10 Musings of 2007...

One last look back...

1) Most Notable Addiction:

Facebook
I know I'm not the only one! At the peak of my addiction, I was on every day, several times a day. It was great reconnecting with past friends & long-lost family, but it was getting ridiculous. These days, I maybe get on once a week to check in and change my status... maybe.

2) What Gave Me The Purest Light-Hearted Laugh (Outside of My Kids or Roomie):
HappySlip
Christine's YouTube videos remind me of the incredibly cute, quirky, and lovable side my Filipino heritage. Stuff I used to be so embarrassed about and took so seriously growing up, now I giggle fondly at. Thanks to Christine, my kids can experience the lighthearted side of their Filipino half.

3) Good Habit Acquired:
Putting on Lotion after a Shower
I used to be inconsistent with this, sometimes slathering, sometimes not. Now, I have a method, a "lotion application strategy", if you will. This is important living in an area with a very dry winter... especially now that I have *gasp* older skin!

4) Most Life-Altering Decision I Had To Make:
Closing the Hula School
I LOVED teaching hula & tahitian dance as much as I loved dancing it. And after 2 years of being in operation, I'd filled up my classes and was getting booked so often that I had to pass gigs on to my cousin who was a big help. Eventually, I had to turn away performances when neither Glo nor I could make it. This schedule, obviously, interfered with my family life. I started resenting the whole hula thing for tearing me away from my kids, so closing was an easy decision to make. I love what I do now... blogging at home with my family.

5) Act I Wish I'd Seen Live in Concert:
The Police
I saw them in the 80s. They were hot then - they're hot now. Need I go on?

6) Celebrities I'd Love to Party With:
Rosario Dawson and Rihanna
They both seem cool, fun, and smart. Girls' night at the karaoke bar would be such a blast with these two as companions... and you thought I was going to say Brit and Paris, right?! ;)

7) Movies I Wish I'd Seen at the Theatre:
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Spiderman 3
Movies with great special effects MUST be seen on a big screen... at IMAX, if possible.

8) Most Notable Food Discovery:
Volcano Roll
Spicy, rich, and very creamy, the sauce for this maki sushi is probably the daily calorie limit for a small woman, but OMG, it's so tasty! I had it at a sushi lunch with my girlfriends... holy moly, I'm sold.

9) Notable "The Universe is Smiling on Us" Moments:
Water Heater, Toaster & Neo
"I wish I could take longer, hotter showers" - the next month, our 25-year-old tepid-warm 30-gallon water heater blows, allowing us to get a new 60-gallon water heater... WooHoo!!!
"Okay, the toaster's kicked it" - the next day, we get a beautiful new toaster... for free.
"Oh, crap, a mouse got into our crawlspace!" & "Mommy, can we get a cat?" - the next week, on a cold night, a shivering stray cat appears at our door... LA names him 'Neo'... with the Humane Society coming to a dead end and no owner to claim him, he stays with us... and catches the mouse... he's still with us today. :)

10) Favourite Song of the Year:
"Umbrella" by Rihanna
LOVE it. Wasn't it released in the late-spring/early-summer? And here I am in winter, still singing to it... "ella, ella, ella, ay, ay, ay..."

Those are only 10 of my many musings of the year. I think a lot. :)
Hope your 2007 was good too. See you in 2008!

Happy New Year!!!

Books & Movies of 2007

I love this idea! Like Zandria , I'm listing the books I've read and movies I've seen in 2007. As this is my first annual list, I have also included the titles of books I've re-read.
The lists are much shorter than I'd like. Maybe one day I'll have more leisure time for reading and watching films. I'm really into health & wellness, historicals, sci-fi and erotica, and my selections reflect that.

Books:

1) Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui - by Karen Kingston

2) Joshi's Holistic Detox - by Nish Joshi

3) The Longevity Diet: Discover Calorie Restriction--the Only Proven Way to Slow the Aging Process and Maintain Peak Vitality - by Brian M. Delaney and Lisa Walford

4) The 5 Factor Diet - by Harley Pasternak

5) Outlander - by Diana Gabaldon

6) Dragonfly in Amber - by Diana Gabaldon

7) Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence - by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin

8) Fascinated - by Robin Schone (Author), Bertrice Small (Author), Susan Johnson (Author), Thea Devine (Author)

9) The Secret - by Julie Garwood

10) The Bride - by Julie Garwood

11) Honor's Splendour - by Julie Garwood

12) Saving Grace - by Julie Garwood


Movies:

1) 300 - Starring Gerard Butler, Lena Headey, Rodrigo Santoro. Directed by Zack Snyder.

2) Transformers - Starring Shia Labeouf, Megan Fox, Jon Voight. Directed by Michael Bay.

Klepto'd Home Meme

I stole this meme from Zandria, who stole it from someone else, who also stole it from someone...

What kind of soap is in your bathtub right now?
Dove Unscented

Do you have any watermelon in your refrigerator?
No. We rarely eat watermelon. Such a high-maintenance fruit.

What would you change about your living room?
I’d remove all the clutter, move the furniture around, hang a new pendant light in the corner, lay down a new area rug, put up some wooden or bamboo blinds, and change the curtains. Not much.

Are the dishes in your dishwasher clean or dirty?
We ran the dishwasher... whether or not the dishes are actually clean is another issue.

What is in your fridge?
Soy milk, apple juice, wildberry juice, soda water, apples, bok choy, cauliflower, kale, onions, garlic, pickled scapes, hot mustard, yogurt, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, parmesan cheese, butter, eggs, miso paste, sugar snap peas, flax bread...

White or wheat bread?
Uh, flax.

What is on top of your refrigerator?
A couple cans of spray adhesive and some clay... yeah, weird

What color or design is on your shower curtain?
Clear plastic shower curtain... really makes the room look bigger... not exactly private for the showerer though.

How many plants are in your home?
Let's see... lucky bamboo, jade, african violet, purple passion, mauna loa, buddhist fern, 2 orange trees.... so, 8.

Is your bed made right now?
No, but only because there is a little 3yo human snuggled in there sleeping at the moment.

Is your closet organized?
Yes, it’s about the only thing that’s organized in this house... other than my dishes and... yup, just the dishes...

Do you drink out of glass or plastic most of the time at home?
Glass... mugs to be exact. I almost always have a glass mug of hot green tea in my hand.

Do you have iced tea made in a pitcher right now?
No.

If you have a garage, is it cluttered?
To me, yes... to Roomie, his “car hole” is now decluttered to his satisfaction.

Curtains or blinds?
In the bedrooms, both. In the kitchen and bathroom, blinds. In the family room, curtains.

How many pillows do you sleep with?
Two, one stacked on top of the other... I’m with Zandria on this one.

Do you sleep with any lights on at night?
Only the light projection of the time on the ceiling...

How often do you vacuum?
Twice a month... I carpet sweep in between... we have mostly hardwood floors anyway.

Standard toothbrush or electric?
I drive standard, baby!

Do you have a welcome mat on your front porch?
No, but I’ve been eyeing those black rubber swirly patterned ones at the hardware store selling for $7.

What is in your oven right now?
A cookie sheet and a cast iron pan.

Is there anything under your bed?
Dustbunnies... I need to sweep again.

Chore you hate doing the most?
Dusting.... I’d hate it less if we had less crap to dust.

What retro items are in your home?
The crazy green lamp on the trunk in the family room.

Do you have a separate room that you use as an office?
We have an office but Roomie uses it to mark exams.

How many mirrors are in your home?
2... One in each bathroom.

What color are your walls?
Kitchen and family room: green
Diningroom: red
Livingroom: white with a blue feature wall
Bathroom: orangey-brown
Bedroom/office: lavender
Master Bedroom: light blue
Yeah, we live in a clown house...

Do you keep any kind of protection weapons in your home?
Yes, but no firearms.

What does your home smell like right now?
The candle I’m burning.

Favorite candle scent?
Partylite’s Hinoki Steam

Ever been on your roof?
No.
(Addendum: But the neighbours keep wondering why Roomie's on the roof again... maybe our version of the "doghouse"...)

How many TVs do you have?
3, and they were all free... the one in the bedroom we got from the travel agent who booked our honeymoon, the one in the family room was a discard from Roomie’s old place of employment, and the one in the livingroom we inherited from my MIL
(Correction: The TV in the family room was actually won by Roomie at an auction... I think it was less than $40.)

How many house phones?
1
(Clarification: 1 line but 5 phones strewn throughout the house.)

Do you have a housekeeper?
Wait, I’ll answer that when I stop laughing...

What style do you decorate in?
I lean toward natural, almost plantation-style decor... at least, I’m trying to... my island style is often thwarted by northern-European Roomie...

Do you like solid colors in furniture or prints?
Solids in dark colours.

Is there a smoke detector in your home?
Yes, we have 2.
(Correction: Roomie said we have 4... he's correct... for now...)

In case of fire, what are the items in your house which you’d grab if you only could make one quick trip?
My two little humans... if they were already out of the house, my cell phone and wallet.

Hocus Pocus... Back in Focus!

I'm in love... with my blog... (shh, don't tell Roomie).

My blog and I have been very happy since we first got together in March 2007. It's always ready to listen and doesn't pout when I've been away for too long. And when I give it my attention, it rewards me with new visitors, loyal readers, and happy commenting friends.

But I've also done the one thing to my blog that one should never do in a relationship: I've tried to change the one I love into something it's not.

Instead of lovingly accepting it for what it really is - a blog about me and the sweet things in my life - I have, as of late, tried to make it "nichy" and unnatural. I tried to dress it in a tux, when it's really a "jeans and t-shirt" kind of blog. It's like slapping a hot dog suit on Gerard Butler... still very attractive on the inside, but, on the outside, just a little... off.

The result? I've begun to bore old readers and confuse new readers. Hell, I've even confused myself! How many times have I changed my "About" page?!!! All because I lost my focus, like that feeling of comfortable familiarity between people in a long-term relationship.

So, the past couple of nights, I lay in bed wide awake just thinking about how to get back that "lovin' feelin'"... and today, I found the answer in my old blog posts. There, I found, in my own words, why I first started blogging, what I wanted to blog about, and what "life candy" was to me.
"Then I thought about what candy is. It's tasty and makes people, in general, very happy.
This blog of mine is where I talk about the things in my life that make me happy or eventually lead to my happiness..."
So, it's back to the beginning, and that's where we'll be until my blog and I are as content as an old married couple.

Dreaming of a Greener, White Christmas...

Photo: reindeers following the white elephant by Carolyn Coles

For me, the designing and writing of greeting cards marks the official start of the Holiday Season. Only when they're done and sent out can I decorate the tree and start my baking with the true Spirit of the Season in my heart.

I arrange these cards myself complete with a picture of the family and a personal message from us. The design isn't fancy, much like my blog. A lot of white space. A font sans serif. More substance than flash.

In the past, I also included an update letter - our light-hearted look back at the notable events of the past year.

But, for me, these missives, as wonderful as they are, truly are poor use of paper - especially when you consider the number of cards I send out each year. So, this year and ever more, our cards will be sent without one (and I'm thinking of cutting down on the number of cards I'll send out too).

Oh, I love sharing my experiences with my family & friends - and apparently the rest of the world too, as evidenced by this blog - but these slips of paper will inevitably end up in a recycling bin, as someone's clutter, or in, heaven forbid, a landfill!

I try to be a green girl... I recycle, I compost, and I go organic wherever I can. I take the car only when I have many errands to run, and there are always at least 2 people in it. I reuse gift wrapping, and our tree's lights are on only from sundown till bedtime.
So, the decision to go paper missive-free feels right.

But family and friends who look forward to getting our updates will not go without. I'll be adding something new to the design of our Holiday Cards: the URL to our family blog where our annual missives will be posted from this year on.

Fruit-Designated Clothing...

Photo: Strawberry by sigusr0

I don't have the typical pear-shaped figure most women have.
In my late teens, I hated that. While my girlfriends would lament their rounded hips and bootilicious booties, I'd be green with envy, cursing my boyish hips and flat bum.

To make matters worse, I started developing (oh, horror!) a monstrous bustline! At 17, I truly had no concept of the womanly power I had growing in the shirt of my school uniform. All I knew was that I didn't enjoy playing sports like I used to, like my A-cup classmates still could, I hated wearing an industrial strength bra, and my back hurt!

That was then...

This is now...

I absolutely love my body! Should come as no surprise - I wrote an article about it. My physique is best described as strawberry-shaped: broad shoulders, large bust and a short waist that tapers down to small hips/butt/thighs.
When my body is healthy and strong, my waist gives me a more hourglass look. My beloved squats and warrior poses lift and shape my butt. And a great professionally-fitted bra makes my 32Es look even more spectacular!

Now that I've come to appreciate - and obviously, brag about - what I have, I've also come to accept that there are some looks I could never pull off. One ensemble of note is the "baggy top and skinny pants" look. The top drapes over and hangs down making me look about 6 months pregnant, and that, paired with the emphasized thinness of my legs (thanks to the skinny pants), makes me look like a chicken.
A sad-looking, 6-month pregnant chicken.

So, during a recent purge, I removed all the tent-like baggy tops, high-waisted pants, and high-necked shirts. And I have kept the clothes that skim the waist, jeans/pants that ride low on my hip bones, and v-neck/scoop-necked shirts.

You should see the number of clothes I've already shipped out in Goodwill boxes! And I didn't have many clothes in the first place.
According to the Pareto Principle, we wear "our 20% most favoured clothes about 80% of the time". I think I'm on my way to wearing 100% of my clothes 100% of the time, and little ol' strawberry me is very happy about that.
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