Yesterday was my 31st birthday, and lemme tell ya, it was infinitely better than my 30th.  Pardon me while I regale you with far too many details and with way too much enthusiasm! 

The party was so freakin' much fun, I don't even know where to begin.  I don't know if they ever read my blog, but I'm thinking the appropriate place to start is by thanking L (my SIL, whose idea it was to have the party, and who took the reins in organizing the whole thing) and A (my BFF, who was L's right-hand woman in planning and executing the festivities): I love you both, I couldn't hope for better friends!

As usual, I sucked at documenting any part of the setup or celebration itself with photographic evidence.  My mom was taking pictures during the party, so maybe some day I'll get my hands on those images, but for now all I have is this:

If you're wondering whether that's a homemade tiramisu cupcake, let me assure you that it is.  And it was even more delicious than it looks.  I didn't get photos of the other cupcake varieties that A, my mom, my niece S, and I made on Saturday afternoon, but they were:

Chocolate Stout
Strawberry Shortcake
Margarita (complete with sugared rim)
Lemon with Blueberry Compote

It was a lot of work for 3 dozen cupcakes, even with 4 people, but well worth the effort!  They were super fancy-lookin' and tasty, and a HUGE hit at the party. 

The decor was even better than I imagined.  We strung market lights over the patio and barbecue area, and under them were three cocktail tables with black and teal linens, each topped with candles and fuschia orchids.  More candles dotted each of the three decks that climb the embankment above the patio, with seating areas and hors d'oeuvres stations on the two decks that have ocean views.

Speaking of food, my family kicked ass pulling together several yummy dishes!  A made red pepper hummus and olive tapenade, L made brie en croute and fruit skewers, Hubs made mini teriyaki drumsticks, my mom made bbq meatballs, and my MIL made mini pigs-in-a-blanket. 

And of course you can't have a cocktail party without cocktails!  My dad provided the beer, wine, and sodas, and my sister D rocked it with two superb martinis: "Absolut Sexy Lemonade Punch" and the "Kitini" (my invention, ingredients below). 

The best part of course, were the guests!  Everyone had a great time, and I even got to see a family friend that I haven't talked to in ages.  (She was in rare form!)  It was nothing short of an amazing night. 

The Kitini (AKA: Knock You on Your Ass Frou-Frou Delight)
2 parts vodka
1 part orange vodka
2 parts cranberry juice cocktail
1 part Kiwi-Strawberry flavored Juicy Juice
A few good squeezes of fresh lime or lime juice
Shake with crushed ice, strain, and serve
Recommendation: Garnish with a small slice of watermelon or half a strawberry



Show of hands: How many of you have seen or heard about this little gem?

Another show of hands: How many parents actually own this little gem?

I first heard about this book a couple of months ago on FB and thought it sounded hi-freaking-larious. I've decided that should I ever have a child, this is the first baby-related item I'll be purchasing for myself. No, it won't help my kid fall asleep any faster (probably), but since a good sense of humor is absolutely essential to maintaining one's sanity, and sleep deprivation is one of the quickest ways to lose one's sanity, I figure it's a solid investment.

Until that day comes, however, I am going to be ever so grateful for my ability to sleep pretty much as much as I want. Because one thing I know about having children, especially very young children, is that they aren't nearly as interested in sleeping through the night as I am. I'm the type of girl who needs a minimum of 7 hours of sleep a night - every night - in order to feel human. I've worked through days after getting only a few hours of sleep, and guess what: It's not fun. I am not a nice person when I'm tired, and I'm really kind of a raging bitch when I'm truly sleep-deprived.

On top of my nocturnal requirements, I'm also a fan of another type of unconscious activity, maybe you've heard of it. It's called Sleeping In. I've never been much for naps, but man alive can I sleep in with the best of them. Every other Saturday when Hubs has to work I'm not shy about sleeping in until as late as noon (I do get a little shy when it starts creeping up on 1:00 p.m., though). And if I had my way I'd sleep until 8:00 a.m. every day (except every other Saturday, of course).

Some kids, especially school-aged children, might be down with sleeping in. I know I was. But most younger kids, in my experience anyway, have no time for such nonsense. I think they're under the (clearly false) impression that they're missing out on something if they're not awake during daylight hours. There is no reasoning with a toddler, however, so most parents are up when the kid is, stumbling to the coffee pot, blearily rubbing sleep from their puffy eyes...

Meanwhile, I'm snoring away, happily dreaming about the next time I get to sleep in until noon... Which is just a few days away now!


My body may be here...

...but my mind's on vacation!

Sure I still have almost two flipping weeks until my two week vacation starts, but apparently my brain has already taken off.  My motivation levels are dangerously low, and the daily lag factor is increasing... uh... daily (duh).  By this time next week it's going to feel like I have three more weeks of waiting left.

But I don't!!  I only have 8 business days, 3 hours, and 44 minutes...  Actually if you factor in the workshop I'll be at instead of work tomorrow (a six-hour day), it's only 1 hour and 42 minutes.  But who's counting?

I am!!

It's going to be a looong 8 business days, 1 hour and 41 minutes.

So, you want me to refresh your memory as to what I'll be doing on my two glorious weeks away from the Seventh Circle of Hell?  Well why didn't you say so??  I'm only too happy to oblige!

Day 1 is actually my birthday (7/23 in case you don't have it on your calendar yet).  So right off the bat I'll be spending my vacation a year older.  A small price to pay, I suppose, especially considering that my SIL, L, and my BFF, A, have been working tirelessly to throw me the most fabulous birthday cocktail party of all time!  (It will actually be a relatively small affair, but that doesn't mean it can't still be the most fabulous of all time.)  Can you think of a better way to kick off a vacation than that?  I can't.  It's going to rock my socks off, I'm convinced.

Next, Hubs and I will be taking a day trip to good ol' Venice Beach!  It's been years since I've been down there, and Hubs hasn't ever really spent any time there.  Should be a nice mellow day of checking out the crazy people.  I'll be sure to stop by Muscle Beach for all you gals and bring back some pics. ;)

Unfortunately, Hubs only has two days off work the first week I'm off, so I've been contemplating how I should spend the other three days alone.  I'm thinking I'll go to the movies one day, and hopefully the other two days will be sunny enough that I can lay out and work on not being so pasty white.  Also I may try out some new recipes.  How do you like to spend your free time alone?

And finally, the pies de resistance, we'll be spending seven heavenly nights camping at the beach, as per our usual summer ritual.  It may not be a resort in the Bahamas, but as long as I have plenty of margaritas and reading material I'll be happy!

Now to get through the next 8 business days, 1 hour and 6 minutes.  Heavens to Murgatroid, that's a looong time...

P.S. Check out my new section for freebies in the column to the left!  I'm sharing the wealth with you all whenever I get an offer for free stuff.


All about my booty

My butt is officially as old as I am.  The other day as I was trapsing about the house nekkid as a jaybird and without a care in the world, I noticed something wiggling and jiggling behind me.  No, it wasn't my fanny pack full of water balloons, it was my derrier, and it was not a good feeling. 

I've been a tad preoccupied with my booty ever since.  Something I didn't expect to come with age is the apparent shrinking of my once perky posterior.  You'd think this would be a good thing since I've always been extra "blessed" in that region, but no.  It is not a good thing.  It may look a little smaller because it doesn't stick out so much anymore, but what I suspect is actually happening is the dreaded phenomenon known as Chair Butt.  Chair Butt, caused by excessive sitting and too few contractions of the gluteus maximus, is evidenced by the smooshing of the booty and a slow horizontal migration of the muscles.  (Yes, I said muscles!  Let me have my delusions!)

My pleasing patootie was my last hope that I didn't reeeally need to start exercising regularly.  I could overlook the slight "wave" of my triceps, the distinct lack of definition in my tummy, and even the ever-expandingness of my ever-expanding thighs, but this is the final blow.  You see, Hubs is a big fan of my booty, and I just can't in good conscience let him keep telling me how wonderful it is when I know it is no longer.  Plus, I have to wear a bathing suit for like 7 days straight starting at the end of this month.  That gives me three and a half weeks to start improving this little situation.

So as soon as I get home today I'll be starting a pilates and squats regimen.  There's a pilates program conveniently available through my cable company's "on demand" option, and I'll be adding the 200 Squats online program to it.  Who needs a gym?  Not I!

The real challenge of course will be following through with my goal of improving my glutes!  Not a rhetorical question: How do you motivate yourself to stick with an exercise regimen?


Stuff that doesn't suck about not having kids

While I'm in limbo deciding what will ultimately be the next direction my blog takes, I had a thought!  (Red letter day!  A thought entered my mind that had nothing whatsoever to do with audits or job hunts or new hires or irate customers or file maintenance...)  As you may have guessed from the oh-so-subtle title of this post, that thought was to write about stuff that doesn't suck about not having kids.  'Cause I'm realizing that there's actually a lot of stuff I'm grateful for that I wouldn't be able to enjoy if this whole infertility thing didn't happen to me.

Because I am the Queen of Disclaimers, I have this to say before I begin:  These posts may sometimes sound like generalizations, but in reality they're specific to me and my situation.  Of course I hope I have some readers who'll go, "Oh!!  I totally agree!  I also think that's something that doesn't suck about being childless!"  But I also expect to have some readers who'll go, "Okay, but I would give that up in half a heartbeat, no questions asked, if I could just have one opportunity to have a child."  Or even some moms thinking, "Yeah, but being a mom is infinitely better than that, and I wouldn't trade it for a lifetime of that."  I get it.  I'm just sayin', please don't get offended.  This is fair warning that I intend to remove some of my filters, and it might get a little blunt up in here.

Like today, for example, I'm gonna write about SEX.  And I don't mean babymakin'.

Call me a whore (I really wasn't), but in my youth and heyday I was quite the adventurous sexual partner, and looking back I'd say I peaked when Hubs and I were dating the first time around.  Our chemistry was spectacular from the start, and we were young and full of hormones and carefree energy.  We (or maybe just I, Hubs never seems to be at a loss for interest in sex) have lost some of that over the years thanks to infertility, relationship issues, and work stress; i.e. life.  But now that we're putting the thought of having kids on the back-burner indefinitely, we have the chance to work on bringing that spark back to the bedroom.  And oh my goodness, it's fun.

Being infertile and not TTC means we now get to have sex for no other reason than to freakin' feel good!  And not having kids means we get to be as free as we wanna be when we do the deed.  If we feel like covering the living room floor with blankets and pillows and spending a Saturday afternoon rolling around in them, we get to do that.  We don't have to worry about being walked in on or being caught by innocent eyes.  We don't have to think twice, or even once, about being too loud, or walking around the house naked (with the blinds closed! I'm not an exhibitionist for crying out loud), or where we keep the adult toys - I mean, uhh... What??

Not having kids also means we have more time and energy to have sex.  Kids require a lot of attention if I'm not mistaken, and from my experiences with my numerous nieces and nephews I've found that they also require a LOT of energy.  Even after babysitting for a couple of hours I'm ready for a nap!  I know that if I'd had a baby when we started TTC over three years ago, and if I now had a toddler (or two) to chase around after working a long day in the Seventh Circle of Hell, my energy would be completely sapped.  I can't say how that would've affected my sex life, but knowing myself, I'm 100% sure it would not have enhanced it.

So yes, for the moment, I'm grateful that not having kids means I can go back to having great sex with the Hubs.  It's the perfect situation for me right now - No need for birth control thanks to my bum repro tract, if I do happen to end up pregnant I'll be happy, and I have nothing preventing me from just enjoying myself to the max!  I may not be the whore I used to be, but I'm starting to think (hope!) that maybe I didn't "peak" all those years ago after all.