Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Trip to the Emergency Vet

I was so happy to make it to spin class this morning. I haven't been to a class in over 2 weeks because of being sick and going to Vancouver. Afterwards, I went to Target and A.C. Moore. There was quite a lot of jewelry on clearance so I picked out two that I liked. Normally, I think $5 is more than I'd be willing to pay but since I had a 25% off jewelry Cartwheel coupon, I felt like I could justify the purchase. I didn't find anything that I wanted at A.C. Moore and I was okay with that.
When I got home, I noticed that RJ was struggling to pee.  He go into his litterbox and sit there for quite some time, leave and then come back to pee again.  Ugh.  Something's not right.  I had a feeling that he had some sort of blockage.  I called the emergency vet and told them what the situation was and they told me to bring him in.  So I got back in the car with RJ and headed to the vet.  Yep, I was right.  He wasn't totally blocked, but he was definitely feeling uncomfortable.  They sent me home with some pain and anti-spasm medication and instructed me to keep an eye on him the next few days.  Good thing I don't have to got to work tomorrow!  When we got home from the vet, he wanted to sleep on my stinky gym clothes.  Sigh.  I had to give him medication orally tonight and wow, he was not happy.  Sorry, but I don't want to take you back to the vet!

Fingers crossed that things will be better tomorrow!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Back to Normal

I am so thankful for the 3-day weekend so that I can get back to some sort of routine. With my bout with shingles and vacation and work travel, I'm glad to be getting things back to normal. 

For example, grocery shopping.  Haven't done that in a while!  I went to Walgreens this morning in search of the Limited Edition Wet 'N Wild eyeshadow palettes that people have been talking about on the beauty blogs.  I didn't find them, but to make sure that the trip wasn't a waste, I went next door to Giant to get some grocery shopping done.  I came back with some fresh vegetables so that I can get some healthier foods back in my diet!  Well, I couldn't pass up the ice cream that was on sale, but dairy is one of the food groups, isn't it?  This Haagen-Dazs peanut butter pie ice cream was pretty amazing.
After dropping off the groceries at home and putting them away, I headed to Target.  Meh, nothing too interesting there.  I got some lunch there and while I was waiting for my take out order, Mom called to say there was food at the house and invited me to come over.  Between the grocery shopping trip and my parents' house, I went to 2 CVSs and still didn't find the eyeshadow palettes.  Oh well.  I ate my lunch at my parents' house and also took some of the food they ordered back home with me to eat for dinner.  Healthy food consumption will start tomorrow, I promise!

Time for a nap and caught up on watching some YouTube videos and I made some cards for my Etsy shop because I sold 7 cards while I was on vacation.  Time to replenish!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Atlanta, Day 2

Yay for productive meetings.  There's only so much that you can accomplish over the phone anyway.

Thankfully the trip to the Atlanta airport was far less stressful than the trip going there.  I fell asleep for most of the flight, so that left me with some energy before bedtime to unpack and even get a load of laundry done.  I came home to a patched up hole in my ceiling that was a result from a visit from a plumber back in July.  When my parents came to check on RJ, they also brought a ladder and supplies to help me out.  They also brought me a huge thing of kitty litter since there's no reason for them to have it at home because Ginger passed away.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Atlanta, Day 1

On the road again...but this time for work and not for fun.

So many things went wrong this morning while I was trying to get to the airport. :P

a. My iPhone turned off sometime during the night so I didn't have an alarm to wake me up.  I had it set for 4 AM, but I ended up waking up at 6 AM.  Good thing I had packed many of my things the night before and I had set out the clothes I was going to wear.

b. When I transferred Metro stations, I wasn't looking closely at which train I went on, so I had to backtrack one step.

c. When I got to the airport, my Metro card didn't work and the station manager showed me that it was because my card was cracked and broken.

I was smart in checking into my flight last night so I could go directly to security.  I made it to my gate as people were boarding.  Whew!

In the rush to get out, I realize that I forgot my toothbrush and worse, my Fitbit.  :(

I went to the meeting site directly from the airport and sat in the café with my chicken tenders and fries while I killed time before the meeting. Yay for free Wi-Fi!  The pre-meeting meeting was very productive and I think it was a good decision to get our ducks in a row before talking to the larger group tomorrow.

At least the day ended on a good note with a trip to Violette, a French restaurant in Atlanta. I had the Bouchée à la Reine (Puff pastry filled with chicken breast, topped with creamy herb- mushroom sauce).  Yum!  I knew that it'd be delicious because that's what I got when I was in Atlanta last August.  What's interesting is that the presentation of it looked totally different from last time.  Equally delicious though!
After dinner, my boss drove me and a colleague to a nearby Target.  This was a blessing because I needed a toothbrush.  I suppose I could have gotten one from the hotel front desk, but I wanted something of higher quality.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Vancouver, Day 5

Aw, man.  The last day of vacation!  :(

Oh well, we gotta make the best of it.

Since our flight wasn't until 7:30 PM, we had some time to goof off before heading to the airport.  We decided to take the train to Science World.  This place was a lot of fun because you could touch and interact with many of the exhibits.  For example, there was a section just of jigsaw puzzles and ones that you had to think things through.  There was one where you had 4 Ts and you had to fit it in a square and then you had to see if the same 4 Ts would fit in smaller square.  Julie was really struggling with that one.  Several of the volunteers came to help, but none of them knew the answer.  One of them offered to get the answer key.  Yes, please! 

There was an exhibit about animals, one about the human body, one about sports, and one about energy.  Very cool stuff.
A giant hamster wheel for humans.
Yay, kitties!
We were there for about 3 hours until it was time to head back to the hotel, grab our stuff and get back on the train.  And wait and wait and wait for our flight.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Vancouver, Day 4

Volunteer Activity #7 of 2014: Today's goal was to volunteer at the Downtown Eastside Women's Centre for their lunch service. There were lots of things that we needed to get done logistically to make this possible: pick up rental car, find parking near convention hotel to park said rental car, move donations from vendor room to rental car, get volunteers, drive to women's center, and find parking.  Whew.

When we went to pick up the donations, one of the vendors said that one of the people that donated left their cell phone in the bag of donations they brought in.  Fortunately, they remembered who that person was and I remembered what they brought so it didn't take too long to figure out which bag was theirs.  The timing was perfect because they were 5 minutes away from donating a cell phone to the women's center!

There were 2 volunteers that came with us: one from Washington state who drove up to Vancouver to do the volunteer event (but wasn't doing the convention) and one fan from Finland (?!).  Both of them were very cool.  The girl from Finland was a naval architect, which I thought was very interesting.

I was Julie's navigator to the women's center.  Like old school fold out map.  This was a challenge because there were quite a few roads that were one way, but we managed!  It was a little slow in the beginning because we were early, but once lunch service started, there was a steady stream of women from 12:30 to 2 PM, when we left.  The food today was "Temple food" which I found out meant that it was donated from a local temple.  Many of the women that came through grumbled under their breath that they "hated" temple food.  Uh oh.  Yikes.

My job was to set out sets of folks, spoons, and napkins for the women to pick up before they found a place to sit.  Everyone else helped with plate preparation and serving the food.  It was quite humbling experience to see how many women came through.  Some had children.  Some looked like they were suffering from some sort of mental illness and/or had a drug problem. 
Hah, you can see me in the window reflection on the left!
Time for dinner! Julie and I went to Commune Cafe, which was one of the places on our to-eat list (it's the only place that we actually went to on the list since we didn't have a car and were on a budget).  While we were there, I had the map out to look up how far the Science Center was from our hotel.  The waitress came by with our drinks and asked us where we were from and what brought us to Vancouver.  I mentioned that we were there for vacation and to attend the Supernatural Convention.  "Oh, really?  Do you see who's sitting on the other side of the glass?"  Oh whoa.  It was one of the cast members, Mark Sheppard. This was funny because Julie had found out about this restaurant because this actor had said many nice things about it and what a coincidence that he's here too!  He was there with one of the actresses from the show.  We decided to give him his privacy and let him be a normal person and eat dinner in peace.  I'm sure a few days of fangirls can be very exhausting.
Julie got the California sandwich.  I got the mac and cheese with the Red Lychee drink.  This worked out nicely because the lunches were 50% off at the time that we went.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Vancouver, Day 3

Volunteer Activity #6 of 2014: Today was about collecting donations at the Supernatural Convention that was held in Vancouver.  The organization that Julie volunteers for had a table in the vendors sections so I helped her man the table.  Meh, that's pretty easy.  Collect donations, smile, be nice to's not unlike any booth that I would do for work or crafting.  People were very generous with the donations they were handing over to benefit the Downtown Eastside Women's Centre.

Aside from doing good today, it was also a good people watching event.  Wow, these fans are...passionate.  There was a bunch of cosplaying people.  There were people that had Supernatural related tattoos.  I mean, whoa.  And it was really surprising to me to see how much money these fans would be willing to shell out for a convention, photo op, autograph, etc.  I love my TV shows, but I wouldn't be willing to pay hundreds of dollars to go to something like this.
Dinner was pretty low key tonight with me eating leftovers and Julie getting a salad from a local grocery store.  By the time we left the convention, many things were closing down and we were TIRED.  Even the Asian market that we went to yesterday, the hot food selection was different and much more expensive.  No, thanks.  We're on a budget!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Vancouver, Day 2

The plan today was to go to the Vancouver Aquarium.  This was the only thing on my must-do list for this trip, so I was way excited to go.

After a very good night's sleep, we headed out to the Aquarium and rode the bus to Stanley Park.  The bus was a nice way to see the city a little bit.

Even though I went to this aquarium when i was a kid, I don't remember much about it except for the beluga whales.  We stayed there for about 5 hours to get our money's worth and saw lots of fish, frogs and other marine animals.  They also had some educational shows on how they took care of the animals.  We watched the trainers work with the dolphins, sea otter, seals and beluga whales.
We didn't have any plans for dinner, but on the way back to the hotel, we saw an Asian market that happened to have a hot food bar.  Ah, perfect!  Good food for a cheaper price.  I would have spent more time there, but that would have been dangerous.
After "dinner" and some downtime, we walked to Costco to get some candy that will be given at the convention booth tomorrow.  Julie decided on some individually wrapped Hi-Chews, so the challenge will be not to eat them myself and leave them for the visitors.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Vancouver, Day 1

Yay, vacation!  This is our first sibling only vacation.  Mom and Dad are holding down the fort at home and taking care of RJ. :)

Dad and Julie came to pick me up at 3 AM to head to the airport for a 6 AM flight.  We had an hour flight to Newark and then a 5 hour flight to Vancouver.  There was a lady that was sitting in Julie's assigned seat on the flight to Newark and she was all in a huff when I asked her to check her ticket.  Oh, come on, lady.  It's too early for this!  Fortunately, that was the only unpleasant thing we had to deal with today.  Then we had to figure out the train system so we could get to our hotel.  It was a little confusing to figure out which zone we were heading to, but we managed.  

After some downtime (read: a 3 hour accidental nap), Julie and I headed to the convention center to set up.  I've never been into Supernatural, so I guess this experience this weekend as Julie's vendor assistant will be all I need for a lifetime.

For dinner, we went to Frankie's Italian Kitchen and Bar.  I got the gnocchi and Julie got the spaghetti and meatballs.  Yum!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Shingles, Day 7

I haven't taken a shower or washed my hair since Tuesday of last week, but I did both first thing this morning!  It was amazing to feel human again. 

My next goal is to venture out of the house and getting over the thought of wearing clothes or a seat belt over this healing blisters. :(

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Shingles, Day 6

I almost had a panic moment last night.  I was so tired, but the pain was keeping me awake.  Around 4 AM, I took an Advil and was able to fall asleep.  I slept on and off until about 2:30 PM and wow, what a difference a little rest can do.  I looked in the mirror and felt a sense of victory when I saw that some of the shingles blisters were starting to dry out.

I wanted to take advantage of the renewed energy so I did some cleaning and worked on this butterfly wall art that my friend Jessie requested.  She had seen it on Pinterest and Etsy, but the ones being sold online were going for $75 (?!).  I think that's a little unreasonable, so I told her I'd help her out.  I already had the butterfly punch and the cardstock.  Joann's had a sale on the canvas so material-wise, this was really easy.  It took me about 2 hours to put everything together and I think this'll be a nice addition to her daughters' room.
Mom and Dad were super nice to come over tonight and bring me dinner (crab cakes).  I've had no desire to leave the house (I haven't since Thursday), so the company was nice.  Mom kept sneaking chicken to RJ.  That kitty is so spoiled!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Shingles, Day 5

Today is Day 5 of this shingles experience.  The pain that's associated with shingles reared its ugly head yesterday.  It feels like tiny pinpricks in the affected area, and the pain makes it very difficult to concentrate on anything, even sleep.  I've had my wisdom teeth pulled and my gallbladder removed and neither one of those experiences compares to shingles. I haven't showered or washed my hair since Tuesday, which sounds gross, but the thought of anything touching me makes me mentally wince.  Good thing I haven't had to be anywhere except the pharmacy yesterday to pick up my antiviral medication and antibacterial ointment. Fortunately I have been able to take sick days TH and FRI.  There's no way I'd be able to do any work or even make it to the office with these ugly painful blisters on my neck.


Maybe I should consider taking a shower...

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Trip to the Doctor

I woke up on Monday with a rash on my neck.  What is going on?  I hadn't changed my routine at all so it was a mystery to me.

I went to the office on Tuesday and my boss happened to be in town.  "So how's it going?"  I debated on whether or not to say something to her.  "Um...okay."  She could tell something was up, so I found my words.  "Ok, I'm going to tell you this as a mom and not as my boss.  I have a rash on my neck."  She encouraged me to get it checked out. 

I went to the dermatologist this afternoon and they diagnosed me with shingles.

I blurted out the first thing that came to mind.

"Isn't this something that happens only to old people!?"

Apparently not. 

Work has been really stressful lately, but it's more of a personnel issue rather than my workload.  I wish it was a workload issue because if that was the case, I could just dig in and get stuff done.  However, with personnel issues, it's not something that can be easily smoothed over.

I went to the pharmacy and they didn't have what I needed, but at least I can go back tomorrow to pick up my medication.


On the flip side, the pain isn't too bad.  The rash just looks "fugly" (yes, a Mean Girls reference...).  And I'm thankful that my boss was understanding when I told her what was going on.  I think time away from the office will be nice.

I'm really hoping these are magic pills that I'm taking because I want to have this rash contained before my sister and I head off to Vancouver next week.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

New Nails and Completed Office Order

My new Bundle Monster nail plates came in!  The Cheeky plates aren't here yet, but at least I had something new to play with in the meantime.  These are what I'm going to call my Kapow nails.  Base coat: Sally Hansen in White On.  Pink: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Fuchsia Flash.  Bundle Monster plate #305. When I posted the picture on Facebook, a friend from work commented: "I was showing off your nails to my sisters and nieces... they were all super impressed!"  :)
Most of my Sunday was spent working on the 40 card office order that came in last week.  I'm done, so yay, extra money in my pocket!
To celebrate 3 August birthdays and my youngest cousin going off to Boston for dental school and my aunt and uncle leaving to go back to Taiwan, we had a family dinner at That's Amore.  Mmm, Italian food.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Crafty Haul

To reward myself for getting an "exceeded expectations" rating at work for the past year's worth of work (and getting a raise!), I went shopping today.  I didn't see anything makeup related that I really wanted (shocking, I know), but I did see some things at Joann's that I wanted.  They were having a 30% off die cutting supplies special and I also had a $5 off $25 purchase competitor's coupon.  I bought some hexagon, flag and leaf dies and a canvas for a project that I'll be working on for a friend.  Score!

I met up with my friends Meg and Robyn for dinner.  There was a lot to catch up on since the last time the 3 of us saw each other in person was in June.  We went to Piola and enjoyed some Italian food and of course, our favorite red wine sangria. :)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Samples for Office Card Order

I got an office order for 20 birthday and 20 anniversary cards.  Because these will be sent out in the fall, the Human Resources girl asked me for some fall-ish cards.  Here are the samples I came up with.

Monday, August 4, 2014

An Office Request Wedding Card

I received an email from one of the directors at the office.  She asked if I could make a wedding card to celebrate one of her employees upcoming wedding.  Aw, yay.  Ok, no problem.  I actually sit on the opposite side of the aisle from her employee and we chat very often so I was happy to fill that request.  She sent pictures and gave tips on things the couple liked.  I incorporated some of her favorite colors and used some wood elements as a nod to their love of the outdoors.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

New Nails

The coloblock nails that I did earlier in the week were starting to chip, so I decided that it was time to redo my nails. This is 2 coats of Sally Hansen's I-rish Luck and Silver Sweep for the nail art stamping (Bundle Monster 202 plate).

Friday, August 1, 2014

Fitbit Goal Success

I gave myself a goal on July 1: if you can do 10,000 steps every day for the month of July, you can buy some new nail art plates.

And I did it. Yay!

The highest number of steps that I had in one day was on July 31 with 21,396 steps and the lowest was on July 25 with 10,036 steps.
Off to to order some Cheeky plates I've been looking at for a while. :)