Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Portland, Day 1

Whew. I made it. Hello, Portland, OR. You're very rainy.

My first impression of Portland was that it's probably really green and pretty when the sun is out. There are evergreen trees everywhere. This is in contrast to the concrete jungle of DC and LA (where I had my layover).

The hotel that I'm staying at is quite nice. The front desk lady told me that I got an upgrade. Huh? That was unexpected (I hope the hotel bill isn't a big shock). I have a nice big king bed (of which, I'll probably sleep on one side) and 2 TVs in my room. Are they expecting me to have a party in here? Ha ha. Anyway, I'm a huge fan of the Christmas tree that they put downstairs. The hotel is also pet-friendly so there are lots of dogs roaming around. I want to go pet all of them. The lobby also have activities for kids like an easel with paints and a Wii. I'd go play with the Wii but I think it'd be weird to play by myself in front of random people.

This time difference thing is like whoa. My body is still on East Coast time, and I feel ready for bed, but it's really only 6 something. Tomorrow should be interesting.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Back to the Grind

Oh man. I was definitely spoiled with being able to sleep in for the past few days. Waking up to an alarm was, well, alarming. I spent most of the evening chatting with my cousin who's visiting from out of town and packing for my next business trip (this time to Portland, Oregon). I even managed to squeeze in a workout DVD too. Go me.

Between now and Sunday night, I have 1 business trip, 1 red eye flight, and 2 back-to-back craft shows. My goal is to make it through all that without crying from exhaustion.

ithinkicanithinkicanithinkicanithinkican.P.S. Kitty was getting crafty last night too. Merrr-ow. :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

CPS #195

I wonder if I'm going to regret drinking this large cup of hazelnut coffee later.

Oh well.

It's too freakin' good, especially paired with a slice of pumpkin chocolate chip pound cake. Pure awesomeness, really. I make 2 loaves of the cake and after splitting it up amongst my cousins, I was only left with half a loaf. I get to enjoy the food that I made without the daunting feeling of "Uh oh. I have to eat all of this?"

Today was "go Christmas shopping" day, but then it ended up being "go Christmas shopping + buy things for myself if they were on sale" day. I felt rather accomplished when I put some wrapped presents under the tree. Once the mailman comes this week, there will be more. Hooray!

I went for a short run (1.7 miles) this afternoon after shopping. Short because my left side was feeling strong, but the right side (foot especially) was cramping. Ever tried running feeling lopsided? Not advisable.

I watched The Proposal last night. It had shades of While You Were Sleeping, but it wasn't that good. Not even close. I was so disappointed. The ending just wasn't believable. Ryan Reynolds, you are cute, but sorry, eye candy can only go so far. Hmm, sounds similar to what happened when I watched Prince of Persia. Sigh.

Here's my attempt at CPS #195. I wanted to use this cute penguin stamp. I initially thought I would have to paper piece his hat and scarf, but with the help of a Sharpie and blender pen, I was able to just color him in. I was going for a tone on tone effect with the snowflakes, but some of them blend in so much with the light blue cardstock that you'd have to tilt the card to see them.
Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird, Prussian Blue, French Blue, Ice Blue
Paper: Recollections- Time Line Red
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper, Fiskars Upper Crest border punch
Stamps: Studio G (penguin, sentiment), Fiskars- Winter Wonderland (snowflakes)
Other: Red Sharpie Ultra Fine Point marker, Zebra Sarasa yellow pen
Foam adhesive: Thermoweb
Button: Favorite Findings in Ocean

Song on the day: "I See the Light"- Tangled Soundtrack. You hafta go see the movie. Hafta.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Fall-To Layout #118

Whew! Did anyone venture outside today to go to the shopping mall? I did, but not with the intention of going shopping. I did some shopping online instead, so I'll be really happy to see the mailman in these upcoming weeks. I went to the mall to go see Tangled in 3D with my sister. This was my first time seeing a 3D movie, and hey, guess what, it was pretty cool. I really enjoyed the movie, even teared up a little at the end. The animal sidekicks (Maximus the horse and Pascal the chameleon) were especially amusing. It's definitely a movie that I'd buy on DVD.

I'm glad that we left the house early to go to the movie (well, also because I had to go to the Post Office) because trying to find a parking space took some time. We were stalking people who were leaving the mall, hoping that they were going to their cars to leave instead of putting their bags in their cars and going back into the mall. My car made it in and out of the mall without a scratch. It WAS kinda tight in some spots.

After eating some Thanksgiving leftovers, two of my cousins, my sister, and I set up the Christmas tree. It's time to get FESTIVE! Now we just need presents under the tree, but Mr. Mailman will help me with that.

Here's my attempt at clean & simple's Fall-To Layout #118. I wanted to use this piece of cardstock that I covered with Distress Ink. It was intended for another card, but the colors were just too bright for what I needed so I decided to put it aside for another time. This was the time. My sister suggested the tropical theme considering the Distress Inks that I used, and when she dug through my paper stash, she found some paper that had a row of palm trees on it, so I cut that strip out. I wanted to use my tag die, but the largest one was almost the right size. I was determined to make it work so I just cut about a 1/2 inch off the bottom and used my corner rounder on it for a finished look.
Card Specs:
Embossing powder: Stampendous! in white
Embossing ink: VersaMark
Stamps: Studio G (sentiment)
Ink: Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Barn Door, Pumice, Wild Honey
Paper: Die Cuts With a View?
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper, Fiskars Scalloped Sentiment border punch
Flowers: Prima
Die: Sizzix- Tags, Scallop Combo #2 (tag)
Brad: Recollections- Silver Circles
White Gel Pen: Inkssentials
Foam adhesive: Thermoweb

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Hmm...what's that sound? ::strains ear to listen closer::

Gasp! Can it be??

Oh, yes. It's silence. That's what I woke up to this morning, instead of chatty kids at the bus stop across the street or my cell phone alarm. Ah, it's awesome.

After some breakfast and surfing the Net, I geared up for a run around the neighborhood. During the first few steps, I was thinking that this was going to be the fastest 1.7 mile lap around the neighborhood because it was a little nippy outside (40 degrees). After my legs got moving, it was starting to feel normal. My mp3 player ran out of juice at the end of the 1.7 miles, but my legs still had energy so I ended up going for 3.9 miles! Buh-BYE 400+ calories. :)

Last Friday, one of my co-workers asked me to make a birthday card for his wife that had her name on it. Yesterday, he called me up (even though he was working from home) to say how much his wife loved the card. I love spreading joy like that, one card at a time!

For those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope that you had a wonderful one with your family and loved ones. I went to my uncle's house for Thanksgiving. Many of my cousins were there. The meal was awesome, as usual. Turkey, veggies, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffed mushrooms (my contribution), and 3 kinds of pie (my sister's contribution). After dinner, we watched one of my favorite movies- The Blind Side. I will not be participating in the before the crack-of-dawn Black Friday festivities, but I might venture out tomorrow afternoon. I'm hoping to do most of my Christmas shopping through Etsy anyway. Hooray for handmade! Here are some foody pictures, a pic with my sister, and my dad with my uncle's cat.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Spa Day Pictures

Meh, not feeling so crafty tonight. I'll tackle Moxie Fab World's Tuesday Trigger at some other point this week. The cookie looks pretty yummy! Oh, speaking of yummy, we got free breakfast at work today. I snagged 2 things of yogurt. That helped me get through 3 back-to-back 1-hour conference calls. OMG. I'm glad they were productive...and even happier that they are over.

Anyway, I almost got sidetracked about food (shocker). Instead of sharing a card, I'll share some pictures from Spa Day aka Jenny's bachelorette party. The self-timing function on the cameras came in handy. My nails/toes still look really good. I haven't experienced any chipping so far! Check out Jenny's bling. Hee hee hee. (Hi, Jenny.)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Another Assignment

A quick story before I get to the card this evening. I went to Potbelly to get a roast beef sandwich this afternoon. There was a girl behind the counter wiping off the trays. They was a crash. All the trays she was working on fell to the floor. Uh oh. She said very loudly, "F. M. L." I felt badly for her, but I also wondered if that was a professional thing to do. I guess her exclamation adds to the "down-to-earth" atmosphere there.

Manicure/Pedicure status: still awesome. I went to Ulta this afternoon in search of the Don't Toy With Me! shade of OPI nail polish, but wasn't able to find it. I did some Google research and found out that it was a holiday 2008 color. I'm hoping there's a similar substitute available because otherwise I'd have to buy this shade online. :P

Assignment from the office: create a wedding themed card for one of the staff. She is getting married in India in December, so I thought it'd be appropriate to make an Indian themed card. The traditional white gown with black tuxedo wasn't going to cut it this time. I decided to use a similar dress model and add a cardstock sari. Through some Google research, I confirmed that red and yellow/gold were popular Indian wedding colors. Colorbox chalk ink in Warm Red was definitely my friend on this project. The card was too big to fit in my light box, so I had to improvise.

Status: complete. Hopefully, I got it right.
Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Warm Red, Yellow Ochre
Stamps: Fiskars- Sentiments (sentiment), American Crafts (Magestic)
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper
Other: Red Sharpie Ultra Fine Point marker

**I'm doing a Thanksgiving sale over at my Etsy shop. Enter coupon code "20PERCENTOFF" for 20% your entire order, including clearance items! Offer ends November 30.**

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Spa Day

Spa day? Tina? No WAY!

Yes way.

This is coming from the person that would rather spend money on paper craft supplies and, to her, a manicure really means "using a $4 bottle from CVS and doing her nails only when she's bored."

But no no. Today, I went to my graduate school friend Jenny's bachelorette party which was a spa day. I had a mani/pedi and a 30 minute massage. While I love my sparkly red nails and dark teal toes, the massage was my favorite part of my first time at a spa. All the tension that I was holding in my neck and shoulders went buh-bye. Directly proceeding my first massage experience, I also had my first manicure EVA, so hooray for new experiences. This was also an educational trip. I learned a new tip. Instead of using Q-tips for cleaning up nail polish from around the nails, you can use a stiff small brush. That way, it eliminates the fuzzy problems that's associated with Q-tips. After the spa, we all went to an Italian restaurant for appetizers and dessert (I got tiramisu, yummm). Today was definitely a nice and relaxing day :)

I would have more pictures to share from today, but I realized that when I got to the spa that I forgot batteries and a memory card for my camera. I would have been able to show off the scrapbook page I made for Jenny's book, my first scrapbook page ever! Oops.

P.S. In case you're curious, the red nail polish is Don't Toy With Me! by OPI. I might have to get a bottle of this for myself at some point ;)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

2010 Fall-Winter Craft Fair #3

Craft show #3 was a total bust. I guess it wasn't the right audience. I was very surprised to see how many "home businesses" were vendors there (Avon, Tastefully Simple, Pampered Chef, etc.), considering it was a "craft" show. I was expecting more homemade items. At least I made up my table fee. I have one more the first week of December and then another one in December that I'm still waiting to hear back on. There's still time to make this a good season!

When I was loading my car up to go home from the craft fair, I was surprised and happy to see that the weather outside was lovely! To burn off some of the frustration lingering from today's craft fair, I decided to gear up with my new knee length running tights and go for a 1.7 mile run. I hope the weather stays for a few days before the real cold settles in. It's been 2 week since I've been doing any sort of running, so it was nice to get the legs going today.

I decided to scrap the card that I made last night. I thought there was something wrong with the color combination when I looked at the card again tonight, and that sentiment was confirmed by my sister. At least I can use the sketch again for some other card. My goal was to complete the order for my co-worker. My personal favorite is the top right one.

Assignment: 3 different birthday cards. Status: complete.

Card Specs (top right):
Embossing powder: Personal Stamp Exchange in Detail Gold
Embossing ink: VersaMark
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Warm Red and Charcoal
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper
Stamps: The Paper Company Studio- Greetings (sentiment), Fiskars- Asian Inspired (branches), Heidi Grace- Alphas, Reagan's Closet (flower), Fiskars- Friendship Garden (border)

Card Specs (bottom right):
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Warm Red, Tangerine, Yellow Ochre, Chestnut Roan, Prussian Blue, Deep Green
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper
Stamps: Savvy Stamps (sentiment), Fiskars- Friendship Garden (flowers, butterfly, leaves), American Crafts (Magestic)
Paper: My Mind's Eye- Countdown to Christmas
Other: Brown Sharpie Ultra Fine Point marker

Card Specs (bottom left):
Embossing powder: Stampendous! in white
Embossing ink: VersaMark
Stamps: The Paper Company Studio- Greetings (sentiment)
Paper: American Crafts- Metropolitan
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper
Flowers: Prima
Brad: Recollections- Silver Circles, Making Memories- Fresh Anthology
Die: Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels 8
Button: Favorite Findings in Pink

Friday, November 19, 2010

Fall-To Layout #117

I took the initiative to make a "best wishes" card for a co-worker that will be leaving the organization soon and circulate it around for signatures. One of my co-workers saw the card and asked that I make a card for his wife's upcoming birthday. Another co-worker asked me for 3 cards for him to keep handy. I love fans! :)

I decided to start the order while using this week's Fall-To Layout sketch (#117). Taking care of two birds with one stone! Like last night, I wanted to use scraps. I figured a blue, pink and yellow card would do the trick. I dug out some flower dies that I hadn't used in a while (Cuttlebug), as well as one I used a few days ago (Tim Holtz). I like how the embossing folder and the buttons add some texture and visual interest without the bulk.
Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Charcoal.
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper, Martha Stewart- Doily Lace
Stamps: Savvy Stamps (sentiment)
Die: Sizzix- Tim Holtz Alterations Tattered Flowers, Cuttlebug- Flowers)
Embossing Folder: Cuttlebug (Victoria)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Good Food Thursday

Today's leftover committee food totally made up for yesterday's dry muffin. I can't believe I even finished that muffin. Blech. It definitely wasn't worth the calories. Today was a different story, hooray! I snagged 2 pancakes and 2 pieces of sausage for breakfast and then a load of food from Moby Dick House of Kabob: rice, shirazi salad, chicken, hummas, and the best part- baklava. Oh yeah, today rocked.

Dumb thing that I did today: I got into the elevator when it was time to go home. I pushed one of the buttons, but then realized that it wasn't working. The guy in the elevator was like "You're already on the 7th floor." Ohhh. Heh. I knew that. I then pushed the floor for the garage. I have no idea where my head went.

I had intentions of going to the gym (I'm beginning to sound like a broken record), but I fell asleep the second I laid down on the couch. :P There's always tomorrow!

For tonight's card, I wanted to make a card to send to one of my former chemistry professors from undergrad, just to say a holiday hello. That means: a) relatively flat card, b) no glitter or gems, c) as masculine as possible. I decided to go with a fall-y theme because I felt that was gender neutral. I also challenged myself to use things that were already out- kraft cardstock was already cut, the yellow cardstock was sitting on top of my paper trimmer, and I knew exactly where the stamps were. I tore a page from an old copy of Wuthering Heights to use as the background piece of the card and then used white embossing powder to stamp the leaves on top of it. Then came the Distress Ink. I had to be really careful about applying it to the think book paper; I actually tore it the first time around. Oops. The colors blended so nicely to create that autumn atmosphere.

Card Specs:
Embossing powder: Stampendous! in white
Embossing ink: VersaMark
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Warm Red. Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Barn Door, Pumice Stone, Wild Honey.
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper
Stamps: Inkadinkado- Autumn Foliage (all)
White Gel Pen: Inkssentials

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

One-Layer Wednesday #29

I'm totally liking the card that I made today! Today's one-layer Wednesday challenge (#29) was to make a card inspired by one of the cakes featured in this Cake Wrecks: Sunday Sweets blog post. My eyes scanned through the cakes, and while I thought each one was uniquely special and beautiful, I was most inspired by the blue one made by Catherine Joanne Cakes. Even though I didn't have the right shade of blue for a cardstock base, I was determined to find a way to make the card work. Instead of white on blue, I did blue on white. I tried to mimic the group of white flowers with a wave-y flower stamp from Inkadinkado. When I finished off the stamping, I felt that the card still had too much white space. I figured that the stitching and Glossy Accents on the larger flower centers would be a nice finishing touch.

Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Prussian Blue, Blackbird, Yellow Ochre, French Blue
Stamp: Inkadinkado (group of flowers), The Paper Company Studio- Greetings (sentiment, dark blue and yellow flower)
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper
Other: Glossy Accents
Other: Black Sharpie Ultra Fine Point marker

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tuesday Trigger: Moxie Chic

Today was my first day back in the office since last Monday. It's a good thing that I have been able to keep up with email since then! This week is a good week to be at the office because of the committee meetings scheduled. Hooray, free food! Today, I snagged a leftover breakfast sandwich from Panera and some spaghetti/salad for lunch. Dunno what's going to be made available for tomorrow, but hey, you can't be picky when it's free. Am I an opportunist? Well, DUH!

I decided to skip Janice's spin class tonight due to a current case of the sniffles. :P

Here's my attempt at this week's Moxie Fab World's challenge (Moxie Chic). I was inspired by the ruffles on the shirt, so I incorporated a similar touch with the red ribbon at the bottom of the card. To stay true to the colors in the inspiration picture, I used white and black cardstock. The original card had pink, but it didn't tie in very well with the other elements of the card. The resulting card gave off a Twilight-y, emo-y feel so I didn't think that a "Hello" or "Get Well Soon" or any of my go-to sentiments would have worked. I felt that the sentiment that I picked out matched the rest of the card much better. The big black flower and red flower are both embossed for some extra texture.
Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird, VersaMagic chalk ink in Cloud White.
Stamps: The Paper Company Studio- You Go Girl! (sentiment)
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper
Die: Sizzix- Tim Holtz Alterations Tattered Flowers (flowers)
Embossing Folder: Cuttlebug (Swiss Dots, Victoria)
Brad: Recollections- Silver Circles
Foam adhesive: Thermoweb
Ribbon: Sweet Petites from A.C. Moore

Monday, November 15, 2010

Case of the Mondays

Ugh. This cold did not go away by this morning, as I was hoping. I mean, it's not a full fledged cold (thank goodness), but it's annoying enough that I didn't think that I'd be super productive if I went to the office. It'd be really un-public-health-y if I went to the office sniffling and being gross, huh? Good thing I had my work computer at home to take care of some things.

Since I decided not to go to spin until I was feeling closer to 100%, I had some extra time to make 2 cards, instead of the usual 1. I decided to go with a Christmas theme again. For the first card, I wanted to use some new patterned paper and ribbon (check and check). For the second card, I wanted to do a card using my new Distress Inks but it was starting to get messy, so I decided to go in a different direction. I took out some gold embossing powder that I'd been wanting to use and picked out a berry stamp that I hadn't used yet. The new direction turned out to be "masculine Christmas card," given its darker colors. I like how it's shimmery, without being too blatant.
Card Specs (Merry Christmas):
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird
Stamps: The Paper Company Studio- Christmas Expressions
Paper: My Mind's Eye- Countdown to Christmas
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper, Fiskars Upper Crest border punch
Ribbon: Sweet Petites from A.C. Moore
Glitter Glue: Studio G
Other: Black Sharpie Ultra Fine Point marker

Card Specs (Warmest Wishes):

Embossing powder: Personal Stamp Exchange in Detail Gold, Stampendous! in white
Embossing ink: VersaMark
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Chestnut Roan
Stamps: SEI- Winter Song (all)
Other: Brown Sharpie Ultra Fine Point marker
Foam adhesive: Thermoweb

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Crafty Sunday

I was battling a slight cold today, so any thoughts of going outside flew out the window. I made the most of my day by making a few origami cards and goodies for my Etsy shop and for the next craft fair. I had 3 sets of origami stars that didn't sell last season, and they all sold yesterday, which was totally unexpected. I thought it'd be a good idea to have a few more sets handy for the next few craft fairs just in case there's repeated interest. If at first you don't succeed...

I also spent a lot of time today bookmarking things on Etsy that I want to give people for Christmas. I foresee my PayPal taking a nosedive soon, but hey, go handmade, right?

I went over to Wee Memories today to check out their challenge (#31: using patterned paper). I decided to do some paper piecing in the background of the card and then tack on a label with the sentiment. I decided to add the flower and rhinestones to use up the white space.
Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird, Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Barn Door
Stamps: Studio G (sentiment)
Paper: Me & My Big Ideas- Sugarplum, American Crafts- Metropolitan
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper
Flowers: Prima
Brad: Recollections- Silver Circles
Die: Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels 8
Foam adhesive: Thermoweb
Thread: DMC- Ecru

Saturday, November 13, 2010

2010 Fall-Winter Craft Fair #2 + Fall-To Layout #116

My goal for today's craft fair (or any craft fair, really) is to make up the table fee. Anything extra will just go to fuel my crafty habit. I did make up my table fee, but I wish that there was more foot traffic. It was strong in the morning, but waned in the afternoon. Oh, well. I got a bunch of compliments. A few ladies said they remembered buying cards from me last year, which I thought was flattering. One lady said that my cards were underpriced (thanks, but I have enough trouble selling them as it is. Increasing the prices won't make them more appealing). I have another craft fair next weekend. The table fee was only $20, so that shouldn't be too difficult to make up. :D

I finished Charlie St. Cloud while I was sitting at my table at the craft fair. It was a pretty quick read. My sister recommended it to me. I texted her saying that it was a solid B or C+. She texted back "What about B-?" Ha ha. Right, I kinda skipped over that. I called my parents to bring another book with them (Baby Proof, borrowed from Meg) when they were heading over to the craft fair to visit me. I cranked through 100+ pages of it. :)

Besides making up my table fee, I accomplished another one of my goals today: getting to and from the craft fair driving my dad's car, since mine's in the shop. He has a newer version of the Honda Civic, which I'm not at all used to driving since it's bigger than my 2001 one. The newer one definitely goes VROOM.

I was so exhausted after the fair (I don't think that being semi-sick really helps the situation) that I zonked out while my parents went out to our favorite Italian restaurant with some of Dad's friends. Thank goodness for leftovers, otherwise, I would have considered mustering the energy to go.

I wanted to continue on my butterflies in Christmas theme, like I did for last week's Fall-To Layout. For this week's (#116), my initial idea was to feature ornaments like the sample card, but I didn't have any good punches for ornaments, but I did have a butterfly one. Ah-ha! The butterflies could become ornaments. Perfect!
Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Warm Green, Blackbird. Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Peeled Paint, Antique Linen
Stamps: SEI- Winter Song (sentiment), Inkadinkado (butterfly)
Punch: Martha Stewart- Classic Butterfly
Die: Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels 8
Paper: My Mind's Eye- Countdown to Christmas (red polka dot, green)
Foam adhesive: Thermoweb
Embossing Folder: Cuttlebug (Swiss Dots)

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Night Before Craft Show #2

My car's SRS light came on today, so it's going to hang out at the shop for the next couple of days until the necessary parts come in and the mechanics can fix it. :P Fortunately, Dad's letting me borrow his car so that I can make it to my craft fair tomorrow morning. All my cards are packed up...well, really, I didn't unpacked them from the first craft fair, so I guess I'm ready to go! My goal is to make at least $80 to cover the table fee...golly, that's going to be a lot of cards! Wish me luck!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Back at Home

Ahhh, home. It's awesome, even with my (sometimes) crazy parents and ever-present cat hair.

I forgot to tell a Random Act of Kindness story from yesterday. It's not something that I did, but it was something that affected me. My group and I were trying to find a parking spot at the laboratory yesterday. Luckily, there was a guy backing out so we took his spot. He stopped my co-worker's husband that was driving the car that we were in by rolling down the window. He handed us something. It was a paid parking slip. It was good until midnight. Hooray for not having to pay for parking! Thanks, nice random dude. :)

I went on a craft store run this afternoon to cash in on some sales they were having and came home with some Tim Holtz Distress Inks (40% off), Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird (40% off), American Crafts stamp set (used 50% coupon) and...well, Michaels was playing Christmas music over the loudspeaker. It must have been part of their evil plan to get me to buy Christmas related items.

Which I did.

Sigh. ::shakes fist::

It was only one item: My Mind's Eye- Countdown to Christmas paper pack (40% off). There were other Christmas paper packs that were adorable (Die Cuts with a View and another MME one), but I told myself that I could only pick one. It was too cute to pass up, and it's a little glittery. Hello, sparkles!

Target was having a sale on athletic clothes, so I invested in some running tights- knee length and full length. I have been eyeing some 8Ks in 2011 (not committed, yet. read: too scared to commit right now), and if I want to get myself ready, I need to be running more outside. The treadmill is just dreadful. I need to visual cues letting me know that I'm actually moving somewhere. Anyway, the full length tights are really quite warm. I thought I was going to start sweating in the fitting room. I guess they work, huh? Hopefully they do the trick this winter.

The gym added some new classes to the schedule, one of them being TH night spin class. Yay! I went since I wouldn't be able to go on Saturday because of craft fair #2.

For today's card, I wanted to use some of the supplies that I bought from today's shopping trip. I also wanted to use this half-finished card that was sitting on my desk. I originally wanted to use it for this card, but after I glued the 3rd flower, I realized that a 4th one wouldn't fit. Oops. I started out thinking that the card was going to be a landscape one, but then I thought it'd be more interesting if I turned it so that it'd be a portrait card. The thing that I liked about the My Mind's Eye collection is that some of the papers don't have to be for just Christmas related projects.

Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird
Stamps: The Paper Company Studio- Christmas Expressions (sentiment)
Paper: My Mind's Eye- Countdown to Christmas (red polka dot)
Punch: Fiskars scalloped sentiment border punch, We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper
Die: Cuttlebug- Flowers

P.S. Happy Veteran's Day. Thank you to those who have served, are currently serving, and will be serving (and your support at home, wherever that may be).

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Denver, Day 5

Ah, bummer (no, that wasn’t in a sarcastic way), it’s my last day in Denver. I spent the morning getting some work stuff done, and then a group of my coworkers and I headed to the local public health laboratory. The director of the laboratory was nice enough to take time out of his day to give us a guided tour of the place. It’s amazing and impressive how much stuff goes on there (and the hospital that it’s located in). The services they provide to the community really make a difference in ensuring the public’s health, and it was pretty cool to see it in person, rather than just imagining what it’s like. The staff at the hospital takes care of the patients in the building, but also goes out into the community to help the homeless, intoxicated, and those less fortunate. I thought it was funny that the director gave us some history about the art in the building. If there was an especially interesting piece of art, he’d stop and tell us the story behind it. He told us later that he picked out most of the art in the laboratory wing, which explains why he knew so much about the pieces displayed. I guess that’s one of the perks for being the boss. That guy retains so much knowledge, it’s nuts.

To prove that it really did snow last night, I saw this car parked in the garage with snow on top. I thought the squishy things in the phlebotomy (blood drawing) section were cute all lined up like that. And check out all those supplies and petri dishes, wow!

I noticed that the people at the Denver airport were nice. The guy that checked my ID was like “Oh, you could be a professional chef, like a sous chef.” Har har. So clever. Play on my last name. Like I haven’t heard it before. Then the baggage security guy was like “Where are you headed to?” DC. “Oh, the District of Comedy.” I’m not sure how I was supposed to read that comment. Maybe he’s not a fan of the politics that happen downtown? I’d take the corny jokes over the staff at DCA or ATL any day, those grouches. Interestingly enough, I saw on the news today that Denver was voted one of the most “laid back” cities. Yep, I’d say that was pretty accurate.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Denver, Day 4

This morning, I headed out to the Colorado State Capitol building because my boss suggested that I go find the Mile High Marker. It shows that you’re officially a mile above sea level. Fortunately, it wasn’t too far of a walk. I got there around the time that the sun was rising and the building was really pretty against the morning light. I was expecting a large marker, something prominent, but didn’t see anything obvious. I even walked around the perimeter of the building and asked a few people. Finally, a maintenance guy pointed at the stairs, “The marker is right there.” Huh? There’s nothing there. Oh wait. He’s pointing at these bronze circles and “One Mile Above Sea Level” engraved right into the stairs. I thought it was funny where the markers were because that’s where I started out this morning. They were right in front of me! The view with the obelisk is with my back to the state capitol.

Apparently, Denver has brown squirrels. Not grey OR black. Well, I guess technically, they are grey and brown, rather than grey and white like what I'm used to.

I started out with my high heeled boots this morning, thinking that I could make it through another day with them. I didn’t even make it to 9 AM. I promptly changed into sneakers after my visit to the Capitol building. Best decision I made today.

I went to some sessions today- something about health disparities and another about accreditation. When I wandered back up to my organization’s booth, my co-workers asked me if I had gotten my flu shot yet. Uhhh, flu shot? Mmm, no. Not really a fan of shots. “Well, Tina, it’s a needle-free free flu shot.” Really? Ok. Needle-free and free totally sold me. I felt kinda stuck anyway. I can't really say that I'm afraid of needles when the shot is needle-free. The lady that was a few people in front of me jumped when the vaccine was administered which kinda freaked me out, but it really just felt like a rubber band snapping against my arm. The needle-free vaccine is made by PharmaJet and if you’re wondering about how the vaccine gets in you without the needle: “The spring-operated injector delivers the vaccine by means of a narrow, high velocity fluid jet, which penetrates the skin in less than half a second." Ah, technology.

It snowed today. No joke. Nothing heavy, but snow in November isn’t something that I’m used to. My boss texted me while I was watching NCIS, saying that it took her an hour to get home. There was 2 inches of snow on the ground where she is. Yikes!

Dinner tonight: Arby’s roast beef sandwich and Pinkberry frozen yogurt. We don’t have Pinkberry at home, and I didn’t want to miss out. I got Original with caramel sauce and brownie bits. Yummm!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Denver, Day 3

Today was my first full day at the conference, and I actually had a lot of fun. Yes, that is possible. I went to two sessions in the morning- one about quality improvement (because that's kinda related to my current work) and another about the effects of fast food marketing on children (because I did some research on that in a paper that I did during my Master's program).

I paid $2.25 for a banana today. 1 banana. I felt like I really need to have some sort of fruit, but wow, that was like highway robbery. I made a mental note to just buy food outside the convention center. It'd be more economical that way. I knew that the prices would be sky high. I guess I was just desperate this morning. On another food related point, when I finished up with my poster session this afternoon, I went outside to get some lunch and immediately spotted a cupcake truck (Sweet Revenge). I wasn't planning to get a cupcake today (or during the trip then. The truck people were definitely strategically parked. For dinner, I had a cobb salad. The place I got it from ran out of eggs. How does one do that?! Oh well, it was a yummy salad. I'm glad to have some veggies to balance out that cupcake. Here are some food pictures from today.
Like yesterday, I ran into people that I knew: another former co-worker, one of my former professors from my Master's program, and (this was the most surprising one) a friend from high school! I hadn't seen him since graduation. I called out to him and then introduced myself in case he didn't remember who I was. He was like "Tina! I remember you" and gave me a hug. We chatted for like 15 minutes. My former professor said that I looked thinner. Is that a weird comment for a professor to make? I dunno. I'm still mulling over that. As for my former co-worker, he introduced me to someone that was also at the booth and he was like "Oh yeah. I know you. You're in that picture in Mary Ann's office." Mary Ann was my former boss. It's nice to be remembered. :)

Tomorrow's another full day at the conference, wheeeee!

P.S. Today was a full day in heels. It's sneakers tomorrow, for reals.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Denver, Day 2

After I signed off on my blog entry last night, I went to the hotel gym to work out. When I came back, my key card didn't work. UGH. I had to go to the front desk (passing many nicely dressed people, some of them in Marine Corps uniforms) to get it sorted out. I was a hot, sweaty mess. Yeah, THAT'S not embarrassing. I also didn't have an ID with me because it was locked in my room, so security had to escort me up. BLAH! Oh well, at least I got a good workout in.

I woke up at around 6 this morning. I think my body was still on DC time and then with the whole Daylight Savings Time, I was all out of whack. I wandered over to the Convention Center where I needed to get my program. I saw that there was something related to social marketing, and I was about to walk right in to the room when the guy at the door was like "I need to see your ticket." What? Oh. Uh, I didn't know I needed one. He directed me to the registration desk where I could get it worked out. The lady there informed me that the session was going to cost $200 (?!). Never mind.

Onward to the Denver Zoo. I debated on whether to take a taxi or not. Whatever the taxi fare, I knew it wouldn't be cheaper than the $2 bus fare. The bus route wasn't too tough to figure out and I made it to the zoo only to be faced with a very, very long line. I mean, it was like 3 blocks down and around the corner. Apparently, I wasn't the only one that got the Zoo-is-free-on-November-7 memo. I got to the end of the line at 10:05 and didn't actually enter the zoo until 10:25. When the Zoo opened its doors, the line kept moving. Hooray.

The Zoo was fantastic! I had a great time there. The weather was perfect (sunny, not too hot), and there were many things to see. I think the only thing that would make the zoo better is if they had pandas. "My" National Zoo is free every day and we got pandas. Neener, neener. The Zoo was showcasing many of its baby animals: giraffe, some sort of tiny anteater, sea lion and tiger. All very adorable. Here are some shots from the zoo.
I finished up at the zoo in about 2.5 hours and wondered what to do next. It was way too early to be going back to the hotel. A teen zoo volunteer informed me that the Denver Museum of Nature and Science was just up the street. Oh, ok, let's go there. They had cool stuff: stuffed animals/birds, dinosaurs, etc., but nothing that I thought was like WHOA or that I couldn't see something similar at "my" Smithsonian Natural History Museum, which is FREE every day...not $11. Living near DC really does spoil me, as you can see. Here are some shots from the Museum. The self timer on my camera came in really handy, as I didn't want to keep asking random people to take pictures of me. Check out that prehistoric pig's really freaky.

As I got back on the bus to get back to the city, I got a text message from my boss. Something about maybe seeing me at the Exhibit Hall. Uh oh, I'm not there (yet). I finally made my way back to the Convention Center and caught up with people from work. I also saw someone that I used to work with. At such a huge conference, I guess you're bound to find someone that you know. After a full day's worth of walking, I decided that a gym workout wasn't necessary today. Walking is exercise, right?

P.S. Isn't Denver pretty with all those mountains in the background? :D