Thursday, April 30, 2009

Good night for the Girl

Last night was Velina's blue belt test in Tae Kwon Do. In addition to her passing, she also got a trophy for being student of the month:

So proud of you sweetie!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Look at what she's wearing

Today, I got to eat lunch with Linda, who was wearing her baby in a Moby. It was kind of funny because the Moby wraps so much of her body that when I first looked at her head on, I couldn't detect the difference in depth of field and it just looked like she was wearing a wrap shirt. Until she was closer and I saw this peeking out:

I know. Too cute. We would all look good wearing this.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Through a miracle chain of events at work, my simple flip company cellphone got upgraded to this sweet iPhone:

Folks, I have evolved. Big time. It was like jumping the evolutionary chain from an amoeba using two tin cans with string to Einstein wearing an "I heart Steve Jobs" t-shirt.

I don't know if it's because I had such a basic phone before, but I find the iPhone technically brilliant. Ironically the thing I enjoy the least on it is talking on it. I love the full QWERTY (albeit touchscreen) keyboard, I love the calendar feature, I love that I can check my e-mail, I love that I can e-mail photos to my blog from it (sometimes it's such a pain to upload pictures from my camera, decrease image size, etc.), I love the apps for it, and I love that I will finally join the cool and the hip and have an official iPod (once I figure out how to load my mp3s on to iTunes). The only downside is that all these activities suck up battery juice fast. Perhaps there are other phones out there that do all this stuff but man, this iPhone is sweet.

I haven't bought any apps yet, but so far my fave free ones are Shazam (figures out songs by holding up the mike to it), Scramble (game that's similar to Boggle), vlingo (uses voice commands for searches and calling contacts), and Polarize (turns pictures in to Polaroid looking photos).

If anyone has any pearls of wisdom for this iPhone newbie, I am all ears because I am all in.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Make it a Birthday Weekend

And it was a cornucopia of gifts through the weekend, including a whole bunch of stuff off my Amazon wish list, as well as a pound of See's Chocolates, specially selected (caramels only, hooray!) by my dear mother-in-law (which were all gone in less than 24 hours):

Now I just need time to play with everything!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

B-day at work

Can a birthday at work start off better than with a pizza-sized danish? (Sigh, don't worry, I shared)

Or with a lovely bouquet?

Or with a journal made from recycled cloth?

Or some jazzy clothes and some sweet scrappin' embellies?

Or a femmy outfit with delicate cookies to match (and un-pictured killer red Gerbera daisies to boot)?

Did I mention the Calla Lilies I got earlier this week?
(Man, I hope I don't kill it)

Oh yes, it was a great day to be at work for my birthday yesterday:

Pre-Birthday brownies

The day before my birthday,

My friends from college sent me these:

A dozen gifts of portion control, will power, restraint, and, eventually...sharing.

Thanks, buddies!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Now I HAVE to do something

Today, I tipped the scales at 165. 165. I'm on my way to reaching the limit of the weight class of one of my favorite MMA fighters, Georges St. Pierre, welterweight (170) but instead of his stacked muscle, I've got soft, buttery flab.

If I gain 3 more pounds I will be closer to my highest pregnancy weight (192) than my pre-pregnancy weight (142). God help me, I cannot let that happen.

Today I get back on Weight Watchers. I'm going to eat 2 points of oatmeal and tea for breakfast.

And I'm going to stick to it, darn it.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Awesome find: Ansel Adams books

Look at what I found for ONE dollar each at a garage sale:

I immediately thought of my photographer friend, CJ, and bonus! There was an extra autobiography for me.

So I tied up an autobiography and the "Examples" book for him with an upcycled tag:

The tag I made from this box of Korean snack cakes:

I loved the name and slogan but unfortunately, the cakes themselves were meh. Here's a close-up of the tag:

It says "Presents for your delicious taste. Enjoy your happy times." Which I thought was wonderfully appropriate for these books.

Awesome find at a bargain price + upcycled tag = cool surprise gift.

Oh Yes indeed.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Upcycled craftiness

I woke up at 2am on Thursday morning and I was just itching to make something. So I decided to make some paper flowers. I wanted to use stuff I don't normally use and I wanted to incorporate a little bit of upcycling. In the end, I thought they made a cute bouquet and decided to embellish a thank you apple to my RAKy co-worker with it. I put this on her desk before she came in:

The tag says "You're so thoughtful and sweet--naturally!" Ha, ha, get it? It's tied to an apple! Anyhoo, I made the blue pompom flower from old dictionary pages that I sprayed with some Adirondack Color Wash and Glimmer Mist and the stem is a rolled up page from a magazine. The red flower (I was aiming for poppy) is made up from cut up streamers and ribbon and a pipe cleaner. The gold flower is made from gift tissue paper, a cupcake topper (as the flower center), and a rolled up page from a magazine as a stem too. All put in a glass jelly jar filled with rice and decorated with ribbon.

My fave part was the cupcake topper. Here's a better look at the cupcake topper flower center (it's a little cake!):

My co-worker liked it and said she was going to keep the flowers even though I told her the beauty of upcycled flowers is you don't have to feel so guilty throwing them out!

The only downside to my crafting adventure was I was ready to pass out sleeping around noon at work. I guess it was the combination of being up 10 hours already and having less than 4 hours of sleep. But darn it, it was worth it.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Dream dinner

Paul and Velina are away this week for the girl's spring break and they are enjoying a lovely visit with his sister in Illinois. Due to work being so busy, I stayed behind. But as much as we miss each other, there is a perk.

I can indulge in my dream dinner without heckling or pestering:

Apparently, they are deterred by anything that looks parasite-licious:


Or by something that smells like it's been fermenting for months (okay, okay, it has been):


Or by something that looks like bait:

(mini crabs)

Or by something that looks like marinated genitals:


Sigh. Sometimes it's lonely having such a sophisticated palate.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Sweet RAK

A friend at work surprised me with this sweet, sweet Random Act of Kindness from a local cafe in Costa Mesa called Milk and Honey:

This is tart frozen yogurt topped with shaved ice, fresh fruit, and sweet syrup. Delicious. Especially in the afternoon at work.

I was in heaven for the 5 minutes I was shoveling it in my mouth.

Happy Tax Day everyone!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sweet Discovery

Over the weekend, looking for some Easter sweets, I discovered these tasty jelly beans:

They're totally awesome. These have got a wonderful crunchy outside and chewy middle. And bonus, they're NOT jelly beans as I thought. So they're available all year round.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Psyched for this

I'm totally excited for Elise Blaha's online workshop: "Get Crafty". I believe it's her first one and I'm really looking forward to it. I could use the inspiration kick start.

A little gift to myself--thankfully it was in my price range. It's starts tomorrow--can't wait!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Funky people in the house

who still have to file their taxes, put your hands in the air and yell Ho!


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Blast from the Past

Yes, the stereo says Phono. I love playing music from my high school and college years. Seriously, what a cheap thrill...always puts a smile on my face. I know the kids today refer to this as an "iPod Shuffle" but I've got so much stuff on vinyl.

I would love feedback from anybody who has tried out those USB turntables that can make mp3s out of vinyl records. Because I have a LOT I'd love to have digitally.

In the meantime, I'll be spinning my wheel of steel...

The ride was glorious

My dear Spartans, even though you didn't win the NCAA championship, it was still an awesome ride. Maybe next year...

Monday, April 6, 2009

Way to pull it out Spartans

Unfortunately, the other underdog, Villanova, didn't pull it out over Vegas favorite North Carolina. Is it because I cheered for the Bobcats when they are actually the Wildcats? It's okay, 'Nova, you gave it a good try and made it to the Final Four.

Yes, I am completely out of my March Madness pool but Spartans, I'm still rooting for you.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Spartans (and Bobcats) Prepare for Glory

Is anybody else rooting for the underdogs?

Michigan State and Villanova, you can do it.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Tourney time

The girl participated in her first Tae Kwon Do Tournament last Saturday. She was nervous and frankly, I was nervous for her. TKD tends to be a sport of improving oneself and she wasn't really observant of how she compared to others. She wanted to compete in forms and board-breaking.

On the plus side, this tournament was arranged so that the competitive groups allowed for every one to medal but there were still rankings: Gold, Silver, and Bronze. So even though she wasn't the best in her group in forms, she was pleased that she got a Bronze medal. Also I think doing this competition opened her eyes at how much stronger her forms can be.

In the board-breaking competition, I was much more nervous for her. She had never broken a board yet but she still wanted to try to break it with a side kick. Everyone was given 3 tries. As soon as I saw her first kick, I knew she wasn't going to break the board. Mentally, she was placing and pushing the kick, not "going through the board". I immediately regretted not practicing with her myself. I was mad at myself for not making the realization that this being her first attempt at breaking the board, she needed some individual attention from me. Though she handled herself well as she saw everyone else in her group break the boards and medal, I knew she was upset. We left shortly after and in the car, she expressed her frustration with tears, why did I think I could do it? why did I even try?

I told her that it's always best to be prepared, but sometimes you don't know how prepared you need to be or how much more preparation you needed. I told her that I was proud of her trying and that by not succeeding, she had an opportunity to take this experience as a learning lesson and not give up, and figure out how to improve her game so she can break the board. Sometimes it takes more practice, sometimes it takes more guidance. I told her I would help her. She brightened up. And then I resolved to pull out those old practice pads.

And she did it

A couple of nights later, I pulled out the old practice pads and told her she was breaking the board. After some coaching and practice with the pads, I pulled out the board. She hesitated the first couple of tries, and then...she did it.