Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Let's See How This Goes

Hey Friends!

Last week I had my 6-month appointment with my endocrinologist. It was the same ol' same ol' discussion. How have you been feeling, let me check your pulse (it was fast). I told him that I have been resorting to taking naps under my desk at work. As much as I talk about naps, I'm actually not much of a napper, so this had me concerned. My attitude has been on 1000 and I'm attributing that to me not being able to get restful sleep. He said the problem may not be thyroid - or lack thereof- related.

But my levels were slightly off. I had done some research and had planned on asking him to add a T3 supplement because I don't feel like Synthroid alone is getting the job done. He actually wrote the prescription before I had a chance to ask him. I've taken 3 doses, but feel no different so far. I don't know how long it takes it to kick in...if it even helps at all.

My weight has been the same for about a year now, despite my better efforts. I am eating better, mostly. Usually that's all I need to do to start seeing results, but I'm going to have to start doing some real exercise. Walking isn't cutting it. Hopefully this new regime will help me get some energy. I plan to go see my primary care doctor to discuss the sleep issues further. Maybe I need to have a sleep study done or something.

We also talked about the recent full solar eclipse. He showed me some shots he got through his telescope that were amazing and told me a story of how he saw the last full solar eclipse from Mexico in his younger days. I wonder if he will retire soon.

I think at this point I have learned to push through the symptoms the best I can and make it do what it's gonna do.

I hope you all are happy and healthy!

XOXO
RoJo

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

New School Dating

How many single readers do I have? Are you struggling with dating? No? Good for you! Yes? Why is it so hard?! Sigh.

Well, I have several thoughts on that last part. Mostly, I'm glad that it is not just ME that dating is so hard for.

Online Dating - Dating sites specifically.

Y'all, I signed up for online dating and almost instantly regretted it! I paid for a month and cancelled my subscription after two weeks. What are you really here for? Who sent you? Those are the questions I wanted to ask most of the guys that messaged me. Mostly they just lurked on my profile. Like, don't you know these sites tell me when you view my profile? I can see it. Why aren't you saying anything? Do I have a boob hanging out in one of my pictures? Phew, no I don't. Sigh. So yeah, that got nowhere. I'm impatient, I know, but online is not for me. Clearly it works for some people though. I find that if you will lie about the simple things, it will be impossible for me to trust you with the bigger things. Don't lie about smoking and drinking. Especially if I can smell it on you on our first date. I'm a certified verifier. That means receipts matter, I'm going to double-check for the both of us. Double sigh.

Social Media's influence (and etiquette?).

I feel like we shouldn't have to talk about this, but we do. Ok, let's say you are already somehow connected on social media and you are digging each other. One person slides in the other's DMs and things seem cool. You chat it up, exchange numbers and eventually go out. This is where things get tricky for me. My social media exposes a LOT of my personal life. More than it should, honestly. And yes we were already "friends" but now are you going to think everything I post is about you? Are you going to get upset if I don't say "good morning" to you but I make a Facebook post? Am I going to get annoyed because you are posting subliminal messages about something we talked about in private? So maybe we should "unfriend" if we start dating and evaluate the situationship as it progresses. Maybe that way, if things don't work out, we don't have to worry about unfriending each other. I truly believe that social media has taken what I feel is proper communication out of dating and getting to know someone. Does a Facebook post make up for a phone call? NO! How do we get around this? I feel like social media is a great place to meet people who share interests, but it also has too much power. I've seen marriages and friendships end over something posted on social media. These postings can often be taken out of context and create unnecessary turmoil. Triple sigh.

I was told that I was a horrible communicator by someone I recently dated and I agreed. I worked on it though because I felt that was an easy enough barrier to remove. It still didn't work out...though.

Requirements, Demands and Expectations. You can make it, but can you take it?

My personal feeling is that you should not have a demand or requirement of someone that you yourself are unable/unwilling to fulfill. Don't expect me to be Wonder Woman when you out here being Frank Gallagher (look it up). I mean seriously. I'm good at many things. Does that mean I want to do ALL of them ALL the time? No. I can't have a requirement that you make 10 figures and I don't even have a job. Be the person that you want to attract. Preferences are different to me. I prefer taller men. I've been called everything from shallow to superficial for this. And I really don't care. I like what I like. That isn't my only preference, but it is one that is important to me and I don't make apologies for that (this is also what my friends all talk trash to me about...to be clear shorter - than me - guys rarely approach me). Am I unwilling to date someone shorter? It depends on how short he is. Period.

Expectations should also be clearly defined. Are men supposed to pay for all the dates? If you pay, do I tip? What is so wrong with going Dutch? If you take me on a few dates are you going to act like I OWE you something? If we are just casually dating (we may or may not be seeing other people), is it feasible to think that we will talk every day, several times a day? What if I want to talk to you more than you want to talk to me? And vice versa? How often is too often to see each other if we are casual?

Intentions. What is it that you want?

I. Am. Seeking. My. Husband. I want to get married. What are you seeking? Are you just looking for a hookup? Tell me so I can point you in another direction. Don't get me wrong, I know that sometimes there can be a shift and things might turn out the way you hope. Some of the most beautiful relationships I know blossomed from friendship. But if you meet someone and tell them that you are seeking marriage and all they are seeking is a one night stand, why waste each other's time? I'm not in the business of trying to change anyone. You know what you want with someone when you meet them. So just be honest! You might be surprised.

Speaking of Honesty...

You ain't got to lie Craig! You ain't got to lie! Not necessarily on the first date, but we definitely need to talk about any shakiness in either of our pasts. I mean, if you have diabetes and pass out I need to know what to do. If I accidentally feed you shellfish and you're allergic, where is your EpiPen? So it's not purely because I'm nosey. But I DO like to know what I'm getting myself into. I know that some stuff might scare people off and you want the person to get to know you, not who you were in the past...but if you are trying to hide things and not being honest, you are already off to a bad start.So timing is key. Be honest about your health, your status, your kids and your intentions. Quit trying to hide stuff and you know if you get in deep it's going to surface. Okay?

Everybody Knows Everybody.

My city is small. It seems like everybody here knows everybody. Then that social media factor gets thrown in there and sheesh! I don't have much to say about this. If you want to date someone that no one you know has dated, try a different city, that won't be a guarantee either though. I don't know. Everybody in Columbia seems to know everybody. Period. I have yet to meet someone that doesn't know at least one person that I know.

Maybe I need to do a part two on dating? I feel like I have so much more to say. I hope that if you are out in the dating world, you don't have as many issues and I seem to have. I am doing a lot of self evaluation to make sure I'm not scaring people off or being so unrealistic that I'm self-sabotaging. Somebody told me my glasses were intimidating and to me, that was a personal problem of his. I mean, I need these babies because I can't see, not because I'm trying to "look smart." As you go along, you will make adjustments and figure out what works for you. For me, randomly bumping into someone at Target has yet to work, so maybe I need to switch to Walmart (jokes).

I wish you all happiness and joyful love!

XOXO
RoJo

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Year of 34

For my birthday, I did nothing. This is what I wanted. Not to be stressed about plans or money or coordinating people. I baked myself a cake and sent a text to my family telling them I was going to Red Robin for dinner and that they were welcome to join me. I told them a time. They were still late. This is why I didn’t want fancy plans. I didn’t want a party because I wanted to go to bed when I was ready to go to bed. I also didn’t want to send my daughter away because of an adult gathering. I wanted to celebrate with her. So we went to dinner and everyone came back to my house and had cake…and a few libations.

There may be a shameful video or two circulating the social media world.

I did my usual rounds of birthday eatings. This always makes me happy. That trip to Red Robin was because of the free burger. Some of the perks changed this year. You have to download an app, or you no longer get a free meal, but instead you get a cookie. Some remained unchanged. See the previous birthday lists here and here.

The surprises were from Ulta…they gave a free NYX eyeshadow palette that I love and Jewelry Warehouse gave $10 off of $25.

I ate (and am still eating) a lot of free and discounted food! The coupons rolled in a week before, instead of two weeks. Some restaurants changed the time that you have to use the coupons so that was a plus. For instance, instead of having to come on your birthday to Jersey Mike’s, they now give you a full year to use the coupon!

My theme song was 2 Chainz Birthday Song. I had never seen the video until on my birthday. I put it on repeat.

The cake. THE CAKE. Was the ish! I planned this thing for a few weeks. And I loved the turn out!

From the depths of my soul, I appreciated every visitor, every phone call, every text message, every Facebook and Instagram post, every gift, and every thought. When people love you (or like you a little bit) they certainly know how to make you feel good. I love my squad!

Cake recipe was from Baking A Moment. I followed her directions for the cake and frosting then I added the ganache and the adornments from a picture I drew in my head. It worked. The chocolate covered strawberries were dipped in melted chocolate (dark chocolate pound plus bar from Trader Joe's), I got the chocolate covered almonds from Aldi, the macarons, chocolate "chip thins" and chocolate covered marshmallows from Trader Joe's as well. The gold accents were from edible gold spray that I had left over from a cake pop order. I probably won't make the cake again...well not Swiss Meringue Buttercream, but it was sooo delicious so I might change my mind!





I think I'm going to make it my mission to make all birthdays stress free! Maybe throw a massage or two in the mix.


XOXO
RoJo

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Moana Number 4 Cupcake Cake

Hi guys,
Here is a quick guide for how I came about making Baby Magic's 4th birthday cupcake cake. Don't you just love cupcake cakes? I do. They are easy. you can form them into anything you want them to be and there is NO CUTTING! Makes for easy serving!

Disclaimer - I ordered the figurines from Walmart.com and they SUCKED! Moana is NOT Moana. There were a lot of paint transfers and some of them were disfigured so I couldn't use them. I opened the pack the night before to clean them and by that time it was too late.

I always draw out my design so I know what each section of the cake will be. I didn't take a picture (sorry).

Here is a tutorial in pictures.


I made palm trees out of pretzel sticks, green candy melts and used chocolate chips for coconuts.

Fill any large gaps between the cupcakes with frosting or marshmallows. I usually use marshmallows because I don't like to waste frosting.


The beach sand is graham cracker crumbs. I used a grass tip for the raised grassy areas.



I used an open star tip to make the ocean


The bootleg Moana.
The completed cake!!
This made my daughter happy, so it made me happy!


Here is a Paw Patrol cupcake cake I made for my friends' daughter earlier in the month. I forgot to take pictures before I iced it. And this is one that I ended up freehanding because my design wasn't going the way I thought it would! Nobody's perfect, but they were happy with the cake! I wanted it to be a little girlie so I gave it roses!




XOXO
RoJo

Friday, July 28, 2017

Custom Treat Bags - You Can Do It Too!

I've been seeing these custom treat bags float around the internet. My interest was piqued just a little. Then, I was in the Dollar Tree trying to figure out what I could do for her class that didn't involve me baking for 2 days. I picked up a pack of clear cellophane bags, put them down, and then picked up colored paper bags. I put those down too. I wanted to do something different.

I searched high and low on Pinterest and Google to find zilch that would help me. I was at the point that I was about to purchase a template from Etsy. There HAD to be another way. To YouTube I went. I found this video that included a FREE template. SCORE! I mean the one I was going to buy was less than $2, but I knew someone had to have something for free.

I downloaded the template, some Moana images from Google (thanks internet) and got to designing. I needed to have these bags completed the same day I decided to do this so I had to work fast. I designed them and printed them on my lunch break! Say what?! Yes! That simple!

The bag itself is just regular 8.5 x 11 copier paper. It looks waxy because the ink that the library here currently uses, is in fact wax.

I needed to have these completed to take to Baby Magic's class the next morning.So I had to get busy. If I had given myself more time, I would have done a little more designing. So, I printed them on my lunch break, went to Dollar General after work (for candy) and assembled them at home.

Materials you will need:

Printed images of your choosing
Glue gun with LOTS of glue sticks
Filling for the bags (candy, non-greasy chips, cotton candy, etc.)
Pinking shears or other patterned scissors (optional)

This is what it looks like once the bag is designed. The middle image will be the front of the bag. The two side images will join to be the back of the bag.

Fold along the black lines just at the bottom to create a seam. Glue the bottom seam together. Be careful that the edges match up properly.

This is what the bag should look like with the bottom glued properly. Now glue the middle seam, being careful not to glue the back to the front. 

Once you glue the middle seam, pop the bag open just to make sure it's not glued closed. Fill the bag, and glue the top seam closed.

Use pinking shears or scissors with a designed edge to finish it off.

See? Easy! I used Microsoft Publisher to design my bags. The font that I used is Flat Earth Scribe. Be sure not to burn yourself with the hot glue! I guess you could also use double sided tape or glue dots. I saw someone glue the top of a ziploc bag in theirs so that it would be resealable (genius). I also saw that someone used brochure paper. I don't have experience with this and was in such a time crunch that I didn't investigate much. I knew I wasn't putting anything perishable or greasy in the bags so it didn't matter much. I didn't crease all the way up the bag because I wanted it to resemble more of a chip bag. I made a text box in Microsoft Word to design the Nutrition Facts section. The possibilities for these are endless!


I hope you can read the Nutrition Facts! 
I hope this tutorial helps someone! Good luck and happy crafting!!