Thursday, January 31, 2013

january's score

Last week my new blog-friend Christen (she's awesome, yall should check her out) did a great post where she 'scored' different things that had occurred during the month so that she could give the month an overall...well, score. How many times can I use the same word in a sentence? Anyway. So basically you review things that happened during the month and arbitrarily assign points (positive or negative) to each event, then add 'em up, and voila. Your month's score. I suppose if you did it every month, then you could have a scientific way of comparing months. I can't make that kind of commitment, but her January's Score post definitely entertained me enough to want to straight-up copy her.

So let's take a minute to review the spectacular month of January 2013.

First of all, it was January. I don't like the idea of January that much: -3 pts.

I ripped out my eyelashes. Ugly and traumatizing: -5 pts.

Started my new job: + 5 pts.

Had to say good-bye to my old job/co-workers: -2 pts.

Started the Bird Food Diet: +1 pts. (I'd break that down by giving -3 for missing out on bacon, waffles, and cookies, but +4 for feeling healthier, making good choices, and discovering new foods/recipes)

Beat Matt at foosball a bunch of times: +2 pts.

Lost my ability to sleep through the night: -10 pts.

Discovered a disgusting-but-natural remedy for the insomnia: +5 pts.  

Got a lot of new makeup: +3 pts.

Got to hang out with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law and eat Mexican food!: +4 pts.

Took a cool picture of me and Matt's feet: +1 pt.

Worked out 13 times (yes, I keep track): +13 pts.

Had 24/7 chapped lips and itchy skin: -5 pts.   

Got mentioned on Stirrup Queens: +2 pts.

Haven't died yet of embarrassment due to Fashion Week: +3 pts. 

Starting participating in the Bachelor phenomenon: + 2 pts.

Alright! I'm out of time, so that means my list is done! Let's all pull out our TI-83s and do some advanced calculus here, 'aight? One moment, please!!

And January's total score IS....16!!!!!!!!!!  

Not bad, not bad at all, right? I mean, since I have nothing to compare it to, I'll have to say- way to go, January! Way to beat my expectations. I never thought you'd top an 11.

And now I'm off to join some of my favorite ladies for (most likely non-BFD-approved) Mexican (which will seriously be worth at least 3 more points, but oh well) was your January? Feel free to give your month a completely arbitrary point-total with no justifications whatsoever, because that's how we roll here.     


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

the awkwardness

Lemme ask you something.

Have you ever tried to be a model? Like, solo? Without your friend/life partner/offspring/pet sharing the frame with you, bearing some of the camera's burden on their own shoulders? Okay, but have you ever done all that but also with the full realization that you are a huge dork who cracks up when the camera's on her, doesn't know how to fix her own hair, and whose clothes are all from the Target clearance rack circa 2009?

Right. That just leaves me.

So please imagine how it feels trying to take part in your own self-imposed Fashion Week.

Pretty awesome, basically.

I was going to wait until after the week was over to post some of my extremely inspirational fashion pictures. Buuutttt...that just seems so long, you know? I hate to keep you waiting. And also it would be a really long, photo-heavy post. So I figured I'd go ahead and get two days out of the way. We can call Days 1 and 2 of Fashion Blogger Week "The Awkwardness." Please imagine Diana and I uncomfortably standing around saying "ummmm....what should I do now?" and then posing each other and trying to snap a picture before the model busts out laughing again. YALL. I was not cut out for modeling. Which is convenient since I'm pretty sure I'm too old and slightly too...uh...curvy. So whatever. No skin off my back. (What does that expression even mean??! Sick.)

First of all, you should know: Extensive research has gone into this project!! I mean, we subjected ourselves to hours of looking at fashion blogs...getting ideas for posing, for outfits, for camera angles.

Diana apparently actually gleaned something from all that research. Me? I think I'm too uncomfortable even looking at fashion blogs. I feel embarrassed for the (cool, pretty, skinny, trendy) girls. They're posing alone!! Over and over!! What are they laughing at??! Where are they looking? Who do they con into taking all these pictures every day? So many questions...I can't focus. So anyway. I tried. By day 3 (which I won't show right now) I did at least learn that they always carry something in their hands. A purse. Some 'sunnies' (gag me). Something. So at least that gives them something to do with their hands. Smart girls.

SO. On with The Awkwardness.

Fashion Blogger Week, Erika and Diana Style.

 Ooooohhh I was uncomfortable on Monday!! Out of about 40 pictures, I'm only not-cracking up or looking terrified in like...3. Thank goodness Diana firmly understands the Fashion Blogger Rule about chopping heads off. Why is that trendy? Because then you don't have to continue worrying about "what do I do with my FACE??!"

 I'm going to break the Fashion Blogger Rule about listing where you got your clothes. Maybe that's fun to do if you're bragging about your sweet labels (I'm not) or your clothes are this season's and people could go purchase them if they wanted (mine aren't). The earrings, however, were a gift from Amanda J-- so if you like them (I DO!!), she gets the credit!


 Tuesday was better. Outside is definitely better. Hey-- almost this whole outfit is this season, even! (Fancy labels: TJ Maxx times 2, Forever 21 times 2, Old Navy times 2. I'm an equal-opportunity wearer.)

 From this angle, you can't even tell how disgusting my nails are! Truly, Diana has camera skillz.

 I'm telling you, head-chopped-off pictures are what's up. Never going back.

Alright. So now you've seen the first two awe-inspiring days of Fashion Week. Things can only go up from here, right??

PS. I did the Adrenal Cocktail again last night and slept well again. All you people who were wanting long-term evidence...well, now we've got two nights of success. AKA get your OJ and cream of tarter out, ladies, and get mixin! 

PPS. When I just now "previewed" this post before posting it, it made me cringe. So many pictures! Of me only!! AWKWARD!!! other words, if I hadn't already told you I was gonna do this, I would never, ever post this. I'm mortified in advance. Just so you know.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

the cocktail party cooking show

So I did it. I drank the "adrenal cocktail," just like I said I would. And let me tell you-- blogging is good for accountability. I really might have chickened out last night once I really thought about how nasty it was going to be. But I couldn't! Too many people were waiting with baited breath for feedback! The weight of the insomnia-afflicted blogging world rested on my shoulders! I had to press on! Or at least that's what I told myself. It made it feel much more important that way, and I wouldn't want to punk out on doing something important.

Also: I got Matt to video the whole process. I know- genius, right? But again- weight of the blog on my shoulders. What if you didn't believe that I actually did it? What if it was so nasty I spewed it out and no one believed it happened? For posterity's sake, I needed this occasion to be committed to film (or...whatever it is that holds videos inside a phone. Probs not film, actually).

So here we go, and might I say-- someone should give me a cooking show? One that features me mixing drinks (or homeopathic remedies, as the case may be)? Because I think I have real potential here. I only drop things on the floor like fourteen times. And sprint to the (filled with dirty dishes, let's be honest) sink to spit once. I mean...that's the kind of thing Food  Network is looking for, I believe. Add to it my amazing wardrobe (post-gym and Bachelor-viewing, thankyouverymuch) and how completely naturally and non-hyper I act in front of a camera...recipe for success, yall.

So here you go: The Erika Show- Magical Sleeping Juice ed. (video is 2:30ish)
Right. So.....??? Did it work???

Question of the hour, right??

.....drumroll, please.....

This was me in the car this morning. Does this look like the face of a girl who got some sleep?

Yes. Yes, it does.

Because I slept!!!! Wooooooo!!!! I woke up a few times, but I was able to go back to sleep in a reasonable amount of time, so we're chalking up the night and the juice as a big ol' fat WIN. Matt told me this morning that apparently I grinded (ground?) my teeth all night...which kinda sucks, but at least for a few nights, I'll definitely take that over not-sleeping. And I thanked him profusely for not waking me up to get me to stop grinding (which is what he normally does if I do that). Smart man right there.

Adrenal Cocktail, you complete me. You are super nasty, but totally worth it. I will definitely be drinking you again tonight. Any other brave insomniacs gonna be joining me?? What I'm going to do differently tonight is to have a clean glass of juice already prepared to chase the Cocktail with. And then try to drink a bunch of water before bed because I was definitely super thirsty. But other than that...bottoms up, yall. Chug-a-lug. (You might notice Matt said that to me in the video. It's what we say anytime you have to drink something really nasty because it's what the radiologist tech told me to do in the hospital when I was prepping for the CT scan. That CT scan smoothie is SICK NASTY and the dude stood there and cheered me on by shouting "chug-a-lug!!!" It was pretty awesome, actually.) (Need another example of something that required 'chug-a-lug'ging? Please refer to the Mag Citrate bowel prep I had to do before surgery and accompanying photos of my face reacting to that event.)

Monday, January 28, 2013

desperate measures

So after another night of waking up at 3am and never falling back asleep, I've decided it's time for desperate measures. I mean, it's Fashion Week. I can't be taking Fashion pictures every day with giant bags under my eyes. That's just embarrassing.

So my problem isn't with being sleepy or falling asleep-- I'm going to bed at my normal time (10pm) and falling asleep just fine. The problem comes at about 3am when I wake up and then can never fall BACK asleep. I don't have to pee. I'm not thirsty. I'm not too hot or cold. My mind isn't racing. I don't feel stressed, except for when I anticipate how tired I'll be all day if I can't fall back asleep. 

I've tried hot tea at night. Melatonin pills. A bath before bed. I definitely do not nap or drink caffeine after like 9am. What the heck am I doing wrong here??!

Yesterday Lizzie recommended this webpage and 'recipe,' saying that it did the trick when she was having the same 3am problems. I read through it (and all one billion comments) and decided it sounded totally worth a try. The science seems legit enough. And even if it's not-- what've I got to lose? Another night of sleep? Done and done. I was going to try the recipe last night, but lacked the right kind of salt.

Oh, what's in this recipe, you ask? I'm glad you asked. Prepare yourself for a delicious thought.

1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1/2 tsp. cream of tarter
1/2 tsp. Himalayan or Celtic salt (or sea salt, as per comments)

Mix it all up, do it like a shot.

Because can you imagine how disgusting that tastes? A nice salty, chalky shot of OJ? SICK!!!!! I kinda want to hurl just thinking about it. But seriously, I'd rather hurl then spend another night not-sleeping.

If you're wondering why those three random things might possibly help me sleep through the night, check out the article-- it all has something to do with stress, liver function, and adrenal glands. So, yeah, basically not something I would have come up with on my own.

So anyway. Now you know. Tonight. 9:30pm. Me, OJ, and a few nasty items from the baking cabinet. Throwing it back like a shot. And then, please God please, sleeping through the night.

I'll be sure to keep you posted. If anyone knows any other nasty (or non-nasty, I'd take that too!) home remedies they want me to try, send 'em my way! Apparently I'll stop at nothing...

Sunday, January 27, 2013

weekend, a-z

So awhile back I did this "weekend a-z" recap thing and it was fun and all, so today I figured...why not do it again? Annnnd...then just now when I went to find the link to my last one, I find out it was almost two years ago. In my head I was thinking it was a few months ago. Two years. This just in: I'm getting really old and my memory is failing me. Yikes. Well, at least I remembered doing it, right? Silver linings, folks: always be looking for them.

So here we goes my lame attempt at organizing the randomness of my thoughts and weekend. Go!

A is for Aluminum Foil: The material we cover the sitting-part of our couches in every time we leave the house these days. It's an effective Lola-repellant and gives our house that very modern look we're going for (yeah, right)...apparently she just woke up one day and decided it was fine to lay on the couches all day when we're gone, now. NOT OKAY, dearest.

B is for Big Girl Camera: Yeah, you thought I gave up on that, huh? Almost. But this weekend Matt & I dusted 'er off and took 'er downtown for some practice (see "T" for evidence).

C is for Couch Potatoes: A pretty good description of Matt, Lola, and I on any given night this weekend.
D is for Dinner: We have successfully meal-planned BFD lunches & dinners for the whole month of January!! I'm so proud of us!

E is for Energy: Something I lack when I don't sleep at night (see "I") and then can't have a normal amount of caffeine. Booooo.

F is for Fashion: My friend-turned-coworker Diana and I sometimes like to pretend we're fashion bloggers, so we take awkward pictures of ourselves. 
 But GET READY, because we have declared this upcoming week to be "Fashion Week" and we're doing it EVERY DAY. I know. Can you handle the excitement? 

G is for the Gym and Grocery Store: Two important players in our exciting Saturday ritual.

H is for Half-Marathon: Something I would never, ever, do. HA! Did you think I was about to say I'd signed up for one or something? Are you INSANE? Have you ever met me?

I is for Insomnia: also known as, why the heck do I wake up at 3am every night and why can't I go back to sleep? Uggggggh.

J is for Jesus: I'm a big fan of his. 

K is for Kiwi: one of the many fruits we dehydrated this weekend. Other victims include apples, bananas, strawberries, plantains, and mangoes. 

L is for Lip Glaze: I received the set of Stila Lip Glazes I'd ordered from Sephora last week and OH MY GOSH I love them. I got a set of 8 and I am obsessed with all of the colors. Love the balance of pigmentation and shine in these, and the texture is awesome.

M is for Mexican Food: The love of my life and passion of my soul. And lunch on Saturday.

N is for New Recipes: We've made SO MANY of these lately and most of them have been great! Last night's dinner was one of our favorites yet, with bonus points for being insanely cheap and easy: Tuscan White Bean and Roasted Garlic Soup.
O is for Organic: Shout-out and big high fives to Aldi for the big increase in their organic food and produce offerings of late! In just the past few weeks they've started carrying SO many more organic items that are still way affordable...WIN!

P is for Poop: Matt and I had nursery duty at church today and while changing a very dirty diaper I GOT POOP ON MY FINGER!!!!!!!!!!!! It was really nasty. Maybe it would be less disgusting if it were my own kid's, but I don't know.

Q is for Queen of Hearts: The title of the book I'm test-reading for my friend Colleen. Did quite a bit reading on that this weekend and it's SO good!!

R is for Reading: Something I did a LOT of this weekend. 

S is for Scratching: I feel like I do this NONSTOP these days. For some reason I itch like...all the time. Especially my legs. And shoulders. And wrists. Possible reasons: I have chicken pox. I have poison ivy. I'm allergic to my skin. All of these I have ruled out, so feel free to offer other possible explanations.

T is for Train Tracks: Where we decided to pose for our photo shoot on Saturday.

U is for U-Verse: We signed up for U-Verse for our internet at home. Yay for being able to use all of our computers again!

V is for Vacuuming: I finally cleaned out my car this weekend (it's been on my weekend to-do list for like...months) and even vacuumed it! I barely recognize it anymore.

W is for Weather: On Friday, there was a chance of 'wintery precipitation' (and it sleeted for about .2 seconds). On Tuesday the high is 72. Welcome to Georgia!

X is for Gas-X: As in, something we had to make a special trip to Target to buy. Apparently the massive increase in fiber-y things and beans in our diets does special things to one's digestive system??

Y is for Yellow Primrose: The plant Matt bought me yesterday. Yellow because it's my favorite color, primrose because it reminded him of Hunger Games. Does my man know me well or what?
Z is for Zumba: The best way to workout ever, except for if you're in the middle of a great book that you can't put down, in which case the only acceptable workout is walking on a treadmill or elliptical because that won't interrupt your reading. I speak from experience, kids.