Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Cookies from the Big Boss

These two big bags of cookies were waiting for my at my desk this morning when I came in.  My big boss's wife made them for me as a thank you for watering their outdoor plants recently.  It came with a note that said "Payment in Full?"  Ha ha.  Since it wouldn't be a great idea to eat them all myself, I shared the chocolate ones with my collegues and stored the other bag in my freezer.  :)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Day Off, Day 1

I'm taking a few days off this week to just relax, specifically Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.  I figured I'd get stuff done at the beginning of the week and then check in mid-week.

Despite a day off from work, I got a lot of things done today.  Let me count the ways...
  • Picked up my vase from the pottery class that I took at the end of June.  They had trouble finding it because it was labeled "No Name."  I guess the business card that I left with it got separated from it.
  • Bed Bath and Beyond for a new water bottle.  
  • Tuesday Morning to check out their crafty items.  Came out with a 50 cent floral stamp.
  • TJMaxx...found 2 new redish China Glaze nail polishes, perfect for fall.
  • Target to pick up some pictures that I printed from Sunday's dinner for my uncle to put in his photo album.  I also picked up 2 pairs of earrings on clearance and 2 shirts on sale (I actually went back to another Target after going to the gym tonight because I forgot to use a coupon.  The lady was nice enough to give some of my money back).
  • Goodwill for some "treasure hunting."  I bought 3 DVDs for $1 each (Gladiator, Remember the Titans and Cinderella), 1 GameCube game for reselling, and 3 mugs for reselling (1 Baltimore Orioles vintage beer mug, 1 EMT beer mug, and 1 Boynton hippo one).  I haven't tried to resell mugs before, but for about $3, I figured it was worth a try.  My sister thinks I'm being silly.
I stopped by my parents' house, hoping they'd be home and I could show them my vase, but sadly, they were not home.  I found out later from my cousin that a bunch of my family members were at Costco and provided picture evidence of my mom with her very berry sundae.  It made me want a very berry sundae too, but by the time I went there tonight, the eatery was closing up.  Oh well, I didn't need the calories anyway!  Hmph.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Family Dinner (Part 2)

The big event today was a BBQ to celebrate my uncle's birthday.  Both my uncle and Julie made steaks.  My cousin Erick made salads.  My aunt made pasta salad.  Julie also made 2 blueberry cheesecakes so that there would be enough dessert for everyone.  The cousins all pooled together money to buy my uncle a computer, an upgrade from his clunker.  My cousin Peggy bought some photo albums so that we could put some pictures in it.  I combed through my hard drive and came out with 30 photos to print at Target.  I had to laugh because 90% of the pictures had food somewhere in it.  I also made a card for people to sign.  Watching my uncle beaming with happiness that his family was celebrating with him was very heartwarming (some family members traveled from Taiwan and Japan for this event).
With Julie
With Pai-Han

Mom and Julie cutting and serving the cake.

With Emily

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Ebay Sales Update and Family Dinner (Part 1)

Ebay sales update: I sold the Mario Kart Double Dash GameCube that I bought last week.  The final bid was $19.49.  I was surprised it went that high since the case showed a little wear and the instruction manual wasn't included.  Not too bad for paying $3 for the game.  I should have picked up more games at that yard sale!  I also sold the handheld Monopoly game that I bought 2 weeks ago.  The final bid was $9.99, and I spent an initial $0.50 on it.  Whee! :)

Yard sale finds: I found a bunch of vintage Pyrex ($20 for the 4 pieces).  I'm undecided on whether I'm going to resell it or not.  The pink Pyrex is especially pretty.
I spent the majority of the day inside working on a custom Etsy order (34 cards!), which was fine with me.  The mosquitoes and humidity were icky outside today!

I went to a family dinner tonight, and the group was so big that we had to separate into the adults table and kids table.  My favorite dishes of the night were the sticky rice dessert, the noodles, the smoked fish, and the shrimp balls.  I didn't eat any of the red bean filled pastries (below) because there will be bigger ones available tomorrow at the family BBQ. 
After the dinner, most of us came back to my parents' house to divide the leftovers and the adults talked some more. Julie prepped the steaks for tomorrow (she already made 2 cheesecakes earlier in the day). The adults wanted to dig into one of the cheesecakes for a "taste test." It was too yummy looking to pass up!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Etsy Sales Milestone

A repeat buyer bought quite a few cards from me today to bring me over the 800 sales mark and put me at 810 sales.  She also wanted a custom order of 22 cards, so I'm happy to have a project to work on over the weekend in between time that I'm spending with visiting family members. :)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Family's Here!

I went to the gym right after work today.  I was more interested in checking out the new touch screen TVs than I was getting a workout in.  The TVs were cool, but for some reason, the Bravo channel was not coming up.  I hope they fix that soon.  I need my junk TV at the gym!

My uncle and aunt from Japan arrived today.  I went over to my parents' house for dinner, which was crabcakes and shrimp from Clyde's.  OMG, so good!
Mom told us "kids" to sit down for a picture.  It goes to show that no matter how old we are and how we have grown up lives and jobs, we are still kids to them.  Ha ha.

Monday, July 22, 2013


My Monday morning started out with a bad mommy moment.  I kicked RJ out of my room during the night because he was being annoying.  Then when I let him back in when the alarm went off and then went back to bed for another 5 minutes, he jumped on the bed and started pulling my hair with his teeth.  He is not usually this insistent.  Unless...oh no!  I forgot to fill the feeder the night before.  Poor guy.  He must have been so excited to hear the feeder turn this morning, only to be so disappointed and having a WTH moment when he saw that it was empty.  Ugh.  Sorry, buddy.

I was long overdue for a haircut today, so I took a break from my computer and went to Hair Cuttery.  The woman who cut my hair in January didn't work there anymore, so I showed a picture of my haircut to another hair stylist and asked her to recreate it.  I specifically asked her to cut my hair long enough to put it up in a ponytail.  I don't think she quite hit the mark, and it shows in the pictures below.  January on the left, today on the right.  I'm not unhappy with the haircut, but it is a little shorter than I'd like.  At least hair grows back!


Wow, how nice it is to be a cat!
I went to the gym right after work today (go me!). There was a guy there making noises. I had to keep reminding myself to look straight ahead and not stare (or glare). I also noticed that there were guys taking down the TVs. Nooo, I like watching my Bravo brain-numbing shows at the gym! After about 15 minutes of watching them, I took out my earbuds and asked if the TVs were going away forever. "Oh no. We're installing new touch screen ones." Ok, whew. Crisis averted.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Fall-To Layout #249

Good Morning Oops: For some reason, I thought a yard sale that I had my eye on started at 8 AM, so I bolted out of bed around that time and made my way there only to find that the event didn't start until 10 AM.  I spent the extra time this morning, making a card instead.  I went back later, but there wasn't anything that I really wanted.  Oh well.

Card: We're having a mini-family reunion next week to celebrate his 79th birthday.  I was tasked with making a big card for folks to sign, so I used Fall-To Layout #249 for inspiration.  He's into gardening and burgundy, so I wanted to incorporate both into this card.  I wonder if I should have chosen a brighter blue base paper, so I'll have to see what Mom and Julie say later.

Card Specs: 
Embossing powder: Stampendous! in white
Embossing ink: VersaMark 
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Prussian Blue
Stamps: Stampin' Up- Definitely Decorative Ferns
Punch: Fiskars Upper Crest border punch

Ebay: I was able to sell an old Sony Walkman that I have, but my excitement waned quickly when I found out that the buyer was from Russia.  My initial reaction was "Is this a scam?" Maybe he didn't look closely at my listing to where I said I only ship within the US.  I emailed the buyer to tell him to include a US shipping address or otherwise, I'm going to cancel the order.  I'll have to adjust my selling settings so that only US people can bid.  Sheesh.

Car Craziness: When I was driving home from the gym this afternoon, some jerk (other words that come to mind are more profanity-laced) wasn't watching when he was merging into my lane.  I dunno how he (or she) missed me, my car is bright red!  Anyway, the person almost crashed into my car.  I think if the front of my car was bigger, we would have had a serious problem.  The funny (or not so funny) thing was that I was more worried for my car than my own life.  My horn definitely got a work out.  UGH!

When frustrated, make cookies.  That's a good general rule for me.  I made another batch of avocado chocolate chip cookies.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Yard Sale Finds

My yard sale route excursion was not very long today because a) there weren't that many in my area and b) it was way too hot to be running around outside today.  That doesn't mean that I didn't find anything good though.  I found a Mario Kart game for Nintendo GameCube ($3) for my Ebay box and a Ms. Pac-Man plug-and-play game ($1).  There were other GameCube games that were available, but as I was researching in my car on the Ebay app, Mario Kart seemed like the only one that would be worth anything.  I wasn't sure how I could test it since I don't own a GameCube myself, so I took a chance anyway.  I later found out that GameCube games also work on the Wii, which worked out great because I have a Wii.  I popped it in and it worked fine.  I don't have any GameCube controllers to do a more thorough test, but what I saw on the screen was fine.  The plug-and-play game was a source of a lot of entertainment tonight when Robyn and Julie came over for Indian food dinner.  I plugged the game in and the 3 of us took turns playing the 5 games that were available on it: Ms. Pac-Man, Galaga, Mappy, Pole-Position, and Xevious.  It's still up in the air on if I'm going to resell it or not.

Robyn brought Beasts of the Southern Wild (Netflix), and the movie was weird.  Nothing that I'd watch's just not my cup of tea.  I can see how the little girl was nominated for an Academy Award.  She was great!

My Up DVD sold today on Ebay...I'm on a roll!
Julie, showing off her video game skills.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Yay, Treats!

I woke up feeling kinda gross this morning. I think walking around downtown in the heat yesterday probably wasn't the best idea. Plus, there's the difference in outside, cold inside, cold in the car, etc. My body was probably like "Ok, hold up. This is not working for me."   Plus, my eye was hurting, probably because I didn't wash all my eye make up off the night before.  Luckily I had my computer and could work from home again.

I went over to my parents' house last night for dinner. It was still like 90 degrees and humid outside at 6:30 PM, gross!  My aunt and uncle arrived from Taiwan tonight and brought treats.  I ate a lot of mochi before bedtime.  Ha ha.

Candy Crush update: Currently on the 2nd quest past Level 35.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Healthy People 2020 Meeting

Whew, busy work day today!  My boss is currently in Houston for a training, and we were trying to put together the last pieces of a mailing that had to go out this week.  We had to involve the graphic designer at work (who was out sick but was still able to get the updated document to us) and the Director of Marketing and the Chief Operating Officer and an administrative assistant.  It wasn't done yet, but had to leave the house to get downtown!  Ahhh!

I had a meeting in DC this afternoon to move an objective that one of our surveys is the data source for from developmental to measurable.  This was a big deal for me because I've (along with a person from the NCHS, Sirin) been working on the memos and data for this project for the past 6 months.  The documents had to be circulated through many layers of approval and I'm so glad that we were able to get this in on time for this meeting.  I was a little unsure of that with the July 4th holiday being not too long ago.  Sirin and I went to the meeting in person and then members from my association and another person from CDC/ATL called in.  6 months of work boiled down to about 10 minutes at the meeting.  The objective was approved as measurable, so I guess we just move forward from here by handing over the data and keeping our promise to collect it when we say we are.  It was kinda anti-climatic.  I was expecting a gavel or something, but the people around the table just said "ok, it's approved if there are no further questions." 

When I was done with the presentation, I went back to furiously emailing my boss and trying to get the other pieces of the project together from the morning.  Thank goodness for my iPhone!

Sirin (who I've only had contact via phone and email) went out to lunch after the meeting to celebrate.  We went to Cantina Marina on the Waterfront.  The view was beautiful, but I could do without the heat.  It was easily in the mid-90s today.  She had the duck tacos and I had the fried shrimp, yum!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Scattered Sunday

Gym Fail: I didn't make it to spin class this morning because a) I woke up later than I should and b) once I was awake, I was in laundry/vacuum mode.  When I did make it to the gym this afternoon, I was so excited to use the pool after using the elliptical, rowing machine (3000 m!) and treadmill.  And then I went back to the locker room to suit up and when I reached into my bag, I realized I left my new pink goggles at home!  WAH!  Oh well.  At least I got a workout in.  Shhh, I was playing Candy Crush while walking on the treadmill before going to the locker room.  Is that awful?  At least I didn't have to worry about walking into a pot hole or something.  Currently on Level 29.

Ebay Update: My Up DVD currently has 8 watchers and 1 bid.  I also listed an old Sports Walkman that I had when I was younger.  I've seen sold listings of them.  When I was digging around my craft room, I found my old TI-83 graphing calculator that I don't use anymore.  I plan to list that when it gets closer to back-to-school time.

Grocery Shopping: I couldn't reach the last lemonade iced tea on the top shelf when I was grocery shopping this evening.  #shortpeopleproblems  I asked one of the people putting away produce if he could help me.  I would have asked someone taller, but he was the only person around and he was as tall as I am.  "Can you help me get that? I'm really short."  He climbed up on the shelving and got it.  Oh.  Well.  I could have done that!  But I didn't want to get in trouble or anything!

RJ: When I was watching Up yesterday, RJ made himself at home on my lap. Zzzzz.  At some point, he jumped off, which I was thankful for because the cat/blanket combination was getting really hot!
Card: I decided to break out my watercolor paper and craft sheet to do some emboss resist.  This technique is really easy and takes little time.  The background kinda speaks for itself so there isn't much else you have to do the card except for a sentiment.

Card Specs:
Embossing powder: Stampendous! in white
Embossing ink: VersaMark
Ink: Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Broken China, Mustard Seed, Wild Honey
Stamp: Craft Smart
Stickers: American Crafts Thickers-Flakey
Punch: Recollections

Currently listening to:
  • Maroon 5- Love Somebody
  • Luke Bryan- Crash My Party
  • The Band Perry- Done

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Saturday Yard Sale Finds + New Nails + Piola

My yard sale run today wasn't as exciting as in previous weeks, but I did find some good deals.

There was a yard sale that was advertised a week in advance that was my first stop this morning. They kinda hyped it up, but I walked away with only one thing: this Wallflower fragrance set.  Another seller at the yard sale was like "Aw, man!  I was planning to get that!  I was too slow!"  Yep, too slow.  I also saw my coworker at this yard sale.  I'm curious to see what goodies she got.  This is already running in my bedroom and it smells great! Retail price: $12.50.
I got these gift bags at a yard sale near my parents' house.  25 cents per item and I got 7 bags and a thing of tissue paper.  These are all in good condition, so now I don't have to run to Target at the last minute to get a gift bag!
This was my only item that I got to resell from today's haul.  It's a handheld Monopoly game.  The tag says $1, but I think the lady was desperate to get it out of the house so she told me that she'd sell it to me for 50 cents if I took it right then and there.  Eh, maybe.  I wanted to check out the yard sale across the street from them and then come back.  I found some muffin tins at the other yard sale to replace the slightly rusty ones at home, and then came back to get my 50 cent game.  I tested out the game with fresh batteries when I got home and it still worked.  It's an interesting find, but I probably won't make too much of a profit from it.
 All set for when it's time to make some muffins!  Well, after I wash them, of course.
After my morning of yard sales, I came home and vegged on the couch and watched the Up DVD that I bought at a yard sale last week.  I wanted to make sure that the disc was in good condition.  It's currently up on Ebay with 4 watchers and 1 bid.  Yay!

New Nails: I painted my nails yesterday while I was taking a break from work and waiting for my lives on Candy Crush to reload.  I'm currently stuck on Level 28.  This is 2 coats of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri nail polish in Brisk Blue.
Dinner with Meg and Robyn: The three of us hadn't hung out together since before Memorial Day so this pow wow was long overdue.  We went to Piola in Arlington.  I got the noodles and meat sauce and we all shared a carafe of sangria and a serving of tiramisu and then hung out at Meg's place to chat some more.  You'd think with texting all week, we'd have nothing to talk about, but we chatted for about 6 hours total!

Friday, July 12, 2013


Today was a pretty regular Friday...spin class in the morning and then work from home the rest of the day.

Recipe #7 of 2013: I tried a new chocolate chip recipe.  Instead of using 2 sticks of butter, I only used one and then substituted the other one for a ripe avocado.  The cookies came out just as delicious and a little healthier.  And no, you can't taste the avocado. I gave some to Julie when she came over after dinner and I'm giving some to Meg and Robyn when I see them tomorrow for dinner.  I'm thankful to have a friends and family that will help me eat my food!
RJ: He's up to his regular antics.  Check out the dent his 15 lb butt is leaving on my couch cushion.
And when I asked him what he was doing, he just yawned and went back to sleep. In this picture, it looks like he's laughing at me.
Family Time: When Julie came over, we watched Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.  She came with her own snacks: chips and dip.  She let herself into the house while I went to get dinner: Panera pick 2- roast beef sandwich and salad.  I also got a very berry sundae from the Costco eatery.  It's very dangerous that I know this eatery exists now.  Julie also braided my hair after the movie, fishtail style.
P.S. I'm so addicted to the game Candy Crush. Reggie, my coworker, got me hooked! Now I understand what all the fuss is about.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Hidden Treasures at the Office

I found some interesting items in the office kitchen that were up for grabs today.  There was a box of cassettes, and this one caught my eye.
Can you read what that says?  It's the Dirty Dancing movie soundtrack from 1987.  My stereo in my room actually still has a cassette player, so if I wanted to, I could still play it. 
This 2001 Cleopatra 3-DVD set is still sealed, but the packaging is a little dinged up.  I did some research on this item and apparently it has been discontinued.  Up on Ebay it goes! 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Ebay Sale Complete

At the office: Today was another clean up day for the office (in preparation for the move and renovation).  On clean up days, we get pizza.  I went across the street to get pizza for myself in the conference room and then I thought the friendly thing to do was get a whole bunch of pizzas for the coworkers on my side of the street.  I grabbed 3 whole pizzas (veggie, cheese, and pepperoni).  I got some strange looks from people.  Depending on if I feel like I could joke with that person, I'd either respond with "OMG, I'm so hungry" or "I'm just bringing these across the street for folks."

Ebay: While I was writing a payment reminder email to the woman who won my Ebay auction for the Just Dance 2 Wii game, she sent me her payment via email. 

Whew, that was close!

How horrible would it be if I sent that email, while she's sending the payment? 

There we go, my first Ebay auction sale complete! :)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

CAS(E) This Sketch #35

Here's my take on CAS(E) This Sketch challenge #35.  My goal was to make a gender neutral birthday card and I think I was able to accomplish that.  I started out with the aqua paper and did some tone-on-tone stamping and the card took off from there.  I love using the rub-on sheet because I can get some crisp and clean white sentiments without having to get my heat gun and embossing powder out.

Card Specs:
Paper: American Crafts- Abode (b side), Recollections- Mosaic Memories
Ink: Stampin' Up- Pool Party
Rub-On: Stampin' Up- Chit Chat (sentiment)
Stamp: Stampin' Up- Party Hearty (candles, cupcake, party hat)
White Gel Pen: Uni-Ball Signo Broad White Gel Pen

Monday, July 8, 2013

2 Year House Anniversary

Whoo hoo, 2 year house anniversary! :)  (July 8, 2011)  Wow, time flies!

I went to return the key to my boss's boss and he looked at me and said, "Oh, you can keep that.  We'll need you to water the plants again in 1.5 weeks.  Can you do that?"  Ummm, sure.  Even if I didn't want to, I couldn't say no to him.  Oh well.  File this under "Other duties as assigned."  I hope he remembers how helpful I was when he's approving how much of a raise we get this year.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

New Nails + Target Run + New Card

Busy Morning: I went to another yard sale this morning on the way to the gym, but came away empty handed.  Meh, no biggie.  At the gym, I did 15 minutes on the modified stair stepper, 2500 m row, 15 minutes on the elliptical, and finished it off with another 2500 m row.  My shoulders are probably going to feel it tomorrow.  Next I went to Target and my goal was to get some swimming goggles and an new iPhone case.  I was inspired to do so because a) it seems like the pool at the gym is not used very much (which hopefully translates to me getting the pool to myself and b) I feel like I need to switch my workouts up instead of doing mostly spinning.  My upper body strength could use some work.

The new iPhone case was more of a priority than the goggles because the case that I bought exactly a week ago has already cracked in several places. What a piece of crap.  The case was hard so it was difficult to pry the phone out when I wanted to put it in my arm band for listening to music while working out at the gym.  I needed something that was more flexible, so I ended up with a teal and black one from iFrogz. 

Ebay Update: My Just Dance 2 Wii game that I bought at a yard sale last weekend sold on Ebay, my first Ebay sale ever!  Now I'm just waiting for the buyer to pay.  I wish the payment was instantaneous like Etsy, but that's not really how Ebay works so I'll just have to be patient.  I mean, if the buyer doesn't pay, I can always relist the game.

Nails: I picked up two colors of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri nail polish during my Target run today.  I was drawn to this almost kelly green color called In Record Lime (right).  It looks very similar to Just in Lime (left), but Just in Lime is more yellow.
New Card: Here's a birthday card that I need to send out to a friend next week.  I started at the card for a little bit tonight, thinking that something was missing.  Ah ha.  Water.  I used some blue Distress Ink and my Aqua Painter to add some blue to the bottom of the jar to make it look like there's some water for the flowers to soak up.

Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Charcoal, Dark Peony, Warm Green.  Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Broken China.
Stamp: Stampin' Up- Elementary Elegance (sentiment), Perfectly Preserved (jar, stem, flower).  Fiskars- Thank You (leaf)
Paper: American Crafts- Hello Sunshine
Punch: Fiskars Upper Crest border punch
Other: Staedtler Triplus Fineliner

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Blast From the Past: Micro Machines

Yard Sale Finds: I went to a few yard sale sales today, but didn't buy much.  I bargained a little bit with a 13 year old boy for some DVDs: Julie and Julia, Up, and X-Men.  $2 each, but I got the bundle for $5.  I also got some Micro Machines from 1987.  I've seen some people on Etsy repurpose them into necklace pendants.  We'll see how they sell.  The lady asked for $3, but I was able to get it down to $2.50.
Etsy: Today was my third day in a row with an Etsy sale from something that I picked up at a yard sale.  This time it was a set of new ink pads that I got at a yard sale last weekend (yay!).

Dumpling Party!: Robyn and Julie came over to make dumplings tonight, and wow, we made quite a few.  Everyone got a full container of leftovers at the end of the night.  We watched Identity Thief, which was funny (and there were some unexpected touching parts), but nothing that I'd buy to watch again.