Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Recap Link Up

A little 2013 recap! :)  Cheers to 2014!

2013yearinreview.jpg


What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?

I traveled to South East Asia.  Lived alone.

Did you keep your new years’ resolutions?
Will you make more for next year?

I didn’t write down any resolutions, so I can’t remember.  I will make some for this year...put on lotion everyday and journal/write more.  Intentionally be kinder.  Probably something related to clean eating.  But honestly, the only cleaner my eating can get is to cut out sugar, and I'm not ready to go there.

Did anyone close to you give birth?

Some sweet friends did, and still praying for other close friends to.

Did anyone close to you die?

Thankfully no.

What countries did you visit?

Bali, Korea (airport).

What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?

A hotter bod.  Even better budgeting skills.  BEACHTIME. 

What date from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory?

May 25.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Oi.  This is getting depressing.  I can’t remember anything, so…I don’t know…

What was your biggest failure?

Well, because I can’t remember anything this is now uplifting because I can’t remember any particular face plants.  Please don't feel you have to take it upon yourself to remind me of any.

Did you suffer illness or injury?

Wisdom teeth in January, shingles in May/June, runners knee in June, allergies ALL YEAR.  What the heck is up with the allergies?  I grew out of all my childhood ones decades ago and now BAM.  They are back.  I’m blaming shingles.

What was the best thing you bought?
I think I home-runned buying gifts for friends this year.


Whose behavior merited celebration?

I think Erika is amazing.  My pastors at church continually astound me.  My Athens moms, they are incredible.

Where did most of your money go?

Publix.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?

International travel. 

What song will always remind you of 2013?

The entire "Home" CD by Kim Walker and Skylar Smith.  Go download it now.  Your welcome.

Compared to this time last year, are you:

Happier or sadder?
  Happier
.
Thinner or fatter?
  Thinner, I think.
Richer or poorer?
  Financially better off, but I wouldn’t use the R word.
What do you wish you’d done more of?
 Blogged and journaled more—I can’t remember ANYTHING.
What do you wish you’d done less of?
  Gotten off of Facebook. 
How did you spend Christmas?
  With my love!
Did you fall in love in 2013?  
See above.
How many one-night stands?
  Zero and never.  
Who were your best friends?
  I have amazing friends for whom I’m very thankful.

What thing did you do that was meaningful to others?
 
This is why I need to blog.  I can’t remember anything.  I hope I was nice to others this year.  Gulp.

What were your favorite TV programs?

No cable, no favorite programs.  Well, I did watch a lot of Duck Dynasty.  And when I house sit I usually catch up on Say Yes to the Dress.  

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
 
Haha, thankfully no.

What was the best book you read in 2013?

I think I read some books this year…

What was your greatest musical discovery?

Avett Brothers.

What did you want and get?

A Le Creuset French oven.  She’s beautiful.  A food processor, and some lovely-lovely handbags.

What did you want but did NOT get?

Umm, financial self control says I didn’t get this dress.

What were your favorite films this year?
 
I wouldn't call it a favorite, but I actually did see movies this year.  I saw Crazy Stupid Love and aside from the questionable moral content, enjoyed it.  Gravity was intense.

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

28, and the recap is on the blog.  It was wonderful.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
 
Write things down so I could remember what happened.

What kept you sane?
 
The Lord, running, my support system, and coffee.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
  
Haha.  I don’t know.

What political issue stirred you the most?
 
Umm…

Who do you miss?
 
My friends who moved across the world.

Who are the best new persons you met this year?
 
If you know me in real life, this is obvious.  I also got some also new coworkers this year whom I particularly enjoy.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.
It is not my responsibility to fix anyone else.


Quote that sums up your year:
 
The insecure often fight for identity and mistake rights for responsibilities. The more secure we become, the easier it is to live out of our divine nature, the ultimate place of rest.  Bill Johnson

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Better late than never: Christmas Home Tour

Yesterday I put away all of the Christmas decorations and realized I never posted a "home tour."  Though, let's be honest, I haven't done a lot of posting recently.  Oops.  Carrying on!

The tree, "Harold."
Here's the tree, whom was named "Harold."  Harold (Hark!) is a two-foot or so rosemary tree who smelled delightful and didn't give me an allergic reaction.  He's wearing an LED battery powered strand of Martha Stewart Lights, and (count them) 2 ornaments--one I made a few years ago and a sugarplum fairy from childhood.  I LOVE rosemary trees--they smell amazing, don't cause me to get sick, and are incredibly easy to take care of.  And, post Christmas he has a future in some savory dishes.  Win and win.

My favorite--the "hearth"

My favorite part!  I loved the red and white lights in the mantle, and the red and gold theme.  #usingwhatIhad  While I put away everything already, the lights are staying in the fireplace, because well, they're happy.
 Sweet detail--I'm blessed to have received some really cool gifts from German Christmas markets from internationally traveling friends, and I love pulling out these unique items each year.

Christmas Card Station
 All Christmas cards got placed on the hutch.

Dining Room
 Featuring cute candles and my book tree I made.
 More red!

Not pictured:
Haha, it was as I was writing this post I realized what I forgot to take pictures of, which is unfortunate!  
  • The open window that frames the kitchen (so I can look out from the sink into the dining room) was lined with lighted greenery garland and two striped stocking at the corners.
  • The entertainment shelves were appropriately made festive with knicks and knacks (bowl of ornaments, ornaments on frames, etc.)
  • The staircase had lighted garland running up the banister
I'm not in the market for too many more Christmas decorations.  I would like to acquire a nativity scene (though I'm planning to just request and fund one from one of my friends who travel internationally, or go the willow tree route), and I want to find something for the mantle, but that about rounds it out.  I have more windows to put lights around but meh, if it happens great if not, oh well!

Today I am looking forward to completing a massive Goodwill trip, and getting home 100% back to put together.

Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year friends!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

What's been cooking...

I've been cooking a lot these days, and I've had some pretty good success as of late.

A few secret weapons…
Enamel Cast Iron Dutch Oven
I picked this up at yard sale for $10 (yeah), and it is a cooking GAME CHANGER.  If you have Kohl's cash/coupons/see it on sale, get one (or dream big and plan well for Le Creuset).  Everything I make in this thing comes out ridiculously good.

Kitchen aid stand mixer
Aside from the obvious baking I use it for, it shreds chicken like no other.  Put chicken in warm with the paddle attachment and yay!  Perfectly shredded chicken.

Better than Boullion
Confession--I use this in almost every soup that I make when getting the base going.  It is SO good, and not a nutritional train wreck.  I keep a chicken and a beef jar in my fridge at all times.  But don't buy it from Amazon.  It's about $4-$5 at Publix/Kroger.

Okay, the successes:
*And these are all iPhone pics, sorry about the quality.

Thanksgiving
Look at all the color on that plate!
I made a full Thanksgiving meal,and I'm proud of how it turned out.  I'm even more proud that I only used (TOTAL) a stick or so of butter.  I made a roasted turkey breast, sautĂ©ed green means and mushrooms, bread stuffing, sweet potato soufflĂ©, and homemade cranberries.  My favorites were the sweet potatoes and the cranberries, as evident by this leftover:

Cranberry stuffed french toast
I need more of this right now.
The cranberries, oh the cranberries.  They were SO SO good, and SO easy (fresh cranberries, OJ, apple juice, a little honey).   The day of after T-giving I did binner (breakfast for dinner) and made french toast with a cream cheese filling and of course the berries.

Gumbo

Cast ironmaking an appearance!  My roux wasn't perfect (I didn't want to use a lot of butter so it suffered), but man this stuff was good.  

Shrimp Boats

More summery than wintery, but oh well.  I diced up some shrimp, avocado and red onion, and made a homemade dressing (isn't shaking dressings in a mason jar so fun?  Only I get a kick out of that?  Okay.)

Chicken Pot Pie (CPP)

CPP has always intimidated me, but no more.  This was SO easy.  I boiled and shredded a chicken breast with salt, pepper, and oregano, then mixed the chicken with corn, peas, lima beans, and a can of reduced sodium/no fat cream of chicken soup, made up my own bisquick (if I was using the soup I had to do what I could to salvage the rest), bake at 400 and BAM.  Happy parties all around.

Christmas

Lunch Menu:  Jingle juice, spinach artichoke dip (easiest to make, tastiest to eat), shrimps, and sugar cookies.


Dinner Menu:  Honey baked ham, crescent rolls, homemade mac-n-cheese, homemade mashed potatoes, green beans, and peas.  Mint brownies for dessert.

I'm not the biggest mashed potato fan, but I am the biggest mac-n-cheese fan (see portion on my plate in comparison to portion of mashed potatoes).  Since I made, you know, family sized portions for two people (go figure!), I am going to freeze and use the excess potatoes in the future on a turkey shepherds pie, and the mac-n-cheese I'm going to mix with tuna and peas into a casserole.  The mint brownies will be gifted at work.

...and these menus are why I ran 8 miles on Christmas Day.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Excuse me, but where did I place my common sense?

Up until last weekend I would have considered myself to have a pretty good measure of common sense.  Considering though that I barely escaped last weekend with all my brain cells intact and a running car, that matter is now up for consideration.  

Exhibit A--Goof Off is Not for Goofs
I was throwing a Christmas party on Saturday night, hence I had a lot of external motivation to complete some home projects I had waiting around for me to wrap up.  One project was finishing transforming these huge frames I got from yard sales this summer.

Backstory--this summer I picked up 3 huge, UGLY frames with UGLY art on the inside for about $5 total.  A few weeks ago I spray painted the frames a glossy chocolate brown, and while doing such got some paint on the glass.

Razor blades were not getting the job done, so I had a can of Goof Off that I went into the guest room with, turned on the fan, and started working.

At the first blast of the product I noticed it had a really strong odor, but I glanced at the fine print on the back of the can, didn't see anything about fumes, and kept working.  A little while later J comes in, and the second the front door opens goes "woah!!!!!"  Apparently the fumes were REALLY bad.  He comes in to make sure I'm not dead, and takes the can from me when I say there were no fume notes on the can.


And I was right.  There were no fume notes on the can.  There was only ALL CAPS warnings on the front and exhaustive directions on setting up a cross breeze if you have to work inside (but if possible work OUTSIDE).  
Ooops…

Exhibit B--Not Riding on Air
Saturday morning, after detoxing from the Goof Off incident, I hop up to go exercise.  While I am driving to the gym I notice that my car is driving funny.  It drives funny all morning and I'm pretty sad about this.  J comes over and we're talking about our plans for the day and he goes, "well we have to drive together."  I respond with no, we don't," he goes "yes we do," and I again go "no we do not," and he goes "babe.  you have a flat tire."
Whomp.

Thankfully since these two incidents I have my A-game back (notwithstanding getting my rights and lefts confused and general trip-i-ness over painted lines).

Saturday, December 7, 2013

On turning 28.

28.  What a fun number.  I mean, don't get me wrong, 27 is awesome, divisible by 3 and 9 and all.  But 28?  That just sounds pretty.  And it's a number I turned recently.

I thought about posting a post like "28 thoughts on turning 28", but I really don't think I have 28 thoughts in my head most days.  Wait, that's a lie.  I do have 28 thoughts in my head.  There are usually just 28 thoughts I'm not interested in sharing, and 28 thoughts I can promise you don't want to read about.

Anyways, I disgres.  I do want to share about the actual day of turning 28.  It was fabulous.

It started with a run.  A very cold, 9+ mile run:
This run made me set the rule that if it's below 32, I won't run outside.
During this run, at around mile 4 I said to my running companion, "I just want to lie down and sleep" to which I was told was the first sign of hypothermia.  We ran faster after that incident.

Anyways, after I de-thawed, I wore my new birthday dress,
I tried on this dress at Lenox, thought about it for about a week, and ordered it.  And it's magical.  Thanks, Banana Republic.

Worked, and had a delicious and thoughtful broccoli-themed celebration,

before a fun dinner out.

In proper fashion, I "bracketed" this birthday out by celebrating for days afterwards with people incredibly important to me.
It's my birthday, and I can eat only the frosting if I want to.

Yay for 28!

Monday, November 4, 2013

What are you enjoying?

After my most recent unicorns and rainbows post, I thought it best to temper the salt with some sweet, and say some things that I'm really loving these days:

being warm
I hate being cold (why it didn't make it onto my annoy list because being cold goes far beyond that).
Note proximity to space heater and fingerless gloves.  Absolutely necessary.


cooking soup
Hello, cold weather.  One of the (few) perks of you being here is that it's soup season!  And I'm making soup every.  single.  week.  So far this year I have made chili, lasagna soup (*don't use broken up lasagna noodles.  Just use noodles.  WAY easier), chicken tortilla soup, and later this week on the schedule is white bean chicken chili.  And I can pretty much promise that if you get a dinner invitation to my house, soup is on the menu.

*Side note, someone saw me meal planning and they went, "oh that's cute!"  She is in her early 20's.  At what line does meal planning cross from "cute" to "budget necessity?"

baking
Another cold weather staple (side-note, how do I NOT gain 20+ pounds during this time of year, good grief) is that it is BAKING time!  Wee!  I've done cupcakes, brownies, Halloween bark, cakes and brownies for a friend, and I'm just warming up.

Starlight yellow cupcakes with butter-cream frosting and candy corns for an event at work.

Pioneer Woman's Halloween Bark.

cold weather runs
I do feel like a bit of a hypocrite here, but I can run for longer with less pain in the cold.  It's just getting going that is HARD.  My running companion is used to a few minutes of me groaning and full body shivering, but then I'm good.  I do have a gym membership, but it's so hard to be inside running 5+ miles when it looks like this outside--


daylight savings time
Long runs in the pitch black are terrifying.  Long runs half in pitch black, half in sunrise are winsome.  I love sunshine and I love early mornings, there I love me some DST.

early mornings
Y'all.  On days when I get up at 4:30/5, it is AMAZING how much I get done--I exercise.  I clean.  I organize.  I cook.  I make sersies.  I get to work on time.  Early mornings for the win!
*Do note that early mornings require me to begin winding down at 9 p.m.  Hipster right here, ladies and gentlemen.

What are some things you're really enjoying these days?

Thursday, October 31, 2013

What annoys you?

Hi friends.  It's been awhile.  I do have some things to note in this online scrapbook of mine, but instead I'll begin with this post I've had in draft mode for a couple months.  Be forewarned.  This post is not edifying.  Or practical.  And probably not even that fun.  I started writing it when I couldn't run because of a hurt knee, so I was pretty grumpy.  That being said, this post is nothing but a list of things (first world problems) that just get to me, and I freely acknowledge I just need to chill out.  Saying them out-loud is the first step to recovery, I believe.


"th" or any other letters after numbers.
If I see it in print on something I'm editing, out comes the red pen.  If I see it in something I can't fix, out comes the twitch.

Properly writing married couple's names
I've been told and taught that when writing out a married couple's name, you never split the man's first name from his last name.  So this, Wife-First-Name and Husband-First-Name Lame is correct.  Tom and Jane Smith, no.  Jane and Tom Smith, yes.  I don't know why this rule stuck like glue but it did.

Not parking in the lines
Especially when I can't park by my house when it's cold because you're taking up two spaces.  That's my favorite.

Not using turn signals while driving
Fellow drivers, I promise they're just not accessories on your car!
*Can you tell I've had a few too many (literal) near run-ins on my runs?

Speeding through parking lots
This.  kills.  me.  Yes, let's fly through an area that is full of pedestrians and people backing out of parking spaces in reverse with limited sight views.  Because speeding makes sense in those conditions. 


"It's my OCD."
No, you probably do not have this diagnosable, treat with medication and therapy, mental health condition.  You're just particular about something.  It's okay.  It bothers me more than I care to admit when people say, "I just have to do such-and-such, it's my OCD coming out!"  No, it is your standards and it's okay to have them.

Addressing or spelling my name any of these variations Diane/Dianna/Dyanna/Dana after I have emailed you, when I'm a customer of an establishment, or if you helped flipping NAME me.

Okay, so that's off my chest.  What are some things that get under your skin?
**If you do any of these and I actually know you in real life, I probably don't even notice.  I really notice these when tired/over-worked/stressed/hungry*hangry.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

midweek confessions | august 28

Linking up with
E myself and I
for Midweek Confessions:

 I have only fallen asleep in my bed one night out of about the past ten.  Why?  Because I've apparently developed narcolepsy.  As soon as I sit down in the evening I fall asleep with NO preamble.  No drifting off, no fighting sleep.  Or if I do have to fight, I give in pretty fast.  Most nights I wake up between 2-4 a.m.  Tonight was the best, since I fell asleep around 6:30 p.m. sitting sideways in a chair.

At church on Sunday I was taking notes during announcements and after one announcement about a meeting at 7:30 I turned to my friend and said, "do you think that was a.m. or p.m.?"  *It was definitely p.m.

I just went to upload pictures from my camera and came across 3 batches of photos people asked me to take that I had forgotten about.

Last week I made my pound of okra from the farmer's market roasted in the oven.  It was also the first (and last) time I ate about a pound of okra in one sitting.  It was amazing.  And I'm sad if I don't get to a farmers stand on Saturday to pick up some okra.

I received a number of butternut squash from work that I have had full intentions of roasting and freezing.  They have been on my counter for almost 3 weeks now.

Speaking of delayed goals, I'm still not done with the detail work of getting settled living alone.  I wish I could say it was for an exciting reason, but see confession #1, which is why my new clean bed shams and duvet covers are still sitting unstuffed on the partially made guest-room bed.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday Five.

**I'm not linking up anywhere, because I'm honestly too lazy to go find places/buttons/etc. to link with.  I do though, recommend Lauren Elizabeth's High Five for Friday.  It's fun.

1. I ran this morning with no pain.  It was slow.  It was flat.  But I was running!  Well, more like jogging, but let's not get caught up on the details. 

2. I have had something every single night for the past almost 3 weeks (church-work-guests-birthday celebrations-catch up time-etc.).  Loneliness is clearly not going to be an issue with living alone. 

3. My new face wash involves sulfur, and yesterday I did an apple cider vinegar treatment on my hair...I was not smelling so wonderful.

4. I'm getting a new planner at work and it is going to be fabulous.  It's personalized!  I just need to choose my cover now...

5. Last night I went to buy light bulbs and wreath bases.  Easy in, easy out. One would think.  This excursion ended with a text saying, "Wal-Mart failed me, and Target confused me."  Wal-Mart did not have the bases, so I knew I'd need to run to a craft store that closed at 9, and I had about 15 minutes.  I quickly went to where the light bulbs had been a while back and they were not there, so I ran out.  I got to the other store, grabbed my bases, and then went into Target.  Y'all.  Lighbulbs shouldn't cost $14.  Right??!!??  Right.  I'm all about good stewardship of our planet, but the stewarding of my bank account says "why would you pay $14 for a lighbulb for a lamp that may actually break before this bulb burns out?"  So 10 minutes and a dramatic sigh later, I find a marginally-overpriced version of what I need.  Sorta.  Till I get home and realize I could have gotten a higher wattage.  Oh well.

Light bulbs and lentils...I'm ending these on strong notes.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

photo-worthy, vs. note-worthy.

If a photo is worth 1,000 words, then this post is going to have the value of a couple hundred max, because I haven't taken photos in a while.  Which got me thinking, what do I deem in my life that is "photo-worthy?"  Time with friends, obvi (bonus points if they are from out of town).  Successful recipes and pretty craft projects.  Projects, overall.  Thought out outfits.  Mishaps.  But the day-to-day?  That's a bit tougher for me.  I deem most things more note-worthy than photo-worthy.  It's hardly photo-worthy that I organized the stew out of my office and finally got a grasp on my workload after a week of crazy-pace.  Or that I handled a major work project, complete with spreadsheets and tags?  Thrills my heart, but again, boring on film.  Getting a school group launched?  Exciting, but no real snapshots. Living alone and running a home for the first time solo--well, I may still blog about that (complete with PHOTOS of the new layout) but still, currently not a lot of picture fodder.

The noteworthy today and this week--

  • I'm about to have my first run in a week.  I got hit with a case of runners knee last week.  Not.  Cool.  Want to talk about an irritable Diana?  
  • Guests are in from Scotland!  (BTW, I need a plane ticket there.  Know of any tickets lying around on the ground I can pick up?  Or just the airfare?)
  • My work load will be reduced as of September 1.
  • I actually picked up the acne prescriptions from my over-zealous dermatologist and they're working! (Fancy that, trusting a man with a medical degree.  I kid.  He's great; let me know if you need a dermo in Athens.)  But the face cleaner is made with SULFER, which means that I smell like rotten eggs for a few minutes each morning and evening.
  • I made lentils this week.  I forgot how much I 1.) love making them and 2.) love eating them.
Did I really just end a post about lentils?  Oi.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

This Weekend

During the summer I normally run before 8 a.m., or at the latest get started on a weekend run by 9 a.m. This morning I got distracted around the house and didn't get going until 10.  Oh.  my.  gosh.  I checked the weather when I got done sweating to near-death (obvi not death because I'm here typing this) but it was 82 with 75% humidity, and "felt like" 88.  No kidding.  I think it "felt like" 100, but whatever.  What killed me though is that as I got back to my car (looking like I had gone SWIMMING) this girl runs past me and into the gym without even a sweat.  What the what?

Yesterday I tried to cross-train at the Botanicals.  Between while tripping over a root and having a man shush me as I rounded the corner because I disrupted his filming of a bug "dropping her larve" (yes, disgusting reading that as hearing it yesterday), the mud pits, mosquitoes the size of quarters, the freshmen boys who didn't understand that as they are walking side-by-side 4-across on a path that it wouldn't hurt to give a bit and not run me off to the side, and the rain, I was done.  I'll look forward to going back in a few months when bugs are dead and the mud is dry.

That's all I got this weekend.  No fashion posts because honestly, runs cut into getting ready time and they've had priority M-F.  I have done a ton of work around home, but nothing is picture ready yet.  All weekend I've been busy getting paperwork ready for a group I volunteer with, but that's hardly photo-worthy.  I haven't cooked anything this weekend more complex than a block of frozen spinach with some cheese.

Yay for weekends!  Seriously.  But yay for fun work weeks too!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

summer mode.

I was talking with a friend a few weeks ago about running in the rain and I was advised against it.  I have a lot of hair, the roads get slick, etc.  I heeded this advice, and was prepped to stay away from running in the rain.

On Wednesday I head out for my mid-week long-ish run.  The air is heavy, but the weather app just says that it's foggy, NBD.  I take off and get going.  Two miles in and WOOSH.  Down.  pour.  I was at the point where I was the furtherest away from my car, and I assumed that it'd blow over.  It didn't.  I made great time on my miles because I was so flipping miserable!  The rain mixed with sweat to completely blind me.  My too big running clothes were not staying on.  The worthless lifeproof iPhone case was separating, making me worried I was about to drown my phone.  I felt like I had an additional 10 pounds on my head (sodden hair).  The roads were slick.  Cars were threatening to waterfall me.  Whine, whine whine.  I get back to my car, and it stops.  Running is my favorite stress reliever, but I'm pretty sure I had anti-endorphins in my bloodstream I was so grumpy.

Running is going well.  I keep hearing that if you want to drop a ton of weight fast, run marathons.  I'm trying to couple that desire with not wanting to kill my knees, and up my mileage gradually.  Patience has not been my friend in this regard.

I'm house sitting all over the place right now (yeah!), and my favorite part of this is that I get to run in some awesome neighborhoods.  Awesomeas in great new scenery to run alongside (and not having to drive somwhere to run), and awesome as in killer new territory.  If a neighborhood has "hills" in the name, this should indicate that you will probably want to die at some point during your run.  I know I sure did.

I'm in full-on summer mode now that the magic of June is over.  Summer for me has been meaning--
  • Waist bands are negotiable. I cannot remember the last time I wore trousers other than leggings to run in.
  • Summer dresses are always appropriate.
  • Skirts are now high-maintenance.  They haven't really been on the rotation because of the amount of thought it takes to pair them with a blouse. 
  • There is a difference between "fancy" flip-flops vs. "around the house" flip-flops.  The first is worn far more often than cute sandals, espadrilles, or even chacos.
  • Home time is rare.  I house-sit a ton (yeah!) and accordingly, I'm rarely home.
  • Cooking is optional.  I can't remember the last time I made a meal that was more complex than eggs.  I baked blueberry bars this week and I think my flour box may have had dust on it for lack of use.
  • My hair is on vacation, even if I'm not...I have stopped blow-drying my hair M-F.
  • Sharpening the mind--I'm (finally) reading a ton.  
  • Overpriced gym visits.  I figured out my sporadic gym visits are costing me about $10 each because I'm going so infrequently (I'm running outside instead).
 So basically summer Diana is a lazy cook wearing dresses.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

verbal heave

 Let's just call this a verbal heave.  Not verbal vomit, which would imply there being some substance here, but instead a heave.  Not too much substance, but that's all I've got right now.

Last week was my busiest time of the year at work.  I survived (obvi), had awesome help & support, it was a great event, and now I'm done with it for 10 more months.  Most everything else I do professionally was pushed to the back burner, so I spent this week getting my office back to order.
This is my file organizer.   Each of the "areas" I support gets a box, for the most part.
I support seven people directly, and a tower that high would probably fall and crush me.

Every year I have to bring in an 8-foot table to accommodate all the extra stuff.
It's thrilling on the day after the project ends to spring clean away all that stuff.  #ilovetopurge

I've picked up a delightful phrase from a co-worker, "I've got nothin."  She, an English major, knows that it is not proper English.  I know that it's not a grammatically correct statement.  But that doesn't mean that I don't love it and use it frequently!  Fun around the office, but I'm scared that friends and people not associated with work think that I'm an idiot.

Because of working a TON of over time I had a half-day off on Tuesday.  What did I do with my big afternoon off?  Organize my blogs, Pinterest boards, and draft emails.  But this week wasn't a total wash.  The school group I'm starting had an open house on Tuesday, and Thursday I went to Terrapin with the girls.  Speaking of delicious, a certain delicious food group is no longer part of my diet for the foreseeable future--fried food.  Ever since Bali having ANY fried food has resulted in highly uncomfortable stomach problems and cramps that double me over.  What's next, an aversion to ice dream?  Oh wait, that's happened too.  I just don't know who I'm becoming.

Bestie and I keep sending each other pictures in the morning of our outfits each day:
Last week.
Now, don't be concerned "she's wearing a lot of color, is she sick?"  Last week at work I had to wear certain colors each day (well in the morning I had to wear a turquoise t-shirt over my top then I changed in the afternoon).  Well, I didn't HAVE to wear a certain color each day.  But it's more fun to be a team player.  And you know who has only three red things in her closet--this girl.  And who's okay only having 3 red things in her closet--this girl.

This week.
Back to normal--white, gray, blue, black, and stripes.
*The sunglasses picture was because I had to replace my prescription ones that the river ate while kayaking last weekend.  
**And I was actually wearing capris that day because I had to do so much moving and cleaning in my office.  Aside from running shorts, that's the only time I've worn shorts/pants in weeks.  Yeah!

Off to run!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

on hostessing with the mostessing.

The title of this just sounded fun.  Making sense is optional.

One of my favorite things about blogging are finding good, practical things.  Since I like to over-share things that I do which are successful, here are a few wins I've encountered in the hostessing arena:

  • BAKE the bacon.
Y'all.  I've heard about baking your bacon in the oven but I always thought it wouldn't be as good, as tasty, etc.  Well, I baked bacon for the first time and it was INCREDIBLE.  (Don't think that baking it makes it healthy.  It's bacon, folks.  Grease is still there.)  Baking bacon resulted in flat, crispy pieces of bacon and the easiest clean-up ever.

To bake, cover your lipped-cookie sheet well with foil, put on the bacon, bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes (I flipped them over at minute 15 for giggles), take it out and put it on paper towels, and serve.  A while later after the grease has cooled, roll up the foil and toss it, then put away your clean cookie sheet.

  • DIY pita chips
Whenever I serve hummus or a spread I always "make" my "own" pita chips instead of buying a bag.  I buy whole pitas (whole-wheat), cut them in half then triangles/shapes, put on a LIGHT coat of olive oil (I drizzle my {clean} hands with a little olive oil then rub them over the pitas), sprinkle on some kosher salt, and place the pita pieces on a lined cookie sheet and bake at 400 for 5-10 minutes.

  • Citrus in water
In water pitchers, some sliced citrus goes a long way on upping the pretty level.

Monday, June 10, 2013

fashion week summer edition wrap up.

so, I spent a LOT of time in front of the computer today.  I am at the point right now where my eyes keep un-focusing on the screen, so please let me know of any (glaring) typos.  Haha!

Fashion week wrapped up last week.  Fashion week was fun (obvi), but the whole shingles thing--too much professionally going on--exhaustion--hard runs took it out of me.  I tried, but I'm going to set the bar a bit higher for myself next time.  I feel like today I was already back in the game.  Oh well.

thursday
office wear with the cardigan:
and without.
Dress:  Gap (A few years ago) | Cardigan:  Gap (even longer ago) | Shoes:  From a company that starts with a "C" and rhymes with "bark"

This is one of my favorite dresses in my closet.  It's not particularly flattering, but it's so flowy!  It's seersucker!  And it has pockets!  I wasn't able to wear it comfortably for a long time because I wouldn't wear it without a camisole, which made it bulky, it'd roll-up (the cami), blah blah blah.  I've since discovered (and now own) a bandeau top.  If you don't know what it is, it's basically just an stretchy tube top that covers your bra and cleavage so you can wear low cut things modestly.  I love mine.  Modesty FTW.

friday

Skirt:  Banana Republic (clearance rack years ago) | Cardigan:  BR Outlet | Tank:  Old Navy | Shoes:  from where else?

Speaking of favorites, this is one of my favorite skirts in my closet.  Eyelet (I'm harping a lot of eyelet and seersucker....my southern side is coming out), good length, high waist...happy-happy-happy.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

fashion week, summer edition, part one

When you work with fun people, fun things happen.  Like fashion week.  Erika and I seasonally dress up particularly cute for a week, take photos of each other, and then blog about it.  Fun, right?  RIGHT!   Added elements of hilarity are when we're 1.) caught by our co-workers, 2.) attacked by birds, 3.) realize that twirling is not the most appropriate thing for ladies of our age.

Regardless, here's summer fashion week!  I like summer fashion week more than winter fashion week because if you haven't been able to tell yet, I.  love.  dresses.  And cardigans.  And not wearing pants.  The summer wardrobe > than my winter wardrobe.  This fashion week is a welcome distraction in the mornings during an incredibly busy work season.  So while I'm loosing some hair this week, I'm at least looking good.  I hope.

monday



I don't wear color.  Well, I used to not wear color.  I was at Gap a few weeks ago and came across this yellow dress with pockets and fell in love.  HARD.  But y'all, it's YELLOW.  Like, "lookatme, lookatme, lookatme YELLOW."  When I was getting ready to wear this I was going to pair it with a navy blue cardigan and bubble necklace, but it was just too much, so I toned it down with the oatmeal and brown pieces.  Baby steps...baby steps.

Outfit:  Dress, Cardigan & Belt--Gap | Necklace--Made by my grandfather | Shoes--Clarkes

So one of the reasons I fell for this dress was because it twirls.  
Not that I should be twirling.

tuesday

I don't like wearing pants, but I knew that I'd have to be on the ground a lot Tuesday, so hence the (baggy) capris.  And have you noticed featured prominently in all these photos is my friend shingles?  Oh, if you get in a bind/drop something important it's fun to say "oh shingles."  Maybe it's only fun to say if you have them.  

Outfit:  Cardigan/Cami/Pants--Loft (A side effect of having a fried brain right now is being unable to mix up the brands, apparently.  Oh well).  |  Necklace--Sam Moon | Shoes--Clarkes

wednesday

I also paired this outfit with a lavender cardigan. I know, SOMUCHCOLOR.

Outfit:  Shirt--Gap ($2.45, holla!) | Skirt--J.Crew Factory | Shoes--Clarkes (where else?) | Scarf--present from Italy | Necklace--present from Katie

Monday, June 3, 2013

my make-up routine.

I don't know about you, but I LOVE reading about what products other people use.  One, I'm nosy, but I know I'm way more inclined to use something if I have friends who have used it (imitation is the best form of flattery), and I like getting ideas from them.  So here's how I currently am taking care of my face:

clean-up & moisturize & prep

I usually troll make-up blogs or the isle at Target to see what to get/is on sale when needing a face wash.  I've discovered the face wash above recently and am liking it a lot, but I think I need something more exfoliating.  (Well, I say that, but I have super-sensitive skin to random things and the last exfoliator made me get a rash and then breakout.  Fun!)  I am a huge fan of the Neutrogena moisturizer--solid SPF (I wore it in Nassau last year as my sunscreen and it worked really well) and it is supposed to help with wrinkles.  I haven't noticed mine getting worse or better, so I'm going to keep on keeping with it.  I was sold on the primer at Sephora, and think that it does keep my makeup on far better with, than without.

makeup
I'm in with both feet in the Bare Minerals camp.  And seriously, be good at washing your brushes in you're in the Bare Minerals group.  It feels night and day different to use clean brushes as opposed to ones that haven't been washed in a couple months while.

eyes
Totally sold on the Naked palette.  I've used the same eyeliner for years, and have consistently heard that the mascara you use doesn't make a huge difference.  This was on sale at Target a few months back  in a double pack and I like it a lot.  What I do find makes a huge difference with mascara is the use of the eyelash curler. I felt obnoxious the first time I used mine.

lips
This is what I don't do great on.  I'm usually running out the door and forget to put on lipstick, am not consistent, et cetera.  However, this lip balm is perfect--subtle color and I can put it on in a hurry without looking like a clown.  For heavier products I've always been a fan of Clinique lip colors.  They last well, and I don't seem to have a lot of trouble finding a natural looking one for my skin tone.

So that's what currently goes on my face!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

I'm not drowning.

I'm not drowning, contrary to what I may be feeling.  Last week I walked out of my office and said to a friend, "it just ticks me off that I can't do everything!"  But I wasn't stressed.  Or so I was thinking as I was coming down with shingles.  I'm going to gloss over the seeming connection there (and appreciate you doing the same), but seriously.  I do not feel stressed.  I'm almost stressed at how unstressed I'm feeling.  I mean...

  • I'm asking for help all the time at work (and dying to myself by the moment).  
  • I'm looking forward with excitement at coming professional (new boss people) and personal changes.  
  • I'm having a ball with clothes recently (summer wardrobe > winter wardrobe).  
  • Heck, I'm even budgeting well!  
But I still feel like I'm drowning most days.  Drowning, not stressing.  What exactly is the difference, and what gives?  I feel like when I'm stressing I'm being driven by anxiety.  My fuel is worry (which is SO ungodly), and rest is far from me.  But this drowning feeling?  I'm resting-exercising-HAPPY, but I feel like I am on a constant tight-rope.  A slack on one thing will lead to something falling which will start a lot of other things falling.  Hmm.  Shingles are beginning to make more sense...

The quote that I wrote in the top of my work planner this past week was "peace is the atmosphere of Heaven."  I believe that, and believe that I can and am fully experiencing that in the here and now--even at my busiest.  My default "feeling" may be that I feel like I am drowning, but I know that that is not my reality.  The peace of Heaven is surrounding me even now.  I'm calling down that reality to where I am here and now.  So, ha-ha drowning feeling.

Now, onto lighter topics.  Like clothes.  I didn't have a ton of time most mornings because of some great runs but here I am...

Observations:
  • Thank you Gap & Loft for being the main players this week.
  • Tuesday's black dress is going to the swap-pile party.  It's one of my favorites,  But it's obnoxiously too big.
  • I was pretty proud of pulling in stripes on the cardigan with stripes on my skirt.
  • I wore a LOT of pink this week.  Friday's shirt is a blush pink (my favorite shade).  When I saw some other gals at work also wearing pink I got excited and said, "oh we're all in pink!" but I was knocked down as not being pink.  Boo.  
  • The shingles on my neck kept me from wearing necklaces.  Whomp.  Thursday & Friday needed one.
Get excited!  Next week is Fashion Week : Summer Edition with Erika!

Friday, May 31, 2013

keeping it clean | the 5 minute sweep

I bet you thought I forgot about this series.  I did, but then I remembered again.  Twice.  I drafted this post about a week ago, then forgot about it.  I have a few more on the burner!


My favorite cleaning tip/trick is the 5-minute sweep.  For the most part I do it every night, and if not I take care of it first thing in the morning.  The sweep is married to my favorite cleaning principle, "a place for everything, and everything in its place."  It is exactly what the name entails--an intentional 5 minute blitz of putting away anything that isn't in it's home.  Clothes get hung up, shoes put away, dishes to the drying rack, etc.  I rarely pull out cleaning products, it's just a run through of my space.

Speaking of putting things away, do you have any specialized spaces for stuff?  Some of my favorites are:
  • Keeping a stash of bandaids (well for me, paper tape and gauze) in my knife/sharp things drawer in the kitchen.  When I cut myself at home, it's usually in the kitchen and I consider it genius having those things at hand.
  • Having a set of cleaning products in the room they clean.
  • Zoned-places.  For instance, anything sharp in my kitchen lives in the "sharp drawer."  All adhesives (glues, mod-podge, different kinds of tape) in the house are in one place together (except paper tape).  Magazines stay together, games stay together.  Everything in its place.  :)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

oh shi-NGLES.

On Monday night I was at a family BBQ, and felt something weird on my neck.  I asked someone to look at it--it wasn't itchy, it just felt weird.  Friends had a look, didn't know what it was, so I carried on.  Tuesday, it still there.  Wednesday, still there, with another outbreak on my chest and some swollen lymph nodes.  The lymph nodes had me calling the doctor.  I explained my symptoms (non-itchy red rash and swollen lymph nodes), and was expecting to get a called-in prescription for a cream that I could get and go on with.  Instead, I got a call back for an appointment the next morning (today).

I went into the appointment anticipating hearing something lame like "heat rash."  What I wasn't anticipating--SHINGLES.  He had to tell me twice because I didn't follow the first time.

So, here I am.  27 with shingles.

In case you're curious:

  • I am way, way more tired than usual in the afternoons.
  • I've had an on-again/off-again fever for a couple days.
  • Stomach cramps.
  • Headache that comes and goes.
  • Rash (obvi).
And if you're even more curious, the treatment is:
  • Horse pills (anti-virals)
  • Topical steroid cream
  • Cold compresses
I asked the obvious question, "what caused them?" and the response was, "are you under more stress?"  I don't think so, but maybe I should engage in more de-stressing activities like...
  • Iced coffee runs
  • List making
  • Crossing things off of said lists
  • Painting my nails red
  • Fashion blogging
  • A long run in the morning (Dr. Google said to exercise if it makes you less stressed, done & done).
  • Fun weekends
Good thing all of those are on the horizon!

Monday, May 27, 2013

best weekend | may 2013

Y'all.  This weekend could NOT have been better.  I mean one, any weekend that has 3 days already is set up to be a good one.

saturday
was just excellent.  I yard-sailed with a friend, did a good run, and had a really fun afternoon & evening.

sunday
rivaled Saturday on the fun-o-meter.  Great morning, followed by the sweet treat of seeing my favorite G's from Tennessee,

before hosting a Mary Kay party for my newest & favorite Mary Kay consultant, Rebekah (if you need MK, you should contact her.  She's wonderful!).  After the party Rebekah came back over and I made dinner and we played a game.

monday
I woke up 4-stinking-30. And again at 5.  And once more at 5:15.  And lastly at 6 before sleeping till 7ish.  Apparently as I was falling asleep on Saturday night I set every single running alarm I had, instead of just the one I needed for 6:30.  Anyways, I had some morning time, did a 7-mile run with the fabulous Endomondo app (you should get it!  It's free and fun!  Thanks Erika for the heads up!),

















 cleaned up around home, went to the pool (shade),

and went to an amazing cookout for dinner.  Now getting ready for the week (AKA, waiting for my laundry to dry.  Refrigerator oats are donesies) and off to bed, ready for a four day week!