Archive | January 2012

Recently Hearted on Etsy

Here’s some Etsy finds that were so fun I had to click the little heart:

Patterned Copper Cuff

Retro Orange Clock

Cute Bike Print

Leather Equestrian Bracelet

Blue Vintage YSL Coat

I have pined after these cute bow totes for a while. She re-listed a grey, & I couldn’t help but heart it again.

Blue Earrings

Vintage Cake Decorating Kit

Wonder Woman Apron – because you really are a superhero

Mad-Lib style Thank You cards

Hammered Cuff

Have you hearted anything good lately?

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Life’s Little Goals

I like making lists. Lists keep me from forgetting things, give me something to strive toward, and encourage productivity & achievement. I’ve had friends make “Bucket Lists” & “30 before 30” lists and bravely share them with the world. For the first time last week, I sat down and asked myself: what do you want to achieve in your life? Where do you want to go? What do you want to do? What do you want to be?  I took some time answering & then of course over-analyzed and mutli-categorzied my answers. Sometimes, I can be an over-organizer. So, here goes nothing: a categorized and color-coated list of things I want to do/be in my life. Greens are already achieved. Blues are serious goals or hopes. Pinks are just for funsies. Also, blues will be applied to all goals that are on-going.

Life: Be a good daughter & sister; find & marry an amazing man who is my soulmate; be a good wife; have children; be a good parent; adopt or foster; have a 25th, 50th, 75th anniversary – as many as I can get; be a good friend

Career/Skills: graduate high school with honors; get a good scholarship for college; get my Bachelors degree; become an RN; take care of people with compassion & knowledge; be a clinical teacher and inspire, prepare, & teach the next generation; improve my French & Spanish; take cooking classes; take baking/cake decorating classes; open a bakery

Travel: visit all 50 states; got to NYC & go again; do DC but for real this time; visit Yellowstone, Hawaii & Alaska; visit Canada – Vancouver & BC; go to Paris; go back to Paris with Sam & do the lock bridge; explore Europe; ski the Alps; go to Africa, Australia, & New Zealand; go on a cruise

Entertainment: see a Broadway musical & play; go to the ballet; see an opera; visit Disney World, Land & Euro; go to Harry Potter world at Universal Studios & do the HP studio tour in England; be at a filming of SNL; see art at the Louvre & the Orsay

Giving Back: be a mentor; sponsor a Compassion child or two; volunteer regularly at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen; always be willing to give to those who need; throw an event to benefit a charitable organization; buy from brands or products that give back; go on a mission trip; support others who go on mission

Misc: own a houseto actually live in; own a horse; learn to ski; own a sweet Viszla; ride a camel in the desert; go on a whale watching trip; try to eat healthy, but not too healthy; workout regularly; complete a 5k; enjoy life; appreciate every good thing & even some of the bad; never stop learning

Well, that’s about all I have for right now. You probably learned something new about me. To sum it up: I care about people & want to have a positive effect in their lives. I want to give back. I want to travel. I’m a bit of a nerd. I enjoy my career. I want to do & be & experience & see. I want to take life as it comes & make the most of the blessings I’ve been given.

I want to live.
What do you want?

More Ski-scapades

The hubs & I thought we would try skiing Sandia last weekend. We drive the 20-30mins to the tram station & find out the tram is closed for the expectation of high winds later in the day. Did you know that Albuquerque boasts the world’s longest tramway? Hopefully, we’ll get up it sometime…maybe when we have visitors. The tram lady said that the ski slopes were open and that we could take the road up on the other side of the mountain. This involved another hour or so of driving. As we worked our way up to the ski area noting a few other people headed up & down as well, we came to a standstill behind a line of cars rounding a curb. We could see a couple cars stopped facing the other direction as well. After a bit of a wait, someone made their way by us, let us know that the road ahead was “like an oil slick,” and nobody was getting past it. Noting the drivers ahead & coming back down unsuccessfully traversing the road, we decided to amscray. Basically, we didn’t want that older gent slip-sliding his way back toward us to ram us into the side of the mountain. Sam aptly maneuvered us out of there and back down the mountain we went.

At this point you may be thinking, welp, time to give the day up as lost, to realize the powers at be must not want us to ski today. Have I mentioned yet that Sam & I are a bit stubborn? We weren’t about to waste the skis we had already rented for the day, so back to Santa Fe we went – a 45min drive to town plus 45 more mins up mountain. When we made our way through the town & to the mountain road, we were met by a decent bit of snowfall that turned to an almost white-out situation at times.

Still undeterred, we pressed on. The roads weren’t bad despite the falling snow. We made it to the ski area and trudged up from the parking lot, toting all of our gear. I might be in favor of renting on location in the future just to avoid the toting : )  We finally made it on the slopes, and one trip down told us that we should up the ante on our gear. Active snowfall & wind made for chilling conditions. Shop hit for some more protection & up we go again.

I know you’ll be glad to hear that I didn’t fall once exiting the lifts. Don’t worry though, I still had plenty of spills to tell you about. Skiing in fresh powder is a bit different. I found it a nice change on the greens (yes, I ski greens. I am a beginner.), but a not-so-nice one on the blues, which were suddenly covered in moguls. Also, Sam lectured me excessively on being careful when turning because the people behind me might not see me in the poor visibility. So, off we go, down the day’s first blue run: bumps, bumps, bumps, too much speed, need to turn, is that people behind me?, too fast for me, ok i have got to slow down, turning, 180, falling backwards downhill, spread eagle with a head smack finish, thank goodness for the darned fresh snow powder! Sam asked where my goggles are, & I thought they were on my face. Whoopsies! Don’t worry – I thoroughly assessed my head injury status before slowly sitting, then standing. No pain beyond the first bit, no bump, no headache, clear vision, no dizziness/lightheadedness. I asked Sam about my pupils, and he said “brown” – that earned him a big eye-roll. Pupils equal & properly sized. Yep, my head was fine. That night, when I was laying down in bed, I found out that my neck was what got jacked. It felt like I pulled every single muscle present on all sides of my neck. Not pleasant. I had a couple more spills from running straight into the side of more moguls…that is not the way to traverse them if you were wondering. Your skis get stuck, and you topple right over. I think this picture is from one of those occasions because I am still in possession of my goggles.

Why yes, Grace is my middle name.

We took our chilly & my beaten self home after only a couple of hours of gusty, snowing, poor viz skiing. Really, though, I still had fun, despite the interesting conditions. And hey, we didn’t waste our ski rental!

Globe’s Glam, Part 2

So, Part 1 got “reblogged” yesterday. I didn’t know there was such a thing, but it basically meant my blog showed up on someone else’s and said “reblogged from” me. I’m guessing that meant they liked it because there were no comments from the reblogger. I don’t suppose I mind; I was just confused. Anyway, back to the pretty dresses:

Kate Beckinsale: come on! If this woman was any prettier,
the world would implode. This dress looks great on her.

Kate Winslet: Love her, but I think she’s done better.
Like the red dress from last year’s Emmy’s:

Laura Dern: Not sure this picture does it justice,
but this was a very pretty dress.

Lea Michele: I am a Glee fan, but this is not right. It’s not right for her body or her age. This is what I would expect someone sexy & sophisticated to wear, and she is not that. She is young & cute & very popular, so she should be wearing something fresh & edgier. She could get away with it, but she can’t get away with this. I much prefer the green dress from the SAG awards. Fresh. She’s still showing some cleavage if that must be a requirement, but she looks more her age and like she isn’t trying too hard.

Michelle Williams: I like it! I’m not really into velvet,
but I like this & the headband.

Morena Baccarin: I saw this and thought it was fantastic,
and then I saw the front.

Note: I basically nixed all of my N’s because they were boring.

Octavia Spencer: Beautiful! Great color, great shape, great choice for her. Again, dressing your body right is this. Love that she won!

Piper Perabo: too big & too see-through. I just don’t like it.

Reese Witherspoon: Isn’t she great! I’m all for her dressing like a bombshell, but I actually don’t like this. It just isn’t the right bombshell choice. If you google her+dress, you’ll see she is the queen of looking hot in not-too-short short dresses, but my favorite of her’s in the long category goes all the way back to the Oscars ’06:

Rooney Mara: Is this her own style or has she become her character in GWTDT? Look how cute she used to be:

Sarah Hyland: How cute is she? I think this is fabulous.

Sarah Michelle Gellar: this one is painful. She said her 2yr old daughter picked it out. That’s sweet & all, but she’s 2 & you’re going to a legit awards show. She would have forgotten that she picked that one, and you could have looked stellar…Ms Gellar – oh come on, the rhyme was right there.

Shailene Woodley: the waist down is great, but the top is killing me. Look, if something is small, you don’t emphasize that it is small, but dress it to look its best. That’s the nicest way I could put that.

Tilda Swinton: look, I just don’t get her. She’s too weird or edgy or fashionable for me to keep up. That said, this outfit is actually better than most. I like the color, but I just really want to fix her collar for her.

Zooey Deschanel: I really like her! This is cute & the back is cute & the tuxedo nails are adorable, but I have to say that like Shailene Woodley, this needs chest support. That’s all & it would have been perfect.
Dressing your body right includes the proper undergarments. Do your girls justice, no matter what size they are. Ok, I’m done.

I think that rounds up the things I just had to comment on. Again, let me know what you think. Who was your big win or big miss? I promise I won’t do any clothing scrutinizing blogs until the Oscars (unless we are scrutinizing my clothes, which I could do so all day long). Happy Tuesday!

Golden Globe’s Glamour

Yes, it has been quite a while. Sorry! After the fun of the holidays, a cold, & a couple of frustrating incidences with people who apparently can’t do their jobs coupled with continued not-working (a.k.a. laziness, feelings of uselessness, & some projecting), I just wasn’t in the proper mood or making proper time for proper blogging – very un-proper of me. One thing that can get me properly pumped is award show season – finally something positive about post-Christmas winter! I can’t help it. I enjoy the glam, the shows, the fashion, & the speeches.

Que the Golden Globes! Ricky Gervais (the return host) compared the Globes to the Oscars as Kim Kardashian to Kate Middleton; now, while I would not insult the Globes in that manner or assume the Oscars could be as fab as the Duchess, I get what he was going for. The Golden Globes are definitely the more likely of the two for stars to take the stage drunk and say something ridiculous, but they still have their own prestige & can be a pretty good indicator of how the Oscars may be doled out. You won’t hear any Globe recipients complaining because even celebs know that every one loves to be recognized. As much as I’d love to run down the entire night with you, lets just stick with the fashion. That is enough for a plenty long blog.

Disclaimer: I have no credentials for making fashion critiques; I just have opinions and don’t mind sharing. Sam hates the show, but I wouldn’t mind being on Fashion Police just so I could dish about other people’s style – never you mind that I haven’t got any of my own. I couldn’t decide on an order, so let’s go with what my computer did: alphabetical by the name I saved the pic. Also, I got all of these pictures from the internet and have no rights to them. Now that we’re legal, let’s hit it!

Amber Riley: She is ravishing in red. I will always applaud women who dress their body right.

Angie & Brad: seriously who else could have pulled off this look. I’m not a fan of the slick hair look, but I barely notice between the red accents and rocking bod. Brad looks dapper, cane or not.

Charlize Theron: I mostly like the dress. Not sure about the large boffle (bow/ruffle), but love the headband.

Claire Danes: I like the front, but I love the back.

Diane Lane: a walking lesson on aging with grace – not saying she’s old, just saying she looks appropriate & gorgeous for her 40-odd years.
J.Lo, take note!

I flip-flip between liking it and hating it, I def liked last years better:
PS: I’m going to try to give a positive example if I don’t like something to try to keep from being too catty. Sam wouldn’t approve of catty.

Elle Macpherson: Do not like this dress! And I’m not giving a good example because she’s a model, and we all know she has & can do better.

Emily Watson: She looks familiar, but I don’t know what she’s from. Anyway, this is not dressing your body right! There is just no need for this. I’m sorry, but I couldn’t find a good example for you because she apparently needs to be on Stacy & Clinton’s hit list. Very frustrating.

Emma Stone: I love, love her, but I can’t get myself to love this. I much preferred last year’s choice – minus the blonde hair. It makes her look like blonde Lindsay Lohan, & nobody wants that. I prefer her in a rich red.

Evan Rachel Wood: I’m not into the whole feathers thing, but there is something about this green that won’t let me dislike this dress. Maybe leave the feathers and nix the fish scales, and I would like it better.
Or just keep animal textures off of clothes.

Helen Mirren: Fab! Another lady who doesn’t just own her age but also makes ladies any age wish they looked that good.
That’s how a dame works it!

The Jessica’s: Both were a miss for me. Glittery appliqués resembling butterflies bring you to the class level of Mariah Carey & no level of fabulous lace warrants a vintage wedding gown on the red carpet.
I expected more from the two of you.

Julianna Margulies: Another lady I wouldn’t mind looking like when I grow up. Again with the slick hair, but who cares. Not my hair, not my problem,
I always say. Yep, I’m getting tired.

Which means, we’re going to have to cut this in half. I’ll do part 2 tomorrow. Feel free to chime in because you know no one likes to dish alone. Otherwise, I hope your January has been lovely thus far!

Moving your memories into the Digital Age

I don’t know about you, but my family has a lot of old pictures & videos. My dad was a shutterbug in the non-digital age, meaning that everything you shoot gets processed – AKA tons’o’pictures, starting with slides and continuing through polaroids, negatives, & prints.He didn’t shy away from using his camcorder either. He would set up the tripod before we were allowed in the present room on Christmas morning, and let the tape roll through the entirety of the gifting until we were at least in Junior High if not older – AKA lots’o’tapes. The oldest of these were full VHS size – can you imagine the size of that camcorder?! That was definitely a shoulder-model. Therefore, we have tons of media preserving memories. I’m going to discuss with you 4 different methods I have used in making our memories digitized in the hopes of preserving them forever & ever.

Let’s start with photos: Dad has lots of slides, but no longer owns a working slide projector. My aunt first tried to make a dent in these by hand picking some to have processed into print photos and placing them in albums a few years back, but there were still so many left, as I learned when organizing their storage shed for them because I am their best child. When perusing the ThinkGeek catalog early last year, I saw a slide-to-digital converter machine and thought, “hey, that’s a good idea!” . Sidebar: if you are a geek, a nerd, or a person with an interest in the quirky, the odd, gaming, or science fiction entertainment, you should familiarize yourself with ThinkGeek. From playable musical instrument t-shirts (they had them so way before Old Navy) to funny t-shirts, cubicle goodies, cool tech stuff, and inside jokes from your favorite game/movie/TV show, they have got it all. I bet you can’t look through their catalog or even their clearance section without going “hey that’s cute/funny/awesome/insert adjective” or “so&so would love that!” Just check it out. Sidebar complete: when Christmas rolled around I went in search of this magical slide-converting machine. It was not to be found on the TG website, so I rolled up to BestBuy. I expect BestBuy to have everything technological I should ever need and someone there who knows all about. This doesn’t always happen, but usually it does. After hunting down the right guy (or girl, it could have been a girl), he told me about the small selection of slide-converters that they had. I picked a slide & negative to digital converter that could be used with a computer or with just an SD card. It’s a basic, stand alone unit that has a couple options for feeding slides & negatives into the machine. The idea is pretty basic you stick the slide in, the image shows up on the screen where you can flip, rotate, or mirror it as needed, then you click a button and it saves to the provided SD card. It’s simple, easy to use, and fairly quick. It’s also handy that my dad has an SD slot in his computer to stick the SD card straight into. He’s already converted a whole plastic tub full of slides since Christmas. Here’s one of his coverts:

Nice, huh? Dad liked to photograph cars, his or otherwise. So, that covers slides & negatives, what if you just have printed photos? Welp, get yourself one of those all-in-one printer/scanner/copiers and scan them in. Time consuming as it maybe be, that’s the best advice I have for turning prints into digital. I don’t claim to be a pro though, so this is simply me imparting my scant wisdom. I mean, it’s not like I work at Best Buy. Although, some nice older people at our luau in Hawaii thought I did because I could show them how to turn off their camera’s flash and turn on its LCD screen – magic! Bless their hearts.

This brings us to discussing home video preservation. The oldest of old full-size VHS tapes were in questionable shape after 20ish years of existence. I took those to a professional to convert to DVD, a costlier option, but necessary at times. Apparently, he had quite a time getting the parents’ scuba diving tape to record both audio & visual at the same time and ended up having to do them separately then superimpose them on the DVD or something. Too high-tech for me! You can back-up the DVDs to an external hard drive then. There’s an important point – sufficient capacity, good quality external hard drive for backing everything up on, and consider keeping it in a safe/hidden place when not in use because apparently those are on the list of take-ables if your house is broken into as my sister has recently found. Sorry, Kay. Sidebar on a sidebar: smash & grab proof your house before it happens because that sucks. Anyway, the other method of video conversion that I have been currently using is Video Capture by Elgato. It is a cord that connects a camcorder or VCR to your compy via USB. Yes, it has a box thingy on the cord that does the converting for those of you like my sis-in-law that are smart enough to know that just a cord by itself can’t convert things. I, however, simply trust the cord to do what it says. It’s pretty straightforward though. CD contained to upload the program. I plug it into my camcorder using its cord to connect to the TV that then connects to the Video Capture cord that then connects to my computer. You just open the program do a quick check for audio & visual connection then start the recording on your computer while playing the tape on your camcorder. Play the tape through, stop the recording, and it saves it on your compy. Not too difficult. Then, you can back that file up and delete it from your compy to clear up storage. My Mac has iMovie which allows me to break my recordings into events and clips for easier sorting & organization. I love organization! As soon as I can find an old camcorder or buy a converter & VCR, I’ll start this process on my parents’ VHSC tapes – the next oldest in the pile.

There you have it: my experience with digitizing your memories! Hopefully, you will find it helpful or input your own experience from which we all can learn. Happy Thursday, y’all!

Jewelry with a Meaning

My aunt gave me a necklace for Christmas from the For You Designs Collection by Deborah J. Birdoes. All of her jewelry has a meaning & a story. Your piece comes with a poem & a bible verse to explain the story. I have a couple other pieces from her, and I think of the story & the encouragement when I wear each one. The collection is pretty big & varied, so you can more than likely find something to fit your style. They can be meaningful gifts. The message of my necklace was very appropriate for me. Here it is:

FearLess

Don’t worry about your problems.
There are enough worries in a day.
Don’t worry about tomorrow.
Tomorrow is not going away.

Do not be afraid of the dark,
But embrace it without fear.
It is when we are most afraid
That God is so very near.

When you go through the fire,
The flames will not consume you.
Trust in Him and hold on tight.
There is nothing left to do.

You have to exchange your thoughts
And all you think you know,
To trust what He is doing.
He knows what’s best for your soul.

So stop and give Him all your fear.
God always gives His best.
Make the Most High your place of shelter.
The Lord will do the rest!
©Deborah J. Birdoes

VERSE: When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. -Isaiah 43:2

So be FearLess today & check out the website for more jewelry with a meaning.