Called Out by a Four-Year-Old

Yesterday I went to a Super Bowl party at a coworker’s house. Several of us from work were there, and one lovely lady has three beautiful kids who were FAR more entertaining than that catastrophe on the television. (We still love you, Peyton. VFL).

Baby girl, we’ll call her, is 4 years old going on 25. I think she is smarter than some adults I know. She learned everyone’s name and had hilarious things to say all night. She always addressed us by name, then went on with her story. Example – “JENN – did you know that I went to my friend’s birthday party and she had a cat but I never saw the cat because it was hiding?” “Chip – your real name is Jesse? There is a Jessie on Toy Story 2 but she is a girl and you’re a boy.”

By the end of the night we thought we’d heard it all, but turns out she’d waited to drop her best work on me as I was walking out the door. I packed up and was headed out, leftovers in hand. Then this happened:

Jenn: “Baby girl – it was so good to see you.”

She takes her eyes off the iPad, reaches for my hand and holds onto it.

Baby girl: “Jenn, where is your husband?” Oh goodness.

Jenn: “I don’t have a husband.”

Baby girl: “Oh. Why not?”

Jenn: “Well, because I make poor life choices.” (I’m of course being a bit dramatic, yet honest – seeing where she’ll take this one).

Baby girl ponders on this for a minute while I say goodbye to a couple more people.

Baby girl: “Jenn….Jenn.” Pulls me in closer to her – and real serious, real concerned, she says, “Why do you make bad decisions?”

The whole room is now focused on and slapping their knee at this conversation and I can hardly look her in the eye for giggling. She is so sincere and so adorable and the question sounds so simple. Why DO you make bad decisions, Jenn? Just stop it.

Jenn: “Well, I’m trying to figure that out.”

Her Mom said, “Baby girl – you know how sometimes you do things that you don’t mean to and you wish later you hadn’t done them?” Yes, she agreed. “It’s kind of like that.”

Baby girl turns to me with a solution. I can tell a light bulb has just gone off.

Baby girl: “Jenn! You can marry my BROTHER!! He’s really handsome.”

Normally I would have accepted on the spot – but baby boy is two and a half. Baby girl had been saying all night that SHE was going to marry brother – and they would skip off to the other room. “Going to get married!” Then come back, happily married.

So, this was a HUGE gesture on her part. Very selfless. I told her that was so sweet and I really appreciated it.

She thought some more and said, “Or, you can marry me!” Oh my.

Jenn: “Well, that may be the next thing I try….”

Kidding. Only kidding.

From the mouth of babes, right? It was a good moment of comic relief but also a reminder of how black and white it can all be – especially in the eyes of a child. Don’t have a husband? Made some bad decisions? Here, marry this one? He’s cute, so that’s easy.

Oh baby girl – stay so innocent, or at least so smart and witty, always.

XOXO,
Jenn 

The Time I did Judo in Sephora

I went in Sephora over the weekend, which means I was in Green Hills Mall on a Sunday afternoon. There are so many things wrong with that sentence already, I know. I was asking for it.

First thing first. I decided to fuel up on Starbucks as soon as I walked in the door, where I had to have a conversation in line with an old lady about personal space. Before you go thinking I’m picking on my elders, please understand that she literally had her boobs pressed into my back she was so close to me. I just politely turned and said “ma’am – would you like to go ahead of me? You seem to be in a hurry.” I fully expected her to mistake me for a smart aleck young whippersnapper and realize she was standing ON ME – but no, she just said “Oh thank you hun. That’s so nice.” Geeze Louise. She stepped around me to assault the girl in front of me. That minor setback was worth having her set out of my back, though.

After I got my Chai Tea Latte I headed for Sephora. I was on a mission for this particular lip balm that I had already researched and learned they carried. I NEVER go near Green Hills Mall without a set agenda and a clear, decisive mission. I park nearest to the entrance with the store I am seeking and am in and out in under 15 minutes every time (unless the Apple Store counts). Malls with stores like Tiffany, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Tory Burch, etc. are no place for me to be browsing. Clear mission – target identified – execute – retreat.

I walked into Sephora and was not immediately swarmed by the sales staff. This is different. So I did a quick lap and did not see the lip balm. Dang it – I’ll have to ask someone. Of course, the one time you NEED help is when all 38 associates are busy.

Finally, near the “beauty bar” or whatever the makeover counter is called, a woman dressed in all black (slightly different from the other associates) asked if she could help me.

“YES – thank you. I am looking for Dr. Lipp’s lip balm.”

“Hmmmm. I don’t know. I don’t actually work here. We’re here with Dior. (she nods at her twin Dior-mate standing there).”

I know this trap. I once got suckered into trading my paycheck for some Tarte concealer just because their “rep” was in the store that day.

Red alert – retreat, retreat.

I backed up one foot into an actual Sephora sales associate. Dior #1 said, “This nice lady can help you.”

I was sweating for sure, by now. (Sweating is my reaction to almost every situation ever, but especially this one).

“Hi – I’m looking for this Dr. Lipp lip balm. Do you have it?”

Looks at my sample quizzically – “no – we don’t carry that.”

“Oh weird — your website says you do.”

“Well, sometimes we have things on the site that we don’t have in stores.”

I fully believe she just wasn’t familiar so that was going to be her go-to answer. But, nevertheless, I had to get out of there. No time to argue.

About that time Dior #1 speaks up and says “wait – what do you like so much about it? OUR lip balms and glosses may be just what you need.” Dior #2 nods enthusiastically.

“Oh, no thank you. I’m pretty devoted to this stuff. I’ll order it.”

And then the unthinkable happened. I went to step away, to the door – and Dior #1 grabbed my forearm in a firm wrist/arm lock, gave me a pull back toward her and said “WAIT. Just talk to me. TELL ME what you like about it.”

But I barely heard her because WHY ARE YOUR PERFECTLY MANICURED FINGERS GRIPPING MY ARM!?

Before I knew it I was executing a move similar to this one.

grabcr

Ok, it wasn’t THAT cool – but I instinctively did some twist move that wrestled my arm from her grip and left me holding HER arm, at a 90 degree angle while she yelped with surprise.

Dior #2 said “OH MY GAWD!”

I said “don’t touch me. And I don’t want your $50 chap stick.” (hit her where it hurts).

And I walked out before they could call security.

What the heck. What is wrong with people? I don’t know where they were “in” from – but you don’t go grabbing on people in the South, sweet pea. You’re lucky TSA took my taser. Bless your heart.

Next time, you get the Judy Chop!

judy-chop-o
In other news, I ordered the dang lip balm off the internet from the comfort of my own home, which is what I should have done in the first place. But then, I wouldn’t have this blog fodder.

Jenn Wade School of Self Defense and Smack Talk for the Elderly, coming soon to a run-down Wal-Mart shopping center near you.

XOXO,
Jenn

Shhhh, I’m in a Tree Stand.

This morning I called my Dad’s cell just to check in before the holiday travel schedule. He picked up after a few rings, but all I heard was a muffled shuffling in the background.

“Hello?” I said.

More muffled sounds. Like he had his hand over the speaker and was trying to talk through it.

“I can hear something….but not you.”

Finally a faint, “hey…”

“Oh hey! I couldn’t hear….”

Then, in the slightest, faintest but clear whisper I hear, “It’s me. I’m in a tree stand.”

“What??”

Slightly louder whisper, “I’m in a TREE STAND,” followed by whispered giggles. He thought this was hilarious.

I said to call me later, and he whispered that he would.

Then, I received this on my phone.

photo2

Ahhh, Daddy Wade. One of the many reasons I cannot wait to get home to my parents’ house for the holidays. To hang out with weirdos like this one!

I hope your holidays are merry and bright, friends. Enjoy your time with loved ones. Hold them close and kiss them often.

I’ll be kissing a lot on this little guy – so, be jealous.

Meet Cooper, my new nephew. He’s perfect.

IMG952944

Merry Christmas, cotton-headed-ninny-muggins.

XOXO,
Jenn

Have you Eaten Anything Today?

I went to the doctor yesterday for some lab work. I’ve had this cold that I just can’t kick – even with the help of an antibiotic. So, my doc wanted to run a couple of additional tests. The sweet lab tech who was going to draw some blood said “Have you eaten today?” I said “yes, some fruit this morning – like usual. Should I have fasted for this?”

“No,” she said. “I just want to be able to let your doc know in case you pass out or something.” Oh nice. (remember this, it will be important later).

I was like “no – I’m usually fine as long as I don’t look at it. I just have to turn my head the other way. Otherwise, I can get a little lightheaded. But I won’t pass out.”

I turned my head and started studying the calendar on the wall – just to look at something. She said “take a deep breath.” Needle went in – nice and easy – no problem. She did her thing and I never looked. She had me take another deep breath and pulled the needle out.

I felt like a CHAMP. No dizziness. Boom.

I looked over to her side of the chair (I was sitting, thank God) – and there was a lady about five feet away from me having blood drawn as well. Like a moth to a flame, I looked RIGHT AT the damn needle in her arm.

I instantly felt dizzy. What the heck? When did I become such a wimp?

I felt the color drain from my face.

pass-out

“Actually, I’m not feeling so hot.”

“OH!” she said when she looked at me.

I was breaking out in a cold sweat. I sweated through my shirt in about 30 seconds. My bangs were instantly matted to my forehead. I asked for a Kleenex to wipe my face, which also immediately got matted to my forehead.

Then my ears started ringing. Oh – this is it. It’s happening. Here we….

GONE.

Dentist-Kid-Freaks-Out-Before-Passing-Out-Gif

She said I was just out for a second and my head just flopped back on the chair – and I came right back up.

She gave me some OJ from a tiny Donald Duck branded sippy can. I tried to pick it up and sloshed it everywhere. I was shaking so badly. She had to feed it to me like some kind of invalid.

I swear – 30 is rough, y’all.

After she did a strep test on me and almost made me projectile vomit on her, I went back to work and decided I better fuel up on chicken fingers and sweet potato fries to get my strength back. Paleo can wait until tomorrow.

I hate passing out. I’ve done it a few times and the buildup (all that sweating and queasiness and ear ringing) is the worst.

I apologized to her about 10 times, but I did not cry like I really wanted to. I walked out of there on my own, but don’t really remember it.

XOXO,
Jenn

Paleo

Have you all heard of the Paleo Diet? Anyone doing it or have success (or horror) stories?

I’ve been interested in it for a while – but didn’t care enough to research it. But I’ve been eating Paleo this week, I’d say 80%, and think I can actually do this.

Paleo is basically the “caveman diet.” If a caveman couldn’t get it, you shouldn’t either. Natural, scavenger-like eating. Hunting and gathering. So fruit, veggies (although not all) and most meats are fair game. Grains and anything processed are not. Notice I didn’t so “carbs.” You can still eat fruits and veggies that have carbs, but in moderation. So, high protein, low carb diet basically.

I steer clear of “diets.” They don’t work. The weight comes back. But Paleo seems like more of a lifestyle change, and that I can support. I’ve been really lax lately about my eating and can tell I totally crash in the afternoon. This week, especially day 4 and 5 on Paleo has been MUCH better. I can already tell a difference.

mean-girls-36

In  my research several websites said to let yourself have up to three cheat meals a week. Don’t go crazy, but eat that piece of cake. Have that pizza for dinner. Have that glass of wine. So this also makes it sound more manageable. Sometimes you’re out to dinner with friends and just can’t “diet.” OK, maybe you can – but it sucks.

donut1

I’ve been “easing in” this week and have still had wine some evenings – we “cheated” with Chinese food last night – I’m still having creamer in my coffee. Etc.

Now my favorite thing to say is “do you think cavemen had Reese’s Cup Pumpkins? What about International Delight coffee creamer?”

Here was my menu this week:

Monday –
Breakfast – mixed fruit, two hard boiled eggs
Lunch – Steak, carrots, broccoli
Snack – coconut and almond bar
Dinner – non Paleo, leftover spaghetti

Tuesday –
Breakfast – scrambled eggs and bacon
Lunch – Salad with ham and mixed fruit on the side
Snack – coconut and almond bar
Dinner – tilapia with garlic, garlic mashed cauliflower and Asian slaw salad

Wednesday
Breakfast – fruit smoothie with spinach, two hard boiled eggs
Snack – freeze dried edamame
Lunch – pork loin, sweet peppers, mixed fruit
Snack – grapes
Dinner – Paleo chile lime chicken wings, sweet potato fries.

Thursday –
Breakfast – scrambled eggs, three pieces of bacon
Snack – edamame
Lunch – pulled pork, greens with hot sauce and fresh fruit for dessert
Dinner – CHEAT – Chinese food.  :)

Friday –
Breakfast – fresh fruit
Lunch – leftover chicken wings from Wednesday night and tomato soup
Snack – chile lime almonds
Dinner – TBD

Thoughts? Would love to hear what you think or have experienced!

XOXO,

Jenn

From the Mouths of Babes

Every Tuesday I get to leave work for an hour and go read with two first grade girls at a local school near our office. My company sponsors the Family Resource Center at the school, and this is just another reason I love my job. It makes my day to see these sweet girls and help them get their reading skills up to par. They are doing so well!

Today, there were so many funny things said, I just had to jot them down real quick before I forget. Between the two of them, in a combined 50 minutes, we talked about the following (and so much more):

  • I love Halloween at school. We are going to have ghosteses in the trees!
  • My mom is having a baby. If it’s a girl, I’ll be a big sister. If it’s a boy, I’ll be a big brother.
  • What’s wrong with your hair?
  •  Give me that bubblegum. (Referring to the gum in my mouth).
  •  Who is that on your phone cover?

My boyfriend

    Who is that baby?

                That’s his kid, Brantley.

    Your kid?

                Nope – his.

   (Blank stares).

   You aren’t a baby momma?

  • I had a sleepover last week. We ate chips that glow in the dark.
  • Do you know what I means?

Yes – it’s like this! (pokes me in the eye).

Never a dull moment.

XOXO,
Jenn

Vandals. Vandals Everywhere.

You may remember the blender kidnapping of 2013. Well, here’s apartment saga, Episode 2.

Last night Daniel and I had just drifted off to sleep. Or were dang close. It was a very late 10 p.m. for us.

All of the sudden we were awaken by a huge crash. I may have said some expletives. “What the _____ was that? WHERE the ____ was that?”

Daniel said it sounded like it came from the hallway. I said it sounded like it was in the room with us. He added that it sounded like an explosion.

He got up to look out the peephole in the front door to the hallway, but didn’t see anything. Back to bed.

In a few moments, we heard more glass clattering around and he hopped back up to the peephole. This time, he saw a guy right in front of the door, bending over cleaning something up. WTF.

He whispered this to me and after seeing it myself, I said “they broke something outside my door. What would they break?” He said “aren’t there lights outside each apartment door?” YES. F!

There are these decorative sconces over lights outside each apartment door, even though we have interior doors, that light up the hallway instead of overhead lights.

I pulled my robe on and said I was going out there. He advised against it, since I was a bit scantily clad. I just pulled my robe tighter and opened the door.

Sure enough, the sconce that covers my light was destroyed. There was glass on the carpet still and I was in my bare feet.

Down the hall, two guys were probably 6 apartments down, walking away, holding a broom and dustpan. Now, they were turning to look at me because they heard my door open.

I yelled, “Hey! What happened?” and pointed to the light. I can only assume these are students at Vandy — they look to be about 21. But dumber and more entitled.

One sort of giggled/scoffed and said “oh yeah – he was throwing a ball and broke it.” Oh really. That’s hilarious.

laughing

“We’ll call the office tomorrow and have them fix it.”

Please note “I’m sorry – did we wake you, old lady?” or “Sweet robe – were you sleeping? Sorry about the noise and breaking your light,” were never uttered.

downton

I said “ok. You live in the corner unit?”

To this, Turd #2 (the ball thrower) snorted. Like “what do you care?” Oh, I care. I care because I want to know where you little vandals live.

Turd #1 said “Yes.” And shrugged his shoulders like “there, are you happy?” No, I’m not happy. I’m standing in glass and YOUR MOM HAS RENTED THE MOST EXPENSIVE APARTMENT IN THIS JOINT FOR YOU TURDS TO DESTROY. Leave mine alone.

I swear. I love my apartment SO hard. It is the best little city nest. But at the risk of sounding like an old lady, it seems to have more than its fair share of idiots living there.

Before & After. 

PicMonkey Collage

Where the old folks at? Let’s hang out. And bring your pitchforks (and canes). I have a plan.

blanche

Old lady Wade, out.

XOXO,

Jenn

Women Be Sewing

I was up all night Monday with a terrible cold. It came on with a fury and is still barely hanging on — mostly giving me a sinus headache from hell for approximately 12 hours a day. So Tuesday morning when my alarm went off, I rolled over, emailed my boss and went back to sleep. FOR FIVE MORE HOURS. Unbelievable. I never do that. Guess I was feeling pretty wimpy after all.

So when I woke up around lunchtime, consumed about a box of cereal and caught up on my Grey’s Anatomy (yes, that show it still on) — I still didn’t feel like doing much. I had recently purchased some fabric though, and it was quiet, rainy and seemed like a good day to craft. So off I went, Kleenex in hand.

The throw pillows that came with my couch were kind of fugly, but I didn’t notice until I moved into my cute new apartment and actually have nice things. They needed a face lift. However, all of the pillow covers I found on Etsy, etc. were like $20 each.

I bought fabric to cover both of them at JoAnn’s during a sale for $11.99. BOOM.

It had been so long since I’d pulled out my sewing machine that I’d forgotten how to thread the bobbin. I totally had to look it up on YouTube. Once I recalled the basics though, I went to town. I made these pillows using this super easy YouTube tutorial. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhZnHhbcN-Q

They turned out great. I only had to make one “alteration” when I sewed the WRONG sides together on the first pillow. What a rookie move. But like a wise old lady at JoAnn’s Fabric once told me, “Honey – there are no such things as mistakes in sewing. Only alterations.” Word, granny. Word.

photo 4

 

photo 1

photo 3I took a break (maybe I slept some more) — and then later that evening I whipped up a little onesie treat for my pregnant coworker. She is having a baby boy in the Spring — and I made him a nice spring formal onesie. He will be so dapper.

photo 5These are like the easiest things to make, y’all. I am obsessed with these. They only take about 20-25 minutes and are so cute. If you can find a pattern, you can make this onesie. I used this one from this lovely blog, Crap I’ve Made. http://www.crapivemade.com/2009/03/appliqued-tie-onesie.html

I literally pulled up her pattern on my iPad, traced it onto the Wonder Under right from my iPad screen and went to town. No printer required.

I used the zig-zag stitch on my sewing machine all the way around to make it extra secure, and cute.

Watch out babies — soon I’ll have you all dressed in ties and mustaches. Muhahahaha.

XOXO,
Jenn

White Cheddar, Green Onion Pimento Cheese

I made this delicious pimento cheese over the weekend and posted a photo on the social medias, and several people asked for the recipe — so here you go!

I finally read my July issue of Southern Living and this is what happens. Since I couldn’t eat all of the watermelon, peach or cucumber recipes (since it’s almost October now), I opted for the year-round, ever-enjoyable cheese.

Disclaimer – this recipe is adapted from Southern Living’s. I say adapted, because I accidentally grabbed green onions from the store instead of chives. Win.

But I thoroughly enjoy green onions, so I’d do it again. If you want chives though, do 1/3 cup of chives instead of the 1/4 cup green onions.

cheese

Ingredients:

  • 1 (12-oz.) block aged sharp white Cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 (4-oz.) jar diced pimiento, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

  1. Grate half of cheese using the large holes of a box grater; grate remaining half of cheese using the small holes of box grater. Stir together mayonnaise and next 6 ingredients. Stir in Cheddar cheese until well blended. Let stand 15 minutes. Serve immediately, or cover and chill up to 3 days.

XOXO,
Jenn

The Crazy Cat Lady Next Door

Wednesday night Daniel and I were sitting on the couch watching a movie – actually, I was painting my fingernails, naturally. Someone knocked on my apartment door, which is real weird in itself. Especially at like 8:00 p.m. Don’t they know I’m 30 and have one foot in the bed already?

Callie, of course, freaks out and runs to the door and baracades herself against it so I couldn’t really open it if I wanted to. I looked through the peephole and there was a normal looking, barely 20-something blonde guy standing there. I turned back to Daniel, shrugged, and unlocked the door. I opened it about three inches because a.) he could be the Craigslist killer and b.) Callie REALLY wanted to get at him and eat his face off.

As I poked one eyeball out the door and said “yes?,” I quickly realized this made me look creepier than him.

He clasped his hands together and began to plead his case.

“Hi! We’re cooking dinner down in 238 and our blender just broke – do you happen to have a blender we can borrow? We would really, really appreciate it.”

Because I assume he must be having margaritas for dinner, and I respect that, I said “Sure – I have a blender. Hold on and I’ll get it. ….. Oh, also, about her – she wants to escape. That’s why I can’t open the door – so wait here.” It was then he noticed Callie at my feet, who looked like an insane, 15 pound wolverine hyped up on methamphetamines trying to squeeze herself through a 3 inch opening in the door. He took three steps back. Hands still clasped together.

I retrieved the blender and took it back to him. “Thank you so much – thank you. You saved the day. We’ll bring it back in like 10 minutes, I promise. We’ll wash it!”

“Cool – no rush.” Famous last words.

I went to bed at like 9:30 – still no blender. Daniel was working on his Fantasy Football draft – and I fully expected us to be woken up by the whipper snappers returning my blender at midnight.

No dice.

So at 7 a.m. the next morning when I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and ready to leave for work, I pranced right down the hall to 238 and banged on their door. Nada. But not particularly surprised, especially if they had margaritas for dinner. (True – it could have been a marinade they were blending – but I like my version better).

So fast forward to 36 hours later and I walk up to this outside my apartment door:

blender

Really!? How long has that been there? I thought it was a tiny space martian waiting on me from way down the hallway.

How many people have walked by and been like “sweet! Free blender!” Why not at least stick a little post-it note on top that said “thanks! Happy blending.” Or “the margs were awesome!” Or even “please don’t steal me.”

Really?

Kids these days have no respect for me or my kitchen appliances.

And my crazy cat lady reputation is currently spreading like wild fire through the building.

XOXO,
Jenn