Friday, January 30, 2009

Newest Obsession; Scarves.

I used to only think that scarves were for wear only in the winter when it was absolutely freeeezing outside and you needed something to wrap around your neck up to your ears. These scarves were often of the fleece or (very itchy) wool variety and immediately found their way back into the rubbermaid bin at winter's end. Well friendly bloggers, I've turned over a new leaf.

Scarves are my new most favorite accessory! (Okay, so maybe I'm a little late jumping on this fashion train?) Paired with a cute cashmere short-sleeve sweater or simple cotton long sleeve T.. or even a solid color sweater dress! scarves have become my latest fashion must-have. Ever since Hubs has me on a strict bi-weekly allowance, (boo, hiss *gasp!*) scarves have become an inexpensive way to spice up some of my usual ensembles!

Here are a few that I've picked up over the last couple weeks..
(The first three come from Urban Outfitters and the fourth is from Nordstrom!)

Just a little something to add a splash of color to your wardrobe! Looove them!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Maybe Cancer Took A Snow Day?

Ok, I've been at work for a little over an hour now and we've only seen three patients. Would it be too much to ask if the day continued like this? I know it's too good to be true and within a matter of minutes the waiting room will be standing room only, but a girl can wish, can't she?

For those of you who don't know, I am a Chemotherapy Infusion Nurse working in an Outpatient Oncology clinic in the city. After four and a half years in the acute inpatient hospital setting, I decided to make the move to the "other side." Basically my day consists of starting IV's, hanging chemotherapy, transfusing blood products and managing the occasional emergent admission to the ER. Not to mention sharing laughs with a few of my favorite patients. It's been a great transition and certainly a nice break from the emotional and physical exhaustion that so often crept into life on the inpatient Bone Marrow Transplant unit.

Speaking of nurses, this was passed along to me by a few girls I went to college with. It gave me a good chuckle!

"NURSES: People to work long hours with frequent mandatory overtime. Few holidays and weekends off. Must be able to keep massive amounts of paperwork up to date while making split-second, life or death decisions. Must be immune to verbal abuse and able to neutralize the occasional physical assaults. Must display patience, kindness, understanding and caring even when your personal life is coming apart at the seams.. Must show no aversion to blood, vomit, oozing infections or human body wastes. Salary in no way commensurates with knowledge and ability."

I LOVE my job.

It's Snowing/Sleeting But You Still Have to Work Day.

There are few times during the year that I wish I had chosen the route of being a teacher. Typically June, July and August, followed by the occasional Jewish holiday, government holiday and finally, any of the days during December, January and February that qualify as "snow days."

Crap, who am I kidding? I'll even take a delayed opening here and there.

Alas, being a nurse is much like working for the United States Postal System. Guaranteed to be be there, "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds." Although this might be the "unofficial" creed of the USPS, didn't I hear Florence Nightengale say something like that?

Unfortunately, hospitals do not have "snow days." Lucky for me, the hospital will often provide stretchers set up in the hallway for those nurses who fear they might not be able to make it back through the storm in the morning. (No thanks. I'll stay at the Sheraton down the road!)

So there I was.. Four-thirty in the morning, shoveling the driveway with a puppy that wasn't much help. No matter what direction I tried to throw the snow in, he would always be there- dumb look on his face and sticks in his mouth. (Why couldn't life be that simple for me?)

Here's to hoping this was the first (and last) "snow storm" of the season. Five inches of powder and an inch or two of slushy ice-ness is enough for this nurse.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Welcome to Married Life.

And spending your perfectly good Saturday perusing the (often intimidating) aisles of Home Depot.

Having recently graduated from apartment living to home living, I've suddenly realized that Hubs and I spend a majority of our Saturdays at Home Depot, Lowe's, or some other Brand-Of-Home-Improvement type store. And no, not HomeGoods, which I could definitely and would definitely not mind spending every Saturday in.

This Saturday Hubs and I were on the lookout for a countertop. Anyone in their right mind would guess that we're looking to install said countertop in the kitchen, right? Wrong. Hub's latest brilliant idea was to install the countertop as a desk in the office. I know, I know. It sounds crazy, but having witnessed the final product, I can say with 100% certainty that it looks pretty damn good (although it does lack much needed drawer space).

It doesn't take long for Hubs and I to pick out the perfect shade of laminate, only because Hubs turfed the decision to me, knowing full well that I'd had the perfect shade picked out in my head before we even set foot in the store. (He's good, isn't he?)

Having learned in the past to come fully prepared to these sorts of places (at-home measurements in the pocket and tape measure in-hand) Hubs set to measuring the perfect pseudo-desktop. We knew we'd have to have the countertop cut to size and assumed that Home Depot would be able to do it for us. Isn't that what they're there for "You Can Do It, We Can Help!?" Well, not-so-much. For the record, Home Depot will not help you re-size your laminate countertop.

[Enter the Hunt for the Great Circular Saw]

That's right. In all his Tim-Allen-Home-Improvement-Argh-Argh-Argh glory, Hubs is beside himself now that he has an excuse to buy a disaster. Err, I mean table saw. I can picture it now.. a late night trip to the emergency room, fingers in a zippy (ziplock baggy). Why do men love power tools so much?!

Scratch that thought. I thought for a moment it was sort of like my love affair with JCREW and unneccesary shoes- but it's not like you can wear your circular saw out to dinner on the weekend. I mean, really. Power tools? Men are SO weird.

Of course we had to splurge and buy the cordless version for an extra one hundred dollars. In my head I'm thinking "so, does this mean more stipend for moi?" I didn't have the heart to ask. Instead, I was too busy asking what one would use a "planer" for. Or perhaps, a "lopper." Yes, these are real names of items found in Home Depot. I kid you, not.

In an effort to appease (so that I would not feel left out) Hubs bought me a label maker. So here we were, two twenty-something newlyweds at home on a Saturday evening; Hubs in the driveway sawing whatever he could get his hands on and me, in the kitchen, labeling our spices in the indiscriminate spice rack (that did not come with spices, might I add).

Oh and I might have labeled the dog.

And the coat rack hooks.

Okay, so maybe I went a little overboard with the label maker. Welcome to married life.

A Little Bit O' Sullivan.

Sullivan, 5 mo. old, enjoying his first snowfall.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Pet Peeves. Scratch that, People Peeves.

My work schedule varies and I despise public transportation. Therefore, I am a glutton for gridlock punishment. I do not love the hour long commute that I have in the mornings before work and I especially do not love the hour and a half that it takes for me to drive home some evenings. However, there are times that I do appreciate the alone time and rocking out in my car to the latest hits.

Want to know one thing that REALLY bugs me?

People that drive up to the head of a long line of traffic and chisel their way in. While I’d be willing to give the allowance for people who are honestly trying to catch a flight, or get a family member to the hospital, most of them just do it because they feel their time is more valuable than everyone else’s, and they feel reasonably confident they can get away with it without consequences.

Right, like the other 13 cars lined up at the red light haven't been sitting for seven minutes waiting to make a right turn.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

You've Been Tagged!

No, not you. Me. I've been tagged. (Thanks fellow blogger, Aliya!) Apologies for posting late, as I've had these questions sitting in my back pocket for over a week now!

And now I'm supposed to impart 7 Random Facts about myself. (This has proven to be much more difficult than it seems!)

7. I've been playing the drums since I was in the 5th grade. Actually, I started off playing only the bass drum (you know, the giant drum that often sits on a stand that you beat with a large mallet?) I then graduated to the snare drum which I wore, harnessed to myself, for a church Christmas Pageant one year. Believe it or not I walked down the center aisle of the church to the Little Drummer Boy. (Sometimes I wish I was kidding). Eventually I put it all together and can jam like a rockstar on the Pearl drumset that sits in the basement of my parent's house.

6. I am a junk-food whore. Sometimes I wish I could fore-go real meals and substitue them with tasty things such as mint chocolate chip ice cream and watermelon sour patch candy. I do not discriminate, either. Any type of junk food will do! (And to think I've only had four cavities in my entire lifetime...)

5. The first concert I ever attended was outdoors and it was James Taylor. The only thing I remember about it, is my Popples sleeping bag that I sat on. I was four years old. The second concert I attended was New Kids on the Block and while standing on the flip-up theatre seats, my leg got stuck and nobody could get it out. That's all I really remember about that concert. I was in the second grade.

4. I once won a national medal in competitive figure skating, but quit soon after because I couldn't stand feeling cold all of the time.

3. I've always wanted to be a nurse. Except for a short stint in the fifth grade when I thought I wanted to be a veterinarian. People.. animals.. you say potato, I say po-taht-o. And even though my job sometimes sends me home in tears, I wouldn't change it for the world.

2. Although born a brunette, I've spent more years of my life as a blonde and even in my dreams, I've always had blonde hair. It is true, blondes do have more fun (and get more free things, like slices of pizza, movie tickets, cups of coffee at Starbucks, etc.) than brunettes.

1. Both my underwear and sock drawers are organized by color AND arranged by size/type. (ie: underwear is separated by type, whether it be boy shorts, thongs or "work" underwear and further separated by color and/or pattern. The same goes for socks (ie: sport socks, dress socks, "work" socks) and again, balled up into rows of distinguishing color. It's a good thing I have large drawers. Did I mention my closet? You guessed it. Organized by clothing item and color. Black, navy (and other blues), grey, khaki/creme/beige, white, pink, and finally green(s). I guess you can say I have a mild-grade of OCD! However, look at my shoe rack and I'm a disaster! Since I have been unable to find a rack large enough to accomodate my ever-growing addiction, my shoes are spilling out all over the place! (Oops!)

Ok, now I am supposed to tag several other fellow "bloggers/blogettes" so that we can get to know a little more about you! Here goes:

Chesed - "Sturdy Up, Sturdy Up Your Heart"

Amanda - A Day Inside My Mind

Vanessa - Journey to James 1:27

Melissa - Melissa Manzione Photograpy

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Wii (un)Fit

Wii Fit, where fun meets fitness (and a whole lot of sore muscles).

Hubs does not want for much, so when he started asking for a Nintendo Wii, I knew it would be the perfect birthday present. Okay, so I might have tripped up an old lady with a cane and trampled a few pre-teen gamers to secure what must have been the last available Wii in Pennsylvania- but I only did so out of love for my wonderful husband. The Wii, purchased in September, quickly took the place of Hub's college graduation present, a "that's-so-2004" XBOX and provided the M household with countless hours of entertainment. Whether it be a Friday night filled with friends, beers and bowling or a weeknight battle of old-school Mario Bros, we've enjoyed every minute.

And then I decided I wanted a Wii Fit.

Hubs came through this Christmas with the entire Wii Fit package, complete with an "on-the-go" carrying case, Wii Fit water bottle and workouts galore. Whether you're interested in strength training, balance exercises, yoga poses or muscle workouts, Wii Fit has it all. (The only thing it's lacking is a boot to kick your butt in gear when you don't feel like working out!)

I've never been much of a fan of the gym so I thought this would be a great way to stay, well... fit. (Don't get me wrong. I don't plan to substitue healthy eating habits and a good run here and there with a video game sytem promising "a healthly alternative to that dull workout routine,") but how could I pass up "Fun and Fitness in One Single Product?!" Sounds like a great time, if you ask me!

That is, until I came face to face with the Hula Hoop game.

Me: Wow, my sides are so sore.

Hubs: Did you pull something at work?

Me: No. I think it's from the Wii.

Hubs: Seriously? What were you doing?

Me: I hula-hooped for a good 20 minutes. I even unlocked "Super Hula-Hoop!"

Hubs: (trying to stifle his laughter) Wait, you're saying you're sore from hula-hooping?

Me: It's a good core workout!

Hubs: Aww, did you hurt your hula muscle?

Funny, Hubs. I'd like to see you hula hoop for 379 spins and then we'll see who's laughing!

Monday, January 12, 2009

New Year. New Budget.

I am not frugal. I am not thrifty. And I have been known to spend an exorbitant amount of money on a handbag and/or Cashmere cardigan sweater (I can't help it, it was the first 100% Cashmere item I would own AND it matched my tweed pants perfectly). However, in my defense I will say that I am wise enough to keep myself out of debt; I just tend to have expensive taste (something Hubs will never understand).

When you're married to a man who has a double degree in Finance, you can't help but live your spending life guided by an Excel spreadsheet. In Hub's defense, he is brilliant when it comes to managing money (although I will admit, he is a little... economical when it comes to the unneccesary) which, in reality, makes for a very successful businessman.

In recent months, Hubs and I have proven that we're not exactly the "budget" kind of couple. I can't even begin to recant the numerous spreadsheets we've created that delineated everything from "Student Loans" and "Dining Out" to "Dry Cleaning" and "Manicures/Pedicures." We always start off strong, but shortly thereafter the budget falls by the wayside.

Until now. I know we're only 15 days into 2009 but that's a big deal for us. We're quickly becoming budget pro's and I've actually begun to enjoy saving money. Not only is it fun and exciting to watch our long term savings account grow, but I'm getting a kick out of all the funny names I've come up with to rename our account ("The Great Big House Hunt," "Future Millionaire's Club," "Chump Change.") Okay, so I might be the only one who gets a kick out of it.

What's even funnier is my bi-weekly allowance (or stipend) as I prefer to call it.

Yes, you heard correctly. Every two weeks, my husband hands over my cash allowance for what he likes to call "my habit." And if you were to reference one of the many Excel spreadsheets, you would take note that this money is to be used for the follow things:

  • manicures

  • pedicures

  • anything involving a spa and/or salon


  • unecessary shoes

I'm not kidding. It's actually spelled out so as not to confuse. Don't get me wrong, I love that Hubs continues to let me indulge in the finer, uneccesary things in life, but do you know how difficult it is to stretch 140 dollars over two weeks? My eyebrows have seen much better days but I just can't fathom spending $12.00 to have them done when that $12.00 could clearly be put towards this new houndstooth jacket I've been eyeing at JCREW, or the pair of Under Armour Fleece Team sweatpants that would make early morning dog walks that much more bearable!

I guess maybe it's time to say goodbye to my $20.00 tubes of Dior Show Mascara (gasp!) and go back to the days when I was strictly a Great Lash Blackest Black Maybelline girl. And who needs a new pair of brown riding boots anyway? I guess I could wear one of the three pairs of tall UGG boots that I have.

::dejected sigh::

I did mention that I'm really enjoying saving all this money, right?

That Celery Is Too Big.

I've never been a picky eater, which means I'll always try something at least once and more times than not, I'll learn to love it. I am, however, appalled at how picky adults can be when it comes to food, especially in public places.

While standing in line at a local sandwhich shop in the city:

Woman Behind Me: (to young man at the bread station) I'll have a "skinny" tuna on whole wheat. Actually, exactly how big are the chunks of celery in the tuna?
Bread Guy: Um, pretty average, I guess. It's sliced?
Woman: Well, would you say it's a big chunk? Or a sliver?
Bread Guy: It's a sliver, I would say.
Woman: Can I see it?
Bread Guy: (shows Woman a scoop of tuna)
Woman: That might be too big. I'd say that's a chunk.
Bread Guy: So, do you want the tuna or not?
Woman: Could I try it?
Bread Guy: (looking around, anticipating the "Surprise! You're on Candid Camera!) I guess so. (hands Woman plastic spoonful of tuna)
Woman: I was right. These are chunks of celery. That celery is just too big. Thanks anyway. I'll have a diet coke.

Seriously? Seriously.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Lassie or Sullivan?

Sullivan barks. A lot. But only in response to certain questions. And it's a different bark depending on said question. For example, his "Hurry up, I need to pee" bark is far different from his "I know you're really busy but I really want to play" bark. Picture the following scenario:

It's 7:30am and in his usual fashion, Sullivan is paws-up on my side of the bed barking in my ear to let me know that he can't possibly hold it any longer and that it's time to take him out. In an attempt to obtain an extra 15 minutes of sleep, I tell him to go bother Dad. Being the intelligent Sheepie that he is, Sullivan trots around to Hub's side of the bed and begins his rant.

Now, in order to discern that which he wants, we usually have to ask him the follow questions.

"Do you have to go out?"

"Are you hungry?"

"Do you have to go poops?"

(And sometimes we continue to ask the appropriate question just to hear him bark- which by then has become a string of annoyed yip-yaps and howls.)

Mike: Sully, what do you want? Out?
Sully: Bark, Bark, Woof.
Mike: Poops?
Sully: Bark, Bark, Bark.
Mike: Ok, are you hungry?
Sully: (tired, frustrated and on the brink of bladder explosion) Bark, Bark, Bark. Bark.
Mike: Ohmygod, He's in the well?
Sully: (totally freaking out, trying to pull the covers off the bed)
Mike: Little Timmy's in the well? For TWO hours?
Sully: (howling)
Mike: And little Janey is there, too? Well, go get them!

(I'm blogging from work (gasp!) and I have to stifle the laughter.) It's never a dull moment in the M household.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

What Are You Eating?!

One of the first things I can remember learning about in nursing school is a condition known as pica.

As per Wikepedia, "Pica is a medical disorder characterized by an appetite for substances largely non-nutritive (e.g., coal, soil, chalk, paper, soap, etc.)" Seriously. And you thought your mom cooked up some questionable meals as a kid growing up? For those of you interested in unnatural medical disorders (such as myself) you can read more about it here.

So why blog about a strange, slightly hilarious medical condition?

I think Sullivan has pica. Why do I think that? Particularly because Hubs and I spend the majority of our waking hours asking/shouting/muttering, "Sullivan, WHAT ARE YOU EATING?"

And more times than not, it is one or more of the following items:

  • elastic hair ties
  • toilet paper (preferably straight from the roll)
  • bubble wrap
  • underwear (direct from the laundry basket)
  • Q-tips (only if they've been used and discarded in the trash bin, (ew gross!))
  • UGGS (tall, chocolate please. the short sand ones don't taste as good)
  • alcohol pads (that mom continually fails to remove from her scrub pockets after work!)
  • dryer sheets
  • shoelaces (only while being tied)
  • sunglasses (forget the cheap ones left behind by somebody at a dinner party one night, mom's Von Zippers, straight from hawaii, taste the best)
  • decorative wicker baskets (and whatever they contain)
  • twist ties
  • and cell phones (only when ringing)

So much for spending such an exorbitant amount of money on fancy, new fangled top-of-the-line dog toys. There's clearly plenty of fun and exciting (and cheap!) things to chew on around the house!


Hubs being hilarious, yet again.

Here's a little necessary history: Hubs and I have the same pair of Oakleys. In his defense, he had them first. It all started one day way back when, while Hubs and I were driving around in my car. In typical AMello fashion, I had forgotten to bring my sunglasses along and Hubs, being the gentleman that he is, lent me his pair. He then made the terrible mistake of telling me how good I looked in them. (Ha!)

Sidebar: C'mon. You all know how difficult it is to find the right pair of sunglasses. It's almost as difficult as trying to find the right pair of jeans, or dare I say it, the right swimsuit.

So what was the first thing I did when I got home that day? Went straight to I hate to stray too far from the point of this story, but the first pair of sunglasses were stolen before they even arrived on my doorstep. And so were the second ones. And the third ones. (I wish I was making this up. I made so many phone calls to Oakley's customer service reps that week that they must've thought I was attempting to open up a black market for Oakley Fives).

Thanks, FedEx Man, for leaving me a few ransacked boxes. I hope you enjoyed my sunglasses. All. Three. Pairs. You better look good in tortoise shell frames.


Finally, the sunglasses arrive and every day since then, Hubs and I have been confusing them (although mine are clearly shinier and in pretty-damn-close mint condition).

Fastforward to today. Hubs and I are in the car, again, and he's wearing what I think to be my sunglasses.

Me: Hey, I wonder what happened to my Oakleys?
Hubs: Hm, I have no idea.
(As I check the drop-down sunglass holder in Hub's car)
Me: Hey, here's a pair! (puts them on) Wait, I don't think these are mine. These have a...
Hubs: Yeah, mine have this huge spot in the middle of the right lens.
Me: Yeah, well I think these are yours then (as I try to stealthily switch the sunglasses of the driver)
Hubs: You know, I always get the second best of everything when it comes to you.
Me: (laughing, but knowing it's absolutely true) What?! That's not true!
Hubs: It's okay though, because when I die.. I'm going to be a saint. Just for putting up with you.

They say laughter adds years to your life.. Thank Hubs, you're the best (and the funniest!)
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