Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Rescue Your Heels - for $5

I don't know about the rest of you, but I wear heels to work just about every day.  Partially because I'm short-ish, and if I wore flats all of my pants would drag on the groups.  Also, because I feel more "powerful" and "professional" in them - is that ridiculous? 

The amount of walking that I do on property both inside and outside is enough to keep my pedometer well over the 2 mile mark some days and takes a toll on my shoes.  I've learned my own set of do's and don'ts when it comes to buying shoes in the first place, and then several ways to keep those shoes in good shape as well.  You see, I don't have an unlimited budget to spend on shoes and if I tried to, I think my husband would kill me.  If you find yourself replacing your shoes incredibly often, maybe these two tips will help you reduce your shoe budget a little, and allow you spend that hard earned cash somewhere else! 

First - think about the shoe itself when you're buying it.  One of my biggest problems used to be that the heel would become scratched, marked, etc from driving and catching it in the pavement.  And I HATED that my heels looked unprofessional after just a few wears, but when the leather or patent was damaged there was no way to fix that - hello trash can.  After much shoe shopping (thank you KOP), I've found one style of shoe that holds up better than any other - that is the slingback stacked heel.  By only buying stacked heels and not wrapped heels, there is no fabric on the heel itself to get damaged, and the plastic (or whatever material that is) holds up for thousands of wears (and can be touched up with black paint or marker if you're really tough on them).  The slingback allows for less wear on my heel and less chance to damage them while driving! WIN! 

Second - These replacement heels from Target may save your life.  I know some people spend $20 - $40 to have these things replaced by a shoe repairman or at your local dry cleaner.  Don't you feel silly now that you can do it yourself for $5.49 for FOUR pairs of shoes? I meant to take photos last night when K replaced mine, but it was dark, and midnight - so anyway. 

  1.  Get your replacement heels, a towel, and your vice grips (or pliers). 
  2. Wrap the shoe in the towel and trap it between your legs. 
  3. Using the Vice Grips, remove what is left of the old heel and then pull the metal spike from inside the heel itself.  This part requires some patience and some strength, but give it a few minutes! 
  4. Put the new metal piece into the heel and use a hammer (or the sidewalk) to hammer it back in there.  TADA - you're done.  In 5 minutes and for less than $1.50 you just gave your shoes new life. 

What are your tips, tricks, and go-to items when you're shoe shopping? I'd love to hear what other ladies use to make decisions!
P.S. Target has no idea who I am, but I am obsessed with this product and their end cap in the shoe section is the only place that I've ever found these! 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Sh*t That Makes Me Crazy

There are not many people in my life that annoy the sh*t out of me.  Why? Because I already kicked those morons to the curb.  However, there are a few things  related to life in general (both work and personal) that are enough to make me do one of three things: 

A. Remove you from my "Favorites" on the iPhone 
B. Un-star your behind on Facebook because I don't need push notifications about you any more. 
C. Intentionally ignore your email/text/tweet for at least 8 hours 

Yes, I know that all of the above are mostly childish, but I am 100% awful at goodbyes, so completely removing people from my life is next to impossible.  And while husband and I have both had some questionable friendships in the past, we tend to like the same people now that we're pretend grown-ups. So - want to know what would annoy/frustrate/upset me enough to do A through C above? 

  •  If you have made plans to come visit me, go out for dinner, happy hour plans, and cancel for ridiculous reasons, forget about it.  People get sick, life gets busy, sh*t happens - all of those things I understand, but by the time we get to 8 or 10 rounds of cancelled plans, you outta here.
  • If/When your significant other because your only priority, I am so done.  Now, let me say that I completely understand how important that relationship is (hello, I'm married). But - if/when that relationship ends, who are you going to have to lean on? Your friends that you haven't called/texted/spent time with in the last 6 months - good luck with that one. 
  • If you cry about money 30 days out of the month, and then go on vacation to Punta Cana, I am not going to "like" your photos, and sure as hell am not going to text you to ask how it was and how much fun you had! Your priorities are your own, but I don't want to hear about how rough your life is and how you can't afford gas, only to see you spent $600 on a plane ticket. 
Okay, that is the end of today's vent session - thanks for listening :)  

Dear Karma
via www.gagful.com

P.S. - I am such a list person, so allow me to apologize for the excessive use of bullet points, outline techniques, etc. I pinkie promise I try to keep this insanity to a minimum.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Thank You(s)

There are so many people that have been an incredible support system for the last two years of my life.  I think that the support of family often goes un-thanked, because it is expected. The same goes for best friends, and while those are the people that never say no, they deserve to be thanked too. So, today is for you.  For thanking the people that may or may not even understand how much of an impact they've had on you.

My husband - When you signed up for this roller coaster ride, I'm sure you had no idea you would end up holding my hand during that life altering phone call on day one of our honeymoon. You have been the strongest man through so many storms and there are not words for how grateful I am that we found each other. Always there with a hug, a forehead kiss, and a beer - you know me like no one else.

Best Friend - Not everyone would take a spontaneous day off work to spend hours in the car and hours in a hospital room, but those are moments I will always treasure.  I never dreamed that the girl I met in 5th grade would be the one that helps me know myself, understand when it is okay to let go, and be my TTAAB forever best friend.  The happiness I feel when thinking about your little girl's arrival has gotten me through many a tough day, and for that, thank you.

My Uncles & Cousins - To say that my mom was blessed with an amazing family is a serious understatement of just how amazing this crew is.  This crew of three men and a beautiful lady are guaranteed to be a good time, no matter the time of day, location, or spontaneity of the gathering.  I could not ask for better people to remind me of the silly memories, the farm days, farm shows, and times spent together.  You are an incredible part of the reason Deb's memory lives on, and I hope you know that you mean the world to me. My dad's brother, his wife, and their kids are an absolute party as well - and I would not have survived this Chester County madness without their love, air mattresses, and booze!

Ladies Night - The group of ladies my Mom spent her Thursday nights with ebbed and flowed throughout the last 20/30 years.  The group would grow and shrink, dates changed, kids drug along, but they never lost touch.  There are more than 20 women that I could now call at the drop of a hat and ask for any favor, no matter how big of small - and these ladies would say yes.  I can only hope to have a group like you in the future, but for now - I'll keep the ones I've got, my many many moms, and the lessons you've taught me.

Internet Laughs -  Thank you to Kaela and AP for being two of the most different people, and two of my favorite "go to ladies" for laughs when I need a smile. The sh*t these two ladies get into never ceases to amaze me! 

There are a whole bunch of people that aren't mentioned here, some because the list got too long to individually thank people, and some because they let me down when times got tough.  For me, that was one of the most difficult lessons to learn through the last 2 years, that some people are not who you thought they were.  Life lessons have been learned from those moments, and I will remember those painful memories in the back of my mind, as they are overwhelmed by the positive ones.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Apologies, Catching Up, Heyo!

Womp, least successful blogger of 2013 goes to this girl? 

The good news is, I have lots of exciting news and photos to share and have 27 blog posts in my drafts! Never mind that 26 out of those 27 still need to be proofread and none of the photos have captions - a girl can't be perfect, right? 

Here is what you have to get excited for. Please forgive that you've seen most of these on Instagram, I just told you (^) that none of these posts have been edited and photos have no captions. 

Right, so come back on Monday when I'll have the first of many ridiculous posts to catch up on life and insanity! Or just find me on Instagram/Twitter since I have am way better at stream of conscious than putting coherent thoughts together.

Love, Jess

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Update, Life, Yada

To those of you that know me in real life, and even those of you that don't, thanks for sticking around.  If you're reading this because you actually visited my page, you are some kind of wonderful.  If you're reading this just because I popped up in your Google Reader, even better for not just hitting "Mark All As Read". 

No one wants to hear the constant whining of "I hate my job", I miss my brother, I wish my mom was here, life is stressful, blah, blah, blah.  And right now - those are 99% of the thoughts that run through my head.  I'm working really hard to find something positive every day - and maybe that will lead this blog somewhere, and maybe it will lead me to Total Wine. Who knows? 

I have incredible hope that 2013 will be "our year" for Kevin and I, but we're already on the 100th day of this year, and it's not "our year" quite yet. After the heart breaking, gut wrenching, sadness live we've never known before - somehow we made it through 2011 and 2012 and I am still standing, breathing, and loving. So while I know this is asking a lot, could you keep your fingers crossed for me pretty please? There are so few things I really, truly, want to happen this year - so here's my short list.  If you're prayer inclined, send 'em my way.  If you're not, maybe you'll think of us when you see a soldier, here, safe at home. 

My Wishes for 2013 - Our Year
1. Find closure with the loss of Mom.  If that means a tattoo, a weekly appt with a professional, or a whole lot of wine - find my own healing. This is the most difficult for me to write down, and I fear, the most difficult to bring to actuality.

2. Bring Christopher home safe and happy.  The happy is the only thing I have any control over - the safe thing is the one that worries me the most. Silly boxes from the Dollar Tree help make my big sister heart happy, and bringing a little of the six-one-oh to Afghanistan is all I can do to support him right now. Stick with that, and remind him how much we love him. Oh, and throw one hell of a party when he gets home. 

3. Our own home.  This one has been a long time in the making, and a dream we've been holding onto and working towards since that party in 2005 (even if we didn't know exactly where it would lead us). I owe so much of my survival through the last two years to K, and know that finding a home that is a great fit for both of us is at the top of our list.

4. Friendships - These ever evolving relationships are a challenge, and I know it will take hard work to maintain those I have already and develop new ones this year. Supporting my friends through the changes that are to come this year (some they don't even know are coming yet) will bring us all to new places. 

Love & Hugs

P.S. I actually have another post for tomorrow (crazy, right) with some thank-yous to the people that keep me smiling, in both real life and the internet world. So for real, come back now, ya hear?