Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas, One and All~!

Hello everybody!! Merry (day-late) Christmas to all of you!!

I decided that I wasn't going to do a blog entry last Saturday because it was Christmas Eve and I was busy hanging out with family.


Anywho! Here's what my last week has been like :).

To be honest, the last week has kind of been blurred together because I only had work to worry about, but I'll do my best to piece together the different things that happened with the right days/dates :).

Last Monday, I pretty much just worked in the morning and then worked out in the afternoon before going and hanging out with Dan for a little while. I can't quite remember what we did. I think that was the day that we just hung out and he played Skyrim and/or Assassin's Creed: Revelations while I drew or something :). I came up with this pretty picture!



I think she's so pretty :D!!! I think that the proportions of her face are off, but I really love the way it looks anyway hahaha. It also looks better in person.


Tuesday, I went to spend some time with my amazingly good friend Christie Karr! We spent the majority of our time together playing Batman: Arkham City and Fable 3. She also made me some amazingly good food that I failed to get a picture of ^^;. It was butternut squash ravioli with this creamy onion, carrot sauce on top :D. So good! Her mama also made some really good chicken soup with a piece of toast and that was also delectable :)! She gave me a couple of Christmas gifts and asked me to open one of them while I was there with her, so I opened it and it was this thing called a "Munny" made by a company called kidrobot. It's this little vinyl doll that's plain white that you can draw on and paint on to create whatever kind of look you want with it. I have a few designs that I've found online that I really like! I'll post them here so you can see them :).



I thought that the design of this one was super cute! Just because it's almost musical and the gradient-ness of it appeals to me :). The eyes just add to the cuteness XD. On the back there's little wings and a heart with more of the musical pattern :D.


I thought this was just plain cool :). I'm not going to add anything onto my munny like they've done here with the trees and such, but I thought this was super creative! The design on the face is just sweet too :D.



I really like the attitude of this one and the colors on it :). The people who do this one also obviously did a little extra work with the hat and such, but I think (again) it's the gradient-look that appeals to me on this one :D.



I love the amount of detail that was put into this one :). And the fact that it has bigger pieces to it among the teeny details :D.



I thought this one was just fantastic XD. Not because there's a big one and a small one, but because of the design of the big one :D. I absolutely LOVE swirly patterns, even if there's just one, and the colors of this are just awesome too XD. Super awesome design in my opinion! Simple and awesome XD XD.



So, generally the munnies that have faces on them don't appeal to me as much as the ones that just have random designs or more simplified faces that fit them better, but I actually thought this one was pretty well done :). 


Again, gotta love the swirly XD. So awesome! And the eyes make it super cute <3~! The colors are pretty awesome too come to think of it :D.



Thought this one was pretty cool, just because it had like a step-by-step thing along with the final product, which turned out looking pretty nifty in my opinion :D. 



Really love the thick lines of this one :D. Some of the design actually reminds me of henna designs that I've seen before. Pretty shweet!



Again, love the eyes and the colors are really nifty :). 

And as a final picture....




I thought that this was just hilarious!!! I was looking for other munny design ideas online and found this and couldn't help but to crack up XD. Thought I'd share it with you just in case you like flatulence jokes as much as I do XD.


Anyway! It was really great seeing Christie and spending time with her. She also gave me a book about Japanese cuisine that I'm really excited to take a closer look at :D. So cool to know about how traditional Japanese food is made!!! And so grateful to her for her gifts :)!!! Amazingly thoughtful :). We also watched the new Batman Dark Knight Rising movie trailer and a trailer for a movie called "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo." She mainly showed me the second trailer so I could hear some music on it. It was crazy awesome intense music! I heard mixed reviews about the actual movie though ^^;.

Here's the Batman trailer if you're interested in watching it :D.



Super excited for it :D.

I also saw the Hobbit trailer and am very excited for that as well! Here's the trailer for it :).




There's so many good movies coming out soon, it's really awesome just imagining what they're going to be like! Hopefully both of them will live up to the awesomeness of the movies that came out before them :D.


On Wednesday, Dan and I got together and we were just going to hang out and ended up deciding to go out to eat for his birthday dinner at Bombay House because I was planning on spending most of my day with my older sister Emmallee and her husband Ty and their daughter Laylee on Thursday night. We couldn't have dinner on Friday night because his family had planned to make/have dinner for/with him, so we went out and had some super delicious food! I ordered the Chicken Tikka Masala and ate all of it, which is something that I generally have a hard time with when it comes to eating out because the portions are generally quite large ^^;, but it was so good, I couldn't stop eating! I was proud of myself in one aspect though because I had the guts to ask them for light cream in the masala instead of the regular cream that they use. It tasted the same to me and probably had a little less calories :D.

Thursday rolled around and I went up to my parent's house to go see Em, Ty, and Laylee, and also went up to finish wrapping Christmas presents since I hadn't finished and only had a few more to go :). It was really great seeing all of them. Little Laylee has gotten so big! Cutest little fireball :D. While spending time with them and talking, I finished wrapping up the presents! Here's a picture of almost all of the gifts I wrapped::



Let's just say it was a crap-ton of presents and I was very much happy when I was finished :D. They all turned out looking fairly pretty too!!! There were a couple of gifts that had a couple of spaces where you could see through the wrapping paper, but pretty much everything was in a box so it didn't really matter ^^;.

I actually can't remember what we did or if we did anything together on Thursday ^^;.


Friday was Dan's birthday!! Happy 20th birthday m'love! It was awesome. We didn't do a lot, but it was amazing spending time with him :D. We watched Saturday Night Live for a little while, talked, went and got soda for his family for dinner, talked some more, and then had some amazing dinner that his dad made. He made General Tzo's chicken with potato pancakes, stir fried broccoli, zucchini, peppers, and some white rice to top it off :). It was absolutely delicious :)!

There was also homemade cake that his mother baked and that was amazing too :D. We each had our own piece and then split a piece :D. He made me eat the last bite, it was actually pretty funny. We always fight over who eats the last bite if we're splitting something, and he said "since it is my birthday, I want you to have the last piece and I would be happy if you ate it," so I laughed and ended up eating it :). So good!

We then spent the rest of the night just talking together and enjoying each other's company :). I got to spend some time with his grandma and she's a really sweet lady :D. We also started watching the Hogfather, a movie based on a novel written by a British author named Terry Pratchett, but I ended up falling asleep about halfway through the first of two parts ^^;.



We ended up watching it on Christmas night and it was really good! Absolutely loved it and would recommend it for anyone that likes British humor XD. Or just anyone in general :D.

Christmas Eve, my dad, Jewell and I drove up to my stepsister Amber's house for Christmas Eve dinner and to spend Christmas morning with. Unfortunately the kids were crazy and woke up around 1:00 and kept me up for a while, but I got a little bit of sleep at least ^^;. We woke up Christmas morning and everyone opened their gifts. I mainly got clothing and such, which I'm super happy about :D. We went to church for a bit and then headed home from the crazy kid house :). I headed to Dan's after getting back to my folk's house and I had an amazing waffle and a half with Dan once I got there :). I ate way too much that night, things ranging from hot chocolate to fish and crackers to pieces of smoked turkey, but it was all delicious!


After eating all of this crazy food and actually feeling a little ill because of it, I've come up with an awesome New Year's resolution :).


Clean. Eating.

This means eating foods that have less than 3 ingredients in them, a.k.a. unprocessed, healthy foods around 80-85% of the time. When I was on bodybuilder.com the other day I heard one of the trainers say that "abs are made in the kitchen," and I think that's awesome :D. Plus I just like healthy eating anywho, so this clean eating thing is something that I've been getting excited about :D.

Hoping that it's a resolution that I can keep! I'm going to do my best!

I did think up some things that I was grateful for, but I've already taken forever to put this blog up, so I'll post them up with the other things I'm grateful for this week when I blog next. Love you all so much and hope that you have an amazing New Year celebration!

2012, bring it on!!! :D!

<3~!

~Ali~

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Break!

I~'m drea~ming of a whi~te Christma~s...

Because there's no snow on the ground and it's the middle of December in Utah! You'd think that the place would be covered in white by now ^^;! I guess this isn't the case ^^;.

So, this is going to be a short entry, get ready for an explosion of events!


Saturday, I got to spend some awesome time with Dan and my mom! We met at my grandma's for breakfast, went out and got some Starbucks around noon from what I remember, then went to Target and my mom got me a lamp for Christmas and gave me some mulah to buy myself a bamboo plant for my apartment since there's no nature-related thing there and I want some life in my room besides me!

Later that evening we got together with my aunt and went up to the Gateway and just hung out for a while, it was super fantastic! I got some pictures of this huge Christmas tree they had all lit up by this water fountain :D.












It kept changing colors, so I took a few pictures of it to try and capture the awesomeness :D. We walked around and just looked at shops, got some food at this Japanese place called Edo's and got some chocolate at this Rocky Mountain chocolate place. Can't remember the whole name ^^;.  After, we went to the Planetarium and just looked around at all the cool little gifts they had and such :). It was so amazing being with the four of them though. One of the most memorable nights!

Sunday I got so spend some more time with my mom and Dan. It was awesome :D. I don't get to be with them often enough ^^;.

Monday, I spent some of the day with my mom and was prepping for my character animation final due Tuesday! Also got to spend some time with my grandma and cousin from what I remember :). Turned in my final on Tuesday and it was lovely! Got 18 out of 20 points for my assignment and an overall B in my class.

Wednesday morning I had my Japanese final and got an overall B+ in that class! YAY! Not quite sure what grades I got in my shader programming or my physics class, but I'm hoping they're in the B range!!

After my Japanese final I went and got my hair done! Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of me that look very good because both times I've taken pictures of my hair it's been right before bed or right after waking up hahaha. Here's one though. Forgive the sleepy eyes!



 This was before I got it done :).



And after!!! XD. I was so zonked that morning! I think that was actually yesterday morning hahaha (Friday morning).

But it's pretty! Got red, brown, and goldish stuff in there. Also decided to change from the middle part to a side-ish part :). It'd be easy to go back to a middle part if I wanted to, so I'm happy with it :D. I also got to see Jewell while I was getting my hair done! It was good to see her since I hadn't gone to see her or my dad this last Sunday. I plan on going up there this Sunday though to wrap presents and work on music stuff :D!


Thursday was basically a play day. I did what I wanted in the morning and then got together with Dan around 2:00 so we could leave for Salt Lake to go to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert that started at 8:00. We left around 4:00 and got there around 5:00 or 6:00 and walked around for a while. We walked through Temple Square and I saw some of the most beautiful lights!!



So gorgeous! Loved it :).

Got some dinner at Subway and then went and sat in the conference center for a while waiting for it to start. Here's a picture I got of the decorations they had up :)!






It was beautiful! I didn't get any pictures of the actual performance because they asked for no photography, plus my phone died so it was kind of impossible for me to snap any more photos.

One awesome thing about the performance was the fact that they made it snow!!! With these weird bubble thingies. It was amazing. The music was gorgeous~! I absolutely love Christmas music. I think it really helps me get into the spirit of Christmas :D.


Yesterday, Friday, morning, I went to work and after work I took all of my co-workers to Carl's Jr. to get some food because they were hungry. I didn't get anything because I try to save my treat days for Saturday (even though this week I was absolutely horrible and had stuff like pizza, brownies and ice cream, and a lot of chocolate that was given to me by my hair dresser). After taking them there, we went and rented the movie "The Adjustment Bureau" from the nearest redbox and went back to the school and watched it.



Let me just tell you, this movie was amazing!!! Or at least I thought it was. Super interesting. The ending was kind of abrupt, but it was still super enjoyable to watch :D! And Emily Blunt is super buff! Want her style of body honestly. Muscular and toned=amazing :D.

The story had me totally involved and it's interesting because I had a similar story idea before I even heard about this movie :D. Funny how that happens :)!

After this I went home, ate, sat around for a while, then went and played Assassin's Creed:: Brotherhood with Dan some while working on this Christmas project I've been doing :). We actually stopped playing for a little while when his mom came in saying that she wanted to decorate the Christmas tree. We offered to help and got to listen to some awesome Christmas music while putting ornaments and...garland? On the tree :D.



This is how the tree looked when we were done :D!!! It was so awesome talking and putting on the decorations. I absolutely love Christmas tree decorating, so it was a special treat for me :). Afterward we went back to playing Assassin's Creed and actually beat the game, started Revelations, but around 10:30 I was passing out in one of his living room chairs ^^;.

I went home, slept, and here I am this morning typing as hastily as I can so I can go work out really soon :D. I was horrible and had more chocolate last night and this morning and want to work it off before it works its way on hahaha!!!


Here's pictures of some of the food I made this week :D!






 A weird meal! Turkey patty with zucchini, onions, and a poached egg :D. Yummy though!






 An even stranger meal! Tried to make this blueberry pudding with some tofu I had, but it didn't turn out as good as I'd hoped ^^;. Frozen blueberries, soymilk, tofu, and stevia :D.






 Super yummy meal that I plan on making again today! Shrimp, green peppers, onion, oregano, and some marinara sauce :D.





 Another really yummy meal! Even though it smelled like dog while I was making it O_x.... Tilapia filets, carrots, peas, turmeric, and curry powder :).






 This is a salad Dan and I made Friday night. Super yummy! Lettuce, peppers, baby tomatoes, ham, mozzarella cheese, and salt and pepper :).






Delicious eggs that I made this morning. Seriously. So. Good. :)! Two eggs, a little bit of marinara sauce, and some mozzarella cheese! Also had a couple crackers with peanut butter on them :D.


Also got some funny images out of Assassin's Creed this past week XD. Ragdoll in that game makes me laugh so hard XD!






That guy is like folded in half!!! I was laughing so hard XDDD!


Well, that's pretty much it for this week :). Today I plan on going and hanging out with Dan. I'm thinking our treat is going to be home-made chocolate chip cookies!!! I'm super excited--haven't had those in quite a while :)!

I hope that your Christmas break goes splendidly and that you have an amazing time with your family or friends, whoever you spend it with, even if you spend it alone :). <3!


Things I was grateful for this week include::


  • Sunday:: The ability to dream. Dreaming is what makes my life livable sometimes I think :). Thinking of how amazing the future can be through your dreams is super inspirational for me personally :D.
  • Monday:: I was really grateful for my imagination :). It can come up with the weirdest things sometimes (especially when I'm asleep), but I love having a creative mind :)!
  • Tuesday:: Positive attitudes! For me, it doesn't matter whether you're having a good day or a bad day--running into someone who has a good attitude and tries to lift you up is something that I'll always be grateful for :).
  • Wednesday:: I was really grateful for the fact that hair grows hahaha, as weird as that may sound. This isn't because I don't like the way my hair was done. I was just thinking about it before I went in and thought--you know, it would suck if our hair only grew once and then we had to decide how we wanted it to look for the rest of our lives ^^;. It's nice to be able to change your appearance without it having to be permanent :D.
  • Thursday:: I was feeling really grateful for human adaptivity--the fact that our bodies are made to adapt to our environment, whatever the circumstance might be :). If we couldn't adapt to the cold or the heat of the weather, think about how much more miserable things could be!
  • Friday:: I actually didn't think of anything for yesterday, so I'll say that I'm really grateful for clear, polite communication. I love communicating with people, but it can be really frustrating when communication doesn't go as planned, but if you know what you're trying to say and you communicate it well and be understanding with people, it's amazing what kinds of things you can get across without hurting someone else :D.
  • Saturday:: I also haven't thought of anything for this morning. Hmmm. I'm really grateful for stress-relievers, particularly exercise. Exercising might not be the most fun thing to do in the world, but it really does help lower my stress levels. I've been struggling with my workouts lately--mostly just been having a hard time actually getting out and doing them, but I honestly feel so much better when I do ^^.

Anyway! That was my week! Here's a picture of snow in hopes that it'll bring some more to us before Christmas rolls around next week :D!



Merry Christmas everyone!! Love you all so much!


~Ali~


Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Week Before Finals...D8

Good morning everyone! I hope that this week has gone well for you so far (even though finals are just around the corner O_O). This week has actually gone really well for me :)! The only downside to this week is that I didn't take half as many pictures as I usually do, so I plan on doing better this week so that my blog will still be somewhat visually interesting ^^;!

Now going to talk about my week!


This last Sunday was actually kind of a downer day unfortunately ^^;. I woke up just thinking way too much about everything going on and feeling nervous about the week because of finals preparation. Luckily I was able to spend some time with my mom and my little sister Isa during the afternoon :). We went for a coffee run at Starbucks (I got my usual--Light Caramel Frappucino with whipped cream and caramel topping. To DIE FOR D8!!!), and then just sat outside of my apartment and talked in my mom's car for a while :). It was so good just spending time with her and my little sis'.

It was great, while Isa was playing with her toys in the car, my mom pulled out this little Luke Skywalker toy and I started messing with it and put him in the most horrible-looking position!!



Oh, man...that just looks awful XD XD! My mom and I laughed about it for a good two minutes as I continually maimed the poor toy. It was so funny though! Cracked up so bad XD.

She soon left and I got my laundry and such ready and made my way over to my dad and Jewell's house :). My dad was putting up Christmas lights when I got there and so I helped him out a little, then helped him heft the Christmas tree into the living room :).



It looks kind of like this, but less filled out and more frosted :).

I love the Christmas tree that my parents have--it's predecorated--but at the same time, spending time with the family to put the decorations and the lights on is something that I actually super enjoy. I just have really great memories of when my mum, Em, and I would be doing Christmas decorating on the tree and stuff and how fun it would be :). We'd have all this Christmas music going in the background and just be putting ornaments on the tree and wrapping lights on the branches and stuff. Best memories. Love it :).

After doing that, I started up some laundry, made my dad and I a yummy protein shake, and then proceeded to go out to the studio to record some vocals for one of the songs that I'm working on. I didn't really like how the vocals turned out, so I might go back and re-record them tomorrow when I go see them :).

I ended up staying late because I was a little too loose with how I was doing my laundry, so it took longer than it should have ^^;. But I got home and got some good sleep.


Monday was a presentation day for my Japanese class, and my group's presentation was on Wednesday, and we were pretty much done preparing it, so I felt pretty good and prepared about it :). In physics we were talking a little bit about Unit 4 from what I can remember, talked about scheduling (when the final is, etc.), just basic stuff. I went home and worked on Japanese homework from what I can remember. Just finishing up some things to make sure the presentation was all ready to go :).

Tuesday, we had a review on our shaders for our class and I had a couple of things that I wanted to fix on it and planned on doing it after class. I also tried to go in to the Planetarium at BYU to do a physics assignment that I needed to finish, but they closed and locked the doors before I could get there, so I went to a different session on Wednesday :). I went and helped a person from my Japanese class with their part of our group project for a couple hours and was able to get a little bit more of the comic page done that I've been working on. Still not finished though because of the business of the week D8.

Before my character animation class started, I went and recorded the audio I needed to sync with my animation, and now it's all finished! But on Tuesday I was just doing mouth animations, trying to sync it up as best as I could. After that I came home, worked on Japanese some more, and then went to sleep :).


Wednesday morning came around and I presented with my Japanese classmates on the topic of "Japan's education system." Basically just what the school system is like in Japan, opinions on it, etc. We met before class to practice once before class started (thank goodness), and then were chosen as the first group to present. I brought a little paper with what I wanted to say on it (though I kind of wish that I'd improvised more like my classmate Austin Miner). It all turned out good though :). I feel like we did a good job of presenting the information we needed to. Then both of the other groups that were there presented what they'd researched, and then it was off to physics again!

We mostly just discussed scheduling and the teacher said a nice goodbye to us as students, asked us for feedback about the class and such. It was good :). She also gave us some chocolate! I grabbed a dark chocolate piece and was out the door.

After class I dashed over to the Planetarium again in hopes that the doors were still open. I was probably the fourth person to arrive out of maybe thirty people, which was good because that meant I could successfully get my assignment done :).



This is what it looked like while I was just sitting there. So beautiful and awesome! The dome above us was huge! I hadn't been to a planetarium in a while, so being there was really a cool experience :). We watched a film about the stars and the life and birth of stars, what kind of star the sun is, what kinds of stars exist, etc. It was fascinating! After the film was over, the TA that was teaching the class did a small presentation with a few slides and I found myself nearly passing out because the room was so dark and for me, dark room=sleep time ^^;.

Afterward I went home and exercised a little since I couldn't exercise earlier this week due to my Japanese group project filling up my spare time. Jewell called me in the middle of my workout and asked me about times that would be good for me to get my hair done next week (AAAAAH, so excited)!!! I'm hoping to get it dyed red again and getting it trimmed and maybe doing a little bit of a taper in the front just to change things up a little bit from my normal long, blunt-bang appearance. Not that I don't like that or anything, I'm just ready for a change! :D


Thursday approached and my shader was due! I went in early in hopes to fix a couple of things before Seth Holladay (my teacher) presented our work to the class, but unfortunately my shader exploded at the last minute, so I was forced to use an old rendition of my shader, which I was actually pretty upset about because I'd gotten it looking really nice, and then it decided to explode on me. Damn thing >:(. Oh well. Everyone said that it had come a long way and Seth said that I just had to fix a couple of things and it would be demo-reel worthy, which made me feel a little bit better about it ^^;.

After that class, I went home and ate some good food before rushing over to the testing center to take my last physics midterm. I got an 83%, hallelujah! Probably the best score I've gotten on any of my tests in that class so far this semester ^^;. I still have to take the final, which is taking place pretty much anytime next week. Not looking forward to that, but going to do my best on it anyway ^^;.

After taking my test I ran back home to meet up with my mom and drive up to Draper with her to pick up Isa. We had another little Starbucks treat on the way! I got a banana-chocolate smoothie. It had the most protein in it out of everything on their menu, so that's what I chose :). Definitely going to go with something coffee-related next time. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't half as good as their other items. I also had about half of my mom's pumpkin scone (so bad for me, but it tasted heavenly)! We talked about how she'd been visiting with friends from when she was in high school and how sweet all these people were to her and it was so awesome just listening to her. I love my mama~!

We made it up to my aunt Tammi's house, picked up Isa, talked a little bit, and then were back on the road! My mum took me back to my apartment and I was late for my character animation class, so I decided to just work on it at home :). I got everything set up and finished the animation within a couple hours!

If you're interested in seeing it, it's right here! Please ignore the absolutely cheesy dialogue recorded by yours truly ^^; ::

(Unfortunately the video wouldn't upload so I'll have to upload it later Dx. Sorry :(!)

I thought that it turned out pretty good! If you notice, when she says "ultimate challenge," her fingers kind of go outside of the spotlight I set up for her, which was upsetting, but I really didn't want to have to render out a whole other section of the animation (because it takes up quite a bit of time), so I just left it :). I'm pretty happy with the finished product though to be honest :)! So glad I got it finished a little early :D.


Yesterday, Friday, was technically a "reading day" so I didn't have to worry about going to class :). I did have to worry about going to work though, and am going to be required to go to work over Christmas break ^^;. It kinda sucks, but I really need the money right now. I'm not going to have any money for Christmas presents, so it's all going to end up being hand-made I think ^^;. We'll see what happens. Maybe I can buy Christmas candies for everyone or something. Maybe something a little healthier? Who knows ^^;. Wish me luck!

After working in the morning, I spent most of the afternoon relaxing at home, then I tried to do an ab work out, but I didn't last half as long as I normally would have because I killed my legs on Wednesday (unintentionally of course) and have been in pain whenever I flex any thigh-related muscle, so I didn't do as well as I'd wanted, but at least I did some exercise stuff ^^;.

After that I went on a walk with Dan in the park and we just talked. It was so nice just being with him :). We went back to his house and sat around for a while, kind of forced into watching a couple of his brother's children, and I started working on this little project I've been asked to work on. We had enough of the kids after probably an hour or so and went into his room and talked some more :). I felt bad for him, he's been having such a rough time sleeping and was incredibly tired when I was over there, but he stayed up until I left (around 7:00) and fell asleep after I came home and made myself some lettuce wraps :).

I ate the goodness and then started working on my project again while watching "My Neighbor Totoro," in Japanese.



It was so awesome! Now I see why so many people are fans of it :). Such a great film! I went to sleep around 10:00 and woke up at 6:00 this morning :D. Felt great to sleep in for a couple hours :).

For breakfast this morning, I made myself something similar to this::



This is actually an omelet that I made earlier this week that included deli turkey meat, eggs (obviously XD), cheese, mushrooms, and spinach. The one I made this morning had all the same ingredients except that I put ground turkey in (in exchange for the deli turkey) and it tasted kind of like sausage :). It was delicious!

And now here I am blogging! Hahaha. Speaking of recipes, here's one that I kind of took from Dan's mom::



She usually uses chicken, but I used tuna fish instead :). It's basically tuna salad lettuce wraps! I used a can of tuna, a tablespoon of light mayonnaise, half cup of grapes, and a piece of celery. Mix it all together, put it in a piece of lettuce, and you've got a super yummy, nutritious meal :D!



Another thing I made this week for my after-work meal was this banana cinnamon oatmeal :D. It might look gross, but I can assure you it tasted good :), especially with the stevia I put on top of the cinnamon oatmeal. That in itself was pretty dang delicious. The bananas just gave it extra yummy flavor :).

And now for the things that I was grateful for this week! ::

  • Sunday:: I was really grateful for my hair on Sunday as odd as that may seem ^^;. I just love how long and straight it is and I finally realized on Sunday that I can do so much with it styling-wise if I just put in a little time and research :D. Having long hair is the bomb. You can do so much with it! So I'm grateful for my hair and the weird things that I can do with it :).
  • Monday:: I was grateful for sweet things on Monday. This can include sweet things when it comes to food, or sweet things that people do for each other, etc. I love things that are sweet in every way, shape, or form :).
  • Tuesday:: On Tuesday morning my co-worker Lauren Gale was being super slow at getting ready, so I decided that I was grateful for responsible/timely people. It's always nice to have somebody responsible to work with because you know that you can rely on them, and if you're the same way, then they can rely on you. It's the whole two-way relationship thing. It's nice when both are responsible so that one doesn't have to do all the work :).
  • Wednesday:: I was feeling really grateful for the feeling of comfort. Whether it's a shoulder to cry on or the heat of a warm fire and hot chocolate when it's blistering cold outside--the feeling of comfort is something that I often take for granted :).
  • Thursday:: On Thursday I was feeling so pressed because I haven't had hardly any free time this week to do what I'd really like to, so I decided that free time is something that I'm super grateful for. I feel like I don't have enough of it ^^;, but hopefully that won't continue on forever.
  • Friday:: Yesterday I was feeling really grateful for peace because I was in such chaos being over at Dan's house and around his nephews. They're adorable, but I can only stand children for a few minutes before going bonkers ^^;. Also, it seemed like some other people had been experiencing some chaos and so I decided that peace is something that I should be grateful for.
  • Saturday:: I haven't thought up what it is that I'm grateful for this morning, so...let's see. I don't know if I've already used this in the past, but I'm extremely grateful for electricity. I've been thinking about this one a lot lately and it's become apparent to me just how much electricity I use every day and how much humanity uses it in general, yet we hardly give it any thought. So, I'm super grateful for the fact that we have electricity and are able to use it so well and are learning how to use it more efficiently :).


And there you have it!


There's kind of a weird topic that I want to touch on--another one of those things where I feel like if I talk about it at all it'll make me sound like I'm insane (which I am, but...in a good way at least ^^; ), but I want to talk about it, so here I go!

I actually might have talked about this before in the past sometime. I'm not sure, but oh well. Anyway!

I will oftentimes have these feelings where I get this sudden burst of inspiration and feel like I belong in a place in society that's higher where I currently am. Meaning I'd be more successful, have less financial problems, and be well-known to the majority of the people in existence. I don't know what it is that causes these weird bursts of "I'm going to be famous someday!" but they happen fairly often. I haven't had one recently, but just a couple weeks ago I was having them all the time. It's such an amazing feeling, and I feel like it's connected to something greater.

Like, I'm actually supposed to feel these weird inspirations so that I'll work harder to reach that I'm-successful-and-well-known status. Meaning, I feel like I get these feelings for a reason. That might be total crock, but I think that it's for a reason and I'm going to stick to that belief, no matter what anyone else says. If you ever get feelings like these, I hope that you have a similar belief because everyone deserves to be successful and treated well by others!!

I feel like there was more that I wanted to say on that topic, but that's all that's coming out hahaha. There is my schpiel! (I have no idea how to spell that...shpeel?)


I'm looking forward to finals being over this week, and they'll be over before I know it! HALLELUJAH!

Unfortunately my mama is going back to California on Monday, but I plan on spending as much time with her over this weekend as I possibly can! Love her so much and miss her whenever she's not around. I'm really hoping to get to see her again soon~!


I just had a phrase pop into my head and it was cool for a second, but now I don't know if it makes sense. "When the world gets you down, turn the world upside down." In a good way of course D8. When the world gets you down, don't try to make the world worse. Basically just try to do the best with what you've got :)!

Gosh, I'm preachy today!

This next week is going to be a tough one for those of us that are in school! Everyone, please do your best! It'll pay off someday :). Love you all so much and hope that your weekend is relaxing and rejuvenating!

~Ali~

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Good, Long week!

I'm blogging surprisingly late this morning :D, do forgive me XD. I stayed up late last night hanging out with my mama, who just got into town this last Tuesday! So good to see her! I'll explain more about that later, if I remember XD.


This last week was very long and somewhat trying, but it was overall a good week :).



Starting off with Saturday, after blogging I got ready for the day (as seen above) and went over to Dan's house to just be with him for the day (like we usually do Saturdays). I went over and we just sat and talked a little while he played Skyrim. He wasn't feeling very emotionally well that day and so we decided to split up early so I could go and do some homework for school. It was a little tough, but things were all right.

I actually ended up writing this amazing journal entry that day to try and brighten up my mood and it worked!! I basically wrote the journal entry from the perspective that I'd already put my music up on iTunes for sale and I'd already received a significant amount of money for the amount of sales and that I'd already gotten offers for people to help me do music videos and the like. It was an amazing feeling, just really imagining myself being in what could be my future shoes!

I put specific details into the entry too, like where I'd be shooting my first video, what the schedule was, who all was going to be with me to help me with it (like my amazing make-up-artist-photographer-friend Christie Karr), where we would be staying while shooting the video, the fact that a few days after releasing my music I was able to hire myself a manager to help me look for opportunities for tours and things like that.

This might make me look crazy, talking about things like this, but I believe that envisioning and planning out your future with the most detail you can possibly muster is a key to keeping yourself motivated and actually reaching goals. It also can get you so excited about the future because you can really see and feel what life would be like if you were already right there. At least that's what it does for me :).

After writing this incredibly inspirational entry, I decided I should go over to my parent's house and work on school stuff. I needed to take pictures of my dad's music studio so I could make an environment light map for my cymbal that I'm shading in my shader programming class. I got the pictures, did some laundry, talked to my parents a little, worked on my music a little, did a little bit of reading for my Japanese class (from what I remember), and drew a little of this comic page I've been working on :). I ended up spending the night over at their house because I still had some laundry to do and wanted to continue working on my music on Sunday :).


Sunday morning came around and I got my dad to go on a walk with me up Kiwanis. It was cold, but getting up and walking in the morning felt so nice~. We made it up to this little pond, and I saw some of the coolest stuff there!




There was a bunch of ice frozen around the part of the pond that runs down into this river. It was SO cool looking! Absolutely beautiful! If you can see in the upper picture, there was this huge bulb of ice on the end of this branch just kind of swinging around. I asked my dad how ice like that could possibly form (it looked like a bunch of bubbles!), and he said when the water splashes up on the branch or on the sides of the river, it must freeze because it's so cold.

Made total sense to me! I thought it was fascinating!!

On our way back down, my dad noticed some other ice on this tree, so I snapped another picture because it looked so cool XD.



Ice is so cool to me. Love it!

We came home and I made myself some lunch!




Oh-so-good peanut butter and dark honey toast (dark honey given to me by Dan. Home-made honey~!) with two poached eggs, a little salt, and some salsa :D. Delish!

Sunday turned out to be a very, very lazy day besides the time that I went and worked on my music :). I finished the synths for three songs! All that remains is recording vocals and doing some production stuff, which is always just AWESOME. Production is where all the cool stuff comes out, like reverb, choppy-editing stuff. Love it! Very, very excited to finally have some songs finished to actually show to all of you!

After working on music, I basically lazed around the house, drew a little, watched some TV shows with my step-mom Jewell about melting glaciers and stuff about telescopes. It was really interesting :). During all this, Jewell made this amazingly good food!




It was chicken, whole grain pasta, alfredo sauce, oregano, romano (?) cheese, and probably a couple of other things in the pasta-looking dish, and then some cornbread on the side :D. I was hoping for something that was a little more protein and veggie based, but this tasted amazing~! Shouldn't have had the cornbread, but cornbread is extremely difficult for me to resist ^^;. Especially if it's just sitting there and you can smell it and everything. D8

Anywho, later on that day I went back to the apartment and got ready for the school week!




This was my breakfast on Monday morning--super protein packed! And awesomely delicious :). I was also running a little low on ingredients (basically all I have right now is dry cereal, potatoes, nuts, a little fruit, pasta, frozen meats, and oatmeal ^^;. May seem like a lot, but I generally have a much wider variety to choose from ^^;.), but it was delicious anyway :).

I had Japanese and physics that day. Everything went well :). Afterward, I went home, did my homework, and also tried to get that environment map done for my cymbal. During this, I had another flare-up of this rash that I've been getting. I got a really bad version of it on Thanksgiving, and still am not quite sure what the cause would be. On Thanksgiving, I assumed it was a food allergy because my face swelled up a little, but now I'm not so sure.





The top two pictures are from a couple months ago when it started showing up, and the bottom image is from Monday when it popped up again. I sent the picture to Jewell to see what she thought of it, and she thought that I might be overdosing on niacin. The only thing about that is I'm not taking any niacin supplements, and I read online the other day that you can't overdose on niacin if you're just eating niacin-rich foods (which is actually the majority of what I eat ^^;). So I'm still not quite sure what the cause is. Maybe it is a food allergy, I'm not sure ^^;. Either way, I'm going to continue to keep an eye on it.


Tuesday came around and I worked on my cymbal after doing my cleaning job. I had to eat some good food first though to keep me energized!




So you're probably looking at this thinking "Ali...are you eating trees now? What is wrong with you!!" I can assure you that this was a yummy meal. It's actually become one of my favorites. It's basically a chopped up apple, oatmeal, and chopped up almond pieces with a little bit of stevia to keep it all sweet :). So good!




I went to my shader programming class and worked on my cymbal after eating and this is about as far as I got :). May look the same as it has the past couple times I've posted photos of it up here, but I made some changes to the color (made it more orange), and tried to fix the lighting a little bit. I also constructed a microphone so that I could cast a shadow on the top of the cymbal like there is in the original photo :). I also got the UV map (difficult to explain) and exported it so that I could paint a letter "K" on the cymbal like my dad's actually has :).

I went home, painted the K, then went in and worked on my animation for my character animation class from 4-6. Still need to get the audio recorded for that DX! Will have to do that soon ^^;.


Also, on Tuesday I'm pretty sure I made myself some yummy lettuce wraps for the first time!




I kind of made my own recipe, but it still tasted absolutely fantastic! Super healthy too :). I used frozen ground turkey, green peppers, carrots, two tbs. of soy sauce and one tbs. of this sauce often used in Japan called mirin. Mirin isn't very good for you (it has corn syrup/sugary stuff in it), so the less you can use the better! It was super yummy though :).

On Tuesday I also had the joy of going on this website called JibJab (an eCards company that makes hilarious holiday stuff) and goofed around there for a while. I was able to get these two videos::



Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!
I just have to say that the fact that Dan had a white milk mustache and has a white wig in this video was TOO perfect~! I thought that this first one was super hilarious, and then I found ANOTHER one that had to do with flatulence!


I watched this and I couldn't help but die laughing. You can actually hear me laughing in certain parts and near the end when Santa decides to rip one XD.

Oh, gosh, I love flatulence!! It's made me laugh so many times, I can't even count ^^;.

Tuesday night I also got a video of how my animation is looking so far :). If you're interested, please take a look :D!



Obviously the ending is where I'm still working, but I'm pretty satisfied with the beginning of the animation :). Let me know what you think ^^! And be honest, please. Constructive criticism is something that I need to get better at accepting, and there's no better way to work with it than to have people critique your work :)!

Wednesday wasn't anything out of the ordinary. Did Japanese and physics, went home and did homework, etc. Made some good food though :).




I think I actually made this Tuesday night ^^;. Can't remember! Shrimp, carrot, onion, oregano, garlic powder, and lemon :).



The soup I had was actually made by Jewell :). She just gave me some leftovers of it, and it was delicious!




I think this was my breakfast on Wednesday morning :). Oatmeal, apples, and a little bit of maple syrup :D. SO stinkin' good!



Saw these super vibrant bushes and couldn't help but take a picture :). Super loved their orange-pink color! Please ignore the other, more lifeless looking plants 8/.




This might look disgusting to you too, who knows ^^;. Either way, I do eat some kind of weird stuff on occasion ^^;. This was a tuna salad I made for myself some day, I can't even remember what day! Think it was Thursday night or something after I went and visited Dan. It was so good to see him even if it was only for a little while :). <3

Speaking of Thursday...! We voted on who should be our director and producer for our student film "Chasm," and Megan (I can't remember her last name DX!) was chosen for our director, and Keith L. Beavers was chosen as our producer! I feel like we made a great choice as the class of 2013 :). Super excited to get started on the film!


I'm kind of doing Thursday backwards, but oh well hahaha. This is what my cymbal looked like as of Thursday!




I'm pretty sure this is going to be what the final product looks like. I wish there was something I could do to fix the lighting, but I've tried a bunch of things and haven't quite been able to get it looking right, so I finally stopped when it looked like this so I didn't mess up things any more than I might have already ^^;.

Let me know what you think about this too :D!


Friday was a good day :). I dressed up almost like a goth hahaha! It was a blast :D.





I thought my face looked dark in the second picture, so I took another one where my face was brighter :D. I really liked the look! The earrings constantly got stuck in my hair, but it was okay :). I eventually just took them out hahaha ^^;. I wore lip-stuff for the first time in a long time! So fun :). It was a little dark and not as vibrant as my red lipsticks, so I figured it would be fun to wear because it wasn't super dramatic, but it still made my lips a little darker :D.

Friday night, I was able to go up and see my mama who is staying at my aunt's house at the moment :). It was amazing to see her and my little sister Isa, even if things were a little crazy for a while :). My mom made me this amazing food that I failed to take a picture of ( :( ), but it consisted of organic basmati rice, boiled kale and peas, cooked black beans, and this awesome curry sauce she made from tahini, a little mayo, curry powder, and Spike :). Super yummy and good for you :D! Maybe a little high in sodium, but delish!

We had such a good conversation that night just about how our lives are going and the like. I love being around my mom. She's such a spiritual inspiration for me! We also talked about diet-related things (calorie counting, making sure you're eating enough protein during the day, what kinds of vegetables have protein, etc.). It was so awesome :).


And this is where I'll start talking about my work-out regimen like I said I would last week :D! Fits in perfectly XD.

So! I work out 3-4 times a week depending on how I'm feeling and how busy I am. The least I ever work out is 3 times a week, just because exercise is really important to me. It really helps me regulate the stress of school, gives me a way to escape everything, including the creative side of myself because exercise is...kind of formulaic to me I guess 8(, if that makes any sense ^^;.

Here's my work out schedule as of late::

  • Monday:: Leg workouts that include quads, hamstrings, butt, calves, and inner/outer thighs. On Mondays I typically go to the BYU gymn because they have a lot of leg machines and I typically like to use machines when it comes to exercising my legs.
  • Tuesday:: Rest day.
  • Wednesday:: Core (torso) exercises that include upper abs, lower abs, obliques, latissimus dorsi, lower back (erector spinae), and sometimes trapezius. If you don't know where the muscles I'm talking about are located, just look them up online and you'll find them :D. I do two different ab exercises so I can target the upper and lower parts of the abs. I typically like to go to BYU for this day as well, but have recently just been going to my apartment gymn because it's closer, more convenient, and has almost all of the equipment I need for each of the exercises I do.
  • Thursday:: Rest day.
  • Friday:: Arm exercises that include all 3 parts of the deltoid (shoulder), biceps, triceps, forearms (top and underneath), chest, and trapezius. I use dumbells when it comes to these exercises because I feel like it really targets whichever muscle I'm trying to exercise.
  • Saturday:: Sometimes I'll do cardio on Saturdays, or I'll do an arm workout on Saturday that I didn't get to do on Friday (which is my situation today :) ).
  • Sunday:: Rest day/walking day.
There you have it! That is my workout schedule. If you want to know about specific exercises for the different workouts that I do, let me know and I'll tell you :D!


I don't want to leave you without my "grateful list" that I've been doing every week, so here we go!

  • Sunday:: I don't know if I thought anything up for Sunday, but I think it was nature that I was grateful for. Being able to go on that walk in the morning was awesome. Although nature isn't as beautiful in the winter as it is during the spring or fall (I think summer is kinda ugly personally), it's still so calming and relaxing to be in :).
  • Monday:: I was having a rough day on Monday, so I decided I was grateful for humor and humorous things because they can really help me through a rough time when I'm struggling :). Laughter can often times be the best medicine :)!
  • Tuesday:: I actually don't remember if I came up for anything for this day, so I'll just say that I was grateful for silence (because one of the nights this week my roommates were so stinking loud and it made it impossible for me to sleep. Plus I was on fire, just sleeping too warm). Silence helps me sleep really well and silence can be important for focusing and the like :). It's nice to have things quite every once and a while :).
  • Wednesday:: I was feeling really grateful for the ability to rest. Imagine what it would be like if we were worked literally to death--never allowed to just relax and take a moment to ourselves. Rest is so important and I'm super grateful for it :)!
  • Thursday:: I don't know if I came up for anything for Thursday, so I'll say I was grateful for the understanding of others. Sometimes you can say something that you want to to help somebody, but it might unintentionally hurt that person. But if they're understanding it really makes the whole situation so much easier because there's no negative reactions happening :). Having understanding people in the world is key I think ^^;.
  • Friday:: I don't think I specifically came up with anything for this day either, so I'll say that I'm grateful for spirituality. Spirituality is something that I often take for granted. I don't exercise a lot of interest in spirituality seeing as it's been kind of the big black abyss of doom on my life, but after talking to my mom about spiritual things and seeing spiritual power at work, spirituality is something that I'm very grateful for :).
  • Saturday:: Let's see...I don't think I've thought up anything specific for today either, so I'll come up with something :). I'm really grateful for beauty, whether it's in people's personalities or the people themselves, or something beautiful in nature, or just something you can describe as beautiful, like a feeling. I love beauty and I'm extremely grateful to see so many beautiful things in my life and be involved with such beautiful people :).

There you have it :).

Unfortunately I don't have a comic page that's done this week, sorry about that Dx! I'm working on the first page of Zander x Rae's story, which I have yet to name ^^;, but I want to do it in as realistic of a style as I can possibly stand, so it's going to take longer for me to produce. Also, with the school semester coming to a close and finals very quickly approaching, I've been and am going to be very busy. I'm looking forward for all of that to be over though so I can do whatever creatively during the Christmas season :D!

I love you all so much and hope that you enjoyed reading my blog this morning!! Let me know if you want more info on workouts, recipes, portion sizes, how many calories I eat, blah, blah, blah! Or if you want me to post about different stuff, let me know :D! I'm totally open if you have any suggestions :).

I hope that this week treats you all kindly <3~!

~Ali~