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February 29, 2012

31 Status Inspiration

Loving this today!


February 28, 2012

Book for March and April

This one is a doozie. 
800ish pages.
That's why we're taking 2 months to read it.


Overview via BN.com

ON NOVEMBER 22, 1963, THREE SHOTS RANG OUT IN DALLAS, PRESIDENT KENNEDY DIED, AND THE WORLD CHANGED. WHAT IF YOU COULD CHANGE IT BACK?
In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King—who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer—takes readers on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.
It begins with Jake Epping, a thirty-five-year-old English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching GED classes. He asks his students to write about an event that changed their lives, and one essay blows him away—a gruesome, harrowing story about the night more than fifty years ago when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a sledgehammer. Reading the essay is a watershed moment for Jake, his life—like Harry’s, like America’s in 1963—turning on a dime. Not much later his friend Al, who owns the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to the past, a particular day in 1958. And Al enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination.
So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson, in a different world of Ike and JFK and Elvis, of big American cars and sock hops and cigarette smoke everywhere. From the dank little city of Derry, Maine (where there’s Dunning business to conduct), to the warmhearted small town of Jodie, Texas, where Jake falls dangerously in love, every turn is leading eventually, of course, to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and to Dallas, where the past becomes heart-stoppingly suspenseful, and where history might not be history anymore. Time-travel has never been so believable. Or so terrifying.


Want it for Kindle?
How About Nook?

If you want it on paper, check out your local book store!

February 27, 2012

2012 Oscars

I have to admit that this batch of dresses have been the best of the whole award season... There aren't really any that I hated...

The Not As Great, But Still Really Good:
It looked really amazing.

Once again. She looked stunning. 
Love this! So classy with sass! 

I know it's not really amazing... But it's original and really is pretty. 

Seen it before. But I still like it. 

Other than the weird skin colored pleated arm fabric, I really liked this dress. 

I love that she had a cape! when she presented it was really beautiful. 

The Great:
LOVE the men's wear with the FAB gown. So awesome!

Stunning! Absolutely stunning.

Not a traditional dress, but for some reason I really really like it... It's really interesting and feminine.

UGH. This almost made my winner list. I adore this dress.

Maybe it is a little reminiscent of Nichole Kidman's bow dress from 2007. I loved that dress and I love this one.


The Winner(s):
The color! The drama! The neckline! So classic. So fresh. So timeless!!!

February 25, 2012

February Book Club: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

In January, with only 4 of our regular book club members showing for the meeting we took the liberty of choosing the book without everyone else...
You snooze, you loose.
So at first we chose The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides.
It was chosen when we didn't have internet access or a full list of suggested books. 
SIL, who is our admin/group leader, went home to read an excerpt and reviews. After she did she quickly emailed us and let us know that the book wasn't getting the best reviews. It was described as slow, pointless and dark.
We changed our pick. 



Overview from Barnes and Noble
Henrietta Lacks, a poor Southern tobacco farmer, was buried in an unmarked grave sixty years ago. Yet her cells - taken without her knowledge - became one of the most important tools in medical research. Known to science as HeLa, the first "immortal" human cells grown in culture are still alive today, and have been bought and sold by the millions. Rebecca Skloot takes us on an extraordinary journey from the "colored" ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s to East Baltimore today, where Henrietta's family struggles with her legacy.

My Opinion
This was a really great book! I mean the topic is tragic and the social and ethical issues are truly insane... But to learn so much about a woman who unknowingly changed our entire world is just really great. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for an informed, and intelligent read. 
Things to be prepared for:
The chapters jump from present to past, lab to home very frequently. It's a little tedious in the beginning, but it wouldn't have made sense any other way. 
You will become invested in the story. You will feel personally connected to the Lacks family.
You will start to question and think about the morals of the medical and science fields. 
You will want to start reading all of those papers that your handed to sign in doctor's offices.

Read it. 
I don't care if you absolutely hates science in school (like me)
I don't care what your gender is or your socioeconomical background is...
Read this book.
You won't be sorry. 

February 24, 2012

J-O-B

Well lovies, a months ago I applied for a job and was asked to interview for it. I was told that it would be 2 weeks and they would let me know if I got the position or not.

2 weeks came and went. I got a call from the interviewer. He asked me to apply for a different position that was posted that very day. I told him that I would and he told me that he would talk to me soon.

I didn't want to jump to conclusions, but I saw it as a good sign.
I waited almost a month and yesterday my boss was called for references.
He told me that I owed him lunch. 
(Sometimes I love my boss.)

Today, as I was meeting Big Sis for lunch and as I was walking down the hallway, texting Jake, I was stopped by the guy who interviewed me. 

Him: Hi Erin, I was just on my way to see you!
Me: Oh, really? Cool. I was just walking to lunch.
Him: It's OK, I'll walk with you.

He then told me that he was excited to tell me that I had gotten the position. 
$1.50 pay raise, benefits, 8-5pm.
I told him that I was texting with my husband, who was actually still awake, and that we would talk it over. 

I met up with Big Sis and had a celebratory large fry instead of a medium.

It's a good day here.

Now for a weekend of business clothes shopping!

No more jeans at work... 
Even though I really liked wearing my cowgirl boots today.


Have a happy, excellent, awesome weekend!!!

Stripes, Stripes and More Stripes

February 23, 2012

My Parent's Family Room

Anyone else think of their parent's house as 'Home Base'?
That's how my family has labeled my parent's house.

For my mom's birthday my dad and I sneakily fixed up the back room.

Forgive the walls. My dad wanted to go for a 'barn look' a few years ago...
He thought it looked rustic.
I don't hate it.... 
(I hate it)
No I don't. It kinda looks like the inside of a boat.
It's just.... Interesting.....
Just like my entire family.


*Focus, Erin*

For Mom's birthday we decided to fix up the fireplace shelves and rearrange the family room!!! 

Before:




It's like my parent's life and my sister's life squashed together.
(the 2 couches and buckets of toys everywhere can attest to that.)


What we did:
Scrubbed bricks
Removed everything from shelves
Wiped everything down
Installed TV wall mount (yay masonry work!)
Moved TV
Moved media cabinet
Cleaned all toys
Moved furniture

How I cleaned the bricks:
Dawn dish soap and warm water.
 Another option
foaming bathroom cleaner.


Really cool stuff I found:
(it's like an I Spy book.)
Real snow shoes
Sweet oil lamps
Geos, shells, starfish, coral and sand dollars by the bucket full.
A toy sewing machine
Books from the 1800's
Antique toy cannon
A mold of my grandma's baby shoes (the gold ones)
My parent's and grandparents yearbooks
More board games than I ever knew we had.


After:







It's still a work in progress with the stuff by the entry...
What do you think?
Better?
Noticeable change?
It's hard to change a house that we've been in for 21 years without spending more than $100...
I'm just glad that my mom likes and appreciated it.

February 22, 2012

Applications and the Real World

I love my Big Sis and SIL.
It ends up that I have my most revealing conversations with them. 
They save my sanity.

Last Thursday, after a cancelled bible study, SIL and I went out to eat.
She needed time away fro little Noah, who had croup and was hanging out with Math, and I needed food. 
It was perfect.

We got to talking and she asked me about my job search.

Whenever I think about getting a job I feel quite a bit of pressure. 
Jake is getting to the point that we are anywhere from 1-2 years out from Med School. 
Our insurance runs out when his Army contract is up March of 2013.
With the assumption that Med School insurance is either extreamly expensive or really poor coverage I feel like it is my job to carry the insurance while Jake is in Med School.

From this conversation about life in general, as well as many more I have noticed that I'm limiting myself.
I've only been applying to positions on campus.
Benefits are awesome from the University... But now it's getting down to the wire and I have to start looking out in the real world.

The real world?!
Yikes.

Hello, adulthood.

I'm going to continue to apply to positions on campus.
I'm also going to look into local gyms, churches, and other places.

With my work experience being restaurants, retail, and secretarial work and a degree focusing on sports or leisure activities (camping, country clubs, fitness.... Anything that people would participate in after their work day.) would anyone have any ideas?


February 21, 2012

Irish VS Scottish Dance

I've not talked about my years of dance on this blog yet.
Considering it consumed my life from age 7-22, I found myself surprised that I hadn't though of sharing it before.

For 16 years I was a Highland Dancer.

Yep.
Scottish Highland Dance.

Let me give you the spiel that I gave the high schoolers at the workshop in January.

Have you ever seen Riverdance?
Lord of the Dance?
Feet of Flames?
Celtic Tiger?
Well, that's Irish Dance (and Michael Flatley).
Not Highland.

Think of it this way.
Irish dance kinda resembles mainstream Tap.
Hard shoes.
Clicking heels.

Highland dance, in the same way, resembles mainstream Ballet.
Positions.
Arms.
Movement.

Let me give you a demonstration.
Bear with me, the videos are scarce and a little long.
Each video is of 2011's champions.
One Highland champ.
Two Irish champs.

Scottish Highland Dance:
2011 (6th consecutive) Adult World Champion
David Wilton, from Scotland.

Irish Dance:
2011 Senior Men's Champion
Morgan Comer, from Ireland.
(Red shirt, 17th to dance if you want to watch it that far.)


2011 Senior Women's Champion
Emily Penner, from Ontario.
 (Black top and orange skirt, last girl to dance.)


Get the difference?

I don't know much about Irish dance.

Highland Dance is very regimented and precise.
The basic dances are military based.
Fling, Sword.
The Seann Triubhas (seen trews) is based off the 1745 repeal the kilt ban and 'shedding the trousers' England forced them to wear... David is dancing the Seann Triubhas in the video.

The rest? Courting and character dances
Flirtation late medieval highland style.

The Celtic world is a pretty intense one, no matter which dance form you prefer.

Did you learn anything today?

February 20, 2012

Book Movement

When SIL suggested a book club, the internet searches for reading material started.
It's now an almost weekly thing. 
While I was searching I found this website called BookMovement.com
I think it's a pretty stellar site. You can browse book titles and read other site member's reviews. You can have your own queue of books to read. You can list all the books you've read and review and rate them.
Best of all...
You can register your book club on the site and suggest books for your club, hold or continue discussions from your meeting, add events, email club members.
They also have a list of top choices for clubs and readers.
It's pretty awesome.

If you like to keep track of your reading or if you area  part of a book club I highly suggest you check it out.

February 17, 2012

The Army Frustrates Me

Well this morning Jake messaged me on Facebook and told me that a guy in his unit was promoted to sergeant.
This is an interesting development because back in October we found out that Jake's promotional points were missing...
Not a few points.
All of them.
I'm talking years worth of promotional points were missing.

Jake was angry, rightfully so, and complained and tried to get the paperwork straightened out.
As of today things were still messed up.
He had many, many more points than who was promoted.
The guy who got promoted isn't even deployed... He's in Ohio.
It's hard.

The other part of this mini rant is that Jake has been given more responsibility than his rank calls for.
He is an E4 (specialist) at the moment.
It's hard because he is the only Rad tech who is deployed with the unit now. Yet he is not NCOIC (non-commissioned officer in charge, anything above specialist) over radiology for the deployment...
How is the NCOIC of radiology for the unit going to oversee Jake and his job from Ohio?

All this aside.
Jake is a specialist who is responsible and reliable.
When his NCO left with the drawback that happened in December, Jake was given his additional side jobs.
He was placed in charge of the PT testing. 
That means he is who runs the PT test prep for the entire unit, even his higher-ups.
He was also made fire marshal for the unit last week.

1st SGT and CPT encouraged all the soldiers deploying to take classes while they were overseas. 
Now chance would have it that Jake is the only person in the entire deployed unit who is still a full time student on this deployment. 
Others were, but dropped their classes.
With the addition of the fire marshal duties, Jake has had to drop one of his classes, which takes away his full time status.
Funny that the unit was so adamant about schooling during deployment, yet the one soldier who is trying to do just that can't complete his classwork because he is being assigned more and more duties.
Without any promotion in sight.

We're in need of some prayers.
Patients, grace, contentment.... Any prayers you can think of we'll take.
And I'm in need of some wine.

Blazer and Flare

February 16, 2012

Grammy Awards 2012


The evening's trends were black, skin, black, white, bizarre, and more black.

The Cray-Cray:
Fergie afterward said that this was the tame choice......
The dress is really pretty... The Gun arm piece.... WHAT?

The Skins:
Really?

The "Oh, I'm at an award show?':


The Runners up:
Beautiful!
I actually really like this blue dress. Not the hair. The dress
Classic with an awesome neck piece!
Very classy.

Best Dressed:


Love it!




Congrats Adele!!!!! You deserve every award and MORE!

Blog Love

Blogs of people that I have never spoken to... But I love reading!


Delighted Momma
Lindsay is an esthetician and a mother who is awesome enough to share wholestic skin tips, DIY's and recipes on her blog. 

Nichole is an interior designer who graces my reader with daily doses of everything home fabulous.

Michelle is a teacher and she does Pinterest Wednesdays!  Love it!

Cassie provides eye candy for shabby chic DIY's.

Long Distance Loving
Allison's blog is all about long distance relationships. She also hosts Friday's Fancies linky parties.

Mabel's House
Liz. She's funny. Plus I love her pixie cut.

Project: Baby
Kristen is a fashionable mom... you know the kind (example 6). Not to mention she took her baby and husband to live in France for a while. *le sigh*

Go check them out.
You'll like them too.
Promise.

February 15, 2012

Shenanigans

Well, give me just a second to share some uninteresting tidbits into my life recently.

The Army pays their soldiers on the 1st and 15th every month.
February 1st - No paycheck.
 Someone made a mistake on which brother came home.

As of today (the 15th) - No Feb 1st paycheck, no Feb. 15th paycheck.

I've had to transfer money from our savings account twice since the beginning of the month because of bills and such.
It's not a really big deal. We're not in any trouble.
It's just not a good feeling.
The savings account isn't something I can really be messing with just in case I'm completely undesirable in the hiring department of life... I mean, my temp position at work is ending in March.
It's a little unsettling.


Another development.


Evidently, there is a possibility that 10 more soldiers from the unit will be sent home.
I'd like to be positive and say that Jake might be one of them... But considering he is the only person holding his job in his unit, it's unlikely.
(Prayers couldn't hurt though.)

The possibility.
Due to his job, RG might be one of those 10.
He'd come home and, naturally, KG would no longer be my roommate.
(They need to start their life as a married couple in the same country, no doubt.)

I'm trying to not worry about it.
I may need a few prayers if you could spare a moment or two.

God's in control.
I'm thankful that I know that much.

February 13, 2012

Remakes

Is anyone else getting tired of Hollywood using old scripts over and over again. I never did understand why anyone would want to go and see the remake of a movie, especially when the original was hands down amazing.

I mean how many times will we have to deal with iconic movies being taken, rewritten so that it's not exactly the same, and thrown back at us...
It's like the Hollywood exects think we'll just forget about the original and expect the new version to be just as good.

Footloose anyone?!
Karate Kid
RollerBall.
Around the World in 80 Days
Bewitched
Pink Panther
The Day the Earth Stood Still
Swept Away
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark
Conan the Barbarian
The Women
Psycho
(not that I've seen either, but taking one film and remaking it frame by frame is pretty sad)

How about the Dirty Dancing remake that is in development?
Anyone hear that Leonardo Dicaprio has been sniffing around The NeverEnding Story?
Want to see Honey, I Shrunk the Kids in 3D?
I guess Overboard is in the writing stages with Jennifer Lopez attached to it.
Tomb Raider will be redone with Olivia Wilde.
Spider Man
Dare Devil
Red Dawn
Top Gun
Annie (again)
Mad Max: Fury Road
My Fair Lady (Do NOT mess with Audrey!)
Robo Cop
The Birds
A Star is Born
Drop Dead Fred
Creature From the Black Lagoon
The Crow

I mean does anyone else feel like some of these movies just came out?
I mean, really, is Hollywood that desperate for our money that they are remaking everything in sight?
Movies that are over 40 years old, I can understand...

But with most of them it's just plain crazy.

Please. 
Stop the remakes!
I hate that Holywood is trying to capitalize on the nistalgia of some of these films.
Top Gun, The Birds, Dirty Dancing, The NeverEnding Story
I mean come on!
You can't improve perfection.

If they ever touch The Labrynth or The Princess Bride I'll boycott.
I'm 100% serious.

February 9, 2012

Our Culture

The bible study group that I have been a part of started an awesome study by Beth Moore
Beth Moore is our go-to bible study teacher. All of her studies are really great.
The one we're doing right now is titled Daniel: Lives of Integrity, Words of Prophecy. 
 I've done the study once before, almost 7 years ago.

It's a 2 part study, the first focusing on Daniel and Babylon. The second part focuses on Daniel's prophecy and the book of revelations.
It's heavy stuff.
It's amazing.

Right now my group is in the first section of the study. It's the classic story of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in Babylon. You know the one where they're thrown into the pit for being Jewish.
Talk about standing up for what you believe in.
Anyway, the real story is about the determination these four men had in keeping their devotion and focus on God while being surrounded by the selfishness and complete excess found in Babylon's culture.

Time and time again this theme has been weighing on my heart.
And to clarify things, Babylon is a mentality, not just a historical place. It's the every person for themselves, take no prisoners, I'm the most important person in my world. Complete selfishness.
It's a state of mind.

A lot of what I've been wrestling with is our cultures support for the keeping up with the Jones'... Or in this day and age, the Kardashian's.

To quote Beth, 'As addictive as cocaine, one little snort of luxury and we decide we were born for it.'

So the real question is, how? How do we stay focused on the right things when culture is so ferociously seducing us with selfishness?


Isaiah 41:10  
fear not, for I am with you;  be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you,  I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

1 Corinthians 10:13  
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.


The real challenge is to be relevant in the world, but not of the world.

February 8, 2012

Inside my head

I just want to give you a little insight into what I think in specific situations.
Let me know if any of these beauties hit a chord.

Example 1:

You sing.
All the time.
Real songs.
Made up songs.
Sometimes you fake opera sing because it 'doesn't sound that bad'.
A lot of the time you sing to your pets.
Most of your made up jingles start with, 'I don't like' or 'Please.'
'I don't like this TV show'
'I don't think that's very nice.'
'I don't want to go potty in a public restroom.'
'Please stop barking at me.'
'Please clean up your mess.'
'Please don't tickle me.'
'Please make me a sandwich.'

Example 2:
You look at a celebrity online and like the outfit their wearing.
You make a blog post about that outfit.
You try to recreate said outfit.
You get sad when no one comments on your creatively (celebrity) styled outfit.
Rinse and repeat.

Example 3:
You see yourself as a complete nerd.
Your immediate family know's your nerd status.
When you're around other people, including in-laws, you try to play it cool... Which just ends up with you not talking as much as normal.
Actually you don't do much as a whole.
It doesn't always work because sometimes you say something you think is totally normal, and all of a sudden everyone is looking at you with this 'was she serious?' face.
It's a not quite amused type of serious face like you would hope for.

Example 4:
When the door bell rings, in complete seriousness, you try doing a split leap as you make your way to the door.
This also happens at work, when no one is looking.
As well as over puddles outside... You don't even care if someone is looking.

Example 5:
You sometimes cry during really ridiculous movies.
And commercials.
And YouTube videos.
Like this one of Kristen Bell on the Ellen Show.
(It's so sweet that she's so excited!)

Example 6:

You are in a book store. You see a woman who seems to have her life put together.
Her hair is beautiful.
Her heels are fabulous.
Her purse is adorable.
Her stroller matches her ensemble.
You think to yourself, "I hope I'm that put together once I have kids'.
Voila.
You suddenly find yourself looking at the same book she just picked up and took to the register.
The same goes for clothing stores, coffee shops and gyms.
It's like you think you can get 'what she has' via osmosis.


Example 7:
You steal small aspects of the people around you who are closest to you and in some way, shape or form.
Style choices.
Book choices.
Technology choices.
Hair style choices.
Phrase choices.
Writing style.
Music preference.
Movie preference.
Activity choices.
Then you cram all of you're little pickings and choosings together and pray that it makes a complete 'You'.

Example 8:
When you're by yourself you randomly say what you're thinking out loud to make sure that you don't sound crazy.
You say it in about 5 different ways before you realize that you sound crazy mainly because you're talking to yourself.

Example 9:
You sing songs from musicals all the time... And pretend like you're in the musical.
In the car.
In your house.
In the shower.
It's similar to the idea of pretending you're in your own music video...
Which you also do.

Example 10:
You, quite often, have half a conversation in your head and bring your company into it only when a response is necessary.
Or you go back to a topic, exactly where you left off, 4 topics later.




To me, things like this happen all the time.

February 7, 2012

Apartment Projects

I'm sure everyone has been in my place at one point in time.
I'm renting an apartment from a lovely couple whose last tenants were their daughter and her husband. 
I"m feeling a little bored with what is going on.
My zen isn't flowing.
(why did that sound dirty?)
 I'm feeling cluttered and claustrophobic. I'm in need of a complete overhaul. And when I say 'I', I mean my apartment.
But I can't do all that much.
And who wants to sink money into something that isn't theirs?
That question, alone, should be my mantra until Jake and I purchase a house.

Soon, after I give you a picture tour of my place, I will be starting little projects to help me feel a little less restless and a little more creative and crafty.
Hopefully I'll save a little money in the process.

Or spend some.................

February 6, 2012

About My Major

Many of you may be wondering what, exactly, a major in Sports and Leisure entails.
Here is a little insight.

A few of my text books included:


Some of the books were really interesting. 
A few of my favorites were Beer and Circus, Taking the Field, and I Never Had it Made.

Needless to say, I know a ton about sports history. 
Give me a chance to get back into that frame of mind and I can rattle off quite a bit. 
 I had the bad habit of tuning out once my professors and classmates started talking about recent events. 
Sure I'd pay attention when it came to sociological issues like gender roles in sports... But the second people started talking about who won what game or who is playing who... I was in lala land, usually with wedding planning or something of the sort. 

I liked my major.
I liked 98% of my program specific classes.
I liked being one of the few students not involved or rooting for any of the 'Big-time' sports.
I was the opposing opinion.
It was thrilling to look at my peers and challenge them to look at the sporting world from a non-participant point of view.
To open their mind and see the sporting world objectively.

I'm not anti-sports.
I'm really not.
I just believe that in any aspect of our world, significant societal focus generally equals corruption of the activity or of the people involved.
I mean in all actuality, corruption is possible in  any situation...
It's the turning a blind eye to moral and ethical injustices that I don't support, especially in modern sport, and I was very vocal about it in class.
Maybe I wasn't always right, but I didn't mind giving my peers a little perspective.

Anyway. I'm getting a little caught up.


I also enjoyed taking random classes like Fencing, Volleyball, and Racquetball


That's a little insight into what my college experience was like.

February 2, 2012

Book for February


Overview from BN.com

Henrietta Lacks, a poor Southern tobacco farmer, was buried in an unmarked grave sixty years ago. Yet her cells - taken without her knowledge - became one of the most important tools in medical research. Known to science as HeLa, the first "immortal" human cells grown in culture are still alive today, and have been bought and sold by the millions. Rebecca Skloot takes us on an extraordinary journey from the "colored" ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s to East Baltimore today, where Henrietta's family struggles with her legacy.

Want it on a Nook?
How about a Kindle?

What about Plain old paper? 
It's a best seller so check out your local book store.