Friday, August 31, 2012

What's In Store for the Weekend...

So, I don’t have much of anything planned this weekend and I’m quite excited!  This summer has been go-go-go for me and my body and mind are feeling a little tired.  With that being said, I’m sure I will do a lot this weekend, but not having a weekend packed with specific plans is what is jazzing me at the moment. 

I want to…

Have a cookout and make some really cool new recipes!  Pinterest, here I come!  Anyone have any suggestions?  I am always open to making something that has been tried and true in the past.  I want to blend summer and fall…tiki torches, ladder golf, ping pong, Summer Ale & Oktoberfest, Sangria & Cider, popsicles and pie, board games…  I don’t know exactly what will happen, but I really hope that I am able to blend summer and fall nicely!
Catch a Sunset!  I think tonight is the night.  A little beach action with friends…a kayak, a camera, a sunset, music…I’ll be a happy girl J
Revamp my house…change out pictures, move artwork around, redecorate my mantle, switch throw blankets, change linens…
Enjoy some free end of summer concerts at the beach! 
Trail Run at a local park with a girlfriend.  This is planned and it will be a blast.  I'm excited to get outside and run in the woods.  Trail running is my favorite type of running.  It's easier on my feet, shaded for the most part and much more relaxing because you don't have to worry about cars, random comments being shouted, etc.
I'll throw sleeping in, cleaning, church, possibly bowling and relaxing with friends and family in there as well, but those are all things that are low pressure and enjoyable (aside from the cleaning...)
Do you have any big plans?  If so, I’d love to hear about them!
Happy Labor Day Weekend!
Much love.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Rhythm Dress

I won the Ebay bid.
It crossed an ocean and arrived on my doorstep.
It fits.
Thank Heavens!
It's my very first Rhythm Dress!
 
This little thing will be swinging around during my Rumba, Cha Cha, Mambo, Salsa, East Coast Swing, Hustle, and whatever other rhythm dances my overly ambitious and super awesome instructors have signed me up for...some of which I haven't learned yet.  They have more faith in me than I do in myself and I love them for it! 
 
This dress isn't the traditional fringe dress, but I'm kinda diggin it.
What do you think?
Love it?
Hate it?
Give it to me straight.
 
Much love.
 
P.S. This is the second time I am writing this post...Blogger isn't behaving for me...kinda like a little boy I know :)  It's been a rough week.  Sorry for the lack of blogs the past few days and that nasty Off. post.  My world has been rocked this week. Thank God a LONG weekend starts in less than 24 hours!!  Yippy!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Off.

Off.
That explains my state of mind at the moment.
I feel unbalanced, as if something is lacking in my spirit, a lack of excitement…
I’m just off.
It stinks.

Work has been a bit trying.
Dance was fun, but I beat myself up for not being perfect. 
I just wasn’t feeling the music.
I need to feel more positively.  I have been empathetic lately and feeling quite sad or worried for others.  While this isn’t a bad thing, I can’t let it completely alter my state of being. 

Oh Positive Vibes, come find me!  I need you today and probably for the next few days until I shake this “off-ness” that is consuming my body and mind. 
I will be running this evening…hopefully running this off-ness right out of me.

Much love.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Little Doll

My niece...
I love her.

This should be the last photo, but I am having a hard time reordering the photos, so I'll just start off with the STOP TAKING PICTURES picture.
 

Kids say the darndest things.
Especially this one.
 
For example:
That man is weird.
(Said right in front of the man. LOL.  Luckily Pop Pop immediately followed that up with "Am I weird?" Casey "Yup!" Pop Pop "Is Sarah weird? Are you weird?"  Casey "Oh yea!")
 
I was changing while she was sitting on my be and she points to me and says...
You have a tiny butt.
I have a tiny butt too.
Thank you darling!  I love you!
 


This is my favorite photo of her!  Love her face, scab and all!

She tells people what she thinks. 
If she thinks you look pretty, you know it.
If she thinks you should have more than one ring on, you know that too.
If she doesn't want to change, you know.
Luckily, Auntie Sarah is pretty good at coaxing little girls to do as she wishes.
Tickles, finger counting, ring playing, and walks are my main tricks.
 



Oh she is a cutie!

Much love.

Weekend Happenings

This weekend I headed to my parent's house with my puppy as my companion. She was a trooper as always...especially after a traumatizing vet appointment.  She flattens when she knows she's going into the vet and literally gives me puppy eyes.  Oh Lord, it's hard to handle.  I just want to grab her and run the opposite direction.  She has a clean bill of health!

Since I won't be home for my little sister's 12th birthday, we celebrated by getting manicures!  It was her first time and only my 3rd time! 
I went with Friar, Friar I'm on Fire by OPI and I am in love!  It's like fall in a bottle and now on my nails!!  It looks a bit redder than it actually it.  It's a red/orange that just makes me smile every time I look at them :)

The birthday girl got hot pink and then some extra treats in the form of feather paint and sparkles!!  Oh heavens she was a happy one! 
She's a cutie! 
 
After we got our nails done and were feeling all sassy, we headed to Dunkin Donuts request of the birthday girl and got Coffee (oh beloved coffee) and donuts for the two of us and Gramma!  My Gramma is in a nursing home. She can't feel from her waist down, but heavens she still has spunk in that head of hers and an appetite!  Two things I am grateful for and truly appreciate about her!  She always knows what to say and she never turns down desert!


It was a family affair!  My mom, dad and niece all met us up there.  I gave Gramma hand massages and we talked about dancing and family members, sea turtles following the moon and getting manicures, college and going away speeches, and the list goes on.  She looks worlds better from the last time I saw her, thank the Lord!  She's my last gramma on my side of the family and I really really want to have her around for as long as possible.  She is one of, if not, the strongest women I know. 
 
Going home is never complete with a walk.  Home is so relaxing for me.  Enjoy some photos of where I grew up.
The neighboring farm.
 

Corn fields and "the hill" that we dreaded biking up as kids :)


I love grass.
This is me playing with my camera. 
The sun was strong. 

Ink berries!
Quick little story.  When I was younger (8ish) and idolized my older brother, we were out picking berries in my new, super cool, jean coveralls.  I came back and was covered in ink.  My brother told me he knew how to fix it so that mom wouldn't get mad.  Mistake number one was trusting my BROTHER to fix CLOTHING.  He proceeded to tie dye my overalls with bleach.  I ended up having purple, jean and white overalls.  Like mom wouldn't notice that.  LOL.  Me being the little girl I was, I thought they were the coolest things in the entire world because my brother made them.  Looking back, I just shake my head and smile.
 

Small town pride!
 
We are getting a new bridge!!  It has been closed for years and adds 5 minutes to our drive to church and school.  The new bridge is to the left, the old bridge is to the right with the "Road Closed" sign.  Big difference, eh?


Here is a picture of the creek I grew up on.  It's really low...

 
The non documented part of my weekend involves my best friend and a high fashion scarecrow photo shoot!  Sarah i.e. best friend, came in from Detroit, dropped off my wedding dress because she wore it for her wedding, and we headed to Philly!  It was glorious!  We drank Pumpkin Ale, talked about college things and enjoyed being in the city that helped mold our wonderful friendship!
 
The high fashion scarecrow photo shoot was for a friend.  I modeled in a cobalt blue dress, big hair, crazy colorful make-up and red high heels in a field of corn.  Once the photos are edited, I will be sure to put some on here with a link to her website.  She's one talented lady!  Love her! 
 
Much love.

The sky

 
Mr. Sky…Mrs. Sky…The Sky…
The sky is always putting a show on for me.  Yesterday while at work the clouds looked like paper cutouts.   It was crazy.  My boss is lucky my back faces the window because I could have watched that storm roll in for hours.  I had to settle for a quick glance now and then.
On my drive home from Philly, I stopped and took a few pictures of the storm rolling in over the Chesapeake Bay.  They aren’t the magnificent sunset photos that I plan to capture this week/end, but they definitely depict the awesomeness that is The Sky. 



Many people take the sky for granted or just don’t notice the sky, but I am not one of them.  I always notice the stars, the moon, the puffiness or thinness of the clouds, the blueness of a crystal clear day, the vibrant hues of orange, pink and purple at sunset, the softness of a sunset, and the feeling that the sky is portraying.

More posts to come. 

Much love.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Bucket List...

Last week's bucket list was an epic fail, so I am going to continue to work on them.  I did get a bunch of photo taking in this weekend which was nice, but I really want to do a sunset swim and photo shoot sometime this week.  I am thinking Wednesday is the day.  The weather has been crazy here though, so I don't know if it's going to work out or not. 
Embrace Photography...again
I modeled for a high fashion scarecrow photo shoot for a friend this weekend.  That screams creativity which was last weeks theme!
Make Baby Headbands...never even did this, but have to.

Decorate for Fall…just a little.
My little sister and I got our nails done and I chose a lovely fall color!  Does that count?!
I will blog this evening about my lovely weekend or modeling, getting a manicure, visiting with my gramma, spending quality best friend time (no pictures) in Philly and enjoying the outdoors in good old PA.  Oh and coming home to my VA bestie being HOME!!  Yay! 

Much love.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Biggest Loser Update

So, I know I don’t have much to lose, but I am a competitor, so I am losing weight…
Just a little each week (for the most part),
But nonetheless, I am losing.
This week was a whooping 1.8lbs.  (I think I actually gained a little last week…)

I honestly think if I would have done a BMI calculation in early July when I started and now,
that there would be a significant improvement.

My body feels strong.
I run.
I dance.
I do sit-ups & attempt pull-ups and pushups. 
They aren’t my strong points that’s for sure.
I haven’t felt this strong in quite some time.
I eat healthy. Low carb. Lots of fresh fruit and veggies. Protein. 
Diet is a huge part of weight management for me.
Once I get into a routine, it’s easy to stay in it.
Key for me is to only buy what is healthy, avoid eating out, and limit my alcohol intake.
I don’t drink a lot, but I do enjoy the occasional beverage.
Oh, NO SODA and lots of H2O!

I’m happy.

I feel like a decent runner which I have never felt in my entire life…
Even when I played soccer for high school and my community leagues.

Those random tired moments that I used to get during the day are no longer part of my life.
Granted I work for a coffee company, but still, I feel energized for sure! 

I sleep better.
A. LOT. BETTER. 
Probably because my body and mind are both sufficiently worked by the time my head hits the pillow.

Dancing!  Oh Dancing!
I simply love it! 
Twice a week for 1.5-2 hours each night.
I am more confident on the floor…
Actually use my arms to take up space,
(This is a HUGE step for me because I’ve always been self-conscious of my arms.)
Holding my head high…most of the time.
Laughing,
Smiling.
It’s wonderful! 
Thank you Taras, Wendy, Katie and Eric for being such wonderful teachers and embracing me as a student!  I really appreciate your teaching abilities, personalities and love for life!  They are infectious! 

Bottom line.
I might not be losing a ton of weight, but feeling stronger and more confident is definitely way more important and beneficial to me. 

This weekend is full of adventures for me! 
I’ll be in Philly enjoying some…
Sisterly bonding time over a manicure (it’s her first time!)
Best friend Philly time – walking, talking, enjoying the city we became best friends in!
Modeling as a High Fashion Scarecrow for a childhood photographer friend!
Hanging with my family and enjoying some good old outdoors!

Happy Friday!

Much love.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Food: This or That?


I’ve always wanted to be in the cool club, so I’m stealing this little clean eating survey from
who got it from Chelsey at Clean Eating Chelsey


Food: This or That?

Mexican or Italian?
Pre living in San Diego and single Sarah would have said Italiano for sure.
BUT. Post marriage Sarah totally loves her Mexican food.  Hubby adores Mexican food, so I’ve learned to love it!  The key is to be creative!  Fish tacos are my favorite!!

Chips or Fries?
Chips, but not just any old chip, Tortilla Chips to be specific.  They have more meat to them
J
Some lime flavoring and homemade salsa make them to die for!  Yum!

Almond Butter or Peanut Butter?
Never had Almond Butter, but I LOVE good old PB.  I even have a jar in my desk at work when I need a little pick me up.

Cake or Brownie?
Oh Lord.  This is hard. I love lots of cakes and pretty much all brownies.  Can I just say Pie because Pies beats all?!?!  OK, good.  Pie it is!  Mama’s pie to be specific.

Strawberries or Blueberries?
Jeez these questions are hard. 
I think Blueberries because they are more of a treat and less common in my household.

I can easily eat an entire container of blueberries in one sitting.  Heck, I don’t know if I’ve ever opened a container and not finished it within an hour.  Truth.

Thin crust pizza or Deep Dish Pizza?
THIN! 

Coffee or Tea?
I love them both.  Coffee is my thing now, but I’m kinda becoming a snob because I work at a coffee company and we make cappuccinos, macchiato, espressos, etc. whenever we please. 
Tea is my love during the fall, winter and super dreary days.  I do love to curl up with a cup of tea, a good book and ton of blankets…

Chicken or Steak?
Steak. It’s not as healthy, but I love a medium rare steak on the grill.

Milk Chocolate or Dark Chocolate?
Dark Chocolate for sure!  It’s just WAY better!

Apple or Orange?
Apples, but only sweet, crisp ones.  I hate the dry ones. Plus Apples scream FALL to me and I’m kinda on a FALL kick right now!  Apple Cider, Apple Pie, Apple Cobbler, Apple Dumplings, Apple Picking....
 
Happy Thursday...the day before FRIDAY!
Much love.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Photo Dump.

Today was beautiful, but I was stuck inside staring at a computer screen.  Fun times.  I was determined to get outside this evening, but since I only had a few minutes between getting home and having to make dinner before dance class, I had to stay close to home. I grabbed my camera and went to town taking pictures of plants I've nurtured and a puppy I love.  Enjoy the photos.  All are edited in Lightroom3. I am still learning the program. 
 







 





Puppy needs a haircut...but I really love her shaggy.  I think I'm going to trim her with scissors and keep some length because it's almost FALL and she is so much softer with long hair!  She's the perfect little model.
 
Much love.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I'm an UGLY Runner

I am an ugly, I repeat UGLY, runner.
Don't even try to say I'm not.
There are pictures to prove it such as the one below.
What is my arm doing?
Is it even attached to my body?
And holy inner thigh flab.
Not to mention my horribly ugly facial expression.


This one is better, but only because I am looking down
 and determined to get up this hill. 
Plus it's a side-ish view.


Umm...NEVER wearing these shorts to run in again. 
Holy crotch outline.
Eeek!
I really wish I knew this before I chose my attire.
Rookie mistake.
Hey, at least there are pictures to last a lifetime.
Joy!

To make myself feel a bit better...
And to erase those HORRIBLE images from your mind...
Here is a cuter picture of my from this morning.
Today was a high bun kind of day!


I'm not always ugly...just when I'm running.
Sorry to all those who ran that race,
and to those who have witnessed and will witness
my horrible running images.
Gosh I need to work on facial expressions.
Looking like you are going to die when you are actually having fun isn't cool.
Live and learn.

Much love.

Bucket List...Creativity is the Theme


This week is going to be a little different in terms of bucket list goals.  I am going to focus on creativity!  This is an area of my life that has been lacking and I’m really starting to feel dull.  It’s probably driven by the dreary weather we’ve been having down here in Virginia Beach.  It has rained every single day for the past 5 days at least.  That wears on a girl…well, it wears on me.  The sunsets after the rains have been beautiful though.  It’s also been much cooler…high 70’s to low 80’s is cool when you are used to high 90’s low 100’s with super humid conditions.  I’ve actually been wearing jeans out and sweatshirts at home.  Crazy for August, I know! 
So…to be more creative, I am going to…

Embrace Photography
I have a great camera that hasn’t gotten much use lately.  So not cool. You better watch out for some creative shots.  I fully intend on embracing this goal.  Heck, tonight is a great night to start.  Keep an eye out for some beach photos and wine photos because I have a date at a cute little wine place with one of my besties! 

Make Baby Headbands
I love making headbands for little girls, but I haven’t been doing it much lately.  Luckily for me, two little girls have been born within the past month and while I am sure they have plenty of bows, a girl can never have too many!  I’m going to get creative this time…not so many bows…more flowers and buttons.  I’ll post pictures to be in line with my Embrace Photography goal J

Decorate for Fall…just a little.
I love FALL.  I love the colors. the turning leaves. the pumpkins. the apple cider. the fashion. Oh Lord, do I love the fashion!  I think a little post on fall fashion is in my near future.  I have been spending far to much time on Pinterest to not have a fall fashion post. 

So…I am not going to go crazy decorating for fall, but a little swag here and there will be good.  Once October rolls around I will have fall everywhere…Pumpkins in my fireplace, pine cones sprayed gold on my table, a newly decorated wreath on my door, swag on my fireplace, a Give Thanks display somewhere.  I want to have something really sweet about being Thankful for the month of November.  We always say one thing we are thankful at dinner time, but I want to do more this year… Time to get creative!  That’s the theme of this week…this season. 
Oh and if you are into bucket lists or just love the fall, here is a cute little Fall Bucket List that another blogger shared with me!


Kinda love everything on this list!
So excited!
I just can't hide it!
I LOVE FALL!!!
Much love.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Fine Is Not A Feeling

Fine is not a feeling.
I heard that this weekend.  I'm blanking as to where I heard it, but it got me thinking.  Fine isn't a feeling. It's what people say I say when I don't want to expose my true feelings.  It's the scapegoat of feelings. 

Don't get me wrong.  I fully support people keeping their feelings to themselves and saying "I'm FINE," but I do believe that it means
I don't want to tell you how I'm feeling
or I'm hiding something 
or I hurt badly
or Why the heck do you care?
or I'm working on it...got it under control
or I'm embarrassed to say the truth.
Regardless of the reason, fine isn't a feeling in my opinion.
I say it a lot.
And I generally say it when I don't want to talk...which is frequent.
I like to handle things on my own, in my own time, according to my rules.
This causes issues in relationships, but it's how I am. If I feel forced into making a decision I am not sure about, it gets ugly inside me.  I am a worrier. Period.
The more I worry, the tenser I get, the more I retreat inside myself, the more I cry.
Crying helps though.

Wow.  That was a tangent.
Here is a pretty sky picture to lighten the mood. 
I love the sky.  Like totally LOVE. 


Friday evening.

Saturday evening.

Mother Nature delivered once again.  Love her!

Much love.




Peppers

Peppers here.
Peppers there.
Peppers everywhere.


For being a small garden, it has delivered this year.
First with an abundance of tomatoes and herbs.
Now with bell peppers, jalapenos and some random long skinny hot peppers.
They were an oops. 
I thought I got either poblano or another jalapeno plant, but I didn't.
And silly me lost the plant name tag...

That's the one and only bell pepper I have grown.
It's not ready to be picked, but when it is, I'm sure it will be delicious!


My long skinny mystery peppers.
I'm going to make the boys try them.
It looks like salsa making will be in my near future!
Yippy!

**For those of you who have asked, I have a garden growing post in the works.**

Much love.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bucket List Update


I’m just powering through my mini bucket list this week! 
Paint Toes.
My toes are all pretty in light pink!
Read.
I’ve been reading…not finishing, but reading Golf Freak like I promised Mr. Husband I would.  I’m definitely not enjoying it like he enjoyed it, but it also isn’t as rough to get through as I anticipated.  Guess that’s what happens when you set your sights low.  Sorry darlin’ but I wasn’t really looking forward to this book.  I am glad it’s better than anticipated though! It’s actually kinda funny…but that’s because I’m married to a golf freak myself.  Hehe!
Run.
So far, I have fun twice this week.  On Monday I ran 2.2 miles at a local park with a friend and then we did stairs.  I’m not talking normal stairs.  I’m talking 50 stairs up the side of a “man made mountain” i.e. old trash pile now named Mnt. Trashmore!  Bahahaha!  So creative. 
These stairs were hell.  We did them five times and boy-oh-boy that fifth one was intense.  Holy Jelly legs.  As with all my workouts, once they are over regardless of the pain endured during the process, I always feel like a million bucks!  Those stairs were totally worth it. 
Also, in the theme of running, I signed up for two upcoming runs.  One is a 5K 9/11 Hero’s Run that we are doing as a family!  I’m going to make shirts that my in-laws and especially Grandma and Grandpa will be proud of!  It’s a secret for now.  The second run is Run Like A Girl!  It’s an 8k for women and only women!  I’m doing this one with my girlfriends in support of Ovarian Cancer.  If anyone would like to donate, please do so at: The Woo Girls  If you would like to join my team, let me know or just sign up and join my team!  The more the merrier!
Dance.
My Tuesday and Wednesday evenings were dominated by dance!  On Tuesday I had a group Tango lesson with Taras which was challenging, but really good.  Tango is still very new to me, but I think I am progressing well.  Keeping my knees bent, hip joints straight, spine stretched, movements sharp, hand placement correct and the list goes on makes for a spinning head.  After group, I had my private rhythm lesson with Eric!  It was a blast as always.  Rumba, Cha-cha, and Salsa were the focus this week. 
On Wednesday, I had Women’s Formation with Katie and we learned part of the dance to All the Single Ladies!!!  Just imagine 10 women of all ages shaking what the good Lord gave them!  Needless to say, there were lots of laughter!  I have no idea what we looked like, but I can imagine we looked hilarious, youtube worthy for sure!  After getting a nice ab workout from all the laughter, I had to transform into a smooth dancer.  My private smooth lesson with Taras consisted of some Foxtrot, Waltz and Tango!  He challenged me once again. 
I never leave Arthur Murray without feeling like I have learned a lot.  I started keeping a journal because I won’t remember everything.  All of the teachers are phenomenal!  If you know anything about me, I appreciate a great teacher and while I am not currently in school I still feel blessed because I have such wonderful dance teachers in my life who continually challenge me mentally and physically.  While dance is extremely physical, your mind is always going – thinking about steps, following properly, remembering patterns, keeping arms in proper formation, hand placement, feet…heal leads, bent knees, soft feet, close feet... arch back, and always have a smile on your face!  I can smile, but when I am concentrating, it’s really hard to remember to keep that smile.  Practice makes perfect.
Knitting.
I got my yarn and knitting needles out…
They are still sitting on the coffee table.
Blog Layout.
You may think I changed my layout.  I did, but I didn’t .  It’s an old header.  I was creating a new one and blogger was NOT cooperating with me, so I gave up temporarily and put up last season’s blogger.  I really want to have a cute fallish one and I have one created, I just can’t get it to look correct on blogger…  I’ll pick this one up soon. 
Much love.

Monday, August 13, 2012

I Love My Dog.

 This is a little post dedicated to the cutest, most snugglish, probably most spoiled puppy in the entire world.

Presenting to you, the one, the only, Miss Lira Renee!
Yes, she has a middle name for the occasional times I must discipline her.

She never has accidents in the house.
Doesn't chew.
Rarely barks.
But...
She chases bunnies.
Love food...even on the table.
And sometimes hears things that make her bark.

She loves walks and I mean LOVE.

I look really young here.  This is post 8k Mud Run.  Little Lira needed her exercise.

Off we go.

Yes, she is peeing. 
It happens when mama leaves you home for 6 hours.


Post walk mud run nap.
She is a pro at napping.  I'm not too shabby myself. :)

Since I left her home alone for a bit on Saturday and I am gone a lot during the week, I wanted to treat her to a little beach time on Sunday.  This puppy totally digs the beach. 


Queen of the rocks and military debris.

Doing what she does best...sniffing out the dead fish and crabs.
She always smells lovely after a trip to the beach. lol.

 
Even though I put her on the ocean to cool her off.
She got hot.
And stuck her tongue out.

Haha!  You can't help but chuckle at her cuteness!

Holy tongue batman! 
Don't worry, I had a water bowl for her.
She's a keeper.
Love her to pieces!

Much love.