• November 25, 2015

    Top 5 Thanksgiving Themed Episodes

    By now, I think it is safe to say that we are all familiar with the Friends episode (S5E8 – The One With All The Thanksgivings)where Joey gets a turkey stuck on his head, right?  Classic Thanksgiving hilarity!  But, that episode has been out for nearly 20 years now (goodness, really?  I am getting old!), they show it pretty much every year, and it’s getting a little overdone.  So, to help you mix things up a little, I’ve compiled my top five favorite Thanksgiving episodes of shows for  you to enjoy this year!

    How I Met Your Mother: S3E9 – Slapsgiving and S5E9 – Slapsgiving 2: Revenge of the Slap (Marshall torments Barney with the idea of being slapped from their ongoing slap bets)

    How-I-Met-Your-Mother

    How-I-Met-Your-Mother-Episode

    Gilmore Girls: S3E9 – A Deep Fried Korean Thanksgiving (when Rory and Lorelai try to make it to 4 Thanksgiving dinners and Lane has her first kiss)

    Gilmore-Girls

    Gilmore-Girls-Episode

    Scrubs: S1E9 – My Day Off (JD gets appendicitis on Thanksgiving and Elliott tries to be nicer to her patients)

    Scrubs

    Scrubs-Episode

    New Girl: S1E6 – Thanksgiving (Jess invites Paul, her crush, to Thanksgiving dinner with the guys, but none of them have any idea what they are doing in the kitchen)

    New-Girl

    New-Girl-Episode

    Will and Grace: S2E7 – Homo for the Holidays (Will and Grace discover that Jack never came out to his mom and encourage him to have that conversation, but Jack learns the truth about his father when he talks to her)

    Will-and-Grace

    Will-and-Grace-Episode

    And, if all else fails, you can always enjoy the Parade in NYC, the AKC Dog Show, or A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving!

  • October 14, 2015

    Nerd Girls Guide to the Gym: Etiquette

    Feature-Image

    Now that you have your membership, a fully stocked and packed gym bag, and have tried it out a couple of times, it’s time to really think about how you behave at the gym.  While you may be there for some undisturbed “me time” and don’t really want to think about anyone else, everyone else who is there will thank you for following these rules:

    • Don’t take a machine next to someone you don’t know if you don’t have to
    • Don’t stare or judge other gym goers
    • Don’t take a machine with a view out the window if you’re just going to stare at your phone the whole time
    • Show up on time or early for classes and appointments with trainers
    • Be respectful of others – if someone is wearing headphones, they are probably not looking for conversation – leave them alone
    • Return free weights, medicine balls, etc. to their proper storage places when you’re done
    • Dress appropriately for the activity you are doing
    • Safety first – pay attention to where you’re going, be careful not to disrupt others while they are lifting, don’t stare at your phone while on a machine or walking around on the floor, etc.
    • In a class, make sure there is enough distance between you, your neighbors, and the walls so you’re not bumping into anyone
    • Don’t over expose yourself or excessively groom in the locker room
    • Try not to sing out loud to the music you’re listening to
    • Be friendly, but not too friendly
    • Bring a towel with you on the floor and use it – nobody wants your sweaty sweat dripping on them
    • Clean the machine when you are done with it

    Lockers

    I’m sure there are many more rules of etiquette that can be added to this list, but these are some things that I’ve observed and that relate to some of my personal pet peeves.  The biggest thing (and overarching theme here) is to be respectful of those around you and treat others how you would hope they would treat you.  Pretty simple, really!

    Balls

  • September 30, 2015

    Nerd Girls Guide to the Gym: Getting Started

    Gym-Bag

    Now that you have all of your stuff and your gym bag is packed, what do you actually do with it all?  If you’re anything like me, the idea of using a machine you don’t understand in front of a bunch of people who are probably way better at this stuff than you are is super intimidating.  My first few times, I decided that I basically understood the treadmill and had used one before, so I hopped on and did my best.  But that gets really old really quick if you’re not a runner.

    Spoiler alert: I’m not a runner.

    So, what’s an out of shape nerd girl to do?  Finally I decided that it was in my best interest to sign up to meet with a personal trainer.  This was also super intimidating, but I figured that she could at least show me how to work more than just a treadmill.  Our first session, we talked about my goals and started a file with all of my weight, body fat measurements, etc.  It was our second session when we really got down to business and she provided me with a plan that I could work on in between our sessions without her help.  She showed me how to do each exercise and explained how it would help me reach my goals.

    Once I had a plan, it made showing up at the gym much easier and less intimidating.  Plus, having a variety of things to work on helped a lot to keep me interested and motivated.  Of course, personal trainers are stupid expensive, so I can’t meet with her very often.  But, every few months we plan to check in and she can give me some more things to work on.  It’s been a pretty good arrangement for me; however, if a personal trainer is not an option for you, many gyms offer some great classes as a part of the regular fees each month.   This means that you can get in on some fun work outs like yoga or Zumba and you can get some ideas for your own workouts from the other classes too.  These classes are great to help you with staying accountable too, if you get to know the teacher or some of the other class participants.

    No matter what you do, if you are a non-athlete like me, starting at a gym will be a little intimidating.  It’s a new environment filled with people of all skill levels – many of whom are really good.  But, many aren’t so good too.  And everyone started in basically the same place.  So, I make it my mission to keep my head down and do my own thing when I’m at the gym.  I’m not very strong or fast and I still have to take time to figure out the machines, but I’m there for me, nobody else.  When it’s tempting to compare myself to others and get down on myself for not being at the level I want to be, I force myself to stop and refocus on the work at hand.  I focus on my goals and put the blinders back up.  I remind myself that I don’t know each person’s story or struggles and again focus inward.

    Strength doesn’t come from what you can do.  It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t.  – Ashley Greene 

  • August 26, 2015

    Nerd Girls Guide to the Gym: What’s in my Gym Bag?

    Feature-Image

    A couple months ago I did something I never thought I would do.  Ever.  In a million, billion years.  Brace yourselves, y’all… I joined a gym.

    That’s right, laugh it up.  But joining a gym was actually pretty traumatic for me.  You see, I was never athletic or even a little bit interested in sports or exercise or anything in that vein of existence.  My big thing was always that there should be a point to exercise and it should be fun, so things like hiking and camping, and household chores generally fit the bill (note: chores are not fun, but necessary… so I always looked at it like exercise).  But then, I discovered that I was struggling with some of those things.  I also discovered that my shorts from last summer didn’t fit anymore and my jeans took way too long to pull up over my butt.

    After mentioning it to a co-worker with similar problems, I realized my mistake!  She started asking what I was doing to make it better.  She started talking about her own active lifestyle.  And then she told me the gym near my soon-to-be-new-neighborhood was doing a summer sale and pushed just enough to get me to join.  Damn her.

    So, there I was with a gym membership and absolutely no idea what to do with it!  Being the nerd girl that I am, I did the most logical thing I could think of… Google it!

    Google quickly made it apparent that my first step would be to hit the stores because I didn’t have anything a person needs to go to the gym.  The following is a list of what I decided was necessary at first and have since discovered a need for after having, you know, actually been to the gym:

    Gym-Bag

    Gym bag

     

    Gym clothes & cross trainers (pants, top, bra, socks, shoes)

    Gym clothes & cross trainers (pants, top, bra, socks, shoes)

     

    Beauty & grooming supplies (brush, hair ties, headbands,  face wipes, deodorant, towel, etc.)

    Beauty & grooming supplies (brush, hair ties, headbands, face wipes, deodorant, towel, etc.)

     

    Water bottle & Snacks (trail mix, KIND bar)

    Water bottle & Snacks (trail mix, KIND bar)

     

    Lock

    Lock

    I know a lot of people also bring their ipod/phone and headphones, but I find that too cumbersome.  I hate headphones anyway and the gym plays music so loud that I’d probably hurt my eardrums if I turned it up enough to block out the outside noise.  I know a lot of people also shower at the gym and would therefore need shower shoes, a big towel, and shower supplies.  I will never be so comfortable that I could get nekkid and shower in a public space… but to each her own.  Fortunately, the face wipes also work great on armpits and other sweaty areas, so it wouldn’t be an issue for me to go from the gym to the movies, or shopping, or whatever.

    Anyway, I hope this helps my fellow non-athletes who are ready to move towards a more active lifestyle.  Looking the part and being prepared really helped me adjust to the atmosphere and actually go to the gym.  I’m planning to follow up this first step with another installment about what to actually do once you have your gear and are ready to work, so keep an eye out for more!  

  • July 15, 2015

    Top 5 Things on Etsy

    As you may or may not remember, my birthday is coming up at the end of this month and I am super excited!  I generally try not to get too overly excited about these things, but I’ve gotta say, my grown up birthdays have been way better than most of my childhood birthdays.  So, let’s just say I’m making up for lost time!

    Anyway, if you’re looking for something awesome to get me for the big 2-8, here is a list of my five favorite things on etsy right now.  ;)

    First up is this amazing corgi t-shirt by yayforfidgetart:

    Corgi TShirt

    yayforfidgetart

    It looks so soft and comfy, plus there is a very classy looking corgi which I find amazing and hilarious.

    Next up is this print with one of my many favorite quotes from the I.T. Crowd (if you haven’t seen this series, drop everything right now and go watch it!):

    Damn Good

    The Geekerie

     

    And now, some more prints!  *grin*  I couldn’t choose just one to represent Ben Byrd’s artwork, so here are three of my favorites:

    Hagrid

    Hagrid and his new dragon

     

    Cutepunk

    Cutepunk Octoship

     

    Walsh

    Wash flies Serenity. He is a leaf on the wind

     

     

    I am becoming a big fan of this style of jewelry.  I love the raw edges and bright colored stones!  It’s a perfect balance between polished and natural that makes me really happy.  *grin*

    KmichaelStyle

    KmichaelStyle

     

    And last but not least is this beautiful papercraft of Totoro from Will Pigg:

    Totoro

    WillPigg

    I love the perfect detail he puts into his pieces – every cut creates texture and movement that you wouldn’t ever dream could come from paper!  He must be the most patient man in the world to create what he does!

     

    So, there you have it!  My top five favorite things on Etsy!  Now, get shopping!  ;)

  • March 18, 2015

    Top 5: Things for Spring

    In the last couple of months, I have become completely obsessed with bright colors.  I don’t know if it’s just the dreary winter getting to me or if I’m turning into someone who just loves color, but whatever the reason, I am having a lot of fun with it!  *grin*  For this Top Five, I have chosen a few beauties that I am in love with this spring.  I don’t actually own any of these things, so I can’t give a review or tell you about fit or function.  Think of it more like a wish list.  *wink*wink*

     

    Fossil-Bag

    Fossil

    ModCloth-Dress

    Modcloth

     

    Boma-Lotus-Necklace

    Boma Jewelry

    Shoes

    DSW

    Dr-Horrible-Print

    adriantoddzilla

  • February 18, 2015

    Galentine’s Re-Cap

    Feature-Image

    I love being a woman.  I love all of the things we get to do and say and be.  I love dressing up and looking nice.  I love kicking butt when nobody else thought I could.  I love making beautiful things and sharing them with others.  I love being friends and sharing life with other women.  I love the women in this world who aren’t afraid to put themselves out there and become amazing role models for the rest of us.

    One such woman is Amy Pohler.  I have loved her in SNL and Baby Mama, but her portrayal of Leslie Knope in Parks and Rec is by far my favorite character of hers!  I love Leslie’s tenacity, enthusiasm, and the way she so deeply loves and commits to her friends.  She’s the woman who knows how to play the corporate/government game but doesn’t let it get her down.  She’s the one who never gives up.  She’s the woman who makes cakes and cards and plans whole day excursions for the birthdays of her office-mates.

    This is a woman who is all in all the time.

    I watch her and think to myself, “how can I be like her?  She is smart and fun!”

    So, this year, I took some notes from her playbook of loving on the people you love:

    What a great idea, isn’t it?  Galentines day?  I love it!

    *grin*

    The trouble I have, though, is that so many of my dearest lady pals live far, far away from me.  We all started out in a tiny Colorado town and were as close as any girls could be.  But, as we grew up and outgrew that tiny town, we were scattered to all of the ends of the earth.  Literally.

    This makes Galentine’s Day brunch a little difficult, so instead I decided to send cards to each of my favorite girls to let them know I miss them.  I admire them.  I am so happy that they are happy.  None of us have built a life like another of us – one has kids, one just left the military, one took some time to drift before jumping in to a career in art and beauty, and one writes this blog.  We’re all so different, and that is what I love about us!  Despite different life choices, we remain good friends.  We are finding ways to stand the tests of time and distance.

    Maybe Galentine’s Day is a little corny, but I think we could all use a little more corny in our lives.  There’s nothing like knowing how much someone else adores you and wants you to be happy, no matter how that looks for you.

    I think this is a tradition I want to start and keep up.  And I think next year I will try to be a little more organized and get my local gal-pals together for some actual brunch and celebrating each other.

    Mmmm-Cake

  • January 14, 2015

    Books of 2014

    Feature-Image

    Last year I challenged myself to read books whose titles start with each letter of the alphabet.  I am a somewhat slow reader, so I never expected to complete 26 books…. but 10 is significantly below my usual number of books in a year!  I’ve done a lot of thinking about that and I think the fact that the Game of Thrones books are all the length of at least 3 regular books should count for something here.  Right?

    *grin*

    Anyway, I think this year has been a pretty good one in terms of reading and feeling challenged overall by what I am reading.  So, without further ado, here is my 2014 reading list:

    An-Abundance-of-Katherines

    A – An Abundance of Katherines

    Not my favorite of John Green’s books, but still worth reading.  I enjoyed the book, but it was definitely a teenybopper book with a whiney protagonist.  I also thought the situation (road trip to get over a dramatic break up turned summer job and living with people they – and their parents – had never met) seemed too far-fetched for me.  Still, if you just accept the story and don’t think about the logistics too much, it was fun to read.

     

    Book-Thief

    B – Book Thief

    Great book!  I haven’t seen the film adaptation yet, but I think I will.  I love that the whole story was written from the perspective of Death.  I have always had an interest in World War 2, but I have never seen the story brought to life quite like this book was able to do.  I definitely felt connected to – and worried for – the “book thief.”

     

    Fault-in-Our-Stars

    F – Fault in Our Stars

    A much better book by John Green; I’ve rarely cried so hard over, well, anything.  The story is a little unbelievable and romanticized, but I don’t think that is a bad thing, here.  John did a great job pulling all the right heartstrings and wrapping it all up in metaphor.  And if you haven’t, see the movie too… they did a great job sticking to the book!

     

    Game-of-Thrones

    G –Game of Thrones

    Clash-of-Kings

    C – Clash of Kings (Game of Thrones 2)

    Storm-of-Swords

    S – Storm of Swords (Game of Thrones 3)

    The Game of Thrones series is amazing and I love it.  I love it so much!  *grin*  For those who are intimidated by the size of the books – don’t be!  They are well written and kept my interest throughout.  If you’ve seen the show, the books are SO worth reading because they go deeper and provide so much more insight into the lives and thoughts of the characters.

     

    Handmaid's-Tale

    H – Handmaids Tale

    I am much less enthusiastic about this one.  Don’t get me wrong, it was decent in its own right, I just don’t usually go for the dystopian/science-fiction genre.  Definitely some interesting perspectives and cautionary themes regarding extremism and religious oppression.

     

    Indian-Killer

    I – Indian Killer

    This book was also not one of my favorite genres, so I think I’m a little less enthusiastic than maybe I should be.  I’ve read Sherman Alexie’s short stories and young adult novels before, so I had something much different in mind when I started reading Indian Killer.  Alexie was clearly very angry when this book was written and most of the focus is on race and feels just too political for my personal taste.  Overall, the story itself was good and the characters were well written and interesting.

     

    Kitchen-House

    K – Kitchen House

    I really liked the Kitchen House.  This is a great historical fiction about a white servant girl who was raised by and works with black slaves on a plantation in the South.  This tugs at some heartstrings and was really hard for me to put down!

     

    Orphan-Train

    O –Orphan Train

    Orphan Train turned out very different than I had expected – and not in a good way.  I’ve read a lot of reviews , and it seems like Orphan Train is one that people either love or hate – very little middle ground here.  The author divides narration between a current day foster child and an orphaned girl from the early 1900′s.  I get the connection she was trying to make, but I feel it was poorly done; I would much rather have read a book about one or the other girls – not both awkwardly mushed together in one book.

     

    On the whole, I would recommend all these books – to the right readers – and genuinely enjoyed most of them myself.  For the coming year, I will continue to read through the alphabet and, with luck, I will actually have all 26 by 2016!

  • October 15, 2014

    Computer Fix

    Featured-Image

    Oh. My. Gosh. This has been a looooong time coming. It’s hard to replace things like computers when you can “make due” for a while. And when you are broke. Computers are expensive, ya’ll!

    Alas, it finally had to happen! The noisy fan, the jacked up mouse and keyboard, and the ridiculous Frankenstein style inner workings were just too much to bear. I never knew when my computer would start up or when it would tell me to take a hike. It’s really hard to get anything done when nothing works properly.

    I know a lot of you probably don’t give a rat’s fart about the inner workings of computers. As long as you can use Facebook and Pinterest, the rest isn’t really that important.  I get it.  However, I have a husband who really cares.  This is nice for me, because he usually takes care of the computer issues and fixes things for me.  But, then, I thought… “What if I didn’t have him to help me fix this?” and that bothered me a little. Getting computers fixed is as commonplace now as getting your car worked on and we all know how sketchy car mechanics can be when a clueless girl walks into the shop with something not working right and no idea where to start. It’s easy to get suckered into replacing things that aren’t necessary, to pay a lot extra for labor, and to get something worked on without any actual work happening when you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    It doesn’t have to be that way.

    Today, I want to share with you the basics of what makes your computer run and what the parts do. I know it may not seem super fun, but its good information to know! After all, you don’t want to be like Jen:

    (Also, please watch The IT Crowd. It is amazing. *grin*)

    First, to be completely clear about what you’re going to read: this is not meant to be a tutorial or “how-to” for fixing or building your own computer. There is a lot more that goes into it than what I can share in one post! Not all pieces and parts are compatible with each other and it is easy to make mistakes and/or damage things if you don’t know what you’re doing.  Okay?

    Okay!

    I think it is safe to say that most people will have heard most of these terms, but don’t necessarily have any idea what each part actually does.  So, let’s start your computer education there:

    RAM

    This is RAM. RAM is your computers short term memory. Basically, it stores information while it is being processed or being used. A lot of times people will suggest that you get more RAM to speed up your computer. Sometimes this works – sometimes not so much – It just depends on what the bottleneck of your speed problem is.

     

    CPU

    Next up is the CPU (aka. Processor). The CPU handles all of the processes you ask your computer to complete – it runs your programs so that you can see and understand the code on the back end that makes it work.

     

    Power-Supply

    The PSU (aka. Power Supply) is just that… POWER. This is the piece that connects the other components to the electricity coming from whatever wall you plugged your computer into.

     

    Hard-DriveHard-Drive-(2)

    This next piece is the hard drive. Basically, this is the long term memory that stores your files and program information.

     

    Motherboard

    The motherboard is the piece of this puzzle that all the other parts plug into and communicate through. It is also the piece that you typically plug your audio, Ethernet, and USB devices into from the back.

     

    Video-Card

    Last but not least is the video card. Video cards are not always required – some motherboards have on board video to run monitors, so a separate part is not necessary. However, if you are a gamer, you’ll want a separate video card to support the heavy graphics and design of most newer games. Mine is an older model, but for what I do, it works fine.

    Put them all together aaaaaand…

    After

    Voila!  A beautiful, working computer!

  • July 30, 2014

    Last Time I Cried

    Honestly, I am so not a crier.  I hate crying and don’t usually feel the need to cry.  Usually if I do, I’m either super tired or my body is killing me with hormones.

    Growing up, I was never told not to cry, but there was always the idea floating around that I needed to be strong and Cowboy Up.  The way I see it, ain’t nothing wrong with that.

    But, back to the question at hand.  When was the last time I cried?  The last time I remember crying (the quiet, weeping kind) was when watching The Fault in Our Stars at the theater with my husband.  The last time I remember really crying (the ugly, snot running from your nose, chest heaving kind) was when reading The Fault in Our Stars before seeing it in theaters.

    Damn you, John Green.