Friday, January 30, 2015

Secret tips for BIG hair

People have asked me a time or two how I can get my hair so big. It's true. I have a thing for volumized hair. I can still remember spending my days in high school religiously teasing my hair and failing to look at what the back of my head might look like afterwards (aka: a hot nappy mess). Looking at older pictures of myself I am almost embarrassed by my big-headed hair obsession, but over the years I have tamed my addiction to fine tooth combs and hairspray. (It's a good thing to be able to laugh at yourself). Finally I feel like I now have a good grasp between maintaining nice volume and a natural look. My secret? Well it's not really a secret but it is a little more complex than just one thing. I'm going to walk you through the steps I do in the hopes these tricks combined might give your hair that oomph you so too desire. Well at least if you like big hair like I do.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Peanut butter, banana, and ricotta cinnamon toast

Bananas are probably the most frequently used fruit in my everyday eating. Now banana and peanut butter? A match made in food heaven. Some days I tend to stick to the same mundane breakfast. I get on my little kicks and switching things up takes a conscious effort. I am always on the lookout for different and healthy meals. So when I came across this banana, peanut butter, and ricotta toast last year, I was itching to give it a try. Cheese. Peanut butter. Banana. Three of my favorite things. AND lets not forget the cinnamon which comes with a wide range of health benefits (just look it up if you don't believe me).

Monday, January 26, 2015

Ice, Ice, Baby.

To say I am not making the most out of 2015 (so far) would be an understatement. Given this is the last week of January (I know, right? Where did that go?) I subconsciously reflected on these last 26 days and realized quite the revelation: I have done a pretty extensive amount of fun stuff and tried new things. To be fair, it's been more like the past two weeks. Maybe it's some high from finishing off those boards. But still, there was enough to make my head nod up and down and feel pretty darn good about how I am kicking off my year.

One thing I'm happy I tried: Ice Fishing. Never in my life had I ever ice fished. In fact, I never really understood why anyone in their right mind would gleefully sit on snow and ice for endless hours and find it pleasurable. Yet within this new year I've been out two weekends in a row. I once again am reminded of the don't judge a book by its cover idiom. And that's OK, because I'm all about surprises. And to my surprise ice fishing was a blast. Outing #1 I discovered I am really good at watching other people attempt to ice fish. Outing #2 I learned not only does someone have the capacity to catch a fish, but I also got a sweet taste of the exhilarating feeling in catching one of my very own. A rush indeed.

Over the weekend I caught my first and he was one meaty northern monster. Considering I had never caught a fish in my entire life until last Summer I was pretty unambiguously happy with the size of this dude. Thankfully I had some good coaches by my side instructing me while this was happening, and I can proudly say I felt fairly calm throughout the process.

Here are a few photos of our ice fishing adventures thus far...

Friday, January 23, 2015

Welcome weekend + Links around the web

I am welcoming this weekend with arms stretched wide open. Kicking off this weekend, I will spend the day off enjoying time to catch up on cleaning, errands, and celebrating tonight at Mr. B's Bartolatta Steakhouse.  This weekend I'm attempting handmade sushi for the first time and may give ice fishing a round two. Sunday I get to be reunited and catch up with a dear friend. A reunion that has been long overdue. What's your plans for this weekend? I guess it's supposed to get up to a whopping 40 degrees on Saturday. Watch out!

Enjoy your weekend and see you Monday!

And in the meantime check out some links from around the web:

Conversation Starter napkins that are sure to give you lots of ideas and even some belly laughs

The best rice cooker 

A site that lets you see other Girls dressing cute for work and perhaps submit an outfit of your own 

I want to travel here 

Have you checked out this podcast? A friend recommended it so it's on my to-do list

Great DIY shelves for your bathroom

How do you spend your downtime?

A great alternative to a bouquet of flowers

I want these winter boots

Does your birth order have a say in your personality?

Such a cute and personalized gift idea for a new baby

A favorite book of mine when I was a kid

AND Loved this book series too

Gratitude Challenge

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Kitchen luxuries-The best rice cooker. Ever.

About a year ago the husband and I were going back in forth about what to spend our leftover Crate and Barrel gift cards from our wedding towards. I brought up purchasing a rice cooker. Because lets be serious, cooking rice is no easy task. My experiences with rice have been along the lines of Goldy Locks and The Three Bears storybook where the rice is too soggy, too thick, or still hard. With a rice cooker, however, the rice is juuuust right.

Most people I run into do not quite understand the real incentive in having a rice cooker, so to my surprise Kyle actually said yes. We as any smart shopper would do, researched the various products, read the reviews, and opted for the Zojirushi one.  It was expensive and I was hoping that spending 150 dollars on a rice cooker would cook the best rice I would ever have in my entire life. My friends literally laughed at me when I told them I bought a rice cooker. But let me tell you, I have the last laugh here. That little gem has been one of my favorite kitchen gadget luxuries. It really does make the best rice ever. And to top it off it sings twinkle twinkle little star when the rice is finished. Machines that sing and apparently I'm sold.

Since getting married, we started cooking more market fresh stir-frys and buying natural rice over instant rice. Instant rice has undergone the milling process and no longer contains as much nutritional value as natural rice does, so natural is a healthier option. Cooking natural rice on the stove also takes a lot longer so having a cooker is a time saver indeed.We have had no issues with our rice cooker leaking and the clean up is a breeze. Having a rice cooker and a wok have been great for cooking up some delicious healthy meals. There are various settings to cook different types of rice, including sushi rice. And I am so pumped for this weekend as I am going to try to make homemade sushi for the first time! 

At this point in this post I realize how old I am getting. I never thought I would be writing about my joys in having a rice cooker... Boy times have changed. But I am hopeful for some delicious sushi this weekend! And if you have been thinking about investing in rice cooker I would highly recommend it. It's worth paying a bit more and the Zojirushi has been really great for us. I will have you keep you posted on how my sushi turns out.

Whats your favorite kitchen gadget?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

How you spend your downtime

As I get older I get increasingly curious about how the rest of the world spends their down time. I realize there are those of you rolling your eyes in this moment, asking "what down time?" Although, I am speaking in such general terms that yes, if you really don't have any down time then I also would include  those little moments where you decide to clean, shower, watch your nightly show, or prepare for the next day. The list goes on. All of those things require a decision. How you spend your time. While there may be certain consequences for things you do or do not do, for example, not showering (you might stink), that is still time spent and a choice to be made. (By all means, please do not interpret this as me telling you not to shower. In fact I highly encourage good hygiene practices).

Saturday, January 17, 2015


You know when Rocky trains and pours his blood, sweat, and tears into fighting Apollo??? Well this has been my story. Except without the blood. Of course not with boxing, but I have been focused and determined to study and pass my boards to become a National Certified Counselor. I can now delightedly announce I have passed my boards and I can apply for my state license!!!!!!

With lack of sleep, being sick, and overall stress I was worried. This has been a roller coaster experience of anxiety, dread, excitement, and a resounding "I just want to this to be over." I have poured countless hours and energy into preparing for this exam and I can happily say I have done it! In case you were wondering if I just was over this blogging thing... I am not. I was just busy and wanting to put my everything into conquering this exam to make sure I had no regrets with where I spent my time (just in case I didn't pass).

Funny thing is when I left the testing center after completing my exam I could not even look at the results, and when I finally did I ran back into the center and asked for another pair of eyeballs to confirm what I had just read. Pass. Test result= PASS!!! Woo Woo! I am on cloud 100 right now. And yes, so excited and in shock that I may indeed throw a fist full of glitter in the air. Thanks Pink.

Welcome back life! Hello career! I am so pumped to take the bull by the horns and focus on doing the best work I can do. And I thank the Lord so much for richly rewarding me in my efforts!!! Now I am going to conquer the world today! First up on the list will be my first time ice fishing. With a permanent smile. :))))

Sunday, January 11, 2015

"Fresh Slate."- January's Challenge

 I thought this was pretty cool. This is the ceiling of Ruby Tap, a great wine bar in Tosa. In order to make it fitting for this post, make this year bright.
It was a whopping -6 degrees out the other night and I decided to watch The Summit. A documentary that followed climbers up K2 and traces one of the deadliest mountain climbing experiences. I couldn't watch the whole thing. I was freezing to begin with and watching other people freeze on TV was a bad idea. I started to question whether it was more psychosomatic. Was I cold because it was ungodly cold? Or was I cold because I was watching people freeze their tushies off. I suppose that's neither here nor there. The facts are the Midwest and all the states for that matter are getting some brutal sub below temps. 2015 is sure making its entrance.

Anyways, I know I'm late here (I told you I would work on timeliness at some point) but it is that time again for a monthly challenge. I am assuming most people have already started with their monthly challenges given the new year. In fact, I personally love resolutions. I think the New Year is a great way for everyone to reexamine their lives and take some time and reflect on the past 365 days. Some people give resolutions so much grief and think they're stupid. I would like to goes as far and say I think its those people that are the ones to not follow through with their resolutions and are bitter :0 I know. I said it. (You don't have to be a sour grape and ruin it for the rest of us). So more power to those who want to improve their lives and set out different ways to live bigger, better, and brighter days. Even if its a time shortly spent. That's okay too.

So in case you haven't already guessed it, this month's monthly challenge is to... (drum roll)... do your resolutions! I have made a few already, but still need to sit down and really hash out what I want out of this year. One goal I have already set (and can happily say I am gaining a lot of awareness by doing) is being aware of my body language. Check out a Ted talk here if you want to see an interesting look at body language and its impact on our own emotions. So far I have been doing a pretty good job at monitoring and changing my body language. It's been interesting to observe times when I might be feeling a certain emotion and I end up resting my hands on my lips, hips, or find my arms crossed. Changing body language/posture may be one resolution I have, but I like to have a wide variety.

One thing Kyle and I started last year was to make some personal AND couples resolutions. He wasn't necessarily excited to do this. Ah, the ways I torture him! But I asked that we both come up with resolutions that we can share and use towards improving ourselves as well as our relationship. The categories last year were financial, fun, fitness, personal, and relationship. The idea here is we both write our resolutions for each category separately and then share what we have and combine our couples ones. I like getting an idea of where he is at, and I would like to assume he feels the same. It's crazy to see how your goals and ideas might be completely different OR right on target with your partners. Do to the craziness of the last few weeks (things will slow down in the next few) we are going to wait and share. A moment when I can actually have time to think and an opportunity to think clearly.

In the meantime, if you've already started your resolutions kudos to you! And if you haven't, its not too late. Get going! If you have a little special person in your life maybe consider doing some couples resolutions. And remember, you have to be specific with your goals! No fluffy "I want to be nicer" stuff. Figure out, how can you do that!?! How will someone know, and how will you know you're going being nicer? That's the hard part.

With my life as of late being a bit crazy, (hence why I've been MIA) I'd like to give you a proper Happy New Year! Thank you to those who have visited and revisited. I hope you come and hang lots in 2015 and I am excited about this new fresh slate.

What are your resolutions for this year? Would you consider doing couples ones? Have any resolutions you carried out for the whole year? I'd love to here. Feel free to leave a comment below. It might help me pick my selection of resos.

Until next time stay warm and GO PACK!