Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Keeping Resolutions Update #13

I'm DONE!!! 
I've made it across Route 66! 
Now off to close out this year and ring in 2015 with family and friends.
Have a fabulous night!
Happy New Year! 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Fab Finds: California Love

I woke up to a text of a picture of the California flag framed with a note saying "thought you'd love it." I sure did. I've got nothing but California love. Always. Forever.
Kris Nations California Outline Necklace
Thank you, Nicole! I'll be wearing this proudly with love. What a fab find! I love my home state.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Jam of My Day: Follow Your Arrow by Kacey Musgraves

In the spirit of more Sagittarius archer references, I present today's jam of my day by Kacey Musgraves. This song came up on one of my Spotify playlists this morning. I'm a sucker for lyrics and I like the chorus.

Make lots of noise
Kiss lots of boys
Or kiss lots of girls
If that's something you're into
When the straight and narrow
Gets a little too straight
Roll up a joint, or don't
Just follow your arrow
Wherever it points, yeah
Follow your arrow
Wherever it points

Fab Finds: Icy Hot No Mess

If it wasn't for this incredible find, I don't think I could have recovered from the Long Beach Half Marathon I did earlier this year nor the ridiculous biking I've done these past couple of days (see Keeping Resolutions).

I'm new to the whole Icy Hot, medicated muscle relievers, scene. When I found this bad boy at Target, I had to give it a try. It sold me on the "no mess" factor alone. The idea of getting that menthol oily ointment on my hands did not appeal to me at all. I honestly didn't think I would even need it, but my muscles were screaming "what did you do to me?" after the half marathon and refusing to function normally. I didn't even know what to expect from this product nor if it worked. The only thing I knew was the name and rumblings from my athlete friends. It literally went as follows: rolled onto muscles, tingly coolness came over, warm fuzzies followed. The second I rolled it on, I started to feel it working. I may have even been on a menthol high. Can that happen? I was hooked! It was a miracle worker.

Icy Hot No Mess is my new best friend. A necessity for the old lady in me and the challenge acceptor. Bring it on!

Now please excuse me as I rub these on my legs and go to sleep. I've only biked  221.5 miles in these past 4 days. I need functional legs if I'm going to endure a day at Disneyland on Tuesday!

Keeping Resolutions Update #12

Beastmode has ensued me.
I can barely feel my legs.
It's been a crazy couple days catching up.
Procrastination led me to this.
Almost there!
58 miles to go.
3 days remain.
I'm #winning this. 

Oh! Hi, Phil Dunphy! 

To recap for new followers: A 2014 New Year's Resolution challenge of mine was inspired by our very own loved Phil Dunphy. Yes, this resolution was based on an episode of Modern Family. Can you blame me? To prove his wife, Claire, wrong, he was motivated and inspired to keep his elliptical in the bedroom by making a deal that he would go the distance to Canada. I thought this was a genius idea and told my coworker that I was inspired to do the same, but virtually via my stationary bike.

This idea didn't stop there. I decided to venture the distance across Route 66 instead. That's a whopping 2451 miles from California to Illinois! To put that in perspective, Los Angeles to Vancouver is only 1277 miles. That's only half of Route 66! I clearly don't like to start small!

Once my coworker said this was not a realistic or SMART goal and teased at how ridiculous I sounded, I made a bet to prove him wrong. Nothing crazy, just lunch and bragging rights that I'm no quitter. Alas, it's been 362 days of this challenge and it's nearing the end. I, being from Los Angeles, started my journey from California and am on the last leg of Illinois. 97.63% complete.

The end of days and the end of miles. I'm so close I can taste it. Victory will be mine!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Fab Finds: Pasadena Roving Archers

Let me first start off by listing some Sagittarius attributes:
  • generous
  • honest
  • adventurous
  • fanatic
  • stubborn 
  • exaggerating
  • optimistic
I went through a phase when I was younger where I was really into astrology. Nowadays, I don't recall many of the stuff I read and I've stopped reading my horoscope. When I describe a Sagittarius, I just think of my own quirky characteristics and identify those as part of my zodiac sign. I even forgot what my sign looked like. Little did it occur to me til just now, like literally as I'm writing this post, that the Sagittarius sign is that of an archer. And what did we do for my birthday? Archery. Where do I come up with this stuff?!
About a year ago, I heard that Pasadena offered archery lessons for free on the weekends. I looked into it once and really wanted to try it out, but I could never get myself or a friend to commit to an early Saturday morning outing. After a few attempts, the idea was lost and forgotten... until I started to watch Game of Thrones. As I watched the first episode, men on their horse with a bow and arrow entered the scene and I was instantly reminded of the archery lessons. Katniss Everdeen from Hunger Games nor Daryl Dixon from Walking Dead reminded me of archery but Game of Thrones was my light bulb moment.

Pasadena Roving Archers offers FREE first time lessons every Saturday morning from 8:30 - 10AM. Now how many things are left in this world that are FREE and FUN? Limited space is available and this is first come first serve. The site mentions to arrive at 7:15 to start being fitted for equipment, which is provided. If you're a returning student, each lesson is $5. Going in groups is highly discouraged but group reservations can be made. Returning archery lessons are $5 and from 10:30 - Noon, meeting at 9:45AM for equipment fitting. Archery lessons take place in Lower Arroyo Seco Park in Pasadena on Saturdays only.

Earlier this year, I contacted Pasadena Roving Archers to make a group reservation for a few of us. I reached out in May and was told the next group reservation was in December! Clearly the memo has extended to a lot of folks of this awesome activity. Once I heard December, I realized that this was going to be my birthday activity and reserved it for my birthday weekend. Group reservations are for a minimum of 5 people and up to 20. To reserve a spot, you need to submit a $50 donation to the Roving Archers for the first 5. Each individual person in the group thereafter is $5. The best part of this program is that it's led by volunteers. The money that is collected goes right back into the program to continue the service. Another plus is that group reservations are from 12:30 - 2PM. Now that's a more reasonable time slot!
Saturday, December 20th, a few of us had some mimosas at brunch in my favorite Montrose spot, Black Cow Cafe, and then headed off to our very first archery lesson! I didn't know what to expect but this experience completely surpassed all our expectations.

I was the first one up and as terrified I was being the example, I shot all my arrows on the sheet! I'm born to be an archer, literally!
For some of us, like Kiki, this wasn't the easiest thing to try. As much of a rough start she had, she was definitely the most improved! I'm happy my fellow Sagittarius friend enjoyed embracing her inner archer (and succeeded without cheating)!
Please don't kill me for posting this!
We may have terrified our instructor once we displayed our extremely competitive sides. He placed a balloon target for us to get. As soon as Gareen got it, the rest of us didn't congratulate her but rather damned her (sorry!) verbally.We're all bitter losers.

As for the group: May the odds be ever in your favor.

This is by far one of my best finds yet! Pasadena Roving Archers is a gem!
Don't ever cross us.

Keeping Resolutions Update #11

4 days remain. 
109.2 miles to go.
I'm almost there, I can feel it! 

Fab Finds: Happy Birthday to Me!

Who doesn't buy themselves a little something for their birthday? Personally, I buy myself pretty presents all year 'round.

Here's a few fab finds that the fashionista in me couldn't help but get! Many of these items are part of my daily essentials.

And for the cool kid in me, here's a few AMAZING items I gifted myself or was gifted this year, along with some others I'm waiting to buy. These are for the baker, the artist, the girly girl, the hostess, the snail mailer, photographer, and homebody in me.

Happy Birthday to Me!

Last Friday was my 29th birthday and I'm not going to lie - it hurt. I randomly started to cry the night before for no reason at all.

Whenever people say they don't want to celebrate their birthdays, they're all secretly lying. For weeks, I was in denial of my birthday coming up and didn't want to celebrate at all but my best friend wouldn't allow that. As soon as others got excited for me, my excitement grew. It also helped that treats were appearing left and right during the week. 
Oh, and can't forget this great birthday gift. #crueljoke
I always debate about going to work on my birthday, but then I realize I'd rather be surrounded by people than at home and on my couch. Luckily, this day was better than I could have expected. With only 2 real meetings that went smoothly, a holiday team lunch, a birthday cake meeting, and a Finance town hall and happy hour, I barely spent a second at my desk. However, as soon as I made it to my desk, I found myself to be loved and greeted by my new inflatable boyfriend, Pablo. The topper to the day in the office was definitely receiving park hopper Disneyland tickets.
Celebrating in the evening was a definite must. As a few of us headed to Angel City Brewery at night, I was overwhelmed by the friends that came over to help me celebrate. Being born so close to the holidays, your birthday is either forgotten or lost within multiple holiday parties. As I look back at the weekend, I was lost in emotion for the overwhelming unconditional love I received from my friends near and far. USPS was definitely busy that week.

Happy Birthday to Me! Thank you to all my dearests for making it so special. Hello 29!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Jam of My Day: Mother & Father by Broods

It makes me happy knowing that I bought tickets to see them at the Fonda in March!

Looking forward to what other great acts are to come in 2015.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Keeping Resolutions Update #10

A little late on this post, but calling out that I finally made it out of Missouri! The exact date I biked past through was 12/23.

November was a pretty intensive month as far as catching up with miles. I went to NJ to visit family and came back with a nasty cold that stunted my biking challenge in December.

I now only have 6 days and less than 300 miles to go. May the force be with me.
Will I be able to make my resolution deadline? I definitely will try!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Keeping Resolutions Update #9

Booyah! I'm outta Kansas. Shortest route within a state, done.

44 days. 615.4 miles left (rode more than Kansas today). Long haul stretch now.

During the summer, when I went to the Renegade Craft fair  (coming back to LA December 12 & 13th), I came across L. Makai and their commuter collection necklaces. Consisting of highway signs as charms, you can have one or many highways added together to represent your commute, or in my case, my resolution.
If I complete this resolution, I promised myself I would get myself the gold Route 66 charm (disregard that oxidized sterling silver chain). L. Makai will be returning to the Renegade Craft Fair next month and I will be checking out my future medal again. 

Jam of My Day: Itchin' on a Photograph by Grouplove

Not a new song by any means, but the title of this song has been stuck with me all day.

Sitting at my desk, with a major case of the Mondays, I started to feel burned out just by reading my emails. Work has been crazy and most of my projects have started to have their timelines completely condensed to where it's left in my court to finish in time for presentations. So much so fast and I'm ready for a break. Vacation has been calling my name all year and I never got a chance to explore, aside from my family trips to NJ to see one cousin get married and another graduate from college.

So, as I sat at my desk, I paused from work and started itchin' on a photograph. A vacation. Serenity. This moment came to mind.
Paris 2008

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Keeping Resolutions Update #8

I'm in the zone! Riding the path of determination!

Route 66 is 2451 miles and I'm now at 1820 which means I have concurred Oklafuckinhoma! Woohoo!!
Kansas is up next and only 13 miles. Hopefully, I'll have another update tomorrow with mention that I've passed that state as well.

I'm back to believing that there's hope in finishing the distance by December 31st.
631 miles to go and 45 days remaining.
Average of 14.02 miles a day.
Yes, I can.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Jam of My Day:Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon

I can't control myself from dancing at my desk whenever "Shut Up and Dance" by Walk the Moon comes on my Spotify playlist. Looking forward to catching them live and dancing with the fans rather than in my chair, at my desk, while working. I'm sure my coworkers near me are thinking I'm a bit of a nutso right now, and I'm ok with it.

She took my arm,
I don't know how it happened.
We took the floor and she said,

"Oh don't you dare look back
Just keep your eyes on me."
I said "you're holding back"
She said "shut up and dance with me!"

It's so damn catchy. I love it

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Halloween and Birthdays

This Halloween there were no ghouls or goblins running around near me. There was rain and wine, lots of wine, and that didn't damper anyone's spirits.

Every year my division at work throws a Halloween event for friends and family of employees of the company. Each year there's a theme and our division dresses up and volunteers. Last year, I was the Wicked Witch for our Scary Tales. This year, I was Lucille Ball for Hollywood Halloween.
Oh, how I love Halloween! This is the one season that lets me be creative.
Here's a look back at some other costumes I've had over the years:
To get in the Halloween spirit, I went to Rise of the Jack O'Lanterns at Descanso Gardens on the 22nd. After seeing multiple Facebook and Instagram posts in my feed, I knew I wanted to go. I've never carved a pumpkin before but was intrigued at how detailed and amazing other people get with their pumpkin designs. This place  really set the haunted spirits in me. I was getting really excited to dress up.
I love dinos.
Hollywood Halloween took place on the 24th. I received so many compliments and lots of double takes from people who see me at work every day. A few even mentioned that I look good as a red-head. Lucille Ball was one of my favorites growing up. I've seen every episode of I Love Lucy multiple times. I've even added the box set to my wish list and hope to have it one day so I can just watch old episodes at my leisure.
On the 31st, I was up in Lompoc celebrating Rachelle's, my college roomie's, Dirty Thirty. Happy Birthday, Rachelle! We spent the day wine tasting along the side of more wine tasting. It was fabulous! Not having taken a vacation in a long time, a long weekend out of LA was definitely needed. We were definitely a close knit group, laughing and smiling all day long. Or maybe that was the wine?
Dirty Thirty gang
LOVE the birthday girl!
After all the wine tasting and dinner, I was ready to hit the sack. Instead, we got dressed and jammed in the car and caught our second wind and danced the night away at a local country bar called Mavericks.
The older we get, the more clothes we wear at Halloween.
There may have even been a costume competition that I entered in... My beautiful friends were the loudest in the crowd and started chanting "E.T. phone home" as they were announcing the winner. Sadly, I didn't win, but the DJ later admitted to me that I should have won but the winner was handed to him to announce. I don't know if that made me feel better or not. *sigh*
E.T. phone home
I cut the weekend in Lompoc short to attend the besties' birthday back in LA at Pearl's Liquor Bar on Sunset. I'm pretty sure this is one of the best photo booth pictures we've ever taken.
Happy Birthday, Gareen!
October was a great month. So much good stuff and so much more ahead!