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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Two words that don't mix: Holidays & Diet

Source: flickr.com via Taylor on Pinterest

December is here, and with December comes the official "holiday season". Thanksgiving and Halloween have already passed us by - and already did major damage to my diet. To make matters officially worse, I started off the "holiday season" in New Orleans (remember that trip?). So, basically, I shot myself in the foot in October & have been tripping all over myself since then.

I of course didn't mind not dieting while on my vacation, but then when I returned I just never really got back on track. Then it was Wurstfest with the family, and then Thanksgiving week. All of which adds up to a month's worth of diet-free bliss.

I'm glad I took a break. After all, I've been actively dieting since June. A break is nice.

But as I was hanging out with friends during Thanksgiving, eating to my heart's eye's desire, I decided to be pro-active starting this week. I decided instead of throwing in the towel until New Year's resolution time, I'd get a jump start & lose a few more quick pounds now.

So I went back to what successfully helped me get started in the summer: the lemon cayenne detox. The last time I was on the detox, I lost 11 pounds in 7 days. It helped return my body back to a clean, fresh state & I was then able to jump right into other diets (the summary of which you can read here).

This time around, though, everything's not as novel as it was before. And it's harder. I'm more tired (I slept 10 hours last night, and know at 9 again tonight I'll probably be ready for bed again.) I also started right out of Thanksgiving weekend, so my body had to adjust from splurging to not.

But, I already feel better. I haven't had a headache in a few days, and my face is clearing up already. Plus I'm already losing weight. And I have a goal to work towards... Christmas. I do ultimately have 30 pounds to lose before I hit that "goal weight", and if I could lose half of that before Christmas, than I'd be a very happy girl who could enjoy the holidays guilt-free!

So this brings up a big question for me. How do you stay healthy during the holidays? Especially during the cold days! (Once it gets cold, all I want to do is sit under a blanket and eat hearty soup or creamy hot chocolate!)

Love to hear some tips! ♥

What I'm Loving...

Welcome Wednesday!! We're moving so fast to Christmas it's making my head spin! Wasn't it just Thanksgiving? Oh well. At least we're moving quickly to sometime I love... December.

Here's a few things I've discovered & fell in love with this past week...

  • Bright fuchsia wedge boots. Yes, please!

Source: threadsence.com via Amy on Pinterest

  • Beautiful, classy black walls. I've always wanted black walls & now I know it's possible to make it seem light & airy!

  • I love this dress from Shop Ruche, but almost not as much as this DIY tutorial on how to make it.

Source: sewweekly.com via Amy on Pinterest

  • Moving into December, I'm starting to think about Holiday Cocktails to serve, and this definitely went to the top of my list!

  • Finally! If you haven't yet... there's a few days left to enter my Giveaway of (potentially) $500 worth of books. Go check it out ♥

To see what others are loving this week, be sure to head over to This Kind of Love and The Vintage Apple. Thanks ladies for hosting these link-ups!

Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Fashion for a Tuesday: It's Party Time!

Yesterday was Cyber Monday, and while I didn't exactly purchase anything, I did find my fair share of awesome party dresses. I'm still looking for that perfect Christmas Eve & New Year's Eve dress.

Here's a few of the ones I found yesterday, that I'm seriously considering...

Option A
Source: macys.com via Amy on Pinterest

Option B
Source: macys.com via Amy on Pinterest

Option C
Source: macys.com via Amy on Pinterest

Option D
Source: macys.com via Amy on Pinterest

If you had to choose any of the ones above, what would you go for?

I love all of them and can't decide!

Monday, November 28, 2011

10 Things, Vol 4

Welcome back after the extended weekend!! Thanksgiving was overflowing here in Texas -- lots of food, football and cold weather finally blew in!! Here's my favorite things about the weekend in a nutshell...

1) Cooking a Thanksgiving meal for 2, since C & I were alone on Thanksgiving. It was really fun to make just enough food for 2, and sweet to just sit with the guy I love & enjoy our life together.

2) Football. Texas played Texas A&M in College Station & I was there to see it. And although we lost (boo!), the highlight for me came during halftime when the UT band classed up their act with a nice farewell gesture, since this is the last time our two schools will be meeting for the foreseeable future:

Source: espn.go.com via Amy on Pinterest

3) Seeing my sister Dana & getting to chat into the night with her ♥

4) Having 8 people crammed into our 900 sq foot apartment for 2 days. (And almost everyone successfully showering during that time!!)

5) Cooking a Thanksgiving meal for said 8 people. On the menu (with links to the recipes, if available) was:

Green Bean Casserole
Mashed Potatoes

Chocolate Mousse Cake
Wine & Beer

6) Using disposable silverware & plates so the dishes weren't a giant mound this year. (Last year, it literally took me a week to finally clean the kitchen completely. This year - it took a day)

7) Seeing The Muppets movie. It's incredible!! Go see it!

8) Heading over to the Texas Renaissance Festival... and eating & drinking for the 3rd day in a row.

Awaiting Silent Bob at the Texas Ren Fest.

9) Snapping pictures at the Ren Fest & accidentally getting random people in the background!

It's getting chilly.
See my knighted friend back there?

10) Finishing off the entire weekend cuddling with my guy in bed while watching a movie.

I really couldn't have asked for a better Thanksgiving weekend. 
I hope you had a great time too!! Can't wait to see what everyone else was up to!!

Happy Monday ♥

PS - I unplugged all weekend (no Twitter or anything... for the most part)... so I'll be getting around to responding to comment/emails/etc in the next few days! It was really nice to unplug & recharge.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Thank you for making my year awesome & amazing. 

See you Monday!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What I'm Loving...

Here's a little bit of What I'm Loving & How Pinteresting....

holiday style ♥

  • A cute dress for the occasion...
  • A dessert drink for afterwards...
Source: tidymom.net via Amy on Pinterest

  • Cute shoes to run around in...

  • And cute DIY centerpieces to make the table pretty ♥

  • OH! I almost forgot the guy who's standing by your side the entire time...
Source: tumblr.com via Amy on Pinterest

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My evening with the Ladies Bush...

I had the absolute pleasure & honor of attending "America's First Ladies: An Enduring Legacy" at the George Bush Presidential Library last week. For 1 1/2 hours, I sat and watched the ladies Bush -- Mrs. Barbara, wife of George & mom of George W. and Laura, wife of George W. -- as they retold tales of their time as first ladies.


The panel covered everything from how the family stayed strong during 9/11 to how to decide on the Christmas card art. And I laughed the entire way through.

These two ladies have such a wonderful chemistry. They've been through a lot together, and have lived through a very unusual situation as first ladies. They, along with First Ladies Abigail & Louisa Adams, are the only First Ladies to have a husband and a son as well as a father-in-law and a husband serve as President of the United States. And this unique relationship with our country's greatest position has created strong, out-spoken and well-thought-out women,whom I could only aspire to be like.


Probably the most endearing thing through the entire lecture was the banter between the women. Laura called Barbara "Bar", and Barbara called Laura "Laur". Barbara interrupted with little jokes here and there - even letting the "S" word slip out before explaining when you're 85 you can't control yourself as much as you used to - and you could tell they absolutely adored each other.

President George Bush, Sr., was also in the crowd, there to support his wife & daughter-in-law. And while the Secret Service around could have made it more awkward, it was actually nice to see them even giggle at the Ladies Bush.


I have such a unique opportunity working at a major University next to a Presidential library, and I'm ashamed to say this is the first event I've attended of this caliber. Hopefully it won't be the last.

I think one of the best ways of becoming a person you admire, is to spend time around those same people.

And these ladies were everything I want to be...
  • Polite
  • Non-judgmental
  • Loving of their husbands
  • Couldn't care less about public opinion about them
  • Strong
  • Texas-born (at least Laura is ♥ )
  • Family-oriented
  • Outspoken
  • Purpose Driven
  • And beautiful... they are both very lovely

I'm glad to have spent a night with these women. It was an experience I won't soon forget.
To read more about this even, go here.

(All photos from here)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

10 Things, Vol. 3

This weekend was so amazing... because...

We. Did. Nothing.

And I loved it. Here's 10 things I loved...

1) I started the weekend celebration a little early with a Thanksgiving pot luck at work on Thursday. Nothing like eating great food with great co-workers in the greatest college football stadium in the world...

thanksgiving in Kyle Field press box

that's Kyle Field at Texas A&M for those of you who aren't college football experts ;-)

2) Making homemade pizza Friday night. That's one of my favorite things to do... ever!

3) Sleeping in on Saturday & waking up to breakfast in bed (thanks, honey!) ♥

4) The Aggies killing Kansas. The game was awesome!

aggies vs kansas win

5) Sangria Saturday. This huge thing was only $4. And I had two. (In my defense, we were celebrating!)

Celebrating the @AggieFootball victory with Sangria Saturday at Shipwrecked Grill in #bcstx! #gigem

6) Jason Segel on SNL. He was actually pretty funny & the Muppets showed up!!

7) Listening to She & Him's Christmas album. It got me in the holiday spirit (even if it's the wrong holiday...)

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas by She & Him on Grooveshark

8) Making homemade French Onion Soup. This recipe is amazing & I highly recommend it!

Homemade French Onion Soup & wine for dinner. Been looking forward to this all weekend!

9) Watching the AMAs last night. Katy Perry's red carpet hair/makeup/dress was just so sexy...

Source: twitter.com via Amy on Pinterest

10) Continuing my current giveaway of $500 of books... if you haven't entered yet... go check it out ♥

chronicle books giveaway

Can you believe it's Thanksgiving week?!? I really can't. I wish you safe travels (if you're going somewhere) and peace/calm for your house (if you're staying home). Can't wait to see everyone's Thanksgiving plans!

Happy Monday ♥

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Food Day...

I'm always hungry on Fridays, because it's that time when I'm thinking about what I want to splurge on for the weekend... and so my thoughts start to wander. I go through all my Pinterest food finds of the week and scan food blogs I follow. And it never fails I find the perfect thing.

Here's a few recipes I'd love to make this weekend...

Grilled Mac & Cheese with Pulled Pork

Indian Tacos

French Onion Soup

Source: annies-eats.net via Amy on Pinterest

Rosemary & Sea Salt Pretzels

I think I may have a junk food problem... I'm also craving pizza. So junk food & cheese!

Happy Friday ♥

Thursday, November 17, 2011

It's feeling a bit like the Holidays, how about a Giveaway? [CLOSED]

We're halfway through November, and it's finally hit me.... Christmas is coming. The Holidays will be here before we can blink. So I thought, why not do a little giveaway to get us all in the Holiday cheer?

I'm happy to announce that both you and I have a chance at winning $500 of books from Chronicle Books. What do you need to do? Just leave a comment below. What do I need to do? Write this post. So my job's done ♥

Haven't heard of Chronicle Books? Well, they have some pretty awesome books, if I may say so myself. If I had $500 to spend I'd get these titles...

TapasFood & Drink:
  • How to Cook Like a Top Chef
  • Saveur The New Comfort Food
  • Skinny Dips
  • The Commonsense Kitchen
  • Tapas
Art & Design
  • The BLDG BLOG Book
  • Born Modern
  • Creative, Inc
  • Graphic Design for Non-Designers
  • High Style
  • Decorate: 1000 Professional Designs for Every Room in Your Home
And others...
  • Audrey Hepburn
  • The Beatles: Anthology
  • Sinfully Delicious Cocktails for Any Occasion
  • A Perfect Glass of Wine: Choosing, Serving & Enjoying
Lucky for me (and you)... if I win, I'll get this whole giant list & so will you ♥

Chronicle Books is also giving away $500 of books to charity. I'd love to see Reading Tree receive this donation. Because who better to give books to than children in need?

So let's recap...

If I win from Chronicle Books, you win $500 from Chronicle Books.

And if I don't win? You'll still win. I'll give away up to $50 from Chronicle Books... anything of your choosing. So it's a win-win situation for you!

To enter
1) Leave a comment saying hello :)

For extra entries
2) Follow my blog & let me know
3) Follow me on Facebook & let me know
4) Follow me on Twitter & let me know

Pretty easy. Good luck guys! Winner will be announced during the first week of December ♥

Happy Haulidays!

Open to US residents only.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Fairest of Them All...

Snow White Showdown

It finally hit me yesterday that there are officially two feature films coming out soon featuring one of my favorite fairy tales, Snow White, and the two couldn't be any different.

Opening in March 2012, Mirror Mirror stars Julia Roberts as the Evil Queen & Lily Collins as  Snow White. While a gender twist seems to be at play, this production seems more in line with the Disney-esque feel we've all come to expect from fairy tales. It's colorful & has humor thrown in to lighten the mood.

Then there's Snow White and the Huntsman opening in June 2012. This much darker telling of the story features Kristen Stewart as Snow White, Charlize Theron as the Evil Queen & throws in a nice looking Chris Hemsworth as The Huntsman. This production is darker than its counterpart, and looks like it's working off a bigger budget with bigger production value.

But money isn't everything. Maybe Snow White is supposed to stay more bright and cheery? I can't decide which of these two I'm more excited to see. After watching those trailers, which one are you looking forward to?

PS - here's a great piece about the showdown

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What I'm Loving...

For this week's What I'm Loving & How Pinteresting link-ups, I'm giving it up to the fashion world. There's a few fashion blogs that have just absolutely sucked me in & blown me away... and serve as such a great inspiration to me in my daily life.

Ladies (and maybe the occasional gent), may I present to you...

A few others that I lover include Keiko Lynn and What I Wore ♥

Be sure to stop over at The Vintage Apple & This Kind of Love to see what others are loving this week!

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Sometimes you just need a good cry...


Saturday Night Live's episode with Emma Stone this weekend was going OK... and then I saw this sketch where the entire cast cries to Adele's "Someone Like You" (video of which isn't online anywhere... sorry). And I fell in love. What girl hasn't listened to Adele's "Someone Like You" and cried -- even a little bit?

Or listened to Adele & then pulled out a pint of ice cream...

And then felt instantly better afterwards... Because I have.

Adele is my newest "I'm sad & need a good cry" music. Before her, I listened to Dashboard Confessionals & Ben Folds (have you ever listened to "Luckiest"??)

The Luckiest by Ben Folds on Grooveshark

So I'm curious... what's your cry song? 

(Please tell me I'm not alone here!)

Monday, November 14, 2011

10 Things, Vol 2

This weekend, I went home to celebrate one of our family's most fun traditions... Wurstfest. It was a fun-filled, fast-paced weekend of running around with family and friends. My mom kept count... we had 27 family members present at Wurstfest. Which isn't too shabby for a non-organized meet up. I had lots of fun & loved getting to catch up with some of my cousins I don't see too often.

Enough of that... here's my 10 favorite things about my weekend...

1) My weekend started on Thursday... four day weekend!!! Can't beat that.

2) I had a play date at the park with my 2 year old nephew Danzig

3) I finished Mindy Kaling's book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And other conversations) - definitely watch for a review later this week

4) I had the best pork sandwich of my life and became mayor (on Foursquare) at the New Braunfels Farmer's Market.

5) I got to spend lots of time with my mom


6) We lit a fire & had friends over late into the night

7) We ate the biggest pretzel you'll ever see


8) Sushi date with C... being stared at by a creepy Asian cat, which I tweeted about

9) Watching kid's eyes light up at the sight of a carnival

10) Talking with my grandpa & my brother -- two guys I don't get to see often enough


I'm just in love with my family & feel so blessed that I had the opportunity to spend time with them.

Now it's on to a crazy week! Because of vacations and training, I've only been at my desk 4 of the last 10 business days & the paper has started to pile! So it's going to be super fun, busy week, complete with a Thanksgiving pot luck at work this Thursday, which I'm co-planning. I'm excited!!

Have a wonderful Monday ♥