March 29, 2013

Defining Yourself

In my last job, I had the opportunity to go to conferences, classes and functions on a fairly steady basis.  On Tuesday, I went to my first industry related function for my new job.  I'm naturally a shy person...but my last job had me in front of new people ALL the time.  That I fell out of that "muscle memory" so to speak made me surprised a bit about how nervous I got.

To make matters worse, one of my co-workers was one of the two speakers for the night and he made the group go through the exercise of sharing three things about ourselves that are non-work related.

Sounds simple and innocuous, right?  Don't ask me how or why...but it made me start thinking about how people define themselves.  About how I define myself. 

I shared that:
  • I'm on the board of directors of a dachshund rescue.
  • I'm a voracious reader
  • That I love to travel and always have my passport with me

I listened intently as people shared about themselves. After all, if you can find something in common - it gives you an opening to start a conversation.  The labels that were most utilized were: husband/wife and mother/father. 

I felt a little like a failure.  I'm neither a wife or mother.  Trust me - I wish I was both! (If you happen to see my Mr. Right...send him my way!  I've been waiting a LONG time.)  If you had asked me at 20 where I'd be in 2013, wife and mother would be on that list. If I had found the right guy, I would have happily tied the knot well over a decade ago.

Heck, if you had asked my high school or college friends where I'd be - almost all of them would predict that I'd be a wife and mom.  I was the one that helped them through relationship break-ups, make-ups and the occasional pregnancy test; didn't go through a "party" phase and played matchmaker for a number of people.

I guess I need to change my earlier statement.  I feel like a huge failure.  But it also make me curious how you define yourself.  What are your most important life titles?


*No, I'm not looking for pity.  Please just accept this as one of the few times that I'm sharing about where I feel lacking in life.*

March 21, 2013

And, Then They Ate A Poisonous Plant...

It goes without saying that I adore my dogs.  They are freaking awesome (if I do say so myself)!

Paisley and Brady are still at the age that they want to taste everything regardless of what it is.  Yeah...they're just over a year old, but dachshunds stay in that "puppy" stage longer than larger breeds.  Generally, I don't take issue with them (or Meadow & Beckett) picking up a stick outside and giving it a good gnaw.

We all learned something the hard way last Thursday - hydrangea bushes are mildly toxic to dogs.  Paisley and Brady decided to nibble on a hydrangea branch before dinner.  They came in, and ate dinner as normal...five minutes later I hear tummy rumbles.

First Brady started vomiting.  Then twenty minutes later Paisley started too.  Between the hours of 7 PM and 2 AM, they emptied their system of EVERYTHING.  To make matters worse, Meadow decided to "help" me clean up a little (read between the lines folks) and got sick herself soon thereafter.

As my washer and dryer ran all night (let's just say the didn't warn me before they puked), I decided to start googling.  I keep a list of all the plants that are toxic to my pets.  Hydrangea was NOT on that list...but it is now.   Everyone was just fine after getting everything up; but I did call the emergency clinic to see what signs I should watch for.

Spring is going to arrive any day now, and I'll be updating my list of "safe" plants before I do any gardening.  I ask all my fellow pet parents to do the same!  Here are a few plants to get you started:

  • Autumn crocus (Colchicum): Its active ingredient, colchicines, triggers an anti-metabolic effect that can cause rapidly dividing cells, shedding of the gastrointestinal tract, bloody diarrhea, and vomiting.
  •  Azalea (Rhododendron): This popular plant can harm a dog's cardiovascular system and trigger vomiting or gastrointestinal upset.
  • Daffodil (Narcissus): Toxic ingredients in the bulbs cause convulsions, tremors, lethargy, weakness, and upset stomachs.
  • Hyacinth (Hyacinth): This popular plant can cause severe vomiting, bloody diarrhea, depression, and tremors.
  • Japanese yew (Taxis): Extremely toxic to dogs, this group of ornamental plants can cause seizures or cardiac failure. The plant and red berries are toxic.
  • Lily of the valley (Convalaria): This plant can cause heart failure, coordination problems, and vomiting.
  • Oleander (Nerium): Extremely toxic, this popular outdoor plant contains cardiac glycosides that harm the heart, decrease body temperature, cause abnormal pulse rate, and can cause death. Beware: Even people have died from eating hot dogs roasted on an oleander twig.
  • Rhubarb (Rheum): Although the stalks are used to make pies, the leaves pack the potential to cause kidney damage.
  • Sago palm (Cycads): Resembling an upside down pineapple, this plant thrives in sandy soils, especially in warmer states such as California, Texas, and Florida. A few seeds can kill a dog.
  • Tomato (Lycopersicion): Surprisingly, the greenery of this common plant, not the tomato itself, contains solanine, a toxic ingredient that can prompt gastric upset, depression, weakness, and a decrease in heart rate.
If you have any other plants that should be on the "no plant" list - please let me know!


March 19, 2013

What I'm Loving...

It's been a while since I've shared all the fun stuff that is on my radar.  Let the frivolity commence!

These suckers are YUMMY!  M & M should make them all year round.  And make them available in places other than Target (not that I need another excuse to go to Target!).

Does anyone else utilize the free promo code from RedBox every month?  A free movie from them?  Sign me up!

I keep a box of these by my desk for an afternoon snack.  Very tasty for being a "diet" food.  :-)

Don't think less of me...but from time to time, I put eyeshadow on in the car during red lights.  This shade duo (called Covet) is in my "car kit" of makeup.  Great color combo and the gold mixed into the lighter pink gives a nice shimmer.

I won a new collar and leash set through Nola and her momma, Amanda.  I haven't picked out the set yet...but Puddle Jumper Pups has some great choices!  Any suggestions?  (I'll give a review once I pick out the set and it's can see how it stands up to my active dogs!)

What are you loving lately?


March 12, 2013

How To Look Like A Hero, In A Few Easy Steps...

Wait.  You didn't think I was going to let you in on my secrets, did you?! :-)

I joke about the "hero" thing because I had two different people label me that (jokingly, of course!) in the past few days.

Thursday night it started snowing. I's New England; big deal.  By the time Friday morning rolled around, we had over a foot of snow on the ground instead of the 1-3 inches that were predicted.  And it kept snowing!

My fabulous cousin Kristin and I not only live near each other, but now work in the same office.  So, we chatted.  We debated a little.  We decided to suck it up; dig out and go to work. So I swung by and picked her (and her son) up.  We arrived just before noon to an almost empty office and looking like rock stars. By the time we departed a little after 4PM, I had to dig my car out again.  And, let me tell you - digging out a Chevy Tahoe is WORK!  When all was said and done, our little snowstorm netted us around two feet of unexpected snow.

The front of our office building.  For scale purposes - B is a fairly tall 9 year old!

Saturday morning, Kristin and I went to the florist so she could pick her wedding day flower arrangements.  Pink, pink, pink! 

Pretty, right?! :-)
About an hour after I dropped her off at home, she called to say that Penny (her Jeep) was making a horrible noise.  So I got in the car, met her at Target and called AAA.  In the hour and a half wait, we did a little shopping at Target (You want me to shop?!?!  TWIST MY ARM!!!!) and then I dropped her off at home again. 

All in a day's work!


March 10, 2013

A Few Words On Social Media...

My "day job" these days is as a Social Media Manager for two real estate publications.  I won't even pretend that I know everything there is to know about social media. 

I do need to say a few things based on recent scenes that have played out on my Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn feeds.

Do yourself a favor and don't complain about social media ON SOCIAL MEDIA!  There are caveats to this...  Tweeting that Blogger is down (again) is totally acceptable; ditto for putting up a Facebook status that you don't understand how your Klout score is calculated.  However, tweeting that your feed is full of stupid people makes me laugh...and not in a good way.  YOU'RE the dipstick following them; if you don't like what they say - UNFOLLOW!

This week I was also party to an individual asking people NOT to follow her on LinkedIn.  Way to build your professional network, buttercup!  I'd bet that you look back and regret it when it's time to find a new job...

I'd also ask people to stop putting pictures online that they'd be embarrassed for their boss or their grandma to see.  Or, at least, don't act so surprised when your boss and grandma make a snarky comment on the picture of you doing body shots in Cabo. (Yes, this is a real life example!)

People need to understand that social media has the power to help or hurt you.  Your image (literally and figuratively) is in your hands.  Be as careful with your online reputation as you would with your IRL reputation...

Am I missing any big social media landmines?  Any pet peeves that you'd like to share?


March 06, 2013

Dear (Fill in the blank)...

You all know I have a bunch of randomness truly though provoking ideas camped out in my brain.  I think it's time to let a little of it out. :-)

Dear Ulta,
I'm so glad you opened near me.  It's fabulous knowing that I can get all the beauty products I need a slightly better price and another major chain....*cough* Sephora *cough*.  However, my paycheck doesn't have the same appreciation that my hair, nails and skin do.  How about giving me some stuff for free to make my bank account happy?  No?!?!

The girl who is self-imposing a ban on make-up shopping


Dear USPS,
I wish I could say that our relationship has grown better.  But I still know you're withholding mail from me.  I don't like it!  And I'm going to continue to report it!  In the meantime...if it's important, I'm having it mailed to my parents. 

Someone who'd like to get mail the same month its postmarked


Dear Meadow, Beckett, Paisley and Brady,
I know you appreciate the brisk night air...but I don't.  If we could keep the 2 AM "potty runs" to less than five minutes, I'd appreciate it.

Your mom-sicle


Dear Mother Nature,
Rumor has it you're going to be a biatch and snow again tomorrow night through Friday.  If you could blow out to sea, that would be cool.  Just saying.

Someone who wants to retire her shovel and rock salt


Dear Blogger and WordPress,
You both have functionality that I like.  If you could merge, so I only have to remember ONE way to do things instead of two (one for this blog and one for the dachshund rescue), I would appreciate it.  So...who's up for a corporate merger?!?!

The woman who'd like YouTube videos in her rescue blog and photo borders on her "real" blog


Dear Dog Parents,
Do any of you cry when you see the Purina commercial with all the rescue dogs?  I sob like a fool EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.  The full song from the commercial does it to me too.  If you have tissues handy, listen below.

The momma "dripping" on her quartet of canines

Do any of you have letters to share?


March 04, 2013

Want To Be A Guest Blogger?

Calling all awesome bloggers!  Yes, YOU!

I'm on the search for a few people that might be interested in guest blogging.  Nope...I'm not going on vacation, so you don't need to fill a specific date span.

Have a new product my readers should try?  A new workout to share?  Want to swing by and babble for a bit?

The whole gig is open....  One time only; a series over a month or two.  You tell me!

Blog Design by Creative Girl Media