Friday, September 30, 2011

What the....?

Let me take you back a few months. The date: June 28, 2011. This is the day of my birth.

For some reason, I woke up super early. 5 am.  Zeb was up then too, however, he was up because he hadn't yet gone to bed. He's crazy like that.

Anyway, I made some coffee. Zeb went to the front door to let Peanut out (or so I thought) and then shut the door, with Peanut still on the inside, which raised some suspicion in my mind. Mostly, I thought there was an opossum in the front yard and he didn't want Peanut to encounter it.

Opossums are gross.

So I opened the front door to what I thought I saw were 15 opossums in the front yard. ew.

Then my eyes started to adjust and I began to realize the front yard was decorated with little bears and little pigs. I was a little weirded out at first, trying to connect the pieces of  this very odd puzzle.

Luckily, there was a sign in the yard, and the side facing me said, "From Kate and Brian".

The sign facing the street said, "Someone squealed, it's a little bear's birthday!".

EEEEP! A birthday present for me!

We spent a lot of time in the front yard that morning and I tried to spend as much time as I could enjoying my yard friends the rest of the day. They were so cute when the sun came up, and I actually felt quite special to receive such an amazing surprise on my birthday.

Was this the best birthday surprise I've ever received?
Capital Y-E-S!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The State Fair

The last time I went to the State Fair, I believe I was in middle school. Circa 1994. I was taken by the people who I babysat for, and I remember having fun and going through the fun house. I may only remember that, however, because there was a picture associated with it.

This year I was set on going because I thought it would be a fun activity for Zeb and me, and I really kind of wanted to eat something weird and fried. (Read: fried twinkie, fried spam, fried snickers.) Sounds fun, right?

So, we drove the hour and a half to Sedalia and had the best time. I had a few things I wanted to definitely do while I was there.
1. See some cows
2. Eat something fried (see above)
3. Ride the ferris wheel

While there, we spent a lot of time with farm animals. We saw 4-H kids showing cows, walked through the cow barns and spent a lot of time at the petting zoo.
Unfortunately, I couldn't find any weird, fried stuff and settled for a funnel cake, but I did get to ride the ferris wheel and was much more scared than I thought I would be.
I was really, really happy the entire time, and I think that was suprising for Zeb. He didn't know the State Fair would make me feel so much joy, but I loved being there among the farmers, and small town people. I loved experiencing this type of life for this small moment of time.

I made a scrapbook page about it, too. I used an 8x10 photo for this layout which is rare. I usually stick with 4x6 or smaller, so working with this size photo posed a challenge. It's simple, but I like it.

Tis the Season

I am not not not a summer time knitter. I think sweaty hands and knitting don't mix. But with the cooler weather approaching, I got out a project that I have been working on for quite some time....socks! I made quite a few pairs last year and this year was paid to make a pair. Socks don't really take that long to knit, but I haven't actually picked up the project in awhile.
Hopefully I'll be showing you two finished socks within the month.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I can't tell you how excited I am for this.'s FREE!
I had been wanting to learn how to make granny squares before the end of the year and now it feels like it will actually happen.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Shuffleboard Surprise

Zeb and I began dating about 6 years ago. It was sometime at the end of September, although the exact date eludes us both.

Here's the story:

We both lived in Columbia and worked at the same restaurant.
I thought he was pretty great so I would follow him around at parties and tried to make conversation with him at work. He said he noticed none of this.

It wasn't until my LAST NIGHT IN TOWN that he showed interest back.

I was leaving to spend the summer in California, and then move somewhere else. He came to my going away party and we had the best time together.

Fast forward 3 summer months (and lots of phone conversations) and I was back in KC thinking about my next move....and thinking about Zeb. I headed to Columbia pretty quickly to visit him and see what would happen next with us.

We went to a hole in the wall and drank Budweiser and played shuffleboard for our first date.

So yesterday I told him I wanted to take him to lunch and drove him to a bar near our house with shuffleboard. We played for about an hour remembering the details of our first date, and claiming (both of us) that it was neither of our ideas to go to a bar we both didn't frequent to play a game we both knew nothing about.

Here are pictures from our 6 year anniversary date and proof that we have no idea how to play shuffleboard. Just check out that scoreboard!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Too Much?

I am no stranger to the decorative pillow.
I recently bought a couple new ones. Ones that I thought would add some color to the room and be more comfortable to lay on.

For the following photos, please pay no mind to the couch. I know it's ugly.
Moving on....

Here's what was going on before:

Two drab pillows that kind of blended into the color of the couch. Also, not very comfortable to sleep on...but pretty.


2 new, beautiful, colorful pillows. Ohhhhh. Ahhhhhh.

Last: Zeb shows off his decorating skills:

A decorator he is not. A funny guy? He is.

I walked into the room to find this. A couch full of pillows! All the decorative pillows we have in the house, actually.

Now, this post was not about how I am an amazing interior designer, but rather about how I'm dating a comedian.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

My Office

Here's a little post about my day to day....because as much as I would love to have scrapbooking, or becoming a better seamstress, or gardening or home decorating be what I spend most of my time doing, the truth is, I spend most of my time doing my job as a personal trainer.
It's funny to me, when I decided I wanted to do this (after I got my Degree in English), I didn't really know what I was signing up to do. I knew personal training meant guiding people in their workouts and food choices but I didn't know I would be in sales.
I'm actually worst in the sales department. I get a ton of clients from word of mouth, and because I teach fitness classes I am often chosen when someone thinks of hiring a personal trainer. However, when it comes to approaching people in the gym (which makes sense) or in a social situation (which doesn't make sense) I don't do much 'selling'. I don't avoid talking about my job in public, but I just don't start that conversation. I'm just not pushy, it's not my nature.
Also, I didn't know about this whole waking up at 4am thing. Now, I don't currently have 5 am clients, but I have in the past. I certainly believe that I need to arrive at these early morning sessions fresh faced, so I wake up quite early to drink the coffee, check the email and actually wake up. Even though I'll label myself as a morning person, 4am is early!
I also drive much more than I would like. As an independent contractor, I work at a couple of gyms in the area and go to people's homes for training sessions. This means a lot of driving! Here's a look at what I consider to be my office most days.

I do love my job, I just didn't know about these aspects of the job, when I decided I wanted to help people get healthy.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Peanut. AKA...Etc.

Pea Nart
Pea Blart, Mall Cop
Pinkleberry Dinglebarkin
Pink Butt
Bean Butt
Bean Bart
Pea Bart
Pea Bear
Baby Bear
Bay Bear
Booby Buns
Boo Boo
Boo Bear
Tootie Bottom
Muffin Top

Monday, September 19, 2011


This dude and I had the best weekend together. On Friday we participated in our neighborhood garage sale. I was wholeheartedly against our participation seeing as how in years past we have participated and didn't make that much money. The number one issue being that most of our stuff is second hand already so when we sell it, it doesn't carry a very high price tag. We don't have big ticket items for sale. (See: cassette tapes, VHS, and old clothes)
However, he insisted, claiming it was his garage sale and he would do all the work. So I cleaned out drawers and closets and cabinets and participated too. It sprinkled on and off on Friday, but we were selling here and there and finally closed down around 2pm. We felt good about our profit at that point.

Then the date night began. We headed to dinner at a new restaurant that is all the hype in KC lately. We both agreed the food was good, but that we weren't excited to head back anytime soon. It didn't knock my socks off, and it was too loud and perhaps a bit overpriced.

Then we were off to my friend Kate's comedy sketch show. Comedy ensued. Seriously. This show was funny. I was amazed at what this cast created. Marvelous. 

However, the most fun part of the evening was our stop at Price Chopper for snacks before we headed home to watch a movie. There was a display of cereal boxes about 3 boxes high that for some reason we were kicking over (not kicking over to the floor, but roundhouse kicking over). I laughed harder than I have in a long long time. This is a moment I want to remember forever.

Saturday we tried the ole garage sale thing again and closed up around 11am, right before the rain came pouring down. We made over $70 and made a nice donation to the DAV.

A successful weekend, I'll say.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Watermelon Memories

We had a fantastic garden this year. And when I say fantastic, I mean that we planted vegetable plants and vegetables grew. We're not super duper farmers around these parts. We have just been gardening since we bought this house in 2007....and our first garden was a major success and so we keep at it every year.
We mostly buy plants at the local nursery to plant because that's the easiest. We don't do much planning, and we don't do more than plant and water.

It's amazing to me that more people don't garden. It's so easy and so rewarding and so exciting to see a little mini cucumber/watermelon/pepper grow into its adult version.

This year in our garden we had strawberries, cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, and the star of the show, WATERMELON.

We got about 3 hefty watermelons this year and they were so delicious. I decided that we should weigh the 2nd watermelon we got from the vine and it weighed in at a whopping 23.5 lbs! Here she is!

Even Peanut Approved!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A to Z

I saw this on Mooreaseal and thought I would give it a try. Kinda fun, Right?
Here's a little bit about me, from A to Z.

A. Age: 29
B. Bed size: Queen
C. Chore that you hate: I like chores, actually....but not cleaning the toilet. Who likes cleaning a toilet? Ew.
D. Dogs: Seriously? Peanut the dachshund is the best!
E. Essential start to your day: coffee
F. Favorite color: Green
G. Gold or Silver: Silver
H. Height: 5 feet tall
I. Instruments you play: Unfortunately, none. I have always dreamed of taking violin lessons. 
J. Job title: Personal Trainer
K. Kids: None of the human variety. (See: Dogs)
L. Live: Kansas City, Missouri
M. Mother’s name: Rhymes with Cheryl 
N. Nicknames: Cher Bear, Baby Bear, ....that may be as dorky as it gets.
O. Overnight hospital stays:  I cut my finger when I was in second grade and I had to have plastic surgery. I'll assume I had to stay overnight for that. 
P. Pet peeves:  I hate when people are oblivious to others in public. Like when they take up the entire aisle at the store or start backing up into you....Pay attention, people!
Q. Quote from a movie: Ugh. I'm so bad at quoting movies. Seriously, nothing is coming to mind. 
R. Right or left handed: Right
S. Siblings: 1 bro
U. Underwear: Yes.
V. Vegetable you hate: Radishes if they are too thick...then they are too spicy. Otherwise, I do like veggies.
W. What makes you run late:  I hate being late. If I am on time, I think I am late. I like to be early, but can get sidetracked with household chores or goofing around on the internet. Oh, the internet.
X. X-Rays you’ve had: Teeth. That may be it. 
Y. Yummy food that you make: Ummm....I follow recipes sometimes and am generally impressed with myself when things turn out to be delicious. I don't have any 'go to' recipes though.
Z. Zoo animal: I love animals. I'll say monkeys first. Camels are cool. I like rhinos. I could go on....

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Renegade Craft Fair! A Review.

I had put off getting a ticket to Chicago for this year's Renegade Craft Fair, but at the last minute I bought my ticket and went. I am so happy I did. Being at that fair (this was my second year) makes me happy inside in a way I can't explain.....but I will try.

I love the feeling of being around creative people. I love seeing what other people create. I love inspecting the workmanship of something up close, and talking with the creator. I love shopping for cute things and weird things.

My friend Blair lives in Chicago and she so graciously hosted me for the weekend. When we arrived at the fair, I asked just one thing of her. That is, that if I act interested in something, she should encourage me to buy it. I wanted to spend money and I didn't want to leave with the feeling that I left something behind. I had a great time shopping and made sure to visit each booth twice to ensure that I was leaving nothing unseen.

That's Blair and me. Spending money makes me happy.
I purchased quite a few art prints. This one, from The Frantic Meerkat, is one of my favorites.

I also love love love Berkley Illustrations. I purchased two prints for myself last year and this year bought an admiring friend a print. A Badger. One of the fun things about these prints besides the obviously fun 'animal dressed in clothes' part, is that each one comes with a little description. 

This one says, " You might not expect the world's foremost authority on dungeon mastering to excel in the field of freak dancing, but this is not your ordinary badger." Fun, right?

Two of my favorite purchases include a Morse Code necklace from Coatt and a cute bag from Jenny N Design.

I think in total, we were Renegading for 6 hours. That's a long time, and I barely ate anything all day. I had the feeling of not wanting to miss a single item, of taking it all in, of really experiencing the fair. I didn't want to waste time on silly things like eating and drinking....(it's true, I didn't drink water all day long because I didn't want to pee in a port a potty.....unfortunately, my feet were little, swollen butterballs at the end of the night). 

I had the best time, and next time, I will drink more water. I promise.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


I just returned home from a trip to Chicago. I went for the Renegade Craft Fair and to see a friend. But, wouldn't you know it, I have had zero time to blog since I have returned. I am very busy at work. 

However, I plan to give you the low down...

or the down low 

this weekend. 

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

It's a Dachshund Thing....

...You wouldn't understand. Or maybe you would.
I'll admit it. I have a thing with dachshunds....and the only way I can explain it in a way that makes sense is to steal that stupid Jeep quote....because I'm sure this obsession doesn't make sense to most of you, especially those of you without a dachshund to call your own. Perhaps it exists in other mediums for other people....exists in ways I can't understand. Maybe for you, it's a Chihuahua Thing (I don't get it) or a Cat Thing (I don't like cats). For me, however, it's dachshunds.

I can pinpoint the exact start of this obsession. August of 2007. That's when I met Peanut. A friend of mine and Zeb's suggested we go to City Pets some day if we're feeling bored to look at the cutest dog they have know,

"just to look at the puppy...."

"if we're feeling bored"

I being the more practical of the pair had always said I would wait to get a dog when I turned 30 years old. That made sense to me. 30 symbolized stability and a house and a career....just like when I was 20 years old, I thought 25 symbolized business suits and casual Friday.

So there I was that August afternoon in 2007, 25 years old, falling in love with a puppy.

Now, don't get me wrong, if Practical Cheryl had her way, when it came time to get a dog, adoption would be the first option. I fully believe in adopting pets, but on this day, I was not looking to bring home a dog friend so there was no planning this experience...and, in this moment, I couldn't find Practical Cheryl anywhere anyway.

We spent a lot of time playing with this little puppy and then I  remember Zeb sitting in the play area holding her with the biggest smile on his face and begging me with his eyes to bring her home.

Bring her home we did not. No Sir!

We went home that day...

 and then went back the next day to get her.

There we are. The day we became a family. Me, Zeb and Peanut.

From that moment on, I have been a total dachshund person. I own several dachshund home decor items and often shop online for anything, art, etc. I would have more Dachshund goodies to show for it, if I weren't so afraid of overdoing it and really geeking out and turning our house into a Dachshund Decor Heaven.

I have also had to stop myself several times from stopping my car and jumping out to pet other dachshunds I see walking around the city. I feel there is a connection among dachshund lovers. This small group of the population lucky enough to spend time with this little clown dog who is the silliest, most serious, smartest, most animated companion.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Scrapbooker

I was talking about my scrapbooking in an embarrassed way recently...talking about how I like it but how I feel nerdy about it and don't really want to scream from the rooftops that I am a scrapbooker and after all this, the response was:

"Life is too short"

And it's true. Life is too short to be embarrassed, especially about something I actually enjoy doing. So listen up everyone, I am a scrapbooker!!

I made a couple pages from our ski trip to Colorado.

The first one is about a Pineapple Upside Down cake.

Every year on Zeb's Birthday, he asks for tacos and Pineapple Upside Down cake (something his mom always makes for him). Now, I don't know why it took me so long to make the following discovery, but I didn't realize until we were about 2 hours away from Leadville that I should make a Pineapple Upside Down cake that evening for Zeb's Birthday. Since all we really did on his Birthday was drive for hours. and hours.

So we went to the grocery store upon arriving in town and I got the ingredients. I was so nervous that the cake wouldn't turn out right because:

1. I had never made one all by myself before.

2. I don't know how to bake in the altitude.

However, the cake turned out great. I hear it was delicious (I was on a special diet at this point) and I can attest to its beauty.

Now for the big reveal.

A page about a cake.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Brrrr already?

This morning I woke up and it wasn't even 60 degrees yet. It was cold. Brrr....
Mind you, I am more sensitive than most concerning the cold, and spend most of the winter wearing my winter coat, sleeping in stocking caps, sporting purple lips, etc, so though this may sound like a stretch for some of you, but this morning I was reminded of winter. It was a good memory though. Last winter we had the pleasure of being invited to my friend Brian's (husband to Kate) family cabin in Leadville, Colorado.
I was quite apprehensive when discussion of this trip started because I absolutely hate hate hate riding in cars for long distances. I can handle road trips where the idea is to stop and explore every few hours, but when the destination is over 6 hours (actually 4 hours) away, I would opt to fly. I did consider it in this circumstance as well, but thought it might be an inconvenience to my fellow travelers if they had to concern themselves with picking me up at the airport at a certain time.
So in the car we went. We left KC on the morning of February 4th quite early...I'll say 6am. Good morning!....and then drove ALL DAY LONG. 12 hours later we made it to Leadville. We stopped for dinner, went to the grocery store and headed to the cabin.

The beauty at the cabin made the whole day of driving worth it. It was a beautiful, snow covered landscape. The picture above was taken the next morning....don't get confused, We left KC and it was dark and arrived in Leadville and it was dark.

The next day was day 1 of skiing. Zeb, Kate and I opted for lessons and the other 3 took to the slopes. After lessons we hung out on the bunny slope for awhile until a blizzard came through. I learned then, that skiing without proper eye wear and face covering is no fun and the 3 of us retreated into the lodge to wait for the others. They joined us with stories of snow blindness and spills as they attempted to make their way down the mountain during the blizzard. Their experience sounded treacherous and fun but nothing this newbie wanted any part of.

Day 2 and the 6 of us got to ski the slopes together. It was freezing on this day. I think the temperature was 5 degrees, (which we only realized after getting in the van at the end of the day) but add altitude and speed and it had to have been much colder than that. I'll say it was -20 degrees and accurate or not, it sure did feel like it.
So, day 2: -20 degrees.

I was a bit miserable at times (most of the time) and I had to emergency ski to the lodge a couple of times because I was convinced that once I took my gloves off, all I would have were dead, blackened hands. Surprisingly, this was not the case, my hands were not frost bitten, just cold....and hot chocolate seemed to make everything better.

 A picture of Zeb, me and Amber on a lift. We were smiling, I promise.

This was Zeb's first time skiing (I had past experience skiing in Colorado in 6th grade) and he was a trooper. (side note: I do believe during dinner after our 2nd day of skiing he was awarded the 'Spirit Award"). After falling as many times as he did, I surely thought he would throw in the towel at some point and belly up to the bar in the lodge and just drink the day away. However, he stuck with it all day long, and as I was in the lodge waiting for everyone to finish their last run (I threw in the towel before Zeb did, even) he skied down that mountain like a pro. Perhaps the absence of my yelling 'Pizza Slice!!!!!' as he whizzed past me on the slopes or other's constant (and caring) advice every time he fell helped him to find his ski legs.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Let's try this again.

My blog went stagnant. I know this. The problem the first time around was my focus of the blog. How can I make a blog about exercise and eating right when I do waaaay more than that with my life?....and I don't always exercise and eat right anyway. It became a difficult task to write about: working out and eating right or trying to relate all things to working out and eating right. Boring too.
When this blog came to a screeching halt, I was also becoming more involved in something I wasn't sure I was ready to share with lots of people. I was starting to train for a figure competition. I will describe this competition as women on stage in sparkly bikinis flexing their muscles and getting judged. This was so out of my comfort zone of living a mostly no make up, low maintenance, jeans and T shirt kind of life that to share my new goal felt very uncomfortable. I also didn't know if I could do it.

Look, me in a T-shirt (with my pooch, Peanut).

Me again! This time I'm in the sparkly bikini.

However, I did do it (see above), after sacrificing a lot of my family, my social life, my happiness...the list goes on! I did it. Done. I did get to look pretty ripped after all that hard work and I chiseled myself a nice pair of abs as well. I also won a couple of trophies too. It was hard hard work though... and probably something I won't do a second time. During those 6 months, I spent a lot of time lifting weights and doing cardio and when I wasn't lifting weights or doing cardio, I was thinking about lifting weights and doing cardio. I was also spending my time cooking chicken and eating chicken, and eating eggs and timing my meals, etc.

Now that that chapter in my life is over, I can start blogging again.....and this time it'll be a bigger and better blog than before! Bigger? I don't know, but better, at least, because I am more than just a personal trainer, I am a pretty crafty girl too and I like to garden, and I like to travel and this blog will be all of those things. This time, it won't be boring.