Friday, May 30, 2008

Personality/Morality Test

I found this interesting self-assessment online. Read the story below, then rank the four characters in order of most moral and honest to least moral and honest, in your opinion. Then go to, find the list that matches yours, and read about yourself. So interesting!

"The Sheriff of Nottingham captured Little John and Robin Hoodand imprisoned them in his maximum-security dungeon. Maid Marionbegged the Sheriff for their release, pleading her love forRobin.The Sheriff agreed to release them only if Maid Marion spent thenight with him. To this she agreed.The next morning the Sheriff released his prisoners. Robin atonce demanded that Marion tell him how she persuaded the Sheriffto let them go free.Marion confessed the truth, and was bewildered when Robin abusedher, calling her a slut, and saying that he never wanted to seeher again.At this Little John defended her, inviting her to leave Sherwoodwith him and promising life-long devotion. She accepted andthey rode away together."

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

How to exercise without feeling like a hampster

So one thing that I have been really struggling with is getting enough exercise. I have been transitioning from a student's lifestyle to that of a professional, which means I sit on my butt considerably more than I used to!

If you are reading this, then you probably already know that I hate "exercise," and going the gym makes me have an existential crisis like what I imagine a hamster on a wheel must feel. At Duke I felt like going to the gym was pretty much for the purpose of becoming skinny--skinny, shiny, flirty girls on treadmills were who belonged. Not exactly a self-esteem booster, nor an incentive, because it seemed unattainable. I was like "I can never be like those girls, so I might as well go eat some fro-yo. Strawberry please!"

In the past, I have enjoyed kickboxing, hiking, yoga, and kayaking. Those activities weren't really exercise though, because I like them, right? This year, however, my apartment complex is directly accross the street from the nicest YMCA I have ever seen. I felt obligated to at least try it! Every single cardio machine has its own little TV and dvd player on it, and they have tons of classes. I found out that if I watch one of my favorite shows while I work out, that I can dupe myself to staying on the machines!! AND WHO KNEW?? I actually feel good after I work out. Like Amy told me--working out is like eating your vegetables: its not the best while you are doing it, but its good for you and your body will appreciate it.

I found this list of 11 tips for sticking to an exercise schedule on a blog I really like called The Happiness Project ( I hope that some of y'all find it helpful too!



11 tips for sticking to a schedule of regular exercise.

Exercise is a KEY to happiness. Research shows that people who exercise are healthier, more energetic, think more clearly, sleep better, and have delayed onset of dementia. They get relief from anxiety and mild depression, comparable to medication and therapy. They perform better at work.
Also, although it’s tempting to flop down on the couch when you’re feeling exhausted, exercise is actually a great way to boost energy levels. Feeling tired is a reason to exercise, not a reason to skip exercise.
But even when you admit that you’d feel better if you exercised, it can be very hard to adopt the habit. My idea of fun has always been to lie in bed, reading, preferably while also eating a snack – but I’ve managed to keep myself exercising by using all these tricks on myself:

1. Always exercise on Monday. This sets the psychological pattern for the week. Along the same lines…
2. If at all possible, exercise first thing in the morning. As the day wears on, you’ll find more excuses to skip exercising. Get it checked off your list, first thing.
3. Never skip exercising for two days in a row. You can skip a day, but the next day, you must exercise, no matter how inconvenient.
4. Give yourself credit for the smallest effort. My father always said that all he had to do was put on his running shoes and close the door behind him. Many times, by promising myself I could quit ten minues after I’d started, I got myself to start – and then found that I didn’t want to quit, after all.
5. Think about context. I thought I disliked weight-training, but in fact, I disliked the guys who hung out in the weight-training area. Are you distressed about the grubby showers in your gym? Do you try to run in the mornings, but recoil from going out in the cold? Examine the factors that might be discouraging you from exercising.
6. Exercise several times a week. If your idea of exercise is to join games of pick-up basketball, you should be playing practically every day. Twice a month isn’t enough.
7. If you don’t have time both to exercise and take a shower, find a way to exercise that doesn’t require you to shower afterward. Twice a week, I have a very challenging weight-training session, but the format I follow doesn’t make me sweat. (Some of you are saying, “It can’t be challenging if you don’t sweat!” Oh yes, believe me, it is.)
8. Look for affordable ways to make exercising more pleasant or satisfying. Could you upgrade to a nicer or more convenient gym? Buy yourself a new iPod? Work with a trainer? Get a pedometer to keep track of your walking distances? Exercise is a high life priority, so this a worthwhile place to spend some money if that helps.
9. Think of exercise as part of your essential preparation for times you want to be in especially fine form -- whether in performance (to be sharp for an important presentation) or appearance (to look good for a wedding) or mood (to deal with a stressful situation). Studies show that exercise does help.
10. Remember one of my favorite Secrets of Adulthood, courtesy of Voltaire: Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Don’t decide it’s only worth exercising if you can run five miles or if you can bike for an hour. I have a friend who scorns exercise unless she’s training for a marathon -- so she never exercises. Even going for a ten-minute walk is worthwhile. Do what you can.
11. Don’t kid yourself. Belonging to a gym doesn’t mean you go to the gym. Having been in shape in high school or college doesn’t mean you’re in shape now. Saying that you don’t have time to exercise doesn’t make it true.

People often ask me, “So if I want to be happier, what should I be doing?” and I always say, “The first thing to do is to make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep and plenty of exercise.”
I know, that answer doesn’t sound properly transcendent and high-minded on the subject of happiness, but research shows that you’d be wise to start there. And I’ve found that if I’m feeling energetic and well-rested, I find it much easier to follow all my other happiness-inducing resolutions.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Ladies--help with hair dilemma please!

Alright, here are pictures of the hairdo's from last weekend. The curlier one is at Patti John's right after Carrie did it. Then the next one where its a little fluffier is like 6 hours later after I brushed it out. What do you think? also, mom thinks I should get it pulled up from my ears, not from my temples. Y'all have seen my hair both ways--which way is better? Also, should I get it highlighted to brighten it up again before the wedding, or do you agree with Carrie that darker hair looks better than light against a wedding dress? HELP MY HAIRS!! :-)

Memorial Day Weekend

Wow, I can’t believe I am back at work. This weekend was really productive, and also, amazingly, relaxing! I was so freaked out that I would forget to take something home to WV for the final wedding planning meetings, but everything worked out great! We got everything nailed down with the florist, the country club, the ministers, the bridal boutique, the salon, party rental place, and the marriage license. AND we had time to lay around on the back porch, hang out with my parents and my brother, play with the dog, and make banana waffles for breakfast before we left. Its so much harder to go home with an 8 hour drive each way than a 6 hour drive though...can’t wait until I am back in Richmond for good!

I missed Odin so much, and he is soooo sweet, and I can’t wait to get a house so that Brett and I can get a dog. They are just so funny and stress relieving and they don’t even have to try! For instance, I think I laughed all the stress in my body away watching Odin chase a fly around my parent’s bedroom. It was the freakin funniest thing I had seen in a long time because of his intense concentration and his vaulting over their bed while he chomped the air. He never caught the fly, and even after mom killed it, Odin kept going up to their room for the next day to find it.

Alex got a job as a lifeguard, and I am very proud of him! I don’t understand why he didn’t do it years ago. He also took an art class this last semester and he was showing me all of his charcoal drawings–Keep it up Al! Alex is going to meet up with Fabian [hereinafter "Fabs"] in Europe for a few days, and he is going sailing on Lake Lucern, traveling all over Switzerland, probably Austria, and maybe Spain. So jealous! I meant to take my 2 Euro coin to him left over from when I was in Paris, since its probably worth like $40 by now, but I forgot. Drat!

My wedding dress still fits me perfectly (yay for not gaining weight, boo for not trimming up!), and I found shoes I love. Mom is letting me wear our family heirloom diamond necklace. I also really liked my make up, but not my hair. hmmmm
what to do, what to do? Mom thinks that I should pull it up from my ears rather than my temples--do any of you have any input?
I want to hear about everyone’s Memorial Day weekends–I hope you all had a relaxing and fun holiday! I miss you all and can’t wait to see everyone at the wedding!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Angie's cupcakes

This is a picture of one of the cupcakes I made for Angie's birthday at the office. YUM!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Scouting at Nags Head

Yesterday Brett and I went down to Nags Head for the day to go to the beach. It was so great to find out that its about an hour and a half away. It was still to cold to get in the water, but the beach was SOOO nice, and not touristy like it is here. We packed a picnic lunch, and watched the lifeguards train on dummies, and there was a girl scout luau right next to us which was hilarious. They were doing the limbo, which made me think of Ashley of course because she was our brownie scout limbo champion! I totally wanted to play with them, but instead I just decided to prove to brett that I could still do cartwheels and a standing backbend...the only problem with the backbend was that once I dropped down into it, I couldnt get up!! haha. :-p We went to play mini golf after that, and then we went to Mama Kwan's, which was yummy as my coworker Natalie promised. I can't wait to go back in June for the bachelorette party because they have themed drinks, and for each one they have a matching cup you get to take home. I am SO ordering Louie the monkey drink so that I can drink out of a monkey all night! We got fish tacos, which had this delicious sauce on them that I think was just coconut milk and lime juice, and there were amazing asian maranated cucumbers on the side...mmmm....
Then we raced home to norfolk, because my friend Jessie graduated from Med School yesterday and she was having a barbeque at her house to celebrate. But on the way home we stopped at a farmer's market and got some LOCAL strawberries. OMG. heaven! Jessie's sister got her a tiffany's pendant necklace and on the back it was engraved "do no harm." I thought that was the best present EVER for a med school grad! Brett couldn't make it because he had a headache after being out in the sun all day, so poor Darren was stuck there while we talked all about wedding stuff (he and amy just got engaged) and babies, etc. Darren, Brett says he is sorry!!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Baby Hamster's First Broccoli

This video is entitled Baby Hamster Eats First Broccoli. I must admit that his passion for broccoli is AMAZING!

I read today that the average adult laughs 17 times per day, and the average child 400 times per day. Hopefully this will make you at least chuckle. Perhaps guffaw. ;-) Have a great weekend everyone!

Monday, May 12, 2008


Dreary Monday

Well, its a dreary day here. Wish I were in bed under the covers... I started reading Eccentric Glamour again last night after putting it down for a week or so--its so funny!

I finished The Fifth Horseman yesterday and it was good. I love Lt. Lindsay Boxer--she is such a badass. I also love that Angie Harmon plays her on the show, what fantastic casting!

Last night 2 tornadoes touched down about 20 miles from here in north carolina, and I am SO SCARED of them!! Especially since that one a week or two ago in Suffolk that caused all that damage--it was like 10 miles away. I want to move back to the mountains where we don't ever have tornados. Brett and I were just getting ready to eat dinner (he made delicious ground beef stuffed eggplant mmmmmm) and all of a sudden it was like we couldn't see out our windows and the building started creaking and the wind was whistling--SO SCARY!! So naturally I chugged my wine and put on Spanglish so I could pretend I was in a happy place.

Mom really liked her mother's day present, yay! She actually didn't try to give it back to me this time, so I consider it a success!

So far we have about 30 RSVP yesses and 5 nos for the wedding. I definitely had nightmares last night that I overslept on the day of the wedding and was late and everyone was mad at me. I can't believe how soon it is coming up, yikes! It seems like since we got engaged it has always been like I could just keep flipping the pages of the calendar forever. AND NOW I JUST HAVE TO FLIP ONE PAGE!! I am going to be so nervous. I know its supposed to be my day, etc, but I really just want everyone to have a good time and not screw up! We are trying to find someone to help us prepare for our first dance too. Here is the email i just sent to a studio in the area:

Brett and I are getting married July 5th, and we both have 2 left feet!! Can you help us learn a basic waltz so that we won't embarass ourselves? We would like to have a few private lessons and maybe have you help us practice and pick out a good song to dance to. Please let me know!
Thank you,

lol pathetic right?

Jen, thanks so much for hanging out on Saturday night! I had so much fun playing taboo with you and maciek and getting tipsy. :-) I can't wait to move back to Richmond!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Miss Bimbo

I am sadly completely addicted. To Miss Bimbo, the virtual fashion game.
That's my bimbo on the left with the yellow purse.
I intially decided to check it out because I was reading an article about this scandal where little girls were logging onto the website and 1) getting their dolls boob jobs, 2) having their dolls take diet pills, and 3) spending thousands of dollars on their parents paypal accounts buying their bimbos stuff like clothes and makeup. Parents were irate, and demanding that the site be taken down. Naturally, being the feminist/libertarian that I am, I was confused and wanted to check it out. I signed up for a free account to investigate. I came to the conclusion that people are morons if they let their kids use the internet unsupervised anyway, so its their own fault if their kids learn that enormous boobs are the feminine idea, and why do their kids have their paypal passwords anyway? In the meantime, I can't stop!!! I love living vicariously through my bimbo's fabulously simple, silly life. Challenging other bimbos, looking for a boyfriend at the club who will give me a bigger allowance, attempting to raise my IQ so that I can quit my job as a baker and start as a hairdresser...this is the life...

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Smoothie weekend

Last weekend was fantastic because I had nowhere to be at a certain time. Amy came in for dinner Friday night at Amalfi in Ghent, and Catherine came too. It was yummy and had a great ambiance and cannoli, but was pretty overpriced. We rented Dan in Real Life, which was eh, ok, but nothing stellar. Saturday Brett and I went rollerblading like nerds on the boardwalk, which was SO FUN and exhausting. It was a really nice day, and we went 5 miles (from 34th street to 1st street and then back). We got some really fresh strawberries and made smoothies all weekend--its the little things!!

Charlotte's Favorite Smoothie Recipe
1 banana
6 strawberries
1 cup of french vanilla lowfat yogurt (stoneyfield farm is the BEST)
a splash of milk or orange juice
Combine the above ingredients in a blender, and fill the rest of the way up with ice cubes. Blend until smooth, then enjoy.

Then Brett made me watch Tron, a movie from the early 1980s where some guy gets sucked into a computer and has to battle an evil mainframe. Ridiculous knock-off of Star Wars but substitute outer space terms with computer programming terms. WOW is all I have to say about that one...

Went to Michaels to get MORE stuff for the wedding. Sigh. This time I got stuff to make invitations for the rehersal dinner, some raffia to tie the programs together with, and blank notecards so that I can make thank you notes that match the invitations. I am working on the programs for the ceremony, and I like the Song of Solomon for the old testament lesson. But I am kind of stuck because I really don't like any of the Psalms. I am going to ask Father Bennett and Father Jackson if we can substitute a poem for the Psalm, hopefully one by e.e. cummings. Then the Gospel Lesson and the New Testament Lesson should be easier because they are significantly less sexist! I just don't really want anything in the ceremony about "cleaving to your husband" or being created from Adam's rib.

We also planted an herb garden, which I am excited about, on our balconey in pots. I can't wait until we can eat dinner out on the balcony and watch the boats on the river as the sun sets! Hopefully there will be oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, and sage. I think. I don't actually know, I just dumped the seed packets out and watered. But I like to watch them grow and I will know what they are later, right?

The view from my balcony:

My first post

This is my first post ever. I am pretty excited about blogging for a few reasons. First, I think it will serve kind of like a diary as far as getting my thoughts on paper and out of my head so I feel more organized. Second and more importantly, I hope that it can be a way for me to keep in touch with my family and friends who live far away from me. My family lives 8 hours away, which is the farthest I have ever been from them, and I miss them terribly. My friends live in Richmond, D.C. Seattle, Cleveland, Chapel Hill--basically we are scattered all over the place! It is my hope that I can use my blog to feel closer to those people I love the most by sharing my daily life experiences with them instead of just catching up every few months on the phone. SO PEOPLE, please either check my blog and comment on it, or start up your own so we can stay in touch!! Oh, and I will try to keep it entertaining. I am going to try to post lots of photos, and I would love it if you could do the same!!

What do you guys think? Good idea/stupid idea? I promise I won't post any senators sexual escapades on here...