Friday, September 28, 2012

Favorite Stuff: September

September really flew by, didn't she?!  Another month gone, another list of our favorites!

I'm not a big lipstick girl. In fact, the only things I wear on my lips is Carmex and maybe lip gloss, usually in a non-color. But the wedding I just flew to Oklahoma for the bride gave us lip gloss along with other goodies. This Bobbi Brown Popsicle 3 gloss is a real crowd pleaser. It looks great on any lip, stays on and is very moisturizing. It also looks like it's going to be bright, but it's not at all, it's just shiny and even looks great over an actual lipstick color. Yo go Bobbi, you go!

A friend sent this video to me, I watched, and then immediately starting doing the horse-like dance.  Now, I try to bust it out every where I go: side of the street, my husband's triathlon, at work.  And in the last few weeks 'gangnam style' has totally blown up in the internet world, and on Ellen!  Which means immediate success, right?  Watch, it's fun and ridiculous. 

Sam's September Favs: 
Future Husband's GQ debut!   
(Yes, I bought it) 
My baby boy's 3rd birthday! 

I love it any time an awards show comes around and all the pretty dresses come out to play!  These 5 above were my favorite from the Emmys (apparently I'm into the primary colors?).  As you can tell, the super-glamorous, blinged-out dresses are not my cup of tea - my favorites are always the ones I could actually see myself wearing (should the occasion ever arise where I get to attend a red carpet event, that is!).  And I had to be sure to throw my girl Mayim Bialik in the mix for two reasons:  first of all, that shade of red is banging; second of all, I'm pretty sure that from a distance, she and I could be twins, so if I squint my eyes a little, that's what I would like if I were at the Emmys!  ...right?

Check out our August favorites here!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I Want To Talk About Bedtimes

Okay, so I know that I am a 27-year-old woman (with no children!) and realistically I should have gotten the hang of my own sleeping patterns by this point in my life, but the thing is:  I can't.  No matter what time I go to bed or get up in the morning, I'm tired.  I'm tired all day until it gets to night time, and then I inexplicably just stay awake for no reason at all...when I ought to be going to sleep.  WHAT IS HAPPENING.

Ryan Selvy's Tumblr


Here's what I intend for my schedule to be:
  • In bed by 10:30 PM, read a book for a little while, asleep by 11:00 PM
  • Wake up at 7:00 AM
That's a whole 8 hours of sleep...and seems perfectly doable, right?

Here's what actually usually happens:
  • Think "I should get ready for bed" at 10:00 PM
  • Watch more TV, do more internetting
  • All of a sudden it's 11:30 PM
  • For some reason, continue to be on the internet
  • Get in bed at midnight
  • Set alarm for 6:30 AM
  • Hit snooze until 7:30 AM

So, here's what  I want to know:  What time do you go to bed every night?  Do you have a specific "bedtime"?  Is it different on the weekends?  How much sleep do you get?  If you know the secret to the magic amount of sleep and how to not be tired, what is it?!  Or are we all just doomed to be tired the rest of our lives?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A wise man once said...


My husband and I went out to dinner a few weeks ago for pho. It was a nice place, but the tables were still close together so you felt like you were eating family style. If you have ever had pho you know that it is not the easiest meal to eat while trying to be polite. While we were waiting for our food a table of 4 sat down next to us, 2 older couples. We couldn't help but overhear parts of their conversation. They mentioned their jobs, kids, and traveling. While they were eating their pho the conversation went like this:

55-ish year old lady- "This would be a difficult meal to eat for a first date."
60-ish year old lady- "It would be hard to get a second date."
Me, being the creep that I am chimed in with - "I couldn't help but overhear.... he took me for pho on our first date and I married him (wink wink smile)"

That opened the table up for full communication. They asked us questions, what did we do, where do we come from, how long have we been married, where are we going after it's all over, the usual questions we get. The 60-ish year old's husband was sitting next to me, he was 80, and he started telling us about his life. He was a scientist, criminal expert witness, he just retired because his wife made him. But he kept telling us one thing...

"Stay best friends, no matter what, stay best friends."

With our current lifestyle, I talk to more strangers than I do people I actually know. But those strangers sometimes say one little thing to you that means a lot. The crazy scientist reminded me of my Grammie. If you follow my personal blog then you know how we lost her suddenly just over a year ago. She was married to my Papa for over 60 years. She gave us all a lot of advice, mostly about sex (she was awesome) but her famous words of advice were:

"Don't go to bed mad, stay up and fight."

And this old man said the same thing when we were about to leave.

Old people are so wise, it's about time we started listening to them. 

What is the best advice you ever received from an elder? 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Speaking of Fall (TV)

While we're on the topic of all things fall, like birthdays, boots, warm drinks, and beautiful views, I'm just as excited for Fall TV!

As much as I loved the entertainment this summer, mostly Bachelor Pad and Big Brother, I'm pretty pumped for what's to come on my screen this fall.  Here are a few shows, some returning, some new, that I'm looking forward to this season...
So. Many. Good. Ones.

I might be most excited about MTV's Challenge - Battle of the Seasons because 1. a bunch of crazies trapped in one house never dissapoints, let's be real and 2. the battle of the seasons concepts might be pretty epic; people are quite proud of where they came "from".  Man, I sure love me some reality TV.

What are you planning to watch this fall?? 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Seasonal Stuff: What We Love About Fall

Tomorrow is officially the first day of fall!  Sure, we all love summer, but as soon as it hits September, our biological clocks all starting longing for those first crisp days that signify autumn has arrived.  Here's what we're looking forward to in the upcoming season!

Boots, scarves, sweaters, hats, and more boots are my favorite part about fall.
p.s. Thanks to Valerie for helping me get this together while I was on an airplane.

Sweaters, and soup, and pumpkin spiced latte's, oh my!

When fall comes around, I get to have this view out my window:
Kinda wish it would look like this all year round!
Hunting season, homecoming, Halloween, and my birthday! 
 October is by far my favorite month of the year, bring on the fall :)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

This is a story of a car.

From the time I turned 16 until after I graduated college I drove the same car. A 1996 Honda Accord with no power windows or locks. I thought I was deprived because I had to reach and open the door for my passengers. #firstworldproblems

After I had a real paycheck I decided it was time to get a new [to me] car. It was the winter after I graduated college. My dad and I test drove and searched for the perfect car. I kept saying I wanted a SUV. I wanted a change. Go big or go home. We randomly found a 2006 Volvo SUV at our local dealer that was in my price range and had low mileage. We impulsively went for it, and my car payments began. 

I never really knew why we went with that car. It wasn't perfect. It didn't speak to me. And I didn't technically "need" a new car, I just wanted one and thought having a big kid job meant it was time. 

Honestly, it wasn't until our last move (Denver to Philadelphia) that I realized what it was all about. God knew long before I did why I purchased that one. Because my husband and I pack our cars full of what we need and drive across the country every three months. I joke about not wanting to sacrifice my wardrobe, and I don't have to.

My point is to this random story is that He has it all figured out, even something as silly as buying a car. So why do we try and figure it all out on our own even though we know that He is going to take care of us and has a reason for it all. He promises to, and He keeps His promises.

photo taken on the back of Marcy (that's her car name) while we were dating summer 2009.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

But should I fall...

This song gives me chills from the tip of head to the very end of my toes. I first started listening to it while I was running earlier last week. I had bought it on iTunes the night before and started listening the next morning during my workout. As I hit replay over and over, it brought up so many emotions and moments in time I wish I could go back and change.

Then, I realized just how free from it all I really am, how much my God loves me and needs me to let go of so much pain and so much regret so He can heal what I cannot seem to keep from breaking; heal like only He can.

Lecrae describes his own life in the music business in this song, but I feel like if you read between the lines, so much of it pertains to our daily lives of expectations, social media influences, pressure for perfection, the desire for always having to be a certain way, when in reality we place all our efforts into things of this world that will always fail and always crumble and ultimately always hurt us, no matter how hard we try.

How beautiful it is, to truly be free from it all.

But should I fall
I’m still free from it all

Round of applause, I pause to take a photo op
None of it’s real; it's just Photoshopped
Crop out my flaws then my failures, my aches and all my ailments
Now I'm picture perfect, take all my dirt and conceal it
Really, I no better than any
But they pay me a pretty penny to sit and look pretty
Not to big, not skinny, be whatever these fans demand of me
‘Cause otherwise they probably wouldn't love me
The show goes on even after the curtains close
I smile and pose, put my signature on they clothes
They lift me up so high that I'm surely about to fall
The higher that I go the more unforgivin’ they are
No grace and no exceptions, all they want is perfection
The man in the mirror can't even see his reflection

You live for their acceptance, you die from their rejection
But even if I fall, I fell in the right direction

Cameras flash, the curtains call, the credits roll down the screen
Critics laugh, they hate us all as they applaud
But should I fall
I’m still free from it all

Life is a cage, a prison of everyone's approval
Fight for acceptance and struggle so you don't ever lose it
But livin’ for their acceptance has got us stressing
Insecure people obsessed with leaving impressions

Ladies spending time on their faces painting pretty lines
To you and me its make-up, but to her, it’s a disguise
You look her in her eyes and see her soul cry
‘Cause living for other people’s got her living a lie
Hadn’t slept in day, close his eyes and he pray
Someone would miss him if he fell like a star out of space
But I'm sure they'll replace him, just a name and a face
They say they love you, but it's easy to fall from their graces
Live for everyone else gotcha losin’ yourself

Why be slave when made to be free from the guilt?
To be free from the shame, you are more than a name
If you go down you got the freedom to get up again

Every moment is passing; just let ‘em go
In fifty years, man, who cares? We’ll be super old
Many winners will lose, many heroes will fall
And if that’s me I’m still (free from it all)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Heaven on Earth: Apples in a Pie Crust

Warning:  your mouth is about to start watering.

I'm generally against having fruit in desserts (that is what chocolate is for, people!), but when Heidi and I made our own little version of "apple pie" over the weekend, I changed my mind!

Borrowed from this recipe from The Daybook blog, it's as easy as this:

Slice up apples.
Toss them in a pie crust.
Dump tons of brown sugar and cinnamon on top.
Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.


Something about the way the brown sugar melted down the apples and into the crust made it so doughy and yummy and just plain irresistible.  Make one.  Make one NOW.

[Also, this contains fruit and cinnamon, so it's suitable to eat for breakfast, right?  Right....?]

Monday, September 17, 2012

Survival Tips - part 2

If you want to get out and attempt that "outdoorsy" thing people keep talking about,  I compiled a small list of things you might definitely need to have on a cruiser ride: 

music -  it takes your mind off the fact that you're pedaling heavy bikes up many, many hills.
friends - biking is way more fun when you travel with a pack of people.  also, you won't look so silly be-bopping along to the music by yourself. 
bicycle bell - when there is a pause in the music, you ring your bell (or squeak in my case).  and then everyone else rings their bell.  if you have a fun bell, you can gain friends (necessity #2).   until you soon have a musical medley before the next real song begins.  then you stop bell ringing. this is important information to know.
camera - for capturing videos to prove to people (and yourself) that riding bikes on a Friday night is fun and not lame!
comfortable shoes - not hip shoes, comfortable shoes.   well, unless your shoes are comfortable and hip, then I'd say you've got this thing in the bag.
a book, any book - just in case. right?

Happy Trails!

Friday, September 14, 2012

What We Ate: Chow Town

We all ate stuff yesterday and thought it would be fun to document! 

Breakfast-I actually normally eat an English muffin with peanut butter for breakfast, but I was out, so I had to go for frozen waffles with peanut butter instead (I wasn't that sorry about it).  Also, some O.J., which I love for breakfast but hate at any other time of the day!
Lunch- Big ol' bowl of creamy mac and cheese.  'Nuff said.
Dinner- Leftovers!  I always cook meals for 4, and so we always have leftovers the next day since there are just 2 of us.  This is Garlic Smothered Pork Chops (from a Weight Watchers cookbook - first time making it and it was DELISH), Uncle Ben's Wild Rice, and some good ol' steamed spinach!
Snack- Normally I have homemade treats on hand (really, I swear!), but we already gobbled them all up this week, so I was left to forage.  Which meant eating 3 handfuls of chocolate chips after work, and coming home later that night to find a Kit Kat in the fridge that Scott had picked up for me - yippee!  Also, not pictured:  some animal crackers.

Breakfast- We made a dish of the Budget Bytes Baked Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal and have been eating it all week for breakfast! Sometimes I heat it up or sometimes I top it with milk and eat it like cereal. Very filling and tastes like fall.
Lunch- My typical peanut butter and jelly. I could seriously eat PB&J every day.
Snack- I probably make a recipe from Skinny Taste at least two times a week and her Low Fat Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe doesn't suck. Cookies are my favorite food group so I don't feel that bad about eating two cookies, or four...
Dinner- We love taco soup in our house, it's so easy to throw whatever we have on hand into a pot, eat up the goodness, and have tons of leftovers but this time we wanted to try something different so we made the Skinny Taste Turkey Chili Taco Soup recipe. This was our 2nd time to eat it this week and it was just as good as the first time.

I had a very sad refrigerator yesterday, so my meals mostly consisted of free food at work or food that someone else prepared for me.

Breakfast- Coffee and a FREE cinnamon roll from work because someone who quit her job a few weeks ago is back working with us again and wanted to treat the office to sweet rolls.  Whatevs!  Score!
Lunch- FREE tofu and white rice because the lovely catering woman at work lets me "sample" the new hot food. "Sample", quoted, because it was totally a full plate of food.  Bonus: it was quite delicious. 
Snack- PB + Celery that Ryan packed for me.  No idea where he found celery in that very sad fridge, but I was grateful.
Dinner- Pei Wei that a friend brought over for TV watching.
Snack- The aftermath of a scrambled egg, avocado, and Chaluluha that I ate before I went to bed.  I finally cooked something for myself yesterday!  At 10pm.

(not pictured: 3 mini cupcakes)

Between being in college, working, volunteering, and life in general, it can really hard eating like I want sometimes. All we can do is the best we can! So, I've started premaking meals and shakes ahead of time to try and make things easier on myself. Some days it works, some days it doesn't. Luckily, things were flowing alright for this setup!

Breakfast: 1/2 cup FF cottage cheese, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries (BERRY EXPLOSION), all natural almonds, and 1 TBSP chia seeds. YUM!
Lunch: Melon mix, zucchini/squash cuts, 1/2 avocado, and 1 piece baked Cod topped with roasted tomato and a pinch of FF mozzarella.
Snack: Protein Shake! Although you can't see it, just pretend :) The picture shows a few of the many ingredients I like to use in my shakes. I always use the Protein (obviously) and PB2, but the other ingredients are ever changing; I like to add any fruit combinations I can find in the frig, unsweetened almond milk, and chia seeds. Just depends on my mood and what's on hand!
Dinner: Lean steak cutlets mixed with peppers and a dash of seasoning.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Girl That Made Simon Cowell Cry... Well, As Much As Simon Cowell Can Cry.

You read that right friends...

Simon Cowell, cried last night on the X Factor's 2012 season premiere and lawwwdy it was beyond amazing.

Cowell literally admitted to being emotional (twice!) IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA!

He's quoted & recorded saying,
“That's the only time in my life I’ve lost it,” before fanning himself to keep from crying.
Yep, first time. Although, his reaction to Susan Boyle was pretty priceless too I must say.

Demi Lovato asked him backstage if he cried and he held up his hands mimicking "a little." Which I mean, if I was the person who made Simon Cowell cry after all this time... I would probably just quit trying at anything in life, throw my hands in the air and say, "I WIN AT LIFE!" Because I mean really, I don't know what else in life could top that. Got into med school, cool. I made Simon Cowell cry. No record deal, no bigs. I made Simon Cowell emotional.
SEE! It trumphs it all.

So, who is this mystery person that did the impossible?! Friends, meet the gorgeous and oh, so talented Jillian Jensen.

Her singing pretty much ripped me to shreds and mended it all back together at the same time. I don't want to share too many details because I don't want to take away from the expereince you'll have of her story yourself. Guys seriously, I was in hysterics over here. EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. I watch it I cry my eyes out... Every time. It is a little long, but the other shorter versions don't share her story, which just makes it seriously all the better. So, I really hope ya can find time to watch it. Or, at least hear her sing and FF to 11:10 when Simon breaks down!

Also, I haven't wanted someone's raspy voice so much since the first time I heard Sophia Bush talk. 

PLUS, she's like me. She's a crier. I mean a rrrreeeaalll crier. Emotional, but when somethings is that meaningful to you there is no controlling what happens from your tear ducts to your lip movements and facial expressions... Like the no holding back, here comes the flood, don't even care how I look kind of crying.

See what I mean.

I totally do this. 

I mean not the hard core belting out singing part; I unfortunately can't carry a tune in a bucket. I mean the crying part. When I'm SUPER passionate about something is when it's the worst. Whatever kind of passionate that may be... I actually have proof documented by Kendra and a few other friends back from my marathon a few years ago.

So yeah... Totally all over the place today.

POINT IS: Check out Jillian. Check out last night's X Factor. Britney was a B as fabulous as ever, Demi was a doll and I want her style, and I still find Simon hotter than ever. LA Reid.. Well, he's the same.

Jillian Rocks.
She made Simon cry...
and she is good at crying too.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Through the Lens: raindrops

 I've been enjoying the rain all night and all morning.  It feels like a once in a lifetime opportunity that we are blessed with a downpour here, that isn't snow based. I'm one happy girl!

Any others completely head over heels for rainstorms?