2012 in review

From a blogging standpoint 2012 has been a giant bust but in my “unrecorded life” it was a pretty great year.  It had it’s ups and downs but what year doesn’t.  I am looking forward to 2013 as it has already begun on a great note.

WordPress was kind enough to record my blogging absence but also let me know that my writing has “staying power” and that is truly why I love blogging. This site will stay up forever if I have the choice because I always love looking back at blogs and enjoying all the memories I have shared with different bloggers.  Here’s to 2013!

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

In 2012, there were 4 new posts (YIKES only 4 😦 ), growing the total archive of this blog to 377 posts.

The busiest day of the year was March 10th with 312views. The most popular post that day was Finished Object: Recycled Magazine Butterfly Collage.

Attractions in 2012

These are the posts that got the most views in 2012.

Some of your most popular posts were written before 2012. Your writing has staying power!

How did they find you?

The top referring sites in 2012 were:

  1. stumbleupon.com
  2. craftster.org (interesting…I have not been to this site for a while.  I should go back to see what is going on in craftster land)
  3. pinterest.com
  4. apartmenttherapy.com (OMG OMG OMG…I wonder what they were reading.  I love apartment therapy! I was probably something random and inconsequential but I will take it!)
  5. sewing.patternreview.com

Some visitors came searching, mostly for lima bean soupmagazine collage,magazine collage ideaslisa simpson head (hella funny), and amy butler.

Click here to see the complete report.

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2012 and New Beginnings

So guess what one of my goals for 2012 is…Yup…Blog more.  LOL!  That one definitely won’t be hard are I have been pretty non existent here in the blogging world.  Most people have moved on to other social networking platforms but I can’t even use that as an excuse since my Flickr account is locked for some reason that Yahoo nor Flickr can resolve and I am anti Facebook and Twitter so all I choose to have is this here blog so let’s make the most of it shall we.

Goals for 2012

I am making some of my goals for 2012 specifically broad.  I find that I tend to get down on myself for not accomplishing certain things and forgetting to acknowledge all the other things I did instead.  So here is goes:

1. Journal/Blog More – By journal I mean either this blog site or my personal one.  I miss telling someone about the mundane accomplishments throughout the year even if it is only my future self.   As far as blogging goes, sadly I only need to blog 8 more times to beat out 2011…LOL.

The Plan

        • blog once a week
        • track my accomplishments weekly
        • buy a new journal for 2012

2. Exercise more – This is a big one for me as I have become even more sedentary that my normal sloth of a self.  I have started a new “alternative” exercise which I enjoy a lot.  I also have Zumba and Yoga at work so between all that I should be able to improve in this area

The Plan

        • Exercise 4 times a week

3. Lose 35 LBS by June and Maintain throughout the year – That is a 1.5 LBS per week goal on average.  That is pretty aggressive in my mind but I might as well shoot for the stars.  June is that date because I have lots of family get togethers and a trip to Spain planned.

The Plan – Exercise 4 times a week

        • Participate in the Biggest Loser contest at my job and win the $200+ dollar cash prize
        • Track my weight each week to measure progress
        • Track my food intake

4. Cook More – Seems counter to goal number 3 but after brushing up on some weight loss reading it always comes back to modified eating to maintain weight loss.  I sometimes forget this when I am scarfing down chips late at night to get my salt fix.  I have done a great job with this so far (i.e. day one) as my freezer is filled with homemade weight watchers or healthy eating recipes.  Yay me!

The Plan

        • Grocery shop on Fridays only
        • Plan the menu for the upcoming week by Friday morning
        • Cook one new meal a week on the weekend.
        • Cook Freezer friendly meals

5. Find More Time – I am single without kids and I still find myself without enough time.  I have equated this lack of time to lack of planning.  Therefore, I plan to try and get a routine started that will help me optimize on my free time per day.

The Plan

        • Work the daily chores list for 1 hour per day
        • Relax on the weekend
        • Cut down on my internet time suck “inspiration” time

6. Craft More – Since work has been taking over my life I have not done much of anything in 2011 hence the lack of blogging.  But I do plan to step it up in 2011.  I don’t have any grandiose plans in this area but I do plan to do more than the one shirt and one skirt I accomplished in 2011.

The Plan

        • Make Pants dammit!!
        • Make 12 items in 2012
        • Take up a photography challenge

7. Finish Decorating my apartment by Spring – Oh yeah in 2011 I moved to the apartment of my dreams!!!  Now I just need to decorate it.

The Plan

        • Find a kitchen table
        • Buy a new bed and headboard
        • Buy new window treatments for bedroom,living room, and dining room
        • Hang art

8. Host a party in my new apartment – Because I need to celebrate number 7 and because I always say I am going to do this.

The Plan

        • Try recipes for the party
        • Just Do it.

9. Work Smarter, not harder in 2012 – I have a lot on my plate for 2012 and it doesn’t look like it is going to ease up anytime soon so I need to figure out how to balance things better and get more done faster.  Easier said than done and I don’t really have a clear plan for this one.

The Plan

        • Figure out how to work an 8 hour day
        • The rest is TBD

10. Improve Myself –  This one is very broad but something I feel I need to do.  One major portion of this is health wise.  My top five goals already address a portion of this but there is so much more to self improvement.

The Plan

        • Make major health appointments for the year by Feb 2012
        • Learn how to handle my emotions better

11. Spend more time with people – I am a loner at heart.  Content to stay inside my house all weekend in dead silence.  However, I also enjoy the company of people and need to spend more time engaging with others as it is mentally healthy if you choose the right people.

The Plan

        • Date…this is self explanatory
        • Spend more quality time with my family, especially my mother and stepdad

12.  Manage my money better – This one is always on the list and will remain for 2012.  I am not horrible at it but I do go through periods of blind spending that need to be reigned in a little bit more.

The Plan

        • Track spending for 2012

PHEW!!! Those are some BIG plans for 2012 but I think I am up to it.  Guess we will know come 2013 🙂

 

2011 in Review

Well accidental posting is one way to re-enter the blogging world…LOL!

I think fate just got tired of me penning the perfect post or neglecting to actually publish already written posts so it finally intervened and just published something to get me started.  Good plan on Fate’s part.

One of my resolutions for 2012, is to blog more with an intention to blog at least once a week.  Honestly it isn’t a high priority resolution like eating better or exercising so if it is blog versus getting off my rump I hope you will forgive my absence.

Anyhoo,  I thought I would start out my first official blog post with a retrospective on 2011, especially since this is all new to everyone except maybe my bestie who reads this blog too.

January  – Took a photography class for flash.

I can’t say that I have used the studio light setups as much as I wanted to but I do feel better about my flash and bring it along more often.  I have also made some significant additions to my camera equipment catalog that I may share with you later.

Feb/March – Went to Japan and survived the earthquake

Yup, I was there with my bestie and her brother.  I didn’t want to share this at the time as my experience was nothing in comparison to the people who had to live there during and after this disaster but suffice it to say it was an experience of a life time.  My bestie’s brother videoed the entire trip and caught the tail end and aftershocks of the earthquake if you want to see it.  Believe me…laughing is very therapeutic during these moments because I was pretty darn freaked out when this was going on.  I will recount this whole experience in a blog post later as it wasn’t just about the quake but about a great trip.

April – Proms galore

This year has definitely made me feel my age as my niece and nephew graduated high school this year.  I remember when they were babies.  Just saying that means age is catching up to me.

May – Got a ringflash

I have been obsessed with wanted one of these and I ended up getting a RayFlash.  I love the look.

June – Graduations and Births Galore

my niece and my nephew graduated and my great nephew was born

July – Car rolling to 100K miles, Apartment hunting, getting, and losing 

My car was a significant moment because this is my first and only car.  I hope it will be my 200K+ mile car.

My apartment hunting started in July because I was just tired of my cave and couldn’t take it anymore.  After viewing some pretty dismal places I found a GREAT place but it has very small bedrooms and was on a super busy street with a traffic light that made me hesitate.  Well, when I finally made the leap the company had given it away despite the fact that I said I was coming with the deposit.  I was devastated and decided to hold off on my hunt until later in the year.

August – Dropping my niece off at college and the first day of kindergarten

Such significant moments in life.

September –  My bestie came to visit, I received a promotion, and I found my PERFECT apartment

My bestie came in September and I planned a whole weekend of fun.  I am normally not that prepared when people come to visit so I stepped up my game this time and I think I did a pretty damn good job.  We went to the Los Angeles Times Taste Event: Street Eats on the Paramount lot and it was super fun.

The weekend of September 23 was the PERFECT weekend.  On Friday I was officially notified that I received the promotion, and accompanying raise, to SENIOR Project Manager that I asked for.   At the time I breached the subject a few months earlier I was a little disappointed that I had to ask at all.  However, this type of mentality is very similar to the “I WANT you to WANT to wash the dishes”.  This works for NO ONE.  Everyone loses.  This experience has taught me some valuable lessons in not being afraid to ask ASSERTIVELY for what you want, not expecting life to do for you but doing for yourself,  that life truly is not fair so keep yourself on top as much as possible, and don’t hate the playa but learn to play the game the way you want to play it and WIN.

This same weekend I stumble on my PERFECT apartment.  It was pure happenstance that I saw an ad for the place.  It was a rare spurt of energy that got me off my booty to call and make an appointment.  It was a nice treat that the property manager was a girl from my old knitting group and that I determined that to be a good sign.  Finally it was cosmic that this apartment had EVERYTHING on my checklist for the perfect apartment.  I applied for the place the same day.

Don’t get me wrong, it has its quirkiness but I LOVE it so much. I will introduce you all soon.

October  – Moving, Jill visits, and Mom and Papa visit

Moving was a pretty big trial for me as I have a lot to move and hadn’t really started packing early like I had on other moves.  I did hire movers which was both a good and bad thing as I didn’t have to physically move the boxes but the packing and the organizing and the fact that they were slow kinda stressed me out during the moving.  I also bought quite some new furniture.  My new grownup couch is from Macy’s hence the red carpet treatment 🙂

I have the best bestie in the world.  Who FLIES to help someone move?!  Yup, my bestie.  We have both acknowledged that she has a moving addiction and lives vicariously through the moving excitement of others but really….visit to help someone move? Yeah…the best bestie I tell you.

My momma and papa came to visit which made me sooo happy.  They don’t visit often so it is always significant when they come by.  They loved my place except for the stairs…LOL!! It was classic that my mom was the first one to cook in my kitchen.  She brought the card table, chairs, plates, wine and a smorgasbord of food.  She ended up leaving me with 4 nights worth of dinner. I love her so much.

November – Visiting Jill, making waffles for the first time, working from home

This month was pretty stressful because work and moving were starting to converge in the perfect storm of too much to do.

However, in the midst of it all I visited Jill.  Sadly I didn’t take pictures AT ALL during that weekend.  We went to Chez Panisse and I ate downstairs for the first time and we had some great Korean food.  I miss my extended family up there. They are always fun.

Invited my niece over and I made waffles for the first time with my new waffle iron. We made a few different variants but the best was the pumpkin waffle with the addition of white chocolate chips inside.  Yum!  She was surprised that I wanted to make it from scratch.  We were starving by the time we ate because it took us so long to make…LOL.

I also worked from home for the first time because I just could not concentrate at work.  I stationed myself in the dining room with the great sunlight and view. Now I am hooked on the thought of working from home.  Too bad that won’t fly at my job.

December – Christmas Tree Upgrade

Despite the holiday season, this month was pretty uneventful.  Pretty much consisted of me avoiding Christmas shopping like the plague and counting the day until the long vacation of which was job was awesome and gave use the entire week and January 2nd off!!!  I did get a new Christmas tree though.  I was a major upgrade and I love it!

So that is 2011 in review.

More Spanish Love

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Spain is one of my favorite places. I love everything about it. So it is no surprise that I fell in love with Tempranillos during a wine tasting with a friend. I love it when I discover new things. I highly recommend this wine it you like fruity, not too sweet, reds.

Enabler Alert – Groupon for Mood Fabrics in Los Angeles

This is a case of pay it forward.

One of my good friends sent me a notification of a GROUPON for Mood Fabrics LA – $15 dollars for $30 worth of fabric.  I bought mine and thought I would pass on the word.  As of this e-mail there are 3 days left to get in on the deal.

Disclaimer:

  • I do not work for Groupon or anything.  I just love a good deal.
  • This is my first time using Groupon so I know as much as will by reading the offer and disclaimers and FAQ such as “Can’t use until day after purchase, In-store only, Limit 1 per person, Limit 1 per visit,  Not valid with other offers and  Expires Mar 28, 2012
  • I hate sales pitches so please don’t feel obligated but if you want, you can click on the link  ( http://www.groupon.com/r/uu25153058 ) and I will get $10 in Groupon Bucks when someone I invite gets their first Groupon .  Like I said I HATE sales pitches but as my sister says “a closed mouth don’t get fed” (yes, with poor grammar and all) 🙂

 

 

There and Back Again – A Hair Journey

What Drove Me To It

So back in October  I took my hair out of braids.  Not a big deal at all as I wear braid quite a bit, but this time I wanted something different.  I had seen some cute styles and wanted to try them out, one of which was two strand twist.  My inspiration was the hair of this gorgeous blogger.  I sent some pictures to my sister who does hair and she said she could do it no problem.  She easily performed the task but not at all to my satisfaction.  See, my sister mainly works with artificial hair – weaves, braids, wigs – but also does pressing and the like.  The problem is none of these styles use natural hair which mine “kinda” was at the time. I use “kinda” because the ends still had the texturizer/mild relaxer in it.  Different hair textures coupled with my sister using beeswax as the setting agent instead of twist gel left me with an icky stick mess that nearly had me in tears.

Days later, after trying to make do with my do, I had to get rid of that style and Wash.My.Hair!!!Leaving me without a hair style or stylist 😦

The Dreaded Journey

Knowing that I was fairly deficient uninterested in doing my own hair in any high maintenance style, my other sister helped to refer me to a local stylist to try my hand again at two stranded twists.  When I got there I saw that he had long cultivated locs that looked GORGEOUS.  I got in his chair, chatted with him about his hair, flipped the script, and told him I wanted to start my own locs.  A head full of comb twists later and I was on my way to my new look.

Started September 2010

Now I knew nothing about dreads except they looked EASY and EASY is what I was looking for.  I even found new inspiration via this lovely woman’s loc styles on Youtube. But then reality set in for me.  I was going to a fairly high priced salon, I had to go every two weeks for washing and styling, styling took about 2.5 hours, he only worked on Saturdays, by week two – not so lovingly known as hat week – the coils had started to frizz and look bad, in addition to the hat week two was pretty much itchy scalp week, my edges were just not taking to the process and neither was my self esteem.  For all these reasons EASY became a chore and in a fit of desperation, and a glass of wine later, I started taking out my starter locs after 4 months.

Let us, us FREE!!!

So with a lightened heart I began untwisting and untangling the locs.  Many of them were surprisingly more loc’d than I had thought.  However, there was no regret in the decision.  As soon as they started coming out I felt much relieved and free as a bird.  Did I know where I was flying to?  Nope.  I just wanted to wash my hair…LOL!  But then I started searching YouTube, my new teacher of all things, and was once again rewarded with inspiration and renewed hope.  So I am now back to fully O’ Natural.

This pic was right after I had finished combing out my hair

for the first time in months 😀

I am NOT my Hair

Or maybe this portion should have been termed “Hate on me Haters”…LOL!!  Because I know that going this natural is going to freak out some folks in my life.  I work and commune a lot in OC so the presence of black people, let alone those sporting large natural hair dos is pretty small.  I also work with a large number of men who never fail to point out the fact that my hair has changed with a quizzical look.  Then I have my family where I was raised on perms and pressing combs who understand that those styles are not for me but still see the world through a very “good hair” point of view.  I showed my mom the picture of my combed out do and she said it looked like that time she was away and my dad got me ready for school picture day.

Please note, my dad did NOT do hair…LOL!! So I was sent to school in a dirty blue turtleneck, crazy crocked and disheveled pony tails, and at the time I was on a pretty aggressive asthma medication that was causing my baby teeth to rot (thank goodness my mom took me off before the adult teeth came in…go mom!!).  My mom would always tell me, “you can smile but don’t show your teeth”.  The funny part is, despite looking pretty jacked up, it is amazing how happy and self assured I looked in that picture.You would have thought I was a super model…LOL!!  That said, you can understand that her comments stung a little, then I thought about that picture and how I felt and then said “Thanks!”

So What Next?

Since reverting back to O’Natural I have been feeling pretty good.  I am learning how to do my own hair via YouTube, which by the way is teaching me how to do makeup too 😀

I have sported my combed out fro, twist outs and faux hawks,  which my coworkers lovingly call my Toad head, lisa simpson hair,  and mr. T hair.

I pity the fool who can’t guess which one is me 😀

I have received compliments on all these styles and they have taken minimal work to achieve.  I also discovered an amazing world of ethnic hair care products at my local Target!

I have NEVER seen this many hair care products in one area of a main stream store but then again I was in Lakewood/Long Beach 😀  I have also never seen or at least not comprehended hair cream for $58.00 a container!

My future plans for my hair are always unknown, which is one of the benefits of a culture not afraid to don a long straight wig right after cutting off all their hair…LOL! But for now I plan to enjoy my “new to me” hair and see how long/big it can get and rocking the puff 🙂

Peace Out!