January 27, 2012

Purse Monkey

To add to a hectic, inefficient day yesterday, the purse monkey comes along and steals more stuff out of my purse! We were eating lunch at my cousin's restaurant in downtown Richmond, and I guess my bag fell over because an hour later when we got to the post office I realized my phone was missing! Stuff keeps falling out of the pockets which are near the top of my bag and apparently are not secure because in the past two days I've lost my good Arbonne chapstick (hard to replace because you have to order it) and my cell phone! When I discovered my phone was gone I blamed it on the stinkin purse monkey who must be stealing stuff out of my purse! Because how you could lose all of those things?! Abu, you are a sneaky monkey! ...like the one in this video:

January 24, 2012

Curls & Bobby Pins

Today, for the first time in my life, I curled my own hair!!! It took awhile, 23 years, but better late than never! (I actually used to curl my hair some when I was really little, like elementary school, but hit a point where I just couldn't figure it out for some reason!) I found this blog a few months ago and am SO thankful for this sweet girl (Kate) posting tutorials for basic hair styling techniques for something even as simple as how to curl your hair with a curling iron. I thought I was the only one who didn't know how to do that, but the way she explains it doesn't make me feel like a moron, AND a ton of people follow her so apparently I was not the only one!

I have been wanting to practice for awhile but didn't have the necessary tools or time, but finally tried today (actually still don't have any hair spray...what kind of girl am I?) and am so happy with the results! I finally feel competent enough to style my hair to look pretty for weddings (and other events, but let's face it, we are wedding people at this stage in life). Here's how some of the things I tried turned out: (p.s. don't mind how all these pictures are of the back of my head...just don't start thinking about cousin It and you'll be okay!)

basic curls (half up with a clip)
The curls didn't turn out AT ALL like Kate's, but she has entirely different hair than mine so whatever. I will maybe try some different things and see if I can get the curls to go higher on my head eventually, but this works for now.

Half-up
Oh yeah- bobby pins!! I have NEVER been able to use them myself before. I always see girls with cute simple hair-dos that are only held up by bobby pins, and always get jealous because I have too much hair to be held up by such a little thing. Well, apparently I have been missing the crucial piece of information regarding how to use bobby pins! Are you ready? You put the zig-zag side....DOWN! Who knew?? Wow I cannot believe I never knew that. Anyways, they work now!! In my hair...what a miracle! I am so excited to be able to do simple do's and style my own hair now. YAY! :)

the chic up-do
(This picture is not the best angle, but hopefully you get the effect.) Kate has much shorter hair than I do, so I'm not exactly sure how you're supposed to do this with longer hair. Also, I had to use 6 bobby pins to hold up a section of hair that she only needed one for! Not fair. Anyways, this style didn't look that great, but once I put this pretty barette in, it held up a loose section of hair and pulled the style together so it actually looks elegant. 

If you are a hair failure like I am, check out Kate's blog!! It is so helpful! Good luck :)

January 23, 2012

10% off Shutterfly

I have four 10% off Shutterfly discount codes if anyone is planning on making a purchase from them by January 26. If you are, let me know and I'll send you the code!

January 20, 2012

Awesome Organics

Here are some organic food finds that I have been enjoying lately. I recommend them all!

1. Almond Breeze almond milk
 Why? I've become a little lactose intolerant in my old age. Ice cream, remember, my bffl? Now makes me wake up in the middle of the night with heart burn. BETRAYAL! Anyways, this milk doesn't upset my stomach. It tastes different than regular milk, but isn't bad for the post-cereal results. There are certain cereals I have found it to not mesh well with, like Cinnamon Toast Crunch. It tastes pretty good with Honey Nut Cheerios though. 

2. Fruitabu strawberry fruit roll-ups
Why? I mentioned this in a recent post. I LOVE snacks, especially unhealthy kiddie ones like fruit snacks and Chewy granola bars. This healthy version of a fruit roll-up brings me back to middle school days, while providing a half serving of fruit. And I love the little monkey on the package!

3. Yo-Greek yogurt
Why? Greek yogurt is healthier than traditional yogurt. Flavored yogurt is LOADED with sugar. The problem? Most Greek yogurt has just as much, if not more, sugar as my usual yogurt (Yoplait light), but plain Greek yogurt is disgusting. Thus Yo-Greek is the perfect find, solving all my yogurt dilemmas! It's flavored Greek yogurt that tastes great and has about half as much sugar as most other flavored yogurts! (Also, it gets serious points for having enough granola for the entire container of yogurt.) Find it in the organic aisle at Kroger.

4. Coco Pop
Why? I actually don't even know if this is organic, but it's weird so it seems comfortable with the rest of this list. Coco Pop is an interesting rice/grain disc that flies like a frisbee and snaps like a cracker. In flavor and texture it's pretty similar to a rice cake, but don't be turned off, it tastes great! And at like ten calories a pop it's the perfect snack for when you want to munch on something while you're watching TV. Try Moon Pop, the cinnamon flavor!

Thoughts on the Bachelor This Week

I want to be best friends with Emily. She seems SO sweet and genuine.

Props to Lindzi for being so positive & excited on her date! She should win an award. Seriously, I don't think anyone has recognized that NONE of the other girls were very upbeat on their dates with Ben. If you get a date with the Bachelor, even if it's a secondhand date, you should be excited about it! Go Lindzi.

Courtney = blah. She has nothing interested to say, and is mean! 

I liked Shawntel, and think it's lame that she thought she'd get to date Ben halfway through the season, but I agree with her - fairness doesn't matter THAT much when you're talking about the person you might spend the rest of your life with. I would have liked to see them try dating.

And last but not least, what was up with all of those ridiculously ugly shoes that the girls wore on their ski date?? EVERYONE was wearing vomit-chunk shoes. Was that a requirement? And is that really attractive? I hated them.

January 19, 2012

Kittens

As you might know, Whit and I are SO excited to move because that means we get to finally get a cat!! We both LOVE animals (I am so lucky for finding a man that loves them as much as I do!) and over the course of our life together hope to own many different types of pets (cat, dog, alpaca, ferret, sloth, monkey, sting ray, etc.). We already named our cat...LAST SUMMER! Yeah, that is how long we have been waiting for her!! So, as soon as we move we will buy a little kitten and name her Tela! (pronounced TEA-luh) Wondering where we got the name from? Phish, of course! Sometime around when we get her I'll give you the background story on her name. But now, which type of cat to get??
blue ragdoll





bicolor ragdoll

creampoint ragdoll

seal/flame mitted torbie ragdoll



orange tabby



gray tabby

all black

black with white paws

PS - Last night I was researching Ragdoll cats for awhile and asked Whit, "Are we gonna be crazy cat people?" He just laughed, so I inquired "What?" To which he responded, "We already are!"

January 17, 2012

What Makes Me Feel Better...

when I'm feeling sick:
1. Trying to figure out how to watch a movie on a laptop that doesn't have a mouse. (Okay that didn't really make me feel better, but the next one did!)
2. Watching Despicable Me in bed and not caring to turn off the movie when I start to fall asleep

3. Going to see dogs and cats at the humane society

4. Soaking in a sea source (spa/detox) bath while reading Islands magazine

5. Eating Fruitabu organic fruit roll-up
6. Being serenaded by husband playing the piano

January 15, 2012

Dumb Donuts

Out of milk in my mind means one thing: donuts. And there's only one kind of donuts: Dunkin. This new DD by our house just opened and has a drive-thru, an invention totally meant for donut eaters like me who struggle to get up in the morning but do manage to get out of the house for a delicious donut reward. However, this new Dunkin Donuts failed at one of the most important things: competent servers. This was our order:

Whit (driving and very tired): Can I have a donut with sprinkles and a chocolate glazed donut hole
Lady taking our order: ...A chocolate glazed hole, anything else?
Whit: One jelly-filled
Lady: Oh, one jelly-filled donut hole, is that all?
Whit: No, we still want the chocolate glazed hole
Me (passenger-ing and very tired): [trying to be heard over the sound of speaker and Whit talking] Sprinkles! She forgot my donut with sprinkles!
Lady: Okay, two donut holes, that's 50 cents
Me: That's supposed to be a donut not a donut hole! And don't forget the sprinkles! Who would order just two donut holes??
Whit: Wait that's a jelly-filled DONUT and a chocolate glazed hole
Me: And sprinkles!
Whit: ...and a donut with sprinkles
Lady: haha, oh okay, one sprinkles, one jelly-filled, and one chocolate hole, that'll be $2.25 [goofy laugh]

I am thinking, "How dumb do you have to be to mess up an order that many times?? It's only like 9 in the morning!" But we did manage to get our donuts...finally! And then as we were driving away laughing due to our tiredness and the malaise of that ordering situation, Whit notices he only ordered one donut, which is not enough breakfast for a man! Arrgh Dunkin Donuts you got us this time, but next time, we will be victorious!

January 12, 2012

My Ring

I took your advice, mom. I got out of the house and took a walk. I brought my camera along and took some pictures of my engagement ring. It was great to walk around outside and it was actually pretty nice out! I came out with some pretty good ring shots, despite not having a macro lens. Here are my favorites!










just a little love for tacori ;)




(yes, i would love to take shots of YOUR ring if you would like sometime! just ask :))

January 10, 2012

Soul Reminder

I think this is an appropriate post, since Christmas just happened. 

Jim Elliot journaled on Dec. 27, "The practice at Christmas has gotten to be such a commercialized hoax that I will be sincerely glad when all good Christians abandon it... Desire for the earth was increased and enlarged, still I recognized that were it sated I would not be at rest." 

Then, this is for all of those like me who are constantly longing for the next thing, like I have been looking at houses and puppies and vacations recently. "Let me read this page when I get to hungering after civilization's excitements and excesses in some lonely place. Take counsel, then, my soul, the whole of life is vanity and you would be no happier in brighter atmospheres. Woe and loneliness may be miserable, but hollow happiness and many in a crowd are much more so."

Take that, materialism! Thanks Jim :)

(Quotes taken from Shadow of the Almighty)

I Won!!!

A few months ago I started doing these online surveys. I don't remember how I found out about it, but I liked the system because it didn't seem like a scam. Each time you take a survey you get a certain amount of points, and then you enter the points into a drawing for a prize of your choice. I decided that every time I would do it I would choose one of the prizes that has the least number of points already put into it, and where the drawing only lasts one day, in order to have better odds of winning. 

Over Christmas break I collected 3 different surveys in my inbox - normally I only get about one per week. I don't like doing the surveys that much because they're about what you have purchased in the last week, month, or 3 months, and it's hard to remember slash gets repetitive. But I decided I might as well do all of them and accumulate a ton of points to enter into a drawing. I complained about doing them and Whit told me this should be the last time I do it if I don't win, since I came out with so many points. 

...and I ended up winning!! So in a few weeks I will get two movie tickets and a magazine subscription. I'm so excited!! It's nothing huge but totally worth doing a few surveys every now and then to get fun, free stuff! Yay :)

January 9, 2012

Random Facts I Feel Like Sharing

These things have either been on my mind for awhile, or I recently heard people wondering about them which makes me want to share.

Organic milk sounds gross if you don't know what it is, but it just means that the cows the milk comes from aren't pumped with hormones or eat grass laced with nasty pesticides. Try it, it tastes exactly the same.

Global Warming is a commonly misunderstood term that actually stands for Global Climate Change. When summers are excruciatingly hot and winters are scattered with freak snowstorms, that's Global Climate Change on course, doing its thing. (The science behind it is that the ozone layer heats up (hence the warming), causing weather to be more extreme - summers AND winters.) So there, everyone who says freakishly cold winters are a disproof for global warming, you're wrong - it actually supports it!

Anyone in need of a shampoo for damaged hair, you should try Arbonne. Being a blonde (I still adamantly claim to be a dark blonde) and a swimmer who used a straight iron, I was on the search for years for a shampoo that would transform my frazzled locks into normal soft hair. Arbonne has been the only thing to work on my hair, and I'm proud to say that it only took a few months for the metamorphosis to take place. Now that I've been using it for a few years my hair is soft and healthy. If you'd like to try some, let me know and I can get you a sample!

You might already know that I download my desktop backgrounds from Interfacelift.com. I was so proud of a picture I took this fall because it looked exactly like something you could download from the website! After taking awhile to figure out how to change my photo to the proper dimensions, I submitted it, but it didn't get enough votes to become available as a desktop. I'm still proud of it though, and obviously be willing to share it with anyone who is looking for a background next fall. :)

If I try to read in bed (and where else would I read?), I WILL fall asleep. It's not that random, but it is a fact.

I was super excited to blog every day for the 25 Days of Christmas, but it seemed my joy in that endeavor was only slightly more far-reaching than myself. I was hoping for more comments/following, but oh well, all the better to blog for myself and not for others. And thank you to all those who do read & comment! I appreciate it. :)

Since this is a random post, instead of wishing you a happy Monday, I'll wish you a happy Happy Lemur Day, for old times' sake.

January 6, 2012

Goals for January

These are simple, but hey, you're supposed to actually be able to accomplish your goals. Let's do it!

Read 400 pages of Atlas Shrugged so I'll be halfway done (this one is pushing it, but we'll see)
Read the Hunger Games (don't think it's actually going to happen unless I set AS aside)
Play piano every day (do the exercises in the Funk Keyboard book I have...oh yeah)
Get a bass!!
Get to 85% (just have to trust the Lord on this one)
Finish the book I'm reading for training
Do a quiet time EVERY day and pray
Listen better to Whit & do more fun things together where we are actually interacting
Run once a week, do sit-ups & push-ups another time during the week, and stretch often
Take one kind of vitamin every day
Be relaxed, don't stress

New Year, New Resolutions

I was debating whether to post this or not, but I figured I might as well. It's easier to accomplish goals after clearly laying them out. When I started thinking about my "resolutions" for 2012, it ended up being more of trends of who I want to be and what I want my life to look like. So below are the things I want to work towards, not necessarily change, but at least work on or continue doing. I think 2012 will be a great year. It just sounds like it will be. :) I am also appreciating my life more and realizing how blessed I am, and trying to be thankful for everything God has given me.

Here's what I want this year to look like:
Better attitude - about marriage (work hard on focusing on Whit instead of myself, patience, respect, be sacrificial, listen well) and about life (be THANKFUL instead of complaining, don't get stressed out! there's no need to worry or be angry)
Live a worthwhile life - aka be productive and not waste so much time on the internet or sleeping (continue to pursue hobbies - photography, reading, and blogging, and pursue ones I'm not currently trying hard at - music, learning languages)
Grow spiritually - I feel like I've just been doing the minimum. My relationship with God certainly exists, but it's not always awesome (daily quiet time, PRAY daily, journal thoughts/prayers, make an effort to give myself to the Spirit and change)
Becoming an adult - I'm feeling more confident in my adulthood as I enter my second year of marriage (being a loving wife, being responsible, eating healthy, taking more risks in fashion to look more age and style appropriate)
Being healthy - exercise, stretch, eat healthy, take vitamins, etc.

And some other practical things I want to see happen this year:
Finish raising support!! Party!
Travel - vacation and weddings
See Phish - hopefully at Hampton or a festival
Get a sweet apartment that Whit and I both love
Read (aka finish) about 1 book per month - including fiction, spiritual, investing, and politics/environment

January 3, 2012

2011

I liked reading other people's posts like these, so if you like reading them too, here is my 2011 list.

Travel:
-Drove cross-country from Baltimore, MD to Fort Collins, CO visited 6 new states along the way (Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Kansas, Missouri)
-Went to NYC for the first time
-Went to New Jersey for the first time
-Took our first regular vacation married (after honeymoon) to Saint Marys, GA
-Had our first weekend getaway (for our anniversary Richmond)

Events:
-Saw 7 Phish shows Holmdel, NJ; Columbia, MD; Camden, NJ; NY, NY
-Attended 9 weddings in 7 cities
-Saw Brian Regan & Cirque du Soleil
-Went to BG Christmas Town & Kings Dominion
-Hiked three trails in the Rocky Mountains

Learned:
-Survived and learned to rely on the Lord during a trip where I felt more unsafe that I had ever felt before in my life (spring break trip to Charleston, WV)
-Learned that I can run if I try trained for a 5k
-Learned how to manage and spend our money wisely (Dave Ramsey: Financial Peace & Matt Bell: Money Purpose Joy)
-Bought my first interchangeable lens camera & learned about photography & how to shoot manually
-Learned to play chess

Work:
-Interned at Virginia Tech
-Decided to join staff and work at the regional office
-Joined staff & started raising support
-Got to 74 percent of our support raised

Accomplishments:
-Finished the longest book I’ve ever read besides the Bible (Count of Monte Cristo)
-Completed three seminary classes (New Testament Survey, Bible Study Methods, & Intro to Christian Theology)
-Became an aunt and uncle for the first time! (I am including Whit in this one if you couldn't tell, haha)
-Baked a pie & tart for the first time
-Made whipped cream from scratch (it was delicious!)

Other:
-Realized that my favorite instrument is the bass
-Swam again, albeit for only a few times
-Started playing piano again
-Read fiction on my own for the first time in many years
-Enjoyed our first full year married!

Praise the Lord for all that He helped me do, all credit and thanks for a great year go to Him!!