Sunday, July 29, 2007

Shopping is therapeutic

I've let things get to me lately. Tiny annoyances have affected me in much the same way major problems do. This has left me a wee bit tense and not a very pleasant person to be around. I hate it, but sometimes we all get a little stressed. It's my turn.

On Friday, however, I forgot all about tests, course schedules, money, people who drive me insane and my lack of a meaningful relationship with someone of the male species and I headed out for a day of serious shopping with Allison.

We hit every store within a 10-mile radius of the Atlanta suburb we were in. By the time all was said and done, I felt a hundred times better.

Hello, my name is Stacey, and I'm a shopaholic.

There. I said it. But I will say, too, that I spent less than $100 and walked away with one amazing pair of shoes.


These shoes look good with jeans. They look good with dress pants. They look flat-out fabulous with a skirt. In short, I am in love with these shoes because of all these reasons and because they're different from my usual boring shoes I wear on a daily basis.

I know a girl who wears amazing shoes every day. I never understood her fascination with stylish shoes ... until now.

I just might be hooked on shoe shopping. That is, until my worries get a little less worrisome.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The perfect end to a crazy day

Did you catch MIKA on "So You Think You Can Dance" tonight?

I did!

It's not the best picture, but by the time I realized I should grab my camera, he was done with his performance.

Yes, I'm much like a teenage girl when it comes to MIKA, but you know what? It's just fine with me!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Why I hate online shopping

I spent all day before work waiting for a UPS shipment to arrive.

Of course the package made it to my house after I'd left for work. And despite my note, the delivery person couldn't leave the shipment on my doorstep.

Another delivery effort will be made tomorrow, however. ... But I won't be home tomorrow - or the next day, or the next day!

If only everyone would give the option of shipping via the USPS ... then I would LOVE shopping online.

* Update: It's now 2:30 p.m. Thursday. Still no sign of my delivery, and I'm beginning to get a little crazy being cooped up here all day long. I've been able to get a lot of house work done, but I truly needed to go to the university today to get several things taken care of. SO. VERY. FRUSTRATED.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Tids and bits. Bits and tids.

Yesterday I ate french fries. Oh yes ... french fries!! I finally gave in to the craving that had been eating away at my soul for the last 3 days. It felt so good to devour those fat-packed, greasy, fried potatoes. I only had a small, but I swear I could have eaten a jumbo-super-size-gut-buster-extra-large, too. ... But it's all about restraint. I honestly can't tell you how happy that little paper bag filled with waffle-cut potatoes made me. Now I think I can go another 3 months without them and be just fine.

I'm in another blogging funk, if you hadn't already noticed. I'm very busy, but not with fun things that are interesting to read about. For instance, I'm right smack in the middle of working 9 days straight. I'm somewhat grouchy and really need to buy groceries. I bought a new fancy mop yesterday that I'm thrilled about, and I'm irritated that my favorite razor (Intuition) is getting stingy with the "skin-conditioning solid" that they put around the razor so I don't have to mess with shave cream. When you pay $8 for three cartridges, you should get $8 worth of shaving out of 'em. That's not happening anymore.

I think my cat has dry skin, and when I'm done with this highly interesting post I'm going to Google how to cure her. She's scratching like she's got fleas, only she doesn't have fleas. I'm perplexed.

My mother and her boyfriend are coming down to visit from Virginia over Labor Day weekend. I actually got that time off from work, so I'm in the midst of coming up with a fantastic plan for their stay. My only problem is that I can't figure out how to pack everything in that I think they'd love to do, without absolutely killing them in the process. Too little time is always a problem. I think life should be spent doing whatever we wish, whenever we want. Too bad we're not all millionaires. I would be really good at it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Snapfish, anyone?

After having issues getting photos printed at my usual place, Sam's Club, I'm considering trying out one of the online photo companies. Have you used Snapfish or any of the others? What did you think about the quality of the prints? I'm curious.

Also, have you guys been to the most fabulous shoe site ever? If not, you should check out It beats the heck out of Zappos, if you ask me.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Praxis ... er, practice makes perfect

Oh my ... I am in for it.

I've never been very good at standardized tests. I remember with striking clarity filling in bubble after bubble with my No. 2 pencil during the weeklong ITBS tests in elementary school each spring. The test generally fell the week of my birthday. And I was usually sick with some over-zealous, snot-inducing illness that I had to power through because nobody wanted to take the makeup test in the principal's office.

I remember how, even back then, I would talk myself out of the correct answers. I knew then what I am even more sure of now: Multiple-choice exams are evil. Sheer, utter evil — devised by people who like to watch little boys and girls squirm while deciding if C is the right answer over A, B, or the brutal D - all of the above.

The horror of every standardized test I've ever lost sleep over is coming back to me again — at age 30. And I'm not sure I'm up for it, but I'm sure going to do my best.

I've just begun studying for the Praxis test which, as I mentioned before, I must pass in order to be admitted as a "real" grad student. Pressure is the word that most describes the situation at hand.

Lots and lots of p-r-e-s-s-u-r-e.

English isn't going to be a problem. I'm honestly not nervous about that portion of the exam, which I'm grateful for. I've always had a knack for punctuation, grammar and so forth ... I guess that's partially why I chose journalism as my major in college. That, and I suck at math.

Actually, if there were such a thing, I believe I could be classified as illiterate when it comes to numbers and everything that goes with them. I believe math problems are called "problems" for a reason — because they make no sense whatsoever.

Math is a foreign language. Math is scary. Math is almost as evil as standardized tests.

And I get to rehash it all in the coming weeks as I prepare for the Praxis. I'm beginning with the basics (don't laugh) — I've never really understood how to multiply and divide fractions, and you can forget breaking down square roots. Algebra, on the other hand, I can generally figure out. But geometry needs to stay the heck away from me.

Unfortunately, geometry and fractions and square roots and every other frightening math scenario is about to unfold before my very eyes. I just pray that I can power through this like I powered through those ITBS tests back in elementary school. Only this time, I hope to keep the nose dripping under control.

Let the studying begin ...

Friday, July 13, 2007

Air conditioning knob vs. radio dial

My mind keeps playing tricks on me.

Or maybe it's just that I'm not used to having the option of enjoying the cool, cool breeze that flows freely from a car's air conditioning vents. (It's a luxury, you know.)

At any rate, I cannot seem to distinguish between the stereo's dial and the air conditioner fan knob. I've nearly deafened myself a half-dozen times in failed attempts at adjusting the rate at which the arctic air blasts into my car.

I love my air conditioner, but I also love my hearing. I must figure this out.

* Yes, this post is lame, but seriously ... the only thing I can think about this week is how fabulous my new car is. Hopefully I will return to normal in the coming days. I'm not promising anything, though.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Meet Rosie!

Yep, I bought this today!

I'll blog about it more later (I'm about to fall asleep after a LONG day of car shopping). But I'll tell you that Rosie is a 2005 Kia Spectra 5. She drives like a dream, and I still can't believe this is MY CAR!

Woo Hoo!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

In a nutshell

I think I'm beginning to catch my breath after a cram-packed June and a somewhat hectic start to July. I've had SO much on my plate lately that I feel like I've neglected so much — my apartment, my friends, my lonely cat and my blog. I've also noticed a couple new lines around my eyes, which means I have got to slow down and remember to moisturize!

Anyhow, now that things are beginning to slow down a bit, here's what I've been up to ...

I've been accepted to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga as a provisionary graduate student. That means that until I take and pass the Praxis, I do not get to be a "real" student — and I don't get financial aid. ... Which means I'm about to devour my new Praxis study guide multiple times over, because this girl needs some financial aid!

Once I'm admitted as a full-time student (most likely in January), I will be studying early childhood education (Pre-kindergarten-3rd grade). I'm hoping to be done in three years. However, because my bachelor's degree is in journalism and not education, I could be looking at a little longer so I can take courses that I would have taken had I majored in education as an undergrad student. Plus, I'll be working full-time, so it should be fun. Ha!


I'm still in the middle of a "new" car search. After spending last Monday running all over Chattanooga and Dalton, Ga., I decided to do more research on the cars I found that I liked. And thank goodness I did, because I nearly made a mistake.

I had fallen in love with at 2004 Honda Civic that was more than I really need to pay. Granted, I talked the dealership down quite a bit, BUT I don't want to be living paycheck to paycheck, and had I signed on the dotted line for that car, that's the situtation I likely would have put myself in. Thanks goes to Jim for making me go home to sleep on it.

Tomorrow I'll be out looking again. I've decided that, for now, Kias and Hyundais are more in my price range, so I'm primarily looking at them. However, if there's a great deal out there on a Honda, Nissan or Toyota, I'll buy it in a heartbeat. I doubt it'll happen though.

I truly hate looking for a new car, so I'm praying for a shopping trip that's as painless as possible. ... Wish me luck!


Other than that, here's a very brief rundown:

* I've lost a total of 16 lbs. on Weight Watchers, and I feel better than I have in a LONG time. My clothes are all a little too big, which is a wonderful thing - however, I hate spending money on new clothes right now, considering I'm about to buy a car.

* I went on a date last night that could probably be deemed the biggest flop of all time. I seriously don't think we had one thing in common, and as the night progressed it got more and more uncomfortable. Plus he took me to play pool after dinner, and I am by far the world's worst pool player ever. It's embarrassing for me, and I think he was a little embarrassed to be with me. I hate dating. Maybe I'll just stay single. ... Yeah, that sounds fine to me.

* I think I'm the happiest I've been in years. I don't know what it is exactly, but I do think it has to do with finally doing something about going back to school and, of course, the weight loss and my new healthy self. I have way more energy and I find myself smiling a lot more. It's wonderful!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Fourth! Have some pictures!

If you ever, ever have the chance to take a vacation to Siesta Key, FL (which is practically in Sarasota), do it. The sand is as white as white can be, the ocean is gorgeous and the people are super friendly.

We stayed at Palm Bay Club. The property has three seperate accomodations — one on the bay side, one in the middle, and this was where we were — in the tower right on the beach. It was perfect!

Most mornings and early afternoons looked like this. But it was late afternoon when the skies turned dark and looked quite scary ...

As I was taking this picture, one of the landscaping guys came up to me and pointed out that there were two clouds that were actually swirling. That's when I went inside!

This is just a random picture that I liked. Allison and her daughter spent A LOT of time looking for shells ... I just took pictures of them.

We cooked all of our lunches and dinners with the exception of our second night in Siesta Key. We ate at a place right on the bay called Phillippi Creek Village Restaurant and Oyster Bar. It was fantastic — mainly because I forgot my diet and ordered what sounded good! I had a crab cake for my appetizer and blackened chicken and a baked potato for my main course. I also enjoyed the best rum runner I've had in ages. Yummy! Oh, and this is a picture of Allison and me at the restaurant ... as if you couldn't figure that out.

Every night we would walk on the beach at sunset. I don't think I could ever get used to how beautiful the sunsets were. My camera just didn't do them justice.

The only thing I didn't enjoy about the beach was all the seaweed. It glopped up all over the shore, in the first few feet of the ocean and inevitably ended up in my swimsuit. Fun ...

But once you got past all the seaweed, the ocean was fabulous! I usually don't go out too far, but when I can see where I'm walking, I'm fine ... the water was so clear that you could see very far out. It was great, and I am ready to go back!

I hope you all have a wonderful Fourth of July!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Vacations rock. Buying a car does not.

I'm back from my amazing trip to Florida, but have been plopped directly into the frightening realm of used car salesmen. Talk about two different worlds.

A few days ago, I was lounging on the white sands on the Gulf of Mexico.
Today I was wheeling and dealing with more than my fair share of skeezy used car dealerships.
Tonight I'm pondering a 2004 Honda Civic LX that is a good deal, but a little more than I'd hoped to spend.
Tomorrow I make a decision.

I'll let you know what happens ... and will post more pretty pictures from my vacation!

Wish me luck!