Monday, March 31, 2008

Shuffle

I got tagged by Katie for this lovely meme. I haven't done one of these in a while so I figured I give it a go. That and mah shows are all done for the evening. ;)

Here’s how it works:

1. open your library (iTunes, winamp, media player, iPod)
2. put it on shuffle
3. press play
4. for every question, type the song that’s playing
5. new question — press the next button
6. don’t lie and try to pretend you’re cool

opening credits: Realize--Colbie Caillat

waking up: I Get Money--50 Cent

first day at school: Indescribably Blue--Elvis Presley

falling in love: Push It--Salt n Pepa

breaking up: Smile--Lily Allen

prom: Under Pressure--Queen and David Bowie

life’s okay: Simply Complicated--Jimmy Buffett

mental breakdown: GNO--Miley Cyrus

driving: Long Time Gone--Dixie Chicks

flashback: Touch The Sky--Kanye West

getting back together: Motown Philly--Boys II Men

wedding: Tequila Loves Me--Kenny Chesney

birth of child: Nobody Knows--Pink

final battle: Invisible--Taylor Swift

death scene: Wall to Wall--Chris Brown

end credits: Satisfaction--Rolling Stones

I tag... Devin, Laura, Cassie, Candace, Erin, Charles, Tammy...whoever wants to do it!

Mr. Wildcat

I met Mr. Wildcat, Bill Keightley after my first Midnight Madness. He was talking to a friend and I, being the young wildcat fan I was, ambushed him. I grabbed his hand, asked him to sign something and took a picture. Looking back I was embarrassed by my behavior. But he could not have been more gracious.

Mr. Keightley served as Equipment Manager for every UK coach since Adolph Rupp. He was a fixture, on the bench, at every UK game. Players and coaches alike have sung the praises of Mr. Wildcat for years.

For any Kentucky fan, and for many sports fans in general, it is with sad regret to learn this evening that Mr. Keightley left this world today. He leaves a huge void at UK, that I'm not sure will ever be filled. But nobody has ever been more faithful to his team.





I hope Coach Rupp and Cawood were there to greet you at the gates, Mr. Wildcat. You'll be sorely missed.

Photo of the Day



I realized while sifting through old photos that while we were in Seagrove this past May, I did not once sit in the wet sand and let the waves crash over me. Now, I figure this is partly to blame for staying in North Florida in the middle of May. It had a tendency to be a bit chilly. But really, it's a pity that I didn't sit down next to Jon instead of stand back, snapping this picture.

I'll do better this year.

Although, now that he has a camera of his very own his obsession with photography is beginning to rival my own. So maybe, this year he'll just return the favor.

I should also mention another recent find....

Last year I made a photo book from Shutterfly of our trip. It was a free promotion that came with my camera. But I liked it so much I decided I should do one this year too. I never manage to scrapbook or save my photos for posterity in anyway, even though I go to the store and buy all of the supplies to do so.

So, this year I've been looking into the other photobook options. While I liked the one from Shutterfly it was very bright and ended up coming off a bit too sappy for my tastes. I found this site: Blurb

And immediately knew I'd found the one. I am in love with the simplicity of the books.

And I figure the sappy-ness of the last book I made lies in the quotes I chose. They were...oh there are no words. They were too much. Very unlike me. I don't know what I was thinking.

Which is why this year's book, I've decided, is going to feature quotes derived solely from "The National Lampoon" vacation films. Like these gems:

This is no longer a vacation. It's a quest. It's a quest for fun. I'm gonna have fun and you're gonna have fun. We're all gonna have so much fucking fun we'll need plastic surgery to remove our godamn smiles.

or

Clark Griswald: Roy; can I call you Roy? Have you even driven your whole family cross-country?
Roy Walley: Oh, hell yes. Once I drove all of them to Florida. The smell coming out of the back seat was terrible.
Clark Griswald: I know that smell, Roy; but what if you had driven all that way and Florida was closed?
Roy Walley: Closed? Uh, they don't close Florida.

or

Clark: We're from out of town.
Man Giving Directions: No shit.

I mean, honestly, I think it'll make a classy piece of family memorabilia.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Blog of the Day

I love discovering new blogs, especially ones that draw me in from the first post and leave me sifting through pages of archives for hours afterwards. I don't take nearly enough time to find new blogs, but I was reading through sites and articles about one of my favorite topics: adoption, when I came across this gem.

Pho for Four

She just gave birth today to a beautiful baby girl, and just a few months ago she and her husband brought home their 2nd son from Vietnam.

Vietnam and Ethiopia are my latest countries of choice for my hypothetical future adoption and reading a blog like this makes me wish with all of my heart that I could be financially secure and finally working in real life so I could start the process tomorrow. (Which is weird, because I don't get baby lust. Ever.)

In the meantime I'll just enjoy living vicariously.

Any good blog suggestions you've come across lately? Or an old favorite that I must check out?

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Photoshop

I've already spoke about my interest in the photo editing site, Picnik. And since my new camera arrived last week I now am the proud owner of Paintshop Pro: X2, even though it took me until last night to finally install it.

But today I ran across something I had to share.
https://www.photoshop.com/express/landing.html

I haven't tried it yet, but I'm sure it does a decent basic job. If you try it, let me know.

Or continue on like me and stay in the dark with photo editing. I tend to like a simpler approach and like knowing someone's photograph was created by their actual skill and good eye with a camera anyway.

At least that's what I tell myself to justify not having learned a thing about any of these programs yet! ;)

100 Things Worth Doing

Inspired by Maggie of Mighty Girl fame I decided to give my own twist on the 100 Scenes I Hope Pop Up As My Life Flashes Before My Eyes. I'm young, so of course this won't be as cool as some of hers, however, our date of expiration varies and therefore it's only natural that some see more than others.In No Particular Order:

1. Hugging Grandma as she rocked in her chair.
2. Rough River on Papaw's boat.
3. Laying on the couch admiring a newborn Jonathan.
4. Swinging on the last day of school in my backyard with freshly cut grass stuck to my feet.
5. The last day of Journalism at B.E.
6. That morning after Dad's heart attack as they wheeled him down the hallway.
7. The deck on a summer morning in Pineville with bacon sandwiches.
8. Heine Bros. Coffee swapping in that Highlands gas station parking lot.
9. October 2004, my driveway, near midnight, bittersweet goodbye.
10. Laughing and joking around until the R.A.s were called our Freshman year.
11. Playing horseshoes with Krystal and Kristen and listening to Poison.
12. That night in Nashville.
13. Riding along Spring Drive, planning our future.
14. The Blue Jeep ride to Tolly Ho.
15. Commonwealth Stadium with Dad for the first time.
16. Giving my first speech.
17. The nosebleed section with Mom at our first UK game.
18. My first night in Lexington; my first night on my own.
19. Graduation night.
20. Dancing in Pizza Hut after the 8th Grade Dance.
21. The Pact.
22. Sitting on the porch in Seagrove listening to the waves.
23. Sunset at Bowman's Beach and the pier.
24. Playing croquet.
25. Sitting on the patio with Mom the morning Grandma died.
26. Catching lightening bugs.
27. Hopping in Mom's bed for those late night, right before bed, chats.
28. Bailing out of Redington Shores like a bunch of bandits.
29. Christina, my first dog.
30. That Fourth of July at the rich people house, sitting on the lawn under the fireworks.
31. Picking Papaw's tulips.
32. The Florida Welcome Sign at 4:30 in the morning.
33. Cherry tomatoes in the garden with a salt shaker
35. Marco Polo marathons with the girls.
36. Skipping class and driving to Versailles for no reason at all.
37. Betting and winning on War Emblem.
38. Playing the jukebox for the umpteenth time.
39. That first sip of blackberry wine.
40. Making margaritas in plastic cups.
41. Dancing to Brown Eyed Girl.
42. Finding a kitten under a jacket in the car.
43. Bill Clinton.
44. Barnstorming.
45. Tropical Storm Arlene and walking on the beach until my hair was knotted.
46. Stuffing pillows and blankets up to leaky windows in my car during that rainstorm.
47. Drying off in a Georgia rest area while laughing uncontrollably.
48. Eating croutons with french dressing in Aunt Bonnie's kitchen.
49. Swiping honeysuckle from the back of the farmer's field.
50. Picking blackberries until our hands were stained.
51. The Ice Cream truck.
52. Eating Mark's Feed Store at Uncle Tom's house during the big move.
53. Hanging out in the ambulance at Audubon.
54. Iroquois Park at Christmas and the reindeer.
55. Walking for-e-ver to Coldstone and hopping a trolley back to the car.
56. Ramses dinner in the pretty dress.
57. Inviting the limo driver to prom.
58. Running barefoot to get ice in a hotel near Knoxville.
59. Breakfast with everyone at Pine Mountain.
60. Singing "Grandpa Tell Me Bout The Good Ol' Days".
61. Sitting with Clyde, watching baseball.
62. Every rose has it's thorns.
63. Swimming in a trough.
64. Summer falling asleep in my lap.
65. First taste of mint chocolate chip.
66. Conquering the dirt mound.
67. Cheapside for the big talk.
68.Pulling pranks on Uncle Bill in the parking lot of Wasioto.
69. Ringing the bell at Varilla.
70. Listening to beach waves in pitch black of night by myself.
71. Watching the lights of Central Baptist before dawn.
72. Sneaking ice cream cake in the ICU.
73. Doing a snow dance.
74. Introducing them.
75. Buying my first car.
76. Picking cicadas off the deck.
77. Wearing the swishy dress.
78. Driving to the lighthouse after midnight.
79. Flirting in Publix.
80. Late night chocolate fudge brownie runs.
81. Dividing ashes with Darlene at the top of the mountain.
82. Running through the rain in Glasgow.
83. Hearing Jon's first cry with Grandma.
84. Building an igloo.
85. Missing the train and ending up past Bowling Green with dead cell phones.
86. Picking cheese of of pizzas at Millanos.
87. Making phone calls in the waiting room.
88. Learning Dutch from the Holland couple.
89. Making homemade waffles on vacation.
90. Collecting shells before sunrise.
91. Driving at dusk under all of those trees.
92. Standing in line to vote for the first time.
93. Finding out I was the favorite.
94. Being told I would be a writer when I thought I wanted to become a doctor.
95. Pulling over in the church parking lot as a tornado passed the truck.
96. Stopping for A&W hotdogs.
97. The roadside stand on the way to the lake.
98. Sticky Florida parking lot in the middle of the night, listening to alligators.
99. Stealing the last bowl of the famous salad.
100. Feeding the horses sugarcubes.

(I swear this was fun.)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Best Response So Far on my Bill Clinton Story

Upon telling said person about shaking his hand: "You washed it right? I mean, you know what he does with it..."

Me: "Uhh, yes, I washed it. But umm, pretty sure he managed to go hands free most of the time."

Satan's Chihuahua

I posted the last Overheard based on a conversation Jon and I had in our driveway this afternoon. Apparently I'm so evil I'd make Satan cry. It's a fact Jon reiterates in this lovely video.


Untitled from apsies on Vimeo.

Why a video? Oh, I don't know, maybe because the camera I bought Jon (so I could use whenever I wanted) finally arrived today. I love it. I love Fuji. It's just like my camera, only smaller, with less zoom and a few less features. Yet, it still manages to Bokeh pretty damn well.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Overheard

Jon: April, you'd make Satan cry. He'd run back to heaven demanding God for forgiveness if you showed up.

100 Things to do Before I Go: 77-100

77. See Hillary Clinton in person.
78. Visit Land Between the Lakes.
79. Go horseback riding.
80. Buy a brand new, zero miles on it, car.
81. Join a produce co-op.
82. Buy a Coach "Carly" bag.
83. Eat lobster.
84. Roadtrip US 1.
85. Learn how to can.
86. Make my own bread, and yeast rolls.
87. Take care of a houseplant.
88. Visit quaint places in Kentucky and take pictures.
89. Do something crafty with all of my shells.
90. Visit Disney World.
91. Make Creme Brulee, with the torch thing.
92. Get fit.
93. Take vitamins on a regular basis, not sporadicly like I do now.
94. Take an RV trip.
95. Run for town council or something like that. (maybe)
96. Get a tattoo.
97. Join a warehouse club.
98. Be spontaneous.
99. Enlarge and frame a photograph that I took.
100. Host another bonfire.

(Notes about my 100 things. I tried to come up with attainable things. Some of which aren't entirely possible now, some are an ongoing process and some I could do tomorrow. I think it's a nice mix. I fully intend to revisit this list and cross things off. If I never finish all 100 that will be fine. Each one I do is just icing.)

Off the Deep End

I've been operating under a Clinton Induced High since yesterday. I failed to watch my favorite show, Dancing with the Stars, last night after I completely forgot it existed. And at various points in the evening I would announce to anyone listening, "Oh my God...I met Bill Clinton."

This behavior was very similar to that of a tween girl who'd just met a Jonas Brother. Just saying.

I'm slowly, but surely, coming out of my euphoric state and am now fully able to realize how proud I am of myself. Not for shaking Bill's hand or anything like that. But for going. For showing up when I had no idea how to get there. And for going with my gut in such a spur of the moment circumstance.

You see, doing what I did yesterday off of the cuff is actually quite unlike me. I meticulously plan things like that. I print maps and make sure my family knows what is going on ahead of time. I'm cautious and careful to the point of miserable.

I want so desperately to be the kind of person who just hops in the car and goes for it. Whatever it may be. And yesterday as I hightailed it to Paris I was actually happy and giddy. Somehow I don't think that happiness is just from The President. It was an adventure. I was alone. I had no map. I had to become resourceful.

And I did. Which, in the process, led me to actually seeing Bill Clinton speak. Even after I thought for sure I wouldn't get to. That was an amazing stroke of luck. Or fate. Or just the universe's way of proving to me that sometimes going off of the deep end is worth it.

I kind of liked the deep water.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Accomplished (Seriously, A Dream Come True)

I woke up to one of those mornings where everything that can go wrong will. I got up too late, I had an exam that I hadn't studied enough for at 9:30, I was moody, everyone was annoying me and I couldn't find my jeans.
But most of all I was pissed that my 9:30 exam was going to clash with a 10:30 rally in Frankfort featuring Bill Clinton.

My one chance, or at least the only chance I am currently aware of, in which to see President Clinton speak. And I had to focus on effing Biology.

Somewhere around the 3rd or 4th light before the parking garage at school I had an epiphany. Perhaps it was the radio people talking about going to see The Prez in Bourbon County that did it, perhaps it was my mother's subtle urging that I should really try to make it to Paris. Other classes be damned.

And so I did. Except I was wearing sweatpants because, as mentioned, I couldn't find my jeans this morning. AND I didn't have my beautiful camera with me, because when I left my house I had no intentions of seeing Mr. President today.

I may or may not (totally did) get lost in Paris. As I later discovered it was a straight shot to the place where he was speaking. At any rate it added a good half hour off of my arrival time. As did the trip to Target because I had to buy a crappy disposible camera.

Upon arrival at the Bourbon County Fairgrounds I discovered I was late and according to event coordinators and the FREAKIN' SECRET SERVICE nobody else would be allowed in the building.

Which was fine, I figured I'd stick around with a few other folks and at least watch his motorcade arrive.

He ended up running nearly 2 hours behind due to a large crowd in Frankfort. A few people left the venue, tired of waiting. And around 2:00 the SECRET SERVICE informed us they would let about 20 of us "motorcade waiters" into the building. I was #18 of the 20 they counted out to go in.

Since we arrived late we were shuffled in a side door, which...to the chagrin of those already inside, offered us prime Clinton watching spots. We proceeded to listen to a speech from a Clinton Pledged Superdelegate and after that, former Miss America, Heather French Henry. Then it happened.

The most charismatic, surreal, unbelieveable politician I've ever laid my eyes on arrived.

Let me tell you this, everything you've ever heard in relation to Bill Clinton in person is true. He commands an audience like no other, is well spoken and has this way of looking into a room full of people and making you think for a split second that he is speaking only to you.

I swear we made eye contact like twice.

And I'm not lying when I tell you he is sexy. Is he the most attractive man ever? No. But sexy he is. I totally got it.

I also got his message about his wife. I think she will end up doing well in this state based on what I heard from other voters. He gave solid reasons why she is the better candidate. And I, for one, completely agree.

But politics aside I want to get to a much more personal notion here.

There are many things I want to see and accomplish in this life. Writing most of my 100 Things To Do Before I Go list this weekend has really helped me to set solid goals for myself and outline exactly what I want from my short time on this earth.

And I wasn't kidding about #76 this morning. It has always been a dream of mine to specifically see President Clinton speak in person. It was icing on the cake to get to shake his hand today. I can honestly say today's experience has made my year.


1 down, 99 more to go.
( http://www.kentucky.com/263/story/356517.html ) That is a story and actual video from the event I was at in Paris.

100 Things To Do Before I Go: 76

76. See a President, former or current, in person.

Monday, March 24, 2008

100 Things To Do Before I Go: 51-75

51. Live in a small town with sidewalks and trees and a quaint Main Street area.
52. Perfect all of my Mom's recipes, namely fudge.
53. Make pie crust from scratch.
54. Enter a dish or baked good at the fair.
55. Find a crafty hobby and stick to it.
56. Attend a live taping of a talk show (Oprah, Rachael, Ellen...etc.).
57. Buy myself a diamond.
58. Go biking on Sanibel Island.
59. Take my grandmother to my other grandmother's grave in Pineville.
60. Do a 365 Project of some sort on Flickr.
61. Visit Cambodia and Vietnam.
62. Visit Hyannis Port.
63. Go to the Olympics.
64. Make my own Wine.
65. Learn a ballroom dance.
66. Learn to golf.
67. Visit a black church.
68. Go Memphis, visit Graceland and eat BBQ.
69. Rescue a dog or cat from the pound.
70. Drive a boat again.
71. Play bingo one more time for my grandma.
72. Go crabbing.
73. Take my Dad out on a fishing cruise.
74. Go camping on the beach.
75. Take a walking Ghost Tour.

Overheard

Jon on his new iPod:

"Hey, now we can go walking and not talk to one another."

Sunday, March 23, 2008

100 Things to Do Before I Go: 26-50

26. Become proficient with a Digital SLR camera and photo editing.
27. See the Pacific Ocean.
28. Take a carriage ride.
29. Go to a Major League Baseball game.
30. See a stadium concert of some sort.
31. Like my job.
32. Read the classics I haven't read.
33. See a Broadway play.
34. Go to a Catholic Mass.
35. Visit a Synagogue.
36. Go hiking somewhere beautiful.
37. Visit The Biltmore Estate.
38. Be an Aunt like the ones I had growing up.
39. Take my parents to Hawaii.
40. Raise Chickens for my own eggs.
41. Learn to garden, well.
42. Teach Jon everything I know.
43. Walk a 5K
44. Decorate a really beautiful cake.
45. Own an Australian Shepherd.
46. Experience the kind of breathtaking day that you look back on at the end of your life and say, "wow". (not sure what it will entail yet)
47. Eat Key Lime Pie in Key West.
48. See UK play, in person, in the NCAA Tournament.
49. Go to the Grand Ol' Opry.
50. Research and figure out my family tree.

Happy Easter

Oh right, so it's Easter. Look, Happy Easter to anyone I've failed to say it to yet. I'm horrible on that leaving a happy (insert holiday) stuff. I feel bad.
But life goes on...

So we went out car shopping yesterday for my mama a new vehicular. (Nope, no luck yet.) We didn't arrive home until 8:30 and had yet to purchase a ham, or the other fixings, and all we had for baskets was the candy (which I couponed...no lie) and things my mother let me buy for myself last week...which amounted to a bag of books from Half Price and a dress from Target. Jon had nothing yet. Yes, I believe this situation is called: screwed.

Unwilling to fight the battle that would have been Walmart last night, we instead told Jon to sleep in and we'd wake him with his basket when it was ready.

Yeah, no more Easter bunny crap, but I think my Mom will still make us baskets when we are old (her mother did).

This morning she bought Jon an iPod shuffle. It's perfect for him because he just needs something he can clip on his clothing without worry of dropping and breaking screens.

We put the $15 iTunes gift card it came with in the top of the basket with all of the candy, while we hid the actual shuffle underneath the easter grass. It was brilliant to see the feigned excitement over "just a gift card". Even more brilliant to watch Dad declare that he'd just have to burn the music onto a CD or use my PINK iPod. And most brilliant when he was told to "dig a little deeper".

It's watching a perfect ploy work out this way that makes me understand why parents have fun with holidays despite never receiving in return.

Forgive Your Enemies, But Never Forget Their Names

My cousin gave birth this morning to her 3rd (and final) boy. Weighing in at 7 pounds, little Braden Patrick joined his big brothers, Nathaniel and Dylan. And early this morning after we got the news that she was in labor and we didn't know his name I remarked that she'd probably call him some form of Aiden. Everyone is naming their kid some version of Aiden: Braden, Caden, Jayden, Hayden. Did I miss any?

The Top Ten Boys Names of 2007 were:

1. Aiden
2. Braden
3. Kaden
4. Ethan
5. Caleb
6. Noah
7. Jaden
8. Connor
9. Landon
10. Jacob
and Hayden made the list at #54

Notice a trend?

I was at the grocery when Braden finally made his way into the world. My mom called me and said, "what was that name you hate?"

Sometimes, without even noticing it, I experience this smug superiority in regards to baby names. If I like a name someone has picked out I don't waste time in complementing them and sharing how much I like it. On the other hand, if I hate the name, I struggle with my reactions. My nose twitches, my mouth frowns. It's darn near uncontrollable.

I can respect baby names for what they are: an intensely personal decision. Which is why I keep my opinions to myself usually. But in the interest of disclosure, I suppose my issue lies with a name's popularity. Especially when it becomes noticable that everyone around me is naming their kid the same thing. A few years ago everyone named their girl Madison. Years before it was Ashley. It's the same reason I went to school with classes full of Jessicas.

And now it's any form of Aiden.

Wake me up when it's over and we all move on to the next big name trend please.

Also in the interest of full disclosure, my favorite baby names, so you can probably cringe the way I do over the Aiden names. haha

Girls:
*Harper
*Talley
*Ellis
*Sloane
*Norah

Boys
*Jude
*Gabriel
*Sullivan
*Julian

Yes, I like nice, crusty, Eastern Seaboard names. The kind you'd hear yelled on a beach at "The Cape". You know I've always wanted to be a Kennedy... ;)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

100 Things to Do Before I Go: 1-25

1. Fall in love, for real.
2. Truly own a home.
3. Attend The Derby, wear a beautiful hat.
4. Take a picture in front of Buckingham Palace.
5. Be Published.
6. Rent a place on the beach for an entire summer.
7. Go fishing in the bahamas.
8. Experience motherhood.
9. Stay close to my family (develop that huge extended family I always wanted).
10. Get my palm read in the French Quarter.
11. See Savannah, Georgia.
12. See all 50 states.
13. Feel really awesome and accomplished.
14. Washington Square; at night.
15. A kiss on New Years Eve.
16. OH CANADA!
17. Play with my own children in my own backyard.
18. Work on a Presidential Campaign.
19. Visit all of the Presidential Libraries; or at least the important ones (The Dems and Reagan)
20. Pay my respects at JFK, Jackie and Bobby's graves; see the eternal flame at night.
21. Visit the Lincoln Memorial, also at night.
22. Make sure my Dad knows how much I love him.
23. Take care of my Mom, make her see and do things adventurous.
24. Raise free thinking children who learn respect and tolerance.
25. Make a difference in a constructive way, not just with a pocketbook.

100 Things Worth Doing

Inspired by Maggie of Mighty Girl fame I decided to give my own twist on the 100 Scenes I Hope Pop Up As My Life Flashes Before My Eyes. I'm young, so of course this won't be as cool as some of hers, however, our date of expiration varies and therefore it's only natural that some see more than others.

In No Particular Order (aka: as they come to me)

1. Hugging Grandma as she rocked in her chair.
2. Rough River on Papaw's boat.
3. Laying on the couch admiring a newborn Jonathan.
4. Swinging on the last day of school in my backyard with freshly cut grass stuck to my feet.
5. The last day of Journalism at B.E.
6. That morning after Dad's heart attack as they wheeled him down the hallway.
7. The deck on a summer morning in Pineville with bacon sandwiches.
8. Heine Bros. Coffee swapping in that Highlands gas station parking lot.
9. October 2004, my driveway, near midnight, bittersweet goodbye.
10. Laughing and joking around until the R.A.s were called our Freshman year.
11. Playing horseshoes with Krystal and Kristen and listening to Poison.
12. That night in Nashville.
13. Riding along Spring Drive, planning our future.
14. The Blue Jeep ride to Talley Ho.
15. Commonwealth Stadium with Dad for the first time.
16. Giving my first speech.
17. The nosebleed section with Mom at our first UK game.
18. My first night in Lexington; my first night on my own.
19. The Macarena dance in the parking lot with Aunt B.
20. Dancing in Pizza Hut after the 8th Grade Dance.
21. The Pact.
22. Sitting on the porch in Seagrove listening to the waves.
23. Sunset at Bowman's Beach.
24. Sunset at the Pier.
25. Sitting on the patio with Mom the morning Grandma died.
26. Catching lightening bugs.
27. Hopping in Mom's bed for those late night, right before bed, chats.
28. Bailing out of Redington Shores like a bunch of bandits.
29. Christina, my first dog.
30. That Fourth of July at the rich people house, sitting on the lawn under the fireworks.
31. Picking Papaw's tulips.
32. The Florida Welcome Sign at 4:30 in the morning.
33. Cherry tomatoes in the garden with a salt shaker
35. Marco Polo marathons with the girls.
36. Skipping class and driving to Versailles for no reason at all.
37. Betting and winning on War Emblem.
38. Playing the jukebox for the umpteenth time.
39. That first sip of blackberry wine.
40. Making margaritas in plastic cups.
41. Dancing to Brown Eyed Girl.
42. Finding a kitten under a jacket in the car.
43. Bill Clinton.
44. Barnstorming.
45. Tropical Storm Arlene and walking on the beach until my hair was knotted.
46. Stuffing pillows and blankets up to leaky windows in my car during that rainstorm.
47. Drying off in a Georgia rest area while laughing uncontrollably.
48. Eating croutons with french dressing in Aunt Bonnie's kitchen.
49. Swiping honeysuckle from the back of the farmer's field.
50. Picking blackberries until our hands were stained.
51. The Ice Cream truck.
52. Eating Mark's Feed Store at Uncle Tom's house during the big move.
53. Hanging out in the ambulance at Audubon.
54. Iroquois Park at Christmas and the reindeer.
55. Walking for-e-ver to Coldstone and hopping a trolley back to the car.
56. Ramses dinner in the pretty dress.
57. Inviting the limo driver to prom.
58. Running barefoot to get ice in a hotel near Knoxville.
59. Breakfast with everyone at Pine Mountain.
60. Singing "Grandpa Tell Me Bout The Good Ol' Days".
61. Sitting with Clyde, watching baseball.
62. Every rose has it's thorns.
63. Swimming in a trough.
64. Summer falling asleep in my lap.
65. First taste of mint chocolate chip.
66. Conquering the dirt mound.
67. Cheapside for the big talk.
68. Pulling pranks on Uncle Bill in the parking lot of Wasioto.
69. Ringing the bell at Varilla.
70. Listening to beach waves in pitch black of night by myself.
71. Watching the lights of Central Baptist before dawn.
72. Sneaking ice cream cake in the ICU.
73. Doing a snow dance.
74. Introducing them.
75. Buying my first car.
76. Picking cicadas off the deck.
77. Wearing the swishy dress.
78. Driving to the lighthouse after midnight.
79. Flirting in Publix.
80. Late night chocolate fudge brownie runs.
81. Dividing ashes with Darlene at the top of the mountain.
82. Running through the rain in Glasgow.
83. Hearing Jon's first cry with Grandma.
84. Building an igloo.
85. Missing the train and ending up past Bowling Green with dead cell phones.
86. Picking cheese of of pizzas at Millanos.
87. Making phone calls in the waiting room.
88. Learning Dutch from the Holland couple.
89. Making homemade waffles on vacation.
90. Collecting shells before sunrise.
91. Driving at dusk under all of those trees.
92. Standing in line to vote for the first time.
93. Finding out I was the favorite.
94. Being told I would be a writer when I thought I wanted to become a doctor.
95. Pulling over in the church parking lot as a tornado passed the truck.
96. Stopping for A&W hotdogs.
97. The roadside stand on the way to the lake.
98. Sticky Florida parking lot in the middle of the night, listening to alligators.
99. Stealing the last bowl of the famous salad.
100. Feeding the horses sugarcubes.

(I swear this was fun.)

Friday, March 21, 2008

I *Heart* Target

Oh it's Friday. My initial blog post this morning included a lot of whiny, mopey, emo-esqe ranting. I deleted it. I'm trying to stay positive about life and everything surrounding it despite my desire to run to a nice hotel and check in for a few days for some peace and quiet.

I love my family. I love my family. I love my family.

Oops, sorry. I have to keep repeating that mantra today.

So anyways. I do need some advice.

What are your thoughts on racerback shirts and bra straps? Specifically I bought this dress from target:



So the straps are not noticeable at all from the front, you just see them in the back of the dress. Do I get a racerback bra, do I rock the bra straps showing, or... no bra at all (which I'm not entirely comfortable with, btw)?

Thoughts?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Because She Loses Motivation Quite Often

So I haven't talked diet in a while. I suppose I have done that thing where I let life sidetrack my progress. And despite my efforts to jump back on the bandwagon I'm sad to admit it just hasn't happened yet. I think it's just easy and complacent to sit back and not pop in that workout DVD or spend time on the elliptical or drive 3 minutes to the park.

And that's where I'm at: complacency.

Most of the time I'm okay with being a Size 16 American. I really am. I don't think it's productive to spend time in this life, as short as it is, hating my body or the way I look. And it sounds ridiculous but I can't imagine myself with a skinny body, I just don't think it's built to be that way. However I do wish things more more toned up. Namely the flabbiness on my stomach and hips. Other than that, my legs are fairly strong (all that flip flop walking ;) ), I don't hate my arms and I'm fine with my face. Which is why my refusal to hop back into the working out thing pisses me off. I know that just a little everyday will go a long way to making me feel better and more in shape.

I bought myself 2 dresses on Tuesday. They are cotton, from Target and totally comfortable and cute. They are casual dresses, the kind you just throw on with a pair of flip flops and walk out the door. Along with the other things I've bought and the stuff I already owned I'm really loving my Spring/Summer wardrobe.

And to tell you the truth, I'd actually hate to lose a ton of weight and not fit into any of it! But if it all just fit a little more comfortably that would be awesome.

Which is why, starting next week, when I'll have 12 weeks until we leave for Savannah and Sanibel, I'm going to stop the cokes, eat 300 less calories per day (which honestly is, at the very least, my coke intake) and work out 3-5 days a week. Hopefully I'll be able to lose a pound or two each week and by the time we leave out of that driveway for Savannah I'll feel more fit and ready for that walking ghost tour and later, our time on the beach.

Ross Mathews from the Tonight Show really inspired me a couple weeks ago when he talked about the "little changes that add up" in terms of weight loss. Get moving, eat less and a pound or two a week is possible.

I can do it.

I just need to get more vigilant and motivated about it.

So I found out that the Coach Outlet in Fort Myers, right before you hop on the Sanibel Causeway, is having a "Super Saturday Sale" the day I roll into town. If I stick to my guns on this weight loss thing I've told myself I can get another purse in Fort Myers.

Seriously, I think I found my motivation.

Photo of the Day

Yes, here is Jill laying in a clothes hamper. A very tall clothes hamper, might I add, full of warm and toasty towels. There are few things she enjoys more week to week than a basket full of fresh out of the dryer garments.

It drives my father nuts. His OCD kicks in and he starts bemoaning the fact that she’s sleeping on ’clean clothes’. He totally says it like that line in that movie..."no more wiiiiirrrrre hannnnnggggeeerrrsss". Nevermind she sleeps in his bed everynight and he kisses her and blows raspberries on her belly.

Sometimes....no most of the time, I am certain my parents enjoy this dog more than they enjoyed having human babies. I’m guessing it’s the she’ll never grow up and learn to talk back part they like so much.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Blog of the Day

http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.wordpress.com/

Dude, I'm dying here. And agreeing and "oh my godding". Like, seriously.

Some of you could be offended. Which I don't understand. Cause it's HUMOR. Try it sometime, you might feel better. Otherwise...enjoy.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

CVS Booty

CVS is a bit complicated to learn. Or at least it was for me. In the end, once I figured out how to work it I discovered it was both simple and completely awesome. And proof that this couponing thing is really and truly a valuable budget saver to learn. Why spend money on that laundry detergent you need when you'd rather buy a new pair of shoes? (Not that I would advocate blowing money on shoes or anything. ;) )

So a great place to really find the info on CVS is to read this primer: http://www.moneysavingmom.com/2007/09/cvs-101.html

Aside from that the easiest way for me to explain it is this:

CVS offers "Extra Care Bucks" on specific items in their ad each week. You'll purchase something for X amount of dollars and in return you'll get a printed coupon on the end of your receipt for X amount of dollars to use the next time you come in.

Once you spend an initial amount on your first trip you then start "rolling" your ECBs. If you are interested in learning, I promise that above link explains it better than I do.

I just got back into the CVS habit last week. I purchased: 18 count Alavert, Crest Pro-Health Mouthwash, and Garnier Hair Product last Thursday. I spent $9.71 and got $8.49 in ECBs in return.

This week I returned with the $8.49 in ECBs and a $4 off $20 purchase coupon from CVS that I received in an email. I bought:

2 Glade Air Fresheners--.99 each *minus* $1 off coupon
1 Glade Candle--$2.99 *minus* $1 off coupon
1 Glade Wisp Flameless Candle--$7.99 *minus* $5 off coupon
1 Fab Laundry Detergent--$1.99
1 Bic Soleil Razor--$5.99 *minus* $2 off coupon
2 Plastic Easter Egg Bags--.99 each
TOTAL: $13.92
MINUS: $8.49 ECBs
MINUS: $4 off $20 purchase

Total Spent after tax and deductions: $2.06
ECBs for next week: $7



Cleanup in Aisle 9: Excessive Drool Over Coach Accessories

I'm going to shop later on today when I'm finished with my classes. It's been a long time since I've engaged in retail therapy that doesn't involve groceries. And while we all know my love affair with food, it's time to buy other stuff.

Like sundresses. I need a sundress. I want something black, thin cotton, perhaps stackable with a brightly colored undershirt. Am I asking for too much here? Hopefully Target has something that fits, somewhat, the bill.

I also need flip flops. I thought I was okay on flip flops, until I properly inventoried my collection this weekend and decided there wasn't enough chocolate or black, and I most definitely need to add these to the mix:



Aren't they beautiful. Let's admire.

They are also $78.

Listen, I'll mismanage my school money any way I want to, okay?

No I lie, as much as I love them and think they are pretty and I want to braid their hair. I could not bring myself to purchase them. A purse? Sure, I can take care of those. I can't protect those babies up there from mud and other...elements though. I'd never wear them. No scratch that. I'd wear them, but never outside. And really, what would be the point?

But pretty. Oh so pretty. My heart aches.

Hi. I'm April. And I'm addicted to expensive flip flops.

There I admitted it. Now, everyone stop giving me a hard time about it.

So let's see, I want a dress and flip flops, and...oh yeah.

Patrick Dempsey...I mean...Enchanted.



Ain't he pretty too? Almost as pretty as those flip flops.

And I need a book, despite having a million at my house. None of them are just right. Or interest me today. I'm thinking Target is going to be my one stop shop for all of this stuff.

Oh and Jon is getting The Jonas Brothers CD. That just might...accidentally...get left in my car all of the time. But that's going in his Easter Basket, along with an iPod Shuffle. I have no clue what will turn up in my Easter Basket. And I'm adult enough not to care.

Ha.

Haha.

No I'm not.

But anyways, I digress. I did purchase candy and baskets and will be making one for our parents. You know, to show my appreciation. That and I can't stand when they buy us stuff but don't get anything to enjoy themselves. So I got Dad lots of chocolate. And Mom lots of sour stuff. And while I'm out I'm finding something to stick in their baskets that isn't candy, probably music for Mom and "I Am Legend" for Dad.

I'm actually looking foward to Easter this year. We are just staying at home, baking a nice dinner and having a huge Egg Hunt with our neighbors. Should be fun.

In the meantime, I'm shopping. Today. For fun things.

Ahh...consumerism at it's best. Consider it my effort to relieve the economy.

The CJ Reads My Mind

http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080318/NEWS01/803180383

Monday, March 17, 2008

Organic

I've been thinking a lot about the significance of organic. It started with biscuits.

I woke up on Friday with the express purpose of baking biscuits. I'd tried it once before, a couple years ago, to miserable results. I'd lived up to every expectation passed on from my mother....they were hard as rocks and the dogs wouldn't even look at them. Despite the disaster, I always felt if given a different recipe and sometime to properly prepare myself by researching oh....Paula Deen, that I could accomplish fluffy biscuits to the surprise of my Father and chagrin of my mother. She's never figured out biscuits, even though she makes a mean sausage gravy.

So that is how I found myself in the Baking Aisle at Valumarket, staring down the flour while Dan Kelty's daughter eyed me suspiciously. I had a serious look on my face, I'm sure it seemed odd. I picked up my usual flour, a natural unbleached white flour that doesn't have preservatives in it. Preservatives give Mom migraines and we've been trying to avoid them. However, from the corner of my eye I caught a package of flour that was ORGANIC. I panicked. Organic is good for us, right? That's what all the talk is. Buy Organic!!

But I love my flour, even if it isn't organic. And I was conflicted. So I placed MY flour in my cart and picked up the Organic one. There was nothing. Just ingredients: Wheat. Nothing explained that it was unbleached. No seals promised it's Organic-ness. Nothing.

So I walked away from the Organic Flour. Has Organic become a buzzword in the Supermarket industry? Stick Organic on it and you can suddenly charge an arm and a leg for it?

All of this organic thought got me further thinking about Milk. With the price of Milk skyrocketing as it is, and the fact that the household I live in currently goes through 2 gallons in about a week and a half I'll be the first to admit that aside from a small individual carton every now and then, our house does not buy Organic Milk.

Organic Milk is typically close to $4 per 1/2 gallon. Which would mean in a week and halfs time my parents would spend $16 of their money on Organic Milk. That is kind of nuts.

So I started researching about Organic Milk. Most of it (Horizon and Organic Valley) are Ultra-Pasteurized. Which means it's Pasteurized at a higher temperature to make its shelf life longer. Supposedly this is so it can be shipped from farther away in less shipments. Ultra Pasteurization makes the milk taste different than what you are used to. And it creeps me out that Horizon Milk can be left on a shelf forever until you refrigerate it.

But what is Organic Milk? Basically 2 things: no Bovine Growth Hormone was administered in the cow and it was not given Antibiotics.

Well. I could care less about antibiotics. And something tells me the person buying Organic Milk probably takes their kid to the doctor too much anyway and it's always on the drugs.

However the rBGH does freak me out just a bit. There are studies involving it and various cancers. It and young girls going through puberty sooner and sooner. I get the freak out over that one. Which is why Kroger and various other retailers began in February stopping the sale of milk that contained rBGH. So all of the milk options available at Kroger are free of this hormone anyway. And I imagine this is just the first of many.

Which of course brings me to the sustainability part of it all. We should buy local and support local farms. I get that, I really do. Except Kentucky is not at the forefront of sustainability. Rebekah Grace Farms has made their way into Valumarket stores and I am planning on purchasing a half gallon of their unhomogenized milk occasionally to support the efforts. But other than that you just don't see much of it.

However, milk talk always leads to egg talk which is why...

While I was at it, I found out that Free Range Eggs just mean the Chicken has access to a place to roam. It doesn't actually have to mean they let the chicken do it. However they feel free to jack up the price because of the "access". Yeah, tell that to the next person who acts like they are a saint for buying them.

So I've come up with my own manifesto on it all.
  • I vow to purchase produce because it's closer to me, not because it's labeled organic. Organic fruit from the South of Chile really isn't better than non organic fruit from Florida.
  • I vow to grow my own produce, as much as I can this summer, to offset. What I can't grow I plan on finding at Farmer's Markets.
  • I vow to continue purchasing my "Bad Milk" even though it's bad. Because I don't care for ultra-pasteurization or high prices. However, I do plan on purchasing the local milk every now and then. Call it a treat.
  • I vow to not care about buzzwords. Organic Mac and Cheese from a Box is really not better for me than Mac and Cheese made with the stuff from my own pantry and refrigerator. And mine will taste better.
  • I vow, for the love of god, to stop thinking Free Range means a damn thing in regards to eggs.

My new definition of ORGANIC: anything made from my own two hands without the help of shortcuts and 3rd parties.

And by the way my organic biscuits were fabulous. Much to my mother's chagrin.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Weekend Update

Accomplished: One week of made from scratch meals. Including:
  • Baked Chicken with Saffron Rice and Brussel Sprouts
  • Sweet and Sour Chicken with White Rice
  • Ribeyes with Salad and Fried Cauliflower
  • Breakfast for Dinner
  • Pot Roast with Carrots and Potatoes (and a salad)
  • Cube Steaks with French Fries
  • Pizza

Accomplished: Biscuits from scratch. My mother can't even make biscuits from scratch. But I can! Mwahahaha....


Not-So-Accomplished: Rice Crispie Treats. Apparently I don't do well with the simple dishes.


Next Big Thing: Quilting. I actually just came up with this one. But I'm intrigued. My grandmother and great grandmother quilted. Perhaps I can do. Or it'll go the way of every other crafty hobby I've tried, which is...not so great.


Still on the Fence: Milk. I can't figure it out. Is Organic worth it? What about Local, but not organic milk? What about store milk that doesn't come from rBGH Cows? Oh so confusing.


Not Accomplished: My Costco trip. I'm still dying to go, maybe next weekend.


Accomplished: Easter Candy buying.


Not Accomplished: Avoiding eating it until next Sunday.

Friday, March 14, 2008

The One Where She Doesn't Have Material

It's raining.

It's pouring.

I have nothing to blog today.

My cousin is bringing the Mount to Muhammad, i.e. Mamaw is coming to visit my Dad.

Maybe I'm not an orphan granddaughter after all.

Also, am thinking of visiting Sams and Costco this weekend to see which one I like.

I'm so silly.

Have a good weekend folks!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

One of Those Days

I just spent 2 hours and $100 of my parent's money at the Vet's Office. Again.

For those of you who have been reading for awhile you'll know my long "love affair" with the vet office. And mind you, I put love affair in air quotes because I wouldn't say it's love, but more of a neccessary evil but-oh-my-god-they-are-so-nice-and-clean-here sort of feeling.

I never have to wait that long, but they were unexpectedly slammed today and had to deal with an out of control cat that had to be tranqualized while we were there. Needless to say I now know the names of the vet's children, how long they've had their 3 dogs, how long ago he and his wife opened the place, talked to his mother and got to hear all about how her father/his grandfather is dating some golddigger.

It's been one of those days.

This morning I spent 45 minutes at Michel Tires getting a balance and rotation on my car. I guess it rides better, since that's all Dad's been asking me. While there I had to make awkward small talk with people. I hate that shit. Seriously, while we are all sharing the same space while we wait on essentially the same thing, it really does not deem it neccessary to "bond". Ick.

After that fiasco I came home to the house and Dad decided I should run one of our outside cats to the vet, because she's had a wound on her side that just isn't healing. We loaded her into her cage, got her to the vet so that he could clean the wound, give her two injections, give us a spray for it and take our money. You know, the usual.

I figured the day was finally turning the corner as we rounded out of the office and headed back home. Until Jon noticed a foul smell coming from the cage in the backseat. A foul smell that just kept growing, and growing. Until Jon is spraying air freshener and holding one of those scented cans up to his nose for the remainder of the drive.

Yes, the cat shit all over her carrier.

It's been one of those days.

Photo of the Day: Dog Edition



Every evening without fail, around the time Mom is due home, Molly and Jill take up this position...watching and waiting for her arrival. I've seen days when they'll stand or lay around this door for an hour waiting on her. And when she arrives it kicks off mass pandemonium and they bark and run around the kitchen waiting on their mom to pick them up and love on them.

They say all of those cliche things about dogs and unconditional love. And while it all seems so mushy, I'm the first to admit every single bit of it is true. I'm willing to get mushy myself and assert that while there are days when the three of them exhaust us all to no end, I don't know what any of us would do without them in our lives. Pure joy, simplicity and bliss is amazing to witness through their eyes.

If I am ever reincarnated, I'm totally coming back as a dog.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Photo of the Day

Today is my parent's 25th Wedding Anniversary. They are very low key, stay at home kind of people so they aren't doing anything special to celebrate. They say their gift to one another is a killer vacation in June, I'm not complaining. However, I thought I could at least bake them a cake. And then I went a step further and decorated the damn thing. It's not the fanciest thing ever, and I've never done it before...but I think I managed okay.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Makeup Deal

I'm always looking for new makeup to try. Even if I rarely wear any of it. I didn't have an opinion of Jane Cosmetics. Granted it's just drug store stuff, but I'm not discriminatory so I thought I'd give it a shot. Especially when I figured out this deal.

All Jane products on Buy One, Get One Free this week at Walgreens. This coupon gets you $2 off of each product you buy. Walgreens will attach one of these coupons to each Jane product, even the free one. Which means if something is 3.99 you would get it for free!! You can print as many of these coupons as you'd like or need and it's perfectly ethical to use them in this manner.

I got tired of printing and only used 4 coupons for 8 products. Which means I attached one to each set of BOGO.

Before the sales I had $36 worth of makeup.

$18 was subtracted from the $36 for the free ones in the BOGO sale.

Then $8 off in coupons.

Which means I got all of this makeup for $10.

While I didn't play this one as well as I could have I would still consider this a pretty good deal.




Especially when those eyeshadow sets are usually $6.99 each when not on sale.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Testing, Testing, Is This Thing On?

Is there some sort of blog drought I don't know about? I get online, I run through my bloglines and nothing. Nobody is updating, except for the few who do write every single day without fail. Praise the lord for them. And let me just say, I don't praise for just anything.

So I log into Myspace. Again. More of the same: nothing. No silly surveys to read, no blogs there. So I try Facebook. And that's just ridiculous anymore. It used to be the cool alternative to Myspace but now the only updates are someone inviting you to another stupid "application". Or so and so from eight thousand years ago just had a kid. Woohoo. Let me roll my eyes.

Then I update my blog for the umpteenth time. But there are no commenters because of some internet outage I don't know about. And let me tell you, anyone is lying if they say they don't blog for the comments. I mean, I could write for myself and never publish it. But it's the same concept as a book, we write to be read. Or post stupid videos from YouTube to be watched. Either way, it's striking a conversation.

A conversation that might I add is not going so hot. Umm hello. Is this thing on?

So I check the mail today. Imagine me, walking slowly to my mailbox with that "I'm So Lonely" song playing in the background. And thank Jesus it was like Christmas. (you see this crap, the great blog drought '08 is going to turn me evangelical...holy shit) Not only did I get the travel guides pictured earlier but I also got a Country Mart ad and Time Magazine. Christmas and New Years I say!

Which lead me to spending time earlier reading Time from front to back. In one setting. Without moving. Thank God I read fast. (again...I'm warning...the jesus thing) And besides the compelling article by Joel Stein on Hillary's Comeback and the other compelling article on Darfur, I found a fluff piece about internet alternatives to software. Specifically a comparison of Photoshop to Picnik.

I'm too cheap to have Photoshop. And although I have Paintshop Pro coming in a software package with my new camera, it ain't here yet. So I spent all evening messing around with pictures and such on that website. Oh where has it been all my life?

And that's where I am now. Blogging again. Proving that someone can update and at least prove that they still exist. Hopefully some of you return soon. But let it be said, if I find out the internet went on a cruise without me, I'm going to be pissed.

Like Christmas Morning

I get crazy joy from getting vacation guides in the mail. I ordered these last week, kudos to GA and SC for getting them here so soon! haha

Hot Mess



Love it!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Slightly Insane, but Cheaply So

Before I started couponing last year I thought all you did was clip what you might buy from that weeks inserts and maybe save 50 cents here and there. I had all of the misperceptions about it, that it doesn't save you much and that you end up buying things you don't need.

I was so wrong.

An evening of watching Food Network led me to The Grocery Game where I learned couponing means saving the coupons until they expire and maximizing their value in conjunction with sales and other store offers. I'm not lying when I say it was all a concept that never crossed my mind before.

I don't have much luck with couponing food items. We are fairly picky and often never wanted to eat what might be on sale that week. Which is why I've learned to save in other ways with food, like having a well stocked freezer or cooking from scratch more often.

However, I have tons of luck with couponing at drug stores, namely Rite Aid and Walgreens and the occasional CVS. Not to mention couponing for me works as a great endorphin kicker, I love the rush of saving money. It's sounds utterly ridiculous, but I'm not known for being uber cool so it's okay I guess.

Here is this week's booty:

Rite Aid:
  • Milkbones
  • Aussie Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Kitchen Sponges
  • 2 Oral B Pulsar Toothbrushes

Total Before Coupons and Sales: $30.63
Total After Coupons and Sales: $11.55



Walgreens:

  • 3 boxes of Puffs Tissues
  • Box of Kotex
  • 2 bags of Chex Mix
  • 1 Garnier Haircolor
  • 2 packages of Trident Gum

Total Before Coupons and Sales: $23.53
Total After Coupons and Sales: $4.95

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Overall: Accurate, I think

My Birth Chart
Name: April
March 4 1986
11:30 AM
Time Zone is EST
Louisville, KY

Rising Sign is in 14 Degrees Gemini
Extremely active by nature, you like to get around, meet people and do different things. Very restless, you just can't seem to stay put. You need to be involved in several projects at once in order to keep your mind stimulated. You like to read books and to write letters and to talk -- constantly. Seemingly ageless, you will always appear to be much younger than you really are. Very adaptable and inquisitive, you are always open to new ideas and experiences. A "jack-of-all-trades", you are lively and versatile. Because of the high nervous tension that you always seem to have, athletic activity would be a good way for you to burn off energy. But be careful of a tendency to experience things only superficially -- try to dig in and absorb things at a deeper level.

Sun is in 13 Degrees Pisces.
Extremely sensitive and emotional, you absorb the emotions of others (whether positive or negative) like a sponge. Emotionally vulnerable, you are easily upset and tend to cry readily. You are at your best when you can structure your environment in such a way that you are surrounded by positive, upbeat people. You are very helpful and understanding of the needs of others. Indeed, at times this can be a disadvantage, because you can be a sucker for anyone who needs help. Shy, dreamy, romantic in nature, you delight in retreating into your private fantasy world. Just be careful that you do not get lost in it! Trust your intuitions -- you may be quite psychic.

Moon is in 29 Degrees Sagittarius.
An idealist, you prefer the grand, the beautiful, the good and the noble. You get very disappointed when your high expectations in life are not met. Very curious by nature, you enjoy traveling and learning about other peoples and cultures. Try to avoid your tendency to ignore the small but important details of living. You are independent and free, and you want others to be that way, too. Optimistic, buoyant and cheerful, others like to have you around. You have an incessant desire to learn as much as possible about metaphysics, religion, philosophy and any other broad, deep subject. Your life tends to be punctuated by bursts of energy and frenetic activity.

Mercury is in 00 Degrees Aries.
Very quick-witted, you are known for being an independent thinker. You love to debate and argue, and are excellent at repartee and battles of wits. At times, however, you act too fast on hastily formed opinions and thus waste a lot of energy defending your rash and sometimes incorrect conclusions. It is perfectly acceptable for you to defend your beliefs with your usual vigor, but try not to take the opinions of others as personal insults.

Venus is in 24 Degrees Pisces.
You have a dreamy, fanciful, romantic nature and a very creative imagination. Indeed, at times, your private fantasies are more appealing than the reality around you and it is difficult for you to leave them. You tend to be unselfish and giving in relationships and are extremely sensitive of the needs of others. Be very sure that those you help are worthy of your devotion and are not merely taking advantage of your innocence and naivete.

Mars is in 17 Degrees Sagittarius.
Your every action is motivated by high moral standards and ideals. You will work very hard to improve the lot of the world at large, but you demand action about it -- you do not like to just sit around and talk about doing it in an abstract manner. You like to be where the real action is. You resist mightily any attempts to limit your freedom and you will assist anyone who feels put down and restricted. You are extremely restless by nature -- physical exercise is very important to you if you would maintain your health.

Jupiter is in 02 Degrees Pisces.
You are at your best when you give of yourself and what you have -- try to avoid being a martyr about it, though. You're a true idealist, but you must learn not to be upset when life does not cooperate with the way you think things should be. Very concerned with spiritual truth and growth, when you practice what you preach, you make an excellent role model for others. You are so devoted to altruistic ventures and concerns that you tire easily at times. It then becomes necessary for you to go off by yourself to recharge your batteries.

Saturn is in 09 Degrees Sagittarius.
Basically quite conservative, you respect traditional authority figures and are very thankful and supportive of the laws and institutions which govern your life. You learn and accept new ideas only after having very thoroughly examined them. Ideals and abstract concepts are important to you only if they can be used in some practical fashion. You are so practical and so orderly that you have natural skills in planning, administrating and organizing.

Uranus is in 22 Degrees Sagittarius.
You, and most of your peers, have the tendency to think that all ideas, customs and traditions from the past are outmoded and irrelevant. You are attracted to radically new ideas, philosophies and religions that will, hopefully, cause sweeping changes throughout the world.

Neptune is in 05 Degrees Capricorn.
You, and your entire generation, will idealize work, practicality and the ability to attain reasonable goals. But, because you will also stress the need to be selfless and giving, you may find it difficult to attain your goals unless you have lowered your expectations on all fronts.

Pluto is in 07 Degrees Scorpio.
For your entire generation, this is a period of intense research and discovery in areas that were heretofore considered mysterious, remote or taboo. The root causes for many complex occurrences will be unearthed due to the intensity and thoroughness of the search.

N. Node is in 01 Degrees Taurus.
It's not in your nature to seek out many casual acquaintances in your daily round of activities. You feel much more comfortable with a small, close-knit group of people -- those with whom you can relax and work toward known and clearly defined goals. Your loyalty to a person or group, once given, is forever -- you'll expend all of your quite considerable energy in seeing that the group stays together and prospers. You choose your partners and relationships so carefully that you're bound to gain certain advantages from them, including those of a material nature. Be careful though not to let mere self-service be your motivation in establishing your connections -- make sure that there's an even give-and-take!

Now go do your own and post it:
http://www.alabe.com/freechart/

Quote of the Day

“I would like to know how," says Love. "He should probably get his ass back home if that is the case.”

--Courtney Love on, deceased husband, Kurt Cobain's identity theif. 188 credit accounts have been opened in his name and a $3.2 million dollar home in New Jersey was purchased last year.

We've Hit DEFCON 3

There is 80 thousand inches of snow on the ground and:
  • I've used all but a 1/2 stick of butter and some scrapings of Country Crock
  • No more cokes
  • Jack is running out of dog food
  • I'm considering taping the mouths of certain family members shut

60ish degrees the rest of the week. THANK GOD.

Now I'm supposed to go snow hiking with Jon, and enjoy it.

Ha.

Hope you are enjoying the snow where ever you all may be!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Takin' on the Bakin'...or Cookin'

I fully admit to using cake mixes from the standards, Duncan Hines and Betty Crocker. I do usually use "The Cake Doctor", a neat little book my Mom bought years ago to make a spin on them. But occasionally I prefer taking the time to create a cake from scratch. It is also admittedly cheaper to do so and probably better (what an oxymoron) for us. And every little bit counts I suppose when you see the rising grocery prices.

Last year I made the best $17 purchase ever when I picked up the new edition of "The Joy of Cooking". I highly recommend it to anyone who spends any amount of time at all in the kitchen because it's like a bible with nearly every recipe staple imaginable. (However, don't pay the money I did and find it at Half Price Books)

Today was, of course, one of those stay in inside and do something to take your mind off of the nastiness outside kind of days. And I knew immediately what I wanted to do: cook.

But I had no idea what I wanted to make. After a quick perusal through "The Joy" I decided on a Chocolate "Texas Sheet Cake" and a small pan of Fettucini Alfredo to use as a side dish with our Ribeyes and Green Beans planned for dinner.

This is the Texas Sheet Cake recipe, straight out of the book:

I whisked together my flour (using the natural Hodgens), sugar, salt and baking soda.


Mmm...butter. We still buy margarine because Dad likes it and he doesn't need the cholesterol, but I've been using real butter *very sparingly* because it's natural and doesn't have the chemicals and crap that margarine does. Plus, for baking it's just a better medium.

Melt butter in a pan with a cup of water, 1/2 cup of oil, 1/2 cup of cocoa powder and bring to a boil.
Add to the flour mixture and just stir until shiny and mixed. (No mixer required! Yay!)
Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes, although mine took closer to 30.

Mmm...cake. Let cool on a rack. Stick in freezer as you become impatient.


Frost with icing of choice. I used a really easy "Quick Chocolate Butter Icing", also from "The Joy of Cooking.

The next thing I attemped was the Alfredo. Just because I love it and have always wanted to try and make my own. "The Joy of Cooking" recipe was so freaking easy, I couldn't resist.

However, I modified. Bowtie pasta instead of fettucini because I had none. And, Half and Half instead of whole cream. And only a half a stick of butter because I made less.


You cook the pasta, drain, I cooked about 8 ounces. Melt the butter (1/2 stick), add the pasta to the melted butter, add cream (Half and Half 1/2 cup), 1/2 cup of parmesan. Mix together, salt and pepper to taste.

Easiest thing...ev-er. Will definitely do again.

Stupid March

So I'm sitting here at my desk this morning, eating cold chinese food and anticipating 8-10 inches of snow.

Seriously, March?! This is your idea of a good time?

Seed Update: They sprouted.

Seed Update #2: Who knows if it will ever be warm enough to plant them.

Enough said...

grr

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Things I'm Currently Obsessed With

At any given moment in my life I'm obsessed with something, or several things. I'm very addictive in nature, if I like something I go to extremes. Which is why I don't drink or smoke. I'd be a champion alcoholic or chain smoker.

Without further ado, my new obsessions list:

  • Taylor Swift: for real, she's had a writing contract since she was 13! I'm very picky about what country music I like, she is at the top of the country list right now. "I'm Only Me When I'm With You" is my current favorite song.
  • The Weepies: I didn't realize they sing about a zillion songs I love but didn't know who sung. Seriously. Like from the best commercials and tv shows.
  • Mickey Avalon: Just listen. There are no words. Try "Jane Fonda".
  • Kidd Kraddick in the Morning: Every Tuesday and Thursday morning I listen to Kidd Kraddick and his crew featuring Kelly Raspberry and Big Al on 102.5 in Lexington. I've now become invested in their lives. No joke.
  • Democratic Primary '08: So much drama. I love it.
  • Posh Spice: to quote Christian Siriano, "that bitch is fierce."
  • Which brings me to my next obsession: Christian Siriano, winner of this season's Project Runway. I think this video correctly elaborates on why I love him so much:





  • My Coach bags. Coach in general. Coach-y Coach Coach.
  • Fitness Magazine: I got this subscription for free. And I like to read it and pretend I'm actually working on getting fit. At least I'm reading and planning.
  • Ocean Minded Flip Flops: Like walking on clouds. I can't wait to wear them out somewhere.
  • Plaid: Anything plaid. Shorts, flip flops, shirts. Lots of plaid. I don't know why....

Photo of the Day




I haven't had a good Photo of the Day in awhile. But it seems I'm overdue for one. I'm thinking something beachy, something that puts me in a Florida state of mind.


So I went perusing my archives for something from my last vacation that hasn't been posted yet. But then I figured you've probably seen them all. So I just picked my favorite. There is nothing in this picture, no real focus but water. And it's my favorite because all I kept getting told last year was that the water wasn't really going to look like it did in the pictures. "You know that has to be photoshopped, right?" Over and over, again and again. And then I was there, on that beach and guess what? It did. Oh glory it did. And I felt vindicated. And when I returned and showed the doubters they were all speechless.


The water won't look that this in my pictures this year, because the sand bars are so shallow it kicks up the bottom and won't allow for it to settle and be clear. And honestly, that's okay, cause I've seen it. Water like this. I just needed to know it existed.

Kegs and Closets

I'm officially on spring break after today. Which for me just means an extra two days of sitting around doing nothing. Theorhetically speaking I'd love to take time to take Jon to Frankfort and My Old Kentucky Home, however it's highly unlikely since my parents are to be super busy next week getting their truck fixed and looking to perhaps buy a new vehicle.

Why a new vehicle you ask?

Oh well, because my mother is getting a freakin' promotion!!!

My mom is totally kick ass at her job and therefore she was picked to head a new division of their office. She'll be entirely in charge of durable medical equipment, in addition to the work comp drug program she already runs. I'm not too sure what it all means except she'll be leaving the clinical floor, will have her own sit down office and will have to visit patients in the hospitals to fit them for something.

And she gets a raise. Which is really the only important part!

I've come to realize I get my drive from my mother, and the desire to be in charge of things. I didn't know this all of the years she spent as a SAHM or working part time cleaning. But it's been pretty cool to figure out.

So mom's getting a promotion, Dad's looking to maybe buy a new car, and I'm just wanting to sleep.

Yeah, I'd say that's about it.

I found out this morning that I missed both the announcement and ticket sales of a Kenny Chesney show in Lexington this Friday. He's doing a "Keg and Closet Tour", this time playing bars in towns of Southeastern Conference Schools and tickets were 10 dollars for his show at The Dame on Friday: http://www.dameky.com/mainTest.php

Can you imagine how awesome that would have been?

I'm trying not to cry here.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Examining the Way I Buy Food

I made a special trip to Whole Foods yesterday after I got back to Louisville. Yes, Whole Foods and then onto KFC, I'm not going to explain that logic.

However I will say I wanted to really compare Whole Foods to the grocery stores I frequent, just to see how the products and prices stacked up.

On any given week my grocery routine is something like this:

Walmart: only every few weeks for big bulk items. These include: large jars of olives, peanut butter, jam, Hidden Valley Ranch, and A1 Sauce. As well as large boxes of Honey Nut Cheereos, 2 1/2 dozen eggs, Cheez Its, Bisquick Mix, and 2 pound containers of yogurt. I don't like to do a ton of shopping at Walmart, however it's the closest place I've got with decent bulk item prices and I'm in there every few weeks for one of Dad's prescriptions.

ValuMarket: I like to buy our ground sirloin, or chuck if it's all they have, here. I also pick up my new favorite white flour, whole wheat flour, and flax meal here. In addition, our bread, deli items, my Dad's favorite ice cream, sometimes chicken if they have the natural brand I prefer, and produce. And local items, like honey from a beekeeper in Fern Creek, Mike Linnig's tarter sauce, Rebecca Grace Salsa and Mark's Feed Store BBQ sauce.

Country Mart: My go to meat place. Love it. And produce, they have kick ass sales on produce. Which is where I've recently scored .49 cartons of blackberries, .69 cartons of blueberries, and .99 hydroponic tomatoes.

Kroger: All of the above, but very rarely. And only if I'm in dire need of a change in my shopping routine and want to get out of the house.

Feeder's Supply: Our dogs only eat specific food brands. I'm a stickler about this. They eat grain free, all natural, organic dog food. Because grains like corn upset a dog's stomach and messes with their digestive track. Unfortunately most dog food is full of corn because it's cheap and a nice filler. Once I learned this food was the root of many our dog's problems I switched them to Taste of the Wild and Wellness Core. Jack's coat got shiny and soft, Jill stopped throwing up and having diarrhea and Molly has just never known any different. Also, good dog food eliminates the "dog smell". I can stuff my nose into Jack's fur and not smell anything. Which is how it should be. They also eat less of the good stuff, which justifies the little bit of money we spend per month in this area.

Dollar General: cokes, cleaning supplies, baby asprin, 100 count benedryl. They've recently become the cheaper option on medicine again over Walmart. I'm here to tell you Walmart is not slashing prices, they are jacking them up.

Walgreens: I coupon here. The only place I coupon anymore. I score lots of things, it varies from week to week, but I typically leave saving anywhere from $20-$60 while only spending $10-$20.

Other notes: We rarely buy processed stuff. No hamburger helper, no mac and cheese from a box, the only canned foods we buy are beets and asparagus, and none of those potato kits that I'm not sure are actually potatoes. However, I won't lie: Jon enjoys ramen noodles and Chef Boyardee. So we buy these two things.

Our vegetables are all fresh or frozen. We buy cheese already shredded because according to my price check everyone else is lying and it is cheaper this way. We go through 2 gallons of milk per week, I've yet to change this to organic because milk is expensive and I don't have a daughter who I have to worry about early puberty with, it already happened to me. We no longer buy convenience food. If we want cookies I make them from scratch, same goes with waffles and pancakes and muffins. All of these freeze well so we can have homemade from the freezer for much cheaper than those boxes at the grocery.

Things I discovered at Whole Foods: the only good this trip would do me is if I was already in the area and wanted to pick up dried fruit that Mom can actually eat, raw sugar, soy milk on the cheap, or fish (for some ungodly reason). Or, if we went with the intent of eating there. The salad bar looked awesome, they have extensive prepared foods and a kick ass bread section.

Also, Whole Foods carried brands I can pick up at ValuMarket. Including the flour and flax I use, the milk I sometimes buy...etc. And the produce was overpriced in my opinion. And too much of it was from too far away. I'm still on my kick of refusing to eat produce from a zillion miles away from home. I can wait for most of it to come into season. Or I can grow my own this summer and plan better.

Final Conclusion: Whole Foods was overrated. Local stores are doing a decent job at stocking better options for people. And Eat Local folks!

Bitch is the New Black

Jill has decided to vote with her race, so she and Jon are supporting Barack Obama. However everytime you say Hillary Clinton, Molly's face perks up and she stares back at you with her ears pointed. I'd say she's a supporter.

Into the Wild

My Dad's former Union, AFSCME, is endorsing Hillary Clinton for President. I didn't realize that until last night while watching her speech in Ohio. But I thought it was pretty cool.

Rah rah, Texas and all that stuff. It certainly makes this thing more interesting. But it proves that it's true what they say....never count out a Clinton. Comeback kids for sure, only not kids anymore. Seasoned politicians I suppose. Either way, this race totally rocks and is kicking my ass. I'm still tired from staying up half the night waiting on the official call on Texas. Sheesh.

I want to thank everyone who sent their happy birthdays yesterday. You don't know how much I appreciate it. My family has dwindled down to just the four of us essentially and I didn't hear from my grandmother, aunts, uncles or cousins yesterday. But for every family member who didn't say it, 2 or three friends or neighbors did. That meant a lot to me.

And finally, I should mention. After mulling it over with my mom for a bit and working out my budget I am happy to say I am probably going to purchase a macbook. Finally, after coveting one for years. I can't express my excitement in words but know that it involves jumping up and down and proclaiming "I'm getting a Macbook" over and over. Visualize it.

I am a little nervous because it's going to be so different than a PC. The only experience I have with Apple are my iPod, my journalism classes, and reading Dooce. I mean, I should totally be prepared, right?

haha

Oh gosh. Anyways. Television warning for tonight: Project Runway Season Finale. For which I'm totally excited, but bummed because Chris March won't be there, and his tranny-licious-ness was the only thing entertaining me this season aside from Christian's fierce-ness. Oh well, I'm calling it....Christian by a yard.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

What's a Girl To Do

I feel the need to purchase a Macbook.

I know, I said less than $500. But I lie. And it would only be $399 more with the refurbished one I'm looking at. Macbooks are perfect. And pretty. And come with kickass stuff. And I could iMovie and all that jazz.

Also am looking into one of these:

http://www.target.com/Eee-2G-PC-Surf-Laptop/dp/B001150JW2/sr=1-1/qid=1204650783/ref=sr_1_1/602-5553967-8463846?ie=UTF8&index=target&rh=k%3Aasus%20eee&page=1

Just cause it looks cool. And Jon would love it. And it's highly portable. Did I mention it was cute? Mini laptop...too adorable.

I'm just collecting notebooks. Or at least considering collecting notebooks.

Other news:

*Jon is dying to take a Ghost Tour of Savannah during our night there in June. (haha, I'm so punny) I've looked into the options and Mom, Jon and I could take one at 9:30 at night while Dad stays at the hotel with the dogs and rests for the rest of the drive. They last about an hour and half. I'm really hoping we can squeeze this in because Jon really would love it.

*Today's my actual birthday. I'm eating KFC for dinner and nobody can stop me. Calories be damned.

*I dislike my friend's fiance. A lot. We grew up together and I love her like I'd love a sister (which means I hate her sometimes) and I hate this guy she's with. He likes Larry the Cable Guy for god's sake.

*He also said things about gay people that I cannot forgive. Jon couldn't believe it, my Dad stood there shell shocked and it pissed my Mom off. Can't the world have a little acceptance? Sheesh.

*So I hate him. I think my friend knows this. Shall be interesting if I see her again anytime soon. Or if she comes to her senses and realizes this guy is a loser.

*I doubt that last sentence.

*However, I will not be seeing his face anytime soon and that's all that matters. Friend or no friend, I have a zero tolerance policy for hate like that in my life. If you don't agree with someone's lifestyle, fine. But don't act like you are the world's judge and jury. And don't spew your crap around me.

So yeah, that's about all.

March! Yay March!!

Monday, March 3, 2008

El Laptop

I'm looking to purchase another laptop as a backup to the one I have. Something I could store a few pictures on, surf the internet with, write things on. Nothing too special. The only thing I really use a computer for is internet, music and pictures so as long as it can accomplish those things, I'd be happy.

Jon's been moaning about having his own to use when I'm hogging this one. Their computer when caput when I killed it last spring and while they helped buy the one I currently own, they never bothered replacing the other. A one computer household is a hostile one to say the least.

So does anyone have any helpful hints or places I should visit to look for one? I am, quite honestly, looking to spend less than $500 for this one. Is this unreasonable? I've looked into refurbished models, is that a good or bad idea?

Bring on the advice. Even if it's from your mother's uncle's brother's aunt's grandmother's sister. I'll take it.

Anglophilia

Princess Diana died August 31, 1997 when I was 11 years old. From the moment I watched it scroll across the bottom of my television screen, to the weekend I watched her funeral early in the morning from the floor of my bedroom I became a bit of an Anglophile. I read every single book about the royal family I could get my hands on, became fascinated with my English last name and loved anything British, which also enhanced my Spice Girls obsession.

I don't go to extremes like I did in my tween years, however I do still pick up any royal family book I come across. Even the ones I know will be bad. And I'll just admit right now, I have a slight obsession with Princes William and Harry.

Which is why I've been anxious all day, because tonight on ABC, 20/20 is doing a rare 2 hour profile on the British Royal Family. They've been documenting The Queen, Prince Charles, Camilla, William and Harry for the past year and it will supposedly offer a personal glimpse into their family and world.

Totally freaking out here.

Also totally a dork.

But for any other anglophiles like myself you've now been properly warned to set your tivos and such and watch the special tonight.

So, can we marvel at how beautiful Harry is? Even while in combat in Afghanistan? And how brilliant it was to stage a breakup with girlfriend Chelsy Davy so as to avoid rumors of his absence around her. Love it.


I've always thought a man in uniform is hot. But a man in uniform with a royal title? Positively smoking.

Then can we discuss how awesome it is that Victoria Beckham shops at Target? Triple love that one.