Tuesday, January 13, 2009

~ Twitterpated ~

I still have a few scrapbooking swaps to finish this month, so I went to the scrapbook store this weekend to buy a few sheets of paper.

I wandered around the store, not really seeing anything that jumped out at me. I hate when that happens. But then again, I also hate when there are too many things I want to buy!

The shop owner was at the counter unwrapping some paper packs, so I approached her to inquire about some samples of work that were on display, particularly a layout of some dogs. As we chatted, I got a better look at the different papers she was taking out.

I noticed that one of the sheets had pictures of different woodland creatures; and, some of the images were GLOSSY. The paper was absolutely adorable !!!

My partner in one of the swaps loves owls and woodland creatures, so this paper line was perfect to use to create items for her! I could maybe use some of it alter a composition book or maybe, wrap around a container. I could also maybe do some journaling blocks or title blocks...not sure yet.

I bought one each of five of the different papers -- not bad considering I left the store having spent less than ten bucks. Yes, I would have liked it if the papers were less than $1.29 each, but they were just way too adorable to pass up, and I knew I would be able to use them on projects. I haven't decided for sure what I'll make for my partner, but I can't wait to get started! Now, if I can just find the time ...

Birthday Surprise

I have a friend who is a fitness expert. He runs a website that I help to moderate. One of the other mods wanted to get him a thank you plaque for his birthday and have some people from the forum contribute.

One of the exercises our friend likes to do is to use a sledgehammer on a tire. So, my mod friend and another mod came up with the idea to mount a mini sledge hammer on a plaque.

Since he lives in Canada, and I live in the U.S., we figured it would be easier for me to handle the funds and the shipping.

I set out on a mission to find a small sledgehammer. Shouldn't be hard, right? I figured I could just go to any hardware store, and I settled on Lowe's.

Mind you, I know NOTHING about tools and the like. But, it seems logical to me that I would find one in the HAMMER section. So, I saunter over to the hammer section, determined to find a sledgehammer on my own -- me, a WOMAN -- find a sledgehammer BY. MY. SELF.

I stare at the assorted tools and look for a label that says "SLEDGEHAMMER". Don't see one.

WAIT. Here's something. Well, it says "MALLET" though ??? Hmmmmm..... I shoulda paid closer attention to Ross' sledge vid.

I decide to ask for help. I find a worker a few aisles down and tell him I need a small sledgehammer. The guy says, "Sure, I can show you" and promptly walks me over to the very section I had been standing in a few seconds ago. *sigh*

He grabs one off the shelf and holds it up proudly.

Now, THIS is the BEST that money can buy! It's made of hickory. This sucker is SOLID !!!

And, with that ... he grabs the head and it BREAKS OFF.

HIM: Oh, I guess someone broke this one.

ME: Yeeyahhhh...so much for being SOLID. Do you have something else?

HIM: Looks embarrassed.

ME: You know what...I'll just look around.

I give the display another once over and then leave.

After discussing things with my mod friend, I seek out another hardware store a few days later. There, I find what I need.

We wanted to include a thank you sentiment and an inspirational quote on the plaque. After going back and forth, my friend found one that we agreed on. Here is the finished plaque. I think it turned out really nice, especially with the gold leaf lettering.

Zero to Sixty in Three Seconds

It's been a week since my last post. Things have gone from zero to sixty in three seconds. I got a ton of calls from clients at work, which is a good thing! I put it in a lot of hours working on paperwork and trying to get files ready for submission. I was simply overwhelmed. By the time Friday came, I was EXHAUSTED! That evening, I told Mikayla that I was going to take a ten-minute catnap, but instead, I ended up sleeping for about 4 hours. I just really needed to recharge my batteries!

I am still trying to get caught up at work this week. Hopefully, that will happen in the next day or two. From then on, I plan to do cold calls and work on flyers to drump up more business. Got to make hay while the sun shines!!!

Unfortunately, I didn't have time to play with my camera, and I am worried that I will fall behind with the lessons. But, work must be my priority now as it pays the bills.

I've been perusing a photography forum, and I find myself excited at the thought of experimenting with photography once again. I'm particularly interested in playing with textures. Hopefully, soon ... !!!

I've even been toying with the idea of doing something on the side that involves photography. I'm not exactly sure what yet. I don't think I want to get into shooting weddings. I think I enjoy the pp (post production) part of it more. Hmmm...some sort of graphics designer maybe ??? I don't know. That just seems a little out of character for me in that I never enjoyed ART. Yet, I find myself fascinated by the rules of graphic design -- knowing what makes things look more pleasing to the eye.

Anywho, I hope to get out this weekend and take some pictures. So much for Project 365 (POTD). Well, I knew it was a bit unrealistic for me to think I would take a picture every single day. My goal is to at least take pictures more often -- perhaps weekly. That would make me happy!

I completed the 10-day Navy Seal pushup program. YAYYY !!! No matter how tired I was, I forced myself to do my pushups. Around the 8th day, my right wrist started to ache really bad. It was tolerable, but I was a little concerned that I wouldn't be able to do my 100 pushups a day.

Thankfully, I was able to finish out the program. I think I need to just be sure to do some stretches in the future. On day 11, my plan was to completely rest my body. However, Mikayla and I were just too curious!

I had to know many pushups I could do at that point. So, with Mikayla's urging, I got on the floor and did FIFTY-ONE pushups without stopping. I was really pleased as I am sure there was no way I would have been able to do that many before I started the program.

Next time, I'll remember to do an assessment of my pushups BEFORE I start the program, though! DOH !! ~LOL~ Would have been nice to have known how much I could do back then.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Monday Happenings

I started the day off with a set of fifty pushups and was pleased to find myself getting through the set pretty easily. I think I stopped around 30, paused for about ten seconds and then continued. It felt good to knock out my first set before I even started my day ! I completed my second set this evening, after dinner.

My arms and triceps still hurt today but not as much as they did yesterday. I am finding that my core also aches a bit too, but I take that as a good sign. No pain, no gain, right?

I have decided not to up my pushups to 150 per day because I just really want to play it safe and not push myself too hard. I did actually throw another set of 10 in after the second set of 50 only because I felt I could have done better in the way I executed the pushups. So, I sort of punished myself by making myself do an extra ten!

Today, I tried to get caught up on tons of paperwork, but I feel like I made only a tiny dent in my workload today!!! This evening, T text messaged me and we talked for a short while on Yahoo. To add to my stress, I found out that he is coming home a little earlier than expected!!! OMG !!!!!!!!!!!! I am very anxious and happy, but this puts a little more pressure on me to make sure the house is in order so he can relax when he comes home.

I made a list of all the things I want to take care of before his arrival date. GAHHH!!! Yet ANOTHER list of things to get through, but they are things that I planned to get done eventually. I just feel a little more pressure to get them done NOW!!!

This evening, I tried to take some pictures out in the complex park so I could get a POTD pic and also fiddle with different aperture settings. I ended up frustrated yet again because the shutter was staying open too long. I think it was just too dark already by the time I went outside. I didn't think to adjust my ISO until Mikayla and I came back home and I jumped on the photography board to read up on more info. This may have helped. I'm not sure. I'm going to stick with it and practice more though, because I'm determined to master my camera!

I had Mikayla pose for a few shots, but most of those ended up blurry due to the shutter speed. The camera automatically adjusts shutter speed when you are in AV mode, but you adjust the f-stop (or aperture setting). On top of that, Mikayla was a very unwilling model today, so I gave up on using her soon into the session.

I scanned the park hoping to find some flowers somewhere to take pics of. We have some hibiscus bushes around the complex, but I didn't see any with flowers in bloom. In desperation, I looked up at a tree that was nearby and decided to take a picture of it. I wasn't really thrilled with the picture, but I also wasn't in the mood to go walking around and hunt down the perfect object for my POTD pic. Besides, I realized by looked at other POTD pics that a lot of the photographers take pics of everyday objects. So, I snapped a few shots of the tree.

I realized only after I got home that the pic I liked best was a little blurry. I did like the blue sky and tweaked the brightness and contrast a little. At first, I found the picture to be quite boring, but after I framed it, I felt a lot better about it. It's certainly not a majestic-looking tree or a pretty tree, but I guess it will do for my POTD.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Sunday update

I decided to sign up for an online 12-week photography course. I desperately need a refresher! I think I'm going overboard and taking on too much (AGAIN). I'm participating in the course, a Project 365 photo challenge (POTD project) and a monthly photograph scavenger hunt challenge. Okay, that's THREE different ones. OY!

I thought I could kill two birds with one stone and use week one's lesson to capture a pic that I could use for my POTD. This week's lesson is in aperture/f-stops. Unfortunately, I couldn't get my camera to cooperate, so I have no pictures to post today. I simply got frustrated and abandoned the idea. But, tomorrow is another day, and I at least have an entire week to play with this week's topic!

Also just wanted to report on my pushup activity for today. I did 9 sets total. I cheated and included one set of 20. Each set was pretty easy, and I found myself having to resist the temptation to do more per session just for the sake of cranking them out quicker. I'm a little nervous to see how I handle tomorrow's two sets of 50, but I am also excited that I'm just about halfway through the program!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Pushup Report for 01-03-09

Today is day 3 of the program and, so far, so good. My triceps are aching more today and my arms feel a bit weak when I raise them. It's nothing I can't tolerate right now, though.

I did a set of 50 pushups this morning and just did a second set of 50 about an hour ago (it's 9:45 pm). I did have to stop at around a 30-count with both sets, but all in all, I was pleased to see how quickly I was able to get through each set.

Right now, I'm fighting the temptation to up my total daily pushup count to 150 instead of 100. I sometimes get too anxious and can get ahead of myself, and the last thing I want to do is overexert myself, so I need to really think about this before making any changes. Keep in mind that I am doing them with bent knees (girly style). I'll give it another 2 days and, after day 5, if I find that I can manage easily enough, I will do 150 pushups per day for the remainder of the program.

POTD 01~03~09

Today, Mikayla and I went up to the Pali Lookout. It is one of the major tourist attractions here on Oahu, and I wanted to take some pics for a scrapbook swap I'm in. I needed a few pics for some layouts.

It is so incredibly windy there, and that makes it difficult to keep the camera steady when taking pictures. In some areas, it feels like the strong winds are about to pick you up and carry you away!!! The tourists around us were laughing in amazement. Children were screaming with glee. I, on the other hand, was a bit annoyed as I tried to steady the camera while worrying about my t-shirt flapping up in the wind.

I was a little disappointed with the cloudy conditions, but at least it wasn't raining. I had been wanting to get out there for weeks to take the pictures, and I really couldn't hold off any longer. It seemed that everytime I thought the weather was clearing, it would rain again. But, I guess that is winter weather in Hawaii for you!

Here is one of the best shots. I'm not entirely happy with it, but it'll have to do. I did have to brighten the pic a little in PSE, but other than that, I didn't really fiddle much with it (not that I know how anyway...LOL).

Anjelah Johnson : Nail Salon Skit

At the holiday party with friends last week, my friend, Joe, shared this hilarious clip with me. I used to get my nails done every three weeks for about five years, so I could relate to some of the stuff this comedienne talked about. This is Anjelah Johnson, a former NFL cheerleader who later turned to comedy. She was also on MAD TV. ENJOY!!!

Of Love and Pymepowers

Anyone not living under a rock has heard of the Twilight book series -- either the books or the movie that was just released. There are currently four books in the series, with a draft of a fifth published on the web. Apparently, every tween out there along with every other grown woman is reading the series. I'm not one of them.

For Christmas, Mikayla asked for the Twilight book set. I refused, telling her she should just borrow them from the library. I know -- I'm so "CHANG" sometimes!!! I even suggested that we just go to Borders and read the books there. *GASP!!!* Yes, I actually said that !!!

Lucky for her, Uncle Joseph came to the rescue! At our holiday party last Sunday, one of my good friends, Joe, happened to mention that he had read the first three books and was on the fourth. He graciously offered to let us borrow the books so we could read them and not have to buy a set. YAYYYYY !!!!

Mikayla started reading the first book that night. It's 1:17 a.m. Saturday morning, and she has about a hundred pages left to read in the second book in the series! I can't believe how engrossed she's been with reading them. I'm rather pleased, though! I used to love reading as a child -- still do -- and I'm glad she does as well!

Joe called today and said he'd mail out the fourth book to us tomorrow since he's already back on the Big Island. At this rate though, Mikayla will be done with all four before she's done with her school break!

I'm not sure if I will read the books myself. I'm curious about them, and they do seem to be easy reads. Still, I have other books on my reading list that I'd like to get through first.

Joe said the books are more like love stories. Hmmmmm.... interesting. A love story involving vampires -- or, as Mikayla used to say when she was little "PYMEPOWERS". LOL!!!

I remember when she was around 5 or 6 years old. There was a movie called "The Littlest Vampire". She couldn't say "vampire" though. She would pronounce it as "pymepower", and I still remember that. I thought it was so cute!

Well, Joe said we could hold on to the books afterwards, so I could read them, too. Looks like I'm adding "Twilight" to my reading list for '09!

Navy Seal Pushup Program

Okay, I admit it. Some might say that I'm too ambitious for my own good. The way I see it: I just like to test my limits. Nothing wrong with that, right?

So, with the new year, I decided to take on something most women would not be interested in: the Navy Seal pushup workout. Okay, let's be realistic here. I'm not G.I. Jane. I wouldn't even describe myself as athletic. However, I think I can certainly tailor the program to make it more realistic for me while still challenging myself at the same time.

So, what does the Navy Seal pushup program entail? Here is an excerpt taken from military.com and written by Stew Smith.

On ODD days: Do 200 pushups in as few sets as possible in addition to your regularly scheduled workout of cardio exercises. You can still do upper body workouts on these days if you are already on a program. This is a supplemental 200 pushups using maximum repetition sets (4 x 50, 8 x 25 ... it's your choice how you get to 200).

On EVEN days: Do 200 pushups throughout the day. This can be little sets of ten done every half hour or fifty pushups done four times throughout the day.

RULE: If your maximum is under 50 pushups, do 200 a day. If your maximum is above 75, do 300 pushups a day.

Repeat the ODD/EVEN routine for a total of 10 days. Then take three days off and do NO upper body pushing exercises that work the chest, triceps, and shoulders. Then on day 14, give yourself the pushup test (one or two minutes depending on your PFT). I would not recommend this workout more than once every six months, since it rather challenging on the same muscle groups repeatedly.

I started the ten-day program yesterday, January 1st. I have decided to scale the pushup count down to 100 total instead of 200. Also, I am doing "girly pushups" as I am quite the novice still. There was once a time I could manage a few regular pushups, but not lately. My plan is as follows :

ODD days: 4 sets x 50 (I can't do 50 straight, but my goal is to do them as quickly as possible)

EVEN days: 20 sets x 10 throughout the day

Report: Yesterday, I did 100 pushups and 100 burpees. My arms and shoulders ache a bit, but I am still able to do sets of 10 push-ups easily.

Today, as of this writing, I have completed 9 sets of 10 push-ups and have one more set to go.

Unfortunately, I did not do any assessment of total pushups prior to starting the program. That was poor planning on my part, but oh, well...

My goal is to be able to do 50 military-style pushups by midyear.

POTD 01~02~09

Well, I've vowed to take more pictures throughout the year. "POTD" stands for "picture of the day". While I can't commit to taking a picture each day as life does tend to get in the way sometimes, I will try and take pictures at least once a week. Here is my POTD for January 2, 2009. It's a pic of Mikayla and I at home, sitting on the stairs. Mikayla had just changed into her pajamas, and I'm still wearing one of several beanies that I own (I love beanies!). I really like how this picture came out -- nothing fancy -- but I like it! Future POTD's will be of various subjects. Stay tuned!


To start off the new year, I decided to enter a challenge with a group of people on a fitness site. We all committed to doing a certain amount of burpees each. Burpees are similar to squat thrusts with the exception of an explosive jump at the end of the count. It's a great cardiovascular exercise and is said to be the ultimate exercise. Try it and see how quickly you get winded and how much your body aches the following day!

Here is a link to a short instructional video explaining how to do a burpee (without the jump at the end, though). This video is great because the instructor is a woman. I know some women prefer to see other women executing exercise moves -- makes it seem more achievable for them.

Well, I kicked off the new year with a set of fifty purpees from 12:04 a.m. to just shy of 12:09 a.m. I was pumped and wanted to start the new year off right!!! I did my second set of fifty later on in the day. I haven't finalized my workout plan for 2009, so I'm not positive as to how many burpees I will do and when. I'm hoping to use this weekend to figure out my 2009 workout.

I tend to do what I feel like doing without really falling a set schedule. But, this year needs to be different as I have my eye on more specific goals. This year was about maintaining my weight loss -- which I did. I actually even dropped a few more pounds just by eating more healthfully. YAYYYY !!!

If anyone else has any fitness goals for 2009, I wish you all the best! Keeping fit is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself!!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year

Well, it's January 2nd, and I already feel like I'm SO FAR BEHIND! I've gotten a ton of calls at work from old clients, and I just can't keep up! It's a good problem to have though, and I certainly can use all the business I can get!

Mikayla and I spent New Year's eve indoors. I prefer staying home on New Year's eve just because I don't like being out on the roads with all the people drinking and driving. The smoke here from all the illegal fireworks gets to be a pain also.

Earlier in the evening, I had a chance to chat with T on Yahoo for about an hour. That was really nice! I can't believe he'll be home SOON! Mikayla and I went to the grocery store after to get a few things. Then, we returned home and settled in for the night!

We had a relaxing evening just watching DVD's: Meet Dave and Eagle Eye. We were really pleased to find that we enjoyed both movies equally. Meet Dave was pretty funny. ("You're name is Dave Ming Chang?" ~LOL~)Shia LaBeouf did a great job in Eagle Eye. I enjoyed watching him on the Disney channel; and I really enjoy his movies. I think the boy is going to go far with his acting career!

At midnight, Mikayla and I watched the fireworks that we could see from my bedroom balcony. There sure was a lot of smoke !!! After the festivities died down, we returned to watching movies. It was a nice chill evening for the both of us! Happy new year, everyone !!!