Thursday, November 27, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
I’ve actually had to dig deep for this one this week folks, because it’s cold out, I’m no longer on vacation, and there have been some pretty grim things surrounding me this week as well.
BUT, since it is “ONLY THE GOOD” Friday, and we’re supposed to spread joy, and good, and positivity, I kept digging.
Really, I’m not in a bad mood today, so there’s got to be some good to spread, right?
Life is good, I’m a positive person, I know I’ve got some good to share…
AHA! I’ve got it.
Next week is Thanksgiving. Time for family and turkey and traditions.
One of my fellow SheWhoBloggers is having a Holiday Contest over at her blog Lucky Dorito, and I think it would be great fun to participate. She’s looking for Our Favorite Thanksgiving Traditions, do you have one? Head on over there and see what it’s all about it. I’ll be participating, and putting up my tradition post next week, so come on back to check it out. And if you do participate, let me know, I want to read all about your favorites. By the way, there's PRIZES, and one of them? COFFEE... I thought that might get your attention!
Of course, with Thanksgiving, comes Black Friday, what my friend Shopaholic and I have coined “The Shopping Olympics”. We shop all year just so we can train for the Shopping Olympics.
But, if you’re going to venture out to the Black Friday sales, you must be prepared. So I thought I’d share with you a website that sends you all the ads and specials going on not only on that day, but from now until Christmas pretty much. CHECK IT OUT: BFAds.Net
And in keeping with the sale information, because is there anything better than saving money, I’ve got another great website for you. You know those circulars and flyers you get in the Sunday paper? Well, I don’t know about you, but I love looking through those things. However, I don’t actually get the Sunday paper. But, now you can check out all the circulars and sales on-line. Here.
OH, and one more thing…if we’re going to be spreading the good, and sharing and all that, how about you do a little something for someone else in the process? It will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, don’t you think?
Shelly, she who started Only The Good Fridays, is collecting “charms” for her Good Medicine Project so she can send some medicine bags to kids with cancer at Camp Sanguinity. You don’t have to do much, but it will make such a big difference. Hop on over and see what it’s all about, won’t you? I’ve got my charms ready to go, just need to put them in the mail, which I will be doing next week.
Okay, well, that’s it, that’s my good for today. Go out there, spend time with you family, have some turkey, make some kids smile and save some money.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I thought I'd lose a few pounds, feel a little better about myself, but then give up, as I've always seemed to do in the past.
When I set my initial goal weight, I really saw it more as a "wish" than as a "goal".
But now, here I am, three months later, and only about 2 lbs. away from that goal weight. Not only that, but I've become so focused and determined, that I added an additional five pounds to that goal weight (or should I say subtracted), so that I now plan to go even lower.
I feel great, I look great, and there's no stopping me now.
But then, last week, I went on vacation.
Now, I don't know about you, but a vacation to me is a sure fire way to come home with an extra 5 to 10 lbs. EASILY.
So, I made a plan. I was going to walk a lot, and choose the healthier options on all the menus, all week long. I couldn't make any promisses about my alcohol intake, however. But the food, the food I was going to watch.
Because my typical "Weigh-in" day is on Wednesday, and I was leaving for Florida on Tuesday, I stepped on a scale at home before I left, and figured I'd lost about 1.3 lbs in the week after my last weigh in, and the time I left for vacation.
So, now I just had to try and not completely blow it.
Then I arrived in Florida, and entered full vacation mode. And made a conscious decision to throw caution to the wind, and eat whatever my little heart desired. Still trying to maintain a healthy "ideal", I hit a grocery store and stocked up on fruits, baby carrots, yogurt and 100 calorie snack packs for the beach.
But other than that, I broke all the rules. I ate pizza, I ate cheeseburgers, I ate pasta alfredo, I even ate fried foods, which I don't even eat when I'm NOT on a diet. And you know what? I enjoyed EVERY BITE.
We won't discuss the alcohol intake. Let's just say, there was plenty.
I also did walk. A LOT. Every day I walked to and from the beach, around the beach, and everywhere you can imagine in the Ft. Lauderdale area.
I returned home knowing I'd definitely put on weight. I had no doubts in my mind about it and I was fearing that walk of shame to and from the scale at my weigh in tonight.
Lo and behold, the scale smiled at me tonight. I'd dropped .2 lbs from my last weigh in.
This means I did put on a little over a pound while in Florida. Really? I'll take it.
So now, I'm back on track, and even more full of motivation, because if I could manage to go on vacation and not completely derail myself? Well, there's no stopping me now, is there?
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Where I still wish I was tonight. Sigh...
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Well, as they say, all good things must come to an end, I guess.
As I board my plane tomorrow afternoon, I'm leaving behind the sun, and the beach, the warm temps, and the lifestyle of "nothingness" I've grown so used to this week.
It'll be hard to leave all this peace and beauty behind.
But then, returning home has its own beauty. At home I return to my family, my amazing friends, and the comfort of my own home.
I return to a job that in all reality, I enjoy, and to sleeping in my own, oh so comfortable bed.
I also return to my routines, back to eating on some sort of schedule, getting to the gym and taking care of myself.
I can get back to blogging from a computer instead of my blackberry, and back to working on my NaNoWriMo novel, which I've fallen so far behind on.
Yes, it will be hard to leave the beach behind, but I'll be glad to be home as well.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Besides, I have an early morning tomorrow, since it is my last beach day before I head back to reality and cold temps.
Tonight though I'm thinking about butterflies.
If you are one of my regular readers (do I even have any of those?), then you know that this past summer I got my very first tattoo.
The tattoo, of a cross and a butterfly represents my faith. My re-entry into my faith. My feeling that I came out of a cocoon and emerged a butterfly, full of the beauty that is my faith.
Also, I chose the butterfly because since this renewal of my faith began, I've been seeing a butterfly everywhere I turn.
To me this butterfly represents so many things, but chief among them, when I see it, I just know. I know I've made the right decisions, I know God is with me in those moments, I know.
I was sad to see the winter come, sure that with the colder weather, the likelihood of me seeing "my" butterfly would lessen and then disappear.
Imagine then, my great pleasure at having encountered my little monarch a dozen times since I've been in Florida.
Friday, November 14, 2008
I'm not sure how to post links with it yet, so I'll just tell you to go visit Shelly (who's url address escapes me at the moment, sorry) but if you check out my post from last Friday, all the info is there on where to go for the rules to Only The Good Fridays!
Okay, right, now that we've got all that out of the way, on with the good.
As I'm sitting at the beach as I write this, we'll keep it simple and do a word game.
As in, words that make me smile:
Hot men (lol)
Blackberry (since it's kept me in touch w all of you)
Journal (I started journaling this week and think I'll keep it up)
Nothingness (which I've done a whole lot of this week)
That's it, that's my good for the week. I'm going for a dip in the ocean.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Or maybe it's something completely different. Maybe it has to do with my new outlook on life. My realization that I've spent enough time just "going through the motions" and its time I LIVE my life.
Or maybe its a combination of both.
Or maybe, its neither and instead is something completely different.
Whatever the reason for it, something interesting has happened to me.
If you know me at all, then you'll know how hard it is for me to admit the following,so be kind to me.
See, I've become a bit boy crazy. There, I said it.
It seems, you see, that not only am I ready to date again, but I'm actually really and trully enjoying the "hunt".
The flirting with strangers, the checking out random men in random places, the what ifs, "I wonder what his deal is" and "did he just smile at me?"
I'm enjoying it all.
And here, in South Florida this week? I'm really having a ball with the guys.
But mostly, I'm enjoying the fact that after all this time, I am once again comfortable enough in my own skin to do this all over again.
Funny how that works, ain't it?
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I am eating crab bisque (diet be damned) and waiting for my steamed clams.
I spent the better part of today alone, on the beach, reading, writing, listening to music.
People watching also kept me entertained, as did the mere act of just "being".
I have been reminded again today of just how much I love to travel. Even more so I am reminded how much I love to do it alone.
I never feel lonely in these situations. I do, however, feel strong. Independent. Unafraid of anything.
In a few hours my friend Traveller will be off work, and we have dinner plans tonight with one of her friends.
No doubt we will have fun.
But for now I bask in the solitude and enjoy my beer by the beach.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
In need of a vacation, so long overdue, I feel refreshed already and I basically just arrived.
Can't wait to see what the rest of the week has in store for me!
Monday, November 10, 2008
However, I've decided that since I'm only "un-officially" participating in NaBloPoMo (not having actually signed up at the official website, and only doing it because I needed to revive this blog), it is completely okay if I take a vacation from posting while I'm on "vacation" this week.
At first, I thought I would pre-write a bunch of posts and have them ready to post throughout the week, but then I got busy, and well...I didn't. Therefore, depending on my internet availability this coming week, I may or may not post here and there, but I will NOT be posting daily.
I don't feel guilty about it. I will be on a beach or poolside in Fort Lauderdale all week.
I will, however, be taking a journal with me, and keep track of my vacation, so that I can share all sorts of anecdotes with you when I return next week.
I will also be on my blackberry, so if you're on Twitter, you can certainly follow my adventures there. You can find me here.
And yes, I do plan on continuing with my NaNoWriMo novel while down there. There will be some down time when I intend on doing a bit of writing. Even if I end up writing in my journal and having to type it in when I return...because I'm leaning toward leaving the trusty laptop at home. It is, after all, a vacation.
My first vacation in almost 3 years.
I will not stress, I will not obsess, I will enjoy myself.
I will miss all of you, but I promise to come back with goodies!
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Yeah, okay, whatever, call me silly, call me a groupie, whatever...I'm having fun. That is all!
Because I won't be at a computer all day today, I won't actually be signing onto the Photo Hunter site with my entry this week, but you can still check out other entries by clicking on the logo above.
Later, I'm off to Mohegan Sun to get my Donnie hug.
Friday, November 07, 2008
Today I want to focus on good, clean, writing fun. Call it a bit of shameless self-promotion along with a bit of inspiration to get you out there to do some WRITING!!!
It seems the whole of the blogosphere (and non-bloggers as well through out the interwebs) are in a writing frenzy this month.
You see, it is NaNoWriMo, which, for the uninitiated (or perhaps, UN-Insane), stands for National Novel Writing Month. a month in which those of us who happen to be slightly insane, sign up to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. Yours truly, OF COURSE, signed up. You can find me here if you want to be my "buddy" at the NaNo site, by the way. Also, if you'd like to take a sneak peek at what I'm writing, here's a tiny excerpt.
I'm happy to tell you that this year (unlike the great fiasco last year), I'm having much success with inspiration, and as of last night my word counter read 13,280 words.
November also happens to be NaBloPoMo, which is National Blog Posting Month. Or a month when those of us doubly insane commit to posting a blog entry every single day of the month. I say doubly insane because I'm speaking of myself, of course, but some folks are only doing one or the other. I am un-officially doing both. By this I mean that I officially signed up for NaNoWriMo, but have not officially signed up for NaBloPoMo. Still, I am attempting to write a post daily, and so far, so good.
As if all that wasn't enough, today also happens to be the day for you lovely folks out there to post your second entry to Karina's Alphabet Soup, the new writing/photography meme I started over at Creative Karina. Mine is up, and I hope you'll join me.
AND even more writing fun, today is also the day for Pensieve's Poetic License. My post is up here as well.
So, you see, lot's of good clean writing fun on this GOOD FRIDAY.
Go visit Shelly to join in on the fun!
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
And because I feel so strongly about not arguing pointlessly about political beliefs, I’ve refrained from commenting on this blog about my stand on the election. Candid Karina is my little world away from “the world” and I didn’t want to invite the sorts of things political discussions can bring into this world.
I don’t think it was any big mystery where I stood on the election, but I just didn’t feel the need to get into all of that here.
I still don’t. That’s not what this post is about.
This post is about how I’ve completely fallen in love with America all over again. Last night, hearing the numbers come in, I was hit with a bit of nostalgia. Nostalgia for those days when I was young and living in Portugal, knowing that one day soon I would move to the land of opportunity. America, the promised land. Where I could be anything, do anything, achieve anything. A country where all men AND women are equals, and the only obstacle to getting what you want is your own lack of motivation to do it.
My parents uprooted themselves when I was 10 years old to give my brother and I a chance at a future only America could give us. And I’ve always believed in the American Dream.
Over the last 8 years this country has seen a lot of turmoil, pain, disappointment and crushing of that very dream. I’m not blaming “that guy” alone for this. There were events beyond his control, there were tragedies, nightmares, and so many other culprits in creating the dissatisfaction of Americans worldwide. But even I, an immigrant once so full of the hope and belief in the American Dream, stopped dreaming.
And yes, I realize that as a nation, we are highly flawed, and there is still such a long way to go before equality for all is a reality. I realize that glass ceilings, bigotry and hatred still exist. I realize that there are wounds too deep to heal maybe even in my lifetime. I know all that.
But here’s what else I know. I am a 30 something year old woman who owns her own home, ALL on her own. I have a college education, a good job, and the ability to get up on a Tuesday morning and vote. I can wear what I want, when I want, I can cut my hair short, or let it grow long. I can have many babies, or choose not to have any at all. Get married or stay single. Believe in God, and talk about it…or not. I can be friends with people who may not agree with everything I believe in, and have that be okay too. I can date a black man, a white man, an Asian man. Hell, I could date a woman if I wanted to.
Yes, there are still many battles to be fought, but that American Dream? Oh, how we take it for granted.
So yesterday I voted. And if you didn’t, shame on you. No matter WHO you supported, that vote counted. It counted because it was your voice, so it counted FOR YOU if for nothing else.
I was so proud last night to hear about the high numbers of people who realized that, and got out and voted. It is those numbers, the numbers of people who got out and cast their votes that have me feeling hopeful and proud to be an American this morning. It is not about WHO we elected, it is about the fact that we showed up in record numbers to do it. Highest number of voters since women got the right to vote in 1908. That says a lot, don’t you think?
What it says to me is that we are ready to be active members of this great nation. To participate, to speak up, to be citizens.
I have my own thoughts and feelings about our President-Elect. About how I think he has an incredibly tough road ahead of him, and no matter what he accomplishes, it won’t be “enough” to those who oppose him. About how refreshing it will be to have a president who can speak eloquently. About how history was made last night. About whether or not I agree with what he stands for. A lot of thoughts, a lot of feelings.
But there is only one feeling I have for America today, and that is one of hope. We the people came together yesterday and voted. We the people decided it was time to get involved. I hope we the people can continue to care for this great nation and bring it back to that Promised Land I used to dream of as a child.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Monday, November 03, 2008
Which is actually odd, because I'm the kind of person that trully enjoys "beginnings", fresh starts, hitting the old refresh button. And you would think that a Monday would feel like a "refresh" for me, right?
But no, instead it's just sort of a "ugh, already?" kind of thing. And it's not even that I dread going to work now (as I used to in former jobs), or that I think my weeks are particularly tough (because they are not, really). So, what is it about Mondays that just turns me off?
I think it's high time I turn this attitude off and begin looking anew at my Mondays. After all, a brand new week is nothing to scoff at.
And today, this Monday, brings with it not only a brand new week, but a brand new month as well. We're in November folks. Can you believe it?
November is shaping up to be a very busy month for yours truly. Busy, eventful and I think quite enjoyable.
So today I thought I'd just do a bit of housekeeping here at Candid Karina's to start the month off right.
Here's what I've got going on this month:
- NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month - Kicked off on Saturday and I started it with a bang, knocking 4,745 words out in a few hours. I've already completely fallen in love with my story and my characters and have very high hopes for NaNo this month. I will be sharing "excerpts" of the novel at Creative Karina throughout the month, with the first peek being posted THIS WEDNESDAY. I'll let you know here, but please come by and let me know what you think, won't you?
- NaBloPoMo - National Blog Posting Month - I'm actually not entirely sure if this is officially happening this month or not, I've heard conflicting reports (and can't seem to get on the site today). I'm not officially signing up for it anyway, but have decided to UN-officially attempt it here at Candid Karina. This blog (well, all my blogs really) has been pretty neglected recently, and it was a similar challenge that kicked me off posting regularly years ago, so I figured I'd inject a little life into Candid Karina by trying to post every day this month. Should be a challenge with the schedule I'm keeping this month, but we'll see how it goes.
- Karina's Alphabet Soup - My brand new meme, which I kicked off last month at Creative Karina, is going live with it's second installment (the letter "B") on Friday. I hope you'll join in.
- Then there are my guest spots on other blogs...SheWhoBlogs (which I owe Frances a post for, I believe, and will work on getting that to her in the next few days); Inspired Bliss (which I truly am excited about, and am working on yet another post for as we speak), and a few others that I volunteered to help on but have yet to actually do anything...I'm working on some stuff, and will let you all know as soon as I've organized myself.
- And there's my other very neglected blog, Cafe Karina. I've actually got a book review I'm working on for that, and will have a concert review as well as of Saturday.
- OOH yes, and I owe some of my Inspired Blissionistas some buttons I volunteered to make...I haven't forgotten you ladies, my world has just been crazy lately...but I promisse, they're coming.
- Oh, also, if I owe you a meme you've tagged me for...now would be a great time to remind me, so that I can add them to my posting schedule for November...
There's the blogging stuff...but wait, there's more. My personal schedule is kind of crazy as well.
- There's work, keeping my house in order, and the whole weight loss thing. I've joined a gym. I intend of going to the gym at least 3 days a week to start, so I can add that to my busy calendar.
- Then there's the youth group, with a few events throughout the month of November.
- I'm also going to be working a youth retreat on Thanksgiving weekend, and every Sunday we meet to prep for this weekend for several hours. Most of my Sundays are actually taken up with this.
- I am going to see New Kids on the Block in concert again this coming Saturday. Go ahead, call me a groupie, I don't really care, I'm LOVING IT. And in fact, I might be going to see them on Thursday as well.
- THEN, next Tuesday I'm taking a much needed and much deserved vacation. The first real vacation I've had since my trip to Mexico almost 3 years ago. I am going to visit my friend Traveller in Florida for a week. It is going to be a week of sunning, relaxing, and hopefully writing. Some martini drinking, flirting with her Brazilian neighbors and a little bit of Nascar thrown in for good measure. I can't wait.
- November also means Thanksgiving, and at some point, I should probably start my Christmas shopping.
- Then the last weekend of November I will be away on the youth retreat.
And in the midst of all this, I'm also going to try and have a social life. Because well...why not?
And you know what? I'm looking forward to this month like I haven't looked forward to a month in ages. I think it's going to be crazy, insane, busy, exhausting...and exhilirating, enjoyable, spiritual, social, relaxing...In a word? LIFE.
I'm ready! Bring it...
Sunday, November 02, 2008
OH, you mean that's not what it's all about? Well then, someone should have told the little punks who spray painted my car then.
See, things started off fairly well on Friday. Went to work, left work and went for my first workout at the new gym I just joined, was feeling pretty good about myself. Headed home to get all dressed up for a costume party my friend Firegirl had invited me to. Her husband is a firefighter, and we were going to the annual firefighter's costume party. I was excited to be heading out, I love costume parties and rarely get to go to them.
All was well until I went to leave with them, and my friend pointed out to me that someone had spray painted something obscene on the side of my car. At first I actually thought she was joking, but then...yep, sure enough. Needless to say, I was pretty upset, but after some coaxing from my friend and her husband, I decided that I was going to go out and enjoy myself anyway, and deal with the drama in the morning.
The costume party was a great time, and I was out way past my bedtime. 3:30 AM I finally tucked into bed, and had a long night of tossing and turning, unable to to sleep worrying about all I would have to deal with in the morning. Calling the police to report the vandalism. Calling my insurance company. Finding someone to come pick me up first thing to go and get Lil'K and drop her off at the church, where we were supposed to be at 9AM to help cook for our monthly "Food for the Poor" gig. Calling my condo management company to report the vandalism. Figuring out if there was any way at all that I could get the paint off my car, and then, after failing miserably (which I was sure would happen), figuring out how to cover the obscenity in order to drive my car to some auto shop and paying for a paint job on a car I don't even want to keep for very much longer. I really didn't get much sleep at all.
When the alarm went off at 8:45, I was so not ready to face the day. My parents, (oh how I love them), helped to get Lil'K off to the church, and then we headed back to my place to make the calls. Called the police and sat around waiting for them to show up. Once they finally did, made my report, and then headed out to try our luck with removing the spray paint.
First, dad attempted some car polish/paint remover stuff. No luck. Then I remembered that I had just recently fallen in love with those "Magic Eraser" sponge thingies. Having picked one up at a dollar store, I cleaned all the mildew off my tub with very little effort, and ran out to buy a bunch more of the things, planning to clean every square inch of my house with them. I figured you know what? It's worth a shot, right?
Dad was looking at me like I was insane. "Not going to work" he said. Mom, ever the optimist, said "let's try it". Wouldn't you know it, the darn things really are magic. The paint came off quickly, almost effortlessly, and without any permanent damage to my car.
Good as new! Take that little punk vandals!
How was your Halloween?
Saturday, November 01, 2008
The rules of the meme are as follows: Post the 4th picture in the 4th file of your 'My Pictures' folder.
Easy enough, right? Except, te 4th folder in my "My Pictures" folder only had two photos in it...so I just decided to post the 5th photo in my 5th folder...and here you go: