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 :)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Teal Heels

I got quite a few compliments on these teal heals that I wore to work today.  It really worked out well for a pop of color since I wore a black dress and cardigan.  The funny thing is that they are from Payless...nothing fancy or expensive.  I got a cream pair a while back and they are my go-to conference shoes because I can wear them pretty much all day with minimal discomfort.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

University of Maryland, College Park MPH Session

A few weeks ago, my friend Jenny invited me to be a "speaker" at her MPH information session that was geared towards undergraduate students who were interested in learning more about a Master's in Public Health.  I came armed with my company polo and some of our publications.  I shared a table with another MPH alum and together, we talked to a handful of students about the program.  I was happy to pass along any information that I have and on the way home, I was thinking how wonderful it would have been to have something like this when I went to undergrad.  I felt like I only had two options after graduation: research or medical school, neither of which were really that appealing to me.  It wasn't until about a year after that I learned about public health and I'm thankful that I found my niche.
I mentioned to the students that my current job is the only one I've had since getting my MPH.  That caught their attention.  Oh, yes.  I'm committed.  I just had my 6 year anniversary in early October. :)
My compensation was free food and a t-shirt.  Not a bad trade in my book! :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Hair Dye

With an upcoming in-person meeting with committee members coming up next week, I bit the bullet and dyed my hair after spin class tonight.  The last time I dyed it was May, so it was long overdue.  The kind that I got came with this comb dispenser that you could attach to the bottle for better distribution on your head.  What a smart idea!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Recent Old Navy Goodies

1 hour spin class, check.
30 minutes walking on the treadmill, check.
Browsing at Target and Marshalls, check.  (didn't buy anything though)
Browsing at Old Navy, check.  (I was able to use a $10 off $25 purchase coupon)

I bought some stuff from a few weeks ago because I had lost my grey cardigan.  I ended up getting 2 cardigans (funny enough, neither one was grey because they didn't have that color option) and 2 long sleeve-tees.  That purchase resulted in the coupon and I used that today to buy 2 t-shirts (one for myself and one as a Christmas present for someone else) and another 2 long sleeve-tees.  Yay! :)

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Stitch Pin from Disneyland

Ahh, it was nice to sleep in my own bed last night.  It was an added bonus that RJ didn't wake me up for breakfast.  He stayed an extra night at my parents' house.  I'd have to go back today to catch up with Julie anyway.  She went to Homecoming at her alma mater and was coming back in time for dinner tonight.

I did some grocery shopping and wandered over to the mall to do some window shopping.  Around dinner time, I got the call from Dad that he was ordering sushi for dinner and that Julie was about 20 minutes away.  I headed over to the house to catch up with my family and when everything was caught up, I packed RJ up and we went home.  He'll probably miss having all the space to roam around.  I don't have any upcoming travel, so who knows when he'll be going back to my parents' house.

I bought two Stitch pins and a Disneyland magnet while I was there.  I let Julie choose which pin she wanted and I took the other one.