Straightening Up.

OK people.  First thing’s first.  I’ve been a terrible blogger recently.  I’ve left you hanging for almost 2 months (wha?!) with no explanation, and more importantly no tips for keeping your lives organized.   All hell must have broken out in your households/offices/lives during this time, for sure.  For that I’m sorry.  I could bust into a list telling you all the things keeping me too busy to write recently, but that would probably bore you and cause serious eye-rolls (“she thinks she’s sooo busy…”).  So I won’t do it.  And with that, I’ve just got a straight up post on…straightening up.   So here goes…

Let’s talk about things that are straight.

Jennifer Aniston’s amazing hair:

jennifer-aniston-has-straight-hair-things-that-are-straight

Straight as an arrow? Cameron Frye, Ferris’ BFF:

cameron-frye-the-straight-arrow-things-that-are-straight

And probably John Mayer, considering he’s dated every female celebrity ever (including aforementioned Jen):

john-mayer-is-straight-things-that-are-straight

Things that aren’t straight?  My bottom teeth.

Yep.  You heard me.  Normally when we talk ‘straightening up’ around here it’s about corralling baby stuff, organizing kitchen cabinets, or neatly packing up Christmas paraphernalia.  This time we’re talking teeth.  In particular, my never-had-or-needed-braces-until-now -teeth.

Excuse me while I hop on my soapbox for a hot minute, but I was blessed with beautiful chompers.  They are naturally white, and straight. Well, the top ones are…(or should I say were?).  The bottoms are a hot mess, but who really sees those?  When I was 15 and went to the obligatory orthodontist appointment that it seems every middle class suburban adolescent gets dragged to, the doc said I had no structural issues with my teeth (read: no over/under bite), just snagglies on the bottom, which meant braces would be purely cosmetic.  So naturally, like every vain 15 year old girl, I said – NO THANKS to a mouth of metal for the next few years.  The actual quote, which The Magi likes to remind me of, was: “Well if God wanted me to have perfect teeth, he would have given me perfect teeth”.  Very profound coming from a non-religious half-Jew-half-Christian.  I was always wise beyond my years.  NOT.

So here I sit, 15+ years later, with very crooked bottom teeth, and top ones that have started to shift.  They still look relatively normal from afar, but I started to notice one central incisor (big front tooth, in laymen’s terms) overlapping the other, a la the bottoms.  And it’s created an awkward space under its neighboring lateral incisor that’s noticeable when I smile.  I’ll post a pic as soon as I can find a good one that I don’t mind putting on the internet.  Teeth are pretty darn personal.  Bottom line is top teeth that look like my bottom teeth would be no bueno.  I have learned that having a baby really does a number to your self-confidence (many, many things just do NOT look the same!), so if I could prevent further “boo me” moments, that would be fantastic.  I don’t want to be talking like a ventriloquist the rest of my life.

So that’s where Invisalign comes in.  Invisible braces for the modern mama.  No I totally made that tag line up, but they really are “invisible” braces.  After years of saying I should do it (to no one in particular and without real meaning), I bit the bullet and went back to an Orthodontist earlier this year.  He confirmed the top teeth are following the pattern of the bottoms, and that I’d be a good candidate for Invisalign.  So a few filled-out forms, hard earned bucks, tooth molds, and X-rays later and we’re in business.

So yes, I got braces at 30 years old.  And I’m gonna blog about it.  I’m currently about 2 months into my treatment with 8 more to go – this is longer than a full term pregnancy people!  I’ve got before pics, weekly pics, and a whole lot of initial thoughts to share with anyone interested.  People seem to love talking about personal stuff on the internet.  I don’t fully get it but I’m not opposed to capitalizing on it.  Stay tuned and feel free to leave me some Invisalign Qs/tips in the comments.  A girl can never have enough Invisalign tricks up her sleeve…

My Week Rocked.

Athleta-Store-Organization

This work week has been one of the best yet in 2013.  I was in a 3-day long offsite training course Monday-Wednesday from 9-5 every day with about 2 hours worth of breaks throughout the day.  Oh and it was casual dress code.  It was amazing.  And the best part is that it was held literally right next to my office so I took advantage of the late start to run to daycare/work each morning, popped into the office to shower and change, then headed across the street for training.  And did the reverse on the way home.  So I was able to sneak in a nice 5 miles each day!  If A & I could run to/from school and work every day it would be awesome.  She loves the jogger and it chopped our commute time in half.  I’ll have to figure out a way to make that happen…

And with all that break time I naturally stuck around the training center to study up on Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services.  Not.  I took full advantage of our breaks to get things done that needed serious doing.  Like returning Christmas gifts and getting a real manicure (you know, not the crappy fake ones I do at home on Saturday nights to make myself feel less dirty drab mom-ish and more cool urban mama-ish).

One of my to-return items was at the Athleta store, which is a new(ish) addition to the Philadelphia shopping scene.  We just got a store on Walnut street last year but I have had yet to pop in.  To say I was pleasantly surprised by both the merchandise and the physical store would be an understatement.  I liked way more things than I thought I would (or should be liking, for that matter – the last thing I need is more workout wear!), and I LOVED the way they organized the store.  I took the pics posted above to give you an idea, but we’ll get back to that in a minute.  For those who haven’t shopped or seen Athleta stuff yet, it’s kind of a Lululemon-meets-EMS/REI-theme-with-a-slightly-Hawaiian-feel.  That’s literally the best way I can describe it.  Price point is still pretty high, but a little better than Lulu.  And since it’s part of the Gap family of brands, you can use coupons/rewards points there which rocks.

But the best part was the ingenious way they organized the store – the four areas are: Run/Gym (cardio and swim wear), Yoga (’nuff said), Hike/Explore (think breathable layers, cargos, packs, lightweight wool), and To/Fro (casual attire that could be worn…you guessed it…to/from the gym or yoga or whatever).  The reclaimed wood and oil rubbed bronze lettering and light fixtures added to the neatness too.  I’ve seen some other stores try to organize the store this way too, but this was the simplest and most “real life” version I’ve ever seen.  Loved it.

So I told the girls behind the counter that I was a professional blogger and wanted to snap a few pics of the store for my site.  They were super flattered and excited about that little white lie.  If only they knew my readership consisted of my friends, my family, a few of my family’s friends, and a few of B’s AWESOME lady friend co-workers.  🙂  But they don’t have to know that.  Let them dream.

And speaking of dreaming, today I was back in the office dreaming of Reporting Services training.  Seriously, other than the fact that I was learning how to write database reports and the code to delpoy them for 3 straight days (which, since I’m the coolest nerd you know, I actually enjoyed), this week rocked.  Best part is that tomorrow is Friday – SAHM day!

Have a great weekend, and check out Athleta if you’re near 18th & Walnut – tell them you saw them featured on this really cool blog you read…

Re-In-Stalling.

ladies-room-signsSince I know you’re probably dying to know how my office women’s restroom signs are doing, I thought I’d give you this little update:  it’s not looking good.  Actually, I take that back.  The signs are still going strong in all most of the stalls, as you can see in the pic on the left above.  But in one stall the sign has flopped over and not one bathroom-goer has attempted to fix it!  Guess I’ll be hitting up the ladies room with some scotch tape this week.  Remind me at the end of this post to tell the story about the last time I had to bring office supplies into a bathroom stall with me…

But back to the present day bathroom issues.  You probably don’t recall (if you do you have way too much time on your hands) that I also requested that our facilities department fix the lack of hooks on several stall doors.  It’s a really annoying thing to go into the bathroom really having to pee only to then see that there is no hook on the door for your stuff and then you have to unlock the door, go to the next stall, pray it has hooks, and if that one doesn’t boy you’re in trouble.  You get the point.  Needless to say they have not been replaced.  Very disappointing, facilities.  Verrrry disappointing.  So I’ll be following up on that this week too.

And there you have it.  That’s literally what I’m up to this week.  Is that sad?  Don’t answer that.

And now here’s the part where I reward you for reading this update with an embarrassing personal story about yours truly:  The year was 2006.  I was working as an audit associate for a big scary firm that shall remain unnamed.  I was wearing black “Editor” pants by Express (they were my faves).  I went to the ladies room at some point in the afternoon, only to realize I could see the floor through my pants when I sat down.

“That’s odd,” I thought.  Upon closer examination I realized my pants had ripped at some point during the day from front to back.  No joke.  Entire crotch inseam was wide open.  With several long hours to go at work and no chance at being able to go home to change pants, I needed to fix the situation pronto.  So I did what any resourceful young auditor would do – I wrapped my cable knit v-neck sweater around my waist (standard attire back then was sweater over a button down – standard), went back to the audit room, told everyone what just happened, and grabbed the stapler to take it back to the ladies room among screams of “Do NOT bring that back in here!”.  The tricky part was stapling my pants together without anyone wondering what the heck I was doing in there.  But that was nothing a loud throaty fake cough couldn’t cover up: Aaahheeeeghhhmmm.  Staple. Staple. Staple.  AhhheeGGGGMM. Staple.  In fact my performance was so good, a nice lady called back at me from the sink that I sound terrible and to take care of that cough.  Lord knows what she really thought I was doing in there.

But staple-mending my pants worked pretty well actually.  I almost forgot about the whole situation until I brought them to the dry cleaner the following week who looked at me like I was crazy.  And little did I know back then in my young, work-hard-play-hard audit days that in just 7 short years I’d be bringing office supplies back into the ladies room as a mature, working mom.  Ha.  Real mature.  NOT.

 

The E List.

organizing-notes-siri-gone-bad

I’ve always been a handwritten list-making kind of gal (love my organizer!), but I’m kind of digging the notepad feature on the iPhone.  Last month I used it for all my Christmas lists (to-do’s, gift ideas, and packing lists) and it was great.  I plan to have this phone for the long haul so why not venture over to electronic list making?  It’s handy and dandy and better for on-the-go note taking than using a pen and paper – I have way too many illegible notes written on the bus to work that drive me crazy.  So I’m into it.  I wouldn’t mind some bolding, underlining, or checkmark features, but I’m sure Apple’s all over that.  I’ll wait for it in the next update that will come in about a week (why is that?).

And since I recently became an absolute Instagram fanatic, you could just say I embracing technology one step at a time.

Next up?  Learning how to actually communicate with Siri.  Namely getting her to make my lists FOR me in my notepad.  I recently tried to have her jot down a shopping list while driving to Target, since all too often I go there needing to buy just 5 things but once I get in there I completely black out.  And I end up buying only 3 or 4 of the needed items, but about 10 things I did NOT need.  Anyway, my attempt did not work out so well, as you can probably see in the shot above.  That was her interpretation of “Pam Spray, Ziplock Bags, and Dish Soap”.  #thatsirisuchajokester…

Upgrade.

upgrade-iphone5

Yep – finally jumping on the bandwagon.  Keep It Neat is keeping it cool: B and I got each other iPhone5’s this week as early Christmas presents to one another.  Unfortunately for me, he already has his to hold and to love, but mine is sitting on a UPS truck somewhere.  But fortunately for me, that’s because I ordered mine through my ever-generous employer who was running a promo – upgrade your Verizon Wireless phone through them and get a $100 prepaid Visa card in the mail.  So I’m waiting on that goodie to come too.

But on to why this is relevant to you.  Upgrading to this new life-changing device required me to do some serious research on the type of case that will be protecting my new purchase.  I was looking for functional and/or fun and came across some good ones worth sharing.

Functional Cases:

These cases all have functionality built in for storing an ID or credit card or two, and some could probably even stow some cash too.  Although I usually carry a big bag, sometimes on weekends I just want to through a few things in my sweatshirt pocket and be on my way.  Same with a quick lunch trip or errand during the week.  These cases would be great for that.  I’m planning to get one to store in my big bag for just those occasions.  Just not sure which one.

The ‘Crossover’ case looks really neat – it has bands that criss-cross the phone and you can slide your stuff underneath them in the back.  I’m not sure it would be the best one to protect the phone since it only covers the corners, but it looks the coolest.

Oh, and FYI you can click on any of these pics to see where I found the item and buy one for yourself.

organized-iphone-cases-crossover

This next one by Griffin is a similar concept, except a little less design-y and it seems to protect the phone more, and possibly store your things a little better.
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Moving away from cool-looking-but-maybe-not-the-most-practical and onto kinda-cute-but-more-useful, here are a few more functional cases.  Each one stores things in a ‘secret’ back compartment, the one below by Speck being the most basic.
organized-iphone-cases-speck-smartflexThe thing I like about this one is that it’s a flexible silicone-y case.  I prefer those over hard cases because I feel like they bounce and absorb shock better if/when tossed around.  It makes me feel better to have a squishier case.
The SwitchEasy case is kind of cool too.  It reminds me of those crazy wallets you see in SkyMall magazine.  You can click on the corner button to eject your credit card from its super secret hiding spot.
organized-iphone-cases-switcheasyAnd the last one I found has potential to hold the most small items – really turning your iPhone5 into a true jack of all trades.  A phone-email-TV-radio-internet-wallet machine all in one.  You could get seriously crazy and permanently ditch your purse to just carry this bad boy around: the Stowaway Hard Shell case by Incipio.  Oh and if you don’t want to keep anything in there the flap doubles as a stand so you can prop your device up.  Never ending uses!
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Fun Cases:
These cute cases I found on Etsy come in a few different colors and can be personalized a few different ways.  I like the idea of a single letter monogram in the center.  And I’d probably go with classic white and navy rugby stripes.  I know, I have a problem.  I just love navy too much.  If it were socially acceptable I’d drape myself in navy.  A little Seinfeld reference for you tonight…
fun-iphone-cases-etsy-HarperGray
And then of course how could I NOT check out the J.Crew selection of iPhone cases.  Scratch what I said before, if it were socially acceptable (and lucky for me it IS!) I would drape myself in J.Crew.  Slim pickings for cases for the iPhone5 right now at J.Crew, but this was my favorite of the bunch:
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Fun AND Functional:
Bet you didn’t see that coming did you?!  Bam.  This one was extra neat to me.  It’s cute and fun, it’s protective, and it would be really easy to slide your phone, ID, and some cash into this thing on a weekend.  It’s also small and flexible so if you had it lying around your house and or bag it wouldn’t take up much space or be annoying to have a second case around.
It is the ‘Bambina’ case and is also available on Etsy, in a bunch of different colors/styles.  I like the green or gold in this shot.  You can’t tell from this picture but you slide your phone in the case from the top, and then the little kangaroo pouch on the outside is for your other stuff.  So cute.
organized-iphone-cases-bambina-etsy
And that pretty much wraps up my search.  Shockingly (NOT), I’m still not sure which one I’ll end up with.  I met B at our local Verizon store to get his phone and picked up a very basic black silicone case to have for now while I figure that out.  But there are some really good options out there and I’m pumped to try one.  And of course to play with my new iPhone too…when it finally gets here.  For now I’ll just stare longingly at B on the couch next to me enjoying his new phone.  (I know, we sound very, very sad and materialistic.  I promise we’re not – we’ve just been technologically deprived for the past 5 years with our very old outdated phones…)