Thursday, December 30, 2010

Getting Started Before the Ball Drops!

Steven and I did a little shopping yesterday. I needed to exchange a Christmas gift, and while I was trading things out, Steven got me EA Active 2! We also ran by Sports Authority and got me new running shoes! They're pink and cute and really comfy (and were on sale!!).

I got home yesterday and tried them both out. The shoes are AWESOME and the game is a really good workout. I was impressed - and sweaty! What are you doing to prepare for your New Years resolutions?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Looking Forward to 2011

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas! We had a fantastic time with our families, and though a few moments were incredibly hard, it was a mostly joyful holiday.

But I can be honest and say that I'm plenty happy to move on to 2011!

We have some fun things planned (including a vacation to Hawaii!!!). Here are a few of my goals for 2011:

  1. Pick back up on blogging. I've felt very uninspired since July. Mostly because it's been a weird year. I'm hoping to start fresh after January 1.
  2. Eating better. We fell off the Weight Watchers wagon after we lost Donna, and we're planning on picking up again very soon. I've already cut out Diet Coke completely, and if you know me, you know it's my biggest addiction!
  3. Exercising. My sisters and I are already working on this one! We're training for a 5K! And while they are both way ahead of me, I'm enjoying the time spent together, and working toward a common goal. Plus it's a whole lot easier to suffer together. What can I say? Misery loves company.
  4. Reading. And not the "Not-Quite-Trashy Romances" I've been hooked on lately. I downloaded about 90 classics for free on my Kindle last week. My goal is to read 52 of them by the end of next year. I'm starting out with Little Women and plan on reading lots of Austen, some Dickens (kill me now), and hopefully the entire Wizard of Oz series. I'm very excited about this one. 
I have some other more personal goals, that I hope to share more about as the year goes on. But these are the ones I need some support for right now! 

Here's to 2011, and a better year. I'm so excited to see what God's going to do!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I've said more than once lately that I am blessed beyond belief. I have a husband who loves me, and along with our puppy, we have a happy, cozy home. I have an amazing family, and I'm so lucky to live near them all.

While this year has been less than perfect, we've made it through, and together we'll keep making it.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ten Days of Gratitude: FAIL

I give up. I knew I should have given up before I started. I'm just too busy lately to actually get up 10 posts, 10 days in a row. So you'll see all of the rest of my thankfulness on Thanksgiving day. Assuming I get that post written. Family starts coming in for the holiday today!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ten Days of Gratitude: Day Two

Today I am thankful for my job. Because it's been a long long struggle getting where I am. I haven't had a "real" job since I graduated, but have jumped between lots of little jobs. Some I loved, some I hated, most just got me a paycheck.

And while I'm not going to claim that this is my dream job, and I plan on being there forever, it is a great company. I work for and with people I love, and I get to travel just enough to be able to enjoy it! I'm also getting to blog for an hour or two everyday and get paid for it, and you just can't beat that!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ten Days of Gratitude: Day One

I'm stealing this from a fellow blogger (who stole my "Respect the Bird" title... love it!!), and I'm going to make a desperate attempt to do this every day, BUT for those of you who know me and love me (I hope), you know that I'm really really bad at the follow through on such things. So here goes...

Today I'm grateful for my husband's job, because while it isn't making us rich with money, it does provide us the opportunity to do things that we'd never be able to do otherwise. And I'm not just talking about my two birthday trips this year.

Because of the nature of my job, I have to travel. And I hate, hate, hate being away from my family for so long. If it weren't for Steven's job, we'd never be able to afford for him to come and visit me on long trips, and that would make spending two weeks in Chicago unbearable.

So thank you to my husband's employer. For putting up with his craziness, and for giving us the opportunity to do so much more than we could ever afford to do otherwise. We are truly blessed!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Respect The Bird!

Despite the fact that I love (and I do mean LOVE) everything about Christmas, I am trying desperately hard to "Respect The Bird." I firmly believe that Thanksgiving is a really important holiday, and not because of the food coma that we intentionally put ourselves into.

In a society where so much of our lives are ruled by our possessions and our desire for possessions, it's really important to reflect back on the past year and give thanks to the one who gave it all to us. I think it's sad that the stores ignore Thanksgiving to pile on Christmas, which to them, is solely about profits and increasing our materialistic standpoint.

Now I'm not claiming to be a saint. I love the presents and the "stuff" just like everything else, but this year,  I'm going to try to "respect the bird" and give thanks for what I've been given.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Home Sweet Home

I'm home! And completely exhausted. If you count travel days as work (and since I get paid for them, I do!), I haven't had a day off since October 17th. That should make this week a TON of fun.

My sweet husband works with a girl who's a massage therapist, and I am so blessed because he's already arranged for her to come give me a massage on Tuesday. To say I'm excited is an understatement.

OH and I tried another pizza place. It was amazing, but 100% different than everything else we had. I might get up the energy to blog on it soon, but for now, I'm going to sleep!

There's no place like home...

Friday, November 5, 2010

Food Faceoff: Chicago Deep Dish

As I'm sure movst of you have figured out by now, I'm in Chicago. I've been here for almost 2 weeks, and I have 2 days to go before I get to go home. I love my job, and this show has been fantastic, but I'm so ready to be home with my husband and puppy!

Luckily, Steven's job gives us lots of flexibility in this sort of situation, so he was able to fly up and spend a long weekend with me! While my hours (and exhaustion) made it difficult to do any real sight-seeing, we did have one thing on our to-do list that I just wasn't willing to give up.

Deep dish pizza.

I'm starving just thinking about it.

So we began the hunt to decide which two pizza places we'd hit up, and lucky for us, the choices stuck out loud and clear. The Locals vs. My Coworkers (I should note that people from my office tend to come to Chicago at LEAST once a year, because McCormick place is such a busy convention center).

I took a quick survey of my coworkers, and while there were a few favorites, the final choice was clear. Meet contender #1: Lou Malnati's Pizzeria

Steven asked around at the airport, on his shuttle, and around the hotel. The answer was unanimous: Gino's East. We had contender #2.


We hit up Gino's first. It has a killer reputation, and I had high expectations. The day we went wasn't busy, and we were seated quickly. The atmosphere was graffiti covered and not really my style, but still very fun.

We ordered up our pizza, and an appetizer (a deep dish necessity, since they take 30-45 minutes to cook. At Gino's we selected a simple pepperoni with extra cheese, and their garlic sticks.

The garlic sticks were ok, but lacked alot of flavor. Being the bread addict that I am, I was a bit disappointed. The service here was also hit and miss, but there's not much for the guy to do when he's waiting for your food to cook. I'd have been happier if I had seen him more than once between dropping off our appetizer and bringing our food, but you can't have everything.

Now on to the main event:

The sauce was great, the meat was flavorful, and the cheese was clearly high quality, but the crust.... well it was not great. Our crust was hard, and lacked flavor. I'm usually a pizza crust lover, and this wasn't a good one. I found myself leaving the crust on the plate and moving on.


The next day was Friday and we headed to Lou Malnati's Pizzeria.

It was busy, so we waited, and oh was it worth it. The atmosphere here was perfection. Very classic. Busy and loud, but not too loud, and very simple.

We ordered up their classic (home made sausage), but added pepperoni to it. We also ordered their Toasted Cheddar Cubes at our waiter's recommendation.

This appetizer knocked Gino's garlic sticks out of the ring. They were flavorful and different, and a perfect start to our meal.

45 minutes later it arrived. I was worried. It looked just like Gino's. Our waiter served it up, and we dug in. The sausage was light in flavor, and I actually liked it (I'm not a sausage fan), and the cheese was clearly fresh.

And the crust? Their famous buttercrust?

Perfect. Melt in your mouth, flaky, flavorful heaven. I died.

And then I came back to life so I could eat some more and die again.


The service at Lou Malnati's was better than Gino's East as was the atmosphere.  Lou's clearly won the appetizer battle, but let's be honest, this is about the pizza. Let's break it down:

Red sauce: Tie. Both had great flavor and didn't go overboard on volume. Too much sauce can make things soggy, and luckily this didn't happen at either location.

Cheese: Slight advantage to Lou's. You could taste the freshness. They bragged on the quality of their ingredients, and you can taste the difference, but with the cheese, it was close.

Toppings: Tie. We got slightly different items, and I couldn't choose between them.

Crust: Let's be honest here. You already know the answer. Gino's crust was just not good. Lou's was fantastic. There is no comparison.


Hands down Lou Malnati's Pizzeria. I wasn't sure I was a deep dish kind of girl after Gino's, but Lou Malnati's won me back over. It's all about the total package and Gino's poor crust killed it for me, while Lou's won my heart with every bite.

So what do you think? What's your favorite deep dish? Or are you a hard core New York Style kind of person?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Counting My Blessings

I'm currently sitting in a hotel in Charlotte, NC just counting my blessings. One blessing in particular ... my fantastic husband, who surprised me with a quick over night trip for a "fancy dinner" that turned out to be a trip to see the touring show of Mary Poppins! (Sidenote: He wanted to see it on Broadway, but a) the flights didn't look great and b) the hotel was literally 4 times the price!)

I can't tell you how amazing it was! You all may not know this, but when I was little (like 3-year-old little), the only movie I had was Mary Poppins. It was a tape my grandmother had recorded off of Disney Channel (she had fancy cable with Disney -- it was pretty nifty!!). I watched that tape Seriously. You can ask my parents. I had every word of that movie memorized, so you can imagine how much I've been wanting to see the play. It did come to Dallas, but at that point, I was still holding out to see Wicked again :)

Well during intermission, the theater here was showing clips from upcoming plays, and one of them was "White Christmas" which just reminded me to count my blessings....

I'm so thankful to have a husband who is so thoughtful, and finds so many ways to show his love! I hope he realizes he's going to be listening to the soundtrack he bought me for months!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Blog Diet = Blog Hiatus

So I didn't really intend on taking a two week break from blogging. It just happened. With the holiday weekend coming, I'm not making any guarantees that things are going to pick up this week. It's been a strange few weeks. Nothing's really been happening, just life in general. Work is picking back up, which means that I'm pretty worn out by the time I get home.

I'm going to try and pick it back up little by little over the next few weeks. Honestly I need some inspiration. Life has been dull and very uneventful. I blame it on the heat... I'm so ready for the fall!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Under Construction...

I'm going to attempt (again) to install my new blog design, so if things look crazy around here over the next two days ... sorry! Bloggers new "design" tab doesn't get along with my computer very well, so it's taking awhile!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Blog Diet

I've been working really hard at posting more regularly, and I'm attempting to design my own new blog background and header, and keep up with all of my regular blogs. And this my friends has turned out to be a little too much work, and a little too time consuming.

So I'm taking a break. No more blogging until next Monday. I'm also cutting back on the blogs I read. I really love the blog-world, but I can't let it take over everything else. I think my husband would really like some attention. I may work on my layout, etc. a little, but no more posting until Monday, even though I have a few posts I really really want to get done.

I'll be back next week with the finished dining area, Weigh-In-Wednesday, and maybe even Top 2 Tuesday from The Undomestic Momma. Who knows?

I'll see you in a week!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Stream of Consciousness

This is going to be random. I apologize now.

Have you ever noticed how much the small things can impact your life? Nothing huge happened yesterday. Nothing of any consequence. It was just a day. But when I woke up this morning I felt like yesterday was a good day, a big day, a consequential day. I'm not really sure why.

I had coffee with a friend yesterday and walked around Target for two hours. It's something I haven't done with her in literally a couple of years. I always want to go walk around Target (ask Steven), but it's never the same when I don't have one of my girl-friends with me. It was so simple, but such a blessing considering how the past month has been.

The past month. Oy. It's been a month, as of yesterday since we lost Donna. A whole month. That hit me hard yesterday when I was hanging out with my father-in-law and a large envelope arrived from the funeral home in Corpus Christi. We knew what it was before we opened it. We ignored it all afternoon as we ran around and had lunch, but when we got home it was still there, looming and ugly. Opening it and reading it made it real. I still don't want it to be real.

I'm so blessed. After Steven got off work yesterday we went over and hung out with my family. We laughed, we picked on each other, and we got irritated and cranky as we always do. We teased Allison about "Pablo," the boyfriend we made up for her. Steven even crank called her cell phone and left a message from "Pablo" for her to find this morning.

We laughed all the way home.

Yesterday was an incredibly good, sad, happy, crazy day. It's a day I can't label, but it was a day I loved,  tarnished with a moment I hated to remind me how good my life really is. 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

My Name is Amanda, and I'm a Blog Hop Addict.

After Jenna's commenting blog hop, I have to say, I'm a little addicted. I had so much fun reading (and commenting!) on so many new blogs. This week I'm doing "Follow Me, Chickadee" which is hosted on four different blogs, but I picked it up from Keely at Mannland5. So if anyone's over from there ... HI!

I finished my dining room photo collage which was the last piece to my room refresh so hopefully I'll get it clean together and get pictures taken. Tomorrow's friday, and I'm so glad! I'm meeting one of my friends for coffee Saturday morning, then spending lunch and the afternoon with my father-in-law while Steven works. I hate that he's working weekends, but at least I'm doing something other than laying on the couch watching bad television.

OH! And I got my first furniture refinishing project from CCA in Lewisville last weekend... now I just need a day on a weekend that isn't 100+ degrees so I can actually refinish it (and blog about it)!

And that was a very random post. Oh well. That's what happens when I blog after 10 p.m. because I can't sleep.

'Night everyone!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Weigh in Wednesday - The Fail Edition

I feel so guilty.

I skipped my meeting on Monday.

I'm not sure why, but we skipped. I got my haircut and we went out to dinner, and I didn't even attempt to eat on plan.

But I decided I had to redeem myself, so I faced the scales at home yesterday morning.

I'm still up 2.8 pounds. Now considering that this number was 4 pounds when I first faced the scale after our 2 weeks of mayhem, but seriously? There's been no mayhem. I've just been lazy.

Also, it's hot. Like over 100 degrees at 8 p.m. hot. Like the only time I can go running is at 5 a.m. and this girl just doesn't get up that early.

So when's the last time I exercised? Like Thursday. THURSDAY???? Seriously, if any of you have advice on working out in a tiny apartment that doesn't involve work out videos (I really don't like them) please share! I just can't walk/jog in this weather.

Luckily, having some of you post that you wanted to follow Weigh-In-Wednesday has worked, because I feel beyond guilty, and I have no intention of making the same confession next week. Next week, I will have taken off at least another pound, but preferably the entire extra 2.8 pounds.

Please continue the guilt. I need the motivation.

Also, I got my button done! I'm not sure how to post it with the code yet, but I'll figure it out ASAP! It's nothing fancy, but I don't have photoshop (I know, it's heartbreaking)!

EDIT: If others decide they want to do a Weigh-In Wednesday post just let me know in the comments, and I'll add a linky next time!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Coming in One Week...

The return of Weigh In Wednesday! I know you're all excited! We went back to our Weight Watchers meeting on Monday, and we're hitting the reset button. We're already getting back on track with our eating and walking. I'm hoping to be at the point that I can start the Couch-to-5K training by the middle of August!

Also, I've got to make a button for Weigh-In-Wednesday, because I'm tired of these posts being so boring and pictureless!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

She Wasn't Kidding When She Called It A Challenge!

Last week Jenna, over at Jenna's Journey, talked about how much she read blogs, but how little she commented, and challenged her readers to comment more this week. In fact, she challenged us to comment on 10 blogs each day this week! Luckily she provided a McLinky for everyone taking the challenge to link up (check it out here if you're interested).

I'm very much a blog addict, a comment lover, and admittedly I'm horrible about leaving comments, so I took the challenge. And man, is it a challenge. I usually just scroll through and read my blogs on google reader, so this was a new experience for me. I had to actually take the time to click through, read, and think about what I read, so that I could leave a genuine, thoughtful comment. It's alot of work, but it's so much fun to find new blogs, and to get comments from new people.

I'd challenge anyone who loves blogging to take up Jenna's challenge. It's been fun so far, and I'm looking forward to finding new favorites over the next few days. My personal challenge is to comment on every blog that linked up, but we'll see if I can pull that off!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Dining Area Refresh Part One

Just about two months ago, I realized I was really tired of our dining area. It felt cramped, cluttered and dull. And my "Cheap and Easy" Living Room update was just drawing my attention from my less-than-fabulous dining area.

Unfortunately I was running short on inspiration, and more importantly, craftiness. Anyone who knows me, knows that hot glue guns and I are not friends. And I'm pretty sure that hot glue guns are a vital part of any craft/diy project.

Despite my craftiness handicap, I had seen one project that looked do-able. One of my favorite bloggers, Katie from Cleared for Take-Off recovered one of her chairs (sorry I'm too lazy to find the actual post). With this in mind, I begged my husband for a return trip to target. I wanted more of those pillow covers to recover my chair seats. Luckily I measured the chairs first, so upon arriving at Target, I discovered the pillow covers were way too small. Fail.

I was upset, but would not be distracted from my ultimate goal. As I roamed aimlessly looking for inspiration, I saw a table runner I adored, and below it (or above it -- let's be honest my memory is pretty questionable), I saw matching napkins. Napkins that were just about big enough (I hoped) to cover the seats of my chairs.

So I bought them, and borrowed my father-in-law's staple gun, because you know staple guns are great for people who are too stupid to use a hot glue gun without injury (insert sarcasm here).

And so it began...


I stapled the fabric around the base (not my finger!).

Foster helped.

Then I just screwed it back onto the chair frame. THIS IS IMPORTANT: Don't put staples where the frame of your chair sits. If you do, the screws won't go in. I promise. Believe me, I know. Also buy one of these nifty screwdrivers where you can just change out the head, and you can twist halfway and then just turn it back. Way easier.

Add in a matching table runner, and you're all set!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

My Other Mother

I've always been blessed to have a wonderful mother. There's no question that she's one of the most incredible women I know. Over the years, I've had many other "parents," mostly the parents of friends who were practically my siblings. Each one influenced my life in a different way. But a little over a year ago, I gained another set of parents officially when I married Steven.

John & Donna were everything I could have asked for as in-laws. They took me in as their own and spoiled me rotten. Over the past few years, I've grown to love them, and they truly are family. So last week when my mother-in-law tragically lost her life, I felt like a piece of my heart was taken away. She was a beautiful woman, who loved and protected her boys fiercely. I was lucky to have been taken into her home and her family.

Last week, I saw my family in pain, and I began to understand the responsibility that was on her shoulders as the matriarch of her family. She was their rock; the force that kept them grounded. I watched their pain, and felt it myself. I've never seen heartbreak the way I saw it this week. Look into the eyes of a man who has lost his partner of more than 40 years, and you'll understand heartbreak.

But within this heartbreak, there were moments of laughter, and more blessings than I can even begin to recount. Donna was a pre-school teacher and touched the lives of so many children, their parents, and her co-workers. Her memorial was a testament to her life, and the woman that she was. It's impossible to express how the stories we heard lifted our hearts and comforted our souls.

So to all of you who attended her service, picked up the phone, brought food, sent flowers, or just simply sent up prayers on our behalf, we thank you. None of us could have ever predicted that this would happen, but we all know the miracles that wait for us as God's plan unfolds.

I've gained friends this week, and beyond that, I've seen the bond of my family grow stronger. I know that the coming weeks and days will have moments where it feels impossible to move on, but we will, by leaning on each other, and leaning on our Heavenly Father, we will make it through.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

No Weigh In Wednesday

We skipped our meeting this week to take care of a few things, and because we've eaten horribly since last Wednesday. But Weigh-In Wednesday will be back next week, hopefully with some good numbers!

I'm working on a post about the past week, it's just taking awhile to write.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sometimes It Rains

And oh, how it rains.

My family has suffered heartbreak this week. My beloved mother in law, Donna, was in a swimming accident and passed away while on vacation with my father-in-law in Corpus Christi. My husband, brother-in-law and I all flew down to be with my second dad yesterday, and drove him back today. The rain started last night (quite literally) and followed us all the way home to Dallas.

We're heartbroken, angry, and in shock. It doesn't make sense, and it hurts beyond belief. My in-laws were high school sweethearts and have been together for more than 40 years. I can't even begin to imagine his grief.

We ask for your prayers, and thank all of you who have been praying for us. Donna was a beautiful, loving Christian woman, and we know she's in a better place, but she will be missed by all who knew her.

Donna, we love you and know we'll see you again.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Weigh in Wednesday!

It's that time again! We had our weekly Weight Watchers meeting on Monday and faced the scale after the fun holiday weekend. Here are this weeks stats:

Pounds Lost/Gained: -5 lbs
Inches Lost: n/a (this is coming next week!)
Days Exercised: 4
Major Accomplishment: I didn't use my entire weekly points allowance this week! I really felt like it was inhibiting my weight loss. 
New Goal: Exercise 5 days this week. This will stay my goal until I accomplish it. It would be really appreciated if the weather would cooperate.

I'm also going to work really hard this week, because I'm only 3 (ish) pounds away from my first major goal (5%). I'd really like to hit that next week. Obviously, that will be tough, because it's two big losses in a row, but it would really give me a good push to have two great weeks!

How did you do this week? Did the holiday weekend throw anyone off their plans? We definitely didn't exercise like we should have, and let me tell you, we both felt it on Monday! Ouch.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

I don't know when...

I became a person who felt better after a workout. But I have a feeling it happened in the past week. The rain has severely interfered with my walking/running plans this week, and last night I was down-right mad that I could go walk because it was pouring and thundering. Who am I kidding? I love a good thunderstorm!

But I guess what all those people said for so long is true. Exercise really does make you feel better. And the hot shower after sweating your behind off in the Texas heat and humidity really is the best. I even busted out (and dusted off) my Yoga mat, so I could get a few stretches in. It really reminded me how much I enjoyed Yoga. Does some one want to give me a gym membership somewhere that has a great Yoga instructor? Because that would really make my day.



Guess not. I'm looking forward to a long weekend filled with fireworks, cook outs, and more walking/jogging! Enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Weigh-In Wednesday

It's that time again! We finished week two on Weight Watchers, and I'll admit it was a struggle. We ate out more, walked less, and my point calculations were highly questionable a couple of days. I also learned that my favorite meal at On the Border has way too much fat for my stomach these days.

So here are the stats, and since this isn't something that Steven ever writes in, I really don't feel right reporting his weight info each week. I need to get an established pattern for this, so I'm going to report the same thing each week, and inches lost once a month.  So here goes:

Pounds Lost/Gained: -1.6 lbs
Inches Lost: n/a
Days Exercised: 3
Major Accomplishment: I jogged for the first time this week!
New Goal: Exercise 5 days this week.

I'd love to hear how you stay motivated to work out! We're getting my whole family involved, and it's really helping to have my mom and sister call me daily to see what time we're meeting up to walk.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bad Blogger & Top 2 Tuesday

Yikes! It's been almost a week. I just haven't had motivation to finish editing my San Diego pictures, or come up with anything else to write about. I wish I could call it "writer's block" but in reality it's just laziness. Tomorrow is "Weigh-In Wednesday," so they'll be a new post then. For now, I'm going the lazy route and doing another Top 2 Tuesday from the Undomestic Momma!

This week's theme is what 2 Things (Not People) Would You Want on a Desert Island?

My first item would be my board game collection! I'm assuming I'd have at least a few buddies on the island, and I'm a board game addict. 

My number two would be sunscreen, without question. I burn so easily, and I'm not going to suffer while stranded on an island!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Weigh-In Wednesday

I've decided that Wednesdays will be my day to chronicle our weight loss journey on the blog. This gives me an entire day between our actual weigh in and the blog post. We'll see how this holds up. I'm really bad at putting myself on any sort of schedule.

For our first week I lost: 2.8 pounds
And Steven lost: 10 pounds

Yay for Steven! I'm really proud of how he did this week. He even ate a veggie here and there!

I'm not sure what happened with me. I was down 4 pounds as of Saturday, but I think that weighing in the evening combined with our weekend festivities did me in. Note to self, no more bad food after Thursday. Period. End of discussion. I may also try to go a few weeks without digging into my weekly points allowance. I also need to start weighing in the evenings since that's when my meetings are.

I'm going to try to give my #1 helpful hint and/or find that helped me get through the week. This week I learned that planning is key. If we plan our entire day out the night before, we really do better the next day. It also makes tracking your points really easy. My #1 find this week wasn't really a find, it was sitting in the grocery store all along, I just didn't notice it. That was the Weight Watchers brand yogurt. It's only 1 point per package where my Yoplait was 2, and that, believe it or not, makes a big difference in my morning!

Did you have any great diet finds this week?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

One Year Ago Today...

We laughed.

We sweated.

We smiled.

We promised.

We kissed.

We celebrated

And we began a brand new life together.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

We're celebrating a day early, not only on the blog, but also in life, because we have another celebration to fit in this weekend.

I have to say, that I'm a very blessed girl. I may be turning into my Mom, but I'm very lucky to have an amazing father as well. He has put up with more giggling girls, curling irons, hair bows, and chick-flicks than any man I know. He didn't get to start watching football on Sunday afternoons until I was dating Steven, and I never heard him yell at a sporting event on T.V. until last fall during a Cowboys game. Up until Luke was born, poor Dad was the only man in the house (other than the fish -- even the cat's a girl!).

I'm even luckier, because I have another Dad. Only he spent the past 30-odd years living with boys. And let me tell you boys smell (trust me). I'm so blessed to have a father-in-law who loves me like I'm his kid.

Happy Father's Day to my Daddy and to John, my fantastic father-in-law!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday Fails - Diet Fail

It's Friday Fails time over at My Blessed Life, and this week I have a total diet fail. Ok, so it didn't completely blow my week, but it was a FAIL either way. Yesterday I forgot to take out meat for dinner (fail #1), which would ultimately result in my massive fail for the week.

We decided to go out to dinner. We've both had great weeks, and really focused on making sure we were eating enough and eating the right things. It's probably important to mention that I've been preaching portion control non-stop all week. This will be important later.

We spent, I kid you not, an hour hunting for a restaurant where we'd have enough to eat, and still stay within our points for the week. We knew Applebees had a Weight Watchers menu, but since it's not our favorite place, we really wanted to eat somewhere that's "normal" for us.

Then I found, what I thought would be our saving grace. P.F. Changs. Orange Peel Chicken - 8 points, Brown Rice - 3 points, Soup - 2 points. Helllllooo dinner.

So we went, and we ate. We ate like kings. In total disbelief that this could really be real.

You know when your mom told you that if something sounded too good to be true, it probably was? Yeah, she was so right.

This morning Steven informed me that we had each eaten three servings of Orange Peel Chicken. Yes my friends, each little plate of chicken they bring you is three servings. THREE!! I mean, I kinda knew that from the massive pain in my stomach all night, but I felt so defeated.

Luckily though, Weight Watchers was made to help you survive the diet fails. We get an extra allotment of points each week to use how we please, and I am happy to say that neither of us went over that allotment. In fact, we both have some left to spare!

Here's hoping next week I have a weight loss success after my Friday Fail!

What are your fails this week? 'Fess up and link up at My Blessed Life.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Top 2 Tuesday -- Guilty Pleasures

It's Top Two Tuesday again over at The Undomestic Momma, and this week's topic is guilty pleasures. I don't know why, but for some reason the phrase "guilty pleasure" automatically makes me think of food. I think it's further proof of why doing Weight Watchers is such a good idea for me.


So my first guilty pleasure is bread. My favorite is the baguette. I personally love the ones from Panera, but I'm pretty equal opportunity with my bread addiction. I love tortillas, pasta, rolls, and pretty much anything that I can slather in butter. Yum. Too bad (good) I can't it like that anymore!


Diet Coke. This became a guilty pleasure yesterday. Before then, it was simply an addiction, or as Dana at work put it, "my signature vice." I'm fairly convinced that I will not survive giving up my Diet Coke, but I will suffer for the sake of my marriage (because my husband asked me to do it).

So there you have it, my pitifully food focused guilty pleasures. New Goal: Get guilty pleasures that don't involve my stomach :)

What are your guilty pleasures? Speak up and link up :) 

Sunday, June 13, 2010

And the journey begins...

Steven and I have decided to get healthy and start eating better. After talking to the doctor, we've decided that Weight Watchers is the way to go for us. We had our first meeting and weigh-in today, and we start on our new food program tomorrow. We both have a good amount of weight that we want to lose, and we know how important it is to have a program that will work for the long term.

I've done Weight Watchers before with some success, but I know we'll do even better together! We've prepped our kitchen by taking 3 bags of temptation to my parents' house (sorry Mom!), and replacing everything with program-friendly food and snacks. We're hoping to walk in the evenings with Foster, and we'll be keeping our fingers crossed that it won't be too terribly hot at 8:30 at night!

I know weight is a big struggle for alot of people, so what are some things that you do to stay on track?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Be It Ever So Humble

There's no place like home.


I just spent a week in bright, flashy, noisy Las Vegas. And Vegas is so much fun... don't let anyone tell you it isn't. Especially massive whirlpool bathtubs. They make the 12-hour workdays bearable.

And while loud and sparkly and totally-over-the-top are fun. I know something even better.

Dinner at Panera with your husband.

And then laying on the couch with him and the puppy listening to your husband play video games after watching the episode of Glee that he recorded, but waited until you were home to watch because he knew how much you wanted to see it.

There's no place like home.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The 2-Hour Tour

On our first morning in San Diego, we knew exactly what we wanted to do... go cruise the harbor! This was Steven's first time in San Diego, and the closest I got to the water when I was there in grad school was a pavilion overlooking the harbor at the convention center.

(For those of you who don't know, that's Laura B.! She and I were grad school roomies and coworkers, and she was one of my fabulous bridesmaids!)

Unfortunately on that trip, the flowers on the building were prettier than the shot of the harbor!

This time was different. Steven and I hopped a cab to the bay, grabbed tickets from the Convention and Visitor's Bureau (if you visit San Diego -- GO HERE FIRST! We saved so much on admission to everything, even the zoo). Then we boarded our boat for a 2-hour harbor cruise.

Despite the never-ending, cheesy jokes from the captain, the cruise was alot of fun. The first half of the cruise was of the south end of the harbor. And for some reason it was HOT out on the water. And being the geniuses we are, we forgot to pack Steven a hat. So we improvised.

And if he ever sees that I posted this photo, he will kill me. So no telling. K? Thanks!

The entire coastline was absolutely gorgeous. It was at this point I started begging to move there.

We got to see tons of Navy vessels, and learned lots of random facts about how to tell cruisers from destroyers, and so on. Do I remember any of that? No. So here are two pictures of some sort of military boats.

After the first hour, we docked. Some people got off. Other people got on. We scouted out better seats. And then we headed north. And it got nice and cool.

We saw these cute little boats. All lined up along the coast. Apparently the boat owners/captains live on them. And pay rent for these little spots. Like $200 plus a month. For a buoy. 

We kept heading north. Admiring the ships, the water, and the breeze. And then it got cold. And windy.

Did I mention I wore a skirt that day? It even got cold enough for Steven to come inside where it was warm. Then the captain/narrator/king of bad jokes mentioned Sea Lions, so we all ran back out into the wind.

They were cute, but not as cute as the ones at the Zoo, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

After the cruise we walked over to the very touristy Seaport Village and got lunch. We also got Steven a hat, to avoid more of the brochure-hat incidents.

We had Chicago-Style Deep Dish, on the harbor in San Diego, of all places. Oh well. It was yummy. Next up is the USS Midway and the famous San Diego Zoo!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Surprise Vacation ... California Dreamin'

We've discussed the possibility of going somewhere over Memorial Weekend for months. We both had Friday and Monday off, making it the perfect opportunity for a getaway. We also knew we'd have no time to do this around our anniversary, so we decided to take advantage of the opportunity. Steven decided that he needed to surprise me, so for weeks he plotted and planned the vacation, while I plotted and planned how to get him to tell me.

But he didn't. Wouldn't. Laughed at my pitiful attempts. I may or may not have sulked. 

But it was so worth it, when Thursday morning, before our last half day of work, he told me that we were off to San Deigo. I was beyond excited, ecstatic, or any other e-word that's appropriate here. I absolutely adore California. Every time I go there, I want to just have all of our stuff shipped to us and never leave. I'm sure Foster wouldn't mind the plane ride.  

Ok. So he would mind. But he'd get over it after a Scooby Snack or something. 

But I digress. 

So we worked our half day and took off for the airport. And we waited. And waited. And waited. The flights were awful. Apparently EVERYONE was dreamin' of California for Memorial Day.

So we waited some more. 

Then, a miracle happen. A flight got delayed coming into Dallas. 

A dozen people misconnected. 

We got on. 

Monday, June 7, 2010

I'm Leaving On a Jet Plane...

And heading out to Las Vegas for work tomorrow! I won't be back until Saturday, and I probably won't have any access to anything while I'm there. But, have no fear, I've got posts ready so you all can see our fantastic trip to San Diego!

Steven planned this trip all on his own, and didn't even tell me where we were going until the morning before we left! We knew we wouldn't really have time around our anniversary to go on a trip, so we took one a few weeks early and had a great time. We went out on the harbor and visited the USS Midway and the famous San Diego Zoo. The town was beautiful and the weather was perfect, and you get to see it all starting Wednesday!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Cheap & Easy

Our living room has been bugging me for awhile. I just felt like it was dark and dull, and needed something to brighten it up a bit. I contemplated toile curtains a-la-Katie at Cleared for Takeoff, but hubs absolutely hated the idea had some reservations. Not about the look, but more about the cost and what I would want to go along with them. And as much as I adore how they look, he was very right may have had a point, since it would have required new curtain rods and the fabric was NOT cheap.

That, and well, let's be honest, new curtains lead to new pillows, which lead to new accessories, which lead to ... well ... ridiculousness. So the toile curtains were out.

I contemplated lamps. But I like my lamps. Well, all but the floor lamp, and the severe lack of light in our living room, makes it a necessity. Plus, lamps ain't cheap.

I considered getting in touch with my creative side with some new wall art. But I like my wall art.

Then, tonight at Target, I realized what I didn't like. The couch/chair pillows.

I fell in love with the CUTEST pillows immediately, which, of course, I can't find online. Stupid Target website. Then I looked at the price.... not so cute. Umm for $30 something each times four pillows, I could have had my curtains. And then some.

Then we wondered over to a clearance rack.

HELLLLO happiness! I saw pillow covers

They were red, and orange, and white and khaki. Love. They were flowered. More love. They were $4 each. They were in my basket.

So here you go:

Oh pillow slip-covers, where have you been all my life? I adore them. They are bright, colorful, and pull a badly needed accent color into my very black-red-and-khaki living room.

Who knew I liked orange? I certainly had no idea.

The best part? They just slip on and you zip them up. So when they get dirty... straight into the wash!

The only problem. Now I want to buy more of these, and use the fabric to re-cover my dining room chair seats.... Hmmmm....

The Last of Disney...

I took a ton of pictures at Disney, but, well I'm honestly tired of posting about it. So here are the last of my favorite pictures. We had a ton of fun, and learned a lot about how to do Disney the right way. Next year we're going to Hawaii for our big vacation. I think Steven will be thankful for something a little more low-key :) So, without further ado, the last of the Disney 2010 photos: