Thursday, November 27, 2008

You Win Some, You Lose Some - And Happy Thanksgiving

Well, as you can probably see by the fact that it's been almost a week since my last post, I threw in the towell on NaBloPoMo. Life has been a little hectic these last few weeks in November, and I made a decision to let this one go.

HOWEVER, just today my bloggy friends I uploaded my manuscript for the official word counter at NaNoWriMo. And yours truly? A WINNER:

I'm so excited to have been able to participate and win this year. The best part is that my novel is actually nowhere near finished, there's still so much story left to tell, that I can hardly wait to get back to it and continue to develop and expand on what I started this month. I'll be taking a break from it (and from all technology) this weekend, but have great hopes for this little novel of mine.

This coming weekend I will be working a youth retreat and will be disconnected entirely from the interwebs...leaving the blackberry at home and all. I'm looking forward to the spiritual retreat and a weekend that I know will be good for my soul and my heart. The prep work for this retreat has been tremendous and is on going even today, on Turkey Day, but will all be worth it in the end.

I ask that if you pray, you keep us, the team putting this thing together, and the teens attending the retreat, in your prayers.

I'll be logging off shortly, to return on Monday and jump into the Christmas season with all of you...I'm so excited about the holidays this year, I can't wait to fully delve into them.

For today, I leave you with this:

Happy Thanksgiving Bloggy Friends!!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Only The Good Friday - The One About Turkeys and Savings

It’s that time again, Only The GOOD Friday, time to spread some positive thanks to Shelly at This Eclectic Life.

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.

And digging…

Really, I’m not in a bad mood today, so there’s got to be some good to spread, right?

And digging…

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:

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.

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.

Happy Friday.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Tattoo Verdict

So, if you recall, before I went away on my little escape to paradise, I left you all with a quandry: To tattoo or not to tattoo?

Still a bit high off my meeting with the one and only Donnie Wahlberg, the celebrity crush of my teen years, I was debating whether I would permanently mark my wrist with a memory of his autograph there etched. It looked like this:

I even had a poll on my sidebar, and asked for your opinions. I'll have you know that several of you told me I should just go for it. Some of you told me to be a bit more conservative and just get the star. And others told me I was nuts, don't do it.

I considered all your opinions, and made my own decision based on two things. 1. The pain factor, as I was told the wrist is one of the most painful places to get tattooed and 2. timing. As I was leaving for Florida the next day, and would be at the beach for most of that week, timing was of the essence in this decision making process.

However, as fate would have it, on my walk to the beach, from my friend's apartment, I walked by not one, but TWO tattoo shops.

So...ladies and gentleman, I present to you, my wrist:

No...I didn't do it. I very honestly considered doing the star, but then...well, the beach was calling my name.
I might still get it done one of these days, the star, I mean. I have a photo, I know where it should go.

But for now, I remain ink free, there at least.

I still have this one on my back.

That'll do for now.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Weighty Issue

When I began into this whole "getting my body and health back" plan, I really didn't know that I would be capable of the success I've had.

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

A few more photos

Too cold, tired and overwhelmed with "back to reality" stuff to form enough thoughts for a post tonight.

So, I figured I'd just share some more photos, so you can go back to the beach with me...Enjoy:

Le sigh...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Really, really short post

I'm so cheating today. But it appears that somehow, in the midst of my vacation, I managed to post every day, so I'm still IN NaBloPoMo after all.

Yet, today, after a full day of traveling, I just don't have the energy for an actual post, so I'm totally cheating.
Instead of a post, you get this:

Where I still wish I was tonight. Sigh...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

All Good Things...

Sunday night is here, and with it the end of my vacation.

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

Return of the Monarch

Short post tonight, as its been a long day and I'm exhausted.

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.

I know.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Only The Good Friday - The Vacation Edition

Okay, so, I'm posting this from my Blackberry, which I haven't quite mastered yet, so bear with me.

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

a boost of confidence

The funniest thing has happened to me in the last several weeks. It all has to do with this boost of confidence I've experienced with my weight loss.

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

A Day at the Beach

As I write this post, I am sitting outside in a restaurant across the street from the beach.

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

Blessed Journey

Sitting here, after a day of travelling alone to reach a destination where I was literally welcomed with open arms. My friend opened up her heart and her home to me, and now, as I lie here, enjoying the breeze through open windows on a November evening, I can't help but feel blessed.
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


If you're looking for the "full" story of how I met my teen idol this weekend, and to find out what the verdict is on the Tattoo situation...stay tuned, I'll have that for you later, promise!

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

Oh What a Night...

No time for an elaborate post this morning...but I promisse full details later on. In the meantime, I'm asking for your votes in a poll on my sidebar.

A little quick background story before that...I was a die hard NKOTB (That's New Kids on the Block for the un-initiated) fan back in the day. WHen they announced their reunion this year, I was all over it. Last night I went to my second concert of the tour, had a blast, and then after the show, met Donnie Wahlberg, who was always my favorite. (MERE INCHES from me hand might or might not have been on his arm at this point).He was, basically, THE teen idol of my lifetime, the one celebrity I still sort of melt over whenever I see him anyway (yes, I'm in my 30's, AND?)

So, yeah, met him last night. More on that later, but he did this:

So, here's where the poll comes in, to tattoo, or not to tattoo? Check the sidebar, let me know...

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Photo Hunt #33 - Together

The Photo Hunt theme today is "Together". In light of the fact that I am once again going to see my favorite "Boy Band" from childhood tonight, a band that is "together" again after 15 years, I figured what could be more fitting than a few pics from the concert I attended in September.

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

Only The Good Fridays - Doing it the Write Way

It's Friday once again, which means it is time for ONLY THE GOOD Friday, the "feel good" meme started by my buddy Shelly over at "This Eclectic Life".

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

Battle of The Bulge - Keep Keepin' On

So, the Battle of the Bulge Challenge was for the month of October. But, since I had started my own Battle in August, and plan on continuing it for a few months more...for me it was just a way to stay accountable during that month. It is now over, and our lovely hostess reached her goal (Yay Amber), and posted all about it here.
I had my weigh in last night, which would round out my "October Results". So, although this will be the last "Battle of the Bulge" post, it will not be my last "weight loss" post, because I'm going to keep going until I reach my goal.

AND IN FACT, I have changed my goal. I have now officially added 5 pounds to my weight loss goal, which means that I have a little further to go now, but MAN am I going to look HOT when I get there. lol ;-)

So, here we go with my results for the week. This week I lost yet another 1.6 lbs, bringing my total weight loss to 16.6 lbs. I am not afraid to tell you that the numbers on my scale right now I haven't seen since I was in my mid 20's, and they make me very happy. I am only 2.8 lbs away from my initial goal. But I am now officially 7.8 lbs away from my FINAL goal. And the thing is, now I know I can do it!

As to what I did this past week, food wise, I stuck with my 5 days of Jenny Meals, and 2 days of my own meals. On the days of my own meals I'm trying to stick to the basics of lots of veggies, eating every three hours, healthy snacks, and healthy portion sizes.

Exercise wise, this week was my first real week of incorporating exercise into the plan. I joined a gym last Wednesday and began very elementary cardio work-outs on Friday. I went to the gym Friday, Monday and Wednesday. I also did a bit of dancing Friday night (though that was quite possibly cancelled out by all the wine I drank that night) and went for an almost 2 mile walk with Mom on Thursday.

The plan for this coming week remains the eat the same way, and to try to fit at least 3 days of the gym, though with my schedule this coming week, that might be a bit of a stretch. Still, we'll do what we can, right?

The challenge will be next week, because yours truly will be vacationing in sunny Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and I have no intention of marring my vacation by stressing over food and exercise. I will try to pick the healthier options wherever we go out to eat, but I can guarantee you there will be martinis involved throughout much of the week. I will also try to exercise some, but there will lost of lounging around in the sun to compensate for that as well.

We'll see how I do with "real life" in the mix.

For now, I have to tell you something...I'm thrilled with the changes I've seen in my body, and as a former "skinny girl" who was always made to feel badly about how thin I was, it's actually been kind of nice to begin getting those comments again. However, I have actually had those feelings of "guilt" or "shame" about looking good creep back in. How strange is that? Now, when someone says to me "you're looking great, man you've lost a lot of weight" I find myself making excuses or explaining myself, as in "well, I've worked really hard" or "Well, I still haven't gotten there". Funny right?

Who would have thought I'd be more self-conscious about being thin than fat? Guess the skinny girl never left, she was just enjoying the break from all the attention.

Regardless, I'm so ready to let her come back out to play.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

My Non-Political Political Post

I’m not an overly political person. Wait, maybe I should retype that…I’m not an OVERTLY political person. I have strong beliefs, strong ideals, strong stands on things, but I’m not the type to ram them down anybody’s throat. In all honesty, you believe what you believe, I believe what I believe, and unless your beliefs offend me on a deeply personal level, I won’t really say anything to you about them. If you are offending me or those I love and care for, well, that may very well be a different story, but otherwise, I’m a firm believer in “Live and let live”. I may think you’re an idiot, but I won’t say it out loud. After all, this is America, and we are blessed with the freedom to have our own opinions. That’s why I love this country so much, and don’t think I’d ever want to live anywhere else.

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

Don't Vote

No, really, your vote doesn't count, right? So...don't vote.


For God's sakes, get out there and vote today. Be a voice, use your voice, so you can have a voice.

That Is All!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Manic Monday Musings

Oh Mondays...don't you just love Mondays? Yeah, I don't particularly like them either to be honest.

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 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

Halloween Hauntings and the Magic Eraser

OH Halloween. Night of spooks and goblins, little kids and candy. Night of parties and fun, girls in lingerie, passing for costumes, and the perfect excuse for vandals to destroy private property.

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

Photo Meme - The Rule of 4's.

I've been tagged for a meme by one of my fellow SheWhoBloggers, Callista at Callista's Ramblings

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 I just decided to post the 5th photo in my 5th folder...and here you go:

There you go, that's it.
It doesn't say anything about tagging anyone, so I'm not going to officially tag anyone, but I'm going to invite you to join in if you'd like...and just let me know if you do. I'd love to take a peak into your computer photo files...