Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Fit and Fabulous...or at Least Getting There

For a few weeks now, I've been yogaing and Zumbaing (again), and I started cleansing on Monday.

I've also been making an effort to take better care of my skin and my hair, as well as my mind and my body. Reading more. Sleeping more. Drinking more water. Trying to eat better. I'm even flossing, which is something I haven't done in a looooong time.

Basically, I'm trying to become better and, as cheesy as it sounds, totally fit and fabulous.

I've accepted that I'm never going to be a size two, but that doesn't mean that I can't be healthy in every sense of the word.

Why the push now? I'm not really sure. I guess it has something to do with the fact that I'm moving out on my own soon and will have the ability to make my own choices when it comes to grocery shopping, cooking, and living my day to day life. Also, if I don't make a change now, when will I get around to doing it?

I realize I'm not morbidly obese and not unhealthy to the point that I can't function, but a little fitness, moderation, and overall wellness never hurt anyone. In fact, they do the opposite.

So here's to being healthy and happy for years and years to come. I'll post about my cleanse when I'm all done!

Monday, March 26, 2012

March Daybook

FOR TODAY

Outside my window...
is a warm evening. I'm getting nervous for this summer. It's only March and it's already HOT.

I am thinking...
about the great news I got today! Yay!

I am thankful...
for the kindness of others.

In the kitchen...
is going to be a little different for the next week and a half. I started a cleanse this morning, so I'm trying to eat super healthy.

I am wearing...
a white ruffly shirt with purple, black, and blue polka dots, dark-wash jeans, pewter Kenneth Cole flats, my white Stella Fossil watch, and my Tiffany's necklace from Boyfriend.

I am creating...
nothing at the moment. I'll let my Pinteresting mind run wild one of these days.

I am going...
to see The Hunger Games with Boyfriend when I'm in Columbia at the end of April. Waiting almost a month so that we can see it together--ah, the things we do for love. :)

I am wondering...
how everything is going to work out.

I am reading...
Mockingjay, the third book in The Hunger Games trilogy. The second book (and this one so far) wasn't as good as the first one, but I'm still obsessed!

I am hoping... that I finish blogging about my trip to Israel soon. It's looong overdue.

I am looking forward to...
this weekend!

I am learning...
how to be independent.

Around the house...
is quiet and cozy.

I am pondering...
how exactly I'm going to move to Missouri.

A favorite quote for today...
"When I saw you I was afraid to meet you. When I met you I was afraid to kiss you. When I kissed you I was afraid to love you. Now that I love you, I am afraid to lose you."

One of my favorite things...
is planning for the future.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
work, yoga, zumba, Mockingjay, and friends

A peek into my day...
I did a 5k for the Make a Wish Foundation on Saturday!

To join in the Daybook fun, click here. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Best Friend and Baby Shower

Two weekends ago, I took a little road trip to Houston to spend some much needed time with my best friend/pledge baby Whitney and celebrate her almost-fully-baked little girl, Emma, at her baby shower.

Whitney (who just started her own blog, check it out here) and I were both in desperate need of some best friend time, and we fully enjoyed just hanging out and catching up on Saturday and Sunday.

Seeing Whitney eight months pregnant was an amazing and slightly bizarre experience. As soon as I got to her house I screamed, "You're SO pregnant!" She seriously looks amazing, and I was happy to see her so happy.

When I got to Houston on Saturday, Whitney gave me the tour of her and hubby Josh's new house, and then we went shopping for a shower dress for her. That night, Josh made some fantastic margaritas and we had fun cooking out and spending time together.

The baby shower was on Sunday at Backstreet Cafe in downtown Houston. The event was so nice! Everything was decked out in pink and green, the food was delicious, and everyone had a fantastic time. I had a lot of fun shopping for Emma, and I'm proud and excited to say that I got this itty bitty Phi Mu legacy off to a great start with a rose-colored onesie with our crest on it. :)

I had to get on the road as soon as the shower ended, and I was sad to say goodbye to Whitney, but I can't wait to see her again and meet baby Emma!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

New Career Path?

In the past three weeks, I've enjoyed six cupcakes. Six.

Strawberry
Red Velvet
Champagne, Birthday Cake, and Chocolate with White Chocolate Frosting
Chocolate with Cream Cheese (more like Cheesecake) Frosting

I could tooooootally get on board with being a cupcake blogger. Thoughts?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Big Winner

Image from UniversityChic.com
See all of those amazing pieces in the photo above? More specifically:
  1. Striped Lola Dress from ElleLauri
  2. Leopard Print iPod Case from Sharp Hill Designs
  3. Clover Necklace from Alma & Co.
  4. Gold Branch Moonstone and Pearl Necklace from Reija Eden Jewelry
  5. Claire Earrings from Alma & Co.
  6. Vintage Charming Bracelet from F.U.S.C.H.A.
  7. Mekong Blue Scarf from Bluesilk
Well, I'm happy to say that they are mine alllllll mine!

I entered this giveaway, hosted by University Chic and Hybrid Her, on a whim simply because my sorority sister Ali put it together. She has fabulous taste, doesn't she? I never expected to win, but, of course, I was thrilled when I got the email!

So far, I've received the iPod case, the Clover necklace, the Gold Branch Moonstone and Pearl necklace, and the Claire earrings. I LOVE all of the items so far, and I can't wait to receive the rest!

Monday, March 19, 2012

March Birchbox

Soon after I received my February box, I got an email from Birchbox asking if I wanted to receive the special March Teen Vogue box instead of the regular March box. I decided to go the Teen Vogue route even though I was afraid that the products would be a little too teeny-bopper for me. As it turns out, I was worried for nothing, and I really like most of the items in my box this month!

First Impressions:
  • essie luxeffects: I probably wouldn't buy this nail polish in a store, but I do like it, so I was happy to receive it in my box. I mean, what girl doesn't like sparkly silver nail polish? I'm sure I'll use it on NYE or something.
  • kate spade new york Twirl: I tested Twirl at Sephora a while back, but it's always hard to tell how a perfume smells when surrounded by so many other scents. I can't wait to try it and decide if it's for me!
  • Kerastase Elixir Ultime: In an effort to nourish/hydrate my hair, I've been trying different products, so I'm excited to add this one to the list.
  • tarte LipSurgence lip tint: I tried this product as soon as I opened up my box, and I LOVE it! The best way to describe it is a moisturizing lip crayon, and I'm probably going to order one in another color as soon as I rack up a few more Birchbox points.
  • twistband Hair Tie: Eh, it's a hair tie--something I didn't exactly need--but I do like the bright orange color.
  • ModCloth Exclusive Offer: I can't wait to use this discount to make my first ModCloth purchase!
What was in your March Birchbox?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Suggestions?

Alright Faithful Followers, I need a suggestion or two (or five).

I think I want to change my hair. I've pretty much had the same style since high school (at varying lengths and with optional straightened bangs from time to time), but I'm ready for a change. Maybe a new post-grad look. Suggestions?

I really love the length of my hair at the moment, so I'd kind of like to keep it, but I'm not married to it. I'm totally open to color, too. I've never colored my hair before (not even highlights!), so a new color might be a fun change.

Here's a recent photo of my current do (or lack thereof). My hair is a little longer now than it is in this picture.

Any thoughts? I'd appreciate it!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Birthday Weekend

Last Tuesday, my dad texted me in the middle of the day to give him a call when I got a chance. I did and was so surprised when he offered to fly me to Columbia for my birthday weekend! Of course, I jumped at the chance to spend my birthday weekend with Boyfriend.

Fast forward to Friday--I left work at noon, went home, finished packing, and headed to the airport around 3:30. I picked up The Hunger Games before my flight and instantly dove right in. It's SO good, and I can't put it down. I'm hoping to finish it before the movie comes out in a few weeks. The movie is just about the first book, right?

My flight was pretty uneventful, and Boyfriend was waiting for me at the airport when I landed in St. Louis around 7:30. Even after three years together, I still get little butterflies when I see him for the first time after a while apart. As soon as I'm in the car and get to kiss him, however, we settle right back into the comfort of being together and it's like no time has gone by at all. After making the two-hour drive to Columbia, Boyfriend and I decided to have a late dinner at IHOP and then called it a night.

On Saturday (my birthday!), we slept in a little bit and then ran some errands. Since I was in town for the weekend, we decided to visit some apartment complexes, which I was very excited about! Unfortunately, many of the complexes we're interested in are closed on the weekend (which makes absolutely no sense), but we were able to see a couple and found one that we're very interested in. We're crossing our fingers that an apartment becomes available soon, and we're going to continue our search in the meantime!

In the midst of apartment hunting and running errands, we met up with our good friends Harrison and Alex for lunch at Agave. It was so great to catch up with wonderful friends over some yummy food and birthday margaritas. I can't wait to be able to spend time with them on a regular basis!

Boyfriend started his big boy job last week, so he wanted to take me by his new office after lunch. I'm jealous of all the perks he gets--free weekly massages, catered lunch on Mondays, lots of pre-made healthy snacks available 24/7! He's only been working there since last Wednesday, but everything seems good so far, and I really hope that he continues to enjoy what he's doing.

After running around in the beautiful weather on Saturday, we went back to Boyfriend's house and relaxed for a little bit before getting ready to go out to dinner for my birthday. I love birthdays--especially my birthday--can you tell? After I got all pretty (I love getting ready for dates because I don't get to do it very often), it was time for presents! I really had no idea what Boyfriend got me for my birthday, and I was so shocked to open not one, not two, but THREE gifts from him!

The first gift I opened was this mug from Brookish Handmade Goods (also featured on this Wish List Wednesday), and I was so excited to receive it. Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorite books of all time and, be honest, what girl doesn't want to be reminded of Mr. Darcy's romantic words every morning while sipping coffee out of a present from her boyfriend? The second gift was a Mizzou shot glass, which I have been wanting to add to my collection for a while. Although it was simple, it was the perfect mix of fun and sentimentality.
Then it was time for me to open my last present. As I got to the bottom of the box, I spied the monogram on the white tissue paper, and I immediately let out a scream. It said Tiffany & Co., and, sure enough, I pulled out that little blue box from underneath. I seriously freaked out before I even opened the package. This was my first little blue box ever, and I couldn't believe that Boyfriend had done so much for my birthday. When I finally calmed down and my fingers stopped shaking, I untied the white ribbon and opened the box to reveal this beautiful necklace (featured on this Wish List Wednesday). All I have to say is that Boyfriend did good...real good. And I have to admit that I get a little pleasure out of telling people that "he went to Tiffany's." :)
Never one to forget a heartfelt touch, Boyfriend included these personal notes with each part of my present.
After opening presents, it was dinner time, and we went to 44 Stone--a pub-like restaurant in Columbia. I had never been there before, but I had heard good things about it, so I was excited to try it. The atmosphere was date-like and intimate without being overly fancy and stuffy (I wore dark skinny jeans, a silky top, and boots). After perusing the menu, I ordered a glass of the house Chardonnay and the butternut squash and apple sandwich with bacon (ah-maz-ing). Boyfriend ordered a cup of the chicken tortilla soup and the whiskey grilled salmon, and we shared the pub cheese fritters (sinful!) and the Irish coffee bread pudding (soooooooooo good) to start and finish. Everything was delicious, and I'm so glad I got to try a new place while I was in town and, of course, go on a birthday date with my boy!
We slept in a little bit on Sunday and then woke up, picked up Tom's good friend, Drew, who he wanted me to meet, and went to lunch at Noodles & Co., where I cashed in my free birthday bowl. Then, we went to Coldstone to say hi to Tom's cousin who works there. Guess we ate our way through the weekend...

After getting ice cream, we dropped Drew off and hit the road to St. Louis so I could catch my flight. Even though it's not convenient to drive about two hours between Columbia and St. Louis to get to the airport, I love spending that uninterrupted time with Boyfriend. It's nice. :)

Once I got to the airport and said goodbye to Boyfriend (for maybe the last time ever!), I jumped right back into reading The Hunger Games. After a few delays thanks to the weather, I made it home in one piece and said goodbye to absolutely wonderful weekend.

Monday, March 12, 2012

23 Before 23

Here's my bucket list of 23 things I want to do before my 23rd birthday (in no particular order).
  1. Find a career path that I love
  2. Take a vacation with Boyfriend
  3. Try a new hairstyle
  4. Call my grandparents at least once every two weeks
  5. Do a cleanse
  6. Work out at least three times per week
  7. Go to a concert
  8. Travel somewhere amazing
  9. Write for more outlets than I do now
  10. Blog at least three times per week
  11. Splurge on a to-die-for pair of shoes
  12. Go on a road trip
  13. Get a physical
  14. Make cooking a part of my (almost) daily routine
  15. Get a massage
  16. Volunteer for a worthy cause
  17. Read at least five books
  18. Host a dinner party
  19. Attend a Mizzou football game
  20. Move into my own apartment
  21. Get a dog
  22. Paint my nails regularly
  23. Send out handwritten notes, thank you cards, birthday cards, just because notes, etc. as often as possible

Friday, March 9, 2012

Checking Things Off the List!

Tomorrow is my 22nd birthday...and I'm not quite sure how I feel about it.

Nevertheless, let's take a look back at the list I came up with last year of things I wanted to accomplish before my 22nd birthday.
  1. Graduate from college- I can't wait to check this off the list!
  2. Take a vacation (even a mini-vaca) with Boyfriend
  3. Have an adventure- I have a few ideas in mind
  4. Learn to cook, and actually be decent at it
  5. Figure out what I'm doing with my life after graduation- It's so much easier said than done.
  6. Build (or at least start) a real, grown-up wardrobe
  7. Learn the ins and outs of personal financing- My dad handles all of the actual paying of my bills, etc. and, at my age, there's no excuse for that.
  8. Travel somewhere amazing
  9. Read...books...for...fun- It seems like such a foreign concept, yet it's something I really enjoy.
  10. Try a new hair and makeup style
  11. Volunteer for a worthy cause
  12. Take better care of myself (eat healthier, work out more, get more sleep, drink more water, etc.)
  13. Be more positive and less judgmental- I feel like the two go hand in hand.
  14. Kick this bad procrastination habit I've developed
  15. Purge my closet and get rid (donate or sell) of the things I no longer wear
  16. Be more independent in pretty much every way
  17. Write for more outlets than I already do (apply for more positions, submit more writing samples, etc.)
  18. Do a cleanse- I know it sounds weird, but I'm actually really curious about how cleanses work and what the benefits are. If anyone has done one that really worked, let me know!
  19. Really make an effort to get to know people in the UNT community- I'm still that awkward transfer kid.
  20. Go camping, like, legit. camping (or something as equally out of my comfort zone)
  21. Limit checking my social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, Blog) to 3 times a day- Aim high, right?
Not too bad, huh? Sure, I didn't accomplish everything on the list, and a few were just partially completed, but I'm content with what I am able to cross off. Guess I should start working on my 23 before 23 list!

--------------------

Now that I'm reflecting, my twenty-first year was a pretty amazing one. I graduated from college (and made the Dean's List!), traveled to London and Israel, witnessed the marriages of four wonderful couples, celebrated another year with Boyfriend, grew even closer to my family and friends, matured a lot, and asserted myself more than I ever had before.

This growing up stuff can be tough, but it's definitely a wild ride. Twenty-two, bring it on!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Happy Early Birthday to Me!

I walked into work yesterday morning and was greeted by a mini early birthday party, complete with an adorable birthday banner, a completely decked out desk, a thoughtful card (including 22 reasons why I'm awesome), and probably the most amazing red velvet cupcakes I've ever had!

Thanks team! Y'all are wonderful, and you got my birthday off to a great start!

Some (okay, most) of the 22 reasons why I'm awesome made me laugh, so I thought I'd list them below. :)

  1. You've been working here the longest and, yet, you show no signs of burnout from writing about teeth and gums day after day.
  2. You single-handedly won the scavenger hunt for us! (More on that later...)
  3. You wore heels to your interview.
  4. You giggle at everything and brighten the room.
  5. You always look beautiful!
  6. You're never in a bad mood, even on the day you got in a wreck on the way to work!
  7. You have the scoop on everyone, all the time, including the royal family.
  8. You always have a good attitude, and you are always helpful.
  9. You have a fabulous shoe collection.
  10. You are a worthy scavenger hunt opponent.
  11. You were the first one to talk to me here. That is when I started to feel comfortable and knew I would love working with you!
  12. You are a great teacher and motivator! Your willingness to help others is wonderful!
  13. You think we have no "unfortunate people" working for us.
  14. You always get the job done!
  15. You have a great sense of humor that keeps me laughing throughout the day.
  16. You are always up for social events!
  17. You know what's going on with MyEmma. Good thing someone does.
  18. You are so "tweet."
  19. You are a sweetheart! Your fun personality is infectious (in a good way).
  20. You never call in sick.
  21. You work here. That's cool.
  22. You make everyone feel comfortable and included, whether that's in a conversation or social outing.
Thanks again, guys. You definitely made me smile!

And now a few photos from the party...

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