The Adventures of Stinky Sweet:

Sometimes stinky. Sometimes sweet. But it's our life - and it is always good.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Work goodness.

I have spent a majority of this week making contacts at other councils to see what they are doing to retain teen girls in their programs. I know that there are some things that won't translate to our council for a number of reasons - we have a lot of rural areas, we cover a fairly large geographical area compared to the councils surrounding us, etc. - but I also know that there are some councils that are really "getting it right" and I want to learn from them. So, I have had a couple of really great hour long phone calls with some ladies from a variety of councils near us and they have some really cool ideas for events and activities that they are currently using for older girls. One is so awesome that I am going to try to head up to VA to see the weekend event in action to see if it is something we can replicate in our council.

It was such a pleasure to talk to ladies who are so passionate, excited, and driven to make sure that girls have the best GS experience possible. And that these girls stay in the program long enough to get the full benefits of our programming at the older grade levels. I absolutely love my job and on days like this when I can connect with other people who do something similar and love it just as much...well, that is icing on a very tasty cake.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Weekend livin'.

Sorry it has been all quiet here on the eastern has just been mighty busy.

This week at work has - somehow - been especially busy as we are gearing up for summer and trying to finish as many things up prior to most people taking time off this summer. I went in late this morning after "sleeping in" with my guy (a.k.a. listening to the dog bark and my guy snore through it all) and I meant to leave mid-afternoon but just...didn't. I actually got tons done, as is the norm on Friday afternoons when most people have saved their flex time and aren't in the office. Working two positions and trying not to let either slip is tiresome but enjoyable - surprisingly.

I made a quick trip to Knoxville yesterday to interview and hire the final member of our Teen team and I couldn't be more thrilled with out how worked out. We have a great team of positive, energetic, passionate, team-players who believe in the mission and goals of keeping older girls in the program as long as possible. We are already big dreaming with some cool plans for international travel, local events, and fun weekends. Think....culinary arts weekends at camp and campus tours and NYC. It is going to rock. I had about an hour long chat with a staff member at another council in FL and they have some cool ideas that I hope we can incorporate too. I love it when we can share things that work and not reinvent the wheel, so to speak. I have not - thankfully - had any jobs that I truly disliked. Even working retail was entertaining and flexible during a time in my life when that was important. But this - this I love.

My guy is off this weekend - except for a half day of work at the pool finishing instructing a lifeguarding class. I am thrilled that we are going to get to hang out together some and I have been living for this weekend for a while. Family plans for some pool time and a cookout so I am pretty excited.

I'll leave you with this pic of my guy and his friend A at the race from last weekend. A good trail half-marathon and these two still look great at the end - how do they do it??

Photo credit: Mark McKnight (event photographer)

Monday, May 13, 2013

May Birchbox!

It is always a good day when you open the mailbox and see this:
Oh yes - it's May Birchbox time!!

So this is the first open. I like the bright colors and the first thing I notice off the bat is the tea samples. I am going to love these and love sharing them with my tea guy!

amika Nourishing mask - I don't think that my hair can have enough conditioner - ok, maybe it does get a little greasy if I go overboard - but I am really excited to try this out and see how it does. It says it can even help repair split ends - bring it on Amika!

These are Runa brand the tea samples - there are actually 4 individually wrapped tea bags inside but note to self: these are what they call "caffeine rich" so all that caffeine I have been trying not to drink might just get blown away. If I share these then it won't be as bad, right??

I am pretty interested to try this Marvis brand toothpaste. It is an import from Italy and it smells clean and minty. I have pretty specific desires when it comes to toothpastes but I will try anything once.
This is the Coola brand facial moisturizer with SPF 30. It is cucumber scented and I already busted it open and used it on my hands. It has a really light, clean scent and doesn't leave a greasy residue, which can happen sometimes when a lotion has that much SPF in it. I think I might really like this!

Finally, the Sumita brand color contrast eyeliner. I saw their other products and some of them are VERY contrasty (think lime-ish green) so I was worried that I would get an eyeliner that I wouldn't ever use. Thankfully, my beauty profile has me listed as "classic" instead of "trendy" so I got a safe black/kohl color! I also used this on the back of my hand and it went on like a dream. It is a super soft pencil and smudges easily to a nice line; much easier to put on than other pencils I have tried.
So, there you go! Another fun month of Birchbox goodness. I can already tell you that I will love a couple of these products so it was a pretty good haul in my opinion! Love!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

A little update.

It was a really busy week at work. Two of my days were spent in meetings in Knoxville and while they were actually super productive, it means I didn't mark anything else off my TO DO list. We had a big fundraising event last night so yesterday was spent at a site-based program at a local middle school then running around crazy preparing for that event. It turned out to be nice though not as well attended as we would have liked.

I finally settled down and bought tickets for our trip to DC this summer for the conference I am presenting at. I actually got a better deal than I thought we would by changing the days and times we are travelling - flexibility is key - and flying into Baltimore instead of one of the DC airports. There is a bus that will take you straight to the Metro train so it should be pretty painless. Either way, mom and I will be together so we will have a good time finding our way. We are actually staying with a friend of mine from Girl Scout camp days so I am really excited about seeing her (and checking out the trapeze/aerial school where she teaches!!) I only signed up for a couple of classes at the conference so that mom and I would have some time to check stuff out and she wouldn't have to entertain herself too much...

Chad is off work this weekend and I am not working for the first weekend in a while. We have big plans to do laundry, clean up the house, and hang out together and I couldn't be looking forward to it more (seriously!). We are doing Mother's Day dinner tonight with his parents so we won't have to be out in the crowds tomorrow so that should be good too...

Sunday, May 5, 2013


Since one of the pieces of my new job is supervising a position that coordinates events and travel for teen girls, I am going to get to take advantage of some fun, new experiences. Since I think it would be unfair - potentially even inappropriate - for me to "claim" the paid chaperone position for all of our upcoming travel experiences, I will have to choose the ones that I am most interested in and just pay for my own way. For example, we are taking a trip to the Grand Canyon next spring and I signed on to chaperone! I am super excited! The Grand Canyon is one of the things on my bucket list and it is obviously on my mom's too because she signed on to be another chaperone for the trip. We will spend about 5 days out west - one full day rafting the entire canyon (35 miles! it is the only company that has motorized rafts so they can do the entire length of the canyon which normally takes 5 or so days on a human/paddle powered raft), they will airlift us out of the canyon to the rim for some good views, we will spend one day horseback riding, another one hiking, etc. It is basically an entirely outdoor trip and is going to be a crazy awesome experience. I can't wait to travel with these girls!

As Girl Scouts, we are also members of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts - a worldwide sisterhood. This WAGGGS group has world centers in England, India, Mexico, and Switzerland, and a new mobile center in Africa (it changes countries). This past New Year, our council took a trip to the center in Mexico and we are planning a 2015 trip to Switzerland. My goal for teen travel is to get to all of the world centers in the next 5-6 years or so and then repeat the process. I might not sign on for Switzerland but I will definitely be signing on to chaperone India whenever that happens.

Have I mentioned how much I love my job? I think I was made for this. I know it is long hours and I probably commit too much to it (heart, emotion, weekends, nights, time away from my guy, etc.) but I can truly say that I love what I do. And I totally believe in the Girl Scout experience for girls - teaching them leadership skills - life skills - that will guide them no matter where they go.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


For background, my sister lives in Atlanta and my parents live in Columbus. That means, my parents are about 3+ hours from me but only an hour and a half from my sister. Periodically, they meet in the middle and get together for lunch or brunch and I am always really jealous. I truly love living in Chattanooga - my life, my job, my home, my husband - but I seriously and deeply miss being close to my parents. As I get older, I realize how much I treasure them so I am a little sad when my sister tells me that she is going to get to spend a couple hours hanging out with them.

So, my sister texted me yesterday and told me that she was going to get to have lunch with them today and it made me superbly jealous. I checked my calendar, thought about it for a while, and decided that what-the-heck, 4 hours round trip wasn't too far for lunch with my parents! I got up this morning at 5:20, threw on the clothes that I laid out last night, and headed towards Atlanta. I am so glad that I don't have to make that commute every day because the traffic was so terrible and made me cranky. I got to my sisters around 8am and we headed farther south together. Mind you, my parents don't know that I decided to come with her - fun surprise!

We got to Newnan and waited a few minutes for their arrival and I was pretty darn excited to see them. It was actually pretty entertaining because it seemed like they couldn't figure out why I was there for a know, that look on your face when your brain is processing....processing...OH...HAPPY FACE! I am glad that my can't-keep-a-secret sister was able to keep my secret and that I got to hang out with them for a while today. I love those 3 folks...

Once I got on the road back to Chattanooga I was pretty tired so I pulled the music up too loud/windows rolled down bit to get me to the office (yep - still had to go to work). Thankfully, my flex scheduled allowed me to NOT feel guilty about taking most of the day off but I had a meeting that I couldn't miss this afternoon. I worked a little late then headed to the gym where I had a super sweaty/rear kicking workout. I hope to sleep really well tonight. :)

Came home and made myself dinner - trying to get protein sources without eating much meat - and not really any red meat (lots of reasons) so I am experimenting with quinoa. My first experiment was learning how to pronounce it (keen-wa) then I made it yesterday for lunch. I did a cold salad with it - tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese, and a lime vinaigrette which turned out really good! Tonight I did a warm bowl of Asian veggies, extra added edamame, and some Asian inspired salad dressing with the quinoa and it was super good. An easy way to get my fix of Asian food - and that is saying something for this girl that could eat it 7 days a week. Anyone else out there experimenting with no/low meat intake and have any suggestions?