Tuesday, August 31, 2010

"Hey, maybe I should do another giveaway...." CLOSED

A little while ago, I approached Six Under A Tree, and asked them if they would be interested in sponsoring a giveaway on my blog.

They said yes.

AND they offered to make it a review, too.


I picked out my favorite vinyl set, and they sent it to me.

(Sorry, my good camera is still broken.)

(There. Much better)

I really, really, really love how it looks.

Plus? It was really easy to apply.

I've never done vinyl before, and for some reason, I thought it would be more complicated and difficult.

Nope. It was simple. And it looks stunning. Even without the post processing.

Here's what it looks like in their store:

(Their camera is much better behaved than mine)

Now, here is the exciting part.

They are going to give the winner of this Giveaway a $25 gift certificate to their store.


With that, you could get any of these:


(Bird Sitting On A Branch)

(Chu Chu Train)

(Bee World)

(Little Forest)

(Personalized Ballerina)

(Small Bird on a Branch)

(Boys Tag)

(The Sky is Falling)

(One Red Flower)

(Fancy Forest)

Plus dozens of others. A lot of the ones I just showed you are so inexpensive, you could even get 2 or more of them if you win.

And these would only cost you a few dollars extra:

(ABC Train)

(Construction Trucks)


So. Let's get you entered.
Mandatory Entry:

Go to the Six Under A Tree Etsy shop, and find your favorite thing. Then come back and tell me what it is in a comment.

Be sure to add your email address, so I can contact you when you win

If you want extra entries, here are some options:
(please try to leave separate comments for each entry, so I don't miss any!)

Follow me someplace (Life in the Pitts, Facebook, Twitter, etc)

Heart Six Under A Tree on Etsy.

Promote this Giveaway (blog post, Facebook, Twitter, email a large group of people (CC me on the email: laniereeblog@gmail.com)
This giveaway will end Sunday night, at Midnight. It is open to US residents only.

I have a lot of ways to enter. But really, you could win with just the comment. No pressure guys.


Monday, August 30, 2010

Dear Abby,

I'm sorry.

I should have waited until our next hair appointment.

It's just, well, I don't have very good impulse control.

The other day, I was feeling all blah.

I needed a change.

And I was in Target....

I know I should tell you in person.

It's just, your pregnancy hormones might make you crazy. I'm kind of scared.

Or, gosh, what if you cry?? I could never forgive myself for making a pregnant girl cry.

At least, not in person.

And so I'm writing you this letter.

Because when you see me, you might not recognize me...

(I swear it's just temporary dye. Give it a month, and it should wash out just fine)

(also, the box said dark blond. It lied.)


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I am such a loveable person. No, really, I am.

"Helena, wake up. Some friends of ours are having a party, and they invited us."


"Helena, do you want to go?"


"To the party!"

"Noooooooooo. Stoooop."

"Ooh, is it whiny time? I love whiny time."

"Shuuut uuup!"

"Yup, that's my favorite time of the day."

"Kuuurt. You are suuuuch a jerk! I'm in pain from wake boarding all weekend. I can't mooove!"

"Ok, but what should I tell them? That you were sleeping?"

"No, tell them the truth. Tell them that I couldn't stop whining, and I didn't want to subject them to that."

"Well, at least you are honest."


I'm linking this to my sister's meme, Small Treasures Tuesday. Because being married to me is a treasure.

So now I'm wondering...What do you do that drives your spouse crazy?


Monday, August 23, 2010

I didn't know Skittles weren't chocolate until I got to college. I just figured they were brightly colored M&M's. THAT was a surprise...

My family didn't eat refined sugar when I was growing up. ever. Not even at birthday parties.

Turns out the sugar used in candy bars and marshmallow cereal is bad for you. And since diabetes runs in my family, my parents weren't taking any chances.

(this is my adorable little grandma, who has diabetes)

We practically lived at the health food store, and everyone thought we were crazy.

We were way ahead of our time.

I hated it. I mean, I loved being different, and this definitely made me stand out. But I hated missing out on the candy and chocolate and doughnuts that I saw at my friends houses.

I hated going to an ice cream shop, and being limited to the "sugar-free" options- usually just plain vanilla, or chocolate if we got lucky.

I hated that juicy fruit was never an option.

And I hated going trick-or-treating, and then giving all of my candy away.

So I would sneak it, every change I got.

(Why yes, I did identify with Claudia the most).


At the bank, when I was sure my mom wasn't looking, I'd snag a fistful of DumDum's from the dish.

Was that a tootsie roll on the sidewalk? Score.

And that one time, when the mall Santa was in a real life-size gingerbread house? I took a bite. Out of the wall.

I wish I was kidding.

Late at night, when I was devising my elaborate candy schemes, I would think to myself "Someday, when I'm all grown up, I'm going to try everything."

And I did.

Life in the Pitts


Here are a few things I've learned:

Sugar headaches hurt.

One Oreo is never enough.

They aren't called "fireballs" because of their color...

And if there is a dessert table at the party, you know where to find me.

Yup, I've made up for lost time. But it's not really a good thing.

I have no control when it comes to sweet stuff. I don't know if it's the taste or the guilty thrill that makes it so delicious.

Unfortunately, every time I go sugar-crazy, I gain more weight. I'm starting to think the two are related...


Kurt and I have talked about this a lot. And here is what I've we've decided.

I don't think I'm going to forbid my children to eat sugar (it becomes a million times more tempting when it's off limits), but I am going to monitor it, and make sure we eat it in moderation.

But first, I have to work on that for myself.


How about you guys? Do you have a special diet, or know someone who does? How do you feel about it? I want to hear about your experiences.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

What can I say? It was a busy week.

Welcome to my second edition of

This week on Reasons To Lose

I showed you what I ate last week. It was kind of ridiculous.

I helped Kurt become a better person. You're welcome, Kurt.

And then I wanted to punch Jillian Michaels in the face.

(if you participated int eh challenge, be sure to link up!)

This week on the Internet

Remember that time when I shared my top two marriage tips with all of you? Well, Jennifer from South of Sheridan was so impressed, she asked me to guest post on marriage. My advice is that good.

And then my sister Chantel left town and gave me her password. So I did this.

My boss did that. Again.

And then I spent a few hours researching this stuff.

Stuff I wish I could take credit for.

"I am more important than you because i’m writing a novel"

An awesome spam comment

The Love Bomb Project

Her Manifesto

And then this made me cry.

Now, I want to get to know you. Leave a comment, and include a link to one of your best-written blog posts (not your main blog). And then visit the link posted above you.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

This is going to make conversations so much easier.

Me: "Hey Kurt, guess how I introduced myself last week in Relief Society?"

Kurt: "Let me guess: Hi, my name is Helena. lifeinthepitts.com."

Me: "No, but hey, that's a great idea."

From now on, that's my answer. To everything.

"How was work?" "lifeinthepitts.com"

"What are your plans this weekend?" "lifeinthepitts.com"

"Are you pregnant?" "lifeinthepitts.com"

(or maybe "http://twitter.com/LanieRee/status/21595673261" for that last one)

Kurt: "Um, are you sure that's a good idea?"

Me: "lifeinthepitts.com"


Friday, August 20, 2010

Where do you want to live when you grow up?

(I'm feeling very contemplative today.)

I have no idea.

I have always wanted to live in an apartment above a little coffee shop, or a used book store on a quiet downtown street.

Life in the Pitts

Or somewhere wild and beautiful, with mountains and forests.

But I grew up on the beach. This beach. Going to sleep to the sound Lake Michigan's waves is something I miss so much it hurts sometimes.

Life in the Pitts

Still, I want to try Maine.

And Georgia.

Kurt wants to try Kansas.

Life in the Pitts

And Alaska.

Life in the Pitts

I want to try them all.

But I married a (future) dentist. And eventually his income will depend on having a stable client base.

Someday, we are going to have to pick a spot and stay there. Forever.

We talk about this a lot. About what kind of life we want, and how we want to raise our kids.

We want simple, and wholesome. With kids playing outside all summer, and homemade dinners whenever possible.

Something like this.

How about you?


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Well, that was awkward...

When I get nervous, I talk. It's the desperate, fill-the-silence, panicky kind of speaking that is pretty much involuntary. I'll be standing there listening to myself, thinking "Oh gosh, someone needs to stop me!"

It's not pretty.

On Tuesday, I shared my most recent foot-in-the-mouth experience.

And now I want to hear about yours.

A good example would be if that guy from church linked up his side of this story.

And this one. This one counts too.

Or if my mother-in-law read this post.

See? I've shared so many of my finest moments with you.

No it's your turn.


Well, that was awkward

Write a post, and link up below. Be sure to link back, so your readers can come check out all of the other awkward stories.

And here, I even made a button

Life in the Pitts

(using this button is not necessary. But you know you want to.)

I'll leave the linky up through tomorrow. Let's say- Friday night, at midnight.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I'm kind of mad. At myself. And that doctor.

Remember that time when Kurt ordered me to go see a doctor? Well, I just spent ALL DAY trying to make an appointment.

I hate my insurance.

Eventually it was all worked out, and my new doctor emailed me my new patient forms, so I can get started on them ahead of time. Sweet.

Except, I can't remember the dates of my last visits to the doctor.

So I called the BYU Health Center, and had them fax me my medical history.

26 pages later...

So here's the thing. A year ago, I had a pretty traumatic event that I'm not going to go into right now (but probably will one day), and I wrote up the sequence of events in the middle of the night by flashlight so that the next day I'd be able to explain it all to the doctor without forgetting anything.

It was on a piece of torn paper. Which I shoved in my pocket the next day heading out the door.

And the handwriting? Even worse than usual.

The next afternoon I was telling my doctor about my scary experience, and he asked if he could make a copy of that paper, so he could reference it later. I said sure.

A few weeks later all the tests were back and I was healthy and I went on with my life.

So why am I bringing this up now?

HE ENTERED THE PAPER INTO MY MEDICAL RECORDS. That torn, crumpled piece of paper that I wrote on by flashlight? Where I hysterically explained some really creepy things that my body was doing, but that later turned out to be not a big deal? I have a copy of it in my hands right now.

And so does my new doctor.

And my health insurance people.

And that nice lady who faxed the records to me. She's probably reading it as we speak- it's better than a novel.

What the heck, doctor? If I had known that this was going to be passed around like a dirty magazine, I would have at least typed it up. And maybe not dropped it in that puddle.

So, I'm thinking that the moral of this story is get a copy of your medical records. You might find something interesting.

Also? If you are going to use Tampons, do not use Tampax Pearl. Trust me on this one.

(I'm thinking Snopes got this one wrong, because it happened to me, too.)


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sorry you're not memorable. But hey, at least your job sucks.

Yesterday I walked into the break room to heat up my lunch (Spaghettios, baby), and saw a new girl taking out the trash. Wanting to be friendly, I walked up and stuck out my hand.

"Hi, I'm Helena. Are you new here?"

She stared at my hand for a second before saying, "I'm the intern."

I froze.

Crap. Crap crap crap.

I've done this before.

3 times.

I've walked up to this girl on 3 different occasions and introduced myself. I am such a jerk.

"Oh, yeah, I remember. Sorry. You're wearing your hair...." I gestured vaguely to her ponytail. But really, who knows if she was wearing it up last time?

I frantically glanced at the microwave. 45 seconds left. I couldn't just leave.

"...so, you're stepping in for Joel (the janitor) this week while he's in Maine?"


"Well, that sounds like an awesome internship," I said, smiling nervously (Oh man, someone please come along and shoot me). "I mean, it's sure not the internship of my dreams..." I trailed off, a look of panic growing on my face.

"Um..." she stared at me in disbelief.

A few seconds later the microwave dinged, and I grabbed my food and ran.

Until next time, office intern.


I'm linking this to my sister's new meme, Small Treasure Tuesdays. Because reaching this level of awkwardness is a treasure.

Do you have any awkward moments you would like to share? Because it would really help me feel better.


Monday, August 16, 2010

This sounds like Women's work to me. Where the heck is my wife?

Remember last week when this happened?
Life in the Pitts

Well, when I told Kurt about it, he was all "I'm commanding you to go to the doctor."

(No really, he said "command")

We never went to the doctor when I was growing up. We didn't have health insurance, and so I learned to just tough it out (we were pretty lucky, and never had any serious health problems).

So now that I'm older and have (crappy) health insurance, I still have a hard time taking advantage of it.

Plus, what the heck, Kurt? Command??

"Um, no. You don't get to order me around."

"Whatever, Helena. You ordered me to go to the doctor last month."

"That's different, Kurt. I'm the wife."

"What?? I cook and clean and do the laundry. I'm the wife."

....Well. Round One goes to the man in the apron.


I'm linking this to the Glass Half Full party, over at Priester's Peace. Because even though going to the doctor is scary, coming home to the smell of your wife's cooking makes it all worth it. Especially when her name is Kurt.

Life in the Pitts

Friday, August 13, 2010

How To Figure Out Your Bra Size: A Useful Guide From A Qualified Expert

I worked for Victoria's Secret the summer after my Freshman year of college. People at church were shocked.

"A Kaiser Girl is working at Victoria's Secret??"

(I don't get it. You guys know me- of course I would work at Victoria's Secret.)

It was like they expected me to immediately start humping random strangers in the dressing rooms.

(Not that there's anything wrong with doing that.)

(Kidding, obviously. That would be immoral. At least exchange names first.)

I learned a lot of important things that summer:

1. How to stop a shoplifter in his tracks:

"Excuse me! Sorry, but that thong is falling out of your pocket. Would you like me to put it back for you?"

2. How to diagnose the problem in a bra:

"See how your boob is overflowing? That means the bra cup is too small. Nice tattoo, by the way."

3. How to make enemies of the other sales girls:

"Oh hey, it's time for my break! Have fun getting that guy out of her dressing room. She's moaning so loud, it's frightening the other customers."

4. How to reassure a cross-dresser with a perfectly straight face:

"You and your wife want matching lingerie? No problem. Do you two prefer lace, or leather?"

But my most useful life skill?

5. How to measure your chest, and determine your bra size.

And now I'm going to share that wisdom with you.

Before we begin

Take a tape measure. Or a piece of string and a ruler.

Put a bra on. One with little or no padding works best. This makes it MUCH easier to find the fullest point of your chest, which we will need for step 2.

Step 1. Determining Your Band Size

Tightly measure your ribs, right under your boobs. Your arms should be down. If this measurement is an odd number, round up to the nearest even number. Make a note of the inches. For me, it's 31", so I round up to 32.

That's your band size. I wear a 32 (but a 34 fits on the tightest notch).

A note about notches: The problem with starting on the tightest notch is that as you wear it, the material will stretch. If you're starting on the loosest notch, you can gradually tighten it.

If your band size is an even number, you may want to go up 2 inches. If I was a 34, a 36 might fit better. It depends on the stretch of the material.

Do not add 5 inches! That is an outdated method, which dates back to 1930. Back then bra design was new, and that system does not work with the stretchier materials used today.

Step 2. Determining Your Cup Size

Measure around the fullest part of your chest. Do this loosely. You should be able to fit 2-3 fingers between your chest and the tape measure/string. Make a note of those inches. For me, it's 38".

Now, what's the difference between the cup size measurement and the band size measurement?

Here is the equation, with my numbers: 38-31 = 7.

For each inch of difference, you have a letter.

1 inch = A

2 inches = B

3 inches = C

4 inches = D

5 inches = DD

6 inches = E

7 inches = F

And so on.

So yes, I am a 32 F. Try finding that size in a store.

Which brings me to my next point. What if you are in a store, and you fall in love with a bra, but they don't have it in your size?

If you are normally a 34C, you can try a on 36B. The cups will fit, because the cups on a 34C and a 36B are the same size. The band will be a little loose, but you can try it on it's tightest notch, or work some safety-pin magic (ghetto, but semi-effective).

Where most women go wrong.

Because the cup size is directly related to the band size, if you are fairly slim, you may need a large cup size even though your boobs don't look any bigger than average.

The pros of wearing the correct size:

Your boobs will get better support. Which means they will sag less.

(this is incredibly useful. I learned things, and I'm an expert.)

You're Welcome.

Disclaimer: Using this method will tell you what size to try on first. Bra size can be effected by distribution of body fat, back proportions, or a difference in the manufacturers sizing, among other things. There are many factors that interact with your bra size, and I can't predict them all.

 (all uncredited images used in this post have been purchased)


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Shhh! He's coming!

Hey guys, I'm writing you from my iGoogle page, on the blogger widget. And this is why:

He is driving me crazy.



I hate it when work gets in the way of my blogging schedule.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Top Two (or three) Marriage Tips

I'm participating in Top Two Tuesday with The Undomestic Momma. This week's topic is Top Two Tips. How perfect.

Tip #1

So....Turns out fighting over Gchat isn't a good idea. Also, text fighting. Not as fun as it sounds.

The main problem with this kind of communication? You can't tell what tone the words were written in.

For example, when Kurt types "You had better not spend any more money this week", but forgets to add a smiley on the end, it comes across as both patronizing and controlling.

My response? "You aren't the boss of me!" (a classic)

It took us 12 hours to figure out that we were fighting about nothing.

That's my first tip- if are about to get offended, maybe you should make sure you've been insulted.

Tip #2

If you ignore my first tip ("what does she know? She's a newlywed"), at least listen to my second one. Once you are really mad, and filled with righteous indignation, You may decide to go shopping.

Don't take your wallet.

That $100 dollar pair of shoes you've been eying won't stand a chance. It's not entirely your fault- A 3 inch heel in that shade of revenge is so hot right now.

I say grab a $5 bill ($10 at the most), and leave your card at home.

This is especially good advice when it was a text fight, because once you guys figure out the whole thing was a misunderstanding, you're going to feel guilty about your shopping spree. And he might cut back on your allowance. It's not worth it.

Tip #3 (Yes, I have 3)

But if you decide to ignore my second tip, please pay attention to my third one.

If you just have to make an expensive purchase, don't buy the shoes. Head on over to Victoria's Secret instead, and buy some very expensive lingerie. It's just as satisfying, and that way when he finds the receipt, you have a chance at distracting him.

"But baby, I bought this for you!"

(And if you think revenge looks good on heels, wait until you see it in lace and leather).

Who says marriage isn't exciting?


I'm also linking this post to my sister's new meme, Small Treasures Tuesday. Because being married to me is a treasure.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Win a Blog Makeover! (closed)

Hey guys, guess what? Shay from Dumplin Design Studio is letting me host a giveaway.


Before we get to the details, I'm going to have Shay tell you a little bit about herself.


Hi, I'm Shay

I am a stay-at-home mom and army wife who LOVES grahic design. We currently live in Fort Knox, KY but Chespeake, VA will always be our home.

What's with the name?  When our son was a wee little infant, my husband used to call him crazy off the wall names, including his little "Love Dumplin."  I thought this was so cute, that I started using it as well, which kind of ticked off my husband (he likes things to be HIS).  After he deployed, that name just stuck with me and I never stopped using it.  So, the name is in honor of our son, our little love dumplin.


Here is an example of Shay's work:

(click to enlarge)

And you can see more of her work here, in her portfolio.

And now for the Giveaway!

Here is what you can win:

**Be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry. That way we won't miss any.
*If your email isn't easy to find, be sure you include it in your comment!

Optional Entries:

1 Entry: Check the latest works in Shay's portfolio. Then come back, and tell us which one is your favorite.

1 Entry: Follow Shay on Twitter

1 Entry: What are some of your favorite blog design elements? Is there anything you love/hate? Let us know in a comment.

Up to 3 Entries: Promote this giveaway! Tweet it, post it, make it your facebook status, etc.

(Entering once means you could totally win. Entering 7 times means you could win- times a thousand. Approximately.)

Eligibility: Family-friendly sites, worldwide.

This giveaway will close at Midnight on Sunday, August 15th. So be sure to enter before then!


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Weekly Wrap Up

Hey guys, welcome to my first edition of

I came up with a sneaky new plan to get new exercise clothes (sadly, it turns out Kurt is both heartless and on to me).

Then I reminisced about my old life as a door to door salesman. Ah, the good old days.

Next, I was a Supahstah on Mother Of Pearl It Is. This blog is fantastic, and her interview questions were awesome.

And then I started loving myself. Which is very hard to do sometimes.

A few reminders,

Remember when I describes our weekly challenges, and invited you to participate? Well, the linky is up. We would love to hear how you did!

And finally, you have until midnight to enter into the Lee Arthaus Giveaway, and you aren't gonna want to miss out on that.

Happy Sunday everybody!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Excuse me while I go study my summer away...

Kurt: "Um, remember how we signed you up for that Independent Study Class?"

Me: "Oh yeah...."

Kurt: "Well, it expires in 6 weeks. And you still haven't started it."

No problem, right? 11 lessons, 2 midterms, and a final. I could probably wait a few weeks before starting it, and be fine.

Still, I decided to humor him, and check it out.

"Read the assigned chapters..."

"Turn in 11 journal entries..."

"Each chapter contains a series of instructor graded assignments that must be completed and turned in together..."

"There will be three exams: 2 midterms, and a final..."

"Finally, you will complete a Family Analysis Paper. This paper will be 33 pages long, and written in 11 segments. For each chapter you complete, you must write a 3 page paper and submit it to the course instructor."


Maybe this whole "Graduating" and "Getting my Degree" thing isn't necessary, after all...


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Subtotal: $615.91

Hey guys, remember that time when I almost spent $900 on clothes?

Well, I did it again today. And Kurt can't even get mad at me.

I shop online. I go from site to site and fill up shopping carts with awesome deals and expensive clothes.

And then? I close the window, and walk away.

It's therapeutic.

You should give it a try.

In fact, why don't you? Go fill up some shopping baskets, write a post, and I'll add a linky down at the bottom.

Here are some of the items that I didn't buy today

 Pierside Shorts, $34.99

Subtotal: $615.91

Taxes: A really big number

Shipping: I don't even want to think about it

Grand Total: $0.00

And yet, it is was very, very satisfying.


What didn't you buy today?

Write a post, and link up below. Be sure to link back, so your readers can come check out the other items that didn't get bought.

And here, I even made a button

Life in the Pitts

(using this button is not necessary. But you've got to admit, it's pretty awesome.)

I'll leave the linky up through tomorrow. Let's say- Friday night, at midnight.

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