Friday, January 13, 2017

i am one with the force, the force is with me

the girls and i braved the rain last night to head down to anaheim and pick up our bibs for this weekend's star wars half marathon races.  the bean is doing the kids race with mini cee and mini DG, and got to test out her costume on superhero day at school this week.

so she was pretty stoked to pose next to this picture on our way to the expo:

she decided to make a sign to hold up during the race. hopefully her sister decides to get up in time so that they can head out onto the street in time to watch me pass by. 

here's this year's official race shirt:

and i can't wait till i get to see this on sunday.

please send happy thoughts and lots of luck my way around - oh, i'd say 8:00 sunday morning. that's when i'm hoping to be somewhere in that rough ass 13th mile, preferably not hobbling or crawling. 

god help me. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017


i was thinking the other day that i used to make an annual list of things i wanted to accomplish in the coming year, and i've slacked on that for the last few.  it's time to bring that back, i think.  and while the items on my list seem pretty silly, it's all good stuff that will help my life in one way or another.  here goes:

  • my fabric stash is out of freaking control.  i have waaaaay too much of it and tons of great patterns that i could use to start sewing through it.  and so starting next week, i vow to sew at least two items every week - whether they're a simple top, a pair of pants, a dress, something.  it'll be good to get through all that fabric, and i also vow not to buy any more until i use up a good chunk of my stash.
  • this one is pretty doable, but putting it in writing will be good:  go to barre at least three times a week.  and it would be good to supplement that with something else in between classes...i just don't know what yet.  most likely, i'll be hanging out with jillian michaels via dvd.  those videos did me a lot of good a few years ago, and i need her magic again.
  • we've done a lot of eating out lately.  i'd like to pledge to make dinner at home a minimum of three nights a week.  my instant pot is going to get her own workout this year.
  • i've started that money saving challenge - you know, the one where you put $1 in a jar at the beginning of the year and then $2 the next week, $3 the following week, and so on.  supposedly i'll get to $1300+ by the end of the year, which will make for some great christmas shopping.  
  • along those lines, i need to yank on the reins of my impulse shopping - like those stupid things i order on facebook, or the dollar bins at target.  stuff that i really don't need, and only adds to the clutter that i'm really trying to get rid of in the house.  
  • also in that vein, i really need to go through all of my invitation making supplies - paper, stickers, embellishments, tools, etc.  there's a lot of things in there i'll never use again, and maybe i can post it on my local facebook page and make a little cash to throw in my jar.  win-win!
  • i'd really like to make date night a thing.  like, the hub and i deserve to get out for at least one evening a month, whether it's just a movie and dinner or what have you.  no, there aren't any problems or anything!  but we're so busy we forget to carve out time for the two of us, and that's important.  
  • i WILL see the bottom of the laundry hampers at least once a week.  that includes going to the dry cleaners on the regular and making sure everything actually gets folded and put away.  ugh.  the bane of my existence.
  • over the holidays, i got back into the habit of sipping on a soda more than i should.  it was at least once a day, which doesn't sound terrible but it's really not good for me.  at most, i'll have it once a week, and hopefully not even that.  to go with that, i want to keep up my starbucks ban. it's done a lot of good money-wise, and even when the coffee bean & tea leaf opens up nearby, i'll still do my best to stay away.  i. can. do. it.
  • lastly, i'm going to make sure i get back to clearing out my closet at least on a quarterly basis.  i find myself wearing the same stuff all the time, which isn't terrible considering nobody really sees me anyway.  and there are so many things in there that i really don't wear anymore, and haven't in several years.  time to whittle down the wardrobe.
and there you have it.  i figure, if it's blog-official, it'll happen.  right?  right??

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

totally a marketer's wet dream

so i'm always seeing sponsored posts in my facebook feed advertising all sorts of stuff from kitchen gadgets to fun graphic tees to exercise equipment and everything in between.  i'm also gonna confess that i've totally gotten suckered into a few of the light saber umbrella that was selling for a fraction of the official licensed version at disneyland.

it arrived about two weeks after i received a shipping confirmation in my email inbox, sent directly from china.  and it's really wonky - like, it does light up and even changes colors when you push the buttons.  but there's a light at the end of the handle that won't shut off unless i take out the batteries, which makes for a pretty inconvenient switcheroo if and when i decide i want to use the force as i stroll through the pounding rain.

also recently delivered (and also directly from some seller in china) is the sauce blender that i thought was such a great idea.  now, i haven't actually tried this thing out yet, but it's this thing (photo swiped from google images):

so it's supposed to be a hands-free gadget that will stir your sauce or soup or whatever without you having to stand at the stove the entire time.  i'm pretty hopeful that it'll work like a charm...but we'll see.

and then i spied an ad for some really comfy-looking shoes that i thought were pretty cute and would go with a lot of things i wear on the regular.  they're by a company called allbirds, and the shoes are made from specially woven merino wool.  the material is natural, breathable, moisture-wicking and washable.  they're made so that you can wear them without socks, and all of the reviews i found online from reputable sources (like time magazine, forbes, wired, popsugar) said that they lived up to their promise of being the most comfortable shoes ever.  and they give you a trial period, too - you can try them out, wear them for 30 days and if you don't love them you can return them.  all returned shoes are donated to charity, so they don't go to waste.

after debating between the solid black and heathered gray, i opted for the latter and placed my order.  they arrived less than a week later.

when i opened the box, it looked like this:

cool packaging always gets my attention.

the shoes remind me a little of know, kanye's line with adidas.  only these were a lot cheaper and a whole lot easier to get ahold of.  well, and i kind of refuse to give kanye or anyone named kardashian any of my money, so there's that.  i took them out and put them on right away, and as soon as i laced 'em up, i understood why all of the reviewers loved them so much...they really are incredibly comfortable.

i wore them all day while on our day trip to solana beach, walking up and down the street and through the shops, and i'm in love.  it was a beautiful day, a lot warmer than the 50-60 degree temperatures we've had lately (which i love, so that's not a complaint at all) and so i wanted to test out the claims of moisture-wicking and odor minimizing and temperature regulating.  i gotta say, they passed the test with flying colors.  plus i really like the look of huge logos and they don't look like your typical athletic shoes.

they aren't made for running, but i can't wait till i can put them to the ultimate test - a full day at disneyland.  and if they pass that test, i may very well want to snag that all-black pair after all.

aaaaaaaand any other colors they might decide to put out.  heh.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

sunset in solana beach

so i went to bed on saturday night with the intention of getting up the next morning, rounding up the troops and heading out to the rose bowl to get a long run in.  they planned to do at least one 3-mile loop and then go grab some breakfast while i finished out the rest of the miles i wanted to log.

yeah, we all slept in.  i didn't even get out of bed till after 10.  so much for that.

and so instead, the hub said "let's get in the car and go for a drive."  i love going on these spontaneous day trips that he comes up with, and so we all got ourselves ready and hopped in the car.  it wasn't too long before one of us passed out.

even pointing out the nuclear boobies on the side of the freeway didn't catch her interest.

the only thing that got her up was when we got to solana beach and found somewhere good for a late lunch.

after we placed our order we found a table near the little arcade, where she got her daddy to help her figure out how to play a pinball machine. and housemade root beer.

the old lady is weird.  look at how she ate her pizza.

afterwards, we decided to go for a walk and check out the row of shops nearby.

a lot of shops weren't open on that sunday afternoon.  we stopped here because it caught the bean's attention, and it looked super cute.

as we walked inside, i heard the lady ask the hub if he and i might be interested in taking a couple of photos for some channel 8 feature they were getting ready for.  i still don't know exactly what it was, but i'm always down for a photo op.  the old lady snapped this from inside the shop.

we browsed in a few other shops before heading back towards the beach to check out the sunset.

 the bean was highly amused at this sign (because all things bathroom-related are funny, duh).

this is such a pretty area.  maybe we should come down again for a little weekend getaway sometime.

and it's not complete without a couple of selfies.

hmm.  long run or day trip to solana beach?  well, i guess i'll have a more definite answer for you next weekend, after i get through that half.  eep.

Monday, January 9, 2017

cheer competitions are not for the weak

there was a bit of upheaval with the bean's cheer squad earlier in the year, with some crazy drama/school politics resulting in a new coach being hired to groom the girls for their games and competitions.  it's been a bit of a rollercoaster, with some miscommunication and last-minute emails plus a relatively young coach still trying to figure it all out.  this has all lead to a bit of discontent, both by the bean and me, and it still remains to be seen as to whether we'll be participating in this program again next year.  considering that the bean has been a cheerleader at school ever since she was in transitional kindergarten, i'm not a huge fan of the idea of quitting...but i'm also not going to force her to do it if she doesn't want to.  and there are lots of other activities out there that she can do.

anyway, the girls have been working hard over the last few months on a routine for their first competition.  and then with a two-week break for christmas, they returned to school with just five days until the big day.  several back-to-back mandatory practices later, they were as ready as they'd ever be.  and as i watched them during the last practice, it seemed that they had managed to pull it together pretty well for the time they had to work with.

however, no amount of prepping and pep talking could make the primping portion of the day any easier for any of us.  we were tasked with doing a smoky eye with red lips and blush on cheeks plus a high ponytail, and i think i've mentioned before how much my child despises hair and makeup.  there was a lot of yelling and crying and tantrums thrown by all three of us, and it just wasn't pretty.

all i had to do was make myself look presentable and throw on my special tee for the day.

we finally got through it all, and once she got dressed and we got to the house where the squads were meeting for a final once-over, she was a-ok...especially once she got a donut in her belly and some time to hang out with her friends.

then it was time to get back in the car and head over to nearby azusa pacific university.  it wasn't hard to confirm that we were in the right place once we pulled into the parking lot.

after i coughed up my $15 for admission, i took a couple of quick photos and then left her in the hands of the coach for the rest of the morning.

i went in with the other parents and found seats on the upper level, which offered a great view of the floor.

meanwhile, the girls were outside taking some fun pre-comp group photos.

when it was their turn, i found myself feeling all nervous and shaky and stuff.  typical stage mom syndrome, right?  and even as i held up my phone to take video of their performance, i found myself struggling to hold it still and blinking back tears of nervousness and pride.  you know, the usual.

they ran out, looking confident and full of enthusiasm and nervous excitement.  you can see the bean at the top left in both shots here.

they took their places, and as soon as they heard the words "you are now in competition," they went to work.  the bean is the first one on the left here.

she's a really good base, and she was focused and determined while still managing to remember to smile.  here, she's holding up the flyer's right foot on your right.

and then they transitioned into their dance, still looking strong.  she's on the top right here.

a few more moves, and BOOM - done.  nailed it.

if you can stand my shaky hand and the crazy screaming and cheering, here's the video i took.


the hub, who had to skedaddle as soon as the performance was over, headed over to say goodbye and congratulate her on how well they'd all done.

after they were done, we watched the last of the squads perform before the special competitions (stunts, tumbling, toe touches) and then finally all the cheerleaders gathered on the floor to see who'd won what.

if you look closely, you can see the bean right in the middle of all these screaming cheerleaders.  she looks slightly bored and is almost side-eyeing the spectacle in front of her.

and then i learned that every squad gets a trophy at this competition.  WUT.  i find that rather annoying and somewhat misleading for some.  i mean, i hate to say it, but there were a handful of squads who were clearly outclassed (and of course, a few that were obviously well-trained and put in hours of practice).  and so i found myself barely listening to hear what category our squads actually got their trophies for.  i think i heard something about "elementary cheer, novice" before they announced the bean's squad as first place.  i'm not really sure what exactly they got.  although the school's two squads combined did take one of several "most spirited" trophies, which i suppose was actually earned.  our varsity squad was only one of two in their division, and while they were given first place in some sort of category it was really unclear as to what they'd really won.

either way, they'd all worked hard and they deserved their moment to shine.

i got a selfie with my girl:

and yes, i bought her something to reward her for her effort, dedication and determination.

we have at least one more competition before the year is over...maybe two.  and so i'm already prepping her so that she can be ready for the primping again.  she said she'd had a good time and enjoyed being with her friends and getting to perform and winning something, and so i told her to just keep that in mind the next time we had to put the makeup on.

oy.  i can't believe i have a daughter who hates makeup and hair.  good lord.
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