Thursday, January 5, 2012

Adventures in Brussels Sprouts!

I'm a new found Brussels Sprouts fan and over the past month or so, I've tried three different ways of preparing them!

Check out my new blog over at wordpress to see which was my favorite!

Don't forget to follow me over there as well! :-)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Movin' On Up!

I know I mentioned this on a previous post, but here is the official announcement!

I've finally decided to "move on up" from a Blogger based blog to a Wordpress based blog!

It was relatively smooth transition, but I'm really happy with the outcome! I'm really excited about some of the features Wordpress offers that Blogger does not, including replying to comments.

I hope that every single one of you (Google followers and Google Readers) to come on over and check out the new digs! Oh and don't forget to subscribe! I don't want to lose a single one of you! Let me know if you find any bugs or anything on any of the pages, cause it is definitely somewhat of a work in progress. Can't wait for you all to see it!

Here's the new address:

See you on the flip side!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Kindle Reads - The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts

Image Source: 5 Love Languages

I'm a new subscriber to the awesomeness that is Amazon Prime and one of the perks of the service (along with free 2 day shipping) is access to a large Kindle library online.Although it is in the early stages and is a bit hard to search through, I came across the book The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary D. Chapman.

The book was an extremely easy read and quite interesting. It explained the five love languages in detail and how you can tell which one is yours and your spouse's. It discussed how we need to speak in the proper language that makes our significant other feel love and fill their "love tank". You may be expressing love in a way in which you partner really doesn't understand which can cause distance and dissension in a marriage. 

At first, I couldn't tell which was my primary love language as I thought that multiple love languages applied to me, so I took the test in the back of the book. It turns out that I was right. My primary love language is "Words of Affection", while I am bilingual in my secondary love languages of "Quality Time" and "Acts of Service". These second two were a close second which is why I included them. 

The Hubs's love language is Acts of Service, followed by Physical Touch. I'm going to try to be more diligent in trying to show my love in his language. This could include spontaenously making a dinner I know he loves, helping him with projects outside (I'm adverse to getting dirty and bugs, so this would definitely show him love!), or giving him a back rub without being asked.

The Hubs and I have a happy marriage, but I think that armed with this information we can make it even better. I know that if we both make the effort to speak in the other's love language that we will both so appreciate it and get the little butterfly feeling of first love for years down the road!

I would definitely recommend this book to others. It's an easy read with lots of good information for couples and singles alike!

Have you read The Five Love Languages? If so, did you find it helpful?
What is your love language and that of your spouse?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Starting 2012 Off Right!

Image Source: kabun

Hope everyone had an amazing New Years! Ours was extremely low key...dinner with the family and then home to watch The Change Up (hilarious!) and New Years' Rockin' Eve. New Years Day was spent cleaning up the holiday decorations and drowning myself a bit in computer time.

But on with my goals for 2012! Last year was the first year I consciously made an effort to make goals and put them out into the Universe (i.e. this blog) and it worked! I accomplished almost everything I set out to do!

So without further ado, here are my goals for an AWESOME 2012!

1.) Practice Yoga Regularly
I started to do this more regularly during the second half of this year and it has felt wonderful! The tricks to accomplish this goal include being willing to go to different gym locations in order to attend yoga classes, starting an at home practice, and/or investing in some sort of membership to a yoga studio.

I'm going to try to keep a note on my calendar of the days that I make it so I can track my progress.
2.) Read More
You can see on my Kindle Reads page that I read 15 books last year. I would like to try to read at least 20 books in 2012. On my must read list include:

Image Source: Amazon

Image Source: Amazon

3.) Unplug
This goal is for me as much as The Hubs. I'm going to commit to not checking my phone while talking to The Hubs. This has been one of my worst habits since getting a Smartphone. I'm constantly checking Twitter or my Google Reader or Facebook and I get distracted from whatever he is saying. It really annoys him!

One of my goals is blog related (see #4), so I'm not going to be able to unplug completely. My plan is to set aside an hour a day to do anything computer related. I'll discuss with The Hubs ahead of time so that perhaps he can pursue his own hobby (running or watching a horror movie on Netflix).

This is going to be one of the most difficult goals for me to tackle!

4.) Finish Projects
There are two projects that need to be finished in 2012 (at least for now...)!

The first is to make both sets of parents wedding albums. Two years and two months later and I still haven't done it! I need to make this a priority this year.

I've heard awesome things about Blurb, so I think I'm going to use that site to create my books.

Photo take by Peters Photography

The second project also involves wedding pictures. We have ZERO up in our house, ZERO printed out.
When I saw this small hallway picture project Katie over at Bower Power did, I just knew I needed to duplicate it!

So far I have one frame that's got nada in it. At least it's a start though!

5.) Blog

I have a couple of goals for this blog this year.

First, I'm in the process of transitioning over to Wordpress . The switch has been recommended by many and after seeing the smooth transition Amy over at Dandelion Paperweight had, I figured I would give it a shot. I'm still working on making the blog look the way I want it and adding a few things and I'll make sure to let you know when the move is complete, but you can already go ahead and update your Readers now since I plan on posting in both places during the transition. I hope you all will follow me over there as I think Wordpress will allow me to connect better with each and every one of you through easy comment replies!

Second, I'd like to put myself out there with the posts I write. I have about 7 posts regarding my journey so far in trying to conceive, but I just haven't hit publish yet. Perhaps I'll put myself out there even more and apply to be a recurring blogger on popular blog. Or maybe just a guest post here or there.

This blog has been such a wonderful outlet that I want to do my best to keep up with it the whole of 2012!

6.) Travel

This goal worked out for me last year with our trip to Seattle, so I hope it works again in 2012!

We already have trips planed to Vegas for Garth Brooks and San Luis Obisipo for my sister's graduation.

Image Source: disneybrent

If we can swing it though, I'd like to take one more trip, perhaps to Chicago! I've been wanting to go to Chicago forever to visit a friend from grad school. It looks like a beautiful city and I've heard wonderful things about it!

Image Source: jarek69 & evelyn

I'm sure these goals may change and evolve as the year progresses (I may even get ambitious and make some new ones!), but for now this is a good start!

What are your goals for 2012??

Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Goal Recap!

With the beginning of this blog, came the start of me consciously setting goals for myself for the year and attempting to actually follow through with them. You see, I've always set New Years my head anyways, but by the time February or March rolls around, I'm one of those people who loses all motivation and lets the resolutions fall by the wayside.

So I dedicated a whole blog post to the goals I would like to accomplish for an AMAZING 2011. And let me tell you, I think that laying out these specific goals for myself (as well as another set of goals for work) and putting the intention of accomplishing them out into the Universe helped me to accomplish almost all of them!

Here's a recap of how I did!

1.) Hire a Personal Trainer - ACCOMPLISHED!!
I cheated a bit with this one, as The Hubs helped me out by getting me 8 sessions last Christmas.  I really loved personal training. I totally got my butt kicked and found that my trainer worked me out WAY harder than I would have done by myself.  I became frienemies with the foam roller and kettle bell workouts.  But at the end of my 8 sessions, I ended up opting to not spend the significant amount of money that was required to keep up with it. At the time we were just starting our TTC journey and I didn't want heavy workouts to influence anything (little did I know we'd still be on that journey a year later...). Maybe some day I'll hire a trainer again, but for now I'm going to save the money and continue workouts on my own.

2.) Take a Trip - ACCOMPLISHED!!
So proud of myself for actually following through with this one. It was my intention to take a trip and my BIG idea was to go to Seattle (obviously as I used a picture of the Space Needle to highlight this goal!).  I overcame my fear of flying and actually traveled to Seattle where The Hubs and I had an amazing time and were able to take ACTUAL pictures of the Space Needle! 

3.) Find 3 Mentors - A bit of a miss...
This was the one goal that I didn't accomplish as much as I would have liked to.  I had good intentions of contacting a former coworker to discuss work/life balance, but didn't really make the effort even though it would have been pretty easy, what with being Facebook friends and everything. I found a few blogs online where I connected with other female engineers including Tessa at Diary of a Working Mother who've I really enjoyed following and connecting with online (she's a fellow SWEster too which makes it even better!). I think this is a goal that I need to carry  into 2012 and really really try to follow through with!

4.)  Take a Class - ACCOMPLISHED
Right at the beginning of the year, I took a meditation class which was TOTALLY out of my comfort zone, but SO worth it.  I then began to explore the mindfulness/body connection by taking yoga classes more regularly, including a Yoga for Fertility workshop.  I've really fallen in love with Yoga and think that it has been the one thing that really helped bring about somewhat more calm in my life.

5.) Buy Stuff - ACCOMPLISHED
I'm really proud of myself for this one. The one big thing I wanted to buy this year was a new TV console (again evidence of the picture in my original goal post!) and buy a new media stand we did! The Hubs and I absolutely LOVE it!

We bought a new shower head, which was a long time coming, and something The Hubs and I are enjoying immensely! (Can I say twice a day showers when there is time?? Not exactly environmentally friendly, but oh so relaxing!)

I bought a new glider for the front porch.

And we started the process of making new curtains... Key word is started... That is a project we NEED to finish in 2012!

Whew... I accomplished a lot in 2011 (which is why it was my "word" of 2011!)  and I have SO much to show for it! It makes me SO proud of myself! 

I can't wait to see what next year holds!

Did you set goals for 2011? 
How'd you do in accomplishing them??

Friday, December 30, 2011

#Weverb11 - Day 30 - Meditate & Day 31: Foresee

Day 30:  Meditate

Were you happy with who you were in 2011? Who do you want to be in 2012 and beyond? 

Contributed by Kimberly Michelle []

For the first time in a long time, I can actually say that I was happy with who I was in 2011. Just the other night, I was watching TV with The Hubs and sort of spaced out and thought to myself "Life is pretty good." 

It's not like I have a perfect life or have everything that I could possible want or need, but in 2011 I felt fulfilled. Both at work (which hasn't happened in a LONG time) and at home. 

In 2012, I want to continue to be happy. I want to accept the things that I can't control and choose to behave in positive ways in every situation. I want to be nicer and do more good for others. 

Day 31:  Foresee

Where do you hope to be on January 1, 2013

Contributed by Kaileen Elise []

On January 1, 2013, I hope to be more well traveled, calmer/less anxious, and hopefully... hopefully on the road to parenthood. I know that that last thing is not something that I can control particularly, but I hope that I am able to accept whatever situation we are in and take whatever steps The Hubs and I feel comfortable with making in 2012 in order to make that dream come true.

**Stay tuned for tomorrow, when I hope to share what I've accomplished in 2011 and Sunday for a new set of goals for 2012!**

#Weverb11 Participants! If you've been participating in #Weverb11 and have enjoyed it as much as I have, please consider donating to the cause so we can have a #Weverb12 and beyond! 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

#Weverb11 - Day 28 - Pay it Forward & Day 29 - Gush

Day 28:  Pay it Forward

Describe a random act of kindness you benefited from in 2011. How will you pay it forward in 2012?

Contributed by Bella []

Is it sorta sad that I can't think of a specific random act of kindness...

I mean people have done plenty of nice things for me, but nothing totally random (like Bebe having water left out for her at a random house along her running route!).

So instead here are a few things people have done that I can think of...
  • Having Starbucks randomly brought to me at work by my bestie.
  • Having someone complement me on my writing and training at work.
  • Whenever The Hubs cleaned something up or did something that he knew I would really appreciate without me having to ask.
Next year, I would like to perform more random acts of kindness. Perhaps pay the toll on the bridge for the car behind me or get the coffee for the person behind me. 

Day 29:  Gush

Begin to create a plan for "My friends day out 2012" - tell us what you envision.

Contributed by Julie Jordan Scott []

I love my friends and would love to have a Girl's Day Out in 2012! Except for the fact that most of my friends will be very pregnant or with little ones for 2012...

But if I could do anything for a girl's day out, we would start out by hitting up Starbucks and getting a nice warm delicious coffee and pastry. Next we would head to the spa -preferably the Claremont Hotel and Spa in Berkeley. I had a Girl's Day Out in 2008 with a friend from grad school where we both ditched work and headed to the Claremont. 

Image Source: Critical Thinking Community

It was AHH-mazing! The Claremont is beautiful and makes you feel really rich just being there. I got an hour long massage and an hour long oxygenated facial - both which were heavenly! Then we got to hang out in the spa all day and sit in the deluge (which makes your hair smell heavenly!). 

After hanging out at the spa for most of the day, we'd go to my favorite sushi restaurant, Amakara, for a delicious early dinner. Their sushi rolls, especially the one they call Klondike Express is to DIE for!

The day would end at a wine bar, perhaps Residual Sugar  or any other wine bar for that matter! It would be the opportunity to sit with a glass of wine and chat about our lives in lounge-like comfort.

Just writing about this wonderful day, is making me long for it! :-)

#Weverb11 Participants! If you've been participating in #Weverb11 and have enjoyed it as much as I have, please consider donating to the cause so we can have a #Weverb12 and beyond!