Monday, April 14, 2014

Birthdays and Brunch

Sorry for my absence last week. Work is a little crazy right now, and I don't see it slowing down much any time soon (thank you overtime). Anyway, I was so excited for the weekend because my best friend was coming to town to celebrate her birthday!

Saturday night we hit up Funny Bone (comedy club here in Columbus), and headed back to our place after for some drinks and fun. The comedians were actually pretty hilarious and we had a blast! After staying up till the wee hours of the morning Saturday, we were up and at 'em Sunday for brunch. I am so glad that Erica and Todd were able to stay, and that we were about of Erica's birthday celebration!

I was wearing wedges and about 6 inches taller than everyone else. For some reason I though it would be a good idea to squat down when we took a picture... Little awkward looking at it now haha

Erica and I have been friends for almost 23 years. We met when we were 5 years old at Bible School right before kindergarten and have been close ever since. As little kids, our teachers would often confuse the two of us with one another. Erica and I were next to each other at high school and college graduation, each others' maids of honor, and have a friendship that has actually stood the test of time.
I am the one in the Little Mermaid sweater and Erica is in the pretty party dress. 

Do you have any friends that have been in your life for the majority of it?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

32 things that make me happy

When I saw Erin post this, I knew that I had to participate. I have been letting stress get to me way too much here lately, and I love a good opportunity to remind myself how good this life is.

one: My husband. He's a pretty awesome guy :)

two: Puppy cuddles at the end of a long day.

three: The fact that spring is finally here. We have had one heck of a winter, and I am so glad to see the sun out and the temperature go up.

four: Getting lost in a good book. It has been a while since I have had time to do this, but I plan on many Sundays by the pool reading and relaxing.

five: My amazing friends. I have friends since childhood, college and beyond and am grateful for the ones that are in my life, even though we don't get to see each other as much as I would like.

six: Our soon-to-be house. I still feel like I am going to jinx the whole thing, but I am so excited.

seven: Nieces and nephews. We have 6 pretty amazing ones, and they are great practice for future babies of our own one day.

eight: Columbus. I complain about Ohio often, but we truly do live in a pretty amazing city. Especially during the summer. There is so much diversity here, and I love it.

nine: Homemade anything. I love to cook and bake and I get so happy when things turn out yummy. It makes me feel accomplished to be able to provide food for my husband and I every day.

ten: My job. Yes, it is stressful right now, but I know that I have a great opportunity going on.

eleven: Date nights. I love spending quality time with my husband as much as possible.

twelve: Patio sitting. Whether it is out at dinner, at home on our balcony or whenever, I love being outside and just relaxing.

thirteen: Pretty spring flowers. Especially ones that remind me of my mom (lilacs).

fourteen: An ice cold beer on a hot summer day or a glass of wine after a long day to un-wind. Something about the action of it just soothes me.

fifteen: Going to the movies. Even though I hate how much they cost, there is something to be said about watching a movie you have wanted to see for awhile on the big screen in the dark. And popcorn doesn't hurt either.

sixteen: Thunderstorms. I used to sit on the front porch with my dad and sister and watch them when I was younger, and the sounds are still soothing.

seventeen: Fresh cut grass.

eighteen: Open country roads. It's my roots, and there is something that living in the city can NEVER replace when it comes to country life.

nineteen: My childhood. I had parents that loved me and tried the best. What more could you really ask for at the end of the day?

twenty: Writing. I have always loved it, and still do. I may not be that great, but I still love letting my words fill the screen.

twenty-one: The holidays. Doesn't matter which one, I love the chance to get together with people that I care about and celebrate.

twenty-two: Knowing that I have a partner in life. I never thought that I would find someone that I felt connected to. Cheesy, I know, but still true.

twenty-three: The opportunities that we have been given. Whether it be a vacation, being able to save money for a house or just go out to a nice dinner every once in a while, we work hard and are at a point in our lives that we can appreciate the things that our hard work has granted us.

twenty-four: Getting my hair done. It has been a hot minute since I have gotten my usual highlights and cut, and I can't wait until I can save up enough to get my hair done before summer hits.

twenty-five: Late night bonfires with friends. Growing up where I did, we had these often, and sadly I haven't been to one in awhile. Maybe that should be something we bring back at our house. Except in a fire pit because I am pretty sure bonfires are illegal within city limits...

twenty-six: Boating in the summer. Especially on an extremely hot day when you can just jump in the lake water for a few minutes to cool off, and then jump back on board to finish your drink.

twenty-seven: Netflix marathons on a Sunday when you just want to stay in bed all day. And a husband who enjoys that too.

twenty-eight: Any excuse to get all dressed up. I don't do it nearly often enough for work, but give me an excuse where I don't have to wake up at 5am to get it done, and I am game.

twenty-nine: OSU football, and getting to be here in Columbus for it.

thirty: The changing of the seasons. Though my sinuses don't agree, it's amazing to watch all of the things that happen during this time in nature.

thirty-one: Skinny vanilla lattes from Starbucks.

thirty-two: Fresh from the oven chips and salsa at any Mexican restaurant. Half the time I eat my weight in chips before my meal even gets served.

And I could think of many more things that are making me happy this Thursday morning...
Venus Trapped in Mars

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

April Challenge

Yesterday was my first official day of my "April Challenge." I started eating cleaner Sunday/Monday leading up to it, but allowed for small cheats (a small brownie from the pan I had made Julian, for example). But on Tuesday, it was ON. This isn't a cleanse. It's not some crazy fad diet. It's me sticking to a plan for 30 straight days.

My plan is to eat mostly clean (some things are near impossible). My goal is 90%. I am allowing one moderate cheat meal a week. I am trying to up my water intake. I already drink a lot, but want to increase it. I am not drinking any alcohol this month. I also plan to start being more active. I walked during a break at work (it was a gorgeous 70* out) and when I got home with Tucker. It's not much, but still more than I was doing. I plan on increasing my activity level to eventually be working out in the gym by late this week/early next week. Plus, I am participating in #1800minute challenge that is going around the blogosphere.
I really want to see what my body is capable of if I stick with it. 30 days seemed like a reasonable amount of time to test this out. If this version of being healthy works, I will stick with it permanently (maybe a few minor adjustments like a glass of wine every once in a while). If it doesn't work, it's only 30 days and I will try something new.

I have a very busy spring/summer and I need energy. When I eat like crap, I feel like crap, so I want to feel on top of my game. Yesterday was an ideal day of eating for me. Breakfast was a protein smoothie, cottage cheese for a mid-morning snack (I will be adding broccoli to this today, I just didn't have time to cut it up this morning), mexican quinoa for lunch, apple with natural peanut butter for afternoon snack and stuffed peppers for dinner. Today will be the same thing, just with lemon chicken, roasted red potatoes and green beans for dinner. (The outer aisles at the grocery store has become my best friend)

I also made two different dinners last night to help myself stick with this. Stuffed peppers for me, spaghetti with meat sauce for Julian. I try to avoid making two completely different meals, but sometimes it is necessary.

So, for numbers... I weighed in yesterday morning at 176.6. Yikes. Last summer I was 164 at my lowest. 179 at my highest a few months ago. My goal by the end of April is to be in the 160s. Most likely around 168 if I lose 2 lbs/week. My ULTIMATE goal is to be 155 and then re-evaluate. I am tall and busty with wide hips. 140 on me would look too thin.

I know that I have talked about all of this a million times over, and nothing has stuck. Heck, it might not stick this time either, but I sure hope it does. I know that I am capable of doing this. I just need to find the motivation to continue to follow through.

Tucker will have to be my motivator for now. We went on two walks after work. One long one just us and a second shorter one once Julian got home from work.

What are you doing to get healthy?

Pretty Strong Medicine

Monday, March 31, 2014

Monday musings...

It's bound to be another busy week for me at work this week.

This week also marks the start of my "April Challenge" that I am doing. I spent part of yesterday evening meal prepping, and I am actually looking forward to the meals that I have planned for this week. I plan on weighing in and taking "before" pictures tomorrow morning so that I have a point of reference at the end of the month. I keep reminding myself, it is one month of being strict to see what I am actually capable of.

Friday we went to the Design Studio to pick out features for our house. I have to say, I am pretty excited. We wound up upgrading a few items that we hadn't planned on, but once you are able to touch and see the samples in person, it definitely can change your mind. Luckily our lender approved our loan for slightly more than our estimated cost, so we are still under and can pay a portion of our upgrades at closing also.
I have to say, it was easier than I thought, and Julian and I actually agreed on everything. Top left is our outside, stone front, siding, pillars, door and roof. Bottom left is our flooring for kitchen, bathrooms and entryway, carpet for all other rooms, trim and paint color. Right is our counter tops, kitchen flooring and cabinets. They look black in the picture, but are actually a very dark brown.

I am very excited about all of this, and can't wait to decorate our new home! I have been pinning ideas like crazy, and am sure that it won't let up any time soon.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Five on Friday

Woohoo for the weekend! Another busy work week has come and gone, and I for one, am excited for a nice weekend.
one:// We go to the Design Studio tonight to pick out the features for our house. I am envisioning wood floors, dark cabinets and countertops. Thoughts?
Painted custom kitchen cabinets
My Pinterest For the Home board is blowing up this week, that's for sure

two:// Next week starts my April Challenge! I have planned out a bunch of meals and am feeling pretty confident heading into this. I plan on taking my measurements on Sunday and diving in a day or so early (April doesn't officially start until Tuesday). 

three:// Next week we are supposed to have a couple of days in the 60s! Granted, tomorrow's forcast is in the 30s, but I am taking this as a sign that spring is finally here in central Ohio!

four:// Our youngest niece is turning 1 next week and we sent her a book from Put Me in the Story. The concept is great, and her mama (Julian's sister) loved the personalized book for her little one. 

five:// Julian has to work tomorrow, so I plan on spring cleaning the apartment and finally putting my clothes away. From like two weeks ago.....Woopsie! haha

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Going out on a "school" night is a bad idea

Yesterday afternoon, I got a text from a friend inviting Julian out to an event at a bar that we go to often. She promised free food and drinks, so immediately I thought this was a good idea. Plus the event was from 7-9, so no biggie, right?

We decided to go, and it was a fun event. (Plus we had tons to celebrate, loan approval and Julian has a new job he starts in two weeks!) The food was pretty good and they had a Irish Whiskey distributor there hosting the event and providing free drinks. Tons of bar food and a few drinks later, we realize that it is already 9pm. Most of the people leave, and it's us and a few regulars. We start talking to our friends about their upcoming wedding and before I know it, it is 11:45 pm and we still have a 30 minute drive home.

Point of my story, I can NOT hang like I used to. I am beyond exhausted today at work (luckily I didn't drink very much despite the FREE label, so I am not hungover), and having a very hard time focusing. I used to do this all the time in my early-mid 20s. Staying out until 2 am and then working the next day was never a problem. Now, I want to curl up under my desk and take a long nap.

I promise to start having more quality posts here soon! Life has been a bit crazy lately, so I haven't had a lot of time to focus.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


I haven't done this in awhile, but I have been eating some very yummy things lately and really wanted to share. Now, these meals are over the course of a few different weeks, I have been kind of hoarding pictures on my iPhone lately and forgetting to share.

Caprese Tortellini Salad (with a turkey and swiss panini)
Pretty basic, just be sure to add enough EVOO or the pasta sticks! Tortellini, tomatoes, basil, garlic, fresh mozzarella and EVOO. Salt and pepper to taste!

Spinach Chicken Orzo Soup
Like Chicken and Noodle, but with orzo and spinach.
Mexican Tortilla Salad
Inspired by a salad that I had at Cheesecake Factory. Cilantro-lime chicken, corn, peppers, mixed greens and tortilla strips. Topped with a squeeze of lime instead of salad dressing.
 Tomato Basil Pasta
Penne pasta, tomatoes, peppers, basil, mozzarella and EVOO. Next time I will add fresh garlic as well. Very yummy! (Julian had two heaping plates of the stuff!)