Monday, July 30, 2012

Soft Spot

A little old man with a cane, Navy hat, big square glasses, jeans, sweatshirt and sandals with socks just came to my office door asking for directions.  He was a gentleman through and through calling me Miss and thanking me profusely.  I gave him the directions he was asking for, but all I really wanted to do was offer him a ride to his destination, so that I could guarantee that he would arrive safely. 
As he was leaving, he slowly turned around and said “If I was a lot younger, you’d be my gal! Oh and if I need directions again, I’m coming back to ask you!” and winked.  My heart melted and tears welled in my eyes!
I am now sitting at my desk thinking about this little old man and praying that he arrives safely.
I have a huge soft spot for old men…and they have one for me.  Just ask my friends . If there is a cute little old man in a crowd, he will find me.  I’ve been told “I have the look” which I am assuming is the dark hair, fair skin, big smile, classic look.   
I miss my grandpops. A. Lot.
Much love.

Weekend Through Instagram...

Friday night was MURDER MYSTERY GUEST DANCE PARTY NIGHT at Arthur Murray!  It was an absolute blast!  The instructors and actors were amazing!  Major props for all the hard work and creativity that went into the night!  Once again, Arthur Murray showed us a great time!  It’s such a wonderful group of individuals – I’m starting to think of them as my little diverse family and I love it!  Dancers are really quite cool ;) 

Let’s just say that I really wanted to watch the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony that I DVR’d after dance, but my body had different plans.  I was passed out on the couch within 30 minutes of getting home.  All this running and dancing coupled with work being crazy busy has taken a toll on my body.  Sleep was a must and sleep is what I got….until 9am on Saturday!  Ahhh!  Glorious sleep! 
Saturday was pretty lazy…well, the morning was.  I slept, cooked eggs and watched the Olympics.  Gosh, those athletes are absolutely inspirational.  So inspirational that I decided to run at high noon. Bad idea.
So, I’m still a slow, crappy runner, but I am definitely feeling way stronger and running multiple miles is getting much easier for me.  On Saturday, I did a 3 mile run that resulted in a puking and walk/run after that little incident.  The only reason I got sick was because I ran in 90+ degree weather under the high noon sun.  (It was the only time that I had free to run, so I went for it. Won’t be doing that again anytime soon.)  Even with walking, I did 3 miles in 32 minutes.  Not too shabby for just starting up with this running thing.

Saturday night was a spur of the moment cookout, Olympic viewing night with another couple!  Comfy clothing, beer, watermelon sangria (yes, I made it again and it was even better this time), brats, tomato/basil/moz and M&M’s for desert all made for a fun night in.  The boys drank too much.  The girls behaved…pretty typical.  I have had very little desire to drink lately and I’m totally diggin it.  I still love my glass of wine now and then, but it’s becoming less and less frequent. 
Sunday was a J-man day!  Little man and I went to church in the morning.  The homily was about the miracle of the fishes and loaves feeding thousands.  Well, this little boy loves fishing, so he was all ears!  He even told his dad how good Church was later in the day!  After church we came home, watched some more of the Olympics and made a green shake.  Little man was very skeptical about this green shake…he we oblivious to the fact that I put spinach in all his shakes until this very moment.  Normally the strawberries red color overpowers the green, but this time we used peaches, so the green dominated.  He was skeptical, but once I gave him a taste for approval, he wanted more!   

After lunch we all headed to the beach!  The water was nasty looking, but we still went in.  I regret that decision because now I am sick as can be. Ugh.  We still had fun trying to stand on the boogie board, throwing little man, working on kicking with straight legs and talking up a storm.  I got some color, so now I’m not a ghost!  It feels good to look alive again!  Home to shower we went!
Sunday night, little man wanted ice cream, so I told him that if he ran to WaWa, I would let him pick out an ice cream of his choice!  Well, sure enough, he set a 10 minute/mile pace and off we went.  I stayed just behind him and told him which way to turn at each intersection.  He is a good little runner and REALLY enjoyed that ice cream snickers cone!  (I got a vitamin water because I still had to do my real run for the day.)  We walked home and then I went on my real run.  It wasn’t much faster.  I did 2 miles in 19.32minutes.  I’m just happy I didn’t stop at all.  If you put it all together, (0.86 mile run to Wawa, 0.86 walk home from wawa, 2 mile run) I did 3.72 miles of cardio last night.  I’m A-ok with that! 

The night ended with my giving a haircut to my neighbor and a little game of Apples to Apples!  Love that game! 

I hope your weekend was everything you needed it to be!
Follow me on instagram @xsarexbearx
Much love.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Biggest Loser Challenge

My work does 12 week Biggest Loser Challenges.  Anyone who wants to participate pays $10 and then at the end, whoever loses the most Percentage Body Weight gets the pot.  That being said, I decided to join for a few reasons: 1. It’s really hard for me to pass up a challenge. I love winning. 2. Motivation and weekly weigh-ins totally keep me on track. 3. Why not make the winning pot just a little sweeter?!?
As you saw from my last post, I started running and I love it.  Well, now I really love it because since Friday, I have lost 4.4lbs!!  Today is a good day!  I feel sexy!  Oh so sexy!  I’ll keep ya’ll posted on my progress (even though this will probably be the best week I ever have).  I don’t really need to lose weight, but if I lost a few more pounds, I wouldn’t complain. 
Random tidbit…I look really young when I run…and after I run…

A little post 3 mile beach run treat!

(Lir-Lir yawning after my early morning run...something is wrong with this picture.)

Eating healthy is extremely helpful too!
Fresh sliced homegrown tomatoes, cheese and turkey for lunch!

Much love.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Northern Girls in a Texan Town

Let me just say...I didn't take any pictures because I forgot my SD card.  I am sorry...more for myself because I love capturing moments. 

A best friend weekend was totally and completely necessary, so we scheduled one.  Last minute flights are never cheap, but when they are to visit someone special, the money doesn’t seem to matter…
One vacation day scheduled, two flights, one layover in the City of Brotherly Love to grab a Philly soft pretzel of course, one detour around a storm, one embrace and two huge smiles…Happy day!
It had been just shy of eleven months since we had seen each other and it was far too long.  The last time we were together she was getting MARRIED! 
This time we were flying solo, while our husbands were elsewhere, so there was a lot of best friend girl talk happening - some serious topics, some reminiscing about college and weddings, some just plain old random.  Since it rained a lot the 2 days I was there, we drank lots of hot tea while curled up on the couch and chatted.   The Big Lebowski was viewed…it’s a dude flick.  I think I need to see it again to appreciate it.  Or maybe I will never appreciate it because I’m just not a dude, Dude. (If you saw the movie, you’d understand the Dude reference.)
Sarah gets me.  I can be brutally honest with her and she still loves me.  Answering with haste is not her style.  All her responses are well thought out and much appreciated.  She is very intuitive.  I need her in my life and I love that Mr. Grady placed us in the same Honors Triple freshman year of college.  Everything else is history.  Glorious history! 
Thanks for a great weekend Sarah #1! 
Love, Sarah #2
Much love.

Me Run? No Way. Yes, Way!

So, last week I started running in the mornings and I am in love!  I am not a runner, but there is something extremely satisfying and peaceful about getting up early and heading outside before the world really wakes up.  It’s cooler, quieter and is quickly becoming a favorite part of my day. 

I signed up for an 8k Mud Run!  If you know me at all, you know I really don’t run much.  So, the fact that I am getting enjoyment from running is really a breakthrough for me.  I’ve only been running between 1 and 2 miles, which isn’t far, but it’s a start.  Tonight I am going to the beach and running 3 miles!  I haven’t done 3 miles yet, but I am going to even if I am running really slowly.  I. Will. Not. Stop.

I’m a girl that needs her alone time…really needs her alone time.  I love trying new things, being surround by people, being outdoors, working, and being crazy-busy, but amid my hectic life, I need some alone time to stay balanced.  When I say alone time, I don’t mean family time, hubby time, girl time... I mean ALONE time.  Well, my puppy can be with me because she doesn’t talk, so she’s cool.  Serious alone time generally comes in the form of walking, reading, photographing nature, or working in my garden, but now that I am getting up early, running has become my new alone time thing. 

Aside from the alone time satisfaction, another benefit from running is that I am totally dropping pounds like it’s nobody’s business!  Eek! Happy Dance!  I’ve lost 6 lbs since last Friday!  Woop Woop!  I also think that the more I run and the stronger I get, the better I will dance and that right there makes me one happy lady!  Speaking of dancing, I had a great private lesson on Tuesday and I am going to go to DC Freestyles this September!  Time to get my body in motion!  Practice, practice, practice!!

Happy Thursday! 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Guest Post Time

Happy Thursday, the day before FRIDAY!!
{Happy Dance}

Lindsay over at Three Peas In My Little Pod asked me to do a little guest post on hippie stuff with some healthy cooking and dash of me!

Hop on over and visit this very cool chic's blog and my guest post of course! 

I'm stoked to have met her in this wonderful world of blogging!
Much love.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Apologies for Being MIA

I will blog this week.  I have a few posts started, but since I was away this weekend visiting my best friend, was extremely delayed in my return and have had a crazy week at work, I haven't had time to blog.  Oh and I've also been reading a ton.  One book is actually a quality read, the others are more romance novels that are easy reads and allow me to escape from my day before falling asleep.

I wrote a guest blog that will debut on Thursday!  I'll post details later.  Keep an eye out for it. 

Much love.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Olympics #1: Team USA Attire

Who's excited for the SUMMER OLYMPICS?!?!  This crazy proud USA lady is!  And by default, my entire household is STOKED!  The summer Olympics are so much fun to watch!  The swimming, gymnastics, diving, track and field...oh baby, I'm excited! 

So a little Olympic fashion update:

According to an article,

"As the official outfitter of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams, Ralph Lauren designed both the opening and closing ceremony parade outfits as well as a collection of village wear apparel and accessories. This is the third consecutive time the company has designed the official outfits for Team USA.

Modeling the official gear — berets and all — on TODAY were Team USA soccer player Heather Mitts and fencer Tim Morehouse.

They were joined by David Lauren, Ralph Lauren's Executive Vice President. In designing the outfits, the company was "very inspired by the 1948 Games, which is the last time that American competed in England," he said of the "updated take on old-world elegance."

I'm totally diggin' the outfits.  Major props to Ralph Lauren for keeping it classy and traditional.  The berets add a little military representation which makes me proud and represents the freedom the United States has gained from the great sacrifices of our men and women that serve and have served in the military.  The only articles of clothing that I am a bit uncertain of are the socks...they are kind of bad ass and certainly fit they style of the late 40's early 50's, but I just don't know how I feel about them yet...

What are your thoughts?  Are you beyond excited? Any special plans or traditions for watching the Olympics? 

I fully intend on having the games on 24/7 while I am home and wearing a bit more red, white and blue during them! Heck, maybe I'll decorate my house, get a flag and go to town!  Creating memories for J-man is quite important to me!  If he is anything like me and my siblings when we were younger, watching the Olympics was a BIG deal and SUPER exciting.  My dreams and aspirations would go wild!  The US team is inspirational!


Much love.

I Wish I Was...

Not sitting at a desk all day. But I do.
Writing creatively…about woodland fairies that enchant forests and dance among leaves that act as shelter from storms and predators.  I blog to fulfill a bit of my writing passion.  I need to be more confident in my ideas and abilities.  Writing is something that has always been part of my life...thank you notes, apology notes, reports, journals, pen pals, etc.  It helps me to put my feelings down on paper.  We all have our thing.  I just need to embrace mine a bit better. 
Crafting.  Oh the things I would make if money and time were endless.  And if I didn’t constantly think for every hole I put in the wall, I will have to spackle and paint it in a few months…  Oh how I loathe renting. 
Hiking the Blue Ridge Mountains, camping in the wilderness, swimming in fresh streams and rushing waterfalls…enjoying nature and all its wonders.  This is a must for this fall.  J-man and Ryan better brace themselves for some sweet camping trips planned by yours truly!  It will be fun.  Lots. Of. Fun. Yippy!
Taking B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L. photographs.  This is something that lots of research and practice will help.  I just need to find the right books and make time to really work on my photography skills.  I am constantly amazed by some of my friends who have become great photographers and have such busy lives. 
TOTALLY RANDOM... I want to be a mama again. I have baby fever badly.  It literally came out of nowhere.  I have been so content on not having a baby for a long time, but over the past week, holy cow, baby fever hit me and hit me hard.  **This does not mean that we will try to have a baby now.  It’s just a fact.  I have baby fever. Period.**
Surrounded by family and friends.  They are my world.  They get me, make me laugh, love my quirks, accept me for me, support me and challenge me, and are emotional saps that are passionate about living full and amazing lives.  I love my family! 
Turning up the music, slapping on an apron, and hitting the kitchen dancing and baking with a little J-man!  Time to make hubby chubby!!  Muhahaha!
Rock on!  Have a wonderful week!
Much love.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

My Little Garden

There is no doubt that my parents passed on their love for gardening to me. Being out in the yard is so relaxing and gives me a sense of accomplishment.  This year I planted a few tomato plants, a jalapeno pepper plant, a bell pepper plant and some herbs.  The tomatoes are growing fast and producing a lot of fruit.  The peppers are a bit slower.  This is my first time growing bell peppers, so only time will tell if I succeeded or not.

Check out this Big Boy!    

I'm looking forward to enjoying tomatoes in the coming weeks...this plant is making me proud!

These little guys never make it inside.  I just pop cherry tomatoes in my mouth while I'm outside doing yard work.

I don't have much space to work with, but I am trying to make the most of it.  Being a renter significantly hinders the amount of yard I can dig up.  These plants are monsters though.  Jared is going to be shocked when he sees them!  I think they might be taller than he is! 

My one and only jalapeno pepper!  This plant is for Ryan. It will make some great salsa with those tomatoes!

Another angle.

Much love.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Dancing the Night Away

Friday night was date night for husband and I!  We started off with a private dance lesson that covered all the dances we have learned since January...Rumba, Foxtrot, Hustle, East Coast Swing, Cha-Cha, Salsa, and West Coast Swing.  Husband did wonderful!  I was impressed.  During our lesson, we were informed it was our last private lesson of the first 20 sessions.  It was sad and exciting at the same time... but fear not, we aren't done.  We decided to give our instructor the go ahead to push us to the next level!  Insert happy dance for me! 

After our private lesson, we learned how to shag in group class! Get your mind out of the gutter, it's a dance!  A very simple dance... right (forward), left(together), right (back)... (in place)left, right, left...rock step (back)...repeat.  It was fun as always! 

But...the topping of the night was dancing freestyle with my baby!  We had a blast!  Everything just seemed to click.  We were smiling, dancing, kissing, and just relaxed!  Loved it!

Here are some pictures of the wonderful Arthur Murray family dancing the night away! They aren't the best pictures because...
a) I am still learning.
b) It's a darker studio with bright windows, so the lighting was throwing me off.
c) I was torn between capturing memories and dancing.
d) The urge to dance was stronger so photography took a back burner.

You know you want to dance!  Just do it!

Much love.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

4th of July

 **The fonts are messed were giving me issues...this post is a mess.  I apologize in advance.  Don't tell me you weren't warned!**

I slept in until 9am then lounged in bed with my puppy and read a book…it was a glorious way to start my day!  While I was in relaxation euphoria, Ryan was doing his favorite thing…playing golf.  It was a win-win situation Wednesday morning.  By the time Lira and I drug our booties out of bed, the sun was high and the heat and humidity were here to stay.  While I suffered through a brutally hot walk, Lira took a dip in the lake to cool off.  She was a happy puppy after that. 
My creative bones started twitching, so to the thrift store I headed.  And boy oh boy did that thrift store deliver!  A spoon rack, a cute mug and a 60’s style glass for $0.99…yes, please!  We have a tiny, really tiny, bathroom and I have makeup and toothbrushes and a need for color and originality, so when I saw Kelle Hampton turn a spoon rack into a decorative piece, I knew I need to do something similar for my bathroom.  It was the perfect solution to having a clear counter, a pop of color and some eye candy!  Kelle’s such a creative gal! 
My creative juices weren’t quite satisfied…so to the kitchen I went!  What happens when you have a watermelon, a bottle of dry white wine, some limes, oranges and apples…Watermelon Sangria’s what happens!  And sure enough, it delivered as well!  Watermelon alone is refreshing and satisfying, but with some citrus and a bottle of wine it was the perfect adult summer beverage!  I tried it without the wine too and it was delish! 
Half a medium watermelon
Bottle of dry white wine – I used a Dry Riesling
Two limes diced
Two oranges diced
One Apple diced
Blend the watermelon and pour through colander
Add wine (optional), lime, orange, and apple.
Chill for two hours.  Serve over ice. With mint optional. Enjoy!
Once the kitchen was cleaned, I showered and added some American Independence pride to my body. 
Oh and who can forget Lira!  She knows how to rock it!

Sweet headband, eh?!

The 4th of July isn’t complete without good food, great conversations, some card games and good friends, so off to Julia & Ryan’s we went!  Ryan just got home from deployment...Yay!  Miss Julia’s heart is happy again!  These two know how to deliver on the food front…shrimp with lime and cilantro, cheesy-pepper-garlic bread, avocado-tomato-feta-corn-lime salad, fruit salad, potato salad with bacon, and ribs!  All of that with the watermelon sangria made for one happy and content group of friends! 

She's a cutie!!  Love her!

All the festivities tired Hawkeye out...Oh wait, he just loves to sleep.  :P 

We played a card game…totally blanking on the name…that was similar to Apples-to-Apples, but was for dirty minds. Oh Lordy! Some were totally inappropriate, others were just hilarious. It was entertaining to say the least. 

Once 9 o’clock rolled around, we headed to the golf course to see when fireworks were lighting up the sky.  I love fireworks!  They delivered in true fashion!  Happy Independence Day!  I hope you had a lovely day surrounded by your friends and family.  Never forget those who fought and lost their lives for our freedom. 
Much love.


My Fourth of July started the evening of July 3rd on the beach with friends, some ladder golf, rolling waves, a soft breeze and a breathtaking moon rise.  The sky always amazes me.  Whether it's a beautiful sunset that blends hues of orange, pink, purple into a magnificent mirage, puffy white clouds that make you imagination go wild, or lightening dancing across the night sky, the sky awes me.  This Tuesday evening, the moon put on a show and I enjoyed it.  Thank you, Mr. Moon!  I saw your face loud and proud smiling down on me.

It's on the rise...

I see the moon.
The Moon sees me.
God Bless the Moon.
And God Bless Me.

That is the first prayer I have memory of learning and it holds a special place in my heart.  I have vivid memories of kneeling on the wooden floor next to my bed, that was covered in white linens, with my parents by my side, looking out the window at the moon and reciting that prayer.  I love those memories.  I also love the ones that or dad and sometimes both climbing into bed with me and my brother Tom to tell us stories.  Not stories from a book...stories from their experiences with some flare.  The fairy stories were my favorite...and still are.  My parents captivated every ounce of my attention and imagination in those stories.  I still love a great story and a wild imagination!  Thanks Mom and Dad, you did good! 

And because I'm a girl whom is NOT afraid of bugs, look what I found on my morning walk with Lira...a Cicada!! 

It's was dead when I found it.  It now resides in my house.  I will do something creative with it...

More posts to come soon.  I am back into this blogging thing!

Much love.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Salsa Spotlight

I had my first Spotlight performance on Friday and it was a blast!  A spotlight is a short routine that you perform in front of the other members of the studio to showcase what you've been working on...and to gain some performance confidence. 
Eric, one of the instructors with Arthur Murray, was nice enough to teach me 5 or 6 salsa patterns.  He isn't my normal teacher, but he was an absolute joy to work with! 

**Eric, Thank you so much for taking me on as a student!  I enjoyed every second...even the frustrating ones!** 

We trained only three times in preparation for the performance due to a last minute decision to have me showcase a dance.  I was a ball of nerves before the performance and ball of excitement and gratitude afterwards.  You can see me relax throughout the dance.  I didn’t mess up…aside from the ending…my back was too arched. 
I just feel alive when I dance!  Here is my minute and a half performance!  Enjoy!

Side note: I think I have a booty!  It's been a long time in the making.  :P
I borrowed the skirt and am on the hunt for a slightly shorted, lower waisted skirt that is similar to this one. 
Let me know what you think!

Much love.