Posted in Baby Girl

Things I’ve learned in 1 Month as a New Parent

“Sleep when the baby sleeps” is easier said than done.  Old habits die hard.


“Blowouts” are just as much fun as they sound… Bonus–did you know that infant outfits are designed to be able to pull down over the child’s body instead of over their head? It really helps..

Swaddles are a miracle invention.  Nothing says ‘calm down and go to sleep’ to my BabyGirl quite like being confined 😛


Formula is a God-Send.  My girl wasn’t getting enough food to thrive, so we’ve been supplementing–now she’s healthy, alert, curious, and gaining weight on target with recommendations from the pediatrician.

Daddies do things differently–and that’s okay.  Jeff swaddles, changes, dresses, plays, snuggles, and burps BabyGirl differently than I do.


There are more hours in the day than ever before–and yet fewer of them can be used for house work.  The house work will wait.  Baby snuggles are important.

A month flies by faster than ever possible.

8pm is a really reasonable bed time.

Waking a sleeping baby is actually really adorable.  If you get them before they get you, you get to feed them, change them, and snuggle them before they realize they need it.  If they wake up before you? Hoo boy.. hope you like your ear drums.

It’s worth it. Everything that “it” represents–from the pain of birth, injury, changes to bodily functions, exhaustion, mood-swings, fear, worry, the lot of it.  It all pales in comparison with the gratitude felt at being able to be a parent.


Posted in Uncategorized

Healthy eating…$88/week

This week for $87.52 we got:

– 2 jars of fruit (in juice, not syrup)
– 6 pouches of Campbell’s soup to go (from what I could tell, no artificial ingredients)
– 64 oz apple juice
– Frozen cherries
– Frozen strawberries
– Talenti coconut gelato
– 1 lb ham
– his and hers deodorant and body wash
– 2 green bell pepper
– 2 sweet potatoes
– 2 lb red seedless grapes
– 2 English cucumbers
– 1/2 watermelon
– 6 oz vanilla yogurt

This week’s list doesn’t even account for any dinner foods.. We just bought fruits and veggies for breakfasts and snacks, ham and soups for lunches, and some hygiene products.

I think this diet change us going to hit us in the wallet until we got used to it. *gulp*


Posted in Uncategorized

Music, Music, Music…

So, FamilyHaikus posted an interesting plea for help this evening.  She’s facing a mid-life musical crisis as she fights to stay relevant with her kids.  So, being a 20-something, I felt compelled to try to help.  NOW! The thing is, I’ve been an avid Pandora fan for almost ever so I’m not so sure who all the new boy bands are or why people like Justin Bieber at all.


What I *do* know, though, is that I’ve got a pretty eclectic taste in music that I think most people would appreciate.  Hey, if I can teach my niece how to predict the drop in dubstep, I think I can still recommend some pretty good tracks.. Here goes nothin:

BONUS TRACK (just because it’s playing on my station right now):

[Nero – Guilt – Dubstep]

[James Todd – Quiet Beauty – Classical]

[Infected Mushroom – The Rat – Electronica]

[Phillip Phillips – Home – Country (though he’s technically classfied as Rock]

[Walk Off The Earth – Gang of Rhythm – Indie]

[Alicia Keys – Girl on Fire – R&B, hip hop]

[La Roux – Bulletproof (Dave Aude’s Cherry Mix) – Synthpop]

[Lindsey Stirling – Elements – Dubstep]

[Lindsey Stirling and Pentatonix (Imagine Dragons Cover) – Radioactive – Indie Rock/Acoustic/Dubstep]

[Macklemore – Can’t Hold Us – Hip Hop]

[Lana Del Rey – Dark Paradise – Sadcore]

[LMFAO – Party Rock Anthem – Dance Pop]

[Florence + The Machine – Seven Devils – Baroque Pop/Rock]

[Mumford & Sons – The Cave – Bluegrass]

[Adele – One and Only – Soul]

BONUS Tracks:
[Adele – Rolling in the Deep – Soul, Pop]

[Adele – Crazy for You – Soul]


So, what are your favorite songs today?  Give a shout out to your favorite artist/song down below 🙂

Posted in College, Fitness, Food, Life + Living

K.I.S.S. – Being Better at my Job

The last *real* resolution I have for the year is to be better at my job.  Now, that statement is not simple nor smart, so I’m just going to try to make it fit within those guidelines.  The two ways I know of to get better at my job are to:

1.  Arrive to work on time.

This is the “simple” part because all it takes on my part is to leave home on time with enough ‘cushion’ for traffic.  8:15 am is okay, if too early, 8:45 am is okay, if too late, and 8:30am – the ideal time to leave based on travel time – is a horrid pain in the ass as far as traffic is concerned.  Testing out the ideal times to leave last week left me harried and completely frazzled by the time I got to work if I left at 8:30 am.  It felt like there were a disproportionately greater amount of speeders, weavers, and distracted drivers compared to 15 minutes earlier or later. In fact, I was nearly run off the road twice last week by ragers who would rather speed up when they see my turn signal than to let me move over into the lane.   When we’re already going 60MPH (96 KPH) that’s a dangerous situation!! And much too early in the morning.. I would rather be late to work than to deal with that sort of mayhem. Which is what I have been doing.. which is why I’m here making a goal to be early instead.

2. Continue training/education

Since my employer provides tuition reimbursement for college courses, I am going to resume my college schedule after the wedding.  In the interim, I am an active member of Toastmasters and have set a goal to give 1 speech per month and to fulfill 3 alternate roles per month in Toastmasters from now until June.  By doing this, I will complete 4 training hours per month, checking the box on that requirement, but it will also keep me in the routine of extracurricular activities that require some thought and effort from home.

So, the Simple Goals: Show up on time; keep up in Toastmasters.

The Smart Goals (be on time):

S – Specific – Show up to work 5 days per week before the scheduled start time, ideally 8:45am.  This means leaving the house at 8:15am in order to avoid the road ragers and distracted drivers.

M – Measurable – My time card will reflect my efforts.

A – Attainable – If I can’t show up on time or early to work, I don’t deserve to keep my job @_@; This is definitely one of the most attainable goals for me.

R – Relevant – Being on time is paramount to my position because other people rely on me to be there.  Moseying in whenever I feel like it creates a window of almost 20 minutes where people could be waiting for my assistance.  It doesn’t look professional, nor is it courteous to my mates.

T – Time-bound – This one will be continuous, but I will provide a progress report weekly.

S – Specific – Perform 3 roles in Toastmasters, and complete 1 speech per month.

M – Measurable – check the box, did I do it or not?  The speech, at least, will be scored on a rubric and has the potential to mark progression of expertise in delivering speeches.

A – Attainable – Given that I have taken a break from school in order to focus on current life events, I think that it is entirely reasonable to do Toastmasters with some of my spare time.

R – Relevant – Toastmasters improves my functioning at work because it is improving my grammar and spelling, but it is also improving my active listening skills.  More often than not, I find myself being a passive listener and multi-tasking while people are explaining something to me.  Since joining Toastmasters, I have become a more attentive listener and started to provide co-workers my undivided attention.  This will make me ‘better at my job’ because it will improve interpersonal relationships and further reinforce the notion that I’m a professional.  This will be important, should I decide to apply for a more professional role.

T – Time-bound – This goal has a mid-marker in June.  I will be doing monthly updates on my experiences with Toastmasters.


So, we’re a week into January so far, and I had set some pretty normal goals previously of cooking dinner at home and working out regularly.  We’ve cooked dinner at home 5/6 days 🙂 The grocery bill this week was $145 and so if we can continue to eat the food we have at home, we can stand to save almost that much in the breakfasts, lunches, and dinners that we buy from restaurants because it’s inconvenient not to.  I’ll continue to track this.

Work outs have not been completed the last three days, I have no excuse except that it’s not a switch you can flip.  It takes time to build new habits and to break down the old, but working out is still something that is important to me.  I will be checking out the community center after work today and I have a new pair of work out pants to sport if I decide to join up.

How are your new year’s resolutions going?  Did you forget about them yet?

Posted in College, Counseling, Emotional Eating, Fitness, Gaming, Life + Living, Menu Planning, Overeating, Wedding Planning

2012 – Out with the old…

Most bloggers are doing posts about 2012 and showing their personal version of the year in review. I keep TRYING to come up with things to talk about, but, all of you have been with me through the ups and downs of 2012.

We rang in the new year with news of my engagement, and then barreled right into the rest of the year, much of which was spent studying.

In March, my parents officially lost their house and so we moved them to their new home.  I kept busy with work.

In April/May, Jeff and I got our own place

June and July had us traveling to Canada for adventures galore.

August was probably my favorite month of all, because we got to have our Bridal Party Get Together. And–GW2 came out..

September and October were especially difficult but life has honestly been on an upward swing ever since.

November was a slow month, blogging-wise, but I had my highest-hitting blog entry with my Search for 1st Dance Wedding Songs (we’re still undecided).

December was probably the best month of the year and leaves me happily looking forward to 2013.

I have some new year’s resolutions tumbling around in my head, so, hopefully those will get posted tomorrow 🙂 For now, I’m off to make merry and ring in the new year with the family!  Thank you for reading my blog!


Posted in Life + Living, Uncategorized

Thankful 100 Part IV: 76-100

76. Wild Birds (thanks to my friend Gloria for the picture…)

61416_3956713077743_1764103834_n77. Moscato

78. Movies

79. Birthdays

206279_10150219717027112_6597201_n80. Christmas

470714_10151373213507112_708423559_o81. Sweets

82. Kindred strangers

83. Children’s Laughter

84. Happy Tears

380184_313480741998354_117360476_n 375237_313480658665029_1818673170_n

85. Surprise Reunions

86. Fireworks

87. Adventures

88. Cuddles


89. Cooking


90. Talented vets

91. Lint Rollers

92. Forgiveness

93. Little White Lies

94. Snail Mail

76627_489007832111_4484390_n95. Christmas Cards

473264_10151375895702112_1600442930_o96. Sculpture Garden

254904_10150272529827112_1073773_n97. Healthy Food

Fajita goodness98. Vehicles and the ability to operate them.

99. TN Visas

100. Pet Voice-over conversations.





Posted in Life + Living, Uncategorized

Thankful 100 Part II: 26-50

26.  Athletic events with friends

555791_10151074089567112_748165965_n27. Flip Flops

28. Heels

338653_10151132943667112_334636271_o29. Flats

30. Dresses

325940_10151124270332112_468902250_o31. Gowns (no spoilers here!)

32. S’mores


33. Jeans

34. Slippers

402114_10150537346977112_1443967729_n35. Online Comics

36. Literature in general

37. the “Parenthood” TV series


38. Video games in general.



40. Grumpy Cat


41. Felicia Day

42. Jenna Mourey

43. Comfy clothes

44. Hair ties

45. Mascara

46. Volunteering with my mom and co-workers


47. Cute Glasses

48. Friends I met online…who are friends in truth ❤

Online49. Weight Loss Warriors / Last Stand girls

50. Trust

Posted in Life + Living, Uncategorized

Thankful 100: Part I – 1-25

1. My given family:

2. Jeff ❤


3. My relationship with my brother:


4. The internet

5. (and the friends I made from there)


6. WordPress and its slick features
7. Digital Cameras/Camcorders
8. Smartphones (Especially if it’s got a quality camera built in so I can share immediately 😉 97% of the pictures on this blog are from my smartphone)
9. Facebook
10. Paypal
11. Visa
12. Sliced Bread
13. Honey Crisp Apples

14. Sunshine


15. Sunblock

16. Windows

17. Windows ™


18. Taz

19. Toby

20. Couches

21. Tables

22. Chairs

23. Collapse-able easels

24. Paint

25. Brushes


Posted in Food, Life + Living

New Grocery Store: Research Pays Off!

Turns out that when you do the research, it pays off!  As you may recall, I posted a few tips about “Optimizing the grocery shopping experience.”  In that entry, I recommended planning ahead, calling ahead, consulting the ad and being flexible.  I put those tips into practice this last week and had a much more successful shopping trip:

Hallelujah!  Hallelujah! I walked through the doors on Monday evening, the best day that the grocer said to go shopping.  Lo and behold: the shelves were fully stocked!! Everything I could want! Or need!

Since it was a brand new store, they had what I considered to be an “odd” layout.  Conveniently, they provide store maps right at the front of the door, which I’m sure will help once I actually take the time to consult it.  They also had a variety of other materials available such as the in-store ad, the neighborhood mailer, a nutritional IQ guide, and some bonus coupons.

The Cub Foods that I visited had the first aisle leading to the produce section stocked with the ad items and so I was able to check off a few items from my list before ever getting very far into the store.

I had an easy time finding the produce, meat and diary, but I had a harder time finding the other pantry staples.  They have more than one row of aisles and you cannot see what is in the second row from the first.  I think this is where the map will come in handy.  I made more than one zig-zag across the store as I sought out coffee filters, toothpaste, and garbage bags.

Over all, I think I’m going to like my new store.