Thursday, June 30, 2011

June goal review

How are we already looking at July?? Is the year going as quickly for you as it is for me? Last month I set goals that I thought I could achieve, and I'm happy to say that I think I did pretty well this month!

1. Write a letter every week. (I seem to have fallen off the 52 Letter Challenge wagon lately.)I did this! I think I might have missed a week, but I'm not stressing about that.
2. Apply to at least 4 jobs.
I applied to many more than just 4 jobs, so I'd say this was a success!

3. Keep up with Weight Watchers and consistently lose something (anything!) every week.
I would have to check, but I believe I lost every week. There was one week that I stayed the same, but I can't remember if it was in June or May. Anyway, success!

4. Go to the gym at least 3 times a week.
Three out of the 4 weeks this month I did go to the gym at least 3 times! I'm so proud of myself for this.

5. Blog more often (at least 3 times a week)
I had to look back at this too, but as far as I can tell I was successful in this as well!

6. Find a way to advertise my Etsy shop (preferably cheaply!)
Now this, I wasn't very good at. In fact, I pretty much failed it. I did, however, make two sales this month! I feel richer already.

Did you set goals? How did you do this month?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


The good news is that attitudes are improving toward mental illness. The bad news is that 1 in 6 people still believe that mental illness like depression is still caused by a lack of willpower and self-discipline. Can you imagine? If you've ever been depressed you know that it's certainly not a lack of willpower that makes you feel like crying all the time. It's not a lack of self-discipline that makes you hit snooze over and over again because you just can't get out of bed.

The stigma around being depressed frustrates me like nothing else. Do you think I like being unhappy? Do you think that I enjoy it when the littlest thing makes me burst into tears? That I love it when a simple comment at work that is slightly critical forces me into the bathroom to compose myself, lest I show my manager that I'm about to cry? Definitely not.

For the first time in a long time this past week I had PMS. I recently switched from Prozac, an antidepressant to Lamictal, a mood stabilizer. For the most part, I'm happy with this switch, but I discovered this last week that my PMS, which is usually under control, was a little over the top. It was nothing out of the ordinary for regular people, certainly nothing like the PMDD that I used to experience, but it was enough to make me unhappy throughout the week.

This week made me remember what it used to be like before I went on the Prozac, and I hated it. Couldn't I have "snapped out of it" though? Not exactly. There were undertones of stress and anxiety I felt throughout the week that nothing could really help. The only thing that kept me going was the fact that I knew it was temporary and that in a week I'd laugh at the fact that I cried over the fact that Geoff didn't get to go to lunch with his friends on Friday because he was too busy. (Yes, I seriously had a meltdown over that)

Unfortunately for people who regularly suffer from depression, there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Not only that, but if their friends or family members are one of the 1 in 6 people who think they are acting like that just to bring attention, and that they can definitely help it, they must feel so alone. I'm lucky in the fact that Geoff understands, and lives with my occasional meltdowns. Others aren't so lucky.

Depression is real; it's often chemical and often the only way out might be medication. So lets ditch the stigma, realize that some people just can't help it, and offer our support rather than our criticism. Then, and only then, will people realize that it's OK to feel this way, and there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

On being happy

Have you ever met someone who loves to be depressed? Bear with me here while I explain. I used to frequent Livejournal a lot (don't judge) and I noticed a pattern with my fellow "writers" (a term I use loosely). Many of them were depressed, anxious, in terrible relationships, on many different medications. I tried to help them, comfort them, give them suggestions, but so often my advice fell on deaf ears. They didn't have time to see a therapist, they didn't have the money, no drugs worked for them so they didn't want to try something else.

Don't get me wrong. I know that there are many people who struggle with many different medications (my best friend being one of them) before settling on one that works for them. I understand not having health insurance, so being unable to see a therapist or a doctor. What I don't understand, however, is how people seem to enjoy being depressed.

I sometimes think of depression like a bad relationship. Many people who grew up in an abusive home will, in turn, either be abusive themselves as an adult, or continually return to an abusive relationship. For these people, that's all they know, but they are so wrong. Depression is the same way. If it's all you know, why take the risk to change it? And yet...there is something about being depressed. There's attention in having "issues". There will always be someone there to stroke your ego, tell you things will be OK, that you are an amazing person. Always someone who seems to care about you. Coming out of your depression you will lose this, and many people, whether they realize it or not, don't want to let go of this.

How very sad for them! Don't they realize what is out there for them? Life can be so much better. The day the Prozac started working for me was one I will never forget. It was like a veil was lifted and I could finally feel and be happy. Until that moment, I hadn't realized how unhappy I really was feeling. Sometimes you don't realize how bad you feel until you actually start to feel better.

I remember one time visiting with my psychiatrist when we were trying a new medication. I sat there and teared up while talking about Christmas...a month later. He looked right at me and told me the medication wasn't working, because I shouldn't feel like that. I could feel better and I had no idea. Up until then I assumed the medication was working, and that was how I was supposed to feel.

Humans are not meant to be unhappy. We are social creatures and, as such, should enjoy our lives and each other. Sometimes our bodies need a little help chemically, but that's acceptable. What isn't acceptable is just taking your depression in stride when you could feel so much better. It takes a lot of work to be one of those people who likes feeling bad. I know, because back in high school I was one. But it takes a lot less work to enjoy your life and feel. Which one sounds more appealing to you?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Cheap, yummy and slightly healthy!

The other day I looked out the window and saw that my broccoli was reaching critical mass. As a side note, I had no idea what broccoli really looks like when it grows, so I did a Google search to see when the time was right to pick them. Turns out it was the perfect time because apparently they flower and when the broccoli starts to turn yellow you need to pick them asap! Mine were borderline yellow so it was definitely time.

Broccoli wasn't on the menu plan for this week, so I decided to get a little creative, and make lunch for us for the week at the same time. So I cooked up the broccoli and a box of macaroni and cheese (not the healthiest meal, but most definitely cheap) and had a nice lunch for the week!

As a side note, when I cooked up this broccoli I was shocked to see how bright green it was!

I guess when broccoli goes straight from the plant into the steamer it becomes obvious that it's fresher than what you get in the supermarket! The more I grow my own food the more I don't want to eat food that has been shipped to my store from the other side of the country!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

I pretty much completely failed at last week's menu plan. For the most part it was an OK failure, and partially not my fault. On Thursday and Friday Geoff was out, which threw off my own plans. Then, on Saturday and Sunday we, unfortunately, at out. Not sure how that happened, exactly, but all I can say is, at least we went to the gym!
Here's hoping for a more productive week this week.

Monday: We're going straight from Weight Watchers to a bible study, so we're going to have to grab something fast on the way, unfortunately.

Tuesday: Tuna steaks (we got a great price on them at Costco!), corn on the cob and asparagus I forgot to cook last week.

Wednesday: Youth group is over so no more free meal on Wednesday nights! Grilled pork chops, asparagus if we have any left over and some other kind of fruit or veggie. Possibly salad, I'm not sure.

Thursday: Geoff will be out so my dinner is up in the air. Probably some sort of leftovers or something I can throw together here in the house.

Friday: I'm bound and determined to have the breakfast for dinner that I've been meaning to have for the past couple weeks! Bacon, eggs and probably some hashbrowns we have in the freezer.

Saturday and Sunday are still up in the air, which can be dangerous, but it will depend a lot on what we are doing and what I can pull out of the freezer.

What are you eating this week? This post is linked to Orgjunkie's Menu Plan Monday.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


When I was in middle school my dad was the most embarrassing person I knew. I was convinced he was out to make my life miserable.
His crimes?

He wore mismatched socks and showed people.
One time he arrived at youth group to pick me up wearing a mask and calling himself the Dread Pirate Roberts
He wore a "funny nose and glasses" (the glasses with the fuzzy eyebrows and mustache) to youth group (where my friends called him Cool Mr. Steve! He was anything but cool to me)
He drove through the center of town with the windows down and a friend in the car with Born to be Wild blasting.

And many more.

When I was 24 I loaded up my VW Beetle (affectionately named Maximum Speed, Max for short) and drove from Massachusetts to Washington. With my dad. With my dad, and his eclectic taste in music, and his excitement to drive cross-country with his daughter. (By the way, not to be outdone, my younger sister is driving from Massachusetts to California this summer...with guess who?)

My dad is awesome. Does everyone say this? That cross country drive was not one of the most relaxing things I've ever done. I got angry, frustrated when we got stuck, cabin fever because that is a very small vehicle and it's a very long trip. But at the end of the day? Aside from the two days we spent in Wyoming, I wouldn't trade that trip for anything. I'm not sure I ever expressed how grateful I am that I spent that time with my dad.

And those embarrassing acts? Well, lets just say that it took me years to realize that he did it because he loved me. Someday I hope my kids have a dad who loves them enough to embarrass them in front of all their friends.

Thanks, dad. Thanks for embarrassing me, and driving with me, and the many many many other things we've done together. I love you.

Happy Father's Day, dad.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Two new (to us) bookshelves!

When we moved into our house, Geoff's mom sent a truckload (literally) of things from his room for our house. There was a lot of things we didn't need, but there were also a lot of really useful things in that truck. One of them was a (short) solid wood bookshelf that held our movies. Gradually, however, we started to expand our DVD collection until the poor little bookshelf couldn't hold everything!

I had the perfect spot for the bookshelf and I wanted another one about the same size to put next to it, so I started scouring Craigslist, to no avail. Do you know how difficult it is to find a bookshelf that is about 4 feet tall? So when I finally found a black one, I jumped right on it. Since the TV stand and the other large bookshelf we have in the den are both black as well, I decided to paint the original wood one.

(Geoff took this picture with the camera on the wrong setting for what we wanted, but I thought it looked so cool that I kept it.)

I love it! They fit perfectly under the window, and even though they aren't exactly the same size, but the smaller one (the one I painted) is the perfect size for my Pleasant Street sign.

{As a side note, and in case you are wondering, that is the street I grew up on, and that sign was my Christmas present right before I got married. In my hometown they are working on replacing the old wooden signs with new, reflective ones. For a donation, you can replace the old sign with a new one and keep the wooden sign! It's one of my favorite things we have here.}

We still have a little more room on the taller shelf and plenty of room under the TV stand for more DVDs, which is good because we really enjoy watching TV on DVD which is what most of our collection is!

So what do you think about my repurposing both a hand-me-down bookshelf and a used one?

Food Waste fail

I failed this week with my food waste in several ways. First, because I haven't actually cleaned the fridge out yet, and second because I (like The Frugal Girl, actually) had to throw out a whole Pyrex full of some kind of rice. I can't remember the name of this rice, but we bought it for a Weight Watchers recipe. It was OK in the recipe, but neither of us were crazy about it at the time. We chalked it up to not liking the broccoli we put in there, but when I re-made just the rice by itself, neither of us really liked that. For me it was partially because of the onions, but overall we just weren't crazy about it. So, it just sat there, and while I'm sure it's still OK, I know we're not going to eat it, so there's no sense in waiting until it's actually moldy.

The other disappointing thing I threw out was blackberries. We bought a really big container of them and ate most of them (I'd say there's less than a serving left) but I discovered that I'm really not a big fan of blackberries (who knew?) and the longer those last few sat the less appealing they seemed to become. So, they'll go into the compost.

I also let 3 bananas go brown, but that isn't a waste at all since I will make banana bread or muffins from them. Hmm, should do that this weekend, because my banana situation in the freezer is getting a little crowded.

This post is linked to The Frugal Girl and Food Waste Fridays. How did you do with food waste this week? Please share in the comments!

Show us what you!

This week's Show us your Life at Kelly's Korner is what you make. I make jewelry!

Once a year my best friend Kristin and I go to a beading shop. We make our own jewelry and spend hours there. It's our therapy, and we absolutely love it.
This time, however, we decided that relearning how to make earrings and bracelets over again every time isn't exactly ideal, so we decided to buy some tools and make jewelry more regularly.

Thus, my Etsy shop was born! I love working on jewelry and trying to find new and different things to make.

I will even do wedding jewelry! This set is one my sister commissioned for a wedding she is in next month. I just love the birds nest!

What do you make? Check out everyone else's talents over at Kelly's Korner!

Thursday, June 16, 2011


This is my home.
Well, actually this is Harvard Square. But it's part of Boston, and Boston is my home. Where the Red Sox play, where Red Sox Nation began. Home of Fenway Park, and Sullivan Square, where we park the car to go into the city, and Haymarket, and the red line, and the green line and all the history. This is home.

Interestingly enough, so is Seattle, now. I love to make jokes about living in Seattle and loving coffee, or being green, like I've been here forever, not just a year and a half. I have a feeling, however, that Seattle will never quite be home like Boston is. Of course, everyone feels this way when they move away. Where you grow up is always part of your, whether you live there when you become an adult or not.

I moved 3,000 miles away from my home. If I was from Florida, I could have moved farther, but just barely. I love it here, but I miss home.
Usually my homesickness for Reading, where I grew up, is a dull ache that I often can ignore. Like the headache that isn't bad enough to take medicine for. But sometimes it's a migrane, and it hurts. Any mention of home, Boston, Red Sox, even the Bruins brings a sharp stab of sadness. That's my home, and someone else is there, enjoying it. Someone who isn't me.

For some reason this pain is hardest when people who are not from Boston go there. When they post pictures of familiar sites, my pain grows. It's a welcome sight, but a painful one. They are there, walking the streets I want to walk, seeing the things I want to see, the sites I long to see more than anything else, some days.
They are in my town, watching my team, enjoying, but maybe not appreciating things that I took for granted for 24 years.

Selfish? Mean? Maybe. Or maybe, just maybe, I just want to go home.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

52 Letter challenge, week 23

I've been really bad about keeping track of how many letters I've written this year, but I think I'm on track. This week I sent out two letters!

The first letter I wrote (which was actually written last week, but mailed this week) was to my best friend, Kristin. She is going through a really tough time right now, and I thought a letter might help. I wrote about nothing...which, I know from experience, is what she will like right now. It was pure fluff and it was actually a little nice to write.

The second letter was to my aunt in North Carolina. Way back when I was in elementary school, before she was married, my aunt would regularly write me letters. I never wrote back (hey, I was in 3rd grade!) but it was always nice to get something for me in the mail. Back then I didn't get anything, not even bills! This letter was also fluff, but in a good way.

If you're writing a letter a week, how are you doing?
This challenge courtesy of The Non-consumer Advocate.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Garden of weedin'!

It's been a while since I've shown you my garden. It's grown a bit since last we looked.

I've meant to post a garden update (because I have to admit that I'm very proud of my garden!) before now, but to be perfectly honest I was a little too lazy to get out there and take pictures. Anyway, the important thing is that it did finally happen!
I've loved watching my little garden grow this year. I look at it out the window all the time, and it makes me feel so accomplished! I've already had several salads with the lettuce we planted!

My favorite part of growing lettuce is the fact that it's always there, waiting for me to pick exactly how much I need. Usually lettuce goes bad before I can eat it all. This way I have a lot more leeway, although and I'm having a hard time keeping up and think next year one or two fewer plants will be fine.

I also recently discovered that we actually have broccoli! It's not ready to cook and eat yet, but it's getting there!

On the other side of the garden are the pumpkins which are purely for fun. I can't wait to see the pumpkins grow, and they're working on it! I've found the beginnings of vines and flowers!

Sadly, we did lose one of our tomato plants, but we still have three others which is a small miracle (I killed all our tomatoes last year!)

Are you growing a garden? How is your garden growing?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Menu plan Monday

I am excited that this week it is going to be sunny and warm, so we're taking advantage of the weather and grilling this week! I love grilling.

Breakfasts for me will be oatmeal as usual, and Geoff doesn't usually eat breakfast. Lunches will be leftothers and fruit.

Monday: Breakfast for dinner

Tuesday: Hamburgers and corn on the cob

Wednesday: Dinner at church

Thursday: Grilled pork chops and grilled veggies

Friday: Megg out, leftovers for Geoff

Saturday: Grilled chicken thighs and ? Probably more grilled veggies

Sunday: TBD, maybe homemade pizza

What are you having this week?
This post is linked to

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Upcycled, recycled and freecycled!

Well, OK, I didn't do all those things at once, but I did recently pick up a couple freecycled wood picture frames. The person giving them away promised one frame with no glass and a collage frame with glass. I jumped on both, mostly for the college frame, and picked them up on Friday night. Unfortunately, the glass that the collage frame had was actually broken, so I only ended up with two wood frames, one quite boring, if you want to know the truth.
Then, I saw this on Pinterest and I knew I had to replicate it. When Geoff and I were dating long distance, I insisted that we take a picture of ourselves kissing every visit. I printed these pictures out and stuck them on the wall right next to my bed, and I loved looking at them and remembering exactly where we were when each kiss happened. It was the perfect theme for my project.
I have to be honest, however. Those nails were difficult to stick in, so Geoff had to help. He also helped tie the cording, because I couldn't get them tight enough. Basically all I did in this project was collect supplies. However, I love it, and I love the fact that all I bought was cording for about $4 and nails for about $4...both of which we will reuse around here.
The pictures cover about 3 years worth of dating, and I remember which visit each kiss took place. Though the very first picture wasn't our first visit, the last one is from our wedding day, kissing in the basement of the church where we got married. I thought it was the perfect last picture in my wall of kisses.

What do you think?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Food Waste Friday win!

I'm very proud of my lack of food waste this week! We have managed to keep everything in the house eaten in a timely manner (although I just remembered one thing we wasted...tortilla chips from ages ago. They were OK, but had gotten stale so they had to go). However, I do have a story for you.

A long while ago (since this is a food waste story this is a little embarrassing to admit) Geoff was cooking dinner and decided to buy fresh spices for it. Now, I almost never buy fresh spices because a. I don't really like spices in my food because they're so so flavorful (yes, I'm boring) and b. they're expensive and we don't always use them all. Case in point today, when I finally pulled out the thyme that had long since dried up in the fridge. Embarrassing, I know. Anyway I was about to throw it out when I remembered that we have a mortar and pestle, and since the thyme was dried, I could just crush it up and save it! (By the way, man is that stuff strong).

So that's what I did! I only ended up wasting the stems, which really isn't a waste, and they went into the compost anyway. So aside from those chips, I did pretty well this week!

If you blogged about food waste, how did you do? This post is linked to The Frugal Girl.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


It's no secret to people who know me that I love going to the movies. I know it's overpriced, but there is something about that big screen that gets me every time. When we were dating (long distance), Geoff and I would go to at least 2 movies a visit. I know it sounds a little crazy but I guess you could say that's our thing. He even proposed in a movie theater (during Up!)
So when the Living Social deal of two movie tickets for $9 came up, I was thrilled! I bought this once before and it was an awesome deal. I have no idea what we saw, but the fact that we saved 70% on our tickets was just awesome. So check it out...I'm sure you won't be sorry!

*Note that this is a referral link, so if you don't want to go there, I encourage you to find it on your own, because it really is an awesome deal!*

Saturday, June 4, 2011

ABCs of ME!

I totally stole this from my friend, Elizabeth! It looked like fun.

Age: 28

Bed Size: Queen

Chore You Hate: Folding laundry and cleaning the litter boxes (does anyone really like doing that?)

Dogs: No, but I do have two adorable kitties!

Essential start of your day: I absolutely need Geoff there to wake me up. He's my snooze button!

Favorite color: Pink! (I'm so girly)

Gold or silver: Silver

Height: 5 feet, 6 inches

Instruments I play (or have played): I used to play the clarinet and tenor sax, but it's been so long that I don't think I could do it now! And I took piano lessons for a while but I was really bad at practicing.

Job title: Dispatcher.

Kids: Not yet...

Live: Seattle

Mom’s name:Kathi

Nickname: Megg, or Meggy-boo (by Geoff)

Overnight hospital stays: None! (That'll change when I have kids!

Pet peeve: Kids on leashes and people who don't clean up after their dogs!

Quote from a movie: "Are you OK?" "No, Roland, I crashed my van into Jesus!" (I love Saved!)

Right or left handed: Left. The only way to go.
Siblings: One awesome sister.

Time you wake up: The alarm goes off at the ungodly hour of 5:15, but I don't usually get up until 5:30 or 5:40. Sometimes 5:50. I have a hard time getting up.

Underwear: Um, sometimes, when I'm wearing a skirt, I go commando. Don't judge me!

Vegetables you dislike: Beets, turnips, collards, kale, cabbage, onions...I'm sure there are more. I'm kinda veggie picky.

What makes you run late: Usually oversleeping.

X-rays you’ve had done: Mostly teeth, and my leg, once. I think that's it.

Yummy food you make: My favorite is my skillet macaroni and cheese!

Zoo animal: I love love LOVE all big cats. They fascinate me. I also really enjoy the penguins, giraffes and meerkats!

That was fun! Now it's your turn!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Goodbye cable!

This past weekend brought a big change to our little family. Yes, it's true, we got rid of our cable.
When I was living in Alabama I was a. poor and b. busy, so I didn't have either cable nor internet. The lack of internet was a pain, but since I was spending so much of my time in the library, I used their internet. I also mooched off friends and visited places like Starbucks and Panera a lot, where they offer free internet. However, now that we can afford the internet, I don't want to get rid of it. In addition to that, Geoff does need it if he is working from home for some reason, so the internet is here to stay.

Cable, however, has never been necessary to me. While I enjoy having it, I'm finding myself not using it more and more. We started watching sitcoms at night, but they weren't anything riveting, and after a while we'd seen most of the episodes. The two shows we watch regularly (Glee and House) are offered on Hulu, so we can access them without cable. The one thing that was holding me back was On Demand. I do enjoy catching up on shows that we don't watch during the week for some reason or another.

However, I also found myself increasingly satisfied watching shows on Netflix, and I realized that I could live without cable. The more I watch TV on DVD, the more I realize that I don't have the patience for commercials. When we're paying nearly $100 a month for cable (and internet), why is the majority of the 30 or 60 minutes of show we're watching filled with commercials?
Geoff took some convincing, but finally, financially, he hit the wall so last Saturday (after the Glee and House season finale) we canceled the cable. We are planning on setting up an antenna on the roof where, supposedly, some people can get as many as 40 channels. Me? I'm happy with my Netflix. And now we have an extra $40 in our pocket every month that can go towards debt and other bills. And that makes me very happy.

Have you thought about or canceled cable? What are your thought on it? Please share in the comments below!

Thursday, June 2, 2011


I'm not one to share every little deal that's out there, but I can't pass this one up! Groupon has an awesome deal today: $10 for $20 at Old Navy, and it's even good on clearance items! This could go a long way (especially since Old Navy is pretty affordable!) so check it out!

That's your public service announcement for the day. You can thank me later.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

June goals

Since last month's goals were less than successful, I'm going to try to be more realistic with my goals this month in the hopes that I will complete them.

1. Write a letter every week. (I seem to have fallen off the 52 Letter Challenge wagon lately.)

2. Apply to at least 4 jobs.

3. Keep up with Weight Watchers and consistently lose something (anything!) every week.

4. Go to the gym at least 3 times a week.

5. Blog more often (at least 3 times a week)

6. Find a way to advertise my Etsy shop (preferably cheaply!)

Are you setting goals for June? What are they? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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