Monday, January 31, 2011

I Can't Believe It's Come to This

Want to hear about today’s First World Problem? I never thought it would come to this on the blog, but I’m going to talk about excrement.

Not any person’s… no. A DOG’S. We have the tiniest front lawn known to man. I would go out on a limb to say that it’s not even a lawn. It’s a small patch of grass in front of our house. Then the sidewalk. Then another little strip of grass before you get to the street. It’s nicely kept up by our landlady’s gardener. We don’t have to cut it or water it, just appreciate its beauty.


AND THE BOMBS. Seriously you guys. I don’t know how many of our neighbors have this problem but every time we walk outside the door, there is a new bomb. I get out of the Hubs’ car and I step into grass AND POSSIBLE BOMBS. We never see anyone walking their dog on our side of the street. Our landlady has a dog but she cleans up after it. Our neighbors have dogs but we’ve never seen them walk them (they don’t, by the way). So, who’s responsible?

I want to stick a big ol’ sign out there in front but I know that will just provoke those people and then we’ll have even more bombs out there. Maybe put some baggies out front? Like a public park? But seriously. Why don’t people pick up after their dogs? It’s getting really old. You have to watch your step every time you leave our house. Forget about taking the trash out at night.

It’s not like it’s a long walk to take the walkway and sidewalk. It isn’t. But it’s our front “yard” and it’s disgusting. It looks like WE’RE the ones who don’t pick up after our dog. We don’t even HAVE a dog.

So what would you all do? Is there a spray that repels dogs from grass? Should we set up a camera? (Kidding, kind of) How about a motion detector that once triggered will pelt things at the offender? (although one of us would totally set it off. I know it)

Updated to add: Thanks to Claudia but I think we found the culprit. We've had this weird cat that hangs around our house at night. Duh. The end.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Come See How Good I Look!

I'm lazy. Ok, not really. But yes really sometimes. As you all know, I take a lot of pictures. I'll edit them. But lately, I haven't been posting them on Facebook. I didn't put up my Thanksgiving pictures and my mom-in-law's visit. I just recently put up Christmas. The lazy part is, I hardly ever print them out. A lot of times it's because the ones I would print out are of my and the Hubs. And I have plenty of those around the house. Framed, on canvas, on the fridge. Our presence is everywhere. I think I'm good for awhile.

So, what was I going to do with all of these so they weren't just sitting in my hard drive for years to come?

I made a 2010 photobook!

I had won a $30 Shutterfly gift card from Bakerella (thanks girl!) and used that towards it. If I had to do it again, I would go down a size. I got the 12" x 12" book and it is plenty big. It didn't take long to complete... I spread it out over a couple of days. And, of course, with Shutterfly, it didn't take a long time to print.

I'm definitely happy with it and glad I have this so my pics aren't on Facebook forever. The print quality is great and while I would love the pages to be flat, I know that costs way more. For the price and turn around time, it was totally worth it!

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(Name blurred for privacy)

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Shutterfly did not pay me to write this review (like they even know who I am!). I'm just a satisfied customer who wanted to spread the word!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Let's Keep This Between Us

I think I'm having issues with writer's block. I haven't really been blogging lately and it's lack of ideas. Sure, there's plenty I could write about but I actively choose not to. There are just certain things that should be kept private.

Some things I will never put on the blog:
1. My job. Other than the passing comment or remark, I will not be pulling a Dooce and getting fired for what I write. I won't be talking about my boss (unless it's something funny), her boss or her boss' boss. There will always be times that I'm frustrated but like many other people, I need a job and this blog isn't worth getting fired over.

2. The maritals. You know what I'm talkin' about. Business time.

No one wants to know about it. I don't want to share it. My mother in law sometimes reads this blog. And so do other in-laws. Hey guys!

So. NO.

3. Specific kids we work with in choir. I may relay funny stories or quotes from them, but I'll never identify them or put their pictures up without permission. The internet is a cuh-razy place and they don't need to be out there.

4. Any major family drama. Because MY side of the family sometimes reads this blog. Hey guys!


Just to show you how little topics I have... I shall list them here:
1. Exercise. zzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Mostly because I'm a giant slacker and only did p90x twice last week. What a bum.

2. Learning how to use my camera better.

3. The steps I'm taking to become a legit photographer (starting my own business...omgi'mtotallyfreakingoutaboutit)

4. The photography specials I will be running in the spring. I gotzta bulk up my portfolio!

5. The spring pageant we picked. The title alone is hilarious.

Speaking of which, since I don't like blog posts without pictures, here's Peter's latest headshots:
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So help me guys, what do ya wanna know?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Well, Would You Look At That!

I'd like to write an experience I've had with customer service. Customer service is something that I notice and appreciate and have been having good luck with it lately. Returns have been easy (Old Navy, Sears, Target), my purchases arrive quickly and in good order (Amazon Prime is my new crack), and I'm happy with the service I've been getting.

Until now. I ordered 2 dresses through this website, eShakti. It's gotten rave reviews from several bloggers and I wanted to check out the quality for myself.

Of the two dresses I ordered, one was on sale and the other was regular price. I ordered them on 1/15 and received this email a few days later:

Thank you for Shopping at eShakti.

Our fulfillment center has shipped your order on 1/15/2011 2:54:49 PM and the UPS tracking number is 1Z6RA2210465184476.

We will continue to track your consignment till it reaches you, and will keep you informed of the progress.

Thank you

Carol
Your Representative
eShakti

Sweet! My dresses were coming. I checked the return policy and it made me a little nervous since I only had 30 days from the time of ORDERING to return it if I didn't like it. I sat by the mailbox waiting for the dresses.

I went back to their site to talk to a representative to check on the return policy and what I got back from them was a mishmashed garbled response with misspellings and missing words. Not quite what I was thinking of.

Huh. Not what I was expecting. This was the dress that was on sale. Why would you tell me that both dresses were being shipped when clearly it was only one? I understand crossed wires but this was weird.


Then, this email popped up yesterday:

We regret to inform you that despite our best efforts the apparel( CL0012778_ZS - 
Red roses applique dress) that you had ordered with us could not be made due to
fabric/component availability /quality rejection reasons.

Please therefore note that this item is being treated as cancelled from your order.
The rest of your order has been shipped to you on 1/22/2011 via UPS tracking number
1Z6RA2210465184476.We regret the delay in executing your order.

The refund will be processed in 2 business days and the details will be emailed
to you separately

We are again sorry for the inconvenience caused to you and will and ensure that
your order with us gets fulfilled the next time you shop with us.



Huh. Not what I was expecting. This was the dress that was on sale. Why would you tell me that both dresses were being shipped when clearly it was only one? I understand crossed wires but this was weird.

So, the dress showed up today and I tried it on.

You guys... this dress is adorable. It's my new little black dress. It fits perfect, it's just the right length, it has little cap sleeves... or forget it, check it out here. The best part was I had a coupon so it was cheaper than listed. Ugh. Adorable. It's in need of a good steaming or else I would show you a picture of it.

So, I take it back... what I said about them. I'm still bummed about the other dress though. It was a cute red summer dress. Oh well, like I need another dress in my life. I just knew this dress would be good for work, dressier photo shoots or when I'm second shooting for weddings.

What have your recent purchases been? Show me, show me!




Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Orange You Glad?

It's orange season!
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I wish you guys could smell the air here! If we ever move, it's one of the things I would miss most (other than Baker's and Ohana frozen yogurt. And our friends. Right.)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Breakfast

Guess what was for breakfast? mmmmmmm
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and guess who made it?

Hint: It wasn't me! Spoiled spoiled spoiled girl, I am!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What Dreams May Come

Dreams... they iz cray-zay.



But seriously, last night I had the craziest dreams. Both the Hubs and I have been having problems sleeping. I don't know if it's because we can't find a good temperature, the bed is weird, new mattress pad. No clue. But last night's dreams were the craziest I've had in a long time.



Not to bore everyone but one was about being locked in this killer's house and everyone thought he was a nice guy so no one searched the place. I was in the basement but no one could find me. Creepy.



The second one had to do with my cell phone but for the life of me I can't remember it. I just remember waking up super hot and kicking off all the covers.



Then, this morning in real life, our neighbor let their kid out in the front yard at 6:30am where he proceeded to yell for AN HOUR about how his bus was late. Sweetie, your bus isn't late. Your bus comes at 7:45 on the dot every. damn. day. But the parents kept him out there and he was having a conniption fit every 10 seconds or so.



THEN! I woke up super hungry and couldn't fall back asleep. Like, so hungry that I was feeling sick (didn't have a big dinner last night). Why I didn't just go to the kitchen and get something to eat, I don't know but I waited it out in bed only to go downstairs at 7:30 and scarf down everything in sight.



Then I felt sick again. Still do. Yikes. I don't read into dreams at all but I hate waking up from the scary ones and then letting it bother me for the rest of the day.



Do you guys remember your dreams? Most of the time I can't, but last night's are still pretty vivid... and creepy.

Monday, January 10, 2011

She Kicks My Butt

I started training for my 10k last week. On Tuesday I got up, put on my running clothes, strapped my Garmin on my wrist and turned on my newly charged ipod.

I was running and running and made it to the 2 mile mark when all of a sudden I had intense pain shooting from the side of my knee to my lower back. I was limping along Olive street for another mile while I tried to get up and running but just couldn't. I made it home, showered and when I got out of the shower and bent down to pick up my clothes, my hip popped back into place. A-HA! That's what it was!

The pain went away temporarily but I was definitely limping again by lunch. I had huge plans to pick up running again on Thursday but I was still so freakin' sore. Any PTs out there? What's the muscle running from the outside of my knee to my butt? Because, DANG it was hurting.

Then I had a huge snit fit this weekend when I went to get my Garmin (NEW, by the way) and found that even though I had plugged it in on Tuesday, the battery was low. The charging cradle is broken and I've used it once. Ohhhh customer service will be getting an earful from me.

I didn't want to run because I want to start seeing my pacing (which is horrible right now) and learn how to make it better.

So I'm back to Jillian Michaels! Jillian and I are old pals. Every time I fall away from working out, she's right there to ease me back in. And that's just what I'm going to do, ease myself back into this. I took an entire month off due to the musical, pageant and vacation and I'm tired of feeling like a plop. I know I go through this every couple of months but I really need to stick with it. I have a 10k in April and a half in June. My first for both! I've done plenty of 5ks but I really want to push myself. Plus, I like running and just need to get into a good schedule.

The plan is to work with Jillian for 2 weeks (I'm 3/3 in working out the last 3 days) then move back to p90x until this whole Garmin mess is taken care of. I figure I need to tone up a bit before getting back into running. A leaner body runs faster, right? This is cross training, right?

I like to act like I know what I'm talking about but it's really just nonsense.

This exercise isn't a resolution... I'm constantly working out, letting it slide then picking it up again. But I love finding new workouts to try.

What are some of your favorite workouts? I've done 30 Day Shred, p90x,c25k and b210k. Give me some more ideas!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

On the Right

My mom says all the pictures that the Hubs and I take look the same.
Case in point....

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Why the HELL do I always stand on that side?!

Also, when someone says, "Be funny!" I always do this...
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Oh my gosh, I want to smack me too. We need some new material.

So it's amazing when someone gets us completely natural and happy.
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Although... gosh darn it... I'm on THAT side of him again!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

They are so festive!

So, I wrote this big old long post about the pageant and I realized, this is kind of boring.


I mean, let's be honest... it's a bunch of kids you guys haven't met. I don't want to just throw their pictures around the internet and get into full on detail because that's not fair to the kids and their parents.


To sum up, the kids were highly adorbs and even though things went wrong, the mistakes were hilarious. The end.


I do want to share a fun project that the Hubs and I did for my mom though.


She's got this lamp... chandelier... I don't know. But it came with the house and I love it. She didn't like it at first but now loves it and it's not going to go away. I find it charming.


It's three monkeys holding lights.

They are wearing little vests.

They all have their own little fez.

Of course they do.

3 years ago, the Hubs and I had this idea to buy or make little Santa hats for them. And every year, as we drove away from the house, we would shout, "We forgot about the monkey hats!"

So this year, on our way down to my parent's house, I shouted out of nowhere, "MONKEY HATS!"

The Hubs thought it was a new curse word I had come up with and said, "Did you forget something back home?"

"NO! We need to do the MONKEY HATS this year!"

So we went to Michaels a couple of days before Christmas, bought 3 little stockings, cut off the toes, tied a rubber band around the cut section and viola! MONKEY HATS!
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I pulled my mom into the dining room with the promise, "Lysander and I have a surprise for you."

I've told you all that I'm really bad at setting up surprises right? My mom looked at me with a worried look on her face and was all, "whhhhaaaaaaaaat?"

Then we showed her the lamp. Which she loved. And everyone who came in the house was greeted with, "Merry Christmas! LOOK AT THE LAMP"
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Because it was just that awesome.

And now I have taken to shouting, "Monkey hats!" as a curse word. You should try it.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Side Note

I couldn't sleep last night. I tossed and turned all night. Call it "back-to-work blues" or whatever but I was kind of in a funk. Some of it was stupid, personal stuff that was of my own doing but another part was weird. There was a phrase that kept running through my head:


We are the lucky ones.


The "we" being me and the Hubs. We are so lucky. Maybe lucky isn't the word, but fortunate. We do create a lot of our "luck" by actively seeking out new opportunities and keeping ourselves healthy. But these things just kept running through my head.


We both have jobs.

We live in a beautiful home.

We have extremely generous families (both through gifts and their time).

We have supportive friends.

We have food in the house.

We have the luxury to do fun things.

We have a comfy bed and the ability to use our heater.

We have the time to do the things we love.


Of course I didn't want to go back to work this week. I was dreading checking my email (which wasn't bad at all). I don't want to sit in an office on my computer while the Hubs gets one more week off work. I want to lounge around, play with my new toys, go to the movies and just chill. But then I start thinking about those people who are praying for a job. That all-consuming prayer when you don't have one and would take anything that came your way. Or those with a spouse out of work, who get up every morning and beat themselves up because they can't provide for their family.


I know the feeling, we've been there. Last year at this time, we were miserable. How amazing it feels to be at the top of the emotional spectrum instead of the bottom. There are so many opportunities available to us now. Back when I talked about Blooming Where We Are Planted, we took it to heart and things really turned around. We opened ourselves to new things and took on new challenges that have changed us for the better.


So, we are the lucky ones. We are the fortunate ones. We aren't sleeping out in the cold tonight. We have food. We have our health. We have each other.

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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Let's Do a Little Goal Planning

Whoa... who fell off the face of the earth? That would be this girl. But you know what? It was totally worth it. Christmas break was a heck of a lot of fun and I'm just now getting my feet back on the ground and groceries in the fridge... although we did eat lunch at Costco today. So much for the groceries.

But I just have so much to share with all of you! Toys for Tots, Scrooge, the pageant, Christmas in San Diego, Christmas in Olympia, Wii nights and New Years! I'm going to start backwards though and get into some "resolutions". I don't like the word resolutions but how about "goals"? I love setting goals and reaching them. I also like making lists and checking off things. So this is sort of the same thing.

The Hubs and I were lying in bed last night and got to talking about our goals for this next year. My number one goal?

1. PATIENCE. I don't have any.

It's true. I'm pretty much the most impatient person you've ever met. I hate red lights, slow walkers, grocery lanes, spills, accidents, being late and yoga. All because they slow me down. I just want to go go go. I asked the Hubs how I can be more patient and he said, "You need to realize that people mean well, more often than not. And that not everything is as big a deal as you make it."

Wow. That really summed it up, didn't it?

I also asked him what I could do to be a better wife. He shrugged. Hrm. I'll check in with him later. He's the best.
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Goal number 2.

2. Look into starting my photography business.

This is just scary... but so awesome at the same time! I've loved the sessions I've done for friends and can't wait to learn everything I can about photography. I have SO much to learn and just need someone to sit me down and walk me through my camera a little bit. Any takers?

I can finally share some of these because they were Christmas gifts and had to be kept secret.

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Goal number 3.

3. Find that thing that gets me excited.
That could be the whole photography thing. It could be a great musical or show in which I'm involved. It could be something new with the kid's choir. Whatever it is... I want it to push me and get me going.

Goal number 4.

4. Connect with my friends.
This is for the friends who don't live in my city or even state. I have a whole mess of people who get bumped down the list the minute I get busy. I don't want that to happen as much.


How about you all? What are your goals for this year? Do you do resolutions?

P to the S... it's great to be back! Can't wait to update everyone on my doings!

Double P to the S.... anybody want to make me a new blog header? I'm pretty much incompetent and will make you cookies.