Happy girls are the prettiest girls


Schedule-less but picking races

I am having trouble keeping track of my days. I spent a few days last week certain it was Friday. No, it was Saturday. Definitely Friday. Wait...

Same thing for this week. Couldn't tell you what the date is. I haven't had much of a schedule since moving to Texas. I am freelancing right now, which means I am doing hair on location, on demand. No salon, no set time to work. I had always thought I would be a super productive person if I didn't have a job. Au contraire. I am a sloth. Deep cleaning the bathrooms? Heck no. Planning, shopping for, and making a whole bunch of freezer dinners? Hah! Billy is lucky if I make dinner at all. Getting super fit because I am working out all the time? Why, the couch is so much better.

I can't do much about booking paying gigs, as I am slowly building up clientele and convincing every new friend I meet to use me for their hair needs, but I can focus on a workout schedule.

I think I have mentioned before that I have a hard time staying motivated with workouts when I am not training for anything specific. I have sort of been running and riding my bike, but I don't have a routine set up. So I picked a race, paid for it, and started making a training plan. 
I picked the Tough Cookie women's duathlon  in Copperas Cove, TX on March 2. It's a 1.5 mile run, 10 mile bike, and 1.5 mile run. Not a terribly difficult distance, and something I have done twice before with the similar Mermaid events back in CA. It's a beginner friendly race if anyone in the central Texas area would like to join me! It's also nice that 100% of the proceeds benefit the MS National Society Lone Star Chapter.
I am also looking for a half marathon to run on April  19 or 20, my one weekend I will be in Austin. The rest of the weekends in April I will be flying all over the country for weddings. There is a race I am looking at in Temple called the Flower Power race. Cheesy, but it fits the date and distance, so who am I to complain? I'm trying to convince Casey that she should run the 5k while I run the half. Any other takers? Obviously I love getting other people into races :)

On a completely unrelated note, but my ADD brain thinks I should include:
Do you guys use ebates.com? I mentioned it last year around Christmas, and used it again this year for my online shopping, and will be getting money back AGAIN! I just have to remember to go to Ebates, then to the site I am going to be shopping at, like Sephora {you get 4%  of your shopping total back!} and Amazon {3% back}.  Love it.
To think,  you could go directly to the site and spend $100 and get $0 back, or you could go to Ebates, and end up getting $4 back. I like free money.


Makeover Monday

The Happy Girl blog got a little makeover and I updated my about tab today, what do you think? 

I personally love the design. It was as simple as cruising over to Etsy, tracking down Revel + Design {I may be a little biased to any other business that uses Revel in their name, as my own is called Revelry Beauty}, and purchasing a pre-made blogger template that included installation for $35. That last bit was key. There are a ton of pre-made blogger templates out there that you can download instantly and then install yourself. I don't do design stuff. I have a hard enough time putting together my own website that uses a super easy template and offers buttons to change things around. Playing with CSS, Javascript and HTML is way out of my comfort zone.

I really like the clean and simple designs that Natalie of R+D has created. You can customize the designs offered, and even ask her to create something completely unique if you are feeling extra fancy. I wanted something quick and easy. She was a dream to work with. Every listing for a template tells you exactly what you get, and even shows you a live version of the site. There's a link on the page for a questionnaire to fill out after purchase with all of the information you want in your design. 

Natalie made it so easy, and I didn't even have to exchange an e-mail with her to get everything I wanted.  If you have had custom blog design work done before, you know there is a lot of back and forth between you and the designer to get what you are looking for, and sometimes it doesn't fully translate. Not the case here. I wanted the Tres Couleur template, I filled out my questionnaire with my information, I got an e-mail from Natalie the next morning ready for action, and within an hour that baby was in place. She even fixed my grab it buttons without me asking. That's service.

I would highly recommend Natalie and Revel + Design for anyone looking for a new blog design template that is easy and painless.


My office is coming along

I'm not the kind of DIY home blogger that gets all crazy in the home and then posts a big reveal of what I've done. Oh no, that's not my style. {Kudos to you, if it's yours}

I hate surprises and secrets, so I would rather just show you the day-to-day and the in-progress photos, even if I plan to change things down the road. And because my home is forever in a state of change, and nothing is completed yet, all I can really show you is where it is at any given moment. 

So my office. It's our second guest room. It's also the cats' room. I know, they get their own room? Silly, but necessary, as I am past the point of keeping their litter boxes and food in my bedroom closet. It's pretty much the most multi-use room of the house. I love it.

I painted it a really pretty soft robins egg blue. The light that streams in through the West facing windows is always bright and cheerful. The small white vintage desk I found on Craigslist is the perfect size for the corner, and even though it was dangerously close to falling out of my open trunk on the way home and got banged up by my trunk lid closing on it repeatedly, it still makes me incredibly happy. 

I mentioned yesterday that I re-purposed all of my vendor table decorations in the office. It's true, that place looks like a Pinterest party exploded on it. I found a super cute scroll framed mirror and a white lace shade lamp from Target, hung up a shelf for my Best of Weddings plaques, haphazardly threw up some picture frames, and a magnetic dry erase calendar I thought would be useful. I think it turned out pretty nice.
That big space next to the desk is just begging for a big comfy and colorful chair. I am hunting for something that is just right, which is harder to achieve than I had imagined. I need to replace the folding chair with a fun desk chair, too. It seems like chairs are on my brain.
Those drawer knobs {similar here} are from Target! Yes, my desk is missing a drawer. That's how I bought it. I plan on putting a basket or something in there to fill the hole. Currently it's housing a few picture frames and other odds and ends. I'm really good at finding places to put my messy piles of junk. That's my way of cleaning, shuffling piles and hiding it ;)

So there you have it, my unfinished office. The other side of the room has cat food bowls and a cat bed. Not much to see, really.


Thankful for friends in Texas

I am so incredibly thankful for good people. I feel like people come into your life for a reason; sometimes you see that reason right away, other times it takes a while to present itself. I love when there is a connection with these people that goes beyond the surface reasons you can easily spot. Sometimes those people are just what you need, at just the right time. I have met a good handful of those people that I cherish with all of my heart. I would do anything for those people. 

My sweet friends here in Texas are no exception. I tell Casey all the time that she is the best thing that has happened to me since I moved to Texas. She laughs, but it's true. Stephanie is the girl who wasn't afraid to meet a strange blogger from California, and invited me to a blogger event where I met even more awesome ladies. I would be a very lonely, sad person sitting at home by myself, texting and missing my friends back in California without them. Instead, I see my friends here at least once a week, and text them often. It makes me happy to know that I have friends here in Texas who have come into my life for a reason. I just hope I can repay their generous friendship with tons of love and bless them in some way in return.

Last weekend, I invited Casey and Stephanie over to hang out. Stephanie wanted a haircut, and I had ulterior motives for wanting company, which I'll explain later.
I am seriously so sad this picture of Wilder is blurry. He's the freaking cutest and this would have made a great photo. I still like it.
Annnnd Wilder totally used the dog door. Sadie won't even use it, but he is brave and went in and out of it all afternoon.
Um, how gorgeous is Stephanie? She needed a little trim and some long layers. I couldn't help styling her all up and snapping this. Straight out of camera and no editing at all.
This, my friends, is my ulterior motive. I wanted Casey and Stephanie to help me with some crafts. And thank goodness for them, because those tissue paper tassels are way harder than I thought they would be. The tassels became a garland, and then we made burlap bunting which helped decorate my vendor table at a wedding venue open house. 
This is what the finished product looked like at the vendor show on Sunday. I was super impressed with how it turned out. And I totally re-purposed all of the decorations and put them up in my office. It's better than putting them into a box waiting for the next fair or show. 

That burlap table runner with the purple lines? Made that too! My friend Sarah taught me how to use a sewing machine while I was home in San Jose. I sewed the panels together, and she attached the purple bits for me. Now I need to find myself a sewing machine so I can practice and start making more things. Not clothes though, this isn't Little House on the Prairie. 
The florist in attendance at the open house gave me that flower wreath, which I was more than happy to wear. Until my allergies to all things growing kicked in and I felt like death. The ceremony site at Angel Springs Even Center is pretty awesome. I would totally get married there.

This post is just one of the many reasons why I am thankful for friends. New and old. Near and far. 


tres MALware

I am giving my laptop a little hug today. I missed it. 

Why? Because I like to go down the rabbit hole and cruise around the Interwebs, clicking on stories, checking out pictures, and getting lost in all of the things there are to see. Which means I inadvertently gave my laptop a bad case of the malware blues. Like so much it was running so slow I just stopped using it. Then I went to California for a week and didn't even turn it on. Bringing it back to Texas, Billy immediately pounced on it and has had it the last few days trying to work through the tangled web of bad ish on my hard drive. A few expensive malware and anti-virus programs and much swearing later, it's running...better...but still slow. I now have little green check marks that pop up next to links on pages, letting me where I can safely wander, and a million constantly updating virus protector notifications that drive me crazy. 

But I have my computer back.

I realized I have stopped posting again. I always call myself a bad blogger, because I am not consistent and I don't always post the most engaging content. I say it jokingly, but it's true, and me trying to be transparent. I tend to put pressure on myself to blog more frequently, and to have "good content", which helps to only push me further away. There is a bit of type A in me that says "if you aren't going to do something 110%, why do it at all?" So I guiltily let my blog sit without being updated, and any time I get a good idea for a blog post, I forget to write it down, so it never gets written. It's a vicious cycle, man. Part of me says I shouldn't care if I am a good or bad blogger. No one is setting a schedule for me to adhere to, I'm not getting paid to do this or anything, and most of the time I am living life outside of the computer instead of writing on it. But the nagging voice is there, telling me I am a bad blogger. Le sigh.

I don't even have a good excuse like I am working on a new writing project or anything. There's a crazy convoluted thing there, too. I feel like if I give in to the voices in my head that want out in a story, I'll get so wrapped up in it I'll forget about the rest of the stuff I have to do. That's what happened last May. I poured words out into a story, stopped blogging, stopped cleaning my house, cooking dinner, and grocery shopping. I stopped talking to and hanging out with my friends, and got really into my characters' lives and what music was playing on Pandora. I am sure there is a work-life balance, or writing-blogging-life balance more specifically, that I could work towards. 

Not having a handle on the balance makes me nervous. I like control. I like predictability. I will forego new things, even things I really want to do, if I am unsure how it will turn out or affect other things. It's one of my "things". It goes hand in hand with me hating change. And surprises. And secrets. *I want to know all the things!*

So instead of an interesting blog post, I am sending some hugs out to you, and if you want to talk, I love to listen. It's easier to sort out other people's stuff than it is my own ;)


Let's get real about resolutions

Over the holidays, I, like ever other female not quite satisfied with my body, started looking for ways to make the new year work in my favor. I happened to send a very harmless looking pin to Casey, and we enthusiastically agreed to follow it. It was a list of things we would give up each month. Not crazy, but definitely ambitious. Each month seemed more than easy to accomplish. Until we had to actually give something up. 

Give up for January? Sweets. Kill me. 

I didn't come close to making it 5 days, let alone a whole month. Telling me not to do something, in fact, gives me this compulsive need to have those sweets. Vicious cycle, party of one.
Realizing this was not really the best way to approach a healthier lifestyle, I told Casey I would come up with a different list for each month. I wanted to add healthy things to my current lifestyle, not take away things I love. Dessert makes me happy. Why make myself grumpy by not allowing it?

So here is my list of ways to add a little healthy to my life each month. And I still get to have my dessert.

January- Drink your water! Halve your weight and drink that number in ounces, every day. Drink a large glass of water before every meal and snack.
February- Add Chia seeds or ground flaxseed to your food once a week. Smoothies, oatmeal, baking, it's such a simple addition and is great for you.
March- Start participating in meatless Monday. Also, eat a salad as your meal at least once a week. 
April- Fill up the right way by eating a serving of veggies before every meal
May- Find healthy substitutions for your favorite condiments. Greek yogurt instead of sour cream, avocado instead of mayo, etc. Be creative!
June- Replace processed sugars (cane sugar, splenda, HFC, corn syrup etc.) with natural. Use agave, honey, and stevia instead.
July- Fill up on fruit! Reach for a banana, watermelon, apples, berries, etc. before every meal
August- Replace your carbs with healthy options! rice with quinoa, pasta with spaghetti squash, be creative!
September- Try a new vegetable or fruit each week. What's jicama? Try it and see!
October- Replace chips and salty treats with a healthy, baked, or veggie alternative. 
November- Try healthy baking substitutions! Black beans in brownies, natural sugar alternatives, apple sauce or Greek yogurt for oils
December- Limit your holiday goodies intake to only one treat per day. Moderation in the face of temptation!

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