April 30, 2016

Happiness Diary #15

Another week, I'm on a roll!
Every day I share:

1) A random photo of the day
2) Something I ate that was delicious
3) A meaningful event that happened or a task I was happy to accomplish
4) Something I was grateful for or that made me happy

Saturday (6/23/16)

1) Photo: I took a walk at break today and had to snap a picture of this blooming beauty. (There was an ugly metal thing in the ground so I edited it out with my sub-par editing skills/apps.)
2) I made some turmeric milk after dinner. I really like the flavor of turmeric but I mostly eat it for it's health benefits, especially the anti-inflammatory properties.

3) I worked on my vision book and am writing a blog post about it as well.
4) I am grateful for this beautiful day.

1) Photo: It was pretty sunny on our way home from dinner with the family. Brian rarely remembers his sunglasses but my pink flowery ones work in a pinch. (p.s. This is what happens when you don't keep tabs on your wife's blog. :D )
2) We had a delicious salmon and steak dinner at my in-laws.
3) I did yoga today which I haven't done in quite some time. I need to get back with it though because I'm not as limber as I used to be and it's affecting my running. Not good!
4) I am grateful for Sunday dinners with Brian's family.

1) Photo: Walking the dog. Pretty happy with ourselves.
2) Too many things.
3) I was not smart with my eats today and it led me to being very unmotivated and lazy. At least I went on the dog walk and bought some groceries!
4) I love rain storms. Well except when they occur in the middle of the night and wake me up or cut the electricity but tonight it was just a good old evening thunderstorm. 


1) Photo: Today was an ice cream filled day.
2) See above.
3) Brian and I went to Sherwin Williams to buy three gallons of paint tonight Unfortunately I had the dates wrong and their 40% off sale ended yesterday. I was soo sad/mad at myself and Brian tried to convince me why it was a good thing we missed out on saving almost 40 dollars. It didn't really work but I appreciated the gesture and the fact he doesn't get annoyed with me. Ever. ❤️
4) I am grateful I was a lazy glutton yesterday because if I wasn't, I wouldn't have loved my run with Beth so much because I would have been too sore and tired. Right?! Right.


1) Photo: Since its against the rules to write my Little Sister's (LS) name or post a picture of her, whenever we get together she is going to take a picture for my blog! I told her she can take a picture of anything at all and today she took one of the first page of our journal we are keeping together. When I asked her why she said, "For memories." :) 
2) I had Hungry Howie's pizza and cake at work today. Mmm. 
3) LS and I had a great first get together, playing at the park, writing in our journal and listening to Sam Smith. 
4) I am grateful for having the motivation and desire to go from thinking I should do something meaningful to becoming a member of the BBBS program and getting matched with a little sister. I think this is the beginning of something great! 


1) Photo: Churro cheesecake bars (with the unattractive edges cut off and in my belly).
2) I loove my tuna with melted cheese and Sriracha dinners.
3) I didn't get any painting done but I did make the bars for the bake off at work tomorrow. They aren't the best batch I've ever made (I lost some of the butter for the crust because it bubbled over) but they will do!
4) I am grateful for having enough sugar for the bars. That was a close one. (Sort of.)


1) Photo: It took me a loong time to color in half of this owl. These markers are so thin it would LITERALLY take me decades to fill this entire book at the rate I'm going. It's a good way to kill time though!
2) I ate one of Beth's Pinterest chocolate cookies today and they were not a #pinterestfail! I'm actually craving another one right now and I'm not even a huge chocolate fan.
3) I accomplished this week that looked great on paper (a short week in good departments with great coworkers, also -lab week) but in reality it was a little stressful and not super enjoyable. I'm positive next week will be much better.
4) I am ridiculously happy it is the weekend. I have my day all planned out for tomorrow and hopefully Sunday will be productive as well. I guess we'll find out soon!


April 27, 2016

My Vision Board (Book)

I have always been intrigued by the idea of a vision board. While I believe in the power of positive thinking and the idea that it can attract positive things to my life, having the power to manifest things, (especially material things) just by sticking pictures on a poster board and slightly obsessing over them, seems far fetched. It's not an idea I completely reject however, especially when it involves a creative project that brings me back to my grade school days.  I chose to make my vision board in a book format because the idea of having a vision board seemed limiting, yet creating multiple boards seemed overwhelming. I want to have separate spaces for a variety of goals/manifestations such as: things I want to be, things I want to have, and things I want to achieve. Using a book format I can dedicate a few pages to each vision and I can also create fun pages for things that inspire me or things that I love. Like flowers.


Also because the book is so small (about 5x8) it would be easy to carry around with me or share if I desired.

The first pages of my vision book are for my possible (or should I say definite?) vacation to Hawaii in September and what I hope to get out of the experience. I've been on vacations in the past that haven't lived up to my expectations and when they are over I feel unsatisfied, disappointed and lethargic. It makes me start to think that I dislike the disruption of vacations and traveling and would rather just stay at home in my normal routine. I want to get out of this mindset because everyone needs a break sometimes and there is SO much traveling can offer!


I think the reason I feel crappy at the end of vacations is because even though I may spend hours planning fun activities for our time off, I don't set intentions for myself of how I want to be and think and feel. Creating a vision of the perfect Hawaiian vacation will hopefully help me to remember to stay present and truly be grateful for what I am experiencing. If I have a clear picture of what I want from the vacation and how I am going to achieve it maybe post-vacation blues will be something of the past.
Whether or not creating a vision book will allow me to go on the perfect vacation or be the perfect human or buy the perfect digital camera (a Canon G7X in case I want to start vlogging), I am enjoying taking the time to put it together. I think this could be a fun ongoing project and something that might be helpful and interesting to look back on. When the Hawaii vacation has long passed I can still go back to those pages and remind myself to be relaxed and inspired and in the moment, even in normal every day life!

April 23, 2016

Happiness Diary #14

Every day I share:

1) A random photo of the day
2) Something I ate that was delicious
3) A meaningful event that happened or a task I was happy to accomplish
4) Something I was grateful for or that made me happy

 Saturday (4/16/16)

1) Photo: It was the perfect temperature for relaxing on the porch with some chocolate this evening. If it gets above 70 it becomes scorching hot so I'm enjoying it now!
2) I ate lots of yummy munchies at the wedding shower tonight including Alona's tuna pasta. 

3) I went to Teresea's wedding shower today and though we didn't stay for the games/gift opening it was fun to help prepare for her party.
4) I am grateful for my blog and having a fun way to share pieces of my life. 


1) Photo: Killer workout today! 
2) I had the peanut sauté from Noodles and Company. My fave!
3) This Sunday was much better than last. I organized the workshop, started my vision book, talked to my sister ❤️, worked out, took Zuzu to the DP, relaxed on the deck, and enjoyed every minute as much as I could. I probably could have eaten less candy but hey, nobody's perfect. :)
4) I am grateful for meaningful conversations. 

1) Photo: Nooo...Those were my go with everything heels Zuzu!!
2) I love eating a handful of chocolate covered espresso beans in the afternoon. Gives me a boost for the rest of the day. 
3) I scheduled a date to meet my Little and also enjoyed an 80 degree hike. When you have a dog and get outdoors often it's fun to really notice nature change from winter to summer and back again. 
4) I was soo grateful to work in a different department than I was planning on at work today! Less stressful day than anticipated!


1) Photo: It's not every day you get to hold $1,600! Sadly it's not ours for long.
2) Movie popcorn!

3) Brian and I have proven to be pretty bad at scheduling our intended weekly date night but today I decided I really wanted to see The Jungle Book so we went after work and it was pretty good! Next time we have to plan more in advance so I can have more time to look forward to it. :)
4) I am grateful for Brian and how he takes charge of scheduling appointments for the household. i.e. mower and trimmer tune ups, tree removal, pool pump repair, Terminex appointments and more. I don't know what I would do without him! Well, besides own a place that didn't require any of these things. 

1) Photo: The gigantic tree in our pool area came down today! I'm sad because it was beautiful and perfectly healthy but it was in a poor location so we had to take it down. By "we" I mean the five men who came to remove it. Apparently one was an Amish guy who didn't wear any gloves. I told Brian to take lots of pictures and video because I wanted to see the process but this was the only photo he took. Boo.
2) Leftover movie popcorn?

3) I worked on the bar counter in the basement and also on a little project for the side of the garage above Zuzu's potty area. I love beautifying our home even if the results arent exactly what I expect/hope for.
4) I am grateful for doggy day care having an opening for Zuzu tomorrow even though we called last minute.

1) Photo: Brian. Yawning. How adorable. :D
2) I had a salted caramel shortbread cookie at work for "snack day Thursday" and it was ridiculously good. 

3) I was tired when I got home from work so I didn't do very much besides work out. I'm happy I did that anyway!
4) I am so looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow. Hopefully my brain will let me as I have a big to do list! 

1) Photo: Brian and I watched the kids tonight and for a while Laney and I did puzzles while Shea watched a show at the neighbors and Brian had dog duty.
2) We got Noodles and Co. for dinner and I had the Bangkok Curry with tofu. I originally wanted the buff bowl but Jamie got me the noodle bowl and I'm really glad he did because I was starving!
3) I met my Little today! She seems like a very sweet 10 year old and I'm looking forward to hanging out next week!!
4) I am grateful for good news and a doctors appointment that went well. 

April 16, 2016

Wedding Shower for Teresea

Tonight I went to my friend Teresea's wedding shower.  I know Teresea through work and I was flattered to receive an invite because we haven't known each other very long.  I'm was really happy to be able to make it to her shower!



We were able to help with some food and decorations. Something I always enjoy!

Happy these ladies were there. :)


Happiness Diary #13

Every day I share:

1) A random photo of the day
2) Something I ate that was delicious
3) A meaningful event that happened or a task I was happy to accomplish
4) Something I was grateful for or that made me happy

 Saturday (4/9/16)

1) Photo: It was another beautiful winter wonderland this morning. Last snow of the season?
2) Thai food for dinner! Note to self: Never order "extra hot" again. What was I thinking?? 

3) I did a tough leg workout then wandered around the neighborhood with Brian and Zuzu for almost an hour. And that's how you get 10,000 steps in on a Saturday.
4) I was happy to wake up to my favorite kind of snow, the kind that sticks on trees. :)


1) Photo: I walked Zuzu solo while Brian and Jamie went trail running at the park. It was wet and snowy and Z was soaked afterwards but still, good times.
2) I ate chicken strips from Culvers. I don't think I've eaten Culvers since I lived in Marquette.  I haven't missed it, but the strips were pretty tasty.
3) I did a few things but definitely wasn't the most motivated today. :(
4) I am grateful for new days.


1) Photo: We did some Costco shopping today. We only got one sample (boo) but purchased some yummy stuff! 
2) NA

3) I finally pruned my raspberry bushes, something I've been meaning to do since the beginning of winter! I also had a little chat with our next door neighbor Cindy for the first time (I don't think she gets out too much). She is a very nice lady. 
4) I am grateful for new music. 



1) Photo: Brian saw this old dog wandering around our neighborhood. He had a sore on his ear and was a little  distrusting but Brian was able to lure him with some chicken and put the collar around his neck. Our neighbor called animal control to come get him. Poor guy. We have seen multiple dogs wandering without owners. What is wrong with people?
2) The dried coconut I bought from Costco is so addictive!! It would be even better if there was no added sugar. 

3) I'm making it a goal to do some work in the basement for at least 15 minutes a day up to one hour. I always feel bad when days have gone by and I haven't worked on any projects because my project list is a mile long. It's time to start to chipping away.
4) I am grateful for long warm showers. Remembering my college shower experiences makes me really me appreciate this luxury. 



1) Photo: Sun and warmth starting tomorrow! YAS.
2) NA
3) I spoke with a BBBS social worker and now I have four "littles" to choose from! It will be a hard decision but luckily I don't think it's possible to make a wrong one.
4) I am grateful for Brian's advice. He helps me see things more clearly and is always happy to talk things through.


1) Photo: I'm trying to get the workshop/studio in order and tonight I spent most of my time organizing my ribbon! Look how accessible they are now! *dorky emoticon*
2) NA
3) I think Zuzu somersaulted and got trampled one too many times yesterday at the DP (she never knows when to stop playing). She was acting weird last night and yelped when I adjusted her on my lap and today she's had lots of diarrhea but at least she's acting normally? I'm not sure this fits into the #3 category but it's all I have today. :)
4) I'm happy I went for my 4.5 mile run even though I had to walk twenty times. At least I got out and enjoyed the sun!


1) Photo: Part of Brian's face and a random dude and The Mitten bar and PIZZA.
2) I've been wanting to eat at The Mitten Brewing Co. for a loong time and Brian and I finally went tonight and got their pizza flight. SOO good. If their Mediterranean pizza was the only pizza I could eat for the rest of my life I wouldn't be disappointed at all.
3) I have officially chosen my Little and am excited to schedule the initial meeting!
4) I am grateful for new experiences. And also grateful Zuzu is her normal self today! 

April 9, 2016

Happiness diary #12

Every day I share:

1) A random photo of the day
2) Something I ate that was delicious
3) A meaningful event that happened or a task I was happy to accomplish
4) Something I was grateful for or that made me happy

 Saturday (4/2/16)

1) Photo: Snow! Our poor tulips.
2) I had some of Brian's beef and broccoli Chinese take out-yum!

3) It was another enjoyable weekend work day. I completed a good chunk of the molecular exam!
4) I am grateful that even though it snowed today, warmer weather is right around the corner. 



1) Photo: Zuzu at Chow Hound making friends and checking out the goods. Also she peed on their carpet. 😫
2) Brian got Pizza Hut for dinner because there was a big WWE event and I had some of the new hot pepper breadsticks. They were tasty!
3) I had a stressful moment at work today but I did some problem solving and got results out as quickly as possible. 
4) I am grateful for my work experience and my ability to stay calm and think things through. 


1) A bit of countertop cosmetology happening in the basement. We never get use out of the bar area but at least it we can make it look semi decent.
2) I had a bowl of tuna with cheese and hot sauce. Something I haven't had in a loong time and really hit the spot. 
3) It was my day off work and though I wasn't super productive I'm happy I worked out, took Zuzu on a walk and the DP (dog park) and started cutting the contact paper. Could have been worse!
4) I am grateful for Zuzu. I think she loves me more than Brian. ☺️


1) Photo: Another hike with Z.
2) NA

3) I felt tired and blah the entire day today so just getting through work was an accomplishment.
4) I accidentally left my keys in my purse (which I keep in my car) and totally thought I locked myself out when I was leaving work today but THANK THE LORD I forgot to lock my car this morning!  Ridiculously grateful. 


1) Photo: Chillin on the floor in front of a dirty mirror. Exciting times.
2) A Smart Ones frozen pizza was probably the best thing I ate today. 

3) I feel like I didn't do anything super meaningful today but I did climb over 50 flights of stairs per my FitBit and worked on the basement countertop.
4) I'm grateful for my comfy bed. 


1) Photo: Running with Beth!
2) Brian and I were planning on getting BBQ from Pit Stop tonight but they were out of boneless chicken so I had D&W sushi instead. Not as good but I don't mind an average sushi roll now and then.
3) After debating whether or not we wanted to go running in the cold/windy/snowy weather Beth and I decided to tough it out and I'm SO glad we did!
4) I am grateful that tomorrow is Friday!!!



1) Photo: John and Heidi were recently in Florida for a month and they sent us a box of Florida oranges, grapefruit and honey/marmalade. This is the photo we sent to them to say thank you. :)
2) My dinner consisted of left over salmon, yogurt, a pb covered granola bar and an apple. It was goodish.
3) I made a list/plan for the weekend so it doesn't pass by with me feeling regretful because I wasted it.
4)  I am grateful for the beautiful snow and not having to work tomorrow!

April 7, 2016

Crab Fest 2016

Two Fridays ago Brian and I hosted Crab Fest 2016(!) for our crab loving friends Mike and Sara. Our last Crab Fest night was way back in 2013 at Sara's old house so we were long overdue for our second one.  

Brian only had to work half the day on Good Friday so after work he brought Zuzu to the dog park and gave her a bath in hopes of tiring her out. He also picked up over seven pounds of crab legs from Costco. There were only eight legs in total and so they were HUGE. 

Because of course we couldn't just have the crab (well, we could but it would have been a little more pricy), I needed to prepare a few side dishes. 

On Thursday I prepped shrimp taco bites and bought some sushi for filler. When I got home on Friday I had one hour to change, assemble the taco bites, plate the sushi, boil and bake the smashed potatoes, prepare and bake the Red Lobster biscuits, and make the garlic butter and brown butter for crab dipping. I felt like a whirlwind in the kitchen. 




After our amazing dinner we sat outside for a bit and let Boyd and Zuzu run around. The neighbor dogs were out so they got to socialize across the fence and Boyd found a shoe in the woods which he was very excited about. When it got too chilly (for me anyway) we headed back inside. 


Brian and I bought creme brule for dessert but no one was hungry for it so I just ate candy and we all nibbled on the popcorn Mike and Sara brought. The pizza rolls I bought for midnight snacks never left the freezer but that's ok because it meant everyone had enough to eat, something I always worry about! We always like to play a game or two when we get together and tonight we played a couple rounds of Ticket to Ride, and Exploding Kittens. 

I ended up going to bed much too late but it was worth it! Another fun night in the books.  Or, more accurately, the blog. :)

April 2, 2016

Happiness Diary #11

Another week has gone by!  I have decided to start numbering these posts so it's easier to refer back to them if necessary. 

Every day I share:
1) A random photo of the day
2) Something I ate that was delicious
3) A meaningful event that happened or a task I was happy to accomplish
4) Something I was grateful for or that made me happy

 Saturday (3/26/16)

1) Photo: Brian and me at Manna Cafe for Easter breakfast. Those are our tired eyes.
2) I had the breakfast quinoa at Manna which was so indulgent and delicious. It's packed with walnuts, dried cranberries and cream and is so filling! 
3) I started painting the fireplace and am loving that my motivation to do home projects seems to be here to stay!
4) I'm grateful for long naps to recover from a five hour night of sleep.


1) Photo: Brian and I took Zuzu (you can see her little rear if you look closely) on a 50 minute nature hike at one of our favorite parks.
2) We had fish tacos and chips and guacamole at the Walshes tonight. Not exactly a traditional Easter dinner but good nonetheless. 
3) Even though I didn't have time for a workout today (I kind of forgot we had plans at 4:00), we did go for a long walk and I got a lot of painting done on the fireplace so I'm happy.
4) I am grateful for family.


1) Photo: Since I don't have a fun picture from today I will post this one of Brian on our hike yesterday. It was a very cool coniferous section of the trail. 
2) NA 
3) Brian and I went to Lowes to buy paint even though I wasn't really feeling it (see below) and I'm very happy we can start painting the office again soon.  
4) I am grateful for a husband who never gets annoyed with me, even when I realize I forgot the Lowes giftcard halfway to the store and we have to drive all the way home to get it and when I say I don't want to go all the way to Lowes again he says it was just a minor set back and drives us back to pick up the paint and paint samples I really wanted and then goes home and happily walks the dog alone so I can rest my tired soul. ❤️


1) Photo: The kids came over for a little while last night and after playing Uno we made an obstacle course in the basement and they ran themselves ragged. 
2) I've been eating fat free plain yogurt with cinnamon and lots of honey and it's been delicious!!
3) We are always up for watching the kids and even though they can be a bit of a handful sometimes, they are such great kids and it's fun to spend time with them and make happy memories together.
4) I am grateful for a husband who is wonderful with children. 


1) Photo: I painted these swatches in the basement (and on three other walls) but I have a very hard time imagining what they would look like if the entire room was painted one of the shades. Perhaps I need to paint an entire wall with the samples...
2) I had some Sriacha roasted cashews from NatureBox and this batch was much better than recent bags I've received - thank goodness they are back to normal!
3) I went to the second Lab Week meeting today which was good because we have the week pretty well planned out. I'm glad I'm on the committee this year but I just have this pet peeve about being at work when I'm not being paid. I get a little anxious and feel like eee I really need to get out of here! It's just a personal flaw of mine. :) I suppose I need to work on being more generous with my time.
4) I saw someone wearing steel toe shoes today and I thought about how awful it would be if something fell down and cut off my toes. It made me very grateful that my toes are attached to my feet. True story.


1) Photo: While running some errands today we stopped by a specialty food store and I bought these goodies.
2) I bought and ate some of my beloved dried peas I bought from the food store (they were on the bottom of the bag). I didn't get the wasabi peas this time and I don't miss them.
3) I took Zuzu to the vet for her yearly checkup and besides being perhaps one or two pounds overweight (nothing to lose sleep over says the vet) she received a clean bill of health and was admired for her super happy and friendly yet relaxed demeanor.
4) I am grateful for the good possibility of going to Hawaii in September! Looking forward to vacations is one of the best things about them!


1) Photo: Super sweet sweaty selfie. Me after my run.
2) NA
3) I received texts from two people about work yesterday and so I was dreading working today but I went in with a positive attitude and as always it was better than I could have asked for. Thank you Jesus! 😊
4) I am grateful for my lovely coworkers.