Friday, December 28, 2012

Simple Pleasures

It is seriously difficult to think about anything other than making it through the day when you're not feeling well. Today, is one of those days. I thought I had kicked the cold around Christmas, but it came back with a vengeance. So today, I'm thankful for all of the things that have made it possible for me to make it through the work day.

Photo found here
I love NyQuil, but if I don't get enough sleep, I might as well be a warm-blooded zombie. So, thank goodness for vitamin B-12 and also for DayQuil. It's the only way I'd be clear-headed throughout the day and also the only way to avoid napping under my desk.

Photo found here
I don't know what I would do without El Patio's chicken soup. It has gotten me through more colds and flus than I can remember. It's my go-to soup when I feel all icky and nothing really beats it. It's a comfort food that better be around for a looooooong time.

Photo found here
Not too long ago, I refused to even consider drinking tea. I'd take a taste every once in a great while, but overall, I wasn't impressed with the beverage. To this day, I still won't drink regular iced tea (I think it's disgusting), but I've come to appreciate the hot variety, especially when I'm feeling under the weather. Lately I've been sticking with Celestial Seasonings Chamomile Herbal Tea or Peet's Hibiscus C Blend.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Perfectly Wonderful Christmas

I truly could not have asked for a better Christmas. It started with Christmas Eve at my aunt and uncle's house where we indulged in a turkey and ham dinner and enjoyed our British Christmas Crackers. I had no idea what they were and thought they were simply table decorations, but once my cousin opened hers, I knew we were in for a treat. Each one contained a semi-practical gift, with some opening up shoe horns, mini screwdrivers, golf tees, nail clippers, or a small jewel to hang from your cell phone. My nana and I got the jewels. My iPhone doesn't have a place for one and she doesn't have a cell phone, but I have a feeling she might try to wear hers as a pendant necklace. Funny thing was, that was my first thought for it too! Inside were also tissue paper crowns, which everyone donned, and corny little jokes that gave us all a chuckle. Even though it was a long night, it was a nice evening. To top it all off, we were in for a treat with the night sky where we saw a giant ring around the moon. I attempted to take a photo of it, but sadly it didn't turn out. C'est la vie!

Christmas morning was spent at my parents' house. We all woke up around 8AM, had our coffee, and then moved into the living room to begin opening presents. I already knew my parents got my sister a new 42" flat screen TV for her place and since that was her "big" present, I knew the budget for my presents went up significantly...hence the list I compiled. Much to my surprise though, I also got a TV! It isn't nearly as large as hers, but I think it'll be a nice addition to my bedroom for those mornings when I'm not quite ready to get out of bed, or I'm folding laundry, or I'm not quite ready to go to bed, but I'm ready to be IN bed. Anyway, on top of the small TV, I also got the camera I wanted! I was really surprised because I honestly thought the TV was my "big" gift too. I had told my parents I didn't care if they spent more on my sister than they did on me, but I guess they didn't listen! That's good news for me because I am so pleased with the camera! I still have a few more things to learn about it, but I'm super excited about using it. So far, the pictures are ah-mazing. I mean, check out how FLAWLESS my seester looks...she's that flawless in REAL life. 

I swear I didn't photoshop her, she's just that pretty.
My nana came over later on that afternoon and visited for a bit. My sister and I went in on a gift card for her to Ulta, while she gave us our usual card with a little bit of money tucked inside. She wrote some really nice things in my card and it really warmed my heart. Of course I insisted on a picture with her with my amazing new picture-taker! 

Pocket Nana and I in our faux scarf was a present from my seester!

After she left, my parents, sister, and I went to visit my great-grandma who is in a care facility. She's 94 and usually doesn't quite remember who we are, but we had a very pleasant visit with her nonetheless. She was even hamming it up for the camera...winks and all! It was also really nice that I was able to have a few personal moments with her and when she told me she loved me, I nearly cried. I don't visit her as often as I probably should, and while some days are better than others with her, this one was one of the best. It was great how excited she was about her new snap-front sweatshirt that she's wearing in the picture!

She told me my hair was so long and started to run her fingers through my hair.
Once we were back home, my mom popped the enchiladas into the oven, I started the rice, set the table, and then we all sat down for Christmas dinner. It was like I hadn't eaten in days. I may have actually inhaled my food. It was delicious though! With our bellies full, I recognized that the evening was starting to wind down. Christmas was coming to an end. I always look forward to Christmas, and this year was no exception, but I'm always a little melancholy when I know it's almost over. Not to mention I was certainly not looking forward to going to work today. I'm looking forward to taking down my Christmas tree even less! Everything in time...well, in time for it to be hauled away by someone else so I don't have to deal with again like last year! 

I hope your Christmas was magical! 


Monday, December 24, 2012

My Christmas List

This year I was somehow able to come up with a Christmas list for my parents (after many, many requests from my mom). While I'm fairly certain they didn't get me anything on the list, I made one nonetheless, which is amazing in and of itself! My parents always get my sister and I one "big" present, so I made a list of things I thought I might want. So, what did ask for this year? Well, since I've been wearing the Michael Kors watch I received last year nearly every single day, I decided not to ask for another watch, but I did make a list so they could choose what they wanted to get me. Here are a few things that made the lineup....

iPad Mini
Photo found here
Not that I NEED one, but I've wanted an iPad for some time now and I thoroughly blame the techie geek within me. Since the regular iPad is a little pricy, I thought the Mini would be a good alternative. Not to mention that I wouldn't dream of getting a non-Apple tablet. I think it would be hard for me to buy one for myself, but maybe some day I'll break down and get one if my parents don't!

Canon PowerShot SX40 HS
Photo found here
I've been wanting a "fancy" camera for quite some time, but since I'm not a professional photographer it's hard to justify spending an arm and a leg for the equipment. With so many different lenses and the body of the camera being so expensive in itself, I figured a nice alternative would be the Canon PowerShot SX40 HS. One of my best friends received it last year as a present and she said it was amazing. So, it made my Christmas list.

Dritz Twin Fit Dressform

Photo found here
Now I'm about as much of a seamstress as I am a photographer...probably less so. That doesn't mean that I don't have a ton of creative ideas floating around in my head. I think this dressform would be the perfect addition to my wannabe craft room (it's a work in progress) and might even inspire me to really put the sewing machine to good use. I've been wanting to use the sewing machine for a while, but I just haven't made the time. This year, I'm definitely going to whip out some sewing projects. So, stay tuned for some craftiness!

A Guitar
Photo found here
Once upon a time, I almost ended up with a hot pink Mary Kay electric guitar. My rational side kicked in though and I chose the brown leather purse instead. Since then, I've had it in my head that I'm a rockstar and I should have an electric guitar. Suddenly, I'm starting a band, I'm an expert guitarist, and my band is headlining a tour. I don't need a reality check...I know I'm not a rockstar, but in my dreams I am! Whether it's an electric or acoustic, I don't really care, I'd just like to learn how to play.

Well, we'll see what ends up happening, but regardless of what I get, I'll be happy. Christmas isn't about the presents anyway. 

Merry Christmas Eve!


Merry Christmas Eve

I know that not much time has passed since the tragedy that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary and I still can't help but think about the families who will be missing their family members this holiday season and every day from now on. I think about the parents who will miss the joy and light in their children's eyes as they experience the wonder of Christmas and the presents which will remain unopened beneath the tree. I know I was still a little emotional over some of the things I was dealing with this past month, but this terrible incident really struck a chord with me despite the fact that I don't have any children of my own. I just hope and pray that the friends and families affected by this will find some peace during this time.

I am grateful, as always, that I will be able to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas with my family. I am so thankful that we are all well and able to come together to share in the jubilance the season brings. I'm continuing to look on the bright side of things and looking forward to the new year, which I hope will also bring a fresh new start. Here's to hoping that you all have a very merry Christmas.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

O Tannenbaum

One of my favorite parts of Christmas is going out to get a tree. I've only been out on my own for about 2 1/2 years now, so I've had a total of three Christmas trees. My first tree went where my dining room table is now. I was very particular about what kind of table I wanted when I moved in that it took me more than six months to find the one I wanted. This made it very convenient for tree placement because it was in an area that was unobtrusive, yet I could still enjoy it from the couch.

Tree #2 was a little more difficult because now that I had a table, I couldn't stick it in that corner anymore. No matter which way I turned the table, it just wouldn't fit. I almost put it in the opening of the den since I didn't go in there often, but it didn't feel right. After moving the tree around to every possible opening, I decided to move my television out from the corner it was occupying and moved it directly in front of one part of the sectional couch. Turns out it was the best spot to put a tree! After that Christmas, I didn't even more the television back, which made it easy to accommodate the tree for this year.

I usually stick to a tree that's under 6', but this year, I went a little larger and I'm so happy I did. It definitely fills the space, but it isn't too big.

This year's tree also smells SO good. As soon as I push open my door each day, I'm hit with the smell of Christmas. This is the first year that I've had such a fragrant tree and it makes me so happy when I walk in. It lifts my mood and even makes me feel like I am getting into the holiday spirit. Now if only I could have a tree in my condo all year round!


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Looking Up

Things haven't exactly been going super well for me lately. I won't be enlightening you with the nitty gritty at the moment, but let's just say that I've seen better days. Despite the gloom I've been experiencing, I've been trying really hard to stay upbeat. REALLY hard. It's not always easy to stay positive when you'd rather be lounging on the couch, watching television all day instead of going to work and putting on a happy face for the masses.

Yesterday was 12/12/12 and it seemed like everyone was in a frenzy over it. So, my boss bought some scratchers and we got some SuperLotto tickets, too. My boss was a little more lucky than I was and won $500. When I checked my lotto ticket this morning I saw that I won $11 on a quick pick! Not quite the $19 million jackpot I was hoping for, but I'll take it!

Another high note for me this week was going to Christmas in the Park with a friend of mine. Christmas in the Park has been a tradition in downtown San Jose for over 30 years and I happen to know the current President of the committee, so I had to make sure I went to see how it all turned out.

This was only my second time going and it was fun to just walk around, see the animated displays that were set up, and get my mind off of things for awhile. Along with trying to keep a smile on my face, I'm also trying to get back into the Christmas spirit, and this was just what I needed.

I mean, I was even willing to stick my face in the fat snowman cut out! I figured that was a better option than the Christmas tree. Besides, who wouldn't want a carrot for a nose?


Friday, December 7, 2012

Simple Pleasures

When things aren't going well in life, it's often harder to reflect on the positive things. In an attempt to still be grateful for the good things in my life while I'm struggling with sadness, here are some simple pleasures. 

A Finished Christmas List
Photo found here
Anyone who has ever asked me what I want for Christmas knows that I often have a difficult time thinking of an answer. Ask me to make a list and you may as well be asking me to fly to the moon. Usually my list gets about as far as the photo above...blank. This year, after a week or two of my mom asking me what I wanted, I finally put together a list. Shocked? So was she.

Christmas With the Carpenters

Photo found here

One of my best friends turned me onto The Carpenters while we were in school. Now, I can't make it through the Christmas season without listening to Christmas Portrait. Every song makes me smile and I sing along like I've known these songs my whole life. There's just something about it that takes me back and makes me feel like I'm really getting into the holiday spirit.

Christmas in the Office

We don't decorate much here for any holiday, but this year I have two small poinsettias and a a small penguin bowl to hold the peppermints. I've been waiting all year to pull out the penguin again because I was so excited about getting it last year at Ulta. Now I can finally use it!


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Private Relations

Baby talk. 

And I don't mean talking about having a baby. I mean talking like a baby. Baby talk is acceptable when talking to an actual baby because they are so darn cute it's nearly impossible not to. It is also acceptable when talking to an animal. It is. Trust me. When it comes to talking to an adult, well, there are rare (I repeat, RARE) occasions where this may be deemed acceptable. Like when in reference to "running home to mommy" or something of the sort. It may also be okay when saying, "pwetty pwease?" Sometimes that can be endearing or at least get you to crack a smile. However, consistently speaking to your significant other in a baby voice is not cute. It may be in the early stages of a relationship, but eventually it will get old. Do you really want to feel like that person's mommy or daddy? Probably not. You want them to be your boyfriend or girlfriend or husband or wife, not your child. Too much baby talk can be a turn off. So ease up on the baby talk and talk like an adult. It will do everyone a world of good.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Artsy Fartsy

It's been a while since I've worked on any kind of art project. Maybe I was waiting for inspiration, or maybe I was just being lazy. Whatever the case, I found a reason to dive back in with a birthday card for Jenn's 25th birthday. I already had an idea brewing in my mind, so I set out to execute it by sifting through the piles of paper swatches I had torn out from magazines. I tend to gravitate toward unfinished edges, so scissors don't usually make an appearance during the tearing out process, or the collage process for that matter. When I need a clean line, X-ACTO knives are my friends.

The front of the card was easy. The bottom layer only consisted of three pieces, but I knew I was going to layer the bright red collaged "25" on top of it so I opted to keep it a little more simple. The final result exceeded my vision.

The inside of the card had an image of several jellyfish with layers of black and white images behind it. I was so pleased with it. I was even more pleased when I decided to scan the image to make a cleaner product for the card and the jellyfish almost seemed to glow brighter than the original.

Collage is easily one of my favorite mediums and even though I don't always rely solely on magazine clippings, sometimes they just transform the whole piece. I'm already planning my next collage which seems to be falling into pink-hued images. I seem to have a tendency to create collages that have a color theme. Maybe it was the series I did during college, but I like bringing different hues of the same color family together to create a beautiful or interesting image. Well, what I think are beautiful or interesting images! We all have different ideas of what art is or should be and I'm no different. If you like my art, great! If you don't, just don't be mean about it. Thanks in advance. There's something about sitting down and working on a project that makes me feel calm and more balanced. Now if only I could create art all day every day! What a life that would be!


Monday, December 3, 2012

Weekend Recaptured.

This past weekend was fantastic. I got to see one of my best friends turn 25 and it was quite a night.

It started with a plane flight to San Diego. 

The flight was quick and easy and I was in Jenn's car in no time. We had a relatively quiet evening complete with dinner at Outback with her boyfriend and his roommate, followed by a drink at Jenn's favorite bar.

The next night, however, was the birthday celebration and it was a lot more eventful. We ran a few errands in the early afternoon, had a pre-dinner dinner at her parents' house, and then had dinner at Dick's Last Resort

Let's just say it was a little rowdy there. It seemed like we all just ordered appetizers and I got to try the Gator Bites. Yes, you read that right. Gator. As in, alligator. It wasn't bad at all! Less chewy than calamari and a pretty good flavor. The chipotle ranch dipping sauce certainly didn't hurt either. Our server seemed like a seasoned employee and threw around her attitude with ease. She did show us some kindness before we left and gave everyone a beer mug or a hurricane glass. Somehow, with the help of Jenn's brother, it made it through the night in one piece and I managed to keep it in tact on my trip home.

Dick's was the meeting up point for everyone and a lot of our friends from LA came down to celebrate as well. I couldn't believe how many of them came! It was so nice seeing good friends and catching up with everyone and I know it made Jenn's night that so many of them were there. 

The drinks were flowing freely and we eventually moved to the next stop on our trip which was Taste and Thirst. We stayed there for a bit and then continued across the street to Hennessey's where we had live music for a while and where she officially turned 25. We finally piled into cars (with sober drivers) or cabs and made our way over to Gilly's. We closed the bar down, but not before a few people hopped up to sing some karaoke. Once the doors closed behind us, we decided we weren't quite ready to leave, so we walked over to Denny's for one last meal. It was here that I really was able to catch up with my good friend Marshall, which was nice because he only came out when we got to Gilly's.

The whole night went smoothly until one teenage kid (who was likely on drugs and/or drunk) tried to pick a fight at Denny's. Thankfully nothing actually happened, but it was certainly an interesting note to end on. It was 430AM when we finally made it back to her boyfriends apartment. I honestly didn't think we'd be out that late, but it's true what they say - time flies when you're having fun. And in this case, we were having one of those nights that was reminiscent of our college days. Overall, one of the best times I've had in quite some time.

A few hours later after Jenn, her boyfriend, and I made it back to the apartment, we were awake once more. Somehow we all woke up around 730AM. Not much sleeping for us, but it sure seemed like enough at the time. My 550PM flight was already delayed by nearly two hours, so I kept an eye on it and it just seemed to get later and later. When the departure time reached 9PM, I called Southwest to see if I could change my flight to the one at 440PM. Without even hesitating, the operator, Sandy, jumped into action and changed my flight at no charge. NO CHARGE! Take that JetBlue! I was so relieved that it was so easy to do. She almost seemed apologetic when she mentioned I'd have to get a new boarding pass. I told her that was the least of my problems! I didn't care if I was the last person on the plane because I was happy I wasn't going to get back into town after 11PM. So cheers to Sandy for making that process so painless! Even though I wasn't really ready to go, I knew I had to. Work was awaiting my arrival today and there was so much to do. I managed to get a full night of sleep, but I was still tired for the better part of the morning. It was worth it though. So very worth it. And I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat.


Friday, November 30, 2012

Simple Pleasures

I'm so thankful for my friends. I can't believe how much time has passed since I've seen them all and I'm even more thankful that every time I see them or talk to them it's like no time has passed at all. 

San Diego Here I Come

Today is the day I leave for San Diego to see Jenn! I really couldn't be more excited to see her. 

An Evening with Friends

Not from yesterday evening, but Ankur was the one who invited everyone into his home
Last night in between packing and finishing up Jenn's birthday card, I made a trip across town to see some of my acting friends. It was nice to see them since I haven't been able to afford my acting classes lately and it was so nice to see some familiar faces. 

A Friendly Phone Call

The other night I got a phone call from Rachel. We hadn't talked to in ages and it was exactly what I needed. She must have known I needed to talk! We had made plans to get together, but since I couldn't make it that day I promised her we'd get together soon. Hopefully once I'm back from my weekender in SD we'll be able to make that happen. 


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Private Relations

Arguments are bound to happen, but storming out and slamming doors are no-nos. It shows you are impulsive, selfish, and incapable of self-control. Slamming a door also screams out to your significant other that you have anger issues. We all have lapses in judgment, but when it's a recurring event during an argument (or when ending one), it sends up warning flags. Fleeing the scene of an argument also sends the message that you have the capability of leaving for good when things get tough. That certainly doesn't give anyone on the receiving end a feeling of security. Incessant arguing should be a sign in itself that something isn't working in your relationship. If you can get down to the root of the problem, you may be able to work through it. Otherwise, it may be best to move on because it clearly isn't a healthy relationship.


Monday, November 26, 2012


I took all of last week off...from blogging. Even though I only had a three day work week (I took off Friday), I was still super busy with Thanksgiving preparations. I don't put on Thanksgiving dinner, but I always help out. This means going grocery shopping to help pick out the turkey and get necessities, helping my mom tear up bread for our homemade stuffing a few days prior, peeling the potatoes the morning of, washing the china, and this year, making my Nana's baked beans. Not to mention that I pretty much insist upon doing the dishes or at least help out by drying them. 

All in all, it was a great time with family. I couldn't really ask for anything more than that. I'm just thankful that everyone is healthy and happy. 


Cyber Monday

Happy Cyber Monday!

Once upon a time I did a photo shoot in San Francisco and ended up being the face of for Cyber Monday. Needless to say, I was more than a little excited. Because it was only up for that one special day, I've decided to post it here since it's Cyber Monday once more...and I might still be pretty proud of it.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Simple Pleasures

Some Fridays I just don't feel like going to work. Actually, it's not only limited to Fridays, but today was one of those mornings I just didn't feel like getting out of my warm, cozy bed. I did, and I'm still sleepy, but it's a new day and I'm going to try and make the most of it.

A Baby Shower

Little Maven Pearl Bib

I love baby clothes. I just wish I had a baby of my own to put in them! Even though I don't have a little bundle of joy, I can still be happy for the one's who have them and are expecting. I'm going to a baby shower for a friend of mine tomorrow and I'm looking forward to giving her some adorable clothes for her little girl.

A Planned Trip

I haven't been back to San Diego since I moved back home after living there with one of my best friends. I can't believe how much time has passed since I was there last and I am so excited to be going down there to celebrate her 25th birthday with her! Even though I'm going down for her, I know I'll get to see a few of our other friends and that makes me happy, too. I cannot wait!


Friday, November 9, 2012

Simple Pleasures

A New Outfit

These jeans are my new favorites in my closet. Photo found here
Sometimes a new outfit does wonders. It's even better when you don't have buyer's remorse from spending too much. The other day I found a pair of Denim & Supply by Ralph Lauren jeans at Marshalls. They were $70 (suggested retail was $125), so I could at least feel like I was sort of getting a deal. I didn't have enough money in my clothing fund to get them, but I could have dipped into my personal money to make it work. But was it worth it? No. Not even for the 34" inseam that I need. It didn't stop me from carrying them around the rest of my shopping trip though. I decided to put them back, but I did stop at the clearance rack before heading out. I found another pair of RL jeans that were boot cut instead of flared (a plus), the rinse I really wanted, they were still long enough, and they were $23. I tried them on, they fit like a glove, and I was at the register making a smarter purchase than I would have if I had splurged on the ones I thought I wanted. Best part is, I still have money left over in my clothing fund.

A Poodle Kitten

Photo Found here

I saw an article online about Poodle cats (officially called a Selkirk Rex) and I'm hooked. I want one! I also want an actual Poodle, but that's beside the point. How adorable is this cat?? I've never been much of a cat person, but I do think they're amazing animals. I also sort of want a Bengal cat. I think I need to buy a house, so I can have some pets.

A New Song

Photo found here
Yesterday I heard a song on the radio by Milo Greene called 1957. Something about their sound just made me want to listen to their album. Luckily, it's on Spotify, but I wasn't able to listen to the whole thing yesterday at work because of a little thing called work. Maybe today I can squeeze in the the second half of the album. So far I like what I hear...I do think it's great that 4 out of the 5 members rotate their vocals and contribute in different ways by switching up musical instruments for different songs. Might just keep things interesting!


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Main Squeeze

Earlier this week my boss purchased several bags of oranges from a guy who was selling them on the corner near the office. He passed them out to the employees and I took home a bag for myself. There were far too many oranges for me to eat before they went bad, so I decided to make orange juice. Fresh squeezed orange juice is well worth the extra time it takes to make versus pulling out a plastic jug of the store bought stuff. As long as you have an electric juice press, it makes the whole juicing process nearly effortless.

Within 15 minutes (tops!) I had fresh orange juice and it couldn't have tasted more delicious. I knew I couldn't keep it all for myself, so I shared it with my parents who were delightfully surprised at how wonderful a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice could taste without adding any sugar...or anything else for that matter. Now that I know how fast and easy it is to make my own orange juice, I think I'll be doing it a lot more often.

Next time I'll be adding a little champagne and enjoying a mimosa with a Saturday brunch!


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Private Relations

A man should always walk a woman to her car. Or to her front door. 

If you met up for dinner and you parked outside of the restaurant and she parked a block away or in a parking garage, escort her to her car. I don't care how you get there - if she trusts you, then you can drive her, but otherwise you should walk with her. Whatever you decide is fine, but make sure she's taken care of. If she came over to watch TV, but has to go home that evening, WALK HER TO HER CAR. I don't care if it's summer time and it's still light out, it's the gentlemanly thing to do. The fact of the matter is, it doesn't matter what day it is or even what time of day it is, a man should accompany a lady to her car. ALWAYS. It shows her that you care. Plain and simple. Those little things go a long way. She may tell you she's fine walking by herself, but even if she refuses your offer you should probably still walk with her. She may not be letting you off the hook so much as she may be testing you. Same rules apply when picking her up or dropping her off. Walk up to the door to let her know you're there and walk with her to the door when you leave. You may have that awkward "should I kiss her/does she want to kiss me" moment, but even if all you get is a peck on the cheek, you're still scoring points in the chivalry department. It's a common courtesy and it shows you have manners, which is something that seems to be rare these days.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

My First Time

I voted on November 6, 2012. For the first time.

Yes, it was the first time I voted. On October 22, 2012 I actually registered, but it wasn't the first time I tried to register. I once filled out a voter's registration card and nearly became a Libertarian. I waited a day before sending it in because I was feeling unsure about my choice, and the card ultimately ended up in the shredder due to my uncertainty. This time wasn't much different except I registered online and waited until the last possible moment to make my final party decision. What was my political affiliation going to be? I'm pretty moderate, so choosing between the Democratic and Republican parties was difficult. I identify with each of them on some level so how was I supposed to choose? When it comes down to making decisions, I'm a TERRIBLE decision maker. Unless I feel confident about one thing (like Prop 37), my head is going to go around and around until I get so bogged down by the details and the pros and cons that I can't make a decision. So I left it up to fate. Some people may disagree or seriously hate the way I came to a decision on what political party to register with, but it's what I needed to do. 

I flipped a coin. A dime, to be exact.


Heads Democrat. Tails Republican. Best out of five.

Flip 1: Democrat
Flip 2: Democrat
Flip 3: Republican
Flip 4: Republican
Flip 5: -------------

Do you really need to know the answer? Just be thankful I registered!

I was clearly not one of those people who couldn't wait to Rock The Vote after turning 18. In fact, mums been the word for me when talking about anything remotely political for quite some time. I hate LISTENING to people debate political topics with each other. It actually makes me more than a little uncomfortable when I'm standing by in those situations. If people would just calmly discuss those topics and educate themselves with legitimate facts, then I think it would be fine, but everyone just "knows" that their opinion is the "right" one. 

I'm really no different than anyone else when it comes down to my opinion on matters that I'm passionate about. Like GMOs. Do NOT get me started on that. I will go on and on and I do get heated at times. On the same note, High Fructose Corn Syrup (which is not the same as sugar) is another thing that I will talk your ear off about. Let's not forget about slaughterhouses either...I may read too many books.

Anyway, I finally felt like I was ready to vote. The main reason I registered a few weeks ago was so I could vote YES on 37, which will require companies to disclose their use of GMOs and not allow them to market their product as "natural." Will it pass? We'll find out, but at least I know I did my part. I didn't vote on every issue because I wasn't confident that I was informed completely on certain ones. Part of the reason I never registered in the first place was because I didn't know enough about the issues and never put in the time to learn about them. I'm a terrible person. I know. Some people would say that I should have voted because the women who came before me paved the way so that I could. Am I grateful for what they did for me? Of course I am! However, just because you CAN doesn't always mean you SHOULD. An irresponsible voter is someone who votes because they can without knowing what they are voting for. In those cases it's simply better to not vote. I used to be ashamed that I had never voted before. I've been met with many looks of disbelief, so I generally avoided talking about it. Today, I am proud to say that I voted and that I voted responsibly. It is a right and a privilege that I did not abuse.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween to Christmas

I love autumn. It may just be my favorite season after all. The only problem I have with autumn, is that immediately after Halloween, I'm thrown into the Christmas season and don't get to fully enjoy it. It's not winter yet people. We still have Thanksgiving to deal with before bringing out the Christmas spirit!

This morning I was met with this...

Yes, Starbucks has officially rolled out their Christmas cups. I even saw an Advent calendar for sale. December 1st is a MONTH away! Bring out the calendar the day after Thanksgiving. Or two weeks before December 1st tops.

Photo found here

That said, I am still partaking in autumny things and looking forward to Thanksgiving dinner before I have to worry about decorating for Christmas. I've been indulging in the pumpkin seeds I roasted that I saved from pumpkin carving the other night. They actually turned out really well. I wasn't sure if I was going to soak them in water first, so I rinsed them off and laid them out to dry. I should've just soaked them. I ended up doing it after the fact and it turns out it wasn't too late to do so. I put them in a bowl of heavily salted water and left them to soak on the counter for 24 hours. Then I briefly rinsed them in a colander and returned them to the empty bowl. From there, I added some sea salt I ground up and decided to add a few splashes of olive oil after the fact. More dashes of salt followed and then I spread them out on a couple of cookie sheets. Thirty minutes later, I had my first batch of seeds and they were delish! I've been snacking on them all day at work! They certainly aren't the prettiest seeds (I think they would've been if I had just soaked them right off), but they sure are tasty.

I will be thoroughly indulging in all things autumn for the next few weeks before I seriously need to start thinking about Christmas presents. That's a whole different dilemma I'm avoiding!


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pumpkin Carving

This past weekend I was supposed to carve my pumpkin that I picked up at Perry Farms. I didn't. Instead, I did other things like watch the Giants win the World Series (woohoo!) and take a special puppy dog to the dog park. With Halloween rapidly approaching I needed to carve mine soon, so that's what I did last night. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures. Lucky for you, pumpkin carving last year looked remarkably similar to pumpkin carving last year...

Carving pumpkins last year looked something like this:


Here is my creation for this year:

My creation: The Haunted House
I modified my tools this time around and decided not to use the dull poking tool to map out my design, but used my Dritz seam ripper instead. Seriously, this was the single greatest modification I could have used used. Not only were the holes much smaller, but it allowed me a little more freedom when transferring the pattern. It was also significantly easier to use because it was so sharp. This will definitely be a part of my pumpkin carving tool kit from now on. Maybe next year I'll introduce some X-ACTO tools!


Friday, October 26, 2012

Simple Pleasures

The end of another week and all I want to do is...absolutely nothing. Too bad there's this little thing called work

In the hours leading up to the weekend, I'll be thinking about these things...

Coming Home to Dinner

Photo found here
I don't always eat meat. In fact, I mostly prefer not to eat it. I have dabbled with being a vegetarian, but quite frankly I do indulge my carnivorous side on occasion. Tonight will be one of those nights. This morning I shuffled to the kitchen to get a roast in the crock pot. For people who don't know how to cook or just don't care to, making a pot roast in a crock pot is one of the easiest things to do because it's so hard to screw it up. I didn't follow the recipe for the photo above because I don't use gravy when cooking my roast. I prefer to use water since every roast I've made has always come out tender and juicy. This time I deviated away from my usual recipe of meat (coated in salt and pepper), potatoes, carrots, and onions, and this time added a little bit of garlic. Hopefully it won't be too overpowering. Fingers crossed! The best part is, I don't have to do a thing when I get home tonight. I'll just be waiting for that timer to go off at 5.

My Every Day Wallet

I have long since stopped using my yellow snake skin Guess wallet and my silver and black "lace" Betsey Johnson wallet. The reason? I bought this Coach wallet at the Gilroy Outlets and have never looked back. I didn't just buy it because it matched the tote I also bought, but more importantly, I realized I could use it as a clutch if I decided not to bring a purse at all. On a daily basis it makes its home in whatever purse I'm using, but each and every time I pull this puppy out, I smile. Something about it just makes me happy. I realize that this likely isn't a "real" Coach wallet since it's probably part of their factory line, but what do I care? I simply love this wallet.

An Impulse Buy

Photo found here

I have seriously curbed my online shopping habits ever since I started The Total Money Makeover. In fact, I rarely make an online purchase these days. Today was an exception. I received an email from Refinery29 for "32 vintage stunners that will seriously upgrade your wardrobe" and I knew I had to check it out. What I found were very reasonable prices and a silk blouse that I know I can pull off despite it's busy pattern. Unfortunately, I missed out on this little number, but I am more than happy with the paisley blouse (although I don't see a paisley on the thing!). The color scheme will complement my skin tone and it has the feel of a beautiful Indian garment, which I just love. I cannot wait to wear this...hopefully it ships soon!


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

KK and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Okay, so it wasn't THAT bad (no one died or was injured), but it did include a sleepless night drugged up on zzzQuil, dumpster diving, and a dismembered rug.

Sunday afternoon I took a three hour nap. I certainly wasn't in a deep sleep the whole time, but I did dream at some point, so overall it was a good nap. Later that evening, I was feeling like I wasn't going to be able to fall asleep, so I decided to try zzzQuil (I do NOT recommend it). I generally sleep well after taking NyQuil, so I thought zzzQuil would provide me with the same sound sleeping without the pain & cold relievers. It did not. I spent the entire night tossing and turning. It was almost like it made my body want to sleep without letting my mind rest. The worst part about the whole ordeal was feeling like I couldn't breathe. Every time I almost dozed off, I'd wake up gasping for air. Not a comfortable feeling in the slightest. Especially when I couldn't seem to catch a breathe while I was trying to nod off.

If that wasn't bad enough, I woke up still feeling the tightness in my chest. It didn't start to fade away until mid-morning while I was at work. Luckily it subsided, but what a way to start a Monday. The day progressed as normal. Nothing special. Then I went home and ended up cleaning. Not sure how that one really happened, but it needed to be done and so I did it.

After cleaning the bathroom and in between laundry loads, I cleaned out the refrigerator and the freezer. I already needed to take the trash out, but now I had two bags to contend with. As I was walking to the dumpster with my keys in hand, I thought to myself how funny it would be if I accidentally threw my keys in with the trash. I've thrown out the trash dozens of times with my keys in my hand and I've never once accidentally thrown them in. This particular evening that was about to change. The first bag was tossed in with ease just as the many others had gone before, but the second bag was sneaky and the red plastic ties somehow managed to wrap around my keychain and rip the keys out of my hand. Literally, the keys were torn from my grip. I'm still not even completely sure how it happened since I made sure the keys weren't entwined with the ties on the bag. My previous thought about how funny it would be? Turns out it wasn't that funny at the time. I had a fleeting thought of going back to my condo and getting a flashlight, but oh wait, that's right, MY KEYS WERE IN THE TRASH. Lucky for me the trash had been recently emptied, so there were about 6 bags in there including mine. I hoisted myself up and over the dumpster wall without really having to touch much and safely landed in my flip flops (yes my feet were practically bare and it was disgusting to think about), and I only had to move one bag to figure out if it was mine or not. I found my keys (still attached to the bag) and hoisted myself up and over the dumpster. I laughed to myself as I walked back. I disinfected my keys, washed my hands, and then took out some of the recycling. Then, I promptly took a shower to wash off any filth that was attached to me.

From there I continued my eternal battle with laundry and washed my bathroom rug. Right before I went to bed, I went to put the rug in the dryer only to discover that it had somehow developed two rips in the seams and it was losing pieces of carpet everywhere. I couldn't throw it in my ancient dryer because I was certain the whole thing would catch on fire, so now I have to go buy another rug. You would think this wouldn't be a big deal, but you don't know the story of how long it took me to find a rug that possessed the exact qualities I was looking for.

On the plus side, the work day went by rapidly and I have (some) clean clothes, a clean bathroom, and a clean kitchen floor. Now if only I could tackle the den area and streamline that into a workable arts and crafts room, I'd be all set! Baby steps.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Weekend Recaptured

This past weekend I had the luxury of a 3-day. I took Friday off to spend the day with my seester since she had been on vacation all week and we haven't had a full day to spend with each other in quite some time. The night before we talked about things that we could do...HMB, SF, bowling, mini golf, heading up to Oakland to eat at restaurant she's been wanting to try. We didn't really establish anything initially. We veered off topic and started chit-chatting about other things before finally coming to the conclusion that we were going to go to San Francisco to Chinatown.

She had been wanting to buy some new China flats, so we decided to go to the city, even if it meant we were only going to be spending a few hours there. We took BART because it's so ridiculously convenient, and arrived there around 11. We hadn't had our morning caffeine jolts yet, so we stopped at Starbucks and fulfilled that need before walking a few blocks up Grant Street to the gate to Chinatown.

Photo found here
We browsed some of the shoes that were outside of a few of the first shops, but then we hit the motherload. There were flats galore outside of one particular store, China Station, and they were exactly what she was looking for. She debated between the black velvet flats and the black textured flats, but ended up with the ones she originally was going for - the black velvet. There was another pair of orange flats that were made out of a linen or burlap that were just screaming her name and so, she got those too. I had my eye on a pair of navy velvet flats to wear with all of the navy items I just can't seem to take out of my closet. I have a hard time wearing my black flats with my navy tops, so I figured this would be a good way to finally wear more navy! At $14, it was a steal.

From there we continued on our way up through Chinatown and eventually landed in Little Italy. We were pretty hungry at this point, so when my seester saw a sign for paninis at Caffe Greco. I was sold. I have a tendency to avoid meat, but the panini with prosciutto, mozzarella, and peppers was making my mouth water, so I ordered that with a small Pellegrino. I polished off that sandwich.

I couldn't wait to take a photo...hence the bite taken out of the sandwich.
After lunch, we continued on and stopped in a candy shop. We left empty handed, but we made sure to stop at See's to get a chocolate fix before deciding we were ready to go home. There she treated me to a few of my favorite chocolates: a Raspberry Cream, a Butterscotch Square, and an Apple Pie Truffle. Delish!

All photos from here

Overall, the day was well spent. We had stopped to browse at DSW (though we didn't purchase anything) and of course the first pair of shoes I picked up ON THE SALE RACK were $300. Yes, I have good taste. Our last shopping stop was at Old Navy (twice in one month???) where my seester picked up a couple of long sleeved tees and I found a new blouse for work. It wasn't on super sale like my blue shirt was, but it was still on sale and it'll be a nice addition to my closet. Plus, I can wear my new blue shoes with them! 

I always enjoy a three-day weekend, but this one was particularly good because I was able to spend some quality time with my wonderful seester. We should do things like this more often!