (For all of you who decided maybe you didn't want to go... you missed out. And Renee got to have the fun time you could have had).
OK. So the first band to play were the Architects. Now, I only know them in passing. I don't own anything from them and basically knew like two songs. They are a mix of rock-alternative-punk. Loud and fast, basically. They were ok.... but I don't know if I'd say I was a fan per say. Admittedly, all of their songs are about drugs or law enforcement (as they told the crowd) and it may have been the sound, but I couldn't understand a damn thing they sang.
 The second band was Neon Trees. Now, I wasn't impressed with their song "Animal" when it was on the radio. But then I got the cd and really loved the entire thing, even "Animal", which is weird. I have a better appreciation for the song once I heard the rest of the album. Anyways. They were EXCELLENT live and I really would like to see them do a full set.
 They even played my fav song of theirs "In the Next Room" which is SOOO good. I think I called my friend Matt and hopefully he heard it. :) But the lead singer is such a great performer. He was ALL over that stage and he worked hard for the money. The other thing I totally love is that he had a bit of a Tim Armstrong (singer of Rancid... a band every teenager should listen to at least once) thing going on. I have a thing for boys with mohawks and/or bald. Which coincidentally.. when my hubby shaved his head I wasn't impressed. So who knows. But punky boys... mmmm...

ANYWAYS. (*fanning myself*)

After Neon Trees came My Chemical Romance, who I've never seen live before so I was ubber excited. Kate has a bit of a crush on Gerard Way (the singer) and so she was super excited to see him, but more importantly.. this was her first REAL concert. Now, I was appalled that at age 25 she had never been to a real show outside of a college performance and as a die hard concert fan I couldn't let this continue. It's practically a social injustice. So I had to pop her concert cherry and that we did.

 And it was a great show. They basically played every favorite song of mine and then some. The crowd interaction was great, the crowd was amazing, and overall it was a fantastic concert. I pretty much lost my shit when they played "Mama" because omg... I love that song.
 We were probably some of the oldest people there, though. And to me it's weird because I don't feel old at all but yeah. When you are surrounded by teenagers with adult chaperone's.. you kind of stick out. But there was plenty of awesome people watching. First up there was a lady easily late 40's wearing a mini skirt that was um... pretty damn sheer for the bottom 1/3. *Please baby jeebus don't let that be me.* Then I noticed that a huge number of kids had the SAME My Chemical Romance shirt on. Seriously kids?? Did you all run to Hot Topic right after school and pick it up for the show? Did you? You badasses, you. And here's a hint- if you look like everybody else? You would be a conformist.
The other thing that should be noted was holy-fucking-god was it hot in there. I'm talking unbearable. Now, I like warm weather and I don't really sweat much. But yeah. I was fucking DRIPPING with sweat. Half way through Neon Trees I started feeling kind of woozy from the heat, and I had sweat dripping down my back. But the time we got to half way through MCR's set, my bra literally had a puddle in it, I had sweat dripping down my stomach into my pants, and the inside of my legs (clad in skinny jeans and knee high boots) were so wet I was worried it would look like I pissed myself.

Seriously- if it's that warm the beginning of April in there god fucking help me for the All Time Low show on April 21 and Death Cab for Cutie towards the end of May. Seriously. I might die. I'm also going to wear very little clothing to prevent heat stroke, self esteem be damned.

So yes. It was a great show, I'm glad that Kate got her first concert on, I'm glad Renee was able to grab the extra ticket and put it to good use, and I'm fucking tired. I barely made it home last night I was THAT tired. I am not a rock star. I don't know why I think I am but seriously. My days of driving 2.5 hours one way to a concert and back in the same night are numbered.

But Kate got some video, so if she gets it up on YouTube I'll let you guys get a little listen to it. :)

Don't forget.. I have my GIVEAWAY happening.. so sign up. Or be a loser.

AND.. if you have a question for Dear Sara.. hit me up bitches. sarastrand9438 (at) hotmail (dot) com. You can ask me a personal question or ask me for advice/opinions. I'm open.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Aw.. did you think I'd forget? GIVEAWAY TIME!

Oh you silly lambwhores. I bet you thought about me doing a giveaway every month until next March? Um, WRONG. This bitch is on top of shit and I have a day planner to prove it.

So, without further ado.... if you want to be included in the giveaway of a box of crazy and maybe awesome and for sure totally random stuff handpicked by ME...

-You must be a follower of my blog via GFC.
-You must comment on this post.

And if you want to be an absolute overachiever you can get extra entries by:
-Tweeting about this (send me a link)
-Putting it on your Facebook (send me a link)
-Or blog about it (send me a link)

OK. In other fabulous news. Tonight I will be at the My Chemical Romance concert in Minneapolis and I'm pretty damn excited about it. You have no effing idea how excited I am to jump like a maniac.

And I hope beyond hope they play this song. This is probably one of my Top 10 to sing/dance to. Mostly when I'm driving. I love the whole psychotic circus feel to it. Then the jam session around the 3 minute mark. Fantastic.

So it's going to be a good show. I'm excited. Also playing are the Architects which are ok, and then Neon Trees, who I totally love.

You have a good day and night my lovely lambwhores. ;)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Raw face, short pep talk... what's your progress?

I know I mention it in my short little vlog here- but GOOD JOB to those of you who have rejoined the Weightloss Challenge. If you are new to the blog and are interested in joining us, leave me a comment and I'll add you and your blog to my list. The list of players is on the right column... just scroll down a bit. If you are playing along, please visit the other blogs and leave words of encouragement or words such as "get off your ass and walk you moo cow" and things like that. Motivation and encouragement all in one.

So let's talk about me:

Successes & Good Things This Week: I drank a lot of water AND I got out and exercised 5 days over the last week. I can definitely feel and see a difference in my legs for sure and my stomach feels like it's getting smaller as well. I'm feeling good about my progress. Each walk/run has been three miles and I feel like even if I can't run a 5K this summer I can definitely walk it without looking like I'm going to die at the end.

Not So Great Things: Even though I'm running a mile, it feels like instead of getting easier it's getting harder and harder to run that mile. Now, I know I can do it because I've done it before. BUT I seriously feel like dying after doing half a mile. I don't know what my deal is. My right knee is also hurting some times. I know I'm not running too fast or pushing myself too hard but every once in awhile it's sore. I am wondering if the road I'm running on has something to do with it, because the side kind of slopes down on the right. And we don't really have sidewalks on the residential streets so I'm stuck with the road. I'm going to try running on the other side and see if that makes a difference.

Goals for this week: Keep up with my water. I have drastically reduced the amount of Pepsi/Coke I'm drinking so that's good. I also haven't eaten as much absolute shit lately so that's even better and I need to keep up with it. I am also going to at some point this week take a picture of several "areas" of me to show you how I've changed. The scale number isn't really moving but I am definitely noticing changes.

And since today was so nice out I went for my walk/run as soon as Matt came home. And yeah. Running in 65 degree weather is WAY different than 40 degree weather. I thought I was going to die. I have to figure out a game plan for this summer when it's way hotter than that. I can't run in the early morning hours (Matt goes to work at 4am) and I can't run at night (scared of the dark) so yeah. Late afternoon is where I'm at. Any suggestions??

So here's your pep talk. Sorry for my wet hair and no makeup. You'll live.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

New Stuff... and stuff.

I'm going to promote myself just a bit (because I can and I will) and then tell you about stuff happening.

So today I got a few Etsy shop things done and listed because I hadn't had time the previous week so here they are.

Tangerine Friendship set of 6 cards with envelopesWith Sympathy DuoEaster Duo Cards with Envelopes

From left to right: The Tangerine Friendship set of 6. I totally love this paper and the flowers so I made a set for myself. I have quite a few notes to write to some friends and so these will be awesome. Then my new thing is doing card duo's, so instead of a set of 6 and the lameness of only buying one... you get TWO cards. So I have my With Sympathy ones because I seem to be using a bunch personally, and then the Easter Duos. I know not everybody is into sending cards for Easter, but I totally am. And the reason I did Easter duos is so I could send Easter pictures of my kids to the grandparents.. genius, huh? I might not get Easter cards to everyone this year but I never forget the grandparents and great grandparents. And $3 for two homemade cards is a steal, people.

So go to my SHOP and buy stuff.

In other news... I have the My Chemical Romance/Neon Trees/the Architects concert happening on Tuesday. I don't know if I'll have a post for you or not since I'm leaving Superior way early. We'll see.

Saturday we had Jackson's birthday party at the Children's Museum, and I'll share pictures of that soon. He had an awesome time. I was kind of bummed out that over half of the people I invited didn't come. Now, on the RSVP I specifically put "regrets only" on there because I know people hate to RSVP. I don't know why because it's RUDE AS FUCK NOT TO (and any person who's ever hosted a party should know that). The other thing was that I am basically paying for these people to get into the museum... so if nothing else, it's a free day for you and your kids. Like... take me up on that offer homies. I don't know. I'm just getting annoyed with people not RSVP'ing. So when I say "regrets only" I assume that you are coming if I don't hear from you. It's just really annoying to plan something and then have people not show up when you think they are.

I mean, the people who came are awesome and they are SO good to my kids and they are great friends of mine. They really are. And I think everyone who came had a great time and I know my kids did so that's all that counts. And my brother took his lunch break at a weird time so he could make a quick appearance- and Jackson was thrilled.

With that being said, yeah. Matt and I spent an HOUR trying to open his new things. He got some new little trucks, this interactive map toy, a cool truck that talks and he can "fix", bug catcher stuff, superhero flying plane thing, and our friends gave him a $15 gift card towards a big boy bike. So yeah. We couldn't afford to get him one (even though I really tried hard.. it just didn't happen) so this will help. I'm hoping in the next payday or two we can swing it.

Um.. what else. Oh. So last week was his 3 year old checkup and I sent Matt because I had to work. Well it turns out he hasn't grown (at all) in the last YEAR. Yeah. Here I was just thinking he's short and little. Um, no. He hasn't grown. He's in the 3rd percentile for height, 4th for weight and nobody knows why. He eats like a little pig for crying out loud. So what is happening is that he is going to the hospital on Thursday for lab work because his doctor wants to make sure that we don't have an underlying problem. So.. I'm sure it's all going to say he's normal and that in fact, he's just a little guy. But then in the back of my head I always worry something else could be happening. I'm sure it's not, but I'm a bit irrational like that.

OK. That's me and my Sunday ramblings. OH! Before I forget- I'm a guest blogger today for Kate and you should check it out.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Dear Sara...... way to go!

Well, good for you. See? If I reprimand you, you pull it together and send me questions.

*golf claps and leg pumps*

So let's get this bitch on the road shall we?

1. What's one thing you can't live without? Hands down, that would be music. Or books. I'm also not capable of making a decision, which is why I'm chosing to put two things down here.

2. Would you ever want to be a celebrity? Oh sure. I think it would be fun to have the platform to be a celebrity, first and foremost. I don't think anybody really knows what it's like until you're there, but I think I'd like to try.

3. Favorite way to spend the day? Am I alone or with a person? Because my answers are vastly different depending. But ultimately- my favorite thing to do is do touristy things, be on the go, or just drive. I really like car rides and I like to drive and I like to jam to music while I drive.

4. Are you into the royal wedding? I was when I was involved. But now that William has decided Kate is better than me, I'm giving him the cold shoulder. I'm also going to be rude and not even RSVP because he was a total jerk. (But honestly? I'll probably watch it on tv because it's going to be amazing.)

5. Five rules you live by or pieces of advice. Oh. I have a whole list of "life lessons" but here are some recent ones I've talked about to people:
  • Avoid hairy balls of anything. This includes peaches. I just don't know that anybody should have hairy balls by their face- nothing good could come of that.
  • Don't stick your finger in strange holes. That seems a bit self explanatory.
  • If you don't know when it was last washed, don't put it in your mouth.
  • Never pick your wedgie because someone will always see you.
  • Shave your legs every day because you might get into an accident and rescued by a hot paramedic. You should always be on edge to impress. Even if you're dying and your spleen is in the passenger seat of your car.
6. I have things I want to do and things I have to do, but have no energy. How can I remedy this? Well, you might need to change your diet to have energy? Maybe you just eat shit and feel blah? But I know for me that I feel better once I start doing what I need to. It's finding the motivation sometimes that sucks, but ultimately- you have to do what you have to do. And I'll say that now that I've been really exercising and making an effort to be more active? I have way more energy than I did before. Also? I'm kind of OCD with my lists, so I always have a list and I would by lying if I said crossing things off my lists doesn't make my girl parts happy and tingly.

7. I have been married three times. I am married now. How do I find out who I really am? I am so used to being someone's wife that I have lost myself completely.

OK! If you have questions for me about me or your own personal life... email me at sarastrand9438 (at) hotmail (dot) com and I'll be happy to include them in next week's Dear Sara post. :)
Now, tomorrow I have Jackson's birthday party so I'll probably have some cute pictures for you.
What are YOU doing this weekend?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

How I was almost killed by Cujo.

For those of you long standing lambwhores, you probably remember my post about the big fucking dog who almost killed me but instead took advantage of me like a useless whore. And you would remember that I have a fear of dogs in general, but if the dog is smaller than a yippy dippy doggie, then I'm really scared.

Because I associate pretty much all big dogs with Cujo.

And not that I even watched that movie in whole. I think I made it like 20 minutes in or whenever the first of the rapid dog violence started and promptly shut that shit off.


So tonight, I stopped off at my friend Jen's house for a bit and somehow before I left I talked about the dogs in the 'hood and how some of them scare the shit out of me. We had a good chuckle and on my way I went. I was going to do my 1.2 mile run and then walk another 1.5 miles and be done for the night because I have a headache and all that. Ok. So I'm on my way.

First, I encounter punks playing with BB guns on the street. Fun. And also kind of scary.

As I get around the corner I start my run and I'm trucking along pretty well, noticing my legs are cramping up like a mother fucker and I'm wondering (out loud) if it's always going to feel like I'm going to die during the entire length of my run. And if that's the case, why do people do this for fun? What the fuck is wrong with them?

OK. So I make it maybe half way through my route and I see Cujo, pissing on someones wagon that was left on a sidewalk. My plan of action is always to not make any eye contact with the BFD's, (big fucking dog) and hope it doesn't follow. Obviously, that doesn't always work (see original story I linked to) but for the most part- dogs don't want to chase you if you don't look terrified. Looking terrified just ups the fun for the BFD I think. I have my sunglasses on, but I see Cujo and my blood pressure sky rockets. Cujo is huge. He's literally the size of the real Cujo and could easily use my leg as a bone. I keep running and when I turn a corner, I see that fucker is following me.

Obviously, I am not a normal person and I do not learn my lesson and so I start running faster. Literally, as fast as I can and trying to avoid pine cones and shit. Cujo starts barking furiously and growling (which is obviously loud because I can hear it over my iPod) and I'm like seriously going to cry because something about me says "let's chase her" and frankly? I'm getting kind of sick of it.

So I'm running and Cujo is jumping at me and I basically have no idea what to do. Out of NOWHERE this gross looking old guy (who I'm pretty sure is on the sex offender registry in my 'hood) comes up with a fucking dog treat and it turns out this is his dog.

I am appalled that this asshole is rewarding a dog with a fucking treat for almost mauling me. My pants are covered in slobber, I've got little red marks on my legs from where I was scratched and nipped, and I'm pissed. So I start raving about how we have god damn leash laws and if this fucker doesn't chain the beast up or put it down I'm calling the cops. You know what he says???

"Hey- don't you run past here every day? You look hot."


Not only was I almost mauled by a BFD but I was just hit on by a sex offender.

Clearly, I need to alter my route. Matt told me (as he's suggested previously) that he's going to get me a Neighborhood Survival Kit fanny pack that contains mace, a rape whistle, a weapon and some dog treats.

Ugh. So I've showered, put my clothes in the wash and put antiseptic shit on my legs. I *probably* need a Tetanus shot or something? I haven't had any kind of immunization since I was like 12. I'm now 29. So yeah. I'm probably due for a bunch. BUT I'm kind of a baby and I'm scared of needles. So.. death by lockjaw probably is going to happen eventually. That's if rabies doesn't get me first.