Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bring on the Rain

Yes, I know, it has  been a while. I just haven't felt like writing lately (I mean, my job is writing so it gets a bit tiring sometimes). But since I am sure there will be tornadoes tonight, I cannot sleep and figure my time will be best spent writing.

In case you don't know, tornadoes are my biggest fear. I am sure it spawned in my early years living in St. Louis, watching the movie Twister and the traumatic experience on the simulated ride down at Universal Studios. I thought that I was getting over managing that fear, until this year. It is no secret that we have had one of the worst years in history with tornadoes, it is devastating (in more ways than one) to wake up every day just to expect to hear about mass destruction that happened overnight. In April, the Southeast was hit hard, just barely missing many of my family members. Then they came down in St. Louis, again missing my loved ones. So far I have been lucky, but I almost feel as though I am pushing my luck. I just know there is one coming my way! (Yes, I am crazy, I know.)

I remember praying as a little girl, asking God why He created tornadoes (and bugs) as they don't seem to do any good for the world. As an older wiser girl, I have more understanding (yes, I know bugs have earthly benefits) but I still find myself asking God why. It is so unfair to those who have been hit {do you know how thankful I am that everyone I know is alright?} losing their homes they have spent lifetimes creating memories in, or more importantly losing people who they care about.

All I can say is that I hope we all get through the next few days without any more deadly storms and that tornado season will end soon. The anxiety it has caused me cannot be healthy.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

How Nice

I got into work today - a bit frazzled to tell the truth with this waiting in my inbox...

Isn't that the sweetest thing? Needless to say, it made my day :)

Thank you.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Creative in the Kitchen

So you know I am always trying to spice up my life in the kitchen (maybe that is a problem really). Well this weekend, I tried something new that I created without a recipe - mini calzones!!! It was so cute and I think they would be a great mini-meal, snack or appy. This is what I did:

-Made homemade whole wheat pizza dough (recipe here)
-Once dough was ready, I broke it into 8 pieces - like it was a piece of pizza
-Rolled it out thin
-Spooned approx. 2 Tbsp of LF ricotta cheese in the center
-Fold dough in half, close the edges and put on baking sheet. {They were a bit bland, so I suggest brushing a bit of olive oil on the top and sprinkling some italian seasoning or using herbs as well).
- Bake at 350 for around 20-25 minutes
- Serve with a side of pizza sauce

So fun!

Another thing that I like for lunch is a veggie wrap. I made one for tomorrow and am pretty excited about it! Here is what I do for that:

-Spread LF cream cheese on a wheat tortilla (you can use whatever kind you want, but again, I like to add a little seasoning)
- Add spinach, tomato slices, cucumber slices, mushrooms, shredded carrots and sprouts (it's a good filler and like no cals)

So tasty and that is pretty close to a full day's worth of veggies right? Ha!

What kinds of kitchen creations have you come up with?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Back to It

So February wasn't the best for me and my goals. I kinda fell off the wagon. But, today was a new day and I think I am back on track for March.

I wasn't feeling great today (I hope I am not coming down this something, but I think it is something I ate) so I didn't get a great workout in as I would have liked, but I did track my calories!

Also, I took some big steps in other areas...Tonight I went to a women's small group at the church I have been going to for a couple of months. Now I wasn't brave enough to go by myself, but I met a girl there that I would consider to be an acquaintance - she is a co-worker's wife - but we are quickly becoming friends. It is the first time I have put myself in a situation like this in a long time. It was nice to meet new people, especially people that are very different than me.

I am proud of myself because I have been pushing myself this year in a lot of ways. I am excited to keep going and see where I will end up.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Cooking for 1

I am in a bit of a menu rut. I bring my lunch to work everyday, but I am getting sick of having the same thing over and over. And I want to be creative with my "dinners" as well, but I find it so hard to cook for one. You either have something boring (aka bowl of cereal or pb&j) or you have a recipe that makes enough for 10 people. I just want to find a happy medium.

Do you have any suggestions? What do you do to keep a variety in your menu?

Note: I hate spending money on food so I don't want anything to extravagant and I am also looking for light/nutritious options - but I can make substitutions.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Just Live Your Life

One of the ideas in this book I am reading is living the life you want to lead. Sometimes we all get caught up in obligations and the things life throws out at us that we get lost and stray away from where we want to go. Instead of getting all philosophical on you, I will just leave you with one simple thought. I am happy to know that I am making the efforts that I feel will get me to where I would like to be in life. Although I know I may not end up where I envision my life going right now, but I know that I am doing what I enjoy doing and prioritizing the things that are important to me.

Last night, us girls got all dressed up to go to a fundraiser. It was so much fun and so nice to be back in the "socialite" circle we are used to - let's just say we've come a long way since a year ago.

This picture was on the local paper's website!

Happy Oscar night!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Day to Laugh

Yep, it was just one of those days as my dear friend MJ would say. My day today could be considered on the same level as hers yesterday (just with different ups and downs).

So on a day like today, I just like to find reasons to laugh. This is on our kitchen fridge at work. I am sure you have seen something like this before, but I think you can always laugh no matter how many times you read them.


Truths For Mature Humans

1. I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your

computer history if you die.

2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was


4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

5. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

6. Was learning cursive really necessary?

7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on # 5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

9. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

10. Bad decisions make good stories.

11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection...again.

13. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to.

14. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

15. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

16. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Coors Lite than Kay.

17. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

18. How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear or understand a word they said?

19. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!

20. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

21. Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

22. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I'd bet everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time!

23. The first testicular guard, the "Cup," was used in Hockey in 1874 and the first helmet was used in 1974. That means it only took 100 years for men to realize that their brain is also important.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Dear Mr. Groundhog

I know you are nestled in your little hole and that it is probably warm down there, but I just wanted to ask you to NOT see your shadow this year. I mean, you have seen it the past 9 out of 10 years. And although you enjoy the winter, not all of us do. It would just be nice to change it up a bit.

Please, Mr. Groundhog (Phil is it?) bring us an early spring!

Sincere thanks,
Southern Charm

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

NYRs: How We Doin'?

{I must be channeling Friends a lot lately....I haven't seen that show in forever, but I seem to be referencing it a lot. I think it is a good time to watch it all from the very beginning!}

So team, we have made it through the first month of 2011. At this point, I get excited because that mean most people are dwindling down on their NYRs and my gym gets back to normal (yes, that is the selfish my gym). However, I do hope that all of your are staying up on yours.

For accountability purposes, here is an update on how I am doing on mine.

Be healthier
Of course this is a long journey for us all to make and kind of a general topic, but I think I am making great strides! I am prioritizing working out when I can, and I am tracking everything I eat. I think tracking everyday this month is my biggest success! This month I think I am going to try to make sure I take my vitamins.
Be a better person
I am not sure how to measure my success on this one. All I know is that I nearly went off on one of the trainers at the gym last night because I lost my iPod (an angel brought it back though) and he was trying to be friendly to me - I am sure so he could try to sell me some training. I really felt bad for snapping at him, but I was in the middle of a slight panic attack. I wanted to apologize to him later, but I never saw him. Maybe he was avoiding me. We will see if he is there tonight...
I am not sure how I am doing on the rest of this goal - I don't think I would be the best judge of it.
Be more productive and stay organized
This is also a work in progress. I am definitely being more productive and trying to not let things slide by.
Spend more time with my friends
I think I am doing pretty good on this one. As I mentioned before, it is hard because we are all on different schedules, but I think we are doing the best we can. (And this is leaps and bounds over my hibernation from last year! Have I mentioned that I HATE winter?) And now that my family has moved, these girls are my family here.
Around the house
This won't happen right away. Need some time and $ first :)

Be a better Christian
Yep, sticking with the devotional and I have started going to church. I am making time to prioritize this in my life.
Make time for me (but do it with my friends)
Read above, we are all on different schedules so it is hard to do everything together. I have been reading some, but that is about it. But we are taking care of ourselves and doing it together!
Now do your gut check for your progress this year. Are you doing those things you wanted to do this year? If not, you have a new month to start over! I have a feeling that 2011 has many exciting things to bring us all!
Happy February!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Police Women of Cincinnati

I LOVE this show! It is simply hilarious.

I seriously sit by myself and laugh out loud at some of these people.

It is on Thursdays at 9pm on TLC. If you haven't watched it yet, I highly recommend it. You will be hooked!

"I'm not your baby. You call me Officer."

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I'm finding myself at a loss for words
And the funny thing is it's okay....

Word of God speak
Would You pour down like rain
Washing my eyes to see
Your majesty
To be still and know
That You're in this place
Please let me stay and rest
In Your holiness
Word of God speak

{Word of God Speak, Mercy Me}

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Country Strong

Ok, I really did enjoy the movie...and the music in it. I know, big surprise there.

As many of you know, I have been wanting some cowboy boots for quite some time (we are talking like, a couple of years now). Well I found a pair that I liked, but am cheap and didn't get them. Then they were discontinued online. I know, heartbreak.

Well, while moseying through the mall today, I stumbled across them! It was fate! But still kinda hard to justify, if I didn't absolutely LOVE them.

After much debate (you know I am a great decision-maker, right?) I decided to make the purchase and try them out. I am not sold on the color. I like the heel (you know, I am rather short) and the taller shaft makes them a bit dressier. {I mean, if I am going to be a country girl, I am going to still be dressed to a tea.}

So, what do you think? Are they keepers or should I wait to see if I find another pair? Is the color versatile enough? Is it the right "brown" that you could pair with anything (i.e. possibly black?!)?

(I had to include this one...look who wanted to be in the pic)

Oh, and did I mention they were on sale?! Like total win on that end!

Nonetheless, I will definitely be making a statement up "north".

I apologize for my lack of picture-taking skills. I don't know how to take off the flash. And I need a new organization system for my shoes, but I just don't know what to do yet...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Felling a Little Flakey

As much as I am getting sick of all this snow, I am enjoying these "snow days". It is not the same like in school when you would get up just to see your school's name on the news so you could go back to sleep and then spend the day playing in the snow, or if you are like me, staying in and making the most of a day off: movies, crafts, etc. It was a day off! Now, I still have to work, but at least I am at home in my sweats.

In making the most of my day, I have been able to catch up on things around the house. Yes, you can do laundry while you work! (Ok, so that is the only thing I caught up on.)

I also had the traditional snow day lunch that reminded me of snowy days in the sorority house - grilled cheese and tomato soup was a staple in that house! However, I tried to make it "healthy" here is my not-as-bad recipe for the perfect, easy snow day meal:

1 can Healthy Choice Tomato Basil Soup (200 cals for the entire can! I added a splash of non-fat milk to make it thicker, so round up to 220)
1 Sandwhich Thin (such as Arnold's/or other whole wheat, low cal bread about 100 cals)
2 slices meunster cheese (meunster and gouda are 2 of my favorites - 160 cals)

I used non-stick spray and a few squirts of spray butter to make the grilled  cheese as "authentic" as possible. So in like 10 minutes you have such a yummy meal that warms your body on these cold winter days. And this version is only like 480 cals for a lot of food!

(This isn't my picture)

I have been thinking all day that one day when I have kids, I will get to make their snow days special. Of course, we will have the same lunch (except I will make homemade tomato soup because I am going to be the perfect mom :) ) and I will add freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, a tradition that I will carry on from my mom. On the first snow of every year, she had cookies fresh out of the oven for me when I got home from school. We will also have fun crafts and activities to do inside when they get cold from playing outside. And we can watch movies and drink hot chocolate till our hearts are content. Ok...maybe I am getting a little ahead of myself here, but a girl can dream right?

How do you like to spend your snow days?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I've Got the Urge

Lately, I have had the urge to:

  • Cook - I have been trying to sort through cookbooks to pick out recipes, resisting the urge to buy more cookbooks, wanting to bake like there is no tomorrow, make myself real dinners (yea right)...
  • Indulge in sweets - Related to the above-mentioned baking cooking, I have been craving some serious sweetage - chocolate, cupcakes, cookies, cinnamon rolls, you name it. Thank you diet healthy lifestyle change, you make these things even more tempting than they would be when I wouldn't feel as guilty to indulge.
  • Try Pure Barre - Too bad they don't have any locations here. Maybe I will download the podcasts, buy the DVDs and franchise here!
  • Be crafty - I just need to select a project...
  • Decorate - I just don't dont want to spend the money to do it.
  • Shop - Ok, this one isn't really new...
  • Sleep - I haven't really been sleeping well at night, which results in me being slightly cranky.
  • See the Sun - This cold, dreary weather is wearing me down...but I am handling it better than I have done in the past :)
  • Catch up on my chores - Really, I just want them to be done. But Laundry, and Cleaning Supplies, I will be seeing you this weekend.
I am sure there are some more things I have been interested in, but that will do for now!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

It's a Sad Day in Latte Land

I had to put to rest my latte maker today. I have been in denial all week that she was failing me, but today I took the first step to recovery by admitting she had a problem. (And then I think I jumped through all of the other steps and tossed it out in the trash.)

So now it is back to trusty ol' standard coffee maker. Of course our lattes don't taste any different depending on the  the machine you use - I just liked having the little espresso part that made me feel like a real barista.

On a brighter note, this was something that we read in church today that really hit home with me. I wanted to share it all with you, and hopefully you will be able get as much out of it as I did today.

3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
-Romans 12:3-8

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What's Your Favorite Color, Baby?


Last night, I went to my first UK Basketball game as an alum. Let me tell you, it was just as good as being a student! I got some awesome tickets from work (right behing the eRUPPtion Zone) and some special VIP treatment from a friend with connections.

It was so fun to be back where I feel so at home, thinking that I recognize everyone (even though the students are looking younger to me and that worries me that I am getting old), spending time with my dear friends, and just taking it all in.

To top off the night, we got to see the UK Cheerleaders perform a preview of their nationals routine (yes, 18-time National Champs!), the CATS brought home a win, and MJ and I acted like crazed fans and had these lovely shots taken...

Good luck to the reigning National Champs as they head to Nationals to win again!

Friday, January 7, 2011

House Cleaning

One of my favorite things is a clean house (right up there with freshly brushed teeth, but I will save all of my quirky excitements for another time). What better way to start out the new year than to clean everything out? Which was my plan for my time off work before I got wiped out with a nasty cold. I can't take credit for writing this, I got it in one of those email forwards, but I am going to visit it often to remind me how much I like "clean" things in my life. {And hopefully it will help me find the motivation to get my Christmas decs down and get everything back in order around the house too!} Enjoy!

Cleaning House 2011

Last Week I threw out worrying, it was getting old and in the way.
It kept me from being me; I couldn't do things God's way.

I threw out a book on MY PAST
(Didn't have time to read it anyway).
Replaced it with NEW GOALS, started reading it today.

I threw out hate and bad memories,
(Remember how I treasured them so)?
Got me a NEW PHILOSOPHY too, threw out the one from long ago.

Brought in some new books too, called I CAN, I WILL, and I MUST.
Threw out I might, I think and I ought.
WOW, you should've seen the dust.

I ran across an OLD FRIEND, I hadn't talked to in a while...
His name is GOD the Father, and I really like His style.

He helped me to do some cleaning and added some things Himself.
Yes... I placed them right on the shelf.

I picked up this special thing and placed it at the front door.
I FOUND IT- it's called PEACE.. Nothing gets me down anymore.

Yes, I've got my house looking nice.
Looks good around the place.
For things like Worry and Trouble there just isn't any space.

It's good to do a little house cleaning,
Get rid of the things on the shelf.
It sure makes things brighter; maybe you should TRY IT YOURSELF.

May the Lord open the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing that
You will not have room enough to receive it all.

May the Lord bless you exceedingly abundantly above all you could ever
Hope for.

Have a truly blessed day everyone!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

It's all in the little things

I love little surprises that make your day. The smallest gesture can mean so much to someone else.

I love a good conversation with your hair lady.

I love a good song that just keeps you in that moment.

I love being with friends, both near and far.

I love being greeted by my puppy when I come home from work - such love!

I love the feeling after a good workout.

I love the sticky notes on my computer that help keep me organized (and yes, they are color-coded).

I love making people laugh (or at least smile because the laughing doesn't happen that often).

I love attempting to flirt and then the post-analysis.

I love be thankful for all of the things that we usually take for granted in life.

Do something nice for yourself or someone else today! Just remember, someone could be having a bad day, and you can make it all better! Have a good day!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Year, New You (plus 5 days)

I must apologize in advance if this turns out to be a long post. I have just been gone for so long!

 Happy New Year! I hope that 2011 brings health, prosperity, love and happiness to you all!

Do you all make resolutions? I try to, but I am not very good at keeping them.
So my new approach is to just make this year better than the last. I feel like if I improve on something, it is better than not doing anything and I don't have to be disappointed for not meeting a specific goal. (Those SMART objectives you learn about in school really should not be applied to NYR's). So here are some ways that I will set out to improve my year!

Be healither
 Ok, this is like everyone's NYR. Yes, I want to lost weight. Yes, I want this to be the last time that I say that. Yes, I want to live an active life. I have my own goals that I am working on. And hopefully I am making some progress.

Be a better person
There are certain traits that I used to have that I feel like I have lost over the years. I want to go back to being the person that I want to be. I want to be more patient and understanding. I want to be more compassionate toward others while not being afraid to be vulnerable (yea, right). Maybe even put myself in uncomfortable situations to learn and grow. I want to be more positive. I want to be more confident and not as insecure.

Be more productive and stay organized
I declare way too many "lazy days" for myself. Then things that I need to get done pile up and I get overwhelmed. Instead of putting certain things off, or sit on the couch watching TV at night after work, I can multitask and get something done while I watch TV. I spent over 2 hours organizing paperwork over break...if I just stayed organized when I got things in, then I wouldn't have wasted those 2 hours. (Again, I used to be so organized, but I lost a little bit of it along the way.)

Spend more time with my friends
This one isnt as easy because we all have different schedules, but I really want to be around people more. Sometimes I feel like I just go to work and go home. Sometimes I feel like an outsider because I work and live across the river. I can't just go meet up for lunch during the day or walk over to a friend's house. It just takes a little more effort, but it is worth making. I also want to be a better friend.

Around the house
 I think this year my only goals around my house are to finish the upstairs loft and to put in my wine rack I've been talking about.

Be a better Christian
 I have started reading my daily devotional again, and I want to start going back to church regularly.

 Make time for me (but do it with my friends)
I haven't been good at doing any of my hobbies. I want to make time to do the things that I enjoy so that I don't get burned out on the things that take over.

 See, that is a lot to take in for one year, and I know it. But my approach in doing this is to take it one day at a time. Just like I want to make this year better than last, I can make each day better than yesterday. And even if I have a bad day, there is always tomorrow. It is really about making a lifestyle change, and taking the little steps I can in order to live the life that I want.

What do you want to do this year? I think if anything, we should all pledge to make this year the best 2011 that it can be!

Happy 2011!