Saturday, January 19, 2013

Stop This Train

I'm a planner. I like knowing exactly what I'm going to do and how I'm going to do it. When things don't go the way they are supposed to or when change is involved, I kinda freak out. "Going with the flow" is something I've been working on but it's still hard for me. There have been a lot of changes going on in my life since the beginning of 2013; I got a new job, school started again, and J and I have had to discuss a possible major life decision. It's all been really overwhelming.

Don't get me wrong, the new job is a blessing! I applied on a whim and I feel like everything kinda fell into place. It's a position that blends my background of customer service with my love of it's a slight pay increase and I'll be able to get more hours! It came at the perfect time. My previous employer had just announced that they are going to be capping hours at twenty per week. That just isn't enough to make ends meet! Also, I knew that my expenses were going to significantly increase starting in May so I had to figure something out anyways.

It was hard for me to say goodbye to my job at the university. I didn't like it all that much but I felt...comfortable. I was good at my job, I got along with all of my coworkers, and things were good. Now I'm the "new girl", I don't have all the answers, and I mess up occasionally. I really hate that! I've only worked there for three days, but I get frustrated with myself and feel like I should have it all down by now.

That has been stressing me out, along with adjusting to this new schedule AND worrying about that major life decision I mentioned earlier. I just need to stay positive, remember that everything happens for a reason, and be thankful for the many wonderful things I have going on in my life right now.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

New Year (2013) Tag

I was too lazy to come up with a topic to blog about, so I decided to do a tag instead. I found this one from

01.) What did you do in 2012 that you'd never done before?
We went to our first NBA game in November. I also got to pet a dolphin for the first time when we visited SeaWorld!

02.) Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for 2013?
My resolution for 2012 was to eat healthier and work out more. I didn't stick with it. I decided not to make a New Year's resolution this year because it has become such a cliche. I can decide to make a positive change in my life no matter what day of the year it is!

03.) Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes! My sister, Jennifer, had a beautiful baby boy named Eli.

04.) Did anyone close to you die?
My great grandmother passed away in March, and it was the hardest loss I've ever dealt with.

05.) What countries did you visit?
I have never been outside of the U.S., but I made a couple small trips back to the Midwest and to different cities in Texas.

06.) What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
A dependable car, more spending money, and I'd like to take an actual vacation!

07.) What dates from 2012 will forever be etched in your memory?
I don't keep track of memories by dates. Is that weird?

08.) What was your biggest failure?
I don't like to look at life from that perspective.

09.) Did you suffer illness or injury?
I started to develop psoriasis from one of the medicines I was taking. They took me off that med for a while, which in turn made my arthritis drastically worse. It hasn't been the best year for me health wise.

10.) What was the best thing you bought?
I honestly don't know. I didn't buy anything that was particularly fun or interesting.

11.) What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The birth of my second nephew, our anniversary trip to San Antonio, and getting to go back to the Midwest and see my family!

12.) Compared to this time last year, are you:
       a. Happier or Sadder? Happier!
       b. Skinnier or Fatter? I weigh the same actually
       c. Richer or Pooer? About the same

13.) What do you wish you'd done more of?
Meeting new people! I still haven't met any close friends in Houston.

14.) What do you wish you'd done less of?
Eating out. It's embarrassing that they know me at Taco Bell by my order lol

15.) What was your favorite tv show?
Pretty Little Liars. Duh!

16.) What did you want and get?
I wanted to start my own business...and I did. Things didn't really turn out the way I wanted, but at least I accomplished it.

17.) What did you want and not get?
An engagement ring lol

18.) What was the best film you saw?
Movies really sucked this year! The Hunger Games and the Dark Knight Rises were probably my two favorites.

19.) What did you do on your birthday?
Went out to dinner and to a nightclub with J, my sister, and a small group of friends.

20.) Describe your personal fashion sense in 2012?
I enjoy fashion, but I don't know how to put an outfit together and don't ever have money to spend on clothes. I pretty much wore jeans and a t-shirt every day.

21.) What kept you sane? My wonderfully amazing boyfriend.

22.) Who did you miss? All of my family and friends who live far away. My grandmother who passed away.

23.) Who was the best new person you met? I didn't get the chance to meet very many, no one.

24.) Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned: Don't sweat the small stuff. Be comfortable with where you're currently at. Accomplish goals for yourself, not anybody else.

25.) Was 2012 a good year for you? Why? Yes - I had a roof over my head, and the love and support of my boyfriend and family. That's all I need.

26.) What are your plans for 2013?
Getting my health under control will be my number one priority. I'm about to start a new medicine and I'd like to try physical therapy as well. I want to continue being succuessful in school and get more involved on campus. I'm going to start looking for a full time job soon. Lastly, I'd like to help out more at my church and local animal rescue.

I hope you all had a great year, and that 2013 will be even better for you! I tag everyone!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide - Unique & Handcrafted

I can't believe that Christmas is right around the corner! I'm just finishing up my shopping and figured I would give ya'll a couple ideas for unique gifts. I really don't like getting people gift cards or generic bath & body sets, so I really thought long and hard this year about what to get everyone. I also specifically tried to buy local, homemade, or handcrafted. I probably should have put this list out a few weeks ago, but it's the thought that counts. Right? Here we go...

(In no particular order)

01.) Customized Cereal - $11.99 a bag
This one might sound a little odd, but it's an inexpensive and customized gift that any cereal lover will adore. You get to choose all of the ingredients, from the granola base to a candy or fruit topping. Element Bars is the name of the company (click Customized Cereal to redirect to their website) and they also offer customized protein bars.
02) Artisan Baking & Dessert Salts - $18.00
This set would be perfect for the foodie in your life! These dessert salts/seasons will bring new life to your baked goods. Each type of salt comes with a description of what it would pair well with. I ordered this gift set for my aunt. It is from a seller on Etsy called Purpose Design. It looks like it's out of stock at the moment, but I'm sure it will be replenished soon.

03) Hand-Stamped Jewelery - $30-80
There are several sellers on Etsy who offer hand stamped jewelry  guitar picks, money clips, etc. The image below is from a seller named 3LittlePixiesShoppe. This particular necklace is $68.00 and you can customize what is inscribed. Maybe put the recipient's anniversary date, children's names, or nickname.

04) DIY Chai Tea Kit - ?
Here is another one from Purpose Design on Etsy. This is also out of stock (ugh sorry) but this list is just to give you some ideas. I'm sure you could find something similar from another seller on Etsy or possibly online somewhere. It'd make a great gift for any tea lover!

05) Gourmet Popcorn Seasoning - $15.00
My dad LOVES popcorn, so this is one of the things I bought him. This particular set comes with six flavors: apple pie, classic kettle corn, southern BBQ, dill pickle, vanilla chai, and big Texas ancho chili. Once again, it's from Purpose Design on Etsy! If they are sold out, do a search on Etsy for "popcorn seasonings" and I'm sure you'll find plenty of other sellers.

In Your Face Beauty Works on Etsy offers several mineral makeup gift sets. The one I got for my aunt was only $12.00. All of Suzy's makeup is natural, vegan, and gluten free. It's also waayyy cheaper than Bare Escentuals and you get a lot of product.

07) Hand-Poured Scented Candle - $19.95
I own my own candle shoppe, but it is currently on hiatus. Since candles are great holiday gifts, I thought I'd make a reccomendation of another place to purchase from! Sugarville Candles on Etsy makes beautiful and DELICIOUS looking candles! I have never personally ordered from her so I can't vogue for how good they smell, but she has several great reviews. It'd be worth checking out!

Welp, that's all of the suggestions I have for now. I hope at least one of these ideas has helped to inspire you! Leave a comment below and let me know what gift you'd love to receive this year!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Jennifer Lawrence is Fat!

Ya'll know what I mean when I refer to Google autofill/auto complete, right? I have no idea if that is the correct name for it but its the only thing popping up in my head right now. If you don't, it is the feature on Google that finishes your thoughts. It will create suggestions for searches you might have as you are typing. I'm pretty sure the suggestions are based off of popular searches, so it can give you a little insight into what the general public is Googling!
Last night, I Googled "Jennifer Lawrence" because I saw the trailer for her new movie, The Silver Linings Playbook. The trailer sucks because it doesn't give you any sort of idea what the movie is actually about, but it caught my attention because of her. I think she is absolutely gorgeous in a non-traditional way that only makes her even MORE beautiful! I was so pleasantly surprised that she was the leading lady in The Hunger Games. She has a round face, a curvy body, and isn't a size zero...very atypical these days in Hollywood! According to what I read online, she is 5'7" and 137 lbs. That is the same height as me, and two pounds lighter than what I weighed during my freshman year in college. It's not far off from my current goal weight, in fact.

I typed in "Jennifer Lawrence is" and the first suggestion was "Jennifer Lawrence is fat." The second is "Jennifer Lawrence is ugly." I can't tell you how angry that made me! What is wrong with popular culture these days that in order to "beautiful", you have to have a surgically rearranged face and starve yourself to "perfection"? Its frustrating because body issues, body dysmorphic disorder, and the unrealistic expectations of the entertainment industry have been discussed for years! So why are we still dealing with these issues when it's almost 2013?

Seventeen magazine made a pledge not to Photoshop their models....but come on! The models they are hiring don't need Photoshop anyways...they need Taco Bell! Dove has it's "Real Beauty" campaign, which is amazing...but how come it hasn't caught on? Why am I still being bombarded by tanorexic women in every outlet of the media? It frustrates me but it also motivates me! I've known I wanted to be in advertising since I was in the eighth grade. The whole reason I got interested in the industry was because I want to change standards and create a more broad definition of beauty. I've been feeling a lack of motivation in school lately and that Google suggestion just reminded me of why I'm going to school in the first place! Funny how something so small can put things into perspective.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Update / Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss

I'm sorry, I'm sorry...I'm awful at consistently blogging! But lucky for life is fairly boring so it won't be hard to get you up to speed. On September twenty-seventh, "J" and I celebrated three years together! It's a weird, contradictory feeling....I feel like our first date was not that long ago, but at the same time it seems like I've been with him forever. In honor of the special day, we took a weekend trip to San Antonio! This is a really big deal for us because we've lived in Texas for well over a year and had never visited any city besides Houston.

Me & "J" - Picture from Oct 2010

San Antonio was aahhhhh-mazing! To be honest, we only took our "trip" there because of SeaWorld; Neither one of us thought we would fall in love with the city. We immediately noticed that it was a much different place than bustling Houston. Everyone is so much friendlier, it has a much nicer "vibe", and is actually really pretty. Unlike the bayou city, San Antonio actually has hills :o :o which makes for really pretty scenery! SeaWorld was a lot of fun (I got to feed and pet a dolphin), our hotel was awesome, and visiting the River Walk was really neat. As soon as we got home, we started looking at apartments and homes in SA. I think we are honestly going to move there as soon as I graduate.

Diet wise...I'll be honest, I haven't been making strides. The only thing I've been doing is taking Alli and trying to be slightly more conscious about what I'm eating. I've lost a couple of pounds, but it's been verrrryyy slow and nothing to be excited over. However, my doctor put me on prednisone last week and warned me that it can increase appetite and bloating. Perfect! Also, I don't think it'd be a good idea to take Alli with prednisone because it could decrease absorption. Lastly, my arthritis has been pretty bad recently and I don't see me being able to comfortably work out in the near future. For all of these reasons, I decided to get really serious about finding a weight loss plan that will work for me.

My sister told me about an intermittent fasting plan called the 5:2 diet. To put it simply, you choose two days out of the week that you will fast. On your "fasting days", you can eat up to 500 calories for women or 600 calories for men. On the other five days of the week, you can eat as your normally would. Weight loss from this diet plan is typically 1-3 lbs per week. It seemed like a really do-able plan for me because it is flexible and doesn't feel as "permanent" as a normal diet. What I mean by that is that you don't have to look at a cookie and think "Oh my God...I'll never be able to eat that on this diet". Instead, you can think "I can have that cookie tomorrow." Because of this, you're a lot less likely to cheat. I don't want what I just said to be misunderstood, so let me add this are not supposed to binge on your regular days. Just eat your normal amount!

I've done one fasting day and one regular day so far. I ended up going over my calories slightly because I didn't plan appropriately. I ended up at 530 calories for the day. Although I was really disappointed in myself for going over, I was still insanely proud of myself that I could eat so little and still be fine. I've struggled to get down to 1200 calories a day for such a long time, so 530 calories is like a landslide victory!!! My next fast day is tomorrow and it should be a lot more successful since I've planned out exactly what to eat. Let me know if you guys are interested in this, and I'll keep you updated!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Flat Iron + Makeup = Friends

I've had a really hard time making friends as an adult. I've lived in Houston for over a year now and haven't made a single friend! As a woman, that's really depressing! I miss having a best friend who I can talk to about anything, go shopping with, try new restaurants with, etc. When Magic Mike came to theaters, I fully realized how badly I need/want a female friend. The only person I know here is my boyfriend! Although he is my best friend and loves me dearly, there is no way in hell he would pay $8.00 (or anything for that matter) to watch me and other women drool over Channing Tatum.

It got me thinking...why haven't I been able to meet friends here? It's not for a lack of trying. I've started convos with classmates only to receive a look as if they were thinking "why is this chick talking to me?" I joined a church group for college aged kids, and I just didn't "click" with anybody. Maybe I am too picky? I seriously try not to be. I'm willing to hang out with anybody who is nice and personable. I jut rarely run into anyone that is since I don't have a lot of outlets for meeting people; just my school (which is a commuter school), work (which is AT my school), or my church (which is huge).

I'm starting to think that my lack of friends is because of my image. I'm a t-shirt and jeans kind of girl, my hair is always up in a pony tail, and I wear the bare minimum amount of makeup. Maybe this is my negative self image speaking, but I think a lot of women would rather be friends with "pretty girls". It may sound stupid, but I really think it is true! My theory was sort of proven last weekend when I came to work with my hair and makeup done. As soon as I stepped in the office, everyone noticed and made a big deal about it. There's nothing really atypical about that considering they've probably only seen me with my hair done a handful of times. However, I started to notice that I was being treated differently by the women in the office as well.

Two of the girls in the office were at the front, separated from the rest of the workers. I would consider them to be the popular girls of the office. They are well liked and get a lot of attention from the guys who walk past the window. They are always nice to me, but on Saturday...they were especially nice. They asked me to come up to the front and sit with them. This is going to sound stupid, but that's sort of equivalent to being asked to sit with the Plastic's (Mean Girls) at lunch. Total exaggeration (lmao) and that sounds ridiculous, but I don't really know how to get my point across without making a juvenile association like that. I have to assume that it was because I looked pretty that day, but hey....correlation is not necessarily causation.

I am going to try to put more of an effort into my looks, but not to find friends. I honestly don't want to be friends with somebody who only wants to be around me because I dress nice and look pretty. I just want to look good for my boyfriend. Well, sort of for myself. When we first started dating, I was skinny, always did my hair, and felt gorgeous. Three years later, we live together and I always look frumpy. I want to feel "sexy" again and get stared at by men when we go out like I used to! My boyfriend thinks I am beautiful, which is validation enough, but getting hit on or stared at just makes you feel good about yourself sometimes. Ya know?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Dog Days of Summer

I feel like I've been in a whirlwind since school started last week. I went from having tons of free time to hardly having enough time to get an adequate amount of sleep! I have class on Tuesdays and Thursdays (in addition to two online classes) and I work Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM. I didn't expect or want to work this much during the school year but this is our busiest time of year and I am very much so needed.

Hopefully the following weeks will be a little less crazy than this one was. I unknowingly signed up for an 8-week course and the first four chapters, discussion board response, a four page analysis and summary paper, and an exam were all due by Thursday afternoon. I didn't even receive my textbook in the mail until Wednesday when I got home from work! I tried to ask my professor for an extension, but she simply said I should've ordered my textbook sooner...which I would have had I known it was an 8-week course! But whatever, I worked my ass off and got everything done.

I got a bit of a break on Friday after work. My boyfriend and I went to California Pizza Kitchen for dinner and had a cupcake for dessert at Sprinkles! (Calories, ugh) Afterwards, we unsuccessfully tried to find me some khaki's for my game day uniform. I tried again the next morning before work. I don't know why its so hard to find a damn pair of khaki's in the Fall! I had the same problem last year. I finally had to settle for a pair that fit horribly wrong at Old Navy. I ran home, showered, and got to work at noon. By the way, I look like a total douche in my game day uniform! We have to wear a red polo and khaki pants. It's embarassing. Nine hours later, I clocked out and made my way home.

Sunday was an overall good day. I was so exhausted from the week that I slept too late to make it to church on time. I ended up streaming the service on my computer (gotta love technology). Afterwards, J and I ran some errands and got lunch. Then we went to Sugar Land with our dog Jelly so she could try out a dog park with a lake! It was a very cute dog park called Pawm Springs Bark Park! Pictures are below.

Enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend!