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Archive for February, 2009

Tampon Crafts?

This is kinda funny, but it makes me cringe a little. What’s next, condom balloon animals?

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I love efficiency. In my mind, if you’re doing something the inefficient way, you’re doing it the wrong way (and that’s only a bit of hyperbole, there).

Grocery shopping – not exactly my favorite way to spend Sunday evening. So I’m all for anything that makes it faster.

I keep a steno pad on the kitchen counter, and I write down items on it as they occur to me throughout the week. So that’s how the list used to end up: A column of items in the order I thought of them.

Recently, I gave our grocery list a makeover. I created a template with sections that mirror the physical areas of the grocery store we always go to. A section for “frozen,” one for “produce,” one for “meat/deli,” and so on. It allows me to whip through the store, checking off items as I go, and I never have to double back to an area to get something I missed the first time through. Shaves a good 10-15 minutes off the trip!

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Great Op-Ed in the NYT – Til Children Do Us Part – that supports a couple of things I’ve always suspected:

  • Couples who think having children will make their marriage better or more blissful are delusional.
  • Children don’t need their parents to spend more time with them. They need their parents to take good care of the marriage, thereby creating a happier and more stable environment for the offspring.

Easy for childless me to say, right? 😉

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Good for Wood

Method Good for Wood floor cleaner

Method Good for Wood floor cleaner

Sounds like a new website for your naughty self-portraits, but it’s not.

It’s a product in Method’s floor care line, and it smells freakin awesome – like almonds. Really clean almonds. Plus, it’s biodegradable and non-toxic. A little pricey, but I’m in love with this stuff!

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We pay someone to clean our house. It’s a luxury, but not one I would give up unless I truly had no other choice. I’m very frugal in most respects, but when it comes to this, it’s worth the $100 every 3 weeks (it’d be every 2 weeks if I could afford it).

During our first three months in our house, I did most of the cleaning. I  have a bit of clutter in my life and I’m okay with it as long as it stays somewhat contained, but I can’t tolerate dirt and grime. Dirty floors and dusty furniture make me feel like a less worthy person, somehow. (Don’t even talk to me about stained toilet bowls or grimy bathtubs. shudder) In our 2000 square-foot home, I was spending a significant amount of time scrubbing and dusting each weekend. My husband helped if I asked, but didn’t do any cleaning without prompting from me. I felt like I was losing hours and hours of my life to the Swiffer and the sponge.

I value a clean house, but I also value the precious little free time I have. In this case, the free time is more valuable than the money. I’ll find other areas where I can cut back expenses, if I have to. Plus, was able to let go of the resentment I felt back when I was the one doing nearly all of the work.

I’m think it’s safe to conclude that paying someone to clean our house is good for our marriage.

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Really! It’s like Mad Libs.  See for yourself.

Here’s a sample….

To Whom It May Concern:

My name is Stripe Starcrest and I am applying for Disney’s Two-Headed Crab position. For the past year I have worked as a fortune cookie writer for the guy who stands there and watches in Constantinople. While this was an amazing experience, I  have decided to take a different direction with my career and focus on koala bears.

I am looking for a job that will utilize my genuine love of rib cartilage and penchant for sail boarding and Phoebe. I have hairy computer skills, cyanide poisoning experience, am a suggestive communicator (both visually and verbally) and am a very in-the-mood and easy-to-work with individual.

Attached for your review is my resume. I know that if we get the chance to meet, you will see what an asset I can be to Disney’s Pitching a Tent department. Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Step off,
Stripe Starcrest

Thanks for the Deluxe Cover-Letter-o-Matic, 2B1B-ers!

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Just the Essentials

D’s contributions to this week’s grocery list:

  • gummy bears (bulk)
  • ice cream

Ah, to be able to eat whatever you want….

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Growing a Marriage

Even though I don’t have kids, I love the Momversations. The ladies on the panel are insightful and smart, and it’s fun to see the faces behind the blogs. The Momversation called Keeping Your Marriage Fresh was particularly interesting, given my relatively new married status. I can only imagine how challenging it must be to try to nurture a marriage with kids in the picture. And managing to keep some degree of romance? Sheesh.

It reminds me of a discovery I made not long ago.

It’s a funny thing. No one tells you that one of the absolute most unromantic things you can possibly do in a relationship is move in together. But it’s true. Yes, by moving in together you’re taking the relationship “to the next level.” But it’s a level where most of the mystery disappears. And that giddy anticipation before you see your honey? Gone. Cause he’s there all the time. Romance and excitement are fairly effortless when you’re dating – that’s why it’s fun. But being married means you’ve traded (at least some) excitement for security and long-term commitment.

Marriage is a scary thing. Hardly a day goes by in which the profound challenge of growing a life-long relationship does not cross my mind. I know how to excel in school and at work. Those things come pretty naturally to me. I have no training for being successful in marriage. A few (very few) instincts about what to do and what not to do, maybe. But in my own life I don’t have models of marriage that I can emulate, and I don’t have clear ideas about what I need to do to be successful.

When it comes to maintaining my health, I truly believe that healthy daily habits are key. I suspect that marriage works the same way, in some respects. Some of what you have is due to luck. But a lot of what you have is due to the daily work you put into it. A topic I’m sure I’ll be revisiting often.

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Career 2.0

A couple of short years ago, I switched careers. Before, I worked in science. Now, I’m a writer. I work for a good company and make an okay wage. Don’t get me wrong – I’m sincerely grateful for my job, given the state of things these days. But I’d really like to try some freelancing – I’m craving variety and opportunities to write for different media and publications.

And frankly, I’d like to be making more money. There, I said it. A career change at 30 meant I started over again at the bottom, making even less money (adjusted for inflation) than I did fresh out of college 8 years before.

Happy about getting the job, not as excited about the size of the paycheck.

I’ve made up quite a bit of ground in the past couple of years, but I don’t think I’ll have opportunities for big jumps in pay anytime soon, especially with my current employer and the current market.

So (I think) this is what it boils down to.  Essentially, I want 2 things:

  • More variety in my work with more flexibility overall.
  • Higher income.

My tentative plan is to start pursuing some freelance opportunities in the early summer. I’d like to start now, but my slow plod through a graduate degree means that during the fall and spring semesters I don’t have much time  or intellectual capacity for additional projects. But I know I need to set more specific goals, so I can work on those between now and then.

***

Okay, so the BIG dream is to win 20 mil in the lottery. Then I’d just freelance and do my own writing projects, purely for the joy of the pursuits. 🙂

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Totally exposing my inner nerd, but these actually make me laugh out loud. Who knew the strategic misplacement of punctuation could be so funny?

Watch that expired grape juice, hee hee.

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