Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Best Roast Ever

The best, and the easiest, roast you'll ever make.

  • Put one roast in your crockpot. I use whatever I have - chuck, tri-tip, anything.
  • Cut up 4 to 6 potatoes (regular or red) and put on top of the roast.
  • Cut up a bunch of carrots and put them on top of the roast.
  • In a bowl, mix one can Campbell's Golden Mushroom and one can Campbell's French onion. If I'm doing a larger roast or lots of veggies, I add some beef broth or more french onion. Add a little salt and pepper.
  • Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours. Enjoy the most flavorful, tender roast you've ever had!

Monday, December 8, 2008

If I say it out loud...?

I've been stressed lately. I don't get stressed very often - rarely, actually - but lately it seems everything has happened at once.

So I wonder: if I write all my stressors down and say them out loud, will it help? Here goes:

1. I have a group presentation for school this week.
2. Finals are next week.
3. I hate my job and am desperately applying for a new one.
4. We're looking for a house.
5. Did I mention I hate my job?

Whew. I feel better. I plan on lots of posting after finals.

Friday, November 14, 2008

On a random note...

I just cleaned out my bag, and there were...58 pens inside. I just set a new record.

I think that's a little excessive, even for me.
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Sunday, November 9, 2008

My new personal mantra

Saving money can bring the same euphoria as spending it.
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Saturday, November 8, 2008

More Random Thoughts

1. Although I love sushi, I really need to stop eating it. Every time I eat it, whether it's one roll or two, it sits in my stomach like a brick. Not worth it.

2. Chinese food gives me a major headache. Also not worth it.

3. Other headache triggers are chocolate and caffeine. Two of my favorite things.

4. Having a dog is good practice for having a child. And my dog continually reminds me that I am not ready for a child.

5. If you want to become an outstanding performer, you need to do three things:
  • Become a lifelong learner;
  • Set and achieve high goals; and
  • Get organized.
Apparently I have some work to do.

6. Eating an apple in the early morning for a week cures chronic headaches.

I told you, totally random thoughts...

Saturday, November 1, 2008

An odd aversion to my obsession

I am an obsessive list maker; always have been. I love making all kinds of lists: to do lists, lists of goals, random things I can't live without. Shoot, I even like making grocery lists.

As I get older and my life gets insanely busier, I rely on lists even more. Each night this week, for example, while in the shower before bed, my mind starts racing with all the things I have to do at work the next day. I get in bed, grab my Blackberry off the nightstand (it's my alarm clock folks, it's not like I'm checking email at midnight...although I am blogging...), and send a to-do list to myself so it'll be in my inbox first thing the next morning.

I'm currently a one-person unit at work, and I am a consultant of sorts to every personnel office in every department throughout the state. It's extremely busy, and once I get to work I don't stop until it's time to go home (and even then I don't often stop). This week I got through a lot of backlog, and yet most of what I completed was not on any to do list.

I had a personal revelation this week. Even though I am an obsessive list-maker, I am also a true procrastinator, and I really do produce great things at the last minute. These two qualities really shouldn't exist together in the same person. Why? Because I realized this week that every task I wrote on my to-do list, I avoided like the plague.

Procrastination wins.

What I also realized was that many of my lists exist not so that I'll complete the tasks on them, but rather to erase the constant whirlwind of chatter from my brain. And I think that's as good a reason as any to make a list.
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Monday, October 6, 2008

What a coincidence...or are there really coincidences???

Last night I wrote all about the power, the high I feel while shopping. Tonight, I had the TV on but wasn't really watching it. Dr. Phil came on, and it was all about this couple who was drowning in debt because they both went on shopping sprees! The woman had TWO closets full of clothes, half with tags; she had $4,000 worth of Coach purses and shoes. Her husband was just as bad, with an estimated $33,000 worth of stuff just in their home office alone.

If you've been reading my blog, it's pretty obvious that lately I've been feeling pretty retrospective...I'm trying to learn a little about myself, and maybe make some improvements along the journey. I'm amazed to even say this, but the Dr. Phil show tonight struck a chord with me. And I don't even like Dr. Phil!

It amazed me how many things this couple said that resonated with me. Luckily for me, I wasn't quite up to the extreme that they are, but in my own way, I was out of control. Also lucky for me, I realized it awhile back and think that I'm on the tail end of my own downward spiral. Thinking about having cash in the bank actually brings more excitement right now than thinking about buying something. What a turnaround!

Long story short, it's nice to see stories of other people that you can relate to. Makes you think...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Power of Shopping

Over the last few, well, years, I've gotten to be quite the shopaholic. This isn't exactly something that I'm proud of, as I've put myself in debt that I should have avoided. Last month I made a commitment to not purchase anything that wasn't routine or absolutely necessary - no frills. I did okay, although I bought an awful lot of Starbucks, and I did a little bit of thrill shopping here and there. I did much better, however, than I have in a long time.

This month, I reinforced my commitment to no-frills shopping. So far, I'm actually doing really good (yes, I realize it is only the 5th), and the positive balance in my bank account is a strong motivating factor to not buy crap.

However, there is something about shopping that I just LOVE. No, that I NEED.

Shopping truly is my hobby.

I was at Starbucks tonight - I know what you're going to say...but in the interest of budgeting, I put a set amount on my Starbucks card this month and when it's gone, I'm done - and I had left the house where I'm dog-sitting specifically for Starbucks, and that was it. However, I got into my car and felt this incredible need to just go somewhere. I was racking my brain, trying to think of things I might need to buy, or stores I might need to visit: Target? No, don't need anything. Ross? No, can't buy a new purse or clothes. Raleys? Nope, don't even need any groceries. Dang.

I don't know what it is about shopping, but I really do feel a pull when I'm out and about near stores. It's like, I have money, and money is buying power, which means I have the power to choose what I want to buy. And that equates to plain old power, and I like power. I'm drawn to power. I love power.

Can it be that I've just had an epiphany?

I shop not because I need things, or even because I desire things, but for the pure joy of the shopping experience itself? The power of choosing something, of pulling out that cash, credit or debit card, and saying "Damn right, I can afford this and I choose to buy this."

Of course, I usually get home and realize, No I can't really afford it, and I definitely should not have chosen to buy it...

Saturday, October 4, 2008

I am thankful for...

1. Family - I love that I feel absolutely no pressure whatsoever to be hip, cool, smart, or fashionable around my family. They don't care if I have the latest designer handbag, or what the state of my house is (currently it's clean, thank you very much), or whether or not I can spell dichotomy (which I can, by the way)...they just like me.

2. My husband - Same as above, yet he also knows how to make me laugh when I'm mad, which makes me instantly feel better and not hold a grudge. He'll go shopping with me, usually without complaint, and he understands my constant need for Starbucks.

3. Dogs - All they want is to be loved and to love you in return, and no one gives a better welcome-home than a miniature dachshund named Bruiser. Dogs in general just make me smile - there is nothing better than a happy dog.

4. My brain - I'm not saying I'm the smartest person in the world, but I do thank the good Lord that I have a brain in my head. I know that I have common sense, and I know that I have the ability to find an answer I don't know. I love getting handed an assignment with no background information - the thrill of the hunt for information is the part I love best. And this is yet another reason Google is high on the list of things I can't live without.

5. The holidays - Each year Labor Day signals the beginning of the Holiday Season for me. It means fall is coming, holiday decorations will soon be near, and the baking and gift giving can begin! Today at Target I bought a Jack O'Lantern door mat and every time I see it it makes me smile. I love the smell of pumpkin bread in the oven, the taste of stuffing at Thanksgiving, the sound of Christmas music, and the sight of Christmas decorations and lights. Ah, what a wonderful time of year!!

6. Job security - I may not have the most exciting job in the world, but at times like this, when our economy is on a serious downward spiral, I am more than happy to continue life as a meager public servant. I can't imagine what it's like to wake up every morning, fearful of losing your job.

7. Friends - Who better to lean on when you're down? Who better to share news of a great bargain with? Who better to text in class while you're bored out of your mind (or email at work for that matter)? No one better than a friend.

I feel like I'm missing something...there's something on the tip of my tongue (and my fingers) that I really want to say, yet it's not coming. How can a Blogger have writer's block!?!?!

I've been web-surfing

I'm house and doggie-sitting this week, and to be honest...it's boring. I am a tv fan, and yet, the house I'm at has only basic channels and NO DVD PLAYER. Seriously. What is a Law and Order-loving-girl to do?

Surf the web, that's what.

So here I am, with a whole list of new websites to check out. God I love Google...

Confections of a Foodie Bride - There are some amazing-looking recipies on this website. I don't know why, but I really want to try the Homemade Mayonnaise

Smartcookies - A friend sent me this website. It's full of articles and tools to help you eliminate debt, spend smarter and save better.

Boston Gal's Open Wallet - This site is not very aesthetically pleasing, but she has a ton of great information on here related to your financial well-being. Just browsing around I've already picked up some great tips.

Fabulously Broke in the City - I can't say this is one of my favorite sites that I found while surfing tonight, but it is pretty damn informative. I found this site while surfing personal finance blogs; she does have quite a bit of info about her personal finances and tips about finance in general, but includes posts in categories like makeup, home and organization, and lots, lots more. It's sort of addicting.

Mind Tools - What a find! The tagline on this site is "Essential Skills for Your Excellent Career." Just a few of the categories on this site are time management, leadership skills, stress management and more.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Ah, Pumpkin Spice Latte...

...How I love thee
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Monday, September 29, 2008

Just a quick note!

I finally updated my 50 books in 2008 link. Instead of taking up a whole lot of space on the side nav bar here, I linked the blog to my Bibliophil page. It's up to date, and I realized...I've only read 29 books! I was so on track for 50 in the beginning of the year, and now I'm so behind! Aaahhh!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I'm Sick

I hate feeling sick. I started feeling bad after I ate leftover pizza on Saturday. Ever since then, my stomach has not been good.

In an effort to combat my stomach pains I made some soup. For some reason, hot and sour soup sounded good, but I'm not a fan of all the stuff in it, just the broth. So, I made just the broth. It's delicious!! I still feel awful, but at least I can eat something.

On another note, I recently saw The Dark Knight at the Imax theater...and it was amazing!! I just love that movie, and it was even better at Imax. Such great close ups...definitely worth seeing. Now I can't wait for it to come out on dvd.
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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I love dogs

My Dogs Live Here
by Unknown Author

My dogs live here, they're here to stay.
You don't like pets, be on your way.
They share my home, my food, my space.
This is their home, this is their place.

You will find dog hair on the floor,
they will alert you're at the door.
They may request a little pat,
a simple "no" will settle that.

It gripes me when I hear you say:
“Just how is it you live this way?
They smell, they shed, they're in the way!”
"Who asked you?" is all I can say.

They love me more than anyone.
My voice is like the rising sun;
they merely have to hear me say
“C'mon, it's time to go and play!”

Then tails wag and faces grin,
they bounce and hop and make a din.
They never say “no time for you."
They're always there, to go and do.

And if I'm sad?
They're by my side.
And if I'm mad?
They circle wide.

And if I laugh,
they laugh with me.T
hey understand,
they always see.

So once again, I say to you
"Come visit me, but know this, too:
My dogs live here, they're here to stay.
You don't like pets, be on your way.

They share my home, my food, my space.
This is their home, this is their place."

Monday, September 8, 2008

Most Commonly Misspelled Words, Part II

Last time we did A through C, now let's continue with D through G:

D
deceive, defendant, deferred, dependent, descend, description, desirable, despair, desperate, develop, development, difference, dilemma, dining, disappearance, disappoint, disastrous, discipline, disease, dispensable, dissatisfied, dominant, drunkenness
E
easily, ecstasy, efficiency, eighth, either, eligible, emperor, enemy, entirely, equipped, equivalent, especially, exaggerate, exceed, excellence, excellent, exhaust, existence, expense, experience, experiment, explanation, extremely, exuberance
F
fallacious, fallacy, familiar, fascinate, feasible, fictitious, finally, financially, fluorescent, forcibly, foreign, forfeit, formerly, foresee, forty, fourth, fulfill, fundamentally
G
gauge, generally, genius, government, governor, grievous, guarantee, guerrilla, guidance

Random update on my life

Nothing especially exiting has happened lately, so here's a random update on my life:

Last week was especially busy at work, and I had one of those weeks where, although I was extremely busy, I got absolutely nothing accomplished. I worked hard all week, and always seemed to be doing something, but it was research, or waiting on answers from another party, so I didn't actually get to close the file on anything. I really want a "Completed" stamp so that I can mark completed files...but then I got to thinking, it might be depressing to buy that stamp because it feels like I don't complete anything!

Ooh, last week I got a new Blackberry, which was exciting. I sold my lame Blackjack II because the Windows operating system is completely unreliable, and I bought a new Blackberry Curve 8310 on Craigslist. I decided to download the Facebook for Blackberry application, which may have been a mistake - I check it ALL the time now. On the one hand, that's good, because I don't have to log in on the computer and spend time that I don't have updating my status or checking on friends. On the other hand, it's bad because I'm always updating my status via Facebook mobile and am sort of manically checking my blackberry for posts/updates/etc.

I got my hair cut again last week (I just tried to take a picture so you could see it, but the lights in my office are horrible and I look too bad). When I first cut it after the wedding, it was blunt and cut straight across. My hair is too pouffy for the haircut that I had in mind, so I'm going more a-line bob this time. Apparently I cut my hair too short the first time, so now I have to grow it out a bit, in order to cut the back shorter, so it'll be a-line. Yeesh.

Saturday we took Bruiser to the vet for his one-year shots. That was an experience. He hasn't been to the vet since his puppy shots were finished, and we took him to a different vet this time because the last one was crap. Bruiser has this thing now where he barks at new people and does not like them to pet him; however after five minutes or so he's your best friend. Our vet had a VERY deep monotonous voice, and apparently Bruiser didn't like it. First he growled, then...he tried to bite the vet. Yep, my vicious little wiener dog - what an oxymoron. Needless to say, they had to use a muzzle, and he used a leather one. Bruiser looked like a mini-Hannibal Lector! It was so sad, but at the same time, hilarious, and I wish I'd taken a picture. Shots, a check on his ear and an exam brought us near $200. Yikes. Next month he loses his baby-nuggets, as my dear Husband calls them. Hopefully after that he loses some of his aggression towards new people; after he heals we're going back to training.

Really, all this rambling and nothing exciting actually happened last week. Pretty sad.

Friday, September 5, 2008

I'm Famous!

I told you about a book that my friend bought me called "To Do List." It's a book full of lists, and I love it, since I'm such a list freak. Last month, I was cleaning out some files and I came upon all these lists that I'd made before the wedding. One of them cracked me up because it was so random and all over the place - lose weight, call florist, look at paper...my mind was scattered, to say the least.

I submitted that list to the To Do List blog, and...Sasha posted it! Click here to see my list.

And along those same lines..

A link to the Top 100 Misspelled Words. Click here to view this phenomenal list of words so that you can check your spelling!

You're welcome.

Ooh fun!

A whole list of commonly misspelled words! What, don't you all find that fun? Here is A through C:

A
absence, abundance, accessible, accidentally, acclaim, accommodate, accomplish, accordion, accumulate, achievement, acquaintance, across, address, advertisement, aggravate, alleged, annual, apparent, appearance, argument, atheist, athletics, attendance, auxiliary

B
balloon, barbecue, barbiturate, bargain, basically, beggar, beginning, believe, biscuit, bouillon, boundary, Britain, Buddha, business

C
calendar, camouflage, cantaloupe, category, cemetery, chagrined, challenge, characteristic, changing, chief, cigarette, climbed, collectible, colonel, colossal, column, coming, committee, commitment, comparative, competent, completely, concede, conceive, condemn, condescend, conscientious, consciousness, consistent, continuous, controlled, coolly, corollary, convenient, correlate, correspondence, counselor, courteous, courtesy, criticize

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sad news from Skinny Bitch

And I quote, "Soda is liquid Satan." Bummer.

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A Skinny Bitch

Recently I read a book called Skinny Bitch, a so-called tough love guide to help you stop eating crap and start looking great. While I haven't become an instant vegetarian, like some people I know, the book did inspire me to do some more research and start making some positive changes (veggie corn dogs anyone, they're delicious!). I'm even thinking of starting another blog to chronicle my road to a healthy lifestyle. Look for a link to the new blog coming soon...I'm thinking of calling it "The Road to Skinny Bitchiness..."
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Monday, August 25, 2008

Honeymoon Pictures

We were docked here in Juneau...this plane kept landing and taking off, over and over.
My first Starbucks of the cruise in Skagway!!
Yep, that's me at Starbucks.
I almost got two...then I took a look at the prices and decided I could only afford one.
This was the iceberg in the fjord. So freakin' cool (no pun intended).
More to come!

Truly Useless Facts

American Indians hardly ever go bald.

According to the Ghost Research Society, there are 789 "real" haunted houses in the U.S.

Stamp collecting is the most popular hobby in the world.

19 states celebrate "National Admit You're Happy Day."

It is impossible to lick your elbow.

Human thighbones are stronger than concrete.

Mouse sex only lasts five seconds.

Update on my new year's resolutions

I should have done this halfway through the year, but I was a little busy getting married. I was just scrolling through some old posts and I came upon my resolutions for 2008, so I thought I'd take a look at them and see how I'm doing:

1. I will read 50 books. My friend did it in 2007, and so I told her I'd do it with her in 2008.
Update: I haven't listed the books in awhile, but I have my recent reads written down. I'm
on 30 or so, I think. Not bad.

2. Although I will continue to curse (because I know I can't stop), I will use curse words that do not take the Lord's name in vain.
Update: Hm, forgot about this resolution.

3. I will stop (or at least drastically reduce) my caffeine consumption. People keep telling me it will help my headaches.
Update: I'm actually doing okay on this one. For awhile I was going to Starbucks twice a day
(eek, I know), and I did start drinking soda again. But, now I'm having tea or hot chocolate for
breakfast (instead of a triple latte), and I bought organic, decaf green tea.

4. I will keep in touch with my friends.
Update: doing okay!

5. I will save money every month to build up my emergency fund (yep, how exciting...).
Update: Wow, I forgot about this one, too...

6. I will get my nails done every 2-3 weeks. I'll fix a broken nail instead of ripping off the entire set. (I know this one sounds weird, but I'm horrible about nail maintenance...)
Update: You should see my nails - I've got hot pink powder. No really, it's cute! Although
I've decided to stop getting my nails done in order to start that savings account I mentioned in
number 5.

7. I will get some form of aerobic activity at least three times every week.
Update: Hm. I'm walking with my aunt and her dog, but twice a week. I'll work on it.

8. I will pay more than I owe on my bills.
Update: Not doing horrible on this one, not doing fantastic.

This just makes me smile...

It's almost as good as "Snape, Snape, Severus Snape..."

I Love Soup

Anyone have any good soup recipes? Or any recipes for that matter. Now that I'm a married lady I'm trying to become more domestic, and that means making more meals. I picture June Cleaver with a Betty Crocker cookbook...
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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Wedding Pictures!

Here are a few to get you started:

MIA, I know...

Whoa, it's been almost two months since I've blogged! Here's why:

1. I got married! Yep, on June 29th I traded in my single ways to be a wife. Yesterday was our one-month anniversary of marriage, and so far, so good! We went on an Alaskan cruise for our honeymoon, which I'll post pictures of soon. We had a fantastic time, and it sucked to go back to work.

2. Work - stress, stress, stress. That's all I really need to say. Although, I will be starting a new position at work (I'm training for it this week) and I'm pretty excited about it. It's currently a one-person unit it, so by adding me - whoa, doubling in size! I think it'll be a lot more interesting than what I've been doing, there's tons to learn, and even though it's not what I want to do forever, it could turn into something better later on.

3. I'm tired - all the build up to a wedding, the stress, the frantic last minute things I had to do, and I just didn't have time to blog. Add to that getting things done at work before I went on vacation for three weeks, then training a new employee when I got back, and I'm just tired.

4. I went on another vacation - yep, a honeymoon wasn't enough for me, I had to go to Yosemite this month too. It's not my fault, though - we go as a family every single year. This time we were there when the fires started in Mariposa, and they shut the power off in the valley. Do you know how scary a bathroom is in curry village when there's no power? Scary!

So, I have lots of pictures to post, and hopefully I'll get them up here soon. I'll add some from Yosemite, the wedding, the honeymoon, and whatever else I may find.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Five Things I Love Today

1. Gardetto's Deli-Style Mustard Pretzels - so tasty, and only two grams of fat per serving













2. Black & Decker Mini Coffee Maker with Thermal Carafe - I'm trying to lay off the Starbucks, since I've been going once and even (gulp) twice a day. So today I brewed some Starbucks Christmas Blend (my favorite!) at my desk and it was delicious.












3. Mini Artist's Model - I randomly bought one of those little artist's model people because I thought it was fun. Little did I know it'd turn out to be the most-used thing on my desk at work. You can shape it to be happy, mad, ready to kick something, whatever...lately, it's been ready to kick something.














4. Amazon.com - I bought three books today, and now I'm anxiously awaiting their arrival. I also spent quite a bit of time looking at the Amazon Kindle. I want one. Enough said.

5. Email - Right now I have two friends/relatives in the hospital: one is my grandpa (they're not sure what's wrong with him) and the other is a friend who is incredibly young (30-ish) who has been in a coma for a week due to E-coli! I love email because I'm getting constant, detailed updates about them both and about how well they're improving.

50 Books in 2008 List

Now that I'm up to book number 23 (ha-ha Emily!), my list is sort of taking up too much space on the side of my blog. So, I've created a new link instead that will take you to Bibliophil, a cool website where you can keep track of books you've read, or that you want to read. It's surprisingly extensive. I don't know if I can create a new list on Bibliophil, so instead my link takes you to the "Reviewed" page, and I'm only going to put books on that page that I've read this year. Enjoy!

Another cute dog

This cute dog is Roxie, an adorable little redhead I know. Her owner got a new camera and is having a good time using it!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Cookie time!

Today I went to the Darling's house so that she could finish my veil for the wedding. Mom, an auntie, H and the kids came too. Turns out that the Darling's son came home for the weekend too, and he spent the day playing with the kids. One fun thing they did was to make cookies.

Here is Lil' H, hard at work frosting his cookie. Mom says the tongue comes from Dad's side of the family...everythinhg works right if you stick the tongue out!
Roo got a little too enthusiastic while frosting her cookies, and some frosting ended up on her elbow. But she sure had a good time!
Yep, looks like they all had a good time!


Bruiser is so cute

Wednesday night I was up late working on a project for work, and Bruiser and Hubby-to-be both fell asleep. Finally, HTB went to bed, but Bruiser wanted to stay in the living room with me. He was playing with his toys, when suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I see a dark flash. I look in the living room, and Bruiser is in the laundry. Not only is he in the laundry, but he has snuggled inside a sweatshirt, then turned around and laid down, so that his body is inside the sweatshirt and only his head is sticking out. It was adorable. (Please excuse the other laundry on the floor!)

Day Out With Thomas

Last weekend we went to a Day Out With Thomas the Train, where you actually ride a train with an engine that looks like Thomas. Lil H of course had a blast, and I was thankful that this year we had an air-conditioned car! This weekend, it rained...last weekend, it was 105 degrees!


This is what Lil H looked like for most of the train ride (below)...he would have stayed like that all day if we'd have let him.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Random

I saw a keychain at Hallmark the other day that said "Everything I need in life I carry in a cute handbag." I thought it was very fitting. And my cute handbag happens to have pink and white polka dots inside!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Today I Want...

There are two things that I want today. The first is a watch that I love but probably won't get - after all, I do have a gorgeous Coach watch that I LOVE and that goes with everything. The second is a pen that I might really get...yes, a pen.

1) How beautiful is this Tortoise shell watch by Michael Kors? It's cool without being really trendy, and it would look so cute with so many things...

2) The Pulse Smart Pen by Livescribe - that's right, a smart pen! It's a computer in a pen, one that records voices as you write, and that can transcribe your notes right onto the computer! You can hit playback and listen to, say, part of a lecture that you missed. How cool is this? You have to watch the whole video at the Livescribe website - it is really, truly cool...


Adventures in Food

In honor of my brother, who recently found out he's allergic to nearly every food under the sun (including carrots - come on now, who's allergic to carrots??), I've been trying to eat one new food a week, if not more, and break out of my comfort zone. This week's food was pretty far out there - buckwheat pancakes! I'll post pictures of them soon (because they look a bit funky), but you know what? They're pretty tasty! They're more like a dry cake consistency than a pancake consistency, but I ate them with spray butter and Smucker's sugar-free syrup, and they were pretty good. And btw, Smucker's is the best sugar-free syrup that I've found...it tastes just like syrup, unlike some of those other sugar-free syrups, like Eggo. Ick.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

7 Small Steps to a Healthy You

I read this article today on Weightwatchers.com, and it really made sense. So often in life, I fall victim to what they call the "END" - Everything Now Dilemma. I try to radically change every aspect of my life at once, and then three weeks later everything is worse. You can read the entire article here, but below I've listed the 7 small steps to a healthy you that they describe in the article:

Monday: Back to work or school. Resolve that all you will do differently today will be to make sure to eat two or more pieces of fresh fruit. Any time, any way.

Tuesday: Today you will set some goals. Plan where you would like to be by the end of the month, then the end of the year — both in your private and personal life. Write these goals in your diary or stick them where you'll see them.

Wednesday: Water day. Eat that fruit, keep your goals in mind and drink six or more glasses of water. Add variety with a squeeze of lemon or lime juice. Or sip on herbal tea if you prefer.

Thursday: Add in some exercise. Go for a (20 to 30 minute) walk. Walk in the park, around your neighborhood or head for the mall and do some fast-paced window shopping ... but don't forget the fruit, the water and to review your goals.

Friday: Fruit, walk, water, goals ... it's getting easier. So this is the day you give your diet a spring cleaning. Eliminate foods that are not helping you stay trim and healthy. You know what they are.

Saturday: Pay day. Well done! You're still drinking plenty of water, including fresh fruit in your diet, exercising, eating well and generally staying on track with your life. Spoil yourself with a special treat. Go on, you deserve it. Have some frozen yogurt for dessert, take in that new movie or plan a weekend away.

Sunday: Traditionally a day of rest. And you can rest, too, since relaxation is key to maintaining control over your new healthy regimen. Take time to lie in a hammock and gaze at the clouds. Put on a facial mask, take a long, luxurious bubble bath, read a book or play with your pet.
Now that wasn't so hard, was it? By the end of just one week you are happier, brighter, healthier and ready to keep going — because you know it takes just three weeks to create a habit. Except you will have created seven by then.

Thought for the Day

"Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing."
- Harriet Braiker

I really wish some people in my work life would remember that. Do you think it'd be insubordination to hang that up at my desk...or make it a scrolling screensaver on my computer?

Monday, May 5, 2008

What a weekend!

My weekend went like this:

Friday I left work at 2:00 to go to E&H's so E and Hubby-to-be could take his truck to the transmission shop. HTB convinced me to bring Bruiser, who has not yet spent enough time with Gus to be buddies. Little H opened the sliding glass door, Gus came bounding in, Bruiser freaked out, and in the ruckus I slammed my head against the tile counter. Yep, it hurt. In fact, it still hurts.

Saturday was kick-back, which I needed. I spent the day at a yard sale, and although I didn't sell anything, I had a good time just relaxing and hanging out. Then, Saturday night was H's birthday party at Mom and Dad's.

Sunday was good - Mom and I spent the day making wedding invitations, and they look pretty darn cute! Even Dad helped out, putting the stamps on the response envelopes (which Hubby-to-be had addressed, thank you honey); pictures to come soon.

Sunday night, the suckiness started. I got halfway down Mom and Dad's driveway and a light came on on my dash. Having no idea what that particular light meant, I stopped and got my book out of my trunk. Apparently it's something to do with the emissions, and if it stays on it says "Continue driving at reduced power until you reach a service station." I was in freaking Placerville, how was I supposed to drive all the way home at reduced power?? So, back up the driveway I went. Long story short, I cleaned out my embarrassingly dirty car, took Mom's car home and Dad took my car to a shop today. I got home at 9:30 or so and stayed up until midnight doing work, ick.

Let's hope my car costs less than HTB's transmission. The shop just called him and told him how much the final cost was...let's just say ouch. It's dang near a whole month's salary!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Squirrel

I finally got a picture of Bruiser's "Squirrel Pose." Apparently when dogs do this it's called "sitting pretty," but I like squirrel better.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Relatives from Abroad

Yesterday I had lunch with some long-lost relatives! Well, can they be long-lost if we didn't know about them? Anyway, out of the blue Egot a phone call from our relative Peter from the Isle of Man, a little island about 32 miles long and 12 miles across in the Irish Sea. Peter had done a little digging and found out that his great-grandmother was also my dad's great-grandmother, and their grandfathers were brothers (I may be wrong on all that but I think I got it right). From what I know, the great-grandmother (my great-great-grandmother) had 14 children, and after her husband died, she couldn't care for them all so she sent them in pairs off into the world. My great-grandfather ended up here in America, although there were others sent to Canada, Australia, and who knows where else. Peter started out trying to find out what happened to the 14 siblings, and ended up finding E!

So yesterday Mom, Dad, E, Roo, Lil H and I had lunch with Peter and Sue from the Isle of Man. It sounds like such a great place - maybe that's where Hubby-to-be and I should go on our honeymoon! Here's a picture of the isle (island?) that I found on google images.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Words

From my "Words You Should Know" book:

misanthropy: hatred of mankind

That was me yesterday. I was soooo antisocial.

mellifluous: flowing sweetly and smoothly

That's me today! I'm in a MUCH better mood!

blather: to gabble or talk ridiculously. To discuss meaningless issues for extended periods.

That one's just a fun word. And yes, I do talk a lot, but it's never meaningless. I swear.

Bruiser does this!

I call it his squirrel pose...I'll have to get a video of him doing it and we can compare.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Pictures from the past few months

Here's a bunch of new pictures - enjoy!

Dad, E and Lil H recently had birthdays, and we had one big celebration for them. Mom got really creative and impressed us all (especially Lil H) with a Thomas the Train cake - look, she even made a face!












And then, look at Lil H's face!



















Aw, and here's my little Bruisey, trying to look innocent.













It's not working...now he looks like he's saying, "Um, enough with the camera already!"

Purse Update...and more updates

So my friend told me I did a very good job of analyzing her purse, with one exception. In the little black makeup bag she does not carry makeup...instead she carries all those annoying store club cards that you hate to carry, but always end up needing. Not a bad idea, I must say - my wallet is so fat because of those things!

How many of you want to hear wedding updates? Well, here you go. I always assumed I'd be a fanatical wedding-planning bride, but because of work, I just don't have time (which I think I'm starting to resent...I want to enjoy my wedding planning). My point being, at this point in the process I should have a countdown going...but I don't. I'll figure it out, or someone figure it out and send it to me please.

Well, I finally have a florist, one that is less than half the price of the first one I went to (wow), and who I think will do a really good job. I met with the owner of the inn where we'll be married, and we have all those details in place; ceremony set-up, linen colors, cake, food, etc. Yahoo! I still have a lot to do, but it seems that the main things are in place.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Inaugural Purse Pictures

Yay for my friend who sent me pictures of her purse! At least someone out there is reading this thing (though in her email to me she did say, and I quote "I feel like such a weirdo"). So, here are the pictures that my anonymous friend sent me (although for those of you who also know her, it'll be fairly easy to figure it out).

Okay, time for the analysis. Assuming I didn't already know this person, I'd say that obviously, she likes nice things, since she has both a Coach bag and wallet. She's extremely neat, judging by the lack of gum wrappers, receipts and other trash that normally floats around in the bottom of purses. In addition to being neat, she is also very clean, simply looking at the hand sanitizer. I see some Weight Watchers material, so she's actively pursuing a healthy lifestyle (and doing an amazing job, I happen to know). I can't tell what's in the little makeup bag, but the fact that the chapstick and lip gloss are out mean they're frequently used; she always puts her best face forward and looks flawless at all times. Finally, the fact that she carries stamps with her, along with a flash drive, mean she's organized and always prepared (unless of course the stamps are a one-time occurrence, in which case that's a fluke).


So, how'd I do?

What a crappy book

I just wasted five days (well not the entire day) reading a book that I didn't even like. It started out interesting enough, but then I started to really dislike the main characters...yet I felt compelled to keep reading. I had to force myself to finish those 401 pages, and when I did I felt, unfulfilled. Like I'd just wasted my time. Bummer.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Send me your pictures

You all know how much I love to watch people. And you know how curious I am about how other people live, what they do, how they do stuff...all that good nosy stuff. So, awhile back I took a picture of my purse and it's contents, because I feel that the contents of my purse accurately describe me. Now it's your turn.

Send me some pictures! Send me a picture of your purse, and then dump out the contents and send me that picture too. You can email them to my gmail address here. I'll keep them anonymous, and I'll write a little blurb about what I think the contents of your purse say about you. Come on, it'll be fun!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Kragen Guy

Kragen Guy: Can I help you?

April: Yes, I need a brake light for an '02 Jetta

Kragen Guy: You want that for the rear?

April: It's a brake light, where else should I put it?

My first true Bill Engvall moment..."Here's your sign."

MIA again

I know, I haven't posted in awhile. Work is again incredibly busy, as we still haven't filled the vacant position I'm covering. Speaking of work, I met a new employee the other day whom I went to highschool with. That makes two employees in this department that I went to highschool with, and one that I went to elementary school with - in a department of 160 people!

Also on the work front, I finally got my promotion! I'm three months into it now (and yes, it took three months to finalize...) but that means I'm halfway done with my probationary period. Yippee!

On the wedding side of things, plans are moving along. The flower girl, mother of the bride and mother of the groom all have dresses to wear; I think the matron of honor has one, but we may still be working on that. I've almost got a florist - right now we're working with two to get quotes that are FAR less than the first one I got. I really need to get into the wedding industry because the profit margin is outrageous...I'm sure there is something I could do on the weekends.

Hm, what else? Bruiser met a new dog the other day named Audrey. She is a gorgeous Rhodesian Ridge back (I know I spelled that wrong) who belongs to my boss. We went for a walk and Bruiser barked at Audrey at first, but then walked with her for almost two hours with no problems. Bruiser did get kicked out of Petsmart the other day - well, not kicked out by the store, but I made Grant take him to the car because he was barking his head off. How ironic that I was there looking for a bark collar...

I had the flu about two weeks ago now, and I'm finally getting over the coughing part. I always thought the flu was just a bad cold, and so I made fun of people who whined about the flu because I thought they were wienies. Well, apparently I've never had the flu before. I thought I was going to die. For three whole days I sat in my living room chair and did not move (apparently it was too much for the poor chair that was already sort of broken, because now it's completely broken). I had a book next to me, and I had the laptop next to me, and I didn't even have the energy to open either one. Bruiser laid on my lap all day for the first two days, but I guess by day three he was bored because he was running around the house being a monster. I watched the same four episodes of Law and Order all day (I did change the disc each day) because I didn't even want to get out of my chair and flip the disc over. It was horrible. Luckily, Grant didn't catch anything from me.
Today I saw a quote that said "If your dog is fat, you're not getting enough exercise." Then I saw this picture and figured it could apply to cats, too.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Can you believe it?

There's already a woman out there who wrote a book called The Purse Driven Life. She's even been on Good Morning America and she talked about how the kind of purse a woman carries can tell you about her personality, and they went through her purse live on the air! Amazing, there is another me out there. Except this one is sort of famous, and I'm not. Her name is Anita Renfroe, and she's the comedian that was in the You Tube video giving 24 hours worth of motherly advice in 3 minutes to the tune of William Tell. Emily found the video clip of her on Good Morning America and sent it to me...it shoulda been me on that show!

Click on this link and you can watch the video of Anita Renfroe on GMA. Watch the whole clip and tell me that's not me in 20 years...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Awww...

Bruiser had a big night of chasing his tennis ball, and all of a sudden, he flopped down in the middle of the floor, and he hasn't moved in 10 minutes. He's out...

If Bruiser were a cat...

Monday, February 25, 2008

One of my favorite commercials

I'm not even close to this coordinated

Thanks Heather, you always find the cool things

Weird Al'

I just finished a book about an Amish girl...I couldn't resist this one.

MIA

As many of you have pointed out to me, I need to update my blog. So I say to you all, "Alright already, here you go!"

A quick recap of last week:
  • I had a successful weigh-in and lost 2.0 last week! Yay! I slipped a little bit on Saturday, but got right back on track. Sunday Mom and I went to a new restaurant (well new to us) called Ruby Tuesday's. YUM that was good food, and they had a great salad bar.
  • We finally registered this weekend. Saturday we registered at Williams Sonoma for everyday dishes, and then Sunday I went to Bed Bath & Beyond and did a bit of registering by myself. Grant was not as into registering as I was, so I went alone Sunday and told him we'd get on the internet and go through everything I picked out, and if he hated it, we'd take it off (although I REALLY hope he doesn't have negative feelings towards the pink KitchenAid mixer I put on there...). So, don't go buying anything yet, family - I have to edit the lists!

Hm, that seems to be all I can recall from last week. I know that work was incredibly stressful on Thursday and Friday, so maybe I've blocked that out from my mind. Okay, update over!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Cool Words

I found this website that lists the "best words." I don't know if they're really the best or not, but apparently you can submit your favorite word(s) to be added to the list. Here are a few of my favorites from their current list. Some I like for the definition, some just for the way the word sounds:

avuncular (ah-VUNG-kyah-ler) — 1. of or having to do with an uncle. (I've heard this word before and really had no idea it's meaning was uncle.)

boeotian (be-OH-shen) — stupid; dull (I think I'd rather just say stupid.)

borborygmus (bor-bah-RIG-mes) — a rumbling noise produced by the movement of gas through the intestines (Here's a whole new way to say you've got gas...)

callipygian (kal-ah-PIJ-ee-en) — having beautifully proportioned buttocks (I don't know why but this one is hilarious.)

clatterfart (KLAT-er-fart) — a chatterer; babbler (Uh-oh...I talk a lot...)

cockalorum (kok-ah-LOR-em) — 1. a little man with an unduly high opinion of himself. 2. boastful talk; braggadocio (I like the first definition; isn't that like short-man-syndrome?)

Okay there's A - C. Perhaps there will be more to come later.

Snape, Snape, Severus Snape...

Thank you Heather for finding this...it cheers me up when I'm in a bad mood. Although Bruiser doesn't seem to like this song.

Post-It Note Atari

See, other people share my love of office supplies.

Random pictures to enjoy

1. Henry & me at Xmas 2006
2. Grant and I the day we got engaged (5.6.07)
3. Where he proposed, Grace Cathedral, San Francisco
4. Me in Vegas (yep, with Starbucks)
5. Me in front of Grace Cathedral just after getting engaged




Buh-bye two pounds!

This week I lost 2.3 pounds! I can only assume that millions of people are right and that exercise does actually contribute to weight loss. Who would have thought?

Update on the water front - I have never seen the inside of so many public restrooms (too bad for me I HATE public restrooms). I'm proud to say I'm doing a great job drinking my water every day. For the past week I've had no less than 80 ounces a day. Let's hope I can keep this up!

Oh, and a discovery of mine. You all know I'm a Starbucks addict. Recently I tried their new sugar free mocha and was incredibly...disappointed. I know, who would have thought I'd ever be disappointed in Starbucks? Not me. So you can see why I was hesitant to try Peet's sugar free mocha. However, I tried it, and I LOVE IT! I've discovered a new favorite.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

I think I'm floating away

Seriously, my bladder has never been so continuously full. After failing miserably at drinking my 64 ounces of water per day, something came over me and I've been drinking copious amounts of water for the past three days. Friday I had 72 ounces; Saturday I had 96 ounces, and today I've had...144 ounces! And I've never peed so much in my life.

Just a note on my road to health. I gained a pound this week, and I was so frustrated that I went straight to the gym. I've carefully counted my points this weekend and did lots of grocery shopping for healthy foods. Tonight, in an effort to get ready for the week, I even hardboiled eggs, cut up broccoli, cooked lots of chicken and got lots of other things ready for lunches for the week. Yay!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Snow!

I went to Mom and Dad's on Saturday and as I was driving up the hill...snow! I've never driven in snow before, so it was a new experience for me. Here are a couple of pictures of the snow along their road.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Random thought for the day

When a semi breaks down and has to be towed by one of those big semi-tow trucks, does the broken down semi have to be unloaded?

I ask because I saw a semi being towed the other day, and if it takes a semi-engine to haul all that stuff in the first place, imagine the engine it takes on the tow truck to tow the broken down, fully loaded semi! And if it has to be unloaded before it can be towed, well that's a lot of work too.

Last night I fulfilled a dream...

I went to see George Strait in concert! I had an amazing time and I'm so glad I finally got to go see George. We had fantastic seats and I could see the stage at all times. He did an amazing job (I expected no less) and I hope that someday I get to see him again. I forgot my camera, but here are a couple of pictures from my phone that I took of the big screen.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

See April Work

Since my blog is actually titled "See April Work," I thought I'd show you where I work. Don't worry, I just mean my desk. I won't say where I work (for those of you out there in blogland who don't know me personally), and none of the pictures show any identifying information. But, since I spend the majority of my life at work, here you go.
Here is the view when you walk into my cubicle (yes, I have a cubicle again...but I hear when we move floors I'll be moving back into an office). Can anyone find my iced latte on the desk?? And notice the card on the wall that shows two cute little wiener dogs (not nearly as cute as my Bruiser).















Here's the left side of my cubicle, when standing at the entrance (it's sort of messy). Notice my awesome old-fashioned stapler by the light?? And what is that in the window, you may ask? It's a Governator bobble-head. Emily always turns him around or puts him in a corner.














This is looking out from my cubicle (well the right side of the cubicle near the door). I don't like files on my desk but these are my working files, as well as my inbox and some special projects. And yes, I have a whiteboard. I love it. I wish it were bigger.














This is a close-up of my desk area. That's Mom's cool electric stapler that shows you the inner workings (I asked for it when she retires but she gave it to me early). Then there's my little dollar piggy-bank from Target to hold my change. Me and Grant, my awesome double-sided stamps (everyone should have those) and my other electric stapler. Yes, I have three staplers. I just can't get rid of them. The one on the left is decorative, the one on the right is the most efficient stapler I've ever had, and my cool old fashioned one is, well, cool.















Okay, last one - here's me sitting at my desk (sorry it's blurry). Get it, "See April Work." Okay I'm not working, but it's after five so I can take my picture if I want.




Sunday, January 27, 2008

Random thought for the day

As I came up to a stop sign today (and of course completely stopped, looked both ways and in NO way rolled through the stop sign), I had a thought. When we Californians stop at a stop sign, but do not come to a full and complete stop, we call it a California Stop.

What do people in other states call it? A Michigan Stop? A Nebraska Stop?? It just doesn't have quite the same flair...

Friday, January 25, 2008

50 Books in 2008 Update

I'm now on book #5! I've updated the list of books in a previous post below.

And not that this is in any way a competition...but I'm ahead of Emily. Wow!!

Nothing exciting this week...

Well not much happened this week. I've been super busy because in addition to work and Grant starting school, I completed a project management course this week. That's not too exciting in general, but it's pretty exciting to me! I learned a lot about paired-comparison approach, linear relationship theory, and much, much more. While those things may sound boring, they're actually cool approaches to managing multiple priorities and projects.

Bruiser and I went to class again yesterday, and we sort of failed. Bruiser can walk very well on a leash, but that's sort of it in class. He barked quite a bit again last night and even snapped at two dogs. At least he didn't snap at Penguin the Newfoundland again, who outweighs him by at least 100 pounds! Nope, Bruiser and Penguin seem to be friends; it's the smaller dogs Bruiser doesn't like. Renee (one of the trainers) says that Bruiser doesn't like to do things like "sit" in class because it's a cold cement floor and he doesn't want to get his little butt cold. That seems to be sort of true, because Bruiser and I practiced in the house tonight and he could do sit, down, and down-stay (at least for a few seconds).

Since not much happened this week, I found some old pictures to put up that I just thought were cute. When Bruiser was little, before he chewed his second and final bed to pieces, this is how he would sleep in it:

He'd start out all cozy in the bed. Suddenly, he'd be halfway out of the bed. Next, he'd be almost all the way out of the bed. Finally, he'd be curled up in the middle of the floor, no where near his bed!