Friday, April 5, 2013

Not-So-Foolish 40: The Final Four

It’s going to be a BIG weekend in Atlanta, y’all. The Final Four comes to town. The Dome is gonna be rocking and rolling, traffic is going to be amazing(ly awful) and car flags are going to be flying. Personally, I’m not going anywhere near that mess. I’ll be happily watching from my couch, without a true stake in any game. Didn’t fill out a bracket this year. #aintnobodygottimeforthat 

So -- this is my FINAL FOUR. The last four posts in my Not-So-Foolish 40. And I was thinking we could play a little game. Of the four teams remaining in the men’s NCAA Championship, each one of the mascots could be matched up to an item below. Who is gonna be the first person to match them up correctly?! In case you need them, I've thrown in some hints below. Aaaand ... go!

4. Food -- The other day, I mentioned that burgers are probably my favorite food. Loving cheeseburgers probably doesn't qualify me to be a foodie, but I sure do appreciate a chef's skills. And I'm trying to be better about trying new things. Exhibit A: Brussels sprouts. For years I avoided them, and now I can't cook them enough. They will be on my plate for dinner. (That's the second time this week that I've eaten some, in case you were counting.) And as I type this, I am hungry like the wolf.
Goat cheese just makes anything better, right? (Photo and recipe credit here)
3. C-L-E-M-S-O-N ... T-I-G-E-R-S! -- (I can feel all my Jacket, Dawg, War Eagle, Hokie, Duke, etc. friends out there rolling their eyes.) Yes, my blood runs orange. I have already started brainwashing my child. But I know that hands-down one of the best decisions I have ever made, and will ever make, was to go to Clemson. Waaay too many memories, amazing friendships and life lessons learned. I know my fellow Tigers understand. There's just something in these hills.
Clemson vs. GA Tech, 2011. Such a fun tailgate! My amazing friends hosted a shower for Matt and I at the game. And the Tigers won, of course. 
2. Mom -- I would seriously be the worst daughter ever if I didn't mention my amazing, wonderful, supportive, caring, and strong mother. I always knew she was cool. Then I grew up and become a mother. And then I realized that she is THE COOLEST. Beyond the coolest -- the woman is practically a saint. Her patience could easily rival that of the pope. I know I'm going to continue to learn more from her, and if I play my cards right with our kids, I'll have as good as a relationship with them as the one that we have. I know I didn't truly appreciate everything that she did for me and our family while I was growing up, but boy do I recognize what she did now. Thank you isn't enough. But I hope it's a start.
No resemblance there, huh?
1. Sweet, sweet Sloan -- Welp, I know that no one is shocked that my daughter has come in at No. 1. I am beyond a fool for her. We are ridiculously thankful for the gift that God has given us. I will not tell you about how perfect, wonderful, beautiful, charming and charismatic she is. Oh, whoops. And I know we're going to have (many) moments of frustration and arguments along the way. But I can already tell you that they will be worth it, based on the sheer joy that she's already brought to our lives.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Not-So-Foolish 40: Elite 8

Here we go, friends. We're down to the home stretch -- the last 12 out of my Not-So-Foolish 40. Thanks for sticking with me this week as I bombard your news feed with information that I'm just sure you were dying to know. And now, the Elite 8:

12. Post-It Notes -- Have you seen those pictures of people who use Post-Its to create a work of art? Yeah, that's pretty much my desk at work. I'll get a crazy idea or remember a must-do task and jot it down and stick it on whatever open space there is so that I won't forget it. Sticky-Note Organization, I like to call it. Except that there's no real organization to it.
OK, so my desk doesn't look like this. But I totally appreciate the time it took to create it. (Image courtesy of
11. Family & Friends -- I consider myself ridiculously blessed to have friends that I consider family, and family that I consider friends. For years when I moved to Atlanta, my closest family members were a 9 hour drive away. I valued the independence, but I also relied on my close friendships to fill the gaps. I think this also strengthened my family ties, because when I was spending time with my family I soaked in every second. It may sound cliche, but now that I'm a mother I realize that it really does take a village to raise a child. And our village? Full of family and friends. Wouldn't have it any other way.

10. Consignment stores -- I have a confession -- I'm a shopaholic. Shocked? Yeah, didn't think so. But I'm a bargain shopaholic. I love a good thrift shop (including the "Thift Shop" song by Macklemore) or consignment store. In fact, tonight a bunch of my friends and I swapped a ton of clothes and accessories. It was the perfect combination of friends, food, clothes, conversation and wine. (Of course there was wine. Duh.)

9. Contacts -- Remember when it was cool in middle school to wear fake glasses? Never had that problem. I've been a card-carrying member of the Four-Eyes Society since I was 8 years old. But one of the things I am certainly thankful for are my contacts. Game changer for me, for sure. That's not to say that I don't dig the geek-chic trend. I have been eyeing a pair of Warby Parker specs for a few months now ...
Ironically, these are the Sloan glasses. That just means I HAVE to get them, right?
8. Magazines -- My first big girl job was working for a small magazine publishing company. That first job fed my passion for information (and interior design and DIY) and taught me a whole lot about the real world, including how the demands of a changing econonmy can flip your world upside down in just.two.minutes. But even though I was laid off from what I would consider was a dream job, I now covet the time that I have to dig into one of my favorite magazines.

7. Drive-thrus -- I have absolutely no idea whose invented the first drive-thru, but THANK YOU.

6. My Dad --  This May will mark 6 years since my dad passed away. As I type this, it sounds surreal to say that. Six years. So much has happened in my life in the past six years -- and even though my dad may not have been there to physically share in those moments, I could feel his presense. I try hard not to get upset when I think about my dad (which is all.the.time.), because I know that's not what he would want. He would want me to be happy and to live my life to the fullest the way that he did. At the same time, I know there are others who have a much shorter time to create memories with a parent or loved one, so I'm grateful for the time that I did have with him. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't see, hear or think of something that reminds me that my dad is there -- and for me, there is amazing comfort in that.
Outside our house in Charlotte, spring 1984. Man I really wish I could see what's on Eric's shirt! Can anyone tell?
5. Work-Life Balance -- Remember yesterday when I said that this has been a rewarding week, both professionally and personally? Are you ready for the scoop? I'm transitioning from working full-time to working part-time! And the only way I can really explain my excitement about this transition? You guessed it -- through hashtags! #pinchme #luckylady #bestcompanyever #pinchmeagain #ouch #okstop #thathurts #bruised #buthappy

Come back tomorrow ... it's the FINAL countdown!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Not-So-Foolish 40 (Third Time's a Charm?)

I’m back! Did you miss me? I’m sure all 6 of you who read this totally did. (And by the way, thanks to those of you who are interested enough to keep coming back for more. Appreciate you!)

So, it’s Wednesday. The week is halfway over, and for me this has been a big week both professionally and personally. Don’t worry -- I’ll absolutely fill you in. (Is the anticipation killing you? Not yet? How about now?) But first … here’s the 8 latest and greatest in my Not-So-Foolish 40:

(By the way -- if you’re just tuning in, you may want read this and that first.)

20. Mood Swings -- No, not the PMS-related ones. That’s the name of my tennis team. Unfortunately our practice tonight was rained out, and I am totally bummed out because I love my team, our coaches and being able to work off some mid-week aggression on the courts. (And last week during a match I hit my first ace. Possibly my first and last, so I wanted to be sure I documented it!)
End-of-season team dinner. Pretty much an excuse to get everyone together for margaritas. 
19. Breath mints -- See No. 35. My coworkers are probably the most thankful that I value these.

18. Yeah! Burger -- I love burgers; they are quite possibly my favorite food. For my money, this is the best burger joint in town. And I had dinner there tonight. It was delicious.
So much for my diet. 
17. Big Brother -- Well, I actually have a little brother. Actually, he isn’t so little. Wait, that sounds bad. What I’m trying to say is that he’s all growed up. And I’m proud of him. Love you, bro.

16. Melatonin -- I’m a pretty light sleeper, and I also have a hard time turning my brain off at night. When I need to get a solid night’s sleep, I pop one of these, hand Matt the baby monitor and zzzzzzzzzz …

15. Music -- I honestly cannot think of a day in recent memory when I haven’t spent a significant amount of time listening to music. I pop in some earbuds and listen at work. When I get home, I’d much rather listen to music than put on the news. And if you have any new toons that you think I should check out, puh-lease let me know! (I’m listening to the new JT as I type this.)
I got this for Christmas a few years ago. Not only does it play records, but it has a radio, CD player , jack for your iPod and .. wait for it ... A CASSETTE PLAYER! Time to bust out all your old mixed tapes, kids. 
14. Microwaves -- Seriously, one of the best modern inventions in my book. Except I will not microwave leftover pizza. Must be reheated in the oven.

13. My bonus fam -- That’s what I call my in-laws. And.they.rock. I’m putting my bonus mom, dad and sister at number 13 because I recognize just how lucky I am -- because we’ve all heard the stories about those who are unlucky in this department. For those of you who have met them, you know just how outgoing, kind-hearted and generous they are. Pretty much exactly how I want my children to be. I have definitely hit the in-law lottery, folks. #nowhammieshere

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Not-So-Foolish 40 (The Sequel)

#imbackfolks #hopeyouhadagoodday #todaywasgreatbecausewehadoneofmyfavoritedinners #tacotuesday!

#areyouwonderingwhyimtypinglikethis? #thismightexplainit

OK, OK -- enough of that. It’s time for the second installment in my Not-So-Foolish 40. So, like Simon Cowell says -- off you go:

33. Daylight savings -- There’s a huge chance that I suffer from SAD. I feel like a new person now that there’s so much more daylight after work.

32. Easter baskets -- I try not to keep candy around the house, but boy do I love a good reason to stock up. Candy is certainly not the reason for the season, but who doesn’t like a nice treat every now and then? (And for the record, I’m resisting the urge to insert a “Treat Yo Self” joke here. Don’t know what I’m talking 'bout? Now you do.) 
We discovered the bag of red Starburst jelly beans this year. Dangerous!
31. Frozen lunches -- I’m pretty good about taking lunch to work, and being able to quickly grab a frozen lunch from the freezer on the way out the door is such a nice convenience. Not saying they always taste great …

30. My iPhone -- It’s a phone, iPod and mini-computer all in one. I definitely feel nekkid without it. Steve Jobs really knew what he was doing.

29. Hairdryers -- Is it weird to be thankful for a hairdryer? In any case, I am. Sometimes it’s the little things, I guess.

28. Nutella -- Oh man do I have an obsession with this stuff. And I don’t think I’d ever really had it until a little over a year ago. Now this has become a staple on our Costco shopping list.

27. Newfangled car door remotes -- Have you seen those new car door remotes/keys that can just stay in your pocket and you just have to touch the handle to open the door? Makes grocery shopping almost enjoyable.

26. Pretty flowers -- They just make me happy. That is all.

WARNING. I recognize that the following item is a little TMI, especially for those who aren’t interested in hearing about my child’s runny nose.

25. Battery-operated snot sucker-outer -- It plays music to distract her. It quickly gets all the boogies so she can breathe and sleep (and so we can sleep). It’s #awesome.

Now back to your regularly scheduled blog post.

24. Food Network -- Like I mentioned yesterday, I don’t watch a lot of TV. When I do have an opportunity to veg out for a little bit (and get command of the remote), I catch up with all my favorite chefs.

23. New running shoes -- I don’t like to run. Do not. Ugh. And as much as I don’t like to run I really don’t like shin splints. But I’ve signed up for a 5K and after three years of using the same shoes for working out I decided it was time for some new kicks. (For all my runner/marathon/ironman friends out there, I salute you. You are amazing.) 
If the clothes make the man, do the shoes make the runner? We'll see, I guess. 
22. Three Amigos -- Not as in the movie, but as in the cheese dip, salsa and guac trio at one of my favorite restaurants, Tin Lizzies. And I don’t know what they sprinkle on their chips, but it has got to be a legalized form of crack. So addictive.

21. My husband -- I could obviously go on and on here, so I’ll try to be succinct. As busy as this guy is with work and grad school (and the never ending list of projects he’s helping me out with around the house/yard), he makes time for his girls and always greets me with a smile on his face. Something else I really love about him? He is ridiculously nice to strangers – opening doors, saying hello to people when we’re out on walks, and he is uber nice to servers at restaurants. He makes me want to be a nicer person.

20. Boxed wine -- There, I said it.
It's good to know that this wine will stay fresh for more than month after it's opened, but I highly doubt we're going to need to worry about that. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Not-So-Foolish 40

It's April Fools' Day! Oh wait, you already knew that. And no, I don't have some fantastic prank to share. (I did consider hiding all of the TV remotes and iPad from Matt but didn't get around to doing it before leaving for work, so I'll just save that for next year. Shhh - don't tell him!)

But as I was reflecting on the fact that it was 1) April 1st and 2) the end of Lent, I realized that it had been close to 40 days since I'd written a blog post. Not exactly a great track record for someone whose 2013 resolution was - and I quote - "to be waaay better about blogging in 2013." Whoops.

So, I've decided to challenge myself a little this week. I'm talking multiple blog posts - all in an effort to reflect on 40 things I'd be foolish not to be thankful for. Some are a little silly, some maybe a little sarcastic but I swear some of it is serious. Without further ado, here's my Not-So-Foolish 40:

40. Faith -- We all go through trying times, and I'm sincerely thankful for my relationship with Him. I've been able to trust that He has a plan for me, even if the details get blurry at times.

39. Baseball season! -- It's opening day, my friends. One of my favorite days of the year. As I write this, the Braves just clinched their first win of the season. #undefeated #sofarsogood 
Opening Day 2009. Also known as the day it "tornado-caned" at Turner Field. After almost a three-hour rain/hail/wind/tornado watch delay, The Ted almost ran out of beer. 
38. Wireless Internet -- I tried to explain dial-up Internet to my younger cousins a few years ago. I imitated the whole pattern of sounds that our computer used to make when you were logging on. I'm pretty sure they hadn't ever heard anything like the noises that came out of my mouth.

37. Spray paint -- I love spray paint. It's a cheap, essential tool for any DIYer. And you know you have an addiction when you have a list of spray paint projects saved on your phone. #dork
Yep. I'm going to make yet another chalkboard. I have a problem, don't you think?
36. DVR -- This technological innovation has changed the way I watch TV. Unless it's sports or my Saturday morning Food Network fix, I hardly ever watch a TV show live.

35. Coffee -- It wasn't until I was laid off from my first big girl job that I realized that I was an addict. No more free coffee every day?! #@$&%!

34. Hashtags -- #seriously #noseriously #imnotkidding #idtypelikethisalldaylongifitwasprofessionallyacceptable

#moretocometomorrow #nightnight!