Big time NaBloPoMo fail

It’s the last day of November and I’m looking back in wonder at how spectacularly I failed at NaBloPoMo this year. Yikes. I only updated my webpage twenty times this month, so I skipped a third of the days. How pitiful! If I was going to make excuses I’d list the Avengers Half Marathon and Thanksgiving as the explanation for the missing posts, but those events aren’t the only reasons for the omissions. This month has been pretty exhausting and I didn’t manage my time very well. Oversubscription and procrastination make for a vicious circle. I’ve had trouble keeping up with just about everything since the half marathon two weeks ago. I think I was burned out and it made me lose my motivation to be productive in a lot of areas (running, writing, and housekeeping, to name a few). Fortunately, I think the Thanksgiving holiday helped to recharge my batteries and now I feel a lot better. As of today I am determined to turn everything around. Tomorrow is the first day of December and there’s no way I’m going to let the last month of the year slip away so easily.

I got home from San Francisco early this morning and I had so many things I wanted to accomplish to close out November on a good note. I have actually been fairly productive today, but there is still so much stuff that I didn’t get done. After my flight landed I drove straight to Target from the Long Beach airport and actually got there before they opened at 8 AM! In the meantime I went next door to the Ralph’s and bought some vegetables to cook for my lunches this week. (My diet was a distant memory while I was out of town and it’s high time I get back on track in that respect. I will elaborate on this bizarre and sensitive topic in a future post.) I snuck in to Target right at 8 AM so the crowds were minimal. The only thing I really wanted to get was a garland for my Christmas tree, but of course I also bought some frozen fruit for smoothies and a few other snacks. I’ve discovered that it’s impossible to leave Target with a single item. After these two errands I went home to unload everything from my car and start my productive Sunday. I intended to put up my Christmas tree today, but I spent too much time on other chores (and online shopping/TV watching) so decking the halls will have to wait until later this week. I did cook all of the vegetables I bought this morning and put together several lunches for the upcoming week, so that was good. I may not be fully prepared for the work week to start tomorrow, but at least I’ll be well fed. It’s going to be a busy week! More on that to come.

NaBloPoMo success?

If November was only ten days long I could say that I succeeded at NaBloPoMo. But unfortunately November has thirty days so I was somewhat less than successful. Everything fell apart last Monday when I almost forgot a doctor’s appointment and had to work late as a result, which is what I think turned my post-a-day goal into an epic failure. I phoned it in on Monday with the wordless post, and then the rest of the week I just lost motivation to write anything. It was lazy, but it’s not like I was sitting around doing nothing. I worked a lot, ran errands, cooked, and finished training for the Avengers Half Marathon (which I ran this morning). Besides the race, which I will write about in a day or two, it’s not like I missed documenting a spectacular week or anything. In the grand scheme of things my NaBloPoMo failure isn’t a big deal, but I still hate not finishing something I set out to do. Wishful thinking says that I’ll do better in December, but with the holidays coming up fast that’s probably not true. Oh well. I’ll still do my best to write about what’s going on in my life, especially now that it’s my favorite time of year.

Speaking of my favorite time of year, I’m sitting in my hotel room near Disneyland, waiting a few hours before I go back to the parks to enjoy the Christmas lights and the special holiday festivities. Last night I went to bed at 8:30 PM to make sure I got plenty of sleep for my half marathon, only to be woken up by the 9:25 PM Disneyland fireworks. It seriously sounded like bombs were going off in the hotel parking lot, so even if I’d been wearing earplugs I don’t think they would have helped at all. Tonight my plan is to enjoy the fireworks from Disneyland’s Main Street instead. Also, I’m going to try and catch the nightly World of Color show at California Adventure park. I spent about four hours in the parks after lunch today, but the lines were too long for me to get on any rides. Plus, my legs were sore after running 13.1 miles in the morning so walking was more beneficial than just standing or even sitting for a long period of time. That’s OK. Winter is the best time to go to the parks at night so I’ll try to find a weekday evening to come back for the rides. Or maybe I’ll be able to get on a few of them after the fireworks tonight. Fingers crossed that the crowds start to go home after 10 PM!

Feeling sluggish

It’s only the fifth day of November and I’m already struggling to keep my webpage updated every day. Sorry about the wordless post yesterday, by the way. I didn’t really have much to say about the election since I mailed in my ballot a couple of weeks ago. That was amazingly convenient. It was nice to not have to scramble to get to my polling place either before or after work yesterday. And the mail-in ballot even came with its own “I Voted” sticker so I could advertise that I’d done my civic duty. Perfect! But getting back to the subject at hand, I’ve had trouble keeping up with all of my regular activities and obligations lately. I don’t know if it’s the change in the weather or what, but I’ve been feeling really sluggish lately. That’s the best way I can think to describe it. First of all, I haven’t been following my training plan very faithfully and now I’m not sure how ready I’ll be for the Avengers Half Marathon on the 16th. Barring injury, I don’t think I’ll have too much trouble finishing the race, but I was kind of hoping to beat my Disneyland Half Marathon time. The weather should be much nicer that it was in August, thank goodness, so I think I have a good chance to improve on my half marathon time. Only time will tell, I guess. Besides running, I haven’t been keeping up with my cooking or my diet too well either. I’ve been eating more grains than I’d like (McDonald’s Egg McMuffins are my weakness, I guess) and there has been an abundance of leftover Halloween candy at work this week. So many of my co-workers brought in their kids’ trick-or-treat hauls and I think I ate my weight in fun-sized Snickers bars and peanut M&M’s since Monday. That has got to stop if I don’t want the number on the scale to keep going up. Yikes! Since giving up grains (for the most part) I’ve actually seen a downward trend in my weight, but that turned around in the last few weeks. Bad news. If I’d had my usual stash of homemade meals to eat that might not have happened, but I haven’t cooked really anything recently. Last week I made do with a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and some frozen broccoli. Tasty, but not exactly what I would have preferred to eat. However, when I got home from work this afternoon I cooked enough meat and vegetables to make four lunches, which should at least last me through the weekend. And I’m already making plans to cook more on Friday and Saturday so that I’m not tempted to eat out and ruin my diet again. Hopefully getting back on track with my healthy routine will snap me out of this malaise that I’ve been feeling lately. There’s so much I want to do in November and December to enjoy the holidays. There’s no time to waste!

Gearing up for NaBloPoMo

In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been pushing myself to write more often now that October is drawing to a close. This means that National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) is right around the corner. I missed at least one day of posting in November 2012 and 2013, but if at all possible I’d like to complete the full challenge this year. I’m not sure how feasible that’s going to be, or whether I’ll even have enough topics to write about, but I’m going to try. Most of the time I find writing therapeutic. When I have something to say and I don’t feel like it’s something I’m forcing myself to do, I love writing. I started blogging fifteen years ago as a creative outlet during my days as an engineering student, and a way to share my day-to-day life with anyone who was interested. I think the life of a college student is more conducive to blogging than your average adult’s, though. The whole working, eating, exercising, and sleeping routine doesn’t really lend itself to a lot of sharable yarns. These days I have to dig deep to find something to write about on a daily basis, but I know the NaBloPoMo challenge will be a good mental exercise. But since it’s still October I’m going to take the opportunity to cut this post short while I’ve got a chance. No strenuous exercise for my brain tonight!

NaBloPoMo 2013

It’s November again and that means National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo). Granted, November isn’t exactly the best month for me to easily update my webpage every day due to possibly being out of town for Thanksgiving, but I’ll do my best. And I’ve made a promise to myself to only post recipes on Fridays. I never intended this to be a food blog, but it would be really easy for me to fall back on a recipe to fulfill my daily posting requirement. Well, that’s not going to happen this month. I want to challenge myself to write again. One of the best things about my webpage is being able to go back and see what I was thinking and what was going on in my life over the last fourteen years. Even though I’m older now and my life isn’t as exciting as it used to be, I still want to document everything – the good and the bad. It’s time for me to remember why I started writing in the first place.

Twelve years ago

“Can you remember what it feels like to hear your favorite song when you least expect it? It’s like at that moment there’s no where else you’d rather be and nothing else you want to do than stand there, close your eyes, and listen to every word. So imagine a poorly dressed college student in the grocery store, holding a basket filled with yogurt and orange juice, and blissfully smiling like she had no troubles in the world. That is what you probably would have seen if you had been in the candy aisle of Albertsons at the same time that I was. Somehow hearing your favorite song is even more enchanting when it hasn’t been popular in four years and you can count on one hand the number of times you have heard it randomly on the radio since then. So as I recognized the telltale chords that announce the beginning of this song I couldn’t help but grin. Every time I hear it I suddenly forget all of the bad things that are happening in my life and assume it is a sign of the good are to come. It’s amazing how little things like that can completely change your outlook. It makes me glad to know that it is possible.”
11/3/00 webpage post

November random thoughts

***On Monday I had dinner with some co-workers and then stayed up way too late baking two kinds of chocolate chip cookies for a pumpkin carving contest at work (recipes to be posted soon). All of that was totally worth not having time to update my webpage on Monday night.

***The spin class I went to yesterday morning was surprisingly packed. Evidently hitting the gym the morning after Halloween is a priority for a lot of people!

***After three days of early morning spinning classes (with not enough sleep beforehand) I was really sleepy at work today. So I had a Mountain Dew at lunch to try and wake myself up, but I just ended up a little jittery from the sugar and still sleepy.

***Whenever you’re halving or doubling a recipe always triple check to make sure you have the right amounts of each ingredient. Seriously. I tried to make a pumpkin cake for a party last weekend, but I accidentally put in twice as much milk as I was supposed to and it was a disaster. Oops.

***Easy pumpkin buttercream frosting recipe: Beat together 1 stick softened butter, 1/4 c pumpkin, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 Tbsp milk, and 3 to 4 c powdered sugar. Enjoy! (Based on this recipe.)

***I can’t wait to vote on Tuesday. I love living in a Democratic state because my vote actually makes a difference here. I don’t feel like I’m throwing my vote away like I did in Republican Florida!

***Tonight I tried a salted caramel brownie recipe that I’ve had bookmarked for about a year. Unfortunately they were kind of a pain in the butt to make. Tomorrow I’ll see how they taste and if they were worth the effort.

***Here’s a tip that should be a no-brainer but seemed to escape me – never wear a white shirt while baking. Especially when you’re using cocoa powder and melted chocolate. My Gator sweatshirt looks pretty grungy right now.

***I have a lot more baking to do tomorrow morning so I figured I’d put some butter out to soften overnight. I forgot to do this earlier in the week and it caused me a lot of grief. But of course the recipes I’m going to make tomorrow don’t include butter! The one night I remember to put butter out to soften I don’t need any!

NaBloPoMo 2012

November snuck up on me, just like last year. This means that National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) 2012 is here! I didn’t set an official resolution to update my webpage every day this year, and it’s a good thing too because I definitely haven’t stuck to that goal. However, I am going to be more diligent this month in order to get back in the swing of things. I want to post more often, but I need to figure out how to fit it into my daily routine. Not that I’m all that busy every day, but other activities tend to suck up all my time when I get home from work. I need to better manage my free time. Unfortunately I’m going to have to cut this post short because it’s getting late and I have to go to spinning in the morning. I spent too much time watching TV this afternoon! Tomorrow things are going to change! Hopefully I’ll have a more inspired post for NaBloPoMo day 2.

365 days later

I did it! I successfully posted a webpage update every day of 2011. However I’ll be the first to admit to backdating some of those posts because I published them after midnight. In most cases it wasn’t too long after midnight, but at least once I didn’t post anything at all until halfway through the next day. That was an extenuating circumstance, though, involving getting paged in to work at 9 PM and having to stay until 6 AM. Other than that I’ve been successful and I’m pretty pleased with myself. And believe it or not I’m ready to sign up for another year of this post-a-day challenge because I’m just that crazy. As boring as my life is most of the time, I like how well 2011 was documented due to my frequency of updates. So here’s to 2012 and all of the inevitable ups and downs it brings! I’ll make sure to write about all of them.

November/NaBloPoMo

November really snuck up on me. When I started my webpage-post-everyday venture in January I was planning to use the first ten months of 2011 to get ready for the official National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo). That sounds like plenty of time to prepare, right? That’s 304 days of blogging, which is significant. So how is it November already? I’m not ready yet! I think most of the blame falls on how much I focused on enjoying October, the first of the holiday months – and that’s actually a good thing! I definitely got more out of October 2011 than the same month last year. I did a lot of holiday baking, which I love, and our Halloween celebrations were top notch. The big party we hosted on Saturday night was a big success (I’ll write a post about it later this week) and I handed out almost ten bags worth of fun-sized candy bars to trick-or-treaters last night. And since Halloween marks the end of October, I suddenly find myself sitting in front of my laptop on November 1st wondering how I got here. I really want to write thirty quality posts for NaBloPoMo this month, but with my trip to San Francisco this weekend and our Hawaiian vacation the week after that I’m afraid that’s too lofty of a goal. Well, I’ll see what I can do under those circumstances. I feel like I have a lot to say, but with a full time job, vacations, and the holidays it’s really hard to find time to write it!