Thursday, January 26, 2017

2016 Year in Review

            Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017. 

Pop, Clink, Fizz... New Year's Eve 2016
I decided I didn't want to really recap 2016 in depth. It started off great and ended swell, but the middle was awful...heartbreaking...really effin' dreadful for a couple of months...But then an unexpected plot twist...a  positively wonderful turn of events was set in motion and things have been moving in the right direction ever since.

2016 was a calendar full of memories, good and bad, that will line some of the pages in the book of my life. Laughter and tears were the soundtrack of this past year, just as they will be for every other year.

Things didn't work out the blue-eyed boy of recent posts. This past year we enjoyed skiing with the family, a spring break trip to Washington D.C., a bourbon tour, concerts, hiking, Blue Aproning, etc. But all of that had to come to an end in order to make room for something better. I can't delete him or our memories from life, so I won't be deleting him here.

Early summer was a bit rough, but I healed my heartbreak by showering myself with self-love, with a trip to Vegas with some of my best girlfriends and to be honest, some therapy of the mental health professional kind #noshame #anxiety

Had some serious blind date success on the 30th of July, with an incredible guy who puts the biggest smile on my face. We've been to weddings and trivia nights...Ventured to Kansas City over Fall Break...We've hot yoga'd and walked along the Greenway trail...we've dined and ballroom danced...We've laughed, we've sung, we've bowled... Only time will tell, when it comes to the flame burning bright or fizzling out, but gosh, right now, I just look forward to more good times with this guy..
This guy...full of smiles...makes me smile even bigger. 
This year, I was cast in my first musical as one of the leads, was a Pigeon Sister in the theater adaption of The Odd Couple and acted in a murder mystery or two..

Just a gal cast as Grace in the Best Christmas Pageant Ever the Musical with one of her biggest fans. It was a step outside my typical acting norm...and singing in front of others... #challenging 
I took ballroom dancing lessons with Jack and danced the Samba again with my favorite dancing buddy Cletus from Dancing With Our Stars [you can see our original performance here]

I bought a new car...and then weeks later had to invest in a new furnace...[cue tears of sadness for the latter...and too big of a balance now on my credit card to work on paying off...#adultingprobs]

I passed the first of four components to become a National Board Certified Teacher, officially became part of the first group going through Murray State earn a Doctorate of Arts focusing on English Pedagogy and Literacy....I'm officially 25% done.

Saw a host of rare medical oddities at the Musuem of Health and Science Museum and introduced my mom to PostSecret with the Smithsonian's exhibit. I ate a ridiculous amount of BBQ this summer and drank even more sugary Starbucks than I care to admit..

No bones about it, I took advantage of Dad's last few days in DC with my mama. She's the one taking the picture, not the skeleton in the case. #disclaimer
Laundry didn't get done as much as I'd like and my foray into domesticity is still a work in progress...

With a new year comes a new 101 list... maybe I'll cross more off this time around, than the last. My mindset regarding this though is basically to make goals and then crush them.

Cheers to 2017.

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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Baecation ala Spring Break Style

Another baecation is in the books for the blue-eyed boy and I. Skiing in West Virginia was Round 1 and This time around for Round 2? Gettysburg, Washington D.C and Baltimore.

Perks of being a teacher include weeklong breaks in the Spring and Fall, in addition to Summer of course. These breaks are an optimum time to travel and satiate the wanderlust that runs rampant in my soul. Thankfully, the boy’s career allows him some flexibility and he was able to join me this break, hopefully the first of many *blush

My Dad conveniently lives and works in the MD/DC area, so he was able to play hospitable host. Having a free place to stay is obviously nice on the wallet, but being able to spend time with a Dad you only see a few times a year…well, you can’t really put a price on that. I’m a lucky girl.

Our adventure started on Tuesday night when we flew in on a late-evening flight from NashVegas to Baltimore.  Late arrival meant a rough, early morning wake-up call, but the weather on Wednesday was going to be lovely, albeit a little chilly, for a historical trip to Gettysburg. We were originally going on Thursday, but Mother Nature planned on making it a wet one… more on that later this post.

The boy booked us a two-hour guided tour of Gettysburg on horseback and it was a highlight of the trip. We’ve been gearing up for this particular historical haunt for a few months – watching movies, reading Civil War history books, etc. In fact, the day of our trip we stopped off at the library, and I checked out a quick read that I read out loud as we drove to Nashville. My boy is a bit of a book worm… and I love his bibliophile ways.

Horsing around

Roundin' out our Gettysburg visit at Little Round Top 

Came in like a cannon ball... 
Day two had us venturing into Washington D.C… and we should have known it would be a disaster because of the weather report (we had changed our Gettysburg plans because it was supposed to rain…rain…rain…rain…) and because we couldn’t find a parking spot at the metro, so we had to drive into the operating center of America and then parking… yeah… parking was a financial investment for the few hours we spent there… after being soaking wet and fifty shades of grouchy, we opted to cut our losses and headed home to change into comfortable, but more importantly dry clothes for a lunch of burrito babies at Chipotle and an afternoon at the coffee shop. We ended the night getting a couples massage… His was great and mine was… well interesting… my masseuse massaged me wearing a rubber glove and it was odd…

Friday we tried Washington D.C. again and were successful. Thank God.  We met up with one of my boy’s old fraternity brothers (he’s press secretary for one of our state's US congressmen), who got us set up with a tour of the Capitol that morning and a tour at the Washington Monument that afternoon. We also saw the Congressional Chamber, where security is intense… they literally have you check everything: keys, cellphones, watches, bags, etc. There’s a tunnel that connects the Capitol to the Library of Congress, so we took a sneak peek of Jefferson’s personal library and the Reading Room.

Part of Jefferson's Personal Library #booknerd

After some touring, we worked up an appetite and I was dead set on going to former Top Chef contestant, Spike Mendehlsohn’s burger joint, Good Stuff Eatery… and let me tell you, it was some good effin’ stuff. He’s got a pizza joint next door, We The Pizza, so naturally we had to get a slice of pizza too. I also excitedly instagrammed the occasion, tagged Spike and HE LIKED MY PHOTO.

Spike liked my photo. That's all. 

Friday night took us to Camden Yards where we (including my Dad) watched the Orioles’ murder the Rays with homerun, after homerun, after homerun. We sat in front of some drunken hecklers, who made the event even more entertaining, and we partook in some ballpark food (give me all the pretzels, peanuts and BBQ chicken nachos)

Take me out to the ballgame. 

Saturday we headed to visit some family friends for lunch, before heading off to Baltimore’s Harbor pre-departure. I wanted to see Edgar Allan Poe’s grave and wanted the boy to see the Harbor.

Baltimore's Inner Harbor

Edgar Allan Poe's work lives on, but he is #NeverMore. 

I didn’t quite want the week to end. I feel like it flew by and it’s already been three weeks since we were horsing around at Gettysburg.. Oh, baecation why did you have to end?

Already wanderlusting for another adventure.. 

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Thursday, April 7, 2016

Hair cuts = Fresh Starts

I’m a firm believer that life transitions can either be marked or be encouraged by a change in hair.

Case in point.

Monday, I started the day as a hot mess with several inches of hair damaged by an impulsive late 2014 decision to bleach portions of my hair to achieve that coveted ombré look. Let’s just say that my hair likes to embrace it’s red undertones and all color, bleach or not, typically turns to some reddish hue…to put it candidly, ombré was not a great look for me, so not only did it look like shiz but it damaged my mane.


At 11am, I told my therapist hair stylist that I needed a change… so two hours and 6” later my new ‘do is above the shoulders with some highlights that were supposed to be a shade of brown a few hues lighter than my own, BUT the aforementioned problem with all color soaked up by my strands turning a reddish hue leaves me with what we’ll call cinnamon highlights.


So, let’s cue a life change with a sassy textured shoulder-length bob with some cinnamon highlights.


With 31 right around the corner (we’re talking like less than 6 weeks here…cue panic) it’s time I change a few things, and what better way to keep myself accountable than blogging about it, so that a) it’s real [I don’t have Facebook… and some people say it’s not real if it’s not on Facebook… I think that mindset is changing though… like is Facebook even cool anymore?] and b) I get back into the habit of blogging regularly.

I embarrassingly started this back in the day with discussing bad habits… [you can get acquainted with them here… or here...and if you want to see my lack of progress you can read here and here….I’m literally not kidding when I say I’m a hot mess… like thankfully I’m not a parent yet, as the whole child rearing business could have been hazardous had it taking place prior to this dedicated life change]

So, this haircut has prompted me to want to embark on a self-improvement quest to better the me, that goes with the new ‘do. And if my blue-eyed boy is reading this post, to better the “me”, that will go even better with you.

I want to be realistic, so I’m only going to focus on changing/improving one or two bad habits at a time. To be successful, I need to really make this form of goal setting manageable and let’s be honest… achievable. I don’t want to bite off more than I can chew… and pardon me for being frank, but it’s time for me to get my shit together.

With my head in the clouds {I’m literally in the air flying to Baltimore for Spring Break 2016) Here’s a few initial habits that I’d like to focus on in the coming year… taking a bad habit and replacing it with either an improved version, so a less bad habit, or replacing it with a good habit. 

DISCLAIMER: This is not an exhaustive list… [cue laugh]

Bad Habit
Solution to Improve or Eradicate

Nail Biting
 NOTE: I know it’s disgusting… the product of gnawing is unattractive, that act itself is gross, and the amount and type of germs I’m ingesting is vomitous.

This one is an $$ investment, but get a manicure weekly/bi-weekly. By spending money and having nails looking nice, maybe desire to bite will diminish?


Plain and simple: Make the time to get rid of shit.   #noexcuses

Stop misplacing things.
I know that my boy gets so annoyed with me because I will misplace important things when they are needed. House keys, mailbox keys, my wallet, my debit card, driver’s license, etc. etc.

Have designated places for things and don’t procrastinate to return items back to “home base”

Skipping meals, eating poorly, too much sugar consumption yada yada

Meal planning/prep. Make it a priority to fuel my body with good foods… Doing the Whole 30 – I know that the key to this is truly meal planning/prep

Clothes…. EvErYwHeRe

Step 1: Get rid of shit to drastically reduce inventory
Step 2: Stop stockpiling laundry
Step 3: Fold and put away IMMEDIATELY… don’t procrastinate

Remember that procrastination is the thief of time.
Prioritize To-Do lists and limit distractions (social media, texting, laziness,etc.)

Hmmm... so many to choose from... Let's go with Not Working Out Enough 

Le duh... get my ass to the gym. 

Fresh start... big changes, people. Step 1 for accountability...right here.

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Sunday, March 27, 2016

It's been 6 months too long and now I'm Embarrassed.


Well... Where do I even begin?

First off, let's get this out of the way.

I'm embarrassed.

I dropped the ball on le blog... which is deeply embarrassing considering that during the unplanned blogging hiatus, I had a lovely spread published in a local magazine that mentioned me and my blog. [cue blush of embarrassment]

I've promised people that I would go back to blogging... family, friends, le boyfriend. Does that make me a liar? Or an empty promiser? I'm not entirely sure, but a 6 month sabbatical from something that I hoped would turn into something is really unacceptable.

So, here I am to admit to the ultimate blogging fail, but to commit to persevering in spite of this failure.

Before I can start fresh, I need to recap on the six month gap that befell upon this blog... with the most notable event being that I fell in love with the blue-eyed boy from this post . To say I am smitten with him is an understatement and many of the events within the gap period include that handsome man.

The six month gap included cheer coaching; color guard instructing; teaching, of course; household choring; gallons of frou frou coffee drink consuming; DIYing; baby showering; traveling; cooking; thespianing; Whole 30ing; lots of dating; yada yada, you're bored already.

I could do a ridiculous photo dump here, as I've been better about taking pictures than I did blogging...

Some of the more notable and picture worthy gap events:

Had an article published about me and my blog in Paducah Life Magazine
Backstage Cast Photo from community theater show: Farce of Nature

Samuel J Heyman Service to America Gala in DC
SAMMIES gala with Dad

Visit with my high school best friend in VA 

Brainstorming New Years' Resolutions with my Boy 

Best part of my 2015 

                                           Murder Mystery theater makes my heart complete...


                                                          Family ski-trip to Snowshoe, WV


                            Trying new things with my boy... Just call me Katniss with a 9mm


                                              Feeling blessed on my first Easter with this guy. 


There you have it - filling in the gap. I vow to do better. At least a post a week, maybe two or three... Let's start with just one though. I want to keep my promises this time around.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Confessions of a Nauti girl.

Summer Time sailing on the Slow 'n' Easy....#KYlakelife
Turn your 50-shades-of-grey switch off... I'm referring to my affinity for all things Nautical... I Mom and Gramman read this blog...

Now, I know this isn't actually new information to those who have been dropping anchor to my sporadic postings here at LUMUHAND, but a post that takes a pier into the main bathroom, my new landscaping and my buoy, I mean boy, sure is.

Whale, as a sneak peek into my home sweet home, my poopdeck main bathroom is decorated with a nautical theme... I literally can not help it, I am attracted to anchors and such, like southern gals are attracted to monograms, chevron and sweet tea. I mean how cute is this boat shelf... I couldn't resist. 

Behind the Toilet Storage
Sink area... what you can't sea very whale is a compass shower curtain with sailor knot shower rings.. and a chevon rug...
As some of you might recall, my 30th birthday present was some front landscaping. Big Thanks to Mom & Dad, my sweet Gramman, my Uncle Ben and Kiki La Rue for making this nautical feature come to life... We delayed installation for weather purposes, but ended up laboring in 90 degree heat... Totally the perfect weather for a girl allergic to sunlight and yard work.

So the landscaping dream started with a "Mom, I'd like to do nautical theme landscaping" and ended with the front entrance of my home being a total nod to my roots and what I love. It's not for everyone, but I like it, so that's really all that matters. 

Here's the before.. and after a huge in process photo dump, I'll reveal the after.
Front yard.. all mulched and full of vegetation that served as an all-you-can-eat buffet for my pet deer living in the adjoining wooded area.
I needed a boat... so sweet talked the Ag teacher into getting some of his Ag boys to build me one... Meet my boat... The Cat's Meow

Boat Before
Kiki La Rue officially naming the The Cat's Meow... 
I use to have mulch, but I opted for gravel... That whole OARdeal was a mess, literally and figuratively. Also, the only way I like to get that muddy is if it's on porpoise... like if I'm getting a spa treatment or running in a mud run.

Can't have your own pier if you don't have some pylons... 
Knot even kidding, my Mom was really committed to the overall theme... and as you can sea, she can tie a nice knot
The compass on the side of the house now isn't so lonely anymore. Underneath, are painted signal flags that spell out LUMUHAND. As if my wrist isn't a reminder enough, every time I come home I'm reminded of my Grandad. There's also a whale that has my longitude/latitude coordinates, a pelican in the corner, and a dolphin feature in a pool of blue/green glass rocks.

 I wielded some power tools like a DIY badass to create my destination focal point... 

And here's the AFTER... 

I haven't foregot and it's too late to bow out now... My current bay? Whale.... he happens to be a nauti buoy, with blue eyes like the sea, who loves the lake life...  See how my affinity for all things nautical is making waves in other aspects of my life? 

He may sail into some future posts, but in the meantime... 

Meet Bay.

St. John = 1,940 miles from Paducah

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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

I'm just going to put this out there...

I love breakfast...and at any hour of the day... whether it's early morning, mid-morning, late-morning or breakfast for dinner... I simply love breakfast.

It only makes sense that I have besties, like Christin, that plan festivals in Memphis like BreakFest, supporting won't want to miss it this September 26th.. and I have Kiki La Rue who keeps my love for breakfast real, so real in fact, with her shared recipe for the finest homemade buttermilk pancakes...and I'd like to think that a certain hotcake would agree with this statement. 

Meet Hotcake. Btw, I'm totally the better pancake flipper....
If I absolutely had to come up with a top 5 6 breakfast menu choice, I'd go with the following:
1. Eggs Benedict...any which way, but preferably the Crab Cake version.

2. French Toast... my Grandad taught me the secret to the perfect french toast, which is a splash of vanilla extract.. His tastebuds gave me their seal of approval on this dish prior to his passing. What I wouldn't give to make that sweet man a helping. LUMUHAND, Grandad

3. Pancakes...... pumpkin are truly my favorite.

I couldn't resist a little screen shot... bahaha
So, I have to mention a little bit of a disclaimer. Hotcake and I made breakfast the other day... He was going to grab pancake mix, and of course me - in my attempt to continuing practicing my culinary domesticity - was like, let's do it from scratch.. I'd watched Kiki La Rue do it a myriad of times, so in my mind, I was like how hard could it really be, right? I was totally honest about this fact later on, but initially I might have insinuated I was this hardcore baking goddess... [insert appropriate emoji here] 

You see, the problem with baking is that you have to follow recipes to a T... and I have like recipe ADD... so I'm much better when I can be a little bit of a rebel with a recipe, which is why cooking tends to work out a little better than baking... I would like to note though that I pulled a McGuyver move when we were a cup shy of buttermilk, the key ingredient... Google came in clutch.... 1 TBSP of vinegar, almost a cup of milk, stir that shiz and let it sit for 5 minutes.. Hotcake should think favorably of that display of ingenuity. 

4. Basically anything with a potato... like a hash? sure. Fried potatoes? yeah, I'll totally take those too.  

5. Egg scrambles infused with all sorts of heavenly goodness.  Like... I dislike peppers, and this is HUGE people, but I will totally eat an egg scramble with tiny peppers sautéed with onions and garlic... nomm.

6.  I'm a HUGE fan of chicken and waffles...I just can't not include that on the list.

I hope I didn't hurt the feelings of breakfast casseroles, or bowls of Lucky Charms, or cinnamon rolls. and Scotch eggs. I totally embrace them all... I mean I seriously, elfin' love breakfast... which is odd, because you'd think that I wouldn't want to skip it every school day morning... but for some reason, my bed holds me hostage until the last possible minute... One day perhaps, I'll re-prioritize and breakfast everyday will truly be bae.

So, I'm thinking that it's pretty much official, that I want need the shirt that reads "Brunch so hard Mimosa wanna find me" and that tonight's dinner menu consists of breakfast.

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