All posts for the month November, 2012

I’m Nothing if Not Fancy.

Published November 28, 2012 by krystal


Over the many years I have been out on my own, all five Christmases, I have sent Christmas cards to my friends and family.  The first year (2008), it was just Mason and me.  That was the year I started dating Joey.

Today would be our 4th anniversary if we were still dating.  Aww…  How far we’ve went (36,000 miles together)  and yet I’m back in the same apartment I lived in when we met!

The next year (2009) Joey joined the photo (and has been part of the Yule Tide festivity since), and the mailing list pretty much tripled.  Just a few months later, the wedding invites went out with this awesome wax seal on the back.


After a very rushed move, the faux wax and stamp were buried in the bottom of a tub.  This year, we decided to dig it out for our Christmas cards.  No sense in just letting the awesomeness collect loneliness!  Gotta spread some fancy, I am nothing if not fancy!  It’s the details, folks!

Joey and I were definitely a little rusty with the small glue gun and bronze stamp from Old School Seals.  After a little practice, we were just as awesome as we were almost three years ago!

ImageWe successfully completed 73 envelopes on Black Friday.  They are still sitting on the table.  Oops.  We’ll send them this Friday.  It seems a little silly to mail Christmas cards before December 1 November 30.  I think we’re usually like the first people on the planet to send out cards, anyway!  We are still missing a few addresses, but Ooooooh well!

How did we get people to send us their address?  Oh, I thought you’d never ask!  We put the cutest spin on “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.”  It was the greatest thing on Facebook on Thanksgiving Day (sorry to the “30 Days of Thankfulness” folks–Oh wait, I do that!).

So here it is, the first ever Joey-Krystal hand typed poem!

‘Twas the night we addressed Christmas cards, when all through the house,
Mason was chasing a little toy mouse;
Envelopes were addressed, licked, and stamped with care,
But YOUR address did not show up anywhere!

“Where do they live?” Joey thoughtfully said,
“My eyes are all sore, and my tongue is all red!”
Mason lay exhausted in Krystal’s lap,
“I don’t know where they live, we’re taking a nap!”

Suddenly, our cell phones made such a clatter,
We answered quickly to see what was the matter;
It was Old Saint Nick telling us to send our stash,
So we need your address in a flash!

The poem mostly worked, we got most of the addresses needed.  Happy Christmas Season!


In Alaska, We Leave Ice Cream in the Car

Published November 21, 2012 by krystal

Our last day/night in Anchorage was pretty laid back, like our usual last days in Anchorage.  We did most of our shopping yesterday, so today was spent just tying up some loose ends.  We went to the mall, and from the parking garage, we caught a glimpse of Denali/Mt. McKinley!  It was amazing!  We have both seen it from the Parks Hwy., flown over it, and drove up to it.  It somehow never gets old!  I didn’t feel it would be appropriate to crop this picture, or shrink it down.Image

We did some other things, etc.  Then Joey suggested we go to Chuck E. Cheese for din dinImage and some games!  Heck yes, Joey!  One of our favorite things to do is to go to Chuck E. Cheese.  Down south, we like to take our youngest nephew, but in Anchorage we usually go alone.  Surprisingly, we rarely get any strange looks!  We’re just there for some pizza and good clean fun!  Some of my fellow coworkers like to come to town to visit a bar, but that’s not us.  We like to remember and enjoy every minute in town, since trips are so few and far between.  Plus, I really don’t need any more toxins than I already have.  🙂  I am super competitive… Joey is not.  We usually add our tickets separately, and then I rub it in for two days how I won the most, or I sulk for two days about how I should have beaten him by winning more tickets.  He thinks the whole thing is silly.  He just wants to have fun and play Skee Ball.  Silly Joey.  We decided to add our tickets together  since our collection of receipts is quite large.  One day our nephew will have a field day with all those tickets.  For the record, 142 of those were mine, less than 100 were Joeys, and the rest were mutually won at the Deal or No Deal game.  Do you love my nails?  I used the end of a bobby pin to make the dots.

Joey mentioned that we needed to pick up a turkey for Freddy.  Freddy likes left overs and wanted a 20 pounder for himself.  Joey said we could just get it and some ice cream on the way to the airport tomorrow.  I suggested we just get it and leave it in the car.  It’s 9* outside, I don’t think anything would happen to the turkey or ice cream!  So we did.  I wanted to get the 19.68 lb turkey for Freddy, but Joey thought the 18.28 lb (smallest turkey left) was good enough.  Sorry Freddy, I tried!

Tomorrow we will head back to the village for a few weeks until Christmas.  I can’t wait for the parade and all the Thanksgiving fun in the village!


BYOBB (Bring Your Own Brown Bag)

Published November 20, 2012 by krystal

It’s a brown paper bag.  A regular brown paper bag.  It’s not quite large enough to be distributed at a grocery store.  Do grocery stores still distribute these?  IDK.  This is a most special brown bag, because it was my companion all day yesterday.  So…  what did we do?


1.)  First, we found a place to eat.  We looked around for a while and decided on Middleway Cafe.  The bag sat next to me in the booth as I ate a Spicy Grilled Chicken Sandwich and spilt a “Jungle Love” smoothie with Joey.  While at the cafe, I downloaded the book Son, by Lois Lowry, on my iPhone.  (I have made it to chapter 5 now.)  It’s the sequel to the book The Giver, by the same author.  I really don’t care if it’s a “teen” book, I loved The Giver as a kid and always wanted a little more.

Image2.)  Down skirts are kinda popular in Alaska.  They keep your thighs and booty warm.  I wanted one, because my lower top half always gets so cold on the walk to school.  Putting on marshmallow snow pants takes so long and are difficult to walk in, so I was looking for a simpler option.  Even when it’s -40*, I usually don’t wear the marshmallow pants, because they are too much trouble.  I always wear them when traveling by plane or when going for a ride on the 4 wheeler, though.  REI didn’t have my size, but my trusty brown bag was by my side!

3.)  In an effort to continue the search for the down skirt, we looked at Sports Authority.  No luck either.  Maybe I can get one at Christmas.  I hope.  I think they are totally adorbs!

4.)  We gave up on the down skirt and continued our shopping at Sam’s Club.  The brown bag rode in the shopping cart as we picked out a 2013 calendar, bought some peanut butter, and even some almonds.  It was covered by my coat, otherwise I might worry that someone would suspect something and try to look inside!

5.)  We finished up our Sam’s shopping and headed across the street to get some things from Wal-Mart.  “I just love shopping at Wal-Mart!  The store is so clean and everyone is so friendly!”  said no one ever.  I discovered that they now sell Seche Vite!  Yay Wally World!  I also got to get a few Pacific Coconut lifewaters.  They are the best!  We got to the counter and… my credit card was denied!  What?  Apparently B of A is not too keen on cardholders using their card a lot in one area.  Joey paid for the bundle, and I called B of A in the parking lot, and of course, the brown bag was right by me the whole time:  Seche Vite, lifewater, and credit card declining.  The lady on the phone kept calling me “Mr. Lastname”  I wasn’t too impressed, I just wanted my card to work!

6.)  Once she assured me that my card would work, we went to Walgreens.  Walgreens used to be my favorite store, until I found CVS!  You bet the brown bag was in my hands when I went in there.  I carried it just like it was my lunch and I was once again a junior higher… Okay, I probably held on tighter this time!

7.)  The final stop with the brown bag was to Fred Meyer.  Fred Meyer could be H.E.B.’s cousin, because there everything is better (T.E.B)!  Joey said Fred’s has everything Wal-Mart does, but more expensive.  I tried to tell him it’s not more expensive, it’s better!  It’s so true.  I got spoiled going to Fred’s when I lived in Fairbanks.  Btw, I totally call it Freddies, Fast Freddies, or Fred’s.  Rarely ever is it “Fred Meyer” in my vocab.   The brown bag was there to help pick out Joey’s aide’s Christmas present.  It was also there when we watched a demo on microfiber cleaning cloths.  B-O-R-I-N-G!  I picked up some essence stampy polishes, a new yellow polish, and some zig zag scissors!  So, a chevron mani is in my future!  We survived all those trips, and more importantly, so did the brown bag!  It has found a temporary resting place in our hotel room since.

ImageBy now you must be wondering what is in the brown bag that is so important that it couldn’t be left out in the car.  I couldn’t leave it in the car for fear of it freezing.  It’s probably not worth anything to many people.  Some people might have interest in it.  To me, the bag was worth at least $400.  The bag contained four boxes of birth control samples.  My insurance does not cover BC, so without these samples, I would be forking over $400 for birth control that is being used for something other than contraception.   #whitegirlproblems  We kept the bag safe, and all is well with the brown bag.

I was surprised none of the nosey retailers asked to check the brown bag!  Have you ever carried a random item around for a day?  How did that go?


Crocodile Saran Wrap Nails

Published November 15, 2012 by krystal

I have seen many Saran Wrap manis floating around the interwebs, and decided it was time I joined the trend.  I had this beautiful mint chocolate vision, straight out of the grocer’s freezer.  It would be delicate, simple, and adorbs.  The end result was not really what I was expecting.  It was exactly opposite of what I was going for, actually.  It looks like something that would crawl out of the swamp, like Lestat in Interview With a Vampire.  It could be the back drop for a monster’s family photo, and might disappear if I were holding a turtle.  It would be the perfect man mani, if manly men were to have colored manis.  I could totally see Joey wearing it to go hunting, if men wore polish.  After all, he wouldn’t want the deer seeing his nails, now would he?

Without further adieu, behold my crocodile saran wrap nails!

Image1.  One coat of Seche Vite base coat was applied.

2. Two coats of essence LIME UP! were applied.

3.  One coat of Seche Vite top coat was applied

4. I waited an hour or so to make sure it was really dry.

5.  One coat of OPI Suzi Loves Cowboys.

6. I instantly dabbed it with Saran Wrap and put a coat of Seche Vite top coat on.


I will totally do the Saran Wrap technique again, maybe even for my next set.  I will not use this combo, unless of course, I’m out hunting for a deer!

If I don’t blog again in the near future, check the swamp, I might have fallen in!


Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge-Something New-SNOW

Published November 13, 2012 by krystal

Wow, Cee!  What perfect timing to have a “What’s new?”  Challenge!  I am in the middle of the first snow storm/blizzard of the winter!  Here in Alaska, we normally have four feet of snow by now, so it’s kind of a big deal for it to be so late!  The snow has arrived, and in some places it is above my knee!

Here are some pictures of snow on the porch.  I did not want to freeze my hands off in the wind!Image


I can’t wait to see what’s new for everyone else!


The First of Winter or I Do Not Like Ice!

Published November 13, 2012 by krystal


Yesterday Joey and I had to go to the store.  On the way, I randomly yelled, “Let’s go to the beach!”  Joey, being the wonderful loving husband he is, veered to the left, and to the beach we went!    The ride down was pretty cold, even though we were riding with the wind.  Joey complained many times that his head was cold.  I offered to swap hats, since I was certain mine was warmer.  Joey did not want to.  He argued that his was made of wool.

We made it to the beach and saw that there was still open water!  What?  It’s November 12!?!?!?  We usually have 4 feet of snow by now, and the sea has long been frozen over.  We weren’t going to drive up to the water though, because well, the photo on the left explains enough.  We could see how the waves had once frozen mid-tide.  Sometimes images like these make me think of the movie The Day After Tomorrow, how the waves are pretty much flash frozen.  We walked a little ways out, but not too far in fear of our safety.  Plus, it was starting to get dark, and we were getting colder by the minute!

We had barely reached the road when Joey pulled over.  I asked what was wrong, and he just said, “Change hats!”  I guess what I failed to mention before is that I have quite the extensive collection of Imagetoboggan/beanie/knit hats.  Some are warm, some are thin and not as warm.  Some have animals, one of my favorites has a heart that says the Beatles, others have stripes or designs.  I even have a white one made of real rabbit fur.  Most of them have the flaps to cover and protect the ears.  The particular hat I was wearing yesterday had ears, horns, was yellow and brown, and greatly resembled a giraffe.  Perhaps that is why Joey declined it the first ten times.  It is polar fleeced lined, though, so how could he not resist?  Upon trading, I realized that his hat was way cold, and he was probably better off with mine, since he was driving the 4 wheeler and does not have near the quantity of hair as me.

We rode to the store with our hats swapped.  Joey immediately took mine off his head before entering the store.  Most people leave all of their winter gear on in the store, except for maybe their gloves.  He put it back on as we were leaving.  Several of the older kids from school were entering as we were leaving.  Many of them told him how much they loved his hat.

I am so glad we decided to go to the store and beach, because when we woke up this morning there was a blizzard!  The beach will not be the same next time.  This morning there was ice.  It was bad.  I slipped and fell 5 times on the way to school.  I hurt my wrist one of the times, then Joey grabbed it to pull me up.  Ouch.  I’m glad we finally made it.  I only fell once on the way home to lunch, but that one time was enough!  Joey found me some ice cleats, so it was much easier to walk back to school.

I hope your winter adventures have been better than mine today!


Hit Me Baby 105 Times!

Published November 13, 2012 by krystal

I made this picture for you!

Today, Yesterday, ok… Sunday I reached 105 hits!  I would celebrate the 100, but I don’t know when it was!  I was at 97, then magically 105.  Thanks for reading, folks!

I wanted to give you all something really special as a token of my gratitude, like a big Chuck E. Cheese party, but the weather is bad, and I think my only Alaskan readers are Joey, Freddy, and maybe the girl who lives over the mountain.  That would make it difficult to have a party.  Most people would miss out!  😦  Anyhow, thanks for visiting!  To show my appreciation, I made you a picture!  I hope you love it!  I would write your names on it, but I don’t know all of them.  I hope I keep you mildly entertained and informed about the fun of living in Alaska, owning a sweet cat, and living it up with my spouse before children!

Christmas Photo Nails

Published November 10, 2012 by krystal

Every year, Joey, Mason, and I get all dressed up and take a cute photo for Christmas.  There are no professional photographers here, so we have to get creative when making our own props, back drops, and poses, then smile for the camera!  Getting a cat to look at the camera without a scowl is not nearly as easy as it sounds.  We eventually find the perfect one (or one good enough).  The photos are then edited, and digitally sent to an online card making company who magically creates a work of art for us to mail to our loved ones.  I have started making my nails look fabulous for the event, as I never know if they will show or not.


Milani Rapid Cherry, Sally Hansen Go Green, Essence white stamp polish, Konad M59, and a kitchen sponge were used to create this masterpiece!

In the past, even years have produced beautiful pics (2008, 2010) while the odd years haven’t been the greatest (2009, 2011).  What will 2012 bring?  Hopefully it will be the best yet!


Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge-Pets

Published November 9, 2012 by krystal

Joey says I talk too much about myself on MY blog.  So this one is for Mase Man!  It’s a photo challenge for Cee.

I have one darling cat, Mason. Mason spent his first two years living in Anchorage. He ran away and was picked up by the cat catcher. Mason was in the shelter forever (almost a month). They put him in a cage at the very end of a row of many cages. He had matted hair, and wanted a home. I walked in and played with all the solid black and solid white cats. I really did not like the black and white cats, because they were not very friendly. I wanted a sweet, loving cat, not just a responsibility.  I walked to the end of the cages where Mason was, with the intention of just leaving after seeing all of the cats. As I turned to walk away, Mason reached out of his cage and gently tapped me on the shoulder with my claws. I started talking to him, visited with him in a private room, and eventually took him!
We were so happy together traveling and exploring new places, then I met his future Daddy. He was a little upset at first, but they soon learned to love each other. We still travel all over the place and Mason gets to meet new people or see the same people as always.
He is very loved, so he gives a lot of love in return.


Playful time with Mason. This is pretty much our morning ritual.


Mason does not look very happy here.


Mason is one of the few boys that can totally rock pink!


You want what? You can’t have the remote!

I hope you enjoyed getting to see some of my favorite pictures of my sweet kitty.


Happy No-Smoking Month-a-Versary to Me!

Published November 8, 2012 by krystal

I have totally made it a month without any nicotine!  It’s been a little bit easier,

Imagesince pretty much no one around me smokes.  So I actually haven’t even smelled it for a month.  I did have help, I used Smoke Away.  The program says to not tell anyone until after a month.  I told a few people, but not too many.  I have a friend who quit after 30 or so years with Smoke Away back in 2003.  He still swears by it, so I decided to give it a try put all my faith in it.  Cigs are $10 something a pack here, so I always ordered them from the outside.  On October 7, I was out of cigs, so Smoke Away had to work.  Luckily, it did!  No one told me what it was like to stop.  For all I knew, I was going to wake up the next day feeling like a million bucks… not so much.  So what’s it like to quit smoking?  It’s like a lot of things:

1. Honestly, it was kinda like losing my best friend.  Before you go all, “Krystal!  Cigarettes are not your friend!” on me, keep reading.  I smoked for pretty much almost exactly twelve years.  That means high school.  College.  You name it.  I lost friends (not because of smoking) and boyfriends, but cigarettes were always there for me.  If I made a bad grade,


there was always a cigarette waiting to make it a little better.  When I felt like no one cared, a cigarette was there to comfort me.  When I was happy or celebrating, the cigarette celebrated with me.  It was always there, just a lighter flick away!

Losing your best friend is tragic.  It would almost make sense to smoke a cigarette after quitting just to feel comforted over the difficulties of stopping.  I cried.  I cried for many days in a row.  If Joey looked at me a little different than usual, I would cry.  When Mason started begging for his din din an hour early, I cried.  Everything was really difficult to handle.  After day three I stopped physically wanting one.  There were still many days where I kept wanting to go outside because I was bored or wanted something else to do.

Taking deep breaths and puffing/chewing on straws helped the first couple of days.  I could have continued with the straws, but I did not want to get hooked on straws.  Hey, I actually read something about people being hooked on toothpicks or straws.  I’m good.  No straws for me, please.  Except in my glass.  😉

It’s so nice to be free. I never knew how imprisoned I was!

2. Stopping smoking gave me FREEDOM.  Like, I can do anything whenever-I-want-to-freedom.  If I have a Master’s class at 4:10, I can stay at school until 4:05.  I am in no hurry to get home.  All I have to do is grab my computer and the phone.  I can stay at school and work after hours for as long as I want, there is nothing requiring my time anywhere else!

I also have the freedom of not hiding.  I don’t have to hide from anyone: students, parents, bosses, future employers, because there is nothing to hide!  This was a big one for me, I was such a closet smoker.  I told a very few of my coworkers that I was quitting.  One of them responded by saying, “Oh, wow, I didn’t even know you were a smoker.”  I guess I did a good job hiding it.  Well, not anymore!  Nicotine free, that’s me!

3. I was plagued for the first 2.5 weeks with little sleep.  It was awful.  I would wake up at all hours of the night. I would sleep two hours and be awake for one.  That went on and on and on…  Night sweats have also been a problem.  I remember one night waking up covered in sweat.  Like drenched.  It was pretty nasty.  I am so glad to be out of the sleepless/sweaty stage.  I still sweat a little, but not like that.  Now it’s just a


This is the homemade version of Gak, but you get the point.

challenge to fall asleep most nights.

4. ***TMI WARNING***  This one is a little gross.  The phlegm I coughed up was the grossest!  I should have sold it to a lab or something.  It looked and had the consistency of gak, and was slimy green colored, too.  The atrocious smell made me want to throw up.  I haven’t called Ralph since October 21, 2008, so you know how serious this situation could have been.

I am so glad that this phase only lasted a couple of days.  The normal phlegm is enough.  This nasty junk is just uncalled for!


5. Since I quit I have said that it seems like time has just flown by.  I can’t believe it’s been a month already!  You would think that time would go slower, since I gained a couple of extra minutes or hours a day, but that was not the case.  Time just flies by!  Maybe it’s because I’m not longer wanting to smoke and watching the clock to see if Joey would say something about me smoking so often…

6.  I don’t have to wear perfume all the time anymore!  The only time I’ve worn perfume was a time I was on the elliptical and did not have time to shower before a group dinner.  Eww, I know, but isn’t that what perfume is for anyway?

7.  Mason smelled of my hands and me for the first week.  It was actually awkward.  I probably cried.


Yep, that’s me, pretty much! Hit the nail right on the head.

8. Speaking of smelling, I never thought I really lost my sense of smell.  Perhaps I did a little.  Now some things are so overpowering it’s disgusting!  Sometimes I’ll tell Joey how awful or strong something is… he doesn’t notice.

9.  It’s amazing the things I can do now!  I’m like a regular Super Woman!  I can go over 2 miles on a treadmill in 30 minutes.  I can run up the stairs really fast.  Why, I can even play games in the gym with my students.  Yes ma’am I can!  And I can do it all without huffing and puffing.  What’s better is that I can do it all without feeling like I am going to die because breathing is so difficult.  I know as the days and months continue to pass the breathing will just get easier and easier.

10.  I have not come to re-appreciate the great outdoors yet.  Not that there is much exploring to do here, really.  It is just difficult to be outside, because that is where I went to smoke.  I’m sure in time I will be able to sit outside or stand outside for a while, but for now, I will stay inside, it’s less of a trigger.  🙂

Thanks for reading my incredible journey.



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