Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Drop the Scissors and Walk Away...

I can't stop cutting my own hair.

I just chopped another 5 inches off, on my own.

This could get ugly.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Currently Reading...

I feel as though blogging would take away from my reading time, and my goal is to read this book by the end of the weekend.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Moms Just Know Better...

My Father worked 2nd or 3rd shift for most of my childhood.  A lot of the other time he spent drinking, bartending or hanging out with friends and/or family.  My Dad and I were never close when I was growing up.  My Sister was his favorite. I don’t just say that; ask her, it’s true.  My oldest Brother and my Dad always had a strained relationship, and then there was me.  I became the son my Dad never had.
Me, My Dad, and my Sister
Apparently my Dad was too tall for photos back in the 80s.

What I mean by that is that I was tough.  Where my sister would use a net to pull minnows from the bucket, I’d reach in barehanded, even in my girly outfits, pull out a minnow and stick a hook through its mouth right then and there.  It was entertaining for all of my Dad’s co-workers and friends.  To me, it was probably just a delight to be the center of attention by doing things my Sister could not.

My Mother raised us for the most part.  She cared for us, nursed us when we were sick, corrected us when we were out of line, shielded us from my Father when he was drunk, drew with us, crafted with us, and hugged and loved us a lot.  For the sake of clarity, my Dad was not a violent drunk.  They fought, but it was never physical.  My Mom always made that clear to me; if my Father were to ever have raised a hand in anger towards her, she’d have taken all of us children and left.

Every Family has its ups and downs.  I wouldn’t change anything about my childhood; it made me who I am today and I am stronger for it. But there is no denying that my Mom knew me best.

Three years ago my Mother passed away.  It was sudden, it was shocking, and it changed my whole life.  She was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia and six weeks later I was holding her hand as she took her last breathe.  I lost my Mom.  I lost my best friend.  I lost the one person who will ever love me that much.  I think about that a lot, being single and all. 

All that to say, it’s almost become humorous the things that my Mom knew about me that my Dad had no clue about!  Great Moms are like that though, aren’t they?  I mean, I flip through the recipe book that she made for me many years ago and I smile when I read side notes on recipes saying things like “substitute cream of celery soup for cream of mushroom, because Heidi hates mushrooms!”  Or “NO ONIONS or Heidi won’t eat it!”  My Mom knew everything from my birthmarks to the things I wouldn’t eat in Potato Salad.  I secretly am convinced she wore a cape under her everyday clothes.

I’ve come to realize that my Dad knows none of these things about me.  Granted, he cannot learn them now because he has short-term memory loss due to sleep-apnea.


I hate fish.  Therefore, of course I hate tuna.  And having said that, it should be no surprise that I do not eat tuna salad!  At least 4 times in the past 3 years my Dad has left me messages that he has made extra tuna salad so that I could come over and get some to bring home.  1.) Gag.  2.) It’s sweet of him to think of me and want to share.  Each time I politely decline.

I hate meatloaf.  Not the singer, ‘cause lord knows that “I would do anything for love, but I won’t do that!”  But I do not like the food.  I will make it, I will be around it, but I won’t choose to eat the stuff.  A few weeks ago I stopped over to see my Sister and my Dad was really excited to tell me that he’d made one of my favorites; meatloaf.  Really?   REALLY?  Were you not there during my childhood when I’d be grounded to the table and crying because I wasn’t allowed to leave it until I ate my meatloaf and finished my milk?  *shudders*

My Dad is great.  He makes BBQ Ribs like nobodies business, and those are my absolute FAVORITE!  So I do honestly laugh about the little things like tuna salad and meatloaf.  And then I’m forced to wonder, when is he ever going to make me the one piece of furniture that he promised he’d build me…over 20 years ago?  Or, when will he ever hang up those security lights that he thoughtfully (and I mean that) bought for me 2 Christmas’s ago?

There are things that I have never had a Dad to count on for, but then there are other things, like babysitting the cats, that I barely need to mention and he’s there for!  It’s amusing at times.

Family values are a little like family vacations -— subject to changeable weather and remembered more fondly with the passage of time. Though it rained all week at the beach, it’s often the momentary rainbows that we remember.

LESLIE DREYFOUS, New York Times, Oct. 25, 1992

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Thing 15

Change my hair drastically.

Yesterday I was feeling feisty. 
Yesterday I was feeling daring.
Yesterday I cut my own hair.

After going to the bathroom, at work, I was brushing my hair and chop!  I cut it off.  Only about 2 inches, because what would that matter, my hair is past mid-back on me.  Besides, I was at work and couldn’t waste time playing salon.  In, literally, a moment of madness I pulled a few inches into a ponytail and snipped it off.  It was horribly uneven, but I didn’t care.  And so I went back to work.

Later that evening, after arriving home with enough time to shower before my Finance class, I decided to layer it up.  Standing there, dripping, after my shower, I cut another 2-3 inches off of my hair; following it up by trimming my bangs another 2 inches.

It was madness.

Why do I do these things?

In the end, no one else can probably tell what I’ve done.  But I can.  And I have such a huge relief!  I’ve not only saved money, but I no longer have split ends!  The last time I went for a hair cut was almost a year ago.  Seriously.  And now I’ve got the bug.  I now cut my own hair.  It’s very empowering.

You’d think that that would be my drastic hair change, wouldn’t you?

Well if so, you’d be wrong.

I hesitate to write this, but I’ve committed myself to doing so now, therefore it’s too late.  I’m keeping you posted on my triumphs and trials during 52 Things, and because of that I owe you…

This is something I will never post on facebook.
This is something I will (probably) never talk about with others in person.
This is something I judge others for doing.
This is something that will shock the crap out of those who know me.
This is something that if my sister reads this, she may never forgive me.

My drastic change…

I’m “poo free”.

Let me explain.
1.  I have pretty thick hair.  My hair has tangled awfully my entire life.  I use baby detangler at times to help comb through my tresses after swimming, bathing or showering.  It can be terrible.  My Mother used to call it my “rat’s nest”.  The Winter previous to this one, I bought Aveda Deep Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner; they worked wonders.  This year I went back to buy some and was shocked by the price I had paid, and was unwilling to pay now, for this product.  Almost 60 bucks for the two?  No way, Jose!

2.   My hair has been getting terribly greasy the day after showering.  Maybe that’s normal, but not for me.  It just meant that I was needing to wash it more often.  It’s probably not surprising that this wasn’t an exciting development in my life, seeing as it can be such a project just to brush it afterwards.

3.   Coming up during the Summer is my Family Reunion.  We camp.  When I say “we camp” I really mean it.  Meaning, there are not facilities of any kind.  Sitting outside in the hot Summer sun means dang, my hair will be double greasy.  Great.

All this to say, I finally gave in to something I’ve read a LOT about over the past few years.  Ditching shampoo.

I’m a dirty hippie.

It all started with me researching alternative ways to get moisture back into my hair.  I’d heard it said dozens of times in beauty magazines throughout my life and mayo, eggs, or olive oil and avocado makes a wonderful hair replenishing mask.  At the view of saving sixty bucks, I went for it.  I mayonnaise’d my hair.   I put mayonnaise in my hair and wrapped it in two plastic grocery bags for a half hour.  It worked BEYOND my expectations.  My hair had never been so smooth and brushable! 

My excitement was short lived as I spent the entire following day smelling like a sandwich.  It was so nasty.  In the future, I’d scrub the heck out of my mayo’d hair just to be sure it was ALL out!

But this all led to the final decision… the choice to try something that I don’t know of any of my friends doing.  So, my fellow 52 Things pal and I, went “poo free”.  Can I just say that I really hate that term, too?

For over almost 10 days now I have been shampoo and conditioner free.  All in attempts to improve my hair.  And do you know what?  I love it.

Incredible, I know.

These are my new friends:

Honey, baking soda, rosemary/rosemary water, apple cider vinegar, and water.

Instead of lovely foaming, sweet smelling, shampoo, I mix 1 cup of warm water with 1 tablespoon of baking soda.  I dump part of it on the crown of my head and massage it into my scalp.  I then repeat throughout my scalp till it’s gone.  Then I rinse.

Instead of, literally, a whole handful of pricey conditioner, I mix: 1 cup water with 1 tablespoon of ACV (apple cider vinegar).  I dump it on my head and drench to the ends of my hair with it.  I then let it sit while I wash, shave and whatever.  Then I rinse with cold water and am done.

I’ve recently begun a trial and error game of mixtures.  For scent I’ve added some essential oils to the ACV rinse.  They were alright.  I added almond extract.  Didn’t work.  I boiled rosemary yesterday and used the water for my rinse, I liked that.  And now I’m adding a teaspoon of honey to my rinse – shaken well into the ACV mix.

You know what?  My hair is so soft.  My hair is so smooth and has a healthy shine now.  I’ve noticed that the “grease” is already stopping.  My hair is brushable now.  My head feels cleaner than it has in the past, and I’m not kidding you.  My head always got itchy.  Not dandruff itchy, but, product buildup itchy.  It always felt like I wasn’t getting totally rinsed out.  Not anymore.

I didn’t expect this at all.

I didn’t expect to be using things that would make me judge others as a dirty hippie.

And my hair, it looks okay…right?

So who knows where this will go.  I won’t openly talk about it, because, dude, it’s weird.  But I may just stick with it.  I’ve already saved so much money just by using things I already have in my home.  And it’s working!


-          healthy chemical-free hair

      -          no product build-up

-          less money

-          less washing of hair (within reason)

-          manageable hair

-          while showering, I actually feel like I’m cleaning my tub instead of messing it up!


-        I miss the smells that I’m used to.  My hair doesn’t smell bad, at all, but it doesn’t smell like I’m used to – like shampoos etc.  And as a result of it being so clean feeling, I’m less inclined to add products, sprays and perfumes.

-        It is undeniably weird.

-     I miss rich foaming lathers...

So there you have it.  I haven’t shampoo’d my hair in almost two weeks. 

And I think I like it.

I think that camping will be 100 times easier now.

Happy washing!

I swear to you that I don't have dreadlocks or bugs crawling through my hair! ;)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Thing 14

Drink a beer.  (I hate beer)

Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day.  Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day and I am Irish, need I say more?

Okay, for sake of this being a blog and all, I’ll say more.  For as long as I can remember I have hated beer.  It’s not that I just “don’t like it”, no, it’s a totally “hate” relationship.  I added it to the list this year thinking that I’d have to drink one with my cousin’s during the Superbowl.  Alas, our team didn’t make it to the Superbowl, therefore, no beer.  Only one out of the four of us likes beer, so dropping it was a relief to say the least.  But then I realized, crap, it’s still on my list!

St. Patrick’s Day brought lots of people out to the bar across the street from my Dad’s house, and so I dragged my sister out to meet our good friends and some family.  Besides, the fire departments bagpipers were doing a pub crawl and one of the stops was this bar.  Bonus!

And so, after I filled up on corned beef, potatoes, carrots, and fresh rolls, I choked down a green beer and chased it with a lovely can of Dr. Pepper.  That will most assuredly be the only beer I partake of this year.  Back to hard lemonades, desert wines and shots.  Yep, I’m that kind of gal!

I hope that you enjoyed your weekends...  

...more than I enjoy beer!

Friday, March 16, 2012

I'm In A Funk...

I'm ready for the weekend.

This blog isn't going to be as whiny as I have felt this whole week so don't worry.  My Mom would be pissed if I whined.  She never allowed that in her house, so we were raised well!

Let's see, I just spent a decent amount of time reading about being a surrogate Mother.  Why not?  Someone should get some use out of my lady parts before they rot away.  Plus I could make some money and help someone who cannot have their own child...  But then again, I want kids so it's like an extra stab in the heart isn't it?  Bah.

There is nothing exciting to dish about this week for me.  The good news about that is that these moods usually lead me to super productive Saturday cleaning days, and Lord knows I need one BIG time.  It's not so much that I've been bitten by the Spring-cleaning bug, as much as it is I just have a lot of JUNK in my house to go through.  And now the spiders are coming out.  I'd rather tackle this mess now than wait till Winter again because I don't want to see bugs.  Thank goodness I have great hunter kitties.  Beans and Ivy have been on the lookout already and have (that I have witnessed) murdered several unwanted spiders.  Well done, guys.

Maybe I'll paint something in my yard this weekend, or do some yard work...

...probably not.

I am excited to watch My Week With Marilyn tonight though.  I've been looking forward to seeing that movie for a long time now.

Aaaaaaaand, let's end with a quote:

"I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life. I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as making a "life." I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one. I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I've learned that I still have a lot to learn. I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
― Maya Angelou

Happy weekend, Bloggers!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Things 12 & 13!

This adventure was a double whammy!

Thing 12: Be a part of a flash mob.

Flash mobs used to hold an entirely negative connotation.  The term “flash mob” was used to describe a quick escalating group of people who typically destroyed things.  Flash mobs did things like the riots that happened in California after the O.J. trial.  They were groups that were hard to control and did great damage as a result.

In 2003 that all changed.  It took many years after that to get up and running but I’d guess around 2005-2008 I had my first tastes of flash mobs that were created for entertainment value; the biggest of those being the acting group who randomly froze at 2:30PM in Grand Central Station.  I saw that video and fell in love with flash mobs; particularly the ones involving dance.

In 2009 a woman (Staci) and a man (Conroe) founded an organization called Flash Mob America.  Their first mission: A Michael Jackson Tribute to Beat It.  Sometime in 2010 I joined their mailing list.  At the end of last year, my friend, Mel, and I decided that 2012 would be our year to cross “be a part of a flash mob” off our Bucket Lists.

March 6, 2012 appeared on their website followed by Chicago, IL.  We were in.  We signed up and never looked back.

Flash Mob America is an incredibly detailed group; they leave nothing up to chance, and nothing up to blowing their cover.  Less than a week before show time we got our assignment info: as vague as possible, with instructions that our dance video (sent as a private link) would be emailed to us only days before the event.  And randomly, by awesome luck, my friend was chosen as the mascot!  Mascot for what?  We had no clue, but we were SO in!

The videos arrived and I spent that Saturday rehearsing and getting the first half down.  We had instructions to show up at a center for the arts in Chicago on Tuesday, the day of the mob, at 8am for dance rehearsal.  That is all that we knew.

Monday night, Mel got a call from the producer and found out that she was 1 inch too short to be the mascot.  Being the wonderful friend that she is, she handed my name over and thus a star was born!

8am brought us to the Ruth Page Center for the Arts in Chicago, IL.  Only something this exciting would be able to drag us out of bed and onto the road at 5:45AM!

For 3 hours we danced.  It was a dream come true.

And finally, as I hopped into my Oreo costume, we were given our location and the time (noon) that the business was goin’ down.  At noon we would be celebrating Oreo’s 100th Birthday party.  On Michigan Avenue.  IN DOWNTOWN CHICAGO!!!!!

It was the most unbelievable day that I have ever had.  Oh, and did I mention that my friend and I were hired to stay for 2 or 3 hours?  Yep, we’re getting paid, baby!  I don’t even care if it’s a dollar, I’m getting paid to dance and be the flippin’ Oreo Man – what is more fabulous than that?  Oh, AND I’m in like a gazillion pictures.  I felt like a celebrity.  The mob ended and everyone (dancer-wise) left, and then a swarm of hundreds of people and cameras surrounded me and my “Handler”, Mel.  It was hilarious.

(Mel, Me, and Mitzie, the Producer)
(this guy worked for oreo, but i like to refer to him as my boyfriend.)

Did I mention that being a cookie is hard work?  It was a sauna in that double stuff cookie.  Plus, I’ve never felt so molested in all of my life.  People are so weird.  And why are people drunk at noon?  I may never get that one.

(can't a cookie get a cab in this town without the paparazzi getting all up in my double stuff?)

WORTHY NOTE:  One of the organizers helped me get into the Oreo suit, in a crammed tent, moments before the mob.  She had these words of wisdom for me, and I quote, “If anyone gets too physical or starts molesting you, slap the sh#t out of them!”  I didn’t expect that one!  “Stay in character”, is more what I was thinking.  But nope, that was so not the case.  Best advise ever.
(Me and Mel)


      -          Being in a flash mob

-          Dancing in a REAL dance studio in a “big” city

-          Working with a for-real producer!

-          Being the Oreo cookie

-          Seeing the Marilyn Monroe statue in person.

-          Being on several News Broadcasts

      -          Getting paid for all of the above!


Thing 13: Learn to Dougie. Record dance video.

One of our other “things” was to learn how to Dougie.  Yep –the Dougie was in the dance that we did!  Ha!  (See video in previous post)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Just a little preview before my post! ;)

Monday, March 5, 2012


Tomorrow has all of my attention at the moment.

Tomorrow is less than 24 hours away.

Tomorrow has my belly doing back-flips at the moment.

Tomorrow is so close, yet so far away...

Tomorrow has made me like a kid on Christmas Eve that waiting for Santa to arrive; trying desperately to stay awake and catch a glimpse of his crimson coat and his big bushy beard.  My heart beating ever so quickly as I listen for the clicking of Rudolph's heels on the rooftop and the jingling of Santa's bells...

Tomorrow is huge.

Tomorrow is the day that I cross off something on my list of 52 Things, but beyond that, tomorrow is the day that I cross something off on my life's Bucket List

I don't think that I could possibly BE more excited.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Thing 11

Create a budget.

This easily goes along with the last one.  What a strike of luck; a class and a budget at the same time!  I killed two birds with one stone on that one!
Clearly I’m not going to take a picture of my actual financial situation and broadcast it to the nations.  What I will do, is take a crappy phone picture of my beautiful binder. 

My binder holds my post it notes, my Quickie Budget, my Monthly Cashflow Plan, and my Allocated Spending Plan.  These are forms I will do once a week and once a month; making sure that all of my money is spent on paper before I get it.  My binder also carries my coupon papers that I have to go through.  Have I told you?  I’m couponing now.  And DOUBLE couponing at that!
I will never become one of those ladies that proudly shows off 75 boxes of cereal and a stockpile of cleaning supplies that I bought for $32, saving $643 in the process!  Why?  Because what the h am I gonna do with a bunch of crap I will never, in my entire LIFETIME, be able to use?  As for me, I keep it simple.  I buy what I will use and use what I buy.  This has become a challenge for me and I quite enjoy it.
Budget. Done!

For those of you following my 52 Things, stay tuned for a post that will probably take place next Wednesday. I'm super excited to be checking off a particular thing next Tuesday. I can't wait!!!