Tuesday, July 14, 2009

My love affair

Like most people out there, I love to shop. Generally it doesn't matter what it's for - food, clothes, home decor, shoes, whatever - I like it. But thanks to blogger dooce.com I was introduced to Etsy. The most fantastic shopping known to man. I am not even exaggerating.

Etsy has become one of the greatest loves of my life for many reasons. How do I love thee, Etsy? Let me count the ways:
(1) It has anything and everything you could ever want on it
(2) All of it is handmade, recycled and/or vintage
(3) Everything is lovely
(4) You can find items in every price range
(5) Everything is unique

When Mat and I were not in the process of buying a house, I used to devote about $20 every two weeks to a purchase from a select seller on the site. Now, however, I just ogle at all the fantastic finds that come through on the daily Etsy Finds email.

On how I love these emails. I look forward to them everyday. They usually reach my inbox around 10am. And once I see the little (1) in my gmail window, I look to make sure it is indeed my Etsy mail. I then go pour myself another cup of coffee and proceed to delve into the deliciousness of the Etsy finds of the day.

I have purchased items for Birthdays, including this little gem for my sister's birthday and these inscribed cuff links for Mat's Birthday (I had the underside inscribed with "Your girl" and "I *heart* you"). I have also used Etsy to purchase DIY (do it yourself) baby shower invitations, which turned out so cute. And I have purchased many-a-items for myself, including these and this.

I have absolutely loved all my Etsy purchases. They have all been high quality and super cool, fun and unique. But a couple weeks ago I spotted a very special find on the daily Etsy Finds. It was awesome and I just had to have it. I immediately clicked on the shop's profile to find that the item was sold out (by the time I get the email, the promoted Etsy Finds are usually sold out). I was devastated. But I decided to contact the artist to see if there was any way that she would be producing more of these, and if so, would she mind contacting me. She immediately contacted me, asked my size, and it turned out that she had one left. I immediately ordered it and it came in the mail on Monday. Here is my newest lovely.
And you better believe I'm going to rock its socks off.

Check out Etsy ... you will too have a love affair.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


In an attempt to not go home and start eating, I decided to go window shopping. So basically I decided to deprive myself of food by putting myself in a situation where I knew I would have to deprive myself of all the consumer good I desperately wanted to consume.

How is shopping - now wait that is a huge overstatement - how is looking, desperately wanting, a good substitution to not eating? I'm sure anyone out there reading this who doesn't know me is thinking, wow this girl has problems. Well, I'm here to tell you that those who do know me who are reading this will confirm.

But honestly, I am just really trying to be good, both with my money spending habits and my intake of food. But it seems almost impossible to find things to do that don't involve either of these things. If I simply go home, there are pop tarts, cheese (lots of cheese), chips, alcohol ... Must I continue? Listing these delicious food items is just making this process harder. But if I stay out of the house what is there to do that doesn't involve money (or food)?

The gym idea has been suggested, but I am a morning runner. I don't want to go running first thing in the morning and then go to the gym after work. Who does that? Not me. But if there is someone who does this, I think they might be more sad than me.

So why am I depriving myself of everything good in the world? Well, the food deprivation comes from a lot of places. I finally have the activity part of weight loss in place. The part I can't quite master right now is the food part. I am always hungry, but the healthy stuff never seems like a delicious option. So I revert to all above mentioned items. Wouldn't you choose those things too?

In addition to just wanting to be making better food decisions in general, I have a vacation coming up. A vacation where I am going to be surrounded by a bunch of beautiful people. First off, in general I am not categorized as one of the "beautiful people" and secondly, I have to be around these people in the worst weather environment I could possibly be in. Humidity. The bane of my existence. I really don't do well in humidity. I am already a sweater. Humidity just exemplifies that. And I'll be inebriated. Most likely very, very inebriated. So, I figure that I should try my hardest to have as few issues working against me as possible. If I feel fat, sweaty and drunk ... I'm screwed. I think I can deal with two of the three. I have no control over the sweatiness. And I'm straight up not willing to go it without the liquid courage ... so that leaves the fat part that I should be working against.

The shopping, money saving, part comes in play because we are buying a house in a matter of a couple weeks (cross your fingers). I don't want to spend any money I don't have to because I know that once we get into a brand new house, I will want to buy a whole bunch of house stuff. So the shopping will come in time, I just need to be patient, which is definitely something I struggle with.

So there's why I'm depriving myself of all the good things in the world (or most of the good things in the world). But the thing is, even though I am working toward two very tangible situations (a vacation and a house) I still would like to be better at making better decisions when it comes to eating and spending money. So, I need to make life style changes, not just temporary changes. I'm in the process of trying different things and seeing what works and what doesn't for me, but what do you do to stay away from the things that tempt you? What are your tips and tricks? I need all the suggestions I can get.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Hello. My name is Katie Fernelius, and I'm addicted.

Addicted to what you ask? Well let me give you a list of this week's addictions.

Food: Hummus spread on a tortilla. Laughing cow cheese grilled in a tortilla. Edamame.

Drink (alcoholic of course): Blueberry Stoli, on the rocks with a cherry.

Drink (nonalcoholic): Plain old H2O

Place: Grape at Town Square.

Music: Bon Iver. Priscilla Ahn. Radiohead. Regina Spektor.

Books: Currently reading The Non-Runner's Marathon Guide for Women ... Get Off Your Butt and on with Your Training

Movies: None at the moment.

TV: All the trashy stuff. The Bachelorette. Gilmore Girls.

Clothes: H&M panties. H&M nightwear. Torrid skinny jeans. Target women's long wife beaters.

Shoes: Old Navy sandals (closest thing I have to gladiators). Black flats. Old Navy Pin-Up looking wedges.

Blogs: Dooce; Design*Sponge; Girls Gone Child

Thoughts: How to decorate my soon-to-be new house. I miss my dog.

Activity: Running

These change often. I'll be sure to keep you updated.

What are you addicted to?

Monday, July 6, 2009

My first five. Please kill me.

Over the weekend I experienced my first five mile run, which proved to be one of the hardest things I have ever done to myself.

I have never really done anything that has made every part of my body scream, "I EFFING HATE YOU RIGHT NOW! WHY HAVE YOU DONE THIS TO ME?!" I really didn't expect this run to be so hard. And had things gone the way I planned, I don't think it wouldn't have been so bad. But when do things really go to plan?

The Plan: Friday night preparations; map out precise 5 miles route, get running gear together including special running hydration belt and water bottle. Wake up between 5:45 and 6 Saturday morning. And because I was so proactive and prepared the night before, effortlessly begin the big five mile run ... the first-ever five mile run of my life.

The Reality: Didn't leave for friend's house until 9pm. Before leaving, did not prepare map of route or running gear. Upon getting to my friend's house, inebriation commenced. Did not leave until 1am (although I did nap for the last hour of the night and slept in the car while Mat drove us home). Went straight to bed. Alarm went off at 5:45. I rolled over. This wasn't happening. The alarm went off at 6. I reset the alarm for 7. Woke up at 7, immediately went for the Advil. Pulled out my netbook and planned my route. However, I couldn't quickly or easily map out an exact 5 miles, so I opted for the 5.4 miles route - as if I hadn't already done enough harm to my body. Started getting my gear together. Couldn't find my special water bottle. Opted for two regular water bottles, neither of which actually fit into my hydration belt, yet I still wore my hydration belt (I didn't figure out that my substitute water bottles didn't fit until I had rounded my first corner and one flew out ...). Got on the road at 7:30am. 

My run didn't start horribly. In fact, my route led me down a few new neighborhood streets and gave me a few new things to look at. But about 40 minutes into my run (have I mentioned that I am a very slow runner), everything kind of turned. The sun, which was in front of me when I started my run, was now directly above me. No matter where I turned, it was beating down on me and on the hot black pavementI was running on. I was almost out of water and almost out of my Emergen-C (my choice for an electrolyte boost). I had a cramp under my butt and my legs were seriously about to give up.

But there, on the side of the road, when my body was completely ready to call it quits, inspiration struck. Pandora knew exactly what my body was going through and just like that, Britney Spear's "Give Me More" started playing. It was as if the heavens were reaching down, giving me a little more energy to push - something I never could have planned. So I gave it more and made it back home. Only for Britney my friends ... only for Britney. 

For those who need a little push ... Britney says it best:

(Apparently I am not very YouTube savvy. I could not, for the life of me, find the original video with the ability to embed it. So, sorry for the Britney homage.)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Treading in horse manure ... and lovin' it

I used to consider myself the treadmill queen. I would get to the gym, turn on the tunes and rock out with my ... well not exactly. But I do think that I rocked on the treadmill.

I really couldn't imaging working out in any other fashion. I liked my treadmill - fifth one from the left; strategically placed directly under the air conditioning vent; on the old school model that most gym-goers shied away from, but was perfect for me.

I'm not really sure what happened, but I have pretty much done a 180 (or is the expression 360 ... well whatever) since then. Through the past month, over 50 miles (by the way, expect to hear that number a lot ... I'm pretty proud of it and plan on throwing it in as many conversations as possible) I have run only 4 of those over 50 miles (told ya) on a treadmill. The rest have been run on the pavement around the neighborhood. And not only have I been running outside, but I've enjoyed it. Enjoyed it, so much in fact, that those four miles that were run on the treadmill were hell. They weren't even done consecutively. They were done in two, two mile increments. I wasn't on my beloved treadmill from the old days. And things just weren't quite right, but considering what running is like outside, this change is quite shocking.

Let me detail some of the regulars I experience out on the road: one day last week, as I was just getting my run on - feeling the rhythm, feeling the rhyme - I noticed that along my route was a homeless man meandering along. I am not a judgmental person, but put me face to face with someone I don't know, someone who could be dangerous, with nothing to help me should this person decide to hurt/steal/rape/whatever me, I get a little uneasy. This sounds like a pretty negative experience ... one that could have made me want to jump right back on that treadmill, but there was a positive aspect of this experience. I had the fastest run I had ever had.

Another regular ... at least once a week I get some jackass who decides he wants to see how fast fast-drying polyester bend running shorts actually dry. And you know how he conducts his experiment, he proceeds to drive as fast as he feels comfortable toward me, apparently pretending that he is going to run me down, then at the last minute, of course after I have peed a little, he veers back to the road. Let me tell you, those fast-drying polyester bend running shorts didn't get that name for nothing. Remarkably fast - let me tell you from first-hand experience - remarkably fast.

Want another one ... did you know that Las Vegas has horses? Yep. Straight up horse back riding, stable living, hay eating horses. Want to know how I know this. Every morning, as I pass oh about every 10th house, I get hit, smack dab in the face with the smell - the smell of horse dung. And by the time I feel like I'm finally breathing clean, fresh air again, I get hit with it again. It is extremely unfortunate, and it leaves my already hard to breath body gasping for anything but horse manure contaminated air.

So you may be wondering just why in the hell I enjoy running outside more than a treadmill. And honestly, after putting these experiences in writing, I am asking myself the same question. But what I can say is that I have accomplished so much more outside and pushed myself so much more than I ever would have in a gym on a treadmill. Even if it was the most perfect treadmill, located in the perfect place with fresh air constantly blowing right on me, I don't think I would have challenged myself to ever run as far or as much (over 50 miles) in a month.So I'll take the horse dung while pushing myself to run 60 miles next month.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Year Twenty Three

Let me start by apologizing to all my readers for being unfashionably absent from the blogosphere for the past two months. My life has been turned upside down on itself, leaving me a little out of my element and with so many thoughts, I don’t know if anyone out there could make any sense of it.

But with a recently past birthday, I thought what better time for new beginnings.

Twenty three is not one of those years that you hear people say, “That’s a great year.” In fact, after twenty one, you hardly hear that. But twenty three was a good year for me, and because much of the goodness happened away from my blog, I’ve decided to share some of the highlights:

May-June 2008: This is a little before my birthday … but I’m counting it. I officially graduated from undergrad. I had actually finished classes the previous December but couldn’t walk with my fellow graduates (Who schedules graduation 4 days before Christmas … UNLV). Had a huge party at Mat’s parent’s house. This was the first meeting of our families. And the first time I was tipsy in front of my family … yes that is a highlight!

July 2008: Mat and I traveled to Indiana to attend the two-day Dave Matthews Band festival with many of his back-home friends. We camped, got inebriated and watched and listened to great music.

September 2008: I met my new bff Liz.

October 2008: Pumpkin carving party at the house. Many of our friends came. We ate pizza, drank spiked apple cider, and carved some amazing pumpkins. I love my friends. Some of them have moved away, and I miss them!

November 2008: Mat and I went to New York together. I went for work; Mat tagged along. Maybe the greatest three days of my life. It was a much needed trip for our relationship. I loved New York. It was the first time I had ever been to the city, and I hope not my last.

November 2008: I started my blog: JustMeInMyTwenties

December 2008: I truly feared for my job.

February 2008: Mat and I both got acute pneumonia. Quite possibly the most pathetic days of our lives.

February – May 2009: Mat and I decide to look for a house to buy together. This was a long, frustrating, tearful process, but is soon to end with a very positive outcome – we hope.

April 2009: Mat and I celebrated our 4th anniversary. We lived it up at the Stratosphere!

April 2009: I traveled to Montreal, Canada and Dusseldorf, Germany for work. Had a great time. Experienced new places. And even though I had to leave Mat and my animals at home, I got to see them every night, thanks to Skype.

May 2009: Mat and I go from an almost 2,000 square-foot house to a 10x10 room. We moved out of our subleased rental house that we spent the last year in together and into his parent’s house. Things are not bad. But I miss my animals so much and all my stuff and space.

June 2009: Mat and I find a house. Closing date is July 20th. Cross your fingers that everything works out.

June 2009: I start training for a half marathon with my sisters. I have run over 50 miles this month. That is probably more than all the miles I have run/walked, up till this point, in my life combined.

June 25th 2009: I turned 24. Looking forward to another great year!

I know there are so many other events that happened in my twenty-third year, but these are main ones that come to mind. I feel really lucky that this past year was full of good friends, good music, good goals and good times in general.

I don’t want to jinx anything but I feel like the years keep getting better and better. I make better and closer friends who have become my family. I learn from my mistakes and try to be a more complete Katie. One of the most important goals for me is to constantly evolve. To have a good idea what my likes are; dislikes are; what my style is and what makes me happy. It doesn’t matter if the list is cohesive or not. I just want to be content, strong and secure, emotional, physically and mentally. I would be lying if I said that aging does not scare me a little. It does. But the solace in aging is that I like what I see.

Here's to a great twenty-fourth year.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Monday morning music

Monday morning music has turned into Monday lunchtime music. Got caught up this morning and just couldn't get to it. But I didn't want to skip it all together, as this video and group has been on my mind a lot over the past few weeks.

Royksopp was introduced to me by the boyfriend who found them on Pandora. The music and videos have now become a standard in our house. It's just so cool and different. This video in particular just makes me happy. I know there are references to some video game throughout it, but that is not my forte. So I can't say much about that, except that the boyfriend has told me on several occasions that this has something to do with a video game, which one, I can't even remember.

Anyway - check out more Royksopp. You won't be disappointed.