Thursday, December 1, 2011

Tips from the Calendar- December

The final part in a 2011 series on recycling courtesy of my dayplanner. Because typing the word recycling so often is starting to make me do that thing where you type something so much you worry you're spelling it wrong.

Tip of the month: Start a compost pile. Use leaves, food scraps, and other biodegradeable items. Add the earthy mix to your yard and garden. (*If you do this, please research the actual things you need to do and build to start).

Week 48: Eat in. Check your cupboards for undiscovered culinary sensations. (*Plus: turkey leftovers!)

Week 49: Instead of using chemical-filled air fresheners, brew a strong pot of coffee or bake some homemade cinnamon rolls. (*Those must be those undiscovered culinary sensations lurking in your cupboards. I really wish MY cupboards had stuff like that!)

Week 50: Slow down. It's more fuel efficient to drive at slower speeds.

Week 51: Turn the heat down. The warm setting on your washing machine uses less energy than the hot setting.

Week 52: Think green. Buy products you can use again and again.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tips from the Calendar- November

Part 11 in a 2011 series of recycling tips from my dayplanner. Because I've almost assauged my guilt at still buying paper calendars in the digital age.

Tip of the Month: Stay grounded, and skip the airport. Teleconference in for long-distance business meetings. (*Please do not become a hermit.)

Week 44: Air dry your clothes.

Week 45: Save water. Keep a pitcher of tap water in your fridge. (*I have honestly no idea why this is a tip. How does keeping a pitcher around save water? Are you literally saving the water....from say, being drunk? Are you keeping it to drink? If so why wouldn't you just get a fresh drink of water from, say, the tap??)

Week 46: Wear hemp. It's stronger and longer lasting than cotton. (*You can wear it when delivering homegrown veggies to your neighbors and building your backyard compost pile. It works.)

Week 47: Make room for your feathered friends. Build a birdhouse.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Tips from the Calendar- October

Part 10 in a series of 2011 recycling tips courtesy of my dayplanner. Because pumpkin spice lattes are back!

Tip of the Month: Pack it. Bring your lunch with you. Avoid eating out (*Whoops! I meant, "because pumpkin spice lattes are my kitchen!")

Week 40: Start a community-walking group

Week 41: Often overlooked, butter is one of the most important foods to consider when buying organic (*especially given how much we Hoosiers love butter.)

Week 42: Purchase an energy-efficient refridgerator.

Week 43: Grow indoor vegetables and herbs, and share them with your neighbors (*they already think you're a weird hippie anyway, you community-walk organizer!)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Scene In Which I Did Stuff This Summer. When, You Know, I Totally Didn't Blog.

Instead of ignoring the fact that I pretty much just neglected to do anything on this blog for, oh, four months out of the year, I decided I'd take you all on a little sneak peek into what I called "The Summer I Was Totally Busy, Yet Nothing New Happened," and by that I mean, we just sort of spent a few months doing the exact same things we'd been doing the months before.

Don't get me wrong, I'm extremely grateful for the summer I had! Cute Boy and I got to move into our new house, spend some time doing repairs, I was thrilled/ amazed/ humbled by all the weddings we did at the studio, and of course, we've been planning the wedding....and I managed to do most of it without causing bodily harm or hilarious damage to myself. Hence, no blog.

So here's what we did:

Went to the 500. Bought a house. Took a picture of it before we ripped it up. Ripped up yarn. (Princess.)

Celebrated a fabulous friend on a fabulous fortieth!

Made a ton of flowers.

Rolled right through the big one- and kept on going! Totally unrelated I'm sure, the car spent at least two days of every month in the shop this summer for assorted issues.

Went to see Peter Gabriel and the New Blood Orchestra in concert. Totally geeked out hearing Solsbury Hill live (with a transition to an orchestral Simple Gifts at the end. Gah. OMG). Nearly cried. Took zero pictures.

Tore out the weird pass-through, tube-TV, 1980s wannabe entertainment center. Ripped up the vaguely off-white-long-ago carpeting. Searched for new flooring. Bought new floors and had *help* transporting them home (Finnigan).

Made some flowers. Put some in bouquets. Put some around cupcakes. Put some on cakes.

Power washed the porch. Thanks Dad! Admired the cool stylized power-wash-sprayed name. Realized that the amount of dirt on our new porch was such that my dad could literally spray my name into it. Kind of shuddered.

Went to see Dispatch in concert. Totally geeked out hearing Elias, Carry You, The General, and pretty much every song they played live. Had a discussion with my fellow concert goers about how the youth of today have absolutey no pot-smoking-concealing skills. Debating blogging about that. Forgot. Took zero photos.

Made some more flowers. Some went in a tent. That was a long day.

Organized all my books into alphabetical order (Whatever, OCD.). Counted the number of each book (by author last name) to see which I had the most of. Debated writing a blog post about said counting. Forgot. Hung with some pals for 4th of July and checked out the new Tiger Forest at the Zoo on a quick break from a Zoo wedding setup.

More flowers.
Got new floors! Got a rug from Old Time Pottery. Got towed from Old Time Pottery. Got to experience Mom's first tow truck ride with her. Got the bill. That was fun. Debated writing a blog post about it. Forgot.

Made some brides happy! These four plus (in June, July, and August only) 31 more. Love happy brides!

Though I guess you'd be happy too if you got to eat cake. More flowers on cakes. Yum........

Got a fireplace! Got framing around a fireplace. Got walls around a fireplace. Took a nap.

Went to go see Indigo Girls in concert. Totally geeked out hearing Devotion live. Took zero photos.
Went to an EDM festival. Finally remembered to take some photos. Went backstage. Thanks future seeeeester!

Went to Atlanta with Brother for the second (hopefully annual) Cousins Trip. Got stalked by Earl Grey. Saw whale sharks at the Atlanta Aquarium. Crawled through the kid tubes. Went to a Twin Peaks themed bar that did not have pie. Heated discussion ensued.

More flowers for tables and bouquets. Tons of amazing flowers this summer.

Took naps on the bed. Took naps on the chair. Took naps on the floor. Went to the groomer's. Went swimming. (I want this life.)

Got paint. Put it on walls. Put it on clay pots. Stopped painting, had guests in town, and went to an Indians game. Caught the game winning ball- great shot I got of that, huh?!? Yeah.

..........that's all folks! Thanks for checking out the summer! :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Scene In Which I Hear Voices, Alternately Titled, My Computer Wants To Kill Me

So, seriously. This technology stuff kills me sometimes. I cannot believe that in the time between my dad's first cell phone (Zach Morris, eat your heart out, this one had a snap-top case that you could store it in because there were times you weren't using it, and let me just tell you- a REMOVABLE ANTENNAE) and today, we now have the ability to check our email, plot our travel, order anything we need, listen to music, text, and what-have-you all from these tiny hand held devices.

Now, I'm not saying I'm not a little bit technology- savvy. I have an iPhone, if only because when I finally went to replace my third, beloved, well-used Razr phone this past winter.......well, you guessed it, they laughed at me when I asked if they still made them.


I also have- wait for it- a laptop computer, which I love dearly having finally figured out where all my buttons and emails and shortcuts and such are and which is now, of course, beginning to act in ways that it should not including a few random keys not working, and of course the absolute inability of the battery to function more than 30 seconds without being tethered to the wall by a power cord, which sort of defeats the purpose of having a laptop, but HEY, it works for me, unless someone is up for opening a PC store in my house and giving me a new nifty one like those commercials, someone, anyone??

But earlier this week, technology nearly did me in, and it was when this happened.

If you've been in my office lately, you'll know that I use a large, former schoolhouse mailbox system for an open-air filing system. Which means that everyday, when I sit down to work, I take out the files I need to work on that day from their neat (ok semi-neat...ok I need to organize them again) cubbyholes, stack 'em on my desk, and get to work.

Usually I open my email at the same time too.

This is where it started going badly.

Because unbeknownst to myself, the first email that I chose to click on was sent by a person who wanted me to do an event in November and had ALSO just left me a voicemail that pretty much said the exact same thing, in pretty much the same words, in pretty much the same order.

Also unbeknownst to me, the stack of folders I'd just set down had been set down directly on top of my work phone, and in a series of sheer impossibility I don't think I'll ever be able to recreate, I had managed to turn on both the speakerphone AND activate the voicemail, on a slide-top phone.

(Seriously. I don't know how this happened. The phone has a slide-open feature for gosh sakes. Half the time I can't even figure out how to get the voicemail when I'm TRYING to. )

The end result of both those items left me opening an email and starting to scan it at the exact same time my brain clicked in to something speaking to me from somewhere nearby, followed shortly by the realization that the email and the voice were saying the same thing and the simultaneous realization that OH DEAR JESUS, MY EMAIL IS TALKING TO ME followed by the only natural conclusion to be drawn which was GET THE EFF AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER, and left me catapulting myself backwards out of my chair and towards the door, just in case the computer decided to do something really tweaked for its next trick, like SPROUT LEGS AND KILL ME.

It's a damn good thing it has to stay plugged in all the time. Take that, technology.

One of these days, if they haven't already, they're going to invent a software program that reads your email to you and yes, it will seem like a cool invention, and you might even be tempted to try it, but let me tell you first- there IS such a thing as too much technology, and THIS IS IT, because talking computers? EFFING CREEPY.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Tips from the Calendar- September

Part 9 in a 2011 series of recycling tips courtesy of my dayplanner. Because it's nearly time for sweaters!

Tip of the Month: Prevent 300 pounds of CO2 every year by buying fluorescent light bulbs. They use 60% less energy than regular bulbs.

Week 35: Brighten your living space. Add indoor houseplants to improve your air quality.

Week 36: Skip regular toothpaste. Use baking soda and water to brush your teeth. (*I don't think I'm going to implement this one.)

Week 37: Ditch your ride. Start walking or cycling.

Week 38: Always turn off lights an appliances when you leave a room (*because your houseplants won't care if it's dark).

Week 39: Eat more organic fruits and vegetables. They have fewer pesticides and more nutrients.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Tips from the Calendar- August

Part 8 in a 2011 series of recycling tips courtesy of my dayplanner. Because trees deserve hugs too.

Tip of the Month: Buy locally grown produce and skip the frozen stuff. Frozen food uses 10 times more energy to produce.

Week 31: One rechargable battery can save the use of up to 1000 single-use alkaline batteries (*and recycle them properly please).

Week 32: Every ton of recycled office paper saves 380 gallons of oil. (*I once inherited an office with four filing cabinets. Upon examination I realized the person was skeptical of email and had printed, literally, THOUSANDS of emails. Don't be that guy.)

Week 33: Get a home energy audit. Find new ways to save money and CO2 emissions.

Week 34: Clean our your trunk. The less weight your car carries, the more efficient it is.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Scene In Which You Can Run, But You Can't Hide

Six years ago, I packed up my belongings and moved into the very first home I would ever own. A week or so after that, I naively attended my first neighborhood association meeting.

As those who have volunteered with neighborhood activities before read along and sagely nod their heads, let me tell you neighborhood newbies something.


It starts innocently enough with a committee that needs a hand. The next thing you know, there's a fun committee that needs a new leader. After that there's a couple shifts at a neighborhood event, followed by a teeny tiny leadership position that you totally have time for, of course, because it's just so little to ask, really, when you live in such a great neighborhood, and let's be honest, you're getting to know your neighbors and having a great time and then suddenly, SUDDENLY, you wake up and it's four years later and you're planning neighborhood clean-ups and figuring out the rules around picking up discarded hypodermid needles in your downtown park and attending IHPC meetings and fighting against historic buildings being torn down or fighting for historic buildings TO be torn down for new development and organizing Easter Egg hunts and Christmas Parties and YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE KIDS AND HOW THE HECK ARE YOU IN CHARGE OF THIS.


But as much as the neighborhood sucked me in, I loved it. I loved sitting on the Land Use committee and loved helping plan activities and loved going to the meetings and loved all my neighbors who would get all uppity and cute and dramatic and INFLAMED about things like- whoa- let's raise dues from $5 to $10.

And yet, despite my love for the neighborhood and how much I missed it, when Cute Boy and I decided to move to a neighborhood about 15 minutes north that wasn't historic, I knew I'd have the opportunity to get back some of the time I spent each month on neighborhood issues- because here, we didn't have any.

Frankly, the most "associating" I planned on doing with my new neighbors was the occasional hello over the fence, the kind wave as we drove by, the vegetables that appeared on our porch this week from our adorable next-door neighbors who have been there since 1967.


Until this morning.

When, as he sorted the mail, Cute Boy discovered an innocent-looking baby-blue flier.

For our brand-new neighborhood association.

The first meeting is today.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Tips from the Calendar- July

Part 7 in a 2011 series of recycling tips from my dayplanner. Because summer is hot enough without global warming.

Tip of the Month: Recycling an aluminum can uses 95% less energy than making a can from new materials.

Week 27: Invest in natural pet-grooming products. (*It's called soap, and it comes in organic!)

Week 28: Only run the dishwasher if it's full (*Dang! I've been running it just for kicks this whole time. is this a "tip?")

Week 29: Use honey as a natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent. It can be used to treat skin inflammations and yeast infections. (*Gross.)

Week 30: Inflate your car tires to your manufacturer's reccomended levels, and check them monthly.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Tips from the Calendar- June

Part 6 in a 2011 series of reycling tips courtesy of my dayplanner. Because it's finally warm out!

Tip of the Month: Rethink desktop technology and invest in an energy-efficient laptop. Laptops can save almost 50% more energy than their desktop counterparts.

Week 22: Replace single-glazed windows with double-glazed (*and check with your local historic preservation council first if applicable, to save yourself time and needless cost if you're not allowed or need to install a particular kind!)

Week 23: Ditch the meat. Cows produce an enormous amount of methane- the second most significant greenhouse gas. For a greener alternative, fill up on fruits and vegetables (*this is one of those health tips that annoys me, because if you're not going to eat cow, I'd hope you'd do it for ethical reasons. Not to mention that if you are going to skip cow for fruits and veggies, you're still killing the environment if you buy the grocery-store ones shipped from 3500 miles away. Bottom line? Go local as much as possible.)

Week 24: Go gas! A gas oven with an electric ignition is 50% more efficient than an electric oven. (*just don't put one of those methane-producing cows near it)

Week 25: Walk or bike to work two days every week. You'll save about 1,590 pounds of CO2 emissions a year.

Week 26 (Halfway through the year!): Experts estimate that by not eating a pound of beef, we save more water than by not showering for one year. (*Bizarre, but who knows? I'd love to see this study).

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Tips from the Calendar- May

Part 5 in a 2011 series of recycling tips courtesy of my dayplanner. Because being friendly is good, and being eco-friendly is better.

Tip of the Month: Take shorter showers, and skip baths. A 5-minute shower uses approximately 15-25 gallons of water. Most baths require 40 gallons of water. (*Hard one for me as I love a good soak. My fix? Shorter showers to save the most water, then if I do indulge in a bath, using the "leftover" water to keep the houseplants happy. Doesn't work if you're a fan of bubble baths, oils, or so forth, but it works for me!)

Week 18: Try making your own purees and baby food. (*Unless you don't have a baby, in which case, no need.)

Week 19: Encourage your local schools to go green. Raise the issue at your next PTA meeting (*Ummm....not to knock green issues, but if I thought my local school HAD a PTA, I think they'd have just a few more pressing things first. But good tip for others?!)

Week 20: Install a low-flow showerhead (*and feel even less guilty about the occasional bath due to all the extra water you're not using otherwise)

Week 21: Skip bagged salad. Instead, buy whole lettuce from local farmers.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Scene In Which We Buy (Another) House, and Life Is (Still) Pretty Normal

If I haven't posted much over the past few weeks, it's because things around here are starting to seem a little....repetitive.

The dogs are blowing their coats....still.

I'm cleaning out closest for Goodwill and trying to purge a bunch of crap before we move.....still.

I'm doing admin on Mondays, cleaning on Tuesdays, meetings on Wednesdays, creating on Thursdays and Fridays, and setting up weddings on Fridays and Saturdays. And while I love my job (I LOVE MY JOB!) this will pretty much continue from now until the end of October or the first week of November. So.....still.

We're working on planning the wedding....still. (Get back to me this time next year. We'll be three days out!)

We're buying a house! ..........again. Yep, we've made an offer that's been accepted on another house in an area we love! Now it's just time to wait for the inspection and cross our fingers that these people aren't murderers who have hidden the bones of their prey in the walls, since that's pretty much the only horror left to find during an inspection process for us. Or that they have mice.

Life is at a blissfully normal, still-going pace right now, and while it doesn't leave me much to blog about, I'm happy to take a break now because I know there are more blog-worthy tales coming up in my future.

Because one of these days we are going to GET a house, inspect a house, and actually CLOSE on a house.

And then, my friends, Cute Boy and I are going to pack up all our crap and move.

Into our house.


So if you'll excuse me...I'm going to go nap while I can :)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Scene In Which If You Are What You Eat, I'm An Astronaut

Sooooo.....among the disproportionately long list of completely unhealthy things I've been feeding myself lately as I've worked long days getting all the centerpieces done for tonight's event would be today's lunch: a hot dog from Dairy Queen.

Seriously, they are SNEAKY FOLKS, those DQ people. They KNOW you want to check out the drive thru line. They KNOW you won't committ if it's too long. So what do they do?!? PUT A BARRIER UP. I literally HAD to order food, after turning into the parking lot.

So I got a hot dog. On the scale of unhealthy things I could have eaten for lunch, this probably ranks about a 6.

Fortunately, here in the state of Indiana we still surprisingly allow some things to not be deep-fried, so I avoided that. But I couldn't avoid the little hot dog factoid on the DQ box, which informed me that "In a single year, Dairy Queen sells enough hot dogs that if placed end to end, would reach from the Earth to the International Space Station and back....six times."

Huh. Really. Cool.

-stops. thinks. -


-stops. thinks. -


-stops. thinks.

- I mean, really. That's a LOT of hot dogs.

-stops. thinks. -

And they're cheap, too.

-stops. thinks. -


aaaaaaaand there you have it. Whatever the reason may be, whatever provokes you, it's time to start thinking about these things we're eating that we call food. And maybe stop eating some of them.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Tips from the Calendar- April

Part 4 in a 2011 series of recyling tips courtesy of my dayplanner. Because spring is in the air!

Tip of the Month: Drive smart. Hybrid cars can get up to 50 miles per gallon. That's twice as much fuel efficiency as the average car.

Week 14: If you consistently make small meals, get a toaster oven. It uses less energy than a conventional oven.

Week 15: Turn down your thermostat (*Because the weather should be getting nice soon!)

Week 16: Replace your cleaning products with baking soda and water. Baking soda is an all-purpose, natural way to clean your house (*Hey, back in January they said to use all-natural products. I'm sensing some repeat tips here!)

Week 17: Say "no" to plastic. Bring a canvas bag to the grocery store (*And "recycle" all your current bags with me for Finn and Princess to.....ummm.....use)

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Scene In Which We Did Not Buy A House

You win some, you lose some. You love some.

But some have asbestos.

And roofs that weren't installed correctly.

With warranties that don't transfer.

And electrical hookups that could potentially light your house on fire.

Which you might be able to put out with water from the shower, but you can't use the shower, because it needs to be totally re-grouted.

Which probably means there's water in the walls.

Beyond the water you already found in the walls.

Which only adds to the moisture in the attic.

Which is there because all that moisture from the bathrooms hasn't been venting out correctly....and in fact is in your attic.

And to top it all off, the seller? Scares the crap out of you.

Because he's the kind of person who talks about how home inspectors scare buyers by "pointing out things that aren't really important."

Like asbestos.

And bad wiring.

And bad roofs.

So you decide that you love the house, but you don't love all the problems with the house, so you walk away. And you try again. To be continued.......

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Scene In Which We Get A Home Inspection

I hesitated to post my "We Got A House!!" post yesterday, for the simple reason that nothing is ever certain until you actually close. However, I figured you guys are with me through the good and the bad, and I wanted to share my excitement about our new place!!

And then we did the inspection today.

And I realized I should have waited to blab.

And I know it's not a huge deal, in fact in the great scheme of things, it's not, at all. It's a house.

But it may not be mine, now, after all.

To be continued.....

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Scene In Which We Buy A House!!

We bought a house!!!

After several weeks of searching for homes (and one unsuccessful, adrenaline-pumping 24-minute mad dash to submit a bid for a house we wanted that had gone up for auction that day) Cute Boy and I finally narrowed our search down to four, two smaller homes we liked in an area we loved and two larger homes we loved in an area we liked, about 10 minutes away from the first area.

The day before we were scheduled to look at them all, we learned that House #4 had sadly accepted another offer. Since we had loved that one, we asked Realtor Brad to find other houses in that area that might be on the market. Unfortunately, there isn't too much out there right now- apparently, folks tend to stay longer in those homes. (Green light!)

We did schedule one "mystery showing" for the end of the day, and took our parents and Justin's sister to see our top three choices. Each had their pros and cons, and let me tell you, they're easier to see through the eyes of others. (We didn't end up liking house #4, so I haven't included it.)

House #1:
My mom: This is cute!
Me: Yeah, I really like it.
My mom: The yard is nice, but are those businesses you can see over there?
Me: Yeah...that's the Mousetrap.
My mom: Whaaaaa?
Me: It's a bar.
My mom: Oh.
My mom: Well.......

House #2:
My dad: This is nice. I have a few ideas for easy ways you can make the rooms bigger, too.
Me: Yeah?
My dad: Yeah! See, I don't think this is a load bearing wall.....
Me: Uh huh.
My dad: So what you do is cut this wall out....
Me: Uh huh....
My dad: ......move it over here, move this door, move this window........
Me: Uh huuuuuuh....
My dad: .....then in THIS room, move THIS door here.......
Me: Um, I think we should go to the next house now.

House #3:
My dad: I like this house.
My mom: I like this house.
My future mother-in-law: I like this house.
My future seeeester: I like this house.
Cute Boy: We love this house.

So the next day?

We bought that house :)

Or I guess I should say, we put an offer on that house, it was accepted, and we are currently in the process of inspection/finalizing/insurance/preparing for closing in LESS THAN A MONTH!! Keep your fingers crossed for us that everything goes well!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Scene In Which We Are House-Hunting! (Advice, please!)

It's official- Cute Boy and I are shackin' up!

We've been on the hunt for a few weeks now, checking out properties in and around Indy, and to be honest, I'm a little surprised at how well it's been going.

I think it's because Realtor Brad was due for some good house-hunting karma with me. A few years ago, Realtor Brad toured my brother and I around a couple places within our budget.

Including one with bullet holes.

We were due for some good houses, is all I'm sayin'.

But back to our search! Cute Boy and I are looking at a few different neighborhoods in town, and over the course of looking at about 15 or 16 different houses, have narrowed it down to two areas we like, with two houses in both areas.

And this is where, YOU GUYS, I am struggling.

I love them all.

There are things about them all that I don't love.

But there are lots more things I love.

In an ideal world, I want the adorable paint colors and awesome finished basement of the first....along with the neat 1930s features and neighborhood proximity of the second.....along with the backyard, deck, master bedroom bathroom & extra vanity of the third, with the open layout and split-level features and kitchen of the fourth......

.....but I can't have that.

Which is fine.

But I need some help, pals! When YOU were looking for the house you are in (especially if this involved purchasing/renting/obtaining said house with your significant other), how did YOU decide which one was the best for you? What features did you find you valued most highly? And, following the choice you made, what things did you realize later you didn't really care about?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tips from the Calendar- March

Part 3 in a 2011 Series of Recycling Tips from my dayplanner. Because green is the new black.

Tip of the Month: Every year we throw away 24 million tons of leaves and grass that could be composted. (*That's icky, and being a florist, I know it's true. One of my biggest goals for the year is to compost more!)

Week 9: If you don't already drink soy, rice or almond milk try switching to organic milk, which contains more nutriends and Omega 3 essential fatty acids. (*I feel like this is more of a health tip and less of a recycling tip. Regardless.)

Week 10: Cultivate plants all year long. Dedicate a spot in your home or backyard to a greenhouse.

Week 11: Go digital. Avoid wasted snapshots and buy a digital camera. (*And welcome yourself to the new milennium).

Week 12: Spend one day each week where you don't make any purchases (*And compliment yourself on your witty sense of humor if you spotted "the funny" in that sentence.)

Week 13: Use a manual or electric-powered mower

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Scene In Which I Am A Little Fired Up

I'm warning you now, kiddos, I've taken out my biggest, tallest, soapiest soap box and I'm standing UP ON IT.

For Planned Parenthood.

Because there are women in this country who cannot afford healthcare.

Who, without Planned Parenthood, would not have access to OB/GYN services.

Who, without Planned Parenthood, would not have access to preventative screenings for cervical cancer, breast cancer, HIV/AIDS, and other diseases.

Who, without Planned Parenthood, would not be able to practice safe sex (if that is their choice.)

Who would not, without Planned Parenthood, be able to access care and avoid unwanted pregnancies.

So the fact that the U.S House of Representatives has voted to deny Planned Parenthood federal funding......


As are the many comments all over articles, blogs, Facebook, and Twitter that applaud this measure because "here in America, we don't fund murder!"


Because abortion? Here's the thing about THAT. If THAT were part of this federal funding, if THAT were up for discussion, if THAT was a viable argument, fine.





Hey, I told you I was fired up.

If you agree with the cut off in federal funds, that's totally your right as a citizen. If you agree with the cut off BECAUSE you don't want to fund abortion, that's stil your right to think that, however, you need to understand that your argument is incorrect.

And if you disagree? Please add your voice to Planned Parenhood's "I Stand With Planned Parenthood" campagin.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Oh hey, 100th Post!!

Apparently "Snowpocolypse" marked not only the craziest blizzard that's hit the Midwest in awhile, nor the first time I've ever ice skated down a public street, but MY 100th BLOG POST! Woot!!


I suppose it's a little anti-climactic when you have to count down the number of posts still scheduled from the ones actually posted. Danged foresight at writing all of the "Recyling" posts in advance.

Well, anyway. It happened. Yay!

The Scene In Which I Am In A Book!

Hey kids!

Just your average Monday morning...did a little laundry, checked email, caught up on a few blogs, and OH HEY, I'M IN A BOOK!! It's called Single.Women.Entreprenuers and it's available on Amazon!

I'll back up.

Several months ago, I met the amazing Erin Albert by chance via another Indianapolis entreprenuer, Tiffany Benedict Berkson- friend, neighbor, entrepreneur and history guru- as they grabbed a cup at Starbucks.

As Erin was in the process of speaking with Tiffany about the book she was currently working on (single women entreprenuers) Tiffany shared with Erin that I'd spent the past few years working on my own business and was now self-employed.

Erin and I exchanged info, and several days later she contacted me about sitting for an interview for her book!

Needless to say, I said yes.

The premise of the book, I learned, was to profile successful women entreprenuers who had all been unmarried (single, widowed, divorced) at the time they began their own business and print the interviews they gave.

Despite the fact that I started dating Cute Boy about, oh, thirty seconds after quitting my job to pursue my business full-time, I was single at the time I started lilly lane, and single at the time I left my full-time job, so I qualified.

And was interviewed.

And got really excited about the book.

And then realized that a LOT of women in the book are passionate female entreprenuers with years of experience who can speak eloquently, forcefully, and factually about statistics, trends, and a myriad of other topics on why women are better entreprenuers than men and why single women make better entreprenuers and why women need to be considered authorities and a LOT OF OTHER STUFF THAT I DID NOT TALK ABOUT, because what I DID talk about was how I really liked flowers and didn't like fundraising and my dad started his own business and I was like hey, this seems cool, I think I'll go do this now with NO experience and NO training and NO real foresight, but hey, it worked!

So I'm a little bit worried that next to these other women, I'm going to sound a little different.

Which I'm OK with.

Because if I'm being honest, I DIDN'T have a ton of experience when I started my business. I hadn't, and still haven't, read eight thousand books about the subject. If this book had existed prior to my starting, the odds that I would have stumbled across it, purchased it and read it are probably pretty slim. I'm just not that person. I didn't take a class, didn't write a 90-page business plan, didn't raise capital, and didn't do a whole lot of other things that maybe some other people do.

Which is actually pretty fantastic, because at the end of the day, I'm thinking this book exists to show women that you don't have to fit a mold to be a successful entreprenuer- you just need a good idea and decent work ethic.

You might learn a few other lessons, too.

But you'll have to get the book to find out!

from The Reader....

New book review:

The Rest of Her Life
While I'm Falling

over at Just Can't Stop Reading!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Scene In Which Snowpocolypse Hits


the crops have frozen over...

the wagons are frozen to the ground...
the rations are running low....
already, sacrifices have been made.

Tips from the Calendar- February

Part 2 in a 2011 Series of recycling tips courtesy of my dayplanner. I'm easily amused.

Tip of the Month: Buy energy certificates, and support the renewable energy market comprised of water, wind, and solar power.

Week 5: Wear vintage. Visit your local thrift store for cool duds. (*I'm all about this one. Who wants to come with me to Broad Ripple Vintage, Goodwill and Harloh's??)

Week 6: Place a "No Junk Mail" sticker on your mailbox.

Week 7: Train your grass to grown more deeply and require less water by mowing your lawn at the highest setting. (*Again, a tip for later in the year....when Indiana isn't buried in snow and ice).

Week 8: Wrap it up. Use old newspapers, magazines, and gift-wrap for presents. (*And WHAT A COINCIDENCE! My birthday is this week! Please feel free to wrap ANY of my wonderful gifts in recycled paper!)

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Scene In Which I Have A Sparkly Ring On An Important Finger

That's right kids, Cute Boy and I are ENGAGED!!

This may not be big news to most of you- in fact, anyone who actually knows me already has heard the news, given that it happened on January 6th - but for the lurkers out there, you're in the loop!

Side note: I actually don't know if I have blog-lurkers or not. I mean, I'd like to think I'm all cool and awesome and there's people out there that have never met me but like to read my blog, sort of like I kind of blog-stalk follow people like the inspiring Angie over at Bring The Rain (please note, if you have never read her blog and decide you have an hour or two or four to read her story, I don't recommend you do it at work, because you will cry at your desk and have to go home early....just sayin'.) or Pioneer Woman, or people that are married to people that I knew in college but I've never met like Jessica, or of course the hilarious Ali at Cheaper Than Therapy, who, by the way, doesn't know it yet but is about to become my new best friend because we are both Midwestern girls marrying Canadians and she lives in Toronto and Cute Boy is FROM Toronto and we just got ENGAGED in Toronto and we walked around Yorkville where she talks about window-shopping at Anthropologie and WE saw Anthropologie and I was all like, OMG, any second now a woman in kick-ass cat-eye glasses is going to walk past me and I'm going to be like "OMG ALI!" and then we'll be best friends.

Which is probably why I didn't notice? as we were walking around Yorkville? that CUTE BOY WAS TRYING TO PROPOSE.

Oh yes.

Honestly, if you know me, you'll be shocked by the end of this post that I DIDN'T SEE THIS COMING.

To rewind a bit, we've been talking about getting engaged for awhile now, along with making all sorts of other fun plans about buying houses and keeping our foster dog forever (we hope) and eventually having some of those tiny humans that resemble us, and even picking out said sparkly ring things :)

Christmas passed with visits to both our families, and New Year's was spent with friends in Indy. Shortly after New Year's, we planned to make a trip to Toronto (our fourth in a year). With Younger Brother planning a short getaway at the same time as our vacation, the fabulous Princess and Finnigan needed a place to go for the week, and when my parents offered to take them, we said yes. Figuring out how we'd get them there (my folks live three hours away) Cute Boy volunteered to drop them off during a day trek to Chicago with a friend, ostensibly to buy skis for the friend.

Because GOODNESS KNOWS, there aren't skis to buy in Indy!!

And YES, I BOUGHT IT. Hook, line, and sinker. No questions asked about why they'd drive three hours to Chicago for skis, no inquiry when the trip only took about eight hours (not really that long to shop, by the time you include travel back-and-forth) and not even saying a word to the friend who was supposedly going with, because - get this- Cute Boy told me not to mention it in front of our other friends, and I DIDN'T THINK THAT WAS WEIRD, AT ALL.

Looking back I think a tiny part of my brain registered that asking too many questions might ruin a surprise. Fortunately, this translated mentally into "Don't question it too much or YOU'LL be the one driving the dogs to Chicago!"

The part of my brain that told me not to question things? Is not typical. And did not come with us to Canada. But that's further along.

At any rate, we trek to Canada. We encounter our usual friendly welcome at the border (Canadians= thrilled to welcome you into their country. Americans= typically not thrilled to welcome you BACK into YOUR country. No joke.)

We drove through to Toronto, where Cute Boy dropped me off at the home of some of our friends, then left with three of his buddies to head to Buffalo for the World Junior Hockey Championship Game. And believe me when I say, this game is a BIG DEAL.

They didn't get back until after midnight and it was after 1 in the morning when we arrived at the condo of the friends we usually stay with in Toronto, so naturally, we slept in. Waking up on Thursday morning with everyone else at work for the day, Cute Boy proposed a lazy tourist day in Toronto- strolling through the streets up in Yorkville, walking down Yonge street, maybe heading over to Nathan Phillips Square to ice-skate at the public ice skating rink. Naturally, YES! was my answer to this.

And then we have a lovely day, folks. We window shopped, I kept an eagle-eye out for blogger Ali, we chatted, we held hands while wandering the streets, we stopped for snacks and drinks at a cute little pub, and Cute Boy even tolerated- nay encouraged! - a little browsing at a Yonge street boutique that I will absolutely need to revisit on a future trip, because seriously, the cuteness, and it was cheap. Like $8 sweater cheap.

So by the time we wound our way back to the city center and it was getting on towards 5 PM, we'd been walking for awhile and starting to think about heading home, and the amazing dinner we'd be having later at Pangea, a restaurant where one of Cute Boy's best friends works.

Or at least, I WAS STARTING TO THINK ABOUT THESE THINGS, and Cute Boy was still thinking about something else entirely.

As I'd discover later.

By the time we got to Nathan Phillips Square and the ice-skating I'd been excited about earlier in the day, I was a little over the idea. Skates were $10 or so per person to rent, and while it was absolutely adorable out there on the rink with the snow falling gently (I know, RIGHT?? ROMANTIC. RIDICULOUSLY ROMANTIC.) off to the side....well.....all the benches were snowy, and I'd just gotten new boots that day and I didn't want them to be full of snow, and there were no lockers, and we'd bought a couple things and I didn't want to leave the bags lying by the side of the rink and, well, I was trying to be nice to Cute Boy, who I know FOR A FACT based on previous attempts to go ice-skating does not actually like to attend these kinds of public-skate things, because he likes his hockey skates and he likes being on the ice during practice and he really doesn't care for public skate.

So I said we didn't have to skate.

And Cute Boy said it was fine.

But I said we really didn't and I didn't want to get my butt wet on the snow or have someone steal our packages.

And Cute Boy said he'd carry the packages.

And I said I didn't want him to do that because then he wouldn't be having any fun and I knew he wouldn't anyway and I didn't really want to skate for too long because I had to go home and shower for dinner.

And Cute Boy said fine.

And we left.

So ladies and gentlemen, let me state for the record: I AM A TOTAL SUCK, and ruined what might possibly have been the most adorable proposal in history, on the center of the ice in the lightly fallen snow in Toronto with my Canadian ice-skate loving fiancee.


Can I just tell you, readers, how much I really really really really really really wish I had never known "The Plan" was to propose on the ice?? Devastating. Still.

But things happen for a reason, and as we headed away from public skate sans diamond ring, bought hot chocolates and strolled towards home instead, I had no idea that I'd come thisclose to getting engaged just a second before.

Back at the condo I got ready for dinner while Cute Boy hung out with his friend. I packed a bag, because we were planning to drive over to Cute Boy's aunt's house that night and spend the night there (yes, on a Thursday night, and yes, we'd be arriving around 11, and YES, I did actually question the plausibility of this story, but was told to "just GO WITH IT!" so I did, thankfully.) and we headed out to find a place to have a drink before our dinner.

Only, as you might have guessed, we weren't spending the night at Cute Boy's aunt's. Instead, he pulled up at the lovely Sutton Place Hotel, said, "Surprise!" and got out of the car.


I frantically tried to shrug the thought back, because if I was wrong, I was going to be severely disappointed and not enjoy the lovely romantic evening he had planned with a hotel and a fantastic dinner. So I casually inquired if we should "bring our bags up to the room before we head out??" trying to suss if there was a surprise within.

"Oh, yeah, we can do that if you want," he said.

We got to the room.

"Nice," he commented. "What's the view like?"

"Looks nice!" I said. "There's a balcony!" (More sussing.)

"Cool. I'm going to the bathroom." he replied.

But the balcony wouldn't unlock, so instead I unpacked some things from my bag. When Cute Boy came out of the bathroom, he asked about the view and then- strangely- freaking attacked the balcony door until he wrenched it open.

It's entirely possible he broke the lock.

Regardless, we went out on the balcony to look at the city view in the night lights with the snow falling and it was INCREDIBLY lovely and, can guess what happened next....the trip to the bathroom was actually to fish my ring out of its hiding place in his wallet, and my adorable man proposed right there on the balcony!

And then I starting giggling.

And then I started crying.

And then I started hugging him.

And then two minutes went by.

And then he inquired as to whether or not I wanted to give him a yes anytime soon.

Oh, yeah.

That "saying yes" thing.

I forgot to do that.

So I did.

And THAT, my dears, is the very long story of how Cute Boy and I got engaged, and a little snapshot of what the poor man is going to have to put up with from me, aka "The Woman Who Questions Everything," for the rest of his life.

I'm really lucky he loves that about me.

Most of the time, anyway.

Monday, January 24, 2011

from The Reader....

New book review:

The Bride Quartet:
Vision In White
Bed Of Roses
Savor The Moment
Happy Ever After
now up over at Just Can't Stop Reading!

Monday, January 17, 2011

from The Reader...

New book review!

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Girl who Played with Fire
The Girl who Kicked The Hornet's Nest

over at Just Can't Stop Reading!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Tips From The Calendar- January

Being somewhat *cough cough* of a type-A when it comes to my calendar, it should come as no surprise that I still use the paper version.

Specifically, the "Week At A Glance", full-sized, doesn't fit in your purse, sorted-into-15-minute-segments paper version.

It's my thing.

But in the age of uber-technology and eco-friendliness, I decided to make a bold step.

I bought the recycled paper version.

Ok fine. Maybe not so bold.

However! It makes me feel better about using paper, and in addition, gives me cute little helpful "Recycling Tips!" each week and each month. Because they make me giggle but are also easy and thoughful tips, I thought I'd publish them here. Enjoy, scoff, or just generally disregard.

January's tips are:
(Bonus tip: Week 52 of 2010): Don't staple it. Instead, use a paperclip! Paperclips are an excellent example of a reuseable office supply.
Tip of the Month: Program your temperature. Programmable thremostats can save up to 1800 lbs of CO2 emissions every year.
Week 1: Old school. Use non-electrical appliances and gadgets. (*Giggle. Dirty mind.)
Week 2: If you're purchasing a new refridgerator, consider upgrading to a smaller version. The smaller your icebox, the less energy you'll use.
Week 3: Use natural cleaning products. Avoid products that contain chlorine, which when mixed with ammonia or other acids can produce toxic gases. (*Avoid our upstairs bathroom after Taco Night with Younger Brother for the same reason.)
Week 4: Design and plant a community garden! (*This tip not meant for people living anywhere remotely cold during the 4th week of the year.)