Wednesday, February 26, 2014

2014 -- week 7 of #projectlife -- show your love all year long

valentine's day is for suckers. don't get me wrong, i love getting and receiving presents just as much as the next person, but, in my opinion, valentine's day just isn't personal enough. it's a huge corporate holiday, and it bums me out that some people use that day, and only that day, to express their love. in reality, we should be expressing our love all year long. it doesn't have to be a grand gesture -- although who doesn't love flowers and chocolate -- but that isn't always feasible or practical. for example, we've learned over the years that as much as i love receiving flowers, they aren't the best present in a house full of curious kitties. instead, our expressions of love, gratitude, and appreciation can be small and meaningful gestures, little things that say you care: a note in your loved one's lunch, a piece of candy that they'd like, a text or phone call to check in and say hello, taking out the trash or doing the dishes, asking how their day was, or simply saying thank you. and those kinds of things shouldn't be confined to once a year; they should happen all day, every day. because really, who doesn't love being loved and appreciated? and wouldn't you rather have that feeling all year, rather than smushed all into one day?

how do you show your love?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

2014 -- week 6 of #projectlife -- what to do in times of disaster.

we were dealt some heavy and unexpected news this week: rcg was laid off. his company is downsizing and will no longer have a tucson office, so they no longer need him. when we first heard the news we were in shock, but as it sunk in, we realized that this was, in fact, good news. rcg'd been wanting to change careers anyways and this gave him the opportunity to really start looking for one. because, as we all know, looking for a new job can be tiring work, especially when you have a 40 hour work week to contend with. so that same day he started looking in earnest.

since then rcg has been diligently applying to jobs, going to networking meetings, talking with friends and head hunters, working on resumes, and exploring all available avenues to find a job he wants and will enjoy. and i couldn't be more proud of him. it's extraordinarily difficult to be positive in a situation like this, and it's even more difficult to stay positive, but he's doing a splendid job. sure, he gets bummed out sometimes, it's to be expected, but on the whole, he's handling the whole thing beautifully.

my tips for handling a disaster:
[be positive.] i'm a perpetually optimistic person, so i'm a firm believer in the power of positive thinking. in situations like this, those seemingly disasterous situations, i will always look towards the positive, having faith that things will work out the way they should. [be flexible.] that doesn't mean they will work out quite in the way you would like them to, but they will work out, and it's best to roll with the punches and be flexible. [ask for help.] when we're in the throes of a difficult situation it can be hard to think clearly and see all of the options available, so it's a great idea to ask those around you for help and advice. [be patient.] it takes time to work through a disaster, especially one like trying to find a new job, so be patient. it can be really hard to sit and wait for a disaster to resolve itself, especially when you're out of work and looking for a job, but it's an important part of the process. if nothing else, use the time to figure out what you really want. [take a timeout.] or use the time to go on vacation and chill out. get your mind off of the problem for a little bit, enjoy yourself, and come back to the problem refreshed and ready to work again. we already had a trip to mexico city planned and it was just the break we needed to get our heads back in the game!

speaking of disaster, the bodanzalez boda is in 75 days! is it time to stress out yet?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

2014 -- week 5 of #projectlife -- the importance of trying new things

one of my goals for 2014 and for my 30th year on the planet is to try new things, to experiment, to go on adventures, and to learn more. some of the new things i want to try take time and money, but more often than not, it just means being open to take advantage of the opportunities at your fingertips. instead of staying home or saying "i'm busy" when you're not, go out. i know how easy it is to stay in your sweatpants and put on another episode of battlestar galactica, but wouldn't the story be so much more interesting if you said you went to a weird art exhibit, or saw a great concert by a local band, or went to a boozy paint by numbers class.

for us, this time, that meant going to the opera. i'd heard about la boheme coming to the tucson opera in december and thought it'd be a fun, new experience for rcg and i to share. since we didn't want to break the bank, and weren't sure if we'd even enjoy it, we bought the cheapest tickets available. but despite our good view and our best intentions, we both ended up asleep. we tried really really hard to stay awake, and there were definitely some funny parts, but the combination of the music and the singing was too much for us. we felt bad about it, but we couldn't help it.

ultimately, we're glad that we tried it. it was something new to do, together, and we learned something from the experience: we're not opera people. and that's ok. now, the hard part, i have to break it to my grandma!

but the lesson here is simple: you won't know you like something (or don't like it) until you try it. so try it, have new experiences, learn more about yourself, and enjoy all of the nifty things that come your way. because it's easier to say "i tried it and i hated it" than it is to be disappointed that you didn't give it a shot.

(another new experience i had this week: judging a spelling bee contest! it was so much fun!)

Monday, February 17, 2014

odds & ends, bits & pieces: #myweekinscraps

at the end of each day, i find myself emptying my pockets and throwing out the little odds and ends i've collected throughout the day; sometimes there isn't a lot and sometimes there is, but i've always thrown it all out. once i saw devin castro's instagram though i decided to try out something new. i've started to save those bits and pieces and document them. every sunday, i gather all of the things i've collected throughout the week and i take a picture of them. i certainly don't want to keep them, most of the scraps i've collected are trash after all, but it's nice to have a little record of them long after they've been bagged up and thrown in the dumpster. 

here are my scraps from weeks 1, 2, 3, and 4. 


do you save your scraps? 

Friday, February 14, 2014

2014 -- week 4 of #projectlife -- how to get started with project life!

when i first starting doing project life, i struggled with whether i should make a physical or digital scrapbook. i love the idea of having a true scrapbook, with printed pictures, tickets, and other scraps, but ultimately, i was living in mexico, and figured digital would be best, at least to start.

so i bought official project life products, the digital templates and the cobalt core kit, because i thought that was the only way to do it. and i thought having the templates and cards would help me figure out what each "page" was supposed to look like. but after playing around with it for a bit, and scouring the internet for freebies, i've realized that you don't necessarily need the "official" products to make a scrapbook that successfully captures your memories.

but what really made me feel like i had a handle on digitally documenting our life through project life was getting better at using photoshop. the first year, i put pictures and journal cards on the "page" willy-nilly; whatever was easiest and looked pretty good was my standard. but as i watched more videos about how to bend photoshop to my will, i decided to give the templates a try. and i'm so pleased with the results; 2013's project life almost looks like it has a theme and someone who knows what they're doing. but then i found an amazing tutorial about using the templates to "divide" photos, and it totally changed the way i work with photoshop! finally, after two years, i finally feel like i have a handle on it.

if you're interested in trying out project life, there are a couple of ways to get started, but first i recommend visiting becky higgins's website, she came up with the concept of project life, and while there are many other brands that sell the materials needed, she does a really good job of explaining how easy project life is at documenting memories and what's needed to be successful. from there you can purchase items (if you want to create physical albums with printed pictures) from amazon or a store near you. or if you're interested in trying out a digital album you can visit digital project life, and purchase items there. (right now they're offering a free digital starter kit and baby cards for him and her!)

of course, if you want to try other brands, that's an option too: studio calico, designer digitals, technique tuesdays, and big picture classes are just a few that i've found, but there are many others as well. and almost every site will have freebies, which can be used digitally or printed out!

this is not a sponsored post; all opinions are mine alone. i just love having a digital scrapbook of our life and wanted to share the love to all of you, in case you've been dying to try it out for yourself but felt overwhelmed and didn't know where to start. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

tombstone: the town too tough to die

one of rcg's favorite movies is tombstone, the 1993 classic dramatizing the famous shootout at the ok corral, starring kurt russell and val kilmer as wyatt earp and doc holliday. incidentally, tombstone is just a short ride from tucson, so when rcg found out that i'd never seen the movie, he hurried to rectify the situation. (i think we'd lived in tucson for all of two weeks before i was made to watch it). after all, we could visit tombstone whenever we wanted. but the hustle and bustle of tucson soon took over and we didn't visit tombstone until this past december when my parents were in town. my mom loved the idea of exploring southern arizona -- going on the queen mine tour, exploring bisbee, going to tombstone -- so we did! and tombstone is totally as goofy as you think it is.

approximately five blocks have been restored to look like they did when wyatt earp and doc holliday roamed the streets. people are dressed up in period clothing: men in cowboy boots and spurs with scruffy beards and curly haired ladies in colorful dresses and tiny parasols. and every fifteen feet is another opportunity to witness the "only true accounting of the ok corral shootout". i couldn't tell you which one is, in fact, the closest to the truth, but you could spend all day hopping from one show to the next and judge for yourself!



Wednesday, February 12, 2014

2014 -- week 3 of #projectlife -- new traditions for 2014!

i'm not sure why we feel the need to start afresh at the beginning of each year, but we do. i think it has something to do with the freshness of the year that makes people want to start over, get new habits, try new things. but really our life is one continuous cycle -- if you want to start something new, start it now! not starting now is just an excuse -- it's easier for us to put things off until the next month or the next year because we want to start at the beginning. and i totally get that; the beginning is a nice place to start, especially if you're watching a movie. but our whole life is a movie, and it's impossible to rewind and start at the beginning so we might as well jump and get on with it.

and that's what rcg and i have done for 2014; we started new traditions. we didn't mean for it to happen at the beginning of the new year, it just kind of happened that way. we had a little help getting started though -- i received a fitbit force for christmas, i gave rcg 12 months of dates, the weather got warmer, and we were inspired.

our 2014 traditions:
bike to and walk up tumamoc hill!
go on one more hikes!
go on more dates! 

i'm really happy about how well we're doing so far with these "traditions". we've hiked tumamoc all three weekends of january and we're scheduled to hike picacho peak on january 25th. (pretend i'm not writing this post a couple of weeks late!) we've already gone on our january date to pima air and space museum and we've even gone on some unscheduled dates to see movies, go out to dinner, climb, and hang out with friends. 2014 is starting off right!

do you have any new traditions for 2014?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

january date: pima air & space museum

this year, i did something a little different for rcg's christmas present: i gave him dates, 12 months of them, with me. like most couples, we try to go on lots of dates, but sometimes life gets in the way and we get distracted. but i vowed that 2014 was going to be a year of dates; we were finally going to go do all of those things we always talk about doing!

first on the list was the pima air & space museum, because when we went to washington dc a couple of years ago, rcg was like a kid in a candy store at the smithsonian air & space museum. so of course we had to go to the pima air and space museum which is the third largest air & space museum in the country.

we went on a beautiful saturday morning, getting there in time to go on the two (free) walking tours that are offered (1030/1330 and 1130/1430). the docent was extraordinarily knowledgeable about the history of aviation as well as many of the individual planes in hangers 1, 3, and 4. after the tours were over, we walked all over the grounds looking at the hundreds of planes parked there.






the symbols on the side of this aircraft denote the number of missions it flew in; it participated in over 30 bombing missions and 2 runs during the berlin air lift. 

this plane is extraordinarily special because it was flown by lou curdes; he was one of the few american pilots to shoot down nazi planes (7), an italian plane, and a japanese plane during ww2. but what makes him even more unique is that he also shot down an american plane and was honored for it!


this may have been my favorite plane, the super guppy. it's just so ridiculous looking!


additional information: there are tram tours for an additional $6 each or you can tour the 309th aerospace maintenance and regeneration center (amarg), or the "boneyard", for an additional $7, but those tours are only offered monday-friday.







6000 e. valencia road
tucson, arizona
open 9001700, daily
$15.50 for adults
discounts for military, pima county residents, children, and seniors