Category Archives: 30-Day Blog Challenge

Blog Challenge Day 30 – A motto or philosophy

Here I go again – over thinking a silly blog challenge topic.  So off the top of my head here’s a bunch of mottoes I most often live by.  If you want something you have to just go and get it.  Life isn’t going to give you something unless you’ve put in the hard work.  You want to be a writer?  You write every day and learn all you can about how to do it well and be successful.  You want to be successful at something else, you find out what it takes to be that thing and you do that every day.  You want a new job, you start acting like you already have it until someone notices you’re already doing the work and chances are you’ll get promoted.  Never give up on your dreams, no matter what.  And never focus on the negative.  Focusing on the negative and the set backs along the way just bog you down from progressing forward toward whatever it is you want.  Grasp life by the horns and hold on for the ride.  As long as you are living every day and doing what makes you happy you are leading a fabulous life.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this crazy blog challenge… thanks for sticking with me through the whole thing.  Now, I’m off to work on my novel.  November approaches after all!

Blog Challenge Day 29 – Hopes, dreams and plans for the next year

I’m not someone who sits down and makes goals and then breaks them down into short term steps to reach long term steps and then march through them and arrive at the end where life will then magically be perfect.  I leave that up to people who buy day planners and subscribe to that kind of philosophy.  Instead, I take every day as it comes and live it to the fullest.  I have a vision of what the future looks like and every choice I make hopefully leads me closer toward it.  But, if I somehow end up on a side track that turns out pretty cool, the route will shift.  Case in point, when I was in high school I dreamed of being a pilot and for a while I was training for that and exploring the possibilities.  And then I stumbled into a job that ended up being way more fun and I’ve built a career out of it.  Same thing when it came to being a parent – TOTALLY stumbled into that one but then embraced it and never looked back. If I were a goal setter, I’d look like a failure on paper when looking back.

So, for the next year I hope life (and my hard work) takes me to a finished first draft of my novel, better job satisfaction working under my new supervisor, another Ragnar relay completed, another half marathon with a better time than the first one,  continued success with my fitness insuring many more years of life ahead of me, lots of time spent with my kids making fun memories, and quality time with Hubby who I’ve now been with for eighteen years next month. Throw in time with my extended family and close friends and my year should be pretty full.  And of course I’ll share the ups and downs of all of it with you, my readers. 

Blog Challenge Day 28 – A scar I have and it’s story

I am not accident prone and was hard pressed to find a scar at all – never mind a scar with a story.  After all, how exciting can the little round scar be on my stomach, where they pulled my gall bladder out after it quit working?  But then I remembered the very first scars I ever got. 

When I was a kid I had chicken pox, just like every other kid on the planet before they developed a vaccine, only I was lucky enough to get them twice.  The first time around I didn’t have very many so apparently I didn’t develop immunity.  Lucky me.  The second time around was brutal, or so I’ve heard. I was too young to remember more than what my parents told me about it but the stories are horrible.  Apparently they couldn’t stop me from scratching at the ones on my face and I was left with two perfectly round pox scars – one over each of my eyebrows. 

When I got old enough to be sarcastic and sassy, I started telling people it was where my horns had been before I broke them off.  Ironically, I think my mother in law might have believed me…

Blog Challenge Day 27 – A physical feature I love

Four words:  I. LOVE. MY. RACK.

I have already blogged about this here if you want the top ten things I love about my body – a list I still struggle with.  I am happy to report that seven months after the original list I have one more thing to add:  I love the definition in my arms.  After months of waffling between hard core runner training for multiple Ragnar Relays and a total body program with weights setup by my trainer, I have defined triceps and biceps.  Plus, I’m strong.  I never thought that would be true.  It is somewhat amazing even still…

I just realized I may have interpreted this all wrong.  In which case, I love shoulders and hair which are the first things I notice when I see people of the opposite sex.  There, now I have all my bases covered!

Blog Challenge Day 26 – A childhood memory

My fondest memories of childhood all revolve around camping with extended family during the summers where I grew up in Utah.  One particular year my siblings, cousins and I were all old enough and allowed to wander away from camp for hours at a time.  We were in one of our favorite camp grounds in the Wasatch National Forest outside of Salt Lake and we discovered a trail leading up and away from the highest loop of the campground road in a steep section where there were no camp sites.  I remember hiking up and up, for what seemed like hours, through dense forest areas of aspen and pines looking for what undiscovered treasures we just knew we were going to find.  Around every corner there were new sights we’d never seen before, areas where we had to find the trail or make our own to an area that looked easier to travel.  Fallen logs to climb over, statuesque trees rising into the overhead canopy where the sun barely filtered through, long dark sections of trail lined with tree trunks beckoning us to go deeper.  The wind whispering through the leaves on the trees around us the whole time promising us adventure..  Our secret trail eventually ended at the top of a steep hill where it opened up into a meadow with a waterfall at the edge.  I remember breaking through the tree line into the bright sun of that summer afternoon thinking we had discovered our own world. We toiled at the waterfall and rollicked in the meadow before finally, and reluctantly, heading back to camp.  Looking back I’m amazed we remembered how to get back and I’m certain if our parents knew exactly where we had gone that day they would not be happy.  The memory of that one stolen, perfect afternoon has never left me…  Nor do I remember, even though I know we tried, ever finding that exact spot again.

I hope one day I’ll allow my own girls enough freedom to explore on their own without worrying about the axe murderer or child molester who could be lurking, just waiting for their chance to pounce, so they too can make a memory like this of their own.

Blog Challenge Day 25 – A recipe

I debated about what recipe to share pondering which would wow you all with my culinary skills.  But bottom line, I just discovered the most AMAZING frosting recipe and had to share it.  If you have the right frosting you can make anything better.  Case in point, this frosting made even the gluten-free cake it adorned completely edible.  I’ve been making frosting since I was a kid when my Mom taught me how to make chocolate cake from scratch.  And, my Dad is a baker.  But I had NEVER made butter cream frosting before last weekend at our neighbor’s place.  Something I will definitely be changing every chance I get now that I have this amazing recipe!
Butter Cream Frosting
1 cup salted butter, softened*
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/4 cup milk
Blend it all together with a hand mixer and spread on everything – or whatever you have on hand that calls for frosting.
*The recipe we were following called for half butter, half shortening but we didn’t have any shortening so we just used butter.  So yummy without all the partially hydrogenated oils.  Also, if you don’t have salted butter, then just add a pinch of salt.  Whatever you do, don’t – and I repeat, DO NOT – use margarine.  This is butter cream frosting and if you don’t use butter it will taste like… well, shit.  (No one should ever eat margarine in my opinion but that’s not what this post is about…)
Enjoy!  And remember don’t be stingy when licking the bowl – it’s just bad manners.  Although trust me when I say you will be tempted!

Blog Challenge Day 24 – A movie no one would expect me to love

I love movies and Hubby and I watch lots of them.  I am not a particular fan of comedy – I much prefer chick flicks, action and thrillers – and I detest stupid comedy.  I still don’t see the appeal of Napoleon Dynamite, Dumb and Dumber was only vaguely funny the first time when you didn’t know the jokes and don’t even get me started on Super Bad…  Little Fockers only made it all the way through the playback a few weeks ago because Hubby was sort of amused.  So, I’m sure it will surprise everyone that I loved the movie “Bad Santa”.  I don’t know what it was about that particular movie in that normally detested genre but I could watch it over and over and still laugh.  Maybe it was Billy Bob who pulled off the drunk Santa so well.  I know it wasn’t a fluke because I saw it in the theater and several times since.  If they could bottle that movie and sell it I’d buy it!

Blogger Challenge Day 23 – A way in which I want to be remembered

This is easy.  I want to be remembered as someone who never gave up and always did what she wanted.  Someone who followed her dreams and made things happen for herself instead of waiting for life to deliver it up to her on a silver platter.  I live out loud, with no filter, and live every moment as it comes.  I don’t do guilt – either inflicted upon me or imposed on others – and I’m usually impulsive.  I hope everyone who really knows me thinks of me as someone they like to be around because I’m a breath of fresh air.  I guess we’ll see when I’m dead if I do a good job at that and can keep it up for another forty years at least.

Blog Challenge Day 22 – A website I like

One of my favorite websites is  I love to be able to sit down at my computer, map out exactly where I want to run and see how far it is as well as the elevation change I have in store before I leave.  Just last week I found a neighborhood street that went all the way through between two major streets that only currently connect with a dirt road.  It made my run SO much better that day!  I know I could use the site to keep track of my workouts and lots of other really cool stuff but right now just knowing before I go is invaluable.  Right now I need to go and figure out how to squeeze eight miles out of the flattest parts of the surrounding area for tomorrow’s run…

Blog Challenge Day 21 – Something I know I do differently than other people

It might not have escaped you, if you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time, that I have the mouth of a sailor.  And I have young children.  And I live in a very conservative little suburb of the notoriously “red” state of Utah where that kind of thing is generally frowned upon.  I know I am different than most people I meet because I do not sensor my expletives even around my children. *gasp*  It might further surprise you to know that Big Sister – who turns ten in a few weeks – has not repeated them.  Well, except that one time when she was three and it was Daddy she was parroting at the time, thank god!

I was not the first of my siblings to have children and I had two adorable nephews years before I had kids of my own.  It was very hard to take hearing my oldest nephew, who was about four or five at the time, come up to me – constantly – and hit me while telling me I was bad because I had said a bad word. 

First of all, I don’t really believe in good and bad as all-encompassing labels.  Every action, every reaction, every situation always has multiple sides to it and each party involved is justified when deciding his/her own actions.  Just because the majority of people in a community or a society have agreed to view a thing as unacceptable does not make it bad.  (Getting off my soapbox now but this distinction will help illustrate what’s coming…)

From that moment on, I vowed that I would never label expletives as “bad words” regardless of who says them or in what company they are said.  Of course at the time I had no intention of ever pro-creating.

And then I got pregnant and people started talking about how I’d have to clean up my language and how everything would change and blah blah blah.  And the rebellious bitch who I am at my very core said “oh yeah?  Wanna bet?”  And I never did. You’re probably wondering how both statements can be true – that I never have filtered myself around my children AND that they have never developed the same habits.  But both are true nonetheless.

You see, instead of labeling all my favorite colorful words as ‘bad’, they have been dubbed ‘grown up words’.  And you have to be a grown up to choose whether you say them or not.  Ingenious, I know.  This way, Hubby and I say whatever is our nature to say – never directed AT the kids, of course – and the kids don’t have to feel conflicted inside knowing that Mom and Dad are “good” people but they say “bad” words.  Plus, I’ve eliminated what I call the forbidden factor: that phenomenon when you tell a kid they can’t do something and that just makes them want to go out and do it even more.  Of course, it also means that the kids will know exactly how to effectively use all the grown up words by the time they can choose to say them.  But, so be it.

Blog Challenge Day 20 – Foods I love and hate

I love pasta – but I don’t eat it very often.  When I do, I choose red sauce over my preferred cream sauce because I can’t afford ten hours on the treadmill to burn off that one meal.  My Dad is of Italian descent and he lived there for a time when he was younger before he met my Mom.  Which means the family recipe spaghetti sauce he passed down to me is authentic.  I love to make a big pan of sauce – simmered for hours so the flavors come alive (my mouth is watering as we speak) and then eat spaghetti all week – lunch and dinner.  Unfortunately, Hubby chose to spend his money in college predominantly on alcohol and thus ate a lot of ramen and spaghetti.  Which means he doesn’t ever want spaghetti.  *sigh*  Oh well, more for me!

I love eggs.  I could eat eggs every meal of every day and never get sick of them.  I love them scrambled with onions, omelets, over hard, hard boiled… just as long as the yolk is cooked and NOT runny and slimy.  *ick*  Eggs are probably my biggest source of protein since I don’t really love meat besides fish and fowl.

I’m a sucker for baked goods… cake, cookies, brownies.  OH.MY.GOD. I love brownies.  Again, I don’t indulge very often but there’s a side of me who wishes I wasn’t so responsible.

I also love chocolate – especially when mixed with peanut butter.  Show me a candy bar with that combination and I’ll show you a candy bar I’ve had a love affair with at some point in my life.  Currently, the Lindor chocolates that are little bit size balls sold individually are my nemesis.  They have them right by the cashier in the cafeteria at work and I break down and buy one almost every day.  


I hate diet drinks.  If it’s got chemical sweetener in it, I can taste it a mile away and want to hurl once the liquid passes my lips.  If I were dying of thirst – literally – and the only thing available was a diet soda, I might waste away before I gave in and drank one.

I hate coconut.  Not sure if it’s a taste or a texture thing – either way, I’m not a fan.

I hate walnuts and almonds.  I used to think I didn’t like ANY nuts until I tried cashews and found they are delightful.  Peanuts don’t count because they are really a legume and not a nut – and I like them, too.  Walnuts, though.  Bleck!  And why do people insist on RUINING a good browning by putting walnuts in them?!?  Seriously, people, enough already!  And don’t get me started with all the things slivered almonds show up in. UGH and they are so hard to pick off, too!

I hate bloody rare beef and I refuse to handle raw hamburger.  If it doesn’t come home from the store already nice and neatly formed into a patty before needing to be cooked, Hubby gets the honors.  The slimy feel of raw meat just makes me queasy.  And while I love a bite or two of a really great steak, if it’s rare I can’t even look at it.  Hubby, on the other hand, is a carnivore and has no problems.  Yuck!

Bog Challenge Day 19 – A talent

I have a talent for spotting bullshit and calling it out.  You may not think of this as a talent, but I have found it comes in quite handy and not many people possess it or embrace it.  Does this talent get me into trouble?  Sometimes.  Will this talent potentially inhibit my ascension to an upper management position with my current company because I’m not willing to bum pat and kiss ass while I propagate the bullshit?  Maybe.  Would I trade this talent?  Not in a million years.  You have no idea how free it feels when you have not only spotted bullshit but have brought it out into the light of day so everyone must acknowledge it for what it is.  There are never elephants in the room when I’m around.  Do I come off as abrasive to people?  Possibly.  Do I care?  Nope.  One of my favorite quotes is (paraphrased) ‘Always tell it like it is because those who care don’t matter and those who matter won’t care.’

Now, for those of you who were hoping for “normal” talents… I play piano, I play guitar, I draw (better than my Sister but not better than Hubby), I run, and I write fiction. 

Blog Challenge Day 18 – Things I do everyday

Here’s another thing that you may find quirky about me!  I’m struggling with this post since ‘everyday’ has such a specific meaning and if I take it literally, meaning every single day, I can’t come up with much to include.  So, since I am a literal kind of girl, I thought I’d break it down into weekdays and weekend days and give you two very different lists which still meets the criteria.  (Someone needs to remind me this is merely a blog challenge designed to get me posting about things I don’t normally post about so you all can get a glimpse of me and that there are no right or wrong answers here!  Sheesh, I can be so uptight sometimes!)  Then I started the lists and found they were kind of boring and that the things I really do every day would be harder to come up with but might be a much cooler list.  So, here they are:

I wake up before eight AM – seriously?!? When I realized this is true I cried a little.  I am a night owl who officially never lets herself sleep in anymore, even on the weekends.  Even crazier, I usually wake up earlier on the weekends so I can go running.  Case in point was just this past Sunday when Hubby and I consciously decided not to set any alarms.  And I was still awake and up by 7:45.  Insane…

I play Words with Friends on my phone.  And, this is the ONLY game I play on my phone.

I think about running and whether I’ll be able to fit a run into my crazy day.  I successfully find time to run an average of three times a week and I cross train or lift weights three others – something I can do much easier in the time allotted for the fitness center at work.  There is only one day a week that I do not work out but even that day I’m thinking about running and whether I really HAVE to rest.

I tuck my girls into their beds at night.  Even Big Sister has not rejected this practice by deeming it not cool in her ‘tween years.  YET…  Even if I’m not there when they go to bed and Daddy, grandma or the sitter does it, I still make a point to visit each of their rooms, make sure they are covered up and kiss them good night. Maybe they will look back on this as the one normal thing their crazy Mom did when they are talking to their therapists.

I check Facebook.  Yes, everyday.  Even when I swore it off and vowed never to waste another hour on it again.  I limit it to once a day to make sure I haven’t got anyone to wish happy birthday to and get the status updates of the people on the list of real friends who’s crap I care about seeing.

I drink water.  At least ninety ounces, sometimes more.  Some days I hit that mark easily, sometimes it is a chore but every day I’m committed to proper hydration.  It makes such a difference when I work out and I always know if I’ve been slacking because I feel it.

I think about my novel.  I wish I could say that I write every day.  I’m getting there but some days the things I count as “writing” are really just moments of day dreaming about the world I’m creating and wondering about what makes my characters tick.  While in my mind that counts as working on my novel, it is not really writing new words every day.

I stay up too late.  What can I say?  There are never enough hours in a day to squeeze in everything I want to do.  Most days I sacrifice sleep for doing more of the things I want than I would if I went to bed on time.  Do I pay for this every morning?  Yes.  Yes, I do.

Which leads to the one thing that surprised even me since it did NOT make the list of things I do every single day:  drink coffee.  I realized that I don’t drink coffee on the weekends consistently.  While you can set your watch to my daily java consumption on work days, I just don’t need it to get through the weekends when I’m not surrounded by bullshit.  Maybe that’s because I can always squeeze a nap in between football games on Saturday and Sundays now that it is that season again.