Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Making grocery shopping slightly less miserable with unit pricing -

There is no realistic way that grocery shopping can be FUN for me.  Maybe if the store is packed with beautiful people for me to admire,  Ke$ha songs are blasting, and champagne samples are being walked around it could be interesting.  When I think about grocery shopping, which I typically dread,  I envision myself careening through the aisles " Supermaket Sweep" style.  Just tipping stuff in and tearing around corners. I want it go that quickly.

It doesn't go like that though of course, but when I do shop, "unit pricing" saves the day for me. I assume everyone knows about unit pricing, but just in case, I am sharing.  This is a totally boring tip that makes grocery shopping, for me, much easier. 

Easier = done faster = more time for fun things

So the unit price is the little number in the upper left corner (usually) of the price label on the store shelf. It will often say "unit price" but not always and not all stores have it.  I think maybe Target does not.  Apparently Target's theory is "if you have to ask you can't afford it."  Target isn't generally more expensive - just to be clear - they just don't care to prove it.

The unit price will - ideally - tell you quickly which item is the best deal.  I use unit pricing all the time, but  especially when I am in the paper towel and toilet paper section.

The unit price will - again ideally - break down the item by price per "unit" and tell you, regardless of price of the whole thing, which one is the better deal

If you are bored already then  hold tight or I'll see you later I guess.  Whatever you do, do not look this up on wikipedia, because words like valuation and widgets and multiple variants will be used and then you will almost surely die.

Here is an exhilarating diagram to explain:

  You have to be careful though because sometimes you are not able to compare the same things - like in this image. Which is why I say unit pricing is "ideally" helpful.

I added my own arrows and notes, but this tag image is from another website -

Honestly if there is a lot of thinking involved, a multi-step math problem to do in my head or the need for a pocket calculator - I am out.  

It's not that I CAN'T do these things, I just don't want to.  So if I can quickly glance at my unit price and compare what I am getting then, hooray.  If not, then I follow the advice I give to third and fourth graders when taking a test - "Make your best guess and move on."   

I would rather do a lot of things then think about the price of tuna fish or toilet paper and unit pricing helps me almost supermarket sweep my way through the store.   

I hope the idea of unit pricing makes shopping awesome for you.  

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Martha Stewart? Southern Living? HGTV? No - Tired Girl.

Plants do not thrive in my presence.  But I have found one outdoor plant that has done well (awesome actually) in every location despite my neglect and regardless of conditions.  It has flourished everywhere I have stuck it.  Sometimes it is all I have in the way of plant success.

It has multiple names - most popular:  Purple Heart or Purple Queen. 

This is the BEST Tired Girl plant - especially if you are a reluctant gardener like me.  I have bought it to get it going in spots, but then I just break it off and stick it wherever.  Or when it is going in the wrong direction or want to trim it or something I just break it off and stick it somewhere else and it thrives some more!   Literally break off and stick in the ground/soil. 

Water it, don't water it much - it's so laid back about it!  And the pretty purple color creates a wonderful balance to any green. 

Industrial strength, beautiful and inexpensive.  Lovely. 

Here are a lot of photos of places I have it around my house.

Hanging out next to my herbs.

Stuck in my planters and along the sidewalk.

In my other planter.
All along the path in the backyard - a wonderful groundcover.

Stuck in next to my geranium to fill out the planter.
here is some more info about it if you are bored at work : 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Closet organization

I work from home. I have been known to wear my pajamas to work and sometimes my closet still looks like this:
This is a for real photo and not staged to look haphazard and carefree.
 When I have the gumption to actually put things in drawers and on hangers (sometimes that is harder than it sounds - any Tired Girl knows that) it makes parts of my daily routine infinitely smoother.  I am not digging around for clean pjs or searching for my other running shoe.  Most especially when I worked outside of my home like a normal person I relied on the organization of my closet.  I needed things to be where I expected them to be so I could get out in to the world in a timely fashion and start making a difference already.  

I give myself a "B" in organization. I acknowledge the idea of it, put the plan in place and most of the time keep it up, but it does not control me and I am definitely more on the "laid back" section of the spectrum. But knowing where my clothes are supposed to be is seriously helpful for me for several reasons.

1) It saves me time - no digging around for that pair of pants or top.

2) It saves me energy, when I go to put clothes away I don't have to think I just know where everything goes. 

3) It saves my marriage - there is nothing like a good old fashion wardrobe malfunction meltdown to start either side murmuring the words "trial separation" -- knowing what clothes I have and where they are helps me find them, quickly readjust them when they don't work, and get out the door on time.  

4) It saves my fashion sense - organization gives me the ability to see all of my clothes, therefore inspiring a variety of outfits and gives me the possible time to "experiment"  (watch out I'm being daring with this small belt and a different cardigan!)  

5) The biggest one - saves my sanity - see #1-4. 

So this is how my closet works:

What and How
All pants and skirts are hung together, work and causal. Jeans are on a shelf because I have more of them and they are heavy, but they are right with the pants.
All white shirts together

All black shirts together
All sleeveless tops together

All short sleeve tops together

All long sleeve tops together
All cardigans, blazers, jackets together

All dresses together

Every day shoes - running shoes, slippers, flip flops and my most valuable players of shoes go in a big basket.
All other shoes - special occasion, etc are in clear bins.  They are not labeled because then I would have to match up shoes - I just like the clear ones for a quick glance. 

In drawers are workout clothes, pjs, undies, shorts. 

I do not want too many sub categories, because then when I'm in a rush or would just rather be doing something else then putting my clothes up I don't want to have to hang my "work" pants in the "work pants" section or a t-shirt in the "short-sleeved t-shirt, not dress shirt, not going out shirt section."  You know what I mean?  There is such a  thing, for me, as too organized. I want general areas to cram stuff.   Even when my closet is a wreck like the first photo I still know where to go to find things because even when it's messy it's still organized. If that makes sense.

My  layout is not a  super wonderful plan, I am just sharing because you will either love it and it will inspire your closet or you will hate it and it will inspire your closet or you will write me with what you do and it will inspire me and I'll change my whole place around. 

My mom has hers arranged completely by color - all pants, shirts dresses mixed but color sorted.  This wouldn't work for me, but it does for her, and it is pretty to look in her closet. 

How does organization help you be less of a Tired Girl? 

I wouldn't spend the money or energy on these but they are fun.  

Just wanted to redeem myself - I neatened up my closet.  A fun way to waste time is to google image search: "closet organization" - lots of fun ones to look at.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Entertain yourself

The Pleasure of My Company is a novel written by the incredible Steve Martin, and I actually did read it years ago, but mostly I love the title.
Recently when I was working in the yard (gag) I quickly(I mean instantly) was off in my own world thinking about something a thousand times more intriguing than the heat and the weeds I was pulling.

 I was so happy in my thoughts and so a million miles away – probably contemplating my dog bed sewing project or the idea that Princess Kate never has to pull weeds or what if we lived in a high rise condo in New York City – that when I eventually refocused on the present, the weeds in one small area were gone and I could celebrate by sitting there in the bark and thinking some more with out reaching for a weed.

I am content in my own thoughts – I could be an island of entertainment for myself which I often, gladly, am.  

I am usually too much of a Tired Girl to choose to interact with other people at the end of the day.  Drinks with the girls?  A phone call with a long distance friend?  A stimulating philosophical debate with my husband? Probably not.  A good long day dream about our possible life in a high-rise in New York City, a few youtube tutorials on hair dos, a chapter written in my head for the book I am not really writing, looking at fabric on, writing a blog post in my head, contemplating my next career move, picking out a new recipe, reading about something I want to learn how to do, giving myself a pep talk, giving myself some tough love, writing a list of ways to save money so we can have a second home in New York City, staring at my eyebrows in the mirror are all ways that I willingly entertain myself. I could go on forever of things to think about and talk about and contemplate with MYSELF.

When you enjoy your own company and are entertained, supported, challenged and inspired by yourself you don’t have to look elsewhere for these things and therefor can bank some of the energy used for that.

Husband has to work late?  No worries I have a list of projects waiting to be thought about (not actually accomplished).  Sick in bed? I have a list of movies I’ve been wanting to see.  Stuck in a waiting room somewhere?  I can finally make a list of things to research on when I’m at the computer next. I’m good. 
I hope you are surrounded by people in your life that inspire, support and entertain you as well – what a bonus!!  But when all that can come from within we can be tired and perfectly happy with the resource always accessible to us – our self! 

This is a quote from one of my all time favorites movies, Best In Show.  This woman is describing her marriage, but she could be describing how I feel about myself. I could talk or not talk with myself for hours and still find things to not talk about. 

I don't get bored.  I don't get lonely - I always got me.  Sounds like the name of a children's book.  Maybe I'll write it. Maybe I'll go read about tips for writing children's books. Maybe I'll skip the research and writing. 

Here is a whole closet to 1) clean out 2) organize and 3) start or finish some of the projects that reside here.  Plenty to think about and do. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

DIY at-home Gel Nail update

I painted my finger and toe nails over six weeks ago with my Sensationail and Sally Hansen at-home gel nails kit.  Here is the original post:

I do not recommend the Sensationail brand polish for fingers, as it hardly lasted four days, but my toes have done so well. I won't buy more of that brand, because if I am going to spend money I want it to work well on my finger nails too. 

You can tell that my toe nails have grown and these could use a touch up coat to fill in the lack of color and worn look along the base of my nail.  All in all though I am fine with the way these look with such minimal effort, and money 6 weeks ago. 

Sometimes when I work in the yard a lot I am tempted to take my polish off, soak and scrub my feet, let my toes breath and put on a fresh coat of polish after a few days of bare toes.  These will probably go another week and then I will do that, although I may let them go as long as possible just to see truly how long they last before they really HAVE to be redone. 

I still give a Tired Girl thumbs up to the Sally Hansen Gel Nails Kit.  

Is it weird that I am updating you on the way my toes look? Have I crossed a line? 

Monday, May 13, 2013

A non-dog sofa

 I have one sofa in my home that is off limits to my dog.  Every other sofa is covered with something to protect it. (My strategy: Every bed has layers that are easily washed and can be whisked off to reveal a clean layer when I crave a dog free space or for a poor unsuspecting guest that may come our way. 

My one lone sofa is in the living room and is directly on the right when you come in the front door of our home.  For a while this was Ralphie the dog's favorite mid-morning nap spot - where the morning light was just right. It is also the room we (the humans) like to sit to read the paper or have a drink with each other or guests.  

My mom bought me a pretty sofa cover for it that blended nicely, but the whole thing was taking a hit with Ralphie on it. I tried a few things like scooting the coffee table right up on it so that Ralph couldn't jump up there, but all of my ideas looked bad, and as I am a Tired Girl I would never un-scoot the table or take the things away I used to deter him. So, then I had one "dog free room" that looked all weird and haphazard most of the time.

One day I saw a sofa in a magazine that was covered with tons of pretty pillows, and I knew my love of throw pillows had finally found a purpose. Hooray for a NEED for throw pillows!!! I went shopping in other rooms of my house, dug through my stacks of fabric to sew two pillow covers, and treated myself to one NEW Ikea pillow. I lined them up neatly and Ralphie was immediately uninterested in such a busy sofa and padded off to one of his other nap spots.

So, though this was a new idea to ME, I understand it is not rocket science.  In the end though I  enjoy seeing my living room looking neat and guest-ready when I have to open the door spur of the moment, AND I have channeled my pillow love to an actual location.  

The many faces of Ralphie sleeping on a bed or sofa. There are 35 million more photos where these pics came from, and obviously I have an obsession with photographing my sleeping dog in bad lighting. 

My living room sofa with some of the pillows I chose to use. If I had an unlimited throw pillow budget I have my eye on gorgeous, pricey things, but I want to retire someday, so these will work.
Shopping credits: from left to right: bought at Ikea;  a gift;  made by me - fabric on clearance at Joann Fabrics; bought at Marshalls; made by me; cover bought from Big Lots (who knew!!); another gift.  These were all acquired years apart but are a happy family now.

Here are three very different formal living  rooms that I like:

A living room I love that looks nothing like what I have.  Ralphie surely wouldn't enter this room.
This would be in my country home. 

When I look at that pretty glass table I think that it would be immediately smudgy in my house.

Friday, May 10, 2013

This is water -

My friend Pat sent me this. To quote him:

"It’s nine minutes, but worth it."

I've thought about this video all week. This video explains why we are tired (mentally and physically) and what we choose to do with our feelings.  

Here is wikipedia about David Foster Wallace -

And lastly, I don't want to take this video too literally, but Wal-Mart works for me, because of how I CHOOSE to see the people around me. I am able to channel a peacefulness, get my discounted items and get out. Unless, for any infinite number of reasons, I am grumpy, and then I choose to glare at everybody and be annoyed.  

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Websites for Tired Girls -

There are lots of ways that Tired Girls can “be good at the internet.” 

Here is a list of this Tired Girl’s  favorite sites that let my fingers do the walking to help me out, or are simply interesting to me – sometimes just inspiration can be as good as a nap. 

 1) and most importantly having AmazonPrime. started with books and now carries everything.  Amazon prime is $75 a year and gives you free two-day shipping (and no tax) on almost all of their items – this pays for itself quickly if you order often, which I do – it also gives you the freedom to order something little that you need and not pay shipping – it stinks to $4.95 shipping on a $2.50 item (I recently needed a part for something and it was this dinky little thing that cost $0.99 – it arrived in 2 days and I literally paid $0.99).

I know of other Tired Girls that use with prime for almost everything – shampoo, baby wipes, diapers, etc. – arrives at your door in 2 days.  Heaven for Tired Girls.

Another aspect about amazon that I love and use all the time is the reviews – people are really dedicated to the reviews they write on amazon. I learn about almost everything I buy before I buy on amazon (cameras, books, vitamins, dog food, curling irons), you name it and its been reviewed on amazon.

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I like to say (mostly to myself) that I have my second degree from YouTube University – I have laid in bed with my ipad and learned to do things like: sew a quilt, swaddle a baby, do an up-do on my own hair, make bread in my stand mixer, use the “burst” feature on my camera, build a recycle cart, build a treadmill desk, create loose spiral curls in my hair, cover a lampshade with fabric – and that was only last weekend (not really!). 
I could go on – So. Many. Things. To. Learn. On. Youtube!
My dad ties his bow ties with a youtube video.  Just awesome.

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 3) – fun for inspiration – things to make, things to think about, things to buy – its an art fair on my lap.  
gift purchases on etsy
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 4) Your county/city public library website – after I have read about books on amazon, then I search my county library site for the books. I request the books to be delivered to my local library, they leave me a message when they have arrived, I swing in, swipe my card and they hand me a stack of books.  My county system also has LOTS of ebooks to “check out” as well – so I can get a book to my ipad for 2 weeks.  Here is a site to search for your local public library system -

Now I just need the service where they swing by and pick up the books to return them for me – that’s the hardest part for me.  Bleh.

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5)  - Luxury, used items for less money delivered to my door? I'll have that.  

two fantastic deals I got on ebay -  Tory Burch and J. Crew!

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6) – (MY yahoo page)
I have set up the newspapers, headlines, subjects I want to see headlines for. I also have the weather of four places of my choice (one city happens to be Paris because – you know – just in case I need to go there today), most popular photos of the day, my junk email box and more. 
I love this because, in bed at night or when I have downtime, I click on my page and all the headlines – local, national and international pop up.  My husband will say something like – “Did you hear…?”  And I get to feel brilliant because I say – “Oh yeah, I read about that earlier this week and oh yeah I’m awesome.”  Pop culture, politics, sports, news – I am connected on one page.

My dad has an app called “pulse” on his ipad – it’s a more high tech version of my yahoo page. Being a Tired Girl I feel unadventurous at learning new tech things sometimes – but someday I’ll get in on this.  Here is a description of it –
“Pulse News brings all your favorite blogs, magazines, social networks and newspapers in one place for FREE. Exciting to use, quick to read, ready to share. Tap on an article to see a clean and elegant view of the news story. Save stories for reading later across all platforms or sync them with Instapaper, Read it Later and Evernote. Sharing a story via Facebook, Twitter, Google + and email is as easy as one tap.
Download this award-winning news application, that has been downloaded by over 20 million users.”

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 7) www.facebook – Yes sometimes it’s depressing to see pics of someone that just finished a marathon while I lay in my pj’s and just admire their sweat, but all in all I love facebook.  It’s an easy way to keep up with people I like. A simple “like” and I feel connected. Am I really connected? No, but I understand the difference which proves I don’t have a problem.

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8) - my own blog is a fun hobby for me.  Hooray for hobbies!

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9)  google images --  -- just fun - I can look at images of lots of good things. I will often google image search something I am looking at on ebay - just to see if it looks good and how people are using/wearing it. There is definitely porn though and strangely my most innocent searches seem to be the the biggest porn draw.  
AND I'm back -  to being obsessed with Ryan Gosling Hey Girl - 
love the crafting versions - thank you google images.

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Pinterest and twitter currently make me more tired. So I can't add them to this list yet.  

Do you have a site that really helps you out?  I would love to know what it is – so spill it. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Vacuuming for sport

I recently had to pick an  "Artist, Literary, Fictional Character or Historical Figure(s) Who Is Most Like You," to describe myself to a new administrator at work. I wished I could have said someone brilliant or powerful, but after lots of disappointing realizations about myself I decided on  Jess from the TV show "New Girl."  Not her $400 dresses that she hangs out in, her gorgeous hair or her over the top quirk - but the other stuff - for better or worse I am a lot like her and that's just the way it is.

When I was vacuuming a while back I thought about how much vacuuming is a twofer - I was straight out sweating as I heaved my vacuum around my house and my house was looking instantly better - exercise and cleaning in one easy task.  

Because it's so great you'd think I'd do it more often, but what's good about it is also what stinks - it is both exercising and cleaning - two things I do not love. (Secret exercises -

As I vacuumed though I thought that my sort of alter ego - Jess from the New Girl -would probably get really into this event - put on some 80's workout outfit complete with sweatband and leg warmers,  make a game out of vacuuming, create designs in her carpet with the vacuum, she'd make up a quirky song about vacuuming while she did it, or some other whackadoodle take on such a mundane task. 

So this is one example of where Jess and I part ways.  I do not make a game or silly sitcom plot out of vacuuming. I just get it done.  I sweat and I like it that it counts as exercise if I put enough elbow grease into it and then I am thankful when it's over and I can ignore my carpet again. 

Vacuuming is great for Tired Girls though, so whether you want to see exercise-and-cleaning-in-one  as awesome or annoying is your choice, but in the end it does instantly improve the vibe in my home, and I count it as an exercise, so I am good with it.  *Insert silly New Girl dance here.  Not really - I don't do that either.  I do like these quotes from her though:

My favorite rant from Jess that makes me feel like I'm looking in the mirror:

 I brake for birds, I rock a lot of polka dots, I 
have touched glitter in the last 24 hours, and I find it fundamentally strange that you’re not a dessert person. That’s just weird, and it freaks me out. And I’m sorry I don’t talk like Murphy Brown, and I hate your pantsuit. I wish it had ribbons on it, or something to make it just slightly cuter.

So, who is the "Artist, Literary, Fictional Character or Historical Figure(s) Who Is Most Like  You?" 

Also what cleaning also counts as exercise in your house? 

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