Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Dear everyone,

I have not meant to neglect you. I have just been working 13 hour days. I don't really have time to BREATHE, let along blog!

But I have missed y'all, and I have some good stories for everyone. Sadly, I only have time for this morning's adventure.

You see, it is kinda freezing cold here.

See, FREEZING. And it was even colder when I left this morning!

So I go outside, and I know it is cold and all, but it is an absolutely stunning morning. So I was happy. Until I got in my car, and realized I had NO gas. I would be lucky if I made it to the gas station.

I did make it to the gas station, and then it went downhill from there.

Remember how I said it was cold? Well, it was really cold. Like, freeze my gas cap cold.

So I tried opening the gas cap by prying it open with my keys.

No such luck.

I decided, hey my water in my water bottle is definitely warmer than outside, I'll try that! And then the water froze on impact.


So I went inside the gas station and asked, pretty please, if they would give me some HOT water with which I would de-freeze my gas cap. They all laughed at me, but gave me what I needed.

So I got to start my morning out by freezing my toes off to put gas in my car. The lucky part is, the view was pretty amazing.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Winners!

We have the WINNERS!!!!

Using we came up with our two winners.

Sabz and Bailey, congratulations!

Sabz - you've won $20 credit to Made by Jewls

Bailey - you've won $20 credit to Pepper Ann's Locket

I would be SO stoked if I were you! I'll be contacting you by email (if I can!). If I am unable to get a hold of you, and don't hear from you within the next two days, I'll be choosing new winners.

Thanks to everyone who entered. I was happy to meet some new friends :)

And a special thanks to Shantel and Julianne. Thanks for making this giveaway a possibility!

Congratulations you two! I can't wait to hear what you purchased!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Gift Conundrum

Holy Crap this Christmas season is trying MURDER me!

Good thing I love it so much :)

I haven't written in a while due to working massive amounts of overtime. (Yesterday I clocked in 12 1/2 hours. Fun stuff, right?) But now, now I am going to write for a few minutes about gifts.

You see, gifts mean different things to different people. I never realized that until I got married.

Ever heard of the 5 love languages? (If you haven't, and you are in a relationship you MUST look into them. Talk about explaining a lot. You can find more info here.) Well, my husband's love language is gifts. I did not score a single "gifts" in the questionnaire. So to say that I do not understand this whole gifts thing would be a huge understatement. But once I realized how important it was to my husband, I started putting some effort into things.

For me, the gift is special if a lot of thought/time/effort is put into it (Quality time ladies and gentlemen. That is MY love language) And, for some reason, it is also incredibly important to me that it is a surprise. And, of course, because this is very important to me it is also nearly impossible to do. My husband is intuitive and nosey and has been trained how to put A and B together to get C.

Yeah. Que me doing everything humanly possible to make something a surprise.

Problem, my husband can read me better than an open book. I am like a narrated slide show. It is a problem. But I am determined, DETERMINED I tell you!, to surprise him this Christmas.

I've been going to great lengths, and doing my absolute best to be as sneaky as possible. Sadly, in all of his guessing, he has come close to guessing exactly what it is. He hasn't been dead on. But close.

I believe I might have threatened to murder him if he continued to make intuitive guesses.


I feel doubly sorry for my husband. He is actually quite easy to shop for. He likes things. Which is great! I know what video games, movies, clothes, knives, guns, electronics he likes.

I am not so easy to shop for. I would rather do things, than have things. He knows what kind of clothes I like, and that there are some movies I want. But it took a while for BOTH of us to figure out what in the world I would want! We finally decided on things that would help me do things. Like warm, waterproof boots for winter hiking.

How do gifts work in your family? Are gifts more important to some than to others?

DON'T FORGET! Today is the LAST day to enter the GIVEAWAY!!!! It is the perfect opportunity to do your Christmas shopping for the lovely ladies in your life!

(Linking up with: Monday Meet UpMake It Pretty MondayMingle MondayHello MondayMiscellany Monday, Tell me TuesdayLoving LatelyGFCSocial Stack UpTell Me About It Tuesday)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Hormones. Yuck

Hormones are horrible. I have not been a happy camper today. Emotional, cranky, nauseous, exhausted and cravings out the window. (And no, we are not expecting. Just in case you were wondering.)

So... forgive if me today's post is pretty much.... This:

I sent those texts to my husband while at the longest day at work ever.

So now, I am going to go and take my hormones and veg. Or workout. I haven't decided which....

But what I HAVE decided is that YOU need to enter the awesome giveaway! Check it out, enter to win and make your Christmas shopping a little easier this year.

(Linking up with: Faith Filled FridayFriday Favorite ThingsThat Friday Blog HopWomanhood With a PurposeWeekend Blog HopFeed Me FridayFriday ChaosHigh Five for FridayFriendly Friday Blog Hop)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Youer than You

Dr. Seuss sure knows what he is talking about! I have recently, with all this meditating and journaling, realized how much fun it is to be purely, authentically, genuinely ME. No worries about people liking me or being obnoxious or outspoken. Just me. Trying to be the best me.

No comparisons to steal my sense of self. No criticisms to destroy my peace. Just quiet acceptance of the fact that I have been practicing for weeks to make a Wookie noise, and all I can come up with is a dying seal, or that I have an unhealthy obsession with marshmallows; or that I can NOT let the bedsheets and blankets get all messed up. Knowing that I don't have all the answers, and that is the fun part. Knowing that I can try things out of my comfort level because I might look like a fool for trying, but I will love the learning anyways.

Acceptance of me. All of me. My short temper. My eating habits. My closet (it is part of me, ok?!). My creativity. My sarcasm. My jiggly bits.

Cause without everything that is me, all my faults and imperfections, I wouldn't have much of a story to tell. I wouldn't have any triumphs to do hilarious victory dances over, or downfalls to cry about. And my life would be as boring as vanilla pudding every day. (I'm lying. I love vanilla pudding. I just love pudding. Mmmm...)

It is amazing how much more time, energy and laughter I have found in just being me.

I think we should all try it.

AND if you haven't entered my Super-Awesome-Incredible-Fantastic Giveaway, you should! It is SUPER easy, and lots of fun!

(Linking up with: It's Almost Friday Thursday Blog HopBlack Tag DiariesFirst Day Of My LifePretty Little InspirationsLink and MingleIt's Ok Thursdayfollowers to friendsWhat I'm Loving WednesdayWhatenver, WheneverSo What)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My Very First GIVEAWAY

I am squealing like a little girl over here. I am so excited to do this giveaway today!

Remember this post by Julianne and this post by Shantel?

They are back, and this time they are EACH giving away a $20 credit to their store! (You may do a happy dance now, I'll wait.)

Welcome back.

So here is a little bit about each store:

Shantel and her store Pepper Ann's Locket:

I wear these earrings CONSTANTLY
My passion for all things crafty started at a young age. Seeing the women in my life put together something from nothing has always inspired me. Often times, if the laundry was stacked up and I needed a some shorts before school, my mom would run to her sewing room, cut out some fabric and whip me up a brand new pair. I will always admire the dainty crocheted lace my grandma and great-grandmother created to add an extra element of beauty to their everyday life. Sewing projects and jewelry creations filled many of the days in my childhood, and I feel blessed that I am still able to use these creative outlets as a form of release and expression.

Dabbling in a variety of crafty projects excites me more than I 
Gorgeous necklace given to me by Shantel. "Believe" is my favorite word!
I love how she personalizes her pieces just for you!
can express. I love working with paper, fabric, inks, clay, paints, feathers, metals, and all sorts of beads. At the present moment, I have been diving into jewelry making with my whole heart, and am loving it! I have been developing some hand stamped metal pieces, and have recently explored the sparkly fun of glitter glass. I have been putting together lots of earrings, and have even busted out the sewing machine and made some silky infinity scarves in lovely prints. 
It makes my heart insanely happy to be doing what I love for a living. Gradually, I have made the transition to selling what I create online. I simply adore everything about Etsy, and am thrilled to have my shop open there. For the past several months, I have also been able to participate in local handmade markets. There is a hum-- an electric spark that is tangible when you are able to compose an art & gift show that features the work of some seriously talented folks and provide the public with the opportunity to shop for these fantastic pieces. It has been a privilege to have my work featured alongside these great people. To stay updated on where you can see my work in person next, feel free to follow my Facebook page for regular postings on upcoming events and new pieces.

Here is some background on Julianne from Made by Jewls:

I am SO in love with these earrings right now.

These yellow earrings and I... we spend a LOT of time together

Made by Jewls sells adorable handmade jewelry and accessories. Julianne started her business over three years ago and has since turned it in to her full-time job with customers world-wide. Her creations can be found in boutiques all the way from Utah to Ireland. She grew up in Japan and so many of her pieces are inspired by their lifestyle and artwork. She loves browsing through local fabric stores for new patterns and designs to use with her earrings. She and  her husband are hoping to adopt, so a portion of each sale made in her shop goes to help bring their baby home. 

Ok, so here is what is up for grabs!

We will have TWO winners (that's right, your chances just got a little bit better)
One winner will get a $20 credit to Pepper Ann's Locket.
One winner will get a $20 credit to Made by Jewls

And, they are each offering 15% off exclusively to One Wish Short... readers!
Pepper Ann's Locket 15% off code: ONEWISH
Made by Jewls 15% off code: WISH15

 So, how to enter:
Go to Pepper Ann's Locket and Made by Jewls and tell us what your favorite piece is! For extra entries you can

  1. Like MadebyJewls, Pepper Ann's Locket and One Wish Short... of Paradise on Facebook. Tell us in a comment! (If you are already a "fan"  of one of us on Facebook, don't worry, "like" the one's you haven't)
  2. Follow my blog! (over there ------> in the sidebar. Either on Google Friends Connect or with Bloglovin') tell us in a comment
  3. Follow me on Twitter and tell us in a comment.
The giveaway ENDS December 10th at midnight, and winners will be chosen on December 11th! Don't forget to check back then to see if you've won! (I'll also contact you if I can.)

I sooooo wish I could enter, but as I can't, I am excited for one of you to win!

(Linking up with: Tell me TuesdayLoving LatelyGFCSocial Stack UpTell Me About It Tuesday)

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Mother of All Mondays

You know how everyone talks about how horrible Mondays are?

I think I just experienced a truly horrific, awful, straight from my worse nightmare Monday.

I promise, I have been trying to approach this with humor all day.

Until I cried at work four times.
Once under my desk (Yes the picture in your head is correct, a grown woman huddled under a large wooden desk trying to weep quietly so her co-workers won't hear) and three times in the bathroom.

It all started by falling asleep after my alarm. I still managed to make my hair look fabulous, but I absolutely picked the wrong pants to go with my "professional" button-up-under-the-sweater combo. I felt like I was twice the size I really am. 

When I got to work (late. Again.) I rushed to do some stuff, and then went to turn on my compter and... nothing. I tried for a good half an hour to turn that stupid, archaic computer on. I unplugged, replugged, checked wires, checked power strips, checked monitors, offered up sacrifices to the computer gods, did a rain dance, banged my head on the keyboard and even tried to bribe the beast. 

All to no avail.

People, if my computer doesn't work a good part of the company just shuts down. It is bad news. I am talking full on panic. So, when I finally approached my boss about this monumental issue it looked like he was about to tear his hair out. 

He asked to look at it. 

He pushed the "on" button. 

The *@$& thing turned on.

And that was just the start.

Imagine those movies where you see the person busy at work with the phone constantly ringing, people lining up with questions, crises happening left and right and no time to eat.  And you have my day, only without the cool background music.

Throw in an email from a professor that made me hyperventilate (you wish I was joking here, I'm not.) And knowing that I had the oral defense of my thesis at 5:00, and you have a nervous wreck who is willing to live under a bridge to escape everybody.

Somehow five o'clock rolled around, well more like 4:30, and I left the office to face the thesis committee. 

As I drove towards the University there was this stunning sunset, and I thought to myself, "No matter how badly or wonderfully this goes, tomorrow there will still be a beautiful sunset. And I can enjoy that and know that everything is ok. Unless it is raining. And then life just sucks."

And it does just suck sometimes, my friends. It can suck in a way that you get to your defense only to have some of the committee not show up. It can suck that you have to reschedule for later in the week, and they ask you to submit one, final draft before then. It can suck in a way that means you aren't finished when you thought you were. 

Life. Can. Suck.

But it can also have incredible sunsets. As long as it is not raining. Or snowing. Or anything else sucky.

A Pouty Me

A very, very sick me. (not crying, just incredibly sick)

A "on my tenth hour of work in one day" me.

I promise that tomorrow will be a better day. Mainly because I am hosting an AWESOME giveaway!!! (Be excited. I would kill to get my hands on what you could win!) Check back tomorrow for a giveaway. And check back later to hear about real life this Christmas season (in case you are getting a little fed up with all the perfect family memories currently being portrayed in many a blog).

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Stress Level + Serenity Saturday

Everyone handles stress differently. Heck, I handle stress differently depending on exactly how much stress there is.

Stress level 4 - slightly uptight, short temper, stress eating.
                   Scenario: a lot of work to be done, but only a little time. And most of the tasks are either boring or frustratingly involved and complicated. This level is not life threatening for friends and families, still have the ability to be extra nice to frustrating customers. Secretly have a bag of fritos in the desk drawer I am inhaling.

Stress level 7 - very tightly wound, all pretense of patience is gone, not eating at all.
                       Scenario: so much work to be done I start thinking about hiring two assistants (one to help me with the work at work, one to fold the mountain of laundry at home). Not only is there work at work, but there is so much homework at  home its like trying to swim through a lake sized pool filled with paper. No respite any where. No sleep either. Husband is in danger of being glared to death. Irrationality has taken over. Surviving on a diet of water and desperation. (irritating customers beware, I have a closet full of people  that used to be just like you.)

Stress level 10 - snapped, unsure of what emotions are being felt, tendency to laugh and cry simultaneously (for no reason), have surrendered self to the horrible inevitability of life.
                        Scenario: working 10 hour days, only to come home and do homework until 2:00 am. Not a dent has been made in the pile at work or at home despite the long hours of trying. Instead of stressing, I regress into an obnoxious child for a while. This includes making up ridiculous songs while I just simply do nothing, because nothing I do makes a difference. I often practice my growling or other animal noises. Husband is thoroughly annoyed because one wrong word can set me off into hysteria of either tears of laughter. Or both. All thought of eating is in the past.

Stress level 13 - I'm dead.
                         Scenario: I'm dead.

I don't know how y'all handle stress, but that seems to be my way. Poor husband has to put up with the brunt of the insanity. He handles it pretty well. Just another reason I am sooooo glad I married the man.

Ok, now it is story time. I am going to tell you what happened the other night, and you can guess which stress level I was at! Sounds super fun, right?! (I promise that I know you're not a 7 year old watching Sesame Street. Really.)

I had the privilege, no the honor, of working a 9.5 hour day (which wasn't as bad as the 10.5 hour the day before, but I digress). I drove home knowing that I had to do more work that night than I had any other night this week. The homework was like a huge monster under the bed, and it was time to take my flashlight and vanquish the beast!

Only, I was sick of the grindstone. And work. And homework. And I hadn't had time to shave my legs in over two weeks. (That is just wrong people. Just plain wrong.) So instead of doing homework, I took a quick shower, and shaved finally, and then lay on the bed and growled.

Yes, growled. As in tiger/lion/cougar growls. I am a horrible growler. When Stephen finally asked why in the world are you just laying there growling?! I had the perfect and logical answer for him.

"I am practicing my growls, because you growl better than me. And when we have kids, if I can't growl properly they will like you more and my life will be OVER."

Told you it was logical.

After growling I made up annoying songs and sang them loudly to my husband. And I laughed for about five whole minutes for no apparent reason. And finally, I settled down to read about the change in gender roles during Jim Crow in North Carolina. And write a paper. And write another paper.

So... what level do you think I was yesterday?

This is why the Serenity Project is so important to me right now. I really need to focus on breathing, de-stressing and being a happier, healthier me. This way I have a clear view of what I need to have more serenity.

Join in the fun! Add your link below on how you are going to try to achieve peace and serenity during this Christmas season.  We don't have any rules. I, of course, would love it if you would follow me. But you don't have to if you don't want to.

I hope to see you next week and hear an update on how the Serenity Project has worked for you.