Wednesday, May 25, 2011

is everyone hanging out without me?

today i had the pleasure of reading some excerpts of mindy kaling's (i.e., kelly from the office and my great friend divya's doppleganger) new book is everyone hanging out without me?. the chapters are so funny and i feel like i want to be best friends with her. my favorite chapter is below:

"do these things, part 2

some more stuff to do that will make your life better.

1. sneakers that "tone your butt as you walk" are shams.

nobody buy these. a brilliant charlatan invented them and is making a ton of money off innocent, desperate fatties. i tried these. They don’t do anything but make you look insecure. also, only chubby people wear them. Fit people don’t because they know you need to actually exercise to be in shape.

2. don't use the word "retarded."
it is just so totally uncool to use the word “retarded” anymore to describe something you think is stupid. it is barely acceptable when uninformed small children say it (and reflects so poorly on parenting), and is completely offensive for adults. How inarticulate are you if you have to use this word? How confident are you that no one you talk to would be offended by it, or worse, have someone in his or her life that has a mental disability? a pretty funny writer with a great spec script came into The Office to meet with producers about staffing. He was a friend of two other writers on staff. i thought he was cool initially, becausehe didn’t seem to take himself seriously and knew a lot about the Lakers. Then, in describing a Kobe Bryant–Shaq altercation, he used the word “retarded,” and kept repeating it, the way I say “like.” It waslike a tiny knife stabbing me every time he used it. When our bossasked us what we thought of him, I said I liked him, but I thought his liberal use of the word “retarded” was embarrassing and off-putting. I don’t know how much I affected the outcome, but he didn’t get hired.

3. don't kiss your dog on the lips in public.
it is horrifying.

4. never have pancakes for breakfast.
Pancakes are a dead end. If I looked back on my life and saw thenumber of days that were a total wash because I had pancakes for breakfast, it would shock you. Sure, they taste about a thousand times better than the boring “Iron Man Health Scramble” you should be eating, but it is so not worth it, ever. Eating pancakes forbreakfast leads to an immediate post-breakfast nap, followed by waking up in the middle of the afternoon feeling disgusted withmyself, but still unable to motivate to do anything. Pancakes lead tolost weekends, like Trainspotting".

every chapter i read made me laugh out loud which is definitely needed mid-week while at work. so now i just have to find time to make it to the book store and pick up this new book and tina fey's new book before the beach!

who are some of your favorite female comedian authors? any that i am missing out on?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

book love

to keep with the theme of books and how important it is to keep reading fun, check out this awesome enchanted book garland from martha. how cute would this be in a little girl's room or for a birthday party theme? it'd be cute to have kids write their own stories and then exhibit them on a garland, but then again i think garlands make everything cuter, right?

we have a long weekend trip to the beach planned in the next few weeks and books continue to be on the brain. i can't wait to be sitting on the beach with my boys and books.

what are some of your favorite beach reads?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

everybody wins!

this year i was lucky enough to be connected to the everybody wins non-profit organization. when an email was sent out at work about needing volunteers, some coworkers and i signed up immediately and couldn't wait to get involved with the power lunch program at a local elementary school. power lunch is "a lunchtime literacy and mentoring program that brings groups of adult volunteers into low-income elementary schools for one-on-one read aloud sessions with students".

i got paired with a 5th grade boy and i would go each week during my lunch break to read books with him. the kids that are chosen for the program usually have to meet the following requirements: they need help with reading, they need to improve reading comprehension, and/ or they need a good mentor. my kid and i hit it off immediately and have had such a great time together. his reading has really improved and based on the smile on his face when he sees me (while trying to still act cool in front of his peers), i think the program was really successful for us both! since the year is almost up and he's a 5th grader, it's almost time to say goodbye which breaks my heart. tomorrow is the lunch to celebrate the end of the year and i really will miss him.

it shocked me to learn that most of the kids in the program had probably never had an adult sit with them and take time to read to them one-on-one. it is said that children are made readers on the lap of their parents. it's so easy to forget that not all kids have parents that can give them the attention and time to sit down and read. i don't even have any children yet but i have a huge children's book collection already (granted my best friend was a child's librarian for years)! my best friend was telling me a while back that there is a phenomenon where once children can read on his/her own, parents stop taking the time to sit down and read together which makes reading less fun so kids start to dislike reading. that makes me so sad. i hope that when we have kids, we always take time to read together (in living room forts preferably) and enjoy storytelling. this hopefully shouldn't be too hard since i enjoy reading so much and it is a big part of my life.

anyways, i hope that if there is a child in your life that you take the time to read with them. next year i'll be paired with a new child and hope that i can maybe brighten his/ her day and future through reading together. i really am going to miss kc - he's been an inspiration to me and i feel lucky to know him.

Monday, May 16, 2011

windmills and popsicles

this weekend we spent lots of time in the perfect weather (high 60's, low 70's with a breeze) in our backyard. all meals were eaten on the deck and lots of time spent in the hammock (duh). we put together the awesome windmill that j got me for our anniversary. we have it on the deck until we find a better spot in the yard but i love it!

townes also enjoyed his morning, after breakfast, and in between naps cigarette breaks. ok so it's rawhide but he always holds it in his mouth like a cigarette and it makes us laugh every time!

he also LOVES popsicles! sharing is caring, right?

after i got home from the bridal shower of a good friend (congrats chanel) last night, we enjoyed sitting in the backyard by the fire pit! the weather we perfect and we could have stayed out there all night.

this weekend was perfect for relaxing and feeling centered again. i'd been feeling very tired and needing a break from it all (or just work really). for our anniversary, j and i wanted to schedule a mini vacation anywhere (preferrably a beach). we procrastinated and all of the sudden that affordable trip to folly beach by charleston, sc was out of reach (and pocket). we also wanted to be able to take townes with us since he's part of our family and we wanted him to be able to enjoy a getaway too! we finally found an awesome condo in amelia island on fernandina beach (which is one of the few beaches that allows dogs year round)! the condo has 2 rooms and a rooftop deck! i can't wait for a beach getaway with my boys!

p.s. i just got an iPhone (white) after having the same old beat up samsung flip phone for the past 6 years! expect many more picture posts! YAY!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

strokes of bad luck

so it's been almost 2 months and i feel like i can finally share more about my vehicular mishaps this past march. i'm still pretty shaken up about it all and hate that i live in a city with lots of traffic and where i'm forced to drive daily.

it was a thursday afternoon and i left work during my lunch break to meet with our tax guy. it was a good meeting and i was looking forward to being done with my taxes and getting a check back in a few weeks. as i pulled out of the parking lot, i merged into traffic and then a girl got over in my lane on top of my car. i don't have a picture readily available but basically the front passenger side of my car was pretty beat up (cracked the headlights and bent in the area above the tire but thankfully it was still driveable). we pulled over and i started to call the cops when the girl told me she was in a big rush and couldn't wait for the cops but we exchanged information. normally i wouldn't have done this but i let her go (to my dad's dismay). i called allstate and filed the claim and gave them her information (which was thankfully valid) and called it a day. they arranged for me to meet with the allstate adjuster that next morning.

i woke up the next morning and all was well. it was friday and i got to sleep in a bit since i couldn't meet with the adjuster until 9 AM. i was taking my sweet time, dragged the trash to the curb, set the GPS just to be safe, and as i backed out of the driveway, a truck came speeding around our corner and nailed my car. i didn't see it coming at all and my car excelerated into our bushes on the side the yard. i was hysterical. our neighbor ran out because i literally was collapsed by our mailbox because i was so upset. thankfully non one was hurt and j was able to get home in less than 5 minutes to help deal with the situation and calm me down. the side airbags deployed and i instantly started to see huge bruises forming on my thighs from the impact. i got the ticket since i was the one backing up although i wish i had been calm enough to fight it since my car was in drive (hence why i ended up in the bushes in front of me when i stepped off the gas). the guy who hit me said he was having bad luck since this was his second accident in 2 weeks, but i told him that i had him beat at 2 accidents in less than 24 hours.

we had the car towed to my dad's nissan dealership and he told me the car was totaled and that i was lucky to not be hurt and that no one was in the car with me since the passenger seats were crushed.

i ended up getting another versa. all of our tax return and more went to buying the new versa and of course i had just paid off my other one. the only thing the additional money got me was a newer versa, in grey, with cruise control and less miles. unfortunately i can't say the new car made me excited (again, to my dad's dismay) but i'm just hoping my stroke of bad luck is now behind me.

the ironic part is that the very next day, i had a baby shower for a coworker and some of my friends/ coworkers decided to carpool. when we were dropping off one friend, the friend driving backed into a car parked behind the driveway. i immediately felt somehow responsible as the black cloud of car accidents. 3 accidents in 3 days has to be a record, right?

thankfully no one was hurt, i can finally change lanes without wincing, and life will go on.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

just saying hello

since j grew up with a basset hound, he's always been partial to getting a hound dog. while we played around with the idea of adopting a dog, he always mentioned basset hounds or beagles. i was hesitant to get a beagle since all you hear about is how they bark and howl nonstop. then we met our little guy and my earlier assumptions of beagles were thrown out the window...for the most part.

townes is super chill and very quiet around the house. he barely ever barks or howls at all. in fact, he only howls when he hears ambulances outside and even that doesn't always guarantee a howl (unfortunately). i love his howl. i know our neighbors probably don't but it happens maybe once every 2 weeks and only lasts for about 1 minute. townes's howl is so random and adorably pathetic that it melts my heart each and every time. below is a video from a few weeks ago.

howl from nicole stanaland on Vimeo.

pretty cute, huh? i admit i'm very partial.

recently we've found the only thing that makes him bark nonstop. the boy loves the dog park or doggie daycare and LOVES being chased. we call him the referee because any time other dogs are rough housing or playing, he'll run around them barking to get their attention. he doesn't have an aggressive bone in his body and he's so sweet but we've noticed some other dog owners getting all worked up at him barking. we do our best to distract him with a ball when he starts barking a lot but i guess i'm trying to figure out - are we in the wrong?

is it ok that he barks even though he's not being aggressive? i mean he's a dog and that's how he communicates, right? we've had some snobby encounters and can't decide if we should limit his dog park time or just let him have a ball (bark and all). any input would be greatly appreciated!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

happy anniversary

so i've been totally MIA. i got into a bad series (as in more than one) of car accidents and then have found myself unmotivated and uninspired lately. it's kind of crazy that as soon as i start feeling uninspired, this blog is the first thing i let go when this is a space that brings and channels so much joy and creativity. irony at its best.

i'm going to get back into the groove and it's even better since today is the perfect day to start back. today is j + my 6 year anniversary from the day we first kissed and our fates were sealed. j brings me so much inspiration and always pushes me to better myself. he makes me laugh and is the sweetest with our new pup (adorable)! we have been through so much together and knowing that j always has my side and is forever my teammate leaves me with a smile that can't be broken. despite all we've done and seen together, i can't wait to see and do all of the things we haven't experienced yet! bill hicks says "life is just a ride," but thanks to j, it's been a damn good ride so far! happy anniversary babe!

[photo via the smilebooth at a+t's beautiful wedding]
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