Sunday, July 27, 2008

Lotsa Updates!

Holy Cow- I've been busy since I last updated this blog. I was in Dallas, Texas for almost a week for Mary Kay Seminar. Grams was doing well while I was gone, like, really well- but now, not so much. I have to go over there today and visit with her. It's been a roller coaster ride, but I'm trying to stay positive.

Seminar in Dallas was great. It actually wasn't as hot as people made it sound! Infact, I'm pretty sure it was the same temperature that I'm used to! I was so amazed by the wonderful things that the company is doing to help others, like the "Pink Doing Green" campaign. We can bring in our customer's old compacts to be recycled, and for each one, a tree will be planted. In addition, they're switching over to more eco friendly packaging and shipping materials.

There is also the "Pink Changing Lives" through the Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation which works to fund grants for Cancer Research and Domestic Violence Prevention programs. I can't even recall how many millions of dollars were donated last year. I do know though, that this year they are donating 100% of their profits to the MKACF from the sale of Apple Berry Lipsticks. (I have something big planned for this and there will be more info later.

While I was in Dallas, I got to take the factory tour- and it was really awesome to meet the people who work there, and really get an idea of how many products they produce to keep up with demand! The workers were great, and I hadn't seen any that had been there less than 5 years (each year they get a ribbon to show how long they've been there!) and it's really hard to get a job there, because it's such a good place to work that there aren't openings. Apparently, as the workers told me, they pay pretty well- Good to know!

A vat of soon-to-be Spa Lotion!

Lipsticks being made- it was really amazing to see how quickly they are produced. The machines fill the molds with lipstick, put them in the case and then the workers just put the caps on them and make sure they are up to snuff before they're sealed and packaged. I forget how many thousands they have to produce a day to keep up with demand- but each day (and this applies to the foundations and other colors products too) they pick a color and make it all day!

Me being my dorky self during the awesome factory tour!
Seeing the lipstick being made- and the wonderful smell of vanilla in the vats of lipstick! Yum!
Made in America baby- some of my favorite lipglosses!
More Skin Care being made!Here's a pic of all the new debuting sales directors for the last six months- crazy huh?

Pink and black dishes- Hmm, I wonder if Chris would dig it??The gorgeous Garnet ring I've been drooling over- I love this job!
During Opening Ceremonies of our 45th anniversary. We were all given LED keychains and were told to turn them on- it was so beautiful in person!

During Unit Awards night- an "Aloha theme" I was very happy to be named Unit Miss Enthusiasm and #3 in sales! (Let it be known that #2 and #1 beat me by a LONG SHOT!)

My face just reflects the flash on my camera. My new friend Hannelore and I at classes. She lives up in Northern California, and though she's in my unit, we've never met!

Okay, I know I'm silly- but I loved the anniversary pic on the cake- so what!! I didn't earn any of the nice luncheons this year- but even the food was good for these lunches! It was really amazing- the session would let out, then 11,000 women would pile out of the arena and Hall A and into this huge dining area. Everything was already set out and we were flagged in like airplanes to find a seat- it was very efficient! I though, felt like cattle. hahah. moo- ding ding, ding ding!!

This was me on Awards Night- fun times!

This lady was so inspiring. She was named the Queen of Sales for Consultants. During this last year, she had a baby that was born with some health problems, and had to have two surgeries. She also moved across country while her husband was deployed- with two other children! She still did this amazing thing despite the obstacles- it was pretty cool!

Mary Kay is the official sponsor of the CMA awards so they had a really cool country dance number (oh ya, and they had a Spice Girls one too!! haha)

This was the Queen of Sales for Directors- she is one awesome lady! My director knows her so we got a second to snap a picture! She did a lot last year, but one of them was to sell 900 new black compacts, it made my head spin thinking about it!

Part of MK's "Pink Doing Green" Initiative- they planted 45 trees in front of the Convention Center in honor of the 45th anniversary!

I had my birthday party this last Friday and it was good! Several of my guests ended up going on a "creepy crawl" (don't ask!) and it was a lot of fun. We had great Pirate decorations and I will be posting pictures in my next blog. (Trust me, there are enough from Seminar!!)

Okay- now that I've overwhelmed you with photos, know that more are on the way! :)

Sunday, July 13, 2008


The pARRRty is soon approaching. I will be in Texas over my birthday- but will be back with my eye patch and parrot for my July 25th Pirate Birthday Party. I got some awesome ice cube molds that I just love..Ya, I know I'm trendy. I was tempted to get the "Denture" shaped molds, but I figured no one would enjoy it as much as me. Oh well!

Yesterday was my 1st "Stitch N Bitch" we met at the Crochet Cafe in Temecula, and it was a LOT of fun! I didn't get any pictures while at the SnB because I was too busy chatting and finishing my first crocheted blanket. One of the ladies thought it was crazy I was crafting a dog blanket, but honestly, I had dropped so many stitches, I wouldn't embarass myself to gift it to someone who walks on 2 legs.

The Crochet Cafe is an interesting place. It is located in Old Town Temecula in a quaint little courtyard off the main stretch. It is very small but very cozy and inviting. You walk through the brick courtyard, under Peppertrees, to the little cottage. It is filled with all kinds of great yarns- everything from hand-painted yarns, to soy yarns, to even an antibacterial yarn made from soy and get this- crab shells. It was an ingenious sock yarn that of course, one of our knitters HAD to snatch up because it was too pretty...of course, she will have to learn how to knit socks!

What I really appreciated that none of the ladies were, what I call, "yarn snobs." They were all down to earth, fun and willing to help. Everyone advises everyone and there isn't anyone "above" any kind of craft, skill level, or type of yarn. If someone asks a question that seems absurdly basic, it is rude to make fun of them- you either help or keep your mouth shut. Just yesterday though, I did come across a yarn snob and it really pissed me off. It is kind of an unspoken rule, that if someone is looking for pointers or help in their crafting, that you at least point them in the right direction. It amazes me that some people think that a compliment on someone else's simple project means that you too are "simple," because you enjoyed their work. I suppose I don't get it. If a project looks great and I want to try it, whether it's a garter stitch scarf or a lacy shawl, I don't feel "above" anything to compliment and ask about it. Anyway, I'm done being irritated with that!

What really was special about the Cafe was that it had so much heart. The original owner of the store passed away just a month or so ago. She had Breast Cancer, and her crafted blankets gifted during her Chemotherapy are still displayed. Her best friend and get this, her two teenage boys, run the store! Many of the members of the SnB knew her and it was really heartwarming to see them come back and talk about her. It was sad to hear about her, but so amazing that her shop is staying open.

I resisted the urge to pick up wool yarn for felting and some double-pointed needles so you'll have to commend me for that. I had to get this though- it's Canadian and GORGEOUS. Will it be another dog blanket? I don't know. Yes, Katinka from the SnB would think me crazy. I will admit though, my stash is growing. I have lots of yarn, not all of it works together though. Some of it was given to me for the holidays, other was passed down because other crafters couldn't handle their enormous yarn stash...but I have made a goal to actually FINISH my projects now.

This is a discloth that I have affectionately named my "Hail Mary" Discloths. A few years ago, my Spanish teacher (who really was from Spain and named Mary) would wipe the whiteboard with handtowels in colors similar to these. She had been married for 30 years, but someone had given her the crazy towels as a wedding gift (it WAS the 70's!) She held onto them for years, but finally couldn't stand leaving them in the box any longer, and used them in the classroom. She couldn't wipe the board without chuckling in a thick Spanish accent.

So there you have it folks- my, what I call, "rock climbing" blanket. I had dropped so many stitches the left and right sides are kind of bumpy. It could be El Capitan for all I know. Oh well, Bailey won't mind, and anyway- I'm going to try and crochet a cute lacy trim on it.

Butternut Squash is on it's way! Also, I will have Bell Peppers and Zucchinni too! The Tomatoes are ripening on the vine as we speak, and I can't wait to make Veggie Enchiladas with them!

Life is good.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Exciting Stuff

Everyone, I am learning to crochet. I have crossed over from the realm of Knaughty Knitter to Happy Hooker, haha!
And this is why...
Cute stuff...yes. Cute stuff. I figured that I have completely missed the "Baby Bootie" phase of my baby cousin's lives, but this, well, I have a much larger time period in which to procrastinate on this one. Well, worst comes to worst, I can crochet up my own little zoo....Or, they can hang the little panda bears from their rear-view mirrors by the time I'm done with them.


To update everyone on Chris...he is well. We are about to celebrate two years together and it's pretty exciting. Well, it's not as exciting as the 1st year, it's more of a "high five" moment. Not because we love each other any less, but we have been through so much crap in the last year, that it's more like a "Hooray, we still love each other." It's a tired, but valiant trot across the finish line of another calendar year, not the overzealous sprint we experienced the year before. After the fire and evacuation, 7 day a week schedules, Gram's health, Miss Fallbrook, applying for financial aid and all that junk that goes with "big kid's school," job loss in the family and tight times- we are just really happy to be together.

But what's great, is that I get to report that him filing out FAFSA was not in vain this year, HE GOT FREE MONEY FOR COLLEGE! Granted, it's not going to get him through the year payment free, but it was exciting that all that time we spent working on it, got him SOMETHING! It was much appreciated news...because the California budget cuts in public schooling has really hit home. It's a gloomy summer for those working for a school district...In the Fallbrook Elementary district alone, I think 50 teachers were laid off...not including other staff. (And considering there's only 5 schools, with only about 25-30 teachers each?)

But anyway...I'm thinking of doing a "Study Abroad" program in the next year. I was pretty depressed to find out that I need to take Spanish 201 to graduate from CSUSM. I took Spanish 101 and 102 at Palomar..but then I because GWA and took a year off, only to return and enroll in Spanish 201, and realize that the professor would not be speaking ANY English in the course. That freaked me out, as I forgot all my Spanish, and had replaced it in my brain with motivational speeches (some of which I could use now!) and yah, I have to start all over again. I haven't decided where I should go...whether I should try to go to Spain or to get credit for the class, or if I should just go somewhere awesome- like Australia or England.


Part of the problem is that I am quite attached to my signifgant other...Could he or I really enjoy our lives knowing the other is gone for 6 weeks to 6 months? I know it sounds corny, trust me I do...but I don't know how other couples do it. Military families, I suppose, are just used to it?

Well I have rambled on long enough. Time to go crochet and enjoy my day off. I have a lot to ponder...I find that I have lost sight of my ideals and goals. Just the thought of making a goal either leaves me apathetic or freaks the heck out of me. When did this happen?

I suppose the last few months have really derailed me from my sense of ambition, and I really need to find it again. I think I will try and make a list of goals and just be brave about it. Love you all, thanks for reading.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Middle of the Calendar

This weekend was completely awesome.

Friday was spent lounging by the pool with Chris, Whitney and her family. We had a delicious meal and drank good drinks. We played Nintendo Monopoly, then it got ugly. After dark, we watched Fireworks from her house on the hill- two times. We even lit off a few of our own despite their illegalness. (I love sparklers).

I find that I never take enough pictures.

Saturday, I got up bright and early, woke up the large bear, my father, and we went to Temecula for our very first Pug Meetup.

Dad has a new friend...who isn't Bailey (if you were wondering!)The Pug Meetup was great. The picture I took didn't even get everyone that was there. I have never seen so many pugs in one place, it was awesome. Bailey was pretty overwhelmed by all the people, and the pugs in her little face, but it was good socialization.

What I didn't know, was that while I was at Whitney's the day before, Dad let her roam around the backyard, which is covered in dry brush, without a leash on. She apparently had a foxtail on her face, and when Dad went to retrieve it, it dissapeared...up her nose.

I didn't know this untill we were on our way to the Meetup, but by then I figured maybe it had fallen out, and Dad wasn't so sure whether or not it was up there. Later in the afternoon, Bailey's little nose was bleeding, she was sneezing up a storm and her eyes and nose were runny. We took her to the vet and paid a pretty penny to have her seen. Sure enough, a large piece of foxtail (You will know them if you've had them stuck to your socks!) was up there...don't ask me how that was possible!

We also went to Costco and got some stuff for my party and I am very excited! Dad dropped some Benjamins that day, but you must bribe someone when you damage their baby. haha.

Bailey was all tuckered out from a day of foxtails, meetups and bribes!

I went to a babyshower today and alas, did not take pictures...Randi's baby is due in August and will be a little boy! Exciting stuff.

Okay, Chris is here and I'm gonna go. Adios!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Shake Yo Money Maker!

Good news: The CSUSM party went very well- and Chris finally was guilted enough to get me a balloon bouquet. (I must give credit where credit is due!)

Bailey, who typically doesn't sit still long enough for pictures, sends her warmest regards.

I woke up this morning, not feeling oober bouncy. This is why I'm not going to march up a flight of stairs to get my camera chord to transfer photos onto my blog. I realize I am a lazy panda.

I got my credit card bill this week- and wow. Aside from the big purchase I put on there, it amazes me how much my spending has changed. As it weren't already obvious, gas prices are crazy. I really need my car to start running on dreams- that would be great.

Chris got home early yesterday and I had the day off so we made dinner, he created homemade air filters for his Subaru Impreza and I cleaned up after a long weekend. We had gone to Dollar Tree and found some awesome Piratey stuff, and plenty that had nothing to do with pirates at all. After getting enough accomplished we took an impromtu trip to Temecula.

We went to JoAnn's and Barnes and Noble. First off, let me say, that crafting is expensive. I wanted to make Bailey a pet bed- but to buy the fabric now (the bargain bin at this JoAnn's has some UGLY fabric, so that isn't an option!), stuffing, and any other notions- it would be WAY over $20- the cost of cute pet bed at Target. For a society that doesn't value time- which is costly- they charge a lot for materials in a craft that is so time consuming. It seems counterintuitive. But luckily for Chris and I, we found some cool bandana looking fabric with skulls on it that was $2 off a yard. Chris will be getting pillows. While they are more expensive than Target pillows...well, where else can an Xray guy get custom made pillows? From his rockin' girlfriend that's where.

Chris and I were in the fabric aisle, and I asked a serious question...."So, our future home, uh, how is it going to look?" I mean, I have a ton of Mickey, Pink girly stuff, and then we both share an affection for skeleton stuff. It's weird.
This piece is entitled: "Life and Death"
If you ever get a puppy and want some awesome toys- Petstages makes the best!

Chris has been reading a lot and he is about to finish "Survivor" by Chuck Palahniuk (if that's how you spell his crazy last name) He just bought a new book last night (he, for once bought more stuff than I did!) and I resisted the urge to spend since books are expensive. I have a few knitting books that have gone unused but yet, I always have to fight that urge to buy another book. While I was adamant about him getting the rest of the David Sedaris books (I will be loaning him "Naked") and Chuck Palahniuk's at the library- our library sucks. Since both authors are popular, their work is typically checked out or waitlisted. I'm going to try and find the books on Amazon used- but still...shipping is expensive.

If anything, I can wait till the semester starts to check them out of CSUSM's library, since I'm sure LLU doesn't have anything worth reading...

ramble ramble to work.

Oh, and by the way, those luckyfiona dog collars I ordered on 6/27? The next day, I visit their site on Etsy only to see that they're going on vacation from 6/28-7/9 and that makes me a sad panda.