Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Downside of the Holidays

I know that Christmas time and these end of year holidays are usually a time when everybody is so happy and in good spirits and feeling great about life.

Well NOT ME. 

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Christmas, it's tied for my favorite holiday with Halloween. I love the decorating, the music, the lights and displays, and the gift giving.

But then there's the other side. The seedy, shady side of this time of year. I don't know why, but this year I'm really struggling with some things that haven't bothered me that much in the past.

The darkness. Literally.
Normally daylight savings time doesn't do anything for me in the winter. It's never really bothered me that it's dark when I leave work. But for some reason this year, it's practically crippling me. It's dark when my alarm goes off in the morning. It's dark when I take my dog outside. It's dark when I get off work. It's like I forget what daylight looks like. And the fact that it's so dark all the time makes it really hard for me to do anything that requires me to leave my house. I don't go grocery shopping. I don't go for walks. I don't workout... I literally feel like I should be sleeping all the time. I got home from work today, sat down on the couch, and promptly fell asleep for about 10 minutes. AT 5:30.

The goodies.
I don't usually go to too many holiday parties, so I'm not really talking about going to a party and having some cocktail weenies and a cookie or two. I'm talking about the stuff that people bring to you or send you. At work, we get all sorts of stuff sent to us by vendors and companies that we work with, and members bring us cookies, and I can't seem to pass them up. Go to the bathroom = eat a chocolate. Fill my water cup = grab two cookies. Grab a loan file = eat a cookie on the way in and a chocolate on the way out + one for the road. This is particularly troublesome when you refer to my previous point that I don't feel like doing ANYTHING before or after work, so I'm not getting my necessary cardio in to work off these extra calories. My doctor will NOT be happy with me in January.

Breaking the Bank.
Every year, I try to plan ahead. I take advantage of the opportunity to skip a loan payment and use that money for Black Friday shopping. Yet EVERY YEAR, I find myself struggling to get everything purchased and still put gas in my car. I've been better this year and have actually given myself a budget for everybody on my list, but it adds up so fast... hopefully I get that deed to a platinum mine that I'm always singing to Santa about...

Anyways, with all that said, I do love this time of year, and I'm looking forward to having a week of vacation next week to do my own holiday baking, working out during the daylight hours, and getting all my pretty decorations up. Maybe I'll even have more DIY stuff to post like last year.


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Friday, November 14, 2014

If I Stay

Linking up for...

Today I'm sharing If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Mia had everything: a loving family, a gorgeous, adoring boyfriend, and a bright future full of music and full of choices. Then, in an instant, almost all of that is taken from her. Caught between life and death, between a happy past and an unknowable future, Mia spends one critical day contemplating the only decision she has left - the most important decision she'll ever make.

Sister got me this book for my birthday, and i was really excited. I've had it on my Goodreads wish list for a while, and then with the movie coming out, I wanted to read it before it was ruined for me by all the movie-goers.

It was such a fast read... I couldn't put it down. The way it's written is really great... it jumps back and forth between what is happened after the accident, when she is stuck between life and death, and the back story. 

My only complaint was with the actual printing of the book. At the end of the book there's probably 30 pages of excerpts from other books. So as I was reading, I was thinking there was a lot more book to go, so I really wasn't emotionally ready when it ended abruptly. I was also really pissed off with the lack of closure of the book. Until I saw that there's a second book in the series, so now I can sleep better at night knowing that there is a continuance of the story.

This was a great book. I give it 4.75 out of 5 stars.
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Wednesday, November 12, 2014


I know we've all heard of the whole Mo-Vember movement, where men across the US (maybe the world?) let their faces grow thick with their manliness in an attempt to raise awareness of men's health. 

I don't know if that actually is successful (I did just ask Chad if he knew what it was all about, and his response was "it's about guys learning about prostate cancer or colon cancer or something..." so at least he's up on current events...), but that's not really what I'm here to write about today. 

I decided over the weekend that, rather than November being about Men's Health for me (since I'm not a man), I will make it MY Health November. 

You see, after getting married, I really feel like I took myself on a dietary honeymoon, if that makes sense. In my weight loss journey, I tend to set little goals for myself, and having a specific event that I want to be at a certain weight for really helps me stay focused. So after the wedding, I think I let myself relax too much. I stopped thinking as much about what I was eating. I wasn't working out every day. I was spending my evenings drinking leftover wine out of the box.

So, I am taking My Health November to refocus myself. My life and goals for myself didn't end when I got married. I still have so much to look forward to with a healthier body, with a body that I am comfortable and confident in. I don't want to take pictures for our first Christmas card as a married couple (maybe... I haven't quite decided if we're those people yet) and have people get it and go "why is Chad taking a Christmas picture with Buck and Santa and not Carly???" I don't want to be in Kristine's bachelorette party and wedding pictures and be the fat friend. I don't want to go on our belated honeymoon to Hawaii and be wearing a mu-mu and yoga pants the whole time.

Time to refocus.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Right up My Alley

I went over to check out what the topic for #Blogtober was today, and I was very pleased to find out that it's Pet Peeves... such luck!

The Daily Tay Blogtober14

I'm going to try to keep this list short... may be hard for me though.

1. Clean clothes being put into a laundry basket. I don't know why, but this just makes me cringe. I really think that it makes the most sense to just fold or hang your clothes as you pull them out of the dryer. Otherwise they're wrinkly! And how the heck do you plan your outfits out if you can't see easily what you do and don't have available? The madness!!!!

2. Senseless noise making. Yes, you read that right. Noise for the sake of being noisy. I do NOT like whistling. Or clapping for no reason. Or people talking much too loud in small places. I immediately become agitated. We've had construction going on at our office and I swear to the almighty God above that I almost went bat shit crazy with all the hammering at odd intervals.

3. Empty ice cube trays. Okay, you take an ice cube tray. Remove the ice. And you put it BACK in the freezer, EMPTY?! What kind of remedial learning school did you go to?! In the name of all things that are holy in the world, walk your ass to the sink and fill it back up before you put it back in the fridge!

There, I managed to keep it to 3. Three things that I'm sure thousands at least one other person are equally annoyed by. AmIRight??

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Pacific Northwest Mex...?

I was trying to come up with a fancy name for this recipe that I'm going to share with you, but that was the best I could come up with... my apologies.

Anyways, this is a recipe that I made up a couple months ago that I've made quite a few times since because it's SO easy and we usually have everything in the house that we need.

Let's get started, mmkay? Oh, and please don't be mad at my pictures... I didn't want to dig my real camera out, so celly pics are the best you get.

The good stuff:
14 oz bag of C&W Ultimate Southwest Blend veggies (or whatever brand your store has)
2-4 chicken breasts (depending on how big they are and how many people you're feeding)
Taco Seasoning
Salsa of choice (I personally recommend salsa verde)
Shredded Cheese
Optional: Sour Cream, Guacamole, tomatoes, etc

First step, take your casserole dish and your veggies. I mean, after you preheat your oven to 375.

Dump those little tasty nutrients in and put a couple globs of butter on top and sprinkle with taco seasoning... you can use a lot or a little, depending on personal preference

Lay your chicken breasts on top of the veggies (if you end up with some sort of freakishly thick chicken breasts, I would slice them and open them up so they cook faster and more evenly).

Spread some of your salsa over top of the chicken

Then pop it in the oven and cook it until it reaches 160 degrees (you will also want to check it after about 25 minutes to lift the chicken up a piece at a time to stir the veggies around a bit so they get cooked evenly also)
Once you've hit the 160 mark, sprinkle shredded cheese of your choice on top (we get the mexican blend at the grocery store) and put it back in the oven until all pieces of chicken reach the temperature of 165.

This is what you should be looking at when you pull it out of the oven

Serve it up and top it with sour cream, guacamole, or whatever your heart desires... maybe more cheese, cilantro, tomatoes... 
I had to stick with just sour cream, since that's all I had in the fridge...

And there you have it. It's easy, fairly simple, and delicious

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Trick or Treating has No Age Limit

This is a really hot button topic for a lot of people for some reason, and I suppose it is for me too.

Is there an age limit on when you can trick or treat?

I don't mean trick or treat with your kids or whatever, I mean when, as an individual, you can go knock on the door of strangers and get candy.

I don't think there should be. My personal opinion is that there shouldn't be any holidays that are ONLY for children or adults. If you are willing to put out the effort to get together a real costume and you want to get in touch with your inner child and go trick or treating, there's no reason you should be turned away at someone's door!

Don't get me wrong, I don't think that teenagers dressed up as a high school cheerleader or a 'rapper' should be able to go knock on someones door for their free candy, but if you and 4 of your friend show up at my door dressed as the gosh damn Spice Girls, I don't care what age you are, Imma give you some candy! 

So, tell me how you feel. Do you think that once you're a teenager you should grow up and stop trick or treating? Or are you a fellow kindred Halloween spirit who thinks that trick or treating should be for anybody who still has the drive and desire to put together an awesome costume and take a stroll through your neighborhood?
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Monday, October 13, 2014

Let's Be Real Here

I've started about 10 posts in the past few weeks to get back into blogging and to tell you about everything I've been up too, but they all end up being really time consuming (I'll give you the cliff notes version: I got married, some other people got married, I've gained weight back, found out my dog has cancer... ya know, the usual), so instead I think I'll just jump back in and link up for Blogtober.

The Daily Tay

The topic today, if I'm not mistaken, is favorite fall recipe.

It's hard for me to narrow down ONE favorite food for fall, so instead I think I'll just tell you about one of my go-to fall desserts, Turtle Pumpkin Pie.

This is an easy, no bake dessert that adults and children will both like. It combines the traditional flavors of pumpkin pie with a much more universally liked sweetness from cool whip, vanilla pudding mix, and caramel drizzle.

To save us all time, I recommend that you go here to the Kraft website (where I also got the picture), and check out the recipe yourself. It's so easy and delicious.

So there you have it, my grand entrance back to blogging.

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Sunday, August 10, 2014

App Happy

Although I haven't been keeping up my end of the bargain over here, and really don't feel too bad about it, I figure I can at least share with you my favorite apps that I have deemed necessary for my every day life. And I'm not going to include the normal cast of characters, like Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram.

Seahawks Mobile

As a big Hawks fan, this is something that I peruse at least once a day (more during the season). I can review the schedule, the roster, see current news and updates, stats. And if, God forbid, I'm not near a TV during a game, it is FAIRLY current (within a couple minutes) of what the current score is, passing/rushing yards, possession times, etc for the current game.
The only problem? The opening screen is still a shot of the departed Golden Tate... it rips at my heart a little bit every time I open it and see him wearing that 81 jersey...

Checkout 51
This is a new one to me (and maybe to the world... I dunno). But basically you download the app, set up an account, and then when you buy certain things on the list, you upload a picture of your receipt to the app, and it credits you however much money for the products you bought. 
For instance, some of this week's products are People Magazine ($1.00 back), onions ($.25), vlassic pickets ($.25), Scrubbing Bubbles bathroom or toilet cleaners ($1.00), and hot dog buns ($.25). So basically you can get cash back for things that you already shop for... sure, it's not a lot, but I've become one of those frugal people who gets excited about $.25 or $.50 back... I'm up to $6.60 so far!

Disney Wait Times

Yes, it's exactly what it sounds like... it tells you what the wait time is at different rides and attractions. It's not something that you use everyday, but it was AWESOME when I was in Disneyland a couple years ago, and every once in a while I like to check how long the wait is on things, just to feel close to the magic :) They have one for DisneyLAND and one for DisneyWORLD, and they have different wait times for the different parks (so Magic Kingdom, California Adventure, Epcot, etc).

Any good apps I should be downloading??

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

2.5 Months Later...

I may start blogging again.
If you're lucky.

Over the past couple months, I haven't really been doing much that's super exciting.

Some fishing.
 ^ 14oz black crappie (pronounce craw-pee... not crap-ee like you would hope)

^ Personal best large mouth bass, 4lb 4oz

^ Small mouth bass, 1lb 14oz

Working in my yard.

Trying to do some wedding planning... picked up my dress, got my invitations all addressed and ready to put in the mail, narrowing down some wedding party gifts.

Working out a bit (but not as much as I should be). Trying to shave off some more pounds before meeting for alterations on my dress. One more reason I should blog more again... weight loss wednesdays were keeping me accountable for a while there.

Taking it back for a Throwback Thursday concert to see these guys (and Avril Lavigne):
Don't judge, it was actually a GREAT concert... I was surprised myself.

In general. I've just been living life... going to work, doing chores, snuggling my dog... the usual.

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

I'm New Here

For some reason, these past few months have felt like I'm living someone else's life. I mean, not LITERALLY like I hijacked someone else's life, but it just feels like I am pretending to live like someone else. (Which I suppose is like I hijacked someone's life...)

All of a sudden my friends want me to do things with them (I prefer my friendships to require very little actual social commitment), and I'm working 6 days a week a couple times a month (a big change from when I would absolutely refuse a 6 day work week that would interfere with my demanding napping schedule)

But I really can't complain. I got to spend a smidge of quality time with my fave Belarussian
I am actually really upset because we didn't get a full body shot that may have included my pink boots... damn.

I've been prioritizing my hour and a half workouts about 5 days a week. And today I traded that workout in for 3 hours of yard work... (which was mostly because Dustin said he would come over and help as an attempt to get Chad to focus on something other than fishing. We were mildly successful)

There have been a LOT of throwback pictures popping up on my facebook page.
That most definitely is me on the left. I was very pale. (especially standing next to my 1/2 Filipino, 1/2 Romanian best friend)

This is what I would call "accidental orange" hair. This is what happens when you bleach brown hair. Good thing we had a second box of bleach... (side note, I have no good explanation for my one strangely short eyebrow. I have no recollection of ever having shaved it... although now that I look at the first picture in this post, apparently that is just how my left eyebrow has always been? You'd think I would have noticed that prior to right now, since I look at myself in the mirror every day. More than once.)

I read The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold. It was NOT what I was expecting. It was rather bizarre and a little frightening, honestly, but I still found myself getting sucked in.
And now I'm reading The Mistresses Revenge. Talk about a psycho.

This weekend I get to watch my bridesmaids try on potential dresses. I hope it's as fun for me as I imagined it was for them to watch me try on wedding dresses. I mean, who could forget this face?
I must also appreciate the close up of my fat arm there. Doesn't get much better.

I am leaving on Sunday morning to go to San Diego for work until Friday. Travel makes me nervous. I don't like to be away from home. Being out of my comfort zone and all. So I'm just trying to think of it as a week long vacation on my own... I can workout in the hotel gym for as long as I want in the afternoon/evening, and watch whatever I want on TV. Chad has been asking me what time I've leaving on Sunday, and it crosses my mind that he probably wants to do something nice for me that morning, since I'll be gone for a week and it also happens to be our 9 year anniversary. Nope... he just wants to find out what time he will be free to go fishing with Dustin (Such a romantic, I know. But in his defense, he DID say tonight that he would take me out for breakfast that morning, which is actually a really nice gesture for Chad).

So anyways, this is my new life I've been living, try not to be too envious.

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