That giraffe kissed me.
Yep, giraffes give wet kisses.
But they’re so sweet. Too bad they wouldn’t let me take this guy home.
I’m kind of timid about joy. Wouldn’t want to enjoy myself too much. Lest…lest…lest, I don’t know, I expode from happiness? Love my life too much? That I could have too much fun?
Is there such a thing?
I’m thinking not.
So here I am, taking a vacation, in Sedona, Arizona. Right now. And enjoying myself.
This is me. Embracing joy.
1. Crystal Lite Ruby Red Grapefruit. This stuff is like crack. And I don’t care. It’s thirst quenching and the perfect blend of slightly sweet and a little tangy. Delicious. Of course I drink it out of my awesome tumblers.
2. Nikon 50 mm lens. I’ve pined for a 50 mm lens ever since we bought our Nikon. I like taking close up shots of people, food, flowers, etc…and while my kit lens is awesome, it doesn’t let in enough light for those close up shots. But this 50 mm? It lets in more light than I know what to do with. This lens is surprisingly versatile. I’ve been using it to take the weekly Project Life pages, the close-ups of my garden, and these close up shots of Kate at the sprayground. And I know I’ve barely scratched the surface of what this lens can do.
3. Old Navy Striped Jersey Dress. The minute I saw this dress, I had to have it. I knew it would be perfect as a swim suit cover up or just for running around town. I wore it to the sprayground, and it kept me cool and dried quickly when I got splashed here and there. Sometimes I pull a t-shirt or tank top on top of the dress, especially if I don’t want to bother with a strapless bra. Since the fabric is so light, it is easy to toss something over the top without it feeling too bulky.
4. Nike Revolution Running Shoes. When I look for athletic shoes, I want the lightest weight possible. I don’t want heavy shoes. I found these Nikes at Kohls, and I originally picked them up for gym use only. I loved wearing them to my group fitness classes because they are lightweight, comfortable, and breathable. Since my old outside-only shoes just about fell apart, I decided to get a new pair for the gym and wear these Nikes as my all around shoes. I’m completely smitten with these, and the colors are awesome. I’ve received lots of compliments on these shoes.
5. Physicians Formula Blush in Blushing Berry. I’ve heard nothing but good things about Physicians Formula blushes from EmilyNoel83, so I decided I had to try this one in blushing berry. I wanted something that gave me a rosy glow without looking too pink or like I ran a 10K in 108 degree heat. This blush makes my skin look rosy without looking clownlike.
Okay, you tell me. What did you love in June?
Last week crawled by. I thought it would never end.
But some good stuff happened.
I received my BodyStep certification. And my tomatoes tripled in size from the time I took that photo at the beginning of the week to Sunday morning.
While I can’t use my tomatoes in a meal just yet, I finally came up with something new for dinner. I get in these ruts where we either eat sandwiches or the same pasta-chicken-pizza repeat loop.
But this week I made up this salsa chicken recipe after I found a barely eaten open jar of salsa in the fridge. This is so easy you can whip it up in less than five minutes and have a delicious dinner waiting for you. Here’s what I did:
-Two boneless, skinless chicken breasts
-One jar of salsa
-One carton of chicken broth
Place chicken breasts on the bottom of the slow cooker. Pour chicken broth into slow cooker. Cover chicken breasts with salsa. Cook for eight to ten hours on low or four to six hours on high.
I made box of saffron rice and mixed it with black beans and corn as a side. So easy, so yummy. If you were feeling especially fun, you could shred the chicken and turn this salsa chicken into burritos.
Other than that delicious meal and our new coffee pot, Kate kept me busy jumping on the new-to-us trampoline, wearing my shower cap around the house, and getting into my makeup.
And that’s all she wrote.
I’m not one to live in the past or be filled with regret. I believe I make the best decisions I can with the facts at hand. And that’s all I can do. It’s all anyone can do.
Everything I’ve done got me to here. And here is a good place to be.
But there’s a few things I’m thinking I could have gone about differently. From the big to the small, I would have re-done these moments:
+That time I dyed my own hair, a major (and costly to repair) mistake. So now I shell out a couple of times a year for a professional job. To me, it’s so worth it.
+If I had to do it again, I’d elope. And then have a big party. With a moonbounce.
+I would never have loaded myself up with the most challenging classes possible my very first semester of my very first year of college. Why, oh, why did I think taking Econ and Financial Math the same semester made sense? I should have taken Keeping a Personal Journal and saved myself the heartache.
+Looking back on my middle school, high school, and college self, I’d tell those girls not to let mean girls rent so much space in their minds.
+I wish I took some HTML and web design classes instead of endless government classes. No one asks me about Locke.
+When I was in elementary school, I dared to moved my mom’s china cabinet for a probably dumb reason, resuling in breaking the head off one of her Lladros. As a mom, I now know what it’s like to have all your nice things broken, puked on, or torn up, so I still feel bad about that.
For all those things I said I later regretted, for all those times I really didn’t mean it, I wish I could have a do-over. But I view everyday as a clean slate, a re-do of sorts. A chance to try, try again.
From Frigidaire: The Frigidaire Gallery™Dishwasher gets dishes fully cleaned the first time, so there are no dish do-overs. Nearly half of adults admit to re-washing and/or re-drying dishes after the dishwasher cycle has been completed. To prevent dishwasher do-overs, Frigidaire® is stepping in with its new Gallery® Dishwasher featuring the OrbitCleanTM Wash Arm, ensuring dishes are cleaned right the first time.
I was compensated for this post as a member of Clever Girls Collective. All the opinions expressed here are my own.
We pulled the trigger and replaced our dying Grind and Brew with a Grind and Brew Thermal 12 cup coffee maker. My life has completely changed. And with the extra two cups of coffee (our old coffee maker only made 10), Dan can’t get mad at me for hogging all the coffee.
While I enjoyed my freshly brewed coffee, I read these interesting posts and articles:
+Thanks to this new study, I no longer feel guilty about only vacuuming up dog hair when I know we are having guests over.
+Are you a Game of Thrones fan? No? Why, not?! Well, watch this funny YouTube parody and thank me later.
+Easy and clever DIY ideas. I’m into that picture frame into a chalk board one.
+After much debate on Twitter, I ordered the Urban Expressions Kerry Bag in charcoal. It should hit my doorstep by the end of the day. I’ll report back on how I’m liking it.
I’ve got a Step class to teach this weekend (and a thank you to everyone who tweeted and commented their congratulations), some fun with friends, and preparing for a Dan and Sarah only vacation next week. Yes. The girl who won’t travel is traveling. More details to come!
I’m an email ninja.
It comes in, I respond, I’m done.
I was one of those work people who couldn’t leave anything unread in her work inbox. At the end of my day, I had to 1) have read every email, 2) respond to everything I could repond to, and/or 3) make a note in my notebook telling myself what information I needed to gather to answer the email and make a plan to respond the next day.
I lived for the zero unread status.
After I left my job when Kate was born, I applied the same principles to my personal email. On any given day, I’ll get bunches and bunches of emails from the ladies in my mom’s group, friends, family, blog readers, editors and sources for my freelance projects, billions of 20% from Old Navy emails, and other random stuff.
I use Gmail as my email system, and Gmail’s Priority Inbox saves me from the embarrasment of forgetting about emails, loosing important stuff, and all other sorts of email travesties.
Here’s my system:
I observe a one-touch system. Actually, I do this with everything. But it works fabulously for email. When an email comes in, I deal with it right away. I’ll respond back immediately or flag it/star it (Gmail on my computer lets me “star” things, and if I’m on my iPhone or iPad, I hit “Flag” under the “Mark” button within the email). When you “Flag” something on your iPhone or iPad, it will show up as a starred item in your desktop version of Gmail. Seamless, that Google.
At the end of each day when I’m ready to be done with email (usually around 7:30 p.m.), I take a look at my starred items and bust through them. I don’t let myself pick and choose. I just run down the list and answer each in turn. This system keeps me on track and prevents me from running out of steam.
Another trick: emails don’t have to be novels. In fact, they shouldn’t. Just the facts, ma’am. People appreciate reading as little as possible. If your pal emails you asking to get together, you could send a two-sentence response with a date, time, and place. You don’t need to say, I’m NOT free X day and time. That’s not useful information. Your friend doesn’t care when you’re not free. He or she wants to know when you are free.
Some productivity experts suggest limiting email usage to certain times of day. That would never work for my personality, job, or schedule. I want to know immediately when a source emails me back or there is a sale at JCrew or if someone needs a sub in one hour for their 5:30 p.m. step class. I need to be on top of things. And I limit it as needed. If something hits my inbox after 7:30 p.m. (unless it’s some sort of Step Class emergency), I just flag that baby and answer it tomorrow.
Answering email right away may sound daunting, but once you’re on top of your email, it will be easy to maintain. And if you’re currently downing, I suggest carving out an hour or two to combing through your inbox and answering and starring things as needed.
How do you stay on top of your email? Any time-saving tips?
I’ve been teaching. And developing my skills. Working on my technique.
But I’ve been radio silent on my progress as I waited.
Back in January I made it a semi-private goal to become a BodyStep instructor. I wasn’t sure if I was just grasping at straws, or if I’d be plagued with too much doubt to go through with it.
But through a combination of support from Dan and my best gym friend, Kim, and a lot of determination and practice, I made it through initial training, team teaching, peer assessment, and finally a video assessment to acheive this certification.
I almost don’t even recognize the girl I was back in January. Through the work I did to acheive this certificate, I didn’t just grow stronger and fitter. I changed how I saw challenges and set backs and things that used to make me quake don’t even register. When I think about something I want to do, I don’t see roadblocks and hurdles anymore. I see fun, an adventure. And I’m sure I can do it.
Pst…I’m planning a post (or maybe a couple of posts) detailing how I went about earning my certification. If you have any questions for me, please leave them in the comments, and I’ll work those answers in those posts. Thanks!
I’m always shocked when I go outside and see how my once baby plants are sprouting and growing. Since I deleted all information from my mind related to photosynthesis from AP Biology, it’s like plant magic out here.As I was watering these guys the other day, I noticed my tomato plants sprouted baby tomatoes.So cute, no?
My chives are popping up, too. I was worried about those guys because I started them from seed. But they sprouted up just fine. They will extra delicious chopping into chive butter or maybe a chive cream cheese spread.I’m excited to add my orange mint to some black tea.And this cilantro will be perfect in a black bean and corn salad.Do you have a garden? What’s sprouting? What are you making with the fruits of your labor?
Kate’s fary princess outfit was hot this week. That picture on the right? We were trying to get Kate ready for bath, but after she de-clothed, she decided to pull on her fary skirt and wings over her naked body and run around the house.
And when she wasn’t running around half naked, she was eating pizza for breakfast.
I’m going to bring all this up at her wedding. Many, many years from now. Like she must be over the age of 30. And when she asks me why I got to get married at 23, I’ll tell her it was a different time.
I also had to include the picture of my jade statement necklace because I am crazy about that necklace. Crazy, I tell you! I want to wear it all the time.
Kate also spent a good portion of her week in various water situations. We started the week off at the sprayground. (Local moms, this one at Fairfax Corner is awesome and so easy. Email me if you want more information).
She is one fearless kid.
The bottom pictures are from my childhood friend, Annie’s, wedding, which was actually June 9, but I included it this week because this is my project. And I was up past midnight that night, so it was kind of both a last week thing and a this week thing.
I almost always forget to get pictures of Dan and I at these things, but I remembered to get my Dad to snap a couple. And Dan captured that sweet picture of me, my sister, and my Mom. Awe. Love them.