Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"Let them eat cake."

If you haven't already discovered "The Pioneer Woman" Ree Drummond you have been missing out! My good friend, and stay at home wife, Corrine turned me on to Ree's webpage. She also has several books published and is quite the comedian!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Grocery Store Blues.

Going to the grocery store can feel like such an ordeal. I never realized how completely chaotic American supermarkets were until I live in Florence Italy. For a semester I shared a mini fridge with four other girls, thus requiring us to do our grocery shopping on a day to day basis. Our veggies were always fresh and there were plenty of small markets and grocery shops every couple blocks. We'd go to one for our fruits and pasta, one for dairy, cereal and veggies, and another for bread and wine. At first I hated the lack of selection in one central location, and using the currency completely intimidated me, but within a month I was in love. Life was simplified... for a while, until I moved back home. The first time back in an American grocery store I had a panic attack. I walked in and completely forgot what I was there for. Nothing was in a logical place, and when I called my Mom crying and asking why she sent me, she said "Just get hot dogs". So I cautiously walked over to the processed meat section and once again panic covered me like a blanket. There had to be at least twenty different varieties of hot dogs! I just picked up the first one I saw that said "all beef" and got out of there as fast as I could.

My pastor once said, "Part of being from the U.S. is learning how to manage abundance." But learning how to manage the overwhelming variety can feel impossible at times. I see this problem everywhere in the states, and in other big "globalized" cities around the world. This isn't as much as a complaint as an observation. I love America and I love our Capitalist drive, and our nature to compete and try to do it better - this is not a "pro-Europe" rant at all. As much as I loved living abroad there are many many problems that Europe is facing, and if it wasn't for the tourism industry that lives off the glory of their past most of those countries would be in a world of hurt right now. This entry is only an observation about a simple thing like going grocery shopping that can seem to consume half a day.

The American grocery store is a perfect example of why as a nation we are so stressed out because we have too much to choose from. But there is hope! Recently there are some companies that have come out of the woodwork that have worked hard to address his exact problem. Trader Joe's is a God send, I am convinced. It's affordable and offers just enough. It was hard for me to make the switch at first and it did feel like there wasn't enough variety, but now I am hooked. Trader Joe's is as close to Mom and Pop as we're gonna get here in Northern Virginia (without having to pay an arm and a leg). Also local farmer's markets are a wonderful place to go, and often they do have a variety of vendors to pick from. Just make sure you go first thing in the morning to either, specifically when going on a weekend because by around 10 am there are hoards of people crowding isles of Trader Joe's and the streets of farmer's markets. Happy shopping! And one more thing ladies... don't spend your grocery money on shoes!

Monday, June 28, 2010

etiquette lesson 3. don't interrupt! rude!

6 tips to combat rudeness:

1. Don’t take it personally. As much as we hate to give people the benefit of the doubt - try! Most likely the person being rude is having a bad day.

2. On a scale of 1-10 how important is the offense to you? If it's high on the annoyance scale confront it graciously, if not forgive and quickly forget. Ask yourself, is this worth my emotional time?

3. Set a good example, i.e. don't sink to their level. Rudeness begets rudeness, and likewise kindness begets kindness. If you are rude, don’t be surprised if you get the same treatment in return.

4. Relax, and count to ten. As silly as it sounds when you start to feel angry, taking deep breaths lowers your blood pressure, heart rate, and gives you time to think clearly before you blow up.

5. Laugh it off and change the subject.Excuse yourself, if you must, to do any of the above.

6. Set your expectations in line with reality! Don't expect someone who has a history of being rude to be Mrs. or Mr. Manners, you will almost always be disappointed and frustrated. So instead expect them to be rude and when they aren't you will be pleasantly surprised but if they stay true to form it won't get under your skin either.

Derived from Emily Post Etiquette Guide

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Clever little tip from yours truly:

To remember what sponge is for the counter and what sponge is for dishes cut a "C" shape crescent into the side of your counter sponge! No more mixing them up! Hooray!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Happy Birthday

Today is my birthday! I am 23!

Thought for the day: Birthday's should also celebrate Mom's! Seriously! If it wasn't for my Mother going through labor I wouldn't be here! So here's to you Mom! Thanks for giving me life! Love you!

(Dad's can be celebrated 9 months earlier! Go Dads!)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Studies in Parenting

My Mother used to say (and still does) "Just wait till you have kids one day", implying my lack of understanding about her role as parent. It is true, I can't understand even a fraction of the love a parent feels for their own child. I don't have kids of my own just yet. I have to be very careful not to make judgments because I haven't walked in the shoes of a parent (except when I played dress up). But I can do one thing; research!

I spend a good amount of my time reading articles about parenting and "interviewing" new parents, especially moms. I am interested in gathering information about pregnancy to raising teenagers. Though I am not a parent, my brothers and sisters use to call me "Jr. Mom" because I was the oldest daughter of six (eight including step-siblings). My youngest sister is eight years younger than I and my youngest brother is ten years younger so I know what it takes to survive with young kids in the house! I know what is like having infants around, what toddlers are like, potty training mishaps, nap times, meal time, what to do when a three year old eats a glass Christmas ornament, and how to install child proof locks on cabinets, toilets and bedroom doors. I know I am ahead of the game for someone without kids, but really I have no idea. That's why I have taken to research!

I can't get over how much time in America we spend on educating ourselves in a certain vocation, yet there is little time dedicated to learning about parenting! I would argue nine months is not sufficient. We have a crisis of the family going on in our country. From divorce rates to pediatric depression. Say what you want, but this is an important issue. And the only way to solve it is to be educated about what parenting is and how to do it well. We can't cry out "I didn't know" anymore because there are so many free resources available to us now. Libraries are full of parenting videos, books, guides, and studies on just about any family topic you can think of. Community centers and churches often have classes and seminars. Not to mention the knew resource of the Internet. There is so much we can learn about family and it is never too late.

I am going to end with two quotes that I believe touch on the heart of this issue. We can sit around and discuss the problems of the world all day but we will never solve them because we are ignoring the heart of our countries problems. The brokenness of the family.We can treat the symptoms all we want but we won't get better unless we treat the cause of the symptoms.

"To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right." - Confucius

"The family is the corner stone of our society. More than any other force it shapes the attitude, the hopes, the ambitions, and the values of the child. And when the family collapses it is the children that are usually damaged. When it happens on a massive scale the community itself is crippled. So, unless we work to strengthen the family, to create conditions under which most parents will stay together, all the rest — schools, playgrounds, and public assistance, and private concern — will never be enough" - Lyndon Johnson

Thursday, June 17, 2010

"What, no kids?"

One of the most common questions I get asked by people when I tell them I am a housewife is "Oh, are you trying to have kids soon?" As if that is the only reason to be a stay at home wife. Though that is a major reason why most women leave the work force, I find it very interesting and almost expected if you are a stay at home wife.

First off, yes, one day my husband and I want to have children. We love kids, and most of our friends are already starting to add these joyous additions to their families! Second this is not a judgment about women who go from working straight to being a Mom with no break in between.

I think about it this way: I spent FOUR years studying business. FOUR years and thousands of dollars to learn, and prepare and train to go into the business world. FOUR years reading, writing papers, asking questions, interning and working to prepare for "the real world". Turns out I didn't like it as much as I thought I would. So instead I am going back to school. I am training on how to manage a household and learning about what it takes to be a parent before becoming a parent. Learning about myself, things I need to improve on before I bring another human being into the world. I honestly think people should invest more time in this. Being a parent and a spouse is a major, I repeat major, responsibility. I would argue marriage and parenthood are taken far too lightly in the United States. Divorce rates prove it. You can only read so many books and articles to learn about being married and being a good spouse, but it's applying it that counts. Managing a household isn't sitting around eating bon-bons all day. I am learning time management, how to prioritize and also how to invest in things that I enjoy doing now, so that when I do have little tykes running around I am not totally in shock and I know how to make time for the things I enjoy, and I know what those things are.

I have discovered a passion for cooking and I make time for it on a daily basis. I learn more and more each week, and it is one of my greatest joys. I am passionate about getting in better shape and learning new exercise techniques and also on how to cook more healthy. I am readying and studying everyday, trying new things, going out and seeing more of the community I live in. Hosting is one of my greatest pleasures, and I love to have people over for baby showers, bridal showers, and whatever I can find to celebrate. I am learning to be intentional with my time now, so that when I am a Mom I am already in the habit of doing so. To some of you this all might sound very silly, but from having friends who are new Mom's and are dealing with the joys and tribulations of having their first babies I have learned that it is important to have a life before having kids, so that when you have kids they don't become the center of your universe. Kid's aren't a replacement for a job. They are an addition to your life, not what your life should be centered around. I have learned from observation of women of many different ages, that is important to make time for friends, girls night out, socializing with adults, date night, one of one time with your husband and personal pampering and hobbies. Without these things Mom's can be overwhelmed very quickly.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Product Review: Mega Shower Foamer

So here is my first product review! I tried this new shower cleaner by Scrubbing Bubbles! We live in an old house and our shower has some nasty mold stains, and we have really bad soap build up. I have tried bleach, and the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser on the stains but nothing has removed them.

Overall I thought it worked pretty well. It did not remove the mold but within two minutes it did take away ALL the soap scum and nasty grime that I usually have to scrub. Part of the message on the bottle say's "makes scrubbing obsolete". I will admit I had to scrub a little, but I think after using it a couple more uses I won't have to scrub at all. I think I had more build up due to the poor performance of other cleaners. It has a really bad chemical smell so make sure to open a window, and buy two bottles. The first job I used up more than half the can, but again I think after a few uses I will use less.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Just returned from a trip to COSTCO. I need a drink and a nap after that experience. I am always surprised by how overwhelmed I feel when I shop there. I always end up getting lost in the isles, because you have to go down almost every single one to find what you need. Plus you always pick up things you think you might need, but really don't. "WOW! Forty frozen chicken breast for only fifteen dollars!" Who needs that many? They'll get freezer burn before you can enjoy them unless your having a big BBQ.

The only good experience I have had when going there was when I woke up and went right when it opened. I was in and out in 30 minutes. But an hour after opening time there seems to be an alternate reality in which the store eats your pocket book and the hours of your day. I always leave wondering, "Did this really save me money?"

Well at least we won't be running out of toilet paper, zip lock bags, paper towels, body wash, or deodorant anytime soon! And by soon I mean in the next three to five months Hooray!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Gym meet Mat.

Went to the gym today for the first time in two weeks. Last week I was in Guatemala on a missions trip and the week before that I was sick. Now, according to my trainer I am in the 98 percentile for strength which means I am one strong lady, but today I pushed myself a little to hard.

I went to a total body conditioning class and had to leave half way through. It wasn't that it was too hard, in fact it felt great. But 15 minutes in I thought I was going to loose my breakfast. It was awful, but I had to listen to my body. I could choose to either sit down, stop moving or throw up or worse blackout. I figured the option of bowing out in front of women twice my age was better then passing out in front of women twice my age.

So here is a tip: If you haven't worked out in a week or more take it slow or else you might just embarrase yourself.