Saturday, January 31, 2015

Laughing Through Life

(On the way back from Santa Barbara last May)

"The only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it.  You either have to laugh or cry.  I prefer to laugh.  Crying gives me a headache."  ~ Marjorie Pay Hinckley

This is a hard sentiment to follow, but I believe it's true.  Do I laugh more then I cry?  No, I don't.  There's a place for crying.  Sometimes it's needed.  In some situations it would be wrong to start laughing.  But, overall, having a good attitude, finding the beautiful and optimistic in life, are skills I'm working and striving towards.  And in the end, if I can find the light through the darkness more often then not, and learn to smile more, I'll find joy and peace beyond what I know now.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Olaf Cat Seeks Refuge


 The Christmas tree is down and all things put away!

Yay!

And we did it before the end of January :P

As exciting as it is to more forward, Olaf, our furry love bug, has been a little forlorn without his hide out spot under the tree.  Regardless, he's resilient and will persevere!  Thankfully Olaf has a knack for finding new places to hang out.

Case in point: these boxes.


 A couple weeks ago I started writing a poem from Olaf's point of view, but it never made it past a few lines.  I'll finish it at some point, but here's what I've got so far:

"I'm only doing what cats would do.
 If you were a cat you'd do this, too.
You would climb trees whether fake or real.
You would find ornaments you'd want to steal.

I'm only doing what cats would do.
 If you were a cat you'd do this, too."


Olaf, you will be fine.
Hang in there bud.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

January 2015 POPSUGAR Must Have Box Review


 POPSUGAR Must Have is a monthly subscription lifestyle box for gals.  The cost is $39.95 a month, free shipping, but it's cheaper when you subscribe with a 3, 6, or 12 months subscription.  On any month you can receive goodies for home, a book, fitness, snack, makeup, pampering, fashion, etc.  You never know what you're going to get, only that it will be fun and worth around $100, give or take a little.

The "reveal" picture was incomplete because one of the items was left out of my box: The yoga hand towel.  I contacted them the day I received the box, and they sent a response the very next day.  The towel arrived on my doorstep 5 days later.

BTW, the February box is all sold out, which is crazy!  Sold out before any spoilers were posted.  So the March 2015 box is currently on sale.  Coupon code REFER5 saves you $5!


 Each month Popsugar Must Have provides a really nice pamphlet describing each item.



I LOVE this cream, and it's this very cream that caused my Mom to order a box for herself.  This First Aid Beauty cream typically retails for $30 and is sold at Sephora.  Driving to Salt Lake, paying for gas, and paying taxes would bring this item close to $35 if you wanted just this item, which is the price of a Popsugar subscription minus the $5 off coupon.  So she bought the January box.  Made so much sense.  And this cream is saving my Winter hands.


 ToGoSpa Eyes, $12.50.

I'm so excited to try these eye masks.  I've never heard of an eye mask.  It's interesting not putting a mask over the entire face, but this should be nice.  These eye masks have fantastic reviews.



My missing item!  Arrived in good time.


This is a Yoga hand towel, and the texture is soft and amazing.  "Super-absorbent and quick drying, the eQua Hand Towel is the perfect accessory for any yogi or fitness guru who likes to work up a sweat."  I'm not a yogi, but I'm thinking about trying yoga again to help my flexibility for Taekwondo.  I already know I'll be using this towel in spinning class.  Love this color!  Glad we were given "sea glass."


 Jack + Lucy Pom Pom Hat, $32.

This is the same brand that gave us the tech gloves in the January 2014 box, so now I have a set.  And it matches perfectly with a sweater I have.  I'm not use to the slouchy beanie look, but it's really cute.



One of my New Year resolutions is to drink more herbal tea, so this is perfect!


 Skin Jewel Tattoos, $18.  Sponsored by Empire

Skin Jewelry temporary tattoos.  Another item I've never heard of, but apparently they're in vogue, or something.  And sure enough the night after I saw the first spoilers for this box, I was at a restaurant and the waitress was wearing a temperary tattoo bracelet.  It's a fun idea.  I'll save these for vacation.



The food item.  Getting granola for a "healthy fitness month" seems appropriate.  It's tasty, and a really good size bag.

I hope we get chocolate for Valentines!

January was a hit.  So glad I got this box.  A couple items I'm never tried before, some relaxation, a much needed fitness item, and fantastic cream.  I'm very happy.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Puzzling Purple Chocolate Head Anna Cake from Disney's Frozen


 I never thought the Disney Store would sell another toy that baffled me as much as the "disturbing to play will" Queen Elinor doll, from Brave, which you stick in a bear, but I've found it: This purple frosted cake with a chocolate man head in a bodice.  It's an added play piece in the new Anna doll set from Disney's Frozen.

I just don't get it, though I'm getting fuzzy memories of seeing it in the movie.

I can't remember!!

Do I want to watch the movie . . . again . . . ?


 I might need to re-watch Frozen just to solve this puzzling mystery.

I'm just not in the mood at present . . .

Regardless, this cake head whatever wasn't particularly memorable, though I think it was in the coronation scene.  Just guessing.


I'll find out in a few months.

Monday, January 19, 2015

My Nieces Snuggle Up to Abe Lincoln

 

 Last week the nieces and nephew went to Scheels for a shopping excursion, and while there my nieces snuggled up to President Abraham Lincoln.




My nephew looked positively unimpressed with the whole shopping experience.  Poor kid, with two older sisters this will only get worse.  Think of it as future wife training!  Unless you marry a nerd, in which most of your time will be spent at book stores, Game Stop, and the Disney Store.
Choose wisely.

(But then your sisters are Nerds in training, so I think you'll be okay :0)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Keeping the Spirit of Christmas


"I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year." ~Charles Dickens

I think my family has taken this sentiment literally as it is the middle of January, and the Christmas tree is still up, much to The Olaf Cat's delight.

It's our tradition to put up the Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving, but we were in California selling my Grandfather's Ventura home, getting it packed, moved, etc, so the tree went up mid December.  The tree has been up a month now.

It will probably come down tomorrow or Monday, which is always a sad affair, and my Mom isn't quite ready to part with it.

But part we must, and keep the spirit and feelings of Christmas the year through.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

This Girl Can



#ThisGirlCan isn't just the slogan for Sports England, inspiring all women to become physically active without feeling judged or insecure, but it's my new mantra, thanks to watching this new video released January 12, 2015.

"This Girl Can celebrates the women who are doing their thing no matter how they do it, how they look or even how sweaty they get. They’re here to inspire us to wiggle, jiggle, move and prove that judgement is a barrier that can be overcome. #thisgirlcan" from their YouTube channel This Girl Can.

It may seem silly to some, but I completely relate.  I haven't been shy about my need to lose weight, but I haven't expressed how it's been going to the gym as of late.  I've been to a couple Zumba classes recently, but before this the last time I attended a class was 40 pounds ago.  I've been self conscious.  I've been hard on myself.  I can feel the extra 40 pounds as I exercise.  And I avoid looking in the mirror.

Goodness, how foolish this thinking is!!  Yeah, I've got a lot of work to do, but this is a process!  And I don't want a quick fix, or get caught up in "lose 8 pounds this week" schemes.

I want a permanent life change.

Women come in all shapes and sizes, and we are all beautiful.

The next time I'm in a Zumba class I'm going to wiggle, jiggle, and be proud of the steps I'm taking towards long term health.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Nerd Tuesday! The Ultimate DC vs Marvel Battle!


 Okay, I probably made this sound a whole lot more Epic then it really is, but when I went to Sensuous Sandwich for lunch today with my Dad and brother Steven, they had this Marcel vs DC fighting brackets on the giant chalkboard.  It's going to play out over 12 weeks, as voting is done while paying tips.  (It's a good way to make a little extra tip money.)  So, for fun, I pulled out a pen and we cast our own votes on a napkin.


Voting had already started for the first bracket, and Wolverine had already won, but I would have chosen his win as well.  I'm honestly not a huge Hulk fan, and the Wolverine is hard to kill.

Jean Grey vs Black Widow.  This was a tough one.  I personally chose Jean Grey, because she's crazy powerful, but I think, in the restaurant, Black Widow will win thanks to popularity.  But regardless if it's Black Widow or Jean Grey going against Wolverine, Wolvie will win.  He would kick Black Widow's ... and we already know Jean Grey asked him to kill her, though if she fought all out and didn't want to die, Jean Grey would win.  Her loss is due to a mental/emotional breakdown.

Loki vs Bucky.  Yeah, I don't even need to think this over.  Loki.

Ironman VS Captain America.  I personally would want the Cap to win, but thanks to the comics (and potential spoilers for the future of the Marvel Movie Universe) Iron Man wins.   Didn't mean to spoil anything there.  We'll know when the movie come out, but I'm thinking of the comics and Sebastian Stan's Marvel movie contract.

Now Loki against Iron Man?  I'm giving it to Loki again.  It did take, what, how many Avengers to beat him?  Yeah . . . and Iron Man is going solo.

And the final Marvel clash, Wolverine against Loki.  I'm giving it to Loki.  They're both super popular characters, super popular, but I just like Loki, and he's got skill.

Okay, now DC.

Aquaman vs the Green Lantern . . .

Yeah . . . not a fan of both.  On this my Dad and brother had a small debate.

Steven: Aquaman needs water to fight.  All Green Lantern has to do is throw him into space and he's beat.

Dad: If Green Lantern finds Aquaman in a bathtub, he's toast.

Okay, disturbing visuals aside, I'm giving it to Aquaman because, in the case of this fighting scenario, Green Lantern stumbles upon Aquaman swimming in an Olympic sized pool.  Case close.  And I really didn't like that movie.

The Joker vs Catwoman.  I personally think Joker would win, but my Dad said she's hot, so go with her.  (That spurred a "which version of Catwoman do you find hot?" discussion, but I won't get into that here.)

Batman vs Wonder Woman.  Batman.  Not going to think this one through.

Superman vs Sinestro.  Superman.  Another one I don't need to think through.

Back to the top!  Aquaman vs Catwoman.  I'm saying Catwoman, because this battle was fought in a desert.

Batman vs Superman!!  The great debate!!!  Technically, if Superman wasn't all small town moral and all that, Superman would pulverize Batman from miles away.  Kryptonite would have no effect.  Laser eyes.  But since the comics always paint Batman like a genius, and Superman as an idiot, Batman always seems to win in the comics.  And Batman wins here, too, though if Superman didn't hold back, he would win faster than a speeding bullet.

Now Loki vs Batman.  Honestly, unlike Superman (who has a weakness against magic and deception, proven by Wonder Woman), Batman would stand a fighting chance.  He's smart and knows how to exploit an opponents weakness, yet Joker is not nearly as powerful as Loki, and Batman has yet to defeat him, so in this battle . . . 

Loki Wins!

Now the real question . . . where was Thor during all this madness?

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Ultimate Cat Accessory . . .


 It's kind of a challenge finding The Olaf Cat toys he likes play with.  Mainly he likes tiny balls, which he can now carry in his mouth, and has zero interesting in the laser pointer.  Too smart, I guess.  The other day Mom picked up a cat tunnel thingy, mainly because The Olaf Cat likes to find spots to hide out, yet be in view of people in the house.

Heh, the other day my Niece decided to explore the cat tube, not knowing what it is, and slipped it on like play clothes.  It kind of looks like a kimono!

Unfortunately Olaf has yet to be really interested in the toy.  I guess he has way too much fun playing on the stairs and railings, which are free, and thoroughly amusing to watch, especially when he's in "crazy cat mode."


 Though, sadly, we realized he may not be a pure Lynx Point, but may instead be a ragdoll, a bread of cat with an awesomely loving temperament, but they're also known for being one of the largest domestic cat breads, and can take up to 3 years to reach their full size.

He may become super large and fluffy.



 Which means Olaf won't be able to play like this much longer.

I hope he's a mix!  He's the perfect size.


On another similar note, my Dad isn't a cat person in the slightest.  He just doesn't "get" them, and unfortunately he's treated Olaf the same way you would a dog, which scares him.  Whenever my Dad gets close to Olaf he runs to another part of the house.  My Dad doesn't really do anything!

The other day Olaf was playing on the stairs, sticking his head through the railing and twisting about, right above where Dad was sitting, oblivious.  Olaf was in playful cat bliss, until my Dad looked up and said, "Hi Olaf," and he looked down, suddenly terrified.  Boy did Olaf bolt right down the stairs and under the Christmas tree, where he likes to sleep and hang out.

Olaf is going to be very sad when we finally put away the Christmas tree.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

An Air Powered LEGO Car


I don't know what I'm more impressed by, the fact that this car is built using LEGO's, or the fact that it's powered by air.  AIR!!!  Actually, it's the air I'm more impressed by.  Sure, the car doesn't drive that fast, but can you imagine the possibilities?  Not that long ago a single computer took up an entire room to function, now we hold more powerful computers in the palm of our hands.

This can only be the beginning.

Friday, January 9, 2015

I'm a White Belt!


 This week I took one step closer to realizing a childhood dream: getting a black belt.  This is something I'm wanted since I was in elementary school watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and other martial art movies, but with dance, piano, clubs, community theater, and the price tag, the black belt goal wasn't practical at that point in my life.

But now it is.

When I received my belt at the beginning of class this week I was told there's two things you have to do to earn a black belt: Get a white belt and don't give up.

I've got my white belt.

Now I just have to not give up and persevere.

Goodness, and I need this more then ever, being as out of shape as I am.  I'm competitive by nature, though I've lost some personal drive as of late, but I like goals and working towards milestones, and the path to black belt has many, many milestones.

One milestone I have to achieve is flexibility, which terrifies me because I'm naturally inflexible!!!  No joke.  When I did dance back in my younger days, despite attending ballet, jazz, and tap (you don't need to do the splits to excel at tap, which is why it was my strongest dance genre, that and my awesome rhythm skills . . . ), I tried to do the splits, practiced night after night for months, and one night in the 7th grade I did it.  I did a full side split!  It was amazing.  The next day, despite warming up, etc, I was an inch from the ground.  I was so discouraged I gave up.

Well, now that I'm older and in my 30's, I've just put myself in a situation where I have to attempt this flexibility giant.  It's a process, but I'm not getting younger, and I want to feel good.  I'm tired of the word "never".  I'm going to believe I can grow and accomplish these goals and milestones.

And I can't wait to learn the staff weapon.  That's going to be fun.

If I don't quit, and advance in belt ranks each quarterly test, I can earn a black belt in 3-4 years.

And even though I'm learning Japanese, I actually choose the Korean martial art of Taekwondo.  I like how there's an international standard to the belt testing, and that it's an official Olympic sport.  I also like the style.

You guys, I'm going to get healthy and fit!!  And learn self defense and great skills in the process.

And achieve a childhood dream.

I've already attended two classes.  It's overwhelming.  I'm nervous and intimidated.  But I will do this.


And I've decided to stop focusing on the number on the scale, my weight, as a representation of my health.  Instead of making my New Years resolution to lose this or that amount of weight, my goal is to get into a size 10 pant.  Since I got some Christmas money, I went to Costco and bought several pants in different sizes from the same brand.  (Size 10, in different brands, don't mean the same thing.  Sometimes a size 10 in the same brand doesn't mean the same thing.)   I'm currently a size 16, but with these changes I've made in my life, this is a very attainable, realistic goal.

I can, and will, do this!!! :0)

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Down with the Old, Up with the New


 Is it so weird that I actually look forward to the New Year just so I can hang up the new Calender?  I bought this 2015 Calender last September, and for a moment I thought I lost it, but found it behind my toy chest.  (Yes, I have a toy box, yes, there's toys in it, but mainly I keep family heirlooms in it, like the necklace my Grandpa Stuff made, old records, my Great-Grandmothers purse, the chopsticks my Grandpa A got in Japan during the Korean War, etc.)


Anywho, I'm sad to take down the old calender.  I bought last years calender thanks to this picture.  It's how I imagine Prince Edward Island to be, at least when I read Anne of Green Gables and The Blue Castle.

In other news I'm still sick, but I'm starting to finally feel better.  Had quite a set back a couple days ago, and I still can't sing.  That's the worst part about a cold and laryngitis, not being able to sing.  I can sorta talk now, but my range is shot.  Better stay quiet and protect the voice, besides all the coughing.  Oh, the many thoughts that circle my head, but will never be uttered. (Actually, that's normal for me.  I recommend you be weary of us imaginative introverted folks.  Our minds are treacherous/dangerous places.  It's a good thing mind reading isn't possible.)

How many Back to the Future references will we hear this year?  How much bemoaning over the lack of hover boards will we read?

Happy 2015.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

My Simple New Years Resolution . . .


 My Simple New Years Resolution is to . . .

Believe!

("I know it sounds like a cat poster, but it's true.")

Believe in life.

Believe in myself.

Believe I can be successful.

Believe I can learn Japanese and French.

Believe I can become better at composing music.

But really I simply want to Believe.

There's so many articles that pop up around this time of year that explains why New Year resolutions fail, why goals fail, etc, but personally I feel we fail when we stop believing, or even start without believing in our dreams/ambitions in the first place.

We fail when we lose faith.

So Believe!

Believe you can achieve every good thing your heart desires.

And if you misstep, believe you can begin again.

We only run out of chances when we're dead, and sense we're still breathing we can all succeed in our goals.

Believe.

"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles." ~ Audrey Hepburn

And on a funny note, I did get some fun New Years resolutions from Zimbio's The Random New Year's Resolution Generator, just in case "believing" wasn't specific enough.


 A great way to get in shape.


 This is honestly a great idea.


 More books!  And no more lamenting at running out of shelf space.


Yup . . .