Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Study What? Study Who? Study WHERE?

Good Tuesday America! The sun is peeking out this fine day, and it feels amazing (even though it's still in the 40-50's)!

I'm gonna dig right in on this Educate Me Tuesday, and talk about your personal space you have for homework, reading, studying, and some! Some of us are library students... we NEED to be in the library to concentrate... to be away from temptations of talking on the phone, or surfing the internet, or watching tv. Or maybe we just can't concentrate with any background noise, and the library is the only quiet place you can concentrate. ORRRR maybe you like studying around others who are studying or working beside you. Whatever the case is, library's are suberb studying environments. You have access to all resources you need (on shelf and electronically), and you can reserve meeting rooms for group meetings, or you can stay in a quiet corner to work on your own!

If you have the discipline to work from home without indulging in any distractions (or maybe even minimal distractions), then there are a few things I'd like to share with you.

  • Read or attempt to work from  your bed
  • Leave the tv on in the "background"
  • Leave Facebook or Twitter up as a tab in your web browser if you're researching online
  • Set up a desk and chair for you to work from (or the dining/coffee table)
  • Leave music on in the background at a very minimal level (love the Starbucks station on Pandora!)
  • Leave up your Library website on your web browser, as it is full of helpful resources
I made the guest bedroom in my apartment an office, and I have things set up for me in a way that is most comfortable. I put a bulletin board (two) above my screen in front of me so that I can stick post-its and important documents up there instead of sticking them on or around my computer. When things get stacked or cluttered around my working area, I lose concentration because I want to "de-clutter," which means I"ll need breaks, and then there goes my time! Try and keep your working area as clean and simple as possible.

I'm the kind of person who gets excited over new pens, pencils, notebooks... anything new! I'm also the type of person who will work harder with cute decor around me! With the help of Pinterest, I've been able to get a zillion ideas of how to step up your home office, including things as simple as placement of your desk and chair. Here are just a few things you can get started on in your home office:

Add shelving paper in your bookcase

Hang some organizers on the wall rather than placed on your desk

Keep it simple

Whatever it is that helps you get in your zone and study like there's no tomorrow, DO IT! Think about the type of environment that truly works best for you, and then tailor your needs for that environment. If you're working at school or at the library, make sure you have all your supplies you need to work without any hesitations. If you're working from home, make sure you have a space to work comfortably that doesn't consist of your bed!

What works for you?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday FUNday!

Happy Monday FUNday! I know I'm a bit off-scheduled, and I'm deviating from the plan of my DIY project today, BUT I was under the weather this weekend, and just started feeling normal (whatever that means!) yesterday. With that said, I'll still post a DIY this week... just not today.

Who say's we still can't have a Monday FUNday though?! Pshhhhhht..... I'm not giving up on that FUN! :)

Yesterday, I had the itch to move around... I was so tired of being in bed and in the house. SO, we took the doggies for a stroll, and I got moving on the closet! About time, right?! After all I did buy those nifty hangers last weekend!

Wall #1 Before
Wall #1 After

Wall #1 After

This other wall was a struggle. The closet door opens inward (inside the closet), which interferes with my closet space! After thinking of how to make the most of ALL space in my closet, I opted to leave the door wide open, which gives me SO much more room on the racks! Now I can see everything, opposed to going inside my closet and shutting the door to look at everything. I'll be working on putting up a curtain instead of having the door!

Anyhow, I'll post pics of the other wall when I finish my creation ;) It's still a work in progress... but one thing at a time, one day a time, one idea at a time. I love organizing just to re-organize later down the road!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

LOL Sunday... Fam Reunion Style!

Love out Loud Sunday... YAYYYY!! So my family in So. Cal is planning for a family reunion this year, and we've been fundraising for some good fun times! We have another fundraiser coming up this upcoming Saturday, and since I'm far away from home *sigh*, I try to do whatever I can to help support the fundraisers.

Here's a flyer I worked on for the turnaround bus we are hosting to the Stateline on Feb. 4th. If you're home in Cali, and you need a day away from the hustle and bustle of reality, hit us up and be on your merry way to the Stateline for only a measly $40! I know right?!?! Only $40 to have the most awesome-est bus ride to Reno while playing games and winning prizes?! Only $40 that covers breakfast, lunch and a buffet meal at the casino?! Only $40 to get there on a nice cushioned seat sitting with some fine people from the Pa'ala family?! YES!!! I can't believe it myself!!

Have you guys fundraised for a family reunion? Have any tips? Suggestions? Comments? Please do share :)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

144 days and counting!

MARRY Saturday folks! 144 days left until I utter the words "I do" and I get more and more excited each and every day!

This week I revisited our budget we have set, and discovered how real it is becoming. We are not using a wedding coordinator, which means it's all up to us.... the timing, decorating for the ceremony and the reception, investing time for all the DIY's we'll be indulging in, researching all vendors by email and phone since we're far from a canoe ride to Maui... the whole shabang! Luckily we have wonderful family and friends to help us get through these things... one at a time!

So what's in the bag already?? 

1.  We confirmed the house for the week... which the wedding party and our parents will be housed AND the ceremony and reception will be held

2.  We're getting the groomsmen's' shirts made from our wonderful family in Samoa (thanks to MIL)!

3.  We bought our tickets to Maui

4.  We have our colors picked

More to come with planning and researching on:

  • Invitations (hope to be done in February)
  • Caterer (almost confirmed with one in Maui)
  • DJ or Band 
  • Florist
  • Cake
  • Photographer (we have a great gal in Maui we're ALMOST confirmed with)
  • Videographer (if it's in our budget!)
  • Wedding Dress Shopping
  • BM's Dress Shopping

Any tips? Suggestions? Bring it on my friends :)

Friday, January 27, 2012

High Five for Friday!

TGIF!!!!! This day brings such sweet joy... starting with my favorite workout everrrrrrrrrr doing kickboxing with my fellow Bootcampers!

Linking up with Lauren with From My Grey Desk on this fantab Friday to highlight my five most favorite things from this past week!


And it goes a little something like this:

1.  I found THE cutest Steve Maddens ever for a steal of a deal at TJ Maxx!

2.  Thanks to some inspiration from Kate at The Small Things Blog, I went out to Costco to make the smartest purchase in that store.... a box (or two) of 35 hangers for $9.99!! Are you kidding me?!

(P.S. I'll post some before and after pics of my closet this weekend in the midst of it's makeover)

3.  It stopped raining long enough to take the doggies out to enjoy mother nature!

4.  I submitted my dissertation application for approval to use human participants in my study (I need their 'ok' to start collecting data)... which means it's almost time for your help in making the biggest difference in my life and closer to finishing! Stay tuned to do a good deed and take my 10-15 min survey.

5.  Mark and I purchased our tickets to Maui for the wedding! WAAHHOOOOO!!

I'm adding on one more thing I wanna share with you guys (guess it's high-six to Friday this week?)... the most adorable video all about love, and will leave your heart melting! Made me wanna squeeze my main squeeze! Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Music to my ears

I was one of those people who looked confused when others say "I listen to ALL kinds of music!" ummmm.... how is that possible?! How is that an answer? What does that mean?!

I'll tell you what it means... as I just found out myself! I have tons of Pandora stations set up without being aware of what's really going on! Then I look at my YouTube favorites, and spread across the board are litterally ALL kinds of music!

Reggae, rock, classical rock, country, pop, rap, and my favorite music of ALL mankind... my Samoan jams! I looooooove me some Samoan music... puts me in the bayyyst mood evahhh!

It's really like a collection of life events from when I was a kid and had no say so in what radio station we were listening to... to going to the infamous reggae concerts in college... to cleaning my own apartment while I fancy some wine :) These memories that I continue to build with music can never be taken away from me, and every single song has a story imprinted in my heart!

In light of a fine Thursday afternoon, I want to share just a few of my favorites with you:

Hard to pick videos, espeically if they're not actually videos, but you can press play and jam out while you work away, or read, or clean, or whatever your heart desires!

Happy Thursday Bloggers!

I pledge to PINTEREST....

Pins, pins, and more pins from Oh, How Pinteresting Wednesdays had me thinking a bit about my addiction to Pinterest! I love love love to pin away.... at home, at work (on break of course)... from my iphone... LOVE it! And as a results, I have over a gazillion pins that keep extending... probably like most of my fellow pinners!

SO I wanna take this pinning relationship a step further. I would like to pledge to take the time at least once a week to reflect back on my multiple boards and make these inspirations a reality!

I pledge to DO the DIY projects:

Pinned Here

I pledge to beau-TEE-fy myself by following a nail or hair tutorial:

Pinned Here

I pledge to use my wearables to influence or inspire a new look (based off what's in my closet):

Pinned Here

I pledge to love my life to the fullest!

Pinned Here

So whaddya' think my fellow blogger? Want to join the pledge? :)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Oh, how pinteresting!

YESSSS the day to share my 10 favorite pins! I can honestly share pins every day of the week, but guess Pinterest doesn't need a junior! Anyhoots, I finished The Four Agreements this week, and what sweet bliss it makes my life right now... which inspired my pins! I'm feeling a bit of inspiration which gives me a sigh of relief. Like Mr. Marley says:

Via Ashley on Pinterest

AND that does NOT count as one of my 10 pins... I was relaying a message! :)

And the countdown begins!!

Dahhhling shorts! All I need is Mr. Sun!

I heart bows, espeically where you can see them all day long on your finger.

Via Wanelo on Pinterest 

With this crazy snow, then flooding, gotta keep pushin!

Via Ashley on Pinterest

Who says dishes go in the china cabinet?

I la la love this skirt!! Can you imagine how many things you can fit in those pockets?!

 Via Wanelo on Pinterest

 Love how easy this is! Hardest part will be to remain still while the base coat dries...

Via TBD on Pinterest 

Let's achieve the unthinkable and DO US!

Via Emily on Pinterest

Who said you couldn't run or ride a bike in heels?!

Via C C on Pinterest

 Here it is... the FOUR agreements in life to getting to your TRUE self :)

Via Lesa on Pinterest

Written in plain English and simplicity!

What are your top 10? Which do you like the best from my line up?

Link up with Michelle at The Vintage Apple for Oh, How Pinteresting Wednesdays!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Rewards Rewards Rewards!

I want to start Educate Me Tuesday's by explaining something... you may wonder, ummm, working on a BIG dissertation, planning a wedding, working, AND NOW she wants to blog?! I know... I played this out tons of times in my mind. BUT here's the thing... the ONLY way I get through a day, a task, a check off my timeline is to reward myself. And what better way to reward myself than to stay in the here and now and blog away in this bloggy blog world!

I have a timeline breaking down tasks and deadlines. Every day, I make sure to do SOME kind of work towards my dissertation. It's important to keep it priority, even on days you don't feel like working on it! This is how school should be in life. If you dedicate yourself to further your education, it should come first in life no matter what is going on with work or how tired you are!

Via Jackie on Pinterest 

Via Gary on Pinterest

SO, what keeps me pushing? Rewards! Yes, the ultimate reward is walking that stage with your degree in your hand! BUT in the mean time, to get through one day at a time, we must reward ourselves for those  small milestones. Finish reading a chapter? ... Reward yourself with some time on those infamous social networking sites! Complete a paper? ... Pinterest is calling your name! Finish your first defense for dissertation? ... START YOUR BLOG! What I'm trying to say is that you don't have to sacrifice your happiness in the present while you're working hard for the future! So do it... challenge yourself to reward yourself with the small things that count!

Via Mia on Pinterest

Okay my friends... I challenge you to use the every day pleasures as rewards for gettin' err done! Let me know how it goes!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy Monday FUNday!

Hope you all had a fantab weekend! It surely went by fast for me... lots of dissertation work, work-work, cleaning, runs to Costco, Target, Trader Joes, and some!

I also had a chance to work on my first DIY arts and crafts project. It was inspired by Jenn from Ruffled Sunshine I found on Pinterest (big surprise... told you guys I'm addicted to pinning). It was tons of fun, and something that is completely useful in my closet :)

Supplies (you know you have some type of doo-dad listed below in your home!):
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Shelving Paper or Construction Paper
  • Empty Oatmeal Box
  • Candle Stand (I used an old votive and flipped it!)
Here's the before:

And after:

I covered the lid with felt that I cut and hot glued to fit the circle, BUT I did't end up using it... I had big chunky headbands that didn't fit, so I stuck them in the back like so:

Hope you can make your Monday a FUNday, and find the inner artist we all have inside ourselves :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

LOL Sunday!

Happy Sabbath! I thought I'd start my Love Out Loud Sunday with the foundation that has given me life... my parents!! Here's a brief intro and a few fun facts about em...

My Mom is a strong Samoan woman, one of 17 children! She has honored our country in the Army going on 17 years, and even served in Iraq in 2010. She has a strong and determined will to live life to the fullest and in honor of her family. 


My Dad is an amazing patient, loving, cool-cat man! He never passes judgment and will always lend his hand out to anyone and everyone who needs it. I also have an awesome possum step-mom who has been another huge supporting factor in my life. She is amazing to my dad and I, and always has positive things to say! 

I am so proud to be the daughter of my parents, and to spread the blessings they continue to give to me with the rest of the universe!

I hope you all (SHOUT OUT  to all 3 of my followers!) have a splendid Sunday! Love out Loud my friends :)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

MARRY Saturday Folks!

As you may know if you've been reading my posts, I am happily engaged to the best man in all of the universe for 2 years, and some!! We finally set a date, and got the ball rolling. We decided on a destination wedding in Maui.... since we've been together for almost a decade, we really wanted something intimate and stress-free. Mark and I are from both pretty big families, so if you can imagine a guest list of maybe 400 or so... for my side only! Haha... really, it would have probably been high up there. Anyhoots, we decided to get married on our 10th year anniversary this June in Maui, on a beautiful estate in the countryside! Here are some pics I have to share with you so I can get you caught up on the here and now:

Mark proposed on July 24th, 2009 at a family dinner. We were celebrating my graduation for my Masters Degree AND having a farewell as we were getting ready to head up to Oregon the next day :( I was soooo surprised when it happened... after being together 7 years at the time, I knew he was the only one for me, and we would even talk about getting married after I was done with grad school, but wow! That day! In front of everyone?!? Before we left to Oregon?! No wonder why people were acting weirdo kannerdo when we got back from Hawaii a few days before this big dinner. I guess he was supposed to do it while we were on vacation in Hawaii with family, but he said there was never a perfect moment (we were never really alone). Mark said he decided to wait and do it in front of the family because he knew how much they mean to me and how BIG I am with my family! This guy... it just doesn't get any better than this :)

Now fast forward to 2 and some odd years later... I am still working on my dissertation, BUT am planning to graduate with my PhD this summer.... first week of June to be exact. I told Mark that I thought this year is THE time to tie the knot.... 10th year anni, and it'll be after (2 weeks after LOL) my graduation date. We locked in those lyrics, and SAVED THE DATE!

Mark has a creative side to him (I don't like to admit it to him, but I will to the world)... we came up with this design together and created the STD's from scratch together!

Our factory table for the week with all the goods (of course including our coffee!).

I fell asleep at about midnight that night... I got through all the cutting, punched all the holes to tie raffia through... then started to get cross-eyed and couldn't stand to stay up any longer. I woke up at about 6am the next morning to see the masterpiece lined up on the table! My sweet handsome doll stayed up, finished some of the stamping, tied all the raffia (which he wanted to crumble up to give it a "vintage" vibe on the luggage tag), and assembled them together! When I asked him how long he stayed up, he admitted til the butt crack of dawn. He said he wanted them to be done that day, knowing I was working towards a tight deadline for my preliminary defense! I heart him... always and forever!

I'd la la LOVE to see your STD's or invites! Sharing is caring, plus who doesn't like to share their masterpieces?!

Friday, January 20, 2012

High Five for Friday!

Happy Friday!!! Linking up with Lauren at From My Grey Desk, I'll highlight my FIVE favorite things from this past week that I appreciate. Let's goooo:

1.  Date Night with my MAN!

2.  Winter Wonderland arrived a bit late, but still oh so pretty.

3.  It's a Bloggy Blog World I've gotten myself into :)

4.  I received a hand written letter from my Dad in the mail!

5.  I found a scrummy new snack... Special K fruit crisps!

What were your 5 favorites from this past week?? Link up with Lauren on your post!

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