Friday, September 30, 2011

Dear Sara.... it's free counseling by a completely untrained and unlicensed awesome person.

Let's get to it bitches. Dear Sara!

1. my 8 year old has been begging me to let her get her own email address. For those of you with kids who have them, is this too early of an age? And what sites did you use? I'm looking for kid friendly here. Gmail has a great spam filter, but an age requirement of 13. Suggestions? When I was 13, my friends were just starting to get AOL. Well, those freebie cards in the mail. My parents REFUSED to let us get on that bandwagon. When I was 15, we got a computer with internet. Dial up, but still. I was hot shit. All of my friends had internet boyfriends and I felt like a loser. So I decided to hop onto a Yahoo Chat Room and get my own. I ended up getting a few, but the point here is that I don't care what kind of spam filter you have- eight years old is TOO young for being on the internet. Even 13 seems young to me and I consider myself to be hip. I know people who have let their kids play on the internet "for school" and some even have computers in their rooms. I will tell you right now, that the things I saw as a 15 year old on the internet was completely not OK and when you think about it- that's when it was new even to pedophiles. The web today is full of pedophiles and even worse- online bullies.

But all of that aside- why does the child want an email address? What are they trying to communicate to peers/friends/etc that they can't communicate in person or on the phone? Here's something parents need to work on: teaching their kids effective face to face communication. I know the internet is awesome and people love to text. But when you look at society- we are assholes. We are. The majority don't have the balls to stick up for themselves or express an opinion in front of others and we encourage that by letting children practice their fledgling communication skills online or via text. Not ok. And to those who ask about computers for school work? Totally fine. But make sure that computer is password protected and in the room everyone hangs out in to be totally sure that your kid is doing what they should be doing.

2. You have a daughter, so I am wondering how you feel about pageants? Like the "Toddlers & Tiaras" ones? Um, any parent with half a brain would see that those are horrible for young girls. Horrible. I don't care what you say about "building self esteem" and that they enjoy it. They don't. You see those kids crying having to practice so much. Here's what I know about kids (and having two of my own make me a semi-expert)- kids don't understand the concept of "winning" so much. Most kids in those lower toddler/early preschool years don't really understand what self esteem means. They do understand disappointment, though. So when you see a mom berate her child for not smiling enough? Please know that child is hurting on the inside. I also don't think it's normal, by any stretch, to dress your child up as a mini hooker. I don't care how tasteful you think the dress is, but if your child is wearing more makeup than you did on your first date, then you are out of line. Parents spending hundreds of dollars on dresses and entrance fees and flippers and whatever else? You are flushing money down the toilet. Wouldn't you rather save that for your daughter's education and let her learn that it's important to be educated? Sure, being pretty helps sometimes, but life is not about being pretty. You are teaching your daughter her self worth is based on her prettiness and body image. It's really sad because you are setting her up for a lifetime of negative body image issues just so you can live out some sick dream of your own.

3. How do you tell your kids "no" when they really want something and you can't afford it? We're struggling and on a good month we're paycheck to paycheck and with Christmas coming, I'm really stressed out. I don't want to tell the kids we're poor... but we're poor. We already took them out of sports and dance this year and it was awful. Any ideas? Oh man. Well this depends on the ages of your kids, really. Are they old enough to get jobs? If so, make them get one. Seriously. I don't think you can really teach children the value of a dollar and how far it really doesn't go, until they work hard for money themselves. And not a measly allowance, a real job out in the world. If they aren't able to do that, then you need to sit them down as a family. Kids need to live in a home where they know they are safe and they can rely on you. Part of relying on you means you are honest and open with them. While you don't have to detail the situation you're in, you can still talk to them about it. Just say, "You know- you have maybe heard in school the economy is really tough right now and that effects us. We aren't in danger of losing our home or anything, but we do need to make cuts as a family. Do you have ideas on how we can cut down our expenses?" If they do, really listen to them. Kids are smart and they may impress you. If they don't, then let them know you're cutting down on the cell phone bill- so that means no more phones (or limited use somehow). Do they drive to school? Now they get to take the bus or walk. Assuming they are older and no longer believe in Santa- just ask what is one thing they would really, really like and give a dollar limit. And be honest and tell them you really cannot afford to do a Christmas like you normally would. Maybe they'll learn to appreciate the reason for Christmas more.

If you have younger kids and this wouldn't work- obviously don't scare them. But I tell my kids every year that Santa only can bring a few things- his sleigh just isn't that big. And they get it. We also talk a lot about other kids who don't have any toys, food, books, etc. If there is one thing I want to instill in my children is that no matter what we don't have, there are thousands with less and we are fortunate.

OR- make this the year that your family doesn't exchange gifts but instead volunteer your time somewhere. Maybe that would make you all realize you still have a lot. :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Nose Piercing Incident

Pretty much everyone knows I have a nose piercing. If you don't, then that means you're blind. Surely you remember my incident detailing where I said it hurt like a bitch and I would never do it again yet I posed my picture looking like I had been crying which I swear I wasn't.

Well that was a year ago. It was healed but I had never changed the piercing stud thingie because Tammy (who has the lowest pain threshold of anyone I know) said changing hers hurt. I was content with my blue little stud. Totally fine with it.


I got it stuck on my bath towel on Saturday and it pulled totally out of my nose. Now, before you cringe I will say that I didn't even feel it come out until the very end and it didn't hurt. Swearsies. But I am not going to lie, I stood on the bath mat stark naked and freaked the fuck out.

(One thing you should know about me? Is that I don't like needles. I don't like anything that could possibly involve blood. I haven't had a tetanus shot since the 6th grade and well... I'm going to be 30 in March. My cause of death is most likely going to be Lock Jaw or something.)

So I hurried and got dressed. I had a cork screw stud so I figured (wrongly) that I could just pop that bitch back in. After 20 minutes of trying to shove it back in, angling my wrist in weird positions thinking that would help, I decide I'm not giving up. I did what any self respecting 20something does when faced with a problem. I go to the Internet! Specifically YouTube! I watch no less than 28 YouTube videos on how to put a corkscrew nose stud back in. None of them are helpful!

I start looking for more info online and I see that nose piercings can close up within 60 minutes of it not having something in it's hole. Um, fuck. Because at this point? I'm quickly approaching that 60 minutes. So I call Tammy. She of course laughs at me and tells me to keep twisting it in and just shove it through. I try, but I can't because feeling the inside of my nose being poked is making me feel like I might throw up. So I decide to call Matt. At work. And claim it was an emergency. Because, it kind of is. So he comes home. He's super good with tools and small things so I thought he'd breeze through it.

Not so, as it turns out.

So I call Tammy back and she agrees to get dressed (it's almost 10 am) and come over to help me. YAY. Except then I realize that hey- it's almost 10 am and I'm supposed to be at my friend Emily's house to go shopping at 10:30. Oh damn. Thankfully, my super smarts kicked in and I remembered that Tammy and Emily live near each other (kind of) and it would make more sense to drive to Tammy's! So I call Tammy back to tell her my plan and I get into my van and drive off with my corkscrew nose thing in a Ziploc bag. I race like a demon out of hell down the road and the fact I didn't screech going around her corner is a miracle.

After I get there she informs me that my corkscrew is not going back into my nose- it's too big and that my hole is probably closing up, if not already on the inside. Luckily, she had an extra (when you buy them they come in packs of three) and she said that would work. So we trim it, sterilize it, and I try to do it myself. NO GO.

I agree to let Tammy try, but again, NO GO. Finally, her husband Chad offers to do it. Tammy assures me he got hers in so it'll be fine. Right before he does it, they both remind me that you know, we're friends and I'm basically in their dining room on my own accord. Frightening, especially when Chad essentially re-pierces my nose at that very moment with this corkscrew stud. Then because I'm an idiot, I rubbed a Qtip full of rubbing alcohol onto my newly re-pierced nose.

Guess what? That burns. It burns a lot.

Then I left and went shopping. Without makeup. At the mall. I was in a such a state of panic that I left my house to go shopping at a mall with no makeup.

But the follow up is that my nose is still sore. And this morning in the shower, the fucking thing came out AGAIN. Again, folks. This time, I was so pissed that my nose had the fucking audacity to do such a thing that I just shoved it in on my own. And it didn't hurt. Sure, it bled a little but it's fine now. The only downside to this one is that the inside corkscrew isn't much of a corkscrew? It's more of a little hook so I constantly feel like it might fall out? So I think pretty soon I will get another one that's maybe longer? We'll see.

In other super fun news- please, please, PLEASE check out my Etsy shop! I have a bunch of stuff on super clearance and I've reduced prices on everything. Some stuff is more than half off! There are a bunch of things that would make cute Christmas gifts so this is a good time to get some good deals. I need to make room for new stuff coming in (I only have a small area to store finished projects) and I need money for new tires. And Halloween costumes. (Speaking of which- this year to get costumes for my kids that aren't flimsy pieces of shit since it's usually like 35 degrees on Halloween and you will freeze your ass off, I might be looking at spending $75 total. ROBBERY.)

I have some Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas cards in there too. The picture frames? $5. STEAL. So go over there and snatch up some goodies.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Me dolls and lazy pet owners.

I wanted to share with you a project I had to help Olivia with the other day. Her assignment was to make a "Me Doll" to look like her and represent her personality. Now, I'm kind of a terrible person, but what six year old Kindergartner knows what a personality even IS but more importantly, what theirs is specifically? I can assure you that my very bright and sassy daughter had no idea.

But we sat down last week and got out all kinds of art supplies to make a cool doll she could be proud of. I was determined not really to help her at all unless she really needed it because I feel like that's the only way she'll learn. Anyways. Wouldn't you know, that girl spent an HOUR perfecting her doll. An hour, folks.

 That girl believes you cannot have enough accessories. You just can't. And though you can't tell, the shoes on her feet are her brown mary jane's with a flower accent on them. I asked her if her doll could talk, what would she be saying and her response? "Hey, world." Atta girl!
 So OF COURSE like a crazy mother who takes way too many pictures of her children, I made her stand with her doll so I can do the picture. Ah... she's so freaking adorable.

Anyways. I just had to share that.

But on Saturday I went shopping with my friend Emily and we decided to hit up the new Bed, Bath and Beyond store in Duluth. Folks- I am a Triple B virgin so I had no idea what kind of motherland I was walking into, but I will tell you right now that I am going to do everything possible to get myself the $45 super ridiculously soft yet anti-mildewing bath rug because it was HEAVEN. If I could sleep on such a thing on top of my mattress all would be right in the world.

While perusing the aisles though Emily and I saw this and to be honest? It makes me want to bitch slap the person who buys it.
In case you're not able to really read what this is... it's a piece of grass mat that you leave INSIDE your house so your dog can shit and piss all he wants. And then you, as a pet owner who needs your ass kicked, would clean the grass off in your sink. It comes with under laying mats or something (refills available for a low, low price at Bed, Bath and Beyond though!) presumably so dog piss doesn't leak onto your floor.

Here's my thing. I've said it before, but I'll say it again because this clearly shows how fucking lazy society is. If you are too lazy to walk your fucking dog or in the VERY LEAST, open your god damn front door into a (hopefully) fenced in yard for your dog to piss and shit, then you should not have a dog. You shouldn't. If you have the balls to purchase such an item, you deserve have those balls kicked until they lodge into your throat.

And in case you're wondering- you know I have a hard time walking out of a store empty handed. So I obviously bought a cupcake pan that's a carrier AND it comes with a handy dandy cupcake tower that attaches to the carrier. It's amazing and I hope to be sufficiently bad ass in my cake decorating class this week.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Weight Loss Mondays... soon to be Hot Bitch Mondays

Even though I did um.... no exercise this week? I feel like a hot bitch. Zumba fell through because Matt couldn't get off of work early enough. Running... well I had a busy week so I slacked off. I'm feeling kind of slacker about the exercise but  I am rocking my portion controls and what I'm eating. Like, rocking it. So all in all I feel good about myself.

I went shopping this weekend and you know what? Not one downer moment. Not one mini break down over something. Nothing. I knew my size, I tried it on and looked amazing. I feel like though I've slacked on my exercise that I have turned a tide as far as my mental health about body image. I think the majority of my problem is not recognizing that though I'm not stick thin and never will be, I'm still a hot chick. I'm still a commodity. That even though I'm married other people think I'm attractive. Proof in point? This weekend at Bed, Bath and Beyond I was totally flirted with. Did I get a discount? No. But dammit, I'm going to take it. And the best part was that I had no makeup on. So bam. Good things.

This week I would like to go to Zumba (tomorrow) and I have to get serious about running again. Mostly because I want to sign up for the Gobble Gallop which is a 5K held on Thanksgivng Day. Which most people would maybe shy from that, but I don't watch football and don't cook a full dinner on Thanksgiving so I feel like I'll be OK. We have a big dinner, but everybody does a little and we all come together... so it's like a potluck. But I'll do most of mine the day before (probably) so I think even if I hurt myself I'll be good.

But I'm still working on it. I'm just happy that my brain is catching up with my body because I feel like I've turned a corner in the weight loss strategy.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

KY Intimacy Experiment Day Two- It's Not Just About Sex (GIVEAWAY)

We're onto week two of the KY Intimacy Experiment and if you have no idea what I'm talking about, you should catch up.

Day One- Love Nest

The challenge for this day/week was basically be intimate outside of the bedroom. Taken from our workbook, "Studies show that successful relationships tend to have a high ratio of positive to negative interactions. Experts believe that the ratio should be 5 to 1: five positive interactions (hugging, holding hands, having a positive conversation) for every negative one (bickering, for example)."

Folks- I can tell you right now that Matt and I are (on average) a 3 to 2 ratio.... 3 negatives to 2 positives. Um... whoops.

But here's the truth. I feel really weird being all lovey dovey in front of our kids. The fact of the matter is that 90% of the time Matt and I are together, we've got the kids right there. The other 7% is spent sleeping and 3% is spent on quality time together. Um, that's ridiculous. So our struggle is definitely going to be to improve that. For the most part this week we did better than we usually did. We held hands, we cuddled on the couch, I watched Antiques Roadshow with him (despite wanting to gouge my own eyeballs out for entertainment value) and we snuck in hugs and kisses while I was making dinner. Our day time exercises were all about trying to improve our ratio.

Our night time exercises... straight up awkward. They were. I can't even lie, I started laughing. I think I have established that I have a hard time taking things serious because I feel stupid. Basically, we were to "face each other, look deep into each other's eyes and allow yourselves to melt into a close embrace." and continue doing so for awhile. Like, longer than comfortable. Then you were to try to have sex with your eyes open, which I don't think is weird, so we sailed through that part. But literally just laying there hugging... is weird. I don't know. I know I got drowsy at some point, Matt coughed, it was all very weird and to be honest- I didn't feel any closer to him after this exercise.
OK- so every Saturday night I will post about the KY Intimacy Experiment and offer you chances to win your own kit. At the end of the experiment I will put all of your entries from every single post into a bucket to win. So you are going to have a lot of chances to win... I highly encourage you to enter and spread the word. Here are your chances (and you MUST be a follower through GFC, and you MUST leave me your email address so if you win I can contact you!):

1. Comment on this post- what do you think your positive/negative ratio would be?
2. Share this on Twitter (leave separate comment)
3. Share this on Facebook (leave separate comment)
4. "Like" CouplesPlace on Facebook (leave separate comment)

Good luck!

I wrote this post while participating in a blog campaign on behalf of K-Y® Brand and also received product samples to help facilitate my review.

Domestic Bitch Saturday.... er... Sunday!

I know I'm late. I'm sorry. BUT I went shopping with a friend yesterday and by the time I got home I had a lot of house work waiting for me and I spent an hour reading to my kids... so you got left in the dust. Sad day. Let's get this started!

First up, let's do the winner of the Brochure Giveaway. I did the Random Number shiz and it pulled up number... 2. Which is NomadicBark! She is going to use her brochures as Save the Dates for her upcoming wedding- which I think is *genius*. Hint: You can put abbreviated life story of each of you on a panel, the story of you and then one panel be all about your upcoming wedding. (FYI: I would make an excellent flower girl. I'm just sayin.) So CONGRATS! I will email you to get your mailing information.

Next up, Free Shit.

Disney Vitamin Gummies
Johnson's Ultra Sheen Supreme Flat Iron Spray
Miracle Whip
VistaPrint Photo Wall Calendar (Xmas gift idea!)

Then there are some good food coupons that expire 9/30/11 so if you are eating out this week for lunch make sure you grab one of these.

Papa Murphy's

Next up is a recipe I tried. This week I only made one thing that was new to us and that was something I found off of Pinterest. (Of course) But it's called Mandy's Easy Cheesy Chicken Casserole. And to that I say- Mandy? You are bad ass and this was amazing.

3-4 cooked chicken boobs, chopped
16 oz egg noodles, cooked
24 oz sour cream
2 (10 3/4 oz) cans cream of chicken soup
8 oz shredded Cheddar
8 oz shredded Mozzarella
1 sleeve crushed Ritz crackers
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons poppy seed.

Mix the butter and crackers, set aside. Mix everything else and put into a greased 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle cracker mixture on top, sprinkle poppy seeds on top. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 350.

OK- I didn't use 24 ounces of sour cream. I used maybe 4 because that's all I had left and I'm an idiot who didn't check before I went shopping. I also didn't use poppy seeds because blech... I don't feel like they need to be on there. But it was STILL super good. We didn't eat it all in one night so Matt saved some for his lunch the next day and he said it reheated well. I also put a serving into the freezer and then 4 days later, we thawed it and put it into the oven? Still good. This would also make a great dinner if you were bringing dinner for a friend or something. And if *I* say it's good? You know it's good.

 My project this week was mostly catching up on scrapbooking and starting on holiday cards for my Etsy shop. So I made these cute cards (I actually made two sets) with paper that I forgot I even had. It was only a scrap of paper but I was still able to get 10 cards out of it. And one set is only $5. BUY THEM NOW.
Would you believe I'm already working on Christmas stuff? Because I am and it's depressing. I'm pretty much not ready for Christmas. *sigh* But over the next week or so I'll start putting Christmas things into my shop so if you have a request... now is your moment. Let me know and I'll see what I can do!

Friday, September 23, 2011

It's not Dear Sara..

...but maybe it is. I have one question this week so this is quick and dirty. Meow.

1. How do you deal with conflict? What's the best way to deal with conflict, whether it is friend/family or coworker? I have a college room mate that makes it difficult to be at "home" because she does things that drive me nuts. I want to confront her but honestly? I'm scared to just come out and say I have a problem with them. Easy. You be upfront and honest. If you have a problem, address it. You don't let that stuff fester. You know why? Because if you run from a problem and not address it it will rot your soul. I have two people, whom I think have beef with me, who refuse to say, "Sara- I have an issue. Let's talk about it." Put your big girl panties on and let's deal with it. I have no time for people who refuse to recognize their own ownership of a problem. Believe me, if there is a problem? Everyone involved has some ownership and that's 100% true. I can't think of a single instance where that would not be true.

As for the best way to deal with conflict? Talk it out. You learn this as a toddler and with age it should get easier. But I recognize that some people aren't mature enough to have the balls to say, "I am mad that you did this (insert your issue here)." I don't know a single person who would prefer passive aggressive relations with another person. Of everybody I know, they would rather talk about an issue than have you talk negatively about them behind their back. Think of how you would want someone to approach it if the situation was turned around.

Have you ever looked around and noticed you have no friends? Or you have nobody you can call RIGHT NOW and say, "I need your help" and know that they will drop what they are doing and rush to your side no matter the distance? That's because you're probably a bad friend. A huge part of relationships and making them last (friend, spouse, family, acquaintances, etc) is being able to resolve conflicts like an adult. Learn that skill while you're in college or in early adulthood because it will save you headaches in the future.

OK. So I know I have to draw a winner for the Brochure Giveaway, but I will do it tomorrow. I have a tremendous head cold right now and my NyQuil is kicking in. PRAISE JEEBUS. So that means you still have another night to enter. Lucky bitches.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Have you ever...

..felt so slimy and dirty that you can barely stand yourself? Or smell like sugar but in a really unsexy way? Or maybe have white crust in your hair?

Nope- it's not a blow job gone wrong, it's night two of cake decorating class!

Tonight my friend Emily and I went to our second night and we had to bring a cake and two batches of frosting. Mine was too stiff, and it is a pain in the ass to thin it out in a cup with a flat spatula.. so I borrowed some of Emily's. Next week I know to thin it a lot more though the instructor said to bring stiff. Don't bring stiff. Anyways.

My cake came out of the pans for the FIRST TIME EVER IN MY LIFE. It was a miracle and if I were a drinker it would have been cause for some drinks. Sadly, my water and Ritz crackers had to do. Emily... well she had good intentions. But her husband couldn't find a toothpick, so he used a wooden spoon to test it's doneness. No, I'm not kidding.

 Exhibit A: How not to check a cake's doneness.

So then we learned how to make dots and dragging dot things. And how to frost.

I suck at frosting. I really do. I can say I have never done frosting on the sides (since I can't get them out of the pans... except now!!) so I kind of killed mine. BUT.. I have my dots down!
 And just like I called it in class, Matt's first comment was why did I decorate my cake with nipples. *sigh*

Emily's cake was pretty too. We learned how to do curvy lines and zig zag lines which I forgot to do on my cake, but she did.
 And because someone emailed and asked if we were legit in the room where they dissect things...
Yes. Yes we actually are. *Bring on the Lysol wipes*

I have to say after just two classes, I know I am not nearly as talented as every other person in the class is and I really struggled tonight. BUT, I am having a blast. I almost peed myself from laughing so hard and I look forward to going every week. So I am pretty sure I am going to sign up for the second level of class. YAY.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Shit my kids say. And why my Kitchen Aid mixer is awesome.

I've had some really fantastic conversations with my kids as of late and I would be a terrible person if I failed to share them. Because if these aren't proof that I should be in charge of raising lots of kids, I don't know what would be.

Setting: Our upstairs bathroom Monday morning while I get ready for work.
Me: Jackson, you need to come in here and go potty before you pee all over your room again.
Jackson: Ok mama!
(he comes into bathroom)
Me: And don't forget to put the potty seat on the toilet. And tuck your peepee.
Jackson: I know. If I don't, it sprays! It sprays everywhere! Sometimes in my face! (insert non stop Jackson laugh here). Or it sprays all over the wall! It just be flippin out.
Me: *blank stare*

Setting: In the car today on the way to the grocery store.
Olivia: Hey mom! Did you know when you stick your finger in your ear it feels weird?
Me: Um... I guess?
Olivia: And then if you smell that finger it smells weird?
Jackson: Like a stinky shoe!
Me: Um.. why would you smell it?
Olivia: And it tastes really bad!
Jackson: Yuck!
Me: *gag*

Setting: Our upstairs closet putting things away.
Olivia: Mom- what are these?
(she grabs a box of tampons)
Me: Things you don't need right now.
O: What are they called though?
Me: Tampons. Just put them back.
O: Are these those things that you stick in your butt so you don't pee blue?
Me: Uh.. yeah. That's exactly what you do. But you don't need them until you're old.
O: Because you're old. I have a friend at school who said she put a crayon in her butt. And that's gross.
Me: I think you should limit play time with that friend. And don't ever stick anything into your butt. Ever.

Setting: Waking Jackson up this morning.
Me: Jackson! It's time to get up stinky monkey!!
Jackson: NO. I'm still tired.
Me: Join the club, but let's go so we aren't late. You need to use the bathroom.
(he goes to the bathroom but I notice he's just standing there with his pants and underwear down)
Me: Jackson- what's the problem? Do you need help getting on today?
Jackson: It be sticking out. It won't go down.
Me: What won't go down? (as I come into the bathroom and realize that Jackson? Has morning wood and it's sticking straight out and spraying pee onto the wall)
Me: Oh Jackson. Get on the toilet!!
Jackson: HAHAHAHAHA--- it be stickin out! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Like an arrow!!! HAHAHA!!

(as he continues to spray the wall, towel, and rug. Ew.)
Setting: Putting Olivia to bed the other night.
Olivia: Guess what?
Me: What, babe?
Olivia: I love Justin Bieber.
Me: Oh dear god.

Anyways. So remember how I said I was taking a cake decorating class? Well that's tomorrow, so my homework was to make two batches of frosting, bring a cake, and gather some other supplies. So I made my box mix cake because I'm not yet adventurous to try something new yet. It's currently in it's round cake pans because (shocker) I can't get them out? I sprayed them with the non stick spray (liberally) like the box said and those fuckers are stuck. God dammit. I'm going to try to get them out one more time tonight before I give up and buy a plain cake tomorrow.

And my frosting? Well the first batch I did with my hand mixer piece of shit. I rarely use it, but seeing how the instructor used her hand mixer no problem last week, I figured I'd save myself the time and trouble of hauling out my big Kitchen Aid. So I add my ingredients together (one at a time like suggested) and at the end? It looks crumbly. I added enough water and I'm afraid if I add more it'll get too runny. So I decided to try the big mixer. Because maybe I suck with a hand mixer.

As it turns out, I suck with a hand mixer. The second batch (with the same ingredients and amounts) is perfect. Um, what the fuck? I don't care because it worked. So I'll bring both to class because HEY- one can of Crisco is only two cups? And I need a cup for each batch. Sommabitch. So I'll obviously be buying a lot of Crisco and powdered sugar in the next couple of months. Brochure GIVEAWAY

You know I want nothing but the best for my lambwhores and I have a cool giveaway here for you.

Have you tried online printing? Because it's really easy and it is super convenient for those of us who have lots going on and very little time to get it done.

Well this is where Uprinting comes in. You can get brochures, window clings, stickers, flyers, greeting cards and so many other things printed at really affordable prices. their website walks you through the design, the ordering, and have fast turnaround shipping for you.

One of the cool things i was thinking of is using their brochure printing for our annual Christmas letter to friends and family. Every year I type out a Christmas letter that goes with our (handmade) card and it's time consuming. Not just the text, but making the letter look nice and I'm always pressed for space to include pictures. So this year? I think I'm going to make a Strand Family brochure. Every family member could have their own panel and I could include our family picture on the front. How cool is that??

But because I'm a giver and I know you want to be cool like me, I'm offering a giveaway to ONE of my blog readers. If your name is drawn from the magical drawing bucket you would win:

50 pcs Brochure printing
8.5" x 11"
100lb Paper Gloss
With Folding (Half Fold, Trifold/Letterfold, Z-Fold, Roll Fold, Accordion Fold)
Outside and Inside Printing
2 Business Days Turnaround
*Free shipping

Oh yeah. Who loves you??? Well, I love you all... but this is restricted to those of you who are 18 and older and live in the US. Sorry!
What do you have to do to win?
1. Be a follower of my blog via Google Friend Connect.
2. Comment on this post that you want to be a winner for life. AND leave me your email address.
3. Optional (but leave a separate comment letting me know you did either or both)- like Uprinting on Facebook or follow on Twitter.
4. And super bonus entry? Leave me another comment with another creative idea for brochure printing.
You have until FRIDAY, September 23 to enter. I will draw a winner during my Dear Sara post.
This giveaway is sponsored by No monetary compensation was given, but I will receive brochures for hosting giveaway.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Exhausted under the sea.

I know I have slacked on this post but here it is, bitches.

My daughter is officially six and like any other mother of the year contender I threw a party. This year Olivia opted for an under the sea themed party so I researched the aquarium, but quickly said hell to the fucking NO on that when I saw how much I would be shelling out for it. Um, no. Golden birthday or not, I can't spend $400+ on a birthday party. Unless it was mine but that's another story.


So we did it. And I have to say I am SO lucky to have great friends. Specifically Emily, who gave her Saturday up to help me hang up paper bowl jelly fish, some lame excuse for seaweed and paper plate fish. Not to mention balloons. And I'm glad she was there because Matt was ridiculously unhelpful. Sure, he got us a ladder but that was the extent of it. He actually got on his bicycle and took off while Emily and I baked in the sun hanging things up in the yard. He took off into the 'hood like Mary god damn Poppins.


It was good.
 Olivia was pretty excited to be partying it up.
 And didn't even care I was up in her face taking pictures pretty much all day.

We had a ton of food, a gorgeous day, a ton of presents and lots of sugar.
 Jackson had an issue with sucking the sugar off the gummi worms and then putting the worms back into the bowl. Sorry if you ate a sugarless and soggy worm.
 We're adorable.

The day went relatively quick so once we ushered everyone out of the yard and cleaned up... and realized my brother wouldn't get there before bed time, we decided to let the kids open the present he got. Yes, we are *that* family that is all about being even so both kids got something from Uncle Travis.
 It's a pillow. It's a pet. It's a pillow pet, peeps. The kids *finally* got one.
And they have been obsessed with them since. Like, carry them around and let them have a seat at the dining room table while eating, obsessed. But it's cute. Even if Travis's gift completely upstaged everyone else.

So that's it. It was a good party. I wish I had pictures of the decorations I legit spent HOURS hand making, but Matt tore them down before I could. Even Emily said she felt sad to see the jellyfish go. They were cute and Matt apparently doesn't care I spent the better part of my evenings for over two weeks making the stupid things. Nope. No worries. Just toss them away like they are nothing. (Obviously I'm only a little bitter about it.)

But I decided that I'm getting too old to be doing the party shiz. Seriously. It's a lot of work. And I feel like the amount of work isn't worth the pay out even if the payout is Olivia over the moon excited for two hours. Because I think... I could give her a cool experience without all of the awful planning and expense. So next year... we're going to just do a slumber party with a couple of friends. Nothing crazy, just a simple ass sleep over. But Jackson... well I have a few more years yet for him. I am thinking age six is my new cut off. Beyond six, you're done. That's it. No more favors, no more fucking balloon tanks, no more wrestling a plastic table cover, no more running to the store at the last minute, nothing. It shall be glorious.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Weight Loss Monday: Looking good!

I just want to do a quick post for you because I have a LOT to get done this evening. Can I just say having Olivia in school, Jackson in toddler class, me in cake decorating class and then my regular life is kind of crazy? Like legit insane.

BUT... I still made time for exercise last week. I was having a conversation with a good friend last week about this- people can think of every reason in the book NOT to do something. If they spent half that energy actually doing it, they'd feel so much better. So I have to try to think like that for myself when I feel like a lazy fat ass.

Last week I tried out a zumba class with two friends/coworkers on Tuesday. Though I had no idea what the hell I was doing, I really enjoyed myself. I pretty much messed up a lot and could barely keep up for the hour but the hour went by really quickly and afterwards I got a mini run in (one mile). The only annoying thing about zumba is that the people who know what they are doing should be in front, not the woman who had no idea what she's doing because she was messing me up. AND she was all over the place so then I had to be all over the place to see what the instructor was doing. I will be going again tomorrow. I think I'm going to stick to it being my Tuesday work out because it is fun and at least I feel accountable to go.

Then I concentrated on some ab exercises and some more arm exercises because those two areas I know I should be doing a lot more in, and I just have to do it. Then on Saturday I went for another mini run (one mile) and I felt pretty good, but out of shape. I don't know why I feel like every time I run a mile it requires so much damn effort. When is it going to feel like nothing to run a mile? WHEN, people?!

I've also been trying very hard to watch how much I'm eating. I feel like I've really cut down on my calorie intake, I've upped my water and I'm forever in motion. And I feel like I look kind of good too:
Look at how skinny my legs are getting! And look-- I don't look pregnant! It's a miracle!

But I do notice I feel better on days I work out... so I guess that should be my incentive to keep going.

The Legacy

And though summer is practically over... it's never too late to start building a winter reading list. And this is one I want you to add to it.

The Legacy- Katherine Webb
The Legacy: A Novel
When they were children, Erica Calcott and her sister, Beth, spent their summer holidays at Storton Manor. Now, following the death of their grandmother, they have returned to the grand, imposing house in Wiltshire, England. Unable to stem the tide of childhood memories that arise as she sorts through her grandmother’s belongings, Erica thinks back to the summer her cousin Henry vanished mysteriously from the estate, an event that tore their family to pieces. It is time, she believes, to lay the past to rest, bring her sister some peace, and finally solve the mystery of her cousin’s disappearance.

But sifting through remnants of a bygone time is bringing a secret family history to light—one that stretches back over a century, to a beautiful society heiress in Oklahoma, a haunting, savage land across the ocean. And as past and present converge, Erica and Beth must come to terms with two shocking acts of betrayal . . . and the heartbreaking legacy they left behind.

So I would describe this as part historical fiction... part thriller... but mostly as a can't put it down read. Mostly because the book starts off with a young woman abandoning her baby. No kidding. I mean, as a mother I read that part and I'm thinking, "what in the world?!" and from there I couldn't put this book down. I had to know the circumstances around it and why a person would do that. What you find is a web of family history that nobody would be proud of.

But when I say I couldn't put it down? I mean it. When I learned about Caroline's story... I was totally shocked. I mean, I kind of thought that's what it was, but at the same time- the author builds drama up and delivers. You know how some books you feel it building and building and then nothing? Well that's not the case with this book at all. I also love how the story flips between a present day set of characters and then those of their ancestors. I've said it before but I really get annoyed with some books that do that because I don't feel like they sufficiently fulfill each story; however, I felt like I got closure with both stories.

I have seen other bloggers say this would make a great book club pick and I would have to agree. The book is full of characters who make life choices that would be questionable to some but perfectly sensible to others. And I would venture to say that each person would have wildly different answers as to why they would or wouldn't make the same choices.
This was a pretty great book and would make a really great fall or winter read- I suggest you add it to your list. But you know I never ask you to rely on just my opinion, I want you to check out what other bloggers are saying! And check out Katherine Webb's Facebook page for upcoming events and information!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The time Matt was a superstar. And I almost peed in a canoe.

We've all read about the time Matt and I tried to kayak together and how horribly awful it was. So it was no wonder that I put off canoeing with him for as long as I possibly could. I have canoeing on my 30/30 list and since I turn 30 in March we're pretty much in the last few weeks to canoe up in northern Wisconsin. I suppose you can go until November and December, but given how shallow the Brule River already was today.. I bet it'll freeze over in those months. So this weekend? I was pretty much faced with a "shit or get off the pot" situation.

So I obviously went because if you know me by now, once I've committed to something (no matter how stupid it is) I do it.

The fun part was that after we dropped the kids at my in-laws house and drove to the canoe rental place? The rain started. Which.. yay. It was about 50 degrees, a little windy and the rain was between a mist and a light sprinkle. But this bitch? Got her ass into a canoe while a lone fisherman was trying not to laugh at me.

 We took the short route which was about an hour and a half total? According to the map, it was 45 minutes from this starting point to the Bois Brule point, and then another 40 minutes to the Hwy 2 landing point where we were parked. So off we went.
 I got to be in the front and Matt was in the back. Which (brace yourselves) THANK GOD because Matt has canoed before and knew what he was doing. I was worried because A) I suck at anything athletic and B) I had never canoed before and C) I was incredibly tired which means I'm kind of useless but punchy.

The un-fun thing was that our little trek had several areas of rapids. Matt assures me that they were only class 1 rapids but I don't care what those fucking signs say. Rapids are rapids, yo. And since I was sitting in the front of the canoe, I'm not going to lie. I kind of panicked. Like a bunch. And I'm certain that one of the worse sets of rapids came before our half way point and not only were they scary and fast, but we got stuck on a rock. It was at that moment I almost peed myself. Thankfully, Matt told me to get my shit together and help. So I did.
 And yay! We made it to the half way point!
 And I was still dry!

So we paddled even more. We saw two eagles, one of them was just chilling in a tree. We saw a duck. We saw a turkey on the road on the way there. We did not see any bears.

The really great thing? Is that though I'm still grossly uncoordinated with a paddle or oar, whatever the damn thing is called, I had a good time. Matt steered our canoe better than he steers a vehicle and for that I was thankful.
 Because I made it to the end completely dry! And I have to say? That he was a canoe rock star. He really was. I was so happy to be in the front because I couldn't see him laughing at me when I freaked out like a girl when I saw a rock or a log. I didn't even get mad when he steered us into a tree and I hit my head. Or when a bunch of branches slapped me in my mouth. I also appreciated the fact he didn't tell me that our canoe was thisclose to tipping over until we were out of the rapids. I'm sure he knew I would panic and flail and probably clear the woods of anything still alive. And tip us over in the mean time.
But all in all? I would do it again. Granted, I would prefer it to be on a sunny summer day while wearing flip flops and a bathing suit, but I would do it again. Especially if Matt was steering because he was awesome at it.

I think this was a good exercise for us in communication anyways since the kayak trip only highlighted how bad we are at it. I also think it's kind of cool to think how we've grown as a couple since that trip to now.

Before I sign off for the night, if you missed Day one of the KY Intimacy Experiment, you need to go HERE to catch up.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

KY Intimacy Experiment: Day One- Love Nest (and GIVEAWAY chances!)

A few months ago I was following a series of posts on another blog about the KY Intimacy Experiment. I was immediately interested in this because like most married couples, Matt and I have hit a rut. What most newlyweds don't know is that you too will hit a rut. Every couple does. Eventually you take for granted your partner and long gone are the days of great sex every night and feeling the urgency to get home. These days the urgency to get home is because I have to grab something and go right back out again. Matt and I hardly make time for each other and when we do, we're both too tired to care.

It is time for an intervention.

So here we are. Matt and I are taking part in the KY Intimacy Experiment and I am going to document it so you can see if it really works. The great part about this is that TWO of my lucky readers are going to get the chance to win their own kit if they have the guts to document their journey as well. I'm going to be walking you through the program, talking about the products and talking about our experiences. If you would like more information about this or see what others are saying, check out Couples Place on Facebook. So here is the kit we received:
 This basically is super exciting because these are all of the things we've been meaning to buy but we just never remember while we're at the store. So we no longer have an excuse.

Day One: Love Nest

Our daytime activity is to basically transform our bedroom into somewhere we want to be. It means cleaning up the room and making it a romantic area. What I'd really like to do requires more money than we have, so we made little changes and went from this:
 to this:
I bought us new sheets because we have a tendency to rip them. (Our sex life isn't dead folks, we have great sex.. it's just the frequency is less than ideal.) My pet peeve is always Matt's side of the room because he piles all kinds of crap on the floor and his dresser. So he went through it all and cleaned it. Then we went through our little box of toys and got rid of the ones we don't like, found a couple that no longer work, put new batteries in, and washed everything and it's all in our handy new box at th end of the bed.

Our night activity was to basically christen the room. And we did. Some to the questions asked of us in our workbook were:

1. How did your bedroom seem to affect your sex life before the revamp and after? Before our room was just the dumping zone of stuff and everytime we would come in here we'd see one more thing we need to do so it's hard to get in the mood when you see things waiting to be done. Now those are all gone so we walk in and we know exactly what is meant to happen.

2. What effects did the flowers, candles, and music have on your mood? We didn't add flowers because the cats just eat them. But the candles reminded us of our old apartment.. and that was a good thing.

3. Did you notice any changes in the way you responded to your partner and vice versa? Yes because it was kind of exciting to know all day that we had to christen our room. And to be honest? It's really awesome to have a totall clean room free of kid crap and things we need to get done. So much nicer.

I have to say, I was pretty happy Matt decided to do these challenges willingly with me. He was totally into cleaning the room and I hope he can keep this momentum going!

OK- so every Saturday night I will post about the KY Intimacy Experiment and offer you chances to win your own kit. At the end of the experiment I will put all of your entries from every single post into a bucket to win. So you are going to have a lot of chances to win... I highly encourage you to enter and spread the word. Here are your chances (and you MUST be a follower through GFC, and you MUST leave me your email address so if you win I can contact you!):

1. Comment on this post- what would you like to change about YOUR love nest?
2. Share this on Twitter (leave separate comment)
3. Share this on Facebook (leave separate comment)
4. "Like" CouplesPlace on Facebook (leave separate comment)

Good luck!

I wrote this post while participating in a blog campaign on behalf of K-Y® Brand and also received product samples to help facilitate my review.

Domestic Bitch Saturday- all kinds of good stuff for you.

You how I am- I'm a giver. So I have an entire post of good stuff I know you will like. Because you are lambwhores and lambwhores loves awesome stuff. So let's get to this bitch, shall we?

Free cookbook
Free sample of Crest 3D something or another
Free sample of Downey Unstoppables (it's a Facebook offer)
Free subscription to Baby Talk

Hopefully, this still works for you. First, you need to register HERE and then you go HERE to get a buy one/get one Del Monte Fruit Naturals cups. I haven't gotten my coupon yet so after I'm done posting I'll give it a try.

This week I'm also going to be doing a giveaway for customized brochures.. so stay tuned for that.

My recipe this week was from Pinterest (of course.. I'm out of control and I'm trying to stay away this WHOLE weekend.) and it was a Crescent Roll Casserole.

2 (8oz) cans crescent rolls
1 can of cream of chicken soup (I used chicken gravy because I think cream of chicken soup is yuck)
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup whipping cream

4 ounces cream cheese (softened)
4 tbsp butter (softened)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/3 cup onion (finely chopped)
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp seasoning salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2-4 tbsp mayo or whipping cream
2 large chicken boobs chopped

(You also need some cheddar cheese to sprinkle on top.)

Preheat your oven to 350 and lightly grease your casserole dish. I used a 9x13. In a saucepan, mix whipping cream, 3/4 cup of cheese, and soup/gravy. Heat until cheese is melted, remove from heat and set aside.

In another bowl, mix your cream cheese and butter until smooth, add garlic powder. Add in the chicken, onion and cheddar cheese. Mix and add 2tbsps of mayo/whipping cream. Season with salt/pepper.

Drizzle a small amount of your soup/gravy mixture to cover the bottom of your dish. Unroll your crescent rolls and place a spoonful of your chicken mixture on top of each triangle, roll. Place into your dish seam side DOWN. Once they are all rolled, drizzle remaining soup mixture on top and sprinkle 1-2 cups of cheddar cheese on top. Bake for 30 minutes or until warm and bubbly.

 It was pretty good and I made it with green beans since I have enough green beans to get us through the apocalypse.

My project this week... well I actually did a lot. But the big one I am the most excited about is that I am taking a beginning cake decorating class! I know. I'm such a fucking failure with baking cakes that I think I need professional help. So my friend Emily and I are taking one through the Continuing Education program at the college we work at and we had our first class on Thursday. We learned that I? Am a mother fucking NINJA at the star tip frosting thingies.
 My cookies have brown frosting and Emily's are in pink.
 The funny and gross thing is that our class is being held in the same class room where they dissect things for some of the medical classes. Kind of gross, right? We also are breaking rules. Next week I'll show a picture of the bucket that said it had cow parts in it. I'm not even kidding.
So that's my week. I'm excited for my class... so every week you will get to see how much I am (hopefully) rocking the class. It's a good group of ladies so I am looking forward to going. There are like two other levels of classes after this one, so if it's still fun we might sign up for those. We'll see.

OK- so what did YOU do this week??

Friday, September 16, 2011

The post you should expect when I'm super exhausted.

Did anyone else notice I failed to ask for Dear Sara questions? Because that explains why I didn't get any. *whoops* I promise to be back next week for that. I will. So send me questions, anything and everything baby, to sarastrand9438(at)hotmail(dot)com.

But in the meantime, let's talk about some random stuff I feel like I haven't caught you up on. (Yes, I know I haven't posted about Olivia's birthday party and no, I haven't forgotten. Pull your panties out of your ass and chill out.)

First up, I actually got off my ass this week and made something for the Wee Memories Challenge. I know. I'm clapping for myself here. Isn't it cute?? It's just a simply pumpkin (which I love) colored in with my Martha Steward glitter markers. Which I'm obsessed with.
Last week when I had Olivia's party which meant I was stressed to the max. But on Friday night in the midst of prepping a shit ton of food (that's a for real measurement, by the way), I had to run to Walmart for a few things. Here's is my status update from FB: You know you're tired when you wander into Walmart at 10:15 pm for black olives, mini blinds and shuttle cocks. Sadly, shuttle cocks were not to be had and the mini blinds were too small. The best part is when I came home Matt told me to look in the mirror and bam-- I went to Walmart with my eye makeup smeared all over my face because I was crying f/ slicing onions. I probably looked SUPER cool when I said they should carry shuttle cocks and not just tennis balls to the cashier. Well that prompted a bunch of people to ask if "shuttle cock" was a real word or if I was actually losing my mind. It's small, but look at bullet #4. It clearly mentions shuttle cock.

 And Olivia is a complete fashion diva. You can't see it really great but she's rocking her new bright pink shoes from H&M. My friend Tammy got them for her while we were in Chicago and they are awesome. Olivia told me a second grader said her shoes were cool. Obviously my kid is hot shit on the playground.
 Lately Matt has been having like, weirdo night spasms. Basically he thrashes around like he's having some kind of seizure and I usually end up getting beat up in my sleep. Sometimes I wake up, but others it's best just to stay in the fetal position or kick his balls so he stops. Well I got a huge bruise on my knee and he said it's cool because it looks like a bear pooping.
Tomorrow I will have a cool first part of a series of the KY Intimacy Experiment for you. You'll get a chance to win your very own kit (which is amazing... trust me when I tell you that you want this) over the next few weeks. Actually... you'll get lots of chances. But I will also do my Domestic Bitch post which I'm excited about.. because I have nothing ready for it. YAY.

Also? I have pictures for Weight loss Monday. Good ones.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fatal Incident

Raise your hand if you thought that this is me talking about killing Matt. Be honest. And it's OK because we know that I've come close.

But instead.. I'm reviewing a book called Fatal Incident by Jim Proebstle.

Fatal Incident
Minnesotan Nick Morgan overcomes the hardships of life during the Depression with the thrill of flying. The rush he shares with his soon-to-be wife, Martha, as they barnstorm small Midwestern towns offering plane rides for a dollar, forges a love for each other and a sense of freedom to last a lifetime. But in 1943, Nick must leave Martha, now pregnant, to become a WWII pilot in Alaska for the army's newly formed Air Transport Command. In this uncharted and inaccessible landscape, Nick joins U.S. forces, who have set up a strategic defense position against Japan, and an Lend-Lease supply program that trains Soviet pilots with U.S. aircraft for their war with Germany.

The remoteness of Alaska also draws the attention of Manhattan Project scientists in New Mexico as a possible site for atomic bomb testing. When Nick Morgan and his Okie crop-duster copilot, Red, are tapped by the Manhattan Project for classified flying duty over the isolated Yukon Flats region, they have no idea that they will be caught up in a Soviet plot aimed at stealing top-secret bomb and test site development documents. After Nick's plane goes down in a botched hijacking attempt by a Russian agent, all three crew members and eighteen military passengers are presumed dead by the U.S. military.

A much-delayed recovery effort, however, reveals there to be at least one survivor, with many bodies missing from the crash site. This sparks a massive search to find the person who escaped with the documents, but a CIA cover-up to conceal the potentially disastrous breach in national security blocks all communication with survivor families in their need for information. Inspired by the true events of an Air Transport Command aircraft disaster in Alaska in 1944, Fatal Incident will attract any reader interested in conspiracy, espionage, and stories of love during wartime.

First off, super great book. I was never really a fan of American History growing up (which is why I passed with a C and high-fived myself on report card day), but as I got older and could appreciate what our history as a country meant, I am more interested. Which is why I pretty much loved this book. It's based on true events, and that's good and bad.

It's good because I feel like it's probably a really accurate description of war time but bad because... innocent people are made to be pawns and I get that's how life is... but it certainly doesn't seem fair.

I also have to say... you know I've mentioned it before but character development is a big thing with me. The author does such a fantastic job creating these characters and really giving you enough information to really picture them in real life. And most books would never play out well in a movie, but I think this one actually would.

I feel like I can't really speak about parts of the book without giving away key pieces of the story because there are certain characters I feel very strongly about (Cricket), some I'm disappointed in (Nick), etc. There are also some parts of the story that made me tear up because it is sad. Not going to lie.

Overall? I think if you like a really good and compelling mystery- this is your book. If you like anything about American history- this is your book. I had a hard time putting this book down because the entire time I felt like it was going to come to a terrible end, and while it isn't the ending I expected at all- it was great. I also want to mention I love, love, LOVE the "Author Notes" section because it gives you real information that was used in this book and is just fascinating on it's own to read.

I highly recommend this book to curl up with this winter when it's cold. This would also make for a really great gift for a reader you know.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mom on Wheels. Go, Mom. Go!

A few months ago I applied to be a blog reviewer for a really exciting Heely's campaign through B2B Blogger. For those of you without tweens and teenagers or generally blind to trendy things, Heely's are really cool shoes that have wheels built into the heels. Basically this means that you can walk or you can skate- whatever floats your boat that day. If you just really like the shoe and feel completely challenged and unable to skate, you can just not put the wheels in and they make a great street shoe.

So I decided I was going to see what the fuss was about. Even though at age 29 I'm terrified of being on wheels. My reasoning was that if small and uncoordinated children can do this through the mall then I most certainly can.

I got to pick out my shoes. I obviously went with the "Sassy" shoes because not only are they a pink/purple but they have rhinestones on the toes. You know I had to get them.
At this time, Matt is currently too embarrassed to walk with me in them. Which is a shame because as it turns out, I'm even more uncoordinated than I ever was in my younger days. Before going out in public with my Heely's I carefully read the "How-To" information I got with the shoe and then I went and watched their videos. Mostly because the little card you get with your shoes as a how to includes SIX steps on finding your balance. That's kind of daunting.

But I figured it out. I heeled around my kitchen and dining room. I served dinner like I was one of those roller skate people at Sonic. I wasn't nearly as good and dropped at least one dish on the floor while I sadly clutched for the wall as I went down. But all in all, it was fun to try around the house.

Some things about the shoe:

1. They run big. I suggest going to a store to try on an actual one before ordering online. (And I would order online because they have a huge selection of styles and wheels online versus what you would maybe find in a store). I ordered a 7 and boy am I glad because I am normally a 7.5-8, and these are kind of loose on my foot.

2. It may be because my shoe is just a bit bigger than I like that I felt like my shoe was going to flop? It didn't, but the back of the shoe is kind of low cut (or the sole of the shoe is higher so it makes it feel low cut) so I really felt like the shoe would flop off if I wore them without wheels.

3. The actual construction of the shoe is great. It's sturdy and I feel like it would hold up well even with a lot of continuous use.

4. Safety. Well... safety depends. I was terrible. I am a terrible heeler, and that's a fact. I probably will never wear these with wheels again because quite frankly I am not coordinated.

5. Is this a good form of exercise? Well I tell you how I tested this. I wore these babies to the mall. Now, when I go shopping at the mall I am typically there for 2-3 hours total and I go into almost every single store. A lot of walking normally happens and I leave that mall exhausted. I once wore my pedometer and I got almost 12,000 steps in, which is what they recommend a person walk in a day. So knowing how exhausted I typically am after that, I decided to wear my Heely's with the wheels to see how tired I was or if I felt like I got a workout per say. And honestly? I didn't feel like I was even close to being as tired. Now, maybe it's because I wasn't doing it right, but I felt lazier by rolling around on these shoes. Sure, my calves hurt after awhile but overall? I know I didn't burn nearly as many calories as I did walking. So would I say this would be a good substitute for actual exercise for kids? No. Is it fun to do tricks and wheel around? Absolutely. I also think I should note that my shoes only had one wheel and I think if they had two wheels, it would have felt more like I was roller skating. So if you are hoping for that effect, I say you should probably go with a two wheeled shoe.
What I do love about Heely's is that they have a Safety Play Book that really, you should make your kids read (and you) to make sure that they get that you could hurt yourself on these if you're being an idiot. Overall? I think Heely's are pretty fun and I can definitely see why teenagers love these. Check out their YouTube page to see Heely's in action. They are also on Twitter and Facebook and of course, their webpage.
As required by the FTC: I received no monetary compensation for this review. I received a product sample for the purpose of my review. All opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

When some random funny picture turns out to be useful.

One thing you should know about me is that for 99% of my life, I have my camera easily within reach. Every purse I own was purchased in order to be able to fit my wallet, my phone and my mother fucking camera. Having this camera at all times is not only useful for future blackmail attempts but occasionally it provides reading material for you.

Another thing you should know is that I can drive AND take pictures at the same time. Watch out, world.

So one day a few weeks ago I'm driving with Matt and the kids and I realize it's the big college move in weekend in our area. This means nothing to me except the fact people lose all functionality of their mirrors since these kids pack their cars full of shit they think they are going to need when really you know in a few months they'll be trying to pawn it off for drinking money. Anyways. So I'm driving and I see this:
 First off, it's a piece of shit Cavalier but it's stuffed to the top with random shit including a huge teddy bear.
And you can't see it well, but this is the bear's ass right behind the boyfriend riding bitch with her box on his lap. And for fun- that house in the background? Later that day someone was shot there and cops still can't figure it out. In broad daylight. *sigh* Let's all just give a round of applause for our local P.D.

Anyways. So I thought it was funny that a girl presumably going to college was bringing a huge teddy bear. I mean, what a LOSER.

But then. Oh, but then... I see a post on one of my fav blogs to read about college girls and stuffed animals. Click HERE to see it in it's glory. I even commented on his post that I had just taken these pictures and I promised I would link back. So there you go. If you're too chicken to click on that link--- then I'll explain what plushie sex apparently is. SOME girls (not this girl for the record) will attach a vibrator or something to make the animal/plushie... anatomically correct, shall we say. And because she obviously is incapable of attracting a boy, she will go to town on this. To be honest, this maybe explains why trashy girls really love the fair and winning those big animals. I mean, that has to be it. And then if that's the case--- how do I not know anyone who does this to do an extensive interview with them? Do you do this? I want to interview you. I have a ton of questions. I do. So email me and we'll do an anonymous interview or if you're really ballsy and want to be named, then you shall be. But dang. This is weird.

So. How was YOUR day?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Weightloss Monday, Giveaway Winners AND a chance for you to own a piece of me.

I'm all over the fucking place with this post tonight but that's OK because I know you like it that way, baby.

And I'm completely doing it backwards from how my post title says because that's how I'm feeling today. First up, I want you to go over and give my bloggie friend Nay some love. I'm sponsoring her very first giveaway and I want you to flash your lambwhore boobies on her blog. Because you might win something I touched and I know some of you are kind of weird and would probably do weird things to it, so there you go. Don't say I've never done something for you.

Secondly, the winners for the books Blue Light Project and Red Right Return are announced on my vlog tonight-- so if you entered, see if you won or if you were a loser I tossed in the trash (literally).

Third, I'm sorry I was lazy this week. I was. I'm not even going to lie. But this coming week I'm going to kick my ass and beg for forgiveness. But watch the vlog to know what I'm talking about:

Other updates? I'm starting a cake decorating class on Thursday so my post Thursday will be later than usual. I know that maybe goes against the weight loss thing but I'll feel better eating the cake if I know it's from learning something. Right?? Just go with it.

I'm mourning the ending of the fourth season of True Blood. Can I just say I hope Tara dies? I'm over her. I think that says something about me that I'm actively hoping they kill her off. She's just so stupid all of the time. But one of the cool things about True Blood is that I discover new songs and artists and hands down my favorite find this season was Neko Case's "I Wish I Were The Moon".

The other thing I'm excited about? The Airborne Toxic Event concert that I would sell my left boob to go to in November. Truly. I would gladly sell that boob. Mostly because that's the one I always bang into things with and frankly? It's a nuisance. But I want to go to this show.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Dear Sara: Quick and Dirty

I am going to do a really quick and dirty Dear Sara this week because *holy fucking balls* I have a lot of work to do between tonight and tomorrow morning for Olivia's birthday party tomorrow afternoon. Remember when I thought it would be a super good idea to go to a concert in the middle of the week and then it made me all worn out the next day and yay-- that means I did nothing? Yah. That only comes back to bite you in the ass and not in a good way, lambwhores.

So it's quick and dirty. Which, funny enough, I got some questions that are kind of dirty themselves. Bonus.

1. What is normal? I know that's a broad question so let me be more specific. I've spent a lot of time thinking about things with Douchebag and how that ended a year ago this week and how I've went on a few dates/met a few guys, but overall just haven't done much since him. This got me thinking..... A lot of dating bloggers out there make it seem like if you're not dating at least every few months- you're a loser. And then they make an even bigger deal about how much sex you're having or shall I say not having. So what do you see as a normal amount of sex whether single or attached? Also a good guy friend of mine admitted to me tonight he hasn't so much as made out with anyone since breaking things off with his ex 2 years ago. Is there any normal to kissing? I feel like the world wants us all to be whores, but really there's a lot that goes behind why we do or don't do things when it comes to dating, sex and making out. Thoughts? You know what? I don't know what is normal either. I feel like if I were single, I'd probably be trying to at least make out regularly with guys who are most definitely not having a herpes outbreak on their face. As for sex? I really don't understand the point of having casual sex. The first time is never super awesome with a new person so to sleep around is like having a bunch of first time sex with a stranger. I mean, it never gets really good, does it? So I would rather have quality of quantity myself. But I suppose in the terms of dating... I guess everyone really is different. Some people go in with expectations and some don't, but some people also need that decompression time in between to absorb the pros/cons of the previous experiences so you aren't on the repeat cycle with losers. Bottom line? I think a potential partner (in any capacity) has to earn the kiss or a romp in the sheets and if you give it away it's meaningless and doesn't mean anything. Plus? Eventually most people settle down and do you really want to tell your future husband/wife that you were a really huge slut and look! You come with a wide variety of STD's and which would would he/she like? Ew.

2. How did you get to the point where you feel comfortable enough to talk about sex so openly? Because when my friends start talking about it I feel like the floor could swallow me right now and if my boyfriend asks me to try things I feel like I'm so bad that he has to try to fix it. It's kind of a problem. I guess I don't know why I feel comfortable? When I was growing up my parents were always very open to talking about anything and answering questions. They made sure I never went into anything unsure and you better believe I knew all about birth control, condoms, diseases, pregnancy, etc by the time I had my first boyfriend. My parents never wanted to know if I was using my said knowledge, but they wanted to know I knew it and hoped for the best. So basically- I was raised to not be ashamed of it and if you ARE ashamed of it or embarrassed that you probably weren't mature enough to be acting on those things. With that said, everyone has a comfort level. And I don't think you have to be talking about any of that in public if you aren't comfortable. Just smile and look engaged but it doesn't mean you have to contribute. With your bf giving you tips? He's probably enjoying it as much as you but every relationship needs something new once in awhile. If he's asking you to do something you aren't comfortable doing- be honest and say that. Otherwise, I say try it once. Maybe you'll end up liking it and if you don't, let him know. (BTW- he would probably like it if you told him what you like/don't like because guys are sometimes clueless.)

3. What age do you think it's appropriate to talk to your daughter about birth control and sex? My daughter asked me about it and she's 12. I pretty much panicked. Honestly? As soon as she gets her period. If Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant have taught us nothing else, it has told us that parents are doing a major disservice by being prudes. I got my sex talk in the 6th grade. Then when I got my period in 7th grade I had the birth control talk and my parents drilled into me that I can get pregnant if I have sex no matter how safe I think I am being. I could always be that 1% where something fails. But birth control is different. I think it's important to have a good enough relationship with your daughter to have an idea of whether she has a boyfriend or not. If she's starting to have boyfriends, put her on birth control. You may be religious or hope she waits till marriage... but be real. There is a good chance that won't happen. I would rather pay for birth control than a baby. And if she does wait until marriage? Well good for her. But part of parenting is giving your children the tools to make good decisions but also be able to give them fall backs. I was on birth control when I was 17 and my mom did it the day I told her I had a boyfriend. Just in case. She didn't want to know, but she said she also didn't want grandbabies yet either.
OK. That's it for this week. If you have a burning question for next week, email me at sarastrand9438(at)hotmail(dot)com.