December 22, 2015

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away …

The Force Awakens

I’m sorry. I know. I keep apologizing for the same thing but it’s true. My lack of an appearance online is due to work. I’ve been stuck on 4am shifts (which are now 3am for the holidays) for two months now. And it’s been totally wiping me out. I’m sleeping an average of 36-40 hours a week. I work an average of about the same. I got behind on christmas gifts, decorating for christmas and pretty much life in general. I’ve barely been able to see my friends because I get up at 3am (now 2am) am at work by 4am, work til 1pm, get home by 2pm and try to stay awake until 7pm where I rinse and repeat.

My days off have not been consecutive so I can’t catch up on sleep. Heck, I haven’t even seen my boyfriend in 3 weeks. But, hey. I have a job. One that has been major stressful because of my boss. Who finally stepped down and is leaving the department this week. It’s been a long time coming. Hopefully afterwards, my stress can diminish. And when I say stress, I mean stress: my hair has been falling out faster than is normal, I have a stress rash on my legs and near my shoulders and I broke down last week because of a panic attack caused buy claustrophobia from the disaster that is my department. This is why I have been MIA. Oy. But let’s move on, shall we?

December Fun 1

In the last few weeks, I have managed to at least have SOME fun. I decided to take the plunge and became an Avon Representative! I haven’t had much time to do anything with it as of yet, but am planning a local Avon Party at my house after the holidays. I’e always liked Avon products and once upon a time, I actually was a representative for their sister company, mark. So I decided, why not take the plunge. If you’re interested in some Avon, whether to buy or just to pick my brain for honest reviews, let me know! I also offer discounts and free products ;) Adonis sure loves the boxes that they send me my products in. It’s a win-win all around.

My roommate Rachel and I also found some time to bake and decorate a cake for my friend Irene’s mother’s birthday! I made a chocolate stout cake with dark buttercream frosting ad we dusted it with edible gold dust. It was a ton of fun to make and I hope that it was as good as it looks! I will say, the remnants of the pieces we cut off to frost it, were freaking delicious and I need to make another cake asap. For myself! Yum.

I enjoyed celebrating Hanukkah this year and introducing my roommate to the holiday. We also checked out a few thrift shops around town where I managed to pick up a tree skirt, a jolly Father Christmas figurine, an angel for our tree and the jackpot, ornaments exactly like the ones I grew up with. And I got them all for less than $8. The ornaments were the best find. After my mom passed, I was evicted from the house (I had moved back in after my ex and I had split up and also because she was sick – long story) and one of the things I left behind, was the box of all our Christmas ornaments. These slightly tacky and ugly ornaments were the highlight of every Christmas season for me. They were the first things I’d add to the tree. So finding them, after all these years, felt like a special kind of fate. I haven’t felt the Christmas spirit since Mom passed. It’s hard when your only parent passes and your brother decides you’re to blame. Haven’t had either in my life for almost 8 years now. But this, this helped a bit. Time to start my own traditions with these little gems.

December Fun 2

Rachel and I also managed to find some time this weekend to create individual ornaments for our co-workers. We thought it would be a fun little different gift. None of us have ever done ornaments for each other at work, plus it was a blast trying to figure out how to make them all different.

But the highlight of this December, for me at least, and let’s be honest, if you know me even a tiny bit you already know the answer to this — STAR WARS! Yup. Rachel and I had tickets for The Force Awakens, at 7pm on Thursday night. And boy, was it packed. 300 of us in the theater at one time. There were costumes, and silly pictures being taken, and tons of Chewbacca impersonations going on. I didn’t dress up, but I was crazy Star wars blinged out. Had on my vintage Star Wars t-shirt, my Darth Vader earrings and socks, my Star Wars Cover Girl lipstick, Imperial dogtag and my TIE Fighter necklace, not to mention, the best part of all, the Darth Vader purse that Rachel had gotten me for my birthday!

I was ridiculously excited all day, I started the day off by making Death Star waffle for Rachel and I, courtesy of the waffle iron that C bought me as a late birthday gift. We passed the day by running errands and picking up last minute Christmas gifts. I even had a Darth Vader key made for myself, since we’ve decided to renew our lease when it comes time in May. Finally, it was Star Wars time! I was nervous, anxious and happy all at one time. I was worried that my hopes were too high. But I was very happy with the way the movie turned out. It was a lot funnier than I thought it would be, and there was still the typical Star Wars darkness that is in every movie. The general feel was very much like the original series. There was CGI but on a very small scale, pretty much only where it needed to be, unlike the prequels. You could tell the focus was on the story itself and on the character relationships. I absolutely love Rey and have my own theories about her. My main follows that JJ Abrams is lying about her origins – which he’s done in past movies. I totally called three different plot points – but don’t worry, I won’t say each ones. If you’re curious, I’m always up for a discussion if you comment! And don’t get me started on Kylo Ren. He may be, as one friend put it, “a whiny man-child” but I love him, temper and all. Mainly because, just as with Darth Vader, I get him. I understand his issues. I also love BB-8, more than I ever loved r2-d2. I think BB-8 is freaking adorable, so I couldn’t pass up the chance to buy a BB-8 straw. The movie is not perfect, but then no movie really is. You don’t get all the answers. But then, there are still two more movies to go.

I probably won’t get another chance to post until Christmas, so I’m taking my chance now to wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas, a Happy Yule and a wonderful New Year!

How’s your December going? Did you see Star Wars? I’d love to hear all about you month, your thoughts on the movie and what you’re doing for Christmas! Please do not leave any spoilers in the comments as this is a spoiler-free zone. Merry Christmas!

July 2, 2015

A Trip To Goody Cottage and Pizza Wins All

Goody Cottage Nothing is better than a cupcake.

My lucky streak has continued. I don’t expect it to keep going but last Wednesday I won another contest on Facebook and my prize was a 3 pack of cupcakes from a local bakery called Goody Cottage! I didn’t even know the bakery existed until then and I’m so glad that I won because the cupcakes are absolutely amazing.

I’m a baker. I don’t have a store at all, but I’ve been baking for as long as I can remember and I went to culinary school. Because I can bake, I’m hard to please. I’ve been to two other local cupcake bakeries and was sorely disappointed. But not with Goody Cottage. I have a tendency to judge all bakeries on their chocolate cake so I chose the Oreo Cookies and Cream. I’m not actually a fan of chocolate cake. It’s almost always too dry and crumbly. But this one? Perfection. It wasn’t dense, wasn’t crumbly, was super soft and melted in my mouth. My roommate Rachel chose the Strawberry cupcake and devoured it. I cannot wait to go back and get more cupcakes. Aside from that, look how cute the store is! On the off chance that you are in the Bremerton, Washington area, head on over and say hi to Trisha, the lovely owner of Goody Cottage.

Hot, sweaty, blurry faces on the trail. THAT. View.

A day later, I finished work at 8am and went and saw my boyfriend. With our weird and disjointed schedules, it’s hard to find time to see each other. Since last weekend was out of the question we chose last Thursday to spend the day together since we were both off around the same time. We went back to his place and I watched him (and helped) fiddle with the air conditioner and curled up watching some vintage South Park before we woke up his sister and headed out to get some pizza together. Not only did I find a great boyfriend, but I absolutely adore his sister and for the last few weeks we’ve been enjoying brunches together, all of us taking a part in making something. It feels good. Like I have a family again. Which is rare for me. One of the things I miss the most is a family. But I digress.

We enjoyed some great pizza at Seabeck pizza, took a walk along the marina and soaked up the sunshine while telling jokes and trading stories. After our huge lunch, his sister suggested we head out for a walk so we headed for one of the local trails that she knew well. She desperately wanted us to see the view and she did not disappoint. As you can see from the picture above, I live in a gorgeous part of Washington and I can’t imagine living anywhere else. Not now. We posed for picture together (the first of all three of us together) and joked about our horribly sweaty, blurry and hot faces and made jokes about my shoes. Since I wasn’t expecting an excursion into the woods and since I pretty much live in sandals when not working, I was wearing flip-flops. So I have now earned the nickname of “Sandal Commander” which makes me crack up every time I hear it.

On the drive back to his house, C started talking about his love for pizza and I jokingly asked my boyfriend a simple, rhetorical question: “If I was carrying a pizza and started to fall down a hill, which one would you save? The pizza? Or me?” His sister and I laughed heartily while C pondered the question. He answered that of course he would save me. But he hesitated and even after said he’d be sad about the fallen pizza. It’s official. In a contest between affection and cheesy goodness, pizza wins. It’s a good thing I have a sense of humor ;)

May 5, 2014

23 Ways To Make Someone Smile

I’m a huge believer in celebrating the small things in ones own life. But a small act of kindness that happened to me the other day, made me think about how one small act from a stranger can change your entire day. Now, that wasn’t the first time I’d had that thought, and I do what I can to try and pass that kindness forward. But I’m now actively trying to make sure that I do at least one act of kindness a day to help someone else out. In a world full of negativity and unhappiness, it’s one thing that I have full control over. So I sat down and created a small list of things that I could do to help me with my goal. This is by no means a complete list and I would love to hear from you if you have any ideas to add to it! :)

23 Ways To Make Someone Smile

01) Leave post-it notes with positive messages and quotes for others to find. (I’ve been slipping them into my library books when I return them!)

02) Have some extra change? Drop some into an expired (or about to expire) parking meter.

03) Compliment someone on anything. Are they wearing nail polish? Is their shirt a great color? Do they have pretty eyes or are they smiling? Takes two seconds.

04) Surprise someone with a spontaneous declaration of just how much you love/appreciate them.

05) Buying a quick coffee or breakfast sandwich? Surprise someone by paying for the person behind you as well.

06) Ask someone how they are/how their day is, and actually listen to the answer.

07) Hold the door open for someone.

08) Wave a random and friendly hello to people.

09) Call someone you haven’t talked to in awhile, just to say hello and to them you were thinking of them.

10) Send a handwritten note/card/letter to friends and family. makes a welcome change from the common everyday junk mail and bills AND the art of a written letter should NOT become a lost art.

11) Offer to run an errand for a busy friend or neighbor or offer to watch their kids while they run their errands.

12) Bake some cookies/loaf cakes/muffins and drop them off to a neighbor/friend/family member or even to your local police/fire departments.

13) Ask someone for their favorite recipe. Even if they say no, it’ll make them feel good that you like their recipe enough to ask.

14) Ask someone for their advice/opinion because you value their thoughts.

15) Leave a mix cd for someone to find. It’s fun, you get to be creative and who doesn’t like good music?!

16) Bring someone a flower/candle.

17) Make your significant other (or even your kids!) breakfast in bed. Spend the extra time cuddling/talking/planning. No phones/tablets allowed.

18) See someone frowning or just plain emotionless? Try a quick, silly (and clean) joke. Even a bad joke should at least get a smile for the effort.

19) Is someone in your life expecting a baby? Or is there a child learning how to read? Donate some clothes or books to help them out!

20) The next time you go out to eat, tell their manager what a great job your waiter/server did. And also write a quick “thank you for the great service” on the receipt.

21) Ask someone who is struggling with overloaded bags, if you can lend a hand.

22) Share your lunch/snack with someone who doesn’t have one that day. Aside from being nice, it could even be the start of a new friendship.

23) Just SMILE.

So what random act of kindness made my day? Well, a few days ago I was attempting to catch my bus home after a long day at work and was still on the opposite side of the street, waiting for the light to turn. The bus driver did something I’ve never seen a driver do before: he took his time and waited for me. This may not seem like anything major. But if he had just left to keep to his time schedule, I would have had to wait over an hour for the next bus or would have had to walk two miles. I don’t mind walking, but after having already walked two hours that morning and having worked a 9 hour shift, constantly on my feet from 4am to 1pm, I would not have relished that walk home. I was so grateful to him.