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Some exciting news comes by way of the style blog for which I write — we have a fabulous new and improved site! Instead of StyleDash, it will now be referred to as the StyleList blog. StyleList is the AOL’s style channel, so it’s a really big deal for us to become united. It has a whole new look, and I’d love for you to check it out. Leave me some love in the form of a comment, if you have the time!


Just a reminder that this is my Tuesday at Tonic. Check me out and leave a comment if you like it!

Also, vodka tonic with a lime wedge is one of my all-time favorite drinks, so I think it’s really fitting that I write for Tonic. Now, if only Vodka would come calling. I could write some funny stuff there …

I was pretty lucky throughout my athletic “career.” Aside from a few sprained ankles, I suffered very little in the way of injuries. I mean, I had a lot of owies, and I probably made a big deal about some of them at the time, but I didn’t break or tear anything important.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve stayed active (actually, I’d never run more than two miles at a time until I was 23 years old), and I’ve experienced a few new boo-boos, and each one brings with it a wave of panic — Oh my god, will I ever be able to run again? Will I be able to play basketball and volleyball? Will my fitness level go down and my weight go up? I’ve got a crunchy, gross knee, which, if I ice it occasionally, still lets me do whatever I like, and I had a bout of plantar fasciitis — and that was BAD, but I got over it. But now I’ve got something fun and new. My shoulder. My goddamn shoulder.

I’m thinking that my shoulder saw Kerri Walsh playing in the Olympics with her crazy black tape and decided, hey, that’s cool, I want in on that, because all of a sudden my right should has just decided that it’s not going to work for me anymore. It was a little sore last night, a little more sore this morning, and became HELLA sore later (you know, after I did push-ups and went swimming — the Olympics always motivate me!). It actually hurt so much that I only went halfway through my swim before I gave up, and trust me — I don’t do that.

Anyway, I have an appointment with my friend and chiropractor, Kristin on Friday, so I think I can suck it up until then, but good golly, molly, I am HURTING. And, to rub salt into my wounded, throbbing shoulder (there’s not really a wound — Mom, don’t worry), I’ve been trying not to drink (much) until we go to NYC so I can try to be, you know, maybe a couple pounds lighter, so I’m in pain and I CAN’T EVEN DRINK IT AWAY. Sucks to be me, man …

(Oh, and also? NO FREAKING CLUE what I did to bring this on, just in case that wasn’t clear. No clue AT ALL.)

Jared and I are doing something super fun that you totally want to be a part of. But, you have to go here to read all about it.

So, I know I haven’t really been around much lately, and I’m really, really sorry. I’d like to say I’ve been swamped, and I have been, kinda, doing things like rebuilding and rehanging a fence door (which is HAAAAARD), and laying pavers for a patio (probably hard, but J did most of it while I was out), and hanging curtains and mirrors and pictures and AAAHHH. Where was I?

The Fourth of July weekend got me behind with work, and there’s no better feeling than starting the month off behind, you know, so I’ve been struggling to catch back up. I’ll do it, and it’ll be cool, but for the first time, I’ve had that feeling of, “Sheesh, this job is TOUGH.” Until now, it’s been all,  “La, di da, I’m getting up today and WRITING and it’s LOVELY and la, di da, di da …” Guess the honeymoon’s over.

But, along those lines, I have a new job to add to my resume! I am a content editor for Beauty Hacks, which is a new division of BlogHer, and it’s fabulous. My post will be the first one (assuming everything is working), and it’s going live tomorrow (Tuesday), so, if you have a minute, check it out and leave nice comments!

But, I’ll give you one guess as to where I HAVEN’T been much — the gym. I have such a hard time keeping multiple important things a priority. Now, who wants to motivate me?

As you may have gathered from some of my previous posts, Rudi the Puppy is not the easiest dog in the world. We’ve done obedience classes and tried to train her at home, but she’s continued to be nearly

impossible to walk on leash and she’s eaten several pairs of shoes. Nice shoes. She’s lucky I’m a vegetarian and didn’t turn her into dinner.

Anyway, I decided that it wasn’t fair to her or me to allow the behavior to continue. I hated taking her for walks because she sucked it was so frustrating, and she didn’t understand what I was so upset about. So, I hired a dog behavioralist to come over and help us out.

Gainesville Canine Academy offers a service where they come out and spend 90 minutes with you and your dog(s) and solve all your problems, and we just finished. It was great. Michelle had Rudi walking easily on a leash within five minutes (less, really), and gave us some cheap, easy ways to make Rudi (and Yuki, for that matter) use her mind.

Turns out that thinking is really hard for dogs. Thinking for, like, 15 minutes for them is like us running hard for 30 — it wears them right out. And, wearing Rudi out means she’s less likely to have the energy to eat my shoes. Which means I will keep her now.

And, believe it or not, Rudi actually learned while we watched. Michelle said she had potential to learn quite a bit, which I probably wouldn’t have guessed to start with but I’m happy to know I ain’t raisin’ no fool.

All this means we have to find challenging ways to feed the dogs. Like making them figure out how to get food out of cereal boxes and juice bottles, which serves another purpose — it’s totally entertaining.

Welcome to my think tank. Today, for some reason, I keep thinking of random things that seem like the things that are always a good idea, so, I’m sharing. If you have something better, let me know!

  • Having shopping bags handy. You never know when you’ll need one for holding things like used Kleenex or more shopping bags.
  • String cheese. Anytime, anywhere.
  • Going for a walk with a friend. Exercise and chitchat and outdoors is perfection.
  • A simple, all-purpose dress. There are some days I have to look presentable and have no energy to make that happen.
  • Keeping pre-cut fruit in the fridge. Would I be eating watermelon now if I had to cut it up myself? Hell no!
  • Putting pre-cut fruit in a non-leaky container. Watermelon juice is pretty damn sticky for a fruit made of water.
  • A spare toothbrush. What if yours falls on the floor and it’s late and you’re already in pajamas?

In many parts of Florida, holidays are spent at the beach or at an amusement park. In North Central Florida, one is likely to go to the Springs. It’s hard to describe going to the Springs, other than, obviously, they’re freshwater springs leading to a river. At many of the Springs you can take a tube all the way down the river –yes, there are alligators, but they pretty much leave you alone — and you can bring a cooler of beer with you. The bad news is that you can’t bring dogs.

Fortunately, our friends had friends who own their own spring (how one gets to own their own spring, I have no idea), and they were totally fine with us bringing our dogs. All of us. All of our dogs. We ended up with six dogs there, three of whom had just turned a year old.

We had a ball, even though we cut the hell out of our feet and bruised our legs, and the dogs are so tired today they didn’t even drag me on a walk. Which was completely fine with me.

Also, on the way home, we saw this:

Yep, that’s a cow. In the back of a pickup.

I think Rudi has crossed from being a baby puppy to a toddler puppy. What makes me say this? It’s not that she’s walking precariously on two legs or starting to say words, but she’s definitely entered a new phase.

As a baby, she would pull all my shoes out from the closet and (fortunately) mostly suck on them. There were a few chew marks, but I don’t think she actually ruined any. There were accidents in the house as she tried to figure out exactly where “outside” was (No! Not the kitchen! No! Not the office! Outside!). But it was all relatively harmless.

Well, she ate my mom’s brand new glasses a couple of weeks ago (which she only bought because Rudi had chewed on her old glasses, but the first time Jared and I weren’t there, so we figured it was separation anxiety or something that was causing her to act out — not that that makes the glasses any better. I’m just sayin’.). Then, this week, she ate my phone. No, she didn’t swallow anything, or at least not anything big. But she definitely messed up the phone and destroyed that little card that holds all the phone numbers. And of course I hadn’t saved those anywhere — why would I? They were in my phone.

In addition, as I wrote about in another post, she’s really taken to barking at other dogs on walks. It’s not that she didn’t do it before, but it wasn’t to this extent. She is so lucky she’s really cute and floppity and awkward.

The only reality competition show I’ve ever really gotten into is So You Think You Can Dance. I was a dancer all through my childhood — tap, jazz, ballet, gymnastics, baton — you name it, I did it. And some of it pretty well. So, when I watch that show, I often think about whether I would be able to do that stuff now if I gave it a try.

I now know the answer is a big fat clumsy NO.

My gym has a Hip Hop Live class, and I’d never been able to go before because of my work schedule. But now, my boss (me!) lets me take off early if I finish my work, so I went. A “Learn the Moves” segment started at 5, and the actual class (with a DJ and turntables and everything) was 5:30 to 6:30. Even though I was sure I’d catch right on, I went to the “Learn the Moves.” And I still sucked.

What happened? Has the soul with which I once danced left my body? Or is it that I grew up dancing with a bunch of other little white girls from the country, so in comparison I had some moves? I could Roger Rabbit and Hammer with the best of them! But tonight, I did not have much hip hoppy-ness at all. But, I got a great workout, so that counts for something. And I kind of learned how to crank that Souljia Boy (but I refuse to Superman that ho).

I wonder if I can find a tap class that’s not filled with five-year-old little blonde girls … shuffle STEP … shuffle STEP … shuffle BALLCHANGE shuffle STEP. Yeah, it’s all coming back to me now …

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