Monday, December 31, 2012

Awkward dish moments -

I try and avoid awkward dish moments at the end of any party or event. I do not like having to look through someone’s cabinets or scour the room for a Ziploc to dump any leftover food into so I can take my pretty tray home with me.  I also don't want to leave my tray and take the chance that I will: a) never see my tray again or b) have to call and ask to come pick up my pretty tray – both make me feel icky so I try and skip it. 
My goal is to have my food be such a big hit that there are no leftovers and I can just pick up my plate and head home.  Regardless though of the over-all popularity of my food I just don’t really want to go there with dishes. I try to only bring foods that can be packaged in a disposable way or buy something cheap and cute that I don’t mind leaving at someone’s house or at an event. 

Food brought on disposable items benefit both me and the host (who wants to wash a million dishes that don’t belong to you and then pass them all back out again or have the guilt hang over you that you STILL have Nicole’s plate – aaaaaaahhh -  not me).  I buy cute paper plates at Marshalls/TJMaxx/Target – one pack of 10 high quality, charmingly decorated, full size plates are about $3.50 and last me awhile (because I don’t actually leave my house if I can help it).  When I make a casserole for a family with a new baby I buy the foil casserole tins w/ the lid – bake it and deliver in that – they throw away when they are done – everyone is happy.

Deviled eggs on a pretty paper plate -- preventing an akward moment - I can walk away from any leftover eggs and the plate.
If it’s a really good friend then either you can bring your item in a Ziploc, dig through their cabinets for a pretty bowl to use, or you can bring your own plate and know that when you see them 6 more times that week they will either bring it to you or you don’t mind asking for it.  Those are the friends we all want to exclusively have. 

If anyone is still awake reading this then I have one last thing to say – when I do have people to my house – that is the time I pull out my pretty stuff or fun chip and dip bowl or tray shaped like a gator (for my husband). 

This small thing allows me to spend more time elsewhere  - like perfecting another dip to add to my repertoire (I wanted to use that word again!) or sitting on the couch doing nothing.

Friday, December 14, 2012

One power cord away from a tantrum -

One power cord away from a tantrum.
Sometimes I have a plan and one small thing gets in my way – I shouldn’t say sometimes I should say always.  

Sometimes (always) the only thing standing between me and a complete melt down is a power cord of some kind – laptop, ipad, camera, phone – you name it.  My brilliant friend (who is a new-mom), Lydia, wrote this to me about the same thing -  basically a camera cord standing between her and her Christmas cards.  I will say that as she is new mom she emailed me this in the middle of the night I think, so I have taken the liberty of correcting her typos.

Tired Girls think about getting a really cute photo Christmas card of the new family (complete with baby's first Christmas) but they never get around to it, and then they think about doing one of those really cute e-cards where you can post your faces on dancing elves or something (saves on addressing all those envelopes!), but then you realize that would mean you have to download pics from your camera to the laptop.  Maybe this year I will just do a "Christmas photo" Facebook post!! "

I love this Tired Girl idea.  The time, money and especially energy saved is immeasurable.  The important thing is telling friends you care and a Facebook post counts. 

On a side note I do have a power cord basket ( I heart baskets ).  

Any power cord I come across, any time, goes in this basket.  The cords I use all the time (phone & ipad) are permanently plugged in at “their” spot in my house, but all other cords go in the basket.  My husband panics when he looks in there and sees a tangle of wires, but I love it because I know somewhere in there is the cord I am looking for or one that will fit atleast.

Holidays: not a hobby I choose to have -

Tired girl holidays – I am even too tired right now to come up with a clever title.   I like the holidays fine – I do not love them.  I am one of the ones that is excited to hang up the January calendar and am perfectly happy to have 11 months between me and the next holiday season.  The good and the bad news is I live with Santa in the form of an attorney – which is another issue – but the bottom line my husband is idealistic about the joy of the season, and consequently very helpful - he does a lot of the Christmasy things in our house.  I am mostly lucky.

The holidays add about 7 more items to my to-do list every day.  7 more things standing between me and getting in bed at 8pm.  And I wish I could say I had  great time-saving resolutions, but I don’t really.  I try my hardest to keep the holidays simple – here is a list, in no particular order, about my idea of simple.  I could really use your tips to simplyfing and streamling the holidays. 

It’s short list – because I don’t know how.

Email me your Tired Girl holiday ideas -

Monday, December 10, 2012

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Do you have more money or more time?

Do you have more money or more time? This is a question I ask myself almost daily.

Sometimes I have more money than time, which means I shop on the internet for a friend and have the gift mailed off to her ( and amazon prime are my faves). Probably spending a little more money, but getting it done. Also when I have more money, I would get a dress dry-cleaned so it looks perfect for an event, buy an item at CVS, because it's on my way somewhere instead of heading to Target or Wal-Mart.

Sometimes I have more time which is usually when I make a gift for a friend, shop around for an item I am looking for, or take my shopping list to Wal-Mart instead of Publix. I would hand wash, air dry, and iron my event dress (instead of dry-cleaning - although, as you know I don't really wash my clothes that often).  I will make cookies or an appetizer to bring to a friend instead of stopping at Publix for a bottle of wine to bring  - or whatever. These are little things that add up in my head.

It’s the whole “do the benefits outweigh the costs” idea - I base my life on that question.

Obviously having more time or more money is a perception – not necessarily reality. BUT if I feel pooped after a bunch of activities or I’m saving up energy for something else fun to do, then I perceive that I have more money than time. If my husband and I just got back from a vacation where we treated ourselves to dinners with dessert, etc , than I perceive that I have less money and therefore more time to make dinner at home for a while.

This is not rocket science, but in my opinion it is a very brilliant way to run your life.  I think I have more to say about this but I - shocker - I am too tired.

If you want to read about cost/benefit analysis here is wikipedia on it.  It is brutal though so don't read it -  

Economics was my WORST grade in college, but this idea rocks and I happily apply it daily.  Do you ever ask yourself "do the benefits outweigh the costs?" 

This idea is not rocket scienc, but this nail polish is.  I am not into it but I would love to have a job naming nail polish and lipstick.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Say no to stuff.

Set limits. It is okay to say no.  You can’t say no to funerals or to the health of your family, or unfortunately to lots of things, but you can say no sometimes.

Some friends from work asked me to join their bunco group and even though I really liked all of them I also knew that by the time I get home in the evenings I do not like to go back out – that’s just me.  So even though I was crazy about them and even though it was only once a month I knew I would only disappoint them if I said yes and then never went.  That’s a shitty thing to do. 
So I told them I just don’t commit to things during the week.  Maybe they thought I stunk, but it was best for everyone and I was still their friends and super friendly and always asked how it was and who made what kinds of snacks and what was the gossip, I just didn’t go. I have a list of 20 things like this that I say no to.

I have a friend who sets the limits with her school age children.  Anything that needs to be signed, paid for, made, etc. needs to be done the night before, then in the chaos of the morning rush she is not writing a check for the field trip while she is driving.  Her oldest daughter forgot this guideline one morning and begged her mom to sign her permission slip to watch a movie at school or something.  Mom said no, daughter didn’t watch the movie, daughter never forget again to get things signed the night before.

You might think this lady is a royal jerk for doing this. I like that she set reasonable limits for her kids and herself and stuck to it.  Doing things like this for yourself, kids, dogs, friends, partners, spouse can be a great way to save energy.  You aren’t forced to make that game time decision or possibly hurt someone’s feelings. You have set some limits and sometimes you say no.  (You probably say “no thank you”  though because you are a lady and not a jerk).   

Hillary Clinton, Condoleeza Rice and clean garages

Do Hillary Clinton and Condoleeza Rice clean out their garage? 
Sometimes I get so caught up with making my world run smoothly that I don’t take a step away and think about the BIG things I want. 

I want to have an organized garage so I don’t feel annoyed when I pull in and see stuff sitting around.  But those tasks and thoughts so easily can fill up my brain and my day.  Do I really want to spend my life organizing my garage, analyzing the shape of my eyebrows and thinking about fun art projects for myself? Not really. 

 All of those things are important, but I want my life to run like a top so that I have the energy to do something big or important. I want more Tired Girl tips so that I don’t get bogged down in the necessary, but mundane.  Please send me your tips so that I can one day be Secretary of State maybe.  

I have a vitamin organizer.

I have a vitamin organizer.  Does my husband make fun of it? Yes.  Do I care? No. 

I value my vitamin regimen, but don’t value it enough to pay attention to what I have taken or when.  Sometimes I don’t value my time enough, and as I run out the door I feel regretful that I didn’t take my calcium.   

So I have the 7 days AM & PM set.  I place all my vitamins in for the week and snap the little lids shut.  If I miss a day I don’t have to load that container.  If I have a pill I like to take a few times a week and not every day (don’t ask) then I can organize that out as well.  I understand that most normal people do not feel the need to even come close to this activity, but in case you do I highly recommend a vitamin organizer. There are a lot of fun ones on amazon. I got mine at Target – looks like this:

oh yeah!

Paying bills online -

I pay my bills online, by the way, and it has really helped me out.  I have my credit card and checking account through Bank of America (this is NOT an endorsement just a fact). I log in and can see the balance on both. 

I have almost every bill I pay set up for online billing, even a bill I only pay occassionally. No stamps or envelopes, or checks – these are all things that get in the way of me relaxing or sewing something. 

There used to be that commercial where the lady put popcorn in the microwave and pays her bills online while it pops – showing you can pay all your bills in 3 minutes.  It takes me a little longer.  I like to analyze each bill, compare it to the last month, look for hidden fees, etc, make sure I am not getting jipped.  But for me it is still a time saver, and paying bills doesn’t hang over my head.  I pull my “needs attention” bin out of my closet , go through and pull out all the bills, type it all up and I’m done and USUALLY I’m on time.  

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

One credit card -

I have one credit card and therefore one credit card bill.  Any big purchase or online purchase goes on this card.  All the “points” are in one place. Most importantly I get one bill, so there is a greater chance that I will pay it on time. I have already told you my trouble with mail and so less bills coming in help me out. I keep an eye out for one credit card bill.  It is tempting to have a Gap, Jcrew, Target and Marshalls Card.  My mom gets great benefits from her Pottery Barn card.  But none of those benefits outweigh the costs for me.  I know my weakness and all it takes is one month of being too busy or too tired, missing the payment on one credit card, because I am not paying attention and all my points and credit and all that goes down the drain because I have to pay a late fee.  Bleh.  One card, one bill, one place to rack up points, one card to use when I am return something.

Not all makeup is necessary -

Not ALL makeup is necessary.

I don't use eye shadow, powder or lipstick regularly, but I can’t live without eyeliner and my eye lash curler - pick your battles.
The best makeup is clear and clean skin and that’s another whole issue. 

My go-to fast routine is:  BB cream, bronzer, eyeliner, eyelashes curled, and Burt's Beeswax chapstick on my lips.  

If I have a few more minutes or want to look a little nicer I add in some eyebrow color, blush before bronzer,  lip liner under Burt's Beeswax chapstick, or if I am leaving the house my favorite lip gloss (that is currently hiding in a purse somewhere - I lose more dang lip gloss) a better eyeliner and some mascara

Confession: With a very light touch I use my eyeliner as my lipliner. I kind of smear it in a little and put chapstick on top.  If it's wrong I don't want to be right.

The point is choose your makeup battles.

Not really!  Actually maybe. 

Two of the things you love -

This is a very old post that I have added to - 

Have two of  the things that are important to you (not husbands).  When I taught at a traditional school and would go to work everyday I brought my second cup of coffee in a travel cup.  Eventually I bought a second one of these and it was strangely luxurious.  This little thing of this travel cup made my day infinitely better and so to have two (in case I left it at school or didn’t feel like washing it out or whatever!) was fantastic. I was drunk with the power of two!

So I then added a second  glass bowl w/ lid for my lunches, a second pair of my very favorite pants, a second favorite sports bra and threw out the one I hated.

My husband and I used to skulk around looking for the phone charger and acting like it was a mouth piece on a shared scuba tank.  "You charge yours for a bit and then I'll put mine on and then you can put yours back on."  And then it hit me. We are adults with jobs and should own like a lot of phone chargers. So I went crazy on Amazon and ordered FOUR!!!  And I bought a new car charger - one for each car!!!! Who knew how good life could be. 

And my last thought on this is to recommend that you own a lot of underwear - like a lot, a lot.  Like enough to go for a long time - if needed - without doing laundry. Like if you were told you had to go on a two week trip that second you could grab handfuls of undies and head out - no laundry needed. When I am feeling exceptionally tired and I find an empty underwear drawer looking back at me I gag a little - but that doesn't happen to me because I effing stock up!  And Joe has a lot too, because what is the point if I have a ton, but I still have to find him clean ones every few days.  I say load up on them like turkeys on Supermarket Sweep - don't stop till the cart is full and then go get another cart. 

I think of this iconic scene sometimes when I think about how much underwear I own. I know it has different meanings and I don't cry over the beauty - stupid Daisy - yuck, but still.  Also, be aware this music really ads a special something.

Everyone may already have two of things, I'm so cheap it’s a big deal for me to buy two of the exact same thing.  In this world where this is so much excess and so much need the idea that I am telling you to own MORE feels wrong. Little things that I value can take my day from good to great and having those things always accessible makes me less tired though, and when I am less tired I can do more to help the world - that's the truth. Ewww this turned preachy - my bad. 

Double recipes -

Another way that I double up is that I often double recipes – especially of soups or casseroles, but even just chicken thighs (my favorite). 

I can freeze the other half if appropriate and in a couple of weeks bust this “new” old meal out again.  I try and cook enough for two nights – even if I don’t double the recipe.  Two nights of chicken, two nights of chili, whatever – it’s a twofer.  Two meals and only one night of cooking. My husband is usually so pleased that we have a cooked meal and not cereal or something that he is great with this possibly monotonous eating schedule. 

Buy in twos -

Buy in twos.  Again this is not anything new, but it works well for me. I buy two of almost everything. 

Shampoo, grapefruit juice, baby wipes, egg whites, just everything. The first one disappears quickly and the second one buys me the gift of time.  

So if I am totally pooped or swamped or whatever I do not have to go to the store that instant.  I have worked in a day or five to get to the store to stock up again.  When I open the second whatever that is my mental cue to add that item to the grocery list.

I would not mind if I bought luxury items in twos.

But in reality I buy double cartons of egg whites. 

Looking young -

Bangs and wrinkles and airbrushing. I have literally had three people in the last two weeks tell me they got bangs to cover up their foreheads (and possible forehead wrinkles).  

This is not a bad idea if your face, hair style, and  hair type can work well with bangs.  

I also use this photo editing program and there is a place where you can blur and smudge or whatever - so I can blur my one forehead wrinkle in a photograph – instant youth!  Hopefully people I am in person with will be so overjoyed with my wit and charm they won’t notice any wrinkles, but bangs are something to consider and thought I would pass that on.  The photo editing site probably does lots of other great stuff.  If my husband and I suddenly show up on facebook looking like body builders you will know I have been experimenting with photo editing.

Supplies everywhere -

Supplies everywhere – I have supplies all over my house, because even though it could be a great secret exercise to run around the house looking for things, I know realistically it’s not always going to happen.  

I have  my favorite chapstick and hair rubberbands stashed in every room.  I have a big bottle of soap refill in every bathroom. I put tons of toilet paper in every bathroom, I have baby wipes in every room because there is always an occasion to wipe something. I have toilet cleaner solution in every bathroom.  I am not going to walk around my house with toilet cleaner and clean toilets, but there is a greater chance that it gets done if EVRYTHING I need is at my fingertips that second. 

This may be something that everyone does, but I just figured it out.

Best undereye concealer -

Put money under your eyes.  One of my favorite beauty products to buy is concealer. I think I am on the hunt for youth. 

Fellow Tired Girl Vanessa gave me this Tired Girl tip.  Here are her exact words from an email:

My tired girl tips are to spend money on good undereye concealer. I tried going cheapie on it for a while there, and everyone would ask me if I was feeling okay, because I looked so rough. Lancome makes a good one. I use the Lancome Effacernes as my concealer. It's the best I've found, although sometimes it's still not quite powerful enough, so I have to add a layer of Benefit Eye Bright Stick underneath.”

She is a new mom, and she’s gorgeous, so she knows her stuff. I have this concealer and I too like it.  We both have it in "Clair II" if you know either of us.  We are both pretty fair skinned. 

I also use this Mary Kay Signature Concealer in "Light Ivory." I literally have no recollection of buying it as it has been years since I have interacted with a Mary Kay rep. I love it though.  I use both of these products - not at the same time.

It is my un-expert opinion that you error on the side of going lighter than darker. In this new rage of "facial contouring"  the lightest color is always put under the eyes. 

Don't wash your clothes too often -

Don’t wash your clothes too often.  Obviously clean undies every day and eventually everything gets washed, but I honestly don’t wash my clothes every time I wear them.  Go ahead and judge – I’m good with it.  When I exercise (for real - not secret exercises) I walk on my treadmill or walk my dog.  I will wear an outfit to exercise in, take it off when I’m done and wear the next day to walk again.  I will get two or three uses out of an exercise outfit. 
When I worked away from home I would take my clothes off after work and always hung up my pants, skirts and dresses.  I often wore a tank/cami under my shirts and that would get washed, but oftentimes I could hang up my shirt as well.  This saves so much energy – not as much washing or dry cleaning or ironing.  I keep a spray bottle of Febreeze in my closet and will spritz some items right there.

Confession – I have, at times, finally decided to recycle an item (jeans, a top, etc) and put it in my dirty clothes hamper, and THEN I will realize I need that item.  So I dig through,  pull it out, spritz with Febreeze and hang up in my bathroom when I shower (to steam clean it maybe?? I don’t know why I do that), and the item is usually great.  If not, then I really do pick something else.

Choose the right mate -

Choose the right mate.  Ha – there I just solved all of your major problems – just marry or stick with the best person for you. Done!  Seriously though choosing a good partner will make you less tired.  If you have already chosen a partner though then you’ll have to work with what you got.  So good luck.

Partners fall into four categoires for me –


I choose the non-grumpy versions either way - I am not interested in bad boys.  My husband borders on grumpy, but only situationally   (he can get what is called hangry – hungry/angry – watch out – put some cheezits in his mouth, then he’ll be okay) – he actually fits into tired-nice category.

 Like me he would prefer to watch a movie than play golf.  I like this about him.  We watch the movie together or watch golf together or get in bed early together.  He does not make me run marathons and we complain together about our messy house and then work together to make it semi-clean.  We are tired together.

 Having an awake nice husband could be handy, because I assume they would just do everything, but sometimes it makes me tired to even watch other people be active.  Annoying to just witness their energy. 

 Tired grumpy and awake grumpy would need to be worked with in some way.  Maybe someone can write a blog about that. If you are connected to an awake or tired grumpy partner, let us know your tips for being with them. 

If you don’t have a partner yet figure out which of these you would prefer and plan to fall in love with them.

Get help -

Get help.  I’m not generally one to ask for help from friends.  I either make it work on my own or I don’t do it. But occasionally I reach out for help from friends – especially in an area where they are especially proficient – and I am amazed how these friends not only don’t seem to mind, but the result is so phenomenal that it was worth the ask. 

My dear friend Jamie taught me how to make this blog look cute.  She is a whiz at this stuff, because not only does she have great taste but her degree is in Graphic Design!  I asked her if she would make this blog look cute and she got me started and helped me not be afraid to mess around with html or whatever (because if I totally messed it up, she would fix it for me).  

Sometimes I think our instinct, when someone offers help is to say "Oh, no thank you - I got this."  But some times I don't "got" anything, and help is wonderful.

The key in accepting help is to genuinely appreciate the help, and show it. The words "Thank you"  really go a long way. And lots of jumping up and down hugs, and gushing and stuff, is good too.

My parents, in-laws, and husband give me lots of help in big and little ways and it sure is awesome.

Tired Girls need friends! 

Awesome kitchen tool -

No knife, no cutting board, no clean up.  Years ago my cousin gave everyone a hand held cheese slicer for Christmas. We are very particular about how our cheese is sliced in our house so it didn’t get much use at first.  Then one day I was trying to slice cucumbers super thin and uniformly for cucumber sandwiches for a baby shower I was helping with.

I found this cheese slicer in my drawer, and turned it upside down so the curved area and slicey part faces up (see photos).  I ran my cucumber over it a hundred times at a hundred miles per hour – I was hooked!!  It is basically one of those mandolin slicers but does not require a million parts or much clean up.  I cut A LOT of things with it – especially for making salads (which I hated in the past because you had to wash and cut and all of that) – but really I slice tons of stuff. 

I hold whatever item I am cutting over the bowl, dish, pan, etc. and slice away.  Then rinse off or stick in the utensil section of the dishwasher – hardly any clean up!  I seriously recommend it.  I have included some awkward looking photos I took and a  link to if anyone would like to see one better (or better yet – buy one and you’ll have less wrinkles, be less tired and spend more time doing fun things instead of dishes.)

a photo of my much prized slicer thingy
Check it out or ones similar here.

This is what we actually use for cheese slicing. Recently when Joe and I were in Savannah for the weekend we are making a few snacks to watch something on TV and he said "I know this is a first problem and all, but I miss my cheese slicer." 

Is it weird to love a kitchen a tool?

What is your favorite kitchen gadget?

Baskets, my only organizatoin -

Oh baskets – how I love to love you.  I heart baskets and bins and containers and trays. Even the weirdest combination of stuff looks fine when contained in a cute basket or nice tray.  I can have a pile of stuff that makes me tired just to look at - I put a quality basket next to my sofa in my family room and voila, instant “organization.”  I have baskets and bins tucked everywhere in my home.  They contain the undefined stuff that my family invariably acquires and uses on a daily basis. To me baskets solve so many issues. 

 My husband will give me “stabby eyes” when I return from a trip to Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Target or Wal-Mart – he looks for baskets, but I do not falter in my love for them.  Another bonus is you can quickly grab up  a bin of stuff and stash away somewhere if guests are coming over.  Containers make me less tired because (as evident in their name) they contain things that I then have access to but don’t have to have spread out all over.

Know yourself -

Know yourself.  Hello me nice to meet me.  I am a morning person – so I front load my day, because I know I am going to be tired early and won’t feel like doing anything of importance passed like 8pm (or 5:30 - don't judge).  

I also do not care about getting my nails done.  I can’t do anything with those nails, and the whole time they are getting done I am thinking about the money I could be spending on a cute shirt from J.Crew.  I do not feel relaxed, so I don’t do it.  I would rather spend that money and time elsewhere.

I understand though that some women crave the pampering type feeling that comes with a pedicure or having their nails look nice. So that’s a non-negotiable to them.  

The point is – figure out your non-negotiables.  Maybe you are a booze hound on the weekends, so save up your money, energy, and calories for table dancing on the weekends with the girls.

I have friend who loves the “Housewives of wherever” series.  It is her guilty pleasure. Once she had her baby girl she had a hard time fitting that in in the evenings.  She figured out to her drink her coffee while watching instead of her wine.  She watches it at like 5 am when her baby is up anyway.  

Know what you need, work it in, make it work, be happy. 

A parting word on another way I know myself - I choose comfy.

Drowning in mail -

I was drowning in mail.  Some was super important and some wasn’t it, and it just kept coming – like every day!!   Invitations, coupons, bills, statements - blurg!! 

One sick-day home from work, I organized my file cabinet and created gorgeous little color coded files – fabulous!!  But then my mail had to make it from the mailbox somehow to my files – and that was just not happening.  I was stacking it lovingly by the door (I love to stack things) – bleh, with the plan to "file it" I don't know when. 

So then I repurposed this whacky little closet we have (it’s under our stairs so it has a weird shape) into a pseudo organization center!!  It is right by the garage so as soon as I walk in with the mail, I can sort!  Trash goes in trash right away and I have bins for everything else. So I just fling it in the appropriate bin.  I have a shredder in there too if necessary.   ( I love to stack, my husband loves to shred). 

Three shots of my messy, but useful little closet – my mail station that may have saved my marriage.
Once a year I distribute them to the files upstairs (if necessary) and the rest gets disposed of in some way. 

The most important bin is the “needs attention” bin.  That’s where anything that needs me goes – bills especially, but also things like wedding invites (RSVP and buy a gift), forms to fill out, whatever.   My house is not so cluttered with mail, my husband isn’t giving me "stabby eyes" when he asked where something is and I have no idea,  AND I know where my latest Joann Fabric coupon is.  It’s good.
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