Friday, January 30, 2009

Adventures in Wordle

Okay, so I'm always looking for something new and fun, and April over at April Showers has me hooked on Wordle. You simply type in your URL, and Wordle creates a "cloud" for you of all the words you use most frequently. The bigger the word, the more you use it. You can then customize the results with layout, colors and fonts. Let me tell you... it's addictive! Can we tell that I'm interested in animal shelters?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sadie's Story

As you all know, I'm in love. I am utterly and absolutely head over heels for my 11 month old cocker spaniel, Sadie May Jr. III. "But how did the love story begin?" you may be asking yourself. Let me begin...

Throughout college I knew that upon graduation and settling into my career I wanted a puppy. I want something tiny and fluffy, and I was leaning toward a "designer breed" like a maltipoo.
When I graduated, I settled into an apartment Uptown (yes, in Charlotte we call it Uptown not Downtown. Why? I don't know). My psycho-crazy-roommate from hell (PCRFH) opted to buy a yorkie-chon (a Yorkie-Bichon Frise mix... or, a really expensive mutt, as my dad likes to point out) from our area Petland. Having Cooper was my first experience living with a puppy, and since my PCRFH traveled constantly, I pretty much raised him. I loved it, and I was sure that I needed my own.

Cooper: PCRFH's Yorkiechon

Somewhere along the way, I became obsessed with all of the Animal Cop shows on Animal Planet (Detroit is by far the best), and I realized that I absolutely could not justify buying a dog from a breeder or pet store when so many strays need homes. I was determined to find the perfect dog for me.

I became a foster mom for the Humane Society, and I was given Kodo (a "box
er/terrier mix" - read: pit bull puppy) to take care of for 2 weeks. I adored Kodo. I loved being this little puppy's mom and getting him socialized before he could be adopted. But something unfortunate happened. I became attached. They tell you not to. I did. I couldn't bear to send him back to the shelter to sit in a cage until he was adopted. Luckily, a friend of a friend of a friend offered to adopt Kodo, and it was the perfect situation, but letting him go even after only two weeks was heartbreaking. I became serious about find my own Polka Dot Pup.

Kodo, my first foster.

I love the Humane Society and completely support their cause, but at the Humane Society, I knew that all of their furries were safe. They are a no-kill shelter and give homes to animals for as long as needed, so I went a different route. I began to patrol the Char-Meck Animal Control Shelter Web Site (they do put animals down if necessary). It is updated every hour with pictures of pups who are strays (strays are not available for 72 hours to ensure no owners come to claim them) or abandoned.

I went a visited with 2 dogs - a 1 1/2 year old cockapoo and a 4 year old maltipoo (yes, they do have breeds like that at the shelter), but neither of those felt totally right. Then I saw Sadie's picture. The photo they used of this precious girl on the Web site was pitiful. She had huge sad eyes and just looked miserable. Since she was technically a stray, I couldn't go visit her for 3 days. I was on the phone constantly with the shelter asking when she would be available (they weren't really allowed to tell me, but they strongly encouraged me to come when the shelter opened on a Saturday morning).

Little and I arrived a few minutes before they opened and made a beeline f
or the desk inquiring about our girl. We were told that she would need to pass a vet check before she could be officially placed up for adoption. We waited almost an hour before we called again. The wonderful lady at the desk informed us that Sadiekins (at that time known as A641782) was a 4 month old cocker spaniel who was found apparently abandoned in a field in a town north of ours, and she was covered with fleas and lice and was underweight. We had to wait several more minutes while the medicine killed the lice, and then they brought her out to us.

Before I even touched her, I knew she was the pooch I'd been looking for. One look at her sad face, and my heart completely melted. When they gave her to us for our "interaction time" right there on the office floor, she just slumped down and laid there. I finally rolled her on her side and started scratching her belly. Very slowly, her huge paw (she has feet that look like stuffed animal feet) began twitching just a little bit. I stopped rubbing long enough to sign the adoption forms, and when I knelt back down on the floor with her, she rolled over on her back again, asking for another belly rub.

We weren't able to take her home that day because she needed to be spayed. Taking her back to the kennels after she had finally shown signs of life was so hard. When we picked her up on Monday after her surgery, she was a wreck. Several days later we discovered that she also had pneumonia/kennel cough. It took almost three weeks, before her certified Sadie Personality began to shine through, and shine it did. She is the funniest animal I have ever seen - definitely not the smartest, but she sure is fun and pretty to look at.

In fact, Sadie was asked to be one of the spokesdogs for the Animal Control Shelter. To find out more about Sadie, and to read her letter to the shelter, simply click on Sadie's Story.

Feeling miserable right after surgery.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Allow Me to Introduce...


Maroline is the combination of Lobster's and my name, Mary and Caroline respectively. Let me go ahead and say that we were on top of this trend WAY before Brangelina (ew), Gyllenspoon, Vaughinston (now kaput, obvs) and the others.

Maroline (as many, many things are) was conceived over Spring Break '05 - the second semester of our freshman year. At this point, Lobster and I only knew each other casually. Our boyfriends at the time (now exes for both of us) were friends in high school, and Lobster and I became acquaintances when I transferred from Virginia Tech. My ex's grandparents had a beach house, and we all loaded up along with our fifth wheel friend and road tripped to Surfside Beach for Spring Break (at State, that meant the first week in March... not ideal beach weather).

After a couple days of playing Mall Madness, watching the ACC tournament and not being able to don bathing suits, Lobster and I decided we should do something fun for all three boys. After brainstorming for several minutes we decided that surprising them with dinner was the right way to go. We sent them off to a bar, and we got cookin'.

After a trip to the local Piggly Wiggly, Lobstina and I decided that burgers and grilled chicken were the way to go. Tasty and easy. We are both competent chefs, so we knew this was failsafe. We also purchased small Barbies and candy to decorate each room. We put our pictures on the Barbies (and one of Paris Hilton for our fifth wheel) and surrounded them with a heart of candy. All together now... awwww (WTH were we thinking?! Did I mention we were freshman in college?).

To jazz up cooking night, we decided to make the house into a restaurant, complete with menus. It didn't take us long to establish the name of our restaurant... a name that captured our equal efforts. Maroline's was born.

Unfortunately, our dinner didn't turn out as well as our friendship. Ex's grandparents' home came with a grill that was kept on a screened in porch, and I assumed that it should stay there (BIG mistake... grills are outside toys). I lit the grill and placed the meat on the grates, closed it and walked away to work on other dinner preparations. Without warning, the entire house was filled with smoke. I made my way back to the porch, and lo and behold, a fire had begun in the grill. Fortunately, it hadn't spread past our chargrilled entrees, but the smoke inhalation alone did plenty of damage on our lungs. Panicked, because the guys were on their way home, Lobster and I frantically opened all the windows, praying that no one noticed the hazy home. To help distract them from the fog, we hurriedly found bubbles and silly string. Good plan.

While we were searching for rapid ventilation, I checked the chicken and burger patties. They certainly looked well done. I hurriedly removed them from the charcoal mess and plated them in a very pretty fashion. When the males returned, we bombarded them with the string and bubbles to keep their eyes from focusing well on the "atmosphere," but they did in fact notice the smog cloud that had settled over our interiors, but they were nice enough to consider it a minor detail. Until they tried the food. At that point, I hadn't honed my culinary skills to the level they now are. Rule of thumb: burnt exterior does not equal a finished interior. 'Nough said.

While neither of our relationships have lasted, that Spring Break adventure cemented our friendship and our legacy of what we consider Maroline moments. Please file all of this away in the backs of your pretty minds. I can assure you that I will be sharing many, many more Maroline sagas in the future.

Two Award Wednesday

An extra huge thank you to the two ladies who left awards for me!

Pink Julep gave me the Honest Scrap award! Thank you so much! If you haven't read Pink Julep's blog following her wedding planning and life in the Caribbean, you must head over there now.Secondly, Living for the Little Moments graced me with the Friendship Award. I'm honored!

"These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

Now... I tag...

1. Preppy Nonsense
2. Chic and Pink
3. Mindless Musings on my Average Life
4. Monograms and Manicures
5. Peppermint Bee
6. All Things Fluffy, Fashionable, and Famous
7. Authentically Me: Living a Life of Love
8. An Undomesticated Newlywed

These blogs are my morning caffeine (alongside my Diet Cherry Pepsi... don't judge, I need a lot), and I can't get enough! If you haven't read them, you must head over, and if you've already received these awards, that must mean you REALLY deserve them! :-)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Rule #5

When you literally inhale a PB&B in 2 seconds because apparently you're scared someone might take it away from you if you don't consume it quickly enough, and then chase it with a mini-bag of Baked Lays and a 100 calorie pack of Chips Ahoy Candy Bites, and then wash it all down with a Coke Cherry Zero right after a strenuous workout, do not be at all surprised when you feel like a movement in the wrong direction will send it all right back up.

True Story Tuesday

As it would seem, I have a "thing" for tryouts. Similarly, it would seem that tryouts don't requite my affections. As previously posted, I had an ill-fated audition to be a Hokie cheerleader, but apparently those results did little to dampen my spirits to be part of a shallow, highly attractive clique.

Fast forward five years from fleeing Cassell Coliseum in tears, and Lobster and I are standing in the
midst of hundreds of girls vying to be Tyra Banks's minion for the latest "cycle" of America's Next Top Model. Let it be known, that I cannot stand Tyra Banks. I utterly adore ANTM (although not so much since the departures of both Janice and Twiggy), but Ty-Ty Baby has got to go. Anywho, even the threat of the TYRAnnosaurus Banks wasn't enough to deter Lobsterita and me from our endeavors.

We practiced our respective walks for weeks. I went for the more fierce-more horsey style, while Lobs preferred for the more laid back, hip swingy stride (my hips do not swing, sway, or swish. They do not move at all, hence this stomp wasn't ideal for me... Miss J always coaches girls to find their signature walk, and that one is not mine. Trust me). We worked on "smiling with our eyes," a Tyzilla must. We even consulted past cycles (which we have seen about 1934812 times anyway) to determine the best outfit for "go-sees" (we considered ANTM auditions the ultimate go-see). We were ready.

When we arrived at the hotel hosting the Top Model casting call, we were pleasantly surprised to find that we were only numbers 147 and 148 in line. We figured we'd go in, knock 'em dead, be given spots on the show immediately and still have time to grab a smoothie on our way home. We sized up the competition, laughed at some girls who seriously thought they had a chance (we truly didn't intend on garnering a spot. Neither Lobster nor myself - except Lobster could really be one - consider ourselves "Model Material," although Madame P's sweet girls told me I could be a model because I have "cute hair, cute clothes, cute face").

After 6 hours of waiting, we finally made it into a holding room full of mostly gorgeous girls (some were pretty heinous, but Tyra always says she doesn't like "pretty-pretty girls." What an underhanded compliment.), and we were S-T-A-R-V-I-N-G. I texted Sis, explained our growling tummies and begged her to bring us sustenance. Her lovely, supportive reply: "Models are supposed to be starving." Fabulo
us, thanks for your help.

2 hours after that we finally made our way in front of the judges. I was nearly delirious from hunger and should have given in to my urge to pass out (I bet I would have made it into the clip show or something). I resisted, however, and tried to maintain an "I'm-so-cool-and-modely-and-moody" vibe, of course the ruffles on my shirt and pink pumps probably gave me away immediately.

The judges, who had probably been gorging themselves on sandwiches all day, asked me to repeat answers to questions that I had filled out on about 4 different applications. I think things were going well until they asked me who my favorite model was. I immediately answered, "Heidi Klum." They then caught me off guard by asking who my least favorite was, "Tyra Banks, duh!" I blurted out carelessly. "I'm sorry, what did you say?" they asked looking aghast. "Kate Moss?" I offered pathetically. "Right, well, than
k you for your time," one judge found the enthusiasm to say as the others furiously crossed my name off their lists. I was shown the door. I gave them my best Hokie sparkle fingers and smile. Apparently, that's the only way I know how to exit after failing miserably.

On our way back to the car, we passed a mom with 3 little girls.

"Are you models?" the girls asked hopefully.
"Of course," Lobster replied.
"Look, girls, real models!" the mother exclaimed.
"Can we take your picture?" one girl asked.
"We're models. We love having our picture taken, and we're good at it," I answer
ed cheerfully.
"We'll teach you how to pose," Lobster explained.

Several shots were snapped with us posing professionally while the little girls imitated our moves. After a few rounds of cheesin' it, we gave the girls our autographs and told them to look for us on the next cycle.

"Is Tyra down there?" the mother asked us eagerly afterward.
"Um, no, and Tyra is really mean," Lobster answered.
"And she hates little girls," I offered helpfully.

As they left us, we brushed our shouldas off. All in a day's work.

The Lobster and I outside of auditions. You wanna be on top?

Monday, January 26, 2009


My new obsession is peanut butter & banana sandwiches. This isn't really "new," since I've adored them since childhood, but I recently rediscovered them at my gym. You see, I've been running to the gym (about 2 minutes from my office) during lunch to avoid the resolution hanger-ons and to get a quick endorphin boost to power through the afternoon. One day I forgot to bring a lunch on which to feast upon my return to the office, so I breezed through the gym's cafe looking for something something to nosh. I stumbled across a freshly made PB&B, and I was hooked. The ladies at the Dowd are happy to make one for me if there isn't one in the fridge waiting, and I have found that a PB&B is the perfect post-workout snack. The fat, carbs and protein are in great proportions to aid recovering muscles and are all low enough on the glycemic index to prevent crashes later. It's always a good thing when my favorite meal is beneficial to me too!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I Mean, Wow!

It's my 50th post (can you believe it?), and would you look at that?! I have a brand new blog look! Whatcha think??? A HUGE, HUGE thank you to Ashley at Great Grabbie Designs for creating this fun and spunky new look after carefully listening to all of my feedback. Can you tell I'm excited? Because I most assuredly am! A huge thank you to all of you lovely ladies for making this foray into the BlogOSphere so rewarding and fun so far!

Sunday Praise

Praise and Worship: "Kingdom Come" - Hillsong United

Scripture: "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything be excellent or praiseworthy - thinking about such things." - Philippians 4:8

What a profound command. In a world over saturated with media, filtering out untrue, impure and ignoble messages becomes increasingly difficult, but the Lord's words are never false, and it is upon those that we must focus our minds daily. Thank you, Father, for the timeless, sincere and unfailing love and truth You provide every single day of our lives. Amen.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Pretty P's

So apparently everything I like begins with "p." Unfortunately that wasn't the letter I was given for the alphabet game, but let me explain...

Polka Dots & Protein Bars (duh)
Peonies - My puppy got some new Target peony bowls from which to eat and drink. She loves feeling pretty.
Painting - Daddy and I have spent the day painting mi casa (that's for you, Ave), and I can't wait to reveal the finished product!
Pictures - I finally got some pictures printed, matted and framed - again, you will all get a peek shortly!
Parties - Lobster, HeLobster and his roommate came over last night for drinks and dip and a rousing round of Apples to Apples. That's my kind of party! Tomorrow I'm having a different kind of party. Little and I are getting our SuZBee on and working Purchase for a Purpose.
Pedicures - Lobster and I celebrated our inaugural LobsterFest last night with a trip to Polished (the most fabulous nail salon EVER) for some darling pedicures. So girly and fun!

One "p" I'm not fond of, however, is passing away. Sadly, my alma mater, and the world in general, lost a wonderful lady this morning when NC State Women's Basketball Coach Kay Yow passed away after a decades long battle with breast cancer. Coach Kay, you will be greatly missed and never forgotten.

I all of you lovely ladies are enjoying a perfectly pleasant weekend!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Rule #4

If you are driving to work when temperatures are below freezing, it may not be wise to spray washer fluid all over your windshield. It will freeze upon impact and you will barely make it to work alive.

When the cleaner cubes melt, however, you will have a shiny, clean windshield just in time for lunch.

Sound of Strings

My lovely friend and coworker Belle has officially launched her Web site and blog, Violins Ltd. My ears have been lucky enough to hear Belle's extraordinary talent in the office and at a wedding. If you live in North Carolina and want to experience pure music magic at your next event or wedding, don't hesitate to contact her!

Snuffy Says...

Happy Friday from Snuffleupagus!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Deal! A Steal!

This afternoon I popped into Target to get a magazine for work (tough life, I know). I cut through the shoe department, and stopped in my tracks when I saw these puppies on clearance for $5. Seriously, they were only $5, and they had my size! I definitely wouldn't have gotten them full price, but I do love a fun pump, and these actually accomplish the impossible - they make my trollish ogre feet look almost feminine... huzzah!

The Very Preppy Puppy

How adorable would this...

Look in this?

I think we need it.

Thankful Thursday

I am so grateful to have been blessed with such an amazing Baby Sis. Sistho, you are beautiful, smart, funny, caring, Christ-focused and the light of my life. I am so thankful to have been given the chance to be your big sister. You and I have been through some much together and separately, but I am so comforted to know that you will always be in my life. You're my best friend, and I love you so much.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

It Could Work

Dear Anthropologie,

Are you looking for a roommate? I would be happy to move in with you. I will not bring very many things with me. Sadie is almost potty trained, but I will tell her not to have accidents on the prettiest things. Trust me, this will be a great match. I'll wait to hear from you.

Polka Dots & Protein Bars

A Bit o' Good News

Just visited with Dr. McVeins, and apparently everything is normal. I did not need to visit the emergency room last night, nor did I need to spend 4.5 hours there. Oh well, at least everything is healing properly. Thank you all for your kind thoughts! :-)

You're So Vein, You Probably Think This Post Is About You...

I hate complaining about being tired. The entire world is busy, stressed and tired, so I have never felt a right to complain more than someone else. This morning, though, I really am tired.

I spent several hours in the emergency room last night with a potential blood clot - a complication that is possible following the vein procedures I had 3 weeks ago (yes, this endovenous journey has been documented ad nauseum).

and a dear high school friend and neighbor, who is a nurse, insisted that I go to the emergency room to determine why my leg had decided to grow an additional appendage (I hyperbolize, though the swelling was noticeable, my feet were numb and the pain less than tolerable). With Little as my escort, we bundled up and trudged to the ER. Luckily it was a slow night, and apparently hospitals don't take potential Deep Vein Thrombosis lightly (although I was met with skepticism and doubt every time I explained that I thought I might have a clot), so I was given a room quickly. That was the only thing that happened at a rapid pace last night.

My "doctor," who is a resident, and I believe it was his first day, pressed around a little bit and determined that he would need another doctor to take a look (later we heard him on the phone describing another patient and questioned whether the course of action he had taken was correct... very reassuring, Dr. Way-Too-Young-To-Be-A-Doctor-Because-Doogie Howser-Isn't-Real). At some point during the night I was taken to radiology where I received a very extensive ultrasound examination which consisted of lots of pressing and prodding on my absess. I would prefer to not have that happen again.

The results came back negative for DVT (praise the Lord), but Doogie-In-Real-Life decided that he couldn't formulate a diagnosis on my "quirky" problem. He informed me that 1) ER doctors don't really diagnose, they just tell you what your problem isn't (does that make sense to you? It didn't really to me either) and 2) As an ER doctor he doesn't have much knowledge on the particular surgery that I received or on veins in general. At least he was honest. I left with some instructions about leg swelling and a Loratab. He encouraged me to contact my surgeon when their offices opened.

I fell into bed at 2 this morning and woke up before 7 to get beautified for work (the Temp is here today, and Operation Go Away is still in full force regardless of vein clotting, natch). I called Dr. Vein, and he's going to see me at 2:15 today. I will be very peeved if I'm informed that my growth is part of the healing process because I know that's a crock of boohoo. I'm three weeks out of surgery and in the last 2 days my pain has increased somenumberfold and the side of my leg is suddenly large and in charge. I don't think that's how it's supposed to work. I'm tired of my body thinking that I'm a senior citizen. It makes me cranky and crotchety.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"N" the House

Jenn from First Comes Love... Then Comes Marriage has a fun game going over at her blog and being a game lover, I couldn't wait to play! Here's the rundown: If you want to play, leave a comment on this post letting me know, and I’ll assign you a letter. You list ten things you love that begin with your assigned letter, and post it at your place. When people comment on your list, you give them a letter, and the chain continues on and on. Jenn gave me the letter N, so here we go...

One. Nail polish ~ I love having lacquered nails. For lack of a better description, they make me feel so polished. Reds, pinks, golds, neutrals... I love them all! Nothing is more feminine to me than having perfectly manicured nails (just please don't look at my cuticles).

Two. Novels ~ I am such a bookworm. Chick lit is my favorite because it's such escapism. I'm rarely without a book (or two, or three) in progress. I would adore writing children's books one day.

Three. Nesting ~ I love spending the day at home just piddling. My house is still such a work in progress, which is frustrating but enthralling at the same time. Picking paint colors, fabrics, interior decor... sigh... so much fun!

Four. Notebooks ~ My favorite thing in the entire world is shopping for school/office supplies. Seriously, it took me well over an hour at Target to choose my 2009 planner. My final choice? A zebra print with pink piping. Adorable? Oh yes. And, besides, who wasn't completely obsessed with Lisa Frank?

Five. Necessities ~ One of my other favorite things in the entire world is picking out toiletries. I never use the same shampoo/conditioner/face soap/bodywash/etc. consecutively. I get so excited to be near the bottom of a bottle because that means I can pick out something different. I think I have too many favorites, so this way I can keep mixing it up.

Six. Non-alcoholic beverages ~ I also enjoy alcoholic beverages, but non-alcoholic counted as my "n" and encompassed my addiction to diet soda. Any kind (except Diet Mountain Dew and/or Diet Sundrop). I prefer sodas with multiple flavors (Cherry Vanilla Diet Dr. Pepper or Black Cherry French Vanilla Diet Pepsi Jazz, for instance), but I'm not picky.

Seven. North Carolina ~ I was born a Tennessee girl, but it didn't take long for the Carolina of the North to completely steal my heart. There's no where I'd rather be.

Eight. Nephews ~ Boyfriend has the world's most precious nephews. I've always wanted girls, but any time spent around these two little boys makes me re-think my plan.

Nine. Naps ~ I'm not usually a napper, but Sunday afternoons provide a perfect time to rejuvenate and recharge my batteries with a delicious piece of shut eye. Add a ridiculously fluffy pup and a snuggly warm blanket, and I am out.

Ten. New comments ~ One of the best parts of my day... seeing what you all have to say about Polka Dots & Protein Bars!

An Award?! Pour Moi?!

The lovely Montana Musings of a Southern Girl has just bestowed upon me, my very first award! I am beyond excited about this!

The rules are as follows:

1) Choose a minimum of 7 blogs that you find brilliant in content or design.

2) Show the 7 winners names and links on your blog, and leave a comment informing them that they were prized with "Honest Scrap." Well, there's no prize, but they can keep the nifty icon.

3) List at least 10 honest things about yourself.

ONE I knocked my four front teeth out ice skating the day after I got my braces but on.

TWO I am super, super OCD about my bedding being straight. I get very irritable if it gets messed up - I will even get up in the middle of the night to make sure it's straight.

THREE I cannot go to sleep unless the closet door is closed. Anywhere.

FOUR I love, love to cook and bake. Despite the cumin-cinnamon incident (yes, I know which is which, but I just grabbed the wrong one), I rarely fix things that are inedible.

FIVE I am overly competitive. I will make anything into a game, and now some friends won't play with me because of it (Lobster, can we pleeeease play Mall Madness? I promise I won't be so serious).

SIX I used to have a terrible lisp and speech impediment. I couldn't say my r's. If you watch home videos from my younger days you will not be able understand one thing I say. Apparently, I was unaware of this, because it didn't make me stop talking whatsoever.

SEVEN I love sports, but I am not a natural athlete. I've been on many, many sports teams, but only because I worked so hard to make it (see number 5). I think I was probably the worst one on every single team.

EIGHT I'm addicted to celebrity gossip. I even struggle to work out now without a celebrity mag (I do not call them tabloids) on my machine.

NINE I work out all the time (see number 8), and I get very upset if I miss a day.

TEN I am a classic Leo and middle child (oh dear). I am a consummate people-pleaser, and I thrive on approval from others. Sad, but true.

Now, I tag...
Southern Sunshine
Annnnd anyone who hasn't gotten this. I've seen it floating around the blogosphere lately. :-)

Monday, January 19, 2009

H-E-Double Hockey Sticks

I might be going to hell for mentioning this, but could someone please explain to me what is going with Stephanie's face??? Too much Botox maybe? Obviously the penciled on brows need to go, but what about the rest?

By far my favorite moment in Bachelor history happened tonight when Stephanie was reunited with her daughter. Yeah, yeah it was sweet, but did you see Stephanie completely deck her?! I mean, she took her out. Lobster, who comes over weekly to watch Bachelor and/or Gossip Girl, and I had to rewind that scene and watch it over and over again. We even watched it in slow motion several times. Poor Sophia probably still has whiplash.

Speaking of slow motion, how about Nikki (affectionately known as "Burns," because I'm sure you've noticed her ridiculous man sideburns) trying to kiss Jason and completely missing his mouth? She is beyond awkward, but that was just over the top. Jason had to actually take her face and move it. I guess her Burns were getting in the way of our romantic side. Lobstina and I watched that moment in slow motion lots o' times too. I really don't think I like any of the girls remaining, but this has certainly been the funniest season ever (minus Lorenzo's Italian season, which featured the unbelievably amazing Erica and native Italian Agnesse... classic).

I hope next year they give Chris Harrison his own spinoff. Yeah, I'm serious.

Taking the Plunge

I finally did it! Today I wore fuschia tights to work, and I don't think I can ever go back to black. Seriously! Why in the world it took me so long to go for the brights is beyond me (minus the fact that compression hose come only in black and nude). Do you lovely ladies go for colored tights?

Image c/o Fashion Tribe

Electrical Currents = Overrated

If, while using your one Jessica Simpson moment of the day, you decide to let your flat iron (which you really only use because everyone else does and really don't need because your hair is naturally stick straight) fly out of your hand and land in the toilet while plugged in, you may be surprised to find out that nothing actually happens. The hot ceramic plates will sizzle upon impact, but you will not get electrocuted if you plunge your hand into the water to retrieve said electrical appliance. Your flat iron will not break, you will not die, and you will feel satisfaction knowing that you defeated electricity for the sake of good hair.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sunday Praise

Praise and Worship: "In Christ Alone" - Brian Littrell

Scripture: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" - Matthew 6:25-27

How humbling and reassuring in these times of uncertainty and doubt to know that our Lord and Savior will continue to provide for and protect us. Thank you, Father. Amen.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Note to Self

When preparing a baked sweet potato, it is essential to differentiate between cinnamon and cumin. These two spices taste very, very different.


Okay, I always laugh and laugh when I see the infomercials for Snuggies - basically blankets with arms. Seeing the family gathered around the campfire and roasting marshmallows while wearing Snuggies or cheering for their favorite team in coordinating Snuggies is pretty much amazing. However, on days like today in frigid Charlotte, I would love to have a cozy Snuggie wrapped around me. I think if I call in the next 8 minutes I could receive 2 Snuggies for only $19.95! Very tempting...

In other news, I've been working today while BF has been jumping between Star Wars and basketball. I can't watch Star Wars without chuckling. When we were younger, my brother, Sis and I always played Star Wars using our GeoSafari as a spaceship. Brother was Luke, I was Leia (natch) and Sis always got stuck playing R2D2. She would scoot around the house beeping and booping like any good droid does. I wonder if I could still get her to play. I think I still have the GeoSafari...

All images c/o Flickr

Friday, January 16, 2009


If you have to wear compression hose 24-7 for a month because you had vein surgery in December, and you decide to sport said hose underneath workout shorts (rather than pants) at the Y during lunch, do not be surprised if every. single. person. in the gym gives you strange looks. Except for the grandmother who is rocking a very similar pair (in nude) and tells you that yours are cute and wonders what brand they are. You will then leave the Y feeling like a 72 year old (because they doctor said that's how old your veins are) wearing a sassy leopard cardigan and trying to find the next water aerobics class on the schedule.

Impulse Subscribing?

I fell in love with this image from Domino posted by Eco-Prep. I'm talking head-over-heels infatuation. So much so that I subscribed to Domino on the spot! I've never been a 'zine subscriber of any kind except American Girl, but it was only $10 for a year... wow! With eye candy like this, I think it will be well worth my Benjamins.

What's a Girl to Do?

It's casual Friday. The Temp is here. What's a poor girl to do?

Look as casually fabulous as possible.

Image c/o Polyvore


Just to get you all eager and alert on this frigid Charlotte Friday... I'm planning a giveaway in the very, very future! Details to come...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Wow, do all of my post titles have a Granimals feel this week or what? Anywho, it's Thursday and it has been a most frustrating few weeks capped off by a deflating meeting today. Whoo! However, I feel that it is of the utmost importance to continue being thankful and thanking the Lord for the wonderful things I do have rather than dwelling on the negative. With that said, I have a praise item! Yay!

1. Little is taking me to Cheesecake Factory tonight... yum!
2. Boyfriend and I are having a movie marathon and steak and shrimp dinner at the Protein Bar Palace on Saturday!
3. Two men were finally charged with breaking and entering and larceny to my home two days before Thanksgiving. I received a letter from the District Attorney last night asking me to fill out a restitution worksheet and send it back for their sentencing. I give a lot of credit to the detectives working on my case. They could have easily let it slip through the cracks, but they didn't, and that gives me my sense of security back.

I hope you've found things to be thankful for this week!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Waisted Wednesday

My beautiful, stylish, fabulous, tiny mother is the founder, creator, designer and sewer of SuZBee belts, a popular fabric belt line sold in boutiques throughout North and South Carolina. Little began SuZBee simply by wanting to create cute accessories for me and Sis to wear and give as gifts to our friends. Being thrifty, however, Little didn't want to have to pay the unreasonable prices that many stores were charging, so she made her own. The belts became so popular that Little began to literally sell them off her body around town. Thus was born, SuZBee belts. Below are several brand new fabrics for the Spring line. How cute and preppy are these?? Little is offering Polka Dots & Protein Bars readers an exclusive price of $20 per belt. The belts are monogrammable (initials or Greek letters for an additional $5) and machine washable. I wear one almost every day, and they are the perfect finishing touch for all my outfits. Simply leave me a comment with your contact information, and I'll have you send Little a check, and we'll put your new favorite accessory in the mail the very next day. To see more fabrics, check out SuZBee's Etsy store!

What's In a Name?

Today I have made calls to women named Olga and Pixie respectively. I apologize if any of you have been bequeathed with such name travesties. I had a very hard time not laughing on the phone while asking to speak with Pixie and Olga. This is what I think they look like.

Pixie c/o Disney

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

True Story Tuesday

Although I am now a proud graduate of North Carolina State University, I began my college career in the bowels of Blacksburg, VA as a Virginia Tech Hokie. From the beginning, VT wasn't a great match for me. The atmosphere and culture of the campus and student body didn't complement my own personality and collegiate desires.

Several weeks into the first semester, realizing that I had no friends and no real prospects, I attended a university pep rally to celebrate the first home football game of the 2004 season. At the rally Frank Beamer spoke, the team stormed the field and the cheerleading squad waved their pom-poms spectacularly. Following the spirit pumping-up, the coach of the cheerleading squad announced that the squad would be hosting tryouts for walk-ons. "BINGO!" I thought to myself, "This is my ticket to friendship, sisterhood, and the Castrated Turkey spirit."

Prior to tryouts I had only been on one cheerleading squad. I attended a small Christian school in middle school and made the 7th grade soccer and basketball cheering squad. Barely. My best maneuver was a tuck jump. I was the 4th man in stunting (i.e. the odd man out), and I was never quite on rhythm during the "beat" cheers. No one would mistake me for a natural.

Still, I was determined (read delusional) to secure a spot on the Hokie squad. At the informational meeting I attended, Sergeant Cheerleader informed us that to be even considered for the squad we must be able to perform a standing back handspring. "No problem," Deranged Dots thought to herself. "I can do a forward roll and a quasi-cartwheel. A back handspring should be no problem to master by tomorrow."

Back at the dorm I did a quick inventory of my hallmates to find the one who claimed to be a "gymnast." We sneaked into a free gym full of mats and spent the day (s)tumbling. Before I had to return for official tryout I had pseudo-mastered a roundoff. I was ready. At tryouts, I spent the time mingling with the non-frauds explaining that I was nervous because on my old squad, "tumbling was a bonus. Not necessary. Therefore, my handspring was rusty." I'm sure they bought my story and were flocking to be friends with me.

The gym was set up with several long mats. Every girl vying for a cheering spot lined up and took turns tumbling down the mat, displaying their vast and enormous skill. Each time as I passed the coaches I did my best sparkle fingers and donned my most twinkly "GO HOKIES!!!" smile. I would then proceed to walk all the way around the mats and get back in line. My strategy was obviously to convince the coaches that I tumbled so blazingly fast and skillfully that they missed me each time.

They must have caught on, because the next order of business was to line up and one by one perform our standing back handsprings. Desperately I whispered to the girl beside me that I had no idea how to do that particular skill. "It's easy," she whispered back with her biggest cheerleader smile plastered on her face. "Just jump backward and keep your arms out." Unfortunately, Miss Even-Perkier-Than-Me was unaware that I do not possess a vertical. A horizontal would be more appropriate.

When my number was called, I took a few deep breaths and leaped backward with all my might, my arms stiff in the air. I heard a collective gasp followed by the sound of my head smacking a mat. I stood up, threw my sparkle fingers in the air and shouted a peppy, "Go Tech! Let's Go Hokies!!!" with tears streaming down my face. I shot one more toothy grin in the direction of the coaches and sprinted out of the gym. I transferred out of the state at the end of that semester. Red and black suit me better than orange and maroon anyway. I like to say that I didn't get cut from the Virginia Tech cheerleading squad, instead, I opted out of my place to allow someone less talented to join the squad.

Cupcake Revisited

Today I ate a cupcake. And I made a mess.

Image c/o RecipeZaar

Monday, January 12, 2009

Make It Yourself Monday

My favorite piece of furniture in the Protein Bar Palace is an old coffee table that Little and I converted into a fabric-covered bench. The entire project took less than an hour, some plywood, a yard and a half of fabric, a yard of cording and some batting.

To make the bench, start by removing the top of the table. Some may be able to be unscrewed. Ours required a saw for removal (and, yes, I did feel bad a$$ wielding a saw). We cut a piece of plywood to fit the remaining frame of the table and sized the batting accordingly to the size of the plywood and the height I wanted for my new "cushion."

Next, stretch the fabric tightly and snugly around both the batting and plywood. We secured the fabric to the bottom of the plywood with a staple gun and cut off the extreme excess so it wouldn't hang out the bottom of the table. Next, attach the "cushion" to the original coffee table base. We used four small wooden blocks placed in the four corners of the table bottom and drilled nails through them into the plywood.

The finishing touch is the cording. This gives the new bench a polished, lush look and covers up any flaws left from removing the original top. We used hot glue and worked our way slowly around the base of the table to outline and complement the cushion. Voila! A brand new, budget-friendly seating option.

Rule #3

Before wearing shoes that are two sizes too big (because they were to-die-for and marked down from $79 to $11) to work...
1. Be sure that you can walk in them without falling up the stairs to your office.
2. Be sure that there are ample paper towels in the kitchen so you can stuff them in your toes and pretend like you don't walk out of the shoes every time you take a step.
3. Pretend you broke your leg (which you almost did when you tripped up the stairs) and therefore are unable to leave your desk to walk anywhere in the office.

Rule #2

While soaking in a Philosophy Cinnamon Buns bubble bath and reading Sophie Kinsella's Remember Me?, it is absolutely imperative to not let your power bill and check, which you are obviously and logically using as a bookmark fall into your tub and disintegrate. If this happens, you will have to call Duke Energy and request that another bill be mailed to you. When they ask for an explanation about what happened to the original bill, try not to be offended when they hang up laughing.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Splurge-Worthy Sunday

I love award show season. I know it is soooo superficial and shallow, but lounging on the couch (after meeting a former co-worker for a Firehouse sub... yum!) post-bathing-in-bubbles, cuddling with the Polka Dot Pup and judging the ladies at the Golden Globes on what they're wearing, is one of my all time favorite things. Can someone please explain to me what is going on with Drew Barrymore's hair?! Ew.

Earlier today (after being a heathen and skipping church) I bid farewell to the Baby Sis as she went back to join the rest of her Tar Heel brethren (ew again). To ease my heartache I went shopping with the Lobster and decided it was totally time for a splurge. Note: I am extremely strict with my budget, and I never, ever buy things full price. I try to keep my purchases to necessities early, but today was totally time to chuck all that out the window. So without further ado please meet the object that stole my desire and affections.

The first picture gives an accurate representation of the divine color while the second gives a better look at its sumptuous detailing.

The structure, shape, size and pockets of this bag are beyond ideal and dreamy. By nature I'm not a bag girl. I'm not a girl that changes my bag every day, but this one was just perfect in every way. Le sigh. Okay that is out of my system. Big thanks to my favorite Crustacean for not letting me return it when I realized I had actually purchased it (I have a terrible habit of buying something then almost immediately - as in, sometimes the same day - returning it)! Pinch Pinch!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Boyfriends and Blogging

My dearest Lobster introduced the BF to my blog world yesterday. He responded that I should change the name of this site to Polka Dots & Homeless Men Bullets. Sigh. Boyfriend, who lives in a small town outside of Charlotte, cannot watch me eat a protein bar anymore without referencing my South Charlotte Drive-By. I guess I should explain.

A large population of homeless men in Charlotte populate one particular corner that I pass everyday on my way home from work and/or the gym. As an avid consumer of protein bars, I generally have in the car and try as often as possible to give an extra to the men on the corner. I'm sure most would prefer money or another type of food (the Queen City homeless are very, very picky. Seriously.), but I feel like it's important to give back to the community, and protein bars are excellent source of protein, calories and other essential vitamins and minerals.

Anywho, one day I chosen to bestow my absolute favorite bar (the old Zone Perfect Chocolate Caramel Cluster) on that day's man-on-the-corner. I was generally able to pull up the corner on a red light and simply hand it out the window. On said day, however, my car was further back than usual. I tried to catch the man's attention but to no avail. I decided that when the light turned green I would coast to the corner and hand the man his bar. To heck with the cars behind me. My flight-or-fight response must not have gotten the message.

When the light turned green, I panicked. I gunned my car, and in a desperate attempt to share my protein wealth, I flung the bar out of my passenger window. As I sped away I watched the flight of my bar and watched in horror as it hit the poor man squarely in the face then bounced into the road. My heart broke thinking that the man probably thought I had thrown something at him to let him know to vacate the corner. It was also broken thinking about that delicious bar lying helplessly in the road. I want to believe that the man knew my intention and went in the street and recovered the tasty treat. To this day, however, the corner is mostly vacant. It's inhabited only once or twice a week, and the men put helmets on when my car drives by.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Thrilling Thursday

1. The Protein Bar Palace is now officially equipped with internet! Although I've lived there since September, I finally decided to suck it up, stop stealing neighbor's wireless and get my own.
2. I have my first annual review with Boss at 2:30. I'm feeling the butterflies!
3. Tonight is the national championship game between Oklahoma and Florida. I hate the Gators, but I'm pulling for the SEC!
4. I'm slowly coming out of the blog closet (the bloset?). For a long time only aHr (who encouraged me to start this and got me hooked to all of your sites even before that) and Sis (who helped me agonize over names) knew that Polka Dots & Protein Bars existed. This week I let Miss Lobstina in on the secret, and she told BF today (they work together). I have been so worried about people knowing about it! So weird!

All in all, it's been a pretty thrilling Thursday so far!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

To Have and Have Not...

Call me crazy, but I've been seriously considering getting another dog. Watching Sadie play with other dogs and how social she is makes me want her to have a friend so badly. I got my Sadiebug from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Control Shelter, which is a kill shelter in Charlotte. I absolutely love and support the Humane Society and other no-kill shelters, but I also know that those animals are safe. Pups like Sade-Sade, unfortunately, are not. I even convinced my anti-dog parents to rescue their new dog Bosley from the CMACS. This afternoon I found this little guy on the Web site. My immediate thought is to save him, but I don't want to make an impulse decision like that. I think Boyfriend wants to wait until his beloved 9 year-old lab Bailey is no longer with us before we add another furry critter to the mix. I would love some insight from you lovely ladies, especially those of you with pets.