about me

My photo
Denver, Colorado, United States
i'm 33. i live with my husband, baby daughter 2 dogs and 1 kitty. i'm a chemical engineer with an MBA and work in technical sales. i tend to bite off more than i *think* i can chew and end up with a full bulging mouth for awhile before i can finally swallow. i thrive in chaos, but strive for order.



one thing that has been bugging me lately is the plethora of communication choices. between calling and texting and emailing and facebooking and twittering.. trying to figure out who prefers what is exhausting!

i personally prefer texting and emailing. i hate phone calls, unless there is a lot of specific information that is too complicated to text or email. a lot of times i can't understand the person on the other end very well because i am in my car and there is road noise or the connection is bad. if someone leaves a voicemail, you have to dial your voicemail, enter your password, listen to the pre-recorded "you have 1 new message. first message.." all to hear "hey, it's so and so, give me a call when you have a chance". seriously? if you CALL me, PLEASE leave the reason you called in my voicemail, or it is an utter waste of time! and don't even get me started on having to sit through the 2 minutes of pre-recorded crap in order to leave someone a voicemail. does anyone EVER "press 5 to page this person"??

with my customers, i try to ask them what method they prefer. even if i hate talking on the phone, i will do so for my customers who prefer it. that is just good business. i wish the vendors i work with would take note. for example, i have 2 contractors who insist on calling me practically every day. not because there is an emergency or question, but just to "update" me, even when nothing has happened. i'm sure they think this is good customer service, but it drives me batty! i have been trying to get through to them that i am very busy and can't take 10 minutes 5 times a day to chat with them about nothing. even though i've told them i prefer texts, it doesn't seem to be sinking in. so i've resorted to ignoring their phone calls and then texting them back with "can't talk, what do you need?".

they still aren't getting the hint.


gobble gobble

thanksgiving used to be my favorite holiday. not because of the food or drink or family time, but because it was the only 4 day weekend that i got to to take all year. now that my job is so much more flexible, the time off isn't as important to me. and lately i've been taking a look at people's holiday behaviors and traditions, and can't help but wonder if people do what they do because they *want to* or because you don't mess with tradition.

even as a kid, i've always thought that the macy's day parade was super cheesy. i don't understand the excitement over huge balloon cartoon characters. and don't get me started on the dance numbers..

you'd think as a frugal shopper, black friday would be right up my alley, right? the answer to that is not just no, but HELL NO. i can't understand why *anyone* would wake up early in the cold, stand in line, and run the risk of getting trampled to save $100 on a printer. i like to find my deals without so many people, preferably on the computer while in my jammies. i save my energy for the day after Christmas sales, which are much less crowded.

this year jared had to work, and i had 4 options on how to spend my holiday.
#1) just me, the pups, and a big pumpkin pie
#2) hang out with my friend marc and his two bachelor buddies
#3) dinner with my friend jess and her family in castle rock
#4) 4 mile turkey trot with my friend deb and dinner at her house afterwards, pups included

since i am now facing the realities of looking good in a wedding dress, i opted for #4 and planned to be ready at 8am to make our race costumes*.

thursday morning, i woke up with a killer sore throat and felt a cold coming on. i knew deb wouldn't believe that i was sick, so i decided to load up on throat lozenges and just take it easy during the walk.

our costumes took a little longer to make than we anticipated, so by the time we checked into the race, we were already in the last wave, the family fun run. we started the race and right after passing the 1 mile walk, a friend in our group wanted to cut across the park and finish early, "before they run out of beer!". suddenly, i started to see the appeal of these races and realized why so many people participated.. it's not the exercise, it's the party afterwards!

luckily, several others in our group, myself included, wanted to keep walking. so we did another mile and a bit, and then we walked by the bathrooms. some people had to go, so we stopped, fully intending to keep going. but then we passed the beer garden and decided that we would just take a quick stop to have a beer and then finish the race. i'm sure you can guess how well that plan worked. before we knew it, they were packing up the beer garden and shooing us out. the race was over, and we hadn't even crossed the finish line or returned our shoe timer chips. oops.

the rest of the day was fairly uneventful - we cooked and ate and drank and burped and loosened our pants and watched movies. we were interrupted for about 30 minutes by my friends 23 yr old roommate and her guy friends who stopped by on their way to the game. after listening to their stupid, 23-yr old banter, i felt about 100 years old, but i digress.

throughout the day, my sore throat started to develop into a full blown cold, which i am still battling today. i decided to take my pie with me and leave early because i'm pretty sure i was grossing everyone out with all my sniffling.

but even with my cold, i had a great day - the trot was definitely outside my comfort zone at first, but something i realized that i enjoyed and could do again. it's so nice to have the freedom to do what i *want* on my holiday's, instead of what is expected, and that's a tradition i hope to stick with.

*which consisted of t-shirts that said "goofy gobbler" on the front and "shake your tail feathers" on the back, along with a headband and tail made out of real turkey feathers that deb found on the internet. they were quite the attention grabbers at the race.


say yes to the dress

i received a call from the bridal shop 3 weeks ago saying that my dress was in. this made me more anxious than i would have thought.

i have never been the type of girl who dreamed about her wedding dress. when i got engaged, the dress choices were so overwhelming. i just wanted to find something that looked ok on me and didn't cost a fortune and get the heck out of the dress shop. there is something about being the center of attention and surrounded by expensive white delicate material that is very unnerving to me.

the first time i went shopping was with my mom and my friend erica. we went to a little boutique in seattle and i cursed myself for not wearing cuter undies. i was very nervous because i am not thrilled with my body right now and was convinced that i would be the only girl in the world who couldn't find a wedding dress that would look good. to my surprised, there were a few that i liked, but i refused to buy them because it was my first foray into dress shopping.

the second time i went was with my mom and sister in law when they were visiting me in denver. we went to a larger store and started grabbing anything that i thought might work. three dresses into it, i put one on, looked in the mirror, and thought hmm.. this actually isn't that bad.. wait a minute.. do i have a WAIST?? my mom and sil both loved it, but i wanted to try on a few more*. so after rejecting 4 or 5 more dresses, i stopped and told my mom that i actually think the one we all liked was it, and, priced at half of what i was planning on spending, it was a deal i couldn't refuse.

so my mom and sil kind of squealed and had me put it back on and i studied myself, mentally taking note of what i needed to spend extra time on at the gym.. i wondered aloud if it was really the one.. could it be this easy? is it ok that i'm not over emotional and crying? is it ok that i am being so practical about this and will i end up not liking it as the wedding day nears? will i kick myself for not trying on 100's of dresses until i found one that i didn't want to take off?

since the price was right and the dress looked good, i decided to get it.

so today when i went into the shop to pick up my dress, i was a little nervous that it wouldn't fit or look as good as i thought it did the day i picked it out. to my relief, it zipped up just fine. and i still like it. it's not uber fancy or frilly, but you know what? neither am i! and that's when i smiled to myself and realized that i *had* found the perfect dress *for me*, and i'm sure with a few alterations, i will be over emotional and crying and refusing to take it off.

*had i given into my ocd, i would have tried on every dress under the sun just to make sure that there wasn't something better. luckily, we did not have the time for that. and i got tired after about 10 dresses - those suckers are heavy!


boring blog = boring life?

a friend recently told me that my blogs have become way less interesting since i started dating jared. i do not deny this. fortunately, boring blogs don't mean that i have a boring life, it just means that i have less time to write about it.

when i was single, i didn't have someone to listen to my rants in person. i didn't have someone to tell about my day every night. now that i do, it seems like it's too much effort to post it here as well. i don't feel the need to get it out anymore.

plus there's facebook.

it's been hectic lately. i fell like time is zooming by. work has been having me travel to albuquerque and salt lake city 2 times per month. we have our house on the market and are fixing up the destroyed rental. the wedding is only 6 months away and i am trying to keep the planning on schedule. and the stress of having too much weight and not enough money are really starting to show.

and as wonderful as it is to live with j, sometimes the things we do are not always in my best interest. like when i should be going to the gym, yet i am sucked into some dumb show j is watching on animal planet. or i should be cooking some healthy meal, but agree with j that we should order pizza. or i should be not spending money, yet drop $200 on a new GPS because j doesn't have one. he is able to help me justify all my bad decisions. he adds an extra layer of needed will-power to do something good.

of course, we have had several discussions lately where he has been made aware of this. but ultimately, it is not his problem - it's still my (bad) decisions. so i'm stepping up. going to the gym. cooking a healthy meal. and he has started to become very supportive, even willing to start changing some of his habits.

we'll get it figured out, and i can stop making excuses.


it's been an expensive year

so i've always thought that any anxiety or stress i felt was directly related to the events that occur in my life. i also always thought that when those events are over, the stress will go away. what i'm realizing now is that it's just replaced by something equally stressful. 2009 has been a very anxiety-ridden year so far. a little run down.

january-april: spent all our free time fixing up the quitman rental and maxed out our credit cards doing so.
february: huge tree in our backyard falls down in the wind storm, causing $8K worth of damage and a month of dealing with the insurance company.
april: jared proposes (yay!) - start planning wedding and figuring out where we'll get the money
leak in fenton rental leads to mold growth in basement and months of dealing with contractors and insurance.
may: j gets into a car accident and it costs $2k to fix his jeep. i find out that j owes 3 years of back taxes.
june: tenants in fenton house get kicked out by social services and the city says that the house is uninhabitable. this is a blessing in disguise, as the tenants were HORRID, BUT we can't afford to have an empty house right now.
july: j's jeep broke down and we were forced to buy a new car. we got a used subaru forester and now have another car payment. j finally gets his crotchrocket into the shop so we can get it fixed up to sell and it costs $1700 to get it running again.
july-august: months dealing with contracts and insurance adjustors lead to a $18K insurance payment, but the work still hasn't started because the check is made out to the mortgage company and i have to jump through all their hoops to get things fixed.
august: we decide to put the quitman house on the market, and have to deal with the annoyances of trying to sell a tenant occupied house.

do you see a pattern here?

some reasons why we appear to make good money on paper, yet have none.
*i have not yet received a commission check this year because i am about 40K behind my sales goal.
*j was forced to take a 20% paycut at his job
*we have been paying two mortgages for 6 out of the last 8 months.
*we have paid cash for the following:2 insurance deductibles ($1000 each), 3 separate vehicle repairs ($4500 total), an engagement ring ($3000), and wedding downpayments ($2500).

now we have drained our savings, maxed our cards, and have 2 houses, a jeep, and a bike that we desperately want to sell.

too bad no one is buying..



i heart freebies

some cool girl put together this site full of freebies that she's personally tried out - no more sifting through loads of crappy links to find out that you actually have to purchase something to get your "free" sample!

the pink wallet


another excellent shopping trip

here is the rundown:

container store:
returned $31.71 worth of christmas items that i received and wasn't going to use
purchased: receipt file, paper file for jared, travel toiletries case, travel makeup bag, small reusuable shopping bag
total cost after gift card redemption: $8.09

transferred a prescription to receive a $25 gift card
purchased: 2 bottles of water, 3 bottles of flintstones gummy vitamins, 1 bottle of one-a-day for men vitamins, 2 bottles of fructis styling products, 1 package of 9 volt batteries, 3 eyeliners.
total before sale: $77
total after sale before coupons: $61.94
total after coupons: $47.94
total after rebates: $27.95
total after $10 register reward earned for buying the vitamins: $17.95
total cost after giftcard: $0

the limited ( i needed a suit and some work clothes for my sales meeting next week)
purchased: 1 necklace, 1 ring, 1 brooch, 2 pairs work pants, 1 pair jeans, 1 blazer, 1 cardigan sweater, 1 cami, 1 shirt to wear under suit. everything except the jewelry and 1 pair of pants was full price. (the jewelry and 1 pair of pants were on super clearance and their tag prices totaled $29.36)

i don't think the clerk should have given me so many discounts, but she was super nice and i'm not gonna complain!

first she took off $8.99 from the jewlery, even though that was the highest priced item and the clearance jewelry wasn't buy 2 get one free like the others.
the she took 50% off of the higher priced pair of pants (they were buy one get 50% off, but is should have been for the lower priced item) so i saved another $34.75.
she gave me a 15% discount on every item because i am a student and it's a special they have going right now. that equaled: $43.69
then she took of $30 for a coupon that i had brought in with me
then she gave me another 15% discount because i used my limited card (i won't have interest for 90 days, AND i get free pant hemming!).
my total, had i not received any discounts besides the clearance items would have been: $360.98
what i actually paid: $226.51
this is a savings of ~37%

total spent out of my pocket for $477.78 worth of merchandise? $234.60
savings percent? 51%

i rock.



i am very excited about 2009. i have a fantastic boyfriend who will most likely propose this year. i love my job and am getting better and better at it every day. i will finally graduate with my MBA in december.

also, i plan to get the bulk of my debt paid off this year while j and i live on one salary. i'm excited about getting the debt gone and finally be able to save some money. this will be a huge weight off my shoulders. j and i are trying to plan out our financial future and finally make our money start working for us!

we also found the reward that we're going to do if both j and i meet our goals. he needs to stop smoking, and i need to lose 20 pounds. our friends are planning a trip to mexico at the end of april, so we decided that would be our reward! that gives us 5 months to meet our goal - and since we both really want this trip, we can encourage each other and have something to look forward to!

below is the plan on how i'm going to meet my goal. i only need to lose 20 pounds to meet my challenge goal, but if i'm able to stick to my plan, i might be able to lose 35-40. if i lost 40 pounds, i would be at a very comfortable weight and a size 8. 55 pounds would put me at my highschool weight and a size 6 - but i am not even going to think about that until i reach my first goal.

i plan to start out slow and add more each month. i also plan to allow myself one cheat day per week, where i can eat whatever i want. otherwise i will have visions of french fries and pizza dancing through my head.

Goal: Lose 5 pounds
- play my wii fit* for at least 2 1/2 hours a week (can be 1 hour 2 days and 30 min 1 day, or 30 min every day - however i can fit into my schedule)
- phase out restuarant eating to <2 times a week (i'm sad to say its at about 3-5 times now)
- eat at least 1 fruit/veggie per day (not including things in recipes - this is extra)
- order water/tea instead of diet soda at restaurants

Goal: Lose 7 pounds (12 pounds total)
- add in another hour of other exercise per week (3 1/2 hours)
- do some sort of activity at least 5 days a week
- find healthy receipes and focus on finding things both j and i like and will eat - collect 10 recipes that we can rotate through the month
- eat at least 2 extra fruit/veggies per day
- phase out restaurant eating to <1 time per week

Goal: Lose 8 pounds (20 pounds total)
- add in another 15 minutes of exercise, for a total of 60 minutes, 5 days a week
- add in more whole grains and try to cut out white bread

Goal: Lose 5 pounds (25 pounds total)
- work on maintaining current lifestyle
- start attending weekly yoga classes

if i am having a hard time meeting my goals, i will cut out alcohol and see if that helps. i don't drink too much right now - maybe a glass or two of wine 2-3 times a week. but if i'm not seeing a loss, i can cut it down a bit.

hopefully i will have the motivation i need this year! i have a trip riding on it, and i won't want to let down j if he is able to meet his challenge and i can't - because then neither of us can go on the trip!

*the hard activities - the fun balance games are extra