Happy Mardi Gras!

Today is a day of indulgence, of care free-ed-ness, of partying and whatnot… Since tomorrow starts Lent where everyone and their dog normally “gives up” something as a statement of sacrifice. I know it’s always something we’ve participated in in my family – my mom always gives up something like chocolate or wine or carbs – the things that keep her sane and we’d actually prefer she stay on those as that what she considers self-medicating. My dad (not Catholic, not even religious) gives up drinking from Monday through Thursday, and then makes up for it on the weekends. And I’ve never really kept up with what my sister gives up. I normally give up cokes — however this year is different!

I also think that Lent is a good way to redeem yourself if you’ve already f’d up your New Year’s Resolution. So if you were going to quit smoking, were going to start exercising more, blah blah blah, now’s the time to do it all over again.

So this year, I’ve decided to give up something that is going to be really hard for me!you may want to sit down for this…..
I’m going to give up shopping! No shopping for me for 40 days. No online shopping, no going to the mall, no browsing at Target – no frivolous, unnecessary shopping! This also means that when I go to wherever to get groceries (which I’m going to try to keep to a minimum) I will not succumb to impulse buys … no I do not need the newest hairspray, no I do not need the newest mascara and so on and so forth. I’m going to try and not even set foot in the HBA section. Nor do I need to buy the newly advertised CPG item in the grocery section – simply the basics will be bought off my grocery list.

I had my own laissez bon temps affair last night at Sephora – I had to return a few things that sure didn’t look the same in normal light than the did in the uber crazy Sephora light, and then I added a few things to my basket. I think that beats the heck out of getting smashed on hurricanes tonight!
I’ll try and keep posting about my adventure in non-shopping, unless that further depresses! I hope to get a lot of projects done around the house that I’ve not done or have half started and I also hope to save a ton o money!

Let the good times roll!

Thinking about making a change

I’m thinking about changing a couple things in my social media world.
1. I think I’m going to delete my myspace account.
2. I’m condsidering moving my blog to word press from blogger.

The first is pretty much a no-brainer, I never ever check my myspace and pretty much everyone I know is on facebook now and I like that forum much better. The only thing is that I have so many pictures on myspace, so I would have to transfer them all over to facebook – or not – I guess it really doesn’t matter. I just like to have access to all my photos and that’s a great way to always have them available!

Switching to word press from blogger is a bit different. I don’t know that much about blog publishing to begin with and I had quite a tough time just taking off the .blogspot that I’m a bit hesitant to make such a leap. it seems like everyone I know who uses word press really enjoys it and the pages look better overall. If anyone out there has any suggestions one way or the other, that would be most helpful.

I’m gonna think about both for just a bit longer and see what I come up with, hopefully any blog changes won’t be noticed outwardly…

No Smoking in the boys room – or anywhere else, if I had my way

It’s state law in Arkansas that you cannot smoke in restaurants or other public indoor places and I’m totally OK with that. The law also states that you are not to smoke within 50 feet of an entrance to a building that is designated non-smoking, unless otherwise stated. I’m not sure about the laws and regulations for allowing smoke breaks in the work place so there is only so much I can say about the amount of time spent outside the entrance to our building at work with people puffing away less than 50 feet from my face.

I never got into smoking, I tried, I failed, it’s probably better that way. I know people that are social smokers and only smoke when they drink, I know people that smoke all the time – that’s fine, whatever your choice is. However, I choose to be around those people when they smoke and I know they are all very courteous in their smoking and everyone appreciates it!

Amendment/Addition thanks to Kirby at GGI (find her here: http://goodgalsinc.blogspot.com/)! She left a comment that reminded me I had not finished my entire thought process here!

When I lived in Dallas, everything was smoke free, even the bars! You could get a ticket for smoking in the bar – which I personally think is a phenomenal idea! It was always hard to come home and go out with friends, that was when smoking was still allowable anywhere in Arkansas. Now it’s so weird to be out of state and be asked “smoking or non-smoking” at a restaurant! I can’t imagine…
That is one of the reasons MZ and I tend to hibernate in the winter and not go out. It’s fine to go out to the bar in the summer when all the doors are open and there’s some sort of ventilation but when everything is shut up in the winter, it’s no fun to come home and smell like lung cancer – I’m assuming the combination of heavy cigarette smoke, stale alcohol and crowds of people is what lung cancer smells like!

But I have to come to work, I guess I could walk the mile around the building to not enter through where the smokers smoke, but I don’t think I should have to. I’m also curious as to why at 8 am they are already taking a “smoke break” from work? Then again at 10, lunch time, 1 and 3… it’s like clock work!

That also brings up the constant battle of do people who don’t smoke get slighted because they don’t have a need to take a smoke break? Seriously, I’ve have meetings be held up because people were finishing a cigarette!

Anyway you can clearly see how I feel about this. I don’t care what you do with your body, but it does seem to bother me that you do it on what is considered to be my time.

New G Commercial

We all know I’m a Coke girl – but I LOVE LOVE LOVE the new G commercial (Gatorade – parent company Pepsi). I do enjoy Gatorade most, when it comes to sports drinks and you just can’t beat G2! We found that Sam’s Club had the lemon lime (fave) cases on sale this weekend for $6.16 – super steal, especially when the competition was $18.46 for a case!

They used sports stars and put them in the characters of Monty Python’s Search for the Holy Grail. It is toooo funny, and I’m very impressed by their marketing prowess here with this new ad. We saw it when we were watching SNL on the TiVo and actually rewound to watch the commercial and then watched it again! Genius! I sure hope that it get some airtime in primetime.
Here’s the extended version, and to learn more about the campaign and search for the holy G, please visit www.misisong.com.

25 + things…

I hate this sort of thing for the most part – let me start by saying that much – everything in my life is random – I planned it that way! But it seems like this is the new “IT” thing to do on FaceBook (and I’m tired of getting “tagged”) and AV put hers on her blog to go for double duty – smart cookie!
And in true over achieving form, I’ve listed more than 25 things – HA!

1. I have different groups of friends, and I actually don’t think they’ve ever met for the most part. I have my friends from the more educational side of college, the friends from the party side of college, my BenCo friends aka the baby mammas, the dry county girls or the Bible Study Buddies, my friends from football aka THSC girls, my friends from the Dallas years and then MZ’s group of friends that I have somewhat assimilated into and then a few random friends sprinkled throughout.

2. I have 2 belly buttons – or at least that was my super fun party trick when I was about 5… When I was born, my esophagus was not attached to my stomach and I have immediate emergency surgery and was then affixed to a feeding tube directly inserted into my stomach so the scar looks like another belly button and this is totally what I would tell people when I was little – also what my parents would tell people as they had no clue what to do with a baby – no seriously, my dad loves to tell the story of when I was about a week old and my mother awoke asking “what’s that sound” to which he replied – I believe it’s a baby – oh shit –it’s our baby – my mom asked well what do I do, make her stop crying –he said she should feed it…. And there began my constant struggle for attention.

3. I love to travel but HATE the security line. Flying is not the fear, I’m terrified of the security line I don’t know why, I’ve got nothing to hide but they aren’t always very nice and I need about 4 more arms to hold all my stuff I have to take with me…

4. I actually really liked working for Walmart in my 5 years there– there’s something about being able to say “I’m Walmart, that’s why.” I don’t regret that I’m not there anymore, but I did enjoy my time there.

5. Contrary to all my friends’ beliefs – I do want to get married and have kids some day, just not today, maybe tomorrow… Their kids are plenty and I love to be able to give them back. I will love my kids but I do not have to love random misbehaving evil children I see out and about – that’s their parents fault they act like that. If you have bad kids, don’t leave the house till you figure out what to do with them to make them act somewhat decently.

6. I’m a pack rat, but I’m getting better – really. I realized that some people are bigger pack rats than I could ever dream of being when I had a garage sell this past summer and made over $1000 – I got rid of so much stuff and I actually felt like a burden had been lifted. So I’m going to have another one in the spring. I tried to sell some of my clothes to resale shops recently but have realized I’d rather give them away than get screwed at some place that is just going to jack the prices up.

7. I love fresh flowers. I love to go to the farmers market and get fresh flowers and bring them home and just look at them –it instantly makes your house seem cleaner and a better place to be.

8. I love my blonde hair – that’s really no secret though. I honestly did have blonde hair till I was about 20 years old… then it turned brown – I probably have some grey now too, but I’ll never know and I plan to keep it that way. It never fails, whenever I meet people that I have had some type of phone/email business relationship with, most people are always quick to say: “You’re blonde?” as if to say, you seem smarter on the phone. It’s also normally followed with “and you’re a lot younger than I thought.” I take this a compliment – it’s always interesting what people think you look like – I do the same thing – but thanks to Google and FaceBook – it takes a lot of the guesswork out of it. I’ve gone a bit browner this time and might keep it for a couple of months, but you know as soon as summer gets closer – back to blonde in a snap!

9. It seems like I’ve gotten this question a lot lately– how did you and MZ meet? We met in a bar… it’s a great story actually, I’ll tell ya later!

10. I love to be in charge – again, nothing new there. Nevertheless, I really like to be in control of things, which I guess is actually different from being in charge (although I like that too). I just like to know what’s going on and what’s going to happen next. I also love to drive – no matter what. MZ is proably one of the few people that doesn’t make me nervous if I’m in the passenger seat (which is most of the time). I totaled 3 cars in an 8 month period so I’m a big gun shy when it comes to car wrecks.

11. I love love love Dave Matthews Band and am sad that MZ does not – that’s one of the few things we don’t agree on. So I guess I’m actually really very lucky that we do agree on so much and have quite a bit in common. I had been to at least one DMB concert every year since I was 19 except for last summer.

Are you really reading this –there may be a quiz!

12. I love the smell of fresh cut grass and dirt; I also love the feeling of washing my hands when they are really dirty. I mean washing ones hands is good on all counts but really a good feeling when they are super dirty from working in the yard or something.

13. I’m obsessive about people’s birthdays. I love birthdays all the time and think they are very important to celebrate. I always make sure to call or text or email or send a card for your birthday if I know when it is. If I don’t know, then how can I celebrate it? I also LOVE to celebrate my birthday – some may call that selfish, but its one day a year that’s all mine so too bad. And I’m really super glad that MZ doesn’t mind all the celebrating for me, he’s a great sport about it!

14. I’m also equally excessive about thank you notes – a written thank you note means so much!!! I write thank you notes for everything – it might sometimes be too much and I hope it doesn’t weird anyone out, but I think it’s very important to write a brief note at least to say THANK YOU for something someone has done for you or given you, no matter how small.

15. I know nothing about wine except that I like super sweet wine – Moscato and Rieslings tend to work out well for me. I actually would rather just have a gin or vodka tonic anyway. But sometimes I do feel pretty inadequate when I don’t know what to order. MZ and I have gone to the Wine Tasting event at the Walton Arts Center for the past 2 years, but I don’t think I’ve learned too much except that I keep on drinking the same things…

16. Sex and the City is the answer to everything. You really can literally relate EVERYTHING IN LIFE to Sex and the City. We had a fabulous party to celebrate the movie and now that there’s going to be a sequel, I’m already starting to think of even more fabulous ideas for the next party in 2010!!! My very most favorite episode is from season 6, episode 9: A woman’s right to shoes (aka no shoes, no service). It’s the once where Carries shoes get stolen at the baby shower and she registers herself for new Manolo’s. “… and what, if I don’t get married or have a baby, I get bupkis?” I feel like that a lot of the time. I also like when Harry says “you know what we need to bring back in this house: cocktail hour.”

17. I love to cook, but hate to clean up after myself. I’m a pretty darn good baker if I do say so myself, and I was making cupcakes before cupcakes were cool.

18. I have an odd obsession with stationary and pens and especially Sharpie Markers. MZ once bought me a whole slew of Sharpie Markers at Sam’s Club as a prize! I have more note cards and post it note pads than I could ever use, no matter how many thank you cards of nice little notes I write.

19. I’m very glad I started my blog, and yes, I’m going to promote it – duh, have you met me? So for more info, check out http://www.graciefabulous.com/. I started it when most all my friends were starting their blogs about their weddings and their kids, I started mine just because I had something to say, nothing against babies and husbands but that’s not what makes one’s life complete, only an added bonus.

20. I’m very judgmental about marketing campaigns: TV, digital, print – whatever. I would love to work on so many accounts, because yes, I honestly believe they would do better if I was on their team. Unfortunately, that is not the market that exists in Northwest Arkansas, and I don’t see myself moving away anytime soon.

21. I love old school country music – it reminds me of my childhood and going to my uncles and grandparents farm. It normally makes me sad whenever I hear it.

22. I would love to start my own party planning business, I have a ton of fabulous ideas and I do love to host a party! However, I feel the market is pretty saturated right now and people aren’t nessisarily looking to shell out money for someone else to plan their party. I love to have parties for my friends, wedding showers and baby showers and everything in between, clearly I would never charge them, but I’d love to expand and do it full time. And I already have a partner for cake baking and decorating! Someday…

23. Halloween is my most favorite holiday followed by St. Patrick’s Day and the 4th of July. I love creative costumes and creep decorations at parties!

24. I like to go to sleep with the TV on and now I’ve pushed this habit on to MZ – sorry baby.

25. I took French for almost 5 years and might be able to barely survive if thrown in the middle of France, but probably not. I should try and pick it back up and I should really probably learn Spanish…

26. I’ve had my writing published in national journals and a few pieces have actually won awards. Also, I was the youngest student (at the time) to attend the finals of the Arkansas Sate Geography Bee – can you say mega nerd?

27. I’m Catholic and I plan to raise my future children Catholic, but I don’t really like some of the newer things going on in the church right now. I went to mass every day of my life in grade school and there have been so many changes, it makes me think: What’s the point, why make so many drastic changes, what was so wrong that you had to switch it up? That’s one of the reasons I don’t go to mass as much as I should – but I feel like I’m OK with my relationship with God.

28. I love NYC and Chicago much more than I think I could ever love LA. I like Santa Monica a ton, but will probably never make enough to actually enjoy living there. I think I could enjoy NYC or Chicago more, no matter how much I made.

29. I’m a severe coke addict – coca cola that is…

30. TV jewelry commercials make me gag – they are so sad and depressing. I hope anyone out there, male or female does not think that because it’s on TV the recipient of your piece of jewelry will like it – chances are they won’t. Any type of jewelry should be a statement or expression of sentiment, not mass-produced! Especially time marking pieces like engagement rings and wedding sets – they should be special and classic and mean something equally to both involved.

31. I could probably live out of my desk at work, but don’t know it – I’m prepared for anything – really … anything! Try me.

32. I rip the pages out of magazines and organize them into groups. It’s better than saving the entire magazine… I have all types of pages saved into different segments. It’s just like having great big storyboards if you lay them all out. I also create shopping lists from them.

33. I collect all things Absolut (vodka) I used to have my dining room wall covered in them in very neat rows – it looked awesome – I was also in college so we were enamored by all things alcohol, but it’s stuck with me.

So, that might be more than you ever wanted to know about me.

Off to NYC and other ramblings from the 2 hours and 38 minute flight…

Dear who ever makes (and abides to) the rule to take away my UNOPENED water bottle at the airport fully knowing that I’ll now have to go and repurchase the same damn thing at the pitiful excuse of a “restaurant” for more than 3 times the initial cost:
I am not fond of you!
I’ve been allowed to bring in unopened bottles of water before, hell, at LAX I got made fun of because I thought I had to toss my newly opened Coke bottle – apparently I could have taken that with me through security with no issue.
I understand there are rules, I do – that’s why I take painstakingly arduous efforts to make sure all my mini items of product are well labeled and fit EXACTLY in my specially purchased clear plastic zipper bag – I just can’t bring myself to use a Ziploc back each time – they rip and then I just have to throw them away. Therefore, I got a lovely heavy-duty bag at Sephora – aka the store that sucks you in worse than Walmart or Target.
$3 poorer with less water

I’m off to NYC for the 3rd time in about 5 months – I do love NYC! This time I’m going up to help out with another media tour for one of the product lines. Robyn Flipse will be promoting some healthier recipes using some of the products that not too many people know about and we are hoping to create more of a buzz around. So if you live in any of these TV markets, look for her Tuesday morning on your local news: Lubbock, Savannah, Huntsville, Lincoln, Topeka, Cheyenne, Flint, Atlanta, Roanoke, Baltimore, Wichita, Alexandria, Phoenix, Albuquerque – or if you ever catch the nationally broadcasted Daily Buzz… you’ll find us there.

P.S. – Dear small toddler on the plane 3 rows in front of me: Thank you for not screaming the ENTIRE flight, 1/3 of it is just the right amount of blood curdling screaming.

Valentines Day Flowers — it’s a Saturday folks!

We’ve been debating this topic at the office and among other social settings.
Will there be a strain on the business of Valentines Flower Deliveries since V-Day falls on a Saturday this year?
It makes sense that there might be – OR will there be a mad rush of last minute calls and rush orders to get the flowers in on Friday during the workday?
Just a topic to think about – so make sure you plan accordingly if you plan to order flowers.
If you live in the Central Arkansas Area, make sure to call Ari at Little Black Dress Brigade (see link at right) – Mandy and she will be creating spectacular arrangements and they are providing free local delivery with a $50 order. They do flowers for everything, not just Valentines Day so keep their info handy!

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