Category Archives: life lessons

In Response to My RSVP Rant

I realize that my RSVP rant from the other day might have sounded like I was passively aggressively calling people out.  Trust me, I wasn’t.  Really, I’m just ranting about the RSVP process as a whole and all the seeming frustration its creating. The lack of any response thing is just something that I don’t get.  Again, to me it’s just rude.

And yes, I know (and stated as such) that people are busy and can’t always make plans a week in advance.  Life happens.  Shit happens.  We all have busy lives.  I do get it.  I have noticed (and others have said as much) that the lack of RSVP protocol seems to be rampant here in LA.  This is most definitely NOT something that would happen in the south.  And well, in NM, you don’t even both with invites at all (and people show up to weddings in jeans, sneakers and cowboy hats).

When it comes to party planning and RSVPs, my theory has always been that it’s better to let the person know what’s going on and to be a maybe than to be someone that is never heard from and just shows up at the last minute and throws everything for a loop. It makes the shopping and the details much easier and less of a last-minute-insanity for the planner or hostess.  Which of course is how the whole RSVP concept came about anyway when you think about it.

And of course, personally, I was (and still am) seemingly frustrated beyond belief knowing that I have yet to confirm even the choice of the restaurant because I was waiting on a head count.  And to be honest, I don’t even have a backup plan if the place I want can’t work with me on such short notice.  That’s not even counting the fact that I’ll be left running around this week to rush order a cake and drive around to get prices on the alcohol – both of which I can’t yet do because I haven’t yet confirmed the restaurant, so I don’t yet know the corkage or dessert cutting fees.

So if I offended anyone or if anyone felt that they in particular were being singled out by my sharing my thoughts and frustrations, I do apologize for that wasn’t my intent.

That said, I don’t apologize for taking the time to share my thoughts here.  It is my blog and it’s my space to say what’s on my mind. If you know me at all, you know that I’m a planner kind of gal, so this fly by the seat of my pants thing is so out of my comfort zone and drives me crazy (see anything involving family get-togethers).  Outside of family, I’m rarely left with so many unknowns when it comes to planning an event.

I’m also aware enough to know that it’s my shit.  And I’m dealing with it as best I can…by writing about it, here, in my blog knowing full well that friends will read what I write.  And more importantly, taking a risk knowing full well that some of my friends might even make assumptions that I’m writing about them.

But have no fear, the anniversery weekend celebration is coming along awesomely. And the birthday festivities will be starting days before the party commences. So I’m sure I’ll be my happy, perky, love the world self by the time Saturday rolls along and will have long forgotten this mess and all its seeming frustrations. Especially if I can find the time to sneak in some birthday spa time 😉

It’s Almost That Time


Yes…it’s almost my 40th birthday!

Holy cow, I can’t believe I’m going to be 40.  Remember when you were just a kid and forty just seemed OLD.  Well according to Sephora (and their Beauty Insider email), I’ll be 40 in less than two weeks.

Oh.My.God!  Less than two weeks!

Maybe we should put a little perspective in place here.  I’m not freaking out because I’m turning 40.  At all.  In fact, I tend to think of it more as a rite of passage and a title that I’ve earned.  Now turning 30, that was an entirely different story and scared the shit out of me.

No, what I’m concerned with is that I’ve yet to plan my party.  And I’ve yet to plan anything for our 5th wedding anniversary that happens mere days before – but I’m choosing to push that aside as we’ll more than likely celebrate later with a weekend away somewhere.

So back to the birthday extravaganza…

I sent out a save the date email last week some time – classy, I know.  Last night I sent out the evites – super classy, I know.  Today, I only have two RSVPs!  Which again, I guess I can’t really worry about since well, I haven’t actually finalized the restaurant location either.  Or at least, that’s what I’m telling myself.  Though at least I have narrowed the location down…to somewhere in West Hollywood.

I was originally thinking about Amalfi on La Brea.  I love that place.  Very romantic (or in this case…celebratory), great food and good prices.  But…they’ve got a $20 a bottle corkage fee and their menu doesn’t change outside of the daily specials (which for Italian is kind of odd, at least here in LA).  The manager also didn’t seem too keen on my wanting to have a party on a Saturday night.  So I guess, if he’s not that interested in our business, I can look elsewhere.

So maybe some of you LA gals can help me out.

I’m looking for a restaurant in Hollywood, West Hollywood or Mid-City, that can easily handle 25-30 people.  Menu has to be about $20-30 per person.  We’d like to bring in our own wines so we can cover at least that part of the meal, so we need a decent corkage fee.  At the $20 a bottle fee that Amalfi charges,  we’d be looking at a small fortune just in the corkage fees (not counting the cost of the wine itself), so we’re hoping to find something more tolerable.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Okay, now it’s back to business for me.  I have a gazillion emails to get out today for upcoming contest giveaways

And yes, I know I still need to pick a winner and send out that thank you giftie for giving me the names of some of your favorite products to check out (a long, long time ago).  I haven’t forgot about that…I just haven’t found the time.  I will.

photo by Cafemama

This Teaching Thing Seems to Be Kicking My Ass

Well, not the actual teaching. I’m actually loving being back in the classroom and working with the kids. In fact, they kids even commented on the fact that I wasn’t there last Thursday and filled me in on what they’ve been up to.

What’s kicking my ass though are the early hours. You see, we head to bed pretty late around here. It’s not uncommon for me to turn out the lights at 2:00AM. Mind you, this also means we don’t tend to wake up and get going around 10:00AM. So either way, while the hours are wonky, I’m still getting about eight hours of sleep.

So trying to head to bed at a decent hour so I can wake up at some ungodly hour, well, it’s not exactly working. I head to bed soon enough, but then the tossing and turning begins. So on teaching days, I’m usually working on five to six hours of sleep. Needless to say, when I come home, I crash and crash hard for about 45 minutes or so.

So if I’m going to continue with this teaching thing (and I do love it and hope to add on another class or two next semester), I’m going to have to figure out this sleeping thing. And I’m going to have to convince the hubs to work with me and maybe head to bed sooner than 3:00AM on my pre-teaching nights.

On that note, once the hubs gets off the phone with his sister, it’ll be time to watch Lost while enjoying a glass of wine, and then off to bed I go. Hopefully the wine will help me to cut down on the tossing and turning tonight 😉

Looking for Make-Ahead Recipes

Calling all my cooking friends…

A good friend of mine is about due to have baby #2. I don’t believe they need much, so I figured instead of a gift they probably don’t need, I’d make them some food. I figure this will make things easier for them and will be much appreciated.


I’m thinking about things that can be frozen and pulled out when needed. I have a vacuum sealer, so I can use that. Or I can just use throwaway casserole dishes (I know, I know – they’ll recycle, don’t worry). To the best of my knowledge, they’ll eat practically anything and aren’t all that picky.

So I’m asking you, my bloggie friends, for suggestions on what to make, how much to make, and what a new #2 mom might want. Any suggestions?  Chili?  Soup? Baked pasta? I’d like to avoid something that they could pick up for themselves pre-made at some place like Costco or the grocery store.

What do you suggest?

Make New Friends, But Keep the Old…

…one is silver and the other is gold.


Or at least that’s what the old childhood song taught us.  Thing is, I’m learning that as an adult, it’s not always so easy to keep those old (or those new) friendships going.  Sometimes, life just happens.  Kids are born.  Marriages end.  People get transferred.  Families get complicated.  Time in the day starts to run out.

How do you keep relationships going?

I’ll be the first to admit that while I have some great friends and many of those friends are friends I’ve had in my life for many, many years, I don’t necessarily have friends from my childhood.  Okay,  have one great friend from high school that I’m still in touch with and now thanks to Facebook, I’ve reconnected with an old elementary school friend online.  My HS friend and I talk regularly, send emails and get together when we can (though now that he got married and is on the family track, that will more than likely change).

I also have great friends that I met as an adult.  Both of these are long distance (one is even international) relationships and have been for over 10 years now.  We don’t talk on the phone much.  We don’t get to see each other often.  And we rarely get around to emailing.  But you know, every time we do talk or get together, it’s as if we were just together last week.  Things just carry on as if we see and talk to each other all the time.  I love that.

I also love that when it’s possible, we do meet up.  I’ve flown to Dallas to hang out with my international teaching friend to be able to spend time with her.  Last year, she met me in the wine country for the day so we could hang out and introduce the menfolk (and in each case, meet the other’s significant other).  My GA friend I get to see more frequently since I try to visit my dad every couple of years.  She’s an angel tough and no matter how busy her family and work life can get, she makes sure we meet for lunch at least once and offers up her spare bedroom so I don’t have to spend all my time trapped with my dad (I’m sure you all know what that can feel like).

The best part about friendship is knowing that you’ll always be there for each other…happy or sad, good or bad.  As my girlfriend and I like to say…It’s in the contract!

But what happens when friendships start to become work?

I have a friend that I would do anything for.  She’s a new mom, lives with her parents and has some serious family and medical stuff to deal with.  I love spending time with her and her family.  Thing is, she won’t return calls.  And she won’t return emails or texts (or cards).  I know that she’s the type that tends to hide away when things get difficult (I saw this when she was having marriage issues) and I can respect that.  But it’s getting old.

A one-sided friendship isn’t a friendship at all.  And well, I wouldn’t let my spouse treat me this way, why would I let a friend?  I’ve reached the point that I feel like I’ve just got to give up and walk away.  I’ll still be there if there ever comes a time when she might need me, but I can’t keep spending all this time and energy reaching out to her when she can’t even take a moment to reply to an email, text or voicemail.  It’s tough though having to make a decision like that, knowing that I think of her often.

So it’s got me wondering…as an adult, how many close friends would you say you have in your life and how often do you connect?  Have you ever had to quit on a friendship?

What Do You Do About that Maiden Name?

Thanks to Facebook, I’ve recently connected with three old friends from my past.  Each friend said that when they Googled my maiden name, nothing came up (mind you, my married name will give you over 10 solid pages of results thanks to press releases and articles I’ve written and people I’ve interviewed).  So it got me thinking about what I could do to get my maiden name out there in Googleland.

With the help of some of my Twitter friends, here’s what I came up with:

  • add your maiden name to all your online profiles – Facebook and LinkedIn in particular since that’s where many people search first.
  • create a blog just to keep you maiden name active – have accurate contact info available and be sure to have at least one post with your maiden name spelled out
  • create an additional twitter account using your first and last name (or at least your first initial and last name) – be sure to use a URL where you can be contacted and either a tweet (if you won’t be using the account) or a brief bio letting folks know that this isn’t your primary account and where they can find you.  You can also feed your blogs into this account to keep it busy

I had the first one done for a couple years now (and I notice that many social media profiles now – especially those that cater to women – have a place for your maiden name).  I’ll get on doing the blog one at some later date.  I figured right now, it was easiest create a second (um…fourth) Twitter acount and feed two of my three blogs there.  We’ll see how things go over the next couple of weeks.

So I ask you…do you care if people from your past can’t find you through Google? And if youdo care, what have you done to make it easier for old friends to find you online?

Valentine’s Day Schmalentine’s Day

I meant to write this post on Saturday, you know, Valentine’s Day, but um…well, I didn’t.  Well, then I mean to write it on Sunday and well, that didn’t happen either.  Then I came into the office about two hours ago saying to my husband “I’m going to blog now” and well, found other things to do for two hours (damn that Facebook!). And just now, I stopped in the middle of this post and decided to do some software upgrades on my computer – yeah, I’m motivated to write this.

So here it is, my post-Valentine’s Day rant – seems a bit anticlimactic now, but whatever…

I have decried that hence forth, Valentine’s day will no longer be celebrated in our household.  Granted, we never id much for the “holiday” anyway.  In fact, I think our one and only big Valentine’s celebration was our first one together here in LA (the hubs went all out…roses, dinner and a spa package).  We’ve never really done anything since.  I’ve opted instead to stay in and cook a nice meal.  Of course, nearly every year, that “nice meal” experience has driven me crazy…beyond crazy even!

You see, we have a teeny, tiny kitchen with no more counter space than the size of a toaster oven.  Up until recently, we didn’t even have an oven that worked properly.  Well, this year, thanks to our brand new, gotta love it, oven, I decided it would be the PERFECT time to roast my very first chicken.  I figured how hard could it really be, it goes in a pan and I just sit back while it cooked.  I figured I’d roast some potatoes alongside and make some asparagus for the veggies.  Easy peasy, right?

Well, turns out this was NOT the case.

While my chicken did indeed turn out quite lovely (and allowed me to cross it off my 101 in 1001 list), it was a major hassle.  First and foremost, if they can take off all the feathers and take the time to remove the head, why oh WHY can’t they also remove the innards?  That was just gross!  I did it though and then proceeded to stuff the cavity with oranges, lemons and some fresh herbs.  Too bad our apartment was conspiring against me.

My smoke detecter went off and on and off (due to it’s lousy location – hello heat rises, maybe putting it directly in the straight away path of the oven wasn’t the best idea) the entire time the chicken was roasting.  That’s an hour and a half for those of you keeping track!  Both the dog and the cat were freaking it.  I did everything I could, moved in fans, opened all the doors and windows (thank God it was in the low 60’s), but we weren’t spared.  The hubs finally figured something out and suggested we hang something in the doorway to blog the heat (or at least slow it down) as it passed from the kitchen into the hall.

On top of all that noise, the potatoes burned (which was my fault because they were too close to the heat…whatever). Then because of the fans, the water never came to its second boild once I dropped in the asparagus so they were mushy.  So yeah, our “romantic” dinner was basically just chicken.  And to be honest, while it was good, it’s not something that I ever plan to repeat again until we get into a real house with a real stove with a properly ventilated kitchen. It just wasn’t worth it.

Luckily, my darlinng husband, seeing how stressed I was offered to take me out to dinner instead (but I said Hell No! wanting to avoid the crowds and the pricey meals) or to at least pick up some dessert.  Since the dessert was taken care of thanks to the lovely (and so very helpful) Trader Joe’s, I told him it wasn’t necessary.  But being the prince of a guy that he is, he promised to take me out to a nice brunch on Sunday to make up for it.

Thing is, I can’t believe I put so much pressure on myself for a silly, made-up holiday that we pretty much don’t even celebrate to begin with.  At least I knew better than to get caught up in the whole Valentine’s Day hubbub of gift and flowers thing.  We let that one go after that first year. Next year, it’s pizza or take out all the way baby! I just don’t know how some of you are able to make such amazingly fantastic meals without going crazy!

Now I just have to remember the promise I made to myself…I won’t freak out over birthdays and anniversaries and try to make something fantabulous again.  Well, until we can get ourselves into a decent kitchen anyway. I’ll either stick with something I know and can easily whip together or I let someone else do the cooking for me.  Just be sure to remind me of this fiasco next month when I take on the hubster’s birthday dinner.

So how about you, how was your Valentine’s Day?  Just another day or did you succeed with the fantastic dinner?  Any suggestions on how to take the more laid back approach?

Uh Oh, I Just Spent $100 on New Lipsticks

Yes, you read that right…$100 on new lipsticks (plural, more than one).

As you may or may not have heard (if you follow me on Twitter you’ll likely have heard), I just found out last week that my favorite, go to lipstick has been discontinued.  I’ve always heard about those ladies that freak out when their favorite whatever gets discontinued, but I’ve always been one to freak as I’ve found .  Up until now, that is.

This loss is about ready to do me in.  My favorite color, Clinique‘s Almost Lipstick, in Black Plum is the perfect shade for me.  It doesn’t scream “I’m wearing lipstick” instead it’s a totally, naturally flattering color. It’s also an almost lipstick, so it’s more sheer than a regular lipstick, but not as goopy or shiny as a gloss with the right about of last to it.  Perfection, I tell you, perfection.

Of course, they discontinued it because according to them, Black Honey flatters everyone so there’s no longer any need to carry any other color.  So not true and companies need to stop thinking that one color can flatter everyone.  I can’t wear Nars‘ Orgasim and I can’t wear Clinque’s Black Honey no matter how many makeup aficionados, counter girls, or magazines might try to convince me.  Put it on and you’ll see, they do nothing for me and just look garish.

But I digress.

So, I was able to call the Estee Lauder Lost But Not Forgotten line to see if they can track down some of my magical lipsticks, but until then, I figured I had to do something.  First up, I head to Ulta to see what they had…not much, but I did see a Stila lipstick line I was interested so I placed an order with  Of course, I wanted the darker, more plumier of the two, but I guess that one was no longer available.

I ended up with Anna.  It’s a nice enough color, though it really could use a tad more plum.  It’s a little sheer, though the consistency is more of a lipstick than a sheer.  The staying power is pretty good though.

Next up, I head over to the Bobbie Brown counter as I hear that they have a new line of sheers.  Yeah, in a whopping four colors only!  Total disappointment.  Then again, I forgot just how subtle their palette tends to be, so they really didn’t have anything anyway.

From there I wander over to MAC.  I stopped using MAC as a whole a few years ago when 1) the salespeople were so obnoxious that I could never get anyone to wait on me and 2) I realized the foundation that I  loved so much because it covered my zits was in fact, causing more zits.  The saleslady today was actually quite helpful.  Turns out they do have a sheer line as well, but nothing in my color range – what’s with all these unnaturally pale colors?  We did find a Lustre in Desire that looks workable.  I picked it up along with my a backup of my favorite kohl eyeliner in Teddy.

Lastly, I headed over to Sephora and decided to play around a bit.  I needed to pick up a new Boscia Jujube Salve Stick anyway and hoped that I might be able to snag one for their goody bags that I missed out on with my mailorder.  While they were of course, out of the goody bags, the sales gal did hook me up with some samples, so that was nice.  And in the process, I think I just might have found my new sheer lip color.

Drumroll please….

Dior Addict High Shine in Front Row Fig!  It’s a great, barely there color that I can apply without a mirror.  It’s moisturizing and has a bit of a shine, but it isn’t goopy.  I think it just might be The One. Of course, I’m still holding out for those three backup sticks I ordered from Lost But Not Forgotten.  But this could truly be their replacement if need be.

Ladies, I gotta ask…how do you do it?  How do you survive when your favorite color (of anything) just disappears like that?

It’s expensive work.  And of course, the hubs and I just put all our credit cards and accounts online through (a very cool site), and now every time a purchase is made (and in particular if you go over budget) it shoots out an email or text.  He’s now going to KNOW that I just spent $100 in lipsticks!!!! And another $45 in yoga pants at Old Navy. 😐 I guess the good news is that I can return whatever doesn’t work.

Photo: AuntieP on Flickr

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I’d Lose My Head If it Wasn’t Attached

Man, it’s been a rough couple of weeks.  I seem to be losing things left and right.  There’s the stuff that seems to be lost in theory, the stuff that just seems to be misplaced and I’m certain will show up shortly,  and the stuff that seems to be missing outright.

Let’s start with what is missing in theory…first we have my favorite lipstick that’s been discontinued.  It seems to be missing from any stores, any websites and can only be found easily on eBay for – twice the price of course.  That will work out though thanks to the Gone But Not Forgotten program that Estee Lauder supports.I should either have 1-3 new lipsticks in hand within the next three weeks or I’ll be S.O.L. with none to be had.  The good news is that this brings me to a great topic for an article for my site’s blog.

I also seem to have misplaced my birth control pills.  Odd, I know.  I use Seasonale, so I basically get three months worth of pills at once.  One morning I woke up and my package was on the floor (couldn’ve been post-quake, I don’t recall).  Thing is, I could only find the last page of pills.  I do believe that one page is missing.  I’ve checked all around and even under the outter areas of the fridge, but nothing.  I’ve already received my auto-refill on my thyroid meds, so if it was up for renewal, I’d have already received it.  I’m guessing that I’m going to have to pull out the fridge and deal with that ickiness in hopes of finding my next month’s page of pills or I’m just going to have to suck it up and start a new pack.  Can you report birth control pills as lost and ask for a replacement?

We also seem to have misplaced the new GPS unit.  Thing is, I don’t think it’s been misplaced (I’m pretty meticulous about where I put certain things and that unit had a place).  I think the guy that installed our new U-verse system swiped it.  It was right there, out in the open, just sitting next to the phone where he was working.  We noticed it was gone the following day when we were heading out to a place we’d not been to before. Now we can’t seem to find it anywhere (and trust me, I’ve looked everywhere).  And yes, he was left alone in the living room (my fault, I know) as I was often in the kitchen helping the landlord with my new stove.  So now we have to see if our Amex covers loss like it covers breakage.

Then there’s the most painful of all the seeming losses…while we were in Ireland, our business account got hacked and we had over $2500 worth of fraudulant cash advances taken out. Unfortunately, due to having had so much going since our arrival home, then the holidays, I didn’t catch it until just a couple of days ago…one day after the 60-day cut off to contest the fraudulent charges.  On top of that, our bank is going through a merger, so let’s be honest, they really could care less about us right about now.

We’re still contesting it, especially since we did call the bank to let them know we would be out of the country AND we called the fraud department when we returned (though it turns out that two different departments called a total of 10 or 12 times with identical messages and the person I spoke with only saw the personal stuff, not the business stuff).  I’m still keeping positive about the outcome.  I believe that if the money doesn’t come back from the bank itself, I have faith that the money will come to us another way.

All I can say is that with all this (seeming) misplaced and lost stuff, the Universe must be trying to get my attention about something.  I see a little meditation in my future later today.

So what about you, what have you lost or misplaced lately?  Anything you’re going nuts trying to find?