highly allergic to splendor

pretty sure there is a magic bullet.

gentle reader,

in honor of your faithfulness i have decided to continue sharing with you my journey on life’s highway of physical fitness pursuit. this may or may not also be motivated by discovering i had taken a nap on top of a cookie. also, bathing suit.

at last week’s school auction, i walked away with not one, but two “free month” memberships to workout places in town. this is the story of workout place #1. part A. in a series.

1. you are probably asking yourself, ‘how did she decide which place to choose first?’ i had heard from a friend that place #1 offered a fitness evaluation/intake type thing. huzzah! tell me my flaws, calibrated and calipated (that is not a word but there should be a verb for what those fat pinching calipers do). ALAS, this choice was all for naught. i just signed my name and got taken on a tour.

2. The Tour. just past the smoothie bar and lemon leggings is the locker room. Dede (who wore a badge with the phrase ‘there’s no magic bullet’) happily explained how to use a locker, while i happily focused on not staring at Elderly Woman’s Butt in a Locker Room #4,065.

LADIES! what is the deal? i will never be old enough to be naked in a locker room. ever. i want to google ‘history of locker rooms’ right now, but i fear it will just be a series of flabby white rump photos. NOTE TO SELF: i will not be using the locker rooms.

as we exited, Dede made sure to point out that NO TEXTING OR TALKING ON CELL PHONES was allowed in the locker room. oh. okay. ‘how about taking photos of naked lady butts with my phone? is that allowed, Dede?’

3. my goals (besides never seeing another woman’s backside): maximize the heck out of this thing. i will be at the rooftop infinity puddle from 9am-2pm every day catchin’ some rays. i will also be taking every class called, ‘Stretch.’ i am also open to taking whichever class gets the most votes here: ‘Baby Boot Camp’ with someone else’s baby; something called, ‘R.I.P.P.E.D.’ or R.I.P. for short i think; or ‘Pedal & Kettle’ which i’m pretty sure is riding your bikes together to the popcorn store. vote early and often.

good luck out there. hydrate and stretch. hydrate and stretch. and, sorry, Dede. there is a magic bullet. it’s called underwear.


‘yoo hoo! big summer blowout…’

with more wintry weather on its way, and a few inches of snow still covering the ground, and the temps struggling to get to double digits, i thought i would take a moment to share my most helpful WINTER STORM EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS TIPS. i would have published these before the storm a few days ago, but i didn’t want to jinx myself, or risk the chance of all of you snatching up the necessary supplies before me!!! here goes:

1. FREAK OUT. like curl up in a fetal position. worry. worry publicly on facebook. whine a lot to your husband. yell at your kids that you all might die if they don’t learn to shut the front door within .38 seconds of opening it. accuse your husband of not caring about anything and/or reference the semi-obscure Grasshopper and the Ant story.

2. go to the grocery. i recommend 7:30am or 9:30pm to avoid the crowds. you will win this thing. necessary supplies aforementioned include: sticks of butter, sugar, vanilla, brown sugar, cocoa, hot cocoa, chocolate chips, and milk. then go back to the store an hour later for guac, chips, sausages, cheeses, poptarts, bread and toilet paper. you’re ready! this should hold you for a week.

3. dig out that rotary phone and charge the heck out of every electronic device you own. also, write down the phone numbers you don’t have memorized (all) for when your cellphone dies and you almost do.


1. drip yo’ faucets. hot AND cold. the gentle rain-like sound will soothe you to sleep during one or nine of your panic attacks.

2. shower or take a hot bath every night to celebrate that you survived another day.

3. bake a pan of chocolate sugar survival treats every night. again, you have survived!

4. LAYERS. and by layers i mean smitten kitchen blondies on top of smitten kitchen brownies.

5. take a walk outside. i know. scary. but this will remind you that nature is not trying to kill you. yet. this also allows you to gauge how horribly ice-patched your neighborhood still is. and/or give you a break from your lazy-ass children.

6. have your children build an ice ramp to sled on in your neighbor’s backyard. #nolawsuit #getyourlawsoffmyiceramp

7. apologize to your spouse. thank him for warming up the car every morning. check weather.com obsessively. write something in your gratitude journal about how glad you are there aren’t any summertime weather emergencies right now.

ENJOY! this only happens once or forty-six times a year (here’s lookin’ at you, Boston!).

knick-knack, paddy-whaat?

***Nine Things That Are Not Okay***

1. These pants:

jogg khakis

2. These pants being IN.

3. The hashtag #joggjeans.

4. Maybe how mad I am about these pants. Maybe not.

5. How all the tacky uncool fashion from my childhood is suddenly in and only old people will join me in my totally legit judgment of such things.

6. Global cooling. Because p.s. you can’t wear joggjeans when there’s 83 inches of snow on the ground.

7. That there’s no matching blazer with elastic cuffs to go with these pants. Wait–is there?! I hope not, although I *might* be able to get behind this fashion trend forecast for Autumn 2015:


i digress. Back to things that are NOT okay:

8. Someone wearing these pants to a wedding, job interview, or in a 2-block radius of me.

9. That women will be forced to join this throwback/throw-up/just throw it out trend.

Oh, it’s coming y’all. Joggjeans are the gateway fashion to all that is unholy and cruel and ugly: knickerjeans!

knicker jeans




my true love gave to meeeeeee……

Today I made my kids a pie. I felt like I needed to show them how grateful I was for our last few weeks together. Technically we still have one more day of Christmastide (I might have made that up, but so did some other people on the internet. Google it.). I really like this idea of December 25th being the beginning of celebrations instead of the end of them. It takes some of the pressure off of getting everything done by a certain date. Of course I didn’t read about this way of calendaring my holidays until December 23rd, but I’ll be ready next year. In the spirit of the Christmas newsletter (which I predict will be making a comeback–mark my words! literally! with words!), here’s some of the highlights of this holiday season and all the blessings along the way:

1. I spent Thanksgiving weekend with a calendar on my lap mapping out 25 days of festive Advent fun/gifts/candy. Last year I dropped the ball on this family favorite and didn’t get started until around December 9th and even then just sometimes put a few band-aids in the mini-stockings as “treats”. Not so this time. I was ready. The kids’ favorite item? Breathstrips. Melt on your tongue breathstrips. Creepy weirdos that they are. Least favorite? The WRONG candy that I bought for most of the other 24 days.

2. I hit the jackpot when a friend hosted a gingerbread house decorating party. Check that off my “special holiday memories” list. And add it to my “special holiday memories with someone else’s mother” list.

3. I shopped local and liked all the presents that I gave. Especially the season pass to a minor league baseball team that came complete with a voucher to throw out the first pitch at a game. For. my. mother. #winning #allthehashtags

4. I got out of sending Christmas cards when the hubs volunteered to be in charge of these. His solution: send everyone back the card they sent us last year with the note, “Thinking of YOU this holiday season.” We may have been removed from some Christmas card lists. And some friendships.

5. I took my kids and my mother to “The Nutcracker” ballet, also known as “Herding Cats for an Hour.” I may have cussed in my head the entire time. I may also have had a 9-year old touching me the entire time and very loudly running commentary through the whole thing with zingers like, “This is boring,” and “That mouse king looks fake,” and “I like the Barbie version better.” yay……

6. Just under the wire we made fudge, jamprint cookies, and sugar cookies with royal icing. We. were. domestic. And we may have had to make two batches of icing because someone added/dumped peppermint extract into the first batch creating a delicious mouthwash-flavored holiday treat. See obsessive love of breathstrips above.

7. We saw all three sides of the family–and I still got to sleep in my own bed every night. We celebrated with one side at the Red Lobster. It ain’t Christmas til you’ve had your CHEDDAR BAY BISCUITS!!!

8. We didn’t light anything/one on fire at the candlelight Christmas Eve service AND I got to hold someone’s baby AND the baby spit up on me AND my dress was so sparkly and awesome that you couldn’t even tell.

9. We totally forgot to leave milk and cookies out for Santa. But he left this note for us:

photo (1)

10. We had friends over for meals. For the first time in all of 2014.

11. Only one person vomited.

12. I listened to Christmas songs by Ceelo Green, Justin Bieber, Wham! and Sufjan on repeat. And our spinning Christmas tree still spins.

So, in conclusion, we pretty much rocked it this year. Just like in a real Christmas newsletter where everyone is always better than you. Happy New Year, Happy Christmastide and don’t forget, you’ve still got one more day to party it all the way up.

these are a few of my favorite thangs.

never to be outdone by Oprah (NEVER!), i’ve compiled a 2014 holiday gift list extraordinaire: Starla G’s Favorite Things!!! #evah

enjoy shopping local from the comfort of your local couch in your local living room on your local computer for these #1 gifties:

my husband and i discovered this when we stayed at our friend (we’ll call her cindy)’s house. it smells so good that we may or may not have bathed in it. in cindy’s tub. hey, cindy!  $28 (i know! but Ope gets to put fancy things on her list!)


this long sleeved layer has a built-in bra. Y’ALL. you can sleep in it and answer the door in it and not scare your children with what real breasts look like.  $19.90



Y’ALL. you can spend hours sorting these by genus and species and have leftovers for last minute gifts for random neighborhood children.  $14.99

4. BLOSSOM BLOUSE FROM LOFT. Y’ALL. this shirt looks like a soup but eats like a meal. it’s stretchy and dressy and no one will know if you wear it every day this winter because it’s so subtle.  $49.50 but get a dang coupon



Y’ALL. i don’t know how you’re gonna get this one, but you better figure it out. it’s like a ho-ho for your ho-ho-ho. $less than 3 if you only get one



Y’ALL. if you know anyone having a baby, get them everything on here. their baby needs to look like a small animal!!!!  $prices vary depending on how freaking cute the thing is that you are buying

7. PRINTS FROM LITTLE THINGS STUDIO. Y’ALL. so many favorites including this one and this one and some that are religious even. $various but affordable.

8. THIS TURKEY FROM GREENBERG’S. Y’ALL. order this smoked turkey. now. $worth it.—————-
Y’ALL. a must read. also a must use a british accent when reading. $money——————————-
Y’ALL. *tears* you need this if you are raising tween girls. you also need advil, wine, chocolate truffles and facebook.  $15ish (shop local. it costs more but you’ll feel better.)————————————–


Y’ALL. i’m pretty sure that my son’s entire high school basketball team complimented me on these. just sayin’.  $100————————————–

12. PIZZA FROM BENNY DELUCA’S. Y’ALL. feed the whole entire extended God love ’em bless their hearts family during those fun stress-free holiday evenings.  $32-35 for one pizza that may or may not fit in your car.



Y’ALL. not kidding. everyone loves sharpies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! $10

14. EOS


Y’ALL. just buy them. in every color. you neeeeed these. $3-4



Y’ALL. this is for your friend who cusses. you love her, but she’s not quite right. $12


Y’ALL. this is THE color for winter. and spring. and summer. and my entire year for the last ten years.  $7?

****WAIT. does oprah have 72 things on her favorites list? including gold beats headphones for $700? i need to up my dang game.


Y’ALL. this baby purrs like a race car. it has a V6 engine and drives like a rocketship. you should definitely buy one for someone. $30,000+

Y’ALL. NUFF SAID. $bazillions

nothing but the best. right, Clark? $6.99
GENTLE READER, who needs 72? 19 is the perfect number of gifts to buy this year.

‘i gave my love a chicken that had no bone…’

gentle readers,

for those of you who find this blog a little too frivolous, hold on to your hats for some real investigative, local news, hard-hitting journalism. recently, i asked myself, ‘why are all chicken wings places in my town so dang dangerous?’

exhibit a: someone got stabbed at one of them.

exhibit b: someone got shot in the parking lot outside one of them.

exhibit c: a friend of mine was at White Trash Wings & More for poker night last week when a man in the crowd started yelling at an elderly woman who was winning a few too many poker chips. my friend’s boyfriend told the man to settle down and respect his elders and was immediately placed in a chokehold and punched a few times.

(this is where this becomes a pulitzer prize-winning editorial piece:)

WHAT THE HECK, Y’ALL? why are people who eat chicken wings getting so worked up all the time?

i posit that they are angry about the amount of work it takes to suck such little meat off so many bones. secondly, they find the amount of napkins required for said meal insanity-inducing. third, ranch dressing is from the devil.

in conclusion, stay safe out there, America. and for those of you reading this in Germany, vermeiden Hahnchenflugel!

UPDATE: this just in. science has proven me correct! read it all here. ht: one of my Germans!

rest in grease.


y’all. drastic times demand drastic measures. after putting out an all call on fb for someone to clean our nooks and crannies, we had no takers (apparently people are happy enough with their own nooks and crannies EVEN WHEN CASH IS OFFERED). it was then that i remembered i had three able-bodied people IN MY OWN HOME. the hubs and i concocted a plan to force them all to work for us. we drugged them with pizza AND parmesan bites AND cinnamon roll bites (‘mom, you love us!’). then, as they were rolling away from the table, we told them, ‘for the next hour we are all cleaning the kitchen.’

alarms went off. weeping. gnashing of teeth.





with all the restraint i had, i quietly handed out the only three cleaning supplies anyone needs for any job: clorox wipes, a broom and windex.


i’m not really sure what happened next. it’s sort of a blur of yelling, crusted bbq sauce, lysol fumes and many tears. but i know we learned a lot, including:

  1. it’s better to wipe something up when it spills rather than 8-10 years later.
  2. it will be fun to tell your grandchildren that your son said he will never make his children clean up anything.
  3. it is possible to love your offspring and call them bad words in your head at the same time.

in conclusion, it was totally worth all of it to wake up to a sparkling house one room this morning. and to hear my child telling someone else, ‘yeah, last night my mom made us do this thing called KITCHEN CLEANING…’

amen and amen.


(this is where the wall and the countertop meet. i mean spotless!!!)

i’m bringing something back…

it’s that time of year again, gentle reader.

temperatures dropping + leaves falling = sweater weather.

Tommy Hilfiger FW12 2

i pulled my favorite sweaters out of the box earlier this week. they were musty, with pilling elbows and armpits. a friend of mine told me she cannot bear those little balls of fuzz. they evoke depressive negativity for her. ruination, if you will. despair. she gets rid of sweaters that have pilled, agreeing with martha stewart that they make the clothing “rough and decidedly unattractive.”

i prefer to think of these nuggets of wool as a sign of someone who values loyalty. commitment. unconditional love. i will not abandon these dear friends in their golden years. i will emphasize the classic, historical nature of my wardrobe this autumn season.

i’m also bringing leg hair back.

get ready, Fall. i’m coming for ya’.


“Do I dare disturb the universe?”

Gentle readers,

Can I be honest with you for a moment? Can you, complete strangers who read about my life on the internet, be my safe place to share something dark and disturbing?

I’m hearing a resounding, “Yes.” (Or maybe, “Hells yeahz!!!” Hard to hear; the children are yelling.)

Back to our circle of vulnerability. I need you to know this about me: I am an unclean person. As in I tried to hire a cleaning person and she said no. As in my in-laws no longer stay overnight in my home. As in I flinch when someone sits their baby on my kitchen floor.

I mean, I can work a vacuum if I have to. And there’s enough space for everything to fit in a drawer or closet (#notahoarder #yet). But a university lab could easily conduct research in my sinks and toilets.

It’s not completely my fault. I’ve got four people fighting against me. Four people who have no problem with food stuck to their walls, who like that mold comes in so many colors, who don’t know that cleaning supplies exist in shapes other than “wipes.” I blame my mother. She cleaned everything for me as a child. I never learned how.

“Wait. This is not so bad,” you are thinking. “Where’s the part where we get to really judge her?”

I give you:



This is what I pulled out of my shower drain this morning. I apologize for not labeling that with “trigger alert” first. Yes, it’s a foot-long hairball. Yes, those are kitchen tongs. Yes, it smelled like a dead beautician.

I feel that we should all take a moment to go read T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land.” Or Martha Stewart’s website.

Thankfully, most of you don’t know me well enough to ever come over to my house. Thankfully, the rest of you know me well enough to not come over too often. But when you do, I promise we can sit outside. B.Y.O.Plumbing.




work rhymes with…

so now that i am a working woman (is that what they call it? working person? person who works? person who gets paid to do things? did i mention i get PAID to do things?), i am full of vocational tips. so many that i thought i would include a few here. and in case anyone who pays me reads this, none of these are about our workplace. ever.

  1. british accent tuesdays. that’s right. only speak with a british accent all day on tuesdays. also print and frame a photo of benedict cumberbatch for your desk. also use phrases like, ‘tut-tut’ and ‘cheerio’ and ”ello, ‘ello, ‘ello’ a lot. and eat scones.
  2. designate the areas of the office as areas of manhattan. force people to call you by your area (ex. ‘downtown divas’). only refer to them by their area: ‘uptown’, ‘midtown’, ‘wall street’, etc.. pretend they just rode in on the A-train every time they stop by your desk.
  3. whistling wednesdays. that’s right. see how long you and your cubicle-mate can go only communicating by whistles. you’d be surprised at the variety of whistle sounds there are in the human catalogue.
  4. when you need to work out office conflict, do so with roller (chair) derby. the best offices have chairs on wheels and a large lobby area to burn off that steam that’s been building up. helmets and elbow pads optional.
  5. low lunging. nothing counteracts sitting on your rear all day like a good low lunge. see how many you can do before you freak someone out like the UPS deliveryman or the new sales guy.
  6. all-you-can-eat Lindt truffles. actually, this one really happens at my place of getting paid. thank you, boss ladies. thank you.
  7. all-you-can-eat donuts. this one does not happen at my place of getting paid. yet. i smell a promotion!

and there you have it, friends. seven ways to improve your workplace. you know that putting that in bold just got me 4,000 hits on the google. enjoy your weekend!

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