Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My New Toy

I've been an avid sewer all my life. Okay, well avid in the sense that I get on kicks that last for months and then take a few months off while daydreaming up all the hundreds of projects I wished I had time to do. When I was younger, I would thread as many needles as my great-grandmother had on a pincushion so that she could hand piece for awhile without having to worry about her poor eyesight keeping her from something she loved to do. My mamaw and I used to make clothes for my Barbie dolls, and to this day I have a simple, yet unfinshed "quilt" that I had started for them goodness only knows how long ago.
Although I prefer to hand piece all my quilts, a sewing machine would be nice for some of the quicker projects I'd like to accomplish over time and someday it'd be a great resource for new curtains, sheets or whatever else I decided to throw together. Although I'd been contemplating the idea of buying one for a bit, it was mine and Justin's decision to start building and making cornhole boards and bags that solidified my decision in buying a machine for myself.
My new toy:
Isn't she a beauty? Lol. Kenmore's were what my mom and mamaw have sewn on for years, so I knew because of that and after reading lots and lots of customer reviews that they were a pretty reliable brand. I found this one on sale at Sears and after our dinner date, Justin and I headed over to the mall to purchase one. Turns out she was the last one in the store. Lucky me!
I put her together that night and filled a bobbin. The next morning, I threw together a few pillowtops that are to be a Christmas present for a friend once I get a backing on them and stuffed.

A detail shot:

And this is my new sewing area: the kitchen :)

After talking about sewing cornhole bags, Justin decided we could turn the area into a sweatshop- turn the a/c off, turn the lights down, turn the oven on and just let me have at it. We'll see how it goes.

Monday, September 15, 2008

My Country Cookin'

I love to cook and I love even more to find new recipes to try. So far, so good with everything I've experimented with thanks to http://www.allrecipes.com/ . I decided to go a little off the page and give my absolute favorite dish a try this weekend: chicken and dumplings. My mamaw fixes them at every family dinner because she knows she'll have a twenty something pouty granddaughter if she doesn't :)

I'm so excited (and proud) to say that they turned out wonderfully!

And here's Justin enjoying his warm meal

Later on this week- chicken pot pie. I'll keep you posted.

From the Lost and Found

I go through random spells when I listen to youtube throughout the day. For the past two weeks, Pink has been on a constant rotation as well as Hoobastank, whom I rediscovered after hearing "The Reason" on the radio. One memory of a live Hoobastank performance came from an MTV awards show years back that they sang that song and bombed big time. It was only later after watching it again that I figured out the lead singer seemed slightly intoxicated and maybe that's why he was so off pitch. It was only a few weeks later that i saw them on another television show and he totally killed the song that I realized that had to have been it, cause he was seemingly sober this time around and was great.

This song was off their most recent album. I remember always wanting to dance along to it when I heard it in the car.

"Inside of You"

Pink's got a catchy new song out called "So What" which covers her recent divorce from now ex-husband Carey Hart. The kicker of the video? Carey makes an appearance. When questioned, Pink said something to the effect of "Carey knows I'm crazy but loves me and would do anything for me." I think she's got another hit on her hands :)

"So What"

And of course, for the teenager still living inside me, I have to include some Jesse McCartney, both old school and new.

"Just So You Know"

"Buy You a Drank"

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I've Just Experienced a Medical Mystery

About a week ago, I discovered halfway through my workday that there was something poking my left foot right underneath my next to last toe. I remember pulling my shoe off while talking to my boss at one point just to run my hand across my foot in order to brush off whatever may have gotten picked up while I was barefoot earlier in my office. After getting home that evening, my foot was still irritated, so I decided to take a gander. In the questionable area, I found a visable dark line, of which both Justin and I thought it was probably a small cut seeings how the shoes I had been wearing that day were a little worse for wear. We laughed about how just a week before he had been telling me of an article concerning hairdressers finding strands of hair embedded in their feet, apparently the longest of which was 5 inches long!

As the week passed on, I noticed that the discomfort was still there, although on Monday after another inspection, the dark line wasn't there anymore. After having a few "ow" moments during the evening, I took a closer look and found that the line had moved down a bit, and now instead of being horizontal, it was vertical. There was definitely something under my skin, it was irritating and there was no way I could get it out on my own.

Finally, last night I caved. I contemplated tweezers and fingernail clippers to get through the skin, but decided that I would probably make an infected mess out of things in the end and should just make an appointment with the foot doctor for today. As much as I hated to on the offchance that it turned out to be not much of anything, the little line had dropped a little further down to where it now rested in the middle of the ball of my foot and was more noticeable when I walked than before.

At the doctor's office, she decided to take an xray of my foot just to check and see if it was a hard material, like glass or something of the sort. Of course, nothing showed up, but she stated several times that there was something definitely underneath there. She asked if I wanted her to see if she could find it, and I responded "I kinda hoped you would cause I'm pretty sure it'd be more sanitary for you to do it than for me to." After a few minutes of light scalpel work, she informed me that although it wasn't incredibly deep in there, it was a little more than she originally thought and I was going to have to be numbed up. I do thank her for using that cold spray in conjunction with giving me the shot, although it still hurt like the dickens. A bit later, the cutting went much more smoothly (pun intended) and turns out that it was just what Justin and I had joked about- a hair. A little, quarter of an inch piece of hair that had somehow worked it's way underneath my skin and become an irritating little bastard that had to be cut out. How crazy is that? For a little piece of hair to feel like something poking at you whenever you were to bunch your foot up in a certain way.

I've already warned Justin that there will be no more discussions in this house of odd medical happenings and/or rare diseases as I don't intend to be an example of any more.

Monday, September 8, 2008

When The Lights Go Down In the City

So yesterday I made the trek up to Riverbend in Cincinnati with my boss, her husband and two of their friends to see Journey, Heart and Cheap Trick in concert. Now, it must be said that I am a huge 80's music fan. I'd already seen Journey before with Def Leppard, along with Motley Crue and Aerosmith and the only reason I missed last year's Poison concert was because no one would go with me. And although I was excited to see Journey again, Heart was my obsession for the night.

Cheap Trick was actually really good although I only knew two of their songs well enough to sing along. I don't know how many years these guys have been doing it, but his voice was still spot on.

When Heart came out, I was ready to rock. Ann and Nancy Wilson are two majorly talented artists and have been rockin' since the 70's. From the first note out of Ann's mouth, there was no doubt that this lady is just as good now as she was all those years ago. Over and over, she literally just blew us away with her vocals. And I was so happy that they played a lot of the songs that the crowd wanted to hear: Barracuda, Alone, These Dreams and they encored with Crazy on You. I wish they would have played all night.

Journey hit the stage with force and put on just as good of a show as I remembered from the last time. Their lead singer, Arnel Pineda (who is from the Phillipines and they found through Youtube), sounds dead on Steve Perry which is just awesome. They played all the songs I wanted to hear except for one. When they walked off the stage the first time, I turned to Carrie and said "Aw, I was really hoping to hear 'Lovin, Touchin, Squeezin'. When they came back for their encore, they started out with a bluesy type deal with the guitar and a harmonica, and I kept telling myself that the beat sounded like it, but not to get my hopes up. Sure enough, that's what they ended the whole shebang with, and I couldn't have been happier, lol.

Next time Poison comes around, I'm totally in. CC Deville is the man :)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

You Know You're an Accounting Dork When...

...you spend your downtime at work scheming an elaborate plan as to how you can more quickly pay off your car loan all the while being able to maximize savings over the course of time it originally should have taken you to pay it off. Yep. *raises hand* That'd be me, the nerdy girl sitting at her desk with a newly calculated amortization schedule, excel spreadsheet and hand on the ten-key. I still can't be sure of where I got these tendencies, but I keep promising Justin they'll pay off in the long run.

I'm not really concerned about paying off my car in the sense of money being tight. I originally financed it for a period of five years (as most do) because there's no penalty in an early payoff and why stretch yourself thin when you don't have to? My goal, nay-obsession, at this point in time in paying it off early is in the sense of saving money by knocking off interest. I had originally planned to have the balance to zero by around June of 2010, two years ahead of time. Then today, an epiphany hit and I've spent the last hour coming up with different figures as to how money would balance out should I move that date up to December 2009. So far, so good.

Of course, this sudden inspiration came from a little game I like to play against myself called "See How Much Under the Budget You Can Get in the Month", or as I'm sure Justin would term it "How Big of a Jew Can I Be?". I always want to be covered in case something unexpected were to happen. And of course I want to be covered when the expected shows up all too quickly (don't you hate it when those days and weeks fly right past you?). So my main concern in accelerating payments would be having the money put back for the future things I know I'll need it for. Future vacations, maybe my masters, a wedding somewhere off in the distance, a house that maybe we'll get to build in the next decade, starting my nest egg for retirement. And of course once the first set of worries are taken care of, the second round will start: future children, said future childrens' first cars, college educations, food expenses and general well being. And still piling on to that nest egg for retirement. All things that I worry way too much about to only be where I am right now in life. *shrugs* Eh, well. I'll just be well prepared.

If anyone ever needs a budget in a pinch, just let me know- I'll do it just for fun :)

Monday, September 1, 2008

Cause Sometimes You're Just In the Mood

Although Justin would surely protest, I think that this would be an incredibly sweet wedding song.

Sometimes it's just nice to go back through memory lane and revisit the songs you used to love and play over and over and over again in your cd player. I proudly state that I'm the owner of all the *NSync albums, including the Christmas one, and every once in a while still like to go back and listen to them. They were my favorite boy band and I always thought they were the most talented (they always sounded the best singing and dancing at the same time, lol). So in honor of this nostalgia, I thought I'd share some of my favorites with everyone.

My favorite off their Christmas album- love most anything accapella, especially this since you can so plainly hear all the harmonies.

One of my favorites off their second album. Granted, I prefer the music video in getting the crotch shot from Justin rather than this one of Lance, but hey, it's all about showcasing their impecible live singing skills here, lol.

And of course, one of the songs that started it all out

I have to say that I rather enjoy music, and sharing it for that matter. I feel a spinoff coming from this one...

Why Can't People Just Let Fiction Be?

Reading used to be an every day event for me, always searching for the next story that I just couldn't put down. After college though my time for recreational reading seemed to dwindle as there was always something else needing to be done. The last series of books that I started and finished was the Harry Potter series, usually the newest book being delivered on the release day and me not emerging from my room until I was finished reading it in the entirety that night. Fiction has always been my favorite, as I've always had a very active imagination that I like to feed.

Just this morning, I finished the fourth and final book in the Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer. It's popularity has picked up over the past year, the fourth book came out a few months ago and the movie based on the first book, Twilight, will be out in November. I bought the first book to read on the plane rides to and from Vegas, and was not able to really set it aside until it was finished. The evening we got back, I bought the second book, ordered the fourth from Amazon, and was back to Target two days later to buy the third. My mind has been wrapped around Bella Swan and Edward Cullen for over a week now, and I really can't say that I would have had it any other way.

A co worker of mine had mentioned to me last week that she was disappointed in the fourth book. And that quite a lot of people that had written reviews on Amazon.com and websites of the same caliber with the same opinion. After finishing what I thought was an amazing series, and book by itself, I decided to take a gander at what the naysayers were sharing. And of course, was shocked.

Fiction is fiction in my opinion. Stephanie Meyer wrote the first book of the series based on a dream she had one night. She took the pretense of the conversation the two people in her dream were having and wove an intricate tale that has allowed so many to immerse themselves in the fairy tale world that took place in a small town in Washington state. Yet a lot of readers have taken from it so much more. Drawing conclusions of what morals, or lack thereof, the author speaks of, what ideals she is supposedly supporting through the characters actions in the last book. It's a work of fiction folks, a fairy tale, people that don't exist and a story that all came from a dream. The great thing about fiction is that it's not real- it doesn't have to follow what rules the general public or even the author would follow in their every day lives. It's not written as a self help book or a guide for young readers to take to heart in influencing the decisions they make as they begin their adult lives. It's simply a fun way to let your imagination have it's way and spend a few moments outside of the real world to get away from it all. Let you curl up and imagine all the fantasy "what ifs" that you used to when you were young and got a thrill out of watching Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella and every other fictional fairy tale that was out there. All the movies that were ever made about unrequited love and the girl or guy always ending up with the one they pined over. Overcoming all obstacles to get what they wanted. I just don't know how else to say it. Just like with the uproar over the Harry Potter series, your child will not rebuke God and be destined for hell just because he or she reads a series about witches and wizards. Who, mind you, are usually moral and always trying to do the right thing. Sheesh.

The one thing I do know is that I won't let my imaginative high be destroyed by anyone who can't seem to just enjoy a simple tale. A story with no moral, no fable with a lesson at the end. Just a pure, entertaining, absolutely well written tale that I'll re-read for years and years to come.