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Showing posts from 2012

Family Heritage

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Steve and I traveled to Idaho for Thanksgiving this year. We spent three days visiting with my grandma and all of the Martin relatives. What made this trip special was a visit up to the Prairie where my grandma was raised.  The prairie is a place that is often talked about amongst my family and I can't believe it took this long for me to see it with my own eyes.  The prairie itself was just as I envisioned, but getting there is a different story. We climbed through the mountains on windy dirt roads, just wide enough for one car to pass - the same route my grandma took as a child when they made the grueling drive into town. Back then, there were portions of the road that were so dangerous my grandma's dad made the family get out of the car while he drove across, for fear that the car wouldn't make it. There are only a few homes up at the prairie, and it is hours from stores, restaurants, hospitals, and other modern day comforts that we take for granted today.  Alo

Music Night!

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My new Leadership friend, Wendy, organized a get together at her house centered around music. Our leadership class is full of talented musicians so the night was full of promise. I certainly cannot hold a note, and my only experience with an instrument is a short stint in 5th grade with the violin. So, needless to say, I contributed as band photographer. Wendy often has family music nights so she had every musical instrument under the sun! Fun and easy instruments like bongo drums, maracas, hand cymbals, a harmonica, tambourine, recorder, and rain stick, to name a few! Michael rented a drum set for the weekend, and with Josh's bass, Wendy's piano, and Melody's voice, we had a full blown band! And it sounded like we've all played together for years! :) Everyone had a chance to try out an instrument and we all sang together at the top of our lungs. We played every song we all knew the words to, and when we didn't know the words we googled them and sang anyway! 

We made great strides!!

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This year, I volunteered on the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of San Luis Obispo committee. We spent months planning a fun, heartfelt, and successful event! My girls came to SLO to join me on the walk, which made it all the more memorable. I am so thankful for all of their help. We got to the Mission Plaza bright and early to help set up and it wouldn't have happened without them!  My dear friend Michael from Applemoon Photography graciously agreed to photograph the event, and his lovely little family joined in the fun ! It all came together seamlessly and I am humbled and honored to have been a part of an amazing group of women who poured their time, love, and energy into this local event. And thank you to all of the donors and supporters out there! My team, Breast Friends, raised $1,335! And overall, the event raised more than $60,000! Amazing! 

My Heart is Content INDEED!

During the month of November , I really tried to focus back in on my happiness project and with much success! I think the holidays are the perfect time to reflect on your behavior and attitude towards others and the small things you can do to be a better person and to enjoy life to the fullest! Be polite You guys - I held so many dang doors open for people. I will admit, there were a couple of instances where the tricky 'who goes through first' thing came up, but I did my best to get to that door first and hold it open rather than slipping awkwardly on through. I had to consciously think of this every day, and it's still a work in progress, but with enough practice and focus, I have high hopes for a successful door opening future!  Use good manners Well, I don't have a bathroom door, so I still pee with the "door" wide open - but I did manage to shut every bathroom door at Grandma's house! SUCCESS! Ha! I am also guilty of shoving food in my

The Heart of Life

Top Ten NYC moments: 10. Our final meal together at the quaint Italian restaurant, Da Marino , across the street from our hotel. We were treated like queens with celebratory lemon cello, tiramisu for the entire table, and amazing pasta. And Franci tried her very first meatball! 9. The moment I made it on the air of the Today Show for a split second, after waking up before dawn, waiting in line, staking our spot, holding onto my beloved birthday sign, and trying to stay warm and positive! Totally worth it! 8. Chinese food takeout on our first night...like real New Yorkers. 7. Speaking Italian with Franci. Burro cacao! Buona notte! 6. Our "fancy" NYC dinner at Pigalle , wherein I had the best Tilapia of my entire life and learned that basil mashed potatoes are the key to happiness. 5. A relaxing break towards the end of our jam packed last day at the  Tribeca Tap House  where we rested our feet and laughed together over ice cold bevs and popcorn. 4. Window shopp

So Tiled

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A few weeks ago, my dad came for the weekend to help us tile the shower in the guest bathroom. He used to have his own tiling business and still had all the tools and tile saw. I was relieved when Steve accepted the help (this was no easy task!!), and I think in the end was so happy to have an expert in there for his first tiling experience. We could not have done it without him!  It took us 10 months to get prepped for tiling, but you'll see soon, all of the hard work was worth it. Steve's meticulous measuring and leveling made the tiles go up easily. The best way to avoid overcomplicating a tile job is to get everything squared up beforehand. Not an hour after my dad walked through the door and we were on our way. The first step was coming up with a game plan for setting the tiles. We chose the windowsill as the starting place, but soon realized we needed to get the bench in first. Some tiles overlap the other to give a smooth edge so you have to be sure to set the r

Meanwhile at the Ranch

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On keeping a contented heart

November is all about getting rid of anxiety and doing the right thing. You know how when you get anxiety, you can feel it in your heart? At least I do. My heart starts beating fast and I feel physical pain in my chest. And I heart my heart so I will try wholeheartedly to keep it hearty! ;)  Luckily, I don't get anxiety often, but this month, I am going to try to take a deep breath, relax, and keep that heart as content as possible and here are a few ways I will do that: Be polite Being polite is a sure way to keep that anxiety level down. Not just for you, but for those you're around. Think about holding doors open for people. I have the worst luck with doors. I always seem to approach them at the same time as someone else. Do I slow down, and let them open the door for me? Or do I speed up and open it for them? Usually, we end up there at the same time and there is a huge awkward dance in front of the door and one of us opens it and then sorta pushes it open furthe

I'm rooting for her!

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Bliss.

Hi ya'll! I have to say that although my August and September happiness updates went down the drain, my life is simply blissful. I have not made time to blog, obviously, but that's because I've been super busy doing other fun things like traveling, entertaining company, going to dinner parties, hanging out with my Leadership buds, and working harder than ever.  August and September - Pursue a Passion Make time to blog eh - new design! That counts, right?! Learn more about photography I gave in and bought a new lens for my Canon SLR ...but shame on me, I've only used it ONCE. Literally, one snap of the shutter. Boo. Seriously regretting not bringing it to NYC! More DIY - gifts, food I DIYed my own blouse alteration!! YAY!  Learn a new cooking method Not cooking per say, but I learned a new freezing method from Steve's mom for our gajillion peppers. Our pepper plants are prolific. We have four pepper plants and I lost count as to how many peppers grew. Probab

NYC Teaser

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A Royal Hunt

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Did I tell you that we got a new queen bee? No? Well, we did! And it arrived in a Fed Ex box on our porch. Yep, not kidding! We got a queen bee delivered to our door. I seriously want to meet the person responsible for inventing mail-order bees. Just think of all of the packaging prototypes that didn't quite work out. Dead bee? No bee? Angry bee!  We had to get a new queen because without the queen, the colony cannot survive.   "The queen, for her part, is the unifying force of the community; if she is removed from the hive, the workers very quickly sense her absence. After a few hours, or even less, they show unmistakable signs of queenlessness."  - Man and Insects  Anyway, we got a bee in the mail. And we (Steve) put that bee in the hive. The queen's main job is to mate and have lots and lots of babies so that the colony grows and survives. This means one night out to skank it up. She leaves the hive in search of a horny pack of drones and gets it on wi