New Year, New blog


I have spent the last year cramming all aspects of my life into this blog. We have tried recipes together, amped up the workouts, learned the art and skill of professional makeup with each other, looked at countless pretty pictures, gone on location for weddings, promoted our friends’ bloggy giveaways, and so much more.

Do to the professional ties I have between my website and this blog, I have made the decision to separate business and pleasure, keeping Hair by Adrian for weddings, hair and makeup, and other professional pursuits. To allow myself a creative outlet for all other aspects of my life, I have created Happy Girls are the Prettiest Girls over on blogger. I decided to try out another blog hosting site because most of the blogs I read are hosted by blogger, and the community and love between the writers is pretty epic. I plan to do most of my posting on Happy Girls, and save my hairapy sessions, photo shoots, professional work, and wedding recaps for this site. I won’t be posting as often over here, so follow me on blogger and you won’t even miss a beat!

Advertisements

In 2010 I…


As the year is quickly coming to a close, I have been looking back at 2010. This has been a pretty incredible year. It’s time to pat myself on the back, since we all need to be our very own cheerleaders and feel grateful for all that we have accomplished and are blessed with.

In 2010 I…

Got serious about my health and fitness goals, and started running 3 days a week, seen herehere, and here.

Began consistently running 3 miles in under 30 minutes. My PR was 27:28 for my second 5k race in August.

Completed three 5K races,  and one 10k race, written about here, here and here.

Launched a website (technically December 2009, but it counts) and began advertising on theknot.com, which caused a serious surge in my wedding business, seen here.

Worked 7 days a week for over a year, and though this summer almost killed me with the nuts schedule, I made it through and STILL love my jobs.

Learned how to do professional bridal makeup, and have successfully begun making brides pretty on their wedding days, as well as began doing photo shoot makeup, seen here, here and here.

Managed to pay all of our bills on my income alone, at least a few times.

Went to my very first live MMA (mixed martial arts) event and had good seats.

Went to my first (then 2nd, 3rd, and 4th) San Jose Sharks games, seen here

Traveled out-of-state to do hair and makeup, seen here.

Began offering fitness competitors services for hair and makeup with Tiffany through Pumped Beauty, our new business.

Added a dog to our family with Marlo, the hyper English Bulldog, seen here.

Managed to lose (and keep off) 10 pounds, getting to my lowest weight in years, and fitting into a size 6 (and as of yesterday, a size 4 from LOFT and NY&Co!)

I typically don’t make resolutions that stick, but this past year I managed to set goals that were attainable and found ways to stick with them. My fitness goals were met by making “appointments” with friends consistently. Each time I hit a goal, I made new ones to keep myself motivated.

In 2011, I would like to continue on the fitness trend with my first triathlon. I also want to develop my shoulders (hello, delts!) and my bum, which I quite literally ran off in 2010. Business wise, I want to increase my salon clientele,  broaden my bridal reach, and nurture Pumped beauty so it can leave the infant thought stage and become a full-blown influence and standard setter in the fitness world.

Do you make goals or resolutions, and how do you stick to them? Share your 2011 goals with me and I can help keep you motivated!

Light bright


I have a feeling this is going to be a very light week, blog wise. I know I just posted about how I’m not in my usual funk this year, but I have been feeling a little lackluster when it comes to, well, doing things. I have let my home become a messy, scattered space. I am barely getting around to doing laundry today, but only because I had to in order to have clean sports bras and running tights for my workouts. Writing a blog of substance and worth, something that requires copious amounts of Google and weheartit searches for pretty pictures of hair, totally out of the question in my malaise.

I don’t attribute it to a funk as I usually would, instead I think maybe the gloomy weather may be a factor. It has been raining like crazy, and when it’s not raining, it’s cloudy and dark, in other words, perfect weather to curl up on the couch, watch TV and do nothing that would actually be helpful. I’ve been ensconced on my couch, with the Christmas tree lit up and Bones playing in my Netflix instant queue. every. single. night.  Really not conducive to getting anything done, and being 5 days before Christmas, there is much that needs to be done.

I had to practically tear myself out of bed to go for my Monday run. I gave Nicole, my running buddy, the day off because she completed a half marathon yesterday, that rock star, so there was no real need to get out of my warm, comfy bed to run in the cold, dreary outdoors. But I managed to push through and find some willpower somewhere, that made me drag my butt out of bed and hit the creek trail. It didn’t make me want to accomplish much else though.

While feeling extremely lazy, I still managed to be quite productive. I must express my thanks to the Palo Alto school district for planning a 2 week holiday break for the kiddos I nanny for. They are out of school this week and next, so my hours are very flexible the next few days, and today I was off work at 2:30pm, making my commute home fabulously quick, and thus allowed me lots of extra time to lounge on the couch. I got tired of sitting for so long, so I made dinner. Grilled chicken (yes I grill even in the winter, my covered patio is a perfect grilling spot), with grilled zucchini, and baked sweet potato strips I made with olive oil, seat salt and pepper. Then I baked cookies! My favorite chocolate chip cookies in fact. I am back on the couch and plan to stay here until bed.

Now enjoy your week, productive or otherwise!

 

No funk?


Wow this month is flying past me! I’m glad I have had a few moments to sit back and take it all in. This is one of the best times of the year, and to miss it completely because I was too busy, overwhelmed, or caught up in the chaos of Christmas would be a shame.

Marlo had her weekly bath, so I wrapped her up in a blanket and cuddled my 40 pound lap dog on the couch for a bit. She loved it. Even though she tried to get down a bunch. Billy didn’t complain, as he said it was an artful way to get around our “no dogs on the couch” rule, since she was on my lap, not the couch.

My Christmas shopping is done, the gifts are wrapped under the tree, and my Christmas goodies are made, cut up and stored in the fridge for later tonight when I will assemble holiday goody bags for my sweet clients, lovely friends, and family. This year I made rocky road and fudge. I think every other year or so I attempt to make fudge, and every time I am mystified how I could have forgotten how labor intensive and tough it can be. I followed the fantasy fudge recipe off the jet puff marshmallow creme jar, and stirred a pot of fat free evaporated milk, lots of sugar and butter FOREVER, then spilled chocolate chips on the burner, made a mess out of the marshmallow creme, and didn’t let the sugar mixture boil long enough so the fudge set a little on the soft side. The rocky road, however, was easy and delicious, so I will continue to make it long after this fudge recipe has been retired.

I just finalized my 26th birthday plans! I will be having dinner at the fabulous Burger in Santa Cruz, CA. It’s actually called “burger.” with a lower case b and a period. Funny right? Billy and I have eaten there a couple of times and were thrilled with our food both times. I am not a red meat fan, so I opt for a wood fired pizzetta or a turkey burger instead. They even make these awesome beer shakes. They have an entire wall menu dedicated to different burger creations, and tell you that’s just he beginning, they can literally do anything you want with your burger, you just have to ask. The restaurant is decorated with a zombie theme, but instead of thinking of eating brains, the zombie all have thought bubbles with burgers in them, very creative. They even project old horror and monster movies on the lobby wall, and play sports on the large TV above the bar. I am excited to eat there again and share this lovely gem with all of my valley dwelling friends who haven’t made the trek over the hill to SC to try out this awesome new installment.

The most interesting thing is happening this year surrounding my birthday. I am not in my usual funk that always makes December an unhappy month for me. I usually become withdrawn, moody, introspective and anti-social in the weeks leading up to my birthday on December 28th, and I never really know why. I get very excited for my birthday early on, usually in August, and start making plans for what I think would be a fun way to celebrate, but starting in October my enthusiasm wanes and I enter the funk right after Thanksgiving. I’m not sure why this year is different and I am my happy cheery self days before my birthday. The only major change that could be contributing to my happiness is my 3-5 day a week I workout, run, or go to spin classes, and the healthy eating I am trying to keep up. Maybe endorphins really do have that much going for them. I accept.

Let’s go Monday!


It’s Monday, you know what to do! Head on over to Life of Meg and get involved in Mingle Monday! I just love all the ladies that participate in MM, I get to read awesome new bloggers each week and sometimes I even get new readers here too!

I had a really nice weekend. Saturday I worked at the salon, but got off work early, so I took a 12+ mile bike ride. It was awesome actually riding outside. I normally ride inside at spin class, so feeling the wind in my face, and checking out the gorgeous scenery was a nice change. Check out this beautiful photo I snapped at sunset on my way back near the lake I am going to be swimming in at my triathlon next June!

I love Almaden lake. I run there a lot because the creek trail is so pretty. Here is another photo Billy took on a walk at the lake this past summer. So amazingly gorgeous, right?

I got to see my great friend Sharon at her Holiday House Warming party. It was nice being social and seeing some old friends. I like to consider myself a homebody, and tend to stay in most weekends, so this little excursion to the social side of life was a welcome respite.

Sunday was a quick day at the salon, so I made a trip to Target, one of my most favorite places the shop. How can you not love Target, they have everything! I got a package of 4 rolls of wrapping paper, a whole mess of bows and name tags for $9! I took my bounty home and wrapped gifts. Normally, people would listen to Christmas music and drink hot cocoa while doing this. I however, watched old episodes of Bones and ate Wheat Thins. Ahhh, gift wrapping with serial killers and their dead victims, now that’s the stuff.

So that was my weekend, what was yours like?

Santa baby…


I hate surprises. I don’t like keeping secrets that later become surprises, and I especially hate, no, let me capitalize it so you get the full effect, HATE when people say “I’ve got a surprise for you!” and then won’t tell you what it is. You are better off just surprising someone without ever having mentioned the surprise in the first place. Sort of sets them up to be angry. Or maybe that’s just me.

Christmas shopping is no exception. I tend to create “the list” from which I ask for gifts. You stray from that list and I won’t be the happiest camper, just ask Billy how my mom fared a few years back when she just had to surprise me. Let’s just say is wasn’t pretty. In the last few years I have even gone so far as to buy all the gifts I had on the list, wrap them up, stick them under the tree and then tell Billy or my family member what they got for me. Sometimes I even give them the receipt so I can be reimbursed. What, did I go too far?

There are many ways to create a Christmas list. My personal favorite is the written list, usually on a scrap of paper, that gets tossed around and lost several times before completed.

Billy loves the techie list that gets put in his phone and referenced throughout the buying experience.

My sister-in-law enjoys the Amazon.com wish list, and creates and sends one out every year.

This year, I want to get a little savvy on you and put out a “blog gift list”….hopefully my family members will at some point see this and use it to purchase awesome Christmas gifts for me. If they already picked up a gift for Christmas, then they can just use the list for my birthday, which is 3 days after Christmas! So without further ado, here are the gifts you can get me for either Christmas or my birthday!

A diamond cut paper shredder. I am so stinking tired of hand ripping up my monthly bank statements and bills. It would be awesome to have a machine that did it for me. This is just an option, I would take any diamond cut shredding machine.

A beautiful and functional road bike to use for training and competing in triathlons next year. I honestly don’t have the first clue about bikes and couldn’t tell you what I am looking for, but this Mercier Elle matches all the new cycling gear I just loaded up on at Pearl Izumi on black Friday. What can I say, I’m a girl when it comes to matching.

Kitchenaid mixer attachments. I LOVE my Kitchenaid mixer. It completes me in the kitchen. It makes everything so much easier. I particularly want the shredder and slicer attachments, but I will take any attachments that might make life easier.

Under Armour running gear. I love their compression, cold, and hot weather gear. I made an Amazon.come wishlist full of UA stuff. It’s a little pricey, so the only piece I own is a pink running visor. Won’t you make my Under Armour collection complete?

An unlimited shopping spree to Ann Taylor Loft. Every time they get a new collection. And every season. Can we handle that request?

The complete Audrey Hepburn DVD collection, preferably on Blu Ray. My favorite movie of all time is Breakfast at Tiffanys. I put it on when I am home alone, when it rains, or when I just need to hear something magical while I putz around the house. Her whole collection of movies would be ideal, but I’m not picky and will take any you offer! Also, where on earth can I find that sleep mask?!

A personal trainer for the next year to get me through my triathlon training, my first (then second, and possibly even third) triathlon, get me down to a very healthy weight while still being strong and fit, and give me the motivation to keep going after my goals when it seems futile and just. so. hard. How about a nicer Jillian Michaels or Bob Harper from the Biggest Loser?

A fully stocked makeup kit full of MAC and Make Up For Ever products. Love that stuff.

Annnnd I’m out of ideas. I am very sure given a longer amount of time I could come up with a much lengthier list, but I will save you that pain 😉 Happy shopping!!

Holiday weekend…from hell?


Whew, what a weekend! Between a 10k turkey trot race, two thanksgiving dinners, broken kitchen appliances, and major car issues, it has been quite a long weekend. I know you are just dying to know all about it, so I will indulge you with a recap, including pictures!

But first, happy Mingle Monday!! Head over to Life of Meg and join in the fun to gain some followers and read some awesome new blogs!

Thanksgiving morning, bright, cold and early, I dragged Billy to one of the local high schools for the Almaden Valley Run, Turkey, Run 10k race. This was my very first 10k race, and my longest run to date. I finished in 60:20, giving me an average of about 9.7 minute miles. The race started at 8:30am and it was so cold!! I was all bundled up, but ended up shedding my running jacket just before the race started because the adrenaline had me warmed up. Lately I have been dealing with major IT band issues from over training in the week I was back to running after my egg donation cycle, so I used KT Tape to help support my knee and get me through the run, as well icing and using a foam roller before and after to help with tightness and inflammation. It really did help!

The hubs sat nice and toasty warm in the car. He laughed at me as I was warming up because I was outside in the 30 degree weather, while he was watching episodes of Raising Hope on his HTC Evo phone, lucky guy. KT tape is my new favorite running accessory, it goes with everything, didn’t you know?

I FINALLY have a good shot of me running! I usually look like Quasimodo or some horrible troll in the photos from my races, so this was exciting to see. The hubby makes a pretty good paparazzo! Marlo was super excited about my run and gave me lots of kisses when I got home. I recovered from the race with hot cocoa and chocolate covered pretzels, and tied a cold pack to my knee with a dish cloth so I could immediately get to work on Thanksgiving mashed potatoes and of course Grandma Ople’s apple pie!

Unfortunately, I broke the garbage disposal and backed up the sink by peeling 5 pounds of potatoes and 9 apples into the sink…it’s Sunday night and it still hasn’t been fixed by our apartment maintenance team. It stinks. Literally.

We had our first Thanksgiving dinner with my family at 3pm, and then headed over to Billy’s family’s for second dinner at 7pm. We ate a lot. It was delicious, but oh, so filling. Turkey really got to us, so we went home to sleep at 9:30pm and woke up around 9am the next morning! That afternoon we did a little black Friday shopping, mainly getting some DVDs and video games for Billy, and I scored big time at the local outlets getting cycling and running gear for me so I can start training for the 2011 triathlon season. I really can’t wait for Christmas!

Unfortunately, my car started acting up on our way home from shopping, and long story short, it died of the death, or in other words, everything a car could die from. Think computer failure, all the electronics failed, alternator died, and my engine started seizing. This left me without a safe or functioning car, so we traded it in for a 2008 Honda Civic coupe at our favorite dealership, Capitol Honda. It’s way cute, and God was really opening up a window after closing a door, because we got hooked up majorly with friends and family discounts on everything because our family has bought five cars from this dealership! It sucked having to deplete my savings that was already spoken for for 2010 taxes (ugh, no fair!!) but we got the most amazing deal so it worked out. My little Honda already fits me better than my Jeep ever did. I named her Sylvie!

And that folks, was my crazy, hectic, food filled, and savings depleting weekend! Whew!

 

Turkey Day Anticipation


Tomorrow is one of the best holidays of the year, Thanksgiving! I love the gluttony and indulgence, the family time, the wonderful decor and of course the entire holiday season! This year I am starting a new tradition: I will be running my very first 10k race Thanksgiving morning, and I hope to run a race every year from here on out. I have been training a lot to get up to the 6.2 miles this race will cover, and my body is paying for it in the form of an overuse injury in my IT band.  This comes from increasing mileage or speed too quickly. Those three weeks I took off to heal from my egg donation cycle put me back a bit in my training, so last week I really pushed it, running a 5k race my first day back to exercising, then a 4.5 mile run, a 5 mile run, and finally a 5.83 mile run this past Monday which left me gasping in pain in the last quarter-mile as it felt like someone was jabbing me in the outside of my right knee. I have been aware of knee pain through a lot of my training and have been crossing my fingers I wouldn’t end up here, but it’s pretty inevitable for a runner to have some sort of injury. Because running hurts. It can also be pretty wonderful. And so you have my love-hate relationship with running. It hurts me, but I love it.

This Thanksgiving I am most looking forward to and am thankful for:

My first ever 10k race in the Almaden Valley Run Turkey Run event

Making Grandma Ople’s apple pie and healthy mashed potatoes for my family

25% off my entire purchase at Sports Authority which is quickly becoming one of my new favorite stores. They are open 9am-3pm and I’ve already been there twice this week alone haha (got myself a sweet new long-sleeved running shirt and an Under Armour visor, a foam roller, KT Tape, a hot/cold pack and GU chomps with caffeine for my race)

Having two Thanksgiving dinners, one with each of Billy and my families

A fantastic day off

Shiver inducing temperatures that make being cozy and warm inside so much better (it doesn’t snow here, but it will be the California equivalent of low 50’s tomorrow hehe)

Seeing Harry Potter 7.1

Getting and decorating our Christmas tree

Visiting friends

What are you looking forward to this Thanksgiving? Do you have any special traditions, or any healthy dishes to share? Do you participate in Thanksgiving day runs or walks in your community?  I want to hear from you!

Just another manic Monday


Wish it were a Sunday! Cause that’s my fun day! Oh come on, you KNOW you always sing along when that song comes on the radio too!

Happy Monday friends! I don’t know about you, but I usually look forward to Mondays. *GASP* I know, I know, that’s super weird, right? Well, let me give you a little insight into my crazy life so you can grasp why Mondays are good in my world. First of all, I work every day. Like 7 days a week. I have been on this schedule for over a year, and occasionally I get a day off here and there, but for the most part, I’m always working. My weekend job is at a salon, working my magics making clients look fabulous, cutting, coloring, and styling hair. It’s usually very busy on the weekends, because I can only offer those two days to my clients, they book up solidly for the most part. I will be on my feet from early in the morning until late evening on both Saturday and Sunday, so when Monday rolls around, I am a happy girl! My weekday job as a nanny is sweet. I start in the afternoon, so I have mornings free to do as I please. Usually it means running with my amazing running buddy Nicole, catching up on laundry, blogging, reading, or watching some TV. Then work itself is super fun! I get to hang out with a 13-year-old girl and an 11-year-old boy for a few hours every night, doing homework, going to different activities, chatting and laughing together. THIS is why Mondays are my fun days 🙂 They let me catch up on sleep, take care of the house, run errands, and sometimes I even get to be super lazy and lie about all morning before work.

You should hop on over to Life of Meg and check out this week’s batch of Mingle Monday bloggers. It seems to be getting bigger and bigger each week, and I wish I could be one of the first people to sign on each Monday, but I’m usually one of the last, because I wait until the evening to do it. Maybe next week I’ll get the jump on everyone!

 

Eggy in a basket


There are 7.3 million women in the U.S. alone who suffer from infertility issues. These women want to start families, but for many reasons are unable to achieve what could be one of their life’s dreams. I will unabashedly tell anyone who asks that I do not want children. Ever. Not in 5 years when I “change my mind”, not in 10 years when I should have already popped out a few kiddos. It’s not a stage I am going through, and I don’t believe in a maternal clock ticking away my childless years. I am completely content and happy with my life that does not include children, or the promise of little ones someday.

Though I hear that I would make a wonderful mother on a regular basis, I am not swayed to believe that would be the only qualification necessary to successfully raise a good kid. These are my own thoughts on having children, for myself, not for everyone else. If you want children, please, have them! I will coo, ooh and ahh over your pregnancy, your baby photos, the cute onesies you received at the baby shower. I will gladly hold your screaming toddler while you go to the bathroom, and I will give you all the advice I have compiled over the last 6 years I have worked as a nanny. I do not begrudge other’s their desires for families, however, I often get incredulous looks when I say I don’t want kids.

I do, however, come from extremely fertile stock. I come from a family that pumps out children as easily as an Indonesian Nike factory pumps out sneakers. Though I have no plans to use the eggs my body produces each month, I do recognize the need for them, and how I can help another family realize their dreams.  Two years ago I started researching infertility treatments, and how I could help. I joined up with an amazing group called Fertility Physicians of Northern California as an egg donor. I had to go through several screening processes, give my medical and family histories, answer extensive questionnaires about my life, as well as blood tests and ultrasounds- before I was even matched up with a recipient family! Then I waited. And waited. And waited some more to be picked by one of the families that uses FPNC in their quest for children. Finally, last May, I was told I had been picked as an egg donor! We did some more waiting, lots of blood tests and cultures, and finally got our calendar set with dates for my cycle.

The staff at FPNC established my cycle with birth control pills, and on a set day, I started giving myself a nightly injection of a hormone to suppress my ovaries from making any new follicles that would in turn become eggs. A few days later, I stopped taking the pill, and continued with my injections. About a week after the cycle started, I went back in for an ultrasound and blood test to check my hormone levels, and was cleared to add two more medications that would begin growing follicles, and more than just the one that normally would grow each month. Three injections each night left my belly feeling a little tender, but it’s really not very painful, and the discomfort goes away quickly. The third week of the cycle my ovaries became enlarged, which is good, and I felt a little bloated, but really had no discomfort. A week later, I stopped all three of the injections and took just one, which happened to fall on Billy’s birthday. This last injection was a hormone that told my ovaries to make available all the eggs the follicles had been growing so they would be ready for retrieval. Two days later, bright and early Monday morning, I  underwent a very quick surgical procedure to extract the eggs, and then my participation was done! I slept all day after the surgery, and took it easy for the next two days, but was back at work and functioning normally the following day. I have been on “pelvic rest” for 2 weeks, and I stopped running 3 weeks ago when my ovaries became enlarged so I wouldn’t mess anything up. I miss the activity, but it’s been a pleasant 3 week forced rest period.

The eggs themselves, 16 were collected, went to the lab where they were fertilized and grew for a few days before being implanted in the recipient. The recipients will have full power over the eggs at that point, deciding how many to fertilize and implant, and what to do with the extras. If the implanted eggs take, hopefully the recipient will have a healthy pregnancy that ultimately ends in a beautiful child, if not, they have more of my eggs to work with and have several cycles to make it happen.

Both the recipients and myself chose to have an anonymous cycle. I did provide pictures of myself through my life for them to see, but we will not meet at any point in this process, and I have declined to meet any offspring formed from this cycle. It would be wild to run into a little mini-me someday though, and there is always the possibility that in 18 years I will get a call from FPNC asking me to update my medical records, family history etc so they can update the family, but there is very little chance a child will find me and want to have a relationship with me. My mentality is this: I provide genetic material to allow another couple to have a family. It is not my baby, I have no attachment to any offspring, the recipients will 100% be the parents of any children that may come through this. I am here to help another couple get the family they have always wanted, and I am very proud to be of any service.

I am very grateful to have such supportive and understanding family and amazing friends. They are thrilled with my decision to be an egg donor, and are so glad I am able to help out a less fortunate family. Not all of them understand my commitment to not having children myself, though they still respect that as my life choice, and have stopped pressuring me about starting my own family. Everyone has been very interested in knowing all the ins and outs of the cycle, what my medications are like, and how they are affecting me. I have even had many people offer to come take care of me if I need anything at all. I am so grateful for the amazing people in my life, and how awesome everyone has been through this process.