Thursday, February 27, 2014

santa anita- always believe in bobby flay

Hey everyone! I am home from visiting my brother and his family in California. Of course, with my maladjusted luck, I left this Artic dome in Nashville for sunnier pastures, and suddenly Tennessee's thermostat jumped to 70 degrees! WHAT!? Where were you, warm weather, about 2 weeks ago? [Tangent: Also let it be known that despite the warm weather, there was a lady at the park near my brother's house wearing a down jacket and walking a froufy little dog with a wool sweater on. I can only imagine that animal is plotting his owner's murder, because he is boiling internally due to her misguided sense of heat sensory. Californians be crazy! Get a clue- It's sundress weather!]  However, now that I am home- it's cold as balls again...naturally.

But anyway, enough of me being a 75-year-old grandma and bitching about the weather...I went to the racetrack for the first time last weekend, ya'll and actually won some cash! For my brother's birthday, he wanted to take us to the Santa Anita racetrack and I was stoked and afraid. [Tangent: Before going there, I had grand illusions of women in big hats and cute sassy dresses. I blame Pretty Woman and being from the South. However, Mikey assured me that most of the people in the stands during the day on a Friday were going to be wearing adidas shower shoes and digging  through the garbage for discarded tickets..Clearly not the ambassadors of fashion. Poof goes my fantasy of a brown polka dot stomping the divets dress!]

I know absolutely zero about horse racing, never mind animal husbandry and horse breeding. [Tangent: Is it sad that my experience is limited to betting fake money on the dog races at Springfield Downs on my Simpson's Tapped Out game. Even then, my record is spotty at best.] My brother, who is actually a good gambler,  just told me that if a horse had a good haircut and took "a sponge well" then it was a safe bet. Of course, I ignored his guidance as soon as my horse with a perm lost, and decided I was gonna bet solely on hunches and whether a name made me giggle. [Tangent: Here's lookin' at you- Tangerine Tickle!] I mean if a horse is named Bobby Flay, how could you NOT bet on him. Bobby Flay is a name you should always believe in!! He didn't let me down.
lookout hand models! Look at those dry ass cuticles!

 It didn't matter if they were a total  long shot...after all, I always love an underdog [errr...underhorse?].I also just found a jockey named Edwin that I liked and stuck with him for each of his races. [Tangent: I had no reason for picking him other than I enjoy the name Edwin...I knew he'd be my crying shoulder...he'd be the greatest fan of my life...etc. Also, while I have you in a tangent, did you know jockies make bank!?! All the jockies in the jockey parking lot were driving brand new beamers! How did I know they belonged to jockeys? Oh because of all the jockey and horse pun vanity plates! Dead giveaway!]

hey there, awkward double chin and brother silouette in my glasses!

Basically, long story short- I got to spend the afternoon in one of the prettiest places in LA! I mean look at that snazzy latticework and signage!! Also, not to completely brag, but  I picked 4 winning ponies out of 6 races that we watched! How is that even possible? Each race I only bet between $15-$30. I only wish I had deeper pockets and more faith in my psychic abilities, because I could have really cleaned up. Oh well, I got lifetime bragging rights and got to piss my brother off!

 Thanks ponies and short little men for teaching me about racing and allowing me to make it rain hundreds for the first time in my life [Tangent: It was only 3 (and one was already in my wallet), so it was more a sprinkle than a monsoon, but nonetheless a lifelong dream to make it rain something other than nickles occurred! Not to mention all of that was spent on car repairs today.]

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Saved by the Valentine

Hey guys! I am gonna be gone for about a week and am currently shirking all responsibilities so I can write a blog. [Tangent: I really should be packing but I haven't quite wrapped my mind around the fact that the highs in California are in the 80s, and I have been living in fur boots and the same two huge sweaters for the last several months. Now I will have the ability to actually make choices that allow me to look cute instead of just look like a lump of layers doing her damndest to deter hypothermia. It makes packing both exciting and I will just put it off another hour or so.] Anyway, I had to check in and see how everyone's Valentine's Day went and tell you about mine.

Lately I have not had excuses to put makeup on or a dress, so no matter what the plans were, I decided those two things needed to happen.  We had planned to go do dinner in East Nashville near Jamie's house. [Tangent: Naturally the plan was to eat super early (while most people were just getting off work) so we could beat the cavalcade of couples, even if it meant dining predominantly with retirees.] When we got to the eatery, we were extremely optimistic because there were free tables for miles so we felt like we made a sound decision...that is until the hostess informed us that because it was a busy night, we needed a reservation....or a "reso" as she so adorably put it. [Tangent: I had eaten there before and it was pretty dead, so the thought never occurred to either of us. Clearly we don't do fancy well. And furthermore, who uses the term reso?!??!] By this point, the rain and the lack of "reso" just seemed like a sign that we needed to pack it in and opt for some takeout [Tangent: Besides: THE OLYMPICS WERE ON!] we selected the most romantic dinner option possible = Hot Chicken!  

 [Tangent: I think it speaks volumes about us that we were that excited to eat something that simultaneously makes your nose run like a geyser, makes you breathe heavy and get an all over sweat going. Additionally, there was only one other couple eating at Pepperfire, so we didn't have to wait at all. Bonus points!]

I don't wanna be that girl that posts what their boyfriend gives them all over social media with terrible hastags like #blessed #thatsmyboo #loveconquersall etc. I kinda hate those, but I am about to do that very thing and completely betray my ethical code...but hello, if you got this card, you would share, too. 

 After I opened it, I seriously giggled aloud for several minutes. The jelly bracelets. The glitter. The marker marks. The oddly foreshortened baby hand. Everything about it was perfect and made me thankful that I have taught Jamie all about the bizarre wonderland that is Etsy.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

so tomorrow is valentines day...

Holy crap! Valentine's day is tomorrow. Where did that come from?  I guess people are not being as over the top with it on social media or maybe I have just been fast forwarding through the "Every kiss begins with Kay" commercials. Maybe I am so swept up in Olympic fever that I can't be expected to pay attention to things like calendars. [Tangent: Speaking of, this tumblr was brought to my attention the other day, and it made me laugh considerably. If you are a fan of Girls, specifically Shoshanna, you will love. Shoshi Olympics...seriously...why didn't I think of that?]

Even when I was single, I didn't loathe the holiday. As far as I remember, I never got super mopey about it. [Tangent: Even the year I worked in a lingerie store, so basically had to help men and women pick out valentine sex clothes and accouterments all day and then came home to watch a Lifetime movie about a woman in a mental hospital. True Story. Even then, I had a pretty rad day.]  Face it, It's the one time of year when you are basically ordered to be open with your affections and all those in your life.  You are also encouraged to eat copious amounts of red hots and use terrible puns.  In my mind, any excuse for a giant box of assorted chocolates is a good one.  How much more magical can you get?  [Tangent: Writing about Valentines Day has always been one of my favorite things to do! I am off my game...probably because I am about to leave this icy hell beast and head to sunny California in a few days. Hasta Luego, fur lined boots! It is 82 degrees there!]

Every year, I troll google images for my favorite Valentines out there. [Tangent: Here is last year's crop.] I tried to seek attribution for these, but most of them came from like 100 sources, my apologies.  If they made me giggle, they made the cut...although most of them are from Downton and Parks and Rec.

more mean girls cards here

  Hope everyone has a great day...and if you are gonna be that angsty person, look on the bright side, go grab some half off Whitman's samplers over the weekend.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

get your goat: the river garden product review and giveaway

I am really super excited for this product review and giveaway for a number of reasons.
  1. I love trying new things and getting free stuff in the mail and people caring about my opinions is stellar...because in real life no one ever cares. 
  2.  I wrote the other day in this post that I am trying to integrate natural and organic beauty products into my hopefully counterbalance my questionable and not-at-all-natural dietary choices. [Tangent: Taco Bell Crunch Wraps aren't gonna eat themselves.]
  3. In aforementioned post, I also mentioned that my flesh was literally breaking apart like magic shell, thus leaving me desperate for some sort of moisturization intervention.
  4. These products were made by one of my oldest friends and his lovely wife.
Garrett and I have known each other since we were about 8 or 9. We grew up together at a camp for kids with MD and have stayed in touch  all the way. In the last few years, he and his lovely wife Katie have built a life together in Sparta, TN where they use their land to grow all kinds of organic fruits and veggies and raise goats. [Tangent: Hanging out with goats all day makes me insanely jealous!]  I am always very envious of people so resourceful and able to live off the land as he and Katie are. 

Since 2010 they have sold their wares at farmer's markets and co-ops, but are now taking their line of natural and organic goat's milk skincare to the internet. [Tangent: You can check out their facebook page here and their online store here. As you can see, the price point is incredibly affordable. $4.50!?!?!? Are you kidding me?!?! Have you seen how much Green Hills ladies spend for "organic goods?"  That's my kind of prices! ] I'm so proud of them and excited to share them and their labor of love with you all.

When I opened the package from them, I was kind of overwhelmed with the scent of the honey, oatmeal and nutmeg soap. [Tangent: I had no idea which items they were sending me, but was really excited when I saw this is what they selected. When something is overly perfumey, I generally get turned off imediately.] It smelled so good and herbally that I was more or less huffing it. Jamie liked it, too, so I can confirm that it is pretty unisex. The River Garden uses all essentially oils and natural ingredients to scent their products and no artificial fragrance oils, for those with those kinds of allergies and sensitivities.

The idea of traditional bar soap used to freak me out until the last year when I started religiously using one by another company. [Tangent: I don't now why, but bar soap always made me feel super if girls shouldn't use bar soap. I know that is utterly ridiculous. Luckily, I have gotten over this prejudice.] Plus, these bars are  locally produced and 100% paraben free...and not to mention that I can pronounce everything on the label.

After scrubbing down with the soap, my skin was in it was literally squeaky with cleanliness! Because my skin is clinically dry, I think I will use it every other shower during the winter months, but once warmer months kick in, I think I will use it with more regularity. IT SMELLS SO GOOD!

To quench my thirsty skin, I was extremely eager to lube up with the Jojoba goat milk lotion. They have informed me this variety would be the best for my dry skin. 

Again, I was impressed at the fact that I could identify all the ingredients and the quality was stellar. It was thick and rich, and although it went on a bit sticky, it soaked into my alligator skin in under a minute and my body was very happy with the results. [Tangent: The bottle size is perfect to leave in my car or purse for dryness emergencies.]

Because I truly love these guys and wish the best for The River Garden, I want to share a piece of it with you. One lucky reader will win a prize pack with a soap and lotion of their very own! Also The River Garden is giving all of my readers a 10% discount off of their already low prices. Use coupon code: THATGIRL for 10% off!! 

Enter below! Winner will be announced one week from today (2/16)! Good luck, guys, and thanks for helping me support awesome local businesses!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, February 6, 2014

to bugg or not to bugg

Saturday was beautiful and a welcome break from the frigid, yet somehow burning cold. It was 60 degrees. I didn't wear a jacket, which was a big middle finger to Puxatawny Phil. Because of this fleeting window of warmth, I decided not to be a hermit and to go out and do stuff...stuff being Jake Bugg. [Tangent: Wait. Weird. Gross. He's barely legal. Clearly,  I wasn't 'doing' Jake Bugg. I was seeing him perform (music..that is).]

Because my fella always seems to know these things, he suggested that we go to The Pour House to see Jake Bugg do a short set in the afternoon put on by Lightning 100. [Tangent: I always enjoy an afternoon short set. It really lines up with my sensible old lady inclinations. The older I get, the more days notice I need to hype myself up for anything that has a showtime at later than 8:30. I cannot be alone on this. I love an occasional late night, but I need a few days notice to get in the right mindset to make it happen.] Jamie has been a fan of Bugg since he first heard of him and I am just impressed that he is so young and so talented and doesn't involve choreography or heart hands into his performance style. He's got a gritty badass voice and kind of looks like the lost Gallagher brother. [Tangent: That's an Oasis reference for any high schooler that has somehow stumbled onto this page.] I'm sure if I were 15, he'd have prime real estate on my clear front binder. [Tangent: I'm sure his young fans have some clever name. Buggies. Bugg_bites. LadyBuggs. I don't know. If they don't have a title, they should.]

here's a pic of him singing Lightning Bolt. Jamie took this. I took a couple but there was a big bald head blocking most of the action.
Even though he only played a handful of songs, it was a packed house and a fun way to spend the afternoon. [Tangent: It was also adorable to see fans young and old win Ryman tickets and records. There was one little boy who practically lost his ever lovin' mind when they called his name and said he won an album. He then proceeded to stare intently at it for the next hour. I like that kid.] As we were leaving we saw Mr. Bugg hanging by a car and surrounded by a short line of fans. Jamie and I both hesitated and then walked to my car.

When we got in the car, we both concluded that we wanted to go say hi and tell him good show, but felt awkward about it. Meeting an artist is weird enough, and additionally,  I have never had that interaction with an artist who was much younger than me. We knew whatever escaped our lips would make us sound like grandparents. "You're such a talent." "Keep up the good work, champ!" "Good show, sport." [Tangent: Because he's British...and British people say 'sport', right?] True there was a huge range of ages there, but I just knew no matter what I said, my word vomit would make me feel 700 years old. "You make some great music, kid."

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

pretty men in drag with the dragulator

In case you missed it [Tangent: How dare you!?!? Here is your chance to play catch up.], last week I did one of my infamous 'App Happy Reviews' over at Nerds and in which I detailed the attributes of The Rupaul Drag Race Dragulator, which is my current obsession when I need a good laugh/diversion/parlor trick.

In the conclusion of my post over at N&N, I tried to prove my theory that Benedict Cumberbatch is a pretty man, but would make an even prettier lady. [Tangent: His cheekbones are out of control...and kinda mesmerizing..and he always looks like he's forever "smizing" (smiling with your eyes if you are not schooled in 'America's Top Model Speak.)] 

So after I submitted the article and it was published...I began to think, "Wait, so many missed opportunities!" So many times after seeing a man with sparkly eyes and flawless skin, I have said, "That guy would make such a stunning woman." Their luminous complexions and perfect brows seem almost wasted. Here is me testing my hypotheses. Some make stunners, so much.

Jared Leto

I started with someone who has experience playing a transexual...but seriously, since his Jordan Catalano days when he was the at the absolute height of  angsty adorability,  I have thought his baby face would look great with some foundation on it! [Tangent: I know psych majors...there is a lot wrong with me.] 

After making my dream, realized, I kinda think he is a dead ringer for Patti Stanger, the Millionaire Matchmaker.  Discuss.

Zac Efron

With those twinkly eyes and purdy mouth, how could he not be a total knockout?

 Hmmm....not so much. He is not as comely as I would have thought. Maybe he needed some lips.

Orlando Bloom

Come on...He's a babe....but he's also an elf. Elves have twee feminine features and angelic, poreless skin. I thought this was gonna be a no brainer.

 Maybe his skin is gorgeous, but I think he should stick to dude things.

Jude Law

For a Brit, Jude has some grade A chompers and again, the skin of small cherub baby, so I figured slap a wig on him and some blush, and he is gonna be hot...

 ...and he looks like Liza Minelli's half sister.

Taylor Lautner

This may upset some Twi-hards, which I am a-Ok with, but Jacob Taylor Lautner has always skewed a little pretty to me. Sure he's handsome, but the narrow jaw and sweet cheekbones are begging for some makeup, right?

 Dear god. I showed this one to my fella and he replied, "He looks like a possibly overweight lady attending beauty school in a strip mall." I liked his assessment.

Bruno Mars
Everytime I see his face....there's not a thing I wouldn't change...cause it's amazing...just the way it is. [Tangent: See what I did there.] But seriously, it's crystal clear that he would make a spicy dame.
The execution is so much better than I ever could have dreamed. If you are a lady, show this to your dude, I am gonna guess he'd be into it even a little. I don't think it would even take many drinks. Bruno would look foxy with boobs.

These were just a few off the top of my head that fall into my mental file of "pretty men" but maybe you have some other suggestions.

Monday, February 3, 2014

nostalgia overload

On Thursday afternoon, I started this #throwbackthursday post, but didn't post it till Friday, which really threw for a loop my plan to make a #flashbackfriday follow up it's Monday and there is no kitschy day specific name for a nostalgia post. #MemoryMonday ... #FirstDayofTheWorkweekFlashback ... #MaybeIShouldStopHashtaggingMonday. [Tangent: This is why I don't do time-sensitive posts.] See, there really is no creative solution to cohesively link my post from Friday to my post from I shall do it with words instead of dumb pound symbols. [Tangent: I find it scary that in the not to distant future, phone recordings will say "Enter your full account number followed by the hashtag sign." That's like flying car/hoverboard style crazy to me.]

Basically, when I was helping my mom empty those long-forgotten boxes in the dark recesses of her closet, we found a mother load (pun intended) of Mother's Day cards, terrifying/hilarious kid art, glitter encrusted construction paper Valentine's  and school projects.  Here are some of the highlights. [Tangent: I didn't even include the short stories and memoirs of my brother, Mikey. He claimed in his "how I'm gonna spend my summer vacation" that he would be going to Maui and finally getting the hot tub that his folks had been working on.  None of these things occurred and we never had a hot tub. My brother has clearly always been a top notch bullshitter! Lest we forget this WWII assignment festooned with glittery schwastikas.] This same brother is responsible for this vaguely racist artwork of a gent in jorts and a Fat Boys shirt. Oh, the 80's were a heady time.

...and this thoughtful Mother's Day card.

My art was a little more abstract...and nightmare inducing. [Tangent: I like to think they are drawing influence from Munch's The Scream...but I probably just wanted to cram as many humans as possible on paper in 5 minutes...facial features and likenesses fell by the wayside.]

Jamie is pointing to the ones he finds most frightening. My money is on the blonde  humanoid earthworm on the end.
I apparently was not so good with likenesses at all (neither was my sister for the record) considering every drawing of our sweet mom featured grotesque boobs or crazy cankles...OR BOTH!

does she not look like she has hooves?

Clearly, my dad wasn't safe from my artistic depictions. He came off looking a bit like a satanic Gargamel.

 I also had a very odd sense of reality. This is a collage I did of my family members by cutting out pictures from magazine (or maybe JC Penny catalogs) to depict each person in my household.

yep...that's me astride the unicorn in corduroy the dream!
Also, I can only hope my writing has grown somewhat from when I was five. Both of these stories seemed to go nowhere. Albeit hysterical, the plots were pretty bland. [Tangent: Clearly I was years away from my spelling bee victories!]

"A Teddy Bear went into the supermarket and that was a mistake."

"Daisy Duck said, 'Do you want a ride?' Donald said, 'Yes, I love rides!"
I will leave you with a self-indulgent picture of me when I was 3 and a half and had the cutest mom hair this side of the Mississippi!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

zipper down delirium with Carri

Last week, I was elated to hear that my friend Carri wanted to write a piece for my blog. [Tangent: I love guest bloggers because it takes the work off me. It's like putting your feet up on the back seat of a tandem bike. Is that a good analogy? I really can't even tell anymore hence why Carri is taking the front seat for today. ] 

Here is the lowdown on my Sunday night sub, Carri. She and I used to work together and she is one of the sweetest and more inadvertently hilarious people I know. [Tangent: Learn all about her over here at Wordy Nerdy Thirty-ish. Learn it. Live it. Love it. Like it on Facebook. Through her writing she paints a picture of what its like when you are self-aware of your awkwardness and OK at laughing and sharing it with others....oh, and her punctuation is stellar. She is the one that points out my grammar the sweetest way possible.] 
Here's a picture of us walking down the aisle together (spoiler alert: it wasn't our wedding, but we are both under 5 feet tall so make a cute couple!)

She is a blogger and a mommy...but she is not what I would deem "a mommy blogger." Not that there is anything wrong with that, but instead of portraying her life to be saccarine sweet and Pinterest-y perfection, she gives real and hysterical accounts of what it's like to be a mother of four kids, 2 dogs and the caretaker of one granny and wife to one hubby. [Tangent: Oh, YES..I SAID FOUR KIDS! I love her kids so much, mostly because they are obsessed with Full House and refuse to believe that it is a rerun. Their love of Jesse, Danny Joey and company have led to fist fights, tears and adjusted dinner schedules. A family after my own hearts. Truly, my heart smiled the day she told me her daughter broke down because the 2-part wedding episode wasn't airing all on the same night on Nick At Night. My faith in the youth of tomorrow was restored.] Instead of sharing a scone recipe (even though she is a freakishly good cook) or 1000 perfectly staged photos of her kiddos, she is gonna drop some truth bombs of what it's like to be a mama with a sense of humor and reality! Take it away, Carri!

Once upon a time, I had a life that was just mine, and during that life I didn't really think about other people all that much. I ate food when I felt like eating food without wondering if anyone else was hungry. I slept without worrying that someone might need me during the night. I went places without considering whether or not I could get a babysitter. Most of all, the bodily functions of other people didn't even remotely concern me.

As of late, it seems as though that life has transformed from my own personal life to just one big extension of the lives of four young creatures who don't even really recognize me as a person. To them, I'm just the entity who feeds them and hugs them and calls them the wrong name and nags them to shower and change their underwear and do their homework and who gets up in the middle of the night to clean up their puke if need be and who gets really REALLY angry if they yell at each other even though the majority of my own communication with them comes in the form of yelling.


You just hold up.

I do have a life. I have a LIFE! It is my own life!
 Never mind that some days that life involves prying a banana out of the hands of a small boy who is absent-mindedly mashing that banana into his belly button while watching cartoons. 
Never mind that some days I'm stripping the bedsheets of an elderly woman whose bladder has seen better days. ESPECIALLY never mind that I have had a vehement, whole-hearted argument that broccoli cheese soup does NOT taste like farts and that this argument ended with no less than two people crying, and that I was definitely one of the ones shedding tears. 

I have a life. I am my own person. Why, just the other day I drove by myself to my job. On the way to work I noticed that my oversized SUV was very low on gas. I decided WITHOUT CONSULTING ANYONE ELSE! (see that?? I can do stuff on my own!) that I should stop and fill up, so I pulled into one of the local gas stations and parked and stood at the pump freezing my non-existent testicles off while waiting for the gas pump to accept my debit card. As I was standing there, I discovered that the zipper of my pants wasn't zipped.

I have this one particular pair of black dress pants that has three buttons and a short zipper, and for some reason that third button really throws me off and makes me forget to zip the zipper way more often than I'd like to admit. I've posted many a Facebook status about it. So, I guess out of sheer amusement at the predictability of finding my zipper down, I said quite loudly, "I sure have a hard time keeping my pants zipped."
it happens to the best of us. "us" being Fergie and J Biebs.
No sooner than I realized that I actually spoke these words out loud did I see a man's face slowly peer around the edge of the gas pump to look at me rather warily, and then after two or three seconds of uncomfortable eye contact he disappeared just as slowly back to his side of the gas pump. We didn't see each other again, and I watched his Ford Taurus drive off while fervently praying that he wasn't one of my kids' teachers or someone I would run into on a regular basis.
inner monologue

I don't know if everyone has these moments or if I'm just spectacularly awkward, but I would wager that anyone who knows me very well isn’t terribly surprised by this incident. If I’m being perfectly honest, I don’t even miss that old life…hell, I barely remember it. And if I’m being even more honest, I’m pretty sure I function much better when I’m arguing about farts and cleaning mashed banana out of another person’s belly button than I ever did in the past. 
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