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.   http://pixlr.com/editor/

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 amazon.com 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.

Secret exercises -

I do secret exercises.  I do not enjoy the gym, so I sneak in exercise.  I do calf lifts (just going up on my toes over and over) while I dry my hair and brush my teeth.  I do arm rotations while I’m waiting for my work to load on my computer.  Leg lifts while I’m on the phone.  Butt clenches while I leave voicemails.  Yardwork.  Vacuuming. 

You get the idea.  This is not organized – I  just make myself move while other things are happening. 

My grandmother has a famous quote in our family.  “Why stand when you can sit, why sit when you can lie down.”  I actually think this way too.  Why would I want to ruin a perfectly good tv show by exercising while I’m watching it? I would prefer to move as little as possible, but my jeans would prefer I move my duff around the house, and since I think one of the best accessories a woman can wear is an in-shapeish type body, then I make myself move.  

Since taking my new job where I work from home I strive to sneak in exercise wherever I can.  Please send me your secret exercise ideas. tiredgirl.notes@gmail.com

This girl has it all figured out and has cute around the house outfits enough to photograph herself - http://violetsage.wordpress.com/tag/lazy-girl-fitness/ 

This is not me - but a resourceful girl who took great pics of herself that inspire me get that workout in - she is:  http://violetsage.wordpress.com/tag/lazy-girl-fitness/ 

A dinner for Tired People

Cooking dinner sometimes looks like fun, if I accidentally watch the Food Network (it always makes me hungry though, so I skip it). I love the idea of pouring a glass of wine, putting on some music and having a movie montage dinner-making session with myself. But realistically I am tired and usually try to make dinner that uses as few pans as possible. Less pans equals less clean up which equals more free time in the evening.

Here is my go-to dinner when I just can't handle much:

-rectangle or square brownie style pan

-foil (i just can't quit you foil)

-defrosted chicken breasts or thighs (or whatever I have)

-BBQ sauce (I use King's in a little jug from Publix, but I think it's local to Florida)

-fresh vegtables ( I buy the kind already cut up – more $ but less time)

-brown rice

 I use brown rice because my husband LOVES rice and this is at least healthier for us, but it takes about 50 minutes on the stove. Rice and I don't get along that well (at all - we almost hate each other so I haven't mastered the microwave.  I cook on the stove. Please feel free to send me your tired girl tips for brown rice in the microwave. ) I get the rice started – I have to set the timer for the rice or I will forget.

 Turn oven on to 350 degrees. Line the pan with foil, rinse off the chicken and dry (I use hand towels that I wash, but you could use papertowel) place in pan, pour the BBQ sauce on breasts and kind of swish the chicken in it - both sides. Throw it in the oven (even while it's pre-heating).

I rinse off pre-cut brocoli (more expensive, but easy), green beans in the bag, or asparagus (I cut off the ends) or spinach in the bag, and put in a glass dish (no plastic in the microwave - no thank you on the cancer).

 Timing is important when cooking but we don’t care that much in our house. If the rice finishes before anything else it sits on the stove with lid on. Once it is done I scoop some butter into it and then right before I serve it I moosh it all together – melted butter and rice.  When I pull the chicken out I start the veggies in the microwave – 3 to 4 minutes. The chicken can sit and I can get out plates, etc.

Cleanup is minimal and aside form the inevitable chemicals and sugar in the BBQ sauce it's a pretty healthy meal and one I can do practically asleep or while maneuvering through other projects.  Please send me your most tired, go-to recipes at tiredgirl.notes@gmail.com

Tilex -

Tilex!!  I love Tilex.  I spray my shower down before it starts to get the pink and black mold spots (or right as they are showing up).  I leave the bathroom or that area of the house for a few hours.  I come back and my shower is spotless and my bathroom smells great.
Sometimes if I have friends coming over I will spray some bathroom or sink somewhere with Tilex.  You don’t want to spray much – it’s pretty strong and you don’t want your guests to be grossed out, but it smells like you have been cleaning and that smells better than the smell of a big dog (another smell I know well). 

When my husband I were first dating and I would do this he would think I had worked for hours in the bathroom – making it look and smell wonderful.  Now he knows the truth and is less impressed by me consequently.  But I am impressed at my brilliant time saving trick.
Stock photo of Tilex Mold & Mildew -- it WILL stain as it contains bleach, so only spray on fabrics in your house you want completely ruined.


I hate the P90x commercials.  Lots of people could be in great shape if they simply exercised for over an hour every day  for 90 days – we don’t need your videos about “muscle confusion” to do that.   I would like to purchase a program that shopped for food, made meals and cleaned up after so I had the energy to work out for an hour every day.  Screw you P90x.

In other news, I think it totally works, but you have to do it. Which means most exercises work if you do them. 

Speaking of giving away clothes and things -  I highly recommend that too.  I do not have garage sales (unless my husband makes me - and then it is a hostile takeover), I do not consign, nor do I  sell little things on craiglist or ebay (these things require so much energy and you get so little money in comparison).
 Keep a big sack going and when you come across something in your house you don’t need or want, that doesn’t fit you, or you never really liked - drop it in the sack.  When the sack is full drive by your favorite charity’s thrift store OR not even your favorite charity, but a thrift store that is on your way to work or the grocery store.  Just hand it off and you are done.  You have raised money for a nonprofit (and hopefully one you support), you have made someone’s day (they can brag that they found this wonderful top at the Salvation Army thrift store for $3).  And most significantly for you - you have saved yourself a world of energy AND  streamlined your closet and life by not being bogged down by things you don’t really like or need. 

Somehow my body and my life continue to change, so every few months I can take a trip through my closet and always find something that no longer works for me.  It can take me a few months sometimes to fill up my donate sack, so if I really miss it I can always go fish it out and keep it.  But I will tell you I very rarely save anything from the giveaway sack.  Once it’s in I don’t even miss it, instead I dance around my uncluttered closet knowing everything in there fits and I like it.

Tired girl trash.  This Tired Girl will, at times, be so “tired” (in this case lazy) that she will rearrange the trash in any given trashcan so more fits in, instead of actually taking it out.  I simply buy myself a little more time. 

Clothes that fit -

Sometimes I get chubby and sometimes I get super slim.  So I hang on to a few items of clothing in the chubby and the slim sizes (it’s really just one size up and one size down from my usual size).  I’ve heard that if you wear ill-fitting clothes it helps you lose weight, because you are uncomfortable and you are conscious of your weight that way.   I do not find that to be true – I hate that in fact.  I never feel worse, then when I am wearing clothes that don’t fit in one way or another.  I feel bad about myself and why not eat another donut if you have already gained some weight, or whatever our terrible thoughts are to ourselves.
I do however have the motto that we only have this one life (that we know of) to enjoy and I will not spend it wearing clothes that feel awful or make me look stupid.  So in the closet where my out of season clothes are stored  I also have a handful of clothes that are different sizes.  These are clothes that I love and so if my body needs that size I am okay with seeing my old friend again.  It’s also cathartic to have to go dig out the “skinny” dress  or the “fat girl” pants.  I can wear these clothes that I happen to still like while I evaluate what the current deal is with my body. 

My last statement about this is that I haven’t visited any of these different sized clothes in many years.  Knowing they are there is security that I don’t need them.  I save many levels of energy this way. 

Even though these ladies are wearing "Tired Girl Pink" dresses, these dresses can not be found in any part of  my closet.  Not the skinny group, not the chubby bag, nowhere. 

"good at the internet"

“Be good at the internet.”  This is a quote from my friend Vanessa and I love it.  “Being good” at the internet saves me lots of time and energy.  For example, I  buy my dog’s dry food, greenies and vitamins from a small online company in Rhode Island. (www.doggiefood.com).   I pay much less, and it arrives at my door – pure heaven. 

Recently I mailed several fun girly DVD’s using amazon prime to a friend that is going through chemo.  The money and energy I would have spent looking for the particular movies, making the package cute and getting them to her would have been considerable.  On www.amazon.com I could pick the exact movies (and a couple of paperback books) and they arrived at her door in two-days ( I have amazon prime – totally worth it)!  I saved money, energy and my gesture was able to be felt immediately.  
Being good at the internet in these examples gives me both more time and more money.

A box of food, vitamins & goodies from doggiefood.com - a very exciting snapshot of  a box.

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