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Sunday, May 30, 2010

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Sweet Sugery Goodness

No, not candy.



I tried sugaring last night.  Sugaring is a method of hair removal similar to waxing, but it uses all natural ingredients.  In fact, it only uses THREE natural ingredients, which makes it really easy to make it organic.  Here's the recipe:

2 cups sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup water

Boil it slowly in a thick saucepan until it gets to about 246 degrees; you can reduce that temperature by 1 degree for every 500 feet you live above sea level.  For instance, Jackson is about 6600 feet above sea level, so I can subtract my 'goal' temp by 13 degrees; I'll heat my sugar to 233.  The recipe I used said to heat it for about 25 minutes, but that was way too long, and my sugar got too hard.  I think I'll try letting it boil for about 15 minutes next time.  Remove it from the heat source every so often so you can let the bubbles calm down.  This will let you see the color.  You want it to simmer, not to boil too fast.  Stir frequently.



It's done when it's at a nice rich amber color.  I made mine too dark and it got hard.  When it's done, let it cool for a few minutes in the pot, and then pour it into a glass or plastic jar.  You want it to cool down, so I put my in the refrigerator since I'm impatient.  You don't want it to burn when you put it on your skin.

While I let it cool I took a nice shower; the warm water opens up the hair follicles.  Make sure to exfoliate the skin and cleanse it. Make sure to dry off really well.  Put some cornstarch or baby powder on the area you want to sugar.  This will keep the sugar from getting on your skin and staying on the hair.

The sugar should be thicker than honey but thin enough that it still pours a little bit when you tilt the container one way or another.  Make sure it's not hot; it's okay if it's a bit warm, but it shouldn't hurt at all.  You want sort of a "oh, that's nice" warmth.  Take a tongue depressor or a similar object (I used a butter knife) and scope out some of the sugar.  Spread it over the hair in the direction of the hair growth.  Take a strip of cotton (thicker material like a canvas works really well) and place it on top of the sugar, pressing it down into the hair, smoothing it in the direction of the hair growth.  You're supposed to let it sit for a minute, but I took it off quicker than that.  After you've smoothed the strip in the direction of the hair, pull the skin taut and quickly pull it back in the opposite direction of the hair growth.

It's not going to tickle.  But it doesn't kill, either.

Keep doing this until you're happy with the removal.  If you miss a couple of small hairs, pluck these (they're super easy to pluck after being sugared; you barely have to try).  One of the nice things about sugaring as opposed to waxing is that the sugar only adheres to the hair, whereas the wax will adhere to hair and skin.  This makes sugaring less painful.

I sugared my bikini yesterday; I'm not going to say it didn't hurt.  However, the pain didn't last more than a few seconds after pulling it.  I did the ONE-TWO-THREE-PULL and usually pulled on two.  It was like pulling off a really mean bandage.  It was a lot less painful to remove the hair by the legs rather than actually closer to the vulva.  Vulva = whatheOUCH!!!! I can't even imagine doing more by myself than what I did -- too much.  No good.

Today I feel pretty smooth except for a ton of red bumps and some ouchiness.  Apparently putting hydracordisone cream on it helps.  I used salicylic acid lotion as salicylic acid is supposed to help prevent ingrown hairs; apparently that's not supposed to be put on right AFTER you sugar though.... I'm hoping the red bumps go away in the next day.

If the bumps go away and the hair stays away for at least 2-3 weeks, I could definitely see myself doing this regularly.  It takes a little while, but it's cheap, and if it works, it's worth the pain.  Plus, the pain is supposed to get easier the more and more you do it as the hair gets thinner and less dense.  The more you sugar, the more the hair follicle is damaged, so less hair grows.  It takes a while, though.

Once you have made the sugar, you can keep it for about 3 weeks.  Just heat it up in the microwave a bit, and if it's too hard, let it cool until comfortable.  You can also heat it up by letting the container sit in hot water.

You can also use it at room temperature if it's not too hard or soft; you flatten it out (make sure not to touch it too much or it'll get warm and too sticky) and press it hard into your skin.  Flick up the end of it and pull in the opposite direction of the hair growth.  I haven't tried this method yet; I think I'll try it next time.

If the sugar it too hard, like mine was, add a small amount of water and microwave the sugar for about a minute.  Slowly mix until it's all the same consistency.

I like sugaring (so far) because it's all natural, it's cheap, I can do it myself (I get weirded out by people doing things I can do... like painting my nails, doing my makeup, taking cre of my hair....), and it's easy to clean up.  To clean, add hot water.  It will dissolve.  Yeah.  That easy.


EDIT:  So sugaring totally gave me nasty red bikini-bumps for three days, and then some of the hair became ingrowns, and the others just got mad at me... and it started growing back in like a week.  So.  It seemed like a good idea (as much of a good idea as ripping out your own pubic hair can SEEM) but I don't know if I'll try it again.  I hear your skin sort of gets used to it... but if it doesn't, I'm not at ALL interested in doing that again.




I got my information from several sources, but Beauty & Fitness Savvy was the best help to me. The sugar in the pot picture came from that site.  The first picture can be found here.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Wedding Rings

I got my wedding ring rhodium plated last month, and apparently, I am now allergic to it.  Because of this, I've only been wearing it a couple of times a week, otherwise I get a rash from the (apparent) nickel in it.

Today I went to Jenny Lake with my mother- and father-in-law, sister-in-law, and two nephews.  We all got to ride across the lake for free since 1. I work for the sister company to Jenny Lake Boating and 2. my friend Kendra was working the dock.  My friend Greg was on the boat that took us back to the docks, and I harassed my friend Cody while passengers were loading on his boat.  Kendra and Cody came over tonight and Cody told me, "You need to wear your wedding ring.  You had two guys who asked about you."

Ohhhhh really?  Well that makes me feel a little good about myself, until...

"But they look at anything that moves, even if she's 300 lbs and has a unibrow."

Annnnnnnnd that slightly-awkward-but-slightly-nice compliment crashes to the ground.

At least I'm not 300 lbs with a unibrow.

Kendra suggested I check to see if one of the jewelers in the area could buff the rhodium plating off the inside of the ring, and possibly cover it with something else.  I think I'll take her suggestion, it's a good one!
And I miss my pretty sapphire engagement ring - I can still wear my wedding band because it's platinum, but it's also really thin and apparently, not noticed by horny boat guys. 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Majoring on the Minors

So today's post is going to be a little bit different, folks.  Today we're going to (lightly) delve into a bit of theology.  Yeah.  I'm going there.

I'm a Christian, which many of you already will know if you know me at all, or if you've been reading my blog for more than a week.  I believe that Jesus Christ is God's son, that he came to this planet to show us the Way to live.  The Way doesn't involve intense proselytizing or judgment; it doesn't create an us vs. them mentality.  It is a Way of living that is peaceful, humble, simple, loving, and sacrificing.  I believe that being a follower of Christ means trying your best to put others before yourself; if someone is thirsty, give him something to drink.  If a stranger is naked, give her clothes.  I believe that the Way breaks down barriers such as socioeconomic status, race, gender, age, political affiliation, lifestyle and health problems.  If we are truly living the Way that Jesus lived, no one is an untouchable, a castout, a leper.

This is not an easy way to live.  I have troubles with it daily.  But I do believe that it is the right way to live, and although it may seem difficult, it gets easier and easier the more it is applied, since it is the way we were designed to live.  I believe that way down to our DNA, we are meant to live in community, to help one another, to love one another, and to bear each others burdens.  We are so much stronger when we work together towards a common goal, and the greatest goal should be love.

I will never feel comfortable telling someone whether or not they will go to heaven.  This is a huge breakdown in the church that I see all the time.  I have a dear friend named Kathy who lived with a family in South America for a semester; her "mom" over there once told her that her actual mom, a really lovely woman, was going to hell.  She wanted to know why Kathy didn't CARE enough to try to save her mom from hell.  I believe that is one of the biggest reasons that Kathy no longer claims Christ as Lord.  When we tell people they are going to burn forever in hell, we sabotage one another.  Like I said, this is just my personal belief.  I am not a universalist in the strictest sense, but I do believe that God is more forgiving than any of us can fathom; He is the one who will save us, not ourselves.  I have no idea how He works in other's hearts and minds; I can only say how He works in my heart, and my mind.  I do not believe that those who have not heard the name of Jesus Christ, those who have not had a chance to live and see the blessings of the Way, those whose hearts have been hardened towards Christ because of their upbringing, their lifestyle, their choices, are going to hell.

Like I said, this is my personal belief.

I DO believe that Christ is the EASIEST way to live.  When people follow the Way, when they practice peace, love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, they find that it is easier to live in harmony with other people.  Unfortunately, these same people who claim peace can be the same people that cause disharmony among those who do not follow the Way, and amongst themselves.

Self-control, for example.  To me self-control means taking care of my body, and being aware that other's rights begin where mine end.  My idea of self-control means that I will try to exercise and take care of my body; I will eat fast food only a few times out of the year out of necessity.  I will be cautious with the amount of alcohol I drink so I do not make myself sick or feel hungover the next day.  I will not gorge on sweets, but enjoy a variety of the foods that God has given me.

I believe that self-control means that I do not give myself over to all of my carnal wishes.  Bryan and I were still virgins when we married.  Sex, to me, was meant to bind a man and a women, so they become "one flesh."  From what I understand of the Bible, this is to be shared in a marriage relationship.  I will say that I danced far too close to that line in my dating life.  I am thankful that I was able to practice some self-control throughout my dating life, so I could become one with my husband after we were married.

Unfortunately, the idea of self-control can cause disharmony as well.  Many Christians do not drink, and look down on those that do.  Many Christians believe those who smoke are sinful; I just think it's kind of gross.  Many Christians not only look down on those that choose to have sex before marriage, but judge them.  I have been one of those Christians who judge my fellow followers of the Way because of their sexual choices.  While I still believe that sex before marriage is not a part of the Way, it is not at all okay how I have handled it in the past.  Judgment is not for me to delve out.  While I have repented of my judgmental ways, I still feel the sting of my judgment, and the disharmony it brought into my life and into those who I have loved, and judged.

Over and over again I see the disharmony in the Way.  Political differences create lines in the carpet that we cannot cross.  You stay on that side, I'll stay on this side, don't touch me.  Race is brought up, although subtly, so as not to convey racism outright.  Gender differences are preached over and over again... women "cannot speak in front of men", even though in Galations we see that "There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female.  For you are all one in Christ Jesus."

Just since I've been here in Jackson, I've had other women, followers of the Way, tell me that I am wrong for believing that a woman's voice should be heard in church.  I have been told that I am wrong for believing in a Divinely-created evolution.  I have been asked, "Aren't you sad that so-and-so is going to Hell?  How do you deal with that?"

For me, this is "majoring on the minors."  If I believe in Evolution and you believe in a Literal Six-Day Creation, how is that really going to effect our lives in the long run?  Aren't we both called to love our neighbors?  Are we both called to live peace?

If I believe that drinking alcohol is permitted in the Bible, but you don't, so you don't drink it, how will it help either of us to argue about it?

If one person believes only men should speak in church, and goes to a church that practices this belief, and if I believe women should speak in church, and go to a church that practices this belief, can we not still get along as fellow followers of the Way?

This is not to say that all differences should just be glossed over.  When someone believes something that is obviously AGAINST the way, and is not only practicing it but preaching it, they should be approached for this inerrant belief.  For instance, those who believe that people with darker skin are darker because way back when, someone sinned, and they were cursed... well that's just stupid, and it's racist, and it causes hatred and disharmony.  But most of the time our differences are trivial, and should be treated as such.

Don't major on the minors.  Live in Peace with each other.  Live in Love.  Live in Harmony.  Live with such joy that others will look and wonder, "what's different?"  Be open to new ideas, to new things; consider the positive or negative effect it will have on your life, and go from there.


Romans 12: 9-21
"Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.  Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.  Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.  When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!

Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable.  Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.

Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,
   “I will take revenge;
      I will pay them back,”
      says the Lord.
Instead,
   “If your enemies are hungry, feed them.
      If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.
   In doing this, you will heap
      burning coals of shame on their heads.”
 21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good."

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Thrifty, you say....

I have been an avid fan of thrift stores since I was 10 years old.  I particularly remember one experience when I was 11; we were in Canada visiting family/friends and spending time on the river.  My mom and "Aunt" Dorothy took me to a thrift store I had spotted a couple of day before.  I found a fedora with a spotted feather, and a Cranberries tape.

It was heaven.

I wore that fedora proudly and listened to the Cranberries and sang along.  Thrift stores were magic.

While living in Humboldt County, I became less and less of a thrift store girl, mostly because the thrift stores there were GROSS.  Most took anything, including clothes that wreaked of weed and filth, or were stained.  NASTY.  That's not to say I didn't find anything... but anything good I could find was few and far between.

There was one consignment store that I loved, The Clothing Closet.  I found a pair of JCrew sandals for $5, a JCrew tank for $6 (I love JCrew but cannot bring myself to pay that much for clothing), as well as some other really cute things.  But when I knew I was coming back to Jackson, I got very excited for the thrift stores.

There was one store I loved back in 2006 named Orville's.  I frequented the shop quite a lot, not necessarily because they had GREAT stuff, but because the cashiers were really cool about pricing.  Everything had a specific price, yes, but if they recognized you, they'd look at a pile of 7 items of clothing and say "Does 10 sound fair?"

Why yes, yes it does.

Unfortunately, Orville's is CLOSED.  It's very, very sad, but I can understand why with their pricing strategies.

Today I visited "Second Helpings" on Pearl, and came away with a pair of these:

 Columbia brand convertible pants.  Not that sexy, true, but they are great for hiking and camping.  Plus, they're nice and light-weight, so they're good for packing when you're backpacking, or just for when it's hot out.  Like I said, not sexy, but very useful.  And at the thrift store they were only $10, which is not bad at all.  Plus, they were pretty much exactly what I was looking for, although they are higher-waisted that I prefer.

I also got this scarf:




I tried to take a picture of me wearing it, one of those "take a picture of yourself in the mirror" things but I couldn't get one that was both not-blurry and not-bitchy looking.  Man, I look bitchy in those pictures.  Bryan saw it and said, "Wow, that looks like one of those pictures on whythef*ckdoyouhavekids.com where the slutty mom is taking a picture of herself in her underwear while her hungry child is crawling on the floor in the background."

Yeah, it did kind of look like that.  So you get a picture of just the scarf.  The awesome $3 scarf.

Now if I could only find a $3 microwave for the office....  Ah well.  I will continue in my hunting.  :-)


source

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

And we all float on okay....




It was a cooler day for a float trip, but my dear hubs Bryan and I went down the river with our friend Greg.  It was chilly at times, but mostly really fun, with a bit of "seriously 13 miles takes forever next time let's do 8 okay?!"

Can you spot the bad eagle in the third picture?  I took some other pictures, as we saw about 5 bald eagles all together today, but I'm not great at snapping pictures in time, and the zoom on my little point and shoot isn't great.

I don't work for the next two and a half days, and I'm super excited.  Tomorrow I'm going to do something outside, whether it's going for a run or climbing Snow King or High School Butte.  Need exercise, need outside.  It's going to be cloudy but that's okay.  Then, I'm on the hunt for a birthday present for my nephew (I'm thinking a stuffed moose) and then off to the thrift stores to find a super cheap microwave to use at work.

Woot!

Oh, and in about 20 days my friend Lindsay Rose is coming to visit for a week, and my new friend Molly McNeil will be here and we will have girl time and it will be fabulous!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

HUGE TRIP!!!

So this October Bryan and I are planning a Myrtle Beach trip with my folks and some friends.  It will be a week of golf (not for me), shopping, relaxing on the beach, and having fun.  Today Bryan mentioned the possibility of driving to Myrtle Beach...

And we came up with this amazing road trip map, complete with the people we will visit on said trip.  We're hoping to see it in reality!  The only way we'd be able to do this is if we found jobs in the Jackson for the winter season, which really doesn't start until the end of November, I guess.  We'd have all of October and most of November off. So it would work in we found winter jobs.  And if I don't mind living a whole winter covered in snow.

Guess I'll need a good pair of snow boots.



PS... as usual, you can click on the dinky picture to see a bigger picture that's actually clear.

PPS... took on a lot more responsibility at work recently, and got a RAISE!!!  Won't say how much, but it's a lot more than I expected.  I love this job.  I wish it was a year-round job.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Seriously?!

I was just on the phone with a concierge from a local resort.  This is how a part of the conversation went:


Her:  So I want to book for 2 people on June 25th.
Me:  Okay, what time?
Her:  I dunno I was calling to see what times you had on that day.
Me:  6:00am, 9:30am, 1:30pm, 5:30pm.
Her:  Um... is it going to be hot on June 25th at 1:30pm?
Me:  Well... I suppose that depends on what the weather will be like that day.  It's generally hottest in the middle of the day.  So.  Maybe.
Her:  Huh.  Okay.  I think they want that time.


So on this week's "Seriously?!" with Seth and Jessica, I feel like saying, "Seriously?!  You are a concierge here in the same valley as me and you want me to tell you if it's going to be hot at 1:30pm on June 25th?  Over a month away, but I should know the temperature?  SERIOUSLY!?!?!"

Seriously.

Accomplished

My new job isn't exactly hard... but I feel pretty awesome because I'm doing well at it.  I believe I am a good worker at most of my jobs, but I excel when I'm working on a project.  A lot of the time the projects I work on are ones I've given myself... because I know if I get bored, I get lazy.

I finished a 23 page manual on our new reservation system today!  It seemed like a good idea to make one, since I'm training the two new girls on Monday and Tuesday, and this would give them something to reference.  I just started working on it because I knew it would be useful, and because I have experience writing manuals from my last job.

So I finished today, patted myself on the back, and printed the manual.  Then I went outside to ask my boss(es) if I could run to my apartment to get one of our many report binder-things to keep it safe.  My big boss, the owner of the company, said, "Is it a good manual?"  "I think so," I told him.  "Okay, we'll just take it to Staples and make it into a book."

Sweet!  It's going to be so fancy.  I wish I had made it pretty, but that's probably not necessary at a job like this.  Anyways, I felt good about it! 

After that, I booked a group of 3 adults on a trip that was half-full, less than a half hour before the float time!  That brought in a little more money, and it filled up a raft a bit more.  Woot!

Of course now I have 5 and a half hours before I leave... and I've finished all of my projects...  So.  Looks like I'll spend the rest of the time stickering brochures and watching Weeds or Buffy.

Time to make up a NEW project....

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Coconut M&Ms


Dude.  Coconut M&Ms.  They taste AMAZING.  Unfortunately they do not actually have coconut in them, just flavoring.  So.  That's lame.

But still, really really tasty-face.

Source

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Blech



Hormones can be so mean.  I was totally fine this afternoon, and then I went to work where I had to fix a whole lot of mistakes that I didn't make... not to point the finger or anything (coughcough).  I came home and my back hurt and I started to feel hungry and frustrated, and then Bryan came home to let me know that Cody, Kendra and Greg were going to come over.  They were going to make dinner so don't eat okay?!!

Except that what they were making was not even a LITTLE on my diet and would set me back DAYS.  I'm trying so hard to eat healthy, low fat options, with little to no meat and lots and lots of protein and veggies.  Which means I'm the lame one who can't go out to eat with her friends.  I know it will be worth it when I feel smaller and when climbing the buttes gets easier.  But for right now, it's lame.

Then, my back started hurting and I could feel my neck and head get all tension-y and before I knew it, I was pissed off.  Without any real reason to be.

Our friends left to pick up food and Bryan stayed behind to talk.  I broke into tears and told him I hate correcting other people's mistakes all the time and that my back hurt and why is my period so late I feel so hormonalllllll....

So he rubbed my back and let me vent and cry and I feel a bit better.  He told me I needed to take a bath with my fancy organic bath salts, the ones with the beet juice to make the water pretty pink and the cardamom and lavender.  I think he's on to something, that one.

I know that 95% of this is just hormones too, which is really annoying.  Who wants to be that girl??  "I'm sorry I'm vacillating between being a huge bitch and a cry baby, but I've got these tiny little hormones in me that are just straight up MESSING with my body right now.  Excuse me while I have a hissy fit."

So lame.  I try to be kind and not crazy and I hate chalking up my hang-ups to just "being a girl."

source

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Things that I am LOVING Today

Today I am in love with the following things:


I love ginger chews.  The above is the Ginger People's (I love their whole brand) but I also love Reeds.  Mostly I like their ginger-man mascot, so that's why I picked this picture!!  Sweet, spicy, hot... it burns your throat a little, which is always a plus for me.  Chocolate is good, but chocolate with ginger or cayenne?  Yes please.  Salsa is good, but a nice hot and garlicky salsa is better.  Ginger is great because it's sweet and HOT at the same time.  YUM!


Mmmmmm, grilled asparagus!  I've been making this at least once a week.  We don't have our actual grill set up yet (since we're getting it from Bryan's dad), but even on a George Forman, grilled asparagus is delicious.  Yeah, it makes your pee spell weird, but it's so darn tasty and good for you.  I'm on a low-fat diet right now, so I've just been spraying the asparagus with organic olive oil cooking spray and then sprinkling on some sea salt.  Pop it on the George Forman and when it's tender, it's done!  So easy.  So yummy.


Flatbread, you are my friend.  You are so super easy and tasty.  Want to know how to make flatbread?  3 parts flour, 1 part water, and  pick your seasoning (I like sea salt, garlic, red pepper and some Italian seasonings).  Roll out on a floured surface so it's niiiice and thin.  Throw on a pan and cook on medium-high for about 1 minute on each side.  It's simple this way; if you are okay with a bit of fat, add about a tablespoon of melted butter or oil.  I made this tonight with the above seasonings, and I added a bit of applesauce to the mix in leiu of fat.  It was delicious!  I dipped it in Newman's Own Organic Tomato Basil marinara, and it was tasty.  That, plus the asparagus, was a really nice meal.

For dessert....

Three pieces of Green and Blacks Orangic "Maya Gold" bittersweet dark chocolate.  Dark chocolate + Orange + Cinnamon + Nutmeg + Vanilla = A Very Happy Jessica.  There are 24 pieces per bar, so three pieces gives me a nice taste without being too fatty and calorie-laden.

And to go along with my chocolate...


Mmmmmm big soup mug with Earl Grey tea, vanilla syrup and tons of foamed milk.  I love foamed milk so much; I know it's not everyone's cup of... foam, but I love how light and airy it is.  It feels decadent, but it's just skim milk!  Fancy-pants.

So, these are the things I'm obsessively cooking/making/eating/drinking right now.  Anyone else have a food or drink they get addicted to pretty easily?

Ginger  Asparagus  Flatbread  Chocolate  Tea is mine

Monday, May 17, 2010

High School Butte


I hiked High School Butte today!  First solo hike of the season.  I'm hoping to hike SOMETHING each week.  So far I've hiked Snow King and now High School.  Eventually I hope to be able to hike Snow King easily; that will prepare me for some of the longer hikes in the park.

One of the really cool things about High School Butte is that it was mostly women hiking today!  And most of them were on their own!  That was really cool. Very empowering.

Jenna at That Wife and Mandy at OMGMom posted "Bloggers without Makeup" pictures earlier this week.  So, I thought I'd be brave and post one myself.  I know posting a picture of yourself not wearing makeup is TOTALLY not a big deal for some people, but I generally only post pictures where I think I look good and I've Gimped it.  So.  Here you go!


Jessica, without makeup, zit-tastic, a bit sunburned, sweaty, and on top of High School Butte.

Don't ever say I didn't give you anything.  <3

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Beautiful Day Off!!

Today we climbed Snow King!  The south end, by where we live.  It was awesome but I shouldn't have worn my Tevas; I have blisters ALL OVER my feet.  At least five blisters per foot.








You can click on the above pictures to get a bigger view!

I'm totally psyched to be living in Jackson again.  I miss Humboldt and my friends though.  I'm hoping to make myself climb Snow King or High School Butte once a week... eventually I'll stop sucking air.  :-)

Our New Place!!

So I found my little disk-converter thingy!  I thought I would post some pictures of our new place!  It's a "Deluxe Studio" so it's definitely on the small side, but I really like it.  Of course, it's difficult to be quiet in the morning when you're making tea and preparing lunch, and there's really no place to get away from each other if the guys are over and I wanted to go to bed early... but I'm still really happy with it.  I've considered making a curtain  int between the bedroom and kitchen if the having-friends-over-when-I'm-tired thing happens, but Bryan tends to go to bed before me anyways, so I don't anticipate any real problems.

So, without further adieu...


I like our kitchen a lot!  It's small but nice.  The only bummer is that I have to stand on a chair to get a lot of stuff out of the taller cabinets.


We've had that bamboo for 3 years now!  It's lived in 4 states so far.  :-)

A peak into the bedroom.  That bright blank spot in the middle of the picture is the lamp which apparently doesn't photograph very well.


We get lots of natural light, pretty much all day.  It's a lot easier to wake up in the morning to a sunny room.  When I sleep in a dark room I can EASILY sleep 12 hours a night.


Super-glamorous bathroom picture.

I got this bedspread for Ikea for $10!!!  I then made up a design, cut out the stencil, painted, and voila!  Birds on a wire!  Pretty proud of this one, actually.


This cabinet was my grandparents', and it's one of my most prized treasures.  It just makes me happy, and it's very special to me.

This goes along with the cabinet.  It used to have a mirror, but it was old and cloudy and kind of gross.  So now it frames my necklaces!  It's cute and my hubby isn't annoyed at me having my jewelry all over the place anymore.


Our super-fancy bedside tables.  They were actually our storage shelves in our apartment in California, but we split them in half to use in our bedroom.


The living room, the first thing you see when you get into the house... Yeah.  I don't really like this room.  It's hard to mesh function, storage, and some sort of design aesthetic.  I just don't like it.  And my husband refuses to take normal pictures.  I point a camera at him, and he makes a face.  End of story.


YIKES!!!  See?  I keep thinking of ways to improve it, but it may just be a lost cause...  all those video games, all those cords...


One day we will get new chairs.  It will probably be a while, since it's been almost three years since we got married.


Annnnnd you can pretty much see the entire apartment from here!  Ta-da!  Our new place!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Our neighbor just knocked on our door and told us that our wireless signal is so powerful that it makes it so he can't borrow his friend's wireless signal across the street.  He asked that either get our wireless password and give us some money each month to use it (all while streaming video while we're trying to stream as well) or asked if we could turn off our wireless.  SERIOUSLY?  I get that you're a nice older man of some vague ethnic background who lives alone, but no, I'm not turning off the wireless signal that I use daily when we pay $40 a month for internet.  And I'm not going to have you use ours when we use the internet to look up bank accounts and for Netflix.  We told him we'd try to turn off our internet signal when we're out of the house, but dude needs to get his own internet, for real.

Couponing, and why I suck at blogging

I have been a terrible blogger lately.  I can't find the cord or the disc-connector thingy for my camera this week, and I'm weird about wanting a picture on each blog entry.  Alas, that means I have not been blogging as much.  i am sorry.  I suck.

What have I been up to lately?  Well, I've been working and watching a heck of a lot of Netflix. I've also been making a lot of crocheted headbands with the idea that I may actually have an Etsy site this summer.  The thing about Etsy is this:  if you ARE successful, you better have a few things already made ahead of time; if you AREN'T, you have a lot of random headbands that you'll be giving out to friends over the next year.  I guess it's not a bad thing to be prepared, but it does seem a bit daunting.  That, and I do not have any little children-like friends here.  In California I knew lots of little ones, but I don't know any little girls here who would be able to model my headbands.  I suppose I'll just have to meet some, then!

Yesterday I added a crochet trim to a favorite simple tank top.  I think it classes it up a bit.


Sorry for the not-great picture, I took it with my camera phone and it's just not that great.  In reality the tank is a dusty-walnut sort of shade.  Ah well.  Perhaps I'll get a better picture of me wearing it.

We set up our PO Box and since I knew we wouldn't be getting much mail, and since have to go to the Post Office to actually GET the mail, I decided to sign up for tons of free samples and coupons.  I know, that sounds silly, but if I'm going to stop at the Post Office I at least want to get SOMETHING.  I've been using my cousin Meghan's website, Savvy Spending, a ton.  So far I have at least one shampoo sample/free bottle coupon coming, a number of lotions, some free vitamins, and so on and so forth.  I also got some free song downloads, which I used to down Jace Everett's "Bad Things" (anyone else love True Blood??) and The Avett Brother's "Kick-Drum Heart" (which is an AMAZING song and puts me in an instantly good mood).

We're hoping to drive out towards Grand Teton National Park today and get some pictures, but these clouds have other ideas I think.... I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

Thanks for putting up with my awful blogging,

Jessica

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Running

I kick ass.  I know that's a bad word.  But.  I totally kick ass.

I ran for 45 minutes today.  45 MINUTES!!!  I ran slow so it came out to 3 miles, but whatever.  I am incredible.  I rock a whole ton. AND I've finally been able to do (about) a 5k!!!

My previous longest run was 27 minutes.  I totally kicked that wall DOWN.  And feeling GOOD about it!

Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all those Moms out there!  I hope you feel loved and appreciated.

I called my mom this morning to wish her a happy Mother's Day.  She already opened her present earlier this week; I ordered something online (best way to buy presents if you ask me!  Easy!!!) and forgot to tell her not to open it.  So.  She got it on Wednesday.  What did I get her?

Oh I'm so glad you asked.

I got her a Woodwick Green Candle!


I love Woodwick Green candles, but unfortunately, Woodwick is discontinuing their Green line.  Super sad!  They still have their regular line, but it's not as eco-friendly.  It also looks way too much like Yankee Candle if you ask me.  See the difference?


See what I mean?  Still cute, but lacking that eco-look.  I like the Green line because of their frosted glass (so pretty!), their organic cotton label, their natural color, and their interesting scents, like Sequoia, Valencia Orange, and Anjou Apple.  I bought my mom the Lavender Hills fragrance, and I have the Citrus Cilantro fragrance.  The newer line features a sticker that can be pealed off easily from the glass (which is nice as it gives a cleaner look) and more traditional scents like Honeysuckle, Vanilla Bean, and Cinnamon Chai.  Either way, I would definitely recommend Woodwicks.  The wick is, get this.... wood.  Yeah.  The name sort of implies that doesn't it?  The neat thing about the wooden wick is that it makes a crackling sound when you first light the candle.  That goes away when the candle is actually lit.  My Citrus Cilantro candle has burned for about 10 hours so far and it's burned less than an inch of wax!  I'm definitely impressed.

Bryan had a hard time thinking of something to send his mom for Mother's Day.  She already HAS a Woodwick (she bought me mine!), she doesn't wear jewelry, she's not a scarf or purse person... She has a lot of nice things for her home already...

And then it came to me!  A year subscription to Real Simple!


I've gotten a few magazines over the years (ahem, tons) and Real Simple is my favorite so far.  Think Martha Stewart (without the "okaythat'scutebutIdon'tseethepoint" kind of stuff) meets Marie Claire (not just a fashion magazine!  Very feminist views and lots of articles on women in the developing world!) meets Readymade (without the "IunderstandtheallurebutIwouldnevermakethat" stuff).  It has lots of info on simplifying your life, being healthy, reusing/repurposing/recycling, and easy beauty tips.  I love this magazine.  I wasn't able to find it on super-sale like I have before (I've gotten it for $5 for a year!!) but it is still a GREAT deal for a magazine that's so good, I keep it instead of recycling it.

So those are the Mother's Day gifts we gave this year.  I usually like to make gifts, but I am actually really  happy with these ones!  I feel like my money is supporting good things.

So what about you??  What did you do to celebrate this day?  A nice card?  A phone call?  A gift?  Time spent together?  Whatever it was, I'm sure it came with a heart full of love and thankfulness.


source  source source

Netflix

Last night we finally succumbed to Netflix.  In California, we had a membership at Spotlight Video, a local video store.  For $18 a month, we could have one video out at a time.  Some days we'd go back at least twice in one day for a new dvd!  We love watching movies, but especially love watching tv series on dvd.  No commercials!  Love it.

When we decided to move to Wyoming we thought about Netflix.  It seemed like a good idea but I thought it was a bit of a bummer to have to mail in a dvd and wait for another.  Then, Bryan showed me the beauty that is the Watch Instantly feature.  We could stream a TON of movies and shows without having to wait for the Post Office!!  FANTASTIC!

Last night we started season 1 of Weeds.

So far we really like it.  When they mention Humboldt we give a little 'woohoo!'  It's a clever show with an interesting storyline, and I really love the young character named Shane, who is a 10 year old boy with a huge imagination and a bit of a trouble-making streak. 

I was also happy to hear that I can stream all of the Buffy and Angel episodes that I want!  My sister-in-law Stac-face is going through them right now, and she's falling in love with Buffy.  That was my favorite show when I was in high school, and I've watched the entire series at least three times through so far.  I love Angel too, but mostly just the fifth season.

So yeah! Netflix.  It's pretty amazing.


source

Friday, May 7, 2010

New Job!!

I love my new job.  I work as a receptionist at a scenic river float company in Jackson, Wyoming.  And I love my job.

My last job could be quite stressful, and I came home in tears way too often because of the stress and frustration.  This new job's biggest stresser so far is the possibility of being too bored. 

Seriously.

For instance, I'm on hour 10 of an 11 hour work day.  I answer the phones and do regular desk work stuff like answer and compose emails, fax, and make sure everything is running smoothly.  I had yesterday off, and Wednesday I worked another 11 hour day.  On Wednesday I had quite a few things to do, but today my to-do list is minimal.  I've talked quite a bit with my coworkers (which pretty much means at least an hour of hanging out) and I've had two cups of coffee.  It's a very good day. 

It's snowed almost every day since we've been here.  Today isn't exactly balmy but it's about 50 degrees out, sunny, and the birds are singing like they just can't stop.  It's gorgeous.  I am very happy indeed. 

Morgan, who's my boss but doesn't like being called so, told me that it will get boring during the summer, and that I am welcome to watch shows on Hulu, or to bring movies and books.  He told me that if he were in my position, he'd work outside for most of the summer, coming in only to recharge the computer as necessary.

I love my job.

And I love Jackson.  I miss my California friends a ton, and I miss Catalyst just as much.  The churches out here cannot hold a candle to what I love about Catalyst-- its intellectual teaching, its questioning of everything until you know why you believe it, its very unique feel and look and community.  There is one year-round homeless person here.  And apparently she is quite well fed and clothed.  It's definitely not Humboldt, where social justice has such a near and always-present application.  But it will do.

I love these mountains.  I love this town.  I eagerly look forward to Kendra and Cody's move here, as I will be able to spend time with Kendra.  I have a serious need for women friends in my life.  I work with mostly men, and so I will need my dose of estrogen.

My folks are hoping to visit come August, and it's possible my friend Lindsay Rose may visit as well, which would be awesome. 

I love the Teton County Library.  It's so great for such a small town!  Even better than I remembered.  So far I've borrowed season 1 of Battlestar Galactica (because I can never get enough!!!!), and the following books:

"Love is an Orientation:  Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community" by Andrew Marin

"Christ in a Grain of Sand: An Ecological Journey with the Spiritual Exercises" by Neil Vaney

There is another book too but of course I cannot remember it at the moment.  Nevertheless I am very excited to start reading, and very excited that I get to read out in the sunshine at work!  AND I am making $2.50 more an hour than I was making at my stressful medical office job!

Thanks God!  You are super nice.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Jessica May Lords

So I Googled myself today.  Does everyone else do that?  Good, I'm not a freak.

Guess what I found out?  Jessica Lords is a porn star/stripper.  Jessica May, also a porn star.

Good thing I use JessicaMayLords on the internet!!  As far as I know, there are no porn stars or stripper or prostitutes with that name.  Dude.  Seriously.

ALSO:  many of you found my blog because you Googled "Jessica Lords" and "porn" or "Jessica Lords" and "stripper."  Ohhh yeah.  I know.  Feel a little dirty now, dontcha??

In other news, we drove to Rexburg, Idaho this morning to see my niece Ella Marie Tucker get blessed in the Mormon church.  Most of my husband's family is Mormon, and he grew up Mormon, but is no longer a member.  It was a nice service and it was really great to see a lot of his family.  I got to hold Ella for quite a while in church and at the BBQ after church.  She is such a doll, just incredibly precious.  On our way out to Rexburg we drove through Alpine, as you cannot take trailers on Teton pass at the moment.  It was pretty slow going, but so beautiful!  While in Rexburg, ID, we traded cars with my father-in-law and got our little Hyundai Accent back.  We took Teton pass back to Jackson and made excellent time, only 1.5 hours!  It's so nice to be closer to family.  And Teton pass was GORGEOUS.  There's no way you can see how beautiful it is from this picture, but trust me, it's amazing.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Couch!

Bryan and I picked up a couch today from Browse and Buy, the local Episcopal church's thrift store!  Bryan thinks it's ugly but I actually like it.  We smelled it to make sure it wasn't too nasty, and then decided how much we'd spend on it.  "50 bucks at the most," Bry said and I agreed.

We walked into the store and asked the guy how much he'd take for it.  "Hmmmm, how about $15?"  "SOLD!!!"



Not bad eh??  I will take pictures of our apartment once it's finally done.  And you better believe I'll take pictures of our super-high-storage-area bed.

Jackson!!!

We're here!  In Jackson!!  We have a tiny little studio that would fit into my folks' living room, but whatevs it's OURS.  Okay, by ours I mean we rent it, not own it, because there's no way I would BUY a studio.  But it's great and we really like it.  We're trying to find room for all of our stuff.  We plan on putting some stuff under the bed and just raising the bed... but there's a possibility that we'll have to raise the bed REALLY HIGH to fit everything.  So high that I might need a little stool to get into bed.  But I'm okay with that, as long as our stuff is all out of sight.  It's super great to be back in Jackson, I love this town so much!!

We're trying to hook up internet, but at the moment I'm 'stealing' a neighbor's.  It's very slow though, and occasionally just turns off, so this is going to be a short post!  I'm just happy we're here!!!