Monday, December 31, 2012

2012: Year in Abridged Review

January: Went to the 9 p.m. service at New Life, then the Posh NYE Party to ring in the New Year. Both were amazing! Paid off all of my credit cards.

February: I'm sure I did something that mattered this month, but I didn't travel and I don't remember any of it.

March: Went to Boston for fun. Went to NYC for work. Found out my credit score was 846 (Yes that made the year in review)

April: Went to Plano, TX for work (don't ask). Quit my job of 7 and half years. Threw a 90s bday party. It rocked "Tommy Hilfiger" socks. Started a new job.

May: Went to Dallas for fun. Went to DR for Paris' 30th. KICKED.IT!

June: Went to the St. Louis area for work. Celebrated Les getting her M.B.A. (Earth, Wind and Fire at Ravinia anyone?) Moved into my new [rented] condo WHICH I LOVE! Went to Donovan's first bday party in OKC.  

July: Threw a surprise going away shindig for Les. Threw Pascale's baby shower with Les and Angie (and Rob, LOL!) K's bridal shower.    

August: Was a tour guide in my city. Became the President of a nonprofit.

September: K got married!!! Visited Pittsburgh.

October: Quit my job of 5 months. Vegas. Pittsburgh. D.C. Final Bears game in the Chi. Chitown going away party.

November: MOVED TO PITTSBURGH for a[nother] new job opportunity. (WOW!) Chicago for Thanksgiving. Erie, PA for work. Chicago for a meeting. (The fact that I'm "visiting" Chicago is just...), Ohio for work.

December: Chicago for 9 days (Christmas, vacation, NYE).

Praised God the whole time. Feel free to share any reflections on 2012 in the comments. :-) 

Friday, December 28, 2012

You Da One

This song reminds me of my honey.



Shoutout to Vevo and the copyright infringement that keeps me from posting the real video. I hope this caking is approved. :-/

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Yoga Funnies

I've been going to Core Power Yoga this week. That free week they offer is amazing. If they get one in Pittsburgh, I may actually pay full price to go.

So while in yoga class tons of things cross my mind, but you can't talk in yoga class. And some of these things really don't need to be said outloud (meanwhile writing them on the internet doesn't really seem that bad).

Top 10 things I think in yoga class.

10. Why do I have to have gas NOW?
9. Did I shave?
8. I need a pedicure.
7. I wonder if my instructor smokes weed.
6. I'm limber, but is this really burning calories?  
5. I really wish yoga diva right here would stop showing off. Who DOES that. (For the record, everyone including me, DOES that. LOL!
4. Who are these people in here with me on my day off and why aren't THEY at work?
3. I think I'm in a class with bunch of stay at home moms.   
2. Men who have wives that do yoga are winning.
1. They should have really named this class preparations for sex.

LOL at my random thoughts. How is your fitness routine going?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Coffee is a problem

Living in a medium sized city brings medium sized city problems. Let's talk about coffee. I am not a coffee snob. If I put enough cream and sugar in it it's all the same to me.

BUT I do PREFER a good cup of Dunkin' Donuts coffee. Sorry to everyone who thinks otherwise, but Starbucks coffee tastes like life is harder than it really is. -

Coffee in Pittsburgh is a problem.

- There are only two Dunkin' Donuts downtown (and probably in the whole damn city).
- It takes 10 minutes to get at these two Dunkin' Donuts.
- Every Starbucks I go into is bite-sized. I wouldn't want to stay in there longer than the time it takes to get my coffee (which is probably 15 minutes if it's 10 minutes at Dunkin' Donuts).
- There are also a bunch of Starbucks kiosks... again, I can't get the coffee house ambiance (and at $5 a cup, I need ambiance) from a kiosk.
- They have a place here called Crazy Mocha. I've had it twice. I've regretted the decision to go both times. The coffee tastes like they brewed high fructose corn syrup into it (even when there was no sugar added). The people who work there are very nice. It's just not good coffee...

I think I shall buy myself a Keurig for Christmas. See how I just made this into a positive. Um hm. LOL!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Put a Card in the Mail


Monday, December 10, 2012

9-year-old boy with stage 4 cystic fibrosis attempts to break Guinness World Record


Dalton Dingus wants to beat the Guinness World Record for the most Christmas Cards

 

(Lake 102.3) Dalton Dingus is a 9-year-old boy from Salyersville, KY, living with stage 4 cystic fibrosis.

He has been sent home because there is nothing else doctors can do. They have only given him a couple of weeks to live. He told his mom he is ready to go because he is tired. He wants to beat the Guinness World Record for the most Christmas Cards. The record is 35,000. 

You can help Dalton break the record by sending him a card at the following address:

Just a card, a 45 cent stamp, and a little of your time to make his Christmas wish come true.

Dalton Dingus
H.C. 62 Box 1249
Salyersville, KY 41465


Thursday, December 13, 2012

To decorate or not to decorate...

After moving to PGH, I realized... I don't like to decorate. I used to think I didn't decorate because I didn't have enough space or money. Now that neither of those things are a barrier, I still haven't decorated. I haven't bought any new furniture or paintings or bookshelves or anything since I moved to Pittsburgh and I absolutely need to. It's like white wall city in here and my furniture doesn't really go with my new apartment.

I like the IDEA of decorating. It seems like it would be fun, but the amount of design choices I have and decisions I'd need to make are overwhelming to me. I just want to sit and relax (and put decorating ideas of Pinterest knowing full well I will never do anything with them).

My disdain for decorating was solified in my mind when I also had no desire whatsoever to put up Christmas decorations. You know what that sounds like to me: work. Go buy a tree, lug it to my apartment, lug it up the elevator (and/or pay someone to do that), rearrange furniture, buy lights, string lights, buy ornaments, put those up. Vacuum those damn pine needles daily.

THEN when Christmas is over, I have to take it all down, store the lights and ornaments (where would I store decorations in a 1BR apartment?) Lug the tree out of the house. Vacuum again (man, I hate vacuuming).

I'm not doing that crap until I have kids and if I can convince my husband to take a warm weather trip every Christmas instead of doing the tree crap... oh yes, new traditions could be formed. 

With all the money I just saved on Christmas decorations (and decorating in general) I think I will go buy a festive holiday shoe. See how I just made this post positive? YES!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

And It Don't Stop

Sidenote: It's 12/12/12. Play the lottery or get married.

On to the beloved topic at hand.

You know I love brunch! I was prepping a Tea's Top 10 before I left the Chi and didn't quite get to it. Here are more brunch places to try. (I have to have about 60+ by now). Enjoy!

The Southern - I'm not a big fan of the rooftop of this place, but the atmosphere is nice. I'd give it another try. I mean, you can't go wrong with some eggs if the drinks are right.

Balsan at The Waldorf Astoria* - So we can get our Coming to America on

Red Door* - A colleague said: "GREAT patio - Chef Troy is great & be sure to visit Jeremiah at the bar."

Eleven City Diner  - South Loop Social Light has been going on and on about the Bloody Mary's here. I stopped by and didn't try those, but the pancakes are as big as your head and just as delicious. It's a true diner and everything on the menu looked fab. Go here often. 

Bistronomic* - I didn't make it here, but I heard great things.

Old Town Social* - Same as above.

Square One - I've been here for happy hour. Great craft drinks. They have an all you can eat brunch for $14.99. There was about a 20 minute wait when I went, but I didn't get a chance to stop because I was on a schedule.

City Tavern - Save your money. The eggs aren't even good.



Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Taking Technology for Granted

Inconsistent Fares
I ride the Trolley (the T) to and from work everyday. It's $2.50 there and back. You pay before you go to the platform, like a toll booth. But if no one is in the booth, you can pretty much walk by without paying. My first week here I actually didn't know how to pay, so I was just riding for free (Dude goes on his break right when I get off work).

So yesterday, out of the blue, a lady made me pay $3.25. Actually the price on the box came up and  it said $3.25. It ws so strange. The lady said 4:30-6:30 p.m. were peak hours.

Paper Fare System
So I walk like 5... maybe 7 blocks from my job to the Port Authority to buy a week bus pass for the last week of November. It was Wednesday. The lady tells me their bus cards actually run Sun-Sat. I looked and it was like a laminated piece of paper. I am not making this up. I'm SO used to Chicago, I figured whatever day I used it first, that's the

Connect What?
They have this thing in Pittsburgh called the Connect Card. It's like the Chicago Card plus. There are machines in every "T" station that sell them. Except they don't. I couldn't figure out how to work it, so I asked one of the friendly booth workers what the deal was. He told me they were supposed to be in rotation in September, but now the machines are in all the stations, but they still don't have the technology.

**somebody's grandma's voice** The next time you use you CTA Card Plus, remember, everyone doesn't have what you have. Be thankful for machines that work. I'm laughing, but I'm so serious.

I'm probably still going to take the T when I buy a car. It costs like $6 a day to park downtown. I already pay to park at home. I might as well say gas and $1 a day (Y'all see what's happening to me. I'm getting cheap because the cost of living is so low. My financial planner loves it. More on this later.)




Monday, December 10, 2012

Hair Check-In

I showed you all the pic of me having to cut inches off of my split ends and you see how much darker my hair is now. I thought after that heavy maintenance that my hair would be easier to manage. Generally, when I get my hair colored, it loosens the curl. And I typically suffer a bit of heat damage because I straighten my hair when I get the ends clipped, but it's out of control now.

- It won't keep a two-strand twistout (my favorite style) for more than a day
- It's MUCH straighter than it's ever been since

I think I need to use clarifying shampoo to get some spring back to it.

I've tried using larger rods to curl it when I two-strand twist it. It's dope for like a day, then I either have to dry twist it at night or wear a headband because the curl is gone after going to sleep.

I've tried using more gel and that works, but only when I dry twist it.

My entire issue is that I only want to do my hair once a week. On a weekend day and then not have to fuss with it for the rest of the week. I'll wear a bonnet, a doo rag, a bandana, whatever it takes, but I really don't want to style it more than once a week. Per usual, I want too much. 

Some folks have suggested doing a braid out and/or a braided styles for the beginning of the week and then letting it loose towards the end of the week. I may need to learn how to braid first (don't judge me).

I would just cut this crap off, but my honey vetoed that decision, so I need another solution. If you know any natural hair styles that last for a week, hollatchagurl. Maybe I just need a winter weave... *strokes chin*

Friday, December 7, 2012

Strange...

When you live in a new city, everyday is a new exploration or discovery. Recently I discovered that people pick sports teams like they pick suburbs to live in. They weigh the pros and cons like good schools, long commute, high property taxes, low maintenance costs in a suburb FOR FOOTBALL TEAMS. 

Because I'm from the greatest [sports] city in the world (we really do have a team for every sport and the most amazing fans), I didn't realize that people who are from cities that suck at sports actually do this.

I had a conversation with a woman who's from Pennsylvania, close to Pittsburgh and she's a Cleveland Browns fan. She said her and her husband discussed it and Cleveland fans are classier and the tickets are cheaper. I'm so serious right now.

I can't imagine going home and telling my mom "Hey ma, I decided to be a Raiders fans because the tickets are cheap and it's free shipping on the jerseys." I would be disowned.

I'm getting ready to have a lot of posts about the differences between what I know to be true and what I'm learning due to my new job, my new apartment, my new city, essentially my new life. I'm not saying it's good or bad... but boy is it different.

How did you pick your favorite sports team?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Update on a Classic

I didn't get a chance to check out the Cole Haan store (but thanks so much ChiChi for the recommendation). I ended up buying these BCBGeneration black pumps from Macy's.
I actually TRIED to buy the same black pumps I always get from Nine West, but this year they either don't make the black leather or they sold out of it already. They only have it in black patent leather.

Sad part is that my new shoes hurt. I can't really walk in them with tights on and I can't carry anything when I wear them. I basically went out and bought a date shoe. Welp.

Maybe I'll give Cole Haan a try afterall. You can't really have TOO many pairs of black shoes.
 
*Looks up Cole Haan in Pittsburgh* Ha! I'll have to buy it when I get visit the Chi.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Football Struggles

Who wants to hear about a recent struggle I had? Well, too bad, here it is.

  1. My cable stopped working on Sunday night. I didn't have the patience to call the cable company, so I hope it'll just fix itself the next time I want to watch TV.
  2. Wednesday, I turn on the TV it still doesn't work. I call the company, they figure out it's my cable box. I saved $30 bucks on that call, but chose to have them snail mail me the cable box0.
  3. Thursday I realize I can't watch Scandal and get sad. I try to watch it online (I pay to have access to cable online), but ABC doesn't live stream.
  4. My honey suggests that since the box is the problem, not the cable connection that I just put it in the back of my TV. This is the kind of solution that I unfortunately never think of myself). I try to remove the cord, but the cable guy has it so tight I need plier.
  5. I add pliers to the list of stuff to get when I go to Target... when I buy a car or have a rental car.
  6. Sunday, I still haven't receive the new box. Fox also doesn't stream, so I can't watch the Bears game. I JUST WANT TO WATCH FOOTBALL. GRRRRRRRRRR. I also have to report to work at 12 p.m. and couldn't leave til 3 p.m.
  7. I borrow some pliers from work. Sprint to my TV to watch the 4th quarter, put the cord into the back of the TV... IT STILL DOESN'T WORK! I have to "auto program" the TV. It takes frickin' 45 minutes to program the TV.
  8. 98% done autoprogramming with 1:47 to play in the game.
  9. I get to FOX and they are playing the got damn Packers game. I AM AN-GRAY!!!
The universe doesn't want me to watch this game. I'm listening online and following with my app. I'm sad that I won't get to see orange and blue on this expensive TV with this expensive cable I pay for.

I have so many similar struggles. I don't have time to tell y'all all about them. Welpington.

UPDATE: FOX keeps showing glimpses of the Chicago game, which makes me happy. I've also called the cable company to see what channel the NFL network is on this Digital (vs. HD) cable.

I FOUND FOX SPORTS NETWORK AND I'M WATCHING THE GAME. LET'S GO BEARS!!! YEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!