August 3, 2015

A Rodan+Fields Deal for August

One of my favorite parts of my own Rodan+Fields story was the fact that I started using it at the beginning of last summer and by the time I began my new job, in my new state, in August, my skin looked so much better.  6-8 weeks is all it takes to SEE major change (you'll feel the difference before that...promise!)

So if you, like me, see August as a chance at a new beginning, this is the time to get started.  The best part about beginning a regimen this month is if you sign up as a preferred customer, you'll get to choose an Essentials product of your choice, sent to you free of charge!

If you sign up as a Preferred Customer, I'll set you up with one of these!  
These are dermatology-grade products, which is why I trust them so much.

Sunless tanner (a very popular item!)
Gauze Pads for application of R+F products and/or makeup
Vitamin D Supplements that will support the results of any of the regimens

Your choice!

Here's the Preferred Customer information straight from the website:

If you're looking to sign up for the products, this is the time.
 All you have to do is say you read this blog post and join before the end of August!

Let me know if you're interested in improving your skin in time for the beautiful fall season we all love so much :)

July 31, 2015

Who's a fan of snakes?

I saw a rattlesnake in the yard a few weeks ago.  You might ask, "Kristin, you spend very little time would you know what a rattlesnake looks like?"

Well, after I ran it over with the four-wheeler, hopefully mortally wounding it, it rattled its way under our shed.  That's how I know.

This past weekend, Scott came across this same snake while he was mowing.  He ran it over with the mower.  I would show you the aftermath but...I don't feel comfortable putting gory pictures online. If you want to see it, shoot me an email :)

Ever since the first day I saw the rattlesnake, I've been on high alert.  I saw no snakes last year and I've seen several this year, whether that's been in our yard (3), on the dirt road (many), or smushed on the highway (several).

My official position on non-poisonous snakes is that I don't want to see them.  I don't want them where I am. They usually startle me.  I feel the same way about spiders. I won't run screaming from a non-poisonous snake though.  They don't bother me that much.

The other day, Scott told me to get the camera and get outside because there was "a snake, but not a poisonous one".

So there's that. 
Happy weekend :)

July 30, 2015

Stuff and Things 7/30

Stuff, Things, etc.

+Oh dear.  It's the next to last day of July.  I was definitely wishing away the summer because I wanted Scott to come home, but this is a bit overkill.

+I'm spending this week taking a professional development class.  It's my summer break, but those salary scales don't bump themselves.  And earning a living wage is always nice.  Hashtag teacher problems.

+Who is watching True Detective?  I maintain that this is the hardest, most convoluted, difficult to follow show out there.  I am barely putting the pieces together. This Buzzfeed article might help you understand it. 

+Also, I started watching The Newsroom.  I meant to do this a few years ago, but I kept missing episodes.  I was getting desperate for a new show.  This will do just fine.

+I contacted Scentsy because I wanted to order a new bulb and more wax melts but I do not want to find a consultant.  I get that I, myself, am part of a MLM business but I shouldn't have to find a consultant to buy a lightbulb. That's ridiculous. Especially because when I put in my address, NO ONE POPS UP.  Because no one in the middle of nowhere sells Scentsy.  I'm assuming there are thousands of consultants in Colorado Springs, but the principle of it is that when I put in my address like they tell me to do, no one comes up.
I found 2 bulbs at Wal-Mart for less than $3.  It was worth the trip.

This person from Scentsy completely ignored my question of "Why can't I just order a lightbulb without finding a consultant? Please let me order a lightbulb."


+And now that I've talked about ridiculous, unimportant things, I need to edit this post and end on a somber note.  

A popular lifestyle blogger, Leslie Sisti, passed away this week, and the blog world is just heartbroken.  Given the reaction online, I can't imagine what her family and friends are going through. 

Leslie's blog, A Blonde Ambition, was one of the first I found back in 2010 and I've read off and on ever since.  I don't think I ever commented on a post, but I always felt the need to keep up with her because I just liked her.  It was very easy to enjoy her and her blog, and she will be more than missed.

There's a GoFundMe page set up for her daughters (both under 2) and that family sure needs our thoughts and prayers right now. (Read Ryan's post, please, for some eloquent writing.)

If you come across the hashtags #beblessedlovelies #rememberingleslie, that's the blogging community remembering.

July 29, 2015

Peach Crisp

Recipe challenge, week thirty.

I always have such high ambitions when I'm at the farmers' market.  I want to make this or that.  I'm jealous of the people who are menu planning with their reusable grocery bags and long lists, buying their $10/pound "happy meat" out of a cooler.  I like the farmers' market in Old Colorado City a lot, and we filled up two reusable Trader Joe's bags with goodies last weekend.  Or, rather, with vegetables.  Scott loves vegetables, and I'm not a fan.  But most of what they have at farmers' markets is vegetables.  So we got different types of squash, carrots, basil, onions, and other vegetables I can't be bothered to remember.  I cannot get excited about cooking squash.  I just can't.  In fact, I had big plans to grill squash on Sunday (you know, so Scott can eat vegetables) but it was so hot that you couldn't really go outside (I grilled on Friday night; I grilled pizza. Much better than zucchini).  I do believe that zucchini is only good for a few things: this corn/zucchini/gnocchi recipe and this stuffed zucchini recipe.  And bread and brownies but, truthfully, I can't get past the idea that there is a vegetable in that "dessert" so I have trouble eating such things.

Fruit is more my thing.  They had cherries, but they were kind of expensive.  Peaches are everywhere in southern Colorado this time of year, so I bought a basket with the intention of making a dessert.

I wanted to make a turnover of some sort, but I didn't feel like spending a lot of time on it.  I thought about a cobbler, but there's peach cobbler recipes everywhere on the internet.  I almost went with a galette but I was not spending the time making pie crust and then I thought about grilling it but I wasn't super successful with the charcoal grill on Friday and that was only heating up flatbread pizzas.

Since the only fruit dessert I really, really like is apple crisp, I went with peach crisp.

Peach Crisp
makes an 8x8 pan, double for a 9x13

5 peaches, peeled and thinly sliced (if you thinly slice instead of dice, it cooks quicker)
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
1 t. vanilla
1/8 t. salt
4 T softened butter

In a bowl, mixed together everything but the peaches.  Mash/cut the butter in (I use a fork) until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Spray the bottom and sides of an 8x8 pan with cooking spray.  Spread the peaches over the bottom of the pan.  Top with the oat mixture and spread it out evenly.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  The top should be a bit browned when you pull it out.

July 28, 2015

Are you a Maximizer or a Satisficer?

Remodeling this house has taught me a lot about myself.

Gretchen Rubin said something in her podcast a few weeks ago that really struck me: Are you a maximizer or a satisficer?  You can read an article on the subject here but, in short, a maximizer must examine every choice from every angle in order to be sure the best decision is being made.  A satisficer will make a decision as soon as they find the need is met.

This can apply to almost anything and I can see traits of both types of decision-making in myself.
Gretchen gives the example of the wedding dress in the article I linked above.  I, for example, tried on about 3 wedding dresses, and went with the one I originally assumed I was going to get.  I felt no need to try on all the dresses I could find.  I was satisfied and I think this comes from knowing that there will always be something perfect out there that I didn't choose. I loved my wedding dress. If given an infinite amount of time, could I have found a better one? Maybe. But I only had about 2 weeks to make a decision. Wedding dresses need to be ordered quite far in advance.

Putting all of your time, energy, and money into finding that perfect something is draining. You're better off just being satisfied with a good choice instead of seeking out something that may not exist. This also goes back to "time is money" and I'm willing to pay for convenience and just suck it up once in awhile.

So, a maximizer devotes a great deal of time and energy to making perfect choices.  A satisficer just really likes to get things done.  I used to be a maximizer.  I grew up with maximizer parents so I naturally became one too.  There's nothing wrong with being a maximizer.  It's just tiring. Buying a car would take months. Buying a desktop computer back in 1997 took years.  I just naturally took on those maximizer characteristics and brought that into my marriage. I wanted to find the perfect towels, the perfect rug, the perfect pillows. And then I noticed I would always see something I liked more somewhere else when I wasn't looking for it.  Better pillows at Homegoods after I'd JUST bought them at Target, the perfect rug at a friend's house, etc.

Scott is a satisficer. After a few years of marriage, he has turned me into one too. I can't say when this happened exactly, but it was probably when we moved to Missouri and walked into a Toyota dealership in Kansas City and walked out with a new truck 3 hours later.

Scott is a satisficer to the umpteenth degree.  He knows how to fix things, solve problems, and get things done as quickly as possible.  Remodeling this house has been the biggest lesson in how important it is to just get over myself and be a satisficer.

I learned that when in Lowe's and Scott asks me what carpeting I like, I should just pick one because that means he's willing to replace the bedroom carpet, like today, and I want a new carpet and anything would be better than the carpet that is already there.

When Scott says, "Hey, let's go pick out countertops today", I don't hem and haw around about it.  I show him what I like, he shows me what he likes, and we make a decision.  Because I wanted new countertops in an almost desperate kinda way.

Therefore, a few weeks ago, we started talking about what projects I (Kristin) would like to accomplish on the house over the next month.  I said my priority was the guest bedroom floor because I use the guest bedroom (previously known as the unicorn room) as an office space and a Pilates space and I really, really can't deal with the carpet anymore and we have the laminate already bought and waiting to be installed.

He said he'd rather do the tile on the entryway floor first because that's what people see when they walk into the house.

Any cosmetic change to this house is, in my opinion, a necessary one, so I wasn't going to deter him.

The day after he returned from his deployment we went to Lowe's and he told me to pick out a tile.  He was silently offering to dedicate the weekend to laying and grouting tile (with my help, of course) and I was not going to let this opportunity escape.  I'd never even glanced at tile before.  But I walked up and down the aisle at Lowe's at 8am on a Saturday and picked out one I liked.  He liked it too.  We bought it.  We had glass/ceramic accent tile (backsplash material) already at home so we matched them up as closely as possible.  We chose a gray porcelain and I absolutely adore it. It will go in both bathrooms too.

By Saturday afternoon, the tile had been laid and then we grouted it on Sunday night.

This is a terrible picture.  Better ones to follow.

Often times, people really seem to question my decision to live way out here, in this house that needed so much work.  Co-workers, friends, family...I get the side-eye a lot when I mention where we live and how much land we have, etc. I usually explain it by saying that we lived in urban developments for 5 years and Scott wanted land and you can't find land in town and we're remodeling the house and it's nice and quiet out there.  That's all completely true, but the real reason I'm okay with all this is because Scott is 100% a satisficer.  But that would take a lot longer to explain and I'd probably get some weird looks.

You probably see this question coming, but....are you a maximizer or a satisficer?

July 27, 2015

I contradicted myself by making a vlog

Funny, right?  Well, about 6 hours after I mentioned that I don't watch vlogs simply because they're inconvenient, I came across something on Facebook that made me want to make a vlog because some things are easier to explain.

This one is about not wearing make-up, how Rodan+Fields allowed me to not wear make-up, and why it's better to invest in clearing your skin instead of covering it up.

Vlogs do have a place: when you are teaching something, explaining something in depth, or making a tutorial.  All good reasons to vlog.  I don't know if this was a good reason to vlog, but oh well.  I hadn't made use of iMovie since college so it was a good learning experience.

Of note: You can tell I'm a teacher because I tend to explain things in a very explicit way. Also, when I watch myself on camera, I can tell I have an elementary teacher's voice. What can you do, I guess...

If you don't watch, I won't be offended :)

July 25, 2015

Roasted Garlic

Recipe challenge, week twenty-nine

It's really weird to post on a Saturday evening but I need to get this onto the internet before a new week (Sunday) begins because I don't want to fall behind again.  I really, really don't.

So, we have roasted garlic.  Roasted garlic is quite possibly one of those best-kept secrets.  I did a whole post on how to make it about a year and a half ago so, surprise surprise, I'm also going to cheat here and link back to an old recipe.  This time I tried to take a good picture though.

I made this earlier in the week because Scott said he'd been craving it for awhile.  If you want the story, as well as the recipe, you'll have to click.

Hopefully I'll have a full week of blog posts coming up including something about snakes (you've been warned).

With the way things are going, there probably won't be a Week 30 recipe until next Saturday.  Falling behind is a vicious cycle.

July 23, 2015

Stuff and Things 7/23

Stuff, Things, etc.

Because there's so many stuff and things happening around here..I can't possibly be expected to recount them all and I'm busy doing stuff like shoveling dirt around for the patio that Scott is building.  My fingers hurt.  I have blisters. (To which Scott says, "Well your back's gonna hurt because you just pulled landscaping duty". I'm already doing landscaping though so...)

Here's a few confessions inspired by Steph's post yesterday...

1.  I don't want to watch your vlog.  I have no interest in vlogs.  Probably why I haven't made one.  In fact, I clicked on a blog yesterday hoping to gain some information from the "hook" that was posted on Facebook and then found that it was a vlog.  Tab closed. 

2.  I'm guilty of it too (more often than I'd like to admit), but I can't stand it when bloggers don't say where they got something. I want to know where you picked up that cute pair of sandals or that purse (usually this is about a purse) when you dedicate half a post to it. 

3. I got a new teacher-bag from Zappos (see!) and it arrived in two days.  I initially thought it'd be too small, even though the reviews said people used them for travel, for work, for laptops, etc.  I really thought about returning it, but I'm inherently lazy.  Then I asked Scott, "Is this okay? I feel like it's too small for school?"  He looked at it for half a second, said "'s looks big enough for folders and stuff".  I decided to keep it. 

4. I'm tired of my Emily Ley planner.  It's annoying me.  Recommend a planner please.  

5. I have two or three recipes that are half-typed up/half-created right now.  I don't know if one will make it onto the blog tomorrow or not.  Maybe I'll do two next week.  Decisions, decisions. 

July 22, 2015

What do you do when something doesn't work?

This saying has been around for awhile, but I came across it on Pinterest and started reflecting on what it meant.

I didn't immediately start thinking about what Scott would do; I started thinking about what I do when the internet doesn't work.

I try to problem-solve.  I disconnect from wi-fi, I reconnect to wi-fi.  I don't want to get up to check the router/modem if I don't have to.

If it's not my laptop, I go to the router.  I make sure all the lights are on. If they're not, something is really wrong and I disconnect, wait 30 seconds, and reconnect.  While I'm waiting for lights to come back on, I usually load the dishwasher or something because staying busy is key in a situation like this.

If the lights don't come on, I call CenturyLink.

If the lights do come on properly, I try my laptop again.  If it does work, problem solved.

If it doesn't work, I try the router one more time.  Again, I might fold some clothes while I wait for the results because, say it with me, "staying busy is key in a situation like this".

If it still doesn't work, I call CenturyLink.  If it's before 8am, they're closed and I'm generally pretty annoyed but I try to go about my business because the internet will, I swear, come back on eventually.

So that's how I solve the problem: I go about a route to fixing it.  I literally drop everything to solve the problem.  I've found that this is what I do no matter the problem: paperwork issues, car problems, school issues, dog problems, etc.  I will find a way to fix it, and I won't rest until the world is back in proper order.

This happened with our cell phone signal booster last month.  The lights just didn't come on, which meant I had little to no cell phone service out here in the middle of nowhere.  I tried different methods of plugging it in and reseting it to figure out if it was the cord, the box, the outlet, etc.  I drove down to the mailbox and get phone service so I could call the company.  After 3 dropped calls, they said they'd send me a new cord.  I got the cord a week later and the booster worked again, so I now know the cord was just defective.  I spent 2 hours, at least, on this Saturday insistent on fixing the problem and I wouldn't rest until I had an answer of some sort.  When I get into these frenzies, the dogs are not happy with me: their playtime gets cut down drastically and I usually am just shoving them out of my way and I walk from place to place trying to fix whatever's wrong.

Anyway, that's a lot of information I just learned about myself from a Will Ferrell quote.

What do you do when something just doesn't work?

July 20, 2015

Deployments in context

I've felt like a gigantic wimp for the last few months. I've had a lot of trouble reconciling my feelings because I know I'm not a wimp (not exactly anyway) but I've felt weak.  I spent nearly an entire year on my own during deployment #2.  And now 5 measly months was going to break me? That doesn't make sense.

Note: I'm not looking for praise or headpats here.  It is what it is.  Ryan and I talked about this.  If you're not used to your husband being away for a night, a night away is a big deal.  The first night Scott was away after we'd been in this house for a month last summer, I freaked out. I, the same person who'd spent 2012 by herself. 

Deployment can mean so many different things, in many different ways, to different people.  It's all context.  Context is very important.  To someone who has never dealt with it before, a 4 month deployment (like deployment #1 for us) was enough to push me to the edge of losing my mind.  To someone who tried her hardest to worry about other things, a 12 month deployment, though slightly torturous, was do-able.  And now, to that same person who now has a full-time job, two dogs, 35 acres, a remodeling project, and a 40 minute commute? Five months can seem like an absolute eternity.

I suppose my point is that I know other people have had it worse than me, and I know some who  have had an easier go of it. Our situations, our stories, and our context is what makes the difference.  I really doubt this is our last deployment, TDY, or training (even in 2015, unfortunately), but for now I'm really glad that it's over.

I don't really have wise words or sage bits of advice for anyone out there who may be going through the same thing.  I would say to get a dog to keep you company but dogs are lots of work.  So think about that first. Find a hobby maybe, or get a job.  Jobs help.  These last few weeks have crawled by in a painfully slow way.  I wouldn't have made it to this point with my sanity in tact if I didn't have a place to go most days.