We passed this amazing house while boating the Intracoastal yesterday. It had a gazebo with a hammock in it, and a pool with a waterfall and a slide. There were dolphins frolicking nearby. I’m convinced the Barbie of Topsail lives here (and it should be me!!) Just adorable.

Musing About the Value of a Master’s Degree…

So, about a week ago, I paid off the last of my undergraduate loan (woohoo!) It was painful, considering I had no idea that I’d spent the past 5 years paying off mere interest ONLY, so Chuck and I made the decision to hit it hard and just pay it off in large chunks and eliminate the principle altogether. It stung, but at least it’s over with, and we can enjoy being officially debt-free.

But of course, now I’m thinking more than ever about my “next steps” in higher education. A master’s degree is increasingly becoming the new status quo, and I do feel the need for one, and even the desire (my own ego is at stake here, ha!) I enjoyed school, I’m more focused now, and I would like to expand my knowledge base and work my brain again. Also, any halfway decent jobs I find in this area “prefer” masters degrees (oddly enough), so I honestly think it would make me look more appealing, regardless of how much actual work experience I’ve had.

At the same time, I’m still as fuzzy as ever in knowing what to do with my life, and how much I value a big fancy career, as opposed to just working and being productive and finding happiness outside of work. As discussed before, military life makes this exponentially more difficult. If I go back to the basics (“What do you like?”), my academic interests still lie in foreign affairs, international studies, and the news. I still love that shiz! I could see myself in the CIA, or at the State Department, or at USAID… doing communications, management, planning, or policy.

But of course, those tracks require being in DC, for the most part. Otherwise, they will require travel to all kinds of “exotic” locations that are certainly not compatible with the demands of my husband’s career (you can’t have two tricky ones!!) I may not want to travel like a maniac to far corners of the earth in my 30’s anyway…

So, I’m thinking MBA lately. It may be cliche, but it’s versatile. I can use it if I go back to consulting, and I could use it if I get into hospital or university management (two things I honestly think I would enjoy, and take around with me.) It wouldn’t interest me as much as a variety of other degrees would, but it’s functional, and let’s face it – practicality trumps all at this point! It fits well into the resume I already have, and I’m sure I could use it in a government setting as well.

The other issue is COST. Ugh. I hate the idea of going back into debt – bleeding money instead of making it. School is so freaking expensive these days. I was looking at one program that charges $1500 per CREDIT HOUR. No freaking way. It was a pretty reputable school, but seriously… how low do I have to stoop so I can afford to go? Even the lower ranked schools cost a small fortune 😦

Anyways, as always – just trying to figure out and balance what I want vs. what I need vs. what I should do vs. what Icando vs. what I actually care and don’t care about.  I don’t know why I still try so hard to have a life plan – I should probably just continue to wing it – throw caution to the wind and trust that I’m smart and will get by no matter what winds come our way. Life doesn’t always have to be so by the book…

I mean hey, it’s worked so far, right?

These kinds of memes annoy me so much! While I’m vehemently opposed to extreme dieting and all the “thinspo” crap that I see out there, I am naturally built more like the women in the top row, and have never felt fully comfortable with myself either. I’m coming into my own these days, but attitudes like this don’t help.

Beauty comes in many forms, and all are acceptable so long as your lifestyle choices are healthy. Our culture needs to stop being so critical of the female form(s) overall…and ladies, it starts with each of us (many of the harshest comments come from girls.)

And, I think it’s funny that so many people hold Marilyn Monroe as an example of true, “natural” beauty. She actually had plenty of work done to transform her from her Norma Jean days to the sexpot we know and love today… to include some plastic surgery. And if she was around in the age of tabloids, I’m sure some idiot would be blasting her cellulite. Just sayin’.


“When the Japanese mend broken objects they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold, because they believe that when something’s suffered damage and has a history, it becomes more beautiful.”

Thanks, erlnyc 🙂

For the Love of Leopard Stilettos

A few years ago, I made the most amazing discovery at TJ Maxx: Guess leopard print heels for only $35.99. They had the added bonus of not only being smokin’ hot, but mega comfortable (as comfortable as 3.5-4 inch heels can get, of course.) They were the type of shoes that looked super sexy with a mini LBD for a night on the town, but could also pass for office wear with a toned down neutral outfit, for just a touch of added spice. I knew they were appropriate for work because even the snooty women at work complimented them all the time, instead of turning me into HR (which has actually happened before, for my “color choices”, but that’s another story.)

Alas, after 3 years rocking these heels on a regular basis, at work and at play, I did the unthinkable – I lost them during my move out from my apartment in Arlington. I last wore them for my bachelorette party in Atlantic City, and never saw them again. I didn’t see them moving out, and I didn’t see them moving into my new home in NC. I’m pretty sure they were in a cluster of bags, mostly filled with trash, and I just got them mixed in and threw them out (along with my wedding veil, one week before the wedding, but that’s another story.)

Ever since, I have sought a replacement pair. But, there’s just nothing that comes close. I thought I found it with these sassy little things from ShoeDazzle, but as it turns out, they are far too stripper-ish for the versatile wear I enjoyed with the originals.  Since when does EVERY cute shoe have to be over 5 inches tall and include a large platform?

Sigh. The search continues…

Had another great weekend with an old friend! Mimi and I go back to sophomore year of college, where we were the dorks serving on Brown Hall Council at W&M. We spent junior and senior years as RA’s (pretty bad ones, I might add), then both ended up working and living the yuppie lifestyle in Northern VA, where she still lives and works. She was also a bridesmaid in Chuck’s and my wedding. The weather turned out less than beach-friendly for her visit, but we still had fun with the beach bars, restaurants, and the Pirates of the Caribbean ship in Downtown Wilmington! I’m loving that friends are coming to visit me. I always feel bad when I go up to DC for a visit, and have to squeeze so many people in that I barely get quality time with anyone. So, it’s nice that we are not so far away from home that visits are still reasonable. 🙂