November Time: NaNoWriMo + B-Day + Art!

November is off like a bullet already.

As I did last year, I am participating in National Novel Writing Month, (, and I had been preparing for this throughout October. This year I’m a planner. Last year, I was a “Pantser” as they call it…flying by the seat of my pants as I wrote. This story has a clear trajectory, and the word count is already up to 12,122 words (My TOTAL last year was around 17k) as of the end of last night. Got some work to focus on today, but I will definitely be squeezing in some words. My goal for yesterday was 6666 words to be on path to hit my goal of 50k before the end of the month. I’m mega-excited.

I’ll share an excerpt with you next blog. Maybe I’ll introduce the characters here. There’s quite a few.

GYM UPDATE: I’ve still been a slouch. I went to the gym on the 29th. Got my 30 minutes in and a little bit more, walking over a mile at 2.0mph. I have been active lately though, definitely getting walking in that isn’t necessarily at the gym. I mean, grocery shopping and lugging them up the stairs all in one trip like a pack mule should really count as a workout. Sweat more there than on the treadmill. QQ

Commissions are plentiful at the moment, but I hope to get even more on my plate on that front. I truly hope to develop this into a business that I can do from home when I finally pop out a couple younglings, so getting a full head of steam behind this has been a major goal for me.


MY BIRTHDAY WAS AMAZING! Slept in at the in-laws’ house before rolling outta bed to get cupcakes from SWEET! (The most awesomest cupcake bakery in Orlando) Charles’ present for me was in the car. Boy got me a new cellphone case (needed) and Sims 3: Dragon Valley (OMG WANTED). It was wrapped in the cutest bumblebee gift bag, with pink paper. He had the sweetest card. Charles and I had lunch at Graffiti Junktion, and we cruised back to our place for a while. I didn’t know why at the time, but it was waiting on a birthday gift delivery, which was apparently from his mom and dad. 🙂 I didn’t expect anything from them, for sure. It was super nice of them. Chuck and Mary got me Sims 3: Into the Future (SIM SIM SIMMY SIM SIM! – LOVING THIS XPACK) and this adorable Sailor Moon necklace, which actually was the exact same as I got my niece last year (who happens to have the same birthday as me!) We had dinner at Outback after I stopped over at Hobby Lobby for costume supplies, and Mary was nice enough to let me use her grown up sewing machine when I killed my tiny one. Good times were had by all.


HALLOWEEN WAS AWESOME! My hubby let loose his inner artist, dressing up as the ever-inspiring Bob Ross, and I was his muse, the Happy Little Tree! I made my tree trunk dress myself. (Hence the sewing machine) I really don’t know a whole lot of much about sewing aside from minor repairs and what I learned in home ec in the 7th grade, but I am still feeling accomplished that I made it and it didn’t fall apart. There were only about 10 trick or treaters, which meant lots of leftover candy! (OMG not good for the exercising part of me…but my inner fat kid was in heaven!)

I’ll end today’s post with my latest illustration (fresh off the presses. I just drew it this morning). It was a prize for my instagram contest from October. They requested the cartoony character, so i drew him in the style presented as well as in my own. I just got this grey paper tablet. I think I’m in love. See ya next time! ❤



Day 23: Has it really been a week???

Where does the time go? I can’t believe I’ve been blog-less for a full week. It feels like only yesterday I wrote my last post. I guess I got wrapped up in life and lost track of the time.

GYM UPDATE: I’m a lazy slouch. Hehe.
No worries though! Tuesday, October 29th, will mark my official return to my Tuesday/Thursday/Sunday exercise schedule.  I’ve been fighting a cold, allergies, and a couple other things as of late, and I hate to say it, but I often found myself not having the time. Even as I write this, I got at least six other things going on that are needing my attention. But I wouldn’t forget my beloved Panda Squares readers. This journey with you guys has really helped me to stay on track as long as I did, and I hope your support will help me get back on it again.

It’s about that time of year again! National Novel Writer’s Month will be upon us on November 1st, which means it’s time for me to begin work on the 50,000 word novel challenge from – just like last year. Last year I fell short of my goal, reaching just over 17k words. I did all my writing as a “Pantser”, flying by the seat of my pants and writing whatever came to mind.

Not this year though! This year, I have been planning my novel for most of this month with a story that has been brewing in my mind for a while now. My characters are clearly defined, though some still need names. My current rough outline has me at over 20 chapters worth of story to be told. It’s gonna be a fantasy novel. I’m sure that’s no shocker to you guys, centering around about 5 characters. There’s a couple more characters I’ll have fleshed out, but they … well, you’ll see what happens. 🙂

I’ll be sharing bits and excerpts with you as I write, since my blog time will likely become novel-writing time, for the most part. I also plan to provide illustrations of the characters so you guys can see what I see while all this goes on. I hope it’s not going to be boring for you. At the very least, it should be at least as exciting as my current blogs: “I woke up. I worked on some drawings. I missed my workout. I saw a bouncy house.” 😛


I’ll see you all tomorrow, with any luck. Probably from my cell. Taking Charles’ mum to a doctor’s appointment. I may be waiting a while. 🙂


Day 16 – Laaaaaaazy and Busy all at once…

My blogging has become more sporadic, but heck, it’s my wordpress, and I can blog when I want to…

I fell off the exercise wagon. I have only been to the gym proper once since my last blog about exercise. Life just got in the way. Not to say I didn’t exercise, but not focused. I did a lot of walking doing my grocery shopping, running errands, and attending events. I walked the show floor for several hours at the Home Show the first weekend of the month, and then I walked the Fall Festival in Hunter’s Creek. I also did some minor strength training with grocery bags on my stairs…now that will make a girl SWEAT!

I am going to return to the gym tomorrow morning and get myself back on track. I’ve actually made some tweaks to my food choices, including more fish, chicken, veggies, and fruit into my diet. I’ve actually lost five pounds since my last weigh in, which is really exciting seeing as I’ve missed the gym so much. I also have been drinking water most of the time, with the occasional glass of tea (just a touch of honey to sweeten it) or juice.

The Home Show I attended was fun at first, but got a little stressful later from pushy salespeople…but we did get to spend excellent QT (Quality Time) with the in-laws and we found someone to repair/replace our chipped windshield. We have a new windshield now, and it’s amaaaaazing. Haven’t had our first rain with it yet…I’m stupid nervous! I also found a foodie delight in Garlic Joy ( ) – Their Garlic Spread and salsas and pasta sauces were delicious! They’re also located here in Florida, which is fun.

Now, the Fall Festival in Hunter’s Creek was interesting. I was invited by my friend Lauren of Inviting Hue (Her Etsy Shop: – GO CHECK IT OUT!) since she was going to be showing off her beautiful and unique invitations and thank you cards at the event.

I’ve been to a few Fall festivals, but none since I arrived in Florida back in 2004. After attending this event, I realized that Florida doesn’t quite know what a Fall festival should be. I blame the lack of seasons, really. In the past, when I attended a Fall festival, it always had the following FALL things: Hayride, Fall-themed Decorative Items (dried indian corn, scarecrows, cornucopias and the like…), Fall themed baked goods (all those delicious autumn foods, like pumpkin roll, pumpkin pie, pumpkin gobs, nut roll, ….I could go on), Halloween Stuff, Thanksgiving Stuff, and more.

This event had Halloween and bouncy houses. It had games aimed at the kiddies and trick-or-treating. There were NO baked goods. Only vittles there were hot dogs/hamburgers from Publix, Snowcones (WTF FLORIDA! FALL FESTIVAL!), boy scout popcorn tins, and whatever candy you could forage (I got none…could not accept the trick-or-treat candy in good conscience without a costume). No pumpkin anything. No theme-y decor. It was an event pretty much strictly for the kiddies, so as a child-less grown up, I was at a loss. The whole place smelled of a mix of aromatherapy scents from this booth selling scented teddy bears, and I got pamphlets from the vendor for mammograms (Breast Cancer Awareness is important people. Go team pink!) which I was okay with, seeing as it’s October, but I also got one for Marital counseling and for Mental Health Rehabilitation. Someone tried to sell me services to repave my driveway, and the snowcone booth only took cash, which I had none of, cause cards are the future. Come on, snowcone place! Even I can take a card with my smartphone, just sayin. Get with it, man!


The bouncy house selection was pretty sweet though. If I were a little kid there, I woulda lost my mind. I particularly loved the one pictured above. It’s a bouncy WAGON! It was cool, and it made me miss the hayrides less.

It was unnaturally hot for and October day, at least to me, so we visited Lauren, toured the booths, got rejected by the snowcone people for our lack of paper money, and then we bolted.

Anyone know of a good bakery where I can get pumpkin roll in Orlando?



Day 4 – Catching Up and Sleeping In.

Day 2 – Very successful workout. Got up to 30 minutes by dropping my speed down a bit to 2.0 from 2.5. Gonna keep that pace til I feel like I can push up without losing time, as time is gonna be the most important part for me. Keep my heart rate up for a longer bit of time


Day 3 – Finished commission for Pizza Xtreme on Day 2, so I went to pick up the payment owed. Annmarie is always a joy to be around, plus she was super nice and gave me a free soda for my warm car trip back to my place and to run my afternoon errands.  I worked on my next commission. I woke feeling a little off, and after lunch it got worse, and again after dinner…which leads us to:


Day 4, AKA today: Woke at like 4, sickly, and couldn’t sleep til nearly six. Sent Charles off to work and stayed in bed, and woke around noon. Missed lunching with the Fella, but it’s okay since the queasy is just wearing off. Probably best I avoid it. He’s getting out early today, and I’m excited for that. Their office is switching to a new space next week. I am super excited to see it. He’s been in the same primary office since 2006, and here – 7 years later, and it’ll be a decent change. It’ll be in the same general place but a more cohesive work space. Everyone together. I hope to escort Charles to the new space Monday morning.

Likely going to the in-laws’ house this weekend per usual, but they have a treadmill and pool, so I should be able to get exercise in over the weekend and be up to my three per week.

More soon.

Day 1 Again – Or at least it feels that way.

Some 60 days into this blog, we get to reset the clock. It was the first day of this blog when I went to the gym for the first time.

“My day begins. I woke early to get myself put together for my first workout at the fitness center in my apartment complex. Long hair tied up and rockin’ the headband to keep my fly-aways at bay. Grey capris, blue tank, and good supportive shoes was my outfit of choice to start this little adventure. If I was gonna sweat, I would be as comfy as possible.”
Photos from July 31,2013:
Front View - Day 12013-07-31 08.55.412013-07-31 08.55.56

Today, I slipped into the same workout clothes, strapped on the same shoes, and got ready to start over.
Photos from today, October 1, 2013:
2013-10-01 09.12.132013-10-01 09.12.052013-10-01 09.12.27

The difference is posture and bra choice, really! LOL – It is so complete a restart…I’m right where I was to start. So I have to rebuild from the ground up. Start rebuiding my endurance and speed on the treadmill to where I was.

So it’s Day 1, all over again.  I only managed to get in 10 minutes on the treadmill, plus 2 minutes cooldown, plus the walk to and from the gym…but not spectacular all in all. I need to build back up to 30+ minutes of at least 2.5 speed on the treadmill. I will be going back tomorrow, and the next day, and the next til I get it, barring my legs givin’ up on me.

Thanks to everyone who has left feedback and support of me on this journey. As far as the wrist surgery is coming along, the wound has healed, and all that remains is the scar. Still working on regaining my full range of motion, but I’ll take the progress.

2013-08-13 13.59.212013-10-01 17.38.04

Before the cysts were removed, and after – taken just a few minutes ago.
If any of you know of a good scar cream, let me know in the comments. Right now, my wrist looks disgruntled. I would love to be able to bend my wrist like I could in the before picture, though.

See y’all tomorrow.

Day 40 – Family, Fajitas, & Football

Spent the afternoon with the in-laws after sleeping in. Thank goodness, Charles actually had the day off. It’s the first Sunday of the season, but all three of our teams let us twist in the wind: Steelers,  Packers, and the Giants.  Hoping next week will be better.

Quality time was good though. Snuggles, sketching,  snacks, and sports. Chuck and Mary were marvelous hosts, as always. We had tasty fajitas and chocolate pie and great company taboot.

Gonna call it a night. It’s officially Charles and my sixth-month-iversary! 3/9/2013 – 9/9/2013.

Goodnight, friends.

Day 38 – Pixelicious and Help Me Make Art with Your Vote!

Come vote on this new artwork I’m doing! You guys will be making every decision along this journey. Right now, she’s just a figure. Right now, we’re choosing Theme/Setting. Click this link to VOTE!

My Art Rehab is going spectacularly. I was speaking to a friend today, who mentioned when he broke his ankle skateboarding, the doctor encouraged him to get back on the board as soon as he felt able, because doing what you normally do will push you quicker along the way to normalcy. I’d have to say that makes sense, cause I definitely feel more capable.

I drove for the first time since my surgery. Very short drive to CVS then home, and soon from home to n-Space to pick up my Fella from work. I knew I’d have to pick him up so I haven’t taken my evening meds, and my hand is SO awake right now. Typing is helping relieve some of the tightness, so blog I shall.

I did have the opportunity to possibly get in on a 2D game project. Been a while since I’ve done pixel art, much less sprites and sprite sheets, but I think it’s coming back to me pretty quickly. Can’t give much details, but it’s definitely a little less fluffy than what I normally draw/paint/pixelate. 😛 More as it develops.

Not sure if my art jam with Marian is still on for tomorrow. I hope so. Sent her a text reminder, so now we wait to see if she can still make it. I’m hopeful, but I’m cool if we need to reschedule.

Gonna be sharing a cool new etsy shop with you guys hopefully by Wednesday next week. Adorable hand-made crocheted baby blankets are a majority of the offering, and the person who makes them is beyond very special to me. I’ll be helping her run the show over there, and would love the support of the followers of the blog and the blogging community to help her make it a big success. I gave one of these blankets as a gift, and it earned a spot in the baby’s crib before the little guy even joined us here on Planet Earth as his own individual self. Welcome to the world, Baby Newman. ❤ Your birth name is awesome, but Baby Newman is fun to say! 😀

Much love to you all. Thanks as always for your support and kindness. I’ll bring you a post of art and the vote results here tomorrow after my art jam (should it still happen!).



Day 36 + 37: In-laws and Art Therapy

The 4th was great. I eluded the hugging of my building (leasing office staff brings hugs and snacks) with the aid of my in-laws. Hugs and snacks sound and are nice…but I’m not a hugger and much less to people I see maybe once a month and mostly only to pay rent or complain there’s no paper product in the gym’s bathroom.
My rules on hugging:

If I have you in my phone you are on the acceptable hug list, however – coworker hugs must be earned (ie minimum of three months and several personal conversations. If I greet you as “friend” when I see you, hugs are ok). Family hugs are always welcome less I’m mad at you…which if I am, you will be aware. I glare and I don’t talk to you. If I’m not talking,  you may be in the doghouse. Leasing office staff doesn’t meet the criteria (Mapes IS moving up though.)

So Chuck (dad-in-law) picked me up since I can’t drive on my meds, hooked me up with McDonald’s sweet tea, and we rode across town toward the Stuard Homestead. We pit stopped at Michael’s for my new sketch book and paint brushes for my minis. Chuck is quite the art guy. I think an art jam needs to be had whilst listening to classic rock.  Good in-law bonding fun times will ensue! 🙂

We got to the house and we vegged on the couch and watched tv. It was a blast. I got cool in-laws. I got super lucky in that department. Luckier than Mary (mum-in-law) having scotchguarded the couch befor Livvie (her teeny tiny Yorkie) peed on it. And that was really lucky. Very nice couch. Lol.

We chatted about life and family and I got to learn more about them both. I also got out of the house and got in some good ol fashioned socializing which has helped my mood tremendously. Thank you both for an awesome day and for being awesome people.

Art I did yesterday;



Art I did today:





Sketching traditionally has been soooo good for rehab on my hand. Limbers it up. I haven’t had success digitally with my wacom but will be trying that soon. Hard to hold it and draw while I have the bum wrist.  But I got some of my mojo back, and I’m gaining speed. My detail work is still tough. Intricacy is something that will take more time,  along with steadiness.

Had a lovely lunch with the hubbs too. He was so helpful and attentive and so much more relaxed thab he’s been. I don’t think he actually is, but he out his a stress aside and we just talked. It was lovely.

I also planned a lunch art jam at the mall on Saturday with a friend from my mural group at Valencia. Very sweet girl from a large family. I’m really excited to catch up and geek out over art stuff while munching on food court fare. Gonna be fun.

How was your today?  Let me know in the commenta below.

*going to shop for a stand to hold my celly so I can make my mini painting videos. Got a samsung galaxy s3. Anyone use one?*

Day 22 + 23 – Surgery and Therapy

Yesterday was short. Collected commission payment, talked to my family, texted, and slept early. Had to rest up, because at 5:30 AM, it was surgery time.

I had a dream I was waking up. Each time I woke in the dream, it replayed, but in a slightly different fashion. Upon the end of the third repetition, I crawled out of bed. 4:30 AM. I figure my brain didn’t want me to be late. Got cleaned up, got dressed, got Charles up and ready, then we headed to the surgery center.

This was the first surgery I ever had. EVER. I have never been under anesthesia before. I was hungry and sleepy. People seem so confused when I ask how much procedures cost. We have an HSA with a high deductible, and I don’t want surprise bills. Scarily enough, the anesthesia peeps bill separately, and they didn’t know how much it was. Hopefully the bill isn’t too heavy, or I’ll need to sell many minis or commissions FAST. (Watch the blog here in case of fire sale.)

They got me back there, and I got to don the ever fashionable hospital gown + socks and skivvies. They did an injection to numb my left hand, then did the IV. I didn’t have any water, so I guess the numbing was to hide them digging for a vein. :s Once they got me set up, they let me see Charles before they put me under. I wasn’t fully under. The ‘twilight’-y feeling one. (No, I didn’t see sparkly vampires…woulda had to stake em.) I didn’t feel a thing, and shortly after they put in the meds I don’t remember much. Apparently a male nurse played the flirty humor in front of Charles, who was not amused. He then returned to the lobby. I don’t remember this.

I woke up to see my fella. I have this HUGE splint and ace bandage combo rockin on my right arm. I was slurring my speech apparently. (Charles described my slur as ‘faking drunk girl’ level. Abbe Abbe was dreadfully amused when I called to tell her I lived through the surgery,) They told me no lifting, no water (clean and dry, cover up with trash bag for shower or in case of rain), and to TYPE. Typing is good…they said they want me to wiggle my fingers often. SO I type. Yay blog


What does this mean? Lots of typing in the next week, and it seems unlikely that I will go to the gym, since I get soaked to the bone every time I go. I like typing. When I stop typing, it starts aching. I got meds for it, but I want to use them sparingly. The liver issues I had WERE NOT fatty liver, and so I need to be aware of how much painkiller I take since it can reek havoc over your liver. Mine was from 3 months of migraines while I did QA and constantly medicating. I stopped, it normalized. Don’t wanna risk my liver. I can handle some pain, plus typing painkiller is more fun.

I am solo tomorrow so please…comment with questions, or silly things or whatever (not spam, all you random spam creepers. -.-‘) so i Have many minutes of therapy to work on. Otherwise, I’ll be working on last year’s NaNoWriMo project I never finished. 😛

Day 21 – Must be Tuesday…

Let’s start out with the Gym stuff, since I’ve been burying it these last few posts:
Today, I worked out for 13:20. I walked .62 miles, burned 51 kCal, and did so at 3.0 MPH. Yeah, I know, kinda lame on the time, but it was faster. I just wasn’t feeling it today, but I didn’t want to NOT work out, so I went.

“Rise” by Yoko Kanno // Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex OST

(Figured all the videos weren’t what I wanted, so why not go AMV with it. May have spoilers, so watchers, beware.)

People keep asking me: “What program are you on?” “What’s your caloric intake?” “What’s your weight loss goal?” “Is this doctor-mandated?” “What’s your diet like?”, so let me take this opportunity to answer.

I am NOT on a program. My caloric intake it probably too high, but I’m not counting. My weight loss goal is to lose 25 pounds. I have no time frame in mind for that, but sooner would be better. It is NOT doctor-mandated. I did this for me, of my own free will, and it’s probably the only reason I haven’t quit like I did every other time I tried this. My diet is largely unchanged. I have taken some suggestions offered to me under advisement (Thanks Nick for all your helpful tips), but I’ve not made a ton of changes. I drink lots of water, and I try to limit my sweets, which I hadn’t been doing AT ALL.

This entire thing is about change. My goal was to get healthier, and get off the couch. I want to be around for a very long time, and I don’t want that time to be miserable. On Sunday, while I worked out, I wondered what my kids might look like one day, if I ever get blessed enough to have some. (2-3 ideal, 5 is the cap :P) So my WHY for all of this is LOVE, really. I want to see my nieces and nephews grow, and have nieces and nephews of their own. I wanna see my older brother finally marry his fiancee (I figure I’ll be in my 80s by then, but at least I should have shriveled up a little bit so I can fit into my bridesmaid gown. <3).

So far, this little experiment has been successful. I’ve been moving, and I’ve got more energy. I am trying to make healthier choices without feeling like I’m punishing myself or not enjoying my life to the fullest.

Now, as it is Tuesday, it is also a day of DELICIOUS TACOS! The TACO TEAM assembled today for deliciousness at Tijuana Flats.



The normal crew had a couple new additions. Topics of conversation seemed to linger on topics that weren’t exactly something I could jump in on, such as “when you wear red sunglasses when you’re at the beach or pool, it’s like x-ray vision on girls’ swimsuits” and the like. Very dude-ly. I prefer the, albeit brief, conversations about how the auto-draft utilities for our apartment complex didn’t work right for us as well as for the guy we referred to come live here, and about how we never check our snail mail, cause snail mail isn’t the future.

My tacos had a wheat tortilla instead of flour, but I figure it was divine intervention telling me that this taco was not on the suggested food list, so this little tortilla should be just a little healthier. Alright, alright, Universe. I’ll eat the wheat tortilla. I get it!

I got to see my Fella, which is always good. I adore him. He works late a lot, and I miss him dreadfully. Yesterday, I forgot to eat dinner when he wasn’t here. Once he got home though…OMG TOTALLY HUNGRY NOW!

I haven’t gamed today (That may change soon…). I instead used my day talking to friends, reading articles, watching vlogs, ordering photo prints, and learning about perfect-forward security (Shoutout to Grebe for this lesson. I think I get it now.) I did see the Top 25 for the Diablo Art contest. Not super impressed. Some were great. Some were not. Wish mine had made it in. Here’s the list, if ya wanna see. (IGN Diablo 3 Art Contest Top 25)

I also have been brainstorming names for my mini-painting Etsy shop, as well as for Mama’s blanket shop that I will be operating for her. I think I got one for Mama, so I started taking pics and preparing to set everything up. I want it to be polished from the start, so I am trying to get all my ducks in a row before I unleash these beast stores onto the public. Etsy peeps and Pinterest peeps, I hope I can count on you guys for a little word of mouth come launch day. ❤

See y’all tomorrow.