inˈtäl(ə)rəns/ noun
  1. unwillingness to accept views, beliefs, or behavior that differ from one’s own.
    “a struggle against religious intolerance”
    synonyms: bigotry, narrow-mindedness, small-mindedness, illiberality, parochialism,provincialism; More

Intolerance. When you look above at the definition- it’s horrible in orientation. Just the reading of it makes people immediately defensive, at least that’s what I think. No one wants to admit that they could be intolerant- quite the opposite. The irony is that every person I have ever met who preaches against “intolerance” of their fellow man is, in fact, the intolerant! (I felt that sentence needed an exclamation point) Unless you believe exactly what they believe, how they believe it, to the degree and manner of such belief, then they are intolerant of YOU. The Mad-Hatter has nothing on these crazies.

yes. yes you are.

yes. yes you are.

I hate to say this to my preachy friends, but they then become the exact synonym of their very own dictation. It’s kinda funny if you pay attention to it, or it will equally drive you mad.

I have been in conversations where someone(s) claimed to be of the utmost liberal, free-thinking, open-hearted human(s) on the planet. I warn you, these are the worst of the “intolerant” thinkers. When you speak to them, they will yell. Instead of fact or logic, they revert to name-calling and lots of adjectives. Their ability to reject, block and resist, with the force of the Heisman Trophy, even the sound of your voice as you try to interject even the smallest opinion is a gift worthy of that aforementioned award. “You can’t possibly have an original thought! Just agree with me, or I shall continue yelling until you concede! It’s my way or the highway, pal!” It’s these aggressive, knee-jerking, illogical reactions that should clue you into this strange being.

If you are an educated person, then this rigmarole will be clear. If still in the “vulnerable” category, then I give you this caveat: be careful not to fall victim of the persuasion into this dark hole of punitive behavior.

Not to sound like an old fart, but I feel bad for the youth of today. The voices that are carried the furthest through social media are that of the intolerant. The majority of them do not have an interest to believe in God, or any sort of a faith, yet will boast of the anti belief. The voices speak more of hate, fear and insubordination. They guide the masses to gather in support of criminals and push hate and intolerance on those who protect us- without bothering to pay attention to any of the evidence or facts. I don’t know about you, but this scares the shit out of me.

Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit. – Mahatma Gandhi

Where do we draw the line anymore?





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social insanity.

Fun Fact: A third of all divorce filings in 2011 contained the word “Facebook,” according to Divorce Online. And more than 80 percent of U.S. divorce attorneys say social networking in divorce proceedings is on the rise, according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. May 24, 2012

Here is a Forbes article linking Facebook to depression.

Don’t take social media so damn personally! Seriously.

I write this note with so many stories to back up my feelings on it, yet am a hypocrite, as I have been subject to falling for the craziness that sets in resulting from over sensitivity to social media interactions. I’ll admit it. (insert brave face) I’m not ashamed. Side note: totally ashamed to have acted as such. I vow moving forward not to just bitch and give advice, but to practice what I preach.

This morning I wrote up some advice for a friend and I felt I would share. I’m not saying I channeled Hesse, circa 1922 Siddhartha, but I felt inspired. 

Words of advice I learned along the way regarding social media:

  • If people are heated about a topic on a public forum (blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc), it’s probably best to keep your opinion to yourself- unless you are prepared for the heat to be directed at you.
  • If you don’t understand a conversation, stay out of it. Not your problem.
  • If the conversation is not directed at you, stay out of it.  Not your problem.
  • If something is posted on social media that you don’t agree with- ignore it. Not your problem. Do you really want the drama?
  • If you insert yourself into someone else’s conversation- you are actually making the reaction your problem. It is 100% your fault if someone doesn’t agree with your engagement. You should have stayed out of it in the first place. (All together now) It wasn’t your problem.
  • If you do commit to putting it out there for all the world to read, own it.
  • If someone unfriends you on social media, or blocks you from a group or discussion- they were not your friend to begin with and you shouldn’t let it bother you. Have you had lunch with this person? Would you invite them to your Christmas party? No. Then why are yo so upset? They are not as wonderful as you anyway. Move on.
  • Don’t humble brag; It’s REALLY annoying.

I support the friends, colleagues, family and business portion of social media; Sharing life’s happenings, new developments, homes, babies, break ups, work news, pets, relationship happiness and promotions for brands (obviously). I do not support the part that causes drama. Anymore.

For those of you who know me well, will smile at that last word. For those of you who don’t, probably are not meeting me for lunch anytime soon- and can consider themselves unfriended. Don’t take it personally, I know I won’t.  🙂

Keep it simple. I find that when life is boring, I smile a hell of a lot more. Try it. 

the fact this picture existed online when i searched "facebook depression" is just awesome. enjoy.

the fact this picture existed online when i searched “facebook depression” is just awesome. enjoy.

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beauty loyalty, take 2.

Happy Fall! The leaves that peak through my sky-light in the morning are bright with shades of oranges, reds and yellows. It’s stunning! Makes me happy and makes me think of all things pretty. New to my findings are some local, small businesses that I have discovered and will forever be loyal.  I present to you beauty loyalty, take 2.

  1. I’m not afraid or ashamed to admit that I am 37 years old. In fact, I embrace it! I’m happier than I have ever been in my entire life personally, professionally and spiritually. With that being said…37 doesn’t come without it’s “aging” accompaniments.  I decided to start being proactive with my skincare, in addition to my monthly chemical peel and micro from the wonderful making faces, to fight aging before it lands directly on my face.  Trust me when I say visit Ericka. Don’t ask questions, just do it. She is brilliant, wonderful, and you know that old saying “don’t get a haircut from someone with bad hair” (Okay, maybe that is just something I say), well once you look at her- you’ll want whatever she’s having. Trust me. Now, I’m not sending you to Isabella Rossellini circa Death Becomes Her, she isn’t giving you a potion with a warning, she IS giving you the education and foundation to keep your “glow” about you longer than nature intended. 

    screw the natural law!

    screw the natural law!

  2. Wink. No, I’m not flirting with you. It’s the name of a salon in Portsmouth that just had a major lift of it’s own. I’ll start by saying that I am a fan of the blow-dry bar. In Chicago, I would go at lunch, but hadn’t found a good one in NH, until now! While my pup was getting groomed last night, I decided to visit this place that I heard had wonderful ownership and a great reputation.  The rumor-mill was correct! Aside from the fact that my stylist (Ashley Varney- visit her) was probably one of the most interesting, determined and sweet 23-year-olds that I have crossed in my days, the price-point and options list are amazing! For only $35 you get to look and feel pretty damn awesome (if I do say so myself). I added on the deep conditioning for $10.  I’ll tell you, even a day later I can’t stop smelling my hair! It’s awesome. I believe they used the Moroccan Oil product line. Janna will always be my one-and-only with the cuts, but I will visit Wink from time to time from now on for a fluff. You should too.
  3. My last of the day is not a place, but a person. Actually, she’s a bridesmaid in my upcoming nuptials. I have a friend who can literally hang from her ceiling, do that pose where only your arms are holding you up, and is a barre-yoga queen. I am determined to let her mold me into the hottest bride on the planet, but at this point, I have only done the arm exercises she assigned. Don’t judge me, I still run at the gym in my office, but I do need to do more. I know that. I’m judging myself. I digress. She works for a great new company called “Barre and Soul,” with locations in Portsmouth, NH and Melrose and Cambridge, MA. I don’t know how she does it, but she inspires me to do more every day by just reading her Facebook updates in my daily feed. Even writing this I feel guilty I don’t go with her every time she says “take my class!” or “come with me to the 5:30 class!”  In the meantime, my loyalty is to her.

    meet crissy. ain't she cute?

    meet crissy. fun fact: she was mrs. nh 2014

That’s enough for now. I hope everyone is enjoying the start of fall! It’s almost our first Halloween in the new house. Serious question for you: do we decorate the yard to scare the shit out of the kids (of course enlisting Gunnar to help me do so) or do I play nice with the giant candy bars? Decisions, decisions…


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I’m in an “accident prone phase” and I don’t like it one bit. Sigh.

I won’t deny that clumsiness runs in my family because it totally does. My father has had fireworks blow up in his face, my mom face-planted onto a sidewalk and my sister used to get into her own bits of accidents. I have done a damn good job of avoiding it, until recently. I have always believed that things come in 3s- and in this instance I REALLY need to believe that the third annoying, painful, frustrating and downright stupid third thing has already occurred. Meaning: I am safe now. Nothing else can go wrong.

Side note: I use to think that if you get pulled over by police for speeding, that you are solid for a while because you had your turn. I thought that, until I was pulled over 3 times, 3 weeks in a row. You might remember my letter (Well, okay, Laura’s letter) to the great state of Maine? 

I bring you to the phase: I have sciatic pain in my legs. It gets really annoying when trying to sleep, sit still at all, go to the movies, work, drive, etc. Sometimes it’s downright unbearable. I know, I know “stretch more, Katie.” Yeah, no. Won’t happen. I can lie to you and say I will, but we all know I won’t.  Anyway, my father told me to buy this cream: Capsaicin. I have used it and while it burns like hell, typically it’s no issue for me. That is- until the phase started. I took a bath one night after work and applied the cream. No big deal. 15 minutes passed and I found myself standing over the freezer, putting ice on my legs. 20 minutes later- I find myself in the bathtub, with freezing water. All of a sudden, my face is equally burning. Brad walks upstairs because it has been a while since I have been seen. Where does he find me? Butt-ass naked in front of the fan in the bedroom- trying to get the air to blow on my legs that felt as if the skin was burning off of them, bawling. Awesome. And hot. (note sarcasm and the tricky pun I used there) “Did you get it on your face too?”  Yes, Brad. I did. Next thing we have Brad on the phone with poison control, trying to figure out how to make it stop. Note: there is no cure. You have to wait it out. Fanfuckingtastic.

Next portion of my phase was this past weekend. This is about 4 days after the Capsaicin incident. I was not feeling well at all, in fact, I even stopped at an urgent care on the way home from work Friday. Well, carry that feeling into the weekend. You with me this far? Okay, so Sundays are Brad’s “Officer Von Haden” days- leaving me home alone. Typically I will go grocery shopping, clean, do laundry, meanwhile binge-watching Netflix. Usually, I like my Sundays. Usually is over; I did not like this Sunday. 

Gunnar needed to leave for work and he asked me to move my car, as I was blocking him in the driveway. Sure. No problem! Well, my stomach had started to really hurt me. Like stabbing pain. I tried ignoring it, and decided that instead of moving my car, I would go grocery shopping. That made it worse. I got home and found myself laying down, trying to get it to pass. UGH.  My leg pain was making it hard to lay down. I shall wash the dog! This would help.

deep down, i know she loves baths.

deep down, i know she loves baths, despite the face i always get from her.

Washing the dog went fine, but she left a trail of water all over the house- that I could not see. Think black ice on a winter morning, but worse. 

black ice, sometimes called clear ice, refers to a thin coating of glazed ice on a surface. While not truly black, it is virtually transparent, allowing black asphalt/macadam roadways or the surface below to be seen through it—hence the term "black ice".

black ice, sometimes called clear ice, refers to a thin coating of glazed ice on a surface. While not truly black, it is virtually transparent, allowing black asphalt/macadam roadways or the surface below to be seen through it—hence the term “black ice”.

Fast forward to me, walking down the stairs, in flip flops… that hit the water, causing my feet to slide out from under me. The entire weight of my back SLAMMED on the stairs, and proceed to fall fast, SLAMMING me against the front door, one stair at a time.

Julius Caesar would have been disgusted, as I did exactly the opposite of him: I paused. I felt. I CRIED. I think I was hyperventilating by the time I was able to crawl over to the phone and call Brad.  You know that ugly 2 year old cry you never thought was possible past that age? Well, it is. As I am typing this, I feel the pain of my back, butt and the bruising all up my arms.

Feel bad for me yet? It gets worse.

Last night we got home from back-to-school shopping and dinner, and were all watching TV. I decided to get my bunny to snuggle with me before bed.  (yes, an actually pet bunny, this is not a strange nickname I have for Brad). Well, as bunny is being sweet, licking my neck, being the cute little woodland creature he was meant to be, I decide to give him a kiss on his belly. Well, before you think I am giving TMI of my snuggle-session, out of NOWHERE, Mr. Bunny decided to KICK. My face. My eye. I saw stars. Not wanting to draw attention to what just happened- I slowly get up and put bunny back in his enclosure. I then walk upstairs, and proceed to see blood and scratch marks dripping down my face.

Brad had no words when I called him into the bathroom other than, “you want me to take care of the bunny for you?” Nice. And no.

I’m going to go ahead and be more careful for the next few days. You know, until the phase passes.  Scarlet O’Hara said it best: After all, tomorrow is another day. 

that's all folks.

that’s all folks.

UPDATE: 2 days post attack.

#selfie #streetcred #aintnoshameinabunnybeatdown

#selfie #seriousface #streetcred #aintnoshameinabunnybeatdown

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I have been sitting on the details of our California trip for a couple weeks now. How much do I share? I have many pictures that I started emailing myself from my phone, but then I kinda decided I wanted to keep some of those for just us. I know Brad has a plan to print them out, mat and frame them for the newly painted walls in our new home. Perhaps only the visitors will be able to enjoy them. That’s it- it’s decided.  Sorry, in order to see the photos, you’ll have to come for a visit. Don’t worry though, many of you will see them soon enough…

Wanna hear how Brad asked me to marry him? It’s good. It’s messy and unorganized and frustrating and funny, but it was perfect.

Here goes:

Brad had been working with my very talented friend, Tracey, on the design and production of a ring. Tracey owns The Ruby Door in Boston, MA. She was actually a client of mine from 2003-2005, but we developed a friendship and I am blessed to have her in my life still.

Fast forward to the day (July 14th, Bastille Day!): We had been out West for 5 days at this point. We had been to Vegas for two nights, Santa Barbara for two, and we were now on our way north via the PCH. We had decided to go hiking at Big Sur- then spend the night in Carmel.

We had heard about a waterfall, upon stopping to buy a map. Yes- a real map! Side note: there was NO service on the PCH for a good stretch, so we thought we would use this old-fashion way of getting around. Alas- the $15 item just sat in my bag, never opened once. It’s the thought that counts? Instead we took the advice of the locals and “winged-it.” I’d say that was a good decision.

oh hey, julia pfeiffer burns state park.

oh hey, julia pfeiffer burns state park. you’re purty.

There were many people in the area, taking probably the same exact photo that I did, making the area very crowded. We appreciated the beauty of the spot and decided to go up the road to another hiking location. At this point, my attention is focused on the bottle of champagne we purchased at a mountain store the moment we entered Big Sur. Wouldn’t yours?

We found another trail and stopped the car. My heart is pounding. I’m half thinking “this won’t really happen and I am getting in my own head” and the other is thinking “this is it!” Well, we find the trail “Buzzard’s Roost.” We start up it- and realize that it is hidden behind Redwood trees- with no view other than that of bark. It wrapped along the mountain…going…going…going. No view. No opening. No top. Just more trail. Brad starts, “maybe we just go back and find another?” My heart drops. Now, mind you- my mouth had been SHUT the entire time. I pretended to be nonchalant when he wanted to buy champagne. Cause everyone has a bubbly bev while hiking, right? I was quiet; didn’t say a word. I was “cool” and chill. Anyone who knows me, knows this is a VERY DIFFICULT TASK. 

Okay, so there I am, in front of Brad as he is thinking out-loud to go to another spot, one with a view. It is then that I find my face finally matching my head and out comes, “but I thought..” I IMMEDIATELY catch myself (BAD KATIE!!) and shut up. I then try to “fix” it with a, “no, I am sure there is something up here! Let’s keep going!” Right. Cool as a fucking cucumber, Katie.  Brad smiles and agrees that we keep going.

We come across a staircase in the middle of the mountain. Brad decided he was a little hungry. He hands me the block of cheese and asks me to cut him a couple slices. I then hear the words that make my entire body feel a warm sensation: “You know I love you?”

Interior monologue: “Oh my God. He is doing it now. He is going to ask me and I am literally cutting the cheese. I am CUTTING THE FUCKING CHEESE WHILE HE PROPOSES?!”

Here is the play by play:

Me: yes.

Him: Do you love me?

Me: yes.

Him: Want to spend the rest of your life with me?

Me: yes.

Him: (gets down on one knee) Will you marry me?

Me: yes.

I was completely overwhelmed and in shock that this moment was really happening. I can’t explain the feeling of happiness- or the way our relationship has strengthen EVEN MORE since that moment in the woods.

In the car on the way to Carmel, Brad was quiet. “What’s wrong?” I ask him. “You didn’t even cry. You cry at everything and you didn’t even cry!” It made me smile like you have no idea. Damn, I love this man. 

um, hell yes i will.

um, hell yes i will.

The story is kinda funny and perfect- and ours.


Posted in dating, love and relationships, reality, sunshine | 6 Comments

the first 24 hours.

The first 24 hours of owning a home were certainly not boring. I’ll explain in 6 instances.

1. It rained the morning of the close. I had this theory, like some people do with weddings, that if it rains, that must be good luck! Well, it rained. It eventually cleared up, but it was a wet start to the day- which ruined my “really good hair” I had planned on sporting when signing the dotted line 50 times- and also put a little damper in not getting our stuff wet. Bring on the good luck!

2. Most the documents had “Kathleen Schmidt” on them. I pointed out that it wasn’t my name, and I guess this was a big deal. So, other than the fact the closing went smoothly, there was a small delay as they fixed the name. Apparently, Siri has a cousin in PC computers, making typos for all the world to enjoy. 

3. There is a random sheet you have to sign that lists your public aliases on it. Interesting. I signed, but I am pretty sure that I am not the only “K Schmidt” out there, nor did I know I went by “K.” Guess my Men in Black career is done. They know who I am. 

Okay, I will stop boring you and get to the good stuff:

4. The oops I made. We ALL have dealt with service providers before and the complete road-rage-esque feeling when you have to get an actual human on the phone, a bill to be correct or an appointment to be on time. I’m always the one to set up utilities, so let’s call me a pro at dealing with these people and getting a desired result. OR I just yell until they fold. I was on the phone with 3 different people, 2 different times to get my wifi/cable/landline set up, initially. I thought it was set. Done and done- got an appointment for the next day between 8-10am. I was mistaken (kinda).

Fast-forward to next morning. I decide to call and make sure that we were on schedule. I call and get some guy who can’t pronounce my name, barely speaks English, and has no clue where New Hampshire is on a map.  He couldn’t find my phone number in their records, so I gave him the address- while also going up one side of him and down the other with frustration. I’m right, dammit! This is preposterous! There is a pause and the man on the phone gently states, “ma’am Time Warner Cable actually does not service that part of New Hampshire.”  Oops.

I’m quiet. “oh. Time Warner Cable, you say? Ha! I have the wrong number.”  I hang up, feeling like an asshole. Why, you ask? My appointment was with Comcast.

oops o͝ops,o͞ops/ exclamation informal
  1. used to show recognition of a mistake or minor accident, often as part of an apology.
    ““Oops! I’m sorry. I just made you miss your bus.””

5. Karma in the form of the totally paranoid and insulting Cable guy. Now, while I will forever and always immediately say the title “cable guy” in my head exactly as Jim Carrey says it in the movie, I don’t ever expect Chip Douglas to be standing at my door. That being said, I also don’t expect the super insulting, paranoid Comcast man either. Where do I begin? Well, he walks in and only actually seeing the staircase and one room states “Well, this house looks a lot bigger from the outside.” Thanks, jackass. You have seen one whole room, but I appreciate the judgement. He said some other comments while he was there, but I am withholding those, as I am still wounded. Bottom line: he was rude.

“Joe” goes to install the cable, wifi and phone. When he is done, he gave me this very long and angry nervous schpeel about how if I have an issue PLEASE call him and not Comcast. Something about how they dock his pay and black marks on his file. I got the feeling this guy gets more than a few complaints about him. He went on and on and on and on about it for a good 15 minutes. “Put my number in your cell phone” he commanded. “Uh, sure…” I put it in the “notes” section and not the address book. Take that, JOE. 

this concludes our broadcast day. click

this concludes our broadcast day. click

6. The million dollar dog strikes again.  This is how it went: I got home from bringing Brad a snack and running at the gym. All good. I let the dogs go out to pee. All good. I let the dogs in. All good. I fixed the dogs dinner. All good. I poor myself a well-deserved glass of champagne. Alllllllll good. Buddy starts doing the throw-up dance. Not good. I open the door to let him out. Not good. He comes back in. Better. He starts scratching something on his person. Not bad, but not better. I check him out, nothing. Better. I look at his face. Shocked. HOLY SHIT WHAT HAPPENED TO BUDDY! REALLY BAD. His face looked like he was the victim of getting hit in the face during a baseball game.

his modeling days are over.

his modeling days are over.

I race to the store to get Benedryl because Brad thought he must have been stung by something. I look like I’m abusing him in the parking lot, as I am not only trying to hold him down, hold his VERY swollen head, but also open his clenched jaw to put pills down his throat. Took me about 10 minutes, but I was successful. Poor Little Buddy.

In conclusion: I’m having friends over for dinner tonight to show them the new house. Let’s hope the next 24 hours go a lot smoother. Can I please have a glass of champagne now?!

By the way, does anyone remember which boxes I put my clothing in? 🙂 

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It’s official: I’m an adult! Just went through the home-buying process for the first time. Well, not officially, as we close on June 23, but the paperwork is all done and approved. I thought I would run through the process for other first time home buyers, and give some tips for how to make it painless- and perhaps add some things you didn’t consider before. Both our mortgage broker and realtor have mentioned that I should teach a class on “how-to for the no-clue”, so I shall blog instead. I have had friends who have cried through the process, and others where it was seamless. Well, here is my experience.

We will get to decorating, redesigning, moving and Pinterest another time.

Tips from a first-time home buyer:

  1. Make sure you have a team that you trust- and is well seasoned. You can appreciate that your friend’s daughter is trying to build up her client list, as she just got her real estate license, but I’m sorry, she simply will not do for what you need. You need experience, savvy and balls. You are buying a home post 2008 subprime mortgage disaster, so the lenders are going to dig DEEP into your life before giving you a dime. Do you really want a 12 year old helping you with this? That’s what I thought. You need to have a team that has been around the block a few times. My realtor and mortgage specialist are AMAZING at their craft. If you are buying a home in NH/ME- TRUST ME and use these guys.
  2. Make a folder on your desktop to put all forms, PDFs and other information that is requested and sent to you. Save everything here. You will find that being organized and taking one little step to do this will make it MUCH easier, should a file get misplaced and you need to resend.
  3. When they send you forms to sign- print, sign and scan IMMEDIATELY. This way it is done. You won’t forget – and no one will be sitting around waiting for you. I often find that if a part of my job depends on getting information from someone else, I get very unhappy if I have to wait for it. Get it done.

    he who hesitates is lost. -english proverb

    he who hesitates is lost. -english proverb

  4. If you know there are other offers on the house, make your offer at least $500 over asking price- and keep in mind that the closing date your realtor sets might win the vote, not necessarily the price tag. Just ask Jessie.
  5. Make sure you have access to your original employment offer letter or contract. Make a digital copy, put it in the folder. They will ask for this information/proof.
  6. Ask your payroll department if there is an online portal to your pay stubs and to verify employment. Save the last two months from when you plan on closing.
  7. Pay down your credit cards to under 20%.
  8. Don’t buy anything big! Wait until you close to purchase that new furniture, car, TV, etc. I have a horrible shopping habit, so this one was hard.
  9. Be prepared that the appraisal of the house might be less than the asking price. The appraiser doesn’t take into account the market (low inventory). This person is only looking at the value of the home and the selling price of the homes in the area. If the appraisal comes in LOWER than the asking price- then remember that the bank will only give you a loan based on the appraised value. Which either means you have to come up with more money out-of-pocket at closing or you need to negotiate the asking price after you are already under contract- or both. Don’t be afraid to negotiate!
  10. If your parents are going to give you money for the down payment, make sure it is in your account 60 days prior to when the underwriters will see your account, unless they are willing to write a “gift” letter and show the underwriter a copy of their bank account. It’s super invasive, but they want to make sure you’re an honest person and not laundering money.
  11. Be prepared to explain your tax write-offs, and to have to write letters explaining every decision you made on your tax forms. They want to understand how much money you are actually spending and how this affects your income. Got excited you were able to write off a lot last year, so you got a big return check? Well, this is where that will bite you in the ass. I even had to explain how many miles I drive daily. Thankfully, this move brings me closer to work and they liked that fact. phew. 
  12. Get better-than-you-need insurance by a real insurance company. I upgraded to Liberty Mutual– and combined all our auto and home on one rate. It’s more efficient, and while in college and post-college-ignorant-twenty-something years it was cool to skimp on monthly car insurance, this is the real world and you want to make sure the big boys are behind you.  Sorry Flo. It’s not you, it’s me. Well, it might be you a little.
  13. Make sure you get a good home inspection and keep the digital receipt. This will come in handy, as the underwriter will request it. Be prepared that the home inspection will take a really, really long time.
  14. Just because you were “pre-approved” for the home loan doesn’t mean you will actually get the loan. There are still many hoops to jump through before the underwriter will give you any dough. It’s almost like those “pre-approved” credit card mailings you got in the mail in your twenties, when your credit was shit from poor college decisions. You might have the direct mail in your hand, but honey, there is no way you are getting that card. Sowwy.
  15. When starting to plan your move THROW SHIT AWAY. I have boxes of shit I have moved with me since college (I graduated in 2001), I am going to guess I don’t really need that stuff anymore. Just toss it. Purge! I even threw away 8 pairs of shoes. Gulp.  I have not really begun packing yet, but I will soon and the less I have to pack/carry/unpack- the better. Oh shit, I said I would discuss moving later. I digress.

Side note: who is this “underwriter” I keep mentioning and what does that word mean? To the lay people (IE people not in the real estate industry) it’s basically the person who will be giving you the loan. Their opinion matters MOST. This is the determining factor on whether or not you get your home. The realtor and the mortgage specialist work for you- well, the underwriter works for the bank. I shall be sending cookies.

My last bit of advice would be this: Don’t forget to THANK the people who are helping you purchase this home! You have no idea how much work they are doing on your behalf. Most of the time, people are unappreciative and thankless. Well, just be sure to remind them from time to time how much their hard work has meant to you. Be sincere, damnit! We have got emails past 10pm and before 7am from both our guys- that’s working.  We are plan on using food and libations to show our true thanks, but you can do as you choose. I’m sure a note card works just fine- or perhaps hyperlinked contact information in a blog post? 

As long as you stay organized, act immediately and follow directions- it’s really easier than people let on.  Either that, or my A-type personality was actually useful for once.  That’s about all I can think of for now. We close on June 23rd on the new house and cannot wait!  Pictures to come…

click photo for music by none other than the legendary motley crew.

click photo for music by none other than the legendary motley crew.


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buy local.

well, sorta.

well, sorta.

Although the title of this post typically would apply to patronizing boutique mom-and-pop retail store locations and farms, I am going to apply it to a world I deal with daily: advertising media.

I work mostly with the advertising of national luxury retail brands in digital, print and event sponsorships. These brands target the fashion savvy, affluent, educated and classy in a given geographic region. Not to be a traitor to the national media agencies of the world (Leo, earmuffs), and this has NOTHING to do with the creative side of the house, but when a brand is trying to reach a particular regional market, here is my advice: invest in a media planning team who is LOCAL to the region where you are buying the media.  Oh, and while I have your attention: QUIT CUTTING REGIONAL BUDGETS!

It makes sense if you think about it. Which I do. All. The Time. 

being a planner ain't easy, that's for certain.

being a planner ain’t easy, that’s for certain.

Why? Because when you hire a NYC/SF based media agency, 95% of the time, the person planning the media is only looking at demos, numbers, stats and $ (basically a spreadsheet) and has NEVER actually been to the city. They don’t have an emotional understanding of the people. It makes for a very frustrating call for me, the regional media.  That team wants to spread the money nationally- ignoring the small unique markets that make this country a pretty wonderful place.  This causes the regional locations of those retail establishments to lose that local support.

Sales go down, people lose jobs, corporate is forced to “rearrange” internal staff. Boo.

Not to state the obvious here, but each city and state is unique. The people have different styles to which they enjoy their information, surf the internet, spend their money, speak (hello, Baaahston), share loyalties, spend free time, politically hang their proverbial hat, and pay attention to advertising.

Now, this is notwithstanding the benefit to hiring a national agency: the relationships with the media that are utilized to get better rates. If an agency spends $100mil with NBC and they have a new advertiser, who doesn’t quite have the budget of a McDonald’s, the media agency will be able to leverage the $100mil spend in order to cut a deal with NBC.

I have been on more phone calls with media planners, who have no idea how to pronounce the location of where the store is…nor have they been to Boston to see the store, yet they can tell me that one spot is better than another. Right. How can a brand, who is spending 15% on top of my rates, be confident in the decision that planner has made? Seems silly to me.

I am not saying pull national advertising, nor am I saying fire your big planning agencies for that matter, but what I am saying is be a bit more creative with budgets of every size. Put some in the national hat and put some in the regional hats to where you’d like to show support (i.e. where you have retail locations).  This not only creates jobs (no, I am not running for office here) in the local markets, so everyone who wants to work in media planning doesn’t have to move to the big cities, but it’s smart. Perhaps the big agencies could create more small regional offices for a win/win scenario: You have the relationships and the local insight.

Remember this, planners of the world: Regional media is here to help retail locations grow their business, not annoy you with sales calls. We actually want the advertising to work for the brand. If you don’t win, we don’t win. Oh, and when sales grow, YOU look good too. Just saying.

If you want “local” media planning, invest in the locals.




Posted in advertising, complaints, reality | 2 Comments

fifty shades of horrible.

So, as I have divulged previously, I am a reader. I picture the story as a movie in my head and get lost in the words. However, I get nervous when filmmakers decide to cash in on a best seller. Don’t get me wrong, the movies basically raised me. While my parents were working, I was watching movies- yet I just can’t handle a bad adaptation from book to silver screen.

There is one exception: Fifty Shades of Grey.  Now, I know I wrote about my experience reading it, but I never told you my honest opinion on this work of fiction.

Putting all of Stephen King‘s work aside (because there is no need to explain how his cocaine-infused brilliance could never be depicted in film- you all know the films are a shy comparison), and forgetting how most of the fun plot lines in J.K. Rowling‘s Harry Potter franchise were omitted (where is Peeves?!), I actually put effort into forgetting the horrible prose of E. L. James in the hopes that the movie MIGHT be halfway decent. This would be the ONLY instance where the movie could be better than the book. I was wrong. BOTH are horrible.

It has been a while since I read the books. I read all three of them in a week, with the last book taking the longest. I remember actually wishing it would end, but refused to be a quitter. I read until the end and believe I threw it. Done, I say! Be gone with you forever!

Not quite.

Side note: I have a strange memory, where I remember mundane details that no one else would bother. I’m fantastic as a trivia partner, but it makes it hard to slip anything by me. I know they compare “50” to Twilight, but she literally steals scenes and lines verbatim from the Thomas Crown Affair (circa 1999, not 1968) too. It drove me insane reading it. 

This morning Brad had to work early, so I decided to get up and be productive. What shall I do today? I shall go see a movie! I saw that there was a 10:05am viewing of “the film.” Fuck it, I’ll go. I saw Sex and the City and Pitch Perfect by myself, why couldn’t I see this one? I shot a text to Brad- announcing my plans and off I went!

the evidence.

the evidence.

I walk in to the movie theater and immediately feel like a pervert. Instead of going to the teenagers in the little box to buy my ticket, I go to the kiosk. No shame if no one knows, right? Now the thinking begins: do I get popcorn for a 10am movie? I haven’t had breakfast yet, so this counts? I walked towards the ticket-checking chick, who then lets me know that she doesn’t know if it’s good, to which I finish for her “because you are not 17 yet are you?” Inside thought: ahhh, I’m old. I’m that old 30something chick going to see the mommy-porn movie and I’m not a mom! 

I have to say that the previews were better than this movie. There was no chemistry between characters and about 45 minutes in I wanted to leave. I decided to stay. I waited a little longer- this hurts.  The casting was bad. The acting was “acting” (you know, when you can tell they are acting) and I just wasn’t lost in the movie. I didn’t expect to be running out- grasping for Brad to take me after, but I expected to feel something. Nothing. Watching this made me feel bad that Brad wasn’t staring in this movie! Why would I want to watch this cold, young horribly cast character, when I have the real deal at home?

I finally looked at my phone: 12:05! I had sat here for two whole hours and this flick is nowhere near done! I stood up, grabbed my water and left. I will NOW be a quitter with this franchise. This is two hours of my life I cannot get back.

Lesson learned: When every single one of your friends tells you they have no desire to see a movie, listen to them. There is a reason you are sitting in there alone!

I shall now finish my weekend Fifty Shades mortified, ashamed and appreciative that this book is finally behind me.

The End.


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2015 goals.

Well, it has been an interesting year. I thought I would give 2014 a nice tribute by listing some goals for 2015. It’s what you’re supposed to do, right? Some of my items might be repeats from other posts, and some might “not be so original,” but they are my goals. I’ll limit it to 5 right now.

just do it. -Nike.

just do it. -Nike.

1. FIRST AND FOREMOST I am ridding my life of the final batch of toxic people. I am always a believer in the good in people, but time and time again I find myself wishing I had just listened to my gut. Well, no more. No more hatred, drama, lies, yelling, screaming, and general ugliness. Wow, that felt good. I actually feel better simply typing it. Let’s keep going!



2. I will vow to train for and run a half marathon. I have accomplished two 5ks, beating my time each one- AND I even ran 4.5 miles on a treadmill without stopping.  I’m just thinking, if I can find the right playlist I should be golden. This may seem like a silly goal, but in being I was a sprinter, running a mile is a lot. 13.1 I’ve got my eyes on you.  Disclaimer: I will be happy with 10 miles. Just saying.

a run begins the moment you forget you are running.

a run begins the moment you forget you are running.

3. TRULY LEARN TO LIMIT SUGAR INTAKE. I have the world’s worst sweet tooth, and on top of it, baking is my stress reliever. Perhaps I would accomplish #2 if I could swap baking for running? I don’t typically eat my own baked goods, but the fact they are in the house makes it easy to grab one after dinner. I’m thinking Brad will approve of that one, too. I’ll think about it.



4. Make more time for reading. I love to read. I used to read a book a week. I love getting lost in the pages and not putting it down until I am done. I need to make more time to read and relax. I haven’t done that in a while.

5.  Stop letting people take advantage of my kindness. No more. I’m always the first one to offer to do things for people and I really need to learn that “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” REALLY doesn’t work like you want it to.

not a good way to be, people.

what happened to the golden rule?

**BONUS: And EVERY YEAR I strive to love my family, love my friends, and love myself.  But, that’s a given.

my family. my loves. my hearts.

my family. my loves. my hearts. oh, and a really big tree.

Happy New Year!


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