Curly Brace Confusion in JavaScript

Okay Guys,

I am STUCK on the Functions & if/else in Codecademy. I have tried everything I can think of and I am really having difficulty with this problem. I stumbled upon this post by Dave Ward: No doubt the article is intended for seasoned programmers, but I found it helpful nonetheless. I realize that the placement of curly braces can make or break your code. I am going to need to have a better understanding of this before moving forward. Anyone out there have any pointers or advice? Codecademy said it expected an identifier and instead saw “else.” It might look a little gross, but here’s my code. 

var creditCheck = function (income)
if (income >= 100);
return (“You earn a lot of money! You qualify for a credit card.”) };

return (“Alas you do not qualify for a credit card. Capitalism is cruel like that.”);

(prompt (“How much money do you make?”));


Thanks everyone! Hope your JS is going well! I would love to hear some more stories of your progress to keep me going!

Newbie JavaScript Lessons

Hello all!

I began JavaScript on Codecademy for the first time this week. So far, it seems as though we jumped right into the finer points of this lightweight programming language without having a broader, big picture understanding of JS first. I’ve been googling to get a better grasp and perspective. I came across a couple of resources I found to be helpful:

1. w3schools provides great beginner definitions and explanations in a written tutorial format. They also offer a handy results tab where you can play around with the code you just learned without having to install a text editor of your own.

2. thenewboston YouTube channel. Sure he’s a bit of a brogrammer, but it makes the tutorials more entertaining. Plus, his instructions and explanations are easy to understand and he’s helping me learn JavaScript, so who cares, right? 

I’m also seriously considering enrolling in Treehouse. Their fees are quite low and I’m hoping to give them a try for a month and see how it goes. Anyone out there using Treehouse to level up their skills?

Oh, I also got stung by a yellow jacket today. Good times.

Finding a Text Editor

I finished CSS in Codecademy yesterday. The fancy resume I created for my final project wasn’t working or looking right, and yet I passed the section with flying colors. After spending some time googling my issue with minimal results, it was time to return to YouTube to refine my understanding of CSS. There are many helpful video tutorials on CSS, but there’s a little problem I keep running into: TextEdit isn’t cutting the mustard. In every video I watch, the teacher is using one snazzy text editor after another. I keep seeing useful features like highlighting, auto closing tags and preview. Me want! Notepad++ sounded great, but I couldn’t find a version for mac, which is what I’m using. But, aha! I found a resource to help with that. Mikes Massive Mess recommends a wonderful program called WineBottler which converts a number of Windows applications to mac. One such program is Notepad++! Yay! Thanks Mike!! Done and did. Everything is working beautifully. Now I can finally use the free text editor I want and get back to business.

Learning to Code

My husband finally convinced me a few weeks ago that I might just make a great programmer. He pointed out that I’m EXTREMELY detail oriented, I like putting things in their proper place, and I have a lot of patience with tedious, nitty-gritty stuff. Plus, I’m an artist and love making everything look pretty.

I took his advice and started my journey with HTML and CSS. After watching some YouTube tutorials, I signed up for the free lessons on It seemed like the perfect place for a total beginner like me to get an introduction to a variety of popular programming languages. 

Shockingly, it’s going great so far. I’m finished with the HTML section and am about half way through CSS. I got my 100 lesson badge today and had to share my joy. Not bad for a girly pretty princess like me. I’m taking exhaustive notes and am looking forward to seeing what else I can make. I’ll keep you posted on my progress. I know I have just stumbled upon a universe of information and have a TON to learn and google. But, as of this moment, I’m enjoying my brain and am feeling very encouraged. 🙂

Get Cookin’ Thursdays!


Spring is here and it’s time  for more interesting salads! Everything is so fresh and beautiful right now! This week we went for page 183 of La Tartine Gourmande: Arugula salad with beets, radishes, shaved fennel and feta cheese. So satisfying and nutritious! We weren’t able to find any fresh hazelnuts, but it didn’t hurt the final result one bit. And fennel is always great in a salad. Yum!

I am also very excited about a fruit I didn’t know existed (one of my favorite things) until a couple of days ago: Champagne Mangoes. We just ate our first one just now. I would have posted a pic but I just couldn’t wait. It was SO delicious!!! It had a much more delicate flavor than the common mangoes you always see around. Damen picked it up from the grocery store the other night on a whim. What a delightful discovery. Thanks babe!!!

I hope you’re cookin’ something delightful in your kitchen tonight. Happy Thursday to you and thanks for reading!

Get Cooking Thursdays


We just made lentil soup with poached eggs and paprika crème fraîche!!!

I go through food phases. The progression goes like this: vegetarianism, vegan, RAW, vegetarianism, pescetarianism, and now I find myself in the once-in-a-blue-moon-I-might-eat-bacon category. (Although I still can’t bring myself to buy or prepare it at home.)

After a long period of cooking boredom I found myself really craving wholesome, simple food. Isn’t there just something so satisfying and vital about putting a forkful of deliciousness in your mouth – especially if you made it yourself in your own kitchen?

Upon being seduced by a cookbook on my friend’s coffee table, I decided it was time to do something about my food block. I bought “La Tartine Gourmande: Recipes for an Inspired Life” by Beatrice Peltre. (Inspired life indeed!)

Me and my man have committed ourselves to eating better during the week, and with the help of this new cookbook we’ve finally been able to do it. I don’t know about you, but we get SO exhausted at the end of the day taking a big ol’ nap in the middle of the floor sounds downright irresistible. However, living a lackluster life is gross. Not to mention unacceptable. So, we really, really had to commit! The kind of commit that makes epic homemade meals happen…on a Thursday night…after a long day at work. That’s when the magic happens! So what’s cookin’ good lookin’?


DIY Reception Decorations

Our reception venue!

My DIY themed wedding will consist mainly of four types of decorations: adorable fabric bunting, various sizes of paper rosettes, paper lanterns and tissue paper poofs. I find it exceptionally ironic that Damen is VASTLY better at making paper rosettes than I am. In fact, he kicks my butt at paper rosettes.

Last weekend we decided to head out to the venue to take some measurements and photos to help with the planning process. I highly recommend doing this. We were even able to get access to the venue’s 60″ round tables and chairs and set a couple up to see how much space a table and chairs take up in real life. We also brought our tape measure and marked with chairs where the dance floor will go. I took photos of everything. It was all very helpful!

We also took photos of the hall’s wood beam ceiling so I can start planning where our round paper lanterns will go. Speaking of paper lanterns, are you aware of LunaBazaar’s awesome prices? Their economy line ranges from $0.80 for a 6″ lantern to 16″ for $1.70. Amazing for budget weddings like mine! Huge array of colors too. Find them here:

Let’s also talk about Google Sketch. Sketch (by Trimble) is a free program that allows you to make and design three-dimensional scale models on your computer. I even spoke with a very successful interior designer who recommended it for visualizing interior spaces. You can use your venue’s specific measurements to make a scale model of your venue! There is even a database where other users upload to-scale furniture and accessories that you can add to your own interior. You can also do things like design your own tablecloths with custom colors and fabrics. Damen taught himself how to use Sketch and did a 3-D model of our reception hall. He’s SO awesome you guys. Here’s what it looks like:

If you have never used it before, don’t be intimidated. I’m told it’s fairly easy for beginners. I printed out Damen’s designs and am going to use tracing paper and colored pencil overlays to play around with decoration placements and options. Invaluable tool when trying to figure out where to put what at your reception venue!

What tools have you found helpful in your decoration planning process? I’m doing my own flowers and am currently stumped by how many I will need for the ceremony and reception. Any tips for me?

Thanks for reading! Happy planning!

A Post Head Hike

English: The Hollywood sign seen from the farm...

English: The Hollywood sign seen from the farmers market in los angeles. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Being an original country girl (Washington State to be exact.) living in a big city, I have an intense need for nature hikes. The air quality, concrete and traffic can really get me down sometimes. Hikes recharge me on a deep level that I find very satisfying.

Back in January, just a week after hiking Bronson Canyon, I heard some very disturbing news. Did you hear about the head/body parts found by the Hollywood Sign? Read more here if you dare: That just happened to be one of my most frequent and favorite hikes in Southern California…until that happened. It’s just so terrible. What a way to go.

When my Mom heard the news, she immediately called me to make sure I wasn’t hiking that trail any more for fear of the killer leaping out from the bushes and attacking me. I did stop hiking the trail, but it was more because I didn’t need my serene hiking thoughts interrupted with “I wonder where they found the head?”

Knowing we are moving to Austin, Texas in October (That’s a difference of 1,383 miles in case you were wondering.), I’ve decided to soak up as much LA awesomeness as I can possibly cram in between now and our moving date. I couldn’t let a head (…and hands…and feet.) defeat me. I had to attempt it at least one more time to prove to myself I could do it. Damen joined me. That helped. It was quite lovely, and we only encountered one massive film crew (Crime scene show…weird.) at the trail head.

There are few things that make me reflect as lovingly on LA as looking down on it from high. Mid-hike I came upon this and had that moment once again.

I know I complain about you a lot, but LA, I’m really gonna miss you.

The Art of Home Canning

Home Canning

Home Canning (Photo credit: renoir_girl)

Both my Grandmother and Grandfather grew up on farms. They are the salt of the earth. I grew up in their house and am blessed with many memories of backyard edible gardens, fresh honey from home made bee hives and a magic medicine cabinet complete with something in a glass jar called “salve”. I’m told it was an old recipe given to our family by Native Americans.

Every summer, my Grandma would harvest the fruits and vegetables from the garden. She would have a home canning jam session right there in her kitchen. She preserved fresh peaches, pears, jams, green beans, soups…you name it, she canned it. I know this made feeding her seven children healthy meals a lot easier. Tragically, I somehow never learned this skill from her.

While inspired by the idea of making fresh homemade jam as favors for my DIY wedding, I stumbled upon a very exciting book on titled the Complete Book of Home Preserving: 400 Delicious and Creative Recipes for Today. (Kingry, Judi and Lauren Devine. Complete Book of Home Preserving. Ontario, Canada: Robert Rose Inc., 2006.) I just received it in the mail today and I am very excited to get started. While it will in fact be too expensive to make jam for our wedding, I know canning is a skill I can actually use. Besides, how delightful is homemade jam?!

For the last couple of years, I have noticed that people are beginning to value wholesomeness again. There seems to be a trend among younger people toward moving back to the farm, returning to the garden and simplifying one’s life. I’m ready to become a part of this movement through the art of home preserving. My hope is to become at least half as comfortable with this process as my Grandma. And while I live in an apartment for the moment, you can bet that when I have a house, it will have an edible garden in the backyard and I’m going to bottle everything in it.

The Evolution of My Hair

My hair has evolved quite a lot over the years. In my early twenties it was long, red and curly. Once I hit 30, all bets were off. My dear friend Derek liberated me by cutting off most of my locks and giving me a really cute bob. I loved it. Then he added blonde streaks. Loved it.

My hair at its shortest.

Then I went all blonde. Loved it less. Hair got fried. Loved it a LOT less. Hair became frizzy, dry and brittle. I tried to convince myself my hair would be ok. It wasn’t.

Me as a blonde fairy. (More on that later.)

I stopped bleaching. To help return my hair return to a more hair like texture, I decided take my hair to a light brown myself. Still didn’t make it healthier. With my wedding coming up in September, I want my hair looking and feeling healthy and awesome. It also wouldn’t hurt if it was a bit longer. So I’m growing it out also so I can pull off a cute up-do for the big day.

Light brown. Easier. Cheaper.

I’m getting desperate. My hair is beyond thick. It takes me around 45 minutes just to dry all of it (and I still have short hair mind you) with the hair dryer. One of my hairstylists even refers to my hair as “girthy”! And it’s just so damaged it won’t receive moisture. Not even Kerastase helps!

I’ve been trying all kinds of products. My hair is very coarse and naturally curly. Each time I try a new product I think “Please let this be the product that saves my hair.” And each time, it doesn’t. I know you coarse haired beauties have been there. I’m really starting to panic.

My awesome girlfriend knows of my hair woes and gifted me with the complete Wen system at my bridal party meet n’ greet. Awesome gift! I have been hearing amazing things about it. I’m going to try it out for the first time today. I’ll keep you posted on the results (if any). Wish me luck!