Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A few of my favorite things!

I was recently browsing Pinterest (shocker, huh?) and saw a thing about throwing a "favorite things"party. It looked like such a cute idea! Here is the premise: invite a handful of people over and instruct them to purchase one of their favorite things (set a price limit) to share with the group. Go around the room and share what you've brought and hand them out to the other guests so that each guest leaves with the same set of items. Am I making sense? Anyway, I think this would be such a fun girl's night! Hey local friends, be looking for invites soon :)
It got me thinking that it would be fun to do some semi-regular posts featuring my favorite things so that I could "share" them with my readers!
So...drum is the first installment of My Favorite Things!!

Bedhead Headrush has been one of my favorites since 8th grade when I would steal my mom's (sorry, Momma!). Just spray it on after you're done styling and it adds shine and takes away static and frizz. It's super light so it never feels like you sprayed anything in your hair and it's never weighed down or greasy. And it smells so good, too! A 5.3oz bottle runs about $15 and will last you quite some time! I got a bottle last Christmas and it still feels like a full bottle.

What are some of your favorite things?

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Summer Patio

It is finally feeling like summer outside and with that comes my urge to sit outside, eat outside, play outside, read outside, sleep get the picture. The neighbors in our duplex were recently on a vacation and they let us borrow their bistro set. We ate on it a couple times and lounged outside after our girly went to bed a handful of times. We really enjoyed it so we decided we want to invest in a patio table of our own. There are some really affordable 3 piece bistro sets at Target. I like a couple of them but after online window shopping I'm starting to think a more full sized table would be fitting for us. So, because I am who I am, I went straight to the moodboard! Here is what I've come up with.
I've been wanting to make a sunshade using this tutorial for a while now. I love the french feeling of the black and white stripe. I would add outdoor pillows in coral and light blue as accents. And, of course we would have our grill and plants. My husband is planning on making a screen for us to put at the far end of our patio to kind of separate us from the close driveway of our neighbors. We want to put a string of lights in a kind of v-shape from the patio to the back porch. I put paper lanterns in the moodboard but I think I would like the simplicity of good ole twinkly string lights.
Well, now it's on a moodboard-ready to make it a reality! We'll see...!

Monday, May 30, 2011


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Being Lovely

A while back, I talked about what I think it means to Be Lovely. I talk about how loveliness has to do with surrounding ourselves with beauty, filling our minds with good things but being able to take the bad when it comes, and loving who we are inside and out. In my blog title, it says, "Setting the stage for a life full of all things lovely", but what am I really writing about that is setting a stage for anything? So, here is the rundown of the topics my blog will be covering and how they contribute to holistic loveliness.

Family and Motherhood-The most important job I have and the loveliest, at that. Being a wife and a mother is very fulfilling but can be trying at times. I'll talk about the joys, the challenges, and share tidbits or products that I find. This will also include yummy recipes.

Mental Health and Psychology-This is my passion. Don't worry, folks: I won't lecture or share any rambling journal articles-just interesting findings or tips to live a happy and healthy life.

Interior Design-My hobby. As I said earlier, part of living lovely is surrounding yourself with beauty-however you interpret that. I'll share my journey to make my home and the home of loves into a beautiful place.

Books, Music, Movies-What goes in, will come out. I have always felt at my best when I've been reading, writing, listening to good music, and treating myself to comfy socks and a movie.

Spirituality-This is the core piece to who I am. I am on my own journey so I'm not going to preach or act like I have all the answers.

I feel like I've been on this train before, so I apologize if this seems repetitive-it's probably because it is. I just want to clearly map out the purpose of this blog for the readers and for myself.

Thank you for continuing to read during all my weird transitions!
Be Lovely!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Grown Up Grilled Cheese...Yumm

Normally, Tuesdays will be reserved for a recipe run-down. My plan is to bake or cook something delish on the weekends, photograph the process, and write about it for posting on Tuesday. But, because the 3D living room was such a process and didn't go up until this morning, I'll be doing a mini post today.
Today's recipe comes from Jana Laurene via Pinterest. My little family and I actually had these a few weeks ago and it was so yummy.
We called it "Grown Up Grilled Cheese" and naturally, Abbey didn't partake-she opted for her usual "haaaam" sandwich. It was so quick to make and a really cheap meal to boot!
-Sour dough sandwich bread or loaf cut into slices
-Bacon (we really liked Turkey bacon on it)
-Pepperjack cheese slices
-Avocado (squished up for spreading, of course)
-Apples (yep, you read that right!)

Just make the sandwich and grill it like usual! Rusty opted for no apples but I loved the crunch and tang that they added. This is a must-try summer sandwich!

Living Room Makeover!

FI.NA.LLY. These pictures took alllll daaaaayyy to load. Totally worth it in my opinion! The program I use does have some limitations. First of all, for some reason it automatically puts all the wall art at this weird level. If I had it my way, I would put them a bit higher. Also, I have some fairly unique art that I couldn't find (Casablanca movie poster, my lovely Black Apple painting, and a few prints from Urban Outfitters). And because we're renters, we can't change any of the wall, trim, or fireplace colors. The wall and trim colors honestly don't bother me much, but the fireplace is another story. More on that another day. So now, the moment you've all been waiting for (at least I have!), our living room:

I'm in love with these red stripe lamp shades. And that turquoise console table is actually 2 put together but I'd love to find just one long table at a thrift store and repaint it myself. The chair is representative of a chair I have now that I'm going to be reupholstering-more on that later.

How great is that little mustache man pillow? I have to find it in the US.

So, those big shelves are a bit heftier than I wanted. Ideally, I'd like them to be a bit slimmer and a dark walnut or espresso color instead of black. And I think I would want the tops to only be flush with the top of the television so I could still hang a big family photo. I'll have to have my hubby build us some!

The curtains. The curtains, the curtains, the curtains. They looks super grey and drab in this picture but they are really supposed to be an oatmeal color. And there's that floor pillow again!

Now that our daughter is a bit older we are going to try a real coffee table! I love the rustic look of this one. Maybe another project for my hubster? See that side table by my favorite chair? Not really indicative of what I want, just small enough for that space. I'd love to find something more streamlined and not so "Hey, look how modern I am!". What I really love about this shot is the little Mozart bust on the side table and the cluster of goodies on the coffee table. Octopus vase and black and white stripe candle? Yes, please.

This would be the view from said favorite chair-where I am sitting as I write this. I think this view (with the addition of my missing art) would make me a very happy girl.

The best part of this plan? Husband approval! Yessss!

My hopes for this plan is that most of these changes can be DIYed (sew my own pillow covers, re-do and makeover garage sale or thrift store lamps and tables) or bought inexpensively. We are at the point in our lives where we have a limited budget but are beginning to see the value in splurging where it's needed.

So, what do you think? What are quick fixes you enjoy doing in your own homes?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Pardon the Interruption! Bailey's Mood Board

I've been working on this 3D living room business all day. I keep finding glitches or things that aren't quite flowing with the rest of the room. So that'll be up tomorrow. In the meantime, please enjoy this mood board!

My lovely sister, Bailey will be going to college this coming fall (sniff, sniff!). So, I've had the task of creating a mood board for her dorm room based on the bedding that she's already purchased (Xhiliration from Target). Bailey and I tend to have very different tastes on things like this so this was my attempt to smush the two together. So, without further adieu...

Like I said earlier, I based this room off of the black, white, and pink bedding. Then, I added in that pretty turquiose-y blue as an accent. The black curtains are neutral except they have that pretty ruffle. I stuck with using those scroll-y lines and curves (so technical of me, eh). One of my favorite things about this room is the turquoise chandelier. This one is pretty pricey but this is an easy DIY (just find an old chandelier and spray paint it). Because you can't necessarily change the lighting in your dorm room, I thought this would be a cute "prop" to just hang over the bed. Some places even sell cardboard chandeliers that you can paint-a lighter and less wall damaging alternative. That blue rug is from PB Teen so the price tag is a bit hefty but I bet that idea would be easy to find at Target or the like. And how cute is that Boston Terrier rug? I die. Oh yes, and that little green alarm clocking peaking on the side of the page is a must. Don't want to be tardy! I added a typical dorm chair because the ones provided are typically less than comfy. I topped it off with a ruffly pink pillow, of course. College desks almost never look like this one that I found, but you get the point. A cute trashcan to remind you to throw away your Snickers wrapper and a handy desk organizer are essentials. Oh, and it's hard to tell but that lamp is actually an Arkansas lamp-from Target. I think that pretty much covers it. Oh, yeah. The Jonas Brothers-they're going with you, right?

I hope this is kind of what you were thinking of!
Happy dorm-ing...?

Workin' On It!

I've been working on a 3D rendering of what I would love my living room to look like! Here's a little sneak peak:

Stay tuned for the big reveal later this evening!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Living Room Tour

Our living room is one of my favorite places to be. Even though the decor isn't exactly my aesthetic, it's so cozy and warm.

Below is the view from the kitchen. The door across the way is our front door. The bookshelves were made by my hubby and I really love them. I've toyed with the idea of painting them or even staining them a darker wood. Our red couch is one of my favorite things. It's so comfy and it really is pretty. I have a hard time decorating around it and I'm currently playing with color combos that will accomodate that much red without being too graphic. I'm trying to stay away from red and white; red, white, and blue; or anything with too much contrast.

Below is the view from the hallway. See that lovely paper lantern? It's another of my favorite pieces. I can't remember the name of it, but it's from Ikea. I'll look it up :) Our living room has a ceiling fan but no light, so we use that as our main overhead light. I only wish we had a better place for it because our vertically gifted friends almost always bonk their heads on it when they stand up from that chair.

Our fireplace is not actually a working fireplace so I've used it up to this point as pillow storage. I would love to find something beautiful to put in there. I've thought about birch logs, candles (but probably never light them because of our little one), or hiding it with an extension rod and curtains.

This is about the view from the couch, maybe behind the couch, actually. But you can see in this picture how massive and ugly our "entertainment center" is. I'm planning on hanging tons of framed art and pictures on that wall around the TV so that maybe the black square-ness of it will blend in a little. I just really wish there was space on the mantel for pretty decorative items.

Here is a close-up of our shelf...obviously. I love all of our decorative knick-knacks I just wish I had a prettier and more simplistic way to display them.

And, now: the little green table. I found this table at a garage sale 2 summers ago. I really do love it but I'm afraid it doesn't have a home here. Not in the living room, anyway. I've thought about using it for Abbey's bedside table when we re-do her big girl room. It's just too small for the massive furniture that we have, and it's a bit wobbly so setting drinks on it is always a bit nerve-wracking.

I've got big plans for this room! I feel like a few textile and organizational changes would make a big difference.

Bathroom Tour

The bathroom is probably one of the least exciting rooms in the house but it is also the most "done"-well, as done as a rental bathroom can be. We have gone through probably 5 shower curtains as a family, but this is by far my favorite (by Urban Outfitters).

The gray towels, rugs, and that handy, little shelf are from Target.

We definitely need to find a more discreet place for our mouthwash.

That little morrocan lantern and turquoise feather sculpture are from UO, as well. That cute little owl is from a local thrift store. I would love to find some prettier things for that shelf. Like some tiny white vases with a single flower in each.

This close-up of our curtain doesn't begin to capture how bright and bold that pattern really is. I was nervous when it first arrived, but after putting it up and living with it for a while, I fell in love.

A tour of our bathroom wouldn't be complete or genuine without a nice potty-seat-shot. Can't wait to get that thing outta there!

This is by far my favorite part about our bathroom. One of the easiest and most bang-for-your-buck fixes that can be done in a rental bathroom. Everyone should have a rain shower head.

And this would be the view from inside the shower. Boring, right? My point of including this is to show you how bare that opposite wall is and how I desperately need to find something to put there. I've considered wall decals or just a big piece of art, but nothing seems quite right. So, I'm on the lookout!

So, there you have it! Our ridiculously tiny, but happy-making bathroom.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Mood Boarding!

For the next 2 weeks I will be homework free! I've got plenty to do around my house but, I've decided to open my time up to have a little fun. I'm going to offer some free, just because, design "consultations". If you have a design delimma or you're just bored with a room in your home, send me a picture via email and I'll post a custom mood board for you! Here are examples of mood boards I've done:

Get busy sending those photos and telling your friends :)

It's Home Tour-Prep Day!

That's right-today is the day! I'll be cleaning and sprucing and snapping lots and lots of photos of our home. I hope to have many photos uploaded by this evening so I can have the big reveal tomorrow. Don't get to excited-these are the before pictures, afterall.
Throughout the course of the summer I'll be improving and decluttering the house-a process I'll gladly share with you! So tonight is trouble-shooting night. I'll post pictures of our house as it is now-flaws and all-and then walk you through my plans for improvement. Feel free to weigh in with your own thoughts!
Also, we got our pallet today! More on that when I upload our pictures :)
Now I'm just waiting for Abbey to give in to nap time then I can turn on my music and get to work!
Happy Saturday!

Friday, May 20, 2011


After a couple all-nighters and an ungodly amount of coffeee, junior year is over! I'm officially a college senior...finally! I have a couple weeks of rest ahead of me and then a very exciting June! I need to enroll for my summer courses which start June 6. Then my hubby and I are cruising to Canada! I can't wait! When I get home from the cruise, one of my best friends gets married a week later and both my daughter and I are in her wedding. It's going to be a very exciting month!
For the next 2 weeks or so I am going to really focus on getting the blog hammered down. I also need to clean the house so I can take pictures for our home tour! Maybe I'll do that today...
I'm going to read, read, read and write, write, write.

Thank you for reading and be lovely!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Final Countdown

Well, I spent about 5 hours studying tonight. I got everything done that I had planned on doing today-I'm trying to pace myself. So, here is my to-do list as it stands now.

Study for Leadership Development Final-Expect to get an A


Compose APA final book

Study for APA final-Expect to get an A

Study for History of Christianity final-Expect to get a B

1 Presentation for Abnormal Psychology

Abnormal Psychology Notebook

Study for Abnormal Psych Final-Expect to get an A

So, there.

Goodnight,, Good morning, Tuesday.

So, this is finals week...

...I hope you stress out...?

Finals week is one of the most dreaded and miserable weeks of the school year. Why? Is it because it truly is more work and longer hours necessary to finish it all and to finish it well or is it because we have been conditioned to believe we are supposed to freak out? Seriously. If you've been paying attention and doing well on tests throughout the semester then that comprehensive final you're about to take should take some studying but you should have a pretty good grasp of the material. And if you haven't put in the work or done well to this point why do you care now? It's too late for you.
In reality, it's just a test, a little longer than usual, but the same material. And that paper you've been working on has been on the syllabus all semester...maybe you should have started earlier.
This is as much a note to me as it is to my fellow students. I get nervous during finals week, but a healthy amount of nervousness is actually beneficial. If I walk into a test totally confident and feeling like I already knew the material before I studied (if I studied), I will bomb. But, when I look over the material with a healthy amount of fear I am more aware and I do better. But not sleeping for 4 days and breaking down to cry in stairwells is a little much.
One of the most important things my momma ever taught me was to always make new mistakes. Last semester, I didn't start one of my 8 page papers until 2 nights before it was due. Mistake. This semester, I planned better and spaced everything out so that I've been working over the last 2 weeks on things.
My new mistake this semester is that now I have a bunch of three-quarter-finished assignments that I need to wrap up. But, I'm not stressed...too much.
Take a deep breath, friends. It's just three days. Get some coffee, take a twenty minute nap, do some Yoga, and get over it.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Study Fudy Dudy

Well, I took my Friday off but now it's Saturday...4:30 pm on Saturday, but Saturday nonetheless. So now I must begin studying for finals and completing unfinished assignments. I had a great conversation with my mom the other day and she suggested I sit down with my syllabi and make a list of things I need to get done and then find ways to squeeze out extra points in all I do. So that's what I did.

Leadership Chapter 7 Response Questions

Leadership Chapter 8 Response Questions

Study for Leadership Final-Expect to get an A

Art Therapy Write-ups for: foam, masks, and final


APA Seminar Chapter 6

APA Seminar Practice Test

Compose Final APA Seminar Book

Study for APA Seminar Final-Expect to get an A

1 Abnormal Psych presentation

Compose Ab Psych folder

Study for Ab Psych Final-Expect to get an A

Study booty off for History of Christianity Final-Expect to get a B

There isn't much room to truly squeeze points out of anything except to rock the finals. And I can definitely do that. As my Momma says, "You can do anything for 3 days."

...except maybe stand on your head...

So now I'm off to study. I'll leave you with a few images I came across yesterday on Pinterest. PS: If you aren't on that site yet, you must. It's beautiful and addicting. I'm dreaming of my own office area where I can escape and work for hours...

Be lovely, friends!

Friday, May 13, 2011

May Day!

This Friday the 13th has a different name: May Day...or All Schools Day. It's fascinating, really. The whole county shuts down. No one goes to school and most people have off work. The town puts on a parade, brings in fair food and a carnival, and has festivities all day and some continue into the weekend.
We braved the cold this morning to go watch the parade. After a week of 90-100 degree temperatures, today has been a real drag. It's in the 50s out and the sky has been threatening rain. Subsequently, all I'm interested in doing today is drinking coffee and blogging.
I really should be studying for finals. But I have all weekend and Monday so I think I'm going to take a mental health day. I need it.
I've been itching to get some pictures of our home on here so I can begin the process of posting "home improvement" updates. But alas, that would require that I get up and clean's just not that kind of day.
So the point of this post is to update you on my lack of updates, I suppose.
You're welcome.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Yes, I am changing the focus of my blog once again! I have added tabs at the top...see? Only 1 person voted in the poll for me to have posts about interior design but it is a passion and hobby of mine so I wanted to incorporate it somehow. I will do so in the form of updates on our home and how we are making it more "ours". I also added a tab for a wishlist so I could feature products that I like.
And I added a tab for my wedding! Because everyone loves a good wedding sneak peek...and I think mine was particularly wonderful ;)
There are also buttons now to share my blog on facebook or twitter so if you see a post you like, feel free to share! Actually, I would love if you did!

Well, it's dead week and next week is finals so I'm not going to have time to do much else for at least a week or two. What do you think of the new additions? Do you think they're worth while-anything else you would add? Thanks for reading and check back soon!

Be Lovely!

Monday, May 9, 2011

The results are in...

...and it's a darn good thing I asked for your opinion! No one voted for me to continue in the fitness updates. And truth be told, I was bored with it, too. I'll still put those in posts every once in a while but it won't be my main focus.
The general consensus seemed to be that I should just write general insights and such. Sounds great to me!
So be on the lookout for some new content and perhaps a new layout. Thanks to the 7 of you who voted :)

Be lovely!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Update and P90X

When I left you last I was running in the 6th week of C25K...right? My running buddy and I are still running 3 days a week. We are running 25 minutes at a time which gets us a little over 2 miles. I feel like we could run 3 if we wanted to, though.
My husband and I just started P90X this Monday. Holy. Cow. That is quite a workout! I can't remember the last time I was as sore as I've been this week-maybe cheer camp in highschool. We are on the 4th day now-yoga-which I'm totally looking forward to.
Even with all this activity, my energy level is at an all time low. I went grocery shopping last night to get the foods needed for the P90X nutrition plan. I'm hoping that it will provide some fuel. Because all I want to do these days is sleep.
Anybody else that has done P90X felt completely beat-up the first few days?

The next order of business:
I feel there are other areas of my life that I want to express and blog about. I'm enlisting my readers. Here are some options I've been considering:

-Interior design/home: I would journal and photograph projects around the house as we make our apartment our home. I would list favorite products and ideas I find around the web. Also, there would be a place to post questions or send in photos of problem areas of your home and I would create a 3D room or moodboard to help!

-The road to grad school: I would document my life as a student entering grad school, all the ups and downs included.

-General insights: These would be general writings that I feel inspired to post. Poems, thoughts, etc.

-Keep doing fitness posts: Pretty self explanatory-but I promise to update more often ;)

Please vote in the poll to the right.
Thank you all!!
Be lovely :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Week 5...again

My running partner and I have been really consistent in our runs since the weather has warmed up. We are on week 5 of C25k...still. Day 2 of Week 5 requires two 8 minute runs with a 5 minute walk in between. We have done Day 2 four times so far. Day 3 calls for a 20 minute run with no walking we're a bit scared. We have been getting better with each run but the thought of the 20 minute run still hangs over our heads. After our run last night we decided that Friday we would attempt the 20 minute run. The way we see it is that even if we only run 10 minutes of it we are still doing better than this week. And if we run all 20 we will be ecstatic! So...totally worth it.

I really need to do a workout today since it's an off-day (meaning we don't run today). Abs and arms would probably be best so my legs aren't sore for our run tomorrow.

I'll keep you posted on how that 20 minute run goes. Wish me luck!

Oh. Happy St. Patty's Day!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

90 Days Until Vacation!

We booked our cruise this past weekend! We are both so excited. For me, the preparation has begun. The way I see it, I have 90 days to get my rear in gear! I'm really glad I've already started running and working out a bit because it will make it easier on me but now I'm so determined to get great results. The nice thing about a Canadian destination is that it is quite a bit cooler there, even in June. So I'll be wearing cover ups and wraps, which helps! I was initially bummed at the milder temperatures but I've switched gears and I think it will be a welcomed break from our southern (kind of) summer. I'm thinking: The Hamptons meet J Crew. I need to get some oversized sunglasses, a big floppy sun hat, some wide leg linen pants, and a sheer white cover up. Perfect.
Over the next (13?) weeks, I'll be continuing running the C25k program and rededicating myself to my toning workouts. I'm also going to cut out soda.
Canadian Cruise, here I come!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

4 week photos

My running partner and I finished the 4th week of C25k tonight. Not only does that mean that we'll be moving on to week 5 on Monday (and with it, a 20 minute run on Friday), but it also means that I am due for halfway photos. I took before pictures before I started running, the program is 9 weeks long, so the end of the 4th week is almost right. We took them tonight and I do notice a bit of a difference...phew. As usual, I haven't decided if I'm going to post the pictures. On one hand I am trying to be honest and candid in my journey in hopes that others will be inspired and motivated to do the same. On the other hand...I'm half nakey. So...

From here on out I'm going to make a real point to do my toning workouts everyday. I haven't been very consistent with them and you can tell in the pictures. I hate to discount all the cardio work I'm doing to lose the fat in front of the muscles by not doing the work I need to do to build the muscles. And that pesky chin fat...ugh. I know that comes with diet modification. I feel like I have that area pretty under control. I am much better at moderation and portion control than I have been in the past. I'm not too worried :)

I still have 5 weeks of C25k left and vacation isn't for 9 weeks after that. So I'll take another set of pictures at the end of C25k and maybe you guys will get to see those. Maybe.

Friday, March 4, 2011

How did I forget to mention...?

I've lost 5 lbs! I have yet to buy a scale of my own so whenever I go to my parents' house I weigh myself on their scale. There was a dispute on the accuracy of the scale but my thought is that I've only ever weighed myself on that one so my weight loss is still consistent...right?
Also, last night we went to Target to buy some things for our bathroom. They had a really good swimsuit selection so I thumbed through and found some to try on.
Victory #1: I didn't cry in the dressing room!
Victory #2: I found one I liked!
Victory #3: I went home with a new black bikini!
It's definitely motivation to kick the workouts into high gear and to count my Oreos!

What victories (even small ones like not crying in the Target dressing room) are you counting these days?

Week 4 of C25K

Today is Friday (yay!) and I am supposed to run my 2nd day of week 4 of C25k this evening. The rain has been holding off for us (knock on wood) so I'm hoping we can get our run in. The 1st day of the 4th week was particularly rough for me. I felt so out of breath about 3/4 of the time. No fun. So I really want to be able to move through this week consistently or I'm worried I'll never get passed it. Even if my friend isn't able to go run tonight I may still get out. I could probably use the extra day, anyway.
I have been fighting sleep all afternoon. Even as I'm typing this I'm so tempted to sleep. But if I nap now then I won't be able to get to bed early like I'd planned. I need to be well rested because (drum roll, please) I'm having a "Me" day tomorrow!! Yay! Here's my itinerary:
-Wake up and go for a morning run or bike ride
-Go have breakfast, coffee, read a book, and visit with a friend
-Go tanning
-Go have a hair appointment!
-Home for lunch with my lovely family
-Afternoon nap
-Homemade dinner and baked good!
-Movie night with my hubby

Most of my favorite things squished into one day...nice.
First, I have to get through today. Which probably means I should nap now so that when my girly goes to bed and my hubby is writing music I can stay up and get things done. Joy.

Everybody's workin' for the weekend!

HP Mini 210

I am currently blogging from my new HP Mini netbook that just came in today! I'm already in love with it. It is so little and easy to sit with in my favorite chair and type. It's still big enough so that I'm not straining my eyes which has been a problem trying to blog from my iPhone. I bought it so I had my own computer for school but I am enjoying it on this Friday afternoon for so much more. L-O-V-E.
And, it's pink :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Week 3 of C25K and Go Mommy, Go!

After a short hiatus from the running world, I am back on track! While on a weekend trip in Oklahoma, I backtracked and ran 2 days of week 2. The Tuesday that I was back home, my running partner and I started Week 3. Tomorrow (Friday) will be the 3rd day of Week 3. We are running intervals of 3 minutes now and I have to say, it isn't as bad as I was building up. Because we are running more the run goes by so quickly. I'm loving it! The downside is that I tracked our mileage and we are only running about 1.8 miles. That makes the 3 mile goal seem like forever away!
I haven't been keeping up with my training and toning workouts-which I really need to be doing. I'm planning on doing one from the Nike Training Club app (which I highly recommend) while my daughter naps today.
I've been looking up some upcoming 5k runs that I can participate in. So far I am definitely going to do the Tulsa Run in October. I think that gives me plenty of time! There is also one in the Spring that looks really fun. Since that one is sooner I hope that it would motivate me to really get working.
I've set up a page on Facebook called Go Mommy, Go. It is in place in the hopes that my other Mommy-friends will use it as a place to communicate with other Mommies who are on the same journey as they are. Whether a beginner or a pro at juggling fitness and motherhood, we could all use some support and advice. If you follow my blog and you are a Mom who has gone through, is going through, or has been thinking of starting back a fitness routine, please join that page! I think it will be a blast when it gets going!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pardon Me

I have had a noticeable absence in the blog world lately. Mostly because I've had nothing new or exciting to share. Truth is, I haven't be keeping up with my program AT ALL the last couple of weeks. I think I was hibernating.
But Spring is giving us a sneak peek this week so I'm back in the swing of things! Starting today I am logging my food intake again and I'm going running tonight.
My hubby and I are pretty well decided on our vacation plans and I'll be in a wedding this summer so I have a couple of goal dates to stay focused on.
Stick with me!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Blizzard of Oz 2011

Our C25K progress has been put on pause momentarily. It's much too cold and snow packed to run outside and our 7 day trial at the Fitness Center is up. I suppose I could pay the $3 each time we go but they have already called me twice about signing up for a membership-something I'm just not going to do at this point. Furthermore, my running partner has hurt her knee so she is giving it time to heal. We made a deal today that we would run for sure on Friday. That will put us at Day 3 of Week 2.
I tried to run off the program last Sunday. It was cold outside but not snowing yet. I ran really well for the first part of my run but then I had to start doing intervals again. I was still proud of myself. I did much more than I could have a month ago, for sure. When I got home, however, I felt so out of it! My face felt swollen and I was so exhausted. I'm sure it was a funny sight.
School started up again on Tuesday. Already I'm worried about my ability to keep up my workouts when the workload begins to pile up. I'm determined to make it work even though my priority will always be school work over working out.
My food intake has been pretty good lately. My husband brought me some Oreos home today. Time for a treat! I deserve it...right?
All that this weather is making me want to do lately is sleep and eat. And I've done a bit of both. I don't feel guilty about it. I'm not about to deny myself the occasional Oreo--I feel like my personality would create some dangerous back and forth with food and that would not be healthy. It's important to be realistic with ourselves when making fitness goals so that our lifestyle change can be more permanent. I can live without my iced white chocolate mochas everyday (whoa, never thought I could say that and mean it!), but I have a sweet tooth almost constantly so I have to find something to fill that craving or I will go crazy and eat a pint of Phish Food when I get a chance. My favorite thing is trail mix with chocolate chips or the desert yogurts. It's enough to curve my craving but I don't feel like I just binged when I'm done. And I can have one everyday and still stay on track.

What indulgences do you allow yourself when you have a fitness goal? What can you live without?

Monday, January 31, 2011

Summer Lovin'

Lately, I can't stop thinking about vacation. Who could blame me? All this freezing rain and wind gets My husband and I have decided that this year we are going to try to go on a nice vaca (just the two of us) with our tax return money. We've tossed around Hawaii, the Caribbean, and Alaska. My vote at this point is the Caribbean. I have been on quite a few cruises and always enjoyed them so we were thinking of going that route. But neither of us are too keen on sitting with people we don't know and trying to strike up conversation every night at dinner with people we'll probably never see again. So now we are looking into all-inclusive resorts.
All this rambling isn't the point of this post, really.

The point is: what better motivation to get into shape is there than the thought of wearing a bathing suit in 5 months? One problem...I don't own a bathing suit anymore. So guess who has spent a lot of time online window-shopping? :)
While the Victoria's Secret Models in the pictures don't do a lot for my self-esteem, they sure do make me think twice about that ice cream craving I've had for the past 2 days. Here are my favorite suits at this point.

Clockwise from top left:
-I just love the t-back look! I think it's so pretty! I've always kind of liked my back, too (weird, I know) so why not accentuate it?
-Aren't the ruffles pretty? I love the femininity!
-Zebra. I don't think I'll ever get tired of it (in moderation, of course). And VS is so great for making push-up bikini tops. I'm loyal to their-uh-support; this one is almost a must.
-I really just love the color of this suit. This style is also a push-up top.

Each of these suits gets pricey but one or two would probably be a good investment!
And who could forget the necessity of the cover-up? Here is my favorite:

Most resorts and cruises have dress codes for dinner. No problem, here! One of my favorite parts about vacation is getting much more dressed up than you would in your everyday life. Here is my idea of the perfect dinner wardrobe for a 4 night vacation:

Clockwise from top left:
-This dress is so lovely! I love that color-it's so sunny and vacation-y! From Ruche.
-I think the word "sailing" is in the name of this dress. Perfect. From Modcloth.
-I love this romper. It's casual, but with the right pair of wedges and bangle bracelets it could easily be dressed up. From Ruche.
-Formal night! This dress is simple, but so pretty! I love the floof on the top. I think it would be gorgeous with some nude/blush pumps and no jewelry except for a chunky statement ring. From Modcloth. imaginary closet is happy now.

What are some of your favorite vacation spots? Do you find that thinking of fitting into a bathing suit helps or hinders your workout process?

Friday, January 28, 2011


Today is supposed to be the third and final day of Week 2. But, my running partner is going to be gone until tomorrow morning. So, we're going to run bright and early on Saturday! As you know if you read my previous post, I'm in a bit of a funk. It's supposed to be a surprising (and refreshing) 63 degrees today so I can't waste that on sitting around inside. I'm considering running the program today anyway and then I'll just have an extra day under my belt. Maybe I'll hook up the running stroller and take my daughter out to be a "running guy" with me.
Ahh...sounds nice.

Thank you all for reading and supporting me! I love reading your comments and they really mean a lot to me. I don't think there is a notification system that will tell you if I respond to one so check back often because I usually do! Thanks for the encouragement and support!
Be lovely!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Week 2 Day 2 of C25K and New Shoes

Hello everyone! Yesterday was the second day of the second week of C25K (confused yet?) and I had a lovely gift in the mail! My shoes came in yesterday!! In case you missed it, I ended up ordering the Nike Free Run + and I already love them! As soon as I took them out of the box I was convinced. They are so lightweight! Initially, I was concerned because they're so light and flexible that I wouldn't get enough support but immediately after I put them on that concern disappeared. My feet feel perfectly cradled in these shoes. I feel the support without also feeling the force of over-correction. I wore them around the house the whole afternoon and couldn't wait to take them on a run that night.
We went to the Fitness Club again on Wednesday to run on the treadmills. That was the last day of our free trial so for day 3 of week 2 we'll be back outside again! My feet felt amazing during the run, the only thing that bugged me was that I felt a lot more pull on my calves and whatever muscles are around my shin. I'm not sure if my running form isn't just wrong, though. During my run, it dawned on me that I heard somewhere that you're supposed to actively engage your thighs in the pull upward during your run. I could've completely made that up or been smushing ideas from cheerleading together, but it made sense. I tried that and it really did make a huge difference. I concentrated on using my thighs and glutes and I feel it took a lot of stress off my ankles and heels.
At the end of our run, I was sitting on the couch with my shoes off. It was odd how much my feet didn't hurt. I was so relieved. These shoes aren't miracle workers or anything like that, my feet are still a bit achey today as they always are after I've been on them for a while. But, finding a shoe that works with your foot and not against it seems so important! I have to admit, I'm a bit worried that I'm going to become oddly attached to these shoes. I feel like, in a silly way, they are on this journey with me.
Anyway, now that I've officially been a weirdo.
Let's be real. I've had a REALLY tough past few days. I have gone over my caloric budget the last 4 days in a row and other than the running program, I haven't been doing of my at-home workouts. I don't know what my problem is. I have nothing to blame my lack of activity on. School has been easy as pie (mmm...pie), I'm still very supported. I am going to make myself do a workout today and hopefully that will start the cycle back up again. With all of that said, I do feel more energized than I did when I wasn't running or anything. But I know I can't get to my goal just running 20 minutes every other day.
I've done well today and if I complete that workout I will feel much better about things. My 14 hour semester starts on Tuesday. I'm hoping I can keep up my workout schedule even when I have consistent homework.
Any of you been where I am now? How did you get out of your funk?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

C25K Update-W1D3 & W2D1

Last Friday concluded Week 1 of C25K. It was such a relief and a small victory to get through the first week! But, I couldn't rejoice long because I knew that Week 2 was going to gradually get more difficult.
I had a pretty rough weekend. I wasn't feeling 100% and I gave in to the temptation that is a Dairy Queen Blizzard. That one treat doubled my caloric intake for that day and set me in the direction to make horrible food decision the rest of the weekend. I was pretty down on myself but my hubby reminded me that I can just start new on Monday.
So that's what I did! Yesterday was Monday and the first day of Week 2 of C25K. We went to the fitness center to run on the treadmills which I'm beginning to enjoy much more. Week 2 calls to add 30 seconds to both walking and running. At the beginning I was really feeling the extra 30 seconds of running, but by the end of it it wasn't so bad. The worst thing about last night's run was the shoes I was wearing. My Nike Shox had been so heavy and were hurting my feet so I switched to my old cheer shoes, also Nikes. The problem with these shoes was that they were probably 1/2 a size too small. My toes were really crammed and I walked away with blisters. Needless to say, I can't wait for my new shoes to get here!

Today I'll leave you with this: Do not allow one bad choice to have the power to control the rest of your choices, your mood, or your weekend. I think this applies to every aspect of life. If you're caught up in the poor choices you've made, you won't be open to allow yourself to make a good choice. Be nice to yourself and move on :)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

And the winner is...

The Nike Free Run+ ! I have done a lot of reading about my foot type and pronation and these seem like the best fit for me. I have yet to try them on which may be a bit foolish but none of the stores within a 50 mile radius of me have these available in-store (dumb!). I ordered from Zappos because they have amazing customer service and I know they make returns and exchanges super easy. But I'm not concerned. I've worn Nikes for cheer shoes and I have Nike Shox that I'm currently running in (not a good idea, by the way) so I know what size I need. And I read tons of reviews and had a good review from one of my best friends so I'm confident! I can't wait til they get here! I'll keep you all posted!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

My Workout Soundtrack

I work the best with music. It helps me block out noises of my domestic surroundings and helps me stay focused on the workout and not what's on Oprah. What might surprise some of you is what I like to listen to. I usually turn on Pandora and take whatever it gives me, but through my journey I have found some favorites. I've put together a list of some of my faves.
In no particular order:

1. Get Your Freak On-Missy Elliot (I recommend the radio version...not quite as crass)
2. Push It-Salt N Pepa (this one is a must have)
3. That's Not My Name-The Ting Tings (I also really like Shut Up and Let Me Go)
4. Shake It-Metro Station (This one is fun for cardio)
5. Girls-The Beastie Boys (duh!)
6. The Way You Move-Outkast (again, radio version is optimal)
7. Magic-B.o.B (this is just a fun song!)
8. Renegades of Funk-Rage Against the Machine (a little bit off the beaten path, but perfect)
9. It's Trickey-Run DMC (hello, who doesn't love this song?)
10. Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger-Daft Punk (they probably wrote this song for work outs)

What do you like to listen to when working out?

C25K-Week 1 Day 2

Yesterday was day 2 of my C25K training. It was icy and freezing last night and the roads were super slick so we opted to go to the McPherson Athletic Club and run on the treadmills. I was apprehensive initially because I have never been on a treadmill seriously and because working in a gym can be a bit intimidating. There did prove to be some major gym rats there and one chick that looked like Barbie, but I didn't feel inferior or self-conscious. Once we got on our treadmills and I put my earbuds in, I was in my own little world.
I have to say, I enjoyed the change. I feel I ran a lot better when I could set my speed and stay consistent in going that speed throughout the 20 minutes. I feel like when I was running outside I considerably slowed toward the end of my run. Also, because we weren't outside in the cold I didn't have that annoying cold air in my lungs.
We are still going to try to run outside on Friday but we have a free 7 day pass so we'll see!
This morning, I'm feeling pretty sore. I'm definitely going to be doing yoga/pilates for my workout today. I don't think I could handle much more but I don't want to take a complete break.
How are your weight-loss and fitness goals going? Everyone sticking to their New Year's Resolution?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Body Image and the Role Moms Play on Our Daughter's Self Esteem

After taking the proverbial "before" pictures, I put them on the computer and began to look through them. As I scrolled from picture to picture, I narrated with gasps and "Ew!"s. I did not hide the fact that I was disgusted with what I saw in the pictures. When my sweet, 2 year old daughter asked me what I was looking at and if she could also look, I invited her to sit by me and see the pictures. The first thing she said was, "Gwoss!"
I was initially a bit wounded. On one hand, I know children are always brutally honest, but on the other hand I always saw my Mom as beautiful even when she didn't see herself that way. When I talked about it with my husband, he pointed out that she was only copying the emotion that I was displaying.
That hit a real nerve for me. I realized that she was, in that moment, learning what to say about her body by watching and listening to what I was saying about mine. Essentially, when I am allowing myself to call my body disgusting, I am telling her that that is acceptable. It broke my heart.
She is the most beautiful being to me, nothing about her is flawed. It hurts me to think that someday she may look in the mirror and be unhappy about what she sees. It is my job, and now my mission, to teach her to love herself, to love her body, no matter what she sees in the mirror. I am more determined than ever to change my habits and to set a good example for her.
I hope all you Mommas out there are telling your little girls how beautiful they are everyday. I hope you are teaching them how to take care of their bodies, and most of all, I hope you are reminding yourself of your own beauty and cultivating love in your family.

C25K-Week 1 Day 1

As you all know, I ran my first day of C25K last night. It was 40 something degrees and very slushy. We had had a big snowfall last week and the streets were very slushy and icy in patches, the sidewalks were clear, though so I preferred to run there. I ran with a friend (and her dog) and, I have to say, I don't think I would've pushed as hard without her there. I really needed the accountability last night. The first day's program calls for 60 seconds of jogging, 90 seconds of walking, and so on, for a total of 2o minutes (30 minutes if you include the warm up and cool down 5 minute walks which bookend the interval training). By the 4th jogging interval I was really pushing myself. My lungs were burning from the cold air, my legs were heavy and prickly, and I felt I was moving slower than a walk. Of course, a little over half way through, self doubt kicks in. I was really wondering if I was going to be able to complete this program. "What if Friday comes and I'm not ready to move to the next interval program?" "What if my legs quit and I completely eat sidewalk?" "What if I barf?"
As I turned the corner and I saw my house, and the C25K app in my ear gave me the go-ahead to begin my cool-down walk, I immediately thought to myself, "Well, that wasn't so bad!"
It is because of the feeling I had at the very end of the run, because of how proud my husband looked when I came through the door and practically collapsed on the floor, because my daughter keeps calling me a "running guy", that I will go back out on Wednesday and leave all my self-doubt at home.
A few hours after my run last night I was feeling very sore and shake-y. But, this morning when I stepped out of bed, I was surprisingly not as sore as I thought I would be. I can tell my muscles are a bit tight, so I need to stretch, but overall I feel great!
I'm really looking forward to seeing progress as I continue this training :)
I'm feeling lovely today, are you?

Monday, January 17, 2011

My Favorite Workouts So Far

Because I workout at home, I have been using workouts that I've found online, mostly at I've loved each one I've tried so far. I want to share them so those of you who may be working out at home can use this amazing resource as well!

Here is a great overall workout if you don't have any equipment. It hits almost every area and it's challenging enough to keep you on your toes!

This next one is great for lower body. You'll need some light hand weights.

My last workout doesn't have a video with it-just a slideshow. Don't let that stop you, the directions are very easy to follow and once you've done each exercise a few times they'll be easy to recall how to do them next time. This is such a fun arm workout. Again, you'll need some light hand weights. To see this workout, click here.

Hope these are helpful. Happy exercising!

Smart Choices When Eating on the Go

One of the biggest things I've learned in the short time that I've been watching my calorie count is that you can blow your whole day on one bad choice. For example, last week I went to Sonic to use a coupon for a buy one, get one free burger deal. We were short on time and cash so it seemed like an easy fix. I got a regular burger with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and mustard. I split a Dr. Pepper with my husband and I gave myself about 1 cup. I also took about 1/4 of his french fries. The hamburger was 560 calories, the Dr. Pepper was 100 calories, and the fries were 112 calories. The total of my meal was 772 calories. That may not seem like too much but that was over half of my daily budget. And I felt yucky and sluggish for the rest of the day. The rest of my day was shot and I went over my daily budget by 174 calories.
In comparison, today we went to Arby's for lunch. Knowing how tough my "Sonic day" had been, I tried to make better choices. I got a Jr. Turkey Ranch sandwich, a side salad (with light ranch dressing) and a diet Dr. Pepper. My sandwich was only 220 calories, the side salad with the dressing was a total of 145 calories, and the diet Dr. Pepper was, of course, 0 calories. My total caloric intake for that meal was 365 calories. I was completely full at the end of it and I didn't even finish my salad. Lesson learned!

I'm also learning quickly about empty calories. I only have a limited amount of calories I can consume per day, why waste them on foods that aren't doing anything to fuel my body? If an ice cream bar is worth 180 calories but only goes against all the work I'm doing with my workouts, why would I choose to eat that instead of a spoon of peanut butter? The peanut butter still curves my craving, it's still sweet, but at least it's packed with protein!

I'm looking forward to our next shopping trip. I'm really interested in getting healthy snacks so I can graze through the day and keep my metabolism going. I love the idea of healthy trail mixes and smoothies I can slurp on in class. Anyone have any healthy and yummy recipes?

As I mentioned in my last post, tonight is my first night to train with the Couch to 5K program. I'm a bit nervous but only because I don't know what I am capable (or incapable) of. I'm going to take the advice of my wise Daddy and make sure I at least finish the exercise, even if I have to walk when it's telling me to jog. Really hoping I can give you all a good report this time tomorrow!
Stay tuned and be lovely!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011


I took the dreaded "before" pictures 2 nights ago. After looking through them I've opted not to post them until have an "after" to go with. I'm all about honesty, just not quite ready to put myself out there like that. I'll take another one at the 4 week mark and if there's good improvement I'll consider posting them side by side. We'll see.
In other news, I have been using the Lose It! app on my iPhone and I love it! It counts your daily caloric intake and you can add exercise and it calculates how many calories you've burned. Each day it tracks your progress and you can customize your caloric budget based on your weight loss goal. Mine is set to lose 1 lb per week and to eventually lose 15 lbs. This restricts my diet to about 1,335 calories per day. That is below the recommended amount for my height and age, but I never feel starved so I'm going to roll with it! It is teaching me a lot about smart meal choices and portion control. I'm also understanding what they mean by "empty" calories. I've been using this app consistently for a week today. Time to hit the scales!
I've also been doing some workout routines that I found on I'm loving them. I'll do a separate post about that later.
First day of Couch to 5k tomorrow! Wish me luck, and as always, be lovely!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

My Perfect Training Shoe

As many of you know, I was born with clubbed feet and have to take extra care of my feet. I have never let my limited mobility hinder me in athletics and I'm not going to start now. Because of the kind of training I'll be doing it is important for me to find a supportive, but cushioned shoe. I have a high arch and my feet are slightly wide (not to mention a size 5...yick). I'll be running but I'll also be doing some toning exercises and light calisthenics so I don't want a run-specific shoe. And, silly as it sounds, I care what they look like. Here are 3 pair that I have been considering. If anyone has any feedback, please share.
New Balance WX812BP-$89.95

Reebok RunTone Action W-$99.99

New Balance WR7500-$74.95

Yes, my favorite color is pink.

Jan. 13, 2011

Hello, all! It's been a while since I've posted. Once school hit hard that is where my priority was!

I'm going to be starting a new workout routine on Sunday, but I must say, I'm so excited about it that I want to start now! I'm going to be doing the Couch to 5K running program with a friend. The goal of the program is to be ready to run a 5k (3 miles) in 9 weeks. I've never been an avid runner but one of my goals is to run a race so I figured the 5K would do =)
I'm also going to be doing toning and strength-training on my off days. I have taken the past week or so to begin stretching and eating well to sort of prep myself for what is to come.
My goal is to lose about 10-15 pounds which probably seems like vanity, but I know what my body is supposed to carry and I'm really tired of feeling so sluggish and squishy! Before I had my daughter I weighed a fairly consistent 103 lbs. I don't expect to get down to that weight again, but if I tone up I know I'll look and feel ten times better!
I'm going to be blogging a few times a week to document my progress and also for some accountability. I've considered posting before and after pictures--we'll see. All of my workouts will be done at home so I'll be posting the sources of my routines.
Thank you for the support and, as always, be lovely!