Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention...

Wedding shoes? :)

Superlatives and Resolutions

I feel like it always takes me a while to recover from the holidays.  All the buildup, the excitement, the amount of energy I invest - and then it's all over and I have to go back to waiting again.  I really love the whole thing, the fuss and decorations, the cookies, the spending time with family - thats some good stuff.

So even though I took the week off, I am still feeling a bit blah - to do's a mile long, and no energy to start on any of them.  So to further my time wasting efforts:

Gift I did not expect to love this much:

Why yes, this is my frog humidifier.
This thing makes me smile every time I look at it.  Only my sister would be so dedicated as to find a humidifier in the form of a cute animal (plus I am assured it got excellent reviews!  Of course it did - my sister has never bought anything that didn't get excellent reviews.  She is that thorough.)

Food I went the most nuts over during the holidays: 

That would be the baked brie.  And I don't have a cute photo of it, because it is all in my belly.  Next.

Gift given that will also benefit the giver: 

Hubs-elect's family gave their dad a Wii for Christmas.  And while I think he will use it occasionally...I think the boys are going to get the most fun out of it.  Not worth playing video games with those boys unless you really enjoy losing.  But it was awesome on Christmas morning!

Of course, this could also apply to the Redskins underwear I bought for myself, but wrapped up and gave to Brandon... the look on his face when he opened the box was so worth it.

Gift someone else got that should have gone to me:

I LOVE Nestle Turtles. to the order of, I have been known to eat a while box of them in one sitting.  But who got the Turtles in his stocking??  Actually its OK, because as soon as he opens that box, they are as good as gone :) **

**Editor's note:  In defense of my planning to steal my future-husband's Christmas candy, let it be stated for the records that when we went out shopping on Sunday I looked for some Turtles, so I could have my own.  And the aisle of Target and World Market were DECIMATED.  It was like a candy-seeking tornado went through and devoured everything.  So when we go grocery shopping next, I will attempt to find some Turtles, and then maybe I can leave his stash alone.**

So on to this business of resolutions.  I am not so good at sticking to resolutions, as I have enough willpower to overcome my brain for a solid 2 seconds before I do whatever it is I was supposed to not do. Or vise versa.

But this year is the year of my impending nuptials (about damn time.  12 months down, 9 to go.)  And I need to do some shaping up before I walk down that aisle.  So here are some resolutions:

1.  Become more healthy, by eating better and being more active.
2.  If the above doesn't help to lose weight and slim down, then buy some shaping undergarments that will make me feel gorgeous and slender on my wedding day.
3.  Be neater around the house but putting things away more immediately after putting them down.
4.  Try harder to keep in touch with old friends who live in other cities.
5.  Try to keep the ratio of ordinary conversations to wedding conversations to an appropriate level.  I will endeavor to remember that some people truly do not care.
6.  Be more original in my cooking, and allow hubs-elect to help more.
7.  Take more photographs.
8.  To give my dogs as much love and affection as is humanly possible.
9.  To finish re-upholstering the sofa, so that I can sit on it without thinking about how much more work there is to do.
And because 10 seems like such a nice, round number: I will stop playing Angry Birds when I should be being social.

Happy New Year!
I hope 2011 is everything you could hope for.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Feminism, and other topics guaranteed to start a fight at a dinner party

Last week at work, I had a tremendous opportunity, to attend a meeting for my project with the local planning permission board with several other members of my firm, including a partner and the ceo.

When I was called in and asked if I was available to attend the meeting, my supervisor made it clear, though he had plenty of other false reasons he could have used, that I was being asked to attend to be the token female.  I put this down to slight awkwardness on his part, and tried not to be offended - title ix or not, this was going to be an important opportunity for me, and I was going to make the most of it.

When he then announced to the team that I had gone, he again mentioned that the reason I had gone was because I was female, and the rest of the team that had to go was male.  I have definitely heard of sexism being an issue in my field - there is still a large divide between percentage of women graduating from accredited schools (just over 50%) versus women practicing (something like 35%) versus women who are principals (something like 20%).  I understand there are factors involved that women are removing themselves from the field, not being forced out, but still - I am not sure how I feel about the whole thing.

Should I be appreciative that my supervisor did not try and sugar coat things for me?  The truth is that I am at least competent, or there was no way they would have risked me at such an important meeting, and I did benefit hugely from the trip.  But is that really all I am worth?

Monday, 20 December 2010

Wrapping up 2010

I love Christmas - I like to think that the season brings out the best in people.  And sometimes, when I am waiting in lines of traffic, or at checkout counters for harried clerks, I try harder to see that.  This year, I am trying to not focus on how fast my life is moving, but to try and savor it as slowly as I can.

the night we got engaged - before dinner.
2010 has been a pretty epic year for me.  I started the year by getting engaged to my longtime boyfriend, and immediately became the bride of my worst nightmares.  Frantic, crying for no reason, unreasonable, stressed about budget and guest lists even though the wedding was 20 months away - thank god the hubs-elect didn't bail right then and there.

Then I went back to London, and continued to stress, long-distance style.  I bothered my roommates and coworkers, and spent hours scouring the Kn*t for potential venues, caterers, etc. I freaked out about Life in General - I needed to move home, and my parents needed me to remember that unemployed was bad.  My last job required me to give 3 months notice - this meant I was quitting my job with no next job lined up.  The building industry was hit hard by the recession, and even now has not recovered - finding a new job was going to be tough.  After nights of crying and fighting with my parents, I still quit my job in London (which meant I still had to work there for another 3 months...).

In wedding planning desperation, I began to branch out from the Kn*t, and all of a sudden things started to work better...I found the venue I had been searching for, and my parents and best friend were able to go out and have a look at it, and booked it the same day.  Then I stumbled across our wedding photographer, and through her...A Practical Wedding.  Which literally changed my life.  I still talked everyone's ear off, but I was calmer, and the despair was gone.  I lost the frantic edge.  A lovely lady in Philly offered to lend me her wedding chair covers to hid my venue's hideous pepto pink chairs.  And then, the best thing:  a woman I did not know gave my her wedding dress.  I cannot express how grateful I am to the community of women at APW in general, to the ladies I have now met specifically - but I will try, when I write a wedding grad post :)

ah coffee and pastries - how I miss our little boulangerie on Sunday mornings.  Panera is good, but not the same.

In June I took a trip with my roommates, a cruise to Greece and Turkey.  While we didn't know we were going to be the only unmarried 20-somethings on the boat, it was still an awesome time, and the best way I can think of to have ended a life-changing 20 months with those two.

When I got back to the US, it felt very surreal for a little while.  I had to adjust to saying "rubbish" less, and ordering my latte skim and not skinny, and to-go rather than take-away.  I had to remember that driving a car is different than driving using the Wii wheel in Mario Kart, and I missed my British TV shows.  I was back to living at home, except awkwardly living at home with the hubs-elect, except also sometimes living at his house.  I adjusted to my new job, and my much-more-horrid commute.

I met my friends I lovingly refer to as "the dress ladies," and enjoy very much that I have suddenly opened this door to a group of fabulously intelligent, resourceful, hilarious, and sweet women, who will listen to my wedding ravings and nod sympathetically.

yay, all our stuff...
And then, when we knew that it just wasn't working for us to live at home anymore, we made the decision to move out, and live on our own.  In two days, we went from searching, to found, to lease signed on our lovely little (and I mean little) apartment, where we are currently living (in sin.)

....and then we made it all pretty!  But it's not pretty anymore, we have acquired more stuff since then, and now it doesn't all fit.

We have learned to cook together in the same 5sqft of counter-space, to figure out how we want to do laundry, to try to encourage each other to work out and be more healthy, and to recognize when we just need to have a lazy evening to recharge our collective battery.  I am glad we have had the chance to do this - because with more living space, this could only get easier.  Like I might actually be able to leave the room when I don't want to hear the video games, or that he might be able to get some work done while I watch TV, or that we could both use a computer AT THE SAME TIME.  ahem.

And fast-forward to now, where we are getting Christmas cards that say, "hope you enjoy your first Christmas together," and I suddenly realize - this is it.  Our first Christmas together!  I am so very very excited, and I think 2011 can only get better from here.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

The dress

I am pleased to report I had a quite successful fitting/brainstorming sesh on Sunday with the lovely Sarah.  Not only did I fit into the dress much better, (yay!) but I think we also had some great thoughts on how we wanted to add to it, mostly a great little belt thing, with more details tbd.

It was really nice though to finally feel like a) I would fit into the dress and b) even if I didn't exactly, because the woman I got it from has insanely lovely proportions, we had enough room in the seams to make up the difference.  And that is a huge weight off of my mind.

I have been thinking over how much fun it would be to give the dress away again afterward...to pass it on to another women to make into her own.  Then this would be a sisterhood of a very well-traveled dress!

The jury is still out on the tiara-headband.  I lean no, but I won't try to sell it until I am sure.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Ring is here!

Yay, I finally got my ring!!  How cute is the packaging by Turtle Love Co.? I am really thrilled with the whole thing, and I do feel like it suits me very well :)

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Falling off some wagons

From Wikipedia
Let me just start off by (humbly) stating:  there are lots of things I do well.  Lots.  So I don't have particularly low self-esteem.

But I cannot, apparently, shed a few pathetic pounds.  I am considering starting all of my entries like this from now on, Bridget Jones style:

weight: ugh.
cigarettes: none (ha, this will be easy since I don't smoke.)
glasses of water drunk: 3
glasses of alcohol drunk to negate the effect of the water on weight: enough (but none yet today, obviously - its only 1:00.)

I have completely stopped exercising for the past week and a half, which isn't making me too happy, but I have combined this with my favorite anti-stress package after work: fatty food and alcohol.  Both of these things are really not helping.

I know that most weeks wont be like last week, and I will have a chance to stay a little more on track.  But how do I convince myself not to cave so easily?  Part of the problem is that I get as much de-stress out of the preparing the food as much as I do out of eating it, so my brain seems to talk myself into more elaborate and potentially rich foods with ease.  Not to mention that I hate exercise, because it is such a chore.  I have asked for the NFL training Wii game for Christmas, in the hopes that I could be entertained by my new-found NFL interest.

I am making tiny progress - for example, I now eat greek yoghurts for breakfast instead of bagels (which still kinda weirds me out.  I do not like yoghurts, but "everyone" says, they're better for me.)  Sometimes I stop myself from ordering a chai instead of a plain latte even when I really want one, and sometimes I even order a tall instead of a grande.  I bought carrot sticks two weeks ago, and we have brussel sprouts all the time (and I don't even cook them in butter.)  I really dislike water, but I am trying to drink more of it.  This has resulted in WAY more frequent trips to the ladies', which makes me concerned the office will notice, and inquire after my health.  Sigh.

I dunno, this whole weight business...this just may be the size I am supposed to be.  Which I would be OK with, if someone just chopped off the part of my belly that protrudes.

Back to the gym tonight, I suppose.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Wreath for my parent's front door
I made this one in fall colours so I have an excuse to put it up in November rather than wait until December next year.
Wreath making was fun, but my hands and arm look like I've been through the wars. Scratches and pine sap, mmm. Not to mention the glitter embedded in the scratches and pine sap. Oh yeah, I am hardcore.
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Saturday, 4 December 2010

Friday, 3 December 2010

What a horrid week

This is what I feel like right now:  cranky and a bit rained on.
Sometimes, its just one of those.

This week, I can check off my to-do list:
  • being an hour late for work
  • being late getting back from lunch
  • going out of the way to purchase supplies needed at work, then leaving those same supplies on the floor of my apartment instead of bringing them in to the office, where they were counting on having them
  • spending $50 on lightbulbs for the office
  • locking myself out of my house, with my elderly dogs locked inside
  • throwing a fit over having to listen to college basketball
  • being unreasonably upet over the timing of a bath
  • NOT WORKING OUT A SINGLE TIME.  seriously wtf I am going to die.
  • getting the addresses wrong on two of my Christmas cards
  • staying 2 hours late at work with the rest of my team to trim off the bottom of our title sheets, which had the name of the building misspelled.  I didn't misspell it, but it was still frustrating.

I am pretty much done, my brain is melted.  We are supposed to see Harry Potter tonight and go out to eat, and thank god because I don't believe I could rustle up even scrambled eggs on toast tonight.


Thursday, 2 December 2010

It didn't take too long before I ran out of things to talk about...

I do love Christmas sparkly things.

So I'm hanging out at my parents' for the weekend, because they're in Canada for my grandmother's 80th birthday extravaganza. I am sorry not to see the fam, but it would have been a kinda stressful trip, so I am not sorry we didn't spend 1200$ we don't have to make it happen.

It is nice to see my puppies again, but I am slightly suspicious someone has been feeding them hint of lime chips - they reacted strongly to the bag and even more so once they saw the chips. Confession, Dad?

This weekend I am hoping to pull some kind of Christmas elf move on my parents, and am planning on setting up a tree and doing some other decorating, mostly the parts I used to do when I was still living at home. I am still coming to grips with the fact that this is the first Christmas where I will not wake up in the same building as my parents...weird. Growing up one tiny change at a time.

But it doesn't mean I wont still be the one who drapes the baluster with fake pine boughs and poinsettias :)
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Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Already tired of waiting

the rutabaga got tired waiting for us to eat him, and decided to start a new life of his own.  we ate him anyway.
Sometimes we drive through little old neighborhoods on our way to somewhere, and this feeling starts to creep in until it has invaded every aspect of my conciousness: I MUST own a home.

I imagine my experience is similar to that of someone consumed by baby mania, a combination of hope, fear, and feelings of complete inadequacy.

I am a project-oriented person, its what gets me through the patches in my life. In London I realized one of my big dissatisfactions with the day to day was the lack of having a project to work on, because it wasn't practical.

In our tiny apartment, I look around and know that I have run out of spaces to put things, and that I have run out of patience with the things not to my satisfaction. I want more than 1 room to exist in, so that if someone plays loud annoying video games, I don't have to walk around my own living room in headphones. I can't wait until the day that when something goes wrong, I don't think to myself, "well that is going to come out of the deposit." I want to be able to redo a bathroom, paint walls a colour other than white, buy real furniture, and to not have the weight of moving in another 9 months pressing down.

But there is no avoiding the fact that we are pretty broke, and it doesn't really matter how much I want this. In this area, it will be a hell of a long time before we have enough for a down payment with a sensible mortgage.

But I would really like my own space please.
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