Monday, December 31, 2012

A year in review

I had high hopes for 2012. Unfortunately, I can't say that I accomplished much this year. I'd love to say that I lost the weight I wanted to or that I am no officially out of debt. But those just aren't things I can say. Which means you get to hear them as goals again for 2013.

Mr S and I decided last week that we would stay in our apartment for another year. While I long to have a house of my own to do with as I please, I am okay with this decision. We are not, financially, where we would like to be. A house is such a huge step for anyone that we want to be a little more financially stable before we make that leap. Mr S has done a FANTASTIC job getting his debt reduced. I, on the other hand, haven't done so great. I can brag that I did reduce my debt by about 25%! But it's not quite enough, in my mind. This is one of my biggest goals this year.

Two weeks ago I put in to be re-evaluated for a different degree plan. I want to make myself more marketable, should I ever leave my current position, and decided that a BS in Business with a Marketing concentration would be a good option. I got my evaluation back last week and I have 54 credits (18 classes) to complete my Bachelor's degree. I'm excited about this, but it also a goal that will take longer than the debt reduction. Because of my travel schedule for work and other personal obligations, I've only been able to take once class at a time every 8-10 weeks. If I continue this route, it'll take me over three years to complete. I am okay with that time frame, but I would also like to speed things up a bit. So I may double up, when I feel like I can.

And my final goal, the one that is the most popular among goal setters, is to lose weight. Let's just break it down and be honest with each other. I weighed in yesterday at 248.7 pounds!! I am not a happy camper! That is over 15 pounds more than when I got married in 2011. That is 50 pounds more than when I moved to California at the end of 2008. And that is almost 100 pounds more than what I weighed when I graduated high school in 1997! (I wish I could talk to my high school self and tell her that she needs to be careful and that she's not fat and to value herself where she is and work to stay that way.) So I bought a new scale the other day (it measures the tenth) and I bought a new blender (for smoothies and such). I'm signing back up for Weight Watchers. I'm going to work on a better grocery list for future meals. I'm going to pick the brains of my friends who are on, or have been on, WW for recipes that are husband friendly. I've already started going to the fitness center on site with my husband, so I'm going to keep that up. We got an Xbox with Kinect a couple weeks ago and I've been trying my talent level at Dance Central. While it may not seem like much, anything that is physically challenging over a period of time and makes me work up a sweat will be counted as exercise (until it is no longer a challenge). And when I'm on the road, I'm going to do my best to book hotels with fitness rooms (at least a treadmill or elliptical) and find restaurants with dieter friendly menus. I'm not looking to be the weight I was in high school. I am, however, looking to drop around 50 pounds. And I am also looking to be more healthy, in general.

While I do plan to still post fun stuff here, like So What Wednesday and Nail Files on Fridays (provided those link ups continue into 2013), I'm also going to be adding some personal updates. I haven't decided how it will be formatted yet, but I think Monday will be my weekly update on all things weight loss related - what my weigh in is, what amount and kind of exercise I did, maybe a food journal from the past week, and possible a favorite recipe of the week (if there was one).

So it's on to a new year and new goals and new adventures. I hope 2012 was all you ever wanted and I pray that 2013 is full of even more great and wonderful things for each of you.



Friday, December 21, 2012

Nail Files - Week 51

In honor of Christmas, my favorite holiday, I decided to go with the Red/White theme for the nails. I also used some of what was left of my work bonus (hooray for bonuses) to pay someone else to do my nails this round. After all, if I did them myself, no matter how much glue top coat I use, they would have to be changed (again) Christmas eve.

Here's the look I was going for:  Click me

Here's what I got:

It's not as spectacular as the picture (which I did show the lady). But I still love it! (I think I freaked her out when I asked her to do it in gel that would be the only polish to survive the weekend.) I think she did a great job, despite it all.

And, as bonus material, here's the toes:

Loving my Christmas mani/pedi!!

As always, I'm linking up with Tara and Vicki to bring you my colorful nails. Come join us and show off your Christmas finger tips!

Have a happy Friday!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

So What Wednesday

As usual, I'm trying to get back in the groove. In my defense, I was out of town for work last week and my work laptop is a raging POS that our IT department has so locked down the functionality of it, it's a miracle I can do any work!


So What Wednesday

I'm very excited to get back into this link up again. It's kind of a nice way to rant about what's bugging me without pissing anyone off (sort of).

This week I'm saying So What If:

* I kind of want my own American Girl Doll. My little sis (in-law) has two (she's in 3rd grade) and her school has an American Girl Club. They read the book of the focus girl for the season, do tea parties, a lovely Christmas party with their moms (and grandmas and sisters - like last night). And they're planning a trip to NYC in 2013!! How come my elementary school was never this cool? Aside from all that, the dolls themselves have all sorts of cool options for clothes and accessories. And you can create some to look just like you your daughter! Only downside is they are so freakin expensive!!

* With the coming week and a half off for Christmas, I have lost all motivation to work.

* I have way too much work to do to have lost the motivation

* I never tell more than one or two people I'm coming into town when I head to AL/FL for training. I never know what my schedule will hold and I don't want to be that person that is always cancelling plans.

* It took all of 2 days for my office (aka, guest room) to become total chaos again. It looked so nice...while it lasted.

Well, folks, that'll do it for this week's installment. What are you saying So What to?

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Nail Files, week 49

It's been a while since I've joined in the weekly show of nails and their lovely colors. Not for lack of color, but for lack of posting on my part. But I thought I'd jump back in this week because I think I have a new favorite (again)!!

I have been receiving my monthly Julep Maven box for the last three months. And while October and November were pretty cool (hello crackle I never thought I'd like and matte finish), the add-on I ordered with December's box really blew me away.

Here is my original December, Classic With a Twist box:
 The little black bag and metal object is a ring that I can create by painting the back of the clear stone with a polish color and then pressing it in the form. Pics later, cause I totally made that yesterday!  :)

And here it is with my add-ons:

And here is my favorite, on my nails:

It's called Julia. It's a light purple with a gold shimmer in certain lights and at certain angles. You can kind of see the gold flecks in this angle and in the bottle (I couldn't get a good picture to really convey the shimmer effect). This will definitely be one I get some good use out of!

So what's your mani look like this week? Come join up with Tara and Vicki for the weekly show off!

PS...this is my 200th blog post!  YAAA ME! 

PSS...if you're interested in becoming a Julep Maven, use this link to check out their website!


Monday, December 3, 2012

It's been a while

I can't believe it's been almost two months since my last post. Yes, I am slacking here, some. But in my defense A LOT has been going on!

I left on the 15th for Florida/Alabama for a week in office and Graduation for the school I work for on the 19th. The 20th, one of my best friends got married and his lovely bride had asked me to be bridesmaid. I flew home on the 21st only to leave again on the 22nd, this time for the Bay Area. While there, my grandmother passed. A quick change of plans had my flying to Arizona on the night of the 24th. I finally got home on Monday the 29th.

I left on the 5th for Minneapolis and returned home on the 9th. Then, on the 11th, Mr S and I left town to celebrate 1 year of wedded bliss! We came home on the 15th. We then whisked away to the in-laws on the 16th to puppy/house sit while they were gone for a week, returning to our own home/beds/chaos on the 24th. And last week was a mix of settling back into the normal routine and getting better from the colds we both had during November.

Needless to say, it's been a little crazy around here lately. And I head out of town again on Monday for our annual week of training in Alabama.

Thank you, to all my followers, for sticking with me in my absence. I'd love to spout promises of I'll do better and it'll never happen again. Okay, well, I will try to do better. But I'm not going to set myself up for failure by saying it will never happen again. We all know better than that!

There will be some changes coming to the blog. The first will be the background. As you can see, I've not had time to create my own so I'll be putting something I like back up here...soon!

I'm also considering changing up some of the things I do around here. I'm planning to keep So What Wednesday and Friday's Nail Files (for as long as they continue, at least). But I'm looking at ideas for topics for Monday, Tuesday, and Thursdays. If you have any suggestions, feel free to let me know. (I'm undecided on if Through The Lense will stick around.) My current ideas are: a recipe testing/review day, documenting my weight loss journey that will beginning after the holidays (like the rest of the world, I know...but I've got to do something!!), a monthly short story or poetry entry, a book review once a week, and maybe even a video blog (v'log) every now and then (should I invest in a webcam).

Anyway...stay tuned for new and exciting things coming to the blog.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

So What Wednesday

Happy Wednesday, Y'all!!

So What Wednesday

So What If:

* I have lost all motivation to work today. Unfortunately, I am still plugging away (except for the break to write this).

* There are so many things going on in the background right now that it's hard to keep quiet about them. But nothing is final...or even in the start process. It's all talk right now so there is nothing to really talk about.

* I completely confused everyone with that last one. You're welcome!

* I am LOVING this cooler, fall weather! We've had the windows upon the last few days. And I was even under a blanket while watching TV last night.

* I am going to have to invest in some hot chocolate or apple spice cider. I love this time of year!

* I have so much to do after work today, part of me wants to leave now so I can get it done.

* I still have that pile of craft stuff to work on. It's getting done, SLOWLY, one thing at a time.

* I still haven't told y'all about my new adventure. Sorry! I know you're waiting patiently. I'll get to it...eventually.

* I still haven't put my background to how I want it. I'm still trying to find one I like.

Happy Wednesday, Y'all!


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Nail Files - Week 40

So I'm a day late...apologies. But I wanted to share what I never thought I'd do!!

But first - I finally ordered another Julep (I took a couple months off due to finances). I'm so glad I did, too!

 (yes, that is candy corn that came in my box!!)

Instead of my normal, Classic With a Twist, I opted for the Maven's Choice box. It came with three main colors of three of the other boxes:  Lisa, Eloise, and Keira. I also did an add-on with the Glenda crackle.

(also included - black and orange glitter)

Now crackle is something I never thought I'd do. I've never really been a fan. But, I'm so glad I took a chance. I really like the combo I'm currently sporting:

Keira and Glenda.

I am actually really digging this crackle! I'll probably try it on the blue Eloise next.

Oh, and I'm linking up with Tara and Vicki this week. Come join the fun!!


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

So What Wednesday

Here is my attempt to get back in the groove of things with my blog. I've really missed sharing my life with y'all, so I'm going to do my best to stay consistent.

I love this link up:

So What Wednesday

This week, I'm saying So What If:

* I ended up dropping the class I was in a week before it was over. I was missing two assignments and had no proctor for the final (or time to take the final the week it was due thanks to travel). And I'm burnt out!

* I don't tell family, and sometimes friends, when I travel to their area. I usually don't have the time, or energy, to be social while I'm there. So in order to keep it from being an awkward conversation, I just skip it all together.

* I think some parents need more discipline than their kids.

* I am thinking of changing my degree. The online school I'm with may be launching some new degrees next month. Or I may just switch schools all together. Who knows...cause I surely don't!

* The hubby doesn't care for the wreath currently hanging on the door. It's staying until I find some way to make it better.

Well, I have run out of things to say. I had so much more to write about today and it has just escaped me. Oh well! Maybe I'll go ahead and start next week's post so I can add to it as I think of things.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Hey, Y'all!

I'm sure you've noticed my absence. Sorry about that! I just have a lot on my plate right now - September and October are always busy months for my job. But I haven't forgotten about y'all!

As you've noticed, there is a change taking place here. I'm trying out a new project - creating my own blog background!! Until then, you get gray!

I've also stepped into a new business venture, but I'll get you more of that this week. It'll play into my new blog design, if all goes according to plan!

I'm going to try to pick up my usual link ups this week - So What Wednesday and Nail Files on Friday. I got my Julep box today and am excited to play with the new colors. And, since I'm home next week too (shock of all shocks), I hope to back in full swing by next week so I can get back to keeping y'all smiling with my stories!

Until then...hugs....

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday's Letters



Dear Self,
   Please stop buying all the crafting supplies for the wreaths. You have enough. Now, start wreathing!

Dear California Drivers,
   When going UP a hill, you use the pedal on the right. When going DOWN the hill, you don't touch either pedal. There is no reason for traffic to come to a COMPLETE STOP because you don't know what pedal to use going UP the hill.

Dear Disneyland,
   One day, two sleeps.  Soon!!

Dear Mr. S (aka, husband),
   I'm looking forward to Disneyland! It's been too long. Can we work on the frequency of visits?

Dear Weather,
   Thank you for not being triple digits like Phoenix last week. But can we keep toning it down...say about 10-12 more degrees? 75-80 is a good range!

Dear School work,
   Why can't you do yourself?


The Nail Files - Week 36

Some days I love 2 hour conference calls from my home office - it means I can do this:

As you can see, I reverted to a couple oldies but goodies - Julep's Claire (blue) and Kate (white).  Mr S, in all his manly wisdom, asked why two of my nails (ring fingers on each hand) were buttoned. That man...I love him!

Now that you've seen mine, come over to

and share you weekly mani (and/or pedi)!

Happy Friday!!


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Sunday Social - Week 13

Today is

Sunday Social

Here are this week's questions:
1.  What was your favorite trip/vacation/activity this summer?
     Hubs got a couple days off the weekend of my birthday and went to Arizona with me to see my parents. That's a 8 hour drive one way, folks! And he is not a road trip aficionado! He loves me!!

2.  Favorite look of the summer?
     I loved all the bold colors that came out. Was not a fan of the many, many, MANY sleeveless tops I found. I need work shirts, people. And a summer sleeveless means an extra layer to keep it professional...and that means a rise in body temperature, sweat, and an all around uckie feeling! But the colors were cute!

3.  What is one thing you wish you had gotten to do?
     Hang out by the pool more...white girl is WHITE (as in, put those sun glasses on folks). And hang with my brother in law (he passed a month ago). You never know how much time you really have and how much you've missed until you can't do it anymore.

4.  Favorite song(s) of the summer?


*disclaimer - not a fan of the dancing girls as I didn't expect them to be dressed that way (hello, it's country music, not rap)...but I still LOVE this song!*

5.  Favorite movie/TV show of the summer?
     Movie:  Brave & Avengers 
     TV Show:  Army Wives

Stay tuned for next week's questions. They'll be about this here blog you're reading!

Happy Sunday, y'all!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Nail Files

To my loyal followers, sorry that I went MIA for the most part of this week. I'm traveling the Phoenix, AZ, "country-side" and it is just wearing me out every day. And I'm late on two more school assignments (which I should be doing now). Which means when I get back to the hotel, I have to my end of day stuff AND school work to keep my grade somewhat afloat. Ugh...

Anyway...on to the real reason for this post:

So, I found a black polish this week for a reasonable price (didn't feel like spending over $5 for something this week):

It's Maybelline "Onyx Rush". And that is only one coat (however, my coat my be different than everyone else - drop the brush all the way in, let it drop once, then start painting). I like this! It has the tiniest hint of shimmer to it, but not a full on glitter-fest.

In other news, can someone recommend a base coat that makes for a great strengthener? I've been using Essie "Grow Stronger". But as you can see my by random nail lengths, it is clearly not doing it's job properly. In Essie's defense, I wasn't wearing her for the better part of the week. It is never a good idea to travel without proper nail protection...especially for my brittle nails!

Well, thanks for joining with me this week. Come on over to Tara's place and join in the rest of us and show us what your nails look like!

**For those that may (or may not) be wondering, I haven't posted any Julep colors lately because I've declined my last two boxes. July was Mr S birthday and August, well, you saw what I did with my Julep money in the Ulta store. Maybe September will be better.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thursday's Through The Lense - Best of August

I'm pretty sure I say this every month, but I can't believe how quickly the year is flying by. I mean tomorrow is the last day of the eighth month! Really, can we just slow things down a bit?

Guess that would be to easy. Oh well, on to this week's pictures. Today, I bring you the best (in my opinion) of August!

I think this was taken in Northern Washington around the beginning of the month.

Santa Monica Beach from Santa Monica Pier

 Flower booth at the Farmer's Market

Mr S and I finally made it to Cars Land in California Adventure!

The new "Partners" statue in California Adventure on the redone Buena Vista Street

As always, enjoy!


Friday, August 24, 2012

Nail Files - Week 34

I am going to overdose you on nail colors/pictures this week! I finally got to play around with the rest* of my haul from last week:

And let me tell you, I'm not disappointed in my choices!! we go...

First up, OPI Brand New Skates:
I'm not overly impressed. This is with two coats, and it's still very sheer/translucent. It might do better over a a thinker/darker/solid gray or black as it has a bit of shimmer to it too.

Next is the OPI New York City Ballet set:
VERY light & pale. I mean, you can't even tell "Don't Touch My Tutu" and "Care to Danse?" are even there! They look like clear polish in this light while "My Pointe Exactly" adds a gray sheen to my pinky. I didn't try the "Pirouette My Whistle" as it's a clear base with glitter and I didn't feel like wrestling the glitter off my nail. OK, so maybe I'm a little disappointed in how light this set is. But it's a good set to fall back on when an event calls for "clean" nails. Or I just don't feel like going bold colors.

Next is the OPI Dutch Treats set:
This is just a fun set of colors! (I want to go back and get some more from this set!) It's a good mix up in the box as you've got a dark, two brights, and a light shimmer. Ultimately, I chose my colors of the week from this box:
Red Lights Ahead...Where? on my ring fingers, and Kiss Me On My Tulips on the rest.

Oh, and I'm joining up with this, again, to showcase these lovely colors:

Happy Friday!!

* The only color I didn't play around with is the pink bottle. It's OPI Strawberry Margarita. When I was in the store I couldn't decide between this one and the regular sized Dutch Treats Kiss Me On My Tulips. They looked very similar in the bottles. When I found the Dutch Treats set had a small KMOMT, my decision was made - I purchased the regular sized SM!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thursday's Through The Lense

I figured since I'm attempting to get back on track with everything, I should get back to this weekly post as well.  And since I bombarded you with pictures on Tuesday, I'll limit myself to one...or

These are from my Seattle trip at the beginning of the month. No edits; taken with my iPhone.