Friday, November 2, 2012

Dia de los Muertos

Halloween is finally over! Let's just say I'm completely exhausted from dressing up and have fallen behind on my makeup tutorials... BUT I swear I have a good excuse -being I was wayyyy too busy planning for the next dress up to actually have time to think about what I just did.  Another factor being I not only had to consider my outfit but plan for my boyfriend too.  (He considers doing anything pre the "day-of" the party to be cheating.)

Even though Halloween is over and you may not need these makeup tips anymore for at least another 363 days....... I'll go ahead and tell you anyways, BESIDES today is Dia de los Muertos so two of my dress-ups go hand in hand with Day of the Dead i.e. Sugar Skulls.

What is Day of the Dead and Sugar skulls you ask?  Funny you ask I have my nifty little Wikipedia up to help us understand this Holiday today.

Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de los Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico, where it is a national holiday, and all banks are closed. The celebration takes place on November 1 and 2, in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. They also leave possessions of the deceased.

So yes 2 out of the 3 additional dress ups after Bride of Frankenstein were sugar skulls, one was a creation of the RM's amazing brain and the other I created with the inspiration from pinterest! As luck should have RM has created her own blogpost on the sugar skull makeup tutorial so I can reference the master herself! She very conveniently has posted her own tutorial on her blog (YESSS I can get away with not having to explain everything, wow I'm lazy.)  So from the master who created the face above click the link:

Then last weekend we went out for the pre-Halloween weekend to party it up with our friend Andy.  This one we went as a sugar skull (see below) and C as Baron Semedi, since this kind of went with the look I had.  The hardest part of this look was patience required to spirit gum the rhinestones into my face.  I went to Micheals and got some rhinestone in the scrapbooking section then proceeded to glue them on for the next hour... sheesh.  I was a little grumpy after that ordeal but hey it turned out great so I can't complain! They actually stayed on all night through some dancing, drinks, and a late night burrito scarfing...Thats some good spirit gum!  So tips for this look... The one thing that is the hardest to do with this specific look is probably the rhinestones which I have touched on a little bit and the spider web.  The key to the spider web to making it stand out a little bit more and really make it pop is to add in shading used with grey eyeshadow and then to highlight with white concealor.  Another very important thing is what products you use.  For me I mainly used what I had purchased already:
  • baby powder/ white Makeup forever HD powder to make my base face a little whiter
  • white cover girl concealor for the highlighting on the spider web
  • red lip liner  and lipgloss to color in the red parts around my eyes and the V crown on my forehead - NYX.  This gloss was really great and super strong color.  I also used this in my vampire costume (LATER) for blood when I didn't have any fake blood yet.
  • black gel eyeliner from L'Oreal for to trace all designs and fill in the nose
  • rhinestones from the scrapbooking section of Michaels
  • grey and black matte and white shimmer eyeshadow for contoring and highlighting on the face
  • Fake eyelashes of your choice
  • Glitter for over the top flare
For my partner in crime his ingredients were a little more simple: WHITE AND BLACK Grease paint. DONE! The trick with his makeup was to carefully color in the edges and do NOT mix black and white.  Also we didn't want him to be purely black- that would be dull.  So where you would naturally have shadows or around the bones it is black and as you move farther away the black grease paint was blended outwards to make his skin a dark brownish grey. 

Amazingly this took more time to do than the Frankenstein monster I made him into before.  Probably because I had to be very careful not to mix the black and white.

Also if you do the hands you may want to choose a different medium besides the grease pain.  This shat came off everywhere.  Including a fancy Mr. Christian Grey, and all you women know what he is capable of... Let's not make him mad while he has his whip out. ouch

Last but not least was Halloween Day makeup.  For the first time this year we dressed up at work.  I debated for a while what in the world could I be... I mean Halloween and having to not be dressed slutty, is that even possible!! (Note extreme sarcasm)  Anyways... prior to C's brilliant idea to be Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstien I had purchases some vampire teeth, vampire bite, and some makings of a vampire!  So taking into account the rule that YOU CAN'T WEAR THE SAME OUTFIT TWICE, I decided vampire it is.

Vampire was far less elaborate than the other makeup routines since let's face it I like my sleep and usually before work I roll out of bed and brush my teeth is about the extent of getting ready.  C can vouch for this, the poor guy gets out of bed 20 mins before me and the pups.  So the main thing with the vampire is shading under the eyes and contouring (again with your grey or black eyeshadow).  Once you have the grey and black contoring on your face everywhere you have a shadow then add in some red under the eyes to give that kind of bruised, 1000 years of being awake look.  After you have the contoring all that is left is some
  •  red lipstick/gloss (I lined with black eyeliner)
  • some blood dribbled in the corners,
  • some teeth (don't get the cheap ones here with the putty I used the powder and drops you mix yourself it worked a lot better),
  • and if you are really going ALL out some red contacts from

Friday, October 19, 2012

Bride of Frankenstein Halloween Tutorial

So as you have probably seen on facebook by now (I apologize for the massive photo explosion of our outfit and makeup but it was first time doing special FX makeup and I was pretty darn proud of myself) we dressed up as Frankenstein's Monster (not to be confused with Frankenstein who was the DOCTOR) and Bride of Frankenstein.

There were a few stressful moments in the creation IT'S ALIVE!!!!!!!!!! but all in all the makeup and outfit turned out pretty well for newbie to the blood, stitches, and bruising arena.  So I know I said I would give step by step instruction and I WILL I just don't have pictures to go with each step (boo) since I was a little stressed and had to rush to get ready so I could get to C's house to see his parent's and help him get his shat together I didn't have time to take progress pics.  That and my hands were covered with fake flesh and gel blood ewww...

So first I will start with BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN.  Strangely this was the harder transformation mainly because I wanted to still be semi "pretty."  Conrad on the other hand was just painting basically, easy peasy to make him look like a grotesque monster (jk love).

So I'm never been that fabulous at doing hair. As C and other friends will probably attest to I rarely take the time to brush, much less straighten, curl, or do anything slightly creative with it.  The joy of having it as long as I have it now is that it is so heavy it can no longer achieve FRO status as it did back in the day of curly curly fro hair.  (I have pictures and no you can't see them)

So for the hair I went to Sally's (careful ladies this place is dangerous) and gathered supplies: three hair donuts, teasing brush, crimper, bobby pins (A LOT) and Volumax Freezing Hair Spray!

First I crimped my whole head to give it some texture and that wavy/crimpy Bride of Frankenstein look she had in the movies.

Second I took the three hair donuts and put a wad of hair at the crown of my head through the donuts and bobby pined the donuts together and to my head.  With the hair that is coming out of the donuts you pin them down around the donuts to provide stability. Gotta have everything stable when you are boogieing to the Monster Mash right?

After you have the donuts in place, start closest to the bun and section off a layer of hair to bring up and around the top of the mound and pin the the other side.  REPEAT ALL AROUND YOUR HEAD, leaving the hair in the very front of your head for last so you can leave this relatively smooth and you can see the crimp design.  OH YES GOOD TIP: TEASE AT THE ROOTS CLOSEST TO THE BUN FOR EXTRA SUPPORT. This will suck to get out later but nothing an hour of soaking conditioner won't cure...

Later I also spray painted my hair black to make it a little dark for contrast with the white extensions.  After the black dried I then pinned in white hair extensions (99cent at Party City) and kept pinning them in a "S" shape.

And you are DONE With the MONSTROUS HAIR!

This was the the difficult part for me.... The use of spirit gum and fake flesh (or this could also be called modeling wax/putty).

1. APPLY SPIRIT GUM AND FAKE FLESH In some of the tutuorials I watched they applied the spirit gum and wax/fake flesh onto their skin after their makeup.  But being type A and reading the fake flesh instructions it said "apply on clean dry skin" I decided to do this step prior to doing my foundation and other makeup.  Besides I didn't want to screw up this part and mess up the rest of my makeup TRAVESTY! 

Mark on your face with red eyeliner pencil where you want the cuts to be on your face.  I opted for a cut slashing through the eye shown in the picture to the left.  I would have added more but had time constraints. 

Once you have marked where you would like the cuts apply spirit gum over the red lipstick pencil as well as your eyebrows to smooth them down for later steps, while the spirit gum is drying take out the fake flesh and create a long doughy snake that will go over the area you have marked for your cut/scar (channel your inner 5 year old with playdoh people!) Once the spirit gum is tacky to the touch apply the fake flesh snake over the scar.  Blend in the edges so that the raised "flesh" blends in to you skin on both sides.  Leave the raised middle portion this will be where we will create a cut through the middle with sharp scissors or a knife. 

If you have time to order Modeling Wax/Putty online I would do so... the fake flesh from Party City is a little hard to work with and didn't want to be molded or cut as easily as the good stuff would in my opinion.  Once I had both fleshy wounds on I left them alone. 

Once the spirit gum is tacky on your eyebrows smooth down your eyebrows so they will be easy to cover with concealer   The point of this is so later you can draw on a little more dramatic eyebrows as shown in the photo to the right.  

The main trick to this is the spirit gum or you can use a glue stick. There are plenty of tutorials online for this and thank goodness I watched some because this was probably the HARDEST PART. Thanks to my Dad, me and my sis have nice thick eyebrows and hair, so it took a while to tame those suckers down so that they were smoothed out enough to conceal.  I used a white concealer stick from cover girl to conceal my eyebrows.  They weren't completely gone but as you can see in the picture you can use your eyebrows as the new eyelid crease which is supposed to be shadowed dark to blend in and mask your real eyebrows. 

You are going to look strange and don't freak out if the spirit gum/ glue won't complete stay down at the front of the eyebrows because you will start drawing on your eyebrows starting from your real eyebrow at the inner corner. 

AFTER YOU APPLY FOUNDATION all over your face and some light powder... I used black gel eyeliner and small eyeliner brush to create my freaky electrocuted style brows.  Follow your natural eyebrow until you reach about half way where your eyebrow naturally has a arch.  Instead of following your natural brown arch up DRAMATICALLY as shown. 

Now that you have your scars, devlish eyebrows, base foundation/ powder (if you want), it's time for some color, contrasting, and highlighting!! I first started with contrasting... use black or grey matte eyeshadow to brush on places on your face where your face naturally draws in, and use white shimmer eyeshadow to highlight where you face naturally protrudes.  SEE DIAGRAM BELOW I also shadowed in my collarbones to make me look a little more drawn in and made of dead people like.

Make sure to highlight between your real brow and your new drawn in eyebrow as well.  Also don't color over your fake flesh scars where it is raised.   To contour along your scars put a little grey eyeshadow, purple, reds, and a little brown along the base of your scars and blend outward to give it more dimension.  Just play around until you get the look you want and you can use the photos above as inspiration! I also used a little purple and red under my eyes to give the dead/ freaky Bride look but this is up to you. You can add as much or little eyeshadow you like but it will help blend in your natural eyebrows if you color in with a dark color from you eye crease to your natural eyebrow.  

Once you have the color on you can add on eyelashes (OPTIONAL- I used demon maiden from Sally's top and bottom lashes), dramatic eyeliner on your eyes and lining your lips, and add some red lipstick.

You are ALMOST DONE!! The final step is to add some blood into the scars on your face and create the infamous neck stitches that the Bride of Frankenstein is known for. Since the neck is shadowed anyways I chose NOT to use the fake flesh again because of time constraints.  Instead I did followed these steps for hte neck stitches:
  • draw on in red lip-liner where your stitches will be.  If you are having a hard time making it even on either side look face on in the mirror and draw two dots on either side of you neck to connect.  Create one line down the middle of your sternum into your cleavage.
  • next use the same eyeshadows you used on your face for contouring your scars on your neck.  I used darker purples and browns closer to the scar and lighter blended red and purple further away.  Again play with it! 
  • Here comes the fun part gel blood! (You could do this after creating the stitches but I did it afterwards.) I got gel blood from Spirit Halloween, it turns solid once it is dry so that was useful since I didn't want her blood dripping. I'm not a zombie...
  • Take the gel blood and use a cue tip or end of one your eyeshadow brushes to put gel blood into the scars on your face and along the center of your neck wounds
  • After the gel has solidified take your gel eyeliner again and draw tiny Xs over the neck wounds all over.  You can also put a little brown eyeshadow at the ends of the Xs to give it some 3D depth and look like the skin is bruised where the suture was made. 
YOU ARE DONE!!!!!!!!!!! 
Now that you are done with you makeup and hair throw on a sheet or old wedding dress, find yourself a Frankenstein Monster and MONSTER MASH!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Halloween Makeup

2011 Halloween
Halloween is coming up and our first Halloween party is this Friday... which means I have now become OBSESSED with planning out me and C's makeup and costumes.  That's right C will be wearing makeup..... which is not really an uncommon occurrence. (Within the first month or so of us dating I had TWO occasions to dress him up and put black "guyliner" on him.)  Again with the laser focus once I get my mind on something I am full speed ahead planning and perfecting my plan of what I want to do.  This is a curse and a blessing at times, because I just can't wait to actually do it, and keep thinking I need more makeup and costume details that I probably really don't need.

2010 Halloween Costume #2
I love to dress up and play a different character for a few hours.  I tend to be an introverted extrovert --  meaning I'd like to think I could be the life of the party when the mood strikes but most of the time I live in my head and internalize.  Socializing too much just wears me out and I need to have a day to read, chill, and do things I want to do.  BUT something about dressing up and pretending allows me to be more outrageous and express myself better than I normally might.  It's easier for us introverted extroverts to express ourselves online or in writing or what we wear more than being extremely outspoken and blunt.  Must be why I love Halloween.

2010 Halloween Costume #1
I don't want to ruin my next post that will be the step by step documentation of 2012's Halloween Costume. But I thought this post could showcase a few past makeup looks and costumes, as well as some of the wild and crazy images from Atomic Cowlick since this was a GREAT opportunity to pretend I was a bad@$$ rocker chic and a very scary hungry Halloween horned creature (hah!)

  • Wonderwoman and Clark Kent - this outfit was fairly simple.  Basically took half of a 4th of July bathing suit, red corset, red fishnets, and kids cape for the basics of the outfit.  Then had to get a little creative by gluing together gold fabric purchsed from a local fabric store onto a plastic sturdy material to make the crown, arm bands, and belt.  Then used red similar fabric for the stars.  Put on some big eyelashes, blue eyeshadow, and some red glitter and BAM look complete.
  • The year previous we had two halloween parties - first was black widow, second was pimp with the big bad wolf.  Both I had the costumes already the only difficult part being spider webs on the face for the black widow outfit.  

Now for wild and crazy AtomicCowlick looks here you go! To see more CLICK HERE

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


My goal for this blog is to at least write once a week.... however I didn't specify to myself the length and depth that would be required.  (loop hole for myself whohoo)  Soo this post won't be that in depth since I'm feeling slightly lazy and the only other thing on my mind is triathlon training and scheduling this month's fun weekend events! Triathlon training could have a blog for itself... oh wait it does! Justin is leading this one up so go on over and check it out sometime (make the poor guy happy he's a hit whore.)  
So yes back to what the blog is actually about: S.A.P. no that does not stand for Socially Awkward Penguin, and I didn't even make that corny acronym up, it is actually on  SAP for me is Super Affectionate Person..... which I am not normally super giddy and sappy and just a love struck fool BUT every once in a while it hits. 

Okay ladies just imagine you receive these at work with this note for the 2 year anniversary.  Okay so it's not a real 2 year anniversary, because I'm not really sure when we really started referring to each other as girlfriend and boyfriend (why are there no check yes or no notes anymore?)  BUT it was 2 years since our first BLIND date thanks to our good friend Andy.  He figured two engineers and biking lovers would get along well enough! Well he was right... I have never been my dorky, nerdy, silly all the time self as much as I am with this man.  Probably because he is even worse than I am.  

So flowers at work = SAP, grinning ear to ear, must brag about my guy because he deserves it mood.  Thankful for this man, his fear doesn't stop me attitude that pushes me to do things I might not accomplish by myself, his silly nature, his passion for what he thinks/believes (hello soapboxes), and just being a best friend and more. 

SAPPINESS OVER. You can stop your eye-rolling and gagging.  THE. END.   

Friday, September 28, 2012

Why (MOST) Women Shouldn't Run

So I've wondered this for a while after doing triathlons...... running is hard for me.  If I run too long and too fast, my hips and knees get tight and my body just doesn't like me!  Finally someone has answered why, it's not that I'm just physically unfit .... read article below.  This won't help me with my half-ironman training coming up but I will just have to realize I was made to sprint, not pound away long distances. So it will require some training and SLOWLY getting my body used to the long distance running.

UPDATE: There are ways to correct for your Q angle by strengthening your hips and butt, as well as do some "glute activation" mobility exercises before running.

By Michael Boyle

I really like Diane Lee's quote, "You can't run to get fit, you need to be fit to run." In fact, I've used it in numerous presentations and articles. It really resonates with me. Simple, to the point. I'm going to take the idea one step further. I'm not sure most women should run. When I say this in seminars, it really pisses off the female runners. Sorry, I'm not worried about you; I'm worried about all the other women. If you are a runner and healthy, read on, but realize that you are the exception, not the rule. I'm going to go from bad to worse.

Here's a riddle for you. 
Q- What do most female runners look like?
A- Male runners.Ever ask yourself why? 

I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Women who run successfully for long periods of time were made to run. They look just like men runners. Good female runners generally do not look like plus-size models. It's not a question of cause and effect; it's a question of natural selection. You can't run to get that cute little runner's body. It's actually reversed. You have to have that cute little runner's body to survive running. 

"She has narrow hips and she has small breast"
Why do I say this? Two simple reasons. Anatomy and physics. My favorite two sciences. No matter how hard you try or how well you eat, you can't change your skeleton. The problem with most women and running comes down to something they call Q angle in sportsmedicine. I won't bore you with the details, but it boils down to this. Wider hips make for narrow knees. This angle of hip to knee creates problems. 

Problems are magnified based on the number of steps. The average person gets about 1500 foot strikes per mile. Do the math on your 5-mile run. Running produces forces in the area of two to five times bodyweight per foot contact. Do we need more math? Let's go back to our elite female runner. Look at her body. You will generally see two things. She has narrow hips and she has small breasts. I know, there may be exceptions, but at the elite level, I doubt it. 

The angle of knee to hip creates problems
One thought process would say, Great, my hips and breasts will decrease in size if I run. The other thought process is more logical. Women with larger breasts and wider hips don't make good runners. It is the same logic as why there are no large gymnasts or figure skaters. Physics. Big people rotate slower. Natural selection rules it out. 

So what happens when a "normal" woman begins to run? 

She becomes a statistic. She becomes a physical-therapy client as she tries to shovel you-know-what against the tide. Her wider knees cause her to develop foot problems or most likely knee problems. Her greater body weight causes greater ground reaction forces. Greater ground reaction forces stress muscle tissue and breast tissue. Get my drift yet? The end result is likely to be hurt and saggy instead of the cute and little. The bottom line: Running is not good for most females. If you want higher-intensity exercise, ride a stationary bike. Take a spin class, use a stairclimber, and don't run.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Ostentatious Rich Folk - Biltmore Estate

So here we are folks to the main event of the weekend.... the big ass house on the hill.  Nothing like going to see the LARGEST privately owned home in the United States to make you feel slightly inadequate and inept in your life's earnings.


Now most people know a little bit about the Biltmore "Estate,"  it's a big freaking house, they have wine, there were some famous movies filmed there, it's a big freaking house.... But again you know all that.  So what did I find interesting, and what were a few things that stood out to me that might make this post actually worth reading?  I read a blog post that listed (ironic) that you aren't supposed to have lists in your blogs- well boo to that I'm a nerd engineer who happens to like lists so here's a list for all you Type A list junkies like me.  


In the 1880s George Washington Vanderbilt  decided to create his own summer estate in the area, which he called his "little mountain escape." 250 rooms, 65 fireplaces, 43 bathrooms, 34 bedrooms, and three kitchens = little mountain escape. 

 In my world of a small townhouse and a boyfriend  with a 900 square foot home good 'ol George's mountain escape could house my entire extended family comfortably, although it might drive my cleaning machine mother bonkers with that many Hicks running around dirtying 34 rooms...

The Vanderbilts’ kindness is legendary. Instead of listing off famous guests that visted the estate, the tour talks about Essie Smith, a servant. Smith was a teenager when she began working at Biltmore, and she was intimidated by its opulence. On her first day as a server, she walked into the house’s grand banquet hall and, startled by the vastness of the room, dropped the tray of monogrammed china she was carrying. Instead of getting upset it is told that he got down on his hands and knees and helped her pick up the shards before saying, "Come see me in the morning.”  The servant assumed she was going to be fired. Instead, she was promoted to chambermaid, so she wouldn't have to carry such heavy dishes. 

Okay so as you can see all the ostentatious decor that Vanderbuilt picked out himself (14 carat wallpaper people) BUT he was known as a kind person.  In today's world those that "have" tend to look down on the little guys especially when they mess up.  One thing I got from the tour was this story and also stories of the love between George and Edith.  I guess I would be pretty happy without much work to do and that much money to enjoy my life, but as we can see from today's socialites this is not always the case.  In fact the very opposite -- the more money you have the less long lasting love and happiness you seem to have.  

When Vanderbilt turned 21, McHenry (a friend and fellow Napolean fanatic) presented him with Napoleon’s chess set, which can be found on display in the Biltmore library or now in the new Biltmore Legacy display near the winery.  The chess set started Vanderbilt’s fascination with Napoleon, and according to the audio tour Napoleon thought he was being poisoned and ordered an autopsy to take place after his death to confirm or deny. After the autopsy the heart was placed on the table upon which the chess set rests. Napoleon had a high level of arsenic in his blood, the official result was listed as stomach cancer. The debate is still going on today as to whether Napoleon was or was not poisoned.

Conrad's favorite part from when he was a boy and today still! 

There's a few fun facts about the Biltmore.  Our tour took about 2 hours (the audio was definitely worth it) and we toured all around the gardens then hit up the winery for some wine tasting.  If you have the chance I would visit at least once to appreciate the stories and history for yourself.  You may find other parts more interesting than the gory story of a heart on a chess set.  
On tour with my nifty headphones learning about the Biltmore

End of a long day of touring the gardens and house.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

How to use Utensils for Dummies- Weekend Sidenote

Before I get into the rest of Adventures from the Asheville weekend...  An important sidenote for food!

I'm a girl, I like food, but even more than just food I LOVE breakfast foods. Case and point this old blogpost: Made with Love,  I probably have an unhealthy addiction to eggs, and could probably eat breakfast for dinner the majority of the week if C didn't roll his eyes and insist on real dinner food. But despite eye rolling I have managed to be lazy and eat hard boiled eggs a lot for dinner lately when I've been too lazy/tired from Forged Fitness to cook. Needless to say BREAKFAST at a Bed and Breakfast is what makes it or breaks it for me... and boy did they deliver.

Being a Bed and Breakfast virgin I wasn't really sure what to expect, and from the happy hour the night before I definitely was out of my element with all the cute antique whatchamacallits throughout the house.  Antique teapots, crystal utensil holders so you don't dirty the linens between courses, butter holder (this is probably not the correct name for it), tiny teacups and scone holders..... I felt like it was my first day of "Learn to be a Lady" Etiquette school.  All I can think is crap I JUST NOW learned how to properly use a fork and knife at the same time and not look like I am stabbing something with my awkward left hand.  C may disagree... Who knew I can athletically and for the most part gracefully play a large number of sports BUT make me cut steak and figure out how to get the steak from my plate to my mouth without awkwardly twisting my hand or switching hands is almost an awkward disaster.

So surrounded by Southern Frill here comes the food:

Saturday Morning:

  • Apple cinnamon muffins with four berry preserves - yum (no utensils required yay)
  • Baked plum with yogurt and granola 
  • Scrambled eggs with organic spinach and parmesean with homemade biscuits and gravy
Sunday Morning:
  • Scones of some type.  At this point I wasn't even listening to his description but knew it was going to be fantastic so I was more focused on it making it into my mouth.
  • Fresh fruit
  • Banana Foster Waffle with pecans and fresh whipped cream with real maple syrup and crispy bacon - (luv ya like a fat kid luvs cake)

Sidenote complete, I must be hungry...

The Adventures of G n' C - Asheville Edition

This past weekend me and C visited Asheville to make use of his work's VERY generous 2011 Christmas gift of a weekend at Black Walnut Inn Bed and Breakfast (left) and tickets to Biltmore House.  Now most people who have grown up in North Carolina do not consider going to the mountains and seeing the Biltmore an adventure.  It's pretty much a staple event in elementary school (back when it was allowed to go on school field trips)... you all pile in the bus and away you go to see this big house.  In elementary school we are more concerned about who we are sitting next to in the bus ride there than the history of the house and what it took to accomplish it SO needless to say I got a little more out of experiencing Asheville this time.

Now that I'm adult (in age only) the trip there is definitely NOT the exciting part although I am in awe that first time you turn the corner and see the mountains looming in the distance.  Sadly I didn't go to the mountains a lot growing up, my parents are/were teachers so school year was filled with school activities and in the summer we were always on the water, Rivah or Lake.  So even though  North Carolina mountain trips should have been a staple of my youth growing up, it wasn't and the mountains are still something new to me (good and sometimes bad).  Overall I loved the trip, but I have to be honest I hate freaking hilly winding roads.  After my wreck last year I think I've gone into ultra sensitive mode around cars so yea anywhere where it's necessary to have runaway truck ramps pretty much makes me have final destination flashes.  Yes yes overactive imagination... Sorry C, you are a very good driver and patient enough to deal with me cringing randomly in the passenger seat for the hour it takes to get down and up the mountain.

Not only is the drive an "adventure" for me... but we also made the most of the trip and crammed as much activities into the days as we could. (Well except for that first night where C decided vacation was an excuse to go into a coma.) First stop was Catawba Falls... although not the most famous falls in the Asheville area, it was on the way and broke up the drive a little bit on Friday.  This was my FIRST hiking to see a waterfall and the pups did great.  Gypsy is a straight mountain dog, if you can claim a 14 pound jack russell to be a mountain dog.  She claimed (peed) every mile of that trail there and back and led the way the entire time.  Who knows maybe she was a mountain dog prior to our rescue of her.  Leuca and I were not as graceful... screw the rock jumping let's just splash on through the water.

1.5 miles later we were there squishy shoes and all.... Pictures surrounding... Aren't our girls cute?  And of course C risked life and limb for a good shot of him balanced on the old damn over the river at one part of the trail.  (We really need to update that will of yours babe.)

My first waterfall - CHECK. Adventure #1 Complete. 

 From there we ate downtown for a super late lunch at Mayfel's that had some pretty delicious French donuts for an appetizer, checked into the Bed and Breakfast, let them stuff us with hor d'oeuvres (I hate spelling this word) and wine, stood in awe at the awesomeness of our room in the Carriage House, then C passed out for 13 hours while I watched Miss Congeniality and Salt, mixed in with trying to be annoying so he would come out of his coma (to no avail.)  I guess I can't blame him with a cute little dog snuggled in his neck (right). 


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Live Aboard

There's quite a few topics I could write about since I've been slacking for a year like.... my ridiculous attempts to model  for AtomicCowlick (not to be confused with "attempt to be a model" I have no delusions of being a rail thin waif who can go more than 5 minutes without making an unattractive goofy face for the camera); my first triathlon (without training) after a year and a half hiatus; my new love in my life our doggy Gypsy (aptly named); or describing my slight panic attack at 65 feet underwater in Cozumel.  BUT I'll leave all those for another time.  Today I want to talk about the latest obsession that has spread from C's neighbors to C to me, despite my attempts to logically talk myself out of it.............. SAILING.

Oh and not JUST sailing LIVE ABOARD (not to be confused with live abroad), I'm referring to selling all your belongings, buying a 38-40+ foot catamaran and taking to the high seas to live, work (if you can figure out what to do), and use a thousand gallons of sunscreen a month.  When C first mentioned it I thought this obsession would pass, the benefit of dating someone with A.D.D. being they always keep you on your toes with their current main interest, but it didn't, and slowly I also grabbed onto the idea with my singular focus and spent at least a whole day researching boats, forwarding boats for sale, and contemplating if I could still be an Environmental Engineer in a boat?  I mean could I? All I need is the internet and phone to communicate and research.  Damn you C for spreading your obsession... I hear misery loves company so here are a few reads to make you understand what it's all about: BumFuzzle, Windtraveler, and LifeRemotely.

People have their animals, children, etc and sail all over the world, mostly stay where it's warm.  Everything is a good idea when you abstractly think about it, but could I really LIVE on a boat, spend every day in the sun  reading, working, travelling.... I'm pretty sure anyone who is asked that question would say hell yes sign me up.  But could you go through your stuff and sell everything?  90% of me thinks I could....... I'm not really attached to "stuff," I have a lot of "stuff"- a whole townhouse full in fact, but I don't use 99% of the things in my house that wouldn't be on a boat.  I work, go to the gym, and am only home maybe 25% of the week.  [yes I just threw out a whole slew of percentages-- it's how my math brain works bear with me]  I think the only hard part would be not having people around to communicate with besides C and the pups.  Don't judge I talk to and FOR the pups.... It's a completely endearing quality I possess where I imagine what any animal (even snail) is saying and have to say it outloud.

I guess the big picture questions can wait though as I try to remind C.  Let's get down to the details and steps:

  • Do you get seasick? This is probably an important thing to find out before you build a dream around living on a boat.  I've grown up on water, been skiing since age 5 but I hear the rolling water is completely different.
  • Can we sail a boat?  We took the first steps to figuring this out this past weekend.  Mr and Mrs Ishbrandtsen took us out on their AWESOME 45foot Hunter Monohull.  This was my first time on a BIG sailboat. Sorry little 14foot catamaran you aren't blue water capable.  It was definitely an awesome experience and gave us experience for what it would be like hours on the water.  Afterall it would take a month to 5 weeks just to get to Virginia to Florida so you better like being on a sailboat.  The only downside to a monohull is it rolls from side to side (heeling).  Try sleeping while the other person sails when you are rolling off the bed...  (Pictures from the experience throughout)
  • Sailing lessons-  this is in the works for next year probably.
  • Chartering a Catamaran in the British Virgin Islands-  This is my number 1 interest at the moment.  You can charter a boat for a week with a captain and co-captain and can sail as much or little as you want with them! 
So that is our latest obsession... in the works for 2018.  Good 'ol 5 year plan as soon as C raises the moola to buy a boat. :)  That's all for now...... leave a comment for what you would like me to write about next, as it's hard to narrow down all the experiences I've had lately!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Whhaaaaaat's been going on...

Well hello! I know it has been over a year since I have written anything on here... That seems the be the way things go with me in general- I can't do anything half ass.  It's either hey I'm going to be a blogger or I get a feeling of guilt for never writing or having the time to write so I just make the whole thing private and don't write at all.  Don't worry it's not just you (my followers) it happens with any variety of my hobbies and interests- prime example triathlons.  Burn out happened a little over 1.5 years ago so my poor little, and by little I mean little it is an XS bike (sigh for the vertically challenged), has sat in the bf's garage collecting dust and even a black snake or two who thought it's twisty turvy handle was a new mate.

So what's been going on, what's changed, where is my mind at nowadays......... There's so much that will make multiple posts but in general been on many new adventures, gotten some addicting new interests, and just been having fun with my partner in crime, my bf!  Anyways welcome back to the randomness and enjoy the show.