Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Slow Rider

I have a streak of tactile defensiveness in my nature. I love the look of sleek, tucked in shirts, and I sincerely believe that camisoles are the most amazing piece of clothing ever created, but along with both of these items comes the dreaded "slow ride."

When first donned, everything looks great, feels great. Make a motion, sit down or stand up, however, and suddenly your shirt (or shirts) or a bunchy, jumbled, riding up mess. You're left with two options... spend the day constantly pulling, prodding or otherwise adjusting OR do what I do: channel a blue haired senior citizen and tuck your offending items into your underwear.

Oh yes, horror of horrors, the waistband of my pants just isn't doing a good enough job holding everything in place. I've now drafted the elastic of my undergarments into active duty. Am I proud? No. Is my mind resting easy because there's a place for everything, and finally, everything is in its place? Oh, my friends, yes.

Each time I take a trip to the water closet I look myself disdainfully in the eyes knowing that I am voluntarily choosing to commit the faux pas's of faux pas's - a crime best suited for nursing home lounges; however, the ride has stalled, and I'm sitting pretty with a smooth, sleek and bunch-resistant top.

Monday, March 30, 2009

My Not-ty List

I'm no fashion authority, nor do I claim to be, but just, no.

1. The Canadian Tuxedo - I've seen more than one offender in my place of work over the past few weeks. Whether you're mixing washes or going for the washochromatic look, sorry. Not working.

2. Jorts - The return of summer means plenty of warm weather to flaunt your games, but please be careful about how you do it. Men in jean shorts turns women off faster than saying, "I have an STD." If worn the proper way women can be sexy in jean shorts. General rule: if you have male anatomy, don't don jorts. Ever.

3. Middle Parts - I very, very rarely see middle parts done in a flattering way on non-celebs. Middle parts do absolutely nothing to boost volume or create an actual hairstyle; they also tend to make face shapes long, saggy and sad.

4. Peace signs - Actors and actresses are supposed to be creative types, no? Then why can Lindsay Lohan, Lisa Rinna, Miley Cyrus and others not manage to contort their hands in any other shape than the vomit-inducing peace sign?

5. Fringe - I know that fashion In-The-Knows are insisting that fringe happen. Call me square, but I just really hate this boho look. Ruffles = A+; fringe = D-. I like clean-cut and streamline. Personal preference, I guess.

6. Man-icure - Men should not wear nail polish. Male polish is not okay. End of story.

7. Obama love - Beyond not being an Obama fan politically, I'm not an Obama trend fan either. He's our President, not the latest wardrobe fad.

8. Tyra Banks - One word... Woof.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Lootin' and Pollutin'

We're the Planeteers, and you can be one too, 'cuz saving our planet is the thing to do.
Looting and polluting is not the way; hear what Captain Planet has to say...

The power is YOURS!

Friday, March 27, 2009


If I haven't mentioned it 1 or a million times, I am a huge TV junkie. Mindless entertainment is so okay in my book. I'm also uber-preppy but not a fan whatsoever of Martha Stewart. I like her projects, and I like her magazines and the idea of her, but I think she comes across as cold, standoffish and distance (unless she's talking to your girl and mine, Hopsy, of course). I just think she tends to have the personality of a dead fish. It makes me uncomfortable.

Anywho, I'm housesitting at Madame P's this week, and while I was flipping through the channels on Tuesday night I discovered my newest obsession... "Whatever Martha" on the Fine Living Network. If you're unfamiliar with the show, it features Martha's daughter Alexis and her friend Jennifer watching old episodes of Martha and basically tearing them to shreds. Alexis has the dryest, most sarcastic biting wit, and I love it. I very rarely watch a show and laugh out loud (unless Lobster and I are having running commentary about epic fail bachelorettes or the most epic fail of all, Tyra Banks), and never do when I'm watching by myself. Within the first 30 seconds or so, I was hooked and giggling to myself at regular intervals.

The most amazing part about the show is that it's created and executive produced by none other than the ice queen herself! Martha pre-approves all of these shows, and the fact that she is okay with Alexis and Jennifer dissecting the unflattering fit of her lilac oxford or suggesting that Martha create a bra instead of mittens for Molly Ringwald out of old sweaters, makes me rethink my opinion of Miz Stewart.

Furry Friday

This week has been beyond draining, so I'm going to be lazy with this post and share a sequence of photos illustrating Sadie's neverending love for all things bedding, just like her mama :-) Please excuse the poor quality caused by the wonders of the camera phone.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

...Who Art in Heaven...Hallowed Be Thy Name...

Dear Heavenly Father,

Wow. It’s Thursday, but my heart and my head can’t stop thinking about Sunday. You sure knew how to prick my heart with Pastor Furtick’s sermon on temptation. Lord, it is so easy for me to pretend like sermons don’t apply to me. The examples so often used about drugs, alcohol, stealing, murder, etc, don’t apply to me, Father. Outwardly, I have it together and those “big sins” aren’t a problem. On Sunday, though, You knew my heart. You allowed the example of worry to pervade the message, and You spoke directly to me. “Worry is the opposite of worship,” I was told. “Worry is a sin,” it was repeated. In my got-my-stuff-together-piety I had disregarded my chronic fears, worry, need for personal perfection and anxiety and instead credited them to being mature, responsible, aware and proactive. Satan’s studied me as I’ve grown closer to You, and he knows all about the pride and insecurity that live in me, and he’s using them to attack me and wedge his way into our relationship.

Dear Lord, those anxieties and concerns that started out so small and tiny have become my security blanket. I have enveloped and wrapped myself in them, and I don’t want to let go. Father, whether I continue you to deny it or not, You know my heart, and You know that my insecurity, worry and stress all stems from a refusal to truly trust You with my life. In my mind, I’m independent; I don’t clog your ear with petty problems. To your eyes, I’m a stubborn child who is blind to the fact that Your Will for my life, Your path for my feet, Your hope for my heart far exceed those that I try to control for myself.

God, since I was a tiny girl I have professed you as my Savior, the Lord of my life, and although I do sincerely love you, I have spent years acting as though a Savior is nice but not truly necessary. I talk the talk, Lord. Outwardly, I walk the walk. I know the jargon, the buzz words, the lingo of Christianity. Father, internally, I’m a wadded up, wrinkled, soiled and stained ball of mess. Just because others don’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there, although that’s how I’ve lived. And that, Lord, is the reason that I need a Savior. It’s the reason that I need YOU.

Forgive me for wrapping myself in my own self-concern, worries, fear of failure, perfectionism and need to control my own life. Work in my heart, God, as I continue to struggle with wrapping myself in doubt and war with Satan to allow You to control my path and trust You to guide me. Shame on me for failing to even follow through with a Scripture I proclaim to be my favorite, Philippians 4:8, which commands us, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Lord, help me fix my mind and wandering heart on You, Your glory, Your beauty, Your promises, Your love. Forgive my doubt; forgive my fear; forgive my anxious heart; forgive my self-centeredness; forgive my flippant disregard; forgive my incessant worry. Thank You for your never-failing grace, eternal patience, and unconditional love for this prodigal child.

It’s In Your Precious Son’s Name That I Fall at Your Feet,


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

True Story Tuesday

Up until this point most have my True Story Tuesdays have involved recounting past events. Lucky for you, dear readers (special shout out to Little Sis who is bedridden with mono), this week's true story occurred on Friday.

My high school best friend, Georgia Peach, and Lobster can both attest to the fact that I am very naive in terms of what is naughty, obscene, vulgar or crude. I really don't mind being this way, but from time to time it can get me in some trouble.

For the most part, I like to pretend that I understand double entendres, dirty jokes and the like, and I usually play along and sometimes throw in my two cents worth. Miss Georgia and Lobster have both been tasked with letting me know when (1) I'm completely missing the reference (2) using it incorrectly or (3) accidentally saying something dirty without meaning to. Unfortunately neither of my dear friends were around on Friday during a staff meeting.

As an agency we have vowed to spend more time working with social networking tools to promote our clients, and as such, we have begun meeting regularly to discuss social monitoring networks. Our most recent forum was on Twitter. While discussing Twitter, twittering, tweets, etc, the question was humorously raised about what you call tweeting in the past tense: tweeted? twittered? Enthusiastically, because I love making up new words, I loudly and eagerly volunteered, "TWAT!" Some of my coworkers looked aghast while others laughed heartily and agreed that it was a possibility. Satisfied with my new word creation, I repeated it several times during the course of the meeting and then forgot about it.

Later in the day, my coworker Red sent an email to me and my best workgal regarding Stephen Colbert's use of the word "twat" on the Today Show while referring to Twitter and the subsequent backlash. Confused about why my word would be considered newsworthy or controversial, I decided to do some research. When I Googled the term twat, I stared in horror at the results. Not only were my eyes assailed with obscene images but an accompanying definition that left me mortified.

I had just announced to most of my agency that a slang reference to a woman's nether-regions should be widely used in association with Twitter. Really classy move, Polka Dots. When I tried to explain that I had absolutely no idea what I was really saying, both of my associates eyed me doubtfully and skeptically. I explained my need for Lobster and Georgia Peach, but neither appeared satisfied.

At this point I should probably just send an All Staff email apologizing for my vulgarity and announcing that the doctors are still testing me for Tourette's.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Brunchety Brunch Brunch

Saturday morning dawned bright, warm and cheery for my belt-brunch party. Little headed over to help me get everything ready before we were joined by about 10 of my favorite ladies for a little brunchin', munchin' and shoppin'. It was truly a wonderfully fun time, and a lovely gathering to celebrate the sunshine and springtime (and, of course, update our wardrobes with some fun new accessories)! I served citrus almond pound cake, miniature quiches, garlic-cheddar biscuits, fresh fruit (strawberries, blackberries and pineapple), baked oatmeal (thank you, thank you Preppy Nonsense for a delightfully easy and yummy recipe), and orange and grapefruit mimosas. Fresh pink tulips and sunny daffodils complete the look. Of course I forgot to take pictures of my beautiful guests, but I did manage to snap some shots of the spread (why yes, I do love alliteration).

Friday, March 20, 2009

Rule #14 - The Sincerest Form of Flattery

If you are doing a spot-on impression of one of your coworkers, and said coworker sneaks up on you from behind and asks who you are imitating, she probably won't believe you when you answer, "Don Rickles," even though, in reality, the similarities are uncanny.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Marshall's, Marshall's, Marshall's

If you've been reading Polka Dots & Protein Bars for any length of time it shouldn't surprise you to hear that I'm a Marshall's fanatic. I feel like Marshall's is a discount boutique, because I very rarely see other people decked out in my finds. I hate spending my money on clothing and then seeing every Jane, Sue and Sally in my outfits.

Yesterday Little alerted me that our favorite Marshall's in the Queen City was loaded with Lilly and Vineyard Vines. Of course I made a beeline there immediately after work yesterday with my Little Mama by my side. Unfortunately, none of my favorite prints were available, and I couldn't justify spending $50 - $60 on something I wasn't oodles in love with just because it was Lilly or Vineyard Vines. Does that make sense?

Undeterred, however, I scoured the dress racks further and discovered an absolutely perfect dress that just screamed my name. I took it to the dressing room and fell even further in love (and lust) with it. I think it's the perfect June Cleaver meets Reese Witherspoon outfit(and yes, I do mean that in the best way possible for all of those who attack me for my anti-feminist ways): A-line, fabulous clean color palette, big chunky belt to cinch the waist and the piece de resistance - ruffles!

I couldn't wait to wear it, so of course I have it on today, and I've already received multitudes of compliments. Don't days just turn out better when you know you look cute? I'm a firm believer, anyway. Below is a picture of my $40 score taken with my phone (because my camera is broken beyond repair), hence the poor quality, but hopefully you can see all the qualities that won my heart.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Scent o' Broccoli

For lunch each day this week in an effort to save money, I have brought a chicken breast that I cooked beautifully in the crockpot on Sunday and a baggie of broccoli to steam in the microwave. Until today this wasn't a problem. This afternoon I brought the last of my meal and yet another baggie of broccoli. Upon entering the kitchen and pulling out my vegetables I was accosted by our large-and-in-charge-HR-hybrid-wants-to-run-the-company woman announcing as loudly as possible: "SHE SAID NO BROCCOLI TODAY BECAUSE IT STINKS!"

Okay, three questions immediately spring to mind:
1. Who is she?
2. Why? No one has complained the previous two days.
3. I'm sure it doesn't stink as badly as your daily tuna salad, garlic concoction.

Apparently one of our largest clients will be gracing our agency today and may tour our building (although I am more than 100% sure they have already done so several times). Madame P (who I later found out is the omnipresent "she" being referred to) had requested that the kitchen stay clean. I have no problems with that; however, no note was given prior to, say, 12:45 today asking us to please not bring lunch whose scent may offend. As a general rule I do try to be conscious of the aroma my meals may give off, but I consider broccoli a very minor mal-odor.

I tried to explain to Kitchen Czar that the only lunch I had was the chicken and broccoli and inquired whether my rosemary, thyme and basil crusted chicken was allowed. After some thought and arguing Czar decided that the poultry was fine. In a huff I threw my broccoli back in the refrigerator and hypothesized aloud that perhaps I should go out and buy lunch and then expense it to the client since dining out is not part of my budget or my schedule. In appeasement I was told that I could cook my broccoli after 3. Gee, thanks.

I returned to my desk seething. After eating my chicken breast I returned to the kitchen to put my dishes away only to see the line waiting for the microwave included 2 bags of popcorn; 1 garlic fish filet and 1 frozen curry dish, all which were deemed appropriate for afternoon consumption. I MEAN REALLY?!?! Don't these 4 items exceed any waft of unpleasant scent my cup of broccoli?

It truly takes a lot to set me off, but for whatever reason this kitchen kerfluffle certainly did it. Sorry to rant and be all-around negative, but this incident realllllly pushed my buttons.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Buzz Worthy Brunch

Hello dears! It's a busy week, but so far it has been amazingly productive and fabulous. On Saturday I'm hosting a brunch/belt party at the Polka Dot Palace, so I've been busy, busy preparing our menu and cleaning house.

I'm planning to serve:
- Mimosas (I might also serve grapefruit juice mimosas - does that sound good only to me? Does that drink already exist? If you read my previous post you will know that I am a mixed drink ignoramus)
- Baked oatmeal a la Preppy Nonsense complete with pecans and dried cherries
- Quiche or mini-quiches - a brunch staple, of course.
- Coffee cake or monkey bread - mmmmm, cinnamon!
- Fruit
- Muffins of some flavor variety
- Citrus Almond Poundcake - checked off the list because I baked it Sunday afternoon and stuck it in the freezer. 1 point to me for proactivity.

What do you think? Too much food for roughly 15 girls? Good balance of sweet to savory? Too munch "br-" and not enough "-unch"? How about decor? Should I let my pink-green-orange-yellowish color palette shine on its own or add something spring-y/Easter-y to the mix, realizing of course that we will be featuring the ever lovely and bright SuZBee prints? Sigh. I adore hostessing, but I always worry that I'll underwhelm. Your thoughts would be appreciated to the utmost.

In other culinary news I successfully prepared my very first crockpot recipe derived from this yummy site on Sunday. I used 3 split chicken breasts in lieu of a whole chicken and added thyme and basil to the mix, as well. I also used all dried seasonings rather than fresh, but the result was fantastic! It was beyond easy, made my house smell amazing (no more Sadie scent, Baby Sister, maybe if I had made this while you were home you would have visted), and provided over three meals worth of scrumptious poultry. The crockpot is very quickly going to become a staple around Casa de Protein Bar.

Last night featured the return of Gossip Girl as well as the biannual Maroline's Salon, which included letting Lobster highlight my not-so-flowing, more like stacked-bobbish locks whilst trying to make sense of our favorite Upper East Siders. If you, like me, are a Gossip Girl junkie, are you reading this? It's (one of) my weekly guilty pleasures. What did you think of its return from hiatus? Were you sorting through your member trying to piece together all the references to yester-season?

Okay, chickadees, apologies for the hodgepodge of random thoughts. Happy Tuesday to you all!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Hips Don't Lie

I've been contemplating getting a part-time job to supplement the miniscule salary that my "real" job offers. I would love to do freelance PR or freelance writing, but there just aren't that many positions available for that. I was brainstorming the other night with Daddy and Little about what I can do to make more money. Daddy suggested bartending on weekends or after work. Little and I wrinkled our noses a bit at that because (1) it's way past my bedtime and (2) I don't know any kind of liquor drinks except Tom Collins, which makes me seem like a 72-year old man.

Frustrated I announced to my darling parents that I would just have to start working the lunch shift at the Uptown Cabaret, which is just up the street from my office. The Uptown Cabaret is a "classy, gentlemans club," and I surmised that I could make upwards of $100 for an hour of "work." Daddy thought for a few minutes about my plan and then told me with paternal wisdom, "To be a good working girl you have to be able to move your hips. As we all know, that doesn't happen when you move. There might be a stripping Special Olympics that you could try to join." Try as I might, I couldn't muster any annoyance because he is exactly right.

Instead of being able to pull off moves like these:

Mine end up looking more like these:

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Batter Up...

I've been neglecting my blog this week. The last 4 days have gotten away from me, which is really a good thing, since tomorrow's Friday, and I haven't even had a chance to lament about the week crawling by slowly.

Last night kicked off softball season for our agency's team. Somehow I'm the coach of the team, which is quite hilarious since I've never played softball before, minus one short season with my church in Knoxville when I was 6ish. Actually, I accidentally incited a revolt against the former captain and was named new captain. It was all very dramatic (for rec league, office athletics), but now I'm in charge.

Last year we made it to the league semifinals, so we had high hopes for last night's game. Unfortunately, our game didn't start until 10, which was way past my bedtime anyway. Perhaps it was that fact, or maybe that no one on our team had so much as thrown a ball in 9 months, but we lost 14-8. I tried to pretend that I didn't care since, again, it's rec league office softball, but I hate hate hate losing, particularly when you're declared the loser at 11 p.m.

My favorite part of softball season, though, is writing press releases after the game to distribute to the office. Since we really don't have any fans attend, I can embellish to my heart's content, and I take full advantage.

Despite being weary this morning and going to bed with a lump on my shin the size of Paris Hilton's feet, I'm thrilled to be back on the ballfield.

I promise to be a more faithful (and entertaining blogger) in the days to come. Happy Almost-Friday!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sticky Fingers

Dear People,

Please stop taking my things.

Christopher and Raphael, do not break into people's homes and steal their TVs, Playstations or computers. You will get caught, and you will go to jail. You probably won't have to pay me my restitution, but you still suck.

Bitches at the Y, if I leave my makeup bag unattended for several minutes, I am not giving it to you. Do not take it. I may look fab, but if you look at my bank account, you will realize otherwise. I buy cheap makeup - there's nothing fancy in my bag. But just because it's cheap doesn't mean I can afford to replace it frequently. And just so you know, the CVS on South Blvd. that I rushed to this morning when I realized my cosmetics were now in your possession is disgusting. I was able to walk away with foundation, blush, eyeshadow and eyeliner, but I had to apply it in the parking lot with my doors locked. I probably look like a clown this morning. Do you know Christopher and Raphael? Because you suck too.

Punches and Kicks,
Polka Dots & Protein Bars

Monday, March 9, 2009

Your Questions; My Answers Part III

Okay, lovelies... moving on from yesterday, we're back to our regularly scheduled questioning...

xoxo sarabeth asked: What is your most hilarious memory? What is your favorite household/landscaping chore? What would you save in a fire?
a. I have so many hilarious memories, and most of them are documented each week in "True Story Tuesdays." Strange things happen to me, and I can't help by find humor in all of them. One of my favorites, which I haven't written about yet because it's hard to take memories and reproduce them as blog posts is going to Target after knee surgeries (two January's in a row). I got to ride on one of those electric carts, and Lobster used my crutches. I crashed the cart several times, and Lobstina hobbled on my crutches. It's really hard to write this memory and make it as funny as it really was, but trust me; we were both hyperventilating in laughter when we left.
b. My favorite household chore is without a doubt making up my bed. I refuse to leave the house without having a beautifully made up bed. I learned early on in college, living in tiny dorm room, that rooms look so much neater and more organized with a made up bed. Likewise, I also like to change sheets. Nothing is better than fresh sheets - I actually did this just last night! I also enjoy cleaning my kitchen. I'm a little OCD about this. I despise letting dishes pile up in the sink!
c. In a fire I would save Sadie (obvs), my pictures, my laptop (I had my original computer stolen in November, and I lost so many photos and memories - I would definitely take this with me), my orange-pink-green chair (so not practical, but I love it too much to let it be destroyed) and my Paula Deen cookbooks - I met her and had them autographed. I love love love them.

Kim asked me to describe my perfect day:
- My ideal would be nothing too, too over the top. I would love to wake up early and work out hard, then spend the day outside. I would love the weather to be 75-80 degrees and sunny. I would go to a lake and spend the day lounging on the dock and tubing on the lake. As the sun goes down, I'd love to cook dinner with Boyfriend, then curl up and chat away in a hammock with the pups. It's the little things that make me smile.

Lauren asked: If you were a flying monkey, what color would you be and what would you smell like? What is your favorite quote? On a completely free day, what do you love to do? What song describes you in a nutshell?
a. I wouldn't be a flying monkey, because they absolutely scare the crapola out of me. Wizard of Oz was my all time favorite movie growing up, but the flying monkeys were beyond terrifying. Instead I would be Dorothy, but I would wear pink polka dot stilettos, a Lilly dress and pearls, and Sadie would be Toto. I would, of course, smell fabulous. I love Donna Karan Be Delicious.
b. My favorite quote is Romans 12:12 - "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."
c. See answer above. I would also love a trip to the mountains or the zoo or pretty much anything. I'm easy to please.
d. This is a tough one! I guess the song that best describes me is "Who I Am" by Jessica Andrews. I'm just your average girl, but I'm proud of that. I would also have to go with "The Warrior Is a Child" by Twila Paris. I think that song summarizes a lot about my spirtual life, and it never fails to bring tears to my eyes.

Chescka asked: What do you really hate in general? For example: a person, an item, etc.
- Here's my list in no particular order...
a. Tyra Banks
b. Reena from the TRU commercials in NC
c. Apple juice
d. My feet
e. Drinking milk outside or out of plastic cups - if you haven't tried this, please do. You'll know exactly what I'm talking about.
f. Macaroni & cheese
g. Tea
h. Failing
i. Smoking, cigarettes, tobacco in general
j. Clowns
k. Ventriloquist dummies

Back with more later! As always, feel free to add to the list :-)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Your Questions; My Answers Part II

This post will only address questions posed by one reader. Said reader didn't ask a question until Part I of my question-answer time, but his/her comment hurt and disturbed me. While I'm sure I should not respond, I felt as though I would be remiss not to address his/her questions.

Anonymous asked: Do you ever think critically about anything? About why you might feel the need to diet when you're obviously not fat? Do you ever examine your childhood fantasies about "playing house" and realize they are a bit sexist? I think your heading tells a lot about you--trying to be a grown up "lady"--what about trying to be a woman?
- I think this question would best be answered in parts, so here it goes:

a) Yes, I do think critically. In fact, critical thinking and finding creative solutions are strengths of mine and are noted as such on my resume. I would be happy to send you a copy, so you can see for yourself.

b) If you read my answer to the fitness question again, you will see that I never said that I was on a "diet," in context, the use of the word "diet" denotes my eating patterns in general, not a specific "diet plan." In fact, I'm adamant about not trying to stick to a diet. My senior year of high school I was 15 lbs. heavier than I am now. In a desperate effort to lose weight I abused laxatives for several months and damaged my digestive system for many months after that, and, of course, lost no weight. As many of you know, I spent my first semester of college at Virginia Tech, and I was utterly miserable. I became a stress non-eater and became extremely controlling of what I ate. For much of the duration of that semester I limited myself to consuming only 600 calories a day. Those 15 lbs. quickly fell off, but my metabolism is still feeling the repercussions of that irresponsible decision. I have maintained the weight loss, but only after a very long battle with myself in which I became realistic about my body, my diet (my eating patterns in general) and my weight. I can proudly say now, that I have an appreciation with my body, not a competition. Of course, there will be always be parts that I wish were smaller, firmer, stronger, etc, but now I eat and workout for my health and the endorphins it gives me, not to try and attain something impossible or unnatural for me. Diets are not part of that equation and never will be again.

c) Clearly I do not need to examine my reasons for playing House since you answered that one for me. I am unclear about why House is sexist, though. As a communication major, I spent the three and a half years of my college career exploring gender roles, role playing games, and gender development. I know that House is a gender-developing-role- playing game. I am not bothered in the least by that. I have and always will take my gender role from Scripture, particularly from Ephesians, which states, "Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord." I believe that women are to serve their husbands as serving the Lord. Women are the only sex that can bear children, therefore, I have every intention of doing so. Women are to create households which uphold the Lord and serve His commands. In playing House, I was simply acting out a future that I fully intend to have... caretaking, nurturing and providing. Where is the sexism in that? If you read the rest of my answer, you will also see my intention to continue working. Working fulfills a creative outlet for me (much like this blog does), and if I am blessed to be able to continue that while also raising and providing for a God-fearing family, I will absolutely do that. I was raised in a family that stuck very closely to traditional gender roles - my mother was a stay-at-home mother raising 3 children while my father worked full-time. I will also defend maintaining those conventional feminine roles and remain unapologetic that I have a love of cooking, baking, cleaning, decorating and creating a home.

d) I also agree that my header tells a lot about me. I am joyful. I hope that I have created a blog that reflects my joy in living. As for the semantics of using the word "lady" vs. "woman," I guess to satisfy you, I will need to pull out my internal dictionary. To me, a woman is a fully-grown female. At 22, I am a woman; however, in many ways I also feel like a young girl trying to find my way in each new stage of my life. This blog candidly outlines my trials and adventures in doing so. To me, a lady is a woman who exudes grace, elegance, selflessness, determination, perseverance, wisdom, love, Christlike principles, maturity, loyalty and integrity. Those characteristics are ones that I am striving to possess, cultivate and nurture in myself. Again I turn to scripture and find the lady described in Proverbs 31, and I yearn to seek the Lord and allow Him to work in my heart and my life and create in me a heart after His own. I am already a woman, but that is what I mean by trying to be a "lady".

e) I will never, ever portray myself through this blog as someone that I'm not. I will never pretend to be greater than I am or someone different than who I was born. I will always write openly, candidly and honestly. If you disagree with the things that I write or the personality characteristics that I possess, I do not and will not apologize, but I will respectfully remind you that you do not have to read this. I am so thankful for the relationships that I have formed in the 2 months that I have been writing, and I thank you all for your encouragement and comments.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Your Questions; My Answers Part I

USCEmily asked: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? How about 10 years?
- Growing up, I loved playing House and picturing my life in the future, so this one fits in well. In 5 years I'll be 27, and I would love to be married and well on my way to starting a family. I hope to still be working, but I would love to be a senior account manager and in charge of my own accounts instead of just supplementing them, which is what I do now. In 10 years I would like to be settled with a family in a house that my husband and I have built - preferably with three kids (2 girls and a boy, please), 2 dogs and the most breathtaking kitchen you've ever seen (kitchens are my weakness, and the lifeblood of a house, in my opinion). At that point professionally, I would love to be running the PR department, but still balancing my family and homelife. I'm too much of a Suzy Homemaker not to nest while I work.

Emily asked: What is your favorite kind of food? Favorite color? Favorite item of clothing?
- I always struggle with "favorite" questions because I have about 291024 favorites of everything. I'll try to narrow these down, though. Favorite food: for a dinner meal give me seafood, and I'll devour it. For lunch, obviously peanut butter & banana sandwiches. Breakfast: protein bars, and for dessert: does it have sugar in it? Okay, I'll eat it. My favorite color is pink, but I'm picky about the shade and its usage. My favorite item of clothing would have to be dresses in general. There isn't one in my closet that I could pick out as my favorite because for different occasions I would pick something different. For colder days I've been loving my sweater dress with leggings; for an afternoon summer wedding I'd pull my favorite Lilly dress; for something fancier I have a to-die-for BCBG in silver blue; for work, I have about a million options, and I love them all. I adore Banana Republic jeans, and headbands in general. See, Emily? You asked for one thing and I gave you lots and lots!

QueenBeeSwain asked: What was your favorite show on Nickelodeon when you were growing up?
- Queen Bee, I am thrilled that you asked me this. I'm such a TV whore (which I'm not proud of, but it's true), and I logged many an hour in front of Nickelodeon as a mini polka dot. My brother LOVED Pete & Pete, so we watched a lot of that, but my personal favorite was Clarissa Explains It All. Melissa Joan Hart was so spunky with such eclectic style. I dreamed of being able to make my own computer games, have a pet alligator named Elvis, and live in a house where my best friend could climb up a ladder to get into my room. The Darling family had it all. If I was feeling naughty and wanted to watch something that wasn't parent-approved, I would check out the hijinks of Donkey Lips and Camp Counselor Ugg of Salute Your Shorts. I wish all of those shows were still on the air!

SNCal17 asked:
What advice can you give to a fellow 22 year old gal who's unhappy with her fresh-out-of-college job?
- Well, this is tricky. Luckily for me, I'm in a field that I love and is a perfect match for me. I love my company, as well. Do I love my job every day? Absolutely not. For the moment I'm stuck in the doldrums of an entry level position doing work that I'm overqualified for and making an embarrassingly low salary. Sure, I'm learning a lot, and my boss has acknowledged that I'm ready for a promotion and a raise, but thanks to the economy I'll have to continue toiling. I'm thrilled to be employed and receiving a paycheck, but I do get discouraged. Thankfully, I see the potential to move up thanks to the structure of our agency. So I guess my question for you would be: are you happy in the field you're in and just unhappy with your job role? Or are you unhappy with your chosen field? If it's the first one, hang tough, pay your dues, I promise it will pay off. If number 2, know that you're still young enough to go back to school and explore other options. The time to find out is now. I hope that helps! I don't know that I'm qualified to give advice, but I'm always willing to try!

Pink Bliss asked: You are so dedicated to fitness, as someone struggling with trying to lose 15lbs and being healthier, do you have any advice?
- I'm dedicated to fitness because I have to be. Sadly, I am not a girl that is blessed with a fast metabolism. If I don't workout and eat poorly, it shows. Immediately. I used to hate that, but now I feel lucky that at such a young age I've had to learn how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I don't want to be a textbook reguritating "calories in-calories out." For me, I have to mix up my workouts. It's easy to hop on an elliptical everyday, and I have terribly bad knees, so I have to limit my treadmill time, so I try to alternate between elliptical, treadmill, rowing maching, stairmaster, bike/cycle classes, athletic conditioning classes, and swimming laps. I also lift weights at home to save time in the gym and allow more time for cardio. I don't get bored that way, and my body is constantly challenged and my joints aren't beaten endlessly. Also, there are many days that I can't devote an hour or more to working out, so I squeeze in what I can. That usually amounts to 25 minutes of cardio at lunch paired with weights, squats, lunges and running my staircase at home after work. I like healthy food, too, so even when I overeat, it's usually on foods that don't do all that much manage. I try to be realistic about my health/weight/workout routine. I would hate to be 40 and feel like I spent all of my 20's abusing my body. Good luck with your journey! Please let me know if you ever have questions about my diet and fitness routine!

Thank you all for such wonderful questions! I'll post part II later this afternoon or tomorrow. If you have any more, send them my way!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

100 Posts and Many More to Come

It's my 100th post! Let the balloons fall from the heavens and joyous may we be! I really didn't want my 100th post to just be the announcement that I'd made it because that felt a little like cheating, but unfortch, I don't have a lot to discuss today.

I would love for all of you precious ladies to help me with that, though. I'm officially hopping on the bandwagon and inviting all of you to ask me any and all questions. Nothing is off limits! I will spend the next couple of days sorting through and answering all of them. I'm hoping to get a lot of participation and letting each of you get to know me a little more!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

True Story Tuesday - Biting the Bullet

The summer before my last semester of college (I was a December graduate), I knew I needed an internship or two to pad my resume before applying to jobs. Ideally I wanted to find one that was paid, but I knew that was a stretch. As a public relations major with a sports management minor, I would be perfectly happy to find something that combined my two education areas. I began doing intense internet searches for sports marketing or sports PR internships in Raleigh or Charlotte. I was thrilled when I found a Web site for Bullet Marketing, located in Cary, which boasted of the work it did for Major League, NBA and NFL teams as well as other well-known brands such as Nike and Wendy’s. It also promised paid internship work. Knowing that the position would be highly competitive, I submitted my resume and anxiously awaited a response. I was pleasantly surprised when I heard back 10 minutes later from a representative of the company asking to schedule an interview for the next day.

Dressed to impress, I arrived at the Bullet office early. I was a bit confused when I walked in and realized that the entire “office” was really just one room with a receptionist and a couch and a second room that was supposed to be impressively outfitted in ostentatious furniture. The only problem was that aside from the receptionist and Dominic (the resident of the “fancy” office, who was very much the definition of a guido), I didn’t see any other employees. Undeterred, I proceeded to dazzle him with my sports knowledge and enthusiasm. As the interview concluded he told me that he would call me by end of day to let me know if I had been selected to take part in Round 2 of interviews, which would entail a day spent shadowing his upper level executives. I was dying for the opportunity to participate in hands on work, and I spent the rest of the day on the edge of my seat. When the call finally came, I was ecstatic. Dominic informed me that I would be shadowing one of his senior VPs named Matt and urged me to wear comfortable shoes since I would spend most of the day on my feet.

I carefully chose the perfect outfit when the day arrived – an olive colored shirt dress, headband, and bronze buckled kitten heels. When I arrived at the office to meet Dominic and Matt, they both looked quizzically at my shoes and inquired about the comfort level. Thinking that I would merely be walking around the office that day I assured them that they were fine. I was told I would be working with Matt offsite meeting with some clients. Thrilled to be thrown into client meetings so quickly, I happily bounded outside to Matt’s car – a beat up, hunk o’ junk ’92 Jeep-thing. I ignored this clear red flag and got in the passenger side, trying to sidestep the food wrappers littering the floorboards.

Matt informed me that we would be traveling to Creedmoor, NC for the day and asked if I knew where it was. I was vaguely familiar with the area (actually, I knew there were signs that pointed the way to Creedmoor by the mall). He then asked me how long I thought he had been working at Bullet since he was a senior VP. I guessed 5 years or so. “Nope,” he said confidently, “2 weeks.” I tried to quiet the warning bells ringing in my head as he told me that he was living on a friend’s couch in Burlington and had been unemployed for over a year. He asked me some questions to “test my knowledge of marketing,” and seemed genuinely surprised when I knew textbook answers to each question.

45 minutes later we came to a stop in a low-income neighborhood in Creedmoor. “Here we are,” he said. “Where?” I inquired hoping that we were at his mom’s house to let her dog out before continuing to the real destination. “This is where we’re starting today,” he informed me. Unbeknownst to me until that fateful moment, our “client work” for the day consisted of selling Subway coupons door-to-door. Every two weeks the product changed and the “VPs” traveled to a different area of North Carolina to sell things. As we knocked on each door in the neighborhood I became more and more disgusted by Matt and his weasley sales tactics, which included lying, manipulating and coercing people who very clearly didn’t have the money to spend. After we thoroughly canvassed the neighborhood in 90 degree heat, we traveled to an even lower income trailer park and continued the task. Finally, mercifully, Matt informed me that it was time for lunch. When I asked where we were eating, he answered as though the answer was painfully obvious, “Subway.”

Before we arrived at Subway we made one more detour into the parking lot of one of North Carolina’s largest mental institutions. When I expressed my concerns about selling these patients Subway coupons he brushed me aside with a quick, “Everyone likes sandwiches, and everyone needs to eat.” I opted to stay in the car for that pitch.

When we finally arrived at Subway, I ran to the bathroom, cell phone in hand and made a frantic call to Boyfriend explaining the situation. He instructed me to leave immediately, but since my car was still in Cary, I wasn’t sure how that would be possible. Matt and I sat at a table to eat, and he borrowed my notebook to outline Bullet’s “innovative” pyramid scheme. After he finished boasting to me about how in a few short months he would be a millionaire and start his own business just like Dominic, I didn’t think I would be able to keep my sandwich down.

About that time, Matt finished his speech and asked me if I was enjoying the day and if Bullet seemed like a company I would like to work for, I very tactfully told him that I felt as though I had been duped; I didn’t want anything to do with Bullet; I didn’t want to finish the day; I wanted to go home. At that point Matt let me know that I would need to find my own ride home and left me sitting at our table. On the verge of tears, I called my savior, Lobster, and explained what had happened. She told me that of course she would come get me, but she needed an address to MapQuest. The Subway was brand new and didn’t have an address posted anywhere, so I had to ask the owner what it was. When Lobster plugged the coordinates into MapQuest it told her that no such place existed. I believed MapQuest. No place like that should ever exist. I felt like I was stuck in the Twilight Zone.

Lobster promised to find me, and I waited for her arrival like a princess waits for a knight on a white steed. While I waited, I perused the next door Food Lion and returned empty handed to the Subway at which time the restaurant owner came and told me what wonderful work Bullet did for them. I know he was trying to be nice, but I had to keep my hand from contorting into a fist and ramming itself into his face. True to her word, Lobster arrived about 30 minutes later, and I doubt I have ever been so glad to see anyone in my life.

The next day when I received a follow-up email from Matt (probably written on his friend’s borrowed computer from the couch he called home) letting me know what a pleasure it was to meet me and telling me that I was definitely Bullet Marketing material and instructing me to get in touch with him if I became interested in the future, I very politely told him what he could do with his Bullet. If anyone in the Raleigh-Durham area is looking for employment, they’re probably still hiring.

E-tail Therapy

I woke up this morning a little sleepy after staying up way past my bedtime to watch the drama unfold on the Bachelor and After the Final Rose (of course, if you, like me, read Reality Steve, you already knew the outcome). The grog wore off quickly, though, when I realized in horror that I was out of both protein bars and fruit. This truly is tragic since I really don't know how to eat anything else for breakfast except protein bars and fruit. On my way to work I made a mad dash to the Teet, and now I'm at my desk happily munching on a Power Bar Triple Threat Chocolate Caramel Fusion bar and sipping a Cherry Diet Dr. Pepper. All is right with the world.

I wanted to take a little time and introduce you lovely ladies to a fabulous Web site. If you're like me, you like to browse your favorite stores online, but you get bored with the same selection - Nordstrom, Gap, Anthropologie, J. Crew, Banana Republic, Old Navy. That's where Gameday Boutique comes in. This lovely little cyber retailer was created by two Charlotte sisters who attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (where Little Sis is a freshman). They became frustrated that they couldn't find cute clothing in Carolina blue without logos or Ramses (the Tar Heel mascot) and decided to start their own company offering team colored clothing without all the "team trappings." Their site is organized by apparel item (tops, dresses, accessories, etc), and then subdivided by color to make searching for perfect team apparel even easier. Items range from basic to fancy, and price points fluctuate too. As an extra tool, each product description includes the perfect way to wear each piece - with leggings, boots, etc, etc. Whether you're searching for a bowl game outfit or just something cute and different for a night on the town, hurry over to Gameday Boutique and get shopping.

I'll be back later with another exciting True Story Tuesday, but until then stay toasty!

Monday, March 2, 2009

A Lobster's Eye View

Unlike every other person in Charlotte, I'm sitting at my desk in my office slammed with work wistfully watching the snow melting out my window. I wanted to wow you with a fabulously frosty fun post today, but alas, I got pulled into a project for Madame P, and I'm very overwhelmed. I decided that it was high time for all of you lovelies to meet my darling Lobster for yourselves. I asked her to write a guest post, and the dear, did not disappoint. Without further ado, I bring you the highly talented, extra gorgeous, one and only Lobsterita...

One of the best and worst discoveries that Polka Dots and I have made is Plato's Closet. If you don't know what it is, PC is this fabulous hole in the wall in Cary, NC (and cities all over the country) where you can sell your clothes, and then PC sells them in their store. What a great way to make money, right? Wrong. PC is very picky about what clothes they sell in their store, and rightfully so. But we'll get to that in a minute.

Here are the rules, taken from Plato's Closet's website and adapted by us:

Clean out your crowded closet!

Or, when your bank account is super low after purchasing the college necessities (books, groceries, wine, apartment decorations, etc.), consult your depleting closet and pull out a pretty white dress that looks really new. Don't mind that coffee stain.

Bring in your gently used brand name clothing and accessories to Plato's Closet®. Most desired are items purchased within the past year.
Do really short tank tops from Target worn 4 years ago count?

Sign in with a team buyer and review the steps and time frame needed to complete your buy.
Give your address, two telephone numbers, your full name and and an emergency contact in order to address the "team buyer." If "team buyer" is not easily recognizable, just consult the 30-year old woman behind the counter wearing a gym class T-shirt with your college's logo on it, paired with some high-waisted mom jeans. You know what I'm talking about. After said woman argues with the type of bag you brought your recyclables in (because trash bags are so insulting to PC employees. Clothes MUST be brought in name brand shopping bags), she finally tells you that she'll call within 2 hours.

While you check out the latest arrivals at the store, a buyer will review your items based on a variety of criteria including: style, condition, brand and store's current stock levels.
You immediately leave the store, and get a call within 10 minutes, having to turn around...

The buyer will enter the buying criteria details into our computer system to create an offer for those items we would like to purchase.

Or "buyer" will take one look at your pretty, stylish, flattering clothes and decide that her gym shirt is way more stylish, and therefore won't even bother entering your clothing items into the computer system.

An offer to purchase your items will be extended to you.
"6 tank tops, 2 pairs of jeans, 1 pair of dress pants, 3 sweaters, 5 pairs of earrings, 2 bracelets and a purse. We cannot accept some of these items because they aren't brand new or they are last season's. That'll be $2.36 for your 5 pairs of earrings, 2 bracelets, your purse and 1 sweater. You could get $4.57 in store credit at Plato's Closet if you'd like..."

Once you accept the offer, the buyer will complete your transaction and you'll be on your way with some extra cash or a hot new outfit (or two or three).
You take the $2.36 along with your rejected clothes.

A week later, when your account is low again, you take the already rejected clothes back to Plato's Closet for round two, hoping they don't notice the fact that they've already seen these items. After repeating the above steps and not receiving an offer at all, you leave, noticing your old purse hanging on the wall for sale. And then you do what Polka Dots did. You find a convenient dumpster behind the shopping center and throw your 3 bags, but miss the dumpster as they land on the concrete in a parking space. You drive off, justifying it by assuming whoever parks in the spot will be so grateful to find a surprise waiting for them.

Polka Dots and I would come home after each visit to PC and decide it just wasn't worth it to have our beautiful valuables rejected by someone wearing sweatpants to work. But alas, the cycle continued throughout our low income days of college. Since moving to Charlotte, we're researching other ways to make money. Like donating our eggs.