Category

ruling at life

How I’m Going to Save Time Doing Laundry for the Rest of My Life

By | how did i just realize this?, laundry, ruling at life, shopping, time and luck, you might learn something | No Comments

lost socks

I bought 15 pairs of these, nine pairs of these, and six pairs of these (in black), and I’m never ever wasting a moment of my life matching up socks again.

Inevitably, my supply of socks will run low again at some point, and when that happens, I plan to replace all of them at once. And that just means I’m going to save money on all the socks I don’t buy when I run into Target “really quick” for cat litter or gluten-free macaroni and cheese.

Want to steal my idea? Here are some decent options for similar no-show, athletic, and boot socks:

If not, you probably need this.

10 Years Later

By | birthdays, blogs, events, friends, lj, memories, milestones, ruling at life, technological enigmas, what have you been doing for the last 10 years? | 3 Comments

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In case you didn’t notice all the celebrating going on around here, this blog turned 10 years old today. Ten years ago to this very day, I spent about three hours configuring my first LiveJournal, wrote a pretty short, pretty pointless post, and rushed out the door to a party.

Then all of this happened. Plus some other stuff.

And here we are, a decade later. At first when I thought about the fact that I’ve been blogging for almost a third of my life, I was surprised. I’m kind of the most noncommittal person I know. But then I remembered that I started writing in my first diary on December 25, 1987 at the age of six. Really, the only difference was that I didn’t have internet access yet.

I used to carry around these little notebooks in my purse. I would write down funny things that occurred throughout the day and refer back to them later when I was ready to type out a post. Then along came MySpace and Facebook to start draining me of all my good ideas long before I could get around to blogging them.

As the internet, social networking and blogging grew up around me, I thought maybe I could make money off my site if I blogged about more products or material objects that people could buy. I was interested in clothes and photography, so I started a second blog to write about style and fashion. I tried focusing on a topic, growing my readership, and “writing for my audience,” but I felt so materialistic and fake. Plus, keeping up with a second blog was like having a split personality. Lots of times I felt like I couldn’t live up to the persona I created on the second blog, but other times I felt completely the opposite — as though that blog wasn’t really living up to me. So, I merged all my favorite posts over to this blog, shut the second one down, and proceeded to have an eight-month-long identity crisis about the name and subject matter. =)

It’s kind of incredible that after 10 years of doing it, I’m not a better, more “successful” blogger. I don’t have thousands of followers, millions of comments or any idea how to monetize this site. That used to bother me. I thought, “People must think I’m really stupid to just write in a blog for no reason.”

But the thing is, I’ve realized I don’t care about any of those things or what anyone else thinks. I’ve always loved my blog for exactly what it is — a random collection of thoughts and anecdotes I don’t mind sharing with the world. Concentrating on one topic is so not my strong suit. Clothes, food and vacations are not what defines me as a person. And as for my audience…no offense, but I don’t really care what you want to read. Because there’s no one on this earth that loves to read this blog more than I do. And if I could only read one blog for the rest of my life, it would be this one. Over and over again. I assume that if you come here, you want to read whatever I write, and I’m the best at writing when I’m writing whatever I want.

That being said, it also turns out having other people write my blog posts isn’t such a bad idea either. I had these grand plans about choosing my 10 favorite posts and sharing them with you, but then I realized I’m way too narcissistic to pick just 10 favorites. So, I delegated that task to some of my favorite friends/loyal readers. I’m getting better at that — delegating. =)

I’m so grateful for all of my guest bloggers over the last 10 days. All your posts made me feel like I was hosting the best party in the world, where my blog was the guest of honor and all my favorite people were in attendance. And since most of you are either expecting newborns, scattered around the country, or way behind on your Christmas shopping, having you all right here was the perfect alternative to celebrating in real life. Cheers to you, my friends. Your words are worth a thousand pictures in this case, and here’s hoping we’ll all be sitting around re-reading them for the next 10 years.

So, there you have it. Ten years, 722 published posts, 1,684 comments, and I have no idea how many views because there was no way to track that until 2010. Coming up next: the usual Year in Review, Final Resolution Update of 2013 and next year’s list. Oh, and whatever the f- else I feel like posting. =)

I hope you’ll stick around, but I’ll still be here writing either way.

Peace out.

Lisa

This crazy trip has got me feelin’: working_sy accomplished
And I’m singin’ along to: She Will Be Loved – Maroon 5

10 Years, 10 Friends, 10 Days: The Inspiration

By | blogs, boys, guest posts, links, lj, memories, milestones, navy, ruling at life, what have you been doing for the last 10 years? | One Comment

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Inspiration
Ten years on

By Stephen DeNoia

The Coastal Chicster.  Baby You Can(‘t) Drive My Car.  Ramblings of a Pineapple Enthusiast. VTJerseyGirl03.  Ten years on, Lisa’s blog is still thriving, still rolling, still scrolling.  Maybe she should get that tattooed across the backs of her shoulders: “Still Rolling, Still Scrolling”, with like an old script, quill, and scroll motif.  On second thought, it might sound like she’s just an internet addicted ecstasy popper.

Lisa asked me to pick my favorite post from her blog and write about it in honor of her 10 year mark.  I was honored, and the very next morning I started perusing through her old stuff because I  knew I would find my favorite buried somewhere in the archives of ’04 or ’07.  But the more I read, and the more memories got conjured up, and the more I noticed the maturity level increase as time went on what I found is that I cannot possibly choose a favorite.  With that being said, if I absolutely had to choose ONE post that is my favorite then I choose post number 1.  The origin post.  The beginning of an era.  The birth of something magnificent, with a title that speaks wonders to me:  “Stephen inspires me…”  It isn’t a long post.  It isn’t deep.  It doesn’t provoke any reader inward into their own thoughts and feelings.  It isn’t even very long.  Four sentences to be exact.  And they are by no means the four favorite sentences I’ve ever seen her write.  The title on the other hand – that’s what gets me.  It gets me every time.  See if you can follow me as I explain my reasoning.

You see, here we have a blog that has made us laugh when we needed to, or stop and think about the state of the country – or even the world – just when we were so content with our everyday lives.  This blog has even moved some of us to tears, happy or sad.  In 10 years, Lisa has gained a strong following and matured into an artful, witty, and talented writer.  Her blog has transformed – no, evolved into an amalgamation of fashion advice, easy living tips, and funny anecdotes all blanketed underneath a healthy coat of plain old good sense.

These days I like to read about her New Year’s resolution updates the most, but I also take a lot of pleasure out of reading about her cats and trips/vacations.  She has also developed quite a knack for photography and the pictures she takes are always worth the extra look.  Even her fashion posts hold some value to me.  As a guy who is engaged to be married, it isn’t the most terrible idea to keep up on women’s fashion.  To be honest, I think my fiancé may have been somewhat impressed with a few things I knew about the subject when we first started dating, all taken from Lisa’s pages.  (Thanks, Sis, ever the trusty wingman!)  Maybe she’ll start doing a few pieces for the guys.

There’s also plenty of fond memories, like the time she came home a little too tipsy for her own good from Bar A and a trip to the Princess Maria Diner, and proceeded to sing Manfred Mann’s version of “Blinded By The Light” as she fell out of her chair, laughing hysterically about how she was “gonna have to write about this in the – hiccup! – the morning!”  I don’t think she ever did get around to it though.  Or the time she accompanied my parents down to Pensacola to visit me after graduation from A-School.  We spent the weekend buzzed on the beach or poolside at the Margaritaville Hotel.  Lisa has always been one of the best people to share a drink with.  Sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes she knows how to relax just right.

Maybe it’s just that I had the chance to be a part of something special, with those late night phone calls about the future of the blog.  But more likely I think that it’s this:  This blog has inspired me.  From tracking Lisa’s employment status during those shaky years in ’03 and ’04, to keeping up with her New Years’ resolutions, I have found myself striving for new heights when I needed to the most.  I don’t think I ever told her just how much her blog meant to me, but it’s something I look forward to reading for a long time coming, no matter what she’s writing about.  So to think that I was able to inspire her, even if it was just that one time, is really something else.  Thanks, Lisa.  Keep “ruling at life.”  Here’s to 10 years past, and 10 more to come.

Feeling:  happyHappy
Music:  All Along the Watchtower- Jimi Hendrix

10 Years, 10 Friends, 10 Days: The Little Cousins

By | concerts, conversations, events, fabio the hamster, guest posts, hot lead singers of bands, las vegas, links, little cousins, lj, memories, milestones, music, ruling at life, what have you been doing for the last 10 years? | 4 Comments

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{2004}

Guest post #2 comes to you from two of the four infamous little cousins. There are actually a lot more little cousins in my family, but I’d bet money this blog wouldn’t exist right now if I hadn’t spent three months living with these cousins in Vegas back in 2004. They were a constant source of entertainment and my inspiration to write every single day while I was out there. Sometimes I posted three times a day just because they made me laugh so hard.

Courtney: Shortly after moving out to Las Vegas, NV my siblings and I were informed that our cousin Lisa was going to be moving in with us for a while.

Kristin: I will always remember when my mom told us that Lisa was moving in with us. We could hardly wait for her to arrive, and all of us kids thought we were so cool, having our big cousin as a houseguest. We were all CRAZY excited, but we didn’t know how awesome it would be. Just the prospect of having our older cousin living with us was cool enough. Like the nerds Courtney and I were, we ran around the block bragging to our neighbors/friends that Lisa was moving in.

Courtney: My little sister’s room was quickly transformed into sleepover central when the bunk beds were put in along with a sweet TV with TiVo, (and, of course, Fabio the hamster).

Kristin: One of the best nights Lisa told us that she had a surprise for us and that she was taking us out for the night. After finding out we would be leaving soon, Court and I scrambled to figure out what to wear.

Courtney: My mom dressed me up in an outfit I would absolutely regret wearing later that night. Let me paint you a picture, I was wearing jeans a black t-shirt with a purple sparkly oversized cardigan. I looked like a Grandma.

Lisa: Oh, you don’t have to paint a picture. Here you go. =)

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Kristin: Lisa did our hair and makeup, and then we were off. Lisa brought us into the House of Blues restaurant, where we ate delicious food and had some killer Banana Pudding for dessert.

Courtney: As we were finishing up dinner, she surprised us with tickets to the Simple Plan/MxPx concert.

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Kristin: It was the best night EVER! When Lisa surprised us with the tickets, and we FREAKED OUT. It was the coolest thing, and we were OBSESSED with Simple Plan.

Courtney: We had been obsessing over Simple Plan for months. Obsessing includes buying trucker hats, patches for the hats, buying posters, buying wrist bands, and blasting music in the car.

Kristin: It’s true. We were OBSESSED with Simple Plan. It was an amazing show, but Courtney passed out for the last band, MXPX. We laughed so hard, because it was so loud, and so exciting, but Court was sound asleep.

Courtney: I didn’t fall asleep for the entire last band! After shrieking and screaming lyrics while Simple Plan performed, it was time for MXPX to take the stage, and it turned out I couldn’t hang. MXPX, quite literally the loudest band ever, were awesome, but I found my mind and body had different things in mind. I wanted to dance and yell, but my body decided that falling asleep during a concert was a better idea—and that was just sad. While I never actually fell asleep, I remember sitting back on the seat for one song because I was so tired.

Kristin: Whatever, Court.

Courtney: Upon arriving home, we proudly told our parents that we were partially deaf from the loudness of the concert, and then proceeded to fall asleep while Lisa wrote a blog entry about our excursion.

Kristin: All in all it was probably the coolest thing we’d ever done while living in Vegas.

Courtney: It was my first real concert and Simple Plan was definitely some of the best performers I’ve seen live.

Kristin: There were a ton of other perks that accompanied Lisa living with us. Courtney, Ellie, and I convinced my mom for a few weeks that Fridays were OPTIONAL school days, so instead of school we went to the Fashion Show Mall.

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Courtney: We would tell her, “Friday this week is optional! I swear we’re watching movies in every class!”

Kristin: Lisa drove us around Vegas while we screamed the words to countless Sugarcult and Simple Plan songs.

Courtney: There really was nothing like screaming “Stuck in America” by Sugarcult to the guards at the gate in our neighborhood.

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Kristin: Looking back now, that was most likely TOTALLLY embarrassing for you L, BUT IT WAS AWESOME for us.

Lisa: Not as embarrassing as the day you idiots started ripping the security stickers off the CDs at Barnes & Noble and throwing them through the detector to set the alarms off. Or the day you wouldn’t stop going up the down escalator at the mall and then I had to take you to Build-A-Bear

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Kristin: Lisa drove us to the movies, she took us out to eat, and she took us to SKYZONE! Wall-to-wall trampolines, you can’t find anything much more awesome than that. We would look forward to Lisa taking us there all week. And once again we thought we were so cool every time Lisa took us out somewhere.

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Courtney: We wouldn’t have done half of the stuff we did if she didn’t live with us. We would have never discovered the trampoline place, or have gone to the concert, or play American Idol by the pool with heels on. It would have been dull without her there.

Kristin: Samantha’s room was the THE PLACE to be in our house, because that’s where Lisa was.

Lisa: The craziest things happened in that room. I mean, what are we doing here? Am I singing into the TiVo remote?

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Kristin: She showed us the ways of TiVo, and introduced us to “America Dreams”, as well as countless bands and songs we’d never heard before.

Courtney: The best nights were when “American Dreams” would be on and all of us girls would be glued to the TV for the hour it was on, or when Simple Plan would debut their new videos on MTV and we would watch them over and over again. It absolutely amazed us that Lisa could rewind live TV — we never had TiVo before.

Kristin: We also watched and giggled as she posted on her LiveJournal every night. The stories on the blog about Vegas never get old. Fabio the hamster is a classic, and it still cracks me up every time.

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(Here is a picture of Fabio the hamster, a brief mention of him potentially being in imminent danger, a long post about him being in imminent danger, and a short post about him being in imminent danger.)

Lisa: You know what else was embarrassing? The fact that I drove around with that stupid tumbleweed in the rear window of the Malibu the entire time I lived there.

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Kristin: I must say though, that the most memorable thing that happened while Lisa lived with us was the dildo incident.

Lisa: Nothing is more embarrassing than the fact we are suddenly discussing a dildo on the front page of my blog right now.

Kristin: I am confident in saying that it was the FUNNIEST moment of my life. I went to college in 2008 and one night we were telling funny stories, and of course, I told the dildo story. I wanted to tell it just right, so I got onto Lisa’s blog and read it from there. Everyone lost it. I could hardly read it though the tears I was laughing so hard. It was just so ridicules. Dinner screeched to a halt when our neighbor, Shelli, came busting through our front door and started shouting for my parents. Everyone though Samantha and Amy must have died or done something terribly wrong, but it turned out that they were outside on their motor scooters with a giant dildo in their hands. Lisa and I decided to stay and eat, but the laughter and screams of outrage from my dad clued us in. We both just sat there laughing while listening to all the yelling.

Courtney: I love that Lisa blogged while we were out in Las Vegas because every time I get bored I’ll click on one of the many Fabio stories, or other memories from Vegas and smile. It was one of my favorite places to live and I love reading about all of the crazy and silly things we did.

Lisa: Here I am blogging in Vegas. Can’t say much has changed. I sit on the couch now. =)

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Kristin: Looking back through Lisa’s blog is like reliving Vegas and all the adventures she took us on. And half the time the stories were so crazy that no one believes them until we steer them toward her blog. That year in Vegas was the most fun out of them all, and I’m not just saying that. It really was, and I miss it!!!! Everyone stay tuned for the crazy stories to come when we get the old group back together and party in Vegas!! (WE HAVE TO DO THIS.)

Lisa: Oh, that is definitely happening. If only so I can document the entire experience right here. Thank you guys so much for this. You two, Sam and Franky are the best cousins a girl could ask for, and I miss you! I can’t wait to see you in a few weeks. =)

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{2012}

Pensacola Flashback

By | boat drinks, catch a wave, florida, food, life's a beach, lifestyle, memories, navy, pensacola, pineapples and palm trees, ruling at life, summer, take me away, the places you'll go, travel | 2 Comments

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What with Friday being National Margarita Day and all, I couldn’t help but take some time to finally go through my photos from last summer’s stay with my family at the Margaritaville Beach Hotel. I treated myself to first class seats on the two flights down (totally worth it), and set myself up for the most relaxing weekend I remember having all year. The real reason for our little reunion in Pensacola was to see my brother graduate A-School at Corry Station, but I’m not gonna lie — the salty, sandy days that followed were the highlight of our trip.

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Stephen’s graduation ceremony was early enough in the morning that we were able to spend a few hours exploring the National Naval Aviation Museum and the Pensacola Lighthouse before heading down to Pensacola Beach for a weekend of fun in the sun.

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Pensacola Beach is situated on the barrier island of Santa Rosa. It’s bordered to the south by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by the Santa Rosa Sound and Pensacola Bay, and to the east and west by Gulf Islands National Seashore.

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It’s no secret that I’m a huge Jimmy Buffett fan, so there was no question about where we were going to stay. The Margaritaville Beach Hotel is gorgeous — stately, even. The decor is inspired by a combination of Jimmy’s music and the ocean, and the overall effect is unquestionably elegant.

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The rooms were decorated in hues of blues, teals and greens, and the bed was the most comfortable one I’ve ever slept on. Our balcony offered us a view of the turquoise Gulf and the softest, whitest sand I have ever seen.

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Once we unpacked, we immediately headed down to the beach for relaxing, relaxing, and more relaxing.

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I lost track of time in a hammock strung between two palm trees on the sand, which was, quite possibly, the best place I have ever spaced out.

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I collected seashells at the water’s edge — something I haven’t done in years.

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I spent an afternoon soaking up the shade on a teak lounger under an umbrella, reading my favorite magazines and catching up with my brother.

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And then I indulged in an oh-so-refreshing shower and these lovely Tocca products, compliments of the resort.

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There was also drinking, drinking, and more drinking. Margaritas by the pool…

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Mimosas at breakfast…

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Landshark in the water…

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Mudslides on the beach…

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Champagne with dinner…

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Boat drinks with my dad…

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A little water to recover…

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And, cheers. =) I think you get the point.

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Then there were the Gulf shrimp. So delicious. I think I ate shrimp with every meal I had in Pensacola.

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Colossal Shrimp Cocktail (above) and Wild American Shrimp & Grits (below) @ The Grand Marlin. The shrimp cocktail is self-explanatory, but the Wild American Shrimp & Grits consisted of chipotle seared shrimp and local boursin cheese grits surrounded by an andouille sausage tomato stew. Amazing with a bit of a kick to it.

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Lava Lava Shrimp @ Frank & Lola Love Pensacola Café. Shrimp breaded and fried then tossed with an Asian aioli sauce. So good.

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World Famous Grits À Ya Ya @ The Fish House. Spiced Gulf jumbo shrimp top a sauté of spinach, portobello mushrooms, applewood-smoked bacon, garlic, shallots,and cream over a heaping bed of smoked Gouda cheese grits. Incredible.

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Our balcony was the perfect place to watch a storm roll in…

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…and roll out. (After a quick nap.)

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We spent a drizzly evening walking along the Portofino Boardwalk. It was a bit deserted because of the weather, but seemed like it would have been bustling on a nicer night.

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After we checked out Sunday morning, we drove east (or maybe that was west?) through the Gulf Islands National Seashore.

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Despite the clouds and kicked-up breeze, it was actually a beautiful, warm day.

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We spent about an hour walking along an empty expanse of soft, white sand with hardly anyone else in sight.

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We snapped a bunch of photos here as our weekend on the Gulf drew to a close.

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These three particular shots (below) are a reminder that these pictures don’t even do it justice. =)

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There wasn’t anyone around to take a photo of the four of us, so I Photoshopped my brother and I into a photo of my parents (below) to give to my mom for Christmas. =)

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And that’s about it. Perfect long weekend.

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Hey, Dad…can we go back? Like tomorrow? =)