Monday, July 30, 2012

Q & A Monday: Goals and More

I'm going to do a separate post about what happened over the weekend when I can bring myself to write about it.  It isn't fun or happy, but I feel like writing it all out will help me and maybe help someone else.

Until then, here is a new FMM a bit late.  Kenlie, over at All The Weigh, put this questionnaire together to talk about her weight loss journey.  I'm not really involved in a weight loss journey per se, so I will answer the questions to the best of my ability.

It is time again for Friend Makin' Monday.  If you have a blog, I would like to invite you to answer the questions as well.  Leave me a comment here, so I know you are playing.  Then you can also leave a comment over at All The Weigh, so other folks can check out your answers as well.  It is a fun way to connect to other bloggers.

Goals and More

1. Brag about some of your daily, healthy habits.
I drink lots of water.  We cut out soda, only having it on occasion.  It just doesn't agree with my system anymore.  We are pescatarians (vegetarians who eat fish).  We started this lifestyle change January 1st and feel much better as a result.  I also try to surround myself with positive thoughts and positive people.  That includes not hating my fat body. :-)

2. Do you track your daily food intake? If so, how?
I use My Fitness Pal app to track calories, sodium, fat.  I find it helpful to keep me accountable for what I'm taking in.  It also helps me figure out better ways to eat and exercise to work on being a healthy me.

3. What do you want to change most about your daily routine?
I'd like to be able to get up earlier and work more exercise into my day.  I'd also like to figure out a good evening schedule so Mr. Diva and I can exercise together.

4. How often do you exercise?
Not enough. I'd also like to work yoga and meditation into my weekly routine.

5. How do you stay on track when you’re on the go?
Lately, we haven't been very good about that. I try to always pack a protein bar in my purse and I take a bottle of water everywhere.  When we do have to eat on the run, we try to make good choices.

6. What’s one excuse you use that prevents you from reaching your goals?
I suppose I think too much of what others think of me and I don't want to be a failure.  Both things I am working hard to remedy.  I'm good at procrastinating too.

7. What scares your most about your journey?
Everything lol  I have anxiety, so I think on some level it all scares me at some point.  But as I accomplish more and feel better about myself, I get stronger and can conquer the world. *MUHAHAHAHAHA*

8. What do you think will change most when you reach your goal? (If you have reached it, what’s different?) 
I think I will have more confidence in myself and what I can accomplish.  I also think I will feel more at ease as I get more organized and feel more in control of things.

9. What motivates you to reach your goals?
I love to feel organized and in control.  So much pre-planning, staying organized and on track goes into achieving my goals.

10. Share a few of your goals.
- Come up with a daily schedule that includes daily blogging and exercise
- Work on craft projects more
- Get a handle on scheduling blog posts so I feel more organized
- Plan more meals out for the week
- Make a regular housework schedule so things don't pile up

Now have at it!

Friday, July 27, 2012

What I Wore: Rained Out

Well, I am back after a whirlwind weekend spending time with Mr. Diva's wonderful parents and visiting aunts and uncles.  At least some of them now read the blog, so I wanted to say "Hey, y'all!!"  *waves*  Although their reason for visiting is rather unpleasant (which I will try to talk about at some point), we all enjoyed spending time with them, chatting and hanging out.

I'm finally getting a chance to blog about a trip to the beach Mr. Diva and I took in June.  Because our elderly furkids need medications nowadays, we can't take a trip without them coming along.  We still can't find any hotel that will make an exception for one extra dog.  Most dog friendly hotels don't mind if you bring two dogs with no weight restrictions, but you ask them about a third dog (and tell them all three dogs equal 20 pounds combined) and they just aren't having it.  So no beach weekends for us.

The dogs do pretty well riding in the car.  Kiki is a bit of a spazz and is really only happy sitting on my shoulder like a parrot.  Rusty likes to stare (well, he can barely see, but maybe he can see the shapes) at the passing trees while resting his chin on the window sill.  Miss P (not pictured) usually curls up in a dog bed in the back of the car.  She prefers the bed that has the most sun streaming down to it.

We were definitely ready for our Tillamook Cheese Factory stop when the time came.   For lunch, Mr. Diva and I each had the Centennial Grilled Cheese sandwich, which uses Sharp Cheddar and Vintage White Medium Cheddar.  Oh my GOSH! It is SO GOOD!  We topped it off with a couple scoops of our favorite Tillamook ice cream.  (Peanut butter and chocolate for Mr. Diva and one scoop each of German Chocolate and Caramel Butter Pecan for me.  I didn't even remember to take a picture of those. lol)

Denim capris - Lane Bryant
Blue tank & Black Open Cardigan - Torrid
Necklace - Betsey Johnson
Flip flops - Okabashi

I was all decked out in my beach-going ensemble, but what awaited us at the beach was fog and rain.  I think we stood on the sand for five to ten minutes before we had to jump in the car to keep from getting drenched.

So it was a short trip with a quick turnaround.  Not an ideal trip to the beach by any means, but we still had fun. 

On the way home, I really thought Sasquatch was going to jump out at any moment.  I had my camera out just in case. lol  Have you ever had a less than stellar adventure that you just rolled with?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Diva In The Kitchen: Creamy Avocado and Lime Chilled Pasta

Today's recipe is a little gem I found on Pinterest.  (Original recipe can be found here.)  This is a great spin on a creamy pasta and perfect for a summer BBQ or dinner with family or friends.  I love how the lime and cilantro complement the creamy avocado.  I guess you could also consider it an almost deconstructed guacamole.

Whatever you choose to think of it as, DELICIOUS will be one of those adjectives!

Creamy Avocado and Lime Chilled Pasta

-  1 1/2 cups dry shell pasta or short pasta of your choice
-  1 ripe avocado
-  Handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
-  1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
-  3 tablespoons mayonnaise (I used the Kraft Black Pepper Mayo)
-  1 teaspoon garlic paste (I couldn't find plain garlic paste, so I used minced garlic instead.)
-  Salt and pepper
-  Chopped cilantro and/or jalapeno for garnish
-  (Optional: Container of grape tomatoes, sliced in half)

1.  Cook pasta according to packaging, drain well, and set aside to cool.
2.  Peel avocado and remove the pit.  Put it a food processor with the chopped cilantro, lime juice, mayonnaise, and garlic paste.  Blend mixture until it is creamy.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  (I also added Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime seasoning.)
3.  Toss avocado sauce mixture and pasta in a medium-sized bowl, until well mixed.  Add halved grape tomatoes if you are choosing to use them (I highly recommend them!) and toss well.  Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and/or jalapeno.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Q & A Monday: Seven

Happy Monday, everyone!  It has been a busy weekend with Mr. Diva's relatives visiting from out-of-state.  We've had fun chatting and catching up the last few days.  Their reason for visiting is a bit heavy, so I won't touch on that yet.  They will be in town until Tuesday, so we still have a couple of days of hanging out with them.  

It is time again for Friend Makin' Monday.  If you have a blog, I would like to invite you to answer the questions as well.  Leave me a comment here, so I know you are playing.  Then you can also leave a comment over at All The Weigh, so other folks can check out your answers as well.  It is a fun way to connect to other bloggers.


1. What is your favorite way to spend a Sunday afternoon?
Cuddled up in bed or on the couch with my husband and furkids.  I love lazy Sundays when we stay in our pajamas all day and watch DVRed shows or movies, play video games, read, and just veg out.  It is perfection.

2. What is your favorite color?
My favorite color is fuchsia pink with sparkles. If I was a crayon, I would have to be one of the ones with glitter in it.  :-)  Purples and teals come in second. This is a perfect example of my favorite color:

3. Have you ever been to Europe?
I have not.  I really look forward to it though.  Mr. Diva and I long to plan a trip to Ireland, Scotland, and England.  We'd also love to travel to Italy, Greece, and Germany.

4. Do you wear glasses or contacts?
I own glasses, but I don't wear them often.  I mainly need them to see distances, so they aren't something I always need.  I mainly pull them out at the movie theater or for long hours of gaming.  I still can't bring myself to try contacts. 

5. How often do you brush your teeth?
Twice a day - morning and evening.  During the day, I will sometimes rinse with mouthwash.  I am proud to say I have NEVER had a cavity in my life. :-D

6. Share a guilty pleasure.
I generally don't feel guilty about anything that makes me happy.  I LOVE boybands.  My top three are NKOTB, BSB, and Westlife.  I don't feel guilty for that at all.  I've spent 24 years listening to people give me shit about my undying, unwavering love of NKOTB, so nothing anyone says really phases me anymore.  I don't care.  They make me happy.
I have spent a few afternoons playing Skyrim for hours.  I suppose I feel guilty about that because my living room is still dusty. lol

7. What are you most proud of accomplishing this week?
I had a decent week of blogging and managed to get all the food made for Saturday's BBQ in less than 4 hours. And I only cried twice this week.  I think I am coming out of my most recent depression. YAY!

Now snap to it, folks!  Blog your answers or feel free to answer them here in the comments.  I look forward to learning more about you.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Birchbox Review: July 2012

If you don't know about Birchbox, it is a monthly subscription service.  For $10 a month, you get a box of 4 to 5 high-end skincare, makeup, and/or hair care products to sample.  Sometimes there are also "lifestyle samples", like an organic granola bar, tea, etc.  Some products are even full-size!

It is a really fun thing to get in the mail!  Plus, I am a product junkie and love being able to try all these different products.  Check out the website for more information!

This month's theme is The Senses.

Birchbox July 2012

Products Included:

1. Alterna Bamboo UV+ Color Protection Fade-Proof Fluide - This hair serum is a very thin, almost watery formula (basically, a little bit thicker than water).  It is a light serum to help protect your hair color from fading in the sun.  I don't know how well it works because I generally don't go out in the sun.  But it adds a subtle shine to my hair and smells really nice.  In my opinion, you can never be too safe when it comes to sun protection.

2. Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint in Bronze (Swatch pictured below) - I mistakenly received this sample for the 2nd time this year.  I wasn't really into it the first time, so I contacted customer service about it.  Turns out, I didn't receive the box I was suppose to.  Apparently, I should have gotten completely different products.  They apologized for the mix-up and will not charge me for my August box.  Nice customer service.  I really appreciate it.
As for the product itself, it looks darker squeezed out of the tube than it is on my face.  It feels like a light, non-greasy moisturizer, which is ideal for my oily skin.  It has a subtle shimmer to it that seems to brighten the face.  However, it doesn't provide enough coverage for my liking.  I certainly won't wear it out anywhere, but I appreciate it as something I can wear around the house or under my regular makeup.

3. Oscar de la Renta live in love - I'm really not a fan of all the perfume samples.  I have a perfume I love and stick to that.  As with most perfumes, this smells the same as any of the others to me.  Floral, musky, but light.  Not horrible by any means, just not for me.

4. Stila Lip Glaze *Full Size* (Swatch pictured below) - I believe I received the color Camera, from the It's Go Time trio.  It's a sheer, nude pinky/bronze color with sparkles.  (Possibly similar to the shade Vanilla in the main collection) It is really pretty on.  A very natural tone that would be great over your favorite lipstick.  It is a sticky formula, but feels hydrating and lasts a while.  It has a great Sweet Tart smell to it.  This is my first Stila Lip Glaze, although I do own two Stila lip stains.  Overall, I like it and would purchase more in the future. (Plus, I am ecstatic that it is a full size!)

5. Larabar Uber - I received the Roasted Nut Roll flavor.  It was, indeed, very nutty.  Good, but nothing to write home about.  I like that they use Brown Rice Syrup in it.  I prefer my Luna bars in a time of need though.

6. Birchbox Exclusive earbuds - These were your standard, no frills earbuds in the great color combo of neon pink and green.  Something great to have around just in case.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Diva In The Kitchen: Mexican Slaw

For this week's recipe, I wanted to give you a simple, fast, and easy recipe perfect for summer.  A friend of mine made this slaw for a dinner party and I couldn't leave her house without this recipe.  The first time, I had it on cheese enchiladas, which was excellent.  It doesn't have to go with just Mexican-inspired meals though.  It is fabulous on fish of any kind, hamburgers, veggie patties, or just by itself.

So without further ado:

Mexican Slaw

- 2 Medium to large tomatoes, chopped
- 1 Diced white onion, chopped
- Fresh minced garlic (a teaspoon to a tablespoon, depending on how much you love garlic)
- Bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 3 Limes
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar
- Agave or honey (about 2 tablespoons)
- Olive oil
- Bag of shredded cabbage
- Jar of pickled jalapenos, drained

1. Make a pico de gallo by combining (in a large mixing bowl) the chopped tomatoes, chopped white onion, minced garlic, and chopped cilantro.  Squeeze in the juice of 1 lime.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Mix well and set aside.

2. Next, make the dressing.  In a small bowl or cup, combine the cider vinegar, agave or honey, the juice of 2 limes, and a dollop of olive oil.  (Sometimes I add some lime zest, any leftover cilantro because I LOVE cilantro, and/or fresh ground pepper.)  Mix well.

3.  Bring back your pico de gallo mixture and add the shredded cabbage and jar of pickled jalapenos.  (You can add less jalapenos if you so desire.  We love them, so it takes the whole jar.)

4.  Pour your dressing in and mix very well.  Now feast upon this slaw and put it on top of everything!!  It's really quite healthy, packed with antioxidants and vitamins.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

What I Wore: Summer's Here!

It's finally summer-like here in Portland, Oregon.  That means we have a few short months of being able to play outside before it begins to rain again.

Mr. Diva and I had the pleasure of attending dinner at a friend's house last weekend.  There was a great group of friends in attendance.  And don't get me started on the food!  Grilled salmon, sweet potato hash, and a strawberry/walnut/feta salad.  (Not to mention the tasty deviled eggs.  My friend uses guacamole instead of mayo, which gives the eggs a nice little spice and creaminess.  YUM!)

I decided to break out my Backstage Dolman Top that Kiyonna sent me.  This great color is called "Watermelon Kiss".  Isn't that a great summery name?  The color is so pretty, more pink than the great coral tone of the papaya Saturday Knit Top.  It is made of the same soft jersey knit that drapes so well.

I was a little worried about the sleeves being a bit out of my comfort zone, as I still have insecurities about my upper arms.  However, I found that they still offered a great amount of coverage, so I was confident and comfortable.  I adore the draping of this top, but it is quite low cut on me.  I think if my boobs filled out the top more I could manipulate the fabric to give me more coverage. (Like the model on the website.)

But this gave me the opportunity to do some light layering.  I happened to have a lace tank from Lane Bryant that was the EXACT same color!  In the future, I look forward to adding a contrasting pop of color to change up the look.  My verdict: Love this top! It is really comfortable and pretty, great for summer, and very versatile.

Backstage Dolman Top - Kiyonna (For reference, I am wearing a 4X and am a B cup)
Capris - Lane Bryant
Lace Trim Cami - Lane Bryant (It's on sale for $19.99!)
Sandals - Torrid
Bracelet - Lane Bryant
Necklace - Maurices (Similar)

I received great compliments on the top at dinner.  We ended the night drinking wine and playing Cards Against Humanity (which I also highly recommend to you if your group of friends has a slightly off sense of humor. lol)

Disclosure: I am a member of the Kiyonna Blogger Brigade and they provided me with the top in this post.  All opinions on the item are my own.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Q & A Monday: Finish The Sentence

Happy Monday!  Sometimes that seems like a total oxymoron.  My Monday is going to include cleaning bathrooms, doing laundry, and cleaning the kitchen.  Fun times. :-/

The weekend was way more fun.  I got my hair done on Saturday, bought some goodies at Penney's, and bought a few groceries.  I am loving the Lemon Triple Ginger Snap ice cream from Trader Joe's.  We made a tasty dinner and put off household chores by playing Skyrim.  (Pictured: Me after my haircut and Pink Lemonade Margaritas I made on Saturday.)

Sunday was less productive as I had a headache that I was afraid might turn into a migraine.  I slept in, made breakfast for us, and then caught up on DVRed shows for a bit.  I hope all of you had a fun and migraine-free weekend!

 It is time again for Friend Makin' Monday.  If you have a blog, I would like to invite you to answer the questions as well.  Leave me a comment here, so I know you are playing.  Then you can also leave a comment over at All The Weigh, so other folks can check out your answers as well.  It is a fun way to connect to other bloggers.


Finish the Sentence

I likesinging loud when no one is around.

I don’t like…people with no manners or common sense.  There always seem to be so many at the grocery store whenever I go. lol 

I am…a work in progress. 

I love…my sweet husband and furkids,  my family and friends, and NKOTB. :-) 

I dream of…someday owning our own home and traveling to places like Ireland, Greece, Italy, and Fiji. 

I wonder…if my mom and brother will ever choose to improve themselves instead of being stuck in the same sad cycle they are in. 

I know…that I've been open and honest and done the best I can in various situations.

I went…to Canada this time last year to see a few NKOTBSB concerts. 

I have…the worst luck with keeping plants alive.  I have no knack for gardening or growing plants. 

I think…I over analyze things too much and it drives me insane. 

I plan…to work on my issues more in the coming year.

I regret…that I wasn't able to talk to my dad before he died.  I'll always carry that with me. 

I do…want to implement an exercise schedule for my husband and I to adhere to. 

I drink…mostly water, although I need to drink more on a daily basis. 

I wish…that I could make my oldest fur son into a little vampire so he would live forever.  He's the best and I will be devastated when he has to leave me. 

I am…no longer putting up with people's BS. 

I am not…interested in being thin. It doesn't make me less of a person by being more of me.

I need…to be surrounded by positive people and positive energy.

I hope…people live up to their potential. 

I want…to own a Transporter (as in Star Trek) so I can go visit my sister, hug her, and have a coffee and chat now and then. (She lives 3000 miles away)

I sometimes…want to go back to school. 

I always…feel so grateful for the loving and supportive people I have around me.  Even when I am in the middle of depression, I still feel grateful for what I have. 

I can…tie a cherry stem in a knot with my tongue. lol 

I cannot…control everything.  That is a tough one. 

I will…be the best me that I can be.

I really enjoyed this week's FMM and hope you do too!  If you answer them on your blog, make sure to let me know.  If you don't have a blog, feel free to answer them here in the comments.  I would love to get to know y'all more.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Little Luxuries, Part 3

In this final installment of my anniversary outing posts, I wanted to show you some of the pretty sites around the grounds of the Edgefield.  Every year, I take so many pictures of the pretty flowers, bees, birds, and decorations.  This year, I finally get to share them with you.  (If you missed the previous posts, Part One is here and Part Two is here.)

It was overcast and rainy when we arrived, but thankfully it cleared up by the time we left the spa.  We were able to walk around the grounds and take some photos.

Our wedding reception was in the beautifully lit attic of the Power Station Pub.

I hope you enjoyed all the photos!

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