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2015 New Year: New Start


2014 was the best of times… it’s hard to beat spending 3 months in Honolulu!  2014 was the worst of times… my mother’s cancer returned after an 8 year remission and after a brief (although it seemed like centuries at the time) struggle, she passed away in mid-December.


My mother and I at the San Diego Botanical Garden on Thanksgiving 2013.

Her passing rocked (and continues to rock) me in ways I could not anticipate.

And as the only child of someone who was not ready to go and did not have her affairs in order, 2015 looks like it will be a year of cleaning and probate court… in Nashville… far from my home in San Diego.

I will post when I can post. But there are no promises or resolutions this year. Just one foot in front of the other, one day at a time.


Friday Fitness: So it goes


It’s been a hard few weeks of my ongoing fitness journey.

First, I LOST my dietbet.  5 lbs down, but not the 7 lbs I needed to win the bet.

But then, we went to New York the next day and I spent a week celebrating the sister-in-law’s wedding… and promptly gained back all 5 lbs back… and then a few.

And then I went to a henna conference where they had healthy options for lunches and dinners… but put out Rice Krispie treats for snacks.  Or is that Rice Krispie Crack? ….more lbs gained.

I returned home.  The cat got sick (UTI… much better after a course of antibiotics) and then I got sick (upper respiratory… finally going away).

And now it is mid-November.  Ouch.

Well, tomorrow is a new day. And I plan to check out the Taoist Tai Chi group that practices in Balboa Park every Saturday morning.

And we’ll take it from there.

Wordless Wednesday

My neighbor's passionfruit vine.

My neighbor’s passionfruit vine.

Beauty Slacker

I’ve been slacking lately… not just in writing, but in my personal care as well.

Actually, there are several things that I usually slack off on — sometimes seasonally, and sometimes always… I usually don’t even think about it… but I recently read a post by Tine over at Beautyholics Anonymous that made me think.

Am I a slacker, too?  Yah, you betcha!

I jumped on the meme bandwagon...

I jumped on the meme bandwagon… you can make one too at What I Really Do.

Nailpolish: Most of my friends have lovely hands with perfect, manicured nails.  Me, not so much.  As someone who has to haul equipment, set up a booth, sit outside and use facepaints (which DO stain just about everything, especially the red paints), it’s almost impossible for me to maintain a manicure longer than a couple days.  When I absolutely, positively need to look like a lady, I will get a gel manicure — which usually lasts about a week and a half but afterwards my nails feel more brittle so I like to let my nails recover in between polishes.  One of my henna colleagues uses henna on her nails and it turned the same shade of auburn as her hair… it looked good on her so I might try that in the future… but since henna dyes the nails, it will last for months and months… if I don’t like the look, I may end up using more nail polish!

Pedicures: I am more diligent with pedicures than manicures, mainly because they last such a long time and when I’m putting in long distance walking, I like to pamper my feet.  In the summer, I try to get a pedicure once a month.  In the winter, it ends up being every 3-4 months.  With socks and closed toe shoes, my toenails are out of sight and out of mind…

Shaving: I am fortunate to have Northern European ancestry in the hair department.  While my genes give me much high risk for skin cancer, they also have bestowed my legs with sparse, fairly light hair.  So I go by the rule, if I can’t see them, I won’t shave them, especially in the “winter” when I wear long pants or leggings or tights.

Taking makeup off every night: When I am awake, I am very conscious to remove my makeup before getting ready for bed.  It’s right up there with brushing my teeth and taking my calcium.  But lately, there have been evenings where I sit on the couch, a cat on the lap, a science documentary on the TV… and then the next thing I know it’s 3am, so I just slip into my pajamas and get in the bed… without washing my face… or brushing my teeth until morning. Sad, I know. Perhaps I should start washing up for bed at 7pm just in case….

Styling my hair: I am a wash n’ wear kind of girl.  I own a blowdryer, but have only used it once for my hair… it finds more use drying glitter tattoos at events than it does in my bathroom. My hair routine now is: wash with cleansing conditioner.  Use a small dollop of leave-in conditioner.  Mix curl cream with gel and massage that in.  Scrunch and go.  If my hair looks awful when all is dried later on in the morning, I slap on a headband and carry on.

My glitter tattoos see more of my dryer than my hair does!

My glitter tattoos see more of my dryer than my hair does!

Multi-step routines using the same product line: I wish I could find a product line I could be loyal to.  And I wish I could simplify life by just using their line-up of products.  But each line seems to have something that either I find ridiculously expensive (usually a cleanser), or that irritates my skin or doesn’t seem to work.  I suppose that is the fate of a skincare junkie: to constantly search for the newest, greatest skincare product or routine.

Face and body sunscreen: I use facial sunscreens on my neck and arms.  I use body sunscreens on my face when I go for long walks. The facial sunscreens are usually easier to apply, more moisturizing and don’t require a major rubdown to get rid of the white cast.  Body sunscreens are usually goopy, waterproof and don’t budge when I am out there doing 4 miles in the hot sun.

And let’s not get started on my minimalist daily make-up routine…. while I love makeup, I usually wear just BB cream, concealer, a smidge of eyeliner and lipgloss if I remember.  Often, I remember the lipgloss while I’m on my way to somewhere and I end up applying in the car during a stoplight.  No mascara, no blush, no eyeshadow.  When I have a gig, I’ll do everything but false eyelashes if the occasion calls for it, but for just running errands, taking classes, or going shopping, I’m a no-frills gal.

How about you?  Are you a slacker?

Friday Fitness: Betting on myself

exercise-womanLast year I lost 20 lbs.

This year, it all returned.  I am officially back to where I started last March.  Sigh.

So it was serendity… or excellent timing… when I got an email from Prevention Magazine’s Fitness Goddess, Chris Freytag with an invitation to join her 28 day diet challenge on


The idea is that if you have an incentive (in this case, a portion of a cash pot), you are more likely to stay focused on your goal — losing 4% of my body weight in 4 weeks.

It’s an interesting idea… and one that I’ve been mulling over for months.  I first saw an article about it in June, but didn’t actually read it.  Later, All You Magazine ran an article in their August 2014 issue that looked at the experiences of 2 readers with Pact, an app for your phone (both Apple and Android) that rewards you with cash for meeting your workout and diet targets. One reader found the app very motivating and it was just the push she needed to meet her goals.  The other reader found Pact annoying, and it didn’t help her at all.

Another article in Women’s Health Magazine reviewed 4 programs. Each program was briefly described and the link given.

In the blog post, Dieting for Dollars Does It Work on Get Healthy U, Chris Freytag argues that scientific studies have shown that financial incentives can get people motivated to make positive changes.

It can’t hurt.  And I might make a few dollars.  The worst that can happen is that I will lose $30 at the end of the challenge.  But that’s a reasonable amount.  If the wager amount were $5, it wouldn’t be high enough to get me on the floor doing push-ups.  But $30? That’s 2 Skin Illustrator glazing gels, or a Benefit’s Watt’s Up Luminizer stick…

So come Tuesday, September 9th, I will weigh in and start the challenge.  4% of my current weight is 7.12 lbs.  I think it is a very doable goal.

Ready, Set, Lose, Win!

We have winners!


I decided to choose 2 winners for my birthday giveaway!

Jenna from Turku, Finland!!!


Natalie from Raleigh, North Carolina!



Happy 4th of July!


Wishing you and yours a joyous and fun-filled holiday!


A day at the Del Mar Fair

The Del Mar Fair -- the theme this year is: The Fab Fair, showcasing the Beatles.

The Del Mar Fair — the theme this year is: The Fab Fair, showcasing the Beatles.

I had the wonderful opportunity to work for the lovely ladies of Skin Tight Body Art in their henna booth at the Del Mar Fair today.

Skin Tight Body Art's Henna Booth at the Del Mar Fair

Skin Tight Body Art’s Henna Booth at the Del Mar Fair

The fair is a place of sensory overload:

The fairway

The fairway

The Gingerbread House

The Gingerbread House

Oh myyyy...

Oh myyyy…

As the County fair, there are livestock and plant exhibitions and contests in addition to the booths that sell silly things you can’t get anywhere else and fun stuff, like henna tattoos.



Prize flower

Prize flower

Healthy fare was hard to find -- but the Pineapple Express had several delightful options: this is the Maui Chicken Pineapple...

Healthy fare was hard to find — but the Pineapple Express had several delightful options: this is the Maui Chicken Pineapple…

I hadn’t worked the fair in 6 years — and hadn’t gone to visit in 6 years, either!  After the initial overwhelm, I got hooked… and signed up to work a few days for Skin Tight Body Art at the Orange County fair in a couple weeks…

Glutton for punishment…


A super fun design.  I love the creative vibe at both the fair and this booth!

A super fun design. I love the creative vibe at both the fair and this booth!

Cetaphil Gift Basket: We have a winner!

Congratulations to Julie Ruamthong of Alexandria, Virginia for participating in the Cetaphil Gift Basket giveaway!

The Cetaphil Gift Basket of full-sized goodies!

The Cetaphil Gift Basket of full-sized goodies!

Her name was selected at random by Rafflecopter, which offers a range of plans and giveaway packages from free to $60/month. (I use the free version and it is super easy to use!)

Stay tuned for more giveaways — I’ve got one in the works for the middle of the month!

And thanks again for reading my blog!


Last few hours to use the Whole Foods Coupon!


This coupon is good until closing time TODAY. Only at San Diego locations.  I apologize to my out-of-town readers.