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Friday, December 12, 2014

Lessons I learned going back to school

1. I am really bad at time management
At any given time I can think of about two dozen other things to do, studying always falls low on the list. "Shit! dishes need to be done" or "We have no food, must run to the store" or the most common "oohh look at facebook, so shiny" (You can easily replace facebook with: youtube, pintrest, imgur, or the silly pirate game my sister made me download on my phone)
2. Really, really bad at time management.
I actually frequently end up doing my studying, reading, and especially online school work late at night and on the iPad while laying in bed. More times than I can count I have fallen asleep reading, or having Siri read to me on the iPad. 
3. No matter how hard I try to manage my time, the toddler has other plans.
Then there are days like today, where I am ready and rearing to go. Evey wants nothing to do with watching TV, or eating snacks, she is requiring 100% of my attention. So I stand in the kitchen, she can't reach me beyond the baby gate, but I can see her, she finally decides to play and I am able to stand there and go over my flash cards, while I load the dishwasher.
4. My brain isn't quite the sponge it once was.
I love to learn. But some things, no matter how hard I try I just can't get them to stay in my brain. I am really good at certain parts of Japanese, things you can picture, words associated with tangible things, nouns. But verbs, and parts of speech, are just hard. And without going into a Japanese lesson, Japanese verbs change depending on the use (positive or negative) and that just gets really confusing. 
5. Despite the fact that I know I could be doing better if I tried harder, as of this very second I have an A in both of my classes, and I got a B in my class that ended a few weeks ago (#historyclassfromhell).
I've got to be doing something right. I just hope that next semester I can assert myself better and manage my time at least a little better, and not go into finals fearing for my life.  
6. I am on track to graduate with my BA in History in fall 2016.
Unless I find some magic powers inside me that can push me into taking extra classes. Currently the university I am enrolled in does shortened 8 week courses, which sounds well and fine for someone in a hurry, but my poor brain just can't handle too much info at once. Also some of the classes (at the community college) I am taking are purely for my own enjoyment, exploring things that interest me, I have chosen to take advantage of some great grants offered here, and giving myself a well rounded education. But I don't want to overwhelm myself. Plus I am really in no real hurry. 

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Sister Smarty Pants

I just wanted to take a moment to congratulate my little sister. She received her Associates in History and Anthropology this weekend. 

I am so very proud of her!

You beat me this round sister, now lets race to the BA! 

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Gin Mule (or Gin-Gin Mule) Recipe

In today's installation of Operation Empty the Pantry, I bring you the gin mule. 
There are lots of recipes for this drink when you google it. If you found me through google I hope you like what you see here. 
It's a pretty simple drink, and quite refreshing. I would call it a summer drink, although I discovered it's parent drink (the Moscow Mule) the winter. 

I got a little artsy with the photography
1 1/2 oz Gin
1/4 squeezed lime

combine in a rocks/higball glass and enjoy

I have seen most recipes add muddled mint and simple syrup, but I think those make it too complex. This is simple, flavorful, and goes down easy. It's not too sweet, the gin is very subtle. 
Maybe without all that shit mine isn't a real Gin Mule, but it's delicious, and I suggest you at least try it before you add more sugar and the mint. 
Just as good (maybe better) thank the vodka drink it's modeled after.

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Okinawa Candy

During our time on Okinawa we did lots of sightseeing, and lots of eating candy and treats. One of our favorite places for both was the Nago Pineapple Park (official link). It was a lot of fun for visitors, I have a very brief post of pictures here, but more or less you go through the pineapple farm on a remote driven car and you listen to a short lesson about pineapples, and then you enter into the winery. You walk through the winery and you can taste wine and vinegar all made from fresh pineapple. You follow into a little store with cosmetics and then into a room with fresh pineapple, to buy and eat, and pineapple cakes, candies, all kinds of candies not just pineapple ones, lots of touristy stuff, bags t-shirts, stuffed animals. And that leads me to the point of this post. On of our favorite candies while in Okinawa was Shikuwasa Hi Chew. So shikuwasa is like a key lime, sort of.
Photo Credit: Naturally DIY
They go great on just about anything. They are a bit sweeter than limes. When in season they are used frequently in Okinawa, and even out of season you can find them bottled in juices all over the island. 
But we are here to talk about candy. So back to the Pineapple Park ( OkiHai link), well this was the only place Paul and I ever saw Shikuwasa Hi-Chew, so every time we went we bought enough to last us until the next time.  Hi-Chew is a chewy candy, like starburst.
Photo Credit: Ilubgrub
Since we are not making bi-yearly trips to the pineapple park anymore, it has been YEARS since we have had this candy. I have frequently put feelers out to get some, but not many people frequent the pineapple park, especially long term residents like most of my friends over there. Recently a SoCal blogger and her husband moved over there. Perhaps you have heard of her, Elizabeth over at The Young Retiree, if not go check her out! Well I mentioned the candy to her one night, and she knew what I was talking about, she had picked some up at a local mall! I was so excited! I asked her if she could send me a couple boxes, and she so kindly did!

Happiness doesn't even begin to describe the excitement of having these candies again. Thank you so much Elizabeth, you are awesome! This is truly the best flavor. We are rationing them now. Hopefully when we run out Elizabeth will send me more!
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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Golden Vlog

Woah! Two blogs today! But only because I found this Vlog and I want to join up and it ends tomorrow.

(click on the little youtube icon on the video to view in youtube!)

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2014 Marine Corps Ball

We recently attended the Marine Corps Birthday ball.
This year it was in Las Vegas.

before the ball

This was kind of cool because 10 years ago I accompanied Paul to our first Ball together in Primm Valley, just outside Las Vegas. It's crazy to think we have been together for 10 years.

I can't find that picture from that ball, but here is one from 2007, we were in Massachusetts. it's the oldest one I can find. 

But we had a great time in Vegas. Didn't take many pictures. My mom flew up and stayed with us so we had a sitter, which was super awesome of her (thanks again mommy). One nice thing, our reservation got messed up, we were supposed to have two adjoining rooms, and there were none available when we got there, so we got upgraded for free to a suite and a room adjoining! that was very nice. 

our suite

the vodka was flowing

I got my own fake eyelashes on! 
This last one is kind of funny. I have tried numerous times to get my fancy schmancy MAC eyelashes on, and never been able to. I was watching a YouTube video and the girl had cut hers in half. I was weary about cutting those expensive-ass eyelashes just to put them on, but I figured what the hell. And I was able to put them on! 

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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Queen Bee Market

I had an awesome blogger date this weekend with Kara at Ramblings of a Marine Wife. 

We met up at the Queen Bee Market. I didn't really know much about it going in, but have some grownup time out of the house, sounded like a great time.  Kara and I actually spent more time talking afterwards than we did shopping, it was so nice to meet her and chat, she is just as nice in real life as she is online. I am looking forward to meeting up again. 
But... back to the market. 
There was lots of cool things, antique furniture, Christmas ornaments, hand made bags and jewelry. Lots of great stuff. But I made out with hair accessories, for me and Evey. 

First the bows, they are mostly for me but I can share them if Evey can not destroy them with dirty little fingers. 
 I recognized the Hello Kitty one right away. A bow with Hello Kitty bows on it? YES PLEASE! 
A Little Delight had some of the cutest bows, and other hair ties. Very cute stuff. 

Next up we have Bacon and Eggs. Seriously so cute. Also Bacon is one of Evey's new words (and favorite foods), so of course I had to get her one. 
The Bacon and Eggs clips are from SoCutie. And they are So Cute! 

Last but not least we have the Jellyfish. 
Holy Moley Jellyfish is the cutest ever. 

It also has a little bit of Velcro inside that helps keep it in the babies hair. This is genius. It makes it difficult for the baby to pull the clip out.
Jellyfish is made by Shining Stars Boutique

Please ignore dirty baby face. I didn't want to fight with her. She's still cute. 
We love all of our new hair clips. And we really hope the dog doesn't eat them. 

Sadly I guess this is the last QBM that will be held, but you can check out all of the vendors on the page, if you are looking for local vendors in So Cal, they are all listed on the vendor page. Lots of cool stuff. 

*this is not a sponsored post, I purchased all of the items shown*

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

More random college thoughts.

A nice unrelated pretty picture, because I hate making posts without pictures. 

I am finally wrapping up the history class that has been driving me mad. If you have been following me on any other social media you know that it really has taken a toll on me. I have had little life outside of the house for the last 4 weeks, besides attending Japanese twice a week I barely walk out the door. I have dubbed the class #historyclassfromhell. But it's almost over. My final paper is off to my sister for revisions.
That's a great thing about having a sister who is in college too, she's a great spelling/grammar checker. 
But she thinks I use too many commas, screw that, I'll comma all I want, , , , , , 
I just submitted my last class discussion, and once I polish my paper and write a conclusion I'm done! I hope to submit it by tomorrow afternoon. 
Then I can focus on bringing my Japanese grade back up. My A dropped down to a B the last exam because I am really struggling with verbs, they all sound so much alike! 
I am also trying to plan next semester. I know I am taking Asian Studies online through the University, so I need to pick a another class to take online through the Community College, and I will take Japanese 102 face to face.
Yeah two schools, it gets confusing. But I'll explain how I am doing that eventually. 
I am so excited to be done with that history class. I have been neglecting so much, household chores, cleaning, my poor child who learned to count to 9 from watching the most freaky cartoon ever made. Seriously Charlie and the Numbers is scary. But she loves it. 

Last night to celebrate finishing my paper, I cleaned and rearranged the play room, so Evey has a little bit more functional place to play and what Thomas the Train. Next week I plan to tackle the upstairs, laundry, bathrooms, Evey's room still needs to be decorated. I have a whole list of fun things I want to do with all my extra spare time. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

I have had a feeling something was wrong

apparently frequent beach days just aren't enough

Remember back in March I talked about my low vitamin D levels? I really thought that moving to California would solve my problems and I would feel never feel bad again. Unfortunately I was wrong. About 2 months ago I started having some feelings of sluggishness and the occasional dizzy spell. I have also been back on the weight loss bandwagon, I just assumed my issue was dehydration or not enough calories or carbs. It didn't take long for me to start having shortness of breath again, This was my first clue that my D levels were still messed up.
I finally got around to having my doctor put in an order for the blood work, and I got a call this last week saying, yes my levels were low again. Even though I have been spending more time in the sun, I am still at 25, which my current doctor described as a "grey area" between good and bad. Although he agreed that my symptoms were certainly not typical, they are not out of the realm of possibly related, so I am back on Vitamin D. This time as a lower, over the counter level, I will likely be on this for the foreseeable future. It's something that I can deal with if it means I will feel better.
I am also hoping that along with helping the shortness of breath, and lethargy, that perhaps also my inability to focus is also a result of my low levels and with just a few days of vitamins that I will have a much easier time with my studies. Because That one history class really sucks, maybe vitamin D will make it better. If not I've only got 4 more weeks. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

My journey to finding a babysitter.


Last week I needed a baby sitter for the first time since Evey was born. Besides once or twice being left with immediate family, she has never been left with anyone. I wasn't looking forward to it, and even with a few weeks notice I was still unsure how to go about it.Paul came home from work with  bad news, shortly after I gave him my school schedule, telling him the nights I needed him home, he found out he was going to be gone for an entire work week. Not that big of a deal, I can miss two days of school. Wait.... Nope.,... Midterm that week. If I miss it, it can seriously negatively impact my grade.

Panic set in. What am I supposed to do? I need to go to class? First I asked my teacher if I could bring my daughter to class with me. HA HA HA! Yes I'm crazy. I can barely even get homework done with her around, let alone focus on a midterm. My Professor (obviously) said no. I was very concerned. I don't have many contacts here in California. I knew my parents were coming to visit the weekend before, but I didn't want them to delay and screw up their vacation by asking them to stay an extra 4 days.

So I turned to Facebook I know how crazy that sounds, and I didn't post in an open forum "hey what stranger wants to watch my kid". I have a group of ladies I really trust, we have similar parenting styles, and they are local. So I asked for recommendations. Right away I had a girl recommended to me. She is a Marine Wife, she previously worked in child care, and she was really close, like I could walk there close. Also she has her own baby, so Evey would have someone to play with. 

I had her come over for an interview, I let her play with Evey and she told me about herself. It actually worked out perfect, she showed up just as my washing machine started to vomit foam, so I was able to see her occupy Evey so I could handle the disaster in my laundry room. Okay, maybe that's not perfect. But it worked out anyway. I really like her, and I could even see us being friends, because we both have similar parenting styles. So I scheduled her in. 

The week of babysitting was stressful, not only did I have a heavy workload for school, and a midterm, but Paul was gone from Monday morning to Friday night. But despite all of the stress and anxiety, Evey's first (and second) babysitter experiences went off perfectly. Neither of us cried. I really didn't expect her to, but I was pretty sure I would, if I hand't been so distracted by school I probably would have. And I am going to schedule Evey for a few more days, during the day, for weeks I have papers due, so I can focus without her getting into shit and distracting me. We are also probably going to have a play date so Evey doesn't think every time we go the sitters house she is being left there. Only time will tell, but I may have gotten a friend out of the deal too!


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