Thursday, February 28, 2008

M.I.L.F.

It's amazing what you can do with a crock pot, some meat and two forks.

I love slow cooking chicken in Mexican seasoning or B.B.Q. sauce and shredding the heck out of it. Shredded chicken just tastes better. Hands down.

Tonight I made burritos. I threw two frozen chicken breasts into the slow cooker with 1/4 of a cup of water. I also threw in a packet of taco seasoning. Three hours later, the chicken was shredded. Add that to some Mexican rice and burrito toppings and voila-- instant burritos. They were incredibly yummy.

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In other news.. it appears as though the green gap trench is sold out online and in the store (at least my store). Bummer. I guess that narrows down the decision.

I'm also thinking about getting a part time job at the loft. It's not my first choice of employment, but I'm in desperate need of extra money. The car payments and student loan payments aren't getting any easier. It's pathetic that a freakin psychologist barely makes enough to get by. The major bonus about ATL is that it's in an outdoor shopping mall. I'm not down with working at a mall AND least I would get 50% off. Maybe I'll go see if they are hiring this weekend.

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Now on to the M.I.L.F. part of my post.

Today, work was incredibly amusing.

I noticed a little kindergarten boy wearing this shirt today and for some reason it totally turned me off. I mean, yeah, I want to be a hot mom, but am I going to make my kids advertise that for me? Umm, NO!

I don't understand why any parent would outfit a five year old in something that screams, my mom thinks she's hot. Guess what, this mom is no Heidi Klum.

There were also some other very hysterical happenings at XYZ Elementary School.

We had ANOTHER case of sexual feeling today. This time, a kindergarten boy grabbed his junk, shook it around and said "look at this."

When we called him in for questioning he spent five minutes saying, umm, yeah, ummm, well, umm.

I was getting frustrated. It's like t-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-today junior.

I asked him what his name was to break up the "umms".

He said "Joe"

I replied, "Joe what?"

"Joe Wlksdoiwehfasf"

"Can you spell that?"

"No."

Umm okay little man (I found this amusing, I guess you had to be there).

It's always fun to call the parents and say, "Hello, today in school your son was jiggling his private parts at the girls. Could you speak to him about this."

Such a comfortable moment.

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We also had an incident with a knife. A fourth grade boy was caught with an 8 inch long hunting knife in his pocket during school (duh, he only wanted to dig holes after school with it).

Anyways, apparently his classmate went to the bathroom and saw a ghost. After he returned to art he told the knife boy. Knife boy went to the bathroom and confirmed that he saw a ghost as well. He then slipped the other little boy the knife for protection.

Seriously, they need to start paying psychologists a lot more.

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At the end of the day I had to spend time with another kindergartner who was freaking out and could not sit still on his carpet square.

"Johnny, what's wrong? Why aren't you sitting appropriately on the rug like all the other kindergartners?"

"Well, I just can't con-cen-atrate Ms. A."

"Why Johnny?"

"There are millions of creepy crawly worms itching me all day long. They are inside my skin and they are sucking my blood. They start down at my ankles (proceeds to pull up pant leg) and are making their way for my brain. They like to eat my hot parts. They are sucking out my blood. Little tiny critters all over my skin."

"Are you talking about germs?"

"No, I'm talking about the things that live inside me and suck my blood out. They tell me not to con-cen-atrate. I can't con-cen-atrate when they are itching my body."

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I actually emailed myself these exact conversations so that I wouldn't forget them.

Can I please reiterate that psychologists need to be paid more. Way more.

Work It Out

Okay, so lately I've been reading my friends' blogs and they are all about working out and/or wishing for a treadmill or an elliptical machine.

If you've only got about 12.99 to spend, I have a recommendation for you. I got this DVD a few weeks ago and it was a great investment.

There's nothing like walking in your own living room or bedroom. I know it sounds geriatric, but it actually works up a sweat and gets you going.

The best part is that you can do it anywhere and anytime. It's 9pm and you get the urge, whip out the DVD. Or, if you have a laptop, you can watch the DVD on the laptop while watching TV or your DVR (once you get the hang of it). Anyways, it's a 2 mile walk in 30 minutes that is actually fun.

If you really want a full body work out, try this. It's the same two mile walk, with weights. You can use a band, a medicine ball, cans of soup, whatever. I got that DVD as well to really mix things up.

Let me know if you try them and what you think.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Bookmark IT!

This post is solely dedicated to where I find my deals. Everyone has their favorites, but if you're watching your wallet, I recommend checking these sites daily (or even twice daily).

They are updated frequently and often offer great coupons and freebies.

The first is Deal Catcher. This site features daily deals (lots of them) and has a forum that you can search for specific deals, such as Ann Taylor Loft coupons etc.

The best places to find freebies (I recently got a one month supply of cat food for free) are Deal Detectives and Slick Deals

Try them out, you may find something you like.

Also, don't forget to use the EBATES code when you shop online. We will both win. I get 5 dollars, you get 5 dollars and you score some new stuff.

Marketing Ploy

Just when I thought Ann Taylor Loft was starting to suck....

They sucked me back in with their new catalog and a 20% off coupon.

These are a few of my favorite things. I may need to get a few new items.









Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ramblings

I wish that the NaBloPoMo was starting already. I'm all about the lists. Otherwise, my posts would make ZERO sense sometimes.

Apparently I'm not as popular as I had hoped. Or at least my blog isn't. Not one person delurked. Not even the regulars. If I spend the night crying in my pillow, I hope you feel sorry for me.

Okay guilt trip over, don't feel too bad. I've gone from being a never-crier, to a crier, and full circle back to a never-crier. When I was in high school and college, I was known as the "Ice Princess" by my nearest and dearest. Very little could send me to tears. Not movies, not commercials and not even fights with friends. Then I turned 22. After 22 I cried about everything. Hallmark commercials sent me into tears, specials about adopting abandoned cats and dogs, you name it, I cried. I think I cried at least 15 out of 30 days in November, December and January 2006/2007. I'd like to blame an assho-lic (my word, patent pending) ex-boyfriend for that though.

Now, I'm back to not being able to cry. I suppose it's a good thing. I'm in an incredible relationship, things are looking up, but still... a good cry is a good thing every once in awhile. I did manage to squeeze out a few tears after the Steelers lost in the play-offs, but that's it. I'm all dried out--and that was over two months ago.

Anyways, moving on.. I didn't plan to go off on that tangent. I was simply trying to guilt someone, anyone into leaving a comment.

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Today I had a fashion crisis. Last night, before falling asleep, I had the perfect outfit in mind for work. This is a rare occurrence for me. Despite a closet full of clothes, I have a hard time brainstorming outfits at 7am (especially when I'm dressing to impress a ten-year-old-- do I really care that much?)

Anyways, last night I was very pleased about this imagined outfit and was looking forward to waking up, throwing it on and heading out the door. In fact, I even slept in ten minutes later, because I would require exactly ten less minutes agonizing over what to wear. Well, my plan sucked. In my mind, the outfit was really cute. In reality, it looked like crap. The shirt was too big, the pants were too long (heels were not an option this morning), and the sweater wasn't working appropriately with the too big shirt.

Guess who walked into work 20 minutes late this morning thanks to fashion problems (pick me! pick me!). I had to spend 10 minutes attempting to fix the imagined outfit. Then, another ten minutes agonizing over what to wear before settling on old staples-- and not very cute old staples.

You may think that dressing for a ten-year-old is easy, but when you have a fan club (like most under 35-year-old school employees), the same old outfit isn't going to cut it. Walking down an elementary school hall is as empowering as Tyra Banks on the runway (okay I hate Tyra Banks, but I'm not great at brainstorming at 8:30pm--either).

Ms. A! Nice Hair.

Ooooooh, I love your shoes.

Wow, great necklace.


I walk out of their feeling like a supermodel. Of course, only the girls pay me compliments. The boys are too busy trying to avoid my old lady cooties.

I swear, if I ever hit it big, my first purchase is going to be one of those closets featured in Clueless. That way, I'd never have to think first think in the morning, and all of my clothes would be accounted for and organized. Score.

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TV still sucks and boyfriend is at his apartment tonight (boo, I miss him).

However, this is how I'm spending my evening. Sage makes everything all better.

[DISCLAIMER: please ignore my profile. It's not very flattering. Focus on the fur ball].

Monday, February 25, 2008

Oh No!

Boyfriend is as cool as a cucumber. He's currently taking online classes in order to become a CPA sometime in the future.

He just spent two hours locked up in my bedroom (that's another story altogether-- why the hell are we both paying rent on our respective apartments?) taking his first online test of the semester.

Now, the professor emailed to remind him of the test about a week ago. In her email, she noted that he should save his responses after answering each question.

Now, I'm type A to the max (so I would have finished the test about a week ago) and as a result, I annoyingly reminded boyfriend to save his responses before he started his test. Boyfriend came out exactly two hours later and said, "I think I just lost my whole test."

I said, "Ummm what?!?"

He replied, "After my time was up at 1 hour and 45 minutes, my whole test disappeared. It says that they will send all responses to the professor after the time is up. But, whenever I go back to look at the exam, it's blank."

Next, I said, "You saved it right?"

He says, "Ummm nope."

Me, "Boyfriend! I told you to save it after every response. It said so in the email and syllabus."

Boyfriend, "Oh, I thought I may have seen that somewhere."

Me, "Umm yeah, I just reminded you about two hours ago."

Boyfriend, "I have ADHD" (He so does not- trust me, I'm a psychologist, I diagnose that shiz every other day).

OH-MY-GOD.

Do you know what boyfriend did after that-- he sat down and ate the pot roast I had cooked earlier and watched a little TV. He remained smiley and FINE! the! whole! time!

Now, I don't even have a really bad temper, but if that happened to me, the computer would have been thrown out the window, I would have started crying and then continue to flip out for the next two hours.

I said, "Boyfriend, can I get you a beer?"

He said no. I may have forgot to mention that if I were in his position, I probably would have taken at least 6 shots by then.

He's retaking his test right now, but seriously, I need to learn some skills from this man. Maybe I'm in need of some anger management and I don't even know it.

Delurk Day!

Have you ever looked at the keyword analysis tool on Site Meter? You know, to see how people get to and/or find your blog. I must say, people search some pretty crazy sh*t to get to the land of the crazy cat lady.

I'm not going to call anyone out, in case any of my Google searchers still read here, but I must say, I have one personal favorite-- the "I hate Applebees" searcher.

I'm happy to report that if you were to type that little phrase into Google, my site would pop up on the search list. Score. I hate you Applebees.

Anyways, I have finally made it to 2,000 hits and the same two people comment on my blog-- and that's it (with a few minor exceptions). Boyfriend, because he has to and The Cat's Pajamas, because she's really cool.



Now, today isn't National De lurk day or anything- but I figured it's worth a shot. I'm not asking for anything amazing. Just "Hi," "Super Sweet Blog, Ashley," or even "Quit with all the damn cat pictures" would suffice.

In other news, today wasn't as traumatic as I envisioned it would be (yesterday). I'm hoping that tomorrow will be okay too. I did learn some very important things today. Most notably, why it's so important to exercise.

X says, "Well Ms. A., it's important to exercise cause when you're running away from people coming after you, you don't want to get all out of breath and stuff."

Would you believe me if I told you he was "Dope-man" the cat's neighbor?

Sigh. It's true.

It seems we also have a new "ball-grabber" on our hands. We just had a new first grader enroll at our school and apparently he loves touching balls (and I'm not talking baseballs this time-- and I'm not talking about his own). I mostly just enjoy watching my 60-something-year-old principal talking about balls. It's highly amusing.

I think I give this school too much credit for my anxiety. It can actually be quite enteraining sometimes.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

He's not showing me up.


Not wanting to be shown up by her brother, Sage does the; I may not be lean, but at least I can still make it up on the desk move only minutes later.

Oh, Snap.

Sometimes I swear, he is very appropriately named. Not even an hour ago, I was sitting at my desk, with Snap at my feet being very sweet and cuddly. After some time, I looked over to my right, to see that he had nested in a sweet, little white basket on the floor.

Boyfriend filled the basket with goodies for Valentines Day, and I just finally got around to emptying it out. Afterwards, I figured, I'll stick it on the floor and see if the cats can fit in it. Sage attempted to get in there, but she's got about 5 pounds on Snap and couldn't stuff herself in the basket.

I obviously got out my camera to capture the moment. He looked very adorable sleeping in his new little bed.


Fast forward to about five minutes ago. I was in the kitchen preparing dinner for tonight. We're having pork loin and my favorite new potato recipe. Suddenly, Snap decided to jump on the kitchen counter top. Five times (in case I didn't notice his new skill).

I did not think that this was something that I was going to have to deal with. They are 9 months, 2 days old and have never even attempted to come near me when I'm cooking. Shit. The counters never interested them before.

Snap jumped up, I put him down. Snap jumped up again, I put him down. All the while, Sage was sitting there with a look on her face that read, "Damn, I have got to get in on this action." Luckily, I think she's smart and realizes that those extra five pounds do not equal an aerodynamic kitty, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time. She tried to get on the table, but the distance was too great. Instead she just sat there pissed off at Snap and his new found talent.
I guess I should try to do something about this.

Sunday Already?!?!

Say it isn't so.

I really wish that weekends could go by at the snail's pace that weekdays generally do. And just think, I had an extra "weekend" day on Friday thanks to the snow day (with no snow).

I am not looking forward to Monday. It's a full week and it's my least favorite place to be. That school gives me an anxiety attack just thinking about it. Especially after I learned that my special education teacher was talking smack about me at a recent meeting. That's a story for another day though (in case she ever finds this, I'm not going to return the smack talking favor). I haven't done anything wrong.. some people just like to complain.

I felt a little better after my boss sent out an email to the whole staff singing my praises for all of the extra stuff that I've been doing, such as attending NASP and presenting at a workshop on testing methods etc.

But still, I hate when people talk shit about me. Especially to my coworkers. Who subsequently tell me (I like those who tell me, not those who do it).

To those of you who feel my dieting pain, and I know a lot of the other bloggers that I read do, I had another rough dieting weekend. Last night, boyfriend and I went out with two other couples to a Mexican joint down the road. I love this place and the margaritas are lethal (it's rumored that they use grain alcohol in them). While there I ordered a burrito smothered in queso. Oh, and some chips with.....drum roll please... more queso for dipping.

Either my metabolism has to get it together and work like it did when I was sixteen, or you're going to have to roll me out of the house in a few years. I should be exercising right now, or all day perhaps, but we can once again blame boyfriend. He bought me the Sims 2 for Valentines day and I'd rather play that then bust a move at the gym (yes, I am a 12 year old girl). At least he thinks I'm hot--and not at all overweight.

In all fairness my pants have not become any tighter (yay!) and I may be looking slightly better (double yay!), but I don't like to jinx things. I use reverse psychology all of the time. Blame it on my profession, but most of the time it works for me.

Example: The Patriots are SO going to win the Superbowl. We are screwed. Blah, Blah and so on.

Reverse psychology totally worked.

Sorry for all of the psych references, it's fresh on my mind right now. Boyfriend came home all wobbly after three margaritas (the most I've seen anyone drink is three, and they puked the whole next day) and turned on a local cable television show about Pavlov and classical conditioning. I'm getting back to my roots.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Huge Fan

I am a huge fan of drinking heavily at 6 p.m. and being home by 10 p.m.

Really, it's the best of both worlds.

Inspired

I just wandered over to my friend Brook's blog and noticed that NaBloPoMo is going monthly. I signed on for March. The theme is lists.

I already blog everyday, so I figured, why the hell not have some extra direction.

Find out all of the info here

I still hate the weatherman

We had our first snow day today. HOORAY. I know I should be praising the world of meteorology, but I've decided that I still hate it.

Now, don't get me wrong- I love any excuse for a day off. However, there isn't even a speckle of snow to be seen.

The weatherman warned us that the roads would be terrible. Ice was going to form on the road, and a lovely dusting of snow would cover the ground. We all did a snow dance at work yesterday and the hour by hour weather report looked like we would be hit all night and well into the morning. I woke up at 5am, looked out the window and said, "Shit! This B.S. Again!?!!?" About fifteen minutes later, I woke up to the sound of my cell phone ringing. It was the superintendent, informing me that we would all have the day off. Finally.

Where I am from, snow on the ground is a given in December through February. I've seen snow twice this winter. Both times, the snow melted within one single day. I'm ready for a blizzard. I'm ready for Massachusetts type weather.

Anyways, I'm not entirely sure where today went. I slept in ridiculously late and then settled on the couch with Sage and some coffee. Within fifteen minutes my coffee was turned over all over my white carpet and white couch. Fabulous. I spent the next two hours cleaning my carpet and laundering my couch.

I did manage to get my hair cut (I love it) and take a quick trip to the mall. In the meantime, I staying away from hot beverages that stain.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Pajamas on inside out and backwards

There may be snow tonight. Whoop Whoop.

Moving on....

Does anyone else think that T.V. sucks royally lately? It's pretty pathetic that I can't find anything half decent on my DVR right now. I used to be so behind, now I've resorted to watching HGTV all the time. I might have to go out and get a life or a hobby if this keeps up.

I watched the Rachael Ray show for the first time yesterday (side note: I am a closet Rachael Ray lover. I watch 30 minute meals on occasion, but she's totally whacked out on her talk show. Is she on speed or is she like that in real life?). The Cat's Pajama's recommended that I watch on Tuesday because they were talking about muffin top. More specifically, how to get rid of it. I'm quite interested in this new diet, but I'm a little skeptical. It's a little pricey for a diet book, but I'm contemplating it. Does anyone have any opinions on it?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

More Hits and Misses

HIT: One only meeting at work today. I was actually able to test two children today!

MISS: Sorry if you needed psychological help today kiddos, I was locked in my closet testing like a mad woman.

HIT: My secretary called me at 10am to inform me that, yes, there is per diem help available! Not only that, but a retired psychologist would be more than happy to take two testing cases from me.

HIT: The psychologist actually called and has already scheduled a time to come and test some of my kids.

MISS: Welcome to Maryland. Another snow storm hits right at 2pm. Just in time for school to be out, and traffic to suck on the way home. I don't anticipate that we'll be thrown any snow-bones this year.

HIT: Dentist appointment. I can't say that I am in love with dentist appointments, but it's over with and the 3 cans of full sugar, full calorie coke that I've been ingesting lately have not rotted my teeth (yet).

MISS: Some a-hole hit my car today. As I was leaving the dentist, some loser in a mercedes pulled right out in front of me and continued on right into my front bumper. His entire tail was covered in snow and god forbid he take a few extra minutes to ensure that he can actually see out of his rear window. Best part is, I LAID on my horn. I'm talking 45 seconds of sheer horn blowing and nothing could stop this man from hitting my car.

MISS: The man gets out of his car, surveys the situation (in three seconds), says "looks like no damage," gets back in his car and speeds off. Before I can get his license plate or information.

My car does not appear to have any damage, but I really couldn't tell in the dark, snowy parking lot. It was a blizzard out there.

HIT: The kittens are entranced by snow. They had an adorable afternoon sitting on the window watching the snow flakes fall.

MISS: The second I whipped out the camera to capture the cuteness, they ran off the windowsill.

HIT: Dinner and drinks with three friends that I used to spend almost every weekend with and barely ever see anymore. It was fabulously fun. I love good friends.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Like, Totally! For Sure!

My name is Leslie Sansone.

I like to be.

Incredibly happy when I walk one mile in my living room.

For SURE!

WALK IT OUT.

I started doing the "Walk Away the Pounds" DVDs by Leslie Sansone. You know, for those days that I can't drag my butt all 75 feet to the treadmill for a hard core C25K workout.

Sometimes I think that the tapes are probably geared towards the over 75 set, but whatever. I like to walk (and it's clearly something i'm good at- as are you). I especially like the fact that I can walk three miles in my living room- in under an hour.

My couch to five K journey is going to go a little slower, but I like to mix it up. Otherwise I just get bored and quit. So now, instead of getting annoyed by the boring treadmill, i'm getting annoyed by Leslie's constant banter.

But seriously, on mute, it's a work out I totally recommend.

Debbie Downer

Okay, I can't be Debbie Downer all night long.

There have been some positive things happening:

1. Boyfriend and I had a fabulously special date yesterday. I may be the luckiest girl in the world.

2. I think i'll be hanging out with friends on Wednesday. Nothing cures the blues like cheap wine and food.

Stressed to the max

This is a stress rant. I’m having one of those days were my stomach is doing flip-flops and I think I’m going to have a heart attack due to stress pain (I’m anxious and a hypochondriac- I don’t mix well with extreme stress).

Money is stressing me out. I’m not about to take residence at 1831 Cardboard box or anything, but I’m wondering how it’s ever going to be possible for me to get ahead. I have a good job, that pays relatively well, yet it still seems like debt or even save mountain is insurmountable. If someone making as much as I do can’t even get ahead, is there any hope for anyone in their mid-twenties anymore?

I can barely make ends meet and it’s just me and two kitties. I can’t even imagine throwing a little family into this mix. I was thinking about getting a second job, one or two nights a week. However, I make too much already (HA! According to the government) and most of my side job income would probably just go towards the government (taxes).

Work is also stressing me out. If things don’t die down, I might just crawl under my bed, plug my ears and say, “lalalala I’m not going anymore and I’m not going to pay my bills either.” Too bad that will only make things worse.

I have a sh*tload of evaluations on my plate right now. Tis’ the season of special education assessment referrals. Everyone that we’ve been following needs to be tested now (and in sixty days damnit). I am at one school, two days a week. The team has thrown 9 new assessments on me in the past few days. Apparently I don’t actually need to service my children with counseling; I’m going to have my head in a testing kit. My other two day a week school has slapped on an additional 6, and my one day a week school has a total of 4 up and going. I might just lose my mind. It probably doesn’t sound like that much to you, but when you’re in meetings 15 out of 40 hours a week and have to give 19, 2 hour long assessments and write 19, 10 page psychological evaluations, you’ll see that my life kinda sucks right now.

Anyone have any fun and exciting news, tips or ideas to help me get through this month?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Shamelessly whoring out the blog

I'm poor. If you like to shop (and need new clothes to accomodate muffin top like me, sign up for EBATES. Sasha from Barely Keeping it All Together turned me on to it, and it's really great.

Whenever you shop, go through ebates and get 2-25% cash back on every purchase you make. It's legit too.

This is the email i'm suppose to send out for referrals, but I figured i'd give all the blog readers out there a heads up (make sure you click on my referral link below so I get credit).

I wanted to tell you about Ebates, a shopping site that gives you up to 25% Cash Back every time you shop online. You can shop at over 900 stores including Barnes & Noble.com, Gap, Target, Buy.com and Expedia. Plus you get additional savings with exclusive coupons, free shipping offers, and limited-time sales!

Sign up with Ebates today and we'll each get a $5 bonus when you make your first purchase!
Click here to sign up: http://www.ebates.com/rf.do?id=34421882
Happy shopping!
Ashley

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Muffin Top

Why, why, why are my pants so tight?

I don't even think that I have PMS. Seriously, the only thing that I actually feel comfortable in now a days are my pajama pants and/or sweats and a baggy t-shirt.

I wore my favorite button down yesterday, and even that felt too tight. I'm beginning to think that I look like a giant sausage popping out of my super cute clothes.

I'm trying to do something about it, but I prefer a fast fix and a burger with french fries.

In case you were wondering...

....what it looks like to be cuddled by a super cute cat.

(Please excuse the nasty Jack Daniels T-shirt. The picture was taken right before bed).

I love my little Sage. Oh, and yes, she does have thumbs.










Friday, February 15, 2008

Finally Friday

Valentines day (the night portion) was a success. I decided to take the easy route and make a Pot Roast entree and Shrimp Scampi appetizer. The pot roast went directly into the crock pot, and shrimp scampi takes all of ten minutes to make (but it's one of my specialties if I do say so myself).

With all of my extra time, I sat in bed, cuddled with the kittens and took a little nap. Boyfriend woke me up at about 6:30 when he came in with his masterpiece dishes. Boyfriend can cook. In fact, I think he may actually cook better than I can. gasp. He went above and beyond with beef wellington and a baked brie with an amazing crust. Not only that, but he literally kept me in suspense until he served it. I'm an a-hole and had the crock pot sitting on the counter. 100% surprise ruiner.

Between courses we exchanged gifts. I got boyfriend this,




this,

and this (I know the picture is terrible, but it's hot sauce. I bought it for him in New Orleans. I love all things cat related, obviously),


Boyfriend came in with the most beautiful vase filled with purple irises and red tulips. He also wrote me a card/letter (that was beyond amazing) and filled a gift basket with goodies like lip gloss, lotions, body sprays, and candy.

Boyfriend listens very carefully, because he knows i'd rather have tulips over roses any day. Especially on V-day when they are marked up 500%.


We wrapped up the evening with a bottle of Champagne. I drank 80% of it, and I felt it all the live long day. Hey, I can't let the bubbly stuff go to waste. How was your V-Day?

Cat Crazy

BEWARE.. I have found a website with ADORABLE cat pictures. I know i'm going to sound crazy, but I really, really, really, want another cat. Maybe two. I don't think that's going to fly if I want to turn boyfriend into husband. I'll trick him after I get the ring (just kidding honey... maybe).

Humorous Pictures
moar humorous pics

Thursday, February 14, 2008

One more thing...

On Thursday, Feb. 14th, before 8pm, you can download Suze Orman's book, "Women and Money: Owning the Power to Control your Destiny" for FREE on the Oprah website.

It's free, it's full-sized and it's perfect for anyone that needs financial help (i.e. me). Get it HERE

Happy Valentines Day!

It has been a banner day for me so far.

I sat in meetings all day. I'm talking 8 hours straight with a half hour break for lunch.

While at lunch, one of my fellow coworkers accidently squirted salad dressing in my eye, my hair, and all over my cashmere sweater. Luckily it was only vinegar, no oil, but I smell like a bag of chips. Apparently you need to be careful when and where you are squirting those things.

Perhaps a danger warning sign would help. I took matters into my own hands ---------------------------->

At least I had a more amusing afternoon. During the (FIVE) whole minutes that I had to actually check on kids, I was part of a very amusing conversation.

Boy 1: "Denasia" is my girlfriend.
Boy 2: Mine too!
Boy 3: Denasia is my girlfriend too Ms. A. She's all of our girlfriends.
Me: You share her as your girlfriend?
Boy 1: Yes, we don't mind.
Boy 2: It just makes us tougher.
Boy 3: Yeah, I did 112 push-ups to win the time with her.
Boy 2: Yup, and if we stay on green ALL day, we get to spend time with her.
Boy 3: She's my princess.
Boy 1: You mean, all of our princess.

I probably should have been like, no, girlfriends are unexceptable in kindergarten. Intead I just laughed. And laughed, and then wrote it down so I wouldn't forget it.

In case you are confused, green = great in my schools. We use a color chart, and each time you misbehavior, you need to flip your card. Apparently, staying on green is the way to lil' Denasia's heart.

I'm off to go cook. John's car problems aren't going to ruin our evening. We're having a cook-off tonight. Two appetizers, two entrees, and potentially two desserts. I'm eating good tonight (and gaining a million pounds).

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Bummer

I knew I should have gone with the trench coat.

It's been raining for three days straight (can you say depressing?!?)

That thing would have definitely come in handy.

Sigh, a girl can dream.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Stop, it's dinner time.

Thanks to a major sale at Safeway, I'm cooking good this week. =]

I made these pork chops for dinner tonight. They were amazing. I also made some very yummy potatoes, with a recipe I wanted to share.

This is an Ashley recipe, which means nothing is exact, but it's easy to replicate. Try it.. you will not regret it.

Potatoes (I used 5 red bliss, but fingerling would be great) cut length-wise (think french fries)
1/4 c Olive Oil
1 bunch of fresh sage, minced
2 tsps pureed garlic
2 tsps dijon mustard
2 tbsps lemon juice
Salt and Pepper

I cut the potatoes about three hours ahead of them and let them marinate. Cook for about 30 mins at 450 degrees, and it's pure yumminess.

Hooray for me!

Ooh, I do have one reader! Sasha from
Barely Keeping it all Together nominated me for a blogger award! That's a definite add to the PRO list.

Pro vs Con

PRO: Voting day allowed me to have an old school porch night with three friends that I miss greatly last night. There was drinking, there was gossiping, and there plenty of laughter.

CON: Boyfriend drank all the beer (I still love you) while I was away and my wine went bad. I was stuck drinking vodka and lemonade. Um gross.

PRO: Voting day allowed me to sleep in until 10am. Sweet.

CON: I woke up with a headache, that I still have at 6:30pm.

PRO: I got to go shopping! I ended up going with the blue/white polka dot dress. It's very cute.

CON: I am bummed that I can't afford a fabulous wardrobe from the Gap.

UNDECIDED: I have a dress obsession. I seriously own at least 20 dresses. Not fancy dresses, but very wearable ones, perfect for work, going to the grocery store and so on (you could probably tell from my last post). Now, I also never wear dresses in the winter, so what is the point of buying so many? They do get their use in the spring/fall/summer.

PRO: Boyfriend is amazing and made reservations for a fabulously romantic Valentines day dinner.

CON: Boyfriend's car broke it's going to cost 645 dollars to even diagnose what is wrong with it. Bye, Bye V-day dinner.

PRO: I didn't have to work!

CON: I sat in traffic for over one hour tonight, and moved a total of 1 mile. I'm talking a loop down my road, around and back up (I planned a longer trip, but with traffic like that, I promptly turned around. One hour later, I was home).

PRO: I went to the Safeway today and got a pork loin, 3 lbs of ground beef, 10 chicken breasts and 4 pork chops for $22.00.

PRO: I managed to work out C25K style today!

PRO: John will be feasting on pork chops and sage roasted potatoes thanks to me.

CON: It's 11 degree. What do they think this is?!?!? Alaska?

UNDECIDED: I had the day off today and couldn't even vote. Apparently you can't vote in MD if you are unaffliated with a party. I'm not sure if I care yet.

CON: My spell check won't work. I feel bad for anyone that reads this post.

CON CONTINUED: Although I'm not sure anyone actually reads my blog.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Gap Rant

Why doesn't the Gap ever have coupons or special deals anymore?

I swear, I used to get coupons in the mail quite frequently for 10% off, 15% off, 20%off. I've searched the internet every night this week and NOTHING comes up anywhere.

Unfortunately for me, I'm obsessed with all things gap right now. I'm talking obsessed (too bad i'm tres poor).

I go through this sort of thing every season. I become obsessed with one store, and buy everything from there (Gap has been a personal favorite in seasons past). Last fall it was Ann Taylor Loft, in the summer it was JCrew... it's a never ending pattern. This spring, I want all things Gap.

If anyone knows of any secret coupons, please point me in that direction. I bought a pair of underwear while in New Orleans and got a 20% off coupon for ONE item. One freakin item, how am I ever going to narrow it down when I want,

THIS:


THIS:


THIS:


THIS:


THIS:


OH, AND THIS:


I think I might need to go tomorrow to pick up my ONE item (yeah days off!) If you have any first choice picks, let me know.

ETA: I actually do love other colors, but I realize that all my pics look, well, similar. Being blonde with blue eyes, I'm partial to blues, but I'm really just all about color. I can honestly say that I own a total of 3 white shirts, 4 black shirts and the rest are every color of the rainbow. I will admit to being obsessed with red, white and blue clothes. I swear, I walk out of the house and look like an advertisement for America 5 out of the 7 days a week (in a very classy, fashionable way- not a white trash, tragic way. Think white, wide leg pants, a blue shirt and red pumps. Or a demin skirt, white shirt and red sweater). I don't really know what that says about me, but if you have any ideas, please share.

The best part of election day...

is NO SCHOOL tomorrow. I'm head over heels for four day weeks!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Rest

Will come later. Boyfriend needs some attention.

Day Two Pics




















For those of you who don't like to read





Finally

New Orleans: Day One

First off, lets start off with the flight. It was entertaining to say the least. The passengers included a baby that cried the entire way, and extremely overweight person that held up the flight for over an hour, and an insanely drunk man, who smelled worse than you could possibly imagine.

He got on the plane last and yelled, "Where should I sit?" The flight attendant replied, "This is open seating, sit where ever there is an open spot." The man replied, "Well duh, but what seat is close to the drink cart." F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S. They finally found a seat up front for this man (who had open sores and gashes on his legs no less). Airport security ended up coming on the plane and chaos ensued. I was just waiting for Ashton Kutcher to jump on to tell us all that we were being punked.

After a little confrontation between the cops and Sir Drunky, the plane finally took off, about 2 hours behind schedule.

Anyways, we got to New Orleans safely and just in time to enjoy Fat Tuesday. The girls and I lucked out with an amazing hotel in the Arts and Warehouse District of New Orleans. It was a little off the beaten path, but it was much cleaner and safer than the heart of the party. Plus, our hotel offered free breakfast, and free happy hour every single day that we were there. You really can't beat that.

Mardi Gras was okay. We walked around for a few hours, enjoyed a hurricane, but we were happy to leave after a little bit. The streets were mobbed and disgusting. There was at least 2 inches of beer, drinks and filth all over the ground. It's not exactly our scene, but it was cool to see what all of the fuss is about.

After a stroll down Bourbon St., we went back to where our hotel was located for the free happy hour and dinner at Mulates; the original cajun resturant. We feasted on the local fare, including friend crawfish, catfish, shrimp, alligator and something else that resembled food. The place had authentic cajun dancing and a band, so it was an interesting experience.

Day Two:


Today we decided to do the a little shopping and hit up the French Quarter. I swear, all in all, we walked at least five miles a day to get to our destination. Don't worry though, we made up for all of the walking with daily afternoon snacks at Cafe Du Monde.

The French Quarter is really funky, and the music is on all day long.

My one problem with New Orleans is that when they say the south is laid back, they mean laid back. Nothing is on schedule, no one really knows where to go or what to do, and when they do give you ideas, they usually point you in the wrong direction.

I can't even begin to count how many people answered the question, "Where is the best place to eat?" with, well it depends on what you like. The city really has slowed down a lot, and many of the areas clubs, bars and restaurants were dead the entire week. I've never tried so hard to go out in my life.

We spent at least 2 hours on Wednesday trying to find a restaurant before settling for an asian joint, really close the the hotel. I think we went out to a jazz club, but I can't remember the details. We were about 5 hurricanes deep by that point.

Day Three:

On our last full day, we decided to be tourists and booked not one, but two tours of New Orleans. We took a day tour around the French Quarter, the cemetary, the ninth ward and lower ninth ward, the Garden District (I saw Peyton Manning's house), and most of New Orleans. The tour was interesting, but like I said, it was totally on "southern" time.

We originally scheduled the tour through our concierge, but it appeared a little too shady for our liking. The conversation while booking went like this;

We would like to go on a tour, can you recommend any?

Well it depends on what you want to see.

Well, is there anything through the hotel?

Yes, for 50 dollars each I will call my friend Big Mike and he will hook you up.

Well, we are on a budget, is there anything cheaper?

Well, for you pretty ladies, 60 dollars total for two hours.

Wow, really? Where will he take us?

Where ever you want to go.

Well how long is the tour?

Oh well you know, one hour, maybe two or so.

Well, which one is it?

Hold on let me call him.

PAUSE.

Man returns and is off the phone.

Big Mike says 25 dollars each for 1 hour.

Well we would like something a little more than an hour.

Okay, for you, Big Mike will do like 1.5 hours for 25 each.

Are you sure? You just said one hour only.

Oh, but he'll do it. Don't worry.

Does he work for a real tour company?

Yes he does (we later found out it was a transportation company)

Okay, we'll take it! (damn those hurricanes).

Anyways, the next day we came to our senses and asked the other concierge on duty if he had any suggestions. He said, why would you tour with a transportation company, you need a tour company. Well, no one told us that he wasn't a tour company silly.

We ended up cancelling that tour, but poor Big Mike was already at the hotel waiting for us. He seemed cool with it, and even agreed to take us to the airport the next morning. Mari thinks I worry too much, but I kept imagining Big Mike rolling us into carpets and dumping us in the Mississippi after screwing him over earlier in the day.

Our 12:30pm bus showed up at about 1:05pm and the two hour tour didn't bring us back to the hotel until after 4pm. Thankfully we didn't have any immediate plans (aside from visiting the conference for work, which we were actually in town for).

We also scheduled a jazz riverboat cruise with dinner. We got dressed up, walked another two miles to get there, and were told that the cruise was cancelled. Ugh. They had our number through our reservation, but no one actually called to inform us that our trip was cancelled. We ended up taking the trolley back down to our hotel, washed away our sorrows by double fisting happy hour beverages, and went out for another dinner near our hotel.

Overall, it was a great time. It was fun to hang out and bond with friends, and nothing beats one day work weeks and meeting leave. Whenever we were frustrated with something being cancelled, we just looked at each other and said, well we could be at an IEP meeting right now. That really perked us all right back up.

I'm going to do another post with just pictures, for those of you who prefer to look rather than read. One last thing, for some reason, my spell check will not work. Please excuse my awful attempts at making words look right.

The N.O. rundown

Is delayed again. After all was said and done, I got in at about 4:30pm on Friday. After picking up the bags, picking up the car (which was in the wrong lot, oops, nothing like walking an extra mile with a suitcase on your back), and getting back to my own car at my friends place, I didn't walk in the door until after 6pm.

Boyfriend's bestfriend was married this weekend, so I rushed home, threw on a wrap dress and headed to the rehearsal dinner. I spent all day today at the wedding. Nothing like drinking a few glasses of wine at 1pm. I need to detox, I've been partying since last Sunday for superbowl.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Upon my arrival


LOOK what I came home to. A cute banner and a handwritten note from Snap, Sage, and the boyfriend (alright, you might think it's cheesy, I think it's adorable).

J was in charge of cat sitting this week while I was away. I assumed that he would come in, check their food and be on his merry way. Instead, boyfriend went way above and beyond the call of duty in the cat-sitting department.

He ended up sleeping at my apartment every night while I was away to make sure the kittens had company. I have to say, my boyfriend is pretty damn amazing and my cats loved it (I think).
I will def write more soon. First, I need to get my pictures uploaded and my thoughts in order. New Orleans turned into a week-long bender.... I mean, I did a lot of work and learned a lot.

I'm baaaaaaack

expect an update as soon as I recoup. wow.

Monday, February 4, 2008

New Orleans bound

I'm taking a brief hiatus this week, for my trip. I may post, but I can't promise anything.

I love one day work weeks.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

My true football love is the Steelers

But I have a soft spot in my heart for any team that beats the Patriots.

I know people say that Steelers fans are obnoxious, that Cowboys fans are the worse. But after living in Massachusetts for seven years, I think I'm entitled to say that Pats fans aren't exactly awesome. I had to live through too many Pats games won by a field goal in the last three seconds. I recieved plenty of "haha" texts and calls whenever the Steelers lost.

I'm not going to jump on the Giant's bandwagon or anything, but hell yeah Giants. My only ties to the Giants is by blood (I have a little crush on Peyton Manning which developed after I saw him singing on stage at a Kenny Chesney concert on CMT). But really, that's besides the point, they played their hearts out and it was a great upset.

In the words of my friend Brook, "Good triumphs over evil." =] Or at least it makes taping walk throughs funnier. Wait, hold on. Congress is on the phone. Okay, Okay, I'm done.

In other news, The Giants win could only be trumped by the Ben Roethlisberger commercial which I'm in love with. If only I could find it on You Tube.

Closet time

You know.. my closet is getting quite the showing today. Excuse the mess. I would have cleaned it up if I knew all the action was going to take place there.

In case you were wondering, I went to UMass for undergraduate. That's why the sweatshirt says Amherst.

I found a use for my heels....

I've been watching the superbowl all evening and the cats have been very quiet. Eerily quiet. When my cats are quiet, it usually means that they are up to no good. So during halftime I went searching for them. They were in their usual spot, on top of my hoodies. Together (now that is a rare occurence, they cuddle, but never in the closet).

So, I did what any other cat owner would do. I put on my new heels (hell yeah, they came in handy, as you can tell, my closet is a little high in the first picture) and propped myself up as high as I could to take pictures.


I called J over to look and gushed, "Look John, it's not everyday that you see two of the most adorable cats in the world!" He said, "Ashley, I do see them with you around squealing, I love them, they are so cute all the time."


Well whatever then. I must show them off to someone. I personally think that these are some of the most adorable pictures that I have of them. If these pictures don't prove it, I have 23 others downloaded on my computer that I'm more than willing to share.

Okay, back to the superbowl.

Shoes, Shoes, and more Shoes

Confessions: I am a shoe-o-holic. To prove it, i've added some pictures to this post. You can't even see all of my sneakers. I own about 10 pairs and they are piled up towards the left side of this picture.

I also own about 25 pairs of "dressier" shoes. Flip flops are a whole different story. I have about 25 pairs of those in storage under my bed.


You name a color, I probably own it. You name a style, if I don't own it, I want it.

The saddest part is that I despite owning all of these shoes, I barely ever wear any of them. I work in a school. Despite my best attempt to sport the heels on a regular basis, I never do. Running after kids in 3 inch heels is impossible.

But that really doesn't stop me. Today, while at T.J.Maxx, I found another pair of shoes that I simply had to add to my collection. Now, I need these shoes about as much as... oh wait. No, no, I don't need the shoes at all. I was about to put them back on the rack, when an older lady passed by me and told me how cute they were. I said, I know, but I don't need them. She said, I own 92 pairs. Buying shoes is like medicine. Well that sealed the deal. If old lady can have 92 pairs, so can I. Plus, it's T.J.Maxx, at least I got a good deal. $24.99.

Now I just need to find somewhere to wear them. New Orleans maybe?

I finally have a resolution for 2008. Wear my all of my damn shoes, regardless of how much my feet hurt in them.

In other news, it's superbowl sunday. I wasn't invite to a single soiree, and the jury is still out as to what i'm going to do. I have a few essentials in the fridge just in case; crescent rolls and mini hot dogs, boneless buffalo wings, and miller lite. It might just be John and I tonight.

Another goal, find some more friends to invite me to sweet parties.