Saturday, January 31, 2015

Super Bowl Saturday!

No mistake. Just thought I would get a post up about our Super Bowl "party" in time to give any other reader some inspiration. I wish now I had done a Super Bowl Party Favorites yesterday and saved my fitness edition for another day, but ah well. 

I love a theme, but for the life of me I couldn't come up with anything that I really wanted to do. I thought about a Starbucks theme (since they're based in Seattle), but people can only handle so much coffee flavored food. Then I thought about doing a Patriotic theme, but I feel like there's enough of that between Memorial Day and 4th of July. Steve is a master brisket-maker, and he wanted to do one for Sunday anyway, so I stole Teri's Super Bowl theme and we're doing Tex-Mex. Is it weird that I almost always want Mexican food with football? I have a Taco Dip that I make for just about every event we have, so that plus a brisket sort of lent itself to a Tex-Mex theme. 

Also, I really couldn't care less about the Seahawks or the Patriots, so...


They eat Tex-Mex in Arizona, right? 

Good grief. I could write a dissertation on the most ridiculous stuff. 

The Menu:

Steve's Famous Brisket
with Andrea's Famous Brisket Sauce

Touchdown Taco Dip

I made two since they were fairly small. 

Thinking of making some kind of signature cocktail, too, but that's probably going a little overboard. Probably just beers and Diet Cokes.


I will update this post with pictures once everything is ready. One more sleep until the Super Bowl! 

Friday, January 30, 2015

Friday Favorites: Fitness Edition!

It's that magical day again! I'm linking up with Andrea, Erika, and Narci yet again for another edition of Friday Favorites. This time it's a Fitness Edition!

1. Polar FT7

This is what I use to track the calorie burn I get from my workouts. I use to put this number into MyFitnessPal, but not anymore. That made a huge difference in my body, because MFP has you eating your calorie burn. My eating style accounts for my activity level (and my calories burned vary dramatically) so I don't input this into MFP anymore.

Just FYI, though, I just heard about FitBit's new Charge HR, which keeps track of your heart rate, calories burned, and all sorts of cool stuff. This Polar is fantastic, but in order for it to track your heart rate (and therefore calories burned), you have to wear a chest strap with a transmitter on it. I've always been fine with that, but if I can get that feature in just a bracelet device, I'd really like to get one. I'll keep you posted. 

2. Cute workout clothes

 Having cute clothes pretty much motivates me to do anything in life...

Tank and capris: Old Navy

Tank: ViewSport (it says "Train Harder" when it gets wet)

Top: Target 
Bottoms: Lululemon 

Sports Bra and Capris: Victoria's Secret

Shoes: Nike Free

Tank: UK pavilion at EPCOT

Tank: CAbi Capris: Victoria's Secret

Tank and Capris: Lululemon 
Tank: Kohls Tek Gear 
Shoes: Mizuno

3. Supplements and Blender Bottles

(and this isn't even all of my Blender bottles!)

I take a truckload of supplements and I'll be the first to admit that I'm probably wasting my time and money, but I have found success with this routine, and now I'm afraid to let anything go. Here's a picture of everything I use, and if you'd like me to go into detail about the whozits and whatzits galore, I can do a whole post on it. 


This is the eating style I have been following for quite a while. It stands for "If It Fits Your Macros", and basically means that you set a certain number of fats, carbs, and proteins to eat in a day, and you can have whatever you want as long as you don't go over those numbers. It provides a HUGE amount of flexibility (which is why it's also known as flexible dieting) and also helps control cravings by saying that nothing is off limits, as long as you stay within the guidelines. Now, no controlled method of eating is easy (or everybody would do it, right?) but I think it's the best fit for me. Other than eating whatever the heck you want, this is pretty great. The only other "diet" I've thought was effective, sensible, and still allowed you to enjoy your life is Weight Watchers. I have a friend (Tina) who is moving toward leadership with Weight Watchers, so if you have any questions, she can be your gal! If you have any questions about IIFYM, put them in the comments and I'll do my best to answer them!

5. Spotify/Pandora/YouTube 
What would a workout be without music to motivate us?? I'd be lost with my music apps! And I follow a few fitness related YouTube channels that I watch on the cardio machines to help the time pass. #dontputmedownforcardio

I feel like this post is pretty much all over the place, but that's how my mind is working today. Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend, and I'd love to hear about all the Super Bowl festivities y'all have planned! 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday Favorites!

Friday Favorites time!

with Andrea, Erika, Narci

1) My Uggs
Need I elaborate? I doubt it. Everybody big puffy hearts Uggs. 

I wear mine folded down a lot. I like it, but is it weird? I'll probably still do it even if everybody tells me it's awful, but I like to be well informed. 

2) My "Must Have" leggings!
One of my very favorite blogs is Pinterest Told Me To, and Sheaffer is my never-fail go-to for advice on great clothing basics. I have her "Must Have" shirt (but in white even though she recommends black), watch (but it's broken), jeans, and now leggings. I didn't really think I would love these leggings as much as she does, but by golly, I sure do! In fact, I wear them, and can't wait for them to get out of the wash so I can wear them again! Here's the weird "magical" thing about them: Every time I put them on, I think they're going to be way too long (I'm 5'6" for reference). But somehow, SOMEHOW, they magically fit once I wear them a minute or two. They're never baggy or bunchy. Where does that fabric go? Does it just somehow conform to my body? Some fashion mysteries will never be solved...

{imagine great pics here... my iPhoto is uncooperative today}

3) My new favorite "fast food" meal
I don't eat out for lunch much anymore (or any meal, for that matter), but they other day I had some time to kill right at lunchtime, so I decided to head to Panera. I rarely go there, because I think it's crazy expensive for what you get (and I just prefer McAlister's Deli), but for whatever reason, Panera was calling my name that day. I looked up some nutritional information online to pick out what I could eat before I even went in there to order. I decided on the Choose Two option, and got the Thai Chicken salad and the Turkey and Avocado BLT, with an apple as a side item (though they gave me an apple AND chips. I ended up bringing both home). This meal was delicious! The salad was very flavorful and not overly dressed (but definitely on the spicy side, just as a warning), and the sandwich was very good! I had some Acai Berry tea to go with it, and I can't wait to have it again! The whole meal was $13, which I still think is expensive for a one person, non-table service meal, but it was cheaper than I expected it to be, truthfully. 

4) My protein pancakes
My go-to breakfast for eons has been 1 whole egg, 3 egg whites, and a slice of toast with sugar free jelly on it. Plus a cup of coffee, obvs. I like that breakfast, and I've made it for so long that it's quick and easy. I have it down to an art form. But I'm just sick to death of it. I can do without eggs for quite some time, though I know that's not going to happen. 
In an effort to mix things up, I decided to try protein pancakes. I've tried them with very little success in the past, but then I saw a Nikki Blackketter video that mentioned using cottage cheese in the mix to fluff it up. 


That was the ticket! I've been making them ever since. 

The basic recipe is this:
1 scoop Cellucor Cor-Fetti Cake Batter Whey Protein
1 serving Maple Grove Farms Sugar Free Pancake & Waffle Mix
1/2 serving low fat cottage cheese
Mix these ingredients with enough water to make a cake batter consistency (I didn't measure). Pour into a sprayed waffle maker and cook until done. Err on the quick side if your waffle iron doesn't have a timer. You don't want to overcook these; it makes them tough. I topped this one with Walden Farms syrup and some Redi-Whip! 
Nutritional Information: 
285cals, 16 carbs, 7 fat (mostly from the Redi-Whip!), 43 protein

In an effort to boost the protein a little more (as if it wasn't already protein packed!), I wanted to add an egg white to it. Every time I did that, though, they came out dry and dense. This time, I added the egg white with the cottage cheese, and made two thinner waffles instead of one thick one. That worked! And you know I had to make a pumpkin one!

Pumpkin Spice Protein Waffles: 
1 Scoop Syntrax Nectar Vanilla Torte Protein Powder
1 serving Maple Grove Farms Sugar Free Pancake & Waffle Mix
1 serving egg whites (such as All Whites) 
1/2 serving low fat cottage cheese
1/2 serving pure pumpkin purée 
1/2tsp (or 1tsp) of pumpkin pie spice
1/2tsp pure vanilla extract
Enough water to make a cake batter consistency 
Pour into sprayed waffle iron, and remember to make 2 waffles from this mix! Cook until done. 
Nutritional Information: 
314cals, 18 carbs, 5 fat, 53 protein. 

I use the lowest calorie syrup I can find, which usually is from Walden Farms, but my grocery store didn't have it last time I was there, so I bought a syrup with Splenda from Vermont. The brand, not the state. Or maybe both. 

5) My "Fun Fridays" with my girls!
I can remember on most Fridays, my Daddy would pick me up from school and take me for an ice cream cone. Normally I rode the school bus to and from school, which I hated, so him picking me up was treat enough, but that ice cream was the, well, ice cream on the cake! I'm not sure what made me think of it a while back, but I remembered those Fridays fondly and decided to do something like that for my girls. It's been too cold here for after school ice cream, so I decided to start making an effort to get up earlier and take the girls to Dunkin Donuts for doughnuts every Friday morning. I'm not sure they have picked up on the "tradition" quite yet, but I'm hoping one day when they're getting their little girls ready for school that they'll remember these Fridays as fondly as I remember mine.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Friday Favorites

Welcome to Friday Favorites! Linking up with Andrea, Narci, and Erika

1. My new Keurig
Hellooooo, luvah...

My bestie. I have to tell you the story about how I got it. I had been debating asking for one for Christmas, but I just couldn't decide. Sometimes a girl just needs a whole pot of coffee, you know? Anyway, my Mom called on the way to her house Christmas morning and said she was out of K-Cups. I stopped at Walgreens and bought a bunch to bring her, and when I got to her house, I quickly made me a cup of coffee. It was so easy, I told her that I regretted not asking for one for Christmas. I told her I wanted one for my birthday (in July- never to early to plan!), and she just said she would keep that in mind. Lo and behold, guess what I opened just a few minutes later?? You guessed it. My bestie.

Kisses, bestie. Welcome to my world. It's lovely here.

2. Columbia jacket (that is hard to get a good pic of)
No hood:
(duck faces and sparkly boas- what dreams are made of!)

And with the hood up:

As all y'all know, it's been a bit nipply here. And everywhere. It's dadburn brutal. I haven't had this jacket long (bought it right before my Asheville trip), but I've worn it a ton and it keeps me nice and toasty! Love!

3. Trivia Crack

Addicted. In fact, I need to go beat down some opponents right now. Just a second....

Ok. I'm back. 

It's out of control. And I can't even tell you how mad I get when I lose. #soreloser

4. Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale/Lilly for Target

Some of my items are already coming in! I'll do a post on them soon, but expect to be seeing a lot of them around!

And I've added more to my Lilly for Target wishlist, which, let's face it, might as well be one of everything! 

Pom Pom placemats? Yes, please! I'll take 6! 

That little gold crossbody on the far left? That starfish bracelet? Yes and yes! 

Makeup cases!!! And do you see those sneaky little Essie polishes in there? I think I really just died. I guaran-dang-TEE you that pink will be on my fingers and toes all summer long! 

Here's a sneak peek of my selfie the morning of April 19: 

5. MAC Pro Longwear Concealer
This stuff is AMAZEBALLS! I have seen it in umpteen million YouTube videos, but never took the plunge to order myself any. Then I just got a wild hair the other day and ordered some from Nordstrom since they have free shipping and free returns. No harm, no foul. 

Sooooo glad I did! It's truly amazing. I have dry undereyes, and this is really good stuff to hide that dryness. If it were any more moisturizing, my mascara and eyeliner would be down my cheeks! If you want a drugstore option, though, you can't beat Maybelline Age Rewind. I've bought several tubes of it, and I'll buy more, for sure. 

I normally only do 5 Friday Favorites, but this time I have to sneak in two more: 

Bonus #1
This little sweet sugar baby made all fours on her 2nd quarter report card! K through 2nd in our school system don't do the usual ABCDFs. They grade on a number scale, with 4 being the highest. This system has a name, but for the life of me I can't remember it. Anyway, my big girl got the highest grade! Whoo Hoo!! 

Bonus #2:
This morning, I spotted THIS on Facebook!

GoT on the 12th, and Lilly at Target on the 19th. I might need to be medicated this particular week. I might go ahead and line up childcare because it's possible I'll be comatose with excitement. Like those poor little fainting goats that fall right over when they get excited. I'm a goat. #squirrel

Have a fabulous weekend!! 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Squeee!!! Lilly Pulitzer for Target is happening!!!

Listen, y'all. I'm still basking in the high that was the Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale. I dove into that thing headfirst, and I can't wait for all my colorful goodies to arrive!!

Just when I thought the sale buzz was wearing off, my friend Tina tweeted me a link to the announcement: the newest Target collaboration is with Lilly!! 

Lordy, you could hear the schoolgirl squeals from three counties!  

The collection ranges from $2-$250, and includes 15 different prints that were designed specifically for this collaboration. The yellow pineapple one is my favorite so far, but I also love the yellow and pink print found on the bikini in the pic below, and the navy and pink print on the scarf in the middle (wish I knew the names of the prints!).

I'm already making my wishlist (that hammock is MINE!), and I've put the for sale sign out in front of the house. We'll take cash or Target Giftcards!! 

All photos courtesy of the @lillyfortarget Instagram account. 

The line arrives April 19, so mark your calendars, ladies! And if you need me that morning, you'll know where to find me!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Show and Tell Tuesdays with Momfessionals

Momfessionals is hosting a new series called Show and Tell Tuesdays, where we share about different goings-on in our lives. You can read about it HERE. I'm going to try hard to stick to this series to mix up my usual day-in-the-life posts.

Today is the first day of the series, and the topic is our New Years Resolutions and/or Goals.

(That may be hard to read- you can right click and save it if you need to)

I don't have resolutions this year, because I've learned that saying I'll get more organized ONE. MORE. TIME. is pretty futile. If I haven't done it in the past 36 years it's not likely to get done this year, either. 


I did set a couple of goals for myself, though. The first one is that I want to be able to do a pull up. I've never in my life been able to do one, and I REALLY want to be able to say I can. And mean it. I am stronger now than I've ever been, so I feel like this is my best opportunity. Also, I have learned through my fitness journey that I have the most success when I have some sort of finish line, preferably with a deadline to complete it. I'm pretty competitive, so even if I'm just competing with myself, I'll do everything I can to win. #confessional

 I don't entirely know how long this might take to complete, but I'm giving myself two months. I'll do some research and figure out if that's realistic. 

I plan to start this by using the pull up/dip machine at our gym. I can do a pull up if I put about 30lbs on the sled, so I'll try to whittle that down slowly. I'm also going to try to get Steve to help me when he can by holding my feet. We have one of those Perfect Pull Up bars somewhere at our house, so I can get some practice whenever I want. Mostly, anyway. 

My next goal is actually a set of goals to serve one big purpose. Steve and I have lived in our house for almost 8 years, and have done very little in the way of improvements. When we first moved in, we were having babies and raising them, and the house just wasn't a priority. Now our girls are bigger and more self sufficient, so I'm ready to start tackling a few of the projects we've been putting off. 

The easiest one for me to personally deal with is painting. I don't mind to do it,  so it's time to get crackin'! I'm pretty sure I've picked out a color (Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore), and I'm going to start with the kitchen. I plan to pick one room a month, and spend that entire month giving that one room a spruce up. 

January- kitchen
February- bedroom (obviously) 
March- living room
April- hallway
May- dining room 

Then I may take some time off until July/August. Ella Kate wants us to re-do her room and I told her that we could do it as her birthday gift. More than anything, she just wants her room painted blue, but I found this picture in the newest Pottery Barn Kids catalog and she and I are both ready to recreate it! 

The only problem is that she won't be getting new furniture, and hers is black. I'll have to lighten the room with a lot of white accents, which is fine by me! I may also choose a lighter shade of blue; I'm not sure yet. This shade is Naval by Benjamin Moore, so I may look at the shade swatches and see what other options there are in this blue family. I'm also considering hiring a painter if we go with this exact color, because any mistakes could be disastrous. 

I'd love to hear about your resolutions and goals this year! Feel free to leave them in the comments or link up with Andrea, too!

Weekend recap

We actually had a pretty great weekend around here, not that you'll be able to tell that because of my SERIOUS lack of pictures. Sometimes you just gotta live it, ya know? 


Friday was the Taxslayer Bowl, in which my beloved Tennessee Vols SLAYED the Iowa Hawkeyes! Go Vols!! We had some couple friends over to watch the game, and we bought a Jersey Mike's sandwich tray to eat on. Sat out some beers and chips and everybody was happy! 


After the game, we tried a game called Cards against Humanity. Have y'all played this? Let me say this about it, during some points, I felt like I needed to go to church and repent, but I also laughed so hard my abs were sore. Not sure what that says about me, but it was still a fun night! Already planning to get together to play again! 

Saturday was pretty low key. We went to a friend's house so Steve could shoot guns, and I babysat the kiddos since shooting ain't my thing. 


Later that night, I did my gift exchange with my family/friends/girl group. We always have a great time together,but the highlight of this evening was opening the gifts my sister Renee got for all of us. 

5 points goes to whoever guesses which one of these is mine. Probably helps to know that it was my sister who bought it.

After dinner and the gift exchange we went to see Unbroken. I think I'm the only one who thinks this, but I didn't enjoy the movie that much. I know it's getting great reviews, but geez. I left that theater feeling like I'd been hit by a truck! I suppose it's not a movie that you're suppose to "enjoy", but it was still tough to see a man struggle and suffer over and over again. I was happy to see the fact that he converted to Christianity mentioned at the end. He was saved at a Billy Graham revival in the 40s, and lived the rest of his life in faith. 

Oh, Billy Graham. The greatest man to ever live in my lifetime, and the thought of losing him breaks my heart. 

Sunday was a lazy day. We skipped church (so sorry, Billy!) and I got some chores done. I started taking down the Christmas tree until Caroline caught me and freaked out. I promised to leave it up a little longer, but told her it had to come down this week. Hopefully tonight. 

Caroline spent HOURS playing with the Sew Cool sewing machine that Santa brought her. I have to say, it's pretty cool and she is completely in love with it. 

She has sewed up all the characters it came with, so I'm sure she'll be wanting  more soon! Hope they make more...

Sunday night was capped off in the best way possible! The return of Downton Abbey! 

I'm just gonna go ahead and include Monday in our weekend round up since the girls were still out of school. Plus, there's nothing to say since all we did was go to the gym for a little while in the morning. It was the girls' last day of Christmas Break, so we soaked it up with snuggles and Jumanji. 

And then we're back to the real world. Hope everyone had a fantastic weekend! 

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