Adios 2013! You were a good year!

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Okay, I'll admit it. It feels pretty weird to be sitting at home on a New Year's Eve hanging out in pj's with just the hubby and this here little blog o' mine, instead of having a wild night on the town involving too many drinks and probable inappropriateness. But that's where I am in life at the moment…and I'm okay with that. For now. Next year? There may very well be a good amount of drinking and inappropriateness. You know, if we can find a reliable babysitter. Lol

Since there's not much else on the agenda for this evening, I figure it's as good a time as any to take a look at some of my favorite memories from the last year!

Memories like...

- Having an ambulance partner who finds amazing eateries like the Best Little Porkhouse in San Rafael (with evil BBQ sauce for the win! Lol)

- Hanging out at the fair with my bestie's adorable mini-me...

- Florida Georgia Line concert (complete with crazy middle-aged women trying desperately 
to get the bands attention. No, I don't mean us! Lol)

- Seeing an actual "shaggin wagon." Is it totally creepy that this made my list?? LOL

- Girl's trip to Reno…so much fun!

- Actually getting the hubby out for a rare hike at Armstrong Redwoods

- Russian River Mud Run (because sometimes you just have to get dirty. While wearing waterproof
mascara of course!)

- A week in Vegas for my Brother in Law's wedding at Mandalay Bay :-)

- A friend's wedding (where my husband showed off his amazing beer "skills" and I mistakenly thought I could still do 5" heels while prego, and paid the price by limping on swollen feet for 3 days afterwards…lol)

Cheers, 2013! You were a pretty good year!

Oh God. Not the drill.

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So I had planned to do a little Christmas catching-up on the blog this weekend. But my mouth, apparently, had other ideas. 

See, I'm a habitual dentist-avoider. I know, I know…it's a character flaw, and what follows is probably my own fault. But I brush and I floss and generally -in the interest of self preservation- I see no reason to subject myself to these sorts of horrifying scenarios…!

Right?? Well, my avoidance caught up with me Saturday when one of my molars became infected. (For the record, I do not recommend a dental abscess. Possibly the worst thing ever!)  I spent most of Saturday and all of Sunday laying on the couch attempting not to move. Or swallow. Or breathe. I knew I was in a bad way when I couldn't muster the effort to yell at the TV during Sunday afternoon football...or to care about the pan of dark chocolate sea-salt fudge languishing in the fridge. (Btw, did I mention I tested negative for gestational diabetes?? Thank the good Lord!) 

Anyhoo, while we're on the topic, can someone please, please explain to me why these types of unexpected events always seem to happen on a weekend when all the dentists are apparently out getting trashed on PBR and playing mini-golf?? (Or maybe that's just what I'd be doing if I'd had my hands in people's disgusting mouths for 5 straight days Lol.) But seriously.

Fortunately I made it to this morning and was able to get an appointment with a very understanding and non-scary dentist who gave me a prescription for Amoxicillin. Along with some bad news….

Yep. Looks like I'll be ringing in the New Year at the endodontist, having my very first -and hopefully last- root canal. Wish me luck (and may we all have less painful adventures in 2014)!!  


Well, now I've done it. Or rather, blogger has done it.

I thought a little was in order around these parts since I've been away for so long. I thought it would be a good idea to sort through my reading list and delete those blogs those have gone private or closed down in the last few months. Apparently Blogger took offense to that. And deleted my entire list of blog subscriptions.

Yes...yes, Blogger did. So now I have to somehow get this prego-brain in gear (not an easy task!) and attempt to recall the names of all 50+ of my very favorite, must-have-it-in-my-feed blogs (Not to mention a handful of new-to-me blogs I've fallen in love with this week!) In the meantime, feel free to help a sister out and leave your awesome blog links in the comment section!!

And if you happen to be thinking to yourself, "what kind of loser doesn't already use Bloglovin or Feedly or an actual legitimate blog reader??"  Point taken. lol


*Follow my blog with Bloglovin*

One of the problems that comes with being away from the blog world for so long (and if you're a blogger you know darn well 5 months equals like 10 blog-years!) is ending up with a lot of really important unanswered questions.

Questions like: "Are boot socks still a thing this winter?"  and "When the heck does the new season of the Bachelor actually start?" (I know, I know there's a ton of previews on...but how's a girl supposed to notice silly things like dates while being distracted by Juan Pablo??)

Life changing stuff, right?!

And speaking of life changing, I'm headed for a big one...

Back in March, after months of trying to conceive and good old Aunt Flow continuing to drop by on the regular (like a complete bish), Travis and I started Kaiser's infertility program: attending special classes and having a full spectrum of tests. Which found no issue with either of us. Which actually stressed me out more. I wanted to know what the issue was, so we could figure out how to fix it! In the midst of studying for Anatomy finals and working full time, the stress got to me and I decided I needed a mental and emotional break from blood tests and ovulation kits.  And lo' and behold, in June, the magic happened.

Given my AMA (that's Advanced Maternal Age, btw...nothing like the wonderful world of medical labels to give a girl -or should I say decrepit old lady- a good ego boost!) I've been fortunate to make it just shy of 7 months feeling great! There have been a few road bumps: a partial placenta previa (move placenta, move!), every prego lady's friend anemia and I may or may not have failed my one-hour glucose test last week. Shocking really, as I consider myself to have been in training for a test like that since my bestie and I were 7 and started blowing all our allowance on Pixie Stix and Sugar Babies at the corner store. (Oh God. There is a Reese's peanut butter cup literally staring at me -and taunting me- as I type this. The guilt!)

So far, the life changes have been minimal, and mostly work related: going from the fun stuff like working vehicle accidents... (I guess I'm using the term "working" somewhat loosely here, as I am apparently the only one not doing a lot of "work" on this scene...that's awkward.)

Dear Partner, if you're reading this please don't hate me for posting a picture of your butt!

 And doing some tractor modeling…

(Not a routine part of the job, btw. But it IS what happens when your ambulance gets a flat tire in the actual middle of nowhere and you have to wait 8 or so hours for a tow truck.)

...To working a desk, which has apparently released my inner post-it whore. Who knew?

Tomorrow morning I have my 3 hour glucose test to determine whether I have gestational diabetes. Giving up cookies and fudge at Christmas?? Now THAT's a big life change.  :-)

Blog, I just can't quit you.

5 months ago I shut down Blogger one day and just…didn't look back. I stopped writing, stopped taking pictures, stopped reading -not just one or two- but ALL my favorite blogs….cold turkey. I'm not really sure what happened: I hadn't been consciously feeling like I needed a break from the blog world  and since this is only a small, personal "just for funzies" deal, it's not like I was under any kind of pressure other than what comes naturally with being a crazeballs type-A perfectionist.

So I went about all the other parts of my life and focused on other things. But at some point, to quote my dad's oh-so-eloquent colloquialism "you have to sh*t or get off the pot." In order to do that, I suppose you have to ask yourself why you do something like this in the first place…why you put your heart and so much of your time into something like a blog.  Until today I wasn't ready to ask myself those questions...wasn't sure if I'd ever come back here, or even completely sure that this little blog still existed out in the Interwebs.

You know what I decided today, just now in fact? I really have missed this little place. I've missed all of you and reading about your adventures. (I was so disappointed to see some of the faves from my reading list also seem to be on an extended blog-cation. But hey, I get it!) I decided that it's perfectly okay not to have an end-game here. It's okay to not be -or even care about being- the biggest, baddest, money making-est blogger on the block. It's okay to do me.

See you guys soon!


Getting juiced

I love a good fad diet. You guys know it's true...and I can't help it, I swear! I know, I know I have issues. There's really no replacement for making consistently healthy food choices, but I'm a total sucker for anything that claims to be the latest, greatest weight-loss "science."  I've been "Primal" ...all low-carb eating-like-a-caveman, I gave the 8 Hour Diet a solid go, and most recently -although I didn't blog about it- I tried out the 3-day Military Diet (a really odd combination of foods including hot dogs and saltines, and a little too calorie restrictive.)

Given the above, I was kind of surprised at my own reaction (negative) to my brother-in-law's recent announcement that he was going on a juice fast to lose weight for his wedding in August. Apparently it's fine for me to go on a diet where lunch consists of 1 egg, 5 saltines and a slice of cheddar cheese (seriously?!) but I get all judgy-judgy about the dietary choices of family members. I know, the nerve. But Ryan did manage to convince the hubby and I to check out a documentary he'd watched: Sick, Fat and Nearly Dead . The flick is all about a guy named Joe who loses a ton of weight, gets his auto-immune disorder under control and basically completely turns his life around by doing a 60 day fruit and vegetable juice fast. It's pretty persuasive you guys.

We now own a juicer. 

Personally, I don't see myself going on a liquid-only diet anytime soon ever. But I have been making "green juice" aka. kale-spinach-cucumber-celery-carrot-ginger-romaine-lemon-apple juice (that's a really long name!) for breakfast 5 or 6 days a week and I love how I feel getting all the extra vitamins, minerals and nutrients! This is kind of a god-send for me since I have huge texture issues with super-healthy veggies like spinach and kale and I avoid them like the plague otherwise. 

If you're thinking of trying juicing I totally recommend it! You don't have to limit yourself to veggies...fresh strawberry-orange-grapefruit juice is Not kidding. Add a little ice and vodka and you have yourself a perfect summer cocktail! Cheers!


Recharging my batteries

In my entire life I've never lived more than an hour's drive from the ocean. I'm not sure I could! It's something that gets into your soul if you let it...

The vast expanse of water is not only changeably and breathtakingly beautiful, but one of the most peaceful places I know. It's an important reminder for me that there's a whole other world out there making my problems and worries seem downright insignificant.

Today I took a little drive out to Bodega Head, IMO one of the prettiest pieces of coastline in the area.  It was foggy, crazy-windy day with a beauty all it's own, and I walked and walked along the cliffs and just soaked it in.

Only a few yards inland the sun was shining on a gorgeous array of wildflowers....

I couldn't help but come away with my mental/spiritual batteries recharged! And a little pit-stop at a roadside stand on the way home for one of these didn't hurt...

Where do you go to find your happy place?

A small case of blogger's paralysis


Definition: a temporary condition of paralysis affecting one or both hands of the blogger in the presence of a laptop, desktop computer, iPad or other communication technology. Often accompanied by feelings of blogging inadequacy brought on by over-exposure to high quality blogs with excellent content. 

It's a thing, I swear! See, there I was: Super beyond words excited for the school semester to be over, to have some extra free time (to write a million blog posts!) (to do Pinterest projects that would put Martha to shame!) (to read all the books waiting in my Kindle library!) and what have I done with myself so far?? Well...none of those things. And I've missed blogging most of all. But man, I don't know if you've ever experienced this, but every so often when I really get into reading all my fave blogs I start comparing myself...and not in a good way. I start thinking that until I can write something as clever/funny/insightful/original/whatever as so-and-so then I just shouldn't bother writing anything at all. I become extremely self-critical, and avoid my blogger account like I owe it money. Which really, is ridiculous. I'm not trying to win any awards here. I don't make money with my little blog. It's a's for fun and a chance to be creative and make connections. So for God's sake, I just need to relax already and get on with it!

...Whew...felt good to get that out there.

In my last few free days (since I obviously haven't been blogging) I've worked on getting my kitchen into shape. I'm ashamed -like really ashamed- to admit that the hubby and I actually started on our "fix up the kitchen" project last October. We got as far as painting the ceiling and trying out a few color swatches on the walls. Since we couldn't seem to agree on a color at all...well...our little project stalled and our poor kitchen spent 8 months looking a bit like a homeless encampment. (Sorry not sorry, I could not agree to a red to the green living room. This ain't Christmasland!)

Is it wrong that I like this pic just because it somehow makes my butt look better
than usual??

Anyhoo, we finally broke our stalemate and just painted the kitchen a neutral color. Added some curtains, new rugs...done! If you happen to follow my instagram you may have seen this a few days back: I made a set of cushions for the long window seat that runs across one end of the room, and they turned out fine...better than I expected. You know, except that they don't match the curtains even remotely...which makes me feel kind of like the villain at the end of a Scooby Doo episode: foiled again! Damn you DIY get me every time!

Sooo, we -and by we I mean I- have a few odds and ends still to take care of (like making new cushion covers...meh!) but we finally have a fully functional kitchen again! Woot!

Pattern mixing fail (it's a little more obvi in the next picture)
...good thing I don't try it with my outfits!

Is a kitchen really a kitchen without a shrine to alcohol? I think not!

So how are you guys spending your free time now that summer is officially here? ( is summer now right? ...or did I screw that up? Eh, whatever. Close enough.) I need some fun ideas that don't involve endless paint cans and sore shoulders! 

*paralysis cured! :-)

talkin 'bout FREEDOM!

Ah, freedom! You better believe that's whats on my mind today! Not freedom of the democratic variety, although that would be a lovely topic for a blog of a more serious nature. I'm talking about freedom of the mind girlfriend! Freedom to have my brain-space all to myself. (If you haven't guessed, finals week has left me all kinds of giddy.) 

My exams this morning were done by 8:30 -so early!- and I figured it had to be 5 o' clock somewhere I should probably go for a run with the hubby. I've been somewhat unsuccessfully fighting off a cold/cough/laryngitis thing for the last 2 weeks and my inability to take a deep breath without hacking up a lung has made me tres lazy about working out. Today was my first time back on the horse since getting sick, so we decided on an easy three miles. Running is one of my favorite times to just let my thoughts flow and mull things over, and about ten minutes in I caught myself... I had unconsciously started reviewing retroperitoneal organs. And that's when I realized: I don't have to think about that stuff anymore! I can think about...anything! Whatever I this blog! My mind is officially my own again, and I can't tell you how good it feels. 

And now that Anatomy is finito, I'm officially ready to apply to nursing school! Finally! It's been a long, long road of terrible prerequisites to get to this point.

In any case, there will be no more of this for at least 3 whole months...

I'm ready for lots and lots of this...

Who's with me??

I've got the fever...

You guys, I have a serious (spring) fever going on here, and the only cure is more cowbell spending every possible waking moment outside. Walking to class yesterday at 9am is was already nearly 80 degrees. My inner child had a big fat tantrum knowing I'd have to spend 5 hours of a gloriously sunshiny day cooped up inside with a bunch of cadavers and random body parts carefully preserved in Tupperware. I mean, come on! Who cares about the histology of liver lobules?? I should be out hiking! Or going for a bike ride!

Today started out a little more promisingly. The hubby's been out of town for a few days doing some training, and this morning I managed to drag my butt out of bed early enough (seriously, me getting out of the house before 10 am on a non work/school day is pretty darn rare) for us to have breakfast out at a restaurant downtown at a nice little outdoor table. 

And then, before I could decide what to do with the rest of this gorgeous day, disaster struck. Okay, not disaster exactly...but I've been called in to work a mandatory shift, which  -when you are jonesing for some outdoor time-  feels dramatically terrible. (Insert sad pity-party face)

Ah well, on a cheerier note, I am totally obsessed with coral lately. I can't get enough! And this outfit seemed perfect for a casual breakfast. What colors are you loving for spring?

Sweater: F21, Blouse: TJ Maxx, Shorts: H&M, Sandals: Target

this and that

Happy Thursday guys! I'm super excited today because we're finally in the countdown to the end of the Spring semester. (If you're in class too then I'm sure you're with me on this one!) Anyhoo, 27 days! Less that 4 weeks and I can put Anatomy behind me forever and get to enjoying a stress-free summer!

Yesterday I finished the 3rd of 5 major exams so I finally feel like I can take a breather and think about other things (like blogging!) for 5 minutes.

Now don't get me wrong, it hasn't been 100% work and studying lately...maybe only 90%. I've still had a little time for this:

online shoe shopping! How did we survive before that was a thing?? You know, back in the olden days of the late 90's and early 2000's? Anyway, now I just need to find someplace to wear these babies!  (Like dinner with the girls tonight...Happy Birthday Chris!)

And of course, with the weather being so beautiful and sunshine-y lately I've had to put my notes down and make some time to pimp out the back yard (aka plant flowers, pull weeds taller than my husband and hack down trim the gigantic rosemary bush going rogue in the side yard). And I happen to be a firm believer that any and all manual labor deserves a celebratory glass of bubbly!

We had a little sitch in our laundry room the other day when I found a puddle of water on the washer and we realized our in-home sprinkler system had sprung a leak. Oops! We (and by we I mean my husband) had to fix some plumbing and replace a huge chunk of moldy sheet rock. Yuck! Lucky one of us is good with tools (hint: it's not me.)

I've also made time recently to scare the bejesus out of Travis (and now maybe you!) trying out one of my fave new beauty products: Origins Clear Improvement active charcoal mask. Works like a charm (looks terrible)!

Okay, okay back to the books! Hopefully soon we'll all be spending our days more like this:

<3 you guys!

devil dog

Blog world, meet Harley...

the devil in a chi-weenie suit. 

I can imagine what you're thinking...that cute, innocent sleepy little puppy is the devil?? No! And, okay I may be exaggerating a little bit. He can be pretty adorable sometimes. At other times...he has me considering full scale dog-acide. See, Harley is a chihuahua/dachshund mix, the stereotypical spoiled only fur-child belonging to my dad, and this week Travis and I have been pet-sitting the little guy. You know those people who think their own children are angels and everyone else's kids suck? Yeah, that's me, know, with animals. 

It's just that Harley has a different way of doing things. He likes to investigate. Everything.

He likes to stick his nose in your mug and drink your coffee. A caffeinated chi-weenie is not a pleasant chi-weenie. And an un-caffeinated me is not a pleasant me.

He likes to bob for tennis balls. Gross, Harley.

And he likes to sing for joy when I arrive home from work. Only, his singing sounds like screaming, and his screaming makes Eddie howl, and the howling makes Ella bark. So basically it sounds like I'm running some kind of doggy water-boarding torture in my garage at 12 am. My neighbors love me right about now. (Sorry neighbors!)

Ultimately, will I be sorry to see devil dog return home today? Nope! Will I pet sit again? You betcha! Cause who doesn't like to hang out with the devil now and then? For my dad, anything!

And speaking of Vegas...

We weren't though, were we? But that's okay, cause I love me some Vegas!
Travis and I decided a little Spring Break relaxation was in order this year and since Sin City 
is only an hour's flight away -and there are tons of great deals online- we thought, why not?
We decided to try out Vdara, a newish hotel at City Center, and booked our package through Travelocity. The room was gorgeous, and I think the view proves it was a good choice!

I found a little lace party dress on Amazon for $25 and it needed only minor alterations to get it
Vegas-fied (win!)

In two and a half days we managed lots of window shopping, gambling (I freak out -sick to my stomach, seriously- if I lose more than $20. My husband does not have that problem...which may be why he wins and I don't. Lol) and saw the new Cirque show Zarkana (loved!) We stuffed our faces ate at some great restaurants: Julian Serrano at Aria for tapas was one of my faves this trip, and we celebrated our anniversary a teensy bit early at Nob Hill Tavern, where we had our wedding reception last summer. 

The only bad was our flight with Spirit Air. Have you heard of Spirit? Neither of us had, so of course my dramatic hubby was convinced we were going to crash and die somewhere over the Sierras. That didn't happen, obvi. Thank goodness. But oh em gee, those flights were so bad it was comical: late both ways (6 hours for the return trip...patience is not a virtue of mine and that made me really cranky), a $100 charge for carry-on bags (say what??) seats so tiny it was like squeezing into a 5 year old's booster chair...and the kicker? The lady in the row behind me asked for a glass of water, to which the flight attendant responded, "Ma'am, we don't offer complimentary beverages." 
Really? You don't offer complimentary water?? 
So yeah. Next time no cut-rate airlines.

Other than that little glitch, I couldn't have asked for a better mini-vacay! If only 
we didn't have a billion and twelve weeks of school left until summer...

Listen all ya'll it's a sabotage...

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Okay, so I realize I'm kind of dating myself here, but "Sabotage" by the Beastie Boys is probably one of my all-time favorite music videos: the toupees, the faux mustaches, the sexy trench wrong. And yet so right. Don't believe me? Watch for yourself!


Eh, maybe it's just me. But this video seemed fitting for today since sabotage just happens to be what I've been doing to myself lately. (How's that for a segue? Subtle, right?)

Time to catch up on what has become one of the biggest parts of my daily life lately: Revolt Fitness. The fifth week of our "Uprising" is coming to a close and wow, has it ever been a challenging few weeks! 

First, the good stuff: at this point we've had a total of 24 scheduled workouts, and I've managed to stay almost completely on track with that, missing only one. Yay me! This might not necessarily seem like a big deal, but I have serious exercise ADD and eventually quit most programs out of boredom. (I'm looking at you P90X and Brazilian Butt Lift) For me to have stuck with something on a regular basis for 5 weeks speaks volumes about what an awesome job Nicole does of keeping the workouts fresh and interesting. Not only am I not even remotely bored, but I feel stronger, and I'm starting to see some muscle definition, especially in my legs and bootie. Woot! Buh-bye muffin top!

Okay, so now for the bad: this is where the sabotage comes in. Although I did awesome with the diet for the first nine days (totally sugar free!) then, then Travis and I took off to Vegas for a little spring break R&R. If you've ever been to Vegas,  you know my dilemma...that whole damn city is wall to wall with amazing restaurants (it would be cray to skip dessert!) and the casinos pretty much shove free drinks down your throat (far be it from me, apparently, to say 'no thank you' to gratis cocktails.) Anyhoo, you can imagine I fell -or rather jumped- off the wagon and headfirst into a loaf of jalapeno asiago bread for a few days. Since we've been home, I've managed to get back to clean eating...mostly. I'm all about the fresh meats and veggies and  haven't had a Lean Cuisine in weeks but with my weird work/school schedule, following the Revolt diet to a tee has been next to impossible. And my biggest problem, my biggest issue, the bane of my existence is my terrible sweet tooth. My self-sabotage in the form of indulging candy cravings is definitely keeping me from reaching my full potential. I need to get a grip you guys!! Seriously, I need some kind of restraining order for any and all chocolate related goods. 

Yup. That's pretty much how I feel. Like a crazy whacked-out candy monster. 

Well, fortunately, tomorrow is a new day and a new opportunity to make good decisions. Hopefully, admitting and documenting my mistakes will be the catalyst I need to change...and put down the Reese's. I'd like the rest of my fitness challenge to have a new theme: less "Sabotage" and more Nelly's "The Champ."


Know what I'm really bad at?

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Well, if we're friends IRL, or if you've been reading for awhile you may have one or two ideas: math, dancing, driving while having a conversation...yes, I do kind of suck at all of those. But what I'm talking about at the moment is a theme that seems to keep coming up over and over the last few months. What I'm really, really terrible at: balance. Not just the balance involved in getting from point A to point B (another flaw of mine which accounts for the sexy bruises and scrapes on my legs) mostly I'm talking about life balance.

She's clearly better at balance than I every sense of the word.

Inevitably during the school year, between work/class/studying/blogging/fitness/socializing and my favorite: household chores... something -or several somethings- that are important to me start to fall by the wayside. At the beginning of spring semester it was physical fitness that got kicked to the curb. It was so easy to let that go in favor of studying while catching up on my DVR (hello, multitasking!) ...but of course on top of beginning to outgrow my favorite jeans, being a couch potato made me feel pretty generally like crap. Thankfully, joining -and actually committing- to the Revolt workout program turned that around: staying in shape can't help but be a major focus with 5 scheduled workouts a week plus a run or two. Physically I feel awesome, and my thinning hips are starting to show my hard work. But since school and the j-o-b are non-negotiables, and a girl's got to get out of the house once in awhile, it's blogging that's taken the hit the past couple weeks. 

I love checking in with you guys on the daily, commenting on your posts and throwing my two -sometimes five or ten- cents out there into the internet, so I hate not always being able to make this little hobby a priority. And blogging's not the only thing that's been on the back burner lately...if you could've seen the state of my house a couple days ago...em. barrassing. And Travis basically dragged my butt out to our "white trash" back yard yesterday to help him take care of our 3 foot lawn and some seriously dangerous looking weeds.

For the moment, I think I'm sort of getting back on track.  House is clean, Anatomy notes nearly caught up, workout for the day done and I've even managed to give myself a desperately needed manicure and order some adorbs new heels from Lulu's with one of my birthday giftcards. Oh yeah, did I mention I had a birthday the other day? Not such a big event when you're  turning 29 yet again, but the hubby surprised me with a new MacBook so he doesn't have to keep listening to me complain about my crappy old Dell because he's the sweetest, and I had a delish pre-work birthday breakfast with the girls, including a surprise visit from my out-of-town (and adorably prego)  bestie.

I can always count on Chris for a pic or two :-)

So...things are good, but things are busy!  I'm not complaining, but I am so ready for summer break!
How are things with you guys? Are you keeping your balance this spring?

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