Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 New Year's Resolutions Recap

I decided to telework today since there weren't going to be that many people at the office anyway.  Reggie sent out an email saying that there was not going to be a movie playing today and he gave me a hush-hush tip that said that the big boss was letting us go at 2 PM today.  Whoo hoo!

That gave me time to go to the post office to mail off my last Etsy order for the year (after not having a sale in about 2 months, this was a welcomed surprise!) and Target to get some last minute things for when Robyn and Julie came over for dinner and watching the ball drop: cheese, crackers, Christmas candy on clearance, sparkling grape juice (I think they ran out of sparkling cider because I couldn't find any) and chapstick on clearance.  This was my best find because when I went the day after Christmas to look for this, I couldn't find it.  This wasn't even in the chapstick section of Target.  Original price: $4.99 and it was reduced to $1.49.  There was a limited edition cake batter one that I'm sure smells delicious, but I thought 1 chapstick purchase would be enough.

Robyn and Julie came over around 7 and I got pizza (spinach/sausage and ham/pineapple).  We watched Captain America: The Winter Soldier and watched the ball drop.  Wheee.

Let's recap to see how I did in 2014.

2014 Resolutions to complete by January 1, 2015...
  • I feel like my recent resolutions have had something to do with my house.  This year, I want to do at least one of the following:
    • Get my windows replaced as I find them to not be very energy efficient.
    • Get my shower door replaced with a shower curtain.  The door is so hard to clean!
    • Get my closet doors replaced.  I think the metal ones that I have now are functional but I don't find them to be particularly attractive.  FAIL...House stuff was not a priority because money this year was spent on travel and RJ medical costs.
  • Read at least 15 books.  I'm hoping to curve my NCIS, Law and Order: SVU, and Real Housewives addiction.  SUCCESS, especially with my new author find (Jill Shalvis).  I basically binged read several series written by her during the past month. 
  • Utilize the gym more often other than going to spin class.  I'm paying for the membership, I might as well go!  Maybe this is where I can watch my reality television, tee hee.  SUCCESS.  I did more running at the gym this year.
  • Limit new make-up, clothing, and craft supplies.  I have enough of all three categories.  SUCCESS/FAIL.  I did really well with limiting new craft supply purchases, but not so much with the make-up (I don't even want to go here...I will be depressed) and clothing (I got a few new dresses from JCPenney and some clothes from Old Navy).
  • Branch out a little more when it comes to make-up.  Rock a more colorful lip or a more dramatic eye every so often.  SUCCESS.  I've gotten really good with my gel liner/winged liner. Scotch tape is the key to getting a clean line, a la Casey Holmes.
  • Do at least 10 volunteer events.  I did a lot of donating last year in terms of clothes and some craft supplies, but I want to do more and focus on donating my time this year.  SUCCESS.  This is what I'm most proud of this year.  The volunteer events I did were either race or food-related.
  • Try at least 10 new recipes (baked goodies/desserts do not count).  I have my eye on this Taiwanese sesame oil chicken recipe and was inspired when I ate it at my parents' house recentlyFAIL, although I did make the sesame oil chicken recipe that I mentioned.  I made it to 5 new recipes this year, but really it's 4 because 1 of them was banana pudding which is obviously a dessert. :P
  • Get to at least 900 Etsy sales.  I'm currently at 824 sales.  FAIL, but I came close with 895 sales.
Things that I accomplished but were not on the list:
I'm still compiling a list of New Years Resolutions, so stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Movies at the Office, Day 2

This morning I saw the IT guys in the conference room working on the DVD player and when it was time to watch a movie, the Skyfall DVD that was not working yesterday worked. Yay!  Apparently they had to download some new software onto the computer. I will be teleworking tomorrow so I'm not sure what they're going to watch but I did leave behind two of my DVDs for them to choose from.  One of the ladies from Accounting learned that I had to Skyfall DVD so she asked if she could borrow it so her son could watch it tonight.

Sadira and I gave each other bags of chocolate for the holidays.  Yum!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Movies at the Office, Day 1

In true holiday tradition the big boss is letting us watch movies in the conference room at lunch time on the days we are at the office between Christmas and New Year's. Today's movie with Mean Girls. It was supposed to be Skyfall but the technology in the conference room was being difficult. By the time the IT department figured out how to play a movie in the conference room, an hour had already gone by and they just played whatever was in the computer, which happened to be Mean Girls.

Reggie bought for big containers of popcorn (the kind with the cheese, butter and caramel popcorn) so that we have snacks during movie time. :)

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Dinner with the Newlyweds

I didn't make it to either spin class this morning, but I did muster up the energy to go to another gym location to run on the treadmill.  2.17 miles in 30 minutes.  Meh, at least it's something.

I'm glad that I got some exercise in today because tonight, my family and I went to a dinner last night to honor the newlyweds whose wedding I went to in Tahoe back in September. My friend and her husband are visiting family on the east coast so her parents wanted to have a big dinner and invite folks that didn't go to the wedding. Julie and I sat at the kids table...with all the other 20-something/30-something "kids".  I saw a bunch of people from my old Taiwanese school that I hadn't seen in probably 10-15 years, so it was a nice reunion of sorts. 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Lipstick and Book Purge

I was looking at a collection of lipsticks that I had in my closet.  I don't know why I was holding onto them for so long.  The finish or color or both were just not for me.  I guess I felt guilty because they are higher end (Estee Lauder) or were given to me as a gift (one of those free gift with mom or aunt would buy skin care and I'd get the free lipstick).  Who wears frost finish lipsticks anymore?  Yikes.  I'm thinking about doing a makeup inventory between now and the end of the year, as inspired by PinkSoFoxy on YouTube.  I was really impressed by how much her makeup collection has whittled away in the past few years.
I also dug around my closet to see what else I could get rid of.  I decided to box up some chemistry books for recycling.  I had to get real with myself.  I hadn't cracked them open since 2005 when I graduated college. It's all a bunch of mumbo-jumbo to me now anyway. I would sell them, but it's just not worth the hassle for a few bucks.

Friday, December 26, 2014

After Christmas Sales

I had major plans for after Christmas shopping, but then when I actually got to the mall, I had feelings of "But I don't really need this."  I ran into Mom at Target and she asked what I was buying.

Christmas candy. (2 things of Lindt truffles, 1 thing of Reese's peanut butter trees, and 1 family pack of Rolos)

Ok, I do need some reduced priced chocolate.  Especially Rolos, in case I want to make a batch of them to take to the office for Movie Days.  I went to Bath and Body Works, who was advertising their semi-annual sale.  While 75% off, I couldn't justify buying a $3 bottle of lotion.  I found some booties from DSW at 40% off clearance, but I'll sit on that for a few more days to see if the feeling goes away.

I do have self control, who knew?

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

I went over to my parents' house after breakfast this morning.  Julie and I did 2 laps around the neighborhood to get some steps in (approximately 9,000).  The last time that I hit 10,000 steps was last Thursday, so I thought I needed to get my butt back in gear.  Productivity took a nose drive afterwards, but I got my steps in.  

Mom was nice enough to wash the set of flannel sheets that she got me for Christmas.  I had a set of ice skating polar bears, but they are back at the house since they are twin size.  When I got home from my long walk with Julie, I replaced my sheets on the bed and took a celebratory nap. :)  Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Empties #5

I think there was a total of 10 people at the office today.  Probably worse than a Friday at the office.  I reviewed a document and sent changes to the Communications girl and got a draft of an article done for the quarterly publication and off to my boss for review, so yay for productivity.

I was eating some snacks with Reggie as he was looking for a ugly Christmas sweater.  The big boss came by to let us leave early.  Reggie asked him if he knew where to get an ugly Christmas sweater and I blurted out "You're asking the wrong person."  Uh oh, well, I only said that because the big boss is Jewish.  I was hoping that didn't come across as obnoxious. I don't think he did because he laughed and gave me a high five.

I dug out my box of empties earlier this evening because I finished another tube of toothpaste.  I was happy to finish that $10 bar of soap that I got from when I went to the dermatologist for my shingles. I'm not sure it was necessary, but I'm glad that I didn't let it go to waste.  The only thing in here that I have repurchased is the nail polish remover.  I enjoyed the perfume samples that I finished, but I don't think I'll invest in a full bottle of any of them until I finish my most recent perfume purchases.  I liked Marc Jacobs's Daisy and Dot and Estee Lauder's Beautiful more than Estee Lauder's Beyond Paradise.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Puzzle Completed

My uncle and aunt gave me a puzzle for Christmas so as I was taking a break from teleworking, I decided to work on it.  It was a lot easier than I thought because there were numbers on the pieces and you were to connect them in sequential order.  It took me about 30 minutes, easy peasy.  ;)

During another break, I put together a slideshow video for Steph's mom.  My family and I were invited to go to a dinner next Sunday to celebrate the newlyweds and she wanted to show a slideshow with pictures from the wedding complete with music ("L-O-V-E" and "Marry Me").  I made a version a few days ago that only had enough pictures for 1 song, but her mom asked me to add another song to include more pictures.  I had left a bunch out from the reception. After some help from Google, the task was totally do-able and her parents were pleased with the final product.

I went to my parents' house to eat some leftover flan and pumpkin cheesecake. It was good timing because Mom made turkey fried rice from last night's leftover turkey.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Family Dinner

I decided to take the day off today from work because there wasn't anything on my work calendar or anything pressing that needed my attention.  I went to the post office to mail of a package to my cousin in Boston.  He wasn't able to come home for the holidays so Mom put together a care package of food for him.  Thank goodness for PayPal and my scale.  I can just drop of packages instead of having to wait in line.  Awesome.

I went to my parents' house around 5:30 PM, and then turned around to go home because I couldn't remember if I turned the oven off after I took the green bean casserole out.  Fortunately, I don't live that far away!  We had Thanksgiving food (big thanks to Mom for agreeing to make a turkey) for dinner.  For dessert, my cousin made flan and I made pumpkin cheesecake and brownies.  I explained that the top missing from the cheesecake was due to an accident, but I didn't elaborate that it was a cat related accident.  Then it was time to open presents.  I left one unopened so that I could have something to unwrap in a few days.  I got some postage stamps (I asked for these since I like to send out snail mail), z puzzle, a cookie scoop (in case the one that I have already is in the washer), Redbox movie codes, some travel bags, a lunch bag, a Starbucks mug and hot chocolate, chocolate, and money from Mom and Dad (which will mostly go towards my a responsible adult).
Merry (early) Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas Dinner Prep

Christmas Eve dinner will be happening tomorrow at my parents' house.  We will be having Thanksgiving food again because one cousin couldn't make it on Thanksgiving because she was in Taiwan.  Another cousin is here visiting and wasn't here for Thanksgiving, but will be going back to Taiwan on Christmas Eve.  Meh, no biggie, we'll make it work.  I'm in charge of green bean casserole (will make tomorrow) and pumpkin cheesecake (made today).

I was on the couch reading and waiting for the cheesecake to cool.  I noticed that RJ went into the kitchen, but didn't really think much of it.  Then I realized that he had been in there for quite some time...more than usual and definitely enough time to get into mischief.

And I was right.  He was hunched over the pumpkin cheesecake and licking it!  UGH!  I mean, I would still eat it, but since this is going with me to my parents' house for dinner tomorrow, what am I going to do?  I don't want to have this whole cake go to waste!  I stood there for about 5 minutes debating on my next move.  I finally decided to scrape off the part that I thought he licked.  And I ate thatI know...kinda gross, but it gave me an excuse to try the cake before everyone else.

I'll give a disclaimer tomorrow before it's served.  I also made a plate of brownies if people are too grossed out by cat-licked cake.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Good Customer Service at Target

My goal of going to Target today was to take advantage of their buy $10 worth of dry baking goods and get $3 off.

Except when I checked my receipt after I checked out, I realized that I didn't get the $3 off.  Hm, what happened?  I went back to the baking aisle and realized that it was a mobile coupon that you had to use.  I thought it was automatic.  Nooo!

I debated if $3 was worth going back for, and decided that it was (it's almost a fun Starbucks drink!), so I got in the customer service line.

Hi, I'm really sorry, but I just purchased these chocolate chips and realized that I didn't apply the coupon.  Is there anything that can be done about that?

I braced myself for some unfriendly customer service just because it's the holidays and Target has been really busy.

Much to my surprise, the guy asked for the coupon and I showed him my phone and did some magic on the cash register and gave me my $3.  o_0  Yay!  No complaints.  No eye rolling.  Totally pleasant.

I went over to my parents' house because a cousin from my dad's side of the family was coming over with his kids and wife.  Mom made some lunch bags for the kids and a shopping bag for his wife.  I made cookies on Friday night because they are always bringing food to share with Dad and I usually get half of it, so I figured it'd be the right thing to do reciprocate.  I asked the kids a whole bunch of questions about school.  It's really shocking to me to see how much their educational experience is different from mine.

"Do you know what the dewey decimal system is?"  Noooo.  (Right...what a dumb question).
"Well, how do you know where to find a history book?"  You got to the history section of the library and or ask the librarian.

I asked what they've been doing over break.  Watching movies!  Like what?  Mighty Ducks on Netflix!

Ah, a classic.  Fine. You can have your smart boards and iPads in school, but as far as movies go, sometimes the old stuff can't be beat!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Rave Cookie Review

A coworker sent me the following IM about her kid enjoying one of the Rolo cookies I brought to the office on Tuesday:
OMG- He made such a fuss about that cookie - he made all sorts of noises eating it- it was so funny- it was like the best thing he ever had. E*** thought they were the BOMB. He said best cookie he ever ate.
It's nice to have fans. :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

National Chocolate Covered Anything Day

December 16th is National Chocolate Covered Anything Day. I didn't know that there was such a thing, but it's definitely a holiday that I can get behind! I baked some Rolo cookies to bring in to share. I came away with 1 cookie leftover, plus the 3 that I saved at home for myself.  There were two types of shortbread cookies, peanut butter kiss cookies, peanut butter bars, a chocolate bundt cake, etc.  We love to eat around here, that's for sure! 

That's why I made sure I went to spin class tonight.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Another Card Order

When I got to the gym this morning, I noticed that there were 2 empty Toys for Tots boxes.  I guess the first box got filled, yay!  I dropped off the curling wand I bought from Best Buy and 3 Crayola coloring kits I bought from Target yesterday.  Do good today, check.

I did both spin classes this morning, which was good I needed to burn off the quality assurance I did on the cookies I ate yesterday.  The spin instructors seemed really happy with the cookies and card that I got them as thank you gifts.

For her Secret Santa gift, Julie asked me to make another set of cards like this one.  Payment this time was some ice cream.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy

Productive day today!: post office, library, Target, and CVS in the morning.  I also baked a batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies to give away to the spin instructors tomorrow morning and a batch of oatmeal raisin cookies for the office.

Julie came over earlier this evening to watch Guardians of the Galaxy, which I got on Redbox.  I understand why there was hype and the movie totally deserved all of it.  I wouldn't say that it's my favorite Marvel superhero movie, but I enjoyed it.  Rocket and Groot were my favorites.  RJ wanted to snuggle during the movie.   His big butt on the blanket were making my feet really hot, so I moved him to Julie's lap, which he didn't seem to mind.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Divine Wine and Toys for Tots

Hooray, a day off! I got up at 6:30 AM to feed RJ and went back to bed and didn't get back out until about 11:30 AM. I did answer a few work emails, but other than that, I really enjoyed my free time today.

After breakfast, I went to gas up the car ($2.53/gal), Rite Aid and Korean Korner.  At Rite Aid, I picked up some holiday candy to give as gifts and another Maybelline Creamy Matte lipstick in Daringly Nude.  I had bought the shade Divine Wine last week (seen here) and loved it.  I was even brave enough today to wear it outside the house.  The formula and longevity are great, so of course, I had to buy another shade.  I went armed with $2 in Up rewards and $1 coupon.  And at Korean Korner, I picked up some Asian snacks to send to a friend for Christmas. 

I noticed that there was a Toys For Tots donation box at the gym, so I went the hunt for a good present to get. I looked at the Toys for Tots site for some ideas and came across the following information: "In the past, items purchased for these groups have included, but are not limited to: sporting equipment/bags/balls; books, backpacks, cosmetics, purses, watch/wallet gift sets, bath gift sets, board games, radio control cars/trucks, hand-held electronics, skateboards/helmets, curling irons, hair straighteners, and hair dryers." And then I remembered that I had a $10 off Best Buy coupon. I hopped onto the Best Buy website to see what awesomeness I could get to buy to donate. I found a curling wand that's very similar to the one that I bought for myself almost a year ago for $24.99. Perfect! I applied a 20% off coupon code since it was a personal care item AND my $10 discount and saved $15 and 1% Ebates cash back. Whoever ends up with this curling wand will have some fabulous hair results and I am experiencing a little bit of a high from doing good while saving money. Win-win! :)

Oh, and free in-store pick up so no need to pay for shipping.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Communicating with Tact, Diplomacy and Professionalism

So yesterday and today, I've been in a SkillPath course entitled "Communicating with Tact, Diplomacy and Professionalism."  Yes, this was something that I volunteered for, not something that my boss asked me to go to.  She probably sighed with relief, since I got into a little bit of trouble this summer at work for speaking my mind and showed some claws.

I got some good nuggets of wisdom here and there.  For example:
  • Sometimes it's okay to resolve conflicts via email.  And as I'm typing this up, I wonder if I just imagined that because isn't that something that we're taught not to do?
  • Men are looking for a report.  Women are looking for rapport.
  • The foundation of all successful communication is a positive self-image.
  • Self-esteem must be maintained.
While I appreciated the speaker's enthusiasm and knowledge about the topic, she did overshare her dysfunctional family/childhood and her health issues (upcoming surgery and the ileostomy bag she was wearing, which previous seminar participants had expressed concern about and she didn't want us to be worried.  "Ma'am, we're a little concerned because it appears that you have a growth of some sort"  o_0 What?!  Who on earth would ask such a thing?!).  Whoa there.  We just met!  That's a little TMI.  I couldn't tell if she just thought these stories were the best examples to illustrate her point or she wanted us to feel sorry for her or...something else?

I made it to spin class tonight.  I was surprised that there wasn't a sign over the noisy bike, saying it was out of order.  Someone sat it in tonight and Tuesday night and the bike made clanking sound in both classes.  I felt for them because you could sense their frustration as the class went on.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Arrow Mid-Season Finale

OMG, what a great episode!  I can't wait for January 21 to come around so we can get the show back on the road and Oliver can be rescued from the cliff.

Ouch, that's gotta hurt.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Emergency Chocolate

There's fun chocolate and then there's emergency chocolate.  Fun chocolate, to me, is the kind that you buy because you were already in a good mood.  Emergency chocolate is for preventing you from having a freak out at work.  I was feeling this slightly overwhelming sense of pressure and panic. We have this survey that we need to send out in February and I don't think we'll be able to make that deadline.  I was feeling frustrated at myself for not getting things moving sooner, but I'm doing the best that I can, rawr!  I decided that the best thing to do was to get out of my seat and out of the building and march right into CVS to get chocolate.

Emotional eating at its best.

On the bright side, I had a coupon.
The other nice thing that happened today was that I was in the elevator with the food safety director this morning. I had my box of cards that I needed to turn into Human Resources. "Oh, cards for someone?" Well, HR ordered them. "Oh, they are so nice. We love getting them." Aw, yay!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

O, Christmas Tree

I made it through 2 spin classes this morning.  I wish I was able to take a picture of the bike monitor as documentation, but the bike I was on during the first class was making this noise and it got progressively louder as the class went on.  The instructor pointed it out, "Tina, is that you?  You're like the percussion to the music.  Don't worry, no one will know but me."  Well, not really because you just announced it to the whole class.  It was making the same noise on Thursday night, so I should have known it probably wouldn't go away magically.  By the time I realized that the noise was back, all the bikes in the class were taken this morning.  Anyway, when the class was over, I wiped it down and moved to the bike right next to it.

After the gym, I did a little grocery shopping, went home to clean up and then I went to Target to get some Christmas presents.  I took advantage of the Starbucks buy 3, get a $5 Target gift card deal as well as came armed with a coupon.  Mwah ha ha.  The cashier complimented me on my money saving skills and my Target bag to put my purchases in.  I think there's also some Starbucks e-gift card that I can get with proof of purchase of 3 Starbucks items.  Hmmm.

Earlier tonight, I went over to my parents' house to put up the Christmas tree. :)

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Office Order, Done!

It rained all day long today, so I basically stayed in my craft room and worked on a 28-card order for the office.  My goal was to at least get through half of the order today and then do the rest tomorrow.  When I got to the halfway mark, it was still raining, so I kept going, and then before I knew it, I was done! :)
Hooray, I'm free! I made my way to Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Ulta, my parents' house and then another Target.  I normally don't like to drive in the rain and in the dark, but I needed to get outside!
  • 1st Target: Bought holiday Ziploc bags to put holiday cookies to give away (used 2 coupons and Cartwheel) and hair ties.
  • Bed Bath and Beyond: Returned part of an online order
  • Ulta: Bought a 4 mini-Body Shop lotion set for a friend's Christmas present.  Normally $12, but with coupons and point redemption, I bought for $4.24.
  • Parents' house: Clipped coupons, caught up with Julie (even though I saw her yesterday) and raided the fridge
  • 2nd Target: Bought a Maybelline Creamy Matte lipstick in Divine Wine (I've heard lots of good things about this formula so I wanted to see what the fuss was about, used $1 coupon) and some tights (30% Cartwheel coupon).  I'll be back tomorrow to take advantage of the deals for next week for Christmas present shopping.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Workweek Hustle

I won this week's Fitbit Workweek Hustle against Surili. :)

My sister Julie came over after work so we could exchange the cards that I made for her for chocolate, specifically a box of Raisinets, Milk Duds and Riesens.  Payment accepted!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Card Order

My sister Julie wanted me to make a stationery set for a friend's Christmas gift, so she picked out some cards that I had previously made and posted on my blog so that I'd have something to refer to.  I had to make some minor changes because of what I had in supply, but I made it work.

I told her I accepted payment in chocolate and ice cream.  Unless it's for something big, I feel kinda weird taking money as payment from family.
Meeting leftovers for today were Eggspectations (waffles) and Italian food from Mama Lucia.  It's going to be weird to have to remember to pack lunch next week, but at least I don't have to dress up (read: business casual).  Yay, back to jeans!  I ate so much pasta and chicken marsala, I'm glad that I was about to snag a bike at spin class tonight.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

New Chromecast

One of the Black Friday-ish items that I bought on a whim on Monday was a Chromecast.  Best Buy had it on sale for $22.99 (2% Ebates cash back and free in-store pick up).  I watch a lot of YouTube so it's nice to be able watch the videos on a larger screen with better resolution than I could if I was watching it through my Wii.  I also thought it was a great deal because I checked the price today and it went back up to $35.00.  Suh-weet! :)
Meeting leftovers today were Eggspectations for breakfast and Chipotle for lunch. Wheee!

Another nice thing that happened today was that the policy director came by my desk (which is very unusual as we only run into each other in the kitchen or in the hallway) to tell me that he got a nice card from the office and it's on his mantel now.  Ah ha, he got one of the cards that I made for Human Resources to send to staff on their birthday and anniversary.  I don't know how well known it is at the office that I'm the one that make those cards, so it's nice to hear nice feedback.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Ulta Haul and Office Order

Hooray, my Ulta order came today!  I was surprised to see that the perfume samples that came with the order were of ones that I already ordered.  It would have been nice to try something else, but at least I know I like these.  As for the serving set, I know I'll at least use the "fancy" plate to put cookies on at the office or something.
Speaking of the office, we're having meetings all week. I got breakfast and lunch leftovers today. Eggspectations and Lebanese Taverna, respectively.

I also got a card order from the office, 28 anniversary cards.  Here's the sample that I made.  Hopefully I don't have to make any modifications to it and I can get cranking on it over the weekend for my Monday deadline.  It's sorta similar to this card because I used another stamp in the same set, but I thought I'd jazz this up with some gold embossing powder.
Card Specs: 
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Prussian Blue
Embossing powder: Personal Stamp Exchange- Detail Gold
Embossing ink: VersaMark
Paper: Chatterbox
Stamp: Hero Arts- Everyday Sayings, Stampin' Up- Definitely Decorative Ferns
Other: Black Ultra Fine Point Sharpie

Monday, December 1, 2014

Other Duties as Assigned

My boss asked me if I could take down her fall window stickers and put her winter ones since she wasn't coming back to the office until January (she's based on Colorado), so that's what I did this morning.  So instead of leaves, now her windows are decorated with winter cupcakes and snowmen.  It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...
Surili challenged me to a Fitbit "Workweek Hustle" this week. Last time, she had a bum knee so I felt like I had an unfair advantage. She didn't say anything about being injured this time so here we go! I was able to get a bike today at spin class, and I'm glad that I got there 10 minutes early because it was a packed class. One person tried to get the last remaining bike and a lady came in from the back of the room and yelled, "No, my bike!" I looked at the lady next to me and she had the same "WTH?!" expression on her face. Sheesh, I don't get why that lady was so mean to the other lady. I overheard her talking to someone else after class saying that she's been having difficulty getting a bike lately.  Yes, I understand that's frustrating, but wow, come on, it's not that deep. 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Couch Day

I made it to the gym today, but that was probably the most productive thing I did all day.  Go me.  I maybe ran off a slice of pumpkin cheesecake, but that was it.  I challenged myself to see how far I could make it in 30 minutes on the treadmill...2.41 miles (roughly 12.5 minute/mile).  Considering I'm more of a spinner than a runner, I don't that's too bad.

Afterwards, I went to some drugstores to take advantage of some deals.  CVS for a roll of paper towels (buy for $1.99 and then get $1.99 in Extra Care Bucks) and the Riteaid for some lotion ($2.99 and then get $2 in Up rewards).  Practical stuff, so nothing exciting or colorful.

I was happy to get my contact lens order in the mail this afternoon, but what I was really hoping for were my Shutterfly order and my Target gift card.  I was watching this news clip yesterday about jerks stealing packages from people's doorsteps.  Well, I hope that's not the case with this Shutterfly order.  The tracking system says that it was delivered on Wednesday, but I haven't seen it yet. Customer service said that I should wait until COB on Monday if it still hasn't shown up.

Other than that, today was a couch day with RJ and a NCIS marathon on tv.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday Shopping

Since Thanksgiving is officially over, I didn't feel bad putting up the holiday wreath that Mom made me a few years ago.

After hanging it up, I made some oatmeal for breakfast and started looking for deals online for Christmas presents as well as Ebates.  I purchased something from the following stores: Bed, Bath and Beyond (4% Ebates cash back) and Groupon (10% Ebates cash back), which took care of my Secret Santa, Steph, Robyn, and my parents.

Around 10:30 AM, I went to CVS and the mall to walk around.  I'm not sure if all the Black Friday shoppers already got their deals at the stores or they did their shopping online like me, but I didn't think the crowds were that bad.  Surprisingly, I came out with nothing and didn't feel bad about that. I can't promise how good my restraint will be once I get my Target gift card that I got with credit card points, though.
Julie came over earlier this evening to watch the Redbox movie that I rented yesterday, X-Men: Days of Future Past. I had seen it over the summer, but really liked it. Plus, I had a free Redbox movie code.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Turkey Chase and Thanksgiving

Volunteer Activity #10 of 2014: I woke up at 5:45 AM to volunteer at the 32nd Annual Turkey Chase, specifically packet and t-shirt pick-up.  Wow, was it cold!  They even had portable furnaces (think propane-fueled tiki torches), but you had to stand really close to them to feel any heat.  Good thing I had running tights, a fleece jacket, and a hat.  It was cool to see so many runners of all ages.  I recognized a classmate's wife picking up her packet, a coworker's husband and sister-in-law, as well as a friend that I went to elementary/middle/high school with.  She currently lives in California, but is home to see her family (C, are you reading this? It was good to see you!).
After the race, I went over to my parents' house to get something to eat and then I headed to Safeway for a Redbox movie (X-Men: Days of Future Past) and some ice cream, and then a much needed nap!  When I woke up, it was time to get ready and head to my parents' house for Thanksgiving dinner.  Paihan and Emily were not able to make it to dinner tonight (Paihan is in Boston and Emily is in Taiwan/Japan).  However, CT brought his girlfriend and another friend to dinner. 
The apple pie that Mom got at Costco was 4.68 lbs!  CT brought 2 containers of flan. I brought my pumpkin cheesecake, which was all eaten or given away by the end of the evening.  My cousins and I picked names for this year's Secret Santa exchange, which is great because now I can plan out holiday shopping with all the online Black Friday deals. :)  Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Volunteering and New Nails

Volunteer Activity #9 of 2014: I went to City Sports this morning from 9:30 AM to 1:30 PM to volunteer at the Turkey Chase packet pick up.  Snow was coming down around 11 AM in big flakes, but the weather wasn't cold enough where it was sticking anywhere.  It was pretty to see through the store windows though.

New Nails: I was feeling inspired by the snowy weather today and my other manicure was chipping so I did my nails with a snowflake pattern.  This is Bundle Monster Plate #323 with 2 coats of China Glaze's Little Drummer Boy for the base coat and Sally Hansen in White On nail polish for stamping
I also made my pumpkin cheesecake in preparation for tomorrow's Thanksgiving dinner at my parents' house.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Books and Chocolate Mug Cake

I tried to do 2 spin classes this morning, but I ended up doing the later class and 2.5 miles on the treadmill.  I'm still at #3 on my Fitbit leaderboard, but I'm hoping that I can catch up by tomorrow.

Books #5, 6, 7 of 2014: I borrowed the Kindle version of the Crossfire series by Sylvia Day from the library.  Yeah yeah, it's 50 Shades of Grey-ish, but I found Gideon and Eva more likeable than Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele.  I could only get through Book 1 of the Grey because I thought it was so poorly written, so this was a nice change of pace.  Book 1 and 2 of the Crossfire series were good, but Book 3 felt like filler.  Looks like the sentiment is shared in the reviews on Amazon.  I guess this series was intended to be a trilogy, so I can see why fans would feel jipped because there was a lack of closure at the end of Book 3.  I hope Book 4 and 5 will have more substance and offer these troubled characters some much needed help with their jealousy, stalker-ish behavior and dark pasts.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Mug Cake: I tried this recipe tonight, but I think this previous one that I tried was better.  The one I tried tonight had you mix everything together, but I kinda like having the blob of peanut butter in the middle like the previous recipe offered.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

New Hairdo (Again!)

I was looking at other tutorials that Twist Me Pretty had to offer on her YouTube channels, and I found another one that I wanted to try today.  It's the 5-strand Dutch braid.  It took me about 1.5 hours to get mine to a point where I'd go outside with it in public.  Wow, were my shoulders aching afterwards! But hey, it's the price of success.

Mom gave me food to bring to the office for the food drive and I used one of her grocery bags.  After my hair battle this morning, I went over to return it and also do some grocery shopping.  I went to CVS to see if they had anything that I liked on clearance, but I walked out with nothing because, really, I have enough!  I probably have a similar color somewhere and I don't really need a new eyeliner (I have 3 black eyeliners that I'm working on finishing...I'm almost there!) or mascara (working on a tube and a sample and I have one waiting after those 2 are done).  I guess I like to look at pretty things.  I ended up going to Starbucks and got a Salted Caramel Mocha...yum!

When I was at my parents' house, Mom was like "You have makeup on.  You don't need to wear makeup on the weekends."  Eh, I feel like you can wear makeup whenever you feel like it.  I was rocking winged liner (revisiting Maybelline Line Stiletto, which is starting to grow on me) and Revlon Matte Balm in Sultry.

I came home to eat and then I went back out to the mall to get some steps in.  I'm really slacking on my Fitbit leaderboard.  Usually I'm at #1 or #2, but because I was lazy and didn't go to spin class during the week, I've fallen to #3.  Grrr.  I went to Target (but didn't buy anything because I'm waiting for a Target gift card that I bought using credit card points), Macy's (got bombarded by several perfume saleswomen.  I'm just browsing, thank you!), Joann's (got a bottle of glue with my 20% off coupon), New York & Company (nothing), and DSW Shoes (nothing there either).

I had my eye on Gucci Guilty at Macy's, but I was hoping to find a deal on it online.  So I ended up logging onto when I got home and bought it in a pen spray form as well as Clinique Happy rollerball and Marc Jacobs Honey pen spray with the buy 2, get 1 free rollerball/spray.  I also got the Ulta serving set free because of my purchase and free shipping.  And 8% Ebates cash back.  Whoo hoo!  :)

Friday, November 21, 2014

New Nails and Hairdo

It's too cold to be outside today, so I decided to switch up my manicure and try a new hairdo.  This one is the Cheeky A plate and I used 2 coats of Sally Hansen in White On nail polish and Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Gray by Gray for stamping.
I saw this Halo braid tutorial on YouTube (source: Twist Me Pretty) and wanted to try it out myself. It's tough because it's one braid all the way around and at some point you have to switch hands. And then your arms also get tired. But I did it! I don't think I have it mastered enough to do it to wear it to work, but practice makes perfect!  I'm determined to keep my long hair, but I wanted to learn more techniques so I can be more creative than a ponytail every day.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Volunteering at the YMCA

Volunteer Activity #8 of 2014: After work today, I went to the local YMCA to help stuff packets for the Turkey Chase that's happening next Thursday.  This year, they decided to do a mail bib/shirt option so we had to stuff the envelopes with the right bibs and shirts.  The shirts this year are bright orange and they are a tech material, which is great because then I can wear it to the gym. The cotton shirts are great, but not great for the gym.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Brandon Routh Look-Alike?

I was watching Arrow earlier tonight and I figured out who the cute trainer from yesterday looks like.  He looks like Brandon Routh who plays Ray Palmer on the show.  Hah.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Training at Deloitte

Two of my coworkers and I went to Deloitte Consulting today and yesterday for a training on Tableau, which can help us do some data visualization.  My organization collects a lot of data, but we need to make the data more interesting to look at and we figured that maps and snazzy looking charts would be a better way to do it.

The trainer today was very handsome.  Needless to say, I was definitely paying attention in class. ;)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday Nails

2 spin classes today, check!  I wasn't sure I was going to be able to make it through the second class, but I kept going.  Yay for big accomplishments before lunch!

I decided to do some nail stamping this afternoon.  This one is the Cheeky Happy Nails plate and I used 2 coats of Sonia Kashuk nail polish in Tumultuous Teal and Maybelline Color Show nail polish in Bold Gold.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

A Crafty Afternoon

In an effort to not go to the mall and window shop, I sat down at my craft desk to make some holiday cards for the upcoming season. I put my heat gun to good use with all the embossing that I did.

Card Specs:
Embossing powder: Stampendous! in white
Embossing ink: VersaMark
Stamp: Studio G (sentiment), Hero Arts- Stunning Snowflakes
Die: Lifestyle Crafts- Nesting Lace Doilies
Other: Liquid Pearl in Rouge

I went to my parents' house for dinner.  Dad got take-out from That's Amore: fried calamari, pasta with shrimp and scallops, crab dip, and some sort of chicken dish that came with some delicious potatoes.
Mom also cut up some red bean dessert that my cousin from Japan sent over. The bottom layer was the red bean and then there was a solid jelly layer on top that had colored leaves on it. That took some skills to make...and it was also very delicious!

Friday, November 14, 2014

CVS Winter 2014 Makeup Clearance

I was so glad to be done with my 1.5 day committee today. Whew. Now I don't have to worry about it for another year! Michelle and I had a coffee date at 2 PM so we could take advantage of the buy 1, get 1 free holiday drink. This time I got the caramel brulee latte. Yum! Now we're even ;)

As a reward for myself for getting through the committee meeting, I went to CVS after work and looked for the deals that G listed in her blog post about the CVS Winter 2014 makeup clearance event. While there were many things that I wanted, I came away with 1 thing: Revlon Lip Butter in Raspberry Pie. Originally $9.49, but with the 75% off clearance price, it came out to $2.37. It's quite pigmented, but very pretty.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Food, Coffee, Cake, and Surprise Gift

The potluck was a big hit!  There were so many tasty things that people brought to share.  My favorites were Michelle's green bean casserole and Carol's broccoli salad and Chris's noodle dish.  Of course, I had to try a slice of my pumpkin cheesecake and I also snagged a chocolate chip cookie.  Many people brought store bought desserts, but those didn't get very far. I got several compliments on the cheesecake (and my braided hair) today :)

Before going to a colleague's good-bye gathering, Michelle and I took advantage of Starbucks's Buy 1, Get 1 Free holiday drink.  "Can I get a small peppermint mocha?" she asked the barista.  I followed with "Can I get a peppermint mocha, full fat?"  Go hard or go home, I say!  We have a coffee date on Friday afternoon; her treat this time to even us out.  On another note, there was a creepy guy standing in the line behind me.  I was trying to ignore him.  Michelle said that he tried to touch me, but I stepped aside in time.  Ack.

With everyone's full tummies from the potluck, there was actually some cake leftover. Reggie ordered a half vanilla and half chocolate cake.  I think he was envisioning that it'd be one side vanilla and the other side chocolate.  Nope, it was one layer of vanilla in between two layers of chocolate.  No what we had in mind, but not incorrect either.

I went over to my parents' house tonight to pick up the bag that Mom made for Robyn with the remainder of the fabric I used for the photo board.  She also handed a book on origami that my uncle from Japan sent me.  How thoughtful! :) 

The new neighborhood cat that I named Homer also came back for a visit.  Mom built him a shelter with Ginger's old carrier.  He disappeared after eating his snack, but I found him in the carrier, so cute! :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Pumpkin Cheesecake

On my day off today, I made a pumpkin cheesecake in preparation for tomorrow's office potluck.  I hope it results in no leftovers and happy coworkers.  Happy Veterans Day!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Fall Thank You Card

There wasn't really anything interesting on tv after I got back from the gym (ok, ok. I admit I watched Vanderpump Rules), so I decided to make a card with some scraps that were laying around. I made an envelope to send Suzie's card last week and I had a strip of leftover paper. The fall-ish theme was the inspiration behind the card.
Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Chestnut Roan
Stamps: Fiskars- Just Between Friends (sentiments)
Punches: Fiskars apron lace border punch, We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper
Paper: Die Cuts with a View

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Two-A-Day Spin Class

With all the Oreos that I ate yesterday, I thought it would be wise to go to 2 spin classes this morning.  I was thinking I could do at least 1.5 hours, but I actually managed to do the full 2 hours (45 minute class, 15 minute break, 60 minute class).  I went to Target and A.C.Moore afterwards to browse, but I didn't find anything that I wanted to buy.

I took a quick shower and ate some lunch when I got home.  I headed back out to Kohl's and Michaels since they had some good deals and coupons, but again, I went home empty handed.  Oh well.  Save it for a rainy day...or when better holiday deals come down the line.

I got cat-called walking to Kohl's from Michaels.  Ugh.  How creepy.  What do you expect me to say?  Thanks for telling me; I would have no idea how you felt?  Even the usual resting b*tch face wasn't enough to deter them.  Fortunately, they were driving away.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

New Neighborhood Cat, Oreos and Crafty Project

I'm not sure if there's a neighborhood cat bulletin that Harry the Cat put out about the food that Mom leaves out for him, but there was another cat that came by today to eat his food! Harry came by to visit around this time and then slowly sulked away because he was scared of this new cat. He looks very similar to Hans, but his coat isn't striped. If he comes by to visit more often, Mom will have to give him a name.
During my grocery shopping trip this morning, Safeway had these Peppermint Oreos out in the front, first thing you see when you walk into the store.  Ugh, they got me!  The ploy totally worked.  And they are delicious.
My goal today was to find a present for Robyn since we will be celebrating this upcoming week (even though her birthday was yesterday). I remember seeing that her current photoholders in her apartment were getting kind of full, so I decided to make one for her.  This kitty one turned out much better than the one that I made for myself a few years ago.  I got the fabric from Joann's (1 yard was on sale for $2.79).  The canvas was 50% off.  Less than $20 for a useful, homemade gift :)