Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My Mom Tells It Like It is... I'm Heavy

My mom is blunt. About my weight she has always been blunt-- I remember bathing suit shopping with her when I was in my late teens and loving this sexy one-piece that was really high cut in the legs (that was in fashion then!); it was a sort of tan color and looked like suede instead of shiny swimsuit fabric. I think it had some metal detail.  It made my short legs look miles long and it felt so sophisticated compared to my brightly colored teeny bopper suits of years past.
So there we were in the dressing room at a department store and she announces loudly, "It looks good on you. We'll get it. You just need to lose a LITTLE weight!" and squeezes my hip where it was sticking out of the leg of the swimsuit. I mean... there were lots of other people in the other dressing rooms and I didn't appreciate that at all. Plus, I probably weighed all of 110 lbs at that time.

I saw her this weekend and she started asking me how often I've been going to yoga. (I practice Bikram yoga and in the past, when I've practiced 4 or 5 times a week, I have no problems with my weight... any extra just seems to melt off, probably from the 100+ degrees in the Bikram hot room!) I explained to her that I've only been practicing on my days off, two days a week, because I leave for work at 7:30 am and I get home from work at around 7:45 pm each evening. I work an hour from home and ride a commuter train to work each day.
She informed me that I need to exercise more no matter what it takes. She stared into my eyes and her stern and worried eyes told me I'm heavy. Which is, of course, true. I bought a scale on my way home from her house and stepped on it once I got back to my house. I'm at my highest weight ever! I weigh 131, which probably doesn't sound too shocking, but according to the height and weight charts, I should weigh between 103 and 113. I typically feel skinny at 120 and am not used to seeing that number go above the 120s.

So, no excuses! No saving money for an expensive bike or waiting for a hula hoop so I can start a hooping class or whatever other dreams I have. It's back to basics. I packed my running shoes, sports bra, tee shirt, hair ties, stretchy pants, face wipes and deodorant this morning and hauled it all to work. And during my lunch break, I went to the bathroom, changed into my exercise clothes and went running! I got back a little sweaty, but it wasn't too bad, and went back into the bathroom, freshened up and changed back into my work clothes. Then I ate my lunch of yogurt, granola and veggies at my desk and drank some water. Day 1 and I'm feeling pretty good! I also told a few coworkers that I'm doing this-- because if some people know, then I feel "watched" and I feel accountable. We'll see how it goes the rest of the week.  -  Dani Wendy

In which I piss off gays and straights alike

I am, and always will be, a fighter for equal rights when it comes to sexual preferences. Being a straight woman who prefers the male bits doesn't exclude me for wishing everyone to have the same "perks" I do.

But I have to admit to being irritated about all the hubbub that comes when a celebrity comes out. I want a world in which sexual leanings doesn't make a bit of difference when it comes to ANYTHING. I know that the press is good for awareness, I really do understand that. But the attention towards and how it somehow makes them better or worse is what I do not understand.

My gay friends aren't lauded with ticker tape or media frenzy. They go about their everyday lives, loving and living. They have families and jobs and mortgages and car payments, just like anyone else.

Yes, a pro sports player came out. He likes the penis. Good for him. So do I. But it doesn't make him a better ball player or a better person than anyone else. It just makes him...him. Equal rights means just that. Love and let love, live and let live.

- Dawny Wendy

Monday, April 29, 2013

Oscars 2011 flashback #1

I am a pop culture junkie. Tv, movies, awards shows, fashion, graphic novels, conventions, the list goes on and on. I love to talk about my shows and favorite movies. In fact, some of the best friends I have I met online on message boards and whatnot doing the whole fandom thing. In fact, two of those women I met online provided me with the opportunity to fulfill one of my biggest dreams/bucket list items: attending the Academy Awards.

I met C and G online during Buffy's heyday. Huge Joss fans we all are. I'm fact, while in California, they took me on a Buffy tour. We saw Buffy's house and the Sunnydale high. But that's another blog.

So, 2011 Oscars were all about The Fighter and Black Swan. I didn't give a crap about them. I was jazzed to see Zachary Levi. He was there to sing with Mandy Moore. I love adore crush on the man so I was just wanting to see him.

My mom and dad bought me a fancy schmancy camera for the trip. I practiced with that sucker hours upon hours and still couldn't get it to focus the way I wanted it to. Anyway, when Zachary got to my section of the bleachers, I took a gazillion pictures and they all looked like crap. Finally, out of desperation, I yelled his name. He turned and looked right at me. He stood in his pose for easily a minute while I took several pics. Poor guy. What a good sport though. I tweeted him later telling him thank you along with an apology. He was so sweet and gracious in his response.

Then came Justin Timberlake. I have never been a huge fan of his, more of a casual fan. I was going to snap a pic then move onto the next celeb walking down the red carpet. And then he started hamming it up for us in the bleachers. The 12 year old girl in me busted loose and I completely lost my shit in the bleachers. I was screaming and waving and bouncing in my seat. Not my proudest moment by any means but still... The boy is hot.

I'm going to be blogging more about this trip as it was truly one of the highlights of my life thus far. I want it down on paper, per se.

- Dawny Wendy

Saturday, April 27, 2013


I found this recipe online yesterday (I wish I could find it in my history to credit them) and it's seriously YUMMY.

- preheat oven to 325

- 2 packages cream cheese (softened)
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- graham cracker pie crust

Beat cream cheese, eggs, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Pour into pie crust. Bake for 55 minutes.

When I first pulled it out of the oven, the middle had raised quite a bit and concerned me. But it fixed itself as it cooled. It tastes just a titch on the custard side but it is sooooo good! My hubby and boys loved this cheesecake and ate the whole darn thing last night. I have to make another one today!

- Dawny Wendy

Friday, April 26, 2013

From Meatloaf to Rent

I am a music person. I love music of all kinds, rock, pop, country, jazz, etc... I LOVE musicals. LOVE musicals. Music brings about emotions, sparks memories, and takes the listener to a different place. So, it's no surprise that I love Glee.

From its first episode, Glee received flack for being what it was. You either loved it or hated it, there wasn't much middle ground. You would either love a cover or hated that they ruined one of your favorite songs and/or artists. I'm guilty of the same when it came to their covers. Rent is my all-time, ab fab favorite musicals. I thought they BUTCHERED Take Me or Leave Me. But it brings me to my point.

Glee was, and is, revolutionary. It brought about awareness to the arts and drama programs, it brought about a new way of thinking. And most importantly, it brought, and brings, new fans to music they may never have heard before.

Glee has covered some amazing artists ranging from The Beatles to Joni Mitchell to Bowie to Otis Redding to The Carpenters. They've covered songs from SO many musicals, many most children (and adults) have never heard of: Gypsy, Oliver, Annie Get Your Gun, King and I, etc...

There are children out there singing Paradise by the Dashboard Light (Meatloaf) or Smile (Charlie Chaplin) or All the World to Me (Fred Astaire) or even Baby Got Back because of Glee. They him songs from Funny Girl or Guys and Dolls or Chorus Line because they saw it on their favorite show.

A couple of years ago, I was at Walmart with my oldest. We were behind a little girl who was probably 8 years old or so and she was singing The Beatles Blackbird to herself. Her mom asked her what she was singing. She said Kurt sang it last night. Her mom then explained it was The Beatles that sang it first. When I turned in a different aisle I couldn't help but smile as I listened to them talk about Beatles songs and mom telling her she had a cd in the car they would listen to on the way home.

Glee can be a polarizing show. But I applaud what it's done for its target audience. But even more, I love that there are more and more children today singing. Singing to themselves and to each other.

- Dawny Wendy

Monday, April 22, 2013

Happy Earth Day!!!

Happy Earth Day Ya'All!!!! 

The Punkies and I are going to spend the day planting some garden pots and hiking! 

What are you going to do?!

Xoxo Nicci Wendy


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Confessions of a Crazy Mommy

I think I may be addicted to get my hair cut by different people any time we travel!

I got my haircut by a great gal in Carlsbad when I was visiting D and loved it! Now I let my Mommy's gal do it while I was in Cocoa Beach and think she did a great job too!

I think I may have a problem!

Xoxo Nicci Wendy


DIY Flower Hair Clips II

An assortment of barrettes

artificial flowers stripped off their stems

The finished flower clips on their colorful cards!
Savannah has many colorful outfits, and the finishing touch is typically a coordinating bow or flower hair clip worn in her hair. She has many of these, but always needs more because they do break and wear out and take a beating, like all kids' clothes and toys do. Although cream and blush colored silk ones embellished with Swarovski crystals and pearls for brides can go for anywhere from $20 -  $100, you can make a more every day version for around 50 cents each.

In the case of this batch, for even less! My snap barrettes were purchased from Dollar Tree, and were 6 pairs for $1. The flowers typically run between $3 and $7 per stem, and there are many flowers on each stem. 

After letting them dry undisturbed for several hours, I cut some colorful flat notecards in half, sliced a slit in each, and slid the barrettes through for a nice presentation. I particularly like the way the mottled, or spotted orchids look on a tortoise-tone barrette. 

They are easy to assemble with a hot glue gun and are the perfect craft for a sick day at home, which is what I've been doing the past two days. I have a cold, and my workplace is unusual because we handle each others' computers, and shared tools and shared phones all day long. One of my coworkers, the one with whom I share office space, is expecting a baby and I would not want to give him the cold and pass it to his wife. I suspect I GOT this cold from our boss, who came to work sick last week. Our office is also kept air conditioned at a chilly 65 degrees, so I decided it was healthier for all if I sat it out. Because I can't really concentrate, I've been working on the hair clips and working through the first few lessons of my watercolor lesson book, which consists of drawing round objects and making them look real and cast a shadow. Green apples, cherries and peaches. Add shadow. Add stem.

-- posted by Dani Wendy

Monday, April 15, 2013

Belieber I am not

I'm not a fan of Justin Beiber. I think I'm too old. I also do not have girls so I'm not subjected to him often. I thank my lucky stars for my boys everyday in that their role models are Chuck Norris and the Doctor from Doctor Who.

Mr. Beiber made headlines recently after visiting the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam. He signed the following in the guest book: "Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber."

I'm just verklempt at that. Yeah, sweet pea, I'm sure she would've been a belieber except for that whole pesky hiding from the Nazis to save her and her families life thing. The audacity of that comment just kills me.

There's been defense of Bieber in that he's only 19 and what 19 year old doesn't screw up or say stupid things? I could almost give that one, if there weren't plenty of 19 year olds smart enough and mature enough to for that comment to even have crossed their mind.

Where did the good, decent teen role models go?

- Dawny Wendy

When RAD takes over- traveling with the Punkies

So we have been in Florida for 5 days. It's been sunny and warm, I've gotten burned and now it's turning tan just what I needed after being in the Seattle rain for 2 years! Mommy lives the sun Goddess!

The Bigs(my oldest who almost 6 and 7) have been pushing and itching to ruin our trip since we got in the van to get on the plane.

We rented a house so we would have plenty of room and so the kids would have consistency. They also have their own pool so I can wear them out every day!;-)

So far Bu has torn art of the wall in their bedroom, hit 2 out of 3 of the other children, peed on himself in public, swore at me, and has just had an all around bad attitude.

Zo has thrown himself down an escalator( he's fine) trying to knock me off it, peed all over himself, wiped BM all over his bathroom, tried to drown his baby brother in the pool, referred to me as " his bitch"( several times) and told me to F off when he didn't want to follow the rules.

I expect behaviors and warn all that we come into contact with but I try to wake up every morning wipe the slate clean and try again, it's hard to balance the structure and allowing them to be boys and just have fun. Throw in trying not to let the Bigs ruin the fun for the Lils and its a constant puzzle!

Vacation might kill me!;-)

Xoxo Nicci Wendy

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Traveling With The Punkies

Today is Day 1 of our Florida trip! 6 hour flight then an hours drive once we get to Orlando! 

I packed a ton of snacks, IPads and magazines! Hopefully that will get us there(with maybe a few drinks for Mommy along the way!)!

Wish us luck!
Xoxo Nicci Wendy


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Bubbles and Balloons - Jen and Joe

I apologize for the absentee Wendy!  Life has been anything but dull lately and I'm working on my bubbles and balloons... 
I guess Bubbles and Balloons are a bit of a Maryism... so I'll explain in greater detail. 

Bubbles: You know when you have something that's bothering you... thats consuming your thoughts, something completely out of your control yet you insist on letting it fester? Yeah.. me too. 

Its so easy to say "Just let it go!" Um... not so easy for me.
When something or someone really matters to me, I don't have it in me to "just let it go" its not in my genetic makeup. (God how I wish I had that superpower)

A good friend of mine, Jen, who also happens to be a licensed professional counselor taught me about bubbles. It's where you actually picture yourself putting all that negativity into a bubble, think Wizard-of-Oz-Glinda bubble and then physically flicking the imaginary bubble into the air. 
For whatever reason, this is fairly effective for me, if only for a brief moment, it gives me peace. Give it a try, it might work for you also. 

Balloons: 10-12 years ago, I had a fairly high-stress demanding job. I also had an office with a door and a view of the San Francisco Bay, but that's another story for another day. 
One day with my head in my hands and tears hanging on by threads to my eyelids, enters Joe... little did I know at the time, but Joe was a very wise, compassionate man. 

He unknowingly, taught me a life skill. One I now refer to as, balloons. You know all those millions of things you need to do? 
Laundry, grocery shop, pay bills, order the antennas, finish the invoices, eat healthy, work out, go to church (regularly), pay attention to your husband, kids, parents, friends, dog, chickens, blog... well, those are all balloons. 

Big, beautiful, different colored helium balloons.

He taught me about pulling one balloon down at a time, anchoring it properly and then moving on to the next... 
"Its impossible to hold them all down at once..." - Joe. 

Thank you Jen and Joe for these two very valuable lessons in life. 

In this season of my life, I'm working on my Bubbles and Balloons - (insert 99 Luft Balloons in your best German accent) 

Peace out -  MaryWendy

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Confessions of a Crazy Mommy

I'm so addicted to the Fox TV show The Following! It isn't even funny!

It scares the Bejezzers out of me but I can't not watch!

Kevin Bacon really is yummy and delicious and I love him! I really think we should make him a sexy Saint! Saint Bacon!

And the guy who plays Joe Carroll is such a great creep! He could totally really be the leader of a crazy cult!

There's only 4 episodes left! Watch it people!!! It's good!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Tomorrow is My 40th Birthday

Today is my last day of being under 40.  

Age 40 feels quite significant... we make a pretty big deal about it in our culture, particularly for women, I'd say. 

I'm not sure how I feel about turning forty. On the one hand I feel like a big loser because I'm so un-accomplished at this point in my life... I was considered a likely-to-succeed kind of child, typically performing at the top of my class and all of that. But I've always had a flighty, unfocused side to me, and I'm kind of a perpetual kid. So I haven't had any huge success career-wise or salary-wise and I haven't used my creative side to its fullest so I feel kind of "meh" being 40 and not being able to list some amazing list of accomplishments. Some of my minor accomplishments that I feel happy about were more personal ones-- like going back to school at age 37 and becoming a gemologist and starting a new, rather low-paying but very fun career... completing a Bikram yoga challenge, etc. 
School was one of the best things that happened to me in my 30's. Becoming close to my mom again after several big rifts throughout my life was another dramatic, positive change, my friendship and love relationship with Jake was an enormous life change, and my cool female friends seemed to be a theme of my late 30's, too. 

I am often assumed to be ten years younger than I am, so I can't whine about my 40th too much. I don't really know what "the secret" to that is. Aging is, in part, genetic. I did two "cosmetic" things in my 30's which I think really make me feel young -  I had Lasik vision correction; I went from having 20/400 vision and dealing with my glasses and contact lenses to having perfect 20-20 vision. I had my teeth whitened by my dentist using Zoom whitening. They were pretty white already but I read something about teeth darkening in your 30's and I panicked and did it, now my teeth are really white. Not fake white, but really white for natural teeth. I'm SO happy about both of these procedures and feel like having perfect vision and white teeth make me feel really young. 

So far I haven't seriously thought about any Botox or fillers because I don't think I need them yet. 

So, goodbye to my 30's and hello to my 40's! 
Me at 40! (Well, 39.99!)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Spring Cleaning: Declutter Your Car in 10 mins

Your car's interior: don't neglect it, especially if you spend a lot of time in it, driving your kids to and fro, commuting to work, etc. No matter how big a car or SUV it is, it's still a very small room with very little storage space.

a bag for trash
car cleaning wipes, reusable cleaning cloth, or paper towels + all purpose cleaner
optional: air freshener

Park somewhere nice, where you can get into all doors easily. Dress comfortably so you can bend and move around. There are a couple of nice places near my house where you can put in some quarters and have their powerful vaccum for a few minutes.

Set the timer on your phone for 5 minutes, grab a bag to use for trash, and go! Go to it! If you have kids, get them to compete and see who can get the biggest bag of trash in, say, 2 minutes and the winner gets a reward! Pick up all the wrappers, fries, leaves, etc!

Now vacuum up the smaller pieces of debris...quickly! Doesn't have to be perfect. I once spent something like two hours cleaning my friend's van. But I was obsessing...

Wipe along your door handles and other areas that people touch. Wipe the dust off your steering wheel and all the plastic or leather parts.

Now pop your little vent clip air fresheners or spray a little bit of something nice into the carpets in the backseat, or mist the whole car if you're using something natural and non-toxic!

Aura Cacia Relaxing Lavender Mist is my favorite, but there are so many great ways to freshen your car.
They used to have a ginger-mint one that I liked, too. It's hard to road rage when your car is clean inside and smells like lavender... your drive to where ever it is your are going is going to be so nice!

A cute, handmade car trash bag available on Etsy!

Kitchen Gadgets I Can't Live Without #1

I am a kitchen gadget Whore! There I said it now we can all breathe a little easier!

I wanna tell you about some of my favorite kitchen items over the next few months( yes I have that many)!

I'm going to start with my absolute favorite(well right now, it changes every few days or so) my cast iron skillets!

I have 2 so far a 12 inch and a 16 inch. I cook everything in them! Searing burgers and steaks to perfection! Baking pineapple upside down cake and corn bread that gets the perfect caramelization, or a big batch of breakfast potatoes!!! People it will change your life!

I like to look at thrift or antique stores but you can find them already seasoned on Amazon!

Xoxo Nicci Wendy