Saturday, May 30, 2015

I'm Feelin' 33

I have been thinking what to write for my 33rd birthday and I am honestly stumped.  I don't know what I am going to do today, but it will probably be boring. LOL.  I have honestly had the Taylor Swift song 22 in my head for a few days now, but it doesn't fit with my 33 theme.


When I was younger I used to make a HUGE DEAL about my birthday.  Cakes, balloons, countdown clock updates for all my friends and family, etc., now I haven't said anything unless someone mentions it to me.  They always said that birthdays are not as big of a deal once you get older, and I didn't believe them.  Now, I have to admit they proved me wrong.

I have heard it said that your 30's are supposed to be the best years.  You are over the awkwardness of your teens, out of the party stage of your 20's (hopefully), and now you are supposed to be making something of yourself.  Honestly, for me, my 30's have sucked.  31 and 32 were not the best years.  I keep waiting for it to "get better" but it hasn't.  Well, I guess my life could be worse and I should thank God for my blessings, but I have been trying to get back on track for almost two years now.  I need to go out and do something out of my comfort zone to make my life, MY LIFE.  I shouldn't live for other people or care about what they think or what I should do/have right now.

Enough of my pity party, here's to 33!  I gotta go make that wish....


Monday, March 30, 2015

Wheel of Fortune Auditions


This weekend my sister and I traveled to Austin, TX (about 2.5 hours away) to try for a chance to be on the Wheel of Fortune.  I have tried out to be on two game shows in my life and they both just have happened to be within a few months of each other.  I need to make a post about the Family Feud.  Spoiler alert:  we didn’t get picked for either one! :)

How did find out about them?  My sister is a Wheel Watchers member and got an email.


Side note about the venue, First Texas Honda.  I loved this dealership, they were so welcoming to all of us.  I really enjoyed being there.

My sister and I left Houston about 8:15 am and stopped a few times along the way.  We were going to stop on the way to get food, but we decided to just wait until after we get our applications.  We got there and were able to make it inside before the line started to snake around the building.  They only give out 1,000 applications per hour and there are three times you need to stand in line. 

You fill out an application (see below) with your name and basic information.  The back of the card tells you the rules.  There were three different times and three different colors of applications.  Our application colors for this day were orange, pink, and blue (I might be wrong on the 2nd color but that doesn’t matter).
 Edited out some personal info

How the application process works:  The first 1,000 stand in line and get the yellow applications.  About 30 minutes before they let you get out of line and go stand closer to the stage.  While the first set of tryouts are going on, the second set is lining up.  (We didn’t realize this and missed out on getting in line for the second set of auditions)  Technically you can get in line for all three auditions, but you have to make sure you can hear the announcer call your name if you are in line.  The line wraps around the outside of the building so it might be hard to hear the announcer.  By the time the first set of tryouts begin; the applications are all given away.

Each round goes the same, so make sure you get there early and get in line.  After you get your application turned in, go back immediately and get in line for the 2nd line so you will be inside and get an application. 

How you get picked:  When you get your application filled out you can put it in the yellow box.  10 minutes before the start of the 2nd round, all applications must be in it (per the back of the application) and they bring it to the stage.  They put all applications in a big raffle drum and pull names, 5 at a time.  The drawing is random and you are not guaranteed to get picked.  You have an 1 out of 1,000 (or 45/1000 chance since they choose about 45 people???  IDK about statistics.  LOL) shot at getting picked each round (depending on how many people are there, but just plan on all 1,000 applications being filled out).  The first time they draw for each round, they choose 10 people so 5 are in the waiting area being prepped each time.

Getting on stage:  Once you get your named drawn, your audition starts immediately.  They want you to be really loud and proud when you get picked.  (Think the Price is Right audience members that go crazy)  You go to the holding area and they give you instructions (I didn’t make this part so I can’t give you any clues).

Once someone solves the puzzle, those 5 members turn is up and it’s the next group of 5 peoples turn.  The announcer talks to each person for a few minutes and he seemed to talk longer to the people who had lots of personality.  Some people even did a trick or an act; some were funny and made everyone laugh.  I think the ones who had personality (singing, dancing, hula hooping, air guitaring, etc) were the ones who would make it to the next round. 

They would give everyone a puzzle to solve and ask the audience to SHHHHH!  Each of the 5 people were able to guess a letter and once someone solves it, everyone’s audition is over.  Everyone on stage gets some sort of Wheel of Fortune prize.  The prizes vary from t-shirts, fanny packs, collapsible bags, power packs, pics of Vanna  and Pat, cardboard wheel cutouts, light up pins, etc.  Rinse, lather, repeat.

After they called about 30-40 people (it seemed-I didn’t count) they take a break and start the next round.  BUT remember, while all this is going on, other people trying to get an audition are in line for the next set of auditions (three a day). 

2nd chance drawing:  They take all of the applications back with them to Los Angeles (I think that’s where they said they were from) and choose a few random people to come back to audition a second time.  Not everyone who makes it on stage gets to go to the 2nd round either.

2nd round of auditions:  I have no idea; I haven’t been called or emailed about them.  Sorry! :)

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Texas Madness Massacre

Yesterday SFASU Men’s Basketball competed in the NCAA tournament against Utah.  Like last year, the alumni of SFA had watch parties all over Texas (and even one in Virginia) so that we could all watch the game together.  I deleted my FB profile a while ago and I had not seen the men’s basketball updates like I usually did through my newsfeed. After a quick google search that said they had made it into the tournament, I called the Alumni Association office to see if they were hosting watch parties like they had last year.  They were having them in several Houston areas locations and asked if I could host one at Lucky’s Pub.  I wouldn’t have to do anything except put out some SFA Alumni materials that they shipped to me.


I made it to the game (and got a GREAT parking spot) at around 6 pm.  The kickoff was originally supposed to be around 6:30, but it got moved back to just after 7 pm.  I put out the free koozies, pens, pins, and hyper-color cups for everyone to take.  I think we had about 300 people there. 

I met up with some Driving Jacks members and we all sat together.  I looked up and I saw Hector coming over to where we were sitting.  I didn’t even know he was in town (he’s been in California for work the past 1.5 months)!  We all sat together and watched the game.  

Some of us really got into it……LOL. 
That's not my hand in the way. haha.
The game was fun to watch, but the end was sad.  SFA lost to Utah 50-57.  They played a good game and I am happy that they made it far!  They had a wonderful season and played their best. 

As for Texas…all five teams that made it to the tournament were kicked out last night. Baylor, SMU, Texas, Texas Southern and Stephen F. Austin logged a combined 0-5 record.   Whomp, whomp, whomp.  It was like the Texas MadnessMassacre (I saw that on an article comment and though it was funny, hence the name of this post).  Two of the teams were favored to advance, but they were beaten too (Baylor and SMU).

Now I will go back to not caring about basketball.  Or Football.  Or baseball.  Well, baseball will be on my mind when this little guy starts playing.  He joined a “K-Ball” team and has started practicing.  His first game was supposed to be Saturday, but it got cancelled due to rain.  K-Ball is a precursor to T-Ball, which is a precursor to baseball. 


My very cute nephew, Cole

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Military Care Packages-Round 3

Every so often I try to send care packages to our military that are deployed throughout the world.  There might not be a current war that the US is participating in (thank goodness!), but there are still troops deployed all over that deserve our thanks.  I have sent two (here and here) and I wanted to send more this year.  I found the addresses on AnySoldier.com if you are interested in sending a care package yourself.

This year I decided to decorate the box a little bit!  I had two boxes so I used two sets of scrap book paper that were cut in half to decorate the lid flaps on the box.  I used a space theme (because they are “out of this world”) and a polka dot/diamond theme (just because).  It just adds something pretty to the boxes!   I used the large flat rate shipping boxes from USPS for $15.90 each box. 


I also had friends from work write letters to the soldiers to add to the boxes.  I wanted the boxes to be filled with lots of letters so they can read that we really appreciate them. 


This round we included these items in the boxes:
·         Clif Bars
·         Tooth paste
·         Tooth brushes
·         Laundry soap pods
·         Candy
·         Water bottles (reusable-empty)
·         Shaving razors
·         Mixed Nuts/Pistachios
·         Chapstick
·         Lotion
·         Nutella to-go packs
·         Band-aids
·         Wet wipes-travel size
·         Tissues
·         Assorted puzzles
·         Suckers
·         Assorted samples
·         Thank you cards
·         Mechanical pencils
·         And more that I can’t remember right this second….




I wanted to keep adding more and more stuff, but I was on a small budget and I still had to pay for shipping.  It’s the thought that counts, right?!



Currently the boxes are in Miami waiting to be shipped to their locations, per USPS tracking.  Hopefully they will write back and tell me they got them!  I would love to hear from them.  I am friends with one of the soldiers I sent a box to a while ago.  Fun stuff!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Rodeo Houston

It’s Rodeo time in Houston!  Tonight is my last night volunteering for my committee and boy am I tired.  The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has over 31,000 volunteers that spend their free time helping to raise money for scholarships.  This is my second year on as a volunteer and it is very rewarding.  All committees raise money for scholarships, but my committee also does good in another way.  We are the Special Children’s Committee and we take special needs adults and children around the rodeo and also 3 concerts.  I love seeing the children’s face light up when they dance or when they see their favorite animal.  


I have gone a few times with friends and family to the rodeo and I wanted to include some pictures!  We have one more concert to work (tonight, Dierk's Bentley) and then we have a committee party.  I am tired (it's Monday!) so I might not make it to the party. I am getting old. LOL. :)

Centerpieces for Rodeo Week at work that I helped coordinate

Centerpiece #2 for Rodeo Week at work that I helped coordinate


SCC bandana that everyone has to wear

I love this flower box art!  Students compete in a competition during the rodeo and this is one of the entries


Me and Cole!  I am not exactly sure what happened to my camera phone.  I think it was just the sun.


Rainy day at the carnival.  Sad carnival.

My tomato was in the shape of a heart!  Does this mean love is in the air?! ;)


Rodeo Bling

Me and Cole again!  We were watching the muttin' bustin' competition

Group Selfie (minus Cole)

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Penny - In God We Trust

I heard this story on a daily positive message recording I listen to and I  wanted to pass it on!  I am not sure who the original author is, but it is powerful!  I know that I will look at pennies or any other change on the ground with a new light! :)


The Penny - In God We Trust
Several years ago, a friend of mine and her husband were invited to spend the weekend at the husband’s employer’s home. My friend, Arlene, was nervous about the weekend. The boss was very wealthy, with a fine home on the waterway, and cars costing more than her house.

The first day and evening went well, and Arlene was delighted to have this rare glimpse into how the very wealthy live. The husband’s employer was quite generous as a host, and took them to the finest restaurants. Arlene knew she would never have the opportunity to indulge in this kind of extravagance again, so she as enjoying herself immensely.

As the three of them were about to enter an exclusive restaurant that evening, the boss was walking slightly ahead of Arlene and her husband. He stopped suddenly, looking down on the pavement for a long, silent moment.

Arlene wondered if she was supposed to pass him. There was nothing on the ground except a single darkened penny that someone had dropped, and a few cigarette butts. Still silent, the man reached down and picked up the penny.

He held it up and smiled, then put it in his pocket as if he had found a great treasure. How absurd! What need did this man have for a single penny?

Why would he even take the time to stop and pick it up?

Throughout dinner, the entire scene nagged at her. Finally, she could stand it no longer. She causally mentioned that her daughter once had a coin collection, and asked if the penny he had found had been of some value.

A smile crept across the man’s face as he reached into his pocket for the penny and held it out for her to see. She had seen many pennies before!

What was the point of this?

“Look at it.” He said. “Read what it says” 

She read the words “United States of America.”

“No, not that; read further.”

“One cent?” 

“No, keep reading.”

“In God we Trust?”

 “Yes!”

 “And?”

“And if I trust in God, the name of God is holy, even on a coin. Whenever I find a coin I see that inscription. It is written on every single United States coin, but we never seem to notice it! God drops a message right in front of me telling me to trust Him? Who am I to pass it by? When I see a coin, I pray, I stop to see if my trust IS in God at that moment. I pick the coin up as a response to God; that I do trust in Him. For a short time, at least, I cherish it as if it were gold. I think it is God’s way of starting a conversation with me. God is patient and pennies are plentiful!

When I was out shopping today, I found a penny on the sidewalk. I stopped and picked it up, and realized that I had been worrying and fretting in my mind about things I cannot change. I read the words, “In God We Trust,” and had to laugh. Yes, God, I get the message.
It seems that I have been finding an inordinate number of pennies in the last few months, but then, pennies are plentiful!

And God is patient..

Friday, February 13, 2015

Valentine's Day Cards

Oh, Valentine's Day or Singles Awareness Day, whichever is the correct term that fits your holiday this year.  Do you remember Valentine's Day from when you were in school?  I remember making 'mailboxes' out of cereal boxes and having heart themed parties, but one Valentine's Day card experience scarred me for life!

We usually had Valentine's from a company called Lillian Vernon (that I think since has closed) and we would order check Valentine's from them.  The valentine's would look like checks and you would make them out to everyone in your class.  They were a huge hit.  Well, one year my mom had forgotten to order them (or they were late being delivered) and we had to go to the store the night before and sift through the valentine's boxes that were left to the last minute.  Choices were slim and we were down to one small bin at the grocery store.  I had VERY few choices and had to get Beetle Juice valentine's cards. :(  I was SO embarrassed to take Beetle Juice cards to school the next morning, but it was either them or nothing.  I'm sure it was all in my head, but I felt like everyone was looking at me funny.  It scarred me for life.

So naturally, to this day, I like to make cute Valentine' Day cards, well in advance.  Here are my Valentine’s Day cards I made this year for my coworkers and friends!  They say “Sip-Sip” Hooray, It’s Valentine’s Day with a crazy straw attached.  I love them!


Here’s a simple way to make them.

Materials Needed:
Crazy straws (available 6-$1 at the Dollar Tree)
Tape
Scissors (decorative or plain)
Printer with colored ink
Cut-out template (email me at steph53282 at yahoo dot com and I will send you the file.  Does anyone know how to put shareable documents online?!)


Directions:
Print out the printable with your name on it and cut with plain scissors or decorative scissors.


Cut a slit at the top for the straw to go through.


Stick the straw in the slit and tape it to the back so it will not slide off.



Repeat!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

21 Day Fix-An Explaination

This week marks 90 days until I cruise away into the sunset on Royal Caribbean.  This also marks (just over) one week that I have been doing the 21 Day Fix.  I am making it my goal to stay away from sweets, treats and alcohol until the cruise.  I might slip up a little bit, but I am trying REALLY hard to make it.
Do you like my drawing? hahaha. I drew this on an envelope that I mailed Clarissa

I lost 2.5 lbs last week thanks in part to the 21 Day Fix and also walking a few nights a week at Memorial Park.  Meal planning has really helped keep me on track, but I have had a few times where I was out and about and stopped to get something. 

Did I ever tell you how the 21 Day Fix works?  It’s really simple way to portion control your food. 


THE FOOD
There are six color coded containers that each represent a different food group.  Green=vegetables, Purple=fruit, Red=protein, Yellow=carbs, Blue=cheese, Orange=Seeds and Oils.

I am in the 2nd tier of containers and I’m allowed the following:
4 Green Boxes-Vegetables
3 Purple Boxes-Fruits
4 Red Boxes-Proteins
3 Yellow-Grains
1 Blue Box-Healthy Fats and Cheese
1 Orange Box-Seeds and Oils


Honestly, it is a lot of food and I’m not hungry!  By the time I get hungry, it’s time to eat again.  The difference is I am eating ‘better’ foods and smaller portions.  Portion control (and Taco Bell) has always been my downfall.  I have been overweight most of my life.  I gain weight in my mid section and upper body, but have great legs.  I look like a football player (without the SuperBowl ring) and my shape is called an inverted triangle.  However, I will change all that with this program!!
 
The Plan comes with an entire booklet to explain how to successfully complete the program

Throughout the day the goal is to eat all of your boxes.  You measure them out in the box and then put them in a to-go container or a plate, like you would normally do for your meals.   For instance, for lunch I would eat a salad and it would work out like this in my boxes:
2 green container of spring mix lettuce
1 green container mixed vegetables (l cut up beets, celery, carrots, bell peppers, and onions)
1 red container of lean ground turkey (keep in red container and microwave when ready to eat)
1 blue container of shredded cheese
1 orange container of olive oil and then I pour on the vinegar
Then I mix it all up together (when I am ready to eat it) so the dressing gets on everything and then I seriously enjoy it!  My mouth is watering right now typing this! :)


It makes for a really big salad that I add to my to-go container and bring to work.  I do measure out my olive oil and vinegar and add it to a sealed Tupperware type container to bring to work.  The containers aren’t air tight (or is it water tight?) and I don’t want olive oil and vinegar to leak on everything.


Measure it out and then put it in a baggie.  In the mix: celery and rainbow carrots, chopped


For a snack I usually have some cut up veggies, 2 boiled eggs, 1 container of mixed fruit, or a red container some cottage cheese with salt and pepper.  I measure whatever it is in the container and then transfer it to a snack baggie or Tupperware.  The booklet says that boiled eggs are a red container, so I don’t measure them.  I usually leave the cottage cheese in the container so not to dirty another container.  I guess you could leave the everything in the container if you aren’t using it to measure another food. 


THE WORKOUTS
There are several different workouts that you do on this program that are all 30 minutes long.  There is an ab workout that is 10 minutes long that you can do at the end of your 30 minutes, but so far I have not done so.  I think there are more workouts that come with a certain challenge pack, but I didn’t get them with mine.



The workouts are great and quick.  I did dread doing them (because I’m lazy) but then my very wise friend (Krista) said “it’s only 30 minutes” and I snapped out of it and did it.  Each workout works out different body areas, so you aren’t too sore the next day.  I did the Total Body Cardio workout last night, but today I will do Upper Body. I know my legs are going to buuuuuuurn later today, so I will feel a relief when I don’t have to work them out again.  The first time I did that program, I was soooooo sore for a few days after in my legs that I didn’t want to do it again. Haha.  I did though and feel great about it!  (ask me about how I am feeling later today or in the morning though)


My goal is to lose 5 lbs per week for my cruise, it may or may not be achievable, but I am striving for it!  I have just under 90 days left til I cruise, wish me luck! 
 
I had 90 days left when I made this!

If you want to do the 21 Day Fix with me as an accountability partner, go here and order it today!  It is about $60 for the program by itself (you can get shakes too, but I haven’t been using them).



Do you have questions on how to do the 21 Day Fix?  Write a comment below and I will do my best to answer them!  Or I will get Krista to answer it. :)





**I have not been paid to write this, I just LOVE it and want everyone to try it too. I do not get any credit or $$ by you clicking the links, so this is an honest testimonial of how awesome I think the program is.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Cash Money

After I babysat on Wednesday night, I stayed the night at my parents’ house.  There really wasn’t any point of me driving 45 minutes home late at night and then getting up early and driving the 1.25 hours it takes to work the next morning.  I just stayed there and just drove to work from Spring.

I didn’t want to wake everyone up while making breakfast so I just stopped at Starbucks on the way to work.  I was in line, waiting for my iced coffee and everything bagel (w/ no cream cheese-#100daycruisediet) when I spotted a Powerball lottery ticket that was folded up on the floor.  I pointed it out to the lady next to me to see if it was hers and it wasn’t.  I joked that it would be funny if it turned out to be the mega winner and she would see me on the news.  I figured it wouldn’t hurt if I picked it up and put it in my purse to check the numbers later on.
 
I won on the first set of numbers
I checked the numbers on my phone and they I had won $8!!!!!!  I was very excited that all I did was bend down and pick up a piece of (accidental) trash on the ground while I was waiting for my coffee.  I went to the convenience store later and I cashed it in.  I’m not sure what I am planning on doing with it.  We shall see!  I will probably put it in my online savings account and make .75% interest. Boring! (You know you're old when...)  Ha!  ;)  


PSA:  Don’t buy lottery tickets!  They are a waste of money, people.  However, if you choose to buy them, make sure you guard them in your pocket so they will not fall out!  Seriously.   

This person spent $10 but they only won $8.  That’s $2 that you will never get back.  Actually, in that persons case it’s $8 they won’t get back, but whatever. Haha.  I will say that when the lottery is up to a ton (over a few hundred million), I will buy ONE ticket.  Yes, just one.  I figure that if God wants you to win a lottery ticket, he will make you win.  However, you are only going to win on one ticket, no 20 that you wasted your money on.  If you are going to win, God will make you win with your one ticket.  

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Babysitting Workout

Last night I went over to babysit my niece, Kali Claire. My parents had a rodeo meeting and my sister had to work so they asked me to come over and watch her until they got home.

We ate dinner and while she was playing in her high chair and banged her spoon on the chair.  She looked at me to see if I would tell her no, but I got two more spoons out of the drawer and started banging on it with her.  She started laughing and we made so much noise the dog went to my mom’s closet.  LOL. ;)

After I cleaned the peach and spaghetti remnants off her, I got some pots out of the cabinet and we started a band in the living room.  It started off with two pots, three spoons, and a lid, but it quickly escalated to many more pots.  The noise level was LOUD, but we didn’t mind, we were making music! 


Every few minutes she would say, “More” in her little voice and go over to the cabinet to get more.  She would be laughing the entire time and then run over back to me.  You can’t play drums with only a few pots, obviously.

I started to put the pots away and she would squeal “NOOOOOOOOOOO” and I decided just to leave them until she went to bed.  She had no plans on going to bed though, because we were playing peek-a-boo in the cabinet. 

She got tired and said “Night Night” and then walked over to the stairs.  I thought to myself,  that was easy, and picked her up to bring her to bed.  Nope!  I found out later that she is in the middle of transitioning to no bottle at night (it’s time-she’s 18 months) and I was the sucker who she thought she could pull a fast one on.  She was testing me.

I brought her upstairs but she was screaming when we got to her door, so I thought she might not be ready for bed yet.  I brought her back downstairs, but then about 20 minutes later she did the same thing.  Repeat the process and then I finally texted to see how to put her to bed.

Apparently she was trying to get me to give her a bottle, but I couldn’t find them.  My mom said to tell her they are broken and just put her in the bed with the fan on.  She looked disappointed when I told her they were broken, but she went to her room after that. She thought she could pull a fast one on me and get me to give her a bottle! Well, she almost did because I was looking for the bottles! Haha. 

She finally went to sleep after fussing for a few minutes.  I was with her for a little over an hour and a half and she wore me out!  She was my workout for the day. Haha.  I really did need a rest day though. :)