Monday, January 17, 2011

Getting older is weird.

I never realized how offensive the word "Ma'am" can be.

Ok, here's the thing: I used to call older women "Ma'am" when I was a teenager, until one day I accidentally bumped into a woman and said, "Oh, excuse me, Ma'am", and she yelled back at me, "I'M NOT A 'MA'AM'!" Seriously, she yelled this at me! Now, I was raised to be unerringly polite, so this shook me that I was in the wrong for doing the right thing... but you bet your ass I really tried not to use that word unless I was certain the woman was over 50.

Well, now I'm in the situation where I'm getting called "Ma'am". It KILLS me every time I hear it - 'cuz like that older woman from my youth, I'M NOT A "MA'AM"! I'm not even 30 yet, society, quit trying to push me into old age! (Not that being over 30 is even OLD, btw...)

Sunday this happened to me twice within one hour while running errands, both by males. One of them was obviously a teenager, so I was willing to let it slide because to him, OBVIOUSLY, I'm ancient. As for the other guy, he was easily my age or maybe even slightly older, so I was PISSED. I just gave him dirty looks. As The Hubs pointed out, we're raised to use "Ma'am" to be POLITE, not to offend. But how am I a Ma'am already?

What really grinds my gears is that yesterday I was wearing a t-shirt and jeans, and felt like I actually was looking pretty cute. Well, apparently I was looking pretty cute and OLD. MEH.

Also confusing: I still get mistaken for a student fairly regularly at the high school I teach at... by staff AND students (who obviously don't have me as their teacher). So I'm either still super young-looking, or super old-looking. Or I'm just over-reading all of this WAAAAY too much. ;P

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Crafts for the Non-Crafty: Mini Flower Bud Vases!

This is seriously the easiest thing you will ever "make". Because most of the "making" is done in advance by the lovely soda factory that blows the glass containers into these cute shapes.

  • 4-pack Orangina Bottles
  • Wire cutters
  • Soap
  • Water
  • dish sponge with a green "scrubby" side (that's a technical term, "scrubby"; I'm an English teacher, so I would know)
  1. Buy the Orangina bottles. If you have a Trader Joe's near you, they sell it in the 4-packs there. Check other "fancy" grocery stores, too. 
  2. Drink the tasty, bubbly orange beverages, and rinse out/save the bottles as you work your way through the 4-pack. I LOVED this stuff as a kid, and it's now an occasional treat (as it's a little expensive).
  3. When you have as many bottles as you want to keep for making into vases, fill a sink with warm, soapy water. Place the bottles (lids removed) in the water; I tried to keep the labels facing down, but the bottle has a mind of its own, annoyingly. Filling the bottles with the water seemed to help a LITTLE, but in the end it wasn't a huge deal if the labels weren't completely submerged.
  4. Let them soak for at least 2 hours; I soaked mine for about 3, I think? Honestly, I managed to forget about them until I walked by the sink and went, "Oh yeah!" 
  5. Peel the labels off slowly; doing so lets you get most of the paper off fairly easily and in fewer pieces. There will most likely be glue/paper remaining even after this step, BUT that comes off easily as well. 
  6. For the remaining bits of label paper/glue, rub it off with your fingers while submerging that section of the bottle in water. If it's being REALLY stubborn, use the green scrubby side of the sponge, it'll come off without issue. 
  7. Tip the bottles upside-down onto a paper towel so they drain, then dry the outside. With your wire cutters, cut off the ring of aluminum that was there to keep the screw-on lid attached and tamper-free. (Tip: Pull the ring down the neck bottle a little, it's easier to get the cutter onto it that way.)
  8. Fill with water and pretty flowers. Enjoy!

Why did I take the pictures outside on my balcony? Because my table's messy again and I didn't feel like cleaning it off right then. Once a hot mess...

But wait, you say! This is still far too complicated for me! I want something simpler! Are there any sodas out there that I can use without all that pesky label removing?

The answer is yes. I found this bottle's shape and label particularly charming. The how-to steps for this one:
  1. Live in an area that has cute little French bistros. 
  2. Buy a sparkling pink lemonade with your tasty meal of ham with dill mayo on crusty baguette and a nicely-dressed salad. Admire how a French accent can make even the ugliest waiter kinda hot. (Seriously!)
  3. Once you finish your sparkling pink lemonade, giggle with your companion as you sneak the bottle into your purse because you realize it's kind of weird/dorky to take a bottle home to use as a flower vase. 
  4. Once home, rinse out the bottle, avoiding getting the label wet as much as possible. 
  5. Fill with water. Put in a single flower. Feel French. Use the video below to help feel French-ier:

Ok, so really this isn't a "craft" so much as "Samantha likes those cute little bud vases but doesn't want to spend $10 PER VASE when she can make them from bottles that also contain a taste of her childhood... and she's cheap." Still, how cute do they look?

Ok, now I'm just showing off.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Martha Screw-Up: Only I DIDN'T screw up!

Psych-out! I'm actually sharing a SUCCESS, not a Screw-Up! WHOOOO!

Our friend tried to plan a last-minute poker gathering, and The Hubs and I were totally down. Then, literally an hour before we were all supposed to meet, our friend had to change venues... to OUR place. Now, we usually only host when we have tons of time to clean because normally we're not very clean. However, we've been maintaining our place since our last deep clean in November, so it wasn't TERRIBLE, just cluttered and needed a quick scrubdown.

So with an hour until our guests were to arrive, we managed to do the following:
  • clean off the dining table (clutter picked up, wiped down)
  • scrub the bathroom really quick 
  • wash the dishes/ wipe down the counters
  • light some candles to help minimize any bad smells
  • pick up Little Caesar's and soda for the guests
  • make myself presentable (changed top, took hair out of pigtails and into chic chignon, slapped on some makeup)
We had 20 minutes to SPARE, bitches. I even managed to throw up all the Xmas cards we received so it looked like I somewhat decorated for the holidays.

Of course, only one of the people actually showed up, but it was still a lovely evening. Also, I was incredibly proud of The Hubs and myself that we've been maintaining our place so we COULD pull off a last-minute hosting of anything. Considering how bad this place has been in the past, it shows a LOT of growth and progress on both our parts. I felt like an adult and an accomplished hostess, which is always a nice feeling to have. =D

Downside: We have a TON of Little Caesar's to eat because our one guest didn't have any, and we bought a cheese AND a pepperoni pizza. Urf, a little gross. We always buy a little too much food, meh.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Welcome, 2011! My goals for the new year.

SO! It's 2011, officially. Been 2011 for 2 days so far, and so far, so good! The year is off to a good start, and I am off to a (mostly) positive attitude towards it. There are a few chinks in the armor, but there always are, so meh.

Looking back at my old (locked-up) journal, I checked what my goals were for 2010. Apparently, they were to develop a better sense of personal style, take better care of my physical appearance (like putting effort into my daily appearance, improve my skincare regime, get in better shape), and stop the negative self-talk. Although it was hit or miss most of the year, I have managed to end the year and start this year having worked a fair amount in a positive direction in all of those areas! Go me!

My goals for 2011 is to continue the above's progress, naturally. However, I'm adding to the "physical appearance" with wanting to get my health in order. I'm still in horrible physical shape, and I want to be in better physical shape. I'll never be skinny, but I could definitely be a sexier version of curvy than what I am currently. However, I always get overwhelmed with trying to do things like formal diets. All that tracking calories just overwhelms me for whatever reason. (Not saying it's right, just saying it is.) So instead I'm going to work on just eating better, period. Track what I eat, and work on eating better choices more often than not. I also want to really decide what foods are foods I could never give up, and then the foods that don't make that list but are "bad" will just be cut out of the diet. I'm also going to try to cut out the carbs - not completely (let's not get crazy here), but when it's not necessary. More proteins and veggies - LOTS more veggies! I also want to walk more and take a local yoga class, too - I need to exercise more.

I have two other goals:
One is simple enough: Become proficient on the ukulele. I got one for Christmas, and I LOVE it! It is SO much fun to play; I've never played a musical instrument before, as I always figured I didn't have the natural skill for it. Turns out, I'm not so terrible! Parts of it are coming fairly easily, but others are still like learning a whole new language. Still, fun! I'm practicing chord progressions by finding songs I really like and I'm familiar with; I even recorded myself playing/singing along to one of them so I could "show" my mom. Your ears may bleed, so click at your own risk: My ukulele version of "Sea of Love" by Cat Power.

Goal #2 is a little... well, more abstract. There are areas of my life where I'm fairly happy, and there are areas where I'm not really happy at all. So... I want to be overall happy and satisfied, not half and half like I am now. So I need to figure out why I'm not happy in those particular areas, and if I can change those areas to where I (and anyone else involved) are all happy, or if I need to replace/move on. Sorry for being vague, but some of the areas making me unhappy are of a very personal nature. But my goal is to enter my 30's in October loving myself more, feeling more like a strong adult woman, and having found the happiness all-around that I crave (or at least working my way towards it).

So, to sum up my goals for 2011:
  • Keep looking hot and sexy, and not talking myself down like I have the nasty natural tendency to do
  • Get my body in a healthy shape and living a healthiER lifestyle with physical activity and better food choices
  • Find my happiness and keeping growing into a mature 30-year-old woman that I can continue to be proud of
  • Become proficient in my ukulele playing (seriously, SO FUN)


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