Friday, September 12, 2014

What to do...

So when all was said and done I ended up with 5 classes this semester.  This is a HUGE leap from

previous semesters where I was taking 2-3 classes.  And most of these are studio classes.  On the off chance that you don't know what that means...

A regular 3 credit class where you meet 2-3 times a week for about an hour to an hour and a half at a time (spending 3 hours on campus in class and thus making it 3 credits)- you can plan on your homework being about 2x's the amount of time that you spend in class.  So adding it up: 3 hours in class per week + 6ish hours of homework outside of class.  So theoretically 9 hours total per week in a 3 credit class.  Obviously this time can vary a little bit based on professor, some assign a little less homework some a little more; but on average it's about 9 hours homework+study+class per week.

A studio class on the other hand... still counts as 3 credits.  Usually we meet twice a week for 2.5 to 3 hours each time.  That is 5-6 hours of class time.  Now our projects tend to be 3x's the amount of time spent in class is spent on the project- which means 15-18 hours a week outside of class.  This number can clearly vary per artist depending on skill level, sometimes faster sometimes slower.  I would say though that most of the projects that we do are *at least* 20 hours of work- regardless of skill level.  (the skill level impact is simply how 'finished' the piece looks at the end- I will post about this another day)  SO adding that up 5 hours class time + 20 hours of work = 25 hours per class per week.  I have 4 studio classes- that is about 100 hours total of class time plus work.  I also have a programming class, but it a normal class and only takes me about 6-9 hours (it's an online class instead of an on campus lecture class; that does make it take less time).  SO let's add up my time commitments, it's easy- 109 hours per week for school.

Each week has 168 hours in it.  Now, if I'm fully honest with myself I'm probably not spending quite that much time per class; so we'll say 5 hours each class per week (my classes are 2 days 2.5 hours) and 15 hours of homework per class.   So 80 hours a week total.  Plus kids, plus home, plus plus plus plus.  Honestly- it's no wonder that I get only about 4-6 hours of sleep per night :P

I'm not saying any of this for pity or anything of that nature.  I chose to go back to school.  I chose to have kids, and for some reason I chose to do it all at the same time.  I don't regret any of this.  I'm tired, I'm stretched thin, I'm busy... but that is life? There is no such thing as an easy path.  I could go on a whole tangent on this subject; but it would be more appropriate in a different post.

No; my whole point in this is simply:  I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to do the 365 challenge.

I'm faced with a dilemma here.  One thought I've had is to upload a sketch a day and call that good- however, even though this is an 'everything' blog- I'd rather keep the majority of the posts like that on my art blog.  Technically- as I've pointed out before; I've already failed the challenge.  Since it was supposed to be something to do every day.  So this blog might fade out.  Perhaps I'll tackle the challenge again when I'm not longer in school.  The good thing about all of this is that I've been writing more.  Not fiction like I'd like- but writing *something* and that has been good.

Though I think what I might do is this: I'll finish out the year with posts once a week to update on life and things.  I'm going to keep a notebook with me from this point on and jot down post ideas, topics and whatnot and then next year try again.  And really commit this time.  I got lazy pretty fast last year- mostly because I ran out of things to say.  Well- at least when I was sitting down to the blog.

So this last week has been CRAZY.  I had 3 paintings due all within a day of each other.  It was non-stop painting and drawing.  It was AWESOME.  In some ways it was a bit of a train wreck- I learned a lot this week and will be scheduling out my time better for the next group of paintings.

Here is one that I did digitally- don't judge to harshly, I'm still VERY new to digital painting.

 I'm going to post a longer post about the paintings from this week on my other blog tomorrow.  So if you are interested stay tuned!


Friday, August 29, 2014


So for whatever reason this week has been really hard for me.  I could sit here and list out the reasons, but I've decided against that.  Instead I'm going to share 3 songs that help me rise above it.  They each have a similar message, but each are sung in a different style with different lyrics.

First is Carry On by Fun.
If you want to read the lyrics click here

The whole song is great- but it is one that the chorus does a nice job summing it up:

If you're lost and alone
Or you're sinking like a stone
Carry on
May your past be the sound
Of your feet upon the ground
Carry on

I love this group because of how genuinely talented they are- though the radio does overplay them a bit.  

Second is Carry On by Olivia Holt- 
yea song has the same name, but is pretty different- hers is a lot more country.  Not bad country- but she does sing with a little big of swing in her voice.
This song is sung a lot more like a parent singing to their little one- which makes sense it was used in the movie Bears- so it's hard to just highlight one part that hits me.  

The last is Regina Spektor's 'The Call'
which was used in Prince Caspian
I could go on forever about this song- but I'm not going to today. It may seem out of place here- but it fits in my mind :)

I could link song after song after song- there are so many with the message of just step up and keep going.  

It's late though- I'm probably going to go to bed and see if I can get a few hours of sleep :)


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Late and tired

I think I need to start writing Tuesday and Thursday posts on Saturday- 'cause by the end of the day I'm just DEAD
(real posts begin again tomorrow)

oh and HULLABALOO!! (I will be sharing a link to this for the next 34 days- or until they meet their goal. One of the two)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


This is a crowd-sourced project that I REALLY want to see become a reality.  click on this link and donate some money!! 

What is it? (This synopsys is cut and pasted from the link above)

"Hullabaloo is the story of Veronica Daring, a brilliant young scientist who returns home from an elite finishing school to find her father--the eccentric inventor Jonathan Daring--missing without a trace! The only clue left behind points Veronica toward Daring Adventures, an abandoned amusement park used by her father to test his fantastical steam-powered inventions. There she discovers a strange girl named Jules, a fellow inventor who agrees to help Veronica in locating her missing father and discovering the secrets of his work.
Together, Veronica and Jules learn that Jonathan Daring has been kidnapped by a mysterious group of influential persons, who seek to use his latest invention for nefarious purposes. These villains are wealthy and influential and neither Veronica nor Jules can stop them openly. But determined to save her father and holding true to the family creed that technology should be used for the good of all, not the greed of some, Veronica assumes the secret identity of “Hullabaloo”, a goggled crusader who uses wits and science to combat evil and oppose the nefarious conspiracy that has taken her father.
But the question remains: what are the villains up to? What do they plan to do with Jonathan Daring’s mysterious new technology? And will Veronica and Jules be able to stop them in time?"

Below is a short clip- clearly it's still in process- but still; pretty exciting I think.

I'm a HUGE fan of steampunk, illustration and animation- so I'm pretty interested in seeing this project get funded and become a reality.  SO if you're interested at all- share his link on facebook, share my blog post or whatever- (sharing the link will be faster for people) but get the word out there.

One of the reasons I want to see this get made (outside of the fact that it is steampunk and an animated feature)  The story's main characters are GIRLS.  Smart girls who have enough gumption to just go after Veronica's missing father on their own.  Even if you don't like steampunk or animations- the world can always use more films with strong female protagonists.

If you look through the IndieGoGo link above to donate you'll get to see the amazing list of artists and voice actors that they have lined up for the job- even if you don't recognize the names; you'll definitely recognize the movies they've been involved in.  I'm not connected with this project at all except I want to see it get made.

Tomorrow I'll update with the frustrations of this week- but tonight I wanted to do a quick post about something that made me happy.  And yea- this is more of an advert then a post; but there really isn't much to say except this looks really cool and sounds interesting.

SO yea- share the link, donate it if you can- get this project circulating!!

The link once again:


Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Today was long and awful.  and I don't want to talk about it right now.

I'm going to bed.


Monday, August 25, 2014

Summer Review

I kind of feel like the child who goes to their first day of class and is asked to stand and tell what they did that summer.  All the other students have gone before you and told of their awesome adventures. All I have to say

"I read a lot of books and played in the sprinklers in the yard"

That is essentially how I feel about this summer.

"I unpacked, read my kids a lot of books and played in the sprinklers in the yard"

That was the last 4 months of my life.  Well I guess I did plan a baby shower in there as well- but that's not THAT exciting.  (Ah, who am I kidding- it was a lot of fun)

In any case.  I only accomplished one of my goals.  It was an important one though.  You can check out my Looking forward to fall 2014 semester post on my other blog if you want to hear my elaborations on that.  Basically- I can more fully dedicate myself to my art and schooling this semester thanks to what I accomplished over the summer.

Even though I was AWFUL at blogging this summer I still fully intend to make up the missed days over the next four months. Essentially 2 entries a day- 3 on Saturdays and Sundays.  I'm going to keep a little note book with me from now on to jot down anything that comes to mind that I want to expand on.  I've had a lot of thoughts- but haven't been sitting down to type them up.  This goal is lofty- and I went into all of this alot more on the 9th; but it is important to me.  I'm pretty much repeating myself.  But I will be working towards this goal.

I'm kind of holding off until tomorrow night to make any other goals for the next 4 months.  I need to see how much work my classes will be before I make to many crazy goals.

While the house looks a lot better than it did in the pictures I posted at the beginning of the summer- I'm going to wait until Saturday to post my before/after pictures of the apartment.  Mostly because I want to clean it up- right now it's in need of some picking up, frankly I'm not going to try to clean all 6 rooms in the next 45 minutes.  So yea- Saturday you'll get to see the amazing difference.  My only regret- I wish I'd taken more before pictures.  At the beginning of the summer I genuinely thought I'd only be cleaning and rearranging 2 rooms.  As I got working I kept finding more and more boxes stashed in every room.  So the whole apartment has been re-arranged dramatically (and for the better) this summer.  It has been a lot of work- but totally worth it.

Well; I need to go do something besides babble-type.


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Random recap

Today is the 222nd day of the year.

The number is so perfect you'd almost think I chose this date deliberately to start writing on this blog again.  I didn't.  But it would've been so cool if I had...

ANYWAY- when I first set up this blog I made a huge deal about how I was doing this 365 day challenge and blah blah blah.  (you can read my starry eyed post here: 'Titles, goals and stuff') oh I miss that lass; that girl that thought somehow she would find enough time to blog every day for a year.  It was really quite adorable...

So to re-cap in this blog: (and you can see this by looking at the side of the page) I currently have:
31 for Jan
17 for Feb
15 for March
10 for April
10 for May
03 for June
08 for July

94 posts...

And as time goes on I have fewer per month... it's really sad.

Of course I cannot bear (bare?) to just make one naive post about my goals and dreams for a certain time period.  I had to decide to 'Reboot, Rededicate' back in February and start the whole challenge again in March- as the 'right thing (for me) to do'.  Then I felt like I needed to let the world in on my Summer Goals.

What have I learned about myself?

I'm a very ambitious person who sets her sites high, is a decent planner but a horrible follow-threw-er.  Eh; let's be honest- I'm not even very good at planning.  I have the worst habit of spending a lot of time collecting information; and that's really about it.

Ok ok, I'm not really THAT bad.  But if I'm going to keep setting such high goals for myself I need to come up with a way to do them.

ANyway- back on the post count.

So I have 94 published posts. (I have more that are drafts, but honestly they only have a sentence or two on them)  It is day 222.  That means I'm 128 posts behind (ouch).  There are 143 days left to the year.  So theoretically I could actually achieve my goal of 365.

However; does it count as a 365 day goal?

The original idea was to do *something* every day.  I chose a blog because I thought- hey I need to journal more and that would help me handle depression/life/whatever.

So far the only thing I've done every day this year is stress about cleaning and unpacking.  >.>

I think I've babbled most of this out before- sorry I'm being repetitive.

I've decided for myself getting 365 posts to prove to myself I can do it is what I need to do at this point.  I'm not sure if I'm going to have 2+ posts with the same date on them as I catch up OR if I'm going to post date them to earlier in the year and just link them to the day I actually wrote them.  I'm leaning towards the latter- as it would be something like a check list and I could feel like I was making progress filling up boxes.

In OTHER news.  I referred to my list of Summer Goals- so of the 10 goals I made; how am I doing? The Summer ends for me in 2 weeks and I dive back into the craziness of school again.  So might as well do an assessment of where I'm at.

#1- Lose some weight.
I've lost some- about 15lbs total- which is 5lbs a month.  Not bad honestly- not amazing, but hey- I'm a little lighter and hopefully I can keep it up.  (she says as she takes another drink of doctor pepper...)
follow up goal: stop drinking soda

#2- Become a better artist
Have not been good about this one.  Outside of some random sketches and a small painting I did for a friend of mine for her baby.  (which by the way I need to finish soon) I've been a total bum.  SO this one needs some focus over the next 2 weeks.

#3- Get my home clean and keep  it that way
THIS has been the all consuming project this summer.  Most of my posts in May are about this subject- on both this blog and my art blog.  I'm not going to re-cap any of that.  Thankfully my efforts have finally been paying off.  We are all unpacked- with the exception at this moment of about 5 boxes.  I hope on Monday to have the before and after photos taken of the various rooms I was complaining a
bout originally.  I've re-arranged EVERY room, some multiple times, trying to get stuff to fit in a way that was both attractive and functional.  This goal, so far, is the only one I have actually accomplished.  Or will by Monday night to be more accurate.
No comic con for me (was in the original goal) I didn't purchase a table early enough.  SO I'm going to save up for next time and purchase one as soon as they are announced.

#4- Get in the habit of preparing homemade meals
I'm not doing to bad on this goal (if you ignore the past 4 days), and now that our kitchen is nearly set up (and I think we have a kitchen sink now! (more on that later)) I'll be able to do even better- and maybe I'll finish up that meal plan in time for school.

#5- Write in my journal daily.
heh. fail.  Though I've been writing at least every other week- which is something.

#6- Cross stitch and play my Clarinet daily
aw- another of my cute innocent goals.  Has yet to happen.  I do no know where both my cross stitching stuff and my Clarinet are.  I still plan to integrate both into my life for various reasons.  I'll hopefully expound on that later.

#7- be happy
not really sure what to say on this one.  I've still been a drama queen; so this one needs some work

#8- walk or hike with kids daily
been so busy unpacking that we've not done this.  HOWEVER we've started.  (as in 2 days ago) so hopefully this is another thing I can integrate into our lives as time goes on.

#9- Read 20 minutes daily with kids
WHAT WAS I THINKING?? I HAVE A 2 YEAR OLD AND A 4 YEAR OLD!!!! seriously.  we've been reading for 5-10 minutes at a time.  Sometimes as long as 30-40; really depends on their mood (well; and mine) but we've been reading together; that is the important part.

#10- Read by myself 30 minutes each day.
If you count audio books... well I still fail.  But not any where near as bad.

I sound like I'm being down on myself- but honestly I'm glad I've done as well as I have.

The apartment is nearly put away- like within hours of being done- once I get back to work on it.  This will make EVERY part of my life so much better; the blogging, art, exercise, sleep- well you name it; having a clean apartment will help.

This post is long.  But I felt like babbling.  If you read through the whole thing then I assume that means you love me dearly- I cannot think of any other reason one would slog through all these words. :)

Hopefully this will be the first post of many as I get back on track


PS- yes- I was lazy and re-used a TON of pictures from other posts.  I'll make up for it later

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Day 5: Inspirational Animated Shorts: Disney and Dali

First off- yes I did promise no more Disney... but this is kinda worth it.  Secondly I did in fact say Disney and Dali.  As in Salvador Dali.  As in melting clocks man. (Among other fantastic works of art) Just in case you are still confused as to whom I'm referring to:

So apparently in 1945 Walt Disney and Salvador Dali got together and decided to do a story about Chronos (the god of time from Greek mythology)(oh and I do mean Chronos the god not Cronus the psychotic father of Zeus (and a few others) that ate his children so they wouldn't kill him later)(I'm a bit of a greek mythology geek...)


The story is about Chronos and a love desperate to fail between him and a mortal woman.  The story portrayed is strange; but beautiful.  The one thing I don't love about this video is the singing; the Spanish singer that starts out the film has a beautiful voice- but then she is later joined by the chorus of disney voices that you'll recognize from Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan and many other early Disney movies.  I've never appreciated the particular sound of that chorus- so it's a bit of a distraction for me.  

The film was started in 1945-1946; the project only lasted 3 (or 8 depending on the source) months and they only had a 15 second demo and a few sketches done at that point.   The unique thing about this film is the combination of live dancers and animation.  But not in the style of Bedknobs and Broomsticks or Mary Poppins; the live actors in this film have been animated so they look like they are a part of the whole sequence. (*edit- I don't want to leave out that the main artist that worked with Dali in story boarding this project was in fact John Hench who was the pen behind Disney's ideas for many many years- I could go on about him forever, but will not at this time)

I've gotten most of this information from the description below the video on youtube as well as some research done online to IMDbWikipedia, this article "The Time Salvador Dali Worked for Walt Disney" and a Disney Fine Art article called "The Art of Destino".  Information does get repeated; but for anyone truly curious- go check it out.

The project was finally finished in 2003 after Disney's nephew Roy decided to revive the project while working on Fantasia 2000.  

Ok- that is enough history.  Why do I find this inspiring? Simple- it is so strange and creative that watching it just makes your mind soar into creative thought.  

Dalí said: "Entertainment highlights the art, its possibilities are endless." The plot of the film was described by. Dalí as "A magical display of the problem of life in the labyrinth of time." 
Walt Disney said it was "A simple story about a young girl in search of true love."


Monday, July 7, 2014

Day 4: Inspirational Animated Shorts: The Ballad of Nessie

This will be the last one from Disney.  This one takes a step away from the others in that it doesn't feel as 'artistic' as the others- it feels like a short Disney cartoon.  And it is.  The things I find inspirational about this one is not really the art (though I do like the art) but it is the message of the whole thing.  Nessie kept searching trying to find a new home- and when things were the most depressing for her; she finally found it.  I'm an optimist by nature- and believe it or not this isn't always a good thing.  I'm often crushed by life and people; but I always know in my heart that things will get better.  They usually do- even if it takes a long time to get there.


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Day 3: Inspirational Animated Shorts: Glen Keane

Forgive the expression- but you'd have to have been living in a cave over the past two week on order to miss 'Duet' by Glen Keane.

I think the thing I love the most about this is just the way he uses lines to express emotion and movement.  Which is the point of the little film in many ways.  This is another one I could spend a long time dissecting and analysing.  Again; in this case like with Paperman, I think I'll leave that to my Art Blog.


Saturday, July 5, 2014

Day 2: Inspirational Animated Shorts: John Kahrs (director of Paperman)

Paperman took the internet by storm a few years ago- it was a short film that was played before the Disney movie 'Wreck it Ralph' in theaters.  I didn't have the opportunity to see it in theaters; but I was aware the instant it came out- suddenly it was EVERYWHERE on the internet. 

So I watched it a few dozen times along with the rest of the world.  It is a fantastic little film.  I could write pages and pages analysing this- but I'm not going to here.  I think I will on my art blog later on (since most of what I have to say is art related) What I will say is this- I find this little story inspiring; the writing was so fantastically done- the story came across as sincere and was completely captivating. 

This copy isn't the highest quality I've found- but it is the complete film; just need to close the little boxes that pop up at first.


Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th!

Been a long day- so no real content to my post tonight- but have a happy 4th!!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Day 1 Inspirational Animated Shorts: Ryan Woodward

Today I spent some time collecting various short animated pieces by artists that I admire.  I've never been interested in being an animator myself- my focus in art is more along the lines of epic fantasy art, concept art, comic books and children's books.  Frankly the only reason that I've never wanted to do animation is because of how repetitive the drawing is.  Though- someday when my skill have improved I may try my hand at animating a music video like one of these.  
I've decided to share one video and one artist a day for the next week.  I hope you enjoy!! 

First is 'Thought of You' by Ryan Woodward.  

Ryan Woodward is just an amazing artist- you can check out more of his work here: and here: He has a couple of animated shorts and an ipad app- it is all just so beautiful.  I have been studying his work and hope to one day be able to draw gestures with as much life as he does.  


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

July Projects

I don't have anything specific to post about tonight- so I'm going to share my project goals for July.

Project #1- finish organizing my office
house is pretty unpacked- I just need to finish straightening different rooms out.  You know- for aesthetics :D I'm just down to 'finding a place to put everything in my office'

Project #2- Establish cleaning routines and chore charts
Anyone who follows me on Pinterest will have been spammed earlier today as I pinned many 'age appropriate' chore resources.  I'm revising my old chore cards/lists I made a few years back and making chore charts for my kids.  They are both old enough to start actually helping around the house more- and now that the house has a semblance of order to it I'm going to give them chores to do every day.  I'm excited about it- I've got a few ideas of how to make a chore system that they will actually get excited about.  I'll post more about that when I've finished it

Project #3- Meal Plan for the next year
Yes- for the next YEAR and it will be a plan that will meet our dietary needs (since I'm allergic to so much /sadface) and also will require as little cooking day to day as possible.  Another thing I'll post once I have things more flushed out

Project #4- Websites
yea- I need to build mine :P

Project #5- Comic-Con!
I have so much work to do for that- the Con is in 2 months.... and I have exactly nothing to sell right now.  I have many ideas... need to implement them though.

Project #6- Exercise
really establish an obtainable routine that I can do even once school starts and my life explodes into business.

Those are the main projects I have to work on.  Other than that will be hanging out with kids and other general fun :D


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

July 1st- and yes- I'm still unpacking

Though my zeal and excitement for unpacking has waned.  I honestly don't have that much left- but am sorta burned out after being so busy for the past 6 weeks.

Yesterday I sat down and 'virtually' rearranged my home- trying to figure out the best way to situate the last 2 rooms.  My office and the 'master' bedroom/husband's office.  After doing a bunch of measuring and rearranging I finally came up with a configuration that would make both rooms work a TON better than they have been.  I should mention I've been a bit sick the past 2 days... So sitting around and theorizing how to rearrange furniture seemed about the most that I could do.  Then last night at about 11:45 I decided, might as well start re-arranging furniture for real! (yea I'm a genius that late at night) I moved my desks in my office and then it was 2 am and I decided I needed sleep.

Then I got up this morning and went to initiate the next part of my plan: moving my dresser from my bedroom to my office.

I don't know how many of you have seen it- but there is this movie that Disney did a few years back called 'Meet the Robinsons' it's a silly movie- but surprisingly funny.  I totally recommend watching it with your kids sometime.   Well the evil master mind is... not much of a master mind and he is constantly making mistakes.

I got my dresser to about here:
this is the door way to my office-
this is my dresser taking up that entire space
view from the middle of the room towards the door
 I wish I could've gotten a picture from the other side of the door.  BUT I'D TRAPPED MYSELF IN MY OFFICE.  

This is the view from the door into the room.  I'm sure you can see the problem...

At this point this is what is going through my head (from the movie I previously mentioned):

This is from my desk to the corner where my dresser was going:

Yea; not my most well thought through plan... To make matters worse... MY 2 YEAR OLD AND 4 YEAR OLD WERE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE DOOR.  Luckily they were quietly watching TV, even more fortunately I was able to get a hold of their aunt (who lives above us) and she came down to keep an eye on them while I struggled with the dresser.

She actually helped me get the dresser into the room (we through a towel down on my desk and slid it across and then teeter-tottered it down to the floor- after moving a ton of boxes that were in the way of course.

More pictures of my adventure:
dresser nearly to my desk

another view of it near my desk... yea- not a lot of room there

now it's in my office- like magic!!

then I heard a little voice from the doorway

oh hi Avi

yes- you're beautiful... I'll be out soon

desk standing up right in the middle of my office

and then- it was against the wall where I wanted it to be

This is a silly thing to share- but it is what I did with my day.  Frankly I found the whole event pretty funny.  I should finish putting everything away tonight and tomorrow should actually put up some pictures of my office in a clean and put away state.  


Monday, June 30, 2014

New Phone!

So for the last 2 months I've essentially been up to 3 things: unpacking, deep cleaning and planning a friend of mine's baby shower.  It's been a busy past 2 months.  During that time I managed to lose my phone.  Twice.  The first time it dropped out of my pocket as I went to use the bathroom... sadly it died almost instantly.  I did have insurance on my phone so I got a replacement.  Well it took me 3 weeks to scrounge up the deductible for the phone ($150 :P). But it was worth it not to have to buy a new phone.  Or so I thought.  I lost the thing within 24 hours of getting it.  I'm not sure if the ringer ever worked.  After nearly a month of searching through EVERY box and ever shelf that I'd put stuff away on I discovered that the phone was in fact gone.  SO we ordered a new phone- on a payment plan so our phone bill will be a little higher until I can sell a piece of art to pay it off.  
The good news is that my new phone's camera is pretty amazing.  Both pictures below are taken from it.

This is my little Shamrock named Shane.  I thought I'd killed Shane... I got this plant back in march and moved it over to this little pot and it flourished.  Then it got really cold- and the plant started to freeze and die.  So I brought it inside.  I didn't have a really good place to put it and sadly a box fell on the plant one day and smashed the poor little guy.  It died shortly after that.  I put the pot back outside and decided when I had time I'd dig up the roots and mix in some fertilizer and plant some herbs.  One can never have to many  pots of herbs.  

So I noticed the other day some little shoots of green and moved the pot to a place in the yard where it could get watered and forgot about it.  Yesterday I checked on it and took these pictures.  I guess shamrocks are pretty tough little plants.  That or it's actually clover and I'm crazy. (I'm still new to the whole gardening thing) 
In any case- it's pretty.  I hope it's able to grow back to it's former glory.  


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wednesday June 18- that is my title and I'm sticking to it

Today I'm NOT going to talk about unpacking, deep cleaning or organizing.  Wait; guess I just did... but
this is a random piece of fan art (painted by I don't know
who) that I'm putting on here just because.  It has nothing to
do with my post- but it's cute :D
now that you mention it...
I'm still not done- but will be soon.


I've had a kinda rotten day- and yet; I'm in a really good mood.  Probably has something to do with spending several hours with one of my close friends from high school.

Ok- so my rotten day.

Woke up feeling like I had swallowed a ball of needles.  So I decided to stay in bed.  My husband was up getting ready for school/work and I kinda ignored him and tried to sleep as he went about his morning routine.  Weirdly enough I couldn't force myself back to sleep- which is strange for me...

Anyway- he comes in from the bathroom announcing that our toilette is acting up.  There appears to be some clog in the line that just isn't going away- so rose from the bed grumbling and growling like the beast I am first thing in the morning and went to plunge the toilette.

Why was I doing it instead of him? Well he had to finish getting ready and leave- so that left me with the unpleasant task of plunging the swill left in the toilette...  My stomach isn't very firm first thing in the morning so I almost threw up a few times.  Thankfully I'm not pregnant or I would've thrown up :P

After 30 minutes of plunging I went to the internet to see how to get rid of nasty clogs- one poster suggested pouring dish soap into the toilette and letting it sit for a little while.  The theory here is that the soap will break down any fats in the clog (like it does on greasy dishes) and that you will be able to plunge it away.

It didn't work...

BUT I'd plunged most of the nastiness out of site before putting in the soap- so it ended up just being a mass of bubbles- and smelled better than what I was plunging before.  So that was nice.

It's still clogged- so I'm going to have to work on it a bit more this evening.  I would've kept cleaning until it was clean this morning; but ran out of time.

I'm kind of at a standstill in unpacking- I need to get a LOT of laundry washed, dried and put away so that I can finish organizing everything that is in the kitchen/laundry room.  I cannot wait until that room is clean- it's going to look so cute.

I've had 7 loads of laundry to do for about 3 days.  Why so much for so long?  The washer has been acting up.  The basics of the problem are that it has been taking 3-5 hours to wash clothes and then they aren't spun dry.  It's a newer electrical washer.  After some research- I found a possible solution.  Apparently there is a 'crap trap' (no idea what the real name is so that is what I'm going with) that is in the drainage line of the washer; so I emptied that out (it was NASTY) and ran my Clorox washer cleaning solution through the machine.  I don't know if that fixed it (will know by tomorrow) because while the machine was running a 'clean' cycle I had to leave.

Off to the college because my husband had forgotten his calculator in his haste to get out the door.  Which sucks 'cause he has a huge math test and needed it to study.  So I brought that to him- this part of the day was good and relatively uneventful.

From there the kids and I went to the grocery store to grab food for lunch (it's about 2pm at this point) and I notice from the college to the grocery store that my car is making some funny noises.  Loud grinding noises... out of oil noises.  SO I spend the last bit of the route praying that my engine doesn't seize and that I can get to the grocery store.


I checked the oil- and yes indeed it was empty.  Scary.  So we went in bought some groceries and some oil then went out to the car to put the oil into it.

My kids were fascinated by the process- so I narrated what I was doing and showed them the dipstick and what not.  Kids are great- really made a stressful situation more fun.

Luckily when we loaded into the car and started the engine the grinding noise was gone.

Things were good until I arrived at my friends house (to talk baby shower details) and awkwardly parallel parked- when I got out of the car I saw a lovely trail of drips on the ground.  So I laid down in the middle of the street to look under my car.  Sure enough oil is just dripping out.  Yay.

Fortunately enough for me I'm spoiled so when I got back to our little basement apartment this evening and told my Dad about it- he said he'd change the filter and something else.  Hopefully it is just that the filter isn't in there quite right.  We'll see- he's going to work on it on Friday.  In the meantime I've got an extra bottle of oil in my car so I can top off when I need to.

Really- it was a good day. Bad things happened- and it was more exciting than most days- but I also feel like I accomplished a lot. By tomorrow everything should be resolved for the best.


Friday, June 13, 2014


I found this image online and since it is basically
what I was wanting to draw anyway
(minus like 10 other chores)
I figured I'd use it for today's post
I kinda dissipated from the internet for about 2 weeks... I've spent every minute from the time I get up until the time I go to sleep cleaning, sorting and unpacking... By the time I sit down to write a blog post my heart isn't in it.  So I've not been posting.  I've started a lot of posts- but they are just sitting as drafts waiting for me to finish them.  I've got some catch up to do; and I will- just not right now.

So I'm almost 2 weeks overdue for my goal of getting the house unpacked and cleaned by the 31st of May.  Turns out I grossly underestimated how much there was to be done.  Every night I'd be like- 'I just worked for 12+ hours straight; I should finish tomorrow' and then I'd get up and work and not be done again.  It's been kinda painful in a way.  At the same time I'm glad I made the goal I did because it's kept me working; even if I'm past my deadline.  The good news is this: Once I'm done I'll be completely unpacked for the first time in 6 years.  Yup- our entire married life we've never actually been 'unpacked' that is how often we've moved.  The only reason I'm unpacking now is because I know for sure we're staying here for 2 years.

So I've cleaned and re-cleaned every room in the house.  At this very moment I can say that the master bedroom, the kids room and the living room are done.  Completely done.  There are maintenance things I'll have to do daily- but as far as big re-arranging of furniture, deep cleaning and unpacking- I'm finished.  Of the other 4 rooms (if you call the hall a room): bathroom is 80% done, Kitchen/Laundry room is 75% done, my office is 50% done and the hallway... is hard to say because I'm storing stuff in it while I clean the other rooms.

I spent most of my time in the bathroom today.  I pulled everything out (including the mobile furniture I'd had in it) swept the floor clean (didn't mop though- I got lazy), emptied every box and resorted ALL of our bathroom stuff- threw away a bunch of stuff that was empty (I have no idea how many moves we've had empty shampoo and soap bottles end up in our boxes!!!) and put it all away again.  Everything is now packed in nice clear plastic shoe boxes in a set of shelves outside of the bathroom.  Everything that stayed in the bathroom is packed into nice baskets and high quality plastic bags.

The rest of the day was spent putting away dishes in the kitchen, re-deep cleaning the kids room (that kinda got away from me while I was unpacking the rest of the apartment) and general maintenance to the living room and the master bedroom.  I'm exhausted but I feel like I've made progress. Which is nice- until yesterday I kinda felt like I was just moving stuff around and nothing was getting clean... thankfully that isn't the case.

I really hope tomorrow I can post some pictures with a big 'I'M DONE' as the subject... I'm not holding my breath though- I'm sure there is more to do than it feels like there is.


Saturday, May 31, 2014

arg... yup- another post about unpacking

Ok so- one thing led to another... and instead of my original 2 rooms being torn apart, cleaned and organized.... Now 5/6 rooms (6/7 if you count the hallway) are torn up as opposed to just 2.

I SO don't want to talk about it...

This is what my home feels like right now:

Only not solved and more pieces... like a lot more.

The good news is this: Even though today I feel like I've made negative progress- I've actually done a lot.  I have all the furniture set up in the rooms it is staying in and have separated out the few pieces of furniture we're getting rid of or putting in the storage unit.  So success!! Also- each room- while still full of boxes; is full of boxes that have stuff that goes in the room.  (The boxes in the bathroom have bathroom things instead of a mix of bathroom, living room and kitchen things.)

Assuming my kids settle down soon I fully plan on taking the rest of the night away from this horrible mess and going out with my husband. We'll see how that goes.  It's our daughters first night in a big girl bed.... so we kinda want her to fall asleep before we leave them with grandma.


Friday, May 30, 2014

more moving in and cleaning...

goal  [gohl]  
1. the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end.
2. the terminal point in a race.
3. a pole, line, or other marker by which such a point is indicated.
4. an area, basket, cage, or other object or structure toward or into which players of various games attempt to throw, carry, kick, hit, or drive a ball, puck, etc., to score a point or points.
5. the act of throwing, carrying, kicking, driving, etc., a ball or puck into such an area or object.

I'm sure by now anyone reading this is like 'doesn't she have something better to post about/when is she going to get done???'

Imagine if you will a home where instead of packing nicely and moving casually- you dump everything into boxes haphazardly and throw them on a truck then dump them into your new place; and instead of unpacking you grab a box- rip open whatever side is closest to you at the moment to peak inside to see if what you need is inside.  Then at some point throw all of those boxes into a big room and do homework for 40+ hours a week.  I've expressed this before as a 'panic move'.  I don't mean to be redundant- and this paragraph is more to remind me WHY this chore has been so enormous.

The good news: I've gotten a lot done.  I've emptied and sorted several boxes and have moved several large pieces of furniture.  The apartment looks a LOT better.

The bad news:  I have re-filled each room of my home with boxes.  This is because I've had to resort to sorting generally (kitchen, kids, my office, husband's office, bathroom. what is this?, trash, and why do we own this/do we need to keep it, stuff that should've gone into storage)

obviously some of those categories will be easy to sort through.  (toss in trash, donate, storage) Other things; while still easy will take more time (everything besides husband's office pile); husband's office pile will be given to him- and he can figure out what to do with it.
I don't know about you- but this is NOT
even close to a reflection of my life.

So- when I sat down to type this up tonight I decided to find a different picture for cleaning.  Since I think I've used Sophie from Howl's Moving Castle maybe 10 times now.

The first thing I noticed when I started searching for new images was that most of them showed these incredibly happy women doing chores.

Most of the pictures I found were really poorly drawn insanely watermarked clip art- and since I've no interest in paying someone to post a un-realistic portrayal of a woman cleaning that I could draw while half asleep- I kept searching until I found the one to the right here.

this is more how I feel
I actually love 'vintage' art depicting ridiculously happy women from the 1950s-ish doing housework.  It just makes me laugh for whatever reason.  Any way- back on point.  SO there are TONS of these silly cartoons showing very happy women (and a monopoly man on one- seriously just Google 'cleaning cartoons' it'll come up).  I got a little frustrated- not because I don't understand WHY these exist (who is going to advertise anything with grumpy people; I mean come on!) but I did want to find at least one picture with a semi-realistic response.  Luckily I didn't have to look to far.

Now this image makes me giggle a lot.  Mostly because it strays from the normal thing that you see when looking up 'woman cleaning'

I hate cleaning.  I'm not fond of sweeping, dusting is awful 'cause I have to wrap my face like a mummy so I don't sneeze (have to dust to prevent worse reactions though), washing dishes makes me want to scream, folding laundry hurts my back, straightening up a room bores me to tears.  Oddly enough I do like cleaning floors- now that I'm thinking of it- scrubbing floors (down on hands and knees) and vacuuming I find pleasant, in their own way.  Don't get me wrong though- I still avoid both; I seem to ALWAYS have something else to do to avoid cleaning.  So when I decided May 1 I was going to start deep cleaning and unpacking my home I kind of felt like this:

I had no idea where to start
So every day I tried to a little something here and a little something here.  Until May 7th when I very much felt like this:
if I have to clean one more second- someone will die

It's a shame really- I could've been so much more productive.  I also didn't have a vision for what the apartment was going to look like- I just knew I needed to clean and unpack.

Not having a plan initially is what let me to drag my feet.  I didn't know WHAT I was going to do with anything I just knew I had to do something with it.  SO I really got lazy and at some point just avoided the mess- and did everything I could not to even look at it.

Then I finally started to work out in my mind where everything was going.

That is when this happened:

not joy- this is insanity
It was nice 'cause I now have a goal in mind for how everything will look at the end of all of this. So I set a date to get it all done by.  I know I will not get everything accomplished by tomorrow night- no matter how much I want to; it is just not possible.  However- I will complete the goal of having an unpacked and a clean house- it just might take until Tuesday or Wednesday.  I will have a home that is functional by tomorrow night.  I'll be able to use my office and we'll all be able to use the living room.  Ultimately I am happy I put the time restraint on myself these past few days.

Also it's been nice to WORK.

I still hate cleaning.  And organizing. And unpacking.  But I like working. I like feeling that what I'm doing has a positive end goal.  I also like the way your whole body feels when you're doing something physical and worthwhile.  It's a refreshing kind of exhaustion.  If that makes any sense.

I look forward to having my home clean- clean homes feel so much more peaceful than messy ones.  (I'm not talking cluttered- I'm talking: you cannot move from one room to the next because of the amount of stuff in your way.)  I know out there are messy people who will disagree with me- vehemently.  I also doubt they read this; but if they do- if you are one of them understand this:  I hate cleaning. I'm a messy person by nature, trash and clutter seem to collect around me through no fault of my own.  BUT despite this part of my nature I know that I function better when things are cleaner.  I'm happier- my depression, while still hard to cope with, is more manageable somehow.  I can create and focus on the things I'm creating better when the clutter around me only relates to the project I'm working on. (though once I'm focused you could empty the contents of every room in the house into my office and I'd probably ignore it, but I still need to have the cleaner atmosphere going into the project.)

I'm probably overly defensive about this- but I've been attacked before by saying I can create better if I have a clean area going into a project.  It is how I function- and other people function differently.

This mini-rant is off topic a little bit; but meh- I think I'll leave it in.

ANYWAY- I'm still working on getting us moved in.  My adjusted goal date is Tuesday the 3rd of June.  I think I can achieve that.

I'll try to post about something else tomorrow (like a movie to book comparison for Divergent!)

Night all!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

2 more days

I spent the rest of last night in the living room- which I now feel I can refer to as a living room.  After closing it off from the kitchen using the book shelves and our mobile pantry (back to back facing appropriate rooms) it really brought the room together.  Before it felt like a blob that happened to connect to the hall and the kitchen- now a room.  I'm being redundant but I've gotten very little sleep the last few nights.
ANYWAY- so in order to move the pantry I had to empty it.  I was suddenly faced with how badly food had been stuffed in there- on top of that we had several things that we'd purchased multiple times (most of which were not open thankfully) because we couldn't remember that we already had some in stock.  So I'm sure you can figure out how I spent my day today...



SO since I didn't take any before pictures I'm not going to bother sharing any of the after pictures- suffice it to say; it looks WAY better than it did before.  I still have some more things to put away- but I am nearly done with that room.  After putting the kids to bed tonight I'm going to get back in there and finish it up so I don't have to think about it anymore.

This naturally has thrown off my whole schedule.  SO now I have 2 days to finish 2 rooms.  This would be fine and dandy except that I originally planned on 3 (and easily have enough work to fill up that amount of time).  It's also going to be more difficult because the  last two days of the month are a Friday and a Saturday- and while, no, I do not have any plans... at least not any exciting ones; I tend to do all my shopping errands those two days.  I'm awesome so I'm going to make all of this work, but we'll see how it goes.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Still Cleaning

I found a new Sophie picture to use!!

Once again I pretty much posted this update on my other blog so go read it if you are interested.  I feel like we've made a lot of progress today!! Which makes me happy :D (naturally).

I don't really have a whole bunch more to say- but if I stay on task I should be able to finish by tomorrow night- which leaves me Friday and Saturday to get the skeleton of my website done.  :D


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Still unpacking

yea- using this one again.  It just works so well.
I think this should be put on my list of hobbies at  this point.  We've moved enough over the past few years.  Ok so I'm not going to go into as much detail as I did on my other blog post.  (Over on my art blog 'Alicia Hawks Art:Alicia- Where have you been??') but I've been lazy about blogging because of the massive unpacking.  It has been really tough cleaning our apartment and figuring out where everything goes.  I'm not sure why it is so hard for me to put things away; but it is.  I'm sure there are others out there that are amazing at organization and can just walk into a room full of boxes and suddenly have everything put in perfect position where they know where everything is and nothing is hard to get at.  I do not have that ability.  At least not right now.  It hasn't helped that many of our boxes had stuff packed into them that belonged in several very different rooms.  That is what happens when you move quickly- multiple times.  It's ok though- I'm going to have it all sorted out before to long. Like this Saturday.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Post for today

Mostly doing this so I don't fall even FARTHER behind.  I don't  have time to blog until after my children are in bed- and my son has developed a new bedtime habit of popping out of his room every 5 minutes and softly whining at me.  The plus side is I'm getting a little bit of a work out jumping out of my chair and directing him to his bed- the minus side is that by the time it reaches 9:30 I'm about ready to pull my hair out. (his bed time is 8:00)  I would put him to bed later BUT he needs to go to sleep at no later than 8; he just functions better the next day when he actually goes to bed.  So here I am writing as quickly as possible to get a post done, saying practically nothing other than- I love my son; but wish there was a way to keep him in bed when I put him to bed :P


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Hanging with the kids

I love summer.  Well; actually I hate summer- but I love the time I have to do things- assuming I have the energy.  Yesterday was a medium energy day so the kids and I dug out their old cardboard play house that we got 2 years ago on Christmas.  It is definitely on it's last legs- so we set it up in the yard and broke out the crayons so they could play with it.  It was actually a lot of fun.  I apologize for the quality of the pictures I took them with my phone instead of my camera... but they are still cute.

That is all I have to say today :D

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Selling myself short plus a few summer goals

I mentioned briefly on the first post and somewhere in a description on this page that I have multiple blogs.  Now since starting this blog I've still been posting on my art blog and later today will start posting on my 'busy mommy weightloss' blog.  Today marks the 134th day of the year and if you look at this blog you will see that I only have 83 posts.  Which means I'm 51 behind.  Wow- that is a lot.  Now I intend to make them up this summer- It'll be a slow process; but worth it I think.  If you add in the posts from my art blog then I'm suddenly only 21 posts behind.  BUT I'm not going to do that; I'm going to strive for the 365 posts on a single blog.  IF I decide to do a 365 challenge involving blog posts again next year- I'm going to spread it out among all my blogs.  I don't think I'll do a blog post challenge next year though.... This has been so much more rough than I was expecting.

So I set up my blogs on Google+; not 100% sure how I feel about that move yet- but it seemed like a good one to make.  I'll be adding Google+ gadgets to my blogs so it'll be easier for people to follow me.  If people want to that is.

Also- I'm looking for other month long challenges like the A to Z challenge to participate in- not necessarily on this blog; but I had a great deal of fun with the challenge on my art blog (there should be a link to that on this page).

Alright my goals for this summer.  (how's that for an abrupt change of though??)

#1- Lose some weight!!
My minimum goal is 3lbs a week- which amounts to 45lbs off for this summer.  I would be thrilled if I could accomplish that.  I'm going to post more about that on my weight loss blog later today (after I take some awesome selfies showing my 'before' body)

#2- Become a better artist/get BFA portfolio application together/Get ready for Comic Con this fall
Again- I have a bit more of a detailed post about this on my art blog- I'm not going to repeat to much of that here- but I'm going to be drawing for at least 5 hours a day for the rest of the summer.

#3- Get my home clean and keep it that way
I want to establish some routines that don't take a huge amount of time every day but allow me to keep our home clean so that it'll feel better in general; but also to help reduce the stress in our lives (oh!; there is a blog post- 'cleaning and stress')

#4- Get in the habit of preparing homemade meals
Frankly we've been eating out and getting pre-made meals from the grocery store a lot.  Not only has this been unhealthy BUT we also are wasting a lot of money that we don't have on food.  I've started on this goal- and will expand in another post.

#5- Write in my journal daily
Don't need to expound on this one

#6- Cross-stitch and play my Clarinet daily
This may seem silly- but I need to do something relaxing that isn't related to drawing and painting; as much as I enjoy my chosen field I really really really need to start exploring some other hobbies to help relieve stress

#7- be happy
I tend to get really really dramatic and depressed- so I'm making it a goal to focus on happier things and find something to laugh about each day.

#8- Walk or hike with kids daily

#9- Read 20 minutes daily with kids
And also turn the TV off more.  Not that my kids are total TV junkies- but we do have it on to much; it's sadly become a pretty regular part of their day.

#10- Read by myself at least 20 minutes each day

Those are my goals.  As long as I refer back to them often I think I can achieve them.  I'm pretty excited about this summer- I think it'll be pretty awesome.


Thursday, May 8, 2014


kinda sums up how I feel
pretty much all of the time
So I kind of fell off the earth last month.  I've managed to climb back on- but it has been a serious climb.

I'm so embarrassed about how badly I've done with my 365 challenge- BUT I'm going to attempt to make it up this summer by doing 2 posts a day (a current post with an older one dated for an appropriate fill in date).

Ok- so finals went well- as well as they ever can for me; and while I cannot boast a 4.0 or being close to graduating like many of my face book friends I can say this:  I'm SO much better than I was when I started- and I'll be even better when I finally graduate.  And I'm TOTALLY walking at my graduation- I deserve some recognition for the effort, blood, sweat, tears, weeks without sleep, the last minute moves and various other things I've had to sacrifice to be in school.

So after I finished with finals last week I hung out with my kids and slept for 2 days.  Then last Thursday I started to clean my little home.  Let me tell you- that has been a pain.  I mentioned this on my art blog- but I'm going to go ahead and repeat it because I have a slightly different audience for each blog- but if this is a repeat; I'm sorry.  We moved, as many people are aware, in a chaotic last minute panic last October- and I've not had a chance to unpack much- so we've been living half out of boxes for the past few months.  Much of that has changed in this last week- I've gotten all the major rooms cleaned up and now just need to catch up on laundry (as I always do) and unpack the pile of boxes that is the living room.   I'm trying to get it all put away by tomorrow night.  It is a bit of an ambitious goal, but Monday I have to start working again.  (In the non traditional free lance way that I do) I want the house completely clean before then so I can have an easier time maintaining a clean home when life is busy.  We'll see how it goes.

Ok so- I just really wanted to check in.  Not much more to say beyond- see ya later.


Thursday, May 1, 2014

May is....

Month long:
Date Your Mate Month
Foster Care Month
National BBQ Month
National Bike Month
National Blood Pressure Month
National Hamburger Month
National Photograph Month
National Salad Month
Older Americans Month


May Day
Loyalty Day
Mother Goose Day
Save the Rhino Day
Baby Day
Brothers and Sisters Day
International Tuba Day
Space Day
Lumpy Rug Day
World Press Freedom Day

Week 1  Nurse's Week
Bird Day
National Candied Orange Peel Day
Renewal Day
Star Wars Day
Cinco de Mayo
National Hoagie Day
Oyster Day
Beverage Day
National Tourist Appreciation Day
National Nurses Day
National Teachers Day
No Diet Day
School Nurses Day
National Tourism Day
Iris Day
No Socks Day
V-E Day
World Red Cross Day/ World Red Crescent Day
Lost Sock Memorial Day
Military Spouses Day
Birth Mother's Day
Clean up Your Room Day
International Migratory Bird Day
National Train Day

Week 2 Wildflower Week
Eat What You Want Day
Mother's Day
Twilight Zone Day
Fatigue Syndrome Day
International Nurses Day
Limerick Day
Frog Jumping Day
Leprechaun Day
Dance Like a Chicken Day
National Receptionist Day
National Chocolate Chip Day
Police Officer's Memorial Day
Love a Tree Day
National Bike to Work Day
National Sea Monkey Day
Wear Purple for Peace Day
Armed Forces Day
Pack Rat Day

Week 3
National Bike Week
National Police Week
International Museum Day
No Dirty Dishes Day
Visit Your Relatives Day
Boy's Club Day
Be a Millionaire Day
Pick Strawberries Day
National Memo Day
National Waiters and Waitresses Day
Buy a Musical Instrument Day
Lucky Penny Day
International Jazz Day
National Escargot Day

Week 4
Emergency Medical Services Week
National Missing Children's Day
Tap Dance Day
Memorial Day
Sally Ride Day
Sun Screen Day
Amnesty International Day
Learn About Composing Day
Water Flower Day
National Macaroon Day
Save your Hearing Day
World No Tobacco Day

Some of the days for May are kinda sad- but interesting to have days devoted to the various topics.