Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge!

Happy Hump Day Everyone!  Enjoy this week's edition of the Hodgepodge, and don't forget to visit Joyce over at From This Side of the Pond to see how she and everyone else who links up answered this week's questions.

1. It's a brand new month...share one thing you're looking forward to in October.

  • One of my very best friends is getting married on the 27th of this month.  I'll be traveling back east to New Jersey to watch him marry his amazing fiancee.  Not only am I beyond excited for the wedding, but another friend and I are turning it into a week long vacation by spending a couple of days in the town the wedding's in before the wedding, and we'll be headed up to NYC for a few days afterwards.  It's going to be an amazing week with my amazing friends. 

2. Is chivalry dead? Explain.

  • I wouldn't say it's dead, but it is a little hard to come by these days.   

3. On October 2, 1950 the Peanuts comic strip made its debut. Which character is your favorite?  Which character is most like you?  (Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Schroeder, Snoopy, Woodstock or Pig Pen)  If you need a description click here.

  • I like to think I'm a combination of Lucy and Schroeder.  I'm independent, outspoken and can be bossy when needed, but the side of me that is a musician and an observer relates with Schroeder.  According to a quiz I took, I'm totally a Schroeder.  :)  

4. What's something you're competitive about?
  • Life?  Just kidding....sort of.  I'm pretty sure being competitive is part of my DNA.  I like to think I'm not obnoxious about it, but I have been known to argue a point to death in order to win said argument.

5. October is National Popcorn Popping Month...are you a fan?  How do you like your popcorn? 
  • I'm a fan of legit greasy movie pop corn drenched in salt & butter, or with salt and Reese's Pieces thrown in (if you've never tried it, it's an amazing combo of salty and sweet!).  I also love Smart Pop White Cheddar Popcorn.  That stuff is like crack.

6. When did you first realize the world is small?
  • I've known the world was small for a long time.  You see, I have the most popular, likable father in the world.  Any and everyone who ever meets him, will remember him for the rest of their lives.  We run into people he knows in the most random places.  One of my first memories of this was when I was a little kid, and we ran into someone he knew from waaaaay back in the day at the Arizona State Fair.  The state fair is a big deal here.  It's always packed, and this person found my dad, and they stood around and talked for what felt like forever.  It's crazy.
7. In terms of architecture, what's the most beautiful building you've seen up close and in person?
  • I haven't been to many places yet, but I would have to say St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City.  It's not only impressive from the outside, but the inside is just breath taking.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

  • I'm still waiting for it to actually feel like fall around here.  My scarves and boots are screaming at me from my closet, and I hate ignoring them!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Pretty in Pink

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Almost 10 years ago my grandma lost her battle with breast cancer.  It was actually her third battle with breast cancer.  I still find it to be absolutely amazing that she was able to fight so hard for so long.  She was one of the strongest women I know, and I'm inspired by the battle she fought every day.

In honor of this month I've changed my template to one that is all pink, and it will stay that way until November.  I can't stress enough how important it is to stay current with anything health related.  As it is Breast Cancer Awareness month, I'd like to urge the ladies to keep up with monthly breast exams, and if you're old enough to need them, your yearly mammograms.  It doesn't just apply to breast cancer screenings though.  Wear your sunscreen, and see a dermatologist if you find something new or odd going on with your skin.  For the men, if you're old enough for yearly prostate exams, get them!  I also lost a grandfather to colon cancer, get screened for that too!  It may seem like a lot, and you may think it will never happen to you, but better safe than sorry.  There are certain ages where you should starting getting screened for all of these.  I urge you all to look into it, and just keep it on your radar.  Especially if you have a family history of cancer.

Ok, now that I've given my lecture, I'll back off.  I'll just say that I've watched more than one person I love battle cancer.  They've all battered different forms, but it sucks any way you slice it.  Dealing with cancer is not something I would wish on my worst enemy, and I would hate to lose anyone else because they ignored warning signs or didn't get screenings when they do.  I lecture because I care.  :)

That's all for now, so I'll just leave you with this photo of my grandma and I.  Good night all.

Friday, September 28, 2012

TGIF: Things I'm Thankful For

Ok, so this week was all sorts of not fun for me.  Work was oddly busy and annoying.  I'm always busy, so that part wasn't so odd, it was more of the stuff I was busy with.  I'm also rarely overly annoyed with my job.  I actually really love it, but this week was just not the best.  My allergies have also been acting up, so I felt sick most of the week, and I was generally just in a very "Negative Nancy" sort of mood.  Today however, is Friday!  Not only is it Friday, but it's Payday Friday, Half Day of Work Friday and Homecoming Friday!  I finally got hold of my silver lining for the week, and thought I would write a little post of things I'm thankful for to make up for all of the negativity earlier in the week.  Before I get to that, one last little negative....the rest of hockey pre-season has been cancelled as I predicted it would be, and my heart just continues to break a little.  Okay, moving on....

Things I'm Thankful For:

My Parents - 9/27/80

I'm thankful for my parents.  They're the best in the world.  They're amazing people, and they continue to put up with me and all of my ridiculousness (which can sometimes get annoyingly out of control I'm sure).  Yesterday they celebrated their 32nd wedding anniversary, and I'm just so thankful that I have them as my example of what marriage should be.

San Diego - July 2012
I'm thankful for my sister.  Wednesday she and her boyfriend came over for family game night.  Wednesday was by far my least favorite day this week, and I really just wanted to come home and go to bed.  Lucky for me, I have the world's funniest sibling.  She's crazy in the best way possible, and we spent the night playing Uno and laughing.  It definitely made a bad day a lot better.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia
So it's not so much that I'm thankful for Wilson Phillips, but I am thankful for really great songs.  I heard Hold On on my way home from work today, and I can't keep myself from dancing around in my car like a crazy person and singing at the top of my lungs whenever it comes on.  This song was followed by New Kids on the Block and Bon Jovi.  My shuffle was amazing today, and just strengthens my feeling that there's a song for every situation, and there's always a song that can make you feel better.

Photo Credit: Google Images
Last, but certainly not least, coffee!  I know it's over priced, but I seriously love Starbucks, and it's finally Pumpkin Spice Latte season!  I probably would not have made it through this week without all of the coffee I consumed.  It's definitely my lifesaver some days.

A few other things I'm thankful for: my awesome co-workers that always make me laugh, the instant messenger at work that allows me to talk to my former co-workers on the east coast, Harry Potter movies, Glee, my girlfriends who always let me vent, text message convos with one of my awazing east coast cousins, and a lot of other things, but I'll leave those for another time.

That's it for now.  Have an amazing weekend everyone!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

How is it Already the Last Wednesday of September?!

Seriously though, where did September go, and why in the world are we still having triple digit weather here?!  I miss fall weather, and leaves that change colors, and the ability to wear scarves without fearing it will cause me to have heat stroke.

Anyway...on to this week's Hodgepodge questions!  Joyce always has such great questions for us to answer.  You should go visit her over at From This Side of the Pond and play along with us!

1. The Wednesday Hodgepodge this week falls on John Chapman's birth date.  He's more famously known as Johnny Appleseed...what's your favorite variety of apple? 

  • I'm going to have to go with Granny Smith apples.  I love that they're a little more on the sour side.  In general though, I love all apples.  I'm not too picky.

2.   When did you last say 'ick'? 

  • Today at lunch when my co-worker tried to convince me that the brats they were serving for lunch were really tasty.  I'm not a hot dog eater at all, and I'm really picky when it comes to sausage, and they just looked gross today.

3.   Do you think there's a generation gap?  Explain. 

  • I think so, and I think technology is a large reason why.  The massive technology boom that's taken place over the last couple of decades has really split the generations.  For those who knew what life was like pre-internet, it's not a necessity.  But for those who grew up/are growing up with all of this technology, a life without the instant gratification that comes from having gadgets like iPods, smart phones and tablets is an absolutely ridiculous notion.  I feel like my life is split between the two.  We didn't have the internet until I was in junior high school.  I grew up playing outside with the neighbors and being active and finding imaginative ways to entertain myself.  I cherished time spent with my relatives at family dinners, and I still think it's rude to be on the phone/tablet/gameboy (or whatever the current cool handheld gaming system is) while at the dinner table.  Don't get me wrong, I love my iPhone, iPad and MacBook, but I'm so grateful that I had a child hood where the new cool technology was Super Nintendo, and it was absurd to think that one day people would be camping out at a store to buy a cell phone.

4.  What's on your computer screen saver?  Do you leave it alone or change it often? 

  • It's one of the random graphic things that came with my laptop.  I think I've changed it twice in the over four years I've owned said laptop.

5.  If you had the attention of the entire world for two minutes, what would you say?

  • Wow, only two minutes to talk to the entire world?  That's a lot of pressure to say something profound in a very short period of time.  I guess I would say something along the lines of, "Dear World, I hope some day we can all come to the realization that we're just human.  Everyone makes mistakes, and we're all different, and that's what makes us awesome.  Can't we all just please get along and stop trying to kill each other all the time?  Thanks."  It's not very profound, and I'm sure it wouldn't make a difference, but it's how I feel.

6.  Four fashion trends to try this fall are-brocade/jacquard (fancy printed fabrics), peplum, lace, and printed pants...which of these four would you be most likely to wear? 

  • I think lace is the only one I'm willing to go with.  I like to keep things pretty simple in my wardrobe.  I'm not real big on prints, but maybe if I found the right one I'd be willing to try it out.

7.  What can make your bad day better?

  • Any of a number of things.  Here's a short list: Ice Cream, Brownies, Tequila, Dancing it Out, Drinking Tequila (or Mango Malibu Rum) while Dancing it Out, Wine, My Girlfriends, My Family, Starbucks, A Good Run/Work Out, A Hug, A Song, Sleep.  It really depends on what made the day bad to begin with.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

  • I'm glad the Diamondback have started winning some baseball games, but I'm frustrated that they waiting until the end of September to do it.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Today Should Have Been Awesome

This is my hockey gear.  All of my t-shirts and rally towels.  The only things not in the stack are my Brooks Laich jersey and my hats.  Because my closet at my parents house is so small, and my hockey gear takes up so much room, it gets folded up and stacked in the top of the closet during the off-season. Today should have been like Christmas.  I should have been able to take all of this off the shelf in order to pick out the perfect outfit for tonight's first pre-season game.  Instead, I'm sitting here in the living room, watching baseball and writing this post.  My mother taught me that if you don't have anything nice to say, you shouldn't say anything at all, so this will be short and sweet.

This whole lockout mess is ridiculous.  If either side was fighting for anything other than money (player safety anyone?!) I might be able to justify it.  Unfortunately, this is a fight over money, and at the moment it would appear that neither side is willing to meet somewhere in the middle and compromise.  So both sides are being stubborn, and currently all pre-season games in September have been cancelled.  Considering today was the first day they've held meetings in two weeks, it's likely that there will be an announcement regarding October's games very soon.  

In the meantime, the fans are angry (pissed off season ticket holder, party of one....right over here!).  The last time the NHL had a lockout was the 2004-2005 season, and all of the games were cancelled that year.  They lost a lot of their fans after that, and they've just recently began to recover most of them.  Not only are the fans angry, but did anyone ever think about the arena employees who now don't have jobs until this is all over?  Or the businesses surrounding the arenas that thrive on game traffic?  It doesn't appear that they have.  So, for now, I'm just going to be an angry fan.  If you need me, I'll be in my room, staring at my closet, wishing I had a reason to put my hockey gear back in my wardrobe rotation.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Hodgepodge Hump Day!

Happy Hump Day Everyone!  This is my second week back working full time at my job after working some cut hours this summer.  Can I just say, that these two weeks have felt super long!!  If I could go back to working only three days a week, but get paid like I was there for five (if that meant working three 12 hour shifts, I'd do it...I'm not trying to get paid for nothing!) I'd do it without thinking twice about it.  Long story short, I'm glad we're half way through this week!

On to the hodgepodge!

1. What's the best and worst thing thing about growing older? 

  • I'd have to say the best thing about getting older is the things we learn along the way.  Now, it's no secret that if being a student could be a viable occupation that's what I'd be doing, but that's not what I mean.  I'm talking about all of life's lovely little lessons.  Both the good and the bad.  They shape who you are, and a lot of those lessons can only be learned with time.  Now, the worst thing about growing older is feeling old.  Both mentally and physically.  Personally, I have the world's worst joints, I'm pretty sure.  So some days, my 27 year old body feels about 70.  That's not an exaggeration.  I'd say I'd love to go back to the time before I injured every joint in my body and be more careful and take better care of myself, but honestly, I'm fairly certain there's a high level of genetic predisposition there, so it probably doesn't matter.  Plus, the majority of those injuries happened doing things I love, and I would never be okay giving up any of those things.  As for mentally feeling old...I still have a great memory and all that jazz, but any time anyone reminds me that my twin cousins will be 16 and driving this year....I cry a little on the inside and wonder where the time has gone.  I mean, I was at the hospital when they were born, and I remember it like it was yesterday.  It's not okay that they're growing up, but they refuse to obey my instructions and stop growing!

2.   Autumn arrives this week in the Northern Hemisphere...what one thing do you love most about the fall season? 

  • COOLER WEATHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  That is all.

3.  Speaking of fall...pumpkin seems to be flavoring everything these days-are you a fan?   What's your favorite pumpkin flavored food or beverage? 

  • I LOVE PUMPKIN!  I love eating it...and I love carving them.  Carving pumpkins is one of my favorite past times.  I'm not going to be able to do it this year, and I'm already sad about it.  That wasn't the question though.  Yes, I am a huge fan of pumpkin-y food and drinks.  I wait in anticipation all year for the Pumpkin Spice Latte to make it's reappearance at Starbucks.  I love pumpkin pie.  Last year I got this recipe for pumpkin cookies on Pinterest.  They are so easy to make, and they really are as good as the blogger brags that they are.  Amazing!  I can't wait to make them again soon.

4.  Since we're on the subject of fall...what's the worst fall you've ever taken?

  • Honestly, I don't think I have one.  I'm notorious for running into things and ending up with giant bruises all over my body, but I'm not really prone to falling. 

5.  If you could own a prop from any film what would you choose? 

  • This isn't a film, but I really want the orange couch that was in Central Perk on the show Friends.

6. What's the most interesting word you've read or learned in the past week?

  • I honestly can't think of a new word I've learned this week, so I just went to WordThink to see what their word of the day is.  Today is "fractious."  It's an adjective that means easily irritated or bad tempered. 

7. When was the last time you locked yourself out of your house, car, or office?  Was it a big deal?

  • It's been a long time since I've done any of those things.  In high school I used to lock myself out of my truck all the time, but now that I'm super paranoid about it I haven't done it in quite some time.  Luckily it was never that big of a deal.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

  • I'm hungry.  To the point that it's almost all I can think about.  I think that means it's time for dinner!

Thanks for reading everyone!  Please take a minute to visit our fabulous Hodgepodge host Joyce

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Things: Pop Culture Edition

Happy Tuesday!  In a continuing effort to share some of myself with you and to get to know some of you, I figured I'd share some of  my favorite things.  I think pop culture is something everyone can relate to.  Movies, TV, Music, Literature...oh my!  I have a pretty wide scope of what I'll watch/listen to/read, but here's just a few of my personal favorites.

Favorite Band:
They had me at "Push" back in 1997, and it's been love ever since.  I love everything about them.  I love that their songs are so well written.  I love Rob Thomas' voice.  I love that, unlike some bands :::coughNickelbackcough:::, none of their songs sound exactly the same.  North is their newest album since going on hiatus in 2007, and it's awesome.  Rob Thomas also released two solo albums during the first hiatus the band went on, and those are also awesome.  I've seen Rob Thomas in concert once when he came to the state fair a few years ago, but I have yet to see the whole band in concert (don't even get me started on how upsetting this is!).  Now that there's a new album there will be a new tour, and you better believe I will be there.  Even if it means paying an obscene amount of money and even having to drive to a neighboring state!  Hopefully they'll have a show in AZ, but the American tour hasn't been announced yet.

Other Bands/Musicians I Can't Get Enough Of:
All Images via Google Image
Music is my life.  I can relate any situation to a song.  There's always some song stuck in my head (currently it's "Good Life" by OneRepublic).  So while I love these 5 artists, this is just the tip of the iceberg.  My iTunes library is massive and very diverse.  There will be a post some other time about why I'm such a nut about music.

Favorite Movies:
Images via Google Image

I'm very much the kid at heart.  Like music, my DVD collection is pretty diverse, but these two movies are hands down my favorite of all time.

Favorite TV Shows:
Images via Google Image
I watch a lot of TV.  More than I really should, but these four shows are my favorites.  To date there isn't an episode of any of them that I dislike or wouldn't watch multiple times.

Favorite Books:
Images via Google Image
Here's just a few of my favorite books.  I love to read, so if anyone has any recommendations I'm all ears!

I think that's enough from me for today.  What are some of your favorite things in the realm of pop culture?  Anyone have any fun guilty pleasures (i.e. listening to the song Call Me Maybe excessively or watching ridiculous shows like Teen Mom and 16 Pregnant.  All of which I do by the way...I'm not ashamed!)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Getting to Know You: The Basics

Like I said yesterday, I have a lot of new followers, and you all don't know too much about me.  I figured it was time to change that.  I figured I'd start with the basics, and go from there.  So, here's a little bit of background for you!

Name: Sarah

Age: 27...I'm currently having issues dealing with the fact that I'm in my late 20's.  One of my best friends realized the other day that the characters in the show Friends are 28 during Season 4.  When did we become old enough that we can actually relate our lives to our favorite show?!  I don't think it had ever occurred to either of us that we were now the same age as the characters.  Let alone all the way to season 4 already!  Believe me, I'm by no means saying I'm old, because I'm not, but sometimes I'm confused as to where the time has gone.  It's a little scary sometimes.

Family:  I'm an extremely blessed individual.  I have an amazing family.  My parents are still married, and have been for almost 33 years.  I'm the oldest of 3 kids.  I have a younger brother who is the most generous and caring individual I know.  I also have a younger sister who is completely crazy, but in an amazing way.  She's one of my best friends, and one of the funniest people I know.  I also have a very, very large extended family that always makes life interesting on a regular basis.  Oh, and then there's Tiger.  She's the tabby cat that's the newest addition to our family.  She's a little weird and noisy, but I love her.

Location:  Currently I'm living back at home with mom and dad in Phoenix, Arizona.  I was born and raised here.  I'm one of the few people I know that lived their entire childhood in the same house.  I went to Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona for 4 years.  If Flagstaff were a larger city, I might not have left, but it's not and I did.  I spent another year in Phoenix, and then I moved to Washington, DC.  I spent three years in that amazing city until I just couldn't afford it anymore, and now I'm back in Phoenix.  So, I'll apologize now that you'll likely read a lot about how much I hate the heat, but I hate it, and that's never going to change.

Occupation:  It's not something that I plan on ever writing about.  But I will say that I work in the hospitality industry and I love my job.

I think that's a good start for now.  So, if you feel so inclined, I'd love to know a little about all of you!  Just the basics for today.  You name, where you're located, and any other "basic" you feel like sharing.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Coming Attractions

First things first...Is it really already the third week in September?!  Where has the time gone?  I feel like Memorial Day was just yesterday, and now Labor Day has come and gone and Halloween is right around the corner.  Oh well, that's fine by me.  I much prefer fall to summer anyway.  Now if only the weather would start to reflect the fact that we're changing seasons.

Moving on...

I have a full week of posts planned!  During the A-Z Challenge I picked up quite a few new followers (to those of you who have stuck with me during my often long absences....thank you!), and aside from the bucket list I made during the challenge, you all don't know too much about me.  So, I'll have a few posts this week that will hopefully help us all to get to know each other a little bit.  I'll also have a Hodgepodge Wednesday post, and if I can calm down and write logically, a post about the current NHL lockout.

I'm looking forward to sharing a bit of myself with you all, and hopefully you'll enjoy what you read.

Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Happy Hump Day Everyone!  I was on such a roll!  I had a week where I had a post 5 out of 7 days, then last week I had zero posts!  What can I say, it was a rough week.  Here's this week's hodgepodge, and don't forget to go and visit Joyce so you can join in our fun!

1. Aloha! On August 21, 1959 Hawaii officially became a US state. Have you ever been? Upon arrival would you prefer an orchid or a hibiscus to tuck behind your ear?
  • I haven't made it to Hawaii yet, but if things go as I'd like them to, I'll be making my way there next year.  I've been wanting to go for ages, but plane tickets are just so dang expensive!  As for the flower, can I have one of each?  They're both so pretty!

2. Since we're talking tropical...what's your favorite food or beverage made with pineapple?
  • There are so many!  Pineapple fried rice...pineapple upside down cake...Malibu & Pineapple Juice...smoothies....

3. Do you believe in soul mates? Explain.
  • Yes, but I don't believe in the traditional definition of "soul mates."  Not only do I believe that you can have more than one, but I believe you soul mate(s) don't always come in the form of a significant other.  They can also come in the form of your best friend.

4. Share a memory about the house you grew up in.
  • I feel like my childhood was rare in that I lived my entire life in the same house.  I guess one of my fondest memories are from when I was a kid, and we would all sit on the couch in our living before we went to bed and our mom would read to us.  I always loved that.

5. Are you comfortable with silence?
  • Not particularly.  My mind races when it's quiet, so I always try to surround myself with some sort of noise.  I fall asleep with the TV on solely because I need the background noise to tune out whatever's floating through my brain.  I listen to the radio all day at work for the same reason.  Noise actually helps me to clear my mind and be able to concentrate.  It must be the musician in me.  

6. You spot a giant spider on your bedroom wall...what's your next move? (all spiders are giant, right?)
  • Smash it with a shoe before it can move and hide and lay eggs somewhere.

7. My idea of fun does NOT include ______________.
  • Phoenix in the summer....seriously....if I could live up north from May to October I'd do it.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
  • I'm currently watching the movie "You Again."  It's one of those movies that I can watch repeatedly and not really get sick of.  It's pretty funny.

Friday, August 10, 2012

My Heart Belongs to San Diego

San Diego is my favorite city (For now anyway.  I have a lot of traveling left to do in life).  I've loved it since I was young, and every time I go back my love grows just a little bit more.  The last time I was in San Diego was nearly 10 years ago when I went on a family vacation before my senior year of high school.  After that I went to college, and money to travel with was non-existent.  After college, I moved to the east coast and all money was spent on trips home to AZ to see my family.

Needless to say, I was long over due for some quality time in my favorite place.  I have had to take a cut in hours this summer while my hotel undergoes some much needed renovations, so I convinced my sister (and by convinced I mean I mentioned it and she was immediately on board) that taking a super short, two day trip was a phenomenal idea.  Our cousin moved to San Diego recently as well, so that was another excuse for us to go.

The trip started out a little rough.  We stopped in Jacumba, California to get gas, and about a mile away from the gas station my sister's truck stopped working.  It completely died, and I had to carefully coast us across the highway (thank goodness there was no traffic!) and into the shoulder.  We got to hang out in the grossly hot desert for two hours while we waited for a tow truck.  Unfortunately, after everything was said and done, we lost about a half a day in San Diego, but it wouldn't be a Clem vacation without some sort of mishap!  We eventually made it to San Diego (a huge thank you to my cousin for rescuing us from the auto shop and being our driver for the remainder of our trip!), and had an amazing time!

Here is a picture recap of our time once we finally got there!

This sushi & Kirin Light tasted SO good after spending 2 hours stranded in the desert!

Our view from our hotel room


There's not much in life that's better than my feet in the sand with a cold beverage and a good book


Sunset at Mission Beach

Thursday, August 9, 2012

It's Okay...

I've just recently started reading Neely's blog, and decided to join in on It's Okay Thursdays.  Enjoy!

It's Okay....

  • To end a friendship that's become toxic
  • To wish it was October so that I can be spending my life at Arena watching my Coyotes
  • To feel a little anxiety because I realized the other day that if I want to go to culinary school next fall I should probably start figuring out where I'm going to go and how much it's going to cost me
  • To still wish I could be an Olympic gymnast when I watch it on TV

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Hodgepodge Wednesday!

Happy Hump Day Everyone!  I hope you enjoy this week's Hodgepodge.  Head on over and visit Joyce to find out how you can participate too!

1. In an effort to combat obesity, the mayor of NYC has plans to ban the sale of large sugary drinks (anything over 16 oz.), initially in restaurants, movie theatres, and street carts. Corner stores would also be affected if they are defined as food service establishments. You can read more here . Your thoughts?

------ The part of me that is saddened by how severe our obesity problem is in this country thinks this is a great idea.  However, a bigger part of me thinks that it's not the mayor's business to be telling people how much sugar they consume.  I may not agree with people's destructive habits, but that doesn't mean it's my (or anyone else's) place to interfere and tell them how to live their lives.

2. Art festival, music festival, food festival...which would you most like to attend?

------ Oh jeez, that's a tough one.  Ideally I'd love to attend a music and food festival combined!

3. What are you irrational about?

------ I think in general, I'm an overly rational person.  I don't think there's really one specific thing that I'm always irrational about.  My mom may be a better person to ask about this.

4. Do you feel confident you'll have a comfortable retirement?

------ Not at the moment, but I'm still young.  I have plans for a great career, and I'm sure my feelings on this will likely change a lot in the coming years.

5. What's been your favorite Olympic moment so far?
(Not ever, just in the 2012 Summer games)

------ I think it's got to be watching Michael Phelps finish out his career in an epic way.  Watching him race and blow away the existing medal records has been a great thing.  I also loved watching Gabby Douglas win her gold in the women's all-around gymnastics competition.  She's just so precious and talented.  I also just watched one of the best comebacks ever.  Misty and Kerri just made an insane comeback against the Chinese to make it to the gold medal match where they'll play our other American team.  Crazy.  I just love sports...and the Olympics....

6. What would you label as the messiest room in your house?

------ As to not throw my parents under the bus, I'll go with my bedroom.  I've lived here about a year and I just can't seem to get it organized enough to my liking, so it just gets messy.  It's much smaller than I'm used to living in, and I haven't dealt with that very well!

7. Do you follow your heart or your head?

------ Oh jeez.  I would have to say more my head.  Like I said before, I'm a really rational person.  Being spontaneous and taking leaps of faith scare me.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

------ I don't want to go to the dentist tomorrow.  I love my dentist, but I'm not too fond of his hygienist.  She's better than his last one...but not by much.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

July Was Awesome...

July was a ton of fun, so I thought I'd share some of my favorite moments...

It started out with the Clem Family getting a new addition.  Meet Tiger...
We adopted Tiger from one of my co-workers who was recently relocated to Chicago

Tiger is a sweet cat, but she might also be the oddest cat we've ever had.  She doesn't like to be held very much (which drives my dad bonkers), she's very talkative and she's terrified of ceiling fans (I'm not joking).  It's been a while since there's been a pet in this house, so we're all pretty glad to have her around.

Then came 4th of July!  I love this holiday.  I get to celebrate how awesome it is to live in America, plus it includes fireworks.  Fireworks are one of my favorite things in the world.  This year, I spent the day with my family at Chase Field taking in some baseball.  Did I mention we got to watch batting practice from the field?  No?  Well, we did...and it was one of the coolest things I've ever done!
Our view of batting practice from the field

Diamondbacks Catcher Miguel Montero signing autographs right next to me.  Dad got his autograph, and he stopped and talked to us for a couple of minutes.  He's super nice!

Diamondbacks 1st Baseman Paul Goldschmidt.  I love him.  I love that he's a great player, and I love how hot he is.

Family photo during batting practice

Fireworks after the game

This was how the month started.  There were a few more baseball games in the middle of the month, and the month ended with a mini-vacation to San Diego!  However, I love San Diego so much that you'll see that in a whole other post on Friday.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

PCOS Update

Happy Weekend Everyone!

Back in February I talked about how after 4 useless doctors, 1 semi-helpful doctor and nearly 10 years I finally found a miracle doctor that actually knows what PCOS is and how to effectively treat it.  A couple of weeks ago I had my three month follow up with Miracle Doctor.

In three months time I have lost a total of 21 lbs.  From my heaviest weight about 2 years ago, I was down 31 lbs.  Personally, I was amazed by this as it has actually been super easy, and prior to seeing this doctor it would have taken me well over a year to lose that first 20 lbs.  I felt as though I'd been doing really well with the program.  I take my meds every day when I'm supposed to, and I follow my diet very strictly except when I'm on vacation (doctor's orders...he doesn't believe in trying to diet on reason on a long list of reasons why I love him!).  That being said, I was still nervous to find out what he thought about my progress with our program.

To my great relief, he was just as thrilled with my progress as I was, if not more so.  He says I'm right on track for where he thinks I should be.  I've actually lost more weight than he had estimated I would in the first three months.  He's very impressed with my will power and ability to stick with the diet (I guess most of his patients aren't as ridiculously stubborn as I am!).  In fact, I'm doing well enough that he wants to change our follow ups to every six months rather than every three.  I'll see him again in January, and I fully intend on impressing him once again.

I'm still shocked that I've finally found a doctor who knows how to treat me.  I'm blessed to have found him when I did, because mentally I was in pretty dire straights by that time.  I'd spent years fighting my body's chemistry.  Doing everything I could think of to try and lose the weight that I shouldn't have gained in the first place.  My body image was the most negative it's ever been, and I was so close to just giving up and giving in to it.  I felt like I was never going to find anyone that could help.  It's miserable feeling like you're trapped in your own skin.  When most of the time the way you see yourself in your minds eye is nothing like the way you look in the mirror.  You start avoiding mirrors...especially full length ones...because you're still shocked every time you see that gross heavy person looking back at you.

Things are different now.  I was telling a friend just today that I am finally starting to see the difference in the mirror.  For weeks now I've noticed the difference in my clothes (I had to stop wearing all of my work slacks because they are ridiculously large and look super stupid on me), but it's really just been in the last week or so that I really see the difference when I look in the mirror.  This is the best I've felt about myself in years, and I can't even fathom at this point how I feel when this process is finally done.

For anyone out there that might be in a similar situation, DON'T GIVE UP!  I've always believed that everything happens for a reason.  It took this long, and I had to go through what I went through in order to get to this point and finally find Miracle Doctor.  Keep at it.  It will all work out the way it should in the end.  Hopefully for the better.  If nothing else, take comfort in knowing you aren't alone, and that others have gone through what you're going through right now.

Thanks for listening, and have a fabulous weekend everyone!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Happy Hump Day Ladies & Gents!  I hope you enjoy this week's Hodgepodge.  Don't forget to visit our wonderful Hodgepodge Host, Joyce!

1. I'm joining my daughter1 in the 101 in 1001 challenge. Essentially you create a list of 101 things you hope to do or accomplish in the next 1001 days. What's one thing you'd put on your list?

  • Start culinary school.  I'm shooting for more like the next 400 days on this one, but it would be near the top of the list just the same.  It's something I'm dying to do.  I think about it every day, but the practical adult in me won't let myself do it until the credit card debt is gone and I've gotten my life a little more stabilized than it is now.

2. How many remote controls do you have in your house? What's one item in your home you wish could be operated by remote control?

  • I personally have 3.  One for the TV, one for the DVD player and one for my AppleTV.  Now...if I were to count all of the remotes that the rest of my family has throughout the house..there's probably at least 12-15.  I wish I had the remote control ceiling fan/light and blinds in my windows.  Mostly because I can be lazy sometimes and I'd like to be able to control those things from the comfort of my bed.  :)

3. What does having it all mean to you? Is it attainable?

  • For me, having it all just means being completely happy with where I'm at in life.  I'm not there yet, but I know I can get there.  It's definitely attainable, but it's not easy.  Then again, nothing in life ever is.

4. What's your favorite movie soundtrack?

  • August Rush...hands down.  Seriously musical genius.  If you've never seen the movie, I highly recommend it.  It satisfied every bone in my musically geeky body, and I just get lost in the amazing compositions every time.

5. Describe the best view you've seen from a rooftop.

  • A couple of my friends in DC had amazing roof top decks.  If you're lucky enough to have one of those in a great part of the city, you can see all of the monuments and historical landmarks.  It's really amazing, especially at night.

6. What's your least favorite thing about summer?

  • I'm pretty sure we've had this discussion before.  THE HEAT!!  Let me tell you, moving away from Phoenix for 3 years and moving back did not change my abhorrence towards our summer months.  I cannot stand it.  I try really hard to not complain about it, because there's nothing I can do about it, but I really, really hate it.  Really.

7. Our weekly Hodgepodge falls on the first day of August. In ten words or less sum up your July.

  • Lots of baseball.  Amazing Friends.  Cousin time in San Diego.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

  • I love watching the Olympics.  I love both summer and winter versions.  In the summer I get to watch gymnastics and swimming and volley ball and water polo (all which include amazingly hot men wearing next to nothing!).  In the winter I get the best sport of!  Along with ice skating (don't get me started on ice dancing and how I hate it), skiing, speed skating and bobsledding!  I just love it, and wish I could watch them every year.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Coming Soon to a Blog Near You...

I'm back!  I know I say that a lot, but you should be used to it by now!  July has been a busy month, so I think August is the perfect time to get you all caught up with my life.  I got myself all caught up on reading your blogs today.  I'm going to make more of an effort to comment on everyone's blogs, and not just be a blog stalker.  

Here are some posts I'm working on for you:

  • My link up to Wednesday Hodgepodge will be back tomorrow.  It's only my second one, but it will be come a more consistent part of the blog from now on.
  • I had a check-up with my doctor, so there's a PCOS update coming your way.
  • Like I said, July was busy, so I'm putting together a photo filled post to recap.
  • I just got back from a mini vacation in San Diego.  That gets its own photo filled post.
  • I'm also thinking of changing the look of my blog.  We'll see how that goes.

We'll start from there and see how it goes.  My lovely friend Ashley has a great blog that I stalk pretty regularly.  She does a couple of weekly link ups, and I'm thinking I may join her in that.  It would be a good way to make sure I get at least two posts up a week.  Maybe it will curb my slacker tendencies a bit!  Until I decide, you can go visit Ashley over at Oh Wells Instead of What Ifs and see how fabulous she is!

I'll leave you with this for now, but stay tuned for more later this week!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My First Wednesday Hodgepodge

Okay, so I've decided it's time to end my blogging hiatus.  I've taken a long enough break since the A to Z Challenge.  I got myself through busy season at work, and now that we're starting a renovation project at work, I'm going to have boat loads of free time to bore you all with my ramblings.

To work my way back into the scene, I decided to join the Wednesday Hodgepodge.  My mom started participating a few weeks ago, and it just sounds like fun!  So, thank you in advance to Joyce over at From This Side of the Pond for giving me something to write about on Wednesdays!  Without further ado....

1. Summer officially rolls in with the Hodgepodge, for those of us in the Northern hemisphere anyway. What song says summer 2012 to you?

I now live in Phoenix.  It's hotter than the surface of the sun here in the summer.  People think I'm crazy when I say that I prefer the humid summers of Washington, DC to summers here, but believe me, I'm not lying.  The heat is gross and I hate it more than I could actually put into words.  So, this is an oldie but a goodie.  I think Nelly's got it right by pointing out that it's so hot all you want to do is strip.

2. What is the quintessential summer food?

Great White Shark Popsicles!  I used to eat these all the time in the summer during my brother's little league games.

Photo Courtesy of: 

3. I've spent a lot of time traipsing up and down the NJ turnpike in recent weeks. Did you know the rest stops on the turnpike are named after people who lived or worked in NJ? Clara BartonWalt WhitmanJames Fenimore CooperMolly PitcherJoyce KilmerThomas Edison, and Grover Cleveland just to name a few. Of those I listed who would you most like to have known and why?

Even though Walt Whitman's rest stop is one of my favorites, I'm going to have to go with Clara Barton.  She did such amazing things, not only for women and feminism, but for society as a whole by founding the American Red Cross.  I think knowing her would have been amazing.

4. At what age did you move out of your parent's house and what prompted the move?

I was 18, and I was moving north to Flagstaff to attend Northern Arizona University.  I've spent most of my time since then away from home.  For the four years I was in college I only came home for short visits and when they made us leave the dorms during extended vacations at school.  I moved home for a year right after college before I embarked on my 3 year adventure in Washington, DC, and now I'm back again.  I've been back almost a year, though it doesn't seem like that long.

5. What's more satisfying to you-saving time or saving money?

Right now?  Money.  I do anything to be able to save some money.

6. Name something you think brings out the good in people.

Like most things in life, I think this varies by person.  I really don't think there's one thing more than any other that brings out the best in everyone.  Some things that I think are up there?  Laughter, good music, puppies and faith in something bigger than us.

7. This last question comes to you courtesy of Kathy at Reflections...are you taking a vacation or staycation this summer? If so where are will you go? If a staycation is on the calendar have you made any special plans to fill the time?

Due to a renovation project going on at work this summer, I'll be taking a lot of time away from my job.  Unfortunately most of it will be unpaid, so I'll be doing a lot of staycationing and working on my tan (I'm blessed with the ability to tan while wearing a very high SPF sun block.  Please be safe in the sun this summer everyone!  Skin cancer is nothing to brush off.)!  However, my sister and I are headed to glorious San Diego for two days at the end of July, and I'm hoping to make some day trips up to Flagstaff to get out of the heat.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I'm really tired, and should probably go to sleep (it's 10:20 PM as I'm writing this, and past my bed time!), but I'm sucked in to the baseball game that I already thought might never end, but is now, of course, in extra innings.  The D-Backs need to lock it up and finish this game!

Thanks for reading!  And don't forget to head over to This Side of the Pond and visit Joyce!