I've seen this idea floating around lately, but never took the time to watch the video until a few days ago.

How I think of myself: chunky, round red face, stringy boring brown hair, trying to hide from reality, lonely, not quite getting the whole big kid life thing quite right. I wonder what my purpose and place is in life.

As I floated over this commercial without watching it and talked to a few people who hadn't seen me in a while, they made comments that made me think.....I'm more beautiful than I think I am, inside and out. Comments like "Do you ever stop smiling?" or "You are the only person who is still smiling after 2 days of training, looking at a 4 hour drive home".  I don't really know about the physical attributes and what others think of those, but honestly I think those physical attributes often are brightened, made shiny, and more attractive by what we have inside, what we do for others, how we conduct ourselves.



“I should be more grateful of my natural beauty… it impacts the choices in friends that we make, the jobs we apply for, how we treat our children… it impacts everything… it couldn’t be more critical to your happiness.” “Do you think you’re more beautiful then you say” “Yeah.”….


How do {I hope} others see me:  healthy, athletic, happy with shining, happy eyes. Smiling, loving life, carefree (but not too carefree), responsible, dependable.

I'm not gonna lie, I wish I could have sat in on this social experiment!


We are more beautiful than we think.
I'm not a big Carrie Underwood fan, in fact I'm not a fan at all. Although, I could never really put my thoughts into publishable words.....Mal the Beef Gal......She can and did. Her blog even got a response from Carrie herself.....you can bet I'll be watching to see where this discussion goes......

To read about her Beef with Carrie Underwood, check out her blog! And apparently Carrie read it too, to find out more about that click here Mending Fences.
So to get 2 birds with 1 blog, I'm combining the last part of California Girls with Soul Food Friday.Soul Food Friday is the linkup I will host on the 4th Friday of the month to which I was pleasantly surprised to have 2 linkers for the very first edition! So join the fun, tell us what feeds your soul! Anything that motivates you, speaks to you or generally gets you excited about life.....share it at Soul Food Friday! (get your badge at the bottom of my page :))


My Soul Food is

PICTURESQUE LANDSCAPES + WINE + OLD FRIENDS = SOUL FOOD

California Mom, California Sister, California Girl and I jumped into the Mercedes Benz and met California Aunt down at Orfila Winery near Escondido, CA. What a beautiful place! We took a free tour of the 74 acre winery, drank wine on the patio, ate bread and cheese and no visit would be complete without meeting the Head Winer (not to be confused with whiner, I mean who would whine about that job) Ok, so they are actually called vintner but I personally like Head Winer. This is the view off the patio, overlooking the Syrah grapes, just starting to grow for the year.



So I went a little crazy with the PicMonkey so bare with me through the variations of the same picture, but I just want to feel like I'm creative and artistic (even when I'm not).


My little CA Adventure re-energized me, got my attitude in a better place and generally made me appreciate all the things I have in life in general.
After leaving San Francisco, I headed down to southern CA to visit California Girl and her family. Even though the weather was less than desirable, it was what I still considered wonderful! Besides for eating like a queen in southern Cali, we hit up the hiking trails between Newport Beach and Laguna Beach to burn off a few calories and catch a great view of the Pacific Ocean.



We knocked out about 3.5 miles with an amazing view of an overcast Pacific Ocean. I can't even imagine how HOT it gets in the canyon in the summer, because it was cool and I was sweatin' up a storm. Sea level yes, but this place had some real mountain hills! 
After getting out of the meetings on Saturday, I was planning on renting a bike and heading across the Golden Gate Bridge, pedal style. After trying to convince a few fellow NASCOE'ers to go with me I was resigned to the fact that I would be pedaling alone. Then Brandon decided that he would like to go too, if I would wait for me....um yeah! way better than going alone! As we were walking down to the bike rental place on the Wharf, I find out he is actually a legit mountain biker.....crap.

20 miles later....double crap. We had a great trip across the bridge and down to Sausalito, CA, a cute little bayside town. We fueled up with some ice cream and a little stroll around town before heading back across the bridge. The bridge was very busy and very windy so we didn't really stop on the bridge, plus the bicycle side of it was the ocean side and just wasn't THE picture.


Of course this is the only way that I experienced the Golden Gate Bridge, but in my expert opinion, the BEST way to see the bridge. Of course, there is also the option to bike over to Sausalito and take the ferry back to Fisherman's Wharf. I do feel quite accomplished by biking 20 miles though, plus it was a good stretch of the legs after sitting in meetings for 2 days, plus eating an obscene amount of carbs while in San Fran.....have you ever had that sourdough bread that lurks in every single San Fran restaurant I stepped foot in!?

Its a toss up to which was my favorite activity, Alcatraz or the Golden Gate, both were amazing and I hope if you ever make it to San Fran you will take time to do both!
Luckily for me, NASCOE (National Association of County Office Employees) is NOT all work and no play. We make sure to save time for work too as I was in meetings all day on Friday and half of Saturday. The meetings were good and provided some insight on the challenges that we have been facing throughout the last few years and continue to face as we move forward during this uncertain budget climate facing our country. Which brings us to Alcatraz, which used to be a military base and then a federal penitentiary that was closed due to failing infrastructure and budgetary shortfalls. Now this famous island is a national park and gives an awesome tour and history lesson.

They have a sweet audio tour, complete with 1990s headphones. The tour includes narration by 3 prisoners and 3 guards that lived and worked at Alcatraz. Alcatraz housed the worst of the worst and included Al Capone. His great niece happened to be at the prison, autographing her book, Uncle Al Capone.....Can you believe that I met a CAPONE? and I bought the book which you will get the run down on when I get it finished. ps. I almost completed my reading goal on this trip :)





Now back to Alcatraz tour day






Highly recommend the Alcatraz tour! And don't be shy to stay a while and enjoy the whole island.
well......kinda, I'm not exactly the shape of acceptable California girls, but whooo-wee, that warm sun shining on my face when I stepped off the plane in Long Beach......maybe I could do 8 hour Biggest Loser workouts in addition to working full-time. And maybe.....maybe  getting up at 4 am 4.30 am was worth it. Not a mph of wind or a flake of snow in sight....{sigh} I'm one happy girl right now [ignoring the fact I'm stuck inside on a flight layover until my final destination]

So just in case you missed it, I am in California for a whole week! The first 3.5 days are for a employees association of which I am the lone Wyoming delegate (and no your federal tax dollars are not paying for this trip). Luckily for me, I found time away from touristing long enough on other NASCOE trips to make some new friends from other states so I won't be on my own all week. My partner in crime had a family emergency and had to cancel her trip at the last minute. After my place of employment duties, I'm stopping off in Long Beach to spend a few days with.........California Girl and her family! I am so excited about this as we have hung out at some of my old stomping grounds but I've never been to hers....I wonder if my square toe ABs will fit in in Huntington Beach and Newport Beach, CA? Stay tuned to find out!

Before I turn you loose for today, here a few shots from sunny Californ-I-A!



The food was so amazing! While in San Francisco I don't think I order anything that didn't have some time of seafood in it. I mean seriously.....crab mac n' cheese? sweet potato brownies? shrimp baked spuds? and of course my umbrella drink....Sex on Baker Beach.


Stayed tuned for some recaps of my favorite activities in sorta sunny California! Sorry about kinda copping out on this post, I know I did a little recap post of my trip last week to get you hooked into this but I just wasn't ready to spill the beans quite yet!


Don't forget about Soul Food Friday link up on this Friday, April 26!!!! Come join the fun and tell us what feeds your soul!

The art of living with style, class and grace.

I feel like if you truly have Hepburn tendencies this book is pretty common sense however, its always a good reminder of how we should be acting. Especially in a world that is very much Hilton all around us, its easy to forget Hepburn and fall into line with the Hilton world.






A few of my favorite quotes and ideas from the book to get you hooked....

Don't rely on somone else for your happiness and self-worth. Only you can be responsible for that. I often struggle with this. Every year or so I feel the tugging to shake everything up, new job, new location, new priorities etc.

The next time we're confronted with a sticky situation, we need to ask ourselves - is this really what I want to be remembered for? Is this what I want my kids to remember me for? My parents? My grandchildren? With the internet and accessibility of information, we need to be even more conscious of this. Mistakes find it much easier to follow us for years and years on the internet.

it doesn't matter how busy they are or whom they're with - they'll find a way to call the girl they like. Don't make excuses for them, they are very clear if they are interested or not. If a guy likes you, he will let you know. End of story. Until that happens, you can go on being your classy, witty and amazing self. I fall off the classy, witty, amazing wagon often.....I need to work on that!

 


I'm Back!  and I know you all missed me like crazy!

Remember those shirts that proudly proclaimed the level of unluckiness back in the day? Those ones that said "My so'n'so went to _______ and all I got was this lousy t-shirt" Well, I went on vacation and no one even got a lousy t-shirt.

I did however have an awesome time in California, both San Fransisco and Huntington Beach. My week was filled with lots of action and I'll list 'em out for you so you know what you have to look forward in my little vacation series that will be coming up....maybe next week, yep that will be my goal. Gotta ease back into this work thing first.

In San Fransisco I was a busy girl. I didn't do to well on the list of resturants that Football Fan gave me, but I didn't have a single thing that wasn't absolutely amazing! I was so busy that when I needed to eat, I needed to eat and I didn't always feel like trying to locate one of the amazing recommendations.....I gotta be a better planner next time! Anyway, San Fran......Alcatraz, meetings, crab mac 'n cheese, biking 20 miles with a real mountain biker.

Huntington Beach, I was even busier and the food was absolutely to die for here as well. I don't know how Californians stay so skinny with all this delicious food! (maybe its the insane amount of walking?) Don't tell, but I ate In N Out Burger.....TWICE! Other than eating we did the beach, kickball tournament, shopping, wine tasting, pool sitting, hiking, dog walking and some boozing.

I had a great time and a much needed break from my real life. I can't wait to share some pictures of my adventures with you so stay tuned for California!
for a minute week.

Wishin' I was
Knee deep in the water somewhere
got the blue sky, breeze and it don't seem fair
the only worry in the world
is the tide gonna reach my chair
Sunrise, there's a fire in the sky
never been so happy
never felt so high
and I think I might have found me my own kind of paradise



I'll be going to our employee's assocaition "All-West Rally" meeting in San Fransisco, CA complete with a little sight seeing at a new place. I've never been to San Fran, but I'm armed with the must see lists from Football Fan. Things that are certain on my list are:
  • riding a streetcar
  • Alcatraz
  • biking the Golden Gate bridge
  • running Fisherman's Wharf
  • eating as much yummy food as I can fit in my tummy!

After the conference wraps up, I'm off to Huntington Beach, CA to spend a few days with a special family. I met them working at Waunita Hot Springs Ranch, where they would vacation every year. I am so ready for some beach time and some R&R, plus tearin' it up with Dani!


See you guys in a week!
Apparently I missed the memo when I moved to Rock Springs, but it must be an unspoken rule that one who lives in Rock Springs must rock the blow up yard decorations. I seriously think  I am the ONLY house that doesn't sport these hideous, atrocious creations.

One would think that maybe these monstrosities would show their ugly face only at the BIG holidays, but no, not my neighborhood....every single holiday is equally important enough to have its very own blow up decoration! So I challenge my neighbors to see if they have a different blow up decoration every single month for a year! They don't technically know about this challenge because I don't technically even know them, but I don't feel like you need to know someone to challenge them!

I actually missed the March decorations with the camera so you will have to wait a whole year to see them!

So we will start this challenge now........

April blow up decorations......


I hope that everyone had a wonderful Easter and apparently someone is having a baby too!


This quarter's collection of Far-away Friends will feature all my far-away families. Even if it started out as friendship of one, it turned into the entire family. I can't imagine my life without every single person that makes up each of these families.

If you remember from earlier in my blog, Cowboy family are the ones that introduced me to Stretch, one of my good friends and one of my favorite roommates ever!

Cowboy Family are some of the best people you will ever meet! They are hardworking, honest, caring, salt of the earth people. Nothing is more important to them than family (they celebrated 35 years of marriage this week!), friends, ranching, working hard and playing hard. Some of my favorite memories are with Cowboy Family, they live in one of the toughest, most beautiful parts of Colorado.



Cowboy Family has grown over the last few years with Cowboy #1 getting married and having a little girl and another on the way. Cowboy #3 got married and have the cutest little dog. As the family grows I just keep adding favorites to my list in K-Town. I have met so many great people through Cowboy Family and I always feel so at home and like I'm family in K-Town.



Its the simple things that I remember so much with Cowboy Family....week long July 4th celebrations filled with fishing, campfires, storytelling, and canoe races. Brandings filled with all the neighbors in the whole valley, lots of good food, hard work and friendship. Winter get togethers filled with wood burning stoves, yard games, beers, and a feast that would rival any fancy dinner....all taking place in the shop. Days filled with sprite, crown & cokes and hours of Mario Kart. Drives home filled with a few dark miles....our headlights quit working and we didn't have cell service. Beautiful weddings filled with hundreds of friends and family, beautiful ceremonies and hours filled with remembering the past and looking towards the future.



There is always an open door in K-Town and at Cowboy Family's house. Thank you guys for being such great friends, I will always treasure our friendship that has made it so many years despite the many miles and sometimes infrequent visits!

And all the photos are complements of Facebook. I stole them all!
So my new blogging friend, the Prairie Princess, has been doing a linkup lately, and I thought it was high time that I joined up with this one! Its OK Thursday with Amber!

Its Ok Thursdays

IT'S OK................

.....that I was negative my daily calories (as in I ate 2x as many calories as I'm supposed to in one day) in my fitness pal on Saturday. Buffalo Wild Wings and Papa Johns will do that to a girl!

......that all I can think about is the sandy beach and friends that are waiting for me in CA in 6 days

......that I listened to the same 21 songs for my 3 hour drive on Sunday

......that I am not particularly excited about work lately

......that I am extremely frustrated with losing weight

......that my cowhide stool project is totally NOT going according to the plan in my head

......that my house manages to stay a disaster regardless of how many days I clean

.......that I'm already looking forward to Red Dirt at Red Rocks concert.....a full 2 months away

.......that I'm currently scheming the Dart Board Drive vacation.....gettin' in a car with a dart board....lets see where I end up!?

.......that I go to the city to shop and I end up feeling guilty about spending money.....BUT I'll be sporting some super cute racerback tanks while I'm working out to lose said weight (see above)

.......that I'm contemplating a sabbatical from Facebook

......that I'm worried about having enough important things to say to keep blogging faithfully

......that I would like my roommate to move back

It's OK

by on 5:00 AM
So my new blogging friend, the Prairie Princess , has been doing a linkup lately, and I thought it was high time that I joined up with this ...
You can read about my first house here. The laundry room was pretty much the last priority on the list, but when Momma came up to help finish up a few projects, we got this one tackled on a whim. I had gotten an extra cabinet from when we remodeled my kitchen because they sent the wrong color. Because my laundry room is on the smaller side, I needed some extra room to fold my laundry.

I already had my washer and dryer so that saved me a lot of money. I completed this room for about $200 (most of this was carpet). I had to use the carpet because the concrete floor had settled and was too uneven for tile or laminate.

Here is my new and improved laundry room!


If anyone wants to come try it out it seems as I always have an overflowing laundry shoot!
I've been to Idaho so naturally I felt like I should try out the recipe. And The Retired Guy's wife has chickens. Chickens that lay approximately 28 eggs per day. Yes folks, per day. Everyone that knows Retired Guy and his wife, they have high cholesterol. But this recipe is ideal for folks that have been to Idaho and have an over abundance of eggs in the fridge. I'll warn you that scooping out those taters was not as easy as I thought it would be.....maybe its because I'm not a real Idahoan? Anyway that little bit of info explains the aluminum foil boats that my taters are cooking in.

via Our Best Bites blog


Yup! I NAILED it!

Well maybe I need to practice one more time.



Hello again constant reader/listener.  They say April showers bring May flowers, but if my rain dances don’t start working it’s going to be a long summer, so everyone start rain dancing.  Oh, I’m supposed to do some kind of playlist thing, right?  Ok, ok!

I was told that I cannot disappoint this month, because last month was a big hit.  Yet still, I am getting off the red dirt road and heading in a different direction, so don’t hate, just accept.
This is the time of year that farmers and ranchers start to think about getting some crops in the ground and praying for rain, unless you live in western Wyoming, we can hold off on that thinking for a few more weeks.  Ranchers have calves on the ground and will soon be heating up the branding irons and sending the cows to the spring/summer range.  So, this playlist is dedicated to the hard working men and women of the agricultural community.

First is a song that was written after a Farm Aid concert; The Rain Came Down, Steve Earle
Next, I bring you a song from Wyoming’s own; Six Bucks a Day, Chris Ledoux
The third song on this list; Amarillo Sky, Jason Aldean
The fourth song in the lineup is a good ole cowboy song; Night Riders Lament, Garth Brooks
In keeping with the “rain theme” here, the next song; Rain is a Good Thing, Luke Bryan
Ok, ok, you crazy Red Dirt listeners, I’ll throw one at you to keep you happy; Once a Cowboy, Gabe Garcia

So, there it is, Pray for rain and hope that there is something for the livestock to eat this summer, I’m hungry.