Friday, August 31, 2012

A Week of Happy Taste Buds

My week on Instagram was very... food-y!


1. Amelie got chocolate-wasted by candlelight after a long day of work.  And by "Amelie," I mean "I."

2. I got two cook books from England by way of the wonderful Gesci!  She happened to include a bag of blue sapphire loose tea which means a) that tea was obviously made for me and b) I'm in love with her now.

3. Mr. TBS and I have added a lot of new dishes to our kitchen rotation in the last two weeks.  One of those delicious treats is spring rolls.  I happen to be very good at rolling them.  It must be the Asian in me.

4. Nothing Bundt Cakes.  Red velvet.  'Nough said.

5. I replenished my tea collection at work.  Every morning and afternoon, I have the best smelling office in the whole darn building -- without a doubt.

* * * * * * * * * *

Happy Labor Day weekend!  Play safely, and enjoy the first days of September!

Linking up with From My Grey Desk

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Daily Vortex of Blogging

Just call me Jonah.  This blog has nearly swallowed me whole!

I love writing this blog.  I look to blogs for clean living tips, recipes, pregnancy and birth information (premature research, mind you), product reviews, and entertainment.  There is just so much available through blogs, not to mention the friendships I've gained in real life.  But by golly.  Blogging has taken over my life!

Source

Has anyone noticed that the theme of intentional living has gone viral this summer?  Jess Lively runs a business based on intentional living.  Sydney reflected on the connection of self-worth and being busy.  Jenni feels like her blog gave her ADD.  Jessica set blogging guidelines for herself.  Kristin wrote a series of posts about simplifying and reprioritizing her life.  Each of these posts share a different piece of the "my life is overwhelmed by so much 'stuff'" puzzle.

Here is the vortex that my daily life gets sucked into: I am in constant conversation through Twitter, blog comments, e-mail, and Instagram.  I use all my break time at work to read blogs.  I check my phone as soon as I hear an e-mail or Twitter notification.  I will stay up later than planned to make sure my post is ready to go live at midnight.  Every free moment is spent checking e-mail on my phone.

Raise your hand if you know this routine all too well.
(giving the side eye to every single blogger on the planet)

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I consider myself a multi-tasker, but when I'm constantly "multi-tasking" on my laptop while I'm talking to my husband at home, the line needs to be drawn.  With grad school starting next month, I need to conjure my inner boot camp instructor and get my life in line! I've already taken steps in keeping myself in check.

+ I suspended ad swapping with other bloggers.
+ I'm posting 4-5 times per week (and I stopped feeling guilty about going 2-3 days without posting).
+ I disabled blog e-mail and Twitter notifications on my phone.
+ I use time at home to read, make cards, and veg out on the couch with my husband sans laptop.
+ I go to bed when I want to, even if a post isn't ready for the next day.  (Genius!)

I'm doing my best to recognize when I need to simplify.  I am reminding myself that blogging is an outlet for me, not a business.  I have a full-time job already.  I love blogging and everything that comes with it (that means YOU), and I want to continue having fun doing it!  I feel so much better making these little changes right now than actually getting swallowed whole by blogging and taking extreme measures like deleting my social media accounts or ending the blog altogether.  Like Jenni said, I need to "cut the proverbial fat."

Source

So there you have it.  I'm on a mission to downsize in order to upgrade my life!  I'm expecting to yield great results.  I guess this is what they call adult decisions.  Do I sound old and wise?  I am turning 28 next month, after all.

Even if you're not a blogger, do you ever feel like your life is overtaken by "noise" and distraction?  Let's downsize together!  Cheers to giving life our undivided attention!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Girl Behind The Blog #6: How Blogging Has Changed Me

Believe it or not, it's time for another vlog!  For this month's Girl Behind The BlogAshley and her co-host Sarah have asked us to reflect on how blogging has changed us.  These questions served as a nice reflection for me, because I started blogging one year ago (albeit with a private blog shared with 13 friends and family members).

Mr. TBS likes to remind me how well-connected I am now that I have blogging-turned-real-life friends who do so many neat things and have such great life experiences to share.  Some of my blogging friends are now people I text, hang out with, and talk with on the phone and on Skype!  Blogging has changed me in so many ways, but here is my four-minute version.  (I'm sorry I exceeded the time limit, Ash!  It just wasn't happening this time!  Ha!)


The posts mentioned in my vlog:
The Lost Art of Keeping in Touch (my first post)

5ohwifey

** Also, my fellow bloggers, you will appreciate Joelle's funny post about The Life of a Blogger!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

First Time For Everything

For the first time ever, I have contributed to a giveaway!  Want to win these?


Head on over to Lauren's blog Choosing Joy to enter her giveaway!  She has six prizes and will be choosing six winners!  The winners will be chosen next Monday, September 3.

Also, prepare yourself for some amazing photos.  Lauren is a professional photographer, and her blog images do not disappoint!  Good luck, friends!

Monday, August 27, 2012

DIY: Small Jewelry Catch-All

I don't know about you married folk out there, but the only time I wear my wedding ring at home is when I'm getting ready to head out there door.  That heightened awareness and caution of first wearing it never wore off, and I'm afraid I'll get it caught on something.  I'm probably a rare breed of female that feels more relaxed at home when I don't have to worry about it!


Yeah, that was just an opportunity to post a photo of my ring, because I love it.  Sue me.  :-)  That poor beauty just sits on my bathroom counter, tucked far into the corner so it won't fall in the sink, whenever I'm home.  I finally conceded and gave it a proper "home" this weekend. 

DIY: Small Jewelry Catch-All

Needed:
4 oz. canning jar like this Ball 4 oz jar  (I bought mine on sale for $1 at Hobby Lobby.)
Scissors
Hot glue gun
Fabric
Ribbon
Satin or glossy finish spray paint


1. Clean your jar to remove any residue or dust.


2. Remove the two-piece lid.  Flip the lid rim over and trace a circle on the back of your fabric using the inner circle, not the outside of the lid.


3. Spray paint the outside of the lid rim.  (Avoid painting the inside; otherwise, it will be hard to screw it back on later.)


4. Using a hot glue gun, glue the fabric to the inside of the jar.  After the paint dries, screw the lid rim on the jar.


5. Tie your ribbon around the jar.


Simple!  My ring now has a soft and protected place to sleep at night (along with a few pairs of earrings)!  I chose the fabric and ribbon to match the book box I keep my make-up in.



My weekend of full of crafting (well, for my standards), cooking, and sleeping.  Bliss!  Oh, and I also caught The Time Traveler's Wife at, like, midnight on Saturday and couldn't resist.  I just sat there and let myself cry through the end.  Such a girl!  

How was your weekend?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Bright Spots

I'll keep this short and sweet!  I just wanted to pop in to say Happy Friday and share the condensed version of the this week's bright spots!




Thanks to Gesci and Shannon/The Scribble Pad!

HELLO, GRAD SCHOOL!



Now move along, pretties!  It's time to seize the weekend.  Over and out!

Linking up with Lauren

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Big Announcement: Hittin' The Books

I have a big announcement!  Last Thursday...

I WAS ACCEPTED INTO GRADUATE SCHOOL!

You may recall that it was only one month ago that I shared my goal to get into grad school, but I had been working on this goal since the end of last year.  

As of September 17, 
I will be an MBA student with a concentration in Healthcare Management.

This announcement is testing my ability to restrain from filling this entire post with all capital letters and an abundance of exclamation points, although the latter will probably happen.  I am so excited!  Since I will continue working full-time, I am starting with one class this term, and I'll increase the work load starting in January.  I'm eager to get going, but I need to pace myself.  I kind of feel like a bat of out Hell with all this excitement!

Within a few hours of finding out about my acceptance, I was registered for my first class, and then I looked up the book I needed.  Renting books wasn't popular at my school during undergrad, despite the universal loathing of selling books back at the end of the semester for the going price of three fancy Starbucks coffees.  However, my little brother rents his textbooks and swears by it.

I marched myself straight to CampusBookRentals.com and nearly peed in my pants when I saw that I could rent my book for $46 versus $125 through my school's rental program.  Let me help you with the math.  I saved $79.  Gods knows I need that money for tuition.

I received the book in two business days.  Not only do they provide free shipping, but they also include a pre-paid bubble return envelope to use at the end of your rental period.  People, how did I not know about this in college?!  

I was happy to get my first tangible piece of grad school.





Dear CampusBookRentals.com,
You made a fan out of me.  You just hooked another student for the next 2+ years.  
Well done, old chap.  Well done.

Dear friends, 
Wish me luck as I start my journey as an MBA student!  

Dear school,
I'm about to ROCK YOU.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Behind The Lights

Behind every great event, there is a team of people who work to make it worth attending.

The crew of a concert or stage production.
The wedding planner.
The stadium grounds crew.
The ticket office.
The light designers.
The parking attendants.
The ushers.
The concessions staff.

The same could be said for milestone events.  No one hails the great work of:

Floral designers.
Personal assistants.
Chauffeurs.
Wait staff.
The list goes on!

They don't get the applause, but without any one of them, the event wouldn't be complete.  One of my friends shared the following video on Facebook.  We became friends during our days of working for the San Diego Padres MLB team as members of the Pad Squad (pronounced pawd, not pad)!

This video is part of a series called Behind The Lights: The Coolest Jobs Behind The Biggest Sports.  The Pad Squad may be known for throwing free stuff into the crowds with cannons and giant slingshots, but they do so much more than that.  This video doesn't even capture how fast-paced our days were, but it's cool to get a chance to relive a piece of it!

Behind The Lights: Game Day with the Padres

 
 
Here are a few photos from my two seasons on the Pad Squad (2005-2006):
Blitzing around town!

Yes, I got T-shirts to the upper deck!

I got to sing the national anthem (live!) both seasons!  So fun!

Retro Day 2006

Yes, that is Carrie of Miss California/USA fame.  I have no comment about "the controversy".  We all had a wonderful time together on the squad.

A missed tradition for San Diego Padres fans!

We were such a shy group.

The next time you're at a baseball game, take the time to acknowledge the many employees around you.  A simple smile or "hi".  And please, please, please -- be kind to the mascots!  Those guys (and sometimes gals) are sweating their behinds off for long periods of time to entertain, boost crowd morale, and have fun with the kids.  No one looks macho for beating up on a life-sized cartoon character, and blaming it on intoxication doesn't work either.

To all the people working behind the scenes at any event, cheers to you!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Why I'm Always Internet-less

It's about time I come clean about this on-going internet fiasco.  Initially, my tweets about lack of internet at home were received with sympathy (because honestly, what kind of life is that?). Now I am at the point that if make any mention that I have no internet, I get:

"What is up with you and the internet?"
"How far out in the country do you live?"
"Again?  What is going on over there?"

Guys, I ask myself the same questions!

Source


Source





Our house is one of two homes on a 1.5-acre property.  When we moved in, our neighbors offered up their internet until ours could be hooked up.  However, the connection was strong enough for both houses, so we've split the bill and been sharing ever since.  It was fine and dandy for the first month, but one stormy night ruined the whole deal.  The router blew out.  Our neighbors bought a new one... and then it blew out again.  That was about the time that Mr. TBS and I suspected that they had a bum surge protector (if they were using one at all) or a bum outlet.  Either way, it seemed insane that two routers blew out within one month.

Another storm.  Another router replaced.  For those of you who have lost count, our neighbors are on router #4!  Now the issue is Comcast.  They can't seem to keep a signal in this neighborhood to save their life.  If Comcast wasn't the sole provider for this area, we would have moved on long ago.

So this is where we are now:
  • We're still sharing internet.  
  • The neighbors have a brand-new surge protector, and the router is two months old.  
  • Comcast losing signal is it so much as sprinkles outside. 
  • We know it isn't an issue of the four of us sharing one router, because either we all have a strong connection or no connection at all. 
  • I text our neighbors 1-2 times per week to ask them to reset the router.  I can only imagine the Pavlovian response they have when they receive a text from me now!

Surprisingly, I've learned to love our internet-less time at home.  Now I remember how much more free time I had before this wonderful life of blogging started.  I say that jokingly but with a pinch of truth!  I feel so much more available, present, invested, and focused at home.  However, it makes blogging, e-mail, paying bills online, checking our bank account, and looking up restaurant hours and directions really difficult.  This is 2012, after all. 

Let the truth be known.  I'm fighting an internal battle of basking in the glory of simple life and living in the Dark Ages.  It's a love/hate relationship.  Please forgive my sorry internet-less ass!  I love all of you!  I love this blog, and I hate to see it idle for days.


Dear Internet Gods,

This one is for you.

Source: boska.pl via Lindsay on Pinterest


Friday, August 17, 2012

Cheers to This Thing We Call Friday!

Happy Friday, y'all!  It's been a great week, and as always, there are many highlights and things to be thankful for.  I love doing Lauren's High Five For Friday link-up, but it has gotten me in the habit of finding the bright spots in my week, even after seemingly boring "normal" weeks.  Thanks, Lauren!

#1

Today is my blog's birthday!  I didn't share the link with family or friends for two weeks, but exactly one year ago, I wrote my first blog post.  I was inspired by one of my best friends who had just deactivated her Facebook account.  It's ironic that her step back from social media encouraged me to dive into blogging.  Little did I know...  ;-)

** Clarification: This blog was private and only read by 13 friends and relatives under the name Being Mrs. K until I made it a public blog on January 30, 2012, and renamed it Trial By Sapphire.

#2


I'm still thinking about Sunday's theatre outing to see The Lion King, because it was just that fantastic.  Loved it!

#3


I may have gotten sick, but I'm so glad it was short-lived.  I only missed one day of work!  But I'll be honest.  That one day of sitting in a calm and quiet house drifting in and out of sleep was bliss.  Amelie took good care of me.  And used me as a pillow.

#4



Tuesday night was good for the soul.  Whit and I gabbed over delicious treats at La Madeleine before yoga.  It's so nice to have a friend nearby in this big ol' city.  Later that night, I caught up with my dad on the phone.  As usual, I felt like I was on top of the world afterward.  I always feel so encouraged and loved after talking with him.  That quality must have rubbed off on my over the years, because so many of you comment about how encouraging I am.  Ha!  Now you know where it comes from!

#5 

I did my first #vaguetweet today.  I laughed when I saw Ashley's response!


I am not pregnant, but I guess you'll just have to stick around to see what all the smiling is about!  (Oh, the suspense.  Is it killing you?  No?  Oh.  Well, can you just humor me?)


HAPPY FRIDAY, LOVER FACES!