Thursday, July 30, 2015

Month in Review: July 2015

1. Dead Mountain by Donnie Eicher
This was a history book, and the best history book I've read in a while.  I recently learned about the Dyatlov Pass Incident on a history podcast, and I became really fascinated. And when I become fascinated by something I want to learn all about it. This book details his theory of what happened, and I feel like he has good supporting evidence. The last chapter of the book is absolutely riveting and heartbreaking, as he recreates how he saw their deaths occurring. 

2.The Princes in the Tower by Alison Weir
Since I've been reading the War of Roses Series lately, and now I know all the key players, I became interested in learning more about the disappearance of the princes in the tower.  At times I got confused in the book, and at times it was a little bit of a dry read. But overall I enjoyed it. And my verdict? Richard III is totally guilty! 

3. Seen, Unseen Disneyland by Russell Flores
This was a quick little read, mostly pictures and trivia. It highlights all the small details that most people miss when walking around Disneyland. I enjoyed it, although it was nothing too surprising. But I will definitely noticed those little details when I'm in California next month!

4. Down the Rabbit Hole by Holly Madison
I devoured this book in two days. I really, really love juicy memoirs  like this. If this book is to be believed, Hugh Hefner is quite the controlling fellow and somewhat of an arse. And I do tend to believe her, but there are two sides to every story. But the book is a really fun read, and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in the history of playboy or The Girls Next Door. Even if it is just a passing curiosity. 

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Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Weekend Report

This weekend flew by, but I have no complaints, as I am actually ready to start the work week! This will be the last week of summer camp at work, and then I can get back to work being just regular work. Which is good because I'm utterly exhausted.

Saturday morning, I woke up early @ 6:30 a.m! How totally unfair and awful is that? 6:30 a.m. on a Saturday! Adam didn't get up till 10:30 a.m (that was when I decided I could no longer deal with the boredom and woke him up, ha), and I convinced him we had to go out for the day. 

We headed down to a local shopping area, Bridgestreet, and grabbed lunch at a new place that had just opened up, BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse. We were excited about this because we had frequented one when we lived in California. I got the honey sriracha brussel sprouts for my whole meal, and they were so good! Adam thought I was crazy for ordering brussel sprouts anyway, it was even worse to him that it was my entree. No regrets.

Next, we hit up Steel City Pops for some dessert. I had been wanting to stop by this place for a bit, but I just hadn't gotten the opportunity to do so. But I'm so glad we did, I got a strawberry shortcake one, and it was AMAZING. Now I must try all the flavors (Adam got nothing, what a party pooper). I had put try Suzy's Pops on my summer manifesto as #8, but I'm substituting Steel City Pops there instead. I'm thinking a gourmet pop is a gourmet pop!

We headed home after that, and spent all day on the couch being lazy with Linky (playing video games and catching up on shows). 

Sunday, I tried to surprise Adam by making him waffles for breakfast. I had to go the dollar store to pick up some stuff we needed. I was going to get his regular chocolate chips, but I decided to get fancy, and try out reeses peanut butter chips.  The breakfast was an epic fail, and not just because I realized we had no syrup after the first trip to the store, so I had to go back (boo). Nope, I went too heavy on the chips, so it was more like eating straight peanut butter than a waffle. But Adam pretended to like it anyway. I guess he loves me.

Now I'm sitting here watching TV with Adam, mentally getting ready for the week ahead. Let's do this thing. 

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Friday, July 24, 2015

Project Life 2015: Week 29

I had originally planned to use a new project life kit I recently purchased this week (The Adventure Edition), which I love so much. But so many of these pictures were so summery, that I thought I needed bolder colors, so I went with my strawberry kit instead. I like the choice. 

Week 29 was one hot week, which really influenced the activities this week, and side one really shows this. I wear flip flops and drink sonic unsweet tea nearly every day, so I wanted to show that. I also swam a lot (jumping off the diving board at the aquadome and swimming at the local water park). And we played bingo one day at summer camp instead of taking the kids to the park to beat the heat.

Side two showcases our evening and weekend at the Pop-up Pinball event (and the gelato we shared, yum). I took the graphic advertizement from online and made it extra big, to include in the lay out. I kind of love it because it gives all the details on the event (date, time place). 

First off, I know that I totally used the wrong tense of "dive." And the minute I wrote it, I cringed! But I had already glued down the pictures and used my sticker that came on my sonic drink, so I decided just to roll with it. Even if it tortures me for eons! The Point Mallard logo was cut up from the bracelet they give you at the park, so you can reenter without paying again. I'm trying to use more ephermera (a fancy word for all those little paper items you collect in my layouts).

Materials Used:
Project Life: Strawberry Kit

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Just Keep Swimming

I may have been born a Taurus, but I should have been born a water sign because I've always loved to swim. In fact, I don't remember not knowing how to swim. As a young girl/tween/teen, I would spend all day at the pool at my grandmother's country club every summer. I loved those summers! There was sun bathing and going for dips when it got too hot. I could order whatever I wanted to eat, charge it to grandma's tab, and eat it pool side. It all felt so fancy.

And although I continued to swim throughout the years, as I became overweight, I, of course, started to feel ashamed of how I looked in a swimsuit. Especially the tortuous chore of trying of swimsuits.

This year was the first year I didn't have to go to a plus size clothing store and spend nearly 100 dollars for a swimsuit. I was able to get one off the rack at Target. It wasn't the biggest size available, and it was not in the plus size section. And I feel really good in it, dare I say cute?  Losing 200 lbs will do that for you!

During our summer camp at work, we take the kids swimming every week. For the first two years of the program, I would never get in the pool with the children. I didn't want the children to say anything about my weight. Children have always had a tendency to comment on my weight, which has never bothered me! But when other adults would hear the comment, they would often start lecturing the child, which was mortifying. 

This year I have gotten in the pool with the children, and they love when I do. And this last week, I even jumped off the diving board for the first time in years and years. Now that I'm not scared of people watching me, I wanted to go for it. Jumping off the diving board was exhilarating and slightly terrifying. 

I did it several more times. 

I spend a good deal of my summer time at our local water park, mostly floating on the lazy river for hours and hours (Summer Manifesto #5).  It is so freeing to splash around without a concern about how my body looks, or what people may be thinking about me.

Last Sunday, I decided I wanted to try a slide there, known as the space bowl. A type of ride that I had ridden a few times at a water park close to where I grew up in St.Louis. So I did. I actually ended up not liking the ride, I fell down too hard and water went up my nose in the most miserable way.

But the point is I would (sadly) of never had the courage to go at all, if I wasn't at the weight I am now. I wouldn't want people watching me, I always thought I stood out (although this is probably was just self-absorption).

But I have to say that summer is great this year, and life is pretty good. Small victories are still happening everyday, even a year and a half past my surgery! What more could I ask for?

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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Pop-Up Pin Ball

I had such a really bad week. One of the hardest ones in my working careers, there are a lot of factors that lead up to it, both personally and professionally that I won't get into, but for the first time in the history of ever, I had a complete meltdown, and cried in front of my boss. And it was one of the most mortifying moments ever! It culminated in me sitting in a nearby park, crying to Adam, saying "How can I even go back there?" "I'll never go back there." I'm nothing if not dramatic.

I'm sure this has happened to others, but I've never done it, and I'm just worried I came off as an emotional basket case. Although hopefully the fact that I have been completely level headed over my 3 years with the company will give me some credibility.

So to say the least, I was looking forward to the weekend.

Adam and I had heard about a pop-up pinball event in downtown Huntsville. And we truly love some pinball. We always scope them out when we stop by arcades, and we often talk about wanting to one day own a pinball machine. So we were stocked.

There were three machines (ACDC, Spiderman, and Monopoly), and the event organizers kept up with the high scores, to have a little competition. We played all the games several times, and never even came close to placing in the top three. But we didn't care, we were just having a good time.

Adam got to geek out with some local pinball aficionados, and it was so good to see him having such a great time, as he is usually pretty chill about everything we do. Like he will go do anything I want to do and he has a good time, but he is not ever totally enthralled like he was Friday night.

It was hot, hot, hot! So we took a quick break for some Birthday cake gelato from Sam & Gregs. Yum.

We probably played and chatted with everyone for about two and a half hours, before heading out to grab some dinner from Mellow Mushroom. We joked and played around so much in the restaurant. I was so happy to have such a great evening after such an awful week.

The good news is we learned they we be setting up a pinball arcade in Huntsville some time soon, Pints & Pixels, and we just can't wait.

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Saturday, July 18, 2015

Project Life 2015: Week 28

I really look forward to my Friday afternoons. I get off work a little early, and I typically do my weekly scrap-booking then, while I catch up on podcasts. It is a nice, slow kick off to the weekend.

For week 28, I featured the typical daycare drop off, my car reaching the 100,000 miles mark, my new obsession with eating popcorn, a beautiful sky on the playground, and a dinosaur craft we did with the kids at work.

We also had this moment at work where it took 3 of our junior staff helpers to lower our basketball goal (The circles are where I had to block out children's faces for privacy reasons).

Side 2 was just about the weekend.  I worked out at Pure Barre, I went to the local farmer's market, and Carlee joined us for the week. I also wanted to feature a book I just finished reading, Dead Mountain, because I loved it so much. 

I just wanted to do a few close up shots of some of the details!

One thing I did differently this week was I ordered my prints from persnickety prints instead of wal-mart. And I'm really liking the results, although it is a few dollars more expensive. But worth it! I also resigned up for studio calico. I went one month without it, and I just missed it so much! And as you can see these pages were made almost exclusively from their Fairground kit.

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Thursday, July 16, 2015

A Morning Kerfuffle

As mentioned previously, Carlee is visiting for the week, which always leads to its own set of challenges and hi-jinks. Being that Carlee is a calm dog of a distinguished age, and Link is a rambunctious puppy. Morning times are particularly interesting, because I am trying to get two dogs fed (who are very excited), while also preparing Carlee's cocktails of vitamins, thyroid pills, and arthritis pain killers. 

Carlee's pain killers go into pill pockets, which are tasty treats that you place pills in for dogs who don't like to take pills.I have to hold Link back by his collar to keep him from taking Carlee's pills every single time. This is exactly what I did on Thursday morning. And everything was going fine, until I glanced down and realized one of Carlee's pain pills did not make it into the pocket, and it was sitting on the counter.

Carlee is notorious for not wanting to take pills, and always sniffing them out. But It was such a tiny pill, so I thought I would just put it in her food bowl with her breakfast, and she would never know the difference. Right? Wrong!  After she wolfed down her breakfast, and I let the dogs out to do their business, I saw the little white pill sitting neatly beside her food bowl. She had found that TINY sucker, and she wanted me to know that she knew what I had attempted to do, and it didn't fool her. 

I had no choice but to break out another pill pocket. I got the treat ready, and let Carlee in as she was at the patio door barking to be let in. Link was nowhere in sight, so I left the patio door open, expecting him to come in a few minutes later.

I gave Carlee the pill pocket, and she accidentally dropped it. And in that split second, Link swooped in from out of nowhere, and faster than greased lightning ate Carlee's pain pill. I was just in shock. I don't know how he even saw it on the floor!

Once the shock wore off, I was concerned because my 35 lb beagle just swallowed a heavy duty pain pill intended for a 65 lb Labrador retriever....I didn't quite know what to do.

I always take Link upstairs before I head out for work, and let him sleep with Adam for a couple more hours. I woke Adam up becase I wanted Link to be supervised, so we could make sure he didn't need a trip to the vet.

I called Adam a few hours afterwards to check in on our little pill popper, and he said he seemed lethargic for a while, but then he was our regular, perky pup. No harm, no foul.

 He is our Stinky Linky after all.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Photo Shoot Pictures

Adam and I did a fun little photo shoot a few weeks ago with a lovely, local photographer, Amanda Whitley. I wanted some new shots, because we have had no "fancy" photos since we got married 6 and a half years ago! A lot has changed since then, and I wanted some updated shots.  I love the results, I can't wait to hang them around our home. These are my favorites!

P.S.-Getting photos taken was Summer Manifesto Item #10

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Monday, July 13, 2015

Project Life 2015: Week 25-27

Once I hit publish on this post, I will officially be caught up on sharing my album! That thrills me. 

Click on Images to Enlarge.

A big part of week 25 was going to the Insider Access to Inside Out event at the movie theater (read about it here). So most of the page is devoted to the event (except I took a picture of Adam's Shoney Burger because it was so cute with its flag on top, and I added that). The movie theater had given us special lanyards at the event, which ended up fitting perfectly in a pocket! I also included the ticket stub. 

In  the movie, there are people whose job is to choose what you remember and what you "forget."  They are called forgetters. The day after the movie, our next door neighbors came over to ask for a favor, and although we see them out and about all the time, Adam didn't recognize them! He posted this funny status about it, so I wanted to include it in the layout (Plus, it's an ongoing joke in our house that Adam has a horrid memory). 

The weekend was all about photo shoots and pooches. We pet sat for my mother's lab, Carlee, that weekend. So I included many pictures of the dogs together, because it was just so cute! I also put in a QR code that links to a video of the dogs playing together. 

We also had a photo shoot that weekend with a local photographer. I hadn't put on make up in forever, so I felt pretty, and I snapped a selfie. And although we haven't gotten the pictures back yet, I included the sneak peek shot we were given. 

Week 26 was a simple, regular week, and I didn't take a ton of pictures!

It is always hard for me to include pictures in my album representative of my work day because of confidentiality issues. But during summer, we are taking the children on field trips, and I want to document that. So I was able to include a picture from the Big Hero 6 movie day (as it is only the back of their heads). And I included a picture of our young staff that helps us out in the classroom when we were at the skating rink. 

I also included a picture of our dinner at the local Mexican restaurant where we do trivia every Monday, a picture of my new desk in my hobby room (still in the store), and a picture of Linky looking out the window (it's his new hobby). 

Summer is in full swing (as you can see from my instagram picture with the temperature on it). I had a slushie that weekend, and the scrapbook needed a picture of my blue tongue.

I included an image from my two favorite summer shows-Big Brother and Orange is the New Black.  And Adam and I were super stocked about the gay marriage becoming legal in the United States, so I found a picture representing the news story and popped it in my album.

Week 27 was such a fun week. It was a holiday week, so I only had to work 3 and a half days. 

During week 27, I went out for Chinese food and to see Inside Out for the second time with my mother. We did a fun 4th of July crafts in our summer program. I included a shot of Link dragging the hugest rock onto the deck. I also took a picture of the corn field I often run by.

The left side was devoted entirely to the breakfast food truck meet up (read about it here). I included the weather (using the instaweather app) because the rain was such a big part of the event! You can't see it, but I glued a phrase on my coffee picture that says, "It's coffee o'clock." I also love the washi tape that says "hello, hi."  

Materials Used:
Project Life: Honey, Kraft, and Strawberry Edition
Studio Calico Bits and Bobs from the Cirque Kit

P.S-I've been practicing photographing my layouts differently this week, I think this is better than my previous set up! 

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Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Weekend Report

I'm pretty sad this week is over, but I'm grateful that we had a nice relaxing weekend. Although the majority of it was spent hanging around the house and playing Lego Jurassic Park with Adam. But I did manage to get out and do a few things on my own.

Saturday morning was my usual Saturday morning Pure Barre class. But I could tell even before class started that it was going to be tough! The instructor insisted we use the 3lb weights instead of the usual 2lbs, and wowsa that made a difference!  We also used the tube for warm up and ab work. I was happy to have gotten though it, and I am so sore today! After class, I went to the bistro next door, and got a Pineapple, Mango, & Pear smoothie.  Yum.

Sometimes I just love wearing those bright yellow work-out pants! And I was really feeling my "What the Tuck" socks, after that HARD work-out.

On my way home from class, I made a stop at the Athens Saturday Market (Summer Manifesto #1), and I got some Piper & Leaf AppleCart Blossom tea in the mason jar. I also got a bag of Macaroons from Oh My Macarons by L.C.! They were both such good treats, I love a good farmers' market.

My mother dropped off  her lab for the week since she will be out of town. So we have been playing fetch, and then going on family walks. Having these two together is always a lot of fun, but a lot of work. So it should be an interesting week, it is such a full house.

I finished two books I was in the middle of Dead Mountain & The Princes in the Tower), and I started a new book that is intriguing me, The Night Circus.

I didn't get my long run in this weekend because it is so freakin' hot! Like over 100 hot, so I'm going to get up super early in the morning and run 7 miles, it's going to suck! I hate getting up early, so I hope I can pull it off, and get my lazy butt out of bed.

Only 3 more weeks left in our summer program! I will be so happy when it is over, I'm so exhausted!

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