Let’s Be Honest Here…Cleaning Isn’t Exactly My Favorite Thing To Do…

Does anyone really love cleaning?

If you answered yes, please send me an e-mail, I’ll send you my address and you can come clean. I’ve got everything you need to get the job done; all you have to do is show up. Also, I pay in whiskey, vodka, and wine.

The other day I gave you some stellar tips for New Year’s resolutions, and I wasn’t joking. I really did mean do nothing in January. Relax. Calm down. But if you’re going to enjoy eating and drinking and cuddling in front of the TV for a month…I highly recommend a clean house/apartment/condo/whatever. If you haven’t found the right cleaning professional yet, you’re also going to need to take a few hours to do this yourself. (I know. I really honest to goodness considered hiring someone after all the Christmas madness, but I’m also Polish.)

Our house has pretty much been a madhouse since we moved in. Mostly thanks to my crazy.

Brian new house cleaning

This was before we moved into the new house when everything was empty and new to us…We even received a few cleaning supplies to get started thanks to Butler Products (Mr. Clean, Black & Decker, Dawn, and EverCare)

A month after we closed on the house, we threw a housewarming party (don’t worry, I’ll tell you all about it later. I promise.) A month after we moved in (so three weeks after the housewarming party), we hosted Second Thanksgiving for my college crew.

Brian even swept the front porch with the Black and Decker broom

Brian even swept the front porch with the 24 inch Black & Decker Indoor/Outdoor Push Broom
while I took pictures…

A month after Second Thanksgiving, we hosted Christmas dinner for both of our families (about 30 people in total). And finally, a week after Christmas, we had some family over to play games on New Year’s Eve. Quite frankly, I’m surprised Brian hasn’t actually killed me yet.

Mopping with Mr. Clean Mop

Brian mopped the floor with the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Super Twist Mop and a flat back bucket before guests arrived on Christmas Day. This mop is super awesome as that little round thing on the end is a magic eraser, designed to get those tricky stains! Also, does anyone else think my aloe plant looks like a creepy green hand?

So it’s been a roller coaster of clean/party/clean/party/clean/party etc since Day 1. Things got lost. It took me 2 weeks to find my Jewel saver stamps so I could turn them in for my free Cuisinart cookware at Jewel. That’s what happens when last minute cleaning turns into QUICK! Hide everything in cabinets, drawers, closets, boxes, and the basement!

It’s time.

While I have every intention of soaking up the relaxation of January and doing very little, I’ll be cleaning and arranging the house piece by piece so that everything is organized and has a place.

Brian may help me, and he may not (as you can see, he certainly helped a lot before all the parties)…but we’re fully armed with a couple of my favorite brands to really get stuff done around this place.

 

Cleaning supplies from Butler products

The good old days…when there was nothing in our house but cleaning products.

 

So cleaning may not be my favorite thing, but at least I’ve got the tools I need to make it as easy as possible.

Blog friends, how do you get yourself organized? Do you do it all in one day, or do you take your time, like I intend to? What are your can’t-live-without cleaning products of choice?

While no one compensated me to write this blog post, I did receive free Butler Cleaning Products, including items  from Mr. Clean, Black & Decker, Dawn and EverCare in order to give you my honest opinion. As I think it’s important to keep my reviews completely honest, I promise that I will never write anything I don’t believe in or agree with.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

New Year’s Resolutions…You’re Doing Them Wrong

Show of hands, Blog Friends…

Who’s making a New Year’s Resolution this year? I’ll bet it’s related to weight, money, happiness, or education…amiright?

New Year's Resolutions

Fuck that shit, you guys. Everyone makes THOSE resolutions. It’s time to get serious about your life. Do some hard thinking and really plan out the year that you want. Lucky for you, I’ve come up with the perfect system for resolution making. It’s seriously flawless. I’ve taken the liberty of breaking down the ultimate resolution checklist by month to make it easy for you to achieve your goals. You’re welcome in advance.

January Goals

Do fucking nothing. You’ve spent the last 2-8 weeks preparing for the holidays, whether you celebrate Christmas, New Year’s, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Solstice or whatever…and before that, there was that whole Thanksgiving feast thing to worry about. Slow the fuck down, young padawan. January is a month of rest – not a month of fixing your life. You’ve survived the last however many weeks, months or years without hitting up the gym…I’ll bet your body can do another 4 weeks while you cuddle in front of the TV doing absolutely nothing.

February Goals

Get the fuck out of town. If you’re in a cold-weather climate, you’re probably cold, tired and depressed because you haven’t seen the sun in weeks. Even if you’re just hitting up a local indoor water park for the weekend, buck up and get away. Even if it’s not cold, go somewhere different. Use the time away to think and unwind. You’ll be revitalized to really get moving on these resolutions you’re about to start.

Marco Island Florida

Valentine’s Day

  • If you’re single, ACTUALLY ignore Valentine’s Day. Don’t say you’re ignoring it and then go out with all your girlfriends to celebrate you. Go to work. Eat a regular candy bar and not 27 mini candy bars in your favorite game of heart-shaped chocolate roulette. Eat your regular frozen dinner and skip the bottle of wine tonight. Spend a few hours playing Candy Crush or whatever it is you do when you’re not doing anything important. It’s just another day.
  • If you’re in a relationship, go ahead and do something on Valentine’s Day. Even if you could give two shits about that “silly Hallmark holiday,” you’ve got a honey to hug, so hug them.

March Goals

Drink more. It’s still cold. And gray. And snowy. Or rainy. And the days are still pretty short. So go ahead and enjoy a bottle or two of wine. Your waistline won’t mind…Plus it’s good for your heart (I AM NOT A DOCTOR. I’M A MASTER OF BULLSHIT. DO NOT LISTEN TO MEDICAL ADVICE THAT I PRETEND TO GIVE.)

April Goals

Go outside, lazy. The weather is finally picking up. It doesn’t matter if you’re just dining al fresco in 65 degree weather…get your ass outside. You’ve been cooped up inside eating and drinking for 3-5 months. You could use a little Vitamin D.

Spring Tulips on State Street

Plan for something amazing. It’s now time to start thinking of a summer getaway. If your local weather gets sweltering, head north for a cool, breezy summer vacay. Or head somewhere even warmer. Or plan a getaway to meet up with a bunch of people on the internet that you’ve never met before (or that you meet every summer just like summer camp only better). Do  what you want, yo. It’s your vacay.

May Goals

Wish me happy birthday, bitches. As I was born in the beautiful month of May, you should plan to stop by and say happy birthday to me. I mean. You know. If you want.

Pick some flowers. Just, you know…don’t be an asshat and pick flowers from your neighbor’s garden. Go to a field or park where you are allowed to pick flowers. Or try your own backyard. Dandelions and other “weeds” totally count. But not that kind of weed. It’s like you’re not even listening to me. Sheesh.

June Goals

Overuse your grill. If you don’t have a grill, you’re doing it wrong. Stop cooking inside. Your home will stay cooler, and your food will taste better. If you don’t believe that everything tastes better on the grill, you’re wrong. And that’s that.

July Goals

Drink a cold one (or twelve). It’s summer, and what’s summer without a frosty beer? Try something new, this time though…No more of that Miller Lite bullshit. Journey outside your boundaries of piss water, and drink a crafty craft beer.

I love this beer.

I love this beer.

Cash in on those vacation plans. Whether you’re heading to a small local getaway like the Wisconsin Dells, a nearby beach, or a local lakeside escape, go enjoy a weekend or week of summer. You’ve been working hard on your resolutions; you deserve it.

August Goals

Plan out your Halloween costume. For real this time. Don’t SAY you’re going to have a plan and then forget until October 25, when you’re forced to tease the fuck out of your hair, thrown makeup all over your face and pretend to be a crazy lady.

Halloween teased hair

 

September Goals

Get your Christmas shopping done. Imagine you. In December. Without a fucking shopping care in the world. You don’t have to worry about who’s got free shipping. You won’t have to step foot in a mall from November through January. Pat yourself on the back this year and get that shit over with early.

October Goals

Go ALL out for Halloween. I’m talking costumes. Decorations. Treat bags for the kids. Get wild and have fun. You know you’ve always wanted to.

Eat your favorite candy. It’s okay. You didn’t make a goal to lose weight this year. You’re following the resolutions that will allow you to have more fun this year. So go ahead. Buy that bag of Almond Joys. I won’t tell.

November Goals

Celebrate Thanksgiving, and DON’T call Thanksgiving or a dinner with friends, “friendsgiving.” Thanks in advance for limiting the hipster buzzwords from spreading like gonorrhea.

Avoid getting suckered into Black Friday. God created the internet for a reason. You can do all your sale shopping from the comfort of your home…while you’re still in your underwear. Or naked. Just…you know…avoid taking selfies.

December Goals

Plan for next year. Don’t wait for me to tell you what to do. Make your own list this time. Maybe you can give me a few pointers, because I’ll surely tap out halfway through December in stress mode.

Eat, drink, and be merry. Seriously. You only live once. Enjoy it.

Happy New Year, guys! What goals would you add to this list?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

New Girl New Year – AKA How I Stopped Trying to Beat Them and Instead Joined Them

Good day to you my bloggy bloggy friends!

The new year is almost upon us, and soon we’ll start scratching out the 4 in 2014 before adding the 5. Of course, for the new year, I’ve decided to embrace the commuter life fully. Not like a resolution or anything. More like. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

Netflix Stream TeamThis morning, while rolling into the city on my morning commute, I turned on Netflix to continue my New Girl marathon. I’m determined to finish season 3 in January so I can start on Gilmore Girls, and since Brian only SOMETIMES watches New Girl with me, I had to get creative with my watching schedule. Of course, being New Girl, I was laughing so hard that I felt bad for the other people on the train, much like that one time I was reading Jenny Lawson’s book on an airplane…and I realized…

I was becoming one of those people on the train. The people I sometimes can’t seem to stand.

The guy with the blasting headphones.

The chatty Cathy on the phone.

The lady with the sound turned on while playing Candy Crush.

The girl laughing hysterically while staring intently at Netflix on her phone.

Yes, that’s right. Me.

Luckily, I was NOT on the quiet car this morning. And it looks like if I plan to watch my favorite sitcom, I’ll have to steer clear of the second and second-to-last cars so that my laughter doesn’t warrant the most evil of dirty looks. Because even though I’m joining the noisemakers with my laughter, I’m not a jerk.

What shows make you laugh out loud? What’s your commute to work like? Are you streaming Netflix too? What should I add to my queue for next year?

While no one pays me to talk about Netflix, I am a Netflix ambassador. I received a one-year subscription and a device to stream movies and TV wherever I go to thank me for my participation on the Netflix Stream Team. Prior to this partnership, I was a paying member and personal advocate for this streaming service of joy.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

The Best New Year’s Eve. Ever.

I debated internally whether to have a politically charged Fiscal Cliff Bullshit post directed at the United States government or to have a fun New  Year’s Eve post to make my readers laugh. Lucky for you, I chose the latter.

Of course, when I say the best New Year’s Eve, I’ll bet you’re thinking some hoity toity event. Or a gathering of my closest friends. Or even hanging out with family. But it’s not.

New Year’s Eve has always been pretty high expectation, low outcome in my book. When I was a kid, the parents owned a bar…so we ALWAYS had babysitters. First it was Vicky. Then her younger brother Mark. Vicky was cool. Mark was a douche canoe.

Mark would throw parties and smoke weed in our house. Mark and his friends would eat all of my hard earned caramel delight cookies in one sitting. Mark sent my cousins and brother and I to bed at 11 on New Year’s Eve.

Sometimes, it would be my Gram that watched us. Sometimes we would go to my best friend, Kelly’s house and her mom would watch us. Always, though, Mom and Dad would try to make it as fun as possible for us without being there. They’d buy the sparkling grape juice and plastic champagne glasses to send with us. They’d give us noise makers and headgear. They’d make platters of shrimp cocktail and cheese with crackers. They’d try really really hard to make it awesome. And for us kids, it totally was.

But as I got older, expectations got higher…and the outcomes dwindled. In middle school, my brother and his best friend watched a South Park marathon, while I whined that I wanted to watch something that wasn’t ridiculously stupid. In high school my brother and I co-hosted a party…OK that was pretty awesome. A bunch of straight-laced high school kids on New Year’s Eve not even attempting to drink alcohol? I know you’re probably thinking what planet did this girl grow up on? But it’s true. We were Stepford Children.

After that, it was mostly downhill.My freshman year of college, I spent New Year’s Eve weekend trapped in a cabin in the middle of nowhere Indiana as the only single non-pot smoking girl with a large group of stoner couples with no phone reception, no television, no books, a lot of booze, and the only DVD they brought was the worst movie ever made: Dumb and Dumber (an apt title.)

I spent New Year’s Eve in New Orleans one year. It was like a 16 block square mosh pot. And I needed to pee. And I hate crowds. We watched the ball drop, then went back to our hotel and played MASH with our new-found friends/fraternity brothers (Alpha Phi Omega) until 4 in the morning…after I peed in the hotel lobby men’s room.

I spent New Year’s Eve in Denver one year, again for an APO national convention. It was okay. I kissed a boy from Texas at midnight. Despite his awesome accent…he wasn’t a great kisser. Let’s just say things aren’t always bigger/better in Texas.

Parties with friends seemed un-fun. I stopped getting excited about the “holiday” and started calling it amateur night. I had boyfriends during several New Year’s Eves…and guess what? None of them ever wanted to be there to kiss me at midnight. It was depressing, to say the least. The Ethiopian. The Bartender. Both were boyfriends who had nothing better to do, but refused to spend time with me on a holiday almost as much designed for making non-couples or girls in bad relationships feel bad as Valentine’s Day.

So in 2010, after a VERY exhausting year, I managed to have the greatest New Year’s Eve in the history of ever. The year that I accidentally fell into the presidency of my local Jaycees chapter. The year that I student taught. The year that I had no job, but worked harder than I ever had in my entire life.

The night before, I had pulled an all-nighter with some really amazing friends. We had drunkenly discussed re-playing the same evening over the next night, as none of us had New Year’s plans. My bestie, Lily, and some of our near and dear ones planned to do it all over again. But the next day, New Year’s Eve, we were all exhausted. And hungover.

I went home. Lily went home. We slept all day. When I woke up, I called Lily. She was still sleeping, so Mom and I went out to dinner. Dad was driving a limo at the time, so he was out of commission most of the night. Mom and I had a wonderful dinner. We came back to the house, and Buck, the bad dog, had consumed a pound of chocolate truffles. Oh great. Our dog is going to die. My mom started crying, and I started Googling.

“He’ll be fine mom. Seriously. He’s a big dog. He’ll probably just get sick.”

I called Lily again. She had just woken up. Going over to our friends’ was now out of the question. We were so over drinking. Here’s how the conversation went:

Lily: *moan* What’s up, Pookie?

Me: We going over to Jenna’s?

Lily: I don’t think so. I called her a bit ago and she feels like shit.

Me: Yeah. Me too. Wanna come over and watch movies?

Lily: Nah…you could come over here.

Me: Nah. I don’t want to leave the house.

Lily: Me neither.

Me: We had our party night. Maybe I’ll just go to bed early.

Lily: Shit, that’s my plan.

Me: OK. Happy New Year, Pookie.

Lily: You too, Pookie.

A while later, my girlfriend Hilary called and asked me whether I wanted to go to her party. I opted out, because I was playing Mario Kart on the Wii and had no intentions of doing anything else. And for 4 straight hours…I played Mario Kart. Like it was a regular old night. And it felt good. No one was calling me to ask questions or because some drama had happened in the Jaycees that I had to deal with. I wasn’t grading papers. Or working. Or surrounded by people I didn’t want to be surrounded by. I was just relaxing.

And then it was almost midnight. I turned off Mario Kart to watch the ball drop. Yelled up to my mom to see if she wanted to come down. She didn’t. My dad stopped home for a few minutes (they were always together at midnight). At exactly 12:00, several things happened all at once.

1. The ball dropped.

2. The dog vomited an exorbitant amount of liquid chocolate right. In front. Of my face. Seriously, he was 3 feet in front of me. I almost threw up watching it.  My dad, the amazing dad that he is, managed to clear the nasty puddle from the living room, while Buck looked at us, sad and confused.

3. I received the best text ever from Hilary, who was also a local Jaycees president: “Congratulations on surviving your year as president. We are so done!” I couldn’t have said it better myself. Relief washed over me as I was no longer in charge. I was no longer responsible. I was free.

4. I resumed playing Mario Kart while a flurry of texts and phone calls made their way to my phone.

No drama. No drinking. No driving. No bullshit. The lowest maintenance New Year’s Eve I’ve ever had. It was fantastic.

I suppose I can’t end this post without saying that last year was the first time I had someone that I really wanted to kiss at midnight…and he wanted to kiss me right back. And this year, I’ll again be spending the evening with him. And our friends. Relaxing and playing board games. As it should be.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!