Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Looking Forward

I'm really terrible at keeping New Year's resolution, but I make them every year anyway. This year, I'm trying to keep it simple:

Courtesy of Thirty Handmade Days

I want to get in shape (who doesn't?) and I think I have a do-able plan this year as well as a goal, subjective though it may be. In April I'll be on stage wearing a very skimpy costume in front of many friends, family, and strangers. I used to do that daily but it has been a while and since I quit dancing for a living, my body has changed drastically. So, instead of setting a number of pounds I want to lose or a weight I want to lift, my goal is just to be in shape so that I can feel confident in whatever the costuming team throws my way.

I want to be more responsible with my money (again, who doesn't?). Working part time and living off financial aid has been a unique challenge. I have a summer trip to FL planned and I need to be very mindful this semester of where my money goes otherwise I'll never make it. In the next few days I'm planning to sit down and draw up a budget for myself and see where I can save. Any tips you have to share are most welcome!

I want to share my time this year. I don't know if I'm selfish or lazy or introverted but I'm a master at getting out of social obligations and I think it's unhealthy for my relationships. This year, I want to give more time to the important people in my life so that they can know they are loved and respected as I hope they love and respect me.

I want to succeed at running my Etsy shop. I really, truly love making and giving gifts - blankets, scarves, hats, whatever - and it makes me so happy and proud when other people are interested in the things I'm making. I want to share my skills, my time, and my passion with anybody out there and Etsy seems to be a great platform for it. The extra income will certainly be a blessing too! Defining success is difficult but I'd like to aim for a sale a month to be conservative, we'll see if that's attainable...

As for my one word, confidence is something I need in all areas of my life and I think it will be my one word for a long time to come. I need to be confident in my body, confident in my talents, confident in my relationships... but most of all I struggle with confidence in my decisions. I chose to leave Florida a year and a half ago and return to school. I wonder daily if I made the right choice. While my friends are getting married and having babies, getting promotions, traveling the world, and chasing their dreams, I'm going to class with kids 10-15 years younger than myself, working part-time just to pay the bills, getting deeper in debt, and worrying if I've been left behind. I try not to dwell on it, I try to look on the bright side but what I really need to do is let go and commit. I made a choice because I thought it was the best one for my future. I need to give up on fear and jealousy and have confidence in my decision, confidence in my path, and confidence in myself. I'm playing a long game right now, it'll be a while before I graduate, a long while before I get a job I love, and a very long while before I get out of debt, but I want to have confidence in the future I'm pursuing so I can enjoy the present!

I hope you have all had a wonderful year and that the next will be even better. Whether I know you offline or only on, you have been a blessing and I'm so very grateful! Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Final Final #42daysofvacation

Had my last final of the semester this morning. It went much better than expected… I think. I won't know for sure until grades are posted but I'm optomistic.

I spent most of the day yesterday studying and getting notes gathered - it was an open note, open book, open internet exam - which meant no need to get dressed.

I'm all about comfort in fashion and PJ's are the most comfortable clothes (if your PJ's aren't comfy, you're doing it wrong!) Also, those handmade little slippers are one of my favorite things ever. In fact, my toes were so happy, they inspired me to start another pair:
I think these ones will get bows instead of buttons. No reason why comfy can't also be cute, right?!

I also made another square for my "in it for the long haul" afghan:
I started this a while ago, someday it will be a giant blanket fit for a king (sized bed) but I love that it's a project I can work on little by little without having to worry about losing my place or anything. I just chose a yarn and colors that I love and scoured the internet for various granny square patterns and when I have a good stack, I'll start stitching them together. I thought it would be a fun group project, so if any of you crochet or are looking for a reason to learn, let me know! I can provide you with links to tips, tricks, and patterns and give you the info on the yarn I'm using and if you live near me, we can crochet together over a pot of tea! I just think it would be so amazing to someday sit around with my kids/nieces and nephews and tell them stories about all the friends and family represented in my afghan… OK, that sounds more like something you torture your grandkids with, but you get the idea!

So now that I'm officially on vacation it's time to wrap some gifts and get ready to head home for the holidays!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Hoofers or Heifers? #42daysofvacation

Today was sortof kindof a vacation day. I spent the morning writing my last dance concert review of the semester. They are the bane of my existence, I don't know why I but I really hate having to write these things! And it's not that I don't love the excuse to go see a dance performance, but having to take notes during and BS a bunch of junk about my feelings afterward is literally painful for me.

I also had my final for Tap today. I'm actually sad it's over. Beside all the warm and fuzzy memories of the last time I took this class, I just think tap is awesome and fun and calorie-torching. I meant to video our routine for y'all but totally blanked on that til after class, so sorry… but we were dancing on the University Theatre stage and I have to admit, it got me a little more psyched about Gypsy next spring!

One more final to go, I'll be spending lots of time tomorrow prepping, this is the one I'm most nervous about. Thursday, after our final finals, I'm going drinking with a friend - who of course is graduating, dangit! - and then I get to put away all the notebooks, syllabi, and textbooks and start wrapping Christmas presents!

Monday, December 16, 2013

42 Days of Christmas (Vacation)

The end of the semester is finally here and I'm about to be completely free for 42 wonderful days! No classes, no work - one of the many perks of working on campus - and no plans whatsoever. Technically my break doesn't start for a few days, I do have one final tomorrow - tap dance, so more fun than final - and one on Thursday. I was just so excited though, I couldn't wait to start being a bum. I've pretty much been in my PJ's since Friday night and have done almost nothing productive since then.

What have I been doing, you ask? Playing video games, watching Netflix, and napping with my dog, duh! I have lots and lots of lazy/fun stuff planned and decided to photograph it all because I know how much you all look forward to such things. So, here's Day 1 of my 42 days of Vacation:

Started some fingerless gloves (pattern here). It has been silly cold lately and my poor hands do not like it. These beauties will let me keep warm while still becoming a Wii master or pressing next as I watch an entire season of British TV in one sitting!

Discovered Amazon's Subscribe & Save program. You can order certain household items and have them shipped monthly at a discounted price. I spent the entire morning researching the dog foods they offer and price comparing to what Stella eats now. I found a way to save $0.50 per lb so I'm calling this very productive!

As for future plans, I'm hoping to hang some art and posters, finally post my Wine & Dine marathon review, bake dog treats for Stella and her friends, and make and list some more items in my new Etsy shop, CalifornianCozy - I love custom orders BTW so let me know if you have something in mind! I also intend to yarn bomb my new-ish bed frame (and get better at photo collages): 

So stay tuned for the shenanigans!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Bad News is Better Than No News

Today I was finally able to see a doctor about my knee pain/problems! Can I say how fortunate I am to be at a school with such an awesome health and wellness program, so very thankful for that.

I met with the doctor first, we talked and she examined. It has been a really long time since my last doctor appointment, and even longer since I had an appointment that wasn't a pap smear so I was a little nervous. Luckily, the doctor I met with was amazing! Part of that may be that I'm older and wiser and less self-consious, but mostly it had to do with her fantastic bedside manner. She put me at ease right away and I never felt talked down to or unheard. Anyway, she sent me downstairs for x-rays - unfortunately the school doesn't have an MRI machine (fun fact: I totally Googled that to see if it should be 'an MRI' or 'a MRI' #grammarnerd).

So the good news is that there is nothing wrong with the bones in my knees, no fractures or dislocation. The bad news is that I have patellofemoral pain syndrome (runners knee) and probably have a meniscal tear in the left knee. Without the MRI she couldn't confirm it but is quite sure and I believe it because that's what all my research has led to as well. The PFPS is caused by wearing of the cartilage behind the knee and inflammation of the bursa, and I'm lucky enough to have symptoms in both knees.

I'll be totally honest with you, I cried a little bit when she told me. It's such a relief to have a diagnosis, to have a doctor tell me I'm not imagining it, that there is something actually wrong but it has a name and a treatment. Don't laugh, I know knee pain is such a minor problem in the grand scheme of things but I have been frustrated and frightened by it for such a long time that it has become a major obstacle in my daily life and I felt so good doing something about it!

What now? Well, for the long run I'm in pretty good shape actually. She gave me some rehab exercises to do, set an appointment reminder for an MRI early next year (once my health insurance kicks in - thanks Obama!), and put my name on their list for physical therapy. Apparently the school used to offer it, they lost funding last spring but will be able to start again this coming February.

As for the short term... I don't expect I'll be running much of this Wine & Dine half. I'll start doing my exercises right away but the run is only 2 weeks away and I can't expect miracles. I don't mind jog/walking the whole thing and I'll send my friends off without me if I'm too slow for them but it takes a bit of the fun out of the whole event, doesn't it? And I really want to enjoy this race as it will probably be my last, at least for a while... Oh well, woe is me! I guess I'll have to drown my sorrows at the Food & Wine Festival, right?!

On a totally unrelated note: hug your pets extra tight tonight and send some loving vibes out to my wonderful friends who had to say goodbye to their kitty today. 

"... what we have enjoyed, we can never lose ... all that we love deeply becomes a part of us."
--- Helen Keller

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Post About Running for Once!

I'm running a half marathon in about three weeks! I had intended to be writing all about my training, the miles I'm logging, maybe even a goal time for the race. Instead, I'm praying the pain killers kick in soon so I don't go mad and saw off my legs. Clearly I used the term running loosely...

My knees have been absolutely killing me lately. I tried to get in a short jog yesterday and almost fell on my face when my right knee gave out on me. I've been taping them both almost every day for the last two weeks but that's just to make it through my day and doesn't help to fix anything of course.

A classmate today told me maybe I should sit out and not dance for a bit, I didn't know how to respond. This isn't a problem that's going away any time soon and I feel like giving in if I sit out. Is that crazy? I'm honestly afraid that if I stop now, I'll never start again... never dance again, never run again... and where does that leave me?

So while I whine and feel sorry for myself, here's something a little happier for you to enjoy. In celebration of the 15th 'birthday' of Fantasmic, my old home at Disney World, I dug up a few of my favorite photos to share. Enjoy!

Standby's of '07 demonstrating what not to do

Witches get stuff done!

One big happy family

I can't even...

Our spoons were always full of rum punch

Sunday, September 22, 2013

I'm Not Great at Humility

Last week was so great, I've just got to brag a little...

So I'm trying this new thing where I don't eat all the junk I want or get lazy and just buy fast food. After LOTS of thinking, pinning, and honest-to-God soul searching, I went to the grocery store with a list of foods I will not only be able to prepare but will actually want to eat. And I did (prepare and eat them that is)! It may be a small step, but a step is a step nonetheless and I'm very proud so far.

Then I'm trying really hard to not be the awkwardly shy kid in all my classes. You may or may not know that I don't like most people, I don't like talking to strangers, and I don't like being the center of attention (those of you who knew 11 year old me are shocked, I know... people change). So I tend to hang toward the back of the classroom and keep my mouth shut - even though I pretty much always know the answer. I usually get lucky and find one or two outgoing and intelligent souls who will strike up the conversation for me. This happened in one of my dance classes and that darling lady inspired me to try being the outgoing one for a change. As a result, I now have sort-of friends in almost all my classes! This is, again, a small step but one that is pretty major for me so yay!

If that wasn't enough, I got moved to the front row in ballet class - he puts the best dancers up front so the less experienced can follow us, I got hired as an office assistant on campus, I found out there is an indoor running track on campus - maybe I'll start taking my shoes to get some miles in after work, and my sister and brother-in-law are making me an aunt next Spring! So, yeah, an awesome week. Let's hope it's keep up!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Back to School Cheers and Jeers

I'm halfway through my first week back, yay! Because of our apartment situation it has been a bit unconventional but exciting just the same.

The Good:
Dancing, lots and lots of dancing! I'm taking three dance classes, two of which are getting right into things. Tuesday my Afro-Carribbean class was doing across the floor work! Because that class satisfies some Gen Ed requirements, there are a lot of non-dancers in the class. This is awesome cause it makes me look better right off the bat and I won't feel so self-conscious when we get into more difficult work. We start tapping today in another class and I'm super excited for that! I am a little nervous about my knee, especially in tap class, but have been researching taping techniques so hopefully I'll be ok.

The Bad:
I left my apt. at 7:30 AM for a 9:00 AM class that's 1.5 mi away. I did manage to get a decent parking spot for my efforts though. I'm hoping to bike to school more often than not so I don't expect this'll be a problem for long, but I know I'll be exhausted by the time I go to bed tonight!

The Ugly:
I am a bit nervous about ballet class - they're going with the traditional leo and tights uniform and I'm very uncomfortable with that... don't lecture me about loving my curves or any of that nonsense, I will be self-consicous anyway. Does Spanx make pink tights and black leos? Hmmm...

The Wine & Dine Half Marathon is only 10 weeks away, I've got to get my butt in gear and start running again! Does anyone know of good running routes near CSUS I should try? I know there must be plenty. Maybe by the next time I write, I'll have some actual running related news to tell!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Almost Over

Summer is almost over and I am so excited/nervous/sad/happy... is there a word for that?

I haven't been blogging much this summer because I haven't been running much. Between the heat and my odd work hours I couldn't make the time. I have been working out in our pool and I'm trying to get in the habit of doing a quick little circuit each morning because I feel like such a slug on days I don't fit in any exercise at all.

In two weeks I'll be moving for school and I've got a lot of plans! Morning walks/runs with the dog will hopefully become a daily thing again as well as finding some running buddies and a yoga studio, making freezer meals and homemade lunches, more frequent blogging, and most of all an Etsy shop! My mom and I both love to make stuff - I mostly crochet while she has also mastered knitting and sewing. I've talked her into to trying this out, I'm looking forward to the adventure and of course will post all the details here as I iron them out.

Here's hoping you all had a wonderful summer and have some exciting new plans for fall waiting in the wings...

Friday, June 21, 2013

Will Run For Food

There's this cute little diner a mile up the hill from my house, we've been going there for Sunday morning breakfast after church for a few weeks now. This morning I thought it'd be a good idea to run there and treat myself to breakfast. I went the long way around and ended up logging 3.6 miles, met my dad on his way home from the gym and had some delicious strawberry crepes. All my miles were in the 13 to 13:30 range which is way faster than I have been running and it felt so good! Maybe it's counter-intuitive to reward yourself with food after exercising, but for me there is no better motivation!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

List of Loves

Inspired by various blog posts I've read this week, here is my list - in no particular order - of things I'm loving these days:

1) Traders Joe's Cookie Butter - if you have not put this in your facehole you are missing out my friend! It is so delicious that I can't even come up with the right words to encompass it's majesty!

SO yummy!
2) Coconut Oil - It's all the rage right now so I had to check it out. I've been using coconut oil on my hair for a few weeks now and I am hooked! I put it on my ends on days I plan to wear my hair up (pretty much everyday) and it has made such a difference. My hair is softer and much less frizzy... also it smells good.

3) Evernote - have you guys used this app? I have been using it for a few days now to jot down ideas - mostly blog topics - that come to me in the middle of the work day. I'm sure that I haven't even scratched the surface yet of what this app can do but I already love it.

4) Birchbox - I heard about Birchbox back in March from a girlfriend of mine. She is one of the most stunningly beautiful people I know and I want to grow up to be just like her, so as soon as she told me about it, I had to check it out! Each month I get a little package in the mail with various trial size beauty products, some of them are whatever but some of them have been great. It's a fun treat to get a surprise package in the mail each month and I love trying all these new products!

I hope each of you have some things you're loving right now, I'd love to hear about them!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

I Run... So I Have Something to Blog About

Apparently, today is National Running Day. Good thing I got up and did my 3 miles this morning. It felt amazing, the weather was perfect and my legs were happy. I had no idea it was a 'holiday' though, I just wanted to get a run in before my vacation-ish weekend starts!

Starting tonight, I have a packed few days and I'm so excited! My older brother and I have tickets to see Les Miserables tonight in Sacramento (with as many times as I've seen this show recently, you'd think it was my fav but it's actually not even in the top 5!). Tomorrow I have orientation and registration for next fall semester, then both brothers and I are heading to Anaheim. Friday (and possibly Saturday) we'll be hanging out at Disneyland - is it foolish to hope for short lines and small crowds this time of year? Then, I'll spend Sunday drinking wine with my BFF and her family. Hello, summer!

Are you celebrating Running Day today? Get up and get moving no matter how far you go!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Ouch, but Yay!

I'm super sore today! I did a dumb thing and ran two days in a row, my shins were not prepared. I can't help it, I'm just so excited for summer break! And then I watch videos like this and get so pumped for November!!

PS The half marathon is already sold out, but the Jingle Jungle 5K is still open, just FYI

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Every End is a Beginning

The Spring semester is almost over! I can't tell you how excited I am to have a summer vacation for the first time in about 10 years. I mean, I'll be working as much as possible, but probably not full time hours. And I will be preparing to move at the end of the summer, although at this point I've moved so many times, it's no big deal anymore.

So as I end the school year, I'm starting a new running program. I've started using Run for Pink's 10K Trainer Free. I like this one because the app alerts me when to walk and when to run, but also lets me run Nike+ for my music and GPS tracking. Today I started Week 2 and I am slow but comfortable. I haven't had any of the hip or knee problems I was so worried about and my lungs are holding up even though this allergy season has been really terrible. The app takes 14 weeks to work up to a 10K which gives me plenty of time to find a training plan for the half marathon to use afterwards. I tried Jeff Galloway but found I preferred the more structured programs with specific walking breaks as I was prone to go too hard at first and wear myself out too quickly. Any suggestions?

Only a handful of exams and essays stand between me and a summer full of awesome runs and relaxing, lazy days!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Three Things Thursday: Just 'cause

1. I ran yesterday for the first time since my half marathon in January! It was awesome. I think I had forgotten how much I enjoy running, I was just so worried about my knee... I messed it up pretty badly somehow during the Tinkerbell run and couldn't walk normally for more than a month afterward. I'm going to be VERY cautious as I get back into the swing of things but 2.8 miles at an average of 13m/m felt really good, so Yay!

2. It's almost the end of the semester and I'm in really good shape to pull off A's in everything! This of course is only possible if I don't let myself get pre-summer lazy-itis and give up on studying. I know it doesn't make much difference whether I end up with A's or B's as long as I pass, but the prideful part of me really wants to prove just how smart I am when I listen to all those frustrated elementary school teachers who just wanted me to apply myself and reach my potential. Also, I kinda like letting my Dad see that, not only did I inherit my mom's musical/creative aptitude, but I got a lot of his skill for sciences as well!

3. After the semester is done, my younger brother and I are taking a sibling vaca to Disneyland and I cannot wait! Equal parts loving him and loving Disneyland = an awesome celebration of the end of a rough semester and the beginning of a relaxing summer.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


So true.

Check out my new kicks! I'm so pumped, I think I'll go for a run! 

Sunday, May 12, 2013


So once you've fallen off the blogging wagon, how do you get back on? One or two awkward posts about how you've been SO busy and here's why!? Whatever, I'll tell you if it becomes important.

Anyhoo, I'm all signed up for my next half marathon which means I've gotta get back to running (sadly I haven't run a lick since Januarys race!) which seemed so much easier when I was writing about it... so here I am! Also, it's almost summer vacation and I need something to do, so please bear with me if I post a lot of non-running related stuff...


Thursday, January 24, 2013

No Rest for the Weary

I've been so terrible about keeping up, the half marathon came and went - recap coming hopefully soon. It was a blast and I highly recommend a Disney race to anyone who is starting out. Everyone was so friendly and social, there was no pressure to be fast or hardcore or anything.

The new semester started pretty much as soon as I got home for Anaheim. This Spring I'm tackling Anatomy, American Government, some more Chemistry and Dance Workshop. I think it's gonna be lots of fun, so far my instructors are all very good lecturers, easy to follow and seem to really enjoy what they teach. Also I have at least one friend in every class so I don't feel quite so new and awkward anymore!

The downside is that my schedule is a little odd. I only have class three days a week, but they are looooooong days. I'm talking 14 hrs! Tonight is the end of my first school week and the third day in a row I have gotten up at 6:30am and gone to bed after 10:30pm. I'm really looking forward to sleeping in a bit tomorrow morning, but I don't want to get into a habit of sleeping late on non-school days. What's the best way to adjust to a schedule like this? I don't ever work early on my non-school days so I don't really want to wake up at 6:30 every morning but I also don't want to be exhausted Tuesday through Thursday... any suggestions?

More running-related posts to come, I promise! Til then, sweet dreams!