Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Dear Erin McManness, fashion inspiration and blogger,

Please make stud/post earrings, so that I can buy something from your shop. I'm a simple girl, but I want to support the arts/my friends.

<3 Holley

Gizmo's Best Week Ever

It is Wednesday, and already Gizmo is having the best week ever. Monday night, I gave Gizmo a bath. I used three times the amount of soap I thought I would. The bath water looked like chicken bullion when he was completely rinsed. It was disgusting. The first time I washed him over a month ago, the bathtub was filled with hair. I didn't wash him as well as I could have, because we didn't know each other, and I was unsure how he would react. This time around, there were maybe five hairs in the whole tub. I'm thinking that he hasn't been groomed very often. He was awesome in the bath. Just stood there and took it like a champ. When I got him out of the tub he was so excited! He ran around wildly and kept shaking off while I tried to dry him off. He was looking at me and running full steam, and hit a mirror. It was all pretty funny.

On Tuesday, Jared and I went to Savers and Target when he got home for work. When we returned, we found an empty container of Chips Ahoy on the floor in the living room. That little jerk jumped up on an end table and brought down the box! Luckily, it only had half a sleeve of cookies. Otherwise, who knows what kind of reaction he could have had.

Today, Jared went looking for the pie he bought himself on Sunday. Where was the pie? Well, the tin and box was where Jared left it --- on the floor next to the arm chair. But the pie had teleported into Gizmo's bowels. I had been noticing throughout the day that Gizmo looked fat. He looked bloated. He seemed twice the dog he once was. I found excuses for his girth. I said his clean, fluffy coat made him look bigger. I thought, perhaps, the cookies from the day before were still in effect. I also noticed he has been panting and hyper all day. Once again, I blamed the cookies. But, apparently bloated, panting and hyper is just his pie face.

Jared will never trust the dog again. He has developed a nickname for him, "rat bastard." I think it's all pretty funny, because how can you blame a dog for eating what you leave on the floor. My cookies, though? Not cool.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Holley Sweeps: Winnings

A little over a month ago, I started entering sweepstakes on blogs. I find my sweepstakes through Prizey and Tight Wad in Utah. I enter as many ways as possible using accounts that I have created for entering giveaways. When extra entries are offered, I also post those giveaways on this blog.

So far, I have won three giveaways. I have won a bracelet from GreenXC and Stones and Bones NYC. I have won Sprout Cream, Exfoliant, Scrub, and Vegan Lip Balm from Your World: Healthy and Natural. And, I just received an email from Spoonier having won 3rd Prize in their giveaway.

I've received the bracelet as of this weekend, and have worn it everyday. It goes with everything and has a nice weight to it.

This bracelet is very tasteful.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Work Clothes

The week of my birthday, I accepted a job through KellyMitchell. I was very very excited for this job, because I'll be working in a position I'm qualified for and that I have previous experience in. I was horrified when I saw the dress code. I had no clue what "Business Casual" meant, but I understood that it wasn't the t-shirt and jeans I was so used to.

I've spent the last few weeks making wise decisions about clothing choices for work. I was hoping to find a happy medium between what I like... and what I'm expected to wear. Luckily, I had a lot of skirts leftover from last summer. (Summer of '10 was so hot, I'd have to peel my jeans off with pliers.) I purchased black slacks when I was interviewing, and I have two gray blazers that I found over last summer as well. (The best time to buy jackets is during the blackout heat of Summer '10.) I added a third gray blazer to my collection last week. I also found Banana Republic khakis. (Pictured in my Ode to Savers.) I found a bunch of blouses at Marshall's from August Silk and Spense (not pictured; I couldn't find them on the Internet.) I bought two cap sleeve sweaters to make my shoulders more decent from Macy's (INC brand, not pictured.) My shoe collection is pretty amazing as is; however, I added a brown, shiny pair of Dolce Vita DV oxfords/flats.

Work Clothes

All in all, I am prepared to look like an adult after Labor Day!!! Today I found some skin tone tanks to wear under my at times see-through August Silk blouses. I sectioned off my closet into "can wear to work" and "cannot wear to work." Just for fun, and because my drawers become a disaster faster than I can spin around, I organized my t-shirt and tank drawers to be "filed."

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Holley Sweeps: Week 4

Momma Told Me is holding a giveaway for Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics.
NYC Single Mom is giving away a Parazul Classic Bag.
Featured Product Reviews is having a giveaway for a Texas Chili Kit.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Irish Fest '11 and the Balls Off Bonanza

We had a jam packed weekend. It's mid-August, so it's Irish Fest! Irish Fest is the closest thing I have to a holiday tradition.

We drove down to Madison on Friday and introduced Gizmo to Wally (Jared's family's dog). At first Gizmo was trying to dominate Wally. Then, he decided to just mark territory around the house while we were out with Gram. At Gram's house, she pinned some blazers and pants for me. We went to dinner at a Laotian restaurant next to the Barrymore. Dinner went well, and was very tasty.

On Saturday, we dropped Gizmo off at the Spay Me! Clinic in Sun Prairie. He happily went with the vet tech... we'll see if that ever happens again. Spay Me! is a nonprofit that neuters animals at a low-cost rate. Neutering, green tattoo, nail trim, rabies shot, and distemper with a fashionable plastic cone all for $75.00. After dropping off Giz, we drove up to Milwaukee and straight over to the festival grounds.

Irish Fest was great! (As it is every year!) After perusing the shops and deciding I wasn't wanting anything outside of festival gear, I came in way under budget. So, we ate a lot of festival food! I especially enjoyed the lamb sandwich, blue cotton candy and Hawaiian Shave Ice on which I gorged. Jared and I also had Chicago Style Hot Dogs... which always disappoint me. I just can't find a good dog outside of Chicago... We caught some world music concerts, the parade and a bagpipe performance. All in all, a good day.

Sunday, we came home around one in the morning to the most pitiful dog in the world. Jared's dad picked him up earlier from Spay Me! Apparently, he spent several hours standing around frozen in place. He'd walk a little forward and then stand frozen in place again. We took his cone off, and he walked around a little. He'd whine some times. He must have been in a lot of pain. We slept in the living room with him for a while before putting the cone back on him. When we woke up later that morning, Gizmo was outside in the backyard still coned.... standing frozen in place. We took the cone off, and suddenly he's walking around no problem. We left in the afternoon. The dog slept most of the way back on the blanket Gram gave him. When we got home, it was already time for bed. This time, when we put the cone on him, he bounded around the apartment running head first into everything. I laughed so hard when he ran straight into the mirrored closet door.

I found out that my camera phone has a panorama setting... so here are a bunch of illustrative panoramas. Most of these pictures are being photobombed by Jared.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Halloween Costumes for Freezing Temps

Cady Heron of Mean Girls summarized Halloween best.
"In the regular world, Halloween is when children dress up in costumes and beg for candy. In Girl World, Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it."
Lucky for me I live in a very cold climate, so being a huge prude doesn't make me stand out as much as you'd think. My ideal costume would cover my legs, be warm enough for 30 degree weather, and complement my natural adorableness. For this reason, I have been looking at full-body animal costumes.

The perfect example of a hot lady making an animal costume even hotter is
Anya from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Another great example is Britta from Community.
Credit to Robin H. for reminding me.

Right now, I'm at a draw between two costumes that fit my needs.

I feel like the dog costume would hide stains better, but it might be difficult to shove the footies into tennis shoes. I also fear that someone would think I was referencing Wilfred. Although, being mainstream can be fun! The kangaroo costume is way cuter, and it doesn't have footies, so I can wear whatever shoes I want. I just fear the tail dragging the ground. I also am aware that full-body costumes may not fit short people. With great risk comes great reward!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Holley Sweeps: Week 4

Mrs. Nespy's World is holding a giveaway of a $50 gift card to
Sweeps4Bloggers is holding several giveaways for the following prizes: a Microdry Memory Foam Bathmat, a GoFlex Slim Hard Drive, a Lamik Beauty Collection.
Fun Saving Money is giving away a set of headphones from Able Planet.
Confessions of an Overworked Mom is having a giveaway for a shredder.
Your World is holding a giveaway for Sprout Cream, Exfoliant, Scrub, and Vegan Lip Balm.
Lisa Blogs is having a Jewelry Bar Giveaway!
In The Know Mom is holding a giveaway for a shower-head filter.

I love Savers!

Happy Sunday! Today, I talked Jared into taking me to Savers off of Lake and Hiawatha! It turned out that they were having a big sale where everything in the store was an additional 50% off. I went through the blazers, pants and blouses. I found a silk blouse from Jones New York, a grey blazer from AGB and some Banana Republic khakis! 

I also scored two Halston silk scarves for $2.00 each.

Not pictured: A lobster stuffed animal/puppet for Gizmo, a beach towel, shorts for Jared and a bread pan.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Retail Associate Inequality

Working front-line retail is a low-paying and thankless job. Once, when trying to explain to Jared why I would rather work for a non-profit for half the pay than work a full-time retail position, I compared front-line retail sales to prostitution. True, this was an instance of hyperbole, but I had a few valid points.

People who work retail are looked down upon. Some customers treat the woman behind the counter as less than human. Her name tag suddenly makes it okay to ignore her when she speaks to you and carelessly dismiss her while she caters to you.

Sales associates make minimum wage and have no benefits. Their position in society's eyes is not a career and is temporary. Front-line sales positions are associated with after-school employment. Often times, people are under the impression that working retail is an easy job for slackers. What customers fail to realize is that these people are not hired to fold t-shirts, but are hired to deal with customers. They fail to realize that many of those who work retail balance multiple low-paying, under-appreciated jobs. Sales associates are from all points of life; they're not all high school or college kids looking for beer money. This isn't a position one would do for fun and a little pocket money.

I say this, because I went shopping yesterday. I talk with sales associates and treat them like people. I witnessed a woman who vaguely nodded without making eye contact to a sales associate who went out of the way for her. If I wasn't staring at the two when this exchange went on, I would assume the associate was totally ignored.

To think less of anyone or treat anyone with so little care is disgusting. The well-dressed business woman morphed into a troll. Recognizing a person for helping you takes a second. There is no way to camouflage being an ugly person on the inside.

If the world was a little less rude, I could spend less time hating on people.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Tactics to Get Out of a Screaming Match

This is my favorite tactic to employ when dealing with an argument that isn't an argument. Usually I whisper when someone decides to raise their voice and turn an informative conversation to an argument. In example, I might be discussing a news topic that is controversial. I will be explaining an article I happened upon, but the person hears the explanation as stating a personal opinion that s/he disagrees with. Instead of joining in on the yell-athon, I just speak very softly until s/he shuts up to hear what I'm saying. If it doesn't work, skip down the list to the end.

Example Argument: THAT'S JUST RIDICULOUS! WHO WOULD EAT BABIES TO SOLVE POVERTY! THAT'S DUMB! YOU'RE DUMB! (Useless argument because as stated above... some people don't listen well.)
Example Response: I was just talking about a satire Jonathan Swift wrote... you're illiterate. 
Yell About Something Unrelated
I reserve this tactic for when I am arguing with a good friend. Once I realize that the argument is useless, I just start a new argument that is more entertaining/ridiculous. I don't segue; I just start in on it full steam. As for fair warning, the person talking at me usually doesn't like this at all. His/her reaction can be very encouraging.

Example Argument: The war in Iraq is necessary in order to show the terrorists what for, and to decrease the price of gas! (Useless argument because, I could care more about ferret farming than politics.)
Example ResponseChinchillas are the only acceptable pet rodent. Hamsters are the pets of peasants! 
Agree With Them Completely
A strategy best applied when I realize there is no winning, and the argument is of no consequence. It's important to agree verbally. I would suggest an "absolutely" or a "you are completely right." Saying "uh-huh" or nodding does not do enough. It's also important to not agree ironically or sarcastically. It's also important not to elaborate. The point is to end the argument, because there is no argument. Elaborating might start up an argument where you are agreeing with each other... just loudly.

Example ArgumentDon't go to art school, because you'll never make any money. (Useless argument because a. It's your life not his/hers and b. What the heck? Are you talking to a psychic?)
Example Response: You are absolutely right.
Take Their Argument Too Far
If agreeing doesn't quite shove them over the edge... agree and then blow his/her argument way out of proportion. This is the anti-argument tactic that utilizes faulty logic. Look at any example of slippery slope for ideas.

Example Argument: Don't go to art school, because you'll never make any money.
Example Response: That's right; I'll end up living in a cardboard box, painting poo murals and selling my organs to make ends meet! (Hopefully, they're just embarrassed, because they can't come up with anything worse. Even more possibly, they're just imagining possible themes for your poo murals.)
When in Doubt, Walk Out
Personally, I like to a get down and dirty and skip to this. I just walk away. No ands, ifs or buts about it. Just a person talking at someone walking away from his/her stupid, contorted face. Because no one looks good angry.

I would give an example, but I was too busy walking away from whatever was loud to listen to his/her topic.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Gizmo the Corgi

My dog has a Phlog

Holley Sweeps: Week 3

Minnesota Mama's Must Haves is giving away a dog house from Dog Houses Now.
Pink Dandy Chatter is holding a giveaway of a Make Me Cool 12 Piece Brush Kit by Sigma Beauty.
The Giveaway Diva is having two jewelry giveaways. One is titled Calfornia Chic and Sexy Jewelry here is a link to the artist's Etsy. The other is with Gypsy Sol Designs this is the link to the artist's Etsy.
The Adventures of J-Man and MillerBug is giving away a $75 gift certificate to The Silver Diva.
2dayzspecial is holding an iPod Touch giveaway.
Jabbering Jessi has a giveaway of a Hoover vaccuum.
Geek Dad Blog is giving away a gift certificate to
Mom's Best Bets has a giveaway to win a Multicolor Herring Bone Kahelelani Bracelet.
Jixy Knows Best is holding a giveaway for a Weber Charcoal Grill and a The Original Brat Hans Grill Pack.
Lea's Pretty Little World is holding a giveaway for a very beautiful necklace.
Momma Told Me is giving away a Wewood Date watch and Helliemae's Salted Caramels.
Leslie Loves Veggies is hosting a giveaway on a PonyUP! Kentucky handbag.
The Crafty Nest is giving away a Pouchee purse organizer.

Busy Today, Slacking Tomorrow

Thursday marked the end of the summer program where I volunteer. The job I was offered was finalized on Monday, and I start work on Labor Day. This gives me a whole month of vacation before a possible Monday to Sunday work week. I have a lot of downtime to come, but this weekend is a little crazy.

Yesterday, I met with my contact at Kelly Mitchell to finalize my job. Part of the paperwork was an explanation of dress code for where I will be working. I walked over the Marshall's downtown and bought a few work tops on sale. I was looking for anything not made of "t-shirt material" and wasn't see-through. Then, I met Cory and Jenni where she was interviewing for the same position. We hopped in the car and drove to the Mall of America. I did some happy I-got-a-job shopping. I bought two dog bowls, dog treats, two more tops and some lady garments. I also picked up my Sephora birthday gift!

Today, I met with Liz, who found me on Craigslist. She was very nice! We talked about dogs, jobs, parents and well a lot of things at Jasmine 26. Afterwards, I went home, watched half of a movie and then took a 4 hour nap. I don't understand why I've been so sleepy, but whatever. (Sorry, Carissa, I slept through the Art Fair!)

Tomorrow, I'm meeting Cory and Jenni in Uptown for the Art Fair. Carissa linked me to a free bus pass for the event. (Yay for not walking four miles round-trip!)

In other news, you may remember that I was entering a bunch of sweepstakes. I have won a bracelet via GreenXC! Once I receive the item, I will give a nice write up. There are a lot of sweepstakes to enter, and I suggest entering when you can! It's worth a shot and only takes a few minutes.

Gizmo is doing great, and his blog is updated daily with photos of him being cute.

Small list of thing to do this week:
  • Mail out the rent
  • Go through mail
  • EMPTY junk bowl
  • Clean off end tables
  • Organize entryway closet
  • Hang up new work tops
  • Dust all horizontal surfaces
  • Sweep all floors
  • Do laundry

And things to do before I start work:
  • Buy a bus pass
  • Hem sleeves of grey jacket

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I'm Prime; It's My Birthday

23 years ago on August 1st, my mother went into labor around 1 pm, and I popped out August 2nd. I suppose I needed to marinate a little longer. I wanted to give an update on what has happened/will happen birthday-wise since I posted my birthday list in July.

Meaningful, Bill Paying Employment
I was contacted by Kelly Mitchell via Monster Jobs concerning a position with a corporation headquartered in Minneapolis. I went in for an interview on Friday and received a call on Monday offering me a job. I"ll be answering customer service emails and doing some light incoming-call customer service. It's 40 hours a week with over-time. It's a temporary position, but I'm hoping it leads to a permanent position within the company. The women at Kelly Mitchell were very professional and welcoming. I start in September, and the position is scheduled to end in January. During the five month period, I will make more than I did all of last year.

The women at Kelly Mitchell also asked me for referrals, so I offered up my good friend Jenni and my new friend Carissa. This should be great, right?

Reliable Collapsible Transportation
Soon after posting the birthday list, I purchased a folding bicycle off of Craigslist. It's a two year-old Tokyo that's silver. It's about 30 lbs, but can become less unwieldy, because it compacts. I purchased the bicycle for $80.00. 
Also pictured: A huge vase.

Very Irish Weekend
We have plans to be in Madison/Milwaukee/Sun Prairie the weekend of the 19th of August! I'll get to spend the day with Jared and as many people as I can talk into joining me. Gram sent me a check for $100.00 for my birthday that I will use for spending money. I'm very excited! There will be many photos, and we're going for the whole day!

Loyal, Dwarfed Dog

On Friday, the 29th of July, Jared and I met a nice woman in a parking lot about adopting her corgi, Gizmo. We took him home that afternoon. He's been great so far! I started a phlog of him which you can visit at the following link: Gizmo the Corgi. He's a 3 year-old tri-colored dude with stumpy little legs. Over the weekend I taught him to lay down on command. He already knew sit and kennel. While I'm busy doing nothing from the 5th to the 5th, I plan on getting him well versed on tricks.

More Effective Means of Time Travel
I have not gotten a camera. Actually, the more I think about it, the more I want an iPod. We'll see. 
Comedy Club
I'm going out with some friends to see a comedy show at Acme Comedy. It's free, because I'm a birthday girl! I would like to wear a crown.
Free Treats From Starbucks
I wasn't hungry today by the time Jared came home, so instead we took the dog on a walk and stopped at Starbucks. I was talking to the woman behind the counter about volunteering at Jabbok over the fall and gave her the information for that. I asked if Starbucks does birthday specials, and she gave me my coffee and treats for free. She was very nice and thought Gizmo was a looker.  
Dinner with Gram
When we go to Madison, we'll be stopping by Gram's and heading to a birthday dinner (my favorite tradition). I'm not 100% sure where yet, but I'm like to try some place new and tasty.
It's really strange now, because I come home from volunteering and have nothing to search for on the internet. I have the bike, dog and job I wanted. Overall, it's been a great couple of weeks. Everything's coming up Holley.
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