Tag Archives: life

2017

Happy new year!

Everyone I know is excited to sweep 2016 under the rug and usher in 2017, and while I agree that 2016 sucked in a lot of ways (RIP, EVERYONE COOL), I am having trouble getting excited about 2017. First of all, I’m still trying to wrap my head around what life in the U.S. will be like under our new president-elect.

jabba-the-trump

I know Star Wars is all trendy right now, but maybe we should have drawn the line at electing a giant, slimy worm-man as the leader of our country, AMERICA.

 

Policies aside, my face morphs into the scream-face emoji whenever I think about having to look at that mug for the next four years.

Oh, ALSO I just found out that the next season of Westworld won’t be released until 2018, which means no new episodes in 2017, which means 2017 is officially trying to ruin my life.

I’ve decided that since 2017 is shaping up to be kind of dumb, my resolutions should be kind of dumb too. So here they are:

Take better care of my skin
First of all, I’m aware that needing to make this a resolution means I’m a garbage human. I totally admit that I’m terrible about my skin. I do wear sunscreen every day because I’m pale and if I don’t I’ll get a sunburn from the lightbulbs in my office, but basically I just use makeup remover wipes at the end of the day and that’s the extent of it. I don’t even use a moisturizer because literally every single one I’ve tried makes me break out, and I’m too lazy to go to a dermatologist and explore why that might be.

That said, I’ve decided that I have to get my skin care routine together because I’m 32 and if I don’t I’m going to look like Jabba the Trump by the time I’m 40. Dave’s parents got me a Clarisonic Plus for Christmas, which I am super excited about. (Maybe they really like me, or maybe that was their way of saying, GET IT TOGETHER, LEATHER FACE.) I’ve only been using it for a week and my skin already feels so much smoother. I’ve got a small breakout situation on my chin, but I’ve heard that often happens when people first start using it, so I’m pushing through in the hopes that it’ll make me in age in reverse like Jennifer Aniston. Oh, and I’ve also been using eye cream. I don’t really know if it’s doing anything, but I feel really responsible when I put it on, so.

2e95881e00000578-3324682-image-a-7_1447898251542

If it doesn’t work I may do this.

Stop being a pussy
Whenever I complain about the workouts at CrossFit, my friend Kate yells, “DON’T BE A PUSSY.” This usually gets me to stop whining out loud, but that doesn’t mean I stop complaining in my mind – I’m really bad about controlling my inner dialogue when workouts get spicy. So many of the workouts we do are meant to be just as challenging mentally as they are physically, and I’d like to get better about pushing through feelings of discomfort and learning to be, as my coach puts it, “comfortable with being uncomfortable.” (Unless my form is suffering or I feel actual PAIN, which is different than just feeling out of breath or tired.) I’ve heard repeating mantras can help; maybe mine should be “DON’T BE A PUSSY.”

Avoid chipped nail polish
I TOLD YOU THESE WERE DUMB. I like having painted nails, but I can’t ever seem to make it more than 24 hours without chipping my polish. Gel manicures last a long time, of course, but they get expensive and also they make my nails really thin and gross. Enter: Essie Gel Couture.

essie-gel-couture

I got some of this for Christmas, and it lasted through a whole week, including CrossFit! I’m on day seven and have a few minor chips that you can’t really see unless you get really up-close – I’m calling that a huge success. Plus, it’s super easy to use – you just apply two coats of color and then one coat of the topcoat. No UV lights are required, AND it comes off with regular polish remover. If I were a professional manicurist, I’d be afraid that this stuff would put me out of a job.

I think three is enough. So now you tell me some things: What are your goals for 2017? Did you achieve your goals for 2016? Do you have any thoughts about why moisturizer gives me pizza face? Do you hate me now because I made fun of Trump?

 

Life Update

Lots has happened since I last blogged! First of all, I went temporarily insane and signed up for a CrossFit competition. It’s scaled for newbies, but still. I am going to be working out in front of people. For a score. Luckily, I’ve been training hard and am super confident!

Hahahahaha! Just kidding. I mean yes, I’ve been training hard, but this is waaaay outside my comfort zone and every time I think about the competition I do this:

Dee Reynolds

We just got back from a week in Hawaii where I spent most of my time hunkered down in front of a mai tai instead of working out, so that probably won’t help my performance at the competition. Unless there is a “drinking mai tais for time” event, in which case everybody else can step aside because I WILL WIN THAT COMPETITION SO HARD.

Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 7.15.21 AM

Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 7.15.42 AM

Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 7.16.00 AM

12063589_10207756119600014_338229435242530723_n

(The fact that it’s 60 degrees in my house as I post these is especially gutting.)

My parents moved to Hawaii in March, so they had the skinny on all the awesome foods we needed to try. This included malasadas (fried dough balls stuffed with flavored custard) as well as Spam pizza. Then when we got home we went to a birthday party for Dave’s dad, where I was suckered into trying deep fried Doritos pockets stuffed with jalapeno cheese. Does it GET more American than deep-fried-cheese-stuffed Doritos? I was waiting for a bald eagle to swoop in and claw it out of my hands while I was eating it. Anyway, after all that all I want to eat right now is chicken breast and broccoli. So much broccoli. How a vegetable that smells like farts marinated in Satan’s tears while it’s cooking can taste so good is one of life’s greatest mysteries.

broccoli

What else … I’ve got my Halloween costume under control several days before Halloween, which is a huge accomplishment for me. I found this cute tutorial for a DIY strawberry costume and had to make it. My white puff paint “seeds” look a little like bird shit, but in my defense I was making them while watching Hocus Pocus and I DARE you to not be distracted while watching this cinematic masterpiece.

Ice gif

Next year, I’m dressing up as Ice.

We also managed to squeeze in a visit to the pumpkin patch on Sunday, which I was excited about. It doesn’t feel like fall until I’ve ruined a cute outfit by traipsing through a field and carrying a filthy pumpkin to the car.

Carrying cute babies is way more fun than carrying dirty gourds.

Carrying cute babies is way more fun than carrying dirty gourds.

So that’s about it … if anybody has tips for dealing with crippling self doubt when it comes to fitness competitions, I’d love to hear them.

Spirit Animals

Confession: The other afternoon I rage-tailgated (rage-gated?) a student driver for like three miles because she pulled out right in front of me on a country highway and almost killed us both. It was like slow motion: she turned into my lane off of a dirt road without even pausing to check traffic, and I was simultaneously scared for my life and slightly amused by the fact that the last thing I was going to see before dying was a middle-aged driving instructor doing this:

Jonah Hill gif

SPOILER ALERT, we all lived, but I was really bothered by the fact that the last thing I ate before my near-death experience was a kale salad. I can’t even remember the last time I ate a bagel. I can’t have those kinds of regrets hanging over my head when my time actually comes, you know? So I made myself a motivational poster to remind me of what’s important in life.

Nuggets

On the other hand, I would have zero regrets if I spent my last 10 minutes on Earth Photoshopping a soft glow around a chicken nugget hovering over an ocean sunset.

I promise I’ll stop talking about this soon, but here’s what I don’t get: Don’t those driver’s training cars have special passenger-side brakes for the instructors to use when the dumbass child behind the wheel tries to kill you? Why was that dude freaking out like a little girl instead of pressing the damn brake? Although … if my  job was to ride around in cars with 15-year-olds, I’d welcome the opportunity to be broadsided at 65 MPH with open arms. Maybe his foot was hovering over the brake when she was like, “OMG this Bieber song is ON FLEEK” and he was all, this is it. This is all I can take.

Maybe this guy is actually my spirit animal.

Speaking of spirit animals, my friend Sarah introduced me to Matt Bellassai yesterday. Not in real life, which is probably a good thing because sometimes when I get really nervous the mechanism that allows me to swallow stops working and I stand there looking like I’m choking on air for like 30 seconds. Sometimes I wonder how I’ve managed to make actual human friends when my social aptitude is on par with the lady who feeds the feral cats in the creek bed behind Walmart.

tumblr_mvs0k8epnu1rcgxgdo1_500

Anyway, Sarah tagged me in the comments on one of his Facebook posts yesterday. I then spent hours watching all of his drunken rants while doing that silent laugh where you shake really hard but can’t catch your breath enough to make noise. If you don’t mind colorful language and the soul crushing feeling that nothing you say will ever be as funny as what comes out of somebody else’s mouth, you really need to watch his Whine About It videos. Start with this one. And then when you’re depressed because you’ve watched them all, you can read his blog.

Our Good News

I vaguegrammed recently about celebrating some exciting news, and now that everything is officially in place I can tell you what happened: last Thursday, in the span of about two hours, Dave received a big promotion and I was offered an awesome new job. Fists were pumped, celebratory cupcakes were eaten, and there was much AC Slater-style rejoicing.

slater-dancing-4

You may be wondering why I’m starting a new job when I just changed jobs less than a year ago. Last November, I applied for a job as a social marketer for a behavioral health program out on a local Indian reservation. It turned out that they already had somebody in mind for the marketing role, and so they asked me to become the program director instead. I decided to take a healthy risk and accept the position, and I’ve spent the last eight months learning about program outcomes and evidence-based practices and reducing mental health disparities. All awesome things if the mental health field is your passion. And I discovered that for me, it’s not.

That’s not to say I hated my job. I really enjoyed the youth and families I was working with. I loved my boss. I had lots of fun with my coworkers. I learned so much about Native American communities and the injustice that tribes have suffered at the hands of many generations of Americans. But I didn’t wake up in the morning excited to go to work. The days would go by so slowly, except on the rare occasion that I’d get to design a brochure or build a newspaper ad. Those days would fly by, and then I’d spend the drive home berating myself for taking my career in a different direction and wondering why I was such a giant idiot.

Overreacting. It’s what I do.

But then! A friend dropped my name in a conversation, which set off a sequence of events that culminated in a crazy awesome job offer. I won’t give too many specifics (Internet Boundaries!) but I will say this: I’ll get to design and write and be creative every day.  My 35-40 minute daily commute will be reduced to barely five minutes. I’ll be making more money. I know and like the people I’ll be working with. I’m even hoping I’ll have more time to blog!

I made myself a to-do list since it's been so long since I've blogged.

I made myself a to-do list since it’s been so long since I’ve blogged.

And as for Dave: He’s been named managing editor of the paper where he’s been a reporter the last several years. I think he’s as excited as I am, except instead of going on a celebratory shopping spree and writing a sappy blog post, he bought himself a bottle of 14-year Knappogue Castle Irish whiskey.

So that’s our awesome news. 2015 is shaping up to be kind of great so far.

I Need a Vacation

I’m juggling a bunch of different projects and planning several events at work right now, and I think the stress is getting to me because I had a minor panic attack in the car on the way to work yesterday over power strips. Specifically, whether I remembered to add power strips to an event purchase order. I know I *thought* about adding them, but did I actually do it? I don’t think I did … GREAT, I’M GOING TO BE FIRED AND I’LL LOSE MY CAR AND MY HOUSE AND I’LL HAVE TO LIVE UNDER THE BRIDGE LIKE A TROLL.

Friends gif

Contributing to the stress is the fact that I haven’t taken a vacation in almost a year. Partially because my new workplace puts employees through a six-month probationary period before they’re eligible to use vacation time, and partially because I’m one of those people who thinks their office CANNOT POSSIBLY function without them so they hoard their vacation time and wind up having mental breakdowns over power cords.

The good news is that I only have to wait a few more months before I finally get a vacation: A bunch of my best college friends and I are planning a summer trip to Palm Springs in August, and I cannot wait. We all lived in a house together our senior year, and we did a lot of reality TV watching/Chipotle eating/general adventuring around the LA area. It was basically the best time ever. Here is a picture of us hanging out in Santa Monica approximately one million years ago:

Cobras

That mint shrug is near the top of the Terrible Decisions I Made in College list.

I moved up to Northern California the year after I graduated, and it’s been way too many years since I’ve seen them (see vacation hoarder comment above). I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself at work, to the point where I feel genuinely guilty requesting time off, even if I’ve earned it. However, I’m finding that the older I get, the more I care about doing what’s best for myself, and that includes taking time off. Basically what I am saying is God help whoever winds up sitting next to me on the flight to LA.

Ready to party gif

DIY Cake Stands (and some other stuff)

IMG_5065

Last weekend I made these cake stands out of thrift store/dollar store finds for an upcoming party. I was going to post a tutorial, but it turns out it’s super simple and I don’t want this to turn into one of those Pinterest-bait “how-to” posts about projects that could be carried out by a moderately bright tapeworm.  I swear I once saw an entire post devoted to a “recipe” for raspberries stuffed with chocolate chips.

tumblr_m3z539oi9w1qzsknv

Anyway, if you want to make these cake stands just do this:

– Find some vases/wine glasses/other glass vessels of varying heights.

– Buy glass plates at the Dollar Store.

– Glue them together.

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 7.39.30 PM

We were out of super glue, so I bought a tube of this super mega industrial strength adhesive at Walmart. I noticed midway through my project that the packaging was covered in warnings about cancer and/or kidney failure. I wasn’t in a well-ventilated area and got it all over my hands, so who knows how long I’ve got left. If a day goes by and I haven’t Instagrammed a cat photo, send someone to check on me.

Other things of note:

– Something keeps eating the flowers in our front yard, which pisses me off because for the first time in my life I’ve actually been remembering to water them. I’m pretty sure the culprits are either deer or squirrels. If you have some suggestions for wildlife-resistant flowers, I’d love to hear them because I’m pretty close to becoming this guy:

getoffmylawn_2010-11-16-humor-motivation

– Dave is making mini blackberry-lemon cheesecakes with lemon-infused crusts for the upcoming party mentioned above. I’ll try and talk him into guest-blogging the recipe, because he makes the greatest cheesecake ever and also he’s a funny writer. Feel free to peer pressure him in the comments.

– Ally McBeal is on Netflix Instant, and I’ve been bingeing on it regularly because IT IS SO FUNNY. I remember watching as a kid and thinking of them as “old people,” and I was kind of appalled to find out that they’re only supposed to be in their late 20s. I’M OLDER THAN RICHARD FISH, WHAT IS HAPPENING.

Bygones.

Bygones.

I’ll leave you with a pic of our sad flowers. RIP, PETUNIAS:

IMG_5054

Memorial Day Weekend: Three Words Per Photo

We had a fantastic three-day weekend over here – we managed to strike just the right balance of lying around doing nothing and spending time with friends. I’m posting a few photos of what we were up to, since I’m still in ultra-lazy mode and don’t feel like writing anything longer than a paragraph.

Whiskers{Furry alarm clock.}

Herbs

{So. Many. Herbs.}

Bears

{Crazy bear lady.}

Thai Food

{Shrimp panang curry.}

Cake stands

{Making cake stands.}

Screen Shot 2015-05-24 at 5.43.39 PM

{Jump squats. Ouch.}

Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 10.55.10 AM

{SPF 30 sucks.}

Barbecue

{Monday night dinner.}

And now it’s back to work … I hope your weekend was as relaxing as ours was!

Healthy Quinoa Mac and Cheese (and a story about my neighbor)

Rain

It’s been raining off and on for the last week, which is awesome news since California is facing a pretty terrible drought right now. I was under the impression that everybody is aware of this fact, until I saw my neighbor down the street walk outside yesterday and turn his sprinklers on immediately following a massive downpour.

I wanted to shout at him, but he looks mean so instead I just glared at him from my driveway.

What I felt like:

200_s

What I’m guessing I looked like:

glare

Anyway. All this rainy weather is making me crave comfort food. And for me, comfort food = carbs covered in cheese. Luckily, I’ve found a carb + cheese combo that is fairly healthy and doesn’t contain a ton of processed crap. I haven’t blogged much about it yet, but Dave and I have been making an effort to cut out processed foods. Mostly this involves me making batches of quinoa and whole wheat tortillas on Sundays while having daydreams about being alone with a big plate of fettuccine Alfredo.

Michael Fettuccine

My only thought right now is, “I wonder if there’s garlic bread in that bag?”

In an effort to satisfy my carby, cheesy cravings without consuming a ton of frankenfoods, I concocted this delicious lunch that I can heat up in the microwave at work because my life is sad and I eat at my desk almost every day. Womp.

Quinoa mac

Don’t judge, this was taken with my phone under fluorescent lighting.

Healthy Quinoa Mac and Cheese

Ingredients:
1 cup cooked quinoa (about 1/4 cup dry)
Chopped veggies: mushrooms, tomatoes, onion, broccoli, really whatever strikes your fancy
1 wedge Pepperjack Laughing Cow (or any of the other flavors)
Salt + pepper, to taste

Season the quinoa with a little salt and pepper. Throw the quinoa and veggies into a microwave-safe bowl, and heat on high for a minute. Test the temperature, and heat more if necessary.

When the quinoa and veggies reach your desired temperature, remove from the microwave and mix in the wedge of Laughing Cow with a fork.

Yes, the Laughing Cow contains a few mystery ingredients, but you’re only using one wedge and you’re also getting a good amount of healthy grains and veggies. Plus, it’s really filling: eat a bowl of this for lunch, and I guarantee you won’t be pacing in front of the office vending machine at 3 p.m. facing the gut-wrenching decision of Cheetos vs. Doritos. (Cheetos, duh.)

Give it a try! And then go eat a plate of Alfredo for me.

Back in the swing of things

Thanks to a work training and a quick trip to visit my family, I’ve spent one night in my own bed in the past week. This morning it felt SO GOOD to wake up and get back to my normal routine. (Coffee. Blogs. Work. Exercise. Sleep. Repeat.) My training was held at a casino in Reno, so basically my nights from Tuesday-Friday looked like this: tumblr_lzpm6hmfkx1rpq0uwo1_500_zps8ebddcf2 Just kidding! I was in bed by 9 every night and the only thing I was grinding on was the world’s biggest piece of New York style cheesecake, which I discovered at one of the casino’s coffee shops:

IMG_4937

That big boy lasted through three nights of Forensic Files marathoning. MUCH WILD. VERY PARTY.

We had a lot of downtime in the evenings, and one night I decided to go swimsuit shopping at a nearby mall. NOTE TO SELF: scrutinizing your thighs under fluorescent lighting after eating 5,000 calories worth of cheesecake is not a good idea. And speaking of scrutinizing thighs, I watched my brother compete in his first fitness competition on Saturday night:

IMG_4944

Apparently that’s what 4% bodyfat looks like. I’m depressed, pass the cheesecake.

He competed in the physique division, and I’m not totally sure what that means aside from the fact that he got to wear board shorts. This was great news, since I can’t imagine anything more uncomfortable than sitting next to my parents and grandma while watching my little brother flex his muscles in a bedazzled scrote tote. I spent most of the bodybuilding portion worrying that somebody was either going to poop their pants and/or have an aneurysm from the sheer force of their flexing, and the highlight of the bikini competition was my grandma shouting, “How does she even stand up?” when a contestant with particularly large implants took the stage. my-reaction-when-I-get-into-an-argument-with-women-homer-simpson-hide-in-bush-disappears Anyway, I’m pretty much in awe of his dedication – he worked out six days a week and basically ate chicken, egg whites and vegetables for the last five months in order to look like that. I was starting to question whether we’re actually related, but when we met up after the show he said that all he wanted to do was drink a beer and eat a really big burger. We may have also driven to two grocery stores at midnight to find some ice cream. That sounds about right. The rest of the weekend was spent visiting with my parents, whom I haven’t seen since they moved to Hawaii back in March. It was awesome to spend some time with my mom on Mother’s Day, even though she’s a jerk and texts me pictures like this all the time while I’m at work: 11182185_10206379527706077_9014370125745713902_n Rude, right? It’s a good thing I love her, or I’d be irritated 🙂 HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY, MOM!

It’s Been Quiet Around Here

1_7_15_Tea

Oh hey, welcome to my view for the last four days: the couch, a furry blanket, and lots of tea. Dave’s been sick with a nasty cold for the last week, and on Saturday I came down with it too. And, OK. Normally I consider myself pretty tough in the face of sickness and pain; my surgeon even commented on it when I was about to be wheeled in to have my appendix removed last summer. Him: On a level of 1-10, what’s your current pain level? Me: 3, but we could make that a 2 if you slip me a Milky Way Midnight after surgery. Him: …

Anyway, this cold. Actually, I’m not sure it’s even a cold. It started out like the flu: dizziness, stomach ache, a ridiculous fever that made me hallucinate Ryan Lochte sitting on my hearth at one point. I knew it was time to take some meds when I started wondering if maybe Ryan is actually a really smart dude playing a big performance art joke on the U.S. with his mind-numbing stupidity, like the time Joaquin Phoenix tried to convince us he was a homeless rapper.

Source

Source Clearly the face of a closeted genius trying to pull one over on the country.

After Lochte came the cold symptoms: sore throat, pounding headache, mucus all the time, everywhere. And I was like huh, maybe this is just a really bad cold after all. And then the fever came back, and by this point Dave and I hadn’t showered or moved off the couch in like three days and basically resembled vagrants you’d see getting cuffed on COPS, only smellier and with dirtier hair. By Tuesday I thought I was over the worst of it: my throat felt better, my fever was gone, and I made it through a full day of work. And then yesterday I woke up, tripped over the cat on the way to the kitchen, and realized when I tried to swear at him that I had no voice.

Fortunately, I was able to work from home Wednesday and let my voice rest a bit. I’m currently drinking a lot of tea and hoping my ability to speak comes back quickly, since a big part of my job involves, you know, talking to people. Also because it is EXCRUCIATING to not be able to impress Dave with my constant witticisms. (Note: I’m not sure “excruciating” is the word he would use for this new development.)

Do you have any home remedies for a lost voice besides boatloads of tea? It’s getting way too quiet around here …