January 2015 in Photos

 

★ On January 1, I started The Red Tent.  I’ve had it on my bookshelf forever and it finally seems like the right time to read it.

★ Laced up my shoes and headed back to the gym

★ Started a year-long Bible study using the She Reads Truth app

★ Totally fell down the Serial rabbit hole – cannot stop listening!

★ I started a podcast!

★ I cannot get behind the new color of the year – Radiant Orchid forever!

★ Still loving the new-to-me apples

Share

March in Photos

March 2014 in Photos

March seemed like a bit of re-entry into real life after my trip.

★  #Selfie was played on what seemed like every radio station and I completely love it.  It makes me laugh every time I hear it.

★  I decided to go to the Dallas Quilt Show by myself this year.  I didn’t have any invites from the usual folks I go with, so I decided to go and had a great time.  I met up with a fellow blogger who’s recently moved back here and it was a treat to get to spend the day with her.  I completely fell in love with this quilt made from French linen.  So decadent!  I came home with the pattern and some of the fabric.  It seems like the perfect thing to commemorate my Paris trip.

★  It looks like Spring has come to North Texas – I love these “cotton ball” trees when they bloom.  I think they are actually Bradford Pear trees, but they look like cotton balls to me!

★  I’ve been really making some positive changes with regard to my eating since I got home.  Not only trying to eat healthier, but paying attention to eating food that is delicious.  The empanadas and tomato salad were delish!

★  Anne Rice announced a new book in the Vampire Chronicles set to be released in October, so I decided to go back to the beginning and reread Interview.

★  Britney’s Work Bitch has completely become my theme song.  Ready to get to work and get fit! And I even took a photo of my treadmill session to prove it!  Did lots of inclines that night.

★  Inspired by going to the quilt show, I got back to work on my Marcelle Medallion.  I’m choosing fabrics as I go and I’m loving the fact that you can tell how much I love bright saturated colors!

Share

January in Photos

January 2014 in Photos

January was mostly full of preparing for my Paris trip.  Eric gave me a gorgeous Kelly Moore camera bag (my first camera bag!) for Christmas.  I had a few shopping trips to pick up shoes, PJs, etc.  I even bought a gorgeous tangerine trench to wear!  I made sure to keep up with my cardio at the gym to prep for all that walking we’d be doing.  I even picked the perfect polish to wear.

I finished reading the last of the Stieg Larsson books (so good) and started a new to me series.

Eric made a fabulous King cake to enjoy for Epiphany.

I’m absolutely enamored with the Dracula tv series, and the sets are stunning.  I look forward to this show every week and it never disappoints.

Share

August in Photos

August in Photos

I always feel that my birthday and then Labor Day signal the end of summer – marking the change from longer days and saturated color to cooler weather and wardrobe layering.  Even though I’m sure we’ll have many more 100 degree days in front of us, my thoughts immediately turn to the new season.  And judging by the number of Pumpkin Spice Latte pics I’m seeing on Instagram, I’m not alone in this.

August is, of course, my birthday month and it brought with it a much-needed vacation from work and time to get together with friends.  I’m still enjoying breaking out some statement jewelry pieces, which has been great fun.  I was also treated to some new nail polish, new (much needed) perfume, and a blow out.  I even made it to the gym again.

I finished reading City of Glass and moved right into City of Fallen Angels – both so good.  I’ll have a review of this series up soon.  One of my birthday outings was getting together with a friend to see the Mortal Instruments movie on opening night.  So good.  So much love for Jace.  Go see it if you haven’t yet.  I’m looking forward to reading the fifth book.

I also spent an afternoon with another friend and we met for lunch at Bluebonnet Bakery, which was absolutely delicious.  I had their famous chicken salad sandwich and then we both topped off our lunch with a slice of Italian Cream Cake.  To. Die. For.  I haven’t had Italian Cream Cake that good since last April!

For my birthday, Eric bought me new perfume.  As I’d mentioned on this post, I was in dire need of some new perfume.  I ended up with D&G Light Blue for a lighter, summery scent and Thierry Mugler’s Alien Essence Absolue for my deeper fall/winter scent.  I love them both!  He also took me out to dinner at Ziziki’s, which I just can’t stay away from for my birthday dinner.  Everything there is absolutely delicious.  I had the first glass of wine I’ve had in awhile, I can’t go wrong with a Riesling and this one was fabulous!

We also hit a milestone with Ramses and Thutmose.  We decided that they were finally old enough that our Moroccan pouf would be safe to put out again.  It has been locked away almost since we bought it, so it’s nice to actually have it out in the living room again.  If we can get to a place where the other kitty-proof measures can be done away with I’ll finally be able to share our living room redo.

August was a good month, and I had a wonderful vacation and birthday.  Exciting things are on the horizon for my new year!

Share

Fall Bucket List

I’ve been remiss in reading blogs lately, but I was catching up a bit this weekend during my weekly manicure and stumbled across an idea for a post that I thought was fantastic (and timely).  I love the idea of a fall bucket list.  So here’s mine…

 

Get back to the Gym

Kitten-proof the Office

Take some Fall photos

Make Chili and Cornbread

Visit the State Fair

Have our Annual Photos taken

Buy new chairs and Enjoy the patio

What’s on your list?

Share

Ready for Something New

Maybe it’s the cooler weather, maybe it’s some weird form of seasonal nesting, maybe it’s just one too many mentions of something that struck a chord with me.  But I feel like I need to get a move on.  I want to get back to fitness and working out, get back on track.  I feel like the life derailment is over and it’s time to head out of the station.  I’m ready for new challenges, new goals, new expectations for myself.  I’m starting today, because there’s no better time like now.  And like everything, I’m just going to take it one day at a time and form new habits.  Habits that serve me better than the ones I’ve sunk into, habits that will allow and encourage me to be more, do more, live more.  I can’t make dreams happen if I don’t do my part to move towards them.

Am I the only one feeling this way?

I’ve reached out to my old walking buddies.  I’ve still got my gym bag packed, now to venture back to the gym.  I’ve got my bottle of water sitting next to me.  I can do this.

It’s more than just fitness and health, but that’s where it really all begins.  You’ve got to lay your foundation, in order to create your temple.

And I’ve started thinking about the rewards.  All those things that will inspire me and motivate me.  Training for a race like my friend Sherri.  Hiking Heleakala.  Wearing boots!  Taking classes from Rachel Brice.

 

Celebrating life.

It’s a powerful thing.

Because it really is so short – so it’s time to make it the best it can be.

 

So, today is the day that my life takes a new direction.

Share

Things I Love Thursday: Embracing Gratitude

Earlier this week I was having a little mental downtime and playing on Pinterest, when I came across a pin that led me to this blog.  I started reading through her posts, and as is most often the case in life, it was exactly what I needed at exactly the right moment.  Her weekly Things I Love Thursday posts are something I’ve been thinking about doing here, and this post of hers pushed me over the edge.  I’ve spent the last several months dealing with a lot of stuff that presented me with a lot of opportunity to sink into despair.  But, everything also presented me with so many opportunities to recognize the blessings in it.  I’ve been a huge proponent of expressing gratitude daily for a long time – so much so that I end every post on my other blog with a gratitude statement.  And I’ve been doing that since I started the blog.  I love that others have started doing this now too!  But, lately, it’s been hard for me to find the gratitude.  It’s been so easy to find the excuses, the poor me’s, and the why are you kicking me when I’m down mentality.  But, I know that it has to stop.  My life is so good, and I’m blessed beyond measure, and I need to recognize it with every breath.

So my promise to myself is that I’ll start embracing the gratitude here every week.

And to start TILT off with a bang, here are some things I’m loving today:

Thutmose and

Ramses

They are two little black kittens (16 weeks old now) that we adopted almost three weeks ago.  They are brothers from a litter of five and they are just the sweetest things.  They’ve brought a lot of joy into our home, and it’s been quite an adventure becoming a “new mom” again.

I’m also grateful for:

  • the funeral I attended on Saturday, where I saw how a life well-lived could be so impactful to those around you.  That living a life serving is so important.  Where you ask “how can I help you?”  Where you celebrate during scarcity and celebrate during abundance equally.  So many lessons to be learned here.
  • the inspiration I received being in the presence of women who live a healthy lifestyle and seeing what it looks like to eat mindfully and exercise joyfully
  • the opportunity to travel for work and run a high visibility meeting
  • getting some uninterrupted reading time on the plane
  • a co-worker breaking into Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” in the Wichita airport
  • a co-worker bringing me a book on Hieronymous Bosch leading to a little bonus art history conversation
  • a great blog post that reminded me to surround myself with beauty and things that I truly love (a perfect read on a Monday morning!)
  • Finally finally getting in touch with my doctor
  • a text from a friend with photos of her new garden outside her front door – knowing how much joy it will bring her
  • qualifying for my healthy lifestyle discount at work
  • signposts that when I’m paying attention show me I’m on the right path – literally and figuratively
  • the first day of Summer

It’s a big list!  Who knew?!

And finally one last thing I’m loving on Thursday…

Fried Green Tomatoes (image from here).  Eric made these Tuesday night with dinner and it’s the first time I’ve ever had them.  They are soooo good!  Yum!

Share

Tuesday Thoughts

 

  1. I am in dire need of a mani/pedi before my get together this weekend.
  2. I’m feeling the need to get back to the gym.
  3. I need to Feng Shui the shit out of my house – I think the energy in there is getting to me
  4. I’ve really missed blogging on this blog.  I’d like to do it more regularly.
  5. My mom and I want to go and see the Chihuly pieces on display at the Arboretum…I can’t wait!
  6. I have a whole host of things on my to-do list and it just keeps getting longer
  7. There are a lot of things I’ve been missing lately: yoga, church, fresh flowers, sunshine, reading, walking, photography, travel, writing.
  8. I think it’s time to make some changes and breathe some energy back into life.
  9. I want to learn Tai Chi
  10. I’ve run into two references to Kabbalah in the last week, which doesn’t seem like a coincidence.  Maybe I should check it out.
Share

June Goals

Somehow May has zipped right past and June is already upon us.  So, I thought I’d better recap how I did with my May goals and take a look at what I can cross off my list. 

May 2011 Goals:

1. Fitness/Eating/Health
Continue with Saturday 3m walks  yes
Yoga twice a week  yes – almost every week
– Start doing menu planning nope – need to work on this one
Attend WW meetings yes – religiously
– Schedule eye appointment still need to do this

2. Work
– Get back on track with weekly status reports and time tracking almost caught up
Complete training on my replacement basically done

3. Home, Us, Etc.
Schedule donation pick up done and picked up
Read book for book club done
Filing in office done
– Make hair appointment nope
– Finish closet organization not yet
– Continue cleaning out storage unit need to go back for round 2

I also got several things done like getting a new watch battery, signing up for a class, doing some organizing around the house, etc.  And, as I mentioned, I’ve been working on paying attention to my eating habits. 

So what’s on the agenda for June?

1. Fitness/Eating/Health
– Continue with Saturday 3m walks
– Yoga twice a week
– Gym at least once a week, twice would be preferable
– Start doing menu planning
– Attend WW meetings
– Schedule eye appointment

2. Work
– Get back on track with weekly status reports and time tracking

3. Home, Us, Etc.
– Clean up media room
– Read book for July book club
– Scanning papers on desk
– Make hair appointment
– Finish closet organization
– Continue cleaning out storage unit
– Organize photos in Lightroom

Share

Los Chupacabres – A Cautionary Tale

Several weeks ago one of the women I walk with on Saturdays suggested that we all sign up for a 10k. Up to this point I have only done 5ks, so this was going to be a stretch. She mentioned the 10k would be at night. I figured if I could do a 10k, doing one at night was no big deal. One Saturday morning, we stretched our walk to six miles instead of three, and did just fine. So, I signed up for this event which was being hailed as a “trail run”. To me, city girl that I am, “trail run” means sidewalk through a grassy park area. I was still not concerned.

The week before said “trail run”, we each received an email from the organizer of the event. I’ll share it with you and see if you have the same reaction I did…

“The trail- this is not a run for beginners. The trails are dark with many rocks and opportunities for falling, twisted ankles, scrapes, and bruises. We will use glow sticks to mark the course but paying attention is critical. This is much different than running on the road at night much less during the day. You will need a good quality headlamp and/or flashlight(s). If you plan to run fast be alert. It is very easy to run through a well marked turn at night running slowly much less running a sub 7 min mile. YOU MUST PAY ATTENTION OR YOU WILL RUN OFF COURSE.”

Huh.

Cue panic. WTF have I gotten myself into? But this, this was my saving grace…my “out”…

“There will be a 2 hr time limit for this event. Runners must hit the 3.1 mile water stop under 1 hr. Those who do not will be required to go back with the water stop crew. ”

Ok, whew. I can go back with the water crew if this whole thing goes south. I feel better. I have a plan.

So, the night of the race we all met up and headed over to the event location. Eric had made sure I brought a really good LED flashlight with me. We started off on the narrow path making good time. We determined that as long as we did a 19 minute mile walking, we were good. It was really dark, so dark even my flashlight only cast light about three feet in front of me at best. And we were in the WOODS. The trail was rocky, uneven, cratered, and full of tree roots. There were glow sticks marking the trail about every thirty feet or so. Our group basically kept together for the first three miles or so. We hit the first water station with no problems. The volunteers pointed us in the direction of where the trail picked up and we were on our way. About the time we hit the four mile marker, the trail got much worse. There were steep inclines, steep declines (and nothing to hold onto to help you down), riverbeds, and even in a couple of places some really low-hanging branches which were pretty dangerous, considering we were all looking at the ground in front of us – not straight ahead.

By the time we got to the next water station, I was about done for. The trail is really rough on your ankles and knees. It’s nothing like walking on a flat surface. I honestly don’t know how people ran this thing. I and the person behind me had somehow managed to fall behind our group, and so it was just the two of us coming out of the woods to greet the Marines manning the water station. Their response when they saw us? “Are you the last ones?” We answered that yes, we were pretty sure there was no one behind us. We felt sure they would tell us that we were over our time limit and had to go with them back to the start. But no. Instead they said “time to celebrate” and popped the top on the beers they had chilling in their cooler.

Seriously.

They didn’t even bother to point us in the direction of where the trail picked up. Just let us wander on. Two lost souls. In the woods. In the dark. Good times.

So, my buddy and I figured we only had maybe another mile and a half or so to go, so we’d just keep going. The farther we went though, the glow sticks became more and more sporadic. And judging by our pedometers – the mile between marker 4 and marker 5 was not, in fact, a mile. It was closer to a mile and a half. But, we soldiered on. Although being out in the woods alone with only one other person is pretty creepy. There were no sounds of other people at all. And have a mentioned that when I was little I used to have a recurring dream about being chased through the woods at night. If it had been snowing, I would have just curled up in the fetal position and cried. But, we kept going.

2430687040094499543IsPfAl_ph

We hit the final water station, and it was abandoned. No lanterns, no people, nothing. Just a table with some cups of water and Gatorade. We pushed on – determined that we didn’t have much farther to go. We walked and walked and walked and there was no sign of mile marker 6. And when you’re walking along and realize you haven’t seen a glow stick in a long while, you begin to wonder. Finally, we came out onto a gravel road. But, there were no glow sticks on the other side marking where the trail picked up. Nothing. We picked up what we thought was the trail, but really had no idea at this point. We could so easily have gotten turned around. And it became clear that no one associated with the event was sweeping the trail for stragglers.

Suddenly, my companion’s phone rang. It was one of the members of our group asking if we were still on the trail. We talked to her for a good ten minutes or so while we continued on hoping we would eventually see mile marker 6 and know that we were close. Finally, we decided we must have gotten turned around or taken a wrong turn somewhere and could be wandering around in these woods for hours. She said she’d send someone for us. So, when we next came out onto a road, we stayed there and waited. An ambulance finally came around the curve and picked us up. We asked how close we were to the finish and were told we weren’t far. But, let me tell you, it took some time to drive back to the finish, so I don’t think we were that close.

The ambulance let us out at the finish and the only people there were the guys handling the timing chips. Not the race organizers, not the rest of our group, nobody. But damn if those guys didn’t want their timing chips back. And let me say, our time? Two hours and forty minutes.

Seriously.

And I was never so glad to see civilization as I was that night. I was exhausted, it was near midnight, and the fear I think finally caught up with me. Because, honestly, that was scary! I’d told Eric I would call him when we finished, and I estimated it would be about 11pm (figuring two hours to finish). By the time I finally called him, he was pretty concerned – concerned enough he asked if I needed him to come get me.

And aside from the fact that the surroundings were pretty creepy, there was the all-too-real possibility of twisting an ankle, or falling and breaking something on the trail. And since the race organizers had packed up and left – with no concern for the participants at all (not to mention the Marines who were way more concerned with gettin’ their drink on) I felt like I was damn lucky to be in one piece.

So let me leave you, faithful readers, with the advice to not agree to trail runs, particularly those that are named Los Chupacabres. And don’t get lost in the woods near the witching hour.

2767270300094499543mfKpij_ph

2530553860094499543kQvSJb_ph

“All the stories of ghosts and goblins that he had heard in the afternoon now came crowding upon his recollection. The night grew darker and darker; the stars seemed to sink deeper in the sky, and driving clouds occasionally hid them from his sight. He had never felt so lonely and dismal. He was, moreover, approaching the very place where many of the scenes of the ghost stories had been laid.”

– The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Share