Thursday, December 31, 2009

525, 600 Minutes...

525,600 minutes, how do you measure a year? I know it’s a line from “Rent” and yes, it’s been overused, but there is some truth to it. This has been a weird year. In some ways it feels like a year of nothingness. My mom says it’s been a year of discovery. I guess I did discover a lot. Maybe this next year is for those discoveries to pay off in some way. So, how can I define 2009?

It was the year…

· that I went to Little Rock, Baton Rouge, Vancouver, Chicago, Phoenix, Memphis, Tunica, New York, Boston(2x), Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Portland (2x), Miami, Colorado Springs, Denver, Oklahoma City, Houston, San Luis Obispo and I’m sure at least one more I’m forgetting

· multiple friends got laid off and all my perks and benefits were taken away.

· The doctors finally figured out why I’m sick all the time. So it was also the year that…

· I had to give up all carbs. ALL.

· that felt a lot like Jr. High at points. Gotta love all the immature people in the world.

· of confusion.

· I became brave, put myself out there, and tried something new.

· that one friend moved away and another passed away.

· where a whole new circle of friends was made!

No matter what, it was a year where I was blessed by the grace of God and really, at the end of the day (or in this case, year) that’s all that matters.

Goal Setting for the New Year

While I'm not a fan of resolutions for the new year, I do think it is good to re-evaluate and set goals.A few years ago I read this book called "Knit Together" on discovering God's purpose for your life. In it there is a great template for setting goals for the year. I've used it the last two years and while I haven't finished everything, it is an excellent way to focus how you want to spend your time and what you want to work on in the year to come.
Goals for the Year
3 New Things You'd Like to Experience this Year:
3 Nonfiction Books You Want to Read this Year:
3 Things About Yourself You Want to Improve:
I. Spiritual Goals
II. Family Goals
III. Physical Goals
IV. Career Goals
V. Recreational Goals
VI. Financial Goals

I will say I think one problem for me with setting goals is I feel like I have to do them all immediately. This year, I'm going to divid them out. For example, my non-fiction book choices are each going to have a four month period in which to read them. So then it keeps me on track. Or certain career goals are going to have a month assigned in which to get them done. Then it's not an "all-at-once" kind of thing. Just a suggestion.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

All my Groceries..

Remember how I said I bought a ton of food. Let me show it to you...

Just so you know, my refrigerator had just that water pitcher in it before the trip to the grocery store. I kid you not.

Now look how pretty all my veggies look on my counter!

Seriously feeling domestic! Now it's time to make that Chicken Stock!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Here's to the New Year!

So, in my world basically everything after Christmas is the New Year. I love these few days in between the two holidays to start gearing up for the new year. Cleaning, organizing, setting goals, etc. Today I did MAJOR grocery shopping as this WILL be the year I learn to legitimately cook. I'm making chicken stock tomorrow for lesson number one and let's just say I'm terrified but excited to try. I also took down all my Christmas decorations which included the 8 ft. tree. That's right, all 5'1" of me put the tree away. Very heavy, but at least it's not taunting me anymore saying Christmas is over! Anyway, I look forward to blogging more in the year to come and will be talking more about all this "New Year, New You" stuff in the days to come.

Friday, December 11, 2009

I Heart "Paper Heart"!

At this point I'm halfway through the movie and it is ADORABLE! Oh my gosh! I so heart "Paper Heart"! Netflix it people. Michael Cera is freaking the cutest. Fun to watch all the awkwardness of a new relationship. Fun to hear all the real stories of what love is. I have always been a believer that it's different for each couple and I love that this movie confirms that.

I always watch docs like this and wonder what would happen if they made a documentary of my life. Hmmm.... well let's see, I'm sitting at home alone in my pajamas on a Friday night watching a movie and blogging. Yeah, that would be a riveting documentary. I do still want to make one at some point. About what I'm not quite sure. And yes, I know "Paper Heart" is not a real documentary. Blurry lines, blurry lines.
Paper Heart

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Great Deals in Your City

So I am absolutely LOVING all the websites that have sprung up giving deals in your city! In case you haven't heard of these, here's the deal...

First, and probably the most popular right now, is Groupon. Groupon is a website where you sign up for deals in your city to be e-mailed to you a few times a week. They are normally for locally owned businesses which is awesome. So basically you get an e-mail saying something like, "Luna Park -$40 worth of food for $20." And then you buy your groupon for the $20 and anytime within about 3-5 months you can use your groupon at the restaurant! So the catch is you have to buy the groupon THAT DAY. That deal will not be available again. Just last week I used my groupon to Luna Park and it was great. Other recent Groupons have included pilates class, chocolates, grocery delivery, and manicures. I will say that I'm often shocked by how many groupons are to ultra-trendy, of-the-moment places. For example, last week there was a Groupon to Kiss My Bundt, and in case you haven't heard, bundt cakes are the new cupcake. Get ready! My friend bought a groupon for The Foundry on Melrose ($70 worth of food for $35) and we will be trying it out soon!

Next up is Blackboard Eats. Very similar to Groupon except it is only for food. The cool thing with Blackboard is that you don't have to pay up front. You have the day to order the coupon and if you order it you just get a passcode. Then all you do is simply give your passcode to the host when you arrive at the restaurant. The one thing with Blackboard is you have only 1 month to use your passcode. And just to give you an example of the deals, today's passcode is for Fraiche restaurant in Santa Monica-40% off lunch. I recently got their passcode for Grace restaurant and will be eating a prix fixe dinner for $38. The cool thing with Blackboard is that they keep track of what deals you've signed up for, so if you lose your passcode somehow, you can always log in and find it on their side under "My Blackboard".

Last, but not least, is Big City Deals brought to you by Pat Sajak! This too is one you sign-up for and buy like Groupon, but there is one cool feature with this one-they separate out Orange County and the Valley so the coupons are for your specific area! Nice feature, huh? I haven't actually tried Big City Deals yet, but they do some interesting things like helicopter tours of the city.

So, there it is folks. Go sign-up with each of these sites so you can make the most of our city at an affordable price!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

First Date Tips for Guys...

Since my last entry on dating has lead me to believe I’ll probably never get a date again because I’m now "that outspoken girl”, I figure I might as well keep going to help the rest of you out.

First Date Tips for Guys:

  • Meet her at her door.
  • Open doors for her.
  • Pay for everything.
  • Leave your Blackberry/IPhone at home. At least, don’t use it in front of her. Check it when she’s in the bathroom or something.
  • Compliment her. Tell her she looks nice. I don’t know how this one keeps slipping by, but no girl has ever disliked being told she looks good. Oh, and even if you think she’s gorgeous don’t assume she thinks the same about herself. Odds are she doesn't.
  • Don’t insult her job or job industry. This may sound obvious, but you wouldn’t believe what people have said about my job on dates. My personal favorites are the guy who told me my job is “silly” and the one who told me he thinks my show is “sad” and said television is just a waste of time.
  • Act interested in what she does. Not just her occupation, but other interests as well.
  • Be confident. I can’t even begin to tell you how far confidence can get you with a girl.
  • QUIT EXPECTING FIREWORKS! Seriously, very few first dates are absolutely spectacular and amazing. Were you nervous? Well guess what? So was she. And if your first date was a double date or group date or whatever, that’s fine, but just know she’s probably now more nervous because she feels she’s being watched. The first date is more just to figure out if you want to get to know the person better. Seriously, cut her some slack. She’s probably having to cut you plenty too.
Bottom line, you treat her well and she'll open up a whole new world for you. I know a guy who quit dating a girl because the first date wasn't amazing. Their mutual friend said to me the other day, "Do you think he realizes how different his life could be right now if he'd just tried a little harder?" Sad thing is, I don't think he does.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Art of Manliness

Guys, this is the website for you! Art of Manliness is a site just for men on a HUGE variety of topics-everything from how to tie a tie, to 10 dating rules, to choosing the perfect cigar. Also, there's a whole section about doing manly things like escaping from a sinking car to how to split firewood correctly. My favorite entry is the Brad Pitt rule. Go on, read it. I know you're curious...

The easiest thing to bring to a holiday party...

So ho, ho, ho and Merry Christmas! Sure, it's 75 degrees outside, but it's still December which means the time for holiday get-togethers is upon us. This also means needing to bring an item to many of these holiday parties. Here is my FAVORITE item that is easy to bring, yet looks like you made effort:

The Carnation Famous Fudge Kit is so simple! It comes with everything, look:

The only thing you need to add is 3 tablespoons butter. You just melt it all together and then put it in the pan they give you and refrigerate for a few hours. Before the party, simply cut it into bite-size pieces and put it on a pretty Christmas plate. Voila! You have a lovely sweet to bring with you!

Oh and FYI, I slaved last year over delicious, made-from-scratch gingerbread cookies for a party and at the last minute decided to make this fudge too. I had leftover gingerbread cookies for days, but the fudge was gone way before the party ended!


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