Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Insomniac - Entry 121

For some reason, I can't sleep tonight.  And this isn't good.  I don't blog when I'm emotional, or when I'm tired, or when the words don't come out perfectly.

Something bad happened when I was 20.  My junior year at CBU.  I posted a stupid video on YouTube, and it dramatically altered my collegiate career.  If it hadn't been for that stupid video... If I hadn't been awake and punch-drunk at 2 am... If I had deleted it the next morning...

If/Then. *

So since then, I am very careful about what I put out on the internet.  Shoot - I'm careful what I say to anyone at all.  I'm a very private person.  There are only two people in the whole wide world to whom I am an open book about my past.  Mostly because I experienced it with them, and so I can't hide anything!  But even then, with those two friends, with my sister, my husband, I find it extremely hard to be open about my feelings.  Sure, I talk about things in life.  New job, decorating plans, ideas for the future.  But I don't talk about how I really feel about things.  Not that much.  Not as much as I wish I could. 

I get asked what I think about things sometimes, and unless it's arguing about facts (ie politics, or history), I can't do it.  Don't ask me what I think about a passage in the Bible, or a sermon, or about what this book means.  I can't tell you my feelings, because if you misunderstand me, you might never talk to me again.

So it is 1:42 AM, and I am writing this, trying not to reveal too much.  Researching thrift stores.  Listening to so much Adele and Lana Del Rey that I actually cut my bangs tonight.

That is what I do at 2 AM.  I make changes.  I say things that alter my life course.  I cut my hair. 

And that's why I hate insomnia.  Because dealing with the changes the next morning can be devestatingly soul crushing.

I think the bangs turned out okay though.

Image from Instagram.

*Coincidence that this week's Grey's Anatomy is the titled this?  I think not. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012


Yesterday was Matt's first time going to the laundromat. We haven't done laundry in like a month, mostly because we have been sick. We used 10 large washers!! It took almost $30 to wash all the laundry. We really need to do laundry weekly.

I showed Matt how to fold fitted sheets. He didn't know how to find the points. :)

Friday, January 27, 2012

New Job

You guys. After almost 6 months of targeting every admin job a certain top LA university has, and after an interview the day before my wedding, and an interview last week, I can confidently say,

"I am going to have a pension!!!"

Which is a very good thing, and practically my only requirement for a job.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Mr. & Mrs. Cubical Mouse

I have finally been able to photoshop the pictures from the wedding. 
Here are some of my favorites.

This is from our first look. 

My dad - so handsome!! 

The beautiful bouquet Shanna made for me.

The solid dark pink was Gina's bouquet, and the multi-colored is the regular bridesmaid bouquet.

Holding my daddy's hand before walking into the church.

The aisle runner was "i carry your heart" by e.e. cummings.  This is, by far, my favorite project.  It's my favorite poem in the whole world.

The guys.

The girls.

Dad walking me down the aisle.
Look at my huge smile!!

Holding Matt's hand.


The awesome wedding cake made by Aunt Debbie and Aunt Ruthie.


Cake topper.

The food.

Mason Jar drink dispensers from World Market.

The beautiful cupcakes my sister labored over.

They were delicious!

The wedding party.

Mr. & Mrs. Cubical Mouse

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Lazy Girl Cake Decorating

If you need a quick way to decorate a cake, this is a very easy way to do it.


Bake your cake as directed.  I used a spice cake.  Make sure when you bake the cake to spray oil and flour the sides of the cake pan.  After the cake is finished baking, wait until it is slightly warm to the touch before you take it out of the pan.  The cake won’t crack or break apart this way. 


When the cake is cool, frost it.  I used a Betty Crocker whipped vanilla frosting, since my husband hates cream cheese frosting.  I only frosted the top.  When I make 9x13 cakes, I don’t frost the sides.


After that, take a cookie cutter of your choice and position it on the cake.  Use your fingers to sprinkle sugar in the design. 






I used brown sugar to match the spice cake, but a cinnamon/sugar combo or colored sugar would look great.  Or cocoa powder for a dark chocolaty taste.



Once you fill in the design, press the sugar into the frosting, then carefully lift the cookie cutter up from the cake. 



Perfect shapes with minimal effort.  It seriously took me less than 10 minutes to frost and decorate the cake.





Monday, January 23, 2012

Blogging, 11 months

Writing this blog for the past year (11 months) has been pretty awesome.  I’ve gotten to document some major events in my life, and while that has been really exciting and challenging, it’s time for more.


Cubical Mouse isn’t very big.  My readers are mostly people from Facebook (thanks guys!), but CM is getting bigger.  Between Christmas Eve and today, I’ve had almost 700 views.  That’s pretty big considering I got 132 views in March, April, and May combined.  My New Year’s resolution was to grow Cubical Mouse to 1,000 views a month, and this is a fantastic start for 2012! 


I think it’s time to start doing things better.  My blogging consistency is not that great.  I try to write at least three posts a week, and sometimes that happens.  Sometimes it doesn’t.  So from here on out, the schedule is going to be Monday/Wednesday/Friday, with maybe some bonus posts thrown in.  I’m going to post more of my projects and recipe tutorials.  I think it will be a nice improvement. 


I think my major goal is going to be growing Cubical Mouse enough to warrant going to Alt (http://www.altitudesummit.com/)  next year.  I couldn’t justify it this year.  Not only did we not have the money, but Cubical Mouse is just not big enough.  We’re barely a lifestyle blog.  Barely.  But maybe, if by September 2012, I reach my goal of 1,000 views monthly, I can justify going to Alt. 



Happy Birthday Kim!

Today is my baby sister’s 6th birthday! 

She’s seriously the sweetest, bossiest, most wonderful little sister in the world, and I can’t wait to see her blossom into girlhood.

In other news, I am recovered from that awful sinus infection.  Matt and I spent the whole weekend enjoying our new internet and sleeping.  It was delightful. 

I did manage to sew a new bodice for my Easter dress, so that was productive.  I am sewing again, tonight.  I went through all my old fabric, and I have plenty of projects to keep me busy as a bee!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Marriage, Month 1

Today is our 1 month anniversary, and although I have a horrible sinus infection that completely ruined my weekend*, I’m at work (alone today), and I thought I’d take my morning break to write about marriage so far. 

Matt and I really haven’t had that much trouble adjusting to each other.  I think the hardest hurdle has been adjusting to who does what around the house, and getting “alone” time.  I need alone time more than Matt does, so we are working on it.  An hour here and there is just fine for me.** 

Honestly, the hardest thing has been other people.  From snide remarks about our sex life to well meaning sympathizers telling us that their marriage was so hard at first, it’s been a little disconcerting and very, very annoying.  If I want help, if I need advice, I’ll ask.  Otherwise, I’m not really going to dish about how:

  • “Oh, I just hate it that Matt leaves his clothes all over the floor.” (Because that’s me, not him.)
  • “He snores so loud!” (Again, me not him.)
  • “He never makes the bed!” (That’s both of us).

I’m a pretty private person in general.  I don’t talk about my feelings or personal matters.  I have to force myself here on the blog, but I feel obligated to share the truth about the first year of marriage.  So I really hate it when coworkers and acquaintances want me to complain about Matt and marriage in general. 

Because so far?  Marriage is awesome.  (And I’m not talking about the sex.)

*We hosted game night at our house on Saturday, and some people made a few snide remarks about how bare the house was, so I did manage to make it to Jo-Ann’s on Monday to get fabric for some lovely curtains and a few wooden decorations.  I settled on colors for the house – the bedroom is purple, and the kitchen/living room is pink, red (think wine colored), and brown.  We have a black leather couch, but who cares.  So now I am hemming the curtains, and I’ll post pictures when I’m done.

I had purchased red gingham for the kitchen curtains, but Matt is insisting I return the fabric and get some thing else.  I happen to like red gingham, but he is letting me have a very girly pretty house, so I can’t complain too much about having to get different fabric.

** I think Matt doesn’t like to leave me alone because one night before the wedding, he and one of his friends went out and left me alone at the apartment, and I had a panic attack.  But that was more from him being with that friend, since I knew that friend was trying to talk Matt out of getting married.    

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Dreaming of Taffeta

I have been on a shopping hiatus for months.  Since the beginning of last summer, if it wasn’t necessary for the wedding, I didn’t buy it. 


Not to say I haven’t gotten new things.  Gina was cleaning out her closet, and she gave me some purses and makeup that she doesn’t use.  So the past week has been fun, trying out new makeup. 


But I am getting an itch to go shopping.  I would really like a few new dresses, and Julia’s wedding is coming up in March, and I’d like a new dress for that.  I think in February, I’ll be able to afford some fabric (going on job interviews is killing our budget, since I don’t get paid for time off, but I can’t afford to not go on an interview), but until then I am dreaming of taffeta.












Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Knott's Berry Farm Trip

Last Saturday, Beth and I took Mom, Dad, and Kim to Knott’s for Kim’s birthday.  It was so fun to see her on the same rides that Beth and I used to go on.  Mike and Matt were there too, so it was fun to do family bonding.  I’m sure the boys got a little bored, as we didn’t go on many exciting rides, but they were good sports. 

FYI, we had coupons from my work, so tickets were $25 each.  Definitely check with your HR department to see if they have the coupons - it's such a steal!!!

We finally got her to go on the Red Baron airplane ride, but she wouldn't pull the throttle to make the airplane go up.

Mom and Dad

Kim and her ice cream cone, chocolate, of course.

It was such a big cone, it had it's own bowl.  Seriously - a 1 scoop cone looked like a 3 scoop!!  Well worth $4.

Mom and Kim with the bumper cars. 

Beth, Kim, and me... recreating a picture from when Beth and I were babies.

Beth and Mike

Matt (what a good sport he was, once he got his Rockstar!)

Kim on the Huff n Puff ride.

See that really tall ride in the back?  The yellow one with the swings on it?  The highest structure in the OC?  Yeah - my mom went on that.  :)

Afterwards, Matt and I went to Gina's house and had dinner with Josh and Gina.  Gina is moving, and found Play-Doh while packing. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Changes Come to Cubical Mouse

You guys, I am disturbed.

I am disturbed because some people are being unprofessional and ridiculous. Some people are threatening me. I am a bit frightened that, were people to identify me by name and location, I could be harmed.

About six months ago, I got fed up with seeing a book advertised - in the Metro trains, no less - as being "one great American novel." I wrote about how I thought this was a terrible marketing ploy, because quite frankly, the marketing did, and still does, disgust me. I dislike on principle people who claim to write serious books. I don't like it when people use fiction - made-up stories - to change my worldview. By calling this book a "great American novel", the marketing is saying that this is one of the greatest books ever written, and thus, such a thing will probably change my life. (If "The Great Gatsby," a great American novel, tried to influence me, you can bet that this book probably would.)

Here is the link for the book - I'm sending this via email, so I can't link.


Here's the link for my blogpost.


So last week, one of the author's friends must have googled the book's title or the name of the author, and then found my blog. Since then, there have been a series of protesting comments - most of them anonymous - that ranged from saying I need to read the book before I pass judgement to calling me a fool to threatening my life. Yes. Threatening me because I complained about the marketing of a book. Most of the comments I left intact are harmless, the worst calling me a fool.

This whole thing however, has got to stop. It's unprofessional, unkind, and just plain trashy. You can bet a mainstream author would never do the same thing. (Can't see Lisa Kleypas or Orson Scott Card - or their friends - doing the same thing. I'm sure they have far more class.)

The marketing turned me off. I wrote about it. So what? Many people will dislike your writing (which I didn't do) and if people do, that's their prerogative. Unfortunately, if the author had a problem with my writing, the worst way to handle it was to threaten me!! He could have easily written a blog post on his own blog refuting me, and we could have gone on our merry ways, never having encountered the other.

So something's gotta give. I have decided that anonymous comments will still be allowed on this blog, but mean anonymous comments will not. If you want to say something that criticizes me, you need to do it using a valid Google login or name and valid URL. You need to be accountable for what you say.

You can still leave a mean comment somewhat anonymously if your Google login uses a pseudonym, not your real name.

Any threatening comments will be deleted no matter who makes them.

All comments will be subject to review before being posted live on the blog.

Sorry this is how it has to be, but apparently some people are incapable of acting professionally and maturely.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Wedding Expenses, Reviewed

When Matt and I got engaged, we knew we had to get married cheap.  


Originally, I wanted a small (30-ish) person wedding up in Santa Barbara, in a small chapel, then dinner at a nice café.  But Matt wanted a larger church wedding, so after much wrangling and compromising, we decided on a large wedding with a dessert reception.  However, about 3 weeks before the wedding, we realized only about 100 people were coming, and we could afford to serve food other than desserts.  So we did more finangling.  And we spent about $3500 on the wedding. 


Here are some tips for having a very inexpensive wedding.  Now these aren’t for everyone.  Not everyone wants or can do all this.  Not everyone is thrifty.  And we have a lot of friends that helped a lot.  It’s worth a shot.  It’s only a wedding, after all.  ;)


  1. We had the church for free.  Not everyone has this option, but I do know that smaller churches tend to cost very little. 
  2. The photographer was $35 (gas money).  We got a very very brand new photographer off Craigslist.  What work she had done was great, and we took a major chance.  But so far, the pictures look great.  Any problems were purely the lighting, which couldn’t be helped.  Our church is super dark.  We also plan on doing a Trash the Dress session in about a year with both of us, so we’ll get our artsy pictures then.
  3. We paid $0 for our engagement photos.  Again, we used a budding photographer.  True, only about 10 or so were good.  But we have a few to display.   The problem is that I’m plus sized.  Taking pictures on the ground while I’m up high = MAJOR DOUBLE CHIN!  Not so great.
  4. The dress was $241 (www.dressilyme.com) plus $60 for taking it in.  (I did my own bustle – time consuming, but worth it).  Now, the dress fit great when I got it.  But I had to get it taken in (hence the $60), but then the week of the wedding, I LOST MORE WEIGHT.  Meaning the dress didn’t fit well on the day of the wedding.  Oh well.  It’s only a dress.
  5. Made my own veil (about $35, since bought trim and two types of combs).
  6. Made all the decorations – about $1000.  Honestly, I made more than I needed.  And we got like 80 yards of tulle for $20 off Craigslist. 
  7. Used sheets from the thrift store as tablecloths.  (About $30, plus we borrowed some from friends.)
  8. Used vases from my aunts and my grandmother.
  9. Bought my jewelry for about $15 at the fashion district.  Also, borrowed some from a friend.
  10. Bought my shoes as DSW for about $20.
  11. Bought the food for the wedding (vegetarian – less expensive than meat) and made it via help from family – about $400 for:
    1. Punch
    2. Lemonade
    3. Iced Tea
    4. Cucumber sandwiches
    5. Radish sandwiches
    6. Fruits and veggies
    7. Cookies
    8. Cupcakes
    9. Ambrosia
  12. Used paper plates and plastic cups (About $40)
  13. My aunt Ruth made the cake.
  14. Got the flowers in downtown LA for about $90, and then a friend designed them.  They were beautiful.  Definitely worth it!!


Stuff I shouldn’t have done that cost me money


  1. Made my own petticoat – which I ended up not using, and borrowed a friend’s (more poofy).  But the one I made was about $60.  Not worth it – I recommend buying one from China or ebay.  Less expensive.
  2. Bought STD’s – and forgot to mail them out.  About $15 lost – not that much!
  3. Made the boutonnières from ribbon, and they hated them.  So we used leftover flowers for traditional boutonnières.  Lost about $25. 


So in the end, we didn’t lose very much money, and we saved a lot of money by DIY, using inexpensive things, and getting replica jewelry and a dress.  And guess what – we are married!


Pictures are coming within the next week.  Yay!




Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Year's Traditions

Last year (2010), Matt's and my first date was New Year's Eve, and we decided to go to the Rose Parade. Had we not gone, I'm sure our courtship would have taken longer. You learn a lot about a person in 15 hours.

So we decided to make this a family tradition, and go again this year. We got there about 6 am, taking the Red
/ Gold lines to get there. We got a great spot, but the people in front of us decided to stand for the parade, so that was annoying.

The parade was just beautiful. I loved it! Occupy LA had a march afterwards - there were a lot of participants. It was quite annoying.

Getting out of the parade was difficult. So many people decided to take the train back, that they had special buses available too. Well it took our bus 90 minutes because getting through the crowds was so difficult.

Overall it was a great experience, but next year I think we will camp out all night long, have more people come, and get right on the street, if possible. I'd like to see everything next year.