Archive for April, 2009

Motherhood, Planners, and Shoes – Oh My!

Before I was an adult and learned how much houses and cars and tax and insurance cost, if you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I’d say “a mom.” I maintained this thought up until about 2 years ago. Ironically, the same time I graduated from college. Let me just take a second to clear the air- I still want to be a mom. I just know that Motherhood will not be my only job. And as sad as that makes me, it’s okay. I can’t tell you how many times “adults” have told me, “Don’t wait until you think you have enough money to have kids. If you do that, you’ll never have kids.” I see their point. But until I have rugrats of my own, I’m just going to keep living my life.

 

Which is apparently the life of a mother… minus the kids. I’m not sure why. My house is not clean, I’m quite lazy, and I’m terrible at playing Barbies. But for some reason, people think I’m motherly. As weird as this sounds, I think my height has a lot to do with it. For some reason, people think that just because I’m tall I’m older, wiser, and played basketball in high school. Wrong, wrong, and oh-so-very wrong. I can actually remember a time in high school. I was the manager of the varsity boy basketball team. That basically means that I went to each game, sat at the scorekeeping table, and kept the books. Anyways, during timeouts and other breaks, you visit with the other people at the table. One game, this woman asked, “So how long have you been teaching at Lutheran South?” I was 16. That’s ridiculous.

 

For those of you who know me, you probably don’t need to hear any more. For those of you who don’t, let me further prove my point. My nickname is “Momma Chelsea” and even have an apron that says “Momma Chelsea’s Kitchen”. I cannot even tell you how many times my sister has said, “Chelsea. I already have a mom. I don’t need two. Be my sister.” And here’s the kicker. A couple weeks ago I was at the eye doctor. I was up at the desk checking out and making my follow up appointment. Once we picked the date, I wrote it in my planner. The lady behind the desk said, “Do you need an appointment card?” I said, “No it’s in my planner. That’s what counts.” And she smiled and did that oh-how-sweet-I-empathize head tilt and said, “Oh I know. A mother can’t do anything without her planner! Keeps the family together!”

 

I understand that I’m old enough to be a mother. But do I really look old enough to have a family that needs to be kept together by the powers of my planner? I’m not quite ready for that. And here’s why.

 

A status I recently saw on one of my facebook friends’ walls (she has planner aged children) :

 

“(Name omitted so she’s still my friend) is wondering how my son can lose his shoe at school. How? I try to be understanding about the lunch kits, jackets, homework, books, etc. But a shoe?”

 

As insanely adorable as that is, I’m not quite ready for missing shoes.

 

Just so you can all sleep tonight, there was a follow-up status the next day “(Supermom) is thrilled! The shoe was found! I repeat, the shoe was found!”

April 30, 2009 at 9:39 am 12 comments

Loser Week 17: Winners and Liars

I am so tired of Ron. So so tired.

 

I would end my summary there but then I wouldn’t get to talk about Helen. So I’ll go on.

 

Bob met up with his team (Ron and Filipe) to talk about the loss of Kristin. He asked what happened. Ron said that Mike chose to vote her off since she was a big threat. Bob said, “It’s hard to believe that you didn’t have something to do with that.” Ron said that he didn’t. Bob asked, “Did you know he was going to do it? Did you pull him aside and tell him to do that?” Ron lied. Flat out lied. Ron, lying makes you ugly. It is a very awful trait. You should have your mouth washed out with soap. The way my dad does it… with nasty bar soap that he grinds in between your teeth. That’ll teach you how disgusting it is to lie. I’m not even sure why he lied. What difference would it have made? Now America knows he’s a liar and he hurt his relationship with Bob. Good move Ron.

 

The final 5 watched a video of their first workout. It was weird to see them. They all look swollen. Not fat. Swollen. Like they are allergic to bees and a whole swarm just chased them into the gym.

 

Tara won the challenge… again. They had to carry a bag of all the weight they had lost throught the 16 weeks. They had to climb over 16 giant hills and at the top of each, they took a pack of weight out of their bag. Each hill represented a week on campus. So the pack of weight was the amount they lost that week. Whoever won got the choice of a 1 pound advantage at the weigh in or $10,000. Whichever option they didn’t choose went to the second place winner. Tara won, Mike got second.

 

It was also Train the Trainer day. I don’t remember this in previous seasons but Stephen swears they had it. I kind of liked it. It made me really respect Bob. (I already respected him, but this was icing on the cake.) Each team got to take their trainer to the gym and train them. Filipe was rough. Then the team had their last chance workout. Always entertaining. Helen was extremely concerned about her hair. Ron was having a converstaion with Bob while he was lifting weights. Do you know what that tells me? You aren’t working hard enough. You shouldn’t be able to have a casual conversation while you’re lifting.

 

Anyways, the weigh in was crazy. Everyone lost a ton of weight. Filipe and Ron were below the yellow line. Ron lost 9 pounds (I think) and Filipe lost 10. Tara took the 1 pound advantage (turned out that she didn’t need it) so Mike won $10,000. Yay for him. So then they all went to talk at the house. Ron said he wanted to stay so he could finish this out with his son. Filipe said he just wants to make it to the finale. He doesn’t want to come this close and fail, like he has his whole life. We all know that their pleas don’t help. At this stage, it’s about the game. In my opinion, Ron is still the bigger threat. Maybe Filipe is a stronger competitor but he doesn’t have much weight to lose. He’ll be putting on muscle weight. But Ron will just lose and lose and lose.

 

But they thought otherwise. Mike obviously voted for Filipe. Then it was Helen’s turn. And here is where we see the second big lie of the night. She said, “This came down to the game. For once I had to vote the way that was in my best interests.” HA! Really? REALLY? You’re right Helen, up until now you have been so selfless. (cough shannon cough) Puh-lease. Anyways, with that, Filipe had two votes and was out.

 

So we are down to 4. Ron, Mike, Helen, and Tara. They have 30 days to be at home. Then they’ll come back for a weigh in. There will be two below the yellow line and we’ll vote one out. Then the following week will be the live finale. They’ll reveal who we voted off. Everyone will do a final weigh in and one of the “at homers” will win $150,00 (or is it $100,000?) and one of the final three will win the $250,000. I CAN’T WAIT! Although none of my favorites are there anymore. Of course I love Mike. But I almost don’t want him to win because his dad is such a schemer. We will see!

April 29, 2009 at 11:06 am 6 comments

Props! to Glimmersticks

If you are male, feel free to skip this post.

 

I’ve never understood those women who don’t wear makeup. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with not wearing makeup, I just don’t understand it. Maybe I have self esteem issues. Maybe I just don’t like scaring small children. I don’t know.

 

If I had to narrow my morning routine down to three items, they would be as follows:

 

First, moisturizer. In an effort to postpone the inevitable turkey-neck, I moisturize daily. I change types and brands each time I complete a tub. Although I’m trying to go all-Avon, so I’m just testing each of their moisturizing options. I’m not sure how anyone doesn’t moisturize. Besides the preventative advantages, it just feels lovely! If I skip this step, my face feels like it’s going to break.

 

Second, some sort of powder. Currently, I’m using a Cream to Powder product. (Also Avon.) I think this step would be necessary! I’m not a senior citizen so I don’t know the true definition of the phrase, but I guess that this would be the step that means to “put your face on.”

 

Finally, eyeliner. Specifically Glimmersticks. This eyeliner rocks. Ignore the name. It’s not sparkly or shimmery or glimmery. It’s normal, self sharpening, wonderful eyeliner. I discovered this eyeliner a couple years ago. A woman I worked with sold Avon. I was tired of my crappy pencil that dulls so quickly. So I thought I’d give it a shot. I loved it. So much so that when I quit my job, I started selling Avon so that I could always have access to this eyeliner. It’s cheap and they have it in multiple colors. I think they have a skinny tip version and I think they also just came out with a waterproof version. I use the plain ‘ol black.

The queen of my makeup world.

The queen of my makeup world.

Does anyone else use Glimmersticks and love it? Anyone want to try? Have a product that you swear by?

April 28, 2009 at 9:34 am 8 comments

Finding Shelter From the Storm

I’ve lived in Nassau Bay since 1990. That’s 19 years (it’s Monday, we could all use a little help) minus my 4 college years and the 4 months Stephen and I lived in our Pearland apartment. I’ve experienced a lot in the neighborhood. Some good. Some bad. All exciting.

 

My neighborhood is known for a few things. It used to be known as that neighborhood across the street from NASA. I’ve had many people throughout my life ask me if my neighbors are astronauts. (In case you’re wondering, no, they aren’t.) Then, back in 2002, an unfortunate event changed the reputation of Nassau Bay. Clara Harris drove over her husband in the parking lot of the neighborhood Hilton, where just months before, my high school was having their prom. Of course this story made national news. As it should. What a psycho. But it would have been nice if the media would have said the hotel was in Houston. Nope, this makes better news. A little city of about 4100, just a hop away from NASA. Thank you media. Why did you have to start being accurate with this story??

 

I bet most of you forgot about that story. Nassau Bay is no longer defined by Mrs. Harris’ driving record. Now it’s all about storms. During Rita, The Weather Channel broadcast from Nassau Bay. I was on my couch in my dry, safe apartment in Austin. I was terrified. Once the broadcasters saw that all they were going to be able to report was miles of traffic, they moved on. But a couple short years later, they came back. Ike was sure to hit us. So dozens and dozens of reports set up camp at (where else?!) the neighborhood Hilton. I watched with my husband and parents from a hotel in Stephenville, Texas. I can remember going out to eat and having our eyes glued to the tv when we were waiting for our table. The hostess asked me, “Do yall live somewhere around there?” The terror in my eyes must have given me away. “We live there. Exactly there. That’s our neighborhood.” That was a scary week. I had a house to worry about. Nassau Bay floods. That’s not news. That wasn’t something Stephen and I were tricked into when we bought our house. We knew what we were getting ourselves into.

 

Now, all of a sudden, even thunderstorms are scary. We were out of town last week and didn’t see the immediate results of the downpour. Of course we saw the sewage in our backyard and the waterlines in the front yard. But that’s about it. And that’s not too scary. Friday. Was. Scary.

 

Stephen was out of town on a men’s retreat. My parents were in Austin so Molly was spending the weekend with Rookie and me. Dogs don’t care for thunder. Or stobe lightening. They especially don’t like it when the power goes off. Wives don’t like being home alone. Or 5 hour storms. Or leaks. They especially don’t like it when the power goes off. But I was the adult. I had to pull it together. I put cups under the leaks, put my big girl panties on, and dealt with it. I told the girls that it would all be okay.

 

But as my front yard looked like this,

All of the reflections should tell you that the enitre street is under water. About 3/4 of the yard was too.

All of the reflections should tell you that the enitre street is under water. About 3/4 of the yard was too.

and our backyard looked like this,

Atleast it'll wash away that sewage from last week...

The black part is water. At least it'll wash away that sewage from last week...

I wanted to look like this.

...minus the devil eyes.

...minus the devil eyes.

April 27, 2009 at 1:06 pm 4 comments

The Grass is Always Greener…

What’s our problem? By “our” I mean humans. By “problem” I mean problem. We are never satisfied. If you have straight hair, you want curly. If you have curly hair, you want straight. When plates arrive at a restaurant, you always want what someone else ordered. His car is better. Her job is better. Their house is better. It’s ridiculous and irrational. Is it because we truly aren’t satisfied with our lives? I don’t think so. I think it’s because we can’t see ourselves. But we see them. We see them enjoying their life. So I don’t think the issue is really about being dissatisfied. I think it’s all about envy.

 

I’ve recently learned that dogs suffer from this as well. They always want what the other has. And there is really no reasoning with them. Trust me, I’ve tried. Rookie and Molly are best friends. Normally Rookie naps next to the coffee table and uses the ledge of the table as her pillow. That’s her spot. Not when Molly comes over. Apparently the hard floor looks much more comfortable.

 

As close as they can get without Rookie squishing Molly.

As close as they can get without Rookie squishing Molly. Please ignore our stained grout.

 

I think Rookie is the bigger conformer in their relationship. It’s not until Molly comes over that Rookie decides that she’s not too cool to play with her toys. If we’re alone with Rookie, playing fetch is out of the question. We can throw her toy and she’ll just stare at it and then look back at us. On a good day, she’ll watch us throw it, slowly get up and walk over to it and look at it. Then she’ll walk back over and ignore us. The only game she willingly plays is chase. That’s her favorite. But not when Molly comes over. When Molly comes, Rookie proudly shows off all her loot. Check out my rope! Let’s play with Stinky, my stuffed skunk! What about this rope? Or my kong!

 

Molly is spending the weekend with Aunt Chelsea. She came over yesterday. They normally play, lay around, nap, then spontaneously start chasing each other. They get along really well and know when play time is over. Normally, Molly sleeps in her kennel and Rookie sleeps by our bed. But I thought I’d let them both sleep in our room on the floor. Rookie is low maintenance. She sleeps on the carpet. She doesn’t like blankets. If we ever put them in her kennel, she pushes them aside and lays on the hard plastic. I don’t know why. That’s just the way she is. I’ve laid blankets out next to the bed so she can sleep on them. Instead, she just lays next to them. Molly on the other hand, is high maintenance. Or maybe her momma just makes her appear that way. That’s still up for debate. Molly sleeps on 2 folded blankets. You know, so it’s more comfy. (We’ll ignore the picture of her above where she is passed out on the hard tile.)

 

Last night, I laid out these two blankets. I’d say that they’re about 2’x3′. The instant I put them down, Rookie curled up on top of them. I’m sorry, what? Rookie, have you forgotten? You’re low maintenance. You don’t sleep on blankets. Molly just stood there staring at her. Rookie ignored her. She’s not scared of a 7 pound fluff ball. Over and over I would make Rookie get up and walk away. And over and over she’d run back over and lay down before Molly could get there. Molly refused to lay on the carpet. She just stood there staring at Rookie, mentally begging her to move and doing her impatient dance. I decided that I’d unfold the blankets so that they are about 6’x3′. That way, they could both fit on the blanket. All would be happy and I could go to sleep. I immediately turned off the light and told them to go night-night.

 

After a few minutes, I heard that they had settled down. I used the light on my cell phone to see if they had agreed with my compromise or if Rookie was still being a bully. I never expected to see that they were BOTH laying on the carpet. Stephen and I got a good laugh out of that one. At one point in the middle of the night, I checked on them again. This time, they were both sleeping on the blanket. It’s cute, yes. But Rookie is a poseur. On Sunday night, when she’s all alone at the side of the bed, she’ll refuse a blanket. She’ll look at me like I’m some idiot and walk away, offended. Rook, I already know you’re a chameleon. Is it really that awful to add ‘high maintenance’ to your list of undesirable traits? Your grass is green. Stop looking over the fence!

 

 

Here’s one more cute photo. Don’t you just want to squeeze her? She’s so stinking cute!

Happy Friday.

Rookie is outside. This is Molly, waiting for her to come back!

Rookie is outside. This is Molly, waiting for her to come back!

April 24, 2009 at 9:58 am 6 comments

How Ike Ruined Our Lives

I’ll be generous and say that there’s nobody over the age of 18 that wouldn’t recognize the theme song to Cheers. Why is it so well known? Well, yes it’s a catchy song. (Just wait, you’ll have it in your head all day… “where everybody knows your name”…) But its the whole concept of the show that made it so popular. We loved the fact that they had “their bar.”  They were like a family. They had their seats and their drinks. And America eats this up. We all have this deep need for ownership. Just think about it. You have your grocery store, your song, your route, your nail salon, your restaurant. So we love the song. We want to go to a place where everyone knows our name. Or at least our face. 

And how do you choose these? I’m sure there are a lot of factors. Maybe you like your grocery store because it gives free cheese samples. Maybe you have your coffee shop because they make the meanest pumpkin spice latte in town. Whatever the reason, one thing is for sure: It strikes your fancy. When Stephen and I bought our house, we quickly found a place that struck our fancy. It was this little Mexican restaurant that has gone by at least 6 names since 1990, when the Rosenhagen family moved to Nassau Bay. When we bought Hurst Castle, this restaurant was going by the name The Green Tomato. We loved this place. 

Let me tell you why. 

It’s close. It takes us about 2 minutes to get there. There is never a wait. You can pick your table if you want to. They have cheap margaritas. (Let’s face it, this is the selling point!) They have fajitas for 2 for the price of 1 on certain nights. Which means we buy one order and have it for dinner and lunch the next day– 4 meals! The chips are great. The chip man rocks! He always brings us a big bowl of their green sauce because he knows we like it so much. They only have like 2 waiters. We always got the girl and she was fantastic. Basically, this was OUR restaurant. (Reread that paragraph. You’ll notice a mixture of “is” and “was”…. Hmmm…. what could that mean?!) 

Does anyone remember September 13, 2008? The coast had a visitor. He spent quite a bit of time in the little city of Nassau Bay. He came uninvited, kicked us out of our homes, knocked down our trees, punched holes in our roofs, and left sewage in our yard. He was such a jerk. Because of the damage he did, many of us weren’t allowed to come back to our homes for a while. This caused tons of problems. It made our freezer smell like …. I have no words. There’s nothing that can describe it. (Thanks MK for sneaking in and cleaning out the worst of it while we were exiled!) Due to our late arrival, we had much worse damage in our master bathroom. Sitting water does nasty things. (More on this in the coming days/weeks.) One of the worst parts of it all was that businesses suffered. They lost inventory, they lost TONS of customers for days and days. Do you see whats coming? 

Our beloved Green Tomato suffered. Word on the street is that there was some shady business going on with not paying vendors, so the owner high tailed it to California or Colorado or some other state that starts with a C. We were devastated. Stephen and I broke down in tears regularly. We cursed the idiot named Ike who ruined our lives. We dressed in black and mourned the loss of our restaurant. We turned off our phones and drew the curtains and sulked in our pity.  We refused to eat. It really sucked, but I think you get the picture. 

The restaurant is on our way home. So each day we glance over, hoping something new was coming. One day we saw some workers at the building at we were thrilled. We started daydreaming about the future. We saw visions of homemade tortilla chips, tequila, and queso. Then we started thinking… what if it’s not Mexican food. We live in Houston, TX so there are high odds that it IS Mexican… but you never know. I’m not too incredibly picky. There are only three types of restaurants I won’t go to. 1. Cajun. I just can’t do it. I’m a wimp. If I eat that food I continually reapply chapstick and want to tear out my tongue. 2. Indian. I just hate it. I hate the smells. I can’t pronounce the food. And most importantly, I hate the taste. 3. Seafood. I don’t like fish. I do like shrimp and crawfish. But since my hubby is quite allergic to shellfish, and I’m too young to be a window, we stay far away from these restaurants. 

We said our prayers and hoped for the best. Something cheap. Something yummy. Something that wasn’t a chain. But hey, beggers can’t be choosers, right? So even if it was nasty, expensive, and national we would probably still go. Maybe just the one time. But still. 

Construction on this place has been going on for a couple weeks. Each day, as we pass it, we glance over to see if they’ve put up a sign. We were so hopeful. Ignorance is bliss, right? A couple days ago, they put up the sign. I was in the middle of an extremely exciting story (I don’t remember the story, but I’m sure it was super entertaining… you read my blog, right?!) and Stephen was like, “Oh….. look.” In that moment, my world came crashing down. The pain of losing our first love came rushing back. I started wondering about the housing marketing and our home equity and if it was too quick to move to a new neighborhood. 

A neighborhood that had a cozy Mexican food restaurant. 

Not a Cuisine of India.

April 23, 2009 at 10:50 am 10 comments

Loser Week 16: NOOOO!

Terrible. Horrible. Depressing. Let’s get this going….

 

We started with a breakthrough for Kristin. She made it through the elimination and was extremely grateful. She had a talk with Bob and realized that it’s okay to want to win this competition. She realized that she deserves this just as much as any of the other contestants. It was touching. She looks so amazing. I’m so proud of her. I love you, Kristin!

 

The first competition was a game show. Questions about nutrition. There was a tie between Mike and Kristin. The winner would win a 3 day trip to NY. The final question was “How many calories are in this fried fish sandwich?” Mike won, he was only off by 5 calories. Kristin was devastated. I agree with the trainers though, these contestants should have done MUCH better at this challenge. They are a week away from going home. There is no reason you should underestimate the calorie count of something by 200 calories!

 

Last night we experienced something awful– the longest “commercial” in Biggest Loser history. They always do these terrible plugs… Brita, Extra, Jenny O, Ziplock, Subway, Quaker… Newsflash to the companies: This does not make us want to use your product. If we happen to see them using it, we might be more interested. But none of these skits and camera shots of only a pack of gum. It’s lame. We aren’t idiots. I will never purchase Extra gum, or Jenny O Turkey. And we all know how much I love this show. I’m glad yall support it, but I will not buy your product. Period. So back to the awfulness of last night’s commercial. It started with Bob talking to his team about what they eat. He was acting all disappointed because they aren’t getting enough protein. (My first thought: There is no way that this late in the game they don’t know how to eat. No way.) So he tells them he wants them to video tape their meals for a day so he can see it. This is when I spoke up. I told Stephen that this is all a set up. He already knows what they eat. I’m sure they write it all down and he reviews it. There is about a 0% chance that the trainers don’t know what the contestants are putting into their body. Ugh. Once again, we are not idiots. So they film and, oh look at that, they aren’t eating enough protein. Well, look, here is a solution. Some powder stuff that Ali is on the cover of. How convenient. LAME!

 

Now to the challenge. The contestants were suspended in a cage 45 feet high. They had to hold onto a rope that was connected to a pulley system that held them up. If they let go of the rope, they fell and were out. Winner gets $10,000 or a 1 lb. advantage. Really, no surprises. Tara won. Helen was so dumb. Trying to convince Tara to both let go at the same time and split the money. First of all, don’t complain that someone wins all of the time. They win because they are good – not because they are an evil person. It is fair. So stop saying that you are tired of her winning and she needs to give someone else a chance. Clearly you don’t understand the game. Second, Helen, why in the world would Tara agree to split the money if you’re saying, “Hurry and make up your mind, my hands are about to slip.” If your hands are about to slip, she has no reason to forfeit. Dumb! You should say, “I could stay here all night, want a truce?”

 

Last chance workout was tough. I haven’t seen everyone sweat that bad in a long time! Except Helen. I’ll try not to judge… because I don’t sweat either. But I do, however, think that it’s odd that she did her last chance workout with her hair down. Wouldn’t that be hot and annoying? Anyone? Jillian told Mike to confront his dad about their issues. He did. It wasn’t dramatic. Stephen and I don’t think Mike got any closure. Only time will tell.

 

Weigh in. Kristin and Helen were below. Poor Kristin gained a pound. My heart broke for her. They said their speeches. Nothing new. I am pretty tired of people saying “I’m not ready to leave yet.” Who is? Ever? Really? That’s not an argument. So Kristin pulled Ron aside and asked for his vote. Early on in the game, Ron said he’d never write Kristin’s name down. Throughout the show we heard him say he’ll “do everything in his power to get her and his son to the finale.” Hmm… interesting. Liar. He stayed true to his word that he wouldn’t write her down. However, he told Mike to vote her off. That way, there would be a tie between her and Helen. Kristin would automatically go home since she lost the least. And that’s exactly what happened. Ron, time and time again you have a chance to show us that you can be wonderful. Time and time again you prove to be a shady, manipulative man. America is not very forgiving. You’re lucky your son rocks or else you’d have very few redeeming qualities.

 

Oh yeah. And Tara took the mopney instead of the pound. Jillian said she thinks its great that she did that because that means she believs in herself. Wrong. Jillian only said that because Tara ended up losing enough weight. Jillian normally would say “Why would you take the money? Obviously she doesn’t know why she’s here. Blah blah.” Come on Jillian.

 

Only two weeks left. Then what will I blog about?

April 22, 2009 at 12:08 pm 10 comments

Props!

Move over Oprah*, there’s a new opinion in town. Starting today, I’ve added a new feature to your favorite source of R&R (Roots & Rings… did you get that? Yeah. Okay.) Chelsea’s Favorite Things! Chelsea, why do you think you’re so special? Why do you think we care?  Well, I don’t know. But you’re reading, right? And who doesn’t like to know about great products, books, movies, and links? If you don’t like my opinion, that’s what the comments section is for.

 

Because I don’t think “Chelsea’s Favorite Things” has quite the same ring to it, we’ll call it “Props!” I’m not sure if this will be a Tuesday thing, I may move it to Friday. Or it may be completely random. Man, I’m such a rule breaker! Can you handle this??

 

Today is the first edition of Props!: Reusable Shopping Bags!

 

It took me a while to hop on this bandwagon. I always have a problem paying for something that you can get for free. And I just kept thinking “What a pain! I’ll have to remember to bring them, and keep them in my car, and carry them around the store. No thank you.” All three of those are valid points. It is tough to remember to bring them. It’s tough to remember to take them to the car after I unload my groceries, and I don’t enjoy carrying them around in my basket. I currently keep them in the front part of the basket that is normally reserved for my purse, eggs, and bread. Now they’ve thrown me off. The eggs have been demoted. I’m not sure how they feel about that. I think the carts need a thin, metal  “pocket” on the outside so we can slip our bags in there. Anyways, this is not the point.

 

These even make brussel sprouts look good!

These even make brussel sprouts look good!

 

I shop at Kroger and have their black bags that say something about Eco Blah Blah in lime green. They aren’t as cute as these “happy bags” but they do the job. This is why I love them. They are big. They can fit the equivalent of about 4 plastic bags. (The ads say they can replace 6, but I think that is only true ifall of your items are stackable. A lot of mine aren’t- tomatoes, bread, etc.) I also love them because they have a flat bottom. This makes things fit well and keeps the bags standing in the trunk of my super cool Nissan Murano. (!!) I love that they have long straps. They are so easy to carry! And I love that the tree huggers don’t turn their picketing and chanting towards me when I walk out of Kroger with my 12 plastic bags. Just kidding, they only give me death stares and hand me fliers about how my great-grandchildren won’t have any place to live and will have to make their clothes and curtains out of my wasted plastic bags. Just kidding. Do they even notice? “Tree huggers! Hey, look at me! Look at my reusable bags. Aren’t I great? Now if you’ll excuse me I need to go home and take out the recycling and plant a tree.”

 

Anyways, this is an easy way to “do my part.” And if you haven’t jumped on the “GO GREEN!” bandwagon, it’s okay. No guilt from me. But these bags are good for more than just that. Trust me, you’ll appreciate how easy they are. I never knew I hated plastic bags until I started using these. I do wish I had held off and gotten some cuter bags. If you have cute bags, show me. I’ll live vicariously through you.

 

 

*Contrary to popular belief, I’m quite different than Oprah. Unfortunately I don’t have as plush of a bank account. So there will not be free handouts – unless the item is super cheap and I just think someone HAS to own it, or if the company wants to give you one. But seeing as my opinion doesn’t have quite the pull as Oprah’s, don’t hold your breath!

April 21, 2009 at 10:50 am 6 comments

Keep Austin Amazing

Stephen and I spent the weekend in Austin. It was fabulous. I’m a Houstonian. I know Houston isn’t the greatest city but I love it. It’s my home. I don’t mind the humidity. Or the lack of quality restaurants. We’ve already discussed how I’m a pretty mediocre person. I guess this adds to it. I obviously live in the greatest state, but I don’t live in the greatest city. And that’s okay. It fits me. And it makes my visits to The Great City even more special. There were many many days in college that I took Austin for granted. Now that I’m gone, I truly enjoy my visits. Today, I’m going to tell you the reasons I love Austin. Keep in mind that these are in no particular order and this is (obviously) not a complete list. Feel free to add to it!

 

*The University of Texas. The greatest university! I love the campus, the presence it holds in the city, the sports, the rankings, the color, the hand sign, the mascot.

 

*Casey’s Sno Balls – Located on Airport and 51st I believe. Best. Snow Cones. Ever. Snow Beach has nothing on them! They have a million flavors (my favorite being strawberries and cream). I can only handle a small and even then, Stephen usually has to finish it for me. It’s cheap, family owned, and so delicious.

 

*The views. Because of the hills in Austin, you are never more than 5 minutes away from a spectacular view. It’s breathtaking. (But also really scary to drive on those hilly, curvy roads!)

 

*The Austin Stone. I love this church. I love it’s teachings, it’s passion, it’s focus on missions and community. I love that I met my husband and many wonderful friends through this church. I love that when I started attending, there was only one service – now there are 4!

 

*Maudie’s Rockin’ Ruthann. A burrito sent straight from the man above!

 

*Everyone is always outside. Whether they are walking, biking, kayaking, studying, drinking, eating, sleeping, etc. They are outside. And while you may run into the occasional crazy man, you’re never really in much danger.

 

*Disch-Falk Field. Wow. This stadium is incredible. I loved it when I was there. It was my home. But now, after all the renovations, oh my! It’s amazing. And so beautiful. And they have awesome kettle corn!

 

*Bob Armstrong Dip at Matt’s El Rancho. There are no words.

 

*The wardrobe. At any given time, at any given restaurant, you can find a woman wearing a dress and $300 shoes. And in the table next to her, you can find a woman wearing a ratty t-shirt and pj pants. Both are acceptable. Both patrons are treated the same.

 

*The cute stores. Everywhere you go there are boutiques and family owned businesses. They are charming and personal. (Shout out to Ethnic Loft, a store that is near and dear to my heart. If you’re ever in Austin, check it out!)

 

*Kerbey Lane. Specifically the one on Kerbey Lane. Their blueberry pancakes are worth the wait. And the Kerbey Queso is lick-the-bowl good. (Please note that it’s never really socially acceptable to lick a queso bowl… Stephen…)

 

*The music. Music is ingrained into this city’s culture. Everywhere you go has music playing. Live music is all over the place. There are numerous music festivals and millions of bars that hold nightly concerts.

 

*Personal Faves: Diamonds, our CG, Tanglewood North (where Stephen proposed), Lyndsey’s apartment on Riverside, the Gentry’s house on Duval (where Stephen and I met), Hancock Center (where I did all my grocery shopping and got my pedicures), Rudy’s cups, the B-School— specifically the M-Lab, the SigEp house where I experienced my first frat party and first crawfish boil, Boat Parties, walking to Taco C or Marble Slab from campus, oh I could go on and on….

 

I think it’s fair to say that even if you’re an Aggie or Sooner or Raider, you still agree that Austin is a wonderful city. If you don’t think this, it just further proves the opinion that you’re all fools!

 

Once and Austinite, always an Austinite. I miss you guys and our memories to my very core. Stephen and I will always treasure our time in Austin. We are already looking forward to our next visit.

April 20, 2009 at 10:43 am 8 comments

Brat Beef Kielbasa Hot Smoked Sausage Cheddar Wurst

I’m not quite sure why so many companies have such a hard time making a good commercial. I’m not just talking about the crazy infomercials. Yes, Sham Wow and Snuggie and anything Billy Mays hold the top slots for most ridiculous commercials. But I think that they are intentionally ridiculous, so they don’t really count. And in all actuality, their commercials are doing the very thing that they are supposed to – promoting brand awareness. I’m talking about normal, everyday brands. You guys make it so easy to change the channel. You’re just boring. Advil, Office Depot, cereal, etc. Bor.Ing.

 

Think about your local car dealership commercials. They are terrible. The salesman always looks awkward. The saleslady is always wearing some boxy pant suit. They always look stiff until the very end when they point at the camera or mechanically raise their arm to showcase their fabulous inventory. They are painful really. At the end, you don’t really want to buy a car from them. You want to go hug them and tell them it’s over and that they never have to do another commercial ever again. There is almost nothing more uncomfortable than watching someone who is nervous.

 

There are also all of these commercials out that think they are extremely entertaining. At least the previous ones I mentioned know that they are boring. They know they are just stating facts and getting the word out. But what about the companies that think they are actually putting out great commercials? Geico? Are you kidding me? Those cavemen are terrible. Quiznos regularly puts out awful commercials. I just don’t understand why it’s so hard. These people that generate these commercials are supposed to be educated right? They have eyes and ears, right? Can’t the see that these suck? Take a lesson from Hillshire Farms, their commercials are awesome. “That salad rocks. It’s the best. Make it easy at your desk. It’s second to none. Just add lettuce and you’re done. That’s crazy girl, I swear. There’s so much stuff in there.” If you want to watch some, here you go!

 

Lately I’ve been especially frustrated with Jack in the Box. A few years ago they had a strong campaign. Everyone and their dog had a Jack antenna ball. Brilliant! Then every now and then they’d have a clever commercial. Their logo was easily recognizable. They had it all going right. Then something changed. Jack got hit by a bus during the Super Bowl. And while the concept was a good one, the execution was terrible. The build up sucked, the accident and hospital visits weren’t funny. And they came out with other commercials during that time with the words “Recorded before Jack’s accident” on the bottom. Lame. Has anyone seen their new logo? Okay, I was not an advertising major. But I was a marketing major. And more importantly, I’m human. With eyes. And a brain. So here is the new logo.

 

New Jack in the Box Logo

New Jack in the Box Logo

Okay, that’s the look from close up. Looks sharp. Looks nice. Looks fresh. Pretty good. But here is my problem. When you drive down the freeway and off in the distance you see it, this is what it looks like:

 

What you see when you're driving

What you see when you're driving

“Look, Jack in the Box is gone. There is some new sign there. I wonder what it is. By the looks of the sign, it’s a place called Jack in the Circle. No wait, maybe there are sides to that circle. OH! It’s Jack in the Hexagon!”

 

——–

 

Congratulations to Jim (actually Sarah…) and Christine! You’ve wont the Beauty by the Book CDs! I must’ve slept through the lesson in computer class on how to screen print. It took me forever to figure it out. Now I have it saved and it won’t upload. Sorry. Just trust me – the Random Number Generator chose 2 and 6.

April 17, 2009 at 10:19 am 12 comments

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