Where’s Melvin Monday

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It’s been nearly 4 years since I started this feature on my blog and Melvin is still hiding and surprising me all the time.  I got nostalgic this morning and went back through all of the old WMM posts.  Man, he really fluffed out.  We love that dude.

50 Shades of Embarrassed

As I was thinking about what to read this month, I thought about 50 Shades of Grey. In my world, if I read a book, I want to see the movie. And if there’s movie that I want to see and it’s based on a book, I’ll pick up a copy before it become available on Netflix (that’s why I read Gone Girl in January).

A lot of my friends had read the books and knowing that the movie would be released soon, I went to my local library and borrowed a copy in September. A few days later, I came home to a very guilty looking dog and some nearly destroyed erotic fiction. I could still read what I had left, so I finished it. I’m normally very responsible, so I was at a loss about how to handle the situation with my library.

I did what I thought was the right thing, went to Barnes & Noble and bought a copy to give back to the library. At the checkout, the new hire (his name tag said he was new) tried to talk me into joining their rewards program. I declined and said that I normally don’t buy books because I go to the library. Insert awkward pause. He said, “Ok, have fun,” as he slid the book across the counter. Which, by the way, is a weird thing to say to a stranger. Right?!

A few days later, I took both books (new and chewed) back to the library. The sweet ladies looked up from the desk and I politely explained that my dog chewed the book, and I had purchased a replacement for them. One of them began inspecting the book, while the other lady explained that they can’t accept it. All of the county’s books are processed through one location (not that one) and that they would send me a nastygram letting me know it was ruined and a bill to cover the cost of the book. I offered to pay for it then, but they don’t accept credit cards and I only had $3 in cash.

I took the new book back to Barnes & Noble only to find out that I could only exchange it, not return it. I didn’t have time to look around, so I brought it home again until I can figure out what book I really want to own.

Now, months later, it’s still sitting in my pantry. As I’m typing this, I’m trying to figure out why/when I put it there and I’m clueless. I assume it was to avoid a familiar situation, but it’s a weird place to keep a book about kinky sex.

(Side bar: I tried to read the second book, but I didn’t finish it. That’s rare for me, but I just couldn’t stay interested. As my buddy Erin said, “There’s only so many ways you can skin a cat.”)

Read One Book Every Month

I’ve loved reading since I sounded out my first word byselftotown*. Most of the time, I become OBSESSED with what I’m reading and can’t get anything else done. In college, I only read for pleasure between semesters because I would spend way too much time reading my fun books and very little time studying.

So here’s my running list of what I’m reading each month for my Thirty Fun to do list:

January: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
I saw previews for the movie and really wanted to see it, but I always like to read the book, before I watch the film. DW said it was great and let me borrow her copy. I read it in 2 days and really enjoyed it.

If you have any suggestions, please send them my way!

*”By self to town” is the phrase I used as a kid to let Mom and Dad know I didn’t need their help. It was (and still is) weird, but we all joke about it to this day.

30

I turned 30 a couple of weeks ago. So far, 30 is awesome. We went out on my birthday and had a great time with family and friends. The first awesome thing that happened after turning 30 was waking up hangover-free.

Naturally, a lot of my friends on Facebook are hovering right around 30. I’ve seen a handful of them trying to complete a list of 30 fun and exciting things before they turn 30. I’m following suit, but I want to complete my list while I’m 30. I want to look at 30 as a beginning, not an ending.

So here’s my list (in no particular order):

1. Take a dance class with Trav
2. Visit the West Coast
3. Get a tattoo
4. Go to a hip hop dance class
5. Scuba diving
6. Learn to drive a manual transmission
7. Take the MSF course
8. Learn to can with Nanny
9. Learn to sew
10. Learn an instrument
11. Sing on a recording
12. VEGAS!
13. Grow an inch (Mom added this and then said, “I didn’t say where.”)
14. Declutter my life
15. Learn to make macarons
16. Go to a hip hop show
17. Get involved with a charity
18. Read one book every month (January/Gone Girl)
19. Get really dressed up and go out with the girls (Ashley is already on board for this one!)
20. Become a master at styling my hair
21. Learn to like 3 new fruits
22. Go surfing
23. Ride a horse
24. Blog regularly (at least 3 times a month)
25. Do 10 unassisted pull-ups (I can do 2 right now)
26. Rewatch LOST
27. Put some significant time into growing my “other blog”
28. Start practicing French again
29. Do an anonymous good deed
30. This last one is going to involve a surprise for Trav, so I’ll make this public when it happens.

I’ll elaborate on these with updates as they happen.

Bits & Pieces – Animal Edition

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Bits & Pieces – Animal Edition

1. We went to see our friends, Lion in the Mane, play when they toured through Atlanta. Check them out when they come to your city.

2. Homer wears sunglasses.

3. If I fits, I sits.

4. Miss Cleopatra Keating

5. Sidecar training in the driveway

6. First REAL sidecar ride — he loved it!

7. Left: 9 week old Homer and Sadie; Right: Nearly 10 month old Homer and Sadie. BFF.

*There’s a bonus “Where’s Melvin?” in one of these pictures. Can you find him?

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Bits & Pieces

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Bits & Pieces

1. Waiting on snow & ice (round 2) by the fire plate

2. We missed the hoopla in January. This is the beginning of round 2.

3. Epic game of Monopoly

4 – 6. Recent cakes

7. Buddy visited for a weekend and shared a drink with Homer

8. I had a crazy day working at the animal hospital last Wednesday. I had to run errands after work and while at a stop light, I picked up my phone and could feel something between my phone and the case. Can you tell what it is?

Tie One On With Ty

I’d say a better part of 2013 was spent discussing what Tyler would do to celebrate his 30th birthday. He joked for a while about putting money into a party fund, rather than his 401k, so he could rent out the CNN center.

All joking aside, he only wanted a few things: closest friends and family, loads of booze, pizza rolls, and an 80s/90s cover band.

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Look who showed up for the party!  Mama!

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We all got in the photo booth before too many brews were consumed.

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Blake & Erin:
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Kyle & Ashley:
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Manly Men:
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The birthday guy, Trav and a fake butt posing as a pair of breasts:
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The Blues Brothers made a guest appearance…
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And then Johnny NoLight showed up to play a special birthday set for Tyler.
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Tyler & Johnny:
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The HushPuppy Wilson cake:
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Then there were Statue of Liberty shots, other shots, more shots and crowd surfing.
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The Geeks kept us rockin’ all night.  They handed out “geek glasses” (black frames with tape) as the night went on, which made for pretty fun photos.  Their song list is awesome, so if you’re in the Atlanta area and need a cover band, I HIGHLY recommend them.

*All photos by Lucy Baby Designs.

Bits & Pieces

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milkshake

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waiting

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carlsyard

circus

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Bits & Pieces

1. I’m absolutely honored to be one of Danielle’s bridesmaids when she marries Lionel. I couldn’t be happier for them!

2. The end of the most delicious vegan chocolate milkshake.

3. Cuddling on the couch

4. At the top of Game Creek Bowl in Vail, Co. Most likely waiting on Ed.

5. Hanging at Carl’s house in Denver

6. Carl’s yard

7 – 8. Cakes by yours truly

9. Homer and his best puppy friend, Pompeii (it’s blurry because the play so hard and refuse to pose)

Bits & Pieces

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Bits & Pieces

1. Snowman decor circa 1990.

2. This is what happens when I have the flu.

3. Chicken, cat, pig.

4. Delicious lunch wrap: whole wheat tortilla, hummus, carrots, spinach, edamame.

5. Brotherly love.

6 – 8. Recent cakes.

A Few Goals For 2014

I’m not really a fan of making resolutions at the beginning of a new year.  I do, however, think I made one at the tender age of 11 or 12 to give up drinking Coke.  And I did it.  I may have made the decision in the middle of the year, but it doesn’t really matter.  To this day, I’m still not a big drinker of carbonated beverages.  Except beer.  I guess I should say, I don’t drink a lot of soda.

I love the idea of starting fresh for the new year, so I’m publicly announcing some of my goals.  Most of these are just habits that I’d like to develop to help me become the best “me” I can be.  I’ve already started on these, but I’m just now getting around to writing it out.  In no particular order…

Call Nanny more often.  I’m lucky to have an awesome grandmother, who only lives an hour away.  We talk several times a week, but I feel like I should make an effort to call her on some kind of schedule.  She loves hearing from me, even if it’s only for a few minutes.  She’s hilarious and makes me laugh all the time, even when she doesn’t mean to.

Continue on my quest to get in shape.  I’m a petite person and don’t have a lot of weight to lose.  I’m still athletic from years of playing soccer and I have competitive personality.  I’ve been vegetarian for nearly six years, so my diet is pretty healthy with no changes.  However, I turned 29 in December and “getting in shape” is becoming more and more difficult.  I just want to be in shape and stay there.  Maintaining it is so much easier than obtaining it.  I’ve found that I do best when I follow a schedule.  To be more specific, a schedule made up by someone else.  Trav and I have completed P90X, Insanity, and a 10-week training program for a half marathon.

I’m currently on Week 6 of the P90X Lean schedule.  It’s going great.  Because this is my second rodeo, I usually select “Silence and Cues” so I can ignore Tony and listen to my own music.  No offense, Tony, but I know all of your jokes by heart and the “80s Cardio” station on Pandora is way too fun to pass up.

In short, my goal is to be in tip-top shape before my 30th birthday.  I think I’ll be there by the time I’m 29 1/2.  Yay!

Eat more vegan meals.  I don’t want to be 100% vegan all the time, because I LOVE cheese, but I’m trying to make more vegan meals than vegetarian.  This is easy at home, and sometimes as simple as omitting one ingredient.  By default, this just makes my meals healthier.

Be on time.  I feel like I’m always running late, even if it’s just 2 minutes.

Blog regularly.  I need to just buckle down and do it.  I love it and it makes me happy, so why not?

De-clutter the house.  I’ve actually already started this, too.  I’m focusing on one room at a time and first up was/is our closet.  Here are some of the questions I ask myself to determine if an item should be donated or trashed:

  • When was the last time I wore/used this?  If I can’t remember, it definitely has to go.
  • If we had to move tomorrow, would I want pack this up, haul it around, and unpack it?
  • If I were shopping right now, would I buy this?
  • Does this have sentimental value?  Is it broken or stained?  If so, trash it!

Do you have an goals for the 2014?  If so, I’d love to hear about it in the comments!