Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I'll take a 1986 kid, please

Whenever I refer to years, it reminds me of the way my parents refer to their favorite wines, or scotches.  They always talk about the year the wine was produced.  Like, "Oh the Cab from 1998 had so much acidity", or "2002 was good for California wines."

You heard it first, people:  my parents are California wine snobs.

Where was I going with that?  Oh yeah.  1986.  It's Look-back Link-up day!  The day when I get to show you oodles of baby pictures, and have a legitimate reason for doing so.

Shaping Up To Be A Mom

I was an infant/toddler-ish in 1986; I started out 6 months old, and ended it at 1.5.  I want you to know that I was probably the happiest baby to ever grace planet Earth.  My mom wants to assure you that they didn't drug me to induce such good behavior.  Seriously, people asked her.  I did my best to not pick pictures that only show me actively posing for the camera.  As I looked through them, that's a vast majority of what I found.  **Note: This is the point of no return for those of you who have told me that pictures of babies cause pain to your ovaries.  It only gets worse from here.**

This man was a champion trick-roper in his day.  And a darn fine cookie eater in mine.
You recognize my best friend from 1985?  She makes another appearance!

Hellooooooooo presents
I would still wear a dress like this.  Oh yes I would

So, what we've learned so far:  I've been greedy from a young age, and I come by my love of pink and purple pretty honestly.  I don't think anyone was telling my mom what a handsome little boy she had!  Now, I want to introduce you to my best friend in 1986:

Meet Rufus.  He was a cocker spaniel yellow lab mix.  He looks kinda like a lab puppy, but he was out of the puppy phase when we got him.  He liked to like my face and eat crayons.

Some of you know that I think mascots and clowns are the creepiest people on Earth.  As it turns out, I very much thought that in 1986 at a trip to Knott's Berry Farm.  Can we all take a moment to appreciate my mom's 1986 look?  The hair and the aviators do it for me every time.

Where were you, and what were you doing in 1986?  I would love for you to link up below and let everyone know!

When it gets hard

Yesterday, I officially started week 8 of ChaLean Extreme.  Yup, I'm still plugging away, despite that injury that put me out for a week and a half at the end of June/Early July.  So far, I've seen some pretty cool results, like these:

  So, 9.25 inches in 2 months.  That's an average of about 4.625 inches a month.  A part of me is beyond thrilled about these results.  I've worked really hard, and my body is transforming.  Slowly, but it is getting there.

The perfectionist in me keeps whispering "It isn't good enough", and "You'll never hit your goals at this rate".

Nobody causes you to fail, except for yourself.  I haven't failed yet.  The only way I fail, is when I decided that I will no longer press forward, that I will no longer stay the course I have set out. 

That little voice inside is right:  these aren't the results I wanted.  Yet.  But they are better than what I had 2 months ago, and this whole shebang isn't over yet.  So today, as things are hard, I remember that it isn't over until I say it is.  This is my life, not some race, not some game.  Speed doesn't matter here.  Being my best does.

Linking up with Allison for Tone Up Tuesday!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday, Funday!

Oh wait, is that not what most people think of when they hear Monday?  Shoot...

Well, this week, I'm not sure it's a Funday either.  Finals week starts Wednesday, and both of my classes have assignments, quizzes, and finals all to get done in the next 8 days.  So, if you have questions about advanced Excel usage, or macroeconomics, I am your girl right now.  Otherwise, I may look at you blankly and start talking about the benefits and drawbacks to using monetary policy over fiscal policy when trying to end a recession.

Who wants that???

I have done nothing worth noting over the weekend.  Worked Saturday.  Did macroeconomics homework, then went home and watched the opening ceremonies that I'd taped from Friday night and let Ammon do the cooking.  That's right, Ammon cooked something.  And it was even good.  I have to tell you, he has only cooked for me twice in the last 2 years, and there is a good reason for it.  But I have faith that he is learning, slowly but surely.

Sunday was full-scale homework day.  I busted through 2 chapters of Excel, the homework, quizzes, and discussions.  We also went out to lunch, because I was starving.  I ate an entire bowl of chips with 2 bowls of salsa to myself, plus my entree.  Ammon ate a quarter of his lunch, and then packed up the rest for me.  All this working out makes a girl HUNGRY!  Speaking of, I did sneak that in  too.  40 minutes of high intensity interval training.  And when I measured myself Sunday morning, I found that I had lost 4 inches in 2 weeks.  Holla!!!

Okay, so some things of note did take place.  And Im aware that I shouldn't attempt to be gangster.  It doesn't work.

What's the plan for today, you ask?  Well, as it turns out, I was asked to be the co-host for August's Look-back link-up!  I hadn't anticipated participating for 1986, but how can you turn down that amazing opportunity?

Shaping Up To Be A Mom

So I'll be raiding my parents' basement for awesome photos to show you of that cool stuff.  Warning: avoid my blog on Wed if you don't want to see adorable baby pictures.  Not my fault now if you click over, get baby fever, and try your best to talk your significant other into knocking you up.  That's what my lawyer cousin tells me (no, she didn't, but it sounds legit, doesn't it?).

Otherwise, I'll be hanging out at home studying and working out.  Are you so jealous of my life right now?  I know you must be.  Who doesn't want to read an economics text book written by a full-of-himself-in-the-worst-way Nobel Laureate?

Hope you are having a splendid Monday, lovies!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Chicken and Capitalism

So if you keep up with current events at all, you've probably heard all this business about Chick-Fil-A recently, and their stance on gay marriage. If you haven't, log onto yahoo and check out their headlines. You'll find plenty.

One great thing to come out of all of this is that people are figuring out ways to re-create their favorite Fil-A at home. I used this recipe to create some chicken tenders for dinner last night and Oh. My. Goodness.  Love at first bite, guys.  Love at first bite.  Just take a look:

But something else great about this whole thing is that it really shows how capitalism can work.  For instance, a lot of people found out something about the beliefs and practices of a company.  Now, we as Americans get to choose if we will continue to support their business, or if we'll find a different way to satisfy our needs.  I am so very, very proud and thankful to be an American at times like this, times when I see people choose for themselves what's right and wrong, and letting the business succeed or fail as a result.

I still haven't made a clear decision on if I will continue to support Chick-Fil-A or not.  I support their right to believe what they want, and operate their business accordingly.  However, I think love is love, and I do not support government's intervention in deciding who is "married" and who is not.  For instance:  Back in the day, the government said that Irish people couldn't marry Italians.  How would you feel if this was still the case???

It's funny how a little chicken can stir up so much debate.  But I'm glad it's happening, and I hope that it happens more.  Bravo America.  Bravo.

And whatever you decide, make the ever loving chicken at home, mmmk?  Or get your spouse to do it... whatever works best in your household.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ammon's important hiking advice

So, Tuesday's post was dedicated to Alyx.  Today's post is dedicated to everyone's favorite long distance hiker, Twiggy.  See, she did a guest post a while back about positions... it can be found here.  When I told Ammon about said post, he decided that Twiggy is one of the coolest bloggers I follow... until she told me I should freeze and recycle leftovers in my comments one day.  Ammon's a comment reader.  He feels like he knows you guys now, because he reads comments.

But seriously, her blog and the photos that she takes are incredible.  She makes me believe that one day I could go on a multiple-day hike without being absolutely paranoid that a bear will catch my  scent and decide it's time to bulk up for winter.  And she posts lots of pictures of newborns.  That's always a plus.

So, while we were hiking in South Dakota over the weekend, we snapped a few photos that depict some variations of the positions Twiggy described [in her guest post] in such amazing detail.  Behold:

To get this right, he really needed to arch his back more.  But, you get the idea.

You really need a pretty good amount of upper body strength for this one.

I thought I'd throw this one in... this is probably the best ever, if you can find two rocks that are just the perfect distance apart, and have a nice drop-off in between.

So, what are your ideal hiking "positions"?  Do you take awkward  pictures that look like you could be pooping in the woods?  Just us?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Christmas time, is near

A couple of months ago, I thought it would be really fun to participate in the Christmas in July gift swap.  Basically, it was an excuse to get even more presents during my birth month.  What's better than that?

I was paired with the sweet Morgan from Stars, Stripes, and a Military Life.  And I'm not going to lie... Morgan puts together a pretty stellar gift package.  Wanna see?  I thought you would.

This is the adorable gift bag she sent!

How cute is her handwriting???  Maybe I could pay her to address wedding invitations for me =).

No girl ever has enough yummy smelling lotion.

I never would have thought this even existed... But I'm so glad I know now!

This smells so good, even before making the dip.  Can't wait to try it!

The cutest little silicone baking molds.  I think these are going to make some amazing peanut butter cups.  Oh yeah, that's how we do it at my house.

So, thank you again, Morgan!  I am so stoked for everything you sent.  Wanna see what loot everyone else got?  Head over here and check out all the other awesome people who decided Christmas is best celebrated at least twice a year.  Have a lovely day, ladies (and boyfriend)!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I'm baaaaaaack!

I missed you all so, so much!  We were in Keystone, SD the last few days, and it was so weird to e without computer... without cell phone reception for a 3 day weekend!  Who really does that anymore???  Oh, I guess we do. 

So today's post is dedicated to Alyx... Yes, I know I've been talking about her a lot lately.  She is just so dang cool!  So what I haven't told you before about her is that she's basically my twin... who's younger than me, taller, prettier, and born in the fall to a different set of parents.  But other than that, we could absolutely be twins.  Well, so I was talking to the twin one night in June, and I told her that Ammon and I would be taking a trip to Mount Rushmore in July.  And you know what she told me???  That she was going on the same trip a week and a half before Ammon and I!  You'd better believe I was begging and pleading for her to change the dates of her trip.  I am shameless, guys.  Shameless.  Alas, it wasn't meant to be (this time). 

But I knew something that would be almost as good.  I was determined that I would go to some of the same places she went, and take pictures to prove we ALMOST met.  Yup, totally stalkerish.  I don't care.

Alyx recommended checking out Sylvan Lake, and we are so glad that she did.  You can read her post about it here.  I wanted to do the same hike she did, but somehow I failed on that front.  So we did the Sunday Gulch Trail, rated as strenuous, 3 miles long, and should take the average hiker 2-3 hours.  We did it in 1 hour, 30 minutes. 

So, this butterfly landed just long enough for me to snap a photo before it flew away

The vast majority of this hie was straight up bushwhacking on an 8-inch wide path, following trail markers on trees.  But at one end of the loop are these guard rails... because everything gets steep and dangerous.  This picture does not do it justice, but maybe this one of Ammon will better illustrate my point:
Oh, and I forgot to mention that I decided we were hiking, and Ammon didn't realize until we were already on the hike, so he did the whole shebang in flip-flops.  Hardly even complained about how torn up his feet got.  What a trooper.

All in all, we loved this hike.  Parts of it, like the last mile of our loop, were just straight up torture.  By the end of it, my booty and calves were ready to go on strike, and I can't say that I blame them.  But hey, we made it, and I guess that's what matters, right?

So I'm done talking.  I've gotta go catch up on all of the other cool stuff that comes with blogging:  emails, and reading about you've been up to!  Hope you have a fantabulous day!

Friday, July 20, 2012

A week of lessons

Wow, what a week, my friends.  What a week.  To say it's been long is an understatement.  To say that it was easy would be a lie.  I hate to wish time away, but I am glad that this week is gone.  I'm glad I won't live in it again.  There were some great lessons I took from it though that I am thrilled to share with you today.

1) In the face of uncertainty and fear, all you have is hope and laughter.  Despite this being a hard week, I spent a lot of time laughing.  It might have been the psychotic, "I'm on the edge, and in half an inch I'm going over the cliff" kind of laughter, but we laughed.  We all did our best to keep spirits high, and to make the day pass as lightly as possible. 

2) Jimmy John's is delicious.  Free Jimmy John's is the best darn thing I've ever tasted in my life.

3) I have the most amazing support system in the world.  When things get all "pear shaped", I have so many people around me who care.  Thanks go out to my cousin Trisha, and the sweet sweet Kristina for being there to listen and offer love and prayers.  I know many of you would have been there too had I asked, and it means the world.

4) It's okay to eat ice cream and take a day off of working out.  You can only do so much.  Prioritize.  The truth is, we're all going to die someday.  There's no reason to make yourself miserable by following a DIEt.

5) When I can find ways to tell Ammon what I'm concerned about and why, he is very good at finding ways to help me bring the situation to rights.  But that falls on my ability to communicate in a way that he understands, not on him needing to understand me better.  This one hurt, because it makes me take ownership for the way I communicate with my partner.

Those were my lessons this week!  And with that, I'm out like a pacifist in a paintball match.  We're headed to South Dakota for a weekend of car camping, prison-style showers (okay, not really), hiking, and giant rock sculptures of dead guys.  Please contain your jealousy, and tune in on Tuesday for a re-cap of all of our hijinks.  It promises to be a rip-roaring good time!  And have a great weekend yourselves, ya hear?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Psssst... Over here...

Guys, if you're looking for me, you want to come visit me on Nay's blog.  My best bloggy friend is letting me hijack her space, so that I can tell you all about motivation.  Because don't we all need more of that in our lives???  So click right here to go on a journey.  It's a magic portal, I swear.


If you're here visiting from Nay's blog, welcome!  Please make yourself at home here, and introduce yourself.  While you're here, I thought I would give you a few old posts that will give you an idea of how I roll on this here bloggy.

In this post I talk about what I believe.
We recently went to the zoo, and I wore a balloon hat.
A recipe that includes some of my favorite things.
And every now and then, something really fires me up, and I just have to talk to you about it and see what you think too.

So, I hope you enjoy a little smattering of some of my more recent posts, while I take the day to terrorize Nay's blog.  See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A bucket what???

Hey everyone!  So, it's the middle of the week... which makes it high time for a vlog, wouldn't you say?  Things have been pretty darn stressful around our parts lately, so I'm sharing with you some of the ridiculous stuff that has made it on to my bucket list lately.  Hope you enjoy!

Go find Alyx over here.  Seriously, she's great.  And she doesn't mind that I stalk her, which is even better.

Hope Squared
Go visit the other bloggers in the link-up, and join us too! 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Now, many of you may think that the title of this blog post is referring to politics.  But homie, you should know that I'm not ready to go there on my blog yet... or ever.  I like having friends in blogland.

No no, I'm referring to something completely different.  I'm referring to a very special song... have you figured it out without checking the YouTube clip yet?  No?  You can't follow what goes on in my head?

Oh yeah, guys.  I remember when this song first hit it big.  My brother and I had gone to stay with my grandparents in CA for a week, and my oldest cousin was living with them at the time.  He kept coming into the room to turn on the music video.  I must have seen it 40 times that week.

Back when MTV and VH1 played music videos...

What does this have to do with anything?  Well guys, it's officially peach season in Colorado.  That blissful 5-6 weeks where the western slope of Colorado produces delectable, perfect, juice running down your chin peaches.  They are so good.  So very, very good.

I bought a huge bag of the seconds (errr, imperfect) peaches at the farmer's market Saturday.  They look terrible, but taste amazing, and are $10 a bag cheaper than the perfect ones.  Inevitably, one split on the way to the car, meaning it was in my belly before I pulled into traffic.  And 4 more were too damaged to consume.  But most of them are ugly deliciousness.

I very well may turn into a peach over the course of these next few weeks.  But I promise, I will enjoy every single second of it.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Being positive

Happy Monday!

So, I' working today, and not only am I working, but it will be a looooong day for me.  9.5 hours to be exact.  That is a lot for me, especially to be at a desk.  Yes, I get up and move around some during the day, but the bulk of my day is o the computer and answering phones.  A very glamorous job, I know!  Trust me, 4 years ago when I was wiping behinds on the night shift, I never would have dreamed I'd be this lucky.

Those long days at work get me thinking about my workouts, and how important they are.  Secretary booty is a real thing, ladies!  Sitting all day is the fastest way to a flat, wide backside.  Couple that with the exhaustion that you get from being at work all day, and you're doomed.  Because really, who has the energy to work out after a hard day at work?

You do.  You may not think it, but you do.  I recently went to evening workouts again.  You all know that I am a huge proponent of the morning workout.  But to be honest, between my accelerated class schedule, work, and a very intense workout plan, I could not get out of bed early enough in the mornings to make it happen.  And really, I am enjoying the evening workout.  It's a great way to let go of the stress of the day.  The real problem with an evening workout though, is keeping yourself "up" and peppy enough to just start.

From Pinterest
It doesn't seem like I struggle with motivation.  I have my goals, I have my objectives, I have the desire.  What I seem to have a hard time with is keeping myself in the head space to make my workouts the best they can be.  And I'm coming to the point where I am not going to continue to see improvement until I can get myself into the athlete zone... that magical place where you decide to give your best for every instantaneous moment that occurs during that workout.

From Pinterest
I tend to do this thing where if I mess up one time, I consider myself defeated.  Instead of brushing myself off, and pushing forward, I obsess about how I've ruined that perfect streak I had going of TWO WHOLE DAYS.  Or whatever it is.  It doesn't matter.  What does matter, is that if you don't forgive yourself and move one, you will never get there.  Nobody is perfect... but people who forgive themselves and move on come much closer that those of us who make one mistake and quit forever.

From Pinterest
I love this.  It's true in all areas of life.  Unless you are working hard, making good decisions, and doing the work, you'll never grow.  Never change.  Or worse yet, you'll regress.

From Pinterest
This is something I work at everyday... honoring what I've done to make myself better right now!

Linking up today with Manda for Motivate me Monday! 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Another round of Liebster


I'm really not so sure why I just said that.  Maybe because it's funny sounding?  Anyway...  The amazing, beautiful, talented Jen over at Boys will be Boys, and the so sweet, lovely Heather from The Life Unexpected  both thought of me this week and nominated me for The Liebster Award!  This is not me first go-around with The Liebster, and I love everyone, so I'm not nominating anyone this time around.  Sorry guys, it isn't because I don't care, it's because I would feel like someone would be left out... and it's only for blogs with 200 or fewer followers, and a lot of you are over that mark.  So instead, I'm going to answer the questions that Jen and Heather asked, and show you the pretty buttons they gave me.  Sound good to you?  Me too!

The button from Jen

Jen's Questions:

1. What is your most prized possession?  My teacup collection.  I inherited it from my Grandmother, and growing up I could stare at it in her home for hours.  So honored that she passed part of it on to me.
2. If you could do anything today what would it be?  Hire a maid and a personal assistant.  I could be so much more productive if I didn't have to worry about cleaning, phone calls, appointments, and errands!
3. What is your favorite dish to make?  Hmmmmmm... Probably Raspberry Chocolate Blackout Cake with Amaretto Ganache.  To. Die. For.
4. What did you want to be when you grew up?  A teacher or a veterinarian
5. What is your favorite holiday?  Thanksgiving
6. Morning person or night owl?  Morning Person
7. What is your favorite movie?  Austin Powers, International Man of Mystery or Sweet Home Alabama
8. What is something we don't know about you?  I marched in the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Ireland in 2000 with my school marching band.  It was one of the highlights of my high school tenure.
9. If you could have any car you wanted, what would it be?  A Subaru Forester.  Yup, I'm a total Boulderite.  No shame.
10. What is your perfect date night?  Anytime we can spend time together out of the house!  I love it when we get to go skiing together in the winter.
11. What is something you'd like to accomplish in the future.  This is going to sound so odd, but we really want to buy land in the middle of nowhere, build a dream home that's underground (literally), and then live sustainably.  Solar and wind power.  Grow food.  Livestock.  The whole thing.  Our goal is that someday we can survive off of a $25,000 annual income comfortably.

Button from Heather.  See?  They're different because there's no background on this one

Heather's questions:
1. What's your most random habit?  I like to rub my hair against my lips.  Except me hair is no longer long enough, and that makes me kind of sad.  Incidentally, my chin hasn't broken out nearly as much since I cut my hair
2. Who was your celebrity crush?  Was?  How about still is?  I talk in more depth about that here.  But I do have a not so small thing for Matt Damon too, especially in Ocean's 11.
3. If you could live anywhere, where would it be?  For a while, or forever?  For a while:  Indiana.  I miss it a lot.  Forever:  Either Colorado (it's a great place!), or maybe Oregon/Washington?
4. What's your guilty TV pleasure?  Khloe and Lamar.  The rest of the klan doesn't do it for me, but I love the realness of their relationship.
5. What got you started blogging?  I wanted accountability for getting back on the health bandwagon.  Also, I wanted to help others live a healthier, happier life.
6. Any pets?  Mr. Beckham, the cat
7. iPhone or Android?  Droid
8. What was your "best day ever"?  I don't have just one... there are so many "best days"... graduating High School, Graduating college, realizing the man you love wants to someday make you his wife...
9. What's your dream vacay?  Greece.  I've been dreaming about it for years
10. What's your career path look like?  Working on a BS in Accounting, I would love to work for a large Auditing and Taxation firm, and eventually work from home as a CPA.
11. Let's say you were going to die tomorrow, what's first on your new found bucket list?  I'm going to hold off on answering this, because there's a bucket list link-up going o later this week, and I'll be sharing my answer to this question on a vlog!

So there you go... 22 things that Heather and Jen were dying to know about me!  If you haven't already visited them, please take the time to scroll up, and head over to their blogs.  I think they are great, and I think you will too!  Hope you are having a lovely weekend...