Phone it in Friday

Phone it in Friday 0

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It’s Friday. I’ve had a long, exhausting week and my freaking staircase of doom still isn’t painted.

I also have a severe case of “bloggers block”, that brought me this close to writing a post on cannibalism.

Yes, cannibalism.

Instead, please enjoy this brief excerpt from the book I’ve been writing for the past three years and may or may not ever finish. (FYI, The “Mexican Jumping Bean” is a sex position. That’s right…I was once paid good money to design a website about  sex positions.)

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Aside from my uniform, I’ve been really looking forward to my debut on Scott’s office dodgeball team. Not only will I be meeting tons of new faces tonight, it’s an excuse to get off the sofa and engage in some much needed exercise. That’s right, the queen of Pepperidge Farms has suddenly started caring about physical activity—I’m sure it comes as no surprise that this shift in priorities emerged after what I’ll refer to as a ‘shameful cookie binge’.

The cookie binge was particularly shameful as it occurred during an early morning conference call.  Apparently, the mute feature on my iPhone toggles on and off with just the slightest bump of the chin. Due to my infamously poor timing, the Cookie-Monster-like noises I emitted while pounding an entire package of Double Stuff Oreos did not go unnoticed by Cliff once the mute button was off.

Had we not yet again been discussing the subtleties of the Mexican Jumping Bean, it may have been slightly less uncomfortable.

“I’m just worried it might be a little too…well…kinky for our readers.”

Nom! Nom! Nom!

“I mean…I don’t know… is there even such a thing as too kinky? I know we want to be cutting edge, but I don’t want to cross the line either…Andrew, what do you think?”

Nom! Nom! Nom!

“Nah, I think it’s fine, Cliff…If anything I’m just a little freaked out by the girl. Her illustration is less like a woman and more like a centaur.”

Nom! Nom! Nom! What the hell is a centaur? Nom! Nom! Nom!

“Andrew – what the hell is a centaur?”

“Oh, it’s like, you know – one of those mythological creatures? Human torso, horse legs.”

I thought only guys could be centaurs? Nom! Nom! Nom! BELCH. Nom!

“Wow. You know, you’re right. She does kind of look like a centaur. I guess for some reason I thought all centaurs were male, though?”

Exactly. Nom! Nom!

“Um, Katrina? Are you…alright?”

Nom! Nom! Choke! CHOKE! CHOOOOKKKEEE!

I ended up blaming the incident on Jolie, claiming she was chewing one of her dental sticks a little too close to the speaker. Here’s hoping everyone on the phone believes Chihuahuas are actually capable of belching noises.

****

On the bright side, at least we’re all in agreement on what a centaur is. (And didn’t have to read 500 words on cannibalism.) Happy Friday!

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Remind me why I live here, again?

Remind me why I live here, again? 7

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My drive to the gym this morning was a little…well…chilly.

temp

Scott and I moved to Minnesota exactly two years and one month ago tomorrow. It seems like at least eighteen months of that time have been snowy, windy and bitterly cold.

The great Midwestern winter of 2014 isn’t showing any signs of leaving, which is why I felt it necessary to remind myself why I chose to leave my mild-wintered life in Seattle so I might call this frozen–albeit totally charming–tundra my home.

1. Summer

Aside from mosquitos the size of small birds, nothing can compare to a Minnesota summer. We’re the land of 10,000 lakes! No offense, Seattle, but I’ll take jumping into a nice, bathwater-like pool of glass before the icy Puget Sound any month of the year. (And by any month I clearly mean any of those between May and September.)

2. Traffic

Traffic? What traffic? I certainly don’t miss having to deal with rush hour, HOV lanes, and cramped parallel parking. On the downside, no one honks their horns here, which is something I’m still trying to remember. (I’ve mistakenly offended several SUV moms and slow-driving senior citizens due to my beeping habit. Whoops.)

3. Target

Target is headquartered in Minneapolis, which means they have retail locations on just about every corner. It also means I have way too many random graphic-tees and throw pillows.

4. Cost of living

Living in ‘Sota is a fraction of the price of our former life in Seattle. We were able to purchase a home that would have been way outside the budget in Washington, and still have funds left over for travel and those Target throw pillows.

5. Minnesota Nice

If you’re not sure what that is…read about it here. It basically means if your car gets stuck in a snow bank, twelve people will magically appear with shovels to dig you out, and then invite you over for hot dish.

6. The food

Speaking of hot dish…Minnesota has some pretty tasty regional cuisine. Tater tots, walleye, and wild rice are a few of my personal faves.

7. The abundance of Norwegians

When I shout out “Uff da!”, people nod in agreement as opposed to looking at me like I need to be committed.

8. The Mall of America

As much as I pretend to hate that place, I kind of secretly love it.

9. Active living

Believe it or not, I live in an incredibly healthy state–Minnesotans love to get outside and move! In the winter its cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice fishing and snowmobiling. Come summer, the entire population is hiking, jogging, riding bikes, swimming, kayaking, wake boarding or  stand-up paddle-boarding. It makes sense if you think about it…we’ve got to do something to burn off all that casserole.

10. Wildlife

Because I live in the country, I see deer, fox, pelicans, eagles, loons, hawks, turtles and prairie dogs on the regular. It makes me feel like Sleeping Beauty during that scene in the forest where the woodland creatures surround her for a flawlessly choreographed song and dance. Instead of singing and dancing, I’m shooing these critters away from my oh-so-tasty looking chihuahua…but otherwise it’s totally the same.

11. Bragging rights

Sure…it’s cold as #$*& here…but the miserable weather will earn you instant street cred when you explain to your out-of-state friends the conditions your forced to exist in.

12. The Dairy

Ice cream, custard, cheese curds…enough said.

13. The Cities

Minneapolis an Saint Paul are absolutely wonderful. I’ve done my fair share of traveling, and truly believe the Minnesota metro area can hold a candle to most other major cities in the U.S. Our Twin Cities are rich in culture and the arts, and boast a vibrant music and food scene. They’re the top biking cities in America (Minneapolis actually invented the rentable city bike!) and are jam-packed with unique, charming neighborhoods. I love a weekend getaway to MSP anytime I get a hankering for some urban life.

14. Bloody Mary’s

‘Sota knows how to do my signature cocktail right — served with a generously portioned beer chaser. (Why didn’t I make this number one on this list?!)

*****

When I stop to think about it, Minnesota has tons of redeeming qualities. Sure… the winter weather meant I could barely start my car this morning, but come summer I’ll be floating on our lake without a care in the world. Is a Minnesota winter worth it? Absolutely.

What are the best and worst things about your state? I loved the natural beauty of Washington (not to mention all the coffee), but will never miss the traffic. Good riddance, Interstate 5!

 

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And then I signed up for a pyramid scheme

And then I signed up for a pyramid scheme 4

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There’s nothing I hate more than a Facebook feed littered with advertisements for multi-level marketing companies. I’m on Facebook to secretly stalk ex-boyfriends and see if that mean girl from high school is still sickeningly gorgeous. A protein shake that will make my hair grow ten inches while simultaneously eliminating all of my cellulite? Not interested.

(And please don’t send me a 10,000 word message detailing how the product has changed your life and allowed you to purchase six new cars. Facebook now shows you when I’ve seen the message–thanks a lot, Facebook–which will make it awkward for both of us when I don’t respond to your heartwarming manifesto.)

With an attitude like this, you can imagine my surprise when I found myself signing up as a Stella & Dot Stylist.

It all began at an event I attended at a local church last month. While casually browsing Norwex cleaning supplies and a make-your-own-bath-salt table, a small golden necklace caught my eye.

Could it be a much more affordable replica of the $350 Tiffany’s necklace that nearly ruined my Maui vacation and could have quite possibly ended in divorce?

Yes. Yes it could.

necklace

 

I ordered the necklace as well as a super-fun bracelet the girl at the booth told me Katy Perry and Sophia Vergara both wore. I took a catalog home with me, and didn’t think much of my impulse accessory purchase.

A week later, I found myself browsing the Stella & Dot website. The gilded arrow bangle caught my eye– which I was somehow able to convince Scott to gift it to me for Valentine’s Day.

And then, like a moth to a flame, I found myself on the website again.

And again.

And again. (This time with my credit card whipped out.)

In short, I’m in love with the jewelry. I’ve been beyond happy with  my purchases and am obsessed with how the various pieces mix and match so effortlessly. The design team is made up of former creatives from Kate Spade, J. Crew and Marc Jacobs, which means everything is super on-trend. And believe it or not, half the line is under fifty bucks! Knowing that I would undoubtedly be coming back for more, I decided to sign up to sell the line.

Did I do it to annoy all my friends, litter my Facebook feed with advertisements, and get every last person I know to host a jewelry trunk show for me?

No.

Did I do it to earn a full-time salary working from home?

No. (I already earn a full-time salary working from home.)

Did I do it because I want to have the same necklace as Nina Dobrev, and get it at fifty percent off?

Yes. Yes I did.

nina

 

Signing up was clearly more cost-effective than shopping at full-price…plus, I got to pick out $350 of jewelry to use as “samples”.  Even if I never sell a single accessory, the discount alone was worth the teeny-tiny investment. While I never plan on being a high pressure sales person, if someone compliments my necklace, I will absolutely tell them where I got it from! I do that on a daily basis anyway…this time I’d just be making some extra cash out of the deal.

At the end of the day, I’m just hoping to score fabulous baubles at cost, and maybe earn little bit of spending cash in the process. I may even do a trunk show here and there for friends and family who want to earn free jewelry. But not to worry…I will not be stalking you on Facebook, emailing you my life story, or calling you out of the blue to tell you about a new, exciting “business opportunity.”

I will, however, be putting on ALL THE NECKLACES and prancing around the house pretending to be Nina Dobrev, which might actually be slightly worse.

Want to pretend to be Nina with me? (Or we could just sell jewelry together in a no-pressure sort of way.) You can check out all the products–and my super swanky profile–here.

Not ready to drink the MLM jewerly kool-aid? I’m good with that too. (Although Nina might be a little bit pissy about it.)

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The BINGO equation

The BINGO equation 10

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In addition to cheating on my juice cleanse with coffee and dog treats, I may have engaged on one other small dalliance.

To my credit, it was totally planned.

It all went down on Saturday afternoon while playing BINGO with friends at the local Eagles club.

bingo

(I posted this photo on Instagram, and was asked if I was attending a meat raffle. I’ve been informed that weekend BINGO at the Eagles club often times does include a meat raffle. Much to my dismay, that was not the case on Saturday.)

(And yes…the longstanding Minnesota  tradition known as a ‘meat raffle’ is precisely what it sounds like.)

While there was no free meat in sight, there were plenty of cocktails to be had. I knew this would be the case ahead of time and had made a promise to myself: If I skipped my final juice of the day (a hearty mixture of Thai coconut meat, almonds, honey and vanilla) I could allow myself two glasses of wine at BINGO.

wine

What? Technically wine is just juice that’s really old.

The thing about drinking wine smack dab in the middle of a juice cleanse is that the booze will hit you. Hard. It was a matter of mere minutes before I was engaging in my favorite whoops-I-drank-too-much habit.

(Random online shopping, of course.)

Which leads me to “the BINGO equation”.

Juice cleanse + Bingo wine squared = fanny pack

Juice cleanse + Bingo wine squared = fanny pack

That’s right. While inappropriate jeers filled the room at the double entendre of a seventy-eight year old woman calling out “O-69″ in the thickest Minnesota accent you ever did hear, I was busy shopping for a fanny pack.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve been wanting one for months. Little did I know it would just take a few sips of wine (and the disappointment of three back-to-back BINGO losses) to drive me to find the perfect one.

fanny pack

Black quilted AND perforated leather? Gold hardware? On sale for half off? SOLD.

Still think I’m crazy? What if I were to tell you they’re all the rage in Europe, and will be a trend sweeping the states by this summer? Mark my words, fanny packs are about to take the US of A by storm.  Just you wait.

On a related note, I can’t wait to wear this bad boy to the next meat raffle! (It’s also perfect for holding pull-tabs.)

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