Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dressing Rooms, No Spanx, and Size 12s...Oh My!

I did something super scary on Halloween.

Frightening, really.

I stood in my underwear in a dressing room.

Yup. I went there. Clothes shopping, to be exact.

I hadn't lost those damn 20 pounds and yet, I. went. clothes shopping.

What the hell was I thinking??

Well, I'll tell you what I wasn't thinking. I wasn't thinking my usual, "I don't deserve to have cute clothes because I'm not the size I used to be."

And I wasn't thinking, "I'm not going to look good no matter what I wear until I've lost 20 pounds because looking good is directly related to what size I am."

Ok, that last one I was thinking a little bit.  It's hard not to when you look in the mirror and see stomach flab that resembles a kangaroo pouch.  But that's what spanx are for, right?

The only problem was, I wasn't wearing spanx when I went clothes shopping on Halloween. And that's actually lesson number one I learned that day.

10 Tips to feel good about yourself when fashion shopping


But, I'm getting ahead of myself.  I wanted to start this post by saying I've decided it's ok to look good and feel good while I'm trying to lose weight.  I don't have to put off looking and feeling fabulous until I reach my goal weight.  Because life is short.  And why does a size get to dictate my mental frame of mind?  It shouldn't . And on that Halloween day, for me, it didn't.

I bought size 12s and it was ok.

I had a little help though.  My cousin - my decorator, fashion consultant, fun, fashionista cousin - went with me. Her motto in life is, "If it's worth doing, it's worth over-doing," and that's why I get into trouble when I hang out with her love hanging out with her.

We have different fashion senses, she and I.  I stand on the shoreline of fashion's ocean and dip my toe in to test the waters while she wades courageously in, arms outstretched, ready to confidently embrace her fashion choices.  She knows who she is on the inside and isn't afraid to portray it on the outside, size be damned.

Case in point - she tried on a pair of  black velour sweats with the words "Fabulous" scrawled down one leg (size Large, thank you very much), and upon seeing the price tag of $5.99, said, "I can have 'Fabulous' for $5.99?  I'll take it!"  And you know what?  Her ass looked fabulous in those sweats.  It was larger than she would have liked, but it was fabulous, and she knew it.


Of course, while she was trying on fabulous, I was stuck in a size 10 pencil straight black skirt. Literally stuck.  When I couldn't fit it over my hips, I shimmied out of it and actually tried putting it on over my head. Big mistake.  It got stuck over my boobs and I couldn't lift it up or down and thought I was gonna have to shoplift it and cut it off later.

Fortunately, my fabulous cousin was able to yank it off  me.  So much for "it looks like it runs big."  Don't fall for that, by the way.  Try on the size you are, then trade down from there if you are lucky enough to need a smaller size.  Going the other way is just depressing.

After the skirt incident, we went to the Mexican place down the street and had  margaritas, chips, and salsa. We were invigorated for round two of our Halloween shopping adventure.

Perhaps it was the margarita, but round two was definitely more fun than round one.  I didn't mess around and went straight for the size 12's.  And you know what?  They fit great.  I found two pairs of pants and a skirt for work - at Target, of all places.

So here's what I learned from my scary shopping trip:

1.  Wear your spanx when you are going to try on clothes. Everything you try on will look better. Trust me.

2.  You absolutely must shop with someone who says things like, "We're gonna rock that skirt with some lace tights."

3.  Have a margarita before you try anything on. Again...everything will look better.

4.  Stand tall and throw your shoulders back in the mirror - you'd be surprised what a difference it makes.  You look taller, thinner, and more confident.

5.  Layer things.  A super cute sleeveless top that may not be appropriate alone for work can look awesome as a vest over a long sleeved top.  It can always do double duty as nighttime or summer wear.

6.  Cuff your pants.  I never would have thought of this, but try rolling up your pants to about mid calf and wear them with tall boots.  Experiment with a wide or narrow cuff, depending on the pant style.  According to my cousin, cuffing is in.  Of course, knowing my cousin, she may have been talking about the bedroom...

7.  Brown and grey look good together.

8.  Add some color to a neutral outfit with a scarf.  Hang it loose around your neck, or tie it, or wrap it, but it really adds some punch to an outfit.

9.  Don't fall for that "It looks like it runs big" BS. Most of the time, if it's smaller than your normal size...it ain't gonna fit.

And finally, the most important lesson of all:

10.  You can be sexy and stylish while you're at the size you don't want to be, while you're trying to become the size you really want to be, because it's who you are right now.  And you should always, always, love who you are.

Linking this post up over at Natasha's blog, Epic Mommy Adventures, for her Turn It Up Tuesday Link Up. The theme is Halloween posts and although this seems a bit off topic, it really did happen on Halloween. And let's face it girls...dressing room lighting is scary, is it not?


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Backgrounds and Birthdays and Rednecks

Hi ya'll!

It's only been 2 weeks since I posted.  I think I'm improving.  

I changed my blog template a wee bit.  

Am I a lush because my last two posts have centered around booze and the template background I picked is a wine glass?  Maybe you better not answer that.  It's just so pretty and warm and rustic looking.  It reminds me of Tuscany.  Not that I've ever been to Tuscany but I imagine a glass of wine in front of a wall in a house in Tuscany would look like my blog background.

I debated between this one and one with falling leaves.  Now, if there had been a background with falling wine glasses, it would have been a no-brainer.  Ah, well...this is my template and I'm sticking with it...for awhile anyway.

So last night was my brother's 51st birthday.  We had to buy him something totally cool because he's such a great guy and he cooks for us.  So we bought him a deep fryer and he was completely stoked.  Guess what we had for dinner tonight?  Homemade chili fries.  Guess what were having tomorrow night?  Chicken fingers, fried zucchini, and onion rings. 

Our diet now consists of nothing but barfood.  I've created a monster.  A monster who wears a sparkly apron featuring parrots in a margarita glass saying, "What happens in the kitchen, stays in the kitchen." 

Yes, he really wears that - our mom bought it for him.

Speaking of bars, we all went to a little neighborhood bar and grill for his birthday, which really tickled him because he never did much for his birthday before.  I gave him the second gift we bought him - a tee shirt that was so HIM it screamed his name from the catalog.  It was black and emblazoned in white letters it said, "In dog beers I've only had 2."

Now I have to tell you the truth about me and my family.  My trailer park roots every once in a while come clawing to the surface.  Ok, more than once in a while.  My brother liked the tee shirt so much that he changed into it at the restaurant.

At the table.

Yup, you might be a redneck if you change into your dog beers tee shirt that you got for your birthday in the middle of the Sack 'O Suds.

And now you know the ugly truth about us.  That's who we are.

I'll be catching up on blog reading over the next couple evenings, so I'll be visiting everyone soon, I promise!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Where the hell have I been??

Well it's about freaking time!

Where have you all been??

Oh wait...it's me that's been gone.

So where the hell have I been you ask?  Or maybe you don't.  Maybe it's just me wondering where the hell I've been.  I do that alot.

Either way, I'm here to tell you.

Working.  Working is where I've been.  Working at my 8 to 5, Monday through Friday, not particularly exciting regular job.  And I must say that I actually like it.

I DO miss being home, and making my own schedule, and doing what I want with my time during the day, like blogging, or making comics on toondo housework.  But I like having a regular paycheck and I like the variety of my tasks at work - everything from bookkeeping to writing newsletter and website content - and it's a nice switch to actually accessorize every day.

I think I'm actually burning more calories too.  Not that  I'm particularly active at work, but let's face it - getting dressed and out the door just naturally expends more energy than sitting in front of my computer in my pajamas.

The down side is that I'm just tired when I get home.  I spend all day in front of the computer at work and by the time I get home I just want to chat with my brother or my kids, or play with my doggies, or watch T.V. with hubby.

But I do miss blogging and reading everyone's posts.  I'm trying to find some sort of balance with it all, but it's hard.  Does anyone else think it's hard?  Or is it just me?

I'm going to shoot for two posts a week.  One regular post and if Post-It Note Tuesday is still around, that's my second.  This counts as one, by the way.

Other than getting used to my job, nothing really has changed in my life since my last post.  So, really, you didn't miss much in the month or so I've been away.  Didn't miss much at all.  And just in case you were fretting about what you might have missed, here's a little summary of the things that haven't changed:

  1. I still drink cheap wine.  I'm going to have a tee-shirt made that says "I DRINK WINE THAT'S $2.99."  It has a nice ring to it, don't you think?  Even rhymes.  Matter of fact, I was in the Wal-Mart superstore yesterday buying a 2 3 4 bottles of it and I happened to get a checker that was under 21.  So she says to me, "Ummm, can you put all your wine at the end of your order because I have to have someone 21 ring it up."  ALL your wine.  She couldn't just say "your wine", she had to point out the excessive quantity by saying "ALL your wine."  She may as well have announced, "CAN SOMEONE RING UP THE LUSH IN THE I DRINK WINE THAT'S $2.99 TEE-SHIRT, PLEASE!" 
  2. My brother still cooks delicious dinners every night, which is even more appreciated now that I'm working.  I know.  Go ahead, you can say it. You know you want to.  Here, I'll do it for you........BEE-ATCH!  Yup, I'm a spoiled bee-atch with a personal chef, I admit it. 
  3. I still need to lose 20 pounds.  Reference #2 above.
  4. I still wake up hubby in the middle of night, spouting ridiculous riddles like, "Do you see the turquoise clipboards?!" (I kid you not, this happened a few nights ago), or insisting that he search the bed for spiders.  Surprisingly, we're still married.   
So see?  You really didn't miss much.  I however, am a bit depressed that my life is so predictable, but whatever.  I'm stocked up on wine. For the night.  (Kidding...really.)

I have missed reading your posts and I might not be able to read every day, but I'll try to read a couple times a week at least.  Please don't hate me.

Oh, and I'm thinking I should change my blog background.  It's time to switch it up a bit.

Till next time, y'all - Cheers!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sunday, August 8, 2010

I'm a Working Girl!

I'm sorry for my absentness, folks, but I'm an official 8 to 5 gal, now. It's been awhile since I've had a set work schedule - 8 years to be exact. It's actually not as hard an adjustment as I thought it would be. I need to come up with some sort of blogging schedule lest I'm forgotten for lack of posting (and commenting), but I'll just have to work on that.

Right now I'm just extremely grateful to have a regular paycheck and I only had to sweat through one interview. I feel really, really fortunate in that regard. I was so freaking nervous in my interview. I'm just not the confident kind. I know I'm a hard worker, but I don't know if I'm perceived as one.

Despite my stumbling over a couple questions, they seemed to like me. I was their first interview and they were only interviewing four other people. I found out later that after they met with me, they cancelled all but one of the other interviews. I interviewed on a Thursday and on Monday they called me in to offer me the job. I started the next day.

It's a small family owned computer software and hardware company. I do administrative assistant stuff, like phones, quickbooks, correspondence, and whatever other support their programmers might need. I'll also get to write some website content which is very cool.

It's an all guy office, except for me and one other girl, but she works off site. They're all very techy, of course, because that's their job - and I felt a little inept at their phone system at first, but I'm starting to settle in now. I like what I do, I get along with everyone fine, and I hope I make them happy they hired me.

I've already had a "maybe I just shouldn't speak" moment. As part of the hiring process, the project manager had sent out a questionnaire and proofreading challenge to all of the candidates. After he hired me, he showed me how I scored compared to the rest of the candidates. He told me I had scored the highest, but as I was looking at his little chart of scorings and rankings, trying to see for myself how smart I was, I couldn't read it for the life of me. I couldn't tell if I was the first vertical row or the first horizontal column or what all the numbers meant, because they weren't labeled.

At times like these, it's best to just nod and smile. It's not a good idea when someone is trying to show you how smart you are, to ask a question, because the odds are it's going to be a really dumb question and give them reason to reconsider their opinion. I asked what one of the scores was and as it turns out, I was reading the darn thing all wrong and he gave me an odd look as he explained I was looking at the wrong row. Now I have to redeem myself and do something smart. I hate when that happens!

The other thing that is a bit challenging is figuring out what these guys think is funny. I make coments in my emails that are meant to be humorous and I get nothing. Crickets. You know what I mean? Like it's so quiet you just hear crickets chirping? It's a bit off-putting, but then again, maybe I'm off-putting to them.

Despite a few jitters, I'm really glad I'm there. I think I'm a good fit for this little company and I hope I can make a contribution to their success. Thanks for everyone's kind comments and support. I'll be around visiting your blogs soon, I promise!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pretend Post-It Tuesday

Please pretend that
these little groupings
of words 
are actual Post-its.

Because I don't 
have time to 
mess with Blogger 
images this morning

Why, you ask?

BECAUSE I GOT THE JOB!

yay me!

Upside of working
a regular 9 to 5 job...

A regular friggin paycheck!

Downside -
I can't work in my
jammies anymore or reach
back and scratch my butt
anytime I want to

I think in the workplace
that's a little off-putting.

That's ok though,
cause they make creams for that.

But I'm just very happy
to be regularly employed
with a company that I 
think I'm going to like
very much.

I start my new job today.

I actually should be in
the shower right now

I better go!

Friday, July 23, 2010

And then there were 5 and Some Blog Awards

Howdy bloggyworld!

I've missed you all. I'm sorry I've been scarce but job hunting has consumed me the last couple weeks. Selling yourself is exhausting and when you realize you have to put yourself on clearance to get any interest, it can be a bit disheartening. I've re-worded my resume so many times for so many jobs that I'm sick of hearing about myself.
  
I'm happy to say that yesterday was encouraging though. Remember the blurry email expressing interest in an interview? I finally had the interview yesterday and it went very well. They're only interviewing 5 candidates and I'll find out their decision Tuesday.
    
Oh, and we got our air-conditioning fixed last week, thanks to mom and step-dad!
    
I thought I would give some long overdue thanks and acknowledgement for some lovely blog awards bestowed upon me recently (and not so recently).
    
Shannon, from The Me Within and Connie from Soy Mamiymas, and Janel from This Journey Called Life, all of whom are incredibly strong, sweet, and funny gave me the Versatile Blogger award.












    
The funny Karen, from Muffin Fixation, who shares my weird fixation with Toondoo.com, gave me the Beautiful Blogger award.

     
For all of these I'm supposed to share 7 things about myself and pass it on to blogs I enjoy that I've recently discovered. I'm going to make this short and sweet.

1.  I love camping.
2.  I have a thing for artwork featuring trees
3.  I don't make my bed
4.  I let my cat drink out of my water glass
5.  I wish I had more rooms in my house just so I could decorate them
6.  The cliche I most relate to is "Never say never"
7.  When I was a baby we lived in a trailer park.
     Aren't I just ffffascinating? *roll eyes*
     The bloggers I'm passing this on to are:
June Freaking Cleaver from Ratio of Failures
Momma Fargo from The Boogie Man is My Friend
Cheeseboy from The Blog O Cheese
     
Lastly, the very funny duo Kathryn and Dan from She Don't Make False Claims gave me the Your Going Places Baby award - don't ya love that name?
     
I'm supposed to say where I see myself in 10 years. I have simple dreams. I'd like to drive through the country in an R.V., writing about my adventures while earning residuals on an idea that I have yet to come up with. You can take the girl out of the trailer park, but you can't take the trailer park out of the girl. I'd like to pass this one on to:


THANK YOU GUYS!

     I've missed your blogs terribly and I hope to get caught up with y'all over the weekend. Hope everyone has a relaxing one and Happy Friday!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Super Hot Post Its!



The following are notes that appeared around our house this week, that could have been on Post It Notes:
When my son turned 20 recently, he wasn't quite ready financially to move out on his own, but decided it would be more manly to live full time at his dad's. After he left I saw this note on our little menu board in the kitchen. That was over a month ago and I can't bring myself to erase it. I see the child in the handwriting and a glimpse of the man in the words.
My brother left this note taped to the fridge for Sissa (my 18 year old). She's not home much and when she does breeze in, she goes straight to the fridge to scarf whatever leftovers she can find. Her only chores in the house are to clean the litterbox, her room, and her half of the bathroom. My brother wanted to ensure the litterbox got done.
This note actually is on a Post It. Although it appears to be a Post It note intervention from my family to me, I assure you, it's not. Since food and drinks get consumed at an alarming rate around our house, anything a person doesn't want consumed had better have a note on it saying so. Even then, it's only safe for about an hour. This is stuck to the wall by the fridge for my brother to conveniently slap on whatever juice he's purchased for himself.

The following notes are from me to the Universe since it seems intent on kicking my arse this week:


 **Did I mention that it's about 108 degrees here in the Desert? No? I must have forgot that little detail in my heat stroke induced delerium.

Monday, July 12, 2010

ihappys!

mummytime
It's time for ihappys sponsored by Brenda from MummyTime!

Our neurotic little doggie, Lucy


A sky that makes me feel very small

A glass of wine and a good book before bed

An email (blurred on purpose) I got this morning from a prospective employer requesting an interview!
Hope everyone has ihappy moments today!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Good-Job Hunting

Job hunting is a tedious, all-consuming affair. You have to portray yourself as the greatest thing to hit the workforce since White-out; meanwhile little pieces of your once healthy self-image are being chipped away with each non-response to your resume dispatching.
    
It's a lot like dating. You show only your best qualities, with your beautiful, cosmetic-enhanced face and your most flattering outfit. You're charming and friendly and you say smart things. Then he doesn't call. You wonder what you said or did, or didn't say or do. You wonder who he did call.
 
It's a cruel truth that while we're in our most fragile state, fending off rejection and self-doubt, we have to display confidence and be intrepid. It's like standing upright after being punched in the stomach when your instincts are screaming at you to double over and clutch your gut.
  
Then there's the applications and questionnaires to complete. I struggled with the question, "Why are you leaving your current job?"
  
How do you say (succinctly), "Because trying to close home loans right now is like running into a brick wall over and over until I'm battered, bloody, and emotionally spent and I've done it now for far too long"?
 
I settled for the less dramatic, "I'm changing career paths in order to more fully utilize my administrative and creative skills."
  
I don't know what to say to the question, "What are your career goals?"
  
At one time, I would have answered, "To continue helping deserving folks attain the American dream of homeownership." With the housing industry slowly being overtaken by the big banks, however, I'm more inclined to answer, "To distract others in the home lending business while I make my escape in the last remaining lifeboat."
 
"Last remaining" is the operative word, since our state's unemployment is at 14%, the highest in the Nation.   There aren't too many jobs out there and the competition is fierce. I ask myself what in the world my chances are of landing a job I like with decent pay when I'm a non-college graduate, a week away from turning 45? Am I being overly optimistic?

Optimistic is one of the qualities I boasted on my resume, by the way.  I have an "optimistic, can-do attitude." Really, I do.
  
It's hard to know how much of your personality to reveal to a potential employer. Should you always opt for the conservative approach in your answers? Or should you stand out from the rest and throw a little humor in? What if they perceive humor as not taking the application process seriously? Just how candid should job candidates be? (See what I did there?)
  
Have you ever noticed that candidates is "candid" and "dates"? That's a bit of an oxymoron, isn't it? If my ex-husband had been candid on our first dates, he would have told me his goal in life was to sleep with as many women as possible and matrimony was not going to get in the way of that.

Then at least I could have thought it over before saying "I do." But I'm getting off-track.


We were talking about job-hunting.
  
Prospective employers like to ask what unique skills I can bring to their company. "Unique" conjures up things like juggling or water ballet. Are there any truly "unique" office skills? If I can file while standing on my head, does that qualify? Shall I learn to type with my elbows? Answer the phone without using my hands? What exactly are they looking for?


I've had to get creative with adjectives. I was going to describe my writing skills as "extraordinary," but that sounded a bit over the top. When you think about it, shouldn't extra-ordinary mean maximum ordinari-ness? Its synonym would be super-mediocre. Outstanding at being ordinary. The English language is perplexing, isn't it?
    
It's nerve-racking, this business of job hunting. I haven't been in this position in 20 years. I know I'm fortunate though since I'm here by choice, really...at least for now.  I'm shifting gears, changing goals, taking a different path. That's a good thing. If we aren't happy in our circumstances, then we must change them. It's a simple concept, but a scary one.
    
I'm happy to say that I did get one response yesterday to a resume I sent out. That's given me some hope. I'm one of 60 candidates, narrowed down from 110. The 60 of us had to complete a questionnaire and do a couple computer tasks and  from that they are whittling the potentials down to 10 at which point they will begin interviewing.
  
I'm "cautiously optimistic"... which means I'm still sending out resumes and hoping I get called.
  
*Sigh.* It's just like dating.

THANKS TO BRENDA AT MUMMYTIME FOR HER FLOG YO BLOG HOP!

Candidly Yours,
Lori

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

M.I.A.

Hi Better-bloggers-than-I! (Or is it - better-bloggers-than-me?)
 
No matter, because you know who you are.
    
I'm sorry I've been M.I.A. this whole week. I'm going through a bit of a career crisis, and that, coupled with my mother-in-law visiting, some 4th of July festivities to plan, and...wasn't there something else...no, that's about it...I was feeling a bit overwhelmed.
    
Still feeling it a bit...only the career crisis is turning into a bit of a panic. A little bit. But I don't want to write about panicy things now, so just thought I'd share some pics of hubby risking his fingers so that we and our guests might have an entertaining 4th of July.


Yes, that's hubby setting off fireworks. In the pool. See the advanced floating devices he's using? Thank you Rubbermaid.
    
This is a photo journal of the nights escapades which hubby posted on Facebook:





















And here's hubby's comments:

FLAMMABLE FREDDY'S 4TH O' JULY FAMILY FIREPOOLOOZA!! -- where entertainment is always 1st, safety usually 2nd, and my burns 3rd degree! Who puts the "anger" in danger, the "demon" in demonstration, and the "uh... medic" in paramedic? I do - and pass the savings on to YOU!
It's hard to feel in crisis mode when you're laughing, right? ...right?
    
I hope to post again this week, but I'm not sure. Hope you stick around - I'll be back.

Worriedly Yours,
Lori

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Slap a Post It on it Tuesday


The following post it note should have been slapped on the back of the guy standing in line in front of me at the DMV:

The following post it should have been slapped on the forehead of the woman who took my picture for my drivers license. I've had the same picture on my license for 8 years and had quite a rude awakening when I compared the new one to the old one. Aging's a bitch. Come to think of it...so was the lady that took the picture.
The following post it should be slapped on the forehead of every bank short sale negotiator I've ever had to deal with:
The following post it should be slapped on my husband's forehead:
The following post it should be slapped on my forehead:

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