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This week I have been

Working. So much. But that’s not really what anyone wants to hear about so here’s else I have been up to:

Reading

I have speed read through not one, or two but three Harry Potter books this week. It’s just so relaxing and throughly distracting to revisit Hogwarts, even if it marred by Voldemort’s insistence on returning.

I have Hillbilly Elegy sitting next to my bed, and I’ve been meaning to read it, but I just haven’t felt like I had the brain power at the end of the day. Maybe next week.

Looking for

Shells. I used to collect buckets full of lady slippers when I was a kid at the beach. I brought every single one home with my that didn’t have a hole in it, which seemed to be most of them.

These days I’m not much better. I’ve been bringing home bags full of shells from the beach, and I still don’t know for sure what to do with them. I’ve stashed some in flower gardens, andI have a small bowl sitting on my coffee tables as I find them soothing to look at. I love how there is no reason for them to be pretty, but they are. I consider it a small sign of the goodness in the universe.

A fun surprise this week was finding some shells I hadn’t seen before inside of a sea urchin.

Watching

On Netflix, I’m watching One Day at a Time. It’s so funny and really brilliant at showing a lot of different perspectives without making anyone out to be the bad guy.

And then of course, I have been watching so much Olympics. It’s extra motivating during gym workouts, especially all the people who have come back from injuries.

Relaxing with

Essential oils and face masks.

I had an issue with week where my ear was so full of wax I had to go to the clinic and get professional help to hear again. It made me very crabby.

But I finally broke down about two weeks ago and got an essential oil diffuser. It’s magic when it come to relaxing, especially when you pair it with a facemask.

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This week I…

Actually, a more accurate title would be these past two weeks, but that doesn’t sound as good. But here’s what I’ve been up to.

Daytripping to: 

Wakulla Springs and Apalachicola on one day and then out to 30A to ride bikes on another. It’s been nice cool weather to get outside and do a little exploring/visiting of some favorite haunts outside of Panama City.

That’s a baby gator on the alligator’s tail. Apparently the mom will protect the little gators for the first two years and in the next picture get ready to see a baby manateee. As Eryn says the Wakulla boat tour is the best $8 you can spend.

 

Then 30A is the best place to ride to bikes. As Eryn says (again) you are punished for having a car. Also the window shopping is great a.k.a. Expensive and tempting.

Eating

Eryn and I are really trying to eat healthier, which means I have mostly reverted back to a diet of avocados. But, we did cheat when we were at 30A and had the best donuts of our lives. I had the Emerald Coast, which was a coconut donut that managed to not be too sweet (a feat when you consider how much sugar seems to go into all Southern baking) and Eryn had a raspberry cheesecake donut. Look how cute it was.

Buying

I’ve been really, really stressed out at work for a lot of reasons. Some my fault, some not so much. But as part of the all important effort to calm the fuck down, I’ve bought myself some new books and a couple (well kind of a lot) of plants).

Watching

The Olympics, of course. I love hearing the athletes back stories and I root for literally everyone.

I also binge watched Grace and Frankie the other week, because I adore how they portray getting old. Sure, there are real issues, but it’s not the end of the world.

And Eryn and I are slowly watching One Day at a Time. They did such a good job casting a diverse group, and the writers do an excellent job of showing differing viewpoints without making anyone a jerk.

Note, I pretty much exclusively watch shows where I think everyone is trying to be a good person. It’s a dealbreaker for me.

Excited about

I ran 5 miles on the elliptical the other day and lasted a little over 40 minutes. I’m training to do a 5K in a month so I need to build up my endurance.

 

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DIY facial oils for oily skin

For literally as long as I can remember, I have had acne. I am pretty sure I got my first zit in second grade.

My skin is OILY. The kind of oil where there is residue on the screen after I talk on the phone or where if I touch my face and then a polished desk I leave perfect oil fingerprints. Clearly, a career as a thief is not in my future.

But anyways, recently I feel like I have been hearing about the magic of facial oils on the time. Bloggers rave about them. They sell them in such pretty bottles at the store. And the prevailing belief seems to be even if you have oily skin adding more oils is a good idea. It seems that by adding oil, you can get your own oil glands to stop making so much oil. Plus, some of the other oils in the serum, tea tree and frankincense most notably, will serve as acne fighting machines.

Admittedly, I’m skeptical. Skeptical enough I don’t want to pay $80 for a tiny bottle of oil. But not so skeptical, I won’t pay $30 to make my own version to try.

Here’s what you need:

1. A brown jar (helps preserves the oils better) with a dropper

2. Jojoba Oil – a dryer carrier oil and therefore better for oily skin

3. Tea tree oil – An acne fighting machine as he helps dry it out and is antibacterial

3. Frankincense oil – decreases pore size; helps with scarring

4.  Lavender oil – antibacterial; helps soothe skin

5. Lemongrass oil  – antibacterial; astringent

Note: There are many other essential oils out there that people (and some studies) say are good for acne, such as juniper berry or clary sage. These are just the ones I went with.

Directions:

Pour all the jojoba oil in the bottle. Then I added about 20 drops to tea tree, 40 drops of frankincense (because my oil was diluted with jojoba oil to keep the cost down), 10 drops of lavender and 10 drops of lemongrass. Shake it and use one to two drops on our face after showering.

I’ve been using it for about a week, so not long enough to know if it’s working or not. But it does smell good in the mornings and it can’t hurt to try.

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Doing the Right Thing

Note: I wrote this one year ago, but decided to delay publishing in case anyone from work read it. I figured one year is enough time to make this post not gossipy but old news, and maybe someone else will learn something from this. 

Doing the right thing is really hard. Take this example from work.

A couple months ago, our social media editor quit in a fit of a rage. It was very dramatic, and more importantly to this story it left his position open in a time where an entire other department was being laid off.

Our editor ended up with two choices – an inside candidate and an outside candidate. I was fortunate enough to be looped in on the interviews for the outside candidate, and was told afterwards they were looking to hire her.

But then, the inside candidate — who was basically in a I need to get this job or an unemployment check position — was training next to me all day for days. And she didn’t know the other candidate was being so seriously considered, but everyone else did. It felt like she was being blind sided, and it felt wrong. I wasn’t the only person that thought so.

So I told her about the other candidate. I said “nothing’s definite, but  I think you should know they are talking pay with the other candidate.” It really seemed like the right thing to do and other people told me it was the right thing to do.

But then, one week later the pay negotiations were falling apart with the outside candidate, and I get looped in on that. Turns out, it seems more like the inside candidate is going to get the job.

So now, I’ve given the inside candidate bad information. I feel awful about that, so then I have to go back and tell her “hey looks like things are changing, so I wanted to set the record straight and tell you that.” And I think it was the right thing to do to tell her that, but now I just feel like a gossip. But if I hadn’t told her in the first place, I would have felt complicit in stringing her along.

Basically, I have no idea what the “right thing” to do is, and I’m just trying the best I can. What would you have done? Am I just meddlesome?

 

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Bucket Lists

I recently found a bucket list I had written out about four years ago. It was funny seeing how much I had done, but also how much I had forgotten about.

For example, item 31 was see a solar eclipse. Good news, 21-year-old Katie, I’ll be checking that off next week.

In that spirit, here is my lasted bucket list:

1. Complete a Warrior Dash without crying (slated for March 10)

2. Zipline in a rainforest

3.  Skydiving

4. Get a PhD

5. Learn to throw pottery

6. See the Big Sur

7. Actually lots of traveling

8. Hike the Presidentials in New Hampshire

9. Have a go to drink at a bar (so elusive)

10. Do a house renovation (including learning the basics of plumbing, electric, Sheetrock and framing)

11. Win Pulitzer
And some more checked off items from that original list:

1. Swim with manatees

2. Become certified scuba diver

3. Go to Yellowstone

4. Do a road trip

5. Celebrate Mardi Gras in New Orleans

6. See Monet’s waterlillies

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Big goals for August

I’m crabby.

Recently, this none-too-pleased look Daisy is demonstrating so well has become my go-to resting bitch face. I’m crabby about work (looonngggg list of reasons there). I’m crabby about my weight. I’m crabby about money (where does it all go??). I’m crabby about vacations not taken.

Basically, I’m a crab monster. And as fun as that has been for everyone who dares to cross my path, I suppose it’s time to be an adult, recongize my power in my own happiness and make some changes (<— God, that sounds horrendously cliche).

So armed with a notebook, some financial apps, pinterest and some common sense, here are the changes hopefully coming to a theatre near me.

  1.  $50 of extra spending a week. Based on my calculations, if I hit that number my Bank of America app will stop yelling at me. Eventually.
  2. Put $80 a month into my retirement account, because if I do that I can’t stop working one day.
  3. With the exception of all the cool stories I get to work on and cool things I like implementing, it’s time to stop talking about work outside of a work. There has to be other things out there in the world to talk about.
  4. And actually while at work stop talking so much about work, more importantly coworkers. You do not need to know who said what about who or failed to do what part of their job. More importantly, you don’t need to tell other people who said what or who didn’t do what. You really, really don’t.
  5. Go exerise. Whining about your weight does not count as exercise, go walk. Maybe you can become one of those annoying work people who talk about fitness all the time.
  6. Take one trip a season. I’m thinking somewhere with a pool for summer, somewhere with some mountains for fall, a cool city in the winter and if we are lucky (/dedicated to the $50 a week rule) a cool tropical vacation for Belize.
  7. Go volunteer more. If you have the free time to be crabby, you have the free time to volunteer.
  8. Start making some cool stuff again. You need some cool shelves in the kitchen, a neat beach cover up and some soap. Get to it.
  9. While you are at it, clean up your house a little better. While poor Eryn makes dinner, seems like a good time for you to contribute.
  10. While we are on the topic of good habits, let’s establish a good nightly skin care routine, a morning workout, blogging (do I say this every time I actually post something?) and maybe go to bed and wake up at reasonable times.

What habits do you have to help keep you from being a monster?

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May Day Pole DIY

So last year, if you remember, I had a May Day Brunch and it was so MUCH. FUN.

I can’t even.

So if you would like to have your own May Day Party this year, I though I would tell you really quickly how I put that pole together. May Day Party | MostlyMinted.com

It was actually really easy.

Here’s what you need:

  • Crepe Paper in a bunch of colors ($1 at the Dollar Store)
  • 10 ft copper pole from Home Depot (about $10)
  • Wire
  • Drill and Bit
  • Tape
  • Tiki Torch holder

The whole thing ended up costing me about $15 to make, which I think is pretty reasonable.

DIY May Pole |MostlyMinted.com

Okay, so the here’s how you do it.

  1. Drill a hole through the top of your copper pipe. The metal is pretty soft so just apply a slow steady pressure and it went right through for me.
  2. Bend you wire into a crown like shape, the same way you would to make a flower crown. Then using the same length of wire create a cross section the can go through the hole and attach to the opposite side of the pole. DIY May Pole |MostlyMinted.com
  3. Measure out pieces of crepe paper that are about twice the size of the pole (20 ft) and start taping to the wire. Until you have as many streamers as you want. I did 10 because five people were coming. DIY May Pole |MostlyMinted.com
  4. Store the pole inside until day of. It’s only crepe paper so you don’t want it to get wet or spend too much time out in the wind. Then move it outside.DIY May Pole |MostlyMinted.comDIY May Pole |MostlyMinted.com
  5. To stake it into the ground, you are going to want to have your tiki torch holder already in place, and then put the pole into it. I put about 6 inches of the pole into the ground and that was good enough to hold it.

And that’s it! You are ready to twirl and feel a little bit like a pagan or a fairy. It took about an hour to get everything together. Have fun!

May Day Brunch | MostlyMinted.com

May Day Party | MostlyMinted.com

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Goodby to you

This good thing sounds a little mean but… My neighbors are moving!!!!

In my defense these are bad neighbors. The kind of neighbors that drunkenly show up by your porch wanting to talk. The kind that repeatedly call the cops on each other. The kind with a small yappy dog that won’t stay in their house or stop barking. The kind you are constantly wondering if they are dealing weed.

But the Uhaul was here, just about everything was loaded inside and I am now looking forward to spring and summer nights on my porch.

 

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New collar, new palm, new selfie stick

Eryn was right, and I was wrong. Arcades are fun with a broken elbow.

I was really convinced I wasn’t going to be able to do anything, but it turned out the only thing I couldn’t do was pinball. In fact, Eryn and I had a record day with more than 1,000 tickets!

Which means we finally earned the 900 required to win the fabled selfie stick!!!!!! Yay!!! This was months in the making.

Look at all that beach. You just don’t get that with a normal selfie.

Other really great things that happened yesterday: Eryn surprised me with a giant palm tree after listening to me talk about digging one up and stealing it every single time we drive around. Apparently, she did not think that was a good idea.

And Miss Adeline got her very fancy new collar so no more jingling.

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Mini road trip

Today, Eryn and I took a mini road trip to go see what’s new at anthropologie, grab a lunch (and some deserts) and then bought some plants at our favorite nursery on 30A. The weather was great. The cashier at the garden center was super nice. And it was just fun.

(This post is part of The Crab Project. A document of one good thing a day to stop me from being a crab.)

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