Thursday, March 31, 2011
I feel encouraged this morning. As I was getting ready I was thinking about today and the Lord gave me this verse:
'You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you' - Isaiah 26:3
I have seen over and over this past year the Lord's faithfulness. And after my recent study, 'One in A Million', I'm trying not to be like the Israelites, always forgetting what the Lord has already done and losing faith. I know that I serve a God who is able, capable, and committed to me. What that looks like, I'm still waiting to see. I feel hopeful and amazingly peaceful about today's appointment.
Thank you to all of you who have prayfully supported me on the journey. I'm departing from there for South Carolina, so while I will be 'present' on the blog this weekend, my post-doctor-recap will have to wait til Monday. I hope that you all have a restful weekend.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Jogging intervals with the heart rate monitor - 30 minutes.
(needed a break from weights, I'm wicked sore after 5 days in a row of various weight related training).
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
You should see my to do list, which is kept organized in it's own notebook, naturally. I have a to do list every day but this week, everyday's list has been 25+ items. Ouch. But thankfully I've had a 2 day burst of energy so far that has carried me through. I've been up before 5:30 both morning, gotten my workouts in, cleaned up my messes, started my mornings off right with coffee and quiet time - you know how I do.
Perhaps this week is made to prep me for the return of event season and being back on the road. Once the chaos of that hits I will be unpacking to repack on the regular. I returned from the Keys around 9pm Sunday night and I depart for South Carolina on Thursday night, straight from my dreaded appointment with the GI specialist (insert scary music here).
Here's to hoping that this level of motivation lasts after my second weekend away. My friend Mel is always telling me that I should be studied. That I must be some rare super breed that scientists should study and clone because there's no other explanation for my freakish levels of organization and motivation. I chalk it up to drinking an over-the-top amount of diet coke and being raised by boarderline super hero parents. I also do as much prep in advance as possible. Sunday evening I packed all my lunches for the week, although todays will have to be eaten another time since I'm getting to catch up with a high school buddy I literally haven't seen since, sophmore year? Panera & Carey? Yes, please.
Last night while I had the entertainment of my friends and taste testers I threw this tray together for game night tonight. I'm pretty stoked to play some cards and make a few new friends and I love to bake for other people (mostly because I love ot baked but I can't, or shouldn't at least, eat them all myself).
I also went ahead and cooked dinner for tonight, last night while they were there to keep me awake. I did crash and burn shortly after there departure but not before setting up for this mornings workout and laying out clothes so when that alarm struck 5:25 I would have no excuse not to get out of bed. I.can.do.this. This week is literally insane BUT so far, so good.
- Bootcamp video
- Glamour mag's 'sexy shoulder workout' w/8 lb dumbells. Ouch.
Monday, March 28, 2011
Jess and I had a great weekend getaway in the Keys Friday-last night. It was a much needed trip we'd been planning since a real downer of a week a while back. We'd been anxiously counting down the days and by the time noon rolled around on Friday we were like antsy preschoolers going on a field trip.
The drive down took most of Friday and when we arrived we hung out with the Bakers, close family friends of Jess's family who were in town just for one more night. They were a real trip and had us in giggles for most of the night. I did a 'ghetto workout' with my portable DVD player, some workout vids, and a pair of dumbbells I managed to pack (yes, I'm a freak). We climbed in bed early and watched an episode of Season One of Gossip Girl before passing out.
Saturday we spent a glorious day on the beach. Literally. All day. Basking in the sun and sitting in the shallow water catching up on life.
When we returned to the room I decided to pound some pavement before dinner. I took to the sidewalks and tried to survive the Keys wildlife complete with scorpions and an iguana that would have taken me in a fight.
But hey, you know my motto - results don't come for free! So pound that pavement I did. I ran again Sunday morning before our final day at the beach. I'm trying to stay focused on getting those results I keep promising myself. No days off, even on vacay peeps - let's do this.
I did finally get to wear the hot pink Rebecca Taylor dress I told you all about when we went to dinner that night:
It looks about 100 times better after the $3 alterations job I had done on it. Cha-ching. Please ignore however, that my legs look redic in this photo. I look like I'm about to kick a puppy, or dominate a triathlon instead of just stuff my face with grilled mahi mahi, like I did.
This weekend was just what the doctor ordered but I've come back now to what promises to be an intense week. 5:30am workouts, going into the office an hour early, that dreaded appointment with a GI specialist on Thursday and then...
Well, should I tell you? Hmm...
A trip to South Carolina with someone special. : ] I'm being a wedding date for 4 wedding festivities. Should be a great roadtrip and I'm super excited.
Hope you all had great weekends as well.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Zoe's outfit has two elements I'm currently obsessed with - leopard print footwear & leather jackets. Sadly there are few occasions for leather jackets in Tampa, since it's 90 degrees most of the time here. But I do love them. I fully intend to wear my white moto jacket in NYC in May.
I haven't found just the right pair of leopard heels yet BUT I do have a great pair of leopard Steve Madden wedges which are uber comfortable and can we dressed up or down. My Mom and I bought them, brand new, at a consignment botique in Carmel, IN (Carmel Consignment) and I've probably worn them 100 times since. Best $12 I ever spent, perhaps?
I do not, sadly, look as tall nor as lean as Zoe in skinny jeans but I do love the color of her jacket and the combo with the shoes. I would certainly wear this outfit on my New York trip if I had it...hmm, maybe I can keep my eye out for a jacket similar?
Note: This is the beginning of what will be regular posts of looks I love as I find them. I'm not sure if it'll be weekly, less, or more. Just stay tuned.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
- Ok we're going to talk about food today. My friend Auburn hosted a dinner party courtesy of Philadelphia's new cook creme on Tuesday night. I'd been seeing commercials so when I got her invite I was pumped to try it out. Not to mention Aubs is probably the best cook I know. I'm always excited to eat anything she makes, let's be honest. BUT on top of that my favorite part about products using bloggers to throw parties is free stuff (duh).
Auburn made two delish recipes from the recipe booklets that Philadelphia gave each of us. I of course felt inspired and have decided I'm going to cook a few myself. But for now, I'm going to cook the one Auburn cooked for us because Publix, our best grocery store here in Tampa had almost all the ingredients I needed to cook it on BOGO (buy one, get one). Ta da! Thrifty cooking.
I thought I'd share the recipes she made last night with you all here so that if you'd like a new cooking experiment this week you can try them as well. There are lots of coupons circulating for the cooking creme as well, so keep an eye on those deals if you're also trying to cook on a budget.
First up, Life-altering Nachos or as Philly called them Santa fe Nachos
Prep: 5 min Total: 13 min Makes: 8 Servings
What You'll Need:
- 1 can (15 oz) chili without beans
- 1 tub (10 oz) Philadelphia Santa Fe Blend Cooking Creme
- 4 Cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 1 pkg (16 oz) tortilla chips
- 1 can (15 ox) black beans, rinsed
- 1 jar (8 oz) salsa
Cook: chili in small saucepan on med heat 5 to 6 min. or until heated through, stirring frequently.
Mix: cooking creme and shredded cheese in med microwave safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH 2 min or until cheese is completely melted, stirring every 30 sec.
Spread: chips onto large platter; top with layers of beans, chili, salsa, and cheese mixture.
Our small group dove into these bad boys. Seriously, make them. You will thank me.
The main course from last night which I also wanted to share with you (and that I will be making next week) is Southwest Pasta Skillet:
Prep: 10 min Total: 22 min Makes: 4 servings
What You Need:
- - 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
- - 1/2 cup chopped green peppers
- - 1 can (14.5 oz) no salt added diced tomatoes, drained
- - 1 pkg (10 oz) frozen corn
- - 1 tub Philadelphia Santa fe Blend cooking creme
- - 2 cups hot cooked rotini pasta
- - 1 cup Kraft shredded monterey jack cheese, divided
Cook: and stir chicken and peppers in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat 6 to 7 min or until chicken is done. Add tomatoes, corn, and cooking creme; cook and sitr 3 min
Add: pasta and 1/2 cip shredded cheese; cook and stir 1 to 2 min or until cheese is melted
Top with remaining shredded cheese. Remove from heat. Cover; let stand until cheese is melted.
Honestly, I've only recently taken an interest in cooking. For years I figured why cook if you can eat out? Then I finally came to my senses about just how much money I was spending with this mentality as well as how unhealthy most of what you get at restaurants really is. So, then I realized that cooking can be fun, especially if you include other people.
So, I hope you all enjoy these new recipes. Happy cooking.
Friday, March 25, 2011
I plan to be somewhat disconnected from the internet world all weekend. I've planned my blog posts so I won't have to worry about writing while I'm away (but rest assured I will come back with a list of new blog topics I'm confident, traveling inspires me). I'm going to keep the texting to a minimal (I receive on average about 20K a MONTH - it's exhausting). I'm taking no calls. I'm leaving my laptop. I will probably post a few facebook status and tweets (it's hard for me not to brag a bit when I'm on the beach) but other than that, I'm unplugged friends.
It's time for this part-Hawaiian to tap into her inner island girl and relax where I belong - in the sun. I hope to come back rested and sickeningly tan.
Pictures and thoughts to come when I return, until then enjoy the blogs I've scheduled and don't worry I'll be back to commenting in full force on Monday.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
3. Trips Planned. I just want to go anywhere, everywhere, and back again lately. I seriously can't get enough exciting trips planned to keep me from wanting more.
Keys Weekend (March)
New York City Trip (May)
4th of July in Scottsburg (July)
We have a family vacay plan in the works but Dad is per his usual dragging his feet on that one. If I were in charge, it would have been booked in 2010, you know what a freakish planner I am.
Really, I just couldn't be more excited about my life in general lately. Things are really, really good.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
and poses for pictures that aren't being taken
I loved you
grey sweat pants, no makeup, so perfect
Our love was, comfortable and
so broken in
she's perfect, so flawless
I'm not impressed, I want you back.
- John Mayer, ComfortableYou may have thought that the John Mayer song this blog is fondly titled after was my favorite but that would be false. My all time favorite John Mayer song is from his first EP, 'Inside Wants Out'. I find it to be a bit sad, like the love that got away story line we cry over in books. No one wants to see love fail.
I think my love for John Mayer started with this song because I've always wanted that comfortable kind of love. I don't care about being beautiful, as long as I'm beautiful to the one person who's opinion matters. I don't care about charming a whole room full of people, I want to be the one person in the crowd that person sees. I don't want to be all dressed up to impress him - I want to be the girl he thinks is perfect in grey sweatpants and no makeup.
The sad element of this song is that he had the kind of love I want but he's not with her anymore. He's dating some other girl who's perfect. Who his friends love. And he's looking at this amazing girl and wishing he was back with the one he loves, flaws and all. What could be sadder than that?
This is one of those songs I play for myself when I take a drive over the bridge to sift through my thoughts.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
I have a whole new prospective on leftovers lately. I'm not just talking about food, although that's a good place to start. Every once in a while I get annoyed that my pantry has reached a rediculous state. To remedy this I have a new 'game' I play with myself. When I'm frustrated that it's getting a little over-crowded in there, I don't go to the grocery store and I commit to go a week without eating a single lunch out (a single meal out would be a bit extreme, even for me). Then I 'make do' with all the random items that have collected in my pantry over the past month or two.
I did this two weeks ago and finally made: a bag of 'dirty rice', a baked ziti, a hamburger helper (with ground turkey instead), 2 cans of progresso low-sodium soup, and a box of brownies I took to work. Success! I hate to waste things that are perfectly good but sometimes my food goes bad because I simply never get around to making it. Tragic, I know. So that's where this new concept came from.
I've applied it now to other aspects of life. For those of you on here with a bit of an addiction to trying new beauty products, the concept may REALLY come in handy for you. I've taken about a month off recently from buying makeup, lotions, anti-perspirants, etc and I've started working through the stash I have - afterall it's bought, paid for, and taking up space! I pulled out a few things of lotion I had started but never finished and working on those. I used up a few cans of half-used hair spray. Found a few blushes that had been at the bottom of the makeup bin and started wearing them again. Pulled out a few eye shadows that I hadn't touched in a while. I even pulled out a bronzer I bought in winter (when I'm not as tan) and didn't quite go and now that I've been in the sun - it works perfectly - so I'm using that instead of paying 30 bucks for a new Nars bronzer.
I try to be thrifty with my money and resources and this using up leftovers thing has not only saved me some money (so I can have fun in the Key's this weekend) but it's also helped me with my spring cleaning. It's really freeing up some space and I am loving it.
So, if you're up for the challenge determine this week to work your way through the randoms in your pantry and you 'medicine cabinet' and start using up those leftovers, ladies (and gents).
Monday, March 21, 2011
Sunday, March 20, 2011
I grew up spoiled rotten because my Mom is an incredible seamstress which I believe I’d shared before and being only 5’3 I’ve needed her skills for a lifetime of hemming. Absolutely everything is too long for me but I never seem to find petite clothes I like. And honestly, I don’t even like to think of myself as petite, just me. So a problem as created when I moved 17 hours away and it got a little harder to mooch my alterations from my Mama. I still take an extra suitcase with clothes for her to hem from time to time on my frequent fall trips to Indy for work and games but that left the need for someone in the spring when I don’t want to wait 6 months to wear my clothes.
The trick with things like a dermatologist or a tailor is knowing who to ask for a recommendation. Lucky for me, one of my best friends, Auburn, works in fashion so she’s a great reference for such things. I shot her an e-mail a while back seeking her alterations advice and she gave me the name of a tailor close to her work (which is a little ways from me) but she does a great job and she’s VERY reasonable. If you like in Tampa check them out: Express Alterations on Gunn Hwy. Just don’t keep her so busy she can’t find time to get my jeans done like the speed of light.
I see why London’s always harping on tailoring, it really does make a world of difference. My jeans literally look like they were made for me and for 10 bucks, you really can’t beat that, can you? Jeans to me are an investment. You know when you find a pair you love you’ll practically live in them. If you’re like me and you like to cheat the system a bit I have some thoughts for you as well. For all my cheapskates out there this tailoring thing can actually step up your bargain game. See, I now buy great brands of jeans when I find them on super clearance and then run to the tailor to have them made to look like the fit me (see my post earlier this week about Joe’s Jeans). Jeans aren’t the only thing this works well with. If you have a great tailor you can trust she can turn an ill-fitting but fabulous vintage dress into a one-of-a-kind-made-for-you vintage dress. Plus it seems to be most good dresses need a nip or tuck here and there to be just right for you.
Don’t be afraid to find a reasonable tailor and spend a few extra bucks to make your clothes work for you. Especially if you get them at a great deal (158 dollar jeans for 33 bucks plus 10 dollars of altering = success). Don’t go crazy and think you need to have your tee’s altered (or ironed!) but for great pieces you know you’ll wear again and again, it’s worth the trouble and the small price you pay.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Where am I headed with this? I’m still figuring that out. My friend Auburn who you’ve seen me write about and who has a blog of her own now (I’m so proud – I’ve been begging her to do one since we met) is my best friend example of this. She’s incredible. She’s so self-motivated, organized, and on top of things I’m constantly impressed. She gives everything 100% effort from work to workouts to friendships. She’s inspiring just to be near. I love that about her. When I e-mail her one of my latest crazy ideas about fitness, weight loss, reading more, to do lists, etc she always writes enthusiastically back and offers to be part of it. She never backs down from a challenge and she’s the perfect example of what I like to call a ‘can do attitude’. I’ll tell ya what, she’s refreshing for me.
It’s not that I don’t enjoy the occasional downer of a day where I like to whine about how hard things are. Real talk – life IS hard. MY life is hard! I have days I’d rather stay in bed. Days I want to eat my feelings instead of staying within my calories. Days I don’t want to work out. Days I don’t feel like doing my bible study homework. Days I don’t want to cook, or clean, or write a note to a friend. I am not exempt from these ecky unmotivated days that can do just about any of us in…
Here’s what I’ve learned though. Discipline isn’t a personality trait, it’s a habit. You built the habits you have, good or bad. You’re the only one with the power to change them.
One of the hardest things for me as a social worker both my education and by personality is that my desire to see people succeed frequently outweighs their own desire to succeed themselves. This is a problem. You cannot help people who are unwilling to help themselves – that is just an ugly fact of life. If you come to me and say you want to lose weight too, I can encourage you, I can give you ideas, but what I can’t do is lose the weight for you. My workouts won’t burn your calories and my eating habits won’t nourish you either. You have to do the work. You have to make yourself go to the gym when you’d rather do anything but. You have to say no to the McD’s because it’s easier or eat foods you don’t really like because they’re good for you.
It’s been a process for me, trying to accept that. I want so much to see others succeed. I want to help. But that’s not really how life works. And truth be told, I still need plenty of help, myself.
I’ve been incredibly productive this week and my house is a great reflection of that. I’ve been up early, on the grind and checking off to do’s before I even depart for the office (early, I might add). I feel excited about my new habits I’ve been building – including doing small group homework (bible study) in the mornings instead of pushing them off til last thing before bed when I’m tired and just trying to get through it. That was a great addition to my morning routine that I added during my Daniel Fast (in Feb). I’m sticking with it. Getting results of any kind requires commitment! I’m staying committed to all my goals (except being g-free) and I hope you are too! Can’t believe we’re over halfway through the 3rd month of 2011! Time is flying.
Love & Motivation,
Friday, March 18, 2011
Remember when I said here that I wanted a navy blue blazer to pair with jeans (preferably the boyfriend jeans I still haven't found)? Well I got one!
The next few days is Gap/Banana/Old Navy's Give & Get program so I got 30% of the clearance price making it not cheap, but reasonable. So I ordered it and it should be headed my way in the next few days. I am SO pumped!
Finally I will have a blazer! Eee!
Thursday, March 17, 2011
I can't wait to go to New York City, can you tell? We bought our New York City Pass's this week so we can site see like crazy tourists on extra large cafe mochas. A few of the things on our intial hit list:
- A broadway show
- Tea at the Plaza Hotel
- Empire State Building/Ellis Island
- Times Square
- 911 Site
- Dillion's Candy Store
- Grand Central Station
- Little Italy
Who votes I take my laptop and blog from NYC?!
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
I know I'm famous for being freakishly organized and over-committed but I have to confess that's been even worse than usual lately. If you haven't noticed my reading list for this year is growing at a snails pace because I haven't even had time to be my freakishly disciplined self about reading. Between leading a bible study, working a full-time job, volunteering with the church's sports ministry, working out every day (usually, being a homeowner (which is way more work than people think), and trying desperately to still be a good friend - I have been slammed!
It seems like every week I have to get up a little bit early and stay up a little bit later just to keep up with my day-to-day life. Whew. Can't a give get a break? Or a maid? A personal assistant maybe?
I think I've combined all possible tasks that can be be multi-tasked. I've even taken to writing things on my to do list like 'eating your freakin leftovers before they go bad' and 'if you don't clean something off your tivo your shows will stop recording'. This is a whole new level of sad, even for me.
One a bright spot, my life has been even more fun than usual lately. My house has been filled with people and baked goods on an almost daily basis (don't worry, I'm sticking with my diet). I've been trying to cook a little more, stay home a few more nights, and let the people who need to have a chat come to me. It hasn't reduced my slightly over-the-top schedule but it has at least kept me in one place a little more often?
(I baked these yummies for the 6 softball teams I've been helping out with on Friday nights)
I'm excited to get away next weekend to the Keys with Jess and just unwind. I can't wait to have the 12 hours in the car with her (6 down 6 back) to just catch up and gab about what's been going on (I have quite a few good new stories to tell). To lay in the sun and get my favorite kind of TLC - the kind that makes you tan. Maybe eat some good Keys-ish food and get a few pretty pictures. 10 days til we depart!
The best is when you find friends you can hangout with and get things done at the same time. My friend Lindsay is a great example. We've run together the last 2 Thursday nights so now only have I gotten my workout in, with company, but we've gotten to spend some quality time together as well. Poor girl really has to hold herself back to run my pace, but she's kind not to make me feel bad about being THE slowest runner on Bayshore.
Still trying to find healthy balances and create more space to just be - but no complaints about life, it sure is good right now.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
You know I hate failture. In fact, this weeks sermon at church (we're in a great series) was about the fear of failure which I have confessed in previous entries is a big deal for me. I am terrified of failing. But I have to say it's freeing that I've not confessed this to you all and can go on eating glutenously in peace.
Sorry, March - but hey, here's to April's challenge being better. Although, I'm slightly terrified by the idea of taking a picture of myself every day. Does that mean I have to wear makeup on the weekends? Boo. Well, I guess if Katy Perry can reveal her makeup-less self on Twitter, I can do it on the blog.
(Katy Perry pic posted by Russell Brand, her hubs, via Twitter)
Monday, March 14, 2011
We have all met what I call a Debbie Downer. The person who can suck the life out of the happiest of occasions or find some reason to rain on any parade. Now as a formerly faithful watcher of the show Daria on MTV, I admit I do like a little cynicism and sarcasm, when done well, puts stitches in my sides. But how you view the world, people, life, circumstances is in fact a reflection of your character.
Life is in essence what you make of it and if you're like seems to really stink all day every day well - that probably isn't totally without your help. So much of the way life works out for you is really up to you. Now, that's not to say there aren't just days you woke up on the wrong side of the bed and you keep checking to see if there happens to be a full moon in broad daylight. BUT it means that the way you act under those circumstances reflects you and only you.
Everyone deserves to just have a bad day from time to time. Be cranky. Get out a good cry. Hole up in your room and pout for a day by all means - but one day. Not everyday. Remember that the attitude of those under you is a reflection of your leadership and that your character, good or bad, shows through by the way you view the world.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
See, I think a little creativity can go a long way in life. On top of the normal money woes of being 25 and trying to get your footing after college, I also bought a house which though one of the best decisions of my life, has also been THE most expensive (yes, way more than even college!). With that decision I've had to be even more careful to be a good steward of the money I bring in. But I don't believe being responsible has to come at the expense of having fun.
My Dad love to have a good time more than the next person. I remember that most about my childhood. We'd save all year as a family and then go on a huge road trip vacation every summer. As my sister and I got older we both started to think that living out of a suitcase for 8 weeks every summer may have been a little extreme (not to mention he didn't allow us headsets or sleeping during the drive so that we could 'bond' as a family). But what I take away from those now is that you make the the good times in your life and if you play your cards right - you make them the very best times they can be.
That has been THE best 14 months of my life. I love having a place to call home. I love slowly through bargain hunting and penny pinching making my condo the perfect little dream place. I love being able to host people for long weekends or good them dinner or just invite them to use my home and my pool on the weekends. I've had the joy of even allowing a few close friends a weekend there, while I'm out of town. What a cool chance that has been.
I love a challenge. I like to give myself the occasional mind puzzle to figure out. As I've worked to get the word out and raise money for the Walk for Life I've seen first hand how hard it is to raise money these days - whew. Everyone is being tighter with their money than ever before and the fact of the matter is - most of us don't have a lot to give! I purpose to be as generous as I can be not just with my money but with my time, my resources, and my talents (still figuring out what those are). So this week I set out to figure out a creative way to help my friend Tiffany raise support for her missions trip to Russia.
If I had a couple grand to spare, I'd pay her way myself because I believe in her and her passion for that country. She's going with our church, Grace Family Church, and I believe wholeheartedly in what we do as a church for other countries as well. So the desire to help her make this trip happen is there. But the funds, sadly, are not. So, I sat down and wracked my usually worn out brain (I think way too much). I finally had an ah-ha moment a few days ago...
I just had to share the idea with you here even though the plans are in the works and not totally completed. We're having a spa night! While I don't have any sort of beauty-related license (or skills beyond being able to paint my own toenails) I have several friends in the industry. Thankfully, 2 of them are close friends and fellow members of my church. So I reached out to them to see if they'd be willing to donate some time and talent and see if we couldn't throw a spa night to benefit Tiff.
Thankfully, I have generous and ambitious friends! Not only were they willing to help out and donate their time, talent, and supplies but they threw in some great ideas and even suggested we try to raise more money than my original goal. Are they awesome or what? One reached out to a few girls from her graduating class in cosmetology to see if they could come out as well. So the plans are coming together nicely and we think we may even have a date, two sets of times (for two seperate sessions) and will be able to provide a short massage, a mini facial, and brow or lip threading to each person who RSVP's and pays the alloted 'donation' we're requiring.
We agreed to keep it super reasonable but also be sure we raise some funds for Tiff. My contribution in case you were wondering, will be supplying the venue (my place), the goodies, and the fellowship - oh and getting the word out! If having a big mouth is a talent, I've been gifted friends. You know I'll be able to spread the word!
I'm pretty thrilled with how things are coming together but I also wanted to say that I hope none of you are allowing your current situations of much needed responsibility or financial constraints keep you from living life to the fullest. A little creativity and elbow grease can most anything done. Keep at it friends, no task is out of reach.
Friday, March 11, 2011
My guy blog followers. I'm flattered that anyone reads my blog to be quite honest and I continue to be amazed - especially as the blog nears 30,000 views! Yikes. So humbling. But recently it's come to my attention that I have quite a few guy followers (most of them not official followers - but regular readers). And I like that. I try not to be too terribly girlie on here but I'm still excited to have some guys that have been enjoying my writing. Just wanted to publically say thanks. : ]
Edamame. I'm somewhat obsessed with edamame lately. I buy this big bag at Sams Club that comes with smaller steam bags of it (and individual sea salt packets). They're delish. A great snack. And a nice jolt of protein in the afternoon before my post-work-workout. Love.
LC! I love Lauren Conrad and the fact that she's on this months People Style Watch (which gave me some good outfit ideas for NYC)...
And I just bought a trench on sale at Kohl's from her clothing line...
My tailor. She is awesome and she took up the straps on my latest dress for 3 bucks. 3 bucks! I may or may not be totally obsessed with tailoring things lately. Ack.
New York City. I am loving planning and daydreaming about my trip to New York City with Bryn and Nancy. It's going to be the best trip ever - I can already tell.
Invisible Children. What an incredible organization. Buy a t-shirt from their site - show some support - they're changing the world.
Being in first place! I love to WIN! And right now I'm in the lead for fundraising for this years Walk for Life. Check out my site.
Volunteering. I took a recent from my challenge to start using my skills to contribute. I've been helping out with our softball league and I'm loving it. I've made new friends, taken lots of pictures (hey Dad, see! I didn't waste those 3 years of photography school), and really it's just been fun!
Life is good and I wanted to celebrate, especially in light of recent more serious (downer) posts about my health.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
We've come a long way - here we are in Tampa the day of her interviews.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
But I gave CL a second go around after buying the condo last year and bought my fabulous couch which was originally from Scan Design through a Craiglist add. I poured over them for months and let me tell you what most people describe as vintage, beautiful, or like-new is just plain junk. But finally a beacon of perfection in a sea of people's worthless filth...there was this:
Anyway, I decided earlier this week that it was time to purge a few things. Mostly things I bought during my heavily consumer days of working at Coach. After working there I kept buying from them steadily for a few more years. I just love their products because they are high quality and stylish but not in an overly 'trendy' way that goes out within a year. Some of my favorite bags I've had for years but they look brand new and they're just as stylish now as they were when they just came out.
I decided to give it a go. I made an account and started posting a few items. I was pleasantly surprised when I'd sold 3 things within the first 24 hours. It was faster, easier, and entirely less creepy than I expected. I also sold a handbag after posting on facebook that I was considering selling a few things. I got a text from a friend in SC who asked what I had up for grabs and she ended up being my first sale, before I even finished creating a log in for my CList account. Whew.
What I will say is a monster may have been created. I've always loved the feeling of a good 'purge'. But purging and recouping money all at once? Brilliant. Plus there's something slightly invigorating about selling things over the internet. I know, I know - I'm a freak. Stop judging.
I have a few things left I'd like to find new homes for (and fatten up my wallet) - but I'm very pleased with my first experience as CLister. I would recommend it. Just be careful and don't trust just anyone.
Happy & Safe Selling.
Monday, March 7, 2011
The exact dress is the one on the top right. Originally $295 dollars at department stores. Guess who found this on the clearance rack at Nordstrom Rack this weekend? This girl. Nordstrom Rack had originally priced at at $119, less than half of the orig-orig price BUT I waited til it went 60% off and bought it for $47. Still a little steaper than my usual spending but I really loved it. I need to have the straps taken up and then I'll try'n post a picture for you all soon. Just wanted to say how PUMPED I was to find it! Eee.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ah, another of my favorite Ralph quotes. I'm not sure this requires much expansion from me. I've blogged plenty about my opinions of how the world pushes me to want certain things and I'm fighting with all my might not to get caught up in the perceived 'norms' but to find my own niche.
Sometimes when I start to feel a little odd and out of place I try to remember that I may just be blazing a trail for women behind me to feel like they can be themselves too. The world is certainly always putting pressure on me but I'm shoving it right back with my determination to just be me.
Saturday, March 5, 2011
I do the Walk for Life as a tradition that I feel is my personal tribute to my Dad & his birth mother. My Dad was born to a 15-year-old unwed mother. By current US standards that would have made him the perfect ‘candidate’ for abortion. His birth Dad wanted no part and his mother was but a child herself. My Dad always describes her choice to give him a life with my wonderful grandparents as ‘selfless’. A true sacrifice of her own choosing that has given my Dad the chance at a full, incredible life. Wherever she is, I love her for that choice, and my walking year after year is with her in mind. What a brave woman she was, and what long-standing good her choice has made.
Here’s my Dad’s take on it, he always says things more eloquently than I:
‘I can't help but think of a 15-year-old, unwed, pregnant teen who made a courageous decision not to abort her child, but instead gave him a chance at life that over 50 million children since have not had. That child was me," he said....I am a husband, a father of three terrific daughters, and I'm an NFL football coach. I don't know of anyone whose life has been more blessed than mine," he says. "Coaching has given me the opportunity to influence many young lives throughout the years. And today, my own beautiful girls have and will continue to impact this world for good. What an impact one right decision can have’ – Clyde Christensen, www.lifenews.com
I could probably end this entry right there because that really brings home the heart of the matter. The fight for life has weighed heavy on the Christensen hearts over the years. Both of my parents have taken an incredible stance to value life and to bring a positive message about adoption. My Mom volunteers weekly at a Life Center in Indianapolis, and both of my parents have spoken many times over the past few years, including with former President Bush to encourage more people in their area and all over to fight for the lives of the unborn.
My sisters and I have had the love of life instilled in us from a young age. I think each in our own way we continue to carry that torch and take a strong stance ourselves for the sanctity of life. The Walk is just my way of contributing with more than just my verbal support but a chance to raise money for my local center and give more women the resources they need to choose life.
I hope for those of you who haven’t heard this story before this gave you a little insight into the Christensen crew. The Lord has certainly had a plan for my family from the beginning and I see daily how he’s blessed us. My hope and my prayer is that he’s blessed that sweet woman who made all of this a reality for us – who ultimately gave not only my Dad but my sisters and I a chance at life. My only regret at not knowing her is that we can’t thank her ourselves and that she can't see what she made possible. If you’re interested in helping me out with the walk, I’d certainly welcome that as well and you can check out my page here.
Friday, March 4, 2011
The neat thing is that our lives are both going so well. Sadly, that keeps us 17 hours away and only able to see each other every couple months. But it's cool how having such different lives hasn't made us miss a beat in our friendship.
Friday night we hit Bern's dessert room - a Tampa favorite with my sweet Auburn. It was so fun to finally introduce Candy and Auburn, my bffs from two different places. And naturally, they got along famously. Our desserts were delish - mine was of course called: Chocolate chocolate chocolate. Yumm...
Oh and please note that I finally had a chance (excuse) to wear my one shoulder dress with the beading I love. Yay.
I of course also shared with Candy my favorite South Tampa fro yo joint: Yogurtology.
It successfully changed her life.
We introduced her to Nordstrom Rack where the dress I've been stalking for MONTHS finally went on clearance and I bought ...and so did Candy. It's so fun and colorful - I'll have to post a picture soon. We've decided when I'm up in Scottsburg for the 4th weekend we should be twins for church. Wouldn't that be classic?
It was another great weekend that passed too quickly. Already trying to scheme ways to see Candy again sooner rather than later. But thankful for the time we got and her faithfulness to visit me. Lucky to have such an amazing friend.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
First off, I’ve decided to set a time frame on reaching my goal weight. I told you a while back that I was *hoping* I could finish by July, well friends, I’ve decided that hoping just isn’t good enough. To reach my final, ultimate, awesome goal weight by my 4th of July trip to Indiana I have to lose 1.4 pounds a week from now until then. Can I do it? We shall see. It won’t be easy since each and every pound is getting harder to lose and I’m having to work the hardest I have for every .something of a pound. BUT I’m confident I can do it with discipline and hard work which let’s face it, I could use more of in my life. So now that it’s in writing it’s official and I’m working hard to get there.
Even the idea that my goal weight is within reach is REALLY exciting. It’s been a long journey but honestly, not as long as I would have thought. With April fast approaching and me inching ever closer to the official 70 pounds lost mark, I feel really great about the progress I’ve made in one year. I CAN do this. It’s funny that all this started with simply saying one day ‘I think I’m going to lose weight’, in honor of a wedding, and here I am nearing the end of a year of hard, steady work with incredible results. I’m going to finish my 1 year mark strong and celebrate it Easter weekend. I won’t be celebrating it with food though, since I now have a timeline for my final goal.
Don’t worry the goals don’t stop there – I have a new exercise challenge now on the books as well. I’ve signed up for my first Adventure Race. If you’re not familiar with the concept it’s a 3.6 mile run with obstacles that include running part of it on the beach, getting in the water, crawling through mud, running through tires, etc. It’s longer than a 5k, and with a twist. Should be a hard new challenge but one I think I’m ready to train for and embrace. Lucky for me, I’ve got great friends. My friend, Jess, has agreed to volunteer so I can run for free (awesome!) and my new roomie (who moves in the last weekend in April) has agreed to run it with me as well as Auburn & Bryn!
I’m actually freakishly excited about the idea. Even though I know the training will be tough and the race somewhat grueling. You know me, I’m a glutton for punishment. I thrive on a little competitive hardship. So here we go again… : ]
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
In February I did a 21 day Daniel Fast - eating only fruits, veggies, beans, and nuts (basically). It was intense but I conquered that as well. It's a version of a raw vegan diet.