My Bucket List

For years, my Bucket List was spread across iPhone notes, Word documents and random scraps of paper, constantly shuffled about from one place to another, until it all finally landed in a pile in Evernote – where it’s been languishing in a dark corner, collecting dust for the last three years.

I only thought about the list occasionally (usually when I had something new to add) but when I recently got to mark off an item I knew was on it (#73! Yeah!), I was feeling pretty pleased with myself, thinking I was making good progress. That is, until I took out the list for real, cleaned it up and organized it, and then examined it properly. If “five things” somehow meant “good progress” then I clearly needed to rethink my metrics.
Continue reading

Random: USB Cables

I am convinced USB cables are surrounded by some sort of magical forcefield that screws with your mind. Let’s see if this sounds familiar: you go to plug a cable into a USB port and immediately discover it’s not facing the right way. So you flip it around and try it again, only to realize it’s still not right! What the – it only has two possible orientations! So you flip it back again (right where you started! *ahem*) and then it suddenly fits. Seriously, what is this sorcery?

Someone out there is sure having a good laugh at our expense.

Beauty Pro Tip: How to Save Product

Beauty Pro Tip: How to Save Product

The photo above kind of spoils my punchline, but play along with me anyway because this is an awesome time- and money-saving trick I learned from my hair stylist.

You know the drill: you get to the bottom of a bottle of something and the plunger simply ceases to work – despite the fact that you can still see plenty of product inside. (My non-scientist explanation for this: there’s no longer enough downward pressure to push product up the plunger tube, so it just spits and splutters at you.)

Instead of hassling with turning the bottle upside down for a couple days and then trying to squeeze out what remains (which never gets it all), just cut the bottle in half with a utility knife and pour/scoop the contents into another container, or into a new bottle of the same product. Voilà! It seems like such an obvious solution, but it’s not one that would have occurred to me to try on my own. Huzzah for hair stylists and their sneaky tricks!

New Music: Tom Odell

Heal by Tom Odell on Grooveshark

At the ripe old age of 23, this British singer-songwriter composes with a maturity well beyond his years. “Heal” is one such example. It’s evocative. It’s emotional without being sentimental. And it was the perfect accompaniment to a recent episode of Elementary, where we got to watch the final scenes progress in silence while this music carried the rest of the story. It was a stunning combination – one that stuck with me long after I’d tagged the song.

(As an aside, this show is rapidly becoming famous for saving its musical pièce de résistance for the end of each episode – a technique I am really enjoying, and not just for the goldmine of great new music.)

Source: Season 2, Episode 6: “An Unnatural Arrangement”

– – –

I discover new music all the time, often in unexpected ways and places, and I delight in this. Even better is sharing my findings in the hope that someone else will make an exciting new discovery as well. Enjoy.

Hot Stone Massage: Cue the Choir of Angels

As a treat for my birthday, I accepted a friend’s invite to accompany her to the spa for a hot stone massage. It was something I’d always wanted to try, but either kept forgetting about it or procrastinated setting up an appointment because I wasn’t sure what to expect.

Now, it’s worth mentioning that I’d only had a massage one other time, and it was a deep-tissue one. It was part of a full-day package of spa pampering that Chris had purchased for me the day we got engaged (I will have to tell that story at some point because he did a spectacular job ignoring his twice-a-year romantic overtures rule). Anyway, he didn’t realize it was a deep-tissue massage and I didn’t realize there were so many types – all I heard was “massage” and thought “cool.” Or, as I later amended it: “ouch” and “oh my God, what are you doing with your elbow?”

I was sore for two days.

He’d also neglected to drop a hint that I might want to shave my legs beforehand, but I suppose that would’ve seemed odd coming from him and I’d have known something was up. Still. The spa is one place you definitely want to show up with all your personal particulars taken care of. I kept apologizing to each technician in turn as I made my way around the spa that day, saying I had gotten caught by surprise, but in the end, my explaining did nothing to alleviate the embarrassment factor. (Hey, it was December. And cold. It’s easy to let things go awhile.)

Fast forward to earlier this month and to the assurances that the hot stone variety wasn’t painful; that it was a proper, civilized massage. And fast forward even farther to the end of the massage where I was so blissed out and relaxed that I would have been perfectly happy to remain in that state for perpetuity. Suffice it to say, if you ever get the chance to have a hot stone massage, take it – they are wonderful. The angelic choir is optional.

Paleo Banana Nut Muffins

Paleo Banana Nut Muffins

If you’re anything like me and need to reduce (or eliminate) gluten, dairy and refined sugar from your diet, and are always on the hunt for whole-food alternatives for the foods you love, then look no further than these delicious muffins! They taste just like traditional banana bread but without the junky, dietary irritants. Enjoy!

Continue reading

Softball Tour de Force

You know all those embarrassing things we do but try to forget ever happened? Yeah, I call those “derp moments.” I’ve racked up quite a few of them in my day, which is why I’ve devoted an entire category to them (and it’s not just for me, I hope I get to share others’ as well!). So, why would I willingly tell things most people try to repress? Because doing stupid stuff is our M.O. as humans, and sharing our foibles is one way we connect with each other. Plus, they’re just plain funny. That’s the benefit of distance, I guess: I no longer feel the embarrassment, I just see the humor.

Here’s my first installment for you, straight from 1987:
Continue reading

My Sochi 2014 Moment

Sochi 2014 Men's Aerial Skiing

While watching the men’s Olympic aerial skiing, I did a double-take when one of the announcers mentioned the USA coach was Todd Ossian. It was a name I hadn’t heard in years, but not one I’m likely to forget: I spent a memorable freshman science class sitting next to Todd. (He moved away before graduation, though, so our high school overlap was only the one year.)

Continue reading

Simple Moments: Cat Mornings

Waking up in the morning and feeling the light pressure of something warm pressed against my shoulder. I know that familiar, languid resistance: it’s my cat. I say mine because, of the two, he has adopted me specifically. When I open my eyes it’s to see his sweet, sweet face, peaceful in slumber. My smile mimics his contentment and I reach down and bury my fingers in the silky softness of his fur. He curls towards me with soft grunty noises, and sleeps on.