31 March 2012

Things I Pondered This Week While I Should Have Been Doing Other Stuff

Three cheers for the weekend!

This has not been a great week. Nothing specific has gone badly, I'm just not feeling like myself and have been having quite a hard time pulling myself out of a funk (stupid depression). I know it'll get better.....eventually......it always does. But until then, I'll just keep trudging on and reminding myself that as cliche as it sounds, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

  • I'm just going to come out and say it......Hunger Games, the Movie....not one of my favorites but I wasn't really hoping for a lot. In terms of being an action film, that part was pretty spot on but otherwise, meh.
  • The television show Once Upon a Time however is fantastic! I'm finally caught up with all the episodes and am (im)patiently waiting for the next one to air so we can find out what happens to Snow White.
  • I spent kind of a long time this week deciding who I would cast if there was ever a movie made about my life. I've decided that I'd like Ginnifer Goodwin to play me and there has to be one scene where Ryan Gosling slow walks towards me. I haven't quite figured out why that would happen, but it must. 
  • I think I need a night out with friends where we can get our dance on. This isn't sometime I say very often, but right about now, it sounds like a whole heck of a lot of fun.
  • Opening Day is a mere 5 days away! I'm still a bit bitter that I didn't manage to get tickets for my dad and I, but I'm still read for the 2012 MLB season to get underway. It's going to be a good year for the Tigers.
  • I think I kind of mentioned this already last week, but seriously.....if someone would have told me back in January when I made my first piece that I would fall in love with making jewelry, I would have told them they were crazy but nearly three months later, I absolutely ADORE IT. I've been having so much fun that I have way more pieces than I know what to do with (except maybe open up an Etsy shop!).

30 March 2012

What I Read In March

Well, this is quite sad.

Last month, the shortest month of the whole dang year, was a great month for books.

This month....not so much.

I started reading a lot of books this month. I did not finish reading a lot of books this month.

I finished two books this month. Two sad little books. And neither were terribly good. In fact one of the books, Christina Falls, it was a struggle to even finish. The only reason I did finish it was because I kept hoping it would get better. The concept was really interesting, the execution just plain sucked. When I'm only able to give a book 1 star, you know it's bad.

The other book, A Reckless Witch wasn't terrible, but it wasn't good. I gave it 3 stars simply because I have really grown to love some of the recurring characters in the series. I mean really, how could you not love a precocious four year old witch who wants to be Harry Potter?

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that April will be a much better month for books. I have fallen slightly behind with my reading goal and need just a couple good, quick reads to get me back on track. Thankfully, I have a stack of books to dive into (Thanks Ron!) and will hopefully find a gem or two along the way.

Happy reading!

27 March 2012

California Guitar Trio

During the show tonight, I had all sorts of things running through my head about what I wanted to say but now that it's time to commit it to (virtual) paper, I've got nearly nothing. Funny how that works. One minutes I'm bursting at the seams and the next it's like the room is full of crickets.

Plus, I'm not a music writer. I'm just a fan who really wishes sometimes she was a music writer.


Tonight the California Guitar Trio put on an amazing show for us here in northern Michigan.

I have to admit, walking in to the show, I didn't have a clue as to what I was in for. It was a last minute decision to go--I kept waffling as to whether or not I such just suck it up and attend by myself. Thankfully, I took a leap of faith in hopes of discovering some new music and really how could I go wrong......a band made up of only acoustic guitars? Yes please!

From the first song to the last, I wore the biggest grin on my face. The Trio's sound is absolutely amazing, flawless even. As much as I love my blues guitar, this is something magical about the sounds a true master of the guitar can pull from the acoustic. That my friends, is exactly what each member of the group did. Between Bach's preludes to a ridiculous version of Pink Floyd's Echo (I don't even like Pink Floyd and I thought it was amazing), it was a set full of beautiful tones, melodies and harmonies. They have such a rich and full sound, I often caught myself trying to figure out who was playing what part because it sounded like there were more than just three of them on stage (I'm refusing to even consider the thought that they may have used a loop).

My favorite song of the night was Train to Lamy. I'm a sucker for the slide when played on the electric guitar, but when it's done on an acoustic, that's it. I'm done for. The slide that was played during the first minute of so of this song absolutely confirmed that for me. So. So. Good.

It was also really fun to hear their arrangement of Bach's Toccata Fugue in D Minor. It was completely unexpected, but such a great example as to how music really doesn't have any boundaries and is able to cross genres and styles to create something completely new.

The only disappointing part of the night was that I didn't take any cash with me so I missed out on buying a copy of the show. If anyone could help a girl out with that, I'd be much obliged.

In the meantime, I do suggest all my music loving (and non-music loving) friends to check out their music and to make sure to check out their tour schedule. As much as I have enjoyed listening to their music while typing up this entry (I am now the proud owner of their entire catalog), seeing them perform in person is really an experience that shouldn't be missed.

25 March 2012

B*tches in Bookshops

My friend Vickie had this posted over on her Tumblr the other day. It was too good not to share.

Happy Sunday!

24 March 2012

Things I Pondered This Week While I Should Have Been Doing Other Stuff

Where in the world did this week go?! I feel like I went to bed Sunday night and woke up Saturday morning. The last 7 days have been a total blur of crazy and I don't like it. But.....

  • This whole business of making (and selling!) jewelry is getting kind of serious. I'm not sure I can keep up with all the orders/requests but I am certainly going to do my bst!
  • Tonight......HUNGER GAMES! The movie had better be better than the books. Yeah, I'm admitting it.....I hated book 1 and am not even going to bother with books 2 and 3. But I'm totally TEAM GALE!
  • I need a spotter while drinking otherwise I am prone to spilling all my secrets (including the true identity of He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named).
  • Pretty sure any weight I have lost is quickly coming back. The scale has not been my friend this week.
  • I'm just going to come right out and say it, I am absolutely looking forward to the temperatures going back to the 40's and 50's next week. This 80 degree weather in March is just not right. 

19 March 2012

Music Monday: About a Boy

I tend to have play lists that I turn to (like I'm sure many others of you out there) when I need a pick-me-up or that remind me of a trip or perhaps simply a  playlist of songs one might come up with on a Saturday night after a bit of wine while thinking about a guy she is crushing on.

Admittedly, some of the songs are a maybe a little bit sappy, but it was a fun list to put together and even has a few suggestions from friends!

Give Into Me by Garret Hedlund & Leighton Meester

Edge of Desire by John Mayer

A Thousand Miles by Vanessa Carlton

Hazy by Rosi Golan Feat. Williams Fitzsimmons

1000 Ships by Rachel Platten

Faster by Matt Nathanson

18 March 2012

DIY: Ceramic Coasters

Yesterday, while enjoying the afternoon sun, I managed to get my first sunburn of the season. This can only mean one thing......it's time to start thinking about picnics and bbq's with friends, right! Unless of course Mother Nature remembers that it's only March and decides to get back on track with the weather we are supposed to be having this time of year, which means those backyard plans will need to be moved indoors.

I also struggle with an appropriate gift to give someone as a housewarming or host/hostess gift. I typically default to a bottle of wine, because really, who doesn't love wine. 

In an attempt to come up with someone different, I took to Craft Gawker (you had to have seen that one coming!) and a found a project that could be easily customized to whomever (or is it whoever, I can never remember that rule) you would be giving it to so no two gifts would be the same: coasters! 

The project ended up being pretty nifty. I've already made three sets (one for myself of course!) and am already trying to figure out what other materials I can use to make these bad boys.

The Goods:
  • 4 Ceramic Tiles
  • 4 Pieces of your favorite paper or fabric. I used some extra origami paper I had laying around.
  • Mod Podge
  • Foam Brush
  • Exacto-Knife or Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Clear Acrylic Sealer
  • Cork or Self Adhesive Felt Pads (not pictured)

The Directions: 

Either trace the tile on the non-patterned side of the paper with your pence and cut out with your scissors. OR you can trace around the tile on the non-patterned side of the paper with your Exacto Knife or Razor Blade. I have done it both ways and each worked quite well. 

Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge, evenly distributing it onto the tile. Carefully place the paper, pattern side up, onto the tile, making sure the edges line up. Before it dries, add another layer on Mod Podge onto the paper and tile. Don't panic if the paper starts to bubble or curl at the edge. This second layer of Mod Podge will help smooth things out. To "seal" the edges, I just used my finger to smooth out the paper and apply a little extra Mod Podge where needed.
I applied at least three layers of Mod Podge over the paper and tiles, allowing each layer to dry to before adding another. This will help seal the paper and will ensure you didn't miss any spots. 
Once the Mod Podge has totally dried (I let mine dry over night), seal the coasters with a water proof acrylic sealer. I know the bottle of Mod Podge says that it'll keep water out, but I added another layer of protection just to be on the safe side. While researching this project, a couple other bloggers/crafters who only used Mod Podge complained that when wet, the coasters became sticky when being used. Rather than deal with "tacky" or "sticky" coasters, I decided err on the side of caution and go with a sealer. 

The last step is to add either the cork or the felt pads to the bottom of the coaster. I used 4 felt pads (the kind that go on the bottom of chair legs), one in each corner of the coasters. This will keep them from putting scratches in the tabletop! 
When you are done, you can wrap them up in your favorite ribbon to give to your favorite host or hostess!

17 March 2012

Things I Pondered This Week When I Should Have Been Doing Other Stuff

  • 70 degrees in March. Are you kidding me!? I'm not ready to get my sunburn on just yet. 
  • I don't just want, but I NEED a pair of yellow ballet flats. 
  • I'd like to personally thank Norfolk State and Lehigh for completely messing up my NCAA bracket. 
  • I feel like I got the last laugh with Ticketmaster. 
  • I will admit that I am purposely putting off studying for the PHR certification test for reasons I shall not share.
  • I confirmed this week that Captain Oblivious is indeed, quite oblivious. 
  • I battled with my jewelry making supplies this week and did not come out the victor.
  • I think I need to make another appointment with my hairdresser. 

15 March 2012

It's Ok Thursday!

Its Ok Thursdays

It's that time of the week again!

It's o.k...........

  • That I am completely obsessed with Jack Bauer. I took some time off from watching 24--thanks to my Amazon Prime account I'm able to catch up on all 8 season (I thankfully didn't watch it when it was still on tv...too stressful), but am right back at it. In terms of my stress levels after watching each episode, I'm not sure it was the best move, but I do enjoy saving the USofA along side Jack and Tony (Almeida).
  • That I am reading 3 books at one time. True, it does make keeping the story lines straight a little more difficult, but none of them are interesting enough to garner all of my attention.
  • To miss someone before they are even gone. 
  • That I may have had a vegan shamrock shake for dinner three times this past week. What can I say, those dang things are delicious.
  • To still be a little freaked out from the incision scar on my foot. 
  • That a book of 700 pages has me totally intimidated. I stare at it every night on my nightstand but just can't bring myself to pick it up and read it. 

14 March 2012

Hello spring!

I kind of feel like we are being punk'd with the gorgeous spring weather we've been having this week. At about 4pm a manager at work stopped by the office to share with us that the temperature outside was in the 70s! Can you even imagine?! 70 degrees in northern Michigan....in March.....totally crazy. 

Sadie and I definitely took advantage of the evening sun and clear skies when I got home from work. We spent some time out in the back yard soaking up the rays and enjoying the fresh air. It also gave me the chance to take some photographs during my favorite time of the day. The light this evening really was too gorgeous to pass up.

While shopping for Sadie snacks before heading home, I picked up this blanket at a local discount store. I absolutely love it! And for $4 it makes for the perfect blanket for lounging around in the back yard with a book, which is exactly what I did after I finished annoying Sadie with the camera. A friend (thanks Ron!) dropped off another stack of books for me to read and just in time, too. My current selections aren't holding my attention and it saves me from a potentially dangerous trip the bookstore tomorrow night. I'm looking forward to diving into the new pile of books!

I also started working on my post for tomorrow. I generally find it easier to write everything out by hand before typing it up for the blog. Plus, I miss writing in a regular journal every day so this helps to make up for that missing link. Although, I have been toying around with the idea of getting back to having a hand written journal again....you know, for all the boy crazy moments I'm not quite ready to put out there just yet for public consumption. 

Some of my spring flowers started to bloom this week! I have patches of these little white one all over my side yard. I just adore them and always make sure to snap a photograph or two dozen each year. 

Sadie spent most of the evening keeping an eye on the neighborhood, making sure everything was in order and pretending that the camera was still in the house. She really isn't a fan of having her picture taken, no matter how cute I tell her she is.

12 March 2012

Music Monday: Tyrone Wells

I am a firm believer that sometimes music needs to hit you at the perfect moment before it'll make an impact.

This is kind of how it has been for me and the music of Tyrone Wells. I have a handful of friends who have tried to get me to listen to this stuff over the years. Believe me when I say I have spent hours and hours listening to his music and just always thought it was o.k.

But then last week he released his album, Where We Meet. It took one listen through the album to be absolutely hooked. I won't even post here how many times my iPod says I have listened to it, but it's good. Really, really good. Below are a couple of my favorites from the album, but I suggest everyone run out and buy for themselves!


I Can't Save You Now

You're The One

You Still Love Me<---Not ashamed to say I tear up every single time I hear this song.

11 March 2012

Sunday Stroll

Admittedly it was a little more than a stroll, but it certainly didn't feel like a calorie burning run through the woods.

I'll be the first to admit that I have been babying my foot/Achilles tendon since my surgery last summer. It's just that I dealt with so much pain and frustration for so long that to now have it be 75% better, I'm terrified something is going to go wrong and I'll be right back to square one. I'm telling ya'll right now, I just can't do it again. Thankfully though, things went quite well this afternoon which may just be the confidence boost I need.

In stark contrast to last weekends bout with Snowmageddon 2012, the weather today is gorgeous. Nearly 60 degrees here with bright blue skies and not a cloud in sight. Combine that with a dog who is busting out of the seams with spring fever and it was the perfect combination to head out for my first run/walk of the spring!

It was fantastic getting back out there again and even though I've had to break out the ice pack for the first time in months, I feel great. Sadie and I did a loop around the (country) block by my families cottage on the lake. The loop is just a bit longer than 2 miles and was the perfect distance for my first real workout in 8 months (like I said.....terrified something is going to go wrong!). We kept a nice, steady pace and did the loop in 38 minutes. It could have been faster but Sadie needed a few bathroom breaks along the way.

As much as I can't WAIT to get out there to do it again, I'm going to "limit" myself to three times a week to get my muscles back into working order. Hopefully this awesome weather stays through the week and Sadie and I can head back out to the lake on Tuesday!

10 March 2012

Things I Pondered This Week When I Should Have Been Doing Other Stuff

  • I am, 100% a music snob and refuse to feel bad about it. 
  • I am too old to stand in line for an hour and a half in 30 degree weather only to stand for another hour before the actual concert begins. 
  • Speaking of concerts,  took Sharona to the Matt Nathanson concert and have the photo to prove it!
  • I haven't read a single word in a book all week and I'm feeling a little frustrated by that. 
  • I also haven't written anything of substance in quite a few weeks. May need to take some times this weekend for some creative writing exercises. 
  • I need to get back in the habit of cooking meals. I've not been feeling too hot the last few days which I think is in direct correlation to the amount of crap I've eaten the last week.
  • I'm really itching to get out and start the Couch to 5k running program again but I'm more than a little bit terrified that something will go wrong. 

09 March 2012

Friday Favorites: Matt Nathanson

Even though my weekend officially started at 5pm yesterday, I'm still o.k. with being excited that today is Friday and it's the weekend!

It's true, most of that excitement is because I'm going to see Matt Nathanson in concert TONIGHT. I'm quite sure I've told everyone that will listen to me that his show is this evening. I'm that excited about tonight's show.

Anyway......since I've been on a bit of a music fast this week (not all music, just Matt's music....it's a weird ritual I started doing before going to concerts where I don't listen to anything by the musician for at least a week before the show......I know it's weird, but you can blame Heather for getting me started on it!) and because his show is TONIGHT I figured this was the perfect time to share some of my favorites songs by Mr. Nathanson. I'm secretly hoping that he'll play one of the songs below, but also know that regardless of whether not he plays it, it's going to be a GREAT show tonight. Hopefully I'll have lots of photos and some fun stories to share this weekend.

Run featuring Sugarland

Lost Myself In Search of You


Lucky Boy


08 March 2012

It's O.k.....

Its Ok Thursdays

My weekend officially started today and I couldn't be more excited about. Tomorrow my friend Jen and I are off to Grand Rapids to see Matt Nathanson. I haven't seen him live since 2009 when I went to Iowa to visit my friend Micah.

Time to link up to It's O.k. Thursday!

It's Ok........
  • To think it is absolutely hysterical when someone my parents age refer to something as "The Bomb".
  • To totally smitten with a guy and not want to talk to my friends about it. 
  • That I used the word "smitten" in a sentence.
  • That I own 7 black dresses and 12 pair of leggings.
  • That I can't commit to a hair color. I'ts been 3 shades this week alone!
  • To not have a direction for my blog. I like that I can talk about anything topic that I want.  
  • That I don't have the time nor the energy to really worry about my diet beyond making sure it's vegan. 

05 March 2012

Music Monday: Audible Sunshine

There are some songs that just plain make me happy. I like them for no other reason than that. As soon as I hear them, it's hard to contain my smile and I instantly feel better, no matter the circumstances.

And what better way to start off a Monday than with some of those songs!

Good Love Is on the Way by John Mayer

Uncharted by Sara Bareilles

 Dynamo of Volition by Jason Mraz

A Night Like This by Caro Emerald

learnalilgivinanlovin' by Gotye 

03 March 2012

Things I Pondered This Week When I Should Have Been Doing Other Stuff

This has not turned out to be a great weekend and it's only Saturday evening. I am keeping all of my fingers and toes crossed that tomorrow is a little bit better because quite frankly, I can't take another day like today.

Anywho.......onto my random thoughts of the week!
  • Seriously. Are my new sock monkeys not the cutest! I picked them up at work this week and simply adore them. The pink one (who is still without a name) will most likely live at my desk at work, while the other two Seamus and Sharona will be going on many great adventures. 
  • There are only 42 days until Heather, Vickie and I storm Detroit for Mayer's concert at the Fox Theater as long as Ticketmaster doesn't decide to cancel our ticket order again. 
  • I have finally ended my run of relatively good books. The one I am reading right now just keeps dragging on and on and on with nothing interesting happening. I will finish though. There will be no books left behind!
  • I am obsessed with the clothes on ModCloth. Seriously. They have some of the cutest dresses. And their shoes.....to die for. 

01 March 2012

It's Ok Thursday

Its Ok Thursdays

I've been following my friend Micah's weekly "It's Ok" posts (as well as the rest of her blog, Unabashedly Me, which if you don't read you should---I love that girl!) and have decided to play along as well. After finishing my Three Things February project, this is the perfect way for me to keep that theme going!

It's o.k.......

  • That I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up......some days it's a photographer. Some days it's a writer and other days a professional book reader (not reviewer....just would like someone to pay me to read books all the time). 
  • To be totally intimated by one of the books on my "to read" list. Every time I look at it, I worry that it's going to be over my head.
  • To not want to compromise. Even on the little things. 
  • That I tell Sadie to have a good day each morning I leave for work. 
  • That my 365 project has become a bit dull. They can't all be winners. 
  • That I have bought more book in the last 2 months than I can possibly read. 
  • That I'm terrified to start running again. I know my foot/Achilles tendon surgery was a success, but I'm still worried something will go terribly wrong. 

Thanks for reading!

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