Next Semester’s Expenditures


In the same vein as the last post, I’m also planning where my money will go next semester:

-New plants. I’m pretty sure leaving them in tubs full of water for nine days will not completely ensure the survival of the horde. And I need to buy out the supply of the dollar store’s dirt. Note that plants are my first priority.

- New computer. Sad but true. I’m going to go with another MacBook Pro and hope I can still get away with additions (space, RAM, etc). Mine’s five years old and that’s usually the useful life span of a computer that you can add things to — a trait that Macs sadly lack now. They are in the bad habit of making things without screws now or soldering motherboards to RAM cards. Jerks. Mine is struggling and I do too many useful things with it now (it’s not just an internet machine anymore). I’m afraid death throes aren’t far off. See how I legitimize this purchase. I see buyers remorse in my future.

- Seriously work on paying off my credit cards. Holy poo. I was careless in my early college years and still owe a bit. One of them is closed so it is only functioning as a virtual money pit. Kinda like saying, “This is the tax you pay because you were foolish and had a severe Starbucks addiction when you were 21.” I did actually need the money at the time, but this is a good lesson on interest and payments. Ugh.

- Domain and et ceteras. It is time to get serious about a business. I’d like to start manufacturing essential oils and loose herbs, etc. The man of the house made a point to mention that I’d be happier doing that and working part time, instead of the standard 9-5 mess. I couldn’t help but agree. More on that in another post.

- Savings. Because I am an adult now.

- Travel funds. I’ve started a bank account specifically for travel (and Christmas). This will keep me more organized and give me something to look forward to during the year. I also tend to over budget on trips, so this will keep me on track.

Here’s to 2015!


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Planning to Be Better

My college career, in both undergrad and postgrad, I followed a very specific schedule of procrastination. It usually involved me staying up all night on a caffeine bender rushing to get things finished before deadline, then turning it in, but not staying for class. That was more prevalent in undergrad, but writing my thesis was pretty much ‘coffee, tears, pee, repeat’ in a 72-hour period.

Now that I am attempting to be a grown ass adult (and the fact that I just can’t hang — I was not designed for all-nighters), I’m exploring this new thing called ‘organization’.

Like I explained in this post (plane to Hawaii post), this experiment is making my life so much easier. Suddenly, I am finishing things early and it’s giving me a lot more time for things that I enjoy. And I am making it to work on time, which is a new thing for me. Hopefully I can keep all of this up.

Has everyone else been procrastinating with me or am I late to the game?


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One Flight Down

We left for Hawaii this morning. At first, nothing seemed to be going our way. The taxi was late, I forgot to take off my shoes at the TSA checkpoint, we didn’t have time to grab breakfast and I lost one of my ear buffers.


However (big however), did I mention that we are going to Hawaii? Nothing can really go wrong for me at this point. This is the most chilled out I have been for an airport experience for pretty much ever. Usually, I’m barking at Mikey about toiletries or hurrying us through to the gate. But this time is so different from my other two trips this year.

I think there are several factors at play regarding my chillaxitude (yes, I just made that happen). This trip doesn’t involve me meeting people that I am required to spend several days with/ sleep in their houses. There’s a certain amount of work involved in making friends enough with somebody to stay at their house within the first few hours of meeting them. It’s not off-putting, just stressful. There’s a lot of weird social etiquette (how much is their cat going to allow me to love them?, can I eat the whole contents of someone’s fridge?, when can I start comfortably pooping?, etc.) to adhere to in situations where you are both kinda friends and more so being employed by someone to take pictures of the most important day of their life so far. Lots of pressure.

Another reason why I’m super relaxed is because we are pretty organized this trip. Sure, the taxi was late, but I allowed time for that (and the extremely benevolent TSA lady let us take the short line for crew). And we have allowed for a lot of time to ourselves this trip. Like a vacation. Weird. Sure, we have an 11-page itinerary for just the first three days of our stay, but that’s all fun Lost related stuff. We are doing a self guided tour to hit all the important filming locations. The next few days have Lost2014 related stuff, but there is still scheduled free time for me to do some yoga on the beach and enjoy myself, which is much needed after the craziness of the past few weeks of subbing for GradPoint classes. I’m finding out more and more that planning ahead of time is so much more beneficial than winging things like I am used to doing.

We also opted to leave the toiletries at home this time, which shaves off weight, worry, and time. We found a Walmart just over a mile away from our hotel and since we rented a car (another reason to relax!) it will be easy to just drive over tonight and grab all that we need. According to trip advisor, prices are comparable to the mainland, so it’s not a huge deal. We also found out that our hotel has coin operated laundry machines, so I’ll be adding travel sized detergent to our list.

Did I mention that I finished my homework yesterday and don’t have another due date until October? Again, with the planning.

So here I am — somewhere over Arkansas and smiling like an idiot, even if one of my earphones has an increased chance of rupturing my eardrum. I’m so happy that I sprang for in-flight breakfast sandwiches for the two of us. The flight attendant gave me extra coffee, too, adding to the generally awesome vibes floating around in the universe this morning.
We have a 2-hour layover at LAX, where I will post this and start sifting through pictures I’ve taken in the last few weeks. I brought my external drive to free up some space on my computer. I think that I may have to get a new one soon (I’m on mobile, don’t let my current computer see this).

Until then –

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Randoms (+/-) and Upcoming Adventures



+ My partner in crime has been working really hard to get us completely awesome camera equipment for our upcoming events. This guy knows how to find a great deal.  We had one day where we spent $600 for a camera, a lens, and a bag worth over $1000. All from separate places.  I want to take him to yard sales.  He’s a genius.

- Since I don’t have enough computers in my room, I keep having to send students up to the media center. Today, I had to send four of ten (two of which were brand new to class and had no idea what was going on) up there.  I spent all of second period running up and down the stairs trying to get everyone settled.  Thank goodness I have little angels during that class and they didn’t trip me or break things after I left. But really, this is a computer-based class.  Get with it, school!

+ I burned around 300 calories running back and forth. Bonus!

+ Thankfully, I totally made up for the lack of productivity in second period during third.  I drove home, re-installed the fire alarm that was going off last night, figured out a self-watering system for the plants when I leave for Hawaii (storage tubs full of water!), grabbed items I need to return, threw the towels in the dryer, ordered a dress online (discounted Modcloth!), grabbed the mail, and got a salad at Kroger.

- I’ve not gotten to eat the salad yet.

+ People at this school are starting to act like I am a permanent fixture here.  NICE!

- It’s getting to the point in the season that I realize some of my plants are about to go dormant.  BOO!

- Had to cancel a camping trip because I forgot I registered for The Color Run in Oct. Looks like no more camping for me this year.

+ We still get to go to the activity scheduled for that Sunday — Touring the Land of OZ theme park in western NC.  I am ridiculously excited about this. It’s an abandoned theme park that opens a few times a year to host visits.  We are going for the creepy factor!

+ On Oct. 18th, we are going with a group to Howl-O-Scream! Last year was particularly notorious for me running from a pirate, while my friends fed him my name and address, and knocking over an innocent woman/her hula hoop.

Extra: I think I might beg that guy to take me to Colonial Williamsburg for my birthday. Because damn, it’s beautiful.

The pluses and minuses denote pros and cons, in case you didn’t get that right away.
** The moment I published this coincides with the moment I finished the salad.

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On Current Fitness Habits

Photo Sep 04, 10 07 39 AM

I talked in one of my last posts about how I’ve gotten back into running. To be completely truthful, I’ve been working on distance jogs. Not running (let’s be real, here). More like a really sad trot. Since my sad trot is low impact, it is better on me for right now.  Eventually I will work myself into trail running again.

To recap: This time last year, I weighed 185.  No, that’s not super awful, but it was just into obesity range (BMI scale). I was having crazy pains that no one my age should be having.  For instance, every morning it took 15 minutes of walking around just to make my feet stop hurting. Once I sat down to any task over an hour long, I’d have to work into making my feet feel better once I stood up again.  That is not normal for anyone in their late 20’s.  I was also tired all the time and couldn’t really perform daily tasks with any kind of zest. While burgers and mac & cheese tasted awesome, my overall health was pretty miserably ranked.

Now: I am 12 lbs down (173) and though that’s still not where I want to be, I feel so much better already.  I can run a 9:30 minute mile without stopping and can sad trot/walk around the lake for five miles before I decide to give it a rest for the day. Nature being as hilarious as it is, I’ve not lost huge amounts of inches except for where my boobs (and my lower stomach) are concerned.  I’ve lost a band and a cup’s worth of boobs.  Why are they always the first to go?! I’ve also lost a jeans size, which is nothing to scoff at, either.

On Water, The Lake, and The Mile: I’ve been trying to drink more water, but that is the hardest thing for me to keep up with so far.  I think if I could work on that, things would be a whole lot better for me. I’ve been keeping a Nalgene full of lemon water with me when I sad trot/walk. It is literally the tastiest thing in the world ever and is kind of like weight training if I switch hands every ten minutes. It helps with staying hydrated, because it makes me want to work to keep it lighter. Ha!  I’ve been opting for the lake trail more than the treadmill lately, so I end up taking a lot of random pictures of duck butts. I always end up tiring myself out on the treadmill, so I try to limit use of it to once or twice a week.  I am an endurance sad trotter, not a sprinter.  That said, I’ve been able to shave 30 seconds off of my mile (currently 9:30), and that makes me pretty happy.

On Clothes: I kind of went on a capri buying spree once I lost a pants size. When you’re losing weight, Walmart is your friend, otherwise you’re going to be dropping a ridiculous amount of money. Since they are capris, the crickets don’t try to mate with me as I run by (something about how I haven’t shaved in a while and the sound of my thighs rubbing together attracts them). Running shorts may happen someday, but I am not a huge fan of chafing. I also got to change my Clothes That Don’t Fit You Anymore box into a Clothes That Fit You/Will Fit You Soon box. It’s seriously like going shopping and getting a ton of things you know you already like for free. A lot of blogs and sites recommend that you just let that stuff go and buy new stuff when you lose the weight again, but I get too attached to clothes. I can’t just give something I like, and could possibly wear again, away. When I was looking for a pair of leggings last weekend, the box ended up mostly on the floor, so I vowed to look through it when I came back on Monday from the wedding shoot marathon. A third of the box fit me again and it made me ridiculously happy.

In short:  I found my golden number of intake calories vs exercise in order to lose weight. Finally. Ugh. I was hovering at 176 for several months, so this is my relief post. Sorry that it was kind of all over the place.

What do you do to keep in shape? 


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Still Here: Part 2

Photo Aug 21, 12 09 20 PM

Now that I am back in school, both working and as a student, I have a lot less free time to fool around like I had during the summer. Currently, I’m:

- trying to figure out the plant situation before Hawaii.  Which ones should I let die and which should I work to save? What watering method should I use while I am gone for nine days? Will the fungus completely overtake my apartment while I am gone or should I bite the bullet and leave them outside?

- embroiled in a full teaching schedule,  for once. One of the teachers at my favorite high school had surgery, so I will be covering for his super awesome classes until we go to Hawaii.  He should be back by then, but if not, I’d gladly cover his computer-based classes of less than 7 people per class for him.  I want his job.

- back in school.  Again.  I am working on my second Master’s (in library science this time) and have a full schedule there, too.  Currently, I am trying to work ahead so I don’t have to worry about leaving for two due dates (note how this post keeps going back to the fact that I AM GOING TO HAWAII IN TWO WEEKS).

- working on being a  second shooter in a photo business.  This includes, but is not limited to: shooting with a DSLR, lugging equipment, driving a lot, shooting with an instant camera, creating itineraries, organizing weddings, scrapbooking, sewing/pinning dresses in last minute situations… and this is all in the last week. Going with our theme, in Hawaii, I will also be filming interviews.

- trying to fit workouts into a busy schedule.  I had it down pretty well last week, but I feel the lag of a busy weekend on me this week.  In fact, yesterday, all I wanted to do was assume the fetal position and go to sleep at 8:45.  Since when did 8:45 feel super late? Ugh. I did not mention that I am going to Hawaii in this bullet point.  HAWAII!

I will keep everyone updated with trying to fit everything into my life as time goes on.  We had two weddings to shoot this past weekend and I only had one day off (in which I spent most of the time on the floor thinking about how tired I was…), but things won’t be quite as hectic in the coming months.  I think…

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Still Here: Part 1

Photo Aug 15, 6 55 37 PM

I avoided posting over the summer because I wanted to work on distancing myself from technology. It worked for the most part. Since I knew that Fall would bring more online time and procrastination, I figured it was okay to skip the summer months. What did I do that whole time?

- I walked. And ran. And ran.  I finally found my passion for running again.  Some days I would run three miles and ache for more.  Other days, I would just decide that it was best to walk a lot.  I logged more miles on Runkeeper this summer than I have in a long time. This caused me to finally break through my weight plateau. Yessssss.

- I played with plants for several hours every day. My neighbors would walk by and ogle at all of the pots on my porch, with me covered in dirt/waving maniacally at them. I also battled a rampant fungus.  I may have to break down and buy a fungicide, against my better judgement.  I had a resident toad who would not stay out of my dirt. I got some hummingbirds this summer, too, which was awesome.

- I worried about money.  I could not have made it through the summer without my Mom’s help.  Props to her.

- I crafted in various mediums. And I kept my apartment spotless. It was nice and will be short lived.

- I traveled my ass off.  Richmond, WV, the beach, all around the Raleigh area.  I think I must have put over 5,000 miles on my car this summer.  Doing various photography gigs with Mikey helped get me out of the house a lot more than I would have on my own.

This has been one of my most stressful and relaxing (respectively) summers on record.  Now I am back in school and busier than I was last spring. I feel like I’ve gone from 0 to 80 in no time. I’ll save that for another post.

How was your summer? What was your favorite trip/downtime activity?


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25 Things You (Probably) Don’t Know About Me

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I stole this from Tina at Carrots and Cake, because it looked fun and I feel like y’all don’t know a whole lot about me quite yet.

1. I’m happiest when I’m in my garden.
2. … especially if it involves tricking people into talking about/buying plants with me.
3. I’ve always wanted to live in a tiny house.
4. My family and I love to talk about obscure facts.
5. I was a terrible gym studentIt was pretty pathetic.
6. My first job was in a flower shop as the delivery driver. 
7. I could probably eat spaghetti and meatballs every day.
8. I stole answers from my friend Rachel during labs in chemistry class when I was in high school, because I was awful at it. She let me, so I guess it was cool.
9. I was born on the same day as John Kerry and NIkki Sixx.
10. My all-time favorite film is Robin Hood (both Kevin Costner OR Cary Elwes versions) followed closely by The Sweetest Thing.
11. I do a pretty mean Grumpy Cat impression.
12. I’m still mad I never studied abroad.
13. I met my boyfriend at a friend’s house for the first time.
14. I always knew I wanted to have my own apartment in a city. Instead of envisioning a wedding or kids, this is what I daydreamed about.
15. I’m not afraid to pick up bugs (in cups) and set them free outside, but crunching them makes me gag.
16. I make the best homemade pizza. No lie. The Best.
17. I have almost no musical ability. I can’t keep time at all.
18. I always cry when at Alzheimer’s commercials. Any and all.
19. I’m a West Virginian, but I gladly live in Raleigh.  This town suits me so well.
20. I spent 2 months at camp every year for five years as a counselorI still wish I could do it, but I am way too old. Everyone else that works there had my campers as their counselors.  I’m grandma.
21. I wish my folks lived closer.
22. At 5, I was deeply in love with elephants and the Statue of Liberty.
23. I believe if everyone had a sense of humor the world would be a better place.
24. I can’t stand going more than 24 hours without a shower. Unless I’m camping, and if there’s a shower nearby, I’ll still risk one.
25. Whenever Friends is on, I’ll watch it.


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I’ve been absent for almost a month. In the blog world, that happens sometimes.

I’ll be back soon, just focusing on living the good life for now. :)


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Update: Calendar Crisis

Remember that post when I was talking about being disorganized when it came to calendars?

I’ve gotten a bit better.  Since I’ve downloaded a CalenMob* to my iPhone to make my Google Calendar more user friendly on my iPhone, things have gotten much better.

Photo Jun 04, 8 44 18 AM

This app allows me to update my calendar across all platforms, even my pesky iProducts. From what I hear, Google and Apple don’t particularly get along sometimes, and I noticed that I was having two different accounts updating on my iPhone calendar. It wasn’t particularly affecting anything, other than the fact that at times something I entered into my iPhone wouldn’t show up when I looked for it on my laptop.  I’m sure there was some way to get my old account erased through the app if I had searched long enough, but I found that CalenMob was the easiest fix for me. I seriously took an hour trying to find the right button to push on the original calendar app .  It was a no go.

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When I am on my laptop or a school computer, it’s easier to access Google Calendar itself. The magic of being able to color code various activities (work, school, play, etc.) made it super attractive to me.  That, and you can have a full month view or an agenda view.

untitled 1Super easy.  Since I had so much trouble getting my shit together regarding calendars, this was a huge breakthrough. It’s easier now, even though I wanted to have stuff written down on a page so badly.  I still write lists, but it mostly ends up on the app/online now. My only complaint is that there aren’t larger scrollable views of everything on the Google Calendar app.  When I am looking at my calendar, I want to be able to see the whole scope of things without having to click arrow buttons a thousand times. Maybe a three-month view would work? I don’t really have the same problem on the CalenMob app, as it’s mostly used for reference and quick information dumps, rather than for vast planning purposes. Other than that, there isn’t much I could complain about.

In short, when you find something that works for you, run with it.

*This post is not sponsored by CalenMob or Google. I just love the shit out of their apps.


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