Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Locker Room Laments

Seeing as how I am now almost two months beyond my 29th birthday, I have a new-found sense of urgency for the thorn in my side oh-so-fun 30x30 list. I have created a plan of attack and this month's focus is #15:

Train myself to get up earlier every morning and run. 


Why I do these things to myself, I'll never know. This is a feat of self-discipline for more reasons than I can count. For starters:
  1. I am not a morning person.
  2. This requires a substantial amount of preplanning.
  3. I don't consume coffee in any form, so morning + energy isn't really something I am familiar with.
  4. I am not a fan of public nudity.
Let's talk about #4. Due to it still being dark when I have to wake up to accomplish this (and my current residence being in the borderline hood a "transitional" area) this task must be performed at the gym. I didn't play sports in high school. I was more of the Yearbook Staff/French Club Extra Curricularist (yep, just made that one up)- i.e. kind of a nerd. I was totally fine with this, but my lack of athleticism means I am not accustomed to locker room nakedness. I also grew up in a pretty modest family and aside from a stint running through the Tech fountain senior year of college in my undies (it's tradition), I have remained modest when it comes to public nudity as an adult as well. Simply not a fan. 

However, the women at my gym? Not at all bothered by this. Granted, the locker room isn't exactly "public", but sheesh... I am two days in and have seen more boobs than I ever cared to in my life. And don't even get me started on the little granny parading around in her short t-shirt and panties while having a ten-minute conversation on her cellphone. Let's just say it definitely gave me motivation to work my glutes a bit harder.

I'm starting to realize that my contortionist efforts to get dressed while under the cover of a towel are definitely the minority, so I shouldn't judge... I guess it's just a bit shocking to someone who hasn't spent much time "hitting the showers".  

The upside to getting ready at the gym is that I have to pack my work clothes the night before so I'm 100% aware of my fashion choices and not throwing random stuff together in a foggy haze. (I have actually gone an entire work day wearing two different shoes before.) And I have to say- having my nights freed up to cook or do as I please is quite nice as well. 

My goal is to stick with the morning work outs for at least a month. I figure that is long enough to get into the routine enough to cross it off my list. After that, hopefully I'll like it enough to stick with it, and who knows- by that time I may even be used to all the nakey gym members as well!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

America's Next Top Model... oooor not.

Last week my hair guy, Ian, called me up out of the blue and said that they were doing a photoshoot for the salon on Monday and asked if I would come in and model for them since he had recently cut my hair. Even though my modeling experience is limited to a single runway show for JC Penney's when I was 8 (that I believe took place at a zoo), I thought it sounded like a fun, girly adventure, so I agreed.

I was told to show up at the salon at noon with clean, dry hair and bring something to wear that was strapless and not black or white. Easy enough.

I walk in and they have camera stuff strewn everywhere and Matthew Tully, the salon namesake, is working on giving a petite platinum blonde a very vogue-esque mohawk. Upon further inspection I note that she is wearing a black leather bustier, black leggings, and thigh high black leather boots and had this crazy glittery eyeshadow going on. I look over at another girl with fire engine red hair and she is wearing a black satin cocktail dress. I had brought a floor length, flowy coral maxi dress that was purchased on the beach in Hawaii.  Hmm.....

Note to self: if one ever finds oneself in further modeling situations, bring more options. More scantily clad options.

So Ian does my hair (seriously, why does it always look 1,000 times better when someone else does it?!?) and the make-up artist dolls me up with airbrush foundation, false lashes, liquid liner, the works.

Sidenote: can you imagine being a guy and not having access to all these sneaky vehicles of trickery? Sad.

Afterwards, I was told to grab a chair and wait (hence the self portrait- I was bored), as they were currently shooting the petite blonde mohawk'ed dominatrix*.

*She did have a name and she was very nice, but I just don't remember what it was. That's so rude of me, but unfortunately in this post she will have to be referred to as The Mohawk'ed Dominatrix.

I settle back to watch the shoot and start to get a little nervous when I realize that The Mohawk'ed Dominatrix is a regular Derek Zoolander. I mean, she was standing on top of furniture, "rawr-ing" for the camera, the whole nine yards. I'll give anything the old college try, but I had to think that I might look a little silly making animal noises in flowy silk beachwear.

The Mohawk'ed Dominatrix wraps up setting the model-posing-bar far out of my stiletto'd barefoot reach and pops back into the chair for a hairstyle change when Ian tells me I'm up. So just before I head over to get my Gisele on, Matthew Tully turns and looks at me and tells Ian that he better do something with my hair because "it's going to look really boring on camera". In Ian's defense, it looked cute, but Matthew was right- compared to the previous model I may as well have had it tucked into a bun under an Amish Bonnet.

So Ian grabs a tease comb and a bottle of hairspray and starts going to town. At one point he had me shaking my head upside down while he sprayed what was likely half a can of pricey hairspray into my hair. The end result was very big and made me feel ten times more "Vogue" à la The Mohawk'ed Dominatrix. Game on!

The photographer had me perch on the edge of a banquette while the he told me in his heavy foreign accent to flirt with the camera (seriously, that actually happened) and kept yelling to breathe through my mouth, not my nose. (Not sure why? Perhaps it's a nostril flaring issue?) Ian stood close by ready to repoof and adjust how the ends fell around my shoulders as-needed. Thankfully, the adjustments usually also involved covering up that fatty underarm area that my elastic-top, strapless dress had a tendency to squish. Win-win! (And seriously, bring more options...)

My part of the shoot only lasted about 15 minutes. Leading me to believe that I'm either a damn good model and they got what they needed very quickly OR the foreign dude realized early on that I wasn't going to "rawr" for him and I should expect a call from Ian later this week gently letting me know they won't be using my photos. (I'm thinking the latter) Either way, it really was a lot of fun!

While walking to my car, I caught a glimpse of myself in a store window and had to laugh. The make-up looked fabulous there, but when I put my normal Monday business attire back on and headed out into the real world I determined that I kind of looked like a prostitute, transvestite, or a Kardashian (or a mix of all three). I decided to test this theory and send a picture to my favorite gay bf:

Tranny jokes aside, I should say that I was very impressed with the make-up artist. She was really good, but I think doing make-up for photos is obviously much different (and more heavy-handed) than for everyday life. I would recommend her in a heartbeat for weddings, etc. if I could only remember her name. And for all you Dallas girls, I can't stress enough how talented Ian Flannigan is... go see him if you need a great hair guy!

So there you have it- my little modeling adventure! I'll post pictures next week when I get them!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Who do you think you are?

I currently have this song is on repeat. I've had it downloaded for months but it wasn't until after a friend brought one of the lyrics up last night that I carefully listened to the words of the whole song. After spending eight years going back and forth with my ex-fiancé, this pretty much sums everything up in one neat, bow-wrapped package:

I can't take one more step towards you
Cause all that's waiting is regret
And don't you know I'm not your ghost anymore
You lost the love
I loved the most

I learned to live, half a life
And now you want me one more time

Who do you think you are
Runnin' round leaving scars
Collecting your jar of hearts
And tearing love apart
You're gonna catch a cold
From the ice inside your soul
So don't come back for me
Who do you think you are

I hear you're asking all around
If I am anywhere to be found
But I have grown too strong
To ever fall back in your arms

I learned to live, half a life
And now you want me one more time


It took so long just to feel alright
Remember how to put back the light in my eyes
I wish I had missed the first time that we kissed
Cause you broke all your promises

And now you're back
You don't get to get me back

Who do you think you are
Runnin' round leaving scars
Collecting your jar of hearts
And tearing love apart
You're gonna catch a cold
From the ice inside your soul
So don't come back for me
Don't come back at all

Who do you think you are?

My favorite part is "you're gonna catch a cold from the ice inside your soul"... a bit brutal, but that's how I'm rolling on this Tuesday morning. How's that for a dose of honesty before noon? ;)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Things I am loving....

  1. Last night's post-dinner compliment: "Damn woman, I mean you can COOK!".  Slightly crass. Very direct. And made me smile just the same. Smart guy- complimenting the one in the kitchen is always a good way to secure future invitations...
  2. Fresh Sugarbath Cubes in Lemon. One of my girlfriends gave me some of these for my birthday and ohmyword. Sometimes when I am walking through my bathroom, I'll pull the jar off the shelf, open the top, and inhale a big whiff because it just smells so heavenly.
  3. The fact that I am finally starting to see results from all. the. running. I was getting very frustrated about a week ago because I've been running my little ass off and felt no skinnier. However, last night as I was brushing my teeth I noticed a slight less squishy appearance in my arms. Yay for cardio!
  4. March Madness is starting!  Single ladies, I'm telling you... you should use my little secret for the next month: Get yourself a well-crafted bracket {this is key- don't pick teams based on mascot cuteness... you need to look like you know what you're doing. Research yourself or recruit a knowledgeable advisor. Sidenote: thanks Brian!}, fold that sucker up and tuck it into a little clutch purse, head out to meet your girlfriends at a sportsbar, whip out said bracket. They fall over themselves. Trust me.
  5. All the beautiful Bradford Pears and other trees that are blooming. It's one of my absolute favorite simple springtime pleasures.
  6. Adele. More specifically, this song:

Monday, March 14, 2011

Moose Monday

Such a lazy, lazy dog. I took this photo Saturday morning before I ventured out for the St. Patty's Day festivities in Dallas. My sweet parents were close to downtown and decided that he didn't need to be home all day by himself so they went by my house and scooped him up while we were out celebrating.

As always, the festivities on Greenville were interesting to say the least. We got in some great people watching, had a blast hanging out with old friends, and met some new ones. We decided that next year we will forgo the block party and just wander around instead. It's just such a crowded mess.

In other news: yes, I am getting old.

Luckily, we were able to dodge the unplanned afterparty that occurred at our house last year, thus saving me from having to clean up the house and post a facebook update like this the next day:

All-in-all it was a very fun day that was definitely one for the books. I do have a couple pictures, but they are rather incriminating, so we'll just stick with the above. ;) I would say that I'm already excited for next year, but I think I need a week or so to decompress from 2011 first!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Rapunzel, Rapunzel...

Yep, I decided to keep it long. As much as I wanted to chop it to liven things up a bit, I'm so happy that I refrained and kept the length. Thanks Ian!

However, I did do something new... I got a brazilian blowout!

I have had several friends get this done and tout it as a game-changer and the best thing since sliced bread. So far, I love it and would highly recommend it but with the suggestion to go in with reasonable expectations. You should not expect pin-straight, air-dried miracles.

With that being said, it is much less frizzy and much more manageable. My lazy-girl hair routine before would be to blow it dry all crazy (no round brushes) and then struggle with flat-ironing the inevitable rat's nest into submission.

Because I have no shame, I am going to show you "before and after's" of what it would look like post-blowout/pre-flat iron (WARNING: both pictures are also PRE-MAKE UP, so my apologies and you're welcome for the heads up!)

Post-blowout/pre-flat iron, BEFORE Brazilian:
A few thoughts:
1. This is why I could never have a fashion blog... I look totally creepy taking pictures of myself (well that, and I shop at Target the majority of the time).
2. Sheesh, Natalie, clean your mirror every once in awhile.
3. I think I found a new celebrity doppelganger*. I typically get Jackie-O or Lucy Hale, but the one below may be much more accurate.

Post-blowout/pre-flat iron AFTER Brazilian:
1. Again with the creepy face.
2. Yes, I did the exact same thing as the picture above- just blew it dry all crazy.
3. While it's a HUGE difference, this isn't smooth enough for me. Thus my slight disappointment over the time-saving elements of the brazilian. I still have to flat iron, but it IS much easier.
    So there you go... if you have thick/curly/frizzy hair, I highly recommend it. But please keep in mind that it doesn't magically dry to look like you've had a professional blowout. I haven't let it air-dry yet, but will be sure to let you know how that goes.  {Oh the scintillating dialogue you get over here at moose & lulu!!}

    *And finally, my new celeb look-alike... I'm slightly paler, but a dead ringer nonetheless, don't you think?!?
    {Picture of Troy Palomalu stolen from here.}

    Friday, March 4, 2011

    Foodie Friday- PSA

    Planting the "living" basil plants from the grocery store because you are impatient and the nurseries don't have real basil plants yet?

    Apparently not as brilliant a plan as one might imagine.

    I had my doubts that the tiny clump of roots would be able to keep on keepin' on once planted, but I wanted to give it a shot anyways. Oops.

    So there ya go... consider this your forewarning: as much as you may be willing Spring to arrive a bit early, don't attempt to plant your grocery store-bought herbs with expectations of growth- it just won't happen.

    Tuesday, March 1, 2011

    February in Pictures

    February is my birthmonth so it was definitely a fun one! I loved the snow days that we had in Jan/Feb, but I'm also looking forward to it warming up in March (and St. Patty's Day!!). We'll see what kind of tune I'm singing about the warm weather come August... 

    February in Pictures:
    As you can tell, birthdays are a Big Deal in my family so I had to laugh when I saw this card at Paper Source. I'm sure the men in the family would agree that the "month of celebration" is a little overkill. 

    Dinner with friends. My birthday was on a Wednesday so we wanted to celebrate the Saturday before... which happened to be the night before the Superbowl in Dallas. Needless to say it was a bit of a nightmare finding a dinner reservation for 17, but Monica's made it happen. Snoop Dog took over the restaurant after us for a private party... shoulda stuck around! We did get to take some pictures on his red carpet backdrop though... buuut I don't have those yet *cough cough*, Alison.... 

    Alex, Alison, Brynn.

    The crew. I love Matt's (far left) face in this one.

    Alex & Jen.

    Jules' husband, Brent & me.

    My friends are so amazing and definitely spoiled me, but this was by far my favorite wrapping job. It was a wine decanter wrapped in baby paper with the "card" written on the paper in sharpie. Love. It.

    We ended the night at a house party right down the street from our house where we stumbled upon a fun accessories stash that included hats and glasses. We played dress-up and may or may not have shut it down at about 4am. Definitely rang in 29 as if I was 22 again.

    I woke up on my actual birthday to a nice little ice/snowstorm. While I loved not having to go into the office I was a little worried about driving to the burbs for dinner with my parents that night. Luckily it melted into a slushy mess later so driving was a non-issue.

    I celebrated with my parents by going to dinner at Seasons 52 and then going to see Cirque du Soliel's OVO. Reviews: Seasons 52, enjoyable but won't go back; OVO, so fun and highly recommended if it comes to your city!

    Cirque du Soliel doesn't let you take pictures, but I scrounged this one of OVO up on google. {Photo Credit}

    Bossdad and The Dot always do it up right- even with my dad having had back surgery a week before and most of the city being snowed in all day!  Thank you guys!

    Oh you know... just your average day grocery shopping at Target in a kilt. I love my stealth grocery store "what-not-to-wear" adventures. Although nothing will ever top the mullet jeans.

    My new friend we met at Smoke over bottomless mimosas. He kept telling me that I looked like Kristin Davis and called me Charlotte all afternoon. Needless to say, he was not straight and oh-so-fun to hang out with!

    I am completely intrigued by this. Bacon & Chocolate Chip Pancakes? I really do think I am going to go back and buy this mix just to try it. I'm not a huge pancake lover, but I do love bacon and I do love chocolate. Seems logical? {Sold at Williams Sonoma}

    Last weekend I partook* in my first ever Crawfish Boil! I can't believe that I have never done this before, especially since my mom has roots in Louisiana and I'm part coonass. ;)

    *By "partook" I, of course, mean that I observed the process with great interest, occasionally poked the live crawfish with a stick, and later on, ate them.

    The chefs showing off their hard work.

    Crawfish for eight. We had a lot of leftovers.

    The boys gettin after it.

    You didn't think you were going to get through a month in pictures without seeing at least one of this cutie, did you? How adorable are those leg warmers? Ever since I used 'Fairy Godmother' as the name of this post, Jodi has adopted that as my official title, which I have to admit- I kind of love. 'Fairy Godmother' just has so much more whimsy and flair to it than simply 'Godmother', don't you think? Me too.

    Happy March, everyone! Spring is just around the corner!!