Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy. Easter.





Y Race?

This morning I woke up bright and early to complete the YMCA run! It was a 5K run, which even though I have run a marathon in the past, I was a little nervous about. I haven't been running a lot lately because I've been having some knee problems. However, I wanted to rise to this challenge, and yes, it was a challenge by a person!

What a doozy of a photo! Oh, early mornings! :)
I frequent the YMCA closest to my home on a regular basis. My choice to workout at the YMCA is for many reasons. Firstly, they offer me a personal pricing plan that I can afford. Secondly and most important, I really love all of the positive things that the YMCA does for the community. They offer free memberships for families who otherwise couldn't afford a membership and many great programs for youth. These are the types of businesses that I enjoy supporting. While I cannot afford to pay a ton of money at this point in time to the Y, I am happy that what I can afford to pay goes to support my community. 

While I love the YMCA, I must admit that I frequent the YMCA and I sometimes have a Lifetime Fitness shirt on my back. I ran the Turkey Trot that Lifetime Fitness organizes every year and it is the only long sleeve t-shirt that I own. Thus, when it's cold, I sport this shirt at my gym. On a few occasions, I have been caught wearing my Lifetime shirt at the YMCA by the Executive Director (ED). As expected, I receive some flack for wearing a Lifetime shirt at the Y. I challenged the ED and told him that the Y does not have a Turkey Trot or another run, therefore I would have to continue to wear my shirt. I challenged him in saying that if the Y is to create a run, I will be there, I would even wear a turkey suit if it's on Thanksgiving.

The infamous Lifetime shirt!
I covered up the symbol with my bib number. 
About 2 weeks ago I walked into the Y for a workout, upon entering the ED saw me and slapped a piece of paper on the table in front of me and said, "Hey, you are doing this! You need to sign up!" I glanced at the paper. Yes, it was a running race created by and for the Y. My challenge had been heard and in turn, I was challenged to fulfill my word. I always keep my word. So this morning, I was up early for a Saturday --7:30AM. I headed over to Lake Calhoun where the race was to take place. I live close enough to Lake Calhoun to walk.

Upon arrival to the lake, I realized I did not see or no where the registration table was! The race was to start at 8:30AM. I was still looking for the table around 8:10AM. Finally, someone was able to tell me that the table was at the OPPOSITE end of the lake!  The only way to get there and get there quick was to use my feet! I probably ran somewhere around 1.5 miles just to get to the registration table. Luckily enough, the race began later than I thought. It was further delayed as there was a health concern for another participant and an ambulance was called.

Registration table -- Oh! There it is!
Race start!
I hadn't eaten yet in the morning as I didn't really expect to be waiting so long to begin running so I didn't feel as energized as normal. I began the run and kept a good pace. I knew that I could keep my pace the whole time and finish the race. On the other hand, many runners initially sprinted ahead of me and I later passed them. I was tired during the race, but it reminded me how important it is and as a seasoned runner to A. listen to your body, B. know your pace and set it C. never give up, sometimes running is mind over matter.

Run, run, run!
View of the lake during the run! This is how the world looks to you during a jog! :)
I finished the run and collected a wonderful bag of goodies. I was to go and play dodgeball after, however not enough people signed up for dodgeball and the game was canceled. Therefore, I took advantage of some available time to take a nap and catch up on my sleep. 

Finished! Yeah, my one eye looks funny. It's okay! I'm just not my glamourous self in the morning! 
Oh, I should mention, I will perhaps consider bringing my Lifetime shirt to the Y so that the ED can have a ceremonial cutting of my shirt. The only reason that I may not is that the t-shirts for this race were not long-sleeved. However, as promised I will no longer wear this in the Y. :)

What a wonderful Saturday! A challenge on both ends, from 2 individuals, completed! 

Y Race? Race to live your life to the fullest, fulfill your goals and challenge others to be the best version of themselves, or their organization, that they can be!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Gardening 101

This Wednesday, I finally went to my container gardening class through Minneapolis Community Ed. I really enjoyed the class and it was interesting to learn about what you can grow in pots. We discussed pots, soil and watering recommendations.

The instructor taught us a lot about different soil types and the best ones to use for growing in a container. Apparently you need a good mix of soil, perlite, compost and peat moss. Interesting, I never knew this. ;)

We also discussed different types of plants; determinates and indeterminates. Determinate plants are the kind that you can use for pots simply because they will only grow to a certain size and all the fruits tend to ripen at the same time. On the other hand, indeterminates tend to grow to a much larger size and will bear fruit until killed by frost. I never even knew this existed! Awesome!

As you might be guessing by now, I was planning on growing vegetables during the summer in pots. I was able to speak to my landlord a couple of weeks ago about putting pots out. I was so surprised when she generously offered me a small plot in her garden to use for growing vegetables! Wow! I still plan on growing some things in pots, such as herbs, so that I can bring them in for the winter. However, I can now plan to grow some other produce that I wasn't planning for.
I've been spending some time planning my garden and this is what I have planned so far:

Green peppers
Butternut squash

I plan on canning the tomatoes to use in the winter. For this reason, next week I'll be taking a canning class and I can't wait! ;)

In honor of my gardening I bought myself some new bamboo pots!

Today, I also got together with my friend, Carissa, and we went out to eat at a place for which I had a coupon for a free entree, Sauce Spirits and Soundbar. It was soooo good and such a treat! A bacon cheeseburger with carmelized onion! YUM!

Beautiful artwork in Sauce.
Carissa and I.
Yum Bacon cheeseburger and fries!
Tomorrow's plan? I have an early run in the morning for the YMCA and then I have dodgeball. Can't wait!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Okay okay, I haven't posted recently but I did CREATE a post earlier this week. I wasn't sure that I wanted to actually POST it though. I thought about it and then decided I didn't want to post it. :) So, I didn't. Here I am today though with a clear mind and ready to post...for real this time!

I've been busy doing some work on my business. It's time consuming, somewhat frustrating, and not interesting enough to blog about. I promise you all that I am working hard on it though! :)

This weekend was a nice and restful weekend. I went to a birthday party for my friend Jessie and I had a really good time. I did have some interesting revelations and thoughts with regards to this blog. I went to a party this weekend where my friend Amanda said to me, "Hey, how have you been? I haven't looked at your blog in a while so I don't know what is happening." I laughed and told Amanda it was no problem, I didn't even expect that people looked at it so frequently but that I was honored she did. Also, another friend emailed me this weekend for my address to send me her wedding invitation. She said, "I've been following your blog, way to go on your goals." I realized that I was astounded these people even looked at my blog! I had no idea they were even reading it. These encounters made it clear to me that more people follow my blog than I had thought. I am honored when anyone spends any time out of their day to even go to read my blog! I had a discussion about this with Amanda. We discussed that many people follow blogs, who don't make themselves "followers" of a blog. I told Amanda I've noticed that people in Ukraine look at my blog. Yes, people in Ukraine...I see you! Thanks for reading! :)

This made me begin to do a lot more thinking about the reasons behind which I blog. I blog to document my process and journey of obtaining my goals. It is helpful for me to be able to look back and see how I've progressed and remind myself of what I've accomplished, but also what I can improve upon. An additional bonus is that I get to see and reflect upon my ability to pursue my passions and that with my new job, I have the ambition and will to do so. It's so great to remind myself that even though I've made some small sacrifices, I've had HUGE gains!

In the meantime, if passersby and followers alike are inspired by my journey, it sparks their own interest in achieving their own goals, or gives them more confidence to go after what they want...that is also why I blog. Maybe they are in the same place I was a year ago. Perhaps they are in a job they despise and come home every day realizing they are too tired to pursue their own ambitions. However, they need to continue doing what they are doing until they get to a better place financially, psychologically, or whatever it might be to pursue their own goals. I just like to let people know that they CAN do what they want. You can stare fear in the face and say, "You don't scare me. Fear of failure will not stop me from chasing my dreams." If more people can read my message and more people are inspired to pursue their happiness...then this is why I blog.

For my audience and for myself, my mission remains the same: inspire myself and you into action towards the passion that drives us, the one that makes us feel alive.

Taken from SELF magazine.
From SELF magazine.

To finish this post appropriately I'd like to say: THANKS for taking out time in your day to read my blog. May you find it inspiring and may it fill you with hope. Strive to live life to its fullest and utilize each day you are granted as a gift. Remember that life is not about where you end up, but how you get there. :)

"Life is a journey, not a destination." - Ralph Waldo Emereson

Thursday, April 14, 2011

New adventures in wardrobe!

This week, I got back from work one day to find a very exciting surprise shoved, crumpled and mashed into my mailbox by a Minneapolis post-person. I was not shocked to find the destroyed remains of my package, I was exuberant to see that I had gotten some international mail! Yes, I said international. All the way from Australia! :)

Aussie post! :D
I quickly ripped open the package to find 3 incredible items from my friend Sonya for my birthday. 2 beautiful dresses and 1 awesome bag! Sonya had previously told me about her quest to sell batik dresses and bags at markets in Sydney. She designed these dresses with an Indonesian dressmaker while in Indonesia. When we last spoke, she told me she still had some left and I was bugging her to send them to me. Sonya picked the PERFECT dresses for me! She also knows of my love for ethnic prints and being one of my closest friends, knows my taste to a T! I was so excited and happy to see that she sent them! I immediately ripped off my clothes and began to try the items on! Oh, and I worked on accessorizing!

Short orange dress.
Longer dress with ruffles!
Full body! Super cute! Found my new summer dresses!

Accessorized! Pretend my bra strap isn't there...please?
Beautiful print!
Olive Branch - Sonya's tag.
And now for the incredible and EXPANDABLE handbag!

Regular size...
I wore the short dress over pants and a shirt under it to work the following day. I just couldn't wait to get in them! I received many compliments! As you can see in the pictures, I added a belt to accentuate my pear shape. I have a small waist and the dresses were a bit loose in the waist so I accentuated this with a belt. I should also mention, these items are 100% cotton so they are very comfortable! Of course, one must hand wash the items and line dry, but they are so's worth it! Plus, they are designed by one of my closest friends! How can you not love it?!

It's official! I have the BEST friends and family! If any of these items strikes your fancy or you'd like to see some more pictures of dresses, please feel free to contact me about purchasing one of these dresses from Sonya! Great work, Sonya! The dresses and bags are beautiful!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Birthday Celebrations

Hey hey! Long break!

This weekend has been filled with lots of different things happening!  Firstly, it was my birthday last week! I'm 29! Thus, it made for a busy weekend. I didn't have any special party or huge celebration. I went and played dodgeball on my birthday and it was tons of fun per the usual!

I finally made one thing happen this weekend that I've been working on for ages...trying to get together with friends I haven't seen in ages. This is what I did on Friday. I met with an old neighbor of mine, Ann, for a look around a Mexican imports store and then we went over to the restaurant section and I had me some tacos! Ann was gracious enough to buy me tacos for my birthday! Thanks Ann. We browsed around the imports store and Ann and I found ourselves some different products. I had to laugh at Ann's selection. See below.
Ann and I with our Mexican products - She's got, "Hot Nuts!"
We also perused and purchased baked goods from the bakery. YUM!

Not so good for the diet. But...delish! :D

Another event this weekend? My friend Kenna took me out for a birthday lunch! So nice of her! She also gave me an awesome gift:
Oh...I love how my friends play into my unhealthy love for bacon! :D
I had a great time catching up with Kenna. Kenna also called me out on one of my main complaints this weekend: weddings. I had to go to one and I have to be honest...I don't like them. Kenna told me very directly that I need to suck it up and go and be happy for the people. She reminded me that if I REALLY didn't want to be there, I shouldn't go. I realized that she was right. I do complain about weddings. And if I'm going to do something, as my sisters says, "Do it with a happy heart." I did need that attitude adjustment. Even though I didn't acknowledge it to Kenna...I will now. Thanks for putting me in my place Kenna. :)

Prior to this weekend, I had a birthday dinner with my family! I got to go out with my parents, my bro and sis-in-law and their children. My two precious nephews made me some cards! I love them. All my cards are displayed in my place! 

Card from my nephew Nick.

Card from Jack. 
Today, I had a chat with the attorneys and did some other work on my business. I didn't get as much done as I would have liked but I'm hoping for a more productive week. I did arrange to meet with an accountant. Yippee! I've been slipping on my eating at home and haven't been making as many meals. Need to get in gear with that again this week! Looks like I have my work cut out for me! 

Monday, April 04, 2011

I'm pro-bono!

I had an AWESOME day today! I got to working this morning on my business plan trying to nail down some final things so that I can get financing. One of these items has to do with a dreaded subject for me as I've worked with many of them in the past: attorneys. Last week, I had contacted a few attorneys to see if I could get help setting up my business and with some forms. I had a wonderful chat with one attorney who seemed unlike the rest. He promised that he would forward me some quotes but I never heard from him. It was odd as he seemed like a very nice and genuine guy. A week passed and I didn't hear from him and I didn't like any of my other options. I thought maybe he had written my email down wrong. I contacted him and left a message. A few minutes later I got a call back from him. He did have my information down incorrectly as it turns out and said that he was actually soon going to try and track me down via Women Venture.

He had some news for me about my quote:

They are offering to help set me! Woo hoo! I was so excited! I also made some other REALLY excellent connections today and I'm quite pleased with my progress. Just wanted to share what a wonderful Monday it has been for me. I'm glad that I am continuing to chase my dreams and it seems things are falling into place!

Going along with chasing your dreams and fulfilling your goals, I wanted to mention to you guys that Sally, who I posted about in the past in my post, "Sally day hath arrived!" is on a mission to publish a book. She has several publishers interested, however they feel she doesn't have a platform for her book - aka. enough blog followers. I would ask that you all check out Sally's blog and if you like it, please follow it or you can follow her on Facebook. Please support her in chasing her dreams!

I'd also like to mention my sister and brother-in-law. They are currently in the process of a foster-to-adopt program and they got a new home today for them and their future children. Congrats you guys! I know you are going to be wonderful parents! Can't wait till I have more nieces and nephews to play with and spoil! :)

Hope you all had a beautiful Monday!

Sunday, April 03, 2011

1 point for me, 0 for the turnbuckle!

Long ago, I mentioned that I was building a bed and that I still had some things to do to get it all put together. Today, I put the finishing touches on my bed and I'm so excited about how it turned out! My bed is finally now painted with hardware on it to pull the bed in and out. My father helped me put those on and finish it up.

I was waiting to show you all because I wanted to complete a project first that I had in mind for the area above the bed. I painted it to match the bookshelf and radiator cover in my apartment because I wanted to use it as a display for some of my photography. The only problem was that I had been asking my   father for help to complete the turnbuckle project. The turnbuckle would make it so I could hang a wire across the display to hang the photos on. I've never used a turnbuckle before but I understood the basic concept. My father explained to me how to put it up but I kept putting it off...and putting it off...and putting it off. I figured perhaps I could con him to do it before I actually had to. ;) My mom and dad were actually going to come up and help today, but things didn't work as planned. Today, I finally mustered up the will to take the project on by myself! I accomplished it! It wasn't really that hard at all to tell you the truth. Now, without further adieu, I present my completed bed!
The dreaded turnbuckle!
Bed painted and with hardware on! So much easier to pull in and out!
Displayed photos.
Bed pushed in like a couch for when company comes over. I am going to add some pillows.
Pulled out for sleeping! :)

Today's lesson? Turnbuckles are not to be feared.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

No one else I "put a ring on it!"

Yes, people...I put a ring on my finger AND I made it! :) I mentioned earlier that I would be taking a ring making class which I did this week! It was tons of fun and a great learning experience. I took the class at The Studio at Rush Creek in Maple Grove, MN. They offer so many great and affordable classes there, I highly recommend checking them out!

We made "bezel cup resin" jewelry for the class. We learned how to solder rings together and how to solder on bezel cup settings and later fill them with a design and some resin. Our teacher for the class was Kristy. She was a very knowledgeable and helpful instructor! I might add that this is a coffee shop too, so you can get your dose of caffeine while you work! :) I had to forego the caffeine due to my budgets but nonetheless, I loved the class and the studio and may do other classes there in the future.

The studio.

First, we cut our piece of silver wire. Then we soldered the wire together in a "circle".

We placed the ring in "pikel" after soldering to make it nice and clean again.

The "circle".

Next, we placed the ring on the mandrel.

Then we hammered the ring into shape and also down to our ring size. This is Ellie. She was in my ring making class and she was really nice! Great job on your rings Ellie!

The ring.

After soldering on the bezel cup we placed a design in the cup and it was ready to have resin poured in it.

This is Kristy, our fearless leader, stirring up the resin.

Just after pouring resin into the bezel cup. Enough resin for it to "dome". Now let it dry and watch for air bubbles! Pop them if needed. Mine made it home sans air bubbles and now I can enjoy my hard work every day! :)

I should also mention that Kristy sells some of her own jewelry on You can find her jewelry here. She has some beautiful jewelry! I checked out the page and I just love some of the stamped stuff she has! Hop to her Etsy site and support a local jewelry artist! 

Thanks Kristy and Studio at Rush Creek for the wonderful experience!