Ping Pong

So, you know how I can’t sleep right? Well every time insomnia hits, as I lay in bed with a million useless thoughts bouncing around in my brain, I think, hey, I should get up and write some of this down.

Of course I never actually do that, but I do try to retain some of those thoughts the morning after. This being one of those mornings, I thought I’d just bullet point it out.

So, without further ado, here are some of the things I was pondering last night at 3:46 a.m.

  • How long does a dog’s memory last, really? I mean, when I get up to go to the bathroom, my dog acts like it’s no big deal when I come back. But when I take a shower, he’s thrilled when I emerge. So where is that line? Is it 5 minutes? Ten minutes? Surely someone has measured this somewhere?
  • What is really going to happen at my brother-in-law’s bachelor party this weekend? I mean, I think John has visions of Mike Tyson and tigers, but I have a feeling it’s just going to be a lot of farting. That’s just me.
  • I am turning into my mother. I talk the same way she does. I have the same health issues (sleep much last night, mom?). I don’t mind it really because I like my mom. But I vow to never shop at Talbot’s. No offense to anyone who shops there. It’s just not for me.
  • My kickboxing instructor is always saying things like, you can do these tricep push-ups while you’re watching American Idol. Does anyone actually do that? I mean really? Maybe I will tonight. Probably not.
  • The Oscars are going to be on this weekend and I’ve barely seen any of the movies. I must change that. After I see how long the running times are on all of them.
  • I must get a Cadbury egg.

Wow. I probably shouldn’t post this because it is just umm, kind of sad. But I guess I can’t be expected to solve all of the world’s problems at three in the morning. Maybe I’ll try that later today.

Olympic Mania

Man February is crazy. Crazy awesome though! Olympics anyone? Can I get a what what?

Okay I know some of you are bored by the Winter Olympics. And I’ll admit, curling is a little dull. And I’m not a huge fan of shooting things. But. BUT.

Have you seen this man?

I mean honestly, how can you not love that? So NOT boring.

And tonight, Shaun White, who needs a damn haircut but he is still AMAZE-balls. Can’t wait to see him pull the new trick.


No, I’m not rotating that picture. Because that’s how it’s supposed to be.

Anyway, I mostly love the Olympics is what I’m saying. I have a LOT of pet peeves about how NBC is handling the coverage, but mostly I’m just enjoying watching. We were in Singapore for the Beijing Olympics and it was a very different experience. We did get to see quite a bit of coverage, but oftentimes the focus was on sports that Asia is more interested in, like Table Tennis. Rightly so of course, but I missed hearing more about the other sports.  And the one thing I really missed was the little six-minute back stories on the athletes. We did not have those at all in Singapore, of course because they don’t have the time or the resources to do what a major network like NBC does in terms of coverage.  I recently saw someone (sorry, can’t remember who now) say on Twitter that they couldn’t believe how much they could care about somebody after just a few minutes. I completely agree. Personalizing each story is what makes you want to root for someone, don’t you think?

Oh and Canada? BC? Your advertising is totally working. I’d go to Vancouver tomorrow if I could. And I’m totally on board with those mittens.


On the verge

Sunday morning and I woke up feeling love in my house. There is nothing special about today, really. But I think that is what makes it so special. We’re on the verge of many major changes here, and watching the snow fall hard and fast on the lawn while a little dog snuggles up on the blanket next to me and a lovely man mumbles in his sleep, these are the things I really need to make me happy. What I know is that all I really need, for now, is this moment here.

Things change, but nothing changes, and sometimes I feel like I’ve been worried for so long. Worried about not having steady work, work that’s moving me toward my career goals, my life goals. Worried about what it’s doing to me, mentally, that I’m not handling it well. Worried that I’m not who I thought I was going to be when I was 16 and all I had were the words on the page in front of me and my whole life was there,  just in the distance, just out the front door. Worried that what I have, what I’ve made for myself here, and now, just isn’t enough.

It’s funny though, that me, such a realist, mostly a pessimist really, I remain optimistic. As soon as I put it out there in the universe that I was going to renew my efforts to find a job, even if it was just freelance work for now, things started happening. I have four five potential clients. I have an interview for a full-time gig tomorrow. I started volunteering for an incredible organization. And even if none of it turns into anything concrete, I’ve found a renewed sense of confidence in my ability to do my job, and even do it well. I find comfort in that, at least. And some of the worry goes.

Things will change, and with that I’ll find new worry I’m sure. The morning will turn to afternoon, and the snow will stop falling. The phone calls, the meetings, the routine conversations that determine the course of a life, those things will all happen, and things will change. But for now I find happiness, I find love, in a cup of coffee, a warm cozy blanket, a family. Because those are the things that make up this life.

Sayulita, Mexico

So, remember how we went to Mexico in December to celebrate my 30th birthday? Well I never posted about it, but that is all about to change. This post is mostly just for me to chronicle an awesome vacation, but also for you so you know that if you’re planning a vacay anytime soon, you should go to Sayulita. Because it is AWESOMES.

Sayulita is a little fishing village about 45 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta. There aren’t any big fancy hotels there, which is great because I think it minimizes completely annoying tourists (like myself I guess). Anyway, we used VRBO, which rocked, and found a house called Casa Angel. We went with my cousin and her husband (purchasers of the awesome yogurt-machine) and when split between the two couples, the house was very affordable.

The view from the street:

casa angel

The backyard, including private pool and amazing view of the ocean:

pool view

It was about a 15 minute walk down some serious hills and dusty roads into town or to the beach, so we tended to stay around the house in the morning and then walk into town for lunch/afternoon beach time. Some shots of the town and beach follow.

ChocoBanana, an awesome breakfast spot:


Dusty roads:


Afternoon at the beach:



Best fish tacos of my life:

fish tacos

Sorry that it’s a tidge blurry, but it’s the best one I’ve got – enjoying the sunset:


It’s been about a month, so it’s time for my next vacation now right?

On The Job Search

So. Have you been wondering, what is this (non)Working Girl doing with her time? Is she searching for a job at all? Or is she just making yogurt and and watching bad movies?

The answer is yes, I have been looking, and I have been looking pretty hard. Unfortunately, I haven’t had any success. I’ve found a couple of jobs that I have really really wanted. And that I would have been good at. Neigh, GREAT at. Because I am awesome, and I know this. My mom knows this. She tells me all the time. But alas, I cannot use my mom as a reference.

Point is – I feel like I’m getting close. I’ve made it to the final rounds in a number of interviews, but for some reason I just can’t seem to close the deal. I’ve wondered if it’s the gap in my resume from the time I spent in Singapore and the time I’ve spent not working (looking for a job), but I had a coffee with a fantastic pro in my field this morning and she said she didn’t think that was the issue. So now I’m left wondering, what is the issue? If I can make it to the second or third or fourth round of interviews, I must be doing something right. I think the problem is, there are just a ton of great people out there in my field, and for one reason or another, someone else is always a better fit for the positions I’ve interviewed for.

So what am I going to do now? I’m going to make myself the best fit, however I can. I’m working on networking more. I’m reaching out and opening myself up for more freelance gigs. I’m thinking about continuing education. I’m stepping up my game in the volunteering department.

I was defeated, to be honest. I was sad. I was having a hard time accepting the fact that I wasn’t getting positions I’d interviewed for, because for this Type A personality, rejection has been a new and somewhat awful experience. But I feel a renewed sense of optimism. The economy is tough, and the there are tons of people out there without jobs. But I’m going to find something. I just know it. And whoever hires me is going to be damn lucky!

Sick Day

I am sick. I hate being sick. It’s just a cold, but man has it knocked me on my ass. I’m stuffed up, coughing, tired, headache-y and just all around miserable. I do not do well with sick. In fact, I’ve been trying to write this post for about four hours now but I can’t seem to focus on anything. Anyway, here are some of the things I’ve been trying to do to make myself feel a little better.

  • Tea. Lots and lots of tea. I enjoy tea almost every afternoon, but I think I’ve had about four cups already today. The heat of the liquid, the steam, the lovely aroma. Tea is the perfect drink for my sick head.
  • Movies – I’m watching P.S. I Love You right now. I have a sneaking suspicion it’s not a great movie. Or maybe it is.  I’m watching it regardless.
  • All supplies at arm’s length. I’m camped out on the couch with a cozy blanket, and I’ve got water, a cup of tea, kleenex, my laptop, my phone, and a dog to pet all within a couple of feet.
  • Snacks. You’ve heard the old saying “feed a cold, starve a fever,” right? Well me too. I have popcorn. And my trusty no good very bad day chocolate covered almonds. And crackers. And hummus. All the things I love just to make me feel a little better.
  • Sleep. Let’s face it, there isn’t anything much better than succumbing to the sweet black nothingness that a bottle of NyQuil provides. And sleep will help me recover better anyway right?

What else should I be doing to recover? Shots of tequila?

Homemade Yogurt

Yeah, you read that right. I’m getting seriously crunchy and making my own yogurt. And it is AWESOME.

It all started in Mexico, when my cousin Emily and I started talking about our love of yogurt. I know, riveting conversation right? Well I am 30 now, so I guess this is what it’s come to. She was telling me about how she makes her own yogurt, and I was fascinated. I mean, I already grow my own vegetables (well I try at least) and I compost, so I had visions of myself taking my bongo drums down to the farmer’s market and selling my homemade yogurt. I mean, it’s the logical next step right? I could even stop shaving my legs!


The only problem was, you need this little machine to do it, otherwise you have to keep your oven heated at 110 degrees all day and that’s not really feasible for me. I couldn’t really see myself buying this machine, because it’s what John refers to as a “uni-tasker,” meaning it’s only useful for doing one thing. And John is not a fan of the uni-tasker. And of course I would never go against my husband’s wishes, right? 😉

BUT, when it showed up on my doorstep as a 30th birthday gift from Emily and her husband, I could hardly contain my excitement. I mean, who was I to defy the universe? The stars had aligned and I was destined to make yogurt. So make yogurt I did.

Check it out. So easy.


Assemble all the ingredients. Some yogurt for the starter (you have to get all those bacteria from somewhere), the milk, and the yogurt maker. That’s it!


First, take your milk (2 cups) and heat on medium low until the edges are bubbling and steam rises from the top. Then, you take it off of the heat and let it cool until it reaches the “add starter” point on the nifty thermometer they’ve included with the kit.

add starter

Next, mix some of the milk with a heaping tablespoon or two of store-bought yogurt. This is where the bacteria are introduced. Next time, you can use the yogurt you’ve already made. Once you’ve mixed everything together, fill the little yogurt jars evenly.


Now all you have to do is plug her in and wait, in this case I went with the standard ten hours. Next time, I’ll probably go a little longer for a thicker yogurt.


Now I did this on a Saturday and we went out on Saturday night. But of course I had to be home by 10:30 to take care of my yogurt because if you leave it sitting too long after the timer goes off without moving to the frig, the whey will separate and the yogurt will be ruined. As you’d expect, I did get some grief from my friends for going home early to attend to my precious yogurt. But I’ll be getting the last laugh when I’m known as the yogurt queen round the world.

After the time’s up, refrigerate.


I may need to work on pouring these more evenly. Next time.

In the morning, enjoy with some frozen blueberries and granola. Delicious.



Goals for 2010

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a fantastic December. I know I did. Our trip to Mexico was lovely, as was visiting my family in Texas for Christmas. I’ve been back in Denver for a week now, and that time has been filled with celebration as well, including my 30th birthday and of course ringing in 2010. I love the holidays, I love the laughter, the fun, the craziness of it all, but I have to admit, I’m also quite happy things will be settling down a bit.

As many do during the new year, I’m taking some time to think about what I want for myself. I find this to be especially important now that I’ve turned 30(!). I realize I still have so much of my life ahead of me, and I want to make sure that each day has a meaning and a purpose. So in that vein, here are some of my goals for 2010.


  1. Focus on the positive and enjoy my life. I’m a worrier. I fret. About everything. Ridiculous things. And at times, it can have an incredibly negative impact on my life. I lose sleep, I get stressed, and I let things get me down. This year, I’m going to try to reverse that trend. I’m going to do my best to stop worrying about things I can’t control, and focus on the positive. I have a great life, and I need to embrace that.
  2. Find work. I mentioned I had two potential opportunities before I left for Mexico, and although I feel I gave them both my best effort, unfortunately neither worked out. I am putting everything I have in to remaining positive about the situation (see above), even though rejection is definitely not something I deal with well. I know I will find something that is right for me soon.
  3. Stick to our budget without getting crazy about money. I really want to find a happy medium when it comes to our finances. We’ve created a budget using Mint’s online software, and so far it is going fairly well. What I really want to do is focus on saving in the right places (eating out) and spending in the right places (for us, it’s traveling).
  4. Get creative in the kitchen. I have a tendency to stick to the same types of recipes, and even though I like trying new things, they are almost always in a category that I’m already comfortable with. Since I don’t eat pork or red meat, dinners are typically vegetarian or based around chicken or turkey, which the occasional piece of salmon thrown in for good measure. This year I want to try new things with fish, eat vegetables I’ve never heard of, and attempt to cook a dessert that seems totally out of my league.
  5. Reduce my alcohol and sugar intake. These things are serious vices for me. I love wine. I love sugar. But I know they cause my arthritis to flare up, they interfere with my sleep, and they are catalysts for other negative behaviors. I know I’ll never eliminate either from my diet completely, I just want to become more aware of how much I consume.

So there you have it, my major goals for 2010. I also have several personal goals that I’ve recorded privately, but you know those are none of your damn business! 😉

So what are your goals?

Oh dear. I have been missing haven’t I? I had a draft started about the perils of gift wrapping (well, mainly it was just about how terrible I am at it) but I didn’t even get around to finishing it.

I have no excuses. I mean, I’ve been busy, for an unemployed person. I’ve had some interviews (keeping my fingers and toes and pretty much everything else crossed about those). I’ve also been doing some Christmas shopping and the like. And I’ve been getting ready for our trip to Mexico.

We leave tomorrow and I could not be more ready for some time in the sun. I’ll be back after the holidays, so in the meantime, let me just wish you all Merry Happy. I will miss you.

Taking Some Down Time

I am watching Paula Deen doing a “Fried Christmas” meal right now.

Seriously. Fried Christmas.

Oh Paula. If I was her husband I’d be sneaking spinach salads every day. She’s pretty much trying to kill everyone she loves. This meal includes a full-on fried ham, loaded mashed-potatoes, fried asparagus with cream sauce, and red velvet bread pudding.

Holy Lord.


This in-between-holidays period is kind of a dead time for cooking for me. John has been/will be out of town for two weeks in December, and when he’s gone, I stick to easy meals like opening up a can of soup. In fact, I’m probably keeping Amy’s black bean chili on the shelves. I love that stuff.

I guess I’m just resting my culinary muscles for the big things, the pies, the casseroles, etc. Oh and for those of you wondering, the chocolate hazelnut pie for Thanksgiving was a huge hit. Will be my new pie for sure. Anyway, yeah. Just resting the culinary muscles. Gotta be well-rested if I’m going to attempt to another pie this month. Two pies in the span of two months. Wow. Makes my stirring arm hurt just thinking about it.

It’s not that I even have that much cooking to do for the holidays, because mostly the older generations in my family still own those duties. I think it’s just the idea of the holidays that exhaust me. Don’t get me wrong, I love it, but the decorating, the list-making, the cooking, the dressing up, the parties, the mad dash to the mall, it’s all just sort of exhausting. It’s like every meal, every night and weekend, are scheduled down to the last minute. And for a girl who hates making plans in advance, it can really put a cramp in my down-time.

So tonight, because I can, I guess you’ll find my curled up on the couch, watching Paula Deen fry a ham, and eating a cup of black bean chili. This is what the holidays are all about people.