Candid Karina

It is Friday once again, which means it’s time for Only The Good Friday. I’ve had yet another really good week, busy, fun, and a little crazy.

So crazy in fact, that I fell off the wagon with NaBloPoMo and haven’t postedin two days. OOPS.

I thought about cheating for a moment and popping a few posts in here for Wednesday and Thursday, but then I realized that there was no need for me to do that.

Because nobody is forcing me to post every day. Noone is going to grade me on how I do either. I joined NaBloPoMo this month for myself. To motivate myself to post more often, and to pay more attention to my blog.

And I believe I have been doing that, so just because I missed two days doesn’t mean I failed. It doesn’t mean I should stop now, and it doesn’t mean I need to go back and post some “filler” just to have content up the last two days.

SO, I’m not going to. I’m going to leave the last two days blank, and move on with today’s post.

And that, my friends, is my good for today. Because I feel good about the fact that I have been posting more regularly, and that I don’t feel obligated to post every day.

The GOOD today is that I have spent a fantastic week surrounded by friends, and by coworkers. And in the midst of all that, coworkers who are, after a year of being at my job, becoming friends.

That’s been a really cool thing.

The good is that I went running again the other night, and unlike last week, when I suffered serious pain after my run, this time, I must have done it right, because I felt no pain the next day. I paced myself, mixing walking with running, and although still a work-out, I wasn’t hurting the next day.

The good is also that I am excited about becoming a “runner”. It’s so ridiculously strange to hear myself say that, but I like it.

The good is that I am half-way to my fundraising goal for the Walk for Cancer Care I am doing on Sunday morning. If you’d like to help me reach my goal, you can do so by clicking here.

And oh, here’s one more goody…I signed up for a digital photography class which begins next week.

Over the last year I have become more and more interested in photography, and I am so excited to learn more. It’s just an introduction class, but I’m looking foward to it.

And on that note, I leave you with two more photographs I took while on my cruise:

Happy Friday, don’t forget to go visit Shelly and see what GOOD she’s got up her sleeve.

{May 13, 2009}   Tipsy on Tuesday

So, I started a new segment here at Candid Karina last week, and from now on, every Tuesday will be Tipsy Tuesday, or the day I give you helpful tips to make your life more fun and interesting.

Every Tuesday but this one, that is. Because Tipsy Tuesday took on a whole new meaning tonight.

See…I had a very long day at work today. It started early on with a pre-work (but work related) breakfast event, and ended not too long ago with a post-work (but work related) dinner event. A very long day, and a very busy day not giving me any time to pop in here and blog.

And to make matters more interesting, the dinner function included drinks on the company credit card (shhh, don’t tell). I had a little tiny, itty bitty bit of wine. Just a weeeeeee little bit.

By the time I made it home, changed out of my work clothes, took my contacts out of my eyes, and sat down on my couch?

Too tipsy (and overtired) to give you any tips. I hope you understand.

I promise really good tips next Tuesday!

{May 11, 2009}   Not so Sweet

I tried to write a blog post several times today, to no avail. The thing is, I’ve been sinking, slowly into a pit of the blahs. I’ve been in a funk all day and try as I might, I haven’t been able to shake it.

So I honestly couldn’t come up with anything to write about that wouldn’t make me seem like a negative Nelly.

And then I remembered that when I am in these funks is exactly when I should write. So I did.

And the poem below is what I came up with. For the record, I’m sharing it with you pretty much unedited, first draft version (which I seldom ever do)…but here it is, it should show you the mood I was in all day:


As I walk down the hall,
feeling the sun on the back of my neck
I know better.

As I approach the door,
Leaving behind the warm familiarity
I know I should stop.

It isn’t too late yet
To turn back

I can still take control
Make the choice
Not go in.

I stop in front of the door
Take a deep breath
And sneak a peek behind me.

It’s all there
Where I came from
Where it’s safe, and warm, and bright.

This end of the hall is dark

Behind the door…

I should turn around.

But like a moth drawn to a flame
I can’t stop
I place my hand on the doorknob and turn
Push it open

Instantly I feel the cold
Before I’ve even stepped in the room
My breath is stolen from me

Dark thoughts invade my mind
I sigh, almost cry
Feeling the pull
Knowing I should turn
Go back

But I can’t.

I step through
Let it wrap its icy arms around me
Pull me into the gloom
Before closing the door behind me
I look back once again
See the light beginning to fade in the distance.

It’s not too late
I can step back through the door
Walk right back up that hallway
And escape.

For a while, I stand in the threshold
Unable to choose
Unable to decide
Unable to give in completely, but unable to walk away
And then I close the door.

Turn around
Step back up the hallway
Let the sun shine on my face.

With each step I take away from the door
I feel lighter, brighter, safer
I breathe easier.
I wipe the tears from my eyes and realize I shed them
Not out of pain, but out of joy
For my freedom.
For my strength
For this time I was able to walk away.

It’s not always this way
Some days the force in the room is too strong and I give in
Some days I don’t come out for hours
Some days I don’t come out at all

On no day can I predict it
On no day can I understand it

Depression…always lurking, calling, seducing.

Copyright – CandidKarina 2009

(Mom and me, when I was just a sweet little wee one)

I’m going to spend the day with my mother today, so I’ll keep this brief and to the point.

I want to wish all the mothers out there in the blogosphere and beyond a WONDERFUL HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!!!

I’m blessed to not only have the best mom in the world, but also happen to have her as my best friend. Mom and I have the kind of mother/daughter relationship we can all only wish for, and I’m eternally grateful for that.

We’ve always been thick as thieves, the two of us…even during my difficult years as a teenager, (oh yes, that’s me), we were still really good friends. And now as adults we truly are best friends, I couldn’t ask for a better friend than her.

So, Happy Mother’s Day Mom!!!
Hope you all enjoyed the little journey through my photo album.

{May 9, 2009}   Sweet Memories
It’s Saturday afternoon, and I’m a busy doing things around the house, and about to hit the town for more errands. Oh joy!

I thought I’d take a break, however, to take a stroll through my cruise photos, relive that fabulous vacation for a moment or two. I thought you might want to take a break as well, so I figured I’d share them with you.

I gave you a sneak peak in this post a few weeks ago, but here are few more.
Here’s a shot of our approach into San Juan, Puerto Rico, that is Ft.

And here’s one of St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.

Say it with me AHHHH….
I had actually intended on sharing more with you, but in case you haven’t heard me complain about it just yet, I am having SERIOUS computer issues, and these were the only two I was able to get to before my computer started crapping out on me.
That just means you can expect lots more photos in the future.
In the meantime, anyone have a laptop they’d like to donate to a good cause? (i.e. my sanity?) No? Well, I figured I’d ask.
Have a wonderful Saturday!!!

Hey everyone, IT’S FRIDAY!!!

You know what that means? That’s right, it’s time for us to spread the optimism around the interwebs.

On Fridays I, along with a small (but growing) group of bloggers strive to post only positive posts. We dedicate at least this one day every week to being positive. As Shelly (the mastermind behind OTGF) would put it, to not being “snarky”. We save those posts for the other days.

So, today, I started writing this post not really sure what “good stuff” should share with you. Not because I couldn’t think of anything good, but because I’ve been doing NaBloPoMo this month, and been writing a post a day, and I’ve already told you all kinds of good stuff this week.

Saturday and Sunday I gave you two good reviews, a movie and a book respectively. Monday I thanked you all for the GOOD you did when you sponsored me for the March of Dimes walk I did this past weekend. Tuesday I gave you what I think was a very good make-up tip. Wednesday we had some good fun with silly quizzes, and yesterday? Yesterday I told you all about “good pain”. Or so they tell me that’s what it’s called…my shins beg to differ this morning.

So, how can I follow up this week of good with another good post? What can I tell you that I already haven’t this week?

What good can we talk about today?

Well, you know what they say, when all else fails, talk about the weather. And the weather today, ladies and gents? IS OH SO GOOD. After a week of rainy, gloomy days, this morning I awoke to sunshine and bright blue skies. We’re expecting “summer like temperatures” per the really hot weatherman on my television this morning, and I think that’s a beautiful thing. A good thing.

So, I think I’ll keep it simple on this particular OTGF, and just remind you to notice the “small things” as well in your life that can make it oh so good. A sunny day, aching shins, a good book, and the generosity of a stranger.

I invite you to peruse any of the posts I linked above…I had fun writing them, I’d love for you to read them.

And one final invitation, if you feel so inclined to do some additional good. I’ll be doing yet another charity walk on May 17th, this time a walk for Cancer Care, which I’m doing in memory of my later Grandma O. I invite you to click on the link right up top on my side bar there and donate/sponsor me if you can. And if you’d like me to walk in memory of anyone in particular, please let me know, I’ll be sure to add them to my thoughts and prayers on that day.

Now head on over to Shelly’s to see what Good she’s got up her sleeve today, and to see who else is spreading the optimism virus. They’re a good bunch!

{May 7, 2009}   Pain is Sweet

As I write this blog post, I sit at my desk with very sore legs. In fact, every half hour or so I need to get up and walk around my office building, because the muscles in my calves seem to be atrophying, and it KILLS if I sit too long.

Why the pain? Because yesterday, my dear readers, yours truly went for a run.

WAIT, let’s see that again, because I need to make sure I really wrote those words…

I, Candid Karina, went for a run.

Yep, really happened.

If you know me at all, then you know what a shocker that is. Anyone who knows me has heard me say on more than one occasion (okay fine EVERY SINGLE TIME anyone mentions going running) that I don’t run. If I’m running, then you best believe someone is chasing me. Because I? I. Don’t. Run.

Except, yesterday? I went for a run. And no, nobody was chasing me. So, what in the world happened?

It all started innocently enough. Having gotten an “early release” from work, due to being in an all day training that finished early, I was going to head to the gym. But we got a break in the gloomy rainy weather we’ve been having, and when I left work it was sunny and gorgeous out. So I decided to go for a walk instead.

I’ve been walking the “hills” in my neighborhood for a few weeks now, and I really enjoy this walk. The ups and downs of the hills give me a real workout, and it never feels like “just a stroll”. What started as a real challenge, however, has now become an easy 45 minute walk. By the end, I’m not longer out of breath, I’m not really “feeling the burn”.

So yesterday, halfway into my walk I decided I should try running it. And so…I did.

Truth be told, at this point running for me means stopping quite frequently to walk slowly while I gasp for air (okay, not gasp, but there is certainly some very heavy breathing involved). But, regardless, I ran.

And you know what? I liked it.

I KNOW! I can’t believe it either.

I’m not entirely sure who this person is that has taken over my body, but I have to admit, I’m growing fond of her, and I think she can stay.

Over the last year I’ve dropped 25 lbs., and I’ve found myself growing increasingly interested in health and fitness. I’m eating better, I’m eating less, and I’m genuinely interested in maintaining a healthy diet long term. I’m also working out regularly, and not just enjoying it, but finding myself wanting to push harder and harder each time. I’m not just satisfied with going to the gym and doing “enough” to “not gain weight”. I want to work harder, I want to do more, I want to reach new levels of fitness I have never reached before.

Here I am, in my 30’s, and I want to become one of those “athletic” people. It’s such an interesting phenomenon for me. The last time I did any sort of running that didn’t involve trying to catch a train, I was in the 6th grade and on the track team. By junior high school, I’d decided that I was NOT going to be the girl that went out for sports teams, I was much more interested in books and make-up. I never played any sports after that, and my stints at the gym were either because I wanted to look half-way decent in a bathing suit, or because I was watching the boys intramural basketball teams play in college.

And now? I’m thinking running might be something I might actually want to take up. I’m looking forward to hiking trips with a friend of mine, and I’m even considering taking up golf. WHAT? No, I’ll deny it if you tell anyone I said so.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go take a walk around the office, my legs are atrophying again. OH the pain…so sweet!

{May 6, 2009}   How Sweet are you?

Better late than never with my post today right? I was in a training all day and didn’t have access to a computer, but here we go, a fun collection of quizzes for Hump Day.

In keeping with the May NaBloPoMo theme of “Sweet”, let’s find out first: What type of Candy I am:

You Are a Butterfinger

They call you sticky fingers for a reason!

What Kind of Candy Are You?

Interesting…even more interesting because I’ve never actually eaten a Butterfinger… I should try one sometime.

How about “Are you Salty or Sweet?”

You Are a Salty Person

When it comes to snacks, you’re more likely to grab a bag of chips over a bag of cookies.

There’s a good chance you’re male (men prefer salty snacks)…

Or at least, you feel very comfortable in male dominated environments.

Your taste tends to be complex, sophisticated, and adult.

You tend to crave your favorite restaurant meal… or mom’s cooking.

Are You Sweet or Salty?

Well, this one rings true. I always go for the salty/spicy snacks before the sweet ones. I also do believe I have “complex, sophisticated, adult” tastes…(uh, yeah, sure), but I am not male. I am, however, and always have been comfortable in male dominated enviroments.

“What kind of dessert am I?”

You Are a Brownie

Decadent and intense, you aren’t for the weakhearted.

Those who can deal with your strong flavor find out how sweet you really are.

What Dessert Are You Most Like?

Hmmm…indeed. 😉

And finally, what kind of “Spice” am I?

You Are Black Pepper

You may be considered ordinary by some, but you’re far from boring.

You elevate the mood of any discussion, and people miss you when you’re not around.

You are secretly very dominant and powerful. Most can only take you in small doses.

What Spice Are You?

Small doses huh? Well, that’s my cue to shut it then. Y’all have a great rest of your Wednesday. I’ll be back tomorrow with more sweetness. Or Spicyness…

I’m on Day 5 of NaBloPoMo for the month of May, and already I’m struggling with the theme of Sweet. What I’m not struggling with thus far though, is with posting daily. I’m actually really enjoying the challenge, because it is forcing me to write a new post every day, and I’m finding that I missed the routine, and especially the writing.

So, I’m going to stray from the “Sweet” theme for today, but I’ll probably pick it back up tomorrow, worry not.

Today, however, I want to do something I’ve been thinking about doing for a while. I want to start a new feature here at Candid Karina. I’m going to call it Tipsy Tuesday, but oh, it is so not what you’re thinking.

Here’s the thing, I’m not claiming to be an expert on any one thing (because I’m so not), but for some reason, I seem to be the person a lot of folks turn to for advice, answers, opinions, information, and yes, tips. It’s always been this way for me, and I think it’s because I tend to have my finger on the pulse of what goes on in the world.

I’m a bit of an information junkie, always gathering facts about the most trivial of things. Therefore, I can just as easily tell you what color shoes to wear with a particular outfit as I can what cable you need to hook up your HDTV. It’s weird, I know.

Now, again, let me make this really clear, I’m no expert. I am NOT all knowing (or even remotely close) and I certainly don’t have all the answers. But I get real pleasure out of finding them out when I don’t know them, and I have the most random collection of tips and trivia in my brain that is just dying to get out.

So, here’s what Tipsy Tuesday is all about. Each Tuesday I’ll give you completely random tips and tidbits. Things you may or may not know. Helpful hints, or just intriguing trivia you can use to entertain your friends.

There will be no earth shattering information revealed here. I swear, I have no idea what the creators of Lost are planning or who shot J.R. (wait, maybe I do know that one).

And hey, if there’s something you want to know about, a question for me? Let me know, I’ll do my best to find out for you.

It should be noted that most of my tips will probably focus on the things I do know best. Those being fashion and make-up, shoes (of course), making new friends, eating healthy , bargain hunting, how to properly stalk a New Kid on the Block (that’s a joke folks), and who knows what else?

This is all in good fun folks, let’s not get too serious!

Since this post is already getting way too long, we’ll kick things off today with just one simple tips. I was actually asked by a friend for a trick to make your eyes look bigger, and I won’t lie to you that I actually jumped for joy to be able to impart this little bit of wisdom. It is probably one of my favorite beauty tips of all time. I actually learned this tip from Hillary Duff of all people. No, I don’t know her personally, I just read an article in some magazine where she offered this beauty tip, and I have been using this little trick since. If you don’t know, I wear glasses pretty much full time. I’ll wear contacts now and, but mostly, you’ll find me in any one of my 6 pairs of glasses (yes, you read that right, I have a bit of a shopping problem). When I started wearing glasses I was disappointed that what had always been the one feature I was constantly complemented on (my eyes) was now hidden behind the glasses.

I’ve since learned to play with eye make-up to make them “pop” a bit more. But it was Ms. Duff that gave me the best piece of advice on how to make your eyes really pop, look bigger and brighter. Ready?

White Eyeliner.

Now, for me personally, I need regular black/brown eyeliner on my lower lid, or I look completely washed out. But I’ve found that a bit of white liner on the top lid, as well as a dab in the inner corner of your eye does wonders.

Try it, you’ll love it.

There you have it. Now, if I wanted to be really dorky and tie in the “Sweet” theme to this post, I’d tell you to go out and try Hillary Duff’s perfume “With Love”, it is a sweet, subtle scent, and actually one of my favorites at the moment.

Wow, from this post you’d think I was getting some advertising residuals from Ms. Duff’s camp! HA!

Anything you want to know? Leave it in comments and I’ll try to answer next week.

{May 4, 2009}   Sweet Charity

I’d like to take the opportunity today to say Thank YOU.

As you, my dear readers, already know, this past Saturday I did the March of Dimes – March for Babies. A 3 mile walk to raise money for the March of Dimes, which does wonderful things in the area of medicine and research to end premature births, and other medical issues for babies.

I set a fundraising goal for myself of $150, and I’ll be honest, I didn’t really think I’d reach it. I know how tough times are right now, and asking people to donate money, even when it is for a great cause, is tough. Lucky for me (and for the babies), I’m pretty good at being a pest, and at begging.

I’m also lucky in the sense that the internet and social media have afforded me the opportunity to be visible in a lot of different areas. As I said in my recent post about internet friendships, I have “friends” all over the place, people I would not otherwise know.

I figured why not take advantage of these “friendships” of these mediums to try and get some donations? I put my blog, my facebook account, my twitter account and of course my email address book to work. I reached out to everyone I know, and people I don’t even know.

“It’s not for me, it’s for the babies” I said. I asked, I pleaded, I almost (but not quite) begged. And you know what? YOU gave.

The most amazing little things happened. The generosity of folks has always been something that touches my heart. No matter how tough times are, people step up when it counts. And I was counting on that to reach my goal. I was, therefore, not surprised when I not only reached it, but surpassed it (I raised $160 total).

What surprised me, however, were some of the sources my appeal reached.

Some of my friends reached out and gave, and for that, I’m grateful. Some of my blog readers also stepped up and donated, and again, for that I am extremely grateful. But it was the others, the ones I wasn’t counting on, that completely blew me away.

There was the random donor, who I’m still not entirely sure who he is. A Twitter follower? A blog reader? Someone I’ve never had an actual interaction with, but who somewhere saw my appeal, and donated. I’d like to thank him, but I honestly don’t know where to find him, so I hope either this blog post, or the many “thank you” tweets I’ve sent have reached him.

There was my one friend who I happen to know is in a tough financial position, who gave a small sum nonetheless. Even the small amount she gave is probably something she can’t afford to part with, but that’s just the sort of person she is.

There was my youth group, who donated the proceeds of their “share jar”, a jar we keep in our meetings that everyone throws spare change (or sometimes dollar bills and such) into at every meeting.

There was a former high school colleague, who I’ve friended on Facebook, but haven’t really spoken to in nearly 20 years.

Each and every donation touched my heart. They didn’t do it for me, they did it for the cause, and it touched my heart.

So, I thank you, each of you, not just for your generosity, but for confirming for me the belief that people are inherently good, giving, and caring. That’s a sweet, sweet thing, isn’t it?

Of course, if you couldn’t donate, I completely understand, and don’t think any less of you, as I said, I know times are tough for everyone. If, however, you’re sitting there thinking “Oh, I wish I’d known, I would have helped”. Fret not, my friends, I’m giving you another opportunity.

I’m doing another walk in a few weeks (May 17th to be exact) and I could really use your help! I’ll be doing a local Walk for CancerCare, in honor of my late Grandma “O”. As I said for the March for Babies, I’ll say here again, every little bit counts, so if you can give 50 cents or $50, I’ll take it.

You can click here to donate.

I thank you in advance, and I thank those of you who sponsored me for the March for Babies, once again.

et cetera