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November 30, 2009

The Making of the Perfect Christmas Tree

I have never had a real live Christmas tree. Don't feel bad for me, I really don't want one. I love everything about having a fake Christmas tree. I love how perfect they look, how they don't shed their needles (I already have a dog that sheds enough for me, thank you), and how I don't have to worry (as much) about the tree burning down while I am gone. I mean they have to spray those things with an anti-flammable spray, right? It only makes sense. Now I know I am missing that glorious pine needle smell, hmmmm- Problem solved.

Last year Dan and I bought our first Christmas tree. Her name is Fern. I have been looking forward to getting Fern out all year. There is something so wonderful about the ambiance that a glowing Christmas tree brings to the house. Plus this is the first year since I was a baby that I was not studying for finals during the month of December. As such, I am determined to enjoy this Christmas season which meant Fern got put up right after Thanksgiving.

Here is the making of our perfect holiday Christmas tree.

Get lights all untangled and strewn across the entire room. Plug in one at a time. Curse yourself for not throwing out the bad ones last year.

Place the branches in their corresponding piles. Think angry thoughts about the makers of the Christmas tree for using similar colors with itty bitty letters to differentiate between similar looking branches, thus making the task frustrating.

Set up the base. Think it is a great idea to put the star on top first. Wonder why nobody else has thought of this great idea before.

Begin placing branches on one layer at a time.

Keep layering...

Realize why you don't put the star on top first because it starts to fall over.

...and layering....

Damn star all crooked.

...and layering...

...and layering...

....oh man so over layering...

Finally take off the damn star. Admire the most perfect Christmas tree in the entire world.

Place on lights. Try to explain to Dan you should start at the bottom and work your way to the top. Realize this is incorrect as you reach the top and have tons of lights still. Take all the lights off the tree and and start over. Finish and admire your lights. Get annoyed that parts of the tree blink and other parts do not.

Place on garland. Red. Obviously.

Add red, white, and silver bulbs. Plan on adding more decorations this year/a year you are not poor.

Place tree skirt under the tree. Think to yourself "why did I buy a felt tree skirt? This thing is ugly." Wish you had a train to go around it.

Have Dan place the star back on top. Smile because for whatever reason this task is his favorite.


Voila! Perfect Christmas Tree!

What kind of Christmas tree does everybody else have? Real or fake? Feel free to post pictures of your Christmas tree in the comments to share with everybody!


Review of Rihanna's "Rated R"

I feel obligated to do a review of Rihanna's new album "Rated R" since I have been anxiously anticipating its release over the last few months.

First, it is not as good as "Good Girl Gone Bad," nor is it as bad as all the critics are saying. I was really hoping for a good running album, but its only mediocre as a lot of the songs are mid tempo. It is really, really dark - but in fairness the poor girl has been through a lot this last year. I have to give her mad credit for "going there" if you know what I mean. It is a very unique album, one of those where you listen to a song and think to yourself "Whow, did she really just say that?" It is also a good break-up album, kind of "Jagged Little Pill" esque.

I bought theMP3 version of the album on Amazon for $3,99. Can you believe it? Go HERE and you can buy it too.

This album wont have the longevity of her last, where she was able to release practically every single to great success. If you are looking for singles instead of the entire album I am a fan of Fire Bomb, Hard, and Te Amo.


November 29, 2009

Obligatory Thanksgiving Recap

I took a little break from the blog this last week for two reasons. Number one, I needed a break from blogging. Number two, I spent most of my week in Arizona visiting Dan's family for Thanksgiving and tried my hardest to stay off my computer as much as is humanly possible (for me).

Our Thanksgiving was fabulous, but for the record- I am so over driving. Over it. Will somebody remind me in August to buy holiday plan tickets? Also, the next time I blog or say "We are going to drive!" and the drive is longer then 5 hours I want to be INUNDATED with comments reminding me how much I dislike long car trips. Seriously. Lets play a game called "Long Car Trips Melissa Has Been On In The Last 4 Years":

-ID to NY
-NY to WA
-Countless trips (okay that's a lie, I can count them, 5) from WA to ID (9 hours)
-WA to CA (Los southern region)
-WA to TX

Lets move on to some Thanksgiving Week highlights, shall we?

1. We woke up at 5 AM in order to get on the road by 7 AM (having dogs is like having takes forever to get everybody in the car.) On the road out to Thanksgiving I notice Dan checking his blackberry and as any good nagging wife would I say "Seriously? Will you put down the blackberry and drive the car please?" At which point he looked at me and said "Melissa, I think I have a scratched cornea. All these websites say it feels like you have something in your eye and need to seek medical attention." Yes my friends, our precious little mistake decided to take a flying leap at Dan's face while coming out of her crate that morning and proceeded to scratch his cornea WITH HER TEETH. We got him an eye appointment at 9:30 and hit the road by 10:30. So much for waking up at 5AM.

2. Somewhere in New Mexico we ran across the "Lord is God, Not a Swear Word" Gas Station. Not kidding. I wish I had taken a picture but it took a moment to process that what I was seeing was actually real and not a mirage.

3. There were twelve people at Dan's parent's house for Thanksgiving which led to some intense family games. Dan's Dad set up a cup stacking competition, the winner getting a free dinner...and we'll just say I spent most of my weekend doing this (but not nearly as fast):

Um, and for the record, this is the funnest game in the entire world.

4. Dan's family has four dogs, two big and two little. Kadira spent most of her Thanksgiving hanging out with the big dogs in the fabulous dog run in the yard...but we did give her a chance in the house where she (predictably) went crazy. Kirby, the small male King Charles Spanial, had enough and literally BROUGHT OUR 75 POUND GERMAN SHEPARD TO THE GROUND AND HELD HER THERE. Toby stood in the wings going crazy with happiness to see somebody own Kadira. Toby spent the remainder of the weekend barking at Kadira with his new found friends/gang. His confidence was quickly lost upon returning home.

5. Of course seeing all of Dan's family, meeting the newest addition who is the cutest baby girl I have ever seen, and eating waaaayyyyyy to much amazing food.

I hope everybody had a fabulous Thanksgiving. I have some fun posts in the works for this week so make sure you check back later!


November 23, 2009

Twilight Discussion

I will be taking a break from the blog for a couple of days. If you never hear from me again I'm somewhere along I-40 in either Texas, New Mexico, or Arizona. If you are driving along that location for your holiday travels keep a look out for a German Shepard along the side of the road because there is a 50/50 chance I am going to kick Kadira out at some point during this trip. I'm kidding. Kind of.

As per usual when I am away from my computer for an extended period, I like to open up the blog to some friendly discussion (and by friendly I really do mean friendly. A certain person may notice her comments always get deleted. I have no tolerance for people who write rude comments so don't waste your time). So here's the deal, I have mentioned before about how I am not a fan of Twilight (read the post HERE). A couple of you have been very persistent that I give the series another try. Recently a coworker told me the entire story and I have to say, I am shocked. I did not think that that was where these books were going. I am mildly intrigued and considering giving the books and/or movie another shot.

So what do you all think? If you are a Twilight fan, why do you like it and why should I read it? If you are not, what makes you not interested? Should I just watch the movie? Let me know what you think, I will just put the future of me reading Twilight in your hands...

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everybody!


Attn: Unannounced Guests


To: Unannounced Guests
From: Me
Re: Making My Dog Go Crazy

Please do not come to my door unannounced. I likely wont answer anyways, and my dog will go crazy for the next 2 hours staring out the window and barking like there is something outside. Which in turn freaks me out and makes me reconsider my stance on gun control.


November 22, 2009

Sunday Post, and a Theme Week!

Seven Dames a Week is doing a theme week this week. As it is Thanksgiving, we are doing a "What We Are Thankful For" theme, but this time with a twist! It can't be something stereotypical. The purpose was to avoid the "I am thankful for my family" or "I am thankful for my dog" monotony. We are always thankful for those things, but its the small, funny, unique things that are the most fun to blog about.

In the spirit of the holidays head on over to Seven Dames to check out my post "I Am Thankful For..." I am sure I could come up with something much more profound, but it would be a lie.


November 19, 2009

Weekend Links!

I am sorry I was MIA yesterday. In truth, I sat down to blog after work and was overcome with grief when I saw that Oprah will not be renewing the contract for her talk show (People). This is like telling me that I am going to have to brush my teeth with something other then a toothbrush. I mean I am sure there is another way to do it...but it takes me a moment to come to terms with the fact that I no longer can use a toothbrush.

Okay that metaphor didn't really work.

What I am trying to say is that Oprah has been a part of my life SINCE I WAS BORN! I don't know how to live my life without her. Awful, awful news. Its like telling me I can't have chocolate for the rest of my life (better?).

Want to know what is not awful news? The fact that I have some ridiculously fun weekend links for you all. Seriously, this is my best Weekend Links yet.

-Reading this book review really made me want to read "The Next Thing On My List." Has anybody else read it? (Undecided).

-This low calorie Steak and Cheese sandwich recipe looks amazing! (Girl Learning Along the Way).

-I am mourning the loss of Oprah, but at least I have Nate Berkus's new show to look forward to! Although I hope it mostly home design focused. (Perez Hilton).

-How do we feel about Brangelina's new jewelry line? I kind of love it. Especially the rings. (CoCo Perez).

-I don't want children, but this picture had my uterus gasping. (Cute Overload).

-I am currently in the middle of the biggest blanket project of my life. LIFE! It has taken me over a year to make this blanket because I have been so A.D.D. - but I am determined to finish it in the next two weeks maximum. I have vowed that I will not crochet another blanket for a long long time, but this image inspired me to create this multi colored beauty next. (Cute Overload).

-Bryan and Sara linked this great site Wordle that generates "word clouds" for you blog. So fun! You must try!

-I don't really love the Real Housewives of the OC, but I still watch it. Obviously. If you watch it too...or are just should take this quiz and see which housewife you are. I was Jeana...which at first made me sad but after some thought I decided I was okay with it. (

-Its do you need a little laugh? Something to make you smile during these cold weary days? Check out these Rear Gear Butt Covers for you dog. Its all about modesty people. (Etsy).

-My friend Caitlin sent this link to me...and I think I am going to add it to my Christmas list! (Jezebel).

-Okay, obviously not okay and completely unethical to actually do...but funny nonetheless? (

-Pull out your box of tissues and watch these videos of dogs greeting their owners when they come home from Iraq. Seriously, it had me weeping like a baby. (Mental Floss).

My video of the week? The movie trailer to Date Night with Steve Carrel and Tina Fey, my two favorite comedians. Hysterical!


November 18, 2009

Johnny Depp

(Image from People)

I'm going to come right out and say something kind of controversial.

Johnny Depp is not sexy. Nor hot. Nor even cute. Johnny Depp is not attractive. End of story. And yet? I rolled out of bed this morning and turned on the TV to a discussion about how he was bestowed the title of Sexiest Man Alive.

I don't get it.

He is a little grease ball, all the time. I am baffled as to how this man has never taken a shower yet has managed not to morph into a giant puddle of grease on the floor. Yet even if he did...women would still scream...for the puddle of grease on the floor.

Also. He is not charismatic at all. Nor intelligent. Do I need to prove this with a video clip?

Point proven. "If I can, I try and stay in as profound a state of ignorance as possible."

DUMB, NOT CHARISMATIC, AND GREASE BALL. Here are the awards I would give Johnny Depp:

Unsexiest Man Alive Award

Only Person to have Never Taken a Shower Award

Lucky You Have An Accent Because Women Find That Thing Sexy Award

Does a Decent Job Playing Drunken Pirates But Still Not Hot Award

Am I wrong?


November 17, 2009

Battle Studies

John Mayer will always hold a special place in my heart. His music was the soundtrack to my college years, and he was the first concert I ever attended without parental supervision. That being said, I didn't love Continuum (although it grew on me), and I really hated the song "Say." Plus I don't like that he dated Jessica Simpson and Jennifer Aniston, and I had to unfollow him on twitter because he would tweet weird things presumably every time he was high. Which seems to be a lot.

Perhaps it is not John Mayer. Maybe it is me? Maybe it is because I have become much less angsty over the years and his music no longer resonates with me. Truly, who am I to expect John Mayer's music to grow up with me? Why shouldn't the intro to his website be his new single "Who Says (I Can't Get Stoned)"?

Or maybe, just maybe, John Mayer really has just gone down hill.

Here's my conundrum. I own pretty much every John Mayer album ever, even the live ones. I don't know if I am prepared to not buy this one...but at the same time I don't know if its worth spending the money on.

Are any of you buying his new album "Battle Studies?" How are we feeling about John Mayer these days?

PS If you want a taste you can listen to his album HERE. It is helping me decide on my purchase.


November 16, 2009

Two Years

A little over two years ago today I had just moved back to Spokane after a miserable first year of law school in New York. My only goal was to get through law school and maybe make a couple friends to make the next two year a little more bearable.

It is crazy how one chance encounter can throw your life on an entirely different road then you were planning. A perfect, beautiful, tumblybumbly, fantastic road.

I know you are not really supposed to celebrate dating anniversaries once you are married, but my personal philosophy is that you should never turn down a reason to celebrate something fun.


November 15, 2009

Sunday Post

Head on over to Seven Dames a Week to read my post "Don't Read This If You are Touchy About Fox News Being Made Fun Of."

...and by that I mean the real title of the post is "Fox News: We Alter Reality, You Are Sold A Preconceived Narrative."


November 13, 2009

Weekend Links!

Here are your weekend links!

-Who do you think is best and worst dressed from the CMA's? My best goes to Taylor Swift (with a close second being Faith Hill) and my worst goes to LeAnn Rhymes (with a close second being Carrie Underwood). (CocoPerez).

-FABULOUS idea to keep your necklaces from getting tangled. (Corporette).

-I would like to introduce you two of the cutest puppies in the entire world. Meet Gargamel and P.N.F. (Cute Overload).

-Rihanna won Women of the Year at the Glamour awards this week and you can see her acceptance speech, as well as her amazing dress here. (Perez Hilton).

-Jon Gosselin spoof himself in a Funny or Die video, which is not as much funny as it NEEDS TO ACTUALLY HAPPEN.

-The images from this traditional Indian wedding are breathtaking. BREATHTAKING! This is me telling you to breath before you begin looking at these pictures because you will go BREATHLESS. (Cliff Mautner Photography).

And the Video of the Week? A personal shout out to the 2009-2010 season (as taken from @JeanineD's tweet this morning!)


November 11, 2009

Christmas Present Ideas for Wine Lovers

Over the next few weeks I am going to be doing some features on themed Christmas gift ideas. This first segment is "Christmas Present Ideas for Wine Lovers." You got to write about what you know, right?

Electric Christmas Wine Glass
Lolitia Glasses ($129)
I ADORE LOLITA WINE GLASSES! I want to collect them, seriously. Not only is each wine glass painted in a variety of funky, fun, and beautiful themes- but they come in the COOLEST BOX EVER. This one is expensive, I know, but I picked it because it was Christmas oriented. Macy's also has some cheaper versions (around $25) that are just as beautiful and come in just as a pretty box. Also great for themed parties.

Pink and Chocolate Polka Dot Flip Flops for Stemware Coasters
IRCrafty via Etsy ($6)
How cute are these little flip flop wine glass coasters? Plus they are listed on Etsy so I'm sure you could email the girl who makes them and get them done in a color you prefer.

Wine Stoppers with a Wood Stand
Blue Chopsticks ($50)
How cool is this? What a great present for somebody. Not to mention a handy way to keep track of your wine stoppers. We lose ours constantly (mostly down the drain...). Amazing!

Wine Bottles III Wall Art
Bed Bath & Beyond ($199)
Since I am decorating my house with wine themes I am always looking for great artwork. This piece is a little pricey, but its HUGE (40x40) and very modern. I love the colors..but if you are looking for a cheaper more traditional piece, look below.

Cellar Roots Wall Art
Bed Bath & Beyond ($59.99)
More traditional piece, I love this. This is more my personal style.

Anchor Hocking Gabriella 12- Ounce Wine Glasses, Set of 4
Walmart ($14.98)
I have a problem where I like to break wine glasses. I think my total is up to 13 or so. I am not kidding. I have no idea how I do it, but unless it is a special occasion I have a personal prohibition on using nice wine glasses for fear I will break them. These wine glasses are durable, without being plastic. I mean you don't want to use them for a fancy dinner party, but if you are just relaxing with a glass of wine and watching a movie or something the odds are 100-1 that you will break this glass. I know because I've used it like 100 times, and I've only broke 1...

Scroll 12-Bottle Wine Rack in Black
Walmart ($22.86)
Isn't this cute? Plus a great price! Unless you are a wine collector you don't need a huge wine rack, so this small piece will look perfect on anybody's counter. There is also a five bottle wine rack with the same design for $16.92.

Oster Inspire Cordless/Rechargeable Wine Bottle Opener
Target ($24.99)
Our dear friend Stephanie recently got this for us and WE LOVE IT! Every time we open a bottle of wine we get excited because this little device is just so cool!

Wine Wars Board Game
Target ($15.46)
I have no idea how to play this game, but doesn't it just look like fun?


Neighborhood Update

First, Dan is taking Kadira to the vet this morning or a pre "we-don't- want-any-little-versions-of-you-please" consultation and calls me to take Toby on a walk and bring my camera. Just down the block from us- literally in someone's driveway- was an overturned charred SUV. Like on its head. Just sitting in the middle of the neighborhood, in the middle of a driveway. By the time I race nonchalantly walk with my yorkie to the location there there were 4 firetrucks, various neighbors, and what I only imagine was the family looking very upset and confused. HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN? I really wanted to take a picture...but I didn't want to be instead I just stood across the street and stared for a moment. Because that's not tacky at all.

Second, Murder House got sold. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? Who buys a house where two people were MURDERED INSIDE? Actually, in fairness, it was one hell of a deal. Furthermore, rumor has it around the neighborhood (yes, its that kind of neighborhood) is that the Realtor did not disclose that it was murder house to the new buyers. Now every time I see the new owners I'm going to have to fight the urge to scream "OHMYGOD DO YOU KNOW YOUR HOUSE IS MURDER HOUSE?" I'm just kidding, I am being over dramatic.

Okay not really.

So here's my question: If you could get a BEAUTIFUL house for super cheap- but someone was brutally murdered inside would you buy it?

Second Question: If you bought a house, not knowing it was a murder house, and all your neighbors knew - would you want them to tell you? (For the record, I will not be telling them anything. I'm just curious what you all think.)


November 10, 2009

Paperwork Day

Recently I have not really been acting like myself. I am a pretty "A-type" personality with great systems of organization and routine. I cannot really pinpoint when this changed exactly, but it has - and I don't like it.

I realized the change last Friday night at around 8 PM, the night before my MPRE exam, when I looked at my admissions ticket and realized I needed a passport photo to be admitted into the exam. The worst part about this realization that I saw this month ago...and just forgot. Old me never would have forgot this. Old me would have had her passport photo taken 3 months ago, with hair curled and make-up on. While standing in line at CVS (with no make-up and in sweats) begging for them to take my passport photo I did some serious self examination and realized I need to get my shit together.

So today has been dubbed "Paperwork Day." Actually, yesterday was supposed to be "Paperwork Day" but the unexpected events of the day were so emotionally draining that I did not have the energy to take on the tasks of what Paperwork Day is going to consume. I seriously have been psyching myself up for today, like you do before a long run or intense work-out. Here is a brief overview of my to-do list:

1. Figure out my student loan situation, which is my greatest source of anxiety. Some are coming due this month, others next month, either way I have been avoiding them which has resulted in panic attacks and late night sweats. I am recognize this venture is going to result in some tears but I must figure this situation out so that I can breath again.

2. Write A letter to the landlord. Try to not let write the letter in the same angry "YOU WANT A WAR, YOU HAVE A WAR" tone that I had last week with them on the phone.

3. File all the papers I have thrown into a box labeled "file" with every intention of placing them in corresponding file folders in my beautiful little cases...but even filing makes me sick to my stomach these days because its like having post traumatic stress re-dealing with all of the bills I already paid.

4. Email inbox will be empty.

Yes, yes- every little thing I have been dreading doing is going to get done today in hopes of starting to feel more secure and make this constant stomachache go away. Wish me luck.


November 9, 2009

NASCAR Weekend

Sorry for the late in the day post, but I have big news. I am well on track to winning the worst Monday Morning in the World award. Its a difficult level to achieve....but I think having a leak in your bathroom that is causing your kitchen ceiling to cave in might win. Or if that's not enough, your dog ate a string and only half of it, uh, "came out naturally" which caused you to have to do something ONLY A VET THAT IS GETTING PAID VERY GOOD MONEY SHOULD HAVE TO DO. On top of that I think I have the flu, I can't be sure, but I have never seen my cheeks this flushed in my life.

So yesterday was our first Nascar experience. We were offered free tickets from family friends and at first we were hesitant because neither of us know anything about Nascar...but then we were like "why not?" We both enjoy sports, we need to get a life, who were we to turn down these tickets?

I'm so glad we went.

First, when we pulled up I was shocked at how HUGE the arena was. There was a massive amount of people at this thing. I always envisioned Nascar people to be like...WWF Wrestling people? But it was not like that at all. I mean you had those type of people...but it was mostly families and middle age men who just loved cars and high tech gadgets. People had the most beautiful campers just lining the arena in order to stay through the entire three day event. It felt like a fair, with tons of tents and food and promotional events. Nascar has its own unique culture and it was awesome.

Upon entering the arena we almost had to walk a mile to our seats just in time to watch a helicopter deliver the pacer car. It was impressive to say the least. Then half the audience put on their super high tech headphones with microphones and televisions so they could hear the commentators. Uh, I want one?

Things I was not prepared for. First, how loud the race is. I had to wear earplugs and you really couldn't talk to the person sitting next to you at all- it was that loud. Second, should have brought more beer. You can bring your own cooler into the event (genius!) and we did not. Big mistake.

There were three or four pretty good crashes- one of which happened the second lap to the guy who apparently is leading in the overall point totals. Since I did not know any of the drivers (Ashley Judd's husband wasn't racing that day...bummer.) I just kept my eye on the top two drivers who were brothers. The first 100 laps were interesting, the middle 200 laps...kind of boring. But the last 25 were fascinating. The guy who had been leading the entire race just ran out of gas! On lap 3! Lost the entire thing!

Overall we had a great time and left with a lot of respect that goes into the science of winning this race. I totally understand why car enthusiasts LIVE for this sport and think everybody should go to at least one race in their life as it is unlike anything I've experienced.



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