Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014: New Frontier

source

As we say goodbye to 2013 and hello to 2014, we always set resolutions, but then fail within the first month or two and give up. Been there done that. I would beat myself up for about a week and then never try again. Heck by month three I could never remember what my resolutions were! Sound familiar?

Well no longer! The last two years, I have been doing a word of the year. It keeps me focused on what I want. What is that you ask? When I started my blog last year, I wrote about it here. To sum up quickly, you choose a word (or for me a word chose me) and focus on that word and what it means to you.

This years word....BRAVE

source
I have talked about being in my box, my own comfortable world, and loving it. Well, lately my box feels tight, like it has shrunk, or I have expanded (not in weight. Geez, you guys!) It really and truly is, that I have expanded, grown personally. What was once comfort now isn't and I am seeking new areas, new comforts, new me.

What does "brave" look like in 2014?

I want to expand my blog. Get into groups, maybe co-host a link up or something, go to a local blogger conference. Any ideas are welcome. Please don't be shy. Share your knowledge on how I can expand and grow my blog. I do not know where to go to start this or where to begin researching for it. As of right now, I don't think I am in it for money, but I want to grow my blog.

I want to be me, bravely. Be more authentic and not hold back my emotions. Brave means to be me, not the person who others think I should be or what society thinks I should be. Brave means loving myself as is. Brave means not being perfect AND being ok with that.

I want to embrace my future with LT without having a plan. Brave means committing to LT and following the road we are traveling on together. Brave means give and take. Brave means being ok if another year goes by and there is no sparkly ring on my finger because LT and I really do "got" this.

I want to pursue new ventures at work. Brave means going outside my box and trying new things in the classroom. Brave means being on committees to expand the district. Brave means selling myself or tooting my own horn. Brave means making uncomfortable decisions that are outside my box. Brave means being honest.

Brave is putting me and my needs and happiness in front of others. I am a giver by nature. I want everyone else to be happy even at the cost of my own happiness. It is time to work on me and my happiness. Brave means thinking of myself first. Brave means voicing my opinion and doing what I want, not what I think others want.

I challenge y'all to come up with a word for the year not a resolution. It's about growth and being positive not about losing 10 lbs. or having a clutter free house. It truly is about yourself. How can you make you better? When you work on one area, other areas change and grow too.

Because of 2013 and the commitment I made to a healthier me, I have lost 10 lbs, but I feel better physically and mentally. I would not be in this spot if I made the resolution to lose 10 lbs. I would have gained weight, ate wrong, felt physically ill. This works for me and I hope it works for you too.

If you do chose a word, share it with me. Sometimes, sharing it makes it real, holds some accountability.

source

Monday, December 30, 2013

Sick and Tired....But Mostly Sick

So what did you do over your holiday?

Me? Well, I got sick. Nasty, Icky, Poo-Poo sick. Cough up a lung, sick. I was the sick-a-nator, sick-a-little-ding-dong, the sickmeister. Yes, I have been watching Saturday Night Live-a-thon.

All the to-dos I wanted to get done went by the way side as I have been laid up in bed (or the couch) with this stinking head cold. I haven't had the energy to even blog; hence the title, sick and tired. Catchy, huh?

I am not letting this thing win! Tomorrow is a new day and ironically, the last day of 2013. What does 2014 hold for me? Check in tomorrow to find out what I have in store!


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Break...Lovin' It!

Christmas Break you are my friend. It seems I have been waiting all year for you to arrive. Here you are and our time together is going too fast! Slow down this last week, would ya?

Christmas Break is two wonderful weeks without work or students or stress or anything. I can really do my own thing. I always have a big list I want to accomplish over the break, but it never seems to happen. Like today. I have a list of stuff to do: oil change, car wash, errands, grocery, etc. Yeah, the day after Christmas. Most will get done, but not all. Thankfully I do not have to brave the shopping crowds and return anything. 

I did get to go to Guthrie, OK to do a Victorian type of Christmas they do every year in the town. People dressing period appropriate. Well, the drive up was in rain with freezing temperatures. There was a lot of ice building up on the windows and mirrors. Caused an exciting time in the car.  Because of that ice storm, the town cancelled their to-do!


We got out and walked downtown in which it started to snow at first and then went away. There were cute stores but not much opened. I got my picture with Santa. He was the only person hanging around downtown!


My great niece & nephew dealt with Santa very well! The last one they saw at Bass Pro, they both bawled their little eyes out!


For Christmas, Lt got me a pair of Uggs I wanted; I got him a tablet. Oh, and he also gave me a head cold. He said no returns, exchanges or refunds on that gift. He has been sweet trying to take care of me, but I think he was secretly glad to go to work today. 

So now y'all have gotten all caught up on my goings on in the last week. Been missing my blog and y'all! Glad I am back and ready for more!

What exciting thing happened to you over Christmas?




Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Little About Me

I have started like 3 different posts today and just not finishing any of them! I guess they are not talking to me today. So I started to read through people I follow and I came across Heather who did a link up that was more about yourself than from you "About Me" page. Sounded fun and I am in the fun mood!

Also what better way to learn more about me and some of the things that make me tick. It is a jumbled up mess up in the old noggin so bare with me and the roller coaster ride you are about to take! So without further ado, live from the link up with Marquis, here is a little bit about me.

I love music, mostly rock, eighties, heavy metal. Yeah, I am a hair band head banger. I will be going to my second Cult concert this year tonight!

I am addicted to shoes, makeup, and hats.

I buy make up whenever I am feeling frumpy or fat because it is never about a size. It's one size fits all!

I am a conundrum: I hate to sweat but would rather be warm than cold.

I am currently enjoy hiking. Something I haven't done but have started the last two vacays with LT

In my mind I am an exercising fiend but in reality I am a slug.

I am not really big into going to the movie theater, but I used to work at one.

I have never read or watched "The Hobbit", "Harry Potter" series, "Twilight" series, "Avatar", or "50 Shades of Grey"

I watch my favorite movies over and over and over and...well you get my meaning!

I have a very very soft spot for animals. I can't watch the commercial for abused animals or any shows that have animals being abused or neglected. I would have a whole house full of rescued animals if I could.

I am sarcastic and a procrastinator.

I have a wicked sense of humor and would rather laugh than cry. Heck, I really don't show my emotions much except happy and mad. But I am working on it!

I think a guy in uniform is sexy, within reason...The mailman, plumber, painter and electrician are all safe! I am glad LT wears a uniform. ME-WOW!!

My favorite food is Mexican (glad I live in Texas!).

I eat gluten free. Love crunchy foods, don't eat sweets but crave chocolate once a month.

The most comfortable room in the house, to me, is the bedroom. But I love how the kitchen is decorated.

I wish I was more creative/crafty. I just don't have that vision like the rest of the women in my family

I am loving my blog and am ready to take it to another level. I don't know what that means, so if you have ideas, please share!!

I could go on and on and on, but I will give you a break of being on overload and save the rest. I have enjoyed sharing with you! Thanks for stopping by and reading. If you have any questions for me or want to know anything, let me know! I have been responding to my comments in email, so please make sure you I can get in touch with you!

Have an amazing Wednesday!







Monday, December 16, 2013

New York City in December!




Central Park
We made it back from the Big Apple! We thought it might be touch and go there for a while since it snowed all day Saturday to the tune of 5 inches. But come Sunday morning, it was all melted off and we were able to make it make to the sunny land of Texas and 60 degree weather!

Every year, my sister and I go to New York City during December to get our holiday spirit on, oh and of course to shop, shop, shop! And boy did we!

Friday was all about shopping down in SoHo, Nolita, and we even walked to Greenwich to eat at a gluten free restaurant we heard about. After dinner we walked to Union Station to walk around the holiday market that is there every year. Nothing bought at the market but a stocking cap (I always buy a hat in NYC). It was a pure miracle I found us a taxi to take us home. Walking 2 miles at night back to the hotel is not fun (and we have done THAT every year too!)

Saturday was magic day. It started to snow before we got up and did not stop until around 8 pm. It was forecasted that Central Park got 5 inches of snow. I can believe it! We pretty much stayed around the same area between 3rd and 9th Ave and 61st and 51st streets. It was so freaking cold! The snow was amazing though. Can't have one without the other.

So enough about what we did...let's see the pictures!


From top left and going clockwise: Sister in front of Bloomies, Our doorman doing selfies with us, Me off of 5th freezing but cut candy canes, sister and I at Central Park, again at Central Park but with buildings behind us to prove we were in the city, and me in front of Rockefeller Center Tree.

I would do a collage for the windows on 5th Ave, but it doesn't do them justice. So here they are!

Harry Winston's building


Cartier's building. There were leopards on the building in white lights.


Windows from Bergdorf Goodman. Their windows were about each holiday. These are just a few.




Can't go to NYC without doing Rockefeller Center 


We had an amazing time and can't wait till next year! It is one of our traditions we do for Christmas. 

What is one of your traditions?





Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Holiday Traditions

Since I have gotten healthy with my eating, I am a little freaking out on my holiday traditions. Why? It almost all revolves around food! Now what am I going to do? I need to make over my traditions quick because the month is almost over and I need to get cracking!

Past Traditions
1. Angel sugar cookie at Celebrity Bakery
2. Make our own sugar cookies (Nona's recipe) and give as gifts
3. Make PMG Toffee. This is a recipe handed down from my mom's aunt, Phyllis Marie Giersch. Miss that woman so much.
4. Drive around and look at Christmas lights
5. Go to New York City before Christmas to shop and look at lights
6. Go to a Christmas concert
7. Go the the Galleria and see the big indoor Christmas tree

source



New Traditions
1. Drive around and look at lights
2. Go to Prairie lights. It's a drive thru holiday light park. Hopefully pictures to come

source

source

3. Go to New York City before Christmas to shop and look at lights. Pictures to come
4. Go to the Galleria for the tree
5. One gluten free treat (cookie or cupcake topper) from BabyCakes in New York (and they deliver all over the US!)

source
source
What are some of your traditions? I am always looking for new to add to our collection.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Survived Sleetnado 2013!

 
If you have been following me, you know that North Texas got a total dump of ice on Friday. Shutting down the whole north Texas. Seriously! Up near Denton the semis could not move on the interstate and were just sitting there!

You know from my last post I was without electricty for 8 hours and there were other areas that were without for 36+ hours! Holy guacamole, Batman!

So my weekend was kinda boring. I was stuck inside most of Friday. LT braved the weather and drove up in it after getting off of working and taking care of his parents. Once he arrived, we got out in it and braved the bridges! I am glad he was driving and not me! Yes, I am from Kansas and was used to driving on the roads in bad weather conditions. I just didn't want that stress.

By Sunday the bridges were thawed enough that I was able to get out and get jiggy with it. Which is a good thing because I have to cross a big bridge to go to work, so I knew I could make it Monday....wait a minute, is that really a good thing?

Anyway, here is what I was up to over my weekend, in pictures. The biggest issue with all the ice was the trees. The ice bent branches and broke a lot of limbs, hence no electricity. This was at a shopping area. Those trees cracked under pressure!


I am so thankful LT drove. I would be stressful going across these icy bridges and changing lanes! I refused to take pictures of me gripping the dash with white knuckles!



Make me jealouse...what did you do over the weekend?

Friday, December 6, 2013

Friday Memories


Friday, December 6, 2013 will be known as Winter Storm 2013 or as the local news just called it "Sleetnado!" Now that is funny!

I could write about how cold it was in the house (58 degrees and dropping) and how long I had to go without electricity (8 hours; no heat, no internet, no blog). Instead I chose to share a winter memory from my childhood.

I grew up in a little farming community in Kansas. You can read a little about it here. We had this long driveway (made of dirt) and whenever there was snow forecasted, Daddy would park the car close to the road so we could shovel our way out if we needed to get out. But the most vivid memory was the blizzards we had and what we would do inside the house.

I remember one blizzard, we woke up and found a sheet covering the kitchen doorway. When you crossed that threshold, it was magical (or at least in my child's mind). Momma had the camping lanterns lit and the Coleman stove going for breakfast. The kitchen was toasty warm and Momma was at the stove making pancakes!

We stayed in that kitchen all day. Not to worry, there was a bathroom off of the kitchen so we did not have to brave the freezing house until bed time. I just remember how fun Momma made it seem that we were hanging in the kitchen, playing games, talking, and cooking. I have fond memories of that...not so much when we had to go to bed in our own beds and sleep in sleeping bags and pile blankets on us so we don't freeze. I think we even wore our coats to bed!

Going through Sleetnado of 2013 brought back some wonderful childhood memories for me. Yes, it was hard today with no electricity, no heater, no electric blanket, and no internet, but I felt I was given a gift of my childhood and relived a magical time.

I will confess, I was cheering when the electricity came back on, and jacked the heater up! Hey, I may want to remember my childhood, doesn't mean I want to actually relive it! LOL

Here are a few, very few, pictures of "Sleetnado 2013" (I just love that name!) I stayed inside so there were not many pictures.


Top left: my pallet in front of the fireplace where I spent most of the day. No wonder my back hurts!
Top right: Gavin wanting back in from his MANY trips outside
Bottom left: Check out Gavin's water dish. Frozen! Glad he didn't try to get any water.
Bottom right: Look at the temp: 58 degrees in the house! Brrr





Thursday, December 5, 2013

Unique Christmas Music

If you are like me, you are already listening to Christmas music (and loving it!) whether it is on the radio or your iPod. We always hear the traditional songs, but performed by different artists. I thought it would be fun to do the odd, different, unique or unknown Christmas music. These are the top 5 that I listen to during this season:

1. Buone Natale by Nat King Cole: Buone Natale means Merry Christmas in Italian. It is just a fun cute song that you can sing to...Italian not needed.

 

 2. Frosty the Bluesman by Heywood Banks: Another fun song and a different spin on Frosty the Snowman. Heywood Banks wrote it and there is a video on YouTube




Heavenly Child by Danny Davis: He is at my church and wrote this song. It is one of my favorites and I love to listen to him sing it during Christmas mass.


4. Children Go Where I Send Thee by Hall and Oates: I saw them in New York doing a Christmas concert and they played this song.


5. I'm Getting Nothin' For Christmas. This cartoon is pretty cute!


Well, that is my 5 holiday songs that are unique or not well known. I hope you all have enjoyed it. I am always looking for new songs to add to my collection. Please let me know and don't forget to leave an email so I can respond back to you!


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Parent Reverse

source

Why is it when things are rockin' along and going good, you get a speed bump, or two? Why can't things just be smooth sailing?

We all encounter adversity and have things we need to over come. It is what makes us stronger, unites us together. But there are days I just don't want to go through with it or other days that are frustrating because I can't do anything about it. Today is a frustrating day. Everything that is happening is happening in other towns/state and I can't be there for it. Clear as mud, right?!

Don't worry. Nothing major is going on that I know of. It is just some little medical things that crept up with LT and my parents and we are in a hold and wait pattern. I believe everything will turn out fine. I think it is more about being frustrated there is nothing we can do and for me, my parents live so far away I can't be there.

It is funny. Our parents take care of us, nurture us, teach us and then there comes a time it switches. The child needs to care for the parents. But it is more than that...we WANT to do it, yet we get interference or a battle with said parents because they don't think they need it and they definitely do not want it.

It is a fine line LT and I are walking right now with no idea what the future holds. All I know is I need to respect their independence, yet they need to respect my need to help. This is truly going to be a test, but I believe LT and I got this. In the end after it is all said and done, we really got this.


Monday, December 2, 2013

Weekend Recovery!

Whew! I am glad the weekend is over! We decided to throw Christmas decorations together over the weekend while Texas as experiencing 70 degree weather. So here is the run down...

First you have to get rid of the leaves. We have this HUGE cypress tree in our yard. I swear maybe half of it's leaves have fallen. This tree is my nemesis! It gets stuck to Gavin's fur so bad! I have to pick it out of his fur every single time he comes in from outside. Check out this picture to see how bad it is (and this isn't even the worst!)


So in Texas, this is how we rake leaves! LT was my monkey climbing up to blow the leaves off the roof (I can barely climb the ladder to where my head clears the eave!) He then blew all the leaves into a pile and we filled 3 bags...oh my back!!



On to decorations! We did our cool lights on the roof. I have never seen any house with these lights and we bought them at Big Lots! So this year LT wanted to add blue LED lights to the bushes. 9 boxes of lights later, this is what we have. You need sunglasses to look at those blue lights they are so blinding!



That was Saturday. Sunday consisted of finishing the lights outside and decorating inside. I don't have pictures yet of the inside. I am trying to decide if I am truly done or if I want to add some extra. This year I feel I may go a little simply in the decor. I'll post pictures of some things later.

Gavin didn't help any, but he sure was worn out from the weekend. I felt the same way, but he beat me to the recliner.


Linking up today with...

Mingle 240

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Sunday Social: Favorites!

Is it December 1 already?? I had to double check on my phone to be sure. The time really does fly at the end of the year, huh? What better way to welcome December than to share my favorites! So I am linking up with Complete Waste of Makeup for their Sunday Social...Welcome!

Sunday Social


What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Hands down it is Butter Pecan. Pecans make everything taste better! I also have fond memories of eating vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup on it before bed when I visit Momma and Daddy.



What is your favorite smell? First thing that came to mind is the smell of freshly cut grass. There is just something clean and fresh smelling about it. I guess that is why I gravitate towards clean scents.


What is your favorite TV commercial (past or present)? This Little Caesar's commercial makes me laugh every single time!! There's really only one rule...


What is your favorite day of the week? I would say Saturday. You wake up and there really is no stress, time clock, or work driving you. You could sleep in or stay up late with no repercussions. The day is for you to do what you wish!


What is your favorite way to waste time? Reading! I can load up my kindle and read for days. I have new books on there now and I have to hold myself back because I am going to need them for my flight to New York City. But it's so hard!! What books do you recommend?


What is your favorite article of clothing? My PJs. It is one of LT's old work shirts and oh so soft. Plus it reminds me of him. When I get home for the day, I go and change into my PJ shirt and plaid flannel pants. 


What are your favorites? Come share and then enjoy your relaxing Sunday while LT and I finish putting up Christmas lights and then "raking" the back yard of cypress leaves.