Happy girls are the prettiest girls


HBBC week 1 update

Dear #HBBC,

Why did you have to start the weekend before I was due in for surgery, and a midst the 3 week no activity restriction period I must endure? It is KILLING me that I can't rack up any exercise points. And I am terrible about getting in my 7 servings of fruits and veggies daily, usually hitting maybe the 5 serving mark or less before resorting to "easier" foods, read: prepackaged, bad for me, or carb and sugar laden.

Not familiar with the Holiday Booty Buster Challenge that Amanda at Run to the Finish hosts? Click the HBBC link above or in my sidebar to the right for more info. The way you gain points is simple:
1 Point per mile (run/walk)
1 Point per 3 miles biked
1 Point per 20 minutes of weight lifting, Pilates, yoga, stretching or abs
1 Point per 15 minutes of low impact cardio (i.e. low impact aerobics, easy biking, skiing, skating, water aerobics, snow shoeing)
1 Point per 10 minutes of high impact cardio (i.e.spinning, kickboxing, lap swimming)
1 Per day where you reach a minimum of 7 servings of fruits and veggies (serving size decoded)

Sorry this update is a little late, I'll try to stay up to date as the weeks finish. I was just bummed by my lack of anything to report!
Week 1: Nov.19-25
Thurs: 3 mile slow walk with Billy on Thanksgiving. 3 points
I wish I had tracked all the walking I did during Black Friday shopping...I might have racked up more points without even knowing it! Without a way to track, I can't claim it though, boo!
weekly total: a very sad 3 points.

Week 2: Nov.26-Dec.2 in progress
It's not looking so hot just yet with only 2 points gained from getting in my 7 servings of fruits and veggies on two separate days. Thank you Togo's salad for Monday night dinner and persistence to eat them all on Saturday. Maybe I'll attempt a low intensity weight workout today and see how the belly feels? No promises.

This Friday I leave for southern California with my bestie Tiffany for a very exciting fitness competition she will be competing in. Does watching extremely fit people on stage in tiny bathing suits count? Can I absorb some of her workouts through osmosis if I stand really close to her? She's been killing it for months to get into the best shape of her life {which is saying something, since she is always fit!} and the 3-a-day workouts should count for me too, yeah? 

I'm hoping to get into the game in week 4, Dec.10-16, when I will be free to do activities as I please without fear of my ovaries bursting or my bloated belly giving me a problem. 


Phone Leak #1

Thought I would jump on the phone pictures leak bandwagon and share some of the photos I have snapped recently. If you make it through to the end, there's a belly pic for anyone interested in how bloated I am right now :)
Dressing room photo of the dress I picked to wear to Danielle's wedding. Loved it!
Car self portrait. I had actually styled my hair during the week, so it was worth a photo!
Hello Miss Chelsea inspired yet another yummy snack attack
Fancy food at the Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay. Foie gras creme brulee
More Ritz Carlton food, this time fried mac and cheese balls
Danielle and Eric's first dance :)
My beautiful necklace from my egg donor recipient
The photo evidence that I can take down nearly a whole pizza on my own when faced with not being able to eat for the next 12 hours the night before my egg retrieval.
The kiddos putting their faces into Obi Wan Kinobe at the movie theater
 The heart I French braided unto Bryn's hair one day
My kitty Hemi cuddling with my foot
Marlo's adorable and tired face on our Thanksgiving walk
My epic bloated fake baby belly, before breakfast. It gets bigger as the day goes on :) And yes, I was pushing it out to the max capacity for the photo's sake. It cracks me up!


Holy long weekend!

Whoa! Thanksgiving has passed us by, leaving our waistbands tighter, and our resolve to not binge through the holidays weaker. 
Black Friday has also passed, and some, like myself, indulged in some midnight madness shopping. 
Hopefully, you were able to recover from those crazy two days with a weekend of lounging, decorating, and eating leftovers. Not the case for this happy girl. I worked my tush off as usual both days, but that's alright, I do have more presents to buy and working supports that need.

What I learned this {LONG} weekend
~Not turkey trotting on Thanksgiving was sad, but I did drag Billy and Marlo on a very slow 5k+ walk.
~Two Thanksgiving dinners in a row is still too much food in too short a time span.
~Black Friday outlet shopping is CA-RAZY.
~There are some good deals to be found, but you won't catch me making the midnight shopping an annual thing.
~My own Christmas gifts are bought, and I will wrap them as soon as I get a tree. Billy is so stinking lucky. 
~Staying up until 6am is for high schoolers. I slept until 2pm that day, and STILL haven't recovered from the shock to my sleep rhythm.
~My post-egg retrieval belly bloat and discomfort took a few days to show up, but is here now, unfortunately. 
~My pretend baby belly from the bloat is EPIC, I should post pics, you would be convinced I was 6 months pregnant. It scares Billy. 

Oh, and make sure you stop by Meg's for Mingle Monday! She promised a recipe for skinny turkey pot pie on twitter yesterday, so look for that too!

Oh, and I am a true fan girl. Sunday I spotted a link on twitter from the Hunger Games movie, and ended up registering for citizenship to Panem, where I was placed in District 7 to be a lumberjack. True story, check out my identification pass! I am just thankful I am too old to be chosen as a tribute for the Hunger Games! Anyone else obsessed with the books and patiently barely waiting for the movie? Only 115 days to go!

Have a great week!!


Happy Turkey Day!

Happy Thanksgiving!
I hope you all take the day to be thankful for what you have, and celebrate with loved ones. Eat more than is usually acceptable, talk for hours, and enjoy your day.

There will be a lot of eating for Billy and I, as there are 3 dinners to attend! We eat a little at each one, and enjoy catching up. Though I do have dessert every time, but what's new?


Best of The Knot

Yesterday, after leaving the surgery center post-oocyte retrieval {that's the fancy wording for it}, I started reading my built up text and e-mail messages on my phone. I opened an e-mail from my contact at The Knot wedding planning site where I advertise both online and in the regional magazine. Imagine my surprise when the e-mail tells me my wedding business has won The Knot Best of Weddings 2012 for my area! I was voted #1 in my market, so a giant thank you goes out to all of my brides and whomever voted me to this spot! The Knot will officially announce their Best Of picks for 2012 on January 23, 2012, so if you are planning a wedding, check it out! Oh, and I get a plaque! How awesome is that?!

You all probably know I do hair and makeup for a living, but maybe you didn't know I specialize in weddings. I have worked very hard over the last two years to build my wedding business, and it has totally paid off. 2011 has been my busiest wedding season to date, with 28 weddings booked between April and December. Each wedding required a huge amount of e-mails back and forth with the bride, and a trial, so know that another 28 appointments have been on my books to accommodate my brides before they even get married. Each wedding averages about 3 people needing hair and makeup {or one of the services}, and after most weddings I had salon clients to take care of too. It's been a busy 7 months. 

Here's to another amazing year of weddings in 2012! If you are getting married and are looking for a hair and makeup artist, let me know! I travel  ;)


Any Questions?

Hi gals! This morning I go in for my egg retrieval, the procedure is set for 10:50am, send your positive energy this way if you think of it ;)

My post yesterday generated a few questions about an egg donation cycle, and I decided to open up this post as a forum for any questions you may have. Just comment away and I'll create another post this week with the answers.

The main question I had about yesterday's post was if a recipient is able to request me for a second cycle if they would like to have more children with the same DNA. This is how I answered it, hope it helps!

When I go through an egg donation cycle, they are able to fertilize many eggs. The 2nd cycle I did resulted in 19 fertilized embryos {seriously, I make LITTERS of eggs, dozens}. All of the embryos then belong to the recipient.
Some embryos are implanted right away into the recipient, and the rest are frozen. If the first try doesn't work, she has other eggs to use for subsequent implants, until she exhausts the supply I was able to give her.
If it works the first time, she has all of the eggs to do with as she pleases. In that case she's able to use the other eggs for future children, or donate them to science etc.
If she uses up all the fertilized eggs in her attempt to get pregnant with her first child, she can definitely request me for a second donation so she has children with the same DNA. 

Some info about donating:
~I can donate eggs up to 6 times in my lifetime. This is my 3rd cycle, so I have 3 more available.
~I have to wait at least two menstrual cycles between each egg donation cycle. 
~The fertility medicines I inject into my belly nightly for 2+ weeks are naturally occurring hormones the body makes, but we are manipulating them to get my ovaries to produce more follicles that will turn into multiple eggs for retrieval. 
~The hormone injections don't really hurt much. I use tiny insulin needles. 
~I go in for ultrasounds and blood tests every few days when I am on an active cycle, as well as at the beginning of each cycle with my routine physical.
~I am monitored quite closely by Doctors, nurse practitioners and coordinators. 
~I love doing this. 

Now, please feel free to ask any questions you would like, I will be happy to answer anything!


Reaffirming beliefs

I received the most beautiful note, and a lovely silver necklace, from my egg donor recipient this weekend. Even if I wasn't full of hormones, I still would have bawled my eyes out. This note reaffirmed my belief that I am doing something wonderful for people who wholly deserve and appreciate it. This is the first time a recipient has had any sort of contact with me. I am used to doing this just knowing I am helping someone out. I don't need them to tell me they appreciate it, but wow, it made such an impression! 

To our wonderful donor,
We think of you every day. Your words spoke to us in a way none of the others could. Your presence as a donor revived us with new hope and because of you this has become a positive experience.
We have the deepest appreciation for all you have done to help us become parents to a wonderful baby that will always be loved and adored. We are so thankful for you and your kindness.
We picked this necklace for you because of the circle. Think of the circle as our arms hugging you for all you have done for us. You are a beautiful person, inside and out, who will forever hold a place in our hearts. Thank you.
PS- If you are ever feeling blue, just think of the beautiful person your gift allowed to be; whether at the time they are a happy baby, a giggling child with a Kool-Aid smile, a growing teen exploring themselves and their world, or an adult who has become proud, honest, and loving. During all of those times we will ensure they have the support to be fully alive to the excitement, the fascination and the warmth this world can bring. 

Still tearing up. 

My egg retrieval is tomorrow morning. I know it will go well, and I'll be sleepy all day afterward. This time though, I have even more optimism for my recipient, and more hope that this will help her start the family she so deserves. 


Follow Friday, #5 Life & Times of Alison

Welcome back to the Happy Girl Follow Friday series! 
Today we are heading up north to Canada to visit Alison of Life and Times of Alison and Justin
Alison mans this blog, even if Justin, her hubby, set it up for her, so that's why his name was left off the blog title. Maybe if he posted more.... ;)

Alison is a super sweetheart. She never fails to leave me the nicest comments on my blog posts, and we always have long running e-mail chats stemming from those. This girl seriously makes me wish I could forsake my beautiful California for the great white north just so I could be closer to her. That's the kind of person Alison is! She is also super fit, posting her latest workouts, and her goals. I love girls who do that!

Alison has the cutest little family ever. It's her and Justin of course, but also their little lab lady Cruz! Gorgeous, right?! All of the adorable pictures of Cruz make me want my own lab so bad!
Alison is super crafty! {I see a theme with my FF girls, they all happen to be crafty!} She has a craft store with her buddy Whitney and they make all sorts of sweet baby onesies, headbands, and more. Recently she made these awesome T-shirt scarves that I would totally try to recreate if I had the least bit of creative inclination. 
Alison and Justin just bought a new home, and will be moving in very shortly. Of course Alison is stockpiling amazing home decor ideas, and shares them with us in posts like this that I loved! I need a few walls off photos in my life, pronto. 
Like me, Alison loves to post motivating and inspiring photos and sayings! I adore her for that, because I'm always like "whoa, that's PERFECT for today!" 
Alison also posts awesome recipes! {Another theme in my FF series, perhaps?} One of her tasty recent recipes was for chocolate banana ice cream. Let's just say I've been surreptitiously stashing bananas in my freezer for the last few weeks in order to make a whole mess of this for later. 
Alison loves her family something fierce! Her parents play a huge role in the blog, and I wish I had parents as fit and active as hers! Oh, her brother plays hockey. Currently he's in Germany, but we get lots of family updates from Alison to keep us all abreast of the current situations going on. That bottom pic is her folks kayaking together at the lake, I'm totally jealous. 

Okay, what are you waiting for? Go visit Alison's blog and leave her a nice comment too!


Motivation for your Thursday

"To Give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift."
-- Steve Prefontaine

wetsuit sale

Word to the wise: Xterra Wetsuits is having a sale right now until November 21. 

Their sleeveless Volt suit is just $99 {regularly $200}. Yes, a freaking awesome wetsuit for under $100. 
Want a full sleeve suit? The Vortex fullsuit is regularly $400, but with promo code FALL11, it is just $159! Ridiculous, I tell you. You can't find wetsuits of this quality for this cheap. 

For all of you considering triathlons for 2012, or for those who are active swimmers and would like a suit to swim outside, this sale can't be missed. 

I completed my first triathlon this year. I borrowed a friend's sleeveless wetsuit, and did 3 practice open water swims before the actual race, so 4 times using the suit. To rent a wetsuit, it costs $49. If you plan on doing more than one triathlon, and would like to do open water swims before your race {I most highly recommend you do!} buying a suit at this price is definitely the way to go. 

I just purchased my very own Volt sleeveless suit, and I can't wait to try it out in 2012! Billy has it easy for my Christmas shopping this year. First I bought myself an awesome new hooded pea coat, and now I have a wetsuit on the way! I'm getting spoiled this year :)

Oh yeah, is it Friday yet?


Second foray in front of the camera

I mentioned recently that I had tried my hand at modeling, again, and it was hard work. Don't let those pretty, skinny, photogenic models fool you! Though they look relaxed and like it's no big deal, they are actually putting a lot of effort into looking that cool, trust me. 

Now, I am not disappointed with this second crop of photos, they are just...different from my first. I was the subject for a photographer meet up, which is to say 4 photographers had 5-10 minutes to shoot me, on three different sets. Some were better, or more experienced, photographers than the others, and some just thought they were. I must say, Reija, the photog I worked with on my boudoir shoot and who hosted this meet up, does a wonderful job of editing her photos to make them more appealing. The two photogs who have sent me photos either did very little editing or just aren't very good at it. Come on, help a sister out when she's looking tired! 

Now, I am posting a whole mess of these photos because 1} I am wearing clothes in them, so they are family friendly, and 2} I am not your typical model anything at 5'3 and an athletic 130lbs. This just goes to show what proper hair, makeup, lighting and editing can get ya!

Here are some of the {better looking} results from the shoot!
First set are from Hank

This second set is from TraMi Photo
The photographer edited my arms and waist in this one above, I am not that skinny! There were some photos where she cut off chunks of me and it did not look good! Photoshop chop jobs can happen to the best of us!

Now these are just the photos that made the cut. There are tons more that were not to my liking, which is typical of photoshoots. You can take hundreds of photos looking for that one good shot. Even some of these shots had bad hair in them, which frustrated me, especially that funky bang action haha

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