4 things that save my marriage every day

Brian and I have been married for more than 6 months now, so I’m pretty confident that gives me authority to offer up marriage advice.

Bride and groom kissing at head table

As it turns out, there are a lot of things that can help a marriage along, especially when you’re navigating alternative facts and not really sure what’s real and what Chrissy says is real, but really isn’t. Luckily for you, I have just what you need to succeed in wedded bliss. These four simple household devices have made marriage more than bearable. They’ve made this whole lawfully wedded thing quite pleasant, actually. And I’m pretty confident we couldn’t survive without them.

1. Toothpaste roller

Aquafresh toothpaste in a toothpaste roller

You’ll note the indent where I squeeze and the roller that Brian uses to roll. Confession: I have never rolled it.

Marriage is all about compromise, my friends. And this squeezing device automatically settles the age-old argument whether to squeeze or roll the toothpaste tube. And the settlement? It’s totally a compromise. As a squeezer, I get the first half of the tube (and really, let’s be honest here, I squeeze even when the roller is attached), and Brian gets to make sure we roll every last dob of toothpaste from the tube. He’s nothing if not fiscally responsible.

2. Bath and sink hair snare

Drain hair remover hooked to bathtub faucet

I had to Google what this one was called, because I wanted to write shower grabby hair remover thingy, and Brian (my very professional personal editor) suggested I find out what it’s actually called. I think a study on the before and after will help demonstrate the effectiveness of this device.

Before marriage: I would yell down to Brian that my shower drain wasn’t draining fast enough, which meant that it was blocked. Then he’d have to come unscrew the drain plug dealie, and find something to play plumber and remove my red hair.

After marriage: Teach a wife to fish…or so the saying goes…Brian bought me this silly $5 stick, and I use it religiously. (I told him not to bother screwing the plug back in, because that thing is a pain in the ass.) Before my drain is super clogged, I check it with the hair snare, because I’m weird and gross and amused. I do this probably every other time I clean the bathroom. And just a few stray (okay I shed like a maniac, so more than a few) blonde hairs come out with the snakey thing. And Brian no longer has to deal with my bathroom. I wear gloves, though, because ew.

Compromise? I think Brian wins this one majorly.

3. Mounted paper towel holder

The paper towel holder that never moves. Bestill my heart. Here’s another example of the before and after of marriage that just works.

Paper towel holder underneath cabinet

Before marriage: I would go to grab a paper towel to dry my hands, clean up a spill, distribute olive oil in a pan, provide a nonslip surface for my cutting board, or any number of other uses that a paper towel provides…and the damn roll would be nowhere in sight. As I raced through the house searching for the paper towels, which were usually on the floor of the TV room, I would loudly inform Brian how infuriating it was that the paper towels were never in the kitchen.

After marriage: The paper towels are ALWAYS in the same place. Hooked to the bottom of the cabinet next to the sink. I don’t know if anything has ever made me so happy.

Compromise. I win.

4. My magical Le Creuset

Blue Le Creuset sitting on stovetop

I was only going to have three items on this list, but Brian told me I should probably include my favorite piece of kitchen cookware. You see, when I dragged him to Bed Bath & Beyond, and stared longingly at this ridiculous, high-priced luxury item, he thought I was absolutely insane. I probably am, honestly. And then he told me if I got one, he threatened to boil hot dogs in it, as he does with all the wrong pans.

I have been jonesing for one of these beauties FOREVER.

At Christmas, Brian kept telling me how bad he felt because he only got me two gifts, which ended up being the 9-quart Le Creuset and a kickin’ light-up skirt from ThinkGeek. Who cares how many presents there are when one of them is a flippin’ ceramic-coated, cast iron dutch oven from France.

Obviously,  my first question was, “Did you use a coupon?” Because you bet your ass I would have taken it back, and rebought it with a coupon! Those things never expire, and they add up.

 

But now he loves this thing as much as I do. Because short ribs. And roasts. And mostly all the things I can make inside of it become happiness on Brian’s dinner plate. Compromise. I get an expensive pot to play with. Brian threatens to cook hot dogs in it, but relishes in the fruits of its labor.

Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. And sometimes your husband buys you cookware so you can make him dinner like a good little housewife. And everyone wins.

What devices/appliances/tools make your marriage or relationship or roommate situation work?

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!

Marriage in the days of alternative facts

It’s been 5 months since Brian and I tied the proverbial knot. And let me tell ya, marriage isn’t easy. It’s been rough going as we wade through real life and what’s true or not. The world is insane, you guys.

Marriage, champagne and red wine in a world of alternative facts

Here are just a few of the crazy “truths”that have come to light and we’ve had to deal with since our wedding day.

My husband always steals the sheets. Sometimes,  I wake up cold, shivering in my skivvies because BRIAN likes to keep the heat at OFF all winter long.

I do all the laundry. I mean, somedays, there’s just piles and piles of it, and I slave over the washing machine when I could be doing things like painting my nails, Facebooking, or plotting my next getaway with friends.

My husband might be a shopaholic. If he spends $8.99 on Zulily purchases 3 days in a row, and travels from T.J. Maxx to Marshall’s to Tuesday Morning to Ross every weekend, and then spends quality train time on World Market, Amazon, and Bed Bath and Beyond every morning, he might have a problem, right?

My husband really hates vacuuming. But he loves inviting dogs to spend the night. Just last week, we had one of our niece dogs over for a weekend jaunt, and I had to vacuum after she left, AND wash all the couch covers.

As you can see, the struggle is real, you guys. Wading the truth and fiction, and seeking out the tiny bits of truth among alternative facts takes a lot of work. So I’m just going to go shopping and paint my nails or something. If I buy new clothes, I don’t have to do laundry, right?

What alternative facts are hindering your relationship?

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!

Who Needs Big Brother When I’m Listening to Your Conversations?

I realize that I’m a total creeper. To be fair, you guys asked for more of these…so if you’re weirded out, you’ve only got yourself to blame. Except for the graphic. That was all me.

I'm always listening to conversations, and when I hear or see something noteworthy? I write it down.

My old company had a big ole corporate office that I almost never visited. I worked at a satellite office full of hipsters and people who didn’t seem to mind that I wore rainbow yoga pants to work. It was a comfortable place to be. In my last couple of months at the company, I was required to make my way to corporate on a weekly cadence. My teammates and I called it Mordor because a dark cloud seemed to loom over the long drive to the office.

One of the neat things about Mordor err…corporate was the miniature city within an office. When I realized I needed to buy tampons, I could just head to the convenience store inside the building. Which is exactly what I did on my last Mordor err…corporate day.

I walked into the shop, where a woman was sitting behind a register on the left side of the counter and a young man was standing behind the register on the right side. Another employee was walking back and forth through the store, and I made my way to the pharmacy aisle.

I grabbed a box of tampons, walked down the snack aisle, stared longingly at the box of Oreos that I opted not to purchase, and made my way to the cashier, a young gentleman in his late teens/early twenties. I thought to myself how far I’d come since my embarrassing first period, and how I didn’t give two shits that some dude had to pick up a box of tampons, look me in the eye, and ask if I needed anything else. If he did ask, I considered telling him to hold on a second, I needed some Midol – just for funsies, but he never gave me the chance. He scanned my tampons, and as I was punching in my phone number to the system, some other guy (my assumption is that he was the manager or supervisor) walked behind him.

This was the exchange that played out.

Cashier: K, I am not in the mood. I’m sick and don’t feel well.

Wait, what the fuck is going on? Where did that even come from? That guy never said anything.

Supervisor: I don’t give a shit.

Woah. Hostile much? Wait, these people are AT WORK. This is how they’re speaking to each other in front of customers. This is SO fucked up.

Cashier: Fuck this place.

Well, this is an interesting turn of events…I wonder if he’s going to…

The cashier reaches behind his neck, pulls off the lanyard he’s wearing, and drops his badge on the counter before I’ve had the chance to swipe my credit card.

Cashier: I quit. I’m done dealing with this bullshit. Have fun making deliveries today.

Did that seriously just happen?

Yep. Yes, it did. That guy just quit. While ringing up my tampons.

Me: Ummm…can someone complete my transaction?

The girl sitting down stood and moved toward the register I was at, and the previous cashier turned from the door before he left.

Cashier: A, I’m really sorry. I’m sick of this shit. I have to go.

That was fucking ridiculous.

The girl completed my transaction, and I went on my merry way. Furiously typing up the exchange in my “other people’s conversations” files, anxious to tell you about this insanely ridiculous story.

It seemed fitting that this happened on my last day at the central office, as I only had a few days left. I was glad I didn’t quit in anger like that guy, but it definitely added to the weirdness I felt about leaving.

Have you ever witnessed someone leave their job or have you quit in a rage? What is the craziest way in which you’ve left a job?

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!

Grocery Shopping: Because Being Lazy and Proactive About My Eating Habits Are Better Than Saving Money

I read something on Pinterest the other day about things you should NEVER  buy at the grocery store. Among the items included many of our weekly (okay whenever-we-make-it-to-the-grocery-store-ly, which averages about 2-3 times a month) purchases. And so I said to myself, “Self, someone has to speak out against this insanity. Someone needs to tell these Pinterest Looney Toons to get a hold of themselves and drop the homemade spice mix. Self, that someone should probably be you.”

Okay fine, I didn’t actually say those things to myself. I was busy muttering under my breath about not wanting to put pants on and needing to eat more cheese, but whatever. I thought them. In fact, I’ve thought about this often enough I even have a Pinterest board dedicated to shit I’m never going to do. And about 60 other Pinterest boards dedicated to shit I’m probably never going to do.

Anyways, I’ve come up with a very important list of things you should buy at the grocery store because the cost outweighs the amount of time spent doing whatever it takes to make those things happen.

Whether you're trying to save money or just be the ultimate Pinterest mom, some of these "money savers" are actually not worth your time or energy.

Things you shouldn’t bother Pinteresting or forgoing because the grocery store makes it So. Much. Easier.

Spice mixes: Let’s start with this one (and ignore the fact that I do, actually, make my own taco and fajita seasoning but to be fair, I don’t really measure any of it). Sure, you can mix and match your seasonings easy enough. But ain’t nobody got time for experimentation. When you’re in a hurry, isn’t it reassuring to know that your X,Y,Z isn’t going to be fucked up because you were smart enough to use a spice mix which had the perfect blend of crushed red pepper, dried pineapple flavor and bacon bits (patent pending)? I thought so too. Also, no one makes ranch like Hidden Valley. There. I said it.

Miracle cleaning solution: Let’s talk about this “Blue Dawn and vinegar” bullshit I’ve seen all over Pinterest. I tried it when we first moved into the house. I was thinking to myself, “Self, this is going to make a great post one day. You’ll be all ‘Blue Dawn and vinegar’ was really a miracle in my stained bathtub!” And you know what? I was wrong. Because all that shit did was smell nasty. I understand cleaning with vinegar and baking soda is also supposed to help – I used it dozens of times to try cleaning my garbage disposal. It masked the odor alright…with vinegar smell. Give me Scrubbing Bubbles and a Plink drop any day.

Vinegar: We rarely use most of the vinegar in our cabinets. Brian uses the balsamic for his salad dressing (along with a pre-packaged spice mix) and I use the white vinegar when I dye eggs on Easter. And yet, there are people who make their own fermented vinegar. Dudes. You guys. This stuff is cheap. Who wants to stink up their house for a product you use a couple times a year or whatever.

Dryer sheets: I LOVE the smell of clean laundry. I hate doing laundry, but the smell of fresh from the dryer laundry makes my heart go pitter patter. On Pinterest, I ran across a pin for homemade dryer sheets which looked super cute, but sounded like a disaster waiting to happen. One of the comments on it, though, was priceless – “I tried this and my laundry smelled like vinegar!” Bring on the store-bought dryer sheets so my laundry can smell delicious.

Bottled water: Oh hell yes, I’m going here. I know this one isn’t a Pinterest thing, but I’ve seen it on the money-saving lists. Sure, I’ve got reusable bottles and travel cups and mugs galore (I usually get them free with brand names on them when I go to fancy blog conferences). We even bought fancy pants Brita water bottles (okay – these are great for traveling). But you know what I hate? When I wake up with enough time to brush my teeth, throw pants on, and MAYBE brush my hair before I race to the train…and have to spend more time filling a bottle with water than I did doing all of the getting ready part of my morning. Instead, I can grab a bottle on my way out the door and satiate my thirst while I commute into the city. Besides, when you buy them at Sam’s Club, they’re so cheap per bottle. And water is never truly free, y’all. Need I remind you about your water bill which is payment for water that comes out of your faucet?


Pre-packaged snacks: I love snack packs. A lot. And you know what? Those pre-packaged little goodies keep me from killing my poor boyfriend. Because I’m high maintenance like a freakin’ gremlin. Also, they keep me from eating the whole fucking econo bag of Doritos that I would otherwise buy at Sam’s Club in one sitting. It’s been known to happen.

So the thing is, you guys…I get it. If you’re on a money-saving kick, this might make sense to you. If you’re on an all-natural ingredient thing? I totally get that too. But before you go out to buy the necessary equipment and ingredients to pull these tricks off, don’t forget to add the math for the time it takes you to do this shit. Your hourly rate counts as money spent, doesn’t it?

What crazy DIY shit have you seen recently on Pinterest, or the Internet, or anywhere really, that would be much easier to purchase? Have you tried any of the DIY options I mentioned? Are you a die-hard DIY maven? Are you a bottled water drinker?

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!

Why I Won’t Shop on Thanksgiving

I’m not going to go into a big rant about stores being open on Thanksgiving this year. Black Thanksgiving is what it is. I know that there are people who do, in fact, benefit from being able to work on Thanksgiving. I do. I get it. I also know that there are people who have to work on Thanksgiving, regardless of their need for the money or their desire to be away from their families. And it’s not just retail outfits. Every restaurant, gas station, convenience store and yes, retail stores, that stays open on this day has employees who have to work.

Thanksgiving

I’ve worked Christmas.

I’ve worked Christmas Eve.

I’ve worked 4th of July.

I’ve worked Easter.

Halloween.

Mother’s Day. Father’s Day. St. Patrick’s Day. Black Friday.  New Year’s Day. New Year’s Eve.

I think the only holiday I haven’t worked is Thanksgiving.

But my brother does. I can’t remember the last time I saw my brother on Thanksgiving. And I fucking love my brother. He’s a server and bartender. And so he works. So you can enjoy your turkey dinner without having to cook. If he were here, I’m sure he’d say, “You’re welcome.” Because he’s polite like that.

So I get it. And it makes me angry that store feel the need to open on Thanksgiving in an effort to one up each other without lowering prices anymore than they already have…

Wait. Lowering prices?

They used to do that.

If you’ve sneaked a peek at any of the ads out there, they look strikingly familiar. To just about every ad I’ve seen in the last 4 or 5 months. “Doorbusters!” with prices that make me want to stay in bed next Friday morning and snuggle with my boyfriend instead of hitting up the mall with my mom as per usual.

That’s the real reason I could care less these days. The reason I, most assuredly, won’t be trekking out away from Thanksgiving dinner to buy a TV. The deals aren’t really AMAZING worth-it-for-the-early-morning-hours deals anymore and definitely not worth-it-for-the-leaving-Thanksgiving-dinner-early-so-I-can-go-stand-in-line-in-the-cold deals. They’re just…sales. Regular. Old. Sales.

So I’ll head to my local mall on Black Friday. I’ll pick up some freebies and a few things that tickle my fancy. And then I’ll come home and work. Okay fine, and I’ll probably do some online shopping on Friday as well. But Julep has Black Friday deals too! And this doesn’t feel like the kinda day that’s even worth a vacation day. I’ll also hit up a few of my favorite local shops on Small Business Saturday, because I believe that shopping locally, even if for only part of your holiday shopping, is helpful to the small business owner. And I like to support small business owners.

Thanks to GoGoShopper.com for making this special Shopping Saturday post possible. GoGoShopper is an online deal and coupon aggregate that helps make your shopping experience a little bit less costly. Especially if you like to shop the way I like to shop. With a BUY ALL THE THINGS mentality.  

Will you shop on Thanksgiving? Black Friday? Small Business Saturday? Cyber Monday? Have you already started holiday shopping? What’s your game plan? I love hearing what other people do for this shop-shop-shoppity weekend.

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!

Why You Should Never Lie: A Cautionary Tale

A few months ago, I was returning a pair of shoes that I had bought on a whim. I knew that the return policy was really short and that I was outside the policy window, but I really wanted to return the shoes. So I lied.

At this point, I should probably give you a big fat heads up: I’m not a very good liar.

A blog post about lying...and the ridiculous rampage that ensues

I figured if I went in there with the story that I received the shoes for my birthday from my mom that it wouldn’t be a big deal, and the return would just go through. Or not. Apparently this particular shoe store is all up in your business, and they want your information left and right: phone number, e-mail address, home address…I’m surprised they didn’t ask for my social! So here’s what I did:

PS: Don’t do this.

So I walked into the store with a box of shoes and no receipt.  I didn’t even have the shoebox in a bag because a gift wouldn’t have come in a store bag, right? I know. I’m not always a genius. When I walked in, there was nobody standing near the door…and my first thought was, OMG – they’re going to think I’m stealing. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. there it was weird because I was like well they’re going to think I’m stealing.

Obviously, I wasn’t stealing, and I didn’t want them to think I was stealing, so I walked right up to the service counter and informed them matter-of-factly that I was returning a pair of shoes and was there a return counter?

She directed me to the regular line, which I sauntered over to. As I was waiting in line, with the shoe box and no bag and no receipt…now my thought process was, OMG. They’re going to think I want to buy these shoes. Again. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.  When I got to the counter, I told the girl that I received the shoes as a gift from my mom, and they didn’t fit. And it was a shame because I really liked them, and my mom even knew my size, and I really wanted to love them.

One of my (probably very evident) problems with lying is that I tell way too much of a story, and I make it a whole big thing…Because I’m an absolutely terrible liar. So if I have a plan, I can maybe (okay, probably not at all) make it work.

So I continued rambling to this poor girl who must have been ready to stab me with her 3 1/2 inch heel… I told her that my mom bought the right size, but they just didn’t fit. They were too small for my feet (FINALLY! Truth!) and I didn’t have a receipt.

So the girl interrupted my pointless blathering with, “…no worries. If we can’t find her in the system then we can just do like a store credit. Do you want to find something else?”

“Yes, please.” So I left the shoes with her and proceeded to find a pair of shoes that actually fit me. I found a pair that looked cute, and discovered they were about the same price as the pair I was returning. Except they were on clearance. So I did what any normal girl would do and picked out lovely infinity scarf…because you know scarves are cute.

This scarf, actually!

This scarf, actually!

Then it was time to do the exchange. I put my game face on (badly…we all know how well I lied the first time), I walked back in line, and found myself at the register of the original cashier.

Her first question was something simple…She asked me, “Well, do you know the that your mom used? Not knowing whether or not my mom had a card with this shoe store, I gave my old home phone number from the days of landlines. I’m not even sure why. There was nothing under that phone number.

Then she asked for my mom’s name. OK another one I should definitely know. I stumbled trying to think quickly, and it sounded like I couldn’t even think of my mom’s last name. Eventually I responded, like, seriously, oh yeah I do know my mom’s name. Oh my God, Christine. You sound like a moron.

I continued on this rampage, because I was there now;  there was no going back.

So she took my driver’s license, which was fine because it was a return. Totally protocol. So she told me, “Well I can look you up; what’s your phone number?  SHIT. I used my phone number to buy those damn shoes; I couldn’t let her look my account up.

Thinking somewhat fast (like 9 second loading website fast), I decided I could use my Google Voice number…except that I don’t know my Google Voice phone number and I had to look for it…and I didn’t know where it was so I had to try to find it…and I was nervously scrolling through my phone like I didn’t even know my own fucking phone number.

I told her that I just switched to Google Voice, and I wasn’t actually sure what the number was and maybe I should probably call my boyfriend to find out what that number was (hey at least in this story he was my boyfriend…sometimes when I’m thinking fast, I just call him my husband–don’t tell him that).

“Don’t worry about it.” she told me, “I can look you up from your address.” Facepalm.

Well, thank goodness the address on my driver’s license is still my parents’ address, so I didn’t really have to worry about her finding my account that way. Then she says, “Okay, well, we’re just going to sign you up. That way, if you need to make any returns or have any problems, you won’t have to worry about it again.”

So, she signed me up for another rewards card, even though I already have an account. The return went through, and it was fine…but the whole time I was nervous, and it was ridiculous, and don’t do that.

Blog Friends, have you ever had one of those experiences, where you found yourself caught in a REALLY stupid lie that you couldn’t get out of? I felt a lot like Becky Bloomwood. It wasn’t fun. It gave me just as much anxiety as reading the Shopaholic series.

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!

Forget About the Velveeta Shortage; Buy Real Cheese. Duh.

Okay, so what the hell is this nonsense about a Velveeta shortage? Seriously.

Let me tell you a little something about Velveeta.

That shit is terrible.

End.

Okay, I’m lying. Not end.

If you don’t know me, allow me to introduce myself. Hi. I’m Chrissy and I have a cheese obsession. I have a weekly cheese budget (that I often exceed) and I’m an advocate for fancy cheese above all else. But cheap fancy cheese. Because I’m Polish. And sometimes the expensive stuff because it’s THAT good.

Cheese Porn

When Brian and I first started dating, I would, on occasion, have emergency cheese (AKA Velveeta) in the cheese drawer. It SERIOUSLY. NEVER. WENT. BAD. Months. Even half-opened, that shit didn’t change form at. all. The same yellow wiggle jiggle of Velveeta was sitting there, staring at me. Next to my Midnight Moon and other high-end cheeses, that little worm of a cheese log waited patiently for me to be out of cheese. In a storm. With a dead car battery. (Because really, how often am I out of the good stuff?)

Cheese picturesAnd occasionally I would attempt one of them-there Pinterest recipes that called for Velveeta. And it was okay. Usually, it would end up tasting a little off…and I blame the Velveeta. Not. My cooking.

So to those of you concerned with this, Velveeta shortage…let me offer you some equally as “inexpensive” but way tastier options.

Cheese CastleShop at Aldi. If you have an Aldi nearby, you’ll be surprised the quality of cheese available for a lower price point than you’d find at Whole Foods or Jewel. Delicious Havarti for about $3. Apple Cinnamon Cheddar for $4. Brie. Camembert. Smoked Gouda. All great options. All real cheese. All. Fucking. Amaze. Several even have 2-3 month shelf lives for those of you who are concerned that you won’t eat the cheese in a few days. (Really? Weirdo.)

Shop at Fruit/Vegetable Markets. This may sound counter-intuitive, but oftentimes, you can find tasty cheeses at large markets with gigantic produce sections for budget-friendly prices. And they have gigantic selections. Or at least mine do. And really this is about me and my cheese habit, isn’t it?

Love Cheese

Bobby Nelson’s Cheese Shop

And if you want to know some pretty stellar ways to use these newfangled cheeses? Brian’s brother sent me a pretty sweet cheese article that I think you’ll appreciate.

Are you worried about this Velveeta shortage? How about the Sriracha shortage? More on that next week. Mmmmm….Sriracha.

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 Importance of Learning to Say “No”

I have always been a “yes” girl.

I feel guilty saying, “no.”

I feel guilty saying, “no,” so I say, “yes.” And then I find myself overbooked, overwhelmed and over-anxious. I work a full time job. I work more than 40 hours a week. I commute 10 hours a week. Which means that I’m gone for almost 12 hours a day. 5 days a week.

And then I come home. And I blog. Because I love you guys. I love the community that we’ve built. I love sending you thoughtful messages and chatting with you. I love reading other blogs, and participating in other communities.

But it can get overwhelming.

All of it.

Two weeks ago, I was offered a semi-promotion. One that wouldn’t change my title or my pay just yet, but the opportunity to move up to an official manager would quickly be in my sights. I would have direct reports. I would be responsible for the work of two other very talented people.

And I said, “no.”

I said this, not because I wasn’t ready for the position, but because I wasn’t ready for the additional demands on my personal life. I believe in a solid work-life balance, and I’m still working out the kinks in this one. I don’t want to live to work. I work to live.

Of course, I also feel that I have a lot more professional development to work on as a senior copywriter. I want to remain a mentor to newer team members, but I don’t want to be a manager. I want to be a peer. I want to learn from my peers. I want to build on my knowledge as a writer, and not a manager.

So, I said, “no.”

And it wasn’t the last time I said, “no” in the last few weeks. I also said no to social engagements, when I needed a break. It’s hard to stay home when people want you to join them for fun and laughter, but sometimes you just need to stay in and read an entire trilogy of books. And rearrange your cabinets. And give away all of your storage containers to make room for the ridiculous amount of Pyrex and Pfaltzgraff that you bought on Black Friday. Because that’s just what you do when you need a break.

You find joy and laughter in the things that help you relax. For me, it’s reading and rearranging. What helps you relax? Do you have problems saying, “no” too? Tell me about it, Blog Friends.

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!

3 and 4 of 5 Thanksgivings today. And I Have to Put on Pants (OK, Clothes in General) if I Want to get the Sales Ads for Black Friday

Happy Thanksgiving blog friends! My goal is to have a longer title than a blog post. How’d I do?

Anyways, I’m pretty sure the title says it all.

Thanksgiving 1: Work Thanksgiving was on Monday. As the CEO (Chief Entertainment Officer) I planned it. It was delish. I have some rockstar kitchen peeps on my team.

Work Thanksgiving

Menu: sliced turkey, rolls, brie, cranberry sauce, ham, green beans, collard greens, chicken pot pie, cheesy potato casserole, sweet potatoes, chocolate bread pudding, pumpkin muffins with cream cheese frosting, pumpkin pie, whipped cream, apple pie, and ice cream.

Thanksgiving 2: Pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving was last night at the house we used to live in. A family of friends of sorts.

Pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving

Menu: ham, roasted acorn squash, Brussels sprouts, roasted potatoes, green beans, croissants, pumpkin pie and whipped cream.

Thanksgiving 3: Today with my loud wonderful fam.

(Pictures to come later)

Thanksgiving 4: Tonight with Brian’s wonderful fam.

(Pictures to come later)

Thanksgiving 5: Second (I guess 5th) Thanksgiving on Saturday with the family we created/chose in college.

(Pictures to come later)

I’m not going to tell you that I’m thankful or any of that trite nonsense, but I am going to send a big hug and a thank YOU to all of my dear internet friends. Whether we’ve met in real life or just share our stories on the web, you too are like family. May you enjoy the day whether you’re working, cooking, eating or shopping.

Ok, FINE. I’ll go put pants on. I need a newspaper delivered to my front door on Thanksgiving only…can they make that happen?

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!

Fashionista? Who? Me? Oh, Sure!

I’ve always been kind of a girly tomboy. I love pink and sparkles and fuzzy and cute. But I also love football and sweatpants and comfy and cozy. While I may not have the BEST fashion sense, I know a cute outfit when I see one. So when Meijer asked me to play dress up with their new fall styles, I couldn’t resist.

Meijer Fall Fashion Lookbook

 So last night, after a long day at the office, I made my way to Meijer, armed with a gift card (courtesy of Meijer), my camera phone, and my keen fashion sense. I had a plan.

Now, I’ll warn you right now, I’m a normal girl. I’m a REAL girl. I’m a slightly chubby-non-model-girl. So as adorable as these clean cut, wake up fresh lady models may be… They’ve got nothing on me.

Back to my shopping adventure. As soon as I walked in, I noticed that there was a nice selection of sweater dresses, which are my go-to fall faves. I love that if it’s still warm, I can wear them (sometimes) without pants (you know how I hate pants), and then when it gets cool, I can pair them with leggings (yes!) and flats. Once it gets Chicago blustery, it’s leggings or skinny jeans and boots. I tried on 3 adorable sweaters, that were all super comfy and very reasonably priced…And I felt kind of like Goldilocks.

The first sweater made my boobs look GIGANTIC. Which I thought was fun, but at the same time, not really for me (anymore).

The second sweater was comfortable, but it was too short for what I wanted in a sweater dress. Plus, no matter how much I want them to work, horizontal stripes have never been my strong suit.

The third sweater was just right. And perfect both with pants and without! Hair down, hair up. I could wear it on a train, I could wear it on a plane. In a house, with a mouse. I could wear it here or there; I could wear it anywhere.

 Meijer fall fashion real girlsMeijer fall fashion real girls

 Meijer fall fashion real girlsMeijer fall fashion real girls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After my little dressing room fashion show, I wandered through the collection of fall shoes and accessories. I loved the infinity scarves and purses (there was a TOTALLY cute owl purse that I ALMOST bought). I ended up getting several pairs of knee high socks to wear with my boots, because I never seem to have enough socks. (Something about them getting lost in a strange land somewhere between the washer and the dryer.) Plus, let’s be honest. I freakin’ love socks. I love them almost as much as I love not wearing pants.

What are your favorite fall fashion trends, Blog friends?

While I was compensated for this post with a Meijer gift card, all opinions are, as always, my own. Obviously.

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!