Monday, February 28, 2011

Cat Lover's Manifesto

I just HAD to share this story with you today...there is now PROOF that Bella loves me more than life itself.

The kittehs love us back! A new study demolishes the stereotype of cats as cold, aloof animals that want only food from their owners. The study also reinforces the idea that a special bond exists between females and felines.

In research to be published in the journal Behavioural Processes, scientists observed the interactions between 41 cats and their human families during lengthy four-part periods. Researchers noted all behaviors of both cats and humans, and also assessed their personalities as well as their influence over one another.

What they saw was not just cold, food-seeking behavior on the part of the kitties, but real attachment to their owners. The researchers observed a mutual social interaction in which both cats and humans signaled to each other when they wanted to pet or be petted.

Like our human friends, cats keep track. They were more likely to respond to owners' needs, if their owners had previously responded to theirs. Discovery News reports:

Cats also seem to remember kindness and return the favors later. If owners comply with their feline's wishes to interact, then the cat will often comply with the owner's wishes at other times. The cat may also "have an edge in this negotiation," since owners are usually already motivated to establish social contact.

While men certainly got along with their cats, researchers saw more interactions between women and their animals, finding that cats were more likely to approach women than men and to do things like jump on their laps to initiate contact. Study author Manuela Wedl of the University of Vienna told Discovery News that women's relationships with their cats were also "more intense."

Be careful, however, that the relationship isn't too intense, as happened to this unfortunate woman, below (warning: adult language):

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Chrysler, Eminem, and Detroit

If you have been living under a rock, or didn't watch the Super Bowl, you missed one of the greatest pieces of advertising this year. You know it's good when 2 weeks later you turn to your partner and say, "Remember that car commercial with Eminem in it? Man that was good. It still gives me chills."


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Birthday Wishes

A very Merry Birthday to my hubby of six years!!!

We had a great time yesterday - I took the day off and just relaxed with Jeff. First, we had to take care of some official business. In Georgia, your birthday is the due date to re-tag and title your car...and we forgot to do it until THE birthday. So Jeff spent the morning at the DMV. Which worked out great, because I got allergy shots, a birthday present and card, and a Target trip done! (Ok, maybe that's sort of a lame start to a birthday, but it worked.)

We both came home, I gave Jeff his gift (free and clear spending money - what could a couple really give each other that's better?), then he got a delivery of fish stuff and played with that. Next was late lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant, La Hacienda, a run to Dillards to buy a wallet with his birthday cash, and a stop by a fish store.

We wrapped up the day at home, playing with a new puzzle, tweaking the fish tank, and watching a movie snuggled on the sofa.

I think he would say - 31 is great so far!!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Top 5 Perfumes for Now

I get obsessed. I admit it. And lately it's been beauty items.
Sometimes it's hair (see: Hayley Williams color I did one time ago),
sometimes it's lipstick (seriously, I have 13 different shades in my
bag right now), sometimes it's trendy nail colors (yes, coworkers,
grey is cool this spring)...but worst lately is the constant spritzes
I seek out in the airport duty frees. So here, my top 5 scents for
Right Now!

1. Chanel Coco Mademoiselle

2. Dolce and Gabbana The One

3. Lancome Hypnose Senses

4. Yves Saint Laurent Parisienne

5. Lancome Miracle

I know many of these are department store (or Sephora) purchases, but
the complexity and long-lasting wear profiles are totally worth the
price tag. Just consider getting the smaller option so it stays
fresher (stronger) longer.

What are you wearing for spring? Based on my selections, I am
definitely feeling more spicy than floral!

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Schwans Man

They have ditched their winter coats and exchanged them for shorts - the formerly Midwestern Phenomenon known as "The Schwans Man" is coming to my house!!!

I saw the truck in the neighborhood last week and almost died. One of my favorite memories when I was a kid was having the doorbell ring and seeing that truck pull up. Mom always let us look at the tri-fold pamphlet, and 'sometimes' we could pick something out. My favorite was ALWAYS chip-and-mint ice cream, and somehow (probably Amy) the candy ice cream was chosen during Christmas.

That little orange sticker reminder of the next visit was always prominently displayed on our family calendar. I think as we got older, and busier, the Schwans man had a harder time catching us at home. And, it probably got kind of expensive to just buy goodies...

But behold! The company nowadays has an online ordering tool so you can plan your meals and pick what day you want them to you are always at home, and if not, they will leave it in a freezer bag on your doorstep. How cool is that?

Sadly, my list is not as fun as when I was a kid. Chicken breasts, salmon filets, roasted sweet potatoes, and chicken pot pie are coming. Right before I 'checked out' online, a little voice whispered, "Will you please get some ice cream?". So, some ice cream sandwiches are coming too:)

What do you order from the Schwans man? And what is your favorite memory of him stopping by? (Keep it clean.)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Happy President's Day

WOO HOO! 3-day weekend and I'm not in the snow and cold!!!

My personal thanks to Mother Nature, over the counter Claritin, and Merck (makers of Singulair).

The last few days, especially Saturday, were BEAUTIFUL! We got so much yard work done - I haven't been this sore, consistently, for a really long time. Lawn mowed and mulched, 3 buckets of magnolia seed pods picked up by hand, all beds cleaned out and trimmed up, all the leaves blown and 4 hours of burning them up, picking up sticks like crazy in the backyard, re-positioning my meandering paths...I could go on!!!

Oh, and we got some new fish - 2 melanarus wrasses, a yellow tang, a flame angel, and a carpenter's fairy wrasse. They are awesome.

Oh, and we finished a puzzle. YIPPEE

Keep 'em coming - 75 and sunny with no humidity!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Being Difficult is Good

Sometimes, being difficult just to be difficult is just annoying, especially to those trying to work 'with' the difficult one. But most other times, there are really good reasons to be difficult, and the end results can be amazing.

My Top 5 reasons why Being Difficult is a Good Thing

1. Being difficult means you're engaged. Pushing boundaries and challenging the status quo are 2 ways real change can be introduced to a stagnant process. So hold your ground when everyone says 'ok' and you don't agree.

2. Intelligence can be perceived as being difficult. Sometimes, the Betty Boop voice and engaging smile (if I do say so myself) can throw people off. They sometimes expect me to be a pushover or leadership challenged. Then, a great idea comes out or a complex sentence with 'big words' is said, and all of a sudden, the former pushover is now difficult. Don't let other people's perceptions get in the way of your intelligence.

3. Birds of a feather shouldn't always flock together. Diverse groups make the world go 'round - so seek out people outside yourself and your world view. Or move 2000 miles away. I guarantee someone will think you're difficult, and you will think they are difficult as well at first. But it forces you to grow.

4. Coaching and feedback will be your friend. Opportunities to mentor others, and to be coached, will come eventually when people realize your difficulty comes simply from having a different viewpoint.

5. Know when to say when. Here's for those people out there who are hard to be around. News flash: if you're friends get quiet all of a sudden - really often - or if eyerolls are a regular thing...maybe you're just being a pain in the ass. Knock it off, and use your natural tendencies in a good way. Don't abuse it.

Hat tip:

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

5 K-Cup Savings Tips

If you recall, I received an AWESOME Keurig home brewer for Christmas. The very small downside is that the K-Cups can be a little pricey.

So here are my tips to get the most bank for your buck.

1. Extra Bold flavors can stand 2 uses. Don't try this with the Breakfast Blend or other light roasts or you will be disappointed. But a dark French Roast, or the Newman's Own Organic Extra Bold, can definitely take at least 2 trips through the large cup setting on mine before tossing in the trash. Half price per cup if you utilize this method.

2. Use coupons. The best per cup cost I've found is the 18-packs sold at Bed, Bath, and Beyond for $8.79 with a 20%-off coupon (regular price $10.99). $0.49 per cup.

3. QVC is NOT overrated, but can be overlooked. You are going to have to wait for the flavor you want, and wait for it to be featured at the price you want - but when you do, order up! (Hat tip to Marne for the giant pack of Pumpkin Spice around Christmastime.)

4. Buy in bulk. Sam's Club may be a great place to buy k-cups if you already have a membership. You had better know what you want though, because you're stuck with a big box. An 80-count box of Newman's Special Blend is available for $33.88. $0.42 per cup plus membership.

5. Samplers are your friend. has some great samplers - you will pay a bit more but if you're like me, you will appreciate the variety.

Readers, what are your tips and tricks?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

I hope you are settling in tonight with your loved ones, even if that's yourself!!!

Jeff claims this is a made-up Hallmark holiday, and I tend to agree. BUT, he still gets me a few nice things - a dozen red roses (THEY'RE BEAUTIFUL) and a Whitman's Sampler (which, if you're keeping track, is an appropriate gift for me anytime).

AWWWW. I love him very much :)

And I love all of you, too!!! Thanks for reading the blog even though it's been slow.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Crescent City

My favorite adopted city in the U.S. is New Orleans. It's the ONLY place without family or friends that I have visited more than once. Five times, to be exact.

My love affair started in 1996 with the ELCA National Youth Gathering (woohoo!!!). Since then it has only grown. This time around, I was more than happy to get on a plane for work and head there for 3 days.

Gumbo, oysters on the half shell, shrimp with remoulade sauce, alligator bits, fried oysters, shrimp cocktail, HURRICANES, beignets, cafe au lait...this city was made for me.

Not to mention, I LOVE the French Quarter. So many shops to get lost in, plus beautiful architecture, plus such friendly people, plus music coming out of every other storefront. LOVE IT!

Have you been there? What's your favorite thing to do, or see, or eat?

Monday, February 7, 2011


Guess who got Lasik!!!! (Not me). 2nd are correct! Jeff did!

It happened almost 2 weeks ago and I was waiting to post it up because he was not a candidate who went to bed, and the next morning could see.

BUT - his vision in the right eye now is 20/15 and the left eye is 20/30. Things will still keep settling down for at least a few more weeks so hopefully he will get to great vision eventually.

He also said that the later in the day it gets, the worse the vision gets, between being dry and being tired. So - no video games or extended tv at night. Which is a good thing, so we actually just spend time together.

And the best part? Mr. Stylish just bought some Maui Jims. WOO HOO

Thursday, February 3, 2011

On the road

February is turning out to be a busy one already for travel. Three
days in, three trips.

Tuesday was our semi-annual leadership meeting. I really like hearing
the coming year's goals and objectives straight from our executives'
mouths. For me, working hard to ultimately serve our customers is
really inspiring; when you are in the middle of the daily grind you
can definitely lose sight of the bigger picture. And, thank you to
everyone who traveled by airplane in 2010!!! My job security - and
80,000 other middle class employees at my company - depend on it.

Wednesday was a super fast trip to Raleigh - leaving 40 degree weather
in ATL and landing in 68 degrees felt pretty good.

Today's adventure takes me to Newport News, VA. And I forgot my coat.
It will be a chilly 37 when I land...oops. I guess I am turning
"southern" faster than I thought.

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