Saturday, March 31


Being up and at 'em early today, I wasn't quite sure how much I'd get done.

Ever get the feeling (when that happens) that whatever woke you up would put the wind in your sails and you get a ton of stuff done with all of the "extra" hours of the weekend? Or being interrupted at an odd point in your sleep cycle so you never quite wake up and spend those hours wishing you were just back in bed?

I'll skim over the fact that I kept saying/ thinking it was Sunday several times today. >_>

The more I think about it, I did get a bunch of little things checked off of the to-do list today. However, I'm most proud of (and now focused on) the fact that I have finally started on my new year's resolution of scrapbooking at least one two-page layout about each month this year. Let's skip over the part where I freak out about time flying.

I'm in the thick of "January" and hope to set a precedence for the rest of the pages while trying a new way of tackling the pages to save time and stress. My inspiration color is an earthy teal. Hoping to use some of this momentum towards unleashing the crafty beast on the family vacation scrapbook- a beast in its own right.

The currently guilty pleasure is now the UnTucked episodes from Ru Paul's Drag Race. It really has been a whole new level to the show!

Friday, March 30

Still Loved

I was expecting today to be terrible for a few days now. That into and upon itself is a terrible thing to do and pretty much guarantees that it will come true.

However, it  didn't.

It really shows that even though I didn't understand why things were happening now the way they were, I got my answers today. I was so relieved that I almost cried when I put together what was actually happening from that moment on. I am so grateful that someone important out there cares a lot for me.

By some act of the cosmos, the stars aligned and a few freak occurrences later, I had a relatively good day. Not to mention that it's Friday and pay day. I loaded up on so much caffeine early on today because I thought that was the only way I was going to make it through.

Yeah, I was awake sooner, but right after a celebratory dinner of home...-assembled pizza (my third was three types of cheese we had around, the SO had some cheese and mushrooms on his, and FMIL had all of the above plus olives and pineapple) I have crashed. I have been struggling to stay awake since half past nine because I didn't want to wake up at some dumb time like 3:45am.

The SO picked me up from school as soon as possible and we ran a few more errands while I was still motivated and energized. This weekend we may get up to 90 degrees and that's is way too hot way too early, IMO. Either way, warmer weather is coming up soon and when you live in the desert without any air conditioning... well, he and I are going to find ourselves on the roof re-conditioning and prepping the swamp cooler. Kitty is going to really appreciate that. Not. He is terrified by the stomping noises coming from the roof that seem to echo throughout the house. He treats it as if the sky is crashing down around him. Poor baby.

Hopefully, I'll have better things to post about soon. I am about to embark on a few new projects that have been in the queue since the beginning of the year. Yeah, I know that it's pretty terrible.  XP

Thursday, March 29

Amassing An Army

Back in August of 2010 (holy cow), I wrote about another army that I was amassing (here and then here). I still have them and love them. I gave two of the seascapes to my folks and looking at the pictures now makes me want to make more. XD Whoops, gotta slow it down.

With my post yesterday about making cupcakes, it makes sense for me to follow "tradition" and make a follow-up post about what I've been up to today. My total cupcake count is now half a dozen sweet treats! Here are the results:
O_o + T_T + ^_^

Wednesday, March 28

Making Cupcakes

Lots of running around today but it's ending on a delirious good note.

We did manage to spray the entire perimeter of the house and fenced property for buggers so I'm very excited to not see many creepy crawlies around in the next few months. :D

I ended up having an impromptu Skype date with my best friend again so I could teach her how to crochet and then crochet in the round to make amigurumi figures! She picked it up so quickly that we ended up making a cupcake together. I made one earlier today while I was frustrated with... life and then made a third one afterwards because I was on a roll. They have the sweetest little faces! We're planning to make an army.

Here is what we came up with:

: ) + : 3 + DX

Tuesday, March 27


Another stretched title for this post. :P

Kitty thought I needed to be awake and up pretty early today so I'm wiped now. Bless that fuzzy little butthead. Did some working out in the garden, getting rid of more aphids and bugs, hefty weeding in the yard, seeing that my Serrano leaves were eating/ chopped off by some mysterious critter (T_T), and then moving everyone out of the garden area into the middle of the yard. We're hoping that the weather will allow for the recovered SO to go out and annihilated bugs tomorrow. They're starting to look for new homes and food sources and that does not make me a happy camper.

We're starting to get out tax return checks so that's always exciting. Went straight to the bank with those, lol.

Also had a Skype date with my best friend and her sister because they got the care package! They even showed me the peanuts that were stuffed in there. There were about five different shapes, it was awesome. They loved a lot of the stuff and started using them right away. Oh! I haven't mentioned what I sent yet because I know they read my blog from time to time. :P I sent a bunch of nail polishes for spring and year round with a clear coat that can double as a top and base coat. That also went with a heavy duty nail file and special pain relief patches. I sent two sets of cards that I made with envelopes. In that, I added markers that I accidentally packed with my stuff more than two years ago when we were moving out of the apartment we had together, lol. I also included my old webcam that she had originally given me years ago so now we can Skype together more often! That was the biggest surprise. I also sent a kit I put together so they could learn how to crochet and then make a cute little cupcake doll. It included yarn, stuffing, plastic eyes, various beads and needles, and a crochet hook. Oh, and the instructions. We can work on that over Skype too! Yay!

Early day coming up, so...

Monday, March 26

The Tooth Fairy

I really haven't been up to anything fun lately...

The SO has been suffering from an on-again-off-again toothache for quite some time now but it became nearly unbearable this past weekend. Of course it would happen over a weekend, sigh. We couldn't even tell where the source of the issue was because the pain radiated past his temple. Poor thing. He caved and took a lot of aspirin. I was thankfully able to arrange for an emergency appointment at a dental clinic across town for this morning.

We made it there an hour earlier and I'm very grateful for that. There is something about Google Maps that does not seem to work well with the outskirts of town. The directions get us 90% of the way there even though the SO never seems to follow their recommended route due to lights and such. However, it has not failed us in the past year to have the last two directions be inaccurate. Not just a "Oh, it's actually one block early." or "We just missed the turn!" No. It's a, it told us to go left and we did and now we're in the industrial area with a bunch of broken trucks and desolation- I hope the dentist doesn't operate out of a dilapidated truck trailer. FMIL was on call just in case he was laughing gassed.

The people at the clinic were very patient and kind and we were seen early. While they only did a consultation and x-ray, they did get to the bottom of the issue and quickly. Oh, and prescriptions. Very handy ones. Then, they recommended us to a place that was actually on our way home that specialized in emergency extractions with walk-in hours. We made it there and were actually seen pretty quickly. I can't even remember how long it took where- doctors make me nervous and then I was nervous for him... that's pretty much how our dynamic works in these kinds of situations, lol.

He got a wisdom tooth yanked out, didn't need to be put under like everyone else, we filled the prescriptions in less than 15 minutes on the way home, and then I hovered as he recovered. Then, I tried to take a nap because I apparently put a lot of energy into being anxious too. I ended up feeling worse after the attempted nap, so that was lovely. :P We've spent the evening trying to rest up but I am so glad we were able to take care of the issue so (relatively) smoothly. I know he's a bit grumpy because he appreciate his high tolerance to pain and this really bothered and affected him.

In other personal news, I have a Skype date with my bestie tomorrow night and I'm super excited. We arranged it so that maybe I'll get to see her and her sister open up the care package I sent them! Because I'm a dork like that. Well, she is indulging me so maybe that makes us both dorks. :P Anyways...

Sunday, March 25

No Thank You

Today has been a middle of the road type of day.

The kitty has been slightly more obnoxious than usual. There must be something about this latest batch of seeds or the grass itself that he's not quite keen on. The SO and I spent some time together on the game after I had finished my homework and we had tacos for dinner. :D The weather was actually borderline warm today with a hint of a breeze so I was out and about, puttering around the garden some more. Let me tell you, I do not appreciate aphids. Maybe as ladybug food. They were starting to come back on my bigger plants again. :( I was able to get many off with my gloved hands so we'll see how the next few days turn out.

Saturday, March 24

Green Update

Whelp, I finally have the January summary update in the new Garden 2012 tab. After putting a lot of thought into how to avoid the massive amounts of information from last year's garden tab fiasco, this is what I've come up with thus far. I like it. Mostly. :P

It's been about two weeks since my last pictorial update of the garden. I keep forgetting that while I go out at least once a day to check on the progress and gradually see the change, I need to take pictures because I love looking back on each step of the development. I know I can't be the only one. Actually, I know that I'm not because I had this conversation with my mom a few days ago, lol. She had a moment when she realized I really am her daughter (in an awkward-really slow on the uptake-kind of way). Then, we bonded. XD

Let's get to it. 
The lettuce.
I realize that I don't often show off the lettuce and I feel badly about that. They are trucking along and I think there may be a bug of some sort that stops by and munches on the leaves every few days. Need to keep a look out for that.
The parsley.
It's so amazing what a few months difference can make with these two. Same packet of seeds, I just started the one (three, really) on the right with the cherry tomatoes last year and the one of the left with the herb planter.
The cilantro.
Speaking of the herb planter, here's a close up of cilantro pretty tiny white flowers. I'll probably chop them off soon so it can focus on more leaf growth. That makes me sound terrible. >_<
 The strawberries!
Oh man. Do you see all of those buds/flowers/baby berries? I read that it takes about a month from blooming flower to fruit readiness. I cannot wait to try one!
The silly beans. 
They've have slowed down in terms of growing taller but they seem to enjoy flexing their leaves together and out throughout the day. I hope that they will start growing upwards again now that the cold spell seems to be over.

The peas.
These guys are so sweet. I love their little grabby vines. The SO and I take turns teaching them how to grab onto the trellis. Needless to say, they are fast learners and growing pretty darn quickly.
The Bird's Eye Chillies.
Of course I had to include them. Do you see how sad Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff look? I'm still crossing my fingers that they will spring back into life like Gryffindor and Slytherin have done in the past few weeks. I have hope because they haven't simply died off yet.

Friday, March 23


It's not even late yet and I'm so looking forward to bedtime.

Today wasn't a particularly difficult day, it was just mayhem at school. Field trips, extra kids and teachers alike were suddenly gone, schedules were rewritten a million times, etc. We made it, we're all alive, and it's Friday. TGIF, lol.

I don't know what school has done to me for the past few days, but I have come home ravenous. I think it must be some sort of sign of how unfit you are when you're out of breath from eating something healthy. >_> The SO says I just need to breathe while inhaling the two halves of cantaloupe I've had lately. So delicious. I couldn't stop myself. I probably would have eaten it all in one sitting if I hadn't chopped that sucker in half and wrapped the other end almost immediately afterwards. It also makes me super tempted to try to grow some of my own. These seed catalogs could get me into trouble some day... but I'm being good and biding my time. I'll have plenty to keep me busy soon enough with the crop that I've begun so far.

Have finally tried a few new projects lately and only one of them as worked out so far. This little owl whose pattern was a free crochet-along.
You know things (like my energy and motivation) are terrible when I keep taking pictures of stuff to share without getting up and right on top of the laptop I'm currently using to type this. Good gravy, get it together, woman!

Thursday, March 22


We went to the zoo today!

There's a little local zoo that the kindergarten and first grade classes are going to this week and I got to tag along as a chaperone while getting credit for my own classes. There's not much more to win in that situation. I have been looking forward to today for weeks- ever since my mentor teacher and friend asked me if I wanted/ was willing to go. I couldn't even let her finish before saying: Yes, please!

There was such a great turn out in terms of parents being able to come along that we each only had two kids per group. I adored my kiddos. They were sweet, smart, a bit rambunctious, and loyal to the bone. Lol, those poor things. I'm the type of person that will volunteer for every little thing: "Oh, I'll carry the bucket of lunchboxes. Oh, I'll stop traffic and direct the kids across the parking lot. Oh, I'll go grab that straggler that's across the entire field." And instead of listening to my last minute "You guys know what to do- go ahead without me while I ___. I'll catch up." They would ever so patiently (mostly) insist on waiting for me, even if it meant we were last to get somewhere. Incredibly sweet of them, right?

I'm also a sucker for some (okay, more than average) animal trivia. So I was constantly showering them in information as we ooh'd and ahh'd over the critters. I tend to forget how some kids often mix up the names of "lions" and "tigers". It drove me bonkers today, lol. We probably would have been able to see just about everything if the bus that was supposed to get us to the zoo wasn't an hour late. Oh yes. As two classes and a boat-load of parents awkwardly waited in line on the sidewalk 15 minutes past our departure time, the original driver decided that they didn't feel like going to the zoo that day. So, instead, they went home and canceled. Excuse me? It's not like you have to go in there with us and it's only a fifteen minute drive into town. At least my seed catalogs were a big hit to pass the time together.

Luckily, another bus was in the area when the district scrambled to find us transportation. Our driver was so patient, understanding, and kind. He got us there and we scrambled once we got into the gates. It was an absolutely beautiful day to go. Sunny but not hot with a bit of a breeze. Many non-school families had brought their children to the zoo today too. That got a little confusing when I saw faces I didn't recognize running amuck. Nope, it is not polite to reprimand the children of strangers. XD I'm glad that many of the kids recognize me from seeing me around so much. They're so happy to finally establish a name to my face, lol. So if I give them my "What do you think you're doing? Oh, really now." look, if it was one of our kids from school, they immediate grew wide-eyed and sane again. They really are good kids.

Oh heck, here are some of the better pictures:
Lar Gibbon.
African Lion.
 Green Tree Python. Reptile butt.
 Lion-Tail Macaque.
 Zzz... I can relate.
 Great Hornbill.
 Hairy Screaming Armadillo. We got to pet him!
Aldabra Tortoises.
 Bearded Dragons. *Hugs*
 Chilean Flamingos with Koi and ducks in a stinky pond.

Looking over the pictures that I've managed to take (which reminded me of all of the pictures I've taken on any vacation since my freshman year of college), you'd think I'd have some fascination with butts. I'm always in the back of the pack with people because I'm making sure that no one's left behind, etc. Then, there are these animals at zoos that could not care less about making eye contact with a human who has no food to offer. Even then their eyes are on the prize. Anyways, it led to many a colorful and honest conversations between my mentor and myself and the kids and myself. LOL. Oh, Mother Nature.

By noon, we had to be back on the bus to get a ride across the street to a nice big park for to eat our school/ bag lunches. Lots of families there too. We descended upon our lunches and the shade, even had a few minutes for the kids to run amuck on the big playground in the middle of our field. I always find amusement in their stunned faces when I get right in there and play with them on the equipment. "But I SAW you! Playing on the playground! What were you doing there?" Um, I was playing. What else are you supposed to do on a playground? "I saw you on the slide!" Well, I really like sliding. "Oh. Me too. ...Wanna come with me to the ____?" Sure! Is pretty much what happens. Then they are elated that there's an adult that is willing to get in there with them.

I pretty much win the game though. My kiddies passed out the moment we got back on the bus to go to school. I think they were the only ones, lol. An active pace physically and mentally to look at animals mixed with crazy antics on the various little play areas throughout the zoo. They are going to sleep like rocks tonight! Bam! You're welcome, two families.

Sorry, I'm still excited that I went to the zoo. I love animals, zoos, and aquariums, lol.

Wednesday, March 21

One Expensive Sandwich

This actually has little to nothing to do with food. Unfortunately, lol.

Today was a bit of a back-and-forth between pretty good and sorta good. By the end of the day, 1) I thought I'd write this before I become deliriously tired and 2) Guess that today was not really bad but I still have mixed feelings about it... like a good sandwich with questionable innards.

I finally got my homework done to finish up my taxes. I had to be more of my own accountant and crunch some specific numbers. I have to say that the final product hurt quite a bit. It helped me quickly reach a big decision for myself this year. More on that later but I've gotten the ball rolling already. It was a relief to be done with the nervousness though, so it was good in a not-so-great kind of way.

Something good that happened to be with no strings attached was that three of the free seed catalogs that I ordered a little while ago have finally arrived at the same time! I have been hounding the mailbox for the past few days and had begun to lose hope of this little gift when it finally came! I'm a sucker for snail mail and especially free catalogs. Its like collecting the items and information about them without the bulk or hours of elbow grease. I'm a weirdo, I know.

There is one from Gurneys with great information and tips about the plants, Burpee that I already have some seeds from, and from Cook's Garden that works with the prior company but with a more flavorful theme. I have been fascinated with browsing through them today.

Care package has been sent out and the last big thing that I've done today was finally book my flight to visit Florida in May! I have two friends getting married (to each other), so I am turning the trip to the wedding into an extended stay. Even though that should be great, the hit to my bank account was tough to take on top of the tax situation. At least I know that my folks will help out with the tickets. The fun-money (I don't know what else to call it) will be up to me. Already starting to feel a bit anxious about making sure my business is all taken care here before I leave for nearly three weeks! I wonder if the garden is going to go absolutely crazy like it did last time I left? That was insane and I couldn't be more grateful that my SO took care of them. He has a soft spot for the one crazy obsession/ hobby I have that is actually practical, lol. We're like two peas in a pod, just on opposite ends. Alright, my sanity has to be leaving with statements like that. :P

Tuesday, March 20

Digital Exploration

The care package is finally done and ready to go. I'm so excited! I've explored favorite old games in new lights and it is pretty fascinating but has left for a very tired me. I love having that sense of wonder again for something that has left me so jaded as of late. We'll see how long it lasts.

Monday, March 19


I'm pretty sure that the title is a word, but it just doesn't look like it right now. Hm.

A cold front has descended upon us over the past few days. Just when we thought that the last frost of winter had happened about two weeks ago, there has been snow up on the mountains since yesterday. It has even rained the past two days. Again the plants have been covered and I fret about the little sprouts in the garden which seem to be doing so well lately. The rain did the necessary watering yesterday and I had stepped out to thin out a few of the little plants this morning. After rearranging the peas and beans, I realized that spreading all the little ones out really does help them breathe nutritionally. We've had appearances from Poblano peppers after the rainstorm yesterday. It's about time! They are at least two weeks late to the party but better late than never. Pictures will come soon when they've grown up a bit.

I've spent a decent chunk of the day preparing a fun and borderline epic care package. I am trying to be much smarter about my recreational spending, especially since I have been blessed with having so much already. So, I got a few items that I wanted to send that I didn't have to give, but much of these items come from my various collections. I am very excited because it's one of the biggest packages and I've put together without buying kits worth of gear. I do keep finding things I want to add though and assembling everything is taking much longer than I initially thought it would. It will definitely be a fun little spectacle at the mailing center! I send the oddest things. It should be ready to go out tomorrow though.

I realized that I haven't had the energy to post pictures here lately and even I feel like my posts get a a tad boring without something nice to look at. I'm a pretty visual person. I'll ignore the fact that we are a heavily visually-influenced species. :P Anyways, here are two pics that I've been meaning to post:
 The computer cases we worked on. The newer one is on the left and those are some of my shenanigans on the back end of the table. Sigh. I told you it was bad.
A holiday treat that FMIL put together. Different colored Twizzlers that are each a different flavor with delicious golden Rolo chocolates. I'm lucky that I managed to snag a quick picture before annihilating them. :P

Sunday, March 18


There is just something about having to sit down and do homework for school that drives my soul crazy. You would think that I have some attention deficit issues except that I can sit for hours staring or doing the same thing over and over again. I should stick on a pedometer and see how many calories I burn on those days. One good thing that often comes out of it is a homecooked meal or a chunk of the house neurotically cleaned. This also means that my brain is fried and I can't think of what I wanted to report right now. :P

Saturday, March 17

Happy St. Paddy's Day

I hope that if you intend to celebrate tonight, that you do it safely and have fun!

Corned beef with dressing, rye bread, potato chips, and sauerkraut is the traditional dinner for this holiday at the household. The technology upgrades have been going well after many speed bumps. FMIL and I took a trip to the big local nursery and explored nearly the entire grounds. It's huge! It was fascinating to see and learn about so many plants. We also ran errands and... well, it'll be some time before I'll start, let alone show, my next new project. : ) Our local college basketball team not only didn't make it into the main tournament, but lost their first game in a subsequent tournament. At home too, of all places. It's definitely lessened our enthusiasm about the remainder of the teams. I have to admit, my mind is a bit jumbled with the new slew of tasks that have come up on top of the rest of the projects I've been trying to wrap up but I probably just need to catch up on rest.

Friday, March 16


This girl is very tired and her brain is fried. So I'll...

Thursday, March 15


Sorry, in a bit of a haze right now because I'm more tired than I thought and today has just been a whirlwind of activity.

Apparently, this gal forgot to set her alarm last night to get up for work today. It's a good thing FMIL dropped something loud off of the counter while prepping her lunch for the day and scared the crap out of me awake. We braced ourselves for a rough day and it really went very well, all things considered. It wasn't that the kids were nuts today, they just really kept us on our toes. So many things that should have worked out much more smoothly turned into mini-productions. The obstacles course and two computer activities that I had to set up for kids should have been some of the simplest things ever and I was nearly running around like a chicken without its head.

Even though St. Patrick's Day isn't until this weekend, a leprechaun did cause quite a bit of mischief in one of the classrooms that I've worked in often. They put a lot of effort into it, the toilet water was dyed green; piles of green, yellow, and white confetti on the floors, tables, and inside the cubbies; little green footprints in paint on the desks; gold and green pompoms strewn all over; gold glitter all over the floor; etc. It was just a hot mess that you had to see and it was fantastic. Different classes came to witness what happens when you "don't super lock the classroom doors" the week of St. Patrick's Day. The classroom I'm mainly in will be ruined come Monday. While we don't often go that detailed/ messy, we do take all of the green toys and toss them all about.

Many of us and the kids remembered to wear green today (so adorable!), there's no school for them tomorrow being the end of the quarter and therefore grading day. I forgot to wear my great striped green socks that I got after the holiday last year! Boo. :( One of the really thoughtful parents found a clover plant at the store and bought one for the classroom. I've never seen a real one before and it had so many pretty white flowers. More than the ones that I saw when I was at the store later on.

Right after I got off of work, the SO came and whisked me away towards downtown to a specialty electronics store. There, he got a few more upgrades to his setup  because it seems that some parts are on their way out despite only being three or so years old custom job. Tad complicated, but we've been working on that for the past several hours. Its been mostly troubleshooting that the average user should not ever see let alone deal with. We still have quite the night ahead of us and now I definitely know what most of my plans for tomorrow will involve.

On the bright side (sorta), I knew we had some bacon we needed to finish off before it went bad so I planned breakfast menu for dinner. Got some extra supplies from the store, did some work building the computer, then set out everything only to discover that the main ingredient we had planned everything else around (various omelettes, sausages, toasts, and pancakes) had already gone bad. Sigh. We had the rest anyways and it was still a nice meal but this was just another example of how everything seemed to go today. Not necessarily bad, but pretty unexpected in a less than positive manner.

I need to see if I can get any of my own work done tonight, lol.

Wednesday, March 14

Keeping Up

Oh man. What did we just do?

The SO picked me up from school today (I went in for an assignment and then ended up volunteering the rest of the day, as usual) and we took off in search for a new headset with a microphone for me to use so we can play WoW together again. Of all the nights for mine to pretty much bite the dust. I didn't want to get the cheapest but I was definitely not getting anything fancy with all the traveling I do.

We debated in the car which places were worth checking out and we ended up driving into town right next to the mall and into Best Buy. If there are physical stores that we should never be unleashed upon they would include Michaels and Joanns (for me, obviously), Target, any of the office supply chains, a big bookstore, and Best Buy. Just... no. We know that we can often get cheaper electronics elsewhere but there is just something exciting about that place. Not during the holidays season though, I like to avoid it like the mall and the plague.

Rambling story short, at the last minute we decided that I'd get the SO's old headset because it works just fine, he got a new upgrade, I upgraded my webcam after six years, and he somehow ended up snagging a second monitor that was one sale. We must be trying to keep up with someone fancy because I wasn't expecting those results today!

We love our precious new toys and will for years to come. I can't wait to put them to good use hanging out with faraway friends this weekend! Hooray for (their) spring breaks!

Tuesday, March 13

Almost Taxed

Well, the SO and I had an appointment to get our taxes done (I wrote almost nearly being ready to do them at the end of January) and while he gets all of his stuff done lickety-split, I got mine 45% done. I was a over-prepared in some senses and not in others. Sigh. My big ole binder of print-outs was for naught.

Eh, as nervous as doing official grown-up business makes me, I'm glad for the [almost] experience. We have some money coming back so far so that was more of a relief. Next year should be super interesting.

The garden is doing fairly well and I've finished the records from last year! Next to work on this year's updates among the dozen other projects I've set for myself. The weather has actually been pretty darn nice for the past few days, minus the wind and the junk that puts into the air. What is also in the air is March Madness! (I'm not proud of that segue, lol.)

Last night, I printed out NCAA (college basketball tournament) brackets for FMIL, the SO, and I to fill out our predictions. Mine's a hodgepodge mixture of what I'd like to happen, what I think is actually going to happen, and nonsense because I hardly have any idea what I'm doing but it's fun anyways. Last year, I didn't play along but kept track of the master list that recorded dates and times of games, final scores, and advancements. Like being the bank in Monopoly.

With our home team not making it this year, there's much less enthusiasm about tracking the progression. They are hosting and playing in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) with 31 other teams hoping to make it to Madison Square Garden. Our conference, the newly revised Pacific-12 (Pac-12) got little to no love this year in the "big dance". Hey, I'm trying to learn, lol. "When in Rome..."

Monday, March 12

Personal Treat

I sit here in leggings and with one side of my face done up and wonder who the heck is this person?

Lol, I think a lot of it has to do with all the effort my mom has tried to put into making me a civilized modern human being. I've written about learning more about myself already and recently so we'll skip that part. After all that we've been taking care of lately, the SO was pretty insistent last night that I do something fun for myself.

I brought up the fact that we've gotten yummy snacks and lunches lately...
but he brought up all that we've done for his bike this month...
while I brought up all of my craft supplies collecting for the past year...
and then something piqued my interest and led me to lose the "argument".

So, during our errands today (which included getting emissions testing for the car that I get again forgot to bring something to do while we waited in line- fun fun), I got a mini haul of various beauty-makeup things. :D I told you I have become a tad obsessed.

Keeping in mind that I have virtually no idea what I'm doing and there's only so much information I can gather from reviews online, I'm trying not to go crazy on getting super nice products. There's not much point in going so fancy right now when I'm just going to make myself look like a hot mess.

I've seen some video tutorials about curling with a straight iron and since that's what I have for now, I'd like to try that soon. Here comes in science and technology with hairspray that's flexible. Gone are the days of hairspray helmet hair (mostly)! I got Herbal Essence's Set Me Up Hairspray honestly because it was right next to my usual blue Hello Hydration Shampoos and Conditioners. They keep changing the bottle colors on me. :( To be fair, I've gone for color-treated, straightening, volume, and now hydration focuses. I have managed to avoid using hairspray for years because I could never stand the smell, the amount, and the crusty feeling. I play with my hair way too much for any of that to be good.

While trying some new application techniques, I got a bit frustrated with the fact that I have never owned my own blush, all my eyeshadows had shimmer or fine glitter in them, and I give myself raccoon eyes with my favorite creamy eyeliner pencil when I'm tired. Based on the minimal research I was able to do with video reviews and sites the recommended products for my "style type" before we headed out these are what I got:

Blush: I still don't have a clue what kinds of reds/ berries/ pinks work well on my face in terms of blush and lip color so I was pretty apprehensive about this. I was virtually recommended CoverGirl & Olay's Simply Ageless Sculpting Blush in Royal Plum (220). Another shade was also suggested but I grabbed this one because it seemed to be a more natural color. It SPF 22 and a cream. I've only used a compressed powdered blush before so... I had no idea what to do once I got help opening it. It has a sweet little compartment underneath for its pad and the product is actually in the twistable lid. It's been pretty easy to blend but I couldn't see a big difference right off the bat. I'll experiment more with amounts and get back to you.

Eyeshadow: I sought matte neutrals (browns - grays - purple/plums) for everyday natural look and got Revlon's ColorStay 16 Hour Quad in Precocious. I may swatch it once I've experimented with it more. The dark plum color is meant for the crease that I don't possess and is super rich. The gray that they recommend to use as a wash is not as rich but that's fine with me. The white does have quite a bit of shimmer but it's a highlight that I can just omit. I did try the dusty pink-mauve with everything else on my eye and I can't quite distinguish it. They are a little reflective in a brightening way. I panicked a little and just wanted something to practice with, lol.

Eyeliner: I'm not brave enough to try gel eyeliner (which is a entirely new concept to me), so I wanted a liquid eyeliner. The only one I've tried before was years ago for a performance, super cheap(therefore sticky), and super glittery (and there for scratchy). I grabbed Revlon's ColorStay Liquid Liner in Blackest Black. I have heard good things about it and it was right next to the eyeshadow. I'm getting so brave, aren't I? :P It's really weird getting such a long-handled brush with a tiny bottle. I hope a little bit goes a long way. I have tried it and the brush head was so tiny! A little too precise because my first line ended up in the lash line and hardly noticeable on me, lol. I definitely need to practice my lines with this and not blinking the moment I pull the brush away. Sigh. It did dry quickly, I don't really feel it, it's put up with abuse, and it actually is easily cleaned off.

My last item was somewhat of a side note-afterthought. My natural brows are thick in shape but sparse. I have waxed and plucked in the past to clean them up because they do get a little crazy sometimes (and then there was that one time that my mom was overzealous and took a chuck off with hot wax- hooray for being a guinea pig). It just still doesn't look quite right until I realize that filling them in with powder or brow pencil is actually pretty common. I learned that many people tend to go one shade lighter to enhance the hair versus drawing eyebrows on.

After a very terrible experiment with black eyeliner and rubbing my eye area red, I got CoverGirl's Brow & Eyemakers Pencil in Midnight Brown. I wish I read the reviews a bit sooner. It came with two pencils and a sharpener, it is pretty hard and therefore harsh to use as an eyeliner, which is a shame. I had nice results in terms of filling my brow but I'm not convinced it's the best shade even though the next step would be Midnight Black.It may have been because I was trying it out in the car during a orange sunset but it seemed to be an burnt orange brown with my hair. We'll see.

Sorry no pictures of my actual haul. I was too excited to try them out and was already tearing into the items on the way home in the car while the SO was getting gas and air put into the tires. However, the representations on their sites that I've linked are pretty darn accurate.

While I felt like a bit of a clown today with my experimentation, I'm glad that I've finally started testing things out for myself on myself. Theories can only take you so far. This was partially the SO's fault for encouraging me so he's only allowed to roll his eyes and tune me out most of the way when I start gushing and ranting about this stuff.

Thanks for putting up with my ramblings about becoming a better me. There really is a boost of confidence when you feel that you look good/ nice.

Sunday, March 11

Taming the To-Do

Before I get to my regular ramblings, I do want to take a moment to remember the lives lost and affected by the Japan earthquake and tsunami one year ago. We're still mourning the losses and feeling the effects. I cannot believe it has been an entire year. RIP.

There's nothing like avoiding homework to get you to want to organize and clean everything. The table is almost tamed but I thought I'd sit down for a change today.

The SO fixed dripping bathtub faucets and leaky toilet valves, I sorted out our receipts from the past two months, put away the yarn and card projects I've finished, gathered important documents for our errands this week, sorted the various guides I've printed out in the past month, and started setting up for our upcoming crafts workshop. I'll probably finish up the garden updates from last year, try to work on the monthly scrapbook pages I've missed (all of them so far >_<), and clean the floors tonight.

Can you tell that I've been heavily caffeinated?

In my groggy stupor this morning, I was a tad heavy handed with my instant coffee mix. :P We'll see how much I can get done after I finish up my homework. I think the SO plans to spray the property for bugs if the plumbing work goes smoothly and that requires me to move my container garden away from the walls and patio. With how cloudy it is, chances are that we'll have to save that for yet another day and he'll wash his bike instead. Maybe go out for a ride? That will definitely be his reward for all the household fixes he does for us.

A little while later and we weren't able to bug spray because we lost sunlight pretty quickly, so the SO hand-washed his bike and car instead. He went on a brief spin around the main block of houses. After that, he gave it a good solid waxing and I have to say that she is looking gorgeous now.

So shiny... O_O

Being able and having to run so many errands around town lately has been kind of comforting lately. It's not the most fun bonding experience, but it's us tackling grown up issues and situations together. I'm just consistently reminded and grateful for the tendency for us to be on the same page despite our very different ways of thinking and viewing the world. It makes life that much easier.

Saturday, March 10

Pretty Additions

Before I do a little update on the garden (I know I just wrote about it on Tuesday but this is worth it!), I wanted to address a few changes with this blog that I've been working on today.

You'll see this at the end of the post, but I have a siggie! Or rather, a signature image now. It shows up automatically from now on but I went back and added it to my other entries from this year. Thank goodness it's only the beginning of March, lol.

The navigation tabs across the top are different now too. With the new Blogger user interface, I can get a better idea of what features are useful or being used regularly. I realized that the "Subject Matter" and "Craft Tutorials" tab weren't getting much love. That's okay though, because now I can use those ten precious pages for something else. I'm finishing up the posts about last year's garden and then will work on the page for this year's collection of updates. It'll be much more streamlined.

In lieu of getting rid of my tags page, I have finally caved and added a "Search" feature that searches for terms within my blog posts. Also added a little cloud of my commonly used tags which I'm trying to be better about being more detailed now that I have so many posts. It works well with the other new feature that I recently added called "LinkWithin" that shows related posts you can check out at the end of each posts. Heck, it helps me find stuff too, lol.

The last thing that was added was a feature that allows for easy connection to social networks, printing, email, and so much more. Again, something that we all can use to share the love. Yeah, I know it's about time that I added all these convenient gadgets. It only makes sense with blogging. Better late than never? :P

The SO and I ran a few more errands today that involved mostly supplies for him to get his bike in tip-top riding shape again and then he took me to ogle the fabulous nursery in our area. It was teeming with enthusiasts and new plants. I've never been there before with the personal intentions (or knowing anything about gardening) so I was taking in everything. Or trying to, it was jammed packed in every direction with plants and plant-related things. He teased me about being so excited but I shot back that he was excited to check out the selection too. Got him to admit it eventually on the way home, lol.

We zoomed in on their fruits and vegetables and we checked out every nook and cranny, even going into a greenhouse. There were so many variety of young tomato plants, sweet and spicy peppers, lettuces, and broccoli-like things. Different kinds of citrus trees each had their own greenhouses in the back of the property. The baby plants there look so much better than what I have at home! They were already six inches tall with many good-sized leaves and many of them already started to flower! Gah!

On the way home, we agreed it would be really nice to have a little setup dedicated to giving new seeds the best start possible once we have our own space to work with. I've done quite a bit of research into it but have thankfully reigned myself back. I'd love to help others start gardening too and it'd be great to share the extra seedlings that would be inevitable... and slow down there, buddy. XD  But we went there with a mission and while I wasn't sure if they'd have them, the SO spotted them the moment we got to the right area:


With all of the videos I've been watching, I've learned that strawberries can actually work here in the desert and I adore eating fruit! This is a basket variety so I hope it does well in this space. I picked one that already has a berry in the works as well as a pretty little blossom. There was another variety with pink blossoms but it needed a bit more room than the extra pot I had at home. There was also a "Yellow Wonder" type that was more ornamental and I am just weirded out by the idea of yellow strawberries, lol. I cannot wait to see this one grow! It's already so pretty. 

I must have this inner desire to traumatize my plants because I've done it again. I rearranged the beans and the peas because they were coming up so closely together. I don't know why I don't spread the seeds to begin with. Next time, I promise. 
 There were many more beans trying to sprout than we initially thought.

 The poor pretty peas. I hope they all recover in the next two weeks. 

There was a lot of general trimming back of leaves that had suffered cold weather damage, I removed the stakes from all of the peppers, and it looks like the Bird's Eye Chillies have given up on all of their old leaves in favor of their new ones. Fine by me! So, here's a look at Slytherin's new growth since I've already posted Gryffindor's:

I hope you're excited about the changes around here too! ^_^

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