Tuesday, January 29, 2013


There's nothing like a cold to bring you down off of a good productivity streak.

And it's even more awful when it happens on the weekend. Weekends are supposed to be the MOST productive!!

I'm one week out from my CPA exam and kind of terrified. I was able to buckle down Sunday but I completely lost Saturday to being miserable and unable to do anything at all. But I'm determined and trying to remain optimistic. I feel like my entire universe will fall into place once I get this done and over with. It's been on my shoulders for far too long and I can't take the dread anymore.

So, since that's on Monday, I plan on starting my workout regimen on Wednesday, taking Tuesday to make myself a game plan. I'm still on a good path.

I really intended on posting pictures of things I cooked in the past week or so, but blogger is making that super difficult for me right now. So, here are the recipes instead:

Anyhow, back to the grind.

Monday, January 21, 2013

diy velcro makeup battlestation

Hey hey hey, how about that three-day weekend?

I've been mostly studying, but I did manage to do a little DIY organization with my bonus day. I had originally made myself a magnetic makeup board out of a dry erase board that FAILED MISERABLY. Turns out, dry erase boards just aren't strong enough to hold up makeup with much weight, no matter how many magnets you put on the makeup. SO, since everything had reduced itself into chaotic disarray, I thought... why not Velcro?

My original game plan was to buy some foam board, cover it with felt using some fabric spray adhesive, then attach the hook side of the velcro to my makeup and stick it straight to the felt.

Velcro: 1, Felt: 0.

The velcro was just too strong for the felt and ripped it away from the foam board. Plan B: Assign everything its own spot on the board and stick the fuzzy part of the Velcro to the foam board.


Step 1: Figure out where you want to put this bad boy. Measure that area. Measure that area again. Okay, one more time. Good. Write those numbers down. Now you should know how much foam board you'll need.

Step 2: Evaluate your makeup stash and figure out about how much velcro you'll need. The Velcro I used is sold in 18", 5', and 15' rolls/strips. You're probably not going to need 15' unless you're doing your entire bathroom wall. I bought the 5' roll and had about 2 feet leftover. Do whatever is most cost effective for you.

Step 3: Go to the store and get the things you need. Here's a list of things that might be handy!

  1. Foam board:  I got mine in this size at Michael's for $2.99. You can also get colored boards if you so choose.
  2. Velcro: I recommend NOT buying this at Michael's. It was a good $3 more expensive there. Also, make sure you get the STICKY BACK kind and the 3/4" width. It sometimes comes in different colors but I didn't really care and just bought black.
  3. A box cutter/exacto knife: You're probably gonna have to modify that foam board.
  4. A straight edge and pencil: So you don't end up with a jankety edge on your foam board.
  5. Scissors: to cut your velcro.
  6. Hammer and nails: To mount this buddy to your wall.
  7. Command strips: To mount your brush/eyeliner/mascara/whatever cups to the wall.
  8. Some creative thinking to figure out what to use for your brushes/eyeliner/mascara. I didn't want to go spend money on actual pencil holders so I improvised. I had an old pink square pen cup that was handily divided and decided to use a recently finished bottle of hair stuff for brushes. Other options might be a soup can (cleaned and ensuring that the edges aren't sharp) or an old pill bottle/vitamin bottle. Bottles like that are great if you can manage to chop the tops off with the exacto knife like I did with my hair stuff bottle. But the important part is to figure out how much stuff you have that you need to put in those cups and make it happen. ANYWAY.
Step 4: Now that you have all your stuff together, cut that foam board up. measure it out to whatever size you need, mark it off with a pencil and make sure it's even, and cut that thing to size.

Step 5: Get out all your makeup and lay it out on the board. Organize it so it's aesthetically pleasing because this is what you're going to be stuck with. Literally. 

  There's all my stuff laid out on the coffee table.

Step 6: Once you have all that settled, it's time to get to Velcroing. Take the Velcro you bought and attach the hook sides to the loop sides all the way down so it's nice and even. This should result in the velcro being stuck together and the sticky sides on the outside. Evaluate how much velcro you'll need to attach each item to the board (more for palettes, less for individual eyeshadows, you get it). Cut a length of velcro to match the item you're working with. Peel the sticky back off of the hook side and stick it in the middle of the item. Then peel the sticky back off of the loop side and stick it to its assigned spot on the board.  Repeat with everything.

When you do it this way, with the velcro already attached to itself, you can make sure that your makeup is perfectly lined up where you want it and you don't have to go trying to line it all up AFTER you cut it. Makes everything nice and uniform.

Step 7: Mount that baby to the wall! I used two nails each at the top and bottom and two nails along each side (since mine is super tall) in order to keep it stable. Mount your brush/eyeliner/mascara cups nearby using your command strips.

Step 8: Pat yourself on the back because your makeup looks awesome now and you're no longer taking up all the counter space and irritating your boyfriend.

All in all I spent about $10 on this. To be fair, I already had the exacto knife, hammer, nails, cups, and command strips, but it's still crazy cheap considering how helpful it is! 

Friday, January 18, 2013

checking in

I'm still studying. Still cooking. Still taking pictures of my food that I don't have access to right now.

Just wanted to say that I'm still on the right track.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

round is a shape

In fact, round is the exact shape I'm in. I'm not gonna lie, I haven't actually begun working out. I'm trying to tackle that #1 goal before I really hit the others super hard. I don't want to kill myself here. But I have found a few things that are helping me make plans and make goals.

Firstly, a dear friend of mine told me about a social fitness site, Fitocracy. I made my profile and played around with it a little bit, and it's basically a way to log your exercises and burned calories and whatnot and share it with your friends. It even has starter workouts and descriptions of a bunch of different workout moves that you can pull together to create and save your own routine. Sounds legit to me.

Secondly, after being encouraged to do so by another friend for YEARS now, I've decided that I'm going to run a 5k. I'm just going to do it. Mind you, I hate running. But so many of my friends love it and live by it so I feel like there's just some hurdle I have to get past to enjoying it. So, while cruising around on Pinterest I came across this beginner's running guide. It seems doable. I mean, I think it is. I think a big part of my problem has been pushing too hard too soon and burning out. But, as I've mentioned, PLANNING is incredibly important for goal maintenance. So I'm gonna do it. And I'm roping Zach into joining me. And I think I want my first 5k to be the color run. It's fun and they donate to local charities in each city, keeping the benefits close to home. It's far enough out that I can adequately train and hopefully do it no problem by May.

And now, for the food porn:

Here's that pretty incredible steel cut oatmeal with apples and pears. Doesn't look like much but it DOES keep incredibly well and is quite filling.

And this is the chicken tortilla soup I made last night. SO good and so easy.

Stay tuned for more food pics, recipes, and wellness updates. Let me know in the comments if you try out any of my recommendations!

Sunday, January 6, 2013


It's going to be hard to turn down social invites. But I know I have to.

I've managed to study a bit so far this weekend, but not as much as I'd like. I'm currently taking a study break to write this, in fact. I have been productive, though! Zach and I reorganized the kitchen cabinets which opened it up for a LOT more storage and easier access to things. And with as much cooking as we will be doing soon, that will be much needed. We also did a lot of laundry, flipped our mattress, changed the sheets, and generally tidied up.

We made a decent grocery trip on Friday night to stock up for the awesome meals we're planning on making this week. Protip: Grocery shopping at 7pm on a Friday is awesome because NO ONE is there. You know, because other people have social lives.

--- Sidenote: where the hell can I buy mason jars?

What's on the menu today!

This morning I made some raspberry scones from a mix I got as a stocking stuffer. Not the healthiest, but quite delicious and good for sharing! Zach's brothers are currently munching on them with some coffee, in fact.


I also started a double batch of slow cooker oatmeal with apples and pears for Zach and I to have for breakfast all next week. My original game plan was to store the portions in mason jars for easy transportation and reheating, but, as I mentioned before, I can't seem to find mason jars anywhere. I'm super excited about it as it smells INCREDIBLE right now. Also, apparently steel cut oats reheat really well, so it should be a solid week-long breakfast.

Tonight I'll be making this pesto salmon with green beans with this spinach rice dish on the side. I'm sure this is going to make for some AWESOME leftovers and I'm really curious about the rice situation. I'll make sure to food porn it for viewing pleasure.

Friday, January 4, 2013

new beginnings

New year's resolutions are dumb. Most people never keep them and then the resolutions sit there and make people feel bad about themselves. Mainly because these resolutions are far too ambitious for most people and they have no plan set up to make them happen. I think the missing key is accountability. Whether you want to lose weight or quit smoking or play your guitar more or whatever, if you don't have a way to keep yourself on track, you're not going to do it.

I'm not saying that EVERYONE fails. I'm sure people succeed. I mean, I don't know them, but they've gotta be out there right?

For me, 2012 was full of ups and downs. More downs than ups, to be perfectly honest. I kept setting goals and failing to meet them and disappointed myself immensely. I don't just want 2013 to be different, I want the rest of my life to be different. I want to be happier, healthier, and better off.

This blog and whoever decides to read it will be the ones to hold me accountable. I have a lot of goals and I know they're ambitious, but I'm determined to live life better from here on out. Let's go through them, shall we?

1.  Pass my motherf*cking CPA exam

I am not playing around with this one. In 2012 I went through the shame and torture of failing this bastard not once - but TWICE. I have until May 23rd to pass, but I NEED to get it this time around. I'm scheduling the exam for early February and I am on complete social lockdown until then.

2.  Get organized

I am the queen of clutter, and it drives Zach (and me, if we're being honest) nuts. I need to find a system to keep things tidy, organized, and inspiring. It's hard to be happy and productive when you're living in a pile of ... stuff. Just lots of stuff everywhere. So I want to tackle some projects that will make keeping organized and tidy easier. Time to bust out my Real Simple magazines and take their tips. Time to throw out stuff I don't need. Time to reorganize closets and cabinets and make everything easier.

3.  Get fit

I need an exercise routine, man. Like some serious cardio and core toning. I've gained more weight than I'd like to admit, and watching what I eat alone isn't cutting it. I've never been good at working out. I have bad knees. I have bad ankles. I hate running. So I'm determined to find some kind of cardio workout that will work for me, whether it's fast paced circuit training or jumping rope and hula hooping or just forcing myself to suck it up and deal with a treadmill/elliptical. It's gotta happen. First goal: losing 10lbs. Once I reach that, I'll reassess my willingness to buy an entirely new wardrobe.

This leads me to...

4.  Be healthier

I generally eat fairly well with low calorie, low fat foods. We use whole wheat pasta and ground turkey instead of beef, and we only eat beef once every 2 weeks or so. But we also have the same 6 or so recipes we use in rotation and I'm just tired of it. I need new recipes and healthier snacks. For example, Zach eats a veritable shitton of cereal. Any snack/fourthmeal/breakfast opportunity results in cereal consumption. And not usually some Special K extra fiber good for you stuff. It's like, Cinnamon Toast Crunch or Rice Krispies. He wants to lower that down and get fit and healthy with me, which will help this whole transition be easier.

I found an amazing app, Food on the Table, that allows you to search for meals and add them to your plan, while automatically populating your grocery list and pulling in sale items from your local grocery store. (P.S. - all the meals that I've seen through the app include nutrition facts. Kind of awesome.) The free version only allows 7 meals at a time/per week, but that's plenty, right? You can also add as many grocery items as you want, manually, so you don't have to pop your awesome oatmeal recipe into the app in order to remember to buy the ingredients. I highly recommend it.

And finally,

5.  Be happier

It's hard to be happy when you see yourself as a failure. 2012 saw CPA exam failure, weight gain, junk food, and generally unhappiness with my life. I want to change that. Making the first four things happen will go a long way towards that happiness, but I also need to remember to keep a positive attitude. I will struggle. I will fall short. I will cry. But I will not beat myself up anymore. No one is perfect and no one should be. All I can hope is to be better.

This is the start of life, but better. Join me. We can hold each other accountable.


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