Lovely Day For a Guinness

 First, I just want to say...Happy Sunday everyone! This week has been busy! I am trying to (slowly) revamp my blog so if you get a chance, click out of Reader to check it out! I updated my Bookshelf and Around The World pages and added a List of Lists page. So what's happened this week, you ask? Well...let me show you!

I drove around small town America. 

Commerce, MO
 Went wild in the Target dollar section...

If only I had more storage space!
 I found this new kind of Ruffles. Has anyone tried these? They seem interesting. 

I found this bar. Jo Mamas!

I got caught in a thunderstorm! 
Yes I was driving when I took these. No, I did not die.

But then it was finally cool enough for a nice run! 
(see...not driving for this pic!)

I found this sign, which I thought was pretty funny. 

And I found a tiny pony! He was only about 3 ft tall! So cute! While stopped on the side of the road to take this photo, two guys pulled over to ask me if I was okay. When I said yes, one proceeded to tell me that this tiny pony has a BABY tiny pony. I did not see it that day, but now I am on the lookout.

I made a new running playlist. I have a post in the works about why it is all rap. 

Then yesterday I did my very favorite thing in the world. Made a pitcher of this. 

And relaxed with this. 

How was your week? How is your weekend going?

This post is part of these hops: 



My Email Inbox

I get a lot of things in my email inbox that I usually just throw away. This week I thought I would share some of my junk with you. 

I signed up for Skype when I was in Brazil. On Monday I got this in my inbox. 
Even though it just says, "Do more with your Skype credit" or something like that, somehow it's better in Portuguese. 

I also got this from dailymile. Yay!

Which is much better than the last one I showed you. Remember this? Boo.

I got a FREE eCookbook. You can too if you click the photo below!

I had to return something at Amazon. 
Did you know they make you pay your own postage? WTH! 

I got this from Running Ahead. 
Can you read it? No? It says, "Do you really run this fast?" (my speed says 360 MPH) Why, yes, of course I do!

I got this. Isn't this too bad? This makes me sad. You just can't fondle an eReader like you can a real book. You just can't browse Amazon like you can in a real store!

I got this from my buddy Delta. Tempting. I almost want to buy a ticket somewhere! 
Paris anyone? I hear it's beautiful in the fall!

Well, that's it from this week. 
What's in your inbox?


Don't Throw Your Latte Away

I have always been an avid saver and was also a frequent "latte" drinker. I wrote this post after watching a clip on TV about "The Latte Factor".

“Save now. Fewer trips to the cafĂ© now can lead to more vacations later,” says Fidelity.

“Figure out your ‘latte factor’, be it your frequent lunches out, your fetish for new shoes, or your everyday coffee, and minimize it or cut it out entirely,” says the man on CNBC.

This seems to be a common theme with the retirement gurus. Skip the coffee, save a few extra dollars for later. It makes sense, right? 5 dollars a day for coffee can lead to an extra 1300 dollars a year in your savings account. To me it does make sense, and to one friend whose dad’s motto is “save today, spend tomorrow” but not everyone agrees with us.

I spoke with another friend who when I suggested she start saving money now, said, “Why worry about later all the time when you should be thinking about having fun right now?” At first I thought, “Wow, she is so naive! She is going to be screwed later!” Then I spoke to my dad, who was the one that first taught me how to save. He said, “Sure, cut out your latte now and then, but don’t deprive yourself of all fun now by always worrying about later.”

Dad saves the day again. Leave it to him to depart some words to the wise regarding finances. Save now, sure, but have fun in the meantime. What is the point of saving all your life if you are not going to get to enjoy it? I am not saying that I am going to die tomorrow, but…what if I did? Would I be happy with my life so far? Would I wish that I had blown a little more money on shoes instead of scrimping and saving for my non-existent retirement?

Why can't we have both? I am going to have fun now. AND save for later. It will be mine. Oh yes, it will be mine.

**Since the original airing of this post, I have saved approximately $5000 by not going to Starbucks 5 x a week.** You can also see my original follow up post for this one HERE.   

Confession Wednesday Button

This post is part of the Red Dress Club's writing meme: Find something that you're proud of, but something you haven't read for awhile. Do a complete overhaul. It is also  part of Flashback Friday with Karen at A Peek at Karen's World and Coffee Talk with FTLOB

What about you? Are you a saver or a spender? What do you spend your "latte" money on? 


Wine & Love (2)

Wine and Love, brought to you by Nora, is a list of things that make you want to reach for a bottle of wine vs. things you love for the week!


- The same project as last week's meeting. The drama continues. There are a lot of high profile people involved. Actually, there are simply a lot of PEOPLE involved. There seems to be a lot of miscommunication due to too many cooks in the kitchen.

- Bugs. I went running last night and got several in my eyes and mouth. I spent half of my run fighting them, wiping them and spitting them.

- More bugs. I was warned of chiggers, but thought I had escaped them. Until I keep finding random really itchy bites in my pants line and sock line, which is where I was warned I would find them. Itchy bugs are the worst!

- The heat. Still. It is not quite as bad, but it is still hard to get motivated to do anything.


- The weather last Sunday. It rained and it was cool enough to take a very happy run.

- That run was good too. I ran roughly a 9 minute mile for three miles. I AM finally getting stronger!

- Peaches. They are fresh right now and you can buy them on the side of the road. Yummy!

- This weekend. I am looking forward to relaxing, taking some photos and working on a few projects I have in the works. Hopefully I can catch up on some personal things!

- Work has been busy. It goes by fast and I am feeling productive. Except for number one in the wine category, things are going well. Most of the people I am working with are great!

What about you? What have you loved or not loved (needed a glass of wine for) this week?


I Wish it Were Sundae

This looks like a good dinner to me.
Okay, just kidding. It's time to go running now!


Normal is as Normal Does

Fellow blogger Nora mentioned that this blog was talking about what it is like to be "Normal". She mentioned how she some of the things on the list pertain to her and some don't. The same applies to me. However, personally, I think this guy has watched Fight Club too many times. He treats "normal" as if it were a disease. He says that "normal" is people who, "work jobs that they don’t like in order to buy things they don’t need to impress people they don’t care about."

Hello? Tyler Durden already said this, and I quote -- "Generations have been working in jobs they hate, just so they can buy shit they don't really need."

We all feel it. The rat race. The necessity of working to get things that we want. Or sometimes things that we think we should have, or our kids should have. Or that we should want. So what? 

I spend all my hard earned money on travel. I haven't "settled down" and "had kids" and done what "normal" people do. So what? On the other hand I have too many pairs of shoes. I work so I can eat overpriced food and buy yet another book that I don't need or a sweater that will last me for one season. Does it make me happy? Yes! Do I NEED it? No. Of course not. 

Really, what do we actually NEED? Food, shelter, warm clothing and love. So I have a new list for you. Normal people eat. Normal people try to keep dry. Normal people wear socks. And Normal people want hugs. What's wrong with being normal? 

He is very negative about being "normal". I guess he sees normal as working all the time trying to make money so you don't have time to commit to friends. Also, some of the things he says are "normal", I am not sure I agree with. He says things like how normal people are divorced, have their kids in day care, don't take care of their health and watch 4 hours of TV a day...but he says nothing of positive "normal" activities". The title of his article is "normal sucks".

Normal doesn't suck. Normal people are you and me. Normal is family and friends and yes, being busy trying to make money so we can afford to visit them. Normal is a mixture of work and vacations. Normal is trials and tribulations and successes. Normal is a mixture of happy and sad. Normal is not perfect. Normal is only what WE make it.

So let's make normal a good thing!

(by the way, when I googled "Tyler Durden", I got this: Amy Winehouse has been found dead at her home in Camden, north London. What? Sorry Amy! RIP)


It's a Wrap

This week has been a very busy one! I spent a lot of time outside, taking pictures of road damage. Fun! Those don't get included here though!

It's been a HOT week!
Notice the "feels like"
Last Sunday, I went to watch the World Cup with friends. Man, those girls are awesome! They came sooooo close! SO CLOSE! On the way there I took some pictures of barns. MO has plenty of them! You can see other barn and random photos I've taken each week here.

Big barn. Little shed.

Matching car and Barn.

My fave. Has a bunch of campaign signs on it. "Free advertising"!

Barn and Mini Silo
On Monday, I was featured at Yep They Are All Mine! I also ran 6 miles, which was NOT fun! See the face below? That means "this run was okay". Also note, I ran it VERY slowly. It was HOT! Did I mention that yet?

On Tuesday, I was nominated on FTLOB for "Best in Travel". You still have 6 days left to cast your vote! (click here)

A coworker's daughter brought Jamaican Meat Patties from South Florida (I mentioned them in this post). Have you ever had a meat patty? They are delicious! Here is a pic for your viewing pleasure.

Jamaican Meat Patty (beef)
On Friday, I ran my fastest mile in a while! Actually I ran 4 miles, but the first one was especially fast for me, so I am only showing you that one. (The others were all about 9:10) And it was about 90 degrees outside. Maybe I am getting used to the heat? Shaaah. And monkeys might fly out of my...(if you have seen Wayne's World, you know the rest of this sentence.)

Hurrah! Getting faster!
I found my NEW favorite thing at the grocery store (number 1 on this list)! It's pretty awesome. (You guys have probably already known about it for years.)

I've also spent some time writing over at WRTR: Go and check it out! This week I wrote about "dangerous" things, Bolivian style.

Thanks for reading! And don't forget: 

This post is part of Kim's Grab a Beer and Look What I Did Last Week hop, as well as the FTLOB Sunday Comment Love Day!



Randoms: A Grocery Store List

{1}  Am I the last one to find out about this? I don't like milk. But THIS is good! (I am sure I have talked about my love of coconut before, a couple of times maybe.) I just found it the other day and I love it. Also, if you go to this site, you will get .75 cents off. I did not know about that, but I will use it next time! I wonder if I could use it to make this dish?

{2} Blueberries are good. And right now they are pretty cheap! Get some today! I never really liked them before because I don't like fruit when it is mushy and I must have had bad ones. The berries I have been getting lately though, have been firm and fantastic! They are like candy. 

{3} I buy groceries from Walmart. Because that's how you do it in the Midwest. Do our Walmarts in CA even have a separate grocery store? I don't think so. However, in Louisiana that's how they did it. Except let me warn you, if you are going grocery shopping in Louisiana, I suggest you stay away from the Walmart. It a scale of 1 - 10 on Walmart horribleness, the New Orleans Walmarts are up around 8 or 9. Missouri Walmart is closer to a 5. It's not too bad! 

{4} Speaking of Walmart, I was looking for Tahini (to make hummus), which is generally in the "Ethnic Foods" aisle. However, that aisle in Walmart has....Mexican, Asian and Italian. And by Italian, I mean pasta. The pasta takes up 99% of the aisle and there is a tiny corner with some soy and enchilada sauce.

{5} I miss Trader Joes! Does anyone know if there is a Southeastern, MO equivalent? What I miss most is the cheap selection of this. Oh and if you buy this you can make a really simple salad. All you need is spinach, caramelized walnuts, strawberries and goat cheese. Easy! (to caramelize your own walnuts, all you need is sugar, water and a baking sheet -- I will let eHow explain.) Just mix them all together and voila! It's a great summer salad!

{6} Why do I always, ALWAYS get in the slowest lane? The other day when I went shopping, I saw a short line. I was headed towards it and a lady totally cut me off! So I went in the one next to that one. Then the lady in front was SLOWLY putting her stuff on the conveyor, talking to the cashier and double checking the price of each item -- "wait, mam" she says to the cashier, "are you SURE that suchandsuch is 4.99? I though it was 4.97." Price check on register 4!! Then she started in on me -- "Is that turkey jerky any good?" I was like, "Mam, I don't give a crap, can you please just move it along? This is not a social call! I am on my lunch break. I just want to buy my 3 items and get out of here." (well, obviously I didn't really say that.) Finally the lady was done writing out her check and then the cashiers had to switch shifts. Then the new cashier is blocked from the computer or something...and they have to call a manager... The entire time I am eyeballing the lane I was GOING to go to until that lady cut me off and STOLE my place in line. 17 people have been checked out already through THAT line. It never fails.

{7} One time Mr. Lovely was in line at...you guessed it...Walmart (he HATES Walmart). In front of him was a lady with a shopping cart FULL of stuff. She also had about 4 kids who were running back and forth, depositing things in the cart while she was in line. She finally got to the front of the line, the cashier ran all of her stuff (while the kids were still bringing things and throwing them on the conveyor), and then the lady whipped out her food stamp debit card thingy. The cashier swipes it and says, "mam, you only have 15 dollars left on the card (mind you the total was a couple hundred dollars)" The lady makes her start taking things off the bill, one by one. Until she gets down to a 12 pack of beer and a few other items. The cashier says, "Mam you can't buy alcohol with the food stamp debit card thingy". The lady says, "fine, never mind" and leaves with nothing. Mr. Lovely was LIVID. I think he had one thing. I don't think he will ever go back to Walmart again after that. He will sit in the car and make me go in.

Okay, so maybe this should have been the Walmart List.

Have you had any weird grocery store experiences? Have you found any new products lately that you love!? 


Dear Ponytail

Dear Ponytail, 
Please come back! I miss you! My other hair just gets in my face all the time. And we both know I hate confrontation!

Pathetic excuse for a ponytail. (along with umpteen clips!)

dear coworker, 
sentences begin with capital letters. anything else just looks unprofessional.

Dear Coworker, 
Sentences end with periods How else will I know when you are done making your point

Dear Coworker, 
"A part" and "apart" mean two different things! You need to learn to tell them apart.

Dear Weekend, 
I liked you better when you were two days long. One day is barely enough for errands and a nap.  

Dear Blog Commenters, 
A comment that says, "I am following you. Please follow me back at ____" is not acceptable. If I like your blog, I will follow it. If you do that, I will not.

Dear Trader Joes,
I know we haven't seen each other in a while. You live so far away from me now. You and me and (2 buck) Chuck need to get together soon! 
Dear Coffee,
I love you. I can't get enough of you. You really get me going. Grrrr.

Dear Summer, 
Most of the time, you are great. However, you are a little bit too intense right now. I think we need some time apart. (not "a   part")

Dear Sleep,
I wish we could see each other more often. Especially last night. I really needed you.

Dear Andy's Frozen Custard, 
What are you? Are you ice cream? Frozen Yogurt? I may have to go and do some recon to find out. 

Dear California, 
I miss you. Your weather. Your people. Your rivers and mountains! When will I see you again?

Dear Readers, 
What would you like to tell your coworkers/summer/your favorite drink today?


Wine & Love (1)

Well this week I am in need of some wine, so I decided to participate in Nora's Wine & Love series. What it entails is listing things that make you want to drink a glass of wine (bad) and things you love (good) for the week. So, without further ado:


~ I have a big meeting today with some important people. It is going to be a touch one. The subject has gotten out of hand and now a bunch of extra people are involved. I may have to have a glass of wine BEFORE this meeting. I am kidding of course.

~ Long work days. They have been quite busy, so have gone by fast, but I am so tired by the end of the day. It is hard to get up any motivation to do anything afterward.

~ This heat! Today's heat index is 107. My big meeting is outside. Also, I will be using the treadmill again. Speaking of that....

~ Running inside. I would much rather be outside enjoying some scenery. And other people. Besides sweaty, looky-loo contractors. Because that is who is staying at this hotel. They all stare at me when I run on the treadmill at the hotel. It is creepy.

~ Missing my friends. I only get one day off a week and I am thousands of miles from my loved ones. They are all doing fun summer things and I feel like I am missing out!


~ My job. I know, I just said it made me want some wine. However, yesterday I got to drive around town with a really nice guy who showed me some sites. I got to learn about where I am staying, some history about the area and the best place to have lunch (and ironically, wine). I like traveling around and learning new things about new places.

~ My 6 mile run on Monday. It was not as hard as I thought it would be. I am glad of that, becuase I am working up to 10 miles and this gives me hope that it will not be completely crappy. However, I also need to work on my pace. SEEEEE-lowww!

~ Jamaican Meat Patties. My coworker's daughter brought them from South Florida. If you have not ever had one, you should try it! They come in different kinds but this one was beef and it was delicious!

~ Seeing family friends on Sunday. We ate, we watched the Women's World Cup (grrrrrrr!) and we played in the pool. What fun! 

~ Going to see my friends and family in August -- I am still planning this, but am going to my little "neice's" 1st birthday party and will head up to see my folks at the same time!

If you want to join in too, go here!

What have been your "wine" and "loves" this week?


Book Review: Thalo Blue

The Author says: "I began writing my novel, THALO BLUE, after two seemingly random events in my life intersected: the attempted but unsuccessful break-in at my home one black winter night, and having my wisdom teeth surgically removed then nearly bleeding out on my bathroom floor while under the spell of heavy painkillers. Once recovered from both sets of circumstance, I wrote the first draft of the story over a fevered three month winter stretch."

I won this book at a giveaway at Reading, Writing and the World of Words. Thanks Genna! 

At first I had a really hard time getting into this book. It starts off with the main character getting attacked and the narrative goes from one person’s mind to the other. For the first couple of chapters it is like this, but with additional characters still, and frankly, I was a bit confused.

Then it starts to level out. It still switches back and forth, but it does it slower, and you have more time to process each section. After this happened, I started to like the book. The main character is an unhappy artist who has been bossed around by his father and is kind of still trying to find his place in the world. His mother left when he was young and he has issues with women and life in general.

Then this attacker comes into his life and everything changes. I will not tell you what happens, but the author has made it an interesting read, especially when he ends it. You do close the book (or turn off the Kindle) with a feeling of closure, which I find important.

The only thing I didn’t know was that it is a fantasy book to a certain degree. Not fantasy like dragons and elves, but Stephen King fantasy-like. I won’t tell you any more than that. I also had no idea that “thalo blue” is a type of blue. See, you do learn something new every day!

I give this book a 3 out of 5. 

If you haven't already voted, vote for me (#35) HERE for Best in Travel at FTLOB! 


I Saw The Sign

Hey everyone, For The Love of Blogs is doing a Best in Category Poll! I have been nominated for "Best in Travel". If you are interested in seeing who else is in the running and voting (just click the "like" button below your favorite blogs - I am number 35) you can go HERE and check it out!!

And, since today has been a crazy, tired, busy, worn out Tuesday for me and I need a laugh, I have a few more funny signs that I (of course) had to share with you!

Mayo -- it IS good for you after all!

My stereo is lost. Luckily I am in Missouri.

Sign someone put up on my cubicle wall after the Patriots lost to the Saints.

Now, a substitute for the Murse. (from the New Yorker)

A Christmas card from my Uncle.

Guess where I was when I took this?

So You are Open WHEN?
(In case you can't read this one, it says, "Store Hours. Open most days about 9 or 10. Occasionally as early as 7 but some days as late as 12 or 1. We close about 5:30 or 6. Occasionally about 4 or 5 but sometimes as late as 11 or 12. Some days or afternoons we aren't here at all and lately Ive been here just about all the time except when I am someplace else." )

This was a real sign in New Orleans. You can read the article about it HERE.
Happy sign hunting!! Do you take photos of any weird things?