Thursday, March 31, 2011

"D" list

John was out of town earlier this month and he teased me one day on the phone that I was probably not missing him at all with my double D's to keep me company--Draper & Dyson. It was funny at the time because I was really into season 4 of Mad Men (Don Draper is the leading male character and he's very handsome) and I was doing some heavy duty spring cleaning with my Dyson (true love).

John's quippy comment made me begin thinking of other things I love that start with the letter "D".

While I'd really love to share some of the DRAMA that played out at my house yesterday, it's not completely my story to tell so here's my D list instead.

Don Draper (dreamy)

My Dyson (bought on sale, with a coupon, AND got Kohl's cash too--BOOYAH!)

Daffodils, Daisies, and Dogwood trees (minus the pollen, of course)

Determination

Dreary Days (but only every once in awhile)

Mr. Darcy

Date nights!

Dallas (John and I lived there as newlyweds)

December

Dinner with my peeps around my table

David Crowder Band

Denver

Diet Coke (after almost four years of no aspartame, I caved and now I'm addicted again)(sigh)

Debbie, Dawn, Dana, DeeDee, Deena, Deidre, and all my other friends whose names begin with D!

What's not on my "D" list, you ask?
Drama (especially of the girl variety)
Dog food (the smell makes me gag)
Dora the Explorer's voice
Dusting
Dark chocolate (or any kind of chocolate for that matter)
Dieting

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Searching for crazy

Last week, I was out with some friends and the conversation turned in a roundabout way towards blogging. One of my friends that night didn't know much about blogging or that I even had a blog and I'm 90% sure she thought the whole idea of it was crazy. And that's okay because she still loves me and I still love her...and I still love blogging.

Her concern was all the crazy people who were out there reading what I wrote! Umm, yeah, that would be YOU. {Snicker.}

I told her that I have two different site counters that monitor traffic on my blog and I have a general idea of who's reading and I know what does and doesn't alarm me. I mean, I guess you never REALLY know who's reading, but I'm okay with my monitoring systems that are in place. [By the way, if you don't have Sitemeter or Statcounter on your blog, I highly advise you to install one or both of these free applications today. If you'd like more info, email me privately--my contact info is in the orange NavBar above.]

ANYWAY...

One of the features of my site counters is that I can see what google searches land people at Lifeat7000Feet. Most of them make me laugh. I've kept a list of some of my favorites and now seems like a good time to share. The snarky comments in italics are mine!

Smoking at 7000 feet
Really? You needed to google the side effects of smoking at 7000 feet? Maybe you already were smoking something.

How to make an Advent reef
Reef? I believe that's a brand of flip flops. And my kids wonder why I harp on them about spelling. Good greef. 

Chex mix at 7000 feet
I've got nothin'

Happy Clinique in Turkey
I think they were really inquiring where to buy perfume in Turkey, but their search took them to my thankful turkey centerpiece post.

How much salt is in the ocean at 7000 feet?
I'm really not smart enough to answer that and evidently google isn't either if it landed them here!

How deep is the ocean at 7000 feet?
I'm no oceanographer, but I'd be willing to guess it's 7000 feet deep.

Letting my hair go gray
Really? That landed you here? When have I ever said I was going gray? It's not happenin'. 

I hate living in Colorado
This just makes me cry. I LOVE Colorado. LOVE it.

Ruben from Ocean's 11
What's with the ocean theme? And for the record I live ABOVE sea level! That search actually took them to this post. 

Making a lint centerpiece
Lint? Check your belly button. And your dictionary.

How deep is 7000 feet really?
Well, since you keep asking7000 feet = 1.32575758 miles


Google told me that. I guess it's good for something.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Harpy Monday

Spring break was lovely. I already miss the unhurried mornings and the relaxing pace of last week.

But...we only have 35 days (Abbey) and 37 days (Will and Sarah) left in the school year. That is roughly eight more weeks until summer, and the best part is that half of those eight weeks are short ones! I think I can I think I can I think I can.

Will started track today. He came home from practice tired and ravenous. We always always always have leftovers but tonight we had NOTHING left. Not even a crumb. Note to self: fill him up with veggies and salad and bread or you won't see leftovers until track season is over.

I've been really irritable lately. I-R-R-I-T-A-B-L-E. There's a few people that I'd like to give a piece of my mind but instead I've been biting my tongue. Pretty sure it's still bleeding.

My girls have started talking with a Jersey/joisey accent lately. It's hysterical. I tried to record a voice clip of them tonight but they kept cracking up and turning it off. I wish you could hear them...

I can't believe March is almost over. I also can't believe we've barely had any snow in March since it's typically one of our snowiest months. This has been the driest winter we've experienced since moving here in 2003. I'm worried what that might mean for us this summer!

Here's a funny video that we took the other night at dinner. We went to our local mexican place and were quite surprised by the harpist who was there serenading guests. Have you ever seen a harpist at a mexican restaurant? It was definitely different. He played La Bamba (the clip below) and the Macarena at our table but his rendition of Jingle Bells threw me for a loop. No Feliz Navidad? Really?
video
This guy was really good! Sarah and her friend enjoyed stuffing money in the cut out section of his harp that was marked "Tips".

Buenas noches, peeps.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday Letters


{John asked me last week what happened to my Sunday Letters. That was just the motivation I needed to start back up!}

Dear Abbey,
What a fun week we had celebrating having YOU in our lives for NINE years. I really think you love being the center of attention and I really think we all kinda like giving you our attention. In addition to your birthday and getting your ears pierced, you also got to have your first sleepover at a friend's house. Mom and Dad missed you like crazy but we were thankful you had a great time. I think my favorite moment of the week was when you told me on a scale of 1-10 your birthday was a 200! I'm so glad it was everything you wanted!!! We love you, sweetie. So very much.

Dear Sarah,
You are simply awesome! You were a HUGE help to me with Abbey's party and you were really in your element. Thank you! You loved going to the mall this week (three times--whew!--that was a LOT for me but you sure were happy). I'm so glad you found some cute stuff that we both liked and I am always struck by your gratitude, Sarah. I bet you told your dad and me "thank you for my new clothes" at least ten times.  You're welcome, sweetie, you're very welcome. And we love you so much!

Dear Will,
We definitely haven't found our stride lately, have we? Seems like I annoy you more often than not these days but I really think you're such a great kid and a super big brother to your sisters. They look up to you so much whether you realize it or not. I'm glad you got to have some fun with your friend this week because track starts tomorrow and that's going to keep you busy (and probably exhausted)! My favorite "snapshot" of you this week was seeing you looking through our family scrapbooks. We got Abbey's baby album out for her to look through but you got each one out and read them from cover to cover. It was sweet and made my heart happy to see you reading "our family story". We love you, buddy. Very much.

Dear John,
You turned another year older this week. As you like to say, "The older the violin, the sweeter the music". That's so, so true. I loved celebrating you! I know you don't mind sharing your birthday with Abbey but I feel guilty that so much of the focus gets shifted away from you. You're a good man, JB.

Your book deadline is just a few days away and I know you will be so glad to have that behind you. I'm proud of the job you've done and can't wait to read it. You are my favorite writer EVER. Finish strong (you can do it!) and we'll be ready to celebrate with you on April 1.

I love you, J. Even if you wear square pants. ;)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Abbey's Spa Party

It's almost past the point of blogging about this but since this blog is sorta my scrapbook too, I'm rolling with it.

INSPIRATION
A couple of weeks before her birthday, Abbey started thinking about her party. Last summer she bought this book at the American Girl store. 
I ixnayed her slumber party dreams because y'all...I just can't handle sleepovers with multiple kids hyped up on cake and ice cream (such the mean mom--ha!). Most of the ideas in the book can be adapted to afternoon parties though so I told her I could totally roll with the spa theme. IF you have girls, this book is really worth the money! Abbey flipped through it choosing ideas and activities and in about five minutes we had her party planned.

The AG book even has suggestions for cute, themed invitations. Abbey and I tried making ours like the pedicure flip flops they suggested but honestly they were a big FLOP. Instead she helped me make a cute one in PhotoshopElements with cupcakes and polka dots. 

We also used this book that Sarah got for Christmas--it's wonderful as well--especially for tweens. Sarah is always mixing up scrubs and masks and soaks and I usually always have the ingredients called for in the recipes since it's all natural stuff. Again, totally worth the price tag and makes a great gift!


PREPARATION
Sarah helped me make a list of every ingredient we needed for our "concoctions" and then we went shopping for the girls' treat bags. They all got stretchy headbands to pull their hair away from their face for our mask, fun nail files, nail polish, toe separaters (for their pedicures) and lip gloss. I don't know about you but my girls have a million bajillion bottles of lotion (in every scent imaginable and I betcha they'll never be able to use it all before they leave for college).

Then Sarah helped me make "signs" for each spa station the girls would be visiting. 

Handy-Mani for manicures. One girl looked up at the sign and said: "Does that sign really say Handy Mani?" At which I cracked up laughing. Why yes, yes it does and Sarah and I thought it was terribly clever.

Best Foot Forward for pedicure.
Let me interject here how awesome it is to have a creative tween like Sarah. She was TOTALLY into helping with this party. If I had a quarter for every time that Abbey told her that she was a great sister that day, I'd have enough for a latte from Starbucks. Sarah was AWESOME! And so was her friend, Sabrina, who gave up a day at the mall to come help.

Hairapy for the hair station. (In hindsight, this wasn't a great idea. Sarah got a really bad curling iron burn and even though Sarah's friend was also here helping us, there just wasn't enough time do this and do it well.)

and the Facial Mask.

PARTY TIME!
Abbey invited four friends to join her. She wanted her party to be on her actual birthday which was kinda tricky since it fell during spring break. Thankfully all of the invited guests were in town this week and able to come! After they arrived we played a couple of spa-themed games--one was a version of "Go Fish" using spa-themed items hidden in a bag (it was straight from that AG book and the girls LOVED it). I let them keep some of the items too--mini-soaps, hair bands, bath scrubbies, sleep masks, etc. FUN! 

Then we had them rotate to each spa station.

Here's the manicure station where they soaked their hands in warm buttermilk to soften them. Buttermilk also whitens your nails. Did you know that? Afterwards they rubbed their cuticles with olive oil and then Sarah and her friend painted their nails. Oh, and I bought some of those nail stickers for them to put on after their polish dried. It was cute. 
(Sarah and her friend "decorated" the table with a beach towel that just happened to match perfectly with my bowls. See? Tween helpers are THE BEST!)

And here's the facial mask station, before I mixed things up. You simply take 1/2 avacado and 1 wedge of lemon. (I doubled that!) Squeeze the lemon into the avacado and mix. Ours was kinda chunky. Directions say to spread it over face and leave for 10-15 minutes. I think the girls left it on for about two-three minutes. Ha! No worries. They all thought their faces were super soft after we washed it off. 
You should also put a towel underneath your neck and protect your clothes. I kinda learned that the hard way!

For the pedicure station, the girls soaked their feet in warm water, Epsom salt, and a few drops of lavender essential oil. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm...smelled so good and their feet were so soft! 
 After all the spa treaments, we had cake and ice cream and opened gifts. Abbey requested a beagle cake. No matter how hard I tried to convince her to go with a spa-themed cake (I personally lobbied for the sleep mask) there was no changing the birthday girl's mind. I ended up using my Blue's Clues cake pan (from her 3rd birthday) and changing the colors to black and brown. She LOVED it. And I have to admit it was pretty cute.
We sang Happy Birthday to Abbey and her daddy, opened gifts, and then the girls jumped on the trampoline for a little while until their parents came. It was a really fun afternoon. Abbey woke up the next morning and said, "Only 364 days until my next birthday!" Guess I better start workin' on that. Grin.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Break and Birthdays!

Our spring break officially began last Friday afternoon but I've been going ninety-to-nothing since last week and am FINALLY feeling like I can breathe again. In fact, the only thing on my schedule for today is laundry (always), rest, and a Lenten service at church tonight. That's it. I am soooooo ready for a day like this! So ready to feel like it's spring break.

To say the last week or so has been very full might be the understatement of the year.

But, it's been full of good things-- like time with friends and family and BIRTHDAYS!

Yesterday, two of my peeps celebrated a birthday. Aren't they cute?
We didn't plan for them to have the same birthday...it just sorta worked out that way...and it's pretty special but I also feel bad for John because the attention REALLY gets shifted away from him. He says he doesn't mind, and he probably doesn't, but I decided last night (after a BIG day of celebrating Abbey) that next year we may celebrate them on different days!

One of Abbey's birthday gifts from us was getting her ears pierced. Sarah got hers pierced for her ninth birthday and even though Abbey has been begging us to get hers pierced for years, we made her wait. My kids think things need to be fair and square around here and Sarah was intent on making sure Abbey didn't get any advance privileges. Grin. The funny thing is that we took her the night before her birthday so she actually did get that gift a tiny bit early! :)
She's happy!
 She picked these cute, sparkly flower earrings and she was VERY brave!
 Here she is showing dad her new ear gear. I love this pic for two reasons--she's got her lollipop sticking out of her mouth and I can tell from her profile that she's smiling.
I hate I didn't get a pic of the fist pump they exchanged before this last pic. It was priceless.

Two more cute pics.
 Abbey made the cutest card for John. The outside said: To Dad, Love, Abbinator (love that!)

Yesterday afternoon was Abbey's "Spa" Party. It was awesome and we had a great time! I think that's going to have to be a separate post though so stay tuned for some cuteness!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Deep(ish) Thoughts

Sometimes I get introspective and thinky. Sometimes. 

When I'm having one of those days I ponder things like:

1. Does love win when Christians throw accusations and judgements at each other and call each other names such as heretics? Does it? I kinda think it makes Jesus sad.

2. How do we love well AND keep boundaries in our relationships. Our sermon Sunday was about the Good Samaritan who loved his neighbor sacrificially...it was risky, it wasn't convenient, and it was costly. I get that. I really do. I want to be that kind of person. BUT I also see the need for boundaries in certain relationships. FYI, I do not believe boundaries and conditions are the same thing.

3. How does the Pioneer Woman not weigh 1000 lbs. SERIOUSLY?!? I made her creamy mashed potatoes this week and while they were out of this world delicious and got rave reviews from my family, I couldn't help but feel that the insane amount of butter and cream cheese were going STRAIGHT to my thighs. How does Ms Drummond stay so svelte?

4. Gray hair just stumps me. I wake up with more and more each day. I'm curious if existing hair turns gray overnight or if only the new growth comes in that particular shade. I suppose I could ask lord Google.

Peace out, peeps. Happy Thursday.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

39 things...

I hardly ever post twice in one day but today isn't just any day. Today is Joanne's 39th birthday! I got to visit with her last week and it did my heart a world of good. She has made AMAZING, ASTOUNDING, MIRACULOUS progress in the last several weeks but she can still use your prayers!!! Especially as she begins rehab and faces surgery next week.

In Joanne's honor, I'm posting 39 things that remind me of her!

1. Charm bracelets (You have no idea how high and how low I've searched for mine today! It's hiding from me!)
2. Jesus Calling
3. Anne of Green Gables
4. My Nike+ iPod thingy.
5. Meatball minestrone (my kids LOVE her recipe for this)
6. My spiral-bound Esther book (got that idea from Joanne!)
7. Trader Joe's
8. Moleskin notebooks
9. Zippies! (I have four that she made for me. LOVE them!)
10. Zucchini
11. Bic Crystal pens
12. This cross stitch piece. She has one VERY similar to mine.
13. Pirate's booty
14. You've Got Mail
15. Robert Benson books
16. This cute pie bird. I want one!
17. Typewriters
18. Anthropologie
19. Girl Scouts
20. Jewish feast days and holidays
21. Lists
22. NavPress (lots of mutual friends from there)
23. Going to bed early
24. Camping at Rocky Mountain National Park
25. Gingham
26. The Brady Bunch
27. Collector spoons
28. Vintage stuff
29. Joann's Fabric and Crafts (there's one RIGHT by her house)
30. iPads
31. The lake
32. Nichole Nordeman songs (she grew up with NN)
33. Thank you notes
34. Sabbath
35. Creme brulee french toast
36. IKEA
37. Arizona
38. bacon
39. Advent and Lent


It's amazing the things that I've come across in my day to day life these past two months that continually remind me of Joanne and remind me to pray for her.

Happy Birthday, Joanne. I know you're not super thrilled about celebrating your birthday in the hospital, but every single day you're one step closer to HOME! You can do this!!!

Love,
Mer

If you want to wish Joanne a happy birthday, you can leave a comment on this post! I guarantee you that if she doesn't read it herself, then someone will read it to her! :)

Tell About It Tuesday: Pucker Up!

I love lemons. I love their smell, their flavor, their color, and their texture.

I discovered True Lemon crystallized lemon granules last fall and have been buying these amazing little packets ever since. 

I sprinkle a packet in my sweet tea because, honestly, sweet tea is often way too sweet for my taste and the lemon balances out the sugary flavor.

I use it in recipes that call for small amounts of lemon juice. 

I sprinkle it in my water to kick up the flavor notch and make drinking water more fun. (I have a hard time drinking water...I prefer so many other fluids over plain, boring water).

It tastes JUST like a fresh lemon because it's 100% natural...not artificial at all! Plus, it lasts longer than fresh lemon and it doesn't ever go bad.

Y'all, I really really really love this stuff! There's also True Lime (which is equally wonderful) and True Orange (which I've not yet tried).

Here's the skinny: It's around $3.50 for a box of 32 packets. I've yet to buy a box without finding a coupon inside. I buy True Lemon at King Soopers (Kroger) on the baking aisle by the sweeteners. The True Lemon website is great--you can find recipes, check availability in your areasign up for coupons, or buy any of their products online. 

Hope your Tuesday is bright and lemon-limey! 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Hmmmm, how about a list?

I have what seems like a million things going on my head at any given moment. Lists keep me sane. Lists keep me organized and on track. Lists make me happy. So a list it is for today. A random, discombobulated list.

1. I have lots I've been wanting to blog about lately but NO TIME!

2. My week is shaping up to be a busy one. Same song second verse.

3. Next week is S-P-R-I-N-G-B-R-E-A-K!!! Hooray. I can endure the busy week knowing that next week is fairly uneventful.

4. Springing forward is harder for me on Monday than it is on Sunday. Definitely fighting the urge to nap right now.

5. My sister is in the hospital. Her appendix ruptured last week. I feel so bad that I can't be there to help her with her little guy. He's six months old and she's been in the hospital since last Wednesday. Thankfully my mom and her mother-in-law have stepped in, but man oh man, sometimes I hate living far away from my family. She's doing okay. Hopefully she'll get to go home tomorrow. Hopefully.

6. I know Lent began last week but I finally got around to making our crown of thorns centerpiece over the weekend. I think it turned out pretty good. Here's a link with directions if you're interested in making one. I think I used more toothpicks last year...and I think it looks better with more! Oh well. It's a nice conversation piece for the season.


7. I finally bought The Pioneer Woman's Cookbook and OH MY GOSH. I've already made a few recipes from it and am certain that was money well spent. Anyway, here's a picture of the potato-leek pizza which was out of this world delicious. The only good thing about John being out of town last week was that the leftovers were all mine!

8. Two of my peeps have birthdays next week. Abbey will be NINE and John will be forty-something on Tuesday. Abbey is having a "spa party". She knows exactly what she wants (and what she doesn't) and we spent the majority of yesterday afternoon planning the games and food and making invitations. She's excited. I'm not really a good "birthday party" mom. I do it because I love my kids but not because it's my favorite thing in the world. That's blatantly honest.

9. Did you know today is Pi day? Yep. It's 3.14 so I think I'm going to swing by the VI for a P on my way home from carpool duty. "VI for a P" is our family's way of saying we're going to Village Inn for a Pie. Cherry is our favorite. I'm not a good pie-maker, nor do I have time to pull that off today so to the Village Inn it is. And guess what??? Blue Bell ice cream debuts in Colorado today. TODAY! What a perfect complement to Pi Day. :)

10. Did you know that my husband is listy too. Here are the lists he left taped to the back door before he left town last week.
I had to get the dictionary out to look up "ebullient". He's a good man and I'm super thankful he's mine...and super thankful that he's not traveling this week!!!

Peace out, peeps.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

My Saturday Morning Ritual

Saturday mornings are one of my favorite times of the week.

It's really the only day I get to sleep in, and I try try try to make it past 7am. Sometimes I succeed (like this morning--hooray!) and sometimes my internal clock (or my bladder) doesn't get the memo.

My Saturday morning ritual goes something like this:

Wake up
Walk into the kitchen
Say good morning to John (who has been up since 5am)
Pour a cup of coffee (that John made at 5am)
Walk back to my bedroom
Get back in my warm, comfy bed
Read
Surf
Get more coffee
Get back in bed
Catch up on email (I got my inbox completely emptied this morning!)
Work on my bible study (I usually end up doing all my homework on Saturdays and Sundays)
Get back up and eat breakfast. John is the Saturday chef around here.
And sometimes, if I have a leisurely day ahead, I get BACK in bed and repeat it all over again. Decadent!


No other morning of my week is quite as blissful as Saturday. That's probably why it's my favorite and why I complain when my Saturday mornings feel rushed and full and indistinguishable from M, T, W, Th, F, and Sun.

Do you have a Saturday morning ritual? Do tell.

PS: I just re-read this post and the part about trying to sleep past 7am cracks me up. Makes me feel old that sleeping past 7am is such an accomplishment.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Mish Mash Monday

I had a mammogram this morning. It was my first. And honestly, it wasn't nearly as bad as I imagined it was going to be. Still, I'm glad it's behind me for at least another year.

Our weekend was great! I even managed to squeeze in a Sunday afternoon nap for the first time in AGES. It was very nice.

Abbey and I went to a women's gymnastics meet at the Air Force Academy on Saturday night. Some friends of ours sponsor two cadets who just happen to be on the USAFA women's gymnastics team. We met one of their cadets at a Super Bowl party and thought it would be fun to watch one of their meets. It was AWESOME. I was completely mesmerized all night long and those girls have some serious skill! I took a couple of pics with my cell phone but they turned out terrible. Trust me though, I thought I was at the Olympics. That was their last meet of their regular season so they honored all the graduating seniors on the team. Not only are those girls exceptional athletes but they are STINKIN' SMART and are going on to serve our country in some impressive capacities after graduation in May. Very cool.

I took Will for a physical last week and as I was leaving the doctor's office, I pulled my sunglasses out of my purse to find them like this:
It wasn't as easy as popping the lens back in though so I bought a new pair today--my reward for surviving the mammogram. Actually, I can hardly stand to not wear sunglasses here. The Colorado sun is so intense! I even find myself squinting on soupy, cloudy days (like today) and if sunglasses help reduce crows feet by 1/1,000,000,000 of a percent, then I'm all for wearing them!!!

It IS definitely soupy and foggy and cloudy and cold here today. Snow is on the way and I've gotta admit that a snow day tomorrow would be really really nice. I've given up on trying to make sense of how our district makes snow day calls (it seems to vary from storm to storm and week to week) so I'm going to put my money on us having school in the morning. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and will let my kids go through their "we want a snow day" rituals tonight though...just in case.

Oh, one more thing. John and I LOVE Robert Duvall and we watched "Get Low" last night. It was SO good. Rent it or put it in your queue, especially if you're a Robert Duvall fan!

Friday, March 04, 2011

Newsy

It's Friday, it's Friday, it's Friday! Can you tell I'm happy about that?

I live for weekends...and this one is shaping up to be perfect...YAY!

Abbey is home with me today. The elementary school is out for a teacher workday. She's thrilled; her sister and brother are NOT. They've has CSAP testing (Colorado Student Assessment Program) all week and the only good thing I have to say about that is that teachers don't assign homework during the testing weeks. I love homework-free evenings.

In other news, Sarah's lost cell phone was FOUND!
After five days and a couple of phone calls from me, John stepped in and GOT THINGS MOVIN'. I hate that it sometimes takes a man getting involved to make things happen, but (sigh) sometimes it does. Within a couple of hours of his phone call, Sarah had her phone back. I mistakenly deleted the post about it her phone falling down the elevator shaft at her school. I was thankful it was found...and that it works! 

Here's some random pics from my camera (that I downloaded when I downloaded the pic above).
They've grown on me. Ha ha. 

This picture makes me laugh. Will's shirt says: DUDE, I'M RIGHT HERE. It's even funnier to me since Will dressed up like Waldo last Halloween

And one more:
I don't know why I took a picture of this other than it made me laugh. Jack-the-still-overweight-beagle had a vet appointment this morning to get his nails clipped and his "glands" expressed. OH MY WORD you have no idea how much that last phrase grosses me out and the fact that we have to spend money to have that done every month just pushes me over the top. 

But do you see what's written below it? Lunch/Recycling/Jeans? John and I had a hot date yesterday. He took me to lunch at PFChangs (my favorite, and a true sacrifice for him since he doesn't "love" it) and then we dropped off our recycling (yeah, I'm still not paying for curbside service) and on our way home we stopped by the western store and he got some new Levis. He wears a hard to find size and I love to tease him about it. We had a GREAT couple of hours together and the highlight of our drive home was seeing the new storefront for the new pinkberry that is opening soon in Colorado Springs. I screamed when we drove past it. I was seriously THAT excited. Now I won't have to drive to Denver to enjoy my favorite frozen yogurt. I'm really hoping this new store is open by spring break, which begins in exactly two weeks and YES, I'm counting.

I think that's all I've got for today. I have a long list of errands and stuff that needs to get finished today so that our weekend can be enjoyed by all. Peace out, peeps. And HAPPY WEEKEND!!!!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Tell About It Tuesday: Just for the Girls

Okay...let me start off by steering the handful of male readers I have away from this post. It's not anatomically applicable.

(Chuckle)

It's about bras. Yes, bras. And I thought ketchup was a weird word.

For years and years and years, I've been buying bras off the clearance rack at JCPenney or TJMaxx or Kohl's or Target. I have a hard time spending money on something so............utilitarian. Last fall, I realized I was sick and tired of cheap, ill-fitting bras and set off on a quest to buy a good one. I decided to try Dillards because their selection is ginormous and because once upon a decade or two ago, I found a brand there that I liked and has since been discontinued.

I rode the escalator up to the the bra department and started browsing. A sales associate (let's just call her Mammy)(because I have a twisted sense of humor and I like to laugh) asked if she could help me and I politely said, no thanks, I'm just brawsing, er, I mean browsing, and continued about my business. I guess I looked clueless because she came back a few minutes later and asked me if I knew my bra size. I thought to myself, Of course I know my bra size, Mammy. I've been wearing this size my whole life. But I looked at her and said, "Yes, I guess so, I mean, I think so. No, I guess I don't really know. I've worn this size my whole life".

She looked at the bras I had gathered to try on and said, "I think we need to measure you because I'm VERY sure you're not the size you think you are". I didn't know whether to cringe or smile, but I dutifully followed her over to the "measuring" station. The results were quite surprising.

Here's some of what I learned that day that I want to share with you. I'm guessing a lot of you already know this so just smile and nod and pass it on to the people in your life who have never had a proper bra fitting!

Knowing your bra size is VERY important to finding the right bra. Turns out I've been wearing the wrong size for years and years and years. Do your bra straps slip? Then your bra is the wrong size. Does your bra hurt? Then your bra is the wrong size. Does your bra rub and chafe? Then your bra is the wrong size. Is there spillage? Gaping? Slipping? Sliding? Then your bra is the wrong size. Seriously, I thought that was just stuff women had to live with but it's NOT! I let Mammy measure me that day but if you're not really comfortable with someone doing that you can use a guide like this one.

Decide what kind of bra you need and how much you want to spend. Oh my gosh. There are zillions of different makes and models and fabrics and colors and price ranges. Convertible bras (with straps that can be configured and concealed depending on your top). Underwires. Bras that minimize. Bras that maximize. Tank top bras. Camisole bras. T-shirt bras. Bras that slim and smooth. And on and on and on. An in-store fitting will let you take full advantage of knowledgable ladies like Mammy. It's their job to help you! I bet she helped me try on two dozen different bras that day after listening to what I needed and how much moola I was willing to spend.

Don't wear the same bra every day. They hold their shape better if you alternate, plus they just last longer. And if you've been wearing the same bras for years and years and years like I was, then you should probably toss them. They're really not meant to last years and years and years.

Don't wash your bras in the washing machine. Wash by hand with mild detergent and lay flat to dry. And never, ever put them in the dryer. It damages the elastic and shortens the life of your bra. I'd been washing and drying my bras incorrectly for years and years and years.

When you buy a bra, it should fit comfortably when hooked on the last set of hooks and with the straps in a looser position. Over time the elastic breaks down and that's when you'll need to take advantage of the inner sets of hooks and tighten the straps. I'd been doing that wrong for years and years and years.

It's not realistic to assume that your bra size stays the same year after year after year. It doesn't.

I've already told you that it's hard for me to shell out more than clearance tag prices for functional undergarments. I ended up buying two bras that day for a total of $75. Pricey, but TOTALLY WORTH IT! Plus, now I know what size I (should) wear and how a bra should fit and can buy from the clearance rack with confidence from now on!

I can tell a HUGE difference in comfort (no more straps that slip!) and in how my clothes fit as well. Huge difference. I happened to have on a striped shirt the day I was shopping and Mammy told me proudly as I was leaving that I'd moved up TWO WHOLE STRIPES with that bra on (yes, I wore it out of the store). Oh, that Mammy was a funny gal.

PS: Oprah has a lot of information on the bra topic here. Very informative stuff!