Monday, January 30, 2012

Do You Gel When You Blush?

A couple weeks ago I placed a fabulous order with Sephora – and I told y’all all about it here. I’m still giddy over all my goodies and I spent some time this weekend re-organizing my make up to make room for my new stuff.
Check out this hot mess that I was working with in my medicine cabinet – yikes! It looks a little better now, but still not quite organized enough for my liking. Hence, why I don't yet have an "after" picture for you.
Before - looks like a bomb went off and just threw stuff anywhere/everywhere

One of things I ordered was a Clinique set – kind of like the ones you get when you spend X amount of dollars that includes a lip something, mascara, an eyeshadow, etc. Except this one wasn’t trial size. I know that you are probably thinking right about now that Clinique is for your 16 year old face and maybe not your 27 year old face. BUT I really like their products. Their eye makeup remover is a favorite of mine, and their products don’t break my skin out. I have sensitive skin so that’s super important to me with makeup and products.

This is what I got

One of the nifty little gems included in this set was a gel blush. I wear blush everyday, but I’ve never really ventured outside the normal powdery kind. I was overly excited to try this gel blush, even though the color seemed WAY too dark for my pale winter skin. I tried this gel blush on Saturday and I loved it! It took me a couple tries to get the right amount of gel to look good, but I think I finally got it down.

Not gonna lie, I was a little apprehensive of "black honey" that doesn't sound like a match with pale winter skin.
Then it actually looked black...

Not the best coloring picture, but you can see the final result - not too dark at all. Much more pinkish than I expected.
I really like it! So tell me, do you gel when you blush? Or am I (like usual) the last person catching onto this awesome thing?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Bathroom Inspiration

We have lived in our house for almost 4 years now. It's not our dream house by any means, but it definitely meets our needs right now. We have done some pretty minor upgrades along the way. We painted the walls before we moved in, re-did the mantel above the fireplace in the living room, and tore up all the carpet in the common room areas (living room, dining room & kitchen) to be replaced with a beautiful Brazilian cherry colored hardwood. None of these tasks were monumental in time, money or effort. Luckily, Skye's dad does flooring for living so we were able to find the color hardwood we wanted at a great price and the install was free! Most of these improvements were done before we even moved in the house, and the floors were about 2 years ago. IT'S BEEN TWO YEARS SINCE I'VE DONE A HOME PROJECT! AH!

The one areas of the house that drives me absolutely insane and that I wish more than anything we'd tackled BEFORE we moved in, is the master bathroom area. Now I mentioned that this isn't our dream house. One of the contributing reasons for that is the layout of the downstairs area. Our bedroom is located just off the living room - HATE THAT, and the living room opens up to a "bathroom area" which really is a half bath with a toilet and sink. There is a door from the half bath that opens up to a larger full size bathroom area with our master shower another sink/vanity area, linen closet and leads into our master walk-in closet. I know this sounds weird, and it's very strange to explain the layout, but I will soon have pictures for you to illustrate. As much as I hate the layout, there's nothing I can do about that. What I can control is the design aspect. The bathroom though is just very plain. We didn't paint it before we moved in so the walls are stark white. I hate white walls! The flooring is a cheap stick-type of linoleum. It's a hideously ugly pattern AND not to mention it doesn't exactly stick anymore so if you are barefoot it's possible that a square of it will come up on your foot. One of my goals for 2012 is to totally re-do this bathroom area. And I prefer sooner rather than later. Four years is a LONG time to get ready everyday in a bathroom you loathe.

Yesterday I began really thinking about the logistics of this project. Here are some ideas floating around in my head - brought to you via Pinterest. (I'm new to the whole Pinterest craze so I'm trying to get into like everyone else...still struggling with that.)
I will soon be putting up pictures of the "before" of what our bathroom currently looks like....but for now just enjoy these idea images.

Love this color scheme - Plus, this master bathroom leads into our master bedroom which is a burnt orange color.

I'm definitely going with wainscoting, I love the look of it. This exact style wouldn't really go in my house, but I like the wall color and white wainscoting. This greyish color wall is a possibility.

I'm really leaning towards blue...robin's egg blue for the walls. I love this look, even though our layout isn't like this. Again, with the wainscoting. I'm obsessed.

Love the color, but this one the wainscoting is blue and the wall is white. I like the yellow accent color too.
That's where I'm at for now..I bought a couple of paint samples yesterday and put them on the walls. They are both blue-ish but darker than robin's egg. I'm not loving them on the walls.
Back to the drawing board!

Friday, January 27, 2012

5 Question Friday!

Rules for 5QF: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then watch for the linky post to appear Friday morning and LINK UP!

Oh, and remember (pay close attention...this is the important one)...HAVE FUN!

Hosted by Mama M - don't forget to link up!
1. Do you swim in the winter?
No. My gym doesn't have a heated pool so I don't have anywhere to swim in the winter, even if I wanted to.
I know some fellas who are obsessed with wake skating. They put their crazy pants - aka their wet suits - on and hop on the lake at any given day in the winter that's above freezing. Luckily, for them we've been having an extremely mild winter.

2. Do you love or hate winter?
I love it! I'm the Southern exception though. I love snow and I wish I would move somewhere for a couple of years where they got mounds of it. Because we don't! We are going snowboarding in West Virginia in a month and I can't wait to see lots of snow - I hope they are having more wintery weather than we are.

3. Do you put makeup/actual clothes on when you know you're going to be home all day with just family?
Not usually. PJs or yoga pants work just fine for me around the house, even if I'm cleaning. I'm that girl who strips down and puts on PJs immediately when I get home from work. I'm not wasting an outfit just to sit around my house. And I usually have on my leftover makeup from the night before. I'm so incredibly lazy lately!

4. How old were you when you had your first alcoholic beverage?
Hmmm...maybe 9th or 10th grade? High school was a big experiment time with drinking. I can't believe how much we used to party before we were even 18!

5. How many ill calls in a 12 month period do you think are acceptable?
Around here we say sick days. I'm not the person who calls in sick very often, but I will if I'm contagiously sick because that's what those days are in place for. We get 8hrs of sick time/month at my job so that makes 12 per year. I would never use that many! I think you can roll some of these days over into an early retirement type of deal - if you have enough accrued at that point. Not 100% sure on that because I am light years away from retirement.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Better to Hear You With My Dear

I know you have seen the winter trendy hats with the ears on them. I've seen them in animal prints and then some that look like actual animal heads. What do you think about them? I can't decide. I found one at Target that was just precious, but I didn't buy it. There were lots of reasons I didn't buy it. One, Skye was laughing hysterically at me. Two, I think it's cute but maybe just not cute for me. I seem to be latching onto all of these "tween" trends - the hair feathers, the hats with ears and I feel like I'm too old for this crap. I see lots of middle school aged girls in these poplar looks, and apparently I like to embrace my inner 12 year old girl. Would I look like a complete asshole in one of these? Keep in mind, I live in Tennessee - it's about 60 degrees here today so no real need for a furry hat. It would purely have to be in the name of fashion.

This was a lot like the one I saw at Target, with the hand pockets

I would not buy one with a face...

Khloe loves them!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

You've Got Mail

Do you ever get all school girl giddy when you go to check the mailbox? Like ooohh what if today someone randomly decides to mail me a card or better yet a present? Well maybe I was once that girl, but not anymore my friends. That was before the days of bills, bills, bills and junk mail. Skye loves to check the mail. He gets all excited if anything comes with his name on it. Even if it’s a random coupon or some bullshit junk mail about filling out surveys for a living. He eats it up like candy. I try to remind him that is because most of the bills that come are addressed to me (or addressed to both of us with my name listed first), but no bueno. Then I insist on trying to burst his bubble by telling him that that a good chunk of our bills come via email – to my email since I’m the bill-payer on staff. He’s also a little federal offender who likes to open my mail if it seems “exciting”. I can assure you that I rarely get exciting mail – the occasional package will come, or a wedding invitation, but that’s about the extent of it.

You are probably thinking to yourself right now, why in the world is she blabbing on about snail mail – which is practically an extinct form of communication? Well that’s because I got an “interesting” little envelope in the mail a couple weeks ago. Skye brought it to me, like it was a prize. But it was thick and it was from the IRS. That's not my idea of a prize package! And I was scared to even open the damn thing! I guess I thought I would be put in jail immediately upon opening. For what, I couldn't tell you. I really only associate myself with the IRS one time a year, and that’s tax time. The letter proceeded to tell me that I owe them $200 some odd dollars from a discrepancy last year in my tax return. Really? I filed my taxes in February last year and you’re waiting until January to tell me this nonsense? Apparently, my return was audited. I looked it up online – because the Internet knows everything- and I found that only 1% of people who make under $250,000 a year have their returns audited. Lucky me! (I know you are probably shocked to learn that I’m not a quarter of a millionaire like you thought I was.)

Okay so no big deal right? I was audited and now I have to pay them what I owe…but wait there’s more. This so-called discrepancy, I’m not even sure it’s correct. It says I failed to claim some amount of income from some educational place that I’m not sure I even know what it is. What is that like student loans? Well trust me, I don’t get any income from my student loans – just lots of output on that front. I don’t even know if this is real or something I should be worried about…and it’s driving me nuts. I am preparing to file my taxes for this year now and I feel like this letter is holding impending doom over my head or something. So if you were me, and you were confused by all of these shenanigans – what would you do? Part of me wants to just go ahead and do what is asked of me. Part of me wants to attempt to get an actual person on the phone to confirm this, or get more information. I’ve never had any experience dealing with this so I’m not sure what I should do! Any accounting friends out there? Help me!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Analyze This

I have a habit of being a worrier and an over analyzer. What can I say? I was blessed to be a Type A girl! As you read here, I’m taking a more pro-active approach to my health in 2012. Part of this stems from family history, and my dad’s recent heart attack really opening my eyes to the dangers that could be. I’ve been making the rounds with the doctors in my life -my annual gyno exam, had a full physical and blood tests done with my regular doctor and now a mammogram.

Today I went for the dreaded mammogram. My ob-gyn does breast exams in the office and I just saw her about 3 weeks ago. However, with my mom having breast cancer in her early 30’s I guess you can never be too safe. I think the “normal” age to start getting mammograms is 40. I am 27. Cue the worrying and getting worked up about nothing. I’m going to go ahead and let you in on a little secret…I’m a huge wuss. I have a very low pain tolerance and I complain A LOT when I’m in pain. It’s pathetic really. I was overly anxious that this mammogram would just be excruciating. I was very happily surprised that it was not painful – maybe slightly uncomfortable, but never painful. The staff at the doctor’s office went above and beyond to make me feel comfortable – they must have seen the look of terror in my eyes. I didn’t really even feel that awkward. And I’m happy to report that everything looked normal at first glance.

I have to say that getting all the positive feedback from my doctor’s visits has been a relief. For the time being, I’m healthy as a horse – in all areas of my body. I was even surprised to find out that one of my cholesterol levels was well above average, in a good way. I would strongly recommend to any of you who have any marks on your family’s history to just go get a check up. We all have someone in our family who has battled cancer, heart disease or other illnesses, maybe even mental illnesses. So it doesn’t hurt to stay on top of these things and take the pro-active approach. Your doctors will love you for it – mine did!

Now I can start getting myself all worked up about my dentist appointment at the end of February. Did you know that going to the dentist is a major fear of mine? I had my first cavity a couple years ago, and I almost had a panic attack when they filled it. One day all this worrying is going to give me an ulcer!

Friday, January 20, 2012

5 Question Friday!

I would just like to share with everyone who has been keeping up with my non-sleeping issues, that I am happy to report I was asleep by 11:30 last night! It wasn't the best night of sleep because for some reason I tossed and turned a lot, but at least in the length of time it was more than I've been getting. I am really hoping to catch up on sleep this weekend, but today is Skye's birthday so I'm sure we will busy all weekend.
Rules for 5QF: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then watch for the linky post to appear Friday morning and LINK UP over with Mama M!

Oh, and remember (pay close attention...this is the important one)...HAVE FUN!

Questions for Friday, January 20th: (Special thanks to @Lovely_Lici,
@trooppetrie, @lifeafterplacin, @my4redheads, and vacationed out me for their question suggestions! I would love to link you in a future 5QF, so come on over to my community or watch for my Thursday afternoon shout out for questions on Twitter and offer up your best question suggestions! Remember to @5crookedhalos me and use hashtag #5QF if you go the Twitter route!)

1. Where do you hide the reeeally good snacks?
At home - I don't really hide snacks. If I'm on a healthy eating kick then I just don't buy them because then I can't eat them. If I'm eating like crap then I just leave them in plain sight to be gobbled up.
At work - I have a little junk drawer that I hide all kinds of goodies in. Snacks, finger nail file and clippers, tampons, chapstick, drink money, phone charger - all the necessities.

2. Do u keep your vehicle clean or am I the only one who has things falling out of their van?
I go through phases. Typically, I'm a very neat and organized person - I do find that slacks off sometimes with my car. Right now, it's very clean and neat on the inside. Not too long ago, I had bags and bags and bags of old clothes in the car to take to Goodwill. Well, I kinda kept forgetting about them and they were in my car for months. Oops! But all clean now.

3. Have you ever been to Vegas?
I have not - and I REALLY want to go! I've always said that when Skye and I finally do take the plunge to get married that we should do a double bachelor/bachelorette party in Vegas. It's just fitting somehow.

4. Warm room light blankets or cold room warm snuggly blanket?
Cold room warm snuggly blanket. I can't stand that feeling of getting hot when I'm sleeping. It wakes me up in a cranky mood.

5. What is the worst airplane/flying experience you've ever had?
The only semi bad experience I've ever had was flying home from visiting family in PA. I was probably 9 or so and it was just me and my mom. The weather was horrible and rainy and a little scary. Our plane hit all kinds of crazy freaky turbulence and we had to make an emergency landing. It was frightening, but it didn't scar me or anything. I love to fly! My mom on the other hand, has only flown one time since then because she didn't have a choice.

Happy Friday y'all!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Thursday Things to Love

I know it is not quite Thursday yet...but with 25 minutes to spare I'm gonna go ahead and consider it Thursday.
So, Here are my Thursday Things to Love!

  • A weekend off with Skye! Since he's started working rotating shifts, we've only had about every third weekend off together. It's not as bad as it sounds, but I'm excited about a whole weekend off together. I'm very much looking forward to spending time with him and our friends this weekend, especially because his birthday is Friday!

  • I drank 120 oz of water yesterday! That's 15 - 8 oz glasses! Thanks to my 24 oz straw cup that I use at work, it's much easier to get my water in. My goal each day is at least 96 oz, but typically I end up around 72ish oz.  *Fair warning that if you drink 120 oz of water in a day, you will spend half the day in the bathroom peeing. That may be TMI for y'all but it's very true.* I'm sure my co-workers wonder why I spend so much time in the bathroom, but I'm just trying to get my healthy on.

I have this one and I LOVE it - Go Vols! :)

  • Jarnell Stokes -
He's a new mid-term recruit to UT for basketball. This boy is AMAZING - He's 17-18 years old, from West TN and a baller. He's almost 7 foot tall and wears a size 20 shoe - we needed someone like that to get the momentum back in our game. He's something Vol fans can get excited about!

  • Sephora App on my iPhone - It's so wonderful, easy, FREE and addicting! If you're a girly girl I can promise you'll enjoy it. I spent $56 tonight on 2 items - a Clinique value set and a Sephora eyeshadow set. That qualified me for FREE shipping and 17 sample items. THAT'S RIGHT - SEVENTEEN!
If you're a Sephora Insider - check out this deal, while it lasts! Sephora -14 Free Samples with any order

I'm in LOVE with this Sapphire eyeshadow - not sure where I will wear it, but I will find somewhere!
PS - It's almost FRIDAY- has this week been crazy busy and long, or is it just me?

Monday, January 16, 2012


Here are my random musings for today -

I am thankful for Mr. MLK and his dream today because it got me out of work. I know that's horrible to say, but I don't care because it's truly how I feel.

I've had a pretty relaxing useless weekend, which was fabulous. I've spent lots of time with my pup, Bravo and my couch, and you just can't go wrong with that combination.

I know I'm behind the trend here, but I'm just catching on to the accent nail look. I love it and I'm rocking it this week. Don't mind the outside the lines strokes - I'm horrible at painting my own nails!

I am loving the Real Housewives - Beverly Hills and Atlanta right now. I am beyond thrilled for Orange County to come back on February 7th. Don't judge me - it's better than the Bachelor!

I find myself spending HOURS "window shopping" online these days, but never actually buying anything. Why have I picked up this new habit?? It's annoying!

I went to the doctor for my physical today - see why here. They scheduled my first mammogram for next week - and I am finding myself VERY nervous! Also, I have horrible veins in my arms. They usually try to get blood from my arms a couple times, but end up having to resort to drawing it from the top of my hand. Business as usual today - and they had to go with the top of my hand, and it hurts! Wahhhh! My doctor was very proud of me for being so proactive with my health. I won't get any test results back until next week though.

Tilly got a haircut last week - and I always find myself giggling at her the first couple days after a haircut.
Before - fur ball

Before - crazy ear hair!

After - lion cut
I'm having raging insomnia over the past month. I can't recall a time I've been to bed before midnight in the past 3-4 weeks. Typically, I'm an in bed by 10-10:30 kind of girl. I think Skye's rotating shifts has a lot to do with it, but I better get used to it!

I got an amazing letter in the mail from EdFinancial, my student loan servicer, saying that they lowered my principal amount by $599.00 due to the fact that my account was current and in good standing. WOW - I was so excited! $600 isn't much in the land of student loans, but it would've taken me a couple months to knock that amount down. I guess it does benefit me to pay my bills on time.

My dad is going back to work this week! He has been through so much in the past couple months and I know he's over joyed to finally get out of the house. He is feeling great!

My ass is back on the diet-workout wagon tomorrow. I literally ate a little bit of everything in my house this weekend and I'm feeling mega remorse over it. My weight was up a couple pounds at the doctor today too - which I'm sure has everything to do with bloating, but still it did NOT make me happy. I will NOT be chubby again! I found an 8 week plan to train for a 5k so I'm really looking forward to getting started...(remind me of this statement tomorrow when I'm complaining about how tired I am because once again it's 10 til midnight.)

Well, that's all the little nuggets that I have to offer for today - Happy MLK day to you!

Friday, January 13, 2012

5 Question Friday!

5 Question Friday is brought to you, as always by the lovely Mama M! That lucky dog is on vacation in Mexico this week so Kate is hosting the link-up. Check it out- Come Link Up!

1. What's the last thing you bought yourself? 
Well I've actually bought quite a few things lately. 2 new pairs of pants last week - yay for smaller clothes! And I bought a certificate off Groupon to get the carpet in our bedroom cleaned by a professional. Does that count as something exciting? I was pretty excited about not having to do it myself, if we're being honest.

2. What is your favorite meal on a cold winter day?
Soup! I've been eating chicken soup from Chick-Fil-A like crazy this week because the temps have been dropping. Mostly, I eat the same food in both hot and cold weather.

3. Have you started looking at swimsuits this year, and do you buy a new one every year?
HA HA HA! No I haven't started looking and/or thinking about swimsuit weather. I'm fresh off the holiday fatness and haven't started to reverse it. Ask me again in a couple months - But yea, I do buy at least 1 new one every year.

4. If you could be any candy, what would you be and why?
A sour patch kid! They are sour...then sweet...just like me sometimes. Plus, they are one of my all time favorites.

5. What are you most passionate about?
Honestly, right now I'm lacking passion about anything in my life. I've entered this mega lazy slump in the past week and I can't shake it! I'm irritable and can't focus hence, lacking passion.

Bonus Question - 6. What is your favorite thing to pin on Pinterest?
Hair styles. I am new to Pinterest and I can't say that I've caught the addicted bug yet. I try to play around with it, but it just hasn't really sucked me in. But I do like looking at easy hairstyles on there.

Don't forget to Link UP! Happy 3 day weekend!!!!!!!

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

If you follow on me on Twitter, then you might have seen me RT info about Extreme Makeover Home Edition. Because guess what y’all? They are working right here in lil’ old Knox Vegas this week! And guess who their celebrity helper is while they are here? Jenny McCarthy! I’m volunteering to help on Sunday and I am thrilled to be involved.

Jenny McCarthy with the Watson Family of Knoxville, TN

Do you guys watch this show? I love it! I am sad to learn that they are filming the last season right now and the Knoxville episode will be one of the last to air later in the fall. I would not consider myself a person who is easily brought to emotions, but this one really is a tear jerker. Every single damn time they rally the family and they’re anxious to see their brand new home, and they say “MOVE THAT BUS!!!!” I completely lose my shit. Tears, ugly cries, snot – the whole nine yards. I straight up sob when I see the faces of the family the very first time they see their new home. It makes me feel amazing and I didn’t even have anything to do with it. They pick families who are so deserving, and often go above and beyond to fill a certain void in their local communities. This show isn’t about picking a “project” family and giving them a hand out. (Although there are plenty of families in underprivileged areas who I know deserve help). It’s about choosing a family from a tight knit community who has really made sacrifices to benefit the greater good of the area, not just themselves.

For example, the Watson family they are working with in Knoxville. You can read about their back story here. They run a non-profit organization, Restoration House, that helps single moms get back on their feet. These single moms are busting their asses due to an unforeseen bump in their life. They are working moms who just need a little assistance getting by.
Watson Family

East Tennesseans are widely known for being mega volunteers. That's how we got our mascot for the University of TN - The Volunteers! I believe the crew has not been disappointed with the turnout of volunteers in this area. I am very excited to be one of the volunteers for this cause and I can’t wait to help build the Watsons a brand new home! Maybe I will meet Ty!

If you happen to live close to Knoxville and can offer resources to help - check out what they still need as far as materials for this build.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Unless you’ve been living under a rock somewhere, then you’ve heard about NFL Broncos player Tim Tebow and his “antics”. This includes “Tebow-ing” which is now a verb, I guess? Basically, he kneels down to pray in this pose demonstrated below.

Let me give you a little back story here…
As you know, I’m from the South – specifically Tennessee. More specifically the SEC and an alumnus of the University of TN. What you may not know – if you aren’t as acquainted with football as I am – is that Tim Tebow was the quarterback for the Florida Gators in his college days. And Florida is one of Tennessee’s mortal rivals. I told you all about my football centric upbringing here. Being raised like a good little UT girl, I would never jump on the band wagon of a former Florida player! Thus, I have never cared about all this Tebow crap in the media. I roll my eyes and move on.

However, Mr. Tebow has managed to become a star player in the NFL this year AND turn himself into a verb with his Tebowing. Apparently this beckons the media hounds and now he’s freaking everywhere. He’s all over ESPN, all over the news, all over the radio, all over my Facebook and Twitter feeds. It’s obnoxious! I can’t avoid him. EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT HIM AND TAKING PICTURES OF THEMSELVES DOING THIS TEBOW POSE. (Granted, I guess I am talking about him now too, but mine is not the most favorable.)

Olympic Skiier Lindsay Vohn Tebowing

There's even a shirt!

Now to be fair, let me say that at least Tebow is a proper role model of sorts. He appears to be a devout Christian and honorable person. When in college, he openly spoke about still being a virgin because he was waiting until he was married to have sex. He spent his spring breaks in Malaysia helping to build houses or in prisons testifying to criminals trying to turn their lives around. He sports bible verses on his under eye patches. When he sported John 3:16 on his eyes, shortly thereafter John 3:16 became one of the most searched terms on Google. I mean, I guess he is in an upright position to openly discuss his religion and promote it. And I think that’s wonderful of him! The last thing our country needs is another drugged up, overly paid NFL player in the news getting away with murder. At least he is setting the right kind of example. I even would go as far as to say that I feel a little bad for him because he’s created this holier than thou image which just begs for people to try and tear him down. Every little thing he does and says will be heavily judged by nay sayers.

But honestly, he’s just a little over rated. I just can’t love him…I don’t even want to try. It has nothing to do with his Christian image – as I said, I think that’s great of him. But I don’t think that people should expect me to jump on his band wagon just because of that image. Yeah he’s a good football player, and yeah he’s a good Christian...HE STILL PLAYED AT FLORIDA PEOPLE! J

Are y’all buying into this whole Tebow deal?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Do you have a specific routine that you stick to each day? I’m sure you have some sort of routine that lets you know when it’s time to move on to the next step in your day. I am very much a routine person – very organized, very Type A in this respect. If one thing distracts me from my morning routine, then shit starts going wrong and falling out of order and I forget what’s next. There have been several times that something has called my attention away from my routine in the morning and it has caused me to forget my deodorant or brush my teeth. I can’t help it; I’m just a creature of habit. I like to plan my days pretty tight, which leaves little room for error. Seems like for me once one thing goes off kilter, then it beings a snowball effect. This morning was very much one of those mornings!

Usually in the evenings, I try to think about what I feel like wearing the next day. I don’t go so far as to lay it out, but I just try to get an idea in my head and mentally locate the clothes. This morning I had my little heart set on wearing a certain dress, leggings and boots. I knew it was going to be an ugly rainy day here, so I was dead set on wearing boots. I knew exactly where the dress was, the leggings – not so much. I went on a man hunt for a specific pair of black leggings this morning and when I finally did track them down they were all fuzzy looking. A little frustrating, but not a huge ordeal. Then I go to put on my boots and I realize that my precious dog and gotten chewed up one of the side buckles on the boot – I was livid! We’ve had a minor issue with Ms. Tilly chewing on shoes before – not an entire shoe where it’s not wearable anymore, but just pieces. Like the buckle on my boot, or one of the little jewels on a pair of flats, or the insole of my tennis shoe. She’s such a weirdo, but a cute one!
damaged boot

Cute little shoe eating weirdo

So, here I am cursing my dog with my chewed up boot and fuzzy leggings. Whew – wee bit of a rough start. Then, on my commute to work it proceeds to monsoon (still is actually). We’ve had SO MUCH rain lately in East TN that I’m sick of it! I usually enjoy the cooler weather that winter brings us, but damnit it’s 60 degrees and raining today! That’s not winter! I knew we were getting rain, but I did not expect a thunderstorm. So my point about the rain is that it brings out the worst in people’s driving skills. Traffic this, wreck that – it turns my usually 15-20 minute commute to work into a 45 minute melodrama. A wreck on a major road also made me 15 minutes late for work – which I HATE! Again, it messes with the whole getting to work 15 minutes early to check emails, etc. part of my routine.

It’s only 10am so that makes me nervous about what the remainder of the day has in store for me. I hope it will all be uphill from here – at least my dress is cute! This is my dress – I find it quite ironic when I took the picture of it that I managed to cut most of my face out. Ironic, yet fitting for today.

Reading this back over, I realize it sounds very petty. I don’t mean to make myself out to be a drama queen – but I love a routine! Maybe I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed today…

Monday, January 9, 2012

Who Cares about Football?

Being raised in the South, football is a way of life. This may sound naive, but I'm slowly starting to realize that it's not like that everywhere. I may be generalizing here, but I would say that most Southern girls - at least the majority of the ones I know - were raised on football. Growing up in a small town of less than 10,000, everybody knows everybody. Everybody knew my mama, my Daddy and my business. But I guess I knew theirs too. Our social lives centered around the football field. Friday nights were the high school football games.As a young cheerleader, I adored going to the high school games to watch the pretty cheerleaders. I was honored when my time came to step into that role. Saturdays were for the pee-wee games and watching the mighty Vols play. Back then they won most games, and we had seasons to brag about. Most families then watched the pro games on Sundays. (My family isn't into the NFL as much as high school and college ball.)

My family has held season tickets to the University of Tennessee football games for 40 years! My grandparents have sat in the same section since my dad was young. I was going to the games before I could walk or speak. I didn't have any clue what was going on, but I was there in my little UT cheerleader outfit supporting the Vols. It just feels natural to me, and I love it. I know more about football than most boys - boys who aren't from around here, of course.

My Vols have been struggling and transitioning for the past couple of years. New coaches, new players, new attitudes - it's been a bit of a mess. It hurts to lose, when I remember such greatness not that long ago. And yes, it does actually hurt me a little bit. I know that's crazy - but when something becomes a way of life for you, the setbacks take their toll. Due to Skye's new job scheduling, this will be the first year that we don't buy season tickets. It literally makes me want to cry. It means something to me to go to the games. It's just a tradition, a habit. Tailgating is the best form of socializing, and we make new friends and meet up with old friends every week. I can't imagine what I will do with myself this fall! I'm sure I will find a way to make it down to Neyland, decked out in my brightest orange.

The reason I am reflecting on football today is because the BSC National Championship game is tonight. Alabama vs. LSU. Obviously being a Tennessee fan, both of these teams are rivals to me. However, I live in a house divided. Skye (for whatever reason - best I can gather he was dropped on his head as an infant) is a huge Bama fan. So tonight, in honor of him, I am pulling for Bama to win this thing. This got brought up today at work when a few of us had a full fledged hour long conversation about football. One girl I work with said, "You're gonna watch the game tonight??". Hello? Have you met me? My response was "You're NOT gonna watch the game tonight??". If you don't care about football, then how can you live in this football-centric state? We love it, we live it, we breathe it, we bleed orange. I don't care if you think it's over the top, if you aren't from here then you don't understand it.

Tonight, as much as it makes me cringe, I gotta go for somebody. I can't easily pull for a team with the color purple. (Remember - Orange looks good on everybody! haha) So for tonight, I'm saying Rammer Jammer - Give 'em Hell Alabama! An all SEC match-up is just fine with me, that's how it should be!

2010- Me with Legendary Vols Player & Coach - Johnny Majors

Friday, January 6, 2012

5 Question Friday!

Rules for 5QF: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then watch for the linky post to appear Friday morning and LINK UP!

Oh, and remember (pay close attention...this is the important one)...HAVE FUN!

Questions for Friday, January 6th: (Special thanks to @trooppetrie, @Maggiemaesdays, @Lovely_Lici, @KatieB38, and my cousin Joe [he asked this question of an interviewee once, crazy kid] for their question suggestions! I would love to link you in a future 5QF, so come on over to my community or watch for my Thursday afternoon shout out for questions on Twitter and offer up your best question suggestions! Remember to @5crookedhalos me and use hashtag #5QF if you go the Twitter route!)

1. What is the weather like where you are and do you like it?
Welcome to lovely East was snowing here and 20 degrees on Monday and today the expected high is a sunny 57. Gotta love weather in the South! Unlike most southerners, I'm actually happy with colder weather and snow in the winter. I'm good with whatever mother nature throws our way.

2. When you're sick what do you seek comfort from?
Sleep is much needed factor for me when I'm under the weather. A good Real Housewives of where ever marathon, some zzzzz's and I'm a happy girl. Luckily, I don't get sick often. I'm not cursed with the wicked allergy problems that most people in my area suffer from. I maybe get one cold a year, if that.

3. What do you need to do before the end of the month?
Plan a trip! We have decided to take a mini-vacay in February during the President's Day holiday. We are looking at West Virginia for some snowboarding time - ya know, since we can't get that here when it's 60 degrees outside.
And get back on my watching what I eat "diet" so that I can be on track to lose my last 10 lbs before the end of March.
And read 2 books for my 30 books of 2012 goal.

4. Have you ever served on a jury?
I have not - never been called on. In most criminal cases, I would likely be ruled ineligible due to my family affiliation with law enforcement. That tends to cause me to be a little biased against the criminals I guess.

5. If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?
I think a dog. My dog has it made in the shade! Sleeps most of the day, eats whatever she wants, gets to play outside and run around. Plus, she's quite the pampered pooch - she gets her hair done regularly like I do, has someone brush her teeth for her... She's active when she wants to be and lazy when she wants to be.
Happy Weekend!


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Fighting Back with Both Fists

January 2012 will be the month filled with doctor visits for me. I wouldn't go as far as to say that I hate going to the doctor, but I definitely don't like it. It makes me edgy and feel like something scary is lurking somewhere within my body that is about to be discovered and ruin my life. Dramatic much? Typically, I take the "I don't go to the doctor unless I'm sick" approach. I couldn't tell you the last time I went to my regular doctor. Thank the Lord for the Walgreens Take Care Clinic if you just need a quick round of antibiotics for a sinus infection or sore throat.

This month will be different for me. I am taking a more pro-active approach with my health. 2011 was a year of weight loss for me and I want to 2012 to be an overall healthy year. Including losing that stubborn ass last 10 lbs. Okay well maybe those pounds aren't as stubborn as I am lazy. Hey - a girl needs a break sometimes! Plus, kudos to me for not gaining a single pound since I quite my diet and extreme workout regimen last August. Okay enough patting myself on the back...

With the sudden and scary heart problems my Daddy suffered this year, I have learned a lot about our family's health history. My Daddy about gave me a heart attack when he suffered his own back in November. He's only 48 years old, and in pretty good health for someone his age. He actually ended up having quadruple by-pass surgery in December. He's doing great nowadays. He feels a little better and a little stronger every day. His little health scare naturally got us all thinking about our own health. My dad has strongly encouraged both my brother and I to go get a full physical workup every year to stay on top of any health problems that could be laying dormant in our genes. My brother's job requires an annual physical for their health insurance plan, but mine does not. So I have to take matters into my own hands.

My family history is viciously working against me where my health is concerned. My dad's mom's (my paternal grandmother's) entire family has an ugly history of heart disease. Two of her brothers (my dad's uncles) died before they turned 50 of heart attacks. And she suffered a massive stroke about 3 years ago, that didn't kill her but left her unable to take care of herself. She is now 69 and lives in a nursing home. And now my dad with his heart attack at 48 years old.He has never suffered any other health problems in his life - no surgeries and no broken bones or so much as a stitch ever. My paternal great-grandmother (dad's dad's mom) died of lung cancer about 10 years ago - hers was self induced I believe though because she smoked like a freight train. My paternal grandfather (dad's dad) is still alive and quite healthy - he's 70 years old. To my knowledge, there is not any other cancer related illnesses on dad's side.

Now let's layout my mom's side of the's a doozy! Let's start with my mother herself - breast cancer when she was in her early 30's - treated and luckily, now in remission. My mother has struggled her whole life with addiction problems - drugs, alcohol, weird fads - you name it, she's been hooked on it probably. They say this can be passed down through the genes - not real sure if I buy into that, but I wanted to mention it because I'm sure it's working against me somehow. Aunt (mom's sister) developed Hodgkin's disease - cancer of the lymph nodes - first when she was 17, and has battled it twice since then - now in remission. Maternal grandmother - I actually just found out that she had by-pass surgery at one point. She had a slew of health problems - breast cancer, chronic back pain, (I believe) addiction to pain pills, respiratory problems due to a lifetime of smoking, debilitating arthritis...the list goes on. She died at the age of 63 from COPD. My mom's dad died maybe 13 years ago after a battle with liver disease - also brought on by his actions from a lifetime of binge drinking and drug problems.

Sorry for the all the confusing relation explanations - that's a little hard to read. It's necessary to explain though because those statics speak for themselves as a scare tactic.

Due to all these contributing factors, I am taking a pro-active approach to my health. Lesson #1 here - don't EVER start doing drugs; thus you cannot become addicted to drugs. I'm thinking that addictive gene that seemingly runs so heavily in my family skipped my brother and I - Thank the Lord - because we haven't had any problems.
Lesson #2 stay on top of any potential danger areas. I had my annual OB-GYN appointment yesterday, and everything seemed fine. Of course I won't get the official pap smear results back for about a week, but I've never had one come back irregular. Doctor Appointment #1 - CHECK! I also go a referral from her yesterday to set up an appointment for my first mammogram. Since my mom had breast cancer in her early 30's, they suggest that I start getting closer check-ups around 5 years prior to the age my mom developed her problems. Hello age 27 - congratulations you get to have your boob squeezed this year (sorry, not in a fun way!). Once I get that scheduled, it will be CHECK on Doctor Appointment #2! I definitely believe I will feel some relief after getting that one out of the way and knowing things are fine in that department. At my dad's urging I called my regular doctor today to set up an appointment in 2 weeks for a full physical work up. Not 100% exactly what that entails yet because I don't think I've ever had one. I can't eat or drink after midnight the night before though so I know they will be drawing blood. I'm guessing we will go over blood pressure, cholesterol - good and bad, thyroid - among other areas.
Lesson # 3 - The more you know about your family history - and your spouses - the more you can eduacte yourself on potential danger zones. I say your spouses because I think it's important to know what together, you can pass down to your children. I know this is an area concern for me - and my future kids.

That makes me want to break out in hives just reading back over all that. I must admit that I'm a little anxious about all these doctor appointments. My blood pressure was a little high yesterday - 130/88 - but I'm thinking that because sitting in your OB-GYN's office isn't the most comfortable of places. Maybe I need to go to one of those cuff stations at Wal-Mart and check it again just to get a more normal reading.

2012 is about fighting your family history with BOTH fists! (And thanks to my gym time in 2011, I think I can kick it's ass!!) Wish me luck!