Warrior Nation

 

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Warrior Dash was this past Saturday and I am not sure how to even sum it up except to say that it was the most amazing kick in the ass I have experience in such a long time! I was SUPER nervous about doing this race slash obstacle course for a couple of reasons:  I am not that much of a runner like I used to be, this course was coined “hilly” which it was. I had never done an obstacle type race before and I had no idea what to expect. I mean sure the website shows you the obstacles you might face but that is just a picture, it really doesn’t compare with being face to face with a giant mud slide. I also wasn’t sure how the atmosphere would be, some races I’ve been to are super competitive and people are kind of full of themselves.. not this one.

Warrior Dash exceeded my expectations on all accounts. I was super nervous while waiting in the gates to start but once we were set free I realized that I didn’t need to be nervous people were super friendly and also very helpful and encouraging. There was one obstacle I was having a heck of a time with and one guy finished it and waited at the end to high five me once I had finished; nice strangers.. who knew that they existed. The competitive wave was the first wave to go so each wave after felt a little more relaxed but at the same time super charged, people were there to have some good, muddy fun.

I did however expect this run to be a little more messy during the entire thing but it turns out the most muddy part didn’t come until the end when you came face to face with Goliath, an obstacle that you had to climb up and over only to have to slide down a water slide type slide with mud into a mud pit and then swim slash float your way through a mud pool that had looming barbed wire. At the end of the race I literally had mud in places mud shouldn’t be. The people putting on the race offered hoses for rinsing all of that mud off but trust me, it barely made a dent. Had I planned better I would’ve brought a towel to help clean myself off with.

I feel like I am all over the place now, so let me just say… Warrior Dash = AMAZING, and I can’t wait to do it again next year. And if I had planned better I would have brought a towel, a change of clothes, flip flops, extra water, plastic bags for my muddy clothes. The one thing I did plan ahead with was bringing trash bags for my car, I did not need all that mud in my car.

I also have to say that I am rather proud of myself for completing this race, my friend was not able to run it with me so essentially I went by myself, I did have the support of the girls from Bootcamp but I was not about to let the fact that I was running alone stop me. I might have been solo but no part of the race did I feel like I was alone because of the tons of other people that were running the race.

Oh and just an FYI days later and I still feel like someone beat the crap out of me and I have the battle scars, or bruises rather, to prove it.

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r

4/9/14

Who breaks into a Prius?

So last week while I was at work my car was broken into; annoying.

I have never had my car broken into before and for obvious reasons it really bothered me, knowing that someone who wasn’t supposed to be in my car was in my car is very unsettling. What bothers me even more is that I had just returned from a trip to Northern California and my luggage (which obviously had all of my clothes inside) which had all of my clothes in it was stolen. It is very unsettling to know that some grimy thief has my under things in their possession. barf.

Who breaks into cars anymore really? I mean I feel like this is something that doesn’t happen as often as it used to. and to top it off who breaks into a Prius?! I mean seriously I work at a medical facility and there are wayyyyy nicer cars, with much nicer things in them than my dirty underthings and jeans. Don’t misunderstand me I am not by any means wishing that someone else’s car was broken into I am just saying really a Prius? How does that sound to all of your thief friends “Hey I broke into a Prius today” ugh.

When I came out from work and discovered that my car was broken into I had called Claremont PD to report it and they sent an officer out to check it out. I must say I am a little on the fence about authority figures such as police but I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of time and attention that the officer gave my situation, he literally spent a minimum of an hour and twenty minutes taking my statement, fingerprinting the car, and checking the area for any of my stuff that might have been tossed out. Really impressed I expected whatever officer that was assigned my call to just come out take my statement and leave, but this guy did more than I could have asked for.

I keep wishing that whoever did break into my car will realize that my fashion sense sucks and that my underthings aren’t their style and that they will just leave whatever they didn’t want back at my work. Having to replace clothes, luggage, makeup and everything else that was in my bags PLUS having to repair the window that they broke really adds up. I never realized how much crap I had until it was suddenly gone.

This situation really had me feeling like people suck, every single last person. But the next day one of my coworkers gifted me a little something to help me rebuild my belongings and the next day another and then this weekend Marlboro Man also did some nice things for me. And it made me realize that not all people suck just a couple handfuls and I am ridiculously lucky to have some really amazing people in my corner. I have people in my corner that have big hearts and are extremely gracious when they had no obligation to do anything for me.

The past couple of days have opened my eyes; shitty things happen (duh) and we can either sit and dwell or we can pick up the pieces and move on. I am not going to lie the first couple days I dwelled and I cried and I was angry but now I am starting to pick up the pieces and move forward. No panty stealing thief is going to get me down for too long because I know that the day will come when Karma will get them; it may not be today or tomorrow but it will happen, I have faith in that.

Until next time

r

4/8/14

 

I heart tea

In the world of social media today is “Throwback Thursday” soooo I’ve decided to throwback to Italy and the delicious teas that I was so lucky to consume.

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I am not sure how or when it happened but over my lifetime I have become a tea fiend; it has actually become a little out of control if I do say so myself. I probably have more tea in my cupboard than I could possibly consume; that would be because I am always buying it.

I kid you not I keep tea in my purse, my car, at work, in my lunch pail, at Marlboro Man’s house. I think it is safe to say I have an addiction.

I am thankful however that I never became a coffee person, the reason I love tea so much is that I find the whole process of brewing a cup to be very relaxing, if not more than the actual consumption of the tea.

I prefer loose leaf tea straight in the cup so that I can chew on the little bits that float around, but I surely do not discriminate against a good bagged tea.

I really love a tea that can stand alone; no sweeteners please!

In this order I love tea: black, green, Rooibos, white, herbal, and Oolong. I have never had Mate teas but I feel that is tea for a person trying to quit coffee. Also never have I ever… had a flowering (blooming) tea; one day.

 

 

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While in Italy I was introduced or possibly reintroduced to Twinnings Teas; simple and delicious.

Every morning while in Italy my grands and I would go downstairs for breakfast I would have a glass of Twinnings Breakfast Tea with some out of this world Italian honey (I broke my own no sweetener rule, but this honey was phenomenal) and in those moments everything was perfect.

I would love every morning to be transported back to those moments before I have to start my day.

 

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cheers

r

3/27/14

Warrior Dash

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18 days and counting.. yikes!

So I decided this month that I wanted to complete one race every month until the end of the year for April I will be participating in the Warrior Dash which is a 5k slash mud run slash obstacle course; at the end of it all is a celebration and booze, what more could one ask for :)

I am not gonna lie I am slightly terrified of doing the Warrior Dash but there is no backing out now, and to top if off I have made Marlboro Man commit to it as well. If he is in I REALLY can’t back out.

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So those are the obstacles that the website has listed for the dash, I am not sure if each city doing the run has each obstacle or if they only select 10 or 12 for each location, but seriously look at those things they are ridiculous; jumping over fire?! crawling under barbed wire. I completed envision getting my butt burned and losing chunks of hair in the barbed wire. Why would any sane person do this?

When I was getting a haircut yesterday I was telling the girl about the Leprechaun Leap that I did on Sunday and she was telling me how she doesn’t understand why people pay to run (I will admit, I walked the Leprechaun Leap) and I tried explaining it to her but she wasn’t getting it. Why do people pay to run? For fun, for a challenge, what is your reason? For me I pay to run (or walk or jog) for fun, for the camaraderie, but mostly for the challenge of it, to see if I can complete the run and to see if I can make a better time than I last did. I guess people who do not enjoy running cannot understand why runners/walkers/joggers pay to do their thing, just how I cannot understand why people spend money to watch Nascar or golf. To each their own I suppose.

I have to keep it short today I have a hundred things to do but I wanted to get on here and post a little something, I will be back to update about the Leprechaun Leap soon, it was loads of fun regardless of my being sick.

Also if you are interested in signing up for the Warrior Dash here is the website, they hold runs in a bunch of different cities all over the states. They also have the best of kind of dash where the people who placed in the top I want to say 25 all go to one place and duke it out to be the warrior of all warriors (don’t quote me on that title, it sounded legit though).

Oh one more thing I am still looking for races for May and June if you have any in mind please let me know.

Until next time..

r

3/18/14

Plated; neither genius or lazy

IMG_0416Last week I posted about how Marlboro Man and I were going to try out the dinner delivery service Plated, Saturday night when we got home from going to the casino this little box was at the door waiting for us. We left the house for the casino around 1:45-2 pm and didn’t return until around 8:30-9 pm, if you live in Southern California you know last week was hotter than it should be for Winter time. So needless to say I was paranoid when we left the house; the food had not arrived and it was hot all I could imagine coming home to was smelly, spoiled meat and veggies. But thankfully Plated had it under control they shipped the food in a recyclable box that was completely insulated and had two ice packs in the bottom of it.

IMG_0418They claim (which I would imagine to be true since they are in the business of shipping fresh foods) that the items in the box should last about 24 hours, I will totally take their word for it. Our food sat on the porch for probably about 4-5 hours in mid to high 80′s last Saturday and when I opened it up everything was still nice and fresh and cold. It appears that the sun is no match for the packaging job that Plated has prepared.

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To be honest I don’t even know where to begin right now, I want to tell you my thoughts on the service and the products, as well as the end results. Let me start with the natural order in which this occurred. I opened the package and laid everything out because of course I needed to take pictures. I was a little surprised at the quantities of  meats, veggies and spices that were packed. I must admit that I have a warped idea of portions, and I know I cannot be the only one even Marlboro Man commented asking how many people it was supposed to feed.. it sure didn’t look like it would feed the both of us.

Everything for one recipe was packaged and labeled individually, each recipe also came with a nice sturdy 8 1/2 x 11 recipe card/paper (a little larger than I would have liked it to be… whatever) Plated states they give you everything except for salt, pepper, oil and water; respectively this seems it should be a staple in every kitchen.

Moroccan Beef ingredients and recipe card

Moroccan Beef ingredients and recipe card

Moroccan Beef ingredients

Moroccan Beef ingredients

 

I guess in my rush to get the raw meats into the fridge I forgot to take a picture of them; they are vacuumed sealed into portioned pouches (which I can dig)

Because it was already Saturday night and we had already eaten I figured that I would cook them both up on Sunday and that could be dinner for Sunday and Monday night. Both recipe cards tell you how many servings, calories and time it would take to prepare the meals. Oh and hashtags so you can share your Plated food… plated. #platedpics

So Sunday night I set out to make the meals, the recipes were simple enough each card said that a meal would take 30 to 40 minutes to prepare. I was a cooking machine and cooked both at the same time in about 40 minutes.

Let me take you on a picture journey of Moroccan Beef Tagine

Flank steak chopped and coated with a  dry marinade of cinnamon, salt, pepper, chili pepper flakes and other spices that I can't remember (oops)

Flank steak chopped and coated with a dry marinade of cinnamon, salt, pepper, chili pepper flakes and other spices that I can’t remember (oops)

After marinating for about 3 hours (the recipe calls for 5 minutes room temperature or overnight in the fridge) I diced and added the shallots to the mix

After marinating for about 3 hours (the recipe calls for 5 minutes room temperature or overnight in the fridge) I diced and added the shallots to the mix

Into the pan went some olive oil, next the steak, shallots and a few fresh, minced cloves of garlic. Cooked for about 8-10 minutes

Into the pan went some olive oil, next the steak, shallots and a few fresh, minced cloves of garlic. Cooked for about 8-10 minutes

Next I added the can of diced tomatoes and the fresh pre-diced butternut squash and let simmer for about 15 minutes

Next I added the can of diced tomatoes and the fresh pre-diced butternut squash and let simmer for about 15 minutes

I also forgot to take a picture of the preparation of the couscous, probably because couscous cooks up so quickly; literally in 5 minutes. Once I made the couscous I divided the meal up into two semi-equal portions (Marlboro Man wasn’t digging the couscous; more for me) and of course took a pictures before we tried it out.

Moroccan Beef Tagine with couscous and butternut squash

Moroccan Beef Tagine with couscous, shallots and butternut squash

 

Now onto dish two which was Rosemary-Thyme Chicken over Winter vegetables. I have to admit this one I was most excited about because I have been looking for new ways to add more veggies into our meals also this recipe introduced both of us to parsnips which neither Marlboro Man or myself can recall if we had before.. we would both purchase them and eat them again now.

Rosemary-Thyme Chicken ingredients

Rosemary-Thyme Chicken ingredients

Once again no packaged pictures of the meat but I am sure everyone knows what raw chicken thighs looks like.

This recipe took me a little more effort that the beef dish, because I had to peel, slice and chop everything that came in the ingredient bag… Don’t get me wrong I am totally not complaining just simply stating this one took a bit longer.

Chopped rosemary, thyme, garlic and lemon zest to coat the chicken thighs

Chopped rosemary, thyme, garlic and lemon zest to coat the chicken thighs

chopped carrot, parsnip, golden potatoes and broccoli

chopped carrot, parsnip, golden potatoes and broccoli

 

Chicken thighs coated with the herb mixture ready for the oven.. don't mind the foil pouch in the middle. I don't like to eat meat off the bones so Marlboro Man took the bones out of my portion and I cooked them up for the pup (don't worry we didn't give her the bones just the meat that was left on the bones)

Chicken thighs coated with the herb mixture ready for the oven.. don’t mind the foil pouch in the middle. I don’t like to eat meat off the bones so Marlboro Man took the bones out of my portion and I cooked them up for the pup (don’t worry we didn’t give her the bones just the meat that was left on the bones)

So after the chicken went into the oven to braise at 450 degrees for 30-40 minutes I cooked the veggies in a pan on the stove. Simple.. water, chicken base and veggies for about 15 minutes until they were tender, but not too tender.

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Once the chicken was finished cooking, picture time! The herbs on my chicken look a little more done than the ones on the recipe card that Plated sent and I attribute that to having my rack placed to high in the oven. But thankfully there was no burnt taste to the food, it was just as delicious.

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And now the finished product Rosemary-Thyme chicken with Winter vegetables

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So the end result of both dishes were delicious, the meat was tender and not fatty, the combination of veggies and spices with each respective meat was the right match. Obviously Plated knows a little bit about what they are doing. They take intermediate recipes and make them simple enough so you can master them at home, I dig. But let me be honest, although I loved trying this experience out for $20 I more than likely would never use this service again, our meals came out to $5 a plate which is ridiculously reasonable for the amount and quality of food we got (by the way the ending result shut us both up about the portions that were supplied there was more than enough food for 2 people), but if I had not had the internet offer we were looking at $12-$15 dollars a plate PLUS $20 shipping and handling fees, so that’s upwards of 80 to 100 bucks for 2 meals for 2 people. I could easily go the grocery store and get food for the whole week at that price. So Plated is not genius nor is it lazy, it is a novelty for people who have extra money and want to learn how to cook. Plated gives you step by step instructions on how to do each and every step of the cooking process. I can see single women/men using this service for convenience or to learn to be a better cook or how to make food combinations but as an every day or every weekend service  I do not see this as a practical solution. Not to say that both Marlboro Man and I didn’t enjoy it, there are just more cost efficient ways to get the same results.

Are you using Plated or another service that you dig? Or do you have another means of obtaining the same results like using a meal planning app or something of that nature.. do tell ?

 

 

r

3/13/14

For the record the internet offer I received for Plated was one of those ads on Facebook, I was not approached by anyone from Plated’s staff to try out and or review the services that they offer.
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500 Word Challenge

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Recently I read an article to help writers be more active and disciplined in their craft; to reach a goal of 500 words per day. A challenge rather, to sit down everyday and just write; paying no mind to spelling, grammar and punctuation. Writing to just write; to achieve a daily word count of 500. 

(You can find the article here

I don’t claim to be a writer, but I like to write to get my thoughts out in the open. After reading this article I have decided to challenge myself. As you can see my blogging has been sporadic, I go lengths of time with no posts and then all of a sudden I am on a writing spree… 500 words how hard can that possibly be? (Currently I am at 128 words; not that I am counting)

I am not sure where my discipline has gone when it comes to writing. There are 3 things in my daily life that I do without alter; working out, working and sleeping… now if I could stop being so lazy and just sit down and write everyday.

Surely I cannot be the only person with this dilemma. Are there things in your life that you want to do but for whatever reason cannot seem to want to make the time to do them? I am sure I have a laundry list of things that I want to do but just let my laziness get the better of me.

Lately I feel that my life is so chaotic that the thought of doing something leisurely seems tasking. I love to read, crochet, run, paint, write, go hiking… this list could go on forever but really when do I have time for that stuff? As an adult that has a job, no husband, no kids, no school, how is it that I cannot find the time to do simple tasks? My life seems to be series of things I have to do instead of things that I want to do. I will probably have to make a challenge out of everything I want to do in order to make sure that it all gets accomplished in a timely manner.

How do you effectively manage your time; how do you juggle the things you have to do with the things that you want to do without burning yourself out? Let me know because really I am curious, If I could put more into my day without feeling drained that would be super awesome on all accounts.

r

3/12/14

Dinners Delivered, Lazy or Genius?

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So I just ordered 4 plates (or 2 dinners) from Plated  for Marlboro Man and I for this weekend.

Let me rewind a little…

When I came home from work I hopped on my laptop and as I was scrolling around social media I saw an advertisement for Plated, 4 plates and 3 months membership for “free”… too good to be true; nope totally true (you pay shipping and handling, $20). So I thought heck why not, some nights after work I am too tired or just plain lazy to sit in traffic to go to the grocery store, shop, drive home and cook.. too much for me on some Friday nights. I spend easily 3 times as much to make dinner for 2-3 nights for us on the weekends so whats twenty bucks.

I ordered Thyme-Rosemary Chicken with Winter vegetables and Moroccan Beef Tagine, although I must admit I am a little skeptical about the whole idea it is worth a shot. If you aren’t single or pair, you may not realize how much food you have to buy when you go to the grocery store and how much of it literally goes to waste. When I was living by myself I would literally throw away food left and right because grocery stores (aside from Fresh & Easy) do not really cater to single people or couples, everything is in huge quantities when being consumed by 1 or 2. I mean take a loaf of bread for instance, I cannot even remember the last time that I went through a whole loaf of bread before it went bad. Realistically I love carbs and bread but I can’t eat it before the mold gets to it; sure you can freeze bread but then by the time I remember I froze it it’s frost bitten and tastes like a freezer.. barf. Plated seems like a sensible way to get delicious dinners at a reasonable cost all the while reducing the waste that a 1 or 2 household brings.

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So along with my free 4 plates I am also given 3 months membership to Plated so that means that if I get any plates within those 3 months that are at a discounted price versus someone who is a non-member.. it seemed to be about a $5-$8 dollar difference per plate ordered. Membership costs $10 per month so in the long run you do save a bit of money but realistically I don’t see myself using this kind of service for every weekend.

Would using this service every night or every weekend be the laziest thing ever? (keep in mind you do have to cook the food) or is it the most genius thing ever? I will let you know after this weekend has come and passed and I have made my four plates.

If you have used Plated or will decide to check it out on whim like myself please let me know what you got and your thoughts

r

3/7/14

Leprechaun Leap

This year is the year I have decided to push myself and give my body the attention it deserves; better eating habits, more exercise, and doing more physical activities outside of my comfort zone… running is one of those things.

Running was one of the “goods” I wanted to add into this month, and if I am going to be honest about it I am not the strongest runner. I can power my walk my butt off but running gets me entirely too winded and causes my heart rate to sky rocket. I have not been able to run in quite a few years because of some medical issues but now that all is well I am going to give it another go. That being said I signed up for one of my first races of this year; this month is the Leprechaun Leap 5k. 

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My birthday falls on March 17th, and this race is on March 16th I thought what better way to spend my birthday than doing something good for my body and something that will create lasting memories. My birthday every year since the day I was born until the day that I die will be on St. Patrick’s Day.. no getting around that. And every year since I turned 21 I realized that people just use this holiday as another reason to go out and drink beer (green of course) and get smashed, and although I will only be turning 27 this year I have come to the conclusion that I am over all of that already, sure I like to have an adult beverage every so often but getting belligerent because it is St. Patrick’s Day AND my birthday every year is just overrated. So I am doing something different this year I will pass on the green booze and throw on some green gear and run my first 5k since all of my medical ailments have been ‘cured’.

The Leprechaun Leap 5k is a 3.2 mile run/jog/walk in Tustin running on a portion of Tustin Ranch Road, going through the Tustin Blimp Hangars (the website boasts “The Worlds Largest Wooden Structure”) and back to the District at Tustin. I have a whole 10 days to prepare for this race, so I also signed up for a virtual 5k.

A Virtual 5k is a way to participate in a race and still achieve a goal or support a foundation putting on a race. For me it is a way to get in my second race for this month and a way to help me prepare for the Leprechaun Leap coming up. Participants in virtual races also are awarded medals for finishing and all of that fun jazz that comes with running a race. I have never actually heard of a virtual race until just recently so I will have to update once I complete the run to let you all know how it goes.

I am really excited to be getting my run back on and I am even more excited that for my first race my little sister has decided to join me.

If you are interested in checking out runs or cycling events in your area I strongly suggest using Active , I downloaded the iPhone app for Active and I am loving it I set the filters; what kind of event I am looking for, distance from your location, date, etc. and it populates all of the events going on that meet your criteria… totally awesome way to stay informed on events that are going on locally.

If you know of any races for the rest of this year in California please drop me a line, I would love to explore outside of Southern California to get my run on.

r

3/6/14

 

Oh I forgot to mention if anyone is interested in doing this run as well I was able to find a promo code that takes $10 off the registration fees, use promo code “RaceShed” at checkout :) (I apologize in advance if the promo code has expired or what not but I promise you can probably Google search and find another)

March

So I am really having a hard time keeping up with my promise to do weekly posts, why I wish I knew.. all I do know is that it is very frustrating because sitting down to write doesn’t take that long. So it’s March ALREADY… nuts how times flies.

Keeping with my resolution of this year; out with the bad, in with the good. I am getting rid of fast food, if it has a drive-thru.. adios, I mean I can’t really miss it that much anyways. I tried to indulge in Fat Tuesday yesterday and all I kept thinking about was my delicious avocados and chicken at home, my brain was battling itself trying to get me to eat bad things, but it didn’t work. The good I want to add is every month until the end of the year I want to participate in a race, and for 2 months I have to double up so that I have a total of 12 races a month. Now that my head doesn’t hurt anymore I should be able to get back to running with no issues. I am beyond stoked for this. I also am being a bit ambitious this month and I have decided to hit the workouts hard two-a-days, financially I can only do bootcamp for so much longer so I am trying to make the most of it… hopefully I don’t crash and burn.

Today is Ash Wednesday, if you participate in Lent what will you be giving up until Easter? And even if you don’t what will you forgo or add into your life this month.. let me know.

 

3/5/14

r

Botox

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So it has been 4 days since I went to my neurologist and had the Botox treatment done… so far so good.

I am not going to lie I was beyond terrified of doing the Botox procedure but as I mentioned before nothing else had worked for me.

And to only make things more terrifying my co-worker and I decided to look up the medication guide and patient information sheet on Botox.. you know if was ONLY 36 pages long; and well I decided that it would be a super awesome idea to read every page of it and freak myself out even more.. honestly not my finest moment.

I felt that I had to educate myself because although I trust doctors for the most part I literally just met my new neurologist a week prior to my appointment and we hadn’t really discussed all of the crazy things that could happen, or how to prep myself for the injections.

I remember when the nurse called to schedule the appointment as soon as I hung up the phone I was already having second thoughts about doing it.. but why? I mean potentially this was the cure that I had been waiting for, why was I so scared? I mean I know WHY, but why really? The unknown is a rather terrifying thing and anyone who says otherwise is probably a big, fat liar pants.

The night before the procedure I was so nervous I decided to engage in some retail therapy and stress eat Panda Express.. good ideas all around, and if you tell me otherwise I am still sticking to my thoughts that these were amazing activities to partake in.

I had a hard time falling asleep the night before I had to go in.. I expected this. The morning I had to go in, I got up and took my time getting ready; as if this would delay what was to come, I half expected to talk myself out of going. I threw my most attractive outfit on; leggings and a sweatshirt, with no makeup and headed downstairs. My granny being the worrywart that she is decided amongst herself that I would be in no condition to drive home after having the injections; the way she was acting you would think I was having a lobotomy done, or something serious for that matter. Granny tends to make me more nervous, butttt I let her drive me.

When we got to the hospital I was still nervous, I got checked in and as soon as I walked into the waiting area the nurse called my name. I remember thinking crap I didn’t even have time to sit down and prepare myself for this. Thankfully she just wanted to take my weight and vitals. I have to say I love the nurse in the neurology department, I wish I knew her name, but really she is awesome. She was telling me she remembered talking to me and thinking it was funny how nervous I was because she said that on certain days of the week they have a Botox clinic; cosmetic purpose, and they always have more people than they can accommodate. She said people are lining up to get the stuff to fix their wrinkles and what not and here I was nervous about getting it when it could be my saving grace. She even told me people fake having headache to the extent that I have them just so they can try and get Botox for a cheaper price (a price their insurance would cover)…. oh some people, if there is a will there is a way.

When the doc came in I started asking him a bunch of questions; you know the usual, how many people have you killed, how many faces have you messed up, how many patients do you do this to, etc. After a little talking he proceeded. Took an alcohol wipe and started wiping my face and neck. He wiped all of the 20 places he was going to inject.

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The Botox website says that for migraine uses they recommend 31 injections; for whatever reason my neurologist does a total of 20. I intend on asking him next visit why he doesn’t do the full 31. I received 6 in my forehead, 4 in each side of my head in the temple area, 4 in the back of my head and 2 in my neck. I must say that it wasn’t as bad as I had imagined at all. The most uncomfortable ones were the ones in the forehead and it wasn’t so much the needle going in as it was the Botox going in.

After the injections were done my forehead looked like it had been attacked by mosquitos but I was assured that the lumps would go down in about 30-45 minutes (they went down quicker). I was advised to not touch, rub, or wash my face for a few hours, that it would be okay to do so in the evening. Rubbing, touching or washing could cause the Botox solution to move in other parts of the face and cause uber sexy droopy eyes or a lopsided forehead. Being the paranoid person I am when it comes to stuff like this I decided I would wait to do anything to my face until the next morning, no washing,no touching, no make up.. nothing the last thing I needed was to look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

So far everything is going okay. The day of the injections I had some shooting pains in my neck at the site of injection. Friday and Saturday I had some shooting pains in my right temple area where I would normally have my migraines but those lasted only a few minutes before they dissipated. My face isn’t lopsided and my eyes aren’t drooping, I do feel tightness in my forehead but that is about it. If Botox works I will receive these 20 injections every 12 weeks; next injection date is May 13.. fingers crossed that this stuff does the trick.

Side-note..  I kind of felt weird walking out of the office looking like I had been attacked by mosquitos and I mentioned something to granny and this little old man sitting a couple chairs away from her told me not to worry that his wife looked that way too when she came out. We got to talking and he said that his wife has been doing Botox for migraines for about 2 years and in those 2 years she has had a total of 1 maybe 2 migraines in that time span. This bit of info made me feel hopeful, and I cared a lot less about my mosquito forehead. Can you imagine what it would be like to be headache free? Well I mean a lot of you surely can, but I can’t, I don’t remember what it’s like to even have a week without some sort of head pains.

But hey that’s all for now, I will keep you updated on how the next 12 weeks go.

Cheers to 4 days headache free

r

2/16/14

February

Last month I decided that instead of creating a typical New Year’s Resolution that I was going to try each month to add something positive into my life while also taking something negative out of my life.

This month I have decided that I will start reading more. Reading more book, articles, magazines, journals, etc. I feel that this add-on goes along with my constant desire to be learning something new and filling my brain with as much information as humanly possible, because after all whether I am physically in school or not I am a lifer when it comes to education.

As far as subtracting from my life goes I have decided that I need to have less stress, I know this is easier said than done, but when it comes down to it who doesn’t need less stress in their life? I have realized that although caring is good, I have come to care WAY too much about things that really should matter way less than they do currently. My stress levels have been off the charts. Along with stress  comes gnarly migraines and the world knows that I could use a lot less of those as well. So in an effort to help my head out I am trying my hardest to eliminate stress and live day to day not fretting about the next; tomorrow is not guarenteed so their is no reason that I need to worry about it so much. To help myself stress less I have been doing more yoga and exercising more consistently, I have found that exercise and yoga help me to blow off steam as well as to meditate and both make my brain very happy.

What are some ways that you allow yourself to reduce stress? Does reading a book help? What are you reading?

r

2/11/14

Habit Forming

12 days… that’s how long it has been since I have made a post; I am failing at updating once or twice a week.  I don’t know why I can’t just get myself to sit down and let my brain release some of its thoughts.

Recently I have been trying to become more productive and in my efforts to do so I have been reading articles on habit forming, how that all works and how I can create better habits for myself. One thing I need to get in the habit of doing is writing more; writing more will help me in so many areas in my life I’m not sure why I can’t get myself to do it.

A couple articles I read said that it takes 14 days to make or break a habit, others seem to suggest that it takes anywhere from 21 to 66 days to make a habit and stick with it. Another article even suggested that once you have built a habit you just do it second nature and your brain actually goes into a cruise control kind of mode; how exactly would that work for writing? You do have to think to create words and sentences and make a post that is somewhat cohesive.

Every morning I get up at 5am to go workout, I get home at 6:45am and I proceed to do whatever needs to be done before I start getting ready for work; making breakfast, lunch, washing clothes, cleaning up my living areas, etc. So I think blogging will now also be included in that timeframe. Because if I can’t get myself to do it at night I am going to try to get it in in the morning.

What are ways that you find it helpful to fit a task into your busy schedule?

Here’s to making new habits.

r

2/10/14

Student for Life

As some people know, I graduated May of last year, and since then I have been out of school. Being out of school has made me realize how much I love school; maybe not school itself because everyone knows how much I procrastinated on assignments, but I love learning. If there is one thing I want to do for forever, it is to keep learning.

Being out of school has made me mildly crazy; I feel like I have so much free time but yet nothing really seems to be fulfilling it in the manner that I would like. Since I am not quite ready (both financially and mentally) to go back to college for my masters, I try my hardest to get my learn on whenever possible.

With all this extra time I have on my hands I seem to spend WAY too much of it on Pinterest (don’t judge me too harshly). If you know anything about Pinterest you know that it will make you want to be crafty and it will make you want to bake and make feasts but yet it will also make you want to exercise like a crazy person to burn off all of the calories of the stuff you just baked. Anyway… Pinterest introduced me to the age-old time passer; crocheting. I would pin item after crocheted item until one day I decided I was going to learn to crochet.

I remember the day pretty clearly, it was a nice Saturday in October I was sitting on the couch pinning while Marlboro Man was doing whatever he does (apparently I don’t remember it THAT clearly).  I proposed the idea that we do something with our weekends, if we were going to sit at home lets at least be productive and have something to show for the weekend; I suggested we learn how to crochet. To my surprise he was game for this adventure so off to Hobby Lobby we went.

At Hobby Lobby we picked up starter kits on crocheting and knitting (he picked knitting because the associate told him that she thought it was easier.. pfft). We headed to the yarn aisle and picked out the most colorful, fun yarns we could find; we were making scarves. I remember picking a pale purple color one of the Hobby Lobby private label brands, looking back on that now I would probably never get this yarn again because I am now a yarn snob and this yarn is far from soft and it gets too shredded when worked with too much.

Long story short we got our kits and our yarn and headed home. The kits we picked up came with pictures and a DVD; pretty much everything to get started with the yarning. I’m not going to lie learning how to crochet was not easy, I swear I read every page in that starter book a million times, I watched the DVD a handful of times, but the most informative medium for learning to crochet came from YouTube. The people of YouTube are AH-MAZING! I swear you can learn how to do just about anything from a YouTube video; I wish I had the drive to make YouTube videos.

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This was the first scarf I crocheted, it literally took me about 3 weeks. I was too concerned about everything looking uniform, my stitches were WAY too tight and maybe my OCD for organization got in the way. I felt like it took me FOREVER to finish that scarf, but I was so excited that I had taught myself to do something and I had something tangible to show for it. Not having challenged my brain from May to October was really starting to take a toll on me. I felt that I was getting stupid and that if I didn’t keep learning something, anything that I would lose my curiosity.

I feel that it is ridiculously important to stay curious and to challenge yourself when you have no other outside force doing so. I am sure to most people learning to crochet is not exactly the most challenging thing or even something that most people are curious about, but for me thanks to Pinterest it sparked my curiosity and it made me want to learn something new. The thing that I am loving about crocheting is that once I feel that I have learned one stitch to the best of my abilities I can move on to the next stitch, the learning right now in this elementary stage seems to be endless.

My poor family and friends are probably going to be getting handmade gifts for quite awhile until I learn how to make something a little more their speed.

To sum up this post; I never want to stop learning, whether it be something as small as crocheting, or learning to cook something new, or going back to school. Learning is amazing and it is underrated by people who just want things to come easily.

What sparks your curiosity? What do you want to learn about or how to do that you haven’t taken the time to do before? Why not start now.

 

Remain curious & keep learning

r

1/29/14

Up, up and away…

 

So this year I made it a point to really get myself into shape and to start caring more about what I put in my body and the amount of activity that I participate in. Currently I work out with a group of woman in Corona at a bootcamp style class; we meet 5 days a week for one hour and our instructor pushes up. We run, we do a little strength training with dumbbells, a whole lot of jumping jacks, squats and my least favorite lunges. I have been doing this for about 3ish months now and I love it. This year is the year that I rediscover my love for exercising, and I think the love is already in full swing.

So since my love for being active is back I decided to look into a wearable device that tracks my calories, steps, sleep, water intake, etc. I wanted to make sure that on the days that I wasn’t in bootcamp that I was still being physically active and not slacking off. (I read an article recently that stated that being sedentary can lead to decline in brain activity.. and really who wants that?) Back to the wearable.. I swear I read a million different blogs comparing the Fitbit Force, Fitbit Flex, Nike Fuelband, Nike Fuelband se, Jawbone UP, Jawbone UP 24, and some other random devices that I had never really heard of. I read until I seriously couldn’t read anymore.. because really when it comes down to it they all did the same thing and ended up being a preference of brands; as my mom put it “Apple vs Android”

I initially picked up the Fitbit Force after a bunch of reading thinking that it would be the most comprehensive and Ronni friendly (not too techy, simple to use, seamless transition from iPhone app to web based information input)…. super long story short, it was not at all Ronni friendly.  First thing, it was a huge clunky piece of plastic on my wrist, it looked very manly (I wish I had taken pictures). Second, I had also recently read about Fitbit Force owners getting rashes from the device, with my luck I would end up with a rash since I have crazy sensitive skin. I was also turned off even more by the Fitbit Force when  I continued to research the rash problem to find that Fitbit was denying that their product did this to people and they were even deleting comments from concerned users on their Facebook and message boards (you can find the rash article here). Another thing that I hated about it was that I could not for the life of me get the time to be correct, I synced it, reset it, I charged it, I did everything that I read to do but the time would never read the correct time. At this point I was WAY over the Fitbit Force. So I drove over to Target and got rid of it and picked up the Jawbone UP instead.

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From the beginning of my wearable search the Jawbone UP was the one I had my eye set on, for reasons that I cannot even explain I went against my own gut feeling (I was more than likely swayed by bloggers..pffft) and started off with that Fitbit Force nonsense.

From the moment I put the Jawbone UP on in the parking lot it was love. The  band was significantly less bulky than the Fitbit Force, Jawbone also offers a wide variety of colors, I chose the grey because I felt that it went with more outfits than the more flashy colors that they have; blue, mint green, red, black. I also loved that I would be able to wear my watches and that the Jawbone would not draw too much attention to itself. My wrist was so happy and I hadn’t even set it up yet.

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So I charged the little baby up, it comes with a little USB charging device that is super easy to use. After it was all charged I set it up, it took me all of 5 minutes, if that.. super easy.. Ronni friendly. With the Jawbone there is no display to worry about and no clock to annoy me because the time is wrong. I set it up with the accompanying iPhone app and bam I was ready to try it out. The day I got it not much got tried out because it was later in the day, so the real test came when I had bootcamp the next morning.

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At bootcamp the Jawbone did not interfere with my heart rate monitor; thumbs up for that. It didn’t get in the way of my workout and it didn’t fall off or slide down my wrist like I was a little scared that it would. As soon as my workout was over I got home and plugged my Jawbone into my phone to sync and I got instant feedback of how many steps I had taken during my workout and the caloric value of the workout that I timed. I am visually motivated so instant feedback is great in my book.

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This is the first week that I am using the Jawbone UP and it already has me obsessed with trying to outdo the amount of steps I took the day prior and make sure I get more sleep than I was getting in the past. Overall I am really happy with my decision to swap the Fitbit Force for the Jawbone UP, and if Target had had the Jawbone UP 24 I probably would have gone that route instead. The 24 is bluetooth and to sync you just press a little button that shoots the info on over to the app, but really I have no problem taking the band off and plugging it into my phone in order to sync the information.. I mean how lazy is that button realllllly?

A couple of other things that I love about my Jawbone; silent alarms, the band vibrates to wake you up or for custom times.. I have mine set for every 2-3 hours so that I remember to eat and the app syncing with a handful of other apps that I use, UP syncs with My Fitness Pal to log your food into the UP app and keep all of your information in one place rather than having to use a bunch of different apps to stay on the same page.

Like I said I have only been using my band for only about a week, I am excited to see what kind of stats I have by the end of 2 weeks and again after a month. I can see this band being a very useful tool in helping to keep me on track and I am glad that I made this investment. I will update in time about my progress and how my Jawbone is performing.

 

 

This is the year that I get in shape; the year that I buy a bathing suit. This is the year that I don’t let slow results discourage me, because after all  they are results. This is the year of feeling comfortable in my own skin.

r

1/23/14

 

No Reservations

Happy New Year! (A little late but you know I got started late this year)

It has been so long since I have blogged, yet again, that I was having a hard time sitting down and just writing something.

I have decided that although I do not dig the resolutions that most set for themselves this time of year, mostly because I feel that 99% of resolutions made are never kept or kept for a very short period of time. We set these ridiculous rules or guidelines for ourselves that we honestly do not give ourselves the chance to succeed.

What I have decided is that each month I will either add something positive in and take something unneccesary or negative out of my life. This just seems like a win-win situation if you ask me.

For January I have decided that I need to blog more, 2+ times a week if possible, since having graduated I can tell that there is a decline in my desire to write and my writing skills; blogging will keep me sharp and ready. I also decided to give up sugar.. and I am starting to resemble the alien from Men in Black who wants “more sugar” in his water.. giving up sugar is a crazy, pure crazy and you can’t possibly understand how crazy it is until you do it.. sugar is in EVERYTHING and I mean that literally try finding bread at the market that doesn’t have sugar, your options are very, very small. But I must admit that although I get a little mean minus the sweets I do notice that my body is much happier.

You know how you always hear people say “this is my year”? Well I have also decided that this year is MY year, the year that I get the physical fitness that I have desired for so long but haven’t ever really wanted enough to work for it (blogs on that will totally be happening), a new job or at least a step in the right direction, a new living situation because quite frankly I am too old to be living back at home, and a new mindset. I cannot control everything in the universe, although I will sometimes try this is the year that I let things happen as they will, sit back and enjoy the show while making this year be the year that I become the person that I am meant to be. Oh! I also am all about mending past and present relationships or circumstances that were left in an undesirable manner, I do not want any bad juju or karma in my life.

This is the year of no reservations, getting it done.

What will you do?

r

1/15/14

275 Days of Choosing Me

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It has been a while since I have blogged about anything; I had intentions of blogging but for this reason or that I just didn’t.

The ultimate reason is because for the past 275 days I have chosen me.

I made the conscience decision to start being more selfish.

Although I know that sounds very negative and well selfish… I have come to believe that being selfish isn’t as bad as it’s made out to be.

Being selfish can be a very positive experience if you let yourself have it.

Letting yourself be selfish allows you the opportunity to learn more about the person you are, it gives you time to invest in the things that you love, it also helps to clear some obstacles from your path when it comes to completing tasks on your to do list that you never seem to have the time to do, e.g., go back to school, finish school, go to the gym, spend more time doing what you want to do…

To be honest I am not sure what I really want to say or not say about the decisions I made but I do know that if I had not taken time for myself I would not be in the place that I am in today.I finally feel like I have a handle on my life, my career, my education, my physical wellbeing, as well as my mental wellbeing.

I now know that it is an absolute necessity to put yourself and your happiness at the top of your priority list (because I’m willing to bet that your happiness isn’t on the top of someone else’s list).

Life is filled with things that we have to do to make money, keep people happy, or what have you. If life is a constant cycle of doing what you must to keep your head above water, sooner or later that stuff is going to drag you down and it will be a very long and difficult journey to the top of the water, and an even longer one to find that happiness the daily grind has driven away.

One last thing that I think I want to say is that proceed with caution on your journey to selfishness, it is not for the weak. You will find that people around you will not understand the reasons that you have for doing what you do, they will outcast you, they will probably not want to be your friend anymore because you aren’t paying enough attention to them (this is where all the negativity of selfish comes from). But a true friend, or someone who really cares about you; they will understand the method behind your madness. And for that I am thankful. My good friends are still around (some other friends, not so much), somehow with all of my crazy antics, mood swings, bitch-fests, and even the days when I fall of the face of the Earth, I know who the good ones are. The ones who understand you in a time like this are the ones that will last a lifetime.

“It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and to make your happiness a priority. It’s NECESSARY.”

~ Mandy Hale 

And with that I am back.. expect more blogs (I know I always say that but trust I mean it)

r

7/4/13   - 180 days until 2014… what will you do with them? what have you been putting off? 

Perfect Ending

We all know that Summer ended September 21st but the days and nights surely haven’t gotten the message; which I am perfectly content with at the time being. A couple of nights ago Chris and I went to a Wilco concert at the Hollywood Bowl (if you have never been to the Hollywood Bowl, you MUST go) and it was perfect. The Hollywood bowl offers outside seating under the stars, where you are free to bring in your own food and beverages to enjoy while you marvel at the amazing acoustics that the bowl has to offer.

When I bought the tickets to see Wilco I initially did it as a gift for Chris and I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to appreciate the live performance that the band had to offer, to my surprise I really did have a good time. Although there were a few songs that tugged on my heart strings I can say that it was an experience I was glad to have.

Wilco was the perfect event to mark the end of our Summer; for me it was back to school and for Chris it was off to China for work.

It has been only 5 or so days since the concert and I cannot stop listening to Wilco, my mind goes back to that night and of the good times that I was able to have with my friend before having to get back to the real world. If you aren’t familiar with Wilco I suggest checking them out, Chris and I have dubbed them “Old Man Rock” if you see the band and listen to their tunes you will know why. I can’t think of any other band that sings about doing the laundry and mowing the lawn and does it so well and makes it rock.

r

10/3/12

The Journey of Film; the end

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So my film took the trip from Fromex in Long Beach all the way back to my happy little hands this last week :) I anxiously awaited its arrival and when it finally came I could hardly wait to tear open the package, it took all of me to not demolish the packaging before I took a picture.

Fromex offers a variety of services and thankfully they offered film developing. The process was ridiculously simple, I printed out a form to tell them what I wanted, then printed out the packing slip (Fromex so kindly paid the shipping to them), threw my film in the package and mailed it off.

When they got my film they called me immediately because I didn’t fill out the form to the fullest and I was a bit confused as to what my film actually needed (keep in mind my film was easily 5+ years old) the girl who called was super helpful explaining to me exactly what they could do for me. Once we got all of that settled I just had to wait for my film to come back.

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So one roll came back with images on it and to my surprise those images were easily from 2004-2005; 7 years old, way older than I had initially thought that they were, I was actually a little bit amazed that it was they were that old. The images were nothing as exciting as I had hoped for but it was a nice blast from the past.

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The second roll sadly was blank, I actually had higher hopes for that roll because it was a roll of black and white and I really have a deep love for black and whites photos. There is something classic and simple about black and white photos and I think that a lot of people just don’t understand or appreciate it.

I really wanted to keep this entry short and sweet and let you all know how mailing my film in went, if you cannot find a place to do I say mail it to Fromex :)

Now for some images from the roll of film that was able to processed…

When I was living at home I had these little star string lights over my bedroom window, and apparently I took this picture in some attempt to be artsy

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The thing that I loved about this film that I used is that it was grainy and kind of washed out, the pictures have an older feel; an almost midsummer day feel to all of the images regardless of where and when they were taken. This picture was taken up the street from my parent’s house where they were doing construction.

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And last but not least is a picture of my ex beloved hamster Leland.. he was a fat, fat long haired teddy bear hamster that; he was the one that got away, or out I should say, and my mom made me get rid of him. I kind of forgot about him until I saw the pictures, so much for beloved…

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til next time

r

french mani in minutes

If you know me then you know that I am OBSESSED with painting my nails. I think this obsession steams from when I was younger and I would dye my hair every couple of weeks, well now that I am older and wiser ;) I have decided to not color my hair anymore, so the next best thing is changing my nails every couple of days. Yesterday I went on an adventure to find some gel polish that doesn’t require a UV light (which I did not succeed at), and instead found this little set for French manicures.

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I love french manicures, they look simple, clean, and classic. Knowing me you also know that I have a ‘thing’ about hands, I love well kept, polished, groomed hands. It speaks volumes to me. So since I wasn’t able to find a gel polish at Sally’s that didn’t require a UV light I decided to try these out instead. I was honestly a little skeptical because I have tried a couple different products that promise easy, clean french tips but sadly most did not deliver.

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For this product and like all nail products you want to start out with clean nails. Right now my nails are so short and I wasn’t sure how this would look but decided it was worth a shot. The process is relatively simple, someone took the instructions out of my box so I went on YouTube for a video of the directions. You file your nails and find the right sized nail tabby, blah blah blah, then apply a little of the supplied nail glue to the corners of the tips of your nails, and glue also to the strip of polish on the nail tabby. Once the glue is applied put the tabby in place. It looks almost like a tip for a fake acrylic nail, and then again it doesn’t. What the tabby is, is a housing unit for the strip of white polish.

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The instructions state to push the tab from the inside out to set it, do it about 2-3 times (I honestly did one and then moved to the next and once I placed that tabby I took the previous one off, I was worried that it would take longer to set) Once it sets you clip the tab off and file, apply a base coat and a top coat and voila! easy, fast, French mani

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This literally took me all of 10 minutes last night and I couldn’t be happier with the results. The box claims that it will last up to 7 days (we will see about that). This was a pure accidental find, but I am glad I did stumble across it. I do not always have time to sit and paint my nails but I really like the look of polished, groomed nails better. This is now my go-to for a quick french mani.

I bought the French wrap set at Sally’s for $16.50, (http://nailbliss.com/French-Wrap-Plus-Kit.html) the box contains enough nail tabs for 3 applications, as well as the nail glue, top and base coat, oh and a file to prep your nails and file off excess white polish.

The Journey of Film; the beginning

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Since the day that I packed up and moved out I still find the occasion treasure or surprise; a few weeks ago I came across these two rolls of film. Immediately I wanted to get them developed I seriously stopped everything that I was doing, threw on some clothes and headed to Sam’s Club to get them developed at the one hour photo. To my horror, Sam’s Club (as well as Target, Wal-Mart, CVS, etc) no longer develops film!!! When I asked the girl behind the counter at the photo center where I could go, she said  “I didn’t know anyone still used film, that’s so old school.” I was partially annoyed with her response but mostly didn’t give a shit if she thought it was “old school” what is wrong with using film?  What is wrong with film? Seriously. I do not understand why is it becoming obsolete. Because digital is better? but it is really? Is it really better that digital takes away all the raw elements that film gives us? Personally digital is not my thing, sure it is convenient for instant pictures and sharing but there is something about being able to have the negatives in your hand, raw and unaltered. I have this theory (don’t jump all over me) that people who have never developed their own roll of film cannot appreciate it as much as someone who has. There is a certain amount of love and dedication that goes into developing your first roll of film, that same passion translates into the images that are printed, ESPECIALLY when you can print them yourself. There is no place that I would rather be than in a darkroom. I haven’t been in a darkroom in ages and I miss it, the musty smell that hangs in the air, the cold darkness, something about it makes me really happy inside.

I am getting off topic… I love film. I love developing it. I love negatives. I love tangible evidence of my memories.

So after having my mind literally blown that no one develops film anymore I decided to get on trusty google (where would we be without google? That’s a topic for another day, surely) When I would drive down to Long Beach a couple times a week on 2nd street I always passed this shop: Fromex Photo & Digital. I initially was excited upon seeing it and thinking that of course downtown Belmont Shore would house this awesomeness but never ventured further into it until a few weeks ago. So after my google search I found out that Fromex offer film developing services, you mail in your film (with their FREE shipping label) and the corresponding paperwork and they get it develop it, print it, scan it to a CD, or what have you, charge your card, and mail it back.

AMAZING!

So these little babies will make the journey to Long Beach tomorrow and hopefully be back to me in a week’s time or so. I cannot wait to see the memories that have been locked away in these tiny canisters. I am beyond overjoyed that Fromex exists and that they are not letting film and film developing die.   I will make sure to share the images when they come back. My guess is that the images on those rolls are easily 6 years old. Hopefully time hasn’t stolen my memories.

until next time

r

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p.s. please check out all of the awesome things that Fromex has to offer :) www.Fromex.com

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