Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"Hallelujah" I did it.

On Sunday, I made the terrifying [it might be a small exaggeration to use that word] drive downtown in the snow storm. It was so bad, I couldn't even see the lanes, or rather the lines, on the road.

Anyway, enough of my complaining, the reason I drove downtown in the snowy mess, was because I attended my first Messiah Sing-in. [Can I get a golf clap, please?] I did it! What an incredible experience! Truly. It was amazing. There were some people there who have been attending the sing-in for more than 35 years. Wow. They deserve a full on round of applause, not just a golf clap.

I went with a darling, long-time friend of mine who convinced me that it isn't about your ability to sing, it is about the spirit with which you sing. So, I gave it all the spirit I had. Bless the lady on my left's heart - she had to deal with a lot of my so-called "spirit."

In my case, "spirit" equals:
1. Dreadful attempts to hit way too high of notes.
2. Quickly stopping to sing when I realize I've come in two measures too soon.
3. Breathing completely irregularly and sounding more like a dying dog than a singing angel.

Again, I say, bless you, dear woman who sat on my left. And bless you, friend, for inviting me and putting up with my eager, enthusiastic "spirit." All in all, I'd say it was a

Monday, November 29, 2010

Painted Ladies

And by painted ladies, I mean my finger nails.

I broke/ chipped all my nails the other night doing some Christmas decorating at work. Sad. So on Thanksgiving [after my tryptophan-induced nap] I pulled out the nail file and started evening things up a bit. I was going to paint them with the normal base coat and a pale pink [like always...boring], but then I shuffled through my colors for a second and decided it was time to pull out the winter colors.

I say "colors" and it makes it sound like I'm the "Imelda Marcos" of nail polishes. To be sure, I do not have 2700 bottles of nail polish. Oh geez.

By colors, I mean two. Both chosen for their color, not their name: "An Affair in Red Square" and "Quarter of a Cent Century".

Girls, it's amazing what a fun cranberry color will do for your nails and holiday spirit!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Karen and Harry

It is time.

The Carpenters. Harry Connick Jr. Miles Davis. Bring on the classics for Christmas.

If we were in Germany right now, I'd be pulling your arm toward the "Weihnachtsmarkt." [Aka: Christmas Market.] They usually open a few days before December, or on December 1. I don't think I have ever been more in the "Christmas spirit" as I was during the two Christmases I spent in Germany two years ago. Germans know how to do Christmas. The Christmas Markets are unlike anything you have ever seen or smelled. You can be two blocks away from the market and you will start smelling it... bread, wurst, beer, gluhwein, cinnamon almonds... pure happiness, bascially. You'll spend a lot of money on handmade Christmas ornaments, decorations, the most beautiful nutcrackers ever, Engeln und Bergmaenner [my favorites]... ahhh, I could go on forever. If you EVER have the blessed chance to go to Germany, go at Christmas time. You won't be disappointed.

Notice the new blog header? I got in the Christmas decorating mood and decided to "theme-up" my blog a bit. I just hope no ones Christmas trees are as sparce and lanky as the ones I've depicted!

A toast... to the beginning of the Christmas holiday season!

Merry Christmas! | Frohe Weihnachten!

Yep... this is one of them!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

This Our Hymn of Grateful Praise

Compliments to a favorite blogger, C Jane Enjoy It, for a new favorite CD of mine: The Lower Lights

The following is my favorite hymn... "All Creatures of Our God and King." I love what they do with it here. [And I absolutely adore Mindy Gledhill, so the song is that much better.]

Take a few seconds in the next day or two to really think about what and who you have in your life. If you pray, say a prayer of thanks, instead of simply asking for the things for which you normally ask.

Happy Thanksgiving!

10-year-old wisdom

No, not wisdom that is ten years old, rather, wisdom from a ten-year-old. In this case, my ten-year-old niece.

She recently had "the talk" [you know... "that" talk...] with her parents and in a telephone conversation with her, she told me, "they were more embarrassed talking about it than I was... but I was still embarrassed." Aren't we all.

She called me last night to tell me about a boy at church who is kind of new in the area, but she caught him "looking her up and down." Oh goodness. The kid is eight years old. How young are they starting these days?

She also asked me about my dating life [is that legal conversation ground for a 10-year-old?] and I told her I am just trying to find the right boy to marry. She gave me the following advice, "Well, you just have to make sure you love him. Love is definitely the most important thing. If you love him, marry him."

Got to love the 10-year-old wisdom/advice. If only it were that simple.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Blue toothpaste is not an accessory

I went to the dentist last week.


I left the dentist's office and got in my car and looked in my rear view mirror and saw the following: [the following descriptions brought to you by Hidden Valley Dental:]

1. Worn off blush and lipstick because the assistant's hands were resting on my face as she cleaned my toothies. [Not sure why I wore lipstick to the dentist anyway... I knew it was going to get rubbed off.] [Um, that kind of sounds scandalous.]
2. Flat, bed hair from lying down on the chair. [This was an 8 am appt, mind you... I had to work the rest of the day with flat hair. Does that make me high maintenance?]
3. My favorite: flecks of blue toothpaste in my hair, on my glasses and on my face. [Attractive, but not an accessory.] Let's try and keep it in the mouth next time, mmm k, pumpkin?

On the upside, my dentist did tell me I have been taking "particularly good care" of my teeth. But don't tell him I only floss once a week... I hate flossing.

Monday, November 22, 2010

My pet: a chicken

I grew up on seven acres of land in northern California... up by the vineyards in Napa Valley. It was a gorgeous area. We had cows, horses, sheep, pigmy goats, a dog and a cat. But, did I milk the cows? No. Ride the horses? Once in a while... not really. I did help sheer the sheep. [In this instance, "help" means I stood outside the chain-link fence and watched my brothers and dad wrestle these dumb animals to the ground while I sucked on a lollipop and told them "you missed a spot." I was the little smarty pants, 8-year-old. Really helpful.]

Then, my family moved to Utah. In an effort to stay in touch with our farming roots, my dad built a large shed with a lean-to as a chicken coop. Then, he went to IFA [local farming goods distributor... just a convenient five minutes from our house] one spring morning and purchased six chickens. He was ready for those six chicks and knew everything he needed to take care of them.

He did, however, give me and my sister the following two responsibilities in helping him take care of the chickens:

1. Collect eggs everyday [Wearing a bonnet and apron while collecting the eggs in a white whicker basket was mandatory] [That was me being sarcastic...]
2. Name the chickens. Want to know what my sister and I named them?

Chicken #1: Lemon

Chicken #2: BBQ

Chicken #3: Grilled

Chicken #4: Sweet n' Sour

Chicken #5: Fried

Chicken #6: Teriyaki

[Yes, we really did give them those names.]

Friday, November 19, 2010

A side bun and a tux

1. Is she not stunning?

2. Is his smile not just totally genuine?

3. These are my friends.

4. I am proud.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Turkey 1 - Mashed Potatoes 0

Alright readers, what do you think?

Turkey or mashed potatoes?

It's the question of the season: what makes Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving?

Yams? Stuffing? Turkey? Mashed potatoes? [Hold on one second, I just have to wipe the drool from my laptop.]

Some may dress up in pilgrim and Indian costumes... some may go out to dinner for Thanksgiving to avoid the mess of post-eating clean up. Some have the traditional dinner and watch football the rest of the day. But, the highlight of all of these situations is one thing: food.

Personally, my allegiance lies with our "five-fingered-friend" here.

[If you don't know what I'm talking about, go back to 2nd grade, place your hand on a piece of paper and trace your hand... add a beak to the thumb... color the fingers red, yellow and orange. Voila. Your five-fingered-friend is a turkey.] I believe, from a good turkey all Thanksgiving flows.

Bring on the tryptophan.

Norman Rockwell didn’t spend all that time painting pans of sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce, did he?

No. He painted turkeys.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Smokey, with a chance of singed hair...

Like everyone else, I have my morning "getting ready" routine:

1. Roll out of bed
2. Grab my clothes [I usually choose what I'm going to wear the night before so I don't spend an hour trying on eight different outfits to find the perfect one... yes, I'm saying this from experience. Although, I think eight is the highest number of wardrobe changes I've made.]
3. Shower [This might just be my favorite part of the day - I LOVE my shampoo - Aveda products, anyone?]
4. Get dressed
5. Makeup
6. Hair

This is where my little vignette enters:

I decided to straighten my hair this morning which means I apply the use of a round brush and blow dryer to my sporadically curly hair. I pin part of my hair on top of my head so I can straighten the bottom layers. As I was merrily singing to my music and round-brushing, my nose started to twitch. What in the world was that smell?

I turned off my hair dryer because I thought it smelled like something was burning. [Insert Ralphy's high-pitched voice: "It smells like burning!"] I looked in the mirror and noticed something in my hair - a spider? Did I accidentally leave a bobby pin in my hair over night? I looked closer - nope. Neither. I reached up and gently touched the blackened curly mass. I tugged at this chunk of hair I was blowdrying and it fell out.

People: I burned a chunk of hair off. Burned. A. Chunk. Of. Hair. Off.

*Insert hideous monster sound or Brian Reagan's "I am not an animal" bit here.* [Skip to the 5:00 minute mark to understand what point I'm making.]

I burned a chunk of hair off! I guess my blow dryer was too hot and I was holding it too close to my hair. Let this be a lesson for you.

So, I now walk around with my hair in a pony tail all day. [Not really... but I could definitely show you the chunk of hair missing.] My hair stylist is going to love me. "Oh, don't mind that, I just BURNT A CHUNK OF HAIR OFF."

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Saturday Trip to the Market

Looking for something fun to do on November 19 and 20 in Utah?

Here's a great idea for you:

Thanks to 6th Street Design for making me aware of Bijou Market's upcoming event.

A few vendors who will be in attendance include:

                                                           Annily Green and Armelle Jewelry

                                                                   Ashmae and Freshly Pickled

                                                                  Sugar Fresh and Plush Studio

Click here for the full list of vendors.

Can't wait!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Favorite Pastime...

...aimlessly meandering through IKEA.

Caution: visitors to the store are subject to spend large amounts of money that may cause spouses or significant others to faint. It is advised that visitors not take their wallets in the store with them.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Jimmy Kimmel Declares Nov 17 "National Unfriend Day"

"I encourage you to cut out some of the friend fat in your life," he said.

Special thanks to Leslie Horn for this guest post. [No, she does not know she was my guest today.]

"Let's face it. We all have those Facebook friends that we don't really know. Whether it's that guy that you once did a group project with in a college anthropology class and never talked to again or the person you can't remember meeting at all, most of us can afford to do some serious editing on our ever-growing friends list. That's why late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel has declared Nov. 17 National Unfriend Day.

"Friendship is a sacred thing and I believe Facebook is cheapening it," Kimmel said in a monologue.

The TV personality has enlisted celebrities like William Shatner and Dr. Mehmet Oz to promote the cause on his show. "These people on Facebook: they're not your friends," Shatner deadpanned.

Kimmel listed some guidelines for unfriending:

"If you wouldn't loan someone $50, unfriend them. If you wouldn't invite them to your birthday party, unfriend them. If you wouldn't cry if they got hit by a bus, unfriend them. It doesn't have to be a hostile thing," he quipped.

Kimmel said that he estimates "90 percent of your Facebook friends aren't really your friends at all."

In 2009, "unfriend was selected as the word of the year by the New Oxford American Dictionary and was officially added to the lexicon.

A recent study from a University of Colorado Denver business student examined the reasons why people unfriend their Facebook pals. He found that the main factor in discontinuing a friendship on the social-networking site is persistent, pointless posts. Kimmel says to dump them.

"I encourage you to cut out some of the friend fat in your life," he said."

Watch the following clip from Kimmel to hear more on "NUD: National Unfriend Day."

Don't forget! If you like what you read on AE Jones, go ahead and "follow" me! Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Confessions of a freeway car singer

I am most definitely a car singer. I'm that car you pass on the freeway where the driver is belting to the song she is listening to. She may or may not look like a complete idiot because, to you, she is singing in silence.

But, were you to join the party in her car, here is what you'd be belting to as well:

I have two favorite playlists on my iPod, to which I belt;[Can you tell "belt" is a favorite word in this post?] I would highly recommend these two albums for all you closet car singers. [Do we call them albums anymore? I feel like that word is suuper retro.]

1. Mindy Gledhill's newest album: Anchor [Not sure if you know just how in love I am with this album... it is incredible. Even Nie Nie loves Mindy. That is saything something.]

2. [Preface: I don't really consider myself a "country" girl, but, this one is just classic.] Rascall Flats: Feels Like Today

Random choices of music, I know. Let's just say I'm eclectic. I turn the volume up to about 37 or 38. [36 isn't enough and 39 is just enough to pierce your earsdrums a little too much.]

And then... I belt.

Happy car singing!

Need a smile today? Here you go...

This is for all my readers...thank you for reading my blog!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My Camera... for sale

How kosher is it to use my blog to sell something? I'm not sure. But here I go anyway.

Tear. I've made a lot of memories with this camera. But, as Sarah Brightman says, it is "time to say goodbye."

I'm selling my SLR camera. You interested?

Here are some specs:

It is a film camera, not digital. [Big reason why I'm selling it. I don't really use film anymore.]

*It is a Canon EOS ELAN.
*I have two lenses for it. First lens: Quantaray 70-300mm (Tele-Macro) and the second lens: Quantaray 35-80mm. [They're obviously both compatible with the Canon body.]

It is an absolutely amazing camera. If I had reason to keep a film camera, I totally would, because this is one heck of a SLR.

A few pics of the beauty: [forgive the crummy shots... they were taken with my puny little pocket digital camera.]

How much, you ask? $150. [I'm selling the set on KSL and Craigslist for $180... but if you get it from me on my blog, I'll bump it down to $150... because I love you.]

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sorry for changes... annoying, I know.

You may have noticed that the linking to my blog has been super weird. I apologize. I wanted to change the URL address, but there were way too many complications that came with it. So, we're back to organizedstress.blogspot.com. Kind of hokey, I know... but, it has made a name for itself, so we're stickin with it.

Happy reading!

Looking to travel... on a dime?

Oh heavens. On Fox News tonight, I saw this story about three guys starting a new way of lodging when traveling called, "Air BnB." My dear readers, I'm about this close " - " to quitting my job and running away to Greece. The idea of the story is people all over the world are renting their extra rooms, basements, apartments to anyone who wants to come and stay. Some have beds, cots, air mattresses... but the point is, they have room, and inexpensive room.

Rooms in Manhattan flats for $70 a night. No joke. Thailand - $80. England - $45. Virginia - $60. Greece - $71. I'm about to die. Check out the website and see below. The travel bug has bit.

The New York Times also found this an intriguing idea.

A great map of all of the locations available in the world... in the WORLD.

Interested in an apartment in Greece? I am.

or, if you're interested in spending a few more bucks for a nice night, you could go for this: A private yacht, with crew, in Bora Bora. Oh geez. Where's my man... I want to go now.

Yes, this is a "few" more dollars... but look at the pictures! A private yacht? In Bora Bora?! This is the highest price I saw on here - all the others are actually very, very inexpensive.

Holiday Hair by A Cup of Jo

Thanks to our friend Jo, at A Cup of Jo, we have the beautifully-classy "Holiday Hair" suggestion: the side chignon.

Here is a little step-by-step tutorial:

Is that not so fabulous? It makes me want to go to a Christmas party and sip wassail while leaving red lipstick marks on my glass.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

An armful of books and hopes for a vintage apron

So, I work for a publishing company, right? Today, just before eleven o'clock, I got an email saying: "Free books! 11:00!" Seconds after that email went out, the elevator was dinging and people were getting off on my floor [yes, I own the 8th floor] and forming a long line, waiting to get into the conference room where said books were lying wait for us.

FREE BOOKS. If you don't know me, and even if you do know me, I'm not sure if you know how giddy those two words together make me. I tried to remain calm, but when I walked in that room, my eye started to twitch [not really] and I couldn't hold back. At least three arm-fulls later, I was satisfied.

Now, just to be clear, these books are not published by the company where I am employed. They were pre-published books from other publishing companies. Cook books. Decorating books. Childrens books. [I got this amazing Thai cook book... I'm excited out of my mind to try a recipe from it.] All I need now is one of those flirty aprons to make me look professional. Or I might go for a vintage, Grandma-made apron. Those are the best. [Isn't that picture great?!]

Needless to say, I'm incredibly excited. One life goal is to build a floor to ceiling bookshelf, and be able to fill it up with my books.[Just like in the picture...ladder included.] I'm on my way. With all of the books I own right now, I could probably fill up half of those shelves. [Fortunately, one of the books I grabbed today is a "how to" on building wooden closets and shelfs. I'm set.]

And when I invite you over to my house for a summer dinner party with deliciously-healthy food and gorgeous decorations, why yes, you will have a cleverly-folded napkin, because I now have a book that will teach me how to fold napkins.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Don't forget your sticker!

It is your responsibility and right to use your voice for your country.

"Besides giving your life for your country, voting is the most patriotic thing we can do." Wise, Mr. Duritz. Very wise. Go vote. [And don't forget to get your sticker... cause I did.]