30 November 2010

Apple 13" MacBook Sleeves - Bird Cage Batch

I have a new batch of Apple 13" MacBook sleeves for sale in my Etsy Shop, amara | 86! The outside fabric is a cute bird cage pattern; the inside liner is a pretty, matching green. Only $30! Makes for a great Christmas gift!

Want one? Click here!

PS, I can make a sleeve for any size laptop; just send me the laptop's dimensions. I can also hunt for a different fabric; just send me your preferences, I'll take photos of what it sounds like you're looking for, send you the photos, and you can confirm which fabric I should use!

Thanksgiving Dinner Party

This Thanksgiving was the first that I've not spent with my immediate family in Indiana. In addition to the nostalgia of spending the holiday with close family, the weather in Florida is a bit bizarre for celebrating Thanksgiving. Nevertheless, I had a lovely holiday with two celebrations.

First I hosted a dinner party where I made my first turkey. A big, fat, 20-pounder! Thumbs up for turkey!

I had some of my favorite people over for the evening. I asked each person to bring a dish. We had green bean caserole, Caprese salad, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, macaroni and cheese, rolls, cranberry sauce, apple pie, pumpkin pie, and, of course, the turkey. When we were all seated we went around the table and said one thing for which we are thankful. I said that I was thankful my brother, Chucky, had survived Hell Week at NAVY BUD/S training. I am also thankful for my puppy, Heidi. Jessica brought champaigne so we toasted to the spirit of the holiday. Afterwards we played a few games of Mafia!

That was all on the Saturday prior to Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving Day I made pumpkin cake and took Heidi over to my second-cousin's house. I am so thankful to have Lori and her family nearby so I didn't have to spend the day without family. I appreciate how welcoming her and her family are to me and Heidi!

I hope your Thanksgiving was lovely!

26 November 2010

It's Officially Christmas Season!

It's Black Friday, and that means that Christmas Season is officially here! I have Ella Fitzgerald Holiday playing on my Pandora radio, and I just brought all the Christmas decorations in from my storage closet.

So, today is dedicated to getting my apartment all dec'd out for the holidays. I'm also going to work on my 2010 Christmas Letter and maybe wander out into the shopping madness for some Christmas cards. I'm also going to work on some blogs that I've been meaning to put together. Lots of photo work to be done, too. Lastly, I plan to end my evening with a cup of marshmallows with hot chocolate, a slice of pumpkin cake, and watching The Blindside and/or reading on my book.

Happy Black Friday!

07 November 2010


Alzheimer's Association Memory Walk at Lake Eola, downtown Orlando, FL
Last week's walk was a blast! I was happy to raise $150 to support the Alzheimer's Association. Heidi and I ended up missing the puppy costume contest due to lack of event organization, but it was still great fun. I really enjoyed letting people say hello to Heidi, who did super well - even with the little ones, and the older ones who likely suffered from some degree of Alzheimer's. Saturday was for you, Grandma.

Halloween at Wall Street, downtown, Orlando, FL
I dressed up as a black cat and went out with Jessica, her friend, Heather and her boyfriend. It was great fun to check out all the costumes. Typical Halloween, minus all the drinking.

Completed October Challenge with a 100% Success Rate
So proud of myself! Thanks to all who supported me!

New Nike+ Challenge
I'm doing a the Walt Disney World Half Marathon on 8 January 2011. I start my training (a Nike+ plan) this week. I'm cross-training with yoga and cycling.

Devoting Time to Etsy Shop: amara | 86
Ramping up for the holiday season. Christmas tree skirts, Christmas stocking sets, and the best-selling 13" MacBook sleeve. Let me know if you have a need; I am accepting custom orders.

Finished The Hunger Games Trilogy
Loved it. The new Harry Potter?

Family News
          Mom - also training for the half marathon in January; we're running it together! Hoping to beat 2 hours!
          Dad -keeping busy; went to do some target practice with Grandpa tonight.
          Chucky - he's never been happier! He's LOVING BUD/S! Pray for him as Hell Week approaches.
          Sam - he's never been happier, either! He LOVES college life and his new wrestling family!
          Heidi - just a few weeks shy of her first birthday. I'm having a party for her at the dog park this Sunday. She's hit that obstinate "teenager" phase with some destruction, but overall she's doing great!
          Ashes - surviving Heidi and being super affectionate when I read in bed at night.

Holiday amara | 86

I have a few new items in my amara | 86 Etsy shop this holiday season. As usual, I am accepting custom orders. See my Facebook photo album for other Christmas fabric options. The stockings are $20 through the holidays. Christmas Tree skirts are $55 through the holidays.
NEW - matching stocking sets
(shows lining)
NEW - Christmas Tree skirt
My best selling item is the 13" MacBook sleeve. Only $35 for the holidays! I can customize the size to fit any laptop; just send me your laptop's dimensions. See my Facebook photo album for other laptop sleeve fabric options (+$10 for quilted fabric).

Biggest Selle: 13" MacBook sleeves (example fabric)

06 November 2010

Eric, Ken & Heidi

This week I had company in town. My friend, Eric, from Purdue, and his friend, Ken, from Hong Kong came to town to see the Discovery launch. Unfortunately it was scrubbed from Monday, 1 November to Wednesday, 3 November to Thursday, 4 November to Friday, 5 November to Monday, 8 November to Tuesday, 30 November. They stayed with me until today as they had to continue their trips; Eric to Knoxville and Ken back to Hong Kong. I am so bummed that they didn't get to see the launch, but am thankful for the time we got to spend together. Here is a photo of us at Amigo's Original Tex-Mex:

When we got home after dinner this is what we found:

This week was a little hectic as I hadn't planned on hosting company for a full week, so poor Heidi didn't get to properly vent her energy at the dog park or on runs with me... I'm going to try to get a new container for my paper shredder since the shredder part itself is fine. Doesn't she look proud of her work? Tsk, tsk. She sure has been destructive this month. It's almost as if since she hit the age of 11 months she felt the need to make up for lost time and make lots of messes (she only ruined a few minor things when she was 2- to 10-months-old...). What am I gonna do with her?! = )

01 November 2010

October Challenge Tracker

1 November 2010 had never been so welcomed! After running for 31 days straight, I am feeling proud of myself for taking on such a difficult challenge. Making running a top priority each and every day for a month is not an easy feat. There were definitely some days where I felt I deserved a break, but I didn't want to miss a day, so I pushed through. Since I'm planning to run the Turkey Trot 5K on Thanksgiving, the Elf Classic 10K in December, and the Disney Half Marathon in January, I'm going to keep the running momentum going! I plan to run at least four 5Ks per week until my official half marathon training begins in a couple of weeks. Thank you to all who supported me in my October Challenge! Couldn't have done it without you!

Score: 31/31 - 100%
Date: Sunday, 31 October 2010
Workout #: 416
Distance: 3.37 miles
Note: Waterford Lakes Town Center Loop; CHALLENGE COMPLETE!

Score: 30/31 - 100%
Date: Saturday, 30 October 2010
Workout #: 415
Distance: ~3.0 miles
Note: Lake Eola Loop

Score: 29/31 - 100%
Date: Friday, 29 October 2010
Workout #: 414
Distance: 0.75 miles
Note: Tortuga Bay Apartments Loop

Score: 28/31 - 100%
Date: Thursday, 28 October 2010
Workout #: 413
Distance: 2.61 miles
Note: Waterford Lakes Dog Park ONB

Score: 27/31 - 100%
Date: Wednesday, 27 October 2010
Workout #: 412
Distance: 1.01 miles
Note: Tortuga Bay Apartments Loop

Score: 26/31 - 100%
Date: Tuesday, 26 October 2010
Workout #: 411
Distance: 3.45 miles
Note: Waterford Lakes Dog Park + Lake Loop

Score: 25/31 - 100%
Date: Monday, 25 October 2010
Workout #: 410
Distance: 3.39 miles
Note: Waterford Lakes Dog Park + Lake Loop; home stretch - only 6 more days until challenge is complete!

Score: 24/31 - 100%
Date: Sunday, 24 October 2010
Workout #: 409
Distance: 1.32 miles
Note: Tortuga Bay Apartments Loop

Score: 23/31 - 100%
Date: Saturday, 23 October 2010
Workout #: 408
Distance: 0.75 miles
Note: Tortuga Bay Apartments Loop

Score: 22/31 - 100%
Date: Friday, 22 October 2010
Workout #: 407
Distance 0.79 miles
Note: Tortuga Bay Apartments Loop

Score: 21/31 - 100%
Date: Thursday, 21 October 2010
Workout #: 406
Distance: 1.01 miles
Note: Tortuga Bay Apartments Loop; 21 days makes running a habit!

Score: 20/31 - 100%
Date: Wednesday, 20 October 2010
Workout #: 405
Distance: 3.34 miles
Note: Waterford Lakes Town Center Loop; did some intervals and saw 6'30"!

Score: 19/31 - 100%
Date: Tuesday, 19 October 2010
Workout #: 404
Distance: 2.02 miles
Note: Winn-Dixie ONB

Score: 18/31 - 100%
Date: Monday, 18 October 2010
Workout #: 403
Distance: 0.94 miles
Note: Tortuga Bay Apartments Loop

Score: 17/31 - 100%
Date: Sunday, 17 October 2010
Workout #: 402
Distance: 3.12 miles
Note: Waterford Lakes Town Center Loop; did some intervals and saw 6'55"!

Score: 16/31 - 100%
Date: Saturday, 16 October 2010
Workout #: 401
Distance: 1.09 miles
Note: Tortuga Bay Apartments Loop; first run of the challenge where I SERIOUSLY considered not doing it

Score: 15/31 - 100%
Date: Friday, 15 October 2010
Workout #: 400
Distance: 0.98 miles
Note: Tortuga Bay Apartments Loop; 400th running workout!

Score: 14/31 - 100%
Date: Thursday, 14 October 2010
Workout #: 399
Distance:  3.33 miles
Note: Waterford Lakes Town Center Loop; two weeks down!

Score: 13/31 - 100%
Date: Wednesday, 13 October 2010
Workout #: 398
Distance:  1.92 miles
Note: Waterford Lakes Elementary School ONB

Score: 12/31 - 100%
Date: Tuesday, 12 October 2010
Workout #: 397
Distance:  3.13 miles
Note: Waterford Lakes Town Center loop

Score: 11/31 - 100%
Date: Monday, 11 October 2010
Workout #: 396
Distance:  1.65 miles
Note: Waterford Lakes Elementary School ONB; 10 more days until running daily becomes a habit; got a new Nano iPod!

Score: 10/31 - 100%
Date: Sunday, 10 October 2010
Workout #: 395
Distance: ~2.0 miles
Note: with Heidi; Waterford Lakes/Alafaya ONB; will be investing in a new iPod Nano tomorrow (can hardly wait)

Score: 9/31 - 100%
Date: Saturday, 9 October 2010
Workout #: 394
Distance: ~3.0 miles
Note: Lana & Geof's neighborhood

Score: 8/31 - 100%
Date: Friday, 8 October 2010
Workout #: 393
Distance: 2.0 miles
Note: treadmill at Lana & Geof's home; will be investing in a new iPod Nano this weekend

Score: 7/31 - 100%
Date: Thursday, 7 October 2010
Workout #: 392
Distance: 2.0 miles
Note: treadmill at Lockheed Martin Center for Leadership Excellence (LM CLE); will be investing in a new iPod Nano this weekend; one week completed!

Score: 6/31 - 100%
Date: Wednesday, 6 October 2010
Workout #: 391
Distance: ~3.1 miles
Note: Fitness Trail (LM CLE); iPod Nike+ kit conked out about 1 minute into the workout; will be investing in a new iPod Nano this weekend

Score: 5/31 - 100%
Date: Tuesday, 5 October 2010
Workout #: 390
Distance: 2.05 miles
Note: treadmill at Lockheed Martin Center for Leadership Excellence (LM CLE); iPod Nike+ kit conked out about 1 minute into the workout

Score: 4/31 - 100%
Date: Monday, 4 October 2010
Workout #: 389
Distance: 3.15 miles
Note: treadmill at Lockheed Martin Center for Leadership Excellence (LM CLE)

Score: 3/31 - 100%
Date: Sunday, 3 October 2010
Workout #: 388
Distance: 2.49 miles
Note: with Heidi; Out-N-Back (ONB) from Tortuga Bay to Alafaya/Lake Underhill

Score: 2/31 - 100%
Date: Saturday, 2 October 2010
Workout #: 387
Distance: 3.25 miles
Note: with Heidi; Waterford Lakes Town Center Loop

Score: 1/31 - 100%
Date: Friday, 1 October 2010
Workout #: 386
Distance: 3.11 miles
Note: with Heidi; Waterford Lakes Town Center Loop