Friday, September 30, 2011

Photo challenge - day 14!

I got 4 lbs. of quick oats today (for $3!). Think that's enough to satisfy my no-bake cookie cravings for a while. :)

I'm getting together with Kris and Dave tomorrow. <3 They are two of my favorite, favorite people and I am so glad they are in my life! Dave must have called three or four times today to chat, and then because he was being goofy. He has asked me to sing at their wedding, so we were going over potential songs while I was at the grocery store tonight. Two of them are songs that are special to me, which might be a little strange, but I am so honored that he asked. He wants to do a duet with me, too. I think it's going to be "When You Say Nothing At All." I'm pretty excited! Anyway, Kris got something super exciting for Dave that she's giving him tomorrow and I'm so happy for them.

I'm not feeling too hot tonight. I took a 2.5 hour nap earlier and am still exhausted. And my tummy hurts. Apparently orange juice was not a good choice.

I completed well over half of my to-do list again this weekend. Pretty pleased! 29 things done. I still have some phone calls to make this weekend, and some on Monday, but overall I'm pretty happy with what I accomplished.

I'm having a hard time keeping my eyes open, so I think it's time for bed. Ciao!

Thursday, September 29, 2011


You know when you hear about those lucky people who get paid to test out products? They get free crap in the mail and get to use it?

Well right now, that's me. I completed a survey online a few weeks ago saying I was willing to test some new dishwasher cleaning products. Today, I got a box delivered by UPS. Nearly 8 lbs. of dishwasher detergent. I'm supposed to use it for two weeks, and I'll get another one in another two weeks. Apparently I get to compare the two. Awesome!! I was just about out of dishwasher detergent, too, and thinking about making my own. Definitely don't have to worry about that for a while!

Rock on!

I also found this picture today, and love it!

Tomorrow is the last day of the month. I'm still a little behind on my goals for this month, so I need to kick it into gear! Hopefully I can get them all done by midnight tomorrow. Crossing my fingers!

I think I'm getting a head cold. I've been pretty miserable this afternoon, and might hit the hay a little early after wrapping up a few odds and ends here. Ciao!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My poor computer.

He's on his way out, I think. Has been for a while, actually, but today I am noticing a dark spot on the screen that won't brush off. That makes two. Thankfully they're both fairly small and not directly in the center, but the fact that they're even there is a little frustrating. It might be necessary sooner rather than later to upgrade this beast and get a new one.

I had such a wonderful dream last night. I woke up really looking forward to tomorrow. Some parts were pretty bizarre (Mr. G was in it!) but it definitely put a smile on my face.

I woke up to the "lawn maintenance" guys hanging out right outside my bedroom window with a leaf blower this morning. There are definitely pros to living on the second or third floor that I had forgotten.

I know I said it wasn't going to happen, but I've been thinking about getting a scale. That might help me create more realistic weight loss goals and stick to them - when I see my progress in more than just pictures. Not knowing how much I weigh, or even having a good idea, is kinda weird to me. I haven't weighed myself since July. That's over two months ago. I can see that I'm losing weight since I got home - even this morning, I could tell I was thinner than I was in my Monday night photo. I just wish I had a number to go along with that to keep me motivated.

Another headache today. I meant to finish my 1/2 gallon + last night but didn't quite drink it all.

I got a TON of produce at Sunflower yesterday. 2 lbs. of fresh green beans - YUM! Avocados, yellow and zucchini squash, and then I got some dried beans. I'm getting a lot more protein than I used to because of the Greek yogurt, but still not as much as I probably should since I don't eat much meat. So perhaps some bean soup will combat that.

I went to hot yoga tonight! Love that place. F'real. It keeps me sane.

And I got a new pair of shoes in the mail! I forgot to skip this past month before the 5th, so they charged my card. Obviously that means I need a new pair of shoes.

I am totally in love with brown booties, and I love these even more than the similar pair I got when I first started this stupid shoe club.

Now it's off to finish revising my German essay and work on these stupid Math problems. Ciao!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

So freakishly tired.

I'm surprised my eyes are still open.

Cancelled my modeling shoot in the morning.

I'm behind on my to-do list for the week, but hopefully can make up some easy stuff tomorrow.

I'm helping (sorta) a playwrite out of NYC on a project she's working on relating to the military, spouses, etc. It's something I want to do for sure, but it's brought up a lot of memories I had repressed.

I've been so exhausted lately. Here's to hoping that I can sleep in until 9 (or maybe a little later!) and wake up refreshed. Ciao!

Pictures 10 and 11.

Well I had my first math test today. :/ And that's about how well that went. I wasn't expecting to do awesome since my teacher is pretty much the worst ever, but there were a lot more proofs on the test than I had expected, and hadn't prepared for all of them.

I mailed out all my Amazon books today! That's another $92 in my pocket. I realized that one of them, Amazon totally gouged me on and I ended up making less than $3 after shipping. Hint: Don't offer international shipping unless you're a big name and can handle losing out on some cash. I sold a brand new book for less than a $3 profit. Bummer.

I have another modeling shoot in the morning... and to be honest, I'm really not looking forward to it. I'm still toying with the idea of cancelling. The photographer is an hour away, and the shoot would start at 8:15 in the morning... so I'd be in the middle of rush hour traffic and it would take me more than an hour. He's good, but good enough to warrant at least two hours in the car tomorrow morning? Without pay? Probably not. And he's said a few things that make me uncomfortable - apparently his wife doesn't approve of his photography work that involves models. Or so he says. So he has asked me not to call; to text if I need to get ahold of him, etc. Just weird.

I'm up over 50,000 grains of rice donated now!! My goal to catch up was to have 75,000 donated by the end of October. I've made huge strides toward that goal, and I should have surpassed that closer to the middle of October if I keep on track.

Today was the free ice cream day at Cold Stone, so I walked away with a little taste of their concoction for the Make a Wish Foundation tonight, and got my name on their wall for a dollar.

Driving over there (or to Sunflower, rather, but in the same general direction), I took my picture for today. We had a mondo dust storm this summer that I was in California for, so I missed it. Today's wasn't nearly as big, but it was probably the biggest dust storm I've been in since I moved here, so I snapped a photo.

Now yesterday's photo. Ugh. I forgot to take a normal one during the day, and then was too lazy to find something around the house to take a picture of, so I am using one of my "Hey look; I'm fat," photos that I upload to my other blog once a week.

I am so ready to be back to my February weight. I feel like a huge cow. I still can only wear one of my pairs of pants. Even my arm looks huge in that picture. Le sigh. I'll get there eventually. And certainly I'll be there by next November, since Mom and I are running 13.1 miles together! (This picture shows less than a bikini would, Mother. Don't freak out.)

I suppose I should hit the books for tonight. I have a lot to do in the next few days!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Kicking off another week!

And I am super excited to say that I completed 40 of my 60 to-do list items yesterday. 67% down!!

I started another to-do list today. Holy cow, I already feel overwhelmed. Since I'm going to be working all next weekend (Friday - Sunday), I thought I'd try to get a head start on the week and be responsible - all that jazz. I know I can work and still be successful in school; I will just have to manage my time a lot better. Unfortunately it looks a little overwhelming right now.

I'm going to lay everything out tonight and make it work. I'm also thinking about getting a mondo desk calendar to keep track of everything, which might be a little more helpful than my mini pocket calendar I carry around with me.

I also forgot to mention that I got a B on my P-Chem test last week!!!!!!! I was really pleased with that. I didn't study as much as I thought I should have, so I wasn't expecting to do very well.

I have another raging headache. I'm ready to be done with class for the day and go home. :(

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I am a fat kid, photos, and a new job!

Sooooo. . . I made no-bake cookies. Again. For the second time in a week. I changed up the recipe because I was almost out of white sugar after the last batch, and holy cow. I love them even more now. 

They don't look much different than the others, but they're even tastier, in my humble opinion. 

1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. butter
scant 2 cups packed brown sugar
4 Tbsp. unsweetened Ghiradelli cocoa (the brand makes all the difference!)
1/2 c. peanut butter
3 c. quick oats

Mix the first 4 ingredients together on the stove. Let boil for 90 seconds. Remove from heat and add in the last three ingredients. Spoon onto wax paper and let cool. 


And my day 9 photo: 
I had an interview today, and subsequently landed the job! (Please forgive the mess in the background and my dirty mirror. I'm still unpacking and that's my empty room which has been serving as a catch-all right now.) I start on Friday. 

I also had some modeling work this morning. 200 bucks for about an hour and a half worth of work. No complaints here! 

I stayed the night at Kris's last night since my modeling gig this morning was out in Litchfield Park, and I was already over there for the BBQ at her neighbor's house. (I'm going to the Chris Young concert with Lori, by the way! Super excited.) Came home this afternoon and took a two-hour nap. 

I sold another textbook on Amazon today for over 70 bucks. I have a bunch of 'em to mail tomorrow, which should be right around 100 dollars in my pocket soon. I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner. 

I have well over half my to-do list crossed off right now. I'm trying to see how many more I can get accomplished by the end of the night. We'll see! I have a headache so most of the cleaning is probably out. I have 24 things left (out of 60). Most of them involve either cleaning or phone calls that have to be made during business hours. I'm aiming to cross off another 4 tonight, though. That would be 67 percent of my list down, and I'm more than happy with that number! 

I'm off to work on homework. Ciao!

Friday, September 23, 2011

My house smells amazing!

I had some spinach thawed tonight to make Chicken Piccata for Atia and me,  and then she got a ticket and wasn't able to make the drive up here. So here I sat, with five chicken breasts, not sure what to do with them. I thought about making chicken piccata still, especially since it's been a while, but it just didn't sound good anymore. So I went to the grocery store and ended up with a chicken shell casserole bake!

4 chicken breasts
approx. 10 cloves garlic (I have a bunch of minced garlic so I put in 4 heaping spoonfuls.)
18 oz. spinach (2 bags) 
1 lb. pasta shells 
approx. 4 oz. white wine

Heat the oven to 350*. Cook the pasta to al dente (and make sure you salt the water!). Dice the chicken breasts and cook them in the olive oil for 10ish minutes. Then add garlic and cook until brown. Add in the wine and spinach. Cook until wilted. Toss everything together in a casserole dish and cover with cheese! (I used a Mexican blend because it's what I had on hand. It probably would be better with mozzarella.) Cook for 25 - 30 minutes. 

It could have used a little more wine, I think. Some of the chicken was a little dry. Overall, it was delicious! I have a ton of leftovers, and I know this is going to be something that I don't regret making a ton of. 

I think I'm going to start winding down so I can hit the hay around 11. I have my walking group at 5:45 in the morning again, so I'll be up at 5. I have a long day tomorrow! Ciao! 

365 photos: Day 6

I meant to put this up with the last update. I also meant to be in bed earlier, and then I got sidetracked with FreeRice. (Up to 38,500 grains today!)

Poor little Raj had a major freakout in the cage earlier. There are inevitably a lot of feathers flying everywhere when that happens, but I've never seen one end up like this. It stabbed the carpet and has stayed like this for hours. I thought it was so amusing, I needed a picture. So today's picture!

Hard to believe, looking at that picture, that I vacuumed just a few days ago. She knows how to make a big mess. I suppose we're alike in that regard. I'm just a little better at picking up after myself. 

It's past my bedtime. I suppose I should finish up my German homework and head off. Ciao!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

My happy list is finished!

Another goal down! I added it as a page at the top of my blog. $ That's 16 total so far!

I took a three-hour nap today. And I'm still ready for bed at 10:30. I meant to do a lot of things today - namely go grocery shopping and go for a 2 mile walk. Neither of those happened. I was going to make cookies. Didn't happen. I didn't make dinner either, and ended up microwaving the last of my Costco burritos that was in the freezer. (Organic bean, cheese, and rice. They're pretty tasty.) 

I suppose I should finish up my homework and pick up the house a little bit. I have a girls' night tomorrow, and then I'm going out to Kris's for a BBQ on Saturday. Staying the night there, and I have a shoot in Litchfield Park Sunday morning. I won't have much free time this weekend! 


Completed another goal!

I sent in my testing kit for the marrow registry tonight! I had to do four cheek swabs, 10 seconds each, and that's it! I packed it up and mailed it off, and they should have everything evaluated within two months. That's 15 goals done so far! 

I also have 17 of 32 things crossed off my to-do list for the week! I am on a roll this week! 

And, last but not least, I have donated more than 30,000 grains of rice on FreeRice so far! I know that's way behind where I should be right now (1,000 grains per day), but I've made really great progress since I've been home - especially with how busy I've been! 

I had a modeling shoot tonight. Film Noir, and I think we got a LOT of great stuff. My Day 5 picture is of part of my clothing stash after I got home. 
We got some really great shots in my green pea coat from Wilson's. The lighter one, we didn't use. I'm really looking forward to seeing some of the edited photos! What I enjoyed most of all, though, was the conversation. Jim was really easy to talk to, and he has an interesting story. I shared part of my own, and we sat in the car talking after the shoot was over for probably close to half an hour. I had a great time! 

I need to finish up my German homework before I head to bed, so I'm outta here. Ciao! 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Day 4 of the 365 photo challenge!

I found this guy in the bathroom earlier and felt the need to take a picture, since he's the first spider I have seen in this house since I moved in 10 months ago. 

Yeah, I know. Itty bitty. I took a picture anyway. 

In less than 6 hours, I have crossed off another 7 things from my to-do list! I now have 15 of 34 items completed. I rock! 

I'm super tired and heading to bed. Just wanted to share a quick photo of my new house guest. (He's dead now. His guts are hanging out. But I promise that's not usually the way my house guests end their stay here.)


Crossed off another goal!

I think I mentioned that I completed my Facebook detox and crossed that goal off the list last Friday. Well today, I realized I haven't had soda in over a month! Crossed off that one, too. That's 14 goals completed so far. I'm a little bit behind, since I should be averaging 3 goals per month and I've been working on this for 6 months now, but since I'm making good progress on the long-term goals, I'm pretty happy with where I'm at. 

Speaking of - it's hard to believe it's already been six months! Time flies, I suppose. It definitely doesn't feel like it's been that long. I remember putting my list together back at the end of February / beginning of March.  I've done quite a bit of modifying it since then, My overarching goal is to complete 101 goals in that time period - not necessarily the same 101 I started with, so I don't feel terrible changing them around. The ones that I have changed are never changed to goals I have already completed. The new goals start when I change them, not the beginning of March like the rest. 

I have more modeling work this week! I have a night shoot tomorrow evening that should be a total blast, and a shoot involving guns on Sunday morning that should yield some awesome photos! (and pay a lot of money.) 

I completed 11 of my 23 to-do list items this weekend. I've started on another list that should last me through Thursday/Friday, and I have eight of the 34 things already done! It always makes me feel productive when I make a dent in my to-do list. 

I feel like an enormous cow today, so I've been drowning my sorrows in no-bake cookies. If I'm not going to see any difference when I eat nothing but veggies all day, compared to when I stuff my face, you'd better bet I'll be stuffing my face. I do think I'm going to go for another several mile walk tonight, though. Hopefully my headache will cooperate. 

My computer is on its way to dying, so I should probably head off. Ciao! 

Monday, September 19, 2011

365 photos: Days 2 and 3

I'm already failing at this update every day thing. Oops.

I started my 365 photo challenge on Saturday, September 17th. 

Sunday's photo - my awesome little bird. She was being super adorable and singing away most of the day yesterday. 

And today's photo. I have been craving no-bake cookies for the last few days, so I finally made some today. 

Yum, yum, yum. 

I went to hot yoga again today! I love that place. I wish I would've taken advantage of them being across the street from the old apartment, before we both moved. 

I had my Innsbruck presentation this morning. It went okay - a little shorter than expected, even though I didn't think I would take up the full 8 minutes. I showed a bunch of Hafelekarspitze photos and chatted about my trip. Easy grade. 

Still have some homework to do and I'd like to head to bed a little early, so I'm outta here! Ciao!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

365 thought-provoking questions: Questions 111 - 120

111. When you help someone do you ever think, “What’s in it for me?”  As much as I would like to be selfless, I am not completely. So while I don't usually think that, I'm sure it's crossed my mind a few times. Even if not consciously, I know that I am gratified when I help others. I derive satisfaction and pleasure from being able to help, so on some level, I suppose I do think that. 

112. What is your greatest challenge?  My greatest challenge is making myself proud. I have incredibly high standards for myself and they are not always realistic. 

113. How do you know when it’s time to continue holding on or time to let go?  The time to let go is when you have to ask yourself that question. Letting go doesn't mean abandoning someone. It means allowing them to make that choice for themselves. Holding on is a term that implies smothering, to me, or clinging to a thread of hope. The question leads me to think of relationships, and "holding on" is a miserable way to live your love. 

114. How do you define success?  Success to me is being able to be proud of yourself, and have others proud of you. For me, that might be something as small as acing a test or achieving a goal. If I am proud of myself, I feel I have succeeded. 

115. If someone could tell you the exact day and time you are going to die, would you want them to tell you? I have changed my mind on this question several times over the years, but today, my answer is yes. I would like to know how to budget my time. If I am going to die next year, I'm not going to waste my time now taking miserable classes that I don't enjoy, and that eat up all my time. I will spend it doing things I love with people I love. If I'm going to die when I am 80, then I'll suck it up and continue on my current path because this degree is important to me. 

116. If I could grant you one wish what would you wish for?  To be done with my freaking degree, and have all my student loans forgiven! 

117. What have you read online recently that inspired you?  I really like Seth Godin as well as Mark and Angel. I don't know that I would say I've read anything inspiring lately, though. Almost all of what I've read online recently has been educational. 

118. Why do religions that advocate unity divide the human race?  Religion is a very polarizing thing. Religions may advocate unity, but most also believe that their way is the only correct way. That can obviously lead to discord - especially among zealots. 

119. If you could live one day of your life over again, what day would you choose?  The happiest day of my life to date has been the day Kyle came home from Afghanistan. So were we together, that would be the day I chose, without question. Even though we're not, that is still the happiest memory I can recall. So I guess I would still choose that day. March 13, 2010. 

120. What can money not buy?  As the song goes, "Money can't buy me love." It also can't buy happiness or self-worth. It can't buy a lot of things, as a matter of fact. 


Mom called this morning. She mentioned that she burned 1300 calories in her run this morning. That's quite a few, so I asked how far she ran. 14 miles. 

That got me thinking about the half marathon we're running together next November. And how since my 101 list doesn't need to be completed until December 2013, it might be possible to complete a full marathon as well. 

So I started looking up different marathons that looked interesting, and kept seeing the terms PR and BQ pop up in comments. Obviously I'm familiar with a PR, but BQ was a new one for me. I thought it was some sort of qualification, but wasn't sure. More research commenced!

What I found really surprised me. The Boston Marathon is the oldest marathon in the country, which I knew. You also have to qualify, which I also knew, but I wasn't sure what their requirements were. 

If you are a woman under 40, you have to run a 8:20 mile and maintain that pace for 26 miles. You have to complete a marathon in under 3:40:00 in order to qualify to even run Boston. HOLY COW. That's 7.2 MPH for 26 miles. I usually run at 6.5 - 6.7 MPH but I definitely can't maintain that pace for a single mile, let alone 26 of them. 

It also got me thinking about starting to train for our half! I'm super excited and I am actually surprised at how much I'm looking forward to running 13.1 miles with my mommy. You'd also best believe that after I finish that thing, I'm getting a 13.1 sticker and putting it on my back window. 

Time to finish my Innsbruck presentation! More tomorrow. :)

365 day photo challenge!

Picture number 1!

I had Kris's neighbor take it for us when I was over there last night. She had Dave go to the store and get us (her) some dill pickles, and we were sitting outside on the trailer eating them. I thought it was an entertaining accompaniment to the comment she had made when I got out of the car, so I had to have some photo documentation.

I'm going to *try* to update daily with photos, but we'll see how that goes.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Crazy work-out day!

Well, not crazy. But more exercise than I've gotten recently. 

I got up at 5 this morning and went for a 4-mile walk. Then I headed straight to hot yoga for some awesome time with Marco. 

Went home, took a shower, and headed up to Scottsdale for some training. Came home, did some stretching, and now I'm off to (not) taste some wine, and then going to Kris's for dinner!

Hopefully my headache will go away soon. :( 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Well. I got both tests back today.

And I didn't do as well as I had hoped on either one. 

I thought FOR SURE that I had aced the Java test. I ended up with an 89. Not bad, and I'm not super upset about it, but I am a little bummed because I thought I had done better. I ended up with a few stupid mistakes that cost me points. (Five of those mistakes were rounding errors. I just forgot to. DUMB!) And O-Chem... I wasn't expecting it to go spectacularly, but I felt like I had done better overall than I actually did. I'm not far below the average, so I'm not concerned - I'll just have to study more for the next one. Definitely didn't get that A I was aiming for. 

Andy brought up going to see him for Oktoberfest again tonight. I need to look for tickets some time this weekend. I'm not sure that it's feasible right now, even though he offered to split costs with me. I have another tuition payment due in 9 days, and the last one is due the weekend of his Oktoberfest. It would be awesome... we'll just have to see. 

I have my walking group at 5:45 in the morning and I'm finally getting tired, so I should probably hop in bed. As amazing as last night's 9 1/2 hours of sleep was, it's not going to do me any good tomorrow. 

I'm outta here! Big day tomorrow. Hopefully I'll get the answer I'm looking for in the morning, too! Cross your fingers for me. 


Thursday, September 15, 2011

I forgot to mention...

I totally rocked my Java test yesterday! Like, 99 percent sure I got an A. 

But the best part of yesterday was the High Performance Computing forum I went to. Aside from the food (chocolate covered strawberries, marinated artichoke hearts, delicious veggies, tasty desserts...), we learned about the new developments from INTEL that are in the works (a 22nm microprocessor, with plans for 17nm and 14nm). I also listened to Tim Alpers talk about Watson for an hour... and then got to play some Jeopardy! with Watson!! Super exciting! One of the guys in the audience actually beat him on a question. We talked about Watson's reasoning process... I took some pictures that I'll upload a little later. 

I've been getting nasty headaches at the base of my skull on the left side for two days now. Gross. 

I have about two hours of studying left before I have to head off to my P-Chem test. Guess I should get on that! 


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Ah. Winding down the day.

I saw such an amazing, heart-warming video earlier today. A motorcyclist was involved in a crash, and got trapped under a burning car. A group of by-standers lifted up the car so someone could drag the guy out of harm's way. How awesome!

I also read an interesting article today about signs that might mean impending divorce. I agreed with all of them, but thought most were a bit evident. I saw a discussion about the article, though, where a woman said something that I absolutely agreed with. She had attended marriage counseling, and her therapist told her the number one predictor of divorce was contempt for one's partner. Completely agree. It made me think of Kyle, actually. How much contempt he had for me that he didn't even think he needed to share positive things about me/our relationship with his friends and family - that it was totally acceptable to share only the negative. 

I LOVE MONSOON SEASON!! It's raining like crazy right now, and I have the deck door open so I can hear and smell everything. I love the smell of rain. Tonight is gorgeous. 

I forgot to mention yesterday - I completed 15 of 30 things on my to-do list this weekend! That's a pretty big deal for me, since obviously 30 things is way overkill. I purposely put a zillion things on there because I feel like overloading myself, I guess. But completing half of them is awesome, and I was pretty excited about that. 

I have a Java test tomorrow, and a P-Chem test on Thursday. I also have a German essay due on Thursday. These next few days are going to be super busy! 

And to top it all off, I just got a coupon for a 2 dollar Jamba Juice all-fruit smoothie! Today rocks. :)

Off to study. Ciao!


My math test has been postponed! Only five days, but that's another weekend I have to study. 

I've been checking up on the safety of hot yoga during pregnancy today. If anyone has any research to share, experience, or a medical opinion, bring it on! I would love to hear it. 

I have a lot to do today, and not enough time to do it in! Getting back to class now, but I'll try to update with something a little more substantial later. :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

So. Today.

Was really emotionally draining. And that's all I'm going to say on that subject for a while. 

I took another trash can full of goodies to the recycling bin today! More progress I can cross off on my list. $

I WORE PANTS TODAY!!!!!!!!!! I haven't been able to fit in a single pair of pants (admittedly I haven't tried on a lot of them since it's miserably hot outside) since I came home. It's been dresses or skirts every day. I think I've worn shorts two or three times. Today, I wore pants! And they fit! And looked awesome! And I wasn't splooging belly fat over the front/sides! 

I got a TON of produce today at the grocery store. Cantaloupe. Peaches. Nectarines. Apples. Raspberries. Bananas. Cauliflower... I think maybe that's it. Someone is going to be eating super healthy this week. My fridge is finally full again. I also got some 93 percent lean grass-fed ground beef. I was planning on making a taco salad with it this week. We'll see. I got two lbs. since that was the smallest package, so I have plenty to experiment with. Maybe I'll make some chili, too - perhaps try my own version of beer chili. 

I'm pretty tired after being subjected to a barrage of phone calls until 1:30 this morning. I think I'm going to work on my German essay and then head to bed a little early. 


Sunday, September 11, 2011

365 questions: 91 - 110

91. What personal prisons have you built out of fears?  I am afraid of failure, so I don't often put myself in situations where I would be challenged, because I don't want to take that risk. I am afraid of letting others down or disappointing others, so I plan my life according to what I think others would want of me and not what I truly want myself. Lastly, I am afraid of being hurt, so if I sense hurt incoming, I will lash out - seemingly to protect myself, even though it doesn't do any good. 

92. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do?  A recent thing I had really wanted to do but didn't was bungee jump off the Europe bridge in Innsbruck. I also would really like to finally graduate with my Bachelor's, and I would really like to visit all seven continents. 

93. Why are you, you?  I am my own unique collection of memories, experiences, values, and beliefs. I am me because my dad took me camping and fishing with Roger Beaty when I was little (which was the start of my love of at least the former). I am me because I was not allowed to quit piano lessons (which led me into my music major and accompanying at church in Moscow). I am me because I joined a sorority (which gave me a lot of experiences - both positive and negative, that helped shape who I am). I am me because I called off a not-engagement (nearly four years with someone and planning a wedding together changes your view on life). Every experience I have had has made me who I am today. 

94. If you haven’t achieved it yet what do you have to lose?  Dignity, I suppose, if you try and don't succeed. Other than that, nothing. 

95. What three words would you use to describe the last three months of your life?  Eye-opening whirlwind.

96. Is it ever right to do the wrong thing?  Is it ever wrong to do the right thing?  I think there are things that are inherently right and wrong, and I also think there are things that are right and wrong on an individual level. So what I consider "the wrong thing" may, for someone else, be the right thing. However, if you consider something to be wrong, then you think that way for a reason and it is not right to do what is wrong for you. 

97. How would you describe ‘freedom’ in your own words?  Freedom is the ability to do what I want, when I want, within a set of reasonable constraints. Americans have freedoms granted to us through our Constitution, but I do not believe that we possess an overarching freedom. 

98. What is the most important thing you could do right now in your personal life?  Get skinny again. It would boost my self-confidence and show me that I can succeed if I am dedicated enough to something which I believe will radiate into the rest of my endeavors. 

99. If you could ask one person, alive or dead, only one question, who would you ask and what would you ask?  I would ask Darren Hardy to be my personal mentor. 

100. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?  Something in music. Anything from performing (opera, broadway, or country) to directing a choir I think would be immensely fulfilling. 

101. What is your number one goal for the next six months?  Get skinny again.

102. Would you ever give up your life to save someone else?  I hope I would never be put in that position, but I would, depending on the person. 

103. Are you happy with yourself?  With my appearance, no. With myself as a person, yes. 

104. What is the meaning of ‘peace’ to you?  The best way I could think to describe it is an overwhelming sense of calm washing over you. 

105. What are three moral rules you will never break?  I will never be unfaithful. I will never have an abortion, because I don't believe I have the right to cut a life short. I will also never intentionally inflict physical pain on another person except in self-defense. 

106. What does it mean to allow another person to truly love you?  It means you open yourself up and are completely and totally vulnerable. You have no secrets. You trust them 100%. You are always honest and open sharing your feelings, thoughts, desires, and goals, because you trust that person to be supportive and not to judge you. 

107. Who or what do you think of when you think of love?  That's a little difficult, because I've been experiencing some confliction lately. I think of a lot of different people in a lot of different ways, but the person that immediately comes to mind is Kris. 

108. If your life was a novel, what would be the title and how would your story end?  Hmmm... the title is a tough one! It would certainly have the word "Adventure" in there somewhere. Perhaps something along the lines of "The Adventures of a world-traveling female Van Wilder." Because sadly, the Van Wilder tag isn't far off. 

109. What would you not give up for $1,000,000 in cash?  I would not give up my family. I would not give up love. I wouldn't give up my best friends. There's nothing material that I have that I wouldn't be willing to give up, though. I am trying to become a much more "transient" person, I guess. I'm passing through, and things don't matter so much. So especially for a million bucks, I'd gladly give up my possessions. 

110. When do you feel most like yourself?  At the end of a hot yoga class. When I am alone experiencing nature or beauty. I feel most like myself in a situation where I am at peace with myself and my surroundings. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I rock!

I am awesome!! It's not even 11AM and I have already crossed five things off my to-do list for the weekend. Living room is vacuumed. Kitchen is cleaned. Birdcage is cleaned and vacuumed out. I put two more textbooks on Amazon, got on the pest control list for next week (the dogs tracked some bugs inside when I was watching them. I haven't seen any since but don't want to take any chances either), and called Alaska Air. They're closed on the weekends, though, so I wasn't able to get anything resolved. 

I think I'm going to go for a run and then head out to take care of another four things off the list! Woohoo! Today is so productive. Bummer that I'm not in NC, but I'm finally getting things done around the house, too.  

Friday, September 9, 2011

Sad day.

I'm pretty bummed out that I'm not in Charlotte right now. Alaska wasn't able to find any flights (I called three times today) to get me out this afternoon after their screw-up, so I guess I'm staying in town for the holiday weekend. I was really looking forward both to this training event, and to seeing Mike & Jacey again. Not much I can do, though. I will make this a productive weekend! And I scheduled a PBR with Jacey for a few days out, so at least I have a little forward momentum. 

We had an amazing lightning show tonight. I noticed it first around 8:15/8:30ish when I walked to the gym. It continued for almost another three hours - lighting up the sky and hearing the amazing thunder follow. I love Arizona monsoon season. 

Our first O-Chem test was today. I don't think I rocked it, but I don't think I did too poorly either. I guess we'll see when I get my graded test back! I plan on implementing a regular study routine, which I haven't done yet. As soon as this weekend is over, I think it's game on. 

I was talking to Sam today, and I think I'm going to do the three-week intro to Crossfit deal. It probably won't happen until after I make my final tuition payment next month, but I'm excited! I have noticed myself getting thinner, but my arms could certainly use some tone. 

I think I'm going to head to bed. I made myself a super long to-do list since I'm not in NC this weekend. I need to get an early start tomorrow! 


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Well crap.

My reservation went wrong, so it looks like I might not end up in North Carolina as expected this weekend. Cross your fingers that I can get something figured out with Alaska tomorrow, or that Delta/American will open up some extra mileage partner seats! I have really been looking forward to this trip and training, and I need it right now.

In other news, StudentUniverse is having their back to school giveaway again! It just started today. This week's drawing is for a #500 cash prize! Enter here to win. 

My arms are still surprisingly sore from Tuesday's Crossfit class. I guess I shouldn't be terribly surprised since I haven't done arm weights in more than 8 years, I don't think. And I didn't really stretch at all afterward, even though I know I should have. 

I can feel my abs coming back. It might be a while before I actually see them, but they're in there! I still can't button my pants (ugh!), but I am seeing a difference in my body overall. Here's to hoping it won't take much longer!

I caught up on the FOV blog today, and there was a post of Stephanie's that really had me tearing up. One of Brannan's, too. And the title of Brittany's latest post over on the side. That's one thing that can always get me emotional, even when life seems peachy. The women there have blessed me more than I know how to describe - even though most of them, I've never talked to. Their writing is so heartfelt - their emotions come through clearly, and they are so easy to relate to I feel sometimes like I'm in their shoes, and other times I feel myself thinking of a similar situation I've experienced. Stephanie posted the lyrics to "My Immortal" earlier, and actually reading them instead of just singing along when the song comes on the radio was sobering. They had me in tears. 

I'm back in the angry stage again. I feel like this should have been over long ago. Brannan talked about all the different ways she got through it... and almost none of them will work for me, or are available to me. Sometimes the more I read, the more guilty I feel, and then the more upset and angry I get, too. What a nasty, vicious cycle. 

Blech. I have an O-Chem test tomorrow that I should probably spend a little time studying for before bed. And now that I'm in a bummer mood, I probably should just stop talking. No one wants to hear me whine. 

Off to study. Ciao!

Brenda: "A sign of the apocalypse!"

1.4 million SoCal residents are without power – probably into tomorrow. Stay safe, California! 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hot yoga makes life so much better.

Friday is the last day of my hot yoga living social deal. It's also the last day of the $75 unlimited monthly special. After thinking about it for a little bit, I've decided to go with the membership – at least for one month. I deserve something to treat myself, and I need something to help me relax and unwind after a stressful day of school. If I commit to 3 classes per week (13 classes per month), that's $5.77 per class. Certainly that's more than I'm paying now, but it's not a heinous number, and I really think my health and sanity are worth it.

I also submitted my RSVP today to “meet” Watson next week at ASU!! Super excited for that. The IBM high performance computing team will be there for a meet-and-greet. How awesome!

I'm off to shower before going to work on our awesome math challenge problems with Kelsey.

Hot yoga makes life awesome! Ciao! 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Labor Day!

WOOHOO!! Guess who just finished all three of those library books? Oh yeah.

Sadly, most of my to-do list is still here. I have crossed off six items of 26. I tried to do two others, but was unable to for various reasons (Paypal has some security nonsense on my account so I can't pay for Sapling, and someone had the keys to the business center already yesterday, so I couldn't use the printer). I also didn't really make much progress on my master list. Six of 34 items down on that one.

I sold another book this morning, too. I think that's seven now! I am super excited to get these out and get PAID!  

It's way too freaking hot out here to do my rice right now. I'm heading back to study for O-Chem. Super fun. Ciao!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Party time! Excellent!

So! Guess who just checked grades and who has a 100% in their programming class right now?!?!?

Ahhhhhhhh!! I am so awesome!

Oopsies! I missed yesterday. :(

Whew! What a day I had on Friday.

I got out of class, waited for 5 o'clock traffic to die down, and headed over to Kris's to get her book and mail it out. Went home and got Jill's shirt, went to the post office, and mailed the shirt and two of my textbooks. The part with envelopes for sale was closed since it was so late, so I'll just have to find something at the house that will work to mail everything else. Marked the two I sent out as shipped on Amazon, and should have #190 and change on its way into my bank account. Rock on. I can pay a little bit of tuition, at least.

As I was hanging out by the pool on the computer, there was a group of Indian guys grilling. They invited me to sit at their table and have a drink with them, so I did. They shared their chicken, and I sat there and talked for probably two hours. I love the Indian culture. They are such generous people! Two of the guys were visiting, and one of them lives in the complex. The one that lives here said he would like some more information on my company (when I was telling him what I do), so that's super exciting news!

I didn't get my to-do list nearly completed, but I made progress! That's really all that counts. I made another big to-do list for my entire weekend, and I've already crossed one thing off my Saturday list, and one thing off my Monday list! I love that I'm working a little ahead. Of my day lists, I have 27 items and have completed two. I also have a master list on my computer of 34 things, and I've completed four! I'm on a roll.

I found my size 10 bamboo needles earlier, so now I just have to find a pattern so I can knit Josh's scarf and mail it out this month! If I can finish it pretty quickly, I have been thinking about *maybe* starting an Etsy store this winter and selling some knitted stuff. It takes me about three days to finish a scarf, and I think that pattern would be pretty popular. I would get to do something I love and make a little money off it!

My refund from Groupon for Kokopelli Suites (the rockin' spot in Sedona I was so excited about) hit my credit card this morning. Sad, but awesome at the same time. That one was pretty expensive. Unfortunately it was processed as a negative payment and not as a credit, so it doesn't count toward my payments made this month (bummer, but oh well, I guess).

I am less than 40 pages away from finishing the first of my three library books that are due tomorrow. Obviously all of them aren't going to be finished. Bummer. But I might be able to finish one more! That would be pretty rockin'.

The potluck last night was so much fun. Kim and her new boyfriend Bryan are such awesome people. Bryan and I chatted most of the night and talked quite a bit about networking, too. Most of what we talked about was touchy-feely stuff, though, and it was nice to have a totally unbiased sounding board for some things that have been going on in my head lately.

I donated the first 2,500 grains of rice on my list today! I had aimed to donate 7500 this weekend, so I'm a little behind, I suppose, but still rockin' it!

I have some homework to do, some books to read, and some rice to donate. I'm off! Ciao!

Friday, September 2, 2011

I'm a busy little bee!

So of my library books I have checked out, three of them are due in three days (around noon on the 5th). I have 120 pages to read in one of them, 200 pages to read in another, and 225 pages to read in the last. I have a feeling I might not finish all three before they need to be returned. Thankfully the other three, I have six, seven, and ten days before they are returned, so hopefully I'll be able to finish those.

The rotten puppies got in a pretty nasty fight after I gave them a bath last night and were putting them back in their kennel to take them home. My arm got in the middle of it. Not terribly pleased – mostly with Twister, even though she wasn't the one that bit me, since she was the one that started it. Once you get her in the kennel, she's a little hellion, too. Still not sure how I'm going to get them in the kennel without a fight this morning. This should be an adventure.

I found a roach on my living room floor this morning. The puppies had brought in a few leaves last night, it was early, and I wasn't really paying attention, so I thought that's what it was. Then I looked at it a little closer and saw that it was a bug, but thought it was dead. So I picked up my shoe and knocked it toward the entry-way. It stayed on the carpet and moved a leg, so I thought that maybe it was dying (since it takes roaches a few days to die sometimes). I knocked it across the floor again and this time, it landed in the entry way and took off running. Oh hell no. That sucker met my shoe with a quickness. Unfortunately yesterday was bug man day, so I have to wait until next Thursday to get them to spray. I'd better not discover any of his pals between now and then.

School is really overwhelming. Java is easier than I thought it would be, but everything else is pretty brutal. O-Chem? Understandably brutal. P-Chem? Freakishly boring, so when I sit down to do the homework, I haven't been paying a ton of attention to what's been going on in class, and have to go over everything again myself. German? Both of my German classes assign SO MUCH homework. Every day. And math... well I've blogged about my math class / professor a few times now. I think we all know how I feel about him. I never thought I would say that my programming class is what keeps me sane, but here is it. Probably proof that I'm not sane at all, in fact.

My to-do list for today:
- Mail the five Amazon books I've sold so far (yay!!), plus the one for Kris.
- Head over to Kris's house and get the baby gate and the book she sold.
- Mail Jill's shirt!
- Send off the restoration company's survey to Dad so he can look it over.
- Pay for Sapling: my O-Chem homework website.
- Buy my Charlotte ticket!
- Finish my O-Chem homework
- Work on freerice. Donate 1,200 grains today.
- Call to dispute all the crazy charges from my CU1 account.
And, of course,
- Exercise for 60 minutes. I think I'm going to try to go for a run here in the condo gym.

I'm also going to try to head to bed a little early tonight, since I'm meeting my walking group at 5:45 in the morning, and then Olga and I are going hiking tomorrow with some other awesome ladies. Woohoo! Exercise galore tomorrow.

Off to class again. Ciao! 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

August 101 update, and a little more!

Oh my. Never a dull day with puppies around, right? They got in a huge fight earlier and drew blood, so I get to give my first puppy bath in a LONG time a little later this afternoon. In fact, last time I remember bathing a dog is when we used to take Legion to that place on Old Seward that had the doggie dryers. (Always an entertaining experience, by the way – to watch your dog, or even someone else's, in the doggy dryer.

Twister is definitely the more laid-back one of the two. She is also much better behaved. Jinx is highly entertaining and super adorable as well, but she's a trouble maker... and likes to shit on my floor, which is a problem.

I've sold five books on Amazon so far, in just 24 hours! Made over 400 bucks! I'm pretty excited about that. The only bummer is that since I'm a new seller, Amazon waits 14 days before disbursing any money. The idea behind selling them was so I would have money to pay tuition... but oh well. I think I've come up with something else that will work.

The EV Italian meetup group I'm in is having another awesome potluck this weekend, and I think I'm going to go - perhaps with the same person I went with last time. I still have two and a half of those 12-oz. clamshells of raspberries, so I might make a cherry/raspberry tart.

An August 101 update:

School just started less than two weeks ago, so I haven't completed any of my scholastic goals yet. The only financial goal I've worked on is using coupons. I have used #5.50 in coupons since I got home.

I'm currently working on the giving up soda goal. That one hasn't been too tough for me, since I'm not a big soda person anyway. I started the day after I got home (8/19), since I couldn't resist ginger ale on the plane.

I completed one more book, so I am up to seven of 100. I'm working on a few others right now and have six currently checked out from the library, so I guess we'll see how much reading I can get done over the weekend. (Three of them are due on the 5th.)

I visited another museum! I forgot to mention that I went to the Swarovski Crystal Museum with Theresa when I was in Innsbruck. That's three down.

I am almost finished with my 101 happy list! I'm somewhere in the 80s, I think. I only have a few more things to go.

I also wrote a letter to myself in 10 years, but I'm not totally happy and want to revise it, so I haven't crossed that one off the list yet.

I completed more of the 365 questions! I have 90 of them answered right now.

I'm working on losing weight. I created a new blog last week to log my caloric intake and daily exercise so I can better hold myself accountable to that goal.

I also worked on my freerice donations, and am up to 14,000 and change, I believe. With my goal of 1Million, I should be donating approximately 1,000 grains per day, so I obviously am WAY behind. However, once I have a reliable internet connection in the house, I think I will make that more of a priority.

I brought my first load of recycling to Kiwanis Park on Sunday. There's one of my ten trashcans to cross off! I also brought a huge box, but I'm just counting that as one load of stuff.

I have sold four items of clothing and have three to donate right now. That's more than 20 percent of my 30 items!

All in all, I've made progress toward 11 of my goals! Not bad for a month.

For September, I plan to complete:
- Give up soda for 30 days
- Knit a hat
- Make a 101 happy list
- Write a letter to myself in 10 years
- Don't log into facebook for 14 days

and hope to make progress on many, many more!

In October, I hope to complete:
- Earn an A on an O-Chem exam
- Write thank-you notes to Mr. Brown & Mrs. Phillips
- Visit 5 new restaurants and blog/yelp about the experiences
- Floss every day for 30 consec.. days
- Complete bone marrow registry testing.

So I have something to work toward! If I am able to complete all 10 of those goals in the next two months, that would be awesome.

By the end of October, I also hope to have made the following progress on my ongoing goals:
- Have 25 customer points
- Write Billy & Wally twice
- Watch 1 old but new to me movie (for a total of 2)
- Cook 5 new recipes and put photos up.
- Read 5 more books (for a total of 12)
- Answer 110 of the 365 questions (to put me at 200 completed)
- Have donated 75,000 grains of rice
- Recycle 4 more trashcan loads (for a total of 5)
- Get rid of a total of 15 items from my closet.