Thursday, April 30, 2009

Rule #15 - Don't Sweat It

When you're meeting a coworker for a very early morning workout, and you're nervous about bailing on her, you can go to bed wearing socks, running shorts, a sports bra and workout top and sleep quite comfortably. If you also position your alarm strategically across the room, when you wake up to turn it off, you'll realize that all you need to do is lace up your shoes, which will leave no room for excuses. Conveniently enough, if you also make sure that the temperature of your room is well above average, you won't be tempted to curl back up under the covers to stay warm. You will also be sporting a new sweat stain already by the time you reach the gym, which will cause the patrons to think you're more badass than you really are.

If, however, you are struck by the Womanly Curse 5 minutes before the start of class and are ill-prepared for her arrival, you should probably leave immediately rather than try to "stick it out" for 30 minutes unequipped. The results are not desirable.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Quench It

Today I passed a homeless man standing on the same corner where I previously hit a hobo in the head with a protein bar trying to help him. This time I had no foodstuffs in my vehicle or on my person, nor did I have any money to give him (I try to avoid giving money, you see). I did, however, have several Wild Cherry Diet Pepsis. I proffered said soda from the bowels of my CRV and held two out the window to the disheveled man who help a sign proclaiming that he was hungry. He looked suspiciously at the light blue cans. "These are really good," I explained. "This is one of my favorite flavors. I'm sorry I don't have any food, but these will quench any thirst you may have, and the carbonation can be surprisingly filling." He responded, "They're warm." Perturbed, because (literal) beggars can't be choosers, I responded, "Yes they are, but what else do you have to drink?" He thought for a moment before grudgingly admitting that I was right and he had few options. He accepted the flavorful beverages, and as the light turned green and I drove away he called, "Bring Coke next time!"

All I'm saying is... if you're homeless, move to Charlotte. You can be greedy, demanding and picky. Not all of us can say the same. Lucky.

Baby Bump Grump

I got invited to a baby shower on Saturday morning for my former youth leader. We were extremely close throughout high school, and she, Georgia Peach and I were a tight-knit group. When Georgia Peach and I left Charlotte for college, she fell off the face of the earth. We didn't get phone calls, emails, text messages... nothing. The only time I heard from her was when my sister ran into her and told her I hated Virginia Tech. She called me them. She really liked helping people with problems, and really I had very few of them (plus when I do, I internalize... I don't feel a need to overshare), so that was always a sticking point of our relationship.

Almost three years ago she married our other youth leader. They were made for each other, and their love story truly is very sweet and proof of how the Lord readies your heart and future. Despite not speaking for over two years, Miss Peach and I were invited to the wedding. Little even threw her a bridesmaid luncheon, but she never received so much as a thank you note.

After the wedding it was back to incommunicado. She and her husband moved to Florida, and I heard of her coming back to Charlotte to visit, but I was never included in the reunions. She got Facebook, and we've exchanged several messages and wall posts over the past year, but it's been limited. In February I received a text from her (it was a mass text) with a picture of a sonogram and the announcement that she was pregnant. It was such a miraculous blessing for her - she's over 40, has struggled with endometriosis and an eating disorder, so it's so exciting that she and her amazing husband are having a little girl.

A few weeks ago she sent a mass Facebook message to several girls that went/go to our old church (I have since left and split my time between an amazing, amazing church and Boyfriend's church) requesting us to send our email addresses to one of her friends for evites. Once we received the evites, we received another text message from her confirming that we had actually received them. Then another when I waited three days to respond. Tacky much? The evite also noted the places of the couple's registry but pointed out that cash or gift cards would be the best option since they were traveling. Is this not the tackiest thing you've ever heard? Who handles events like this?

Sigh. Anyway, I committed to attending, although I really only like maybe 1 other guest. Georgia Peach has bailed (totally understandable since she'd have to drive from Atlanta, but tears nonetheless). Pretty much the only reason I'm attending the shower is because last time I saw most of these people I was 15-20 pounds heavier (disgrossting), and I want to show off my svelter figure. SOOOO the most important question... whatever do I wear to said event which is taking place at 10 o'clock on a Saturday morning?

Also, am I being a huge brat over the whole situation?
If you made it through this long rant, you must really, really like me. XO

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Who Am I?

Queen Bee tagged me in this fun game. Surveys like this totally bringing out my inner middle schooler playing along with those chain emails to pick out your favorite color, wish while scrolling, then send to 15 people. Love them. Anyway, without further ado...

Current obsession- Picking out amazing fabric and learning to sew, so that I can create gorgeous frocks to share with all of you!
Weirdest obsession- Peanut butter. Two days last week, every meal of the day (including snack) featured peanut butter. It's probably seeping out of my pores making me the "Weird Girl That Smells Like Peanut Butter." One time in 7th grade, I was dating a hot 6th grader (Oooh yeah), and he dumped me because I talked to about peanut butter too much. Ouch. I guess I haven't learned my lesson.
Wearing today- An adorably precious coral-pink dress that I got for $3 at Gap to wear to me 21st birthday outing (one of my favorite dresses of all time that gets much too little wear) with a lacy camisole underneath, white cropped cardigan, and metallic BCBG sandals complete with 2 jewels and bows.
Favorite comfort food- Peanut butter OR my homemade chocolate chip cookies straight from the oven. Yum!
What would make today special- If the girl I'm showing my place to tonight decides to move in, saving me beaucoups of bucks!
You'd like to learn to- Sew! I can't wait to be able to... I'm oh so close!
Last thing you bought- Groceries last night. I'm trying to stop spending money eating out. It's taken up a much larger portion of my budget than it should.
Listening to right now- Sounds of the office, but the new Rascal Flatts CD in my car.
Favorite weather-
Cold! I also love fall and spring, but apparently Charlotte is detouring spring and moving straight to summer this year.
Most challenging goal now- Getting a raise and promotion at work. Stupid hiring freeze.
One who tagged you- Queen Bee~ not only do I love your blog, but I love that we are the exact same person, and I adore sharing emails with you. They are definitely the bright spot of my workday!
Anywhere to live- I'd stay in Charlotte. Love this city!
Want in your hands now- Sadie May. She's the world's best snuggler, and today is just one of those days that I'd rather be cuddling than working.
Anywhere for an hour- In the audience of Paula's Party. Paula Deen is my hero, and we've met once... she held my hand and called me "Baby."
Language to learn- I took French for seven or eight years, but if you heard me try to speak it, you would have no idea.
Look for in a good friend- Someone who I relate with on multiple levels, can have fun with and is always there for me!
Meet in person- Reese Witherspoon or Amy Grant.
Favorite type of music- During the warm months, definitely country, but Amy Grant is my forever favorite.
Favorite clothing owned- My dresses. That encompasses most of my closet, but I can't narrow it down to just one piece.
Dream job- Paula Deen. Or a mom. Or both.
$100 to spend on- Fabric, clothing (more $3 dresses!) and baking ingredients.
Pet peeve- Hearing one of my coworkers talk constantly about her ongoing divorce while she clips her fingernails. She also applies AquaNet at her desk multiple times a day.
Who do you admire- My mother. Little has been through so much in her life and is one of the most incredible women I know.
Personal style- I like to be Preppy Classic With A Modern, Funky Twist. I wonder if anyone would agree that I hit that mark.
Favorite beauty product- Maybelline Pink and Green Mascara. It's the best. Always and forever.

Monday, April 27, 2009

How-To: Make a Derby Headband

Happy Monday! I've received a few questions about the headband so prominently featured in my below Steeplechase post. Because I have a humongous man-sized face and head, I knew that a hat may not be the best option for me (of course, I still put myself through quite the hat saga - Baby Sis ended up wearing the TJ Maxx chapeau and looked presh). I'm sure you're all aware of my headband obsession, so I decided to take it one step further and produce something even more over the top than usual. For a mere $4 I created the look. I purchased a huge fake flower of my choose from Michael's ($2.99 for mine) then found a $0.98 thin plastic headband at WalMart (thin was important so it looked more like a flower floating on my head than a huge headband). I cut a small rectangle out cardstock and hot glued the center of it to the underneath curve of the band. I then cut the stem as close to the blossom as possible. I then flipped the flower almost inside out (it took some trial and error... when I first secured it to the band without doing this, it didn't lay flush and looked ridiculous) and removed two layers of plastic. With the flower flatter and more malleable, I hot glued it to the band and the sides of the cardstock (extra security). For even more security and placed several bobbypins through the petals to the cardstock and plastic headband. Voila!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Queens Cup

My Saturday in photographs:
~ Horses
~ Betting

~ Lilly
~ Ladder Ball
~ Family
~ Costume Changes

Friday, April 24, 2009

Suitin' Up

I finally ordered the bathing suit that I've been drooling over for weeks. Thanks to some very sly blogging buddies, I was able to scour some sites and find three promotional codes that added up to free shipping, $10 off and a free tote bag - a grand total of $42. The entire Protein Bar family (Daddy, Little, Baby Sis and Big Brother) is heading to the Tranquility Bay Beach House Resort on Marathon Key in June, and I needed something amazing to sport. What do you think of my new purchase?

The top in the first picture with the less scandalous bottoms:

In other Polka Dots & Protein Bars news, it is currently 80 degrees and breathtakingly sunny in Charlotte today, which bodes well for my Steeplechase trip tomorrow. Of course in my painfully indecisive brain, the debate rages on between wearing my pretty derby hat or my cheerful and quirky DIY floral headband. I guess it will be a gametime decision.

Speaking of which: tomorrow is draft day! I do love the NFL draft (I am glued to my television for every single round), and I hope my beloved Panthers will come away with some excellent additions to the squad. I'm now a writer for the super fun Web site Chicks in the Huddle, which targets female football fans! The site is owned, operated and written solely by female football fans, and I am proud to be the "Panthers Chick" chronicling all of the on and off field drama of my favorite cats! If you obsess over the pigskin like I do, come check it out! Football season is enticingly close, and I can hardly wait for my Vols and Panthers to take the field this fall.

This post took a dramatic turn from summer goodness to autumn lust, but as you know by now, things like that tend to happen around here :-)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Way The Cookie Crumbles

As many of you know, my dear real life friend aHr from Southern Sunshine is a teacher. I wish you all had a chance to meet and get to know her, because she is one big ball of sass fire rolled up in an itty bitty package. She is also one of the sweetest, most compassionate, Godly women I've had the pleasure to know. She was born to be a kindergarten teacher. As I mentioned though, the sweet girl is a dynamo, and when we talked on the phone last week she shared a story with me, that I had to share with the blogosphere.

Ave's school is in Raleigh, and she was regaled and delighted her readers with tales of such kinder-characters as Rattail (who recently had a makeover) and Mini Jay-Z. While she loves all of her children, apparently Jay-Z has been acting more like Lil Wayne than his Hova idol as of late. The trouble began when the little p-i-m-p began using his school meal account to buy himself snacks, which is against the rules. Accounts are only allowed during breakfast or lunch, and Jay was using them in between meals to fill his little wannabe-thug tummy.

To address the naughty behavior, Miss Ave sent a note home with tiny Sean Carter requesting that his mother rein in his spending and eating habits. Thinking the issue would be curtailed, aHr rested easy. The next day, however, the Jigga Man pulled a Moon Pie out of his bookbag.
- "Look, Miz Henderson, I got a big ole Moon Pie for my snack today."
- "Oh, Jay-Z, I love Moon Pies. Did your mom get them for you at Harris Teeter?"
- "Nah, Girl, I just got this from the cafeteria usin' my account."
- "Jay! Didn't you give your mom the note I wrote saying that you can't do that?"
- "I gave it to her, but now I'm hungry, so I used my account and got somethin' to eat. Problem. Solved."

Now, Southern Sunshine can outprep the prepsters, but girlfriend can just as easily out-gangster the gangstas. I've witnessed it firsthand, and the result isn't pretty. Ave immediately confiscated the sugary, Southern snack staple and placed it nonchalantly on her desk. As she continued her lesson she noticed Jay-Z's eyes flitting constantly between the board and his hostage Moon Pie. As she grew more and more irritated, she had an idea.

She was pacing the room describing the day's concept, and when she asked for questions, she gracefully hopped on her desk to perch whilst questions were being asked. She positioned her landing spot strategically and landed directly atop the wanton Moon Pie. "Whoops," she gasped with her steely gaze piercing straight into Jay-Z's. As his eyes began to water, Miss Henderson told him directly, "Rappers never cry."

She is being nominated for teacher of the year.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

How Did You Get Here? and An Ethical Compromise

I cannot color outside of the lines. Even if I want to. If I try, the lines just mutate and absorb my coloring. Sigh. Today at lunch I returned my hat; HOWEVER, all is not lost. I found a perfectly suitable replacement hat for $14.99. I made the exchange and got $10.73 back. Fabulous compromise! I'll keep my new hat until Saturday at which time I will choose between the hat and my DIY headband. I can breathe a little easier now - and still look fabulous.

In other Polka Dots & Protein Bars News, I have been amusing myself by looking at the search terms that send people to this little blog o' mine. Without further ado, here are my favorites:

1. "Kappa Prep Said" - anything Hopsy says is a "do" in my book.
2. "Lobster Eye" - love my Lobster and her eyes.
3. "Compression Hose Summer Shoes/Sandals" - sorry, Friends, compression hose and summer shoes are not a good mix.
4. "Compression Stockings Sexy" - try as I might, I don't think I can make mine sexy, but maybe a Cougar Grandma can. Rawr...
5. "Appendectomy/Appendicitis Internal Bleeding" - not only should you book it to the ER, you should totally use this as an excuse the next time you don't want to go to class.
6. "Bimbo Protein Bar" - is this is a new brand? I'd love to try it! I'm sure some bimbos do enjoy their processed protein. Were, you, the searcher, disappointed when this wholesome blog was a result for your search?
7. "I Didn't Know The Hamptons Was So Rugged... The Terrain Around Lilly Pulitzer" - hmm, I didn't realize that either!
8. "Ingesting Too Many Protein Bars" - easy to do, but not recommended.
9. "Internal Bleeding 3 Days" - you should get that looked at.
10. "Polka Dentistry" - dental practice and dancing are probably not the best mix, but who am I to judge?
11. "Protein Bars Good Things" - couldn't agree more!
12. "Visible Thong Lines Candid" - isn't the beauty of thongs the absence of panty lines?
13. "Wiggin Polka" - I don't even have a response.
14. "Snuggie Polka Dot" - polka dot Snuggies??? Sign me up!
15. "Polka Dot Mother Goose" - I hate geese. Even the mother kind.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Saving Money Unethically

While I'm trying to find a time-friendly, passion-agreeing second job to supplement my income I'm stuck making pennies (I do love PR, though, so it makes it tolerable). I am a budget-shopper, recessionista to the nth degree, which helps. I restrict my budget when it comes to "want" items - those non-necessities that are just fun to have. For example, on Saturday I'm going to the Queen's Cup Steeplechase, and while I would have loved a hat, I decided to go budget-friendly and purchase a huge, fun flower at Michael's for $2.99 and a thin plastic headband from WalMart for $0.96 and make a derby headband. I was pretty pleased with the results, but not thrilled.

During lunch today my precious friend MK and I popped over to TJ Maxx where I fell in love with the perfect derby hat. You must understand that I have an enormously large head and hats generally don't fit me, but this one was perfect. It was also accompanied by a $24.99 price tag, which was much too much for such an impractical, frivolous purchase. Well, the Black Polka Dot inside me came forth and formulated the brilliant idea to leave the price tags on the hat (they're on the inside), wear it on Saturday (remove it if sweat becomes an issue), then return it, so I bought it. Yes, I am the lowest of the low. How immature and terrible of me. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and even though Little explained that I clearly don't have a conscience for doing so, sometimes you have to compromise ethics to look smashing.

Will I follow through with my rebellious ways? We'll see. Methinks yes.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Shuck You

Boyfriend and I spent Saturday evening at an oyster roast with some fantastic friends. The weather was absolutely gorgeous; the venue was rustic and beautiful; and the food was delicious. I'm not a huge oyster fan, but these were actually scrumptious - the fact that I also made it a contest to see who could shuck fastest definitely helped! Besides the fact that I ate my weight in hushpuppies, we all had a truly wonderful time. B and I have a terrible track record of taking pictures, and I think in almost three years we only have one picture that we both like. Luckily we were able to take some pictures at the oyster roast, and we were both pleased with the results!

Thanks, Red Cup.
Apparently I missed the Zoolander Memo.

Don't you just adore perfect weekends?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Karma is a Goose

I was just sitting at my desk counting down the minutes until the weekend (70... 69...) when I suddenly realized why I was attacked by the goose on Wednesday: It was Karma, plain and simple.

When my wonderful family first moved to the Queen City in 1995 we lived in a perfect neighborhood in North Charlotte (we have since moved to the south side). The neighborhood had a playground a pond where geese would come and nest. One fateful day I accompanied two older girls to the pond to explore, pick flowers and chat. We stumbled across some geese nests and crouched down to peer inside. In one nest we discovered a lone egg. Of course being too young to realize that this egg had not hatched due to fertilization issues, our immediate thought was that it would hatch and be by itself.

We decided to take care of it ourselves (I think Fly Away Home had just come out, and we all wanted to be Anna Paquin). I
volunteered was chosen to house the little egg. I was blessed with an enormous walk-in closet containing windows all along one wall. The closet was bright, warm and cozy.

I wrapped my pre-gosling in sweaters and scarves and placed him in the sunniest spot I could find. I checked on him daily, eagerly anticipating the day he would hatch and see me as his mama. Weeks passed, and there was no progression from my friend. Sadly, we accepted defeat and decided to return our orphaned egg to his nest in case his mom came back looking for him.

On the return trip, my friends and I became angry. We had loved this egg, and he had been abandoned and was now too scared to hatch. When we reached the pond we found that someone had destroyed all of the nests. Not knowing what to do my friend suggested that we break the egg to find out what was inside. Since I was young and dorky striving to be accepted by the older girls I immediately agreed that this was the best course of action.

It was decided that I would be the breaker. With all of my 6th-grade might, I heaved the egg at a tree. As soon as it left my hand, I experienced an odd mix of emotions - excitement, anger, sadness, embarrassment and shame. Most of all I was terrified yet intrigued to find out what was lodged in the egg. Would a live gosling fall out? Some half-formed mutated embryo? With a rather sickening splat, egg hit bark and yolk exploded all over the grounded. Of course the egg hadn't been fertilized and looked no different than the eggs my dad used to make chocolate chip pancakes - it was just bigger.

I was overcome with emotion (sensitivity is my middle name) and began sobbing about the whole ordeal. I ran home with tears streaking my cheeks, and I clearly repressed the events of my past since I've only thought about that egg once or twice since throwing it at the tree.

The goose that, er, got my goose earlier this week must have known about the blood - or yolk - that was on my hands and merely sought vengenance for his fallen - or cracked - brethren.

Plus and Minus

+ Papa is doing much, much better. Out of the ICU, on oxygen, and enjoying respiration :-) Thank you so much for all of your sweet comments and prayers.
- My feet are disgrossting. Just ask Sis.
+ My sweet BF surprised me last night and took me on a date! This was extra special since we rarely, rarely see each other during the week.
- I have a narsty sinus infection. Ew.
+ Going to an oyster roast tomorrow night with some fabulous friends and Boyfriend.
- I don't really like oysters.
+ They have some ammmmmazzzzzzing hushpuppies with honey butter available - so totally my favorite food in the entire world.
- Fried food does not help so much when it comes to my bikini body.
+ I'm up to 95 followers!!! I am beyond excited and thankful for that.
- Um, hello, I average 6 comments per posts. Ladies, I have had some quality material this week. I love, love your comments. I know you're reading... let me know what you think :-)
+ Because I can't end this on a minus... it's a warm, sunny Friday in North Carolina!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Mother Goose

Today I have strained my pectoral muscles punching holes and making innumerable binders. I was also attacked and bitten by a goose that has taken up residence outside our building. I was walking the mail to the mailbox when to my chagrin I found my feathered foe nestled in the middle of the sidewalk. As I approached I was met with an evil hiss. I tried to kindly shoo her away into the pine needles. Just as I felt I was making progress, she attacked. She contorted and stretched her neck and latched her beak firmly on to my top. One hefty tap to her gut by my pointy toed stiletto later I was free. The hem of my shirt is frayed, and while I am quite shaken up the whole ordeal I am mostly unscathed. Unfortunately this display of nature's deadly dance happened just outside the floor-to-ceiling windows of Madame P and Mister VP. As my luck would have it, both were perched at their desks watching my real-life When Good Animals Go Bad. I am once again reminded that you cannot trust creatures that don't blink.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I'm a prude. P-R-U-D-E. I always have been.

My first real boyfriend, who I actually hoped might "put the moves on" me, now has a boyfriend. I guess that explains his lack of eagerness, which is probably okay since in my 15-year old mind meant inter-digitated hand holding. Oh yeah. Regular strumpet over here.

My next romantic conquest came my junior year of high school. It was more of a "let's IM a lot but never really talk in person" relationship, but he was an absolute sweetheart, and I really should have been nicer to him. You see, that teddy bear was my first kiss, and it only happened one time during the course of a 7-month relationship.

I thought we moved very quickly since our first date was to see "The Ring," and it involved head-on-shoulder-type cuddling followed by a full-frontal hug. Oh yeah, Polka Dots, you're a hussy. I was ashamed of our fast pace, so the next few dates we maintained a steady cuddle plateau. Mr. Teddy finally worked up the courage to kiss me on date 7 or 8... man-whore. It was a brief tenth of a second, mouth-closed ordeal, yet it terrified me. At age 16 it was my first kiss.

The next time we hung out I was petrified that he'd try something a little more lingering, and as much as I liked him, I just wasn't sure exactly what to do with that, so I did what any self-respecting teenager would do... I played possum. Teddy was trying to introduce me (a Harry Potter aficionado) to the world of Lord of the Rings. There we sat in my basement in the dark on opposite sides of the couch as he inched ever closer. Was he going to try and make out with me??? I shuddered at the thought.

I had sequestered myself in a far corner of the sofa wrapped in a blanket when a genius idea hit me. He'd never kiss me if I was sleeping! Thus, I called upon my expert acting skills and fell into a gentle slumber complete with snuffles and grunts. As his curfew approached he tried to rouse me:
"Polka Dots?"
"Hey, babe, I have to go."
"Do you want to walk me out?"
"Come on, let's go."
I stumbled sleepily up the stairs and led him out through the garage instead of the front door (the scene of our first X-rated scene - didn't want to give him any ideas). I clumsily side-hugged him (downgrade), and hurried (in a drowsy fashion) inside.

He stood there confused as I turned to go, and I felt truly guilty. I don't know why I had such a barrier up about physical contact. He was cute, sweet, funny, charming and wonderful. Needless to say our relationship didn't continue much longer. Ironically about a year after we broke up I realized my mistake and tried to reconcile, he had moved on, however - probably to a brazen whore who played tonsil hockey with abandon.

Of course the refusal to smooch recklessly is still firmly intact. At the age of 22 I can count on a single hand the number of males with whom my lips have come into contact. Now, though, instead of faking sleep, I break arms if I'm not interested.

Water Logged

Dear XXXL Woman at the Y,

I swim with a lovely coworker on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 5-6:15. It is very crowded in there, but thankfully there are many lanes to accommodate us. I hate swimming, but I was plodding along quite swimmingly (har har) until you came rumbling in guns a-blazin'. You huffed, puffed and harumphed about why people were swimming in all of the lanes when you have taught "the same Tuesday morning water aerobics class for 16 years, and people should know to move at 6." Um, several things immediately pop into my mind, not the least of which is... you've been teaching an exercise class for 16 years and you still look like that? I mean, not knocking your class, but perhaps you should go upstairs and try some cycle, or hop in a lane before class and swim some laps. Just a suggestion. Your hell-raising, pushy, melodramatic personality, however, is certainly divine. Don't change that a bit.

Splish Splash,
Polka Dots & Protein Bars

P.S. After swimming and ellipticall-ing I was famished, and I have now consumed two breakfasts (PB&B on a Kashi Waffle - Thanks Queen Bee! And a Power Bar Triple Threat). I guess we have the same problem, huh?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Redeemed and Esteemed

I will esteem His death by the life I lead. How blessed I am that He chose to die a brutal, excruciating death and separation from the Father, so that I don't have to. Thank you, Jesus.

This weekend has been wonderful and much needed. Time with my sister (and surrogate baby sister) on her birthday was just what I needed to refresh and rejuvenate. Below are some weekend shots.

I just received word from Little that my Louisiana grandfather (not my blood relative, but he and his entire family have been closer to us than most actual family members and basically raised my mom and her two sisters after their parents died when they were teenagers) is in the hospital. He has been having severe problems swallowing and thus has been choking often. Apparently today he had a particularly bad episode and was admitted to the hospital for tests. He has been rapidly declining over the past year or so and is so weak and feeble. Papa has lived an incredibly full and blessed life and has served such a huge role in our lives as a kind, gentle, constant presence. Maybe he'll be fine; maybe the Lord is ready to bring him home. Either way, please pray for the doctors, Papa's wife Mimi and our family.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Was 1990 Really 19 Years Ago?

Nineteen years ago, my life was made better because of this one...

Happy Birthday, Sweet Sis! I love you more than the world... even if Mom and Dad didn't name you Marina like I requested.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Eegads! One of my favorite bloggers, Brittney from Running in High Heels tagged me in this somewhat terrifying Come-As-You-Are game.

Here are the rules:
Take a picture of yourself RIGHT now.
No primping or preparing.
Just snap a picture.
Load the picture onto your blog.
Tag some people to play.Unfortunately this is the WRONG day for me to play. It's casual Thursday before a long weekend, so I'm bumming it waaaay more than I usually do on casual days. I still look put together, but you seriously can't tell from this snapshot. Also, today I'm having mega allergy eyes, forcing me to don my glasses for the first time in public in about seventeen years. BUT I'll be a good sport and play along :-)

I'll also tag:
Mojito Maven
Authentically Me
Southern Sunshine
Prissy Southern Prep
Shabby Princess

I know all of you ladies are having a much more attractive day than I am!

Drafty and Chili

One night in the not so distant past, Lobster, Little Sis, Surrogate Little Sis and I all ventured to Chili's for a night of chips, salsa and quesadilla eXXXplosions. Because the Lord forgot to make me a bladder while He was perfecting everything else, I, of course, had to excuse myself to go to the bathroom. Upon entering I believed I was alone and breathed a sigh of relief - sometimes I get a little stage fright. After further inspection, however, I realized that I wasn't alone. No, standing in the corner was an older woman who was pantless... and going commando. I wasn't quite sure how to handle the situation. Was this woman making advances by going bare down there? I'm no Lohan or SaMAN. Was she senile? She didn't look old enough. Alzheimer's? She seemed too coherent. She certainly didn't seem to have any disabilities either. Do I talk to her? Go about my business? Where were this woman's pants?! She greeted me and complimented my top and lipstick choice. I nervously thanked her and ran into the stall, locking it tightly. Talk about stage fright! I definitely couldn't take care of business with Naked Nancy just outside my door. Just as it appeared that my bladder could handle it no longer, a second woman entered the already cramped restroom. When she saw Nude Nelly she immediately reprimanded her for "losing her clothes again." Together they gathered the lower half of her wardrobe and returned to their table. I returned to my and immediately recounted the story. Of course, the only comment that was made was, "Of course that happened to you," and they were correct.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Dear Peter

Dear Peter Pan Reduced Fat Creamy Peanut Butter,

I'll admit it: We've had a rough couple of years. I consumed two jars of your salmonella-infested lot, and yet, we were able to move on once you stopped avoiding supermarket shelves. Things were going great... until you disappeared again. That's when I met someone else. Your brother. Peter Pan Reduced Fat Crunchy Peanut Butter fulfills needs in me I didn't even know I had. He has revealed a whole new side of our favorite menage a quatro partners - the bread and the banana. No longer am I content with your creamy goodness on my sandwich. The hard crunchiness of your brother's bouquet is a luscious contrast with the soft bananas and Sara Lee Soft & Smooth Whole Wheat - it's a whole new level of flavor and texture. I really thought we could work this out, but I don't think we can; you just can't satisfy like you could in yesteryears. Why should my tastebuds settle for you when I can have your brother for the same price with my VIC card? Sorry, Creamy, but once you crunch you can't return to your regular lunch.

Kindest Regards and Farewells,
Polka Dots & Protein Bars

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

True Story Tuesday - Yakkin' in the Moonlight

Prom is high school’s most overrated event. I attended two proms sophomore year and one each junior and senior years, and each night left my severely disappointed – and none more than my junior year.

I had worked up the courage to ask my crush to escort me (yes, I’m still a bit mortified that I did the asking), and he said yes. I picked out a fabulous pink flirty concoction that was made for dancing. I had the perfect jewelry, perfect hair, perfect nails, a great group and a limo. Life was good.

After taking the obligatory 1,000 photos, our group hopped in the limo and traversed into Uptown Charlotte to meet a larger group with which we would dine at one of my favorite restaurants. Dinner was phenomenal. The restaurant provided customized menus with each person’s name and Providence High School Prom 2003 emblazoned across the top. My chicken dish was divine, and my date’s catfish and side of lobster grits was to die for. Literally.

After dinner we loaded back into the limo and were chauffeured to Panthers Stadium where prom was in full swing. I was delighted by the look of the room and the beauty of the crowd. I was a member of student government, so I had spent the entire year producing the perfect theme and the previous day making sure each detail was perfect.

As I worked my way around the room on my date’s arm and mingled with friends and acquaintances I began feeling lightheaded and like a migraine was coming on. Undeterred I drank several glasses of water and popped a few Advil thinking that would do the trick. No such luck. As the night wore on my ill feelings increased exponentially. The rest of our friends were rocking on the dance floor while I slumped pitifully in one of the few armchairs available – frequented by those students whose parents had force them to attend.

I had reached my limit. I found my group and apologized profusely while begging them to let us leave. My “friends” rolled their eyes, obliged, but spent an entire hour saying their goodbyes while my stomach churned, eyes glazed, head throbbed and palms sweated. I very rarely get sick, but I was in bad shape. When we finally made it to the limo I flopped across the seat with my head in my date’s lap (even in my distress I didn’t forget goal 1: score a kiss or an escalation from friend zone to more-than).

Suddenly I was hit by a wave of dry heaves, and spent the rest of the ride home begging the limo driver to pull over every few feet so I could leave my guts on the side of the road. While I know that I did this with an air of grace, beauty and dignity, I don’t think my date was impressed. My insides were screaming, and I have never felt so terrible. I took off my shoes and cried the rest of the way to my house.

When we finally arrived in my precious, precious driveway I mumbled multiple apologies to the driver about soiling the creamy white exterior of his chariot and attempted to explain that I did not drink. At all. Ever. I had simply ingested too many bites of lobster grits. I stumbled to the front door without my shoes or purse. Graciously my friends trailed behind me, belongings in hand (minus one shoe that had mysteriously disappeared – probably during stop number 42 on the side of McKee Road).

Like many a high school prom-goer I spent the rest of the night hugging a toilet, although the source of my unsettled belly was angry shellfish rather than raging hops. In the morning I opened my window to see a white limousine pulling into the driveway. The driver found my Cinderella slipper when he returned home, and like Prince Charming had returned to bestow it upon me. I halfheartedly tried to explain about the previous night’s food poisoning, but given that I looked like I was battling a mighty hangover, I doubt he was convinced.

I guess I did get my fairytale night, though. Instead of my prince being Zac Efron in a tux riding a white stallion, however, I was blessed with a uniform-wearing Rodney Dangerfield driving a puke-stained limo. Not a bad compromise.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Black... But Not So Basic

My company's dress code is, "Business casual with a creative flair." Luckily said code suits my own personal tastes perfectly. I tend to go colorfully preppy with a twist. I love bold prints, bright colors and pops of whimsy in my wardrobe. Monochromatic and dark colors aren't my tendency, although I think they look sleek and sophisticated on others.

Last week Little and I ventured to Concord Mills to raid the Banana Republic outlet with an additional 30% off coupon in hand. I came away with 4 tops and 3 headbands (compliments of Forever 21). Let me pause and point out that I have been rocking the headband since before Blair Waldorf's time, so while I now look like I'm riding the trend bandwagon I'm thrilled at the copious variety of options on store shelves. This morning I decided to wear one of my new Banana tops with a pair of my favorite gray slacks, but the end was result was a bit bland for my taste, so what's a girl to do? Slap on a statement necklace and a flowering headband and voila! Bye bye blah, good morning flair!

On another note, I was supposed to work at lunchtime but, alas, I left my gym bag at home. The weather was so pretty that I headed back to the Polka Dot Pad scooped up the Pupcake and took her to enjoy a puppy playdate with her best neighborhood friend. She had so much fun in the sunshine, and I felt guilty for taking her back in and cooping her up. After playtime I ran to Target to pick up a drink, some Fat Free Pringles (15 chips; 70 calories; 0 fat... heaven) and I finally purchased a box of 100 calorie pack Sour Patch Kids. Oh my word, am I ever obsessed. I know, I know, it's more economical to buy a whole bag, count out 100 calories and stop, but seriously? Who would be able to do that. I'm a huge proponent of individually wrapped items, and these along with the Swedish Fish will become a pantry staple. It's just the right amount to curb a sugar craving without the guilt. Perfection!

Oh! I just thought of something else (can we say RANDOM POST?), I won my company pool... $100! I've been in first place the whole tournament (thank you, Dayton; thank you, Western Kentucky), but I usually fall apart in later rounds, but with the Spartans hearing my prayers, I sealed the victory on Saturday night. Winning elicits a satisfaction in my heart that very few things can. The prize of Benjamins doesn't hurt either.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Spring Cleaning and Making Bank

Happy Sunday, Buttercups! What a glorious weekend of warm weather we've been having in Charlotte! Little Sis was home for some rest and relaxation since she's still feeling her Mono, poor dear. Lots of baking ensued, and my tummy is feeling the effects. This afternoon has been spent catching up on my DVR and doing some Spring closet cleaning. Before I make a Plato's Closet run (oh how I despise it) I wanted to offer someone of the better things to all of my lovely lady friends for a steal. Everything is in great condition, but it's been retired from my wardrobe because it's either too short (the curse of the long-waisted), too big or is just taking up space in my closet. For more information about any of the pieces either leave me a comment or email me at polkadotsandproteinbars{at} All prices are extremely negotiable. :-)

C&C California Large 1/2 sleeve turquoise green top - thin, soft and perfect for layering! $15
Gap Small multicolored striped sweater - $10
Anthropologie Large lavender tissue top with shirred, ruffled neckline and flower - $8
Ralph Lauren Small tangerine sweater - $20
J. Crew Size 8 white summer skirt - crisp, cool and adorable - $15
Gap Size 8 grey, camel and light blue tweed trumpet skirt - a fall favorite - $10
Jessica Simpson Large raw-stitched oxford. So much cute detailing! $10
Gap Small multicolored stripe 3/4 sleeve sweater - $10
Express Medium pink-and-green striped oxford - $8 (or $15 for this and the Jessica Simpson oxford)
Precious, preppy, pretty Odille Large eyelet and pink sweater top - $8
Small gray Banana Republic peacoat - only worn 2 or 3 times - $30
J. Crew Size 8 pink and green rooster corduroys - $15
XS Lily (not Pulitzer, sorry) jersey summer dress with ruching detail - never worn - $20
Cherokee XS pink suede jacket - only worn once - $10
Express Small pink distressed leather motorcycle-style jacket - $30