Friday, December 30, 2011

End of the Year Recap Part 4

So here is the part of my year that you might have already shared because I posted about it as it happened...

October: I started the month off with three concerts in the first week! Then I spent a week in Paris with my sister (and away from work!) It was one of the best trips I have ever taken because I was able to truly relax and enjoy every bit of life. This meant delicate macarons, inspiring museums, pristine gardens, delectable pain au chocolats, frequent cafes, talented street performers, sporadic shopping sprees, and brisk walks. I feel so darned lucky to be able to travel as much as I do.

November: I spent a lot of time with the boyfran's family and a lot of time at shows. I saw Noah and the Whale (awesome show!), Jerry Seinfeld (hilarious!), Mat Kearney (alright, pretty good), and Mason Jennings (love forever). Thanksgiving was a blast, and I'm sure you could read all about November in this blog if you really wanted to...

December: This brings us to now. December has been a month of crafting, celebrating birthdays, and best of all, a new baby nephew, le peanut.

This wraps up my 2011 recap extravaganza. It's satisfying to relive memories and be excited for the future. It's also nice to be present and live in the moment. So I'm going to go do that.

What's on your list of highlights of the year? Would you call it a good one? Everyone has a different story concerning 2011 - I'm thrilled to say mine was one of happiness and light. Here's to a wonderful 2012! 

Happy New Year!!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

End of the Year Recap Part 3

Did you miss me? Well, itt HAS been two days...harhar. So we're onto summer, part 3 of 4 of the 2011 recap. MN had an extremely junglesque (I made that up) summer that was almost unbearable. Luckily, I had AC and a chance to escape to Chicago. Nope, Chicago was scorching hot too!

July: I had another HK reunion - this time with the lovely Eva, hailing from Austria. We met in Chicago to shop, eat, drink, sightsee, bike ride along Lake Michigan, meet an Irish boy (not for me!), and meet up again with Rahul and Jake at a sushi place, my first B-Y-O-B restaurant experience! I also signed up to be a monthly contributor to the Human Rights Campaign while I was in Chicago. At the end of the month, I powered through a crazy streak of Torchlight 5k, Twins game, Christmas in July, Tour de Fat, Trampled by Turtles and Warrior Dash, all in five consecutive days.

August: LOLLAPALOOZA! Yeeeeaaaaboyyy, it was epic. I got to see a bajillion bands I liked, hang out with a bff, boyfran, and some other friends. I also got to hang out in Chicago and see Jake again. (No Rahul meet up this time, and David had moved away by then). Then there was Kat’s bachelorette party that began with wine tasting and ended with…headaches. Obviously. After a long battle of "Should I? Shouldn't I?" I started Treble and Lace. I'm unsure of where it's headed, but I love posting so that's all.

September: The month started out with a fun day at the fair over the long Labor Day weekend. Then, my beautiful Katrina got married and I was a bridesmaid! It was fun helping her plan some details of her wedding and crafting paper stuffs for the reception. The wedding itself was a blast; I partied with my college friends, my high school friends, and my family. This was definitely a year of weddings. (I attended four, had to decline on a few, and was in the bridal party for two!) I'm sure it only intensifies as I get older, however. The next day I met Mason Jennings. (My knees weaken). At the end of the month, I headed up North for a three-day camping trip in the perfectly-crisp fall weather.

So that was fall. However, October is REALLY fall so you have that coming at you very soon. But you probably know what I did anyhow since this blog was already on its little bloggy journey. Oh well. Happy day!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

End of the Year Recap Part 2

Hello again! You may have noticed that I skipped Merry Monday this week - you can thank Christmas, a vacation and no work for that! However, I'm back for part 2 of 4 of the end of the year recap. Here goes the soggy spring!

April: My nephew had his first birthday party! We threw my sister a bachelorette party downtown and took a pole dancing class to start out the night! Scan-da-lous. My beautiful sister Mary got married to my now-B-I-L Kevin. This meant that my whole family (blood-related and non-) got to go to Panama City Beach, FL and spend four days in the sun. I slept on the balcony every night, and it was something else to be able to rise to the salt-soaked air and sound of crashing waves.

May: My beautiful sister Mary got married to my now-B-I-L Kevin. Wait a minute. Typo? No. They had another celebration, this time in Minnesota with a Chinese Tea Ceremony included. Many of my good friends and a lot of my family were there. It was a really fun wedding and all the stress prior to it melted away like the Wicked Witch of the West. 

June: Roadtrip! B-I-L Nathan and boyfran Zubby took a road trip to sweltering Kansas City to cheer the Twins on as they swept the Royals. Too bad that winning streak didn’t permeate throughout the rest of the season and we eventually lost all of our coveted players. Le sigh.

Welp...that's it for the spring and the start of summer. Stay tuned for the rest of summer-fall-winter. Wait a minute, I thought we already talked about winter...darn winter!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Awake and Bake

I never meant to bake anything. I promise. But with my looming adventures up North, I had to make something to bring along. And if I was going to take time to actually make something, well then it better dang well be pretty. So naturally, I looked to my friend Jessica's blog, Life's Simple Measures, for inspiration and guidance.

So then I did this:

{Recipe here}

And then I made this:

{Recipe here}

I had leftover candy melts, so then I made this:

Now I not only have goodies to take with me up North, but also to give to the girls I am seeing at an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party tomorrow, and to my lovely sisters, and to my coworkers. Oopsies. In all seriousness, I have never really had an affinity for cooking or baking or anything in the kitchen unless it included crafting at the kitchen table. This round of "baking" was kind of amazing. I looked at the recipes, I shopped for the items I didn't have, I timed the preparations correctly without even trying that hard, and I yielded plenty. AND I was able to craft them. 

All the while, I had conversations with my parents and actually had a lot of fun. I hope this doesn't become a hobby of mine, however, because I spent a lot of time doing this, and maybe I stayed up till the very wee hours of the morning and maybe that hinders the rest of my Thursday. We'll see.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

End of the Year Recap Part 1

Can you even believe 2011 has come and mostly gone? Our moments are short, so it is important to remember and savor them. (Or as Gretchen Rubin from The Happiness Project reiterates, "The days are long, but the years are short.") Luckily, I have a good memory, a camera, and two blogs to help me out. Since it is the end of the calendar year, I would like to take a few posts to reflect on the highlights of each month of 2011. Bear with me, I had a good year.

January: I basked in my birthday weekend with a slew of my best friends in Chicago. We ice skated at Millennium Park, shopped along Michigan Avenue, ate tasty food and imbibed at some recommended bars. Plus, three of my HK friends joined in on the festivities. HK reunions are hard to come by, so when they DO work out, it's a good feeling. I started a blog with the details of Chicago as my first post, and after two more posts, abandoned it. At least I have you, SKTMIT, to ease the heartache! :P

February: I, along with a big group o' people, welcomed our friend Laura home from Korea, where she spent the last year teaching. My boyfran and I spent a night in Fargo, ND to visit two of his best friends from college and join in on the plaid brigade at Trampled by Turtles. I also attended a 30th birthday, a 40th birthday, and a 50th birthday in that order! I love numbers and sequences, so that was right up my alley.

March: I traveled to Oahu, Hawaii with another great group of friends. We snorkeled at Hanauma Bay, hiked up Diamond Head, swam in the Pacific Ocean, toured Pearl Harbor, and ATVed through the lush hillside that has served as the backdrop for many-a-movie and one of my favorites, LOST! I tried savory, authentic Hawaiian foods that I wish were available in Minnesota. I definitely morphed from not being a beach-vacation-person to being a beach-vacation-person. Add to that about five birthday celebrations in one weekend, and that was March.

I'm going to pause there. A year is a sizeable thing to consider, so I'm breaking it up into fourths. This week is a short one (at work anyhow) and I'm hustling and bustling to cram as many activities in as I physically can. Still left on the plate before I head up North on Friday morning: running errands, baking at my sister's house, packing, working, hitting up an ugly Christmas sweater party/reunion and getting the last of my Christmas gifts in the mail (destined for Minneapolis, Toronto and Vienna). Have a happy Wednesday!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Merry Monday

{Catching snow / Creating / Oddly sitting}

Weekends come and weekends go, and they're always filled to the brim with good stuff. This weekend started off hanging out in the hospital with the new baby nephew, some birthday shenanigans, breakfast at Grandview, crafting, another birthday outing, photos, and hanging out with the fam (of course with new baby). I realized how close Christmas really was, and maybe started to panic a little. It's not that I have gifts to still procure or make, but there are Christmas cards that haven't been sent out, baking and packing to do before the weekend, all on top of some other obligations.

{Unintentional Christmas colors / Holiday brews}

So let's keep sane in this home stretch until Christmas! Oh pretty please!

{Two hats / Sheet music / Playing}

Today I am le thankful for:
1. Family. New babies have a way of bringing people together. Yeay!
2. Friends and their friends and their families. It's pretty cool when you have fun hanging out with your friend's boyfriend's sister and her friend. 
3. A short week. I can't wait for Christmas!!

Unfortunately, when my holiday cards were all ready to go, I forgot my stamps at home and am now at work. Rats and a half! I'm also planning on taking a page or two out of the blog Life's Simple Measures for holiday baking recipes. Can't wait to test my terrible hand at these.

Are you scrambling this week? Whatever you're doing, I hope it's a good one.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Baby Archer

No, this is not a post about a small person with a bow and arrow, but rather, my new baby nephew, hot off the press! I can't say much about the character of a baby who doesn't open his eyes or do anything but sleep, but he's a peanut and I love him! That's all.

I also love his big brother Theodore who says in the most adorable voice ever, "baby cry" which sounds like "baby kai."

Monday, December 12, 2011

Merry Monday

Hello frannns! This morning was a little rough, even though I forced myself to bed last night at 10pm due to a severe migraine. Let me tell you, 10pm bedtime never happens with me, so I was hurtin' something fierce. This morning I was all achey too, but then my coworker gave me some medicine and it's getting better.

So here I am. The weekend was pretty low-key. I went to a Friday night yoga class, woke up early Saturday for a half day of work, then headed over to my sister's house to craft until I couldn't craft anymore. This crafting sesh was also filled with attempts of dougie-ing, too many desserts, YouTube videos and scary stories I couldn't handle. I finally finished  making my Christmas and Hannukah cards though, so that felt awesome. I finished working on some Christmas gifts as well. But now, I must write out all of these cards and while I definitely enjoy writing to people, it's going to take a block of time to get these out. 

Sunday the fam celebrated my parents' birthdays with Banh Xeo Brunch and playing on the lake behind our house. Then I headed over to boyfran's brothers to do some man-crafting. You know, ditching the pretty paper, brads and tape runners for drills, scrap wood and tape measurers. We made one of our two giant hockey nets for future broomball on the lake. I had never really played with a drill before or built anything that didn't come in a set in a box, so this was pretty fun.

Now, onto Monday and what is getting me through the day:
1. Hydration. Must. Fix. Headache.
2. Crafting. I'm on a craft-kick, if you couldn't tell.
3. Book Club. We're having a little gift exchange tomorrow with our discussion of a holiday-themed book. Yippee!

That's all. 13 days until Christmas, ahh!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Epiphanies of sorts.

Sometimes I think the week crawls by ever-so-slowly, and before I know it, it is le Friday! So, happy le Friday!

If you are super-privileged, you know I have really great "a-ha!" moments. Also really great "weird" moments. I consider myself a smart person, but when it comes to really simple stuff, I get these epiphanies (one of my favorite words) and everyone around me says, "Wow. Really Jen?" Or they say, "Ohhhhhhhhhh" in unison with me.

Some of the A-has have included:
Dissecting the word "percent." Like per-cent. Like per 100. Like out of 100, OMG. Stop. OMG.

How about remote control? Yeah, you can control the TV. REMOTELY. (Also, when I was little I had this problem and called it a remote con-con-trol. My nephew just calls it "mooooote.")

Some of the "weirds" have included:
Fruit. Fruit is so dang weird. Here, let's plant this weird little seed. Then all of this gushy deliciousness will stem from it and grow around it and while we're at it, more seeds will happen to happen, and then you can eat it, and it's mostly good for you. WHAT? (That is NOT what she said). 

Clothes. Alright, so we can't be naked. I'll run and get some fibers and make some string and make some clothes to put on your body. Eventually it will just be for the look of it and rarely for the function.

Animals. There are so many species and they eat each other. And some of them lounge around in our homes, acting like they own the world.

Interwebs. How in the world are you reading this across the way?! Why don't you have to be next to me to know what I'm thinking? Even landlines puzzle me because voices can project across miles! I know there are scientific explanations for these things, but still. It's le nuts.

So yeah. Life is full of very weird things that make me wonder how the H we all got here. This brings me to the thing that inspired the weird post: snowflakes.

SNOWFLAKES! They are unique! They fall from the sky! They are SO beautiful! They were on my car like this!

I hope you have a good weekend. Take time to appreciate the little things, the weird things, and those things that make you say "Ohhhh I get it."

Monday, December 5, 2011

Merry Monday

Oopsies, I'm a little behind on this one. Today was overcast with blah, so maybe that will be my excuse! 

I feel like I'm repeating myself over and over, but...the weekend FLEW by and was FULL of FUN stuff. Sound familiar? Thought so.
Dinner at The Depot, an absolutely spectacular Beirut show at First Ave. (plus I saw a long-lost friend there), No Coast Craft-o-Rama, Mapps chai latte, two days of crafting at my sister's house (I made 38 cards and prepared parts of my Christmas cards, whew!) and a hot yoga class were the highlights of my weekend.

And then…today happened. Nothing catastrophic, obviously. Just a sort of overall blahishness resulting from a domino-effect of small annoyances.

I just watched the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy (yes, I do still watch it), and the episode was about thinking you have it bad but not realizing that you should be thankful that worse things aren’t happening. It’s not meant to discredit small problems, because when you feel like crap, you feel like crap, but know that it could be much, much worse. The narration in the show talks about thinking your day is bad, but when the really, really bad stuff happens, you only WISH your problems were an IRS audit or fender bender. So there’s that.


That’s all for today. I made a dent in my winter to-do list this weekend. Yeeay!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I want to go to there. [Winter to-do list]

Happy December! Can you EVEN BELIEVE IT? There isn't a ton of snow, but the bit we do have came just in time! So, in spirit of that, here is my winter to do list:

1. Snowshoe.
2. Ice skate.
3. Cross-country ski.
4. Build a snowman.
5. Throw snowballs for my puppy to go fetch. (It's pretty hilarious to watch).
6. Make a snow angel.
7. Ice fish.
8. Watch the following: Elf, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Frosty the Snowman, The Year Without a Santa Claus...
9. Consume the following(preferably separately): Peppermint mochas, Jessica's mom's cabbage rolls, something Carrie baked.
10. Make chicken and dumplings, as taught by Jessica's mom.
11. Scrapbook like a maniac; make holiday cards and presents.
12. Go to a craft fair.
13. See a musical.
14. Hang out in Rice Park.
15. Play Christmas songs on the piano. 
So if you’re willing to contribute to the checking-off of any of the aforementioned items, please get in contact with me. Ha! But really, is there something I am missing? What’s on YOUR winter to-do list?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Merry Monday

Happy Monday! (Is that an oxymoron? Heh.) Unlike about 78.1% of my weekends, this one seemed to last forever, in a very, very good way. Thanksgiving started perfectly with a Turkey Day 5k (an easy-breezy-fun-run), Friday was a very long day at work (mainly because I was thinking about the people who weren’t at work), but I ended it with a couple of games of pool and Big Buck Hunter (yep) in Uptown. 

Saturday was the loveliest day of all! It started out with a breakfast at Grandview Grill (my new favorite breakfast joint) to reunite with my friends from high school. Then my sister and I headed over to the new Anthropologie on Grand and did a bit of damage. Afterwards, we had dinner at Punch Pizza (also a favorite spot) before buying macarons at Surdyk’s (sub-par) and heading to First Ave. to catch The Pines and Mason Jennings. Mason was amazing, as always. He played a good mix of songs from his latest album, Minnesota, some from the album before that, and some from the 7 albums before that. He threw in a couple of covers too, which I was all for. After the show, we headed a block or two over to Kieran’s to meet my friend David who I studied with in Hong Kong three long years ago. And you know, I might have stayed up until 4am getting beat at card games. 

Sunday I headed to the mall with some girlies to do a bit of birthday shopping (thanks family for having holiday birthdays) and then bolted out of there to go to yet another Thanksgiving dinner, complete with cribbage and football.

Okay, so you might not care about the ins and outs of my weekend, but when I write about what I did, it not only serves as a little bit of a record, but also a moment at least to reflect on it and appreciate it before moving on. Sooner or later though, I’m going to be reflecting on something a minute or two after it happens…hmm…

Anyway, I’m super glad I had a couple of reunions this past weekend and can’t wait to have more over Christmas! But for now, it’s Monday, there’s a LOT to do this week at work (not so much socially), and I am, as usual, tired. 

What should I think about today?
1. Cyber Monday. Some might say I like to dabble in shopping. 
2. Running. I did surprisingly well at both Thanksgiving dinners, only eating one plate, minimal desert, and barely anything else those days. Still, I feel a bit guilty and am going to go running after work.
3. Connecting. Sometimes when I have reunions, I get addicted to the idea of them. Especially because David wants to go to Toronto together to visit all of our HK friends. So now I'm thinking about every possible reunion I can muster up.

Was your weekend long or short? Was it hard getting up for work today? (Yes over here!) Anyway, I hope your Monday is super-cali-frag-i-listic! 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I am so thankful.

Obviously I was going to post today. There are so many things to be thankful for, and since a lot of this blog is dedicated to recognizing and appreciating those things, it's only natural that I write about them today!

Where do I even begin?

For starters, there are things that I am thankful for every day and while I don't discount them, they go into a short list here:

1. Health.
2. My five senses. 
3. Freedom.
4. Shelter, food, clothing, a car, a job.
5. Love and happiness.

Now on to the main event: people. None of the aforementioned blessings would matter at all if it wasn't for great people in my life. And here they are:

Family. I love my family! This year we have the addition of Mr. Kevin and it's pretty exciting to have a new brother. At the end of this year, we'll have yet another addition in the form of an itty bitty baby!

Boyfran. See this post. (Also his awesome, welcoming family!)

The girls. I’ve known these ladies since I was 9 or 10 years old. Enough said.

The girls. These are the people who made college so exciting. We shared school, parties, and Stinkytown Dinkytown. I even got to live with…all of them.

Show-goers. Music is the air I breathe and since I have the need to go to a bazillion shows, it’s been awesome to have accomplices.

HK boyz. These are the people who I spent almost every day of my time abroad with. They are all hilarious and insanely smart. I’ve gotten to see some of them since we’ve been back, but I’m still waiting for a reunion with the international ones.

HK penpals. After three years, these girls still write to me! You don’t know how great it is to get mail from them, adorned with silly Hello Kitty stickers. 

HK people in general. Reunions are my faaavorite and it's super fun to have friends around the world.

Bookclub. My fellow nerds literary aficionados keep my brain sharp and are fun to meet for dinner every month. Still waiting on that magnum bottle of wine.

You. Whoever you are.

Every person has added to my life in such a special way, and I really am grateful for each and every one. (Also the ones not featured here, who I maybe haven't seen in a while). Here is to more communication, more reunions, and remembering the awesome times we’ve shared. Happy Thanksgiving people, you rock my world. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Merry Monday

Ahh, this weekend was so full of activity that I can barely stay awake today. I guess I still need to master the art of sleeping with my eyes open at work. Heehee.

Friday was the boyfran’s birthday celebration, Saturday was dinner downtown and the Jerry Seinfeld show, and Sunday rounded it out with dinner (also downtown) and the Mat Kearney concert. I feel like I was either running around or laying on the couch watching reruns of 30 Rock. (So excited for its return!)

How am I going to get through today?
1. Being productive: I have a lot of work to do today and by golly, I am doing it.
2. Short work week: Only three days! Then a day off! Then back to work for a day! Then two off!
3. Thanksgiving: I’m going to teach some of my family (the willing and eager ones) a fun card game I played all Saturday night after the show. Plus, it’s le B-I-L’s birthday celebration so that will be fun too.

That’s all I can muster up right now. My other b-l-o-g is getting a makeover as we speak, so that’s kind of exciting too. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Boyfran Birthday!

Today is a very special day - the day my boyfran! was born. I am very lucky to have this guy in my life, so I thought I'd write a post to tell you why.

Why he's cool in general:
1. He cares a lot for his family. He makes it a point to spend time with them and go on trips with them, even his extended family.
2. He cares a lot for his friends and is always there, especially in times of need.
3. He cares a lot for strangers. Just kidding. But he can become friends with almost anyone within five minutes of meeting them. 
4. He's rugged and manly. He does physical things all day, plays basketball, kayaks, camps, hunts, catches fish with his teeth...okay, maybe some of that is untrue. Heeeheee. 
5. He's an "old soul."
6. Despite the love for brew and "za," he cares about his health.
7. He ran a marathon because he wanted to and had the discipline for it; and then he decided not to run one again because he didn't enjoy it that much and it took a toll on his body. I like that he recognizes what he likes and doesn't like and does what he wants to do.
8. He's really friggen cool, but he doesn't act like he knows he's really friggen cool.
9. He's silly.
10. He's extremely fun to be around.

Why he's cool with me:
1. The boyfran is chivalrous. Even after three years, he still opens my doors, holds heavy things, walks me to my car, and puts my jacket on for me. I like to think of myself as pretty independent, but even I can't turn these gestures down.
2. He knows how to change it up and takes me on dates to see funny comedians, will stay in for a game night, go to a musical, a sporting event, a day trip, a shopping trip, anything!
3. He gives thoughtful and creative presents. (Ice skates, running kit, handmade cribbage board...)
4. He has an impeccable taste in music and is the best concert buddy even though our heights make it odd to position ourselves in a room.
5. He doesn't mind that I extended this list to 5 to meet the needs of my OCD.

And he makes things like this for me:

And best of all: he loves me! :P There are about 80 billion other things, but we'll save those for another day. So boyfran, today is your day. I love you (and so do all of my family and friends, which kind of makes things awkward).


Happy birthday!

Gee golly shucks, it's cold.

I think you know the whole go-to-work-when-it's-dark and leave-work-when-it's-dark situation. (If you don't I loathe envy you). Since I work in a cube that is far away from any sort of window and the windows we have are tinted, I make it a point to go outside for at least one of my breaks. And when I do, it's kind of cold. And then I'm like "Aw, gee golly shucks, it's cold, why did I leave my den?" So it's getting cold but I think that Minnesota is having a fairly-mild November given our history, so that's kind of nice too. And the other thing I think is that having four seasons and harsh winters and brutal summers makes for a tough, well-rounded person. Or at least one who knows how to complain. Harhar.

That's all.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Merry Monday [Work Edition]

Doesn't it sometimes feel like we go through the week to get to the weekend, only to have it flash by us and drop us at the door of Monday again? Rinse and repeat?

Well that has happened once again and my friends, we're back at day 1 of the work week. I spilled coffee on my boots, had to lug ten-thousand things to work and got here late. But once I got here, everything turned around.

So now I'm a happy Monday Camper, or Mamper:
1. Just kidding I don't like the world Mamper.
2. More time. I found out a HUGE audit at work has been postponed from the end of November to the beginning of January. Having an extra month to work is EPIC, and this time we won't procrastinate, but keep at our schedule like our audit is still early.
3. Coworker morale boosts. Last week my coworker told me I'd be good at a new lead position I will be transitioning into because I'm intelligent and people value what I have to say. That made me really happy, because it's easy to feel exactly the opposite.
4. Enjoying work and the people who surround you. Most of us spend at least 40 hours of our week at work. It helps to enjoy the tasks you're involved in and the company you keep. I used to not care about being friends with people at work...(sounds mean, I know) but then I realized I will see these people the most out of anyone I know so I might as well like them!
5. Noah and the Whale. Even though I'm a little peeved with them, I am excited to hear them tonight. They were pretty-darn-good at Lollapalooza last summer and I'd like to see what the show is like when I'm not sweating in blaring sun and fearing skin-sizzle.

I hope your Mondays are equally good or better! It can be hard to get up and do it all over again, but when you actually want to, it's a nice change of pace.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Celebrate 11-11-11!

If you know me in real life, you know that I love numbers and nerdy things. That is precisely why today, 11-11-11 is the coolest day of the year or maybe my life! And it's on a Friday! I seriously need to have a party and I'm a little bit sad I already have plans. But the plans are to meet a friend I studied abroad in HK with who moved from Michigan to Minnesota a while ago, whom I have not seen since 2008. (You all know how I love reconnecting, right?) So this is exciting! 

And so is 11-11-11, especially the two times of day when it's 11:11. I think I'll switch my phone from military time, just so I can experience 11:11 two times rather than one. (Why is it on military time? To keep my brain sharp!)

Maybe I have a cake for my work frans that says "11-11-11!" Maybe.

That is all. I hope you'll still be my friend.

Also, thank you to all the veterans who have given so much. You're pretty cool in my book.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


My name is Jennifer, and I have been a slothopotamus. Seriously, if a sloth and a hippo had a child, that would be me. It's sort of mean, but I need a little bit of encouragement to get myself the H to the gym.

So, in an effort to get off the couch (actually, the computer chair), I am going to do something new with my work out plan by scheduling classes and gym times and runs on my calendar, as if they were dinner dates with friends or appointments I couldn't miss. Last week I looked up yoga classes ahead of time (at all the places I have vouchers/groupons/existing memberships), found times that worked, and "penciled" them in. 

It at least worked for last Sunday; I had scheduled a yoga class at Core Power and by golly, I went! (For the first time in three months...) But even on Tuesday, I am still le sore. Last night I had thirty-thousand-four-hundred-and-nine cavities filled, so to make the numbness wear off faster, I walked on the treadmill for over an hour. It helps when Modern Family is in front of me too.

Today I'm heading back to the gym. I need to tell you guys so I can feel at least a little bit accountable to keep going. No more slothopotamus! I have found a hefty (haha) correlation between weight gain and unhappiness. (And yes, in this case, it's correlation AND causation). I refuse to gain weight during the holiday season.  Who is with me? 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Merry Monday

Hey youuu guyyyyyys. That time of week has come once again, dreaded Monday. This monday is UBER exciting because I have an appointment, have to renew my library card to get my book club's book, then...drumroll, please...not one, not-a two, but three cavity fillings! Weeeeeeeeeeeeee! 

But the weekend was great and relaxing and there's another one coming up in four days. So there's that.

Things to make me happy:
1. My room is finally clean-ish. It's taken some time and a lot of work, but the end result is a lot less stressful than the beginning one was.
2. Giving. I, along with many of you readers, attended a benefit breakfast on Saturday and donated to a worthy cause. More on this later.
3. Not going out. I didn't really "go out" either Friday or Saturday, and it felt a lot healthier, a lot less tiring, and maybe less fun, but it was good nonetheless.

Does anyone have ideas on how to seize the day? I am seriously struggling this November 7th. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Whole Living Challenge: Ditch the To Do

This might seem easier than it actually is. I have a habit of stuffing my entire weekend full until it's about to explode. This weekend, however, the boyfran will be hunting from Friday-Sunday and since we see each other most of the weekend, every weekend, my weekend is a little more free this time around. (Can I say "weekend" a little more?) (Weekend, weekend, weekend).

So try this. But also you should maybe hang out with me. Kthxbye.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Are we too connected to be connected?

Well obviously today is special because I like numbers and 11-1-11 is pretty neat. Just wait for ten more days and I might throw a party for the date! (At least in my head I will). 

Anyway, I've been thinking. Is social media bringing us closer together or further apart? Let me explain.

Today I saw that I had some new followers on Instagram. I was instantly excited and thought, now we can share our little moments with each other via photographs. But then I thought, well why not show each other things in person? Why not talk in person? Why not call each other instead of rely on each other's blogs or social media sites to find out what's been happening? 

Well there could be some reasons:
1. It's easier to check for updates on your phone than to schedule a date and block out hours of your night to hang out during the week.
2. With the internet, you can see (at once) what many people are doing rather than one person or a small group of people. 
3. With blogs, you get a larger sense of what is going on at a particular time. When you meet someone in person, you don't talk about all the little things that go through your head when things happen. 
4. You get to see another side of a person that sometimes is difficult to capture in real life.
5. You are essentially still having alone time, while being sort of social.

But then again...
1. We hermit ourselves.
2. Internet can be impersonal and you miss the body language, tone, pitch, everything that physical, real communication gives.
3. You read things so you already know what's going on, so you don't feel as much need to ask.
4. Sometimes people don't sound like themselves in writing and you wonder what the deal is. This is why I particularly enjoy reading  blogs where I can hear the person saying things out loud. (She's pretty good at sound effects).
5. It's a double life. In my case, a triple life. (This one, the other one, the real life). But I try to be genuine in all of them. I keep thinking of merging my blogs so I don't have so many selves, but then I couldn't go deep into thought like I do on this one, and I couldn't focus so much on fashion and music as the other one. So there. I gotta keep 'em separated. 

In any case, I obviously enjoy being online and getting the inside scoop on people I know, and sometimes people I don't. (The people I don't have a lot to offer in terms of style, projects, insight).  Who knew that you didn't need experts to tell you everything, but instead, real people who do things and see things and write about them?

Whatever you do, make sure you step out of the virtual life and into the one you've led up until before you had all of these technologies. And then go sit down at your computer and keep on reading. :)