Sunday, February 23, 2014

Ommmmmm that Hurts so Good

For those of you that don't know I've chose to live a fit life. To me that means cutting out highly processed foods, working out (almost) daily, and yoga. Lots of yoga. It's been a huge shock for my system & after years of terrible pain I have found out I was in terrible shape. WAS being the key word. 

But all of that working out has made me super sore, so I went and bought myself a foam roller, but like in The Princess and The Pea, it was entirely too soft to really work the knots out of my muscles. {sad day}. 

So I looked at some more rollers. Hemmed and hawed and decided to make my own. For $40-$60 the savings seemed worth any headache. So I did some research and found a few tutorials but none of them was 
what I was looking for. I like pretty & sparkly things even better if they are pink, gold and glittery. :)

Supplies needed:
1 4"PVC pipe 24-36" long ($1.68) purchased from a local store
Carpet pad to cover PVC ($2.00) purchased hunk from a flooring store
Elmer's Spray adhesive (I had this at home)
7"+ zipper (I had it at home)
Duck Tape
Large plastic shopping bag

1.) Lay down the carpet pad with the netting side on the floor
2.) Ruff cut the pad to the size of the PVC all the way around.
3.) Use the spray glue do. {Hint work in 6" segments.} Hold it in place until glue sets.
4.) Make the final cut, be sure to pull a little so when it's rolling on the floor it doesn't loosen the glue.
5.) Cut strips of duck tape and tape across the seam.
6.) Cut a strip of duck tape to go the length of the seam.
7.) Cut a few strips of tape for the ends of the tube, cut slices and pull tight, tape to the inside of the PVC tube.
8.) Measure and cut the fabric, be sure to add 0.5" to all the sides.
9.) Turn inside out and sew the tube, leaving 0.5" of the bottom of the tube open, back stitch.
10.) Slip on plastic bag onto the end, trim excess, {leave the handle!!!}use tape to secure around tube but do not tape to the carpet pad.
11.) Grab the zipper and sew onto the fabric, make sure to sew tight. Mine was a bit less than all the way around the tube so I had to tuck the end in.
12.) Grab an end and sew onto the zipper.
13.) Flip the fabric and pull onto, check that the zipper closes ok. Open the zipper.
14.) Flip fabric again, {yes I know it's a pain} pull onto the end. Grab the remaining end, and sew onto the bottom. Pull off. 
15.) Slice the bottom of the bag almost all the way through, but leave enough so you can pull the fabric all the way through. 
16.) Pull fabric on and pull bag HARD.
17.) Pull bag out only after you have fabric pulled all the way on.
18.) Zipper it up and enjoy the pain.
Oh and this one is "just right." Firm but not HARD, comfortable, and best of all it hurts so good.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Don’t [DO] date a girl who travels [The Rebuttal]

It all started with a well written but very biased "click worthy" article called "Don't date a girl who travels" that one of my Facebook friends had posted to his wall and it found it's way on my newsfeed.  After reading the article I was seeing red.  I'm not sure why this article made me so mad, but it did.

Do Date a Woman who Travels
You spot her, yes her the one with the wild untamed hair, from the other side of the bar.  Even from the other side of the room you feel drawn to her, her unnatural beauty calling to you, pulling at your heart strings.  There, is her laugh, dancing across the room to you.  She's special, so unlike anyone else you have met before, when you are with her she makes you feel special too.  Do it, date that woman who travels.

Do date the woman who travels, that normal dinner and a movie may suck the life out of her but add a little candle light and a night of ice fishing in a portable house will make her eyes glimmer.  She will feel connected to you and to nature at the same time.  She may not be impressed by your fancy car or your expensive watch, but perhaps she realizes that in order to balance her out she needs some more stability.

Do date the woman who travels, she may make you uncomfortable sometimes by suggesting something you've never done before but she will force you to grow and experience MORE in your life than you thought possible.  The woman who travels has an understanding of money different than most people, she will spend a lot for an experience and then spend a small amount when it comes to life staples.

Do date the woman who travels, for she will work towards her passion and not for the paycheck.  She may have bad days, and she may want to vent but she will also have compassion for your bad days.  She may offer to cook your favorite meal, take your for a walk under the stars, or a bit of expensive chocolate from Germany to ease the hurt for she understands that when things get hard it really is the little things that help to sort it out.  Most women who travel have jobs that allow them to do so, but they try to HELP people when they are working, what a wonderful quality.

Do date the woman who travels, she may not be using her college degree but she understands the importance of education.  She will respect your degree and encourage you to seek out more education in a variety of ways; from an institution, from a mentor, even from those whom you don't know.

Do date the woman who travels, she chooses a life of adventure.  How lucky are you that of all the people she knows she chooses to spend her time with you?  Her adventure seeking may get her into some dicy situations but it also allows her soul to breathe, it allows her to learn from her mistakes and to keep from making the same ones over and over.  She will apologize and she will mean it.

Do date the woman who travels, she will speak her mind.  She won't try to impress your friends and family but her kindness will attract your family.  She values respect but will hold and informed conversation about hot button issues, but don't worry if you don't agree, she understands that the world needs all types.

Do date the woman who travels, she may not need you, but she's chosen you as much as you've chosen her. She can stand on her own two feet but she realizes that leads to a life of solitude and can be very lonely. She may cooks well, and doesn't need you to pay for her meals but tell her your favorite meals and she may be willing to cook it for you, especially if you are willing to trade favors.  She may not need you to travel with her, but she asks because she likes your company, she wants to share her life and experiences with you. She may get sidetracked before checking in upon arrival at her destination but out of respect and admiration she will eventually check in.  Don't worry, her train may be running 4 hours late getting into Veniza, or perhaps she ran into an old friend, or her cell has no reception, she'll let you know that she is ok.  She'll meet many people, and that may be intimidating but she'll always be willing to introduce you to them and to share their many adventure stories.

Do date the woman who travels, and when you fall in love with her, ask her to marry you so that you too, can become one who travels, and perhaps she will also change a bit more into one who stays home. Just don't steal her longing for adventure, embrace it, love it, it's what makes her who she is, the woman you fell in love with.

Review of Polaroid PBT555

Let me start by saying this. Music it speaks to my soul, to my very being.  My memories are stored in both songs and vintages of wine. I am one of the most particular people I know and this has only been reinforced by my mentor who at 59 was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, which is known as the highest functioning form of autism. It is an understatement to say that I like things "just so", the most odd things can set me into a frenzy in a heartbeat.

As much as I love music I sometimes struggle with concerts as the artists usually don't sound the same, so needless to say I'm picky about headphones, speakers, and tones.

I bought this speaker on a whim on a suggestion from my Father (I couldn't find a review for it anywhere) I work as a nanny (specializing in special needs kids) and I wanted a speaker I could travel with both to work, to workout with, and take with me internationally. I wanted to be able to literally throw it in my suitcase or nanny bag and not need to worry about too much. I was really considering saving up for the Jambox Mini Speaker but at $179.99 + tax it was a bit steep. The Polaroid was a mere $79.99 (with mail in rebate).

Now this speaker connects wirelessly via Bluetooth, a simple simple pairing process with my iPhone 5s. And in mere seconds I was ready to check out the sound quality.

About the sound quality, I have found my music collection which boasts of Jay Z to Persian love songs to Luke Bryant to play beautifully. It sounds as it does coming out of Bose Soundwave. There is no twanging, no thumping or irradiate humming that doesn't belong. The sound coming out of this speaker BLEW me AWAY. When comparing to my sisters Jambox Mini I think the Polaroid has better sound quality, especially for the price.

What about the size, will it really fit into my suit case? Yes it will really fit!  It is a bit wider at 2" than the Jambox Mini (compared at .91") but I also think that is why it is able to put out such awesome sound quality. So for me the depth isn't an issue.

Both the JamBox Mini and the Polaroid claim 8 hours of use per full charge. I have found that claim to be a bit on the short side to with mine, I get between 6-11 hours (depending on volume). A full charge off of a 2.0 USB takes about 1.5 hours. It includes both the charging cable and the AUX cable for use with a regular iPod or MP3 player. (I'm searching for a wall adapter for multiple country use.)

I use mine all of the time. Working out to blare my music to get me revved up, while showering, and to both calm down (from their fits) and get the kids I nanny for moving. I have yet to pack it but with the light metal used in it's construction it's built well so I don't worry about it getting broken in my checked luggage.

All in all, if this item were to get broken or stolen in my luggage I'd buy a replacement (and it would still be less than the JamBox Mini.)  If looking for a speaker I highly recommend the Polaroid PBT555 over even the JamBox Mini.

Dear Jon

10 of Sept

So at 3.30 am I had some sweet roommates that joined us in our room.... In London I was staying in a youth hostel many beds in one room, they came in flipped on all the lights and were yelling from room to room.  Like many others in our room, I was cranky.  I couldn't fall back asleep, my sense of security had been shattered and my heart was seriously thumping.  So instead of cussing them all out or being nasty I got some clothes on and decided to go and take some sunrise photos of London.
I spent some time with my new friend Jon walking around the park and going to the history place.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Broke and in Paris :(

A very handsome French man just came up to me and started speaking gibberish (also known as French) to me 
I said no French. 
He said: mademoiselle, you are very beautiful, do you live here? 
I said: no, just visiting. 
He: For long? 
I: A week. 
He then asked me for coffee. I declined as I was in a panic as I need to get to the US embassy and figure out my banking. A girl needs money for food and hotel while abroad if nothing else and I am running dangerously low like the equivalent of what $10 gets you in the US. Really not good. 

However after he left I checked my purse for my checkbook (not that it did me any good not working here) my passport and other ID and then I thought to myself, "wow, that would have been a nice under different circumstances,"  my second thought was, "he probably wanted to kidnap you."

I then headed to the US embassy to try and figure out why my bank card is not working in FRANCE, who the heck does that to a girl whom is traveling alone.  Locks up her bank care?  Big time bad, big time.  I was seriously freaking out as I had been in Paris for over 24 hours, almost 36 at this point and had VERY little money in the pocketbook. 

12 of Sept
I talked to the embassy, texted with my grandma, who thankfully is up at the crack of dawn also known as 5am and she was going to have my Aunt get me some money so that by the end of the day I had my budget of money for my trip and I would no longer have less money in my pocket than the man begging for change on the street. (Dear Readers- knowing that you are in a different country and have less money than the homeless man is not a good feeling.  It is scary.  It is embarrassing, I saved for a long time to be able to go on this trip and after all of that hard work- and I had the bruises and scratches to prove it was hard work, I was in Paris, one of the most magical cities and I was in essence, BROKE.) When I am back stateside, I will be having a VERY long chat with my bank about this.  One of the main reasons that I took my accounts there was because they did not charge international fees, which is easy to do if while you are on a trip you can't access your funds (the scoundrels!) they will be reimbursing me the fees to have the money wired to Paris.

The people at the US embassy in Paris are very nice, not one but two days the guards dealt with me very upset and sometimes crying (I was scared remember).  They were understanding and professional and most of all they were very helpful.  Marie in special services was a God send in helping me figure out HOW to get money from the US to Paris the least expensive and the more reliable way.

So after I picked up some money (yay no longer broke) I went back to my host's home.  We went to the gym (OMG it is the most amazing gym I have ever been too) it has a waterpark, a gym, classes, water classes, hot yoga, yada yada yada.  You can check out there site here.  Yes, it is AMAZING!  I was so lucky to be able to go here not one but TWO nights in a row.   After the waterpark and sauna, yes that's right this broke girl got to waste her stress away in a sauna, I don't even think I have access to one of those at home, we went to the Hippopotamus, I was told to order a steak, which was surprisingly inexpensive, like $18US.  It was ok.  My virgin drink however was to DIE for.  After dinner I took the Metro back to my host's home and they picked me up in a car to go to a latin dance club.  Yes, this very white girl went to the latin dance club.  Walking into this club I could hear the lady from the metro say "please beware of pickpockets" in my head.  It kinda looked like a sketchy area, but as soon as I saw the coat check I felt better.  I felt out of place, and self conscious because I had NO IDEA what I was doing, so I just sat and watched (it was an Erkle moment, anyone else have those?).  I have however decided that I would like to learn how to dance to this type of music, it is beautiful it is sensual and it is kinda amazing.  The plan was to stay for an hour- but like most good plans, we stayed much later, until about 1.15 am, and then the 25 minute drive back with laughs and some serious conversation, after getting back to the apartment I went straight to bed.  I was exhausted. In all honesty, way beyond exhausted and really needed some sleep.  My hosts were leaving for a flight in the am, so I had to wake up early and to check out the apartment I had rented for the remainder of my stay in Paris.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Iceland, Burberry, & tax free shopping

Dear Readers,
I am sitting here at the Iceland airport thankful that I even made it to this leg of my journey. As I was pulled by TSA for additional screening, like almost 45 minutes worth. I had made it to the airport with plenty of time, thanks to D. who drove me all the way out to Dulles but all that extra stuff can throw off plans really quick.

My flight took off around 21.00 EST and I landed around 6.00 on Sunday (sorry I don't even know what time zone I am even in.) We were told by the intercom system to wait in the lower level, so I did, then I was told they were closing lower level and to go upstairs. Where I met a really spectacular security guard with a sweet USMC tat on his form arm, so we chatted until the customs agent got away from his doughnut to interview & clear me through customs- which took about 30 minutes and I was the only one there! I swear I must be on a watch list of some sort, lol.

When I arrived upstairs not only did I locate my love, Mt.Dew, which looks totally different here, but I also came across tax & duty free designer shopping. Burberry, Dior, Chanel, you know. I looked at all of the beautiful things, had my heart a pitter-patter and came to sit down as I'm exhausted, an overnight flight with screaming, crying babies and children with loud parents will do that to a girl, even one with Dramamine, ear plugs and a sleep mask.

All in all, my flight here was pretty awesome. We had some good pilots who avoided the turbulence that other passengers were complaining about, and as far as an airport goes this one is great. The exchange rate isn't terrible and I'm looking forward to lunch, even tho it is only 9.06.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Business Set Up: Interviews & Founding Famers

Last time I came to visit D. and I tried to get in to eat at Founding Famers but it was a weekend at it was like a 3 hour wait or something obnoxious like that, so we went to find another place to eat but it was closed so finally we headed back to her apartment and had pizza or the like.  So we both knew that this trip we wanted me to experience the amazingness of Founding Famers, (see reviews and menu.)  So D. booked a reservation on Open Table, I did not want to miss this place although it may only be open for a New York minute.  Dearest readers, have you ever book marked or checked into a place so you can find it later only to discover that, it has already closed, you know a hot month or two after you were there last?  I have and it is so very sad.

We took the metro into DC, for those of you who don't know I LOVE riding the metro, most people don't feel the love from the DC metro system but I do!  It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy  and the
Metro train, orange line @ Foggy Bottom
fact that D's apartment is only a few city blocks away (great way to tone my calfs) only adds to my excitement, I (who lives in MN) even have the plastic DC commuter card, I carry it pretty much everywhere in my wallet.  I never know when I may need to whisk away to the city that has fashion, amazing food and is dripping in power (or people who think they are powerful and/or important but aren't.)  Like Big J. says, "if you are important you don't need to sit there and tell me that you're important," great life lesson readers.

Another life lesson readers is to not run around with your badge on while in DC-like this stranger does. It makes you look like an intern and it's not very safe security wise.  How likely is it that one would keep their job after loosing (or someone stealing) their badge that allows them access to their work while in DC in a city that almost every job comes with a badge? I have known staffers & magazine staff whom have gotten fired for this very reason, and with good cause.  I realize people think that their badge is a status symbol, and perhaps it is, but walking around with it out just isn't the greatest idea.

We arrive for our reservation, and the place looks like a ghost town, except for you know the well known actor in the corner upstairs, the member of the house that are having a powow, a few senate members, and one man I didn't actually need to run into.  Evidentially this is THE place to be at 9am. I order a ginger ale, now let me tell ya, this ginger ale is home made and it's $5 a glass its ahhhmazing.
So amazing that I thought about ordering a second, with no ice in a to go cup and spending way more money on my drink than on my food.  D. gets a dt. coke those of you that know her know this is her beverage of choice and she can often be found with it in her hand, the same could be said of me and Mt. Dew.  Our waiter is great, he takes our order for food and as we wait we scope out the place.  At this point I'm in a food heaven with the experience with my soda (D. likes it too), I'm

really not sure my food can top it... but then, it arrives. As you can see I ordered a waffle with strawberries and cream.  The waffle was crispy on the outside and soft on he inside, it was PERFECT.  D. and I wrapped up our eating adventure and I headed back to her apartment while she went to scope things out in the city.

So in this business adventure I need to do all of the normal business stuff: file the state docs, EIN, legal agreements, logo, website, etc.  However because this is for one of my dearest friends I of course am WAYYY more invested in her success, so two days ago we went to hold two interviews.

The first interview was with a zoo keeper, it was seriously on his resume.  I think they should have left him locked up with the baboons, this man had no class.  The interview didn't even start off well, I had emailed this man an address of a Starbucks to meet us at, he showed up at the wrong one, TWICE and it only got worse from there.  I mean absolutely very very bad.  Dear readers, I walked out of that interview impressed by how bad I felt about myself, this guy was amazing at backhanded compliments and inserting his foot into his mouth, all while this interviewee was hitting on my dear friend and staring at upper lady parts.  Hey buddy, our eyes are up here!  It took us a while on the ride home to discover what about him we didn't like, and when we pinpointed it the array of dislike spewed up like a fountain.  I think we both left that interview feeling like we needed a shower.

We arrived back to the apartment with enough time for me to rest and for D. to get ready.  For this second interview I decided to change just a bit.  We held the interview/ meeting with a prospective photographer, whose talents are unbelievable.  (I had already told him that he may need to RASISE HIS PRICES.)  I had also sent this man an address and when I called him to tell him we had arrived he said he was almost there, I got a bit nervous.  Could this one be as bad as the first?  If so I was going to want a drink and chocolate.  I ordered my drink (a mimosa) and we waited until he arrived, which was only a few minutes.  Let's be clear, this man followed directions, walked in with confidence and to the right place- he was already doing better than 90% of people I've interacted with at this point.  This photographer was hilarious, like my abs hurt yesterday kind of funny, we got so off topic my grandmother would have blushed.  This man beyond having a similar knack for child rearing as I do, shaking his head to the mom who was trying to reason with a 4 year old and saying, "it takes very little time to pretend like you actually care," and "your kid will get friends at school, what he needs is a parent," to D. and I he has also written a book that one day I hope he will allow me to purchase. "mmmmnnn honey that book is all to full for a good Christian girl like yourself," which made D. and I look at each other and laugh, and it made me seriously want to go and find to read on my 14 hour plane journey.  In the end, this man offered to walk us across the street back to D.'s apartment and wrote a very nice email to say that he had a nice time, well we did too and I hope to someday be able to meet him for a meal again, this time, I'll record it for my own personal enjoyment.

One of two, not a bad success rate, too bad I thought I had weeded out all of the real crazies. I will be setting up more meetings for tomorrow, Dear Lord, please give me some humor and remind me to wear really modest clothing.

Over and out.