11 Things & 11 Questions

This is a scheduled guest post from my good friend, Heather, while I’m away on vacation. Heather is one of my closest friends and a person I greatly admire. She has an adorable little boy named Russell and I’m excited that they just moved closer to me from Vegas and now we can spend more time together!

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I am so excited to be sharing a guest post on Her Sunday! I wasn’t really sure what to write about so I thought I’d share eleven things instead. Check it out!

Here are the rules…
1. Post these rules
2. Post a photo of yourself and 11 random things about yourself.
3. Answer the questions set for you in the original post.
4. Create 11 new questions and tag people to answer them.
5. Go to their blog/twitter and tell them you’ve tagged them.

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11 random things about me~
~ I don’t have a college degree but I want to go back and get one.
~ I am a mom to the most amazing and funny boy ever.
~ It boggles my mind how much my husband loves me.
~ I love coffee in pretty much any form.
~ I love to dance and when a really great song comes on the radio it makes me want to totally get down club style. Not that that would even be remotely appropriate but still…
~ I hate being so out of shape but I can’t seem to muster the will power to stop eating sweets or to exercise.
~ I have played the piano since the third grade and have even played the organ at church before.
~ I have always known I would do something to help people and for the last 3 years I’ve been working in the non-profit sector.
~ I have always had this feeling like I was meant to do something big and I know I haven’t accomplished it just yet.
~ I love to cook and bake especially for others.
~ I love to travel and wish I could go on a big vacation every year. Maybe someday I will…

Tiffany’s questions that I answered. (Yep I totally stole this off a blog post of a wonderful friend.)

1~ What is your favorite childhood memory?

2~ What song is playing in your car right now?
I have just been listening to the radio lately so nothing specific.

3~ Do you sing out loud when you drive?
Yes! People probably think I’m nuts.

4~ What is the one place on earth you would travel if money was no object?
Japan if I could only pick one pace because I’d love to visit the land of my ancestors. If I could go more than one place I’d totally take a year off and go cruise all over the world.

5~ What is your favorite book?
I don’t really have a favorite. I used to read a ton when I was younger but now I mostly read self help or management/work related type books.

6~ What is your favorite movie?
HMM… I don’t know if I have one. I used to like movies until they all became so predictable or remakes of older movies. I guess I just don’t have the attention span any more.

7~ What seems more scary to do ~ Scuba Dive or Sky Dive?
Both sound terrifying to me but I guess I’d be more likely to try Scuba before Sky Diving.

8~ What is your favorite thing to do with your spare time?
I love to craft. Cross stitch, crochet, scrapbooking, whatever. I love all things crafty!

9~ What are you passionate about?
Helping others. There is no greater joy than to help someone and do it from a place of complete selflessness expecting nothing in return. I always hope that somehow in my life I can help someone else and make their life better.

10~What are you afraid of?
Well I used to think it was failure or being alone but really it’s bugs. I hate bugs. They’re so gross and creepy. EWWW!!! I know I can get over the fear of failing and I know I won’t be alone. I have great friends and family so I guess I just have bugs to fear. *Shivers*

11~Are you Happy?
Overall yes. I have my ups and downs but for the most part life is good.

My 11 questions for you to answer are…

1. If you could make a living doing anything in this world, what would you choose?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What makes you truly happy?
4. What is your favorite guilty pleasure (you know the song you love but would be embarrassed to admit… yes admit it now!) song or band?
5. Where is your favorite vacation spot?
6. What scares you the most?
7. What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?
8. If you could have any talent in the world, what would you pick?
9. What is your favorite book or who is your favorite author?
10. Could you live without a smart phone and internet access?
11. Would you rather have money or fame?

Since I’m not tagging anyone, if you play please leave a comment here with a link back to your post so we can check out the answers to your questions.

I hope everyone who’s reading this has a happy and fabulous day! Cheers!

Saturday Bountiful Basket

Another great basket this week. I’ve been finding ways that I can use it all in our salads in the next couple of weeks.

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Friday was the first day of our June Salad Challenge and it was a huge success! The first salad I chose got rave reviews from Andy. Instead of sharing my weekly menu plan, I’ll be putting together a few different update posts on our salad challenge. So stay tuned. Here’s what we got in our Bountiful Basket this week.

pineapple
banana
strawberries
cherry tomatoes
lettuce
brocolli
garlic
oranges
avocado
nectarines
peaches
canary melon

My sister got her first Bountiful Basket this week too. She lives in Wyoming and got just about the same stuff that we did except she got a cantaloup instead of a canary melon. She also got a flat of strawberries! Here’s her basket:

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Another great week!

lately

I’m on a photo kick lately. I’ve shared nearly 150 photos with you this month and there’s still more to come. Life lately is just chugging along. But that’s a good thing. I’m grateful that our life is peaceful right now. This is what our life looks like most days:

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Our life pretty much revolves around our furry babies. They run this joint.
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I have no idea what happened to my lovely plants but I’m suspecting they’ve been mowed down by Ash in her haste to run to the gate.
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Baked lemon tilapia for dinner, wedge salad covered with french fried onions for lunch.
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I have two of these planters on either side of my front bench. I’m hoping the sweet potato vine does as well as it did last year.
So we have motion sensors on the lights in our office. The only problem is that they can’t sense me from where I sit. Today I’m here alone and every five minutes I have to get up from my desk and walk to the middle of the room to make the lights turn back on. So annoying! I think it may just be easier to work in the dark all day long. It’s going to be a long day.
PS- Please tell me something else I can use to edit/host my images instead of Photobucket. Preferably free. I am so over Photobucket’s inability to function properly. I use Photoshop to edit  when I have access to it, but I don’t have it at home so it’s a little hard.


Let’s just chit chat today.

* I say a lot of things like ‘chit chat’ that seem to get me funny looks. I also say ‘good grief,’ ‘oh, for Pete’s sake,’ and ‘gee wiz.’ I know. It’s not at all ‘cool,’ but I can’t help it. My future children are going to be so embarrassed of me. I purposely use these phrases when I’m teaching dance, just to make the younger kids laugh. It’s a silly way for me to make the point that they need to try harder. Let’s say we’re doing pirouettes and they turn the wrong way for the millionth time. Instead of getting frustrated, I will say, “Oh, for Pete’s sake, girls. You can get this right. Even Pete knows you can,” and then they will start laughing and almost always get it right the next run through. They know when I ‘talk funny’ that it’s time to step it up a notch. Although sometimes this backfires and they do it wrong just to make me ‘talk funny.’

* Are you on Spotify? First I convinced the hubby to get on there and now I’m going to convince you. I listen to music pretty much all. the. time. so Spotify is awesome. I’ve even pushed Pandora to the wayside in favor of it. The only thing I don’t like is the sharing feature. I don’t need everyone seeing that I listened to Lady Gaga four times in a row. What? Don’t tell me you only listen to ‘cool people’ music all the time and I’m the only one who cues up Gaga once in awhile.
* These two books came from interlibrary loan today. I’m 185 pages into Divergent already. I know I’m a little late to the party, but you guys were right- it’s good. I’m also aware that I have an obsession with trilogies of any kind (or series in general) and also an obsession with young adult fiction and now dystopia. I’ll never grow up when it comes to books.

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* Speaking of series and convincing my husband to do things- so far I have gotten my husband hooked on the following book series: Pillars of the Earth, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Hunger Games, The Eye of the World, Game of Thrones, The Maze Runner, and Ender’s Game. Our conversations these days go something like this:

Me: “Oh my gosh. You have to read this book. It is SO GOOD…”
Him: “It’s part of a series, isn’t it?”
Me: “Yes…but it’s SO GOOD!”
(For some reason I have this uncanny ability to choose books without even knowing that they are part of a series, only to find out later.)
And then he groans saying that he’ll never get through all those books, especially if I keep introducing new series to him. I’m thinking I may have to introduce him to Divergent next. muawhahaha!

*I’ve discovered how much I like wedge salads. Although I typically substitute the blue cheese for ranch. I like blue cheese crumbles but I’m not big on blue cheese dressing.

* So I was on Pinterest a lot for awhile there. Like a lot, a lot. I was on it so much that I finally had to create a brand new account because my pin boards were getting so full. But the minute I created the new account, I suddenly had no more desire to pin. So everyone is still gushing over it and some people are just discovering it and I’m totally over it. You can still follow me though if you want. I may get hooked again. My old boards. My new boards.

*If you’re not watching Up All Night, you really need to. Hilarious. But watch from season 1, episode 1. You’ll enjoy it much more. I promise. We are also hooked on Grimm and for the love of TV, I really need Walking Dead back immediately. Also, I had to call a help quit line to stop my obsession with Downton Abbey. Don’t judge. I swear I never watch this much TV. Graduating college did something very bad to me. Ooh- have you seen that new cooking show, Around the World in 80 Plates? Me thinks I need to watch it. Plus the Bachelorette is back on.

I suppose I’ll get on with my day now.

What do you plan to do with your Tuesday? Any random chit chat you’d like to share with me?

stuff on a friday

-I was reminded the other day, as Lindsey and I drove up to Logan to visit my mom, how much fun it used to be to loudly crunk “Get Low” with my sisters. We missed Jen though- she’s really the best at it. Oh man, good times! I miss being silly with my sisters.

-Oh my gosh. I need to see Rock of Ages on Broadway!

-It’s Dance Recital tonight and then again for a matinee tomorrow. We had dress rehearsal last night. A culmination of the years work-it always feels like a huge deal and then it’s suddenly over. I’m not dancing this year, just making sure my 1st and 2nd grade classes (combo Jazz & Tap) get on and off the stage all night.

-Sometimes going to teach classes after I’ve worked a full day at the library is hard to do. But when I get to the studio and I’m greeted with little bouncing, energetic, smiley 7 year olds and I’m greet with a hug from the shy, quiet blond who never says anything in class, I’m reminded why I love teaching these kids.

-Typically my students call me Miss Kim, Teacher, Teacher Kim or just Kim but there is one girl this year who has called me Mrs. Kim all year long. It’s too cute. 

-I’ve been dealing with some knee pain for the last few months. I know I need to see a doctor but I just keep thinking about my sister and her knee surgeries in high school. Ugh. I hope that’s not what this amounts to.

-I went to a Pilates class yesterday to see if I wanted to attend it regularly. I didn’t feel that the quality of the class was what I needed. Lately I’ve been having a hard time finding group exercise classes that are up to par- the teacher is disorganized, the level of the class is too easy, the teacher doesn’t stick to actual Pilates moves, etc. It’s been very frustrating. 

-We have a solitary green pepper growing in the garden. I think I took 15 pictures of it, I was so excited.

Happy Friday

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Well, friends. I have some sad news today. Kitty did not make it through the night. We took him back to the vet yesterday for blood work. The blood work came back fine- no organ failure and no disease. So at that point we opted to leave him with the vet. They would keep him for a few days and he would be hooked up to an IV for fluids. We hoped that his body would get used to solid foods again. However, it just didn’t happen. The vet called us this morning to let us know that he passed away during the night. We are very sad but glad that this sweet little lover boy is not suffering anymore.

kitty

So today is starting with some very sad feelings, but we are hopeful that time with family for Mother’s Day this weekend will help us feel better. A special thank you to the folks at Quail Pointe Veterinary who were compassionate, caring, and determined to help our kitty. And a very special thanks all of  you for your kind words!

Some thoughts on helping

So the kitty we rescued has taken a turn for the worse and it is breaking our hearts. He has stopped eating and started vomiting. I called the vet and she said, “That’s really not a good sign. It usually means he has kidney or liver problems.” If he does have kidney or liver problems they could be a result of going without food for so long while lost on the mountain. We’ve decided to take him back to the vet today for some tests. Honestly, at this point, we’ve both completely fallen in love with the sweet boy and don’t much care about the price of the blood work. 

I lay awake last night around 3am, unable to sleep. I was worried that I’d get up in the morning and find the kitty gone already.  There are very tough decisions to make whenever you have a pet, especially one who is not ‘technically’ yours. I stared at the ceiling playing out all the scenarios in my head. I know that we will pay the money to have the blood tests done and most likely find that there’s nothing more we can do for him. For a second, I wondered why we were putting ourselves through this. 

And then I thought of the book I had just finished, A Wrinkle In Time, and a passage from it popped into my head.

“Euripedes. Nothing is hopeless; we must hope for everything.” 

It was said by Mrs. Who as the children embark on a mission to save their father. I started to realize that even though we think that probably nothing more can be done for the kitty, we still retain our hope. Maybe it’s silly, but I imagine the kitty up in the mountains, all alone, slowly starving, but still with hope that he would find a friend to help him. I feel that even if the outcome is not good, we can still see it through kitty’s eyes- instead of starving to death, cold and alone on the mountain; he got to spend a couple more days in a warm home, cuddling with people who cared about him.

I thought about that for a little bit. I finally began to feel like I could fall back to sleep, but just before I did, I recalled another line that Mrs. Who said to the children:

“Le coeur a ses raisons que la raison ne connait point
The heart has its reasons, whereof reason knows nothing.”
With that thought in my head I was able to fall back asleep with a little sense of peace. Maybe people think it’s ridiculous to get so worked up over a stray cat, but I’m very much the type of person that believes that “these are all God’s creatures,” and that we should be helping each other when we have the means to. I very much believe that this kitty has been scared and cold and alone and suffering and that he’s grateful now to be warm and loved and cared for, even if these are his last days. This is evident in his cuddles and snuggles with us. So our hearts have our reasons for doing everything we can to help him and that’s all that matters.

What I read last week plus new challenges

Last week I finished:

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The Magicians Elephant by Kate DiCamillo
(Author of Because of Winn Dixie-ring a bell? Read for the Eclectic Reader Challenge)
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The Maze Runner by James Dashner 
(Read for the Dystopian Challenge)

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The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin 
(Read for the Newbery Challenge

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A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle 
(Read for the Newbery Challenge -this is a re-read, but I love this book.)

New challenges I’ve joined this week:

The Dystopian Challenge-ASocial level: Read five Dystopian books this year.

Here’s a list of popular Dystopian books, if you’re not sure what they’re about. I’m a big fan of this genre as it can sometimes overlap with fantasy and sci-fi which I love.

“A dystopia is the idea of a society in a repressive and controlled state, often under the guise of being utopian, as characterized in books like Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four. Dystopian societies feature different kinds of repressive social control systems and various forms of active and passive coercion. They are often imagined as police states, with unlimited power over the citizens. Fictional dystopias are often set in the future and involve technological innovations not accessible in actual present reality.”

The What’s In A Name Challenge-Read a book in the following categories:

  1. A book with a topographical feature (land formation) in the title
  2. A book with something you’d see in the sky in the title
  3. A book with a creepy crawly in the title
  4. A book with a type of house in the title
  5. A book with something you’d carry in your pocket, purse, or backpack in the title
  6. A book with a something you’d find on a calendar in the title

I can’t even tell you how much fun I’m having with my reading challenges this year. In fact, I’m having so much fun that I’ve joined two more challenges. I know- I’m the queen of piling my plate really high and I’m clearly well on my way to becoming a Reading Challenge Addict.


What I love about reading challenges:

1. They’re a challenge! (duh)
2. They get me out of my reading comfort zone.
3. They introduce me to new genres and authors.
4. They allow me to compete in something I’m actually good at–reading!
5. They connect me with other reading fanatics.
6. They inspire me to push myself.
7. They give me a sense of accomplishment.
8. They help me to be creative in my reading selection. 
9. They’re so much fun!

What are you reading these days? Are you participating in any reading challenges this year? What’s your favorite genre?

Bought today

I got out of the house early this morning to get some grocery shopping done. As a rule I only shop for groceries every two weeks. For awhile our rule was ‘shop when you decide you need something.’ You can see how this could get to be obsessive. Oreo’s, for example. I’d go grocery shopping, buy a package of Oreo’s and two days later it would be gone. So we’d go to the store again. Just for Oreo’s. It got to be an unhealthy cycle and an expensive one.
So now, it’s every two weeks and if we eat through something quickly, then we have to do without until I shop again. It’s a miracle, because now that package of Oreo’s is suddenly lasting us the full two weeks. What can I say? I now understand why my mom would get so mad when the box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch would be gone the day after she bought it. And she’d say, “I’m never buying CTC again.” We couldn’t understand why she wouldn’t buy it again if we liked it so much. But now I get it, groceries are expensive, yo!
This time around we haven’t really conserved the Dr. Pepper very well and on Monday it was gone. So every day this week we’ve both come home from work, opened the fridge and groaned at the reminder that there was no Dr. Pepper and there would be no Dr. Pepper until Friday. Sometimes our grocery rule is tough.

After that lesson in grocery shopping, let’s get on to the important stuff. I bought this today:

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Remember how I told you that we love Bruge’s and we go there almost every time we go to the Farmer’s Market? Well, they make their waffles with a speculoos spread, which is made from crushed Biscoff cookies- so not the same thing as this. The speculoos spread is crunchy and this biscoff spread is creamy. But I’m going to try it out on waffles anyway.
I’ll be judging dance competitions all weekend again. My sister is judging the same competition and will be staying at my house. I think I should probably go scrub the bath tub or something today.

Please tell me you have something more fun than grocery shopping and bath tub scrubbing planned today.