25 February, 2013

Nautical cuff bracelet

I finished it! Ahh I'm so happy, it came out even better than I imagined. I don't have too many pictures of the process because once I started I had my hands covered in glue and it went kind of fast...but here's a poorly worded breakdown, with fewer pictures than I had hoped for. Enjoy!

First off, though, let me remind you of my inspiration...these gorgeous Chanel Resort 2013 bracelets. (Here's the one picture source I could actually find, they're all over pinterest but most of the links are bad.)

And here's my take:

I used a really sturdy cardboard piece from an old roll of tape for the bracelet base...it was kind of small so I cut it open to make it a cuff. Then I measured it, and cut a piece of fabric that was approximately 9" by 5½". (The bracelet part was 2" wide, and I wanted the fabric to wrap around it almost three times...back, front, then back again, if that makes sense.)

You can sort of see what I mean in this picture. Of course this is after I glued it all...I just used some Elmer's glue with a few drops of water added to make it easier to paint on (I used a paintbrush). I started on the inside, spread glue all the way along the inside, then placed the fabric on top, and then went over it again with glue. Then I did the front part the same way - it was a bit of a challenge to get the fabric folded over the top, and keep it straight along the inside since I did it all at once instead of doing one piece at a time and letting them dry. (Which, in hindsight, might have been easier, but I had poured too much glue and I was trying to use it all at once so it didn't dry out.) Then, I folded it back down on the inside, and spread a few more layers of glue on there.

I let all that dry for a few hours, then went back and added the anchor charm onto the front with hot glue.

And then I let that dry overnight, and now I have an awesome new cuff bracelet, made for free because I used stuff I already had lying around.

Linking to:

Not Just a Housewife's Show Me What Ya Got

24 February, 2013

Spring projects & weekend words

I've been feeling more productive the past few days...I've managed to organize a lot of stuff in the bedroom, vacuum 90% of it, pulled out all my warm weather shoes, (even though the weather still isn't cooperating...which is cool, I don't mind extra winter) and even have a few spring projects to work on this week.

First up is a simple hem, but a major update...I bought these as pants last year, and then cut side slits, but only ended up wearing them a couple of times. I decided yesterday to cut them into shorts. There's still about a 3" slit on each side, and I like them much better now!

I'm also hoping to find time to make a bracelet...based on these gorgeous Chanel bracelets from the Resort 2013 collection:

Here's a sneak peek at what I'll be using for mine:

I'm actually pretty excited about that, I've had that scrap of seersucker for a while, but couldn't ever seem to find a project that seemed good enough to use it on...same goes for that anchor charm. A friend of mine gave it to me a while back, it used to be a clip-on earring, but it's long since lost the clip, and I don't have the pair anyway.

One more fashion trend I've been craving for spring is a good pair of lace shorts. I've had my eye on this pair of alice + olivia ones, but was pleasantly surprised to find these really similar (but more reasonably priced) ones in the new Pearl by Georgina of Marchesa collection at J.C. Pennys! I'm hoping to get them next month.

Here's a side-by-side comparison of them:

...Pretty sure I can find plenty of things to do with the $335 that I'll save!

Our weekend has been pretty uneventful...as usual. Well except for Josh creating his own little fiasco last night/this morning. He got drunk, and I went to bed, and apparently some weird stuff went down but he doesn't remember anything. I think I'm happier not knowing.

We walked to Family Dollar this afternoon because we forgot dish soap while we were at the grocery store yesterday, and tonight Josh grilled steaks and a lobster tail, and I made the saffron & lobster mashed potatoes. They were good, but not $36 dollar good. The saffron threads didn't seem to add anything special. I may make them again because we still have a bunch of saffron left, and I really don't know what else to use it for, but I think I'll have to mess with the recipe some...maybe add cheese. I don't know. I feel the same way about the spicy shrimp dip I made last night. Good but not great.

Anyway, on the menu this week are a couple of new dishes (superfood salad, and pineapple pepper pork chops) along with some of my recipes (spaghetti, crock pot jambalaya, and almond crusted cod). Not as adventurous as last week, but that's ok.

Still doing good on my goals for this month. Should be able to finish the month with only having bought 4 things, (sunglasses, a skirt, and two sports bras) and with a decent weight loss. (Not quite 10 pounds, but that was a long shot for a 28 day month anyway.) So far, five pounds this month, so if I can bring it down one more by the end of the week, that'll be perfect! Hopefully my knee will stay calm and I can get in my normal amount of workout time this week.

Well for some reason (oh, maybe because I'm on my 4th cup of Mio for the day) I have a ton of energy, so I'm going to go use it productively...or just dance around the living room. Whatevs.

23 February, 2013

Friday things.

Last week, on Sunday, I told Josh to go through the list of recipes I have and pick some out for the week. Then, I made a grocery list based on that, and he went to the store and bought everything. What I did not anticipate, however, was that he picked a large number of meals that yield leftovers...so now we only have to go replenish a few things for this next week, since we still have some frozen meat, and leftovers. Crazy. I should have realized this years ago. I have forever revolutionized grocery shopping.

Tomorrow night we're actually going to have a pretty fancy, and rather seafood-heavy, meal. Spicy shrimp dip to start, and steaks with saffron & lobster mashed potatoes on the side. I'm really excited!

The doctor visit went really well today. She actually concluded that I'm not bipolar, which was nice to hear, but then she said that I am delusional, which, apparently, is it's own diagnosis. I knew I had delusions, but didn't realize it was it's own disorder. Anyway, that plus anxiety NOS is what I have. Pretty sure she hit the nail on the head, though, because she actually read me the definition of each diagnosis and it was one of those, "Oh, hey, that's me!" moments. (Well, minus the exclamation point, I guess.) We talked for a long time, longer than any other doctor has ever talked to me (usually after one or two questions they hand me a prescription and show me the door) so it was really nice. I feel really comfortable with her, and I'm glad that it seems like this is going to work out. I have two more appoints with her, plus one with the actual psychiatrist (who, she warned me, will hand me a prescription and show me the door, but it'll be in conjunction with talking to her so I'm not worried.)

Just so I have a picture in this post, here is part of what I wore today. Alice + Olivia cashmere striped skirt, black tights, my Uggs that I swore to never leave the house in (it was cold and I was running late!), and you can kind of see my purse (Michael Kors) with it's fox fur keychain. (I pet it when I'm nervous.)

Do you have any idea how hard it is to get the smell of shrimp off your hands after you peel and de-vein two pounds of them? IMPOSSIBLE. My hands smell disgusting.

While we're on the subject of Annoying Things...my sunglasses are HERE, in this town, but I won't get them til Monday because Fed Ex is stupid. (Well, I think, I don't really know if they deliver on Saturday or not.)

I got inspired to make a bracelet today! Unfortunately my desk is still a horrific mess so it may be a couple of days before I get it cleared off, and work up the nerve to open my Giant Box of Fabric, but I promise it'll happen this week.

All those empty boxes from the gluten-free stuff I've been meaning to talk about are still in my kitchen. They're stuffed in a large bowl, and they get moved around at least once a day, but I haven't really been inspired to talk about them since I've cut out processed food for the time being.

Sometimes I get really sad about the fact that there is so much beauty in the world that I'll never get to experience. I mean, even if the whole world just stopped, right this second, and I never slept again, and spent the rest of my time alive just wandering the earth and experiencing everything this amazing planet has to offer - I still couldn't fit it all in.

"Getting old is a fatal mistake."

22 February, 2013

On working out


When we got our kettle bells, Josh and I looked up a bunch of videos to get started; we figured out proper form, and learned a pretty good variety of exercises, then sort of put together our own personal routines, and have been doing those ever since.

I focus mainly on swings, and try to get in as many of those as I can. I started with 100, by doing five sets of 20, then moved to four sets of 25, and then upgraded to 120 swings by doing four sets of 30. Today I upped the number of swings I do at once to 50. I thought I was going to pass out during that second set! It was intense! I think I'll do one more set of 25, then call it a day. (That's not all I do, though, that's just what I do the most of. I also try to get in about 50 reps of various arm exercises, as well as doing a few non-kettle bell things, like squats, jumping jacks, leg lifts, etc.) Right now I'm still using the 20 lb kettle bell - once I work up to more than 200 swings I plan to move up to the 25 lb one and start back at 100 swings. Or whatever feels right at that time.

So far I've lost 7 pounds. (Well, since I weighed myself and started keeping track. That was on Jan. 14) I think that's pretty decent progress for 5 weeks. I know that it seems slow when I watch people on The Biggest Loser losing much more in much less time, and I know that if I put in the effort and worked out 4 hours a day I might see numbers like that, but I don't want to. I want to focus on a lifestyle that I can maintain for the rest of my life. I didn't gain an extra 50 pounds in 5 months, I gained it over 5 years...and while I certainly hope it doesn't take that long to come off, I think that 10 months to a year is a much more reasonable time frame. I'm not going to stress out over it.

I can feel a change already, in my arms, and in my stomach. My muscles feel more toned, and I feel...taller, almost. Like my arms and legs are longer. I know that doesn't make sense, but it's how I feel. And it feels good!

My lung function is also improving, which is great. When I was a senior in high school, one of the things that happened during The Unexplained Illness was both of my lungs collapsing halfway...leaving me with, essentially, one lung worth of breathing capacity. A few months later, when we moved to Arkansas, I lost my little breathing machine that was helping me improve my lung function, and so I just kind of used that as an excuse for the past 7 years...I can't run because my lungs are broken, can't do cardio because my lungs are broken, and I'm so tired of it! I know very well, and have all along, that I can do breathing exercises on my own to improve my lungs, and that physical activity is good, and also helps, even when it hurts. I've just been lazy and scared of a little bit of discomfort.

I'm finding, though, that getting back in shape after so many years of being out of it, is all about being comfortable with being uncomfortable. Pushing your body to it's limits isn't always fun: it's painful, and exhausting, and sometimes even scary. But - it's worth it. It's worth it because the alternative is lying in a hospital bed, sick, scared, dying, and knowing you could have prevented it. It's worth it because the end result is a body that can run, jump, lift, swing, dance, and hike, comfortably.

Anyway, I just wanted to document all of this, because at any other point in the past, I would have already given up by now. I always thought that if I wasn't losing 10 - 15 pounds a month then why even bother. I'd get discouraged, and think that I must just be destined to be fat. I know, I know, but it's true, that's really how I'd feel. This time, though...it just feels different. There's no impatience, no feelings of discouragement because I didn't lose 100 pounds overnight. Even my motivation is different - I don't have any illusions about growing 5 inches and turning into a willowy supermodel. I know that's not how I'm built. Instead, I'm going for fit. I'll always have solid, muscular legs, thanks to both my mothers genes and my years as a gymnast. Might as well make the most of it!

I am not looking forward to going to the doctor tomorrow later today. I know that I need to, because no matter how much I want to be able to control my sickness with a healthy diet, it's really not up to me. And that's not my fault. So, I'll go, and I'll explain all my weird delusions, and hope that maybe there's some way they can fix me. I'm going to show up on less than five hours of sleep, though, so I may go in there and sound so crazy they just lock me up. DO THEY STILL LOCK PEOPLE UP? I feel like that's outdated, but maybe it's just kept quiet. Great, now I'm really worried. THANKS, INTERNET.

21 February, 2013

Nothing in particular

I have this very intense love for Arkansas in the summer. I love the humidity, the way you walk outside, even late in the evening, and immediately your clothes stick to you and sweat beads form at the base of your neck. I love the sound of hundreds of bugs, thick and loud in the lush, green trees. I love driving around at night with the windows down, feeling the hot air rush by. I like tank tops, sundresses, sandals, and having a reason to wear sunglasses all day long.

I do miss the beach, though. The one truly awesome thing that the valley had going for it was it's proximity to the beach. Long summer days spent with your toes baking in the burning hot sand, your hair dry and unmanageable, drinking lukewarm water to try and stay hydrated. But it was worth it, every uncomfortable second. For the glorious nights, eating fresh seafood, drinking frozen daiquiri's, walking along the strip and listening to the sounds of happy people. 

And yet despite all of that, I've always had this desire to live somewhere cold. Particularly Maine. I think my mother instilled that in me, she's always talked about having a cottage on the coast in Maine, and now I want that too. (I also read a lot of books that were set in Maine.) Two years ago, before Josh and I moved here, one of the other places I was considering (well, besides Portland, Maine) was Ithaca, New York. Not exactly cottage-on-the-coast, but still the recipient of long, harsh, white winters.

I guess maybe it's because I really love experiences and adventures. I grew up in a place where, even on the coldest day of winter, you would still wear a t-shirt and flip-flops. I didn't see snow until I was 16 and my mom and I went to Pittsburgh over our winter break. Even then it was leftover snow that was already on the ground - no snow fell during the time we were there. So while I can't say I'll ever reach a threshold of experiences with hot days, I do feel like I'm lacking experiences in the cold/snow.

This past Christmas we had about 8 inches fall, and despite the fact that we lost electricity for two days, and I had to change three times throughout the evening because snow kept falling and I kept ending up soaked, it was amazing and I loved every second of it. I stood in it, ate it, jumped in it, threw it at everyone and everything I possibly could, and missed it when it finally melted. I would say that I like extremes, but I love fall just as much. The changing leaves, the crisp evenings that follow warm mellow days...wearing tights, sweaters, and boots.

I don't know. I love it all. I really and truly feel like I can (and do!) appreciate whatever the weather throws at me. I know for a fact, though, that I couldn't live anywhere that has long stretches of time where there's no sun - even if it was balanced by times where there was no darkness, that is the one thing I couldn't handle. I need the sun, just like I need the moon and the stars.

That was kind of random, huh?

Man, my knee has been hurting for the past week, and it's making me really mad. I don't remember any one incident that could have caused it, it was more of a gradual pain that came on over a couple of days, and now it hurts really bad sometimes, but not at all other times. It's weird times, too, like I can't sleep in the position I'm used to, because it hurts, and I can't sit with my leg tucked under me, and if I put it up on the foot-rest while I'm watching TV, I have to keep it straight - any time I twist it sideways even slightly, it hurts. But today I did my kettle bell swings with no problem. Squats hurt if I go all the way down, but otherwise, anything that keeps it straight seems to be painless. I just don't know what to do. Stupid knee.

The only other problem I have is my collar bone. I cracked it years ago when a fridge fell on me (just...don't even ask) and never got it set, and the other day while we were outside playing baseball I sort of aggravated it. It's so annoying! It also has weird things that will make it hurt. So, again, I can still work out, but can't do other normal stuff like look back and up at the same time. Ugh.

Maybe if I just keep my work-outs light (because swinging a 20 lb kettle bell is light, right?) then my body will chill out.

Whatever. I'm going to bed.

20 February, 2013


Last year I pinned/posted a lot of 'around the house' type things, home-improvement projects and the like, and that was cool and all (still is, I mean), but for some reason I just feel like this year of my life is going to be geared more towards fashion.

I think it's what I've always loved, but for some reason was too scared to really express. I don't know if that makes sense. Like, when I was younger, obviously my parents bought my clothes, and I wasn't that great at shopping. I read Lucky, and Teen Vogue, and would cut out stuff I liked and paste it onto printer paper and make 'inspirations sheets' (aka mood-boards, and now, pinterest), but my style has always been sort of eclectic, and a lot of times my interpretation didn't turn out the way I imagined it, and I'd get frustrated and just end up wearing jeans and t-shirts from ropa, and spending the majority of my shopping budget on nice purses and shoes.

In the past few years, though, my justification for not expressing my love for fashion has been more superficial: I've felt like I'm too fat to deserve to wear nice stuff. I know that's kind of ridiculous, but it's true. I justified it all sorts of ways, mostly by claiming it was a tactic to save money (which, if you know about my addiction to Marc Jacobs sunglasses, you would know is not in my character.) Now, of course, I realize that I've had it all backwards; wearing nice things at any size is what gives you confidence, because feeling like you look good really does make a huge difference. Of course I would figure that out after losing weight, and while on a shopping strike. Oh well...I guess the up side to it is that I don't have too many things that I'll be conflicted about having to get rid of, or worry about altering.

What really sucks, though, is that while I feel like I have finally identified my personal style, and come into my own, so to speak, I can't do anything about it at the moment, because I am still losing weight rather consistently, and should continue to do so for the next 8 - 10 months (ideally), so I don't need to spend money on really nice stuff that I won't be able to wear for very long. (Sunglasses don't count. Those will fit forever.)

Well, on a completely different note, do you like how I talked about things being weird, and the next few months being...unpredictable, and then proceeded to post nearly every day and not mention any of that again? Haha! Well, the two Situations are still looming, but the unpleasant one turned out to be a little less unpleasant than we first thought, and the second is still exciting, and still in the works, but...well, there's really nothing we can do about either of them now...other than cut back on our spending. Which we're bad at. Really bad at.

One thing you should never do, apparently, is type 'Marc Jacobs' into the search box on pinterest...because you will, inevitably, buy something. And even if it's on sale, it's still probably moderately expensive  absolutely necessary for life and a totally justified purchase.

Sorry, I think my dogs disgusting fart muddled my brain for a minute there.

Since Aaron was here the past few days, him and Josh have been joined at the hip so I've been doing my own thing (when I wasn't cooking food for two humans that can really put it away!), which has mostly consisted of dumping a lot of junk from my childhood, and designating even more stuff to be donated. I did, however, manage to pack away all my winter boots (ironic, since we're under a winter weather/ice accumulation advisory over the next couple of days) and vacuum approximately 2 square feet of my bedroom. It's progress. I did a lot of laundry and a lot of dishes, so don't judge me!

When I was in high school, I would let people write on my pants. It started with one boy (duhh) who drew a skull (♥) and then, in an effort to disguise my insanely obvious favoritism, I had to let other people write/draw too. And then it became my trademark, and everyone had to write on me. (I would like to say it never got weird, but it kind of did, and I kind of liked it.) Well, the point of all this is that I found the one pair of pants that managed to survive, and am conflicted on what to do with them. I'm pretty sure no one out there wants a pair of pants that says 'This leg belongs to Fred" on the back left thigh, or "I CRAP PURPLE!" in purple sharpie...on the butt. And yet I can't bring myself to throw them away...they're so much more valuable to me than the normal stuff like yearbooks or even pictures. I think I'm keeping them. Ugh. Now I just need to figure out how to fold them up tiny enough to fit into my memory box.

Ever since I opened up and talked about my past, I've slept better, and not had any more weird dreams about where I grew up. I'm glad I got it all off my chest; it really was about time, I guess. It's amazing how immediate the reaction was. Two weeks ago thinking about that place would have made me angry, scared, and probably given me an anxiety attack, but today I am indifferent; it's there, I know some people there, but it's just a place; it can't hurt me, it never could, and I am not defined by it.

Wow, it's almost 5 am. That really snuck up on me. I should probably get some sleep.

19 February, 2013

Random thoughts pt 5

I don't understand the fascination with British accents...or any accents, in general. Not in a "those people need to talk better English" kind of way, just in that I don't find them sexy, or exotic. I'm just kind of indifferent to them, really.

While I was cleaning out the storage room this past weekend I found a box of stuff that my mom had given me from when I was little. It had some of my rock collection, a weird straw hat that I got when we visited relatives in New Mexico, a pair of ruby slippers that my mom made me when I was obsessed with The Wizard of Oz (when I was 3), a bib that I guess was mine (eww), and my first ballet slippers, among other stuff like birthday cards and postcards...and I threw it all away.

I had to wake up at 10:45 today...so I'm exhausted right now. That is incredibly early for me. I have to get up even earlier on Friday, though. I probably should just go to bed, but I wouldn't be able to fall asleep anyway.

On the menu this week: those amazing stuffed bell peppers, again! They're just so great. Josh also asked for a repeat of the jambalaya I made on Tuesday (my own recipe, maybe I'll share it someday), steaks as the main course for some saffron & lobster mashed potatoes, (sorry, don't remember where I found that recipe) and I'm trying out two new ones, both in the crock pot. One involves beer, brown sugar, and kielbasa, and the other is beef carnitas tacos. Very excited for both, I love crock pot recipes...they make my day easier.

I got the most amazing grey striped maxi skirt at TJ Maxx on Friday. It is perfection. I, on the other hand, am a hobbit, so I have to take it up a couple of few inches before I can wear it.

I really like the way I've been feeling the past month. Not only physically, but mentally as well. I truly believe that having a purpose when I get up every day (even if it is just to cook our meals and clean up afterwards) is keeping me from falling into another pit of depression. It probably helps that (almost) everything I cook is pretty healthy, too. Even though I haven't worked out the past couple of days because I hurt my knee, I just adjusted my calories and am still logging everything, and staying just below my goal.

My dog weighs 143 pounds. He is a monster! (Actually he's a giant spoiled baby who slobbered on everyone who would let him at the vet's office today.)

My brother got engaged! I'm very happy for him and his fiancé, Marla. She's awesome, and I'm excited to have her be a part of our family. Also? I finally have a niece to buy girly things for.

In case anyone isn't aware, saffron threads are...kind of pricey. I had never bought them before, and I was a bit surprised when Josh returned from grocery shopping yesterday and told me that them and the lobster tails were the two most expensive things he'd bought. (Ironically, they're going in the same dish. Guess we better savor it!)

It stormed pretty crazy here today, and I was on the phone with my brother when it started hailing. I hung up immediately and ran outside to pull the car in, but by the time I did that it was mostly over anyway. And then I was just cold and wet and angry.

I found this dress at Dillard's on Friday. I actually kind of liked it, I just thought it was a bit much - I'd have preferred it as a skirt. Or tights!

And since I keep talking about food and health, but not really giving too many examples of what I'm doing, here's my food log from today. This is a pretty typical day. (Although I actually came in below my total daily calorie goal, and both my fat and protein goals, and went over on sugar, but I'm not really strict on that since it's mostly natural.) Also, the 'snacks' category actually depicts my dinner. I try to follow the rule of thumb to have breakfast be the largest meal and then work down from there to having dinner be the smallest...so my dinner everyday is a smoothie. Most days if my calorie total was that low (I aim for about 1550) I'd have a snack of some sort to raise it, but tonight I'm just too tired to put in the effort...

(You can see what I meant when I said I get a lot of fiber.)

I noticed while skinning (peeling?) almonds today that the empty skins look like cockroach wings, so I think I'll find a way to use them come Halloween. I'll probably just end up scaring myself though.

Part of me wants to go full-paleo next month, but another part of me thinks that while it's do-able, it's also kind of selfish. I don't want to force Josh into it, he's already been really understanding with me having to give up gluten, and he's cut his eating out almost completely now that I'm cooking at home everyday, and I don't want to mess that up by restricting even more, and forcing him to fend for himself. I mean, it's not like I'm eating unhealthy - my intake of processed foods is minimal, and my intake of fast food is cut out completely, so I think I'm doing ok. I may just keep doing what I'm doing, maybe throw in a 10 day juice cleanse while he's out of town (but oh man, cleaning my juicer is intense) and just wait it out.

I decided to go with major side slits on my velvet 90s dress. I figured if I don't like it after a few wears then I can change it, but shortening it feels too permanent.

Ok...I think I'm going to go find something to do that involves less effort. (Yeah, I'm that tired.) And cold, I need to go close the windows.

15 February, 2013

Everybody loves my baby

Wow it's been a long time since I've listened to the Doors. Glad that's being remedied right now.

You know how they say that admitting you have a problem is the first step to...uh, solving it? I guess. I ususally  just hear that admission part. Anyway...we went to ReStore. Again. We took a pretty big bag of stuff, and we actually had a purpose today. (Wait, that's what I said yesterday too, huh? Hmm...)

A couple of weeks ago I had mentioned to Josh that instead of trying to play the Valentine's day game, and out romance each other, or go out to a crowded restaurant and spend money unnecessarily, we should do something fun and different. I told him to pick a movie, and we'd recreate the cover. He mentioned a few different movies over the past few days, but didn't have anything definite until today...so, again, we rushed to ReStore just before they closed. I managed to find a pair of white Keds, and then we had to go to Wal-Mart to try and find a baseball bat. I also found an off-white sweater on the clearance rack that I grabbed, and then we rushed back home take this before the sun went down.

In case you can't tell (no worries, I had never even heard of this movie before today), it's Bull Durham. It was pretty hilarious taking turns setting the timer on the camera and then running back to the car...there are quite a few blooper pictures, and I'm glad that sweater was cheap because it did not survive. But we had a lot of fun!

Then I cooked dinner while we waited on Aaron to get here, and the craft room got neglected just a little bit longer. Luckily we're all night owls so even though it's still only like 90% done, I've still got a couple of hours. I'm doing some laundry, too, while I can. We have a lot of plans for this weekend.

Tomorrow we're taking Aaron to TJ Maxx, so I think I'll probably manage to stay away from ReStore. Then, tomorrow night is Joshs first gig here in Hot Springs! He used to play a lot more when we were in Austin and the music scene is...more active. It'll definitely be a lot of fun to see him back in his element, doing what he loves to do for fun, rather than working. I'm still in the process of deciding what to wear, as if I'm not going to be in a dark club all night, hiding in the back and taking pictures. Haha. Oh man, that reminds me, I have to remember to charge my camera battery. The one I have is really good, and can usually go a week (sometimes more) without being charged, but when I'm doing something with long exposures it uses a lot more battery, so I have to make sure it's full before I end up mad at myself for missing a great shot!

There aren't really any words to explain this, but she gets goofy when there's a camera around. She actually rolled back up into this pose when I asked her to, because my first picture came out blurry. She could totally be in commercials. She will do anything you ask if there's a camera out, but she really prefers to make up her own poses...which is fine, because they're hilarious.

14 February, 2013

Random Adventure Wednesday!

Today I went to ReStore. And I bought a dress. Not on a whim, though, I had seen this dress the last two or three times we've been there, but I kept passing it over...and yet, I couldn't get it out of my mind! It was just so perfect, in all it's 90s glory...and so today, 10 minutes before they closed, I ran in, grabbed it, and left.

You may not find it as amazing, and this picture sure isn't doing it (or my figure) any favors (better ones tomorrow, promise!) but trust me - it's amazing. Perfect condition, black velvet maxi overall dress. (There's got to be a better name for that, than overall dress.) (and yes, I did try on it over all my clothes, before I even washed it. THAT'S HOW MUCH I LOVE IT.)

Maybe there's not, but I don't care, I love it. I'm having a hard time deciding between making one slit, slitting both sides, or just making it shorter. Because as much as I love it, it's a little too much 90s in one dress. It definitely needs a minor facelift. :)

After that we headed to a new bar that opened up downtown, Josh had talked to the owner a few days ago about playing there, and so we were going to kind of scope it out, talk to the other owner (or manager? I really don't know. They're brothers though.) and have a look at their set-up...long story short, he's going to play there on Friday night but he has to take his own decks because they have stuff set up for vinyl and Josh uses CDs. It's going to be awesome, though, the place is really cool, and everyone there was nice and friendly. Josh talked to another guy from Austin who's also DJing there this weekend. We had a great time, nice to finally find a place in this town where it's nice to just go hang out.

Joshs brother mentioned he wants to come stay here for a few days so that means I have to actually make an effort in my craft room tomorrow. It's horrible, and there's no way I'll finish it by the end of the day, but I'm hoping to at least find the VCR that I know is somewhere in the closet, and get that in the bag of stuff that's going to ReStore next time we make a trip, and then clear the bed off. If I can at least do that, then at least he'll have somewhere to sleep and the rest I can figure out later.

Oh, right, today is Valentine's Day, so...kiss your lovers? I'm really not good at mushy romance stuff - I gave Josh a hand-written card with a dead cricket taped to it. (I was going for a 'love-bug' theme, and it was the only bug handy.)

Even though neither Josh or I am Catholic, since we're already in the midst of eating better and working out, we decided to go ahead and give something up for Lent. I am giving up any processed food with more than 5 ingredients, and he is giving up added sugar. It's going to be a fun challenge for us, because we have our routines, and our go-to foods, and we so seldom take the time to read the ingredients...it'll be good, though, to take that step back and think more about exactly what we're putting in our bodies, and why.

My hair is all kinds of ridiculous right now. I'm trying to not cut it again until it's grown out some more, but it's long on one side, and it's just...annoying. Every time I wash it, it fluffs up and I can't do anything with it. I at least want to make it to March before I give in and cut it. I had a reason but I can't think of it right now.

Isn't this a cute little wallet? I think I may make one like it...if I ever have time to go sit and craft in my craft room, rather than clean it.

13 February, 2013

More words, with pictures!

Wow. Tonight I decided to sit down and go through a few boxes that have moved with me from Texas, to Arkansas, back to Texas, and now back to Arkansas, and see what all I'd been keeping that was clearly so important. It was such a fun adventure going through all that, reading notes and cards I've gotten over the years, seeing how my own writing style has changed, and finally, letting go of about 75% of it. I kept a few important things, like birthday cards with nice messages, a couple of notes from people I still talk to, and some pictures and stuff, but I really gave it an overhaul. Before, my Memory Box (which is a pink Barbie carrying case) (yeah, I did just admit that...no shame) wouldn't even close, and now it's only half filled. (I got rid of more than half of it, though, I just filled some of the empty space with my giant medical history folder, since I don't really have anywhere to keep that.)

Some of the treasures I found include:

these awesome pictures that my mom took to document the worst case of chicken pox ever experienced by a child

This note that a friend wrote in...third grade, I believe?

This little piece of something that I wrote a few years ago, then stashed away.

This is what the piled looked like just after I started. By the time I was done I couldn't even carry it all in one trip! My family is big on card giving...for every occasion imaginable.

It's ironic, though, that despite making a lot of space in one box, I actually made a giant mess by pulling all the stuff in front of the box out of the closet, and leaving it stacked in front of the door. Oops! I'll get to it tomorrow, though, now I'm really in the mood to toss stuff out! Or at least put it in a bag to donate, which is what I'm doing to everything that isn't a card, note, or envelope.

I started on a box in my craft room closet, too, and ended up with a bunch of VHS tapes to give away. I don't even know if anyone would buy them, but I have a VCR somewhere too, so maybe if I pack it altogether someone will want it. I don't know. If not, then it's ReStore's problem figuring out if you can just toss all that in the trash. I'm just trying to get rid of as anything and everything that I haven't used in the past year, and don't have a reason to use in the foreseeable future. Makes sense, right?

Anyway, I don't even know where all this cleaning energy came from. Maybe it's because of all that sleep last night/earlier today? I guess I really am a night owl. No matter how hard I try to flip my schedule back to normal, I always end up awake and writing at 5 am. Not the worst thing possible, but I like daylight and I don't get enough of it this way.

My jambalaya turned out awesome, Josh said it was the best thing I've made in a while, so that's a win. I sort of followed a recipe, sort of just threw stuff in and hoped for the best (which is what I usually do when I cook anyway).
We ate while we watched the Westminster dog show...this is Orion's reaction to the Affenpinscher winning Best of Show. We were all rooting for the Portuguese water dog, although I really thought the fox terrier had a good chance. :)

12 February, 2013

Food and Fat Tuesday.

I slept 10 hours last night. I think I'm dying. I don't understand why I am so tired all the time! I used to think it was a side effect of my depression, but I've been doing really well the past six weeks; eating right and working out consistently has definitely helped improve my mood, but I still sleep like a hibernating bear.

I keep hoping that maybe it's because I'm doing a lot more than I used to (I'm cooking at least two full meals a day now, in addition to doing three or four 10 minute workouts through-out the day, along with my normal housewife & pet-mom duties) and that after a while it'll balance out, but it seems like after six weeks my body should be used to it by now...right? I really don't want to have to go to the doctor, but I know that it could also be something like a thyroid problem, which would also explain why, despite the incredibly dedicated way I've been eating/working out, weight loss has been slow. Ughh. Why can't I just be normal?

Oh well, not going to dwell on that now.

 Goal update: still doing really well, on all of them! Food logging, calorie-counting, working out, and not buying anything - all in check. Man, I'm awesome.

Since today is Mardi Gras, I'm making jambalaya in the crock-pot! I've been doing amazing on my goal of planning out meals. Usually we plan for a couple of days at a time, and we never buy meat too far in advance, because we never bother to put it in the freezer. Anyway, on Thursday of last week I planned out meals for everyday this week, made a huge grocery list, and we went and bought everything. Then, when I got home, I immediately portioned out the beef and chicken into ziplocs with one pound each, and threw them in the freezer. I also cleared some space on the fridge and put the menu up there, so now everyday I see what's on the menu for the next day and pull that meat down to the fridge to thaw! We try not to have the same meat two days in a row: this week we're have two days of beef, two of chicken, one pork, one fish, and as usual, Sunday is soup day. (AKA leftover day, or Mandi-doesn't-cook-so-fend-for-yourself day)

I'm also having fun finding new recipes that are gluten-free, healthy, and that we both really like. So far my new favorite is beef, black bean, and brown rice stuffed bell peppers. So amazing. Coming in at a close second was this shrimp fried rice. Another one that surprised both of us with how well a bunch of random things tasted together was the quinoa-chicken-sweet potato stir fry. I was so worried about that one, that initially I didn't even tell Josh everything that was in it, because I was afraid he wouldn't even try it: but he did, and we both liked it!

One that we haven't tried yet (because I just found it this weekend) is this one for beef carnitas made in the crock-pot...definitely putting that on next weeks menu! Delicious looking, and I love things made in the crock-pot. So easy. (All of these are on my food board on pinterest, fyi.)

I even made my own delicious recipe for almond crusted cod, using the leftover almond bits after I made almond milk. It was so good that I'm making it again this week (I have lots of almond leftover - I used two pounds of them and made a whole jug of almond milk.) Maybe I'll measure stuff and document my recipe...

Well thanks, internet, I have officially made myself hungry. I'm going to go find something to eat while I wait for my jambalaya to finish up...oh, and I think it's about time I started cooking the rice that's going to go in it, too!


This morning when I woke up I felt lighter. Like some of my worries had finally been lifted off my shoulders. I think this whole sharing thing may actually be good for the soul.

During my 13th year (7th grade) three things happened that I've never told anyone about. At the time I figured since I escaped physically unscathed that I was fine...but while we were walking through the park today I realized that the fact that one of my worst anxieties would suggest otherwise. So I'm just going to put it all out there.

The first two are the scariest: I was followed and harassed by two different creeps on two separate occasions.

The first time it happened I was genuinely terrified for my life. I was walking through an empty park behind the junior high as a shortcut to get to the daycare my mom worked at. Suddenly, out of nowhere, this guy appeared. He grabbed my backpack and guided me in a different direction, towards a neighborhood. I just knew I was going to get raped and murdered, but I kept calm and talked to him, and didn't go where he was trying to lead me. Instead I told him that I walked that way every day, and that maybe we could hang out again. For whatever reason, that worked, and he walked off after promising to wait for me the next day. Obviously I never took that shortcut again.

The second time it happened it was in a more public place. After the first incident I changed my route - it was longer, and there was no shade, but I felt safer sticking to main roads. Anyway, I was walking down Closner, which is the main street through the center of town, when this guy came out of a pizza place. He grabbed the back of my neck so hard that I had bruises from his thumb and middle fingers squeezing me. He asked for my name and number, and I gave him a fake name and the number for our church office (I couldn't make one up on the spot, I was terrified!) and walked off as fast as I could. After that, I started getting rides from friends on days that my dad couldn't pick me up.

The third thing may seem kind of funny, and looking back, I can see the humor - it was a far less dangerous situation than getting accosted by a stranger in an empty park, but at the time, it shook me up pretty bad. I had stayed after school one day to try out for basket ball, and somehow managed to be the last one to leave. I finished up and went to leave, when I realized I was locked in the locker room. I freaked out, started screaming, banging on the door from the inside, and then I became convinced that I was going to run out of air and suffocate. (Remember - 13 y'all. Give me a break.) That didn't stop my panic attack though, and eventually (it was probably all of 30 minutes, but it felt like hours) a janitor walked by. I think I scared her pretty bad too, and I'm like 95% sure that I knocked her down I shot out of there so fast, but I can honestly say, I didn't look back to find out. My dad was still there waiting on me, and he said he hadn't been waiting too long (I had told him what time to be there after try-outs) so I know I wasn't trapped all that long, but still.

I don't know why I kept all that to myself for so long. I mean, I guess it didn't matter either way, really, nothing could have been done any differently. I didn't die, nothing terrible happened, other than a crushing anxiety that makes me terrified of strangers in parks and anyone I don't know walking towards me. But hey, at least I'm not scared of getting locked in places!

Eight grade was a lot calmer in that the only thing I kept secret was the fact that I once threw up in the bleachers during a school dance. Totally ok with that being a Thing That Happened to Me.

Well, that's enough of the past for today, don't you think. See, just talking writing it out has helped me immensely. I don't know how or why, I mean, technically as I'm typing this I haven't even hit 'publish' yet, so I'm still the only one who knows...but it just feels good to let go. It's like releasing it to the internet is my way of expelling it from being bottled up inside me...

11 February, 2013

demons of the past

I just realized that all day I've been opening pages and immediately pausing the videos but my speakers weren't even plugged in.

When we lived in Austin, I went through...7 jobs? I think. We were there for five years, the last three of which I held one steady job, so you do the math. Of those, only one got the requisite letter of resignation. At most, I just walked out one day and never went back. At one, I took an early lunch because I had an anxiety attack and didn't go back until two weeks later when I had to pick up my check. Not exactly noble, but then again this isn't a story about how reliable I am. (Which, ironically, was my best trait according to the people I worked for the last three years we were there.)

Sometimes I wonder if humans have a threshold for experiences...like the people that die in the midst of having some crazy adventure, if they just hit the maximum number of adventures, and that's why they died.

When I was younger I used to write constantly. I carried a notebook with me everywhere, and just wrote. Thoughts, feelings, perceptions of my surroundings, opinions of people, stories I'd make up about strangers, anything and everything that came to mind. Sometimes I'd write notes to people in them, and then I'd give them the notebook and they'd write back. So much of my life is chronicled, captured in my own words, and I often miss doing that.

I lived in my own little world, with my words to keep me company. When I wasn't writing I was reading, and I was perfectly content to spend the majority of my time alone. The stories I could create were very real to me, and they were better than the reality of where I was.

My disdain for the region I grew up in is thick, overwhelming, and destructive. I realize that I wouldn't be the person I am today without having had the exact past that I did. I know that the experiences I had shaped every fiber of my being. I made friends there, I loved there, and yet when I think of it, the only feeling I can muster is a burning hatred that grows the longer I think about it. I dream of the places I lived, the house I grew up in and the church/school I spent 6 days a week at when I was little, and in my dreams the depths of these places is vast, and I'm searching, exploring, yearning to find the thing that will allow me to make peace with my past.

The building I went to elementary school in, where my mom worked six days a week, and where I spent countless hours being terrified that someone was going to sneak in through the alley door and murder us all is gone now, but the secrets it holds will live forever.

I'm more scared of living than dying. Seems weird, considering that all of my anxieties fixate on murderers but the real fear lies in something horrible happening to the people I love, and me being left alone - abandonment. 

I believe that the same way we can have a soulmate, someone who compliments us in the most perfect way, we can also have that connection with a place - somewhere that you feel in perfect harmony with your surroundings.

While my notebook keeping tactics are clear evidence that I've always been an introvert, they also served as a support system for the onset of my depression, as well as a clever way of hiding it for so many years.

When I was 11, my brother moved away. He'd lived with us for six years, ever since he'd come back from living in Spain. He was a constant in my life, always home on weeknights hogging the TV, buying me music, movies, toys, anything I asked for really, the best brother anyone could have asked for. One day, when I walked in the house crying because my dad has refused to stop the car after I saw an abandoned kitten on the side of the road, he asked why I was upset. When I told him, he immediately took me back to the spot where we rescued the kitten and brought her home. I named her Socks, and even though she was taken less than two years later, I'll never forget the no-questions-asked willingness of my brother to just fix whatever he could in my life.

When he left, I was happy for him. He'd escaped the Valley, for a better job in Austin, and he really seemed to like it there.

Then, a year later, less than a week after finding out that her sister had died, my mom was diagnosed with cancer. Because there was no one else to stay with me, and I was not the kind of kid willing to stay home alone, I spent a lot of time at the hospital, and later at the cancer treatment center where my mom took chemo. My dad's way of coping was denial - my mom didn't have cancer, it was just the doctors trying to scam money out of us. Since my mom was the one that was sick, and my brother was gone, I had no real support system. I focused my energy on school, and that helped for a while.

But then, because my mom hadn't been working, my parents couldn't afford to send me back to my private school the next year. My mom asked me to try public school for two weeks, promising that if I hated it, they'd find a way to send me back to Faith. I did hate it, and I had no friends, but I didn't tell anyone. I didn't want to be a financial burden, and I certainly didn't want to stress my mom out.

I think, losing an aunt, even one I never knew, followed by being terrified of losing my mom, and not having anyone to discuss it with probably should have been dealt with, but it wasn't. I didn't bother to tell anyone that something might be wrong, because I didn't really know it was, and my parents were, understandably, focused on getting my mom healthy.

That's when it started, though. Even though no one was really mean to me (except the blind girl who attacked me in the bathroom with her cane), I just didn't fit in. The kids were tougher, calloused, and uncaring. I kept to myself even more than usual, and when I did make a friend, she was just as depressed as I was, and taught me to deal with stress in the most harmful way imaginable. But no one asked questions, and I took that to mean no one cared. If no one cared, then why stop? I started to sink into a hole of depression and self-hatred so deep that I am still working to dig myself out of it.

Sometimes I can't believe I hid it all so well - I was so self-destructive, so angry at the world, and deeply depressed, but in all that time only one person ever confronted me. Ironically it was my mom who convinced him that I was ok, and while part of me was grateful to not have to answer the questions anymore, part of me also wondered why she couldn't see it.

All of that, though, kept bottled for so long, has left me an emotionally damaged, unable to hold down a job, and slightly dysfunctional adult. And I blame the place. I can't blame my parents, they're my parents, they did the best they could given the circumstances, and I love them. I can't blame my brother, he's not responsible for me. I partially blame myself, because if I hadn't had to have surgery in the fifth grade, maybe we would have moved. But then again, maybe it would have been just as bad, or worse.

No matter what the real reason for my current mental state, the truth is that if I don't let go of the hatred I have for that place, I can't move forward. The place itself didn't shape me - the people there did, the experiences I had there did, but physically, the place itself - it's just land. I think it was so easy for so long to just lump all my blame on that, but now I need to start facing the fact that I've been gone for almost ten years and things haven't really gotten a whole lot better. I'm still lost, and I need to take a step back and find the real issue, so that I can free my mind, and be the strong, stable person I know I should be.

"Beyond the East the sunrise, beyond the West the sea
And the East and West, the wander-thirst that will not let me be" - Gerald Gould

10 February, 2013

Weekend stuff.

I keep feeling like I have too much stuff, so I made a new rule: for everything I bring in, something has to go out. Last week we hauled a giant load of stuff (four boxes full!) to ReStore, and I only bought one thing. Yesterday I took one bag full (three pieces of clothing, and a never-worn pair of flip-flops) and again came out with just one thing. So I'm on a pretty good roll so far.

Most of the stuff I took in yesterday was stuff I got there this past fall. Josh says I rent clothes. It's kind of awesome though! I mean I buy stuff, wear it all season, then take it back and get stuff for the next season. (Or, in this case, a Lord & Taylor cashmere sweater I spotted!) Much cheaper than buying, and my wardrobe is always changing.

It helps with my sewing too. It's much easier to alter clothes than it is to make new ones from scratch - but if I do want to make new ones, I buy something similar to what I'm making, then rip it up and use it as a pattern! It's also the cheapest way to buy really nice fabrics that I might otherwise be scared to try working with - I know that if I screw something up, it's just a $2 loss. (Yes, $2. Part of ReStore's appeal is that, unlike Goodwill, they have standard prices for all their clothing - whether it's worn, brand new, high end, or from Walmart.)

After ReStore yesterday we drove around a bunch. We took this one road not really knowing exactly where it would go...it was crazy, coming down the backside of the mountain it had these awful switch-backs, and some dude in a Ford F-3000 was driving up it with a boat! We had to pull off the road for him...luckily we were on the inside, so no chance of falling off the cliff or anything. We ended up on the other side of town, and Josh wanted to go out to the lake, but I felt bad about leaving Orion for so long. Plus it was getting close to sundown, and it was cold and possibly going to rain.

Today I slept all day. Literally. I don't know why I was so tired, but I got up once, then went back to bed, got up again, then went back and sat in bed, and fell asleep sitting up. I hope it's not a sign that I'm getting sick - I haven't gotten hungry yet, either. I don't feel sick, just lazy. Oh well. I'm going to go watch the Grammy's, and not care too much about what is going on.

Coming up this week: more cleaning, and a hunt for a large amount of film-sized canisters. And maybe the crystal mining farm. Not sure.

08 February, 2013

The ol' closet switch-a-roo time

I was in a funk today. No reason in particular, my mood has actually been fairly stable lately, which I think is mostly due to how well I've been eating. But for some reason, last night I went on this huge rant about food, and where it comes from, and how much I hate not having a good farmers market, or a Whole Foods, and not having choices in general. At our store, if you want to buy organic, you have maybe two choices, of the very limited supply of stuff that is organic at all. It's frustrating.

But that's not the point. I was saying how well I've been feeling, mentally and physically, thanks to all the healthy eating I've been doing. Until I didn't feel like cooking today, and I broke down and made nachos. Oh well. They were homemade, and I only put black beans, cheese, and salsa on them, so you know, not terrible as far as nachos go, but still.

I just felt lazy today. And I'm ok with that. Usually Sunday is my day off from cooking (we call it 'soup day' but we rarely eat soup), but I know myself, and for my own sanity, taking today off too was the right decision. I've got a great meal planned for tomorrow, so right back to healthy cooking and eating it is!

I'm pretty proud of myself for not freaking out about this. In the past, if I made one bad choice, I'd end up binging and then giving up, but I just don't feel that desire anymore. I had my 'treat' so to speak, but still kept within my calorie range, and didn't beat myself up over it. That is progress!

And just now, I went ahead and switched my closets out, which means I pulled out my spring and summer stuff out into my closet, and put all my winter stuff in the guest room closet. (Which is my storage closet.) That definitely made me feel better! Nothing like shopping in your own closet!! Found a few things I'd forgotten about, and designated a few more things to donate. Tomorrow I'm going to clean up in both the craft room and the bedroom a little bit, and then hopefully switch my shoes out too. The weather here has been wet but mild this past week, and it rarely gets cold again after the first week of February, so I think it'll be ok. If not, then I guess I'll just stay inside and crank up the heat! (Not really. It's not like my stuff is getting boxed up and stuck in an attic or anything.)

Oh, my bracelet came today too! Super cute. I think I need to make a bracelet/watch holder thing-a-magig somehow. I have a jewelry holder in my bathroom but it's full! Maybe I'll find something to use while I'm cleaning tomorrow. Sounds like a plan!

Next week we have to take Orion to the vet. It's time for his rabies vaccine, and we have to weigh him and get some more heart-worm pills. We'll find out whether he's hit 150 yet or not! (Remember, he weighed 105 six months ago!) Here he is on Sunday, trying to join the Puppy Bowl and slobbering on the TV:

So...yeah, he's filling out. We'll see what the damage is. If he's at 150 though, I think he's going to have to take 3 pills. Crazy! That picture kind of embodies his whole life attitude though - he has no idea he's not a little puppy anymore.

Well, for whatever weird reason, now that I did my bi-annual closet switch-out, I'm kind of in the mood to do more cleaning/organizing/rearranging! I'm off to find something to do. :)

07 February, 2013

These things.

Remember how I mentioned yesterday that things were kind of weird? Well, they just got weirder. So, even though I can't don't really want to elaborate at the moment, I'll say this: we have a Very Awful Thing (it's not really that awful: just unexpected and costly) that we have to deal with in the next few months, followed by a Very Awesome (also costly, but totally expected) Thing happening in late summer/early fall. Actually, two Very Awesome Things happening in late summer/early fall.

Anyway. Nothing bad, nothing to worry about, but the point is, I may disappear for days or weeks at a time, but eventually it will all make sense.

I promise to try and make something new, or alter something, or at least write some words at least once a month.

Also, never thought I'd say this, but listening to Ke$ha's Deconstructed album - and it's incredibly good. She can actually sing!

06 February, 2013

It doesn't feel like February.

My watch got here. It's the most gorgeous thing ever. And by that I mean it's the most gorgeous thing until I get something else new. Because that's life, people.

Anyway. Things are...weird right now. Not bad weird, actually they're weird in the absolute best way possible. That's all I'm saying for now. Have fun wondering non-stop what I mean by that.

I have a doctors appointment for the 22nd. Apparently I get to see a therapist who then decides if I need to see they psychiatrist, the psychologist, or both...I think. I'm not sure, I made Josh make the appointment because making phone calls when I don't know the situation at the other end is a huge source of anxiety for me. (Yeah, this is one of those that confuses me too. But I just can't do it. I panic and hang up on people all the time. It's awful.) It's sort of a long way off, but now that I don't have to fly somewhere and meet people I'm ok with waiting.

Lately I've been in the mood to go do stuff, but I don't know what I want to do. I think part of it just stems from not really having anyone to do stuff with, other than Josh. Which is fine like 99% of the time, I mean, we got married because we are best friends, and could stand to be around each other 24/7, obviously, but some days I just want a girlfriend to go have coffee with, and walk around the mall and talk to. I've found that it's much harder to find stuff to do when you're trying not to eat out as much. Everything revolves around food. Or shopping, which I'm totally ok with and really good at, but clearly, we're not millionaires. I can't shop every day...unless it's at Restore. But then we'd need a bigger house to hold all my junk. Wow this paragraph really got away from me.

I just want to get out of the house more. Also, I'm about done with it getting dark at 5 pm. I'm ready for longer days. (Sure I could just wake up earlier, but where's the fun in that?!) I miss Fredericksburg.

My brain is doing that thing where it won't stop thinking thoughts but it's going too fast for me to make sense of it, so I'm going to end this.

Well except for this picture of my watch that I'm posting. :D

04 February, 2013

Sunday stuff

Well, I promised pictures of the outfit I bought yesterday, so here they are!

The colors are so great! I think I may do shorts out of the skirt (because how awesomely 80s would high-waisted, pleated floral shorts be?!!), and then cut the top apart and use the bottom half of it to make a tank dress. Sort of like this:

But with buttons down the front, and shorter, since I'll be using shirt remnants. And a black shirt. Anyway, you get the idea.

And this is a sneak peek of the other project I'm hoping to get done this week! It's something Josh asked me to make for him. I'll elaborate more once it's done. (In other words, I'm not 100% sure of how I'm going to pull it off, but I'm determined.)

and just for good measure, here's a picture of Belle making a crazy face. She gets ridiculous when I have a camera. Such a vain little cat.

Anyway, not much else to report. Today we stayed home, did our kettle bell workout outside, then came in and watched the Super Bowl. Oh we did make a midnight (or 2 am, whatever) run to walmart. I had some money left on my gift card, and I needed chap stick...so of course I also got new eyeliner and mascara. I had to use up all the money! I got a really awesome three eyeliner pack from Physicians Formula - black, dark grey, and silver. They're sparkly and awesome.The end.

02 February, 2013

Weekend pt 1

We finally made it to Restore to donate all those old clothes! The guest bed is empty (and clean!), and I am slowly getting everything else in order back there. Unfortunately, as I'm sure you've all guessed, I couldn't just drop stuff off without a little walk-through...which led to buying something. I found this really awesome two-piece outfit...it's a long skirt and a button down shirt, but I'm thinking of putting it altogether and making a romper...or just making shorts out of the skirt, and making the top sleeveless. I don't know yet, it's very exciting. The fabric is gorgeous, it's black with big blue, green, pink, and orange flowers and leaves on it. I'm in the process of washing it right now, so I'll take a picture tomorrow.

Yesterday we went out because Josh and I both kind of felt like going somewhere, but neither of us had any idea of where to go, so we ended up at TJ Maxx. I found this really awesome aromatherapy set, and the smell reminded me of this lotion I used to have from Victoria's Secret, so today after Restore we stopped at the mall and got some of that. (Very proud of myself for going in through Dillard's but not getting distracted!)

Oh, remember how I couldn't resist that Marc Jacobs watch the other day? Well, last night I was might have ordered a bracelet so it wouldn't be lonely on my arm. I can't help it, everything Marc Jacobs does is perfection. Anyway, I told Josh that those two things can be my Valentine's Day gift. Mostly just so I'd have an excuse for having bought them, we normally don't celebrate Valentine's Day.

I discovered the magic of cooking with quinoa this past week. I made some with apples and cinnamon for breakfast the other day, and tonight I made fajitas and replaced the rice with quinoa cooked just like Mexican rice...so good! (I found both of those on Pinterest.)

Well, it's kind of early for me, we slept till 2:30 today (isn't it awful? I wish I could flip my schedule back to normal.) so I'll be up for a while, and I really want to go empty my cabinet space under the counter, and toss all the food that's expired or we're not planning on eating. I'll try to get the craft room clean, too, I have a project that needs to get done pretty soon so I really want to get stuff organized in there so I can get it done!

Here's a picture of an awesome car we spotted while on the way to Restore today. (It's a 1961 Studebaker Hawk, if you're curious.)

01 February, 2013

I'm rambling. Ignore me.

Hey, remember that time I quit drinking, and then got caught up in a Cougar Town marathon and Josh and I downed a bottle of wine together? And then I justified it because the wine has been in the kitchen for like three months, and since I technically quit drinking to save money, and we didn't actually spend money on the wine it was all ok?

Or how about the time I vowed not to buy anything for a whole month, and then buckled on the last day and bought Marc Jacobs watch?

So yeah both of those things happened today. I'm sticking to my guns on the wine thing (because really, the bottle was just collecting dust, and if there was ever a show that begged to be watched with a glass of wine, it's Cougar Town.) I have no excuse for the watch, though, other than maybe I won't actually have it in January...so, there's that.

I can justify anything. It's a gift.

In other news, my kettle bell set got here yesterday and despite my body feeling absolutely wrecked today, we now have two days of kettle bell workouts under our belt(s). It hurts so good. So. Good.
I'm getting really annoyed with my anxiety (because that sounds completely normal) and so I'm going to try and see a doctor and maybe get something to help me fall asleep at a normal time...and if I get murdered in my sleep, then oh well, at least I won't be having an anxiety attack while it happens.

Today we had appetizers for dinner. And by that I mean I roasted some potatoes, then covered them in bacon and cheddar. Because I can. Also, because the only meat we had left was chicken, and we had chicken last night, and I don't even like chicken, so I went with bacon instead. It's dead pig - it's totally a meat group.

(See? Bacon for dinner - justified.)

Anyway, while I did really well this month with cooking almost daily, I didn't really have a system, so another thing I'm trying out for February is planning meals, and actually buying the stuff I need ahead of time. (It's a genius idea, really, I should probably patent it or something.) I have no illusions about it becoming a long term thing, though, because if there is one thing I am horrible at, it's following through on plans. I'm great at making them, great at making fancy lists, but then I'll inevitably forget something really important...or the list itself. It's just something I'm trying out, mostly so that we can add some new staple meals into our rotation, because while Josh is totally fine with our tacos - s'ghetti - chicken nugget - steak - pulled pork - baked cod rotation, I want a few more options.

I signed up for a trial Rdio account. I don't have any pictures to post. That's all.