Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Black and White Tops -

I love black and white shirts.  As a Tired Girl they are easy and classic and go with whatever happens to be on the bottom half of me.  You can add fun shoes or basic shoes, jewelery or nothing and you either have a nice pallette to work with or you have a simple and classic (again that word) outfit.
me in a black top - that's about it.
The key, to me, is to have interesting black and white tops. A plain white tee and jeans is -wait for it - classic!  BUT I feel a little more put together if my white or black top has some texture or something interesting.  It still goes with anything from dressy black pants to khaki shorts to yellow jeans to a patterened skirt, but the having the details  makes me feel not like I picked out these cool yellow jeans and then lamed out and didn't know what to wear it with so I put on a plain white shirt. Bleh.  I am awar of how poorly that sentence was written but had to get that idea out.
I have high standards for clothes and the white and black shirts that make it in to my collection must be:
easy to wash,
require little to no ironing,
make me look skinny or atleast not large,
and appear to be good quality. 
These outfits are all from J.Crew at some point or another. I am actually not a big fan of the button up style in the middle - classic yes but I just don't love on me.

One top I bought recently I found at Marshall's, but earlier that day I tried on the mostly exact same blouse at J. Crew. It is a heavy cotton black peplum (just a slight edge - not a big ruffle) top with cap sleeves. The Marshall's no name fit me better and was like $50 LESS - that was fluke though.  I am open to spending money on interessting black and white shirts though.  Mostly because of the list of criteria they have to have.
One of my more expensive past times is getting on ebay (a fave Tired Girl website) and searching black or white tops from J.Crew, specifically.  I have gotten some great deals. Marshall's is also a top black and white shirt shopping spot. Cheapy brands with trendy details for cheapy.
The tops have good details or pretty lines and are all from J. Crew again I think.
A black top or shirt goes with anything - did I already mention that like 10 times?  I also love the monochromatic look - all black or all white. 
And I think this is my last word on this topic. I look better in white white and not cream, but for many cream is a hit - so be open minded for yourself. 
And some good news about black - does it show off tons of dog hair? Why yes it does, but that is not the good news. The good news is black is TRULY (for real) slimming. Cheap black tops look more exepnsive than tops in other colors too. 
As a Tired Girl this look really works for me. I am always on the lookout for a cool black or white top.
Just a whole bunch of photos of me wearing some of my favorite black or white shirts.

P.S.  If you are bored at work, or waiting in a doctors office or something - here is more:
Before I wore my Tired Girl Bra all the time and I shopped for regular bras,  the young and sweet lady at Dillards was helping fit me for a bra. I told her I wanted a nude bra (the only color a Tired Girl wears, because you don't have to think - it just works for whatever you have on - who has the energy to coordinate a teal and polka-dotted bra??). The girl sweetly wrinkled her nose and said "Ewww - why?"  I told her basically what I just wrote - about it going under everything. She told me that it's only necessary under white.  And I said "Yeah - exactly," or something similar. And she asked if I actually wore white shirts.  And I mentioned that I wear them all the time and her  nose went to wrinkle again and probably to ask "Ewww - why?"  But then I think she realized she just needed to sell me a bra and zipped her lips. Incidentally if you do not wear the TIred Girl bra you can still find really pretty nude colored bras. Tired Girls can be pretty too.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Acupuncture 2 -

Acupuncture 2 - the sequel!!
In my last post about acupuncture I discussed how I got started with the treatment - you can read about it here.

I was pretty skeptical, honestly, that this treatment had healing powers. After my first visit though, I felt noticeably better. I had that feeling of deep, deep relaxation - like after you have worked out really hard and you are spent, and happy, and relaxed. Or after yoga - where you are a nice mix of relax and energized. I decided that even if this process didn't cure or even treat my sinus issues or infertility that the treatment made me feel good and that can be helpful in itself.

So at $75 a pop (yowsa! and not covered by my insurance, although some insurance does cover it) it felt pricey, but I was pretty desperate. I was coming off months of one sinus infection after another, coupled with my inability to conceive. I paid up front for several visits and got a discount in the amount of one or two "free" visits.

The treatments were usually pretty similar - either I laid on my front or my back - needles in the same areas and hooked up to the electronic device and warming lamp. For $12 I could have gone to the tanning bed and been pretty relaxed (I secretly LOVE the tanning bed), but obviously the tanning bed is a poor choice. Cancer is so out. The acupuncture feels medicinal and therapeutic all at once.

Sometimes I got to have "cupping" done - which is weirdly awesome. They oil your back, and create a suction in a cup and then stick it to your back where it suctions all up on you. I would only have a few at a time and my first acupuncturist (and my friend now) would move them around like a massage. I loved it - said in that high pitched Oprah way! It did slightly bruise my back up - which is the point. If you are interested you can read about cupping here. Apparently there was a time period where cupping was super "IN "in Hollywood and crazy skinny celebs would go out wearing tanks that revealed their cupping bruises. It wasn't quite as admired in my house. Do NOT google image search "cupping bruising" unless you have already tried it and you know it doesn't hurt - those images were NOT cool.

I guess they just had to wear a strapless top that night.
So, I was pretty regular at my acupuncture spot for a few months until Joe and I decided to take a break with baby stuff and I got my new job where I worked from home, and sweet little darling children that I was crazy about didn't sneeze on me all day and I wasn't sick any more (harp music).

About a year or so later I went back when we started IVF. I decided it would make me feel good to do acupuncture with IVF - there were mixed reviews about if it helped or not and I felt that the relaxation I got couldn't hurt and could only help. I had 2 different acupuncturists during this time period and each had different styles and both were wonderful. It was good to see different styles and also to learn that though the styles differed the effect was still positive and similar. 

During this time I had a treatment each week called "moxibustion" which you can read about by clicking on it. It treats different things, but for me it was targeted to help with my endometriosis and help with my circulation to help the IVF process. The moxibustion was also an awesome treatment for me, and basically consists of putting little lighted discs on the needles. Like smoking discs. I do not know what I am trying to say here - my tired girl brain just kicked in, so I need to wrap up. So, things were lightly burning near me which seems kooky and I enjoyed, so whatever. 

not my body, but what moxibustion can look like - source
After a few months of no luck with IVF and lots of time at my acupuncturist I felt less relaxed as I laid there and thought about other things I needed to be doing and the money I was spending - so maybe it's that theory of diminishing returns or whatever. I just needed a break of full time IVFing and at that time acupuncture felt a part of that. I wanted less scheduled visits places and more time to veg. So I am on an acupuncture break.

I would like to go once a month just for a treat and for maintenance on certain things. But for now, I am temporarily feeling "anti" almost everything.

In the end I love acupuncture and the way it makes me feel. Whether my acupuncture did anything more for me at that time, other than relax me, I will never know, but relaxation - especially then - felt like a step in the right direction. If money were no object I would go all the time. I would happily make time in this Tired Girl world for acupuncture.

Any other Tired Girls want to share their acupuncture thoughts?


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Restaurant style chicken breasts -

Cooking chicken breasts was something I wanted to be good at (like a lot of things in life) and something I hadn't mastered (also MANY things in life - like ever having cash, making my hair look nice consistently, or picking up my shoes around the house). 

I am sure many of you rock chicken breasts, but for me they always came out tough or under done when baked, and there was no point in grilling them because, for details I won't bore you with, I wasn't good at it.

One day after giving up on becoming a senator or even changing out of my pj's I decided to learn how to grill chicken - and I did.  Now I am a grilling fool and as chicken breasts are better for me than my favorite - chicken thighs - and much better for me than Five Guys, I am sure Joe and I are already healthier.

I have streamlined a couple of these steps because when I often read recipes they use like 27 million pans and bowls and stuff - and I have other interests than washing 4 pans a night.

Here is what  I do -

1) Pull out chicken breasts in the a.m. and leave them wrapped in my sink. I buy the BOX of organic chicken breasts at Publix or Walmart. 

Oh chicken in a box - how I love you and don't question the boxness of it all.

2) Once defrosted I lay them on a big cutting board and pound both sides so they are about the same width through out and kind of soften up - this is the messiest part - but worth it. 

This photo is blurry - sorry.

3) Then I clean some dishes somewhere (there is always something to wash) which warms up my tap water and I put some hot water in a glass dish that will hold the breasts.  I sprinkle salt - some, I don't know how much, and I open up 2 Truvia packages of sugar and sprinkle that in, swish it around with my finger and let dissolve. Then I lay the chick breasts in and set the timer on my microwave for anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.

Chicken bath - what a fascinating photo

4) When they are done soaking I heat up a pan -I have a grill pan that I like, but also is problematic so sometimes I just use my huge skillet.  By the way - I grill many breasts at a time -a post about batch chicken here.

5) The grill needs to be hot - so I put on medium high - with Smart Balance cooking spray and wait for it to get hot.  Then I yank the breasts out, put them in the skillet, set the timer for 4-6 minutes and then flip to the other side for the same time. 

6) I usually pull one off and cut in half to make sure they are cooked through.

Hooray for cooked meat.
7) these chicken breasts turn out evenly cooked, juicy and flavorful - great on their own, on a salad, shredded for tacos (you know I have a taco problem right?), etc.  They are actually good - not rubbery or dry like my chicken breasts in the past.

I wrote a post about "batch cooking"  also - so when you combine this tactic with cooking in bulk, hours and hours are saved and good food is the result. I think I hear harp music.

So I may fail in some areas, but I have conquered the heck out of cooking chicken breasts. As a Tired Girl it's vital to have healthy food ready to go.

What is something you taught yourself how to do?

I would rather eat these  than chiken breast by the way, but whatever.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

I can do Wal-Mart -

Wal-Mart.  I know what you are thinking. 

Wal-Mart works for me though, and so I am sharing.  I understand that  it just DOES NOT work for others.  I also know that it is wrong that I shop there – that they squelch independent places, they strong-arm their vendors, they don’t pay enough for the production of their products, that they don’t give enough to philanthropies in relation to their profits.  All of these ides float through my head while I push a banged up cart that I have to actually push or else it will – on its own – move to the right and crash into aisles or people.

 Wal-Mart works for me though because, I can buy in one short trip: organic chicken thighs, staples for my staple gun, weed killer, organic almond butter, brie cheese, asparagus, a new jog bra, egg whites in a carton, an African violet, a bulk bag of skittles (when I was a classroom teacher), razor refills and calcium pills – all in one trip, and except for the weed killer, almost all of that fits in a hand basket AND I’m paying less for every one of those items then I would pay anywhere else.  Not necessarily by a lot, but at least by a little.  Done.  Target can come close, but I don’t have a Super Target and even those don’t have a craft section.

 Apparently the craft section is a non-negotiable.  I must craft.

I love pj's and Wal-Mart, but I would never disrespect
eithr by combining them.

I bring my reusable bags to Wal-Mart (they are fine with using those), I park by the Garden Area (easy in), I check out at the Garden area (easy out). I do not get prescriptions there – there will never be enough hours in the day for that – horrible!!  I smile at the screaming kids and their tired looking parents, I smile at the older people hogging the aisle, I enjoy the foreign languages I hear, I smile at the cashier, and I leave. I go home and enjoy a whole evening with my family instead of making 27 stops on the way home for all of that stuff and being exhausted.

With the time and money I save from shopping at WM, I can go to the library and peruse the used book section.  I actually have found great books there, but these two page-turning titles were skipped. For the record I like asparagus fine, but can't see a WHOLE book of recipes.  And I am plenty interested in past life regression I suppose, but "The Complete Idiot's Guide"????  I think the dumbed down version is just reckless, frankly.  You shouldn't trust past life regression tactics to a "Complete Idiot." 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Being somebody you are not -

When I was in college my friend Lacey and I were planning a night out with some friends, which included boys that were totally interesting to us.  In our typical over analysis of ourselves I declared I wanted to be more "intriguing" and she wanted to be more "outgoing." So we decided to spend that evening trying to be those things. I would not shout my opinions at anyone that would listen, like usual - to instead increase "intrigue" - I had plenty of mystery in me, I just needed to try it. And she was not going to let the other person do all the talking and instead really put herself out there in a more "outgoing" way. She is brilliant, and well-read, and so funny, and wonderful so there wasn't a lack of things for her to contribute - she just had to say it.
The result was predictable to probably everyone but us - we were stinking miserable. I worked all evening not to explode with my thoughts  and keep up the intrigue, and she looked like she'd been pushed out on to a stage with no routine planned.

After that boondoggle of an evening we decided we were who we were, for better or worse, and frankly we wanted a boy that wanted us for us.  Thankfully we both have that now.

This card hangs in my office and seriously gets my
butt in gear every time I read it, which is almost everyday.
The truth is I would love to be a Senator, or a professor, or run a successful company, but I also want to work from my home and wear pajamas and sew poorly constructed gifts for my loved ones, and write happy and vaguely unprofessional emails to my friends.  It's tough to be a Senator if Uggs are your chosen footwear I would guess.

This may sound totally shitty to a lot of you - so I am sorry in advance.  But sometimes we are who we are.  And even though I work to be better at who I am all the time there is a point where I may not ever be certain things.

Being a good and responsible person is a necessity - no free passes on that, and that is not what I mean in this instance.  None of this - "I am not good at not saving any money so I will just buy whatever I want - he he he," crap.

Not a great Senatorial campaign platform.
However, there is a real solid chance that I may never be Senator Alexander from the great state of Florida and co-chair of the Environment and Public Works committee.  

And I am definitely keeping my options open, but it's also not bad that I know that I like to get in bed early and I like to be with my family a lot and I would get nervous if I was interviewed on TV about why I voted a certain way for something and I would make some kooky joke, because I am a tad informal and I'm pretty sure no one is looking for a quirky, highly emotional, sleepy, creative Senator. "New Girl" as a Senator?  Probably not. 

This is my own - long winded of course - version of this same idea. 

OH!  One last thought.  Jackie Kennedy painted her whole life and every year she painted her mom a picture and every year her mom replaced the previous year's painting with the new one and hung it lovingly inside her clothes closet.  Has anyone ever been to an art exhibit of Jackie Kennedy's art work? Nope.  Buts she painted anyway, not to become a famous artist, but just for the joy.

So, just to wrap this up - It's good for us Tired Girls to WANT big things in life, but it's also good to work with what we got.  Lacey and I, back in the day, worked with what he had and had a perfectly great college experience. I wasn't very intriguing, but whatever.

Any semi-dreams you have realized, lately, aren't for you?  What a question.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Another (and maybe better) way to de-puff puffy eyes -

When I posted the Tired Girl tip:
"De-puffing puffy eyes" my friend and fellow Tired Girl, Jenny, sent me the idea of using witch hazel.  I had never done much with witch hazel, but knew some of its effects as it was in some of the products I used on my dog. 

Recently when I had to travel I knew I wouldn't be able to use my frozen de-puffing beads. It's not exactly feasible to cruise around with a medical cooler filled with eye beads; implying something important is in there like a liver or something. The eye beads had to stay at home.  I doused some cotton pads in a ziploc bag with tons of witch hazel, zipped it up and hoped for the best. I had never tried the witch hazel on my eyes before so it could have gone badly. 
I got mine at Wal-Mart or Target.
Here it is on Amazon.

The first morning though I placed one saturated cotton round on each eye while I laid flat on my back on the hotel bed.  I tapped my eyes and the area and bones around my eyes and laid there for about 2 minutes.  Not long. I felt the witch hazel going in to my eyes just a little and it burned a tiny bit, and I hoped I wasn't blinding myself.  

I put the cotton rounds back in my ziploc, patted my eyelids dry and surveyed myself in the mirror. It could have been the idea of hope coming through, or it really did work.  My eyes looked less puffy and a little tighter everywhere.  The tapping and lying on my back didn't hurt, but the witch hazel brought it home I think. FYI, witch hazel is in hemorrhoid cream which is why you have heard to put Preparation H on your eyes - skip that, and just go for the witch hazel.. 

This is a nice option, especially if you travel or don't readily have access to a freezer (maybe you camp a lot or something - I don't know)  and may this works even BETTER than the frozen bead thingys.  I am still thinking about that.

Thanks Tired Girl Jenny! 

I also read recently that the big hipster glasses that everyone wears these days are great for camouflaging eyes.  

This is an option if you are going to be interviewed on TV or have some big presentation coming up - and you'll look all smart.

These could be fun -I wonder if they look cheap in person. 

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