Monday, January 30, 2012

A Sneak PEEK

I had planned to show off Saturday's confections, but I forgot to upload all of my photos. Luckily, I snapped a few photos with my iPhone. Here is a sneak peek. More to come later!



Friday, January 27, 2012

Living in the Land of Enough

There is so much to be gained from down-sizing your life.

I remember watching an Oprah episode featuring an interview with Tom Shadyac, who wrote scripts and directed movies (Bruce Almighty, Liar Liar, Ace Ventura, etc.). In 2007, he sold his 17,000 sq ft multi-million dollar mansion in L.A. and moved into a nice trailer home. According to Tom, it was one of the best decisions of his life, and he described it as an enormous weight being lifted.

Tom finally freed himself from all of his stuff.

While most of us aren't exactly weighed down by L.A. mansions, luxury cars, and enormous yachts, we definitely all live in the land of excess.

I'll be the first to admit that I love nice things; however, it's difficult to enjoy the nice things when we are surrounded with so many things in general. To better appreciate your things, and to avoid the temptation of buying more things, I strongly suggest getting rid of your crap.

Last week, I rummaged through all of the kitchen cabinets and drawers, tossing out the junk. In one small cabinet, we had over fifty drinking glasses and plastic cups.

For the most part, it's only me and Brian using these dishes. Two people do not need fifty glasses.

It's also much more pleasant unloading the dishwasher and finding that there is actually room for the dishes.

In the past, unloading the dishwasher also meant rearranging everything in the cabinet.
It was a game of moving, shifting, and stacking to see how much could possibly fit.
It was The Art of Cramming.


After emptying the cabinets, Brian and I sorted through what we wanted to keep, what we wanted to throw out, and what we wanted to donate. Of course, when Brian wasn't looking, I would throw a few extra things into the trash pile.

I took two boxes of dishes to Goodwill. Not only did I feel like a good Samaritan, I felt more appreciative of the stuff we had decided to keep. After all, the stuff we chose to keep was the stuff we always preferred using in the first place.

When I went shopping at Home Goods later that day with my mom and sister, I found that I wasn't as tempted by the unique kitchen gadgets, the cute coffee mugs, or the cool appliances. I enjoyed my time perusing the aisles and left the store without spending a dime!

If you want to start embracing simplicity and frugality, you must acknowledge the unnecessary crap that surrounds you.

Toss it.
Donate it.
Burn it.
Get rid of it.

And then maybe you'll stop buying more.

Helpful Blog Links:
Becoming Minimalist
Be More with Less

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Ode to the Cars

Ode to His Cars
A Jetta, a Cobra, and then there’s the truck.
Kelly keeps repeating “Brian, what the f*!#?”
“You’ll never understand. I refuse to explain.”
So I bite my lips and I try to refrain.

Some days they’re working. Most days they ain’t.
One day it’s the tires. The next it’s the paint.
At least they look clean ‘cause you wash yours each day.
But my Honda? Once white, it’s now brown and gray.

“I love you, Kelly, but I love my cars more.”
Can’t say I haven’t heard that one before!
Your three come in handy, if we’re not going far.
But more than 10 miles? We’ll just take my car.

We can’t take the Cobra if it’s raining that day.
The truck’s windows roll up only half way.
The Jetta will smoke and it might overheat.
And then we’ll just have to get there by feet.

Despite this frustration, I love you so much.
I want a house, a dog, and kids, and such.
But this dream of mine may never come true,
So a ten car garage will just have to do.

(…and I’ll just park my Honda in the driveway.)
 


*These three cars will one day be the death of me. Or my relationship. I think I will start a support group for wives and girlfriends of car-obsessed men.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Creative Valentine's Day Gift Ideas for Him

I know it's a little early.

I know I'm a Type-A planner.

And yes, I have a notebook filled with my plans for the Super Bowl, Valentine's Day, Easter, and Brian's 30th birthday party in April.

I often get ahead of myself.

Today I thought I would share with you some Valentine's Day gifts that I considered buying for my handsome boyfriend, Brian. 

But first...

How-Not-To-Do Valentine's Day

Text Message from Brian on 2/14/10: Hey babe, what do you want for Valentine's Day? Perfume or lotion?

Text Message from Kelly on 2/14/10: Um....I guess perfume.

Text Message from Brian on 2/14/10: Ok. Just ordered it. Should be here in about 7-10 days. Happy Valentine's Day


I will give Brian some credit- 2010 may go down as my most memorable Valentine's Day.  
Not because I was swept off my feet, but because I was so annoyed.

I created my very own Romance Meter this morning. 
Brian, of course, was the first and only candidate I tested it on.....


Just as I suspected.

When it comes to Brian being romantic, low expectations have always served me well.

I can't say I would score much higher on the Romance Meter myself. I would consider myself an unromantic cynic, but at least I get a little credit for my creativity.

Ok, now on to the Valentine's Day Gift Ideas for Him.

Gift Idea #1: Smittens

I saw these smittens on Etsy. Perfect for walking hand-in-hand on those chilly evening strolls. 
(Or, in my case, walking from the car into Sharky's pool hall).

Gift Idea #2: Graphic Tees

 I think this T-shirt pretty much explains itself.

Gift Idea #3: A Surprise Proposal

I'm trying to decide when it's appropriate for me to stray from my traditional values and simply propose to Brian myself. I think this Marriage Proposal Lottery Ticket would be perfect. 

My only fear is that Brian would think I'm joking and then it would be a total fail. The only thing worse than "Remember that Valentine's Day in 2010 when you texted me and asked what I wanted and then it arrived in the mail ten days later..." would be 
"Remember that Valentine's Day when I proposed to you, and you laughed, and then I cried and said that it wasn't a joke, and you said you wished it had been an actual lottery ticket instead...."

But ladies, if you're ambitious, I say go for it.

There you have it. Three great ideas. 

I will unveil my actual Valentine's Day gift on the blog later in February.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Five Things

The tulips I bought at the grocery store last week ($3) sat on the table, right underneath a light. When the light was on, they would open up. When the light was off, they would close back up. It was so neat to watch! I think after the 100th time I shouted "OMG! Look at the flowers!" Brian was wishing I had never bought them in the first place.

My sister and I went to the grand opening of Videri Chocolate Factory in downtown Raleigh. It was a fun thing to do on a Saturday afternoon. The staff walks you through the chocolate-making process and you get to taste all the samples. 

These inflatable Christmas decorations were on display outside of a co-workers office for the entire month of December. I laughed every time I walked by that hallway.

Fondant owl decorations for baby shower cupcakes. Though we didn't end up using the cupcake toppers, the red velvet cupcakes were delicious topped with a cream cheese frosting.

This is what watching television looks like when you have three dogs. (Or when your daughters have three dogs. Sorry dad.)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Chicken: Three Ways


On my tight budget last week, I purchased a large bag of frozen chicken breasts. I planned for chicken to be the star of three separate meals.

Meal 1: Cheddar Baked Chicken + Corn + Biscuits

Meal 2: BBQ Chicken Sandwiches + French Fries

Meal 3: Cajun Chicken Alfredo + Garlic Bread

For the Cheddar Baked Chicken, I coated my chicken breasts in flour, dipped them in a beaten egg, drenched 'em in shredded cheddar cheese, then plunged them into crushed Saltine crackers.
 

After that process, I placed the two large chicken breasts in a coated baking dish and baked at 415 degrees for 35 minutes. (Baking time will vary depending on the size of your chicken, so check to make sure it is completely cooked).


I thought the chicken was delicious, but it could have been improved had I used a baking rack instead. On a rack, the chicken would have cooked a bit crispier. Brian pushed all of the "mushy" breading off of the chicken, and I happily accepted it onto my plate. It was cheesy, and salty, and scrumptious. 


BBQ Chicken Sandwiches
A simple way to make BBQ chicken sandwiches: Put desired amount of raw chicken breasts (mine were still frozen) into the crockpot, adding lots of BBQ sauce. Cook on low heat for approximately 6 hours. Chicken will easily shred once cooked. 

Cajun Chicken Alfredo
Cooked pasta, a jar of your favorite sauce, and blackened chicken strips. Effortless.

There you have it. Three simple ways to use your chicken breasts.

I never claimed to be the Next Top Chef.
More like the Next-to-Last.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Dolla Dolla Bill Y'all

Last week was huge for me- I completely paid off my credit card.
It left a total of $100 in my checking account.
By the time I bought gas and a prescription at the drug store, I was down to $45.
I was bound and determined NOT to use my credit card, so that gave me only $45 to spend for an entire week until my next payday. 

Yesterday, the day before I got paid, I had $11 left in my account! For the math impaired, that means I only spent $34 in 7 days!

Okay, the truth of the matter is this: The day after I announced my $45 weekly budget, I illegally parked in downtown Raleigh and was fined $30 for parking in a No Parking Zone. I still have yet to pay that fine, so I did not subtract that amount from my $45 budget.

Also, I have a wonderful boyfriend and wonderful parents who bought dinner for me on Friday and Saturday night. (Love you dearly).

But, essentially, I myself only spent $34 in one week.

With my small budget, I was actually able to have an exciting weekend, visit new places, purchase cleaning supplies, buy groceries, and cook three meals. Of course I had to make a few sacrifices, such as bringing leftovers to work for lunch, but it definitely paid off in the end! I was actually able to put a large part of my paycheck into my SAVINGS account today, since I had no credit card amount to pay down!

Many of you have heard me say this before, but Dave Ramsey can change your life. So can the book "The Millionaire Next Door." Or basically any book, website, or financial adviser that will tell you this: 

Stop Spending.

A person with a six-figure salary is poor if they spend all of his/her money. 
The majority of people driving luxury cars are in debt. 
The status symbols that typically indicate someone's wealth are actually better predictors of someone's debt.

While I doubt I'll ever be coupon-crazy, I've lately become very frugal (not by choice, but by necessity). I decided I would share with you a few reasonable and realistic tips that will hopefully help you to save more money. These tips will be on the blog every Friday.

Unlike Dave Ramsey (who will tell you to eat Beans and Weenies until you pay down your debt), I'm always realistic about what I am willing/unwilling to sacrifice. 

Today's Tip
Shop at the dollar store. 

Everything pictured below came from the Dollar Tree, totaling $8. While you can't expect to get everything at the dollar store, the prices are unbeatable. For many items, the quality is comparable to name-brand items you would find at Walmart.  They even carry some name-brand items (Sargento Cheese? Yes, please).

I've heard that many dollar stores, such as Family Dollar and Dollar Tree, have made significant upgrades and are now strong competitors to other low-cost stores. The dollar store I went to was very big, and offered everything from party supplies, to groceries, to housekeeping products.

Even though I had to make a trip to Food Lion to buy the remainder of my stuff, it was worth the extra trip to the dollar store to save a lot of money. And now I have glass cleaner that will last for the next year...or two!

If you are willing to make an extra stop at the dollar store, I guarantee you will reap the rewards of extra savings!




Thursday, January 19, 2012

Five Principles to Apply to Your Life...Now.

At the beginning of the new year, I decided I would do the "12 in 12" challenge, an idea that I first saw on Nancy Ray's blog. I felt that reading twelve self-improvement books, ranging from finances to relationships, would help me grow as a person.

I searched high and low for recommendations for the best self-improvement books on the market. Some are old, some are new, and all have been described as revolutionary.

The first book on my list was Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People," a book that was first published in 1936. I'm amazed that a book written so long ago is perfectly relevant today. It makes me think of one of my favorite Bible verses, Ecclesiastes 3:15: "What is has already been, and what will be has been before."

I've been working hard to apply the principles in this book to my life, and though I'm not perfect, I have seen immediate results.

1. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, people don't criticize themselves for anything, no matter how wrong it may be. You will save yourself from a lot of frustration the moment you accept that you cannot change another person.
There will always be people who are mean, evil, thoughtless, immoral, or just plain miserable with life. There will be times when good people lack good judgment. We live in a world where nobody wants to accept responsibility for themselves or take any sort of blame. Humans are not creatures of logic, we are creatures of emotion. Better to just accept this as a truth, rather than to complain, condemn, or judge other people.

2. You can make more friends in two months by becoming genuinely interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.
If we want to make friends, let's put ourselves out to do things for other people- things that require time, energy, and unselfishness. We should remember that people (and this goes for everyone!) are a hundred times more interested in themselves than anyone else. A person's toothache means more to that person than a famine in China which kills a million people.

3. Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.
Everybody in the world is seeking happiness, and there is one sure way to find it- by controlling your thoughts. I have seen happier people working in the fields of Honduras than in the luxury car stopped beside me at a stoplight. That's because happiness comes from within. It's a choice.   

4. Remember someone's name.
More often than not, I am unable to repeat a person's name back to them immediately after they tell me their name. This is embarrassing to admit, but I doubt I am the only one. This happens because we're not really listening and registering their name in our minds. Remember a name and recall it easily, and you will have paid a subtle and very effective compliment. The average person is more interested in his or her own name than all other names on earth combined. 

5. I have come to the conclusion that there is only one way under high heaven to get the best of an argument- and that is to avoid it.
In the past, I have been quick to argue, but it is so much better to simply let it go.
Even with the petty things, it is so tempting to want to be right. I will often use my smart phone just to prove a point. But is there really anything more annoying than having someone contradict what you say?
I'm guilty of being contradictory myself, but let's all agree that there is never a good time, place, or reason to contradict something. In the grand scheme of life, it doesn't really matter who sang that song, who directed that movie, or _insert any other trivial matter._

*Please note that most of this blog post is a regurgitation of "How to Win Friends and Influence People." It is not my original work. I would highly recommend that you read and re-read this book.*

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Homemade Coffee Creamer


I noticed an abundance of homemade coffee creamer recipes showing up on blogs and Pinterest last week. Since I had all of the ingredients and a carton of milk that was about to expire, I decided to make it myself.


Homemade Coffee Creamer
1 8oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup milk (I used 2%)
2 tsp Almond Extract
Several shakes of Cinnamon

Pour into mason jar and shake. Pour a generous amount into your coffee.

I am not sure how long this will last in the fridge, but I've had it a week and it still tastes great!

With the homemade version, I found that I had to use a lot more cream in my coffee than usual; however, I did not have to add any additional sweetener. The coffee with the homemade creamer tasted equally as good as a Starbucks latte. It actually resembled a latte much more than coffee, likely due to the sweetened condensed milk.

While I personally love the flavor and smell of almond extract, the variations are endless. Use the milk base and make up your own creation.

Peppermint Extract + Cocoa Powder

Vanilla Extract + Cinnamon Sticks

Pumpkin Pie Spice

....And many more ideas can be found online!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Kitchen Favorites

"The kitchen is the heartbeat of the home."
-Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa

I feel like 90% of my purchases are kitchen appliances, utensils, or baking supplies. Everything on my Christmas list this year was kitchen-related. 

I wanted to share with you a few things that I simply adore.

These measuring cups came from Anthropologie. I love how they sit inconspicuously on the countertop, and then they're within arms-reach when I'm ready to use them.


I'm in love with these glass canisters from Crate & Barrel. I use them to store sugar and flour, which I'm always using for baking. They come in three different sizes and are reasonably priced at about $20. The little scoops are my favorite part (also from Crate & Barrel). If you're a coffee drinker, I think these canisters would look great filled with coffee beans too.


Another Anthropologie gift! These kitchen towels are precious. For a while, they were the only thing that I had "pinned" to Pinterest. In my dream kitchen that doesn't yet exist, I imagine these would be hung across a clothesline using clothespins.

Like so....

In other kitchen news, I'm considering transforming our old laminate kitchen countertops into "granite" using the Giani Granite kit. Here is a picture from their website, with a "Before" photo in the top left corner. It's gotten amazing reviews, but I'm still not convinced that this inexpensive do-it-yourself product could be so easy and look this good.

Do you think I should give it a go? Brian was open to the idea, but he didn't exactly offer to help with the transformation process.

It may have "potential disaster" written all over it.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Nothing in this Post is Sexually Suggestive.

That's lie #1.

Last night, I forced Brian onto the bed.
I tied him up with some rope.
And I did something naughty....

I forced him to read my blog.

That's lie #2.
(I would never force anyone to read my blog.)

I will be completely honest with you: I have not blogged since last Monday because my Brazilian wax testimonial was criticized and deemed "sexually suggestive."

While my intent was never to be sexually suggestive, perhaps that criticism was actually a compliment.

A lot of my favorite things in life are sexually suggestive or contain sexually suggestive material:

My favorite song (Bob Seger "Night Moves")

My favorite movie (Caddyshack)

My favorite book (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)

And my favorite piece of artwork (see below)**

*I actually don't have a favorite piece of artwork, but if I did, this would definitely not be it. This was just the first sexually suggestive artwork that came to mind.

**Drawing of Jenna Jamison, re-drawn by Brian Strawberry.

With the exception of a few people, I have absolutely no idea who makes up my blog audience. My blog content has always been random and unpredictable.

I idolize Martha Stewart and Lisa Lampanelli. My hobbies are probably similar to those of your 80-year-old grandma, but my humor is synonymous with words that would describe your trashcan (dirty, filthy).

If you prefer my G-rated blog posts, you will be thrilled to know that everything I have in store for this week will be suitable for all audiences.

If you would like to know more about Brazilian waxing, just ask me. I'm an open book and I have no filter. I will share all the gritty details.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Snickers Brownies

I'm bound and determined to use everything in the pantry for my cooking/baking these days. I can never seem to get out of the grocery store for under $50, so it's best I avoid it when I can.

When I realized we had abundance of Christmas Snickers Minis leftover from the holidays, I went to work on finding a recipe to use them.

I found a recipe for Snickers Brownies on the
My Baking Addiction blog.

I adapted the recipe a bit because I didn't have unsweetened chocolate on hand. I did, however, have a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips, so I used those instead.




The other ingredients included butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, eggs, flour, and Snickers bars.
I was thrilled I didn't have to go to the grocery store!
I followed the recipe on My Baking Addiction, though I did use more Snickers than what was originally called for. I ended up baking my brownies for 20 mins longer than the suggested time (50 mins total) and yet they still never got completely cooked.

Perhaps it was the Snickers overload or the semi-sweet chocolate chips.

I'm no brownie expert, but an undercooked brownie is still a brownie none the less.


I took them to Sharky's with me on Saturday night and they were all quickly devoured.
Have you ever had Symphony Brownies? My roomate in college first introduced me to them. I think those will always be my favorite brownies!

Have a wonderful Monday! 

Friday, January 6, 2012

A Short List of Personal Wisdoms

1. I Don't Need All That Stuff.

Have you ever had the experience of looking at the Year To Date on your paycheck and wondering where the heck all that money went!?!?

I looked down at the YTD from my last paycheck from December and thought to myself....

Shut the front door.

How is it that I've made that much money and yet I have no money?

Americans have a serious issue with living above their means. I, on the other hand, manage to live right at my means.

I'm in a position where I could easily be living below my means and actually saving a lot of dough.

Last week, I purged my closet of so many clothes. Be honest with yourself: You're probably wearing the same seven outfits on a weekly rotation.

I managed to overcome my clothing addiction a couple years ago, but I still manage to buy so much crap. As of late, I've become much more conscious of my spending and have realized I don't need all that stuff.

2. Stick with It.

Music. Athletics. Theater.

All of my hobbies were amazing until the moment I decided they were no longer amazing.

I think I most regret giving up the piano, though I can probably still play "Three Blind Mice" like a rock star.


3. I'm Not in the Spotlight.

We all are victim to the Spotlight Effect. "All eyes are on me."

When you fall down the steps, stumble, or make any sort of embarrassing blunder, other people may recall it for about five minutes. You're the only one who is gonna remember it five years later.

(And yes, Betsy, I totally remember busting my ass on the ice that time at Elon, while carrying my books, my lap top, and my gym clothes!)


There you have it. My short list of personal wisdoms.

I'm excited to say I have an uneventful weekend planned. I got a new Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker for Christmas, so perhaps I'll be busy making some new concoctions.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Life Lessons, Wisdom, and Relationships

Am I young?
Am I old?
I guess the answer depends on the person I'm asking.
(Although I still like to think I could pass for seventeen).

My attitude and my actions now reflect a maturity that I didn't have ten years ago, and in ten years from now, I'll hopefully be saying the same thing.

I count my blessings that Facebook did not exist when I was in middle school or high school. I had enough concerns about my looks, my popularity, my friendships, and my social status, without the added pressure of comparing myself to my Facebook friends, using it as an emotional outlet, or trying to gain attention through my photos or status updates.

I even look back on some of my blog posts and can tell you that I'm not proud of them. Whether I was angry, bitter, or hurt, emotions are always a hard thing to disguise.

I'm trying to live my life with greater intentionality, and avoid doing anything that would be incongruent with my personal goals: to be kind to everyone, to be successful, to show gratitude, or as my mother likes to say...

To live above reproach.

When I think of the things I value most in life, such as my relationship with Brian, I stop and ask myself if my actions and behaviors are consistent with those values.

If my significant other was doing this action/behavior, would I care?

If he were innocently flirting with someone else, would I care?
If he was venting about me to his friends, would I care?
If he was being disrespectful to me, would I care?

Let me backtrack and say that I've never actually worried about Brian innocently flirting with other girls.

I've beared witness to his attempts at flirting.

Relationships are hard enough as it is.

If I your actions are not beneficial to the relationship, you need to re-evaluate your intentions.

Anyways, I don't know why I'm saying all this.  My own relationship is rainbows and butterflies.

The proof is in the pictures.


I should probably write a book on relationships.

Not a book on marraige.

Just a book on long-term dating.

Well, I've now completely lost track of my original blog intentions and I have inserted "Relationships" into the blog title, so that I may somewhat fool you into thinking this was my plan all along. Tomorrow I will unveil my real post of personal wisdoms.

All for now.

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Reading is Sexy


Do you like to read?

If yes, join my book club.

If no, join my book club.

Visit the website to learn more about Read Between the Wines. We meet in the Triangle area on the last Thursday of the month.We are kicking off a brand new year and I would be thrilled to add some new faces to our monthly meetings!

If you enjoy socializing with really cool people or are just hoping to get involved in something new this year, contact me via email, blog, or Facebook.

Sorry guys. Females only.

Read Between the Wines
Contact: Kelly Lawrence


Monday, January 2, 2012

Resolutions


The Baby Jesus had been glued onto one of our friend's tacky Christmas sweaters.

He made his way into almost every New Year's Party picture.


I'm too easily amused.

Alright, onto my 2012 New Year's Resolutions. (And no, I'm not making any promises to give up Facebook this year. That didn't work out too well.)

I've done my research and they say the best goals are goals that are SMART.


Specific
Measurable
Attainable
Realistic
Timely

I broke down my goals for the year into 4 broad categories:
Finances, Relationships, Health, Personal

I then broke it down further into very specific, measurable goals. I won't bore you with all of the details.

This is the first year in my life that I have the opportunity to be financially independent. Though it may be short-lived pending some other factors, I finally have no debt and a steady income.

As far as relationships go, I can definitely do a better job at nurturing my friendships. My life is very busy, as is everyone else's that I know of, but that shouldn't be an excuse.

When it comes to my romantic relationship, I plan to be more deliberate and intentional. While it's great to be comfortable in a relationship, I think it can also be dangerous if you lose the excitement. Obviously not everyday will be exciting--that's life. But I can make a deliberate effort to plan and do exciting things.


Health-wise, I need to get better at taking a preventative approach. The dentist, the dermatologist, etc. Why wait until you are having a problem when you can avoid the problem altogether? I tend to put my health on the back-burner, because I have no obvious health problems. I'm young and thin, but I definitely don't have the healthiest habits.

I made some personal goals, mostly relating to my job and my personal activities. It's important for me to start going to church regularly. I want to be on top of my game at work, always going above and beyond what is expected. I need to keep practicing my cake decorating. I want to keep reading book after book after book.

I'm excited to see what this year has in store. I am so thankful for where I am at in my life.

The Sweet Tooth will be going full force this year.

You can keep expecting references to Brazilian waxes, private parts, and menstrual cycles. I like to leave nothing to the imagination.

You can keep expecting food, cake decorating, and pictures of my dog.

You can keep NOT expecting romantic stories that involve Brian leaving me flowers and sweet love notes, Brian sweeping me off my feet, or Brian looking up from the video game and asking me if I want to spend the evening sipping wine and talking about our future children.

You will be severely disappointed because that shit never happens.



My body still hurts from when Brian danced with me at the New Year's party, twirled me around, dipped me, and then dropped me completely on the floor.

Dancing is not on the agenda for 2012.

Happy New Year everyone!